Cincinnati Bengals (2-3) at Atlanta Falcons (4-2) Line: Falcons by 3.5. Total: 43. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 6): Falcons -6.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 6): Falcons -5.
Sunday, Oct. 24, 1:00 ET
The Game. Edge: Falcons.
Week 6 Recap: This was one of the worst weekends I've had in recent memory. I went 4-9-1 for -$1,875. And if you think that's bad, wait until you see the hate mail I received (I'll post that later on.)
I'd love to make excuses, but... well, I have no idea where the Chiefs got their energy from after an emotional loss to the Colts. And if losing my October NFL Pick of the Month wasn't enough, I got screwed on:
A bad beat with the Raiders blowing a lead and cover as big underdogs.
A bad push when the Colts fumbled away a lead against the Redskins.
Two tough losses in overtime, including the Ravens, who blew a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter.
A late backdoor cover by the Lions with their third-string quarterback.
The Cowboys outgaining the Vikings by 130 yards and losing the spread by two points (though perhaps I should have expected this.)
I did a self-audit of all of my picks this year after that Monday night debaclation. I realized that I misread the Texans-Chiefs game among a few other high-unit selections this season. I do stand by Atlanta +1.5 over the Eagles; all of my numbers say the Falcons were the right side, so I'm not sure what happened there.
I like to do more research and learn things after having terrible weeks. As you may know, I love to bet on good teams that don't have their starting quarterback (Steelers Week 1, Bears Week 5 - should have been my October NFL Pick of the Month). Well, I looked it up, and when teams get their signal-caller back under center, they seldom cover. This would have applied to the Bears -7, which would have saved me two units.
Here's another cool trend - teams that lose back-to-back road games are just 28-48 against the spread since 2002 if favored at home the following week. This system comes into play twice this week. Unfortunately, the lethargic Jaguars are involved once.
Speaking of Jacksonville, I looked it up - the Jags are 11-27 against the spread in all games since Week 1, 2008. I will never bet multiple units on this Jack Del Rio-David Garrard combination ever again - unless they're playing the Colts, of course.
Anyway, it's the usual - my NFL Picks will be posted periodically throughout Tuesday afternoon and evening. You can follow me on Twitter @walterfootball to receive updates for when I post each selection.
ATLANTA OFFENSE: This will be the second time this year Matt Ryan is coming off a mediocre performance in an outdoor game and hosting a team in the Georgia Dome. Ryan is a different quarterback at home; throughout his career as a host, he's completed 63.4 percent of his passes on a 7.9 YPA with 21 touchdowns and just 11 interceptions. On the road, his completion percentage (57.5), YPA (6.5) and touchdown-interception ratio (26-18) are far worse.
Ryan should have a pretty big game this week. The Bengals are sixth against the pass, but just allowed 280 passing yards to Josh Freeman. Cincinnati also really struggles to put any sort of pressure on the quarterback, and now they'll be without Antwan Odom, who was just suspended for four games.
Unlike last week, the Falcons will be able to establish their running game. Michael Turner goes up against a defense that has surrendered more than four yards per carry to all but one opponent this year.
CINCINNATI OFFENSE: This is a really great matchup for the Falcons because the Bengals can't really exploit their greatest weakness, which happens to be their secondary.
Carson Palmer is awful. Even with all of his weapons, Palmer has really struggled this year. Sure, Atlanta can't stop the pass at all, but neither can the Buccaneers, and Palmer threw for just 209 yards on 36 attempts with a pick-six two weeks ago. It's a shame, but all of those injuries have really sapped him of his arm strength.
Atlanta's defensive strength is stopping the run. Aside from two long runs in the first two weeks of the season, the Falcons have given up nothing on the ground, so don't expect much from Cedric Benson.
RECAP: I fully expect the Falcons to rebound. They're 11-3 against the spread as hosts with Ryan under center, and under Mike Smith, they're 10-2 versus the number after a straight-up loss.
SURVIVOR PICK: I've regrettably used up the Ravens and Saints already, so Atlanta appears to be my next-best option. As I mentioned, the Falcons are unbelievable at home. The Bengals suck; their two wins are against the Panthers and Ravens, who blew that game by dropping too many Palmer interceptions and throwing tons of stupid picks of their own. Since beating Baltimore, Cincinnati has lost to the Browns and Buccaneers.
I was asked to list six possible survivor options each week, so here they are, from best to worst: Ravens, Saints, Falcons, Seahawks, Titans and Broncos. I can't find a sixth to take. As always, never pick a road team. Never pick a bad team (which is why the Broncos are so low). Never pick an underdog. Never save any teams. Always choose the best option.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No psychological edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: Bears.
Slight action on Atlanta despite the fact that they saw a lot of money go their way at the beginning of the week.
Percentage of money on Falcons: 61% (144,000 bets)
Washington Redskins (3-3) at Chicago Bears (4-2) Line: Bears by 3. Total: 41. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 6): Bears -3.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 6): Bears -3.
Sunday, Oct. 24, 1:00 ET
The Game. Edge: None.
