When a Super Bowl team has scored more regular-season points than their opponent, are they more likely to win, and how might these results impact our understanding of market perceptions? Because it’s also useful to see how point-scoring biases might impact point spreads.
Interestingly, in the past 19 Super Bowls, eight teams (42%) that scored more regular-season points than their opponent were betting favorites, while eight teams that scored fewer points were betting favorites. In the remaining three contests, one was a pick ‘em, while the other two featured teams that scored the exact same number of regular-season points.
It’s a fascinating lead-in to this area of study. Because touchdowns often are synonymous with excitement and prowess.
But among the 12 highest-scoring teams in NFL history, only Washington (1983 season) won the Super Bowl. Most of the other 11 never even made it to the big game.
So, to what extent is scoring a red herring as we analyze optimal betting strategies?
The Super Bowl team with more regular-season points scored has won seven times (37%) and lost 10 times (53%). On two occasions (11%), both opponents scored the same number of regular-season points.
Collectively, winners have averaged 26.2 regular season points, while runner-ups have averaged 28.7. In fact, among the Super Bowl competitors with the 10 most regular-season points per game these past 19 years, only two have won.
The Super Bowl team with more regular-season points scored has covered the spread six times (32%) and didn’t cover 11 times (58%). Again, on two occasions (11%), both opponents scored the same number of regular-season points.
Higher-scoring regular-season teams fare even worse against the spread, suggesting that the betting markets are inflating the values of powerful offenses.
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