I'm very skeptical how good of a team Minnesota really is after the Green Bay game. I feel like they are very one dimensional with Peterson, and ATL is 1st in the league in YPG against the run(against fairly easy rushing opponents). As long as Atlanta clamps down vs the run, they should win this game. They will still have a balanced offense with Coleman at rb. With Harrison Smith out, Julio should have a huge game vs Rhodes without Smith over top. Minnesota will obviously try anything to stop Julio, but he is so damn good. Minnesota has the advantage in that Atlanta is so unreliable to bet on as of late which is scary. Also, Minnesota has the x-factor in their special teams.
Miami Dolphins (1-0) at Minnesota Vikings (0-1) Line: Vikings by 6. Total: 41. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 1): Vikings -6.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 1): Vikings -6.
Sunday, Sept. 19, 1:00 ET
The Game. Edge: Dolphins.
Week 1 Recap: Well, the good news is that I hit both of my top plays with the Steelers +1.5 and Lions +6.5. I wish my Detroit moneyline would have cashed as well, but Matthew Stafford got hurt. So much for my "Lions will be 9-7" prediction.
Going 2-0 with my five-unit selections wasn't enough for some people though. E-mailer Kevin S. wrote, "Hey, great advice on the SF/SEA game!!!" I guess some are just not satisfied with anything less than perfection.
The bad news is that I went just 8-7-1 overall and lost $15 (.15 units). I'm really ashamed of myself for picking the Chargers -4 for three units. I feel like an idiot because in my notes, I wrote down "MNF Home" next to the San Diego-Kansas City game back in July. When I was picking the games this week, I looked at "MNF Home" and thought, "What the hell does that mean?" So, I looked at how home underdogs fared on Monday night last year, and found nothing substantial. So, I ignored it.
After the Chiefs beat the Chargers, I suddenly realized what "MNF Home" meant. One of my strongest angles is picking a Monday night underdog that hasn't hosted a Monday Night Football game in a very long time. I've won with this system numerous times over the years. The last time the Chiefs were Monday night hosts was 2004. Had I realized what my notation meant, I may have picked the Chiefs. I honestly don't know what my selection would have been for sure, and I don't want to say that I would have taken Kansas City for 4-5 units or anything. However, I definitely wouldn't have placed multiple units on the Chargers. I apologize for my stupidity.
MINNESOTA OFFENSE: Not much of an offense. Brett Favre was just 15-of-27 for 171 yards, one touchdown and an interception. The interior of his offensive line struggled to protect him, while he and his receivers were completely out of sync. Percy Harvin repeatedly ran wrong routes (or Favre incorrectly thought he was going to do something else), while Bernard Berrian seemed to screw up at least once on every drive.
The Vikings did not run enough with Adrian Peterson. Peterson totaled 87 yards on 19 carries, but figures to face a much stiffer challenge against Miami's defense. The Dolphins limited C.J. Spiller, Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch to 38 yards on 14 carries in their preseason opener. Granted, the Bills have a pathetic offensive line, but Minnesota's isn't playing very well either.
If Peterson struggles to move the chains, the Vikings won't be able to put together consistent drives - unless Favre, Harvin and Berrian suddenly start clicking. I just don't see that happening after only one week.
MIAMI OFFENSE: You'd think that the Williams Wall, Jared Allen and Ray Edwards would be able to stop the Saints from running out the clock, but that was not the case last week. Pierre Thomas picked up chunks of yards at will, and New Orleans didn't let Minnesota have the ball again.
The Dolphins have a stout running game with Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams. Unlike the Saints game, however, Minnesota's front won't have to worry about a quarterback the caliber of Drew Brees. Chad Henne struggled in the opener, going 21-of-34 for 182 yards. The Vikings will focus on stopping Brown and Williams, forcing Henne to beat them.
I do expect Henne to rebound a bit. He wasn't very good last week, but Buffalo has a very strong secondary. The Vikings' defensive backfield, on the other hand, isn't very healthy. They played well against the Saints, but I'd like to see them repeat that before I place a lot of faith in them.
RECAP: I don't like the Dolphins to cover the 6-point spread. I love the Dolphins to do so. In fact, Miami is my September NFL Pick of the Month.
I've actually been looking at this contest for a long time. My plan was that if Minnesota lost a tough game to the Saints, and the Dolphins either lost or were unimpressive at Buffalo, I'd use Miami as a big play. Here's my reasoning:
1. The Vikings circled the Saints opener when the schedule was released. All of the work they put into preparing for this season was focused on avenging their NFC Championship loss.
The effort certainly was there - I've never seen Adrian Peterson run so hard - but Minnesota fell short. Now, this completely deflated Vikings team has to go home and battle some unknown AFC foe that didn't look too sharp in its opener. I think this is Minnesota's mentality right now: "Can't believe we lost to the Saints. Damn refs screwed us over again. Meh, at least we'll beat this Dolphins team this week. They almost lost to Buffalo."
This situation is very similar to what the Titans endured last year. They brought 110 percent to their opener against the Steelers. They fell short by the score of 13-10. Ten days later, they battled a "lesser" Texans team as big favorites. Houston prevailed by a field goal.
I cannot see the Vikings getting up for the Dolphins. They exerted all of their energy in the Saints game. I just don't know how much they have left in the tank.
2. As for the Dolphins, there's no reason not to expect them to play hard. They won at Buffalo - something they haven't done since 2004, by the way - but the 15-10 score has everyone doubting them. This is more of a statement game for Miami. This is their chance to show the NFL that they are for real.
