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NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 8, 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 (Week 4, 2009): 10-4 (+$2,040)
NFL Picks (Week 5, 2009): 8-6 (+$895)
NFL Picks (Week 6, 2009): 5-9 (-$730)
NFL Picks (Week 7, 2009): 5-7-1 (-$1,010)

NFL Picks (2009): 68-49-3 (+$5,565)
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 Nov. 2, 4:30 p.m. ET.


Go to Week 8 NFL Picks - Late Games



Houston Texans (4-3) at Buffalo Bills (3-4)
Line: Texans by 3.5. Total: 41.5.

Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 7): Texans -1.5.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 7): Texans -2.
Sunday, 1:00 ET

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

NFL Week 7 Recap: Despite what my record and unit output may say, I was having a great week. I went 4-1-1 in my early games, and my 5-unit play on the Dolphins +6.5 looked like a lock when Miami was up 24-3. At that point, my dad even called up to congratulate me.

Unfortunately, everything fell apart. The Dolphins somehow blew a 24-3 lead and didn't cover, costing me five units. The Giants didn't show up on Sunday night. And I made a terrible call on the Eagles-Redskins game. I finished 5-7-1 and lost 10.1 units. Had Miami covered, I would have had a winning week (units-wise). What a disaster. As NoNonsenseCoach from the forums said, "I can't believe it either. It's like you predicted the upset, and then someone just kicked you in the balls instead of paying you your 5 units."

HOUSTON OFFENSE: Matt Schaub has been on fire. He leads the league in both passing yards (2,074) and touchdowns (16). The Texans are moving the chains at will against the opposition, as Schaub has plenty of awesome weapons to work with, including Andre Johnson and Steve Slaton. Owen Daniels, meanwhile, has become one of the top 3-4 tight ends in the league.

With all that in mind, Schaub might struggle a bit in Buffalo. Johnson had a lung contusion, and while he may play, we don't know if he'll be 100 percent. More prominently, the Bills are third versus the pass and they intercept a lot of balls. They've frustrated quarterbacks all year, including Tom Brady and Drew Brees.

The way to beat Buffalo is on the ground. Unfortunately, the Texans won't be able to do that. Slaton is a very talented player, but his offensive line just isn't opening up any holes for him.

BUFFALO OFFENSE: I never thought Ryan Fitzpatrick would ever be an upgrade for any team in this league, but that has proven to be the case in Buffalo. Unlike Trent Edwards, Fitzpatrick is getting the ball to his best player, Lee Evans. What a concept.

Fitzpatrick should have a decent outing. He's going against a secondary that allowed Alex Smith to look like the second coming of Joe Montana. And Buffalo's offensive line, while pedestrian, should be able to keep Houston's defenders out of the backfield; in seven games, the Texans have only nine sacks.

Like last week, the Bills won't be able to run the ball. The Texans may rank 25th versus the rush, but they've been a lot better against it lately. In back-to-back weeks, they've shut down Cedric Benson and Frank Gore.

RECAP: I like the Bills here for a few reasons. First, Houston has the Colts next week, so the team may not be completely focused. Also, I don't like the Texans in the role of a road favorite. They're a good team, but I just don't think they are quite there yet. In franchise history, they've been road favorites only twice. They're 0-2 against the spread in that situation.

Also, one more thing of note. If you look below, you'll see some crazy Big Al trend that is 114-68 against the spread (taken from handicapping legend Al McMordie). I don't mind siding with something that works that well.


The Psychology. Edge: Bills.
The Bills will be more focused for this game; the Texans are in an obvious Look-Ahead Alert because they have the Colts next week.


The Vegas. Edge: Bills.
The public loves the Texans and their high-octane offense.
  • Percentage of money on Houston: 86% (148,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Bills.
  • Big Al Trend: Since 1980, unrested home dogs are 114-68 ATS off a straight-up road win vs. team coming off home win.
  • Texans are 14-24 ATS after a win (7-8 since 2007).
  • Texans are 0-2 ATS as road favorites in franchise history.
  • Bills are 22-11 ATS in November home games the previous 33 contests.
  • Bills are 14-6 ATS against losing teams since 2006.
  • Bills are 6-18 ATS in their last 24 home games vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Opening Line: Texans -3.5.
  • Opening Total: 40.5.
  • Weather: Showers, 47 degrees. Mild wind, 11 mph.
  • For more trends, check out the Gaming Matchups or the Expanded NFL Analysis.


