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Last Week's NFL Picks Against The Spread (Week 20, 2015): 1-1 (-$115)
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.
Last Week's 2-3 Unit NFL Picks (Week 20, 2015): 1-1 (-$115)
Last Week's 4-5 Unit NFL Picks (Week 20, 2015): 0-0 ($0)
Last Week Over-Under (Week 20, 2015): 2-0 ($0)
Last Week's Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks (Week 20, 2015): $0
2015 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3, 50.0% (-$100)
2015 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 133-138-12, 49.1% (-$2,455)
2015 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 46-44-1, 51.1% (-$1,020)
2015 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 17-16-2, 51.5% (-$1,120)
2015 Season Over-Under: 142-119-5, 54.4% ($0)
2015 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$515
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: 2,290-2,116-129, 52.0% (+$7,950)
Career 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 740-668-34 (52.6%)
Career 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 305-267-13 (53.3%)
Career Over-Under: 1,822-1,765-51 (50.8%)
Career Second-Half NFL Picks: 22-15-1 (61.1%)
Career NFL Picks of the Month: 33-22 (60.0%)
NFL Picks - Feb. 5
Cowboys: 7-8 (2014: 7-11)
Bears: 6-9 (2014: 8-8)
Bucs: 9-7 (2014: 9-7)
49ers: 13-3 (2014: 8-7)
Eagles: 7-9 (2014: 9-7)
Lions: 11-5 (2014: 8-8)
Falcons: 9-7 (2014: 8-8)
Cardinals: 6-12 (2014: 8-9)
Giants: 9-6 (2014: 5-11)
Packers: 7-11 (2014: 13-4)
Panthers: 6-12 (2014: 8-10)
Rams: 8-7 (2014: 8-8)
Redskins: 12-5 (2014: 8-8)
Vikings: 8-9 (2014: 12-4)
Saints: 7-8 (2014: 6-9)
Seahawks: 6-10 (2014: 10-9)
Bills: 7-6 (2014: 7-9)
Bengals: 7-8 (2014: 6-11)
Colts: 6-8 (2014: 8-10)
Broncos: 9-4 (2014: 8-9)
Dolphins: 8-8 (2014: 10-5)
Browns: 7-8 (2014: 9-5)
Jaguars: 2-13 (2014: 10-6)
Chargers: 10-6 (2014: 7-9)
Jets: 9-6 (2014: 8-8)
Ravens: 7-7 (2014: 10-8)
Texans: 4-13 (2014: 8-7)
Chiefs: 9-9 (2014: 9-6)
Patriots: 12-5 (2014: 10-9)
Steelers: 9-6 (2014: 9-8)
Titans: 5-9 (2014: 8-6)
Raiders: 7-9 (2014: 7-9)
Divisional: 45-47 (2011-14: 177-178)
2x Game Edge: 17-16 (2011-14: 69-81)
2x Psych Edge: 29-28 (2011-14: 121-105)
2x Vegas Edge: 41-40 (2011-14: 176-183)
2x Trend Edge: 32-29 (2011-14: 107-99)
Double Edge: 15-15 (2011-14: 43-46)
Triple Edge: 1-2 (2011-14: 2-1)
Quad Edge: 0-0 (2011-14: 0-0)
2017 NFL Mock Draft - Feb. 5
2016 NFL Mock Draft - Feb. 4
2016 NBA Mock Draft - Feb. 2
NFL Free Agents
Fantasy Football Rankings - Jan. 15
If you haven't heard, Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey is out. That should be a big deal, especially with B.J. Raji and Cullen Jenkins on the other side of the line of scrimmage, but Pittsburgh has somehow managed to keep winning despite all of the injuries to its offensive linemen.
The reason, of course, is Ben Roethlisberger. Hardly anyone talks about Big Ben being one of the elite quarterbacks in the NFL because he doesn't put up pretty stats, but his ability to shed sacks and find his receivers downfield despite all of the pressure in his face is remarkable. He also makes all the clutch throws, as Baltimore and New York found out recently.
