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NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 12, 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 (Week 9, 2012): 8-6 (+$240)
NFL Picks (Week 10, 2012): 8-6 (+$730)
NFL Picks (Week 11, 2012): 6-7-1 (+$110)

NFL Picks (2012): 82-90-4 (-$170)
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. 27, 6:35 p.m. ET. Follow @walterfootball for updates.


Go to Week 12 NFL Picks - Late Games



Houston Texans (9-1) at Detroit Lions (4-6)
Line: Texans by 3. Total: 48.5.

Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Texans -3.5.
Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 11): Texans -3.5.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 11): Texans -3.5.
Thursday, Nov. 22, 12:30 ET
Discuss Week 12 Games, Talk Trash

The Game. Edge: Texans.

Week 12 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 11 RECAP: Week 11 could have been better, but I still managed to finish in the black. I went 6-7-1 for +$110. I lost two top picks. I'd like to discuss them as well as some other contests:

Eagles +3.5 over Redskins (3 units): Wow. The lack of effort the Eagles gave in this game was alarming. I guess I should have seen it coming after the way they lost to the Cowboys, but Andy Reid simply has lost this locker room.

Raiders +5 over Saints (3 units): All of my numbers said the Raiders were a great play. In fact, they said this should have been a four- or a five-unit selection, but I limited it to three because I didn't want to bet that much against Drew Brees. At least I was smart enough to cap this at a medium-sized play. Oakland simply shot itself in the foot too many times, but the team has been doing that all year. This franchise needs to cut about half of its players - starting with Tommy Kelly - and find a coach who doesn't look like he's 12 years old.

Packers -3 over Lions (3 units): This was a lucky cover. Sort of. Mason Crosby hit a spread-covering field goal very late, but missed a kick from 38 yards a bit earlier. So, the Packers seemed destined to win this game by four. I was happy to have this happen because I was on the other end of the stick in the Cowboys-Panthers game about a month ago.

Steelers +3 over Ravens (3 units): I hated this. Why'd the spread have to drop from +3.5 to +3? The public was pounding the Ravens, so Vegas lost a chance to make money by moving the line in Pittsburgh's direction. There was no reason to do that. The sportsbooks screwed up this weekend. I'll get to that later.

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

1. Everyone is back on the Saints' bandwagon. Eric Mangini said that they are the most dangerous team in the NFL.

2. The Giants are done, apparently.

3. From last week: Bill Simmons said he wouldn't want to face the Colts in the first round of the playoffs. He's scared of Andrew Luck, but completely ignored the terrible defense.

4. Simmons also denounced the Patriots in a rant on one of his recent podcasts. I've always believed it's good to bet on a team when its homers give up on it.

Fading the media went 2-1. Stupid Raiders. Here's what the media is overreacting to this time:

1. Regarding the Patriots: "They cannot play the same level of football without Rob Gronkowski." -- Bob Ryan. "They cannot duplicate his numbers." -- senile newspaper writer Woody Paige. O rly?

2. Everyone seems to think the 49ers are the best team in the NFL, while the Bears absolutely suck, based on what happened on Monday night.

3. Everyone on ESPN was trashing the Falcons for nearly losing to Arizona.

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

HOUSTON OFFENSE: Of all the quarterbacks currently playing in the NFL right now, who knew that Matt Schaub would be the one who would tie Warren Moon for the second-most passing yards in a game behind Norm Van Brocklin? Though he tossed two picks, Schaub was sensational against the Jaguars with his 527 yards and five touchdowns.

Schaub, in all likelihood, won't be able to duplicate those numbers in this contest. For one, it's just improbable, and two, stud safety Louis Delmas appears as though he'll be back in the lineup. The Lions are so much better against the pass when Delmas plays. Of course, he could just get injured again during this contest, but Detroit will be improved in the meantime.

Stopping Arian Foster is another issue, however. Detroit has surrendered 4.95 YPC to its previous four opponents, which is not a good sign going into this contest. Foster will pick up big chunks of yardage, allowing Schaub to utilize his patented play-action bootlegs. He'll convert first downs using that strategy.

DETROIT OFFENSE: While a key member of the defense returns to the lineup, an important offensive player exits. Left tackle Jeff Backus is listed as doubtful, so rookie Riley Reiff will have to start in his place. Reiff struggled a bit against Green Bay's Dezman Moses last week, so how do you think he'll fare against the Houston pass-rushers?

Fortunately for the Lions, the injuries balance out on this side of the ball because Houston's top cornerback, Johnathan Joseph, is expected to be a game-time decision because of a hamstring. Even if he does suit up, Joseph won't be 100 percent, so there's no way he'll be able to stick with Calvin Johnson. Megatron is coming off back-to-back dominant performances, so he should be able to make it three in a row.

The Lions will have to do everything aerially because the Texans are eighth versus the rush. Mikel Leshoure won't have any running room. This will be problematic deep in opposing territory, as Houston is No. 7 in red-zone defense.

RECAP: A great strategy over the years has been to fade the Lions on Thanksgiving. They haven't covered a single spread on Turkey Day since they beat a mediocre Green Bay team back in 2003.

I think that history will repeat itself once again, but I'm not betting on the Texans because they're exhausted. They just played an overtime game and now have to travel on a short week, which is usually a recipe for disaster.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I'm tempted to go with the Lions. The Texans are coming off an overtime game and will be tired. But Detroit has such a dubious Thanksgiving record that it's difficult to back them.


The Psychology. Edge: Lions.
This game means so much more to the Lions, but the Texans will be excited to play on Thanksgiving.


The Vegas. Edge: Lions.
All the Texans need to do is win by more than a field goal?
  • Percentage of money on Houston: 77% (76,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Texans.
  • Turkey Turds: Lions are 0-8 ATS as a Thanksgiving host since 2004.
  • Opening Line: Texans -3.
  • Opening Total: 49.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 12 NFL Pick: Texans 24, Lions 19
    Texans -3 (0 Units) -- Push; $0
    Under 50.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Texans 34, Lions 31
    NFL Game Recaps




    Washington Redskins (4-6) at Dallas Cowboys (5-5)
    Line: Cowboys by 3. Total: 47.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Cowboys -6.
    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 11): Cowboys -6.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 11): Cowboys -5.
    Thursday, Nov. 22, 4:15 ET
    Discuss Week 12 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Cowboys.

    VEGAS RECAP: The sportsbooks lost a record amount of money two weeks ago when all seven highly bet teams covered. They had a very slight recovery afterward, but this weekend was another brutal one. Five of seven highly bet teams beat the spread: Redskins, Packers, Buccaneers, Bengals and Saints. The two exceptions were the Falcons and Rams.

    I really don't get what Vegas is doing with these weird spreads. Like, why wasn't Green Bay -4? The public still would've pounded the Packers, but the sportsbooks could have avoided a loss. The same could be said about Ravens -3. Why'd they move it off -3.5? They could have made money by leaving it there. Vegas has been stupid recently, but I expect it to rebound.

