Prediction Machine simulation has Packers over Colts in Super Bowl 50

Skynet might not be offering NFL predictions this year, but that doesn't mean machines have given up on making them.

For proof, we give you the Prediction Machine

The machine, designed by statistician and veteran sportswriter Paul Bessire, spat out its 2015 NFL predictions this week and if the machine's right, there could be a lot of happy cheeseheads in California come February. 

The machine predicts that Aaron Rodgers and Andrew Luck will meet in Super Bowl 50, which I'm sure we here at CBS would love since we'll be televising the game on Feb. 7 from Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.  

The machine came up with its results by simulating the 2015 NFL season 50,000 times. In those simulations, the Packers came away with the Lombardi Trophy 17.1 percent of the time. 

Oddly enough, the Prediction Machine doesn't actually think the Colts are the best team in the AFC; that honor belongs to the Broncos.

The Colts are the Super Bowl pick though because the machine envisions them earning the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC. The Colts are projected to win the Super Bowl 13.2 percent of the time, while the Broncos are only projected to win it 11 percent of the time. 

Besides the Colts, Broncos and Packers, the only other NFL team projected to win the Super Bowl more than five percent of the time is Seattle. Under the Prediction Machine's simulation, the Seahawks are projected to win the Super Bowl 14.8 percent of the time. 

Here's a look at the Prediction Machine's projection for the 2015 playoffs. 

NFC

Wild-card round
No. 3 Panthers 26-23 over No. 6 Cowboys
No. 4 Eagles 27-24 over No. 5 Vikings

Divisional round
No. 1 Packers 33-26 over No. 4 Eagles
No. 2 Seahawks 23-17 over No. 3 Panthers

NFC Championship Game 
No. 1 Packers 26-23 over No. 2 Seahawks

AFC

Wild-card round
No. 3 Broncos 30-23 over No. 6 Steelers
No. 4 Ravens 24-23 over No. 5 Dolphins

Divisional round
No. 2 Patriots 26-25 over No. 3 Broncos 
No. 1 Colts 28-23 over No. 4 Ravens

AFC Championship Game 
No. 1 Colts 31-28 over No. 2 Patriots

Super Bowl 50: Packers 31-28 over Colts

SB50 NOTE: Although the original simulations were done with Jordy Nelson in the lineup, the Prediction Machine did run simulations after Nelson got hurt and the Packers are still the favorite to win Super Bowl 50. 

So how accurate is the Prediction Machine? You can see the results from the past four years below. 

Past predictions

Super Bowl XLIV: Broncos over Seahawks (Actual result: Patriots over Seahawks)

Super Bowl XLVIII: 49ers over Broncos (Actual result: Seahawks over Broncos)

SB XLVIII Note: The Seahawks were projected to make the divisional round of the playoffs.

Super Bowl XLVII: Eagles over Patriots (Actual result: Ravens over 49ers)

SB XLVII Note: The Ravens were projected to be the No. 5 seed in the AFC. The 49ers were projected to win the NFC West, but not do much else. 

Super Bowl XLVI: Packers over Chargers (Actual result: Giants over Patriots)

SB XLVI Note: The Patriots were projected to be the No. 3 seed in the playoffs, while the Giants were projected to just miss the postseason at No. 7 in the NFC. In reality, the Giants finished with the sixth-best record, but got the No. 4 seed for winning the NFC East.  

The Prediction Machine has correctly predicted at least one Super Bowl participant for the past two seasons, so that seems to be good news for either Colts fans or Packers fans.

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CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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