3. Tony Sparano is 5-1 against the spread in his second consecutive road game, so there should be no concern that Miami will struggle because it's playing back-to-back road tilts.
4. As of this writing, 80 percent of the public is on the Vikings. Despite this, the line hasn't moved much. Bodog lists the spread as -6, but Pinnacle, the sharpest book on the Web, has Minnesota at -5.5 -102, which is practically begging bettors to take the host.
5. Are the Vikings better than the Dolphins, let alone three points superior? I don't think so. Favre and his receivers aren't clicking, the offensive line isn't blocking, and the secondary isn't healthy. Miami just appears to be the stronger team right now.
The Psychology. Edge: Dolphins.
Despite seeking revenge for seven months, the Vikings fell short last week. It'll be hard for them to get up for a non-conference opponent that looked awful last week.
The Vegas. Edge: Dolphins.
Three-quarters action on the Vikings. No surprise after Miami struggled at Buffalo.
Percentage of money on Minnesota: 78% (115,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Dolphins.
Double Roads: Tony Sparano is 5-1 ATS in his second road game.
Tony Sparano is 12-5 ATS on the road.
Dolphins are 31-22 SU in September since 1994.
Dolphins are 1-7 ATS vs. NFC teams under Tony Sparano.
Vikings are 6-9 ATS vs. AFC foes under Brad Childress.
Opening Line: Vikings -5.5.
Opening Total: 41.
Week 2 NFL Pick: Dolphins 20, Vikings 17 Dolphins +6 (8 Units - September NFL Pick of the Month) -- Correct; +$800 Under 41 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0 Dolphins 14, Vikings 10
Arizona Cardinals (1-0) at Atlanta Falcons (0-1) Line: Falcons by 6.5. Total: 43. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 1): Falcons -9.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 1): Falcons -7.5.
Sunday, Sept. 19, 1:00 ET
The Game. Edge: Falcons.
Vegas Recap: Vegas is usually content to lose money in Week 1 so that they can entice gamblers to bet more later in the season. Well, not this year. Vegas walked away with a big profit on Kickoff Weekend, as five of the eight highly bet games went their way. The books won with the Vikings, Texans, Seahawks, Redskins and Chiefs covering, but lost when the Dolphins, Titans and Packers beat the number. Had Miami not gotten that last-minute safety, and had QB Dog Killer run in for the touchdown instead of lobbing a poor pass to the end zone, the public would be broke right now.
Before I get to this game, I should note that I'll be announcing when I post each pick on my Twitter account. So follow me @walterfootball if you want.
ATLANTA OFFENSE: I was completely shocked when I heard PTI's Michael Wilbon hint that Matt Ryan could be a bust. Weh? Ryan didn't have a good season last year, but was hurt toward the end. And yes, he struggled at Pittsburgh, but the Steelers defense is completely healthy again.
Oh, and let's not forget Ryan's home-road dichotomy. In his career as a host, Ryan has 17 touchdowns, nine interceptions, a completion percentage of 63.6 and a YPA of 8.1. On the road, however, Ryan has 21 touchdowns, 16 picks, a completion percentage of 57.5 and a YPA of 6.6.
Ryan will be fine, especially now that he doesn't have James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley in his face, or Troy Polamalu lurking in the defensive backfield. Ryan will also have a better running game to lean on. The Cardinals are solid versus the rush, but they are not the Steelers.
ARIZONA OFFENSE: Derek Anderson's 297 passing yards will have box-score observers claim that he's nearly as good as Kurt Warner. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, that's not even close to being accurate. Playing as if he downed eight beers before the game, Anderson struggled to complete many of his throws. Larry Fitzgerald even yelled in frustration at one point in the Rams game.
If the Cardinals had problems moving the chains against St. Louis, I don't expect them to have much luck against Atlanta. Don't sleep on the Falcons defense; they improved against the run last year, and did a great job bottling up Rashard Mendenhall in the opener until Mendenhall broke free in overtime.
Atlanta should be able to place a ton of pressure on Anderson. The Falcons had three sacks in the opener, and the Cardinals have major pass protection issues because right tackle Brandon Keith is a sieve.
RECAP: The Falcons lost to Dennis Dixon, which brought this spread down by about two points, creating value with the host. Again, Matt Ryan is really good at home, owning a 10-2 spread record at the Georgia Dome in his young career. I like Atlanta to bounce back against an Arizona team that isn't very good.
The Psychology. Edge: Falcons.
The Falcons are hearing how much they suck after losing to Dennis Dixon.
The Vegas. Edge: Cardinals.
Not many believers in Derek Anderson yet.
Percentage of money on Atlanta: 81% (110,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Falcons.
Double Roads: Ken Whisenhunt is 2-4 ATS in his second road game.
Baltimore Ravens (1-0) at Cincinnati Bengals (0-1) Line: Ravens by 2.5. Total: 39. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 1): Bengals -2.5.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 1): Ravens -1.
Sunday, Sept. 19, 1:00 ET
The Game. Edge: Ravens.
Some random NFL notes I can't put anywhere else:
1. I've criticized Jaguar fans pretty frequently over the past year and a half for not showing up to their home games. I received several e-mails about this from them, which I discussed in my 2010 NFL Power Rankings. Two things:
First, I watched the Jacksonville-Denver game, and the seats were empty. I noted this in my recap page. What I didn't realize at the time was that the game was so hot that the soldout crowd left the stands for the tunnels and/or concession stands. I guess the poor Jaguar fans weren't used to going to a game, so... meh, never mind. I'll lay off Jacksonville for a change.
