Watched and wagered on by millions, in Canada, the United States and around the World, the National Football League Super Bowl is the biggest one-day sporting event on the Planet. From past Super Bowl winners, to the most recent NFL Champions, here we review this sports betting phenomenon and list the best football-focused online sportsbooks to bet on the NFL title match.
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Founded in 1920, the American Professional Football Association name was changed to the National Football League in 1922. From humble beginnings, with legendary athlete Jim Thorpe as the first league president, the APFA was formed with 14 teams in cities in the eastern United States. Consisting mainly of clubs from New York, Ohio, Cleveland and Illinois, the Akron Pros claimed the first championship with an 8-0-3 record though no title match was played.
Teams in the early days sported some unique names, such as the Muncie Flyers and Hammond Pros from Indiana, the Columbus Panhandles from Ohio, the Buffalo All-Americans and Rochester Jeffersons from New York, plus the Rock Island Independents, Decatur Staleys, and Racine Cardinals from Illinois. The latter two teams are the only squads still playing today as the Staleys are the Chicago Bears and the Racine club now plays in Arizona as the Cardinals.
The First American Football Champion
While the NFL faced challenges from many leagues in the early days, including a group of Canadian Football clubs, which morphed into the CFL in 1958, their biggest rival was the American Football League that first hit the gridiron in 1960. While many of the competitors would not keep up the NFL and most folded, the AFL gained steam as they arranged big television deals and went head-to-head with the NFL for fan support and in bidding battles for top players of the day.
Realizing that the fourth incarnation of the AFL wasn’t going away, the NFL negotiated a merger with the AFL that was announced on June 8, 1966.
Over the next four years, the two leagues played separate schedules but drafted from the same player pool and met in a Championship game. Then, in 1970, teams from the NFL joined National Football Conference while AFL teams were placed in the American Football Conference to form the modern-day NFL.
Initially labelled as the AFL-NFL World Championship Game, the first American Football Champion was crowned on January 15, 1967. Viewed as the far superior squad, the NFL Green Bay Packers defeated the AFL Kansas City Chiefs 35-10 in a match played at the LA Coliseum in California. Though wildly popular, CBS and NBC both televised the game, $12 Super Bowl I tickets didn’t sell out making the first match the only contest that was not completely sold out.
The Team with the Most Super Bowl Wins
Feeling the AFL-NFL World Championship Game name was clunky and didn't justify the magnitude of the event; Kansas City Chiefs founder Lamar Hunt proposed the match moniker being changed to Super Bowl. At the time of publishing, 52 battles have played out and Pittsburgh owns the most Super Bowl rings at six. The Steelers won the back-to-back title twice in the 1970s (1974-75 and 1978-79) before adding two more championships in 2005 and 2008.
Up until 2010, Pittsburgh and Dallas shared the Super Bowl appearance record as those clubs had played in eight NFL Championship contests. The Steelers won six and lost two while the Cowboys went 5-3 on Super Bowl Sunday. Denver, who owns a 3-5 big game record after coming up short in their first four tries, joined those two perennial contenders with eight appearances when they defeated Carolina in Super Bowl 50 to close out the 2015 NFL season.
New England is looking to tie Pittsburgh as six-time Super Bowl Champions when they face the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl 53 on February 3, 2019. That will be a record-extending eleventh title game appearance for the Patriots who are 5-5 on football's brightest stage. Losing 46-10 to Chicago in Super Bowl 20 and 35-21 to Green Bay during Super Bowl 31, Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and Crew broke through with a 20-17 win vs the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl 36.
Super Bowl Winners' List
Long and illustrious, the Super Bowl winners list is made up of NFL legends and a smattering of one and done squads. The latter list includes the New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Jets who are all 1-0 during their lone NFL Championship matches. Beyond those squads, San Francisco owns the best winning percentage, as the 49ers are 5-1 during six NFL title fights. Led by scorching offences, guided by pivots Joe Montana and Steve Young, the 49ers were 5-0 until they lost 34-31 in Super Bowl 47 to the Baltimore Ravens.
Today, the Super Bowl is two weeks after a pair of Conference Championship contests. While some bemoan the wait, like those eager to cash winning NFL futures bets, it gives bettors lots of time to research the vast amount of wagering options offered on the big game. That includes standard point spread, money line and game total odds, plus a plethora of player, team, pre-game, halftime and post-game props. Not available at Canadian sports lottery kiosks, the best way to enjoy the full Super Bowl betting experience is by registering a personal betting account at CSB top-rated sportsbooks listed below.
ATS Results: Shaded Green: Super Bowl Winner F/D: Point Spread Winner
|53||-3||New England||13||3||LA Rams||DOG|
|46||-2.5||New England||17||21||NY Giants||DOG|
|42||-12||New England||14||17||NY Giants||DOG|
|36||-14||St. Louis||17||20||New England||DOG|
|31||-14||Green Bay||35||21||New England||PUSH|
|29||-18.5||San Francisco||49||26||San Diego||FAV|
|1||-14||jGreen Bay||35||10||Kansas City||FAV|
Who will be next?
It may be a long way away but can already place a bet on the future Super Bowl winner. Most of the sportsbooks (see below our recommended ones, tried and tested) have published odds as early as the day after the Patriots win. You can also create your account now and wager later.