@cplach Hargrave can play both DE and NT, and we also picked up Mathews from the Chargers. Both are vast improvements over Cam Thomas and Cliff Geathers. As for RB I agree that we're going to need some depth there, maybe rounds 3-5.
NFL Picks (2009): 149-119-9 (+$4,530) 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. 17, 12:30 p.m. ET.
Jerks of the Week for Jan. 11, 2010 are up, so just click the link. This week's jerks are: 1) Jewelry Commercials. 2) Specific Jewelry Commercials. 3) Chris Myers.
It's time for Notes from NFL.com GameCenter - a list of a few stupid comments I found on NFL.com's new crappy GameCenter and my thoughts on them:
1. "YOU EVER SEE A COWGIRL GET ROPED by a long horn VIKINER!"
This may happen all the time in your fantasy land, but not in reality.
2. "COULD"T THROW MORE FLAGS AGAINST REVIS AND HE STIIL OVER CAME ALL ODDS"
Something tells me you won't "over come" all odds and learn the English language.
3. "The only reason favre plays for the vikings is because he was abducted by aliens! lol"
I think you're the only one lol'ing at that one, buddy.
Thanks for that last one, Elliot D.
MINNESOTA OFFENSE: The Vikings are the only host to play their starters in Week 17, so does that give them an advantage on the offensive side of the ball against a Cowboys squad that just won its biggest game since 1996? I don't think so.
Minnesota came away with a huge victory against the Giants to close out the season, but that New York team absolutely quit and put forth zero effort in that game. So with that in mind, the Vikings have lost three of their last four real games, and their only win (against Cincinnati) is a lot less impressive now than it was back then.
There are three catalysts for Minnesota's late-season decline, two of which are on offense. The first is Brett Favre's porous pass protection. Between Weeks 8 and 12, Favre had been sacked only four times. However, Favre took a whopping 16 sacks the next four games. Left tackle Bryant McKinnie has really been struggling and looked completely helpless against Julius Peppers in Week 15. So, with that in mind, I have no idea how he plans on keeping DeMarcus Ware out of the backfield, especially with Anthony Spencer and Jay Ratliff applying pressure elsewhere.
The second catalyst has been the ineffectiveness of the running game. Adrian Peterson inexplicably has become a non-factor on the ground; Peterson hasn't rushed for more than 100 yards or averaged greater than 3.9 yards per carry since Week 10 against the Lions. The offensive line simply isn't opening up any lanes for him, and I have no reason to believe that will change here. The Cowboys haven't allowed a team to rush for 75 yards or more since Dec. 6.
With no ground attack, Favre will have to beat the Cowboys on his own. Dallas' secondary is a lot better this year with Mike Jenkins and Gerald Sensabaugh joining Terence Newman. And as mentioned earlier, Favre may not have much time to locate his receivers downfield.
DALLAS OFFENSE: The third catalyst for Minnesota's decline is E.J. Henderson's absence. Ever since the stud middle linebacker suffered a season-ending injury, the Vikings have been woeful versus the run. Before the Giants game, they surrendered four consecutive 100-yard rushing performances.
This is not good news for Minnesota. Dallas is rushing the ball extremely well right now, as they've collected 377 rushing yards the past two weeks with their three-headed attack. The Cowboys will continue to run effectively, opening up play-action and misdirection opportunities for Tony Romo.
And speaking of Romo, he's at the top of his game right now. I never thought I'd say that about him in December or January, but it's true. Keith Brooking's presence has taken the pressure of leading off Romo's shoulders, allowing him to just go out and play. The offensive line, meanwhile, has done a great job protecting him. Since Week 11, Romo has taken two or less sacks in all but one game.
As long as Dallas runs the ball well, I don't think the Vikings will have much luck rattling Romo. Remember, Minnesota's defense could only accumulate two sacks on Jay Cutler and his anemic offensive front. Ever since Henderson suffered that injury, things have just fallen apart for the Vikings.
