BOSTON (Reuters Life!) - An Indianapolis Colts win in Sunday's Super Bowl could imply higher stock market returns than a victory by the New Orleans Saints, according to a tongue-in-cheek analysis of the biggest football game of the year.
A Colts win would be the third for the franchise, including their victory as the Baltimore Colts following the 1970 season before moving to Indianapolis in 1984.
"Super Bowl wins by three-time champions are correlated with an average stock market return of 17 percent, based on 15 of the past 43 years," according to Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's.
Moreover, the Colts are the designated "home team" for Sunday's big game. When the home team has won the Super Bowl, the average S&P 500 return was 18 percent, compared to an average of 6 percent in the years in which the road team has won, they said.
Still, enough parsing of the numbers can produce a win-win scenario for investors, according to Capital IQ's light-hearted study.
The average market return for a year in which a National Football Conference (NFC) team -- such as the Saints -- wins the Super Bowl appearance is about 15 percent, even though first-time champions, as would pertain to the Saints if they win, are correlated with a 9-percent average return.
The average return when an NFC team won was double that when an American Football Conference (AFC), at 15 percent against 7 percent.
Capital IQ's number-crunching suggested that Sunday's game in Miami's dome-less Sun Life Stadium could also bode well.
Market returns have fared better in the years when the Super Bowl was open to the elements versus years the game was played in a domed stadium.
As many as 100 million Americans are likely to tune into Sunday's game to enjoy the advertising, the half-time show featuring The Who, and, yes, the football.
The latest line for Super Bowl XLIV shows Indianapolis as a 4.5-point favorite.
Reporting by Ros Krasny; Editing by Patricia Reaney