Bing Predicts Falls Short in NFL Week 17; Wild Card Weekend Preview

Week 17 can be a tricky one. With the final playoff spots on the line—along with many teams that seem like they have nothing to play for—it's hard to predict exactly what's going to happen. Bing Predicts certainly had a tough time of it during the NFL's final week of regular season competition. The prediction engine was a pedestrian 9-7 on the week, wrapping up the regular season with a 161-95 record (62.9%). That's a full 8 games behind where Bing finished last year (169-87). 

bing predicts week 17 results

Bing Predicts Week 17 Recap

This certainly wasn't the final week that Bing anticipated (or what we expected), but Bing should've had at least a sense that some of these things could have happened. Did the search engine really expect the playoff-bound Redskins to lose to the woeful Cowboys?

Okay, maybe that's about the only one Bing really should've seen coming. Losses by the Jets, Patriots, and Cardinals were all a bit baffling. While we personally supported our hometown Vikings, their victory in Green Bay certainly wasn't a foregone conclusion. There really was no reason why Bing would've predicted against a Packers team that had won 5 NFC North titles in a row. No matter how bad the Packers looked against the Cardinals the week before, we didn't expect them to simply roll over against the Vikings, especially not in Green Bay (unless, of course, they wanted to lose to secure a tasty first-round matchup against the Redskins).

Bing's other losses this week were pretty meaningless. The Giants-Eagles game had no bearing on anything, and the Rams-49ers matchup was far less interesting with Gurley sitting out with a foot injury.  

Here's a complete look at how Bing did this week:

  • 6-4 when favoring the home team (108-65 on the season)
  • 3-3 when favoring the away team (53-30 on the season)
  • 2-4 when predicted chance under 60% (48-46 on the season)
  • 2-3 when predicted chance between 60 and 69.9% (63-32 on the season)
  • 5-0 when predicted chance between 70 and 79.9% (41-12 on the season)
  • 0-0 when predicted chance over 80% (9-5 on the season)

Although it wasn't a great week for Bing, the search engine was perfect in games with a predicted chance over 70%. This is an area where Bing excelled all season, getting 77% of these games correct. 

Bing Predicts Playoff Picture Shattered

Only 5 of Bing's original predicted playoff teams actually made the playoffs. Here's what the search engine said would happen way back in August:

bing predicts nfl 2015 playoffs

Bing nailed the AFC number one seed (Denver), but the rest of their playoff picture didn't even come close. Bing's top two NFC seeds ended up as the wild card teams, and the 3-6 seeds didn't even make the playoffs. In the AFC, Bing was also correct about the Patriots and Texans making the playoffs. 5 of Bing's original playoff teams ended up with losing records, and two of them finished 8-8. 

Bing Predicts Wild Card Weekend Preview

Bing's major misses aside, now we have a clean start heading into the playoffs. Here's what Bing says will happen this week:

bing predicts wildcard weekend

Bing is going with the visitors in two of the four games this weekend, which isn't all that surprising. After all, the visitors win about 45% of the time in the first round of the playoffs, and at least a couple of these games seem tilted in favor of the away team. 

The Chiefs have won 10 straight, and the Texans don't exactly look unbeatable. Over in the NFC, the Seahawks demolished the Vikings in Minnesota just a few weeks ago. Have the Vikings improved enough to keep this one close?

There's actually a decent chance that all 4 wild card teams will be victorious this weekend. The Steelers have a favorable matchup against a Bengals team that's reeling without starting quarterback Andy Dalton. Sure, the Packers have dropped two in a row, but the Redskins aren't exactly a force to be reckoned with. 

Expect Bing to go 2-2 this weekend. Be sure to come back next week for a Wild Card Weekend recap and a Divisional round preview. 

Update (1/7/2016):

Bing Predicts has unveiled predictions for all rounds of the playoffs. Here is the craziness the search engine has concocted:

bing predicts nfl playoffs 2016

Okay, so it's not too crazy. The better seed wins 7 of 11 games. But here are some of the interesting things:

  • The Chiefs ride their hot streak all the way to the AFC Championship game
  • The Patriots win their second straight Super Bowl (coming immediately after ending the regular season with two consecutive losses)
  • The NFC goes exactly according to seed except the Seahawks beating the Vikings
  • The top-seeded Broncos lose to a Wild Card team in the second round in what could be Peyton Manning's last playoff game

Around this same time last year, Bing predicted the Patriots would win it all. Will history repeat itself? We doubt it, but anything can happen in these playoffs. 


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