Second, I really have to bash the Tampa Bay fans. Seriously, how do you fail to sell out your home opener? The Buccaneers have a really young and exciting team. It's not like their roster is comprised of old, crappy veterans. The people in the Tampa area absolutely suck for not selling out their game against the Browns.
2. Staying in the NFC South, I received lots of e-mails and Facebook wall posts about this, but I honestly don't know what happened to Jonathan Stewart. Maybe John Fox forgot he was on the roster and ran Mike Goodson instead. Forum member ... had this explanation: "Fox suffers from an unfortunate condition known as 'confused coach disorder.' Just like Wade Phillips and Lovie Smith."
3. I have a new game you can play on NFL Sundays. It's called Buffalo Bills Drive Yardage Over-Under. The rules are simple: Try to guess whether or not the Bills will go over or under 0.5 yards on each of their drives. It's sad, but they went over just seven out of 12 times against the Dolphins, meaning they couldn't gain a single yard on five possessions. Hilariously, three of those five no-yardage situations actually resulted in net losses.
BALTIMORE OFFENSE: Joe Flacco didn't have a great statistical game against the Jets - he was 20-of-38 for 248 yards and an interception - but he converted multiple third-and-long situations against the best pass defense in the NFL. With his toughest defensive foe out of the way, Flacco should have a big year.
The Bengals have two shutdown corners, but they couldn't keep Tom Brady from lighting up the scoreboard. Like Brady, Flacco has a plethora of weapons that Cincinnati's defense just won't be able to cover.
Perhaps the most disappointing aspect about Cincinnati's defense in the opener was its inability to stop the run. The Patriots, who have no ground attack whatsoever, were able to gash the Bengals for 5.3 yards per carry with Fred Taylor and Kevin Faulk. Ray Rice and Willis McGahee should both have huge games, which will give Flacco more time than he'll need against a defense that currently has zero sacks on the year.
CINCINNATI OFFENSE: It's a joke that Carson Palmer is ranked second in the league in passing yards. As noted on my Week 1 Game Recaps page, Palmer played dreadfully in the opener, showing absolutely no arm strength that he once possessed. He finished 34-of-50 for 345 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, but most of that came when the Patriots began playing a vanilla prevent defense. One play prior to halftime, Palmer was 9-of-16 for 56 yards and a pick-six.
The Ravens have an even tougher defense than the Patriots, so I can't see Palmer playing any better this week. Palmer will have no running game because Baltimore's stout front seven will put the clamps on Cedric Benson, so like Mark Sanchez last week, he'll be forced to convert third-and-long situations against Ray Lewis and company. Good luck, Carson.
RECAP: I really love the Ravens in this spot. Not only are they the better team; they also have the motivational factor in that the Bengals swept them last year. Like the Patriots last week, Baltimore should beat Cincinnati rather easily.
The Psychology. Edge: Ravens.
The Bengals swept the Ravens last year, so Baltimore is out for blood.
The Vegas. Edge: Bengals.
The public naturally loves the Ravens this week.
Percentage of money on Baltimore: 68% (86,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Ravens.
History: Bengals have won 5 of the last 7 meetings.
Double Roads: John Harbaugh is 3-1 ATS in his second road game.
Ravens are 9-1 ATS vs. teams with losing records under John Harbaugh.
Ravens are 13-8 ATS on the road under John Harbaugh.
Bengals are 7-3 ATS as underdogs since 2009.
Bengals are 9-24 ATS in September home games since 1992.
Carson Palmer is 4-7 ATS as a home dog.
Opening Line: Ravens -1.
Opening Total: 38.5.
Weather: Possible thunderstorms, 81 degrees. Light wind.
Kansas City Chiefs (1-0) at Cleveland Browns (0-1) Line: Browns by 3. Total: 38.5. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 1): Browns -3.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 1): Browns -1.
Sunday, Sept. 19, 1:00 ET
The Game. Edge: Browns.
More random NFL notes:
4. The Eagles really need to be fined a ton of money or docked a draft pick, because what they did against the Packers was completely irresponsible. Inside linebacker Stewart Bradley suffered a concussion in the first half. He clearly was out of it, as he was spinning around and unable to walk in a straight line. He should have been sidelined for the rest of the game, yet Andy Reid sent Bradley back on the field a couple of plays later. Glad to see Reid is sympathetic to all of this concussion talk that has been going on, though I can't say I'm surprised, given that he's content to have a deranged psychopath on his team. Roger Goodell needs to step in and do something about this.
5. Speaking of the Eagles, I LOVE THOSE OLD KELLY GREEN JERSEYS. They really need to go back to those, much like the Bills and Chargers should permanently revert to their throwbacks.
6. I really feel cheated. The only big play I lost last week was on the 49ers -3, which I completely misread. Going into the game, I had no idea how Seattle was going to pass protect for Matt Hasselbeck. Left tackle Russell Okung was out, leaving journeyman scrub Tyler Polumbus to protect Hasselbeck's blind side. I'm not sure how Hasselbeck survived, especially considering that Pete Carroll didn't even know Polumbus' name! Seriously, Carroll called his new left tackle "Troy Polumbus" multiple times in a press conference before the game. If a coach can't even get his own player's name right, his team doesn't deserve to win. I want my four units back.
