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Picking NFL winners never easy

September 6, 2011 - Jim Anderson
“The Great NFL Contest” returns to The Daily News on Friday, Sept. 9.

Bruce St. Arnauld, owner of Big 10 Sports Bar in Quinnesec, will defend his 2010 title against five other panelists, including Burt Angeli and Ron Deuter of The Daily News.

Predicting winners is never easy, even when the supposedly weak sisters play the top dogs. (On Dec. 12, the struggling Lions upset the eventual Super Bowl champion Packers 7-3.)

St. Arnauld was a so-so 153-94 through the regular season last year, correctly tabbing winners 62 percent of the time.

But he was a red-hot 8-3 through the playoffs (73 percent correct). For the Super Bowl grand finale, he spookily predicted a 31-27 Packers victory.

The actual score was 31-25. (Angeli predicted a 31-28 Packers win, missing his third contest title by a mere point.)

In The Great NFL Contest, panelists predict the score only for the Super Bowl. Otherwise, it’s simply a matter of saying who’s going to win.

Oddsmakers can generally pick straight-up winners two times out of three. But every season brings its own surprises.

With six panelists competing, going with the oddsmakers in every game may put that person in contention for the title to the end.

Invariably, though, one has to do a little better than that. Not much, but a little. Nearly nailing the Super Bowl score also helps. (Closest to the final score is worth five bonus points.)

Other panelists this year are Forest Park High School quarterback Michael Smithson, Iron Mountain High School three-sport athlete Allie Frorenza and Randville Bar and Grill owner Debbie Pucci.

Good luck to all.


Once again this year, readers may play for prizes on a weekly basis. The Daily News Football Bucks contest debuted in Monday’s NFL Insider preview. It will now be published every Friday until the end of the season.



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