Madden NFL 12 (EA Sports)Next time you're about to bet on a football game, run a simulation on the latest version of EA's Madden franchise first. You might make a bundle.
The reigning football video game champ accurately called the winner of Super Bowl XLVI two days before the game -- and was pretty close on the point spread, to boot.
Madden had predicted the Giants would edge the Patriots, 27-24. In reality, the Giants won by a score of 21-17.
The prognostication boosts the Madden franchise's accuracy rate to a solid 78 percent, as it's accurately predicted the outcome of seven of the last nine games.
What makes this year's even more impressive, though, was how well it fared with the details. Not only did Madden 12 correctly predict that it would all come down to a final scoring drive, but it called out Eli Manning as the game's MVP.
It was a statistical whiz, too, coming eerily close in predicting performances by Tom Brady (Madden: 28/42 for 327 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT; Real World: 27/41 for 276 yards, 2 TDS, 1 INT), Patriots running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis (Madden: 13 carries for 41 yards; Real World: 10 carries for 44 yards), and Giant back Ahmad Bradshaw
(Madden: 21 carries for 82 yards and 1 TD; Real World: 17 carries for 72 yards and 1 TD).
It's a redemption of sorts for the series. From 2004-2007, Madden had a perfect record. In 2005, it predicted the final score within an impressive two points.
But then came 2008 -- the year EA's game confidently told New England Patriots fans that their team would wallop the New York Giants by a score of 38-20.
It seemed a fairly safe bet. The Pats, after all, had won against the Giants in the final game of the regular season, giving them the first perfect season since the 1972 Miami Dolphins. Even bookies were favoring New England by 12 points in the championship match.
What Madden couldn't see was the Giants amazing comeback, scoring with just 35 seconds left in the game to seal their victory. It didn't make that mistake this year.
However, Madden's long view isn't quite so smart. At the beginning of the just-completed season, Madden boldly proclaimed that the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers would be duking it out once again in Super Bowl XLVI.
The Giants? Madden didn't even have them as a wildcard pick in September.