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NFL predictions: Microsoft’s Bing eyes the week 1 winners — as well as a Super Bowl champ

The Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers kick off the NFL season tonight in a rematch of Super Bowl 50, and based on a Bing prediction that gives Carolina a 57 percent chance of winning, quarterback Cam Newton may actually stick around for the full post-game press conference.

Microsoft’s search engine is back with weekly predictions for all the NFL games thanks to Bing Predicts, which uses “search, social, and other relevant data to make intelligent predictions about upcoming events.”

Scanning the schedule shows a few lopsided predictions in the week one mix. The Seattle Seahawks are a 78 percent favorite opening at home against the Miami Dolphins. Kansas City, Philadelphia and Arizona also hold decisive edges in their matchup predictions. There are also a few upsets in Bing’s forecast — let’s go, Buffalo?

Bing says machine learning and deep knowledge take its weekly power rankings to a new level and provide fans with a powerful tool in forecasting where the season is headed. In fact, playoff contenders are already spelled out before the first ball has been snapped:

1. New England (AFC East),
2. Cincinnati (AFC North),
3. Kansas City (AFC West),
4. Houston (AFC South),
5. New York Jets (first wild-card),
6. Denver (second wild-card).

1. Carolina (NFC South),
2. Green Bay (NFC North),
3. Arizona (NFC West),
4. Philadelphia (NFC East),
5. Minnesota (first wild-card),
6. Seattle (second wild-card).

And Bing says its model has already determined an early favorite to be Super Bowl champion. More smiles for Newton? Bing sees the Panthers beating New England in Houston in February.

If that imagined reality is too hard to take for some, Bing also offers fantasy football predictions so fans can best learn which players are worth starting on any given Sunday … or Monday, or Thursday.
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