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NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 17, 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 (Week 8, 2009): 7-6 (-$390)
NFL Picks (Week 9, 2009): 9-4 (+$1,120)
NFL Picks (Week 10, 2009): 7-7-1 (+$15)
NFL Picks (Week 11, 2009): 9-6-1 (+$700)
NFL Picks (Week 12, 2009): 10-6 (+$1,300)
NFL Picks (Week 13, 2009): 9-7 (-$240)
NFL Picks (Week 14, 2009): 6-10 (-$1,450)
NFL Picks (Week 15, 2009): 8-7-1 (-$685)
NFL Picks (Week 16, 2009): 8-6-2 (-$690)

NFL Picks (2009): 141-108-8 (+$5,245)
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 Jan. 3, 11:25 a.m. ET.


Go to Week 17 NFL Picks - Early Games



Green Bay Packers (10-5) at Arizona Cardinals (10-5)
Line: Cardinals by 3. Total: 44.

Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 16): Packers -3.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 16): Cardinals -3.
Sunday, 4:15 ET

The Game. Edge: Cardinals?
NFL Injuries: AFC Injuries | NFC Injuries

Jerks of the Week for Dec. 28, 2009 are up, so just click the link. This week's jerks are: 1) Corrine Brown. 2) Strength of Schedule Man. 3) Ed Block.

STARTERS RESTING: I doubt the Packers play any of their starters. If they beat the Cardinals, they'll have to play them again in this stadium next week. Why would they tip their hand at all? Why even risk the health of Aaron Rodgers? Even if Rodgers and company play for a few series, it'll be a very vanilla game plan. Mike McCarthy won't want to reveal any of the cards he has up his sleeve.

The Cardinals are trickier. If the Vikings beat the Giants, Arizona won't have a chance at a bye and probably would rest its starters as well. The Cardinals could still get the No. 3 seed, but that would mean that they would play No. 6 Green Bay at home again the following week, so as I said regarding McCarthy, I don't think Ken Whisenhunt wants to reveal anything to the Packers.

BOTH OFFENSES: Now, if Minnesota loses, the Cardinals would have a legitimate chance at a bye and probably would go with Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin. If I'm right in assuming that the Packers will rest their starters, Warner will easily slice through Green Bay's backups; there's no need in even going into full analysis.

However, if the Vikings beat the Giants, expect a lot of Matt Flynn, Matt Leinart, Brandon Jackson, LaRod Stephen-Howling, Jordy Nelson and Early Doucet. Once that happens, there's no telling who would have the advantage; it would be like betting on a preseason game without knowing any of the coaching tendencies.

RECAP: I'm tentatively placing zero units on the Cardinals; I wouldn't even recommend betting a dime on this game if Minnesota beats New York. If the Giants are crushing the Vikings, I may make this a multi-unit bet. However, that contest may not be decided until after this one kicks off, so it's possible that there won't be a chance to increase my wager if New York wins.

If you can do an "if bet" on your sportsbook Web site with the Giants and Cardinals, that would probably be your best option.

Check back Sunday afternoon for any announcements.


The Psychology. Edge: Cardinals?
If the Vikings lose to the Giants, the Cardinals have a bye to play for. If the Vikings beat the Giants, neither team may play its starters because of a possible rematch next week.


The Vegas. Edge: Cardinals.
I really don't understand how anyone could bet on this game.
  • Percentage of money on Green Bay: 55% (76,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Cardinals.
  • Cardinals are 17-5 ATS in December home games since 2000.
  • Cardinals are 9-2 ATS at home as underdogs or favorites of less than -3 under Ken Whisenhunt. ???
  • Opening Line: Cardinals -3.
  • Opening Total: 44.
  • Weather: Dome.
  • For more trends, check out the Gaming Matchups or the Expanded NFL Analysis.


    Week 17 NFL Pick: Cardinals 17, Packers 13
    Cardinals -3 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Under 44 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Packers 33, Cardinals 7




    Washington Redskins (4-11) at San Diego Chargers (12-3)
    Line: Chargers by 3. Total: 39.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 16): Chargers -13.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 16): Chargers -13.
    Sunday, 4:15 ET

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

    Remember to enter your picks in our 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 17 Fantasy Weekly Rankings for you on Thursday morning.

    And finally, there are only 6 people alive in the survivor pool. Make sure you get your picks in by noon Eastern on Sunday.