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

    DALLAS OFFENSE: The media and the casual bettors laying money on Washington all seem to be wondering how the Cowboys can stop Robert Griffin. I think the more prevalent question is what the Redskins plan on doing about Dallas' offense. Washington's secondary has been an abomination all year. That was not the case last week because A) Nick Foles sucked and B) Brandon Meriweather was on the field for a change. Unfortunately, in a terrible stroke of luck, Meriweather tore his ACL in his first game back. Thus, Washington's defensive backfield can go back to being extra crappy.

    The Redskins won't be able to contain Tony Romo and his weapons. Dez Bryant especially. I made fun of him last week, but he dominated the Browns. Perhaps something has clicked with him after all.

    There are two injuries to well-known Cowboys. Left tackle Tyron Smith is listed as doubtful, while Felix Jones missed Tuesday's practice. Jones' absence won't be a big deal; he's not very good, so the two backs behind him, Lance Dunbar and Phillip Tanner, aren't much of a downgrade. Smith being unable to play is the bigger issue - or at least it would be against most teams. The Redskins haven't been able to pressure the quarterback consistently in the wake of Brian Orakpo's season-ending injury. They have just six sacks in their previous four games.

    WASHINGTON OFFENSE: Of course, Griffin will play just as well, if not better than Romo. The question is whether or not his teammates will be up to the challenge.

    Griffin's supporting cast has let him down for most of the season. There were the 10 drops at Pittsburgh and the five sacks surrendered versus Cincinnati. Griffin's mediocre wideouts won't be able to get open nearly as easily versus Dallas' secondary compared to Philadelphia's. The Cowboys also bring much more pressure on the quarterback. Anthony Spencer is going to have a field day against inept right tackle Tyler Polumbus.

    It's going to be tough for the Redskins to run the football. Alfred Morris had a pedestrian outing against the inept Eagles, averaging 3.8 YPC, fumbling and getting called for a pair of false starts. Dallas is a huge step up. The Cowboys rank seventh versus ground attacks (3.9 YPC), so Griffin might be the team's leading rusher again.

    RECAP: A winning strategy over the years has been to take the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. Romo has failed to cover only once on Turkey Day.

    I'm taking Dallas for two units. We're getting so much line value with the team; this spread was -6 a week ago, but a close call against an underrated Cleveland squad has inexplicably moved this to a field goal. That doesn't seem right.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I'm pretty confident in the Cowboys. They always play well on Thanksgiving, and this spread is ridiculously low. There is no value with the Redskins. In fact, people are just betting on them because of one player. Dallas has the better team overall.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No psychological edge.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Washington: 57% (66,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Cowboys.
  • History: Road Team has covered 7 of the past 9 meetings.
  • Turkey Tyrants: Cowboys are 8-3 ATS as a Thanksgiving host since 2001 (Romo 4-1).
  • Opening Line: Cowboys -4.
  • Opening Total: 47.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 12 NFL Pick: Cowboys 26, Redskins 20
    Cowboys -3 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
    Under 47.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Redskins 38, Cowboys 31






    New England Patriots (7-3) at New York Jets (4-6)
    Line: Patriots by 6.5. Total: 48.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Patriots -7.
    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 11): Patriots -6.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 11): Patriots -6.5.
    Thursday, Nov. 22, 8:20 ET
    Discuss Week 12 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Patriots.

    Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving! Here are some notes on these Thanksgiving games and those in years' past:

    1. The game two years ago between Detroit and New England was such a massacre that I did online shopping during the second half. I initially planned on buying stuff for my family, but then I realized that getting gifts for myself would be a lot more fun.

    I found a deal on BestBuy.com for a PS3 and two games for $200 or $250 (can't remember). It seemed like great value, so I made the purchase.

    Twenty-four months later, there's still an unopened PS3 box in my basement. Why? Well, A) I don't really have time to play video games and B) It takes too much effort to connect and figure everything out. Oh, and C) I don't like three-dimensional video games.

    But hey, it was still a great deal!

    2. As I lament every year, I can no longer get drunk out of my mind and blow 0.5s the night before Thanksgiving because I have to take my full-time job (this site) seriously. So, I can't have fun the night before Thanksgiving. That said, Thanksgiving is still my favorite holiday in the world. What other holiday allows you to stuff your face with food, watch nine hours of football and pass out like a fat slob?

    And the best part is, because this is my job, I can get out of doing work around the house in the future when I have a family. Ha! Take that, future wife and kids! Go clean and make food! Walt's gotta work!

    3. The only crappy part about Thanksgiving is watching the late game with one of my uncles. I think eating turkey turns him into a douche, because it's the same type of exchange every year:

    Uncle: Which team did you bet on?

    Me: I bet on Team A. Three units.

    Uncle: Go Team B! Go Team B!

    Hmm... maybe he's one of the hate-mailers. I'll get to them in the next game capsule.

    4. As you may have heard, a little girl named Nicole Westbrook made a crappy song about Thanksgiving that went viral. I made her a Jerk of the Year for it.

    NEW ENGLAND OFFENSE: "ROB GRONK IS OUT OH NOEZ THE PATS ARE LIEK TOTALEE GONNA SUCK!" That's what the talking heads on ESPN sounded like anyway in the wake of the news that Gronkowski broke his forearm and will be out 4-8 weeks. Gronkowski is awesome; he's a terrific blocker and an even better end-zone target, but I think the Patriots will be OK. They do have Tom Brady, after all.

    Brady, who went 26-of-42 for 259 yards and two touchdowns in a Week 7 meeting against the Jets, will be in F-U mode like he was on Sunday. He loves proving people wrong. He's heard all week about how he's going to struggle without the Gronk, so he'll want to show everyone that he can get it done without his All-Pro tight end.

    Of course, Brady won't have to do it all by himself. The Jets stink against the run, ranking 26th in that department (4.5 YPC). They surrendered 131 rushing yards in the aforementioned clash against the Patriots, so Stevan Ridley seems primed for a big game.

    NEW YORK OFFENSE: Mark Sanchez usually stinks, but he has these great performances once a month - just enough to ward off Tim Tebow from becoming the starting quarterback. One of these outings came against the Patriots back in Week 7 when he went 28-of-41 for 328 yards, one touchdown and an interception. Naturally, he bombed versus Miami the following week, but can he duplicate his previous performance on Thanksgiving?

    Well, maybe. The one thing working against him though is that the Patriots now have Aqib Talib in the secondary. Bill Belichick won't have to worry about one side of the field with Talib there, so he can focus more on bringing pressure on the quarterback. This is obviously terrible news for Sanchez, who has to play behind an offensive line featuring a massive hole on the right side.

    The Jets will have to run the ball to move the chains and keep the ball out of Brady's hands. This might just be possible despite the lack of talent in the backfield; the Patriots have been terrible against the rush of late, surrendering triple-digit yards on the ground to each of their previous four opponents.

