Challenge the local expert in U Pick ’Em |

Challenge the local expert in U Pick ’Em

After a rough false start to the season with the popular U Pick ’Em contest here at the Post Independent, the reader-favorite football picks contest is back and ready to go.

This year, we’re adding a twist: Outside of a prize for the weekly winner here in the valley, we’re asking you to challenge the “local expert.” Yes, that’s me, the local sports editor.

While I don’t claim to be an expert on football picks whatsoever, it will be a fun little competition throughout the season. Each Wednesday, I’ll publish my picks in the U Pick ’Em spread in the middle of the paper. You can sign up for the challenge and make your picks at

Again, I want to be quite clear that I don’t profess to be an expert when it comes to picking football games in general, but I do feel like I have a good idea about each team in the NFL, considering the amount of film work I put in each and every week, mostly for fun. Outside of the start of spring training each February, where the hope for my beloved Pirates is at a high before it comes crashing down abruptly each summer, the NFL season is one of the most enjoyable times of the year for me.

Football was my first love, and it’s a staple of the fall for me. Sometimes, when picking games, that can be my biggest downfall. I tend to overthink matchups and try to get cute with some upsets instead of just trusting my gut.

Week to week, teams can change and players can have big games; picking winners and losers in the NFL is mostly a crapshoot. There’s not much else to it, unless you’re working in betting lines, as well. We won’t be doing that with the U Pick ’Em contest, but it will still be a ton of fun to compete against each other here in the valley, picking games in hopes of coming out on top at the end of the season.

So with that said, best of luck this season, and here’s to some of you kicking my butt each and every week!

Josh’s picks for Week 2:

Cincinnati over Houston; Carolina over Buffalo; Tampa Bay over Chicago; Pittsburgh over Minnesota; Arizona over Indianapolis; New England over New Orleans; Cleveland over Baltimore; Jacksonville over Tennessee; Philadelphia over Kansas City; Oakland (survivor pick) over NY Jets; LA Chargers over Miami; Dallas over Denver; LA Rams over Washington; Seattle over San Francisco; Atlanta over Green Bay; (tiebreaker) Detroit 21, NY Giants 20

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