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Week 9 NFL Picks

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)
NFL Picks (Week 5, 2008): 8-6 (+$230)
NFL Picks (Week 6, 2008): 9-5 (+$2,260)
NFL Picks (Week 7, 2008): 4-10 (-$770)
NFL Picks (Week 8, 2008): 9-4-1 (+$1,620)
If you don't quite understand the line, total or anything else, go to my Sports Betting FAQ.

Vegas betting action updated Nov. 3, 4:55 p.m. ET.

Go to Week 9 NFL Picks - Early Games

Miami Dolphins (3-4) at Denver Broncos (4-3)
Line: Broncos by 3.5. Total: 50.5.

Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 8): Broncos -6.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 8): Broncos -5.
Sunday, 4:05 ET - Buy Tickets

The Game. Edge: Broncos.
Injuries: Dolphins: OUT: G Donald Thomas (IR), CB Michael Lehan (IR). Broncos: OUT: QB Patrick Ramsey (IR), RB Ryan Torain, OT Erik Pears, C Tom Nalen (IR), OLB Boss Bailey (IR), CB Champ Bailey.

The eighth 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. Week 5: Herm Edwards screws up in the battle of the unbeatens! Week 6: Dennis Green blows a record lead and has to be taken to the mental hospital! In Week 7, Al Davis finds proof that Emmitt and Green conspired to lose on purpose.

Now, in Week 8, Roger Goodell cancels all games for a mysterious reason. Find out what happened on Friday! Each week, I'll follow the 2013 Patriots from a newspaper reporter's perspective. Get ready for 2013: Emmitt on the Brink!

Coincidentally, Emmitt's Patriots were supposed to play the Dolphins. In reality, Miami is coming off an impressive victory over former 5-1 Buffalo, while Denver is two weeks removed from an embarrassing loss to the Patriots. So, I was expecting a spread of seven or so, where the public was backing the Dolphins. I don't understand the -3, and I don't get the high action on the Broncos, but we'll get to that later.

DENVER OFFENSE: I may not know what's going on with the spread, but I do know that Miami can't stop the pass. Well, they were able to do so against the Bills, but I'll chalk that up to Trent Edwards and company being unfocused. The Dolphins still have a horrendous secondary that will have problems containing Brandon Marshall, Eddie Royal and Tony Scheffler.

I guess you can say that this game rests on Jay Cutler's health. Cutler injured his finger on the first play of the New England blowout and had problems gripping the ball all night. But according to the Rocky Mountain News, the swelling in Cutler's finger has decreased. Cutler practiced during the bye week, and Mike Shanahan said that he'll be OK.

That's obviously great news for the Broncos. If Cutler's hurt, they have no chance against anyone. Cutler's backup, the completely inept Patrick Ramsey, is out for the year. If the third-string quarterback couldn't even beat out Ramsey, we can only imagine how terrible he is.

MIAMI OFFENSE: During Miami's victory of the Bills, Ted Ginn finally emerged as the No. 1 prospect the Dolphins thought they were getting when they drafted him last year. Ginn caught seven passes for 175 yards, completely abusing a banged-up Buffalo secondary.

Unfortunately for the Broncos, Ginn's emergence couldn't have come at a worse time. Champ Bailey tore his groin (ouch!) when his team was debacled by the Patriots, and is out for 4-6 weeks. Dre Bly, or as Terry Bradshaw drunkenly calls him, "Dry Ble," won't be able to keep up.

Oh, and don't count on the Broncos stopping the run or getting to the quarterback either. Denver is 31st against the rush and doesn't have anyone with more than three sacks. Ronnie Brown will run all over the Broncos, as he, Ricky Williams and Chad Pennington "Wildcat' the NFL's most pathetic defense to death.

RECAP: Despite their defensive woes, the Broncos are the better team. Pennington and Ginn pose a tough matchup, but Cutler, Marshall and Denver's offensive line are so much better than anything Miami has on offense.

If it weren't for this crazy line and insane public action, I'd love Denver in this matchup. Mike Shanahan typically has his team mentally prepared right after a bye. Plus, the Dolphins could have trouble at Mile High; they'll find playing there is much more difficult than South Beach.