Pittsburgh ran the ball really well against the Jets, but doing so will be difficult with Pouncey missing. The Packers have surrendered only 166 yards on 46 carries in the playoffs (3.6 YPC), so Mendenhall won't be as effective this Sunday.
Roethlisberger will have to convert all of the third downs, but that's not really a problem for him. He's the master of moving the chains in third-and-long. Just ask the Ravens and Jets.
GREEN BAY OFFENSE:
Aaron Rodgers was on fire in the Atlanta game and the first drive of the NFC Championship, but cooled off a bit in the second half at Chicago.
Were Rodgers' late struggles a result of poor weather conditions or the Bears' defense? I'd say both. With all of the speed the Packers have on both sides of the ball, they're basically a dome team. However, I'd say that the Steelers might be JUST a bit better than the Falcons defensively.
Pittsburgh will place tons of pressure on Rodgers. However, like Roethlisberger, Rodgers thrives at eluding pass-rushers, escaping the pocket and picking up big chunks of yardage.
One advantage Rodgers won't have this time is the threat of a rushing attack. The emerging James Starks ran well at Philadelphia, Atlanta and Chicago, but the Steelers have the top run defense in the NFL. They haven't allowed more than 89 yards on the ground to any team since Week 10.
Now that we've looked at the matchups, here are some other factors you have to consider:
1. The Field. Edge: None.
I discussed the Packers being better in a dome. You can say the same thing about the Steelers. Can you imagine Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders on that fast turf? And what about the Pittsburgh pass-rushers? Neither team has a field advantage in this Super Bowl.
2. The Vegas. Edge: None.
People are pretty torn on this game. As of this writing, there is 54-percent action on the Packers, which is not significant at all.
3. The Experience. Edge: Steelers.
I'll explain in the next two angle write-ups:
4. The Distractions. Edge: Steelers.
Look, do I think the Aaron Rodgers-Nick Barnett feud should be a big deal? No, I don't. But it certainly can't help the Packers. While the more experienced Steelers are practicing and thinking about Green Bay, the Packers are stuck answering questions about Photogate.
This is not a pre-Super Bowl arrest or Tijuana trip, but it still might affect the game just a bit.
5. The Motivation. Edge: Steelers.
This Steelers team has won two Super Bowls, yet they're three-point underdogs to the six-seed Packers. Does anyone else find this odd? Pittsburgh really has to feel disrespected, and the veterans must have a major chip on their shoulder.
6. The Trends. Edge: Steelers.
Ben Roethlisberger is 9-3 against the spread in the playoffs. But Aaron Rodgers is 3-1, so there's no edge. However, Big Ben is a Super Six quarterback (Roethlisberger, Rodgers, Manning, Brady, Rivers, Brees) and betting on them as underdogs has been really lucrative over the years (92-44 against the spread since 2003).
Roethlisberger specifically is 14-7 against the spread as an underdog throughout his career.
7. The Spread History. Edge: Steelers.
I feel as though going with the points is a safe bet because since Tampa Bay's debaclation over Oakland (Jon Gruden was familiar with the Raiders - don't forget that) most of the Super Bowls have been close:
Saints 31, Colts 17 (Peyton Manning pick-six opened this game up)
Steelers 27, Cardinals 23
Giants 17, Patriots 14
Colts 29, Bears 17 (pick-six at the end made this margin 12)
Steelers 21, Seahawks 10 (would have been close if it weren't for the crooked officials)
Patriots 24, Eagles 21 (and some McNabb puke on the side)
Patriots 32, Panthers 29
The Steelers haven't lost by more than 10 points all year if you exclude the New England game. The Packers, meanwhile, have never trailed by more than seven points this season. Pittsburgh beat Green Bay, 37-36 in their 2009 meeting.
By all indications, this is going to be a close battle that will probably be decided by one score. That makes taking the underdog a more lucrative choice.
