Seattle Seahawks (2-2) at Chicago Bears (4-1) Line: Bears by 6. Total: 37.5. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 5): Bears -7.5.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 5): Bears -7.5.
Sunday, Oct. 17, 1:00 ET
The Game. Edge: Bears.
Week 5 Recap: Despite an ugly early Sunday afternoon, I went 8-6 and won $260 last week, but that apparently wasn't good enough for three e-mailers. I'll post the hate mail they sent over for amusement purposes.
God awful picks, esp the mult unit ones.
Don't quick your day job, oh wait this is your day job. I think it's time to find a new profession cause you suck really bad at this one dude. Oh and that new formula thing you came up with that you think helped you work out the kinks, well I I hate to tell you but it doesn't work, and you have more then just one problem, you have multiple problems to work out...
Well, if this kind gentleman says I have problems to work out, then I guess I definitely do. If you need me, I'll be in therapy.
From Jason G:
I have been following your picks since week 1. All I can say is wow! I cannot believe what a joke this is. If you like I can give you the picks and you can run with those every week. I say I can manage a better pick % than yourself.
Coming soon, JasonGFootball.com - where he guarantees that you win more than $3,000 in the first five weeks of the season, or the rest of his plays are free!
From Drew P:
WTF!! Do you work for Vegas? What the F???
Yes, I work for Vegas, and my goal is for everyone reading this to go bankrupt! Muhahahaha!
Anyway, it's the usual - my NFL Picks will be posted periodically throughout Tuesday afternoon and evening. You can follow me on Twitter @walterfootball to receive updates for when I post each selection.
CHICAGO OFFENSE: As of this writing, only PinnacleSports.com has a line on this game because of Jay Cutler's concussion. Cutler will practice Wednesday, however, and is expected to play. This is obviously great news for the Bears, who couldn't possibly endure another week of Todd (Tom) Collins' disastrous quarterbacking.
The Bears will need Cutler in this matchup because the Seahawks are second against the run, thanks to all the 310-pound defensive linemen they like to use. Matt Forte won't get much, so it'll be up to Cutler and Chicago's roulette offense - where anything can happen on any given play - to move the chains.
Seattle can be beaten aerially. The team has allowed at least 225 passing yards to each opponent it has faced; 289 passing yards if you discount Alex Smith's brutal Week 1 performance.
SEATTLE OFFENSE: It's a new era in Seattle, as the Seahawks will start Marshawn Lynch. OK, maybe it's not a new era. In fact, I'm not even sure that Lynch is an upgrade over Justin Forsett given his lethargy. Chicago is a stout 10th versus the rush anyway.
With the prospect of being stuck in third-and-long situations, Matt Hasselbeck will be asked to convert first downs on his own. This will prove to be problematic; the Bears offer a hectic pass rush, and Julius Peppers will abuse whichever tackle he decides to attack.
Chicago is also second versus the pass, having limited three of five opponents to fewer than 200 passing yards (the two exceptions being Aaron Rodgers and Tony Romo). Hasselbeck is not in that pantheon.
RECAP: The Seahawks are absolute garbage on the road, especially when they have to play outside of the NFC West. They've covered just two non-divisional road contests since December 2007. The Bears should win this game pretty easily.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No psychological edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: Seahawks.
No one wants any part of the Seahawks on the road.
Percentage of money on Chicago: 70% (150,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Bears.
Seahawks are 11-25 ATS on the road since 2006.
Seahawks are 1-11 ATS coming off a bye since 1998.
Baltimore Ravens (4-1) at New England Patriots (3-1) Line: Patriots by 2.5. Total: 45. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 5): Patriots -3.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 5): Patriots -3.
Sunday, Oct. 17, 1:00 ET
The Game. Edge: Ravens.
Vegas Recap: You know what Ben Roethlisberger reportedly did to that poor, gold-digging woman in the bathroom of a Georgia bar this past offseason? Well, that's what Vegas did to the public this week. The sportsbooks walked away with a ton of money, as only two highly bet teams covered (Falcons, Colts). The average bettor lost when the Buccaneers, Redskins, Giants, Cardinals and Raiders all beat the spread.
Before I move on to this game, I just received yet another hate mail. Well, this isn't really hate mail; more like confused mail. I'm going to provide a screenshot for you to prove that it's real:
Jeez. So now, not only do I have to get the picks right; I also have to make sure I get the converse of the picks correct. You can't win with these people!
NEW ENGLAND OFFENSE: It's hard to believe that Randy Moss was shipped off that quickly. Deion Branch has been brought in to replace him. Branch is injury-prone and mediocre, but he's familiar with the offense and will have an entire week of practice with Tom Brady, so there won't be any sort of confusion like the Vikings had with Moss on Monday night.
Having said that, Brady has a daunting task ahead of him. Like the Broncos last week, the Patriots' one-dimensional attack will make it difficult for them to sustain drives.
