Nate Silver is well-known for his political predictions but the super statistician also occasionally ventures into the world of sports. In a recent column for New York Times Magazine, Silver made his Super Bowl prediction.
Silver broke down the game with something called the Defense-adjusted Value Over Average and found that the 49ers would come out on top. Basically, Silver believes that defense wins championships.
The statistician looked back at Super Bowl history and found that the 20 best defensive teams won 17 of their Super Bowl games. The 20 best offensive teams only won 10 of their games.
Silver says that based on the S.R.S. rankings the 49ers fit into the mold of an elite defensive team. And that, according to Silver, will lead them to victory.
“Those rankings find that while the 49ers had the better offense and defense, the Ravens had the best special teams in the league this year. If they do pull off the upset, on the heels of Steve Weatherford’s game-changing performance for the Giants in last year’s Super Bowl, perhaps it will be time for a new cliché: punters win championships. But don’t count on that.”
But the Atlantic notes that you shouldn’t bet blindly on Nate Silver. He did, after all, predict a Seahawks-Patriots Super Bowl.