The computers have correctly predicted 60% of NFL games -- here are their picks for Week 8

  • Elo still leads overall, but Cortana caught fire in Week 7.
  • The two models disagree on just one game this week.

The NFL season is now in Week 8, and the computers are picking their winners for every game.

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.

The two models had strong performances in Week 7, especially Cortana, which went 12-3. Elo went 9-6 and still has the lead overall, at 64-42 (60.3%). Cortana is now one game back at 63-43 (59.4%).

Here are the picks for Week 8, 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.


  • Miami Dolphins at Baltimore Ravens (-3) — RAVENS (Elo 53%, Cortana 55%)


  • Minnesota Vikings (-9.5) vs. Cleveland Browns (in London) — VIKINGS (Elo 84%, Cortana 80%)
  • Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints (-9) — SAINTS (Elo 79%, Cortana 78%)
  • Atlanta Falcons (-4.5) at New York Jets — FALCONS (Elo 60%, Cortana 73%)
  • Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-2) — BUCCANEERS (Elo 55%, Cortana 51%)
  • San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles (-13) — EAGLES (Elo 90%, Cortana 81%)
  • Oakland Raiders at Buffalo Bills (-2.5) — BILLS (Elo 66%, Cortana 51%)
  • Indianapolis Colts at Cincinnati Bengals (-10.5) — BENGALS (Elo 70%, Cortana 77%)
  • Los Angeles Chargers at New England Patriots (-7) — PATRIOTS (Elo 84%, Cortana 66%)
  • Houston Texans at Seattle Seahawks (-5.5) — SEAHAWKS (Elo 73%, Cortana 66%)
  • Dallas Cowboys (-2) at Washington Redskins — REDSKINS (Elo 52%), COWBOYS (Cortana 53%)
  • Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) at Detroit Lions — STEELERS (Elo 52%, Cortana 61%)


  • Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (-7) — CHIEFS (Elo 78%, Cortana 70%)

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