Against The Spread Pool: Week 2 - 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.

LAST WEEK'S RESULTS

Here are the results from last 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
LW
Total
Devin Knotts
ATL
CLE
TEN
BAL
NE
JAC
MIN
TB
CIN
LAC
CAR
WAS
DEN
CHI
NYJ
LAR
47
13
13
Jeff Haseley
PHI
PIT
MIA
BUF
NE
JAC
MIN
TB
CIN
KC
CAR
ARI
SEA
CHI
NYJ
LAR
47
12
12
Alessandro Miglio
PHI
CLE
MIA
BUF
NE
NYG
SF
TB
IND
KC
CAR
ARI
DEN
CHI
NYJ
LAR
48
11
11
Mark Wimer
ATL
CLE
TEN
BAL
NE
JAC
MIN
NO
CIN
LAC
CAR
WAS
DEN
CHI
DET
LAR
42
11
11
Jeff Pasquino
PHI
PIT
TEN
BAL
NE
JAC
MIN
NO
CIN
LAC
CAR
WAS
DEN
GB
DET
LAR
47
10
10
Aaron Rudnicki
ATL
CLE
TEN
BAL
HOU
JAC
SF
TB
CIN
KC
CAR
ARI
DEN
CHI
DET
LAR
46
10
10
Andy Hicks
ATL
CLE
MIA
BAL
NE
JAC
MIN
TB
CIN
LAC
DAL
WAS
SEA
GB
DET
LAR
57
10
10
Bear Heiser
PHI
CLE
TEN
BAL
NE
JAC
MIN
NO
IND
KC
CAR
ARI
SEA
CHI
DET
LAR
44
10
10
Danny Tuccitto
PHI
CLE
TEN
BAL
NE
NYG
MIN
NO
IND
KC
DAL
ARI
SEA
CHI
NYJ
LAR
49
9
9
Dave Larkin
ATL
PIT
MIA
BAL
NE
NYG
SF
TB
CIN
KC
CAR
WAS
DEN
GB
DET
OAK
54
9
9
Justin Howe
PHI
CLE
MIA
BUF
HOU
NYG
MIN
NO
CIN
LAC
CAR
ARI
SEA
CHI
NYJ
LAR
48
9
9
Phil Alexander
ATL
PIT
MIA
BAL
NE
JAC
SF
TB
CIN
LAC
CAR
ARI
SEA
GB
NYJ
LAR
43
9
9
Sean Settle
ATL
CLE
TEN
BAL
HOU
JAC
MIN
NO
CIN
LAC
CAR
WAS
DEN
GB
DET
LAR
48
9
9
William Grant
PHI
PIT
TEN
BAL
NE
JAC
MIN
NO
IND
KC
CAR
ARI
DEN
GB
DET
LAR
50
9
9
James Brimacombe
ATL
CLE
TEN
BAL
HOU
NYG
MIN
NO
IND
KC
CAR
ARI
DEN
CHI
DET
LAR
53
8
8
Andrew Garda
PHI
PIT
TEN
BAL
HOU
JAC
MIN
NO
IND
LAC
CAR
ARI
DEN
GB
DET
LAR
45
7
7
Keith Roberts
PHI
PIT
TEN
BAL
HOU
NYG
MIN
NO
CIN
LAC
CAR
ARI
SEA
CHI
DET
LAR
50
7
7
Matt Bitonti
PHI
PIT
TEN
BAL
NE
NYG
SF
NO
CIN
LAC
CAR
ARI
SEA
CHI
DET
LAR
60
7
7

The first week of the year is typically a challenge, with so many unknowns entering NFL Week 1. The staff had a very strong performance overall with eight of our writers reaching double-digits for correct picks out of the gate, led by Devin Knotts with 13 correct picks. Devin was closely followed by Jeff Haseley (12 correct), Alex Miglio (11) and Mark Wimer (11). Victories by the Rams (17 out of 18 staff picks correct), Carolina (16), Baltimore (15), Minnesota (13), New England (12) and even underdog Cincinnati (12) all greatly boosted the staff, even with upsets from the Buccaneers winning outright over the Saints (only 7 picks on Tampa Bay) and by the Jets (6) over Detroit. The staff also had Chicago (11) covering the spread which offset the home win in a marathon game by Miami (6) over Tennessee. The grand total for the Footballguys' Staff was 170 correct picks out of 288, a very healthy 59% winning percentage across the board. That number is outstanding, considering that a true winning week, when you factor in the Las Vegas house advantage, is anything over 52.3%.

THIS WEEK'S PICKS

Here are the picks for this week.

