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NFL Picks Against the Spread
Week 5, 2008

NFL Picks (Week 1, 2008): 11-5 (+$1,470)
NFL Picks (Week 2, 2008): 7-7-1 (-$100)
NFL Picks (Week 3, 2008): 10-6 (+$860)
NFL Picks (Week 4, 2008): 6-7 (-$350)
If you don't quite understand the line, total or anything else, go to my Sports Betting FAQ.

Vegas betting action updated Oct. 6, 3:40 p.m. ET.

Go to Free NFL Picks - Early Games

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1) at Denver Broncos (3-1)
Line: Broncos by 3.5. Total: 46.5.

Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 4): Broncos -6.5.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 4): Broncos -5.
Sunday, 4:05 ET - Buy Tickets

The Game. Edge: Broncos.
Injuries: Buccaneers: OUT: G Davin Joseph, CB Torrie Cox (IR), CB Sammy Davis (IR). Broncos: OUT: RB Ryan Torain, C Tom Nalen (IR).

The fourth installment of the new Emmitt Smith feature will be up on FRIDAY! The year is 2013. Coming off a Week 1 victory, the Patriots get into trouble for Sypgate II. Roger Goodell orders the team to replace Bill Belichick with Emmitt. Week 2: Emmitt wins his first game against the Falcons, 11-4, despite major confusion and thanks in part to a Michael Vick arrest. Week 3: Something interesting happens to the Bengals, Emmitt screws up again and a key Patriot is lost for the year. Week 4: The Lions-Patriots contest gets moved to Detroit. Find out why, and discover who the new GM of the Lions is. Each week, I'll follow the 2013 Patriots from a newspaper reporter's perspective. Get ready for 2013: Emmitt on the Brink!

I'm shocked Vegas set the line this low. I was hoping for Denver to be a 5- or a 6-point favorite, forcing the public on to the Buccaneers, setting up a buy-low on Denver and a sell-high on Tampa Bay.

TAMPA BAY OFFENSE: There are two reasons why the Broncos lost to the Chiefs, the first being their horrendous defense. Larry Johnson rushed for 198 yards, allowing Damon Huard to convert tons of third-and-short situations. No one should be surprised that Kansas City shredded Denver's defense like that. The Broncos are 28th against the run and 29th versus the pass. They also have just six sacks on the year.

Like Johnson, Earnest Graham will rip through the Broncos' front seven. However, I'm not confident that Brian Griese can stay as efficient or error-free as Huard did last week. Griese is a much more physically gifted quarterback than Huard, but he's mentally incapable of managing a game. He's always good for two or three turnovers. Case in point: Up 20-14 in the fourth quarter, Griese tossed a pick-six to Charles Woodson to relinquish the lead. If it wasn't for Aaron Rodgers' separated shoulder, the Packers would have won the game. The fact that Mike Shanahan coached Griese and knows all of his many weaknesses can't help matters.

DENVER OFFENSE: The other reason the Broncos were "debacled" by Kansas City was a few careless turnovers by Jay Cutler. That can be taken care of. Cutler is one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL, and I'm confident he can bounce back.

Don't count on Tampa Bay's pass rush being able to rattle Cutler. Denver has surrendered just two sacks this season, which is a big reason why Cutler has been so successful this year. Brandon Marshall, Eddie Royal, Brandon Stokley and Tony Scheffler will be too much for Tampa Bay's 25th-ranked pass defense to handle.

RECAP: I feel the Broncos are underrated and the Buccaneers are vastly overrated in the media, which is why I'm confused by this 3-point spread. Does Vegas really think Tampa Bay has a great shot to win this game? If so, I have to disagree with them.

But hey, they're the experts. I'm not laying more than one unit on this game unless the action evens out.

The Psychology. Edge: None.
No psychological edge found.

