Bookies usually cautious on Super Bowl Sunday

February 1, 2008

The Super Bowl is annually the biggest one-day event in the sports betting industry, and Super Bowl XLII should be no exception, as some are predicting that this will be the largest in its history with upwards of $95 million being wagered on the NFL’s championship game. Here is a look at how bookmakers and betters have fared in the big game, with the unbeaten New England Patriots coming in as 12-point favorites over the upstart New York Giants at

This is only the second time since 1998 that the point spread for the Super Bowl has reached double figures. In both of those occasions, it was the underdog that came out on top, when John Elway led the Denver Broncos to their first of back-to-back Super Bowls in a 31-24 win over the Green Bay Packers as 11-point underdogs in 1998. The Patriots were the second team to pull off the upset when they beat the St. Louis Rams 20-17 in 2002 as 14-point underdogs. This was the first of three Super Bowls for Tom Brady and the current New England dynasty, so you can be sure that head coach Bill Belichick will warn his team to beware of the underdog. Seven of the past nine Super Bowl winners have been favored, and of those seven winners, four have covered the spread. Ironically, two of the teams who have not been able to cover the spread in the big game are the 2004 and 2005 New England teams, winning each time by three points while favored with a 7-point spread. When it comes to the OVER/UNDER, it has been pretty even over the past nine Super Bowls, as the final score has gone UNDER the posted total in five of those games, including the past three.

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