Past Super Bowl Betting Trends

Anticipation for Super Bowl XLVI is reaching a fever pitch for die-hard fans and casual observers alike. Next Sunday’s game is a classic matchup between two of the league’s most explosive offenses — each featuring elite quarterbacks with a championship victory already on their resume.

However, what’s likely driving the anticipation for this game is the memory of Super Bowl 42.  A miraculous grab by David Tyree and a late touchdown pass from Eli Manning to Plaxico Burress helped lead the Giants to their first Super Bowl victory since 1991 and denied the Patriots from recording the second undefeated season in league history.

In that game, the 18-0 Pats opened as a 14-point favorite, despite barely defeating the Giants 38-35 in week 17 of the regular season. The public was more than happy to take such a lop-sided point spread with 61% of spread bettors taking New York. This one-sided betting moved the line off the key number of 14 down to 12.5. Ultimately, those points were unnecessary as the Giants won straight the game straight up by the score of 17-14.

This season’s match-up between the Pats and G-Men shared many similarities to that infamous game. In the teams week nine showdown, the 6-1 Patriots opened as 9-point favorites, however the public did not follow their typical behavior of betting the favorite as 53% of spread wagers took New York and the points. However, despite this even betting percentage, the line moved to -9.5. Once again, the points proved to be unnecessary as an Eli Manning TD pass with 15 seconds remaining gave New York a 24-20 victory.

The following chart shows the betting trends from the past 8 Super Bowls:

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