Arizona Cardinals (4-0) at St. Louis Rams (2-2) Line: Cardinals by 1.5. Total: 39.5. Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Cardinals -2.5.
Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 4): Cardinals -1.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 4): Cardinals -2.
Thursday, Oct. 4, 8:20 ET
Discuss Week 5 Games, Talk Trash
The Game. Edge: Cardinals.
Week 5 NFL Picks will be posted all day today, per the new schedule. I've received mix reaction to this, so voice your opinion via e-mail or in the comment box below. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.
WEEK 4 RECAP: I'm definitely happy about how this past week worked out. I do want to review the games I lost though because there are a few interesting things of note.
Ravens -11 over Browns (2 units): I was stupid for not considering Baltimore's emotional victory over New England. This would've been a non-play had I taken that into account. At least I learned from my mistake and dropped my Seattle play over St. Louis because the Seahawks were in a similar situation.
It's also worth noting that the Browns, the consensus worst team in the NFL, is 2-1-1 against the spread this year. Unlike in 2011, the really bad teams are covering - just like they were prior to the lockout. It appears as though everything's back to normal.
Titans +13 over Texans (1 unit): I'm proud of myself for learning from the error I made in the Steelers-Raiders Week 3 contest. I didn't account for Pittsburgh's injuries, but I managed to make the adjustment in this contest by dropping a unit on Tennessee in the wake of Kenny Britt's status. The Titans were blown out, but lost Jake Locker on the second drive. There's nothing anyone could've done about that.
Packers -7.5 over Saints (1 unit): I wonder if the Packers would've covered had the refs not tried to screw them over and had Aaron Rodgers not gotten poked in the eye. The take-away though is that the Saints were yet another crappy team to cover.
Jaguars -1 over Bengals (2 units): This was a complete bone-headed play on my part because I failed to adjust for something when the spread moved so much in Jacksonville's favor. I made the Jaguars the fifth selection in my LVH Super Contest entry, so I think that was part of the reason I was so reluctant to change this pick. I'm sorry about that.
Now, I want to review something I wrote last week:
ESPN and other networks love to hype up a team's big win or disparage a squad for a bad loss. But it's only one game, and a team is never as good or as bad as they look each week. Fading the media seems like a great strategy.
Here are the big storylines for Week 4:
1. Cam Newton is having mental issues and is struggling to live up to expectations.
2. The Jets are done without Darrelle Revis.
3. The Saints are one of the worst teams in the NFL without Sean Payton.
4. Peyton Manning is still done. And so are the Patriots.
Does that mean I'm taking the Panthers, Jets, Saints, Broncos and Patriots? Well, I don't anticipate betting each of those sides, but it wouldn't surprise me if they combine to go 3-2 or 4-1.
Well, what do you know? The Panthers, Jets, Saints, Broncos and Patriots went 4-1. Here are the things the media is overreacting to this week:
1. The Jets are going 4-12 because they lost Santonio Holmes and Darrelle Revis (Rodney Harrison said this Sunday night).
2. The Patriots' second-half effort was a sign that they're fully back.
3. The Packers are not the same team as a year ago because they nearly lost to the Saints.
4. The Lions are the Lions again. (For next week)
5. The Cowboys are terrible. (For next week)
Will the Jets, Patriots and Packers go at least 2-1 this week? Should be interesting.
Oh, and I should note that despite having a winning week, I still received some hate mail. I'll list those later.
I'll be posting these NFL Picks throughout the day. Follow me at @walterfootball for updates.
ST. LOUIS OFFENSE: The Cardinals have one of the best defenses in the NFL, so how'd they allow Ryan Tannehill to throw for more than 400 yards last week? Well, stud defensive lineman Darnell Dockett was out, and as a consequence, Arizona's line accumulated zero sacks. The Cardinals still got to Tannehill, but they had to blitz, which in turn exposed inept corner William Gay. Gay was eventually benched in favor of Greg Toler (not that there's anything wrong with that), who did a better job on the Miami wideouts.
Dockett is questionable, and his absence would be huge, as Arizona wouldn't be able to take full advantage of the issues the Rams have on their offensive line. Left tackle Rodger Saffold, left guard Rokevious Watkins and center Scott Wells are all out. If Dockett is in the lineup, he and Calais Campbell would be able to crash down on Sam Bradford, who would have to resort to dinking and dunking against an elite defense, which is often futile. If not, Bradford will have more time in the pocket to find his receivers downfield. Not that Bradford has much to work with.
The Cardinals are a decent 11th against the run (3.8 YPC); they haven't surrendered more than 98 rushing yards to any opponent, so don't expect much from Steven Jackson.
ARIZONA OFFENSE: The Cardinals had issues moving the chains against the Dolphins because Miami's pressure was too much for Kevin Kolb to handle - until the very end when Kolb inexplicably went nuts. Miami sacked Kolb eight times, taking advantage of Arizona's weak offensive tackles. If the Rams establish a lead, Chris Long and Robert Quinn will be able to do the same.
Having said that, the Cardinals should have an easier time offensively because the Rams aren't nearly as good at stopping the run as Miami. The Dolphins have the top ground defense in the NFL (2.4 YPC), while St. Louis is just 22nd (4.6 YPC) in that department. Ryan Williams isn't the greatest running back in the world, but he can have decent outings, as the Eagles discovered in Week 3.
