Football bragging rights

Now in Week 9, prediction powers of 'Pigskin Pundits' take shape

In Week 8, strong predictions, records across board for "pundits," guest
By Staff | Oct 31, 2019

Rockland — This is the ninth 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 8, Brower finished 14-1, Miller 13-2 and Waltz and Haskell 13-3, while the guest was 10-5.

Thus, after eight weeks, Waltz is 85-35-1 (.708 winning percentage), Haskell 76-44-1 (.633), Brower 75-45-1 (.625), Miller 73-47-1  (.608) and guests 74-46-1 (.617).

Among Courier Publications/VillageSoup prognosticators, Brower has the best weekly records at 14-1 in Week 8 and 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 2019-20, 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; in Week 4, Ethan Butler of Appleton, 7-8; in Week 5, Scott Case of Belfast, 7-8; in Week 6, Emily Cole of Waldoboro, 9-5; in Week 7, Casey Holmes of Dixmont, 11-3; and in Week 8, Jacob Light of Warren, 10-5.

The Week 9 guest is Chad Blake of Rockland.

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 9? Below is what our "experts" and guest think.

The Week 9 schedule includes:

Thursday, Oct. 31

San Francisco at Arizona

Sunday, Nov. 3

Houston at Jacksonville

Washington at Buffalo

Minnesota at Kansas City

N.Y. Jets at Miami

Chicago at Philadelphia

Indianapolis at Pittsburgh

Tennessee at Carolina

Detroit at Oakland

Tampa Bay at Seattle

Cleveland at Denver

Green Bay at Los Angeles Chargers

New England at Baltimore

Monday, Nov. 4

Dallas at N.Y. Giants

The following are the Week 9 picks of the Courier Publications/VillageSoup crew and weekly guest:

Brower — San Francisco, Houston, Buffalo, Kansas City, Miami, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Carolina, Detroit, Seattle, Denver, Green Bay, New England and Dallas.

Waltz — San Francisco, Houston, Buffalo, Kansas City, N.Y. Jets, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Carolina, Oakland, Seattle, Cleveland, Green Bay, New England and Dallas.

Haskell — San Francisco, Houston, Buffalo, Minnesota, N.Y. Jets, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Carolina, Oakland, Seattle, Cleveland, Green Bay, New England and Dallas.

Miller — San Francisco, Houston, Buffalo, Kansas City, N.Y. Jets, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Tennessee, Detroit, Seattle, Denver, Green Bay, New England and Dallas.

Blake — San Francisco, Jacksonville, Buffalo, Kansas City, N.Y. Jets, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Tennessee, Detroit, Seattle, Cleveland, Green Bay, New England and Dallas.

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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