Tuley's Take: Championship picks

Where the wiseguys and the public agree (and don't) this weekend

Originally Published: January 17, 2013
By Dave Tuley | ESPN Insider

Matt RyanJohn David Mercer/USA TODAY SportsMatt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons aren't getting respect from bookmakers.

Last week's NFL divisional playoffs saw favorites and underdogs split 2-2 against the spread.

If I could do it all over again, I guess I would have stuck with my "dog or pass" philosophy and after passing on the Green Bay Packers-San Francisco 49ers game, I would have gone 2-1, but instead I went with the Atlanta Falcons minus-2.5 (because I truly felt they were the right side at under a field goal) and ended up a subpar 1-2. It sure looked like the right move when they bolted out to a 20-0 lead, but the Seattle Seahawks blew a few scoring opportunities in the first half and then dominated the second half, so it was mostly a coin-flip game with the Falcons coming out on top 30-28, but not covering the spread.

But let's get to this Sunday's two conference title games. I love both dogs, so no passing this week.

Last week: 1-2 ATS | Playoffs: 1-4 ATS | Year to date: 73-62-2 (54.1 percent) ATS

Note: Consensus pick percentages as of early Thursday.


Spread: 49ers minus-4
Public consensus pick: 63 percent picked 49ers

Public perception: The public loves to bet what they last saw, and their last remembrances of the NFC divisional playoff games were the 49ers running all over the Packers and the Falcons nearly snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. PickCenter has more than 60 percent of the public on the 49ers, and that's consistent with other bet-tracking sites. The 49ers are favored despite Atlanta being 8-1 straight up at home this year, with the only loss being in Week 17, when the Falcons had their No. 1 seed locked up (and 33-6 SU with Matt Ryan as the starter). They continue to be the most disrespected No. 1 seed in recent memory.


To see Dave Tuley's analysis and picks against the spread for the AFC and NFC Championship Games, become an ESPN Insider today.

Dave Tuley has covered the Las Vegas race and sports book scene since 1998 and runs his own website, ViewFromVegas.com.