Judging by our expanded consensus reports, it looks like the Tennessee Titans are a surprisingly popular NFL pick for Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns.
Jason's 2015 record as of Sept. 19: 5-3 ATS; 3-2 Total
There are seven quarterbacks in the NFL today who won the Heisman Trophy in college – sorry, Tim Tebow. Please try again next year. We saw the most recent winners do battle last week when Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans visited Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Did Tampa Bay screw up by drafting Winston first overall ahead of Mariota? Maybe. The early results weren't promising: Winston's first pass was a pick-six, and Tennessee went on to win 42-14 as a 3-point puppy.
We'll get some more Heisman-on-Heisman violence this Sunday (1:00 p.m. ET, CBS) when Mariota and the Titans visit Johnny Manziel and the Cleveland Browns. Manziel will be starting in place of Josh McCown, who's still in concussion protocol after getting whacked early in Week 1 by the New York Jets. Is Johnny Football still popular? Maybe not as popular as Mariota, if we're reading our expanded consensus reports correctly.
It's almost dinnertime on a lovely Saturday as we go to press, so the traditional Sunday rush has yet to happen, but our surveys have the Titans (PK –120 away) pulling in more bets than anyone aside from the New England Patriots. These aren't big bets, though. Tennessee supporters are chipping in at $82 per bet, well below New England at $151, and barely ahead of Cleveland at $78.
Okay, there are some big bets in there. In fact, as we go to press, we're looking at eight $1000+ bets on Cleveland and seven on Tennessee. This matchup has more big bets than any other matchup on our report, despite the mid-size average wager. Curious. This game appears to have polarized the sharps; some think the Browns have value, while others wouldn't touch Manziel after his latest adventure, relieving McCown and turning the ball over three times in a 31-10 loss to the Jets (–3.5 at home).
The Waiting Is the Hardest Part
Meanwhile, updating our early look at the New Orleans Saints, hardly anyone has bet on them for Sunday's game (1:00 p.m. ET, FOX) against Winston and the visiting Buccaneers. Not many people have bet on Tampa Bay, either. Not much of a surprise there – we put the Bucs in our NFL picks earlier this week, but we recommended you wait until closer to kick-off.
That's still the case. There's been some early sharp action on Tampa Bay, but with the spread sitting at 10 points, it seems only prudent to wait until the public pours in on the Saints, looking for that +10.5 to pop up on the NFL odds board. It's already there at some books with the vigorish at –130, but that's way too much of a premium to pay for that extra half-point. Let's give the public a little more rope before we break open the piggy bank.