Against The Spread Pool: Week 1 - Footballguys

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 (18) 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.

Please note, that this contest should NOT be viewed as direct sports wagering advice, especially later in the season. Since the staff is trying to beat one another, picks may be made to go against the grain in an attempt to try and catch up in the standings. This example of game theory is more in tune towards playing a contest such as this - so again, do not use these picks as direct advice towards which games to pick each and every week. Rather, use these picks to see the top choices each week, especially by the staff members towards the top of the standings.

THIS WEEK'S PICKS

Here are the picks for this week.

Road Team:
ATL
PIT
TEN
BUF
HOU
JAC
SF
TB
CIN
KC
DAL
WAS
SEA
CHI
NYJ
LAR
Home Team:
PHI
CLE
MIA
BAL
NE
NYG
MIN
NO
IND
LAC
CAR
ARI
DEN
GB
DET
OAK
Favorite:
PHI
PIT
TEN
BAL
NE
JAC
MIN
NO
IND
LAC
CAR
ARI
DEN
GB
DET
LAR
Point Spread:
-3.5
-5.5
-1.5
-6.5
-6.5
-3.5
-5.5
-9.5
-2.5
-3.5
-2.5
-0.5
-2.5
-8.5
-6.5
-2.5
Staffer
The Picks
MNF
Jeff Pasquino
PHI
PIT
TEN
BAL
NE
JAC
MIN
NO
CIN
LAC
CAR
WAS
DEN
GB
DET
LAR
47
Aaron Rudnick
ATL
CLE
TEN
BAL
HOU
JAC
SF
TB
CIN
KC
CAR
ARI
DEN
CHI
DET
LAR
46
Alessandro Mi
PHI
CLE
MIA
BUF
NE
NYG
SF
TB
IND
KC
CAR
ARI
DEN
CHI
NYJ
LAR
48
Andrew Garda
PHI
PIT
TEN
BAL
HOU
JAC
MIN
NO
IND
LAC
CAR
ARI
DEN
GB
DET
LAR
45
Andy Hicks
ATL
CLE
MIA
BAL
NE
JAC
MIN
TB
CIN
LAC
DAL
WAS
SEA
GB
DET
LAR
57
Bear Heiser
PHI
CLE
TEN
BAL
NE
JAC
MIN
NO
IND
KC
CAR
ARI
SEA
CHI
DET
LAR
44
Danny Tuccitt
PHI
CLE
TEN
BAL
NE
NYG
MIN
NO
IND
KC
DAL
ARI
SEA
CHI
NYJ
LAR
49
Dave Larkin
ATL
PIT
MIA
BAL
NE
NYG
SF
TB
CIN
KC
CAR
WAS
DEN
GB
DET
OAK
54
Devin Knotts
ATL
CLE
TEN
BAL
NE
JAC
MIN
TB
CIN
LAC
CAR
WAS
DEN
CHI
NYJ
LAR
47
James Brimaco
ATL
CLE
TEN
BAL
HOU
NYG
MIN
NO
IND
KC
CAR
ARI
DEN
CHI
DET
LAR
53
Jeff Haseley
PHI
PIT
MIA
BUF
NE
JAC
MIN
TB
CIN
KC
CAR
ARI
SEA
CHI
NYJ
LAR
47
Justin Howe
PHI
CLE
MIA
BUF
HOU
NYG
MIN
NO
CIN
LAC
CAR
ARI
SEA
CHI
NYJ
LAR
48
Keith Roberts
PHI
PIT
TEN
BAL
HOU
NYG
MIN
NO
CIN
LAC
CAR
ARI
SEA
CHI
DET
LAR
50
Mark Wimer
ATL
CLE
TEN
BAL
NE
JAC
MIN
NO
CIN
LAC
CAR
WAS
DEN
CHI
DET
LAR
42
Matt Bitonti
PHI
PIT
TEN
BAL
NE
NYG
SF
NO
CIN
LAC
CAR
ARI
SEA
CHI
DET
LAR
60
Phil Alexande
ATL
PIT
MIA
BAL
NE
JAC
SF
TB
CIN
LAC
CAR
ARI
SEA
GB
NYJ
LAR
43
Sean Settle
ATL
CLE
TEN
BAL
HOU
JAC
MIN
NO
CIN
LAC
CAR
WAS
DEN
GB
DET
LAR
48
William Grant
PHI
PIT
TEN
BAL
NE
JAC
MIN
NO
IND
KC
CAR
ARI
DEN
GB
DET
LAR
50

CONSENSUS WINNERS

Its opening weekend, you would have expected some consensus on a few picks – and we nearly got one with the Rams visiting the Raiders to close out Week 1 in the second half of the Monday Night Football doubleheader. All but one member of the staff (17 out of 18) picked the Rams to cover the points, so Dave Larkin could make a big move if the Raiders can step up this week. The next favored picks were Carolina (16) and Baltimore (15), as both home teams are facing teams perceived to be mediocre at best this year (the Panthers host the Cowboys while the Bills visit the Ravens). Only one other team, Minnesota (13 of 18) received a good majority this week. Five teams - Tennessee, New England, Cincinnati, Arizona, and Detroit - received 12 votes, with two road teams (Titans and Bengals) and one underdog (Cincinnati) in this group. Three squads had 11 selections with Jacksonville, New Orleans, and Chicago - again one road team (Jaguars) and one underdog (Bears). This is feeling like a rather chalky week with everyone leaning towards home teams (12) and favorites (13). Even with so many common picks, it is always fun and interesting to see how Week 1 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 than it might seem.

Good luck this weekend!

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