    SAN DIEGO OFFENSE: There hasn't been anything official yet, but ESPN's Michael Smith was on ESPN's Fantasy Focus Football podcast on Monday, and he said that A.J. Smith told him that he would treat this matchup like a "preseason game."

    There is no precedent for the Chargers having nothing to play for under Norv Turner, but if A.J. Smith was truthful to Michael Smith, Philip Rivers may not see much action, and even if he does, San Diego will have a very vanilla game plan. Washington's offense may suck, but the defense is at least somewhat solid and should be able to contain Billy Volek and Mike Tolbert in the second half.

    WASHINGTON OFFENSE: The Redskins have averaged six points per game the past two weeks, but there's a good chance they'll be able to get into double figures here if the Chargers rest most of their defensive starters.

    I'm not going to watch much of this contest if San Diego takes its starters out, but I'd imagine it would be weird to see Jason Campbell actually have some time to make a seven-step drop. This would be an opportune time for him to audition for other teams if he manages to hit free agency.

    RECAP: What a miserable matchup. On one hand, the Chargers will be treating this like a preseason game. On the other, the Redskins are absolutely horrific and appear to have packed it in. I wouldn't advise betting on this game, but with a gun to my head, I'm taking the points.

    WEDNESDAY UPDATE: I'm changing my pick. A quote from Norv Turner: "Playing and staying game-sharp, to me, is big. (But) it's not only how you stay sharp, but how you get better. We're going to play our players. They're going to play and they want to play."

    SURVIVOR PICK: If you've made it through to Week 17 in your survivor pools, congratulations on avoiding JaMarcus Russell! That Skittles-eating slob debacled my chances in Week 15.

    Slim pickings this week. With the teams I had left, it came down to the Bills, Chargers and Jets. I don't trust a terrible team like Buffalo. The weather might make things really difficult for Mark Sanchez. So, that leaves us with the Chargers. Luckily, Norv Turner said he wanted his team to stay sharp, so hopefully they can put up enough points on Washington before the starters exit.

    If I had every team available, I think I still would pick San Diego, with my second option being the Jets. The Broncos seem like the more lucrative option on paper, but I think they'll lose to the Chiefs. And by now you know that I absolutely hate picking road teams, so the 49ers, Bears, Patriots, Titans and Ravens would be out.


    The Psychology. Edge: Chargers.
    The Redskins just lost an emotional game to the Cowboys and might not be up for a West Coast game against the Chargers.


    The Vegas. Edge: Redskins.
    A horrible spread. The public isn't buying it.
  • Percentage of money on San Diego: 89% (95,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Redskins.
  • Home Shutout: Teams are 19-8 ATS after a home shutout since 2002.
  • Redskins are 10-6 ATS after losing to the Cowboys since 1997.
  • Chargers are 8-2 ATS at home the week after playing on the East Coast since 2004.
  • Philip Rivers is 16-8 ATS as a starter after Nov. 30 (6-1 ATS as an underdog). ???
  • Opening Line: Chargers -6.5.
  • Opening Total: 40.5.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 69 degrees. Light wind.
  • For more trends, check out the Gaming Matchups or the Expanded NFL Analysis.


    Week 17 NFL Pick: Chargers 27, Redskins 10
    Chargers -3 (0.5 Units) -- Push; $0
    Under 39 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Survivor Pick (15-1)
    Chargers 23, Redskins 20





    Tennessee Titans (7-8) at Seattle Seahawks (5-10)
    Line: Titans by 6. Total: 45.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 16): Titans -7.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 16): Titans -7.
    Sunday, 4:15 ET

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

    I love those Coors Light ex-NFL coaches commercials, but even though the crazy Romeo Crennel one is funny, I feel as though it could have been ever better. Here's how I would have done it:

    Me: Hey Romeo, if you're down seven points with a couple of minutes left, do you kick a field goal on fourth down?

    Romeo: Hehe hehe.

    Me: Hey Romeo, if it's the second half, should you senselessly burn timeouts?

    Romeo: Hehe, I like cookies.

    Me: Hey Romeo, should you overpay for 4-3 personnel who have never played in the 3-4?

    Romeo: Cookie, cookie, cookie, cookie, cookie, cookie, cookie, cookie, cookie, cookie, cookie, cookie, cookie, cookie.

    TENNESSEE OFFENSE: You better believe that the Titans have a major objective in this game - to get Chris Johnson up to 2,000 rushing yards. Johnson is stuck at 1,872, so he needs 128 to reach that mark.

