Coming off an exciting and successful World Cup campaign, Bing Predicts is shifting focus from the world’s most popular sport to America’s most popular one – football. In particular, we set our sights on the NFL.
As with the World Cup and unlike that of our voting show predictions where we had very high accuracies, we expect to get a majority correct, but no statistics or sentiments can fairly capture the energy, the passion and the preparation the players bring on the field. We love the underdogs for a reason, after all!
For pro football, we model the respective strengths of the teams by examining outcomes from previous seasons including wins, losses, and the very rare tie outcome (two games since 2009), factoring in margin of victories, location of contest, playing surface and roof cover (or lack thereof), weather and temperature conditions, scoring by quarters, and multiple offensive and defensive statistics. In addition to this prior model, we identify fans on Web and Social sites and track their sentiment to understand the aggregate wisdom of this expressive crowd. This introduces data which statistics alone cannot capture, providing real-time adjustments which surprisingly can capture injury news and other substantive factors in win probabilities.
As the Bing platform powers Cortana, Windows Phone users can expect to get the skinny on the week’s match-up odds on their phones. You can read more about that on the Windows Blog here.
– Walter Sun, Bing Predicts Team