Super Bowl 55 Trends: Bucs and Under in Historically Profitable Spots

January 27, 2021 12:09 AM

Happy Wednesday! Today we have a loaded betting menu featuring 30-plus college basketball games, 12 NBA games and 2 NHL games. For an updated breakdown of Wednesday's betting action, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted at noon ET. I'll be joining The Lombardi Line at 1:45 p.m. ET to offer a market update. I'll also be co-hosting Betting Across America with Mike Pritchard from 3-5 p.m. ET to go over all of today's action. 

Super Bowl 55 is now 10 days away. We saw an early adjustment to the line as soon as it was released and now we are entering a lull in the market. Typically, after the first line move takes place, we tend to see the odds remain static for a few days. Once this week ends and we enter the official Super Bowl week, that's when you start to see the action really pick up, along with "propapalooza" where all the countless prop bets drop.

Thus far, it's pretty clear that respected money got down on the Bucs getting the hook (+ 3.5). Nearly every book opened Chiefs -3.5 and we've seen the line fall to 3. This is notable because the Chiefs are the "public" play. With roughly two-thirds of tickets backing the Chiefs, you would think this line would trend further toward Kansas City. But instead of moving to -4, the line has fallen to -3. This signals liability on Tom Brady and the Bucs plus the points.

In terms of the total, we've also seen sharps target the under. The total opened 57.5 and it's been bet down to 56.5 or even 56 at some shops.

While we await the next line move on both the spread and total, let's dive into the last decade of Super Bowls to see if we can identify any actionable trends...

2020: Chiefs (-1.5) beat 49ers 31-20

2019: Patriots (-2) beat Rams 13-3

2018: Eagles (+ 4.5) beat Patriots 41-33

2017: Patriots (-3) beat Falcons 34-28

2016: Broncos (+ 4.5) beat Panthers 24-10

2015: Patriots (-1) beat Seahawks 28-24

2014: Seahawks (+ 1.5) beat Broncos 43-8

2013: Ravens (+ 4.5) beat 49ers 34-31

2012: Giants (+ 3) beat Patriots 21-17

2011: Packers (-3) beat Steelers 31-25

Overall, Super Bowl dogs and favorites have split 5-5 ATS over the past decade. The key has been targeting teams with a line move in their favor of at least a half point (think a dog going from + 7 to + 6 or a favorite going from -3 to -3.5). These teams are 7-2 ATS (78%). As of now, the Bucs (+ 3.5 to + 3) would be a system match.

Why are line moves in the Super Bowl so significant? Because, at this point, the oddsmakers have so much data to go off from both teams that they are setting incredibly sharp and accurate lines. So if they are forced to move a number, it's because respected money has come down and forced them to adjust. Also, the Super Bowl handle is so massive that even a slight half-point adjusment is critical because of the huge liability that it creates if the books get it wrong. Basically, following line moves have a smart strategy over the past 10 Super Bowls. Whoever the line moves toward, that team ends up covering nearly 80% of the time.

In terms of the total, we've seen the over go 6-4 over the last 10 Super Bowls, despite the past two having both gone under. One distinction though, is drawing a line in the sand at a total of 50. If the total is 49.5 or less, the over is 5-1. But if the total is 50.5 or higher, the under is 3-1. The Bucs-Chiefs game matches this "high total under" system, which might have something to do with why it's fallen from 57.5 to 56.5. Everyone expects a high scoring shootout, but historically these games have gone under when the total is 50-plus.

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