|Posted: January 31, 2009, 5:08 pm - IP Logged|
Here's some Super Bowl betting stats (interesting actually), from someone calling themselves irmrbill
(I received this in an e-mail from Vegas, FYI)
Top-10 facts to consider before placing your Super Bowl bet
26 January 2009
Watching(and betting on) the Super Bowl is an American tradition, right upthere with baseball and apple pie. Actually, in my humble opinion, theSuper Bowl soars past apple pie as an American tradition. In fact, I'dlike to know who it was that made the claim that apple pie was soimportant to American culture. But, I digress.
The one goodthing about reading this column is that it will save you time. Becauseinstead of reading and watching all of the endless hype that the SuperBowl annually produces, we have gone back, looked at the history of thegame, crunched the numbers and come up with 10 worthwhile facts aboutthe game that may be of interest to you.
So, before you doyour American duty this weekend as a sports fan and place your SuperBowl bet (legally, of course!) here are some things to keep in mind aswell as a not-so-bold prediction on the game. Good luck!
10. The house usually wins
Lastyear's upset win by the N.Y. Giants was damaging to more than just BillBelichick's legacy. Nevada sportsbooks lost money on last year's SuperBowl for the first time since 1995 and for just the second time sincethe state's Gaming Control Board began compiling Super Bowl-specificnumbers in 1991. Figures released by the board showed a loss of$2,573,103 at the state's 174 sportsbooks, which dwarfed the amount thebooks lost in 1995 ($396,674) when San Francisco routed the San Diego,49-26, as 19-point favorites.
As bad as last year was for thebookies, it paled in comparison to what occurred back in 1979 whenPittsburgh opened as a 3.5-favorite over Dallas. When a slew of moneycame in on the Steelers, the line went up to as high as five points,and that's when another huge sum of money was bet on the Cowboys plusthe points. At game time, most outlets settled on the Steelers as a4-point favorite, but when Pittsburgh ended up winning 35-31 thebookmakers got "middled." In other words all of those people who drovethe line from 3.5 to 5 by betting the Steelers cashed their tickets, asdid all of the late-comers who took the Cowboys plus the 5 points. Iknow, it's tough to shed a tear for the guys who usually end up doingOK against the public, but you gotta admit, that one had to hurt.
9. Prop bets are dangerous
Themore than $92 million that was bet on last year's Super Bowl in Nevadaranked as the third-highest amount since the board began compiling thenumbers. The 2006 game between Pittsburgh and Seattle is still the mostheavily bet Super Bowl at $94,534,372 while second on the list is the2007 game between Chicago and Indianapolis ($93,067,358). Bycomparison, $40,080,409 was wagered in 1991 when Bill Parcells and theGiants upset Buffalo. One of the main reasons for the increase in thesebetting figures over the years is the vast amount of prop bets that areincreasingly offered each year.
(One of the Vwgas sports books is offering a prop bet on the average uniform number of all players who score a TD)
OnSunday you will be able to wager on not only the teams plus or minusthe points, but the coin toss, the number of first downs and whether ornot there will be a safety. In addition, many outlets offer even moreoutrageous options. For instance, at Bodog you can bet on how manytimes Al Michaels and John Madden will call Pittsburgh QB BenRoethlisberger "Big Ben," how many airplanes will be included in thepregame flyover and what color bow tie Cardinals owner Bill Bidwellwill wear. Sure, these kinds of bets are fun and can make the day moreinteresting. But beware of how many you play and for how much. It'seasy to get carried away and you don't want to be down half your weeklypaycheck before the end of the first quarter. I realize that last yearat this time I recommended a wager on the length of the nationalanthem, but if you read the column you saw that, not only was itwritten with tongue firmly planted in cheek, but my research on thatparticular bet proved to be correct. The bottom line: You can findvalue and make money with prop bets (I like over 2 1/2 interceptions inthis year's game at +150), but don't go crazy. It could be costly.
