Wouldn't it be nice if you could poll a group of experts before you made decisions in life?
Think about how helpful it would be to see a list of car experts give their opinion on which make and model you should buy as you whittled down your options, or which smart phone would give you more bang for your buck.
It would be great, right?
Unfortunately, we can't call upon a group of experts to give their opinion on every decision we make. That being said, we can see what a group of football experts are predicting for every NFL game this week.
Using the data curated by the fine folks at Pickwatch, below you'll find expert consensus predictions for every NFL game this week.
|Game||Consensus Pick||Expert Confidence %|
|Washington at Minnesota Vikings||Washington||81%|
|Buffalo Bills at Pittsburgh Steelers||Pittsburgh Steelers||67%|
|Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans||Tennessee Titans||100%|
|St. Louis Rams at Indianapolis Colts||Indianapolis Colts||100%|
|Oakland Raiders at New York Giants||New York Giants||92%|
|Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons||Seattle Seahawks||94%|
|Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens||Cincinnati Bengals||73%|
|Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears||Detroit Lions||69%|
|Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers||Green Bay Packers||65%|
|Carolina Panthers at San Francisco 49ers||San Francisco 49ers||81%|
|Houston Texans at Arizona Cardinals||Arizona Cardinals||69%|
|Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers||Denver Broncos||96%|
|Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints||New Orleans Saints||98%|
|Miami Dolphins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Push||50%|
So what have we learned?
Which team will win?
First of all, stay away from the Miami Dolphins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers game. When the predictions are split that evenly down the middle, it's too risky of a play.
It shouldn't come as a surprise that the Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts are being picked across the board, as the Jacksonville Jaguars are dreadful, while the St. Louis Rams have talent but also have Kellen Clemens under center.
It's also no surprise that the Seattle Seahawks are 94 percent favorites, though it is perhaps a surprise that Frank Schwab and Les Carpenter of Yahoo! Sports and Seth Wickersham of ESPN are siding with the Atlanta Falcons.
Perhaps they've taken note of how the Seahawks have played down to the level of their opponents in the past two weeks, needing a red-zone stand as time expired to beat the Rams and overtime to beat the Bucs. As a result, they think the Falcons will be the team that makes them pay.
It's not a surprise that the Denver Broncos are widely favored—only Erik Frenz of Bleacher Report and Keyshawn Johnson of ESPN like the San Diego Chargers—but that game should end up being a very exciting, very high-scoring contest.
But two of the 90 percent or higher consensus picks are a bit curious. The New York Giants are predicted by 92 percent of the writers to beat the Oakland Raiders, which just feels a bit high for a team that started the season with six-straight losses.
Only Jason La Canfora of CBS and Chris Hansen, Ty Schalter and Matt Miller of Bleacher Report like the Oakland Raiders. Perhaps Nick Foles' seven-touchdown performance against Oakland last week scared everyone else off.
Meanwhile, 98 percent of the writers think the New Orleans Saints will beat the Dallas Cowboys. Only Erik Frenz of Bleacher Report is rolling with the 'Boys. The logic for picking the Saints is sound—they're at home, coming off a tough loss and the Cowboys are wildly inconsistent. But you would still think a few more writers would give Dallas a chance.
Both Washington and the San Francisco 49ers were picked by 81 percent of the writers. The Minnesota Vikings aren't getting much respect at home, with just nine writers picking them, while the Carolina Panthers are getting a bit of respect on the road in the Winning Streak Bowl (Carolina comes into this game having won four straight, while the Niners have won five straight).
Despite the injury to Aaron Rodgers, 65 percent of the writers who made predictions still like the Green Bay Packers at home. That's a lot of people who feel far more comfortable with Seneca Wallace under center than I do.
Finally, two of the premier matchups this week—the Cincinnati Bengals at the Baltimore Ravens and the Detroit Lions at the Chicago Bears—are clear favorites, but not by much, as 73 percent of the writers like the Bengals and 69 percent like the Lions.
That's a lot of love for the road team in divisional clashes, folks—always a tricky call.
Before we go, I may not be considered an expert—well, unless you ask my doting mother—but I'll share my picks with you nonetheless. This week, I like Washington, the Steelers, the Titans, the Colts, the Giants, the Seahawks, the Ravens, the Bears, the Eagles, the Niners, the Texans, the Broncos, the Saints and the Dolphins.