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NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 1, 2012



NFL Picks (Preseason 2012): 6-9-1 (-$1,440)
NFL Picks (Week 1, 2012): 0-1 (-$2,110)

NFL Picks (2011): 137-133-12 (-$1,925)
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. 10, 4:45 p.m. ET. Follow @walterfootball for updates.


Go to Week 1 NFL Picks - Early Games



San Francisco 49ers (0-0) at Green Bay Packers (0-0)
Line: Packers by 5. Total: 46.5.

Walt's Projected Line (Before Preseason): Packers -7.
Walt's Projected Line (After Preseason ): .
Sunday, Sept. 9, 4:25 ET
Discuss Week 1 Games, Talk Trash

The Game. Edge: Packers.

If you didn't catch it, Emmitt on the Brink is back! Season 5, Episode 1 has been posted - The Saints have once again gotten into trouble. Roger Goodell finds the man whom he thinks can put an end to Bountygate II.

SAN FRANCISCO OFFENSE: The 49ers won many games last year by playing great defense and effectively running the ball. They asked Alex Smith to do very little. However, they spent the entire offseason finding upgrades at the receiving corps, which tells me that Jim Harbaugh wants Smith to do more this year.

That's not good. More Smith is bad - especially now that every team has had an entire offseason to study Harbaugh's offense. I'm expecting more turnovers from a regressing Smith this season, starting in this game. The Packers surrender yardage, but their defensive backfield can force tons of turnovers, thanks to Charles Woodson.

Smith does not play behind a very good offensive line, so the Packers should put heavy pressure on him. Green Bay bolstered its pass rush this offseason by spending a first-round pick on Nick Perry, who flashed in August. B.J. Raji, meanwhile, will presumably have a rebound season after struggling in 2011 because he was worn down from not keeping in shape during the lockout. A 100-percent Raji will help improve Green Bay's 25th-ranked rush defense, so the rapidly declining Frank Gore won't get much on the ground. Involving Kendall Hunter would be a smart move, but I don't think the 49ers will do that until October at the earliest.

GREEN BAY OFFENSE: OK, maybe I went a bit overboard in the previous preview when I wrote that the Falcons' offense versus a healthy Chiefs' defense was the matchup to watch - because this is it. How will Aaron Rodgers fare against the NFL's top defense?

I think he'll do pretty well. After all, it's extremely difficult to stop elite passing in today's NFL because of the no-contact rules. Drew Brees went 40-of-63 for 462 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions against the 49ers in the divisional round of the playoffs in January. I don't see why Rodgers can't have as much success at home, especially with his scrambling skills. His ability to pick up big chunks of yardage on the ground is such a back-breaker for the defense. He'll keep drives alive against San Francisco utilizing this tactic.

As for the ground game, I wouldn't expect much. I've never seen Cedric Benson run with as much passion and energy as I have this preseason, but he has a really tough matchup, as the 49ers were ranked first in rush defense last year (3.34 YPC) and return all of their starters.

RECAP: As was the case last year, it's going to take a lot for me to bet against Rodgers. He's just too damn good. He'll score enough points against the 49ers to win and hopefully cover.

UNIT CHANGE: I'm a bit more confident in the Packers after thinking about all week. I'm raising this to two units.


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


The Vegas. Edge: 49ers.
Slight lean on the Packers.
  • Percentage of money on Green Bay: 62% (77,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Packers.
  • Aaron Rodgers is 33-17 ATS since 2009.
  • Opening Line: Packers -6.5.
  • Opening Total: 45.
  • Weather: .


    Week 1 NFL Pick: Packers 27, 49ers 20
    Packers -5 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
    Over 46.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    49ers 30, Packers 22




    Carolina Panthers (0-0) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-0)
    Line: Panthers by 2.5. Total: 45.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Preseason): Panthers -2.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Preseason ): .
    Sunday, Sept. 9, 4:25 ET
    Discuss Week 1 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Panthers.

    You can win $350 in the WalterFootball.com 2012 NFL Survivor Pool, which was just posted. To enter, just click the link and follow the rules. Entry is free, so make sure you sign up for a chance to win $350.

    Also, feel free to create your own 2013 NFL Mock Draft. If it's deemed good enough by this Web site's editor, it'll be listed in the 2013 NFL Mock Draft Database.

