Against The Spread Pool: Week 4

Footballguys' 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 Dave Larkin’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 once again this year Footballguys is proud to bring you the combination of the two - the Footballguys' staff "Against the Spread Pool Challenge". Multiple staff members (19) 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:
TEN
ATL
DET
MIA
OAK
CIN
NYJ
DEN
BAL
CAR
NYG
NO
HOU
PIT
LAR
CHI
Home Team:
JAC
IND
PHI
DAL
MIN
BUF
NE
GB
KC
ARI
TB
SEA
LAC
SF
CLE
WAS
Favorite:
TEN
IND
PHI
DAL
MIN
BUF
NE
GB
KC
CAR
TB
SEA
LAC
SF
LAR
CHI
Point Spread:
-1.5
-2.5
-6.5
-21.5
-7.5
-5.5
-22.5
-7.5
-6.5
-2.5
-6.5
-5.5
-3.5
-6.5
-2.5
-4.5
Staffer
The Picks
MNF
LW
YTD
Jason Wood
JAC
IND
DET
MIA
OAK
CIN
NYJ
DEN
BAL
CAR
NYG
SEA
HOU
SF
LAR
CHI
45
11
22
Dave Larkin
JAC
IND
PHI
DAL
MIN
BUF
NE
GB
BAL
CAR
TB
NO
HOU
SF
LAR
WAS
31
10
28
James Brimacombe
JAC
IND
PHI
DAL
MIN
BUF
NE
GB
KC
ARI
TB
NO
HOU
PIT
LAR
CHI
40
10
27
Andy Hicks
JAC
ATL
PHI
DAL
OAK
CIN
NE
DEN
BAL
ARI
NYG
NO
HOU
PIT
CLE
CHI
41
9
29
Matt Bitonti
JAC
ATL
PHI
DAL
MIN
CIN
NE
GB
BAL
ARI
TB
SEA
HOU
SF
LAR
CHI
54
9
25
Jeff Pasquino
TEN
IND
PHI
DAL
MIN
BUF
NE
GB
KC
CAR
TB
SEA
LAC
PIT
LAR
CHI
44
8
23
Alessandro Miglio
TEN
ATL
DET
MIA
OAK
CIN
NYJ
GB
BAL
ARI
NYG
SEA
HOU
SF
CLE
CHI
47
8
27
Jeff Haseley
TEN
IND
PHI
DAL
OAK
CIN
NE
GB
BAL
ARI
NYG
SEA
HOU
SF
LAR
WAS
40
8
26
Andrew Garda
TEN
ATL
DET
DAL
MIN
BUF
NE
GB
KC
ARI
TB
SEA
HOU
SF
LAR
CHI
45
7
25
Clayton Gray
TEN
ATL
PHI
DAL
MIN
BUF
NE
DEN
KC
ARI
NYG
SEA
HOU
PIT
LAR
CHI
38
7
18
Danny Tuccitto
TEN
IND
DET
DAL
OAK
BUF
NE
GB
BAL
ARI
NYG
SEA
LAC
SF
LAR
WAS
49
7
25
Mark Wimer
TEN
ATL
DET
DAL
MIN
BUF
NE
GB
KC
ARI
TB
SEA
HOU
SF
LAR
CHI
42
7
24
Phil Alexander
TEN
IND
DET
DAL
OAK
CIN
NE
DEN
BAL
ARI
TB
SEA
HOU
SF
LAR
WAS
33
7
25
Aaron Rudnicki
TEN
ATL
DET
MIA
OAK
BUF
NYJ
DEN
KC
ARI
TB
SEA
HOU
SF
LAR
CHI
40
5
27
Devin Knotts
JAC
ATL
PHI
MIA
OAK
BUF
NE
GB
KC
ARI
NYG
NO
LAC
PIT
CLE
WAS
46
5
21
Justin Howe
TEN
ATL
PHI
MIA
MIN
CIN
NYJ
DEN
BAL
ARI
TB
SEA
LAC
SF
LAR
WAS
41
5
21
Keith Roberts
TEN
ATL
DET
DAL
OAK
BUF
NE
GB
KC
ARI
TB
SEA
HOU
SF
LAR
WAS
39
5
23
Sean Settle
TEN
ATL
PHI
DAL
OAK
BUF
NE
DEN
KC
CAR
TB
SEA
HOU
SF
LAR
CHI
31
5
21
William Grant
TEN
ATL
PHI
MIA
OAK
BUF
NE
GB
KC
ARI
NYG
SEA
HOU
PIT
LAR
WAS
37
5
17

The third week of the season turned out to be the most challenging so far, as losses by the Seahawks (15 losses for the staff), New England (15), Arizona (15), Seattle (15), Tennessee (13), San Francisco (13), Buffalo (12) and the Falcons (12) severely hurt the overall group performance. The Rams (16) and Texans (15) helped the group, but overall it was a losing week for the staff at 138-166 (45.4% wins), lowering the season-long record to 454-490 (48.1%). The good news is that several staffers were above 50% on the week, led by Jason Woods' 11 of 16 correct picks to win the week. Dave Larkin and James Brimacombe were one pick behind at 10-6 for Week 3, with Andy Hicks and Matt Bitonti both finishing at 9-7.

THIS WEEK'S PICKS

Here are the picks for this week.

