The 49ers picks are laughable. They need O-Line and Pass rush help badly. No way they pick Tight End and Runningback so early when they have Celek, McDonald, Bell as more than serviceable and Hyde, Draughn, Davis at RB.
Carolina Panthers (2-13) at Atlanta Falcons (12-3) Line: Falcons by 14. Total: 41. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 16): Falcons -14 (starters) or Falcons -6.5 (2nd string).
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 16): Falcons -14.
Sunday, Jan. 2, 1:00 ET
The Game. Edge: Falcons.
Week 16 Recap: I can't believe I lost my Pick of the Month (Giants +3) and still had a winning week (Eagles-Vikings pending). I don't think that's ever happened before.
I'm really considering not having any more Picks of the Month. Not because I just lost or anything like that; but because I've gotten some e-mails recently saying, "I've lost so much money because of the Giants." I then asked these people if they bet on the Redskins, Lions and Buccaneers (won a combined 11 units), and they said, "No, I put it all on the Giants."
I've come to realize that some people have no idea how to manage their money. You should never put all your cash on one game because anything can happen. I thought the Packers would be flat off the Patriots loss. They weren't. I thought they'd have less energy with Aaron Rodgers back under center (as most teams do when their starter returns). They somehow had more energy. Crap like that happens. You can't always be right, and nothing's a lock. That's why they call it gambling. Instead of throwing your money on one game, spread it out on a few. And never bet anything you can't afford.
I stand by my Giants pick. There were four situational angles pointing their way. It's just how I handicap; I'm up 75 units on the year with this strategy. But as you can imagine, I received a lot of hate mail because the Giants didn't cover. Click the link to check it out.
One more thing: If you scroll down, you'll see that there's a comment board. Feel free to post your thoughts, and don't be afraid to tell me how stupid I am.
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.
ATLANTA OFFENSE: Because the Falcons lost to the Saints on Monday night, all of their starters will play. And maybe that's a good thing because Atlanta looked out of whack offensively in its first defeat since Week 6.
The Falcons struggled to establish the run against New Orleans, and that may linger into this contest. While the Panthers have sucked overall on defense, they've been pretty good against the run lately. Since Marshawn Lynch humiliated them back in Week 13, Carolina has limited its previous three opponents to 4.1 YPC or worse.
The Panthers have been atrocious defending the middle of the field because of all of their injured linebackers. Tony Gonzalez is playing like an old man, but like Heath Miller, Gonzalez could have a big game versus Carolina.
CAROLINA OFFENSE: Unless Jimmy Clausen goes off for 400 yards and four touchdowns, this will likely be his final game as Carolina's starting quarterback. And given his poor body language, inability to make quick reads and lacking supporting staff, I'd have a better chance of landing a date with Katy Perry than seeing Clausen post those sort of numbers.
The Falcons will easily skate by the Panthers' anemic offensive line, so Carolina will have to establish a running game of some sort. Fortunately for them, Jonathan Stewart has been pounding the ball well lately. Despite a strong showing Monday night, Atlanta has been weak against the rush in recent weeks.
RECAP: I'm kicking things off with a three-unit selection on the Panthers. Here are four reasons why I like them:
1. Double-digit favorites off a loss are just 35-62 against the spread since 2002. That trend makes sense; if a team isn't playing well, they don't deserve to be laying 10 or more, right?
2. Underdogs in their second-consecutive road game tend to cover frequently.
3. Thursday night losers have covered at a high rate this year. Excluding the opener, teams that have lost on Thursday are 6-2 against the spread, with the losers being the Texans (that horrible Monday night game against Baltimore) and 49ers (last week when Mike Dingleberry played musical chairs with his quarterbacks). I guess those extra days of preparation come in handy.
4. The Monday night game against the Saints was Atlanta's chance to prove that they are for real. Coming off a loss, they could be flat for the crappy Panthers.
The Psychology. Edge: Panthers.
The Falcons will undoubtedly be a little flat off that Monday night loss.
The Vegas. Edge: Panthers.
As you can imagine, people are taking the Falcons.
Percentage of money on Atlanta: 69% (105,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Falcons.
History: Home Team has won 4 of the last 5 meetings.
John Fox is 8-4 ATS in same-season divisional revenge games (0-2 ATS this year).
Pittsburgh Steelers (11-4) at Cleveland Browns (5-10) Line: Steelers by 5. Total: 38. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 16): Steelers -3.5 (starters) or Browns -3 (2nd string).
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 16): Steelers -4.
Sunday, Jan. 2, 1:00 ET
The Game. Edge: Steelers.