    I'd say there's a good chance Johnson gets there. The Seahawks have surrendered a total of 287 rushing yards the past two weeks, but it's not like it matters; Tennessee has the most potent ground attack in the NFL because Johnson is unstoppable, the offensive is one of the league's best, and Vince Young poses a threat to run himself.

    If he needs to, Young can simply torch Seattle's secondary. Save for one instance, the Seahawks have permitted the opposition to compile at least 250 passing yards in every game since Nov. 8.

    SEATTLE OFFENSE: As I wrote earlier, Matt Hasselbeck has reached what I like to call the Marc Bulger "I've been sacked so many times that I'm just going to throw the ball downfield into triple coverage to avoid getting hit" threshold. It's really terrible to watch because Hasselbeck has been a great quarterback in this league for many years, but he's merely a shell of his former self right now. In his last two games, Hasselbeck is a combined 46-of-83, 454 yards, two touchdowns, eight interceptions, four sacks and a fumble.

    Seattle's offensive line is garbage, and the Titans will be in Hasselbeck's face all afternoon. To avoid getting pounded into the ground, Hasselbeck will once again force the issue into double and triple coverage. I think the only way he avoids another four-plus interception game is if he's benched before that happens.

    RECAP: I don't think the Titans came all the way back from 0-6 to just quit in the final week to avoid a shot at 8-8. They'll at least try hard enough for Chris Johnson to get his 2,000 yards.

    Meanwhile, the Seahawks have completely fallen apart, losing by a combined score of 106-24 in the past three weeks. Jim Mora Jr. is easily one of the worst head coaches of all time, and has a dubious history of teams quit on him. That's exactly what's happening here. Seattle will continue to struggle and disappoint as long as Mora is patrolling the sidelines.


    The Psychology. Edge: Titans.
    A team is once again quitting on Jim Mora Jr. This happens every year he doesn't have a squad in contention for the playoffs.


    The Vegas. Edge: Seahawks.
    Everyone and their evil stepsister is on the Titans.
  • Percentage of money on Tennessee: 87% (100,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Seahawks.
  • Vince Young is 25-13 as a starter (24-14 ATS).
  • Jeff Fisher is 2-9 ATS on the West Coast since 1999.
  • Matt Hasselbeck is 10-4 ATS off back-to-back losses.
  • Opening Line: Titans -5.
  • Opening Total: 43.5.
  • Weather: Showers, 49 degrees. Light wind.
  • For more trends, check out the Gaming Matchups or the Expanded NFL Analysis.


    Week 17 NFL Pick: Titans 27, Seahawks 10
    Titans -6 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Under 45 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Titans 17, Seahawks 13





    Baltimore Ravens (8-7) at Oakland Raiders (5-10)
    Line: Ravens by 10.5. Total: 39.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 16): Ravens -9.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 16): Ravens -9.
    Sunday, 4:15 ET

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

    FOX's pregame show is horrible. Terry Bradshaw's drunk out of his mind, Jimmy Johnson is boring, Michael Strahan is too busy promoting his crappy show, and Frank Caliendo just doesn't do it for me. Maybe it was because all of those Frank TV commercials gave me an aneurysm.

    I meant to talk about this for weeks, but it's been slipping my mind. About a month ago during their Rapid Fire segment (or whatever it's called), Curt Menefee brought up the question, "Is JaMarcus Russell done?" Here's how Bradshaw, Strahan, Johnson and Howie Long all responded, and I'm not exaggerating here - this is really what they said:

    Bradshaw: Mmmm!!!

    Bradshaw: Mmmmmmmmmm!!!

    Johnson: Mmmm!!!

    Strahan: Mmmm!!!

    Menefee: Mmmm!!!

    Bradshaw: Mmmmmmmmmm!!!

    Johnson: Mmmm!!!

    Strahan: Mmmm!!!

    Bradshaw: Mmmmmmmmmm!!!

    Meanwhile, the Rapid Fire clock was ticking down, and it reached five seconds until Howie Long finally spoke up and saved the day.

    What a disgrace. Either they all suck (very likely), or Bradshaw forgot to lock his liquor cabinet, which allowed everyone to steal his booze (very unlikely - Bradshaw is very careful with his alcohol, especially on Game Day).

