Football bragging rights

'Pigskin Pundits' tackle fifth week of NFL picks

Close race for top spot among prognosticators as six games separate pack
By Staff | Oct 04, 2018
Artwork by: Christine Dunkle

Rockland — This is the fifth week of the 2018-19 National Football League season and the weekly game picks from the Courier Publications/VillageSoup prognosticators and guests have gotten off to somewhat strong — and mostly positive — starts.

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

In Week 4, Courier Publications/VillageSoup Owner Reade Brower finished 11-4, Sports Director Ken Waltz 10-5, Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell 8-7 and sports reporter Zack Miller 10-5. Guest Jason Karam finished 8-7.

Thus far this season, Waltz is 37-24-2 (.607 winning percentage), Miller 36-25-2 (.590), Haskell 33-28-2 (.541) and Brower 31-30-2 (.508). The guests are 33-28-2 (.541).

In Week 1, Howard Fogg of Monmouth finished 7-8-1, in Week 2, Ethan Butler of Appleton 9-6-1, in Week 3, Richard Carlsen of Vinalhaven 9-7 and Week 4, Jason Karam of Warren 8-7.

The Week 5 guest is Sandy Cameron of Belfast. She was one of the top pickers from 2017.

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 5? Here is what our group and guest think:

The Week 5 schedule:

Thursday, Oct. 4

Indianapolis at New England

Sunday, Oct. 7

Tennessee at Buffalo

Miami at Cincinnati

Baltimore at Cleveland

Green Bay at Detroit

Jacksonville at Kansas City

Denver at N.Y. Jets

Atlanta at Pittsburgh

N.Y. Giants at Carolina

Oakland at Los Angeles Chargers

Minnesota at Philadelphia

Arizona at San Francisco

Los Angeles Rams at Seattle

Dallas at Houston

Monday, Oct. 8

Washington at New Orleans

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

Brower — New England, Tennessee, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Green Bay, Kansas City, Denver, Pittsburgh, Carolina, Los Angeles Chargers, Philadelphia, Arizona, Seattle, Dallas and New Orleans.

Waltz — New England, Tennessee, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Jacksonville, Denver, Pittsburgh, Carolina, Oakland, Minnesota, San Francisco, Los Angeles Rams, Houston and New Orleans.

Haskell — New England, Tennessee, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Green Bay, Kansas City, Denver, Pittsburgh, Carolina, Los Angeles Chargers, Philadelphia, Arizona, Los Angeles Raiders, Dallas and New Orleans.

Miller — New England, Tennessee, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Green Bay, Jacksonville, Denver, Atlanta, Carolina, Los Angeles Chargers, Philadelphia, Arizona, Los Angeles Rams, Dallas and New Orleans.

Cameron — New England, Tennessee, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Green Bay, Jacksonville, Denver, Atlanta, Carolina, Los Angeles Chargers, Philadelphia, Arizona, Los Angeles Rams, Houston and New Orleans.

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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