Vegas Recap: The Eagles-Vikings game is still pending, so Vegas could still salvage a winning week. But as of right now, the sportsbooks lost money this weekend, as four of the seven highly bet teams covered (Steelers, Patriots, Ravens, Buccaneers). The three that won money for the house were the Cardinals, Bengals and Broncos.
Funny and/or delusional comment from Kingkhon on the comment board below:
How does Walt makes his income? you cant donate or he dosent charge interest. Who in there right mind is going to keep up with everything whats going on in basketball,nfl drafts and everything? Think about it, its a crew of Vegas personel trying to mislead the public in betting. this is not a one man operation.
Yes, it's true. WalterFootball.com is a front for a syndicate in Las Vegas dedicated to sapping money from casual Internet readers. Kingkhon has figured it all out. As you're reading this, the syndicate has dispatched hitmen to take care of this Kingkhon person.
CLEVELAND OFFENSE: Colt McCoy made his first start against Pittsburgh. He played very well in his debut (23-of-33, 281 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs) and has been very solid overall until a stinker last week. McCoy uncharacteristically lobbed deep balls into double coverage and was consequently picked off three times. Let's give him a mulligan though; he is a rookie, after all.
The good news for McCoy is that Troy Polamalu is unlikely to play. This is huge because two of McCoy's interceptions against Baltimore came at the hands of another All-Pro safety (Ed Reed).
The bad news is that Peyton Hillis is not completely healthy. Hillis has been a great weapon for McCoy - the big back caught six balls for 49 receiving yards against Pittsburgh in Week 6 - but has struggled recently because of his immense workload. The shot he took in the back on the first drive of the Baltimore game didn't help either.
PITTSBURGH OFFENSE: The Steelers have scored more than 23 points on only one occasion since Thanksgiving. This came last week against the hapless Panthers who traveled on a short work week. It's safe to say that Pittsburgh is struggling offensively.
Given the injuries to the Steelers' front line, that's not surprising. Ben Roethlisberger barely has any time in the pocket; he's taken 18 sacks iin the past five weeks. Fortunately for Big Ben, the Browns' defense has managed only four sacks in its previous four contests.
Still, Pittsburgh should focus on establishing Rashard Mendenhall to give Roethlisberger manageable third downs. Fortunately for Big Ben, Cleveland has surrendered at least 97 rushing yards to every team it has faced since Week 10.
RECAP: Given the problems the Steelers have on their offensive line, this spread is way too high. Pittsburgh usually doesn't function well as a road favorite anyway (5-13 ATS under Mike Tomlin).
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No emotional edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: Browns.
You can guess whom the public is betting on.
Percentage of money on Pittsburgh: 82% (118,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: None.
History: Steelers have won 19 of the last 21 meetings.
Steelers are 5-13 ATS as road favorites under Mike Tomlin.
Ben Roethlisberger is 23-13 ATS vs. the AFC North.
Minnesota Vikings (6-9) at Detroit Lions (5-10) Line: Lions by 3. Total: 43.5. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 16): Lions -4.5 (Webb) or Vikings -1 (Favre).
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 16): Lions -3.
Sunday, Jan. 2, 1:00 ET
The Game. Edge: Vikings.
It's Week 17, so that only means one thing - no more Bob Papa, Joe Theismann and Matt Millen! Huzzah! Actually, this is bittersweet. I'll miss making fun of them, but at least no one will suffer a seizure from listening to them this week.
I think everyone would remain seizure-free if I estimated how this game would sound like if Papa, Theismann and Millen called it. If someone suffers a seizure, however, I apologize in advance:
Bob Papa: Third-and-seven, Detroit Tigers with the ball. Shaun Kingston takes the snap, hits Jumbotron for a 5-yard pass. First down!
Joe Theismann: That's not a first down, Bob. And here's why that's not a first down. Calvin Johnson did not get past the line to gain. He fell two yards short. So that's why it's fourth down; not first down.
Matt Millen: But that's a great move by Calvin Johnson. And here's why they call Calvin Johnson "Jumbotron." He's real jumbo where it counts. I'm talking about what he has in his pants. That's 100-percent USDA Man right there.
Bob Papa: Detroit Pistons going for it on fourth down. They had the ball off to Barry Sanders - stuffed at the line of scrimmage by Tim Allen!
Joe Theismann: And that's OK! It was the right move by the Lions. Even though they didn't get the first down, there's a chance they could have gotten it, so I think it was a great move.
Matt Millen: Guys, did you see this play? I want you to watch this. Maurice Morris got to the first down marker. Look at it. He's clearly over the line to gain.
Bob Papa: Well, the Lions aren't even going to challenge. I guess they think it was the right spot. The ball is two yards short of the line to gain.
Matt Millen: See, here's why you challenge. If you challenge, there's a chance you could get the ball back and it's a one-score game. And if you get the ball back, I get to see more of Calvin Johnson. I wouldn't mind it if Calvin Johnson invited me back to his hotel room and had his way with me - just as long as he pulls out early.
