The New England Patriots will head into the season as the favorites on the odds to win Super Bowl LI at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com, but one sports prediction site instead has the Seattle Seahawks set as the most likely Super Bowl champions for next February.
At PredictionMachine.com, the Seahawks won the Super Bowl in 11.7 percent of the simulations — run 50,000 times — while Tom Brady and Co. were crowned champs just 6 percent of the time.
The Seahawks went 10-6 last season, finishing three games behind the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC West. Seattle then slipped past the Minnesota Vikings 10-9 in their Wild Card Weekend matchup before falling 31-24 to the Carolina Panthers.
The Seahawks also lost Super Bowl XLIX to the Patriots but won their only league title in franchise history with a 43-8 thumping of the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVII three seasons ago.
The Steelers also won their Wild Card Weekend matchup last season, topping the Cincinnati Bengals 18-16, but later lost 23-16 against the eventual-champion Broncos.
Pittsburgh has faced Seattle in the league title game before, with the Steelers topping the Seahawks 21-10 in Super Bowl XL.
Pittsburgh is projected to win Super Bowl LI 7.3 percent of the time and the AFC title 14.8 percent of the time overall at PredictionMachine.com, with the Patriots just behind the Steelers by winning the AFC championship in 14.3 percent of the simulations. New England failed to win the conference title last season, losing 20-18 on the road against Peyton Manning and the Broncos.
New England lost out on home-field advantage in last year’s AFC Championship Game on a tiebreaker with the Broncos, as both teams finished the regular season at 12-4. For the Patriots to grab the best record in the AFC this season, they’ll have to weather the first four games of the campaign with Brady sidelined due to his Deflategate suspension.
The Patriots are the +600 favorites on the odds to win Super Bowl LI at the sportsbooks, followed by the Green Bay Packers at +850. The Seahawks are third on the list at +1100.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images