With the Super Bowl LI matchup set, the next logical question is, of course, who has the upper hand?
The New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons both punched their tickets to Houston on Sunday after throttling their opponents.
The Falcons, led by quarterback Matt Ryan, shredded the red-hot Green Bay Packers 44-21 in the NFC Championship Game.
The AFC title game had a similar feel, as Patriots quarterback Tom Brady dissected the Pittsburgh Steelers, tossing 384 yards and three scores in a 36-17 victory.
With both teams posting dominant performances throughout the playoffs, some might believe that the Feb. 5 tilt in Houston could be about as even as it gets.
ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight, a website that uses analytics and simulations to predict outcomes, feels a little bit differently, though.
The site has tabbed the Patriots as 61 percent favorites to capture the ultimate prize. During the NFL playoffs, FiveThirtyEight has correctly predicted all but two of the games, missing on the Packers’ upset of the Dallas Cowboys and the Steelers’ victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.
While the formula isn’t perfect, it has been fairly accurate. For example, during last season’sÂ NFL playoffs, the formula correctly predicted all but three of the postseason matchups, although it did miss on the Super Bowl, favoring the Carolina Panthers by 59 percent over the eventual champion Denver Broncos.
Still, it’s got to be a good sign that the Pats have FiveThiryEight on their side.
Thumbnail photo viaÂ Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports Images