Microsoft Cortana — a virtual assistant that predicts the outright winner of every NFL game on Bing — opened the playoffs with a solid showing, going 3-1 over wild card weekend.
The algorithm, which correctly picked 64% of games during the regular season, only missed the Raiders-Texans game, unwisely riding the Raiders despite the fact that Connor Cook hadn't ever started an NFL game before.
After wild card weekend comes the divisional round of the playoffs, when we finally see the four teams that earned first round byes. Perhaps unsurprisingly, all four teams that earned byes from their regular-season records are also favored by Cortana and Las Vegas.
That doesn't, however, mean the games will all be blowouts. Wild Card Weekend may have been, but this weekend's slate is much more interesting. The Patriots may be heavy favorites (with one of the biggest lines in NFL history, in fact), but the other three games will all be much closer. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are red-hot entering Jerry World, and so is the Pittsburgh offense. Don't ever count the Seahawks out of a playoff game.
As always, Cortana picks only the outright winner of each game. It does not make picks against the spread, though we like to include the point spread (in parentheses, courtesy of Vegas Insider) for comparison. You can find Cortana's predictions by searching "NFL schedule" on Bing.
Without further ado, here are Cortana's picks:
Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons (-5) — Falcons 73% chance to win
Houston Texans at New England Patriots (-16) — Patriots 83% chance to win
Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs (-1.5) — Chiefs 63% chance to win
Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys (-4.5) — Cowboys 51% chance to win
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