BOSTON (TheStreet) -- We are now entering the greatest time of the year. The leaves change colors. The air is cool and crisp, perfect weather for Bill Belichick-inspired hooded sweatshirts. Recipes for assorted pies are dusted off. The shelves at the liquor store are stocked with pumpkin ale. Yes, it's nearly autumn, and it's (finally) time for football.The NFL returns this week after a calamitous offseason marred by a four-month lockout of its players. This week also marks my return to recreational investing. Last season, TheStreet published my five picks against the spread each week. Ultimately, I ended the regular season with a record of 42-42 and my postseason picks went 9-3 including the one-game playoff between the Seattle Seahawks and the St. Louis Rams. It probably goes without saying, but I want to improve on that .500 record during the regular season.