NDSU Super Bowl Equation calculates winner - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

NDSU Super Bowl Equation calculates winner

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Super Bowl office pool had lots of fans placing bets on who would take home that ring, but NDSU could help you make the right choice.

The University has a graduate degree in sports statistics, and one professor is using it to create the " Super Bowl Equation."

"I have students working on basketball and football and soccer and lacrosse, but I guess I really like football," Rhonda Magel, Statistics Department Chair at NDSU, said.

Rhonda will tell you, with 80-percent certainty, the Super Bowl is a calculated win.

"If everything is even, the 49ers going to win. The Ravens will have to work just a little harder," she said.

She weighed everything from possession time to quarterback sacks and found the three most significant game factors this year: number of turnovers, total yards and penalty yards.

Here's how it works:

Consider how often a team is turning over possession of the ball, add the difference of yards a team gains, then subtract the difference in penalty yards.

"The Ravens need a 0.6 value on that turnover margin or higher to win," Rhonda said.

Meaning, although the 49ers have an advantage, it all depends on the tide of the game.

Rhonda says the ravens would need at least one more turnover, 40 more total yards or 20 more penalty yards to win.

The equation won't predict a winner before the game is over, but it will break down how it all happened.

"I've also had students that tell me they cannot watch a game the same way they have ever watched a game in their lives," Rhonda said. "They look at all the statistics and track everything as they go along."

Rhonda first put the equation to the test when she successfully predicted the New York Giants' win. She says her numbers plugged in the right way again this year to show Baltimore as the winning team.

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