The Vegas. Edge: Buccaneers.
I'm not sure why this line is so low. The public's backing the high-octane Broncos at a cheap price. This line moved off a key number of three on Saturday night, so it's OK to bet the Broncos now.
  • Percentage of money on Denver: 71% (166,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Broncos.
  • Losing Coach: Mike Shanahan is 9-4 ATS as a favorite immediately after losing as a favorite.
  • Buccaneers are 8-20 ATS on the road after a win under Jon Gruden.
  • Buccaneers are 4-10 ATS off back-to-back wins since 2003.
  • Broncos are 16-10 ATS at home when the line is -3 to +3 the previous 26 instances.
  • Broncos are 6-18 ATS as a favorite since 2006.
  • Broncos are 5-12 ATS vs. the NFC since 2003.
  • Opening Line: Broncos -3.5.
  • Opening Total: 48.
  • Weather: Possible thunderstorms, 62 degrees. Light wind.

    Week 5 NFL Pick: Broncos 30, Buccaneers 14
    Broncos -3.5 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
    Under 46.5 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Broncos 16, Buccaneers 13

    Buffalo Bills (4-0) at Arizona Cardinals (2-2)
    Line: Cardinals by 1.5. Total: 44.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 4): Bills -3.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 4): Bills -3.
    Sunday, 4:15 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Bills.
    Injuries: Bills: OUT: OLB Angelo Crowell (IR), CB Terrence McGee. Cardinals: OUT: WR Anquan Boldin*, C Scott Peters (IR).

    More quotes to be featured in the upcoming Emmitt Anthology: Volume 2. Here's a link to the original Emmitt Anthology.

    1. "They need to learn how to deal with success. They won 13 straight games last year and therefore they got the big-headed." (Commentary: So, it turns out that if you win 13 straight games, you don't get a Lombardi Trophy; you get the big-headed!)

    2. These two teams have to play the best football that they can tonight, and one must come away with a win." (Commentary: And here I thought that there could actually be a tie. But if Emmitt say one must come away with a win, then one must come away with a win!)

    3. "When it hit the ground, itís probably goin' be one of those kinda things that goes in and out. Itís goin' be more bothersome than it is goin' hurt him... than it's goin' hurt him." (Commentary: Whoa, Emmitt, save the Sex ED talks for your son; not the national TV audience.)

    This game really reminds me of my November Lions-Cardinals Pick of the Month last year. In that contest, a vastly overrated 6-2 Lions squad visited the "lowly" 3-5 Cardinals. Almost all of the action was on Detroit because Vegas set a shady line of Arizona -1. The Cardinals didn't just win the game; they dominated.

    Now, I'm not saying the Bills are overrated by any means. If I believed they were, this would be my October NFL Pick of the Month. However, I do think this is an extremely tough spot for Buffalo, as it's a West Coast game immediately following a come-from-behind road victory.

    BUFFALO OFFENSE: I also believe the Cardinals are underrated by the public. After a 2-0 start (a win at San Francisco and a thrashing of the Dolphins, who just beat the Patriots), Arizona lost a tough road game at Washington. There's a good chance the 56-35 Jets loss was an anomaly; Kurt Warner had countless, unforced turnovers.

    Meanwhile, Arizona's defense has too many talented players for them to allow six touchdowns to Brett Favre. Maybe it was the early start. Maybe it was just a bad day. Who knows?

    The Cardinals will be playing for pride here. The Bills, who struggled to establish the run in St. Louis, will have problems with the ground attack versus Arizona's 11th-ranked rush defense. Buffalo also had major problems keeping Trent Edwards off the turf. The Cardinals have a much better pass rush than the Rams.

    With Marshawn Lynch neutralized and a heavy pass rush breathing down his neck, Edwards is going to have a difficult time converting third downs. We saw it against the Raiders and the Rams - take away Edwards' ground game, and he has trouble moving the chains - at least until the fourth quarter, when he goes into beast mode.

    ARIZONA OFFENSE: How in the world did Trent Green throw for 236 yards? How did Steven Jackson rush for 110 yards? Buffalo's defense is better than that. I expect the Bills to bounce back with a better effort.

