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NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 4, 2009



NFL Picks (Preseason 2009): 8-7-2 (+$130)
NFL Picks (Week 1, 2009): 9-7 (+$285)
NFL Picks (Week 2, 2009): 10-6 (+$1,860)
NFL Picks (Week 3, 2009): 13-3 (+$2,095)

NFL Picks (2009): 40-23-2 (+$4,370)
NFL Picks (2008): 136-125-6 (+$4,330)
If you don't quite understand the line, total or anything else, go to my Sports Betting FAQ.


Vegas betting action updated Oct. 5, 4:20 p.m. ET.


Go to Week 4 NFL Picks - Late Games



Detroit Lions (1-2) at Chicago Bears (2-1)
Line: Bears by 9.5. Total: 41.

Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 3): Bears -13.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 3): Bears -13.
Sunday, 1:00 ET

The Game. Edge: Bears.
NFL Injuries: AFC Injuries | NFC Injuries

Week 3 Recap: I can only hope for more weeks like this last one. I went 13-3 and hit my top three plays. Ironically, the two games I got wrong on Sunday were the ones I made a late change to during the week. And of course, Jake Delhomme did his best to make sure that I didn't finish 14-2. I loved Carolina in that game, but I kept it to three units because I didn't trust Delhomme. I may have gotten the pick wrong, but at least I had the foresight to avoid a big loss.

DETROIT OFFENSE: The Lions won their first game and Matthew Stafford looked very impressive against the horrific Redskins. That's encouraging tons of bettors to back Detroit here.

I think anyone who is laying money on the Lions right now is insane. Kevin Smith, the team's all-purpose running back, has been ruled "week to week," meaning there's less than a 50 percent chance that he'll play. And even if he starts, he won't be at full capacity and could hurt the team rather than help it.

Calvin Johnson is the best player on the Lions, but Smith is the guy who makes the offense work. Smith suffered his injury in the third quarter when the score was 13-7. After he left the game, Detroit had only one successful drive, helped by a big pass interference penalty that nearly caused Jim Zorn to have an aneurysm.

Not having Smith at 100 percent will hinder the running game and it will also take an option out of the backfield for Stafford. That wouldn't be so bad if the Lions were playing the Browns or Chiefs, but the Bears are another story. I don't trust Detroit's offensive line to hold up on third-and-long situations in this game.

CHICAGO OFFENSE: As Matt Forte fantasy owners know, their RB1 has really struggled thus far. However, Forte played two good defenses the first two weeks. On Sunday, the Seahawks were fully committed to shutting down the run, threatening Jay Cutler to beat them. He did.

Cutler went 21-of-27 for 247 yards and three touchdowns. Now that he's improving every week, teams are no longer going to be able to focus on stopping Forte. And it's not like the Lions could do that anyway.

Lovie Smith and Ron Turner aren't inept like Jim Zorn, so they're going to give Forte the ball around 25 times in this contest. Forte's running will set up play-action opportunities for Cutler, who will torch Detroit's anemic secondary.

RECAP: Everyone is loving the Lions now because they won a game. I'm not. While the Redskins stink, the Bears certainly don't. In fact, Detroit's victory will make Chicago more focused here, and I already thought they would be prepared because they have a bye next week.

With Kevin Smith either out or hobbled, this looks like a blowout to me.


The Psychology. Edge: None.
With a bye coming up, the Bears will be focused. The Lions don't have any reasons not to show up either.


The Vegas. Edge: None.
The Lions won a game and now the public money is shading them.
  • Percentage of money on Detroit: 55% (120,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Bears.
  • History: Bears have won 7 of the last 9 meetings.
  • Hello, Goodbye: Favorites of 6.5 or more are 30-6 ATS going into a bye (Lovie Smith 0-1).
  • Lions are 6-3 ATS on the road since 2008.
  • Opening Line: Bears -11.5.
  • Opening Total: 38.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 53 degrees. Mild wind, 11 mph.
  • For more trends, check out the Gaming Matchups or the Expanded NFL Analysis.


