Footballguys is proud to return the Footballguys' staff Against the Spread Pool Challenge. Multiple staff members will pick the winner of their eight most confident NFL games against the Las Vegas line. 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 trying to catch up in the standings. This example of game theory is more in tune with playing a contest such as this - so again, do not use these picks as direct advice towards which games to pick every week. Rather, use these picks to see the top choices each week, especially the staff members towards the top of the standings.
Here are the specifics:
- It lasts for 18 weeks
- Pick 8 games against the spread each week
- Games are not weighted; each game correctly picked is worth one point in the standings
- If you miss a week, you will be awarded the lowest score for that week minus 1 point
- Standing will be determined by the total correct picks
- Tiebreaker: number of weeks with the most number of correct picks
This Week's Picks
- There are three teams who 13 staff members picked: Washington over the Chargers, Carolina over the Jets, and Seattle over the Colts
- There was one team, however, who was a unanimous pick: Green Bay. But only 10 out of 24 staff members made a pick in this game
- There are three games with almost an even split in staff picks:
- Dallas (5 picks) at Tampa Bay (7 selections)
- Minnesota (7 selections) at Cincinnati (5 picks)
- Philadelphia (7 picks) at Atlanta (6 selections)
Odds and Ends
It's the first week of the season, and the picks are due by Wednesday night. Most of the staff 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!