NFL Playoffs Betting Prediction: AFC Divisional Round

Using Past Performance To Predict Super Bowl 51 Winners

Written by on February 2, 2017

If you’re planning on betting on Super Bowl lines and you want to know how much past performance matters when it comes to predicting Super Bowl winners, then you’re going to get some expert analysis that will set you straight on this polarizing topic. With that said, let’s get started with a look back at how each Super Bowl featuring a No. 1 offense vs. No. 1 defense fared in Super Bowl history.

Analyzing And Using Past Performance To Predict Super Bowl 51 Winners

Year SB No. 1 Offense No. 1 Defense Result
1966 I Chiefs (32.0) Packers (11.6) Green Bay 35, Kansas City 10
1978 XIII Cowboys (24.0) Steelers (12.2) Pittsburgh 35, Dallas 31
1984 XIX Dolphins (32.1) 49ers (14.2) San Francisco 38, Miami 16
1989 XXIV 49ers (27.6) Broncos (14.1) San Francisco 55, Denver 10
1990 XXV Bills (26.8) Giants (13.3) New York 20, Buffalo 19
2013 XLVIII Broncos (37.9) Seahawks (14.4) Seattle 43, Denver 8
  As you can see from the be chart, teams that had the No. 1 defense in the league have defeated teams with the top-ranked offense five times in the six occasions the rare pairing has taken place. This fact clearly means that Tom Brady and the Patriots are the pick to beat Matt Ryan and the Falcons. The only time the team with the top-ranked offense in the league beat the top-ranked defense in a Super Bowl came in 1989 when Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers laid an emphatic 55-10 beatdown on Denver that still stands as the largest margin of victory in Super Bowl history. While Atlanta has made only one Super Bowl appearance in their franchise’s history and ended up losing Super Bowl 33 to Denver 34-19 as a 7.5-point underdog, it should be known that New England has never won a Super Bowl by more than four points, with three of their titles coming by an identical three points. New England has also failed to cover the Super Bowl betting line in four of their last five Super Bowl appearances while narrowly avoiding three straight Super Bowl losses by shocking Seattle on the game’s final play in Super Bowl 49. Atlanta has won six straight games, but the Patriots have won nine straight, so both teams will enter Super Bowl 51 with their fair share of momentum. Now, when it comes to play of recent Super Bowl winners, it should be known that the 2008 and 2012 NY Giants, along with the 2013 Baltimore Ravens all looked like mediocre one-and-done playoff participants – before they caught fire to win it all. Baltimore dropped four of their final five games of the 2012 regular season – before hitting the playoffs where they won four straight to win it all. The 2007 Giants lost two of their final three regular season games before winning four straight to win Super Bowl 42. The 2011 Giants did get hot late in the season by winning three of their final four games – after dropping their previous four. In the end, it’s really hard to discern how much past performances matter in the quest for Super Bowl success. As I always say, each season – and each team – is always different, so no matter what happened in the past, each Super Bowl represents a brand new slate for both teams.
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