The Ravens are third against the pass, having limited all but one opponent (Kyle Orton in garbage time) to 167 passing yards or fewer. Without Moss as a big-play threat, New England's offense could be bogged down.
BALTIMORE OFFENSE: We all saw what the Ravens did to the Patriots in the playoffs back in January. Ray Rice ran all over them, allowing a hobbled Joe Flacco to do virtually nothing.
History will likely repeat itself. Missing Ty Warren and Richard Seymour, the Patriots are 25th against the rush, surrendering 4.7 yards per carry. Ray Rice, who is finally getting goal-line work, seems poised for a monster game.
Unlike last January, Flacco is healthy and playing really well. The Patriots are also 25th versus the pass; each opponent they've faced has thrown for at least 220 yards, including Ryan Fitzpatrick. If New England couldn't contain Fitzpatrick, how are they going to deal with these Ravens?
RECAP: This Patriots defense has been awful this year, and now the offense loses firepower in the wake of the Randy Moss trade. New England isn't good anymore, yet this point spread says that they and Baltimore are equals. I don't agree with that.
The one edge the Patriots have is that Bill Belichick has had two weeks to prepare for the Ravens. The last time Belichick has lost coming off a bye was in 2002. However, looking closely at the opponents he's battled with a week off since, you'll see that none of them were very good:
2003 - Dallas (10-6; led by Quincy Carter, team sucked)
2004 - Buffalo (9-7; was 0-2 in that matchup, began the year 0-4)
2005 - Buffalo (5-11; only a five-point victory)
2006 - Buffalo (7-9; what's with the Bills always being scheduled after New England's bye?)
2007 - Buffalo (7-9; poor Bills)
2008 - San Francisco (7-9)
2009 - Miami (7-9; didn't cover an 11-point spread)
See what I mean? And unlike in years past, Belichick doesn't have a good team. I don't think he has the horses to beat the high-powered Ravens - even with a week off.
The Psychology. Edge: Patriots.
The Patriots will want revenge, but the Ravens will be up for the challenge.
The Vegas. Edge: None.
Slight action on the dog.
Percentage of money on Baltimore: 55% (154,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Patriots.
Ravens are 14-9 ATS on the road under John Harbaugh.
Detroit Lions (1-4) at New York Giants (3-2) Line: Giants by 10. Total: 46. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 5): Giants -10.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 5): Giants -10.
Sunday, Oct. 17, 1:00 ET
The Game. Edge: Giants.
I have three NFL douche bags to discuss:
1. Adrian Peterson: The owner of Adrian-Peterson.com, someone with a Twitter account called @vipstrippers, received a cease and desist letter from Adrian Peterson and his lawyers, demanding them to take down the site.
If you go to Adrian-Peterson.com, the first thing you'll see are the words, "Adrian Peterson fan site." That's all it is. They're not selling anything on there. They don't even have any ads. They have never even made a dime off the site. Yet, Peterson and his scumbag lawyers are demanding that @vipstrippers take it down.
Here's to hoping that doesn't happen. And if it does, I'd love to see an adrian-peterson-is-a-greedy-ahole.com pop up.
2. Andy Reid: This time it's something different than "Andy Reid loves to play concussed players" or "Andy Reid supports people who drown dogs and take bets on how long they'd last."
My latest problem with Reid is an exchange that occurred during the post-game press conference after the Eagles beat the 49ers on Sunday. Check out this exchange - the question asked is pretty fair and completely innocent. Reid, however, was a complete jerk in his response:
Reporter: Kevin Kolb looked a lot different than earlier in the year and played with more confidence. What was the difference tonight?
Reid: Thanks for the question, coach, I appreciate that. I didn't see a difference. Maybe I should be the one asking you the questions.
Wow. Look, I understand that Reid was grumpy because it was late and he had 10 large pizzas waiting for him on the bus. But that still doesn't excuse his behavior.
3. Todd Haley: This is just an excuse for me to post a snapshot of a hilarious CBS graphic during the Colts-Chiefs game (thanks to KissingSuzyKolber.com for providing it). Looks like someone in CBS' graphic department is just as pissed at Haley as I have been. Unfortunately, they were probably fired:
DETROIT OFFENSE: This is a really tough matchup for the Lions. Calvin Johnson injured his shoulder on Sunday when he was inexplicably in the game during the fourth quarter of a blowout. Jim Schwartz told the media that he's holding out hope that Johnson will practice, but Detroit fans and Megatron fantasy owners shouldn't hold their breath. Even if the freak wideout plays, he won't be 100 percent and could hold the team back, a la Andre Johnson last week.
Without Megatron, Detroit's offense will be bogged down, which is not good news for Shaun Hill. The Giants' defense has been playing out of its mind since losing to Tennessee, and the Lions don't have the adequate pass protection to keep Osi Umenyiora and company out of the backfield.
Detroit's only hope of scoring points is by having Jahvid Best break a couple of long gains. New York is sixth versus the run, so this will have to be done via passes out of the backfield.
