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Week 13 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)
NFL Picks (Week 9, 2008): 6-8 (-$980)
NFL Picks (Week 10, 2008): 4-10 (-$2,690)
NFL Picks (Week 11, 2008): 9-7 (-$170)
NFL Picks (Week 12, 2008): 6-9-1 (-$1,090)

NFL Picks (Reg Season 2008): 89-84-3 (+$290)
If you don't quite understand the line, total or anything else, go to my Sports Betting FAQ.

Vegas betting action updated Dec. 1, 4:50 p.m. ET.

Go to Week 13 NFL Picks - Late Games

Tennessee Titans (10-1) at Detroit Lions (0-11)
Line: Titans by 11. Total: 44.

Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 12): Titans -9.5.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 12): Titans -10.
Happy Thanksgiving, 12:30 ET - Buy Tickets

The Game. Edge: Titans.
Injuries: Titans: OUT: CB Reynaldo Hill, CB Eric King. Lions: OUT: QB Jon Kitna (IR), DE Jared DeVries (IR), CB Stanley Wilson (IR), S Gerald Alexander (IR).

I'll get to how I did last week (I feel cheated) and all the Vegas implications (very interesting) starting with the Sunday games. In this space, I'd like to bring up an article I wrote a few years ago. Coincidentally, it's something that Mike Ditka discussed on Sunday NFL Countdown.

The Lions don't deserve a Thanksgiving game. The NFL should take it away and promise to give it back to them until they post a winning record. Unfortunately for Lions fans, that could be in the year 2075.

Some may argue that it's tradition, and it shouldn't be messed with. What tradition? Here's my tradition: I go out Wednesday night, the so-called "biggest drinking night of the year." Come home completely drunk. Pass out around 3 a.m. Wake up just in time for kickoff. Vomit multiple times all over myself because I'm way too hung over to make it to the toilet. Watch the Lions get completely debacled. Barf some more so I have room to eat turkey later.

Detroit has lost its previous Thanksgiving games by the scores of: 37-26, 27-10, 27-7 and 41-9. That's an average margin of 20 points! Seriously, Roger Goodell needs to do something about this. Until the Lions can field a competitive team, they shouldn't be allowed to embarrass the league every year.

Unfortunately for Detroit, things don't get any easier. The Titans are coming off their first loss, so they'll be focused in a rebound effort.

TENNESSEE OFFENSE: The Titans have gotten cute recently. They thought they could turn into a passing team. While that worked against the banged-up Bears and the horrendous Jaguars, it backfired against a Jets squad that didn't have to bring eight men into the box.

The Lions? They couldn't stop the run with 50 men in the box. Detroit, ranked 31st versus the rush, won't have any luck stopping Chris Johnson or LenDale "Give Me Food or I'll Stop Paying Attention to the Game" White. Kerry Collins will capitalize on this, torching the league's worst secondary in terms of YPA.

DETROIT OFFENSE: Lions fans were so close. Drew Stanton took over for a completely ineffective Daunte Culpepper in the second half against the Buccaneers. This was a dream come true for Detroit backers, who could finally see if they had something with their young signal caller. Unfortunately, Stanton suffered a concussion, forcing Rod Marinelli to re-insert Culpepper into the lineup. With Stanton doubtful, Culpepper will continue to steal money from William Clay Ford. The backup is Drew Henson. Yikes.

It should be obvious that the running game won't work versus the Titans' 11th-ranked rush defense, so Culpepper will have to do everything on his own. That means there will be some good (a few long passes to Calvin Johnson) and a lot of bad (interceptions, fumbles, debaclations, etc.)

RECAP: I have a great system that I use for my College Football Picks. I bet against a top-ranked team coming off its first loss. The reasoning is that the squad's national championship hopes are squandered, leaving them flat for their next opponent.

Fortunately, one loss doesn't ruin an NFL team's season. Taking Tony Dungy and the Colts out of the equation, teams 5-0 or better coming off their first loss are 6-2 against the spread the following contest.

I'm siding with the Titans and fading the Lions, who have been terrible on Turkey Day.

The Psychology. Edge: Lions.
The Lions are a joke. They'll try hard to win a game, but like a fat kid trying to prevail at dodgeball, they will ultimately fail. This game means nothing to the Titans in the grand scheme of things, but they're coming off a loss, so they'll be focused, especially in the national spotlight.

The Vegas. Edge: Lions.
Blowing a 17-0 lead and failing to cover eight points won't inspire confidence in any bettors. At least we know that this isn't a trap line.
  • Percentage of money on Tennessee: 81% (297,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Titans.
  • First Loss: Teams 5-0 or better coming off their first loss are 7-5 ATS the following week since 2002 (6-2 ATS excluding Tony Dungy).
  • Loser Coach: Jeff Fisher is 4-8 ATS after losing as a favorite.
  • Parity Poison: Double-digit favorites are 3-12 ATS in 2008.
  • Turkey Turds: Lions are 1-5 ATS as a Thanksgiving host since 2002.
  • Opening Line: Titans -11.
  • Opening Total: 43.5.
  • Weather: Dome.