Joe Theismann: Throw in five cheeseburgers, and I think you'd have your dream date, eh Matt?
For the love of God, NFL, please don't let us listen to these guys again.
MINNESOTA OFFENSE: How about that Joe Webb? I loved what I saw out of Webb on Tuesday night. I know it was only one game in a weird situation, but I'd like to see him get a chance as the starter next year.
The Vikings should be able to score consistently against the Lions. With Webb as a running threat, Detroit won't be able to focus entirely on Adrian Peterson, who gets to play defense that has surrendered 271 rushing yards in the past two weeks.
With Peterson presumably breaking off big chunks of yardage, Detroit's pass rush, tied for seventh in the NFL with 39 sacks, won't be as big of a factor, allowing Webb to beat one of the worst secondaries in the league.
DETROIT OFFENSE: If the Vikings bring the same intensity they had at Philadelphia, the Lions will have trouble scoring. But given the short work week, that's a slim possibility.
Still, Detroit won't exactly light up the scoreboard or anything - especially if Calvin Johnson doesn't play. Megatron probably won't practice this week. Jim Schwartz said Johnson could still play despite no practice time, but he might be out or limited.
If Megatron is absent or hurt, the Lions won't have much success moving the chains; Minnesota's seventh-ranked run defense (YPC) will bottle up Maurice Morris and Jahvid Best, forcing Shaun Hill into obvious passing downs without his top receiver.
RECAP: I'd like the Vikings for a couple of units in this game, but they're doing too much traveling in such a short period. This is essentially their fourth road game in a row, and they just played on a Tuesday night.
I'd still take Minnesota if I had to, as teams that win two consecutive road games as underdogs usually play horribly at home.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No emotional edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: Vikings.
Two-thirds action on the Lions.
Percentage of money on Detroit: 66% (84,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Vikings.
History: Vikings have won 21 of the last 22 meetings.
Vikings are 4-24 ATS in their road finale since 1980.
Lions are 3-7 ATS as favorites since 2006.
Lions are 4-15 ATS against losing teams the previous 19 instances.
Oakland Raiders (7-8) at Kansas City Chiefs (10-5) Line: Chiefs by 3.5. Total: 43.5. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 16): Chiefs -5 (starters) or Pick (2nd string).
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 16): Chiefs -1.
Sunday, Jan. 2, 1:00 ET
The Game. Edge: Unknown.
Sorry, Chiefs fans. I was hoping the Chargers would make the playoffs. Nothing against you; I just want to be able to laugh at Nate Kaeding's ineptness again.
Last year, Kaeding's Wikipedia page was the subject of much amusement. Upon missing his third field goal and being responsible for San Diego's loss to the Jets, Kaeding had his Wikipedia page vandalized by hundreds of people. The communist Wikipedia moderators managed to delete them, but I was able to salvage some of the funnier changes.
Here are my top eight Kaeding comments:
8. Fans have given him the nicknames of "Big c*** choking Nate" and "Mr. choke"
7. Nate Kaeding doesn't have a personal life...he's just a pedophile.
6. Nate Kaeding is a total f***ing f****t b***h and I hope he dies in his sleep tonight.
5. The Chokerville, Iowa native and his wife, Samantha, have two sons, Choke (born on May 7th, 2008) and Gag (born on August 17th, 2009).
4. Nate Kaeding has been labled the biggest Pedophile, choke artist, catamite, p***s licking p***y in the history of football.
3. Kaeding has also been known to wear womens lingerie before important games to help him focus on missing critical chip shots. Nate Kaeding is also Norv Turner's lifemate.
2. Kaeding went up against Cincinnati Bengals kicker, Shayne Graham, in a contest to see who can miss the most field goals in increasingly shorter distances. After they both missed even pushing the ball through the goalpost whilst standing on an elevated platform right in front of the very center of the post, the universe subsequently imploded.
1. Nate and his wife, Samantha, have two sons, Jack (born on May 7th, 2008) and Wyatt (born on August 17th, 2009). After seeing that their father's life was crumbling like buildings in Haiti, they filed for emancipation.
I bring this up because someone passed along a hilarious Wikipedia change to Ohio State receiver Dane Sanzenbacher's page. Take a look at Sanzenbacher's beautiful mugshot. If you've never seen Sanzenbacher on TV before, that's exactly what he looks like.
KANSAS CITY OFFENSE: I felt the need to praise Matt Cassel in my Week 16 NFL Recaps because I've been bashing him the past two years. Completely healthy against the Titans, Cassel was flawless. He and Dwayne Bowe have a great connection, though it'll be interrupted this week because of Nnamdi Asomugha.