The Psychology. Edge: None.
The Broncos will look to rebound from an ugly Monday night loss, though it's not desperation time or anything, as San Diego is busy debacling itself. The Fish are a game out of the wildcard.

The Vegas. Edge: Dolphins.
Why is this line so low? If Vegas wanted equal action, this spread would have been closer to six.
  • Percentage of money on Denver: 78% (119,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Broncos.
  • Bye Bye: Mike Shanahan is 9-3 ATS after a bye.
  • Broncos are 14-4 ATS off a bye week since 1989.
  • Broncos are 6-20 ATS as a favorite since 2006.
  • Broncos are 3-10 ATS before back-to-back road games the previous 13 instances.
  • Opening Line: Broncos -3.
  • Opening Total: 47.5.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 71 degrees. Light wind.

    Week 9 NFL Pick: Broncos 24, Dolphins 19
    Broncos -3.5 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Under 50.5 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Dolphins 26, Broncos 17

    Atlanta Falcons (4-3) at Oakland Raiders (2-5)
    Line: Falcons by 3. Total: 41.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 8): Falcons -3.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 8): Falcons -3.
    Sunday, 4:15 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Falcons.
    Injuries: Falcons: OUT: OT Sam Baker, CB Von Hutchins (IR). Raiders: OUT: FB Justin Griffith (IR), WR Drew Carter (IR), G Paul McQuistan (IR).

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

    1. "Generally, the rule of thumb is, the team that have the most turnovers will lose the game." (Commentary: And generally, the rule of thumb is that a TV analyst "have to speak grammar good." So much for that.)

    2. "These first three years was a transitional year for him." (Commentary: I just don't know anymore. I'm guessing Emmitt is talking about Hiro Nakamura, who can stop time, but I'm just not sure.)

    3. "Drew Brees... he have an extra motivation." (Commentary: Just one extra motivation? Not five? Imagine of Brees "have" five extra motivations against the Chargers... He would have debacle them for sure!)

    The entire Oakland squad should "have an extra motivation" for this game, as they were "blowed out" of the water at Baltimore last week. Can they rebound against the upstart Falcons?

    OAKLAND OFFENSE: I had four units on the Raiders last week, so I probably should have known that taking them despite the fact that they wouldn't have a running game, would be trouble. Oakland failed to establish anything on the ground. But that was against the NFL's top-ranked rush defense. Atlanta is 26th in that category, as it surrenders two more yards per carry (4.7) than Baltimore does (2.7).

    With Fargas going strong, JaMarcus Russell should have an easier time attacking a pretty solid cornerbacking tandem. Russell will need to be in short-yardage situations because the Falcons can bring the heat; they have just 12 sacks on the year, but they were in Philadelphia's backfield on almost every single play last week.

    Jamaal Anderson is becoming a powerful force on Atlanta's defensive line. If he can consistently get to the quarterback, he and John Abraham will wreak havoc every single week. The problem, for now, is that Anderson is coming off a concussion and may not be ready for this game. When Anderson left the Philadelphia contest, the Falcons had much more trouble getting to the quarterback.

    ATLANTA OFFENSE: You can't say enough positive things about Matt Ryan. Yeah, he threw two picks last week, but he was going against one of the NFL's toughest defenses on the road - a pretty tough task for a rookie.

    Aside from the two interceptions, Ryan was 23-of-44 for 277 yards despite the fact that he had no ground game. Well, Oakland is worse than Philly against both the rush and the pass - the team is 22nd against both of those - so Ryan figures to have an even better outing.

    With Turner running wild, Ryan will have all day to locate Roddy White and his other targets downfield. Atlanta's offensive line has done a remarkable job this season, limiting the opposition to nine sacks. Poor Oakland doesn't have much of a pass rush.

    RECAP: Another "too good to be true" line with tons of action going one way.

    Remember, the Jets were similar three-point favorites at Oakland two weeks ago and failed to even win straight-up. And I don't think that was a fluke.

