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Why Aren’t The Patriots Bigger Favorites? From CappersPicks.com
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Super Bowl XLII will be the most watched football game of the season in North America and the Super Bowl betting lines are the most talked about of the year. For Super Bowl XLII oddsmakers tagged the unbeaten New England Patriots the 13-point opening line favorites with a game total of 54.
It’s certainly some heavy lumber for a Super Bowl. But considering the 18-0 Patriot’s 589 points scored and 75 touchdowns posted during 2007 set all-time NFL records, and the New York Giants are in as a wild-card team, the line is a far cry from the largest point spread in Super Bowl history which was 18-points set when San Francisco was favored over San Diego in Super Bowl XXIX in 1995.
The 49ers won and covered easily by downing the Chargers 49-26. The total went over with ease and it was the first time that both teams scored in all four quarters of a Super Bowl.
If you take into account New England owns the best offense in the league, scoring a robust 36.8 points per game while racking up 411.3 yards and they’re fourth-best in the NFL defensively, giving up just 17.1 points per game and 288.3 yards, the line is a complete bargain compared to the largest ever in Super Bowl XXIX.
Oh yeah, don’t forget about a tandem by the names of Tom Brady and Randy Moss. Brady, who already has won three Super Bowls, helped the Patriots rewrite the record books by throwing for 50 touchdowns. He broke Peyton Manning’s league mark by one. 23 of those touchdown passes went to Moss, which lifted the receiver past Jerry Rice’s record of 22.
Brady also set another individual record in the divisional championship game against Jacksonville in a 31-20 win by tossing 26 completions in 28 attempts, an NFL record 92.9 percent for regular-season and playoff games.
With the eye-popping numbers generated by New England this season, a long with many other records broken that wasn’t mentioned, oddsmakers could have pegged the Patriots a much larger favorite easily exceeding the former largest Super Bowl line in history of 18-points and not raised one once of suspicion, not even by the wise guys.
There’s a big contrast between the 1994-95 49ers, who own honors as largest favorites in Super Bowl history, and this year’s Patriots.
Starting with the offenses: San Francisco scored 505 points during the 1994 regular season (31.5 ppg), and as mentioned earlier, New England set a record with 589 (36.8 ppg).
San Francisco claimed 6069 yards of total offense (362.2 ypg); New England 6580 (411.3 ypg).
The 49ers had 66 offensive touchdowns, and as mentioned earlier, the Patriots posted 75 touchdowns during 2007 to set an all-time NFL record.
The 1994-95 49ers were led by Steve Young. His quarterback rating was 112.8 which comes close to Brady’s quarterback rating put up this season of 117.2.
But Young’s 35 touchdowns doesn’t come close to Brady’s 50. Young had a slightly better pass completion percentage of 70.3 compared to Brady’s 68.9. But Young passed for a total of 3969 and Brady had nearly a thousand more with 4806.
There are similarities between Young during the 1994-95 season and Brady of this year. But one can certainly make the claim Brady was better throughout the two seasons being compared.
Defensively, San Francisco ranked sixth in the league, allowing 296 total points (18.5 ppg) and gave up 4894 yards. This year’s New England team ranked fourth defensively, allowing 274 points (17.1 ppg).
Let’s don’t forget, San Francisco went 13-3 during the 1994-95 campaign and the Patriots remain undefeated this season, as you know.
So why didn’t the mighty Patriots, who many feel are the greatest team ever as they go for NFL betting history and fourth Super Bowl victory in less than a decade, get more respect from the number’s guys by opening them as the 13-point chalk?
Could it be the San Diego team of 1994-95 is weaker then the Giants of this year? No.
Offensively, the 1994-95 Chargers put up 346 regular season points (21.6 ppg). The Giants were slightly better at by putting up 373 points 23.3 ppg.
Defensively, the 1994-95 Chargers’ defense was stronger then this year’s Giants’. San Diego allowed 306 points (19.1 ppg) and the Giants surrendered 351 (21.9 ppg).
For those wondering: The 1994-95 Chargers were led by a guy named Stan Humphries. His numbers compared to Manning’s stats are very similar with Humphries being stronger in some areas.
The Chargers got to the Super Bowl in 1995 by winning their first six regular season games, the only NFL team to do so that season, and finished the year at 11-5.
With New York finishing the regular season at 10-6 combined with the above comparison, one could make the argument the Chargers were the better team.
After this comparison, it’s certainly fascinating why New England didn’t open up as a bigger favorites then that of 13-points. Especially considering the general public loves betting the favorites and overs. And in high-profile games such as a Super Bowl, oddsmakers take that into account and set the lines a bit higher.
Of the Super Bowl games the favorites and underdogs are actually quite close in wagering numbers. Depending upon the closing numbers and books it varies slightly but the consensus is that the favorites are 21-17 ATS with three pushes. The underdog has won the game outright 12 times.
Despite New England’s success and pursuit for perfect, and the fact ”squares” (general betting public) for the most part invest in the chalk and over, the line is dropping as Super Bowl 42 betting fanatics are putting money on the Giants. BetUS NFL odds currently have New England -11½ with a game total of 53½.
As the line drops, bettors must be taking into account Manning’s stout play. Manning, who is playing the football under center of his career, has four touchdowns to no interceptions and a 99.2 rating in this year’s playoffs. During the postseason span, the Giants have scored 68 points with Manning throwing for a collective 53-of-85 and 602 yards.
Those who already invested in New York may also be mindful the Giants have covered the spread in its last five games overall, and on the road they’re a stout 6-2-0 against the spread this season including postseason. Meanwhile, the Patriots have dropped the cash in their last five consecutive and seven of eight.
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