RECAP: The people who are betting the Vikings seem to think the Cowboys will fold after their huge victory. After all, Dallas was so preoccupied with beating the Eagles and avenging 44-6 that their victory means everything else is all gravy, right?
I really don't agree with that. Remember the 2006 Colts? They beat the Patriots in the AFC Championship thanks to an enormous comeback. Did they just lay down against the Bears in the Super Bowl? Absolutely not.
Instead of that philosophy, I feel as though all of the pressure is off Wade Phillips and Tony Romo's shoulders. Romo can go on to play at a high level without the threat of being scrutinized or living through another summer of being labeled as a choke artist.
And speaking of Mr. Turkey Neck, it really pains me to say this, but I honestly think he's the better coach in the matchup. Phillips already beat Andy Reid; I think he can handle his disciple. And who knows? If Favre is getting banged around a lot, Childress may lose his mind again, and opt to bench him or something.
The Psychology. Edge: Cowboys.
The Cowboys are hot, while the Vikings haven't played in two weeks.
The Vegas. Edge: None.
The public is split between its love for the Cowboys and Brett Favre.
Percentage of money on Dallas: 51% (330,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Cowboys.
Worst Bye: Playoff teams coming off byes are 7-17 ATS since 2003 (4-12 since 2005).
Cowboys are 13-3 ATS after playing the Eagles since 2000.
Tony Romo is 6-13 ATS as a starter after Nov. 30 (1-4 ATS as an underdog).
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. You can also make your own 2010 NFL Mock Draft on the site!
Jim Nantz and Phil Simms will be doing this game for CBS, but 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 San Diego, a city whose name translates into English as the "Land of the Seven Suns!" Tonight, the New York Jets take on the San Diego Super Chargers! Guys, I followed WalterFootball.com's picks, and he told me that the Bengals were going to cover for sure last week. Well, they lost big time, and now I'm sitting here with absolutely no money. In fact, the feds are going to take my house away. Should I double up with the Jets?
Emmitt: The New York Jet in their history have a man name Joe Montana. A long, long time ago, a time that happen before a long time before, Joe Montana predict that the Jet would beat Baltimore in the Pro Bowl. Everybody thought he doggone lost his doggone mind, but Montana had the last laughs. Not only did the Jet win the Pro Bowl, the Ravens offense got debacled in the Pro Bowl.
Reilly: Emmitt, I'm confused. Are you saying I should bet the Jets or the Chargers? I need a pick, the game's about to start, damn it!
Herm: Betting's good! I mean betting is bad! Betting is not good! Betting will cost you money! It will cost you money, now! Cost you money! If you lose, you'll lose big! If you win, you'll lose it on your next bet! You have no house! The house is gone! The house disappeared! No longer here! No house! No more house!
Reilly: Shut up, Herm! Emmitt, if you had to make one pick, who would it be? Jets? Chargers? Do you like the Over? I kind of like the Over. Oh, if only my Eagles were playing, I could bet on them.
Emmitt: I believe the corch is correctly. No one in this world have a Magic 9 Ball. No one can take the Magic 9 Ball and make a pick come into mid air. It do not happen this way! If you gamblin', you probably gonna lose your shirt or your shoes, or maybe if you win, you can take somebody else's shirt and shoe!
Reilly: Argh! I think I'm going to parlay the 49ers and the Over! I'm calling my bookie right now. Hold on guys, the phone's ringing. Hello? I want the Chargers and Over parlay for 50 grand - that's all the money I have left. I took it from my kid's college savings account.
Herm: You want the Chargers and the Over on a parlay for 50 grand, Kevin? You got it. If you don't pay up, you will be debacled. You will be debacled now. You will be debacled.
Reilly: Holy crap, Herm's my bookie!? How did that happen!? He's an idiot, so I'm definitely going to win! Ha! We'll be back after a word from our local sponsors!
