Super Bowl 2012: Ranking the Numbers in the Squares Pool

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Super Bowl 2012: Ranking the Numbers in the Squares Pool
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
The Saints and Colts played to a rather conventional final score in Super Bowl XLIV.

Football is a numbers game.

Certain numbers come up more frequently than others in football scores. That's the idea behind the Super Bowl squares pool.

If you've never played a square before, here's how it works.

You choose a square on a grid. When all the squares are filled, each square is randomly assigned two numbers, one for the AFC team and one for the NFC team.

Using Super Bowl XLVI as an example, you might get "Giants 6, Patriots 9" or "Giants 7, Patriots 4" or "Giants 0, Patriots 2."

The pot is divided by quarters. At the end of each quarter, the winner is the one whose numbers are the last digits of the score.

If you have "Giants 0, Patriots 0" and the game is scoreless after one quarter, you win the first quarter. If you have "Giants 7, Patriots 4" and the final score is Giants 17, Patriots 14, you win the fourth quarter.

Winning the fourth quarter usually earns the most money. Halftime normally is the second-largest prize.

If you know football, you know 7s and 3s are good numbers to get, and 5s and 8s aren't so great. But have you ever really thought about 0-9 stack up one through 10?

That's why I'm here.

I did some research, used a super-secret point system and came up with a ranking.

I looked at every Super Bowl since Super Bowl XXIX, which is the first Super Bowl in which two-point conversions were an option. That diversifies the scoring patterns a little.

I also looked at every New York Giants and New England Patriots game this season, and placed a little weight on their regular-season meeting against each other.

If you're new to football, you should find this article helpful. Even if you know football, my number-crunching revealed a couple of surprises.

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