The Professor

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Leftovers from the Super Bowl and a prediction that ran true to form

Brad Palmer

Covered sports for 40 years at WGN, WBBM Newradio 78, and WLS-TV (CH 7)

I suspect that many of the people who picked the Colts to win the Super Bowl didn't bother looking much further than Peyton Manning. But as I pointed out in my pre-game analysis, nearly all the numbers favored the Saints, particularly INTERCEPTION DIFFERENTIAL. Tracy Porter returned the game's only interception for the clinching touchdown.

The Saints finished the season ranked #1 in my KEY STATS formula. My higher-ranked team has now won 17 of the last 22 Super Bowls. That includes Denver in Super Bowl 32. The Broncos were an 11-point underdog against Green Bay. My 1st or 2nd-ranked team has won 13 of the last 22. 

The Bears wound up 26th in the KEY STATS; they were 6th when they made it to the Super Bowl three years ago.

Not only are the Saints the first Super Bowl winner to have lost its last three games of the regular season, they are the first to have a loss to Tampa Bay on their record.

The Saints are the 6th team in the last 11 yars to win the Super Bowl without having won more than 9 games the previous season (8-8), and the third in 11 years that didn't make the playoffs the previous year.

With the football season over, I doubt I'll have much to write about for awhile. When I'm not playing golf in Arizona, I'll be watching it. It was nice seeing Steve Stricker win at Riviera this weekend. There's nobody nicer on the PGA Tour. He's as genuine as they come. His story should be an inspiration to us all. He's come back from losing his tour card to being the 2nd-ranked player in the world!

The tour obviously isn't the same without Tiger Woods. My prediction was that he would resurface at Arnold Palmer's tournament at Bay Hill. Now there's talk he may be back next week at the Accenture Match Play tournament near Tucson. That would be ironic in that Accenture was the first sponsor to drop him once his indiscretions became public.

However, Steve Williams, Tiger's caddie, says there's no truth to the stories speculating on that. Tiger has until Friday afternoon to commit. This week, it's the Pebble Beach Pro-Am.



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ryandirect said:

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Brad, I believe your statistics, but if Garcon doesn't drop that 3rd down pass early in the second quarter the Colts would have blown the game open. Good game, glad you got it right. Hit 'em straight.

Alex Quigley said:


Props for sticking to your system's guns. Well played. Are you going to post your picks for all NFL games next year? Because, uh...y'know, entertainment purposes. :)

Brad Palmer said:


No Alex, I won't be trying to pick every NFL game next season. I was on the Sun-Times panel just prior to my retirement from Channel 7 and found it too time consuming to research every game and keep up with the injury reports, many of which turn out to be bogus. I also don't want to give people the impression they can make money off my picks, although they would have done very well on all my Super Bowl picks.

My numbers really kick in toward the end of the season. By then, everything tends to even out, such a strength of schedule and injuries. There's not much data to go on early in the season and some teams have streaks where they are playing mostly tough opponents or easy ones. That skews the data and can lead to misleading assumptions. I try to take all those factors into consideration during the season. My best pick of the season had the Bears beating Minnesota at Soldier Field. The Vikings numbers on grass were no better than the Bears. Bears backers got 7 points but didn't need them.

I will continue to analyze all the Bears games and all the playoff games and maybe throw in a best bet of the week or UPSET SPECIAL. To me, a best bet is an underdog that you think will win, such as the Saints in the Super Bowl.

A lot of games can go either way. (Approximately 45% are decided by 7 points or less.)
Eighty percent of games are won by the team with the fewest turnovers. So even the best analysis can be undermined by one or two big plays. And then there are those instances where your team has a chance to beat the spread, but doesn't need the extra points and winds up taking a knee to run out the clock.

Sports betting should only be for recreational purposes and a means of providing oneself with a rooting interest in games not involving your favorite team. If you had bet ALL the picks of any of the so-called experts in the various publications along with ESPN and CBS Sportsline you would have lost money because of the vig.

The key is to be very selective. Pick your spots. Thanks for your interest and good luck.

tobijohn said:


Thanks for your insight and effort this past football year. Best of luck on the golf course and looking forward to your blog this coming season....

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