NFL Best Bets of all Time

NFL best bets of all time

There’s nothing quite like placing the perfect bet, especially when you cash in on an underdog. Spotting value on the NFL gamelines is a boast-worthy skill that takes time to master. And even then, there is always an element of luck that can swing in either direction.


We’ve gone back in the history books to look at three of the NFL best bets for the Super Bowl that resulted in major payouts for the bettor. Looking at these examples, there’s one thing for certain: to win big you need to predict when an underdog is going to come through. Perhaps these examples will give you inspiration to predict the next great upset.

Super Bowl III: New York Jets vs Baltimore Colts (-19.5)

The third championship game between the AFL and NFL (Super Bowl III) had an outcome that few predicted. It was held on January 12 in 1969 and featured the NFL’s Baltimore Colts as 19.5-point favourites against the AFL’s New York Jets. No AFL team had ever beat an NFL club in tihe championship game up to this point and the AFL was considered by many to be a B-class league. The outcome of Super Bowl III changed that narrative forever, and rightly features in our biggest Super Bowl shocks of all time.

The Colts had a strong season that resulted in a 13-1 regular season record. They were widely considered to be the best team in football history during the 1968 season that was backed by a ruthless defense capable of shutting down the best offenses. As for the Jets, despite finishing the regular season with a respectable 11-3 record, no one gave them a chance in this matchup.

Tired of hearing about the expected lopsided outcome in the leadup to the big game, Jets starting QB Joe Namath famously predicted a New York victory to the national media. The Jets went on to carry play throughout the game and never trailed to the powerhouse Colts. Ultimately the game concluded with a 16-7 New York victory and Namath walking off the field holding up his finger showing the world who was No. 1. The legacy of the young Namath began with the conclusion of the game, and no one questioned his ability after his bold prediction stunned the football world.

Super Bowl XXXVI: St. Louis Rams (-14) vs New England Patriots

The February 3, 2002 matchup between the St. Louis Rams and New England Patriots is known as one of the best football games of all time. It also ranks among the top Super Bowl upsets in NFL history. In 2002, the Rams were the toast of the league, having won the championship in 1999 and dominating the NFL with a 14-2 regular season record in 2001. Kurt Warner was the brain of one of the greatest offenses in modern history and was coming off of his second NFL MVP award. The Rams’ offense was nearly unstoppable and were set to take on the relatively unknown Tom Brady (of course he has to feature in an NFL best bets list!) and the 11-5 Patriots. As a result, the Rams were the landslide 14-point favourites to capture their second title in three years.


New England squeaked through the first two rounds of the playoffs in games against the Oakland Raiders and Pittsburgh Steelers. On the back of two key defensive plays by Ty Law and Antwan Harris in the second quarter of the Super Bowl, the Pats had a surprising 14-3 lead at halftime. After the defensive struggle continued into the fourth quarter, Warner broke through with a rushing TD and a 26-yard passing touchdown to tie the game with just 1:30 remaining on the clock. The Patriots received the ball on the ensuing kickoff and Tom Brady marched the offense down the field with a series of passes with no timeouts. After making the final completion and spiking the ball with just seven seconds remaining on the clock, New England brought in the unflappable Adam Vinatieri, who drilled a 48-yard field goal and ended the game with a Patriots victory.

Many football fans consider this victory to be start of the Patriots’ dynasty under Tom Brady and Bill Belichick – they’d go on to win six more with Brady at the helm.

Super Bowl XLII: New York Giants vs New England Patriots (-12.5)

Not many people were betting on the New York Giants at Super Bowl XLII in 2008. That’s why this one has to feature in our NFL best bets. The Patriots had a perfect season record (16-0) and Brady was having a career season with 4,806 yards and 50 touchdowns. Led by Eli Manning, New York snuck in as a wild card team with their mediocre 10-6 season record and were seen as a fringe team at best. But the Giants began an unbelievable run of upsets in the playoffs. First they beat Tampa Bay in the wild card round as 3-point underdogs. Then they beat Dallas as 7-point underdogs in the divisional round. In the Conference Championship game, they beat Green Bay as 7.5-point underdogs, setting them up against the Patriots for the Super Bowl.

New England led nearly the entire game and were up 14-10 late in the fourth quarter. But the Giants took over possession with two minutes left in the game from their own 17-yard line. During the drive, Manning completed several key third down passes, including the famous ‘helmet catch’ by David Tyree. Those clutch plays took the Giants’ offense down the field and into the red zone. With just 35 seconds remaining on the clock, the Giants pulled ahead for good after a 13-yard touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress.

Ultimately, the Patriots failed to deliver as 12.5-point favourites and complete the perfect season by going undefeated. Anyone brave enough to bet against the perfect Pats were rewarded handsomely and can argue that they placed one of the best NFL bets of all time.