Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Super Bowl Square Probabilities - updated through 1/29/13

by Carlton Chin, Don La Fronz & Paul Lacher

A few years ago, we took a look at the probabilities of the digits winning at the end of each quarter – based on every Super Bowl ever played.  The results were published by the New York Times, here. Below is the entire link:

This year, we refreshed the results to reflect the NFL’s adoption of the two-point conversion since 1994.  We used every Super Bowl – along with Conference Championship games – since 1994.   Similar to three years ago, we computed the probabilities, or odds, at the end of each quarter.  Our findings include information on which team was favored to win the game.   

So, what numbers are good?  Here are some tidbits:
  • For the team that is favored (San Francisco, this year), the best numbers to have for the final score are: 1, 4, and 7.  These numbers each have a 17.9% chance of hitting, based on our data sample. 
  • The best numbers for the underdog’s final score (Baltimore) are 4, 7 and 0 – in that order.
  • The best overall numbers, to win at the end of any quarter – favorite or underdog – are 0, 7, 4, and 3, in that order. 
  • The 0 and 3 are particularly good to have at the end of the first quarter and first half.
  • By the end of the game, the 4 and 7 are the best.
  • The worst numbers are the 2 and 5, but by the end of the game, every number has won in our sample size, since 1994.  
Note that if there is a 0.0% in a given square, it does not mean that this event is impossible.  It just means that during our sample size, that set of numbers has not occurred for the given quarter.  Please keep an eye out for our “Who Will Win” analysis and Monte Carlo simulation of this year’s Super Bowl. Enjoy the game!

(Please click on the charts to enlarge.)

First Quarter - Probabilities

First Half - Probabilities

Third Quarter - Probabilities

Final Score - Probabilities

Special thanks to Don La Fronz who thought of the idea and helped devise the methodology -- and to Paul Lacher, who helped to put this year's article together.  Carlton has been good friends with Don and Paul for many years.

Don La Fronz is a financial advisor at Pell Wealth Partners.  Paul Lacher is a Wall Street veteran with over 20 years in financial services working with brokerage firms, banks, mutual fund companies and transfer agents.  Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Paul is a lifelong sports fan who still counts down the days until pitchers and catchers report for spring training -- and wonders, at times, if the NY Jets will ever win another Super Bowl.  Carlton Chin, CFA, is a managing director at Price Asset Management and principal at Adamah/CARAT Capital, specializing in portfolio strategy, quant research, and alternative investment strategies.

This article and the Final Score chart is also here: