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NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 2, 2011



NFL Picks (Preseason 2011): 11-4 (+$1,340)
NFL Picks (Week 1, 2011): 5-9-2 (-$575)

NFL Picks (2011): 16-13-2 (+$765)
NFL Picks (2010): 144-131-8 (+$6,080)
NFL Picks (2009): 151-124-9 (+$3,370)
NFL Picks (2008): 136-125-6 (+$4,330)
If you don't quite understand the line, total or anything else, go to my Sports Betting FAQ.


Vegas betting action updated Sept. 19, 5:05 p.m. ET. Follow @walterfootball for updates.


Go to Week 2 NFL Picks - Late Games



Chicago Bears (1-0) at New Orleans Saints (0-1)
Line: Saints by 6. Total: 47.

Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 1): Saints -6.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 1): Saints -5.
Sunday, Sept. 18, 1:00 ET
Discuss Game, Talk Trash

The Game. Edge: Saints.

WEEK 1 RECAP: You have no idea how pissed off I was Sunday. Well, if you bet on my picks, maybe you do. It all started with that stupid Eagles-Rams game in which St. Louis constantly screwed up, giving up that fumble for a touchdown, dropping key catches in Philadelphia territory, suffering a multitude of injuries and missing a field goal. The Rams should have covered that game (or at least come close), but it's nothing compared to what occurred a few hours later.

I handicapped that Seahawks-49ers game perfectly. I projected a score of 17-15, and it was 19-17 with three minutes remaining. San Francisco had the ball, and all it had to do was gain a couple of first downs, run out the clock, and win without covering the -5.5 spread. Instead, Ted Ginn went nuts. A victory there would have given me a winning week.

I know I sound like this right now...



...But the misfortune I suffered this weekend was unbelievable. When the Jets returned a blocked field goal for a touchdown Sunday night (costing me a moneyline play on Dallas), I thought, "Jesus f***ing Christ, how many special teams touchdowns went against me today?" I looked it up, and the answer was, "all of them."

Here's a list of all special teams touchdowns this weekend, and whether they went for or against the team I picked:

Saints punt return TD - FOR (Thurs.)
Packers kick return TD - AGAINST (Thurs.)
Texans punt return TD - AGAINST
Cardinals punt return TD - AGAINST
Vikings kickoff return TD - AGAINST
49ers kickoff return TD - AGAINST
49ers punt return TD - AGAINST
Jets blocked FG return TD - AGAINST

One question: Whose grave did I piss on recently?

Hopefully, I won't be as unlucky in Week 2. I'll be posting these NFL Picks throughout the day. Follow me at @walterfootball for updates.

NEW ORLEANS OFFENSE: The Bears will look to shut down yet another prolific offense from the NFC South. They were terrific against Atlanta, sacking Matt Ryan five times. Unfortunately, it'll be much more difficult to contain Drew Brees.

Brees is a more seasoned quarterback than Ryan. He gets the ball out quicker and understands everything the defense is trying to do. Plus, he's playing in the Superdome; not Soldier Field.

I'm not saying that Chicago won't have any success against Brees. The Saints are missing their top two receivers, Marques Colston and Lance Moore, and Brees himself took three sacks against the Packers behind a leaky offensive line. Plus, New Orleans doesn't have much of a rushing attack, so it's not like the Bears have to give anything up in coverage to stop Mark Ingram.

CHICAGO OFFENSE: New Orleans' defense isn't at full strength either. Pro Bowl defensive end Will Smith won't play because he's serving the second and final game of his StarCaps suspension. This made it extremely difficult for the Saints to put pressure on Aaron Rodgers on opening night.

That has to be music to Jay Cutler's ears because he took five sacks in the opener despite the fact that his team led throughout. I don't think the offensive line performed as poorly as that number indicates; rather, Cutler took some sacks because he held on to the football too long. Still though, because Smith is out, Cutler doesn't have to face any sort of dynamic pass-rusher like John Abraham or Ray Edwards this week.

The Bears should be able to move the chains consistently against a Saints stop unit that is mediocre versus the run and poor against the pass. Matt Forte figures to have another huge game.

RECAP: The Bears are underrated, so I think this spread is a couple of points too high. I know the Saints play better at home, but it's not like they're world-beaters when it comes to covering the spread as hosts (see stat below).

I'm taking Chicago for three units. In addition to line value, the reason I like the visitor is because New Orleans is coming off an emotional loss to the Packers. I don't think the Saints will be 100 percent for this matchup.


The Psychology. Edge: Bears.
I can't imagine that the Saints will be 100 percent for this game after an emotional loss to the Packers.


The Vegas. Edge: None.
Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on New Orleans: 54% (92,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Bears.
  • Jay Cutler is 26-43 ATS.
  • Saints are 31-48 ATS at home since 2001 (14-12 since 2008).
  • Saints are 23-37 ATS as a home favorite since 2001.
  • Opening Line: Saints -6.5.
  • Opening Total: 47.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 2 NFL Pick: Saints 27, Bears 24
    Bears +6 (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
    Over 47 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Saints 30, Bears 13








    Kansas City Chiefs (0-1) at Detroit Lions (1-0)
    Line: Lions by 9. Total: 45.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 1): Lions -4.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 1): Lions -7.
    Sunday, Sept. 18, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Game, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Lions.