    That said, their top 15 standing against the run and the pass may not be enough to contain Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald and possibly Anquan Boldin (he says he's good to go). The Bills will need to copy the Jets and force Warner into careless turnovers. They have 10 sacks on the year, so it's not unreasonable to think they can force Warner into a few give-aways.

    RECAP: As I mentioned earlier, this is a terrible spot for the Bills against an underrated Cardinals squad. Vegas has clearly recognized that, making Arizona the favorite, which has forced tons of action on the visitor.

    I'm going with the Cardinals. If the Bills win this one, they're really moving up my NFL Power Rankings.

    FRIDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Anquan Boldin has been ruled out. This is pretty much offset by Terrence McGee's injury.

    The Psychology. Edge: Cardinals.
    Is Arizona's defense this bad? Eleven guys will be playing for pride.

    The Vegas. Edge: Cardinals.
    Why are the Cardinals favored over the 4-0 Bills? The public doesn't care; they're pounding the undefeated squad.
  • Percentage of money on Buffalo: 70% (176,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Bills.
  • Road Warrior: Dick Jauron is 3-0 ATS in his second straight road game after a win since 1996.
  • Bills are 15-9 ATS as a dog under Dick Jauron.
  • Opening Line: Pick.
  • Opening Total: 45.
  • Weather: Dome.

    Week 5 NFL Pick: Cardinals 20, Bills 16
    Cardinals -1.5 (5 Units) -- Correct; +$500
    Under 44.5 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Cardinals 41, Bills 17

    Cincinnati Bengals (0-4) at Dallas Cowboys (3-1)
    Line: Cowboys by 16. Total: 44.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 4): Cowboys -13.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 4): Cowboys -13 (Palmer). Cowboys -17 (Fitzpatrick).
    Sunday, 4:15 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Cowboys.
    Injuries: Bengals: OUT: RB Kenny Irons (IR). Cowboys: OUT: G Kyle Kosier, S Roy Williams.

    I think Keith Olbermann said it best: "Jerry Jones was so upset with the loss to the Redskins that he nearly made a facial expression." I wouldn't be surprised if Jones needs another face lift after seeing his coaching staff botch that game. Seriously, Marion Barber - eight carries? Felix Jones - no touches? Actually, forget the face lift. Jones needs a new face entirely. Some unlucky Cowboys fan will have to be a sacrificial lamb.

    DALLAS OFFENSE: I think it's safe to say we'll see more of Barber and Jones this Sunday, though I find it a bit ironic that they'll get more touches against the Bengals, who are much better against the run (16th) than the Redskins are (27th).

    But whatever. It won't matter because Tony Romo will have all the time in the world to locate his Pro Bowl receivers no matter what situation he's in. The Bengals have a grand total of two sacks on the year. Two! That's unbelievable. Didn't this team just throw a ton of money at Antwan Odom? In the immortal words from the captain of Zero Wing, "What happen!"

    CINCINNATI OFFENSE: Odd that Vegas set a line prior to knowing for sure if Carson Palmer's going to play or not. But based on such a high spread of 17, it appears as though the books are confident Palmer's not going to suit up. I would agree with that assumption; on Wednesday, Palmer had to simulate his throws WITHOUT A FOOTBALL because it was too painful for him to do so with one. Doesn't sound too good.

    If Palmer can't go, it's going to be the quarterback abomination known as Ryan Fitzpatrick again. Fitzpatrick sucks, and the Bengals have no shot of winning with him under center. But we're not concerned about that. All Fitzpatrick needs to do is cover 17 points. Can he do that?

    Well, he's going to need a great game from Chris Perry, who couldn't even total 30 rushing yards against the pathetic Browns. The Cowboys are 21st against the rush, but Cleveland isn't much better at 19. Without the benefit of a running game, Fitzpatrick is going to be placed in tons of obvious passing downs with DeMarcus Ware and Greg Ellis breathing down his neck. Did I mention that the Bengals have already surrendered 12 sacks this season?