    BALTIMORE OFFENSE: If the Ravens want to win this game and qualify for the playoffs, they better not get cute here. The Raiders have surrendered at least 100 rushing yards to all but three teams they've played this year, including 164 to the Browns last week, so Baltimore better give the ball to Ray Rice as many times as possible.

    Pulling a Jack Del Rio/Dirk Koetter would not be wise. The Raiders can be beaten through the air, but they're much more vulnerable on the ground. Back in October, Andy Reid attempted to run a very pass-heavy attack and epically failed.

    One thing of note: Offensive tackle Jared Gaither is almost certain to play this week. Reserve Oniel Cousins really struggled against LaMarr Woodley on Sunday, so Gaither will be welcomed back with open arms.

    OAKLAND OFFENSE: Charlie Frye is horrible, but he was able to beat the Broncos in Week 15 because Oakland's rushing attack gashed Denver for 241 yards on the ground.

    Don't expect that to happen here. Since Oct. 18, no one has gained more than 4.1 YPC against Baltimore. They may have their struggles in the secondary, but the Ravens still thrive against the run.

    Frye will be asked to convert third-and-long situations, which simply isn't going to happen. He passed for 333 yards last week, but also threw three picks. And that was against a crappy Browns secondary. The Ravens should be able to eat Frye alive.

    RECAP: The Ravens obviously need to win this game, but that doesn't mean much. As handicapping legend Dave Cokin once said, "If a team needs to win a game, they're probably not that good to begin with."

    I like the Raiders to cover the spread here. They've already beaten the Eagles, Bengals, Steelers and Broncos, and almost knocked off the Chargers twice. Why can't they give the Ravens a tough time?

    By the way, Oakland is 9-3 against the spread as a double-digit underdog since the beginning of the 2008 season.


    The Psychology. Edge: Raiders.
    If the Ravens win, they're in. Suffering such an emotional loss to Pittsburgh could hurt.


    The Vegas. Edge: Raiders.
    Close to equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Baltimore: 62% (114,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Ravens.
  • Ravens are 11-6 ATS on the road under John Harbaugh.
  • Raiders are 9-3 ATS as double-digit underdogs since 2008.
  • Raiders are 4-18 ATS in their final home game since 1985.
  • Raiders are 13-32 ATS at home the previous 45 instances.
  • Raiders are 1-5 ATS in Week 17 since 2003.
  • Opening Line: Ravens -10.
  • Opening Total: 38.
  • Weather: Cloudy, 57 degrees. Light wind.
  • For more trends, check out the Gaming Matchups or the Expanded NFL Analysis.


    Week 17 NFL Pick: Ravens 23, Raiders 22
    Raiders +10.5 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Over 39 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Ravens 21, Raiders 13







    Kansas City Chiefs (3-12) at Denver Broncos (8-7)
    Line: Broncos by 10. Total: 38.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 16): Broncos -14.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 16): Broncos -14.
    Sunday, 4:15 ET

    The Game. Edge: Broncos.
    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:

    Greetings my dearest one,

    Compliments of anew day,I'm Miss Hillary jones,

    How are you doing today with everything in general i hope everything very fine with you and all around you?am doing very fine too.

    I have the feeling that this piece of mail will reach you in a perfect state of mind and in a better healthy condition.

    I believe and also have the feeling that in todays world, neither race, nationality nor religion will any longer posse a barrier to male/female relationships.

    I hear from you soonest through this email address(misshillary_jones.1@hotmail.com)

    Sincerely Hillary.


    I really don't understand the point of this e-mail. First, Miss Hillary Jones creates the biggest run-on sentence in the history of mankind. Then, she has a "feeling" that this e-mail will reach me in a perfect state of mind and a "better healthy condition?" What the hell does that mean?

    After that, Miss Hillary talks about some sort of posse being a barrier to male/female relationships. Damn posses. I've never been part of posses, and I've always hated them deep down inside since. And now, these posses are trying to destroy male/female relationships. It's just not right.

    Oh, and feel free to spam Miss Hillary Jones. She sounds like a crazy b***h.

    DENVER OFFENSE: If you watched the Broncos battle the Eagles on Sunday, you saw first-hand why Kyle Orton was such a massive downgrade at the quarterback position. He's smart and can read defenses, but he cannot stretch the field vertically at all. Almost all of his throws were horizontal, allowing the Eagles to creep up toward the line of scrimmage and eliminate the run. The Broncos consequently have gained just 245 rushing yards in the past three weeks.