    Week 13 NFL Pick: Titans 34, Lions 17
    Titans -11 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Over 44 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Survivor Pick (10-2)
    Titans 47, Lions 10

    Titans-Lions Recap

    Seattle Seahawks (2-9) at Dallas Cowboys (7-4)
    Line: Cowboys by 11.5. Total: 46.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 12): Cowboys -14.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 12): Cowboys -14.
    Happy Thanksgiving, 4:15 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Cowboys.
    Injuries: Seahawks: OUT: WR Deion Branch*, WR Nate Burleson (IR), WR Ben Obomanu (IR), WR Logan Payne (IR), G Rob Sims (IR), C Chris Spencer, DE Patrick Kerney (IR). Cowboys: OUT: RB Felix Jones (IR), WR Sam Hurd (IR), G Kyle Kosier, CB Pacman Jones (SUSP), S Roy Williams (IR), P Mat McBriar (IR).

    Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday in the world. What other holiday allows you to stuff your face with food, watch nine hours of football and pass out like a fat slob? And the best part is, because this is my job, I can get out of doing work around the house by declaring that I have to watch the games. Suckers! I wish every day were Thanksgiving. And on that note, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone reading this!

    DALLAS OFFENSE: I know they beat the three-win 49ers, but Tony Romo and Terrell Owens look like they're really clicking right now. Romo finished 23-of-39, 341 yards and three touchdowns, finding Terrell Owens seven times for 213 yards and a score.

    While it could be difficult for Owens to duplicate those figures, it's definitely in the realm of possibility. Seattle's secondary has been abysmal this season, ranking 27th against the pass. Owens and Jason Witten could each be primed for a big game.

    Making matters worse for the Seahawks, they'll also have to focus on stopping Marion Barber. Seattle had no luck containing Clinton Portis last week, and will face similar problems on Thanksgiving.

    SEATTLE OFFENSE: If the Cowboys want to make a run at the Super Bowl instead of losing their first playoff game again, they'll need to stop the run. While they're ranked just 19th on the year, they did a fine job on Portis two weeks ago, and limited Frank Gore to a mere 26 yards on 14 carries. Very impressive.

    The Seahawks, who have major problems running the ball in the first place, won't be able to move the chains on the ground, exposing the hobbled Matt Hasselbeck to tons of long-yardage situations. Look for DeMarcus Ware and company to register a handful of sacks.

    RECAP: The Cowboys always seem to get up for Thanksgiving. They're 5-2 against the spread the past seven years, while Tony Romo has won his Turkey Day contests, 34-3 and 38-10. Add another blowout to that list.

    The Psychology. Edge: Cowboys.
    The Cowboys usually bring it on Thanksgiving. They travel to Pittsburgh next week, but they'll likely be focused.

    The Vegas. Edge: Seahawks.
    Think this line is high enough to get some people off Seattle? Maybe...
  • Percentage of money on Dallas: 80% (355,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Cowboys.
  • Parity Poison: Double-digit favorites are 3-12 ATS in 2008.
  • Turkey Tyrants: Cowboys are 5-2 ATS as a Thanksgiving host since 2001.
  • Seahawks are 9-14 ATS on the road since 2006.
  • Matt Hasselbeck is 8-2 ATS off back-to-back losses.
  • Tony Romo is 17-8 ATS as a starter before Dec. 1.
  • Tony Romo is 6-10 ATS as a favorite of -7 or more (2-0 on Thanksgiving).
  • Opening Line: Cowboys -13.
  • Opening Total: 47.
  • Weather: Cloudy, 69 degrees. Light wind.

    Week 13 NFL Pick: Cowboys 38, Seahawks 10
    Cowboys -11.5 (3 Units) -- Correct; +$300
    Over 46 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Cowboys 34, Seahawks 9

    Cowboys-Seahawks Recap

    Arizona Cardinals (7-4) at Philadelphia Eagles (5-5-1)
    Line: Eagles by 3. Total: 48.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 12): Eagles -3.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 12): Eagles -3.
    Happy Thanksgiving, 8:15 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Cardinals.
    Injuries: Cardinals: OUT: C Scott Peters (IR). Eagles: OUT: G Shawn Andrews, CB Jack Ikegwuonu (IR). QUESTIONABLE: RB Brian Westbrook*.

    I'm obviously a huge fan of having football on Thanksgiving, but I'm still not sure how I feel about this third game. I know this contest will probably be better than last year's Atlanta-Indianapolis debaclation, but I'll probably want to pass out by the time the first quarter is over. I love food, and I plan on eating a lot during Thanksgiving dinner. I'll be sweating tripdaphan by the time I'm done. I don't think I can physically handle a third game. I'll probably have to buy a case of those 5-hour energy drinks and down them all at once. That probably can't end well.

    Speaking of not ending well, it appears as though the Andy Reid-Donovan McNabb era is over. At least one of them will be gone by the end of the year, unless they somehow win their last five contests and make a deep run into the postseason. With games left against the Giants and Cowboys, I don't see that happening.

    PHILADELPHIA OFFENSE: If you haven't heard, McNabb will start. I think this is the right move. There's no point in throwing Kevin Kolb out to the lions after just three days of practice with the first-stringers. And sitting McNabb would deteriorate his trade value. Unless McNabb keeps bombing, the Eagles could have three first-round picks come April.

    Luckily for McNabb, Arizona's secondary can be exposed. Ranked 21st versus the pass, Eli Manning had a field day against them on Sunday - even without Plaxico Burress' services. McNabb plays best when his back is against the wall, so I think he could break out of his slump.

    Arizona ranks fifth versus the rush, so running the ball isn't much of an option. Not that it ever is for Big Red.

    ARIZONA OFFENSE: Like McNabb, Kurt Warner has a great matchup in this contest. Philadelphia's safeties stink. It's a shame, but Brian Dawkins, a proud, old warrior, is pretty much done.