Vegas Recap: The sportsbooks have slaughtered the public this year. They finally gave one back last week; only two highly bet teams (Bears, Falcons) failed to cover. The public won with the Saints, Steelers, Jets and Titans all beating the spread.
CHICAGO OFFENSE: The Bears' pass protection schemes have been the subject of ridicule this week on ESPN. The Seahawks had multiple defenders in Chicago's backfield last week, and it's amazing that the Bears surrendered only six sacks.
The Redskins have 13 sacks on the year, though nine of them have come in two games. I'm sure they'll get a bunch this Sunday. Mike Martz is a moron who doesn't care about protecting his quarterback. He'll continue to have Jay Cutler take seven-step drops with no one to help ease the pass rush. I don't know why Martz doesn't revert back to what he did in the Cowboys game, when he had Cutler fire the ball quickly to receivers running short routes to neutralize Dallas' blitzes.
The Bears could always run the ball, but Martz doesn't appear interested in doing something so mundane and trivial. The Redskins happen to rank 28th against the rush, so there's some hope for Matt Forte is Chicago decides to keep it on the ground.
WASHINGTON OFFENSE: Speaking of running the football, Mike Shanahan appears to have found his next, 1,000-yard rusher in Ryan Torain. Torain isn't the most skilled back in the league, but he fits Shanahan's scheme perfectly.
Unfortunately for Torain, the Bears are a solid 12th against the run, limiting the opposition to 3.9 yards per carry. The Redskins will have to move the chains aerially. Donovan McNabb won't have much success against a Chicago secondary ranked second versus the pass.
McNabb has taken eight sacks in the past two weeks. This is not good timing because Julius Peppers will be on the other side of the line of scrimmage, accompanied by an angry defense that was just humiliated on Sunday.
RECAP: This game should be a defensive struggle. I like the Bears to prevail; the Redskins just played an emotional game at home against the Colts on Sunday night. Despite their best effort, they came up short. I don't think Washington will be able to bring 100 percent against a Chicago squad looking to redeem itself.
The Psychology. Edge: Bears.
The Redskins had a tough loss to the Colts. It'll be tough for them to get up against the suddenly pathetic Bears.
The Vegas. Edge: Bears.
No one wants any part of the Bears after they lost to the Seahawks.
Percentage of money on Washington: 60% (149,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Redskins.
Donovan McNabb is 25-14 ATS after a loss since 2001.
Donovan McNabb is 40-26 ATS on the road since 2001.
Opening Line: Bears -3.
Opening Total: 40.
Weather: Possible thunderstorms, 65 degrees. Mild wind, 17 mph.
Philadelphia Eagles (4-2) at Tennessee Titans (4-2) Line: Titans by 3. Total: 42. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 6): Titans -3.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 6): Titans -3.
Sunday, Oct. 24, 1:00 ET
The Game. Edge: Eagles.
And now the moment you've all been waiting for - this week's hate mail!
This was the first one I received. It was from Scott S:
You can suck my big fat white c*** you stupid motherf***er with your Pick of the Month pick .... You just cost me big money f***ing looser !!! Eat s*** and die b****!
No thanks, I don't swing that way. It's too bad the Texans put forth no effort in this game. Not sure where the effort was. Their defense missed like 20 tackles.
This next one is from Peter D:
Well walter i think its time i shun you and your awfulness.
The past 2 years youve convinced me on games. Last year i won alot of money. But unfortunately you now suck. I lost my whole deposit from you. Not only have your picks been aweful, but i believe a blind gorilla can pick better than you while giving birth. The only successful thing ive gotten from your knowledge was picking up brandon lloyd for my fantasy team.
I think its time you close your website so your horrendous picks will never be published ever. You should work for vegas, lure people in, and then convince them to take the wrong team. Now then you could make some money instead of losing it.
P.s. I now hate you alot
I wasn't sure that he hated me a lot, even when he compared me to a gorilla giving birth, so I guess it's a good thing he included that "P.S."
These last two are from the same anonymous person. This guy lives for e-mailing me whenever I have a bad week. If I do well, I don't hear from him at all. For instance, he sent me hate mail in Week 5 during the awful early afternoon games. When I finished in the black by the end of the day, he didn't send a "my bad" follow-up, opting instead to crawl back into his hole.
So you post the hate mails last week in a poor attempt to be cocky and sarcastic, and it back fires completely because the hate mailers (like myself) have been right all year long...
There are so many things I could say right now but the term actions speak louder then words has never fit so perfect...
So, I made a poor attempt to be cocky? Does that mean I'm not cocky? Why, thank you!
Here was my first response to this miserable person:
Right all year long? Did you not like being up $3,200 going into this weekend? Is my free Web site not making enough money for you? Sorry I'm not in five figures yet. I am such a failure.
He sent me a follow-up e-mail 10 minutes later.
I don't gamble so I don't care. I follow people's sites, like your's, to compare each week and to see if they know what they are talking about (You've been doing the worst if your wondering, but you are too cocky for being this bad so that makes it even worse). You've been awful since week 13 of last year...nice pick of the month btw...