    RECAP: I'm not crazy about laying nearly a touchdown on the road, but I think the Patriots are the right side. I love getting Brady in these F-U situations. He's going to relish proving everyone wrong once again.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Still Patriots for one unit despite the spread dropping to -6.5.


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


    The Vegas. Edge: Jets.
    The public doesn't think the Patriots will need Rob Gronkowski against the Jets.
  • Percentage of money on New England: 84% (76,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Patriots.
  • History: Patriots have won 16 of the last 20 meetings.
  • History: Home Team has won 6 of the last 8 meetings.
  • Patriots are 39-23 ATS vs. AFC East opponents since 2001.
  • Tom Brady is 142-47 as a starter (110-75 ATS).
  • Opening Line: Patriots -7.
  • Opening Total: 50.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 12 NFL Pick: Patriots 30, Jets 16
    Patriots -6.5 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Under 48.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Patriots 49, Jets 19








    Oakland Raiders (3-7) at Cincinnati Bengals (5-5)
    Line: Bengals by 8. Total: 50.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Bengals -5.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 11): Bengals -6.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 11): Bengals -7.
    Sunday, Nov. 25, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 12 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Bengals.

    HATE MAIL: Another week, another stack of hate mails. Here are some brief ones from the comment boards:

    Walt sucks balls.

    So? Lots of awesome people have sucked balls over the years. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

    Walt quote "3. The Eagles will be completely focused for this game. " LOL. Wow..what a dumb Dumb.

    Umm... what? I was right. The Eagles were definitely focused. That's why Andy Reid kept LeSean McCoy on the field down 25 with 1:45 remaining. Focus.

    Thank you, Walt, for convincing me to bet on a horrible team on the road with a QB making his first career start vs. a team off a bye. Time to throw your naked Andy Reid poster away and ban yourself from predicting ANY of Eagle games for the rest of the year.

    OK, I won't predict any more Eagle games, but I am NOT throwing away my cherished naked Andy Reid poster. He is too damn sexy.

    I give credit to Walt for having guts, but I think he's gonna be taken to the cleaners this week ... too many fades of the public. Oh, he'll hit a couple, but I can't see he'll pick up more than 6 wins this week. But he's gutsy. GLTA

    Thanks. Several people called me gutless this past week, so this made me feel better.

    Hey Walt, Why did you charge yourself -110 for a correct pick on the over/under in the Buffalo game?...btw, you had 0 units on it anyway. Dummy

    Thanks for the heads up. I was wondering why I wasn't docked $110 in my sportsbook account.

    Here are two long hate mails that were actually sent to my inbox:



    So happy about that. Here's the second long hate mail:

    I would like to use this email to tell you why your picks suck with a capital SUCK. You get a lot of negative feedback and you always have a rebuttal for peopleís attacks; but thatís just you not taking constructive criticism well. Lets start with your so-called analysis. You take about four paragraphs per game to break down your analysis, and when youre done, your pick is always for the team that you denigrated throughout your entire tirade. Is this for dramatic effect after the drumroll stops drumming?

    In any event, this is why your picks SUCK:

    1. Your trend data is completely meaningless and SUCKS. To say that a team coming off a bye, playing against a team with a winning record on a Thursday night when its raining outside a domed stadium and three chearleaders are injured with toe turf blah blah blah is complete horseshit. These trends mean absolutely nothing, youre not swaying my opinion with this crap.

    2. Every single game you talk about Media Overreaction. Sure the media sways a line a few points here and there. So what! They are reacting for a reason. If nothing changed from week to week, there would be nothing to react to, and lines could be established at the beginning of the season for every single game. Take the Ravens/Steelers matchup this week and your crappy analysis for instance. Why the hell would I take the Steelers without Roethlisberger under center? Because the Media (over)reacted to him being out, and the Ravens who wouldíve been an underdog in Pittsburgh are now a favorite. Of course the Ravens are a favorite. They are a solid team with a premiere QB, and the Steelerís premiere QB is out. Take the Ravens minus the points and give all your followers something to win money on.

    3. You always talk about how teams that are blown out play hard the following week because they are embarrassed of their loss. Teams donít play based on emotion; they play based on skill. These arenít a bunch of women running around with tampon strings hanging between their legs. So the Raiders are going to beat the Saints this week because they were blown out last week and they donít want to be embarrassed? The Raiders SUCK almost as bad as your analysis. They will never contain Brees, and yes, as you stated, Brees will score on every single offensive possession. How is Carson Palmer going to keep up with him? Easy answer, he wont, because he SUCKS. Come on son!

    4. Your name is Walter and every Walter Ive ever met SUCKS.

    In conclusion, im sure youre a Jets fan and youre a glutton for punishment, which is why you post crappy picks.

    Your loyal follower and fader,

    Albert


    Wow, it's amazing that I suck so much that you took about a half hour out of your busy schedule to write me that e-mail. I'm so flattered.

    I have two issues with your e-mail though. One, I'm not a Jets' fan. I just love Tim Tebow and cherish the ground he walks on. Two, every Walter does not suck. Do you not watch Breaking Bad? Walter White is awesome, and I am proud to share a name with him.

    CINCINNATI OFFENSE: This is Carson Palmer's first battle against his former team, so he has extra incentive to play well. It's too bad the rest of his team doesn't. Most of the Raider defenders have put forth a lackluster effort in recent weeks, especially Tommy Kelly, who was once again lethargic against the Saints. Fifteen-year-old head coach Dennis Allen lost the little credibility he had when he refused to cut Kelly after the lazy defensive tackle laughed on the sidelines following two offside penalties in the opener, and it has cost him.

    The Raiders don't do anything well defensively. Their best trait is stopping the run despite Kelly's best efforts to sabotage the defense. Oakland is just 24th in that department (4.5 YPC), but it has gotten progressively worse recently; the team has surrendered 5.6 YPC in the past four weeks, thanks mostly to Doug Martin's near-record-setting performance. BenJarvus Green-Ellis is obviously not nearly as talented as Martin, but he did eclipse 100 rushing yards last week, so he figures to have another nice outing.

    The Bengals will move the chains primary through the air. Because the Raiders have missed Shawntae Spencer all year, they're 26th against the pass (8.3 YPC). They also have the fewest sacks (11; none in the past two weeks) and own a bottom-five red-zone defense. Oakland just doesn't have the personnel to stop Andy Dalton, A.J. Green and Jermaine Gresham.

    OAKLAND OFFENSE: Palmer is one of the few Raiders who has played well this year. Well, somewhat. There are still too many turnovers (11 interceptions, three lost fumbles), and he's brutal in the red zone. Only the Eagles, Chiefs and Browns are worse deep in opposing territory. Oakland is simply coming away with too many threes and too few sevens.