    Week 4 NFL Pick: Bears 27, Lions 6
    Bears -9.5 (3 Units) -- Correct; +$300
    Under 40.5 (.5 Units) -- Incorrect; -$55
    Bears 48, Lions 24



    Seattle Seahawks (1-2) at Indianapolis Colts (3-0)
    Line: Colts by 10. Total: 44.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 3): Colts -11.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 3): Colts -12.5.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET

    The Game. Edge: Colts.
    NFL Injuries: AFC Injuries | NFC Injuries

    Vegas Recap: Somewhere in Vegas right now, a few people are getting beaten with baseball bats, electrocuted via jumper cables and drowned in pools. The sportsbooks took big hits in the first two weeks of the season, but that was nothing compared to the blood bath this past Sunday. Vegas won money with the Jaguars winning outright, but they were utterly debacled with the Lions, Packers, Giants, Ravens, Bears and Saints all covering the spread. Expect a few fixed games coming to an NFL stadium near you!

    SEATTLE OFFENSE: There are two things the Seahawks need to do to win this game. First, they need to run the ball effectively with Julius Jones to allow Seneca "The Backdoor Bandit" Wallace to convert third downs.

    Indianapolis' run defense is 22nd in the NFL, but I don't think Seattle is going to have much success moving the chains on the ground. Julius Jones is not that good despite last week's performance. Remember, he rushed for a whopping 11 yards on eight carries against the 49ers. Also, the Colts aren't going to be afraid of the Backdoor Bandit, so they're going to put eight men in the box.

    The Colts have one of the better pass defenses in the NFL, and if the Backdoor Bandit is in third-and-long situations, they should be able to get past Seattle's reserve tackles, though it hurts that Dwight Freeney is out with a biceps injury.

    INDIANAPOLIS OFFENSE: So, what's the second thing the Seahawks need to do to win this game? They need to pray that Peyton Manning gets hurt.

    Manning struggled early last year, but now that he's healthy, he's really on top of his game. Jay Cutler just torched Seattle's secondary, and I fully expect Manning to do the same thing.

    The Seahawks have done a great job getting pressure on the quarterback this year (9 sacks), but Manning has only taken two sacks in three weeks. If Manning has all day to throw, he'll easily expose Seattle's pedestrian secondary.

    RECAP: The Seahawks put a ton of emotion into last week's game. They had to with the Backdoor Bandit under center. With a loss, I don't think they'll be able to match that same intensity on Sunday, especially on the road, where they are historically pretty miserable.

    And if Matt Hasselbeck returns to the lineup? The Colts will just be that more focused because they'll know Seattle is a legitimate threat.

    There is no line on this contest yet, but unless it's 14 or more, I really like the Colts' chances of covering.

    SURVIVOR PICK: This is my Week 4 Survivor Pick. In order, the teams I would go with this Sunday are: Indianapolis, Chicago and Houston.


    The Psychology. Edge: Colts.
    The Seahawks put a lot into the Bears game without their starting quarterback. In Jim Mora Jr.'s own words, they were "kicking and scratching and fighting." It'll be tough for them to summon that energy again here.


    The Vegas. Edge: Seahawks.
    Tons of early action on the Colts. I expect tons of late action on the Colts as well.
  • Percentage of money on Indianapolis: 90% (112,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Seahawks are 10-17 ATS on the road since 2006.
  • Colts are 3-6 ATS at Lucas Oil Stadium.
  • Opening Line: Colts -10.5.
  • Opening Total: 44.
  • Weather: Dome.
  • For more trends, check out the Gaming Matchups or the Expanded NFL Analysis.


    Week 4 NFL Pick: Colts 30, Seahawks 10
    Colts -10 (4 Units) -- Correct; +$400
    Under 44 (.5 Units) -- Incorrect; -$55
    Survivor Pick (3-0)
    Colts 34, Seahawks 17





    Cincinnati Bengals (2-1) at Cleveland Browns (0-3)
    Line: Bengals by 7. Total: 38.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 3): Bengals -4.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 3): Bengals -6.5.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET

    The Game. Edge: Bengals.
    NFL Injuries: AFC Injuries | NFC Injuries

    Eric Mangini already has five grievances filed against him this year, meaning he's on pace for 26.7 grievances - easily an NFL record. Because of Mangini's experience in this department, I thought I should ask him how to file a grievance against ESPN.

    You guessed it: It's time for my NFL Primetime Sucks segment.

    This week, NFL Primetime failed to show a single highlight of the Rams-Packers game. Chris Berman and Tom Jackson would have given us at least half a dozen clips of it and told us how the Packers managed to pull away in a close game. Trey Wingo and Mr. Factor Back, meanwhile, didn't even mention it. Instead, Wingo and Mr. Factor Back spent an unbelievable amount of time talking about Brett Favre, the Detroit Lions and the Monday night game.