    RECAP: Fitzpatrick is awful, and it sickens me to do this, but I'm taking the points. Seventeen is just way too much to lay. If something goes awry for Dallas - an unlucky pick-six, a kickoff return for a touchdown, a fumble or two - it could have trouble covering such a huge number.

    Marvin Lewis is a great motivator. Like Herm Edwards, he always has his team up for the "us against the world" games. This is one of them. Remember, the Bengals kept things tight with the Giants. I know Palmer was under center, but their defense played exceptionally well in that contest.

    If Palmer is out, every member of Cincinnati's squad knows that nothing less than 110 percent is going to cut it. Meanwhile, the Cowboys could be a bit careless and relaxed once they see Fitzpatrick taking the snaps instead of Palmer.

    The Psychology. Edge: Bengals.
    Like Herm Edwards, Marvin Lewis tends to get the Bengals for these "us against the world" games.

    The Vegas. Edge: Cowboys.
    Wow! Cowboys by 17? Guess Carson Palmer's not playing. The public is loving all the points.
  • Percentage of money on Cincinnati: 61% (143,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Bengals.
  • Zero Heroes: 0-4 teams are 16-5 ATS since 2000.
  • Losing Coach: Coaches are 71-56 ATS as a favorite immediately after losing as a favorite (Wade Phillips 0-1).
  • Marvin Lewis is 3-1 ATS as a double-digit underdog.
  • Cowboys are 7-2 ATS after a loss since 2006.
  • Tony Romo is 15-6 ATS as a starter before Dec. 1.
  • Opening Line: Cowboys -17.5.
  • Opening Total: 44.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 87 degrees. Mild wind, 15 mph.

    Week 5 NFL Pick: Cowboys 34, Bengals 20
    Bengals +16 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Over 44.5 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Cowboys 31, Bengals 22

    New England Patriots (2-1) at San Francisco 49ers (2-2)
    Line: Patriots by 3. Total: 41.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 4): Patriots -6.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 4): Patriots -6.
    Sunday, 4:15 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: 49ers.
    Injuries: Patriots: OUT: QB Tom Brady (IR), OT Ryan O'Callaghan (IR), OT Oliver Ross, OT Anthony Clement (IR), G Stephen Neal, S Tank Williams (IR). 49ers: OUT: QB Alex Smith (IR), OLB Jay Moore (IR), CB Shawntae Spencer (IR).

    I already discussed in my NFL Power Rankings about how Mike Martz duped me into thinking J.T. O'Sullivan would be a reliable fantasy bye-week option against a porous secondary. If you didn't know Martz was an idiot, you should know that now. A week ago, Martz said that O'Sullivan is the best quarterback he's ever coached. Better than Marc Bulger. Better than Kurt Warner. That's very interesting. Why then, did Martz start Jon Kitna over O'Sullivan when he was in Detroit? I think I just found a flaw in Martz's argument - didn't think I could ever do that.

    SAN FRANCISCO OFFENSE: While I was busy finding a hole in Martz's statement, the Saints were abusing the five holes San Francisco has up front, better known as the 49ers' offensive line. New Orleans had four sacks entering last week's game against San Francisco. They added six to their total. What an embarrassment. Martz's pass protection schemes are a joke, and he really doesn't run the ball enough.

    New England has just six sacks on the year, but its defensive line is good enough to give San Francisco's front a headache. That said, I wouldn't be too excited if I'm a Patriots fan. The defense is way too slow to hang with Frank Gore and the 49er receivers. Don't believe me? Just look at what happened in the Dolphins game. That wasn't a fluke. New England had major problems containing Kyle Boller and A.J. Feeley last year, and that was with Asante Samuel on the roster. The Patriots linebackers are way too old, while the secondary really lacks talent. New England's stop unit is one of the league's worst.

