There's a moment when you know it's right. And the window closes quickly. You have a week, maybe two, to assess a team's situation, its value in the marketplace and make your play before the perception changes, before every fan in the country all of a sudden sees what you see.
I think it happened this past week with the Detroit Lions. And maybe the Buffalo Bills. And probably the Oakland Raiders. All three of these teams -- more than just perennial losers but epic, historic, late-night-comedy jokes losers -- have been paying for the sharps who seized the moment.
And the moment may be over.
Every year there will be teams that underperform in the win-loss column but who tend to get a lot of attention from the professionals. Last season around this time, the Washington Redskins emerged as reliable underdogs. If you haven't been paying attention, the Lions have been that team this season. Heading into their win against the Redskins (consider this the Sharp Bowl, pitting last year's darling versus this year's best-kept secret), the Lions were 1-5 in the real standings, but they were tied with the New York Jets for a league-best 5-1 against the spread.