St. Louis Rams (6-6) at New Orleans Saints (9-3) Line: Saints by 9.5. Total: 47. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 13): Saints -9.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 13): Saints -9.
Sunday, Dec. 12, 4:05 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).
Going into the weekend, Bo-Bo was on fire. Despite starting the year 0-10, he won two in a row to improve to 2-10. Could the hottest fantasy player in the world keep his winning streak intact?
Nope! Bo-Bo goes down in flames again, finishing the year at 2-11. Let's all hope for a magical 0-13 season from Bo-Bo next year!
NEW ORLEANS OFFENSE: After struggling early in the year with interceptions, Drew Brees is playing great. Unfortunately, the same can't be said about his supporting cast. At Cincinnati last week, New Orleans committed 11 penalties. That's unacceptable.
The Rams will put up more resistance than the Bengals. While Cincinnati is last in the NFL with 13 sacks, St. Louis is third with 35. The key to containing the Saints is to put tons of pressure on Brees with a four-man front, and the Rams are capable of doing this. Chris Long has been a beast this year and deserves to go to the Pro Bowl.
Unfortunately for St. Louis, it has struggled against the run lately. Both the Broncos and Cardinals were able to pick up chunks of yardage on the ground the past two weeks.
ST. LOUIS OFFENSE: While the Saints will be able to establish a sound ground attack, don't expect the same from the Rams. New Orleans happens to be seventh versus the rush in terms of YPC, as no team has gained more than 96 rushing yards against them since Week 9.
Sam Bradford will have to pick up a bunch of first downs to move the chains in order to stay within striking distance. That's easier said than done because Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is more than capable of making rookie quarterbacks look completely inept.
Having said that, Bradford is no ordinary rookie. He's a special player, and I think he'll have some success picking up first downs in this contest.
RECAP: I have two five-unit plays this week. The Rams are one of them. Here is why I love them at New Orleans:
1. The Saints are in a Breather Alert. Following this "easy game" against the Rams, they have to battle the Ravens, Falcons and Buccaneers. There's no way they're going to be completely focused for some rookie quarterback.
2. I mentioned this trend earlier in the year when the Jets hosted the Packers. Teams that have won five or more consecutive games tend not to cover at home, going 26-44 against the spread in this dynamic since 2002. The Saints have been in this position four times under Sean Payton, and are just 1-3 ATS.
3. Speaking of Payton, his teams generally don't cover the spread as double-digit favorites (see stat below). I know the Saints are -9.5, but the spread is close enough to double digits that this trend applies.
4. I've picked the Rams to cover every week this year except for the opener, and they've only let me down twice. I think St. Louis is a really good team and will prove to be a tough out in the playoffs. The Saints, meanwhile, are playing sloppy football, which makes me think that they're unlikely to cover a high spread.
LOCKED IN: Don't let this line get below +9.
The Psychology. Edge: Rams.
Breather Alert No. 3 this week: The Saints have the Ravens, Falcons and Buccaneers after this "easy game."
The Vegas. Edge: Saints.
The early action is on the dog, but I'm willing to bet that the money will even out soon.
Percentage of money on St. Louis: 68% (115,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Rams.
Rams are 27-41 ATS in road games since 2001 (8-5 since 2009).
Drew Brees is 23-16 ATS off back-to-back wins.
Saints are 30-47 ATS at home since 2001 (13-11 since 2008).
Saints are 23-36 ATS as a home favorite since 2001.
Saints are 9-22 ATS in December home games since 2000.
Saints are 3-9 ATS as double-digit favorites under Sean Payton. ???
SAN FRANCISCO OFFENSE: If you haven't heard, Mike Singletary has gone back to Alex Smith as his quarterback, citing some sort of experience factor. I don't get it. Troy Smith is definitely not the answer, but the only experience Smith has is sucking. I would just roll with the young guy to see if he can improve.
Regardless, the 49ers are going to try and establish the running game very early. They'll have success doing so despite the absence of Frank Gore. The Seahawks have not been able to stop the rush at all since losing Red Bryant and Colin Cole to injury. They've surrendered an average of 155 rushing yards in the past three weeks. I know that Cole could be back this week, but he may not be completely healthy.
With Brian Westbrook and Anthony Dixon presumably running well, Smith will have an easy time locating Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis downfield. Seattle doesn't have a good secondary (26th in YPA) so Smith should have some success in his first game back.