    The good news for Denver is that the last time it rushed for more than 100 yards in a single game was against these Chiefs. The date was Dec. 6, and the Broncos compiled a whopping 245 yards on the ground at 5.4 YPC. Two weeks later, Kansas City would nearly surrender the single-game rushing record to Jerome Harrison of all people. It's safe to say that Denver will probably be able to establish the run again.

    If that assumption is correct, Orton will have a lot more success converting third downs and moving the chains with his deep, 5-yard bombs to Brandon Marshall. Marshall should be able to compile some good YAC because the Chiefs can't tackle.

    KANSAS CITY OFFENSE: The Chiefs scored just 13 points the last time they played the Broncos, but two things have changed since that contest. First, Dwayne Bowe is back in the lineup. Bowe is an enormous threat for Matt Cassel who will open things up for the other players.

    Second, Jamaal Charles has continued to evolve into a huge offensive threat. Against the Broncos, Charles had just 19 touches (the second-most amount of touches he had this season at that point). In the three games since, he's had 27 touches in each contest. It's good to see that after seven weeks of sticking with the crappy Larry Johnson, Todd Haley finally realized just how talented Charles is.

    The Broncos once again have started to struggle against the run, so I could see Charles getting the 138 rushing yards he needs to reach 1,000 for the season. If Charles dominates, it'll allow Cassel to make some easy third-and-short conversions.

    RECAP: The Broncos need a win, but once again, to quote the great Dave Cokin, "If a team needs to win a game, they're probably not that good to begin with."

    The Broncos are definitely not that good. Their once-great defense is leaky, while their offense can be completely stagnant at times. I really can't recommend laying 13.5 points with a team that has scored 19, 16, 3, 17, 10 and 7 in six of its previous nine contests.

    Not only am I against laying the 13.5 here; I absolutely love the Chiefs in this spot. This spread is just way too high for a team playing a divisional game in what appears to be a prime choking position.

    Denver fans will remember this one - the Broncos were 9-6 back in 2006 and needed a home victory over the 10.5-point underdog 49ers just to get into the playoffs. Forget covering; Denver lost that one straight up in overtime, 26-23.

    With all of the pressure on Denver, the Chiefs have the mental edge here. They would love nothing more than to knock out a hated rival, while at the same building some momentum for 2010.


    The Psychology. Edge: Chiefs.
    If the Broncos win, they're probably in. All the pressure's on the line...


    The Vegas. Edge: Broncos.
    With Brandon Marshall out, the public has jumped all over the Chiefs.
  • Percentage of money on Kansas City: 80% (93,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Chiefs.
  • History: Home Team has won 14 of the last 17 meetings.
  • Chiefs are 15-8 ATS as a road underdog since 2007.
  • Chiefs are 8-3 ATS as a double-digit underdog since 2006.
  • Broncos are 9-25 ATS as a favorite since 2006.
  • Broncos are 1-10 ATS as favorites of 3.5 or more in 2008.
  • Opening Line: Broncos -11.
  • Opening Total: 39.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 42 degrees. Light wind.
  • For more trends, check out the Gaming Matchups or the Expanded NFL Analysis.


    Week 17 NFL Pick: Chiefs 26, Broncos 23
    Chiefs +10 (4 Units) -- Correct; +$400
    Over 38 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Chiefs 44, Broncos 24





    Philadelphia Eagles (11-4) at Dallas Cowboys (10-5)
    Line: Cowboys by 3. Total: 47.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 16): Cowboys -3.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 16): Cowboys -3.
    Sunday, 4:15 ET

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

    It's time for the Video of the Week segment. I posted a video with this kid a few weeks ago. Here's one of him freaking out about a broken microwave.

    I think I could watch this video 20 times in a row and still laugh. MOM ANSWER ME!!!!! GET OUT OF MY FREAKING FACE!!!!! SHUT UP!!!!!

    PHILADELPHIA OFFENSE: The Eagles suffered a really big injury against the Broncos. Center Jamaal Jackson, one of the league's best at the position, tore his ACL and is out for the season. Andy Reid is fortunate that he has another competent center on his roster (Nick Cole), but moving Cole over from right guard creates an enormous void at that position.

