Led by quarterback and three-time Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady, the New England Patriots are heavily favored to win Super Bowl LI, according to Nate Silver's latest model.
Wednesday updates to FiveThirtyEight's NFL team-by-team forecast list the Patriots with a 55 percent chance of winning the AFC East Championship, and a 35 percent chance of winning the Super Bowl on February 5. The Dallas Cowboys have the second-highest forecasted chances of winning their division, with a 35 percent chance of taking the NFC East. According to FiveThirtyEight, both the Dallas Cowboys and Atlanta Falcons have a 16 percent chance of winning the Super Bowl.
Silver's prediction forecast model uses Elo ratings, which accounts for a team's wins and losses, margin of victory, strength of schedule and game history in past seasons.
Click to see the full list of Nate Silver's Super Bowl LI favorites:
After a U.S. court of appeals reinstated the NFL's four-game suspension on Brady for his connection to Deflategate, the Patriots were left to start back-up quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett. Even with the star signal caller out for the first four games, the Patriots managed a 14-2 record.
If the statistician's NFL playoffs forecast is correct, the New England Patriots franchise could be on its way to a ninth Super Bowl appearance and fifth lift of the Vince Lombardi trophy.
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BY: CHRISTINA GREGG