NATE SILVER: New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers are the heavy favourites to go to the Super Bowl

After seven weeks of the NFL season, the New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers are the heavy favourites to represent their conferences in the Super Bowl, and only four other teams have a legit shot to win it all.

Using Nate Silver’s “2015 NFL Predictions,” a model that rates each team and then projects how the regular season and playoffs will play out, we can get a better sense of which teams are the true Super Bowl contenders.

Heading into Week 8, the Patriots are still the favourite and their chances are still growing, up from 19% three weeks ago and 24% last week, to 25% this week. The Packers are the favourite in the NFC with an 18% chance to win the Super Bowl.

Of the projections run this week by Silver’s model, 83% of the seasons ended with one of these teams winning the Super Bowl:

  1. New England Patriots, 25%
  2. Green Bay Packers, 18%
  3. Denver Broncos, 14%
  4. Cincinnati Bengals, 11%
  5. Carolina Panthers, 10%
  6. Arizona Cardinals, 5%

The Seattle Seahawks (4%) and Atlanta Falcons (3%) are the only other teams with more than a 2% chance of winning it all.

The Patriots (>99%), Bengals (98%), Broncos (98%), Packers (96%), and Panthers (95%) are all near-locks to make the playoffs.

At the other end of the spectrum, four teams are already nearly eliminated from playoff contention. The Detroit Lions (1%), Cleveland Browns (1%), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2%), and Chicago Bears (4%) all have less than a 5% chance to make the playoffs.

Here are the eight teams with the best chance to win each division:

  • AFC East — New England Patriots, 93% chance to win their division
  • AFC North — Cincinnati Bengals, 86%
  • AFC South — Indianapolis Colts, 59%
  • AFC West — Denver Broncos, 95%
  • NFC East — New York Giants, 40%
  • NFC North — Green Bay Packers, 88%
  • NFC South — Carolina Panthers, 66%
  • NFC West — Arizona Cardinals, 50%

You can see the full projections at FiveThirtyEight.

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