After 50 Super Bowls, we’re still waiting for the first one to go overtime. I’m going to just flat-out say that streak ends Sunday when the Patriots face the Falcons.
There is no great reason why this is going to happen, and I fully understand that there are more reasons why it won’t happen than why it will. But work with me here, and you won’t have to work with me very long. This post will be short because I don’t have too many reasons why the Super Bowl will go to overtime this year.
The biggest reason? It’s overdue. Seriously. You mean to tell me that in 50 games featuring the two best teams from the AFC and the NFC, we still haven’t gone to OT. That’s half a century! You would think that champions of their respective conferences would be so evenly matched that at some point it would have required overtime to determine a winner.
I don’t know if it’s ever happened in the NBA with a Game 7 going to overtime to determine a champion. But I know it’s happened in a Game 7 in the World Series. Just last year, the Cubs needed 10 innings to beat the Indians in Game 7.
I looked at the 2016 NFL schedule and noted that in 266 games, including the playoffs, there were 13 games that went to overtime. In seven different weeks, none of the games went overtime. But in a three-week stretch from Week 6 to Week 8, we had six overtime games, including three in Week 8.
In the playoffs, we haven’t had any, but there were two games that came awfully close. If Mason Crosby had not hit a 56-yard field goal as time expired, Green Bay and Dallas would have gone to overtime. And in Kansas City, if the Chiefs had converted their two-point conversion, the game might have gone to OT. As it was, the Chiefs lost to the Steelers 18-16.
Here’s my logic – if you have 13 games that went to overtime out of 266 this year, that’s a rate of one OT game for approximately every 20 games played. So if that ratio applied to the Super Bowl, we should have already have seen two overtime games.
But we haven’t seen a single one as yet. Sunday’s game will end the drought. Sunday’s game will forever be remembered as the first Super Bowl to require OT. We’ll always remember where we watched the game, and we’ll always remember that some guy on some radio station actually predicted it was going to happen, the same guy who’s always wrong with his Smokin’ Locks, and then, out of the blue, the guy nails one of the biggest predictions in sports history.
Or something like that.
And if it doesn’t happen, if it’s a one-sided affair that doesn’t even come close to going to overtime, oh well, like what, it’s going to be news that I was wrong again?
I’m not going to jinx this by making it my Smokin’ Lock. As the most recent example of my prognosticating ineptitude, I predicted the Pro Bowl would go over 83 points, and the final score was 20-13.
The odds on the game going to overtime are only around 10-1 at various on-line betting sites. If you think New England will win in OT, it’s 13-1. If you think Atlanta will win in OT, it’s 17-1. Those odds are terrible. They’re all sucker bets, but hey, sometimes suckers win, too.
Last thing, have you noticed the line on the game? The Patriots are favored by 3, and that line has not wavered at all for two weeks. Those guys in Vegas are pretty good at what they do. They think it’s going to be a close game, and if they think it’s going to be a close game, know what that means? It probably will be a close game right down to the end, and if it’s a close game right down to the end, it could be a photo finish.
And we’re not talking horse racing here. In a photo finish at the track, one of the horses usually wins by a nose or a whisker. In football, you have another coin flip and settle things in overtime.
Keep this in mind at the 2-minute warning: we saw one OT game for every 20 we watched this year. We’ve seen zero in 50 Super Bowls. The odds say it’s due to happen on Sunday.
The Go 2 Guy also writes for SeattlePI.com and KitsapSun.com. You can reach Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @cougsgo.