Bing Predicts is Mediocre in NFL Week 16; Can It Go Out with a Bang in Week 17?

Note: This post is for the 2014 season. Click here to see the Week 16 results and Week 17 preview for 2015.

With the playoffs on the line for many teams, Bing Predicts flubbed Week 16. Coming off its second best week ever, Bing looked like it would finish the regular season strong. However, Bing's 9-7 record for Week 16 was far from impressive. This puts the search engine at 157-83 (65.4%) with one week left before the playoffs.

Bing Predicts Week 16 Recap

In Week 16, Bing put more trust than usual in the visiting teams. This proved costly, with the prediction engine going 4-4 in these games. Some of these losses were surprises. Going with the Eagles on the road over the Redskins was probably the smart pick. Unfortunately, it just didn't pan out for Bing (or the Eagles) this week. Similarly, most people probably expected the Ravens, Bills, and Broncos to win on the road this week, all picks that resulted in losses for Bing.

Bing would have been 10-6 this week had it not been for a last minute switch. Late in the week, the search engine decided to give the 49ers a slight edge over the Chargers.

49ers switch

For most of the game, it looked like Bing's change of mind was a good one. In the end though, the Chargers prevailed, leaving Bing at a dismal 7-12 this season when changing its pick.

Bing's miss of the week has to be the Saints-Falcons game. The search engine gave the Saints a 72.9% chance to win this one, but it looked like they never even showed up to play. The Falcons ran all over the Saints, knocking New Orleans out of the playoff race. Based on Bing's predictions this year, the Saints should have been a playoff lock. The search engine has predicted the Saints to win 13 games this season, but New Orleans stands at just 6-9. This is by far the most inaccurate Bing has been for any individual team.

The week wasn't a total bust for Bing. It nailed the pick for the Seahawks-Cardinals game, going with the visiting Seahawks despite the Cardinals perfect home record heading into the game. It was also correct in siding with the Jaguars, the first time it had done so all season (Bing is undefeated when picking the Jags!).

Here's a quick recap of Bing's Week 16 performance:

  • 5-3 when picking the home team
  • 4-4 when picking the visitors
  • 2-2 with predicted chances under 60%
  • 4-2 with predicted chances between 60 and 69.9%
  • 3-3 with predicted chances between 70 and 79.9%

Coming into this week, Bing was at its best when the chances were 70 to 79.9%. Now, the search engine officially gets better when the predicted chances go up. Here's a breakdown for the season so far:

  • Under 60% chance – 50.6% accuracy
  • 60-69.9% chance – 71.0% accuracy
  • 70-79.9% chance – 76.1% accuracy
  • 80% and above chance – 76.5% accuracy

Bing Predicts Week 17 Analysis

Based on predicted chances, Week 17 looks very good for Bing. The search engine is calling for 70% or better chance in 8 games, including 3 games over 80%. Bing is also going with the home team for the vast majority of the games this week, a strategy that has paid off well for most of the season.

Both the NFC and AFC still have one slot still open for the playoffs. If Bing’s predictions hold up, those teams will be the Falcons and the Ravens. However, Bing’s confidence level here is pretty low. In the Falcons-Panthers matchup, the search engine favors the Falcons with only a 53.3% chance. In other words, this is truly anyone’s game, and whichever team wins this game is in the playoffs (with a losing record, nonetheless).

The AFC playoff picture isn't quite as clear. A Ravens win and a Chargers loss or tie is the only chance Baltimore has for the playoffs. Bing has the Ravens winning and the Chargers losing. The Ravens are a clear favorite (77.8%) at home against the quarterback-less Browns. The Chargers have a bigger challenge on the road against the Chiefs. Bing is giving Kansas City a 56.6% edge in that game. Based on Bing's performance this year, there's about 50-50 chance for the Ravens to make the playoffs.

bing predicts week 17 w out monday night game

Here's a breakdown of Bing's Week 17 predictions:

  • 13 games in favor of the home team
  • 3 games in favor of the visitors
  • 4 games under 60% chance
  • 4 games between 60 and 69.9% chance
  • 5 games between 70 and 79.9% chance
  • 3 games at 80% chance or better

How will Bing do in its final week of the season? It could be the best week ever for the prediction engine. Then again, it could blow up if many teams play half-heartedly in games that don't mean much. My Predicting Bing Predicts formula is giving the search engine a 59% chance to go 11-5 or better.

Next week, we'll have a full recap of Bing's performance for the entire season as well as a look ahead to the playoffs.

First Scribe is now Perrill Why the change?