Williams should be able to open things up a bit for Kolb, who will need some help considering that elite cornerback Cortland Finnegan will eliminate one of his receivers.
RECAP: This is one of the toughest calls of the week for me. On one hand, Arizona is coming off an exhausting overtime win and has to travel on short rest, possibly without one of its best defensive players. On the other hand, I feel as though the Cardinals were preparing for this game all along when they overlooked Miami. Think about it - now that there are Thursday games every week, we've seen the visiting teams lay an egg the game before. The Giants nearly lost to the Buccaneers, while the Browns admitted to looking ahead to playing Baltimore. Arizona is in the same boat.
Ultimately, I'm going to take the Cardinals because they're the better team. I like the under more than anything else.
THURSDAY AFTERNOON NOTE: This spread has risen to -1.5 or -2 in some places because Darnell Dockett has been upgraded to probable. However, Dan Williams and Paris Lenon are questionable. I'll have an update in a few hours about this.
The Psychology. Edge: Cardinals.
The Cardinals may have been preparing for this game instead of the matchup against Miami.
The Vegas. Edge: Rams.
Money is starting to come in on the Cardinals.
Percentage of money on Arizona: 68% (35,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Cardinals.
History: Cardinals have won 10 of the last 11 meetings.
Opening Line: Cardinals -3.
Opening Total: 38.5.
Week 5 NFL Pick: Cardinals 16, Rams 13 Cardinals -1.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0 Under 39.5 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100 Rams 17, Cardinals 3 Recap of this game
Atlanta Falcons (4-0) at Washington Redskins (2-2) Line: Falcons by 3. Total: 51. Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Falcons -3.5.
Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 4): Falcons -3.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 4): Falcons -3.
Sunday, Oct. 7, 1:00 ET
Discuss Week 5 Games, Talk Trash
The Game. Edge: Falcons.
VEGAS RECAP: The sportsbooks had to give some money back. After robbing the public for three consecutive weeks, the average bettor finally came out on top. Square teams that helped the public were the Patriots, 49ers, Chargers, Texans and Bengals. Vegas won with the Browns, Panthers and Dolphins. It looks like there won't be as many degenerate gamblers living in cardboard boxes as I thought.
I'll be updating the Vegas betting action all week, as usual. I'll notify you of any updates @walterfootball.
ATLANTA OFFENSE: This appears to be the mismatch of the century. How in the world is Washington's inept secondary going to contain Matt Ryan and all of his weapons? Safety Brandon Meriweather suffered a setback to his knee in that bizarre pre-game collision with Aldrick Robinson. He's listed as doubtful, meaning DeJon Gomes will have to fill in for him again. Gomes has been torched on a regular basis these first four weeks, so Ryan won't waste any time beating him, much like he did with Carolina's Hiro Nakamura last week.
The Redskins can't stop the run either, as they've permitted 4.4 yards per carry to the opposition ever since losing both Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker in that Week 2 disaster at St. Louis. Michael Turner, who looked revitalized against a completely inept Carolina defense last week, should have another nice performance.
Washington's only chance of containing the Falcons is establishing a lead and putting pressure on Ryan. Panthers' left defensive end Charles Johnson embarrassed right tackle Tyson Clabo last week, and Ryan Kerrigan, who plays the same side, is capable of picking up where Johnson left off.
WASHINGTON OFFENSE: Every week, there are two or three games where the public looks at a matchup and asks, "How is Team X going to stop Team Y from doing Z?" That's the case in this contest. People are betting on the Falcons like there's no tomorrow because: "How is Washington going to stop Atlanta from throwing the ball successfully?"
Well, people in that mindset are ignoring the glaring mismatch on the other side of the ball. The Falcons are terrible against the run. They rank 29th against it, surrendering 4.98 YPC. They've allowed three teams to rush for at least 113 yards this year. The Redskins move the chains on the ground extremely well with Alfred Morris, who is a very tough back who always gets yards after contact. Unless Washington falls way behind, the Shanahans are going to feed Morris the ball as often as possible, and he'll wear down Atlanta's defense.
Morris' successful running will make things much easier for Robert Griffin. The Falcons are very good at stopping the pass (8th; 6.7 YPA), so Griffin will need to be in short-yardage situations so that he doesn't have to force anything into Mike Nolan's confusing schemes. Being in favorable downs will also slow down Atlanta's solid pass rush, though it's worth noting that Griffin was protected well at Tampa Bay because left tackle Trent Williams was back in the lineup.
RECAP: Everyone is on Atlanta, but I'm going to give a slight lean to the home underdog. This game means very little to the Falcons because they're way ahead of everyone in the division. Meanwhile, there's a great trend that benefits Washington: Unrested home dogs are 96-48 against the spread off a straight-up road win versus a team coming off home win.
Having said that, I'm not going to bet this game because the Redskins have way too many injuries. I'd consider putting a unit or two on them if Meriweather were available, but Gomes is a major liability.
FINAL THOUGHTS: No changes.
The Psychology. Edge: Redskins.
The Falcons don't have much to play for. They're way ahead of everyone in the NFC South.
The Vegas. Edge: Redskins.
No surprise where the public is going with this.
Percentage of money on Atlanta: 75% (71,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: None.
Unrested home dogs are 96-48 against the spread off a straight-up road win versus a team coming off home win.
