Tuley's Take: Week 8 NFL picks

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

Originally Published: October 26, 2012
By Dave Tuley | ESPN Insider
Brandon BoldenRob Carr/Getty ImagesTom Brady and the Patriots are a good play against the Rams in London.

We knew it was too good to last.

I went 3-6 against the spread with my Tuley's Take picks in this space last weekend. As PaulyEsq mentioned in the comments, the only egregious loss was on the Ravens against the Texans, and there were games that could have gone my way -- namely the Browns plus-3 in a game where they missed an extra point and Josh Gordon dropped a potential game-winning TD and the Bengals looking in control against the Steelers until Andy Dalton's fluke interception turned the game around. Hopefully anyone following along was able to grab the Cardinals plus-7 against the Vikings to salvage a push while I took a loss at the posted plus-6.5.

Of course, I had no business getting the cover with the Lions plus-6.5 Monday night and easily could have lost the Saints minus-2.5 versus the Buccaneers. So just like everything else in life, these things have a way of evening out.

My overall win percentage in this weekly experiment dropped to 66.1 percent, down from a high of 73.9 percent after Week 3. It was bound to happen sooner or later. Underdogs had been hitting at an insanely high 64 percent through the first six weeks of the NFL season, and I warned that regression was inevitable.

Actually, the drop off wasn't too bad. Favorites/underdogs split 6-6-1 in Week 7, and entering Week 8, 'dogs were still hitting 62 percent overall at 62-38-3 before the Buccaneers came through as another 'dog Thursday night.

I have to chuckle when people ask, "Why don't you pick favorites then?" My 3-6 record included three favorites, and I went 1-2 with those. (You probably don't want me picking favorites, considering my track record with them.) As a more reasonable test, I went back and broke down my plays this season: I'm 8-8 (50 percent) on favorites and 29-12 (70.7 percent) with underdogs.

I think I'll stick with the game plan.

Everyone has losing weeks no matter the methodology. It doesn't matter if you're picking all 'dogs, all favorites or a mixture of the two. There are enough favorites and underdogs out there that you can come out on the winning end overall if you're being selective and finding plays that will profit over the long run.

Last week: 3-6 ATS | Year-to-date: 37-19 (66.1 percent) ATS

Note: Consensus pick percentages as of Friday afternoon.


Matchup: New England Patriots vs. St. Louis Rams (in London)

Spread: Patriots minus-7
Public consensus pick: 59 percent picked Patriots


Public perception: It's not surprising the public would be on the popular Patriots. On some sites that monitor the number of betting tickets for each team, I've seen this number closer to 75 percent. The experienced Patriots are expected to better handle all the distractions surrounding this overseas game.

Wiseguys' view: The sharps love this game at minus-6.5. That's mostly gone in Vegas, except for Treasure Island, which as of early Friday was offering Pats minus-6.5, but you had to lay an extra 10 percent in vig to get it at minus-120.

Tuley's take: I tend to agree with the public's feeling that the Patriots will handle the hype and atmosphere better, particularly seeing how giddy some of the Rams' stars were after their 17-3 win over the Cardinals in a nationally televised Thursday night game in Week 5. The Patriots have too much for the Rams to keep up, just like the Packers did to them last week.


To see Dave Tuley's analysis and picks against the spread for every Week 8 NFL game, 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.