@Mr. Bitter this is why we talk out the animal draft. There is some giraffe bias out there. Sometimes the obvious pick is the right pick. When you have as much knowledge as mr bitter you can overthink things, not an issue for most of us
New Orleans Saints (3-1) at Arizona Cardinals (2-2) Line: Saints by 7. Total: 45.5. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 4): Saints -6.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 4): Saints -7.
Sunday, Oct. 10, 4:05 ET
The Game. Edge: Saints.
Two opportunities to win money, if you're into that sort of thing:
We are running our NFL Picking Contest again 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. It's a new month, so our Picking Contest is starting over.
ARIZONA OFFENSE: Good God, the Cardinals suck. Despite their 2-2 record, I moved them down to No. 30 in my 2010 NFL Power Rankings. I can't imagine how many beers Derek Anderson had before that Chargers debaclation. It's amazing that he wasn't hospitalized.
The good news for the Cardinals is that Max Hall will be named the starter. Hall is only 6-1, but he's mature for a rookie (24 years old), makes good decisions and is an accurate passer. He's a much better option for Arizona than Anderson, drunk or not.
The Saints defense has issues right now. They're 22nd against the run and 23rd versus the pass. That latter ranking will get a lot worse soon because top corner Tracy Porter is out for about a month with a partially torn MCL.
Despite their disgraceful showing at San Diego, I think Arizona will move the chains efficiently and score a healthy amount of points. More importantly, Hall will not make dumb decisions like his drunken predecessor.
NEW ORLEANS OFFENSE: The Saints have done a great job of piling up yardage and converting third downs this year, but for whatever reason, they've just struggled in the red zone. They've turned the ball over too many times and otherwise had to settle for way too many field goals, as Garrett Hartley very well knows.
Arizona's secondary hasn't allowed fewer than 225 passing yards in any game all year, so it's pretty obvious that Drew Brees will have a big game. Refraining from turning the ball over and converting in the red area will be New Orleans' primary concern.
The good news for the Cardinals is that their 26th-ranked run defense gets a break. Pierre Thomas had trouble cutting prior to Sunday's contest against Carolina, so it's possible that he'll miss another game. Backup running back Chris Ivory has fumbling issues, and was responsible for a key turnover versus the Panthers.
RECAP: Everyone and their evil stepmother is betting on the Saints. If you plan to do this as well, take the following into consideration:
1. The Cardinals are a veteran team that will be playing for pride after being embarrassed at San Diego.
2. This is sort of Arizona's Super Bowl. Remember, the Saints knocked the Cardinals out of the playoffs in January. They will be looking for revenge.
3. The Saints have won their games by 2, 3 and 5 points. The three teams they've defeated have a combined record of 1-10! The Saints are just not playing well amid a Super Bowl hangover.
4. The Cardinals are always good for a blowout loss on the road, but play much better at home.
5. Last year, when the Saints were playing well, they had the following series of games: Home vs. Carolina (didn't cover that spread), at scrub team (Rams), at divisional rival Tampa Bay. New Orleans beat St. Louis by only five points despite being huge favorites.
This is the same situation - except for the fact that this New Orleans team isn't playing good football right now.
The Psychology. Edge: Cardinals.
The Cardinals will want to avenge their playoff loss to the Saints.
The Vegas. Edge: Cardinals.
Who in their right mind would bet on the Cardinals right now?
Percentage of money on New Orleans: 78% (114,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Cardinals.
Saints are 47-34 ATS on the road since 2000.
Drew Brees is 14-9 ATS as a road favorite.
Cardinals are 10-2 ATS at home as underdogs or favorites of less than -3 under Ken Whisenhunt.
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.
Minnesota Vikings (1-2) at New York Jets (3-1) Line: Jets by 4.5. Total: 38.5. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 4): Jets -3.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 4): Jets -4.
Monday, Oct. 11, 8:30 ET
The Game. Edge: Jets.
