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NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 9, 2012



NFL Picks (Preseason 2012): 6-9-1 (-$1,440)
NFL Picks (Week 1, 2012): 3-13 (-$2,250)
NFL Picks (Week 2, 2012): 8-7-1 (+$430)
NFL Picks (Week 3, 2012): 7-9 (+$70)
NFL Picks (Week 4, 2012): 7-8 (+$640)
NFL Picks (Week 5, 2012): 7-7 (-$340)
NFL Picks (Week 6, 2012): 9-5 (+$1,670)
NFL Picks (Week 7, 2012): 7-5-1 (+$420)
NFL Picks (Week 8, 2012): 6-8 (-$450)

NFL Picks (2012): 60-71-3 (-$1,250)
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 Nov. 5, 5:45 p.m. ET. Follow @walterfootball for updates.


Go to Week 9 NFL Picks - Late Games



Kansas City Chiefs (1-6) at San Diego Chargers (3-4)
Line: Chargers by 7. Total: 41.

Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Chargers -8.5.
Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 8): Chargers -10.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 8): Chargers -9.5.
Thursday, Nov. 1, 8:30 ET
Discuss Week 9 Games, Talk Trash

The Game. Edge: Chargers.

Week 9 NFL Picks will be posted all day Wednesday, 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 8 RECAP: A blegh week. I went 6-8 at -$450. I hit three of my top five picks, but was hurt losing three two-unit selections - the Cowboys to terrible luck (they were the right side), the Seahawks at the very last second, and the Cardinals, well, to a terrible call on my part.

I usually like to look at what went wrong. I was way off on the Redskins and Eagles. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but as I was chasing some of my lawn chairs in my backyard Monday afternoon as Hurricane Sandy was blowing them away, it dawned on me - Washington and Philadelphia were two cities that were right in the path of the hurricane. How could the players been focused on football when they were thinking about possibly evacuating their homes? It would explain why the unfocused Redskins dropped 10 passes and why the lethargic Eagles missed so many tackles.

This may sound like I'm making an excuse, but I think it's legit. The Chargers were crushed during the wild fires several years ago. Also, if you think about it, the two New York teams were affected as well. The Jets were blown out, while the Giants would've also lost had the Cowboys not epically self-destructed.

Now, it's time to review what the media overreacted to last week:

1. People are down on New England. "The Patriots are vanishing before our very eyes." -- Tony Kornheiser. Weren't they "unstoppable" after wins against the Bills and Broncos two weeks ago?

2. Everyone is saying the Ravens are done. Ron Jaworski gave them a 10 on the panic meter. And then there was this by Michael Wilbon: "Not only is Joe Flacco not an elite quarterback; he's not even an average quarterback." Overreaction, much? This is obviously for next week.

3. The Philadelphia media is trashing the Eagles. One late-night radio host even suggested that the front office should name Brian Dawkins the head coach.

4. I must have heard "the Steelers are coming" a billion times on Monday. This, just 10 days after they lost to the Titans. Beating the pedestrian Bengals and their third-string center by seven points isn't that impressive.

Fading the media went 4-0 back in Week 6, but has only been 2-3-1 since. Perhaps it'll produce a winner in Week 8. Here's what the media is overreacting to this time:

1. The consensus is that the Broncos now have a Super Bowl-caliber defense after shutting down Drew Brees. Denver was coming off a bye, so it had two weeks to prepare for the Saints, who don't play as well on the road.

2. Everyone is saying the Ravens are done. Ron Jaworski gave them a 10 on the panic meter. And then there was this by Michael Wilbon: "Not only is Joe Flacco not an elite quarterback; he's not even an average quarterback." Overreaction, much? This is obviously for next week.

I only heard two major overreactions, unless I missed something, so let's see how they pan out.

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

SAN DIEGO OFFENSE: I said it earlier in the season and received some hate mail from Charger fans - but Philip Rivers appears as though he has diminished arm strength. He's also making poor decisions and forcing terrible throws. What the hell happened to him? Maybe it's not such a coincidence that he's regressed ever since Darren Sproles left. Sproles was such a potent safety valve for him, but now he's forced to take more shots downfield, which has increased his turnover numbers.

The Chiefs have the second-worst pass defense in the NFL (8.7 YPA), better only than the Saints. Perhaps Rivers can rebound against them - he was a near-flawless 18-of-23 for 209 yards, two touchdowns and an interception against them in a Week 4 meeting - but he's really struggling right now, and expecting him to bounce back after just three days of rest might be too much to ask.

Ryan Mathews was limited at Kansas City back in the beginning of October because he was coming off that ugly performance against the Falcons in which he fumbled at the goal line. He'll receive many more touches this week and will have success navigating through the Chiefs' No. 27 ground defense. Kansas City has surrendered at least 100 rushing yards to its previous four opponents.

KANSAS CITY OFFENSE: Matt Cassel is under center again, so the Chiefs have a chance! No, I'm actually not being facetious. Brady Quinn might just be the worst quarterback in the NFL, so I was unbelievably happy when Romeo Crennel announced that Quinn would be starting, given that it would open up incredible betting opportunities. Quinn, unfortunately, suffered a convenient head injury. Cassel is functional, so that sucks.

Cassel's return doesn't mean the Chiefs will stop turning the ball over, however. Cassel makes errant throws on occasion, but it's not always his fault. The overrated Dwayne Bowe has balls constantly bounce out of his hands, which creates interceptions. Jamaal Charles has been fumbling too much. Replacement center Ryan Lilja botched at least one snap per game. The Chargers are tied for eighth with 1.9 take-aways per contest, which is bad news for Kansas City.

The Chiefs have to feed the ball to Charles. Brian Daboll's masterful game plan to give his star back five carries against Oakland had Cam Cameron and Andy Reid jealous, but it's something that must change, especially given that San Diego surrendered 129 rushing yards to the Browns last week.

RECAP: I've been dreadful with these Thursday night games - probably because I've been too reliant on a past system that worked so well. Prior to this season, non-divisional home favorites were near-locks on Thursday night because bad or mediocre teams traveling on short rest were screwed. That has changed, as underdogs are 6-1 against the spread on Thursday night this year (4-3 straight up). One of two things happened:

1. Now that every team has to play on Thursday, it's not just an anomaly on the schedule. Every coach is preparing to travel on short rest.

2. We never had Thursday contests in Weeks 2-9 before, so maybe this is what would have always happened. Perhaps late in the year, bad teams (underdogs are typically bad teams) confronted with traveling on just three days' rest might have thought, "Ah f*** it, we suck anyway, preparing for this team with just three days off is just too much."

I guess we'll find out as the season progresses, but with that in mind, I like the Chiefs a little bit. The Chargers are not a good football team and shouldn't be favored by more than a touchdown over anyone. I'm not sure if the Six and Six Rule applies to them, but I'm not crazy about betting on Kansas City anyway.

FINAL THOUGHTS: It actually concerns me that A) the Chargers will be missing Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal and B) there is speculation that Norv Turner will be fired with a loss. Meachem and Royal both stink, but the media is making a huge deal about this. Rivers, meanwhile, loves Turner for some reason, so he'll play hard for him. I'm dropping this to zero units because there's too much of a "sky is falling" element here. I still like the under though.


