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Open: New England -14.5
Current: New England -14
Public Betting %: 80% on New England
What they see: We joke all the time that “you can’t set the line high enough” for public bettors in these types of matchups, but it’s not technically true. If this line was New England -49.5, at least 55 percent of bettors would be all over Jacksonville.
Analysis: There have only been 25 previous NFL matchups since 1989 where the home team was catching at least two touchdowns, and the underdog has won only three times (10-14-1 ATS).
The Patriots, of course, are coming off the home loss to San Francisco on Sunday Night Football, and since Bill Belichick arrived in New England he’s 35-20 ATS (63.6%) following a loss. Coming off a home loss, he’s a whopping 15-5 ATS (75%). So, clearly, Belichick knows how to get his team’s attention after they underperform.
The problem? It’s a little more difficult to get players’ attention when they’re going up against a team as awful as the Jaguars. And for those of you saying, “There’s no way New England doesn’t crush a team like Jacksonville,” does a Week 2 home loss to Arizona ring any bells?
We’re staying far, far away from this game. (Although, gun to our head, we’d probably be as “square” as possible and take the Patriots.)
Open: Baltimore -1
Current: New York -2.5
Public Betting %: 76% on New York
What they see: Bettors are more down on the Ravens than ever before, and the Giants have much more to play for.
Analysis: The wheels are coming off in Baltimore, losers of three straight and in search of an offensive identity after firing offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and replacing him with this guy. Can we even remember this team knocking off the Patriots on primetime in Week 3?
But the Ravens have already clinched a playoff spot, while New York likely needs to finish 2-0 to get there.
We love taking the Giants when their backs are against the wall. A lot depends on the health of Ahmad Bradshaw, who is questionable with a sprained left knee but “should be good to go.” This doesn’t look like quite the same team that got hot and won the Super Bowl last year, but New York’s “best” is still better than most other teams’ “best.”
Spread: Pick-em (some books at 49ers minus-1)
Public consensus pick: 52 percent picked 49ers
Public perception: This game was moved to prime time on Sunday night. It's a pick-em on the betting boards and pretty much 50/50 in the betting, too. Cases can be made for either side. The 49ers have taken over as Super Bowl favorite with their win over the Patriots last Sunday night, but the Seahawks are 6-0 SU & ATS at home.
Wiseguys' view: The sharps don't see this game as any big deal. Sure, the Seahawks would love to catch the 49ers for the NFC West title, but even if they win this all the 49ers have to do is beat the Cardinals in Week 17 to win it anyway. The 49ers actually have a little more to play for in trying to hold onto the NFC No. 2 seed, but it's not enough to make them a solid play.
Tuley's Take: If I thought the Seahawks had more to play for (it's not like they're likely to get a home playoff game regardless), I'd love them as short home dog, but I'll probably just watch while handicapping next week's card. The pick: Pass (pool play: 49ers).
Spread: Jets minus-2.5
Public consensus pick: 67 percent picked Jets
Public perception: The Chargers have received all the early action. All the Jets' fans (and who else would be betting them at this point?) are busy arguing over the whole quarterback circus.
Wiseguys' view: Despite coming off a dud of a game against the Panthers, the Chargers at least have an offense that can move the ball and are 4-3 ATS away from home.
Tuley's Take: This is partly a bet against the Jets, but even though the Chargers got run over at home by the Panthers, their previous road win over the Steelers is the effort I'm counting on here. Including their cover at Denver five weeks ago, they've looked much more comfortable playing away from their boo-birds. The pick: Chargers.