Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-2) at Atlanta Falcons (5-2) Line: Falcons by 9. Total: 45.5. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 8): Falcons -7.5.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 8): Falcons -7.
Sunday, Nov. 7, 1:00 ET
The Game. Edge: Falcons.
Week 8 Recap: I'm very happy with my last two weekends after that Week 6 debaclation. I went 7-6 for a profit of +$520 in Week 8.
Now, you may think that I've gone hate mail-free over the past two weeks. But that's not the case. I still received three pieces of hate mail, which I'll post later on.
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.
TAMPA BAY OFFENSE: Who would have thought that a Week 9 tilt between the Buccaneers and Falcons would be for control of the NFC South? This is one of the many reasons why the NFL is awesome; unlike the other sport, every team (except the Bills) has a legitimate chance to make an unexpected run.
I really love what the Buccaneers are doing. Josh Freeman is growing up before our very eyes and maturing every week. He and stud rookie Mike Williams really have something going. Atlanta's secondary is awful - 31st against the pass - so Freeman should have yet another quality game.
Meanwhile, LeGarrette Blount is really making a case to be Tampa Bay's running back of the future. He trampled and leaped over the poor Cardinals for 120 yards and two touchdowns on just 22 carries. However, don't expect a repeat performance from Blount; the Falcons have allowed just one team to rush for more than 84 yards since Week 2, and it took the Eagles 33 carries to get to 104 yards.
ATLANTA OFFENSE: I've talked about this before, but Matt Ryan is a much different quarterback at home. As host, he has 24 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, a 64.1 completion percentage and an 8.0 YPA, compared to 26, 18, 57.5 and 6.5 respectively on the road.
The Buccaneers are really struggling to stop the pass, as their ranking (now 24th) has declined every week since star safety Tanard Jackson was lost for the year due to a suspension. Yes, Tampa pick-sixed the Cardinals twice and Bengals once, but Ryan is obviously far better than Carson Palmer, Max Hall and the drunken Derek Anderson.
Michael Turner will help keep Ryan out of unfavorable situations. The Buccaneers actually rank dead last against the run, giving up 5.5 yards per carry to opposing backs.
RECAP: This seems like a ton of points for a hot, young Buccaneers squad. Is it though? They've played two games against teams that currently have winning records - Steelers, Saints - and they've been outscored 69-19 in those contests.
Again, I like this Tampa Bay squad, but I don't think it's ready to play with the top teams in the NFL.
Unfortunately, this spread is too large for me to make any sort of play on the Falcons. I could see the Buccaneers getting blown out or managing some sort of backdoor cover at the very end.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
Big matchup for first place in the NFC South.
The Vegas. Edge: Falcons.
The Buccaneers are an early publicly bet underdog.
Percentage of money on Tampa Bay: 65% (113,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Falcons.
History: Home Team has won 4 of the last 5 meetings.
Buccaneers are 13-22 ATS on the road after a win since 2002.
Buccaneers are 6-15 ATS off back-to-back wins since 2003.
Chicago Bears (4-3) vs. Buffalo Bills (0-7) Line: Bears by 3. Total: 41.5. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 8): Bears -3.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 8): Bears -3.
Sunday, Nov. 7, 1:00 ET
At Rogers Centre, Toronto
The Game. Edge: Bears.
Vegas Recap: Vegas continues to kick the crap out of the public. The highly bet teams went 4-4 over the weekend, so the sportsbooks walked away with the juice yet again. The teams that won money for Vegas were the Lions, Bills, Chargers and Saints. The public won with the Patriots, Dolphins, Rams and Buccaneers.
BUFFALO OFFENSE: Poor Bills fans. If watching their team lose two overtime games in a row wasn't bad enough, now some people actually believe that Ryan Fitzpatrick is the long-term answer. If Buffalo passes on Andrew Luck, it'll just set the franchise back another couple of years. No big deal.
In the meantime, Fitzpatrick will somehow have to survive against a Bears defense featuring Julius Peppers that ranks first against the pass. Unfortunately for Fitzpatrick, he doesn't have the running game that Washington possessed with Ryan Torain to keep Chicago in check.
