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    Posted January 29, 2013 by
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    Will You Win Your Super Bowl Square Pool?


    by Carlton Chin, Don La Fronz, and Paul Lacher



    The Super Bowl, one of the biggest sporting events of the year, is fast-approaching.  Along with the actual game, there is huge interest in everything from the Super Bowl ads and the half-time show – to the Super Bowl Square Pools.  If you are participating in a Square Pool (where only the last digit for each team counts), you will be randomly assigned a digit for each team, such as San Francisco 3, and Baltimore 4.  Many fans have an idea of what numbers are “good” – and here, we compute Square Pool probabilities, or odds, based on recent historical results - by Quarter.



    Most people know that numbers like 7, 3, and 0 are good, due to the key numbers associated with touchdowns and field goals.  But how good are these numbers?  And what about the 4, 6, or 1?  A few years ago, we took a look at the probabilities of the digits winning at the end of each quarter – based on every Super Bowl ever played.  The results were published by the New York Times, here.   Below is the entire link:




    This year, we refreshed the results to reflect the NFL’s adoption of the two-point conversion since 1994.  We used every Super Bowl – along with Conference Championship games – since 1994.   Similar to three years ago, we computed the probabilities at the end of each quarter.  Our findings include information on which team was favored to win the game.


    So, what numbers are good?  Here are some tidbits:


    * For the team that is favored (San Francisco, this year), the best numbers to have for the final score are: 1, 4, and 7.  These numbers each have a 17.9% chance of hitting, based on our data sample.


    * The best numbers for the underdog’s final score (Baltimore) are 4, 7 and 0 – in that order.


    * The best overall numbers, to win at the end of any quarter – favorite or underdog – are 0, 7, 4, and 3, in that order.


    * The 0 and 3 are particularly good to have at the end of the first quarter and first half.


    * By the end of the game, the 4 and 7 are the best.


    * The worst numbers are the 2 and 5, but by the end of the game, every number has won in our sample size, since 1994.


    Note that if there is a 0.0% in a given square, it does not mean that this event is impossible.  It just means that during our sample size, that set of numbers has not occurred for the given quarter.  Please keep an eye out for Carlton's “Who Will Win” analysis and Monte Carlo simulation of this year’s Super Bowl.  Enjoy the game!


    The graphic at the top of the article shows the probability (in percent) of various Square Pool combinations winning at the end of the game. For probability grids at the end of each quarter, please click here.  The entire link is below:






    Don La Fronz is a financial advisor at Pell Wealth Partners. Paul Lacher is a Wall Street veteran with over 20 years in financial services working with brokerage firms, banks, mutual funds, and transfer agents. Carlton Chin, CFA, is a managing director at Price Asset Management and principal at Adamah/CARAT Capital, specializing in portfolio strategy, quant research, and alternative investment strategies.

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