Picking a Super Bowl winner is never an easy task, but this year, it’s especially difficult. When you have the NFL’s best offense facing off against the league’s best defense, it’s anyone’s guess as to who walks away with the Lombardi Trophy.
But if you’re making any bets today, the Prediction Machine offers up some sound advice. Built by Paul Bessire, a Bracketology professor at the University of Cincinnati, the website uses a logical, data-driven method to pick winners.
The machine, which crunches available data and uses an algorithm to simulate the game 50,000 times before it’s actually played in real life, seems to be at least a little bit legitimate. It is 8-1-1 against the spread for this season’s playoffs and undefeated in the NFL’s conference championships for the past four years.
Seahawks fans will like what the Prediction Machine thinks about today’s big game. Not only does it have Seattle beating the spread 60 percent of the time — Denver is favored by 2.5 points — but the software projects Seattle winning 54.8 percent of the time with an average score of 23.8 to 21.5.
Bessire offers this detailed analysis of the game, and notes that it “may be the best matchup of NFL teams in the Super Bowl in the league’s history.” However, despite the fact that it is an extremely even contest on paper, he does give the nod to Seattle.
“While their journeys may sound similar and the matchup looks like a classic, there is one major difference between these two teams that ultimately leads us to our prediction (both straight-up and against-the-spread) — the Seattle Seahawks are, simply, the more complete football team,” Bessire wrote.
While the computer leans toward the 12th Man, it looks like the nation’s top NFL gurus think otherwise: About 55 percent of the leading 93 experts in the U.S. foresee a Denver win. But, important to note that the three experts with the best overall prediction record for this season — including Bessire and his Prediction Machine — all picked the Seahawks.
Personally, I’m calling a 31-30 victory for Seattle. My colleague John Cook thinks it’ll be a bit lower-scoring, but agrees that the Hawks will still come away ahead with a 20-17 win. Meanwhile, Todd Bishop predicts a 45-21 Seahawks blowout.
Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments below. And of course, Go Hawks.