Expect more dink-and-dunk action that we saw of Fitzpatrick at Kansas City. The Bills will move the chains on occasion, but will struggle to consistently maintain drives.
CHICAGO OFFENSE: The good news for Jay Cutler is that he faces a seemingly inept Buffalo defense that has just 11 sacks on the year. The bad news is that seven of those 11 sacks have come in the Bills' past three games.
Buffalo has somehow improved its pass rush and aerial defense recently, which is not good news for the Bears. If Cutler is constantly under siege - as he's been in every game recently - he'll either take sacks or carelessly toss the ball up for grabs like he did against the Redskins.
The Bills remain awful against the run - Jamaal Charles single-handedly helped me improve to 7-1 in Bo-Bo's fantasy league - but Chicago doesn't run the ball because Mike Martz is an idiot.
RECAP: Can the Bills finally get a win? I certainly think so.
There are two things going against the Bears here (aside from Mart'z ineptitude). First, they're coming off a bye. This is usually a good thing for most teams, but Lovie Smith is just 2-6 against the spread with two weeks to prepare.
Second, teams that are 0-7 usually thrive against the spread. Since 2000, they're 6-2 versus the number and 4-1 if they're playing an opponent with a winning record.
Unfortunately, I can't make a big play on the Bills because I just don't know what sort of energy level they're going to have for this game. They have never covered the spread in Toronto, though they had a spirited performance against a vastly superior Jets squad last year. Coming off two consecutive overtime losses might hurt as well.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No psychological edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: Bills.
Early lean toward the Bears, but the action has evened out.
Percentage of money on Chicago: 62% (135,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Bills.
Zero Heroes: 0-7 Teams are 6-2 ATS since 2000; 4-1 ATS if playing an opponent .500 or better.
Bears are 7-3 ATS off back-to-back losses since 2005.
New England Patriots (6-1) at Cleveland Browns (2-5) Line: Patriots by 4. Total: 43.5. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 8): Patriots -5.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 8): Patriots -6.
Sunday, Nov. 7, 1:00 ET
The Game. Edge: Patriots.
Some random NFL notes I can't put anywhere else:
1. I'm having serious problems. The night before the Week 8 games, I had a nightmare where the Titans beat the Chargers, 67-7. I can't imagine how much hate mail I would have received for that given I had San Diego for four units. Anyway, I woke up from my nightmare only to slip into another nightmare, where I dreamt that the Titans won on a field goal in overtime, 20-17.
After that, I finally woke up for real in a cold sweat. Thankfully, San Diego covered. I've never been happier to not be a dreaming prophet.
2. I picked the Raiders to go 9-7 in my 2010 NFL Season Previews, but I'll admit - it's hard to believe that they are 4-4 right now.
Following Oakland's blowout over the Broncos, Facebook friend James M. asked me the following:
Walt, how many virgins do you think Al Davis sacrificed for that win today?
The answer was simple:
Definitely 60 - one for each point, and one for good luck!
3. I've made fun of ESPN's analysts, shows and Web site before. And it's been fun. Now, let's go mobile. Forum member Holder Account sent me the following hilarious picture of an ESPN Mobile update of the Patriots-Chargers Week 7 game:
It's safe to say that the Patriots became the first team to ever convert a sixth down; let alone with minus-6 yards to go.
NEW ENGLAND OFFENSE: Tom Brady has been economical and efficient since the Randy Moss trade, but he hasn't exactly lit up the stat sheet to the chagrin of his fantasy owners. That, however, could change in this game.
Cleveland's secondary has had major problems this year, ranking 27th against the pass. They've allowed four of their previous five opponents to throw for at least 257 yards. This includes the dreadful Carson Palmer.
While Brady's numbers will improve, don't expect the same from BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Green-Ellis rushed for 112 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries against the Vikings, but the Browns are stout against the run; three of their previous four opponents have failed to gain four or more yards per carry.
CLEVELAND OFFENSE: The Browns' scoring attack is all Peyton Hillis. The Patriots rank 13th against the run, having just allowed 92 yards on 27 carries against the Vikings.
