Predicting Super Bowl 50: IoT data leads the way

Predicting Super Bowl 50: IoT data leads the way
Predicting Super Bowl 50: IoT data leads the way

Super Bowl 50 is less than a week away and plenty of predictions are being issued regarding the outcome – some of which are supported by IoT data.

Although data has played a significant role in sports science for some time now, the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is enabling real-time data collection on a much wider scale.

In 2013, the NFL agreed a $400 million deal with Microsoft to share player data with coaches and then late last year, it was revealed that players’ pads and helmets, as well as 14 stadiums across the US, will now contain RFID sensors to collect information such as player speed and location. Other sports have also embraced IoT technology, with connected baseball bats and Cisco’s Connected Athlete project just two examples.

At the top level where any slight competitive edge can mean the difference between winning and losing, sports data is extremely valuable. The NFL, for example, has developed its own analytics platform that it shares with its 32 teams, but the benefits of IoT and other data collection methods extend beyond coaches and players.

Sports data is also increasingly important for spectators, whether fans are looking to score fantasy football points or make more informed betting decisions.

Partha Sen, co-founder and CEO of Fuzzy Logix told Internet of Business that he was initially sceptical that IoT data could be used to accurately predict the outcome of NFL matches, but was surprised by the accuracy of his own analytical model.

“The model correctly predicted the outcome of 219 games out of a total of 256 regular season games. That is an accuracy of 86 percent,” he said. “Again, in NFL, which Al Michaels once described as the ‘Not Figured-Out League’, such accuracy should be considered impressive.”

According to Sen’s model, the Carolina Panthers have a 77 percent chance of winning Super Bowl 50, with the expected outcome being Carolina Panthers 27, Denver Broncos 20. With the amount of available data growing all the time, partially as a result of IoT devices, predictive analytics are becoming increasingly accurate, but for now fans will have to wait until Sunday to find out the Super Bowl score.