Crucial Super Bowl Trends
by Robert Ferringo - 01/30/2007
(Note: An adaptation of this article appears in the current issue of Southern Gaming Magazine)
What does it take to bring home the hardware and the cash on Super Bowl Sunday? Is it a Hall-of-Fame quarterback? What about a ravenous and bloodthirsty defense? Do clutch kickers or spread-busting coaches help your cause?
According to Doc Moseman, a professional handicapper and gambler for nearly four decades, to win on Super Sunday, "you have to be lucky because more information is out there during the two weeks of hype."
Maybe he's right. After all, he's been betting on the Big Game for longer than I've been alive. But he also added that, "trends definitely play a role so keep an eye out for anything that might give you an edge."
Here are five tips and trends that I believe could be useful before kickoff:
1) "If a team shows more than a 10.0-point line swing from a favorite in the conference championship game to an underdog in the Super Bowl I would deem that as very good value," professional handicapper Ross Benjamin said.
An example was the 2005 Super Bowl. Philadelphia was six-point favorites in the NFC Championship Game and was installed as seven-point underdogs in the Super Bowl. That's a 13-point swing, and the Eagles covered the Super Bowl spread.
Super Bowl XLI's line falls perfectly into this scenario. This year, Chicago was a three-point favorite in the NFC Title game against New Orleans. Now they are seven-point dogs against Indianapolis after opening at +7.5.
2) Seven of the last 10 title games were decided by less than one touchdown. In the ten games prior to that only two were determined by less than a touchdown.
Further, the average margin of victory over the past 11 years is just 11.5 points. Over the past five Super Bowls the average margin is just 9.4 points; and that number is skewed by the 27-point beating that Tampa Bay dealt Oakland. Tossing out that game the average margin of the other four games was just five points.
3) The team with more total rushing attempts has won 70 percent of the Super Bowls. This makes sense, considering that the team that runs the ball more is generally the team with the lead.
This season, Chicago outrushed its opponent in 13 of its 18 games. The Bears averaged 7.3 more attempts on the ground than their counterparts. Indianapolis only outrushed their opponents in eight of their 11 games, averaging two fewer rushing attempts per outing.
It bears mentioning that the Colts have outrushed all three of their playoff opponents, averaging 15 more attempts on the ground in their three postseason games.
4) Favorites are 6-2 SU over the L8 Super Bowls, but just 3-5-1 ATS in the L9. Also, over that span, favorites of a touchdown or more are 1-3-1 ATS.
5) Even though it is the squarest play on the board, a parlay of the favorite and the over pays out around 2.5-to-1. That combination has hit in nine of the past 24 Super Bowls, meaning if you had wagered $100 on it each year you'd be up $700.
Questions or comments for Robert? E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out his Insider Page here.