Monday, February 6, 2017

Of Course It Went to OT: What Happened to the Superbowl at the Turn of the Millennium? (sport, gambling)

There's really not much point to studying stats and trends with very few data points. But when it comes to the NFL and the Superbowl, it's fun to think about. Here were some stats I was looking at before tonight's amazing game.

Did you know that before the 21st Century, favorites covered 23 of 34 (68%) Superbowls while favorites have only covered 4 of 15 (27%) Superbowls since the turn of the millennium? Superbowl XXXIV played in the year 2000 was a push and Superbowl XLIX in 2015 was a pick'em.

What about the fact that in the 2000's, of the 7 times a regular season MVP played in the Superbowl, none of them won or even covered the spread? The list includes Cam Newton, Peyton Manning (x2), Tom Brady, Shaun Alexander, Rich Gannon, Marshall Faulk/Kurt Warner depending on AP or PFWA. Before 2000? AP MVPs covered 9 of 16 times.

Between the underdog trend and the 0-for MVP trend, of course it went to OT.

Obviously, choosing 2000 as the divide is also completely random. But it's interesting to wonder if something actually changed in the league, considering the 2001 Superbowl was the first Brady Belichick Superbowl as well as the biggest upset in Superbowl history.

In the end, I took the Pats. The idea that regular season MVPs are 0-8 against the spread in the Superbowl amused me.