- Dave Tuley, ESPN Insider
It's not often I get to say this, but I went 6-3 against the spread with my "Tuley's Take" picks last week -- and my win percentage dropped. That's a good position to be in.
After losing with the Chargers on Monday night, my record stands at 34-13 ATS (72.3 percent). As I've stated, there's no doubt that as a confirmed underdog bettor, my success so far this season is in direct correlation to the fact that dogs are hitting around 65 percent on the season. I have them as 57-32-2 (64 percent) graded against the ViewFromVegas.com Consensus Closing Line at my other website, but you'll see other numbers bandied about due to a few games that landed around the number and have been graded differently.
Two weeks ago, I wrote that I was happier when I had a solid record in a week when favorites and underdogs were split, so my 6-3 mark was a bit of a letdown since dogs were 12-2 ATS in Week 6. In some respects, I should have done better, though the fact I went 0-2 with favorites was where I went wrong; I was 6-1 with dogs.
Fortunately, I was able to focus on my top plays and my ViewFromVegas.com entry in the LVH SuperContest went 5-0 to improve to 21-9 overall, which currently stands tied for fourth place, just one game off the lead.
The question now is if the dogs will continue to dominate -- or if we're going to see a regression to the mean. Of course, I've been being asked that question since Week 3, when dogs went 12-4 ATS to improve to 29-18-1 overall. And we still haven't had a week with more favorites since (Week 5 was split 7-7).
This, however, could be the week. The oddsmakers haven't adjusted too much, but we've seen several lines bet down as it appears the public is starting to think that underdogs are the way to go. Look at the four home underdogs this week (and note they went 4-0 SU and ATS last week): The Rams are less than a six-point dog against the Packers and the remaining three are all under a field goal (Panthers versus Cowboys; Buccaneers versus Saints; Bengals versus Steelers).
Those all look as if they should be higher, or at least that's what we've come to expect, so it does lead me to believe we're seeing some value being sucked out of the dogs.
With that said, this week I'm treading carefully and being selective in what short prices I'm willing to accept -- and even landing on a few more favorites than I normally take when I see the moves as an over-adjustment.
Last week: 6-3 ATS | Year-to-date: 34-13 (72.3 percent) ATS
Note: Consensus pick percentages as of Friday afternoon.
Spread: Bills minus-3.5
Public consensus pick: 54 percent picked Bills
SuperContestants: 164-97 in favor of Bills
Public perception: Buffalo comes in off an upset win at Arizona in overtime, but is still receiving lukewarm support as a favorite. The Titans upset the Steelers but aren't getting too much love despite getting more than a field goal. The public still doesn't know what to do with these two teams.
Wiseguys' view: The wiseguys were high on the Bills in over/unders and other future bets before the season, and are starting to see some hope as they're tied atop the AFC East (all four teams are 3-3, so it's up for grabs).
Tuley's take: I want to make a case for the dog, but I'm still smarting over the last time I took them two weeks ago at Minnesota (they lost 30-7). The Bills have won their last three games playing against what I consider non-elite teams (Chiefs, Browns, Cardinals) while being blown out by the Patriots and 49ers. So I'd say the Bills are one of the best mediocre teams right now. The pick:
Each week, Vegas insider Dave Tuley breaks down the lines and offers NFL pick recommendations against the spread, based on perceptions of public-versus-sharps betting trends. Here's the Week 7 action.