Super Bowl Over Under Prediction: Why The Over Is The Play

Super Bowl 54 Over Under Betting

The current 2020 Super Bowl odds suggest that we could be in store for an instant classic between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday night. It’s the old defense vs. offense battle, who will win out? The total for the game is set at a sky-high 54.5, lending credence to the Chiefs being the favorite. But let’s take a look at the Super Bowl over-under and how you should bet it.

Simply put, there are plenty of factors worthy of consideration prior to locking in a play on the game total, including style of play, weather, matchups and historical trends, so let’s run through the need-to-know information in order to get on the right side of the total for Super Bowl 54.

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Super Bowl 54 Over/Under

The Super Bowl 54 game total opened at 51.5 points at most legal online sportsbooks, but consistent heavy action on the over has pushed the total up to 54.5 points at some shops. As of Thursday morning, an overwhelming 80% of bets and 85% of the handle are on the over. If those splits remain steady throughout the weekend, not only would it be one of the most drastic NFL postseason betting splits ever, but it’s also entirely possible the total will continue to climb. For the sake of shopping the market, here are current totals at some of the best legal online sportsbooks:

 

Where To Bet The Super Bowl 54 Total

We’ve put together a full guide for betting on the Super Bowl. But if you’re in the following states, here are the best places to bet:

Pennsylvania

Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-Gambler. Only 1x Wager Applies, Playable in PA Only

Read PA Super Bowl betting

 

New Jersey

The best play on the total in New Jersey may be BetMGM’s 200 to 1 odds on any touchdown being scored.

Read NJ Super Bowl betting

 

Indiana

 

Super Bowl 54 Weather and Officiating

There are variety of contextual factors to consider prior to locking in a play on the over/under, including weather and officiating. Let’s quickly run through each of these wild card variables.

Weather

It looks like Super Bowl 54 will be played in ideal weather conditions, with temperatures ranging from the mid to low 60s under mostly clear skies. Light NNW winds are expected to blow at 6 mph throughout the game.

In other words, the weather should have no adverse effects on either team’s ability to do what it wants offensively.

Officiating

Bill Vinovich will be the Super Bowl 54 referee.

I know what you’re thinking. Does officiating really matter?  In short, yes. It can.

A referee’s tendencies should be taken into consideration, and in the case of Vinovich, there exists some intriguing information:

  • There has been nearly 20% less penalty yardage than the league average in Vinovich’s games dating back to the start of the 2017 season.
  • The under is 58-42-1 (58%) in Vinovich’s games since the 2013 season. He has been the league’s most profitable “under” referee over the past seven seasons.
  • Dating back to the start of the 2016 season, the under is 40-24-1 in Vinovich’s games, including 10-6 this season.
  • The under is 22-13-1 in games officiated by Vinovich with a spread of three points or less.

 

Super Bowl 54 Over/Under Betting Trends

A quick look at Super Bowl scoring history shows that the over has a slight all-time advantage at 26-25-1 (there was no official over/under listed for SB I). It should come as no surprise, then, that the betting trends I unearthed showed strong data backing plays on both sides. Let’s run through and make sense of some of the top totals betting trends.

Trends That Back The Over

A Profitable Mix

Since the 2003 postseason, the over is 5-2-1 in games with a closing total between 51-55 points that also close at least one point higher than the opening total.

The Movement

As of Thursday, the total has moved three full points from the opening number of 51.5 to 54.5. That’s noteworthy because since ’03, the over is 4-0 in postseason games when the total increases by three points from open to close. It’s 6-2 when the total increases by more than three points.

Don’t Fear the Public

I don’t like betting with the public. Plain and simple. However, while the public is most certainly on the over in this game (80% of bets, 85% of handle), it is 9-4 in postseason games when getting at least 70% of the total handle. Something to consider.

Andy in Primetime

The over is 18-12 in games starting at 6 p.m. or later during Andy Reid’s tenure with the Chiefs, including 5-2 when the total closes at 54 points or higher.

Law of Averages

Starting with Super Bowl 36, the last fives times a Super Bowl stayed under 40 points, an average of 58.4 points has been scored the following year. Of course, only 16 points were scored between the Patriots and Rams last February.

 

Trends That Back The Under

Great Expectations, Great Letdown

There are some concerns about games with high closing totals, particularly in the Super Bowl:

  • The under is 7-3-1 in the 11 Super Bowls with the highest closing totals.
  • The under is 5-1 in the last six Super Bowls with a total set at 50+ points.

Another Big Total Red Flag

Since 2003, the under is 43-36 in all NFL games with a closing total between 54-56 points, including 6-3 in postseason games.

Speaking of Flags

As noted above, referee Bill Vinovich is a bit stingy with his flags, a big reason why he’s been the NFL’s best “under” referee since the start of the 2013 season.

Staying Grounded

The 49ers and Packers breezed past the total in the NFC Championship Game, but the 49ers attempted only eight passes in that contest. In fact, San Francisco has run the football on 71% of its offensive snaps so far this postseason and has the NFL’s second-highest percentage of run plays this season. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the 49ers can’t drop big point totals, but there has to at least be some pause over their ultra-conservative approach.

Granted, Patrick Mahomes has thrown for over 600 yards with eight touchdowns and no picks this season, but the 49ers have the NFL’s No. 5 scoring defense (18.9 ppg), so there’s more than enough reason to strongly consider the under.

 

Super Bowl 54 Over/Under Pick

There’s actually a solid argument to be made in favor of the under.

Historically speaking, Super Bowls with high closing totals have disappointed, including New England’s 13-3 win over Los Angeles in Super Bowl 53 that never had a chance to sniff the lofty 56.5 over/under. Bettors had to wait three-plus quarters for the game’s first, last, and only touchdown.

That being said, I expect the 49ers to bring a more aggressive offensive approach into this game. I also have concerns about the ability of both defenses to keep up with the plethora of explosive skill guys in this matchup. Ultimately, recent history has shown that big upward line movement in postseason games has led to the over cashing, and it has also shown us that low-scoring Super Bowls tend to be followed by higher scoring outputs.

Pick: 49ers-Chiefs to go OVER 54.5 points

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4 Comments

  • Diesel Dick January 31, 2020 at 10:24 am

    The over is the play?
    Really?
    Would have never thought to bet the over.
    Especially because the Chiefs have basically averaged that total all year….
    Fuck outa here Wanks!

    Reply
    • Joe cordell January 31, 2020 at 10:44 am

      Lol

      Reply
  • Remember last year Kyle said to "hammer" the over? January 31, 2020 at 11:09 am

    Patriots 13
    Rams 3

    Reply
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