Philadelphia Eagles (10-6-1) at New York Giants (12-4) Line: Giants by 4. Total: 38.5. Walt's Projected Line: Giants -6.
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The Game. Edge: Eagles. Injuries: Eagles: OUT: G Shawn Andrews, G Max Jean-Gilles (IR), CB Jack Ikegwuonu (IR). Giants: OUT: QB Anthony Wright (IR), WR Plaxico Burress, WR David Tyree (IR), DE Osi Umenyiora (IR), ILB Jonathan Goff (IR), CB Sam Madison (IR), S Sammy Knight (IR).
More quotes to be featured in the upcoming Emmitt Anthology: Volume 2. Here's a link to the original Emmitt Anthology.
1. "But yet they still went lackadaisical at a critical time." (Commentary: Well, at least they don't go lackadaisical all the time.)
2. "He may have the will, but it's remain to be seen." (Commentary: Thanks for contradicting yourself and confusing the audience even more, Emmitt.)
3. "He understand how to reads blocks." (Commentary: And with quotes like that, we have to wonder if Emmitt understand how to reads books.)
If you're looking for more Emmitt and some general NFL spoofs, clink on the link.
PHILADELPHIA OFFENSE: Donovan McNabb has had an up-and-down year, but against the Giants, it's been nothinig but the former. In two meetings against New York, both of which were decided by less than a touchdown, McNabb was a combined 36-of-66 for 385 yards, four touchdowns and one interception.
I find that pretty remarkable because Philadelphia's offensive weakness, besides inept play-calling and short-yardage conversions, is exterior pass protection. Jon Runyan looks like he's playing on his last legs, while Jared Allen seemed to be in the backfield on almost every play last week. The Giants are renowned for rushing the passer.
It just seems like these teams know each other so well, which would explain why McNabb has been able to thrive. The Giants also have problems containing Brian Westbrook; the electrifying runner gained 131 rushing yards, 72 receiving yards and two total touchdowns in the second meeting.
NEW YORK OFFENSE: One of the reasons why the Eagles were able to beat the Giants the second time around was the absence of Plaxico Burress. Over the years, Burress has absolutely torched the Eagles. Without having to worry about the monstrous wideout, Jim Johnson was able to focus on neutralizing the other aspects of New York's offense.
That would explain why Eli Manning was just 13-of-27 for 123 yards and a score, and the Giants offense as a whole rushed for just 100 yards.
I do think New York will play better this time around; unless the team falls behind early, like it did back in Week 14, Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward should be able to get going. Jacobs is impossible to tackle, but for some reason, he received just 10 carries in that meeting.
RECAP: I like the Eagles to cover this game, but I'm not really sure where to go with it in terms of picking a straight-up winner.
I think the Giants could be hurt by the fact that they rested their starters for a half prior to a bye, and I'm not really sure they're the same team without Burress. On the other hand, I don't really trust Andy Reid in a close game. There's a reason he's 1-5-1 in contests decided by a touchdown or less this year. That sole victory came against the Giants, however.
I'm picking New York to win by three. These Giants-Eagles battles are always close. It's not usual that I'm more confident in a spread winner than I am in a straight-up winner.
The Psychology. Edge: Eagles.
The Eagles are playing with fire right now. The Giants could be in a bit of trouble because they rested their starters in the second half of their Week 17 contest, but they're not nearly as poorly off as Tennessee.
The Vegas. Edge: None.
About 60 percent of the action is on the Giants. I'm a bit surprised; I thought more people would like New York with such a low line.
Percentage of money on New York: 59% (222,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Eagles.
History: Giants have won 6 of the last 8 meetings.
Worst Bye: Playoff teams with byes are 6-14 ATS since 2003 (3-9 since 2005).
Eagles are 55-34 ATS vs. NFC opponents since 2001.
Eagles are 24-16 ATS vs. NFC East opponents since 2001.
Donovan McNabb is 33-20 ATS on the road since 2001.
San Diego Chargers (9-8) at Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4) Line: Steelers by 6.5. Total: 37.5. Walt's Projected Line: Steelers -4.5.
