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Old 12-15-2006, 09:22 PM
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Maryland, My Maryland!
Posts: 1,581
Setting Up a Pool for the NFL Playoffs. How to?

For those of you who participate in a weekly NFL pool at your work, what do you when the playoffs roll around?

I took over this year as the coordinator for the semi-legal gambling ring where I work. Each week we run a pool with the NFL line-up -with the point spread, on by the way- and whoever gets the most picks right takes the pot. The combined score of the Monday Night Game serves as the tie-breaker.
Pretty standard stuff.

In years past once the regular season was over, that was the end of the pool but I'd like to somehow keep the fun going.

I was thinking that we could run a cumulative pool that runs the course of the playoffs and the person with the most correct wins total would be the winner.

There are four games for the first weekend, four games for the one after that, two games as the conference finals and then the Super Bowl. Eleven individual games in all.

Then to increase the point total, I was thinking that for each weekend's set of games, each participant would also have to designate one team as their "lock". This means if their team wins (or covers the point spread) then that would count for two points toward the total and if they lost, it would be viewed as just a loss like any other.

Not counting for the Super Bowl, that would bring the total to 14 possible points.

Does this make sense?

Are there any other ideas for running some variation of a pool for the upcoming playoffs?

Any input is appreciated.
Old 12-15-2006, 10:22 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 26,722
Maybe throw an over/under pick on games? You pick the winner, and over/under, so each game can be broken down into 2 points instead of 1.
Old 12-15-2006, 10:41 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Surefall Glade, Antonica
Posts: 18,794
Could set it up as a tournament bracket, like for March Madness. Wildcard weekend, correct picks are worth 1 point each, the next round is worth 2 points, etc. Dunno how that would work with point spreads, though....
Old 12-16-2006, 12:32 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: A nice chunk o' NJ
Posts: 14,185
Your system makes sense, especially the double-point "lock" pick.

If you'd like another option, here are the rules for the playoff pool I've been in the past few years:
Each week, you pick a winner and a total score for every game that weekend (we don't use point spreads, but there's nothing stopping you from running it with spreads).

You receive points based on your predictions:

10 points = if you pick the winner correctly (each game)
0 points = if the team you picked lost

10 points = if you pick the exact total score (each game)
9 points = if the total score you pick is 1 point off
8 points = if the total score you pick is 2 points off
1 point = if the total score you pick is 9 points off
0 points = if the total score you pick is 10 or more points off.
For instance -- for last year's Wild Card weekend, I picked:

WAS over TB, 37 points total
NE over JAC, 42 points total
NYG over CAR, 29 points total
PIT over CIN, 51 points total

WAS won (10 points for me) and the total was 27 (I was off by exactly 10, so I got no points for that).

NE won (10 points), total of 31 (no points)

CAR won (no points), 23 total (4 points)

PIT won (10 points), 48 total (7 points)

10+10+4+17 = 41 for Wild Card weekend

Point totals are tracked through the entire playoffs, and the high scores get the payouts. In case you're interested, the buy-in was $20, and the payouts were as follows:
1st place = 65%
2nd place = 25%
3rd place = 10%

The nice thing about this pool is that it keeps the maximum number of players in the running for the logest possibile time. We had 21 players last year, and 12 of them were still in the running for some money by the time we were picking the Super Bowl (for the record, I ended up with a total of 110 points, good enough for third place prize).
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