Football bragging rights

'Pigskin Pundits' tackle eighth week of NFL picks

Miller maintains one-game lead over Waltz, four-game cushion over others
By Staff | Oct 25, 2018

Rockland — This is the eighth week of the 2018-19 National Football League season and the weekly game picks from the Courier Publications/VillageSoup prognosticators and guests have resulted in a mixed bag of gridiron guessing success.

In Week 7, Courier Publications/VillageSoup Owner Reade Brower finished 11-3, Sports Director Ken Waltz 10-4, Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell 10-4 and sports reporter Zack Miller 9-5. Guest Dwight Collins finished 10-4.

Thus far this season, through seven weeks, Miller leads the pack at 64-41-2 (.610 winning percentage), while Waltz is 63-42-2 (.600), Haskell 60-45-2 (.571) and Brower 58-47-2 (.552). The guests are 60-45-2 (.571).

In Week 1, Howard Fogg of Monmouth finished 7-8-1; Week 2, Ethan Butler of Appleton, 9-6-1; Week 3, Richard Carlsen of Vinalhaven, 9-7; Week 4, Jason Karam of Warren, 8-7; Week 5, Sandy Cameron of Belfast, 9-6; Week 6, Scott Case of Belfast 8-7; and Week 7, Dwight Collins of Lincolnville 10-4.

The Week 8 guest is Bruce Turner of Orrington.

This is the 20th straight year the "Pigskin Pundits" make their weekly NFL game selections.

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.

The picks appear each Thursday online.

Each year during the NFL season, through the Super Bowl, Brower, Waltz, Haskell and a weekly guest went head-to-head against one another by picking that week’s slate of pro football games. This year, sports reporter Miller joins the group to try to earn football picking bragging rights.

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

After 16 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.

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

So, who do you like in Week 8? Here is what our "experts" and guest think:

The Week 8 schedule includes:

Thursday, Oct. 25

Miami at Houston

Sunday, Oct. 28

Philadelphia at Jacksonville (London)

N.Y. Jets at Chicago

Tampa Bay at Cincinnati

Seattle at Detroit

Denver at Kansas City

Washington at N.Y. Giants

Cleveland at Pittsburgh

Baltimore at Carolina

Indianapolis at Oakland

Green Bay at Los Angeles Rams

San Francisco at Arizona

New Orleans at Minnesota

Monday, Oct. 29

New England at Buffalo

The following are the Week 8 picks of the Courier Publications/VillageSoup group and the weekly guest:

Brower — Miami, Jacksonville, Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, Kansas City, Washington, Pittsburgh, Carolina, Oakland, Green Bay, Arizona, Minnesota and New England..

Waltz — Houston, Jacksonville, Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, Kansas City, Washington, Pittsburgh, Carolina, Indianapolis, Los Angeles Rams, Arizona, New Orleans and New England.

Haskell — Miami, Philadelphia, Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, Kansas City, Washington, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco, Minnesota and New England.

Miller — Houston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Cincinnati, Seattle, Kansas City, Washington, Pittburgh, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco, Minnesota and New England.

Turner — Houston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, Denver, Washington, Cleveland, Carolina, Oakland, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco, New Orleans and New England.

History lesson

Last season, Brower was the “top dog” as he finished with a 178-78 record (.695 winning percentage), while the weekly guests finished second at 169-87 (.660), Haskell third at 156-100 (.609) and Waltz fourth at 153-103 (.598).

As a guest picker last season in Week 8, Miller finished a perfect 13-0 and earned the right to pick against Waltz, Haskell and Brower in the playoffs, along with Sandy Cameron of Belfast and Mark Cooper of Fairfield, who finished with 13-3 records in Week 13 and Week 16, respectively.

As an employee in another Brower company, Miller was ineligible to collect the free year’s subscription, but picked playoff games along with Cameron and Cooper, who had the second-best guest marks.

Haskell, Miller and Cooper correctly picked the Philadelphia Eagles to defeat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII.

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

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