Super Bowl Squares Probability
The big game has arrived and the majority of Americans will have some sort of action on the big game. Many will be involved in office pools where 100 squares are sold with each square costing the same amount. Once all the squares are sold, numbers are drawn twice with every number from 0-9 being used for both the horizontal and vertical columns. Each number is only used once for each column and thus no row either up or down will have the same number. All 100 squares will have different numbers as well and in most if not all cases, you are only concerned with the last number for each teams point total. For a template please see our Super Bowl squares chart.
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Prizes are awarded usually at the end of each quarter and the final score. If the score is tied at the end of the fourth quarter, usually no prize is awarded and instead it carries over to overtime. Say the score is New York 13, Washington 10 at halftime, then the two people with 3-0 would be winners unless your numbers have teams attached to it. Then only the square with New York 3 and Washington 0 would be the winner and since there is only one winner, they should win double the amount. The same is true with double numbers such as 7-7, you should win double that amount since there is only going to be one winner. Generally winning the first of the third quarter pays less then winning the half or the final, but this is flexible and depends on the person running the pool.
Often times the person running the pool takes a cut of the total purse for all the legwork involved in selling 100 squares. Most people do not have a problem with this as long as the cut taken out is 10 percent or less depending on how much each square costs. If each square costs $10, you would have a purse of $1000 after all 100 squares were sold and generally the person running the pool would keep $100 for his troubles and payout the remaining $900. Be cautious of square pools where the guy running it takes out more then 10 percent, as this puts the customers at a great disadvantage of winning proportional to their entry fee.
Now that we have explained the basics of Superbowl squares pools lets get down to the meat of increasing your chances of winning at them. Since the numbers should be drawn randomly, it does not matter where you sign your name on the sheet. Whether it is a corner or a middle spot, you have an equal chance of getting a good number.
What exactly is a good number? Since the majority of football scoring occurs by touchdowns or field goals, most people realize that 0,3,7 are the number you want to get. These numbers make up the majority of winners especially in the first quarter because generally scoring is low as the two teams try and feel each other out. NFL football is also very different from college football, as it usually features less scoring because of different timing regulations and most squads never try and rub it in on their opponent if at all possible.
The following chart shows the Super Bowl squares probability of landing of each of the number from 0-99. Keep in mind that most pools pay both ways, so if your number is 3-5, you would add the number from both 3-5 and 5-3 to calculate your percentage. This chart shows all NFL games from 1983 through 2005.
Terminal Digit in the NFL - Away by Home Probability
|Away Team||Home Team||Total|
So how do you go about reading this complex chart? Add up the values of your numbers both ways, so 3-5 would equal .0071 and 5-3 would equal .0037. That comes to .0108 and thus you have a 1.08 percent chance of winning. That is not very good odds and you should not be holding out hope. The best chance of winning lies with 0-7/7-0 as these numbers equate to .0805 and thus you have an 8 percent chance of winning on a square pool. Keep in mind this data is from all NFL games from 1983 through 2005.
Best of Luck with your office pools and if you ever want to know the winner for the Super Bowl, check out Doc's Sports Football Picks, as we have been handicapping the Super Bowl since 1971. Best of luck, as office squares involve a lot of luck, but are still one of the best ways to enjoy the action a little bit more.