This guy's sitting on a goldmine. I was up $3,200 going into last weekend, yet I'm doing worse than all of the sites he's following? The question then becomes, why isn't he gambling? Is he lying about the other sites, or is his mom's credit card not being accepted on Bodog? And no, he did not congratulate me on my September NFL Pick of the Month - probably because all of his other precious Web sites hit their big plays as well.
PHILADELPHIA OFFENSE: Kevin Kolb needs to be the starter going forward. Ignoring the fact that QB Dog Killer is a deranged psychopath who belongs in a mental hospital, Kolb has been just as good as Andy Reid's dog-meat provider against better defenses. We've seen Ryan Fitzpatrick and Kerry Collins shred Jacksonville's defense, yet Kolb was really awesome versus the 49ers and Falcons. He's the hot hand, and Big Red must continue to ride him.
Based on the Monday night matchup, the Titans appear to provide a tough challenge for Kolb, but the Jaguars really made Tennessee's secondary look a lot better than it really is. Prior to the Jacksonville game, the Titans had surrendered 1,133 passing yards in their previous three contests. Kolb should continue to play well, even without DeSean Jackson.
Tennessee is pretty stout against the run, so Kolb will have to do things on his own. However, it's not like Reid likes to keep the ball on the ground anyway.
TENNESSEE OFFENSE: The Eagles were pretty poor against the rush earlier in the year, but they've really done a great job shoring up that aspect of their defense. They've limited the 49ers (Frank Gore) and Falcons (Michael Turner) to just 120 rushing yards on 37 carries the past two weeks.
Keeping Tennesse's ground game in check is a different animal though because Vince Young is a running threat himself. Young suffered a knee sprain on Monday night, but is expected to play.
Like the Jaguars, the Eagles may have to commit extra players to the line of scrimmage, which would open things up for Young aerially. However, Philadelphia is seventh against the pass, so they'll have more success against the Titans offense than Jacksonville did.
RECAP: The Eagles appear to have the better team, but this seems like an Andy Reid stink bomb. Reid has never fared well before the bye or against AFC opponents. Jeff Fisher, meanwhile, dominates non-conference foes with an incredible 21-6 spread record versus the NFC.
I also like the fact that the Titans are coming off a blowout win on Monday night. Teams in that situation have covered at a 62-percent clip in the past decade.
SPREAD POSTED: The line is what I expected it to be. I'm still on the Titans for two units.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No psychological edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: None.
Percentage of money on Philadelphia: 51% (131,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Titans.
Monday Night Magic: Teams coming off wins of 17+ on MNF are 34-21 ATS since 1999.
Eagles are 13-20 ATS vs. AFC opponents since 2001.
Eagles are 4-7 ATS going into a bye under Andy Reid.
Titans are 18-5 ATS in non-conference home games.
Vince Young is 30-14 as a starter (28-16 ATS). ???
Jacksonville Jaguars (3-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (3-2) Line: Chiefs by 9.5. Total: 37.5. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 6): Chiefs -6.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 6): Chiefs -7.5.
Sunday, Oct. 24, 1:00 ET
The Game. Edge: Chiefs.
Some random NFL notes I can't put anywhere else:
1. If you were fortunate enough to miss it, I had the Texans -4.5 as my October NFL Pick of the Month last week. I blamed the loss on their lack of intensity and Kansas City's surprising energy level in the wake of their emotional loss to Indianapolis the Sunday before.
Perhaps it was something else. At the very end of the contest, Gus Johnson's color commentator (I forget who it was) stated the following:
"Houston's greatest fear regarding Matt Cassel is his ability to throw a 65-yard bomb."
Umm... what? Is that why the Texans allowed all of those short checkdowns and long runs - because they feared Cassel's ability to hit someone on a 65-yard bomb? If so, Houston should fire whomever they have scouting other teams.
2. In my Week 6 NFL Game Recaps, I wrote, "I live right outside of Philadelphia, so I'm really interested in hearing what people have to say about the [Eagles] quarterbacking situation now."
That night, I was listening to 610 WIP (local sports-talk radio) when someone called up and suggested:
"The NFL's gonna have an 18-game schedule soon, so it will be like baseball where you have a No. 1 QB play Week 1, a No. 2 QB play Week 2, maybe a No. 3 QB play Week 3..."
I'd cite the rest of his call, but I slipped into a coma.
3. The Falcons lost this week, but had they won, they would have achieved their longest winning streak since 1998 - the days of Chris Chandler, Jamal Anderson and Ray Buchanan.
Ah, memories. I loved 1998. Back then, I was a pimply faced chubby loser who played video games with a stuttering friend, invited people to boring slumber parties and stalked Erin Andrews. Oh wait, I got confused between my old self and Eric Mangini. My bad.
JACKSONVILLE OFFENSE: I really hate this Jacksonville team. Jack Del Rio is a lazy coach who can't get his team fired up, and does stupid things like call timeout down 20 with two minutes left (more on this later). David Garrard, meanwhile, is a fat, lethargic wuss who can't take a hit. Garrard was knocked out of the game with what the team called a "concussion," even though he was laughing and smiling on the bench despite the fact that his team was getting blown out.
