THE NFL IS BACK! So why are we not shouting and screaming at you?

We have one simple question for you: Do you bet on sporting events to lose money? We would like to think that any reasonable, sane person would answer that question with a resounding “NO!” But, what if we asked that same person this question: Do you bet on games during the first week of the NFL season?

The likely response to that question would be, “What are you nuts? Of course I do. I’ve waited six months for the NFL to start up again.”

Go back and read through the questions and answers then ask yourself, “Would I bet $100 or $500 or $1,000 on a coin flip?” Unless you are made of money or just don’t value money in the least, the answer to that question would be, again, a resounding “NO!”

In essence, though, if you are betting on the NFL this week that is pretty much what you are doing. Picking winners against the odds is one thing. There are always some matchups that on paper are overwhelming mismatches, and you can spot those pretty easily just by looking at the point spreads. So, if you are willing to suck it up and play the odds and bet on those games you certainly are not just throwing your money away.

But, what if the unthinkable happens and you lose? Huge upsets are more likely early in the season when teams are just finding their way, and an early big loss puts you in that perpetual hole that induces more betting, bad decisions and a cycle of losing that is hard to overcome.

And if you are picking against the spread, what information do you have to back your bets? Every season is different for every team. Each year there several teams that missed the playoffs the previous season and come out of nowhere to win their division or make the playoffs or even advance to the Super Bowl. Remember last year’s Atlanta Falcons?

Maybe some key players are injured or some wise guy in Vegas knows that one player slept with another player’s wife or girlfriend or that a group of guys was out partying the night before the game. Is that the kind of “information” you are going to use to put your hard-earned money on the line in Week 1? That’s insanity. And that’s why as the rest of the world gets all pumped up to throw their money away this weekend and as all the touts and “handicappers” yell and scream about their 500-star picks more than ever, we will sit this one out. It’s hard to stay away. But we have to. We owe it to you, our customers, to make the best, unemotional decisions for you. That’s what sets us apart. Is as much about you as it is about us.

We love football as much as you do. And we love making money for ourselves and for you just like the next guy. And we absolutely could throw a bunch of picks at you for Week 1. You wouldn’t know the difference. You would have no idea that we weren't able to glean usable information from last year or the preseason to make some solid, confident picks for the first week of the season. So, we could get all hyped up and give out fake picks and hope and pray that for our long-term winning percentage and ROI – and to impress any new potential customers – that somehow we won more than we lost.

But that would not be above board, nor would it be transparent – two ideals that our company stands for. So we won’t do it. We won’t sell out.

Will that turn some potential customers away? It might, but they probably aren’t the right fit for what we are doing. They are more into the quantity and having a full slate of bets on a given Sunday in hopes of making a killing (they usually don’t) and having a day of non-stop excitement (It usually turns into a day of yelling, screaming and cursing).

We are only concerned quality of our picks and doing everything in our power to make sure that we provide our customers with the best opportunity to win week to week and to see a positive long-term ROI. For us to do that and be true to our mission and the promise we make you when you come on board with us, we have to wait a few weeks to have enough meaningful, current statistical and other information from a variety of trusted sources to provide the quality of picks that characterizes our brand.

As always, we resist emotion and temptation and are patient, relying on a program that has churned out better than 60% winners and a yearly ROI exceeding 20% for more than 10 years. You can go flip your coin and create all the excitement you want, but we’ll stick to our red-hot MLB picks for the next two weeks and keep making money while others are digging that perpetual NFL hole.

So, in the spirit of making money, any new customers who want to jump on board for the NFL season with a six-month package and will pay today will get the next three weeks of MLB picks at no extra charge. That’s right your six-month clock won’t start until we hand out our first advised NFL pick.

That leaves the decision in your hands. Do you want to sit at home this weekend and enjoy the start of the NFL season, maybe play a little Fantasy Football to spice things up, and know that you have invested in a company that cares about you and will provide you with a return on your investment over the long term? Oh, and possibly make a little bit of money off of our free MLB picks at the same time? Or would you prefer to take the chance and throw all sensibility to wind by betting on a bunch of games that really no one can accurately handicap?

Hopefully the answer is an easy one. I mean we all like a sure thing, right? And we strive to be closer to a sure thing than any other product in the sports gaming industry.

Just for kicks we thought we would take a look at a group of online experts and their week picks just as food for thought. We will track these picks and let you know how they do. And, if nothing else, if you don't like what we have to say here is some free research for you:

  • We looked at 11 different websites or handicappers handing out free picks online, and there was not one unanimous pick this week.

  • The most overwhelming pick was the Falcons over the Bears at -7, with eight of nine posted picks favoring Atlanta.

  • Surprisingly the Bengals were the next-biggest favorite -3 over the Ravens, being favored by a 7-1 margin online.

  • The Rams at 7-2 (-3.5) and Broncos at 8-2 (-3.5) also were overwhelming picks, with the Patriots (-9) and Panthers (-5.5) checking in at 7-3. The Bucs were a 4-2 pick at -2.5 against Miami in a game that has now been postponed.

  • The remaining nine games checked in between 6-3 and 5-4, meaning even the "experts" were split.

  • The split games looked like this: Steelers 6-3 (-8.5) at Cleveland, Lions 6-3 (+1.5) home vs. Arizona, Houston 5-4 (-5.5) home vs. Jacksonville, Bills 5-4 (+8) home against the Jets, the Cowboys 5-4 (-3.5) home vs. the Giants, the Titans 5-4 (-2) at home against the Raiders, the Saints 5-4 (+3.5) at Minnesota, the Packers at 5-4 (-3) at home vs. Seattle and the Eagles at Redskins at 4-4 with the Eagles as a one-point favorite.

So, of the 16 games slated for the weekend before the Tampa Bay-Miami game was postponed, nine of them are a toss-up even for the so-called "experts." Two teams are overwhelming favorites among the "experts" with two others being very strong picks and two more being strong selections. The Bucs-Miami game isn't happening now and was 4-2 in favor of Tampa.

Broken down it looks like this:

  • 8-1 favorite = 1

  • 7-1 favorite = 1

  • 8-2 favorite = 1

  • 7-2 favorite = 1

  • 7-3 favorite = 2

  • 4-2 favorite = 1

  • 6-3 favorite = 2

  • 5-4 favorite = 6

  • 4-4 split = 1

There, all your research done for you. Before you go run off to place your bets on the big favorites, though, please note that over the past five years playoff teams vs. non-playoff teams in Week 1 have gone 17-26-5 against the spread. On top of that, favorites of between 3.5 and 6.5 points are 34-46-9 over that span in Week 1 contests.

Atlanta is the biggest favorite among the "experts." They made the playoffs last year, but the Bears did not. Red flag. Cincinnati is the next biggest favorite, but the Bengals at -3 are dangerously close to that 3.5-6.5 favorite range. The Rams were flat-out awful last year and have what amounts to a rookie quarterback starting against the Colts, who have a shot to win their division with a healthy Andrew Luck. Los Angeles is picked to cover by a 7-2 margin. It's always hard to make a case that the Patriots are a bad pick. Everything else is a toss-up even among the folks who make a living at this.

Many of you still will run out and place your bets and hope to start off the new year with a nice financial windfall. Unfortunately history and the odds are not on your side. And it really sucks to start the season, after all the excitement leading up to Week 1, several hundred (or more) dollars in the hole.

So, knowing all of that, why wouldn't you just stick with our scorching MLB picks the next three weeks and then jump on board with our NFL selections for the rest of the season and sleep well knowing that at the end of the year you will be a winner while so many others fail?

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