The computer model that nailed the NFL's 2017 season has made its picks for Week 2

Tom BradyMaddie Meyer/Getty Images

  • The computer models are back making their picks for the 2018 NFL season.
  • In 2017, Microsoft's Cortana correctly picked 68% of the games overall and 75% of the games over the final ten weeks.
  • FiveThirtyEight's Elo also had a strong showing during the regular season, correctly picking 64% of the games.


Week 2 of the NFL season is here, and Microsoft's Cortana is back to make picks in a head-to-head showdown with Elo.

We took a look at two popular systems used to pick NFL games: Cortana, Microsoft's digital assistant, and Elo, the modeling system used by Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight. In both cases, the computers are picking outright winners and not against the spread. However, each gives a likelihood of a team's winning, which, in theory, could help measure the strength of certain lines.

Cortana won the regular season matchup last season, going 162-78 (68%) overall, and 111-38 (75%) over the last ten weeks (we did not track Week 17 because of the wonky nature of the final week). Elo was not far behind, going 154-86 (64%) overall.

Here are the picks for Week 2, with each model's percent chance of winning in parentheses. Point spreads are just for reference, via Vegas Insider as of Thursday morning.

Thursday

  • Baltimore (-1) at Cincinnati - No pick (Elo 50%); BENGALS (Cortana 60%)

Sunday

  • Carolina at Atlanta (-5.5) - FALCONS (Elo 62%, Cortana 66%)
  • Los Angeles Chargers (-7.5) at Buffalo - BILLS (Elo 53%); CHARGERS (Cortana 70%)
  • Minnesota at Green Bay (pick'em) - VIKINGS (Elo 60%, Cortana 53%)
  • Houston (-2) at Tennessee - TITANS (Elo 70%); TEXANS (Cortana 60%)
  • Cleveland at New Orleans (-9) - SAINTS (Elo 85%, Cortana 72%)
  • Miami at New York Jets (-3) - JETS (Elo 61%, Cortana 53%)
  • Kansas City at Pittsburgh (-4.5) - STEELERS (Elo 58%, Cortana 61%)
  • Philadelphia (-3) at Tampa Bay - EAGLES (Elo 63%); BUCS (Cortana 51%)
  • Indianapolis at Washington (-6) - REDSKINS (Elo 75%, Cortana 69%)
  • Arizona at Los Angeles Rams (-13) - RAMS (Elo 74%, Cortana 79%)
  • Detroit at San Francisco (-6) - 49ERS (Elo 58%, Cortana 61%)
  • Oakland at Denver (-6) - BRONCOS (Elo 63%, Cortana 70%)
  • New England at Jacksonville (pick'em) - PATRIOTS (Elo 56%, Cortana 60%)
  • New York Giants at Dallas (-3) - COWBOYS (Elo 76%, Cortana 60%)

Monday

  • Seattle at Chicago (-3.5) - SEAHAWKS (Elo 54%); BEARS (Cortana 55%)
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