    Thanks, ESPN, for ruining my life. The old NFL Primetime was my favorite show. Now, it's an abomination. So... Mr. Mangini, how about those grievances?

    CLEVELAND OFFENSE: Speaking of Mangini, he has a tough decision to make this week. Does he go with Brady Quinn, a turnover machine who is scared to take shots downfield, or Derek Anderson, a turnover machine who plays like a drunken maniac? The quarterback who doesn't get the nod should file a grievance against Mangina.

    Anderson needs to be the guy. While he throws a ton of picks, he also stretches the defense because he can go downfield, meaning Braylon Edwards will actually be involved. And while Jim Zorn, Gary Kubiak and Jeff Davidson may disagree with this, getting the ball to your best player is usually a good idea.

    The bad news for the Browns is that the Bengals have a terrific defense. This should be no surprise to anyone because they finished 12th in defense last year. They're holding opposing running backs to just 3.7 yards per carry, meaning Jamal Lewis and James Davis won't have any room to run.

    With that in mind, Anderson/Quinn will constantly be in third-and-long situations. The Bengals have 10 sacks on the year and the Browns have allowed 11, so this doesn't bode well for either guy.

    CINCINNATI OFFENSE: The Browns are pathetic on all levels. They surrender a whopping 5.7 yards per carry. Cedric Benson will go wild in this game, giving Carson Palmer plenty of time in the pocket to find Chad Ochocinco and his other receivers downfield.

    The Browns have allowed 34, 27 and 34 points in their three contests thus far. All of the crappy players Mangini brought over in the Mark Sanchez trade predictably aren't paying dividends. If only Mangini just made the right move and drafted Sanchez...

    RECAP: Despite everything I said, I like the Browns in this game. I think this is an awful spot for the Bengals, and if I had any faith in Cleveland, this would be a 4- or a 5-unit selection.

    The Bengals are coming off two very taxing games. They beat the Packers and Steelers as large underdogs. Now, they have to go on the road and battle the Browns as a big favorite before taking on the Ravens. This is a dynamic change and the Bengals seldom perform up to expectations when they are expected to win (see stats below).

    As for the Browns, yes they are 0-3, and yes they have lost every game by double digits. However, every team they've faced is undefeated right now. In the one game they played at home, they actually led at halftime. So while they've looked miserable recently, I think they are a bit better than everyone is making them out to be.

    I'm laying two units with Cleveland with the premise that Anderson is starting (would be five units if I had more faith in the team). However, if Mangina makes the wrong decision and announces that Quinn the starter again, I'm lowering this down to one or two units.


    The Psychology. Edge: Browns.
    This is a SANDWICH SITUATION; the Bengals just beat the Steelers, and after this easy game, they battle Baltimore.


    The Vegas. Edge: Browns.
    Hmm... why does no one want to spend their hard-earned money on the Browns?
  • Percentage of money on Bengals: 90% (165,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Browns.
  • History: Bengals have won 7 of the last 9 meetings.
  • KO'ing the Champ: Road teams are 6-10 ATS after beating the defending Super Bowl champion as underdogs.
  • Carson Palmer is 7-5 ATS as a road favorite.
  • Bengals are 5-9 ATS as a favorite since 2007.
  • Bengals are 1-4 ATS as a favorite of 3.5 or more since 2007.
  • Browns are 12-4 ATS after allowing 30 or more points since 2005.
  • Opening Line: Bengals -4.
  • Opening Total: 38.5.
  • Weather: Showers, 56 degrees. Mild wind, 17 mph.
  • For more trends, check out the Gaming Matchups or the Expanded NFL Analysis.


    Week 4 NFL Pick: Bengals 16, Browns 15
    Browns +7 (3 Units) -- Correct; +$300
    Under 38 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Bengals 23, Browns 20





    New York Giants (3-0) at Kansas City Chiefs (0-3)
    Line: Giants by 8.5. Total: 42.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 3): Giants -9.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 3): Giants -9.5.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET

    The Game. Edge: Giants.
    NFL Injuries: AFC Injuries | NFC Injuries

    Some NFL notes I can't put anywhere else:

    1. It took four preseason and three regular-season weeks, but we finally had our first kickoff return for a touchdown this year. Percy Harvin, trying his hardest to ruin my 5-unit selection on the 49ers, took a kick back 101 yards. With the three-man wedge eliminated, don't expect many more kick returns for touchdowns. Roger Goodell is doing a great job sucking out all of the fun in the NFL.