New England has been better against the rush since its bye. The Browns don't have any sort of downfield threat, so the Patriots will be able to focus on containing Hillis and forcing Colt McCoy to convert third downs.
I like what I see out of McCoy thus far, and I don't think he'll have a poor outing against a New England defense that struggles to get to the quarterback consistently. However, I don't think he'll be able to engineer too many scoring drives.
RECAP: I'm going against the public and picking the Browns to cover for three units.
I can't see the Patriots being focused for this contest. After this "easy" game, they have to deal with the Steelers and Colts in back-to-back battles for AFC supremacy.
While Bill Belichick will certainly like to beat Eric Mangina, I can't say the same for his players. Why should they care about defeating Erin Andrews' stalker?
The Psychology. Edge: Browns.
Major breather alert for the Patriots. They have the Steelers and Colts after this "easy" game.
The Vegas. Edge: Browns.
The public is all over New England.
Percentage of money on New England: 88% (202,000 bets)
New York Jets (5-2) at Detroit Lions (2-5) Line: Jets by 5. Total: 42. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 8): Jets -6.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 8): Jets -4.
Sunday, Nov. 7, 1:00 ET
The Game. Edge: Jets.
And now the moment you've all been waiting for - this week's hate mail!
The first is from someone whose last name is "Pringle." I just hungry NOM NOM NOM NOM.
You are still an a**-hole and always will be, "draft killer." You are just a coward.
So, you sit behind your computer, and call people you don't know "a**-hole," "draft killer" (whatever the hell that means) and "coward?" Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Or as Emmitt would say, "Talk about the pot and pan callin' the kettle the color that the pot have, the pan have and the kettle have too also."
E-mailer No. 2, Ryan A., directed his hatred toward my crappy college picks:
You are a f***ing retard!!! I used to like you but now I could pull teams out of a hat and do better than your pathetic "take notes" picks! All of your s***ty stats are obviously useless! I understand upsets are made, but everyone of your picks are losers... OH just like you!!!!
Oh, snap! Anyway, I can't understand how anyone can bet heavily enough on college football to send me hate mail. It's a corrupt sport played by acne-ridden kids who just went to their prom. I don't think I'm ever going to bet a single dollar on college football ever again.
The third e-mail is from the same jerk I mentioned two weeks ago - the guy who lives for e-mailing me whenever I have a bad week. He apparently follows a multitude of Web sites, and according to him, I'm the worst at making picks (which makes you wonder why he wastes his time on this Web site.)
His e-mail was unbelievably long, so here are some excerpts:
Dude, I can't believe you're happy about going 8-6 considering the fact that you should have gone 11-3!!! But because you make such bad mistakes, you have this crappy 8-6 record and + a little over a grand.
I see that I touched a serious nerve by your hate mail posting last week (you could tell in your tone that you were pretty mad and defensive. BTW, my mom's credit cards work just fine thank you very much). Fact of the matter is you came to grips a little bit with knowing I was right about you sucking, and you realizing to yourself that hey I do suck at this.
You claim to be good at this and win tons of cash, well some weeks you do good, but you have far too many bad weeks (Dating back to Week 13 of last year), and far too many big unit flops to get props.
Flops to get props? Would you like green eggs and ham, Sam-I-am?
NEW YORK OFFENSE: Of all the teams to get shut out first this season, how could it be the Jets? They have a great offensive line, a Hall of Fame running back who has revitalized his career and three talented receivers at Mark Sanchez's disposal.
Well, it was the latter that betrayed Sanchez. All of Sanchez's wideouts, excluding Braylon Edwards ironically, dropped passes against the Packers. After being completely embarrassed, I expect them to rebound against a putrid Detroit secondary.
The Lions rank 28th against the run, so it would seem like LaDainian Tomlinson should have a big game. However, Detroit limited Washington to just 35 yards on 15 carries. The team just came off a bye, so maybe Jim Schwartz, like Bill Belichick, has figured something out to help his team improve against the rush. If so, the Jets will struggle to move the football.
DETROIT OFFENSE: The fact that Matthew Stafford is alive and well makes me happy. Back in August, I said the Lions will go 9-7 this year, only to watch Stafford suffer a shoulder injury in the season opener. But Stafford had a great second half against the Redskins, which has to be encouraging to all Detroit fans.