The Psychology. Edge: None.
Both teams are falling apart. No edge.


The Vegas. Edge: Chiefs.
A decent amount of money coming in on the Chargers.
  • Percentage of money on San Diego: 69% (52,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Chargers.
  • History: Home Team has won 21 of the last 29 meetings (Chargers have won 8 of the last 10).
  • Chiefs are 25-16 ATS as a road underdog since 2007.
  • Chargers are 8-3 ATS at home the week after playing on the East Coast since 2004.
  • Opening Line: Chargers -8.5.
  • Opening Total: 43.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 9 NFL Pick: Chargers 20, Chiefs 17
    Chiefs +7 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Under 41 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Chargers 31, Chiefs 13
    Recap of this game




    Denver Broncos (4-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (3-4)
    Line: Broncos by 5. Total: 47.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Broncos -4.
    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 8): Broncos -1.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 8): Broncos -4.5.
    Sunday, Nov. 4, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 9 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Broncos.

    VEGAS RECAP: The sportsbooks slaughtered the public all but two weeks this year. It was about split this weekend, with Vegas winning with the Jaguars and Browns, and the public earning money with the Patriots and Giants. The sportsbooks are still way ahead, so it wouldn't surprise me if they gave some money back before Black Friday. I'll be updating the Vegas betting action all week, as usual. I'll notify you of any updates @walterfootball.

    DENVER OFFENSE: Do you really want to bet against Peyton Manning right now? In his previous four games, he's 107-of-142, 1,289 yards, 12 touchdowns and an interception. That's a completion percentage of 75.4 and a YPA of 9.1. No arm strength? Really?

    The Bengals are 26th against the pass (7.8 YPA), so it doesn't appear as though they'll be able to slow him down on paper. The good news for Cincinnati is that cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick will be back in the lineup, so it no longer has to start Terence Newman. The bad news is that there are too many holes for Manning to exploit. Nate Clements has been forced to play out of position at safety and has consequently struggled. The linebackers, meanwhile, are atrocious. Rey Maualuga has been an abomination this year, while Manny Lawson hasn't been much better. Manning is on top of his game mentally right now, so he'll find a way to expose the Bengals' flaws.

    Of course, Manning could just turn around and hand the ball off to Willis McGahee a bunch of times. The Bengals are 26th versus the rush (4.6 YPC). You might remember that Jonathan Dwyer trampled them on a Sunday night prior to the bye. McGahee will pick up where Dwyer left off.

    CINCINNATI OFFENSE: I'm interested to see if the Broncos can keep this up defensively. Did they just have a great game plan prepared for Drew Brees, or are they a legitimate top-10 defense?

    I'm a non-believer for now. I think any stop unit that relies on Keith Brooking and Mike Adams has its limitations. Also, Denver has no interior pass rush. Rookie Derek Wolfe has been hyped up by the media, but he's been a disappointment thus far.

    Having said that, I'm not sure the Bengals have the personnel to expose Denver. Champ Bailey will take away A.J. Green, forcing Andy Dalton to target the inconsistent Jermaine Gresham and Andrew Hawkins more frequently. The Broncos, who are 11th against the run (3.9 YPC), can focus exclusively on trying to shut Dalton's passing attack down, given that BenJarvus Green-Ellis is a talentless running back. This will help the Broncos' efforts to get to Dalton, who is at least protected by a solid line that has permitted only five sacks in the past four games.

    RECAP: I think the Bengals are the right side. They're coming off a bye, while the media is overreacting to Denver's defense. Also, the public is pounding the Broncos. I don't like Cincinnati enough to put any money down, however. I wouldn't feel comfortable going against Manning right now.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I'm going to bump this up to a unit. This really seems like the sucker bet of the week. I mean, how can the Broncos not beat the Bengals by four or more?

    FINAL THOUGHTS PART II: Ugh, just when I wrote that this looked like a sucker bet, the spread has risen to -5 and the betting action isn't as lopsided. I'm dropping my unit on Cincinnati.


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


    The Vegas. Edge: Bengals.
    The Broncos have to beat Cincinnati by just four points? Easy money.
  • Percentage of money on Denver: 80% (81,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Peyton Manning is 32-21 ATS as a road favorite since 2001.
  • Broncos are 13-34 ATS as a favorite since 2006.
  • Broncos are 4-16 ATS as favorites of 3.5 or more since 2008.
  • Bengals are 19-11 ATS as underdogs since 2009.
  • Opening Line: Broncos -3.5.
  • Opening Total: 48.
  • Weather: .


    Week 9 NFL Pick: Broncos 27, Bengals 26
    Bengals +5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Over 48 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Broncos 31, Bengals 23






    Arizona Cardinals (4-4) at Green Bay Packers (5-3)
    Line: Packers by 10. Total: 43.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Packers -10.
    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 8): Packers -13.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 8): Packers -13.5.
    Sunday, Nov. 4, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 9 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Packers.

    HATE MAIL: Another week, another stack of hate mails. I only saw one on my picks page:

    Mario megelini is Walters fake name, I'm not an American this is my sucks language burning pretty sure u made up this account and writing bunch Of BS pretending to be an idiot, walt anyone who has community sense understand that u r just doing this for entertainment, I followed your Philly, Washington, and Dallas picks today and sadly went 0-3. I don't like to be negative but u suck and when criticism is earned I'll tell, for years I been following u, but this week I had enough I'll bet all games against ufrom now on, u keep finding excuses why u have terrible picks and I personally think u just flip a coin with tour picks because whatever u had going before 2011 isn't working anymore

    Why'd you follow some picks and not the others? Had you bet the Dolphins, Raiders and Colts, you would've been 3-3 - an even .500, which would coincide with my coin-flipping strategy!

    Here are three hate mails pertaining to my NFL Power Rankings:

    "Ugh, I can't believe I'm ranking the 49ers No. 6. Alex Smith sucks and the defense isn't as good as it was last year because of issues in the secondary." Its excellent and well thought out commentary like this that reminds me that this site is a joke. It "behooves me" why I or anyone else is here.

    It behooves me that you hate my power rankings, but it also behooves me that you're posting comments on the site and adding to the page view totals.

    Packgirls at #2 lololol dude, such horrible rankings. A week ago, you said the 9ers haven't beaten anyone good, yet you have GB ranked 2nd and say they should be 6-1. Last time I checked the 9ers beat the Packgirls at Lambeau fairly easily. May I say hypocrit?

    May you spell hypocrite? And way to reference something in Week 1. I mean, I could just point to the Vikings crushing the 49ers, so that must mean Minnesota is better than San Francisco. But then the Buccaneers beat the Vikings, which means Tampa Bay is better than both Minnesota and San Francisco. But then the Saints beat the Bucs, and the Chiefs beat the Saints, so that means Kansas City is the best team in the NFL!

