Against The Spread Pool: Week 13 - 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:
CHI
WAS
ATL
SEA
NYG
OAK
NE
CLE
SF
JAC
ARI
MIA
PIT
GB
TEN
Home Team:
DET
DAL
NO
CAR
PHI
BAL
NYJ
CIN
TB
BUF
LAC
IND
DEN
MIN
HOU
Favorite:
CHI
DAL
NO
CAR
PHI
BAL
NE
CIN
TB
JAC
LAC
IND
PIT
MIN
HOU
Point Spread:
-4.5
-7.5
-13.5
-3.5
-6.5
-10.5
-9.5
-3.5
-3.5
-3.5
-12.5
-9.5
-3.5
-3.5
-6.5
Staffer
The Picks
MNF
LW
Total
Jeff Pasquino
CHI
DAL
NO
SEA
NYG
BAL
NE
CLE
TB
BUF
LAC
IND
PIT
MIN
HOU
43
13
89
Dave Larkin
CHI
DAL
ATL
SEA
NYG
BAL
NE
CLE
TB
BUF
ARI
IND
DEN
GB
HOU
49
11
90
Mark Wimer
CHI
DAL
NO
CAR
NYG
BAL
NE
CLE
SF
BUF
LAC
IND
PIT
MIN
HOU
48
11
84
James Brimacombe
CHI
DAL
NO
CAR
PHI
BAL
NE
CLE
TB
JAC
LAC
IND
DEN
GB
HOU
44
10
93
Keith Roberts
CHI
DAL
ATL
CAR
NYG
BAL
NE
CLE
TB
JAC
LAC
IND
PIT
MIN
HOU
39
10
88
Matt Bitonti
DET
WAS
NO
SEA
NYG
BAL
NE
CLE
SF
BUF
LAC
IND
DEN
GB
HOU
55
10
81
Andrew Garda
CHI
DAL
NO
CAR
NYG
BAL
NE
CIN
TB
JAC
ARI
IND
PIT
MIN
HOU
45
9
76
Bear Heiser
CHI
DAL
NO
SEA
NYG
OAK
NE
CLE
SF
JAC
LAC
IND
PIT
GB
HOU
54
9
84
Jeff Haseley
DET
WAS
NO
CAR
PHI
BAL
NE
CLE
TB
BUF
LAC
MIA
PIT
MIN
TEN
43
9
97
Aaron Rudnicki
DET
WAS
ATL
SEA
NYG
BAL
NE
CLE
SF
JAC
LAC
IND
DEN
GB
HOU
40
8
89
Devin Knotts
DET
WAS
ATL
CAR
NYG
OAK
NE
CLE
TB
JAC
LAC
IND
DEN
MIN
HOU
44
8
89
Phil Alexander
DET
WAS
ATL
SEA
PHI
OAK
NE
CLE
TB
BUF
LAC
MIA
DEN
GB
TEN
45
8
94
Danny Tuccitto
DET
DAL
ATL
SEA
PHI
BAL
NYJ
CIN
SF
BUF
ARI
MIA
DEN
MIN
TEN
49
7
86
Andy Hicks
CHI
WAS
ATL
SEA
PHI
OAK
NE
CLE
SF
JAC
ARI
IND
PIT
MIN
HOU
39
6
85
Justin Howe
DET
DAL
ATL
CAR
PHI
OAK
NYJ
CLE
SF
BUF
LAC
MIA
DEN
GB
TEN
48
6
88
William Grant
DET
DAL
ATL
CAR
PHI
OAK
NE
CLE
SF
JAC
LAC
MIA
PIT
GB
HOU
48
6
86
Alessandro Miglio
DET
WAS
ATL
CAR
NYG
OAK
NYJ
CIN
TB
JAC
ARI
MIA
PIT
MIN
HOU
49
5
92
Sean Settle
CHI
WAS
ATL
CAR
PHI
OAK
NE
CIN
TB
JAC
ARI
IND
PIT
GB
HOU
48
4
88

Vegas Winners - Over 52.4% Hit Rate
Over 50% Hit Rate

NFL Week 12 was a great week for yours truly (Jeff Pasquino), who nailed 13 of 15 games against the spread to win the week going away. The staff had a great week collectively, going 150-120 (55.6%) for the week. Only the thin win by the Colts cost the staff significantly (12 losses) as wins by the Patriots (15), Browns (14), Texans (14) and Chargers (12) helped the staff to a strong overall performance. The staff overall raised the total overall record to 1,579-1,749 (47.9%), inching closer to that respectable 50% win rate.

Checking the overall standings, eight staffers now have winning records (over 50%) for the year with 89 or more wins out of 176 contests through 12 weeks. Only three of the eight staffers are beating the Las Vegas success rate needed to win overall (52.4% or better), with Jeff Haseley (97) just a few games ahead of Phil Alexander (94) and James Brimacombe (93). Only five weeks of the season remains, so time is running out for the rest of the staff to catch the leaders.

