It's two years straight for alpha over value as the New England Patriots won Super Bowl XLIX 28-24 against the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks were the value choice of Analytic Investors LLC in its annual NFL Alphas forecast.
The Seahawks — whose defeat of the Denver Broncos 43-8 in the 2014 Super Bowl also ran counter to Analytic's forecast — were even odds against Patriots by game time Feb. 1.
Matthew Robinson, portfolio analyst at Analytic, had expected Seattle to win by less than a field goal. In the firm's NFL Alphas rankings, the Seahawks' alpha this season was 10%, while New England's was 28%. In the NFL playoffs, lower-alpha teams are favored.
Mr. Robinson was shocked by Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson's last-second interception. “I seriously didn't believe it,” he said of the turnover. “I literally stood there staring at the TV.”
Despite picking wrong for two consecutive years, the latest loss is only the third time since Los Angeles-based Analytic's forecast began in 2004 that its choice to beat the spread was incorrect. In Super Bowl XLVI in 2012, the New York Giants won 21-17 over Mr. Robinson's pick — the Patriots.
“I take comfort in the fact that no matter who ran these numbers, they would have come to the same solution,” Mr. Robinson said, adding he might tweak the formula to improve the likelihood of victory next year.