Originally written on This Given Sunday  |  Last updated 1/11/13
For years, stats geeks and old-schoolers have been fighting over the importance numbers and trends possess when it comes to predicting future outcomes. The champion of the stats side of that argument is Nate Silver, who comes from the world of sabermetrics and who also happened to use his advanced system to predict the winner of all 50 states and all but one Senate race in November's election. Silver has returned to the sports world early in 2013 in order to predict who will appear in this year's Super Bowl. And with a one-in-four shot on either side, he's going with two teams that aren't currently the Vegas favorites to come out of their respective conferences.  Silver thinks the New England Patriots will beat the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl. In an appearance on ESPN Thursday, he called a likely New England-Denver AFC championship game the "de facto Super Bowl," stating the obvious in adding that "the stronger teams are weighted toward the AFC this year." He's going with Seattle over the 49ers, Falcons or Packers in the NFC because he feels good about the balance the Seahawks have, as well as how hot they became hot late. However, he still has his reservations regarding Pete Carroll's team. "I think with Seattle, a team that did come on so strongly in the second half, you worry -- can coaches readjust to them, potentially? Talent-wise, I'm not sure it's a team that has as much pure talent as certainly a New England or a Denver might, and that's why the coaching could catch up to them potentially in the postseason."
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