Picking against Patriots came at a cost

Cassie Dorman, the grand-daughter of long-time "I Beat Burt" contest participant Dick Ruediger of Methuen, was a recent winner in our weekly contest. Cassie is 9 years old and resides in Lynnfield. She and her brother play the contest each week with their grandparents. 

A stock answer I get from most people that play the "I Beat Burt" contest, when asked about selecting the New England Patriots, is "I always pick the Patriots."

Well, in Week 10 of the 2020 NFL season, that wasn't quite true. And it cost a lot of entries the chance at winning a T-shirt.

Only 15 percent of the 313 entries picked the Patriots to upset the Ravens, which they indeed did, 23-17.

As for the rest of the NFL, it was a full-moon sort of week. Only two road teams -- Tampa Bay and Chicago -- won out of the 13 weekend games, not including the Colts' win at Tennessee last Thursday night.

Another trend: 11 of the 14 teams that won were favorites.

Get your seatbelts on because there are seven games with point spreads of three points or less this weekend. That usually means a tough week just picking winners in these COVID-19 times.

While the Patriots are 2.5-point underdogs at Houston, I'm guessing they will be overwhelming choice in Week 11 in this contest. As for Week 10, eight of 10 winners chose the Patriots to upset the Ravens.

I had nine correct picks out of 13 games. All of the winners had at least 10 wins and were within two points of the Patriots point total (23), the contest's first tiebreaker. The second tiebreaker (amount of correct selections) and third tiebreaker (random draw) also were used.

Week 10 winners

Russell Buturlia of Groveland

Ava Grace O'Neill of Beverly

Tom Kench of Peabody

Carl Clarke of Salem, N.H.

Steve Olearcek of Somers, CT.

William George of Beverly

Mike Cullen of Newburyport

Howard Farber of Peabody

Lisa Alibrandi of Haverhill

Lynda Proctor Mahoney of Gloucester

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