The computer models that pick NFL games have made their picks for Week 16

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  • Elo and Cortana have made their picks for Week 16.
  • Cortana leads the overall race, correctly picking 66% of the games this season.
  • The models disagree on two games this week.

Week 16 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. Each gives a likelihood that a team will win, however, which in theory could help measure the strength of certain lines.

Cortana is having another strong season, correctly picking 66% of the games, including a 10-6 record in Week 15. Elo has nailed 60% overall.

Here are the picks for Week 16, with each team’s per cent chance of winning in parentheses. Point spreads are for reference,via Vegas Insider as of Thursday morning.


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  • Washington Redskins at Tennessee Titans (-10) –TITANS (Elo 73%, Cortana 73%)
  • Baltimore Ravens at Los Angeles Chargers (-4.5) –CHARGERS (Elo 66%, Cortana 63%)

Sunday-afternoon games — early window

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  • Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns (-8.5) –BROWNS (Elo 60%, Cortana 60%)
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Dallas Cowboys (-7) –COWBOYS (Elo 75%, Cortana 70%)
  • Minnesota Vikings (-5.5) at Detroit Lions –VIKINGS (Elo 55%, Cortana 63%)
  • New York Giants at Indianapolis Colts (-9.5) –COLTS (Elo 74%, Cortana 79%)
  • Jacksonville Jaguars at Miami Dolphins (-4) –DOLPHINS (Elo 61%, Cortana 64%)
  • Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots (-12.5) –PATRIOTS (Elo 84%, Cortana 78%)
  • Green Bay Packers (-3) at New York Jets –PACKERS (Elo 57%); JETS(Cortana 52%)
  • Houston Texans at Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5) –EAGLES (Elo 66%); TEXANS(Cortana 66%)
  • Atlanta Falcons (-3.5) at Carolina Panthers –PANTHERS (Elo 62%, Cortana 57%)

Sunday-afternoon games — late window

  • Los Angeles Rams (-14) at Arizona Cardinals –RAMS (Elo 77%, Cortana 74%)
  • Chicago Bears (-4) at San Francisco 49ers –BEARS (Elo 68%, Cortana 63%)
  • Pittsburgh Steelers at New Orleans Saints (-6) –SAINTS (Elo 74%, Cortana 64%)

“Sunday Night Football”

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  • Kansas City Chiefs (-2.5) at Seattle Seahawks –CHIEFS (Elo 54%, Cortana 58%)

“Monday Night Football”

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  • Denver Broncos (-2.5) at Oakland Raiders –BRONCOS (Elo 61%, Cortana 61%)

Now check out this week’s power rankings.

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NFL POWER RANKINGS: Where all 32 teams stand going into Week 16

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