SUPER BOWL SQUARES: What are the best numbers to have when the Chiefs meet the Eagles?
Super Bowl squares are a feature of any great Super Bowl party.
While some squares are better than others, it's tough to tell once the numbers are drawn what your chances of winning are.
We went through every playoff game dating back to 2000 to figure out which numbers are the most valuable when it comes to Super Bowl squares.
On Super Bowl Sunday friends, families, and football fans across the country will gather together to watch the big game.
Whether you're there for the football, the halftime show, the commercials, or just looking forward to enjoying the food and drinks, a staple of almost every Super Bowl party is a Super Bowl squares pool.
Squares pools make it easy for even the most casual fan to get a little action on the big game. The rules are simple — someone prints out a 10x10 grid of 100 squares, which can be bought for a set amount — $2, $5, $10, or whatever fits the size and gambling interest of your gathering.
Once every square has been purchased, numbers between 0-9 are drawn on both axes so that each square corresponds to a unique combination.
At the end of each half, or in some cases, the end of each quarter, the ones digit of each team's score is used to identify the winning square — if the Eagles lead the Chiefs 17-13 at halftime, for instance, the square that had Eagles 7/Chiefs 3 would cash the halftime prize.
Because players select their squares before they have been assigned their numbers, a squares pool is a true game of chance.
That said, once the numbers have been assigned, it's clear that some boxes are more advantageous than others, so we decided to run the numbers and break down the most valuable boxes in your Super Bowl squares pool.
We looked at every postseason game from the 2000 to the 2022 season — more than 20 years of football — and took the score at the end of the first quarter, at the half, at the end of the third, and the end of the game. Those 258 games and 1,032 quarters let us figure out the exact optimal place to be on the Super Bowl grid.
There are two things to remember: We're only concerned with the last number in the score, and 7-0 and 0-7 are two different squares. While indeed, 11.4% of the quarters ended with one team with a "0" in the ones column and the other with a "7", those two squares split the probability with each holding a 5.7% chance of winning.
Relatedly, NFC and AFC are arbitrary labels here, signifying the Super Bowl contestants rather than either conference's specific affinity for scoring exactly seven points.
Looking at the above chart, the best place to be for those hoping to cash in is the 0-0 spot. Given the ease that a quarter can end 0-0, 10-0 or 10-10, it's by far your best bet, with 7.3% of all quarters ending that way throughout the 258 games we examined. This advantage is obviously highest in the first quarter, given that both teams are starting at 0.
While it's still true the numbers you want your box to feature are 7 and 0, football is a crapshoot, and in the data we examined, it was clear that the hottest squares of Super Bowl square pools have lost a bit of their luster.
From 2000 to 2010, the top 20 most common scores accounted for 71% of the outcomes. In other words, 20% of the squares accounted for 71% of the winners, and 80% of the squares (the duds) accounted for merely 29%.
From 2011 to 2022, the top 20 most common scores accounted for just 61% of the winners. So 20% of the squares accounted for 61% of the winners, and 80% of the squares (the duds) accounted for 39% percent of the winners.
Even if you sigh with disappointment after your square is revealed as the dreaded 9-5, at least take some comfort in the fact that your chances are better than they were in the past.
Additionally, three-point driven squares (3-0, 0-3, 6-0 and 0-6) are trending upwards, while seven-point centric squares (7-0, 0-7, 7-7 7-4, 4-7 and 4-4) are trending down. This is likely the result of a two developments in recent years: the evolution of kickers being able to hit from 50+ consistently, and an increase in missed extra points, both to the shift in distance and more aggressive coaches going for two more often.
If you have an wonky, low-percentage square for the Super Bowl, you are rooting for a bit of weirdness, and thankfully, football is only getting weirder.
You will always hope for the best box on the grid, but in both football and gambling, nothing is guaranteed.
Best of luck to you and your squares!
Read the original article on Insider