    2. There's an alarming trend going on in this league. Head coaches across the NFL, for whatever reason, are trying their hardest not to give the ball to their best players. In Washington, Jim Zorn gave Clinton Portis only 12 carries. In Houston, Steve Slaton received 12 carries as well and was nowhere to be seen on the most important play of the game. In Carolina, John Fox and Jeff Davidson think that they can win with DeAngelo Williams rushing the ball 11 times.

    People say fantasy football has helped the NFL. I'd agree with that, but it hasn't helped these coaches. I think these coaches should be forced to play fantasy football so that they understand the importance of giving the ball to their best player. You'd think that would be obvious, but it's not.

    The one flaw in this plan is that I don't think anyone would want to play fantasy football with Zorn. In fact, I'm fully convinced that Zorn is in a 2-man fantasy league with his mom. Because he has to go against Portis every week, he refuses to give him the necessary amount of attempts to win games.

    3. Rodney Harrison called Terrell Owens a selfish clown Sunday night. If you haven't seen it, here was Owens' response on Twitter:

    "I could (care) less about Rodney Harrison! Anybody tht using steroids, yes STEROIDS rodney, is a cheater & cheated the game! Is tht Y u used steroids b/c u were worried about ur stats or ws it b/c u were losing it? Lol! U're a loser & a cheater? Got any steroids I cn borrow?"

    It's hard to make fun of Owens here because he already made himself sound like a 13-year-old girl having a Twitter war with another 8th-grade chick. But here's the thing: If Owens couldn't care less about Rodney Harrison, why did he Tweet about him? Could it be that I found a flaw in Owens' logic? No, that's not possible because Owens is the best human being who has ever lived.

    NEW YORK OFFENSE: How are the Chiefs going to stop the Giants? New York's offensive line is one of the best in the NFL, so they're going to push around Kansas City's flawed three-man front. Like LeSean McCoy, Ray Rice and Willis McGahee, Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw will rip right through the Chiefs' defense.

    Kansas City has only three sacks on the year, and I'll be shocked if that number changes after this game. With Jacobs and Bradshaw running well, Eli Manning will have all the time in the world to locate his emerging receivers downfield.

    KANSAS CITY OFFENSE: Aside from wondering if the Chiefs will win a game this year, the biggest question concerning this team is whether the offense or defense is worse.

    I'd like to say that the former is. The offensive line is garbage and will be overpowed by New York's prolific defensive front. The Chiefs won't be able to run the ball with the decrepit Larry Johnson, while Matt Cassel will once again take too many sacks.

    RECAP: This is a huge mismatch, so while I hate laying tons of points on the road, the Giants are the way to go.

    One concern people may have with New York is the fact that this is its third consecutive road game. However, fading teams in that situation will have given you a 16-12 ATS record, which isn't all that great. And besides, the Giants thrive on the road. They're 23-6 ATS away from home since 2006. Now that's a stat you can count on.


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


    The Vegas. Edge: Chiefs.
    No surprise here.
  • Percentage of money on New York: 93% (193,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Giants.
  • Third Road Alert: Teams in their third-consecutive road game are 12-16 ATS since 2000 (misleading).
  • Giants are 23-6 ATS on the road since 2006.
  • Giants are 13-18 ATS as favorites of 6.5 or more the previous 31 instances.
  • Chiefs are 6-2 ATS as a double-digit underdog since 2006. ???
  • Chiefs are 4-12 ATS at home since 2007.
  • Opening Line: Giants -9.5.
  • Opening Total: 42.5.
  • Weather: Sunny, 59 degrees. Light wind.
  • For more trends, check out the Gaming Matchups or the Expanded NFL Analysis.


    Week 4 NFL Pick: Giants 31, Chiefs 3
    Giants -8.5 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Under 42 (.5 Units) -- Incorrect; -$55
    Giants 27, Chiefs 16







    Baltimore Ravens (3-0) at New England Patriots (2-1)
    Line: Patriots by 1.5. Total: 45.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 3): Patriots -3.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 3): Patriots -3.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET

    The Game. Edge: Ravens.
    NFL Injuries: AFC Injuries | NFC Injuries

    Some college football notes I can't put anywhere else:

    1. Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt had the worst coaching performance I've seen in a very long time Thursday night. It looked like he studied film of Herm Edwards and Art Shell. Ole Miss wasted tons of timeouts, stopped running the ball with its power backs despite the fact that it was working, ran a futile fake field goal, and was whistled for 12 men on the field - right after a timeout! I hope Nutt gets an NFL job so I can make fun of him more often.

