NFL Super Bowl Over/Under Odds

The Rams-Bengals Super Bowl has been set and the Super Bowl over under is sitting at 48.5 or nearby on most major sportsbooks. Both offenses bring a ton of star power to the table with Cooper Kupp, Ja'Marr Chase, and of course the two quarterbacks. However, the defenses have been a big part of their run and the under has been a popular outcome in Super Bowls of late, as six of the last ten have gone under. Looking at the two this season, the Rams over covered 52% of the time where the Bengals were only at a 40% clip. Keep tabs on all the Super Bowl over under movement leading up until the big game.

When it comes to sports betting, no single event garners more wagering action than the Super Bowl. The annual coronation of the National Football League’s champion is much more than just any old football game. Bettors have the opportunity to play an extensive list of proposition wagers that involve pregame festivities, the halftime entertainment, and of course the actual game itself. While the Super Bowl is known for prop bets, it is important not to lose sight of traditional football wagering options that are available for the Big Game as well. This includes over/under or points totals odds. This article examines Super Bowl Over/Under odds and intricacies such as how to read them, finding value among them, over/under trends from prior Super Bowls, and more.

Super Bowl 56 Over Under

Of the many ways you can place wagers on the Super Bowl, betting on the over/under is certainly an interesting one. Sportsbooks typically do an excellent job setting the points total amount for the game, and I’ll be fully upfront - my worst record during the regular season was in betting on the over/under. I went just 146-123-2 on over/unders during the regular season, barely landing at a profitable success rate of 53.6%.

Believe it or not, sportsbooks have historically done an excellent job of setting the points total in the Super Bowl. The first Super Bowl between the Chiefs and Packers did not have a set points total to be wagered on. Since that game, however, in 54 Super Bowls played, the total has gone over in 27 of them, and the total has gone under in... 27 of them.

Super Bowls have consistently trended up in terms of points scored as the NFL has shifted to more of an offensive league, and the six highest closing points totals (all over 54.5 points) have occurred in the last 15 years. Four of the previous five Super Bowls are among those six games.

However, scoring totals in the Super Bowl have stayed stagnant as the five most recent Super Bowls have had an average of 48.6 points per game. The first ten Super Bowls had just 31.3 points per game, but the next ten averaged 48.6 points per game, the same average as the five most recent games.

The last three Super Bowls have gone under by an average margin of 20.3 points, suggesting sportsbooks may have overreacted a bit to the increasing offensive production in the league. Of course, among those was the 13-3 snooze fest in Super Bowl LIII, in which the Patriots beat the Rams in the lowest-scoring Super Bowl of all time.

The closing total for that Rams-Patriots Super Bowl was 57.5 points, so the game went under by 41.5 points. It’s incredibly rare to see sportsbooks be that far off on a points total, especially in the most wagered-on game of the year. The Rams’ offense has improved considerably since that game, especially as Cooper Kupp is now healthy and playing at an MVP level. Matthew Stafford has provided a significant upgrade over Jared Goff.

The Rams are one of nine teams this season who have hit the over at a profitable rate - the points total has gone over the closing total in ten of their twenty games (with one push) for 52.6%. However, the Rams’ games have gone under the closing total by 0.6 points per game this year. The Bengals, meanwhile, have seen the under hit in eight of their twenty games, a success rate of 60%. Their games have gone over the closing total by 1.6 points per game.

Los Angeles’s three playoff games this year have seen an average of 46.3 points per game scored, while Cincinnati’s three postseason outings have had 43.6 points per game scored. The Bengals scored 27.1 points per game and allowed 22.1 points per game during the regular season, a total of 49.2 points per game. The Rams scored 27.1 points per game and allowed 21.9 points per game, a combined 49 points per game.

There’s reason to think the under is the better play as far as the matchup goes. The Rams’ pass rush can disrupt Joe Burrow all afternoon, and while he only took one sack against the Chiefs, I don’t expect that to be the case against Aaron Donald and Von Miller after the Titans got to him nine times in the divisional round. On the other side, the Bengals were shockingly good on defense in the second half against the Chiefs, and I don’t think either team gets to 30 points in this game.

