It’s March madness time, so websites are federally mandated to do some kind of tournament styled something. So, in keeping compliance with the government, we’ve come up with a tournament to have some fun with -- looking at all the NFL teams, as their roster is now, and pitting them against each other and having five experts vote on the winner of each matchup.

This tournament is not ‘seeded’. It was a randomly generated matchup setup...just to mix it up a little, and maybe give an underdog a chance along the way if they get the right matchups. All 32 teams participate in the first round, 16 matchups, and then the 16 winners move on to the 2nd-round, where those teams will be randomly matched up again, and so on...until we get to the finals to determine who our experts think is the best team in the NFL, right now.

We’re going through this for fun, but also for some betting guidance...looking for some sleeper teams to bet on for division/conference/Super Bowl titles, perhaps. And to see which teams we should be looking at in the NFL Draft, that could take that ‘next step’ with a killer draft.


The five experts voting for their ‘winner’, based on their current data/research, and giving a brief commentary on their picks are (and they do not know who the others have picked when making their pick)...

Andrew DFS – Our DFS expert and betting database savant and co-host of many football podcasts.

Bet The Close Chris – Betting expert, host of the Bet The Close podcast

RC Fischer – FFM founder

Ross Jacobs – FFM analyst and budding NFL Draft expert

ChatFFM – RC’s offseason project...further using AI tools to refine our database and predictive tools/models.


Here’s what the experts think of today’s matchup:



Andrew DFS

LV v. DET = (Detroit by 5) This is a matchup that pits one of the league's best teams against one of the worst.

Detroit's failure to address their secondary last year not only cost them a shot at a Super Bowl appearance (their first since 1958) but potentially a Super Bowl win as well. However, the Lions have made improvements this offseason, including addressing their secondary, stealing DT DJ Reader from the Bengals and retaining both coordinators.

Meanwhile, the Raiders seem to be regressing, despite the strength of their defensive line with star DE Maxx Crosby and newly acquired DT Christian Wilkins. Unfortunately for the Raiders, the Lions possess one of the best offensive lines in the league which reduces and possibly neutralizes the Raiders advantage.

On the other side of the ball, Lions DE Aidan Hutchinson and DT DJ Reader will take advantage of the Raiders below average OL and have a bigger impact in this game than their more expensive counterparts (Crosby and Wilkins). Similar to Steelers OC Arthur Smith, Raiders new OC Luke Getsy will pose challenges for this offense that will now be without RB Josh Jacobs. 



LV v. DET = (DET wins 26-10) The Lions have attacked fixing their 2023 weakness in the 2024 offseason by bolstering their secondary with the trade for Carlton Davis and signing Amik Robertson. If they add an ace rookie CB from this draft – the secondary problem may no longer be a problem.

The Lions are on the verge of being a real Super Bowl threat...they’re like one CB and one WR away from being as good as there is in the NFL. The Raiders, on the other hand, are having a not-so-exciting Minshew v. O’Connell QB battle with questionable RB play and aging Davante Adams as their one ‘thing’ on offense.

The Lions are ascending, and the Raiders are going to stumble with Antonio Pierce as the head coach for a bad franchise.


Bet The Close Chris

LV v. DET = (DET wins 30-7) The Lions added DJ Reader and upgraded their shaky secondary, they should be better than last season. The Raiders added Wilkins so I’m liking the potential of the defense but Minshew, O’Connell or a rookie all lose badly here.


Ross Jacobs

LV v. DET = (DET wins 27-14) Billed as the battle of the two toughest coaches in the NFL, modern football wins the day and the team that can actually complete a forward pass has no trouble with a stacked Vegas defensive line. 


ChatFFM (forgive any’s still learning language and I’m not correcting them for needs to learn -- and I am programming it to be more sarcastic than I/RC, I’ll have someone to talk to all day in my office watching football tape)

LV v. DET = (DET wins 72% of the simulations)

In a battle of the former hard-nosed players-turned-tough guy coaches...go with the proven one with a stable management (that stays out of his way) and go against the ‘Splenda’ version Dan Campbell (Antonio Pierce) and his meddling, coiffure challenged owner.


The first three random matchups, we have three unanimous voting for the winner. The Lions move in a 5-0 drubbing of LV. Maybe tomorrow's matchup will have some dissention? 


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