Baltimore Ravens (12-4) at Kansas City Chiefs (10-6) Line: Ravens by 3. Total: 40.5. Walt's Projected Line: Ravens -1.5.
Sunday, 1:00 ET
The Game. Edge: Ravens.
1. If you're still alive, get your pick in for the WalterFootball.com 2010 NFL Survivor Pool. There are SIX entries remaining out of 1,972. Please note that NEW ORLEANS WILL NOT BE AN OPTION THIS WEEK. If the Saints were available, everyone would pick them, which is why we've disabled that choice.
2. 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. Our 2011 NFL Draft Contest will be available soon.
3. Jerks of the Week for Jan. 3, 2011 are up, so just click the link. This week's jerks are: 1) Hate Mailers. 2) Astoria. 3) Us at Astoria.
4. In this week's edition of Emmitt on the Brink, the NFL cancels the Patriots-Jets season finale because of poor weather.
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 (the first from Ibad J., the second from Jay B.):
1. "WE GO HARD RYTE THOSE SKINS PUT IN ON THOSE BEARS HALL INCEPTIONS WITH TOUCHDOWN.MY TEAM4-3 YEA BABY WE HOTT RYTE NOW HAYNESWORTH JUMPING OVER CENTERS FLECTHER 2 MAKING DA QUARTERBACK LOSING THE BALL WE WERE PLAYING BACKYARD FO...OTBALL TUDAY"
You said Inception, right? So this comment is just a dream? I hope so, because I don't want to live in a world where people actually talk like this.
2. "the pack is a who diff level of D and when they lose a game buy luky they come back huger"
I'd try to decipher what this means, but I don't feel like suffering a seizure today.
3. "er rams with 7 wins. Thats who is ahead in the Division Riley."
I've heard of the NFC/AFC West, East, North and South. I'm not sure there's an NFC/AFC Riley.
KANSAS CITY OFFENSE: Everyone is saying how the Seahawks don't belong in the playoffs. Well, the Chiefs don't belong here either. They've feasted on horrible teams all year, and were finally exposed by the Raiders in Week 17.
Kansas City has constantly been ahead of crappy teams, so their offensive line hasn't really been tested against a quality pass rush. Matt Cassel was sacked a whopping seven times Sunday, as anemic left tackle Branden Albert looked completely lost. On many of his hits, Cassel seemed like he could barely get up. Remember, he just had an appendectomy.
The offensive line has also taken advantage of poor defenses in the running game. Twelve of Kansas City's 16 contests have been against teams ranked 16th or worse against the run (in terms of YPC). Baltimore is sixth in that department, limiting its previous three opponents to 3.2 YPC or worse.
Without a solid rushing attack, Cassel will have to move the chains on his own. With the Ravens blitzing from all sides and a Florida-bound Charlie Weis checked out, the Chiefs won't score much in this contest.
BALTIMORE OFFENSE: While Jamaal Charles will struggle to find running room, Ray Rice will have plenty of it. The Chiefs are 20th against the run (YPC), and since Week 9, all but three opponents have gained at least 100 rushing yards against them.
This bodes well for the Ravens, but will Cam Cameron remember to feed Rice the football? Cameron is not a very good offensive coordinator, and sometimes forgets that giving the ball to your best player is a sound strategy.
Joe Flacco will need Rice picking up chunks of yardage because like Kansas City's offensive line, Baltimore's front isn't very good. In the nine games since their bye, the Ravens have surrendered 29 sacks, including four last week to the lowly Bengals.
Tamba Hali is having a monstrous campaign - he was really robbed of a Pro Bowl spot - and will be breathing down Flacco's neck unless the Ravens can keep themselves out of third-and-long.
RECAP: If you like the Ravens, you're not getting good value. A week ago, this line would have been Chiefs -1.5 or something like that. I've been calling Kansas City a fraud all season - they haven't beaten a single team currently in the playoffs if you exclude Seattle - but Oakland exposed them a week too early.