    Vegas Recap: No one working for Vegas urinated on any graves; it was a winning week for the sportsbooks. They won money with the Bears, Ravens and Bengals all pulling upsets, but lost with the Lions, Eagles and Patriots covering. Going 3-3 but with the juice is a positive weekend for the house.

    I'll be updating the Vegas betting action all week, as usual. I'll notify you of any updates @walterfootball.

    KANSAS CITY OFFENSE: Suck for Luck? The Chiefs are one of the favorites to land Andrew Luck, per our new Monday Morning Draft column. Matt Cassel was downright awful against the Bills, going 22-of-36 for 119 yards, one touchdown and a pick. That's a 3.3 YPA. Only media-darling Donovan McNabb was worse.

    It's no surprise Cassel struggled so much. Charlie Weis is gone, the offensive line stinks, and Cassel's ribs weren't fully recovered from the hit he took in the second quarter of the preseason finale. It's doubtful that Cassel has been able to heal all that much in such a short time period, and he may never be 100 percent after Ndamukong Suh and company are through with him.

    The only hope Kansas City's offense has in terms of actually scoring is Jamaal Charles. They need him to break a few long runs. The Lions can be susceptible to the rush, so maybe that'll happen. Just maybe...

    DETROIT OFFENSE: This is not a good time to lose a Pro Bowl safety. Eric Berry is done for the year with a torn ACL, meaning the Chiefs will be shorthanded against one of the most prolific aerial attacks in the NFL.

    Matthew Stafford was unstoppable against the Buccaneers. Stud corner Aqib Talib had no chance of covering Calvin Johnson, and neither does Brandon Flowers. Nate Burleson is a terrific second option, while Brandon Pettigrew is a solid tight end - assuming he can hold on to the football in the end zone. And then there's Jahvid Best coming out of the backfield. Just too many weapons for Kansas City to cover.

    Tamba Hali has to put on one of the top performances of his career and completely disrupt Detroit's offense. He has a favorable matchup against Jeff Backus, but you better believe that the Lions will help with another blocker. Someone else will have to step up - and that seems unlikely; the Chiefs managed just one sack against the Bills and their anemic front line.

    RECAP: The Chiefs are terrible, so this should be a blowout. I have no systems or trends to support this pick, unfortunately. I'm also hesitant to place money on the Lions as such a big favorite; they haven't been favored by a touchdown or more since Week 17, 2000 (losing to the Bears, 23-20). Of course, they haven't been this good since 2000, but they're new to this role.


    The Psychology. Edge: Chiefs.
    The Lions find themselves in an unfamiliar position. They haven't been favored by this much in more than a decade. Can they handle the pressure?


    The Vegas. Edge: Chiefs.
    No surprise that people are betting on the Lions.
  • Percentage of money on Detroit: 79% (83,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Chiefs.
  • Chiefs are 19-11 ATS as a road underdog since 2007.
  • Lions are 5-15 ATS against losing teams the previous 20 instances.
  • Opening Line: Lions -8.5.
  • Opening Total: 43.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 2 NFL Pick: Lions 31, Chiefs 17
    Lions -9 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Over 45 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Lions 48, Chiefs 3






    Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0) at New York Jets (1-0)
    Line: Jets by 9. Total: 38.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 1): Jets -10.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 1): Jets -9.
    Sunday, Sept. 18, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Game, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Jets.

    Some random NFL notes I can't put anywhere else:

    1. I was shocked that NFL.com's GameCenter didn't screw this weekend. They changed up for the format in August, and there were a couple of funny errors in the preseason. For example, the Falcons had the following play:

    3-6-MIA 15(4:27) (Shotgun) A.Froman pass short left to D.Beaumont to ATL 10 for -75 yards (M.Rivera).

    Too bad this wasn't Mario Kart; this D.Beaumont character could have benefited from Lakitu floating above with a wrong-way arrow.

    And then there was this. Check out how strong Drew Brees' arm is:

    Drew Brees NFL.com GameCenter

    Brees threw the ball over the freaking sun! Why hasn't anyone tested him for steroids yet?

    2. Don't tune into ESPN's Audibles. The quartet of Keyshawn Johnson, Herm Edwards, Steve Young and Trent Dilfer are bad enough to make people suffer brain hemorrhages. Last week, the four guys discussed who the best offseason pickup was a month ago. They all agreed on Ronnie Brown.

    I wish I were kidding about this. They seriously had this exchange:

    Steve Young: I love Ronnie Brown.

    Trent Dilfer: I love Ronnie Brown.

    Keyshawn Johnson: I love Ronnie Brown.

    Herman Edwards: Ronnie Brown! Ronnie Brown!

    Steve Young: I love Ronnie Brown.

    Herman Edwards: Ronnie Brown! Ronnie Brown!

    Trent Dilfer: I love Ronnie Brown.

    Matt Millen: I want to have sex with Ronnie Brown. I'd ride him all night long!

    Just kidding about that Millen part. Not the fact that he wants to have sex with Ronnie Brown; he just didn't say it on Audibles.

    JACKSONVILLE OFFENSE: I have to admit that I was dead wrong about the Jaguars. I thought that David Garrard's release would prompt the players to quit on Jack Del Rio and the front office. Instead, they put forth a valiant effort against AFC South rival Tennessee.