NEW YORK OFFENSE: It's amazing how efficient the Giants can be when they're not killing themselves with tipped-ball interceptions and penalties. Hakeem Nicks has gotten his act together after being responsible for two picks early on. In fact, Nicks is playing on an All-Pro level right now. The Texans had no answer for him, so Detroit's sorry secondary doesn't stand a chance.
Nicks may not have to do much anyway because the Lions are a pitiful 29th against the run. Ahmad Bradshaw will likely have a big game, setting up play-action and short-yardage opportunities for Eli Manning all afternoon.
RECAP: The Lions have done a great job playing every superior opponent close this year, but their streak of covering games could come to a halt this Sunday. They are just a different team without Calvin Johnson. They were 0-2 without him last season, and averaged just five points per contest in his absence.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No psychological edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: Lions.
Percentage of money on New York: 60% (144,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Lions.
Lions are 14-9 ATS as a double-digit underdog since 2006 (4-8 since 2009).
Giants are 16-21 ATS as favorites of 6.5 or more the previous 37 instances.
Atlanta Falcons (4-1) at Philadelphia Eagles (3-2) Line: Eagles by 1.5. Total: 42.5. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 5): Eagles -3 (QB Dog Killer) or Falcons -3 (Kolb).
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 5): Pick.
Sunday, Oct. 17, 1:00 ET
The Game. Edge: Falcons.
Some random NFL notes I can't put anywhere else:
1. Terrell Owens has reportedly told the media that he's talked to the Bengals coaching staff about how to improve the offense, but Owens said, "They won't listen to me."
I found Owens' plan while searching through his garbage cans. Here it is:
- Play 1: Throw to T.O. because T.O. is the best.
- Play 2: Throw to T.O. because T.O. is the greatest.
- Play 3: End-around for T.O. because T.O. is terrific.
- Plays 4-49: Throw to T.O. because T.O. can help you win.
- Play 50: Throw to someone else.
- No wait. That's stupid.
- Play 50: Throw to T.O. because T.O. can make a play.
- Play 51: End-around for T.O. because T.O. is God.
- Play 52-153935: Throw to T.O. because T.O. is fantastic.
- If Palmer doesn't throw to T.O. he must die.
- Game over. T.O. wins! I mean Bengals win!
Hmm... wonder why they didn't listen?
2. How bad are the 49ers this year? Well, they have two more No. 1 overall picks at quarterback than victories, and Glen Coffee, who left the team for a "higher calling" was arrested for possession of firearms last week.
Shame on us though for assuming that Coffee meant God when he said "higher calling." Clearly, he was referring to all of the animals and inanimate objects that were telling him to kill people and rob liquor stores. Forget Son of Sam; the Son of Coffee must be stopped.
3. This doesn't have anything to do with the NFL, but is anyone else tired of all the bogus CBS TV show promotions? While watching their games this weekend, I must have heard "Watch Hawaii Five-O - TV's New No. 1 Show!" about five billion times. How is Hawaii Five-O the new No. 1 show? Who decided this?
I guess it's not false advertising if they can prove that one person in the world thinks this, so the CBS mid-level execs probably went out to the streets and looked for drunk, cracked-out bums to coax them into saying their crappy programing is No. 1.
Here's how it went down:
Bum: "Hey man, hic, thanks for the change, Hawaii fifty is my favorite thing everrrr hic!"
CBS Mid-Level Exec: "That's Hawaii Five-O"
Bum: "Hawaii Five-O is the greatest man, hic! What the hell is Hawaii Ffffffive-O?"
This is exactly how CBS does its research.
PHILADELPHIA OFFENSE: As of Tuesday afternoon, there is no line on this game. I really don't understand why. QB Dog Killer has all been ruled out, and Kevin Kolb played well in his absence Sunday night.
Kolb's performance was not surprising in the slightest. In Week 1, he battled the Super Bowl favorite Green Bay Packers amid no pass protection. Against the Redskins, he had no practice reps during the week. Kolb proved at San Francisco that his domination over the Chiefs last year was not a fluke.
Having said that, Kolb could potentially struggle in this matchup. Unlike the 49ers, the Falcons can really get after the quarterback with John Abraham and Kroy Biermann. Philadelphia's offensive line is in shambles and will have trouble blocking them.
Atlanta is also much better against the run than San Francisco. Outside of two long runs in the first two weeks of the season, the Falcons have surrendered nothing on the ground. LeSean McCoy should still have a solid outing as a pass-catcher out of the backfield, but won't have much success carrying the football.
ATLANTA OFFENSE: The Falcons are not going up against Jim Johnson's defense or anything. The Eagles' stop unit really stinks this year. They've been getting gashed in the running game, and that was even before Brodrick Bunkley's season-ending injury.
Philadelphia doesn't have the bodies up front to slow down Michael Turner. Matt Ryan will take advantage of this with short-yardage and play-action opportunities, keeping Trent Cole and Brandon Graham from wreaking too much havoc.
