Tom Brady New England Patriots
Two years after winning the Super Bowl as underdogs at University of Phoenix Stadium on Feb. 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are Super Bowl favorites. Getty Images

The New England Patriots are three-point favorites over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI, making for a smaller betting line than last year’s big game. Even though New England is looking to win their fifth title in the Brady-Belichick era, they are one of the smallest favorites in Super Bowl history.

The Feb. 5 contest will mark just the 14th time in the game’s 51-year history that the point spread is a field goal or less, according to OddsShark. Two of the last four Super Bowls have featured betting lines of two points or less, but no Super Bowl between 2002 and 2010 had a betting line of fewer than four points.

New England pulled off one of the greatest upsets in NFL history when they defeated the St. Louis Rams as 14-point underdogs in Super Bowl XXXVI. The Patriots were seven-point Super Bowl favorites in 2004 and 2005, though they failed to cover the spread in victories. New England was a 12-point favorite and a 2.5-point favorite in their two Super Bowl losses to the New York Giants, and they won the title as one-point underdogs against the Seattle Seahawks in 2015.

The one-point betting line for Super Bowl XLIX tied Super Bowl XVI for the smallest point spread in the game’s history. Both contests were decided by one possession.

Fourteen Super Bowls have had double-digit betting lines, and the favorite has lost in the last three instances. The largest came in Super Bowl XXIX when the San Francisco 49ers beat the San Diego Chargers 49-26 as 18.5-point favorites. The Baltimore Colts were 18-point favorites when they were upset by Joe Namath and the New York Jets in Super Bowl III.

The underdog has been victorious in five straight Super Bowls, as well as eight of the last nine NFL championship games. The Atlanta Falcons were 7.5-point underdogs in their only Super Bowl appearance, losing 34-19 to the Denver Broncos in 1999.

Las Vegas sportsbooks usually make money on the Super Bowl, no matter what the betting line might be. Since 1991, sportsbooks have only lost money when the Giants upset the Patriots in 2008 and when the 49ers beat the Chargers in 1995.

The three-point betting line could potentially change before kickoff on Feb. 5, but it isn’t expected to change much, if at all. Casinos infamously lost a lot of money on Super Bowl XIII between the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers after the point spread moved multiple times.