Against The Spread Pool: Week 15 - 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:
JAC
CAR
NYJ
NYG
ATL
NO
BAL
NE
IND
DEN
CIN
DET
PHI
PIT
LAR
MIN
Home Team:
TEN
CLE
BUF
WAS
GB
TB
KC
MIA
HOU
SF
LAC
ARI
DAL
OAK
CHI
SEA
Favorite:
TEN
CAR
BUF
WAS
GB
NO
KC
NE
HOU
DEN
LAC
ARI
DAL
PIT
LAR
SEA
Point Spread:
-4.5
-1.5
-3.5
-1.5
-5.5
-8.5
-6.5
-8.5
-4.5
-5.5
-14.5
-2.5
-4.5
-11.5
-3.5
-3.5
Staffer
The Picks
MNF
LW
Total
Jeff Haseley
TEN
CLE
BUF
NYG
ATL
NO
KC
MIA
HOU
DEN
LAC
DET
PHI
OAK
CHI
SEA
43
9
114
Bear Heiser
TEN
CLE
BUF
NYG
GB
NO
KC
MIA
HOU
DEN
LAC
DET
PHI
PIT
CHI
SEA
44
9
101
Andrew Garda
TEN
CLE
BUF
NYG
GB
NO
KC
NE
HOU
DEN
LAC
DET
DAL
OAK
LAR
SEA
50
9
94
Phil Alexander
JAC
CLE
NYJ
NYG
GB
TB
KC
MIA
IND
SF
LAC
ARI
PHI
OAK
CHI
MIN
46
9
110
Aaron Rudnicki
JAC
CAR
NYJ
NYG
ATL
TB
BAL
NE
HOU
SF
CIN
DET
PHI
PIT
CHI
SEA
44
8
109
Alessandro Miglio
JAC
CLE
BUF
NYG
ATL
TB
KC
MIA
IND
SF
CIN
ARI
PHI
OAK
LAR
SEA
48
8
111
Danny Tuccitto
JAC
CLE
BUF
NYG
ATL
TB
BAL
MIA
HOU
SF
LAC
ARI
PHI
OAK
CHI
SEA
49
8
104
Dave Larkin
TEN
CAR
NYJ
NYG
GB
TB
KC
NE
HOU
DEN
CIN
ARI
PHI
OAK
CHI
SEA
47
8
108
James Brimacombe
JAC
CLE
NYJ
NYG
ATL
NO
KC
MIA
IND
DEN
LAC
DET
PHI
PIT
LAR
SEA
43
8
107
Justin Howe
TEN
CAR
BUF
NYG
GB
NO
KC
MIA
HOU
DEN
LAC
DET
PHI
OAK
LAR
SEA
45
8
106
Keith Roberts
JAC
CAR
BUF
NYG
ATL
NO
KC
MIA
IND
SF
LAC
DET
DAL
PIT
LAR
SEA
46
8
102
Mark Wimer
TEN
CAR
BUF
NYG
ATL
NO
BAL
MIA
HOU
DEN
LAC
ARI
DAL
PIT
CHI
SEA
48
8
99
Jeff Pasquino
TEN
CLE
BUF
NYG
ATL
NO
KC
NE
HOU
DEN
LAC
ARI
PHI
OAK
CHI
SEA
47
7
104
Andy Hicks
JAC
CLE
BUF
NYG
GB
TB
BAL
NE
HOU
DEN
CIN
DET
PHI
PIT
LAR
SEA
41
7
104
Matt Bitonti
TEN
CAR
NYJ
NYG
ATL
TB
KC
MIA
HOU
DEN
LAC
ARI
PHI
OAK
CHI
SEA
52
7
98
Devin Knotts
TEN
CLE
BUF
NYG
GB
TB
KC
NE
HOU
SF
LAC
ARI
PHI
OAK
LAR
MIN
48
6
102
William Grant
TEN
CLE
BUF
NYG
GB
NO
KC
NE
HOU
DEN
LAC
ARI
PHI
PIT
LAR
SEA
48
6
100
Sean Settle
JAC
CAR
BUF
NYG
ATL
NO
KC
NE
HOU
DEN
CIN
DET
PHI
OAK
LAR
MIN
50
5
101

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

NFL Week 14 was not the best week for the staff, as the best record for the week was just 9-7, spread across four staffers. Jeff Haseley (43) edged out Bear Heiser (44), Andrew Garda (50) and Phil Alexander (46) as his total was the lowest, so he was closest to the 21-7 Seattle-Minnesota game total. o, most everyone went 8-8 or better. Eight staffers went 8-8 and three more went 7-9, which made Week 14 pretty much a washout across the board. The staff was greatly impacted by the Eagles' loss by a touchdown in overtime (15 losses), which offset the Seattle (15 picks) cover. Kansas City (14) and Houston (14) both lost against the spread (and for the Texans, outright) and the Chargers (13) also did not score enough to cover the line, so most of the majority picks were incorrect for the week. The staff collectively went 138-150 (47.9%), similar to the overall rate and record (1,874-2,062 and 47.6%).