    Palmer does a good job of moving the chains in between the 20s though, and that will continue to be the case in this contest, given that Cincinnati's No. 19 pass defense (7.3 YPA) could be missing safeties Reggie Nelson and Nate Clements, both of whom are questionable. If either one is out, Palmer won't have any issues converting first downs with his talented group of weapons.

    Speaking of talented weapons, it's unclear if Darren McFadden will be available. Allen said he was hopeful that McFadden could suit up, but odds are that he'll once again be sidelined. That's not a huge deal though, as Marcel Reece just rushed for 103 yards on just 19 carries and caught four passes for 90 receiving yards against the Saints. Reece is a matchup nightmare who will cause headaches for Cincinnati's beleaguered linebacking corps.

    RECAP: Both teams will move the football consistently, though the Bengals will ultimately have more success because they can actually convert in the red zone. Will that be enough for them to cover the eight though? I definitely wouldn't bet on it, as Cincinnati tends to struggle in the road of a big favorite.

    That's one of the reasons I believe the Raiders are the right side. The other is that teams seldom are blown out three times in a row. It almost never happens.

    Unfortunately, Oakland also happens to be playing an early game on the East Coast, which is usually problematic for the team. That's why I can't bet more than one unit on the Raiders.

    Survivor Pick: If you don't have the Broncos, Bengals or Patriots available this week, you're kind of screwed. The Colts and Cowboys have to be considered otherwise.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Still taking the Raiders for one unit.


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


    The Vegas. Edge: Raiders.
    A good lean on the Bengals, but not nearly as much as I thought.
  • Percentage of money on Cincinnati: 65% (46,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Bengals.
  • Raiders are 7-14 ATS in 1 p.m. games since 2002.
  • Bengals are 8-26 ATS as a favorite since 2007.
  • Bengals are 4-14 ATS as a favorite of 3.5 or more since 2007.
  • Opening Line: Bengals -7.5.
  • Opening Total: 48.
  • Weather: .


    Week 12 NFL Pick: Bengals 31, Raiders 26
    Raiders +8 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Over 49 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Survivor Pick (10-1)
    Bengals 34, Raiders 10






    Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4) at Cleveland Browns (2-8)
    Line: Steelers by 1. Total: 34.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: No Line.
    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 11): Steelers -1.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 11): Steelers -1.
    Sunday, Nov. 25, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 12 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Steelers.

    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 he did join my forum!

    Whenever someone joins my forum, an automatic message goes out to that person. It looks like this:



    Being completely clueless about this, however, The Real John Moss responded to it:



    Ah, John Moss, you wouldn't have been fooled by this if your awesome Web site had a forum.

    PITTSBURGH OFFENSE: I'm confused about a couple of things. First of all, why did Byron Leftwich play the entire game Sunday night if he had multiple fractured ribs? He clearly couldn't throw the ball downfield, so why did Mike Tomlin keep him in the game? And second, why is there no spread posted? Does Vegas actually believe Ben Roethlisberger has a chance of playing? He almost died less than two weeks ago! Charlie Batch is the clear starter, so why not post a line? As they say on the forums, makes no since.

    With Batch under center, the Steelers will attempt to establish the same sort of rushing attack they possessed when they piled up 103 yards on the ground against the Ravens. They'll certainly have success doing so, as the Browns have permitted at least 117 rushing yards in three of their previous four games, with the lone exception being last week against the lackluster Felix Jones.

    Pittsburgh's running game will give Batch many easy short-yardage opportunities. He'll need them considering the status of his receiving corps. Antonio Brown could be missing again and Jerricho Cotchery is definitely out, so the Steelers were desperate enough to sign Plaxico Burress. Burress won't be able to get open, much like Mike Wallace if Joe Haden suits up after missing last week's contest.

    CLEVELAND OFFENSE: Pittsburgh's defense always steps up when Roethlisberger is out. The unit didn't allow a single offensive touchdown to the Ravens on Sunday night, and it could easily continue that streak at Cleveland. Excluding Kansas City, the Browns have the worst red-zone offense in the NFL.

    Of course, it's easy to see why Cleveland struggles deep in opposing territory. The offense is way too one-dimensional, relying heavily on Trent Richardson. The Steelers just limited Ray Rice to 40 yards on 20 carries, so it's difficult to imagine Richardson having any sort of success on the ground. Brandon Weeden will be asked to do most of the work, which could prove to be disastrous.

    Weeden has had his moments this season, but he's been more bad than good. He could have easily committed a half-a-dozen turnovers at Dallas this past Sunday, but lucked out. The Steelers usually take advantage of these things - especially against rookie quarterbacks. Dick LeBeau is an amazing 17-1 straight up versus first-year signal-callers, which includes a blowout victory over Robert Griffin back in Week 8. And Weeden is definitely not RGIII.

    RECAP: I love the Steelers. LeBeau dominates rookies; Mike Tomlin usually rebounds off a loss; the team always seems to play better when Big Ben is out of the lineup; and the Browns are coming off a road overtime defeat.

    There's no spread on this game just yet, but I imagine I'll be laying at least four units with Pittsburgh.

    PICK POSTED: I'm taking the Steelers for four units. I would have liked them more if they were made underdogs.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I still love Pittsburgh for four units.


    The Psychology. Edge: Browns.
    The Steelers are coming off an emotional loss and have the Ravens next week.


    The Vegas. Edge: Browns.
    The public likes the Steelers.
  • Percentage of money on Pittsburgh: 75% (20,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Steelers.
  • History: Steelers have won 22 of the last 24 meetings.
  • Mike Tomlin is 17-10 ATS after a loss.
  • Dick LeBeau is 17-1 SU vs. rookie quarterbacks.
  • Opening Line: Pick.
  • Opening Total: 36.
  • Weather: .


    Week 12 NFL Pick: Steelers 23, Browns 6
    Steelers -1 (4 Units) -- Incorrect; -$440
    Under 34 (0 Units) -- Push; $0
    Browns 20, Steelers 14






    Buffalo Bills (4-6) at Indianapolis Colts (6-4)
    Line: Colts by 2. Total: 50.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Colts -4.
    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 11): Colts -5.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 11): Colts -4.
    Sunday, Nov. 25, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 12 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Colts.

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

    Time to discuss some inept football analysts. Facebook friend Steve S. posted this on my wall:

    I was listening to Mike and Mike this morning and Emmitt Smith was on. Two things he said that made me laugh...

    1). He gave credit to the former Cowboys, saying all of the guys that came "Be forest" (before us...)

    2). How elite players can be role models for other players to "expire to" be like...

    Immediately thought of you....

    Things must get very interesting in Emmitt's kitchen when he opens up his fridge to find that his milk has passed its inspiration date.

    2. Michael Irvin says such outlandish things that it makes me think he's still snorting booger sugar. About two months ago, he predicted that Calvin Johnson would score four touchdowns against the 49ers. More recently, Irvin said the following gem: "You need a Super Bowl ring to be an elite quarterback."