    NEW ENGLAND OFFENSE: Despite their horrendous defense, the Patriots were able to become the first team in NFL history to win all 16 games because of their talented offense. Well, that has been nullified with Tom Brady going down. In fact, I would put New England's scoring attack on par with Kansas City's (as long as Damon Huard is under center). Randy Moss has become a non-factor; he has quit on his team because Matt Cassel can't get him the deep ball. Wes Welker remains a solid option, but how many times can you go to him in one game? Cassel really has no legitimate second target, assuming Moss continues his alligator-arm tactics.

    San Francisco's defense is a bit underrated. I know the Saints shredded their stop unit, but the defensive backfield has talent. Their rush defense is a bit worse, but it's not like New England can run the ball. Laurence Maroney and Sammy Morris are averaging 3.7 and 3.0 yards per carry, respectively.

    RECAP: Most people are shocked by this low line, and the public is definitely taking the bait. I'm not sure New England deserves to be favored here. In fact, I have the Patriots only four slots ahead of the 49ers in my NFL Power Rankings.

    Bill Belichick historically has been excellent off a bye and a loss. Then again, maybe those were Brady's numbers. I like the 49ers a lot here.

    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No psychological edge found.

    The Vegas. Edge: 49ers.
    What a surprise. The public likes New England. I'm shocked.
  • Percentage of money on New England: 85% (191,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Patriots.
  • Bye Bye: Bill Belichick is 6-3 ATS off a bye.
  • Patriots are 20-10 ATS vs. NFC opponents since 2001.
  • Patriots are 9-3 ATS after a loss since 2003.
  • Opening Line: Patriots -3.
  • Opening Total: 42.
  • Weather: Sunny, 68 degrees. Mild wind, 16 mph.

    Week 5 NFL Pick: 49ers 20, Patriots 10
    49ers +3 (5 Units) -- Incorrect; -$550
    Under 41 (.5 Units) -- Incorrect; -$55
    Patriots 30, 49ers 21

    Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1) at Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2)
    Line: Jaguars by 5.5. Total: 37.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 4): Pick.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 4): Jaguars -2.
    Sunday, 8:15 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Steelers.
    Injuries: Steelers: OUT: QB Charlie Batch, RB Willie Parker*, RB Rashard Mendenhall (IR), G Kendall Simmons (IR), NT Casey Hampton, P Daniel Sepulveda (IR). Jaguars: OUT: WR Reggie Williams, G Vince Manuwai(IR), G Maurice Williams (IR), DE James Wyche (IR).

    It's time for the Bo-Bo Fantasy Update! If you don't know what this is, check out the Worst Fantasy Football Draft Ever. The dream is over. The same people who were rooting for an 0-16 Dolphins season, prepare to be disappointed. Bo-Bo won't be going 0-14 because he won. It's true. I don't know the details because the guy who lost to him is the same person who was feeding me this information. It sucks to have bad karma on your side, I guess. Oh well. At least Bo-Bo can brag about his first victory while he has sex with 10 girls at once and negotiates a price for the Statue of Liberty.

    While Bo-Bo's season is turning around, I can't remember the last time I've seen a game completely change like Monday night's Ravens-Steelers battle. Baltimore dominated the first 40 minutes or so, and seemed on its way to win by a score of 20-6 or something. A good return, a stupid personal foul and a Joe Flacco fumble-six, and boom goes the dynamite, Pittsburgh's ahead.

    Don't think for a second the public didn't see this. Every single person who placed a bet on Steelers -5 or -6 watched their money get flushed down the toilet because of a poor performance by a banged-up Pittsburgh squad. Thus, it shouldn't shock you at all that more than four-fifths of all casual bettors out there are backing the host.

    PITTSBURGH OFFENSE: Ben Roethlisberger has been awful the past two weeks. Some may blame his injuries (a separated shoulder and an f-ed up hand). Some will fault his pedestrian blocking. I'm looking at the two defenses he played. Philadelphia and Baltimore have two of the top five toughest stop units in the league.

