The Least Fun Way to Predict a Super Bowl Winner

(Photo: Angie Six)

From Elizabeth Stanton at Bloomberg:

The New England Patriots will win the Super Bowl by at least three points even though the New York Giants have the appeal of “a cocktail party stock,” according to a quantitative money management firm that’s correctly picked the team covering the point spread for eight consecutive years.

Analytic Investors LLC in Los Angeles has documented a tendency on the part of Super Bowl bettors to overestimate the chances of the team that rewarded them more during the regular season — the team with the higher alpha, in investment parlance. In 2008, that was the favored Patriots, who lost to the Giants 17-14. This year, it’s New York.

“Everyone thinks the Giants are rolling right now, a lot of people in my office even,” said Matthew Robinson, a portfolio analyst for global and Japanese equities at Analytic and the author of this year’s analysis. “They like the Giants, but they have faith in the model as well.”

On the other hand, do I label this “the least fun way” because I have a Giants bias and am blind to my blindness?

At least this is less ridiculous than the Super Bowl Indicator.

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  1. Tim says:

    Yawn. I’ve been professionally betting for a couple years now. 8 game sample is horribly weak. Do they have more data to back up their ability to pick games? Because even the best gamblers have a hard time beating 55% over the long run.

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  2. RGJ says:

    To the extent the betting lines reflect the influence of the people taking bets, I seem to recall a phenomenon called “New York money” that skewed NY teams higher.

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  3. Caleb b says:

    55%? I call BS. I have documentation that I went 60% over the college football season with bowls and my wife hit 70%. This is picking roughly 10 games a week for the entire season. I’m not a super genius or lucky all season, so I question 55%. Now, that IS only one season, but still….

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  4. Jack Skellington, ESQ says:

    —-55%? I call BS. I have documentation that I went 60% over the college football season with bowls and my wife hit 70%. This is picking roughly 10 games a week for the entire season. I’m not a super genius or lucky all season, so I question 55%. Now, that IS only one season, but still….—-

    You were lucky all season. 1 Season is a tiny sample set. 1000 games is a small sample set. 8 games is a statistically insignificant sample set. Dubner knows this, of course, this is a lighthearted topical post about the superbowl.

    I suspect you know it, too. If not, the logical thing for you to do is to liquidate all of your assets before the next college football season and wager as much as possible until you become the wealthiest man alive.

    I admit there are some minor issues with my plan for you.

    First, it might be challenging to get action, even from large Vegas sports books on your $100M bet that East Carolina State will cover against Bowling Green.

    Second, is the niggling little detail that you’ll go broke in short order because you can’t sustain a win rate above 55%

    Variance is the reason casinos exist, suckers have to have good days, weeks, and even years to continue coming back and losing. You had a good year. You’re not good at picking winners.

    Or maybe you are. Text us next year from your private island and prove me wrong.

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  5. Gabby Solano says:

    I most definitely think that the reason this article has “the least fun way” because you are a Giants fan…which on the other hand makes this the most fun way for me…seeing that I’m a Pats fan :D

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  6. Em says:

    I think this article has “the least fun way” because I just go for the team I want to win. This is the team I’ve been going for all year long, despite its wins and losses… believing in them like a true fan, not a cherry picker.

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  7. K. Simms says:

    Guess that 8 year streak just ended, eh? :)

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  8. jomadre says:

    Wow nice call guys!!!!

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