    F*CKIN POS WROTE A GOTDAM NOVEL APOLOGIZING MAKING EXCUSES FOR THE DETOILET PUSSIES, BUT THE BUM SACK OF GARBAGE HAS NOTHING TO SAY ABOUT THE ALMIGHTY, SUPERIOR BEARS. AS I SAID WHEN ITS ALL SAID AND DONE, YOU W-I-L-L BE FORCED TO BOW TO THE CHI BEARS, YOU LOWLIFE FANBOI B1TCHES. WHOEVER RUNS THIS SH1T SITE, ALL YOUR MOTHERS EAT SH1T. GET YOUR ACT RIGHT, RESPECT YOUR SUPERIORS, THE BEARS, AND MAYBE WE'LL STOP SH1TTING IN YOUR MOTHERS MOUTHS. BEARDOWN ON ALL YOU B1TCHES

    How does the "peanut butter" you scooped out of your buttocks taste?

    ARIZONA OFFENSE: John Skelton, ugh. He has definitely regressed. He throws inaccurate passes, shows no pocket awareness and appears to be rattled at times. Of course, you can't really blame him. His offensive line is horrific. It was astonishing to watch some of his linemen not even attempt to block the 49er pass-rushers on Monday night. It's like they were thinking, "These scary 49er guys are going to beat us easily anyway, so let's just make it look like we weren't ready for the play so that we don't completely embarrass ourselves."

    The Cardinals are not going to fix their problems on a short work week. Sure, the Packers have major defensive issues because of all of their injuries - Charles Woodson and D.J. Smith are out, while Sam Shields, Mike Neal, Jerel Worthy and Nick Perry all missed practice Wednesday - but it doesn't seem like Arizona has the talent to expose them. All opposing defenses have to do is take away Larry Fitzgerald via bracket coverage and wait for Skelton to either take sacks or commit turnovers.

    Don't expect much from the Arizona rushing attack either. I don't know how LaRod Stephens-Howling gashed the Vikings, but he won't have much success against a Packer unit that has surrendered just 3.9 YPC to its previous four opponents.

    GREEN BAY OFFENSE: Aaron Rodgers wasn't his usual self last week. He threw for just 186 yards despite airing it out 35 times. The absence of both Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson appeared to be the reason why he struggled. Jennings will be out again, but Nelson (hamstring) has a chance of playing. Mike McCarthy said Nelson was close to playing last week. However, Nelson missed practice Wednesday, and with a bye coming up, the Packers may just opt to rest him.

    Even if that happens, I'd expect Rodgers to rebound. Alex Smith completed all but one of his 19 passes Monday night with a limited receiving corps, so why can't Rodgers put together a similar performance with slightly better weapons? There are plenty of holes in Arizona's back seven for Rodgers to exploit. Both William Gay (not that there's anything wrong with that) and Paris Lenon were awful against the 49ers. Patrick Peterson couldn't tackle. Kerry Rhodes, meanwhile, didn't look completely healthy coming of a back injury.

    The one chance the Cardinals have is if they put heavy pressure on Rodgers, which is feasible because A) they have two stud defensive linemen and B) Green Bay can't run the ball. However, Arizona's rush linebackers really need to pick up the slack. Sam Acho and O'Brien Schofield were completely invisible versus San Francisco. They're just not that good and far too inconsistent, so they don't have much of an edge against the beleaguered Packer tackles.

    RECAP: I seldom make big plays on double-digit favorites, but I'm going to make an exception here. I strongly believe the Packers are the right side. They're going into their bye, which is good news because teams laying six or more points at home with an upcoming week off tend to cover consistently. This is because good teams tend to be focused in their final game before a break.

    The Cardinals are in a terrible spot too. They're reeling after that Monday night disaster, and five days off just isn't enough time for them to fix all of their problems. They'll be better after their bye, but there's a reason why teams coming off Monday night blowouts seldom cover.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Nothing has changed outside of the spread dropping one point. I still have the Packers for two units.


    The Psychology. Edge: Packers.
    The Packers will be focused going into their bye. The Cardinals will struggle after that Monday night debaclation.


    The Vegas. Edge: Cardinals.
    Who would want to bet on the Packers after Arizona's horrific showing on Monday night?
  • Percentage of money on Green Bay: 84% (70,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Packers.
  • MNF Misery: Teams coming off losses of 17+ on MNF are 22-37 ATS the following week.
  • Aaron Rodgers is 36-21 ATS since 2009 (8-4 ATS as a favorite of 12+ ???).
  • Opening Line: Packers -11.
  • Opening Total: 44.
  • Weather: .


    Week 9 NFL Pick: Packers 30, Cardinals 10
    Packers -10 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
    Under 43 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Packers 31, Cardinals 17








    Miami Dolphins (4-3) at Indianapolis Colts (4-3)
    Line: Dolphins by 1.5. Total: 44.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Dolphins -2.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 8): Colts -2.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 8): Colts -2.5.
    Sunday, Nov. 4, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 9 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Dolphins.

    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. He didn't update his Web site, https://sites.google.com/site/realjohnmossfootball/ this past week, but I was able to find a conversation between us from mid-September:

    therealjohnmoss: waltar i am send u mail i need ur advice

    Me: Real John Moss!

    therealjohnmoss: i forwerd i aam becoming very welthy soon. i need tip for american futbol game this weakend

    Me: Congratulations!

    therealjohnmoss: i make big beds

    Me: I bet they're really comfortable.

    therealjohnmoss: wat?? o yes im very comfertable after iam win u r rite

    Me: Good.

    therealjohnmoss: listin by sending u this mail it is posible CHINA goverment is look for u

    Me: Bring them on. Someone bought me a sword for my birthday, so I will slay any Chinaman who comes to my house.

    therealjohnmoss: no is ninja sneeking in ur homes very dangerus

    Me: I have the same sword as Arya Stark in Game of Thrones. I'll be OK.

    therealjohnmoss: wat is thrones

    Me: A chair that a king sits on.

    therealjohnmoss: o yes i hav many and u mak sexs with arya starks??

    Me: Well, she has to become 18 first. Or 16 if I visit her in England.

    therealjohnmoss: yes 16s is o k. waltar when deal competes we hav many party. u me and CHUNLI

    Me: I can't wait. Chun-Li is hot.

    therealjohnmoss: who maybe im only mail with him

    Me: I know.

    therealjohnmoss: we r all handomes mens iz why gurl cant to rezist

    Me: Yeah, it's unfair to other men.

    therealjohnmoss: wen muney come i will get more laddy than b4 overlode. i wil also buy u privite PIZA shop

    Me: I can't wait. I will eat all of the pizza.

    therealjohnmoss: im so exsighted i cannot find it

    Me: Find what?

    therealjohnmoss: iz song. im so exsighted and i cant not find it. t iz funy video in youTUBE ok i go rite in my jurnal now

    Me: OK good night.

    therealjohnmoss: when milion dollars is mine u will help me bed yes

    Me: I will. Better than Sleep Number.

    therealjohnmoss: u kno waltar im think ur reeding is not so god u r confuse me a lot sleep and number is counting yaaks b4 beds but is not in contacts of convarsation so im not undersstand

    Me: I'm so sorry John Moss, I'll try to read more so I can be at your level.

    therealjohnmoss: maybe wen u r dun with collage

    Me: I am done with my collage, it so pretty!

    therealjohnmoss: oh wat collage did u go 2

    Me: The one with the butterflies and mermaids. But I must go, John Moss, I have to take a shower. Talk to you later!

    therealjohnmoss: yes yes "showers" god nights

    INDIANAPOLIS OFFENSE: Andrew Luck is coming off one of his best games in his young career, going 26-of-38 for 297 yards, one touchdown and an interception at Tennessee. Sure, the Titans' defense sucks, but this was Luck's first road victory, and it came outdoors.

