Longshot Super Bowl Winners: Can Houston Texans Join List?

Longshot Super Bowl Winners: Can Houston Texans Join List?
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

Anyone who had the temerity in the preseason to bet that the Houston Texans would win the Super Bowl is holding the equivalent of a lottery ticket with a whole lot of equity right now.

In the preseason, Houston Texans Super Bowl odds stood at +25000 at BetMGM Sportsbook. That means anyone who bet $100 on Houston before the season began to hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy on Feb. 14 stands to collect $25,000 if it happens. The Texans are the surprise winner of the AFC South, and as the No. 4 AFC seed in the NFL playoffs, well, who’s to say what might happen.

Latest Super Bowl Odds

The Texans play the first game of the playoffs on Saturday, at home against the Cleveland Browns. As the playoffs are set to begin this weekend, the Texans’ odds have come down considerably, but they are still longshots with +4000 odds, meaning a winning $100 ticket collects $4,000.

Unfortunately, legal Texas sportsbook apps are not an option so fans wishing to put a stake on Houston will have to go elsewhere.

Interestingly, the playoff team with the longest odds is Pittsburgh. The Steelers are +12500 to win the Super Bowl as of Wednesday morning, meaning a $100 bet on the Steelers collects $12,500 if they win it all (assuming the odds don’t shift). In a curious twist, in the preseason, the Steelers were a mere +5000 to win the Super Bowl. However, the Steelers’ current long odds are influenced by their first playoff game – it’s against the red-hot Bills in Buffalo on Sunday.

Other playoff-bound longshots to win Super Bowl LVIII – fittingly set for Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas – are the Los Angeles Rams (+5000), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+6600), and Green Bay Packers (+8000). Arguably, the best preseason Super Bowl ticket would have been on the Baltimore Ravens, who were +1800 (a $1,800 payoff on a $100 wager) before they swept through their schedule to finish 13-4 as the AFC No. 1 seed.

But do those longshot Super Bowl bets ever hit?

At BetTexas.com, we cover Texas sports betting legislation as well as past and present betting-related sports stories. We used sportsoddshistory.com to review the history of just such longshots going back to 1977. And, yes, some longshots have come in.

Preseason Longshots Who Won Super Bowl

  • 1999 St. Louis Rams, +15000
  • 2001 New England Patriots, +6000
  • 1981 San Francisco 49ers, +5000
  • 2017 Philadelphia Eagles, +4000
  • 1982 Washington Redskins, +3500
  • 1980 Oakland Raiders, +3500
  • 2007 New York Giants, +3000
  • 2011 New York Giants, +2200
  • 2009 New Orleans Saints, +2000

Since 1977; odds from sportsoddshistory.com

Greatest Show On Turf, Greatest Longshot

The biggest preseason odds on a team that went on to win a Super Bowl was in 1999 when the St. Louis Rams started out as +15000 longshots to win the Super Bowl. That might have been understandable. Rams coach Dick Vermeil was forced to start an untested free agent quarterback, Kurt Warner, after projected starter Trent Green was lost for the year with a preseason injury.

As NFL lore has it, Warner then began his own journey to the Pro Football Hall of Fame as he led “The Greatest Show on Turf” Rams to a Super Bowl victory over the Tennessee Titans.

A recent longshot Super Bowl victor with big odds was the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles, who began the season at +4000 odds. Even as they entered the Division Round, the Eagles were +1400. But Philly, an underdog in all three postseason games, beat the New England Patriots, 41-33, to win the NFL title.

The Patriots started their Tom Brady-Bill Belichick run of Super Bowl titles in the 2001 season. In the preseason, when Brady was just another young QB, the Pats were +6000 to win the Super Bowl.

Older Super Bowl Upsets

The 1981 San Francisco 49ers started with Super Bowl odds of +5000, and the previous year the 1980 Raiders were +3500 in the preseason. Both went on to win it all. The 49ers won 26-21 against the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Raiders bested the Eagles, 27-10.

In 1982, a season shortened to nine games by a players’ strike, Washington had odds of +3500 in the preseason. As the season lurched forward, the league decided on a 16-team tournament format for the playoffs. Washington beat Miami 27-17 in Super Bowl XVII.

In terms of historic Super Bowl point spreads, the 1969 New York Jets remain the biggest point-spread underdog to win. Memorably, Joe Namath led the Jets, 18-point underdogs, past the Baltimore Colts, 16-7.

If the Lone Star State gets sports betting legalized, check back with BetTexas.com for the best Texas sportsbook promos on the market.



Bill Ordine
Senior Journalist

Bill Ordine, senior journalist and columnist for BetTexas.com, was a reporter and editor in news and sports for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore Sun for 25 years, and was a lead reporter on a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News.

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