This season, Denver and Seattle tied for the best record in the NFL, going 13-3. They own homefield advantage as long as they're alive in the playoffs. Conventional wisdom says pick Denver and Seattle to meet in the Super Bowl.
But history says otherwise.
I checked out the recent playoff performances of teams with the best W-L record in the NFL at pro-football-reference.com. I started with 1990, the year the league added an extra team in each conference, with a total of 12 teams in the postseason. Since then, only 5 teams who had the best record won the Super Bowl.
Let's take a look at the details:
1990:San Francisco, lost NFC Championship.
1991:Washington, won Super Bowl.
1992:SF, lost NFCC
1993:Dallas, won Super Bowl.
1994:SF, won Super Bowl.
1995:Kansas City, lost in Divisional round
1996:Green Bay and Denver tied for best record. Green Bay won Super Bowl, Denver lost in Divisional round.
1997:SF lost NFCC.
1998:Minnesota, lost NFCC.
1999:Jacksonville, lost AFCC.
2000:Tennessee, lost in Divisional round.
2001:St. Louis, lost Super Bowl.
2002 marked the beginning of the current format of 4 division winners and 2 Wild Card teams in each conference.
2002:Philadelphia, lost NFCC.
2003:New England, won Super Bowl.
2004:Pittsburgh, lost AFCC.
2005:Indianapolis, lost in Divisional round.
2006:San Diego, lost in Divisional round.
2007:New England, lost Super Bowl.
2008:Tennessee, lost in Divisional round.
2009:Indianapolis, lost Super Bowl.
2010:New England, lost in Divisional round.
2011:Green Bay, lost in Divisional round.
2012:Denver and Atlanta tied for best record. Denver lost in Divisional round, Atlanta lost NFCC.
I'm no gambler, or handicapper. But this show how regular season success has little bearing on postseason wins. But if you are a gambler, I'd say don't put your money on Denver or Seattle!