Wiseguys? Detroit News Takes Top 4 Spots In Michigan Media NFL Picks Race

Written By Matt Schoch on October 12, 2021 - Last Updated on October 15, 2021

All hail The Detroit News!

And you know what, it’s not just them, as there is good news this week for most of the print sportswriters that we are tracking each week for their success (or lack thereof) with NFL picks.

Since Michigan sports betting is now legal, we figure it was a good time to track whether tailing the experts around town would be a profitable venture.

The answer so far this season has been a resounding no, though there have been positive signs in some corners as of late.

Detroit News quartet takes command against media peers

The two-newspaper town rivalry used to be the stuff of legends in this town, so we hear.

Whatever rivalry is left could have a feather added to the cap of The Detroit News this week, as all four of their NFL pickers are on the top of our list.

Bob Wojnowski took the overall lead with an 8-7-1 week, but he moved up mostly because of John Niyo stumbling to a 6-9-1 mark. Justin Rogers took another “no-contest” in the Lions game by picking the host Vikings in staff picks, but taking the Lions to cover in his official prediction.

James Hawkins had a fine 9-6-1 week to move to third place.

Detroit Free Press goes 3-for-4 on Lions’ pick

Football is a game of inches, and picking football games often comes down to a point or two.

It’s either cliche or no duh, but the Detroit Free Press was mostly on the good side of the ledger this week.

The Freep does not do football picks these days, despite an obvious built-in audience. So we’re grading their staff predictions for the Lions game each week, where they post their score predictions.

Then, we take the game-time line (Lions +10 on Sunday) and give them the side that their score prediction falls on.

Although all four writers picked the Vikings to win, three of them had predicted margins under 10 (7 for Dave Birkett, 9 apiece for Shawn Windsor and Carlos Monarrez), giving them the win. Jeff Seidel, with a 14-point margin, took a loss.

Mike Valenti and Rico Beard: Rough week for radio guys

Rico Beard and Mike Valenti were on the same side of five of the six games they picked on Friday’s show on 97.1 The Ticket.

Most of those were the wrong side, enduring a 1-4-1 week.

The pair both had the Chargers -2 for their only win of the weekend. Both hosts fell together on four other picks: The 49ers +5, Giants +7, Chiefs -2.5 and Vikings -10.

The only pick they differed on was a push, as Beard had the Packers -3, while Valenti had the Bengals +3.

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
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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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