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Falcons’ season mirrors past Superbowl champions trends


This Sunday, the USA will shutdown to watch (what they deem to be) the biggest game of the year. Super Bowl LI will see the veteran victors, New England Patriots, take on the Atlanta Falcons. The Patriots remain odds favourites to win, but our research shows that if the Falcons play like they have been throughout their season, they could earn their first Super Bowl ring.

Super Bowl point scoring trends of all time
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Second Quarter can determine a win

Bettingexpert reviewed the quarters of every single Super Bowl and discovered that the points scored in the second quarter are the most important in determining who will be the Super Bowl champions. 

As the infographic shows above, the average score of the winning team in Q2 is 9.3 points. Of course the average is balanced out over 50 Super Bowls, but one startling stat we found was that if a team manages to score 14 points or more in the second quarter, they have a 94.4% chance of winning the whole game. It may not come as a complete surprise, but it is interesting to think that only two touchdowns in this period can basically close the game.

Falcons’ 2016 season aligns with winning trends 

Although the Patriots have had a stronger record this season, the Atlanta Falcons have made it apparent that they are a force to be reckoned with. In fact, looking at their average points per quarter during their past season, the Falcons’ score more points when it truly matters.

In the second quarter, the Falcons score 2.8 points more on average than the Patriots. This trend could be useful if they can repeat it in the big game. The Falcons have scored more than 10 points during Q2 in 45% of their regular season games, and have never not put some points on the board in Q2.

In comparison, the Patriots have blanked in Q2 twice this season, as well as only scored 10 points or more in Q2 in 33% of their games this season. This is a good omen for the Falcons (and their fans). 

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Patriots have to start strong

Based on their performance this season, the New England Patriots tend to score less points as the game progresses, which doesn’t’ bode will when going up against the Falcons. However, if the Patriots can start off with a strong lead in the first quarter, they may be able to offset Atlanta’s trend.

In Super Bowl history, when a team leads in the first quarter (no matter by how much), that team has a #mce_temp_url#71.1% chance of winning the whole game. This means that if the Patriots are able to take the lead early on, they have good chance of collecting another trophy.

The best offence is a good defence

Although the offensive trends are strong, the defences of each team cannot be overlooked. Looking at the past season for both of the finalists, the Falcons are clearly the team that has put the most points on the board—they’ve accumulated a total of 620 points compared to the 511 from the Patriots. However, defensively, the Patriots are stronger—conceding less points on average for every quarter except for one.

In the third quarter, Atlanta’s defence inhibits more scoring. This could be crucial for the big game, considering that the third quarter is not the strongest offensive quarter for the Patriots. 

Other statistical findings of Super Bowl winners and losers

Having looked back at the past 50 years of the Super Bowl, some other interesting trends arose. Here are a few things to take note of during this Sunday’s game:

  • Only 3 teams have managed to win with consecutive scoreless quarters
  • If you don’t score in the 4th quarter, you only have 19.2% chance of winning
  • The Eastern division (including the Patriots) has had 38 team appearances out of the 100 teams who have played in the Super Bowl. Half of these teams won the game.
  • The Southern division (Falcons) has only had 8 teams appear out of 100. Of those, only 3 teams won.

More Facts from bettingexpert

If you enjoy reading stories about your favourite teams or sports that are based on the numbers, check out our other facts by bettingexpert.

If you are looking for betting advice for the Super Bowl, check out what our community of experts are tipping for the big game. If you have never bet on the Super Bowl before, make sure to read our guide on how to bet on the NFL, or even more specifically, how to predict the Super Bowl.