Wiseguys? Detroit Free Press Expert Picks Are 3-9 On Detroit Lions Games This Season

Written By Matt Schoch on September 28, 2021

Maybe we’re learning why the Detroit Free Press has a limited number of football picks available in their pages.

The experts are having a tough time in the picks they do make, as the four men tasked with score predictions are 3-9 against the spread in games.

Now, to be fair, picking only Detroit Lions games is a bit of a tall task, as shown by a couple covers amongst the three outright Detroit losses to open the season. Looking ahead to the Chicago Bears and (possibly) Justin Fields on Sunday, the Lions were only 3-point underdogs as of Tuesday morning.

Overall, the Detroit media experts we’re tracking this season have a combined 108-120-4 mark, down 12 units for the season.

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Free Press Lions beat writer Dave Birkett opens 0-3 to start season

If you need any more evidence on how tough the Lions are to figure out, look no further than the Freep’s excellent beat writer, Dave Birkett.

Birkett, who is as plugged-in to the team as anyone from the outside world, has misfired on all three Lions games so far.

He wasn’t alone in the Freep pages, as all four writers had the Lions losing by margins of 10-16 points. Detroit comfortably covered the 7.5-point game time spread in a 19-17 defeat, despite another brutal ending.

Detroit News: Columnists leading the way for local picks

Ride with Niyo. Wager with Wojo.

Just spitballing marketing ideas here free of charge for the Detroit News folks, but columnists John Niyo and Bob Wojnowski are leading the locals in NFL picks. Niyo is up nine units and Wojo is up five. Those are the only local pickers to give winning picks for readers tailing them.

Niyo had another nice week, going 10-6 to lead the locals.

However, we had to give Lions beat writer Justin Rogers another no-contest for the Lions, as he picked the Ravens to cover in the score-specific picks after taking the home team in the earlier picks.

Winning week for 971 The Ticket host Mike Valenti

Mike Valenti had the afternoon off on Friday. But ever the professional for gambling, the drive-time host still called into his show on 97.1-FM The Ticket with his picks, going 3-2. Co-host Rico Beard was 2-3.

Both men lost with the 49ers -3 and won with the Lions +8.5. Valenti won with the Chargers +7 and the Rams +1, losing an Eagles +3.5 bet on Monday night. Beard had the other side on all three of those games.

PickerWinsLossesTiesWin percentage
Bob Wojnowski, Detroit News51412.553
John Niyo, Detroit News48442.521
Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press330.500
James Hawkins, Detroit News42502.457
Mike Valenti, 971 The Ticket14181.439
Justin Rogers, Detroit News37502.427
Rico Beard, 971 The Ticket12201.379
Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press240.333
Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press240.333
Jeff Seidel, Detroit Free Press150.167

Lead image credit: AP Photo/Tony Ding

Matt Schoch Avatar
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Matt Schoch

A Michigan native, Matt has worked at newspapers in Michigan, Missouri and the Virgin Islands. A versatile sports reporter, Matt has covered sailing on the Great Lakes, cricket in the Caribbean, high school and pro playoffs, and the Olympics in Rio. He's also the host of the Locked On Pistons Podcast and producer of a documentary on Emoni Bates. A former blackjack dealer, Matt has studied the industry from all sides.

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