    Luck will be back in the friendly confines of Lucas Oil Field, but has a much tougher challenge against the Dolphins, who have the No. 10 pass defense in the NFL (6.8 YPA). Cornerback Sean Smith has played tremendously this year and has routinely shut down the opposing team's top receiver. He'll at least do a decent job on Reggie Wayne, forcing Luck to look elsewhere. Luck also won't have Coby Fleener at his disposal. Fleener is out with a shoulder injury, so Dwayne Allen could be targeted heavily.

    The Colts won't be able to run the ball. Miami has the top rush defense in the NFL (3.4 YPC), so Luck will have to do it all himself. This will be problematic, as Cameron Wake has a huge edge over right tackle Winston Justice. Derrick Morgan had a huge game versus Justice last week, so you have to like Wake's chances of accumulating a couple of sacks.

    MIAMI OFFENSE: The Colts just allowed Shonn Greene and Chris Johnson to have big performances, so Reggie Bush should go nuts, right? Perhaps, but he won't have as big of an afternoon as his fantasy owners would like. Save for No. 1 corner Vontae Davis, Indianapolis will have everyone back on defense. Inside linebacker Pat Angerer and defensive end Cory Redding returned recently, while rush linebacker Robert Mathis and defensive end Fili Moala also figure to be in the lineup again, as the two were both in pads during Wednesday's practice.

    The most prominent injured player on this side of the ball is Ryan Tannehill. The rookie quarterback suffered a knee bruise against the Jets, but practiced Wednesday. Backup Matt Moore received the first-team reps, but Tannehill is currently the favorite to start. Regardless of whom the Dolphins utilize at quarterback, they should have success moving the chains aerially because Davis is out.

    The one big advantage the Colts have defensively is a healthy Mathis going up against beleaguered right tackle Jonathan Maritn. Mathis should be able to apply frequent pressure on Tannehill and disrupt some of Miami's drives.

    RECAP: I don't understand this point spread. Why are the Dolphins favored by 2.5 on the road? I thought the Colts would be -2.5. Something's very fishy here - perhaps the sportsbooks think Indianapolis won't be completely focused because it has to battle a divisional opponent in just four days. I'm taking the home team, but I'm staying away from betting this contest.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: No change.


    The Psychology. Edge: Dolphins.
    The Colts have to play a divisional game in four days.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Indianapolis: 56% (44,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Dolphins are 15-2 ATS on the road vs. teams with a winning record since 2007.
  • Dolphins are 1-8 ATS as a favorite coming off a SU win as an underdog since 2007.
  • Opening Line: Dolphins -2.
  • Opening Total: 43.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 9 NFL Pick: Colts 19, Dolphins 16
    Colts +1.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Under 44 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Colts 23, Dolphins 20






    Baltimore Ravens (5-2) at Cleveland Browns (2-6)
    Line: Ravens by 3.5. Total: 43.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Ravens -3.
    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 8): Ravens -3.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 8): Ravens -3.
    Sunday, Nov. 4, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 9 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: None.

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

    1. I absolutely HATE it when TV analysts say that the NFL's attempt to bring the NFL to London doesn't work. It's completely ignorant because they are wrong. And I have proof.

    Let's ignore the fact that Wembley Stadium sells out every time there's an NFL game there. The dumb TV analysts can just argue that it's a novelty, and if there were more games there, it wouldn't sell out. But looking at my Web site traffic, there is definitely a major rise in interest. Take a look at the percentage of traffic from England I've received over the years:

    2007 - 0.003%
    2008 - 0.005%
    2009 - 0.2%
    2010 - 0.3%
    2011 - 0.2%
    2012 - 1.8%

    There was absolutely no interest, but it's really picked up recently. More and more people from England are getting into the NFL. Meanwhile, countries like France and Germany, who don't get to see the NFL, have remained stagnant going from 0.0006 and 0.0008 percent in 2007, respectively, to 0.004 and 0.005 percent in 2012. A percentage of 1.8 doesn't sound like much, but consider that England has just one-sixth the population of America. The U.S. percentage, for those wondering, has fallen from 86.6 in 2007 to 86.1 in 2012.

    The global game did wonders for the NBA, and I believe it could have a large impact on the NFL. Soon enough, kids in England who aspire to be NFL stars will enter the league and will bolster the talent pool - which can only make the game better.

    2. Let's discuss another ignorant statement. Warren Moon recently ranted about how Cam Newton shouldn't be compared to Vince Young because of his skin color. Newton argued that Newton should be likened to other mobile, white quarterbacks.

    This was one of the dumbest things I've ever heard. No one was comparing the two because they were black. They were comparing them because:

    1. They both won national championships in college.

    2. They both took the NFL by storm with outstanding rookie years.

    3. They were both fantasy football stars early on because of their rushing numbers.

    4. They both fell from grace after a hot start.

    5. They both have accuracy issues (Newton's 57.1% this year is even worse than Young's 62.3% in his second season).

    6. They were both despondent in front of the media, blaming others for their lack of success.

    Newton and Young are the same. That's why people are comparing them, Warren. It has nothing to do with their skin color. No one ever said anything about their skin color - except for you. So maybe you're the ignorant one who should stop making things out to be about race.

    3. Bah, I'm done ranting. I'll let e-mailer Kevin J. handle this one:

    You called Phil Simms "Captain Contradiction." While that may be one of his shortcomings, you fail to recognize that he is the best in the biz at interviewing himself. During the pregame show, James Brown will shoot it to Phil with a generic question like "How's the weather in New England, Phil?" This is when the interview starts.

    Phil Simms - How's the weather here in New England?

    Phil Simms - I'll tell ya how the weather is. It is very cold and very windy today.

    Phil Simms - Now what would I do if I were Tom Brady in these conditions?

    Phil Simms - I would try to stick with short and intermediate pass attempts and not air it out too much.

    Then, during the game...

    Phil Simms - What would I do if I were the coach in this situation?

    Phil Simms - If I were Bill Belichick I would go for it on 4th-and-2 because...

    This is why he's the lead guy. You get the color commentary, plus an interview with Phil Simms conducted by Phil Simms.

    BALTIMORE OFFENSE: The Browns are 29th against the rush. Just saying this has to frustrate Ray Rice fantasy owners because Cam Cameron is clueless and often forgets that he has one of the best running backs in the NFL at his disposal. However, Cleveland's ranking could improve tremendously over the next few weeks.

    Monstrous defensive tackles Ahtyba Rubin and Phil Taylor both have a good chance of playing in this contest according to Pat Shurmur. They'll both have a huge impact in run support, particularly Taylor. It might not be right away if they're not 100 percent - it sounds like Taylor could be limited - but Cleveland will show great improvent against the rush as the second half of the season progresses.

    However, this is all about the passing attack because that's what Cameron loves. Joe Flacco torched the Browns for 356 yards and a touchdown in a Week 4 Thursday night meeting, but that was without Joe Haden on the field for Cleveland. Haden is back and will take one of Flacco's receivers away.

