The 2014 Super Bowl is approaching fast. Sunday, Feb. 2nd is just around the corner and you can notice an anticipation in the lives of Seahawks, Broncos and football fans alike.
Everyone is Google’ing and number crunching every betting stat and trend trying to project the final score, but the people most interested in this knowledge are those looking to place a wager on the game.
Here is a Q & A for the uninitiated in the dealings with Super Bowl game Totals:
Q: What’s the average Super Bowl game total?
A: Dating back to Super Bowl II in 1968 up until last year’s epic battle between San Francisco and Baltimore, the average Super Bowl game total has been 43.4, which seems kind of low, right? Well that’s because there’s a bevy of games from the 70’s that had totals in the mid-to-low thirties.
If you back up and just average the past decade of Super Bowl game totals, the numbers jump up to 48.2 and recent rule changes have had a grand affect on the more recent totals as well. In the past five years, the Super Bowl game total average has been 49.8.
Q: My bookie calls some totals "natural", what is a natural game total?
A: When we use the words “natural” in sports betting, we’re talking about the default betting line. In almost all football games, the natural betting line will favor the home team at -3.0 points. The oddsmakers adjust it from there depending on the matchup. The same goes for the game total. Usually the natural total is 47.0 so the Super Bowl game total this year is hovering in the middle.
Q: What’s the largest Super Bowl game total in history? The lowest?
A: The largest Super bowl game total in history belongs to Super Bowl XLIV, which also featured Peyton Manning when he was a member of the Indianapolis Colts and took on the New Orleans Saints. That total was a massive 57.0 points.
The lowest Super Bowl game total was 33.0 points and has been assigned to several games, most notably the Baltimore-Giants Super Bowl in 2001 and a handful of matchups from the 1970’s.
Q: How Did Seattle and Denver fare against the total this year?
A: As you’d expect, Seattle was a hoss with the under bet. They went 6-10 O/U this year and boasted the league’s best defense by virtually every metric including yards allowed, passing yards allowed, turnovers and points against.
Denver was essentially the opposite, going 11-5 O/U this season with the best offence in NFL history. However, it’s important to remember that the Broncos have been held to the under in their past five games, including their past two playoff matchups.
In fact, in their past 10 games combined (five apiece), the Broncos and Seahawks are 0-10 O/U. So logically speaking, the UNDER seems like a better bet. But communism seemed like a great idea too.
Q: Is The UNDER or OVER a better bet historically?
A: Historically speaking, they’re dead even. The record in the Super Bowl is 23-23 O/U and it’s always hinged on how the matchup breaks down. More recently, the total has gone 3-2 O/U including last year when two great defenses (the Niners and Ray Lewis’s Ravens) were rampaged for 65 points combined against a 48.0 point spread. It’s the Super Bowl. Anything can happen.
Q: Do you prefer OVERS or UNDERS?
A: Personally I always prefer the OVER because I hate cheering for punts. Betting always comes down to your own preferences, and touchdowns are simply more exciting than kicks. But that’s just me.
Q: Are you worried about the weather?
A: Not anymore. The more I research it, the more I think that the weather will cooperate with Super Bowl XLVIII. And weather can change in a heartbeat, so I can’t rely on a variable that’s wholly unreliable. It was cascading rain in Seattle during wild card weekend when they hosted New Orleans, and the downpour stopped suddenly at halftime allowing Drew Brees to tee off for 309 total passing yards. You have to consider the elements to a certain degree, but it can’t swing you can’t let it swing your bet wildly.
Q: So what’s going to happen at Super Bowl XLVIII?
A: Right now the Super Bowl total is hovering between 47 and 48 points depending on where you look. Vegas has it in the 47.0 range while some offshore books are carrying a 48.0 Super Bowl game total. And action is fairly even on both sides.
Q: Damnit just give me a pick!
A: Almost every metric points to an UNDER play on the Super Bowl game total but I think that the points will be available to both teams. Peyton Manning is Peyton Manning, after all, and he’s surrounded by the best offence he’s ever had from a roster standpoint and has shattered records statistically this season. Beyond Manning, the Broncos also have a place kicker in Matt Prater who can pile up points with a sturdy left foot. He was the best long-distance kicker in the league this season and set a record of his own with a 64 yarder, albeit at Denver where the air is thin and the ball travels slightly better.
The same goes for Seattle, which has an awesome weapon in Marshawn Lynch who led the 6th best rushing attack in the league. If there’s any flaw on the Broncos, it’s their rush defense, which may have ranked amongst the top-10 but was ranked in the bottom-10 when it came to rushing attempts against. Lynch could have a massive day against this secondary and the Broncos are not exceptional tacklers. Beast Mode can very well eviscerate this front-seven and bust in to the endzone on multiple occasions.
All this being said, the matchup and my own personal preference leans towards the OVER. Peyton Manning and his receivers will find the endzone, and Lynch is fully capable of blasting through Denver’s untested front line. Beyond that, we’ve seen Russell Wilson pull miracles out of nowhere. The points will be there for the taking and I don’t think Seattle or Denver are going to leave any behind. How you bet the Super Bowl game total is up to you, but I prefer the OVER.