Super Bowl

Market does best when this team wins Super Bowl

How the Super Bowl could signal a bear market: Pro
How the Super Bowl could signal a bear market: Pro

Peyton Manning closing out his career with a Super Bowl win might make a nice story line, but investors could be forgiven if they wind up rooting for Carolina.

That's because the stock market is a clear winner when the NFC prevails in football's big game, with a much higher historical return than when the AFC champion wins.

And we all know what that means.

Right. Not a whole lot.

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But it's still interesting to note that one conference does have the noticeable edge. When the winner comes from the NFC, which quarterback Cam Newton's Carolina Panthers represent in Super Bowl 50, the Dow averages a gain of 11.4 percent. for the year. When the winner comes from the AFC, represented this year by Manning's Denver Broncos, the average rise is just 3.6 percent for the year, according to calculations by John Canally, chief economist strategist at LPL Financial.

Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos waves as he walks off the field following the AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 24, 2016 in Denver, Colorado.
Getty Images

Scoff if you must, but the historical consistency is uncanny. The accuracy improves when using teams that came from the original American Football League or National Football League, correctly predicting whether the Dow generally would rise or fall for the year 82 percent of the time. (Remember that several original NFL teams, such as the Pittsburgh Steelers, have migrated to the AFC.)

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An NFC winner leads to a positive return 85 percent of the time, while an AFC victory has seen an up market only 57 percent of the time.

There is one bright spot to a Broncos win: The franchise won two Super Bowls in its history, and the Dow averaged a 20.7 percent gain in those years, rising 16.1 percent in 1998 and 25.2 percent in 1999.