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Will this get any easier? Based on how Bleacher Report’s expert NFL analysts are faring against the spread this season, it certainly can’t get much harder.
Individually and as a crew, here’s the damage through 12 weeks (last week’s records in parentheses):
1. Gary Davenport: 92-78-6 (7-8)
2. Brent Sobleski: 81-89-6 (7-8)
3. Brad Gagnon: 78-92-6 (5-10)
Consensus picks: 83-87-6 (7-8)
With December looming, we asked longtime sports betting analyst Dave Tuley if there might be some light at the end of the tunnel for the betting public or if the sportsbooks will continue to benefit from larger samples late in the season.
Tuley gave us some hope, but not enough to get carried away.
“There was a time less than a dozen years ago where I had a bunch of years in a row where I just killed it the second half of the year and in December,” he said. “At that time, I felt like it was just the time of year when the good teams were being overrated and the bad teams were being underrated, and with parity what it was, the underdogs were doing a lot better at that time.”
But Tuley notes that neither the books nor the bettors have encountered consistently significant advantages in recent Decembers.
“As much as bettors want to think that we’re getting smarter the more we see these teams play,” he said, “obviously the oddsmakers are seeing the same things we are, and they’re adjusting and making it tough as well.”
However, he still believes it’s possible to pick out lines that have been exaggerated by midseason streaks and/or slumps. In particular, he pointed at the 7.5-point spread in favor of the New Orleans Saints in a road matchup with the NFC East-leading Dallas Cowboys on Thursday night.
With that line, oddsmakers are suggesting the Saints would be favored by as many as 13 or 14 points if that game were in New Orleans, which does seem high considering the Cowboys are riding a three-game winning streak.
“That’s [a reflection of] the way the Saints have been playing,” Tuley said. “For the books to balance their action, they have to put it at that number.”
It’s something to keep in mind as we enter the final month of the 2018 regular season. It might not save your season as a bettor, but if you’ve been following us all year, any advice helps.
Here’s what Davenport, Gagnon and Sobleski are thinking heading into the first 16-game slate in more than two months.
Lines based on consensuses at OddsShark as of Wednesday.