Road Team:
BAL
HOU
KC
PHI
LAC
CAR
IND
CLE
MIN
MIA
DET
ARI
OAK
NE
NYG
SEA
Home Team:
CIN
TEN
PIT
TB
BUF
ATL
WAS
NO
GB
NYJ
SF
LAR
DEN
JAC
DAL
CHI
Favorite:
BAL
HOU
PIT
PHI
LAC
ATL
WAS
NO
GB
NYJ
SF
LAR
DEN
NE
DAL
CHI
Point Spread:
-0.5
-4.5
-5.5
-3.5
-7.5
-5.5
-5.5
-8.5
-0.5
-2.5
-5.5
-13.5
-5.5
-2.5
-2.5
-3.5
Staffer
The Picks
MNF
Jeff Pasquino
BAL
HOU
KC
PHI
LAC
ATL
WAS
NO
MIN
NYJ
SF
LAR
DEN
NE
NYG
CHI
45
Aaron Rudnicki
CIN
TEN
KC
PHI
LAC
CAR
IND
CLE
MIN
NYJ
SF
ARI
DEN
NE
NYG
SEA
44
Alessandro Miglio
CIN
TEN
KC
PHI
BUF
CAR
IND
CLE
GB
NYJ
SF
ARI
DEN
NE
DAL
SEA
47
Andrew Garda
BAL
HOU
PIT
PHI
LAC
CAR
WAS
CLE
MIN
NYJ
SF
LAR
DEN
NE
NYG
CHI
50
Andy Hicks
CIN
HOU
KC
PHI
LAC
ATL
WAS
CLE
MIN
NYJ
SF
LAR
OAK
JAC
DAL
SEA
41
Bear Heiser
CIN
HOU
KC
TB
LAC
CAR
WAS
NO
MIN
NYJ
SF
LAR
DEN
NE
NYG
CHI
48
Danny Tuccitto
CIN
HOU
KC
TB
LAC
CAR
IND
NO
MIN
NYJ
SF
LAR
DEN
JAC
NYG
SEA
49
Dave Larkin
BAL
HOU
KC
TB
LAC
ATL
WAS
NO
MIN
NYJ
SF
LAR
DEN
NE
DAL
SEA
46
Devin Knotts
CIN
HOU
PIT
PHI
BUF
CAR
WAS
CLE
MIN
MIA
SF
ARI
DEN
NE
NYG
SEA
44
James Brimacombe
CIN
HOU
KC
PHI
LAC
CAR
IND
CLE
MIN
MIA
DET
LAR
OAK
JAC
NYG
SEA
44
Jeff Haseley
CIN
TEN
KC
PHI
BUF
CAR
WAS
NO
MIN
NYJ
SF
ARI
DEN
NE
DAL
SEA
41
Justin Howe
CIN
TEN
PIT
PHI
LAC
CAR
IND
CLE
MIN
NYJ
DET
ARI
DEN
JAC
NYG
SEA
44
Keith Roberts
BAL
HOU
KC
TB
LAC
CAR
WAS
NO
MIN
NYJ
SF
LAR
DEN
JAC
NYG
CHI
48
Mark Wimer
BAL
HOU
KC
PHI
LAC
ATL
WAS
NO
GB
NYJ
SF
ARI
DEN
JAC
NYG
CHI
35
Matt Bitonti
BAL
HOU
KC
PHI
BUF
ATL
WAS
CLE
MIN
NYJ
SF
LAR
DEN
JAC
NYG
CHI
61
Phil Alexander
CIN
HOU
PIT
PHI
BUF
ATL
IND
NO
MIN
MIA
SF
ARI
OAK
NE
NYG
SEA
40
Sean Settle
BAL
HOU
KC
PHI
LAC
CAR
WAS
NO
MIN
NYJ
DET
ARI
DEN
NE
NYG
SEA
48
William Grant
BAL
HOU
KC
PHI
BUF
ATL
WAS
CLE
MIN
MIA
SF
ARI
DEN
NE
NYG
SEA
46

CONSENSUS WINNERS

As we enter Week 2, there is plenty to discuss regarding early week picks. Several games have some head-scratching point spreads, while one game (Green Bay hosting Minnesota) has no official line yet with Aaron Rodgers questionable for the contest as of Wednesday night. That forced the staff to view that particular game at "Packers -0.5", and nearly everyone hopped on the Vikings for Week 2. Only Alex Miglio and Mark Wimer went with Green Bay, so this could either really help the staff overall or help Alex and Mark move up the standings. San Francisco and Denver were next with 15 selections each, as both home teams are favored to win by almost a full touchdown against two teams (Detroit and Oakland, respectively) that are looking to be struggling early in the young season. Five teams received 14 votes, including two more road underdogs in Kansas City (at Pittsburgh) and the Giants (at Dallas). The Jets (hosting Miami) plus two more road favorites (Houston at Tennessee and Philadelphia at Tampa Bay) rounded out the list. Three more underdog picks were slight favorites of the staff as Seattle (13 votes, at Chicago on Monday Night Football), Carolina (11, at Atlanta) and the hometown Bengals (10, hosting the Ravens on Thursday Night Football) all were majority picks. Two games were right down the middle with the Saints-Browns and Rams-Bills split amongst the staff - so even though many might expect Los Angeles to head to Buffalo and win, covering a double-digit point spread may be a more daunting task. As always, it will be fun and interesting to see how NFL Week 2 plays out.

ODDS AND ENDS

Only one week of the NFL season is in the books, and the next set of 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