    First of all, the media talks about how difficult it is to go from the West Coast to the East Coast, but it's also tough to do the opposite. As with the former angle, there are some coaches who thrive when doing so (like Andy Reid, 8-2 ATS) and there are others who fail miserably (Eric Mangini, 0-2 ATS). This is Mike Smith's first West Coast contest, so we'll have to see what happens.

    Second, the Raiders aren't that bad. No, seriously - don't ship me off the mental ward just yet! They've beaten the Jets, and led in the fourth quarter against San Diego and at Buffalo. It seems like they're competitive every other week, and being in the role of a home underdog against a young team making its first flight to the West Coast sounds like a great spot for them.

    And finally, Greg Knapp, Oakland's offensive coordinator, coached in Atlanta two years ago. Coaches going against their former team tend to succeed.

    People remember the last thing they see, and they can't shake a 29-10 loss to Baltimore out of their mind. Let's buy low on Oakland off a loss.

    The Psychology. Edge: Raiders.
    The Falcons, thinking playoffs last week, are now two out of the NFC South lead. Time to bring it.

    Raiders OC Greg Knapp coached the Falcons in 2003-2006.

    The Vegas. Edge: Raiders.
    People are fading the Raiders. What else is new? Despite all the action on the Falcons, some 2.5s are popping up.
  • Percentage of money on Atlanta: 71% (95,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Falcons.
  • Road Warrior: Coaches are 117-78 ATS on the road immediately following a road loss (Mike Smith 1-0).
  • Raiders are 9-24 ATS at home the previous 33 instances.
  • Opening Line: Falcons -3.
  • Opening Total: 40.5.
  • Weather: Possible showers, 57 degrees. Light wind.

    Week 9 NFL Pick: Falcons 26, Raiders 24
    Raiders +3 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Over 41.5 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Falcons 24, Raiders 0

    Dallas Cowboys (5-3) at New York Giants (6-1)
    Line: Giants by 8.5. Total: 42.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 8): Giants -9.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 8): Giants -10.
    Sunday, 4:15 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Giants.
    Injuries: Cowboys: OUT: RB Felix Jones*, WR Sam Hurd (IR), G Kyle Kosier, CB Pacman Jones (SUSP), S Roy Williams (IR), P Mat McBriar (IR). Giants: OUT: QB Anthony Wright (IR), WR David Tyree, DE Osi Umenyiora (IR), ILB Jonathan Goff (IR), K Lawrence Tynes.

    I'm trying hard to collect some Keyshawn-isms for a possible Keyshawn Johnson Anthology. It's harder to do because Keyshawn doesn't make any grammatical gaffs like Emmitt, and he doesn't yell at his co-hosts like Boomer Esiason. We need more gems like Keyshawn like these three:

    1. "I don't know, 'fine,' 'OK,' if they go together." (Commentary: Apparently, Keyshawn was out sick when his 2nd-grade teacher taught the class about synonyms. Or am I just crazy? Are "fine" and "OK" not synonyms? Damn it, I was out sick that day too!)

    2. "I played the game rough like a linebacker at the wide receiver position." (Commentary: What!? What does that mean? So do all linebackers complain and whine to the coaching staff about not getting the ball enough?)

    3. "I don't know, Boom!" - Keyshawn Johnson said when asked who the best team in the NFC South is. (Commentary: If I'm Chris Berman, I'm thinking, "Thanks, Key. Great analysis. What are we paying you for!?)

    A week ago, I would have recommended the Cowboys to look at Keyshawn as a possible solution at linebacker, given how abysmal their tackling was at St. Louis. But they saved their season by rallying against Tampa Bay. Can they do it again?

    DALLAS OFFENSE: Not if Brad Johnson has anything to say about it. I have no idea how Johnson, who is less mobile than a 10-ton statue, is going to avoid New York's pass rush. The Giants, who have 26 sacks on the year, were all over Ben Roethlisberger. I know Dallas has a much better offensive line than Pittsburgh does, so there's at least a chance that Johnson won't have to be carted off to the hospital at some point on Sunday afternoon.

