Roger Staubach

MIAMI—Jones Lang LaSalle and its Americas executive chairman Roger Staubach are once again making a bold prognostication for the Super Bowl, picking the Denver Broncos to outshine the Seattle Seahawks in New York this Sunday evening.

While the talking heads and Vegas odds makers look to point differentials, quarterback ratings and other on-the-field stats, Staubach and the JLL team are once again sticking with what they know best—commercial real estate—to make their pick.  

According to the firm’s analysis of the last 13 season finale games, teams based in cities with the higher office vacancy rate (i.e. more space available for lease) have won the Lombardi Trophy 62% of the time, including last February when Baltimore (15.5% vacancy) edged San Francisco (11.8% vacancy).

According to the latest JLL Research, the overall vacancy rate in the Mile High city currently stands at 13.9% compared with 12.5% in the Emerald City. That, JLL predicts, makes the Broncos its favorite to win the crown.

Staubach, who was MVP of the 1972 game, says his pick also takes into account Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, whose play has been on the upswing all season, much like the LoDo micro-market in Downtown Denver, where the vacancy rate closed 2013 at 8% and more than 550,000 square feet of new buildings are currently under construction and one 110,000-square-foot building recently delivered.

“Peyton Manning is one of the greatest NFL quarterbacks of all time,” says Staubach. “I believe in our JLL formula, but more importantly, I also believe in Peyton and I know he’s going to get the job done for the Broncos and the great people of Denver on Sunday night.”

At the same time, Staubach also had high praise for the Seahawks’ defense, which has held its opponents to an average of just 11.6 points per game over their last five contests. As he sees it, the defense is almost as hot as Seattle’s South Lake Union submarket, with vacancy rate of just 4%, or how the regional office market performed in 2013 yielding the fourth highest rate of net absorption across the country.

“I love Seattle’s ‘D,’ I love [quarterback] Russell Wilson and I love ‘The 12th Man,’” Staubach says. “But this is Denver’s year.”