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Johns Hopkins Mathematician Calculates Ravens Super Bowl Odds

Updated: Tuesday, January 29 2013, 05:28 PM EST
Mathematicians are crunching the numbers before Sunday's Super Bowl XLVII.

"Who wins a football game, the numbers are almost meaningless," Johns Hopkins University Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics Chair Daniel Naiman said.

That did not stop him from combing through 42 years of scores to try to determine who has the upper hand in the Super Bowl.

"This year, the NFC dominated the AFC by an average of 5.5 points when they played each other in the regular season," Naiman said. "When one of the conferences dominates the other in the regular season, that tends to indicate performance in the Super Bowl."

In the 20 seasons the NFC have bested the AFC, the NFC have won the Super Bowl 70% of the time.  In the 22 seasons the AFC outplayed the NFC, the AFC won the Super Bowl 59% of the time.

The San Francisco 49ers are representing the NFC Sunday.  They are favored by most sports books by 3.5 points.

The 5.5-point difference in 2012 NFC supremacy is the biggest NFC advantage since the 1970 season.

"During that season, the NFC dominated the AFC by an average of 8 points, but sure enough the (Baltimore) Colts went on to win...Super Bowl (V) against the Cowboys," Naiman said.

Baltimore and San Francisco only share one common opponent in the 2012 season in the New England Patriots.  The Ravens beat the Patriots twice by an average of eight points.  The 49ers beat the Patriots in December by seven points.

Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Sunday in New Orleans.Johns Hopkins Mathematician Calculates Ravens Super Bowl Odds

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