Against The Spread Pool: Week 16 - 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:
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
LW
Total
Devin Knotts
LAC
NYJ
CLE
WAS
OAK
ARI
TEN
MIN
IND
GB
TB
DET
SF
PIT
PHI
CAR
46
12
114
Bear Heiser
LAC
HOU
CLE
WAS
OAK
ATL
NYG
MIN
IND
CHI
TB
BUF
SEA
PIT
LAR
CAR
56
11
112
Phil Alexander
LAC
NYJ
CLE
WAS
OAK
ARI
TEN
MIA
IND
CHI
TB
DET
SF
NE
LAR
NO
50
9
119
Jeff Pasquino
LAC
HOU
DEN
JAC
CIN
ATL
TEN
MIN
IND
CHI
BAL
BUF
SEA
NE
LAR
NO
51
8
112
Aaron Rudnicki
LAC
HOU
CLE
WAS
OAK
ARI
TEN
MIA
DAL
GB
TB
BUF
SEA
NE
PHI
CAR
44
8
117
Andy Hicks
LAC
HOU
CLE
JAC
OAK
ARI
NYG
MIA
DAL
CHI
TB
BUF
SEA
PIT
PHI
CAR
47
8
112
Danny Tuccitto
KC
NYJ
DEN
JAC
CIN
ARI
TEN
MIA
DAL
CHI
TB
DET
SF
PIT
LAR
CAR
49
8
112
James Brimacombe
LAC
HOU
CLE
JAC
CIN
ATL
TEN
MIA
DAL
GB
BAL
BUF
SEA
PIT
PHI
NO
50
8
115
William Grant
KC
HOU
CLE
JAC
OAK
ATL
TEN
MIA
DAL
CHI
TB
DET
SEA
PIT
LAR
NO
48
8
108
Keith Roberts
KC
HOU
CLE
JAC
OAK
ATL
TEN
MIA
DAL
CHI
TB
BUF
SEA
NE
LAR
CAR
49
7
109
Mark Wimer
LAC
HOU
DEN
JAC
OAK
ATL
TEN
MIA
IND
CHI
BAL
BUF
SEA
PIT
LAR
NO
70
7
106
Sean Settle
KC
HOU
DEN
WAS
CIN
ATL
NYG
MIN
DAL
CHI
BAL
BUF
SEA
NE
PHI
NO
48
7
108
Andrew Garda
KC
HOU
CLE
WAS
CIN
ATL
NYG
MIA
DAL
CHI
BAL
BUF
SEA
NE
LAR
NO
65
6
100
Jeff Haseley
KC
NYJ
DEN
WAS
CIN
ATL
NYG
MIN
DAL
CHI
TB
BUF
SEA
NE
LAR
NO
53
6
120
Justin Howe
KC
HOU
CLE
JAC
OAK
ATL
NYG
MIN
DAL
CHI
TB
BUF
SEA
NE
LAR
NO
54
6
112
Alessandro Miglio
KC
NYJ
DEN
JAC
CIN
ARI
NYG
MIA
DAL
GB
TB
BUF
SEA
PIT
PHI
CAR
52
5
116
Dave Larkin
KC
NYJ
CLE
JAC
OAK
ARI
TEN
MIA
IND
GB
TB
BUF
SEA
NE
LAR
CAR
51
5
113
Matt Bitonti
KC
HOU
CLE
JAC
CIN
ARI
NYG
MIA
DAL
CHI
BAL
BUF
SEA
NE
LAR
NO
53
4
102

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

NFL Week 15 was tough on the staff overall, but Devin Knotts had a great week with a 12-4 finish. Bear Heiser was just one game back of Devin at 11-5. Only one other staffer (Phil Alexander, 9-7) managed to record a winning week. Seattle (15) and Buffalo (14) were the most common picks - and both were incorrect. Chicago (13) was right, but the staff split the six teams chosen 12 times, so that was a washout. The Jaguars (11) also cost the staff, so the Top 10 picks went 4-6 for the group as a whole with the staff landing at 133-155 for the week. That losing record added to the less than stellar group record of 2,007-2,233 (47.3%). Odds are slim for the staff to even reach 50% for this season, but everyone is still trying quite hard to get to at least that record on an individual basis, if not higher. Seven of the staff now have winning (>50%) records, achieving at least 103 wins through 224 games. Only Jeff Haseley (120) and Phil Alexander (119) have records above the Las Vegas winning percentage of 52.4% for the season. With just two weeks left, these two staffers have the best shot at the overall title, but there are plenty of others still within striking distance if someone has a fantastic week.