    I really don't see how the Eagles can cover Arizona's great receivers. What Jim Johnson will have to do is pressure Warner without dialing up too many blitzes. Trent Cole should be able to sack Warner on occasion; the Giants rattled him a few times last week.

    RECAP: I really like the Eagles here.

    First of all, this is an awful spot for the Cardinals. They just had a huge statement game against the Giants, where they wanted to prove that they could hang with the NFL's elite. I think they did just that. Now, they're in a flat spot and have to travel all the way to the East Coast on just three days of rest. They could be emotionally and physically drained.

    Also, this contest doesn't mean anything to the Cardinals. If they lose, so what? They're still a million games up in the NFC West.

    The Eagles, meanwhile, have become the laughing stock of the league. From the 13-13 result against the woeful Bengals, to McNabb not knowing about ties, to the McNabb benching, to Reid's decision not to tell McNabb about the benching, the fans and media are ripping the Eagles apart. If you don't believe me, listen to what the callers are saying on 610 WIP. Or read the Philly newspapers. Or simply look in the stands during this game. The fans will all be wearing black to represent the death of the Eagles.

    Philadelphia, playing for its postseason lives, is a proud, veteran-laden team that won't go down without a fight.

    The Psychology. Edge: Eagles.
    The Cardinals are coming off their biggest game of the year. They lost to the Giants, but they proved to everyone that they belong among the NFL's elite. The Eagles, meanwhile, have embarrassed themselves two weeks in a row. In the wake of the Donovan McNabb benching, the players know jobs are on the line. Philly fans are talking about wearing black to the game to protest Andy Reid. This is a big game for the Eagles who need to win back their fans. The Cardinals don't really have anything to play for.

    The Vegas. Edge: Eagles.
    Why would anyone bet on the Eagles right now?
  • Percentage of money on Arizona: 65% (206,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Eagles.
  • Eagles are 51-33 ATS vs. NFC opponents since 2001.
  • Donovan McNabb is 20-11 ATS after a loss since 2001.
  • Opening Line: Eagles -3.
  • Opening Total: 47.
  • Weather: Clear, 37 degrees. Light wind.

    Week 13 NFL Pick: Eagles 34, Cardinals 24
    Eagles -3 (5 Units) -- Correct; +$500
    Over 48 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Eagles 48, Cardinals 20

    Eagles-Cardinals Recap

    Miami Dolphins (6-5) at St. Louis Rams (2-9)
    Line: Dolphins by 7.5. Total: 44.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 12): Dolphins -6.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 12): Dolphins -6.5.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Dolphins.
    Injuries: Dolphins: OUT: WR Greg Camarillo (IR), G Donald Thomas (IR), CB Michael Lehan (IR). Rams: OUT: FB Brian Leonard (IR), WR Drew Bennett (IR), TE Randy McMichael (IR), OT Orlando Pace*, OT Brandon Gorin (IR), G Mark Setterstrom (IR), CB Justin King (IR), CB Ricky Manning Jr., KR Dante Hall (IR). QUESTIONABLE: RB Steven Jackson*.

    I thought I broke out of my slump last week. I felt good about my picks on Sunday. I watched the Lions jump out to a 17-0 lead and began counting my money, as my November Pick of the Month looked like a lock. An hour later, I realized what was happening. More of the same crap. Detroit blowing a 17-0 lead and failing to cover as 8-point dogs was just the beginning. A 4-unit selection on Washington pushed because of bad play-calling and a Ladell Betts fumble two plays before Washington would settle for a field goal. At night, a 5-unit pick failed, thanks to numerous blown calls by the officials, a LaDainian Tomlinson drop and a Philip Rivers fumble in the red zone.

    All of this pretty much mirrored the following earlier in the year:

  • A blown Oakland cover in the final seconds against Carolina a few weeks ago, thanks to a long Panthers punt return and a missed Oakland field goal that hit the crossbar (5 units).
  • Kellen Winslow Jr. self-destructing and ruining three drives to give up a 23-10 lead against the Broncos (5 units).
  • Chad Pennington's pick-six up 14-0 against the Seahawks and a late backdoor cover by Seneca Wallace, a.k.a. the Backdoor Bandit (5 units).
  • Another Backdoor Bandit backdoor cover (sounds like the name of a porno) in the final seconds at Tampa Bay (4 units).
  • Sage Rosenchoker's debaclation against the Colts (5 units).
  • The Vikings dominating the Colts, but blowing a lead in the final minute of the game earlier in the year (5 units).

    I could probably list half a dozen more bad beats. I have no idea what I did to deserve such terrible luck. I can handle two or three bad losses on multi-unit plays throughout the year, but an average of more than one per week? Someone upstairs doesn't really like me very much.

    ST. LOUIS OFFENSE: Someone upstairs doesn't like Rams fans either. After beating the Redskins and Cowboys, and covering at New England, St. Louis has completely fallen apart, losing by 21, 44, 19 and 24. Hey, at least they're keeping things interesting for the first 30 or 40 seconds each week!

    The problem has been Steven Jackson. Ever since he got hurt, the Rams have tanked. According to the trend listed below, the team is 2-8 against the spread if Jackson is either hurt or limited.

    Jackson practiced on Wednesday, but participated in less than half the drills. Jim Haslett's policy is that no one plays unless they endure an entire practice.

    Even if Jackson is penciled into the lineup, there's no guarantee that he'll last the full 60 minutes. Without Jackson, Marc Bulger will be under tons of pressure. St. Louis gets Orlando Pace back in the lineup this week, but Bulger had no protection even when he was "protecting" his blind side.