    CLEVELAND OFFENSE: If the Ravens spent the bye week working on one thing, it has to be run their run defense, which has surrendered 610 rushing yards in the past three contests. As you can see, it was getting gashed even when Ray Lewis was on the field.

    We'll find out if the Ravens made the proper adjustments immediately because they have a tough test against Trent Richardson, who just pummeled the Chargers for 122 yards on 24 carries despite nursing some sort of flank injury. Interestingly enough, Richardson didn't have nearly as much success against Baltimore the first time around (14-47), so the Ravens are physically capable of containing him. Yes, Lewis is out of the lineup, but he was largely responsible for the team's struggles versus the rush against the Chiefs and Cowboys.

    Baltimore does miss Lewis mentally, however. The pre-game rallies are one thing, but Lewis often put his players in the correct positions on the field. His absence, along with Lardarius Webb's injury, will make the Ravens substantially weaker against the pass. Brandon Weeden has played decently at times thus far, including a solid performance against this Baltimore squad in Week 4, so Cleveland should be able to sustain drives.

    RECAP: The Ravens are one of my favorite plays of the weekend. Here's why:

    1. The Ravens were completely embarrassed prior to the bye. They've had two weeks to hear about how terrible they are and how quickly the Steelers will overtake them in the AFC North. This has to be a statement game.

    2. I love betting on road favorites coming off a bye. Teams in that situation are 35-12 against the spread in the past 10 years. There is logic behind this: Road favorites are generally very good teams, and very good teams tend to be extra potent with a week off.

    3. Speaking of byes, John Harbaugh is a perfect 4-0 ATS coming off of one. He's also 5-1 ATS following a double-digit loss.

    4. The Ravens have dominated this rivalry, claiming nine consecutive victory. I don't think this Cleveland team is experienced or mentally strong enough to overcome that hurdle.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The Ravens are still one of my top plays.

    FINAL THOUGHTS II: You know how I love betting on road favorites coming off a bye? Well, e-mailer Darren L. pointed out that teams in that situation coming off a double-digit loss tend to struggle. I'm cutting my bet on Baltimore in half.


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


    The Vegas. Edge: Browns.
    You can't find anyone betting on Cleveland.
  • Percentage of money on Baltimore: 81% (45,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Ravens.
  • History: Ravens have won the last 9 meetings (road team has covered the last 6).
  • John Harbaugh is 5-1 ATS following a loss of 10+.
  • John Harbaugh is 4-0 ATS off a bye.
  • Opening Line: Ravens -3.
  • Opening Total: 42.
  • Weather: .


    Week 9 NFL Pick: Ravens 26, Browns 13
    Ravens -3.5 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
    Under 43.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Ravens 25, Browns 15






    Buffalo Bills (3-4) at Houston Texans (6-1)
    Line: Texans by 10.5. Total: 48.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Texans -9.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 8): Texans -11.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 8): Texans -11.
    Sunday, Nov. 4, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 9 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Texans.

    Random College Football Notes:

    1. The NCAA loves to drag its feet on things - can't we just get our four-team playoff this year instead of waiting two more seasons? - but can it seriously do something about Lane Kiffin's antics? If you haven't heard, Kiffin, the head coach at USC, is having his players change jerseys in the middle of the game. Oh, and according to him, it's not to give his team a competitive advantage during that particular contest. It's to fool next week's opponent. Yeah, and I'm sure the police planted drugs on Tyrann Mathieu.

    This is ridiculous. How can Kiffin be allowed to do this? How is there not a rule against it in the first place? Did the great coaches of years' past pull stunts like this? No, because they weren't pretentious a**holes like Kiffin.

    But the NCAA apparently doesn't care that Kiffin is cheating. So, if I'm an arrogant POS like Kiffin, why even stop there if the NCAA isn't going to do crap? Why not roofie the other team or hire spies to steal plays or even nab the other team's jerseys and have your players put them on? That way you'll really fool everyone, Lane!

    2. I normally complain about my bad beats in the NFL, but there's one loss I have to address in college football. I laid four touchdowns with Boise State two weeks ago against UNLV. The Rebels were down 32-0 in the beginning of the fourth quarter, so things looked promising. However, they moved the ball inside the Broncos' 10-yard line with a fourth down upcoming. "OK, I thought," we stop them on fourth down, and we basically have this game in the bag."

    So, did UNLV score a touchdown? Nope. Because they kicked a field goal. A freaking field goal down 32-0. It was still a four-possession game either way because eight plus eight plus eight plus eight is 32, so three points did nothing. And here's the kicker - they missed a 22-yard field goal! Ha!

    I thought my bet was safe, but Boise State turned it over to give UNLV a touchdown. The Broncos later nabbed a give-away of their own deep inside UNLV territory, and it appeared as though they were going to score - but their running back tripped over the quarterback's leg on fourth down and was tackled behind the line of scrimmage. UNLV covered. Ugh.

    3. College football coaches have a serious problem when it comes to math. There was another similar instead in a recent Tennessee game. I posted this on the forum:

    Why would you kick a FG on a 4th-and-5 down 14 right at the end of the 3Q? You're still going to be down 2 scores and you'll actually still need to get into the end zone twice for the 2-pointer.

    Like UNLV, the Vols pathetically missed the field goal anyway. Serves them right. If you can't do simple math, you don't deserve to win a football game so you can go to a meaningless bowl game that no one cares about.

    BUFFALO OFFENSE: The Bills have only one go-to option in the downfield passing game, so if you can eliminate that, you can pretty much bog down their aerial attack. Houston cornerback Johnathan Joseph had been battling a groin injury earlier in the year but played well versus Baltimore. With a week off, he's probably completely healthy, so he should be able to limit Steve Johnson.

    Ryan Fitzpatrick consequently will have to settle for intermediate throws to mediocre tight end Scott Chandler or checkdowns to his running backs. On the bright side, there could be something available in the middle of the field because Brian Cushing is out. Also, the Bills were missing some linemen prior to their bye, but will have most of them back. That will be a big help in terms of blocking J.J. Watt and the other Texan pass-rushers.

    The healthy blockers will help the Bills move the chains on the ground. This may surprise you, but Houston is just 13th versus the rush (4.03 YPC). Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller make for a great one-two punch and could both have big outings versus an overrated ground defense.

    HOUSTON OFFENSE: What Jackson and Spiller do, however, will pale in comparison to Arian Foster's projected performance. The pathetic Bills allowed an unbelievable 820 rushing yards to their previous four opponents. Perhaps they used the week off to fix their issues against the run, but it's still not going to prevent Foster from going nuts.

    When the Texans can run the ball, they can do everything they want on offense because their attack is so predicated on Matt Schaub's ability to orchestrate play-action bootlegs. Schaub will be doing that all afternoon when he's not handing the ball off to Foster, and he won't face much resistance from a Buffalo secondary that is 24th versus the pass (7.6 YPA).

    If the Bills somehow put the Texans into a third-and-long situation, they'll obviously have to apply pressure on Schaub to force a punt. That has been an issue for them, however, as Mario Williams has been a huge disappointment. Williams just had wrist surgery, so maybe he'll start trying hard for a change. If so, he'll need to take advantage of the big edge he has against right tackle Derek Newton.

