What Should Bettors Know About the Super Bowl 51 Total?

What Should Bettors Know About the Super Bowl 51 Total?

The Atlanta Falcons were the highest scoring offense during the regular season (33.8 points/game) and they haven’t slowed down during the postseason. In two playoff games, the Falcons have tallied 80 total points including Sunday’s 44-21 victory over the Packers in the NFC Championship. On the flip side, Atlanta’s defense ranked 27th in scoring defense (25.4 points/game) and 28th in passing defense (266.7 yards/game). This combination of offensive firepower and defensive ineptitude has allowed the Falcons to be the most profitable ‘over’ team (15-2) this season.

Their opponent, the New England Patriots, ranked third in scoring (27.6 points/game) while boasting a well-balanced attack that included a top-five passing offense (269.3 yards/game) and a top-ten rushing offense (117.0 yards/game). On the defensive side of the ball, the Patriots led the league in scoring defense (15.6 points/game) and were actually one of the most profitable ‘under’ teams (10-6) during the regular season. For what it’s worth, the over has hit in both of New England’s playoff games.

With two of the league’s top offenses squaring off, the Super Bowl 51 total opened at 57.5 at the market-setting Pinnacle sportsbook. Although this is lower than last week’s NFC Championship total, this marked the highest Super Bowl total in NFL history — just a point higher than Super Bowl 44 between the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts (opened 56.5).

The table below displays the closing total for every single Super Bowl matchup.

Super BowlFinal ScoreTotalOver/Under
XLIVNew Orleans 31, Indianapolis 1757UNDER
XLIIN.Y. Giants 17, New England 1455UNDER
XXIXSan Francisco 49, San Diego 2653.5OVER
XIXSan Francisco 38, Miami 1653.5OVER
XLVIN.Y. Giants 21, New England 1753UNDER
XXXVINew England 20, St. Louis 1753UNDER
XXXIIIDenver 34, Atlanta 1952.5OVER
XXXDallas 27, Pittsburgh 1751UNDER
XXVIIIDallas 30, Buffalo 1350.5UNDER
XXVIWashington 37, Buffalo 2449OVER
XXXIGreen Bay 35, New England 2149OVER
XXXIIDenver 31, Green Bay 2449OVER
XXIVSan Francisco 55, Denver 1048OVER
XVIIIL.A. 38, Washington 948UNDER
XVISan Francisco 26, Cincinnati 2148UNDER
XLVIIBaltimore 34, San Francisco 3148OVER
XXIIISan Francisco 20, Cincinnati 1648UNDER
XLVIIISeattle 43, Denver 847.5OVER
XLIXNew England 28, Seattle 2447.5OVER
XXIIWashington 42, Denver 1047OVER
XLIIndianapolis 29, Chicago 1747UNDER
XLPittsburgh 21, Seattle 1047UNDER
XXIXNew England 24, Philadelphia 2146.5UNDER
XLIIIPittsburgh 27, Arizona 2346OVER
XXXIVSt. Louis 23, Tennessee 1645UNDER
XLVGreen Bay 31, Pittsburgh 2545OVER
XXVIIDallas 52, Buffalo 1744.5OVER
XXXVIITampa Bay 48, Oakland 2144OVER
IIGreen Bay 33, Oakland 1443OVER
LDenver 24, Carolina 1043UNDER
XXVN.Y. Giants 20, Buffalo 1940.5UNDER
XXIN.Y. Giants 39, Denver 2040OVER
IIIN.Y. Jets 16, Baltimore 740UNDER
XIIDallas 27, Denver 1039UNDER
IVKansas City 23, Minnesota 739UNDER
XIOakland 34, Minnesota 1438OVER
XXXVIIINew England 32, Carolina 2937.5OVER
XXChicago 46, New England 1037.5OVER
XVOakland 27, Philadelphia 1037.5UNDER
XIIIPittsburgh 35, Dallas 3137OVER
XVIIWashington 27, Miami 1736.5OVER
VBaltimore 16, Dallas 1336UNDER
XIVPittsburgh 31, L.A. Rams 1936OVER
XPittsburgh 21, Dallas 1736OVER
VIDallas 24, Miami 334UNDER
VIIMiami 14, Washington 733UNDER
IXPittsburgh 16, Minnesota 633UNDER
VIIIMiami 24, Minnesota 733UNDER
XXXVBaltimore 34, N.Y. Giants 733OVER
IGreen Bay 35, Kansas City 10N/AN/A

Although there wasn’t a total posted for Super Bowl 1, you can see that Super Bowl overs have gone 25-24 overall and the closing totals have been steadily increasing. Bettors love high-scoring games and naturally gravitate towards the over — especially in a matchup of two elite offenses. In our historical database, which goes back to 2003, the over has never received less than 46% of tickets in the Super Bowl.