    Luke McCown was very efficient. The stats weren't pretty (17-of-25, 175 yards, no touchdowns, no picks) but he did a good job of managing the game and keeping drives alive. He hooked up with Mike Thomas and Jason Hill for first downs on two separate third-and-long situations late in the fourth quarter.

    Of course, Maurice Jones-Drew's running really helped. Jones-Drew gashed a woefully inept Tennessee defense for 97 yards on 24 carries. Unfortunately, he won't have as much luck against the Jets, who shut down Felix Jones on Sunday night. As a result, McCown will be asked to convert more unfavorable situations. Doing so against Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie will prove to be more difficult.

    NEW YORK OFFENSE: Like the Jaguars, the Jets probably won't have much success running the ball. Jacksonville's improved stop unit contained Chris Johnson last week, although Mike Munchak had a hand in that when he forgot the rushing portion of his playbook in the hotel room. Take a look at my interview with Munchak regarding this matter in my NFL Power Rankings.

    With Shonn Greene stymied, Mark Sanchez will have to do all the work again. He'll be able to sustain some drives, but the Jaguars have an improved defense that should keep the Jets from scoring too much. They certainly did a number on Matt Hasselbeck, though the Titans and their wishy-washy game plan didn't offer much resistance.

    Ultimately, the Jets will win this game because Jacksonville won't be able to pressure Sanchez in key situations. Despite leading throughout last week, the Jaguars sacked Hasselbeck only twice. The Jets have some issues with their offensive line, but Jacksonville doesn't have the personnel to take advantage of that.

    RECAP: This should be a low-scoring game, so I'm taking the points. There's nothing really to support this pick though. I wouldn't bet on it.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No psychological edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Jaguars.
    About two-thirds action on the host.
  • Percentage of money on New York: 66% (76,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Jaguars are 10-20 ATS against non-divisional opponents since 2008.
  • Jets are 6-12 ATS in September home games since 2000 (3-2 since in 2009).
  • Opening Line: Jets -10.
  • Opening Total: 37.5.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 64 degrees. Mild wind, 12 mph.


    Week 2 NFL Pick: Jets 19, Jaguars 13
    Jaguars +9 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Under 38.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Jets 32, Jaguars 3




    Oakland Raiders (1-0) at Buffalo Bills (1-0)
    Line: Bills by 3. Total: 42.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 1): Bills -3.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 1): Bills -3.
    Sunday, Sept. 18, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Game, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: None.

    More random NFL notes:

    3. In my 2011 NFL Power Rankings, I talked about why the Eagles really think they are the "Dream Team" even though Vince Young and Jason Babin were the only ones who acknowledged that name. Eagles fans were pretty mad that I called their team a "cocky group" last week. Some even went overboard. I received a couple of e-mails that went like, "We're not the Dream Team! Not even close! Our players don't think that! They think they suck!"

    Yeah, I'm sure. The Eagles - most modest team in the NFL.

    4. Awesome Kelly in Arizona (a hot chick who plays in many fantasy football leagues) sent me a hilarious, drunk text Sunday night:

    "So I benched Miles Austin Davis for Andre Roberts. About a wash so far... DirecTV can SUCK IT. Ray Rice, Matt Forte and Ravens D are carrying my team. Freeman ended up all right... but Marcedes Lewis leaves with CRAMPS? S*** I work through cramps and I get paid pennies to his dollars. Woops now ... and by the time I typed that, my wash isn't such a wash. Whatever. I am a little drunk and blame DirecTV. I benches Austin cuz of Revis... but they changed their s*** and put Revis on brand (fair enough). Meh. Benched not benches. Autocorrect can suck it with DirecTV."

    I think we can all agree that more hot chicks need to play fantasy football.

    5. Forum member The Prodigy posted this hilarious picture from the Chargers-Vikings game. I think someone got a little too excited about Percy Harvin's kickoff return touchdown.

    Percy Harvin piss

    OAKLAND OFFENSE: If Darren McFadden stays healthy, he'll have a great chance of winning the rushing title this year. He's currently in first place, thanks to the 150 yards he piled up against Denver's anemic front.

    Those still stuck in 2010 may see this as a great matchup for McFadden. I don't. Not that McFadden's going to struggle or anything, but the Bills have an improved defensive front with third-overall pick Marcell Dareus playing next to Pro Bowler Kyle Williams.

    The Bills have also bolstered their pass rush. Shawne Merriman is an effective player again and gives Buffalo a legitimate pass-rusher against an Oakland offensive front that wasn't really tested against the Broncos, since the Raiders had the lead most of the time.

    BUFFALO OFFENSE: Like the Raiders' offensive line, the Bills' front wasn't really tested either in the opener. If Buffalo falls behind early, Oakland's defense will tee off on Ryan Fitzpatrick; the Raiders sacked Kyle Orton five times Monday night.

    As long as the Bills don't fall into an early hole, they should be able to move the chains in this contest. I don't have much faith in an Oakland secondary that had issues containing Kyle Orton. Had the inaccurate Orton and his drop-happy receivers not been completely inept, Denver would have scored more points and potentially pulled off the victory.

    Of course, it's difficult not to describe the Bills as "inept," at least historically, but Fitzpatrick is in his second year in Chan Gailey's offense. He's a really good fit for the system, and his experience is one of the few reasons I projected Buffalo to go 9-7 in my season previews. I think the Bills will have success moving the chains Sunday and will ultimately win this game.

