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## Can Wolfram Alpha Tell Which Team Will Win the Super Bowl?126

Nerval's Lobster writes "Which football team will win the Super Bowl this weekend? That's a multi-million-dollar question, given the amount of cash people will bet on either the Seattle Seahawks or the Denver Broncos to win. Fortunately, Wolfram Alpha (the self-billed "computational knowledge engine") can analyze the historical statistics for both teams and throw out some potentially useful numbers. Developed by Stephen Wolfram and based his Wolfram Research's Mathematica analytical platform, Wolfram Alpha is an altogether different search engine from Bing or Google, which generally return pages of blue hyperlinks in response to queries. Instead of multiple results leading to still other Webpages, Wolfram Alpha usually returns set of definitive, numerical answers. (A lengthy rundown of the engine's capabilities is found on its 'About' page.) So how does Wolfram's engine, which features sophisticated algorithms chewing through trillions of pieces of data, break down the potentials for Sunday's game? Out of the 38 times the two teams have met on the field, the Broncos have triumphed 25 times (versus 12 wins for the Seahawks), scoring 98 total touchdowns to the Seahawks' 84. It's definitely advantage Broncos, in that sense. But the teams' percentages are fairly close with regard to total yardage, penalties, penalty yards, and other metrics, although the Seahawks have managed to nab more interceptions (47, versus the Broncos' 37). But while Wolfram Alpha can crunch all the historical data it wants, and that data can suggest one team will likely triumph over another, there's always the likelihood that something random—a freak injury, or a tweak to the player lineup—can change the course of the game in ways that nobody can anticipate. Also, given how player and coaching rosters vary from year to year, the teams taking the field can change radically between meetings." EA has correctly predicted eight of the last ten Super Bowl winners using the latest Madden game.
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## Can Wolfram Alpha Tell Which Team Will Win the Super Bowl?

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• #### Well how wrong can they be? (Score:5, Insightful)

on Sunday February 02, 2014 @12:40PM (#46134417)
Try asking them that question at the start of the season and I'll be impressed if they get it right.
• #### Developed by Stephen Wolfram? (Score:5, Insightful)

by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 02, 2014 @01:27PM (#46134645)

Developed by Stephen Wolfram

Wolfram alpha wasn't developed by Stephen Wolfram any more than Windows 95 was developed by Bill Gates. They key difference is that one of them has an enormous fortune while the other one has an enormous ego.

• #### Re:Stupid. (Score:3, Insightful)

<slashdot&keirstead,org> on Sunday February 02, 2014 @02:29PM (#46134955) Homepage

Of course bookmakers make money on both sides, but they also rely on odds. HEAVILY. If the odds are not set properly they stand to lose a fortune. If all it was was a 50/50 crapshoot then odds on a sportsbook would not even exist. Get a clue.

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