    So, Dan Marino was not an elite quarterback? Does that also mean that Brad Johnson and Trent Dilfer were?

    Later on, Irvin said the reason the Ravens' offense is so good because they get to go against Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens' defense in practice. You mean the defense ranked in the bottom 10 against the pass? Even if Baltimore was still good defensively, how would that explain the struggles of Dilfer, Kyle Boller and other inept Raven quarterbacks over the years, since they were able to go against Lewis in practice?

    3. Deion Sanders is also terrible. I tweeted (follow me @walterfootball) a couple of things he said on a Thursday night back in Week 5:

    - Did Deion Sanders just say that the antonym of "progress" is "digress?"

    So when people say, "but I digress," they really mean that they're not progressing?

    - Deion Sanders just said that Kevin Kolb will look for Todd Heap early. Heap is out. Good job on doing your homework, Deion

    I'm not going to blame Deion too much for this. Practicing talking in the first person like an arrogant douche takes so much work that Deion didn't have the time to even take a peak at the injury report.

    BUFFALO OFFENSE: Speaking of the injury report, Fred Jackson is expected to play coming off a concussion. It'll be interesting to see what the Bills do with him and C.J. Spiller. Chan Gailey and Ryan Fitzpatrick both harped about giving Spiller more touches in recent weeks, but failed to come through on that promise at New England. They had no choice versus the Dolphins because of the concussion, but will Jackson get the majority of the workload again now that he's back in the lineup? If so, it'll limit Buffalo's scoring attack.

    Well, maybe by a little bit. The Colts are just so bad defensively. They're 29th versus the run (4.7 YPC) and could be without Cory Redding again, who left Sunday's contest with a hip injury. Both Spiller and Jackson will be able to slice through Indianapolis' defense, opening up play-action opportunities for a red-hot Ryan Fitzpatrick. Indianapolis has injury issues in its secondary, as top corner Vontae Davis is questionable with a knee after missing the past two games. Cassius Vaughn and Joshy Gordy, both of whom have been thrust into the starting lineup recently, have been complete abominations in coverage. Fitzpatrick should easily be able to take advantage of them.

    The one thing the Bills' offense needs to worry about is its recent red-zone struggles. They've converted just 29 percent of their red-zone tries in the past three weeks. They came away with way too many field goals against the Dolphins, but that didn't matter because the rookie quarterback they were battling was inept.

    INDIANAPOLIS OFFENSE: This rookie quarterback, however, is anything but inept. Andrew Luck has been amazing for the most part in his 10 starts. He had a rough outing against the Patriots, but was going up against a complex Bill Belichick scheme and a secondary that just added Aqib Talib. He was still able to convert all of his tries in the red zone though, as his scrambling ability gives his team another option deep in enemy territory.

    The Bills have a bottom-10 secondary that surrenders 7.4 YPA. They've been better recently because a currently healthy Mario Williams is now putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks, but Luck can scramble out of trouble. He can also fire precision passes to Reggie Wayne and an emerging TY Hilton.

    Luck won't have to do everything by himself like he did when his team fell way behind at New England. Buffalo is even worse against the run than it is versus the pass, ranking 31st in terms of stopping opposing backs. Rookie Vick Ballard, who has gained at least four yards per carry in four of his previous five outings, has a chance to eclipse the 100-yard rushing barrier for the first time in his professional career.

    RECAP: Both offenses will look good, but the Colts have a slight edge because they're better in the red zone. That's one of the reasons I like them to cover. The other is that they're coming off a spread loss of 25-plus, which is almost always a bet-on situation. Another is the line value; Indianapolis was -4 a week ago. It's only a difference of a point, but -3 is such a key number.

    My only concern is that Indianapolis just suffered an emotional loss to the Patriots, but the Colts are so young that they could be encouraged that they played well against an elite team in a hostile environment until they started killing themselves with mistakes.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: This shady line movement is scaring me. I'm dropping this to two units.


    The Psychology. Edge: Bills.
    The Colts will be flat following the loss at New England.


    The Vegas. Edge: Bills.
    People are still loving the Colts.
  • Percentage of money on Indianapolis: 73% (40,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Colts.
  • Bills are 5-24 ATS after playing the Miami Dolphins since 1998.
  • Opening Line: Colts -3.
  • Opening Total: 52.
  • Weather: .


    Week 12 NFL Pick: Colts 27, Bills 19
    Colts -2 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
    Under 50.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Colts 20, Bills 13




    Denver Broncos (7-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (1-9)
    Line: Broncos by 10. Total: 43.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Broncos -7.
    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 11): Broncos -6.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 11): Broncos -9.
    Sunday, Nov. 25, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 12 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Broncos.

    Random College Football Notes:

    1. Worst. Beat. Ever. I had Florida State -31 in my College Football Picks for three units. The Seminoles held possession with 40 seconds remaining in the game. They were up 41-7, all set to cover the spread. However, they fumbled the ball while trying to run out the clock. A Maryland player scooped it up. He then fumbled. A Florida State offensive player landed on it. The ball then squirted out of his hands, finally finding its way into the arms of a Terp. So, Maryland had the ball on Florida State's 42 with 35 seconds left. The Terps, who couldn't do anything offensively all afternoon, somehow completed a 42-yard touchdown bomb on the second play following the turnover. Boom. Just like that Maryland covered.

    This is one of the worst beats I've ever seen on any level of any sport.

    2. So much for Kansas State and Oregon playing in the national championship. Both teams went down, so it's looking like the winner of the SEC Championship versus Notre Dame. Gambling expert Steve Fezzik brought up the following great point on Twitter: "I don't get the talking heads OF COURSE the SEC title winner plays ND. But the key obvious sharp 7th grader Question is what if ND loses?"

    I tried to think of a clever response, but couldn't match what @expatinhk wrote:

    ms-windows blue screen of death occurs at that point.

    3. I have to address the Marquess Wilson-Mike Leach situation. If you haven't heard, Wilson, a star wideout on Washington State, left the team and claimed abuse from the Leach, the head coach.

    Leach, of course, was fired from Texas Tech because of allegations that he locked a concussed player of his in a closet. So, it's kind of hard not to believe Wilson's side of the story here.

    I have a question: Why did Washington State hire this scum bag? Was the school that desperate not to suck at football for a change? He was accused of locking a kid in a freaking closet! How can Washington State ever have credibility ever again for hiring a douche like Leach? Oh, and their 2-8 record right now? I'm sure bringing in Leach was worth it.

    DENVER OFFENSE: This isn't even fair. Peyton Manning is just too good for these inept Chiefs. In fact, Manning should have the option of playing this game on hard mode. Perhaps Kansas City could have 15 or 16 defenders on the field, and all of the players in the front seven would run 4.4 40s. That would be quite the challenge.