    CAROLINA OFFENSE: The NFL is full of weird stats. For example, I was looking up to see how Steve Smith fared against the Buccaneers last year. I assumed he had done well, given that Tampa was ranked 31st against aerial attacks (8.2 YPA). However, Smith had just three catches for 41 yards in the two games. Aqib Talib apparently has his number.

    Of course, it didn't matter that the Buccaneers shut down Smith. Cam Newton still scored eight touchdowns in the two contests (four passing, four rushing). There's a chance that Newton will have to battle through a sophomore slump this year - he threw for more than 210 passing yards in only one of his final six games last year - but he'll still pick up big chunks of yardage on the ground.

    Tampa Bay's defensive front is a mess. The group ranked dead last in rush defense last year (5.14 YPC), with Carolina doing some of the damage, compiling 314 rushing yards in the two meetings. Jonathan Stewart will probably be out with an ankle sprain, but that just means that DeAngelo Williams will enjoy a huge outing.

    TAMPA BAY OFFENSE: This unit was a mess last year. Mike Williams was out of shape, LeGarrette Blount couldn't understand what to do on passing downs, while Josh Freeman was battling his own personal demons. Things look much brighter now. Williams looks fit, and he's not even the No. 1 wideout anymore. Doug Martin has replaced Blount as the lead back. And Freeman? Well, he's more focused now, but he's still having issues.

    Freeman hasn't looked good this preseason. He's had trouble gelling with new wideout Vincent Jackson. This isn't a matter of meaningless exhibition contests; Freeman has had problems picking up the new offense. It's a completely different system; we'll have more on this in our 2013 NFL Draft Rumor Mill soon enough.

    Having said that, the Buccaneers should still be able to put up points. Carolina's defense is mostly a mess; it ranked 27th and 32nd against the run and the pass last year, respectively. Martin should have a big game, which will make things much easier for Freeman, who sounds like he needs all the help he can get right now.

    RECAP: I can't figure this one out. On one hand, all of the smart money is on a Tampa Bay team that actually won't be quitting on its head coach. The Panthers could be looking ahead to their matchups against the Saints and Giants. But then again, I don't think the people putting down the smart money realize how much trouble Freeman is having with the offense.

    I'm not betting this game. I could see it go either way.


    The Psychology. Edge: Buccaneers.
    The Panthers have to deal with the Saints and Giants in the next few weeks. They demolished the Buccaneers twice last year, so they may not take them seriously.


    The Vegas. Edge: Buccaneers.
    Cam Newton versus the Bucs? Easy decision.
  • Percentage of money on Carolina: 79% (50,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Panthers.
  • History: Panthers have won 5 the last 7 meetings.
  • Small Favorite Dominance: Divisional favorites of 1-3 points are 16-6 ATS on kickoff weekend since 2000.
  • Buccaneers are 5-17 ATS at home in the previous 22 instances.
  • Buccaneers are 2-9 ATS as a home underdog since 2009.
  • Opening Line: Panthers -3.
  • Opening Total: 46.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 1 NFL Pick: Panthers 27, Buccaneers 23
    Panthers -2.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Over 45.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Buccaneers 16, Panthers 10






    Seattle Seahawks (0-0) at Arizona Cardinals (0-0)
    Line: Seahawks by 2.5. Total: 41.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Preseason): Cardinals -3.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Preseason ): .
    Sunday, Sept. 9, 4:25 ET
    Discuss Week 1 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Seahawks.

    Another friendly reminder that Jerks of the Week for Sept. 3, 2012 is up, so just click the link. This week's jerks are the Jerks of the Drunken Weekend.

    If you've been following my 2012 Fantasy Football Rankings this summer and you're wondering which players to start, I've got you covered. You can check out my Fantasy Football Start Em, Sit Em page (will be posted tonight) as well as my Weekly Fantasy Football Rankings.

    ARIZONA OFFENSE: What the hell happened to the Cardinals? They finished 7-2 in their final nine games last year, beating the likes of the Eagles, Cowboys and 49ers, and they basically returned the same team. Why did they look so bad in the preseason?

    Everyone wants to blame Skelekolb, and all fairness, they've both been really bad, but the offensive line has been the main culprit. The unit simply can't block. It's terrible. It doesn't help that left tackle Levi Brown was lost for the year, but it's not like he was any good. The front group will have a nightmare of a time dealing with a Seattle stop unit that registered 19 sacks in its final seven games of the season and upgraded itself by signing defensive tackle Jason Jones this spring.