SEATTLE OFFENSE: Marshawn Lynch ripped right through the Panthers' anemic defense last week and scored three touchdowns. To the five Lynch supporters still out there, don't expect a repeat performance. The 49ers are very good against the rush, ranking third in the NFL in terms of YPC.
With neither Lynch nor Justin Forsett doing much on the ground, life will be difficult for Matt Hasselbeck. Hasselbeck lost his top receiver, Mike Williams, to yet another ankle injury last week.
Hasselbeck will need Williams on the field to have any sort of success. Pete Carroll said Williams will be ready to play Sunday, but this means nothing because Carroll is a pathological liar.
RECAP: Whom did Mike Singletary sleep with to have his team favored by more than three? This spread is outrageous. There's no reason to believe that San Francisco is 1.5 points better than Seattle.
This is a must-win for the 49ers, but as a wise man once said, "If a team needs to win a game, they probably aren't very good to begin with."
The Psychology. Edge: Seahawks.
The 49ers could be flat off an emotional loss to the Packers in which they gave 110 percent. However, this is a must-win for them. Their season is on the line.
The Vegas. Edge: 49ers.
No surprise that people are fading the 49ers again.
Percentage of money on Seattle: 70% (56,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: 49ers.
History: Seahawks have won 11 of the last 15 meetings.
Seahawks are 13-27 ATS on the road since 2006.
Mike Singletary is 8-4 ATS against divisional opponents.
Miami Dolphins (6-6) at New York Jets (9-3) Line: Jets by 5. Total: 38.5. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 13): Jets -7.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 13): Jets -7.
Sunday, Dec. 12, 4:15 ET
The Game. Edge: Dolphins.
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.
MIAMI OFFENSE: The Jets' defense doesn't look so intimidating now, does it? I thought the Patriots would win and cover Monday night, but I never could have imagined that they would score 45 on Rex Ryan's stop unit.
Fortunately, New York gets Chad Henne this Sunday. Henne just tossed three ugly interceptions in a loss to the Browns, which is a shame because he played really well a week earlier at Oakland. This shouldn't shock anyone, as Henne has been incredibly inconsistent dating back to his days at Michigan.
The good news for Miami is that Henne went 26-of-44 for 363 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in his previous matchup against the Jets. Henne also played well in two battles versus New York last year, going a combined 32-of-47, 353 yards, three touchdowns and no picks. Henne apparently is good every time he plays the Jets, so maybe there's some consistency to his game after all.
NEW YORK OFFENSE: No team has been able to stop Peyton Hillis all year. Not the Saints. Not the Patriots. Not the Jets. Not even the mighty Panthers.
But the Dolphins were finally able to do so last week. They limited Hillis and the Browns to just 57 yards on 18 carries, a phenomenal feat considering how prolific Hillis has been this season.
Miami should be able to clamp down on Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson, forcing Mark Sanchez to air it out. Sanchez has really struggled the past two weeks, so I don't see him rebounding against a very good Dolphins defense.
RECAP: The Dolphins are my other five-unit selection. Here's why I love them:
1. The Jets are coming off an emotional loss to the Patriots. They put a lot of stock into that game, so bouncing back from that will prove to be very difficult.
2. New York is also in a Breather Alert. Following this contest against the "meh" 6-6 Dolphins, they have the Steelers and Bears.
3. This game is essentially meaningless for the Jets. They're not going to catch the Patriots, but they're not in danger of losing their wild card spot.
4. Conversely, Miami's season is on the line. A loss would finish its 2010 campaign.
5. Teams coming off a blowout loss (17+ points) on Monday Night Football just 16-34 against the spread the following week since 1999.
6. What about teams coming off blowout losses on Monday night that are favored the following week? Glad you asked. Teams in that situation are a dreadful 4-15 against the spread since 2002.
This was very close to being my December NFL Pick of the Month. Two things kept me from making Miami an 8-unit selection.
First, the Jets are favored coming off a spread loss of 25-plus points, though Item No. 6 sort of negates that dynamic. I guess that trend doesn't apply to post-Monday night games.
And second, we are getting horrible spread value with the Dolphins. A week ago, this line would have been Jets -7. If New York were favored by a touchdown, this definitely would have been a larger play.
The Psychology. Edge: Dolphins.
The Jets are coming off an emotional loss at New England. They may also look past Miami with the Steelers and Bears next on the slate.
The Vegas. Edge: Dolphins.