    Replacement Max Jean-Gilles is really going to have a difficult time blocking Jay Ratliff. Ratliff had two sacks the first time he battled the Eagles, so Donovan McNabb could be spending a lot of time running for his life here. McNabb seemed to tweak his hamstring at the end of the Denver game, so we'll see if that hinders his scrambling ability; soft-tissue injuries like hamstrings are really difficult to come back from in a short span without any rest.

    The Cowboys have done a great job defensively the past few weeks. Jason Campbell looked completely helpless Sunday night, while Drew Brees had one of his worst outings of the year two weeks ago.

    Dallas limited Donovan McNabb to 16-of-30 passing for 227 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions the last time these teams battled. The Eagles have gotten hot since then, so look for better numbers for McNabb, though I wouldn't expect a monumental performance or anything.

    DALLAS OFFENSE: What happened to that Tony Aurora Snowmo character who choked every December? Romo has been brilliant the past five weeks, throwing nine touchdowns to just one interception, and maintaining a 7.1 YPA or greater in each outing.

    I know I'm going against everything I believe in, but I think Romo will have a solid performance here. I just don't trust the Eagles defense. They just put the clamps on Denver and San Francisco's aerial attacks, but that's not saying much. It's just that their horrific tackling against the Giants still lingers in the back of my mind. This is the most lethal passing game the Eagles have faced since that contest, so we'll see if Philadelphia has cured its defensive problems.

    The Eagles will definitely have to focus on stopping Miles Austin-Jones and Jason Witten because the Cowboys won't do it with the run; Philadelphia's ground defense is pretty stout, and in the last meeting between these squads, Dallas mustered just 76 rushing yards.

    RECAP: Before Dallas' victory over New Orleans, I was almost positive that I would be laying five or more units on the Eagles here. I was still confident about that after the Cowboys' win over the Saints. Now, I'm not so sure.

    I know you can't read too much into a victory over the Redskins. New York's flop against the Panthers proved that. What really caught my eye was Keith Brooking. Like Drew Brees, Brooking was leading a team-wide cheer before the game.

    How is that important? The Cowboys have always suffered an annual December swoon because they didn't have any leaders in the locker room. Romo is simply not the guy for the job. Brooking has become that guy.

    I haven't done a complete 180 with Dallas yet. I'm at about 135 degrees. With a win over the Eagles, I'll be at 175, and a victory in the playoffs would seal the deal.

    For now, I'm taking Philly in this contest because I don't completely trust the Cowboys yet. I'm getting there, but Wade "Mr. Turkey Neck" Phillips is on the sidelines, and after what happened last year in Week 17, it still wouldn't shock me to see Dallas suffer an epic debaclation.


    The Psychology. Edge: Eagles.
    The Eagles own the Cowboys in December. It could be Tony Aurora Snowmo's time to reveal himself.


    The Vegas. Edge: Cowboys.
    Looks like most people are expecting Tony Romo to choke again.
  • Percentage of money on Philadelphia: 71% (149,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Eagles.
  • History: Eagles have won 13 of the last 19 meetings.
  • Divisional Revenge: Andy Reid is 7-4 ATS in same-season divisional revenge games.
  • Eagles are 64-37 ATS vs. NFC opponents since 2001.
  • Eagles are 29-18 ATS vs. NFC East opponents since 2001.
  • Donovan McNabb is 39-23 ATS on the road since 2001.
  • Tony Romo is 4-13 ATS as a starter after Nov. 30.
  • Opening Line: Cowboys -3.
  • Opening Total: 48.5.
  • Weather: Retractable roof.
  • For more trends, check out the Gaming Matchups or the Expanded NFL Analysis.


    Week 17 NFL Pick: Eagles 24, Cowboys 20
    Eagles +3 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Under 47.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Cowboys 24, Eagles 0



    Cincinnati Bengals (10-5) at New York Jets (8-7)
    Line: Jets by 10. Total: 34.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 16): Jets -3.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 16): Jets -3.
    Sunday, 8:20 ET

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

    No Monday Night Football this week, but what if this game were on Monday night? And what if the broadcasting team was Emmitt, Herm and Philadelphia Eagles Television Network guy Kevin Reilly (a huge homer who called Maurice Jones-Drew "Maurice Drew-Jones" and Torry Holt "Terry Holt")? Here's how it would sound like if Reilly, Emmitt and Herm were in the booth for this game:

    Kevin Reilly: Welcome to Cincinnati, otherwise known as the Big Easy! Tonight, the Cincinnati Reds take on the New York Jets. Guys, this should be an exciting game. There seems to be a lot at stake for both teams. What do you think, Emmitt?

