Handicapping Super Bowl 57

super bowl
Image source: Chiefs wire

This week, I will do my usual handicapping of the Super Bowl against the spread and total. It’s quite simple. For data, I look at the most recent regular season, not counting playoff games. For either individual team I estimate their points scored as (average points scored per game + average points allowed by opposing team)/2. With those two figures, you subtract them to get the point spread and add them to get the total. It’s that simple. I go through carefully in my Feb. 2, 2022 newsletter.

This method works for any game. For games where one team plays at home, I give 1.5 points to the home team and take 1.5 from the visiting team. I don’t bother with that step in the Super Bowl, because it’s usually on a neutral field. I did have to struggle with that last year, when the Rams played in their home stadium. However, during the regular season, I find this method seldom produces an advantage. Meanwhile, the Super Bowl attracts a lot of square money, often falling on the favorite and the over, creating advantages the other way.

Before I get into my predictions for Super Bowl 57 (I refuse to use Roman numerals), let’s review how I have done since I have started handicapping the Super Bowl:

Super Bowl 56

Predicted scores:

LA Rams: 24.47

Cincinnati: 24.59

Outcome: Cincinnati wins by 0.12 points.

Total points: 49.06


LA Rams: -4/-4.5

Over/under: 48/49

Actual score:

LA Rams: 23

Cincinnati: 20

In the end, I felt the over/under was on target with no advantage either way, but I was enthusiastic about getting +4.5 points on the Bengals. In the end, the Bengals covered.

The source of my prediction is my newsletter of Feb. 2, 2022.

Super Bowl 55

Predicted scores:

Kansas City: 24.63

Tampa Bay: 25.21

Outcome: Tampa Bay wins by 0.58 points.

Total points: 49.83


Kansas City -3.5

Over/under: 57.5

Actual score:

Tampa Bay: 31

Kansas City: 9

In the end, I liked both Tampa Pay +3.5 and under 57.5, which both won.

Source of prediction: Wizard of Vegas.

Super Bowl 54

Predicted scores:

Kansas City: 23.78

San Francisco: 24.59

Outcome: San Francisco wins by 0.81 points.

Total points: 48.37


Kansas City -1.5

Over/under: 53

Actual score:

Kansas City: 31

San Francisco: 20

In my forecast of the game, I didn’t come right out and say what to bet. However, you can see was close to the market in it being about an evenly matched game. However, my total points scored was 4.63 less than the over/under line, which was worth betting.

Source of prediction: Wizard of Vegas.

Super Bowl 53

Predicted scores:

Patriots total points: 25.625

LA Rams total points: 26.625

Winner of game: Rams wins by 1 point.

Total points: 52.25


Patriots -1.5

Over/under: 56.5

Actual score:

Patriots: 13

LA Rams: 3

Again, I thought the game was pretty evenly matched and had no opinion against the spread. However, I thought the over/under was 4.25 points too high, which is enough to bet the under. In the end the total points were only 16, so the under won by a huge margin.

Source of prediction: Wizard of Vegas.

Super Bowl 52

Predicted scores:

Patriots total points: 23.5

Eagles total points: 23.55

Winner of game: Eagles by 0.05 points.

Total points: 47.05


Patriots -4.5

Over/under: 48

Actual score:

Patriots: 33

Eagles: 41

This time I was all over Eagles +4.5, believing the game to be evenly matched. I didn’t bet the under, because the line was one point from where I had it. In the end, the Eagles not only covered, but won outright.

Source of prediction: Wizard of Vegas.

Super Bowl 51

Predicted scores:

Patriots total points: 26.47

Falcons total points: 24.69

Winner of game: Patriots by 1.78 points.

Total points: 51.16


Patriots -3

Over/under: 58-59

Actual score:

Patriots: 34


This time I felt the line was pretty accurate, so didn’t get either side. However, I loved the under! To this day, I have no idea why it was so high. You can see I though the game would go 7 or 8 points less.

Source of prediction: Wizard of Vegas.

I believe Super Bowl 51 was the first time I used this method. Over six Super Bowls you can see from the above that the method served me well. In situations where I thought the line or total was significantly off, by three points or more, my record is 7-0.

Super Bowl 57

After all that build up, what do I think about Super Bowl 57?

I predict the total points by each team to be:

Eagles: 24.88

Chiefs: 24.71

So, I figure the Eagles to win by 0.17 points (so call it an evenly matched game). Total points I put at 49.59.

The going odds are:

Eagles -1.5/-2

Over/under: 49.5

Unfortunately, I don’t perceive a big enough advantage to overcome laying the 10% juice. either way. So, no prediction this year. In case you’re wondering, I put the chances of KC+1.5 winning at 51.7%, which is not enough to beat the vigorish. KC+2 I show having a 52.8% chance of winning (not counting ties). Against a 10% vig, I show that to be essentially a fair bet. 0.9% advantage, to be specific. Not enough to bet.

Bottom line is I have no official picks this year. Personally, if I can find a friend to bet Eagles -2, I’ll take the other side at even money.

I would like to close by remembering Cindy Williams, who played Shirley on Laverne & Shirley. That was among my favorite television shows of the late 70’s. Normally, I would be doing a trivia challenge in her honor at this time, but given the timely nature of the topic this week, I’ll have to put that off a week or two, depending on whether I look at proposition bets next week.

Cindy Williams
Image source: SMH