Yesterday was 9/11, so let’s first take a brief moment of silence for the brave people who perished on that terrible day. OK, now that we have done that, let’s use the famous phrase from that day “LET’S ROLL” to move back to football and all the excitement of our national sport.

You might or might not like what is going on with the NFL in recent years, and you have every right to be upset about things like kneeling at the national anthem, having to sing an additional anthem, and other divisive actions intended to divide our nation. Or you might totally disagree with that. Either way, we still have a great sport and we should enjoy it.

This 2021/2022 season is my fourth consecutive year making advance picks against a published line. I do so using the algorithm I invented, based heavily on my Mental Performance Index (MPI). I wrote about the MPI in the book I authored in 2011 and revised in a second edition in 2013. I began these game predictions not to show how much money could be made in gambling, as I do not even gamble! I did it to show the sports world how vital understanding the mental game is to game analysis, performance, training and really anything else! My logic was to see if using the mental measure I was able to predict games better than all the others, since I arguably tapped into a valuable aspect of the game that was being largely ignored.

Don’t get me wrong. The mental game was not being ignored by coaches and players informally. But they went about it, in my humble view, in a random, inconsistent and unprofessional manner, and still do so today. So while a coach might give a great speech about focus, or remaining confident, or he might bring in a celebrity ex-athlete to emphasize leadership, there was still a great gap in doing this daily and properly. The correct profession for this knowledge and training is sports psychology, and I spent many years in graduate school and over 21 years in private practive developing this specialty. When I wrote my book, I explained how the mental performance of teams correlated with winning the Super Bowl around .84 (a huge positive correlation) and that this was by far the biggest correlate to success when compared with all the other some 40 statistics! In short, I learned that it was the mental game dummy, all along, but that we had ignored it!

So I took all this great information about rating the mental game, and combined it with 40 years of past NFL game analysis, doing hundreds of mini studies, and came up with the magical formula, an algorithm to predict games based in large part on the mental performance of teams. How did I do? In the first three years of public testing, it was nothing short of amazing. I have accumulated a record of 212 wins, 154 losses and 11 pushes (57.92%) in covering the spread using this algorithm. This 58% is indeed great, and I am not bragging, I am just showing everybody how vital it is to focus on the mental game. In the past two years, I have been the top NFL handicapper in picking sides against a published spread at the well known Sports Watch Monitor, which makes everything transparent. Here is an article explaining it.

This 58% over almost 400 documented games is nothing to sneeze about. The best handicappers in the world over a similar number of games routinely get 51, 52 and 53% if they are good.

Yet despite this success, I am not close to being done. I want more data. This year I should be able to get those 377 games up to nearly 500 games, adding even greater statistical power, and proof about the vitality of the algorithm. If I am correct, as I have always believed, the sports world will eventually take note and realize that they have vastly underemphasized the importance of the mental performance in overall performance. This should help my profession too, as many sports psychologists will hopefully be seen as even more crucial for the success of teams.

Ok, let’s get into this week’s predictions. Keep in mind that weeks 1 and 2 are enormously difficult to predict, as there is so little data and the teams change from year to year. Nevertheless, my official picks, also published on the Sports Watch Monitor, are as follows in week one:

I took the Jaguars -2.5 against the Texans, the Colts +2.5 against the Seahawks, the Bengals +3.5 against the Vikings, the Dolphins +3 against the Patriots, the Giants +3.5 against the Broncos, and the Rams -7 against the Bears. Keeping with tradition, I picked more dogs (4) than favorites (2) in week one. Let’s see what happens now.

By the way, if you would like to get my picks earlier in the weeks, you can always get them at my offers page at https://www.footballshrink.com/offers … and on this page you will see the picks and packages available at the Sports Watch Monitor. This year for the first time, I am also affiliating with a second service called Winning Cappers. My picks are more or less the same there, with slight exception, but the official picks for my ongoing study will be the picks on the Sports Watch Monitor. Winning Cappers is just another great resource and you will see a banner at the top right of all my pages on the football shrink site to get there. You can find at both the SWM and WC links to a ton of other handicappers too who go way beyond football. All in all the resources at the above link are terrific.

That does it for the day. Enjoy the games in this exciting week one, and please sign up for my newsletter at https://www.footballshrink.com if you have not done so already!