- The computer models are back making their picks for the 2018 NFL season.
- In 2017, Microsoft’s Cortana correctly picked 68% of the games overall and 75% of the games over the final ten weeks.
- FiveThirtyEight’s Elo also had a strong showing during the regular season, correctly picking 64% of the games.
Week 2 of the NFL season is here, and Microsoft’s Cortana is back to make picks in a head-to-head showdown with Elo.
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.
Cortana won the regular season matchup last season, going 162-78 (68%) overall, and 111-38 (75%) over the last ten weeks (we did not track Week 17 because of the wonky nature of the final week). Elo was not far behind, going 154-86 (64%) overall.
Here are the picks for Week 2, with each model’s per cent chance of winning in parentheses. Point spreads are just for reference, via Vegas Insider as of Thursday morning.
- Baltimore (-1) at Cincinnati – No pick (Elo 50%); BENGALS (Cortana 60%)
- Carolina at Atlanta (-5.5) – FALCONS (Elo 62%, Cortana 66%)
- Los Angeles Chargers (-7.5) at Buffalo –BILLS (Elo 53%); CHARGERS(Cortana 70%)
- Minnesota at Green Bay (pick’em) – VIKINGS(Elo 60%, Cortana 53%)
- Houston (-2) at Tennessee – TITANS (Elo 70%); TEXANS (Cortana 60%)
- Cleveland at New Orleans (-9) – SAINTS (Elo 85%, Cortana 72%)
- Miami at New York Jets (-3) – JETS (Elo 61%, Cortana 53%)
- Kansas City at Pittsburgh (-4.5) – STEELERS(Elo 58%, Cortana 61%)
- Philadelphia (-3) at Tampa Bay – EAGLES (Elo 63%); BUCS (Cortana 51%)
- Indianapolis at Washington (-6) – REDSKINS(Elo 75%, Cortana 69%)
- Arizona at Los Angeles Rams (-13) – RAMS(Elo 74%, Cortana 79%)
- Detroit at San Francisco (-6) – 49ERS (Elo 58%, Cortana 61%)
- Oakland at Denver (-6) – BRONCOS (Elo 63%, Cortana 70%)
- New England at Jacksonville (pick’em) –PATRIOTS (Elo 56%, Cortana 60%)
- New York Giants at Dallas (-3) – COWBOYS(Elo 76%, Cortana 60%)
- Seattle at Chicago (-3.5) – SEAHAWKS (Elo 54%); BEARS (Cortana 55%)
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