Thursday, January 27, 2011
Super Bowl Super Stats
Handicapping the Super Bowl takes on a different perspective each year.
Granted, there are a myriad of statistics, angles and trends we can draw from but the bottom line is the personalities of the teams are equally important when it comes to isolating the eventual winner.
Safe to say that sports handicappers do not hold psychiatric degrees, let’s take a quick look at some of the more interesting trends that have occurred in Super Bowls past. All results are ATS (Against The Spread) in Super Bowl games since the 1980 season, unless noted otherwise.
The public loves backing favorites and when it comes to the Super Bowl it’s like putting kids in a candy store.
As a result, the public today is badly in need of new dental health care coverage. That’s because overloading on these super-sweet favorites has proven to be a decaying experience, with favorites sporting a 19-11 SU and 12-16-2 ATS record, including 4-9-2 ATS the last 15 games.
Super Bowl chalk taking on an opponent that did not cover its championship game by 12 or more points are 8-6 SU and 3-12-1 ATS.
The last sixteen favorites to score 30 or less points are 2-14-1 ATS.
Speaking of scoring, putting points in the scoreboard is obviously tantamount to succeeding in this game.
Those that do, win the game and the money. Those that don’t, lose the game and the money. It’s just that simple.
And twenty-one points appears to be the cut-line.
That’s because teams that fail to score 21 points in the Super Bowl are 1-20 SU and 3-17-1 ATS. Teams that tally 21 or more points are 26-9 SU and 23-9-3 ATS.
Twenty-seven points virtually assures a victory as teams putting 27 or more on the scoreboard are 22-1 SU and 19-3-1 ATS.
Going back the last 15 years, the higher-seeded team has struggled mightily against the spread in the big game.
Last year paired both the No. 1 seeds from each conference for the first time in 16 years when New Orleans upended Indianapolis, 31-17.
Two years ago Pittsburgh downed Arizona, 27-23, while failing to cover the seven-point impost. As a result the higher seeded team (Pittsburgh) will carry a 1-11-2 ATS mark into SBV.
The last No.1 to win a Super Bowl, playing a non-No. 1 seed, was the ’99 Rams.
Like the National League’s one-time mastery over the American League, the NFC has held the upper hand over the AFC in Super Bowl games since the 1980 season, going 19-11 SU and 18-10-2 ATS.
When facing an AFC foe off back-to-back ATS wins, the NFC is 15-6 SU and 15-5-1 ATS in games with Roman Numerals attached. However, the NFC is only 4-9 SU and 6-6-1 ATS in the last 13 Super Bowl contests.
One final note: this marks the first time in nine years the NFC will dress up as the favorite.
That’s an early take on this year’s Super Bowl matchup. Good luck as always.
Marc Lawrence can also be found at Playbook.com - One Click Handicapping