Tips For Winning Your NFL Office Pool
by Trevor Whenham - 8/6/2009
So you want to win your office's NFL pool this year, do you? Of course you do. A large percentage of people in the U.S. participate in some sort of office pool or pool with their friends, and it's a great way to make the already interesting NFL even more exciting. Winning the pool usually provides a good boost to your wallet, but that pales in comparison to all of the bragging rights that you get. Winning your pool requires a great deal of luck, but you can help to create some of that luck for yourself by developing a good strategy that will help lead you to a win. Here are six things you'll want to start doing now so that you are ready to count the cash and start the bragging in January:
Think back to where you went wrong last year - Assuming you didn't win last year, look at what caused your downfall. Is there a team that you always pick no matter who they are playing? Do you have an unhealthy bias towards road favorites or against dome teams? Do you always pick one conference to beat the other? Often we don't even notice the biases we have when we make picks - especially if we are in a hurry when we make the picks - and this can have a strong negative outcome on how the season turns out for us. By identifying our own patterns and becoming aware of them we can hopefully start to overcome them. You'll also want to look to see if you are noticeably stronger at some point of the season. Do you always seem to start string and then fade down the stretch? Or are you always well behind the pack early before getting hot and making a charge towards the lead. If you can see where in the schedule you tend to falter you can focus on improving your performance then.
Identify key personnel changes - You need to make sure you are up to date on which players have new addresses so that your perceptions of teams aren't based on players that aren't there anymore. Some examples are obvious - Chicago is a very different team with Jay Cutler under center, for example. Others, like offensive lineman or linebackers, might not get as much coverage, but could be just as significant in terms of the play of a team. You'll also want to look at coaching changes. A new head coach can bring in an entirely new system, and that ma or may not improve a team. Once you are familiar with what has changed you can decide what impact it will have, and how much you are going to worry about it.
Do your own preseason power rankings - Building your own power rankings can be a good way to get off to a strong start in your pool. I'm not suggesting that you have to spend hours and days crafting an elaborate spreadsheet or anything. All you need to do is sit down with a piece of paper and make a rough list of which team are really good, the ones that are just okay, and the ones that are just plain lousy. Once you have done that you have an easy way to make your picks in the first coupe of weeks before we have a good set of statistics and performances to work from - basically, the higher ranked team is the pick.
Understand the format of the pool - This one should be insultingly obvious, but I'm constantly amazed by how many people don't take it into consideration. Your strategy needs to be entirely different if all you have to do is pick the winner in each game than it is f you have to pick against the spread. Picking the winners straight up is certainly easier, and it involves fewer tough decisions and requires less strategy. If you don't pay attention to the format then you almost certainly won't be successful in your picks.
Determine a risk strategy - You need to decide what your approach to making your picks is going to be. Are you going to play it safe, sticking mostly to favorites and trying to finish near the top of the standings each week? Or are you going to go for broke, making picks that a lot of people won't make and hoping to get lucky and open up a big lead. Either approach can work, and so can a blend of the two. The important thing is that whatever approach you choose needs to be consistent. If you take a different approach every week, or don't have any consistent approach at all, then you aren't going to have any edge over your opposition. Just figure out what you are comfortable with, then commit to it.
Polish your trash talk - This is probably the most important step. You need to be able to tell everyone around you why you are so brilliant and they are so stupid when you win, and to explain away any problems you had when you lose. Any hesitation at all will weaken your argument, so you need to be in top trash-talking shape from the very start of the season. You might want to practice in front of a mirror to get ready. If you make yourself cry then you are ready for primetime.
Most Recent NFL Handicapping
- NFL Betting Predictions: Week 13 Opening Line Report and Picks
- NFL Betting Predictions: Week 12 Opening Line Report and Picks
- NFL Betting Predictions: Week 11 Opening Line Report and Picks
- Top US Sportsbooks Weigh-In on Super Bowl 57 Odds
- NFL Betting Predictions: Week 10 Opening Line Report and Picks
- NFL Betting Predictions: Week 9 Opening Line Report and Picks
- NFL Betting Predictions: Week 8 Opening Line Report and Picks
- 2023 Super Bowl Predictions
- NFL Betting Predictions: Week 7 Opening Line Report and Picks
- The Top US Sportsbooks Weigh-In on the 2022 NFL Player Props