    Emmitt: I always hear the saying, "they has a lot at stakes." This statement always confusing the heck out of myselves. I always look, and I do not see any steak. I do not even seen any sorts of meat. I even look in the locker rooms. I have a feelin' that somebody pull the wood over my eyes.

    Reilly: I'm completely with you, Emmitt. This has always confused me as well. Coach, what do you think about this stake-no meat dilemma?

    Herm: It's the wrong stake! The wrong stake! It's stake with an E-A-K! Not an A-K-E! I mean A-K-E! Not E-A-K! Two kinds of steak! One stake that's not a meat! One stake that is a meat! Do you see the difference? Do you see it!? I see it! Do you see it!?

    Reilly: No one sees anything, Coach. Emmitt, do you know what Herm's talking about, because he's confusing me again?

    Emmitt: It looks like the corch go off the deep end again. And you know the sayin' about deep end - once you land in deep end, you either sink or you swim. If you know how to swim, you probably swimmin', but if you do not have any idea how to swimming, you probably layin' at the bottom of the pools and you probably die unless a lifeguard jump in and save your behind.

    Reilly: Well put, Emmitt. See, Coach? You're crazy. No wonder this Jets team is barely .500. You used to coach there and you've completely ruined everything!

    Herm: The Jets are going to make the playoffs! They're going to get in the postseason! They'll make it! And I know how! Here's how they'll get in! Here it is! I know exactly how they'll do it! Here's how it's going to start! Are you watching!? Are you listening!? Here it is! Are you ready! Here it goes! It's going to... uhh... umm...

    Reilly: As usual, Coach comes up with nothing! We'll be back after a word from our local sponsors!

    CINCINNATI OFFENSE: Contrary to what Kevin Reilly said, the Bengals do not have a lot at stake here if the Patriots beat the Texans. If Houston wins, Cincinnati can play for the No. 3 seed. The difference between the three and four seeds doesn't matter all that much in the first two rounds, but if both the Bengals and Patriots reach the AFC Championship, you can bet that Marvin Lewis would love to host that game.

    Even if the Bengals play their starters, they may have a difficult time moving the chains against the Jets. New York's run defense is superb, having allowed 3.2 yards per carry or less to four of its previous five opponents, so Cedric Benson won't get much on the ground. In a near-gale - according to Weather.com, winds will be gusting at between 20 and 35 mph - the Jets can stack the line of scrimmage because throwing the ball downfield won't be much of an option for Carson Palmer.

    It goes without saying that Cincinnati will have major issues scoring if the backups are playing.

    NEW YORK OFFENSE: Rex Ryan didn't even trust Mark Sanchez against the Colts reserves last week. The Jets constantly ran the ball throughout the afternoon, as Ryan and Brian Schottenheimer called 42 running plays to just 23 passes.

    If the Bengals' starting defense is on the field because of a potential No. 3 seed up for grabs, you can bet that it'll be the Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene show for the Jets, especially given that there will be 20-35 mph winds. Only two teams have garnered more than 100 rushing yards against the Bengals since Oct. 18, so don't expect much from New York's offense.

    Now, if the Patriots win and the Bengals sit most of their defensive starters, it'll be a different story. Well, mostly. The wind will still be there, so with no threat of a deep passing game, Cincinnati can still stack the line of scrimmage in an attempt to contain Jones and Greene. The Jets will muster more yardage on the ground against the Bengal reserves, but I wouldn't expect a scoring fest or anything.

    RECAP: If that awful Browns-Steelers Thursday night affair taught us anything, it's that in severe weather conditions, all bets are off.

    People tend to look at snow and rain as potential weather roadblocks, but wind is the greatest factor. Anything worse than 30 mph can ruin any football game. The deep passing game is completely eliminated, while any field goal longer than 35 yards out is virtually impossible.

    Winds blowing at a possible 35 mph are bad enough, so imagine how bad it's going to be at the Meadowlands. Also, remember who's starting at quarterback for the Jets. There was a big deal about Sanchez playing in 45-degree weather back in October. That's nothing compared to what he'll see on Monday night.

    Even though the Bengals might not have anything to play for, I'm still taking the points. Laying 10 with an offensively stale Jets team in this sort of weather is something you should completely avoid.