    RECAP: I really like Buffalo. There's only one thing preventing me from making this a four-unit selection, which is that the favorite tends to cover when both teams are coming off byes. But there are plenty of reasons to love the Bills:

    1. What does this game mean to the Texans? Seriously, they're comfortably holding onto the No. 1 seed in the AFC. They already beat the Ravens, who are the closest team, so they have that tie-breaker. Why do they care about beating the Bills, especially when they have to battle the Bears next week and then the Lions on Thanksgiving 10 days after that?

    2. The Texans have been hearing about how great they are the past two weeks. They enjoyed such a perfect win against the Ravens prior to the bye. It was too perfect - because teams that come off victories in which they led after every quarter, won the turnover margin and beat the other squad in time of possession by 20 minutes never cover in the next contest. Well, maybe not never; it happened once in the past 38 occasions. The point is that Houston is way overvalued right now. Remember how the Packers completely obliterated them? Why has everyone seemingly forgotten that?

    3. Here's a nice trend that benefits the Bills: Teams that lost a close home game prior to the bye (1-3 points) are 17-6 against the spread after the week off.

    4. Everyone is betting on Houston. This reminds me of the Falcons-Raiders matchup a couple of weeks ago in which everyone assumed the dominant home team would cover easily.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I still love the Bills.


    The Psychology. Edge: Bills.
    This game means very little to the Texans, who have to deal with the Bears next week and then the Lions on Thanksgiving 10 days after that.


    The Vegas. Edge: Bills.
    As expected, tons of action on the 6-1 Texans.
  • Percentage of money on Houston: 84% (71,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Opening Line: Texans -11.
  • Opening Total: 48.5.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 9 NFL Pick: Texans 27, Bills 24
    Bills +10.5 (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
    Over 47.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Texans 21, Bills 9




    Carolina Panthers (1-6) at Washington Redskins (3-5)
    Line: Redskins by 3. Total: 48.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Redskins -3.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 8): Redskins -6.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 8): Redskins -4.
    Sunday, Nov. 4, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 9 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Redskins.

    If you've been reading this Web site for a while, you know that I love to respond to mess with spammers. It's fun writing material, and besides, if they're busy with me, they're not conning someone else - so I consider myself a good samaritan for doing this.

    I currently have a long entry with this woman Mulyana running. It's taking up too much space, so I've given it its own page. Click here for the Steve Urkel Spam Mail.

    WASHINGTON OFFENSE: Only one rookie quarterback has ever beaten Dick LeBeau, but it's certainly not Robert Griffin's fault that his team lost by double digits to the Steelers. It was poor play-calling early and dropped passes throughout that capsized Washington's chances of improving to .500. Seriously, how does a team drop 10 balls in a single game?

    The Redskins can only blame themselves if they don't move the chains aerially in this contest. The Panthers are missing top cornerback Chris Gamble and have consequently surrendered 7.9 yards per pass attempt in the past four contests. Maintaining that figure throughout the whole season would place them 28th against the pass.

    Carolina has been better versus the run lately, however. The team has yielded just 3.9 YPC, which is good enough to be in the top 12. The difference has been Luke Kuechly; the stud linebacker wasn't very good outside, but he's been a tackling machine in the middle of the defense. Having said that, it'll be very difficult to stop Washington's ground attack. The Redskins run the ball so well because teams are scared to death of Robert Griffin breaking a long gain, as he did against the Vikings.

    CAROLINA OFFENSE: Speaking of running the ball, the Panthers tried desperately to get Jonathan Stewart going by extensively using normal formations for the first time all season. This didn't work - Stewart rushed for just 42 yards on 17 carries - but this came against the Bears' stout defense. Washington's stop unit isn't nearly as good, ranking right in the middle of the pack in terms of stopping ground attacks (16th; 4.1 YPC).

    Stewart will be slightly more successful than he was at Chicago, but I wouldn't expect much. Center Ryan Kalil is missed, while rookie left guard Amini Silatolu has been a disappointment thus far. If the Panthers wish to move the chains on the ground, it'll have to be via Cam Newton's legs. Newton is obviously a great scrambler, capable of picking up huge chunks of yardage at a time. However, I'm confused as to why he's not running the ball often enough in the red zone. The Panthers were so successful in scoring situations last year because of Newton's rushing ability, so he should go back to that.

    Newton will also be able to pass flawlessly in this contest. Thanks to numerous injuries, the Redskins are epically pathetic against the pass - they surrendered at least 299 passing yards to every quarterback they battled this year prior to last week's matchup against the Steelers. Ben Roethlisberger could have easily eclipsed the 299-yard mark, but his team was so far ahead that it didn't need to throw. Newton should have a big game - no suggestion box needed.

    RECAP: The Panthers are probably my favorite play of the week. The Panthers!? Yes, and here's why:

    1. I don't think the Redskins will be focused for this game. They have a bye coming up, and average or worse teams with an upcoming week off have done horribly this year. I've looked it up, and here's the historical trend: Since 2000, teams going into a bye as small home favorites (1-5.5 points) in a conference matchup are 15-44 against the spread.

    2. Another reason why Washington won't be 100-percent mentally prepared: The team just suffered two consecutive tough losses to the Giants and Steelers, so they'll be flat. The Panthers had a similar-type defeat, but they're underdogs in this matchup, so they know they have to bring it - especially against RGIII. On a related note, I'm sure Newton is tired about hearing how great Griffin is. He'll want to prove that he's the top scrambling quarterback in the NFL.

    3. Road underdogs following a road loss cover about two-thirds of the time.

    4. Speaking of two consecutive road tilts, teams that lose as visitors twice in a row struggle to cover the spread when favored at home in the next game.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: No change here.


    The Psychology. Edge: Panthers.
    The Redskins are coming off dual emotional losses and are now favored over this blegh Panther team. The Panthers, meanwhile, are coming off a similar situation, going down against the Cowboys and Bears.


    The Vegas. Edge: Panthers.
    I'm surprised more people aren't on the Redskins, given how small this spread is.
  • Percentage of money on Washington: 66% (39,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Opening Line: Redskins -3.5.
  • Opening Total: 46.
  • Weather: .


    Week 9 NFL Pick: Panthers 31, Redskins 27
    Panthers +3 (4 Units) -- Correct; +$400
    Over 48 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Panthers 21, Redskins 13




    Detroit Lions (3-4) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6)
    Line: Lions by 6. Total: 44.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: No Line.
    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 8): Lions -4.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 8): Lions -4.
    Sunday, Nov. 4, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 9 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Lions.

    THE ADVENTURES OF TOM BRADY'S HAIRCUTS

    Remember when Tom Brady used to be the most clutch quarterback in the NFL? He had that epic drive against the Rams in the Super Bowl. He then engineered numerous other fourth-quarter comebacks, including one to defeat the Panthers two years later to claim his second Lombardi trophy. After he earned his third, there was a wide-spread belief that he would pass both Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw and eventually earn five or more total rings.

    Well, Brady's been stuck on three. He's no longer clutch; in fact, he often melts down in the fourth quarters of big matchups. He seems to really care about some games - especially those involving Tim Tebow - but then he's so lackadaisical in others.

