Betting the Super Bowl Over Under 2019
Betting on the Super Bowl over/under is always study in contradictions. Every year the majority of Super Bowl bettors wager on the 'over'. The books know this. So they inflate the totals, creating a value situation for sharp bettors to sweep in and hit the 'under'.
But things never quite go the way they are supposed to on Super Bowl Sunday. In the past we've seen Super Bowl matchups between dominant defensive teams turn into shootouts and other games featuring high-scoring offensive juggernauts devolve into plodding snoozers.
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This year's NFL season was the highest scoring one on record. So it would stand to reason that we are in for a shootout when New England and Los Angeles meet to decide the Super Bowl on Sunday.
The 2019 Super Bowl will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 3, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. New England is a slight 2.5-point favorite over the Los Angeles Rams, with the total set at 56.5.
The problem for sportsbooks this season has been that they can't push the NFL totals high enough. The NFL scoring average surged up this year, with teams combining to average over 46 points per game this year (compared to 43.4 points per game last season). Beyond that, a number of high-profile games this season featured astronomical scoring outputs. That includes a 37-31 shootout by New England and Kansas City in the AFC Championship Game.
Perhaps the best example of the "new" NFL was the incredible 54-51 game between the Rams and Chiefs on Monday Night Football back in mid-November. That was the only game in NFL history in which both teams scored over 50 points and was the third-highest scoring game in league history.
As a result, this year's Super Bowl opened with the highest posted total in history. The game actually opened at 58.5. But despite a majority of wagers coming in on the 'over', the books have started dropping the total first to 57.5 and then to its current station at 56.5. That is a great indication that some of the bigger bettors are going large on the 'under'.
The highest closing total in Super Bowl history was two years ago when New England took on Atlanta in Super Bowl 51. That total closed at 57.5 and miraculously went 'over' when the Patriots scored 19 fourth quarter points to force overtime in an eventual 34-28 win.
So how do we beat this year's Super Bowl total?
We need to put this total in a broader historical context. The 'over' is 28-24 in the 52-year history of the Super Bowl. Seven of the first nine Super Bowls actually went 'under', which means that the 'over' has hit in 60 percent of the games over the next four decades (26-17). Five of the last six Super Bowls have beaten the total.
This total is massive. But it is not excessive. Since 2000, this is the sixth Super Bowl total posted at 50.0 or above. Here are the others:
2017: Atlanta-New England 'Over' 57.0 (34-28)
2012: N.Y. Giants-New England 'Under' 53.0 (21-17)
2010: New Orleans-Indianapolis 'Under' 57.0 (31-17)
2008: N.Y. Giants-New England 'Under' 55.0 (17-14)
2002: St. Louis-New England 'Under' 53.0 (20-17)
As you can see, going against the general public consensus in these games have been highly profitable. Four of the five games went 'under', and the one that went 'over' was by fluke luck. In fact, most of these games weren't even close to the total with an average of just 43.2 points per game scored.
Further, New England has been involved in four of these five games with massive totals. And three of four times the Patriots have gone 'under'.
The Patriots have gone 'over' in both of their playoff games. However, their high-scoring AFC title game had a bit of a misleading final score. There were 38 combined points scored in the fourth quarter alone, including 31 in the final eight minutes alone.
Even with that outburst the Patriots have gone 'under' in eight of their last 11 games overall this season. Though the 'over' is a hearty 7-1 in their last eight playoff games.
The Rams offense has been somewhat erratic since their record-setting shootout with the Chiefs. Los Angeles has averaged 27.7 points per game over their last seven outings, playing 'under' four times. That is over a touchdown lower than the 35.4 points per game they averaged in the 11 games prior to that.
The books have been getting battered with the 'over' in the last several Super Bowls. It is an extremely popular wager, and five of the last six title games have sailed over the total with an average of 56.5 points per game. That includes last year's game, which was the second highest in Super Bowl history with 74 total points. As such, I don't expect this total to go any lower and I wouldn't be surprised if the books ticked it back upwards by kickoff.
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Read more articles by Robert Ferringo
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