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Total Talk - Super Bowl XLVII

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Postseason Recap

Gamblers watched the 'under' go 122-117-2 in the regular season, which is pretty much a wash. In the postseason, we can say the same as the ‘over/under’ has gone 5-5 in the 10 games. In the conference title games, the ‘over’ was never in doubt in the NFC Championship and the ‘under’ in the AFC Championship was helped with Patriots’ offense getting blanked in the second-half.

Line Analysis

The Las Vegas Hotel & Casino (LVH) opened the total at 49 and it was knocked down immediately. It currently sits at 47 1/2. CRIS, one of the biggest offshore betting shops, also opened at 49 and they’re a tad lower at 47. Why the drop?

VegasInsider.com pro football expert Paul Bovi explains, “The opening line was likely in part reflective of a preconceived notion that the public would lean to the high side, as is typical of most Super Bowls. The early move, regardless of the outcome, certainly captured value based on what can only be considered an inflated number, especially given that these teams engaged in a 22-point slug fest only a little more than a year ago in which there were a mere 423 yards combined.”

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Baltimore beat San Francisco 16-6 last season on Thanksgiving Day, which was the primetime game on the holiday slate. The closing total of 40 was never threatened. The 49ers couldn’t do anything on offense but they also had QB Alex Smith starting under center.

Regardless of what happens Sunday, it’s safe to say that the books will probably never have a Super Bowl total listed in the thirties ever again. However, next year’s game will be played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Super Bowl Trends and Venue

Overall, the ‘under’ has gone 23-22 in the Super Bowl and that includes a 6-4 mark in the last 10 years. This will be the 10th time that New Orleans will host the Super Bowl the first since 2002. In the first nine games from “The Big Easy” the ‘under’ has gone 6-3. Make a note that the games in 1970, 1972 and 1975 were played at Tulane Stadium.

Super Bowl History
Super Bowl Year Total Score Result
XXXVI 2002 53 New England 20 St. Louis 17 Under
XXXI 1997 49 Green Bay 35 New England 21 Over
XXIV 1990 48 San Francisco 55 Denver 10 Over
XX 1986 37.5 Chicago 46 New England 10 Over
XV 1981 37.5 Oakland 27 Philadelphia 10 Under
XII 1978 39 Dallas 27 Denver 10 Under
IX 1975 33 Pittsburgh 16 Minnesota 6 Under
VI 1972 34 Dallas 24 Miami 3 Under
IV 1970 39 Kansas City 23 Minnesota 7 Under

This will be the 16th Super Bowl that has been played indoors or with a closed roof. In the first 15 games, total players have watched the ‘under’ go 9-6 and that includes a 3-1 run of low-scoring affairs.

Parlay Probabilities

Since it’s the last pro football game of the season to bet, a lot of gamblers like to press their bets and try to cash both the side and the total with a two-team parlay at 12/5 odds (Bet $100 to win $260).

Super Bowl Parlay History Combination
Combination Win Percentage
Favorite-Over 15 34%
Favorite-Under 11 25%
Underdog-Under 9 20%
Underdog-Over 7 16%
Push-Over 1 2.5%
Push-Under 1 2.5%

Looking at the above, you can see that the Favorite-Over combination has been the most profitable but that parlay hasn’t been cashing like it did in the eighties and nineties. Green Bay’s 31-25 win over Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XLV was the last Favorite-Over combination to hit. Prior to that, you would have to rewind to 2001 when Baltimore beat the N.Y. Giants 34-7 in Super Bowl XXXV.

The Underdog-Over combination has only happened seven times, which is the least, and gamblers should note that Tampa Bay was the last ‘dog to win straight up in a Super Bowl where the total went ‘over’ the number. In case you forgot, the Buccaneers blasted the Raiders 48-21.

San Francisco is 5-0 in its five Super Bowl appearances and it’s posted a 4-1 mark against the spread. The ‘over’ has gone 3-2 in those games.

Inside the Numbers

San Francisco has seen the ‘over’ cash in six straight and nine of its last 10 games, rather easily too. The 49ers offense put up 45 and 28 points in their two playoff games and the once highly regarded defense has surrendered 31 and 24 in those contests.

Despite scoring 24, 38 and 28 in the playoffs, Baltimore has watched the ‘under’ go 2-1 in those games. The Ravens’ defense does a lot of bending but it hasn’t broke lately. In the postseason, the unit has allowed nine scores, five field goals and four touchdowns. Overall, the Ravens have seen the ‘over’ go 11-8 this season but the ‘under’ has produced a 6-3-1 mark on the road.

Head coach John Harbaugh and the Ravens defense have played well with time to prepare. Since he started in 2008, the team has gone 6-0 SU and 5-1 ATS with a bye week. In those games, the Ravens allowed 10, 7, 10, 14, 13 and 15 points.

QB Edge

The 49ers have been a different team with Colin Kaepernick and Paul Bovi believes the second-year standout from Nevada can be the difference. He explained, “Kapernick's mobility lends an edge to the Niners, as the Ravens will have to defend the edges much like the Falcons did by eliminating and/or minimizing man coverage. Baltimore has faced only two multidimensional QBs this year in Michael Vick and Robert Griffin III. And it could be argued that he is more elusive than the former while RG3 was unable to finish the game due to a knee injury.”

The Eagles posted 486 yards of offense, but Vick only posted 34 yards on the ground. The Redskins also had a great day, racking up 423 total yards against the Ravens. RG3 only ran for 34 yards and he was sacked three times but Washington running back Alfred Morris took advantage of the Ravens focus on RG3 and scampered for 129 yards on 23 carries.

If you look at Kaepernick’s performances against non-divisional teams, San Francisco has posted 32, 31, 27, 41, 45 and 28 points. The 49ers’ defense certainly helped the youngster out in a couple games, in particular road battles at the Saints and Patriots. Still, it’s hard to ignore the fact that the club is 6-0 both SU and 5-0-1 ATS and the ‘over’ cashed in all six.

Fearless Predictions

Heading into Super Bowl XLVII, we’re ahead $780 based on one-unit plays. As always, Press, Pass or Fade but in the end, we wish you luck and hope to see you next season!

Best Total: Over 47 San Francisco-Baltimore

Best Team Total: Over 26 San Francisco

Chris David can be reached at cdavid@vegasinsider.com

  
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