Saturday, February 5, 2011

Super Bowl Stats

These numbers are not related to sport psychology (check our NY Times article out for that), but with the Super Bowl coming up, we thought you might find these stats interesting.

Will the Game be Close?

We've been spoiled lately, because many of the recent Super Bowls have been close and exciting games.  In particular, 4 of the last 7 games have been decided by 4 points or less.  

And, due to the nature of the game (Conference Champions are competing!), many fans expect close games. However, do you remember the blowouts we've had in the past? Let's take a look at what the past Super Bowl numbers say:
  • About two-thirds of Super Bowls are decided by 10 points or more, and
  • About 50% of the games have been decided by 14 points or more.
How Many Points Might be Scored?

Here's a look at the average total points scored in the Super Bowl, by half, and in total. We looked at three sets of games: every Super Bowl, games since 1983 and games since 1994 (the years listed in the charts are based on the regular season; this includes every Super Bowl through Feb. 2009, excludes last year).

1st Half
2nd Half
All Super Bowls

How do Underdogs perform in the Super Bowl?

Recent underdogs have performed well in the Super Bowl:
  • 3-0 in the last three Super Bowls,
  • 7-2 in the last 9 Super Bowls, and
  • 9-4 in the last 13 Super Bowls.
However, if we look at every Super Bowl played, the underdogs are:
  • 20-21-3 in forty-four Super Bowl games. Slightly subpar, with 3 pushes.
  • When the point spread is 5 points or less (like this year), the underdog is 9-8.