    Week 8 NFL Pick: Bills 20, Texans 17
    Bills +3.5 (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
    Under 41.5 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Texans 31, Bills 10



    Cleveland Browns (1-6) at Chicago Bears (3-3)
    Line: Bears by 12.5. Total: 40.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 7): Bears -13.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 7): Bears -14.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET

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

    Vegas Recap: If the poor economy wasn't bad enough, Vegas was absolutely torched this weekend. Some people may have actually been killed because of what happened. Favorites went 10-2-1 against the spread. Almost all of the massively backed teams covered (Packers, Chargers, Colts, Patriots, Jets, Saints and Eagles). Only the Cowboys and Cardinals helped out the books.

    Vegas is really getting murdered this year. They're going to have to start fixing games soon before all of the sportsbooks go out of business.

    CHICAGO OFFENSE: I don't really know what happened to the Bears last week, but it seemed as though the Bengals knew exactly what Chicago was going to do on every play. It's as if Cedric Benson sneaked into Lovie Smith's office and stole his playbook. It's amazing what you're capable of doing once you've been blackballed by someone.

    Playing Cleveland is the exact medicine Chicago needs right now. The Browns are 28th against the run, and that will only get worse with star linebacker D'Qwell Jackson out for the year. I think this is Matt Forte's breakout game. If he doesn't dominate Cleveland this week, he won't do anything positive the rest of the season.

    With Forte presumably running well, Jay Cutler will have play-action and short-yardage opportunities. The Browns don't bring much pressure, so he'll have a lot of time in the pocket and won't have to force anything downfield.

    CLEVELAND OFFENSE: Derek Anderson is one of the five worst quarterbacks in the NFL (though he's still better than Brady Quinn. One newspaper this week - can't remember if it was Cleveland or Green Bay's - reported that on some occasions, Anderson had his eyes closed when he was chucking the ball downfield. You can't make this stuff up.

    Making matters worse for Anderson is that he doesn't have anything to work with. Mohamed Massaquoi, Chansi Stuckey and Brian Robiskie? This is what the great Eric Mangina came up with? How does Mangina still have a job?

    Anderson will be forced to beat Chicago's secondary because Jamal Lewis won't have any room to work with. The Bears are 13th versus the rush, and that ranking factors in the beatdown they took against Benson last weekend. That won't happen again.

    RECAP: I love the Bears here in an easy blowout. Coming off two consecutive losses, Chicago really needs a win to keep up with the Vikings and Packers. And after surrendering 45 points last week, the Bears will be playing for pride. It's worked in the past; Chicago is 5-1 ATS after giving up 30 or more points in a loss since 2005.

    SURVIVOR PICK: This is my Week 8 NFL Survivor Pick. If you haven't taken the Colts yet, they should be your top option. The Chargers also aren't a bad choice, but I had picking divisional games in a survivor contest.


    The Psychology. Edge: Bears.
    At 3-3, the Bears have to win this game, and they'll be looking for vindication after allowing 45 points to the Bengals.


    The Vegas. Edge: Browns.
    You'd have to be insane right now to bet on the Browns.
  • Percentage of money on Chicago: 83% (146,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Bears.
  • Browns are 13-4 ATS after allowing 30 or more points since 2005.
  • Bears are 18-10 ATS in November since 2001.
  • Bears are 5-0 ATS off back-to-back losses since 2005.
  • Bears are 5-1 ATS after giving up 30 or more points in a loss since 2005.
  • Opening Line: Bears -13.5.
  • Opening Total: 40.5.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 50 degrees. Light wind.
  • For more trends, check out the Gaming Matchups or the Expanded NFL Analysis.


    Week 8 NFL Pick: Bears 30, Browns 3
    Bears -13 (4 Units) -- Correct; +$400
    Under 40 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Survivor Pick (7-0)
    Bears 30, Browns 6





    Seattle Seahawks (2-4) at Dallas Cowboys (4-2)
    Line: Cowboys by 10. Total: 46.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 7): Cowboys -11.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 7): Cowboys -13.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET

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

    Some NFL notes I can't put anywhere else:

    1. I'm still in love with Rebecca Grant, the chick who appears on Fox before the 1 p.m. games every Sunday. She could be speaking gibberish, and I'd still watch her talk.

    2. If you didn't see it on my 2009 NFL Power Rankings page, JaMarcus Russell said the following after a reporter asked him if he was responsible for the 38-0 loss to the Jets:

    "I don't think it's me personally, I really don't. It's a bad combination of one guy doesn't so somethin right one time and he doesn't do... no, it all plays a... play... I personally don't think it's me. Do you think so?"

