LAS VEGAS -- It's not how you start -- it's how you finish.
We hear that cliché all the time, mainly because it's true.
Last Sunday, I started slow with a 1-3 mark against the spread in the early games. I had a win on Dallas, but losses on Detroit, Jacksonville and Atlanta. I was dreading a losing week, but I felt a lot better after San Diego upset Seattle in the late afternoon game and Chicago rallied at San Francisco in the night game. Philadelphia's rally to upset Indianapolis on Monday night capped off a winning 4-3 ATS week and put me over .500 on the young season.
Now, if you're wagering equal amounts on all your plays, it really shouldn't matter if you go 4-3 whether you won early or won late or alternated wins and losses. But it sure feels a lot better coming out of the weekend with a win or multiple wins than with a loss. It just leaves you in a positive state of mind to get back to work looking at the next week's games.
So here we go with Week 3 of "Tuley's Take," where I'll go over each game and look at the public perception, wiseguys' view and then my take. I'm most concerned with how I finish the season, but I certainly want to get farther above .500 in the early going.
Last week: 4-3 ATS (50 percent) | 2014 season record: 7-6 ATS (53.8 percent)
Streak for the Cash: I'm no longer eligible to play ESPN.com's Streak for the Cash contest, but they've asked me to suggest some plays. This is different from picking games against the spread -- especially because they mostly have you pick games straight up and the games are closer to pick 'em -- but it's all about win percentages/odds, so I'll tackle those at the end of the column.
Note: The listed spread for each game is from the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook (note: Westgate is the new owner of the LVH Hotel, which was formerly known at the Hilton, but the SuperBook name lives on). The public consensus pick percentages are from ESPN Insider's PickCenter (also as of Thursday night).
Matchup: San Diego Chargers at Buffalo Bills
Spread: Bills -2.5
Public consensus pick: 65 percent picked Chargers
Public perception: The public was obviously impressed with the Chargers' upset of the Seahawks, as more than 60 percent of bets are on San Diego and the numbers are similar at other bet-tracking sites. Buffalo is 2-0, compared to San Diego's 1-1, but the Bills still are not a public team.
Wiseguys' view: Most of the public bets are on San Diego, but it's being overwhelmed by sharp money on Buffalo as the line continues to rise.
Tuley's Take: The advance line on this game at the Westgate last week was Chargers minus-2.5, and I think that's the better number. When San Diego beat Seattle, I thought for sure that the Chargers would stay the favorite. The Bills' defense has been strong,