But that's not a problem; the Chiefs can just run the ball with Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones against an Oakland defense that couldn't stop Indianapolis' rushing attack.
However, this is all moot if Kansas City rests its starters. Todd Haley said Cassel, Charles and company will play, but to what extent? Coaches have lied about this before, so don't read anything into what Haley told the media.
OAKLAND OFFENSE: I don't know why the Raiders shied away from the running game against the Colts. That just didn't make any sense to me. But if the Raiders decide to pound the ball with Darren McFadden and Michael Bush, they'll find some success; six of Kansas City's previous eight opponents have rushed for four yards per carry or better.
The Raiders will need to establish McFadden and Bush to keep Jason Campbell out of third-and-long situations. The Chiefs have generated 12 sacks the past four weeks, and it's not like Campbell has the best front line in the world.
I'll mention this again though - Kansas City could rest some of its top defenders. If so, Oakland will obviously have a much easier time moving the chains.
RECAP: The only person who could gamble on this game is Todd Haley, because only he knows how much his starters will play. Unfortunately, this contest is otherwise unbettable.
The Psychology. Edge: Raiders.
The Chiefs have nothing to play for.
The Vegas. Edge: Raiders.
People are betting on Brodie Croyle. Hmm...
Percentage of money on Kansas City: 78% (99,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: None.
History: Road Team has won 7 of the last 8 meetings.
Raiders are 1-6 ATS in Week 17 since 2003.
Chiefs are 11-19 ATS at home since 2007 (5-2 in 2010).
Miami Dolphins (7-8) at New England Patriots (13-2) Line: Patriots by 5.5. Total: 44. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 16): Patriots -6 (2nd string).
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 16): Patriots -6.
Sunday, Jan. 2, 1:00 ET
The Game. Edge: Patriots.
Some random NFL notes I can't put anywhere else:
1. I've said my fair share of stupid things on this Web site. But I look at it this way: Someone who isn't wrong about anything is someone who doesn't say anything.
But sometimes you should say nothing, and that's case with this article that the Detroit Free Press published. I want to thank e-mailers Alex H. and Jeff G. for sending this abomination over. Some person named Robert MacDonald arguled that the Lions should trade Matthew Stafford and keep Drew Stanton.
Keep Stanton and trade Stafford? That's like keeping Nancy Pelosi as your girlfriend and allowing your friend to date Katy Perry.
If you're unfamiliar with Stanton, he's a third-string quarterback for the Lions who has an ugly habit of dropping back 15 yards in the pocket on almost every snap. I criticized Stanton for this earlier, but received the following response from Angelo C:
What an awful job on evaluating Drew Stanton. He looked at [injured quarterbacks] Matt Stafford and Shaun Hill and said, "F*** you Jeff Backus!" and got the hell away from every sack possible. It was absolutely flawless.
2. It was cool to see Rams safety O.J. Atogwe intercept the 49ers on Sunday. Why? Because Atogwe is engaged to Mike Singletary's daughter.
Rest assured that Singletary will take off his pants and moon Atogwe at the next family dinner.
NEW ENGLAND OFFENSE: I hate Week 17 because we don't know if certain teams will rest their starters or not. The Patriots are not one of those teams. Bill Belichick plays his guys no matter what.
Tom Brady is on fire right now. He hasn't turned the ball over since Week 6, when he fired an intercepted Hail Mary into the end zone. He has so many perfectly tailored weapons at his disposal that no defense can really contain New England's scoring attack.
The Dolphins have a very good stop unit ranked third against the run (YPC) and 14th versus the pass (YPA). However, Brady torched the Jets and Bears recently. I don't think Miami stands a chance.
MIAMI OFFENSE: Don't worry, Dolphins fans. The nightmare is almost over. This will be Chad Henne's final game as your starting quarterback.
Henne really is an abomination. He doesn't have a running game or anything, but his turnover rate is still inexcusable., Henne is physically gifted, but just gives the ball up way too much.
As a perfect example, Henne went 28-of-38 for 305 yards and two touchdowns against the Patriots in a Week 4 matchup. However, he also tossed three picks, which killed Miami's chances.
RECAP: This line is low because Vegas thinks the public will assume that Belichick will rest all of his starters. But that's just not the Patriot way. There are no situational angles to support this pick, but I like New England.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
The Patriots have nothing to play for, but they usually get up for these Week 17 games.
The Vegas. Edge: Dolphins.
No one's buying that Bill Belichick will rest his starters.
Percentage of money on New England: 84% (85,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Patriots.
History: Patriots have won 5 of the last 7 meetings.
Dolphins are 12-6 ATS vs. AFC East since 2008.
Tony Sparano is 17-6 ATS on the road.