I still really like the Ravens though; I don't think they'll lose, so at the very worst, this probably will be at least a push. Baltimore is battle-tested and thrives on playing on the road in the postseason. In the past two years, the Ravens have won at Tennessee, Miami and New England. They won't have any issues at Arrowhead against a Chiefs squad that is vastly inferior to those aforementioned Titans, Dolphins and Patriots teams.
One more thing to consider: I looked back over the past eight years to see how teams coming off a loss of 17-plus points in Week 17 (without resting their starters) have fared in their first playoff game. My hypothesis was that these squads would have a low cover rate; if they weren't performing well going into the postseason, they probably wouldn't play well in the postseason, right?
I was dead on. Teams coming off a loss of 17-plus points in Week 17 (without resting their starters) are 0-5 against the spread in their first playoff game since 2002. One of those squads was the 2009 Eagles. Like this year's Chiefs, those Eagles made it to the postseason without beating a single team in the playoffs. Hmm...
LOCKED IN: This line may break -3 as the week goes on. Get this bet in as soon as possible if you like Baltimore.
The Psychology. Edge: Ravens.
The Chiefs really have to be doubting themselves after that Oakland loss.
The Vegas. Edge: Chiefs.
The public is betting the house on the Ravens.
Percentage of money on Baltimore: 84% (191,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: .
Chiefs are 11-20 ATS at home since 2007 (5-3 in 2010).
Green Bay Packers (10-6) at Philadelphia Eagles (10-6) Line: Ealges by 2.5. Total: 46.5. Walt's Projected Line: Eagles -3.
Sunday, 4:30 ET
The Game. Edge: Packers.
Throughout the season, I've been having mock TV broadcasts of Bob Papa, Joe Theismann and Matt Millen, and Kevin Reilly, Emmitt, Herm Edwards and Bob Griese. It's the playoffs now, so it's time to do something special. So, why not combine these two teams to make one ultra, mega TV broadcast of epic fail?
Kevin Reilly: Welcome to Philadelphia, the greatest city in the entire universe! Tonight, my Philadelphia Eagles will rape and destroy the stupid Packers. Guys, the only way the Packers can win is if every single player on the Eagles gets hurt. Agree or disagree, Emmitt?
Emmitt: Karl, I...
Joe Theismann: Hey, Matt, how many cheesesteaks have you eaten today? Fifty? One hundred?
Reilly: What are you guys doing here? You're interrupting my awesome broadcast!
Bob Papa: We're broadcasting this game too! Tonight, the Philadelphia Phillies battle the Milwaukee Brewers!
Reilly: Idiots! My Eagles are playing! And they're going to win, right Emmitt?
Emmitt: Kasey, I agree with your predicament, but you should be more hospitalize to the gentleman who joint us in the booth for this game. Maybe Joe Papa, Matt Miller and uhh... Timesman have somethin' smart to say.
Reilly: You're right, Emmitt. You, the a**hole with the mustache, how much will the Eagles win by today?
Matt Millen: I think one of these teams will win today. And here's what I mean by win. OK, there's a team and they score a certain amount of points, and you have another team that scores a certain amount of points. The team that scores more points than the other team will probably win this game tonight.
Herm: That's not analysis! You did not analyze! No analysis present! I don't see any analysis! Can't find any analysis! Can't locate any analysis! No analysis to be found! No analysis here! No analysis there! No analysis anywhere!
Reilly: Herm, I know I've threatened your life a couple of times over these past few years, but I want to kiss you right now. This guy with a mustache is an idiot!
Griese: Aaron Rodgers is a good player because he... uhh...
Reilly: Go back to your coma, Griese. Aaron Rodgers doesn't stand a chance against my Eagles!
Millen: Aaron Rodgers is a young stallion. And here's what I mean by young stallion. Aaron Rodgers is young, and he's all 100-percent USDA Man. I had a wet dream last night that I had my kielbasa in his buns while I was eating some kielbasa. So I had some kielbasa down there, and I had some kielbasa up here.
Emmitt: I'm beginnin' to think that there is somethin' wrong with these gentlefolk.
Theismann: The only thing wrong with Millen is that he's a fat a**hole.