    John Skelton will have tons of pressure in his face if the Cardinals don't establish a ground attack, but that's unlikely to happen. The Seahawks are usually stout against the run, ranking fourth in that department in 2011 (3.85 YPC).

    SEATTLE OFFENSE: While Arizona fans are lamenting about their quarterbacking situation, Seahawk backers have to be thrilled about theirs. Russell Wilson looked awesome this preseason. I know the games didn't count, but he showed great pocket awareness and scrambling ability. Most of his passes were on the money, while his lacking height didn't seem to be a factor.

    Contrary to conventional wisdom, Wilson will have a tough test in this contest. The Cardinals ranked 12th last year in terms of both pass rush (42 sacks) and pass defense (6.93 YPA). Some of their young players like Sam Acho and Patrick Peterson really improved as the season went on and became quality complements to established, stud defenders, such as Calais Campbell, Darnell Dockett, Adrian Wilson and Daryl Washington.

    Arizona was weakest versus the run last year, but still wasn't that bad, ranking 15th against it (4.24 YPC). It should be better in that department with Dan Williams looking in great shape this summer. Assuming Marshawn Lynch is suspended, Robert Turbin may not have much running room.

    RECAP: Everyone thinks this is easy money. All of the action is on Seattle. "All Russell Wilson has to do is beat John Skelton by three? He can do that with two hands tied behind his back!"

    I wouldn't be so sure. This is a proud, veteran Arizona squad that has to feel disrespected because everyone is trashing it. But I'm not. I refuse to believe the Cardinals are really terrible as they've looked in the preseason after last year's amazing finish. Then again, maybe I'm wrong, and perhaps the Cardinals are really awful, so I'm not placing any money on either side.


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


    The Vegas. Edge: Cardinals.
    Everyone thinks Arizona is awful.
  • Percentage of money on Seattle: 71% (61,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Cardinals.
  • History: Seahawks have won 3 of the last 4 meetings.
  • Small Favorite Dominance: Divisional favorites of 1-3 points are 16-6 ATS on kickoff weekend since 2000.
  • Seahawks are 17-32 ATS on the road since 2006.
  • Cardinals are 15-6 ATS at home as underdogs or favorites of less than -3 under Ken Whisenhunt.
  • Opening Line: Cardinals -1.
  • Opening Total: 41.
  • Weather: .


    Week 1 NFL Pick: Cardinals 17, Seahawks 16
    Cardinals +2.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Under 41 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Cardinals 20, Seahawks 16






    Pittsburgh Steelers (0-0) at Denver Broncos (0-0)
    Line: Broncos by 2. Total: 46.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Preseason): Broncos -3.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Preseason ): .
    Sunday, Sept. 9, 8:20 ET
    Discuss Week 1 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: None.

    It's time for Notes from NFL.com GameCenter - a list of a few stupid comments I found on NFL.com's GameCenter and my thoughts on them:

    Wait, maybe not. NFL.com sucks. They no longer have their regular chat format; they installed a Facebook chat app instead, which really blows. This means that we won't be hearing from our favorite idiots anymore. No more pervy Aaron3619. No more stupid Migelini. No more childish Taton. No more insane Farim.

    Well, I'm taking a stand against this via two methods. First, I have hundreds of unused GameCenter comments saved up, so I have enough to survive for a few more years. Second, I plan on re-creating our favorite GameCenter characters and having them troll the Facebook posters in the app. I made a Migelini account and my girlfriend, who was once harassed by Aaron3619, will be the new Aaron. Feel free to re-create other ones!



    This was just a test run. No one responded to me, unfortunately.



    Poor Michael thinks that Blaine Gabbert is good because he had a nice game against the Buccaneers. How cute. I wonder how he's going to react to my opinion that the Jaguars should acquire Tarvaris Jackson from the Bears. I'm also wondering if Zak plans on correcting his own "grammer" instead of criticizing mine again.



    What the hell is Jake talking about? He could have just said "look back in the 90s" when the Bills went to four consecutive Super Bowls. Unfortunately, someone deleted my comment. Jerks.



    And here's me asking a complete asinine question. Hmm... Russell Wilson, Tarvaris Jackson, Charlie Whitehurst, or just for pure randomness, Mark Sanchez? If Wilson didn't look so good this preseason, it'd be a tough one.

    DENVER OFFENSE: Peyton Manning's first two preseason games were pretty mediocre, but he finally came alive in the third one. He was really sharp, proved he could throw farther than 10 yards to his right and even got up from several tough hits. It wasn't quite the Manning of old, but one who looked like he was 85-90 percent of what he once was.

