The NFL postseason officially kicked off last weekend, and the Wild Card games were, well, pretty boring. The average margin of victory for the four games was 19 points, and the closest of the bunch was the Houston Texans' 27-14 win over the Oakland Raiders in a snooze-fest of a game that featured 494 combined total yards.
The data experts at Bing Predicts turned in a solid 3-1 performance, unfortunately failing to fully anticipate just how much Oakland quarterback Connor Cook would struggle in his first career start. Now, the forecasters set their sights on the Divisional Round with another four-pack of games to pick.
PointAfter, a sports data site powered by Graphiq, used data from Bing Predicts to analyze every NFL game. Bing Predicts uses web activity and social sentiment -- in addition to historical player, team and match stats -- to predict the outcome of NFL games. Web and social data allow Bing Predicts to capture real-time information about lineup changes and reaction to them to tune the strengths of teams.
Last week, Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers stayed hot in a 38-13 beatdown of the New York Giants. The win sets up the most enticing matchup of the Divisional Round, with Green Bay heading to Jerry World to face the Dallas Cowboys. We'll break down all four games, starting with what Bing views as the most competitive of the week, and offer our insights as we move through every matchup. In the event of ties, the earlier game was shown first. If games had the same kickoff time, we then broke ties based on each game's opening line.
Note: Also included with game predictions are the opening lines for each game, courtesy of Vegas Insider.