How to Win a Football Pool

With football season comes football pools and usually nice prizes that you would want to win. But how can you win a football pool when there are so many people competing in the same pool with you? Whether the football pool is at work, with friends, or online there are some tips that can help increase your chances for winning the pool.

Let’s first discuss the common rules of a football pool so that we are on the same page.  The common rulebook for a football pool says that you must pick one team each week that you think will win the game (point spreads are not involved here).  If the team wins you move onto the next week to pick again.  If your team loses than you are eliminated.  And once you select a team, you may not select them again, so each week you will need to pick a team that you have never previously picked.  The last person standing is declared the winner and if there was a prize than that person shall claim it.

Ok, so now that we understand the common rules let’s talk about some tips and strategy to try to help you win your football pool.  One mistake that people tend to make is to try to save all the good team until the later weeks in the season.  But here’s the thing, if you get eliminated than it does not matter what teams you saved, you are eliminated and can’t use them.  So in my opinion it is better to use a sure winner this week than take a team you are not confident in and risk being eliminated.

Another tip is that it is a smarter move to select the home team.  More times than not, the home team will win the game.  This is a fact.  This is not to say that the away team cannot win, but statistically you have a better chance of picking a winner if you pick a home team.  As an example, let’s say the Jets and the Patriots are going to play this week and they will also play again in 5 weeks.  This week they are playing in New York and in 5 weeks they are playing in New England.  If you are going to use your Patriots pick it is smarter to wait until the Patriots are playing at home.

Another tip for trying to win your football pool is that sometimes the majority of the pool will pick the same team in a week.  As an example, a few years ago the Steelers were playing the Raiders and the Steelers were favored by two touchdowns.  85% of the people in my football pool picked the Steelers.  If you know that the majority will all be picking one team, what happens if that team loses and you picked someone else?  You will be one of the few people remaining and have a much better chance to win the pool.  In my above example, the Raiders beat the Steelers and in my pool the majority of people were eliminated and I had a much better chance of winning.

And finally, watch out for teams that played the previous week on Monday night.  You may not think so, but having one less day of rest in the NFL is a HUGE difference maker.  I never select a team that played the previous week on Monday night because that single day of less rest could be a difference maker.

Good luck with your football pool and I hope you win!

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