Madden NFL's annual simulation has correctly picked the Super Bowl winner in 8 of 11 tries, but it missed horribly last year. EA Sports looks to rebound with its prediction of a comeback victory for the New England Patriots over the Seahawks in Super Bowl 49.
The final score will be 28-24, says Madden NFL 15, which predicts a Seahawk lead of 24-14 before quarterback Tom Brady rallies New England. The whole thing culminates in a hail-mary pass from Brady to receiver Julian Edelman as time expires.
The sim calls for Brady to throw all four touchdowns the Patriots score in a 335-yard, MVP-worthy effort. Notable plays the simulation predicts include a 58-yard interception returned for a touchdown by Seahawks safety Earl Thomas; an interception by Darrelle Revis to set up the Patriots' game-winning drive; and two touchdowns from Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch.
Madden NFL's simulation is admittedly unscientific. It's run only one time, the computer playing itself on the game's standard Pro difficulty, using the most current rosters for both teams.
That said, it's been right more than twice as often as it's been wrong. Other than the Broncos blunder last year, Madden's whiffs have been in 2008 (picking New England, where New York won in an upset that surprised everyone) and 2011 (taking Pittsburgh, a narrow favorite that lost 31-25 to Green Bay.)
Picking winners straight up is one thing; the Madden simulation also has been successful for betting purposes. Against the point spread, Madden is 7-4 lifetime. The Patriots are currently a 1-point betting favorite, with Vegas setting the over/under at 47.5 points. A bettor following Madden's predictions would have won against the over/under line the past three years.
Madden's biggest Super Bowl coups came in 2013, when it called victories for Baltimore (a 4.5 point underdog) and in 2010 when it backed New Orleans, a five-point underdog.