    RECAP: This is a pretty evenly matched game on paper, but I like the Bills for two reasons:

    First, the Raiders are playing an early game on the East Coast. They're 1-4 in these contests the past two years. Check out the betting trend page for details.

    Second, and more importantly, this is a Breather Alert. Following this contest against Buffalo, Oakland has to deal with the Jets and Patriots. I doubt such an undisciplined team will be focused for such an "easy" foe.

    LOCKED IN: I'd lock the Bills in at -3 -115 if you can get it. You can find this line and juice at 5Dimes, BetUS and Pinnacle.


    The Psychology. Edge: Bills.
    This is a tough spot for the Raiders. They just beat a hated rival, and after this short travel week to the East Coast, they have to prepare for the Jets and Patriots.


    The Vegas. Edge: Raiders.
    Slight lean on the host.
  • Percentage of money on Buffalo: 62% (60,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Raiders.
  • Bills are 7-20 ATS in their last 27 home games vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Opening Line: Bills -4.
  • Opening Total: 41.
  • Weather: Sunny, 64 degrees. Light wind. .


    Week 2 NFL Pick: Bills 23, Raiders 16
    Bills -3 -115 (2 Units) -- Push; $0
    Under 42.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Bills 38, Raiders 35






    Arizona Cardinals (1-0) at Washington Redskins (1-0)
    Line: Redskins by 4. Total: 44.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 1): Redskins -3.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 1): Redskins -3.
    Sunday, Sept. 18, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Game, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Redskins.

    Some college football notes I can't put anywhere else:

    1. Ryan, this site's senior editor, sent me an e-mail Saturday afternoon:

    Was watching the Lehigh game, and in OT they called a catch for a TD. Except the receiver was out of bounds. Not like stepped back in after being pushed out, but caught while out of bounds. Cost Lehigh the game. That's just sooo blown.

    It's a good thing Ryan was the only person in America watching that Lehigh game, or else there would have been public outrage. It's the old question: "If there's a bad call in a football game, but no one watches it, is there a bad call?"

    Or, for Emmitt's version: "If a tree fall in the forest and nobody is there to hear it, do it really fall?"

    2. Who would have more success scoring: Screech, or Penn State against Alabama? As a Penn State alumnus, I'm ashamed of my school's performance against the Crimson Tide. If I actually left my house, I'd wear a paper bag over my head.

    By the way, my friend Chris, also a Penn State alum, said that he wants Joe Paterno to step down. This made me pretty angry. I don't care if the Nittany Lions go 0-12 every year; JoePa should be able to coach as long as he likes. I'd rather lose with JoePa than win without him.

    3. If you follow the NFL Draft and haven't checked out our College Football Game Recaps, make sure you do so. New senior NFL Draft analyst Charlie Campbell does a great job of breaking down the games and discussing all of the 2012 NFL Draft implications.

    WASHINGTON OFFENSE: Maybe Rex Grossman was on to something when he said his team would win the NFC East. The Giants are too banged up; the Cowboys always find new to lose; and the Eagles have major flaws. Oh, and Grossman has been pretty good himself. The former Bear went 21-of-34 for 305 yards and two touchdowns against the Giants. He did have a bad misfire and was guilty of a "Bad Rex" moment when he fumbled the ball while taking a sack, but overall, he looked like a Jake Plummer clone. Plummer thrived under Shanahan after struggling elsewhere, and it seems as though Grossman is in for similar success.

    Grossman should be able to have another great game. The Cardinals have major problems in their secondary; they just surrendered the most passing yards ever to a rookie quarterback.

    The key for Arizona is to put as much pressure on Grossman and force more "Bad Rex" moments. Grossman should be good for one turnover, but I don't expect him to give the ball away multiple times under Shanahan's tutelage.

    ARIZONA OFFENSE: Kevin Kolb deserves credit for beating the Panthers, but last week's game was just little too easy. Kolb took advantage of multiple blown coverages by lobbing deep bombs to his targets.

    The Redskins won't give Kolb many opportunities to do this. Unlike Carolina, they're actually sound defensively. They also have a good pass rush, so Kolb will be sacked more than two times in this contest.

    Chris Wells, meanwhile, looks great. This was pretty predictable because he's actually healthy now. He has a tough task ahead of him in this contest though; the Redskins did a great job of holding Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs to 3.8 YPC last week.

    RECAP: Like Oakland, the Cardinals have to travel all the way to the East Coast to play a 1 p.m. game. They're just 1-5 in these contests the past three years, including 0-2 in 2010; they lost at Atlanta in Week 2 by a score of 41-7.

    I like the Redskins quite a bit in this game. They're really underrated, and I think when we look back two months from now, we'll be wondering why they were favored by only four points in this matchup.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No psychological edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Cardinals.
    Lots of late action is on the host.
  • Percentage of money on Washington: 80% (62,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Redskins are 6-10 ATS in September home games since 2001.
  • Opening Line: Redskins -4.5.
  • Opening Total: 42.
  • Weather: Cloudy, 68 degrees. Mild wind, 14 mph.


