Stats are one of the infinite joys of sports, and football stats really come into their own at Super Bowl time, when there are so many betting markets available.
The two most interesting stats to do with football betting concern the points scored in the game. Totals, or over/under, betting is part of every game, but casual bettors don’t always release what bargains are available. Winning margin betting is harder to calibrate, but it can especially rewarding in that when you win, you win big.
There are two ways of looking at the totals and winning margins preparatory to Super Bowl XLII – we can look at past Super Bowls, and we can look at this year’s records of the Giants and Patriots themselves. Each table is richly interesting.
In the forty-one Super Bowls played so far, the average total points scored is 46.68, and the average winning margin is 15.34. So, extrapolating this historical data into the current situation, the Patriots and the under is the play.
Do we have evidence for this from this year’s data? Well, as the world knows, the Patriots have stomped all over everyone they’ve met this year, with an average winning margin of 19.06 in the regular season, and an average total game points of 53.31. In the regular season.
In the post-season, the Patriots have an average winning margin of ten points, slightly more than half their regular season average. After a long season, are the cracks finally beginning to show?
And are the Giants beginning to catch fire? The Giants are unusual as a playoff team, to say nothing of a Super Bowl team, in that they have losing record at home, 5-3, and a winning record on the road, where they are 7-1 in the regular season and have won ten straight games on the road including the post-season. Are the Giants the team with momentum on their side?
Historically, the Super Bowl has not been competitive, but it’s interesting to note that close Super Bowls have become more common. New England’s three Super Bowl wins have only been by three point margins. Of course, New England has never posted a perfect regular season before, nor dished out whuppings like the whuppings they handed Washington, Buffalo, San Diego and Pittsburgh this year. And they’re the hottest Super Bowl favorite since The Greatest Show on Turf arrived at Super Bowl XXXVI with fourteen points to cover. Belichick, Brady and the rest founded their dynasty that night in New Orleans when New England stunned St Louis; will destiny be reversed this year at Arizona?