Who Will Win Detroit Lions vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers? A.I. Predicts

Will Matthew Stafford be available?

Getty Images / Rob Carr

The Detroit Lions are 6-6 and hanging on by a thread in the top-heavy NFC playoff race. Not the best time for quarterback Matthew Stafford to injure his throwing hand, with his status questionable for Sunday’s game against the disappointing Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A hive mind of about 30 NFL fans predicts the Lions will win.

The Lions would need a lot to break right to sneak into the playoffs, considering the current occupants of the sixth and final spot have an 8-4 record. All they can really do is try to win out and hope for the best, and the first part of that comes with a win against the Buccaneers, who have one of the worst defenses in the league. That might make things a bit easier for Detroit’s beat-up offensive line and second-year backup quarterback Jake Rudock, who would get the call if Stafford can’t play.

From their last game in 2014.

Getty Images / Leon Halip

To predict the result of this and other games, Unanimous A.I. used what’s known as swarm intelligence to forecast the week’s slate. About 30 NFL fans worked together as a hive mind to make picks. As you can see in the animation below, each participant controlled a little golden magnet and used it to drag the puck toward the answer they thought was the most likely outcome. As the users saw the puck move toward a particular outcome, it triggers a psychological response. They readjust their decision-making, building toward a consensus. Here’s Unanimous A.I. founder Louis Rosenberg explaining swarm intelligence at a recent TEDx Talk.

Unanimous A.I. has made some scarily accurate predictions in the past using swarm intelligence, as our previous article explains. For instance, the swarm went a perfect 7-0 in its most recommended picks for a recent English Premier League slate.

Unanimous A.I.

The swarm picks Detroit to win with low confidence and a high 91 percent brainpower behind that prediction.

Unanimous A.I.

The hive mind likes Detroit to win this by four to six points, with 80 percent brainpower behind that choice. There’s no line for this game in Vegas, likely because of Stafford’s uncertain status.

The game kicks off 1 p.m. Eastern Sunday on Fox.

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