I suspected that the Hilton Contestants might like the Jaguars this week, but they garnered only 55 picks, vs. 64 for the Raiders. Although surprising, I'm not that worried about it, since I've explained before that I think the Hilton Contest results are probative only when a game amasses a huge number (100+) of picks. Indeed, I've lacked support of the Hilton prediction market before, and it worked out well.
More troubling is the market data about the money coming in on the Jags. The public has stuck steadfastly with the Jags at just over 60% -- not a huge number but not that reassuring for a contrarian theorist -- even though the line has been moving steadily in the other direction, from Jags -5 down to Jags -4. This would suggest that there is some serious sharp money, placed by a small number of betters, coming in against the prevailing wisdom. Some analysts track this type of "smart money" and have noted that it tends to portend a result disfavorable to the public. I'm not sure what these bettors are thinking; it must be that the Jags' pythagorian W-L is worse than the Raiders'. I definitely sympathize with the perspective that the Jags' are overrated. However, they seem like the type of team who can exploit the Raiders' EST woes. We'll see.
The one entry in the Hilton 100 club this week is the Giants -2.5 @ Vikings. Although that line has now moved to -3, I tend to like it. It's also got a healthy margin of 89. Given that the Hilton 100 entries have gone 11-3 over a significant span, the Giants are probably a pretty good pick this week. But I'm sticking with the Jags.