    There are rumors that Brooks Bollinger may play quarterback, but it doesn't matter. Bollinger has no talent and Johnson is way too old to play in this league. Johnson was error-free against Tampa Bay, but he could have easily thrown a couple of picks in that game. Besides, he went 19-of-33 for 122 yards - giving him a disturbing YPA of 3.7. Seriously, that's senile great-grandmother territory.

    The Cowboys once again won't be able to establish the run. New York, already 10th against it, will stack the line of scrimmage and force Johnson to beat them deep. At 40 years old, Johnson is incapable of doing so.

    NEW YORK OFFENSE: The Cowboys' defense played inspirationally against the Buccaneers, leading the team to a victory despite Johnson's ineptness. They shut down Earnest Graham, holding the super-duper talented running back to less than three yards per carry.

    However, playing New York is a different story. Unlike Jeff Garcia, Eli Manning can go deep. And unlike the Buccaneers, the Giants have actual talent at the wide receiver position. Holding New York to single digits will be a much more difficult feat.

    RECAP: All signs point to a blowout. But to quote Berman again, "That's why we play the games!"

    I like the Cowboys in this contest because this is a poor spot for the Giants. New York is coming off a tough, physical victory on the road at Pittsburgh. How in the world are they supposed to play with as much intensity as a huge favorite against Brad stinkin' Johnson? The Giants have to be laughing at how futile Dallas looks right now.

    While New York is sitting pretty at 6-1, the Cowboys could be in last place in the NFC East if they lose and the Eagles beat the Seahawks. They need this game much more than the Giants do.

    The Giants typically don't play well as a large favorite. Remember, they were flat against Cincinnati and Cleveland. They almost lost to the Bengals and were debacled by the Browns. I could see a lazy New York team winning this contest by less than a touchdown.

    The Psychology. Edge: Cowboys.
    How focused will the Giants be for this game? The Cowboys don't pose much of a challenge with Brad Johnson at quarterback. This game undoubtedly means more to Dallas.

    The Vegas. Edge: Cowboys.
    Action on the Giants, but the line is moving up to compensate.
  • Percentage of money on New York: 65% (155,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Cowboys.
  • History: Cowboys have won 3 of the last 4 meetings.
  • Hello, Good Bye II: Underdogs of 6.5 or more are 19-13 ATS going into their bye.
  • Giants are 10-16 ATS as favorites of 6.5 or more the previous 26 instances.
  • Opening Line: Giants -7.
  • Opening Total: 41.
  • Weather: Sunny, 43 degrees. Light wind.

    Week 9 NFL Pick: Giants 17, Cowboys 13
    Cowboys +8.5 (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
    Under 42 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Giants 35, Cowboys 14

    Philadelphia Eagles (4-3) at Seattle Seahawks (2-5)
    Line: Eagles by 6.5. Total: 43.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 8): Eagles -7.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 8): Eagles -7.
    Sunday, 4:15 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Eagles.
    Injuries: Eagles: OUT: G Shawn Andrews, CB Jack Ikegwuonu (IR). Seahawks: OUT: WR Deion Branch*, WR Nate Burleson (IR), WR Ben Obomanu (IR), WR Logan Payne (IR), G Rob Sims (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 good news for Bo-Bo is that his opponent started J.T. O'Sullivan, San Francisco's defense and an injured Jason Witten, all of whom combined for minus-1 point. The bad news is that Bo-Bo still lost by 14, scoring a mere 48 points - the lowest total the league has seen in weeks. Poor Bo-Bo, now 2-6, started Brad Johnson, Le'Ron McClain, Derrick Ward and Marcedes Lewis. Ouch. Well, the pain won't be as bad for Bo-Bo, as he's currently having sex with 10,000 girls at once and buying the ancient pyramids in Egypt.

    If only Bo-Bo had an easy victory like the Seahawks did last week. If I haven't made it clear yet, YOU DON'T FIRE A COACH SIX DAYS BEFORE A GAME! The 49ers were so discombobulated, no one on the coaching staff really had any idea of what was going on. Seattle took advantage of this, debacling its divisional rival en route to a 21-point victory.