    Jacksonville? Not so much. The Jaguars couldn't force the Texans into a punt. They're 15th against the run and a brutal 27th versus the pass. More importantly, for Big Ben's sake, Jacksonville has only five sacks on the year. As a comparison, the Eagles have 17, while Baltimore has nine (in only three games).

    Roethlisberger won't be pressured for a change, so he'll actually have time to find Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes and Heath Miller downfield. I'm also expecting a solid game out of Mewelde Moore. Just look at what Steve Slaton did to Jacksonville last week.

    JACKSONVILLE OFFENSE: I've been commenting about this for weeks. Including the preseason, David Garrard hadn't produced a solid performance this year. That changed when he played Houston, but come on... we're talking about the Texans' brutal defense. That shouldn't even count. I want to see Garrard lead his team to victory against a great defense.

    Garrard was able to torch Houston's secondary because the Texans had eight men in the box at all times, focusing entirely on Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor. The Steelers won't need to do that; they're fifth against the run (Houston is 17th).

    Without the luxury of having eight men in the box, Garrard will find it more difficult to find Coke Free Matt Jones, Mike Walker and whomever else before he gets pressured. The Steelers, who have 15 sacks on the year, will make life difficult for Garrard, who has been sacked 10 times (as a comparison, the Texans have a grand total of three sacks on the year).

    RECAP: This is a classic case of Overrated versus Underrated. The Steelers aren't as bad as the public is making them out to be, while the Jaguars aren't nearly the same team that gave the Patriots a tough battle in the divisional round of the playoffs in January.

    Speaking of that Doggone Playoff, this is major revenge for the Steelers, who lost a home postseason game to Jacksonville in the first round.

    The Psychology. Edge: Steelers.
    Big revenge game for the Steelers, who lost to the Jaguars in the playoffs last year. The Jaguars have no reason to be unfocused.

    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    No surprise that the public is backing Jacksonville after watching the Steelers flounder for two weeks. The line is moving the right way though.
  • Percentage of money on Jacksonville: 76% (240,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Steelers.
  • Steelers are 22-8 ATS in October since 2000.
  • Steelers are 20-9 ATS on the road off a home division win the previous 29 instances.
  • Ben Roethlisberger is 47-18 as a starter (38-27 ATS).
  • Ben Roethlisberger is 7-4 ATS as a road dog.
  • Ben Roethlisberger is 10-6 ATS as an underdog.
  • Opening Line: Jaguars -4.
  • Opening Total: 36.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 73 degrees. Mild wind, 14 mph.

    Week 5 NFL Pick: Steelers 27, Jaguars 17
    Steelers +5.5 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
    Over 37 (.5 Units) -- Correct; +$50
    Steelers 26, Jaguars 21

    Minnesota Vikings (1-3) at New Orleans Saints (2-2)
    Line: Saints by 3. Total: 46.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 4): Saints -3.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 4): Saints -3.
    Monday, 8:30 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: None.
    Injuries: Vikings: OUT: G Mike Jones (IR), DE Kenechi Udeze (IR), DT Kendrick Allen (IR), S Madieu Williams, S Michael Boulware (IR). Saints: OUT: TE Jeremy Shockey, G Jamar Nesbit (SUSP), DT Sedrick Ellis, DT Hollis Thomas (IR), DT DeMario Pressley (IR), ILB Mark Simoneau (IR).

    Before I get to the final game on the slate, here's the Week 5 NFL Look-Alike Thread, featuring some former Raider coaches, including Lane Kiffin.

    I don't know what I was watching on ESPN, but I had the network on, and I noticed that they were scrolling their NFL Power Rankings across the screen on their Bottom Line. It so happened that I was thinking about what I was going to write about this game, so I was curious to see where they had the Vikings. When they finished their teens, I was convinced that I missed Minnesota, but then I saw it - "22. Vikings."