Herm: That's OK! That's fine! Nothin' wrong with being fat! Nothin' wrong with being large! Nothin' wrong with being big! Beauty is on the outside! I mean beauty is on the inside! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder! The beholder has an eye! He can see all! And he sees ugly! I mean he sees beauty!
Reilly: Herm, did you just say that Millen guy is beautiful? I knew you were gay all along! We'll be back after a word from our local sponsors!
PHILADELPHIA OFFENSE: It's amazing that the Eagles sat their starters to avoid injury last week, yet they still saw one of their players get hurt. Guard Max Jean-Gilles injured his ankle, and while he might be able to play this Sunday, he probably won't be 100 percent if he does.
This is horrible news for the Eagles. Their offensive line is in shambles. They've surrendered the third-most sacks in the NFL (49), including 29 in the past nine weeks. Making matters worse, QB Dog Killer could be pulled because according to Andy Reid, he can't recognize the blitz.
I don't think Big Red will make the switch, but the Vikings game was pretty ugly. QB Dog Killer really failed against Minnesota's blitzing scheme, and Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers will definitely take note. Capers is one of the founders of the Blitzburgh defense, and will find ways to confuse Philadelphia's quarterback.
The Packers don't really have a glaring weakness on defense, but they aren't especially good against the run. Fortunately for them, Andy Reid often forgets that he has a special player in the backfield - whether that's Duce Staley, Brian Westbrook or LeSean McCoy. As all Eagles fans know, Reid won't run the ball nearly enough.
GREEN BAY OFFENSE: Both the Eagles' offensive line and defense are in shambles. Free safety Nate Allen is out, while starting corner Dimitri Patterson was humiliated by Mario Manningham a few weeks ago. The linebacking corps is also a mess, which would explain why Philadelphia hasn't been able to defend tight ends all year.
Aaron Rodgers torched the Giants two weeks ago, and I think he'll do the same thing to the Eagles, who couldn't even stop Joe Webb.
But how can the Packers possibly succeed with their one-dimensional offense? That's what some people are asking, but Green Bay runs the ball well enough to get by, even if you exclude the chunks of yardage that Rodgers picks up during his scrambles. In Week 15, the Packers rushed for 131 yards against New England's 14th-ranked ground defense.
I'd like to see them use James Starks more often; he looked good in his limited action during the season finale. The talented rookie runner could be an added boost to launch Green Bay into the Super Bowl.
RECAP: Green Bay is my favorite play this week. Here are some reasons why:
1. The Packers are the better team, while the Eagles are falling apart. The only reason Philadelphia is favored is because people want to bet on QB Dog Killer. But aside from an unbelievable eight minutes against the capsizing Giants, he hasn't been very good in the past month.
2. You always have to bet on a Super Six quarterback (Rodgers, Brady, Manning, Roethlisberger, Brees, Rivers) as an underdog. Collectively, these awesome signal-callers are 90-43 against the spread when getting points.
3. This Green Bay-Philadelphia battle is a rematch of Week 1. You know I had to research how the winners of non-divisional, same-site rematches fared in the playoffs. Well, since 2002, the victors are 16-8 straight up; 3-1 if we're talking about a road winner.
4. Teams that have won one or two consecutive games entering the playoffs are 6-3 against the spread in their first postseason game as road underdogs since 2002. This is definitely a small sample size, but a complementary trend nonetheless that makes some sort of sense. If a team's playing well, they're probably going to cover as an underdog, right?
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No emotional edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: None.
Percentage of money on Green Bay: 58% (152,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Packers.
Packers are 26-14 ATS on the road under Mike McCarthy.
Aaron Rodgers is 7-4 ATS as an underdog.
Eagles are 69-47 ATS vs. NFC opponents since 2001.
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 (Preseason 2016): 7-3 (+$1,160)
Last Week's 2-3 Unit NFL Picks (Week 21, 2015): 4-1 (+$780)
Last Week's 4-5 Unit NFL Picks (Week 21, 2015): 0-0 ($0)
Last Week Over-Under (Week 21, 2015): 0-0 ($0)
Last Week's Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks (Week 21, 2015): $0
2016 NFL Picks of the Month: 1-0, 100% (+$400)
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.