Matt Ryan is 10-5 ATS as a road favorite (8-4 ATS outdoors).
Redskins are 8-23 ATS after a road win since 2000.
Philadelphia Eagles (3-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2) Line: Steelers by 3.5. Total: 44. Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Steelers -3.5.
Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 4): Steelers -3.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 4): Steelers -2.
Sunday, Oct. 7, 1:00 ET
Discuss Week 5 Games, Talk Trash
The Game. Edge: Steelers.
HATE MAIL: Another week, another stack of hate mails. Let's see what they have to say this time:
I bet that hurts losing money on the Eagles game.
What? I had zero units on the game, and I also happened to have the right side. Lay off the crack pipe.
I think I need to stop reading this site before making my picks. I'm probably better off flipping a coin. lol
A coin would truly be 50 percent against the spread. I hope I can be 50 percent one day.
Last year i came to this website and bash on Walter on how horrible his picks are an i continue to get bash on by his fans. I dont know whats up with these Walter fan freaks but it seems to me like they love losing.
Oh, people want to win? And here all along I thought people wanted to lose. I guess I should post my winning picks now instead of my losing picks.
Jaguars over the Bengals???? HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAH
And people say I'm not funny.
You attempts at humor and fake conversations are getting very tired, old, and repetitive. Just offering advice as I would to a friend who wont let go of "thats what she said" jokes. So, good luck, hope your site stays afloat... BTW, my apostrophe button does not seem to be working if that is what you plan on clowning.
I guess you did not read my epic Jaguars over Bengals joke that made the other guy laugh hysterically.
BILLS ARE GOING TO WIN VS THE BILLS! FADE WALTER, FADE THE PUBLIC, WIN WITH THE MOB!
This was actually correct. The Bills did, in fact, beat themselves. Congrats on your winnings.
@pgup9 Who the hell still uses AOL? Step out of 1999, buddy.
Ha! Great call. I predictably did not hear from PGUP9 this week. Poor guy couldn't use his lotion and tissues while looking at my losing picks this past weekend.
PHILADELPHIA OFFENSE: The Steelers' bye week came at the right time. They had injuries to James Harrison and Troy Polamalu and consequently couldn't stop the Raiders from torching them two weeks ago. Harrison and Polamalu will be back, and they'll obviously bolster a Pittsburgh defense that has underachieved thus far.
An even greater concern for the Eagles is how Philadelphia's quarterback will handle Dick LeBeau's blitz schemes. QBDK has terrible problems recognizing blitzes, so he won't know where the Steeler pass-rushers will be coming from. When he's not running for his life, he'll undoubtedly make several dumb throws as a consequence, and guess who's going to be waiting for an errant pass to come his way?
The Eagles need to counter by giving LeSean McCoy as many carries as possible. Andy Reid did a good job of this against the Giants, but as all Philadelphia fans know, there's a good chance that he'll completely forget about McCoy coming off a big win. McCoy had just four carries in the first half at Arizona in Week 3, and I wouldn't be surprised if something similar happens at Pittsburgh. It's worth noting that the Steelers are just 24th against the run (4.6 YPC), but that number will improve now that Polamalu is back in the lineup.
PITTSBURGH OFFENSE: The big advantage the Eagles have on this side of the ball is in the trenches. They create so much pressure on the quarterback, while the Steelers' offensive line can be shaky at times. Left tackle Max Starks, in particular, is a liability, so Ben Roethlisberger will have to evade pass-rushers quite frequently Sunday afternoon.
Of course, Roethlisberger is great at doing that. No non-scrambling quarterback is better at eluding potential sacks and somehow creating big plays, especially on third downs. Big Ben will buy time in the pocket to find his receivers downfield. Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown should be able to torch Philadelphia's beleaguered safeties. The corners, meanwhile, are beatable, as Victor Cruz and Domenik Hixon discovered this past Sunday evening. Nnamdi Asomugha is not the player he once was.
The Eagles rank ninth in terms of stopping the run (3.6 YPC), so the Steelers won't get much on the ground despite Rashard Mendenhall's return to the lineup.
RECAP: The Steelers are one of my top plays for several reasons. Here's why:
1. The Eagles just won an emotional divisional game against the Giants. Now they have to play in a non-conference contest that means very little to them. Andy Reid is just 16-26 against the spread versus AFC foes. He just doesn't put as much stock into these non-conference tilts.
2. This game means so much more to the Steelers, who can't afford to fall to 1-3. They've had a whole week off to game plan for this Philadelphia team, while the exhausted Eagles were locked into an NFC East battle.
3. You want to play on favorites coming off bye weeks. Home favorites in non-divisional games that just had a week off are 43-24 ATS since 2002 (as long as they're not playing another team that just had a bye).
4. Mike Tomlin, who is 4-2 ATS after a bye, also excels following a loss. He's 16-9 ATS following a defeat.
FINAL THOUGHTS: No changes. I still love the Steelers.
The Psychology. Edge: Steelers.
The Eagles are coming off a divisional win and now have to play a non-conference game against an unfamiliar foe.
The Vegas. Edge: Eagles.
Money is starting to come in on the Steelers.
Percentage of money on Pittsburgh: 71% (72,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Steelers.
Eagles are 16-26 ATS vs. AFC opponents since 2001.