Unfortunately, Stafford now has to deal with Rex Ryan's insane defense. Stafford has yet to see anything like this in his brief NFL career. The Lions played the Steelers and Ravens last year, but Stafford was sidelined for both of those contests.
It'll be interesting to see what Stafford and Calvin Johnson can do against Ryan's schemes. One thing is certain though - Jahvid Best won't provide any assistance on the ground against the Jets' No. 2 ranked run defense.
RECAP: This is going to be my second zero-unit pick of the week. I just can't decide whom to take.
The Jets are coming off a shutout loss at home. This is a good thing because teams in this scenario are 19-8 against the spread the following week, and 12-4 if they're playing on the road.
However, New York is also a 4-point favorite on the road following a single loss. Teams in this poor betting situation have gone 11-26 against the spread since 2002.
Ultimately, I think the Jets will rebound and win, but I can't recommend putting a single dime on this contest.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No psychological edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: Lions.
A no-brainer here: "All the Jets need to do is win by 4? Easy money!"
Percentage of money on New York: 76% (139,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Jets.
Teams coming off a home shutout are 19-8 ATS in their next game since 2002 (12-4 if on the road).
New Orleans Saints (5-3) at Carolina Panthers (1-6) Line: Saints by 6. Total: 40.5. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 8): Saints -6.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 8): Saints -7.
Sunday, Nov. 7, 1:00 ET
The Game. Edge: Saints.
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 Cherish Boma. My hobbies are reading, music, watching of movies and playing of basketball.I was impressed when i saw your profile and will like to discuss important matter with you and as well as establish a long lasting relationship with you. In addition,please kindly contact me direct with my e-mail address: (email@example.com) Waiting to hear from you soonest. With love. Miss Cherish.
Miss Cherish Boma is my dream girl. I watch of movies and play of basketball too! And furthermore, Miss Cherish Boma's relation to Barack Obama could come in handy. I might be able to convince Miss Cherish to put in "WalterFootball.com rules" into Barack's teleprompter.
NEW ORLEANS OFFENSE: I have absolutely no idea why there is no spread on this game as of Tuesday afternoon. There are no injury concerns except for Reggie Bush (not expected to be back until Week 11) and DeAngelo Williams (who cares?)
Maybe Vegas is just trying to piss me off. Or maybe they can't figure out the Saints. I can. They're great in between the 20s and suck in the red zone. This was the case when they played Carolina earlier in the year. New Orleans managed 383 net yards of offense, but either turned it over or had to settle for field goals in the red area.
I don't think the Saints have done anything to improve in this department, though the give-aways they had against Carolina were pretty fluky. Drew Brees will once again torch Carolina's defense (he was 33-of-48, 275 yards, 1 TD in the previous matchup), while his complementary ground attack should work as well.
CAROLINA OFFENSE: I mentioned that DeAngelo Williams' availability is insignificant. That's because the Panthers can't open up any running lanes for Williams or Jonathan Stewart with stud right tackle Jeff Otah out.
The Saints rank 11th against the run, so the Panthers will have to rely on Matt Moore to move the chains. Moore absolutely stinks, and there's no reason he should still be starting. He's a turnover machine, and will undoubtedly toss a few picks to Darren Sharper and company.
RECAP: I'm probably going to pick the Saints, but there is no line on this game, so I can't really tell you what I'm going to do. Once a spread is posted, I'll have a more definitive pick and unit amount. Check back later.
UNIT CHANGE: This line has been dropping despite all the money on the Saints. The Hello, Goodbye Trend no longer applies. This is now a zero-unit selection.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No psychological edge found; the Saints just had a big win, but this is the last game before their bye, so they'll be focused.
The Vegas. Edge: Panthers.
No one is betting on the Panthers.
Percentage of money on New Orleans: 83% (142,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Panthers.
History: Road team has won 9 of the last 14 meetings.
Saints are 48-35 ATS on the road since 2000.
Drew Brees is 15-10 ATS as a road favorite.
John Fox is 8-2 ATS in same-season divisional revenge games.
