Around the NFL
Favorites rarely win projected close Super Bowls
Posted Jan. 27 at 11:39 PM
The Packers are favored by 2.5 points, but that doesn’t necessarily mean much. Looking at past Super Bowls, underdogs in that range actually have a winning record.
Nine times previously, the point spread in this game has been 3 points or less. One of those games was a pick ‘em (San Francisco and Cincinnati in 1982). In the other eight, the underdog team actually won the game.
So underdogs (close underdogs) are actually 6-2 in this game.
The two exceptions were both teams with great defenses. The Steelers beat Minnesota 16-6 in Super Bowl IX, and the Ravens beat the Giants 34-7 10 years ago.
Not saying this guarantees that the Steelers will beat the Packers – just saying.
SUPER BOWLS WITH CLOSE POINT SPREADS
Super Bowl in which neither team was favored by more than 3 points.
1971 Baltimore (+2.5) 16, Dallas 13
1973 Miami (+1.5) 14, Washington 7
1975 Pittsburgh (-3) 16, Minnesota 6
1981 Oakland (+3) 27, Philadelphia 10
1982 San Francisco (PK) 26, Cincinnati 21
1983 Washington (+3) 27, Miami 17
1984 L.A. Raiders (+3) 38, Washington 9
1988 Washington (+3) 42, Denver 10
2001 Baltimore (-3) 34, NY Giants 7
2011 Green Bay (-2.5) vs. Pittsburgh
Posted by DAVID GARRICK | Jan. 28 at 06:16 AM
Contrary to what Ian listed here, Miami covered the spread pretty easily in the 1973 Super Bowl. They won the game 14-7 as an underdog, not 14-13.
Posted by IAN ALLAN | Jan. 28 at 06:52 AM
David is correct, of course. I keyed that one in wrong. Miami won 14-7, not 14-13. Washington's only points came on the Gary Yepremian field goal disaster. That was the first Super Bowl I watched. Looking back, it is surprising that Miami -- undefeated -- had to play the AFC Championship on the road (this was probably the game that caused the league to change its home-field rules for the postseason), and also surprising that the Dolphins were an underdog. Washington went 11-3 in the regular season; its offense scored 49 fewer points, and its defense allowed 47 more points.
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