Like everyone else, the Eagles won't be able to stop Roddy White. Having said that, defending Tony Gonzalez could be a much bigger problem for Philadelphia. The 49ers did a great job matching up Vernon Davis against Stewart Bradley, who is clearly not 100 percent coming off a torn ACL. The Falcons could employ the same strategy.
RECAP: When the spread comes out, I'll have a more decisive pick. I am definitely leaning toward the Falcons though, and this could be a pretty big play depending on what the line is. Check back later in the week.
SPREAD POSTED: This is exactly what I was hoping it would be. I'm all over the Falcons; they're the better team getting points.
Along with that fact, here are two things to consider:
1. The Eagles fall under the Statfox Trend; teams coming off road victories of 1-3 points always struggle as home favorites. Winning on the road is difficult in the NFL. Coming away with a tough victory away from home usually saps teams who have trouble covering the number when laying points.
2. The public doesn't consider the Falcons a good away team - which is why the Eagles are -3 instead of rightfully pick-em or -1 - but Mike Smith has been great in the Falcons' second-consecutive road contest, owning a 4-1 spread record.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
As long as QB Dog Killer isn't playing, no psychological edge. If he does start, which is unlikely, the Eagles will want to get him a victory over his former team.
The Vegas. Edge: Eagles.
The public is predictably all over the hot Falcons.
Percentage of money on Atlanta: 75% (153,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Falcons.
Statfox Trend: Home favorites coming off road wins of 1-3 points are 22-49 ATS since 2000 (Weeks 2-10 only); Andy Reid 0-1.
Mike Smith is 4-1 ATS in his second consecutive road game.
Eagles are 65-43 ATS vs. NFC opponents since 2001.
Cleveland Browns (1-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1) Line: Steelers by 14. Total: 37.5. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 5): Steelers -14.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 5): Steelers -14.
Sunday, Oct. 17, 1:00 ET
The Game. Edge: Steelers.
Some college football notes I can't put anywhere else:
1. As a Penn State fan and alumnus, I'm truly ashamed right now. I never thought I'd see Illinois humiliate us at home - on Homecoming nonetheless. I'm so embarrassed, I may not show my face in public for a couple of weeks. If I have to go buy food, I'll just wear a paper bag over my head.
Seriously though, I've never seen a team tackle so poorly. And what's up with the offensive coordinator giving our 18-year-old quarterback options? On one play, he had the choice between going with a shovel pass and tossing the ball outside. He opted for the latter, which resulted in a pick-six.
Call me crazy, but I don't think 18-year-olds can make sharp decisions like that. Hell, when I was 18, I struggled deciding which video games to play while I cut class. That was difficult, so I can't imagine how tough it is for our young quarterback.
2. College football sucks because people with agendas decide who will play in the national championship. Case in point: The idiot voters who ranked Oregon over Boise State last week. Boise State beat Oregon last year and has most of its team back this year. Yet, despite the fact that Boise State was ranked over Oregon to begin the season, the Ducks inexplicably leapfrogged the Boise because the voters don't want a non-BCS school in the title game.
These people are such scumbags. If I had a vote, I'd just rank Penn State No. 1 each week no matter what. That's no less legitimate than having Oregon over Boise State.
3. Speaking of Oregon, the Ducks' former coach Mike Bellotti is now an ESPN analyst. This, of course, means he has something dumb to say. Check out this quote from last week's Washington-USC game:
"If I'm Washington here, I'd rather score a touchdown than kick a field goal."
Hmm... interesting strategy, Bellotti. I thought field goals were more desired than touchdowns, but it appears as though I was mistaken. Millions of football coaches across the country were tuned into the Washington-USC game, and they all learned a very valuable piece of information from Bellotti. Bellotti's tip will undoubtedly revolutionize football.
CLEVELAND OFFENSE: Poor Browns. They looked halfway decent with Seneca Wallace at quarterback, but he suffered a high ankle sprain and has been ruled out for this game. Jake Delhomme reaggravated a similar injury when he purposely gave the Falcons the cover last week in an attempt to retrieve his kidnapped son and twin brother from evil degenerate gamblers.
With both quarterbacks sidelined, Colt McCoy will start. The same Colt McCoy who barely made the team. The same Colt McCoy who looked lost in the preseason. The same Colt McCoy who has a noodle arm and no pro-style experience. Against the Steelers defense. Oh no.
The Browns won't be able to get Peyton Hillis going against the league's No. 1 run defense, which will force McCoy to convert third-and-long situations. The question isn't if Pittsburgh will have a pick-six; it's how many they'll collect.
PITTSBURGH OFFENSE: Ben Roethlisberger is back, and the schedule works out really nicely for him. This is essentially a preseason game against a Youngstown State-type opponent.
The Browns absolutely suck against the pass (30th), so Roethlisberger should have an easy time torching their secondary. Running the ball with Rashard Mendenhall will also work; the Falcons totaled 160 rushing yards on 26 carries last week, and Mendenhall has looked better than Michael Turner this season.
