Hello Pickwatchers. Every year we get questions at this point about when experts are going to make their picks. ‘The table is empty! It’s Monday and there’s a game in 3 days!’
We always put expert picks in as soon as we’re aware they’ve been made. Rest assured, we’re not holding out on you, or have forgotten to do it. We’re just bound by the fact that unless the experts have made their picks, there’s really nothing we can put in there!
One thing we can do is give you a bit of a schedule to work by. Each media network releases picks on different days, and over the years we’ve become familiar with those timeframes. Now, of course, this is all subject to change, but e can give you a rough weekly breakdown of how it goes:
Monday – None (MNF has yet to be played, technically we’re still in the previous week!)
Tuesday – CBS picks (straight up and ATS) come in afternoon/evening time. SBNation sometimes put their picks up late night too.
Wednesday – Now you’re talking. Bleacher Report, some ESPN experts, NFL.com, Accuscore, Prediction Machine, Fanduel, FiveThirtyEight, WalterFootball and PFT pick on this day.
Thursday – Our busiest day, as the deadline for getting picks in for Thursday Night Football is of course 8pm ET. ProFootballFocus always pick on Thursdays (sometimes late), most ESPN experts do too. the Dallas Morning News team make their TNF pick only, as do the USA Today guys (both straight up and vs the spread). In addition, many NFL Network, FOX and other experts who have yet to pick must make their pick by kick off.
Friday – Friday is our busiest day for ATS picks. The Dallas Morning News publishes it’s full weekly picks of every NFL game, along with many independent ATS pickers looking to get all the events of the week before making a pick.
Saturday and Sunday are the days when those who have only picked TNF fill in the rest of their picks, however as you can imagine, the people who do it this way work to their own schedule, and it can be anywhere from Saturday morning to Sunday at 12:55pm when they finally make them.
And repeat for 22 weeks…
The bane of my life. Some experts (notably on sites such as CBS and ESPN where the experts can update their own picks) like to change their picks over the week. That’s a good thing in theory, but sometimes they’ll do it on Sunday at 4pm, which in our view is a bit of a difficult one for both us and you. Nonetheless, we do regular audits throughout Sunday to ensure we’re as accurate as possible. Just please try to be understanding that the picks aren’t automated or coming from a feed – they have to be done manually, so if someone changes, we have to see it and change it. That’s why, if you see a pick change, just email us at [email protected] and we’ll put it right.
This year we’ve also got straight up and ATS college picks to factor in (Thursday and Friday will be busy for this, we believe), Fantasy rankings (Going to guess Thursdays again, but I’ve known some come in on Friday and Saturday) and power rankings (Tuesdays and Wednesdays) to collate. We estimate that in an average week, we’ll make 12,000+ entries into our database, all by hand. It can’t be automated as the data is so different in it’s formatting, so the only option is to meticulously enter it into our system.
As you can imagine, it’s a pretty heavy workload for a very small team, therefore if you see something missing, we don’t take it as an insult if you let us know that picks are there to be put in. With the sheer volume of work, it’s inevitable that occasionally we’ll miss a network’s picks by a few minutes, and only become aware that they’re in next time we check. Our aim is to be as close to perfect on timing as possible, so if you see picks that are in on a network’s site, but not in our database, just let us know via [email protected] or in the comments sections.