Green Bay Packers (2-2) at Indianapolis Colts (1-2) Line: Packers by 6.5. Total: 49. Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Packers -7.5.
Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 4): Packers -6.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 4): Packers -6.
Sunday, Oct. 7, 1:00 ET
Discuss Week 5 Games, Talk Trash
The Game. Edge: Packers.
The most illiterate sports bettor in the world is a man named the Real John Moss. He loves to e-mail me and talk to me on G-chat. I actually have to apologize for something I wrote last week. I posted a site he created called RealJohnMossFootball.com:
If you don't feel like clicking the link here's his NFL picks analysis this week:
o k guy its WEAK 3!!!
by now u r poor like waltar and i am rich with many womenz eat jellybeen in hawayi
i am NOT tell u to gambol, this is just my journey to destrooy waltar, my best frend.
BROWN AT RAVANZ
LOL wat name is brown reely? brown things is ALWAY bad. look is simpel...... brown is color of poops. brown banananas < grean banana < yelow benan. brown is worsts. who eating brown rice o k?? no 1 iz.
also ur qaurtarback is named bradon weedin. r u read closly???? WEEDin as in mariwanna. look i get it iz delishus but iz NOT 4 play football. he is thrown 12 intrecepshuns this year and iz maybe do 5 againt laderious web. laderious iz like a spider mans that is why u r calling him WEB u c.
im sory but brownies but ask EDGAR ALLAN POO my fiend he is die from see ravan and so is brownz. joe flacoo iz like close to flacon an falcons iz relly nice this year i bed on him...
BALTIMORE RAVAN -12 (1 UNIT = $10000)
At the bottom, he wrote, "omg i must run...a ladies is call my fone."
Hmm... what kind of lady would call a guy who just lost 10 grand on one game? Hmm...
GREEN BAY OFFENSE: The Packers dealt with three really tough defenses to kick off the season. They also have a pedestrian offensive line and a No. 1 receiver who has been banged up, so it's not surprising that Green Bay had problems lighting up the scoreboard.
That all changed this past Sunday. The Packers scored 28 points and probably would have tallied on seven more had Aaron Rodgers not been poked in the eye. The bad news, however, is that Jennings reaggravated his groin injury and is not expected to play in this game. Fortunately for the Packers, they don't exactly had to deal with a stalwart stop unit this week.
The Colts surrender a sub-par 8.1 YPA, but keep in mind that two of the quarterbacks they've battled were Christian Ponder and Blaine Gabbert. Jay Cutler torched them for 333 yards in Week 1, but Indianapolis didn't have Dwight Freeney for three quarters. Coming off a bye week, Freeney is expected to be back against the Packers. Mike McCarthy has done a tremendous job fixing the protection schemes following that disastrous first half at Seattle, but making sure that Rodgers is shielding from Freeney and Robert Mathis will be an issue. It's worth noting though that Mathis is now banged up. He expects to play, but may not be 100 percent. Meanwhile, cornerback Vontae Davis isn't going to practice Wednesday because of an ankle injury.
One thing the Packers can do to neutralize Indianapolis' pass rush is to establish the run with Cedric Benson. The Colts haven't been able to stop ground attacks for years, so it's no surprise to see that they're once again in the bottom five of that category (4.7 YPC).
INDIANAPOLIS OFFENSE: The Packers seem to have a pretty big advantage up front. I'm not even referring to Clay Matthews versus one of the tackles; the edge is inside, with B.J. Raji and the rest of the defensive line against an already-mediocre inside front. Center Samson Satele is injured with a knee, but was able to put in a limited practice Wednesday. The Colts signed center A.Q. Shipley earlier in the week, so they could be pessimistic about Satele's chances.
Indianapolis won't be able to get any sort of inside push for Donald Brown, who isn't very good in the first place. He's averaging just 3.6 yards per carry this year, so the Packers will shut down the run for the second week in a row.
Green Bay's defense, which has the fourth-most sacks in the NFL with 14, will also get tons of pressure on Andrew Luck, who will have to settle for short passes to Reggie Wayne, Donnie Avery and his two tight ends. He'll move the chains on occasion, but he won't be able to maintain most of his drives.
RECAP: The Colts are in a really tough spot without Chuck Pagano. I'm sure his players will compete for him, but we've seen what losing a head coach can do for a team. Indianapolis is also really banged up, so this should be a blowout.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I'm dropping this to one unit. It's possible that the Colts could have prepared for life without Pagano with their week off. If they weren't coming off a bye, this would be a much stronger play.
FINAL THOUGHTS (AGAIN): I'm bumping this back up to two units. Colts' center Samson Satele is out.
The Psychology. Edge: Packers.
I can't imagine the Colts being prepared for this game in the wake of Chuck Pagano's leukemia diagnosis.
The Vegas. Edge: Colts.
Lots of money on the Packers, predictably.
Percentage of money on Green Bay: 87% (66,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: None.
Aaron Rodgers is 34-20 ATS since 2009 (2-4 ATS as a road favorite of -7 or more).
The first instance in which Spanish Heritage Month was forced down our throats this season was just prior to the Ravens-Patriots game. For some strange reason, there was a Mexican flag football team that was introduced minutes before kickoff. What was the purpose of that? The announcer made a point to state that they beat a team named Los Chee Cheerios, or something. Is this significant? Is Los Chee Cheerios some powerhouse Mexican flag football team? I feel like the Patriots were so perplexed by this that they couldn't focus on the game. That's why they lost.
