When it comes to lotteries and gambling, I’ve never won anything.

Never made much of a profit with scratch-offs tickets.

Never left a friendly poker game with the house in tow.

Never lasted more than one hand on a blackjack table.

Never opened my front door to Ed McMahon and his giant $10 million check.

But when it comes to lotteries and gambling, I’ve never given much effort.

Rarely purchased scratch-off tickets (used to get them in my stocking at Christmas).

Never entered the Mega Millions.

Haven’t played a friendly poker game in more than a decade.

Only entered a casino about two times in my life and have zero interest to ever, and I mean ever, visit Las Vegas.

But on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2012, I should’ve bet the farm when it came to predicting the upcoming NFL season. That’s because in the categories we were asked to predict, I came through in near perfect fashion — not to toot my own horn or anything.

My Super Bowl XLVII prediction? 49ers over Ravens, which could very well happen tonight.

My prediction for the Houston Texans? That would be a 12-4 regular season, which is exactly what happened.

My prediction for the Dallas Cowboys? That would be a 9-7 regular season, which was only one game off their 8-8 finish.

So what’s the morale of the story?

There’s not one, really.

Just wanted to overshadow the fact I once again struggled on the NFL pick-it-line this year.

My rival and coworker Harold Wilson could also come through with a Super Bowl premonition should the Ravens knock off the 49ers, which was his pick back in September.

Here’s the rest of our staff’s preseason predictions:

Joe Buie

Cowboys Record: 10-6

Texans Record: 11-5

Super Bowl: Bears over Broncos

Phil Hicks

Cowboys Record: 9-7

Texans Record: 12-4

Super Bowl: Texans over Bears

Chris Parry

Cowboys Record: 9-7

Texans Record: 11-5

Super Bowl: Texans over Packers

Harold Wilson

Cowboys Record: 9-7

Texans Record: 9-7

Super Bowl: Ravens over 49ers

Travis Yoesting

Cowboys Record: 8-8

Texans Record: 11-5

Super Bowl: Patriots over Packers

And here are our Super Bowl predictions:

Phil Hicks

49ers 30, Ravens 23

MVP — Patrick Willis, San Francisco

“While the Ravens are the hot team, the 49ers use the momentum from the rally over the Falcons to win Super Bowl XLVII. The Niners offense will keep the Ravens guessing. They have so many offensive weapons from Colin Kaepernick to Michael Crabtree to Vernon Davis to Frank Gore to LaMichael James. However, the defense will be the difference.”

Travis Yoesting

49ers 34, Ravens 31

MVP — Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco

“Colin Kaepernick does what Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady could not do: end Ray Lewis’ career with a loss.”

Harold Wilson

Ravens 22, 49ers 19

MVP — Terrell Suggs, Baltimore

“Since I picked these same two teams to make the Super Bowl back in preseason, I’m sticking to the original script, albeit with Colin Kaepernick under center for San Francisco as opposed to Alex Smith. San Francisco’s talent ranks second to none, and they have a Tylerite on the team in the injured Kendall Hunter, which makes it a tough choice. But given Joe Flacco’s brilliance in the playoffs thus far (eight touchdowns, zero interception) and the experience of future Hall of Famers in Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, not to mention the game-changing abilities of Flacco, Terrell Suggs and Ray Rice, I like Baltimore to add one more title before Lewis bids goodbye to football.”

Emily Gagnon

Ravens 28, 49ers 24

MVP — Joe Flacco, Baltimore

“For all of you Dallas Cowboys fans, I say — breathe easy, the San Francisco 49ers will not win their sixth Super Bowl, surpassing your beloved team. Much like Super Bowl XXXIII in 1999 when quarterback John Elway led the Denver Broncos to victory in the final game of his career, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis will dance his last dance with the Lombardi Trophy. Have your tissues ready.”

Shane Stark

49ers 31, Ravens 21

MVP — Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco

“The Ravens have gone through great quarterbacks in the post season, but those guys were pocket passers and didn’t prepare the defense for a dual-threat guy like Colin Kaepernick. Plus I hear the deer antler spray market in New Orleans has dried up.”

Chris Parry

49ers 30, Ravens 28

MVP — Frank Gore, San Francisco

“In a battle between two hard-nosed defenses, it will be the 49ers’ bruising run game that turns the tide and gives the NFC the Super Bowl championship again.”

Joe Buie

Ravens 27, 49ers 24

MVP — Torrey Smith, Baltimore

“The Ravens will continue the recent trend of the hottest teams winning it all. I’ve picked against them the last two playoff games, so I’ve learned my lesson. The Baltimore defense is healthy again and reborn.”

Eric Sullivan

Ravens 26, 49ers 16

MVP — Ray Rice, Baltimore

“I think Joe Flacco will be the story, not Ray Lewis or Colin Kaepernick.”

Final Pick-It-Line Standings

High School

Joe Buie 328-98

Travis Yoesting 316-110

Harold Wilson 314-112

Shane Stark 312-114

Chris Parry 309-117

Phil Hicks 300-126

Eric Sullivan 298-128

Emily Gagnon 264-162


Shane Stark 240-81

Phil Hicks 238-83

Travis Yoesting 238-83

Harold Wilson 235-86

Joe Buie 234-87

Chris Parry 231-90

Eric Sullivan 207-114

Emily Gagnon 199-122

NFL (Before Super Bowl)

Phil Hicks 180-84

Travis Yoesting 179-85

Harold Wilson 174-90

Emily Gagnon 170-94

Shane Stark 168-96

Chris Parry 165-99

Joe Buie 164-100

Eric Sullivan 164-100

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