    Of course, that was against a 49er defense missing several key players, including Patrick Willis, utilizing a completely vanilla scheme. The jury is still out on Manning, but we'll have a pretty good idea of where he is after this contest. The Steelers still have one of the toughest defenses in football, and you better believe that they're pissed off after losing in this stadium during the playoffs last year. Their fierce pass rush will get to Manning on several occasions, so it'll be interesting to see if the future Hall-of-Famer can keep getting up.

    Manning will have to do most of the work because the Broncos will not be able to establish Willis McGahee. Not against the Steelers, who perennially own a top-five rush defense. They were sixth last year, but only because they endured a number of injuries.

    PITTSBURGH OFFENSE: Speaking of running the ball, that's exactly what new offensive coordinator Todd Haley aims to do more of this season. He was brought in because the Steelers wanted to reestablish their roots. Unfortunately, he lacks both the back and the offensive line to get the job done. Rashard Mendenhall won't be available until October; Isaac Redman is just an untalented plodder; while Jonathan Dwyer has just 25 career carries. Meanwhile, right guard David DeCastro was lost for the majority of the season.

    If the Steelers don't know it already, they'll quickly realize that they'll need to pass the ball often to move the chains. Ben Roethlisberger looked good in the preseason, even leading his team on a 99-yard scoring drive at Buffalo - and this was without Mike Wallace. The speedy receiver just rejoined the team following his failed holdout, but will probably struggle for a while until he gets into shape. Considering that he has a matchup against Champ Bailey coming up, it might not even matter.

    Ben Roethlisberger can just settle for throwing to Antonio Brown, so that's not much of an issue. The problem, as always, is the offensive line. DeCastro is gone, while the left tackle position is a huge problem. Rookie Mike Adams hasn't been able to claim the job, so the Steelers were forced to going back to Max Starks. This will be really problematic against Doom and Gloom, so Big Ben will need to perform some of his patented Houdini acts in the pocket to keep the chains moving.

    RECAP: I'm picking the Steelers for two reasons. The first is that I like getting Roethlisberger as an underdog. Granted, it's only one point, but all he has to do is win, which is something he's quite good at. Manning is too - well, at least the old version was. We still don't know what's up with this new edition.

    The second is that expectations are as high as the elevation in Denver. Everyone expects the Broncos to advance deep into the playoffs, based solely on offseason acquisitions. Ask the Eagles how difficult it is to live up to offseason hype.


    The Psychology. Edge: Steelers.
    Everyone expects the Broncos to make a Super Bowl run this year. Expectations are way too high. Meanwhile, I think the Steelers remember what happened the last time they visited Denver.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Denver: 53% (55,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Steelers.
  • Ben Roethlisberger is 11-8 ATS as a road dog.
  • Ben Roethlisberger is 15-10 ATS as an underdog.
  • Broncos are 22-15 ATS at home when the line is -3 to +3 the previous 37 instances.
  • Broncos are 10-34 ATS as a favorite since 2006.
  • Opening Line: Broncos -2.
  • Opening Total: 45.
  • Weather: .


    Week 1 NFL Pick: Steelers 23, Broncos 20
    Steelers +2 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Under 46 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Broncos 31, Steelers 19






    Cincinnati Bengals (0-0) at Baltimore Ravens (0-0)
    Line: Ravens by 7. Total: 41.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Preseason): Ravens -6.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Preseason ): .
    Monday, Sept. 10, 7:00 ET
    Discuss Week 1 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Ravens.

    This spot was reserved for more Notes from NFL.com Gamecenter. I wonder if all of the pervs being on there led to some complaints, which may have prompted NFL.com to switch over to the Facebook chat app. Aaron3619, of course, was the head creeper. Here's what his outgoing-messages wall looked like one day:



    One of Aaron3619's victims was my girlfriend, so we planned on messing with him this fall. I was going to pretend to be a girl and offer to send "nacked" and bikini pics to him. Once he'd give me his e-mail address, I'd then switch personas to this fictional girl's dad. The dad would be super pissed - but for the wrong reasons. He would be angry at Aaron for asking for his daughter's "nacked" and bikini pics - but only because he wanted Aaron to ask for his "nacked" and bikini pics instead. I would then proceed to send him pictures of a naked Matt Millen with photoshopped kielbasas. It was going to be awesome.

