Against The Spread Pool: Week 5 - 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:
MIN
CIN
NYJ
DET
PHI
BUF
HOU
MIA
TB
CLE
SEA
SF
NO
BAL
KC
Home Team:
LAR
ATL
JAC
DAL
TEN
GB
IND
NE
CHI
OAK
ARI
LAC
NYG
PIT
DEN
Favorite:
LAR
ATL
JAC
DAL
PHI
GB
IND
NE
CHI
OAK
SEA
LAC
NO
PIT
KC
Point Spread:
-6.5
-5.5
-7.5
-3.5
-3.5
-10.5
-1.5
-7.5
-2.5
-2.5
-2.5
-10.5
-3.5
-3.5
-4.5
Staffer
The Picks
MNF
LW
Total
Justin Howe
LAR
CIN
JAC
DAL
PHI
GB
HOU
MIA
CHI
OAK
SEA
LAC
NO
PIT
DEN
54
10
34
Dave Larkin
LAR
ATL
NYJ
DET
TEN
BUF
IND
NE
TB
OAK
SEA
SF
NO
BAL
DEN
57
10
33
Aaron Rudnicki
MIN
ATL
JAC
DET
PHI
GB
HOU
MIA
CHI
CLE
SEA
SF
NYG
BAL
DEN
44
9
29
Alessandro Miglio
MIN
CIN
JAC
DAL
TEN
BUF
IND
MIA
CHI
OAK
SEA
SF
NO
PIT
DEN
49
9
35
Bear Heiser
LAR
ATL
JAC
DET
PHI
GB
HOU
MIA
CHI
CLE
SEA
LAC
NO
PIT
DEN
56
9
29
William Grant
LAR
ATL
JAC
DET
PHI
GB
HOU
MIA
TB
OAK
SEA
LAC
NO
BAL
KC
57
9
29
Danny Tuccitto
LAR
ATL
JAC
DET
PHI
BUF
IND
MIA
TB
OAK
SEA
SF
NO
PIT
DEN
49
8
30
Devin Knotts
MIN
ATL
JAC
DAL
PHI
GB
HOU
NE
TB
CLE
SEA
LAC
NO
BAL
DEN
44
8
34
Keith Roberts
MIN
CIN
JAC
DAL
PHI
GB
HOU
MIA
CHI
CLE
SEA
LAC
NO
BAL
KC
57
8
26
Mark Wimer
MIN
ATL
JAC
DET
PHI
BUF
HOU
NE
CHI
CLE
SEA
LAC
NO
PIT
DEN
45
8
30
Jeff Pasquino
LAR
CIN
JAC
DET
PHI
GB
IND
MIA
TB
CLE
SEA
LAC
NO
PIT
KC
58
7
27
James Brimacombe
MIN
ATL
JAC
DET
PHI
GB
HOU
NE
TB
CLE
SEA
LAC
NO
PIT
KC
55
7
31
Phil Alexander
MIN
ATL
NYJ
DAL
TEN
GB
IND
MIA
CHI
OAK
SEA
SF
NYG
BAL
KC
52
7
32
Sean Settle
LAR
ATL
JAC
DET
PHI
BUF
HOU
NE
TB
CLE
SEA
LAC
NO
PIT
KC
52
7
24
Andy Hicks
LAR
CIN
NYJ
DAL
PHI
GB
HOU
MIA
TB
CLE
SEA
LAC
NYG
BAL
KC
61
6
33
Matt Bitonti
LAR
ATL
NYJ
DET
TEN
BUF
IND
MIA
CHI
CLE
SEA
LAC
NYG
BAL
KC
61
6
25
Andrew Garda
MIN
ATL
NYJ
DET
PHI
BUF
IND
MIA
CHI
CLE
SEA
LAC
NO
BAL
KC
65
5
22
Jeff Haseley
MIN
ATL
NYJ
DET
PHI
BUF
IND
MIA
CHI
CLE
SEA
LAC
NO
BAL
KC
51
5
31

NFL Week 4 was a bit kinder to the staff, as the group hit on the majority of their picks for the week (138-132, 51.1%), which raises the overall staff record to 534-647 (45.2%). Justin Howe and Dave Larkin split the top spot with 10 correct picks, but Justin won the tiebreaker with a lower point total, 54-57 (Kansas City beat Denver 27-23). The overall standings are tightening up with four weeks complete, led by Alex Miglio (35) then a tie with Devin Knotts (34) and Justin Howe (34) one pick back, and Andy Hicks (33) and Dave Larkin (33) just two off of the pace. Only the Top 3 are ahead of the Las Vegas success rate needed to win overall (52.3% or better), so much is left for the staff the rest of the way.

