Mark Tenally/APMicrosoft Cortana — a virtual assistant that predicts the outright winner of every NFL game on Bing — went 13-3 during Week 17 to finish the NFL regular season with a record of 163-91, or 64%. That’s five games better than the season before.
All in all, it was an impressive year. The second half, in particular, saw Cortana miss no more than four games in a given week.
The playoffs, though, are a different beast, and in recent years Cortana has been up and down in predicting these games. Two years ago, Cortana went 8-3 in the postseason, whereas last year Cortana was a more pedestrian 6-4, including predicting incorrectly that the Panthers would beat the Broncos in the Super Bowl.
But before we can talk about the Super Bowl, we have to first get through wild-card weekend. The four games — two Saturday, two Sunday — are all intriguing for different reasons. All eight of the teams playing are flawed, some more than others, and even the teams that look like clear favorites (the Steelers and Seahawks) aren’t invincible.
Cortana, on the other hand, thinks the Raiders-Texans game will be close. That also happens to be the one game in which Cortana and Vegas do not agree.
As always, Cortana picks only 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 http://www.payclub.info/ Vegas Insider) for comparison. You can find Cortana’s predictions by searching “NFL schedule” on Bing.
Enjoy the games!
Oakland Raiders (+3.5) at Houston Texans — Raiders 53% chance to win
Detroit Lions at Seattle Seahawks (-8) — Seahawks 73% chance to win
Miami Dolphins at Pittsburgh Steelers (-10) — Steelers 69% chance to win
New York Giants at Green Bay Packers (-4.5) — Packers 69% chance to win