8. Favorites have the edge
Inthe past 42 Super Bowls, the underdog has won outright only 11 times.Against the spread, favorites are 24-16-2, if you count Super BowlsXXXI (Green Bay over New England) and XXXIV (St. Louis over Tennessee)as pushes.
Underdogs, however, are 5-2 against the spread thelast seven years, including two of the biggest upsets in Super Bowlhistory – New England (+14) over St. Louis, 20-17, in 2001 and the N.Y.Giants (+12) over New England, 17-14, last year. This year Pittsburghopened as anywhere from a 6.5 to a 7-point favorite. As of this writingthe line has remained at 7 in most spots and is expected to stay put.
7. The bye week helps the favorite
Whileit seems most football fans are vehemently against having a bye week inbetween the conference championships and the Super Bowl, I think it's agood idea. First off, the logistics of pulling off an event of thesekinds of proportions almost requires a two-week break. And thanks tothe terrorist attacks of 2001, the bye week is here to stay since theDepartment of Homeland Security designated the Super Bowl a NationalSpecial Security Event.
Secondly, with the stakes this high Ithink the teams should be as fresh and healthy as possible. The extrabreak usually ensures just that. With that said, favorites have doneeven better in the Super Bowl if you exclude the seven times when therewas just a one-week delay. In those seven games, the underdog won fiveof them straight-up and went 5-1-1 against the spread. So if you takethe Super Bowls with a one-week bye out of the equation, favorites havecovered 68% of the time.
6. Super Bowl first-timers struggle
TheCardinal franchise will be making its first appearance in a Super Bowlthis Sunday. (Attention trivia buffs: That leaves the Browns, Saints,Lions, Jaguars and Texans as the only teams that have never played onSuper Sunday). As expected, first-time Super Bowl participants are 8-18straight-up and just 9-17 against the spread. In the last 11 years wehave had seven first-time Super Bowl teams with just two of them(Baltimore and Tampa Bay) winning the game.
This year'sPittsburgh team has 20 players with Super Bowl experience. The Cardshave just five, although one of them is QB Kurt Warner, who will beplaying in his third Super Bowl and was the MVP of Super Bowl XXXIV.
5. The "under" has been the trend in recent years
Afterseeing the "over" cash 11 out of 15 years between 1985 and 1999, the"under" has prevailed in the Super Bowl six times this decade,including four years in a row. Arizona seems to be a team that couldsnap that streak since 13 of its 19 games this season have gone "over"the total and during the last three years 68% of the Cardinals' gameshave gone "over" the posted total. What's more, 12 of the Steelers'last 14 playoff games have gone "over."
4. Historically, it's been the favorite and the over…but not recently
Betweenthe years 1982 and 2005, the favorite and the over was the mostprofitable parlay choice, coming in 10 times. During this same 24-yearspan, a parlay of the favorite and the under only cashed two times. Butin the last three years, the favorite-under combo has cashed twice.
3. The magic number for Arizona is 27
SuperBowl teams that score 27 or more points are a very profitable 24-3-1against the spread. Ironically, the Cardinals come into Sunday's gameaveraging 26.7 points per game. Before placing a bet on the Cardinalsask yourself: Can they score their season average against the vauntedSteeler defense?
2. The magic number for Pittsburgh is 20
SuperBowl teams that score 20 points or less are just 8-31-1 against thespread. The Steelers averaged 21.7 points per game this year. If youthink the Steelers can score their season average on Sunday, historysays they will be in position to both win and cover.
1. The point spread isn't as important as you think
Blasphemyyou say? Well, take a look at the numbers. The Super Bowl point spreadhas only come into play seven times in the 42-year history of the game.In other words, only seven Super Bowl teams have won the game butfailed to cover. And on two of those occasions the favorite pushed. So,when it comes right down to it, the best way to choose who to bet onSunday is by taking the team you think will win the game. It's thatsimple. So, using that logic, I'm laying the points and taking theSteelers to win 27-12.
Enjoy the game!
Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.
There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.