2. I need to discuss something Kevin Kolb brought up to the media. Kolb, who recently witnessed the birth of his new daughter, originally revealed that his wife had a due date of Oct. 4, and he indicated that he would've miss the Thursday night game against the Rams if his baby were born on that day.
It's all moot now, but I don't understand why he and his wife didn't plan to have a baby in the spring or summer. That way, missing a game wouldn't have been an issue. Of course, one could argue that Kolb didn't think he'd be playing in the fall in the first place, which is why he and his wife didn't care when their baby would be due. And hey, I'd argue that Kolb should've played anyway; if King Robert Baratheon can hunt while his wife is giving birth, Kolb can play football.
3. Here's something that'll piss off all you Seahawk fans: Your team did not deserve to beat the Packers. That should seem fairly obvious to all 31 other fan bases, but Seattle fans were going nuts about this in the Seahawks-Rams NFL.com GameCenter page, furiously claiming their victory was legitimate.
It was not. The Packers clearly intercepted the pass. The real officials would have ruled it a pick after a conference. The replacement refs screwed up by not having one, opting only to go upstairs for a review, which, by some stupid rule, couldn't correct the call.
The replacement refs sucked, but I feel like Roger Goodell screwed up even more. Instead of issuing a bogus press release, he should've taken action. If I were the NFL commissioner, I would have given the Packers a victory and I would not have stripped a win from the Seahawks. Yes, both teams would be 2-1. It's the only course of action that would've been both fair and logical. Allowing Green Bay to fall to 1-2 because of an egregious error could impact future playoff implications. Keeping both records at 2-1 would have eliminated that worry and also not angered a great Seattle fan base.
Some people might say that this would set a precedent, but that's just in-the-box thinking. In times of crisis, the heteroclitic action is the best one. Goodell did not take it, dropping the ball on one of the NFL's most humiliating moments ever.
NEW YORK OFFENSE: The Giants have so many injuries, I don't even know where to begin. My editor alerted me Wednesday morning that Ramses Barden has a concussion. "When did he have time to get a concussion?" he asked. Perhaps he gave himself one after that bone-headed offensive pass interference play. Who knows? The important injuries on offense, however, are to Hakeem Nicks, who is doubtful, and to offensive linemen Chris Snee and David Baas. Both Snee and Baas missed practice Wednesday. With David Diehl also injured, New York is incredibly thin up front.
The Browns proved Thursday night that they can get to the quarterback and rattle an opposing team's passing attack. Ahtyba Rubin is a monster inside and will create havoc for Eli Manning if Snee and/or Baas are out of the lineup. Manning once again will have to get the ball out quickly. Luckily, he still has Victor Cruz at his disposal. Cruz won't have to deal with Joe Haden, who's serving the final game of his suspension.
New York will have to establish a solid ground attack to keep Manning from getting too roughed up. The Browns are a mediocre 19th versus opposing ground attacks (4.3 YPC), so Ahmad Bradshaw should have some success carrying the ball.
CLEVELAND OFFENSE: New York's back seven is a disaster area. Safety Kenny Phillips suffered a knee injury at Philadelphia and is listed as doubtful. Linebackers Keith Rivers and Michael Boley are both hurt; Boley's injury is new (hip), and he missed practice Wednesday. Cornerback Corey Webster was also out of practice because of a hand ailment.
This is ridiculous. Given the state of the Giants' defense, any functional quarterback could have success against it. Brandon Weeden isn't very good, but he is functional. He handled himself well in the second half against Baltimore; were it not for a Greg Little dropped touchdown, he would have led a comeback against the Ravens. He won't have much resistance against banged-up New York, so he'll pick up where he left off.
Of course, the Browns' offense will continue to run through Trent Richardson, who is very fun to watch because explodes through tacklers and drags defenders along for extra yardage. Because of all of their injuries, the Giants cannot stop the rush right now; the Eagles just gashed them for 142 yards on the ground. Richardson will have a big game.
RECAP: There are three sides I love this week. The Steelers were the first. The Browns are the second.
In addition to battling through a ridiculous amount of injuries, the Giants may not be 100-percent mentally focused because they're coming off an emotional loss against the Eagles. New York also has the 49ers, Redskins (divisional opponent), Cowboys and Steelers on the horizon, so the team may completely overlook the 0-4 Browns, who are 2-1-1 against the spread.
The Browns, meanwhile, are in a very favorable situation in that they're playing a road game following a road loss. Teams cover 67 percent of the time in that situation. And no, Cleveland will not be flat following the Baltimore loss because it's a big underdog against the defending Super Bowl champs.
I actually considered picking the Browns in an upset, but I get the feeling that Eli will put together some sort of miraculous final drive and win the game at the very end.
FINAL THOUGHTS: This line keeps dropping, but only because of all the Giants' injuries. I'm still loving the Browns.
The Psychology. Edge: Browns.
This is a very tough spot for the Giants. They're coming off an emotional loss to the Eagles. After this easy win, they have to deal with the 49ers, two divisional foes (Redskins, Cowboys) and then the Steelers.
The Vegas. Edge: Browns.
A slight lean on the host.
Percentage of money on New York: 70% (60,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Browns.