KANSAS CITY OFFENSE: The Arrowhead crowd was awesome, the special teams were lethal and the defense was improved. But the Chiefs offense still blows. Matt Cassel was pedestrian as ever, going 10-of-22 for 68 yards and a touchdown off a Ryan Mathews fumble. With Cassel struggling, Kansas City was out-gained by about 200 yards and managed just nine first downs.
The Chiefs' offense is all Jamaal Charles or nothing. The problem is that Todd Haley insists on giving carries to the dreadful Thomas Jones, who specializes in falling forward for three yards every time he touches the ball. Charles totaled 154 yards and a touchdown on 25 attempts in a December meeting against the Browns last year, but unless Haley suddenly stops being a reh-TARD, Charles is not going to receive nearly as many carries this time.
I just can't see Kansas City moving the chains consistently in this contest unless Charles touches the ball at least 25 times. Unfortunately for Chiefs fans, Haley doesn't believe Charles is talented enough to handle this sort of workload (even though he managed to do so last year).
CLEVELAND OFFENSE: Jake Delhomme really fooled me. He had a great preseason, looking calm, confident and accurate. He was turnover-free when it didn't count, but suddenly reverted to the guy who lost games on purpose last year to save his kidnapped son from degenerate gamblers.
While Kansas City's offense sucks, the defense really stepped up Monday night. It still remains to be seen whether its performance against the Chargers was the result of a jolt of emotion from hosting a Monday night game for the first time since 2004, so it'll be interesting to see if the Chiefs can keep this going.
Fortunately for them, the Browns don't have much on offense. Jerome Harrison and Peyton Hillis both run well behind a good offensive line, but fumble way too much. And speaking of fumbling, Delhomme is a turnover waiting to happen. It almost seems too obvious that Eric Berry will have his breakout game by pick-sixing Delhomme. You can be sure that the kidnappers have already placed a wager on this to happen.
RECAP: My friend and former neighbor Schmidty called me up Tuesday afternoon. "How about those Chiefs? They looked pretty awesome!" he said. Schmidty's not alone in this mindset. It seems like everyone and their evil stepsister is betting on Kansas City this week.
Not me. I was not too impressed with the Chiefs. As mentioned, they managed only nine first downs and were out-gained by about 200 yards. Their three scores came on a long run, punt return and fumble recovery.
All of this Kansas City betting action has dropped the line two points lower than where it would have been a week ago, creating value with Cleveland. I also like the fact that the Chiefs will be emotionally drained after that insane Monday night victory.
Unfortunately, Delhomme is the quarterback, so I can't lay multiple units with the Browns. Cleveland could easily outplay Kansas City in this contest, only to have things ruined with a fourth-quarter Delhomme pick-six. Why did he get $7 million guaranteed again?
UPDATE: It appears as though Seneca Wallace will start this game for the Browns. I feel a bit safer about this pick because Wallace's son isn't kidnapped and being held hostage by degenerate gamblers. However, Wallace isn't very good either.
The Psychology. Edge: Browns.
The Chiefs can't possibly muster the same energy two weeks in a row. There will be an emotional letdown of sorts.
The Vegas. Edge: Browns.
Where do you think all the money is going after that Monday night game?
Percentage of money on Kansas City: 66% (76,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Chiefs.
Chiefs are 16-8 ATS as a road underdog since 2007.
Chicago Bears (1-0) at Dallas Cowboys (0-1) Line: Cowboys by 7. Total: 41. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 1): Cowboys -9.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 1): Cowboys -9.
Sunday, Sept. 19, 1:00 ET
The Game. Edge: Cowboys.
Some college football notes I can't put anywhere else:
1. Funny moment in the UCLA-Stanford game. As the camera panned to the UCLA cheerleaders, one of the male cheerleaders appeared on TV. He was a chubby Asian guy who yelled, "Go Bruinth Jeeezth Crithhh!" At that moment, I thought of one word: "LLLLLLLOOOOOOOOYYYYDDDDD!!!"
2. So much for ESPN's so-called Monster Saturday. All but one of the games they promoted for Monster Saturday were blowouts. The Penn State-Alabama, Ohio State-Miami, Oklahoma-Florida State and Oregon-Tennessee games were decided by a combined 98 points. Only Michigan-Notre Dame was close, and that's only because both teams are just above average.
The point of all this is that college football sucks. The corrupt school presidents who don't want a playoff system because they make too much money with the BCS continuously cite that college football is awesome because it has the best regular season in all of sports. Yeah, this regular season is great! To go along with the expected Texas Tech-New Mexico blowouts, the games we believe will be close are usually crappy as well.
3. Ironically, the most amusing game of the day was one that wasn't broadcast on TV. James Madison 21, Virginia Tech 16. Great job, Hokies. I have a new rule proposal: If you're a BCS school and you lose to an ex-president, you should be demoted to Division III for two years. Maybe then Tech would have actually tried in this game instead of feeling sorry for themselves after losing to Boise State.
DALLAS OFFENSE: The Cowboys received great news Tuesday, when it was reported that left guard Kyle Kosier and right tackle Marc Colombo could be back for the Chicago game. Colombo is the more significant player, simply because Alex Barron had to resort to choking defensive linemen against the Redskins because he was so lost in pass protection.
Even with Kosier and Colombo back, I can't say that I entirely trust Dallas to protect for Tony Romo. The inexperienced Doug Free is matched up with Julius Peppers, who single-handedly ruined Detroit's season, while the Cowboys' interior has to deal with Tommie Harris, who looks as healthy as ever.
