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NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 3, 2011



NFL Picks (Preseason 2011): 11-4 (+$1,340)
NFL Picks (Week 1, 2011): 5-9-2 (-$575)
NFL Picks (Week 2, 2011): 6-8-2 (-$1,030)

NFL Picks (2011): 22-21-4 (-$265)
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. 26, 4:40 p.m. ET.


Go to Week 3 NFL Picks - Late Games



San Francisco 49ers (1-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (1-1)
Line: Bengals by 2.5. Total: 38.5.

Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 2): Bengals -3.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 2): Bengals -3.
Sunday, Sept. 25, 1:00 ET
Discuss Game, Talk Trash

The Game. Edge: Bengals.

Week 2 Recap: Forum member Ace High said it best during halftime of the Rams-Giants Monday night game:

How ridiculous a half can you get if you bet the Rams??? Wow. A perfect finish to a ridiculous week. If you made money betting the NFL this week, congrats, you're an idiot, and I mean that in the nicest way.

I really don't know what's happening. I've never had two dreadful weeks like this to start the season in my 12 years of running this Web site. I'm not sure if it's the lockout, or Al Qaeda, but stuff just isn't making sense anymore. For instance...

Colts +2.5 over Browns: This was the right play for so many reasons. First of all, the Browns stink and don't deserve to be favored over anyone on the road. Second, it was an obvious overreaction line; the Colts sucked in the opener against an underrated Houston defense, so the oddsmakers were able to push the line several points in Cleveland's favor, thus giving us value with Indianapolis. I know most sharps had the Colts - yet the Browns won and covered.

Chargers +7 over Patriots: Getting seven points with one of the top six quarterbacks in the NFL is a gift. Or at least it should have been. San Diego gave the ball up four times deep in New England territory; in fact, they had the ball at the Patriot 35-yard line down 20-14 in the fourth quarter. Despite that, they were still in position to at least push before a bogus New England front-door cover on a BenJarvus Green-Ellis touchdown run. Such bulls***.

Bears +6 over Saints: This was another sharp play. Most professional bettors I know thought Chicago was the right side, and it certainly looked that way when the Bears went up by a touchdown early on. This one was weird. Chicago just imploded and couldn't block New Orleans despite the fact that the Saints' best defensive lineman, Will Smith, was missing in action.

Rams +7 over Giants: This game was absurd. The Rams should have led at halftime; instead, their offense and special teams gave away 14 points, and consequently trailed at the break, 21-6. St. Louis spent the entire second half dropping passes, especially on key third-down situations in the fourth quarter.

Redskins -4 over Cardinals: The Redskins outgained the Cardinals by 150 total yards and won the time-of-possession battle by 15 minutes, yet were able to come out with a one-point victory. I liked Washington because Arizona was traveling to the Atlantic Coast and playing an early game, though I probably should have known better to lay points with Rex Grossman. Of course, this game could have pushed if the Cardinals didn't block that stupid field goal. Yet another special teams blunder against me.



Overall, I went 6-8-2 for -$1,030. Sorry for anyone I've put into a homeless shelter. Like I said, I don't know what's happening. Hopefully things turn around.

I'll be posting these NFL Picks throughout the day. Follow me at @walterfootball for updates.

SAN FRANCISCO OFFENSE: If only the 49ers could play every game against the NFC West. After not taking any sacks in the opener against pathetic Seattle, Alex Smith was brought down six times by Dallas. The Cowboys have a fierce pass rush, but Cincinnati's isn't too shabby either; the Bengals have notched five sacks thus far, including three at Denver; a game in which they trailed throughout.

In addition to having a lack of talent on the front - right tackle Anthony Davis is an abomination - the 49ers have major issues with their protection schemes. This makes it extremely difficult for Smith, who is already handicapped by his lack of talent. I don't like Smith's chances against Cincinnati's secondary.

Frank Gore, averaging 2.5 YPC this year, won't have much more success on the ground. Cincinnati's run defense shut down Peyton Hillis two weeks ago.

CINCINNATI OFFENSE: He's only a rookie, but Andy Dalton is the better of the two signal-callers in this matchup. The ginger was sharp against Denver, going 27-of-41 for 332 yards, two touchdowns and no picks.

Sure, Dalton was battling a Bronco defense missing Champ Bailey and Elvis Dumervil, but it's not like San Francisco has a better secondary. The 49ers currently rank 21st in terms of YPA despite the fact that one of their games was against Tarvaris Jackson.

Where the Niners do shine is stopping the run. They are first in terms of opposing YPC, though it should be noted that they haven't really been tested yet. Marshawn Lynch has no blocking, while Felix Jones was hurt for half of last week's game.

RECAP: I'm absolutely in love with two games this week. This is one, and since I can't decide between the two, it'll be my Dual September NFL Pick of the Month. The Bengals are one of the teams I'm selecting.

The 49ers are in such a bad spot for a number of reasons:

1. Coming off an emotional loss against the Cowboys will be extremely difficult. San Francisco had a win locked up, leading 24-14 in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately for them, Dallas came back with a hobbled Tony Romo and won in overtime. The Niners definitely won't be psychologically prepared for this contest.