It's unclear as to whether Garrard or Trentative Edwards (thanks, Leelee) will start this contest - and I don't think it matters because they both stink. The Chiefs aren't very good against the pass - they've allowed 229 passing yards to every quarterback they've faced this year, including Alex Smith and Seneca Wallace - so there would be some hope for the Jaguars if their quarterbacks were remotely trustworthy.
The Chiefs are a decent 13th against the run. Maurice Jones-Drew, who is frustrating his fantasy owners this year by not getting into the end zone, will be limited once again.
KANSAS CITY OFFENSE: The Jaguars have no heart, so I suspect that the Chiefs will be able to run all over them. Kansas City's offensive line is doing a great job of pushing the opposition around, and creating running lanes for Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones. Despite what you saw from the Jaguars early on against Chris Johnson, they're just 23rd against the rush.
Jacksonville's secondary is a joke. I'd normally doubt that someone as inept as Matt Cassel could take advantage of it, but Kerry Collins looked like a Pro Bowler throwing against that defensive backfield on Monday night.
RECAP: There is no line on this game, but I'm going to assume that it's around -7 no matter who the quarterback is.
All of my numbers in my betting guideline say that the Jaguars are the right side. The Chiefs, who aren't very good overall, shouldn't be favored by six or more. Kansas City is also coming off the aforementioned situation where teams struggle as home favorites after dropping two in a row on the road. And I can't see the Chiefs bringing lots of emotion to a third consecutive game after two heart-breaking defeats.
I'm taking the Jaguars, but for only one unit. I can't advise anyone to lay lots of money with this lazy and stupid team. Jacksonville overall is just 11-27 against the spread since Week 1, 2008. That's pathetic, and it just shows that they don't give a damn about any of their games unless they're playing the Colts.
The Psychology. Edge: Jaguars.
How many heart-breaking losses can the Chiefs handle before they collapse? The Jaguars are playing like crap though.
The Vegas. Edge: Jaguars.
No one wants any part of the Jaguars after watching them on Monday night.
Percentage of money on Kansas City: 78% (127,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: None.
Monday Night Misery: Teams coming off losses of 17+ on MNF are 15-31 ATS since 1999.
Jaguars are 6-18 ATS against non-divisional opponents since 2008.
Chiefs are 19-10 ATS in October since 2002.
Chiefs are 8-17 ATS at home since 2007 (2-0 in 2010).
Pittsburgh Steelers (4-1) at Miami Dolphins (3-2) Line: Steelers by 3. Total: 41. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 6): Steelers -3.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 6): Steelers -3.
Sunday, Oct. 24, 1:00 ET
The Game. Edge: Steelers.
Some college football notes I can't put anywhere else:
1. I was really disappointed on Saturday. Illinois' quarterback has a cool last name. It sounds like "Shield House." Unfortunately, I learned that it's spelled Scheelhaase. What the hell is that? If your name is Scheelhaase, how do you not change it to Shield House? In fact, I may name my son Shield House. Yes, Shield House Cherepinsky.
2. My thoughts on the BCS? Blaaahhhhhh. So, let me get this straight: Oklahoma, the same team that beat Air Force and Cincinnati by 3 and 2 points, respectively, is the best team in the country? How does that work?
These early rankings don't really matter because Oklahoma, Oregon, Michigan State, etc. are going to lose one game in all likelihood. What would really piss me off is if a one-loss Alabama leapfrogs Boise State or TCU. If that happens, I vow never to watch a single college football game ever again. I've always joked about this, but this time I'm serial. Super serial.
If something like that would happen, it would just prove that the entire sport is a complete sham. Honestly, if a one-loss team is allowed to play in the championship over a pair of undefeateds, what's the point in Boise State and TCU actually playing games? The NCAA would look some much more foolish than it already does.
3. A baseball note - I love Ernie Johnson on TNT's Inside the NBA, but I think he's an absolutely awful baseball play-by-play announcer. I can't understand why, but Johnson talks like he's constipated and needs to take a massive dump.
PITTSBURGH OFFENSE: The rust was there for Ben Roethlisberger. He made some great plays last week and allowed the Steelers to be more aggressive on offense, but he also made a few poor throws, including a horrible interception to Joe Haden that set up a Browns field goal.
Roethlisberger has a tougher test this Sunday. Miami's secondary is a lot better than Cleveland's. Not that the Dolphins are great in the defensive backfield or anything; statistically they're mediocre, but that's a lot better than the Browns, are 29th against the pass.
Big Ben's major challenge will be avoiding a Miami pass rush that has eight sacks in its last two games. Cameron Wake has really established himself as a dominant rush linebacker, and as you may know, Pittsburgh's offensive line isn't the greatest front in the NFL.
The Steelers should be able to take some pressure off Roethlisberger by establishing Rashard Mendenhall on the ground. Miami ranks 17th against the run; prior to playing Green Bay, the Dolphins had allowed at least 106 rushing yards to three consecutive opponents.
