So much attention is given to the two teams that are playing in the Super Bowl. You might not watch every playoff game, but chances are you will be glued to your seat for the final game of the year.

Win or lose, the two teams that just played in the last game of the season are going to be covered in great detail by the media. We often put such a bias on what happened the previous year, these teams are overrated in the eye of the public the next season.

Regardless of what happened in the offseason. The team that won it all the previous year is considered the team to beat. While the loser is considered to be on the rise. Both are often picked to win their division and many times play for the title again the next year.

Today I wanted to share with you how both the winner and loser of the previous title game did in Week 1. I’ve put together detailed results for both below in separate tables. Definitely something you want to consider when handicapping the NFL games in Week 1 that involve last year’s Super Bowl participants.

How the Defending Super Bowl Champion Performs in Week 1 of the NFL

You might be surprised to see how well the defending champions have performed in Week 1 of the NFL regular-season. Knowing what we know with our Week 1 NFL Betting Systems, we would expect these teams to not be good bets. Going back to 2000, last year’s SB winner has gone 12-6-1 ATS. That’s 66.7% winners!

Last year it was the Eagles covering at home against the Falcons. A nice bounce back for the system after it had a 3-win streak snapped in 2017. That kept a live quite the streak, as the system has not had back-to-back losers since 2000.

This year the Patriots (-6) will host the Steelers on Sunday Night Football. A very familiar spot for New England. This is the sixth time since 2000 that they will open a new season as the defending champs.

Patriots covered three of the first four, but got embarrassed by Kansas City the last time they were in this spot (2017). Chiefs won 42-27 behind Alex Smith and rookie running back Kareem Hunt as a 8-point dog.

SeasonSB ChampWk 1 OppLine (Total)TotalSU ResultATSTotal
2013Ravens@ Broncos+84927-49LOver
2003Buccaneers@ Eagles+33617-0WUnder

Super Bowl Losers in Week 1 of the Following Season

We have uncovered some nice value with taking the SB Champion in Week 1, but that’s nothing compared to what we find betting against the team that lost the previous Super Bowl.

The teams who lost in the previous title game, have gone a miserable 3-16 ATS since 2000. I know it’s a small sample size, but that’s a 15.8% win rate against the spread. You don’t find may systems as strong as this one.

Keep in mind that’s with a win for the SB loser in 2018, as the Patriots squeaked out a 27-20 win at home as a 6.5-point favorite. New England is responsible 2 of the 3 wins (rest of the league is 1-15). If you haven’t learned by now, it’s probably wise to just pass on a system if it’s suggesting a play against the Patriots.

Why do these teams perform so poorly? A lot of it has to do with the majority of these teams opening up on the road. Not to mention they are dealing with an inflated line.

It’s all part of a major misconception the public has of these teams who lose in the big game. They assume they are going to be more hungry to get back the next year. Outside of the Bills in the 90’s, that’s just not the case. People overlook the negative emotional impact it has on a team to be so close to the ultimate goal.

Two years ago the Atlanta Falcons came up short in a 6-point win at Chicago as a 6.5-point favorite. The year prior to that, Cam Newton and the Panthers were coming off 15-1 mark in the regular season and cruised all the way up to their crushing loss to the Broncos in the last game of the year. The following season, they were picked by many to win their division and get back to the big game. Carolina finished dead last in the NFC South at 6-10.

SeasonSB LoserWk 1 OppLineTotalSU ResultATSTotal
2019Rams@ Panthers-351TBDTBDTBD
2017Falcons@ Bears-6.548.523-17LUnder
2016Panthers@ Broncos-34120-21LPush
2015Seahawks@ Rams-3.54231-34LOver
2012Patriots@ Titans-647.534-13WUnder
2011Steelers@ Ravens+236.57-35LOver
2010Colts@ Texans-147.524-34LOver
2007Bears@ Chargers+642.53-14LUnder
2006Seahawks@ Lions-6.5459-6LUnder
2005Eagles@ Falcons-141.510-14LUnder
2003Raiders@ Titans+34620-25LUnder
2002Rams@ Broncos-35116-23LUnder
2001Giants@ Broncos+6.544.520-31LOver
2000Titans@ Bills+14013-16LUnder

Always a good idea to bet the UNDER when it comes to the SB loser’s win total. Get a full list of the NFL win totals for this season by clicking the link. You can also check out my NFL predictions page to see where I have each team finishing in 2019.