Microsoft Cortana vs. FiveThirtyEight's Elo -- here are their picks for Week 1 of the NFL

Tom bradyMaddie Meyer/GettyTom Brady will help kick off the NFL season on Thursday night.

The NFL season is back and it is time to make picks and everybody could always use a little help.

Below we take a look at two popular systems used to pick NFL games — Cortana, Microsoft’s digital assistant, and Elo, the modelling system used by Nate Silver’s

In both cases, the computers are picking outright winners and are not picking against the spread. However, both give a likelihood of teams winning which, in theory, could help measure the strength of certain lines.

We will be tracking both models over the course of the season to see how they perform.

In the meantime, here are the picks for Week 1, with each model’s per cent chance of winning in parentheses. Games in bold are where the two models disagree on who has the best chance to win. Point spreads are just for reference, via Vegas Insider as of Thursday morning.


  • Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots (-9) — PATRIOTS (Elo 69%, Cortana 79%)


  • New York Jets at Buffalo Bills (-9) — BILLS (Elo 64%, Cortana 70%)
  • Atlanta Falcons (-7) at Chicago Bears — FALCONS (Elo 72%, Cortana 52%)
  • Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (-5.5) — TEXANS (Elo 74%, Cortana 64%)
  • Arizona Cardinals (-2) at Detroit Lions — LIONS (Elo 54%, Cortana 53%)
  • Oakland Raiders at Tennessee Titans (-2.5) — RAIDERS (Elo 51%), TITANS (Cortana 53%)
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Miami Dolphins (POSTPONED)
  • Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals (-3) — BENGALS (Elo 63%, Cortana 61%)
  • Pittsburgh Steelers (-9) at Cleveland Browns — STEELERS (Elo 76%, Cortana 52%)
  • Indianapolis Colts at Los Angeles Rams (-3.5) — COLTS (Elo 57%, Cortana 57%)
  • Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers (-3) — PACKERS (Elo 61%, Cortana 60%)
  • Carolina Panthers (-5.5) at San Francisco 49ers — PANTHERS (Elo 65%), 49ERS (Cortana 61%)
  • New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys (-4) — COWBOYS (Elo 65%, Cortana 58%)


  • New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings (-3) — VIKINGS (Elo 59%, Cortana 58%)
  • Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos (-3.5) — BRONCOS (Elo 74%, Cortana 55%)

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