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Against The Spread Pool: Week 17 - 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:
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
LW
Total
Alessandro Miglio
WAS
BAL
JAC
NYG
CAR
BUF
PHI
NYJ
CIN
TB
MIN
CHI
ARI
PIT
SEA
OAK
46
12
128
Devin Knotts
WAS
BAL
MIA
NYG
ATL
BUF
PHI
GB
CLE
DAL
MIN
CHI
ARI
PIT
KC
OAK
46
12
126
Andy Hicks
TEN
BAL
JAC
IND
ATL
BUF
PHI
NYJ
CLE
DAL
MIN
CHI
LAR
PIT
SEA
DEN
35
11
123
James Brimacombe
WAS
BAL
JAC
IND
ATL
NE
PHI
GB
CLE
TB
DET
CHI
LAR
PIT
KC
DEN
37
11
126
Aaron Rudnicki
WAS
BAL
JAC
IND
ATL
NE
HOU
GB
CIN
TB
MIN
CHI
ARI
NO
SEA
DEN
40
9
126
Bear Heiser
TEN
LAC
MIA
IND
ATL
BUF
HOU
NYJ
CLE
TB
MIN
CHI
LAR
PIT
KC
OAK
44
9
121
Danny Tuccitto
TEN
BAL
MIA
IND
ATL
BUF
PHI
GB
CLE
TB
DET
CHI
ARI
NO
SEA
DEN
49
9
121
Keith Roberts
WAS
LAC
MIA
NYG
CAR
BUF
HOU
GB
CIN
DAL
MIN
CHI
LAR
PIT
KC
OAK
44
9
118
Sean Settle
WAS
BAL
MIA
NYG
CAR
NE
PHI
GB
CIN
TB
MIN
CHI
ARI
PIT
KC
DEN
42
9
117
William Grant
WAS
LAC
JAC
IND
ATL
NE
HOU
GB
CLE
DAL
MIN
CHI
LAR
NO
SEA
DEN
43
9
117
Jeff Pasquino
TEN
BAL
MIA
IND
ATL
NE
HOU
GB
CLE
DAL
MIN
CHI
LAR
NO
SEA
DEN
47
8
120
Dave Larkin
TEN
BAL
MIA
IND
ATL
BUF
PHI
GB
CLE
DAL
DET
CHI
LAR
NO
KC
DEN
42
8
121
Matt Bitonti
WAS
LAC
MIA
NYG
ATL
BUF
PHI
GB
CLE
DAL
DET
SF
ARI
PIT
KC
DEN
58
8
110
Jeff Haseley
WAS
LAC
MIA
IND
ATL
BUF
PHI
GB
CIN
DAL
DET
CHI
ARI
PIT
KC
DEN
43
7
127
Mark Wimer
TEN
LAC
MIA
IND
ATL
BUF
HOU
NYJ
CLE
DAL
MIN
CHI
LAR
PIT
KC
DEN
45
7
113
Andrew Garda
WAS
LAC
MIA
IND
ATL
NE
HOU
GB
CLE
DAL
MIN
CHI
ARI
NO
KC
DEN
40
6
106
Justin Howe
WAS
LAC
MIA
IND
CAR
BUF
HOU
GB
CIN
DAL
DET
CHI
ARI
PIT
KC
OAK
44
6
118
Phil Alexander
TEN
BAL
MIA
NYG
ATL
NE
PHI
NYJ
CIN
TB
DET
SF
ARI
PIT
KC
DEN
43
6
125

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

NFL Week 16 was a good week for the staff overall, and we had a tie atop the standings with both Alex Miglio and Devin Knotts finishing with 12 correct picks AND the same point total for Monday Night Football. That is not to say that the staff was perfect - hardly the case. Upsets by the Giants (against the spread), Jacksonville, Seattle and Denver took a toll on the staff, but overall the record was better than 50% and the Las Vegas number (52.4%), with the staff going 156-132 (54.2%). That moved the staff to a better seasonal record, but still below 50% for the entire season (2,163-2,381 (47.6%)). Ten of the staff now have winning (>50%) records, achieving at least 121 wins through 240 games. Five of the staff have records above the Las Vegas winning percentage of 52.4% (126 or more correct picks), and the overall championship is far too close to call with five staffers between 126 and 128 wins on the year. The final week will decide it all.

