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Against The Spread Pool: Week 17

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: IND MIN DET LAR DEN ATL CLE BUF MIA LAC TB JAC NYG SEA PIT OAK      
Home Team: BAL GB CIN TEN WAS NO CHI NE KC NYJ CAR SF ARI DAL HOU PHI      
Favorite: BAL MIN DET LAR WAS NO CHI NE KC LAC CAR JAC ARI DAL PIT PHI      
Point Spread: -12.5 -2.5 -3.5 -6.5 -3.5 -5.5 -6.5 -12.5 -10.5 -6.5 -9.5 -4.5 -4.5 -4.5 -9.5 -8.5      
Staffer Last Week's Picks MNF Last Year to
Tot Pts Week Date
Keith Roberts BAL MIN DET TEN WAS NO CHI NE MIA LAC CAR SF ARI DAL PIT PHI 42 11 131
Dave Larkin BAL MIN DET TEN WAS ATL CLE NE KC LAC TB SF NYG SEA PIT PHI 52 11 121
Jeff Pasquino IND MIN DET LAR WAS NO CHI NE KC LAC CAR JAC NYG DAL PIT PHI 48 10 124
Bear Heiser BAL MIN DET LAR WAS NO CHI BUF KC LAC TB SF NYG SEA PIT OAK 54 10 134
Justin Bonnema IND MIN DET TEN WAS NO CLE BUF MIA LAC CAR SF NYG SEA PIT PHI 48 10 128
Phil Alexander IND MIN CIN TEN WAS ATL CLE NE MIA NYJ CAR SF ARI SEA PIT OAK 47 10 134
Alessandro Miglio IND MIN DET TEN WAS ATL CLE BUF MIA NYJ TB SF ARI SEA PIT OAK 45 9 125
Andrew Garda BAL MIN DET LAR WAS NO CHI NE MIA LAC CAR JAC ARI DAL PIT PHI 45 9 129
Jason Wood IND MIN DET LAR DEN NO CHI NE MIA LAC TB JAC NYG SEA HOU PHI 51 9 126
Mark Wimer IND MIN DET LAR WAS ATL CHI BUF KC LAC CAR JAC ARI DAL PIT PHI 52 9 133
Aaron Rudnicki IND MIN DET TEN DEN ATL CLE BUF MIA LAC TB SF NYG SEA PIT OAK 45 8 126
Chris Feery IND MIN DET LAR WAS NO CLE BUF MIA LAC CAR SF NYG SEA PIT OAK 49 8 118
John Mamula IND MIN DET LAR WAS NO CHI BUF MIA LAC TB JAC ARI DAL HOU OAK 47 8 127
Danny Tuccitto BAL GB CIN TEN WAS ATL CHI BUF MIA NYJ TB JAC NYG SEA HOU PHI 49 7 131
James Brimacombe IND MIN DET LAR WAS ATL CLE BUF MIA LAC CAR JAC NYG SEA PIT PHI 47 7 126
Jeff Haseley BAL MIN DET TEN DEN ATL CHI BUF KC NYJ CAR SF NYG DAL PIT PHI 47 7 120
Matt Bitonti IND MIN DET TEN DEN ATL CLE BUF KC NYJ CAR SF NYG DAL PIT PHI 52 7 136
William Grant BAL MIN DET LAR DEN ATL CLE BUF KC LAC CAR JAC ARI SEA PIT PHI 48 7 128
Andy Hicks IND GB CIN TEN DEN ATL CLE BUF MIA NYJ TB SF NYG SEA HOU OAK 61 6 108
Devin Knotts IND MIN DET TEN DEN ATL CLE BUF MIA NYJ TB SF NYG SEA HOU OAK 44 6 123
Justin Howe IND MIN DET TEN DEN ATL CLE NE MIA NYJ TB JAC NYG DAL HOU PHI 47 6 107
Stephen Holloway IND MIN DET LAR DEN ATL CLE BUF MIA LAC TB JAC NYG SEA PIT OAK 49 6 117

Both Keith Roberts and Dave Larkin had strong finishes in Week 16, getting 11 games correct and finished tied atop the standing for the week.  Keith won the tiebreaker with the lower projected score for the Raiders-Eagles game, which was a wild finish to a rather dull contest (19-10 with a touchdown by the defense on the final play).  Four other staffers went 10-6 while four more went 9-7 on the week.  Minnesota helped the group the most with 20 wins (thanks in part to Aaron Rodgers getting put on IR and changing the line and outcome significantly), but Detroit dropped the ball in a big way and gave the group 19 losses.  Overall the staff had another winning week at 181-171, putting the record for the year at over 200 games above .500 (2,752-2,528 for 52.1%).  That is right at the Las Vegas breakeven rate, which is a solid showing especially for mid-week picks.  One week to go to wrap this up and declare an overall winner, so let's see what Week 17 looks like.

THIS WEEK'S PICKS

Here are the picks for this week.