Giants are 17-26 ATS as favorites of 6.5 or more the previous 43 instances.
Miami Dolphins (1-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (3-1) Line: Bengals by 3.5. Total: 46. Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Bengals -6.
Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 4): Bengals -7.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 4): Bengals -7.
Sunday, Oct. 7, 1:00 ET
Discuss Week 5 Games, Talk Trash
The Game. Edge: Bengals.
If you've followed this site for a while, you may know that I like to respond to my spam mails. I'm continuing last week's, which was from a woman named Mulyana:
Yes, I'm Steve Urkel. The biggest nerd in television history. If you're not familiar with him, just watch this.
Sure enough, the person pretending to be this Mulyana chick e-mailed me back, as he's a dumb spammer from somewhere in Asia and has no clue who Urkel is. Her message to me said that she loves me but she needs someone to transfer her funds to an American bank. She also sent a picture:
Here was my reply:
By the way, that address that I listed is the actual Winslow residence from Family Matters. It's currently preserved as a historical property. I really hope they get some sort of mail from "Mulyana."
Her next message gave me her bank e-mail and that the depositor was a Dr Dreamad tuazama. I replied:
*** OK, so that's what happened up until last week. Here was Mulyana's latest response: ***
hello dearest one, how is your day, hope all is well with you, Dr dreamad tuazama is my late father who deposited the money in bank before he die. thanks for your love and concern about my situation, please i want you to contact the bank with this information which to before, kindly contact the bank like this.
Many regards to you and your family. I hope you are doing well as I am .Sir; I enquiring some information about my dearest wife fiance Miss seledy benga who is a beneficiary to one late Dr Dreamad benga being her father who was a customer to your esteemed bank According to my fiance Miss seledy benga the late father Dr Dreamad benga has some money in your bank and had provide me with the following information about the father to me.
THIS IS THE DEPOSIT INFORMATION
Ownership code: ISFCO/523/06/2L/2000
Deposit code: ISFCO/01/523/2000
Security code: PAG/ISFCO/523/D-14/2000
ACCOUNT NUMBER.....wt/1002 3703450
SWIFT CODE........ ....... ABFISNDA
code BANQUE.............. K0012
code GUICHET.............. 01208
Depositor: Dr Dreamad tuazama
Beneficiary: Miss mulyana dreamad
And I�m writing this latter to you Mr. Anthony Makati of telephone no. +_____________ for accurate confirmation before knowing my next line of action.
I screwed up - I forgot what her dad's name was - but it looks like Miss Mulyana committed an error as well. Who is "Miss seledy benga?" Did Miss Mulyana forget her name? Perhaps a copy-paste error?
Well, either way, it's time to contact Mr. Anthony Makati!
The phone number's legit, by the way. I looked it up on WhitePages.com, and there's a Steve Urkel who lives in Houston. I wish I could hear that phone call. Sorry, I'm evil.
Here's Waldo Geraldo Faldo's e-mail to Mr. Anthony Makati (from my other e-mail address):
Will Mr. Anthony Makati show allegiance to Steve or Waldo? I can't wait to find out.
MIAMI OFFENSE: How in the world did Ryan Tannehill throw for 431 yards against the Cardinals when he could barely complete a pass against the Jets the week before, even after Darrelle Revis went down with his season-ending injury? Seriously, where did that come from? I guess Tannehill is just being inconsistent like a typical rookie quarterback.
I have to feel for Tannehill though. The Bengals were missing their top three cornerbacks last week, forcing them to start Terence Newman and Pacman Jones alongside their pedestrian safeties. Blaine Gabbert could not take advantage of this, but Tannehill could. Unfortunately for the rookie quarterback, it appears as though Nate Clements, Leon Hall and Dre Kirkpatrick will be back, as they all practiced Wednesday.
Making matters worse for Tannehill, the Bengals, who lead the NFL with 17 sacks, will take advantage of Miami's weak offensive line. The right side of the front, comprised of tackle Jonathan Martin and guard John Jerry, is an abomination and doesn't stand a chance against Cincinnati. Fortunately for the Dolphins, Reggie Bush, who won't be on a pitch count this week, should be able to gash Cincinnati's last-place ground defense (5.4 YPC). That may keep the Bengals' pass-rushers at bay.
CINCINNATI OFFENSE: One reason I had four units on the Dolphins last week was because while everyone focused on how Tannehill would find success against Arizona's stout stop unit, I wondered how Kevin Kolb would be able to move the chains versus Miami's elite defense.
The Dolphins rank first against the run. BenJarvus Green-Ellis has predictably struggled to gain good yardage this year, and now he's even losing fumbles for the first time in his career. He won't find any running room against a defense that just limited the Cardinals to 28 rushing yards.
Miami also puts great pressure on the quarterback, ranking 10th in the NFL in sacks (11). Cameron Wake, who is one of the early favorites for Defensive MVP, figures to have a big advantage over mediocre right tackle Andre Smith. Andy Dalton will frequently be under pressure, so he'll have to get rid of the ball quickly. Luckily for him, he has talented weapons to work with. The weak point of Miami's defense is in the secondary, as Richard Marshall is a big liability. Dalton should be able to exploit that.
RECAP: I planned on laying a couple of units with the Dolphins when this spread opened at 5.5, but it has since fallen to 3.5, meaning we have lost all line value. I'm still taking Miami though, as Cincinnati tends to struggle when favored. This will be a close game.
