Favorites vs Underdogs – A Look at the Last Ten Super Bowls

Favorites vs Underdogs – A Look at the Last Ten Super Bowls

Favorites vs Underdogs – A Look at the Last Ten Super Bowls

Given that the Super Bowl is the championship game of the National Football League, you might expect that the point spreads for these games would be fairly close, much like you see in the College Football Playoff Championship. However, that has not always been the case. Of the first 55 Super Bowls, 14 had point spreads of ten points or larger – and some of the most surprising upsets have taken place in the games with wide spreads. One of the best examples came in Super Bowl III, when the New York Jets went into the game as 18-point underdogs against the Baltimore Colts. Jets quarterback Joe Namath famously predicted that his team would win, and the Jets prevailed, 16-7, cementing Namath’s place in football lore. Let’s look at the last ten NFL betting spreads in Super Bowl games as well as how the games turned out.

NFL News: Favorites vs Underdogs — A Look at the Last Ten Super Bowls

Super Bowl LV
Kansas City Chiefs (-3) vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Final Score: Tampa Bay 31, Kansas City 9

A major factor in this was the injuries to both of the Chiefs’ starting offensive tackles. The Buccaneers had boasted a fierce front seven all season long, shutting down rushing attacks and pressuring opposing passers. With backups at both tackle positions, the Chiefs could not give Patrick Mahomes any time at all in the pocket, and the Buccaneers harassed him all night long. The Chiefs’ defense was fairly porous last season, so the Buccaneers hitting 31 was not a surprise. Upset.

Super Bowl LIV
Kansas City Chiefs (-2) vs San Francisco 49ers
Final Score: Kansas City 31, San Francisco 20

The 49ers led this game, 20-10, going into the fourth quarter, but then the Chiefs’ offense finally showed up. In all three playoff games, the Chiefs trailed by double figures before coming back to win – the first time a team had won three playoff games in one season under those conditions. Obviously, that didn’t work last year – and this year they had that trend turned around as the Cincinnati Bengals erased an 18-point deficit in the AFC Championship to send Kansas City home early. Cover.

Super Bowl LIII
New England Patriots (-2.5) vs Los Angeles Rams
Final Score: New England 13, Los Angeles 3

The Patriots absolutely smothered a high-octane Ram offense. Many expected a Patriot win but foresaw it coming on a late fourth-quarter drive. Instead, we just saw the Patriots’ defense close down drive after drive for the Rams, and then we saw a second-half New England touchdown make the difference. Cover.

Super Bowl LII
New England Patriots (-4) vs Philadelphia Eagles
Final Score: Philadelphia 41, New England 33

The improbable run of Nick Foles continued all the way to a Super Bowl MVP trophy – and the realization that he would still be the backup quarterback in Philly the next season. Upset.

Super Bowl LI
New England Patriots (-3) vs Atlanta Falcons
Final Score: New England 34, Atlanta 28 (OT)

This was the game that broke Matt Ryan and the Falcons’ collective psyche. The Falcons led the Patriots, 28-3, late in the third quarter, but a combination of cautious defense and extremely conservative offense, along with a late bad decision that moved the Falcons out of field goal range, led to this historic collapse. Cover.

Super Bowl 50
Carolina Panthers (-5) vs Denver Broncos
Final Score: Denver 24, Carolina 10 (Upset)

Super Bowl XLIX
Seattle Seahawks (-1) vs New England Patriots
Final Score: New England 28, Seattle 24 (Upset)

Super Bowl XLVIII
Denver Broncos (-2.5) vs Seattle Seahawks
Final Score: Seattle 43, Denver 8 (Upset)

Super Bowl XLVII
San Francisco 49ers (-4.5) vs Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore 34, San Francisco 31 (Upset)

Super Bowl XLVI
New England Patriots (-3) vs N.Y. Giants
New York 21, New England 17 (Upset)


 

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