I am not going to lie to you. I am a little distracted this week. You would be too if your favorite NFL team were in the Super Bowl. I am spending an inordinate amount of time reading about the Patriots and the Giants when I should, you know, be bringing you the top notch technology news and analysis that you have come to except from ReadWriteWeb.
Well, here is a story that satiates both needs. Mobile browser Opera Mini is predicting the winner of Super Bowl XLVI. By crunching aggregated anonymous traffic data, Opera Mini has correctly predicted the winners of five of the last six NFL playoff games. That is a lot better than the so-called sports experts. If you are betting on the game, maybe Opera is your new go-to source for inside info. What team does Opera have winning the big game?
Patriots' star tight end Rob Gronkowski has a high ankle sprain that will limit him come the Super Bowl on Sunday. The Giants have a great set of defensive linemen that can make life hell for New England quarterback Tom Brady. Tom Coughlin is trying to upset the Patriots in the Super Bowl yet again, after beating the then-undefeated Patriots in the title game in 2008. Brady can become the quarterback with the most playoff victories ever if he wins the game, beating out the legend that is Joe Montana. The storylines go on and on...
None of that matters to Opera Mini. This is pure data analysis to make any geek's heart go pitter-patter. What Opera Mini does is look at traffic going through its mobile browser to each team's official website. In the division round, Opera Mini predicted that the Patriots would beat Tim Tebow and the Broncos, the Ravens would beat the Texans, the high-flying Packers would beat the New York Giants and the 49ers would put down the New Orleans Saints.
Opera did pretty well. The Giants upset the Packers. We will give Opera a pass on that prediction because, really, no one actually expected New York to beat Green Bay. My family was not terribly pleased with that outcome, by the way, being Wisconsin natives.
In the AFC/NFC championship games, Opera correctly predicted the Giants and the Patriots to win their games over the 49ers and Ravens, respectively.
To put it in perspective, professional pundits and Las Vegas odds makers are right about 55% of the time over the course of an NFL season.
And here we are, Super Sunday.
"I'm betting everything I have in my online betting account at the moment on the Patriots," said Nils Brostrom, VP of communications for Opera Software in a release. "That means if the analysis is correct, I get a whopping $26 on the Patriots winning the Super Bowl."
Opera Mini also announced that it had 152.6 million global unique visitors in December 2011. That is an increase of 78.45% since December 2010.
Who are you rooting for in the Super Bowl? Being a New England native, I am a little biased. My prediction? Tom Brady and the Patriots will win it 31-24 over Eli Manning and the Giants. What is your prediction?