    2. I didn't manage to jot down who said this, but check out this quote concerning Tim Tebow's popularity:

    "You know you're popular when you're at a Kenny Chesney concert, and Kenny Chesney calls you up on stage to sing."

    Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait... what would a popular person be doing at a Kenny Chesney concert?

    3. Speaking of Tim Tebow, I think Urban Meyer needs to be nominated as Douche Bag of the Year. Tebow suffered a concussion in the third quarter of Saturday's win over Kentucky. What I blame Meyer for is calling a pass play at the time. Not only was Florida up 31-7 when the injury happened, Tebow was being asked to air it out despite the fact that he had the flu and was puking before the game!

    Meyer has proven time and again that he doesn't care about Tebow. All Urban Meyer cares about is Urban Meyer. He said that he would install more pro sets for Tebow to prepare him for the NFL. Well, I haven't seen every Florida snap this year, but I've seen most of them, and I haven't seen any pro sets. Instead, Tebow keeps running that stupid offense that doesn't translate at all to the NFL.

    I really hope this comes back to hurt Meyer in recruiting. He'll deserve it.

    NEW ENGLAND OFFENSE: The Patriots put up 26 on the Falcons, but they did not look good in the process. Tom Brady once again was hesitant and misfired on some throws he normally would have converted. When Brady was on target, Joey Galloway was dropping a pass or Sam Aiken was running the wrong route. Brady was so frustrated that he yelled at Aiken, "How f***ing hard is that!?"

    New England was able to win because the team established Fred Taylor on the ground. Taylor looked impressive, breaking numerous tackles en route to a 105-yard performance.

    However, don't expect that again. The Falcons are horrendous versus the run, while the Ravens are ranked second against it. The Patriots will be forced to utilize a one-dimensional offense once again.

    Baltimore's stop unit is too good and Brady is not himself. Brady had major problems against the Jets, so it doesn't bode well here because the Ravens run a similar style of defense.

    BALTIMORE OFFENSE: The other problem for New England is its defense. With Richard Seymour gone and Jerod Mayo out, they're having major problems stopping the pass and getting to the quarterback. Their ability to defend the run is the best aspect of their stop unit, and they rank just 14th against it.

    Joe Flacco is really coming into his own, and I really can't see the Patriots containing him. Stationed behind one of the best offensive lines in the league, Flacco will have tons of time to find his targets.

    Flacco will also have the luxury of just handing the ball off to Ray Rice and Willis McGahee, who haven't been stopped yet this season. New England's defense doesn't have the manpower to make that happen.

    RECAP: The wrong team is favored here. The Patriots did a great job bouncing back last week, but they managed to do so against an overrated Falcons squad that was playing out of its element on the road and in the rain.

    Baltimore, on the other hand, has an outstanding and underrated offense to match its prolific defense. Brady has not been himself this year, and I'll be shocked if he doesn't struggle on Sunday.


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


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Baltimore: 52% (160,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Ravens.
  • Ravens are 8-4 ATS as an underdog under John Harbaugh.
  • Ravens are 9-3 ATS on the road under John Harbaugh.
  • Ravens are 10-20 ATS after a home game since 2005.
  • Patriots are 42-33 ATS at home under Bill Belichick.
  • Tom Brady is 101-29 as a starter (77-51 ATS).
  • Opening Line: Patriots -3.
  • Opening Total: 44.
  • Weather: Showers, 66 degrees. Light wind.
  • For more trends, check out the Gaming Matchups or the Expanded NFL Analysis.


    Week 4 NFL Pick: Ravens 27, Patriots 20
    Ravens +2 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Over 45 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
    Patriots 27, Ravens 21



    Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-3) at Washington Redskins (1-2)
    Line: Redskins by 7.5. Total: 37.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 3): Redskins -9.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 3): Redskins -7.5.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET

    The Game. Edge: Redskins.
    NFL Injuries: AFC Injuries | NFC Injuries

    Some more college football notes I can't put anywhere else:

    4. Wendi Nix is hot. Now, that might be obvious, but hearing her read the highlights on Saturday made me impressed with her football knowledge. Also, when Robert Smith was saying something stupid, she actually interjected, "Pay attention, Robert." How awesome is that? So, not only is she good-looking, she knows about football and she's bossy (in a hot way). I fully expect someone to video tape her through a peep hole sometime soon.