    JaMarcuss Russell is the biggest bust of all time. Do you think so?

    3. Speaking of Russell Unathletic (as e-mailer Vincent G. calls him), here's a great Ode to JaMarcus Russell by BobLoblaw.

    4. When Russell threw his pick-six, which was a short, soft pass to a Jets defender with no Raider receiver in the area, CBS color analyst Dan Dierdorf said the following, "I don't think JaMarcus Russell had a plan on that play."

    Dan, you're right, but I don't think Russell has a plan period. Do you think so?

    DALLAS OFFENSE: Speaking of not having a plan, Wade Phillips and Jason Garrett didn't seem to have one concerning their rushing attack. Tashard Choice, Dallas' only healthy running back, didn't get a single carry against the Falcons. Felix Jones played well in a limited role, while Marion Barber continued to struggle with his strained quad.

    Running the ball against the Seahawks' 24th-ranked rush defense would normally work, but Barber just isn't effective because soft-tissue injuries take longer to recover from. It's amazing that neither Garrett nor Mr. Turkey Neck has figured this out yet.

    Fortunately for the Cowboys, the Falcons couldn't figure out that Miles Austin-Jones has become Dallas' new No. 1 receiver. Austin-Jones has done an incredible job these past two weeks against single coverage, so look for the Seahawks (who are better versus the pass than an Atlanta team that was missing a starting corner) to pay extra attention to him. The right move is to allow the perennially overrated Roy Williams to beat you.

    If the Seahawks do this, Tony Romo will struggle. Not only will his No. 1 wideout be covered; he'll also feel the pressure from a Seattle defense that has 16 sacks in six games.

    SEATTLE OFFENSE: Like the Seahawks, the Cowboys struggle to stop the run, ranking 20th against it. But even though Julius Jones will have some incentive to beat his former team, I can't see him having a dominating performance; he simply stinks and Seattle's just not blocking well for him.

    Speaking of blocking, Seattle's offensive line will determine who wins this game. Sean Locklear and Walter Jones are both questionable, so if at least one of them plays, the Seahawks will have a great chance here. With Locklear and/or Jones up front, Matt Hasselbeck will have time in the pocket against a secondary that has had problems stopping Matt Cassel and Kyle Orton.

    However, if both Locklear and Jones are out, the Cowboys will control the line of scrimmage just as they did against the Falcons last week. Hasselbeck once again won't have an opportunity to locate T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Nate Burleson downfield.

    So, what are the chances that either guy will play? Well, a good sign is that the Seahawks cut Kyle Williams recently. Williams was starting at tackle and doing a miserable job. He may have just been released because of his ineptness, but I don't think Seattle would have gotten rid of depth for that reason alone.

    RECAP: I hope either Jones or Locklear plays because this is a great spot for the Seahawks. The Cowboys seldom show up as big favorites, and they'll be looking ahead to battling the Eagles and Packers the next two weeks. I seriously doubt they're going to give their best effort against some 2-4 NFC West squad.

    If it's announced that either Jones or Locklear will play, I'll bump this up a couple of units.


    The Psychology. Edge: Seahawks.
    This is a Breather Alert for the Cowboys; after this easy contest, they have two road battles against the Eagles and Packers.


    The Vegas. Edge: Seahawks.
    The Cowboys will always be a public team, especially against 2-4 squads like Seattle.
  • Percentage of money on Dallas: 88% (178,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Seahawks.
  • Seahawks are 10-18 ATS on the road since 2006.
  • Tony Romo is 21-11 ATS as a starter before Dec. 1.
  • Tony Romo is 5-10 ATS as a favorite of -7 or more excluding Thanksgiving.
  • Opening Line: Cowboys -9.5.
  • Opening Total: 45.5.
  • Weather: Retractable roof.
  • For more trends, check out the Gaming Matchups or the Expanded NFL Analysis.


    Week 8 NFL Pick: Cowboys 24, Seahawks 20
    Seahawks +10 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Under 46 (.5 Units) -- Incorrect; -$55
    Cowboys 38, Seahawks 17





    St. Louis Rams (0-7) at Detroit Lions (1-5)
    Line: Lions by 3.5. Total: 44.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 7): Lions -4.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 7): Lions -4.5.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET

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

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

    1. If you talk to an investment guy, he'll tell you to diversify your money into stocks, bonds, IRAs, mutual funds, etc. I say screw that. If you want to make some real money, go to my College Football Picks and bet against me. I suck! People who bet North Carolina -2.5 for my October College Football Pick of the Month watched the Tar Heels inexplicably blow a 24-6 lead with possession in the third quarter. How does that happen? I guess the same way the Dolphins blew a 24-3 advantage.

