Forecasting the NFL PLAYOFFS using Swarm Intelligence

Where do you go if you want the inside scoop about what’s going to happen in the NFL? Maybe you watch ESPN, or listen to Bill Simmons’ podcast. If so, you might want to add UNU to your list of go-to’s.

UNU is a new tool that let’s groups think together as real-time “swarms.” Built using A.I. technology, UNU combines and amplifies wisdom of everyone in the group, producing insightful answers to any question posed.

In prior blog posts I reported on groups using UNU to make some incredible predictions. Previous swarms have outperformed the New York Times and FiveThirtyEight in predicting the Oscars, the Super Bowl (and made a killing on prop bets, and even predicted the winner of the NBA and NHL finals long before the traditional “experts” saw the victories coming.

Heading into the home stretch of the NFL season, we wanted to put Swarm Intelligence to test once more, and see how a real-time groups would do in picking both this weekend’s games and the eventual playoff contenders.

First, we asked UNU to pick a few games against the spread. This weekend, the Panthers are favored on the road against the Giants, but UNU doesn’t think the game will be that close. The video below shows 37 people thinking together, negotiating in real-time to find the answer that best represents the group’s opinion.

Carolina over Giants by 12

We’ll have to wait for the weekend to see if UNU is right, or if the Giants can spoil the Carolina’s undefeated season the way they spoiled New England’s a few years ago. But with the Panthers playing as well as they are, a big victory certainly seems possible. Here are the rest of UNU’s picks for the weekend.

  • Minnesota will in by 7 at home over Chicago ( line is Minnesota -5.5 )
  • Buffalo will win by 3 over Washington in a pick ’em game in Washington
  • Pittsburgh will beat Denver by 6 ( line is just that: Steelers -6 in Pittsburgh )
  • Jets will win by 10 on the road in Dallas ( line is Jets minus 3 )

Next, we asked UNU to predict the winners of some hotly contested divisions. In the NFC East, where traditional powers have fallen on hard times, UNU expects that the Eagles will ultimately prevail.

NFC East Winner - Eagles

Swarms using UNU also made the following predictions:

  • Denver will win the AFC West
  • Indianapolis will win the weak AFC South
  • Green Bay will win the NFC North
  • The New York Jets will NOT hold on to the AFC Wildcard spot, despite having all the tiebreakers over the surging Steelers

Finally, what set of predictions would be complete without a Super Bowl pick? Yes, it’s a little early to make this pick, but last year UNU pulled it off just as early.  So, here’s what the swarm had to say about the biggest game of all:

Panthers win the SB

With the Panters currently sitting at 13-0 and widely considered the best team in football, the UNU swarm seems to have made as intelligent a prediction as anyone could hope for.

So, we shared our findings with the Panthers themselves. Surely, they’d be happy to hear that a new form of AI had tapped them to win it all?  Take a look…

Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 2.21.17 PM

“One game at a time.” That’s exactly how we’d expect a champion to respond.

Want to be part of a swarm?  Now you can – swarms are forming to explore topics of all kinds, from football and basketball, to music and politics. If you’d to be a BETA TESTER for the folks at UNU, just fill out the form below.