Jay’s Plays NFL picks: 2017-18 season primer
Jay's Plays

Jay’s Plays NFL picks: 2017-18 season primer

Are you ready or some football picks? We are. Jay’s Plays NFL Picks is back for its 12th season and our third at GNN.

We’ve been kicking ass and taking names for much of the last decade, batting a whopping 62.5 percent. Putting your money where our mouth was, we went 69-24-3 last year, 24-16-3 in teasers.

Here is a primer on how this column works:

1. Ernesto the Prediction Iguana makes all the picks. If you have any complaints about his results, just leave a message with your phone number. Ernesto will personally return all calls between the hours of 2:00 and 6:00 a.m.

2. We do teasers here, so you get to move the line (using the lines we get from vegasinsider.com) six points either way in your favor. You have to hit both picks to win, but you don’t lose the occasional tie. “But that’s harder,” you say…not if you play smart. Here’s some tips...

3. Take a really good team giving points to a particularly weak team and slide the six points to the favorite. Suddenly an eight point favorite only has to win by two. Better still, if they are only a four point favorite, suddenly you get two points for yourself. BONUS!

4. Don’t bet every game. Remember Ace Rothstein from "Casino"? He didn’t bet all 100 games on the card – he’d bet the two that were winners. So play SMART. Losers chase action. Winners stay cool and win one game at a time. We pick three games each week usually – sometimes two sometimes four – but normally, it’s Green Light, Amber Alert, Red Zone.

5. Stay away from most inter-divisional match-ups; you never know what you’re going to get week-to-week, and teams tend to know each other too well. The chaos of the NFC East, for example, is difficult to get a pulse on consistently. Of course, when you do find a mis-match, exploit it ruthlessly, which leads us to…

6. Be the playground bully. Bet against crappy teams even more than you bet on good teams. Example – Cleveland! For years, they’ve been an ATM machine for you!

7. Don’t forget the Over/Under! It’s your friend in a week where the lines are too close for comfort.

8. If you’re not 100 percent confident, DON’T BET THE GAME! That’s how you lose: chasing action.

9. Bet ultra-conservatively the first five weeks, if you must bet. We choose not to start the betting season until Week 5. The first four weeks are your litmus test. That’s when teams start to identify themselves.

10. Stay away from 7.5 and 3.5 lines. That half-point can kill you.

So that’s the system. We will see you next week with our first column and the start of OUR NFL prognostication season. And by the way, sadly, we pick New England to repeat.

About the author

Jay Flemma

Jay Flemma

Starting with a blog and a dream, Jay Flemma launched his first sports-writing website in 2004. Some 13 years and 25 major golf championships later, Jay has won multiple national sports writing awards. Besides GNN, his work has appeared in numerous books as well as on-line at Cybergolf, PGA.com, GolfObserver, GolfChannel.com and many other sites and print magazines. When not trying to find a lost golf ball, Jay is an entertainment, copyright, Internet, sports and trademark lawyer in Manhattan. His clients have been nominated for Grammy and Emmy awards, won a Sundance Film Festival Best Director award, performed on stage and screen, and designed pop art for museums and collectors. Jay lives in Forest Hills, N.Y., and is fiercely loyal to his alma maters, Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts and Trinity College in Connecticut.