    2. A few weeks ago, I mentioned how senile and error-prone CBS play-by-play announcer Verne Lundquist was. Lundquist has a great voice, but he said some crazy things like Donte' Stallworth getting injured for Alabama.

    Blake H. e-mailed me an error Lundquist made while broadcasting the Alabama-Tennessee game this weekend: "And the Vols have played great against the No. 1 ranked, undefeated Auburn squad!"

    Meh, Alabama, Auburn. Many can make that mistake. After all, the schools have a whopping two letters in common.

    3. I didn't watch much college football on Saturday, so I have nothing more to say. To find out why I didn't watch much college football, check out my Jerks of the Week on Wednesday morning.

    4. Phillies in six. And yes, this is a Kevin Reilly homer pick, but this has always been my prediction ever since the middle of September.

    ST. LOUIS OFFENSE: Steven Jackson. That's the Rams' offense right there. Jackson has run well all year, but hasn't scored a single touchdown because the rest of his team sucks. His running has allowed St. Louis to do some plays, like the Donnie Avery 50-yard reception off a flea flicker against the Colts, but those big gains have been very far and few between.

    The problem is that Marc Bulger sucks and the offensive line can't block anything. The Lions actually do bring pressure (15 sacks in six games), so when Jackson doesn't set Bulger up in third-and-short situations, Bulger will continue to add to his sack total. Bulger and Kyle Boller have gone down 16 times this year.

    DETROIT OFFENSE: Good news and bad news. The good news is that Matthew Stafford took first-team snaps in practice Tuesday. Daunte Culpepper is an abomination, so Stafford gives the Lions a legitimate chance to beat more than half of the teams in this league (Stafford had the Lions close to the Bears before he left with an injury).

    The bad news is that Calvin Johnson hasn't practiced yet and has been spotted walking around with a limp. It's pretty obvious that Detroit needs Megatron in the lineup to be competitive against the upper-echelon teams in the league.

    Fortunately for the Lions, the Rams are definitely not in the upper echelon. They rank 18th against the run, but that figure will continue to decline with Will Witherspoon gone. Kevin Smith will dominate this game as long as Jim Schwartz gives him 20 or more touches, which will give Stafford more time in the pocket than he already should get. St. Louis' defense has 12 sacks in seven contests.

    RECAP: If you've been reading this site for a while now, you know that I love the Lions. This fits into one situation that works about 70 percent of the time. A coach going against his former team almost always does well because he knows their personnel and ways to exploit their weaknesses. And the Rams have a ton of weaknesses for Scott Linehan to take advantage of.

    The real question is how many units I'm willing to put on a 1-5 Lions squad giving points. It won't be any more than three, but it'll depend on the status of Stafford and Megatron. I also want to see what the spread is. Check back later in the week.

    FRIDAY UPDATE: The Lions are favored by four, which doesn't surprise me. I like them here for the reasons I listed above. This is a 3-unit play.


    The Psychology. Edge: Lions.
    Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan coached the Rams from 2006 to 2008.


    The Vegas. Edge: Rams.
    Odd to see the public pound the Lions like this.
  • Percentage of money on Detroit: 61% (86,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Rams.
  • Zero Heroes: Teams 0-7 or worse are 20-10 ATS since 2000.
  • Rams are 21-38 ATS in road games since 2001.
  • Lions are 3-9 ATS against losing teams the previous 12 instances.
  • Opening Line: Lions -5.5.
  • Opening Total: 45.
  • Weather: Dome.
  • For more trends, check out the Gaming Matchups or the Expanded NFL Analysis.


    Week 8 NFL Pick: Lions 20, Rams 10
    Lions -3.5 (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
    Under 44 (.5 Units) -- Correct; +$50
    Rams 17, Lions 10





    New York Giants (5-2) at Philadelphia Eagles (4-2)
    Line: Giants by 1.5. Total: 44.

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

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

    It's time for Notes from NFL.com GameCenter - a list of a few stupid comments I read on NFL.com's new crappy GameCenter and my thoughts on them:

    1. "Sick of these b***h a** Chiefs fans who blame the Refs. Its the mothaf***ing Chiefs team that needs to learn how to play football. They will learn one of these days."

    I'm pretty confident Larry Johnson wrote this.

    2. "I really think that Al Davis should consider dying now..."

    But if he's dead, he can't draft players with fast 40s!

