Bing Predicts Barely Squeaks By in NFL Week 14, Looks Confident in Week 15

Note: This post is for the 2014 season. Click here to see the Week 14 results and Week 15 preview for 2015.

With just three weeks left in the NFL regular season, it’s crunch time for a lot of teams. Bing Predicts is also feeling the pressure, especially after a 9-7 showing in Week 14. This was the worst week for the search engine since an abysmal 5-8 performance in Week 4. Is Bing on the verge of folding, or are these late-season games even harder to predict as teams fight for playoff life?

Bing Predicts Week 14 Recap

Bing’s major strength all season has been picking based on home field advantage. Coming into Week 14, the prediction engine was 89-43 when siding with the home team. Unfortunately for Bing, the home turf wasn’t kind this week. Bing was just 4-5 in games in which it favored the home team, marking the first time all season the search engine has had a losing record in this category.

Interestingly enough, Bing had one of its best weeks with visitors. The search engine was 5-2 this week when going with the away team, the second best showing so far this year. Bing is now 42-25 on the season when picking the visitors to win.

Several of Bing’s misses this week were blowouts, but none was more shocking to the search engine than the Panthers 31-point victory over the Saints. Bing gave the Saints an 80% chance of victory in this one. The search engine is now 10-4 on the season when predicting a team to win with a chance of 80% or more.

As usual, Bing struggled in games with very low predicted chances. The search engine missed 4 of 5 games in which the chances were under 60%, dropping its record to 38-40 on the season for these games. In other words, when Bing isn’t sure who’s going to win, it’s really anyone’s game.

Six of the seven games Bing missed in Week 14 had major playoff implications. Perhaps this is a sign that it’s even harder to predict an outcome when something bigger is on the line.

Bing Predicts Week 15 Preview

Bing isn’t predicting any major surprises for Week 15. The biggest shocker here might be picking the Rams over the Cardinals. This is only the fourth time all season the search engine has gone with the Rams (and the third week in a row). Sure, the Rams are coming off back-to-back shutouts, but do they have what it takes to beat one of the best teams in the NFL? Well, obviously they do since they already beat the Broncos and the Seahawks this year.

bing predicts week 15 picks

Bing looks pretty confident this week, with three games at an 80% chance or above and half the games over 70% chance. This includes an 88.6% chance of a Ravens victory over the Jaguars, the largest confidence level Bing has had all season. Do they even need to play this game? The 83.9% chance Bing is calling for a Patriots victory over the Dolphins seems a bit high. After all, the Dolphins did beat the Patriots earlier this season. While a Patriots win is likely here, Bing seems to think it is a foregone conclusion.

Bing is going with the home team in 10 of 16 games this week. Here’s a breakdown of the predicted chances:

  • Under 60% chance - 5 games
  • 60-69.9% chance – 3 games
  • 70-79.9% chance – 5 games
  • 80% and above – 3 games

Bing has been known to change a pick or two during the week. I see one obvious candidate for that this week: the Bears/Saints game. While neither team is flying high, the Saints looked beyond awful last week against the Panthers. I’m a little surprised Bing would give them the nod on the road against the Bears. I won’t be at all surprised if they switch this to the Bears. Then again, Bing has gone with the 5-8 Saints 11 times so far this season. The search engine doesn’t seem to know when to say when.

Which games will Bing miss this week? Here are a few candidates (Bing’s current pick is listed first and the home team is in bold):

  • Rams/Cardinals
  • Steelers/Falcons
  • Bengals/Browns
  • Broncos/Chargers
  • Saints/Bears

Last week, my Predicting Bing Predicts algorithm missed it by just one game. This week, I give Bing a 60% chance of going 10-6 or better.

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