Should You Invest in Champions?

Today, the ScoreMetrics Lab investigates how the champions from previous seasons have fared as investments and whether or not this is an interesting avenue for sports traders to dig into.

To do that, we looked at the ATS and Over/Under statistics of NFL, NBA and MLB champions from a span of five seasons.

We started from the 2018 champions for each league and pulled their numbers for the next season (in this case, 2019).

Read on to discover what we found out!

NFL Champions

Let’s start with football here and look at how the past five Super Bowl champions have fared as investments during the season after their championship:




2018 Patriots

50.0 %

41.2 %

58.8 %

2017 Eagles

50.0 %

38.9 %

61.1 %

2016 Patriots

63.2 %

47.4 %

52.6 %

2015 Broncos

56.2 %

43.8 %

56.2 %

2014 Patriots

50.0 %

55.6 %

44.4 %

With these NFL stats, we can see some numbers that look kind of interesting, and there seems to be a trend towards the champs going under more than over.

But when we take the averages, we are looking at 53.9% ATS, 45.4% over and 54.6% under. Not the sort of numbers that provide any clear edge, especially when we consider that the NFL season has a low number of games, which can cause randomness.

NBA Champions

Moving on to basketball – how have the NBA champs fared?




2018 Warriors

43.1 %

49.0 %

51.0 %

2017 Warriors

45.1 %

46.1 %

53.9 %

2016 Cavaliers

47.9 %

60.0 %

40.0 %

2015 Warriors

56.7 %

51.9 %

48.1 %

2014 Spurs

51.7 %

48.3 %

51.7 %

For the past five NBA champions, there doesn’t seem to be any interesting patterns to follow here. Some teams have been covering the spread while others haven’t, and the O/U figures are very close to 50% on both sides, except for the 2016 Cleveland team.

MLB Champions

Let’s cap things off with baseball – our favorite here at ScoreMetrics for building sports trading systems:




2018 Red Sox

42.6 %

57.3 %

42.7 %

2017 Astros

51.2 %

46.6 %

53.4 %

2016 Cubs

44.2 %

48.2 %

51.8 %

2015 Royals

52.5 %

49.0 %

51.0 %

2014 Giants

56.8 %

52.0 %

48.0 %

Again, this looks rather random, and there is no trend visible here for the MLB champs from the past five seasons. Disappointing!


The five seasons worth of NFL, NBA and MLB data that we covered here shows us that the reigning champions have, on average, covered the spread at a 50.7% rate, gone over 49% of the time and under 51% of games. It seems that the bookmakers have been very good at setting their lines.

Are we surprised by these results? Not at all.

The biggest teams are always well covered, and sportsbooks are very adept at setting lines for their games, and the large amount of public money flowing to these games is also a big factor.

Blindly putting money down on the biggest teams rarely results in anything good. This is what the majority of gamblers in the market do, and that’s not for us.

And even if we look at samples of smaller teams and their overall ATS or O/U performance over long periods of time, we will end up with the same conclusion almost all the time – the numbers tend to be very close to 50%, and the bookmakers are winning.

So, smart investors in the sports betting marketplace should look elsewhere. Instead, the profits are to be found in niche patterns that are based on much more complex hypotheses.

Throughout our years of experience and research in finding sports investment systems that produce high returns year after year, one constant theme has prevailed: Systems that are based on broad parameters always end up failing. We’ve even written about some of our failed experiments, which you can read about here and here.

The lesson of this piece of research? Dig deeper into data, be creative, and try to uncover something that the average person in the market would not think about. Leave the champs to the chumps.

To take advantage of the return of sports and to learn everything you need to know about smart investing in the sports betting market, check out our head trader John Todora’s new book – “Zero Correlation Investing – The Score Metrics Secret”. It’s currently on sale for a limited time, so go get yours now!

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