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Against The Spread Pool: Week 1

Footballguys.com Staff Pick NFL Games Against the Las Vegas Point Spread

Over the past few years, we have given the subscribers of Footballguys.com the Staff Confidence Pool Challenge, where numerous staffers try and pick the winners each week with a confidence ranking, and Jeff Pasquino’s “For The Win” column where Jeff attempts to pick each and every NFL game against the Las Vegas spread.  Both of these have been very popular features, so this year Footballguys is proud to bring you the combination of the two. The Footballguys.com Staff Against the Spread Pool Challenge. Multiple staff members (21) will pick the winner of each NFL game against the Las Vegas line.  As a tie-breaker, the person who is closest to the total points scored on the last Monday Night game will be the winner. Winners will be announced from week to week and the best overall record will be crowned Against the Spread Champion. Picks and ranks are due on Wednesday, so any late-breaking news may not be reflected in the choices.   

THIS WEEK'S PICKS

Here are the picks for this week.

Road Team: KC PIT ARI JAC BAL OAK ATL PHI NYJ IND SEA CAR NYG NO LAC  
Home Team: NE CLE DET HOU CIN TEN CHI WAS BUF LAR GB SF DAL MIN DEN  
Favorite: NE PIT ARI HOU CIN TEN ATL WAS BUF LAR GB CAR DAL MIN DEN  
Point Spread: -8.5 -9.5 -1.5 -5.5 -2.5 -1.5 -6.5 -0.5 -7.5 -3.5 -3.5 -5.5 -3.5 -3.5 -3.5  
Staffer The Picks MNF
Jeff Pasquino NE PIT ARI HOU CIN TEN ATL PHI BUF LAR GB CAR NYG NO LAC 43
Aaron Rudnick KC PIT ARI HOU CIN TEN ATL WAS NYJ LAR SEA SF NYG NO LAC 42
Alessandro Miglio KC CLE DET HOU CIN OAK ATL WAS NYJ LAR SEA CAR DAL MIN DEN 44
Andrew Garda NE PIT DET HOU CIN TEN ATL WAS BUF LAR GB CAR DAL MIN DEN 60
Andy Hicks KC CLE DET JAC CIN OAK ATL WAS NYJ LAR SEA CAR DAL MIN DEN 41
Bear Heiser KC PIT ARI HOU CIN TEN CHI WAS BUF LAR GB CAR DAL MIN LAC 48
Chris Feery NE CLE ARI HOU CIN OAK CHI PHI NYJ LAR GB CAR NYG NO DEN 40
Danny Tuccitto KC CLE DET JAC CIN TEN CHI WAS NYJ IND SEA SF NYG NO LAC 49
Dave Larkin NE CLE ARI JAC BAL TEN ATL PHI BUF LAR GB SF DAL NO LAC 47
Devin Knotts KC CLE DET JAC CIN OAK ATL WAS BUF LAR GB SF DAL MIN LAC 44
James Brimacombe NE PIT ARI JAC CIN OAK ATL PHI BUF LAR GB CAR NYG NO DEN 47
Jason Wood NE PIT ARI JAC BAL OAK ATL PHI BUF LAR SEA SF DAL MIN LAC 41
Jeff Haseley NE PIT ARI JAC CIN TEN ATL WAS NYJ LAR GB CAR DAL MIN DEN 42
John Mamula NE PIT ARI HOU CIN OAK ATL PHI BUF LAR GB CAR DAL MIN DEN 40
Justin Howe NE CLE DET JAC CIN TEN CHI PHI NYJ LAR SEA CAR DAL NO DEN 43
Keith Roberts KC CLE ARI JAC CIN TEN ATL PHI NYJ LAR GB CAR DAL MIN DEN 43
Mark Wimer KC CLE DET HOU CIN OAK ATL WAS BUF LAR GB CAR NYG MIN LAC 49
Matt Bitonti NE CLE ARI HOU BAL OAK ATL PHI NYJ LAR GB CAR NYG NO LAC 46
Phil Alexander NE CLE DET HOU CIN OAK CHI PHI NYJ LAR SEA SF DAL MIN LAC 45
Steve Holloway NE CLE DET JAC BAL TEN ATL PHI BUF LAR GB SF NYG NO DEN 39
William Grant NE PIT ARI HOU CIN OAK ATL WAS BUF LAR GB CAR DAL MIN DEN 42

CONSENSUS WINNERS

Its opening weekend, you would have expected some consensus on a few picks – and we nearly got one with the Rams hosting the Colts and favored by just over a field goal.  All but one member of the staff (20 out of 21) picked the Rams to cover the points, so Danny Tuccitto could make a big move if the Colts can step up this week.  The next favored pick was Cincinnati, with 17 of 21 staffers choosing the Bengals by more than a field goal at home against Baltimore.  Justin Tucker may have something to say about that.  Atlanta is the most popular road team as 16 picks came in for the Falcons to cover a touchdown in Chicago.  All the other picks were 14 or fewer towards one side, with Green Bay (14) and Carolina (14) leading that pack.  Only two underdogs were majority picks, but they were close calls with the Eagles (+0.5) and Raiders (+1.5) nearly at even odds and chosen about the same (11 of 21 staff).  It should be very interesting to see how it plays out. 

ODDS AND ENDS

It's the first week of the season, and the picks are due by Wednesday night. Most of the staff would agree that picking this weekend's games on Wednesday night is very difficult because you don't have much information about injuries and practice. If your league allows you to pick the later games separate from the rest, take advantage of it and make your Sunday and Monday picks as close to the weekend as possible.

A reminder that these picks are against the Las Vegas lines – so getting above 50% is respectable, above 53% gets you into the “profitable zone” (accounting for the Las Vegas house odds of taking 10% of every losing wager) – and anything above 60% is outstanding.  That may sound easy enough, but it is much, much harder that it might seem.

Good luck this weekend!

Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to pasquino@footballguys.com