It's Monday Night Football, and unfortunately, we're going to have Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski and Jon Gruden calling the shots instead of Emmitt Smith, Herm Edwards, Bob Griese and former 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, Griese and Herm were in the booth for this game:
Kevin Reilly: Welcome to New York, the city known as the Big Apple, even though I can't find any big apples anywhere! Tonight, we have the Minnesota Vikings against the New York Jets. This game is being billed as the battle of Brett Favre against his old team. Guys, I have a problem with this. Favre's original team, the Green Bay Packers, is nowhere to be found. I say that all three teams should have to battle it out on the field tonight.
Emmitt: Karl, you talkin' about somethin that have never have happened before in the National League of Conferences. Three team cannot play on the field at the same exact times because the football field do not have three end zone.
Reilly: Emmitt, you're my idol, but you're being small-minded here. They have to find some way to make this work. I vote that Roger Goodell should make a triangle football field, so we can have your three precious end zones.
Griese: Brett Favre has played on a triangle football field only four times in his career!
Reilly: What the hell! I thought I made this triangle football field up. Screw you and your facts, Griese.
Herm: There's no three-sided football field! No such thing! Never has been! Never will be! Football fields are rectangles! Rectangles are not squares! But squares are rectangles! Rectangle not a square! But a square a rectangle!
Reilly: Herm, you're only making things worse, as usual. I hope you fall into a volcano.
Griese: Brett Favre has played in a volcano only four times in his career!
Reilly: Griese, I'm seriously going to kick your a** if you don't stop taking my ideas.
Emmitt: If somebody want to play in a volcano football game, they need fire suit, gas mask and hose to clean up all the fireball that come from the volcano.
Herm: Can't play football in a volcano! Too cold! I mean, too hot! Too warm! Too scorching! Too much cold! I mean too much heat! Need more than one hose! Need more than two hoses! Need more than three hoses! Need more than four hoses! Need more than five hoses! Need more than... uhh...
Reilly: Good God, please give me a hose right now so I can hang myself with it. We'll be back after a word from our local sponsors!
MINNESOTA OFFENSE: This bye week came at the perfect time for the Vikings. Because he missed training camp, Brett Favre wasn't comfortable working with any of his receivers. With a week off, Favre had plenty of reps with Percy Harvin and Greg Camarillo to prepare himself for the second half of the year.
That's the good news for the Vikings. The bad news is that Darrelle Revis and Calvin Pace are expected to be in the lineup for the Jets. Revis will do his usual thing and eliminate one side of the football field, while Pace will bolster a lacking pass rush that has just eight sacks in four games. Minnesota's offensive line has major pass protection issues, so New York will add a few sacks to that total by the time this game is over.
The Vikings will need to establish the run with Adrian Peterson to give Favre a chance. Peterson is the best running back in the NFL, but the Jets are second versus the rush, giving up just 2.9 yards per carry to opposing backs. If Peterson can't find any running room, Minnesota will be in trouble.
NEW YORK OFFENSE: Peterson supplanted LaDainian Tomlinson as the top back in the league a couple of years ago, but Tomlinson somehow looks like the MVP of old. It's amazing how he's regained his quickness, burst and power. I, like many others, gave him up for dead.
The Vikings are pretty stout against the run themselves, so they should be able to limit Tomlinson and Shonn Greene.
The difference between these two offenses, however, is the Jets passing game. Mark Sanchez has become a different quarterback than the scrub we saw back in Week 1, and unlike Favre, he has good pass protection (zero sacks in the last two weeks) and a multitude of weapons to throw to. As if Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, Tomlinson and stud tight end Dustin Keller weren't enough, QB Nacho gets Santonio Holmes back from suspension this week. Minnesota's secondary will certainly have its hands full.
RECAP: I like the Jets. I feel like the Vikings are still getting too much respect from the public and oddsmakers. I just don't think they're that good this year, and I believe that New York is certainly more than a point better than them.
You may notice below that Brad Childress is a perfect 4-0 against the spread off a bye. This concerned me before I delved into those victories. Three of them came against teams with losing record. The other was the 2006 Seattle squad that racked up victories against the pathetic NFC West.
The Jets are certainly not a losing team. In fact, I'm sure they'd love to beat the living hell out of their former quarterback.
