Microsoft Cortana — a virtual assistant picking the winner of every NFL game on Bing — went 8-8 for the second consecutive week, pushing its record through the first four weeks of the season to 33-30 (52%).
It’s a disappointing start to Cortana’s NFL picks campaign, to be sure, but also indicative of the wonky start to the season. The Cardinals and Panthers — two NFC powerhouses, or so it seemed during the preseason — have stumbled out of the gate to 1-3 records. The Eagles were expected to be one of the worst teams in football, and yet are 3-0 behind Carson Wentz. The Rams, too, have come out of nowhere to lead the NFC West at 3-1. As the cliche goes, nobody knows anything in the first month of football. That includes Cortana. (FiveThirtyEight’s model, for comparison, is 37-26 for 58%. Not much better.)
Last week, Cortana missed several games in which the home teams were upset. It seems as though home field advantage is little more than a myth in football anymore, and yet both Vegas and Cortana rely on it heavily.
This week, Cortana and Vegas disagree on the outcome of the Bengals vs. Cowboys game. Elsewhere, Cortana gives the Patriots and Steelers the best chances to win, and — along with the Cowboys game — thinks the Bills vs. Rams game should be the closest.
As always, Cortana only picks the outright winner of each game. It does not make picks against the spread, though we like to include the point spread (in parentheses, courtesy of Vegas Insider ) for comparison. You can find Cortana’s predictions by searching “NFL schedule” on Bing .
- Arizona Cardinals (-4) at San Francisco 49ers — Cardinals 60% chance to win
- Houston Texans at Minnesota Vikings (-6.5) — Vikings 64% chance to win
- Tennessee Titans at Miami Dolphins (-4) — Dolphins 66% chance to win
- New England Patriots (-10.5) at Cleveland Browns — Patriots 78% chance to win
- New York Jets at Pittsburgh Steelers (-7) — Steelers 79% chance to win
- Washington Redskins at Baltimore Ravens (-3.5) — Ravens 58% chance to win
- Philadelphia Eagles (-3) at Detroit Lions — Eagles 55% chance to win
- Chicago Bears at Indianapolis Colts (-4.5) — Colts 61% chance to win
- Atlanta Falcons at Denver Broncos (-6) — Broncos 67% chance to win
- Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Rams (-2.5) — Rams 52% chance to win
- San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders (-3.5) — Raiders 74% chance to win
- Cincinnati Bengals at Dallas Cowboys (+1) — Cowboys 52% chance to win
- New York Giants at Green Bay Packers (-7.5) — Packers 77% chance to win
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers (-7) — Panthers 78% chance to win
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