    Unfortunately, there's no hard mode to make this game more interesting. Kansas City has way too many liabilities on defense that Manning can easily expose. Eric Berry has been terrible this year, while the void left in the wake of Stanford Routt's release is too big.

    The Broncos lost Willis McGahee to a knee injury last week, but this could actually be a blessing in disguise because of the veteran's fumbling problems. Rookie Ronnie Hillman has looked promising in limited action this year, so perhaps he might have a breakout performance in this contest. The Chiefs, after all, are 27th versus ground attacks (4.6 YPC).

    KANSAS CITY OFFENSE: While it's too bad that Manning doesn't have a hard mode to challenge him, it's even worse for Brady Quinn that he can't put this setting on easy mode. Imagine how much success he would have if the Broncos could only have seven defenders on the field. Quinn would actually stand a chance of having a quarterback rating greater than 80!

    Unfortunately for Quinn, that's just not the case. He's one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL, and he just doesn't stand a chance against a Denver defense that has been brilliant since its bye. The Broncos lead the NFL in sacks and won't have any issues getting past a banged-up Kansas City line that could be missing left tackle Branden Albert and center Ryan Lilja. Denver's front is also No. 1 in terms of stopping the run, so Jamaal Charles probably won't be able to do anything.

    Making matters even worse for Quinn is the fact that Dwayne Bowe is likely out with a neck injury. Quinn consequently will have no one to throw to, which means he'll either have to continuously settle for checkdowns, which won't accomplish anything against an elite defense, or force the ball to his pedestrian targets. Considering the Chiefs lead the NFL in turnovers, that's a recipe for disaster.

    RECAP: I usually fade my double-star game edges because they are ineffective (see the stats below the comment board), but this is a complete mismatch because of Quinn. I can't back the Chiefs. I don't want to bet the Broncos either because I'm just not into laying double digits on the road, but I'd take them if I had to.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I'm putting a unit on the Broncos. I can't see this being close.


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


    The Vegas. Edge: Chiefs.
    This huge spread isn't scaring anyone away.
  • Percentage of money on Denver: 86% (63,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Chiefs.
  • History: Home Team has won 16 of the last 22 meetings.
  • Peyton Manning is 33-21 ATS as a road favorite since 2001.
  • Chiefs are 13-5 ATS as a double-digit underdog since 2006.
  • Chiefs are 8-2 ATS as home underdogs of 6+ since 1989.
  • Opening Line: Broncos -10.5.
  • Opening Total: 44.
  • Weather: .


    Week 12 NFL Pick: Broncos 31, Chiefs 0
    Broncos -10 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Under 43 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Broncos 17, Chiefs 9




    Tennessee Titans (4-6) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-9)
    Line: Titans by 3.5. Total: 44.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Titans -3.
    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 11): Titans -1.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 11): Titans -1.
    Sunday, Nov. 25, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 12 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Titans.

    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.

    JACKSONVILLE OFFENSE: So, Chad Henne is apparently awesome. The former Dolphin looked like an elite quarterback this past Sunday, going 16-of-33 for 354 yards and four touchdowns against the Texans of all defenses. Why do I have a feeling though that this was a bit of a fluke? I mean, the sub-.500 completion percentage is one indicator. Another is that Houston was completely taken unawares by this; the team spent the entire week game planning for Blaine Gabbert's ineptness. The Texans were simply shocked by what Henne was doing, and they totally didn't expect Justin Blackmon to break out like that.

    The Titans will be more prepared to stop Henne. It's just too bad for them that they don't really have the talent in the secondary to do anything about it. Both of their safeties are awful, which would explain why they're 27th against the pass (7.7 YPA). Henne will be able to torch Tennessee's defensive backfield unless he's pressured frequently. Luckily for the Titans, they have the personnel to do that. They have just 16 sacks on the year, but seven have come in the three weeks prior to the bye, as Derrick Morgan has finally emerged as the player Tennessee expected him to be when the front office drafted him in the first round a few years ago.

    Tennessee can at least keep the Jaguars one-dimensional. Its run defense isn't great (20th; 4.3 YPC), but won't have much of a challenge because Maurice Jones-Drew is out yet again. Jalen Parmele isn't a threat coming out of the backfield, though he is better than Rashad Jennings.

    TENNESSEE OFFENSE: Chris Johnson has certainly become a threat yet again. He was once averaging 2.9 yards per carry on the season, but that figure is now remarkably up to 5.1, thanks to five consecutive outings of 91 rushing yards or more.

    The Jaguars are slightly better versus the run than the Titans are (19th; 4.3 YPC), but containing CJ2K is much more difficult than tackling Parmele. Johnson will give Jake Locker ample short-yardage opportunities, which will further nullify a Jacksonville pass rush that's extremely lacking. Aside from the Raiders, the Jaguars have the fewest sacks in the NFL (12).

    Locker already had an easy matchup to begin with. Jacksonville's No. 25 aerial defense (7.6 YPA) hasn't been able to stop anyone this year, including Matt Schaub, who just tied Warren Moon for the second-most passing yards in a game. Locker won't reach 527 yards, but he'll be able to dissect a Jaguar secondary that has been missing key personnel for quite awhile now.

    RECAP: I love the Titans for the following three reasons:

    1. They're a road favorite coming off a bye, which is usually a bet-on situation. They've had two weeks to study the Jaguars, so they'll be prepared to beat down their divisional foe.

    2. Jacksonville is coming off a brutal overtime loss at Houston. The team will be flat versus Tennessee.

    3. The Jaguars are terrible at home. They've been outscored by an average margin of 31-9 as hosts.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I hate that this spread went up to -3.5, but it just shows that the sharps love Tennessee. No change.


    The Psychology. Edge: Titans.
    It's going to be tough for Jacksonville to rebound off that loss to Houston.


    The Vegas. Edge: Jaguars.
    A decent lean on the visitor.
  • Percentage of money on Tennessee: 62% (28,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Jaguars.
  • History: None.
  • Jaguars are 10-4 ATS coming off a 2-game road trip the previous 14 instances.
  • Opening Line: Titans -3.
  • Opening Total: 43.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 12 NFL Pick: Titans 24, Jaguars 13
    Titans -3.5 (4 Units) -- Incorrect; -$440
    Under 44.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Jaguars 24, Titans 19




    Minnesota Vikings (6-4) at Chicago Bears (7-3)
    Line: Bears by 6.5. Total: 39.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Bears -6.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 11): Bears -6.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 11): Bears -1.5 (Campbell) or Bears -5 (Cutler).
    Sunday, Nov. 25, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 12 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Vikings.

    Video of the Week: My friend Josh sent this to me. Some of you may have seen Ohio State's marching band tribute to old video games, but if not, click the link. It's awesome - and I'm saying this as a Penn State alumnus. It makes me want to play video games all night.