RANDY MOSS UPDATE: The Randy Moss trade will not affect my pick. Moss and Favre will barely have any practice together, and besides, it's not like Moss has looked any good this year. He has nine catches through four games.
The Psychology. Edge: Vikings.
This is a bigger game for the Vikings, though I'm sure the Jets would love to beat Brett Favre.
The Vegas. Edge: None.
Percentage of money on Minnesota: 56% (155,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Vikings.
Brad Childress is 4-0 ATS coming off a bye.
Vikings are 6-10 ATS vs. AFC foes under Brad Childress.
Week 5 NFL Picks - Early Games Jaguars at Bills, Buccaneers at Bengals, Falcons at Browns, Rams at Lions, Chiefs at Colts, Packers at Redskins, Bears at Panthers, Broncos at Ravens, Giants at Texans
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.
Small Parlay: Broncos +7, Rams +3, Bears +1.5, Titans +7, Eagles +3.5, Jets -4 (.5 Units to win 23.2) -- Incorrect; -$50
Philadelphia Eagles (2-2) at San Francisco 49ers (0-4) Line: 49ers by 3.5. Total: 38.5. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 4): Eagles -4.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 4): Eagles -3.
Sunday, Oct. 10, 8:20 ET
The Game. Edge: Eagles.
More Notes from NFL.com GameCenter (thanks to forum member LTomlinson31 for the third one):
1. "best beleive vick is a face passed passer if u force him to take his time now a days he dosent step up in the pocket"
I'm going out on a limb, but I don't think "face passed passer" will become an NFL buzz word used by the media.
2. "big mike bush vs. CJ2gay i think big bush and raiders got better d and a better team and anyone want to bet money on dis spit"
Dis spit? Anyone want to bet that this is Fantasy Football Gangsta from my Jerks of the Week?
3. "come on Sud lay cuttless out oh wait dont the packers and vikings need the ints lol"
If you ever wondered what would happen if one of these GameCenter idiots posted while having a seizure, here you go.
PHILADELPHIA OFFENSE: I find it amazing that everyone is so down on the Eagles because QB Dog Killer is out and "crappy" Kevin Kolb has to start. Has Kolb played well this year? Absolutely not. But was he given a fair chance? No.
Kolb played for a quarter and a half in the opener against the Packers. In addition to enduring his offensive line's poor pass protection, Kolb was constantly shifted out of the game by an overwhelmed Reid who wanted to get QB Dog Killer in for the occasional play. Any quarterback will tell you that this sort of strategy doesn't work because it doesn't allow the signal-caller to get into any sort of rhythm. As for last week, Kolb had zero reps of practice and just wasn't prepared to battle the Redskins. I'd like to refer back to his great performance against the Chiefs and solid outing versus New Orleans in 2009 as an indicator for how he's going to play in this contest.
You could argue that Kolb's "great performance" came against a terrible Kansas City defense, but what exactly do the 49ers have? They're 20th against aerial attacks, having surrendered at least 250 passing yards to each of their previous three opponents - including Matt Cassel. San Francisco also has just six sacks on the year, so Kolb may not have to run for his life on Sunday night.
San Francisco's defensive strength is against the run, but the Eagles don't keep it on the ground anyway. Still, LeSean McCoy's absence will be felt if he can't play with a minor rib injury. McCoy is a great weapon coming out of the backfield, though Kolb will still have DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Brent Celek at his disposal, so it's not like he'll have an excuse if McCoy sits this one out.
SAN FRANCISCO OFFENSE: What a shame. This 49ers team had a victory in hand, but Alex Smith ruined it with two horrific interceptions. I will never understand why they didn't trade for Donovan McNabb in the offseason.
But that's neither here nor there now; the fact remains that San Francisco needs to get back on the winning track with Smith (unless they want to go with David Carr - ugh). The Eagles have a great pass rush and could force Smith into more careless errors.
Fortunately for the 49ers, they'll be able to establish the run with Frank Gore. The Eagles are just 21st against ground attacks; they've surrendered at least 99 rushing yards to every opponent they've faced this season, including the Packers and Brandon Jackson.