8. The Coaching. Edge: Steelers.
Mike Tomlin has a Super Bowl ring. I trust him. Mike McCarthy is a hell of a play-caller, but he tends to have clock-management issues at times and tends to let teams hang around. You can't let Roethlisberger hang around.
9. The Talent. Edge: Packers.
So far, I've argued nothing but the Steelers +3. However, this is the toughest Super Bowl I've ever handicapped because while the angles favor Pittsburgh, the Packers are healthier and consequently slightly more talented overall.
I've made big plays in the previous three Super Bowls on the Giants, Cardinals and Saints. However, I'm really torn this time. As I said, this matchup is really difficult to handicap because either of these teams can win. It'll likely come down to the very end, so I'm going to take the underdog.
If you like the Steelers, they're currently available at +3 -120 on sportsbook.com and bodog.com as if this writing. I would wait though to see if that -120 turns into -115 or -110 by the end of the week. However, if you like the Packers, pounce on -2.5 as quickly as you can.
I'm not a big fan of prop betting, but occasionally I'll come across a few things I'll like. For example, I found the best prop of all time two years ago:
Will Matt Millen pick the correct team to win Super Bowl XLIII during the Pre Game Show? Yes -225; No +185.
This was brilliant - if I do say so myself - because if you bet no and he picked the Cardinals, you were basically getting the Steelers money line at +185. And if he picked the Steelers, you were essentially getting a solid wager with Arizona money line. I ended up making $90 on the prop. There's nothing like capitalizing on Millen's incompetence (as long as there are no 100-percent USDA Men involved, of course).
Unfortunately, I don't see any locks like this one. However, I found 12 props I really like:
1. Will the Team that Scores First Win the Game - No +155 (5Dimes.com):
Let's begin by mentioning some of the props that were discussed on Bill Simmons' podcast. I forget who brought it up - it was either Chad Millman or Cousin Sal - but in the previous nine Super Bowls, six teams that scored first ended up losing the game. So getting this prop at +155 is definitely a good bargain.
2. Will There Be a Scoreless Quarter - No -250 (Bodog.com):
I know Millman discussed this stat - in the previous six Super Bowls, there has only been one scoreless quarter. Again, this is a great value bet.
3. Hines Ward Receptions - Under 3.5 -125 (Bodog):
I liked this one before I heard it on the BS Report. Here are Ward's reception totals against top competition this year: 2 (Jets), 3 (Ravens), 2 (Jets), 1 (Ravens), 0 (Patriots), 3 (Saints), 2 (Ravens).
4. Heath Miller Receiving Yards - Over 39.5 -110 (5Dimes):
Here's another Steelers prop mentioned on the BS Report. The Packers have a great defense, but they've been susceptible to tight ends this year.
5. Combined Total Points - 71-75 Points +10000; 76-80 Points +15000 (Sportsbook.com):
Cousin Sal introduced these two props, and Bill Simmons brought up a great point to support them. If they play this game 100 times, the odds that these teams will score between 71 and 80 points is much greater than 100:1. Thus, this is a solid value bet. You probably won't win betting on these items, but it's worth it to put just a little bit down on each because there's a chance you'll strike gold.
6. Will both teams make a field goal of 33 yards or more in the game - No -175 (Bodog):
Millman mentioned this one last year; this has happened in only 10 of the 44 Super Bowls.
7. Green Bay Players with a Rush Attempt - Over 3.5 -265 (5Dimes):
This will be the last prop I reference from the BS Report, so you can be assured that I did some research myself. Millman said a lot of sharps were playing this over. And it makes sense - with James Starks, Brandon Jackson, John Kuhn and Aaron Rodgers bound to run the ball, this is almost a lock to hit. And even if either Jackson or Kuhn doesn't get a carry, there might be some sort of end-around.
