It’s remarkable the life moments we vividly remember and which completely fade away. Like, I can recall the first time I got grounded, my game-winning double in little league and first parking ticket. I can’t remember my first day of second grade, what gifts I received on my 9th birthday or how I got around town during my first trip to New York City. However, the mind is crystal clear when it comes to my introduction and crash course on NFL point spread betting.

My dad worked for a large insurance company in downtown Cleveland and, like many white collar businesses of the 1980s and 1990s, would participate in weekly NFL office pools. He’d bring home Xeroxed copies of hand-written weekend matchups with the home team in all CAPS and the middle column featuring the line.  Now, I wasn’t even 10 years old yet. So, my prepubescent brain couldn’t completely grasp the + / - math involved in accurately picking games ATS. I don’t remember my dad or I ever winning the weekly prize, but thanks to a rigid amygdala and innate ability to hold grudges, a recollection of my, then, 6-year-old brother picking enough winners to shock Cleveland's corporate world will stay with me forever. I even remember what Mike bought with his winnings: a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figure home base.


Some 30 years later, I’ll remember my 2022 NFL ATS picking season as a personal best albeit sans TMNT grand prize. I head into the Super Bowl with a 150-120 ATS record and 55.6% ATS winning percentage - fifth-best among Pickwatch’s deep roster of expert pickers.

Fowler’s 2022 ATS Record Through…

ATS Wins-Losses

ATS Win%

Week 4



Week 9



Conference Championships



I have, however, struggled to accurately handicap most Chiefs and Eagles games throughout the season. Andy Reid might dominate after a BYE week, but I'm just 8-9 ATS in games involving Kansas City this year.

Did you know that with Pickwatch Pro you can view experts’ ATS pick accuracy by team? Click the link to check out the sharpest bettors to-date when it comes to Kansas City and Philadelphia.

Ahead of Super Bowl 57 and the sports calendar's most-bet on event, I thought it would be interesting to hear from two other expert pickers ranked in Pickwatch's top five against the spread.

Evan Western of SB Nation's Acme Packing Company and GridironExperts contributor Doug Burrell were kind enough to take some time to share their insights on personal betting histories, thoughts on the 2022 season and initial thoughts on Super Bowl 57 odds. 

Doug Burrell - GridironExperts

ATS Record: 153-123 (55.2%)

What got you interested in NFL handicapping and picking? 

I made my first Power Rankings model when I was 13 years old. I've always been fascinated with numbers and I would read Jeff Sagarin's computer ratings in USA Today religiously. I wanted to make my own, but this was in the 80's and I didn't have a computer. So, I did it with pen and paper. It was a pretty simple method: using the final score and home field advantage, but for my purposes, it worked great. Years later, I developed a more complex model and entered it into the NFL Prediction Tracker in the early 2000's, where it performed reasonably well against some of the top computer systems of the day. 

How has your NFL handicapping strategy evolved over recent years and what would you say was your primary strategy in 2022-23?

Because I use data after a game has been played for my model, I don't look at look-ahead lines too much. I do check the spreads early Tuesday morning and usually find that's a great time to lock in a line. However, I check a few times each daily across multiple sportsbooks and sometimes find a better value mid-week. It's rare I wait until the weekend to make my pick. 

Burrell's 2022 ATS Record Through…

ATS Wins-Losses

ATS Win%

Week 4



Week 9



Conference Championships



What surprised you the most about the NFL betting regular season?

 I was surprised at how well underdogs consistently performed against the spread, even as the season went on. I think underdogs covered around 55% this season. So, one would have made a nice profit by betting on them exclusively. 

Is there any specific team or teams you would NEVER bet on in the future or dislike betting on?

I don't have any data to support this, but I would never bet on my favorite team, the Dallas Cowboys. As a fan of theirs since the '80s, I always have a sinking feeling that they're going to let me down. If anything, I would bet against them to maybe take a little sting off the loss. 

What are your initial thoughts on the Chiefs-Eagles Super Bowl?

I like the Eagles -1.5, but I think that line is spot-on. Same with the point total. I run my simulation model 10,000 times for every NFL game and the point total for the Super Bowl averaged 50.519. Right now, the consensus point total is 50.5, so I would probably lay off that bet. 


Evan Western is the managing editor of Acme Packing Co. - the Packers primary channel on SB Nation. He's so much of a cheesehead, in fact, that on the very first bet of his life, on a brief trip to Las Vegas, he dropped some digits on the Packers to win Super Bowl XLV at 12-to-1 odds. Thanks to Aaron Rodgers' 304 yards and three touchdown passes in an MVP performance, Western cashed that first wager.

Evan Western - Acme Packing Co. (SB Nation)

ATS Record: 162-115 (58.5%)

What got you interested in NFL betting?

I started writing for Acme Packing Company regularly during the 2010 season and took over as the site's managing editor during the 2013 offseason. Since 2013, we have done some form of weekly game picks on a regular basis, and I've also participated in a handful of confidence pools over the years. A few years ago, APC expanded from making straight-up picks to point spreads and over/under totals.

How has your NFL handicapping strategy evolved over recent years and what would you say was your primary strategy in 2022-23

In the last year or two, I have tried to be more conscious of decoupling my moneyline and spread picks. In past years, I would rarely pick an underdog to cover a spread of less than five or six points unless I was picking them for a straight-up upset, but I tried changing that approach this season. I'm much more likely to pick a favorite on the moneyline but take the underdog at, say, +3.5. It seems that making that change to my approach worked out pretty well this year.

In terms of when and how I pick, I actually don't have much of a system. I tend to make most of my picks on Thursday afternoons, and only revisit them Friday or Saturday if there is some particularly surprising injury news. Otherwise, I generally do not spend a whole lot of time agonizing over the selections -- I just run through them and pick based on my initial impressions, go back over once or twice to make sure I'm not missing something major, and then usually stick with my gut feeling.

Western's 2022 ATS Record Through…

ATS Wins-Losses

ATS Win%

Week 4



Week 9



Conference Championships



What surprised you the most about the NFL betting regular season?

I think this year's regular season was surprising in terms of how many close games there were. It felt that 2022 had more games separated by a single score than in any other season in recent memory, especially in the first half of the season or so. I think that helped me have some solid successes against the spread this year when you look at that combined with the tweaks to my strategy that I described previously.

If you had the choice, is there any specific team or teams you would NEVER bet on in the future because their outcomes are just so all over the place historically? Or that you dislike betting on typically?

Especially after this season, I'd rather never pick game totals again. I had a truly abysmal year on over/unders, and I don't think I've ever had a really good feel for when a game will be a 35-30 shootout vs. a 13-10 defensive struggle.

What are your initial thoughts on the Chiefs-Eagles Super Bowl?

Although Patrick Mahomes is incredible, I think the Eagles' defense matches up as well as one possibly can with that Chiefs offense. I have concerns about Philly having played a pretty easy schedule this season, but that pass rush group is practically unstoppable. That and the Eagles' running game is why I'm leaning towards Eagles -1.5 right now. 

One player prop I really like, though, is the over on Jerick McKinnon receiving yards (23.5). The Eagles' defense isn't great at defending running backs in the passing game, plus I expect Mahomes to be under a lot of pressure, leading to a bunch of check-downs and screen passes. With McKinnon being a solid pass-blocker, I think he'll be on the field a bunch to serve as a protector and safety valve for Mahomes.

For more details on Evan's and Doug's picking prowess to-date, be sure to check out their Pickwatch detailed bios by clicking on the names above. Also, don't forget to learn which expert bettors fared the best ATS when picking the Eagles and Chiefs this season.