    3. "lol so many stupid SF f a g g o t s the capitol of q u e e r !!! you pieces of s * * t can talk all you want, TEXANS WILDCARD 09"

    Hey, i d i o t - your K K K meeting is about to start. Stop posting or you'll be late!

    NEW YORK OFFENSE: The Giants really struggled to do anything Sunday night. There were three reasons for this. First, I don't believe they put forth maximum effort against the Cardinals. At 5-1, that game didn't mean much to them, especially with the Eagles coming up. Second, right tackle Kareem McKenzie was out. And third, Arizona knew when Eli Manning was going to snap the ball. As Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth repeatedly pointed out, the Cardinals were in the backfield as soon as Manning yelled, "Omaha!" Look for Tom Coughlin to change that to another city.

    As for the second issue, McKenzie will probably be back in the lineup, so New York's rushing attack should be more effective this Sunday. The Eagles are tough against the run (4th), but the Giants have shown over the years that they can move the chains via the ground game on anyone. The difference Sunday night was McKenzie's absence.

    I also think Manning bounces back, especially after back-to-back losses. Unlike the two meetings at Giants Stadium last year in which New York lost to Philadelphia, Manning will have talented receivers to work with. Steve Smith is among the league leaders in yardage, while Hakeem Nicks' role in the offense is growing each week. The only problem is the drop-happy Mario Manningham, who can't run a route to save his life.

    PHILADELPHIA OFFENSE: The Eagles scored 27 points against the Redskins on Monday night, but they were far from impressive. Thirteen of those points came off turnovers, while the other 14 were scored via long DeSean Jackson gains. Take away both of Jackson's touchdowns, and the Eagles had just 38 net yards.

    The problem for Philadelphia was its horrific offensive line and LeSean McCoy's inability to pick up blitzes. In third-and-long situations, Donovan McNabb didn't have much time in the pocket, and when he did, he tossed his trademark passes into the ground. McNabb has been sacked 12 times in four starts this year - and keep in mind that those starts have been against the Panthers, Buccaneers, Raiders and Redskins.

    The Giants have 16 sacks on the year, and I'll be shocked if they're not in Philadelphia's backfield all afternoon. Making matters worse for McNabb, there's a very good chance that Brian Westbrook will miss this game after suffering a concussion at Washington.

    RECAP: With the Giants losing two in a row and the Eagles coming off a Monday night victory, expectations are high in Philadelphia again. The Eagles are even favored in this game by three.

    And that's exactly why I love the Giants here. They're a great team (especially on the road) and they'll find a way to snap their losing streak.

    More prominently, Philadelphia always chokes under pressure. Always. Just look at McNabb's vomiting in the Super Bowl and all of those losses in the NFC Championships. Also, the Eagles are just 1-9-1 (straight up) in their last 11 games that have been decided by four points or less. As Emmitt would say, "The proves are in the... uhh... thing that Bob Cosby advertise."

    UNIT CHANGE: I had the Giants +3 for five units, but the spread has dropped to 1.5. I've decreased this to four units.

    UNIT CHANGE AGAIN: This is now a pick em, and the Giants could be favored soon. I liked New York because I thought the Eagles would choke as favorites. Well, they're not favored anymore. I'm still taking the Giants, but I'm not nearly as confident about it now.


    The Psychology. Edge: Giants.
    The Giants will be hungry coming off back-to-back losses. They'll also be looking for revenge after losing in the playoffs. The Eagles, meanwhile, are expected to win a tough game. They seldom thrive in a situation like this; they're much better as underdogs.

    UPDATE: This line is now a Pick, and the Giants could be favored soon. This debacles the reason I was picking New York in the first place.


    The Vegas. Edge: Eagles.
    It doesn't surprise me that the public is favoring the Giants.
  • Percentage of money on New York: 83% (147,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Giants.
  • History: Road Team has won the last 4 meetings.
  • Winning Coach: Tom Coughlin is 7-4 ATS after losing as a favorite.
  • Giants are 24-7 ATS on the road since 2006.
  • Giants are 14-7 ATS after a loss since 2005.
  • Giants are 4-1 ATS off back-to-back losses.
  • Eagles are 59-35 ATS vs. NFC opponents since 2001.
  • Eagles are 27-16 ATS vs. NFC East opponents since 2001.
  • Opening Line: Eagles -3.
  • Opening Total: 44.5.
  • Weather: Showers, 61 degrees. Light wind.
  • For more trends, check out the Gaming Matchups or the Expanded NFL Analysis.