People are still backing the Jets.
Percentage of money on New York: 68% (80,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Dolphins.
History: Dolphins have won 3 of the last 4 meetings.
Monday Night Misery: Teams coming off a loss of 17+ points on MNF are 16-34 ATS the following week since 1999.
Dolphins are 9-1 ATS on the road vs. teams with a winning record since 2007.
Dolphins are 10-5 ATS vs. AFC East since 2008.
Tony Sparano is 16-6 ATS on the road.
Dolphins are 1-10 ATS after a loss of 6 or fewer points since 2007.
You can also create your own 2011 NFL Mock Draft on DraftDebacled.com, and if the write-ups are sound enough (and grammatically and factually correct), your mock could be featured in the 2011 NFL Mock Draft Database.
DENVER OFFENSE: Josh McDaniels did a terrific job ruining the Broncos franchise, but one thing we can give him credit for is getting the most out of Kyle Orton and Brandon Lloyd. Lloyd has completely turned his career around, while Orton was able to post great stats despite not being very good.
McDaniels is gone, so what will become of Orton and Lloyd? I honestly don't know. I imagine that the Broncos will run the same system for the remaining four games, but who really knows at this point?
Interim head coach Eric Studesville will definitely make an effort to give Knowshon Moreno as much work as possible, seeing as how he was the running backs coach before the McDaniels firing. Fortunately for him, the Cardinals suck against the run. They've allowed an average of 171 rushing yards in the past three weeks.
ARIZONA OFFENSE: Derek Anderson's concussion and Max Hall's injury were the best things that could have happened to the Cardinals last week because it'll allow John Skelton to start at quarterback.
Skelton, who should have gotten the nod all along, is a physically gifted rookie quarterback. He's raw, but he can get the ball downfield to Larry Fitzgerald. Hell, his first pass was a 22-yard completion to Steve Breaston. Skelton won't face much resistance from a Denver secondary ranked 30th against the pass in terms of YPA.
The Cardinals should be able to run the ball as well. The Broncos just surrendered 169 rushing yards to the Chiefs, so Tim Hightower and Chris Wells should be able to pick up where Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones left off.
RECAP: The Cowboys and Vikings both had major success immediatley after firing their head coach. Will the Broncos be as prosperous? That's highly doubtful.
This situation is completely different. Both Dallas and Minnesota had logical successors in place. The Broncos didn't. While Jason Garrett and Leslie Frazier were being groomed to become head coaches, Studesville was not. And in losing McDaniels, Denver will essentially be without two coaches - the main guy and the offensive coordinator.
As you can tell, I like the Cardinals here for three units. It would be a larger play if I trusted Skelton, but the Broncos are just in completely disarray right now, especially after losing an emotional game to the Chiefs last week.
The Psychology. Edge: Cardinals.
The Broncos are coming off an emotional loss at Kansas City. Why would they get up for the Cardinals?
The Vegas. Edge: Cardinals.
How dare people not bet on the awesome John Skelton?
Percentage of money on Denver: 77% (42,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Cardinals.
Broncos are 10-28 ATS as a favorite since 2006.
Cardinals are 18-7 ATS in December home games since 2000.
Cardinals are 11-4 ATS at home as underdogs or favorites of less than -3 under Ken Whisenhunt.
Kansas City Chiefs (8-4) at San Diego Chargers (6-6) Line: Chargers by 9.5. Total: 45.5. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 13): Chargers -6.5.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 13): Chargers -6.
Sunday, Dec. 12, 4:15 ET
The Game. Edge: Chargers.
Another friendly reminder that Jerks of the Week for Dec. 6, 2010 are up, so just click the link. This week features my 10-year high school reunion.
Also, in this week's edition of Emmitt on the Brink, Derek Anderson holds a symposium for all drunk NFL quarterbacks.
SAN DIEGO OFFENSE: A week ago, Philip Rivers was MVP and the Chargers were Super Bowl contenders after clobbering the Colts. Now, Rivers sucks and the Chargers are the worst team in the NFL. I love public overreaction.
Rivers is still a Super Six quarterback. And San Diego will be fine. The Chargers should be able to do anything they want against this Kansas City defense. The Chiefs' secondary is pretty average and stud shutdown corner Brandon Flowers is not 100 percent. Flowers was carted off the field after last week's victory over Denver.