THIS WEEK'S PICKS

Here are the picks for this week:

Road Team:
NO
IND
CLE
BUF
ARI
CAR
BAL
CHI
DEN
LAR
NYJ
KC
SF
MIN
LAC
WAS
Home Team:
DAL
JAC
HOU
MIA
GB
TB
ATL
NYG
CIN
DET
TEN
OAK
SEA
NE
PIT
PHI
Favorite:
NO
IND
HOU
MIA
GB
CAR
BAL
CHI
DEN
LAR
TEN
KC
SEA
NE
PIT
PHI
Point Spread:
-7.5
-3.5
-4.5
-5.5
-14.5
-3.5
-1.5
-4.5
-3.5
-9.5
-9.5
-15.5
-10.5
-6.5
-3.5
-6.5
Staffer
The Picks
MNF
Year
Jeff Pasquino
NO
IND
HOU
BUF
GB
CAR
BAL
CHI
DEN
LAR
TEN
KC
SEA
NE
PIT
PHI
47
89
Aaron Rudnicki
DAL
IND
HOU
BUF
ARI
TB
BAL
CHI
DEN
LAR
NYJ
KC
SEA
MIN
LAC
PHI
44
89
Alessandro Miglio
DAL
JAC
HOU
BUF
ARI
TB
ATL
CHI
DEN
DET
NYJ
OAK
SF
NE
PIT
PHI
51
92
Andrew Garda
NO
IND
HOU
MIA
ARI
CAR
BAL
CHI
DEN
LAR
NYJ
KC
SEA
NE
PIT
PHI
45
76
Andy Hicks
DAL
JAC
HOU
BUF
ARI
CAR
BAL
CHI
DEN
LAR
NYJ
KC
SEA
NE
PIT
PHI
61
85
Bear Heiser
DAL
IND
HOU
BUF
ARI
CAR
ATL
CHI
DEN
LAR
TEN
KC
SEA
MIN
PIT
PHI
44
84
Danny Tuccitto
DAL
IND
HOU
BUF
ARI
TB
ATL
NYG
DEN
LAR
NYJ
KC
SF
MIN
PIT
PHI
49
86
Dave Larkin
NO
IND
HOU
BUF
ARI
CAR
BAL
CHI
DEN
LAR
NYJ
OAK
SF
MIN
LAC
PHI
37
90
Devin Knotts
NO
IND
CLE
MIA
ARI
TB
ATL
NYG
CIN
LAR
NYJ
KC
SF
NE
LAC
WAS
45
89
James Brimacombe
NO
JAC
CLE
BUF
GB
CAR
ATL
CHI
DEN
LAR
TEN
KC
SEA
MIN
PIT
PHI
47
93
Jeff Haseley
DAL
JAC
HOU
BUF
ARI
CAR
ATL
CHI
CIN
LAR
TEN
KC
SEA
NE
PIT
WAS
43
97
Justin Howe
DAL
IND
HOU
BUF
ARI
CAR
BAL
CHI
DEN
LAR
NYJ
KC
SEA
MIN
LAC
WAS
45
88
Keith Roberts
NO
IND
CLE
MIA
ARI
CAR
ATL
NYG
DEN
LAR
TEN
KC
SEA
MIN
PIT
PHI
44
88
Mark Wimer
NO
IND
HOU
MIA
GB
CAR
BAL
CHI
DEN
LAR
TEN
KC
SEA
MIN
LAC
PHI
42
84
Matt Bitonti
NO
IND
HOU
BUF
ARI
TB
ATL
CHI
DEN
DET
TEN
OAK
SEA
NE
LAC
PHI
58
81
Phil Alexander
DAL
IND
CLE
MIA
GB
TB
ATL
NYG
DEN
LAR
TEN
KC
SEA
MIN
LAC
WAS
43
94
Sean Settle
NO
IND
HOU
BUF
ARI
CAR
ATL
CHI
DEN
LAR
NYJ
OAK
SF
MIN
PIT
PHI
44
88
William Grant
NO
IND
HOU
MIA
ARI
CAR
BAL
CHI
DEN
LAR
NYJ
KC
SEA
NE
PIT
WAS
46
86

CONSENSUS WINNERS

Week 13 picks are in, and there are some rather interesting trends for sure this week. Two teams are clear strong consensus picks, as both Denver (at Cincinnati) and the Los Angeles Rams (at Detriot) received 16 of 18 picks this week. The fact that both of these teams are on the road and are also favorites is not lost upon me, as that is an overwhelming trend for Week 13: 11 of 16 teams that are majority picks are on the road, and 11 of 16 majority picks are favorites. Week 13 is the first of the five final weeks with all the teams in action (no more byes), so bigger trends like these are very noteworthy. Five teams received 14 votes this week - Indianapolis (at Jacksonville), Houston (hosting Cleveland), Arizona (a big underdog in Green Bay), Chicago (at the Giants) and the Chiefs (at Oakland). The Arizona pick stands out as this is clearly a point spread play (14.5 points for the Cardinals) - but Arizona has been terrible of late, scoring over 17 points just twice in their past six games with a peak of 21 against Oakland. Green Bay scoring 30+ with Arizona under 14 is a definite possibility, especially in freezing and snowy weather expected. Two more home favorites received 13 votes (Seattle hosting the 49ers, Eagles hosting Washington), while two road teams were chosen 12 times (Buffalo as an underdog in Miami, Carolina at Tampa Bay). Pittsburgh had 11 votes to beat the Chargers at home on Sunday Night Football by more than a field goal, while four teams had a slight majority with 10 votes (New Orleans at Dallas on Thursday, Atlanta hosting Baltimore as a slight underdog, the Jets as a road underdog in Tennessee and Minnesota as a road underdog at New England. This could absolutely be an interesting week for the staff if all the picks play out in their collective favor for this slate. As usual, it will be very fun and entertaining to check the results come next Tuesday.

ODDS AND ENDS

There are just five weeks left in the regular season, and the next set of picks are due by Wednesday night (Tuesday this week!). 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