    Assuming the weather holds up - and I'll keep you posted - my favorite play in this contest is the Under.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    The Jets have tons of pressure to win. Fortunately for them, the Bengals would have to play the Jets again in Week 18 with a loss here, so they may not tip their hand at all. It wouldn't surprise me to see all of Cincinnati's reserves in this contest.


    The Vegas. Edge: Jets.
    The public likes a team that may not play any of its starters.
  • Percentage of money on Cincinnati: 76% (114,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Bengals.
  • Bengals are 6-1 ATS as underdogs in 2009.
  • Opening Line: Jets -9.
  • Opening Total: 36.5.
  • Weather: Flurries, 26 degrees. HEAVY WINDS, 20-36 MPH.
  • For more trends, check out the Gaming Matchups or the Expanded NFL Analysis.


    Week 17 NFL Pick: Jets 16, Bengals 12
    Bengals +10 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Under 34 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
    Jets 37, Bengals 0



    Week 17 NFL Picks - Early Games
    Colts at Bills, Jaguars at Browns, Bears at Lions, Falcons at Buccaneers, Saints at Panthers, Patriots at Texans, 49ers at Rams, Steelers at Dolphins, Giants at Vikings, Eagles at Cowboys


    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.


  • Moneyline Dog: Patriots +305 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$100
  • Moneyline Dog: Dolphins +160 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$100
  • Moneyline Dog: Giants +325 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$100
  • Moneyline Dog: Chiefs +475 (0.5 Units) -- Correct; +$285
  • Psychological Edge Parlay: Jaguars +1.5, Patriots +7.5, Giants +9, Chiefs +13.5, Chargers -4, Bengals +10 (.5 Units to win 23.6) -- Incorrect; -$50





    NFL Picks - Dec. 21


    2015 NFL Mock Draft - Dec. 17


    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 Last Week's NFL Picks Against The Spread (Week 15, 2014): 6-9-1 (-$1,380)
    Last Week's 2-3 Unit NFL Picks (Week 15, 2014): 1-2 (-$360)
    Last Week's 4-5 Unit NFL Picks (Week 15, 2014): 0-1 (-$440)
    Last Week Over-Under (Week 15, 2014): 10-6 ($0)
    Last Week's Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks (Week 15, 2014): $0

    2014 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-3, 40% (-$580)

    2014 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 115-118-7, 49.4% (-$2,655)
    2014 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 40-38, 51.3% (+$70)
    2014 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 9-13-1, 40.9% (-$1,620)
    2014 Season Over-Under: 123-98-2, 55.7% ($0)
    2014 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$1,140

    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%)
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    2006 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 65-61-4 (51.6%)
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    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%)
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    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)
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    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: 2,129-1,962-117, 52.0% (+$9,760)
    Career 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 684-621-31 (52.4%)
    Career 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 285-247-11 (53.6%)
    Career Over-Under: 1,664-1,635-48 (50.4%)
    Career Second-Half NFL Picks: 22-15-1 (61.1%)
    Career NFL Picks of the Month: 30-18 (62.5%)



    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: 5-9
    Bears: 7-7
    Bucs: 8-6
    49ers: 6-7
    Eagles: 9-5
    Lions: 5-8
    Falcons: 6-8
    Cardinals: 7-7
    Giants: 4-10
    Packers: 9-4
    Panthers: 5-9
    Rams: 6-8
    Redskins: 8-6
    Vikings: 11-3
    Saints: 5-8
    Seahawks: 7-7
    Bills: 6-8
    Bengals: 5-10
    Colts: 6-7
    Broncos: 7-7
    Dolphins: 9-4
    Browns: 7-5
    Jaguars: 8-6
    Chargers: 5-9
    Jets: 7-7
    Ravens: 6-8
    Texans: 6-7
    Chiefs: 8-5
    Patriots: 7-7
    Steelers: 7-7
    Titans: 6-6
    Raiders: 5-9
    Divisional: 31-37 (2011-13: 141-137)
    2x Game Edge: 11-16 (2011-13: 55-62)
    2x Psych Edge: 23-21 (2011-13: 92-80)
    2x Vegas Edge: 39-39 (2011-13: 129-142)
    2x Trend Edge: 29-15 (2011-13: 72-78)
    Double Edge: 13-11 (2011-13: 27-33)
    Triple Edge: 0-0 (2011-13: 2-1)
    Quad Edge: 0-0 (2011-13: 0-0)

    2003 Preseason: 3 | 4 | 5
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