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.
Jeff Pasquino has provided some insight into this kind of contest with two preseason articles. The first one that describes this kind of contest along with some advice on how to pick a team each week:
The second article is rather interesting, which describes Jeff’s preseason plan to get all the way through 17 weeks. Will it work? We are about to find out.
This pool will run all season long, but to keep participation up, the pool will crown the staffer with the best W-L record for the season (which means that everyone in the pool will continue to make picks every week).
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS
All good things must come to an end, and the staff broke their collective streak of perfect weeks in Week 9. The group suffered four losses across the board, as the surprising loss by the Packers cost both Mark Wimer and Matt Bitonti, while Devin Knotts and Will Grant took a loss with their Cleveland and Indianapolis picks, respectively. Four staffers still sit atop the standings with a perfect 9-0 record so far: Justin Howe, Dave Larkin, Jeff Haseley, and Sean Settle, but there are five staff members with just one loss and there remains a ton of weeks to navigate. Week 10 looks tough with six teams on their bye week, the largest group of the season, and there are only four teams that are favored by six points or more this week (Baltimore, New Orleans, Indianapolis, and San Francisco). Which is the right choice? I will certainly share my own thoughts in the commentary as to how to navigate Week 10, but let's start the analysis by looking at the staff's Week 10 picks.
THIS WEEK'S PICK SUMMARY
Here are the picks for this week: