Computer forecast: Falcons have 51 percent chance to make Super Bowl

11:49 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017 Atlanta Falcons
January 14, 2017, Atlanta: Falcons fans react as the Falcons take a 36-13 lead over the Seahawks during a NFL football NFC divisional playoff game on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

The Falcons have a 51 percent chance of beating either the Cowboys or Packers and advancing to the Super Bowl, according to a FiveThirtyEight forecast based on computer simulations.

The Falcons advanced to the conference championship with a dominant 36-20 victory over the Seahawks on Saturday at the Georgia Dome. The Packers and Cowboys play at 4:40 today in Dallas with the Cowboys favored by 5 ½ points.

FiveThirtyEight’s forecast model uses Elo ratings, a measure based on head-to-head results and quality of opponents. After Saturday’s victory, the Falcons’ Elo rating improved by 21 points to 1664 compared to 1618 for the Cowboys and 1635 for the Packers. However, Elo favors the Cowboys over the Packers by two points at home.

The NFC championship game is on Sunday. The Falcons would face the Cowboys in Dallas and would play host to the Packers at the Georgia Dome.

The FiveThirtyEight forecast gives the AFC’s Patriots a 41 percent chance of winning the Super Bowl compared to a 21 percent chance for the Falcons.

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