Technically Speaking
Darin Newsom DTN Senior Analyst

Sunday 02/02/14

"And Now For Something Completely Different"

It is early Super Bowl Sunday morning and the pre-game hype for the 5:30 pm (CST) contest has already begun. As I sipped my third cup of coffee, I wondered what result analysis similar to DTN's Six Factors would come up with. So after a few "Goes intas" (think about it for a moment - Jethro Bodine, "Beverly Hillbillies") here are my results. I invite your opinion as well with only a few simple rules: 1) As the title borrowed from "Monty Python's Flying Circus suggests, this is all in fun. 2) This is all in fun so should not be used as a basis for betting in any way, shape or form, and 3) This is all in fun.

Those familiar with DTN's Six Factor analysis know the factors are Trend, Noncommercial Activity, Spreads, Seasonality, Price Distribution, and Volatility. To that end, I used decades of watching (and playing) football to break the game down to its own six key factors. With no further ado, my analysis of today's big game:

Factor 1: Turnovers. We hear it all the time. The football team that turns the ball over the least has the best chance of winning. I've seen the statistical breakdown, and turnovers can be interpreted as highly to only slightly important to an outcome. In my analysis, I'm going to come in closer to the highly side. With that in mind, Seattle has a clear advantage. This past season the Seahawks turned the ball over 19 times (10 fumbles, 9 interceptions) while creating 39 turnovers (11 fumbles, 28 interceptions) on defense for a +20 net. By comparison, Denver was even for the season turning the ball over 26 time (16 fumbles, 10 interceptions) and taking it away 26 times (9 fumbles, 17 interceptions. Advantage Seattle.

Factor 2: Quarterbacks. It is a well known fact that NFL football is a game dominated by quarterbacks. And while the official passer rating statistic is as understandable as an advanced nuclear physics equation, there must be some value to it. This year's game matches the cerebral, old veteran Peyton Manning against the incredibly athletic, and also cerebral, young Russell Wilson. Manning's passer rating for the season was 115.1%, the fifth highest on record. Not far behind was Wilson at 101.2%. I prefer the simpler completion percent, with Manning at 68.3% versus Wilson's 63.1%. Taking interceptions into account, Manning's 10 came on 659 attempts (1.5%) with Wilson's 9 on 407 attempts (2.2%). Though slight, the advantage goes to Denver.

Factor 3: Sacks. Sticking with the importance of quarterbacks, pressuring the qb becomes the next important factor. The best defense against top level signal callers is to not let them become comfortable, allowing them to pick the defensive secondary apart. This past season the Denver offensive line allowed Manning to be sacked 20 times (1.25 per game) while Seattle's Wilson went down 44 times (2.75/game). Defensively, Denver sacked the opposing qb 41 times (2.56/game) with Seattle coming in at 44 (2.75/game). Advantage Denver.

Factor 4: Scoring Margin. This statistic is more fascinating this year than most, with Denver the number one scoring offense and Seattle the number one scoring defense. It's the classic paradox of the immovable object and the irresistible force. However, if we factor in offense and defense for both teams Denver has a scoring margin of +13 while Seattle's comes in at +11.5. Using season averages (points scored versus points allowed) Denver would be expected to score 26.1 points, Seattle 25.5 points. Rounding makes the score 26 to 26. It's a draw.

Factor 5: Like opponents. This past season Denver and Seattle had five like opponents, playing two games at home and three on the road. Both were 4-1, with both suffering 6-point losses to the Indianapolis Colts on the road. The other four games saw Denver outscore their opponents by 81 points while Seattle was +61 points. Advantage Denver.

Factor 6: Kicking/Punting. Given how tight this Super Bowl is expected to be, the result could come down to the kickers. On field goals from 1 to 49 yards (doing away with the 50-plus due to Denver's altitude advantage), Denver's Matt Prater was 19 out of 19 while Seattle's Steven Hauschka was 30 of 32. As for punting, Britton Colquitt of the Broncos put 23 of his 65 punts inside the 20 and 10 inside the 10. By comparison, Jon Ryan of the Seahawks had 28 inside the 20 and 10 inside the 10 out of 74 punts. Taking both into account and the kicking factor is a draw (slight advantage to Denver in field goals, Seattle in punting).

Conclusion: This game should be as tight as advertised. Of these six factors, Denver has the statistical advantage in three, Seattle in one, and two draws. If we weight the factors (Factor 1 = 6 points, 2 = 5,etc.), then Denver comes out ahead. My thought is Denver's offensive line wins the game, allowing Manning to direct the Broncos to just enough points to win 27 to 24.

The bottom line is to enjoy the game. And if you, like me, get weary of it after a while, at least enjoy some of the commercials.

To track my thoughts on the markets, follow me on Twitter: www.twitter.com\DarinNewsom


Commodity trading is very complicated and the risk of loss is substantial. The author does not engage in any commodity trading activity for his own account or for others. The information provided is general, and is NOT a substitute for your own independent business judgment or the advice of a registered Commodity Trading Adviser.

Posted at 9:49AM CST 02/02/14 by Darin Newsom
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