Patriots are 32-19 ATS vs. AFC East opponents since 2001.
Patriots are 19-11 ATS in December home games since 2000.
Cincinnati Bengals (4-11) at Baltimore Ravens (11-4) Line: Ravens by 10. Total: 43. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 16): Ravens -11.5 (starters) or Ravens -3 (2nd string).
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 16): Ravens -9.5.
Sunday, Jan. 2, 1:00 ET
The Game. Edge: Bengals.
Some random college football notes:
1. I usually find ESPN's Mark May rude, annoying and condescending, but I loved what he had to say about the Ohio State suspensions. If you missed it, May called out the NCAA for not suspending Terrelle Pryor and the other four Buckeyes for the General Mills Sugar Bowl. May said that if it were Ryan Mallett or anyone else from an SEC school, they would have been suspended for this meaningless winter practice game.
I don't get why they were suspended at all. They were given gifts. It was their property. They had every right to resell that crap. Now, the Buckeyes had every right to be angry; Ohio State, like most major programs pays its players after all, so it's not like Pryor and company needed the money. But this is not suspension-worthy in the slightest, especially considering that Cam Newton didn't receive any sort of punishment for signing a 1-year, $180,000 contract with Auburn.
Pheltzbahr: Reform is so needed and overdue for the NCAA, little of what they do makes sense. I hope Mark Cuban expands his target and takes the whole ****ing thing down, its a worthless drain on society.
Midguy: NCAA is a ****ing joke. Why are they suspended next year but not for bowl? According to the ESPN article it is because they did not have proper education of the rules at the time of the violation. If that's the logic you use, then how can you justify suspending them at all? That makes no goddamn sense.
Am I missing something here or are they just circling around the rules so that they don't F up one of the few bowl games that people actually give a damn about watching; the same way they let Cam get away with all his dirt.
This **** is a joke. I'm so close to being completely done with college football.
Classic Silver and Black: Why would anyone defend the NCAA? Such a crooked institution, as worth as the worst nazi/soviet bureaucracies, should have no place in the nation that is the lighthouse of capitalism and market economy.
Some good lawyer should help these guy to take the NCAA management in front of the supreme court for blatant violation of the antitrust laws. If a guy in 18-21 age range wants to play football, he has no place except the NCAA, there's alternative to it. This must stop because it's a clear violation of any antitrust principle.
Tbod10: What I love about this is that the NCAA is basically making up rules on the fly. It's utterly ridiculous. What a bunch of crooks.
I'd also argue that there's very few college athletes in the BIG MONEY sports that are actually there to get an education. Most of them, especially the ones on scholarship, are there for the joy ride before facing reality.
Joey Potter: The NCAA are nothing more than Commi Slave Runners.
Diggety: This is just annoying. The NCAA should just keep their greasy mitts out of it, the **** is theirs to sell. It's getting ridiculous. First they deprive us fans of seeing that sick UNC defense on the field all at the same time, then Dez Bryant, and now this retarded crap. I like how letting the players play in the bowl game undermines any moral position they think they have.
If I were an NCAA employee with the job of stalking player's facebook profiles, I would off myself. That's as bad as the little bastards who are tasked with trying to buy alcohol or cigarettes underage.
3. Here's an example of how out of touch I am with college football and their stupid bowls right now. E-mailer Brett S. wrote to me last week:
Utah might win that game tonight. 17 is WAY too many.
I had no idea Utah was playing a college football game that night. I thought he was referring to the Utah Jazz. After about 20 minutes, I figured out what he was talking about. Here was my response:
I have to tell you, I am so out of tune with college football, it's ridiculous. When you said "Utah" and "17" I nearly sent you an e-mail saying, "The Jazz are playing the Timberwolves tonight and they're 6-point favorites." I had no clue Utah was playing in a bowl game today. That's how little I care about these silly exhibition games.
And speaking of the bowl system, I have a special treat for you. E-mailer Chris R. sent me actual footage from a BCS meeting two years ago. Take a look at how dumb these BCS people are.
CINCINNATI OFFENSE: I don't think anyone saw this coming. Everyone assumed Carson Palmer was done. Hell, I didn't think the Bengals would put forth any effort against the Chargers in a lost season.
Palmer looked like a new man on Sunday. Despite throwing to unknowns like Jerome Simpson and no-talents like Reche Caldwell, Palmer was spectacular. He also looked like he was having fun for the first time all year.
The Ravens are actually first against the pass (YPA), but Palmer didn't seem to have any problems against San Diego's fourth-ranked aerial defense.
BALTIMORE OFFENSE: In a Week 2 matchup between these teams, the Bengals dominated Joe Flacco. Flacco went 17-of-39 for 154 yards, one touchdown and four picks. Cincinnati was able to rattle him with tons of pressure.