Meanwhile, Kansas City is just 21st against the rush in terms of YPC, as it just surrendered 161 yards on only 23 carries to the Broncos. Unlike last week, the Chargers will be able to establish Mike Tolbert and possibly Ryan Mathews.
KANSAS CITY OFFENSE: Matt Cassel's weak arm really limits the Chiefs if they can't establish the run to put their quarterback in short-yardage situations. You may look at last week's game against the Raiders and say that the Chargers won't be able to contain Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones. But even with that result, San Diego is sixth against ground attacks (YPC); the team just didn't take Oakland seriously.
With Charles and Jones presumably stymied, Cassel won't be able to do much. He struggled last week in the friendly confines of Arrowhead Stadium against a miserable Denver secondary, so I don't like his chances versus the Chargers, who are third against the pass (YPA) and fourth in sacks with 34.
RECAP: The Chiefs shocked the world by upsetting the massively favored Chargers on Monday night back in September. San Diego will restore order by avenging that loss.
The Chargers are a 4-unit pick for the following reasons:
1. San Diego just lost the point spread by 25-plus. Teams favored the following week in this situation are 35-16 against the spread. Norv Turner is 2-0 ATS in this dynamic.
2. Speaking of Turner, he's coming off a loss as a favorite. He's 8-3 against the spread in this situation.
3. Betting on Rivers in December is still the way to go. Even in the wake of that Oakland loss, Rivers is 7-2 against the spread versus the AFC West in the month of December.
4. Public overreaction: The Chargers were -13 versus Oakland last week, so Vegas is telling us that Kansas City is six points better than the Raiders. However, this is not true because the Chiefs were -1 at Oakland, indicating that they are only four points better than the Raiders.
We're getting great line value with San Diego because this line really should be -9.
MATT CASSEL UPDATE: Matt Cassel just had an appendectomy and could miss this game. The Chiefs are just as good with Brodie Croyle as they are with Cassel, so my pick remains unchanged.
LINE CHANGE: With Cassel out, this line is now -9. I still like San Diego, but for three units. In case you're wondering, the backup quarterback system doesn't apply because the Chiefs aren't a good team.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No psychological edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: Chiefs.
Late money on the Chargers with Matt Cassel out.
Percentage of money on San Diego: 67% (99,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Chargers.
History: Home Team has won 18 of the last 25 meetings (Chargers have won 5 of the last 6).
Chiefs are 18-10 ATS as a road underdog since 2007.
Philip Rivers is 16-10 ATS as a starter after Nov. 30 (7-2 ATS vs. AFC West).
Norv Turner is 8-3 ATS as a favorite after a loss as a favorite.
New England Patriots (10-2) at Chicago Bears (9-3) Line: Patriots by 3. Total: 37.5. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 13): Patriots -3.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 13): Patriots -4.
Sunday, Dec. 12, 4:15 ET
The Game. Edge: Patriots.
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.
A new wrinkle this week. These comments are all from this guy named Taton, a Colts fan, who is responsible for some of funniest posts I've ever seen:
1. "Manning always got pick in the last minutes that is sux!!!!"
"That is sux!!!!" I'm going to start saying that from now on.
2. "sux ending well done Colts did try"
The Colts did try. I'm hoping you didn't, Taton, because that would tell me your IQ is in single digits.
3. "Colts offense and defense not good too many pass drop could catch!!!!"
Taton's strategy: Put together a bunch of random words in some chaotic order and hope it makes sense.
NEW ENGLAND OFFENSE: How good is Tom Brady? He just does everything proficiently and is in complete command of the offense. He has so many perfectly tailored weapons at his disposal that containing New England is next to impossible.
The Patriots just humiliated the Jets, and they're more than capable of doing the same thing to the Bears. And I'm not showing disrespect; Chicago's defense is prolific. I just don't see how any defense can slow down Brady right now.
If the Patriots struggle to get into the end zone, it'll be because they commit unforced errors, much like the Eagles did a couple of weeks ago (dropped touchdowns, tipped passes turned into interceptions, etc.)
CHICAGO OFFENSE: It's amazing that the Bears keep winning because Jay Cutler takes four sacks every week. Cutler has gone down 11 times in the past three games.
The Patriots, who have 10 sacks in their previous four contests, will easily cut through Chicago's feeble offensive front. Cutler will have to continue to get the ball out quickly to his receivers.