    If Jackson is close to 100 percent, the Rams will be much more competitive. However, I'm not confident that he'll be able to go the entire game.

    MIAMI OFFENSE: I love Ronnie Brown this week from a fantasy standpoint. You can read why on Page 10 of the USA Today Sports Weekly - and I doubt it's available online.

    With Brown debacling the Rams, Chad Pennington will capitalize on play-action to Ted Ginn and Devone Bess, who's replacing the injured Greg Camarillo in the lineup.

    St. Louis is 30th against the run and 31st versus the pass, which would explain how they've given up an average of 35.8 points per game in November.

    RECAP: If Jackson is ruled out, I'll raise the number of units I have on this game. For now, I'm taking the Dolphins for a single unit. There's no spread on this game, but I'm assuming it's Miami -6.5 or something.

    The Dolphins need to win this game. Falling to 6-6 pretty much would put them out of the playoff picture.

    The Psychology. Edge: Dolphins.
    The Dolphins have suddenly fallen to 6-5 and need a win to keep up.

    The Vegas. Edge: Rams.
    Even at this high price, people are fading the Rams.
  • Percentage of money on Miami: 73% (84,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Dolphins.
  • Chad Pennington is 18-10 ATS off a loss.
  • Rams are 2-8 ATS when Steven Jackson is out or limited since 2007.
  • Opening Line: Dolphins -9.
  • Opening Total: 45.
  • Weather: Dome.

    Week 13 NFL Pick: Dolphins 30, Rams 14
    Dolphins -7.5 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Under 44 (.5 Units) -- Correct; +$50
    Dolphins 16, Rams 12

    Baltimore Ravens (7-4) at Cincinnati Bengals (1-9-1)
    Line: Ravens by 7. Total: 35.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 12): Ravens -4.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 12): Ravens -4.5.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Ravens.
    Injuries: Ravens: OUT: QB Kyle Boller (IR), WR Demetrius Williams (IR), TE Quinn "Miracle Man" Sypniewski (IR), OT Marshal Yanda (IR), OT Adam Terry, DT Kelly Gregg (IR), DT Dwan Edwards (IR), ILB Tavares Gooden (IR), ILB Prescott Burgess (IR), CB Chris McAlister (IR), S Dawan Landry (IR). Bengals: OUT: RB Kenny Irons (IR), OT Levi Jones, G Andrew Whitworth (IR), OLB Keith Rivers (IR), CB Jonathan Joseph (IR), S Dexter Jackson (IR).

    Part of the problem with my picks is that Vegas has lost a ridiculous amount of money on NFL games the past three weeks. I tend to go against the public, so any time the house loses, I usually have a bad week. What is Vegas doing anyway? Why are they so desperate to lose money all of the sudden? Why don't they stop making terrible lines like "Giants -3 at Cardinals" that produce massively lop-sided bets? Here's the Week 12 NFL Vegas Money Breakdown.

    CINCINNATI OFFENSE: One of the many games that killed Vegas last weekend was Cincinnati's failed cover at Pittsburgh, despite the fact that the Bengals had the lead and kept things close throughout the entire contest.

    Save for one drive, Ryan Fitzpatrick was abysmal. He had a tough task going against Pittsburgh's defense, but it's not like Baltimore's stop unit will be any less imposing.

    Though the Ravens' secondary is ravaged with injuries, and could have problems covering Chad Ocho Cinco and T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Fitzpatrick should be good for a few turnovers and half a dozen sacks. Keep in mind that Cincinnati's ground attack won't have any success against Baltimore's stout front.

    BALTIMORE OFFENSE: One reason for Cincinnati's recent success - more on that later - has been its defense. The Bengals, playing like a more cohesive unit, are 15th versus the rush and 13th against the pass. They limited both Mewelde Moore and Willie Parker to less than four yards per carry, and will have similar success against Baltimore's three-headed backfield.

    Though this should be problematic for any rookie quarterback, Joe Flacco has played like a veteran recently. Since getting debacled by the Colts on Oct. 12, Flacco has nine touchdowns, two interceptions and two fumbles. He has just three 200-yard performances on the year, but the fact that he's converting third downs and refraining from turning the ball over is huge.

    Cincinnati's defensive Achilles' heel is its lacking pass rush. This season, the Bengals haven't registered a single sack on Ben Roethlisberger behind Pittsburgh's anemic offensive line - and they played him twice. Flacco will have all the time in the world to locate Derrick Mason downfield.

    RECAP: I really have no feel for this game. The Ravens will win, but a touchdown could be too much; this is only the second time all year that Baltimore is favored by more than a field goal. Of course, the first instance was an easy cover at home against the Raiders.

    One could argue that the Bengals are the right side because they've played well recently. They beat the Jaguars, 21-19. They tied the Eagles. They kept things very interesting against the Steelers, and would have covered if Roethlisberger didn't score a touchdown in the final minute of the game. Of course it didn't help that Ocho Cinco didn't play and their defense dropped three interceptions.

    I refuse to lay a touchdown on the road with the Ravens. Then again, I can't recommend betting on Ryan Fitzpatrick either. Can I lay negative units?

    The Psychology. Edge: Bengals.
    The Bengals would love to ruin their rival's season. Baltimore has a tough game coming up at Washington.

    The Vegas. Edge: Bengals.
    No one wants any part of the Bengals, and understandably so.
  • Percentage of money on Baltimore: 94% (151,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Bengals.
  • History: Bengals have won 6 of the last 8 meetings.
  • Vengeance: Marvin Lewis is 6-3 ATS in divisional revenge games.
  • Ravens are 22-13 ATS in November.
  • Ravens are 4-2 ATS on the road under John Harbaugh.
  • Opening Line: Ravens -6.5.
  • Opening Total: 36.5.
  • Weather: Rain/snow showers, 41 degrees. Mild wind, 11 mph.

