Swarming the NFL – AI Forecast for Wildcard Weekend

The forecasting swarms have begun 2019 the same way they finished 2018. A six-team parlay between the NHL and NBA swarms ushered in the New Year, and the NCAA football swarm went 7-3 in the major bowls, including both of its playoffs predictions. Now it’s on the NFL Swarm to keep that momentum going as the Wildcard Weekend is upon us. Because the NFL reseeds the playoffs after Wildcard Weekend, researchers at Unanimous AI tasked the NFL Swarm with delivering two forecasts this week, but not a bracket. First is the traditional Straight Up and Against the Spread charts the NFL Swarm produces every week. But, for the playoffs,  the NFL Swarm also produced a ranked list of each team’s likelihood to win the Super Bowl.

As you can see in the chart above, the NFL Swarm deemed only one game worthy of High Confidence when picking winners. The remaining three games were all deemed High Risk, with two of the three picks featuring road teams prevailing in the first round of the playoffs. In other words, proceed at your own risk in this weekend’s games.

Similarly, the forecast Against the Spread features zero High Confidence and three High Risk predictions. The NFL Swarm is saying loud and clear that this weekend’s matchups seem like low point spread coin flips.

Naturally, anything can happen in the NFL, from injuries to game-changing turnovers. Just ask Joe Flacco, the Super Bowl winning quarterback who now finds himself watching the Ravens move on with the youngest quarterback to ever start a playoff game. With that in mind alongside the NFL’s reseeding policy, the only way to forecast the remainder of the playoffs beyond Wildcard Weekend is as a snapshot of the NFL Swarm’s forecasted likelihood of each team winning their conference trophy. For fun, we’ve also included the Vegas odds of each team advancing to the Super Bowl, expressed as a function of payout. We will revisit these charts as the playoffs progress.










Unanimous AI invites you to participate in this weekly series of NFL predictions. You can join the growing community of football fans by following the link below. Unanimous is hosting weekly contests and Swarms to make forecasts for the upcoming matchups, and will be awarding prizes to the highest performers each week. 



Want to learn more about our Swarm AI platform? Check out our TED talk… 

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