Despite starting the season with just three wins in their first six games, the Seattle Seahawks rebounded 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 Seahawks were the eventual Super Bowl champions in 35% of the simulations, winning the NFC championship in 59%. The New England Patriots are the favourites in the AFC, reaching the Super Bowl in 45% of the simulations and are given a 22% chance to win it all.
Here are the chances to win the Super Bowl for all the six NFC teams with chances to win their conference in parentheses:
- Seattle Seahawks, 35% (59%)
- Green Bay Packers, 10% (21%)
- Dallas Cowboys, 5% (10%)
- Arizona Cardinals, 2% (4%)
- Carolina Panthers, 1% (3%)
- Detroit Lions, 1% (2%)
Here are the chances to win the Super Bowl for all the six AFC teams with chances to win their conference in parentheses:
- New England Patriots, 22% (45%)
- Denver Broncos, 14% (30%)
- Pittsburgh Steelers, 4% (10%)
- Indianapolis Colts, 2% (6%)
- Cincinnati Bengals, 2% (5%)
- Baltimore Ravens, 2% (4%)
It is not surprising that the four teams with byes in the first round have the best chances to win the Super Bowl as they have one fewer opportunities to slip up along the way.
The Dallas Cowboys are the only Wild Card team that is give what we would consider a realistic shot (>5%) at winning the Super Bowl.
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