FINAL THOUGHTS: There is absolutely no line value with the Dolphins. Small play.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No psychological edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: Dolphins.
No one's a believer in the Dolphins yet.
Percentage of money on Cincinnati: 78% (70,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Dolphins.
Dolphins are 14-2 ATS on the road vs. teams with a winning record since 2007.
Dolphins are 6-13 ATS after a loss of 6 or fewer points since 2007.
Bengals are 4-13 ATS as a favorite of 3.5 or more since 2007.
Baltimore Ravens (3-1) at Kansas City Chiefs (1-3) Line: Ravens by 6. Total: 47. Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Ravens -4.
Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 4): Ravens -3.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 4): Ravens -4.
Sunday, Oct. 7, 1:00 ET
Discuss Week 5 Games, Talk Trash
The Game. Edge: Ravens.
Video of the Week: Ryan, my senior editor, found this video about Replacement Weathermen. This begs the question, what if there were replacements for other occupations? I'll delve into that later.
KANSAS CITY OFFENSE: The Chiefs never had a chance last week against the Chargers because they turned the ball over too much. Matt Cassel threw three interceptions, while Jamaal Charles fumbled twice. Kansas City won't win any games if it continues to give the ball away at this alarming rate.
Things have a way of evening themselves out in the NFL, so Kansas City's turnover margin will eventually regress to the mean - perhaps starting in this game because the Ravens can't put any pressure on the quarterback whatsoever. The only player who is making life difficult for opposing signal-callers is Haloti Ngata, though it's worth noting that he has a nice matchup in this game. Center Rodney Hudson is out for the second straight week (he's on IR), which means Jeff Allen will have to start at guard again, with Ryan Lilja taking Hudson's spot. Ngata will abuse Allen, but it's the only area where Baltimore will apply pressure.
The Ravens' low sack total is the reason why they struggle mightily against the pass, ranking just 24th against it (7.7 YPA). Cassel could have some success - after all, Brandon Weeden did - while Charles could do some damage on the ground. Baltimore has the No. 4 rush defense in the NFL (3.1 YPC), but Charles is a threat to go the distance whenever he touches the ball. Just ask the Ravens themselves - they surrendered a long touchdown to Charles in a January 2011 playoff matchup.
BALTIMORE OFFENSE: While the Ravens struggle to get to the quarterback, the Chiefs excel at it. They have two dynamic pass-rushers in Tamba Hali and Justin Houston, both of whom have major advantages against Baltimore's mediocre tackles. Kelechi Osemele struggles in pass protection, while an inconsistent Michael Oher commits way too many penalties.
The Ravens will find it difficult to sustain some drives because Joe Flacco will have defenders in his face, but Flacco still will have success on occasion because the Chiefs struggle to stop the pass. Brandon Carr is missed, but the real culprit is Eric Berry, who is inexplicably atrocious in coverage despite being considered a "can't miss" prospect in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Another first-rounder who is struggling for Kansas City is Dontari Poe, who is mediocre against the run and non-existent when it comes to pressuring the quarterback. Meanwhile, Glenn Dorsey could be out again, which means that Baltimore should be able to run the ball easily with Ray Rice. However, as Raven fans know, Cam Cameron often forgets to feed the ball to Rice.
RECAP: Everyone and their evil stepmother is betting the Ravens, but I like the Chiefs for a few reasons:
1. This is an overreaction line. The Ravens were -4 last week, and now they're -6 only because Kansas City turned the ball over a bunch of times against the Chargers. We're getting nice spread value with the host.
2. There are two things of note in terms of the Chiefs being home. First, home underdogs (of less than two touchdowns) coming off a home underdog loss the week before are 39-20 against the spread since 2002.
3. Second, the Chiefs are a solid 7-2 against the spread as home underdogs of six or more points in database history (dating back to 1989). This occurred twice last year, and Kansas City covered on both occasions (against the Steelers and Packers).
4. On the other side of the coin, the Ravens haven't been very good as non-divisional road favorites under John Harbaugh (3-5 ATS; 1-4 in 2011).
5. Baltimore has Dallas and Houston after this game, so it could overlook Kansas City. The Chiefs, meanwhile, will want revenge for that aforementioned postseason loss.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I'm dropping this to two units. I'm not concerned that more people picked the Ravens than any other team in the LVH Super Contest; that's because the spread they listed was -5. I'm concerned with the Chiefs' injuries. Glenn Dorsey is out, while Brandon Flowers and Derrick Johnson are banged up.
The Psychology. Edge: Chiefs.
The Ravens have the Cowboys and Texans after this easy victory. The Chiefs, meanwhile, will be seeking revenge for a playoff loss in January 2011.
The Vegas. Edge: Chiefs.
Who would bet on Kansas City right now?
Percentage of money on Baltimore: 82% (60,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Chiefs.
Chiefs are 7-2 ATS as home underdogs of 6+ since 1989.
Week 5 NFL Picks - Late Games
Seahawks at Panthers,
Bears at Jaguars,
Titans at Vikings,
Broncos at Patriots,
Bills at 49ers,
Chargers at Saints,
Texans at Jets
Prop/Teaser/Parlay Picks A list of some of my favorite team/player prop picks this week (Offense & defensive ROY picks to be counted
whenver winners are announced.) Picks carried over on a week-to-week basis will be in black.
