American football season is upon us. For many, the NFL is more than a casual pastime. It’s the source of fantasy football, seemingly endless entertainment, and predicting performances. Microsoft’s personal assistant Cortana is joining in on the fun and predicting each game using Bing. If you follow a team through Cortana it shows the next scheduled game along with the percentage prediction of the outcome. Bing Predicts got thirteen out of sixteen games correct over the first weekend of the season. That’s pretty good though any experienced predictor of NFL games knows that it’s not that hard to pick games straight up (without a point adjustment to handicap the favorite teams).
That being said, Cortana did accurately predict the biggest upset of the week, the St. Louis Rams over the Seattle Seahawks. One of Cortana’s most glaring mistakes was giving the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a 64.4% chance of defeating the Tennessee Titans. The Titans won 42-14 and their rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota had a perfect quarterback rating, a stark contrast to the Buccaneers’ first year quarterback Jameis Winston who threw an interception on his first pass.
The teams that Cortana was most confident in winning, the Packers (71.6%), the Cowboys (70.2%), and Kansas City Chiefs (65.9%) all won (the jury is still out on if Cortana predicted the terrible clock management and collapse by the Giants in their loss to the Cowboys). Many of the predictions were within the 50-60% range which is pretty much a push but we’ll give her credit anyway. Bing has a long track record of accurately predicting things using complex analytics. We’ll see throughout the NFL season if Bing and Cortana can keep the momentum alive.
If you’d like to see all of Bing’s picks for the upcoming slate of games you can just enter “NFL predictions” into the Bing search bar and look for “Bing Predicts”.Further reading: Bing, Cortana, Microsoft, NFL