I expect more of the same. Carlos Dunlap has emerged as a great pass-rushing presence. And with both Leon Hall and Johnathan Joseph in the defensive backfield again, there won't be any clear throwing options for Flacco.
Establishing Ray Rice won't be so easy either. The Bengals are 23rd against the run (YPC), but they've restricted their previous three opponents to 4.1 YPC or worse.
RECAP: This is just a bad matchup for the Ravens. The Bengals, who have unceremoniously caught fire, have Baltimore's number. I really hate that I don't have any situational angles to back this up because I like Cincinnati to cover this obscenely large spread.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No emotional edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: None.
Percentage of money on Baltimore: 59% (90,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Ravens.
History: Bengals have won 6 of the last 8 meetings.
Bengals are 11-6 ATS as underdogs since 2009.
Ravens are 11-4 ATS vs. teams with losing records under John Harbaugh.
Ravens are 6-2 ATS as double-digit favorites under John Harbaugh.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-6) at New Orleans Saints (11-4) Line: Saints by 7.5. Total: 46.5. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 16): Saints -7.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 16): Saints -7.5.
Sunday, Jan. 2, 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.
Three weeks ago, I showed you an e-mail I received from a "United Bank of Afriocan." I replied to it, telling them my name was "Mister Compassion Chuck Norris" and that I was raised by wolves until I was 18. I even said, "'Ruuufff ruf ruuuffff rooooff ruuuff awwooooo' means 'I can't wait to receive my inheritance from the United Bank of Afriocan!'"
And if that wasn't enough, when they asked me for my address, I gave them: "123 Wolf Cave Road; Wolf Village, Alaska."
Now, who would be stupid enough to fall for that? Apparently, the United Bank of Afriocan because they actually sent me back an e-mail asking me to scan my driver's license. This is what I sent them:
Despite this, someone named Junior Diplomat John Wire sent me an e-mail asking me to give him some sort of fee so he could send my ATM card over. I then replied giving him a specific design I wanted for the ATM card:
Unfortunately, Junior Diplomat John Wire never e-mailed me back. I figured it wouldn't hurt to send him some sort of threatening e-mail, right?
Junior Diplomat John Wire,
Tis, I, Mister Compassion Chuck Norris yet again.
I still have not received my ATM card. Consequently, I have become the laughing stock of Wolf Village after bragging about receiving an ATM card from the United Bank of Afriocan.
No one will talk to me. My wolf wife won't have sex with me. My wolf son is getting picked on at school. And no restaurants in Wolf Village will serve us. Have you ever gone five days without eating a BBQ Deer Sandwich, Junior Diplomat John Wire? Have you!? I think not, or you would have sent me my ATM card from the United Bank of Afriocan already!
I have assembled a wolf army to hunt you down, Junior Diplomat John Wire. We shall venture into the United Bank of Afriocan, storm into your office and force you to watch the entire first season of the Big Bang Theory. You will be begging for mercy in no time.
My wolf army is comprised of four men: myself, Jack Bauer, Carl Winslow and Matt Millen. Jack is capable of killing any man whilst saving his stupid, yet hot daughter from ridiculous situations. Carl can devour 50 doughnuts in one minute, so he certainly can eat everything in your office. And I don't know how Millen made it into our group; much like Millen did with the Detroit Lions, NFL Network and ESPN, he has wormed his way into a job and we are not sure how to get rid of him.
I have enclosed a picture of a fax (excuse my handwriting, please) I am sending to you right now. It's a simple courtesy to ensure you that I am serious about destroying you. If I do not receive my ATM Card from the United Bank of Afriocan in seven days, you are finished. I want my BBQ Deer Sandwiches back!
Mister Compassion Chuck Norris
NEW ORLEANS OFFENSE: Look, I had the Buccaneers for three units last week, and I'll admit that Tampa was lucky that Matt Hasselbeck hurt his back/hip on the second drive of the game. Hasselbeck took Seattle right down the field, but injured himself while running into the end zone.
The point is that Tampa Bay's defense is in shambles. Gerald McCoy, Aqib Talib and a couple of other key contributors are missing. If an anemic Hasselbeck can march down the field on the Buccaneers, imagine what Drew Brees and the Saints will be able to accomplish.
Actually, we don't even need to imagine; in an Oct. 17 meeting, the Saints scored 31 points and compiled 475 yards of offense at Tampa - and this was with McCoy and Talib still in the lineup.
TAMPA BAY OFFENSE: The question then becomes, can the Buccaneers keep up with New Orleans and win by outscoring them in a shootout? Back on Oct. 17, I would have said no. Now, it's certainly a possibility.