    Week 2 NFL Pick: Redskins 28, Cardinals 20
    Redskins -4 (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
    Over 44 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Redskins 22, Cardinals 21





    Baltimore Ravens (1-0) at Tennessee Titans (0-1)
    Line: Ravens by 5.5. Total: 38.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 1): Ravens -3.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 1): Ravens -4.
    Sunday, Sept. 18, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Game, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Ravens.

    If you've been following this site, you know that I make a habit of responding to my spam mails. Last week, I told some Lt. Ken William Dennison that I was Saddam Hussein's bastard son after he informed me that he found a large sum of money in Hussein's palace while stationed in Iraq. I didn't hear back from Lt. Dennison, so I thought I'd try my luck with another spammer.

    E-mailer Rob L. forward this e-mail to me:

    Dear Sir,

    Assalamualaikum, let me start by introducing myself to you, I am His Royal Highness Pengiran Digadong Sahibul Mal Pengiran Muda Jefri Bolkiah Ibn Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, the embattled Brother to the Sultan of Brunei HRH Sultan Hassan al Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah, i am contacting you in relation to the problems i am having with my brother and how he is gradually taking away all my assets and also liquidating my cash systematically.

    Our problems began when he accused me of using some funds meant for state use personally and that has created a big gulf between us to the extent that my brother is plotting my downfall. It is in view of this fact that i am contacting you to help transfer the sum of Two Hundred and Fifty Million United States Dollars($250,000,000.00) which i hid in a Bank in London when i was in charge of oversea investment for the kingdom to your account.

    I have already concluded with the Bank officials and also the Security company officials in Switzerland for the successful transfer of the funds to you after which 30% of the money will be for you, 65% for me and the remaining 5% will be for any expenses that will be incurred in the course of collection of the money. Once you collect this money, you will hold my own percentage for me in trust based on when i will settle with my brother so that i can travel to meet you in your country for sharing and investment.You have to contact me right away so that i can give you the details of the process which will be employed for the successful transfer of the funds to you.

    Regards,

    Prince Jefri Bolkiah.


    This was almost too easy. Responding as Hussein's bastard son, Musafa Snow, might catch Prince Jefri Bolkiah's attention:

    Prince Pengiran Digadong Sahibul Mal Pengiran Muda Jefri Bolkiah Ibn Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien,

    My kingsguard intercepted an e-mail you sent to a one Rob L. Ser Rob L. fled the capital, but he is not the one we want.

    I, Mufasa Snow, of House Hussein, the First of His Name, King of the Iraqis and the First Men, Lord of the Middle East and Protector of the Realm, bastard son of Saddam Hussein and rightful heir to the Iraqi throne, am openly declaring war on your country of Brunei. I will have your and your brother's heads mounted on my castle wall. I will salt your lands and rape your livestock. Your children will be slaves, and your women will be forced to shop at bargain outlets.

    I spit on your $250 million. To avoid the destruction of your country, you will send me $2 billion within a fortnight. I also require 50 of your most beautiful horses, goats and alligators so my men and I may rape them. I also require five boxes of Oreos. The local grocery store has run out.

    Accept these terms, or meet your destruction. You have 14 days.

    Mufasa Snow
    House Hussein, the First of His Name, King of the Iraqis and the First Men, Lord of the Middle East and Protector of the Realm


    I sent this on a Thursday, yet I still haven't heard back from this so-called Prince of Brunei. If I don't get an e-mail back from him in nine days, I will torch his entire country - after I steal those Oreos, of course.

    TENNESSEE OFFENSE: If you didn't click on my 2011 NFL Power Rankings link earlier, I didn't actually interview Mike Munchak - but the fake conversation I posted was pretty realistic. Why the hell did Chris Johnson receive only nine carries last week? That's ridiculous.

    After the media backlash, Munchak will make sure Johnson gets more of a workload against Baltimore. Unfortunately for Johnson's owners, that may not matter because the Ravens have a stout rush defense that just completely put the clamps on Rashard Mendenhall.

    Matt Hasselbeck will have to throw early and often again, which could prove to be disastrous. Hasselbeck's just not in sync with any of his teammates; even the 80-yard Kenny Britt touchdown was the result of a fluky heave and a whiffed tackle by Clint Session.

    BALTIMORE OFFENSE: While CJ2K won't get much on the ground, Ray Rice should easily eclipse the century plateau again. The Titans had no answer for Maurice Jones-Drew last week, so they have no hope of containing Rice.

    Joe Flacco will once again capitalize on Rice's running. If Luke McCown can convert third-and-long situations with ease, why can't Flacco? Tennessee doesn't bring much of a pass rush, so Flacco should have all day to throw.

    RECAP: I don't have any angles to support this pick, but the Ravens should be able to cover. Tennessee is a miserable team that won't win more than four games this year, while Baltimore could be considered the class of the AFC.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No psychological edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Titans.
    No one wants any part of the Titans.
  • Percentage of money on Baltimore: 88% (83,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Ravens.
  • Ravens are 12-5 ATS vs. teams with losing records under John Harbaugh.
  • Opening Line: Ravens -6.
  • Opening Total: 37.5.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 78 degrees. Light wind.


    Week 2 NFL Pick: Ravens 27, Titans 6
    Ravens -5.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Under 37.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Titans 26, Ravens 13




    Seattle Seahawks (0-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1)
    Line: Steelers by 14. Total: 39.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 1): Steelers -13.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 1): Steelers -13.
    Sunday, Sept. 18, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Game, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Steelers.