    Week 13 NFL Pick: Ravens 23, Bengals 17
    Bengals +7 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Over 35.5 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Ravens 34, Bengals 3

    San Francisco 49ers (3-8) at Buffalo Bills (6-5)
    Line: Bills by 6.5. Total: 41.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 12): Bills -6.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 12): Bills -7.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: .
    Injuries: 49ers: OUT: QB Alex Smith (IR), FB Zak Keasey (IR), OLB Jay Moore (IR), CB Shawntae Spencer (IR). Bills: OUT: DE Aaron Schobel, OLB Angelo Crowell (IR), ILB John DiGiorgio (IR), CB Jabari Greer, CB Ashton Youboty (IR). DOUBTFUL: S Donte Whitner.

    With another inexplicably poor week of NFL Picks, it's only natural that I received some hate mail. Here's the funniest one from some woman named Deanne:


    First of all, should I be concerned that an e-mailer named Deanne has balls? Second, I hope Deanne doesn't use my "sight!" Getting my eyeballs ripped out of my skull would suck.

    You could argue that Bills fans would have chewed off their family jewels and ripped their eyeballs out of their skull if they had known that their once-promising 5-1 season would turn into a 5-5 disaster. OK, maybe not. Still, it had to be a relief that Buffalo stopped its losing streak with a blowout victory against Kansas City.

    BUFFALO OFFENSE: The 49ers aren't the Chiefs. I know they have just two more victories, but the main difference between the two squads is that while Kansas City can't stop the run (32nd in the NFL), San Francisco excels at it (9th).

    If Marshawn Lynch struggles to move the chains - a realistic possibility because Buffalo's interior line really stinks right now - Trent Edwards will have to do everything on his own, meaning he won't be as successful as he was at Kansas City last week.

    I know Tony Romo torched San Francisco's secondary, but Edwards isn't even close to Romo. His four-game slump between the San Diego and Kansas City victories proved that.

    SAN FRANCISCO OFFENSE: If the 49ers would have started Shaun Hill all year, they could have five wins right now. You may shrug that off as meaningless, but that would place them only two games behind Arizona in the NFC West.

    Hill has done a much better job than J.T. O'Sullivan in terms of taking care of the ball, throwing three interceptions and fumbling only twice in three starts. As a comparison, O'Sullivan 11 picks and 11 fumbles in eight starts.

    The Bills, once owners of one of the top rush defenses in the NFL, are now ranked 20th against the run. If Frank Gore goes off, Hill will easily convert third downs against a meager pass rush and a banged-up secondary.

    RECAP: Excluding a 31-14 victory over the Rams (who count more as a Big XII squad than an NFL team), the Bills have failed to cover the spread when favored by more than a field goal. They're 1-3 against the spread (2-2 straight up) when laying at least 3.5.

    There's a reason for this. The Bills are a young, inexperienced squad. When everyone expects them to win, they tend to choke.

    Meanwhile, the 49ers have played really well under Mike Singletary. They nearly knocked off Arizona on the road. After that, they debacled the Rams. Last week, they kept things interesting at Dallas, failing to cover by just four points despite the fact that they had to settle for chip-shot field goals inside the red zone in the first quarter.

    I like San Francisco to keep this close.

    The Psychology. Edge: 49ers.
    The Bills need to keep winning to secure a wildcard spot. The 49ers are playing hard and could give Buffalo a tough time; the Bills are expected to win this game and there might be too much pressure on them.

    The Vegas. Edge: 49ers.
    FIfty-four points... that'll get money on your side. With heavy action on the Bills, this line has dropped from -7 to -6.5. Shady business.
  • Percentage of money on Buffalo: 76% (180,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: 49ers.
  • Early Game Alert: Pacific Teams playing on the Atlantic Coast at 1:00 PM are 26-44 ATS since 2002 (Mike Singletary 0-0).
  • Road Warrior: Coaches are 126-81 ATS on the road immediately following a road loss since 1996.
  • Bills are 22-10 ATS in November home games the previous 31 contests.
  • Bills are 13-3 ATS against losing teams since 2006.
  • Opening Line: Bills -6.5.
  • Opening Total: 42.5.
  • Weather: Snow showers, 35 degrees. Mild wind, 13 mph.

    Week 13 NFL Pick: Bills 26, 49ers 23
    49ers +6.5 (4 Units) -- Correct; +$400
    Over 41.5 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    49ers 10, Bills 3

    New Orleans Saints (6-5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-3)
    Line: Buccaneers by 4.5. Total: 44.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 12): Buccaneers -3.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 12): Buccaneers -3.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Saints.
    Injuries: Saints: OUT: RB Aaron Stecker (IR), TE Jeremy Shockey, TE Mark Campbell (IR), DE Charles Grant (IR), DT DeMario Pressley (IR), ILB Mark Simoneau (IR), CB Mike McKenzie (IR), CB Tracy Porter (IR), K Martin Gramatica (IR). Buccaneers: OUT: RB Earnest Graham (IR), FB Byron Storer (IR), CB Torrie Cox (IR), CB Sammy Davis (IR).