If Romo continues to have defenders in his face, and the Cowboys struggle to run the ball (the Bears limited Detroit to 24 rushing yards), Dallas' scoring attack will once again fail to produce. It's unbelievable to watch an offense comprised of talented players like Miles Austin-Jones, Jason Witten, Dez Bryant and Felix Jones struggle like this, but that's what's been happening since the middle of August.
CHICAGO OFFENSE: I guess this is the I Can't Protect My Quarterback Bowl because the Cowboys have the potential to set the team record for sacks in this game. I wish I were exaggerating, but DeMarcus Ware, Anthony Spencer and Jay Ratliff versus Jay Cutler and a Mike Martz protection scheme could produce 13 sacks - which is one more than the NFL record.
I'm also expecting a ton of turnovers from Chicago. The Bears couldn't even hang on to the ball against the Lions, and Cutler will have much more pressure in his face than he did a week ago. Meanwhile, the running game won't work either; Dallas' offense excels in that department, while Chicago averaged just three yards per carry against Detroit.
RECAP: This game could get really ugly for the Bears if Dallas' offense suddenly starts clicking. The good news for Chicago is that the Cowboys just aren't playing that well right now.
Laying nine points with the Cowboys is just too much because they may struggle to even score nine points. Of course, a few Cutler turnovers could make that easy, which is why this is only a half-unit play. I don't trust Cutler or Martz at all against this type of a defense.
PICK CHANGE: I didn't have a strong opinion on this game, and I guess you can say that's an excuse for my changing sides. But I like Dallas now. Kyle Kosier and Marc Colombo are both healthy, so I expect Dallas' offense to be much more productive. This line is way too low based on what happened last week, as it's saying that Chicago is two points better than Washington, which is clearly not the case.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No psychological edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: Bears.
Equal action until Sunday morning.
Percentage of money on Dallas: 74% (125,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Bears.
Tony Romo is 24-14 ATS as a starter before Dec. 1.
Tony Romo is 8-3 ATS as a starter in September.
Tony Romo is 6-11 ATS as a favorite of -7 or more excluding Thanksgiving (4-0 on Thanksgiving).
Wade Phillips is 3-7 ATS after losing as a favorite.
Philadelphia Eagles (0-1) at Detroit Lions (0-1) Line: Eagles by 7. Total: 41.5. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 1): Eagles -3 (Stafford).
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 1): Eagles -7 (No Stafford).
Sunday, Sept. 19, 1:00 ET
The Game. Edge: Eagles.
If you missed my rant about the Calvin Johnson non-touchdown and Matthew Stafford's poor pass protection, check out my 2010 NFL Power Rankings. Two e-mailers had awesome rants of their own that I'd like to share with you:
From John S:
After Stafford was drafted, we had an opportunity to draft Michael Oher
with the 20th pick in the draft... When I was watching that draft, and
seconds before the selection was announced, Steve Young stated "Now you
have the opportunity to get the Left Tackle to protect him.... PLEASE
protect your young quarterback and take the tackle....Please!"
........ Then they announced Brandon Pettigrew as the selection and for
about ten minutes, Steve Young disappeared, as he was clearly
I sure wish I could find tape of that, his words are burned into my
brain and are haunting!!
From Adam W:
I AM TYPING THIS EMAIL IN ALL CAPS TO SHOW HOW PISSED OFF I AM. I HAVE CALVIN JOHNSON IN 2 LEAGUES AND THAT TD THAT GOT CALLED BACK REALLY UPSET ME. I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT ELSE YOU HAVE TO DO TO SCORE A TOUCHDOWN ASIDE WHAT JOHNSON DID WHICH WAS CATCHING THE BALL IN BOUNDS, GETTING 2 FEET DOWN, FALLING TO THE GROUND, HITTING HIS SIDE ON THE GROUND, HITTING HIS ELBOW ON THE GROUND, ALL WHLE PALMING THE BALL, AND THEN ONCE HE STARTS TO GET UP THE BALL "COMES OUT" SO THE F*CKING RETARD REFS CALL IT AN INCOMPLETE PASS, REALLY GUYS? KID MAKES A GAME WINNING TD CATCH AND YOU ALL ARE GOING TO CALL IT BACK ON SOME BS LIKE THAT? THAT COST ME A WIN IN ONE OF MY LEAGUES. I AM SO UPSET WITH THE OFFICIATING SO FAR THIS YEAR, AND ITS ONLY GOING TO GET WORSE
DETROIT OFFENSE: Poor Lions. They are cursed. Instead of their strong-armed young quarterback potentially leading the team to a winning record for the first time since Bill Clinton was in office (2000), it'll be Shaun Hill under center. What did Detroit do to anger the football gods all these years?
Hill isn't terrible though. He has a weak arm, but he's a veteran quarterback who makes smart decisions. He did OK with the 49ers, who last year had less offensive talent than the Lions do now (Hill was under center before Michael Crabtree came back). So, with that in mind, I think Hill can be all right. He still has Jahvid Best in the backfield, Calvin Johnson commanding double teams downfield, and Nate Burleson, and Tony Scheffler as other reliable options.
With a week of practice this time, Hill could keep the chains moving enough to give the Lions a shot. Remember, stud inside linebacker Stewart Bradley is out, so Best could have much more success running the ball than he did last week.