As you can expect from the all-time Super Bowl record on over/unders, the line here is pretty sharp, and I wouldn’t say there’s a ton of value in betting it either way. These teams’ results from the regular season would push you towards a slight over, but their playoff games have been lower-scoring. I would lean towards a slight under on the total, with my projection landing between 45 and 48 points. There are likely better ways to get action on this game than betting on an incredibly sharp market.

Super Bowl Over/Under Odds 101

So just what are Super Bowl over/under odds? In sports betting, there are three primary ways to bet on a game. These include the moneyline (picking a team to win the game outright), point spread (picking a team to cover a points line set by the sportsbook), and over/unders. Over/under plays involve betting on whether or not the combined total score for the game will land over or under a set line. It is important to remember that this is not a single team’s total points for the game, but rather the combined total points scored by both teams.

Over/under bets are commonly referred to as totals bets thanks to the nature of the wager. Where totals wagers differ greatly from the moneyline and spread is that the outright winner of the game does not matter. A massive underdog can score an upset, or the market favorite can win convincingly. In either case, all an over/under wager is concerned with is the total amount of points scored in the game.

How to Read Super Bowl Over/Under Odds

The over/under odds for the game are found in the third column, to the right of the point spread odds. While it is necessary to look at the individual team lines to decipher the moneyline and point spread, notice that the over/under number remains the same on both lines. This makes sense given that it is a bet on the total combined points and not those of one individual team.

The set over/under line of 52.5 is the point total around which a wager is based. Like the point spread, standard over/under wagers carry a -110 price. As money comes in on one side or the other, sportsbooks might adjust the juice or even the over/under line itself to help maintain balance. For this reason, the number is listed twice, with the price for the over on top and the under on the bottom.

How Super Bowl Over/Under Odds Are Calculated

Given that the Super Bowl is the culmination of the entire NFL season, the two teams participating will already have played at least 18 games. While having a season’s worth of stats, data, and film can be helpful for bettors in deciphering where to fire on the Super Bowl, one must also remember that the oddsmakers also have access to those same resources. As a result, Super Bowl odds have the chance of being that much more accurate.

When calculating Super Bowl over/under odds, it is important to project how each team’s respective offense and defense will matchup up against the opponent’s. If a high-scoring offense finds itself facing off against the league’s top defense in the Super Bowl, there is a chance that points might not be as easy to come by. On the flip side, the offense could steal the show and the highly-rated defense may wind up surrendering far more points than was typical throughout the season sample size.

Looking back on each teams’ totals throughout the season can aid in calculating Super Bowl odds as well. While it’s impossible to project the future outcome ahead of time, tracking a team’s total points in games across a season, as well as how they fared against the over/under betting market all season can yield vital information.

Finally, the injury status of individual players can play a role. With the Super Bowl coming at the very end of the season, most teams are likely to have a full complement of players, minus those who suffered some sort of season-ending injury. The presence or absence of a few key stars in the lineup can alter the outlook on the number of points a team figures to score or allow.

Finding Value in Super Bowl Over/Under Odds

The process of searching for value amongst Super Bowl over/under odds should not look much different from that used throughout the NFL season. Staying the course, trusting your research, and carefully noting line movement are all key to over/under betting. Refer to the image below for a checklist of things to consider when attempting to find betting value. Each item on the list is discussed briefly in the subsections that follow. Finding Value Checklist for Super Bowl over/under odds

Team Points Scored and Allowed

Familiarity with the average points scored and allowed statistics for the teams in question is a key piece to gaining an edge on a totals offering. One tip for weighing previous point outputs both for and against a team is to be on the lookout for outlying numbers. If a total is significantly higher or lower than the other numbers, it should be considered an outlier and not weighted heavily (or at all) when handicapping future over/under plays.

Game Script

As is the case with point spread or moneyline handicapping, it is necessary to distinguish an expected game script when considering over/under wagers. Teams with high-flying offenses could be running up and down the field and scoring points at will over four quarters. On the contrary, a stifling defense has the potential to dictate the course of an entire game. Placing over/under bets blindly is not advised. Spend time watching the teams in question for any insight you might be able to glean on how their games tend to unfold.

