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NFL betting trends entering the Super Bowl

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The Super Bowl is finally here. It took 18 weeks of the regular season, a Wild Card Round, a Aivisional Round and a pair of Conference Championship games to narrow the field down to two teams.

The Bengals and Rams are the last two standing, and they will be squaring off in Los Angeles Feb. 13 to see who wins the big game. If you plan on wagering a couple of hard-earned dollars to make some “easy money,” here are a few things to keep in mind. 

 

Against-the-Spread Results

During the regular season, favorites were the better side more often and ended the season with a profit if you bet one unit on every favorite ATS in every game. It was not a massive profit, but it was better than playing underdogs. In the Super Bowl, we have a dead even record over the years for favorites. Favorites have covered 50% of the time in Super Bowls with two games ending in a push and no line reported for the first Super Bowl. That means that favorites are 26-26-2 in Super Bowls. 

The Rams were favored in 17 of the 20 games they played this season. They were not great as favorites, covering in only seven of those 17 games (41%). The Rams did cover all three games they were not favored this year to give them a total record of 10-10 ATS. 

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Underdog Report

Dogs were profitable to bet on because of the plus-money payouts this season, but they definitely did not win more games than they lost. That has been the case in the Super Bowls as well. Despite an even record against the spread, Underdogs have cashed outright in just 37% of Super Bowls, making it slightly less than twice as likely that the favorites win. 

The Bengals performed well this year as underdogs. They were the dogs in 11 games. They ended up with 8 wins and 3 losses in those contests for a cash rate of 72%. Cincy comes into this game with a 13-7 record ATS this season. They have definitely performed above the expectations of books and bettors.

 

Total

The NFL saw about a 55% cash rate for unders during the 2021-2022 season, with two games that ended right on the projection. The cash rate for overs was a little over 44%. Break-even at standard -110 juice is 52.5%, meaning it was slightly profitable to blindly bet one unit on every under this year. Both games last week finished to the under as well. The Rams bucked the trend slightly with a 10-9-1 record to the over this season. The fear of that vaunted defense kept the numbers oddsmakers posted low, but the offense did enough scoring in many of those games to ensure the totals went over. The Bengals actually ended up with just 8 overs and 12 unders. This is surprising for a team that has an explosive passing offense and a weak defense. The total for the Super Bowl is sitting around 48.5/49 on most books. 

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