Breaking down the point spread and total for Super Bowl 50

The Carolina Panthers stand as a 5.5-point favorite for Super Bowl 50. Facts surrounding that line…

If that holds up, it’ll be the first time we’ve ever had a 5.5-point Super Bowl spread. The Cowboys were a 6-point favorite when they beat the Dolphins in Super Bowl VI, ditto for when they beat the Broncos in Super Bowl XII, and the 49ers were a six-point fave when they beat the Bengals in Super Bowl XXIII.

Teams favored by 4.5-6.5 points are 7-3. The Giants beat the Bills as a 6.5-point underdog in Super Bowl XXV, the Saints beat the Colts as a 4.5-point dog in Super Bowl XLIV and the Ravens beat the 49ers as a 4.5-point underdog in Super Bowl XLIV. In the last decade, teams favored by 4.5-6.5 points are just 2-2 straight up and 1-3 against the spread.

Teams favored by at least 5.5 points are 23-6 straight up and 15-12-2 against the spread. But this century, those teams are just 4-2 straight up and 1-5 against the spread.

Super Bowl favorites are 33-15 all time. There was no favorite between New England and Seattle last year.

But since 2000, Super Bowl favorites are just 7-7. Congrats to underdog winners Seattle, Baltimore, New Orleans, the Giants (twice), Tampa Bay and New England. Favorites have covered the spread in only three of the last 13 Super Bowls.

The over/under has dropped from 45.0 to 44.5. If that holds up, it’ll mark the first sub-45.0 total since Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2003. That year, the total for New England-Carolina was 38.0, but the teams scored a combined 61 points.

Five of the last seven Super Bowls have gone over the total. And at least 45 points have been scored in 10 of the last 13 Super Bowls.

About Brad Gagnon

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. Based in Toronto, he's worked as a national NFL blog editor at, a producer and writer at theScore Television Network and a host, reporter and play-by-play voice at Rogers TV. His work has also appeared at, Deadspin,, The Guardian, The Hockey News and elsewhere at Comeback Media, but his day gig has him covering the NFL nationally for Bleacher Report.