Prediction: The Patriots will Deflate The Seahawks’ Hopes this Super Bowl

Is it possible to predict which football team will win the Super Bowl based on social data?

Super Bowl fever is catching and the buzz across social media is increasing. Can all of this social data actually predict which team will come out on top at the Super Bowl?  To find out, Networked Insights screened football conversation across social media to find more than 25,000 people a day in the last week talking about their opinion of who will win the Super Bowl.

A high volume of chatter about the big game is to be expected – so with linguistic technology in place to understand sentence structure and normalizing for the size of each team’s fan base for an even playing field, we’re able to predict which team will win.

By a consistent but close margin consumer social data indicates the New England Patriots will win the Super Bowl.

Opinions about who will win the Super Bowl

SB Prediction_Final

Here’s the play-by-play: 

The Seahawks broke out in front early in the week with a substantial consumer base mentioning and re-tweeting posts about Seattle to win the Super Bowl. They earned sports columnist Skip Bayless’ tweet and a non-committal prediction – which was re-tweeted 118 times.

Skip Bayless
Rick Trosset

But as the week progressed, consumers began to back the Patriots, sharing tweets such as Madden’s predictions that the Patriots will win the big game. Tweets from NFL on CBS and Boston sports blog “Masshole” about the Patriots winning the Super Bowl took the lead as re-tweets across Twitter.

NFL on CBSMadden

We’ve tested our approach to predicting the winner: Networked Insights has been tracking all the playoff games and used the same approach to predict the winner of each of the playoff game with 70 percent accuracy. This is slightly better than the point spread. So it is with confidence that, as of today, we can predict the Patriots as the winners.

Except… for the fact that consumers aren’t actually playing IN the Super Bowl. So, the final outcome of which team wins and loses will have to play out on the field.

Where consumers do have social skin in the game is brand advertising. Tomorrow, we’re predicting the winners and losers in the brand game, including a summary of ad performance by brands who leaked their commercials in advance of the game.  And it’s NOT a simple sentiment analysis or count of mentions.

Tune in for the second half tomorrow – and come back again during the game when we’ll be posting the results and testing our predictions.