2. The emotional defeat was tough enough. Now, the 49ers have to travel all the way across the country to play a 1 p.m. game. West Coast teams are 24-42 against the spread in 1 p.m. East Coast games coming off a home contest (i.e. they didn't travel the week before).

3. This game really reminds me of San Francisco's 2010 Week 3 tilt against Kansas City. The 49ers lost a tough battle against the Saints as home underdogs, and then traveled to play the Chiefs. Because they were on an emotional low, the Niners were completely debaclized, 31-10.

4. Here's a cool trend, though it doesn't have the greatest sample size: Small road underdogs (1-2.5 points) have major issues covering the spread after a loss as a home underdog. Teams in that situation are on an emotional low, and traveling makes things more difficult, especially when they have to battle a team considered slightly worse than them. Teams in this situation are 4-16 against the spread since 2002. If you're into SQDL, here is the syntax: p:HDL and rest < 9 and A and line < 3 and line > 0 and season > 2001

5. I think the Bengals are underrated. They have a good running game and defense, and even though Dalton is a rookie, he has a great supporting cast around him. A.J. Green is a beast, and Jerome Simpson and Jermaine Gresham complement him well.

6. We're getting great line value with Cincinnati. This spread should be -3, but because San Francisco played Dallas well, the line is at less than a field goal. The public seems to have forgotten that the 49ers may have lost to the Seahawks in Week 1 if it weren't for Ted Ginn.

7. Speaking of the spread, I really like the line movement. Despite tons of action on the 49ers, the spread is moving in Cincinnati's direction. That's an indication that A) the sharps are betting the host and B) Vegas wants more action on San Francisco.

LOCKED IN: The sharps are pounding the Bengals, and it appears as though this spread is going to be -3 soon. You can still get -2.5 -110 at Sportsbook.com and BetUS.com. It's -2.5 -120 at 5Dimes.com, which isn't too bad, though I'm not sure if I'd rather have their other option, -3 +105, since you wouldn't be sacrificing a loss with that half point; only a push.


The Psychology. Edge: Bengals.
I have no idea how the 49ers are going to come off such an emotional loss to Dallas and travel all the way to Cincinnati for an early game.


The Vegas. Edge: None.
Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on San Francisco: 59% (40,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Bengals.
  • 49ers are 5-12 ATS on the East Coast in 1 p.m. games since 2002.
  • Bengals are 6-21 ATS as a favorite since 2007.
  • Opening Line: Bengals -1.5.
  • Opening Total: 40.
  • Weather: Showers, 61 degrees. Light wind.


    Week 3 NFL Pick: Bengals 27, 49ers 10
    Bengals -2.5 (6 Units - Dual September NFL Pick of the Month) -- Incorrect; -$660
    Under 38.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    49ers 13, Bengals 8




    New England Patriots (2-0) at Buffalo Bills (2-0)
    Line: Patriots by 7. Total: 54.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 2): Patriots -7.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 2): Patriots -7.5.
    Sunday, Sept. 25, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Game, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Patriots.

    Vegas Recap: Whenever I have a terrible week, I always hope that the oddsmakers s*** the bed as well so I can feel better about myself. Unfortunately, Vegas had just a sub-par week, going 3-4 with its lopsided games. The house won with the Cardinals, Titans and Panthers covering the spread, but lost with the Lions, Steelers, Texans and Giants.

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

    NEW ENGLAND OFFENSE: Jason Campbell just went 23-of-33 for 323 yards, two touchdowns and an interception against this Buffalo defense. That's all you have to know if you're even thinking that the Bills have a remote chance of stopping Tom Brady.

    Brady is simply on fire. He's on pace to throw for 7,500 yards and 56 touchdowns. The only possible blemish is that Aaron Hernandez is out, but Brady still has Rob Gronkowski, Wes Welker, Deion Branch and Chad Ochocinco at his disposal; the latter will see more action with Hernandez sidelined.

    The Bills will need to pressure Brady if they want to at least contain New England's offense. That'll be a problem though; Buffalo has just two sacks this year.

    BUFFALO OFFENSE: Ryan Fitzpatrick is really thriving in his second season under Chan Gailey. The Bills somehow have the NFL's highest-scoring offense through two weeks.

    There's no reason why Fitzpatrick will slow down against New England. The Patriots haven't been able to stop anyone thus far, as they've had issues containing both Chad Henne and Philip Rivers. Rivers is awesome, so that's excusable. Struggling against Henne is not; he predictably couldn't move the chains against the Texans on Sunday.

    Unlike last week though, Fred Jackson won't have a dominant performance. While the Patriots have had major problems stopping the pass, they've been stout against the run, limiting the opposition to 3.6 YPC.

    RECAP: This is a tough game to handicap. The Bills will be able to score against New England, but Brady is on fire, making it extremely difficult to bet against him. I wouldn't want to do it - especially after getting screwed over in the San Diego game. I'll lay the points, but I wouldn't put any money on it.

    SURVIVOR PICK: I'm going to do something I normally don't do. I'm taking a road team in Survivor. I just don't like any of the home options this week. Tennessee is a possibility, but I don't like taking bad teams, and I could see them losing to Denver. The Saints have a tough matchup with Houston. The Eagles could be without QB Dog Killer. I'm not confident in Carolina yet. I've already used San Diego. Both Dallas and Tampa could lose to Washington and Atlanta, respectively. This is a really tough week.

