LAS VEGAS -- Last week's 6-1 mark was just what I needed to bounce back from my 2-5 record in Week 14. I'm now within two games of .500 on the season, which is nothing to write home about, but it was an unthinkable goal just a few weeks back.
The only blemish on the record was the Texans plus-6 in their ugly 25-3 loss to the Colts, and fortunately I dropped that from my SuperContest plays as I started 5-0 in the mini-contest over the final three weeks of the season. The wins on the Chargers, Vikings and Ravens were clearly the right sides, while the Bears, Jets and Packers were coin-flips in the end (and the Packers could easily be called the wrong side as you don't often have 7-point underdogs cover when they're down 26-3 at halftime) but they all landed my way.
Hopefully we can continue that combination of skill and luck these final two weeks of the regular season and into the playoffs. There are no more Thursday games, so let's take a look at Sunday's card and the final ESPN "Monday Night Football" game of the season and see how the public and wiseguys are viewing each game. Then I'll give my against-the-spread take.
Last week: 6-1 ATS | Year to date: 49-51-3 (49 percent) ATS
Programming note: I'm no longer eligible for ESPN.com's "Streak for the Cash" contest, but they've asked me to suggest some plays. This is different from picking games against the spread (especially because they mostly have you pick games straight up, and the games are closer to pick 'em), but it's all about win percentages/odds, so I'll tackle those at the end of the column.
Note: Consensus pick percentages from ESPN PickCenter as of late Wednesday night.
Matchup: Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills
Spread: Dolphins minus-2.5
Public consensus pick: 76 percent picked Dolphins
Public perception: Both teams won last week but the Dolphins' win over the Patriots is obviously impressing the public more than the Bills' win over the Jaguars. Besides, the Dolphins are trying to get the last AFC wild-card spot and the public gravitates toward teams in "must-win" situations.
Wiseguys' view: I'm seeing even higher percentages on the Dolphins at other bet-tracking sites, so there's clearly sharp money on the Bills that is keeping this from going through the key number of three. The Bills did win the earlier meeting in Miami.