    5. My NFL picks have done well lately, but the same can't be said for my college football picks. I hit my September College Football Pick of the Month last week, but I went just 2-3. However, in my defense, I really should have been 4-1. I had Nevada +7.5. In the fourth quarter, they fumbled at the 4-yard line when they had the chance to tie the game. Missouri took over and drove 96 yards for a touchdown, putting them up 15.

    Meanwhile, my Colorado State +17 5-unit wager was debacled even though Colorado State outgained BYU by 60 yards and still managed to lose by 19. How does that happen? I can understand outgaining a team and losing by 1-10 points, but 19?

    Well, whatever. As long as I'm doing well in the NFL, I'm content. If I start doing poorly in both college football and the pros, that's when I'll start freaking out and blaming everything.

    6. I'm hearing a lot of people criticizing Penn State's schedule for the Iowa loss. That probably ranks as Dumbest Opinion of the Year. Penn State would have lost to Iowa regardless of whom they scheduled. And with the way the current fraudulent sport of college football is set up, it's in every team's best interest to schedule cupcakes. The goal in college football is to go 12-0. Because there is no playoff system, you're probably screwed out of the national championship if you lose one game. Why would any team want to play a tough non-conference opponent? That's just stupid.

    TAMPA BAY OFFENSE: It's a miracle. It took Raheem Morris seven weeks (including the preseason) to realize that Byron Sandwich is junk and belongs at the bottom of the depth chart. Of course, this was clearly evident when Luke McCown out-performed Sandwich in the preseason (despite inferior stats), but for some reason, Morris just didn't see it that way.

    Josh Johnson is the new quarterback. He's also not very good, but he can at least do some things like scramble around and not take 20 seconds to throw the football.

    The Buccaneers need to establish the rush here. They have a good run-blocking offensive line and two solid backs. In fact, that's the only good thing about this team. The Redskins, despite the signing of Albert Haynesworth, are just 17th against opposing ground attacks, so Tampa Bay should be able to move the ball here.

    WASHINGTON OFFENSE: Jim Zorn is clueless. Twelve of his first 16 snaps against the Lions were passes despite the fact that Clinton Portis is his best player. Ironically, Zorn refused to trust Jason Campbell on the most important plays of the game.

    Tampa Bay's defense has no positive qualities. The team ranks 27th versus the run and dead last against the pass. The Buccaneers also have just three sacks on the year.

    The Redskins will be able to move the chains and control the clock. However, they were able to do just that against the Rams, but simply bogged down in the red zone because of Zorn's moronic play-calling. I believe the same thing will happen this Sunday.

    RECAP: The Buccaneers seem like the right side here. The Redskins are just 1-5 ATS as favorites of 6.5 or more with Campbell as their quarterback because they can't score consistently. Also, the home shutout angle comes into play (see below).

    I'd love to lay three or more units on this game, but I don't trust the Buccaneers. Still, getting seven points against the Redskins is a pretty enticing offer.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    The Redskins just lost to the Lions, while the Buccaneers are coming off a home shutout. Both have a lot to prove.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Tampa Bay: 56% (92,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Buccaneers.
  • Home Shutout: Teams shut out at home are 16-8 ATS the following week since 2002.
  • Jason Campbell is 1-5 ATS as a favorite of 6.5 or more.
  • Opening Line: Redskins -7.5.
  • Opening Total: 37.5.
  • Weather: Sunny, 70 degrees. Light wind.
  • For more trends, check out the Gaming Matchups or the Expanded NFL Analysis.


    Week 4 NFL Pick: Redskins 16, Buccaneers 13
    Buccaneers +7.5 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
    Under 37 (.5 Units) -- Correct; +$50
    Redskins 16, Buccaneers 13



    Tennessee Titans (0-3) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2)
    Line: Titans by 3. Total: 41.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 3): Titans -2.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 3): Titans -2.5.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET

    The Game. Edge: Titans.
    NFL Injuries: AFC Injuries | NFC Injuries

    My e-mail address is published on this site, so I tend to get more spam and junk mail than the average person. Each week, I'm going to find a hilarious e-mail and post it for your entertainment. Here is this week's edition:

    PLEASE READ AND REPLY VERY URGENTLY.
    FROM: MR MOHAMMED ALPHA

    Dear Friend

    Assalamu ŗalaykum warahmatu Allahi wabarakatuhu

    Please in the name of God i ask for your little time to read this message carefully to the excellency of our mutual benefit. So please read this email very gently and tell me what you think, if we can transact it together or not. And please after reading, if it does not interest you please kindly delet the mail and keep the secret of what you red within you.