    I was going to move on from the e-mails, but I just received one from P.Diddy, who sent me hate mail last week. Let's check out what he wrote this time:

    i dun need no full time job b***h ... im already gettin lots of dap in my crib over my skillz hear. they call me the grim raper. so while ur writin tps reports n betting teh detroit kitens,im dropin rymes n bangin b****es. who looks stupid now

    You look stupid now! Grim Raper? What are you doing, forcing dead people to have sex with you? Have fun with all that. I'm beginning to think that this isn't the real Puff Daddy!

    I suppose I do deserve hate mail for betting the Lions. Yeah, I know, 17-0 lead giving eight, yadda, yadda, yadda, but still. What was I thinking? I made the stinkin' Lions my Pick of the Month. I'm gonna go debacle myself.

    TAMPA BAY OFFENSE: The Buccaneers easily covered the 8-point spread after rallying. My premise was wrong. One of my reasons for taking the Lions was Tampa Bay's inefficiency inside the red zone. Well, they didn't have a problem on Sunday, though to be fair, it was against the stinkin' Lions...

    You may say the Saints' defense is garbage as well, but the secondary stepped up against the Packers. Tampa Bay has an efficient offense, but it lacks any sort of explosion. I could see the Buccaneers put together a few scoring drives that end in field goals; not touchdowns.

    Part of the problem could be a mediocre rushing attack. The Saints have stopped the run somewhat well lately, so if the Saints can force Jeff Garcia into more long-yardage situations, they'll hold Tampa Bay to more field goals and punts.

    NEW ORLEANS OFFENSE: Drew Brees is the hottest quarterback in the NFL right now. He's on pace to break Dan Marino's yardage record, and I can't really see him slowing down.

    Granted, the Buccaneers are sixth versus the pass, but even they couldn't contain Brees in their Week 1 matchup; Brees went 23-of-32 for 343 yards, three touchdowns and a pick - and that was before he discovered Lance Moore!

    RECAP: Tough game to pick. The Saints are really hot, but the NFC South hosts have dominated this season. Tampa Bay thrives at home.

    Four reasons I'm favoring the Saints by a small margin:

    1) They need this game much more than the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay can lose this game and still survive. If the Saints lose, they're done.

    2) Tampa Bay should have been looking ahead to this game. Instead, the team exerted all their energy trying to come back from a 17-0 deficit in Detroit. That may hinder them.

    3) As I mentioned, Brees is the hottest quarterback in the NFL right now.

    4) I hate laying 3.5. Worst. Spread. Ever. A line of 3.5 indicates the game is going to be close, but because three is the most significant key number in football, the odds that a 3.5-point favorite will cover are slimmer than usual.

    The Psychology. Edge: Saints.
    The Saints obviously need a win more than the Buccaneers, but Tampa Bay is fighting for first place. Not much of an edge here.

    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Fifty-one points... that'll get the money on your side... shouldn't it?
  • Percentage of money on New Orleans: 50% (139,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Saints.
  • History: Road Team has won 8 of the last 13 meetings.
  • Failed Vengeance: Jon Gruden is 3-6 ATS in divisional revenge games.
  • Monday Might: Teams coming off a MNF win of 17+ are 33-17 ATS the following week since 1999.
  • Saints are 41-29 ATS on the road since 2000.
  • Saints are 25-18 ATS as a road underdog since 2000.
  • Drew Brees is 28-18 ATS as a dog.
  • Drew Brees is 17-8 ATS off back-to-back wins.
  • Buccaneers are 10-4 ATS at home since 2007.
  • Opening Line: Buccaneers -3.5.
  • Opening Total: 48.
  • Weather: Possible showers, 72 degrees. Mild wind, 15 mph.

    Week 13 NFL Pick: Buccaneers 30, Saints 27
    Saints +4.5 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Over 44.5 (.5 Units) -- Incorrect; -$55
    Buccaneers 23, Saints 20

    New York Giants (10-1) at Washington Redskins (7-4)
    Line: Giants by 3.5. Total: 41.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 12): Giants -3.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 12): Giants -3.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: .
    Injuries: Giants: OUT: QB Anthony Wright (IR), WR Plaxico Burress*, WR David Tyree (IR), DE Osi Umenyiora (IR), ILB Jonathan Goff (IR). Redskins: OUT: DE Jason Taylor, DE Phillip Daniels (IR), S Reed Doughty (IR).

    College Football Notes:

    Am I the only one who thinks Myron Rolle was selfish this past weekend? Rolle missed the first half of the Maryland game because he was accepting some Roads Scholarship thing-a-ma-bobber. Because he was getting this fancy-shmancy prize, which gives him the right to go to college for free for two more years so he can drink and party some more (good news), he let his team down by not being there. Look, Myron, I know this Roads thing is important to you because you're clearly interested in traffic lights, orange cones and stop signs, but college is all about athletics; not academics. Everyone knows that. Because you showed up late to an important game, NFL scouts may question your commitment to football - and that's not good for your draft stock. If you want to learn about roads, read the driving permit manual - but only in your spare time. Don't let it get in the way of football.

    NEW YORK OFFENSE: Speaking of missing games, no Plaxico Burress, no Brandon Jacobs? No problem! It's amazing how the Giants can keep plugging in personnel without losing a step.

    It just goes to show how great (and underrated) Eli Manning is, and how important a dominant offensive line can be. Jacobs figures to be back in the lineup, which is terrible news for the Redskins, who rank 22nd versus the rush. They couldn't even contain Maurice Morris last week!

    With Jacobs going at full speed and debacling defenders, Manning will continue to do what he does best - convert third downs and win football games. Manning won't be touched; his offensive front is that good, and Washington's pass rush is that pedestrian.