THIS WEEK'S PICKS

Here are the picks for this week:

Road Team:
IND
TEN
NYG
MIA
JAC
ATL
DEN
GB
BAL
OAK
LAR
ARI
MIN
DAL
WAS
Home Team:
NE
BUF
CAR
CIN
KC
PIT
NYJ
DET
CLE
LAC
SEA
SF
PHI
HOU
NO
Favorite:
NE
TEN
CAR
CIN
KC
PIT
NYJ
GB
BAL
LAC
LAR
SF
PHI
HOU
NO
Point Spread:
-10.5
-3.5
-7.5
-6.5
-3.5
-3.5
-1.5
-1.5
-3.5
-5.5
-7.5
-4.5
-3.5
-3.5
-6.5
Staffer
The Picks
MNF
Jeff Pasquino
NE
TEN
CAR
CIN
KC
PIT
DEN
GB
BAL
LAC
LAR
SF
PHI
HOU
NO
54
Aaron Rudnicki
IND
TEN
NYG
MIA
JAC
PIT
DEN
GB
CLE
LAC
SEA
ARI
MIN
HOU
NO
50
Andrew Garda
NE
TEN
CAR
CIN
KC
ATL
DEN
GB
CLE
LAC
LAR
ARI
PHI
HOU
NO
65
Andy Hicks
IND
BUF
NYG
CIN
JAC
PIT
NYJ
GB
CLE
LAC
LAR
ARI
MIN
DAL
WAS
54
Bear Heiser
IND
TEN
NYG
CIN
KC
ATL
DEN
GB
CLE
LAC
SEA
ARI
MIN
HOU
NO
64
Danny Tuccitto
NE
TEN
CAR
MIA
KC
ATL
DEN
DET
BAL
LAC
SEA
SF
PHI
HOU
NO
49
Dave Larkin
IND
BUF
NYG
CIN
KC
ATL
NYJ
GB
BAL
OAK
LAR
SF
MIN
HOU
NO
51
Devin Knotts
IND
BUF
NYG
CIN
KC
PIT
DEN
GB
CLE
LAC
LAR
ARI
MIN
DAL
WAS
45
James Brimacombe
IND
BUF
NYG
CIN
JAC
ATL
DEN
DET
CLE
LAC
LAR
ARI
MIN
HOU
WAS
53
Jeff Haseley
NE
BUF
CAR
MIA
KC
ATL
NYJ
DET
BAL
LAC
SEA
SF
PHI
DAL
NO
48
Justin Howe
IND
BUF
CAR
CIN
JAC
ATL
DEN
GB
CLE
OAK
SEA
ARI
PHI
DAL
NO
49
Keith Roberts
IND
TEN
NYG
CIN
KC
ATL
DEN
DET
BAL
LAC
LAR
ARI
MIN
HOU
WAS
49
Mark Wimer
IND
BUF
CAR
CIN
JAC
ATL
DEN
GB
BAL
LAC
LAR
SF
MIN
HOU
NO
69
Matt Bitonti
NE
TEN
CAR
CIN
KC
PIT
NYJ
DET
BAL
OAK
LAR
ARI
PHI
HOU
NO
55
Phil Alexander
NE
BUF
NYG
MIA
JAC
PIT
NYJ
DET
BAL
OAK
LAR
ARI
PHI
DAL
NO
46
Sean Settle
NE
TEN
CAR
CIN
JAC
ATL
DEN
GB
BAL
LAC
LAR
SF
MIN
HOU
NO
55
William Grant
NE
BUF
CAR
CIN
KC
ATL
DEN
GB
CLE
LAC
SEA
ARI
MIN
DAL
WAS
56
Alex Miglio
IND
TEN
NYG
MIA
JAC
PIT
DEN
GB
CLE
OAK
SEA
ARI
PHI
HOU
NO
51

CONSENSUS WINNERS

Week 5 is far different than prior weeks, as there is no team where the staff is even close to all in on for this weekend. The highest consensus pick has 13 out of 18 picks, with a four-way tie among three home favorites (Cincinnati, New Orleans and the Los Angeles Chargers) and one road underdog in the Denver Broncos. Green Bay, Arizona and Houston come in next with 12 selections, including the Cardinals as the second of five underdogs for the group - and interestingly enough, all five (Broncos, Cardinals, Falcons, Colts and Vikings) are on the road. Slight favorites for the group come in at either 11 votes (Falcons, Rams) or 10 selections (Colts, Chiefs, Vikings). Three games are split down the middle as nine picks each came in for both sides of the Bills hosting Tennessee, Carolina home against the Giants and the Ravens traveling to Cleveland. Only one road favorite (Rams) received more than a split vote, so home favorites or road underdogs are the recipe for the staff this week. As always, it will be fun and interesting to see how the week plays out.

ODDS AND ENDS

A quarter of the season is now gone, 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


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