Josh Freeman is growing before our very eyes. He had the best game of his career last week, going 21-of-26 for 237 yards and five touchdowns. Granted, the Saints are much better against the pass (7th) than Seattle (25th), but Freeman has the weapons to keep drives alive and move the chains.
Speaking of weapons, one option Freeman didn't have in that Oct. 17 blowout loss was LeGarrette Blount. Back then, Cadillac Williams was the starter, and Blount didn't receive a single carry against New Orleans. Blount should have a solid day against a Saints defense that is two weeks removed from surrendering 206 rushing yards to the Ravens.
RECAP: Teams that need to win usually choke - I'll get to this later - but since the Buccaneers are a big underdog, that doesn't apply to them.
Tampa hasn't lost a game by more than seven points in more than two months. I don't know why this would suddenly change.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
A meaningful game for both teams. If the Falcons are up big, however, the Saints could pull their starters.
The Vegas. Edge: None.
Percentage of money on Tampa Bay: 52% (86,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Buccaneers.
History: Saints have won 2 of the last 3 meetings.
Saints are 31-47 ATS at home since 2001 (14-11 since 2008).
Saints are 23-36 ATS as a home favorite since 2001.
Saints are 10-22 ATS in December home games since 2000.
Buffalo Bills (4-11) at New York Jets (10-5) Line: Jets by 2.5. Total: 38. Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 16): Jets -10 (starters) or Jets -1.5 (2nd string).
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 16): Jets -3.
Sunday, Jan. 2, 1:00 ET
The Game. Edge: Unknown.
The Video of the Week: This is one of the funniest videos I've ever seen in my life. I seriously watched this five times in a row and laughed hysterically each time. Stu W. sent this over of the best 110m hurdle display ever.
NEW YORK OFFENSE: Here's another game where we won't know if a team will play its starters. The Jets are pretty much locked into the No. 6 spot. They can get the No. 5 seed with a win, a Ravens win and a Steelers loss to Cleveland, but I doubt they care too much about that.
Rex Ryan told the media Sunday night that Mark Sanchez would rest. However, he apparently changed his mind since because Ryan said Sanchez will play. As I wrote earlier, coaches lie about this stuff, so it's impossible to know what they'll do without some sort of past indication. Unfortunately, this is the first time Ryan is in position to rest players as a head coach.
If the Jets use Sanchez and company, they should be able to run all over Buffalo's 29th-ranked rush defense (YPC), setting up an improving Sanchez with manageable situations.
BUFFALO OFFENSE: What happened to the Jets defense? I know they can't rush the passer without blitzing, but how do you allow 38 points to Jay Cutler in snowy and windy conditions? That's just inexcusable.
The Jets have surrendered at least 92 rushing yards to their previous four opponents, so I like Fred Jackson's chances regardless of whether or not Darrelle Revis and company play. This will make life much easier for Ryan Fitzpatrick, who won't have to deal with Ryan's crazy blitz schemes too often. Of course, all of this won't matter if God keeps smiting Stevie Johnson with dropped passes.
RECAP: The Jets ideally would like to play the Chiefs. Kansas City is currently the No. 3 seed, so New York probably would like to lose this game on purpose to remain the No. 6 seed, right?
Well, not really. If Kansas City loses to Oakland - a definitely possibility if Todd Haley rests his starters - and Indianapolis takes care of business against the Titans, the Colts would become the No. 3 seed, which would really screw over the Jets.
With that in mind, you can't possibly bet this game unless you're able to read Rex Ryan's mind. And even if that were possible, all you'd probably hear is, "I JUST WANT A GOD DAMN SNACK NOM NOM NOM NOM OOOOHH LOOK AT THAT WOMAN'S FOOT WOWWA WEEWA."
The Psychology. Edge: Bills.
The Jets have nothing to play for.
The Vegas. Edge: Bills.
No one wants any part of Brian "Set Up Us The" Brohm.
Percentage of money on New York: 83% (15,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: .
History: Jets have won 4 of the last 5 meetings.
Bills are 13-5 ATS after playing the New England Patriots since 1999.
Week 17 NFL Picks - Late Games Cardinals at 49ers, Chargers at Broncos, Jaguars at Texans, Titans at Colts, Giants at Redskins, Bears at Packers, Cowboys at Eagles, Rams at Seahawks
Prop/Teaser/Parlay Picks A list of some of my favorite team/player prop picks this week (Offense & defensive ROY picks to be counted
whenver winners are announced.) Picks carried over on a week-to-week basis will be in black.
Note: For legality purposes, this Web site does not promote or advocate gambling. This is solely for entertainment purposes only.
