The Super Bowl is one of the most unique betting events in all sports. People who do not place a single bet all year will suddenly come out of the woodwork and partake in a squares pool or bet on the length of the national anthem. However, there will be millions of bettors who will stick to their comfort zone of betting the game spread and over/under, just as they have done all year long.
This article will take an in-depth look at various betting trends in relation to the over/under. We will analyze relevant numbers from this season as well as the trends across all Super Bowls to explain why the over is the right play. Currently, the over/under for the Super Bowl is 54.5 points (courtesy of FanDuel).
Here are the top three reasons why the over is the right play for Super Bowl LIV.
This is a Matchup of Two Teams With Dynamic Offenses
From a viewing perspective, this Super Bowl is a dream matchup. Last year’s MVP Patrick Mahomes will lead his aerial attack against the ground-and-pound style of the 49ers. This season, the 49ers and Chiefs ranked second and third, respectively, in terms of points per game. The 49ers used a great balance of Jimmy Garoppolo’s efficient passing and a physical running game to average 30.2 PPG. The Chiefs used their fourth-ranked passing attack to average 29.7 PPG this season.
Both teams were profitable for over bettors this year. The over went 10-8 in Chiefs games this year. In 49ers games, the over was 9-8-1. However, these two records do not tell the whole story. If one focuses just on each team’s two playoff games, they would see two offenses clicking on all cylinders. The Chiefs have averaged a preposterous 43 PPG through their first two playoff games. The 49ers have averaged 32 PPG in the playoffs, after essentially “calling off the dogs” at halftime of each game. Had their games been more competitive, San Francisco may just as well be averaging in the 40s themselves.
To top it all off, each team possesses innovative play-callers who now have an extra week to prepare. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid is looking for his first Super Bowl title in an otherwise illustrious career. His record off bye weeks speaks for itself. 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan has experience in a Super Bowl, as his Falcons lost to the Patriots 34-28 three years ago. However, their offense scored the first four touchdowns of that game, mostly because of Shanahan’s creative schemes. With these two men at the helm of their teams, look for offensive fireworks on Sunday.
Recent Super Bowl Trends Favor the Over
There was no over/under posted for Super Bowl I. Through the other 52 Super Bowls, the over is 26-25-1. More recently, the over has cashed with regularity. Aside from last year’s 13-3 dud, the over hit in five of the previous six Super Bowls. In addition, five of the past seven Super Bowls have featured teams combining for at least 50 points.
There is another interesting trend involving NFC West teams in Super Bowls. Recently, when a team represents the NFC West in the Super Bowl, the number tends to go over. The Rams in last year’s Super Bowl are an exception, as that game combined for just 16 points. However, the last four Super Bowls that involved a team from the NFC West all went over. This includes Seattle’s two appearances, as well as the 49ers’ and Cardinals’ appearances dating back to Super Bowl XLIII.
One last trend of note — the over is 6-2 in the last eight Super Bowls with a spread of three or fewer points. Currently, the Chiefs are 1.5 point favorites over the 49ers. While there are varying trends of favorites and underdogs winning, one thing has remained relatively constant: the over tends to hit when the game is predicted to be close.
When the Total is High, the Over Cashes
Across the last eleven Super Bowls that closed with a total in the 50s, the over has gone 7-4. Many bettors side with the under in Super Bowls, citing that nerves on the biggest stage are a factor. However, this trend suggests that when oddsmakers predict the game will be high-scoring, the offense will deliver. Weather conditions look perfect on Sunday in Miami. Forecasts call for a high of 73 degrees and a low of 54 with no precipitation. With optimal playing conditions and superstars on each team’s offense, we should get plenty of scoring in what’s shaping up to be a thrilling Super Bowl.