    You may ask why I'm not taking the Bengals, since they're my Dual September NFL Pick of the Month. Well, in terms of winning straight-up, I think the Patriots have the better chance. The Bills haven't beaten New England since Week 1, 2003. I think we're safe with New England.


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


    The Vegas. Edge: Bills.
    Late action on the Patriots.
  • Percentage of money on New England: 71% (69,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Patriots.
  • History: Patriots have won the last 15 meetings.
  • Patriots are 35-19 ATS vs. AFC East opponents since 2001.
  • Tom Brady is 124-39 as a starter (96-63 ATS).
  • Bills are 7-20 ATS in their last 27 home games vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Opening Line: Patriots -9.
  • Opening Total: 50.5.
  • Weather: Possible showers, 58 degrees. Mild wind, 11 mph.


    Week 3 NFL Pick: Patriots 38, Bills 27
    Patriots -7 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Over 54.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    SURVIVOR PICK (2-0)
    Bills 34, Patriots 31






    Houston Texans (2-0) at New Orleans Saints (1-1)
    Line: Saints by 3.5. Total: 51.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 2): Saints -3.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 2): Saints -3.
    Sunday, Sept. 25, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Game, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Saints.

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

    1. Every Chiefs fan I know, whether it's on the forum, Facebook or twitter (@walterfootball) is all about the Suck For Luck sweepstakes. Forum member Centurion even has a Kansas City No. 12 Luck jersey as his signature.

    At this point, why doesn't Kansas City just save us all some time and start Luck this year? Sure, he isn't actually eligible to play yet because he hasn't been drafted, but the Chiefs could put a cardboard cutout of him in the backfield - which would be a huge upgrade over Matt Cassel.

    2. One football-related thing that pisses me off more than anything are those stupid running back stats that go something like this:

    When Running Back X has 15+ carries, Team Y is 6-0
    When Running Back X has 14 or fewer carries, Team Y is 2-6


    Wow! So if a team wants to win, all it needs to do is run the football! Could it be, I don't know, that a team is able to run the ball because they're winning in the first place? No, that can't possibly be it.

    You have no idea how aggravated I get when I hear something like that. Mike Ditka brought it up on Sunday NFL Countdown, and I wanted to slice my ears off.

    3. My picks have sucked the past two weeks. One game I was lucky to get right was the Falcons +2.5 over the Eagles; Atlanta wouldn't have won if it wasn't for QB Dog Killer's injury.

    Perhaps I should hire Farim to do my picks instead. Here are two new e-mails from this crazed lunatic:



    What bad economy? All NFL players are hiring in Philly!



    I love the subject: "threatn." Does he think he is threatening me by calling me "white man," or does he think I was threatening him by picking the Falcons to win? Either way, I hope the workers at his mental hospital give him his meds soon.

    NEW ORLEANS OFFENSE: Houston's defense has looked incredible thus far. They're getting great pressure on the quarterback and are currently ranked second against the pass in terms of YPA (6.0).

    That said, it's not like the Texans have been tested yet. They've battled Kerry Collins and Chad Henne thus far, and both quarterbacks were behind miserable offensive fronts. I'm not saying the Saints protect the quarterback well, but Drew Brees gets the ball out so quickly that it doesn't really matter much most of the time.

    I don't see Brees struggling against Houston. He's too good. Lance Moore figures to actually be healthy this week, so that's yet another weapon the Texans will have to deal with. I also think Mark Ingram could have a solid outing. He's had two tough matchups against the Packers and Bears, but he could get going against a stop unit that had problems containing fellow rookie Daniel Thomas.

    HOUSTON OFFENSE: Speaking of first-year running backs, Ben Tate will draw the start with Arian Foster out again. Tate, a second-round pick in 2010, has tremendous talent and was able to showcase it against Indianapolis in Week 1. The Saints are giving up 4.4 YPC this season, so I expect Tate to have another big game.

    Tate's running ability will give Matt Schaub more time in the pocket. He'll need it, as his offensive front surrendered three sacks against the Dolphins. The Saints will have Will Smith back from suspension, so Schaub will have to operate in manageable third-down situations to avoid a beating.

    If Schaub can stay off the turf, he should have no issues moving the chains against a shaky secondary. The Texans simply have too many weapons for the Saints to handle.

    RECAP: I like Houston a bit. These teams are somewhat evenly matched, and Gary Kubiak is 10-2 ATS in his second consecutive road game.


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


    The Vegas. Edge: Texans.
    About three-quarters lean on the host.
  • Percentage of money on New Orleans: 80% (57,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Texans.
  • Gary Kubiak is 10-2 ATS in his second consecutive road game.
  • Texans are 17-29 ATS after a win (11-13 since 2007).
  • Saints are 32-48 ATS at home since 2001 (15-12 since 2008).
  • Saints are 24-37 ATS as a home favorite since 2001.
  • Opening Line: Saints -5.5.
  • Opening Total: 52.5.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 3 NFL Pick: Saints 27, Texans 24
    Texans +3.5 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Under 51.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Texans 40, Saints 33








    New York Giants (1-1) at Philadelphia Eagles (1-1)
    Line: Eagles by 9. Total: 47.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 2): Eagles -6.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 2): Eagles -6 (QBDK) or Pick (Kafka).
    Sunday, Sept. 25, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Game, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Eagles.