    Video of the Week: Did you know that psychiatric wards had football leagues? It's true. They don't air the games on TV, but one of the press conferences found its way onto YouTube. Check out the rant made by the head coach of Coastal Carolina Mental Institution. I sense another Coors Light spoof coming.

    Also, if you haven't checked this out yet, give a listen to my friend Rellik's hilarious football song, where he calls Hines Ward a "dancing queen." Rellik has told me that there will be AT LEAST seven more songs throughout the year. I'm hoping he makes fun of Chris Johnson and Arian Foster's tweets in his next release.

    SEATTLE OFFENSE: Pittsburgh defense, what the hell happened? I'm not sure what transpired at Baltimore, but I'm willing to bet that Troy Polamalu, James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley, James Farrior, Lawrence Timmons and all the other veterans will make sure it doesn't happen again.

    The Steelers are going to unleash seven hells on Seattle's offense, although they'd need half a hell to slow down Tarvaris Jackson. The Seahawks have an anemic scoring unit (a bit of an oxymoron); they barely moved the chains against the 49ers. How in the world are they going to do anything against Pittsburgh's defense?

    You really have to wonder if Jackson is going to come out of this game as Seattle's starter. It's possible that he could be benched, but there's a very good chance that he'll get injured behind his abysmal offensive front.

    PITTSBURGH OFFENSE: The Seahawks have some 220-pound cornerback named Brandon Browner starting in their secondary. Yeah, they're f***ed.

    Ben Roethlisberger will have a much-needed field day against Seattle's defense. The Seahawks are one of only two teams (Buccaneers) to record zero sacks in the opener. This is incredible news for Big Ben considering the status of his offensive line.

    RECAP: I've made it sound like I'm going to bet heavily on Pittsburgh, but I'm not. Previous Super Bowl participants haven't done too well as double-digit favorites (16-22 ATS since 2001).

    The Steelers are the right side though. The Seahawks, who stink on the road, are yet another Pacific team playing on the East Coast at 1 p.m. Pittsburgh, meanwhile, is coming off a spread loss of 25-plus points. Teams in that situation are 44-26 ATS as favorites since 2002.

    SURVIVOR PICK: The Steelers are the obvious survivor option.

    I was asked to list six possible survivor choice each week, so here they are, from best to worst: Steelers, Jets, Lions, Packers, Ravens and Giants. As always, never pick a road team (which is why the Packers and Ravens are so low). Never pick a bad team. Never pick an underdog. Never save any teams. Always choose the best option.

    LOCKED IN: The Steelers -14 is available in many places, including SportsBook.com, BetCris.com and BetUS.com. I don't see it going below -14.


    The Psychology. Edge: Steelers.
    The Steelers have to be pretty mad after being embarrassed like that.


    The Vegas. Edge: Seahawks.
    I guess some people are afraid to pound the Steelers at this price.
  • Percentage of money on Pittsburgh: 83% (78,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Steelers.
  • Seahawks are 13-31 ATS on the road since 2006.
  • Opening Line: Steelers -13.5.
  • Opening Total: 38.
  • Weather: Sunny, 70 degrees. Light wind.


    Week 2 NFL Pick: Steelers 34, Seahawks 10
    Steelers -14 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
    Over 40.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    SURVIVOR PICK (1-0)
    Steelers 24, Seahawks 0




    Green Bay Packers (1-0) at Carolina Panthers (0-1)
    Line: Packers by 10. Total: 45.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 1): Packers -9.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 1): Packers -7.
    Sunday, Sept. 18, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Game, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Packers.

    Bo-Bo has retired, so as promised, here's the NFL.com Fantasy Draft - Part 1:

    Rich Eisen: It's 4 o'clock. Let's start this fantasy draft.

    Kurt Warner: But Jim Mora Jr. isn't here yet.

    Dennis Green: That f***ing a**hole is always f***ing late. I'm f***ing tired of this f***ing bulls***t. F*** Jim Mora Jr. and f*** his whole family.

    Rich Eisen: I agree with Dennis. We told Jim Mora Jr. to get here at 2. Instead, he went downtown to have lunch with some friends. So, I say screw him. Brian Billick, you have the first pick. You taking CJ2K or AP?

    Brian Billick: I'll pass.

    Rich Eisen: Pass?

    Brian Billick: I'm a great fantasy football player; much smarter than all of you. I'll win this league without my first-round pick.

    Rich Eisen: Ohhkkkaayyy... Kurt, you're up.

    Kurt Warner: I'd like to say a prayer before my pick.

    Dennis Green: No! No f***ing way! This is f***ing going to take for f***ing ever!

    Kurt Warner: I'd like to thank Jesus for the opportunity for me to make this pick in my fantasy draft. I'd like to thank God as well for blessing me with this fantasy football cheat sheet...

    Dennis Green: F*** you, Kurt!

    *** 30 minutes later... ***

    Kurt Warner: And bless the CVS store clerk for selling this fantasy magazine to me. I'd like to take Chris Johnson.

    Charles Davis: Great pick, Kurt!

    Rich Eisen: Mooch, you're up.

    Steve Mariucci: Oh boy, oh geez, oh boy, oh geez, I love Adrian Peterson, but I also love Maurice Jones-Drew, and I also love Aaron Rodgers. Oh geez, oh boy.