Miami Dolphins (4-3) at Baltimore Ravens (5-2) Line: Ravens by 5. Total: 41. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 8): Ravens -6.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 8): Ravens -6.
Sunday, Nov. 7, 1:00 ET
The Game. Edge: Ravens.
In addition to an E-mail of the Week, I'm also going to post a Video of the Week. In Week 8, I gave you an idiot politician woman who had no idea that Arizona shared a border with Mexico. I was astonished by her stupidity, and said it was one of the major reasons America was going into the crapper.
Well, e-mailer Michael M. pointed out an even dumber politician. If you haven't seen this already, this clown, Hank Johnson, thinks that Guam is going to tip over because it's getting overpopulated. Yes, a man making decisions for us thinks that islands are capable capsizing if there are too many people on it.
On a lighter note, David Letterman had a great, unrelated take on Guam.
MIAMI OFFENSE: Should I just talk about how great Dan Carpenter is? Carpenter has a whopping 10 field goals in the past two games. He's essentially carrying this Miami team that has been having major problems in the red zone, thanks to dropped passes and poor play-calling.
The Dolphins are fine in between the 20s. Chad Henne is inconsistent, but does enough to keep the chains moving. The Ravens have allowed 980 passing yards in their previous three games, so Henne shouldn't have any trouble getting Miami into the red area once again.
Executing there, however, will be a different story. The Dolphins can't keep relying on Carpenter field goals, especially if they want to beat elite teams like the Steelers and Ravens. I don't want to see anymore short throws on 3rd-and-8 or runs on 3rd-and-6. Henne needs to get the ball to Brandon Marshall and Davone Bess.
BALTIMORE OFFENSE: Cedric Benson had a nice first quarter last week, but the Dolphins did a great job of clamping down on him for the rest of the game. Overall, Miami is 12th versus the run and hasn't allowed more than 93 rushing yards to any opponent since Week 4. Containing Ray Rice may seem like a different animal, but the Dolphins locked down Rashard Mendenhall and the Steelers to just 57 yards on 22 carries.
The Ravens will have to throw to win, which shouldn't be much of a problem. Miami ranks 20th against the pass, as it has major problems in its secondary outside of Vontae Davis. Sean Smith replaced Jason Allen in the starting lineup last week and played well, but that was against the inept Carson Palmer. Things could be different against Joe Flacco, Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason.
The Dolphins have 11 sacks in their previous four games (though none against Cincinnati) and will have to rattle Flacco to keep the Ravens from lighting up the scoreboard.
RECAP: The Dolphins have three losses this year, but they have come against the Patriots, Steelers and Jets. The New England and New York defeats were the result of special-teams gaffs, while the Pittsburgh loss was pretty bogus, thanks to corrupt officiating.
In other words, this is a very good Miami team that can play with anyone - including Baltimore.
I like this spot for the Dolphins; they're playing as an underdogs in their second-consecutive away game, which is usually a very lucrative betting proposition. In fact, Tony Sparano is 6-1 against the spread in the back end of a back-to-back road swing.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
Big game in the AFC. No psychlogical edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: None.
Percentage of money on Miami: 51% (103,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Dolphins.
Dolphins are 9-0 ATS on the road vs. teams with a winning record since 2007.
Tony Sparano is 6-1 ATS in his second-consecutive road game.
Tony Sparano is 14-5 ATS on the road.
Ravens are 25-16 ATS in November.
Ravens are 14-6 ATS in November home games since 2000.
San Diego Chargers (3-5) at Houston Texans (4-3) Line: Chargers by 3. Total: 49.5. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 8): Texans -2.5.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 8): Texans -1.5.
Sunday, Nov. 7, 1:00 ET
The Game. Edge: Chargers.
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).
Up until last weekend, Bo-Bo had been an industrious 0-7. Despite losing every week, he made sure he set his lineup and picked up players.
Unfortunately, Bo-Bo has given up. He is now 0-8, and our dream 0-13 is so close that I can almost taste it:
Bo-Bo apparently is causing some controversy. Here are some of the posts on the league's message board:
Sterminator: I think bobo should not be allowed in next year if hes gonna give out free wins. He had three people on bys in his starting line up and hasnt changed his s**t ion weeks. Cmon bobo that s**t aint right.