MIAMI OFFENSE: This won't be the first time Chad Henne will be going up against a Dick LeBeau defense. In Week 17 last year, Henne was an economical 16-of-20 for 140 yards, one touchdown and an interception versus Pittsburgh. Of course, the Steelers didn't have Troy Polamalu or Aaron Smith, but then again, Henne didn't have Brandon Marshall as a downfield threat.
Based on the betting action, everyone seemingly expects the Steelers' defense to dominate Miami's offense. If you agree with that, keep in mind that Colt McCoy, making his first start, threw for 281 yards on 23-of-33 passing on Sunday.
Unlike last week, the Dolphins won't be able to run the ball. Pittsburgh's is first against the rush.
RECAP: Everyone and their evil stepmother is betting on the Steelers. Sure, all Pittsburgh has to do is win by three over this "meh" Miami team. Easy money!
I wouldn't be so confident. In fact, consider this - the Steelers have been three-point road favorites six times under Mike Tomlin. They're just 2-4 against the spread in those contests. That's not a great trend or anything because of its small sample size, but it just goes to show that just because Pittsburgh is a short favorite doesn't mean that they're going to cover.
Here's a better stat: Pittsburgh is only 5-11 against the spread as a road favorite with Tomlin patrolling the sidelines. And who could forget about the great Big Al Trend (see below)?
The main reason why I really like Miami is because the Steelers are in a major look-ahead situation. Following this game against the "mediocre" Dolphins, they have the Saints, rival Bengals and Patriots on the slate. I can't imagine that they'll be completely focused for Miami.
The Psychology. Edge: Dolphins.
Major breather alert for the Steelers. After this game against the "mediocre" Dolphins, they have the Saints, Bengals (beat them twice last year) and Patriots.
The Vegas. Edge: Dolphins.
Everyone is on the Steelers bandwagon.
Percentage of money on Pittsburgh: 86% (175,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Dolphins.
Big Al Trend I: Since 1980, unrested home dogs are 114-71 ATS off a straight-up road win vs. team coming off home win.
Steelers are 27-12 ATS in October since 2000.
Steelers are 23-9 ATS on the road off a home division win the previous 31 instances.
Ben Roethlisberger is 70-28 as a starter (53-42 ATS).
Steelers are 5-11 ATS as road favorites under Mike Tomlin.
Cleveland Browns (1-5) at New Orleans Saints (4-2) Line: Saints by 13. Total: 43.5. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 6): Saints -12.5.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 6): Saints -13.
Sunday, Oct. 24, 1:00 ET
The Game. Edge: Saints.
My e-mail address is published on this site, so I tend to get more spam and junk mail than the average person. Each week, I'm going to find a hilarious e-mail and post it for your entertainment. Here is this week's edition:
pls my name is minu engail 25yr old hity in london i wish to comimunicate with u hop u are
fine but" how aver i wish to be ur closer friend dont thinks of saying nav
er"looks around nd smail cause we hv found each other, waiting to heir from
you in my private box (firstname.lastname@example.org) ur friends missengail
minu ur friend
Ladies and gentlemen, give a hand for the most illiterate human being alive! I never thought it would be possible, but we found someone who can make Emmitt Smith sound like William Shakespeare.
CLEVELAND OFFENSE: I was really impressed with Colt McCoy last week. He stood in the pocket amid a fierce pass rush, and did more than just dump off passes to Peyton Hillis. It's only one game and I need to see a lot more, but the McCoy era looks promising in Cleveland.
It only gets easier for McCoy. After battling Pittsburgh, everything else should seem like a breeze, although playing in the Superdome can be hectic for any quarterback. And the Saints are a solid 11th against the pass.
New Orleans is also eighth against the rush, though that ranking is a tad misleading. The Saints have allowed at least four yards per carry to three opponents this year, and the Browns with the awesome Peyton Hillis could easily be the fourth.
NEW ORLEANS OFFENSE: Despite their blowout victory over Tampa Bay, the Saints are still having major problems in the red zone. They reached the red area three times last week (excluding a late visit at the end of the game), and they just mustered one touchdown and a field goal.
However, like last week, New Orleans could easily hit a few long bombs to put the game out of hand. The Browns are 29th against the pass, allowing 8.1 yards per attempt.
The difference though between the Tampa and Cleveland contests will be the Saints' ability to establish the run. The Buccaneers are 31st against ground attacks, while the Browns are a solid 18th. Rashard Mendenhall ran for 84 yards and a touchdown on Sunday, but it took him 27 carries to get there.
RECAP: I really like the Browns getting close to two touchdowns. They've been really competitive this year, and the Saints historically (and surprisingly) have really struggled as double-digit favorites. Under Sean Payton, they're a shocking 2-8 against the spread laying 10 or more.
The Psychology. Edge: Browns.
The Saints have the Steelers next week, but it's the only tough game they have in the next three weeks.
The Vegas. Edge: Browns.
