This year’s Super Bowl LVI will take place in SoFi Stadium in California. The American Gaming Association (AGA) estimated that over 23 million people in the US would gamble around $4.3 billion in last year’s Super Bowl.
If you’re thinking of making a bet or two on this year’s game, NH’s sportsbook has you covered. There are prop bets on the coin toss, how long the national anthem will be, plus the usual over/under and point spreads.
You don’t have to be a fan of either of the teams in Super Bowl LVI to get in on the action.
Call this guide Everything You Wanted to Know about the Super Bowl But Were Afraid to Ask. We looked back at the previous 55 games and spotted the nuggets, trends and trivia to maybe win your bet, or at least your Super Bowl party.
The coin toss
Every NFL football game starts with the toss of a coin (usually a quarter) where the visiting team calls heads or tails and then has the right to kick off first, receive the ball, or defer and make their choice at the start of the second half.
This is the most famous, most anticipated coin toss in the world every year. Do you think we haven’t kept track? I love America.
According to thelines.com, tails owns the all-time advantage 29-26, but heads has been the winner in three of the last four Super Bowls.
In a rare quirk, just 25 teams have won the coin toss and gone on to win the Super Bowl. The last team to win the coin toss and then the game was the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII.
In the previous 55 Super Bowls, the favorite has won straight up 34 times. The underdog has won 18. Super Bowl LXIX was a Pick ‘em game won by the Patriots.
However, underdogs have had their day lately. 10 of the last 19 Super Bowls have been won by the underdog:
- Patriots – 2002
- Bucs – 2003 & 2021
- Giants – 2008 & 2012
- Saints – 2010
- Ravens – 2013
- Seahawks – 2014
- Broncos – 2016
- Eagles – 2018
Halftime high time?
Does the team winning at halftime always win the Super Bowl? Almost.
Of the 55 games, the game has been tied four times at the break. The team winning at halftime has won 40 times of the remaining 51.
The last team to win after trailing at halftime was the Patriots, who beat the Falcons, 34-28 in overtime in Super Bowl LI. The Falcons led 21-3 at the half. Ouch.
How about a clean sweep?
One of the most interesting bets one can place on the Super Bowl is whether or not a team will win each quarter. Meaning, one team outscores the other in all four quarters.
In this case, we are not talking about ties (where both teams score the same amount of points in a quarter) or a quarter where each team was scoreless.
The ‘clean sweep’ has only happened five times in Super Bowl history.
The last team to win all four quarters was the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII, where they romped past the Broncos 43-8.
The other four teams to do it were the Ravens in Super Bowl XXXV, the 49ers in Super Bowl XXIV, the Raiders in Super Bowl XVIII and the Cowboys in Super Bowl VI.
Make your point
The fewest points ever scored by a winning team in the Super Bowl was the Patriots, who just needed 13 points to beat the Rams in Super Bowl LIII.
The Patriots also scored the most points by a team that didn’t win. Ironically, that happened in the previous year. New England scored 33 points in a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII.
The winning team in the 55 Super Bowls has averaged 29.7 points a game. The losing team just 16.0. That’s a margin of victory of 13.7.
For sure, the NFL has seen a rise in scoring across the league as rules limiting defensive contact and the ability to hit the quarterback have given offenses more freedom.
Look at it this way, the first 10 Super Bowls, the average total number of points scored is 31.5.
Of the last 10 Super Bowls, the average number of points scored is 48.3 and that includes the paltry 16 points scored by the Patriots and Rams in Super Bowl LIII.
The most common points total scored by a team in the Super Bowl is 17. That has happened nine times.
The team scoring 17 points is 1-8 in the Super Bowl. The only team to win standing on 17 is the New York Giants, who won Super Bowl XLII over the Patriots.
After 17, the most common point total is 10, which has happened eight times (those teams are 0-8) and 31 points (teams scoring 31 points are 6-2).
Seven times teams have scored 21 or 24 points. Five times teams have scored 27. Every team that scored 27 has won the Super Bowl.
The most points scored by one team in the Super Bowl was 55 by the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XXIV.
It’s a touchdown
There has never been a Super Bowl without a touchdown. There are always prop bets to be made on just who will score the first one.
In Super Bowl history, 22 times a wide receiver was the first one to cross the end zone. Running backs have scored the first 20 times. Tight ends have scored first seven times, then quarterbacks three times (on quarterback sneaks).
Three times it’s been a non-offensive player. Broncos defensive tackle Malik Jackson recovered a fumble in the end zone for the first score in Super Bowl L.
Devin Hester of the Chicago Bears ran back the opening kickoff in Super Bowl XLI, and Ty Law, a defensive back, ran back an interception for the Patriots for the first score in Super Bowl XXXVI.
Many happy returns
Hester’s play ranks among one of the most famous in Super Bowl history. Alas, the Bears lost to the Colts that rainy night.
Hester’s runback is the last kickoff return for a touchdown in Super Bowl history. There have been eight total, all coming in the last 38 years.
There has never been a punt return for a touchdown in a Super Bowl.
What about a safety?
Safeties are the most unique scoring play in football. It’s two points scored by the defense for a variety of reasons. There have been nine safeties in the Super Bowl, the first one in Super Bowl IX by the Steelers, and the last one in Super Bowl XLVIII scored by the Seahawks.
I think that means we’re due.
Picking the Super Bowl MVP is one of the most fun things about watching the Super Bowl. Even though this is Super Bowl 56 coming up, there have been 56 prior MVPs. Stump your friends with this one.
Harvey Martin and Randy White were named co-MVPs for the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XII.
Quarterbacks have won the MVP award 31 times, wide receivers seven times, and running backs six.