Game Over: Nate Silver came out with his Super Bowl prediction today. In light of the Super Quant's eerily accurate predictions in the last two presidential elections, the 49ers and Ravens have agreed to ditch playing the game and let Silver's prognostication determine the winner.
Silver says: all things considered, it's a 49ers' world right now.
Of the 92 teams to have played in the Super Bowl before this year, I identified those with the 20 best defensive and offensive ratings, according to [a statistic called the Simple Rating System, which evaluates each team’s offense and defense]. The defensive list contains teams that you would expect, like the 1985 Bears. These teams have compiled a 14-6 record (.700) in the Super Bowl. Their winning percentage is actually nearly 80 percent when you ignore the three cases, Super Bowls IV, VIII and XLV, when two of the all-time great defensive teams faced each other.
The 20 best offensive teams, however, are just 10-10 in the Super Bowl. There have been successes in this group, like the Saints under Drew Brees, but there have been just as many failures, including two of Brady’s Patriots teams...
The reasons that exceptional defenses fare so much better in the Super Bowl are still somewhat murky, but this factor bodes well for this year’s 49ers, whose defense belongs in the elite group, according to S.R.S. (it ranks 17th among Super Bowl teams). The Ravens, despite all the hype surrounding Ray Lewis, allowed a rather pedestrian 21.5 points per game this year. Full article
And the Niners also have the better offense, to boot.
Actually, Silver's prediction is in line with the people who make money analyzing such things. Most sports lines list the 49ers as a 3.5 point favorite. And no, Silver didn't say whether he thought they'd beat the spread.
Update: This just in: The puppies are also leaning 49ers, and it looks like it's going to be a shutout...