Are the New Orleans Saints in trouble this Sunday in their NFC Wild Card match-up against the Carolina Panthers due to the fact that they defeated their opponent twice during the regular season?

Most definitely not!

As a matter of fact, you should like the Saints' odds more in the third meeting because they won the first two.

I'm hearing people say they don't fell good about the New Orleans Saints' chances against the Carolina Panthers in the playoffs this week, because of that tired old argument that "it's too hard to beat a team three times in one season."

People; that is a complete myth!

There is absolutely nothing to back up that argument.

Well, I take that back; maybe some type of silly odds.

I mean, if Rob Schneider keeps putting out movies, one of them is bound to finally wind up being good, right?

But you certainly wouldn't bet on his next one being good, would you?

According to Elias Sports Bureau, since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, this situation has arisen twenty times; in which a team that goes 2-0 against an opponent in the regular season faces them for a third time, in the playoffs.

Do you know the record of the team that won twice during the regular season?


Yes, 65% of the time a team that beat another team twice during the regular season won for a third time in the playoffs.

Want more?

According to, since 1990, there have been 16 times when a team was swept in the regular season and then met that opponent a third time in the playoffs. The team that swept the regular season went 11-5 in the postseason.

This even extends to sports other than football.

Let's take a look at college basketball, where I hear the same unfounded argument about how hard it is to beat a team three times in a season being made.

According to STATS LLC., from 2006-2015, there were 981 Division I matchups across the country, in which teams who defeated another team twice in a season faced them for a third time. In those games, the teams entering the third game 2-0 went a combined 710-271 in the third meeting.

So, over a 10-year period in college basketball including almost 1,000 games, the team that won the first 2 games won the third meeting 72% of the time.

Despite what others are trying to get you to believe, the odds are actually in the Saints' favor this Sunday because they won the first two meetings against the Panthers.

And do you know why that is; other than the fact that the 2-0 team likely has home-field advantage in that 3rd meeting, as do the Saints?

It's because the team that won twice during the regular season is more than likely the better team.

Can the Panthers win on Sunday? Of Course! But if they do, it's going to be because Cam Newton plays well, or because the Carolina defense creates turnovers, or because the Saints have been hit by a number of injuries on defense. It's not going to be because the odds are in their favor due to losing twice to New Orleans during the regular season.

So, the saying "It's extremely difficult to beat the same team three times in one season" is a myth, with no facts to back it up.

Don't be a mark; that's simply not true.

Historically, it is far more common for the team that went 2-0 against an opponent in the regular season, to beat them again, for a third time, in the playoffs.