Detroit's biggest challenge, however, will be keeping Trent Cole and Brandon Graham out of the backfield. Left tackle Jeff Backus is already responsible for getting Stafford hurt, so Hill could just as easily suffer an injury.
PHILADELPHIA OFFENSE: The Packers spent a whole month preparing to stop Kevin Kolb and his dynamic receivers. Clay Matthews destroyed Kolb in the second quarter, so in came QB Dog Killer, who ran around Green Bay's defense at will. The Packers, playing a vanilla prevent at the time, were not prepared at all for this.
While many are singing QB Dog Killer's praises, I remain skeptical. There's a reason he has a career completion percentage of 53. He has an enormous arm, but his accuracy is atrocious. Overly eager to showcase his passing skills, QB Dog Killer could toss a few careless interceptions in this contest, just like he did against the Bengals in the preseason.
The Eagles are really hurting on the offensive line. Center Jamaal Jackson is out for the year, so Ndamukong Suh, who played very well in the opener, will constantly collapse the pocket. Philadelphia won't be able to run the ball either - Detroit's defense is now good at stopping the run, and fullback Leonard Weaver is out - so the only yardage the Eagles gain on the ground will likely come from QB Dog Killer. But unlike the Packers, the Lions coaching staff will be prepared for this.
RECAP: Everyone loves the Eagles this week: "Philly is so much better with QB Dog Killer, they're definitely gonna win by more than 4 points!" Just scroll down and check out the public betting percentage.
Look, if you've been reading this site for a while, you know my feelings on QB Dog Killer. I think he's a scumbag who should be in a mental hospital right now. If I were running the Eagles, I would cut him immediately. But having said that, I honestly think what we saw last week was a flash in the pan. QB Dog Killer was a pretty pedestrian quarterback in his final couple of years in Atlanta, and now he's supposed to be awesome again? I'm just not buying it.
The Psychology. Edge: Eagles.
A season of promise is gone. Matthew Stafford could be out at least six weeks, which really has to deflate Detroit.
The Vegas. Edge: Lions.
I really don't understand this line. Are the Eagles only seven points better than the Shaun Hill-led Lions? How does that make sense?
Percentage of money on Philadelphia: 85% (103,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Eagles.
Eagles are 64-41 ATS vs. NFC opponents since 2001.
Eagles are 29-19 ATS vs. teams with losing records since 2001.
Andy Reid is 14-9 ATS as a road favorite of 3.5 or more.
Lions are 3-13 ATS against losing teams the previous 16 instances.
Buffalo Bills (0-1) at Green Bay Packers (1-0) Line: Packers by 12.5. Total: 43. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 1): Packers -13.5.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 1): Packers -14.
Sunday, Sept. 19, 1:00 ET
The Game. Edge: Packers.
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:
my name is Sandra i read your profile and i decided to contact you hopping that you will accept me as your friend. do not late far decadence be a barrier let love cornet because love is abridge cornet far decadence to be lose.
Oh Sandra, your poetry is so beautiful. Of course I will except you as a friend!
GREEN BAY OFFENSE: If you haven't heard, Ryan Grant is out for the year with severe leg and ankle injuries. I've already received several e-mails from people asking if I still think the Packers should be No. 1 in my 2010 NFL Power Rankings.
Short answer: Yes. Long answer: Ryan Grant was not that good. He was very limited talent-wise, but always produced great fantasy numbers because of his role in such an explosive offense. The drop-off between Grant and Brandon Jackson isn't very steep. In fact, Jackson is the superior pass-catcher, so having him on the field more often could help the Packers.
Jackson should be in all fantasy lineups this week because the Bills can't stop the run. And I can't imagine them handling Aaron Rodgers either. Buffalo's secondary is very good, but Rodgers is too talented, and has way too many incredible weapons around him. The Packers should be able to score at will this Sunday.
BUFFALO OFFENSE: Can anyone explain what the Bills are doing? They spent the No. 9 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft on a running back, a position they didn't need to address, and yet they refused to run the ball in the season opener. This is like going out and spending $100 on swim trunks so you can go to the beach despite the fact that you don't even need swim trunks, and yet you decide to wear a sweat pants when you actually do go to the beach.
I can't see the Bills having much success offensively. In fact, they'll be lucky (or unlucky depending on how you look at it) if Trent Edwards escapes this game alive with Clay Matthews matched up with Buffalo's anemic tackles. Running the ball - assuming the Bills decide to do it - won't work either because the Packers defense is pretty stout in that department.
RECAP: I'll be pretty surprised if this isn't a blowout. Buffalo's only hope is for the Packers to commit countless unforced errors.
SURVIVOR PICK: I had the Patriots as my survivor pick last week. I'm going with Green Bay this Sunday. The sweat pants-wearing Bills don't seem to stand a chance.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No psychological edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: Bills.
A no-brainer for bettors.
Percentage of money on Green Bay: 79% (143,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Packers.
Bills are 3-22 ATS after playing the Miami Dolphins since 1998.
Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0) at Tennessee Titans (1-0) Line: Titans by 5. Total: 36. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 1): Titans -7.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 1): Titans -7.
Sunday, Sept. 19, 1:00 ET
The Game. Edge: Titans.
In addition to an E-mail of the Week, I'm also going to post a Video of the Week. If you're tired of all the stupid Twilight hype, you may enjoy Twilight For Guys - unless, of course, you don't like seeing hot chicks in their underwear. Oh, and by the way, here's my long rant on why Twilight sucks if you haven't read it.
