Super Bowl XLIII Prediction

Win probabilities for Super Bowl XLIII are listed below. More info after the jump.

PwinSuper Bowl XLIII
0.69 PIT at ARI 0.31

The probabilities are based on an efficiency win model explained here and here with some modifications. The model considers offensive and defensive efficiency stats including running, passing, sacks, turnover rates, and penalty rates. Team stats are adjusted for previous opponent strength.

The probabilities based on full regular season statistics would be 0.74 to 0.26 in favor of Pittsburgh. The efficiency stats of each opponent is listed in the table below.

I was going to do a write up of each facet of the match-up, but I think the table says a thousand words. The one thing I will point out however, is Pittsburgh's pass defense. It gives up only 4.3 yards per drop back, and almost 4% of all passes are intercepted. Since the 2002 season, the next best pass defense was the '02 Buccaneers who gave up 4.5 yds per attempt. Baltimore's '03 defense was third giving up 4.8 yds per attempt. That's three standard deviations better than the mean. In comparison, Arizona's passing offense is 1.4 standard deviations better than the mean. And that's why the Steelers are a strong favorite.

NFL Avg6.

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12 Responses to “Super Bowl XLIII Prediction”

  1. Anonymous says:

    It is said that the playoffs are like a brand-new season. I wonder how these numbers would change if you only took into account this year's playoff games? I realize there's not enough data there to to come to any reliable conclusions, but I am curious to see what the numbers would be.

  2. Michael says:

    Forgive me if you've already posted something to this effect, but what is the efficacy of the team efficiency model for 2009, i.e. how predictive has it been?

  3. Brian Burke says:

    I'm showing 128-65-1.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Looks like the vegas moneylines are pretty much dead on.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Anon- not sure if this is what you meant, but...
    2008 results in win % picking straight up:
    Vegas Opening line = .653
    Vegas Closing line = .664
    The esteemed Burker Berzerker Index = .663

  6. Brian Burke says:


  7. Borat says:

    Can z explane theese estimated Burker Berzerker Indecks pleez? Does these track to the same satisfactional reliability of famed Dow Jonas Indecks?

  8. Brian Burke says:

    Including the playoffs, the final record is 135-69-1.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Here is another approach

  10. Anonymous says:

    Hi Brian,
    I could be wrong about this but I can't get to the numbers in your example w/o not subtracting the sack yards. For example:
    Ari 2481 182 350 6.57 7.1

    2481 / 350 = 7.1 I could have a problem with my data but I have been over it a few times.


  11. Brian Burke says:

    John-You're correct. I use what's called 'Net Passing Efficiency' which includes sack yards.

  12. Anonymous says:

    im freaking out...can you find something like these for nfl

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