Harbowl: An Early Look at Gambling Odds and Squares

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

All of the talk around Super Bowl XLVII (47) centers around Jim (San Francisco 49ers) and John (Baltimore Ravens) Harbaugh squaring off in what is being called the Harbowl or Harbaugh Bowl. While this is a very cool story (and one that is getting beaten to death), there’s still a game to play and some trends are beginning to form for those that are going to place a bet on the game or pick a few Super Bowl Squares. Either way, allow me to share some early wisdom on his game.

Let’s start with some small ditties on choosing the right squares. Just as an FYI, squares are when you fill your name on a sheet of squares hoping that a quarter ends with the score your squares line up with. Here are some tips; be sure not to choose squares in the same row and try to spread your picks across the sheet.

Keep in mind that the numbers are chosen at random, so your best bet is to try and spread your picks out as far as you can. After you choose your squares, the waiting game becomes fun. Taking a closer look at the statistics and where the quarters have ended, the best number anyone can hope for is zero (appeared 101 times for a percentage 27.45) followed by seven (appeared 77 times for a percentage of 20.92) and three (appeared 56 times for a percentage of 15.22). The three numbers you don’t want to see are two (appeared twice for a percentage of 2.45), eight (same as two 2.45) and five (20 times for a percentage of 2.72). While you may not be able to pick the numbers you get, you can certainly spread your picks around for the best possible chance.

Now for your more serious gamblers (squares are a bit more of a novelty), this game has already seen some interesting action. It opened as a pick’em line, but has moved to four-point spread favoring the 49ers in pretty much every casino and off-shore gambling facility.

The point total opened at 52.5 and has fallen to around 47.5. So in other words, this should be a lower-scoring contest favoring the 49ers according the experts that reside in large building located in the desert. If you’re a person that believes in trends and cheers for the 49ers, you’ll be even happier. The San Francisco football franchise is 23-12 against the spread the last two seasons. In games with a point total of between 42.5 and 49 points, the 49ers are 10-2 against the spread. Lastly, the 49ers are 16-6 against the spread on grass fields over the past two seasons.

OK, can’t ignore the Ravens faithful. You’re 1-0 against the spread and head-to-head all-time against the 49ers. On Thanksgiving Day 2011 (a game that was the original and slightly less important Harbowl), the Ravens triumphed 16-6 at home.

So there you have it. We’d love to know what you think. Reach out to us on Twitter with the Hashtag #RML.


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