Road Team:
PHI
WAS
CLE
NE
OAK
CAR
TEN
KC
LAC
TB
SEA
MIN
JAC
DAL
CIN
Home Team:
GB
NYG
BAL
BUF
IND
HOU
ATL
DET
MIA
LAR
ARI
CHI
DEN
NO
PIT
Favorite:
GB
NYG
BAL
NE
IND
HOU
ATL
KC
LAC
LAR
SEA
CHI
DEN
DAL
PIT
Point Spread:
-4.5
-2.5
-6.5
-7.5
-6.5
-4.5
-3.5
-6.5
-16.5
-9.5
-4.5
-2.5
-2.5
-3.5
-4.5
Staffer
The Picks
MNF
YTD
Jeff Pasquino
PHI
WAS
BAL
NE
IND
HOU
ATL
KC
MIA
LAR
SEA
CHI
DEN
DAL
PIT
44
23
Aaron Rudnicki
GB
WAS
CLE
BUF
OAK
CAR
ATL
KC
MIA
TB
SEA
CHI
DEN
NO
CIN
38
27
Alessandro Miglio
GB
NYG
CLE
BUF
OAK
HOU
ATL
KC
MIA
TB
ARI
CHI
DEN
NO
PIT
49
27
Andrew Garda
GB
WAS
BAL
BUF
IND
CAR
ATL
KC
LAC
TB
SEA
MIN
JAC
DAL
PIT
40
25
Andy Hicks
PHI
WAS
CLE
NE
OAK
CAR
TEN
KC
MIA
TB
ARI
MIN
JAC
NO
PIT
44
29
Clayton Gray
GB
NYG
BAL
BUF
IND
HOU
ATL
KC
MIA
LAR
SEA
MIN
JAC
NO
PIT
45
18
Danny Tuccitto
GB
NYG
BAL
BUF
OAK
HOU
TEN
DET
LAC
LAR
ARI
MIN
JAC
NO
CIN
49
25
Dave Larkin
GB
NYG
BAL
BUF
IND
HOU
ATL
KC
MIA
LAR
SEA
MIN
JAC
NO
PIT
44
28
Devin Knotts
GB
NYG
CLE
BUF
IND
HOU
ATL
KC
MIA
TB
SEA
MIN
JAC
DAL
CIN
46
21
James Brimacombe
PHI
NYG
CLE
BUF
OAK
HOU
ATL
KC
LAC
LAR
ARI
CHI
JAC
NO
CIN
45
27
Jason Wood
GB
NYG
BAL
NE
IND
CAR
TEN
KC
MIA
TB
SEA
MIN
DEN
DAL
CIN
53
22
Jeff Haseley
GB
NYG
BAL
BUF
IND
CAR
ATL
KC
LAC
LAR
SEA
CHI
DEN
DAL
CIN
39
26
Justin Howe
PHI
NYG
CLE
BUF
IND
HOU
ATL
KC
MIA
TB
SEA
CHI
DEN
DAL
CIN
47
21
Keith Roberts
PHI
NYG
CLE
BUF
IND
HOU
ATL
KC
MIA
LAR
SEA
MIN
JAC
DAL
CIN
43
23
Mark Wimer
GB
NYG
BAL
NE
OAK
HOU
ATL
KC
LAC
LAR
SEA
MIN
JAC
NO
PIT
38
24
Matt Bitonti
GB
NYG
BAL
BUF
IND
HOU
ATL
KC
LAC
LAR
SEA
MIN
JAC
DAL
PIT
48
25
Phil Alexander
PHI
NYG
CLE
BUF
OAK
HOU
ATL
KC
MIA
LAR
ARI
CHI
JAC
DAL
CIN
33
25
Sean Settle
GB
NYG
BAL
NE
IND
HOU
ATL
KC
LAC
LAR
SEA
MIN
JAC
NO
CIN
40
21
William Grant
GB
NYG
BAL
NE
OAK
HOU
ATL
KC
MIA
LAR
SEA
MIN
JAC
NO
PIT
41
17

CONSENSUS WINNERS

Somehow we are already at the quarter-pole in the NFL season as we enter Week 4, and two teams (San Francisco and the New York Jets) are the first teams to have their bye week for this weekend. The top pick by the staff is a near-consensus pick (18 of 19 selections) for Kansas City to go to Detroit and win by at least a touchdown, which seems rather reasonable as the Lions are one of the weaker undefeated teams in the league. Two other home favorites are heavily favored by the staff, as most are on both Atlanta (16) and the New York Giants (15) to win and cover the spread. Seattle (14) is the top road team for the group as the Seahawks visit Arizona, and one more favorite (Houston, 14) joins Seattle in the staff's top five selections with the Texans hosting Carolina in Week 4. The staff is mostly on the favorites and home teams this week, as only five road teams (Chiefs, Seahawks, Jaguars [13], Minnesota [12] and Cincinnati [10]) and just six underdogs (Jaguars, Bills [13], Dolphins [12], Vikings, Saints [10] and Bengals) as majority picks for the staff. Four games are nearly evenly split with Baltimore (vs. Cleveland) and Indianapolis (vs. Oakland) both getting 11 of 19 votes and joining the Saints-Cowboys and Bengals-Steelers as very close calls. As always, it will be fun and interesting to see how NFL Week 4 plays out.

ODDS AND ENDS

Only three weeks of the NFL season are in the books, 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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