    WASHINGTON OFFENSE: Clinton Portis ranks among the league's leading rushers, but if you own him in a fantasy league, you may want to consider benching him. Forget the 100-yard mark; the last time the Giants surrendered more than 60 rushing yards to a single running back was Week 8! Statistically, the Giants are seventh against opposing ground attacks.

    If Washington can't run, its offense doesn't work. Jason Campbell is good at picking up short-yardage situations, whether it's through the air or on the ground, but asking him to move the chains on third-and-long is a bit too much, especially against New York's dominating pass rush.

    RECAP: The Giants can't keep covering games, can they? I mean, this is getting ridiculous. The squarest of square bettors are betting them blindly. New York has covered all but two games this year, including six in a row.

    I wouldn't recommend that you bet the farm on them. This covering streak has to end at some point, and as I wrote in the Tampa Bay-New Orleans recap, laying 3.5 sucks.

    But with a gun to my head, I would take the Giants. They're awesome on the road, while the Redskins have been playing sloppy football lately; excluding a 25-17 win over Detroit where they needed a comeback (a comeback against Detroit? How did that happen!?) to barely beat the 7.5-point spread, Washigton's last cover was Oct. 5 at Philadelphia!

    The Psychology. Edge: Redskins.
    The Redskins need a win, but the Giants aren't ready to allow that to happen.

    The Vegas. Edge: Redskins.
    People are riding the Giants. A square bettor I know has been betting them blindly the past few weeks and winning tons of cash.
  • Percentage of money on New York: 90% (229,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Giants.
  • History: Home Team has won 6 of the last 9 meetings.
  • History: Giants have won 4 of the last 5 meetings.
  • Road Warrior: Tom Coughlin is 8-4 ATS on the road immediately following a road win.
  • Giants are 18-5 ATS on the road since 2006.
  • Redskins are 6-17 ATS after a road win since 2000.
  • Opening Line: Giants -3.5.
  • Opening Total: 41.5.
  • Weather: Showers, 43 degrees. Light wind.

    Week 13 NFL Pick: Giants 27, Redskins 17
    Giants -3.5 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Over 41 (.5 Units) -- Incorrect; -$55
    Giants 23, Redskins 7

    Indianapolis Colts (7-4) at Cleveland Browns (4-7)
    Line: Colts by 4.5. Total: 43.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 12): Colts -3.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 12): Colts -6.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Colts.
    Injuries: Colts: OUT: RB Mike Hart (IR), OT Tony Ugoh, G Ryan Lilja, DT Anthony McFarland (IR), OLB Tyjuan Hagler, CB Marlin Jackson (IR), KR T.J. Rushing (IR). Browns: OUT: QB Brady Quinn (IR), WR Joe Jurevicius (IR), OT Ryan Tucker (IR), G Lennie Friedman, DE Robaire Smith (IR), OLB Antwan Peek (IR).

    College Football Rankings:

    In an e-mail that wasn't from a ball-clad woman who wanted to take my eyesight, someone asked me to rank the college football teams. I can do that:

    1. Alabama
    2. Utah
    3. Boise State
    4. Ball State

    That's it. That's the list. Where are Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, USC and Penn State, you ask? They lost! They don't deserve to be ranked! The morons who back this stupid non-playoff system declare that a playoff isn't necessary because the regular season is a tournament. Well, if that's true, the teams that lost are eliminated, right? That means there are only four teams who could contend for the national title right now. And if all four of these squads remain unbeaten after the bowls (a.k.a. winter practice games), there will be four national champions! Hooray for incompetence!

    The sad thing is, we could rank the Browns below all four of those teams. Now that Brady Quinn is out for the year, Cleveland gets to go with Derek Anderson for the remainder of the season. Yeah, the seats are going to be filled this Sunday.

    CLEVELAND OFFENSE: It's no secret that the Colts have holes on their defense. Though they beat the Chargers, Philip Rivers easily dissected the secondary, while LaDainian Tomlinson gained four yards per carry on one of the league's worst run defenses.

    But here's a news flash: Derek Anderson's not Rivers, and Jamal Lewis isn't Tomlinson.

    Lewis has had favorable matchups recently, but hasn't been able to capitalize on them. Against Houston, he gained just 58 yards. Versus Denver, only 60. At Jacksonville? Just 81. He hasn't even cracked the 90-yard barrier all year.

    With an archaic Lewis falling flat on his face, Anderson will be forced to convert third downs on his own. He has talented weapons at his disposal, but who knows how many balls a disinterested Braylon Edwards will drop this week? What a huge disappointment.

    INDIANAPOLIS OFFENSE: Speaking of disappointments, Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison looked like they were 100 years old at the beginning of the season. But they've been hot lately, scoring an average of 26.7 points in their previous three games.

    With Harrison seemingly back to about 70-80 percent (he has 15 receptions the past two weeks), Manning seems primed to the debacle an anemic Cleveland secondary ranked 23rd against the pass. Of course, he'll also have help from Joseph Addai, who will trample the league's 27th-ranked rush defense.

    RECAP: Any chance the Colts take Cleveland for granted here? Probably not. A loss would knock Indianapolis down to 7-5, putting them out of a wild card slot. And it's not like they have anything to look forward to. Cincinnati is next on the schedule.

    I can't recommend throwing tons of money on heavily-backed NFL teams after Vegas has suffered three losing weeks in a row, so be careful with this one.

    The Psychology. Edge: Colts.
    The Colts are sitting atop the wildcard standings, but one loss and they could be buried. They don't have anything to look forward to, so they'll be focused.