Last Week's NFL Picks Against The Spread (Week 11, 2015): 5-6-3 (-$2,010)
Last Week's 2-3 Unit NFL Picks (Week 11, 2015): 0-1 (-$330)
Last Week's 4-5 Unit NFL Picks (Week 11, 2015): 0-1 (-$550)
Last Week Over-Under (Week 11, 2015): 9-5 ($0)
Last Week's Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks (Week 11, 2015): $0
2015 NFL Picks of the Month: 0-3, 0% (-$2,200)
2015 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 78-90-9, 46.4% (-$5,920) 2015 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 27-26-1, 51.0% (-$685) 2015 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 10-14, 41.7% (-$3,040) 2015 Season Over-Under: 80-76-4, 51.3% ($0) 2015 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$595
1999 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 27-41-3 (39.7%) 2000 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 128-123-8 (51.0%) 2001 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 127-122-7 (51.0%) 2002 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 123-136-7 (47.5%) 2003 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 146-126-8 (53.7%) 2004 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 157-123-8 (56.1%) 2005 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 156-126-11 (55.3%) 2006 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 151-135-9 (52.8%) 2007 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 162-135-10, 54.5% (+$2,550) 2008 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 148-140-7, 51.4% (+$2,620) 2009 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 151-124-9, 54.9% (+$3,370) 2010 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 144-131-8, 52.4% (+$6,080) 2011 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 137-133-12, 50.7% (-$1,925) 2012 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 130-145-8, 47.3% (-$5,760) 2013 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 144-131-8, 52.4% (+$5,580) 2014 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 143-133-7, 51.8% (-$1,885)
2002 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 41-49-2 (45.6%) 2003 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 52-51-2 (50.5%) 2004 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 65-44-3 (59.6%) 2005 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 77-61-1 (55.8%) 2006 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 65-61-4 (51.6%) 2007 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 83-59-5, 58.5% (+$4,110) 2008 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 44-57-3, 43.6% (-$3,510) 2009 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 49-35-3, 58.3% (+$2,260) 2010 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 51-38-4, 57.3% (+$3,180) 2011 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 44-51-3, 46.3% (-$2,715) 2012 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 45-50-2, 47.4% (-$2,130) 2013 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 38-42, 47.5% (-$2,890)
2002 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 11-12 (47.8%) 2003 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 16-13-1 (55.2%) 2004 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 18-11 (62.1%) 2005 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 25-22-1 (53.2%) 2006 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 21-29-1 (42.0%) 2007 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 35-30-2, 53.8% (+$420) 2008 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 39-26-2, 60.0% (+$4,055) 2009 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 29-26, 52.7% (+$330) 2010 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 32-22, 59.3% (+$4,790) 2011 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 14-14, 50.0% (-$1,260) 2012 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 14-21, 40.0% (-$3,650) 2013 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 17-9-3, 65.4% (+$2,970)
2001 Season Over-Under: 3-2 (60.0%) 2002 Season Over-Under: 121-91-3 (57.1%) 2003 Season Over-Under: 126-132-2 (48.8%) 2004 Season Over-Under: 139-124-4 (52.9%) 2005 Season Over-Under: 117-145-4 (44.7%) 2006 Season Over-Under: 129-132-5 (49.4%) 2007 Season Over-Under: 136-145-3, 48.4% (-$1,900) 2008 Season Over-Under: 137-125-6, 52.3% (+$860) 2009 Season Over-Under: 128-135-4, 48.7% (-$3,195) 2010 Season Over-Under: 128-135-5, 48.7% (-$5) 2011 Season Over-Under: 131-131-5, 50.0% (+$135) 2012 Season Over-Under: 125-121-5, 50.8% (+$30) 2013 Season Over-Under: 132-130-5, 50.4% (-$340)
2007 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,035 2008 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,775 2009 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$865 2010 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$200 2011 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$590 2012 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$1,685 2013 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$2,245
2006 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3 (50%) 2007 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3, 50.0% (-$400) 2008 NFL Picks of the Month: 6-1, 85.7% (+$3,720) 2009 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$640) 2010 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-4, 33.3% (-$1,810) 2011 NFL Picks of the Month: 5-2, 71.4% (+$1,870) 2012 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$560) 2013 NFL Picks of the Month: 6-0, 100% (+$3,900) 2014 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-4, 33.3% (-$1,350)
Career NFL Picks Against The Spread: 2,235-2,068-126, 51.9% (+$4,600) Career 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 721-650-34 (52.5%) Career 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 298-265-11 (52.9%) Career Over-Under: 1,760-1,722-50 (50.6%) Career Second-Half NFL Picks: 22-15-1 (61.1%) Career NFL Picks of the Month: 30-22 (57.7%)
My Team-by-Team ATS Record This section shows how well I do when picking each team this year. The purpose is to see how well I read each team. Pushes are not
displayed. Winning/losing streak in parentheses.