The Bears have had success running the ball with Matt Forte lately, which has greatly assisted Cutler. However, Chicago's string of five consecutive games with triple-figure rushing yards could end in this contest, as the Patriots have been very good at stopping the run since their bye.
RECAP: There are offsetting situational angles in this game, so I can't say I love either side. But I do like the Patriots for a unit. They're just far and away the top team in the NFL right now. As I wrote earlier, the only way they'll lose this game is if they kill themselves with unforced mistakes.
The Psychology. Edge: Bears.
This is a bigger game for the Bears, who have a chance to prove themselves.
The Vegas. Edge: Bears.
Think people are betting the Patriots after that Monday night win?
Percentage of money on New England: 75% (104,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Patriots.
Monday Night Magic: Teams coming off a win of 17+ points on MNF are 37-22 ATS the following week.
Patriots are 25-14 ATS vs. NFC opponents since 2001.
Philadelphia Eagles (8-4) at Dallas Cowboys (4-8) Line: Eagles by 3.5. Total: 51. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 13): Eagles -3.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 13): Eagles -3.
Sunday, Dec. 12, 8:20 ET
The Game. Edge: Eagles.
More Notes from NFL.com GameCenter (These are also from Taton):
1. "Colts just flatted"
Flatted, you know, the past tense of flat.
2. "thime game is awful by Manning"
"Thime game" sounds like some sort of old English. Maybe Taton is really a scholar.
3. "Maning Maning Maning why u keep picking!!!!!!!!!!!!"
OK, maybe Taton's not a scholar after all.
PHILADELPHIA OFFENSE: I talked about the possibility of the Patriots losing to the Bears if they made unforced errors like the Eagles did a couple of weeks ago. Ultimately, New England will probably beat Chicago because it doesn't make mistakes. Philadelphia does.
The Eagles are playing really sloppy football. They're dropping touchdowns, allowing lots of hits on the quarterback and committing too many dumb penalties.
I mention this because the Eagles have the talent to score at will on pretty much anyone. It's way too difficult to contain QB Dog Killer and his dynamic weapons. But Philadelphia, as we've seen the past couple of weeks, is more than capable of beating itself with senseless mistakes.
DALLAS OFFENSE: The Eagles have struggled defensively recently. Coincidentally, Asante Samuel has been out. Philadelphia will welcome back Samuel, while Dallas says goodbye to stud rookie receiver Dez Bryant, who is out for the year with a fractured fibula.
But all hope isn't lost for the Cowboys. They were very fortunate to see Marion Barber go down with an injury, which allowed Tashard Choice to step in and dominate. Choice has been the best running back on Dallas' roster for years, so one has to wonder why he hasn't been used at all.
Choice will have success rushing the football against the Eagles, who had had trouble containing Arian Foster and Matt Forte the past two weeks. Jon Kitna will need Choice to move the chains because Philadelphia is eighth in the NFL with 31 sacks.
RECAP: There is one situational angle that favors Dallas - the Cowboys are a home underdog coming off a road win playing a team that just won at home. Teams in this situation cover about 62 percent of the time.
So with that in mind, I like Dallas for two units. The Eagles are just playing sloppy football, and the Cowboys, who are on a roll, have really dominated this rivalry recently.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No psychological edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: Cowboys.
Though the Cowboys are playing well, bettors want to wager on the evil quarterback.
Percentage of money on Philadelphia: 76% (41,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Eagles.
History: Cowboys have won the last 3 meetings.
Eagles are 68-44 ATS vs. NFC opponents since 2001.
Eagles are 31-21 ATS vs. teams with losing records since 2001.
Baltimore Ravens (8-4) at Houston Texans (5-7) Line: Ravens by 3. Total: 46. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 13): Ravens -2.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 13): Ravens -3.
Monday, Dec. 13, 8:30 ET
The Game. Edge: Ravens.
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 umm... I don't know where the hell we are anymore. Tonight, the Ravens take on the Texans in another stupid game that doesn't include my Eagles. Guys, two weeks ago we witnessed Derek Anderson go off on a tirade. I'd like to start a tirade of my own. I hate all teams not named the Eagles! All of them! That's fine. That's fine. That's fine. That's fine. That's fine. That's fine. The Eagles are the best, and everyone else is stupid!
Emmitt: Kenny, why you callin' everybody else stupid? Some fans like different team because they live in the different part of the city of America. For example, people who live on the East Coast like the Eagle, Jet, Giant and Cowboy. People on the North Coast like the Packer, Viking and Cardinal. People on the West Coast who like stuff in the behind like the San Francisco team.
