No matter what you say or what you think, this year's Super Bowl is basically an even match-up. The New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks were each the best team in their conference this season, and —"Deflategate" accusationsnotwithstanding—either team could easily take home the Lombardi Trophy.
With two strong teams, there isn't a clear favorite or underdog, and there won't be an "upset" regardless of who wins. That makes predicting the winner a harder task than usual. That, of course, hasn't stopped professional sports data sites from offering their analyses and forecasts handicapping the outcome.
Ed Feng, who runs The Power Rank, is one of those sports number crunchers. He believes the Seahawks should be favored by 1.3 points, which is barely any spread at all. Feng's methodology is figured by calculating a number of different rankings using margin of victory in past games, yards per play and other statistics.
These rankings combine to give a team a final overall ranking, which leads to a rating number and how many points by which it would beat the average team. Comparing rating numbers between two teams translates to a predicted margin of victory, which is how Feng calculates Seattle to be a favorite by a razor-thin margin.
But Feng is an enlightened sports prognosticator, aware that an aggregation of predictions will be better than any one person's forecast. There are even scientific papers and books written about this topic. So for an even better set of betting predictions, Feng put himself up against eight of his colleagues and competitors in the sports data industry.