Reputation is critical, but nothing impresses the public more than winning. They've been loading up on the Arizona Cardinals with their NFL picks. Yes, the Cardinals.
Jason's 2015 record as of Sept. 27: 12-7 ATS; 0-1 ML (–1.00 units); 6-9 Total
Who's the most popular franchise in the NFL? Probably the New England Patriots, who might be the league's most loved and most hated team at the same time. But they haven't been drawing nearly as much action at the ticket window as you might expect. Despite winning all three of their games, the Patriots rank No. 15 on the public money charts as we go to press, wedged in between Cincinnati and Kansas City. The horror. The horror.
Meanwhile, the New Orleans Saints (No. 25) have completely disappeared from the betting radar. It's hard to remain popular as an NFL pick when you lose your first three games – including at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+9.5) of all people. The other three members of our original Famous Five have their reputations intact, though. The Indianapolis Colts (No. 2), Green Bay Packers (No. 4) and Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 5) are all drawing tons of public support, and that should continue after all three teams won their Week 3 games.
For now, though, the most “public” team on the money charts is the Arizona Cardinals. I know, I'm as amazed as you are. Isn't this supposed to be a small-market team hiding in the desert, with a quarterback in Carson Palmer who was the butt of jokes not too long ago? True, and true. But three wins SU and ATS will get people's attention very quickly, and the NFC West is experiencing something of a power vacuum with the San Francisco 49ers imploding before our eyes.
Let's back away from the numbers for just a minute. Survey data is like any other statistic: It describes a range of possibilities, rather than accurately defining a team's status. We have to be even more careful with information that comes from outside Internet sources. Suffice to say, the Cardinals are the Flavor of the Month for September.
Everyone's Favorite 0-3 ATS Team
Don't be surprised if the Colts take over the top spot again in October. They were nearly written off for dead, after two depressing losses SU and ATS. Indianapolis still failed to cover the NFL odds as 3-point road faves in Sunday's 35-33 win over the Tennessee Titans, who missed a 2-point conversion that would have sent the game to overtime. But at least the Colts got the W.
Contrarian bettors couldn't be any happier. The Colts have a game coming up this Sunday (1:00 p.m. ET, CBS) against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and our early consensus reports show a 50/50 split with Indianapolis laying 9.5 points (+100) at home. We're not necessarily recommending the Jags here, but if you're thinking about laying some wood on the underdogs, they could very well pop up at +10 later this week. Shop smart.