Saturday, 26 January 2019

The Super Bowl Trap

According to the NFL Players Association, the average career length is about 3.3 years, which makes it all the more remarkable that of the 18 Super Bowls since 2001, the New England Patriots will have played in exactly half of them. Since 1986, they will have played in 11, with a 5-5 record to date. Their opponents next Sunday are the Los Angeles Rams.

Seventeen seasons of data isn't much, but there are a couple of trends if you feel the need to bet on the biggest event of the year, the risks of which I have written about before
These big sporting events are seldom good for the serious investor. With so much interest, value is impossible to find. The Derby might be a big deal for the owners, jockeys, trainers, but for the sports investor a winner is a winner whether it be in a maiden race at Cartmel (I've been there too) or the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. It might not sound so good in the pub that you didn't have a bet on the Derby but that you had the winner (Breeze Out) in the 2:10 at Hexham, but then why bother? No one except you really cares anyway!
Here's Spanky's opinion on this topic:
The argument against this of course, is that because it's such a huge game, the ratio of sharp to mug money is at its lowest.

You have been warned. This season's game has (currently) the highest total since 2001 at 58.0 points. Of the four previous Super Bowls with a total at 50 or higher, three have gone Under, and the one Over outcome needed an overtime. Overs is historically the play when the line is 50 or less, with a 61.5% record, but the total won't be anywhere near this. But before you lump on Unders, read on.

For the line, Favourites have a poor record, covering the spread in just 5 of the 17 games. However in the five games with the narrowest spreads, Favourites have a winning record. 

The line (currently) for next week has the New England Patriots at -2.5 / -3.0, and a narrow spread tips the scales in favour of Overs, with 7 of the top 8 games ending Over. 

The Rams actually opened as one point favourites, but William Hill reported that 94% of money that came in at that number was on the Patriots, and the line moved. The amount of money bet is useful data - Pinnacle's 'Betshare' is not. 

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