    PHILADELPHIA OFFENSE: While Seneca Wallace played well - and I'll get to that later - the Seahawks were able to win because of J.T. O'Sullivan's countless errors, which set them up with great field position. Call me crazy, but I don't think Donovan McNabb is going to make the same mistakes, especially with an incredible player like Brian Westbrook by his side.

    The Seahawks are 14th against the run, but Westbrook is such a dual threat in and out of the backfield, that Seattle will have to focus on him and pay less attention to DeSean Jackson and Kevin Curtis. The two wideouts combined for 117 receiving yards against the Falcons last week.

    While Seattle is solid versus the rush, its secondary has emerged as one of the league's worst. The Seahawks have major problems at both corner and safety, which would explain why they're 27th versus the pass. Donovan McNabb, who will have ample time to throw, will dissect Seattle's defensive backfield to exact precision.

    SEATTLE OFFENSE: In last week's write-up, I discussed that Wallace wasn't really as bad as he looked against the Buccaneers. That's part of the reason I was successful on my 5-unit play on Seattle, as Wallace was a very economical 15-of-25, 222 yards and two touchdowns.

    However, that was against the 49ers. It's going to take more than mediocrity for Wallace to beat a tough defense like Tampa Bay or Philadelphia. In addition to their talented secondary, comprised of three very good corners, the Eagles bring the heat extremely well. Mike Holmgren will have to counter with a lot of short junk from Wallace, which will move the chains on occasion, but won't be consistent enough (see the Tampa Bay game for proof).

    One thing's for sure - Wallace won't get any help from his ground game. Maurice Morris and Julius Jones combined for a pathetic 25 rushing yards on 17 carries against the 49ers last week. While San Francisco is 15th versus the run, Philadelphia is 10th.

    RECAP: The matchups say the Eagles should debacle the Seahawks. Will they be focused enough? And will a cross-country trip be too taxing for them?

    To answer those questions, yes and no.

    The Eagles can't afford to take this game lightly. They're in last place in their division. And it's not like they're coming off a huge victory or anything. If the Eagles fall to 4-4, their chances of catching Washington or Tampa Bay for the final wildcard spot will be slim to none.

    And as for the cross-country trip, take a gander at the trends below. Andy Reid is an amazing 8-2 against the spread on the West Coast. There must be great food out there.

    The only thing that concerns me is the line movement. Why has the spread dropped from -7 to -6.5 despite tons of action on the visitor? The thing is, I believe the line was set perfectly at seven in the first place, so I'm confident that we'll be OK with a large wager; it's not like Vegas came out with a shady spread like -4 or anything.

    The Psychology. Edge: Eagles.
    Though the Eagles just won, they're still in a must-win situation. They're in last place. Also, this is a revenge game for the Eagles, who lost at home to Seattle last year.

    The Vegas. Edge: Seahawks.
    No surprise that people are backing the Eagles, but why did the line fall from -7 to -6.5?
  • Percentage of money on Philadelphia: 88% (137,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Eagles.
  • Eagles are 49-32 ATS vs. NFC opponents since 2001.
  • Eagles are 23-15 ATS vs. teams with losing records since 2001.
  • Andy Reid is 8-2 ATS on the West Coast.
  • Donovan McNabb is 31-17 ATS on the road since 2001.
  • Opening Line: Eagles -7.
  • Opening Total: 43.5.
  • Weather: Showers, 53 degrees. Light wind.

    Week 9 NFL Pick: Eagles 34, Seahawks 17
    Eagles -6.5 (4 Units) -- Correct; +$400
    Over 43 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Eagles 26, Seahawks 7

    New England Patriots (5-2) at Indianapolis Colts (3-4)
    Line: Colts by 6.5. Total: 44.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 8): Colts -3.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 8): Colts -2.5.
    Sunday, 8:15 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Colts.
    Injuries: Patriots: OUT: QB Tom Brady (IR), RB Laurence Maroney (IR), OT Ryan O'Callaghan (IR), OT Oliver Ross, OT Anthony Clement (IR), G Stephen Neal, S Rodney Harrison (IR), S Tank Williams (IR). Colts: OUT: RB Mike Hart (IR), OT Tony Ugoh, G Ryan Lilja, DT Anthony McFarland (IR), OLB Tyjuan Hagler, CB Marlin Jackson (IR), S Bob Sanders*, KR T.J. Rushing (IR).

