Super Bowl line trends: How often is a team that covers the spread also the game winner?

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The Vince Lombardi Trophy is displayed at the Super Bowl Experience, open to fans for the first day, leading up to the NFL Super Bowl LVII football game in Phoenix, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

There was a time when betting the favorite in the Super Bowl was as close to a sure thing as one could get, as in 16 of the first 21 big games, the team giving the points covered – and often easily covered.

That’s part of the reason why Joe Namath guaranteeing victory for his New York Jets in Super Bowl III in 1969 and then fulfilling his prophecy was such a big deal, just before the AFL merged with the NFL two seasons later.

Hank Stram and the Kansas City Chiefs followed suit the following year in New Orleans in Super Bowl IV, but an underdog covered just once more in the decade, as the Dallas Cowboys lost by four points to the Pittsburgh Steelers, who were favored by seven, in Super Bowl X.

So what does that mean for the current day?

Not nearly as much, as the favorite and underdog have each covered three times in the past six games. In all, spreads have been much closer, making it tougher for a favorite to win without covering – and making upsets not that big of a deal. In fact, last year when Cincinnati lost 23-20 to the Rams, they covered the 4-point spread, which was the first time in 13 years the team that won the game did not cover.

More often than not as of late, whoever wins also covers the spread.

Let’s take a look at recent trends – at spreads, totals and final scores – to see if there can be anything we can take advantage of in Super Bowl LVII, as the Philadelphia Eagles are 1.5-point favorites as of Monday afternoon over the Kansas City Chiefs with the total set at a fairly high 50 (up from 47.5 early last week).

NOTE: Information taken from Sports Betting Dime. Game winner who also covered in bold under spread. 

PAST SUPER BOWL LINES, TOTALS, OUTCOMES

Super Bowl (Year)  Game result  Spread winner Total 
 LVI (2022) Rams 23, Bengals 20 Bengals +4 Under 48.5
 LV (2021) Bucs 31, Chiefs 9 Bucs +3 Under 56.5
 LIV (2020) Chiefs 31, 49ers 21 Chiefs -1.5 Under 55.5
 LIII (2019) Patriots 13, Rams 3 Patriots -2.5 Under 55.5
 LII (2018) Eagles 41, Patriots 33 Eagles +4.5 Over 49
 LI (2017) Patriots 34, Falcons 28 Patriots -3  Over 57.5
 50 (2016) Broncos 24, Panthers 10 Broncos +4.5 Under 43
 XLIX (2015) Patriots 28, Seahawks 24 Patriots +1 Over 47.5
 XLVIII (2014) Seahawks 43, Broncos 8 Seahawks +2 Over 47.5
 XLVII (2013) Ravens 34, 49ers 31 Ravens +3 Over 48
 XLVI (2012) Giants 21, Patriots 17 Giants +2.5 Under 53
 XLV (2011) Packers 31, Steelers 25 Packers -3 Over 45
 XLIV (2010) Saints 31, Colts 17 Saints +5 Under 57
 XLIII (2009) Steelers 27, Cardinals 23 Cardinals +7 Over 46
 XLII (2008) Giants 17, Patriots 14 Giants +12 Under 55
 XLI (2007) Colts 29, Bears 17 Colts -7 Under 47
 XL (2006) Steelers 21, Seahawks 10 Steelers -4 Under 47
 XXXIX (2005) Patriots 24, Eagles 21 Eagles +7 Under 46.5
 XXXVIII (2004) Patriots 32, Panthers 29 Panthers +7 Over 37.5
 XXXVII (2003) Bucs 48, Raiders 21 Bucs +4 Over 44
 XXXVI (2002) Patriots 20, Rams 17 Patriots +14 Under 53
 XXXV (2001) Ravens 34, Giants 7 Ravens -3 Over 33
 XXXIV (2000) Rams 23, Titans 16 PUSH (LAR -7) Under 45
 XXXIII (1999) Broncos 34, Falcons 19 Broncos -7.5 Over 52.5
 XXXII (1998) Broncos 31, Packers 24 Broncos +11 Over 49
 XXXI (1997) Packers 35, Patriots 21 PUSH (GB -14) Over 49
 XXX (1996) Cowboys 27, Steelers 17 Steelers +13.5 Under 51
 XXIX (1995) 49ers 49, Chargers 26 49ers -18.5 Over 53.5
 XXVIII (1994) Cowboys 30, Bills 13 Cowboys -10.5 Under 50.5
 XXVII (1993) Cowboys 52, Bills 17 Cowboys -6.5 Over 44.5
 XXVI (1992) Washington 37, Bills 24 Washington -7 Over 49
 XXV (1991) Giants 20, Bills 19 Giants +7 Under 40.5
 XXIV (1990) 49ers 55, Broncos 10 49ers -12 Over 48
 XXIII (1989) 49ers 20, Bengals 16 Bengals +7 Under 48
 XXII (1988) Washington 42, Broncos 10 Washington +3 Over 47
 XXI (1987) Giants 39, Broncos 20 Giants -9.5 Over 40
 XX (1986) Bears 46, Patriots 10 Bears -10 Over 37.5
 XLIX (1985) 49ers 38, Dolphins 16 49ers -3.5 Over 53.5
 XLVIII (1984) Raiders 38, Washington 9 Raiders +3 Under 48
 XLVII (1983) Washington 27, Dolphins 17 Washington -3 Under 48
 XLVI (1982) 49ers 26, Bengals 21 49ers -1 Under 48
 XLV (1981) Raiders 27, Eagles 10 Raiders +3 Under 37.5
 XIV (1980) Steelers 31, Rams 19 Steelers -10.5 Over 36
 XIII (1979) Steelers 35, Cowboys 31 Steelers -3.5 Over 37
 XII (1978) Cowboys 27, Broncos 10 Cowboys -6 Under 39
 XI (1977) Raiders 34, Vikings 14 Raiders -4 Over 38
 X (1976) Steelers 21, Cowboys 17 Cowboys +7 Over 36
 IX (1975) Steelers 16, Vikings 6 Steelers -3 Under 33
 VIII (1974) Dolphins 24, Vikings 7 Dolphins -6.5 Under 33
 VII (1973) Dolphins 14, Washington 7 Dolphins -1 Under 33
 VI (1972) Cowboys 24, Dolphins 3 Cowboys -6 Under 34
 V (1971) Colts 16, Cowboys 13 Colts -2.5 Under 36
 IV (1970) Chiefs 23, Vikings 7 Chiefs +12 Under 39
 III (1969) Jets 16, Colts 7 Jets +18 Under 40
 II (1968) Packers 33, Raiders 14 Packers -13.5 Over 43
 I (1967) Packers 35, Chiefs 10 Packers -14 No total

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