As we keep documenting here and in our daily “Tuley’s Takes Today” on VSiN.com, underdogs continue to dominate early-season NFL betting. But it leveled off a little at 8-7 ATS in Week 4 with the Browns-Vikings game closing pick-’em. The Browns were short favorites the whole week, so I wouldn’t correct anyone who said it was an 8-8 ATS split.
We pretty much split here as we went 5-6 ATS with our recommended plays, but another trend continued as our supposed top plays went 1-4 ATS on the VSiN NFL Best Bets page and most of my contest entries went 2-3 ATS while our lesser plays and leans performed better. The good news is we came out ahead on our personal betting as nine of 11 six-point teasers that capture the key numbers of 3 and 7 came in to save the weekend. If you’re not diversifying your portfolio with teasers, why not?
So, with that in mind, let’s go through the Week 5 card. Per usual, since I’m known as a dog-or-pass bettor, I’ll list whether I have a Best Bet or if I’m passing on the dog, which many readers see as a tacit endorsement to bet the chalk. Either way, I’ll also post my pool-play suggestions to give my level of confidence for those in all kinds of contests, some in which you have to pick every game. (If you’re looking for my Takes on the MLB playoffs as we try to carry over our winning ways from the end of the regular season, check out the daily “Tuley’s Takes Today” column at vsin.com/news/dave-tuley-columns each morning.)
Los Angeles Rams (-2) at Seattle Seahawks
Thursday night brings a pretty good matchup with the Rams and Seahawks coming off losses and trying to keep up with the Cardinals (4-0) in the NFC West. We’ve written many times about home-field advantage being nearly nonexistent this season — even Seattle was 0-1 with its “12th man” in an OT loss to the Titans — so we’re not too surprised to see the Rams as short road favorites. I lean to the home dog here, but as we’re seeing more and more, the best way to play this is starting 6-point teasers heading into the weekend. This line has been creeping up from Rams -1 to -2 as of Tuesday afternoon, so I’m loving that we can tease the Seahawks to + 8. However, I’m holding out to see if we get to + 2.5 and + 8.5. Prime candidates to tie to the Seahawks include Washington from + 1.5 to + 7.5 vs. the Saints, the Vikings -8 down to -2 vs. the Lions, the Browns + 1.5 to + 7.5 at the Chargers, the Cowboys -7 down to -1 vs. the Giants, the Bills + 3 (or possibly + 2.5) to + 9 or + 8.5 at the Chiefs and the Ravens -7 down to -1 vs. the Colts. Best Bet: Pass on side, but using Seahawks in teasers (pool play: Seahawks in all my rare contests that include “Thursday Night Football”).