Bing Predicts Ends NFL Regular Season on a High Note, Gears Up for Playoffs
After a mediocre Week 16 performance, Bing Predicts roared back in the final week of the regular season. Bing's 12-4 record during Week 17 gave the search engine a final record of 169-87 for the season. This 66% accuracy puts Bing well above its goal of getting the majority of the games right. Now, it's onto the playoffs where Bing Predicts hopes to repeat the perfection it achieved during the World Cup.
Bing Predicts Week 17 Recap
Week 17 wasn't exactly a shocking week. Other than the Panthers rolling over the Falcons in Atlanta to secure the pathetic NFC South, most of the games went as expected. We can't be too upset about the Patriots losing to the Bills; after all, New England had already clinched home field advantage throughout the playoffs, so there was nothing on the line in this game.
In the games that really mattered for playoff position, Bing missed only one: the Falcons-Panthers matchup. Bing was correct in every other game that made a difference for the playoffs, putting it at 9-1 for the games that meant anything this week.
As we saw during much of the season, Bing excelled when the predicted chances were high. The search engine went 7-1 in games with a predicted chance over 70% this week, putting it at 71-21 for the season (77% accuracy).
Bing ends the regular season with a 115-57 record when going with the home team and a 54-30 record when picking the visitors. While the search engine was more than twice as likely to go with the home team, it only performed slightly better with home field advantage.
Here is a recap of Bing's final numbers for each prediction range:
- 50-59.9% chance: 46-45
- 60-69.9% chance: 52-22
- 70-79.9% chance: 56-17
- 80%+ chance: 15-4
When the predicted chances of a team winning were over 60%, Bing had a 70% chance of better of getting the outcome right. For those games under a 60% chance, it was more or less a coin flip. As we head into the playoffs, it will be interesting to see if Bing's performance stays consistent with these numbers.
Bing Predicts Picks the Playoff Teams
While Bing's regular season record may not be impressive enough to declare the prediction engine a game-changer when it comes to NFL picks, Bing does have a knack for getting it right when it counts the most. Let's not forget that during the World Cup knockout stage, Bing Predicts accurately picked the outcome of all 15 games (3rd place game excluded). This was after a relatively unimpressive 29-19 record for the group stage games.
Of course, the NFL is a different animal entirely, and it's unlikely that Bing will be able to repeat that World Cup prediction perfection during the NFL playoffs. However, Bing did achieve another impressive feat during the course of its regular season predictions: it picked the right teams for the playoffs.
While Bing never officially stated which teams would make the playoffs, a thorough analysis of the search engine's picks for the whole season gives us insight into which teams Bing expected to be in the playoffs. Based on predicted wins and losses, Bing successfully picked 10 of the 12 playoff teams and 7 of the 8 division champions. The only playoff teams it missed were the Panthers and the Cardinals.
Here are Bing's picks for the playoffs based on its season-long predictions:
Broncos*, Colts*, Steelers*, Patriots*, Bengals, Ravens
Seahawks*, Packers*, Cowboys*, Saints*, 49ers, Lions
* Denotes Division Champion
Going off Bing's predictions, the first-round playoff matchups would be slightly different, but the end result might be the same. As of now, Bing is predicting the Patriots over the Packers in the Super Bowl.
Bing Predicts Wild Card Weekend Playoff Preview
With only 4 games this weekend, Bing doesn't have much room for error. It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that Bing is going with the home team for all 4 games. However, this strategy may backfire. Historically, the home team only wins about 64% of the time in these Wild Card games. Since the NFL expanded to the current playoff format in 2002, the home team has only won about 55% of Wild Card games. In other words, there's a good chance that at least one home team will fall this weekend.
On paper, the Panthers-Cardinals pick may seem like a surprise. The Cardinals have the better record, but they are also struggling without a legitimate starting quarterback. Meanwhile, the Panthers have won four games in a row. Still, it won't be a huge surprise if the Cardinals find a way to squeak this one out. After all, Carolina is only 4-4 at home this season.
Of all the Wild Card games, Bing is most confident about the Ravens-Steelers matchup. These two rivals have traded wins this season, with both games being decided by 20 points. However, with this game in Pittsburgh, don't expect the Ravens to come out on top.
It's a bit surprising that Bing has such a low chance for the Bengals-Colts game. When the teams faced each other earlier this season in Indianapolis, the Colts won by 27. While they haven't seemed quite as dominant in recent weeks, the Bengals are pretty inconsistent and unlikely to win in Indy.
The Lions and Cowboys haven't faced each other yet this season, and Dallas is only 4-4 at home. With their 8-0 away record this season, you have to wonder if they would prefer to be on the road. Either way, they look like the better team in this matchup.
How will Bing do in the first round of the playoffs? I give them a 70% chance of going 3-1.
Bing has now released predictions for the entire NFL playoffs. Here is what the search engine thinks is going to happen:
Bing has the home team winning every single game, which is something that has never happened since the playoffs were expanded to the current format.