While the Seahawks are just starting the preseason, one hard core NFL watcher has already played the season 50,000 times -- on his computer. And he says the San Francisco 49ers are most likely to win the Super Bowl based on his "Prediction Machine."
Statistician and veteran sports journalist Paul Bessire says what he calls "The Predictalator" picked the 49ers to win the Super Bowl 20.1 percent of the time in his simulations, with the Seahawks winning the championship 7.2 percent of the time.
"The actual 2013 regular season and playoff schedules have been played 50,000 times, allowing us to compute average records and likelihoods of each team making the playoffs, winning its division and bringing home the Super Bowl trophy," Bessire says.
The Predictalator factors in player statistics, their progression over time and age, roles, health and playing time. It also uses coaching styles and even weather in its simulations.
"With an offseason that saw other 2013 favorites like New England (tight ends), Denver (offensive line) and Seattle (receivers) struggle with major health and off the field issues, the 49ers stand alone atop a depleted list of NFL contenders," Bessire writes.
According to Bessire, the simulations had the Seahawks finishing second in the NFC West and making the playoffs 66.4 percent of the time. The computer gives Seattle the number three overall power ranking in the NFL, with the offense ranked 13th and the defense 10th overall. By comparison, the Predictalator ranked the 49ers the top team in its power rankings, and ranked their offense fourth and their defense 19th.
Based on its analysis, the Predictalator has the Seahawks going into the playoffs as the number five seed in the NFC, beating Atlanta 27-26 before losing to San Francisco 28-23 in the divisional round.
The computer predicts Denver will edge New England in the AFC Championship before losing to the 49ers 31-27 in the playoffs.
Overall, Bessire says Denver, Green Bay and New England all come out ahead of the Seahawks in the rankings. But as for its rankings, Seahawks fans can take some comfort knowing the Predictalator is about 55 percent in picking all NFL games against the point spread.