    No one lost for the second week in a row, so there are still only FIVE people remaining in the $350 Survivor Pool. I'll continue to offer my advice for those who want it, and others who have entered in a new Survivor Contest.

    If you need another excuse to hit up the forums, check out the Heroes Discussion Thread, which includes a picture of the four villains Hiro needs to find, detailed discussion about Episode 7 Eris Quad Sum and very hot pictures of Claire. Sexy time!

    I'm not bringing up the survivor pool because I like the Colts as a lock straight-up winner. I just figured that I would eventually find some team that would fit that description. But I'm at the penultimate game on the slate, and I haven't found that yet. So, if you're still in a survivor league, I'd recommend the Bears. If you've used them, I'll suggest Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, Buffalo and Jacksonville in that order.

    INDIANAPOLIS OFFENSE: Why not the Colts? If you watched the Monday night game, you definitely know. Peyton Manning just isn't right. Trent Dilfer is speculating that there is something wrong with Manning's arm, though NFL Draft genius Bill Polian is denying everything.

    To take the Dan Marino approach, maybe they're both right. Maybe Manning's shoulder or arm is really hurt, and like Brett Favre, he's hiding it from the team so he can keep his consecutive starts streak alive. Who really knows?

    One thing I do know is that New England's secondary sucks, and figures to be no match for Reggie Wayne, Marvin Harrison, Anthony Gonzalez and Dallas Clark. Even if Manning is injured and has to resort to shorter stuff, the Colts should still be able to move the chains efficiently.

    Meanwhile, according to Polian, Indianapolis should have Joseph Addai back in the lineup. That's great news for all Colts backers; Addai and Dominic Rhodes should be able to take turns wearing down a New England stop unit that's ranked 24th against the run.

    NEW ENGLAND OFFENSE: Addai's return isn't the only good bit of fortune for Indianapolis. The best news coming out of Colts camp is that Bob Sanders will play on Sunday night. The team won't have a top 10 rush defense with Sanders on the field, but they won't have to play a 4-4-3 defense to stop the run like they did against the Titans.

    It's not like New England can pound the rock effectively right now anyway; with Sammy Morris and Laurence Maroney out, the Patriots had to resort to a vaunted two-pronged attack of BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Kevin Faulk against the Rams last week. St. Louis' pathetic ground defense (ranked 30th) limited the two runners to 76 yards on 22 carries - a 3.5 YPC average.

    It'll be more of the same from Matt Cassel - a bunch of short junk and nothing downfield. Indianapolis is much better versus than the pass than it is against the run - especially with Sanders back in the mix - so I don't expect New England's offense to be too effective.

    RECAP: I was a bit disappointed by public action. I thought that the vastly overrated Patriots would see more money going their way. As of Wednesday evening, 58 percent of the cash is on Indianapolis, so it's not a disadvantage to take the Colts; I was just looking forward to fading an overrated, publicly backed underdog.

    At any rate, I don't think there's a question that this game means more to Indianapolis. New England is tied for first in the AFC East. Even if they lose and fall a game behind the Bills, they can recapture the lead by beating Buffalo next week.

    The Colts, meanwhile, will do everything in their power to avoid a 3-5 hole. You can tell they're desperate, as they're rushing Addai, Sanders and others back from injury, perhaps even prematurely.

    The Psychology. Edge: Colts.
    These two teams hate each other, but Indianapolis' season is on the line. The Colts need this game much more than New England does.

    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on New England: 51% (120,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Opening Line: Colts -5.5.
  • Opening Total: 45.
  • Weather: Retractable Roof.

    Week 9 NFL Pick: Colts 30, Patriots 20
    Colts -6.5 (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
    Over 44 (.5 Units) -- Incorrect; -$55
    Colts 18, Patriots 15

    Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2) at Washington Redskins (6-2)
    Line: Redskins by 2.5. Total: 37.