    So, what happened? The obvious answer is his wife. But more specifically, it's the haircuts that his wife forces him into getting. It's unknown to the media, but Brady's haircuts are much more than just silly fashion statements; each haircut gives Brady a new persona.

    For instance, the following exchange took place yesterday as some players were rehabbing during their bye.



    Vince Wilfork: NOM NOM NOM NOM PANCAKES NOM NOM NOM NOM.

    Patrick Chung: Hey Vince, guess what?

    Vince Wilfork: GO AWAY IT'S PANCAKE TIME NOM NOM NOM NOM PANCAKES NOM NOM NOM NOM.

    Patrick Chung: No, it's Tom Brady! He sent us a postcard from vacation.

    Vince Wilfork: Oh, from the water park? What does it say?

    Patrick Chung: OK, here it is:

    omg guys i'm at this warter park and its like so fun the rides are like woah so fast and its like super exciting i got super excited on the slide i show you and i peed myself a little bit but then this little kid went on after me and was like not afraid i was like ummm your making this seem like prison time when you should be having fun like duh but omg guys theres this guy looking at me hes like so cute hes tan and has a 6 pack and hes waring blue swim trunks and hes omg hes coming this way oh no wahat do i say i dunno what to say omg he just walked right by me and looked at me omg hes so cute and omg maybe he lieks me i dunno what do you all theinks anywayz im gonna go on anothur slide its like so much fun i wish you were all hear cuz its like so much fun ok goin to the slide k gtg cya

    Patrick Chung: Thank God I decided to stay home.

    Vince Wilfork: Me too. OK, go away. IT'S PANCAKE TIME ONCE AGAIN NOM NOM NOM NOM!!!

    DETROIT OFFENSE: Nate Burleson's season-ending injury might just be the best thing that could've happened to the Lions' offense this year. With Burleson going down, it forced the coaching staff to use superior receivers Titus Young and Ryan Broyles more often. The result was that Matthew Stafford went 34-of-49 for 352 yards, three touchdowns and an interception against Seattle's vaunted secondary, which included an uncharacteristic fourth-quarter comeback. The Lions typically find ways to lose, so their ability to pull a game out in the clutch is encouraging.

    There's no reason for Stafford to slow down. The Jaguars are worse against the pass (15th; 6.9 YPA) than the Seahawks (5th; 6.4 YPA). Jacksonville did a decent job against Aaron Rodgers, but that can be attributed to the Packers missing their top two receivers. Dwight Lowery, the team's top coverage safety is out, while cornerbacks Derek Cox and Rashean Mathis are both banged up with various injuries. Making matters worse, the Jaguars can't put any pressure on the quarterback, so Stafford will have all day to throw.

    The one thing the Lions won't be able to do very well is run the ball. Jacksonville is just 20th versus the rush (4.3 YPC), but Mikel Leshoure will either be out or limited. He suffered a leg injury in the third quarter of the Seattle contest and never returned. He missed practice Wednesday, so Detroit may have to give extra touches to Joique Bell and Silent Bob.

    JACKSONVILLE OFFENSE: Speaking of injured running backs, Maurice Jones-Drew was missed last week. The Jaguars struggled to run the football, gaining just 62 rushing yards on 19 carries with Rashad Jennings and company. Jennings is a solid receiver out of the backfield, but he's simply not a good runner.

    Despite this, Blaine Gabbert was able to dissect the Packers. Like Green Bay, Detroit has numerous injured players on its stop unit, specifically a stud safety. Louis Delmas can make a huge impact when he's on the field, but that's been a rare sight. He returned recently, but suffered yet another injury. He missed practice Wednesday and is a long shot to play.

    So, Gabbert should be able to pick up where he left off, right? I wouldn't be so sure about that. Unlike the Packers, Detroit is capable of generating a fierce, inside pass rush with Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley. It has a huge advantage in this matchup, as the three interior Jacksonville linemen have struggled this season - particularly left guard Eben Britton, who has been benched twice already. Gabbert easily gets rattled under pressure, so he could go back to tossing ineffective checkdowns once Suh and Fairley hit him a couple of times.

    RECAP: I was ready to take the Jaguars for a couple of units because of the major breather alert the Lions are facing. They have to take on the Vikings (divisional rival), Packers and Texans after this contest. However, the trade deadline changed that because they acquired Mike Thomas from Jacksonville. Thomas won't be effective on the field, but he may have major insight regarding the Jaguars' audibles and such. Remember, Kevin Kolb knew which plays the Eagles were calling in a matchup last year, and that was months after he was dealt to Arizona.

    I'm not sure how much Thomas will be able to help Detroit, but it's enough to get me to lay off the Jaguars.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Wow, this spread has jumped from -3.5 to -5.5 in a few days. Maybe people are catching on to the advantage Detroit has with Thomas. I think the Lions are the right side, but I'm not laying -5.5 with them on the road for any money.


    The Psychology. Edge: Jaguars.
    Major breather alert for the Lions, who have to battle the Vikings, Packers and Texans after this easy contest.


    The Vegas. Edge: Jaguars.
    No surprise here.
  • Percentage of money on Detroit: 85% (36,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Lions are 8-17 ATS against losing teams the previous 25 instances.
  • Jaguars are 10-3 ATS coming off a 2-game road trip the previous 12 instances.
  • Jaguars are 9-14 ATS vs. NFC opponents since 2007.
  • Jaguars are 15-29 ATS against non-divisional opponents since 2008.
  • Opening Line: Lions -4.
  • Opening Total: 44.
  • Weather: .


    Week 9 NFL Pick: Lions 23, Jaguars 10
    Lions -5.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Under 44 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Lions 31, Jaguars 14




    Chicago Bears (6-1) at Tennessee Titans (3-5)
    Line: Bears by 4.5. Total: 43.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Bears -3.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 8): Bears -3.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 8): Bears -3.5.
    Sunday, Nov. 4, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 9 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Bears.

    WalterFootball.com Contest Updates:

    Survivor: Get your pick in for the WalterFootball.com 2012 NFL Survivor Pool. There are 117 people remaining. Eighteen people were knocked out last week, as nine were eliminated because of the crappy Chargers.

    Fantasy: We'll be running FanDuel contests through the end of October. It's going to be a $5 entry fee this week, but with a $1,000 prize pool. Go to the Fantasy Football Contest page for more details (link will be available later during the week).

    Picking Contest: We're also running an NFL Picking Contest. It's free entry, and the winner gets $75 each month.

    CHICAGO OFFENSE: I picked the Panthers to cover last week because I was unsure about Jay Cutler's health. Cutler injured his ribs against the Lions and was shaky for the rest of that Monday night affair. He was even worse in the first three quarters against Carolina, but he eventually came alive in the fourth quarter, leading his team to an awesome comeback victory.

    Perhaps Cutler can use that momentum to help him in this contest. Not that he needs much help anyway because Tennessee is pathetic versus aerial attacks. Thanks to atrocious safety play, the Titans have surrendered an average of 297 passing yards per game since Week 2. Cutler and Brandon Marshall have to be excited about this matchup, though the one thing that could disrupt their offense is Tennessee's pass rush. Derrick Morgan had an awesome performance last week, and both he and Kamerion Wimbley have the edge against an offensive line that permitted six sacks versus Carolina - five of which came from the defensive ends.