    Charles Davis: They're all Tier 1 players on my cheat sheet!

    Steve Mariucci: Oh boy, oh geez, oh boy, oh geez, oh boy, oh geez, oh boy, oh geez, oh boy, oh geez, oh boy, oh geez, oh boy, oh geez.

    Dennis Green: Just make a f***ing pick!

    Steve Mariucci: I'll take Adrian Peterson, Aaron Rodgers and Calvin Johnson.

    Dennis Green: You can't take three f***ing players That's bulls***, bulls***!

    Rich Eisen: OK, Mooch gets AP, A-Rod and Megatron.

    Dennis Green: What the f***!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Rich Eisen: Charles Davis, you're up.

    Charles Davis: Hey guys, who is H.Nicks?

    Dennis Green: What an idiot!

    Rich Eisen: This is obviously not going to end well for Charles Davis. Stay tuned next week for the second half of Round 1.

    GREEN BAY OFFENSE: So, the Panthers blow coverages like there's no tomorrow, and now they have to battle Aaron Rodgers. Uh oh...

    Do I really need to delve into this? Carolina can't put any pressure on the quarterback or stop the pass. Rodgers is arguably the best quarterback in the NFL, aside from perhaps Tom Brady.

    This could get ugly. Unless...

    CAROLINA OFFENSE: Unless Cam Newton repeats what he did last week. Newton threw for a rookie-record 422 yards against the Cardinals. He was extremely impressive, showing great accuracy and poise for a first-year player making his debut on the road.

    But that was against the Cardinals. You better believe that Dom Capers has something in store for Newton. Capers is going to throw crazy blitzes at the former Auburn six-figure man, who won't know what hit him. Newton might be able to scramble for a first down or two, but he didn't exactly look like the next QB Dog Killer in terms of escapability while trying to avoid pass-rushers at Arizona.

    Making matters worse, the Panthers won't be able to run on Green Bay's stout front. Newton will have to do everything by himself against a Super Bowl defense and mastermind coordinator. Like I said, this could get ugly.

    RECAP: I posted this on twitter @walterfootball earlier: Double-digit home underdogs are only 23-21 against the spread since 2002. The days of blindly betting double-digit home dogs are over.

    By all indications, this should be a blowout. The Packers just look really focused and completely on top of their game right now. The trend I mentioned earlier - previous Super Bowl participants haven't done too well as double-digit favorites (16-22 ATS since 2001) - would keep me from betting this game, but all indications are that Green Bay is the right side.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No psychological edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Panthers.
    This line seems high to me, but the public disagrees.
  • Percentage of money on Green Bay: 80% (89,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Packers.
  • Packers are 29-14 ATS on the road under Mike McCarthy.
  • Panthers are 25-37 ATS at home since 2003.
  • Opening Line: Packers -10.5.
  • Opening Total: 43.
  • Weather: Cloudy, 70 degrees. Mild wind, 12 mph.


    Week 2 NFL Pick: Packers 41, Panthers 13
    Packers -10 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Over 45.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Packers 30, Panthers 23




    Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1) at Minnesota Vikings (0-1)
    Line: Vikings by 2. Total: 41.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 1): Vikings -3.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 1): Vikings -3.
    Sunday, Sept. 18, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Game, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Buccaneers.

    E-mailer David P. works at a bar in West Chester, Pa. (I worked for West Chester's newspaper back in 2005; it's about a 45-minute drive from Philly). David's a reader of this Web site and also happens to be in charge of posting slogans on the sign outside of the bar. He said I could be named "celebrity customer of the week" and receive alcohol in exchange for promoting the bar and giving him more slogans. I'll have to think of slogans - suggestions are very welcome - but here's something David P. posted earlier in the summer. The reference from Jerks of the Week should stand out:



    Anyway, you may have noticed a link below each point spread and pick that says Discuss Game, Talk Trash. This is for the new Sunday Smackdown section, where you'll be able to talk about the game throughout the week and during Sunday's action. Unlike NFL.com's GameCenter, anything goes, save for the obvious bad words.

    TAMPA BAY OFFENSE: If you haven't checked out our NFL Draft Rumor Mill, Charlie Campbell discussed Josh Freeman and how he has lost his confidence. It all started in the second week of the preseason when the coaching staff chided him for making the incorrect reads against the Patriots. His decision-making has been questionable ever since.

    I liked what Raheem Morris said Tuesday afternoon though. He wants to stay out of the no-huddle offense so he can utilize LeGarrette Blount more often. That's a great idea, considering that the Vikings are missing stud defensive tackle Kevin Williams for another game. Minnesota did restrict Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert to just 2.9 yards per carry, but having more of a two-dimensional attack will help Freeman immensely.

    That said though, I don't know if the Buccaneers can score much against the Vikings, who were stellar defensively at San Diego. Tampa's offense simply lacks explosion; Mike Williams is the only threat at receiver, and he's not a downfield threat.

    MINNESOTA OFFENSE: Umm... what offense? It's Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin and nine bums. It's bad.

    Donovan McNabb went 7-of-15 for 39 yards in the opener, giving him a laughable 2.6 YPA. He's done, but all the blame can't be on him. His offensive line is an abomination, while Bernard Berrian simply doesn't fight hard enough for his receptions.