The public is leaning on the Saints, but some people are betting on the Browns after they well in Pittsburgh.
Percentage of money on New Orleans: 65% (155,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Browns.
Eric Mangini is 6-1 ATS in his second consecutive road game.
Saints are 28-46 ATS at home since 2001 (11-10 since 2008).
Saints are 21-35 ATS as a home favorite since 2001.
Saints are 2-8 ATS as double-digit favorites under Sean Payton.
St. Louis Rams (3-3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-2) Line: Buccaneers by 3. Total: 38.5. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 6): Buccaneers -4.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 6): Buccaneers -3.
Sunday, Oct. 24, 1:00 ET
The Game. Edge: Rams.
In addition to an E-mail of the Week, I'm also going to post a Video of the Week. You know how most American athletes are boring with their scripted answers to questions in press conferences? Well, I wish they could all be like this guy in the best post-game interview I have ever seen. Seriously, David Stern would have a heart attack if one of his players said all of this.
If you're sensitive to swear words, I strongly suggest that you avoid clicking on that link (don't worry about vulgar sounds; it's all subtitles.) Thanks to Facebook friend Matt M. for sending this over to me.
ST. LOUIS OFFENSE: Sam Bradford continues to amaze. As if turning Mark Clayton into a fantasy stud wasn't impressive enough, Bradford really clicked last week with undrafted free agent Danario Alexander. Alexander is actually really physically gifted, but wasn't selected in the 2010 NFL Draft because of major knee issues. But as long as Alexander's healthy, he and Bradford should be able to post solid numbers.
Especially this week. The Buccaneers really miss stud safety Tanard Jackson. They're now 23rd against the pass and will continue to see that ranking drop. I really expect Bradford to have a big game.
Of course, Bradford may not have to do much because Tampa is dead last against the run. The Buccaneers made Chris Ivory look like the second coming of Deuce McAllister last week, so Steven Jackson could have the breakout performance his fantasy owners have been waiting for.
TAMPA BAY OFFENSE: The Buccaneers, conversely, can't run the football no matter whom they're going up against. Cadillac Williams is essentially a corpse, and I just don't understand why Raheem Morris isn't using LeGarrette Blount.
Josh Freeman will have to do all the work against the Rams. I don't like his chances. He's been pretty impressive this year, and Mike Williams is really coming on as a legitimate No. 1 receiver in this league, but the Rams' pass rush is deadly. They totaled seven sacks last week, and Freeman is definitely not protected well enough.
Even if Freeman gets time, St. Louis is a solid 12th against the pass, thanks to the emergence of Chris Long, who has been unblockable this season.
RECAP: Most bettors are on the Buccaneers, citing St. Louis' struggles on the road. The Rams were blown out at Detroit, after all.
I don't buy into that. I believe St. Louis suffered such a huge loss because Mark Clayton was carted off on a stretcher in the first quarter. Not only did this ruin the team's game plan; it also deflated all of the players because they saw one of their own go down for the year.
I actually think the Rams could win this matchup rather easily. The Buccaneers aren't good at home (Morris is 1-9 against the spread as a host) and are coming off a very emotional loss to the Saints in what they believed to be their most important game since December 2008.
The Psychology. Edge: Rams.
The Buccaneers just lost their biggest game since December 2008. They'll have trouble getting up for the Rams.
The Vegas. Edge: Rams.
This surprises me. I thought more people would be on the Rams.
Percentage of money on Tampa Bay: 60% (124,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Rams.
Rams are 24-41 ATS in road games since 2001 (5-5 since 2009).
Rams are 15-27 ATS on grass since 2001.
Buccaneers are 1-9 ATS at home under Raheem Morris.
San Francisco 49ers (1-5) at Carolina Panthers (0-5) Line: 49ers by 3. Total: 35.5. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 6): 49ers -2.5.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 6): 49ers -2.5.
Sunday, Oct. 24, 1:00 ET
The Game. Edge: 49ers.
Once again, I'm now in the same fantasy football league as Bo-Bo. If you don't know who Bo-Bo is, he's quite possibly the worst fantasy player in the history of the universe. Here was the team he drafted last year:
QB: Trent Edwards (6th-round pick); RB1: Michael Turner; RB2: Frank Gore; WR1: Terrell Owens; WR2: Kevin Curtis; WR3: Joey Galloway; TE: Chris Cooley; DEF: Minnesota; K: David Akers (12th-round pick).
You know that "meaningless" Chris Johnson 35-yard touchdown at the end of the Monday night game? Well, that cost my team its perfect record in Bo-Bo's league. I lost by one stinking point because of that touchdown! I'm still in first place at 5-1, but that doesn't mean that I'm not pissed off.
Fortunately, our 0-13 dream season for Bo-Bo is still alive! Bo-Bo went down in flames yet again. With four teams totaling 100-plus points this week in our league, check out how miserable Bo-Bo's fantasy outing was:
SAN FRANCISCO OFFENSE: Unlike Bo-Bo, the 49ers finally got into the win column last week. But it really was in spite of Alex Smith. Smith was terrible; he began the game 2-of-11, and continuously missed wide-open receivers downfield with Oakland's safeties blowing assignments all afternoon.