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The Game. Edge: None. Injuries: Chargers: OUT: WR Eric Parker (IR), DE/OLB Shawne Merriman (IR). Steelers: OUT: QB Charlie Batch, RB Rashard Mendenhall (IR), OT Marvel Smith (IR), G Kendall Simmons (IR), P Daniel Sepulveda (IR), LS Greg Warren (IR).
1. Was anyone else secretly hoping the NFL would screw the Chargers yet again by putting them in the 1 p.m. slot? Some deranged San Diego fan would have nuked Roger Goodell's house if that happened.
2. If Mike Scifres keeps doing what he's doing and eventually doesn't get into the Hall of Fame, along with Ray Guy and Jeff "Philadelphia" Feagles, I'll be so pissed off that I may actually write a column about it. Punters play a position, so shouldn't the best punters be in the Hall of Fame? What's next, a college football team that goes 13-0 won't have a crack at the national title?
3. Speaking of which, CONGRATULATIONS TO UTAH FOR WINNING THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP! I had to press caps lock to get my point across. But hey, Utah went undefeated, unlike any other team in the nation. These money-hungry, greedy idiots who support the current system claim that a playoff would take away from the regular season, which essentially already is a playoff. Well, in a playoff, the team that doesn't lose moves on, and the teams that suffer defeat are eliminated. Hence, Utah is the only team that hasn't been eliminated yet! As I said, congrats to Utah. Any AP voter who doesn't slot Utah No. 1 should be fed to Mark Mangino - immediately.
4. Norv Turner, who is now like 88-1 in December and January games in San Diego, just beat Tony Dungy for the second year in a row in the postseason. I kid you not - there is actually video evidence of this.
SAN DIEGO OFFENSE: With Ben Roethlisberger coming off a concussion, is there any quarterback you'd rather have over Philip Rivers right now? Rivers has been awesome, averaging 264 yards the last four games, and owning a 11-to-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio during that stretch.
However, things will be more difficult for Rivers here. He's not playing a soft Colts rush defense that will give him play-action opportunities. It's almost impossible to run against Pittsburgh, meaning Rivers will have to carry the offense on his shoulders. That didn't work so well the first time around; in a Week 11 battle against the Steelers, Rivers was just 15-of-26 for 164 yards and two picks.
I'm also concerned that San Diego won't be able to block for Rivers. The Chargers offensive line had trouble keeping Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis out of the backfield, as Rivers was sacked four times. Pittsburgh boasts the top pass rush in the NFL, meaning the immobile Rivers could be running for his life.
PITTSBURGH OFFENSE: As I mentioned above, Roethlisberger is coming off a concussion. It wasn't a severe concussion, but the fact remains that the last time Big Ben played off one, the Raiders debacled him into four interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns.
The Chargers are ranked 14th and 15th against the run and the pass, respectively, but it's not like the Steelers have a high-octane offense. San Diego also did a nice job on the Colts; save for one drive and one long play, Indianapolis really didn't do all that much. Given that Roethlisberger is coming off a concussion, it's reasonable to believe that the Chargers will be able to hold the Colts to two touchdowns or less.
RECAP: Two reasons not to bet heavily on this game. For the Steelers, it's Roethlisberger's concussion. For the Chargers, it's Vincent Jackson's DUI arrest. It's unclear how that will affect the team. It could be a big enough distraction to derail the squad.
With that said, San Diego is the hottest team in the league, and I have trouble seeing them get "blowed out." The Steelers, meanwhile, always seem to find a way to pull a victory out of their rear end.
The Psychology. Edge: Steelers.
The Chargers are hot, but no real psychological edge here. Both teams are very playoff-tested. Unfortunately, Vincent Jackson was arrested for DUI, so I'm not sure how this will impact the Chargers.
The Vegas. Edge: None.
Action is even.
Percentage of money on Pittsburgh: 58% (215,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Steelers.
Worst Bye: Playoff teams with byes are 6-14 ATS since 2003 (3-9 since 2005).
Steelers are 18-6 ATS in December home games since 2000.
Ben Roethlisberger is 57-21 as a starter (46-31 ATS).
Ben Roethlisberger is 5-2 ATS in the playoffs (2-1 as a favorite).
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.
Live Dog: Ravens +130 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$260
Live Dog: Eagles +170 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$340
Live Dog: Chargers +220 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$200
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)
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)
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.