    More random NFL notes: 4. So, Tom Brady is on pace to throw for 7,520 yards and 56 touchdowns. He's having the best season of his career thus far. Is it because he spent the entire offseason watching film and working out? No, that's stupid. The secret to his success is his hair. Brady clearly spent hours upon hours watching Boy Meets World during the lockout. Don't believe me? I have proof:



    Look at the hair! It's the same hairdo. Brady clearly saw the potential - Eric Matthews was a major slacker and spelled his name wrong on the SAT, but somehow got into the same college as the valedictorian of his former high school. Applying Eric's magical hair to his own skills, Brady is now set to have the greatest season of any quarterback in NFL history.

    Now, if only Topanga were still hot...

    5. I really feel like ESPN blew a big opportunity with its new NFL32 show. If you haven't seen it, ESPN NFL32 is a program in which Suzy Kolber, Chris Mortensen and two random ESPN analysts discuss hot NFL topics. I wouldn't say it's terrible, but I turn it off as soon as they interview NFL players, since they usually don't have anything interesting to say.

    What ESPN should have done is paid Bill Simmons, Cousin Sal, Matthew Berry and someone else (Chad Millman, Adam Schefter?) to run ESPN NFL32. They could have discussed picks, betting lines, fantasy football and other randomness. Had they done this, I'd be a daily viewer. Instead, I'll only occasionally tune into NFL32. Sorry, but I don't really care what Kolber or Mortensen have to say about football unless they're breaking news.

    6. Speaking of ESPN, e-mailer Joe B. sent over the following rant:

    So somehow on NFL Live, Trey Wingo took a short break from screaming at me to play this terrible game called "Point Blank." Have you seen this garbage? He asks a random analyst: "-blank- will win if they -blank-."

    The first team was Seattle, and Mark "I'm famous because I won two Super Bowls with John Elway as my quarterback and I was in a zone-blocking scheme" Schlereth gave this answer: "Seattle will win if they ... start Charlie Whitehurst."

    OK. I'm sure that will happen. You better change your survivor pick based on this info! In addition, every team they played this lame-a** game with, Tedy Bruschi's answer was always either "force turnovers" or "run the ball".

    Nice analysis. Listening to this makes me want to commit bodily harm to myself.

    You know, I can't say I'm surprised that ESPN blew it with NFL32.

    NEW YORK OFFENSE: Despite their 28-16 victory over the Rams, the Giants didn't look too impressive. Eli Manning continued to struggle on third down and looked uncomfortable with his receivers. Unfortunately for my two-unit bet, the inept St. Louis secondary allowed one too many circus catches to be completed, giving New York an undeserved cover.

    The Giants won't be so fortunate against the Eagles. Asante Samuel, Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie did a number on Roddy White and Julio Jones, and they should be able to shut down Hakeem Nicks and a hobbled Mario Manningham, who may not play.

    The Eagles do have their weaknesses, however, particularly against tight ends and stout rushing attacks. Kevin Boss is gone, so New York can't take advantage of the former. But Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw should be able to total 150 combined rushing yards at the very least.

    PHILADELPHIA OFFENSE: The key for the Eagles will be establishing a lead to make New York one-dimensional. That's certainly possible if QB Dog Killer plays off a concussion. Philadelphia is optimistic about his chances, which is bad news for an inept Giants secondary ranked 22nd in terms of YPA (8.0).

    New York will have to blitz QB Dog Killer often in an attempt to confuse him. This shouldn't be too difficult; in his previous seven games, Philadelphia's quarterback has committed 12 turnovers. He's very overrated, especially now that he's making an effort to stay in the pocket as much as possible.

    If QB Dog Killer can't play, Mike Kafka will be the starter. Kafka is very accurate and showed tremendous poise Sunday night, but his inability to scramble nearly as effectively as his potential replacement could be an issue because the Giants' pass rush should be able to abuse the Eagles' offensive line.

    RECAP: I'll have an exact pick and unit total once a line is posted. I'm probably siding with the Eagles, who own the Giants. If Kafka starts, I might make a moderately sized play on the host; I love betting good teams that are missing their starting quarterback.

    LINE POSTED: The Eagles are -9 over the Giants. This spread is way too high. New York is playing like crap right now, but Philadelphia is severely overrated. Turnover machine QB Dog Killer won't be able to read the blitz and will continue to give the ball away. Plus, he might be hesitant to run because of his concussion.


    The Psychology. Edge: TBA.
    TBA


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action early on.
  • Percentage of money on Philadelphia: 55% (18,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Eagles.
  • History: Road Team has won 6 of the last 8 meetings.
  • History: Eagles have won the last 6 meetings.
  • Giants are 27-15 ATS on the road since 2006.
  • Tom Coughlin is 4-7 ATS after Monday Night Football.
  • Eagles are 70-49 ATS vs. NFC opponents since 2001.
  • Opening Line: Eagles -9.
  • Opening Total: 48.5.
  • Weather: Showers, 71 degrees. Light wind.


