One of the computer models picking NFL games has taken a big lead -- here is who they like in Week 16

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  • After a slow start to the season, Cortana and Elo have been on fire in recent weeks.
  • The two models we’re tracking have correctly picked 65% of the games this season.
  • Microsoft’s Cortana has stretched its lead and has nailed 74% of the games over the last nine weeks.

The NFL season is now in Week 16, and one of the computer models picking games has started to take a big lead.

We took 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 FiveThirtyEight.

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

After a rough Week 14, both models rebounded to their winning ways in Week 15. Cortana had another strong showing, going 13-3, and is now 98-35 (74%) over the last nine weeks. Cortana still holds the overall lead, with a 149-75 (67%) record on the season. Elo is starting to fall off the pace a bit, going 11-5 in Week 15. It is now 141-83 (63%) overall.

Here are the picks for Week 16, with each model’s per cent chance of winning in parentheses. Point spreads are just for reference, via Vegas Insider as of Thursday morning.

Saturday

  • Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens (-12.5) – RAVENS (Elo 84%, Cortana 73%)
  • Minnesota Vikings (-9) at Green Bay Packers – VIKINGS (Elo 61%, Cortana 55%)

Sunday

  • Cleveland Browns at Chicago Bears (-6.5) – BEARS (Elo 82%, Cortana 64%)
  • Detroit Lions (-4.5) at Cincinnati Bengals – LIONS (Elo 60%, Cortana 67%)
  • Los Angeles Rams (-6.5) at Tennessee Titans – RAMS (Elo 60%, Cortana 75%)
  • Miami Dolphins at Kansas City Chiefs (-10.5) – CHIEFS (Elo 76%, Cortana 70%)
  • Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots (-12) – PATRIOTS (Elo 84%, Cortana 75%)
  • Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints (-5.5) – SAINTS (Elo 59%, Cortana 64%)
  • Los Angeles Chargers (-7) at New York Jets – CHARGERS (Elo 57%, Cortana 72%)
  • Denver Broncos at Washington Redskins (-3.5) – REDSKINS (Elo 60%, Cortana 55%)
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers (-10) – PANTHERS (Elo 80%, Cortana 70%)
  • Jacksonville Jaguars (-4) at San Francisco 49ers – JAGUARS (Elo 71%, Cortana 70%)
  • Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys (-5) – COWBOYS (Elo 61%, Cortana 60%)
  • New York Giants at Arizona Cardinals (-3.5) – CARDINALS (Elo 70%, Cortana 64%)

Monday

  • Pittsburgh Steelers (-9.5) at Houston Texans – STEELERS (Elo 77%, Cortana 77%)
  • Oakland Raiders at Philadelphia Eagles (-9) – EAGLES (Elo 82%, Cortana 75%)

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