Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow gives his first press conference of the season as he returns from appendectomy surgery on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022.Joe Burrow Presser

Bet against Super Bowl losers in Week 1

Bet Against Super Bowl Losers in Week 1

There was a time, not too long ago, when betting against the loser of the Super Bowl in Week 1 of the following season was a lock. A guaranteed winner. Easy money.

And betting on the Super Bowl champ to win Week 1 (at least on the moneyline) was also a lock. So pay attention as the Rams (small home dogs to the Bills) and Bengals (home chalk to the Steelers) open the 2022 campaign.

Indeed, the 12 seasons between Super Bowl 34 and Super Bowl 45 witnessed the loser of the Big Game fail to cover every season in Week 1. That’s right, 0-12 ATS. And it wasn’t really close straight up either, with the losers going just 2-10 SU. It seemed losing the Super Bowl doomed that team to a Week 1 loss and bettors just kept betting against them year after year.

The pendulum on that trend has swung back in recent years with the Super Bowl loser going 7-3 SU but just 4-6 ATS from Super Bowl 46 to Super Bowl 55. But overall, the trend is 4-18 ATS over the past 22 seasons. And that streak repeated in 2020 when the San Francisco 49ers were in the unenviable position of being 7-point home favorites against the Arizona Cardinals in 2020 and 2021 when the Chiefs beat Cleveland 33-29 but failed to cover 5.5 points.

Is Super Bowl Loser Hangover Syndrome real?

Is this a real handicapping factor that should make Bengals bettors a little gun-shy, with Super Bowl Loser Hangover Syndrome (SBLHS for short) potentially still a threat? Cincinnati hosts the retooling Pittsburgh Steelers and they are not even currently favored to win their division (Baltimore is favored to claim the AFC North).

Speaking of Super Bowl contenders, the Los Angeles Rams open the season as second betting choice in the NFC around 10/1, according to the Super Bowl 55 futures list posted at FanDuel Sportsbook. And that brings us around to the flip side of the Hangover argument – does the Super Bowl winner always win in Week 1 of the following season?

What about Super Bowl Winner Non-Hangover Syndrome? Is that a thing?

Super Bowl winners have experienced a nearly opposite start to the following season, with the defending champs going 19-3 SU in Week 1 the past 22 seasons. The ATS mark is just 13-7-2, but still a money-making angle for bettors who believe Super Bowl champs will prevail in season openers.

For those interested in recent stats, winners are 8-1 SU and 5-3-1 ATS the past nine seasons after Tampa won 31-29 at Dallas but failed to cover the spread kicking of the 2021 season.

Kansas City covered last season as the lone Week 1 double-digit favorite. They were big chalk (-10.5 at some shops) at home to the Houston Texans, but buyer beware on the Chiefs – these same Texans defeated the Chiefs here a year ago 31-24. The Chiefs won six straight Week 1 games and covered the last five.

So in the last 20 seasons, only the Patriots after Super Bowl 51, the Ravens after Super Bowl 47 and the Giants after Super Bowl 46 have lost Week 1 of the following season during that time. All three also failed to cover the spread, according to Trend Dummy’s Super Bowl Hangover Chart below.

Super Bowl Losers in Week 1

Game Winner Wk 1 Loser Wk 1
56 Rams ? – ? Bengals ? – ?
55 Buccaneers W-L Chiefs W – L
54 Chiefs W-W Niners L – L
53 Patriots W – W Rams W – W
52 Eagles W – W Patriots W – W
51 Patriots L – L Falcons W – L
50 Broncos W- W Panthers L – L
49 Patriots W – P Seahawks L – L
48 Seahawks W – W Broncos W – L
47 Ravens L – L 49ers W – W
46 Giants L – L Patriots W – W
45 Packers W – W Steelers L – L
44 Saints W – L Colts L – L
43 Steelers W – L Cardinals L – L
42 Giants W – W Patriots W – L
41 Colts W – W Bears L – L
40 Steelers W – W Seahawks W – L
39 Patriots W – W Eagles L – L
38 Patriots W – P Panthers L – L
37 Buccaneers W – W Raiders L – L
36 Patriots W – W Rams L – L
35 Ravens W – W Giants L – L
34 Rams W – L Titans L – L
33 Broncos L – L Falcons L – W
32 Broncos W – L Packers W – W
31 Packers W – L Patriots W – W
30 Cowboys L – L Steelers L – L
since SB34 18-3 SU, 13-6-2 ATS   8-13 SU, 4-17 ATS  

So, to take advantage of this juicy trend, check out the sportsbook review page here, choose the best book for you in your state. And start getting ready to become a winner by betting against the Super Bowl loser.