Are there ideal numbers to have in a basketball "Square pool"?
March 18, 2012 4:58 PM Subscribe
Math/sports question! I entered a "Square pool" (purely theoretical money at stake :) ), for the NCAA basketball tournament. I am curious if there are better numbers to have, and why that would be the case. More information inside.
posted by JoeGoblin to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This type of pool is very popular for the Super Bowl. You create a 10 x 10 grid, and people purchase squares (let's say five bucks a piece.) Once all the squares have been purchased, you randomly assign digits 0-9 to the rows and columns, as well as a team. Each square corresponds to the last digit of the score. So if the super bowl ended 42-35, Giants beating the Patriots, the person who had the square Giants 2, Patriots 5, would win.
Now in football, there are clearly a few numbers which are better to have. By virtue of the scoring opportunities in football, you're obviously going to do OK with numbers like 7, 4, 1 or 0. Numbers like 5 and 2 don't come up as frequently, just because these require less likely scenarios like kicking four field goals to get to twelve points.
However, I am curious if there are ideal numbers to have for the basketball version of this pool. So far this year, there have been a couple number combinations that have come up more than once. I am guessing this is just random odds, but I was wondering if anyone who knows statistics or probability or just plain math better than I do might be able to offer some advice or theories about which numbers would be better to have in a pool like this for basketball.