Photo by Robert Mora / Getty Images
CLEVELAND – Last football season “Picks With Nick” made its debut, selecting college football and NFL games against the Las Vegas spread. All of it was done merely for entertainment purposes only, while also helping create unique online and on-air content for Newsradio WTAM 1100 and WTAM.com.
After a successful first season, I decided to bring back “Picks With Nick” for 2017. The increased number of page views and clicks at WTAM.com last football season certainly was a factor, but also the fun forum it created for football fans interacting on my talk shows nightly, as well as on Twitter and Facebook.
The bottom line is: gambling fuels football interest. And while these picks and selections against the Las Vegas spread are strictly for entertainment purposes only, it is impossible to ignore the fact that an estimated 75 million people in this country will play fantasy football this upcoming season and according to the American Gaming Association, nearly $400 billion per year is spent on sports gambling, one percent of which is believed to be done so legally in the state of Nevada.
Meanwhile, the latest decision by the Supreme Court to hear a pair of New Jersey sports gambling cases with national implications, shows how far this country has come when it comes to wagering on sports and the transparency from league commissioners Adam Silver and Rob Manfred speaks volumes as to what type of economic impact it could have on professional sports. Let’s also remember two pro sports franchises are headed to Las Vegas, the Golden Knights in the NHL and the Raiders in the NFL.
So “Picks With Nick” is back up and running for Season No. 2 and the rules are virtually the same as last year:
First and foremost, this is NOT a gambling site. Newsradio WTAM 1100 and I do not accept or place bets and do not condone illegal sports wagering. Information that is shared and posted regarding sporting events are strictly for ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY!!
Also, posted picks are simply designed to create online and on-air content and never should be considered as wagers. The state of Nevada is currently the only state in the US with legalized/regulated sports gambling.
Finally, our goal is to win and entertain. We are looking to win 53% of our picks against the spread. Las Vegas sports books, give us 11/10 odds or -110, so in order to break even in picking games against the spread (ATS) we must win 52.4% of the games we select. Winning 58% of picks ATS would place you among the most elite sports handicappers in the world. We’ll shoot for somewhere between 53% - 58% again this season, while maintaining the understanding that this is not a site that accepts or places bets and does not condone illegal sports wagering.
We will keep our college and NFL selections separate, but we will update the results weekly with full transparency seeing how we stack up against the Las Vegas oddsmakers. We are coming off a winning year in which we hit 54% ATS in college football and NFL combined in 2016.
“Picks With Nick” will also feature a radio segment weekly on Newsradio WTAM 1100 discussing our selections.
So, let’s get started with our “Week Zero” predictions ATS. College football kicks off Sat., Aug. 26 with five games and we have three selections for those upcoming contests:
Game: Oregon State Beavers vs. Colorado State Rams
Where: Fort Collins, Colorado - CSU Stadium
Kickoff: 2:30 pm ET
Spread: Colorado State -4
Nick’s Pick: The Rams open a brand new on-campus stadium for this opener and will be fired up, but the Beavers finished 2016 in a big way and will utilize their PAC-12 size, speed and athleticism to win this match up. Nick’s Pick is Oregon State +4.
Game: Hawai’I Rainbow Warriors vs. UMASS Minutemen
Where: Amherst, Massachusetts - Warren McGuirk Alumni Stadium
Kickoff: 6:00 pm ET
Spread: UMASS -2
Nick’s Pick: These two teams played the final week of the 2016 regular season with Hawai’i winning 46-40. This time it’s the Rainbow Warriors who make the 5,000 mile trip out East, but we see two trends continuing: more high scoring and Hawai’i winning again. Nick’s Pick is Hawai’i +2.
Game: USF Bulls vs. San Jose State Spartans
Where: San Jose, California - CEFCU Stadium
Kickoff: 7:30 pm ET
Spread: USF -20.5
Nick’s Pick: This line couldn’t be high enough. San Jose State is rebuilding, while Charlie Strong and his Bulls will eye up a perfect 12-0 season and a realistic opportunity to reach a New Year’s Six Bowl. Nick’s Pick will ride South Florida -20.5.
- Nick Camino
Record in college football ATS to date: 0-0
Record in NFL ATS to date: 0-0
Total record ATS to date: 0-0
Note from Nick: All betting lines used will come from The Wynn Race & Sports Book in Las Vegas. The lines can change at any time, but we will only use lines 72 hours in advance and closer. Picks will be made based on the lines when we post.
DISCLAIMER: Newsradio WTAM 1100 and Nick Camino do not accept or place bets. This is not a gambling website. WTAM 1100 and Nick Camino do not condone illegal sports wagering. Any information shared on this page is strictly for entertainment purposes, as well as on-air and online content.
Photo by Marissa Camino Photography