Bo-Bo: Shut your mouth.
ShirtsBeforeThShirts: Bobo you need to be b***h slapped.
Igor: He is just trying to keep Walt's website in business...
Steve: I actually agree with Schtern... That's clearly not fair. Either you play or you don't play. Step your game up bo-bo and stop taking back shots from dudes and stop sitting on the other steve's face!
ShirtsBeforeThShirts: I think Bobo is playing his heart out, the issue is that being Igor's roommate, he gets all his knowledge and advice from him. The result is a big L every single sunday. Maybe just needs a new mentor.
SAN DIEGO OFFENSE: Like Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers can score points no matter whom he's throwing to. Despite the fact that Patrick Crayton was his No. 1 wideout on Sunday, Rivers was still 27-of-36 for 305 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
And that was against Tennessee, a team ranked 14th against the pass. Houston is 29th. I just don't see how the Texans are going to keep Rivers from lighting up the scoreboard.
Houston also won't be able to stop the run. Once upon a time, the Texans were good versus the rush, but that all changed once All-Pro linebacker DeMeco Ryans was lost for the year. Houston couldn't even keep Mike Hart in check.
HOUSTON OFFENSE: The Chargers were ranked No. 1 in team defense going into the Tennessee game, but that certainly didn't seem to be the case when Vince Young torched the secondary with a continuous barrage of long bombs. The Titans' offense was unstoppable until Young and Kenny Britt got hurt.
Can Matt Schaub pick up where Young left off? Ordinarily I'd say yes, but there are two problems. First, Andre Johnson is not healthy. He limped off the field late against the Colts, and may not be anywhere near 100 percent. And second, Schaub doesn't have the pass protection Young enjoyed. San Diego is second in the NFL in sacks, and will be in Schaub's face all afternoon.
A wise decision would be to run the ball to create some sort of balance, so Texan fans will be hoping that Gary Kubiak doesn't forget the rushing section of his playbook at home again. Unlike the Colts though, the Chargers can stop the run. They're fifth in that department.
RECAP: Not only are the Chargers the superior team; they're also in the better spot. The Texans are coming off a very emotional loss to the Colts. In the wake of that defeat, everything they've done this season is pretty much meaningless. I just don't know how they bounce back from that.
I'm pretty upset San Diego came out as a favorite. Had Houston been laying points, this would have been a much larger play on the visitor.
The Psychology. Edge: Chargers.
The Texans are coming off an emotional loss to the Colts. Getting up for a 3-5 team will be difficult.
The Vegas. Edge: None.
Percentage of money on Houston: 58% (136,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Texans.
Texans are 9-1 ATS as home underdogs since October 2006.
MINNESOTA OFFENSE: I call Brad Childress "Brad Clueless" for a reason. It's because, well, he's clueless. He goes all out to bring Brett Favre in, and then realizes he can't co-exist with him - and then he recruits him again the following offseason! Then, he trades a third-round picks and decides that he doesn't like Moss' attitude anymore, so he thoughtlessly dumps him. Then again, this is the same guy who loves Tarvaris Jackson, and wastes timeouts and challenges every week, so everyone should have expected this.
I don't know what sort of mentality the Vikings will have in this game, but all they have to do is give the ball to Adrian Peterson. The pathetic Cardinals couldn't stop LeGarrette Blount last week, as the rookie running back punched his way for 120 yards on just 22 carries at Arizona.
Peterson will help keep Brett Favre out of unfavorable situations - but that may not even matter. The Cardinals can't get to the quarterback and suck against the pass; they've surrendered at least 225 passing yards to all but one opponent this year.
ARIZONA OFFENSE: The Vikings' effort against the run was pathetic last week. How do you allow BenJarvus Green-Ellis and the Patriots to rush for 125 yards on 23 carries? What a disgrace.
It's not like Minnesota doesn't have the talent to shore this up. Given that the Cardinals have an anemic passing attack, the Vikings will be able to cheat up to the line of scrimmage in an effort to contain Chris Wells.