RECAP: I absolutely love the Eagles in this spot for three reasons:
1. The 49ers are coming off a very emotional, heart-breaking loss at Atlanta. Mike Singletary looked defeated on the sidelines once Matt Bryant nailed the game-winning field goal for the Falcons, and he appeared on the verge of tears in his post-game press conference. How will San Francisco get up for this Eagles squad that doesn't even have its starting quarterback?
2. Speaking of which, I love picking good teams that are missing their starting quarterback for the first game. I had the Steelers over the Falcons for five units back in Week 1 for this very reason. No one is giving the Eagles much of a chance (take a look at how the public is betting this matchup), so I think they'll respond by proving that they can win without QB Dog Killer.
3. This line is way off to cater toward public perception. I projected the Eagles to be -3 with QB Dog Killer and possibly a pick-em with Kolb under center. The fact that the 49ers are favored by three is a joke.
This is my second five-unit selection of the week. This just seems like one of those "F-U" games Reid likes to throw in once in a while when everyone is down on his team (or in this case, the quarterback he essentially traded Donovan McNabb for).
The Psychology. Edge: Eagles.
The 49ers really looked defeated after losing an emotional game to the Falcons. Mike Singletary seriously appeared as though he was going to cry in his post-game press conference. Also, San Francisco may not take the Eagles as seriously without QB Dog Killer.
The Vegas. Edge: Eagles.
Tons of early action on the 49ers because Kevin Kolb sucks and QB Dog Killer is awsum!
Percentage of money on San Francisco: 60% (99,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Eagles.
Eagles are 64-43 ATS vs. NFC opponents since 2001.
Eagles are 29-21 ATS vs. teams with losing records since 2001.
Andy Reid is 9-5 ATS on the West Coast.
Andy Reid is 15-11 ATS after losing as a favorite.
Tennessee Titans (2-2) at Dallas Cowboys (1-2) Line: Cowboys by 7. Total: 42.5. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 4): Cowboys -4.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 4): Cowboys -6.
Sunday, Oct. 10, 4:15 ET
The Game. Edge: Cowboys.
It's time for Notes from NFL.com GameCenter - a list of a few stupid comments I found on NFL.com's GameCenter and my thoughts on them:
1. "jagster dont hate on our secondary yea were week in safteis but u have to love mathis he is a huge impact twords these over hyped opposing wrs"
Looks like someone's "week" in spelling.
2. "How about this: "THE OAKLAND EBONIES" That doesn't even sound bad. Everything about the Raiders is black - their uniforms, the black hole, the blackout, the home of Ebonics..."
This guy would have posted more, but he had to leave for a KKK meeting.
3. "i hope to see more fans in jacksonville like they pulled from the valdosta georgia area with merchandise adverting and radio play in south georgia"
You lost me at "fans in jacksonville."
TENNESSEE OFFENSE: Chris Johnson hasn't been very good this year. His longest play from scrimmage was eight yards last week. He does not look like the same guy who ran for 2,000 yards in 2009, as it seems like all of those carries are taking a huge toll on him.
I don't expect Johnson to do much in this contest. The Cowboys aren't great against the run, but they've limited two of their three opponents (Washington, Chicago) to fewer than four yards per carry.
If Johnson can't dominate this game, or at least break a long run or two, the Titans will have trouble scoring. Vince Young isn't exactly a polished passer, and Dallas has a fierce pass rush that will make life difficult for Young if he has to constantly operate in third-and-long situations, which was the case last week.
DALLAS OFFENSE: The Titans have surrendered 727 passing yards in the past two weeks, and that doesn't even include the awful pass interference penalty on Chris Hope in the fourth quarter of the Broncos game. Tennessee is 11th versus aerial attacks, but that number is skewed by two battles against Jason Campbell, Dennis Dixon and Charlie Batch.
As the Cowboys realized in Week 3, they need to stop trying to establish the run and just focus on having Tony Romo spread the ball around to his talented weapons. And besides, running the ball won't be much of an option against Tennessee's sixth-ranked rush defense.