    The Bears couldn't run the ball well Sunday, but they'll be able to use Matt Forte and Michael Bush to ease the pressure off Cutler in this contest. Whereas the Panthers are improved versus ground attacks, the Titans have surrendered at least 97 rushing yards to all but one team this season.

    TENNESSEE OFFENSE: Matt Hasselbeck has been careful with the football lately, but he's battled some sorry defenses since embarrassing himself at Minnesota. The Troy Polamalu-less Steelers, Bills and Colts didn't offer much resistance, but that won't be the case against the Bears, who lead the NFL with 3.3 take-aways per game.

    The Titans can attempt to prevent these turnovers from occurring by feeding the ball to Chris Johnson, who is coming off two solid outings. However, the same thing applies to Johnson; the Bills and Colts were easy to run on, but the Bears are No. 4 versus the rush, surrendering just 3.7 YPC. Johnson will look more like CJ2.9YPC than CJ2K.

    Assuming Johnson can't find much room, Hasselbeck will have to operate in long-yardage situations. This could prove to be disastrous, as left tackle Michael Roos will be out again. Backup Mike Otto performed well against the Colts, but that's not a huge surprise because Dwight Freeney has been awful this year. Julius Peppers will pose a much greater challenge.

    RECAP: The Bears have a double-star game matchup edge, but that's not a good thing, as you can see below the comment board. I love the Titans for the following reasons:

    1. The Bears have bigger fish to fry. This is a meaningless, non-conference matchup for them, as they have to take on the Texans, 49ers and divisional rival Vikings after this contest. The Titans aren't even on their radar.

    2. Chicago didn't appear focused last week either. The team needed a double-digit fourth-quarter comeback to prevail. That's not a good thing pertaining to this matchup because teams that win like that seldom cover the following game.

    3. Teams that lose at home in overtime tend to cover (38-16 ATS) the following week as long as they are not road dogs.

    4. There is tons of public action on the Bears, yet this spread has moved one point in Tennessee's favor.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I'm dropping this to three units because of the Titans' injuries.


    The Psychology. Edge: Titans.
    The Bears have several tough matchups after this one: Texans, 49ers and Vikings. They won't care about this 3-5 AFC foe.


    The Vegas. Edge: Titans.
    Everyone is pounding the Bears, yet the spread is falling? Weird...
  • Percentage of money on Chicago: 87% (46,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Titans.
  • Bears are 26-15 ATS in November since 2001.
  • Jay Cutler is 27-46 ATS if you exclude Monday Night Football.
  • Titans are 21-7 ATS in non-conference home games.
  • Opening Line: Bears -4.5.
  • Opening Total: 43.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 9 NFL Pick: Titans 17, Bears 16
    Titans +4.5 (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
    Under 43.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Bears 51, Titans 20



    Week 9 NFL Picks - Late Games
    Buccaneers at Raiders, Vikings at Seahawks, Steelers at Giants, Cowboys at Falcons, Eagles at Saints



    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 9 NFL Picks - Late Games



    NFL Picks - Nov. 23


    2015 NFL Mock Draft - Nov. 19


    Fantasy Football Rankings - Sept. 5


    2016 NFL Mock Draft - July 24


    2015 NBA Mock Draft - July 1


    NFL Free Agents




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    2014 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 6-9-1, 40.0% (-$1,260)
    2014 Season Over-Under: 89-69-2, 56.4% ($0)
    2014 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$810

    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)
    2013 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 38-42, 47.5% (-$2,890)

    2002 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 11-12 (47.8%)
    2003 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 16-13-1 (55.2%)
    2004 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 18-11 (62.1%)
    2005 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 25-22-1 (53.2%)
    2006 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 21-29-1 (42.0%)
    2007 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 35-30-2, 53.8% (+$420)
    2008 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 39-26-2, 60.0% (+$4,055)
    2009 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 29-26, 52.7% (+$330)
    2010 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 32-22, 59.3% (+$4,790)
    2011 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 14-14, 50.0% (-$1,260)
    2012 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 14-21, 40.0% (-$3,650)
    2013 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 17-9-3, 65.4% (+$2,970)

    2001 Season Over-Under: 3-2 (60.0%)
    2002 Season Over-Under: 121-91-3 (57.1%)
    2003 Season Over-Under: 126-132-2 (48.8%)
    2004 Season Over-Under: 139-124-4 (52.9%)
    2005 Season Over-Under: 117-145-4 (44.7%)
    2006 Season Over-Under: 129-132-5 (49.4%)
    2007 Season Over-Under: 136-145-3, 48.4% (-$1,900)
    2008 Season Over-Under: 137-125-6, 52.3% (+$860)
    2009 Season Over-Under: 128-135-4, 48.7% (-$3,195)
    2010 Season Over-Under: 128-135-5, 48.7% (-$5)
    2011 Season Over-Under: 131-131-5, 50.0% (+$135)
    2012 Season Over-Under: 125-121-5, 50.8% (+$30)
    2013 Season Over-Under: 132-130-5, 50.4% (-$340)

    2007 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,035
    2008 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,775
    2009 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$865
    2010 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$200
    2011 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$590
    2012 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$1,685
    2013 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$2,245

    2006 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3 (50%)
    2007 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3, 50.0% (-$400)
    2008 NFL Picks of the Month: 6-1, 85.7% (+$3,720)
    2009 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$640)
    2010 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-4, 33.3% (-$1,810)
    2011 NFL Picks of the Month: 5-2, 71.4% (+$1,870)
    2012 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$560)
    2013 NFL Picks of the Month: 6-0, 100% (+$3,900)

    Career NFL Picks Against The Spread: 2,103-1,926-116, 52.2% (+$12,560)
    Career 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 676-609-31 (52.6%)
    Career 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 282-243-11 (53.7%)
    Career Over-Under: 1,630-1,606-48 (50.4%)
    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: 4-6
    Bears: 5-5
    Bucs: 8-2
    49ers: 3-6
    Eagles: 6-4
    Lions: 3-6
    Falcons: 5-5
    Cardinals: 5-5
    Giants: 3-7
    Packers: 7-2
    Panthers: 5-6
    Rams: 5-5
    Redskins: 7-3
    Vikings: 8-2
    Saints: 4-5
    Seahawks: 4-6
    Bills: 4-6
    Bengals: 4-7
    Colts: 5-5
    Broncos: 6-4
    Dolphins: 6-3
    Browns: 5-3
    Jaguars: 5-5
    Chargers: 3-7
    Jets: 6-4
    Ravens: 4-5
    Texans: 5-5
    Chiefs: 7-2
    Patriots: 5-5
    Steelers: 6-5
    Titans: 5-3
    Raiders: 3-7
    Divisional: 21-22 (2011-13: 141-137)
    2x Game Edge: 9-12 (2011-13: 55-62)
    2x Psych Edge: 12-18 (2011-13: 92-80)
    2x Vegas Edge: 25-28 (2011-13: 129-142)
    2x Trend Edge: 22-12 (2011-13: 72-78)
    Double Edge: 6-10 (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
    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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    Super Bowl XLVII NFL Pick
    2013 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2013 Season:
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    Super Bowl XLVIII NFL Pick 2014 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2014 Season:
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