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Black Sunday Super Bowl XIII


Black Sunday.

The worst Super Bowl financially for sports books was the Super Bowl that was played at the end of the 1978 season. It was Super Bowl XIII and featured the Dallas Cowboys vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers. The game opened with Pittsburgh as a 3½ point favorite. Heavy dollars came in on the Steelers and the line moved up to 4 and then to – 4½ as the week progressed. The game landed with the Steelers winning by exactly 4 points, 35 – 31.  The books got “middled” as all the Pittsburgh bets at -3½ points won, the folks that took the dog or favorite at – or + 4 points pushed on their wager and the Dallas backers getting + 4½ points also covered. So much money came in on Dallas at + 4½ the line moved back to (and closed at)  – 4.  That Super Bowl is still referred to as Black Sunday as the Nevada sports books lost millions of dollars. Sports books and local bookies are very reluctant to post odds that would cross key numbers. In this high tech era, NFL line movement on stand alone games when pertaining to key numbers such as 3, 7 and 10 will rarely occur. At the conclusion of the Giants/49ers game the opening Super Bowl line at some books was New England at -3.5 which quickly moved down to -3. The number is still at -3 but rather than move the line, the sports books will simply adjust the juice. Thirteen was indeed an unlucky number for the books as Black Sunday was in reality, “Red Sunday that 21st of January back in 1979.