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

    The Game. Edge: Steelers.
    Injuries: Steelers: OUT: QB Charlie Batch, RB Rashard Mendenhall (IR), G Kendall Simmons (IR), P Daniel Sepulveda (IR), LS Greg Warren (IR). Redskins: OUT: DE Jason Taylor, DE Phillip Daniels (IR), S Reed Doughty (IR).

    Before I get to the final game on the slate, here's the Week 9 NFL Look-Alike Thread, featuring Bill Parcells, E.T. and the moon.

    What happened to the Redskins? Why have they become so lazy? After beating both the Cowboys and Eagles on the road in consecutive weeks, they lost to the Rams, barely got by the Browns and managed to cover the Lions game by half a point, thanks to a brilliant Santana Moss punt return. Washington was losing to Detroit late in the third quarter! It doesn't get any worse than that!

    WASHINGTON OFFENSE: Can the Redskins flip on the intensity switch just like that? I'm not too sure.

    What's obvious is that Clinton Portis, the league's leading rusher, won't be able to be as dominant as he's been against cupcakes like Cleveland, St. Louis and Detroit. While those squads rank 28th, 30th and 29th versus the run, respectively, Pittsburgh is third.

    With Portis limited, Jason Campbell's life is going to be much more difficult, especially against a hectic Pittsburgh pass rush. The Steelers, owners of 25 sacks, should be able to rattle Campbell, who has been sacked 16 times on the year. Left tackle Chris Samuels will play, but he won't be 100 percent because of a knee injury.

    If the Steelers can get by Samuels and the rest of the Washington front, the pressure could force Campbell into his first interception of the season.

    PITTSBURGH OFFENSE: Anyone who watched the Giants-Steelers contest saw New York draw up a perfect game plan on how to beat Pittsburgh. The Giants sacked Ben Roethlisberger five times, but were in the backfield on almost every single play. Pittsburgh's offensive line is a complete abomination; it has yielded 24 sacks on the year already.

    Unfortunately for the Redskins, no one on the team has more than two sacks. Jason Taylor is out with a calf injury, so I'm not sure how Washington plans on putting pressure on Big Ben.

    Meanwhile, it's still unclear as to whether or not Willie Parker will play. It shouldn't really matter; Mewelde Moore is doing a fantastic job, averaging exactly five yards per carry. Washington is 18th versus the rush, so Pittsburgh should be able to exploit an advantage on the ground.

    RECAP: If I made it sound like the Steelers are the better team, I believe they are; I have Pittsburgh ranked one spot ahead of Washington in my NFL Power Rankings.

    However, handicapping the NFL isn't solely based on matchups. There are tons of other factors involved.

    One is emotion. This is a huge game for the Redskins. They haven't hosted a Monday night game in two years, so they could be out to show the nation just how good they are. Yes, they beat the Cowboys and Eagles, but there are still doubters out there. Like the Titans last week, Washington will try its hardest to silence them.

    Another is public perception. People have watched the Redskins sleepwalk through their previous three games, and are consequently down on them. More than two-thirds of the public is backing the underdog in this matchup. Fading a heavily publicly backed dog can be very lucrative, and Washington looks like a nice buy low.

    MONDAY MORNING UPDATE: What a terrible weekend. I can't believe there are so many spineless teams in the NFL (cough, Buccaneers, Jaguars, Colts, sneeze) that don't show up when they need to win or happen to be coming off an embarrassing loss.

    I've noticed that when I've fared poorly on Sundays, I've almost always lost on Monday night (and vice-versa). Thus, I'm changing my pick to Pittsburgh. I had Washington for one unit anyway, so it's not like I'm completely changing my mind.

    The Psychology. Edge: Redskins.
    The Steelers, once a billion games up in the AFC North, are just a game ahead of Baltimore (plus the tie-breaker). The Redskins, on the other hand, are hosting a Monday night game for the first time as a new unit. This could be a statement game for them.