    But nooooooo... stupid NFL.com had to ruin my dreams. It's OK though. Like I said, we're going to have a fake Aaron3619 account to ask people for nacked and bikini pics.

    BALTIMORE OFFENSE: I made a half-serious crappy joke in my 2012 NFL Power Rankings about how all you need to do nowadays is to proclaim yourself as the best quarterback in the NFL, and you'll suddenly become awesome. It worked for Eli Manning last year, and now Flacco suddenly enjoyed a fantastic preseason. In his third game versus the Jaguars, he went 27-of-36 for 266 yards, two touchdowns and an interception that was the result of an attempted Hail Mary at the end of the first half.

    There's no doubt that Flacco is improving, but it really helps that he may finally have a legitimate No. 1 wideout to throw to. I'm referring to Torrey Smith, who has really matured this offseason. He was just a deep threat last year, but now he's running way more routes. He has incredible speed, so if he keeps going over the middle, like he did against Jacksonville, he's going to be damn near unstoppable.

    This is not good news for the Bengals. They already had issues with Flacco last year, as he went a combined 32-of-46 for 400 yards, three touchdowns and an interception in two meetings. Flacco should be able to pick apart Cincinnati's questionable secondary - is Terence Newman really still playing? - with relative ease, all while Ray Rice sprints for tons of yardage on the ground.

    CINCINNATI OFFENSE: The Bengals are really overrated because everyone thinks Andy Dalton is a good quarterback. I swear, everyone I've talked to this offseason says that Dalton had a great rookie year. That's only half true. He was good for half the season. Following Week 10, Dalton had thrown for more than 200 yards just three times. Once was against Cleveland. The other two occasions were versus Baltimore, but he tossed three picks in one contest and maintained a completion percentage of 50 and a YPA of 5.3 in the other.

    Dalton had major issues this preseason, as he continuously overthrew A.J. Green. Green was pretty fed up with this in the third preseason game, prompting him to make an angry gesture in Dalton's direction. Bengal homers will shrug this off, but it's a major concern. Green is ultra talented, but he's being held back by Dalton's pedestrian passing ability. And I can only imagine Green's frustration growing after dealing with stud corner Lardarius Webb in this battle.

    Dalton will have to move the chains on his own because he won't be getting any help from BenJarvus Green-Ellis. The Ravens are always stout versus the run, ranking second in that department last year.

    RECAP: The Ravens knocked off Dalton twice last year, and I expect them to be 3-0 against him after this game is over. The Bengals just aren't that good, yet the general public just doesn't seem to recognize that. We're getting great line value here, so I'm comfortable laying three units on the host.

    LOCKED IN: I know this was -6, and I hope you got it. I'm keeping it at -7. I could see this spread go to -7.5 by Monday evening.


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


    The Vegas. Edge: Bengals.
    A decent lean on the host.
  • Percentage of money on Baltimore: 64% (96,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Bengals.
  • History: Ravens have won the last 3 meetings.
  • Big Dog Dominance: Divisional underdogs of 3.5 points or more are 21-11 ATS on kickoff weekend since 2000.
  • Bengals are 17-10 ATS as underdogs since 2009.
  • Opening Line: Ravens -6.5.
  • Opening Total: 41.
  • Weather: .


    Week 1 NFL Pick: Ravens 27, Bengals 16
    Ravens -7 (3 Units) -- Correct; +$300
    Under 41.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Ravens 44, Bengals 13






    San Diego Chargers (0-0) at Oakland Raiders (0-0)
    Line: Raiders by 1. Total: 47.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Preseason): Chargers -3.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Preseason ): .
    Monday, Sept. 10, 10:15 ET
    Discuss Week 1 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Raiders.

    This week on Monday Night Football, we'll be able to watch two games. Unfortunately, we're going to have Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden calling the shots instead of the great preseason homers like Kevin Reilly and Don Tollefson, inept ESPN guys Emmitt and Matt Millen, annoying guys like Charles Davis and senile guys like Bob Greise. Here's what it would sound like if those five clowns were calling this game:

    Kevin Reilly: Welcome to Oakland, one of the greatest dumps in the world. Tonight, the Raiders take on the Jaguars. Guys, I watched my Eagles beat the Browns on Sunday and I'm feeling ultra confident. Do you think the Eagles would win by 20 if they played the Raiders and Jaguars at the same time? What say you, Bob Greise?

    Griese: These are... uhh... the Kansas City Jaguars?

    Reilly: No, idiot, these are the San Diego Jaguars. Duh.

