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History Not Favoring Ravens, Niners?

Super Bowl champions repeat just 17% of the time. That's bad news for Joe Flacco and Co.

Super Bowl champions repeat just 17% of the time. That’s bad news for Joe Flacco and Co.

With free agency quiet and anticipation surrounding the draft growing, here at BettingSports.com we thought we’d lighten the mood (sort of) and look at one of bettors’ true allies/enemies: history.

While knowing team’s strengths, weaknesses and who’s suiting up on the day always play a huge part in betting, there are a bunch of bettors (you know who you are) that also like to take in the historical aspect of the game. Therefore, we’ve decided to take a look at how Super Bowl combatants have fared historically.

If you’re superstitious, a history buff, or simply want a little fun ahead of the serious business of a summer in the NFL, here’s a little piece for you. And remember: it’s just for fun. Sort of.

Back-to-Back Appearances

Since the Super Bowl era began in 1966, there have been 18 instances in which a team that played in the Super Bowl returned to contest the big game at the end of the following season.

Green Bay (twice), Dallas (three times), Miami (twice), Minnesota, Pittsburgh (twice), Washington, Denver (twice), San Francisco, Buffalo (three times) and New England are the only teams to have made a repeat visit to the Super Bowl.

Miami made three consecutive appearances between 1972 and 1974, while Buffalo (in)famously appeared in four straight Super Bowl games between 1991 and 1994.

Those 18 instances equate to 39 percent of the time. Based on this figure, Baltimore and San Francisco each has a two-in-five chance of returning to the Super Bowl next year.

However, it’s unlikely that both teams will be taking to the field at MetLife Stadium next February. Only one Super Bowl in history has seen the same two participants as the previous season; Super Bowls XXVII and XXVIII both featured the Dallas Cowboys and Buffalo Bills. With about a two percent chance, bettors might not want to bet on the Ravens and Niners hooking up next year.

The last side to appear in back-to-back Super Bowls was the New England Patriots in 2004 and 2005. In the eight years since, no team has made consecutive appearances, which is quite remarkable considering the average repeat appearance comes every 2.6 years.

Back-to-Back Championships

When it comes to actually winning back-to-back Super Bowls, these chances take a dramatic nosedive.

During the 47-year history of the game, just eight teams have successfully defended their Super Bowl championship; Green Bay, Miami, Pittsburgh (twice), San Francisco, Dallas, Denver and New England.

This means that only 17 percent of Super Bowl champions have repeated their success the following season. That’s less than half of those that have made it to consecutive Super Bowls.

Baltimore therefore has less than a one-in-five chance of winning Super Bowl XLVIII next February.

Again, it’s been eight years since the New England Patriots won back-to-back titles, the last team to do so.

Losers Winning Big

There have been just two instances in NFL history in which the team that lost a Super Bowl went on to win the following year’s big game.

In 1972, Dallas defeated Miami to win Super Bowl VI, just one-year after losing out to Baltimore at Super Bowl V. Then in 1973, Miami avenged that loss to Dallas by defeating Washington in Super Bowl VII.

That equates to a four percent chance, which doesn’t bode well for a 49ers side champing at the bit to win the Lombardi trophy.

Winners Losing Big

Conversely, there have been three instances in which a team that won a Super Bowl went on to lose in the championship game the following season.

After winning Super Bowl XII, Dallas was defeated by Pittsburgh at Super Bowl XIII in 1979. Washington followed up its Super Bowl XVII victory with a loss to Oakland at Super Bowl XVIII in 1984. After winning its first Super Bowl in three decades in 1997, Green Bay lost to Denver at Super Bowl XXXII the following year.

That’s good news for Baltimore, although with the odds stacked against the Ravens making the Super Bowl in the first place, this could very much be a moot point.

With the most parity between sides of any of the four major sports, the NFL really is as unpredictable as a tornado tearing through the Midwest. That’s what makes betting on the NFL an exciting prospect.

After next week’s draft, bettors will have a wider view of how good teams could be next season. For now, let’s let history have its way, and avoid the Ravens and Niners in the process.

The NFL releases its full schedule later today (Thur.). That’s one more thing for bettors to thoroughly examine. BettingSports.com took an early look at teams’ upcoming opponents back in February. Click here to read it again.


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