8. Team to have the most penalty yards in the game - Green Bay Packers +130 (Bodog):
Conventional wisdom says the Steelers will win this prop because the NFL likes to make an example out of James Harrison. However, the Steelers are always suspected of paying off the refs. Think back to their previous two Super Bowl victories. How many shady calls went against the other teams? My dad refuses to bet on the Steelers because the Rooney family made its fortune long ago via sportsbooking back when it was legal. Thus, he's convinced that the refs always make sure to call everything so the Rooneys can win even more money.
9. Pittsburgh wins by 1-6 points +400; Green Bay wins by 1-6 points +335 (5Dimes):
This is similar to Cousin Sal's scheme, but there's a good chance you'll get one of these two right. I anticipate a very close game, and as mentioned above, most of the recent Super Bowls have been close.
10. Joe Buck's Decibel Level on the Most Exciting Play of the Game - Under 0.000001 (Bodog):
Just kidding. I made this one up.
10. Will Mason Crosby Miss a Field Goal - Yes +325 (Bodog):
I couldn't believe the odds on this. I checked, and there has to be one attempt for this to count, so if Crosby is 0-for-0, there's no action. I like this prop because Crosby is just 3-of-5 in the playoffs in the past two years. There will be extra pressure in this game because it's the Super Bowl.
11. Green Bay Total Rushing Yards - Over 78.5 -115 (Sportsbook):
The Packers rushing for 78.5 yards may seem like too much, but not when you factor in Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers is bound to run for at least 20 yards, meaning Green Bay's backs will need 58.5 yards at the very most. The combination of Starks, Jackson and Kuhn has cleared that total in all three playoff games leading up to the Super Bowl.
12. Pittsburgh Third-Down Conversions - Over 5.5 +115 (5Dimes):
The Steelers recorded 13 third-down conversions in their two playoff victories. And as I wrote earlier, "[Roethlisberger is] the master of moving the chains in third-and-long." That's one of the reasons I'm picking Pittsburgh to cover the spread.
I'll have final thoughts on the Super Bowl over the weekend. I'll also be updating my 2011 NFL Mock Draft
on Thursday and my 2012 NFL Mock Draft
on Friday or Saturday. You can check for any updates by following me on Twitter (@walterfootball
SATURDAY MORNING UPDATE:
If you like the Steelers, you can get them at +3 -110 at Sportsbook.com. That might be the best line you see for Pittsburgh all week.
The Psychology. Edge: Steelers.
Are the two-time champion Steelers really underdogs? And why are the Packers bickering about a team photo?
The Vegas. Edge: None.
Percentage of money on Green Bay: 50% (405,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Steelers.
Ben Roethlisberger is 14-7 ATS as an underdog.
Ben Roethlisberger is 9-3 ATS in the playoffs (6-2 as a favorite).
Opening Line: Pick.
Opening Total: 44.
Weather: Retractable roof.
Super Bowl XLV NFL Pick: Steelers 24, Packers 23
Steelers +3 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
Over 45 (0 Units) -- Correct; +$100
Packers 31, Steelers 25
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.
Will the Team that Scores First Win the Game - No +155 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$100
Will There Be a Scoreless Quarter - No -250 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
Hines Ward Receptions - Under 3.5 -125 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$125
Heath Miller Receiving Yards - Over 39.5 -110 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
Combined Total Points - 71-75 Points +10000 (0.1 Units) -- Incorrect; -$10
Combined Total Points - 76-80 Points +15000 (0.1 Units) -- Incorrect; -$10
Will both teams make a field goal of 33 yards or more in the game - No -175 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
Green Bay Players with a Rush Attempt - Over 3.5 -265 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$265
Team to have the most penalty yards in the game - Green Bay Packers +130 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$130
Pittsburgh wins by 1-6 points +400 (0.5 Units) -- Incorrect; -$50
Green Bay wins by 1-6 points +335 (0.5 Units) -- Correct; +$165
Will Mason Crosby Miss a Field Goal - Yes +325 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$100
Green Bay Total Rushing Yards - Over 78.5 -115 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$115
Pittsburgh Third-Down Conversions - Over 5.5 +115 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$230