The Philadelphia Eagles will defeat the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII on Sunday and beat the 1.5-point spread, predicts Allspring Global Investments' systematic equity money management team.
The pick is based on the Allspring systematic team's NFL Alphas measurement, which ranks all 32 NFL teams based on how often they overcome oddsmakers' expectations during the regular season. The systematic equity team was formerly known as Analytic Investors.
The Allspring team's theory is that the more an NFL franchise overcomes expectations in the regular season, the higher its alpha. Unfortunately, higher alpha during the regular season has historically meant the team is less likely to win in the postseason.
This year, the Eagles – with a 15% alpha – is the choice for the Super Bowl over the Kansas City Chiefs, who chalked up a 16% alpha in the regular season.
Most notably, this matchup features the smallest alpha spread between Super Bowl competitors since the systematic equity team began the NFL Alphas measurement in 2004, said Matt Robinson, portfolio analyst with the systematic equity team, in a phone interview.
"It's the least convicted we've been about our pick, which is obviously not a good headline, but it's what the numbers are telling us," Mr. Robinson said.
The biggest surprise of the regular season was the New York Giants, which went from worst to first this season in the NFL Alpha rankings, Mr. Robinson said. The team's NFL alpha in 2022 was 38.5%, up from -34% in 2021.
The change reflects oddsmakers' assumptions during the 2022 season following the team's dismal 4-13 record in 2021. The Giants, which bounced back to a 9-7-1 record in 2022, were only favored in five of the 17 regular season games.
At the lowest end of the spectrum were the Denver Broncos, which chalked up an alpha of -47.9% after recording a 5-12 season. The team had been favored in eight of 17 contests.
"I guess one of the interesting things was the Broncos at the bottom, who greatly underperformed expectations," Mr. Robinson said. "Having a five-win team at the very bottom is very unusual. The last time that's happened was in '95 when (Bill) Belichick was coaching the Browns after the Browns had a really good season."
The Allspring blog post with further information on the NFL Alpha measurement is available on its website.