Let's get the unpleasantries out of the way. "Tuley's Take" is coming off its worst week of the season at 2-6 ATS (and my unofficial "pool plays" didn't fare much better at 2-5-1 ATS).
Now, the cop-out would be to say that my lousy week was the result of moving up the column from Friday to Wednesday due to the Thanksgiving holiday, but the fact is that I'm pretty much set in how I feel about each week's games by Monday or Tuesday anyway, and I doubt I would have had any changes of heart if I had been able to wait to write this column after Thanksgiving dinner (and a tryptophan-induced nap).
It was just one of those weeks where I found myself on the wrong side game after game -- I just didn't think it would come in a week where favorites were just 8-7-1 against the spread overall.
When I started the season hitting over 70 percent, I tried warning everyone that no one can keep up that winning percentage in the NFL. After Week 6, I was still at 34-14 (70.8 percent), but I'm still clinging to 60 percent, and it took last week's 2-6 to drop me to 24-24 over the past six weeks. So the goal moving forward will be to stay above the 60 percent mark overall.
For those who are new to this column, we take a look at each of the weekend's NFL games by getting the "public perception" from the consensus numbers at ESPN.com's Picks Central, which also has a lot of great information to help in your handicapping, and also give the wiseguys' view of the game. I then give my "take" (an intentional play on words as both a noun and a verb) on each game or pass. In addition, the consensus of the record 745 entrants in the LVH SuperContest is added on Saturday afternoon.
I'm a "dog or pass" bettor myself (some would scream "to a fault"), but that's my preference. I have added a "Chalk Play of the Week" recently, and those hit three in a row before failing the last two weeks. Overall, I'm 47-28 (62.7 percent) with my underdog plays here on the season and 11-10 with favorites, which has dragged down that winning percentage, but since I'm not losing with those yet, I'll continue the practice.
So with a clean slate for Week 15 (and happy the Saints' loss Thursday night doesn't count against my official record here), let's look ahead to the weekend.
Last week: 2-6 ATS | Year to date: 58-38 (60.4 percent) ATS
Note: Consensus pick percentages as of Friday morning.
Spread: Bears minus-3.5
Public consensus pick: 70 percent picked Bears
SuperContestants: 182-162 in favor of Bears
Public perception: The public is buying into the notion that, just like last year, the Bears are a contender when Jay Cutler starts at QB. They also learned again last week (losing 24-21 at Miami as a three-point favorite) that you bet the Seahawks at home but don't trust them on the road.