The Panthers will offer Smith similar opportunities. They're third against the pass, but that's only because three of the quarterbacks they've played are Todd (Tom) Collins, Carson Palmer and Josh Freeman, who was coming off a broken thumb at the time. Carolina offers zero pass rush (seven sacks in five games), so Smith won't have any sort of excuse for sucking this week.
The 49ers will have to establish Frank Gore to keep Smith from screwing up yet again. Fortunately for them, the Panthers have allowed at least 112 rushing yards to four opponents this season, including 209 to Chicago in Week 5.
CAROLINA OFFENSE: "Carolina offense" is an oxymoron this year. The quarterbacks have sucked. There is no running game to speak of because Jeff Otah has been out. Steve Smith is still hurt. The offensive line can't pass protect. And in Week 5, the Panthers became the first team since the expansion 1999 Browns to start a rookie quarterback and two rookie receivers in the same contest.
That won't be the case this Sunday because John Fox has selfishly gone back to Matt Moore in an attempt to pad his win total for his free agency at the end of the year. I don't think it'll matter. Moore has more experience than Jimmy Clausen at this point, but he's an interception machine. And it's not like he has anyone to throw to or a running game to lean on.
In short, I can't figure out how Carolina is going to score in this matchup.
RECAP: The Panthers are a mess and have a legitimate chance to go 0-16. San Francisco should be able to win its second game of the year.
If you're concerned about taking the 49ers in an East Coast game at 1 p.m., don't worry. Mike Singletary is a perfect 3-0 against the spread in such contests.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No psychological edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: Panthers.
The Panthers are unbettable right now unless they're big underdogs.
Percentage of money on San Francisco: 74% (142,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: 49ers.
Mike Singeltary is 3-0 ATS in East Coast 1 p.m. games.
BALTIMORE OFFENSE: The Ravens need to trust Joe Flacco more. Flacco played a great game at New England, but Baltimore's coaching staff became too conservative with a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter.
This will be a great opportunity for John Harbaugh and Cam Cameron to let Flacco air the ball out. The Bills are pathetic all around, ranking 27th against the pass even though they've gone up against some middle-level and pedestrian quarterbacks like Chad Henne, Mark Sanchez and David Garrard.
Keeping it on the ground will obviously work for Baltimore as well; the Bills are also 27th versus the run.
BUFFALO OFFENSE: Ryan Fitzpatrick will never be a legitimate starter in the NFL, but he can do enough things to keep teams in games. He'll take shots downfield and scramble around. Of course, he'll have to do a lot of the latter against the Ravens.
The Ravens have surrendered 100 rushing yards or more only once this season. Not like the Bills would do something crazy like use their No. 9 overall pick anyway.
So with that in mind, Fitzpatrick will tasked to move the chains aerially. The Ravens are fifth versus the pass and just sacked Tom Brady thrice. Good luck, Ryan.
RECAP: This is a tough game to call.
On one hand, the Ravens seem really appealing because the prolific Hello, Goodbye trend applies. Favorites of 6.5 points or more heading into their bye cover at an amazing rate (see below).
On the other hand, double-digit favorites coming off a loss are just 33-61 against the spread since 2002. Teams not playing well (i.e. coming off a defeat) just don't deserve to be laying 10 or more.
This is actually the same situation as a Week 3 Minnesota-Detroit contest. The Vikings played into the Hello, Goodbye trend, but just lost to the Dolphins the previous Sunday. Minnesota covered against the Lions, but barely - Shaun Hill had two opportunities to throw a backdoor touchdown, but tossed a pair of interceptions into the end zone late in the game.
I'm taking the Ravens, but for zero units.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No psychological edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: Bills.
I can't imagine too many people betting on the Bills.
Percentage of money on Baltimore: 77% (151,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Ravens.
Hello, Goodbye: Favorites of -6.5 or more are 35-9 ATS going into their bye since 2002.
Ravens are 9-3 ATS vs. teams with losing records under John Harbaugh.
Week 7 NFL Picks - Late Games Cardinals at Seahawks, Patriots at Chargers, Raiders at Broncos, Vikings at Packers, Giants at Cowboys
Prop/Teaser/Parlay Picks A list of some of my favorite team/player prop picks this week (Offense & defensive ROY picks to be counted
whenver winners are announced.) Picks carried over on a week-to-week basis will be in black.
Note: For legality purposes, this Web site does not promote or advocate gambling. This is solely for entertainment purposes only.