NEW YORK OFFENSE: I've criticized Brian Schottenheimer over the years - he cooked up possibly the worst game plan known to man when the Jets played the Cowboys on Thanksgiving a few years ago - but he has done an incredible job with Mark Sanchez. Unlike other moron coaches (cough, Jack Del Rio, sneeze), Schottenheimer sticks with the run, and plays off the run with play-action, bootlegs and misdirections. Two of the Jets' long touchdowns came on calls like that.
San Diego's defensive weakness is stopping the run; excluding a Week 17 tilt against the hapless Redskins, the Chargers allowed six consecutive opponents to rush for 100 yards on more. All but one of those foes did so on at least five yards per carry!
I don't see San Diego containing Thomas Jones or the very impressive Shonn Greene. This will allow Schottenheimer to pound the rock, mixing in some of those play-actions and misdirections.
I know, Mark Sanchez is just a rookie playing in a hostile environment in the playoffs, but he certainly fared well last week, becoming the first rookie to complete greater than 70 percent of his passes in his first postseason start. Sanchez hasn't even turned the ball over in his previous three games, so as long as the ground attack is working, I don't see why he would suddenly start coughing up the football.
SAN DIEGO OFFENSE: I think this is a dream matchup for the Jets. San Diego doesn't run the ball at all, relying heavily on the deep pass. New York, meanwhile, can be beaten on the ground, but absolutely thrives at stopping aerial attacks.
No one escapes from Darrelle Revis island, and Vincent Jackson will be the latest victim. Revis will erase Jackson from existence, forcing Philip Rivers to look elsewhere.
Advantage Jets? Well, it's not like the Chargers are the Bengals; unlike Carson Palmer, Rivers has more than one weapon to work with in Antonio Gates, Malcom Floyd and Darren Sproles coming out of the backfield. Plus, Rivers is the master of beating teams that blitz him. As the Titans found out on Christmas, trying to send more than four men at Rivers is just asking for trouble. And let me remind you, Rex Ryan is known for blitzing.
So, advantage Chargers? Recall what I said in my Colts-Ravens write-up. Steve Young has repeatedly stated that for every week off, a team needs a quarter to recuperate. In addition to the bye week, San Diego rested a lot of its starters after just two drives in Week 17. That means they haven't played a real game in two weeks, and by Young's calculations, they'll need a whole half to recover.
RECAP: So, where does that leave us? As long as the Jets stick with their game plan - and they're not a dumb team like the Jaguars, so they will keep doing what works - New York should be able to establish a first-half lead.
Rivers and his weapons are talented enough to muster a second-half comeback, so I think this battle goes down to the wire. I'll go with experience over youth, so I'm picking the Chargers to edge out the Jets on a Nate Kaeding field goal.
Two things to convince you that New York is the right side in terms of the spread:
1. Again, to reference the Baltimore-Indianapolis contest: Since 2005, seven teams have won a road playoff game in Round 1. Those seven teams are a perfect 7-0 against the spread in Round 2. That's amazing.
2. The chart from both Saturday games also applies here:
The following teams rested their starters in Week 17 before a playoff game. This chart, which goes back to 2002, when the divisions re-aligned, shows how each squad performed in its initial postseason contest. The asterisks denote teams that had first-round byes, like the Saints, Colts and Chargers. Note that this chart excludes teams that battled the same opponent in Weeks 17 and 18 (i.e. Bengals-Jets, Packers-Cardinals).
2009: Chargers* - ???
2009: Colts* - ???
2009: Saints* - ???
2008: Titans* - Loss SU (straight up), Loss ATS (against the spread)
2008: Colts - Loss SU, Loss ATS
2007: Colts* - Loss SU, Loss ATS
2007: Jaguars - Win SU, Loss ATS
2007: Steelers - Loss SU, Win ATS
2007: Buccaneers - Loss SU, Loss ATS
2006: Eagles - Win SU, Loss ATS
2006: Saints* - Win SU, Loss ATS
2005: Colts* - Loss SU, Loss ATS
2004: Steelers* - Win SU, Loss ATS
2004: Chargers - Loss SU, Loss ATS
2004: Eagles* - Win SU, Win ATS
2002: 49ers - Win SU, Loss ATS
The Psychology. Edge: Jets.
