Betting Trends: Regular-Season Rematch at the Super Bowl

ERF-521_BOS_NFL Futures_December 10 2013The NFL isn’t like Major League Baseball. In MLB, teams from the American League and National League could only meet in a World Series once interleague play was introduced in 1997. In the NFL, teams have been playing interconference games for years – one whole NFC division faces another from the AFC each regular season. So it would seem like there would have been several rematches from a regular-season game in a Super Bowl.
Yet it has happened only 13 times. So when thinking about how to bet on the SuperBowl this year, consider if a regular-season rematch could occur and then bet on the loser of that first game on the Super Bowl point spread.

Six Stand Apart

There are two clear favorites on the AFC Super Bowl odds: Denver and New England. They appear all but locks to be the top two seeds, just like in 2012, and face off in the Mile High City for the AFC Championship Game.
The Broncos faced the NFC East this season, so they could only have rematches with the Giants, Cowboys or Eagles. Denver won at the Giants 41-23 in Week 2 in the Manning Bowl, beat the visiting Eagles 52-20 in Week 4 and won at Dallas 51-48 in Week 5 in the highest-scoring game of the season and a game the Cowboys could have won.
New England played the NFC South this year so they could face either Carolina or New Orleans in the Super Bowl. The Pats beat the visiting Saints 30-27 in Week 6 and lost 24-20 at the Panthers in Week 11.
There are four true contenders in the NFC on the SuperBowl online betting futures: Seattle, New Orleans, Carolina and San Francisco. The Saints and Panthers have been touched on. The Seahawks and 49ers played the weak AFC South, meaning their only possible Super Bowl opponent would be Indianapolis. The Colts beat both, winning 27-7 at the Niners in Week 3 and 34-28 over the visiting Seahawks in Week 5. Still, both San Francisco and Seattle would be favored on the Super Bowl lines in a rematch with Indy, which was an online betting dog in both regular-season games.

What’s with the Giants?

The last rematch of a regular-season game in the Super Bowl was two years ago. In Week 9 of that season, the Giants lost 24-20 at New England. In the rematch in SB XLVI in Indianapolis, the Pats were -2.5 on the Super Bowl point spread but lost 21-17. Interestingly, all four Giants Super Bowl titles came in regular-season rematches. The most notable was in XLII. New England was unbeaten that year but pushed hard in the regular-season finale, winning 38-35 at the Giants. The Pats were 12-point favorites on the SuperBowl betting odds but were shocked 17-14 by New York.
So what’s the best Super Bowl betting tip if there’s a regular-season rematch in February? The loser of the first game is 8-5 in the rematch. They have won the past four Super Bowl rematches. However teams who beat the opponent on the road in the regular season are just 2-4 in the Super Bowl.