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Spread: Packers minus-8
Public consensus pick: 51 percent picked Vikings
SuperContestants: 172-145 in favor of Vikings
Public perception: PickCenter shows the public with a slight preference for the Vikings, but take that with a grain of salt, as the line being used is Packers minus-9.5. On other bet-tracking sites (with the line at minus-7.5 or minus-8), the ever-popular Packers are picked by around 57 percent. It's clear the public will be on the Packers again, as well as a popular teaser play to get the line under a field goal.
Wiseguys' view: The sharps will also be using the Packers in teasers, especially with the Patriots and Broncos. The sports books often need the same sides as the wiseguys in going against the public, but this week the books will need one of those three teams to lose outright to kill a lot of teasers and parlays or it's going to be hard for them to have a winning week.
Tuley's Take: I'm going the contrarian route here. Despite having a five-game winning streak before getting blown out by the Giants last Sunday night, the Packers have been outgained in three of their last four games and have not been as dominant as in recent years. They're 5-6 ATS overall and have already failed to cover at home against the 49ers, Saints and Jaguars (and they barely covered against the Cardinals). The pick: Vikings.
Unless Seahawks CBs Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner have the appeals of their four-game suspensions heard this week – and right now nothing is scheduled – Seattle could face the prospect of being without both players if it reaches postseason.
Don't let the Hamster get loose. The Broncos know all about Buccaneers rookie running back Doug Martin, because the team took a long look at him before this past April's draft. Martin, whom the Bucs selected 31st overall with a pick they got from the Broncos, is second in the NFL in yards from scrimmage this season at 125.6 per game. Martin is elusive in the open field, has power in the middle of the field and will test the interior of the Broncos' defense. Martin has had three 100-yard rushing games over his last five, including a 251-yard effort against the Raiders.
On Friday, ESPN's Ed Werder reported that Tebow is out (I can confirm that) -- but there's still no official announcement from the Jets. Hmm, I wonder if the fact that they're playing at home (read: tickets) has anything to do with the stall.