Bob Duff | Tue 30/01/2018 - 12:57 EST

Favorite or Underdog? What's The Smart Super Bowl Play?

Favorite or Underdog? What's The Smart Super Bowl Play?

Favorite Or Underdog - What's The Smart Play?


The New England Patriots and the Super Bowl is generally a good bet, unless they are playing the New York Giants. The Patriots are 5-2 in Super Bowl play during the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady era, their only losses coming at the hands of Eli Manning and the New York Giants. But when it comes to the Patriots and the Super Bowl spread, well that's an entirely different story.

As a Super Bowl favorite, the Brady-Belichick Patriots are a disappointing 1-4. They finally covered last year in Super Bowl LI, beating the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 as three-point favorites, but they needed a furious rally from a 28-3 deficit and to work overtime to accomplish the feat.

Bovada lists New England as a 4.5-point favorite to topple the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII, but giving away that many points has never worked out well for the Patriots. They were seven-point picks over the Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX but only won 24-21. The previous year in Super Bowl XXXVIII, the Pats were also the seven-point choice over the Carolina Panthers, but emerged victorious by a 32-29 margin. 

My Team's Next MatchNew England Patriots

Twice since 2001, the Patriots lost the Super Bowl when favored, falling 21-17 to the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI as 2.5-point picks and succumbing 17-14 to the Giants as a 12-point choice in Super Bowl XLII. In fact, these Pats are a better bet as a Super Bowl underdog. New England won 28-24 over the Seahawks as one-point underdogs in Super Bowl XLIX and the Brady-Belichick era dawned when they toppled the Rams 20-17 in Super Bowl XXXVI as 14-point underdogs.

It's that latter outcome which raises a very salient point when it comes to Super Bowl point spread wagering. The higher the spread, the more you should lean toward the underdog. Remember, these are the respective conference champions, so generally you should expect a close game. And when one team is disrespected in the line to that extent, it usually gets their backs up, and they dig in and put up a fight.

While double-digit favorites hold a all-time Super Bowl betting edge of 7-6-1, in more recent outcomes, the underdog has carried the day. Double-digit dogs are 4-0-1 the last five times the Super Bowl betting line has crossed the 10-point barrier, and on the last two occasions - the Giants over the Pats in Super Bowl XLII and the Pats over the Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI - the double-digit underdog has won outright.

When the Giants toppled the 18-0 Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, it marked one of the greatest upsets in the history of the big game, but it was far from the only time that a double-digit dog rose up to carry the day. The most famous Super Bowl upset came in Super Bowl III, when Joe Namath, quarterback of the 18-point underdog New York Jets, guaranteed a win over the Baltimore Colts, a juggernaut that had posted four shutouts while going 15-1.

Namath delivered on his promise in a 16-7 win.

While this year's 4.5-point spread doesn't seem like much to cover, it's proven a death knell to favorites in past Super Bowls. The Carolina Panthers fell 24-10 to the Denver Broncos as 4.5-point favorites in Super Bowl L, while the San Francisco 49ers, the 4.5-point choice in Super Bowl XLVII, were toppled 34-31 by the Baltimore Ravens. 

It's been said that every dog has its day, and when it comes to the Super Bowl, it would appear that the bigger the dog, the more bite they carry into the fight. 

    Category : Betting Picks

    Tag : Bill Belichick , eli manning , Joe Namath , Super Bowl LII , tom brady

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