Tuley's Take: Week 17 NFL picks

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

Updated: December 28, 2012, 1:54 PM ET
By Dave Tuley | ESPN Insider
Michael VickAP Photo/Brian GarfinkelMichael Vick and the Eagles are a good bet to cover against the struggling Giants.

It didn't make up for my 0-6 record the week before, but last week I was happy to at least get back on the winning track, going 4-3-1 against the spread.

I consider that shooting par as 4-3 (discarding the push) is 57.1 percent and right around my winning percentages for the season. My overall record stands at 69-53-2 (56.6 percent), which slightly improved from 56.5 percent last week. My preferred underdog play record is now 58-41-2 (58.6 percent), down just a tick from last week's 58.7 percent.

Week 17 is always a tough handicapping exercise as we have some teams fighting for playoff spots while others are playing out the string. If you're betting on teams in must-win situations, the oddsmakers are going to make you pay a premium. And remember, teams in must-win situations don't always win; if these teams were so good that they could win whenever they wanted, they wouldn't be in a must-win situation in the first place.

This week, I'm taking a number of underdogs that are getting more points than I feel they should due to the lines being inflated.

Last week: 4-3-1 ATS | Year to date: 69-53-2 (56.6 percent) ATS

Note: Consensus pick percentages as of Friday afternoon.


Spread: Bills minus-3.5
Public consensus pick: 65 percent picked Bills

Public perception: Both teams playing out the string. Given their druthers (hey, I don't think I've heard or used that expression since I was knee-high to a grasshopper), the public has chosen to go against the QB circus in New York.

Wiseguys' view: There's no apparent sharp side here, but this line has wavered between 3 and 3.5, so it's a game in which no wiseguy worth his salt will be laying minus-3.5 or taking only plus-3.

Tuley's Take: I can't find much reason to back either side, though the Bills are 4-2 ATS as a favorite this year (2-7 ATS as a dog), so they tend to play well against other mediocre teams that they're supposed to beat. The pick:


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