The Jets are on fire, having won six of seven. The Chargers haven't played a real game since Christmas.
The Vegas. Edge: Jets.
Tons of late Chargers money after early action on the Chargers.
Percentage of money on San Diego: 73% (285,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Jets.
Road Warriors: Playoff teams coming off a road win in Round 1 are 7-0 ATS in Round 2 since 2005.
Worst Bye: Playoff teams coming off byes are 7-17 ATS since 2003 (4-12 since 2005).
Jets are 6-3 ATS on the road in 2009.
Jets are 4-2 ATS as underdogs in 2009.
Philip Rivers is 16-8 ATS as a starter after Nov. 30 (6-1 ATS as an underdog).
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.
Note: For legality purposes, this Web site does not promote or advocate gambling. This is solely for entertainment purposes only.
Last Week's NFL Picks Against The Spread (Week 21, 2015): 1-0 (+$200)
Last Week's 2-3 Unit NFL Picks (Week 21, 2015): 1-0 (+$200)
Last Week's 4-5 Unit NFL Picks (Week 21, 2015): 0-0 ($0)
Last Week Over-Under (Week 21, 2015): 1-0 ($0)
Last Week's Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks (Week 21, 2015): -$580
2015 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3, 50.0% (-$100)
2015 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 134-138-12, 49.3% (-$2,360) 2015 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 47-44-1, 51.6% (-$820) 2015 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 17-16-2, 51.5% (-$1,120) 2015 Season Over-Under: 143-119-5, 54.6% ($0) 2015 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$855
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) 2014 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 143-133-7, 51.8% (-$1,885) 2015 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 134-138-12, 49.3% (-$2,360)
2002 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 41-49-2 (45.6%) 2003 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 52-51-2 (50.5%) 2004 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 65-44-3 (59.6%) 2005 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 77-61-1 (55.8%) 2006 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 65-61-4 (51.6%) 2007 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 83-59-5, 58.5% (+$4,110) 2008 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 44-57-3, 43.6% (-$3,510) 2009 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 49-35-3, 58.3% (+$2,260) 2010 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 51-38-4, 57.3% (+$3,180) 2011 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 44-51-3, 46.3% (-$2,715) 2012 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 45-50-2, 47.4% (-$2,130) 2013 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 38-42, 47.5% (-$2,890) 2015 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 47-44-1, 51.6% (-$820)
2002 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 11-12 (47.8%) 2003 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 16-13-1 (55.2%) 2004 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 18-11 (62.1%) 2005 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 25-22-1 (53.2%) 2006 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 21-29-1 (42.0%) 2007 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 35-30-2, 53.8% (+$420) 2008 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 39-26-2, 60.0% (+$4,055) 2009 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 29-26, 52.7% (+$330) 2010 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 32-22, 59.3% (+$4,790) 2011 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 14-14, 50.0% (-$1,260) 2012 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 14-21, 40.0% (-$3,650) 2013 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 17-9-3, 65.4% (+$2,970) 2015 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 17-16-2, 51.5% (-$1,120)
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) 2015 Season Over-Under: 143-119-5, 54.6% ($0)
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 2015 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$855
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) 2014 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-4, 33.3% (-$1,350) 2015 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3, 50.0% (-$100)
Career NFL Picks Against The Spread: 2,291-2,116-129, 52.0% (+$8,150) Career 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 741-668-34 (52.6%) Career 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 305-267-13 (53.3%) Career Over-Under: 1,823-1,765-51 (50.8%) Career Second-Half NFL Picks: 22-15-1 (61.1%) Career NFL Picks of the Month: 33-22 (60.0%)
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.