    The Vikings will need Peterson to go off if they want to win this game. Tampa limited Jahvid Best and the rest of the Lions to 3.6 YPC, but Peterson is obviously a far superior back. Unfortunately, his offensive line stinks and can't open up any holes for him.

    RECAP: This spread says that the Kevin Williams-less Vikings and Buccaneers are equal. I can't say I agree with that. Even though Freeman has lost some of his confidence, I think Tampa is the right side. This Minnesota team isn't any good.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No psychological edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Late money on Minnesota made this even.
  • Percentage of money on Tampa Bay: 59% (50,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Opening Line: Vikings -3.
  • Opening Total: 41.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 2 NFL Pick: Buccaneers 20, Vikings 17
    Buccaneers +2 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Under 41 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Buccaneers 24, Vikings 20






    Cleveland Browns (0-1) at Indianapolis Colts (0-1)
    Line: Browns by 2. Total: 39.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 1): Colts -4.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 1): Colts -4.5.
    Sunday, Sept. 18, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Game, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: None.

    As a reminder, get your pick in for the WalterFootball.com 2011 NFL Survivor Pool. There are a number of lost entries because of the Browns. The lesson as always, don't pick a bad team in a survivor pool.

    CLEVELAND OFFENSE: Speaking of the Browns, they simply couldn't get anything going for most of the afternoon against the Bengals. Cincinnati restricted Peyton Hillis and the other running backs to 3.2 YPC, forcing Colt McCoy into tough, long-yardage situations.

    Hillis will obviously have more success running against the Colts, whose problems against the rush are well documented. This will open things up for McCoy, who needs all the help he can get because his receiving corps is trash.

    Indianapolis' ability to stop Cleveland will largely depend on whether it gets a lead or not. If the Colts have the advantage, the Browns won't be able to run the football, allowing Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis to tee off on McCoy all afternoon. If not, Cleveland will pound the rock all day with Hillis.

    INDIANAPOLIS OFFENSE: So, will the Colts have the lead? Based on last week's performance, definitely not. When Kerry Collins wasn't fumbling the snap, he was taking sacks behind his anemic offensive front.

    Good thing this isn't last week though. Collins will be more comfortable with Jeff Saturday (by default), and the Browns don't have anywhere near the pass rush that the Texans possess. Joe Haden figures to do a good job on Reggie Wayne - he shut down A.J. Green last week - but Collins should be able to move the chains utilizing his other weapons.

    The Colts also figure to have success running the ball, which will be a rarity. Cleveland surrendered 4.2 YPC to Cedric Benson of all people last week.

    RECAP: I don't understand this point spread. I know Collins was terrible last week, but is Vegas really telling us that the Browns are 4.5 points better than these Colts? I find that notion ridiculous. Cleveland stinks, and should not be favored on the road against anyone.

    With that in mind, I like the Colts a good bit. They're a veteran team, and after getting embarrassed like that, I expect them to show some pride so they can prove everyone wrong.


    The Psychology. Edge: Colts.
    The proud Colts have to make a statement, right?


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Cleveland: 51% (36,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Opening Line: Browns -3.
  • Opening Total: 37.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 2 NFL Pick: Colts 20, Browns 13
    Colts +2.5 (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
    Under 40 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Browns 27, Colts 19




    Week 2 NFL Picks - Late Games
    Cowboys at 49ers, Texans at Dolphins, Chargers at Patriots, Bengals at Broncos, Eagles at Falcons, Rams at Giants



    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.


  • Prop/teaser/parlay picks posted in Week 2 NFL Picks - Late Games



    NFL Picks - Oct. 21


    2015 NFL Mock Draft - Oct. 15


    Fantasy Football Rankings - Sept. 5


    2016 NFL Mock Draft - July 24


    2015 NBA Mock Draft - July 1


    NFL Free Agents




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    Last Week's NFL Picks Against The Spread (Week 7, 2014): 10-4-1 (+$330)
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    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.

    Cowboys: 2-5
    Bears: 3-4
    Bucs: 4-2
    49ers: 3-3
    Eagles: 3-3
    Lions: 2-4
    Falcons: 3-4
    Cardinals: 2-4
    Giants: 2-5
    Packers: 4-2
    Panthers: 2-5
    Rams: 3-3
    Redskins: 4-3
    Vikings: 5-2
    Saints: 2-3
    Seahawks: 3-3
    Bills: 3-4
    Bengals: 2-4
    Colts: 4-3
    Broncos: 4-2
    Dolphins: 5-0
    Browns: 3-1
    Jaguars: 3-4
    Chargers: 2-5
    Jets: 4-3
    Ravens: 2-4
    Texans: 5-2
    Chiefs: 4-1
    Patriots: 4-3
    Steelers: 3-4
    Titans: 4-2
    Raiders: 3-3
    Divisional: 12-14 (2011-13: 141-137)
    2x Game Edge: 7-6 (2011-13: 55-62)
    2x Psych Edge: 6-12 (2011-13: 92-80)
    2x Vegas Edge: 14-14 (2011-13: 129-142)
    2x Trend Edge: 12-8 (2011-13: 72-78)
    Double Edge: 3-5 (2011-13: 27-33)
    Triple Edge: 0-0 (2011-13: 2-1)
    Quad Edge: 0-0 (2011-13: 0-0)

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