    CHICAGO OFFENSE: Lovie Smith was optimistic about Jay Cutler's availability following the Monday night loss, but maybe he was just trying to provide some hope for his team. After all, Cutler himself wasn't nearly as enthusiastic. He told the media that he "can't say for sure" about his status and that he "will play again this year." Saying "this year" indicates that he's already looking past this contest.

    If Jason Campbell has to start again, the Bears won't have much success scoring. Campbell can't really do anything besides throw checkdowns. It's not like he has a chance anyway; his offensive line is an abomination, and unlike in the years' past, Mike Tice can't really work his magic because he has to worry about the entire offense. The Vikings are tied for 10th with 26 sacks on the year, so you have to like their chances of rattling Campbell.

    Matt Forte once again won't be able to do anything. Perhaps he'd have a chance if Cutler were under center as a threat to stretch the field with his deep passes to Brandon Marshall, but if Campbell is playing, Minnesota can just put eight men in the box and focus on containing Forte. The Vikings happen to rank fourth against the rush (3.6 YPC) in case you were wondering.

    MINNESOTA OFFENSE: The Bears, meanwhile, are just 16th in terms of stopping ground attacks; they've permitted three consecutive opponents to gain at least 111 rushing yards. Obviously, this is significant because of Adrian Peterson, who looks like he never even suffered a devastating knee injury last December.

    Peterson will need to be his unstoppable self in this contest because the Bears feast on inept offenses by creating turnovers. Christian Ponder started the season off well, but was responsible for nine give-away between Weeks 5 and 9. He was clean in Week 10, but that was against the sorry Lions.

    The Bears, who were humiliated on national TV, will be bringing the kitchen sink against Ponder. They still have a great pass rush, so unless they fall way behind again, which is unlikely, they'll put tons of pressure on Ponder, who was sacked a whopping 15 times in the five weeks prior to the bye. Of course, this can all be neutralized if Peterson rips off big chunks of yardage on most of his carries...

    RECAP: There's no spread available for this contest. Quite frankly, I don't even really care because I'm not a fan of either side. The Vikings are terrible outdoors, particularly in Chicago, while the Bears are in a poor spot because teams that are blown out on Monday Night Football have a dubious track record the following week.

    I guess I'm tentatively picking Minnesota, but that may change depending on the spread is and what happens with Cutler. Stay tuned.

    LINE POSTED: This was the toughest game to read for me. I'm taking the points.


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


    The Vegas. Edge: Vikings.
    Close to equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Chicago: 60% (8,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Vikings.
  • History: Home Team has won 15 of the last 18 meetings (Bears won last 5 meetings).
  • MNF Misery: Teams coming off losses of 17+ on MNF are 22-38 ATS the following week.
  • Vikings are 8-17 ATS outdoors since 2008.
  • Bears are 27-17 ATS in November since 2001.
  • Jay Cutler is 28-47 ATS if you exclude Monday Night Football.
  • Opening Line: Bears -6.5.
  • Opening Total: 38.
  • Weather: .


    Week 12 NFL Pick: Bears 20, Vikings 17
    Vikings +6.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Under 39 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Bears 28, Vikings 10




    Atlanta Falcons (9-1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-4)
    Line: Falcons by 1. Total: 51.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Falcons -1.
    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 11): Falcons -3.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 11): Falcons -1.
    Monday, Nov. 25, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 12 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Buccaneers.

    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 during a Rex Ryan interview with Bob Costas.



    Bob Costas: Rex, you have a big game against the Patriots on Thanksgiving. Would you be willing to guarantee victory?

    Rex Ryan: That's a great question, Bob. Did you know that I used to bang hot supermodels on a daily basis before I got married? Yes, I know, you envy me. Next question.

    Bob Costas: I don't envy you at Rex, but moving on, how would you have been able to contain Rob Gronkowski if he were able to play?

    Rex Ryan: That's a great question, Bob. Rob Gronkowski is a sexy man capable of sleeping with many women each night. This would have been a big concern for me several years ago, but I am now happily married and beneficiary of great haircuts.

    Bob Costas: Rex, what are you talking about? Wait, maybe I shouldn't ask. OK, Tom Brady seems unstoppable right now. What can you do to slow him down?

    Rex Ryan: That's a great question, Bob. But I am Tom Brady, so I don't need to slow myself down. Come to think of it, that was a stupid question, Bob.

    Bob Costas: Wait, you're Tom Brady? No, you're not. You're Rex Ryan.

    Rex Ryan: Bob, you're an idiot. How could I be that fat a**hole Rex Ryan when I have this awesome haircut?

    Bob Costas: Just because you have Tom Brady's haircut doesn't mean that you're Tom Br...

    Rex Ryan: I've had enough of this, Bob. I'm going home to sleep with my hot supermodel wife. And when we're done sleeping, she'll tell me which haircut to get next.

    Bob Costas: I still don't think...

    Tom Brady: Ha! I knew someone was impersonating me! When I went into the beauty salon to get my weekly haircut, my stylist Georgio informed me that an impersonator stole my appointment!

    Rex Ryan: Stole your appointment? Ha! I'm the real Tom Brady. Go away, liar.

    Tom Brady: Liar? You're the liar! Look how fat you are! Tom Brady is not fat. He can sleep with lots of supermodels every night if he weren't married!

    Rex Ryan: I sleep with many supermodels each night, impostor!

    Bob Costas: OK, this is getting too weird for me. Servants, come hither! Please carry me back to my hotel room so I may enjoy my $5,000 bottle of wine all while pondering how I can save the world.

    ATLANTA OFFENSE: "The Saints' win was kind of fluky. The Falcons had the ball at the 1-yard line but couldn't score." -- Bill Simmons. This is part of the national media's incorrect belief that the Falcons are an offensive juggernaut. They're not. They have several fantasy football players whose names we recognize, but none of those players are stepping up when it counts most. Atlanta has been terrible in the red zone of late. Even the Raiders have been sharper deep in opposing territory this month.

    There are some other issues with the Falcons. They've turned the ball over too much lately and they can't run the ball whatsoever. Matt Ryan has to do everything on his own, which is difficult considering that Julio Jones is laboring through an ankle injury. Jones foolishly decided to play in a meaningless contest against the Cardinals this past Sunday and consequently aggravated his ankle. He could be limited or out again this week; Mike Smith may opt to sideline him with another game coming up in four days.

    Having said that, the Falcons should be able to move the chains in between the 20s all afternoon. The Buccaneers have a terrible secondary ranked 30th against the pass (8.2 YPA). The real intrigue is what will happen once Atlanta crosses the 20. Will Ryan and the offense continue to struggle down there?

    TAMPA BAY OFFENSE: The Buccaneers, on the other hand, have been surprisingly sharp in the red zone, converting 67 percent of their opportunities in that area (80 percent in the past three games). That 67-percent mark is actually third in the NFL, behind only the Saints (71.0) and Packers (67.9).

