The Tennessee Titans are pulling in the largest bets on the early Week 10 NFL odds board. That says a lot about their opponents for Sunday, the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Tennessee Titans have been teasing us for quite some time. Their post-Jeff Fisher rebuilding process always seemed like it was on the cusp of success, but it took six years, and when the Titans finally broke through in 2016, they still finished in the red at 9-7 SU and 7-9 ATS. Great googly-moogly.
So here we are in 2017 with Tennessee (5-3 SU, 3-4-1 ATS) still underwater. But they’re the hot item on the early Week 10 NFL odds board, opening as 5.5-point home faves against the Cincinnati Bengals (3-5 SU and ATS) before dropping to –5 as we go to press. The expanded consensus reports show the Titans with this week’s largest average bet size at $137; that’s almost 92 percent of the amount wagered, even though bettors are split almost evenly between the two sides. Is this the sharp money we’re looking for?
Not according to the math. FiveThirtyEight has Tennessee winning 63 percent of the time, or –3.5 for an Elo-based spread. ESPN’s Football Power Index is slightly more optimistic at 64.2 percent, but that still only works out to Titans –4.5 according to the estimated probabilities at Wizard of Odds. Phooey.
Here’s another plausibly sharp team for our Week 10 NFL picks: the Minnesota Vikings (6-2 SU, 5-3 ATS). They’re 1.5-point road faves this Sunday in Washington (4-4 SU, 3-5 ATS), who are coming off an unlikely comeback win in Seattle. Minnesota had the bye week. Seems like a good spot for the Vikes, and indeed, the early consensus figures show nearly 68 percent of the amount wagered landing on the NFC North leaders, despite 53 percent of bettors taking the home side.
As you may recall, road faves tend to do very well coming off the bye week. They went 43-21 ATS between 2002 and 2016. Alas, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer is only 1-2 ATS coming off a bye, but that’s a small sample size. We can ignore it. However, the projections say Sunday’s game is a virtual pick’em, and we don’t even know who’s going to start at quarterback for Minnesota. Let’s keep an eye on this game for now and see what develops – maybe the Vikings will be a viable pick later in the week.