    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Washington: 53% (202,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Steelers.
  • Ben Roethlisberger is 49-19 as a starter (40-28 ATS).
  • Ben Roethlisberger is 8-4 ATS as a road dog.
  • Ben Roethlisberger is 11-6 ATS as an underdog.
  • Redskins are 6-16 ATS after a road win since 2000.
  • Opening Line: Redskins -2.5.
  • Opening Total: 37.5.
  • Weather: Clear, 48 degrees. Light wind.

    Week 9 NFL Pick: Steelers 24, Redskins 17
    Steelers +2 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Over 37 (.5 Units) -- Incorrect; -$55
    Steelers 23, Redskins 6

    Week 9 NFL Picks - Early Games
    Jets at Bills, Lions at Bears, Jaguars at Bengals, Ravens at Browns, Buccaneers at Chiefs, Texans at Vikings, Packers at Titans, Cardinals at Rams

    Printable version of Week 9 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: Jaguars -1.5, Eagles -0.5 (4 Units) -- Incorrect; -$440
  • Live Dog: Texans +175 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$200
  • Live Dog: Rams +140 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$200
  • Live Dog: Packers +170 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$200
  • Live Dog: Raiders +125 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$200
  • Pyschology Parlay: Lions +12.5, Packers +4.5, Cowboys +8.5, Eagles -6.5, Colts -6 (.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

    2010 NFL Mock Draft

    2009 NFL Mock Draft Database

    College Football Picks


    Note: For legality purposes, this Web site does not promote or advocate gambling. This is solely for entertainment purposes only.

    1 Last Week's NFL Picks Against The Spread (Week 21, 2014): 0-1 (-$770)
    Last Week's 2-3 Unit NFL Picks (Week 21, 2014): 0-0 ($0)
    Last Week's 4-5 Unit NFL Picks (Week 21, 2014): 0-0 ($0)
    Last Week Over-Under (Week 21, 2014): 0-1 ($0)
    Last Week's Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks (Week 21, 2014): -$65

    2014 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-4, 33.3% (-$1,350)

    2014 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 143-133-7, 51.8% (-$1,885)
    2014 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 50-41, 55.0% (+$1,500)
    2014 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 12-17-1, 41.4% (-$1,990)
    2014 Season Over-Under: 144-119-2, 54.8% ($0)
    2014 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$630

    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)
    2013 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 38-42, 47.5% (-$2,890)

    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)

    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)

    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

    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: 2,157-1,978-117, 52.2% (+$10,530)
    Career 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 694-624-31 (52.7%)
    Career 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 288-251-11 (53.4%)
    Career Over-Under: 1,685-1,655-48 (50.5%)
    Career Second-Half NFL Picks: 22-15-1 (61.1%)
    Career NFL Picks of the Month: 30-19 (61.2%)

    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: 7-11
    Bears: 8-8
    Bucs: 9-7
    49ers: 8-7
    Eagles: 9-7
    Lions: 8-8
    Falcons: 8-8
    Cardinals: 8-9
    Giants: 5-11
    Packers: 13-4
    Panthers: 8-10
    Rams: 8-8
    Redskins: 8-8
    Vikings: 12-4
    Saints: 6-9
    Seahawks: 10-9
    Bills: 7-9
    Bengals: 6-11
    Colts: 8-10
    Broncos: 8-9
    Dolphins: 10-5
    Browns: 9-5
    Jaguars: 10-6
    Chargers: 7-9
    Jets: 8-8
    Ravens: 10-8
    Texans: 8-7
    Chiefs: 9-6
    Patriots: 10-9
    Steelers: 9-8
    Titans: 8-6
    Raiders: 7-9
    Divisional: 36-39 (2011-13: 141-137)
    2x Game Edge: 14-19 (2011-13: 55-62)
    2x Psych Edge: 29-25 (2011-13: 92-80)
    2x Vegas Edge: 47-41 (2011-13: 129-142)
    2x Trend Edge: 35-21 (2011-13: 72-78)
    Double Edge: 16-13 (2011-13: 27-33)
    Triple Edge: 0-0 (2011-13: 2-1)
    Quad Edge: 0-0 (2011-13: 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
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    2005 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
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    2006 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
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    2007 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
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    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 |
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