    Emmitt: Karl, we not watchin' the Raider play the Jaguar. The Raider, he playin' the Charger tonight. The Charger has a great quarterback in Philip River, who is one of the most accurate passin' in not only in the league, but also the AFC West conference.

    Reilly: Emmitt, we've been working together for what now, three years? You've never once called me by my real name.

    Tollefson: Sorry to interrupt, Bob, but I have something to say. Knowing a person's name is only important if you're talking to a guy. We don't need to remember women's names because they are irrelevant and never have anything of significance to say - unless it's like "honey, we're out of roast beef" or "honey, which sexual position do you want tonight?"

    Emmitt: Todd, that is sexism. Very sexism. Girl have more important thing to say than about food or sexists. Girl can have good conversation if you sittin' around and dinin' at a nice restaurant. You talk, then you order a can of wine and then you have sexists yourselfs.

    Tollefson: That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard, Emmitt. You should be able to have sex with women without engaging in conversation with any of those useless creatures.

    Millen: Speaking of sex, I have a $500 kielbasa waiting in my hotel room for the next lucky hunk I see. Hey, who's this new guy in the booth? I don't remember him from last year.

    Reilly: Oh, I almost forgot. This is Charles Davis, and he's new to our team. Charles, help me set my fantasy lineup. Should I start Carson Palmer or Blaine Gabbert. I have only five more minutes to decide!

    Davis: You have Blaine Gabbert the 10th-overall player taken two years ago. Then you have Carson Palmer, the first-overall selection in 2003. How about Chad Henne? He has a nice arm and could give you some fantasy points. How about Terrelle Pryor? His running ability is unparalleled. How about Matt Leinart? He likes hot tubs, but he can get the job done. How about Byron Leftwich? He's no longer on the Jaguars, but he can pack quite a punch. How about Jason Campbell? Same thing; not in this game, but a really effective fantasy player. How about...

    Reilly: I need answers, damn it! Crap, time's almost up. I'm putting Gabbert in my lineup. If he doesn't outscore Palmer, I'll have your head on a spike, Davis! We'll be back after a word from our local sponsors!

    SAN DIEGO OFFENSE: Something just seems off with Philip Rivers. It's like he has diminished arm strength, or something because he keeps getting picked off trying to fit the ball into tight spots when he would have made the throw two years earlier. It appeared as though he was injured last season when these problems occurred, but it continued into the preseason.

    It's not like Rivers has the greatest supporting cast though. Vincent Jackson is gone, making Malcom Floyd the new No. 1 receiver. Robert Meachem was signed, but he stinks. Ryan Mathews is hurt, as always, which means that Ronnie Brown has to start. And then you have the offensive line, which can be OK if everyone's healthy. The problem is that Jared Gaither is out with - surprise - back problems.

    The Raiders are pretty weak at corner, but they can still get after the quarterback. They can fully pay attention to Rivers because I doubt they'll have to worry much about Brown coming out of the backfield. Rivers, who will constantly be under siege, simply won't have time to find his mediocre receivers downfield, so he'll have to keep settling for short stuff to Antonio Gates.

    OAKLAND OFFENSE: The Raiders have some pretty dynamic talent on offense - much more so than San Diego. Of course, there's Darren McFadden, who is healthy for the time being. McFadden has the potential to lead the NFL in rushing yards if he can stay on the field. He'll have no problems finding running room against the Chargers, who were 17th against the rush last year.

    The threat of McFadden will definitely open things up for Carson Palmer, who can totally be erratic at times. Palmer will throw plenty of interceptions this season, but he'll also be a part of numerous big plays because his receiving corps is so talented. Darrius Heyward-Bey went on a tear last year, while Denarius Moore, who was really effective when he was in the lineup, should be back from a hamstring injury. Rookie Rod Streater, who enjoyed an unbelievable preseason, will also be a big part of the offense, if you believe the 90-year-old Raider broadcasters.

    The Chargers don't have the defense to keep up with Palmer and all of his weapons. They ranked 28th versus the pass last year, and their secondary still stinks. The pedestrian pass rush should be better with first-round rookie Melvin Ingram on the roster, but can he really make that big of an impact in his first NFL game?

    RECAP: The Raiders are my favorite pick this week. Several reasons:

    1. This line is ridiculous. The Chargers and Raiders are pretty even to begin with if everyone's healthy, but San Diego is missing too many key players. If the public didn't love the Chargers every year for some inexplicable reason, Oakland would be -3.5 or -4.