    Week 8 NFL Pick: Giants 20, Eagles 17
    Giants +1.5 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Under 44 (.5 Units) -- Incorrect; -$55
    Eagles 40, Giants 17



    San Francisco 49ers (3-3) at Indianapolis Colts (6-0)
    Line: Colts by 13.5. Total: 45.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 7): Colts -11.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 7): Colts -13.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET

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

    It's a new month, so if you had a poor picking month on DraftDebacled.com, you can start over for a chance win some money in November.

    If you don't know what I'm talking about, we are now running a NFL Picking Contest on our sister site, DraftDebacled.com. It's free to enter, and there are monthly prizes ($75 for the winner, $25 for second place), so click on the link to sign up.

    Also, a few reminders:

    There will be a 2010 NFL Mock Draft update on Thursday.

    I'll also have Week 7 Fantasy Weekly Rankings for you on Thursday.

    And finally, there are 46 people still alive in the survivor pool. Make sure you get your picks in by noon Eastern on Sunday.

    INDIANAPOLIS OFFENSE: The Falcons threw all over San Francisco's secondary. The Texans did the same thing. Is Peyton Manning going to struggle? Yes, but only if he snorts cocaine before the game.

    Part of the problem for San Francisco is the defense's inability to get pressure on the quarterback. In their previous two games, the 49ers have just two combined sacks on Matt Ryan and Matt Schaub. Manning has been sacked twice all year, so you can do the math.

    The 49ers are tough versus the run, so they should be able to contain Joseph Addai, but here's the bottom line: Manning is on fire now, and San Francisco won't be able to stop him.

    SAN FRANCISCO OFFENSE: What the 49ers need to do to win this contest is essentially copy Miami's game plan - they need to run the ball very effectively against the Colts and convert third-and-short situations so that Manning doesn't get to see the field often.

    The problem with that strategy is that the Colts have improved against the rush since that near-loss. And it's not like the 49ers are having much success running the ball; Frank Gore and Glen Coffee have been kept in check their past two outings.

    Alex Smith, named the starter on Monday, will have to move the chains on his own. He did a great job nearly coming back against the Texans, but there's a huge difference between Indianapolis' secondary and Houston's. The Colts have the league's second-ranked pass defense. They'll have a game plan to force Smith into some turnovers.

    RECAP: I see no reason to go against Peyton Manning right now. He's on fire.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    The Colts don't need this game, but Peyton Manning and his guys seldom show up flat.


    The Vegas. Edge: 49ers.
    Shocker.
  • Percentage of money on Indianapolis: 90% (210,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: 49ers.
  • Road Rules: Teams on the road after a road loss are 135-94 ATS since 1996.
  • Colts are 18-10 ATS vs. the NFC since 2002.
  • Colts are 4-6 ATS at Lucas Oil Field.
  • Opening Line: Colts -11.5.
  • Opening Total: 43.5.
  • Weather: Dome.
  • For more trends, check out the Gaming Matchups or the Expanded NFL Analysis.


    Week 8 NFL Pick: Colts 31, 49ers 10
    Colts -13.5 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Under 45 (.5 Units) -- Correct; +$50
    Colts 18, 49ers 14





    Miami Dolphins (2-4) at New York Jets (4-3)
    Line: Jets by 3.5. Total: 41.

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

    The Game. Edge: Dolphins.
    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:

    Hello my dear friend,

    I am more than happy when I saw your mail. How was your day?, Mine a little cold and windy here in Dakar, Senegal. My name is Miss.Joy Brown of the Republic of Liberia in West Africa, I am 5.6ft tall, I have never married before and now I'm living here in dakar senegal, Looking to meet with a nice person who would be a good friend to me, a friend who put me in the guide and me in this journey of life, who shift my feelings and reason together,

    What does this mean to ask you for the friendship, friendship is a promise made in the heart of quiet, unwritten, unchangeable by time and distance Unbreakable and will live in my heart forever. And what it takes to be a friendship, it can take years to find a place where love, peace and joy to observe. This is a place that calms your fears. And there's strength lies. Storm yet to come, the rain does fall, but the faith to get it to the end.

    l'm very gentle, lovely, sexy, romantic, responsible, kind, good, honest, and trustworth, because my mother use to tell me that good wife, good food, good manner and good sex makes a man feel at home.

    l don't smoke and l don't drink, l hate war, l hate fighting and qurrelling in the house and l'm very hard working. I am from a good family, l will also like to know you as you have heard about me,and l want you to reply me and send me your picture and phone number and i will return in kind to you, Remeber the distance or colour does not matter but love matters alot in life, I believe we can move from here! I am waiting for your mail.