    I seriously laughed out loud. Twenty-two? Are they on crack or just LSD? The Vikings barely lost to the Colts. They kept the Green Bay game to a single score. They gave the Panthers their only loss of the year. And they were screwed by poor officiating in Tennessee. Despite its 1-3 record, Minnesota is a borderline top 10 team. I have them No. 13 in my NFL Power Rankings.

    MINNESOTA OFFENSE: Oh, and I almost forgot - Bryant McKinnie was out for the first four games of the year with a suspension. McKinnie's return will be huge for the Vikings, whose rushing attack will only become more potent. This is not good news for the Saints, who are 29th against the run. I'm expecting a huge performance out of Adrian Peterson, perhaps something in the ballpark of 175 yards.

    With Peterson gashing New Orleans' front seven at six yards a pop, Gus Frerotte will build off play-action and short-yardage situations, torching a mediocre Saints secondary. The Vikings have surrendered 10 sacks this year, but expect Frerotte to stay off the turf; McKinnie's return will help pass protection as well.

    NEW ORLEANS OFFENSE: Minnesota is renowned for its run defense and dominant defensive line. With that in mind, I don't think the Vikings match up well against New Orleans' offense. The Saints don't spend too much time running up the middle; instead, Reggie Bush takes it outside and Drew Brees takes tons of shots downfield. New Orleans can survive if it can't run between the tackles with Deuce McAllister or Pierre Thomas.

    The crux of the Vikings' defense is at the safety position. Both have been exposed on countless occasions this year, so Brees should be able to have a field day. Like Frerotte, Brees won't be knocked down much; his offensive line has allowed only four sacks this season.

    RECAP: We should have gotten solid line value with Minnesota in this situation. The Vikings are vastly underrated, as I believe they're still one of the top teams in the NFC. But because they suffered a bunch of close defeats without their Pro Bowl left tackle, this line easily could have been -6 and still produced equal action.

    But it's not. Vegas set the proper spread, but because the public is duped by ESPN, everyone is betting on the Saints like they know the score of this game.

    I'll fade the public and the Saints as a host, who seldom cover at the Louisiana Superdome.

    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No psychological edge found.

    The Vegas. Edge: Vikings.
    No surprise the Saints are getting most of the cash thrown their way, considering the Vikings are underrated at 1-3. I'll be shocked if this line moves off -3.
  • Percentage of money on New Orleans: 85% (371,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Vikings.
  • Road Warrior: Teams are 111-76 ATS in their second straight road game after a loss since 1996 (Brad Childress 1-0).
  • Saints are 19-36 ATS at home since 2001.
  • Saints are 12-26 ATS as a home favorite since 2001.
  • Opening Line: Saints -3.
  • Opening Total: 47.
  • Weather: Dome.

    Week 5 NFL Pick: Vikings 23, Saints 20
    Vikings +3 (3 Units) -- Correct; +$300
    Under 46.5 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Vikings 30, Saints 27

    Week 5 NFL Picks - Early Games
    Chiefs at Panthers, Titans at Ravens, Bears at Lions, Falcons at Packers, Colts at Texans, Chargers at Dolphins, Seahawks at Giants, Redskins at Eagles

    Printable version of Week 5 NFL Picks (MS Word)

    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.

  • Teaser: Eagles -0.5, Giants -1.5 (4 Units) -- Incorrect; -$440
  • Live Dog: Texans +155 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$200
  • Live Dog: 49ers +150 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$200
  • Live Dog: Vikings +140 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$280
  • Anti-Public Parlay: Texans +3, Dolphins +6.5, Eagles -6, Cardinals -1.5, 49ers +3, Vikings +3 (.5 Units to win 12.1) -- Incorrect; -$50