Last Week's NFL Picks Against The Spread (Preseason, 2017): 2-3 (+$50)
Last Week's 2-3 Unit NFL Picks (Week 21, 2016): 1-1 (-$130)
Last Week's 4-5 Unit NFL Picks (Week 21, 2016): 0-0 ($0)
Last Week Over-Under (Week 21, 2016): 0-0 ($0)
Last Week's Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks (Week 21, 2016): $0
2017 NFL Picks of the Month: 1-0, 100% (+$400)
2017 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 0-0, 0% ($0) 2017 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 0-0, 0% ($0) 2017 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 0-0, 0% ($0) 2017 Season Over-Under: 0-0, 0% ($0) 2017 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: $0
1999 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 27-41-3 (39.7%) 2000 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 128-123-8 (51.0%) 2001 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 127-122-7 (51.0%) 2002 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 123-136-7 (47.5%) 2003 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 146-126-8 (53.7%) 2004 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 157-123-8 (56.1%) 2005 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 156-126-11 (55.3%) 2006 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 151-135-9 (52.8%) 2007 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 162-135-10, 54.5% (+$2,550) 2008 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 148-140-7, 51.4% (+$2,620) 2009 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 151-124-9, 54.9% (+$3,370) 2010 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 144-131-8, 52.4% (+$6,080) 2011 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 137-133-12, 50.7% (-$1,925) 2012 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 130-145-8, 47.3% (-$5,760) 2013 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 144-131-8, 52.4% (+$5,580) 2014 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 143-133-7, 51.8% (-$1,885) 2015 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 134-138-12, 49.3% (-$2,360) 2016 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 148-127-10, 53.8% (+$1,055)
2002 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 41-49-2 (45.6%) 2003 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 52-51-2 (50.5%) 2004 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 65-44-3 (59.6%) 2005 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 77-61-1 (55.8%) 2006 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 65-61-4 (51.6%) 2007 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 83-59-5, 58.5% (+$4,110) 2008 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 44-57-3, 43.6% (-$3,510) 2009 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 49-35-3, 58.3% (+$2,260) 2010 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 51-38-4, 57.3% (+$3,180) 2011 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 44-51-3, 46.3% (-$2,715) 2012 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 45-50-2, 47.4% (-$2,130) 2013 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 38-42, 47.5% (-$2,890) 2015 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 47-44-1, 51.6% (-$820) 2016 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 42-35-3, 54.5% (+$475)
2002 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 11-12 (47.8%) 2003 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 16-13-1 (55.2%) 2004 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 18-11 (62.1%) 2005 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 25-22-1 (53.2%) 2006 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 21-29-1 (42.0%) 2007 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 35-30-2, 53.8% (+$420) 2008 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 39-26-2, 60.0% (+$4,055) 2009 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 29-26, 52.7% (+$330) 2010 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 32-22, 59.3% (+$4,790) 2011 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 14-14, 50.0% (-$1,260) 2012 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 14-21, 40.0% (-$3,650) 2013 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 17-9-3, 65.4% (+$2,970) 2015 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 17-16-2, 51.5% (-$1,120) 2016 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 21-22-5, 48.8% (-$1,465)
2001 Season Over-Under: 3-2 (60.0%) 2002 Season Over-Under: 121-91-3 (57.1%) 2003 Season Over-Under: 126-132-2 (48.8%) 2004 Season Over-Under: 139-124-4 (52.9%) 2005 Season Over-Under: 117-145-4 (44.7%) 2006 Season Over-Under: 129-132-5 (49.4%) 2007 Season Over-Under: 136-145-3, 48.4% (-$1,900) 2008 Season Over-Under: 137-125-6, 52.3% (+$860) 2009 Season Over-Under: 128-135-4, 48.7% (-$3,195) 2010 Season Over-Under: 128-135-5, 48.7% (-$5) 2011 Season Over-Under: 131-131-5, 50.0% (+$135) 2012 Season Over-Under: 125-121-5, 50.8% (+$30) 2013 Season Over-Under: 132-130-5, 50.4% (-$340) 2015 Season Over-Under: 143-119-5, 54.6% ($0) 2016 Season Over-Under: 123-141-1, 46.6% (+$95)
2007 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,035 2008 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,775 2009 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$865 2010 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$200 2011 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$590 2012 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$1,685 2013 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$2,245 2015 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$855 2016 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$275
2006 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3 (50%) 2007 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3, 50.0% (-$400) 2008 NFL Picks of the Month: 6-1, 85.7% (+$3,720) 2009 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$640) 2010 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-4, 33.3% (-$1,810) 2011 NFL Picks of the Month: 5-2, 71.4% (+$1,870) 2012 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$560) 2013 NFL Picks of the Month: 6-0, 100% (+$3,900) 2014 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-4, 33.3% (-$1,350) 2015 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3, 50.0% (-$100) 2016 NFL Picks of the Month: 5-1, 83.3% (+$2,780)
Career NFL Picks Against The Spread: 2,439-2,243-141, 52.1% (+$9,115) Career 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 785-703-37 (52.8%) Career 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 329-292-18 (53.0%) Career Over-Under: 1,945-1,903-54 (50.4%) Career Second-Half NFL Picks: 22-15-1 (61.1%) Career NFL Picks of the Month: 36-22 (62.1%)
My Team-by-Team ATS Record This section shows how well I do when picking each team this year. The purpose is to see how well I read each team. Pushes are not
displayed. Winning/losing streak in parentheses.