    Week 3 NFL Pick: Eagles 28, Giants 21
    Giants +9 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Over 47 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Giants 29, Eagles 16






    Miami Dolphins (0-2) at Cleveland Browns (1-1)
    Line: Browns by 2. Total: 41.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 2): Browns -1.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 2): Browns -3.
    Sunday, Sept. 25, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Game, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: None.

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

    1. Temple sucks. Not because the Owls almost beat my alma mater, Penn State, this past weekend. It's because they bullied around an old man in the process.

    If you didn't know, Joe Paterno has to sit up in the coaches' box because he suffered an injury during a collision in practice. Well, JoePa couldn't actually see anything during the Temple game because he was behind a fogged-up window. Nothing could be done about this, as the Temple officials claimed they didn't know how to open it. The window fogged up, so JoePa had to go down to the sideline rather than coach the game while watching the ESPN broadcast.

    How lame is that? Either Temple is completely stupid/inept or they like to take advantage of poor, old men. Do Temple employees raid retirement homes and steal Bingo cards? Do they invade orphanages and rob all the kids of their candy? Or do they prefer to travel to third-world countries and urinate on starving people?

    2. Speaking of Temple-Penn State, I'm so over this whole two-quarterback thing. Start one guy. I don't care who it is; just stick with one quarterback. What if this crappy two-quarterback system applied to dating? Can you imagine dating two chicks at one time instead of just one? How much would that suck? Wait... hmm... maybe this two-quarterback strategy is good.

    3. E-mailer Suraj L on something that happened in college football a week ago:

    I don't know if you watched the south Carolina-Georgia game yesterday, but Matt Millen was a commentator. And apparently, he's found a new love interest in Marcus Lattimore. Throughout the game, he called him "a big strong man" and a "man's man at running back."

    Later on, he said this gem of Lattimore, "That's a horse I'd like to ride."

    Not that there's anything wrong with that.


    CLEVELAND OFFENSE: Colt McCoy rebounded well last week after a poor performance against the Bengals in Week 1. Of course, he did this against the inept Colts, thanks in part to the strong running of Peyton Hillis. Indianapolis had major issues stopping the rush, as expected.

    The good news for McCoy is that he'll once again be able to capitalize off play-action opportunities and short-yardage situations. The Dolphins have surrendered 4.4 YPC the first two weeks of the season, giving up a combined 239 rushing yards on 54 carries to the Patriots and Texans.

    If Hillis is ripping off big chunks of yardage, Miami won't have a chance on defense. The one thing the Dolphins do well is rush the passer - they brought down Matt Schaub three times last week - but they won't be able to do that if McCoy is working out of a 2nd-and-4 or 3rd-and-2 every time. Miami's secondary has no depth, but at least it won't have to worry about Cleveland's receivers beating them like Andre Johnson, Wes Welker and the New England tight ends were able to.

    MIAMI OFFENSE: The Dolphins dropped to 0-2 Sunday, but the silver lining coming out of the defeat to Houston was that Miami finally established a solid running game. Rookie Daniel Thomas was very impressive, rushing for 107 yards on 18 carries.

    Thomas should be able to pick up where he left off. Despite having two 325-pound monsters in the middle of the defensive front, the Browns have struggled to stop the run thus far, allowing 4.5 YPC to the opposition.

    If Thomas can eclipse the century mark again, that will only help Chad Henne, who needs time in the pocket behind a pedestrian offensive line. The Browns don't have much of a pass rush, but they currently rank first against the pass in terms of YPA. That's very misleading though, as the quarterbacks they've battled thus far have been Andy Dalton (who played only a half and was decent), Bruce Gradkowski and Kerry Collins.

    RECAP: In a matchup against two pedestrian teams, the Dolphins have the one key advantage - offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. Daboll coached on the Browns last year, which gives Miami a big edge because Daboll is very familiar with the Browns' personnel.

    LOCKED IN: The sharps are pounding the Dolphins. You can still find Miami +2 at BetUS.com and CRIS.


    The Psychology. Edge: Dolphins.
    Dolphins offensive coordinator Brian Daboll coached the Browns last year.


    The Vegas. Edge: Browns.
    No one believes in the Browns yet? What about their victory against the awesome Colts?
  • Percentage of money on Miami: 76% (48,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Dolphins.
  • Tony Sparano is 17-7 ATS on the road.
  • Browns are 3-7 ATS as favorites since 2008.
  • Opening Line: Browns -1.
  • Opening Total: 40.
  • Weather: Possible showers, 64 degrees. Light wind.


    Week 3 NFL Pick: Dolphins 19, Browns 16
    Dolphins +2 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Under 41.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Browns 17, Dolphins 16





    Denver Broncos (1-1) at Tennessee Titans (1-1)
    Line: Titans by 7. Total: 44.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 2): Titans -2.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 2): Titans -3.
    Sunday, Sept. 25, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Game, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Titans.

    If you've been following this site, you know that I make a habit of responding to my spam mails. Last week, I pretended to be Saddam Hussein's bastard son, and I tried to start a war with someone who styled himself the Prince of Brunei. Unfortunately, he didn't meet my demands ($2 billion, 50 animals, several boxes of Oreos), so I thought I'd try my luck with another spammer.