RECAP: Mike Tomlin is 3-1 against the spread after a week off, most recently knocking off the 6-1 Broncos in Denver on Monday Night Football last year. He's as intense as they get, so he'll have his team ready to play Cleveland.
Quite simply, the Browns just don't stand a chance with McCoy making his first NFL start against the league's best defense.
SURVIVOR PICK: The Steelers are the clear-cut survivor choice. I don't believe in saving teams, so I'm taking the sure bet.
I was asked to list six possible survivor options each week, so here they are, from best to worst: Steelers, Giants, Bears, Texans, Packers and... that's it. I can't find a sixth to take. As always, never pick a road team. Never pick a bad team. Never pick an underdog. Never save any teams. Always choose the best option.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No psychological edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: Browns.
Three-quarters of the action is on the host.
Percentage of money on Pittsburgh: 84% (153,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Steelers.
History: Steelers have won 18 of the last 20 meetings.
Steelers are 26-12 ATS in October since 2000.
Steelers are 12-7 ATS in October home games since 2000.
Ben Roethlisberger is 69-28 as a starter (52-42 ATS).
Ben Roethlisberger is 20-13 ATS vs. the AFC North.
Miami Dolphins (2-2) at Green Bay Packers (3-2) Line: Packers by 3. Total: 44. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 5): Packers -9.5.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 5): Packers -3 (Flynn) or Packers -9 (Rodgers).
Sunday, Oct. 17, 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 find a hilarious e-mail and post it for your entertainment. But not this week. I'd like to go back to last week's e-mail for an update:
elvisalex, Help me get connected on MHR, please. I signed up, but being the technologically challenged old guy, I can't figure out how to post anything. I agree with your take on Walter Football and wonder where they've taken their information from. I'd like to post and rec your article but, alas, my challenges exceed my ability to resolve them. Thanks for any help you can give me.
To this I wrote: This e-mail has haunted me for days. What is Elvisalex's take on Walter Football, and why does Bill Nein agree with it? What does Bill want to post? And what info are these guys talking about? Do they think I steal info from somewhere? And why does Bill have challenges? I have not been able to sleep because I've been wondering about these questions every night.
Now, I thought this was spam. I figured some pimply face nerd living in his mom's basement figured out how to insert random Web site names into incoherent e-mails to get people to click on something or download a file (there was a wnein.vcf file attached). And besides, the terms "elvisalex" and "MHR," and the general style of writing in Bill Nein's e-mail screamed "spam."
Well, apparently not. I received e-mails from Joe K., Glenn R., Fabrizzio S. and Zach informing me that this was not spam.
Joe K., the first to e-mail me, explained who Bill Nein is:
I read your spam email of the week and I laughed because I know exactly who this guy is and what he's talking about. I thought I'd help you because I'm worried about your sleep patterns, and I need you to be rested so I can still get my betting advice.
He's talking to Elvis Alex, a member of the site Mile High Report (MHR). Elvis posted a link to one of your articles on MHR and Bill, the stereotypical old fart who doesn't know a damn about computers, wanted to leave a comment. So instead of hitting "comment," he tried to send Elvis an incoherent e-mail instead. And he ended up e-mailing you by mistake. Most of us are used to getting these types of e-mails from Bill, he's like 85 years old.
Phew. I now have all the answers to my questions. I can finally sleep again.
GREEN BAY OFFENSE: Aaron Rodgers suffered a concussion in overtime Sunday. It's unclear whether he's going to play or not, which is why there is no line posted for this game.
If Rodgers can play at full capacity, he shouldn't have any trouble torching the Dolphins' secondary. Miami is currently eighth against the pass, but that ranking is a farce because of Trent Edwards' disgusting Week 1 performance. In fact, if you erase Edwards' numbers from my defensive rankings (which you can find in the NFL Power Rankings page), Miami would be around 20th against aerial attacks. Hell, the Dolphins couldn't even stop Mark Sanchez.
If Rodgers can't play or is limited, the Packers obviously won't be able to do much on offense. They just don't have the running game to exploit Miami's mediocre ground defense, meaning a hobbled Rodgers or Matt Flynn would have to beat the Dolphins in long-yardage situations with the emerging Cameron Wake attacking the backfield.
MIAMI OFFENSE: Is anyone actually going to start for Green Bay? Actually, yes. Even though Nick Barnett, Morgan Burnett, Atari Bigby and Derrick Martin are all out, Clay Matthews is expected to play and Ryan Pickett hasn't been ruled out. That's encouraging, I guess.
It's still pretty tough to run on the Packers, who have allowed only one team (Bills, somehow) to rush for 100-plus yards. So, with Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams projected to continue to struggle, Chad Henne will be asked to do most of the work against a struggling Green Bay secondary.
Here's the thing though - Henne can look great at times, but he'll make a dumb throw once per quarter. And remember whom he's going up against. Charles Woodson tends to pick-six a quarterback once every couple of weeks, and it seems like he's due for one.