Matchup Strengths and Weaknesses

Knowing how the teams in question matchup against one another is very important for over/under handicapping. Matchups should be considered at both the broad level of offense vs. defense and at the more specific level of individual player battles. For instance, a team might not be known for putting up a ton of points, but scoring could come easier in a game where their polished receivers and strong-armed quarterback will be going up against a banged-up and vulnerable secondary.

Coaches

Believe it or not, studying the trends and decision-making of coaches is one of the most important parts of a sound over/under handicapping strategy. Oddsmakers know what they are doing when they create the lines on a game. With this in mind, it is fair to expect many games to finish right around the over/under. The decisions of coaches could be what ultimately sways the bet. An aggressive coach who isn’t afraid to go for it on fourth and short or take a shot at a 2-point conversion gives his team a greater chance of scoring more points than a passive coach who never considers going for 2 after a score and is content to settle for a field goal when a drive stalls. Being familiar with the tendencies of each coach in question has the potential to prove invaluable.

Fade the Public

Fading the pubic and betting with a contrarian attitude is not a bad strategy in general. When it comes to over/under wagering, especially in the Super Bowl, there’s a lot to be said for going against the grain. The public will almost always be on the over of a game total. Everyone likes to see points scored. Recreational bettors who aren’t wagering with an opinion are prone to betting with their hearts. Just as a public bettor might back his/her team to win because they want it to happen, so to will they back the over on a game total. Heavy traffic in one direction can lead to inflated lines and provide even better value for those who choose to fade the public market.

Super Bowl Over/Under Betting Trends

There is a long list of betting trends that have been recorded specifically for the Super Bowl. Among them are over/under trends. The only Super Bowl that is not a part of the data is Super Bowl I, as there was no total posted for the game between the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs.

General handicapping knowledge states to never bet solely on the back of any trend. For those who might be tempted to do so anyway, there is a silver lining in that neither the over nor the under has gained any substantial edge when it comes to the Super Bowl. After 53 editions of the Big Game for which an over/under line was created, the over has hit 27 times and the under 26, an equal success rate for both sides.

The past 20 seasons have been a microcosm of the overall equal success rate for both the over and under in the Super Bowl. Each has cashed 10 times apiece over that span. In the last ten Super Bowls, the over has hit 6 times, while the under has cashed in each of the last two seasons (2019, 2020) and three of the last five. Refer to the images below for a look at how the points total played out in each Super Bowl. Super Bowl Over/Under History Chart Super Bowl Over/Under History Chart Part 2

Super Bowl Over/Under Odds FAQ

Where can I find Super Bowl over/under odds?

Super Bowl over/under odds will be available at any sportsbook taking action on the NFL’s championship game. Once you decide on a book, the odds will be easy to find. Look for them to be listed right along with the moneyline and point spread odds for the game.

When is the best time to wager on the Super Bowl over/under?

While jumping on the opening line ensures that you get the purest form of the number, it may not yield the most value. With many people betting on the Super Bowl, there is a real chance that line movement could create a number with better value than the initial odds.

How do I determine whether to bet the Super Bowl over or under?

Remember that you should never bet just to bet. A wager on the Super Bowl game total should only be made after conducting thorough research on the game, teams, and other relevant factors. Try to visualize in your mind how the game will play out when taking a betting position.

Can a strong opinion on a Super Bowl over/under wager lead to more betting opportunities?

Yes! If you are confident in your over/under bet, there are bound to be other bets on the board to consider. The endless list of Super Bowl props allows a real opportunity to exploit a strong lean on the game in multiple ways.

How many times has the Super Bowl gone over?

In the 53 Super Bowls for which a points total line has been set, the game has gone over the total 27 times.

What side holds the longest consecutive winning streak for Super Bowl over/under betting?

The over holds a one-game lead in the overall standings, but the under holds the longest winning streak in the Super Bowl points total battles. From 1969-1975, Super Bowls III-IX all went under the total, a run of 7 straight.