    I received this e-mail from a Mengxin Wu:

    Dear manager

    We have the pleasure of contacting with you today. Huhehaote Xincheng District Xinxunhua Computer Supplies Distribution Department which is a well established manufacturer and exporter of electronic products in China mainland.

    Our main products range as follows:


    1.USB/KVM series:USB KVM Switch
    2. HDMI series: HDMI Switch,HDMI Splitter
    3. DVI/VGA series:DVI Splitter
    4. Cable:KVM Cable RS232 Cable,HDMI Cable
    5. VGA Series:VGA Splitter
    6. OEM products
    7.Wire Tracer Line Status Test


    SAMPLES will be send for your evaluation

    I swear, I get an e-mail from this Mengxin Wu a**hole every single night. He keeps trying to peddle these shady products despite the fact that I've never answered him. Well, I've had enough. Please note that I used "Mustafa Snow" here instead of "Musafa Snow" as a careless error. Hey, ruling the Iraqi throne is stressful.

    Mengxin, Hello, my name is Mustafa Snow. I am the heir to the Iraqi throne. I am the bastard son of Saddam Hussein, but I do not appear on his Wikipedia page because I am illegitimate. Or so the overlords of Wikipedia say.

    I am in need of some of your supplies so I can wage war on Wikipedia. They must recognize me on my father's Wiki page!

    I would like 13 of Item No. 1, 16 of Item No. 4, 11 of Item No. 7 and 20 of Item No. 8.

    Make haste with your delivery. Otherwise, I will hunt you down and feed you to my pet albino dire-hyena, who is very hungry right now.

    Kind regards,

    Mustafa Snow


    I actually got a response Tuesday morning! Here's a screenshot to prove it:



    I'll have my response posted next week.

    TENNESSEE OFFENSE: What a difference a week can make. After Week 1, the Titans were seen as an offensive abomination; Matt Hasselbeck looked like a crippled old man, while the coaching staff apparently forgot that Chris Johnson existed. Now, Hasselbeck is back to 2005 form, Kenny Britt is unstoppable, and CJ2K is, well, rightfully being booed by "fake" Titan fans.

    Johnson had a tough matchup last week against the Ravens, so it's tough to completely blame him. However, he ran poorly, hesitating to hit the hole and opting instead to dance at the line of scrimmage.

    The Broncos could just be what the doctor ordered. Denver currently ranks 27th against the run, allowing 5.0 YPC. Johnson (or Javon Ringer) will easily pile up the yardage, making life easier for Hasselbeck, who probably doesn't need help in the first place against a Bronco secondary that hasn't been able to contain Andy Dalton or Jason Campbell.

    DENVER OFFENSE: The Broncos have major injury issues on offense. Knowshon Moreno could miss yet another game with a hamstring injury. Eddie Royal is out several weeks. Brandon Lloyd should be able to play, but may not be 100 percent. And then there's Tim Tebow, who failed to catch a single pass out of the slot last week. What a bum.

    All kidding aside, Denver could have issues moving the chains. The Titans put together a great defensive effort against Baltimore, limiting Ray Rice to 43 yards on 13 carries. McGahee isn't half the running back Rice is, so moving the ball on the ground could be an issue.

    The Titans were also able to pressure Joe Flacco relentlessly, holding him to just 15-of-32 passing for 197 yards, one touchdown and two picks. If Lloyd isn't completely healthy, I have a hard time seeing Denver moving the chains in this contest.

    RECAP: I know I just made it sound like Tennessee will cover the spread easily, but I'm siding with the Broncos. Are we supposed to believe that the Titans are really good after just one victory against a flat Baltimore squad? What about the other game against Jacksonville?

    I'm not sure if the Six and Six trend applies here - that trend says to bet against teams projected to win six games or fewer when they are favored by six or more. But will Tennessee be 6-10 or worse? I'm not completely sure.


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


    The Vegas. Edge: Broncos.
    This action was even until Thursday. People are now taking the Titans.
  • Percentage of money on Tennessee: 76% (39,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Opening Line: Titans -4.5.
  • Opening Total: 41.
  • Weather: Possible showers, 70 degrees. Light wind.


    Week 3 NFL Pick: Titans 20, Broncos 16
    Broncos +7 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Under 44 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Titans 17, Broncos 14




    Detroit Lions (2-0) at Minnesota Vikings (0-2)
    Line: Lions by 3. Total: 45.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 2): Lions -1.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 2): Lions -3.
    Sunday, Sept. 25, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Game, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Lions.

    Video of the Week: Herman Edwards, Dennis Green, Derek Anderson, Jim Mora... they all gave entertaining press conferences. Well, it's time to add Eli Manning to that pantheon. Click the link to see Eli Manning's post-game meltdown against the Eagles last year. I've seriously watched this five times and can't stop laughing.

    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 (which should be soon, I hope).

    DETROIT OFFENSE: Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and the rest of Detroit's offense have been on fire through two games, but it's fair to say that they haven't really been tested yet. The Buccaneers don't exactly have a solid stop unit, while the Chiefs were deflated after losing Jamaal Charles to a torn ACL on their first drive.

    The Vikings will provide a much tougher test, especially with Pro Bowl defensive tackle Kevin Williams returning from suspension. With Williams, Jared Allen and Brian Robison (who has played really well this season) collapsing the pocket, Stafford may have trouble scoring at will for the first time this year.

