Super Bowl betting trends: History favors the underdog

Profile Picture: Jeremy Jones

February 2nd, 2022

We have reached the NFL season's finale, Super Bowl LVI, and we have a strong set of data to determine trends for your wagering.

Let's break down the latest metrics from around the NFL and determine the trends you should take advantage of for Super Bowl Sunday.

Sun, February 13 2022, 11:30 PM

CIN Bengals






O 48.5

LA Rams






U 48.5

Underdogs have a good history

Since Super Bowl XXXVIII (2004), the favorite is only 10-8 straight up and 6-12 against the spread. The team with the worst winning percentage for the season is 14-1 ATS.

These are some good signs for the Cincinnati Bengals, who are 13-7 and a 4.5-point underdog. The Los Angeles Rams are 15-5.

The NFC team has only been favored four times since Super Bowl XXXV (2000). In three of the four games, the AFC team listed as an underdog won outright. The St. Louis Rams lost to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVI, the San Francisco 49ers lost to the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII, and the Carolina Panthers lost to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50.

The lone win was by the Green Bay Packers over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV, where they also covered the spread.

Follow the line movement

Since 2004, the team that gets the advantage of the line movement is 11-5 ATS. Since Super Bowl XLII (2008), the line movement has moved toward the winning side 11 out of 14 times. Only the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 and the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV lost against the spread after the line moved toward them.

Thus far this week, the line has moved slightly toward the Bengals, but continue to keep an eye on the spread over the next week.

Just bet the winner

It is extremely rare that a favorite wins the Super Bowl but fails to cover the spread. In fact, the last time that happened was in Super Bowl XLIII (2009), when the Steelers beat the Arizona Cardinals but failed to cover the seven-point spread.

In the history of the Super Bowl, a favorite has won and failed to cover only six times, with two pushes. That means the winner of the game is 47-6-2 ATS. That is covering at an 86% rate. So, if you are planning on betting on the Bengals to cover, you might as well be wagering on them to win outright.

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Referee trends

The referees make a massive difference in the game based on how they call it. Therefore, it makes sense to look for trends from the head referee and his crew. This year, the head referee is Ron Torbert. Over the course of his career as a head referee in the NFL, which started in 2014, the favorite is 70-54-3 ATS and 97-30 SU.

This will be Torbert’s first ever Super Bowl as the head referee. In the history of the Super Bowl when a referee is a first-timer, the Over is 11-9 and the favorite is 19-13 SU.

'Joe Cool' in the big moments

In his short career thus far in the NFL, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is 15-13-1 SU and 18-11 ATS. In college at LSU, he went 15-0 SU and 10-5 ATS. However, in big games, Joe Burrow becomes "Joe Cool."

Burrow is 12-4 ATS against teams with a winning record and has covered six consecutive such games in his NFL career. In college, he covered in the SEC Championship Game and both College Football Playoff games.

The Bengals have covered seven consecutive games and are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games.