A Strange History of Super Bowl Betting Trends and my SB Pick

Before I make my Super Bowl pick, I’d like throw some facts at you.  This summer I read in the Richmond Times-Dispatch of all places, Washington Redskins General Manager, Bruce Allen note the fact that only three teams have won a Super Bowl in season where the team did NOT go away from their regular-season practice facility for training camp. (Full-disclosure: The Redskins will train in Richmond this summer, the first time they will hold camp away from Redskins Park since 1994).  

If that were true, I wondered, wouldn’t all the teams just take a bus down the street for training camp, out of vain superstition if nothing else? I looked it up.  Turns out he was almost right.  It was only three teams, until the New York Giants made it 4 last February winning in a year where they forced to train in East Rutherford while their usually training facility in Albany, New York was under construction.  (They’ve since decided to summer in NJ on a permanent basis). Outside of the Giants, only the Patriots, the Raiders, and Saints have won SB’s during years where they did not go away for training camp - those teams winning a total of 8 championships during those years.  Despite this fact, still about have the franchise in the NFL hold training camp in their regular season practice facilities.  

If I were an owner I would not.  I don’t think it’s a coincidence that after this Sunday’s SB there will be 39 SB-winning teams that have gone away for camp. I think being away from families and natural environments may help build team moral and chemistry - and I don’t think it could hurt.  

Anyway, doing the mindless work of looking up SB winning team’s summer training camp facilities on pro-football-reference, helped me run across a bunch of other useless SB facts, many of which I felt obliged to write down for such a week as this one.  Here are some betting trends, I found tasty for one reason or another.  Enjoy!

  • In 46 SB’s there has been only one push in SPREAD (1996 Green Bay (-14) over New England) and no pushes in the TOTAL.
  • All-time the favored team has won straight-up 69.6% of the time and has covered 53.3% of the time.
  • In the past 10 SB’s the favored team has only covered 3 times, but has won 6 of those games.
  • All-time the OVER has won 52.17% of the time.
  • In the past 10 SB’s the UNDER has won 7 times, making the 02-11 seasons represent the the only set of 10 consecutive years since the NFL/AFL merger where the UNDER has outperformed the OVER on the final game of the year.

And now without further ado, my SB pick…

@San Francisco (-3.5) over Baltimore

My 2013 NFL Playoff record: 5-5-1

BONUS (for all you compulsive types): Go with the OVER (47.5)!

Enjoy yourself NOS! Wish I were there!