Welcome to "Beauty vs. the Beast," a handicapping feature designed to track how the teams that are bet the most and the least at a given sportsbook in a given week fare. Each week, I'll put down a mythical 100 units on each of the games and see what happens.
If you have been fading our "Beauty" and "Beast" picks the last two weeks, well, a toast to you, for backing them surely has not worked.
We haven't had a Beauty pick win since Week Five, when the Lions defeated the Bears. Thereafter, it's been all downhill for the Beauties — and the Lions, too, in an unrelated story.
The Beasts have fared even worse. We haven't had a winner since Week Four, when Seattle covered against Atlanta.
The losing streak has shown up in our bankroll, which is at "time-to-visit-the-casino-ATM-walk-of-sheepishness" levels. Or so I am told how that walk goes.
At Bodog.eu, 20 percent of the money wagered on NFL sides this week as of Friday morning was on the Patriots, reports Adam Young, the company's head oddsmaker. Young noted he was surprised that New England, our Beauty for Week Eight, had been so popular in this particular matchup, which pits two AFC powers. However, the Patriots, who are three-point favorites at Pittsburgh, have gotten the best of the Steelers when QB Tom Brady has been behind center, which could speak to the betting public's confidence in New England.
Our Beast is the 0-6 Rams, who are 14-point underdogs vs. New Orleans. St. Louis, which has been outscored 171-56 this season, had attracted just 0.5 percent of the Week Eight NFL pointspread handle as of Friday morning at Bodog.
"Really, there's no money on them," Young said.
But there are 100 extra "units" on the Rams coming from here, and that has to count for something, right?
Week Eight "Beauty vs. the Beast"
Beauty: Patriots (-3 / -105) at Steelers
Beast: Rams (+14) vs. Saints
Note: Lines as of Friday morning
Profit / Loss: -327.27
"Wagers" to date
Beauty: Week Three (Lions -3) — PUSH; Week Four (Bills -3) — LOSS; Week Five (Lions -5½) — WIN, Week Six (Patriots -6½) — LOSS; Week Seven (Packers -9) — LOSS.
Beast: Week Three (Chiefs +14½) — WIN; Week Four (Seahawks +4½) — WIN; Week Five (Jaguars -1½) — LOSS; Week Six (Dolphins +7) — LOSS; Week Seven (Dolphins -2) — LOSS.