Super Bowl XLVII: landslide victory, or historic upset?

Are you one of the millions of football fans who will be tuning in to Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday? If so, you may want to check out the Super Bowl Prediction System of sports statistician John Dewan.

Regular readers may remember that the system has made incorrect predictions the last two years, but Dewan is hopeful that this year the model will “get back to its winning ways.”

Consider this, the system continues to have a positive overall record of 28-14 (with four non-selections) and is 16 of the last 22, which is 73 percent.

That said, it appears the prediction system’s indicators show the 49ers to be overwhelming favorites to win this year’s Super Bowl.

The system uses 12 indicators to predict the winner. Each one of these indicators predicts the winner more than half the time. But taken together, the system is even more successful.

Dewan notes that the 49ers have the edge in all but two of the indicators. The lone Ravens advantage is in points scored during the regular season, and they only beat the 49ers by a single point, 398-397. The 10 categories the 49ers won were mostly convincing victories, including a 350.9 to 294.4 edge in opponent total yards per game and 2,491 to 1,901 edge in rushing yards for the season.

The Ravens did throw for more passing yards for the season with 3,739 to 3,298, but teams with more passing yards lose the Super Bowl more often than they win it, Dewan adds.

The most significant aspect of this year’s prediction?

Prior to this matchup, 10 Super Bowl teams had 10 or more of the 12 indicators in their favor. Nine of those 10 teams went on the win the game, most recently in the 2008-2009 season when the Steelers beat the Cardinals. Interestingly, the one team that failed to win a game with a 10-category advantage was the first team with that advantage, the Vikings in the 1969-1970 season’s Super Bowl. The Ravens will attempt to be the first team to beat those odds in 43 years.†

May the best team win.

And please heed advice from the I.I.I. to be a responsible host if you’re throwing a Super Bowl party this year.

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