The computer model that nailed the NFL's 2017 season has made its picks for Week 3

Michael Reaves/Getty ImagesTampa Bay Bucs QB Ryan Fitzpatrick.
  • 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 3 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.

Cortana is off to a strong start in 2018, going 10-5-1 in Week 2. Elo struggled, going 7-8-1.

Here are the picks for Week 3, with each model’s per cent chance of winning in parentheses. Point spreads are just for reference, via Vegas Insider as of Thursday morning.

Thursday

  • New York Jets at Cleveland (-3) – JETS(Elo 62%), BROWNS (Cortana 51%)

Sunday

  • New Orleans at Atlanta (-3) – FALCONS(Elo 66%, Cortana 63%)
  • San Francisco at Kansas City (-6.5) –CHIEFS (Elo 77%, Cortana 60%)
  • Oakland at Miami (-3) – DOLPHINS (Elo 68%, Cortana 63%)
  • Buffalo at Minnesota (-16.5) – VIKINGS(Elo 78%, Cortana 79%)
  • Indianapolis at Philadelphia (-6.5) –EAGLES (Elo 83%, Cortana 66%)
  • Green Bay (-3) at Washington – REDSKINS(Elo 57%), PACKERS (Cortana 53%)
  • Cincinnati at Carolina (-3) – PANTHERS(Elo 63%), BENGALS (Cortana 51%)
  • Tennessee at Jacksonville (no line) –JAGUARS (Elo 71%, Cortana 67%)
  • Denver at Baltimore (-5.5) – RAVENS (Elo 68%, Cortana 63%)
  • New York Giants at Houston (-6) – TEXANS(Elo 59%, Cortana 61%)
  • Los Angeles Chargers at Los Angeles Rams (-7) –RAMS (Elo 64%, Cortana 72%)
  • Chicago (-5.5) at Arizona – CARDINALS(Elo 55%), BEARS (Cortana 66%)
  • Dallas at Seattle (-1.5) – SEAHAWKS (Elo 55%, Cortana 53%)
  • New England (-6.5) at Detroit – PATRIOTS(Elo 64%, Cortana 75%)

Monday

  • Pittsburgh (-1.5) at Tampa Bay – BUCS(Elo 54%), STEELERS (Cortana 57%)

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