It all comes down to this. 60 tiny minutes stretched out to over three hours of drama mixed in with lots of necessary ad breaks. Yes, it’s the Super Bowl. WHOOP WHOOP and other Americanisms that have crept into our vocab.
The mouthy defensive flamboyance of the Seattle Seahawks goes head to head with the calculating efficiency and rule-bending of the New England Patriots. A clash of styles, personalities and legacies awaits. And probably a few allegations of cheating too.
The odds tell us it’s a coin toss. And if it’s a coin toss, keep an eye on Bill Belichick trying to nudge that coin toss in his favour. With basically nothing between the two sides, we’ve looked at the money coming in on the match and found a clear pattern.
The Pats are the more popular choice according to Paddy Power punters. 62% of match bets have been on the east coast outfit with 38% going on Russell Wilson and co. Can the Seahawks’ defence shut down the multitude of attacking available to Tom Brady? Are the Seahawks just blessed to be here after being appalling for about 54 minutes of the Conference Championship game against Green Bay? Will Richard Sherman eventually disappear up his own anus? We’ll know the answer to some of these questions early on Monday morning.
But, there’s a lot more to discuss than just that. Katy Perry will be providing the half-time entertainment and the money tells us there’s an overwhelming choice punters expect her to open the show with ‘Roar’. 72% of the money has been for her semi-inspirational and semi-irritating anthem with her smug yawnfest ‘This Is How We Do’ surprisingly attracting 10% of the cash at odds of 12/1.
Making A Point
This game may unfold in many different ways, but wherever we end up, history tells us not to expect a wild shoot-out. Despite Brady and Wilson firmly belonging to the elite category of quarter-backs, scoring in the big game is rarely too free-flowing. The Total Points line for Sunday’s showdown is 47.0 points and just 17 of 48 Super Bowls to date have exceeded that tally.
That means 65% of all Super Bowls have provided 47 points or less and with both defences capable of keeping things tight, the under option looks more likely. Five of the last six Super Bowls have provided over 47 points. That may be because Super Bowls are becoming more attack-focused in general, but may also just be a statistical fluke. We’re plumping for fluke.
Blitz And Pieces
- ‘Home advantage’ is an advantage
The Super Bowl is played at a venue nominated years in advance. It is possible that a team could play one at their home stadium, but that hasn’t happened in 48 Super Bowls. Despite the neutral venue, the stats say the team that has less distance to cover to get there has the upper hand. For whatever reason, 58% of all Super Bowls have been won by these teams which is good news for a Seahawks at odds of 10/11 who are a mere 2,000km away from Glendale Arizona rather than the near 4,000km of the Patriots.
- It may not be especially tight
Considering it’s a match-up of the two best teams in one of the most competitive competitions in the world, the Super Bowl doesn’t always end up being especially close. The average winning margin across 48 editions is a whopping 14.75 points and even though that’s inflated by a few blowout wins, the median is still a sizeable 12.5 points. That said, five of the last seven Super Bowls have been decided by less than a touchdown so – apart from last year – we seem to be in a period of tighter games. If you do fancy either team, it could be worth taking them to win by more than 13 points at 6/1
- The importance of scoring first
There’s guaranteed to be lots of drama across the extended 60 minutes of play, but once one team gets on the board, it could be worth pouncing on them to close it out. 67% of all Super Bowls have been claimed by the team scoring the first points of the game. That’s especially remarkable considering it includes field goals and safeties which only give slight advantages of three and two points respectively.
- A hint of fowl play
Teams named after birds have won just three Super Bowls, but two of those have come in the last two years with the Ravens in 2013 and the Seahawks last time out. Another feather in the cap of Seattle if you’re a fan of crap and not really suitable puns.
After all that, we’re still left a bit on the fence. The money is for the Pats, but the marginal but possibly insignificant pieces of trivia tip in the favour of the Seahawks. We should be in from a cracking match. After all the hype, anything else would be hugely deflating.