RECAP: There is no line on this game, and we don't even know who's going to start for the Packers. I'll have a much more detailed recap once the spread is posted and the starter is announced. I have a feeling that this could be a big play. Check back later in the week.
SPREAD POSTED: Aaron Rodgers practiced during the week and is expected to play. This is disappointing to me because if he were out, I would have made a big play on the Packers.
With that in mind, I still like Green Bay for two reasons that actually tie into each other:
1. The Packers just suffered a defeat to the Redskins in overtime despite losing their top offensive weapon in the first quarter (just ask how that worked out for the Rams.) And besides, Washington's a good team, and Green Bay was on the road.
Despite all this, everyone is asking, "What's wrong with the Packers? Why do they suck?" They definitely don't suck; I have them No. 4 in my 2010 NFL Power Rankings, and I'm 4-1 against the spread in their games (the only loss being that fluky Monday night game), so I feel as though I have a good read on them.
Green Bay will be out to prove that it is still a Super Bowl contender despite all of the injuries it has incurred.
2. While the media is overreacting to one loss, so is Vegas. How can the oddsmakers justify a three-point spread, and more importantly, why are people betting on the Dolphins? This line should be -7 at the very least (I had it at -9, but that was before I knew Clay Matthews was out.) We're getting a ridiculous amount of line value here.
Now, having said all that, I'm only going to limit this to a one-unit selection because there's a chance the Packers could be rushing Rodgers back too quickly and he may not be 100 percent.
The Psychology. Edge: Packers.
The Dolphins will be focused with Aaron Rodgers in the lineup, but the Packers will be out to prove that they are still a Super Bowl contender.
The Vegas. Edge: Packers.
I don't understand how people can just take the Dolphins like this.
Percentage of money on Miami: 64% (115,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Dolphins.
Dolphins are 8-0 ATS on the road vs. teams with a winning record since 2007.
Tony Sparano is 13-5 ATS on the road.
Dolphins are 4-14 ATS after a bye the previous 18 years.
Dolphins are 2-7 ATS vs. NFC teams under Tony Sparano.
San Diego Chargers (2-3) at St. Louis Rams (2-3) Line: Chargers by 9. Total: 44.5. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 5): Chargers -6.5.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 5): Chargers -6.5.
Sunday, Oct. 17, 1:00 ET
The Game. Edge: Chargers.
In addition to an E-mail of the Week, I'm also going to post a Video of the Week. Someone tweeted a Web site that has the 10 dumbest answers in Family Feud history (Note: I copied the YouTube videos over to my site because the original site had massive pop-ups and Trojan viruses. So the link is now safe because it links to page on this site.)
My favorite ones were actually in the 6-10 range; the top three weren't that good. And I was disappointed that they didn't include one I saw myself; when a fat Spanish woman was asked, "Name a bird that walks like a person," she yelled out, "Dolphin!"
SAN DIEGO OFFENSE: Philip Rivers must be the most frustrated person in the NFL right now. He's having a great season - he even has more passing yards than Kyle Orton, who is chasing Dan Marino's record - but his team can't stop killing itself with special-teams blunders and fumbling issues.
Two pieces of good news: First, left tackle Marcus McNeill is back, so Rivers will finally be protected on the blind side. And second, St. Louis' defense stinks, and even made Shaun Hill look like the second coming of Bobby Layne (or at least Scott Mitchell).
The Rams are 22nd against the run, so the Chargers will be able to move the sticks via their ground attack. I expect Ryan Mathews to finally carry the ball more than Ryan Tolbert. Tolbert was completely ineffective against Oakland, averaging about one yard per carry and fumbling at the goal line. Mathews simply looked a lot better.
Mathews' running will open things up even more for Rivers. St. Louis is actually 13th versus the pass, but that's because they've battled quarterbacks like Derek Anderson, Jason Campbell, Matt Hasselbeck and the aforementioned Hill.
ST. LOUIS OFFENSE: Speaking of poor quarterbacks, Sam Bradford was completely inept last week once he lost Mark Clayton to a season-ending knee injury. But you can't fault Bradford for struggling against the Lions; with his No. 1 option out of the contest, it simply ruined St. Louis' game plan.
I expect Bradford to rebound. He'll be at home against a defense that couldn't keep Campbell from driving up and down the field against them in the second half on Sunday. The Chargers are actually fourth versus the pass, but check out the quarterbacks they've gone up against: Campbell, Hasselbeck, Matt Cassel, Derek Anderson and David Garrard. And they're only 2-3?
The Rams should be able to run the ball with Steven Jackson. Again, San Diego's ranking (7th) is a bit misleading because they've played so many poor opponents. Jackson didn't look 100 percent last week, but still trampled the Lions for 114 yards.
RECAP: I really love the Rams in this spot for a variety of reasons:
1. This line is out of control. The Chargers were -6.5 at Oakland, so Vegas is saying that the Raiders are two points better than the Rams. How does that make sense? The Raiders coincidentally beat St. Louis by two, but that was in Oakland, and Bradford didn't have as much experience in that Week 2 matchup.
