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Superbowl Betting Props: Will There Be A Safety? – SportsUntapped.com
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Added February 3rd, 2010 by David Glisan

Superbowl Betting Props:  Will There Be A Safety?
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This Superbowl betting proposition is similar in many ways to our previous discussion about the ‘Will the game go to overtime’ prop bet.  We can come up with a decent statistical basis for this play and just shop for value without having to get into the intricacies of handicapping the individual matchups or concerning ourselves with the outcome of the game.  The “Will There Be A Safety” prop bet has become a fairly standard wager and can be found at most offshore sportsbooks.

Oddly enough, the safety is more common in both the regular season and the Superbowl than overtime games, but most sportsbooks have them priced as if they were less so.  For example, we’ll take a look at the Bookmaker prop bet:

Will there be a safety?

YES +800
NO -1300

There were 14 safeties scored during the 2009 NFL regular season, which means that in an individual game there was roughly a 5.5% chance that a safety would occur.  This means that they were marginally more common than overtime games, but the prop bet is priced the same.  They’re even more common statistically in Superbowls–there was a safety in last year’s game as the Arizona Cardinals were the beneficiary of a Pittsburgh holding penalty in their own end zone.  That was the 6th safety in Superbowl history and the first since 1991.  With 6 safeties in 43 Superbowls that works out to a safety scored in just under 14% of games.

The two teams playing in Miami this year, however, combined for only one safety during the regular season.  The Saints had one, and the Colts didn’t score a safety this year.  Neither are known for their aggressive, playmaking defense nor does their style of offense lend itself to safeties.

So in this case, the ‘No’ is probably the right side when you consider the statistical probability combined with the tendencies of the individual teams.  Based on the numbers its not as strong of a position as the ‘will there be an overtime’ but we’ll still suggest that the safety won’t occur this year.

PLAY ‘WILL THERE BE A SAFETY’–NO -1300

 
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