    2. As mentioned, something's up with Rivers. He's not the same quarterback anymore. I thought it was an injury last year, but he looked the same in the preseason.

    3. Is Norv Turner still the coach? Then the Chargers will suck, just as they do every September and October. Turner does a terrible job in preparing his team for the beginning of the season; as you can see below, San Diego is 14-23 against the spread in Weeks 1-8 since 2007. I can't believe Turner still has a job. Seriously, what the hell is general manager A.J. Smith thinking?

    4. The public is betting on San Diego. It's not a significant amount, but enough where Vegas can make some money back if it has a losing Sunday.


    The Psychology. Edge: Raiders.
    I imagine the Raiders will be more prepared for this game than the Chargers.


    The Vegas. Edge: Raiders.
    Not as much action as I thought there'd be on the Chargers.
  • Percentage of money on San Diego: 60% (68,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Chargers.
  • History: Raiders have won the last 4 meetings (Raiders 5-1 ATS last 6).
  • Small Favorite Dominance: Divisional favorites of 1-3 points are 16-6 ATS on kickoff weekend since 2000.
  • Chargers are 14-23 ATS in Weeks 1-8 since 2007.
  • Philip Rivers is 14-9 ATS as an underdog.
  • Raiders are 4-14 ATS as a favorite since 2006.
  • Opening Line: Pick.
  • Opening Total: 47.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 1 NFL Pick: Raiders 27, Chargers 23
    Raiders -1 (4 Units) -- Incorrect; -$440
    Over 47 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Chargers 22, Raiders 14




    Week 1 NFL Picks - Early Games
    Cowboys at Giants, Colts at Bears, Rams at Lions, Dolphins at Texans, Redskins at Saints, Falcons at Chiefs, Jaguars at Vikings, Bills at Jets, Patriots at Titans, Eagles at Browns


    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.


  • Teaser: Saints -1.5, Ravens -1 (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
  • Teaser Hedge: Bengals +270 (TBA Units) - Only if Saints win by 2 or more
  • Las Vegas Hilton Super Contest Picks: Colts, Eagles, Titans, Chiefs, Raiders (0-4)

    Leave a comment

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    Fantasy Football Rankings - July 30


    2016 NFL Mock Draft - July 24


    2015 NFL Mock Draft - July 23


    2015 NBA Mock Draft - July 1


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    Note: For legality purposes, this Web site does not promote or advocate gambling. This is solely for entertainment purposes only.


    Last Week's NFL Picks Against The Spread (Week 21, 2013): 1-0 (+$700)
    Last Week's 2-3 Unit NFL Picks (Week 21, 2013): 0-0 ($0)
    Last Week's 4-5 Unit NFL Picks (Week 21, 2013): 0-0 ($0)
    Last Week Over-Under (Week 21, 2013): 0-1 ($0)
    Last Week's Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks (Week 21, 2013): +$300

    2013 NFL Picks of the Month: 6-0, 100% (+$3,900)

    2013 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 144-131-8, 52.4% (+$5,580)
    2013 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 38-42, 47.5% (-$2,890)
    2013 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 17-9-3, 65.4% (+$2,970)
    2013 Season Over-Under: 132-130-5, 50.4% (-$340)
    2013 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$2,245

    1999 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 27-41-3 (39.7%)
    2000 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 128-123-8 (51.0%)
    2001 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 127-122-7 (51.0%)
    2002 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 123-136-7 (47.5%)
    2003 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 146-126-8 (53.7%)
    2004 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 157-123-8 (56.1%)
    2005 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 156-126-11 (55.3%)
    2006 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 151-135-9 (52.8%)
    2007 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 162-135-10, 54.5% (+$2,550)
    2008 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 148-140-7, 51.4% (+$2,620)
    2009 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 151-124-9, 54.9% (+$3,370)
    2010 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 144-131-8, 52.4% (+$6,080)
    2011 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 137-133-12, 50.7% (-$1,925)
    2012 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 130-145-8, 47.3% (-$5,760)
    2013 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 144-131-8, 52.4% (+$5,580)