    Josh Freeman has been awesome this season, rebounding from personal issues he endured last year that led to his weight gain. He has thrown 16 touchdowns in his previous six games, and he'll continue to stay hot against an Atlanta aerial defense that is just 20th in the NFL (7.3 YPA) despite holding Arizona's inept quarterbacks to just 70 passing yards last week. The Falcons are good at taking away No. 1 options - Dez Bryant, Marques Colston and Larry Fitzgerald recorded just five receptions in the past three games - but Freeman can just go to Mike Williams, Dallas Clark or Doug Martin coming out of the backfield.

    Speaking of Martin, the Buccaneers will get most of their yardage through him. The Muscle Hamster has been unstoppable since the team's Week 5 bye, averaging 5.98 yards per carry. Atlanta, ranked 30th versus the rush (4.9 YPC), won't be able to contain him.

    RECAP: I like Tampa for the following reasons:

    1. The Buccaneers are playing better football than the Falcons right now. Atlanta has beaten only one team that currently has a winning record, and that occurred all the way back in Week 2 against the Broncos.

    2. The Falcons have to play the Saints in just four days. Favorites prior to Thursday games have been terrible this year.

    3. This is a major statement game for the Buccaneers. They can send a message to the NFL that they're a legitimate contender by beating the 9-1 Falcons.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I'm dropping this to one unit because the public isn't pounding the Falcons as much as it was earlier in the week.


    The Psychology. Edge: Buccaneers.
    Big statement game for Tampa. The Falcons have to play the Saints in four days.


    The Vegas. Edge: Buccaneers.
    Wow, no one believes in Tampa Bay.
  • Percentage of money on Atlanta: 73% (72,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Buccaneers.
  • History: Falcons have won 6 the last 7 meetings.
  • New Thursday Schedule: Favorites are 3-11 ATS prior to Thursday games this year.
  • Matt Ryan is 11-6 ATS as a road favorite (9-4 ATS outdoors).
  • Buccaneers are 10-16 ATS off back-to-back wins since 2003.
  • Buccaneers are 8-19 ATS at home in the previous 27 instances.
  • Buccaneers are 3-10 ATS as a home underdog since 2009.
  • Opening Line: Pick.
  • Opening Total: 48.
  • Weather: .


    Week 12 NFL Pick: Buccaneers 27, Falcons 19
    Buccaneers +1 (1 Unit) -- Push; $0
    Under 51.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Falcons 24, Buccaneers 23




    Seattle Seahawks (6-4) at Miami Dolphins (4-6)
    Line: Seahawks by 3. Total: 38.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Pick.
    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 11): Dolphins -1.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 11): Seahawks -1.
    Sunday, Nov. 25, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 12 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Seahawks.

    WalterFootball.com Contest Updates:

    Survivor: Get your pick in for the WalterFootball.com 2012 NFL Survivor Pool. There are 84 people remaining. No one lost last week, though 36 survivors were sweating it out in the Cowboys-Browns game.

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

    MIAMI OFFENSE: Remember when ESPN analysts believed that Ryan Tannehill was better than Andrew Luck? In one segment back in mid-October, they ranked all of the rookie quarterbacks, and the two former players in the segment slotted Tannehill over Luck. Well, that's certainly not the case now, as Tannehill has looked terrible the past couple of games. In fact, he has a 2:5 touchdown-to-interception ratio since his Week 7 bye.

    This is especially remarkable because Tannehill has been brutal against the Colts, Titans and Bills - three teams with terrible defenses. Imagine what the Seahawks are going to do to him. They have an elite secondary ranked third against the pass (6.1 YPA), featuring Richard Sherman, who is the top cornerback in football right now, as Ron Jaworski correctly pointed out recently. How is Tannehill going to have any success versus Seattle when he can't even complete passes against Buffalo?

    Tannehill won't have any help from his ground attack or offensive line. The Dolphins haven't been running the ball well lately, while right tackle Jonathan Martin is a human turnstile. He won't stand a chance against Bruce Irvin.

    SEATTLE OFFENSE: Russell Wilson is definitely ahead of Tannehill on that rookie quarterback list as well. Some like to hate on him because of his height, but he has gotten the job done recently. Since Week 6, Wilson has thrown 10 touchdowns to just two interceptions.

    Wilson should once again be solid; the Dolphins are just OK at stopping aerial attacks, ranking 13th in that department (7.0 YPA). However, Miami is weakest against the run; every single opponent it has battled since Week 6 has gained at least 92 rushing yards. With that in mind, containing the bruising Marshawn Lynch will obviously be a major problem.

    The Seahawks should be able to move the chains consistently, but it'll be interesting to see what happens once they move deep into Miami territory. They've been incredibly sharp in the red zone recently, but the Dolphins have the No. 2 red-zone defense in the NFL. Something has to give.

    RECAP: This is a very tough call. On one hand, Seattle is a road favorite coming off a bye, which is almost always a bet-on situation. On the other hand, the Seahawks are usually poor as a visitor, especially in 1 p.m. East Coast games.

    Perhaps this is the tie-breaker: Seattle has not covered a 1 p.m. East Coast game as a favorite this century. That's right - the last time they managed to do this was all the way back in 1998 when they crushed the miserable Eagles, 38-0. Philadelphia's quarterback in that contest was Bobby Hoying, who went a sterling 9-of-23 for 60 yards and an interception. I remember watching that game in my parents' family room and nearly vomiting all over the coffee table.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: No change.


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


    The Vegas. Edge: Dolphins.
    Everyone is off the Miami bandwagon.
  • Percentage of money on Seattle: 79% (67,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Dolphins.
  • Seahawks are 19-35 ATS on the road since 2006.
  • Seahawks are 4-15 ATS in 1 p.m. games.
  • Dolphins are 11-4 ATS as a home underdog after two straight losses the previous 15 instances.
  • Dolphins are 7-13 ATS after a loss of 6 or fewer points since 2007.
  • Dolphins are 6-12 ATS vs. NFC teams since 2008.
  • Opening Line: Seahawks -3.
  • Opening Total: 38.
  • Weather: .


    Week 12 NFL Pick: Seahawks 17, Dolphins 16
    Dolphins +3 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Under 38 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Dolphins 24, Seahawks 21



    Week 12 NFL Picks - Late Games
    Ravens at Chargers, Rams at Cardinals, 49ers at Saints, Packers at Giants, Panthers at Eagles



    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 12 NFL Picks - Late Games



    NFL Picks - Oct. 25


    2015 NFL Mock Draft - Oct. 22


    Fantasy Football Rankings - Sept. 5


    2016 NFL Mock Draft - July 24


    2015 NBA Mock Draft - July 1


    NFL Free Agents




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    Last Week's NFL Picks Against The Spread (Week 7, 2014): 10-4-1 (+$330)
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    My Team-by-Team ATS Record
    This section shows how well I do when picking each team this year. The purpose is to see how well I read each team. Pushes are not displayed. Winning/losing streak in parentheses.

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

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