THIS WEEK'S PICKS

Here are the picks for this week:

Road Team:
NYJ
JAC
MIA
ATL
DET
CAR
DAL
PHI
CLE
ARI
LAC
CHI
OAK
SF
CIN
IND
Home Team:
NE
HOU
BUF
TB
GB
NO
NYG
WAS
BAL
SEA
DEN
MIN
KC
LAR
PIT
TEN
Favorite:
NE
HOU
BUF
TB
GB
NO
NYG
PHI
BAL
SEA
LAC
MIN
KC
LAR
PIT
TEN
Point Spread:
-13.5
-7.5
-3.5
-1.5
-7.5
-7.5
-7.5
-6.5
-5.5
-8.5
-2.5
-5.5
-14.5
-9.5
-14.5
-1.5
Staffer
The Picks
MNF
Total
Jeff Pasquino
NE
HOU
BUF
ATL
GB
NO
NYG
PHI
BAL
SEA
LAC
CHI
KC
LAR
PIT
IND
43
120
Aaron Rudnicki
NYJ
JAC
MIA
ATL
DET
NO
DAL
PHI
CLE
SEA
LAC
MIN
OAK
SF
PIT
IND
42
126
Alessandro Miglio
NYJ
JAC
BUF
TB
DET
CAR
DAL
PHI
BAL
SEA
LAC
CHI
OAK
SF
CIN
TEN
51
128
Andrew Garda
NYJ
HOU
BUF
ATL
GB
NO
DAL
PHI
BAL
SEA
LAC
CHI
OAK
LAR
PIT
IND
40
106
Andy Hicks
NYJ
JAC
MIA
ATL
DET
NO
DAL
PHI
CLE
SEA
LAC
CHI
OAK
SF
CIN
IND
37
123
Bear Heiser
NYJ
HOU
BUF
ATL
GB
NO
NYG
PHI
CLE
SEA
LAC
CHI
OAK
LAR
PIT
IND
48
121
Danny Tuccitto
NYJ
JAC
MIA
ATL
DET
CAR
NYG
PHI
BAL
ARI
DEN
MIN
OAK
SF
PIT
TEN
49
121
Dave Larkin
NYJ
HOU
MIA
ATL
GB
NO
DAL
PHI
CLE
SEA
LAC
CHI
OAK
SF
PIT
IND
45
121
Devin Knotts
NYJ
HOU
BUF
ATL
DET
NO
DAL
WAS
BAL
SEA
LAC
CHI
OAK
LAR
CIN
IND
47
126
James Brimacombe
NE
HOU
MIA
ATL
GB
NO
NYG
PHI
CLE
SEA
LAC
CHI
KC
LAR
PIT
IND
42
126
Jeff Haseley
NYJ
HOU
BUF
TB
DET
NO
NYG
PHI
CLE
SEA
LAC
CHI
OAK
LAR
PIT
IND
43
127
Justin Howe
NYJ
HOU
BUF
ATL
DET
NO
DAL
PHI
CLE
SEA
LAC
CHI
OAK
SF
PIT
IND
44
118
Keith Roberts
NE
HOU
BUF
ATL
DET
NO
DAL
PHI
BAL
SEA
LAC
CHI
KC
LAR
PIT
TEN
45
118
Mark Wimer
NYJ
HOU
BUF
ATL
GB
NO
NYG
PHI
BAL
SEA
LAC
CHI
KC
LAR
PIT
IND
55
113
Matt Bitonti
NYJ
HOU
MIA
TB
DET
NO
DAL
PHI
BAL
SEA
LAC
MIN
OAK
LAR
CIN
IND
58
110
Phil Alexander
NYJ
JAC
MIA
TB
GB
NO
NYG
WAS
BAL
SEA
DEN
CHI
OAK
LAR
PIT
IND
43
125
Sean Settle
NYJ
HOU
BUF
ATL
GB
NO
DAL
PHI
CLE
ARI
LAC
CHI
OAK
SF
CIN
IND
45
117
William Grant
NE
HOU
MIA
TB
GB
NO
DAL
PHI
CLE
SEA
LAC
MIN
OAK
SF
PIT
IND
46
117

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

CONSENSUS WINNERS

Week 16 selections are in, and Week 17 is always an interesting week. With teams resting and changing their approaches to the regular season finale, point spreads are moving all over the place to set up some crazy finishes. The site that we use for point spreads has the Titans favored, while most have the Colts at this point, for example. Chicago is claiming to be ready to play hard, which has moved the Bears line closer to 3 from an original 5-6 point spread. Those movements helped the staff reach some consensus with the Saints, Eagles, Seattle and the Chargers all receiving 16 of 18 possible picks across the board. The Colts come in next with 15 votes as an "underdog", while the Jets, Bears and Chiefs received 14 votes. Houston, Atlanta and Pittsburgh received 13 selections, while Dallas (11) and Buffalo (10) round out majority picks. Both the Packers-Lions and Ravens-Browns games were split 9-9 across the staff. In all, five underdogs were majority picks (led by Indianapolis) and five 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 standings for the regular season!

ODDS AND ENDS

This is the final week of the regular season, 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

Follow @JeffPasquino