    Miss Joy Brown


    First of all, Miss Joy Brown, I appreciate the fact that you gave me a definition of friendship. I learned the definition of that word when I was in kindergarten, but it just slipped my mind. Fortunately, I opened up your e-mail to rediscover its meaning.

    But damn, how perfect does this Miss Joy Brown sound? She's the ideal woman I'd like to marry, but there's just one major flaw. I really was set on looking for a girl who likes war. Too bad, Miss Joy Brown. Maybe another guy will be interested.

    MIAMI OFFENSE: Poor Raiders. They had their running game ready to go against the Jets, but just couldn't get it going because they were down 14-0 instantly after two JaMarcus Russell turnovers. Justin Fargas was licking his chops against New York's defense, but it was all for naught.

    The Jets are 17th versus the rush, but lost their massive nose tackle Kris Jenkins a week ago. His absence will be huge here, as Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams should be able to rip off massive yardage, setting up easy conversions for Chad Henne, who has played well thus far aside from Sunday's fourth-quarter debaclation.

    Here's the thing with Henne though. Every start he has made thus far has been at home. He saw a bit of action at San Diego in Week 3, but he tossed a pick-six. That's not a good sign because he will be making his first start in a hostile environment.

    NEW YORK OFFENSE: The Jets rushed for 300-plus yards for the second week in a row on Sunday. Like the Dolphins, New York has one of the elite ground attacks in the NFL. Leon Washington is done for the year, but Shonn Greene showed that he's capable of being a very good replacement.

    Unfortunately, the Jets won't be able to make it three consecutive games of 300 yards. The Dolphins rank sixth versus the rush, and in their prior meeting with New York, they limited Washington and Thomas Jones to 87 yards on 24 carries.

    With Jones and Greene held in check, Sanchez will be forced to convert long-yardage situations. That's the bad news. However, there are three pieces of good news for Sanchez. First, Miami's top corner, Will Allen, is out for the year. Second, there's a very good chance Jerricho Cotchery will be back in the lineup (Rex Ryan said he's optimistic). And third, this won't be a cold-weather game like the Buffalo contest. Weather.com says it'll be 60 and sunny at the Meadowlands on Sunday.

    RECAP: I picked Miami over New York on Monday night a few weeks ago, but this is a horrific spot for the Dolphins. They put everything into that Saints game and had it won when they were up 24-3. However, New Orleans came back to win and ripped their hearts out. There's no way they'll be able to recover from that. Their season is over.


    The Psychology. Edge: Jets.
    Major letdown for the Dolphins. They put everything into the Saints game and came up short. They'll be flat here.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Miami: 56% (148,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Dolphins.
  • History: Jets have won 17 of the last 23 meetings (Dolphins have won the last 2 meetings).
  • Dolphins are 6-2 ATS vs. AFC East since 2008.
  • Opening Line: Jets -4.
  • Opening Total: 40.
  • Weather: Showers, 56 degrees. Light wind.
  • For more trends, check out the Gaming Matchups or the Expanded NFL Analysis.


    Week 8 NFL Pick: Jets 23, Dolphins 10
    Jets -3.5 (5 Units) -- Incorrect; -$550
    Under 41 (.5 Units) -- Incorrect; -$55
    Dolphins 30, Jets 25



    Denver Broncos (6-0) at Baltimore Ravens (3-3)
    Line: Ravens by 3.5. Total: 42.

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

    The Game. Edge: None.
    NFL Injuries: AFC Injuries | NFC Injuries

    It's time for the Video of the Week segment. I'd like to thank e-mailer Donnie P. for sending over this awesome Shannon Sharpe Parody. I think it's safe to say that my Sharpe impressions were not an exaggeration. "When you play the game, you play the game."

    BALTIMORE OFFENSE: My first question regarding Baltimore's offensive attack was whether or not Jared Gaither would be available. Gaither, the Ravens' elite left tackle, has missed action in the past three games. Baltimore is 0-3 in those contests.

    Gaither will be back in the lineup, which will allow Michael Oher to slide back to right tackle. Oher did a great job filling in for Gaither, but the big thing was that the inept Marshal Yanda was forced into starting at right tackle in the wake of the injury.

    With Gaither making his return, Baltimore's ground attack will be as dynamic as ever. The Broncos are second versus the rush, but Ray Rice already has performed well against tough defenses like Cincinnati and Minnesota. I like Rice to have another big game.