Checking the overall standings, the tough week pushed the number of winning records across the group down to just seven staff members, as it now takes 105 wins to top the 50% record for the season. Four of the seven staffers are beating the Las Vegas success rate needed to win overall (52.4% or better), with Jeff Haseley (114) just a few games ahead of Alex Miglio (111), Phil Alexander (110) and Aaron Rudnicki (109). Only three weeks of the NFL regular 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:
LAC
HOU
CLE
WAS
OAK
ARI
TEN
MIA
DAL
GB
TB
DET
SEA
NE
PHI
NO
Home Team:
KC
NYJ
DEN
JAC
CIN
ATL
NYG
MIN
IND
CHI
BAL
BUF
SF
PIT
LAR
CAR
Favorite:
KC
HOU
DEN
JAC
CIN
ATL
NYG
MIN
IND
CHI
BAL
BUF
SEA
NE
LAR
NO
Point Spread:
-3.5
-6.5
-3.5
-7.5
-3.5
-8.5
-2.5
-8.5
-3.5
-5.5
-8.5
-2.5
-5.5
-2.5
-9.5
-6.5
Staffer
The Picks
MNF
Total
Jeff Pasquino
LAC
HOU
DEN
JAC
CIN
ATL
TEN
MIN
IND
CHI
BAL
BUF
SEA
NE
LAR
NO
51
104
Aaron Rudnick
LAC
HOU
CLE
WAS
OAK
ARI
TEN
MIA
DAL
GB
TB
BUF
SEA
NE
PHI
CAR
44
109
Alessandro Mi
KC
NYJ
DEN
JAC
CIN
ARI
NYG
MIA
DAL
GB
TB
BUF
SEA
PIT
PHI
CAR
52
111
Andrew Garda
KC
HOU
CLE
WAS
CIN
ATL
NYG
MIA
DAL
CHI
BAL
BUF
SEA
NE
LAR
NO
65
94
Andy Hicks
LAC
HOU
CLE
JAC
OAK
ARI
NYG
MIA
DAL
CHI
TB
BUF
SEA
PIT
PHI
CAR
47
104
Bear Heiser
LAC
HOU
CLE
WAS
OAK
ATL
NYG
MIN
IND
CHI
TB
BUF
SEA
PIT
LAR
CAR
56
101
Danny Tuccitt
KC
NYJ
DEN
JAC
CIN
ARI
TEN
MIA
DAL
CHI
TB
DET
SF
PIT
LAR
CAR
49
104
Dave Larkin
KC
NYJ
CLE
JAC
OAK
ARI
TEN
MIA
IND
GB
TB
BUF
SEA
NE
LAR
CAR
51
108
Devin Knotts
LAC
NYJ
CLE
WAS
OAK
ARI
TEN
MIN
IND
GB
TB
DET
SF
PIT
PHI
CAR
46
102
James Brimaco
LAC
HOU
CLE
JAC
CIN
ATL
TEN
MIA
DAL
GB
BAL
BUF
SEA
PIT
PHI
NO
50
107
Jeff Haseley
KC
NYJ
DEN
WAS
CIN
ATL
NYG
MIN
DAL
CHI
TB
BUF
SEA
NE
LAR
NO
53
114
Justin Howe
KC
HOU
CLE
JAC
OAK
ATL
NYG
MIN
DAL
CHI
TB
BUF
SEA
NE
LAR
NO
54
106
Keith Roberts
KC
HOU
CLE
JAC
OAK
ATL
TEN
MIA
DAL
CHI
TB
BUF
SEA
NE
LAR
CAR
49
102
Mark Wimer
LAC
HOU
DEN
JAC
OAK
ATL
TEN
MIA
IND
CHI
BAL
BUF
SEA
PIT
LAR
NO
70
99
Matt Bitonti
KC
HOU
CLE
JAC
CIN
ARI
NYG
MIA
DAL
CHI
BAL
BUF
SEA
NE
LAR
NO
53
98
Phil Alexande
LAC
NYJ
CLE
WAS
OAK
ARI
TEN
MIA
IND
CHI
TB
DET
SF
NE
LAR
NO
50
110
Sean Settle
KC
HOU
DEN
WAS
CIN
ATL
NYG
MIN
DAL
CHI
BAL
BUF
SEA
NE
PHI
NO
48
101
William Grant
KC
HOU
CLE
JAC
OAK
ATL
TEN
MIA
DAL
CHI
TB
DET
SEA
PIT
LAR
NO
48
100

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

CONSENSUS WINNERS

Week 15 picks are in, and only a few teams have more than a two-thirds vote in their favor. Seattle leads the pack with 15 votes as the Seahawks head to San Francisco, while Buffalo (14) and Chicago (13) are two home favorites that are in the Top 3 for picks for this week. Six teams received 12 votes, with just two favorites (Houston at the Jets, Rams hosting the Eagles) and four road underdogs: Cleveland (at Denver), Miami (at Minnesota), Dallas (at the Colts) and Tampa Bay (at Baltimore). Ten road teams were favored by the staff, and seven underdogs this week. Not sure if this reflects the recent chaotic results for the NFL over the past two weeks, but the staff seems to be going with the points much more in Week 15. Jacksonville (11) is a home favorite the staff is mostly on, while six games are very close calls with four favorites (Kansas City, Atlanta, New Orleans in Carolina and New England in Pittsburgh) and two road underdogs (Oakland in Cincinnati, Tennessee at the Giants) all getting 10 votes. Once again this could 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 three 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