- Dave Tuley, ESPN Insider
LAS VEGAS -- There's an old saying in the NBA: Everybody makes a run.
It means that no lead is safe and the trailing team will rally at some point. It certainly seems to apply to today's NFL. We saw it again Thursday night as the Washington Redskins seemed in control with a 27-14 lead but let the Minnesota Vikings score 20 unanswered points to win 34-27.
This is all to set up my 2-3 ATS mark last week that dropped me back to the wrong side of .500. Now, I certainly understand that it's a 60-minute game and one can't assume that since your bet is covering at one point that you will win or even deserve to win, but knowing all that didn't help while going through the roller coaster last Sunday.
In the early games, I felt really good well into the second halves and thought I had a great chance to go 3-0. The Vikings were a 10-point underdog to the Cowboys and hanging in there, while the Bills were beating the Chiefs 10-3 and driving for what should have been at least a 13-3 lead as a 3-point underdog (actually closed plus-5). The Falcons looked like they were in a 17-10 type of game against the Panthers. In a matter of minutes, the Vikings and Bills gave up defensive scores to turn their games around. Later, the Falcons fell behind 24-10 but still had a chance to get in the back door. Then Matt Ryan threw a pick-six and they lost 34-10. Only the Vikings held on for the cover, and I was off to a 1-2 start.
But the worst was still to come, as the Texans were plus-2.5 in the Sunday night game against the Colts. They had an 18-point lead, but not only did Andrew Luck bring the Colts back to take the lead, they also added the two-point conversion to get the cover in their 27-24 win.
If you do this long enough, you have to trust that these kind of results even out over time. I guess that's why we don't give back the money when we get that lucky win.
Last week: 2-3 ATS | Year to date: 29-30-1 (49.2 percent) ATS
Programming note: I'm no longer eligible for ESPN.com's Streak for the Cash contest, but they've asked me to suggest some plays. This is different from picking games against the spread -- especially because they mostly have you pick games straight up and the games are closer to pick 'em -- but it's all about win percentages/odds, so I'll tackle those at the end of the column.
Note: Consensus pick percentages from ESPN PickCenter as of early Friday morning.
Matchup: Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons
Spread: Seahawks minus-5.5
Public consensus pick: 69 percent picked Seahawks
Public perception: The Seahawks have failed to cover in their last two wins (over the Rams and Buccaneers) and four of their last five games, but this just shows how far the Falcons have fallen in the public's favor.
Wiseguys' view: Some sharps took the Falcons plus-7 and even plus-6.5 after the line opened Sunday. There will likely also be more support late at the shortened price.
Tuley's Take: The Falcons are starting to disappoint me as much as the Jaguars. No thanks.
The pick: Pass (pool play: Seahawks).
Dave Tuley offers a Week 10 ATS pick on every NFL game, including public perception and wiseguys' views.