And by real experts, I am referring to the Madden NFL 13 football video game, and Nate Silver from The New York Times FiveThirtyEight blog.
Most everyone has heard of the EA Sports Madden franchise of football video game simulations. What many might no be as familiar with, however, is the remarkable accuracy with which the game has predicted Superbowl winners since 2003. When the folks over at EA Sports simulate the big game using the most updated rosters and full 15 minute quarters, the simulation has predicted the correct winner in 7 of 9 Superbowls. And of the two wrong outcomes, one included the heavily favored 2008 New England Patriots, so… Here’s Madden’s full record:
[UPDATE:] Madden does it again. It is only a matter of time before the game becomes self-aware and destroys the Vegas sportsbooks.
– Super Bowl XLVII
Madden: Ravens 27, 49ers 24
Actual score: Ravens 34, 49ers 31
– Super Bowl XLVI
Madden: Giants, 27, Patriots, 24
Actual score: Giants, 21, Patriots, 17
– Super Bowl XLV
Madden: Steelers, 24, Packers, 20
Actual score: Packer, 31, Steelers, 25
– Super Bowl XLIV
Madden: Saints 35, Colts 31
Actual score: Saints 31, Colts 17
– Super Bowl XLIII
Madden: Steelers 28, Cardinals 24
Actual score: Steelers 27, Cardinals 23
– Super Bowl XLII
Madden: Patriots 38, Giants 30
Actual score: Giants 17, Patriots 14
– Super Bowl XLI
Madden: Colts 38, Bears 27
Actual score: Colts 29, Bears 17
– Super Bowl XL
Madden: Steelers 24, Seahawks 19
Actual score: Steelers 21, Seahawks 10
– Super Bowl XXXIX
Madden: Patriots 47, Eagles 31
Actual score: Patriots 24, Eagles 21
– Super Bowl XXXVIII
Madden: Patriots 23, Panthers 20
Actual Score: Patriots 32, Panthers 29
So who does Madden crown this year? The Ravens. Madden says Baltimore will win the game on a last second Field Goal, 27-24. I’ve been playing Madden since before the Internet (and I will probably kick your ass at it – xbox tag: johnnyCul), so I can attest to how detailed and accurate the ratings and simulation results are. I’m not saying the method is fool-proof, and I’m not saying I’m necessarily taking the Ravens, but the results speak for themselves and have definitely earned some consideration.
The other expert I would like to site is the Wizard of Polls, Nate Silver, the man who accurately predicted the results of 50 out of 50 states in the 2012 Presidential election, and 49 of 50 in 2008. Before creating his FiveThirtyEight blog which focused on aggregating all the various political polls using the sabermetric method of statistical analysis, he used that same method to analyze baseball statistics. According to Silver, and the history of the better defense winning most Superbowls, he likes the 49ers.
I’m going with San Francisco as well, and for basically the same reason. With the way Kaepernick has been playing QB, I have no doubt that the 49ers can move the ball on the Ravens. And I think San Francisco has a much better defense. It still looks to be a close, hard fought contest, with two outstanding offensive lines, and two phenomenal coaching staffs. I say 49ers 28, Ravens 24.
On a side note: my brother Chris is a huge 49ers fan, and a Superbowl win would cap off a magical season for him, as he also won our fantasy football league championship. Good luck to Brother Chris and his San Francisco 49ers!