This year’s Superbowl was an exciting event. The Kansas City Chiefs faced off against the New England Patriots in one of the most highly-anticipated matches since Lucasfilm’s acquisition of the NFL. And how could we forget about the unforgettable performances from the likes of Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, and Patrick Mahomes?
The game came down to the final minutes when the Patriots were clinging to a slim 5-point lead. With just seconds remaining, the Chiefs lined up for the extra point and successfully kicked the winning field goal as time expired. It was an incredible display of football skill that left many of us breathless. And what would have happened if the game went into overtime?
Most sportsbooks would have locked in on the over/under for total points scored and allowed, making this a perfect opportunity to cash in on the excitement. But football is different –- especially when it comes to the world’s biggest game. The way the rules are set up, there’s no such thing as an over/under on the total amount of time that will be played in overtime. Instead, you’ll find yourself bidding for total yards, first downs, and points scored in overtime.
Here’s a breakdown of how much you would have won betting on overtime in the 2019 Superbowl:
Total Football Yards
The total amount of yards that will be completed in the game is the simplest way to calculate the amount of money that would have been won based on betting on overtime. To come up with this number, we need to consult two primary sources: the betting line and the actual box score.
The betting line, as mentioned, is the result of publicly-available bets made before the start of the game. While this is a good indicator of public betting trends, it should not be considered a complete picture because some sportsbooks will not post their line until after the game has started. In addition, some sportsbooks will not accept wagers on games that are in progress. So, in cases like this, we should look at the box score to get the complete picture.
The box score, as its name suggests, is the detailed record of the game that is kept by the NFL. This includes everything from the number of yards that were gained and lost, as well as the number of first downs, turnovers, and penalties called. It can also be found at NFL.com and on the ESPN app if you’re a cable subscriber.
Based on the total number of published bets on the game, we can estimate that this year’s Superbowl will end up being a low-scoring affair. The under is 7.5 points and the over is 8 points, which translates into $133.33 in average wagers. For comparison, the total score of this year’s Superbowl was 33-28, which means the bettors would have won $222 on a $100 wager.
First downs are the bread and butter of football fans because these are the possessions that immediately turn into points. The number of first downs that a team will accumulate is equal to the number of downs they will have after every period of time is over. So theoretically, the more first downs that a team accumulates, the more points they will be able to score. This makes first downs a good barometer of how much one would have won betting on overtime.
Based on the total number of bets made on this year’s Superbowl and using the over/under for first downs as the basis for our wager, we come up with an average first down total of 10.5. The over is 10.5 and the under is 10, which means $166.67 will be won on average.
Points are the ultimate measuring stick in sports. Points accumulate based on the number of yards that are gained and lost as well as the number of times the ball is successfully kicked into the endzone for a touchdown or intercepted and returned for a touchdown. The most exciting moments of a football game are usually the moments when scores rise rapidly and the excitement builds as each team tries to outscore the other.
The problem is that points can be hard to come by in the first half of a football game. Early in the game, scores are usually few and far between, which is why you’ll often find point spreads, instead of over/under totals, on the opening lines of NFL games. This is particularly troublesome for those who bet on early games because, typically, the later the game begins, the more points there are to be scored. So while you may have accumulated a lot of money on the opening kickoff, you’ll soon see a big drop-off as the game goes on.
Luckily, this year’s Superbowl was not an early kickoff game, which means there are plenty of points to be scored. The Patriots and the Chiefs combined for 94 points in the first half, which was enough for New England to leapfrog Kansas City and take a 30-14 lead into the locker room. (NFL.com)
While the first half was a high-scoring affair, the second half was all Kansas City. The Chiefs piled on 17 points in the third quarter alone, which was enough to take a one-point lead into the final period. Then, with under a minute remaining, the Patriots got a touchdown and two-point conversion to take a 35-34 lead.
In the end, the under was 2 points and the over was 8 points, which means $133.33 will be won on average.
A turnover is defined as a lost possession by either team where the opposing team recovers the ball. This includes interceptions, fumbles, and sacks, which are all considered defensive fouls. A turnover usually results in points being scored, so one good turnover in the right situation can mean a lot of money for the bettor.
The Patriots had the most turnovers this year with 43, followed by the 49ers with 29. But even when we take out the two teams with the most turnovers (Patriots and 49ers), the difference is not significant enough to make much difference in the grand scheme of things. The turnover margin is +5 which indicates a +5% chance that either team will turn the ball over. (ESPN.com)
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Chiefs had only 4 turnovers this year, the fewest in the league. This is mainly thanks to the fact that they were second in the league in ranked sacks with 45. The most exciting incident involving a turnover for the Chiefs is when they forced 4 turnovers and recovered 2 of them for touchdowns: Travis Kelce’s 75-yard fumble return and Tyreek Hill’s 86-yard interception return, both against the Los Angeles Chargers. (Sports.yahoo.com)
The rules concerning penalties in football are quite complex. Generally speaking, a penalty flags are thrown for various infractions that occur during a game. These range from illegal contact to unsportsmanlike conduct. The most serious penalties are enforced by ejection from the game, which is why they are referred to as “game-changing” penalties. (ESPN.com)
Game-changing penalties give the opposing team a chance at a first down. These are usually infractions that drastically alter the game’s outcome, like defensive pass interferences, defensive holding, or illegal contact. A team recovering a game-changing penalty loses 20 yards of game time, which can completely change the way a game flows. (ESPN.com)
Fortunately, there were only 4 game-changing penalties called in the 2019 Superbowl, 0.5 of which were called each team. The most significant game-changing penalty was when cornerback Jason McCourty was ejected for fighting with Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams. (ESPN.com)
One of the more memorable events involving a penalty in the Superbowl was in 2015, when the entire New England Patriots team was ejected for a bench-clearing brawl that broke out between players and coaches during the second half. The brawl lasted for several minutes and was eventually broken up by the officials. (ESPN.com)
While game-changing penalties can be exciting to watch because of the drastic impact they can have, they are often frustrating to bet on because of their randomness. It’s difficult to predict which team will be flagged for which penalty because it is usually based on the officials’ judgment as to which infractions have occurred in a given game. (ESPN.com)
The last two columns in the box score are worth mentioning because they can help determine how much you would have won betting on overtime. These columns indicate whether the offensive or defensive team is performing better. (NFL.com)