If you’re the kind of degenerate who bets on professional sports using video games as a handicapping service, then take the Los Angeles Rams and the over in Super Bowl LIII, per Madden NFL 19.
When EA Sports put out the news of its 16th annual simulation of the Super Bowl, the Patriots were 2 1/2-point favorites and the over/under was 56.5. Madden NFL 19 calls for a 30-27 final, favor of the Rams, so bet accordingly.
EA Sports’ touted service is 10-5 picking winners straight up and also 10-5 against the point spread. It’s 8-7 picking the over/under. Last year, Madden NFL 18 took the New England Patriots in a 24-20 final against Philadelphia which, thankfully, is not how real life turned out. That means Madden missed straight up and on the O/U, but covered the point spread (the Pats were 5 1/2-point favorites).
As for the game itself, this time EA Sports’ video stuck to aggregate statistics instead of predicting actual plays and winning drives. The previous eight predictions had all been accompanied by videos that called for thrilling conclusions decided practically as time expired (one going to overtime).
An accompanying news release said the Patriots take a 27-23 lead in the fourth quarter on a 9-yard swing pass from Tom Brady to running back James White. But Todd Gurley scores the winning touchdown to take the Rams’ second world championship. No times, yardages, or other details were provided.
As far as individual performances, the Madden NFL 19 sim says Aaron Donald will sack Brady four times, tying L.C. Greenwood’s record set in Super Bowl X and winning the game’s MVP. (Brady was sacked only seven times in the regular season.) Brady throws for 287 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. Rams quarterback Jared Goff throws for 303 yards, two touchdowns, and a pick.
The Madden NFL simulation is a CPU-versus-CPU game, using current rosters and depth charts on All-Pro difficulty. EA Sports says it runs the game only one time. In the first seven years of the sim, Madden went 6-7 picking the winner. Since then, it’s gone 4-4, but it did predict the 2015 Super Bowl’s final score exactly, 28-24 for New England over Seattle.
Earlier this week, TecmoBowl.org’s official unofficial Tecmo Super Bowl simulation called for Los Angeles to send the Patriots to a gut-wrenching defeat on the final play. But then, that video was run in one take, start to finish, so you can see they weren’t fooling with the cameras.
Either way, the most desirable outcome has now been forecast by video gaming’s leading football franchises. So you may watch Super Bowl LIII in comfort and confidence. It’s Sunday, Feb. 3, at 6:30 p.m. EST on CBS.