Rick Zamperin: Will Madden get Super Bowl 54 simulation right?

The Vince Lombardi trophy on display with the NFC Champions San Francisco 49ers helmet and the AFC Champions Kansas City helmet in Miami, Florida, on Jan. 29, 2020. EPA/JOHN G. MABANGLO

If you’re struggling to choose whether the San Francisco 49ers or Kansas City Chiefs will win Super Bowl LIV on Sunday, don’t fret, a little help is on the way.

My Super Bowl prediction will be revealed on Friday, but the people behind the Madden video game franchise are getting ready to unveil their simulation of the big game in Miami.

EA Sports, the makers of the popular game, has launched a comical video featuring former NFL star quarterbacks Peyton and Eli Manning that teases the Madden Super Bowl simulation coming on Thursday.

Peyton encourages Madden players to grab their controllers and play Super Bowl 54 between the Chiefs and 49ers and “feed the machine,” because user data will be taken into account when the official simulation is released by the EA Sports Prediction Lab.

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Now, this may all be a gimmick to get more people to play or buy the video game, but if they do incorporate the user data, it would make this year’s simulation the most accurate one to date.

At least, that’s what EA Sports should be hoping for, because its recent run of predicting the actual winner has been rather spotty of late.

The Madden video game predictions started in 2004, and over those 16 years the simulation correctly predicted the winning team 10 times — a 62.5-per cent success rate — and it had a perfect pick in 2015 when the New England Patriots beat the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 in Super Bowl 49.

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But after correctly picking the winner in six of its first seven Super Bowl simulations, the prediction lab has only gotten two of the last six NFL finals right.

With Vegas oddsmakers making Kansas City a one-point favourite over San Francisco in a game that features exciting players such as Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes and Niners rookie defensive end Nick Bosa, it will be interesting to see what the Madden 20 Super Bowl simulation comes up with.


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