Microsoft Cortana, the Windows phone virtual assistant that’s predicting the winner of every NFL game this season, went 10-6 in Week 1.
That doesn’t sound like a great percentage, but it’s actually better than the 9-7 win-loss record that Las Vegas favourites had in the first week of the season.
Vegas and Cortana only differed on one game last week: New Orleans vs. Atlanta. Vegas had the Saints as the favourite while Cortana gave the Falcons a 61.4% chance to win outright. The Falcons won 34-31 in overtime.
Nate Silver’s ELO rating system also went 10-6. His model projected the Saints to beat the Falcons, but it also had the Panthers beating the Buccaneers (which both Cortana and Vegas got wrong).
Cortana didn’t nail Week 1 like it did the World Cup (where it went 15-1 in the knockout stages), but it will be interesting to see if it gets more accurate once the season gets going and it has a larger, fresher set of data to work with.
Here are the Cortana picks for Week 2 (Vegas favourites as of Tuesday morning in parentheses):
- Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens — Steelers win, 59.8% chance (Ravens -2.5)
- Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills — Bills win, 62.9% chance (Miami -1)
- Jacksonville Jaguars at Washington Redskins — Redskins win, 53.3% chance (Redskins -6)
- Dallas Cowboys at Tennessee Titans — Titans win, 61.4% chance (Titans -3.5)
- Arizona Cardinals at New York Giants — Cardinals win, 59.8% chance (Giants -1)
- New England Patriots at Minnesota Vikings — Patriots win, 61.4% chance (Patriots -3)
- New Orleans Saints at Cleveland Browns — Saints win, 59.8% chance (Saints -6)
- Atlanta Falcons at Cincinnati Bengals — Bengals win, 61.4% chance (Bengals -5)
- Detroit Lions at Carolina Panthers — Panthers win, 56.6% chance (Panthers -2.5)
- St. Louis Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Buccaneers win, 56.6% chance (Buccaneers -5)
- Seattle Seahawks at San Diego Chargers — Seahawks win, 56.6% chance (Seahawks -6)
- Houston Texans at Oakland Raiders — Texans win, 53.3% chance (Texans -3)
- New York Jets at Green Bay Packers — Packers win, 55% chance (Packers -8)
- Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos — Broncos win, 56.6% chance (Broncos -13)
- Chicago Bears at San Francisco 49ers — 49ers win, 78.9% chance (49ers -7)
- Philadelphia Eagles at Indianapolis Colts — Eagles win, 58.2% chance (Eagles -3)
Cortana and Vegas disagree on Ravens-Steelers, Dolphins-Bills, and Giants-Cardinals.
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