Handicappers, more than anything, see themselves as contrarians.
They live on the fringes of society, making money at something most see as lurid or unseemly or vaguely illegal. And that's how they like it. They have found a niche they can exploit and the more people don't understand that, the better their chances of winning.
That's true when you take a closer look at their wagering philosophies, too. The system guys who break down historical numbers to come to a conclusion and the stats geeks examining every team's yards per play are looking for the same thing: an angle no one else has noticed, an area they can exploit. Inevitably that means betting against the public. And this week that means contrarians are desperately looking for reasons to bet the Washington Redskins against the Philadelphia Eagles.