LAS VEGAS -- Last week wasn't a banner week in the NFL for yours truly.
I had my first losing week of the season, as I went 3-4-1 against the spread in this column and dropped to 10-9-1 overall, just barely profitable if laying the standard vig (11 to win 10, or minus -110 expressed as a money line).
I certainly wasn't alone, as the vast majority of the record 1,034 entrants in the LVH SuperContest continued to struggle. The top 5 consensus (the teams that are picked the most each week) went 0-5 ATS with the Vikings, Giants, Rams, Packers and Falcons all failing to cover. Through three weeks, the top 5 consensus is 2-12-1 ATS (14 percent) and overall plays from all contestants are under 40 percent, so it could be worse. That should make me feel better, but losing doesn't feel good regardless of degree. Let's look at this weekend's card to see if we can turn it around.
Last week: 3-4-1 ATS | Year to date: 10-9-1 (52.6 percent) ATS
Note: Consensus pick percentages as of late Thursday night.
Matchup: Pittsburgh Steelers versus Minnesota Vikings (in London)
Spread: Steelers -3
Public consensus pick: 52 percent picked Steelers
Public perception: This is a matchup of two 0-3 teams (maybe the NFL wanted to give England a game that more closely resembles a soccer score), and opened pick 'em. The public is more split on the current number of Steelers minus-3. The Vikings really let down bettors (both squares and sharps) last week in their loss to the Browns.
Wiseguys' view: Sharp bettors jumped on the Steelers early and pushed this line to a field goal, aided by Christian Ponder's absence (though an argument can be made that there's not much of a drop-off to Matt Cassel). They're not as likely to get involved now.
Tuley's Take: I understand the move on the Steelers, as they showed more of an offense in their 40-23 loss to the Bears than they had showed in their first two games. But I still wouldn't trust them laying any points. The Vikings -- well, that loss to the Browns said a lot.
The pick: Pass (pool play: Steelers)