Bing Predicts Dominates in NFL Week 15, Looks to Win Big Again in Week 16

Note: This post is for the 2014 season. Click here to see the Week 15 results and Week 16 preview for 2015.

Just when you may have thought Bing Predicts had run its course, the prediction engine proved it's still as relevant as ever. In NFL Week 15, Bing pumped out its second best week ever, earning a 13-3 record. This is bested only by Week 5's 13-2 performance. Bing is now 148-76 on the season, a 66.1% accuracy that puts it well ahead of the goal to get the majority of the games correct.

Bing Predicts Week 15 Recap

We figured it could be a good week for the search engine based on its high confidence level, but Bing exceeded all expectations. The highlight of Bing's dominance this week was its 8-0 record in games with a predicted chance of 70% or above. That puts the prediction engine at 61-17 on the season when predicting games with such a high level of confidence.

Bing wasn't perfect in all areas this week. The search engine struggled under the lights, going 1-2 in the prime time night games. Additionally, it missed what was probably a relatively easy pick in the Rams-Cardinal matchup. You can't really blame Bing for the other two losses. Statistically speaking, how could anyone have predicted the Cowboys over the Eagles in Philadelphia after the pounding the Cowboys took at the hands of the Eagles in Dallas a few weeks ago? Then again, the NFL isn't based on statistical reasoning.

Here's a quick recap of how Bing did this week and how it looks on the season:

  • 8-2 when picking the home team (101-50 on the season)
  • 5-1 when picking the visiting team (47-26 on the season)
  • 3-0 when chances are over 80% (13-4 on the season)
  • 5-0 when chances are 70-80% (48-13 on the season)
  • 1-2 when chances are 60-70% (45-18 on the season)
  • 4-1 when chances are under 60% (42-41 on the season)


Bing Predicts Week 16 Preview

It appears Bing may have been resting on its laurels after Week 15's success. The search engine waited an extra day to release its picks for Week 16, putting the predictions up on Wednesday morning instead of Tuesday. With only two weeks left, things are looking mighty good for Bing. It will be exciting to see what the search engine does for the playoffs, especially given its perfect record in the knockout round of the World Cup.

bing predicts week 16

Week 16 brings several key matchups with serious playoff implications, including the Falcons-Saints game in New Orleans. It almost seems laughable at this point in the season to be talking about a game featuring a 5-9 team versus a 6-8 team as being even remotely important. However, there are still three teams vying for the NFC South division. The Saints are the only shot left at a .500 record. It's no surprise that Bing is going with the Saints here. The Falcons have dropped two in a row, and Bing has picked the Saints to win 12 times so far this season.

For most of the season, Bing has stuck with the home team. The search engine has picked the home team in over 67% of the games this year. This strategy has generally paid off well, but Bing is shirking the norm this week and going with the visitors in 9 of 16 games. It's just the second time all season that Bing has picked the away team to win more games than the home team. In Week 6, Bing picked the away team in 9 games, going 8-1 in those matchups.

Only one of those away picks really stands out as a surprise. Bing is predicting the Seahawks over the Cardinals with a 64.4% chance. While the Cardinals are having plenty of trouble at the quarterback position, they are still undefeated at home so far this season. The Cardinals are the only team in the NFC to clinch a playoff berth so far, but we can certainly expect they'll be playing their hearts out as they battle for the divisional championship and home field advantage throughout.

Week 16 also gives us a rather insignificant first of the season: Bing is actually picking the Jaguars to win. With this prediction, Bing has now sided with every team in the NFL at least once this season. Of course, it doesn't matter much at all. This is a game that will probably decide who will be last in the AFC South. It's not exactly a battle of the Titans (pun very much intended).

Here is the full breakdown of Bing's Week 16 picks:

  • 9 games favoring the visiting team, 7 for the home team
  • 4 games with predicted chance under 60%
  • 6 games with predicted chance between 60 and 69.9%
  • 6 games with predicted chance between 70 and 79.9%
  • 0 games with predicted chance over 80% (this is only the fourth time this has happened this season)

So how will Bing do in Week 16? The search engine did significantly better than my Predicting Bing Predicts algorithm suggested last week. Based on the Week 16 matchups, I could see Bing doing just as well this week. However, based on statistics, things don't look quite as good for the search engine. Bing has a 51% chance of going 11-5 or better. Of course, statistics don't mean much in the NFL, especially at this stage of the game.

First Scribe is now Perrill Why the change?