Gambling on the safety in the Super Bowl has proven to be a safe bet in recent years. The past three Super Bowls have featured a safety being recorded, including last year when Seattle grabbed a 2-0 lead on the first play from scrimmage. In fact, of the nine safeties recorded in Super Bowl history, four have occurred since 2009. Before that, there hadn't been a safety since Super Bowl XXV in January 1991 when Buffalo's Bruce Smith sacked Giants quarterback Jeff Hostetler in the end zone.
Percentages are against there being a fourth consecutive Super Bowl with a safety, and that is reflected in the odds posted by online bookmaker Bovada. Its line is 1/7 against a safety and 5-1 in favor of a safety being posted. But the hot streak of the safety is also reflected in the 5/1 line because most sportsbooks had it at 8/1 last year for the Seattle-Denver Super Bowl.
Here's a recap of all Super Bowl safeties:
Safeties In The Super Bowl
Super Bowl IX
The Steelers take a 2-0 lead when Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton recovers a botched handoff in the end zone where Pittsburgh defensive end Dwight White is credited for recording the first safety in Super Bowl history. The Steelers win 16-6.
Super Bowl X
The Steelers cut the Cowboys' lead to 10-9 early in the fourth quarter when Pittsburgh's Reggie Harrison blocks the punt of Mitch Hoopes and the ball goes through the back of the end zone for a safety. This creates a big momentum shift. On the ensuing Steelers' possession, Roy Gerela kicks a 36-yard field goal to give Pittsburgh its first lead at 12-10. The Steelers win 21-17.
Super Bowl XX
The final two points of Chicago's 46-10 crushing of the Patriots comes when Henry Waechter sacks New England quarterback Steve Grogan in the end zone. The Bears' point total in the game is symbolic because the team had dominated using the "46 Defense" scheme of Buddy Ryan.
Super Bowl XXI
Giants defensive end George Martin (No. 75) sacks John Elway in the end zone to cut Denver's lead to 10-9 heading into halftime. The Giants then score 24 consecutive points in the second half to win 39-20.
Super Bowl XXV
Bruce Smith sacks Giants quarterback Jeff Hostetler in the end zone to extend Buffalo's lead to 12-3 in the second quarter. Hostetler almost fumbles on the play, and his ability to hang on to the ball is crucial. If he coughs it up and the Bills recover, it's seven points for Buffalo instead of two. The Giants win 20-19.
Super Bowl XLIII
Steelers center Justin Hartwig is flagged for a holding penalty in the end zone, which is an automatic safety. It allows the Cardinals to cut Pittsburgh's lead to 20-16 in the third quarter. The Steelers win 27-23.
Super Bowl XLVI
Under pressure from Justin Tuck in the end zone, Tom Brady is penalized for intentional grounding, which results in a safety and a 2-0 lead for the Giants. These two points come into play at the end of the game as New England is forced to throw go for a touchdown rather than a field goal because of the four-point margin. The Giants win 21-17.
Super Bowl XLVII
Ravens punter Sam Koch kills a little time before stepping out of the end zone in the final seconds of Baltimore's 34-31 win against the 49ers.
Super Bowl XLVIII
Seattle jumps to a 2-0 lead on the first play from scrimmage as the snap gets past Denver quarterback Peyton Manning. Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno recovers in the end zone where Cliff Avril tackles him for the safety. The Seahawks win 43-8.