ESPN believe New Orleans Saints will win Super Bowl after predicting entire 2019 NFL season

Super Bowl LIII - New England Patriots v Los Angeles Rams

Predicting the winner of the Super Bowl at the start of each season is always difficult, but this year is especially so.

Close to a dozen teams will be eyeing glory, including the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs.

But if you fancy a flutter this season, ESPN have some advice.

ESPN have used their Football Power Index (FPI) to predict all 267 games, including regular season and postseason matches.

And the winners? Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints.

The Saints are among the favourites to lift the Vince Lombardi Trophy and they will be fuelled by the controversial no-call in last season’s NFC Championship Game against the Los Angeles Rams.

According to ESPN, Sean Payton’s team will get redemption and win their second Super Bowl in franchise history.

Divisional Round - Philadelphia Eagles v New Orleans Saints

They simulated the entire NFL slate 20,000 times, using their FPI to predict the likelihood of one team beating another.

“In the preseason, it is based on a few factors, including each team's preseason win total matched with its schedule, past performance in all three phases of the game, returning starters and who the starting and backup quarterbacks are expected to be,” ESPN write.

“Altogether that gets us a strength rating for every team, which we in turn use to determine game predictions and the likelihood of one team beating another.”

ESPN then took just one of those 20,000 simulations - No. 1,721 - and planned out the entire season with final scores for every game.

Playoffs

NFC playoff seeds: 1. Green Bay Packers, 2. New Orleans Saints, 3. San Francisco 49ers, 4. Philadelphia Eagles, 5. Los Angeles Rams, 6. Atlanta Falcons

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Image credit: ESPN

AFC playoff seeds: 1. Los Angeles Chargers, 2. New England Patriots, 3. Cleveland Browns, 4. Houston Texans, 5. Pittsburgh Steelers, 6. Tennessee Titans

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Image credit: ESPN

Wild-card weekend:

(3) 49ers 37 (6) Falcons 0

(5) Rams 30, (4) Eagles 26

(6) Titans 10, (3) Browns 9

(4) Texans 27, (5) Steelers 17

Divisional weekend:

(5) Rams 30, (1) Packers 17

(2) Saints 27, (3) 49ers 17

(1) Chargers 39, (6) Titans 30

(4) Texans 38, (2) Patriots 26

Conference championships:

Saints 17, Rams 10

Chargers 34, Texans 26

Super Bowl LIV:

Saints 40, Chargers 33

So the Saints do it, outscoring Philip Rivers’ Chargers in a high-scoring encounter.

Finally, justice.

Super Bowl XLIV

Some things to note from ESPN’s test is the Chiefs failing to make the playoffs and a week 17 showdown between the Patriots and Dolphins deciding the AFC East title.

The 49ers stun the league by winning the NFC West with a record of 11-5.

Meanwhile, the Cincinnati Bengals have the No.1 pick in the 2020 draft after going 3-13.

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