TENNESSEE OFFENSE: Pittsburgh's defense is healthy again. They did a terrific job forcing Matt Ryan into numerous poor throws, including what should have been a game-clinching interception at the end of regulation. Ryan really struggled because Michael Turner was bottled up.
It's impossible to contain Chris Johnson. The Raiders, who have a pretty good run defense, did their best until Johnson broke free for a 76-yard score in the second half. Dating back to last year, Johnson now has 12 consecutive 100-yard rushing performances. I expect that streak to extend to 13; with Vince Young as a running option, Pittsburgh, like every other defense the Titans have faced, won't be able to focus primarily on Johnson.
I also think that Pittsburgh will have problems matching the intensity it played with last week. I'll get to that later, but if I'm right about this, stopping Johnson would be even more difficult.
PITTSBURGH OFFENSE: Dennis Dixon had some ugly misfires and an inexcusable interception against the Falcons, but he did a great job considering how poorly his offensive line played. The mobile Dixon was sacked three times, including once when Atlanta sent a three-man rush.
This figures to be a much more pressing problem at Tennessee because left tackle Max Starks is out, meaning the inept Jonathan Scott will be starting across the pedestrian Flozell Adams.
To win this game, the Steelers will have to run the ball effectively. There's some hope here, as the Raiders mustered 5.3 yards per carry last week. Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, left end William Hayes (Tennessee's best run defender) should be back in the lineup, and the Titans defense as a whole will be more focused for this matchup than they were against the lowly Raiders.
RECAP: I really like the Titans to cover the spread here for two reasons. First, this is a big revenge game for them. A loss to Pittsburgh on opening night last year sent them reeling into an 0-6 start.
Second, and more prominently, I can't imagine Pittsburgh coming close to matching the same intensity it had against the Falcons. I loved the Steelers to cover the spread in that game because I knew they'd play at 110 percent with Ben Roethlisberger out. Really good teams simply step up in the first game without their best player. This does not, however, apply to the second game.
In nearly every instance I've tracked over the years, a team missing its star quarterback for a second contest really struggled after winning that first game. This is only natural; in such a physical sport, it's nearly impossible to bring 110 percent to the table two weeks in a row.
The Psychology. Edge: Titans.
A loss to the Steelers last year sent the Titans in an 0-6 tailspin. Revenge is a factor here, as is Pittsburgh's deflation following a tough win in which they brought 110 percent.
The Vegas. Edge: Steelers.
Like last week, the public is pounding Tennessee.
Percentage of money on Tennessee: 75% (103,000 bets)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0) at Carolina Panthers (0-1) Line: Panthers by 3.5. Total: 38.5. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 1): Panthers -6.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 1): Panthers -4.5.
Sunday, Sept. 19, 1:00 ET
The Game. Edge: Buccaneers.
As mentioned last week, I'm in the same fantasy football league as Bo-Bo. If you don't know who Bo-Bo is, he's quite possibly the worst fantasy player in the history of the universe. Here was the team he drafted last year:
QB: Trent Edwards (6th-round pick); RB1: Michael Turner; RB2: Frank Gore; WR1: Terrell Owens; WR2: Kevin Curtis; WR3: Joey Galloway; TE: Chris Cooley; DEF: Minnesota; K: David Akers (12th-round pick).
Bo-Bo fought hard in his first week, but lost 85-74. His top scorer was Austin Collie (21 points), but Brandon Marshall (5), Mike Sims-Walker (0) and Tony Gonzalez (3) let him down. Bo-Bo has a pretty solid starting lineup, but absolutely no depth (he drafted 3 RBs and 2 Ks). Hopefully his team will suffer some injuries so he can resort to starting Patrick Crayton, Joey Galloway and Tony Richardson again.
If you're wondering how I'm doing, I won my first game, 87-74. My lineup: Eli Manning (Matt Ryan on the bench vs. Steelers), Ray Rice, Jahvid Best (Jamaal Charles on bench), Roddy White, Greg Jennings, Malcom Floyd (3-WR league), Zach Miller, Rob Bironas, Chargers Defense (defense by committee).
TAMPA BAY OFFENSE: As opined above, Tampa Bay fans should be ashamed of themselves for failing to sell out the home opener. The Buccaneers have plenty of young and exciting talent. Josh Freeman is a million miles ahead of where he was last year, and Mike Williams is a really dynamic rookie receiver. He had five catches for 30 yards and a touchdown in his debut despite the fact that Freeman wasn't playing well coming off a broken thumb. Freeman had Williams wide open deep downfield for a second score, but admittedly overshot him.
How well Tampa plays depends on the status of Freeman's thumb. If it has healed - and there is no timetable for this - the Buccaneers could have a big offensive day. Carolina's secondary completely embarrassed itself against the Giants; sure, the team picked off three passes, but all of those were deflected balls. The Panthers surrendered 263 passing yards on an 8.8 YPA, and they weren't able to keep Hakeem Nicks out of the end zone. If Freeman is feeling better, Williams could have multiple scores.
The Buccaneers should be able to run the ball pretty efficiently. They managed 85 yards on the ground against an underrated Browns stop unit, and now go against the Panthers, who allowed 120 rushing yards last week.
CAROLINA OFFENSE: As of Tuesday evening, there is no line on this game because of Matt Moore's status. Moore played very poorly against the Giants, so I have to question why Vegas is even concerned about this. Maybe the oddsmakers think Jimmy Clausen will be a better option for Carolina. I believe he would be, based solely on how many times Moore carelessly lobbed up passes into triple coverage last week.
