Saturday, February 1, 2014

Useless Super Bowl Betting Tips

Uh, excuse me, Sir Patrick, Sir Ian... I realize you're both from England, but that "football" doesn't go with those jerseys.

At any rate...

In the first 47 Super Bowls...

The NFC Champion has won 25, the AFC Champion 22. Not a huge difference there. But if you count teams that started in the old, pre-1970 merger NFL, including the Steelers and Colts, then it becomes 33-14 NFC. You really shouldn't count the Ravens, even though they began as the Browns (who began in the AAFC before becoming an NFL team anyway); but if you do, then it's 35-12 NFC. The Seahawks may have started as an AFC team, but are now an NFC team.

The team wearing the white jerseys has won 29, including the last 2, and 7 of the last 8. The Seahawks will be wearing white.

Teams whose primary (dark) uniform color is blue have won the most Super Bowls, 15 -- but have also lost the most, 18. Red has the best winning percentage, at 10-6; Black is 11-8, Green is 7-7, Purple is 4-4, and Orange is 0-4. Keep in mind that the Patriots wore red in their first Super Bowl, and have had blue as their primary color since; while, more relevant (if at all) to tomorrow's game, the Broncos went 0-4 with an orange base, but are 2-0 since using purple. The Broncos will be wearing orange. Uh-oh...

The older of the two teams has won 31 times -- and if you accept the old Browns/Ravens as an "old" team, it becomes 33 times.

The Jets are the only team to reach the Super Bowl with a mascot that is an inanimate object. (No, I'm not talking about Fireman Ed.) The only other such team in the league could be the Browns, depending on what you think a "Brown" is.

Teams with human mascots are 36-22 in Super Bowls. Teams with animal mascots are only 10-25 -- but both teams have animal mascots this time, so let's move on:

Teams with bird mascots, such as the Seahawks, are only 2-5. Teams with mammal mascots are 8-20; within that, teams with horse mascots, such as the Broncos, are 4-7. Not much help there.

Teams playing their home games on natural grass are 24-22; on artificial turf, 22-25. The Broncos play on the real stuff, the Hawks on the plastic stuff. Grass teams having to switch to turf for the Super Bowl are 9-8, while teams playing on turf and staying on turf are 11-12. Not a whole lot of help there.

Having the more experienced head coach doesn't help much: Teams with the less experienced coach are 25-22. The Seahawks' Pete Carroll was a coach, an NFL coach, and an NFL head coach before the Broncos' John Fox. However, Fox has coached in a Super Bowl (losing XXXVIII with the Panthers to the Patriots), while Carroll has not. (One joke going around, which has seen variations in the past, is that Carroll has had a lot of trouble as an NFL head coach because, unlike at USC, he has a salary cap.)

The team that is closer in distance to the site of the Super Bowl is 27-20. And Denver, Colorado is a lot closer to East Rutherford, New Jersey than Seattle, Washington is. But in the era of every team flying their own private planes, is that really an issue?

Finally, teams from States that were Red States -- won by the Republican nominee for President in the most recent election -- are 25-21 in Super Bowls. Teams from Blue States -- won by the Democratic nominee in the last election -- are Blue 22-26. But this doesn't matter on this occasion, as Colorado and Washington are both Blue States. Colorado went Democratic in both 2008 and 2012, while Washington has gone Democratic in every election since 1988.

The last 3 Super Bowl winners have been from Blue States -- but so have the last 4 Super Bowl losers. The last Red State team to win was the Saints, 4 years ago. The last team from a conservative city to win was the Colts, 7 years ago.

Much has been made over the fact that both teams represent States where marijuana use has been legalized.

The teams they beat represented San Francisco and Boston.

Denver. Seattle. Boston. San Francisco. Four of America's most liberal cities.

It could be argued that, at the moment, San Francisco is the least liberal of the four!

At the moment, the point spread is the Broncos by 2 1/2.

The 1968-69 Jets, the 1969-70 Chiefs, the 1980-81 and 1983-84 Raiders, the 1982-83 and 1987-88 Redskins; the 1990-91, 2007-08 and 2011-12 Giants; the 1997-98 Broncos, the 2001-02 Rams, the 2002-03 Bucs, the 2009-10 Saints, and the 2012-13 Ravens -- 14 of the 47 winners -- won the Super Bowl despite being the underdog. While the 1975-76 Cowboys, the 1988-89 Bengals, the 1995-96 Steelers, the 2003-04 Panthers, the 2004-05 Eagles and the 2008-09 Cardinals -- 6 teams -- beat the spread, but did not win the game. The 1996-97 Packers were 14-point favorites to beat the Patriots, and beat them by exactly that, 14 points. And the 1999-2000 Rams were 7-point favorites to beat the Titans, and did so. On those 2 occasions, the Super Bowl point spread was right on.

My recommendations? I have two:

1. Don't bet on the game. You need the money more than your friends do, and especially more than any bookmaker does.

2. Enjoy yourself, but don't eat too much.

You could go for the team wearing the less ugly uniforms. Since the Seahawks will be wearing their road whites, and the Broncos their home orange, that would mean the Hawks.

But I'm thinking the Broncos will win. Peyton Manning just has that "man of destiny" aura on him right now.

But take note: 2 quarterbacks, as Peyton Manning is about to do, have started for more than one team into a Super Bowl:

1. Craig Morton, 1970-71 Cowboys & 1977-78 Broncos.
2. Kurt Warner, 1999-2000 & 2001-02 Rams, & 2008-09 Cardinals.

Morton lost both of his, Warner 2 of his 3. So they're 1-4.

On the other hand, Peyton has already split his, so they're 2-5 going into tomorrow. Not much better...

But even on their best days, Morton and Warner weren't as good as Peyton is this season.


One final stat: I've picked the last 2 Super Bowls right, 7 of the last 8, 13 of the last 15. Before that, though, it was about a 50-50 chance of me getting it right.

If the Seahawks win, it won't be a shock.

But I still think it's going to be the Broncos.

As Sir Patrick Stewart might say, Peyton will MAKE IT SO!

As Sir Ian McKellen might say, Do not take him for some conjurer of cheap tricks!

1 comment:

Shawn Deny said...

But so have the last 4 Super Bowl losers. The last Red State team to win was the Saints, 4 years ago.

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