    2002 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 41-49-2 (45.6%)
    2003 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 52-51-2 (50.5%)
    2004 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 65-44-3 (59.6%)
    2005 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 77-61-1 (55.8%)
    2006 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 65-61-4 (51.6%)
    2007 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 83-59-5, 58.5% (+$4,110)
    2008 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 44-57-3, 43.6% (-$3,510)
    2009 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 49-35-3, 58.3% (+$2,260)
    2010 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 51-38-4, 57.3% (+$3,180)
    2011 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 44-51-3, 46.3% (-$2,715)
    2012 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 45-50-2, 47.4% (-$2,130)

    2002 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 11-12 (47.8%)
    2003 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 16-13-1 (55.2%)
    2004 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 18-11 (62.1%)
    2005 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 25-22-1 (53.2%)
    2006 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 21-29-1 (42.0%)
    2007 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 35-30-2, 53.8% (+$420)
    2008 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 39-26-2, 60.0% (+$4,055)
    2009 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 29-26, 52.7% (+$330)
    2010 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 32-22, 59.3% (+$4,790)
    2011 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 14-14, 50.0% (-$1,260)
    2012 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 14-21, 40.0% (-$3,650)

    2001 Season Over-Under: 3-2 (60.0%)
    2002 Season Over-Under: 121-91-3 (57.1%)
    2003 Season Over-Under: 126-132-2 (48.8%)
    2004 Season Over-Under: 139-124-4 (52.9%)
    2005 Season Over-Under: 117-145-4 (44.7%)
    2006 Season Over-Under: 129-132-5 (49.4%)
    2007 Season Over-Under: 136-145-3, 48.4% (-$1,900)
    2008 Season Over-Under: 137-125-6, 52.3% (+$860)
    2009 Season Over-Under: 128-135-4, 48.7% (-$3,195)
    2010 Season Over-Under: 128-135-5, 48.7% (-$5)
    2011 Season Over-Under: 131-131-5, 50.0% (+$135)
    2012 Season Over-Under: 125-121-5, 50.8% (+$30)

    2007 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,035
    2008 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,775
    2009 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$865
    2010 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$200
    2011 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$590
    2012 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$1,685

    2006 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3 (50%)
    2007 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3, 50.0% (-$400)
    2008 NFL Picks of the Month: 6-1, 85.7% (+$3,720)
    2009 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$640)
    2010 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-4, 33.3% (-$1,810)
    2011 NFL Picks of the Month: 5-2, 71.4% (+$1,870)
    2012 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$560)

    Career NFL Picks Against The Spread: 2,022-1,851-112, 52.2% (+$12,405)
    Career 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 649-587-31 (52.5%)
    Career 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 270-234-10 (53.6%)
    Career Over-Under: 1541-1537-46 (50.1%)
    Career Second-Half NFL Picks: 22-14-1 (61.1%)
    Career NFL Picks of the Month: 30-16 (65.2%)



    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: 9-7
    Bears: 7-7
    Bucs: 8-8
    49ers: 8-9
    Eagles: 7-10
    Lions: 11-5
    Falcons: 5-10
    Cardinals: 10-5
    Giants: 7-9
    Packers: 8-8
    Panthers: 8-9
    Rams: 7-9
    Redskins: 9-7
    Vikings: 7-9
    Saints: 13-4
    Seahawks: 9-10
    Bills: 12-4
    Bengals: 8-8
    Colts: 11-6
    Broncos: 8-11
    Dolphins: 11-5
    Browns: 3-13
    Jaguars: 7-8
    Chargers: 11-6
    Jets: 8-8
    Ravens: 9-6
    Texans: 10-5
    Chiefs: 6-11
    Patriots: 10-8
    Steelers: 6-10
    Titans: 5-7
    Raiders: 9-7
    Divisional: 51-44 (2011-12: 90-93)
    2x Game Edge: 14-22 (2011-12: 41-40)
    2x Psych Edge: 35-26 (2011-12: 57-54)
    2x Vegas Edge: 40-38 (2011-12: 89-104)
    2x Trend Edge: 24-23 (2011-12: 48-55)
    Double Edge: 9-10 (2011-12: 17-23)
    Triple Edge: 1-0 (2011-12: 1-1)
    Quad Edge: 0-0 (2011: 0-0)

    2003 Preseason: 3 | 4 | 5
    2003 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 20 | XXXVIII
    2004 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2004 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XXXIX
    2005 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2005 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XL
    2006 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2006 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLI
    2007 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2007 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLII |
    2008 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2008 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLIII |
    2009 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLIV |
    2010 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2010 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLV |
    2011 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2011 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLVI |
    2012 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2012 Season:
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    2013 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2013 Season:
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    2014 Season:
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