The Microsoft Engine That Nailed The World Cup Is Predicting Every NFL Game -- Here Are Its Picks For The 1st Round Of The Playoffs

Microsoft Cortana finished the season with a 170-86 record (66.4%) picking NFL games.

It went 12-4 in Week 17 (it’s third-best week of the year) and ended the season picking two-thirds of NFL games correctly.

Cortana is a Windows phone virtual assistant that’s using a Bing Predicts algorithm to predict every NFL game this season. It picks games straight up, not against the point spread. 

While it hasn’t been as successful as the Bing algorithm that correctly predicted 15 of 16 World Cup knockout stage games, it was still pretty good.

Cortana had a nearly identical record to the Las Vegas betting favourites, which went 168-84-4 (66.4%). Nate Silver’s ELO model beat Cortana, going 176-80 (68.9%).

The algorithm caught fire during the last few weeks of the World Cup. Will it do the same with NFL?

Here are Cortana’s picks for the first round of the NFL playoffs as of Friday morning. We’ll update them if they change over the weekend (Vegas favourites in parenthesis):

  • Arizona Cardinals vs. Carolina Panthers — Panthers win, 62.9% chance (Panthers -6.5)
  • Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers — Steelers win, 71.6% chance (Steelers -3)
  • Cincinnati Bengals vs. Indianapolis Colts — Colts win, 58.2% chance (Colts -3)
  • Detroit Lions vs. Dallas Cowboys — Cowboys win, 67.4% chance (Cowboys -6.5)

Vegas and Cortana agree on all four games. So does Nate Silver.

Here are Cortana’s results this year:

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