The Chargers are -8.5 or -9 because the Rams were blown out at Detroit last week. But St. Louis was simply deflated after losing Clayton for the year, fumbling the ball inside the red zone and giving up a kickoff return for a touchdown. The Rams were actually outgaining the Lions at halftime.
2. What did San Diego do to deserve to be favored by nine on the road? The Chargers have lost at Kansas City, Seattle and Oakland. There's no guarantee they're even going to win the game; let alone by nine or more.
3. The Rams play well at home. They were able to knock off the Redskins, who then went on to beat the Eagles and Packers in back-to-back weeks.
4. There's a great trend pertaining to teams that lose the point spread by 25 or more points. Teams in that situation are 74-36 against the spread the following week. Steve Spagnuolo is 1-0 in this dynamic; after losing at Tennessee 47-7 last year, he nearly beat the Texans at home the following Sunday, going down by three as 14-point underdogs.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No psychological edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: Rams.
Despite this weird line, the public is still leaning toward San Diego.
Percentage of money on San Diego: 67% (151,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Chargers.
Norv Turner is 8-3 ATS coming off a loss as a favorite.
New Orleans Saints (3-2) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1) Line: Saints by 4. Total: 44. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 5): Saints -4.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 5): Saints -3.5.
Sunday, Oct. 17, 1:00 ET
The Game. Edge: Saints.
Once again, I'm now 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).
This past Sunday was the matchup we all waited for. My 4-0 team took on Bo-Bo's pitiful 0-4 squad. So, what happened? Here's a screen shot of the matchup (I'm not sure why my team name is the Moscow Men; that's what my friend/neighbor Schmidty named the team. The only way I could get into this league was by partnering up with him since the league was full):
Bo-Bo is now 0-5, and our hopes of seeing an epic 0-13 season are still alive! Also, note Bo-Bo's trash talking to Schmidty in the upper-right corner. Bo-Bo may be winless, but he still has heart.
NEW ORLEANS OFFENSE: The Saints are moving the chains and converting third downs. Everything looks great until they reach the red zone. In four trips to the red zone last week, they scored just one touchdown. The Saints of 2009 would never have been so inefficient.
Can New Orleans finally turn its fortunes around? Well, that could depend on whether or not Pierre Thomas returns to action this week. Sean Payton said he was "hopeful" that Frenchie would be able to suit up at Tampa Bay. However, the Saints signed Julius Jones on Tuesday, so that could be an indication that Thomas won't be able to play.
Jones is not the answer, so with a dead running game, Drew Brees will have to do all of the work again. The good news for the Saints is that Tampa Bay's secondary is an abomination now that Tanard Jackson has been suspended for a year. Their 17th ranking against the pass will surely rise in the coming weeks.
TAMPA BAY OFFENSE: As with the Buccaneers, the Saints are missing a key player in their secondary. Top corner Tracy Porter is out until November.
Josh Freeman just keeps looking better and better each week. He struggled early on against the Bengals and their two shutdown cornerbacks, but was very clutch at the end of the game after the Bengals foolishly threw the ball away twice. It really helps Freeman that rookie receiver Mike Williams has been this dominant so quickly.
The downfall of the Buccaneers' scoring attack is the absence of a running game. I'd like to see LeGarrette Blount be more involved, but for whatever reason, Raheem Morris keeps feeding the ball to Cadillac Williams, who really sucks. With Freeman having to constantly throw to ball to move the sticks, it'll be difficult for Tampa to sustain drives, especially if Will Smith is back in the lineup for New Orleans.
RECAP: This is a really tough call to make. On one hand, I like the Saints to rebound off an embarrassing loss to the Cardinals. Sean Payton always plays well in his second away game, and New Orleans itself usually thrives as road favorites.
However, this is the biggest game for the Buccaneers since Week 17 of the 2008 season. They circled this contest when the schedule came out as a measuring stick for how good they'd be. They'll give New Orleans all they've got.
With a gun to my head, I'd pick the Saints. Fortunately, we don't have to bet on every NFL game.
The Psychology. Edge: Buccaneers.
This is the biggest game for the Buccaneers in two years.
The Vegas. Edge: Buccaneers.
No surprise that all of the money is on the Saints.
Percentage of money on New Orleans: 81% (150,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Saints.
History: Buccaneers have won 4 of the last 6 meetings.
Saints are 47-35 ATS on the road since 2000.
Drew Brees is 14-10 ATS as a road favorite.
Sean Payton is 7-3 ATS in his second consecutive road game.
Buccaneers are 14-11 ATS as a home underdog since 1996 (1-5 since 2009).
Buccaneers are 1-8 ATS at home under Raheem Morris.
KANSAS CITY OFFENSE: This is a really great matchup for Houston's defense. The Texans' secondary has had major issues this season, ranking 31st against the pass. Despite Hakeem Nicks' monstrous numbers, they were better last week, limiting the Giants to a 7.1 YPA (they're at 8.3 YPA for the year).
