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Against The Spread Pool: Week 14

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 (22) 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 in 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.   

LAST WEEK'S RESULTS

Here are the results from this week.

Road Team: WAS SF MIN HOU TB DEN NE DET IND KC CLE NYG LAR CAR PHI PIT      
Home Team: DAL CHI ATL TEN GB MIA BUF BAL JAC NYJ LAC OAK ARI NO SEA CIN      
Favorite: DAL CHI ATL TEN GB MIA NE BAL JAC KC LAC OAK LAR NO PHI PIT      
Point Spread: -1.5 -3.5 -2.5 -7.5 -1.5 -0.5 -8.5 -2.5 -9.5 -3.5 -13.5 -6.5 -6.5 -3.5 -5.5 -5.5      
Staffer Last Week's Picks MNF Last Year to
Tot Pts Week Date
Alessandro Miglio DAL CHI ATL HOU GB MIA NE BAL IND NYJ CLE OAK LAR NO SEA CIN 51 12 97
Jeff Pasquino WAS SF MIN TEN GB MIA NE DET JAC NYJ LAC OAK LAR NO PHI PIT 43 11 101
Matt Bitonti WAS SF ATL TEN TB MIA NE BAL JAC NYJ LAC OAK LAR CAR SEA CIN 48 11 112
Phil Alexander DAL SF MIN HOU GB DEN NE BAL IND NYJ CLE NYG LAR CAR SEA CIN 44 11 106
Danny Tuccitto DAL SF MIN HOU GB MIA BUF BAL JAC KC LAC NYG ARI NO SEA CIN 49 10 104
Dave Larkin DAL SF ATL HOU GB DEN NE DET IND NYJ CLE OAK ARI NO SEA CIN 44 10 106
Jason Wood DAL SF MIN HOU GB MIA NE DET IND KC CLE NYG LAR NO SEA PIT 43 10 99
John Mamula WAS CHI MIN HOU GB MIA NE DET JAC NYJ CLE OAK LAR NO PHI PIT 50 10 102
Mark Wimer WAS CHI ATL TEN GB MIA NE BAL JAC NYJ LAC OAK LAR NO PHI PIT 38 10 106
Andy Hicks DAL SF MIN HOU GB MIA BUF DET IND NYJ CLE NYG ARI CAR SEA CIN 51 9 89
Bear Heiser WAS SF ATL TEN GB MIA NE DET JAC NYJ LAC OAK LAR CAR PHI PIT 44 9 105
Jeff Haseley WAS CHI MIN HOU GB MIA BUF BAL JAC NYJ LAC OAK LAR NO PHI PIT 44 9 93
Justin Bonnema WAS CHI ATL HOU GB DEN NE DET JAC NYJ LAC OAK LAR NO SEA CIN 48 9 102
Justin Howe WAS CHI MIN HOU GB DEN NE DET IND NYJ CLE OAK ARI NO SEA CIN 44 9 86
Stephen Holloway WAS CHI MIN TEN GB MIA BUF BAL JAC NYJ LAC OAK ARI NO PHI PIT 47 9 98
William Grant DAL CHI ATL HOU GB DEN NE DET JAC NYJ LAC OAK LAR NO PHI CIN 42 9 99
Andrew Garda WAS CHI ATL HOU GB MIA NE BAL IND NYJ LAC OAK LAR NO PHI PIT 50 8 100
Devin Knotts WAS CHI ATL HOU GB DEN NE BAL JAC KC CLE OAK LAR NO PHI PIT 44 8 100
Aaron Rudnicki WAS SF ATL HOU GB MIA NE DET IND NYJ LAC OAK ARI CAR SEA PIT 46 7 104
Chris Feery WAS SF ATL HOU GB DEN BUF DET IND NYJ LAC OAK ARI NO SEA CIN 42 7 92
James Brimacombe DAL CHI ATL HOU GB DEN BUF DET JAC KC LAC OAK LAR NO PHI CIN 43 7 101
Keith Roberts WAS SF ATL HOU GB MIA NE DET IND KC LAC NYG LAR NO PHI PIT 50 6 94

Quite the strong week for the staff once again in Week 13!  Most of our contributors had winning weeks with 15 out of 22 getting nine or more games correct.  The top of the chart was very impressive with Alex Miglio edging out myself, Matt Bitonti and Phil Alexander.  It all came down to Monday Night Football, and despite the late win by the Steelers, they did not cover the spread.  That gave Alex the win for the week with a 12-4 record.  Even so, with three staffers at 11-5 and still five more at 10-6, it made for quite the impressive week.  The staff went an incredible 50 games over .500 for Week 13 (201-151, 57.1%) which moved the group's seasonal number very close to breaking even against Las Vegas.  At 168 games over .500 (2,196-2,028, 52.0%) the staff is within 0.3% of tying the Las Vegas metric of 52.3% to at least "push" against the house.  Very impressive.  Four weeks is still a lot of the year left, so let's see how strong of a finish the staff can put forward in December.