Speaking of Arizona's quarterbacking situation, Ken Whisenhunt hasn't named a starting quarterback for this matchup yet. Not like it matters. If it's Derek Anderson, he'll show up drunk and toss interceptions. If it's Max Hall, Anderson will slip some vodka into Hall's energy drink.
RECAP: Despite making fun of the Cardinals, I actually love them this week. A five-unit sort of love. Here are my reasons:
1. First and foremost, how can the Vikings not be distracted by this Randy Moss nonsense? Are they even preparing for the Cardinals right now, or are they trying to figure out what happened?
2. The Vikings are coming off an emotional loss against the Patriots. They put a lot of stock into that game and fell short. Bouncing back against Arizona will be very difficult.
3. Minnesota is in a Breather Alert. Following this "easy" game against the pathetic Cardinals, they have to deal with two of their arch rivals: Chicago and Green Bay.
4. The Cardinals just lost as a favorite. Ken Whisenhunt is 3-1 against the spread in a bounce-back effort.
5. Teams like the Vikings that are home favorites after losing two consecutive road games are 29-49 against the spread since 2002.
SURVIVOR PICK: Despite my loving the Cardinals, Minnesota will be the Survivor Pick this week.
I don't really have a choice. I've already used the Packers, Falcons and Ravens. I'm not taking any road teams. The Vikings are my only option. And it's not like Derek Anderson or Max Hall can win in the Metrodome, right?
I was asked to list six possible survivor options each week, so here they are, from best to worst: Packers, Falcons, Ravens, Vikings, Raiders and... that's it. I can't come up with a sixth pick. 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: Cardinals.
This is an awful spot for the Vikings. They just lost an emotional game at New England, and they have to play two of their arch rivals (Chicago, Green Bay) after this "easy" contest against the Cardinals.
The Vegas. Edge: Cardinals.
Late action on the Vikings.
Percentage of money on Minnesota: 60% (150,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Cardinals.
Ken Whisenhunt is 4-1 ATS as an underdog after losing as a favorite.
Week 9 NFL Picks - Late Games Giants at Seahawks, Colts at Eagles, Chiefs at Raiders, Cowboys at Packers, Steelers at Bengals
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, 2014): 0-1 (-$770)
Last Week's 2-3 Unit NFL Picks (Week 21, 2014): 0-0 ($0)
Last Week's 4-5 Unit NFL Picks (Week 21, 2014): 0-0 ($0)
Last Week Over-Under (Week 21, 2014): 0-1 ($0)
Last Week's Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks (Week 21, 2014): -$65
2014 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-4, 33.3% (-$1,350)
2014 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 143-133-7, 51.8% (-$1,885) 2014 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 50-41, 55.0% (+$1,500) 2014 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 12-17-1, 41.4% (-$1,990) 2014 Season Over-Under: 144-119-2, 54.8% ($0) 2014 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$630
1999 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 27-41-3 (39.7%) 2000 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 128-123-8 (51.0%) 2001 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 127-122-7 (51.0%) 2002 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 123-136-7 (47.5%) 2003 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 146-126-8 (53.7%) 2004 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 157-123-8 (56.1%) 2005 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 156-126-11 (55.3%) 2006 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 151-135-9 (52.8%) 2007 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 162-135-10, 54.5% (+$2,550) 2008 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 148-140-7, 51.4% (+$2,620) 2009 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 151-124-9, 54.9% (+$3,370) 2010 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 144-131-8, 52.4% (+$6,080) 2011 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 137-133-12, 50.7% (-$1,925) 2012 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 130-145-8, 47.3% (-$5,760) 2013 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 144-131-8, 52.4% (+$5,580)
2002 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 41-49-2 (45.6%) 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)
Career NFL Picks Against The Spread: 2,157-1,978-117, 52.2% (+$10,530) Career 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 694-624-31 (52.7%) Career 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 288-251-11 (53.4%) Career Over-Under: 1,685-1,655-48 (50.5%) Career Second-Half NFL Picks: 22-15-1 (61.1%) Career NFL Picks of the Month: 30-19 (61.2%)
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.