Super Bowl LVII is coming up this weekend, as the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles will battle it out to crown a new NFL champion. With the big game comes a lot of wagering, too. In fact, the American Gaming Association, the gambling industry’s leading trade group, estimates that more than $7.6 billion was wagered on Super Bowl LVI when the L.A. Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals.
The current point spread at SI Sportsbook has the Eagles as a 1.5-point favorite with an over/under of 50.5. Philadelphia is at -125 on the money line, while the Chiefs are +105. If you're looking for great advice on winning a few bucks, check out Jen Piacenti’s player props and our SI Betting Staff's best selections.
If you're like me and you like to look at trends to help you decide which team will earn your betting dollars, keep reading for some very interesting information.
In the history of the National Football League, just six quarterbacks who led the NFL in passing yards have also played in the Super Bowl. That list showcases some of the greatest field generals ever, including Dan Marino (Super Bowl XIX), Kurt Warner (Super Bowl XXXVI), and Rich Gannon (Super Bowl XXXVII). Tom Brady (Super Bowl XLII and Super Bowl LII) and Peyton Manning (Super Bowl XLVIII).
What do all of these quarterbacks also have in common?
They all lost.
Guess who led the league in passing yards in 2022? You guessed it … Patrick Mahomes. He'll be the seventh field general to play in the big game. But can he break a trend that has kept Brady, Manning and others from winning a title?
Wagerers should also know that in five of those six Super Bowls, the quarterback who led the league in passing yards was also on the favored team. Again, all of them lost on the field (obviously, their teams didn't cover). The one game where the quarterback's team was an underdog, the Miami Dolphins (+3), were smoked by the San Francisco 49ers, 38-16. So, none of the six beat the spread.
If this trend isn’t enough to scare you from betting on the Chiefs, here’s another.
Since 2000, NFL MVPs who have appeared in the Super Bowl have been winless (0-8). Who's the favorite to win the MVP award this season? Again, it's Mahomes. Much like the teams which fielded the NFL's passing yardage leader, none of the teams with an NFL MVP beat the spread in any of those eight Super Bowl contests.
That list includes Warner (Super Bowl XXXVI), Gannon (Super Bowl XXXVII), Shaun Alexander (Super Bowl XL), Brady (Super Bowl XLII and Super Bowl LII), Manning (Super Bowl XLIV and Super Bowl XLVIII), Cam Newton (Super Bowl 50) and Matt Ryan (Super Bowl LI). Yes, folks, Ryan won the MVP award in 2016.
It should be noted, however, that 10 players have won both the MVP award and the Super Bowl in the same season, but it has yet to happen since Warner did it in 1999. Coincidentally, the team that had the league MVP and also went to the Super Bowl from 1966-1999 had a perfect 10-0 record in the big game. Those teams also went 8-0-2 against the spread, so the trend favored teams with MVP winners.
Some other trends might favor the Chiefs, including 18 of the last 21 teams wearing white uniforms winning the Super Bowl, but Mahomes does have a pair of pretty interesting and recent trends going against him in this huge matchup.
If you're a fan of following those recent trends on the field and from a historical perspective, you should bet against Mahomes this weekend.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call the National Council for Problem Gambling 1-800-522-4700.
Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Click here to read all his articles here on SI Fantasy. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for your late-breaking fantasy news and the best analysis in the business to help you win a fantasy championship!