I'm looking forward to seeing what Dez Bryant does in this contest. Remember, Bryant didn't play in the preseason because of an injury, so this bye week was huge for him. It would not surprise me at all if Bryant catches 7-8 balls for 100-plus yards.
RECAP: The Cowboys are the better team, but if all you had to do to win money was wager on the better squad, everyone would be rich and every sportsbook would be out of business.
I really like the Titans in this contest because this is an awful spot for Dallas. Coming off a bye, the Cowboys have to deal with this mediocre Tennessee squad before going up against the Vikings (who knocked them out of the playoffs) and divisional rival New York in the next two weeks. Dallas won't be entirely focused this Sunday after watching the Titans pathetically fall to Kyle Orton and the 1-2 Broncos.
The Psychology. Edge: Titans.
This is a Breather Alert for the Cowboys. After this mediocre Tennessee squad, they have to deal with Brett Favre and rival New York in the next two weeks.
The Vegas. Edge: None.
Equal action after early money on Dallas.
Percentage of money on Tennessee: 54% (116,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Cowboys.
Titans are 21-12 ATS as underdogs in the post-Steve McNair era.
Jeff Fisher is 20-6 ATS vs. the NFC since 2003.
Vince Young is 28-14 as a starter (26-16 ATS).
Jeff Fisher is 7-11 ATS after losing as a favorite.
Tony Romo is 25-15 ATS as a starter before Dec. 1.
San Diego Chargers (2-2) at Oakland Raiders (1-3) Line: Chargers by 7. Total: 45. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 4): Chargers -6.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 4): Chargers -6.
Sunday, Oct. 10, 4:15 ET
The Game. Edge: Chargers.
Another friendly reminder that Jerks of the Week for Oct. 4, 2010 are up, so just click the link. This week's jerks are: 1) The Longest Game of Beer Pong Ever. 2) Fantasy Football Gangsta. 3) Alcohol Thieves.
SAN DIEGO OFFENSE: You can't really blame San Diego's offense for its underwhelming 2-2 start. Philip Rivers has been pretty sharp, Malcom Floyd has played well since the opener, and the running game is actually looking great, unlike last year.
The latter factor will be huge here, as the Raiders are dead last against the run. Mike Tolbert rushed for 100 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries last week, and Ryan Mathews figures to be a much bigger part of the game plan now that he's healthier.
With San Diego pounding Oakland into the ground, Philip Rivers will capitalize with play-action and short-yardage opportunities. The Raiders haven't allowed any quarterback to throw for 200 or more yards this season, but three of the four signal-callers they've faced are Derek Anderson, Sam Bradford and Vince Young. The other was Matt Schaub, who didn't have Andre Johnson or Jacoby Jones. Rivers should have a big game.
OAKLAND OFFENSE: Bruce Gradkowski doesn't look like the prototypical quarterback, but there's something about him that energizes the Raiders. He's feisty and reminds me of Jeff Garcia. Well, if Garcia fixed games as a college player.
The Polish Point-Shaver has a tough matchup this Sunday. The Chargers are third versus the pass and are coming off a game in which they recorded nine sacks. And as you may know, Oakland's offensive line is garbage (13 sacks allowed).
The Raiders will have to keep San Diego honest by establishing the run with Michael Bush and Darren McFadden (if the latter plays with a hamstring injury). Unfortunately for them, that'll be difficult; the Chargers have limited their previous three opponents (Maurice Jones-Drew, Chris Wells, Justin Forsett) to just 179 rushing yards on 63 carries.
RECAP: I don't have a strong opinion on this game, but I like the Raiders. They always get up for the Chargers because they haven't beaten San Diego in the past 13 meetings. And besides, it's not like the Chargers have been playing well on the road this year.
The Psychology. Edge: Raiders.
This game means more to the Raiders; they haven't beaten the Chargers in a long time.
The Vegas. Edge: Raiders.
No surprise that the public is all over the Chargers.
Percentage of money on San Diego: 84% (115,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Chargers.
History: Chargers have won the last 13 meetings.
Raiders are 9-21 ATS in October since 2001.
Raiders are 14-34 ATS at home the previous 48 instances.