The computer models that pick NFL games have made their picks for Week 11


Week 11 of the NFL season is here, and Cortana is back to make picks in a head-to-head showdown with Elo.

We looked at two popular systems used to pick NFL games: Cortana, Microsoft’s digital assistant, and Elo, the modelling system used by Nate Silver’s data-journalism site, FiveThirtyEight.

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

Cortana is off to a strong start this season, correctly picking 67% of the games overall. Elo has nailed 62% overall. Both models have cooled recently, going just 16-11 over the last two weeks.

Here are the picks for Week 11, with each team’s per cent chance of winning in parentheses. Point spreads are for reference,via Vegas Insider as of Thursday morning.

“Thursday Night Football”

  • Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks (-3) –SEAHAWKS (Elo 67%, Cortana 61%)

Sunday-afternoon games — early window

  • Dallas Cowboys at Atlanta Falcons (-3) –FALCONS (Elo 62%, Cortana 64%)
  • Carolina Panthers (-4.5) at Detroit Lions – PANTHERS(Elo 57%, Cortana 60%)
  • Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts (-1.5) –TITANS (Elo 55%, Cortana 55%)
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Giants (-1) –GIANTS (Elo 52%, Cortana 63%)
  • Houston Texans (-3) at Washington Redskins –REDSKINS (Elo 62%); TEXANS(Cortana 58%)
  • Pittsburgh Steelers (-5.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars – STEELERS (Elo 68%, Cortana 77%)
  • Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens (-4.5) –RAVENS (Elo 67%, Cortana 60%)

Sunday-afternoon games — late window

  • Oakland Raiders at Arizona Cardinals (-5.5) –CARDINALS (Elo 68%, Cortana 66%)
  • Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers (-7) –CHARGERS (Elo 80%, Cortana 72%)
  • Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints (-8.5) –SAINTS (Elo 74%, Cortana 79%)

“Sunday Night Football”

  • Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears (-2.5) –BEARS (Elo 54%, Cortana 63%)

“Monday Night Football”

  • Kansas City Chiefs vs. Los Angeles Rams (-3.5) –RAMS (Elo 54%, Cortana 53%)

Now check out this week’s power rankings.


NFL POWER RANKINGS: Where all 32 teams stand going into Week 11