    Still though, Detroit's offense should be able to produce some points. There's just too much talent for the Vikings (and most defenses) to handle, especially now that Titus Young has emerged as a viable option.

    MINNESOTA OFFENSE: The problem with the Vikings is obviously their scoring attack. Donovan McNabb stinks, the offensive line isn't any good, and the coaching staff doesn't seem to know how to use Percy Harvin. Seriously, why was Harvin on the field for just 30 of the 68 snaps last week? What the hell is Minnesota thinking?

    I can't see McNabb having much success throwing the ball. Detroit's fierce pass rush will make life extremely difficult for him, and his lacking supporting cast at wideout won't be much help.

    Adrian Peterson will single-handedly have to keep Minnesota's offense in this game. The Lions have shown some susceptibility against the run (4.4 YPC allowed), so Peterson should be able to have a solid outing and keep McNabb in third-and-manageable situations. Whether McNabb can actually take advantage of those scenarios is a completely different story.

    RECAP: I don't know why people are betting on Detroit like crazy. I mean, I think the Lions will cover because the Vikings are terrible, but this is not an easy game for them. It's tough to win a divisional game on the road, and Minnesota will be desperate to avoid an 0-3 start.


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


    The Vegas. Edge: Vikings.
    All aboard the Detroit bandwagon!
  • Percentage of money on Detroit: 83% (88,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Vikings.
  • History: Vikings have won 21 of the last 23 meetings.
  • Lions are 6-15 ATS against losing teams the previous 21 instances.
  • Donovan McNabb is 27-16 ATS after a loss since 2001.
  • Opening Line: Lions -4.
  • Opening Total: 43.5.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 3 NFL Pick: Lions 24, Vikings 17
    Lions -3 (0 Units) -- Push; $0
    Under 45 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Lions 26, Vikings 23






    Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1) at Carolina Panthers (0-2)
    Line: Panthers by 4. Total: 42.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 2): Panthers -3.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 2): Panthers -6.5.
    Sunday, Sept. 25, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Game, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Panthers.

    Bo-Bo has retired, so as promised, here's the NFL.com Fantasy Draft - Part 2:

    Rich Eisen: Welcome back to the second half of Round 1. When we left off, Charles Davis was trying to figure out who H.Nicks was.

    Charles Davis: I'm going to take Randy Moss.

    Dennis Green: Great pick, moron!

    Charles Davis: But Randy Moss is 10th on my list.

    Dennis Green: What a f***ing stupid list that is! The s*** that comes out of my a** is better! S*** out of my a**!

    Rich Eisen: Calm down, Dennis. Charles Davis made his pick. It's his fantasy team, and he gets to choose whomever he wants.

    Brian Billick: I think it's a great pick, and here's why. Unless you pass on a first-round pick in your fantasy draft, you should take the worst player available. Doing that and then beating your opponents into submission is one of many ways to prove that you are much more intelligent than everyone in your league. Of course, Charles Davis will never be as smart as Brian Billick, but that's a whole other issue.

    Rich Eisen: Are you done? I'm taking Ray Rice. Marshall Faulk, it's your turn.

    Marshall Faulk: Who was taken so far?

    Dennis Green: Why the f*** weren't you paying attention!?

    Marshall Faulk: Sorry, I was on YouTube. Hey guys, did you see the video where a couple gets married to that Chris Brown song?

    Dennis Green: Everyone's seen it! Everyone! Start paying attention this f***ing draft before I f***ing take a s*** on your fantasy magazine!

    Marshall Faulk: I'll take Peyton Manning.

    Dennis Green: IDIOT! MY PLAYER HAS FALLEN TO ME! GIVE ME LARRY FITZGERALD! SUCK IT MOOCH!

    Rich Eisen: OK, well, now it's Jim Mora Jr's turn, but he's still not here, so... oh wait, here he is!

    Jim Mora Jr: Is it my turn yet? I'll take Ray Rice.

    Rich Eisen: He's already taken. And why are you late? We told you the draft started at 2, yet it's almost 5 now.

    Jim Mora Jr: I had to go downtown to eat lunch with friends. I have to go back down later to have some dinner with friends, so let's hurry this up, OK?

    Dennis Green: WE WAITED FOR F***ING EVER FOR YOU TO COME, AND NOW YOU'RE F***ING TELL US TO HURRY THE F*** UP!? YOU F***ING A**HOLE!!!

    Jim Mora Jr: OK, fine, I won't go downtown, but can we at least take a pizza break?

    Dennis Green: MAKE YOUR F***ING PICK THEN GO GET PIZZA!!!

    Jim Mora Jr: Let me just eat three slices first.

    Dennis Green: I'M LOSING IT, RICH! I'M F***ING LOSING IT!!!

    Rich Eisen: Sounds like Dennis Green is going to kill someone. Stay tuned next week for Round 2.

    CAROLINA PANTHERS: I still can't believe Cam Newton just put together back-to-back 400-yard passing performances. None of it is bogus either. He's the real deal. Yes, he made some rookie mistakes in the second half by telegraphing a few picks, but he was trailing and was trying to make a play. He was much sharper in the first half.