    What's weird about this is that he didn't send me anything else. So, unless the jibberish at the top means something significant, I'm not sure what's so secretive about this e-mail.

    Actually, this got me thinking... What if those five weird Arabic words are something important, like Osama bin Laden's home address? For that reason, Mr. Mohammed Alpha, I will be publishing your e-mail so that if those words do mean something super serial, the authorities can see it so they can eliminate terrorism. Don't ever say I never served my country.

    JACKSONVILLE OFFENSE: It's actually Tennessee's defense that's the story here. With Albert Haynesworth gone, the Titans can no longer get pressure from their front four. This is allowing teams to torch their secondary.

    David Garrard struggled in the first two games of the season and really found his groove last week, but that could be because he went from playing tough secondaries like Indianapolis and Arizona's to a horrific defense like Houston's.

    Still, I like to think that Mike Sims-Walker/Walker-Sims has emerged as a Matt Jones-type weapon for Garrard. Garrard was 18-of-30 for 214 yards at Houston, so even though he won't have the services of a sound running game (the Titans are ranked first versus the rush), he'll be able to move chains by throwing into Tennessee's porous secondary.

    TENNESSEE OFFENSE: The Titans' defense is bad, but Jacksonville's stop unit is on a whole other level. They can't stop the run or the pass, and they have only three sacks on the year.

    Chris Johnson will have a monstrous game, in terms of both running the ball and catching passes out of the backfield. Kerry Collins, who has actually played better than I expected him to this season, will move the chains on third-and-short situations versus a Jacksonville secondary ranked 30th against aerial attacks.

    RECAP: This is the third consecutive week that the public believes that the Titans will win because they need to. As a wise man once said, "If a team needs to win, they're probably not that good in the first place."

    The Jaguars absolutely hate Tennessee. They were swept in two meetings last year, so they would love nothing more than to put the final nail in the 2009 Titans' coffin.

    I think these teams are pretty even (the Titans are a bit better), but Jacksonville as a home dog just seems like the right side. I don't get what Tennessee has done to be favored on the road in this contest.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    A must-win for the Titans, but the Jaguars are not going to roll over and let them win their first game of the year. Jacksonville hates Tennessee and was swept last season.


    The Vegas. Edge: Jaguars.
    Tons of action on the 0-3 Titans in a must-win situation.
  • Percentage of money on Tennessee: 94% (138,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Titans.
  • History: Titans have won 4 of the last 5 meetings.
  • Road Rules: Teams are 133-87 ATS on the road after a road loss since 1996 (Jeff Fisher 7-5).
  • Jaguars are 14-8 ATS as an underdog since 2006.
  • Opening Line: Titans -1.
  • Opening Total: 41.
  • Weather: Cloudy, 81 degrees. Light wind.
  • For more trends, check out the Gaming Matchups or the Expanded NFL Analysis.


    Week 4 NFL Pick: Jaguars 23, Titans 20
    Jaguars +3 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Over 41.5 (.5 Units) -- Correct; +$50
    Jaguars 37, Titans 17



    Oakland Raiders (1-2) at Houston Texans (1-2)
    Line: Texans by 9. Total: 42.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 3): Texans -7.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 3): Texans -7.5.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET

    The Game. Edge: Texans.
    NFL Injuries: AFC Injuries | NFC Injuries

    After looking so great in Week 1, the Raiders once again became the Raiders on Sunday. I'd wonder why they have JaMarcus Russell taking so many downfield shots to Darrius Heyward-Bey, but the answer is obvious. If you don't know why, here's what a typical game is like for them:

    Tom Cable: Let's pound the ball with Michael Bush, our most talented runner.

    JaMarcus Russell: You got it coach.

    *Al Davis phones in*

    Al Daivs: Tom Cable... go deep... to Darrius... uhh... the guy who runs fast...

    Tom Cable: But sir, we should really establish the run here.

    Al Davis: We need... to go deep... we have... a great receiver... who runs... a fast 40...

    Tom Cable: I still think we should run the ball.

    Al Davis: If you don't... I will... sacrifice... your daughter...

    Tom Cable: Son of a b***h! OK. JaMarcus, go throw deep to Heyward-Bey.

    OAKLAND OFFENSE: The Raiders couldn't do anything against Denver's surprisingly solid defense, but they'll be more successful this Sunday. I didn't think Houston's defense would be great this year, but I at least thought that it would be improved. Whoops. The Texans are dead last against the run, giving up 6.3 yards per carry.

