National Football League picks

Game for game, can you match 'Pigskin Pundits' in Week 5?

After four weeks, Waltz's lead trimmed to three games, Haskell moves into second
By Staff | Oct 03, 2019

Rockland — This is the fifth week of the 2019-20 National Football League season and, subsequently, the weekly game picks from the Courier Publications/VillageSoup prognosticators and guests.

It also is the 21st year the media company has coordinated weekly game picks during the pro football campaign.

Those who participate — referred to as the "Pigskin Pundits" — are Reade Brower, owner; Ken Waltz, sports director; Mark Haskell, associate sports director; and Zack Miller, sports reporter. A guest also participates each week.

The picks appear each Thursday online.

Each year during the NFL season, through the Super Bowl, Brower, Waltz, Haskell, Miller, as well as a weekly guest, go head-to-head against one another by picking that week’s slate of pro football games.

The game “winners” are not selected by a points spread, but merely the final score.

For the 2019-20 season, in Week 4, Haskell finished 10-5, Waltz and Miller 8-7 and Brower and the guest 7-8.

Thus, after four weeks, Waltz is 43-19-1 (.694 winning percentage), Haskell 40-22-1 (.645), Brower 39-23-1 (.629), Miller 37-25-1 (.597) and guests 37-25-1 (.597).

Among Courier Publications/VillageSoup prognosticators, Brower has the best weekly record at 13-2-1 in Week 1, while Brad King of Rockland, last year's guest winner, finished 12-3-1 in Week 1, for the best mark among the guests.

For the guests, in Week 1, Brad King of Rockland finished 12-3-1; in Week 2, Michele Scheffler of Jefferson, 8-8; in Week 3, Howard Fogg of Monmouth, 11-5; and in Week 4, Ethan Butler of Appleton, 7-8.

The Week 5 guest is Scott Case of Belfast.

After 17 weeks, the guest with the best weekly record will return to pick against Waltz, Haskell, Miller and Brower for the playoffs and Super Bowl. The guest with the best weekly record also will receive a year's subscription to any of Courier Publications' newspapers or either of the organization's websites.

Last year’s guest winner was King, who went 11-4 in Week 12 and earned the right to pick against Waltz, Haskell, Miller and Brower in the playoffs.

Those interested in being a weekly guest picker this year should email Haskell at mhaskell@courierpublicationsllc.com.

For decades, the weekly picks were featured in the print editions of Courier Publications’ newspapers, The Courier-Gazette, The Camden Herald and The Republican Journal. Now, those picks are made exclusively on the organization’s websites — knox.villagesoup.com and waldo.villagesoup.com.

So, who do you like in Week 5? Below is what our "experts" and guest think.

The Week 5 schedule includes:

Thursday, Oct. 3

Los Angeles Rams at Seattle

Sunday, Oct.

Arizona at Cincinnati

Buffalo at Tennessee

Chicago at Oakland

Tampa Bay at New Orleans

Minnesota at N.Y. Giants

N.Y. Jets at Philadelphia

Baltimore at Pittsburgh

New England at Washington

Jacksonville at Carolina

Atlanta at Houston

Denver at Los Angeles Chargers

Green Bay at Dallas

Indianapolis at Kansas City

Monday, Oct. 7

Cleveland at San Francisco

The following are the Week 5 picks of the Courier Publications/VillageSoup crew and weekly guest:

Brower — Seattle, Cincinnati, Tennessee, Chicago, New Orleans, N.Y. Giants, Philadelphia, Baltimore, New England, Carolina, Atlanta, Los Angeles Chargers, Dallas, Kansas City and San Francisco.

Waltz — Seattle, Arizona, Buffalo, Oakland, New Orleans, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New England, Jacksonville, Houston, Los Angeles Chargers, Dallas, Kansas City and San Francisco.

Haskell — Los Angeles Rams, Arizona, Tennessee, Chicago, New Orleans, N.Y. Giants, Philadelphia, Baltimore, New England, Carolina, Houston, Los Angeles Chargers, Green Bay, Kansas City and Cleveland.

Miller — Seattle, Arizona, Tennessee, Chicago, New Orleans, N.Y. Giants, Philadelphia, Baltimore, New England, Jacksonville, Houston, Los Angeles Chargers, Dallas, Kansas City and Cleveland.

Case — Seattle, Cincinnati, Tennessee, Chicago, New Orleans, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Baltimore, New England, Jacksonville, Houston, Los Angeles Chargers, Dallas, Kansas City and Cleveland.

History lesson

Last season, Waltz was the “top dog” in the regular season as he finished 161-93-2 (.634 winning percentage), thanks to a 16-0 final week, while Miller was second at 157-97-2 (.618), Haskell third at 151-103-2 (.594) and Brower fourth at 142-112-2 (.559). The guests finished 148-106-2 (.583).

Overall, Waltz finished 167-98-2, Miller 162-103-2, Haskell 158-107-2, Brower 150-115-2 and guests 159-110-2.

Last year’s weekly guest winner was Brad King of Rockland, who went 11-4 in Week 12 and earned the right to pick against Waltz, Haskell, Miller and Brower in the playoffs.

In the postseason, Brower finished 8-3, Haskell and King 7-4, Waltz 6-5 and Miller 5-6. All five correctly picked the Patriots to defeat the Rams in Super Bowl LIII.

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com or by phone at 594-4401.

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