Is This the Closest Super Bowl Ever Projected?
Depending on who you ask, the showdown between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks, currently, is the closest Super Bowl in history.
That's because some sportsbooks have the game as a pick 'em. A few have it as a one-point game, and there's even a two-point spread in favor of the Seahawks.
But has there ever been a pick 'em in Super Bowl history? What about a one-point spread? Two?
No. Yes. And no.
The 1-Point Spreads
Since no Super Bowl has ever been a straight pick 'em (per VegasInsider.com), we'll have to look at the next-best thing: the one-point spreads.
There have been two in the prior 48 Super Bowls.
Super Bowl VII: Miami Dolphins (-1) vs. Washington
The first one-point spread in Super Bowl history was the rather infamous tilt between the 1972 Miami Dolphins and Washington. Miami entered the game as one-point favorites, and with undefeated aspirations.
The No-Name defense picked Billy Kilmer three times en route to a 14-7 victory. Bob Griese connected on a 28-yard pass with Howard Twilley for the first score of the game, and Jim Kiick ran in a touchdown from the one-yard line to put the Dolphins up 14-0 in the second quarter.
The only points Washington mustered came on the painfully bad field goal sequence, featuring the Garo Yepremian pass attempt that Washington took back for six points.
Miami covered, but the game stayed under the total of 33.
Super Bowl XVI: San Francisco 49ers (-1) vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Nine years later in 1982, the Super Bowl saw its second ever one-point spread. San Francisco never trailed -- but did get a scare -- and beat the Bengals 26-21.
Joe Montana scored from the one-yard line in the first quarter to put the Niners up 7-0, and then threw an 11-yarder to Earl Cooper in the second. Two second quarter field goals from Ray Wersching put the Niners up 20-0 at the half.
Ken Anderson went 25-of-34 for 300 yards and tossed 2 touchdowns and 2 picks (and ran in a touchdown, too), and Cris Collinsworth caught 5 passes for 107 yards, but the comeback attempt fell short.
The 2.5-Point Spreads
The line is going to move one way or another -- and again, different books offer different spreads -- but if it goes to zero most places, then we won't have any precedent. There haven't been any lines that settled at two, but three games have closed at 2.5.
Super Bowl V: Baltimore Colts (-2.5) vs. Dallas Cowboys
Way back in 1971, just two years prior to the Miami-Washington matchup, the Colts found themselves to be favored by 2.5. Despite the tandem of Johnny Unitas and Earl Morrall tossing three picks and the Colts' fumbling five times (losing four of them), the Colts wound up winning and covering the spread, 16-3.
The Cowboys, though, had four turnovers of their own, and the Colts scored 10 points in the fourth quarter (the only points in the second half), too.
Super Bowl XLVI: New England Patriots (-2.5) vs. New York Giants
Back when they met in 2008, the Patriots were favored by 12 points over the Giants, but that wasn't the case in 2012. Things got weird early when Tom Brady got called for intentional grounding in the end zone and the Pats went down 2-0. Victor Cruz salsa'd after a two-yard touchdown from Eli Manning and gave the Giants a nine-point lead. The Patriots then did Patriots things and went up 17-9 but couldn't hold off the Giants, who won the time of possession battle 37:05-22:55, and lost 21-17.
Super Bowl XLVIII: Denver Broncos (-2.5) vs. Seattle Seahawks
I mean, it was 43-8 and happened last year. It also featured an unfortunate safety early. What else is there to say?
As Close As It Gets
No matter where the line goes from here, this is slated to be one of the closest Super Bowl tilts in NFL history, and that's promising since last year's game was such a let down -- unless you're a Seahawks fan.