Picking the correct NFL team to beat the spread is a very challenging endeavor. Some call it the most difficult task in sports. Vegas is pretty good at making the teams equal with the line, and the vast majority of handicappers ultimately fall back to 50% success given enough games. 50% is the worst you can do. A dog with his paw will get 50% over 1000 games. Most NFL handicappers are just flipping coins and the chance that their overall record is 50% grows stronger with each pick. Unfortunately this will not make you any money if you choose to gamble and you will actually lose big. The break even success rate needed has been calculated at 52.38% given an average of a 10% vig fee. So if you want longterm success, you need to be above 52.38% or forget it. You always lose money.

One of the best, longest running, and most reliable forums or repositories for NFL picks over time is the Sports Watch Monitor, or SWM for short. Handicappers across all sports register at this site and make their picks weekly based on a published line, trying to sell the picks to others who might want the insights. SWM keeps an ongoing public record of their success or failure for all to see and separated by year. This service allows people to purchase picks from only the best handicappers, and it is also a collective truth serum. Your record is stuck there for all to see and there is no hiding from a bad record, no fudging data, and a bold statement saying who is great, average or horrible at making picks.

Your “Football Shrink,” aka Dr. John F Murray, aka me, registered on SWM 3 years ago. I’ve made my picks there over these 3 years along with over 100 other handicappers in the area of NFL football and SWM has kept the data for the public, showing each and every pick and whether it was a win, loss or push, and keeping a record of my won/loss record, percentage of success, and money earned + or -.

When I converted my NFL mental skills statistic, “The Mental Performance Index,” into an algorithm to predict NFL games, I knew and stated many times that the only way anyone would believe that what I was doing is special would be to make my picks public and present all picks before all games. SWM has been a blessing to and a third party check, and it has accomplished this task for me. My record is there for all to see. I also put these picks up at my site at FootballShrink.com and offer my picks to the public each and every week.

How then have my Football Shrink picks done, and how have the others done? Is my theory that mental performance predicts very accurately a good idea, or have I just been playing games or whistling dixie? To this end, I went through all the data over the past 2 regular seasons of NFL games at the SWM, and calculated the win/loss record and win percentage of every NFL handicapper who has picked at least 90 games over the past two seasons through week 16 of the 2020/2021 season. This is a total of 17 weeks in 2019/2020 and 16 weeks in 2020/2021 for a total analysis that spans 33 weeks of NFL games. I only counted those handicappers who had at least 90 games. Requiring at least 90 games is a little less than 3 picks a week on average. I thought that was fair. Too small a sample size only leads to statistical error, so this 90 games minimum makes the study more valid.

So how did it all shake out? Yes, you are very smart! The Football Shrink has achieved the BEST overall win/loss record over this two year period of time. I present the rankings below. The bottom line, at least from where I sit, is that this little algorithm that I invented has proven to work and to work very well to predict NFL games against a known line. It has worked better than any other NFL handicapper on the SWM, and some would say in the world. Perhaps there are a few doing better than this over 2 years, but the list is very short. The Mental Performance Index has been used now in 245 decided games, and we are #1! You cannot argue with success, and I feel a growing pride of ownership and invention in building this monster.

Here are the overall rankings of NFL handicappers over the past two NFL seasons going into week 17 of the 2020/2021 season:

  1. The Football Shrink (Dr. John F Murray): 142-103, 57.96%
  2. Wacky Sports: 102-75, 57.62%
  3. Sports Picks Insiders: 99-75, 56.89%
  4. BA Sports: 143-110, 56.52%
  5. Maddox Sports: 151-118, 56.13%
  6. CLV Sports: 62-49, 55.85%
  7. SB Breakers: 170-137, 55.37%
  8. BB Documented Plays: 75-61, 55.14%
  9. Greg Dempson: 69-58, 54.33%
  10. Tony Firara: 125-106, 54.11%
  11. Billy Coleman: 102-89, 53.40%
  12. Today’s Sports Consulting: 230-203, 53.11%
  13. Wilson Cole: 124-110, 52.99%
  14. Donny Action: 118-106, 52.67%
  15. The Odds Breakers: 131-118, 52.61%
  16. David Hess: 288-262, 52.36%
  17. Big K: 56-52, 51.85%
  18. King Creole: 70-68, 50.72%
  19. Al McMordie: 122-119, 50.62%
  20. Tommy King: 46-45, 50.54%
  21. Tony Bucca Sports: 105-103, 50.48%
  22. Storm Born: 81-81, 50.00%
  23. Tampa Sports: 145-145, 50.00%
  24. Kyle Hunter: 62-63, 49.60%
  25. Bobby Brackets: 123-125, 49.59%
  26. Lou Lacerda: 80-82, 49.38%
  27. Ziti Sports: 68-70, 49.27%
  28. Bam Bam The Man: 145-150, 49.15%
  29. Free Sports Picks Daily: 116-121, 48.94%
  30. Matt Fargo: 86-91, 48.58%
  31. Chase Diamond: 78-83, 48.44%
  32. The Wager Makers: 151-161, 48.39%
  33. Mark Lawrence Preferred: 44-47, 48.35%
  34. James Patrick: 148-159, 48.20%
  35. Craig Patrick Sports: 81-88, 47.92%
  36. The Great White Capper: 136-149, 47.71%
  37. Brian Bitler: 87-96, 47.54%
  38. Steve Williams: 62-71, 46.61%
  39. Anly Edge: 70-85, 45.16%
  40. Robbie Gainous: 56-73, 43.41%
  41. Boxer Sports Picks: 42-60, 41.17%
  42. Handicapper Sports: 48-73, 39.66%

To see all the picks and the theory and reasoning behind the Mental Performance Index, be sure to visit my pages at: https://www.footballshrink.com