Betting markets agree with EA’s prediction about the upcoming game. According to SportsLine the Patriots are three-point favorites to win, with an over/under of 58.5, the largest of any Super Bowl to date.
EA has run a simulation game prior to the Super Bowl every year since 2004, using the latest iteration of the long-running Madden NFL series. While it failed to predict the Denver Broncos defeating the Carolina Panthers in 2016, it has correctly called nine out of the thirteen games so far. Notably, the last time the Patriots played in 2015 was Madden’s most accurate simulation ever, correctly predicting the Patriots’ victory over the Seattle Seahawks down to the score — 28-24.
Predicting Super Bowls isn’t the only augury application of the Madden NFL football video game franchise. Fans have also long noted the so-called “Madden Curse,” where athletes featured on the game’s cover are plagued by coincidental injuries. While Odell Beckham Jr. dodged the supposed curse after appearing on the cover of Madden NFL 16, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, the cover athlete for 17, will be missing the upcoming Super Bowl due to recent back surgery.
Fans will have to wait until Super Bowl LI on Sunday to find out whether EA’s simulation was correct. In the meantime, if they want to run their own tests, Madden NFL 17 is available for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.