Nate Silver Predicts Patriots Vs. Seahawks Super Bowl

Nate Silver was nearly perfect with his predictions in the election season, but now the pollster is turning his attention to football.

Silver, whose blog Five Thirty Eight became the center of attention and debate during the presidential race, appeared on ESPN’s First Take to talk about his thoughts on the NFL playoffs.

Nate Silver has had quite a history in sports predictions. He developed a system for evaluating baseball players that gained popularity in an era when player evaluation increasingly turned to mathematical formulas to assess talent.

In his Super Bowl prediction, Nate Silver again turned to analytics. He used data from the prominent sports statistics site Football Outsiders to find that the AFC’s No. 2 seed New England Patriots and NFC’s No. 5 seed Seattle Seahawks could play for the championship.

Though many analysts are picking the Atlanta Falcons or San Francisco 49ers to represent the NFC, Nate Silver said he believed Seattle had an advantage.

He said:

“San Francisco… played very well for much of the year. In terms of the balance overall between offensive and defensive play, Seattle had that best balance throughout the year and… in the second half, were blowing people out by 50-to-7 scores and so forth. So, they had the best stats from the regular season.”

Nate Silver was higher on the AFC, The Huffington Post noted. He predicted that the AFC Championship game, the Denver Broncos against the Patriots, would be the de-facto Super Bowl with the winner going on to beat whichever team represented the NFC.