Posted by Alex Bonilla on January 15, 2019
People have been betting on football for decades, and the data surrounding that industry can give us valuable context by informing who was favored at the time and by how much. Because of that, Pro-Football-Reference included all Super Bowl point spreads in the big game's history, as well as all regular season and postseason games since 1977. And now, with a big thanks to SportsOddsHistory.com, we have now extended our postseason point spread data to cover the full Super Bowl era (since 1966).
That covers a lot of historic playoff matchups that PFR previously did not have point spread information on. For example, the 1967 NFL Championship, known today as The Ice Bowl, had the Packers favored by 7 going into the game; that game-winning sneak by Bart Starr was not enough to cover. There's the 1972 AFC Divisional matchup between the Raiders and the Steelers, who were actually 2-point underdogs at home but escaped with the win thanks to the Immaculate Reception by Franco Harris. And then there's the 1975 Vikings, who were favored by 8 points when they fell to the Cowboys in the 1975 divisional round thanks to Roger Staubach's Hail Mary to Drew Pearson.
This newly added data is searchable in the Team Game Finder section of the Play Index. One search you could look for is biggest home underdogs in the playoffs by point spread, and that search would reveal that the 1966 Cowboys, who were 7-point underdogs at home in the 1966 NFL Championship, held that mark until the 2010 Seahawks took their place atop the leaderboard. The 2010 Seahawks covered, while the '66 Cowboys ended up pushing.
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