Super Bowl Betting: Tampa Bay Trends
by Matt Severance - 01/27/2009
Being a Tampa resident, I just had to write one article on the city itself for Doc's during Super Bowl week. And, no, I won't be writing about our supposed 43 strip clubs (one for each big game), although I can attest that there are an inordinate amount for a city that feels pretty Midwestern otherwise. I say a Midwestern feel because all the northerners from the New York/Boston/Philly corridor generally end up in Palm Beach/Fort Lauderdale/Miami, while the Midwesterners (of which I am one) generally come here to the Gulf Coast of Florida to vacation or relocate. And I don't think strip clubs when I think Midwest, I guess is my point.
Enough of the demographic lesson. But I would like to look back at the three Super Bowls played in Tampa (it's not Tampa Bay - that is a body of water) and see if we can dig out any trends from those three games. It is a small sample size, to be sure.
Here are the three Tampa results:
Super Bowl XVIII - Raiders 38, Redskins 9
Super Bowl XXV - Giants 20, Bills 19
Super Bowl XXXV - Ravens 34, Giants 7
That would be two underdogs winning straight up (Raiders, XXV Giants), while the Ravens covered the three points quite easily, with the under going 2-1 overall. Teams that score more than 32 points in the Super Bowl are 18-0 straight up, and this has been borne out twice here in Tampa.
Another trend from the Tampa games that has proven historically true: The team that scores first wins. All three winners in these games did score first. Teams that have done so are 27-15 overall. The Raiders and Ravens obviously had double-digit leads, and teams that have done that at any point in a Super Bowl game are 37-1.
What else from the Tampa games?
There have been at total of six non-traditional scoring plays in the three Super Bowls here. That Baltimore-New York game had three such scores total in consecutive plays: the Ravens ran back an interception, which was followed by back-to-back kickoff returns for touchdowns; the Bills recorded one of five safeties in Super Bowl history against the Giants; and the Raiders had a blocked punt for a score and a interception return for a touchdown (making a cult hero out of one Jack Squirek) against the Skins.
Possibly my favorite stat among Super Bowl winners overall is that the team that attempts the most rushes wins more than 70 percent of the time. To no surprise, all three Tampa winners had more rushing attempts, although the Raiders had just one more than the Skins in XVIII. Those XXV Giants are just one of eight teams ever to cover the spread when scoring 20 points or fewer - it helps that they were seven-point dogs.
Those are just a few numbers to chew on before Sunday night's game. Once again, the Tampa area can't seem to stage a big game without an NFC East link - the Cardinals left the division after the 2002 realignment.
If you are coming to the Bay area for the big game and need any advice on where to stay, hang out, etc., drop Doc's an email and I'll be happy to return it.