Super Bowl Squares
I received an email this morning from a friend: “Is there any sort of a statistical breakdown for which are the best numbers to have in a Super Bowl squares pool (for entertainment purposes only)?”
Now, if my friend were going to use this information to gamble, it would be highly unethical. However, since he clearly stated that it was for “entertainment purposes only,” I feel that I can conduct a study with a clear conscience.
If he had wanted to gamble on it, here is a quick explanation of how that usually takes place. (According to that website: “Basically, if you are at a party where you don’t have betting squares you are a Communist.”)
Anyway, using data from football-reference.com I created a ten by ten frequency table (using R, of course) of exactly how many times each outcome has occurred in the history of the NFL. You can find the graph here.
Somethings to note:
- 2-2 is the worst square by far. It’s only happened 5 times in the history of the league. The fair odds for this square are over 2800-to-1.
- The best squares are, no surprise, 7-0 and 0-7, occurring 581 and 577 times, respectively.
- The other great squares to have are in order, 0-3, 0-4, 4-7, and 7-4. All of these have occurred over 480 times each.
- These 6 outcomes (7-0, 0-7, 0-3, 0-4, 4-7, and 7-4) account for almost 23% of all the NFL games ever played.