Not surprisingly, bettors have been hammering the over for Super Bowl 51. According to our public betting trends, 66% of tickets and 79% of total dollars wagered have taken the over. This one-sided public betting has caused the total to increase from 57.5 to 58.5 at Pinnacle.

[click image below to enlarge]

It’s interesting to note that Pinnacle was the last offshore sportsbook to move their Super Bowl 51 total to 58.5. It’s also worth noting that Sunday’s total actually reached 60 at Jerry’s Nugget for 90 minutes on Thursday, although it has dropped to 59 since that time.

“Given the efficiency of these offenses, we did not hesitate making this the highest total in Super Bowl history,” stated Scott Cooley, a spokesman for Bookmaker. “The public bettors won’t think twice about betting the over, but we do expect to see some smart money on the under.”

This isn’t only the highest total in Super Bowl history, but also one of the highest totals that we have tracked, including both regular season and playoff games. Dating back to 2003, there have been six regular-season games and two playoff games with a total of greater than 57.  At least 60% of spread tickets have taken the over in each of these games, and public bettors have been rewarded with the over going 8-0 despite these lofty totals.

  1. December 25, 2004, Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs, O/U 60, Chiefs won 31-30
  2. January 22, 2017, Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons, O/U 59.5, Falcons won 44-21*
  3. January 7, 2012, Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints, O/U 59.5, Saints won 45-28*
  4. January 1, 2017: New Orleans at Atlanta Falcons, O/U 58.5, Falcons won 38-32
  5. November 16, 2014: New England Patriots at Indianapolis Colts, O/U 58, Patriots won 42-20
  6. October 27, 2013: Washington Redskins at Denver Broncos, O/U 58, Broncos won 45-21
  7. November 8, 2004, Minnesota Vikings at Indianapolis Colts, O/U 58, Colts won 31-28
  8. September 29, 2013: Philadelphia Eagles at Denver Broncos, O/U 57.5, Broncos won 52-20

Last week’s Packers/Falcons game featured the highest total of the season, and the highest total since December 25, 2004, when the Chiefs/Raiders total closed at 60. In fact, this season’s three highest totals have all included the Falcons and all three have gone over.

There are only eight NFL teams that play in domed stadiums, but it’s interesting to note that five of these high total games have taken place indoors. Using our historical database, I found the average total at domed stadiums has been roughly three points higher than it has been in outdoor stadiums. That’s a significant development given that the Super Bowl will be played at NRG Stadium, which features a retractable roof. Although there hasn’t been an official announcement yet, it seems safe to assume that the roof will be closed.

Since 2003, NFL regular season overs have gone 411-379 (52%) when the game is played in a dome and 1,360-1,370 (49.8%) when the game is played outdoors. During the postseason, that edge is even more apparent with indoor overs going 24-8 (75%) and outdoor overs going just 50-66 (43.1%). That said, it’s important to realize that oddsmakers account for this edge when setting their total. “In most cases, we’re going to tick the total up a notch when teams are playing indoors,” stated Cooley.

Assuming public money continues to hammer the over, it will be interesting to see whether sportsbooks increase the total. The Super Bowl is the most heavily bet sporting event every year, and this causes public money to have a greater impact on the line movement. We still haven’t seen sharp money pick a side on the total, so it will be interesting to monitor this total throughout the week — especially when the limits are increased closer to kick off.

Bettors may be interested to know that there have only been nine Super Bowl games with more than 58-points scored, led by Super Bowl 29 when the San Francisco 49ers and San Diego Chargers combined to score 75. For what it’s worth, there has only been one Super Bowl matchup featuring the Patriots in which the teams combined to score more than 58-points (New England 32, Carolina 29 in Super Bowl 37).

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David Solar

David was the Content Manager at Sports Insights. He has since moved on to greener pastures.

1 Comment
  • David
    January 24, 2017 at 4:59 am

    How many Super Bowls have had a combined score equal to or greater than 58? Thank you

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