Despite starting the season with Tom Brady suspended for the first four games, the New England Patriots still cruised to a 14-2 record and are now the heavy favourite to lift the Lombardi Trophy, according to the latest model by Nate Silver.
Using a rating system that accounts for margin of victory, home-field advantage, strength of schedule, and prior performance, and then simulating the playoffs thousands of times, Silver determined the probability each team has of winning the Super Bowl.
The Patriots were the eventual Super Bowl champions in 35% of the simulations, winning the AFC championship more than half of the time (55%). The Dallas Cowboys and Atlanta Falcons both have a 14% chance to win the Super Bowl. However, the Cowboys have a slightly better chance to win the NFC (35% to 32%). The gap between the Patriots and the NFC teams is largely due to the Patriots having what is considered an easier path to actually reaching the Super Bowl.
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