    The Vegas. Edge: Colts.
    No surprise here. People are back on the Colts bandwagon.
  • Percentage of money on Indianapolis: 98% (215,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Colts.
  • Hometown Hero: Romeo Crennel is 4-1 ATS at home immediately following a home loss.
  • Loser Coach: Romeo Crennel is 2-4 ATS after losing as a favorite.
  • Road Warrior: Tony Dungy is 6-3 ATS on the road immediately following a road win.
  • Colts are 31-21 ATS on the road under Tony Dungy.
  • Peyton Manning is 23-16 ATS as a road favorite since 2001.
  • Opening Line: Colts -4.5.
  • Opening Total: 46.
  • Weather: Snow showers, 37 degrees. Mild wind, 13 mph.

    Week 13 NFL Pick: Colts 30, Browns 10
    Colts -4.5 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Under 43.5 (.5 Units) -- Correct; +$50
    Colts 10, Browns 6

    Carolina Panthers (8-3) at Green Bay Packers (5-6)
    Line: Packers by 3. Total: 41.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 12): Packers -3.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 12): Packers -1.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Packers.
    Injuries: Panthers: OUT: LB Dan Connor (IR). Packers: OUT: DT Justin Harrell, ILB Nick Barnett (IR).

    This week's YouTube Video of the Week is a video of a very hot Denver Nuggets cheerleader. What makes this video more than just a "sexy time" is that the announcers of the game were so awe-struck by the cheerleader that they were speechless. The first half of the video is amusing. The second half is just awesome. Here's the video of the hot Hot Denver Nuggets Cheerleader.

    CAROLINA OFFENSE: Were the Packers concentrating on the Saints cheerleaders too much on Monday night? Is that why they allowed 51 points? I have no reasonable explanation for their self-debaclment.

    The secondary is too talented not to rebound, especially against the ultra-inconsistent Jake Delhomme. Delhomme was hot in the beginning of the year, but since the bye, he has thrown more picks (4) than touchdowns (3), and his completion percentage is a laughable 46.9. Delhomme compiled decent yardage totals at Atlanta (295), but most of that was after the Falcons established an infallible 17-0 lead (yes, that's a shot at the Lions).

    Carolina will be able to advance the chains via the ground game, thanks to Green Bay's 28th ranking against the rush. DeAngelo Williams could have another impressive performance. However, running the ball wasn't a problem against Oakland, Detroit or Atlanta, and the Panthers still struggled.

    GREEN BAY OFFENSE: Though Aaron Rodgers' interceptions were the result of poorly thrown balls, you can't really blame him too much for the three picks he tossed at New Orleans. The defense couldn't contain Drew Brees, so there was a lot of pressure on him to keep up with the Saints.

    The good news for Rodgers is that Carolina's defense has struggled recently. They suddenly can't stop the run, while Matt Ryan torched their secondary on Sunday.

    Ryan Grant will continue where Kevin Smith and Michael Turner left off, setting up play-action opportunities for Rodgers. If Ryan can go 17-of-27 for 259 yards, why can't Rodgers? Ryan was sacked only once last week, so if the Packers can protect their signal caller, Carolina's defense will continue to look helpless.

    RECAP: I like the Packers for a number of reasons:

    1) DESPERATION: If the Packers lose this game, they'll fall two behind the winner of the Chicago-Minnesota game with just four weeks to go, assuming there's no tie. They won't be able to make up that deficit in such a short period of time.

    2) REDEMPTION: How embarrassed is Green Bay's defense right now? Fifty-one points!? The team will be playing for respect in this contest.

    3) FADING PANTHERS: I'm not sure if anyone noticed this, but the Panthers have played like garbage since their bye. I know they're 2-1 in that time span, but think about it - they couldn't shake off the Raiders; the Lions were down by just two points in the fourth quarter before a late Carolina touchdown; while Atlanta just won in a blowout. Whatever momentum the Panthers gained by beating New Orleans and Arizona prior to their week off is long gone.

    The Psychology. Edge: Packers.
    Must-win for the Packers. Unless the Bears and Vikings tie on Sunday night, Green Bay will be two back of a playoff spot with four games to go if it loses. And if the Packers didn't need more motivation, their defense was just humiliated on national TV.

    The Vegas. Edge: Panthers.
    The public is backing the Pack after early action on Carolina.
  • Percentage of money on Green Bay: 70% (139,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Panthers.
  • Monday Misery: Teams coming off a MNF loss of 17+ are 15-26 ATS the following week since 1999.
  • Road Bum: John Fox is 3-5 ATS on the road immediately following a road loss.
  • Panthers are 26-17 ATS as an underdog the previous 43 instances.
  • Jake Delhomme is 27-15 ATS on the road.
  • Jake Delhomme is 22-7 ATS as an underdog in his career (WOW!).
  • Opening Line: Packers -3.
  • Opening Total: 43.
  • Weather: Snow showers, 33 degrees. Mild wind, 11 mph.

    Week 13 NFL Pick: Packers 24, Panthers 16
    Packers -3 (4 Units) -- Incorrect; -$440
    Under 41 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Panthers 35, Packers 31

    Week 13 NFL Picks - Late Games
    Falcons at Chargers, Broncos at Jets, Steelers at Patriots, Chiefs at Raiders, Bears at Vikings, Jaguars at Texans

    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.

  • Prop/teaser/parlay picks posted in Week 13 NFL Picks - Late Games

    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.

    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)
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    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)
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    1999 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 27-41-3 (39.7%)
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    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
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