Reilly: Are you insinuating that I'm gay, Emmitt!? Because I'm not gay, I swear! I'll do anything to prove that I'm not gay! I'll pay you a million bucks which will prove that I'm not gay!
Herm: He doth protest too much! Doth protest! There's tons of protesting! Lots of protesting! Protesting here! Protesting there! Protesting everywhere!
Reilly: Silence, Herm, you gay a**hole.
Griese: Arian Foster is a good running back!
Reilly: Yes he is, Griese. I have him on my fantasy team. I started him and Adrian Peterson this week. I have Chris Johnson, Steven Jackson, Ray Rice, Peyton Hillis, LeSean McCoy, Ahmad Bradshaw, Michael Turner, Rashard Mendenhall, Jamaal Charles and Maurice Drew-Jones on my bench. Emmitt, do you think I made the right move?
Emmitt: Karl, I think you make the right movement, but I am confuse. Very confuse. How in the wide world of sport do you have so many good runnin' back on your fantastic football roster?
Reilly: I drafted them all, Emmitt. I'm in a two-man league. Actually, it's just me and my friend, who dropped out of the league, so I drafted the worst possible team for him ever. He's starting Marion Barber and C.J. Spiller this week! Ha!
Griese: C.J. Spiller was the No. 9 pick in the draft! He's going to have a great rookie year!
Reilly: You're stuck five months in the past again, Griese. I actually drafted Spiller in fantasy but traded him to my friend's team for Peyton Hillis. I am the master of trading!
Herm: You're the master nothing! Master of nothing! Not one thing! Not another thing! Not anything! Nothing! No one does fantasy by themselves! Not one person! Not another person! Not Emmitt! Not me! Not Bob! Not you! I mean only you! You're doin' fantasy by yourself! Ha!
Reilly: Herm, it's not my fault no one wants to be in my league! People just don't like my rules that say I can trade for any players I want. People are stupid for not playing with me! We'll be back after a word from our local sponsors!
HOUSTON OFFENSE: Arian Foster should have a good game for our friend Kevin Reilly. While he may not get much on the ground - Baltimore just limited the Steelers to 55 yards on 23 carries - Foster will get a bunch of yardage as a receiver coming out of the backfield. He's emerged as a great weapon in that regard.
Matt Schaub will have to rely on Foster heavily to keep Terrell Suggs and the rest of the Ravens at bay. Fortunately for him, his offensive line has allowed just five sacks in the past four games.
That's the good news. The bad news is that Baltimore is second versus the pass in terms of YPA. Schaub has never had much success against elite 3-4 defenses like the Ravens, Steelers and Jets, so this could potentially be a long night for Houston.
BALTIMORE OFFENSE: As Texans fans know, things aren't any better on the defensive side of the ball. Houston's defense has been anemic since losing DeMeco Ryans in Week 6. The team cannot stop the run or the pass, and it struggles to get to the quarterback. The Texans have just 19 sacks this year, and only two in the past couple of weeks.
It's hard to imagine the Ravens not moving the chains at will against Houston. Despite that poor throw on 4th-and-2 on the final drive, Joe Flacco played pretty well against the Steelers. He'll torch Baltimore's secondary, while Ray Rice and Willis McGahee rip through the Texans' pedestrian defensive front.
RECAP: In case you're wondering, Baltimore's loss to the Steelers does not count as an emotional defeat because the Ravens were favored.
However, I still like the Texans. There's a chance Baltimore could still be flat. More prominently, this contest means absolutely nothing to the Ravens. They're essentially two games behind the Steelers, so they can't catch them. But they're also comfortably in control of a wild card spot.
The Psychology. Edge: Texans.
The Ravens could be a bit deflated after that loss to Pittsburgh.
The Vegas. Edge: Texans.
The public is all over the Ravens.
Percentage of money on Baltimore: 83% (127,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Texans.
Ravens are 10-4 ATS vs. teams with losing records under John Harbaugh.
Ravens are 14-8 ATS in road games off a home loss the previous 22 instances.
Texans are 9-2 ATS as home underdogs since October 2006.
Week 14 NFL Picks - Early Games Colts at Titans, Browns at Bills, Buccaneers at Redskins, Falcons at Panthers, Raiders at Jaguars, Packers at Lions, Giants at Vikings, Bengals at Steelers
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.