    Can Newton make it three 400-yard games in a row? Why the hell not? Jacksonville is just 17th versus the pass despite battling Matt Hasselbeck and Mark Sanchez the first two weeks. The problem is the lacking pass rush; collecting three sacks in two games is not going to cut it against Newton, who obviously has the capability of scrambling for first downs if he needs to.

    Expect Carolina to be one-dimensional again. The Jaguars have impressively restricted Chris Johnson and Shonn Greene to 2.6 YPC. The Panthers can't run the ball anyway, which is actually really surprising to me. I thought DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart would really benefit from defenses respecting Newton's scrambling ability, a la Vince Young with CJ2K. I guess the injury to right tackle Jeff Otah is really making an impact.

    JACKSONVILLE OFFENSE: After a decent Week 1, Luke McCown pieced together a 1.8 quarterback rating on Sunday. Granted, it was against Darrelle Revis and the "overhyped" Jets, but it was still pathetic nonetheless.

    Regardless of whether McCown or Blaine Gabbert starts, Jacksonville should definitely have much more success throwing the football. The Panthers are ranked dead last against the pass, surrendering a dreadful YPA of 10.8 (the next-closest team is Miami at 9.7). With awful defensive backs and a banged-up linebacking corps, it's easy to see why Carolina has no hope of stopping opposing aerial attacks.

    Meanwhile, Maurice Jones-Drew figures to run well. He's been terrific in two games thus far, and the Panthers are almost as bad against the run, surrendering 5.7 YPC.

    RECAP: A couple of reasons I like the Jaguars:

    1. I don't think Carolina deserves to be favored by more than a field goal. Newton has been great, but the rest of the team sucks. The offensive line can't block, while the defense is an abomination. Jacksonville should be able to score often.

    2. The Jaguars are an underdog playing their second-consecutive road game off a loss. Teams fare well in this scenario (121-69 ATS since 2002). Jack Del Rio is 5-2 ATS in this situation.

    3. Underdogs following a loss of 28-plus points are 55-30 against the spread since 2002 if you exclude the weird Week 17 games.

    LOCKED IN: As I tweeted Friday afternoon (@walterfootball): You can get #Jaguars +4 -115 on Bodog right now. I'd jump on that. Sportsbook.com has #Jaguars +3.5 -105, which is also very good.


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


    The Vegas. Edge: Jaguars.
    All aboard the Cam Newton bandwagon!
  • Percentage of money on Carolina: 78% (81,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Jaguars.
  • Jack Del Rio is 6-2 ATS as a road dog after a road loss.
  • Jaguars are 6-10 ATS vs. NFC opponents since 2007.
  • Jaguars are 10-21 ATS against non-divisional opponents since 2008.
  • Panthers are 14-25 ATS as a home favorite of 3.5 or more since 2001.
  • Panthers are 26-37 ATS at home since 2003.
  • Opening Line: Panthers -3.5.
  • Opening Total: 40.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 80 degrees. Light wind.


    Week 3 NFL Pick: Panthers 24, Jaguars 23
    Jaguars +4 -115 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$230
    Over 42 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Panthers 16, Jaguars 10




    Week 3 NFL Picks - Late Games
    Chiefs at Chargers, Jets at Raiders, Ravens at Rams, Falcons at Buccaneers, Cardinals at Seahawks, Packers at Bears, Steelers at Colts, Redskins at Cowboys



    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 3 NFL Picks - Late Games



    NFL Picks - Dec. 19


    2015 NFL Mock Draft - Dec. 17


    Fantasy Football Rankings - Sept. 5


    2016 NFL Mock Draft - July 24


    2015 NBA Mock Draft - July 1


    NFL Free Agents




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    1 Last Week's NFL Picks Against The Spread (Week 15, 2014): 6-9-1 (-$1,380)
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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: 5-9
    Bears: 7-7
    Bucs: 8-6
    49ers: 6-7
    Eagles: 9-5
    Lions: 5-8
    Falcons: 6-8
    Cardinals: 7-7
    Giants: 4-10
    Packers: 9-4
    Panthers: 5-9
    Rams: 6-8
    Redskins: 8-6
    Vikings: 11-3
    Saints: 5-8
    Seahawks: 7-7
    Bills: 6-8
    Bengals: 5-10
    Colts: 6-7
    Broncos: 7-7
    Dolphins: 9-4
    Browns: 7-5
    Jaguars: 8-6
    Chargers: 5-9
    Jets: 7-7
    Ravens: 6-8
    Texans: 6-7
    Chiefs: 8-5
    Patriots: 7-7
    Steelers: 7-7
    Titans: 6-6
    Raiders: 5-9
    Divisional: 31-37 (2011-13: 141-137)
    2x Game Edge: 11-16 (2011-13: 55-62)
    2x Psych Edge: 23-21 (2011-13: 92-80)
    2x Vegas Edge: 39-39 (2011-13: 129-142)
    2x Trend Edge: 29-15 (2011-13: 72-78)
    Double Edge: 13-11 (2011-13: 27-33)
    Triple Edge: 0-0 (2011-13: 2-1)
    Quad Edge: 0-0 (2011-13: 0-0)

    2003 Preseason: 3 | 4 | 5
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