What was the biggest point spread in Super Bowl history?

The Patriots are favored by 11 or 12 or 13 points, depending on which bookmaker you consult. We wondered if that made the Giants the biggest underdogs in Super Bowl history, or if that honor belonged to another team, perhaps the Jets who won Super Bowl III?

If these were the two biggest spreads, we also wondered, would that somehow make Eli Manning a kind of latter day Joe Namath? And would that guarantee victory for the Giants? Would the Giants — despite their name — be fated to play the role of David and slay the New English Goliath? Then we wondered, could Eli look any less dopey with Namath’s fur coat or David’s sling shot?

Well, it turns out, according to Vegas Insider that the biggest spread was not SUper Bowl III, but Super Bowl XXIX, in 1995, when the 49ers were favored by 18.5 over the Chargers. In that game Stan Humphries was to play David to Steve Young’s Goliath. But Goliath threw six touchdown passes, beating the Chargers and beating the spread. The Colts were favored by 18, a half point less when they lost to Namath’s Jets.

Our Gambling Guru Brooke Costello dug up some other numbers, though. He says the opening line on the San Francisco – San Diego game was 17, the same as the Jets – Colts. But the Colts ended as 19.5-point favorites.

We can all agree that another big spread was Super Bowl XXXVI, in 2002, when the St. Louis Rams, the Greatest Show on Turf, were favored by two touchdowns. The role of Goliath-slayer that year was played by a baby-faced Tom Brady who led the Patriots to a 20-17 victory, then was crowned king. But he’s no Namath.

Thanks to Every Day Should be Saturday for Namath images.

Why does Eli have a Colts guitar?

— Mark B.    Jan 24, 04:36 PM    #


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