THIS WEEK'S PICKS

Here are the picks for this week:

Road Team:
WAS
BAL
JAC
NYG
ATL
BUF
HOU
GB
CIN
TB
MIN
CHI
LAR
PIT
KC
DEN
Home Team:
TEN
LAC
MIA
IND
CAR
NE
PHI
NYJ
CLE
DAL
DET
SF
ARI
NO
SEA
OAK
Favorite:
TEN
LAC
MIA
IND
CAR
NE
PHI
NYJ
CLE
DAL
MIN
CHI
LAR
NO
KC
DEN
Point Spread:
-10.5
-4.5
-4.5
-9.5
-3.5
-12.5
-0.5
-1.5
-7.5
-7.5
-5.5
-3.5
-14.5
-6.5
-2.5
-2.5
Staffer
The Picks
MNF
Total
Jeff Pasquino
TEN
BAL
MIA
IND
ATL
NE
HOU
GB
CLE
DAL
MIN
CHI
LAR
NO
SEA
DEN
47
112
Aaron Rudnicki
WAS
BAL
JAC
IND
ATL
NE
HOU
GB
CIN
TB
MIN
CHI
ARI
NO
SEA
DEN
40
117
Alessandro Miglio
WAS
BAL
JAC
NYG
CAR
BUF
PHI
NYJ
CIN
TB
MIN
CHI
ARI
PIT
SEA
OAK
46
116
Andrew Garda
WAS
LAC
MIA
IND
ATL
NE
HOU
GB
CLE
DAL
MIN
CHI
ARI
NO
KC
DEN
40
100
Andy Hicks
TEN
BAL
JAC
IND
ATL
BUF
PHI
NYJ
CLE
DAL
MIN
CHI
LAR
PIT
SEA
DEN
35
112
Bear Heiser
TEN
LAC
MIA
IND
ATL
BUF
HOU
NYJ
CLE
TB
MIN
CHI
LAR
PIT
KC
OAK
44
112
Danny Tuccitto
TEN
BAL
MIA
IND
ATL
BUF
PHI
GB
CLE
TB
DET
CHI
ARI
NO
SEA
DEN
49
112
Dave Larkin
TEN
BAL
MIA
IND
ATL
BUF
PHI
GB
CLE
DAL
DET
CHI
LAR
NO
KC
DEN
42
113
Devin Knotts
WAS
BAL
MIA
NYG
ATL
BUF
PHI
GB
CLE
DAL
MIN
CHI
ARI
PIT
KC
OAK
46
114
James Brimacombe
WAS
BAL
JAC
IND
ATL
NE
PHI
GB
CLE
TB
DET
CHI
LAR
PIT
KC
DEN
37
115
Jeff Haseley
WAS
LAC
MIA
IND
ATL
BUF
PHI
GB
CIN
DAL
DET
CHI
ARI
PIT
KC
DEN
43
120
Justin Howe
WAS
LAC
MIA
IND
CAR
BUF
HOU
GB
CIN
DAL
DET
CHI
ARI
PIT
KC
OAK
44
112
Keith Roberts
WAS
LAC
MIA
NYG
CAR
BUF
HOU
GB
CIN
DAL
MIN
CHI
LAR
PIT
KC
OAK
44
109
Mark Wimer
TEN
LAC
MIA
IND
ATL
BUF
HOU
NYJ
CLE
DAL
MIN
CHI
LAR
PIT
KC
DEN
45
106
Matt Bitonti
WAS
LAC
MIA
NYG
ATL
BUF
PHI
GB
CLE
DAL
DET
SF
ARI
PIT
KC
DEN
58
102
Phil Alexander
TEN
BAL
MIA
NYG
ATL
NE
PHI
NYJ
CIN
TB
DET
SF
ARI
PIT
KC
DEN
43
119
Sean Settle
WAS
BAL
MIA
NYG
CAR
NE
PHI
GB
CIN
TB
MIN
CHI
ARI
PIT
KC
DEN
42
108
William Grant
WAS
LAC
JAC
IND
ATL
NE
HOU
GB
CLE
DAL
MIN
CHI
LAR
NO
SEA
DEN
43
108

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

CONSENSUS WINNERS

Week 16 selections are in, and only one team is in the clear majority. Chicago (at San Francisco) received 16 of 18 votes as the Bears look to secure the #3 seed with a road victory in California. Atlanta (14) comes in next as the Falcons are on the road in Carolina, but with the big letdown for the Panthers after the loss to the Saints and news that Cam Newton is done for the year, it is clear why most everyone favors the Falcons getting points. Three teams (Miami, Denver and the Jets) received 13 votes while three more (Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and Kansas City) received 12 this week. Five teams garnered 11 picks, with Washington, Buffalo and Minnesota all on the road getting favoritism by the staff. Three games are relatively close with Baltimore, Philadelphia and the Cardinals receiving 10 votes for Week 16. In all, seven underdogs were majority picks (led by Atlanta) and 10 road teams were favored by the staff. If things break right, it could be a strong week - or a lump of coal in the stocking. Check back next week for our final week of the regular season!

ODDS AND ENDS

There are just two 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

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