However, Matt Cassel is pretty terrible. He's just not good enough to take advantage of Houston's weakness. Cassel played poorly against the Browns' secondary, and Cleveland can't defend the pass.
Kansas City's offensive strength is running the ball, but that's what Houston excels against. The Texans are eighth versus the run, as they've surrendered just 3.8 yards per carry to opposing backs this season.
HOUSTON OFFENSE: The Texans couldn't click last week. It seemed like Matt Schaub was trying to force passes into Andre Johnson, who wasn't 100 percent. On the first drive, a pass toward Johnson fell incomplete, bringing up fourth down. On the next possession, Schaub tossed an interception while targeting his top wideout again.
Johnson said he felt no soreness afterward and will definitely be healthier this week. Jacoby Jones could be back as well. This is not good news for a shaky Kansas City secondary that has allowed at least 229 passing yards to each opponent it has faced, including Alex Smith and Seneca Wallace. Cornerback Brandon Flowers has been absolutely awesome this year, but rookie safety Eric Berry is really shaky in coverage.
Like Johnson, Arian Foster appeared to be pretty banged up as well last week. He appears to be fine now; he ran with the team on Monday. This is great news for Houston, as Kansas City showed some susceptibility to the run last week once Mike Hart took over for an ineffective Joseph Addai.
RECAP: I absolutely LOVE the Texans in this spot. In fact, this is my October NFL Pick of the Month. Aside from the fact that Houston matches up really well against Kansas City, I have a variety of reasons for liking the host so much:
1. Last week was Kansas City's Super Bowl. The players and coaching staff had two weeks to prepare for the Colts. It was their chance to prove to everyone how good they were; for their entire bye week, they listened to the media constantly laugh, "Can you believe the Chiefs are the last undefeated team?"
Kansas City brought the kitchen sink against the Colts. There were onside kicks, creative defensive schemes and attempts on fourth down. Everyone on the Chiefs (except for Dwayne Bowe) played their hearts out. It looked like they had a great chance to win, but just ran out of gas in the fourth quarter. Indianapolis eventually wore them down, and when Mike Hart scored a late touchdown, everyone on the Kansas City sideline looked defeated.
Now, the Chiefs have to travel again to play a Houston squad that looked awful last Sunday. How can Kansas City possibly get up for this game? It's not like they even need to win because everyone else in their division is 2-3.
2. Speaking of the Texans, they were awful against the Giants. As mentioned though, the fact that Andre Johnson and Arian Foster weren't healthy really screwed up the game plan. In the wake of Houston's big loss, this line has dipped down to -4.5. Had the Texans won, we may have seen -5.5 or -6 on the board. We're getting solid value here with the host.
3. Houston is coming off a huge loss. So, what does that mean? Well, for one thing, they have a 72.3-percent chance of covering according to a trend I mentioned in the Chargers-Rams game. Teams that lose the point spread by 25 or more points are 74-36 against the spread the following week. But here's the catch - if they are favored, they're 34-13 against the number. Gary Kubiak is 1-0 in this dynamic.
The explanation behind this trend is simple. First, no one wants to bet on a team that looked inept the previous week, so that drags the line down (and as you can see below, most people are betting on the Chiefs). And second, teams that humiliate themselves have extra motivation to rebound the following week after hearing the national media bash them ad nauseum.
4. More cool numbers: Kubiak is 4-1 against the spread when favored after losing as a favorite. Kubiak is also 4-1 versus the number after losing at home by 10-plus points. And finally, Kubiak is a flawless 3-0 against the line going into the bye. The Hello, Goodbye Trend would apply if Houston were -6.5.
Again, I love the Texans here. I eyed this contest prior to last week's games. My plan was to bet Houston big if the Chiefs lost a close game to the Colts. Little did I know that the Texans would embarrass themselves against the Giants to garner extra motivation.
The Psychology. Edge: Texans.
The Chiefs put a lot into last week's game at Indianapolis. They played incredibly hard, but ran out of gas at the end.
The Vegas. Edge: None.
The money evened out after early action on the Chiefs. Now there's action on Kansas City again.
Percentage of money on Kansas City: 55% (161,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Texans.
Chiefs are 18-10 ATS in October since 2002.
Chiefs are 17-9 ATS as a road underdog since 2007.
Gary Kubiak is 3-0 ATS going into a bye.
Gary Kubiak is 4-1 ATS as a favorite when coming off a loss as a favorite.
Gary Kubiak is 4-1 ATS after losing by 10+ points at home.
Opening Line: Texans -5.
Opening Total: 45.
Weather: Retractable roof.
Week 6 NFL Pick: Texans 27, Chiefs 13 Texans -4.5 (8 Units - October NFL Pick of the Month) -- Incorrect; -$880 Under 45 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0 Texans 35, Chiefs 31
Week 6 NFL Picks - Late Games Raiders at 49ers, Jets at Broncos, Cowboys at Vikings, Colts at Redskins, Titans at Jaguars
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.