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 (23) 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.
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS
Here are the results from last week:
Danny Tuccitto picked up the win in Week 7, nailing 10 of 14 games. Three more staffers (including myself) hit nine games right, finishing one step behind Danny. The entire group did well for the week, winning Week 7 overall (161-147, 52.3%) and just enough to have a winning week in Las Vegas. Underdog picks of Miami (17), Detroit (16) and Pittsburgh (13) did not pay off, but the upset call of San Diego (16) certainly did. The Jets (15), Seattle (14) and Green Bay (14) were also upset in Week 8, creating all sorts of land mines. Somehow the group managed to dance around most of these to have a winning week. The good results moved the staff above 50% correct picks for the year at 1,386-1,276 (52.1%), which is almost enough for the entire staff to be beating Las Vegas. Here's hoping that the winning ways continue for Week 9.
THIS WEEK'S PICKS
Here are the picks for this week:
Eight weeks are now behind us, and we are getting closer to our first consensus pick. Two teams came very close for the group as 21 of 23 staffers chose Denver to win and cover at Indianapolis, and only one staff member went against Atlanta as the Falcons travel to San Francisco. The Patriots were also pretty close as the staff learned their lesson of going against a not New England club and chose them 20 out of 23 times this week. Clearly the group will sink or swim on these three picks. The next most popular selections for Week 9 were Oakland (19), New Orleans (18),the Jets (17) and Tampa Bay (15). No other team was picked more than 14 times. Las Vegas would love these sets of picks with three games nearly dead even (Green Bay / Carolina, Philadelphia / Dallas and Chicago / San Diego) as the choices were split almost exactly in half for these contests. It should be very interesting to see how it plays out.
ODDS AND ENDS
We are getting deeper into the season so we should know more, but 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 52.3% 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.