THIS WEEK'S PICKS

Road Team: NO MIN CHI GB SF DAL DET OAK IND NYJ TEN WAS SEA PHI BAL NE  
Home Team: ATL CAR CIN CLE HOU NYG TB KC BUF DEN ARI LAC JAC LAR PIT MIA  
Favorite: NO MIN CIN GB HOU DAL TB KC BUF NYJ TEN LAC JAC LAR PIT NE  
Point Spread: -1.5 -2.5 -6.5 -3.5 -2.5 -4.5 -1.5 -3.5 -3.5 -0.5 -2.5 -6.5 -3.5 -1.5 -5.5 -11.5  
Staffer The Picks MNF
Tot Pts
Jeff Pasquino NO MIN CHI CLE HOU NYG DET OAK BUF NYJ ARI LAC SEA PHI PIT NE 48
Aaron Rudnicki NO MIN CIN CLE SF DAL DET OAK IND NYJ TEN WAS SEA LAR BAL NE 44
Alessandro Miglio ATL CAR CHI GB HOU DAL TB KC BUF NYJ ARI WAS SEA LAR BAL MIA 53
Andrew Garda NO MIN CHI GB HOU DAL TB KC BUF NYJ TEN LAC JAC PHI PIT MIA 50
Andy Hicks ATL CAR CIN CLE SF NYG TB OAK IND NYJ ARI WAS SEA LAR BAL MIA 49
Bear Heiser ATL CAR CIN GB HOU DAL DET KC BUF NYJ TEN WAS SEA LAR PIT NE 48
Chris Feery NO MIN CHI GB SF NYG DET OAK BUF NYJ TEN LAC SEA PHI BAL NE 49
Danny Tuccitto ATL CAR CHI GB HOU NYG DET KC BUF DEN ARI WAS SEA PHI BAL MIA 49
Dave Larkin NO CAR CIN CLE SF NYG TB KC IND NYJ ARI WAS SEA PHI BAL MIA 48
Devin Knotts ATL CAR CHI CLE SF NYG DET OAK IND DEN ARI WAS JAC LAR BAL NE 51
James Brimacombe NO CAR CIN GB SF DAL DET OAK BUF DEN ARI LAC JAC PHI PIT NE 46
Jason Wood NO CAR CHI GB SF DAL TB KC BUF NYJ TEN LAC SEA PHI PIT NE 51
Jeff Haseley ATL MIN CHI GB SF DAL DET KC BUF NYJ TEN LAC SEA PHI BAL NE 47
John Mamula NO MIN CIN GB SF NYG DET KC BUF NYJ TEN LAC JAC PHI PIT NE 47
Justin Bonnema NO MIN CIN CLE HOU DAL DET KC BUF NYJ TEN LAC SEA LAR PIT NE 48
Justin Howe NO CAR CHI CLE HOU NYG DET KC IND NYJ TEN WAS SEA PHI BAL MIA 47
Keith Roberts NO MIN CHI CLE SF DAL DET KC BUF NYJ TEN LAC SEA LAR BAL MIA 46
Mark Wimer ATL MIN CHI GB HOU DAL DET KC BUF NYJ ARI WAS JAC LAR BAL NE 42
Matt Bitonti NO MIN CIN GB SF DAL TB OAK IND NYJ TEN LAC SEA LAR BAL MIA 46
Phil Alexander NO CAR CIN CLE SF DAL DET OAK BUF DEN TEN WAS SEA PHI PIT NE 46
Stephen Holloway NO MIN CIN GB HOU NYG DET KC BUF NYJ ARI LAC SEA LAR PIT MIA 44
William Grant ATL MIN CHI GB HOU DAL DET KC IND DEN TEN LAC SEA PHI BAL NE 46

CONSENSUS WINNERS

All the sets of picks are in this morning, and a lot of the games are split almost right down the middle.  Five teams (Green Bay, Dallas, Tennesee, Baltimore and New England) were 13-9 favorites for the staff, while five more (Minnesota, Chicago, San Francsico, Philadelphia and the Los Angeles Chargers) were even smaller favorites with 12-10 margins.  Even more remarkable is the fact that all but one of these 10 teams (the Chargers) are road teams.  That trend continued across all picks for Week 14 as only three home teams (Chargers, Buffalo and Kansas City) were majority picks, making this the biggest week that I can recall where 13 of 16 majoritiy picks went with the road teams.  The most popular selections were the Jets (at Denver) and Seattle (at Jacksonville), with both franchises getting 17 of the 22 possible picks.  New York is a very narrow favorite at one-half point over the Broncos, while the Seahawks are a road underdog, getting 3.5 points at Jacksonville.  Five underdogs were chosen by the staff this week overall, but Seattle was certainly the most popular.  All four of the others were in the "close split" group as Baltimore received 13 votes and Chicago, Philadelphia and the 49ers received 12 on the week.  The four teams that were in the larger majority this week but not quite at the top were Detroit (at Tampa Bay, 16 votes), Buffalo (against Indianapolis, 15), New Orleans (at Atlanta, 14) and the Kansas City Chiefs (vs. Oakland, 14 votes).   Once again, Week 14 has all the makings of yet another very interesting week in the NFL and for the staff picks.

 

ODDS AND ENDS

The season is winding down - just a few weeks to go - 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 than it might seem.

Good luck this weekend!

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

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