Note: For legality purposes, this Web site does not promote or advocate gambling. This is solely for entertainment purposes only.
Last Week's NFL Picks Against The Spread (Week 21, 2015): 1-0 (+$200)
Last Week's 2-3 Unit NFL Picks (Week 21, 2015): 1-0 (+$200)
Last Week's 4-5 Unit NFL Picks (Week 21, 2015): 0-0 ($0)
Last Week Over-Under (Week 21, 2015): 1-0 ($0)
Last Week's Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks (Week 21, 2015): -$580
2015 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3, 50.0% (-$100)
2015 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 134-138-12, 49.3% (-$2,360) 2015 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 47-44-1, 51.6% (-$820) 2015 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 17-16-2, 51.5% (-$1,120) 2015 Season Over-Under: 143-119-5, 54.6% ($0) 2015 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$855
1999 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 27-41-3 (39.7%) 2000 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 128-123-8 (51.0%) 2001 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 127-122-7 (51.0%) 2002 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 123-136-7 (47.5%) 2003 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 146-126-8 (53.7%) 2004 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 157-123-8 (56.1%) 2005 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 156-126-11 (55.3%) 2006 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 151-135-9 (52.8%) 2007 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 162-135-10, 54.5% (+$2,550) 2008 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 148-140-7, 51.4% (+$2,620) 2009 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 151-124-9, 54.9% (+$3,370) 2010 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 144-131-8, 52.4% (+$6,080) 2011 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 137-133-12, 50.7% (-$1,925) 2012 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 130-145-8, 47.3% (-$5,760) 2013 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 144-131-8, 52.4% (+$5,580) 2014 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 143-133-7, 51.8% (-$1,885) 2015 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 134-138-12, 49.3% (-$2,360)
2002 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 41-49-2 (45.6%) 2003 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 52-51-2 (50.5%) 2004 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 65-44-3 (59.6%) 2005 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 77-61-1 (55.8%) 2006 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 65-61-4 (51.6%) 2007 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 83-59-5, 58.5% (+$4,110) 2008 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 44-57-3, 43.6% (-$3,510) 2009 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 49-35-3, 58.3% (+$2,260) 2010 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 51-38-4, 57.3% (+$3,180) 2011 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 44-51-3, 46.3% (-$2,715) 2012 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 45-50-2, 47.4% (-$2,130) 2013 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 38-42, 47.5% (-$2,890) 2015 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 47-44-1, 51.6% (-$820)
2002 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 11-12 (47.8%) 2003 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 16-13-1 (55.2%) 2004 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 18-11 (62.1%) 2005 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 25-22-1 (53.2%) 2006 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 21-29-1 (42.0%) 2007 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 35-30-2, 53.8% (+$420) 2008 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 39-26-2, 60.0% (+$4,055) 2009 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 29-26, 52.7% (+$330) 2010 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 32-22, 59.3% (+$4,790) 2011 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 14-14, 50.0% (-$1,260) 2012 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 14-21, 40.0% (-$3,650) 2013 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 17-9-3, 65.4% (+$2,970) 2015 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 17-16-2, 51.5% (-$1,120)
2001 Season Over-Under: 3-2 (60.0%) 2002 Season Over-Under: 121-91-3 (57.1%) 2003 Season Over-Under: 126-132-2 (48.8%) 2004 Season Over-Under: 139-124-4 (52.9%) 2005 Season Over-Under: 117-145-4 (44.7%) 2006 Season Over-Under: 129-132-5 (49.4%) 2007 Season Over-Under: 136-145-3, 48.4% (-$1,900) 2008 Season Over-Under: 137-125-6, 52.3% (+$860) 2009 Season Over-Under: 128-135-4, 48.7% (-$3,195) 2010 Season Over-Under: 128-135-5, 48.7% (-$5) 2011 Season Over-Under: 131-131-5, 50.0% (+$135) 2012 Season Over-Under: 125-121-5, 50.8% (+$30) 2013 Season Over-Under: 132-130-5, 50.4% (-$340) 2015 Season Over-Under: 143-119-5, 54.6% ($0)
2007 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,035 2008 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,775 2009 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$865 2010 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$200 2011 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$590 2012 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$1,685 2013 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$2,245 2015 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$855
2006 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3 (50%) 2007 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3, 50.0% (-$400) 2008 NFL Picks of the Month: 6-1, 85.7% (+$3,720) 2009 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$640) 2010 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-4, 33.3% (-$1,810) 2011 NFL Picks of the Month: 5-2, 71.4% (+$1,870) 2012 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$560) 2013 NFL Picks of the Month: 6-0, 100% (+$3,900) 2014 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-4, 33.3% (-$1,350) 2015 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3, 50.0% (-$100)
Career NFL Picks Against The Spread: 2,291-2,116-129, 52.0% (+$8,150) Career 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 741-668-34 (52.6%) Career 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 305-267-13 (53.3%) Career Over-Under: 1,823-1,765-51 (50.8%) Career Second-Half NFL Picks: 22-15-1 (61.1%) Career NFL Picks of the Month: 33-22 (60.0%)
My Team-by-Team ATS Record This section shows how well I do when picking each team this year. The purpose is to see how well I read each team. Pushes are not
displayed. Winning/losing streak in parentheses.