  • Odds to Win Super Bowl XLIII: Dallas +475 (1 Unit)
  • Odds to Win Super Bowl XLIII: Indianapolis +1050 (1 Unit)
  • NY Giants 9 Wins: Over +115 (3 Units)
  • Pittsburgh 9 Wins: Over +115 (3 Units)
  • Chicago 8 Wins: Under -170 (3 Units)
  • Kansas City 6 Wins: Under -110 (4 Units)
  • San Diego 10.5 Wins: Under +150 (3 Units)
  • San Francisco 6.5 Wins: Under -130 (3 Units)
  • St. Louis 6.5 Wins: Under -115 (3 Units)
  • Odds to win the 2008-2009 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award: DeSean Jackson 15/1 (1 Unit)
  • Defensive Rookie of the Year: Keith Rivers 8/1 (1 Unit)
  • Defensive Rookie of the Year: Curtis Lofton 14/1 (1 Unit)
  • How many Rushing Yards will Larry Johnson have in the 2008 Season? Under 1,275 -145 (3 Units)
  • How many Receiving Yards will Calvin Johnson have in the 2008 Season? Over 1,040 -105 (5 Units)
  • How many Receiving Touchdowns will Calvin Johnson have in the 2008 Season? Over 7 -115 (5 Units)

    2009 NFL Mock Draft

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    2009 NFL Mock Draft Database

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    Last Week Over-Under (Preseason 2014): 0-0 ($0)
    Last Week's Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks (Preseason 2014): $0

    2014 NFL Picks of the Month: 0-1, 0% (-$330)

    2013 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 144-131-8, 52.4% (+$5,580)
    2013 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 38-42, 47.5% (-$2,890)
    2013 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 17-9-3, 65.4% (+$2,970)
    2013 Season Over-Under: 132-130-5, 50.4% (-$340)
    2013 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$2,245

    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)

    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)

    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)

    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)

    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

    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)

    Career NFL Picks Against The Spread: 2,022-1,851-112, 52.2% (+$12,405)
    Career 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 649-587-31 (52.5%)
    Career 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 270-234-10 (53.6%)
    Career Over-Under: 1541-1537-46 (50.1%)
    Career Second-Half NFL Picks: 22-14-1 (61.1%)
    Career NFL Picks of the Month: 30-16 (65.2%)

    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.

    Cowboys: 9-7
    Bears: 7-7
    Bucs: 8-8
    49ers: 8-9
    Eagles: 7-10
    Lions: 11-5
    Falcons: 5-10
    Cardinals: 10-5
    Giants: 7-9
    Packers: 8-8
    Panthers: 8-9
    Rams: 7-9
    Redskins: 9-7
    Vikings: 7-9
    Saints: 13-4
    Seahawks: 9-10
    Bills: 12-4
    Bengals: 8-8
    Colts: 11-6
    Broncos: 8-11
    Dolphins: 11-5
    Browns: 3-13
    Jaguars: 7-8
    Chargers: 11-6
    Jets: 8-8
    Ravens: 9-6
    Texans: 10-5
    Chiefs: 6-11
    Patriots: 10-8
    Steelers: 6-10
    Titans: 5-7
    Raiders: 9-7
    Divisional: 51-44 (2011-12: 90-93)
    2x Game Edge: 14-22 (2011-12: 41-40)
    2x Psych Edge: 35-26 (2011-12: 57-54)
    2x Vegas Edge: 40-38 (2011-12: 89-104)
    2x Trend Edge: 24-23 (2011-12: 48-55)
    Double Edge: 9-10 (2011-12: 17-23)
    Triple Edge: 1-0 (2011-12: 1-1)
    Quad Edge: 0-0 (2011: 0-0)

    2003 Preseason: 3 | 4 | 5
    2003 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 20 | XXXVIII
    2004 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2004 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XXXIX
    2005 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2005 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XL
    2006 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2006 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLI
    2007 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2007 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLII |
    2008 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2008 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLIII |
    2009 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLIV |
    2010 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2010 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLV |
    2011 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2011 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLVI |
    2012 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2012 Season:
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    2013 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
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    Super Bowl XLVIII NFL Pick 2014 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2014 Season:
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