I was out of the Tuley’s Takes home office early this week as I took my oldest child, Jordyn, back to Northern Arizona University after a weekend of Halloween activities mixed with a great sports betting menu.
Speaking of menus, while I was in Flagstaff, Ariz., on Monday, I had my first McRib(s) of the season. Longtime VSiN followers know that Matt Youmans and I have both claimed that the McRib helps our handicapping. However, I have to come clean. I don’t really believe that consuming the “restructured pork patty” has anything to do with picking winners. But what I do believe is that the annual release of the McRib usually coincides with a time in the NFL season when we’ve seen enough of these teams to really have a good handle on them.
Now, I can already hear the critics saying “oddsmakers have a good grasp on all these teams, too, and the lines are tighter, plus all the bettors feel they have an edge, too.”
I know that’s true, but I only have to submit Week 8 as Exhibit A as underdogs went 10-4-1 ATS, proving wrong the vast majority of the public’s opinions (Bengals going from -9.5 to -11.5 at Jets, Colts going from + 1 to -3 vs. Titans, Browns going from -3.5 to -5 vs. Steelers, Vikings going from + 2.5 to -4.5 vs. the Cowboys).
We went 3-2 ATS in this column and on the VSiN NFL Best Bets page in a week when most bettors were below .500 (another example is the top 5 most-selected teams in the Circa Sports Million going 1-4 and the Westgate SuperContest top picks going 2-3). Our one bad loss was on the Lions + 3.5 vs. the Eagles. That turned out to be a public dog (No. 3 choice at Circa and No. 4 at Westgate), so that should have been a warning sign. Our winners were the Steelers+ 3.5 at the Browns, Patriots + 5.5 at Chargers and Giants + 10 at Chiefs. We really should have gone 4-1, but we posted Dolphins + 13.5 at the Bills here in PSW and had only + 13.5 or + 14 in our contests before they lost 26-11. They were in it the whole game and even cut a 17-3 deficit to 17-11 with a two-point conversion (thus beating the spread by more than a TD) but still failed to cover.
But we move on.
With another McRib fueling this Tuesday breakdown of the NFL Week 9 card, we’ll look for where we think the oddsmakers and betting public have this week’s lines wrong. Per usual, I’ll give my recommendations from my dog-or-pass point of view but will also give my pool play strategy for those in contests that require picking every game.