After the Wild Card matchups, there are now just eight teams left standing in the NFL, and the New England Patriots are the heavy favorite to lift the Lombardi Trophy, according to the latest model by Nate Silver.
Using a rating system that accounts for margin of victory, home-field advantage, strength of schedule, and prior performance, and then simulating the playoffs thousands of times, Silver determined the probability each team has of winning the Super Bowl.
The Patriots were the eventual Super Bowl champions in 35% of the simulations, winning the AFC championship more than half of the time (57%). The Dallas Cowboys’ chances fell from 14% to 12% now that they have to face the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round. However, the Cowboys have a slightly better chance than the Atlanta Falcons to win the NFC (32% to 31%). The gap between the Patriots and the NFC teams is largely due to the Patriots having what is considered an easier path to actually reaching the Super Bowl, including the Houston Texans in the next round.
- Cork Gaines/Business Insider