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Submitted by Jim Feist on Wednesday, January 25, 2017 at 12:00 AM

by Jim Feist

In the world of eleven to ten, there's nothing quite like Super Bowl week. In this case, it's two weeks, as the teams have two weeks to prepare for the Big Game.  For example, you can bet on the exact score of the game by each team, who will score first, or how many yards a player has.
  A common prop on all the NFL playoff games is "The shortest TD will be over/under 1.5 yards." If you had OVER in the Super Bowl two years ago you would have been pulling your hair out after Pete Carroll/Darrell Bevel decided to pass from the one-yard line with 24 seconds left instead of handing off to Marshawn Lynch.  Three TDs in the game were from the 3, 4 and 4 yard lines.
  Three years ago Seattle to win by 22 or more points was 12-to-1 odds and the first scoring play to be a safety was 35-to-1. Both cashed.  Total combined QB sacks was projected at over/under 4.5….and would you believe there was only 1 sack (Peyton Manning) in the Super Bowl?  
    Four years ago passing yards by Joe Flacco was set at 247½ (he threw for 287).  Five years ago QB Tom Brady was projected over/under 300 yards and 2.5 TDs (he finished with 276 yards, 2 TDs, going under for both).
     Six years ago, Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers' TD passes was over/under 2 (he threw 3 against Pittsburgh). His first pass to be incomplete was +210 (it was).  Ten years ago, if you bet on Chicago return specialist Devin Hester to score the first touchdown of the game you would have cashed a 25-to-1 prop ticket after he returned the opening kickoff 92 yards. 14 seconds in cashing a 25-to-1 ticket is the best way to watch a Super Bowl!
     You can wager that no TDs will be scored by either team, often at 50-to-1. Of course, that has never happened as we head to Super Bowl 51 next week. There also has never been overtime, though you will be able to wager on "Will there be overtime or not?" There will be "over/under" lines offered on how many touchdown passes a quarterback might throw, the first team to turn the ball over and even the coin flip. There will be creative wagers offered such as how many receiving yards one player might get matched up against the number of points the NBA's Chris Paul will have as the Clippers/Celtics battle before the Super Sunday kickoff .
    The Super Bowl brings out the best in the creative minds of oddsmakers. Smart bettors will search through all the props, totals and side bets offered in an attempt to find an edge and add to their bankrolls. Since Super Bowl X in 1976 between the Steelers and Cowboys, there have been 24 "overs" and 17 "unders."
    Why so many "overs?" One factor is that coaches with a lead are less likely to sit on the ball in the second half in a Super Bowl. If a team is up 17-0 at the half of a December game, for example, a coach might be inclined to go conservative, run the clock and avoid injuries. In the postseason, it's the final game of the year and no lead is safe. No coach wants to play super-conservative and be remembered as the guy who blew a 20-0 lead in the biggest game of his career. Since it's the last game of the season, coaches often put in trick plays and new offensive wrinkles in an attempt to maximize scoring opportunities.
    Despite the excessive "overs" you can't overlook the importance of defense. The Seahawks went to two straight Super Bowls with incredible defense despite being a Super Bowl an underdog to the record-setting Denver offense. Denver turned the trick a year ago with a powerhouse defense that won as a dog to Carolina. Five years ago the Saints and Packers didn’t win a playoff game despite all those flashy offensive numbers, while the defensive-oriented Giants, 49ers and Ravens made it to the Final Four.
     In 2008 and 2012 the big story was the flashy offense of the Patriots as a favorite each time,  but who came out ahead? The great defense of the Giants kept the game close and was the main reason in their 17-14 and 21-17 victories. 14 years ago the No. 1 offense (Oakland) faced the No. 1 defense (Tampa Bay)? Oakland's great offense was a 4-point favorite, but Tampa's defense dominated in a 48-21 rout. In fact, eight of the last 15 Super Bowl champs have had statistically better defenses than their offenses, including the 2015 Broncos, the 2005 Steelers (4th in defense) and '08 Steelers (No. 1).  Five of those champs, the 2001 Patriots, the '02 Buccaneers, the '07 Giants, Seahawks and Broncos, were Super Bowl underdogs.
      Key numbers will come into play, as well, as books are petrified of getting middled. 14 years ago the Rams were a 7 to 7½-point favorite against the Titans. The Rams won by seven points, 23-16. The most famous example was in 1979, forever known in Las Vegas as "Black Sunday." The Steelers opened a 2½-point favorite over the Cowboys, were bet up to 5, then back down to 4. Books everywhere were sick when the Steelers won, 35-31, landing on the dreaded 'M' word.

Super Bowl                 Total   Over/Under
50 Broncos 24, Panthers 10    43-    Under
49 Patriots 28, Seahawks 24,  48   Over
48 Seahawks 43,  Broncos 8  47-     Over
47 Ravens 34,  49ers 31         47-    Over
46 Giants 21, Patriots 17        51    Under
45 Packers 31, Steelers 25     46    Over
44 Saints 31, Colts 17     56    Under
43 Steelers 27, Cardinals 23      47    Over
42 Giants 17, Patriots 14      52    Under
41 Colts 29, Bears 17         49    Under
40 Steelers 21, Seahawks 10     48    Under
39 Patriots 24, Eagles 21    47    Under
38 Patriots 32, Panthers 29     38    Over
37 Bucs 48, Raiders 21    43-    Over
36 Patriots 20, Rams 17    53    Under
35 Ravens 34, Giants 7    33    Over
34 Rams 23, Titans 16    48    Under
33 Broncos 34, Falcons 19    51    Over
32 Broncos 31, Packers 24    49    Over
31 Packers 35, Patriots 21    52    Over
30 Cowboys 27, Steelers 17    52    Under
29 49ers 49, Chargers 26    53    Over
28 Cowboys 30, Bills 13    50    Under
27 Cowboys 52, Bills 17    44-    Over
26 Redskins 37, Bills 24    49    Over
25 Giants 20, Bills 19        40-    Under
24 49ers 55, Broncos 10    48     Over
23 49ers 20, Bengals 16    48     Under
22 Redskins 42, Broncos 10    47    Over
21 Giants 39, Broncos 20    40    Over
20 Bears 46, Patriots 10    37-    Over
19 49ers 39, Dolphins 16     53-    Over
18 Raiders 38, Redskins 9    48    Under
17 Redskins 27, Dolphins 17    36-    Over
16 49ers 26, Bengals 21    48    Under
15 Raiders 27, Eagles 10    37-    Under
14 Steelers 31, Rams 19    36    Over
13 Steelers 35, Cowboys 31    37    Over
12 Cowboys 27, Broncos 10    39    Under
11 Raiders 32, Vikings 14    38    Over
10 Steelers 21, Cowboys 17    36    Over
9   Steelers 16, Vikings 6    33    Under
8   Dolphins 24, Vikings 7    33    Under
7   Dolphins 14, Redskins 7    33    Under
6   Cowboys 24, Dolphins 3    34    Under
5   Colts 16, Cowboys 13    36    Under
4   Chiefs 23, Vikings 7    39    Under
3   Jets 16, Colts 7        40    Under
2 Packers 33, Raiders 14    40    Over    
1 Packers 35, KC 13        NL    NL


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