Road Team: CLE GB CHI DAL HOU NYJ WAS CIN CAR NO KC JAC ARI BUF OAK SF  
Home Team: PIT DET MIN PHI IND NE NYG BAL ATL TB DEN TEN SEA MIA LAC LAR  
Favorite: PIT DET MIN DAL IND NE WAS BAL ATL NO DEN TEN SEA BUF LAC LAR  
Point Spread: -13.5 -7.5 -12.5 -2.5 -3.5 -15.5 -3.5 -9.5 -3.5 -7.5 -3.5 -3.5 -8.5 -2.5 -7.5 -2.5  
Staffer The Picks MNF
Tot Pts
Jeff Pasquino PIT GB MIN PHI IND NE WAS BAL ATL NO KC JAC SEA BUF LAC SF 45
Aaron Rudnicki PIT DET CHI DAL IND NYJ WAS BAL CAR TB DEN TEN SEA BUF OAK SF 40
Alessandro Miglio CLE GB CHI DAL HOU NYJ WAS CIN ATL TB DEN TEN ARI MIA OAK SF 55
Andrew Garda PIT DET MIN PHI IND NE WAS BAL ATL NO KC JAC SEA BUF LAC LAR 45
Andy Hicks CLE GB CHI PHI HOU NYJ NYG CIN CAR TB KC JAC ARI MIA OAK SF 47
Chris Feery PIT GB MIN PHI IND NE WAS BAL ATL NO KC JAC SEA BUF LAC SF 45
Danny Tuccitto PIT GB CHI PHI HOU NYJ NYG CIN CAR TB KC JAC SEA MIA OAK SF 49
Dave Larkin PIT GB CHI DAL IND NYJ WAS CIN CAR TB DEN JAC ARI BUF OAK SF 50
Devin Knotts CLE GB CHI PHI HOU NYJ NYG CIN CAR TB KC JAC ARI MIA OAK SF 44
James Brimacombe CLE GB CHI PHI HOU NYJ WAS BAL ATL NO DEN TEN SEA BUF LAC SF 42
Jeff Haseley PIT DET CHI DAL IND NYJ WAS CIN CAR NO DEN TEN ARI BUF LAC SF 48
John Mamula PIT DET CHI PHI IND NE NYG CIN ATL NO KC TEN SEA BUF LAC SF 44
Justin Bonnema PIT DET MIN PHI HOU NE WAS CIN ATL NO KC JAC SEA MIA LAC LAR 48
Justin Howe PIT GB CHI DAL HOU NYJ WAS CIN ATL NO DEN TEN SEA BUF OAK SF 43
Keith Roberts CLE DET MIN PHI HOU NE WAS CIN ATL TB KC TEN SEA BUF LAC LAR 44
Mark Wimer PIT GB MIN DAL HOU NYJ NYG BAL ATL NO KC TEN SEA BUF LAC LAR 69
Matt Bitonti CLE DET MIN DAL IND NE WAS BAL CAR TB KC JAC SEA BUF LAC SF 65
Phil Alexander PIT GB CHI DAL IND NYJ WAS BAL CAR TB DEN TEN SEA MIA OAK SF 46
St Holloway CLE DET CHI DAL IND NYJ WAS BAL CAR NO KC JAC SEA BUF LAC LAR 50
William Grant PIT GB MIN PHI IND NE WAS BAL CAR NO KC JAC SEA BUF LAC SF 47
Bear Heiser PIT DET MIN DAL HOU NYJ WAS CIN CAR NO KC JAC SEA BUF LAC SF 44
Jason Wood                                  

CONSENSUS WINNERS

Week 17 is always interesting, but several early lines made it even more intriguing for the last week of the regular season.  All but two sets of picks are in this morning (20 of 22), and no team earned more than 75% of the votes.  Three teams did get 15 of 20 - Washington, Seattle and San Francisco.  The 49ers are the most interesting since they were listed as underdogs at first, but now that the Rams are resting players they are favored and getting points on several sites, so they are an easy call this week.  Buffalo comes in with 14 picks and Pittsburgh (13) and Kansas City (13) are just one step back.  The Bills must win this week while the Steelers face Cleveland at home.  Pittsburgh has to win and hope New England loses to get the #1 AFC seed, but either way they should push the Browns to an 0-16 record for the year.  Sorry Cleveland fans.  The rest of the picks are about even, with four teams getting 12 votes (Green Bay, Chicago, the Chargers and the Jets) and four more getting 11 picks (Philadelphia, Indianapolis, New Orleans and Jacksonville).  Two games were dead heats with Baltimore-Cincinnati and Carolina-Atlanta split down the middle.

As for the staff standings, Matt Bitonti leads Bear Heiser and Phil Alexander by two games and Mark Wimer by three.  It will be a tight finish in Week 17, so check back next week to see who won.

Thanks to everyone who read this article this year and played along.  I hope it was helpful to you.  Feedback is always welcome, and let us know what you liked or didn't like!  Happy New Year and good luck this weekend!

ODDS AND ENDS

This is it! The final week of the regular 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 than it might seem.

Good luck this weekend!

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