The Panthers did not run the ball enough against the Giants. I really don't understand John Fox's sudden infatuation with Mike Goodson and disdain for Jonathan Stewart. If he wants to avoid an 0-2 hole, he better run Stewart and DeAngelo Williams as much as possible; the Buccaneers allowed 5.2 yards per carry to the dynamic duo of Jerome Harrison and Peyton Hillis last week.
RECAP: For those of you in pick-em pools who want to know whom I'm taking, I'm tentatively selecting the Buccaneers.
When a line is posted, I'll have a more definitive selection. I will say this - if Carolina is favored by six or more, I'll have a big play on Tampa Bay. Check back later in the week.
LINE POSTED: Damn. I was hoping for Carolina to be -6 or higher. I still like the Bucs, but there's no value with +3.5. This is a one-unit play.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No psychological edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: Buccaneers.
This number seems pretty low. The public is consequently taking Carolina. There was tons of late action on them.
Percentage of money on Carolina: 80% (55,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: None.
History: Panthers have won the last 3 meetings.
Buccaneers are 12-22 ATS on the road after a win since 2002.
Panthers are 23-31 ATS at home since 2003.
Panthers are 14-24 ATS as a home favorite of 3.5 or more since 2001. ???
Week 2 NFL Picks - Late Games Seahawks at Broncos, Rams at Raiders, Patriots at Jets, Jaguars at Chargers, Texans at Redskins, Giants at Colts, Saints at 49ers
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 11, 2015): 5-6-3 (-$2,010)
Last Week's 2-3 Unit NFL Picks (Week 11, 2015): 0-1 (-$330)
Last Week's 4-5 Unit NFL Picks (Week 11, 2015): 0-1 (-$550)
Last Week Over-Under (Week 11, 2015): 9-5 ($0)
Last Week's Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks (Week 11, 2015): $0
2015 NFL Picks of the Month: 0-3, 0% (-$2,200)
2015 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 78-90-9, 46.4% (-$5,920) 2015 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 27-26-1, 51.0% (-$685) 2015 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 10-14, 41.7% (-$3,040) 2015 Season Over-Under: 80-76-4, 51.3% ($0) 2015 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$595
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)
2002 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 41-49-2 (45.6%) 2003 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 52-51-2 (50.5%) 2004 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 65-44-3 (59.6%) 2005 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 77-61-1 (55.8%) 2006 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 65-61-4 (51.6%) 2007 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 83-59-5, 58.5% (+$4,110) 2008 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 44-57-3, 43.6% (-$3,510) 2009 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 49-35-3, 58.3% (+$2,260) 2010 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 51-38-4, 57.3% (+$3,180) 2011 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 44-51-3, 46.3% (-$2,715) 2012 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 45-50-2, 47.4% (-$2,130) 2013 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 38-42, 47.5% (-$2,890)
2002 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 11-12 (47.8%) 2003 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 16-13-1 (55.2%) 2004 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 18-11 (62.1%) 2005 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 25-22-1 (53.2%) 2006 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 21-29-1 (42.0%) 2007 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 35-30-2, 53.8% (+$420) 2008 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 39-26-2, 60.0% (+$4,055) 2009 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 29-26, 52.7% (+$330) 2010 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 32-22, 59.3% (+$4,790) 2011 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 14-14, 50.0% (-$1,260) 2012 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 14-21, 40.0% (-$3,650) 2013 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 17-9-3, 65.4% (+$2,970)
2001 Season Over-Under: 3-2 (60.0%) 2002 Season Over-Under: 121-91-3 (57.1%) 2003 Season Over-Under: 126-132-2 (48.8%) 2004 Season Over-Under: 139-124-4 (52.9%) 2005 Season Over-Under: 117-145-4 (44.7%) 2006 Season Over-Under: 129-132-5 (49.4%) 2007 Season Over-Under: 136-145-3, 48.4% (-$1,900) 2008 Season Over-Under: 137-125-6, 52.3% (+$860) 2009 Season Over-Under: 128-135-4, 48.7% (-$3,195) 2010 Season Over-Under: 128-135-5, 48.7% (-$5) 2011 Season Over-Under: 131-131-5, 50.0% (+$135) 2012 Season Over-Under: 125-121-5, 50.8% (+$30) 2013 Season Over-Under: 132-130-5, 50.4% (-$340)
2007 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,035 2008 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,775 2009 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$865 2010 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$200 2011 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$590 2012 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$1,685 2013 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$2,245
2006 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3 (50%) 2007 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3, 50.0% (-$400) 2008 NFL Picks of the Month: 6-1, 85.7% (+$3,720) 2009 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$640) 2010 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-4, 33.3% (-$1,810) 2011 NFL Picks of the Month: 5-2, 71.4% (+$1,870) 2012 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$560) 2013 NFL Picks of the Month: 6-0, 100% (+$3,900) 2014 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-4, 33.3% (-$1,350)
Career NFL Picks Against The Spread: 2,235-2,068-126, 51.9% (+$4,600) Career 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 721-650-34 (52.5%) Career 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 298-265-11 (52.9%) Career Over-Under: 1,760-1,722-50 (50.6%) Career Second-Half NFL Picks: 22-15-1 (61.1%) Career NFL Picks of the Month: 30-22 (57.7%)
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.