    Darren McFadden should get back on track against the Texans, and if the Raiders are smart, they'll give Michael Bush more carries. We might also see JaMarcus Russell not totally suck for a change too because Houston has only two sacks on the year, which means Russell will have plenty of time in the pocket to heave downfield bombs to Heyward-Bey. Going to Zach Miller is a better option, so Raider fans can only hope that Undead Al finally realizes this.

    HOUSTON OFFENSE: The Texans were a fumble away from potentially improving to 2-1, thanks to their offense. After a sloppy first game, Matt Schaub has thrown for 657 yards and seven touchdowns.

    Oakland's defense doesn't seem that intimidating, but they were actually able to really frustrate Schaub last year. In a Week 16 meeting, Schaub was just 19-of-36 for 255 yards and an interception. Schaub struggled because Nnamdi Asomugha held Andre Johnson to two receptions for 19 yards.

    With Johnson blanketed, Steve Slaton needs to get the ball as much as possible versus an Oakland rush defense that couldn't contain Correll Buckhalter and Knowshon Moreno last week. Gary Kubiak has to stop fooling around with Chris Brown (not that there's anything wrong with that). In all seriousness, giving the ball to an inferior player on the most significant plays of the game is just plain stupid.

    RECAP: I don't like this situation for Houston. What did they do to be favored by 9.5? A week ago, this line would have been -7 or -7.5, but everyone saw the Raiders embarrass themselves against the Broncos. But remember, Oakland almost beat San Diego in Week 1 and actually defeated the Chiefs at Arrowhead six days later, so they're not as horrific as they made themselves look last week.


    The Psychology. Edge: Raiders.
    I'm not sure I like Houston's mentality as a big favorite. The Raiders were just embarrassed at home; they'll give a better effort here.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Pretty much equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Oakland: 53% (112,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Texans.
  • Raiders are 11-25 ATS vs. teams with losing records since 2001.
  • Raiders are 8-17 ATS in October since 2001.
  • Opening Line: Texans -7.5.
  • Opening Total: 42.5.
  • Weather: Retractable Roof.
  • For more trends, check out the Gaming Matchups or the Expanded NFL Analysis.


    Week 4 NFL Pick: Texans 24, Raiders 20
    Raiders +9 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Over 42.5 (.5 Units) -- Incorrect; -$55
    Texans 29, Raiders 6





    Week 4 NFL Picks - Late Games
    Jets at Saints, Bills at Dolphins, Cowboys at Broncos, Rams at 49ers, Chargers at Steelers, Packers at Vikings


    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 4 NFL Picks - Late Games



    NFL Picks - Nov. 29


    2015 NFL Mock Draft - Nov. 26


    Fantasy Football Rankings - Sept. 5


    2016 NFL Mock Draft - July 24


    2015 NBA Mock Draft - July 1


    NFL Free Agents




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    1 5 Last Week's NFL Picks Against The Spread (Week 12, 2014): 7-8 (+$100)
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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: 4-7
    Bears: 5-6
    Bucs: 8-3
    49ers: 4-6
    Eagles: 7-4
    Lions: 3-7
    Falcons: 6-5
    Cardinals: 6-5
    Giants: 3-8
    Packers: 8-2
    Panthers: 5-6
    Rams: 5-6
    Redskins: 8-3
    Vikings: 9-2
    Saints: 4-6
    Seahawks: 5-6
    Bills: 4-7
    Bengals: 4-8
    Colts: 6-5
    Broncos: 7-4
    Dolphins: 7-3
    Browns: 6-3
    Jaguars: 6-5
    Chargers: 3-8
    Jets: 6-5
    Ravens: 4-6
    Texans: 5-6
    Chiefs: 7-3
    Patriots: 5-6
    Steelers: 6-5
    Titans: 6-3
    Raiders: 3-8
    Divisional: 24-24* (2011-13: 141-137)
    2x Game Edge: 11-14 (2011-13: 55-62)
    2x Psych Edge: 16-19 (2011-13: 92-80)
    2x Vegas Edge: 30-30 (2011-13: 129-142)
    2x Trend Edge: 26-12* (2011-13: 72-78)
    Double Edge: 8-10 (2011-13: 27-33)
    Triple Edge: 0-0 (2011-13: 2-1)
    Quad Edge: 0-0 (2011-13: 0-0)

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