The San Francisco 49ers will beat the 2-point spread in defeating the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVIII this Sunday, 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 and has been making the measurement since 2004.
The Allspring team's theory is that the more an NFL franchise overcomes expectations in the regular season, the higher its alpha. During the 2023 regular season, the Baltimore Ravens had the highest alpha at 37.1%. The team was the favorite in 13 out of 17 games but still managed to exceed oddsmakers' expectations. At the bottom was the Carolina Panthers with an alpha of -70.7%, managing to sink below expectations even though oddsmakers had the team as the underdog in all 17 regular-season games.
This Super Bowl represents the first time in the systematic equity team's two decades of measuring NFL Alpha that both teams enter the game with negative regular-season alphas, Matt Robinson, a portfolio analyst on the systematic equity team, said this week in an interview.
The Chiefs and 49ers have NFL Alphas of -0.3% and -2.8%, respectively, and as the undervalued team, the 49ers should come out on top against the spread, Robinson said. The negative NFL Alphas show that even though the teams were both expected to make the playoffs, they ultimately underperformed.
Eight of the 16 playoff teams, in fact, had negative alphas, he said.
"All those teams, when they're going into a game against one of the bottom-feeder types, you're going to get a double-digit spread," Robinson said. "If you're favored by 15 points, it's just really hard to beat that."