    Joe Flacco will be protected well again, so he should be able to put together a solid performance. The Broncos are fifth against the pass because they put so much pressure on the quarterback, but Denver hasn't gone up against an offensive line as good as Baltimore's yet this year.

    DENVER OFFENSE: Beginning in Week 2, when the Chargers threw all over them, the secondary has been a growing issue for the Ravens. In fact, they rank 28th against the pass. How did that happen?

    Like Baltimore, Denver has a really good offensive front that will protect Kyle Orton. Orton has been prolific this year, and I see no reason why he won't continue to convert third downs and keep drives alive with great efficiency.

    The Ravens are seventh versus the rush, but it must be noted that they've really struggled to stop Adrian Peterson and Cedric Benson in their previous two games. I know Peterson and Benson are two of the top backs in the league, but Knowshon Moreno is really talented and has the luxury of running behind one of the best lines in the business.

    RECAP: This should be a close game that could go either way.

    I'm going with the Ravens because they really need to win much more than Denver does. And I'm not really sure how much this contest means to the Broncos anyway. They battle the Super Bowl champion Steelers next week, so with a three-game lead in the division, I don't see why they'd play with any sort of desperation here.


    The Psychology. Edge: Ravens.
    The Broncos are 6-0 and have the Steelers next week. They don't really need this game as much as the Ravens do.


    The Vegas. Edge: Broncos.
    Slight edge on the Ravens.
  • Percentage of money on Baltimore: 58% (206,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Broncos are 14-5 ATS off a bye week since 1989.
  • Ravens are 23-13 ATS in November.
  • Ravens are 13-4 ATS in November home games since 2000.
  • Opening Line: Ravens -4.
  • Opening Total: 40.5.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 63 degrees. Mild wind, 11 mph.
  • For more trends, check out the Gaming Matchups or the Expanded NFL Analysis.


    Week 8 NFL Pick: Ravens 27, Broncos 20
    Ravens -3.5 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Over 42 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
    Ravens 30, Broncos 7



    Week 8 NFL Picks - Late Games
    Jaguars at Titans, Raiders at Chargers, Vikings at Packers, Panthers at Cardinals, Falcons at Saints


    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 8 NFL Picks - Late Games



    2014 NFL Mock Draft - April 24


    2014 NBA Mock Draft - April 23


    NFL Free Agents - April 22


    2015 NFL Mock Draft - April 17


    Fantasy Football Rankings - March 28


    NFL Picks - Feb. 2




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    Last Week's NFL Picks Against The Spread (Week 21, 2013): 1-0 (+$700)
    Last Week's 2-3 Unit NFL Picks (Week 21, 2013): 0-0 ($0)
    Last Week's 4-5 Unit NFL Picks (Week 21, 2013): 0-0 ($0)
    Last Week Over-Under (Week 21, 2013): 0-1 ($0)
    Last Week's Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks (Week 21, 2013): +$300

    2013 NFL Picks of the Month: 6-0, 100% (+$3,900)

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

    1999 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 27-41-3 (39.7%)
    2000 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 128-123-8 (51.0%)
    2001 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 127-122-7 (51.0%)
    2002 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 123-136-7 (47.5%)
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    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%)
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    2002 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 11-12 (47.8%)
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    2011 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 14-14, 50.0% (-$1,260)
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    2001 Season Over-Under: 3-2 (60.0%)
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    2006 Season Over-Under: 129-132-5 (49.4%)
    2007 Season Over-Under: 136-145-3, 48.4% (-$1,900)
    2008 Season Over-Under: 137-125-6, 52.3% (+$860)
    2009 Season Over-Under: 128-135-4, 48.7% (-$3,195)
    2010 Season Over-Under: 128-135-5, 48.7% (-$5)
    2011 Season Over-Under: 131-131-5, 50.0% (+$135)
    2012 Season Over-Under: 125-121-5, 50.8% (+$30)

    2007 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,035
    2008 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,775
    2009 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$865
    2010 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$200
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    2012 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$1,685

    2006 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3 (50%)
    2007 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3, 50.0% (-$400)
    2008 NFL Picks of the Month: 6-1, 85.7% (+$3,720)
    2009 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$640)
    2010 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-4, 33.3% (-$1,810)
    2011 NFL Picks of the Month: 5-2, 71.4% (+$1,870)
    2012 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$560)

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



    My Team-by-Team ATS Record
    This section shows how well I do when picking each team this year. The purpose is to see how well I read each team. Pushes are not displayed. Winning/losing streak in parentheses.

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

    2003 Preseason: 3 | 4 | 5
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    2011 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
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