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NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 17, 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 (Week 12, 2012): 5-9-2 (-$1,080)
NFL Picks (Week 13, 2012): 8-7-1 (-$420)
NFL Picks (Week 14, 2012): 8-8 (-$1,110)
NFL Picks (Week 15, 2012): 5-11 (-$1,480)
NFL Picks (Week 16, 2012): 11-5 (+$410)

NFL Picks (2012): 119-130-7 (-$3,850)
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 Dec. 30, 11:45 a.m. ET. Follow @walterfootball for updates.


Go to Week 17 NFL Picks - Late Games



New York Jets (6-9) at Buffalo Bills (5-10)
Line: Bills by 3.5. Total: 40.5.

Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Bills -3.
Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 16): Bills -3.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 16): Bills -3.
Sunday, Dec. 30, 1:00 ET
Discuss Week 17 Games, Talk Trash

The Game. Edge: Bills.

Week 17 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 16 RECAP: I had my best week of the year with just my picks alone, going 11-5. I won a few units too, so that was nice. Better than losing more than a grand!

Reading up on what I used to do in 2010 was a major help. I came to realize that I bet on both teams and spots. I had been picking based solely on spots this year. If I hadn't read up on my 2010 stuff, I would've spent units on the Chiefs (lost), Jaguars (won), Titans (lost) and Buccaneers (lost). I wish I just would've looked back earlier, or this season would have gone much differently.

I want to note that the one mistake I made was in that Lions-Falcons game. I should've never bet Detroit. It was the right spot, but that team is not to be trusted unless it's getting a ton of points.

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

1. More "Bears are done" talk. I think they'll be much better once they get their defensive players back from injury.

2. The Steelers are also apparently done - even though they need victories over the two Ohio teams to qualify for the playoffs.

3. Most TV analysts think the Giants don't have a shot to repeat what they did last season - even though they were in the same position they are in now a year ago.

Fading the media didn't work last week. After going 9-0-1 between Weeks 12-14, it's been just 2-4 the past two Sundays. Most of the ESPN shows are off this week, and the ones I've heard have been praising the Seahawks, but they're worthy of that. Bill Simmons also said the Patriots' spread was too high - his first reaction to his favorite team is usually the wrong one - but other than that, I have nothing in this department this week.

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

NEW YORK OFFENSE: Butthurt ESPN analysts like Merril Hoge who hate Tim Tebow might be confused about this, but the Jets' decision to bypass Tebow in favor of Greg McElroy didn't work out too well this past weekend. McElroy appeared shell shocked in the pocket, taking a ridiculous 11 sacks, and at least half a dozen of them were his fault. Tebow would have been able to avoid... you know what? Forget it. No matter how obvious it is that Tebow is far and away the best option for the Jets, clueless idiots like Hoge will continue to ignore the fact that Tebow posted nearly 400 total yards of offense in a playoff game last year.

McElroy will continue to take sacks. Mario Williams is going to absolutely humiliate right tackle Austin Howard. It's not going to be fair. The Jets' only hope is to establish Shonn Greene, who continues to disappoint. Greene mustered just 38 yards on 14 carries versus San Diego last week, though he could have more success against a Buffalo ground defense that has permitted a total of 316 rushing yards over the past two weeks.

Greene and Bilal Powell should help New York keep some drives alive, but the team may have to resort to using trick plays yet again. Jeremy Kerley completed a long bomb to Clyde Gates on one of the Jets' two scoring drives, but don't expect that to work this time; the pass was basically a punt that will be picked off by a better-prepared defense.

BUFFALO OFFENSE: Greene's best possible outing doesn't even come close to what C.J. Spiller will be capable of. Spiller has rushed for at least 5.3 yards per carry in each of his previous five games, and that streak should continue against the Jets, who are just 24th against the run (4.5 YPC). Spiller will continue to see lots of touches because Fred Jackson is out. I still find it amazing that Chan Gailey barely called plays for Spiller when Jackson was healthy. That was so ridiculous.

Spiller will have to carry Buffalo's offense because Ryan Fitzpatrick has no chance. Two reasons: First, Rex Ryan owns him. His overall personal numbers don't show it because Fitzpatrick has posted tons of garbage-time numbers, but he's really struggled against the Jets. In Fitzpatrick's four starts against New York as quarterback of the Bills, he's 0-4, getting outscored by an average margin of 16 points.

Second, Fitzpatrick is battling his annual December swoon. It's amazing how terribly he performs in the final month of the year every season. Luckily for Buffalo fans, the Bills can actually save $500,000 in salary cap space by cutting Fitzpatrick in the offseason. The fans will be happy until Buddy Nix just replaces the mediocre Fitzpatrick with another pedestrian quarterback this spring. I covered that in my most recent 2013 NFL Mock Draft.

RECAP: I love the Jets this week. I know they haven't looked good the past two weeks, but neither have the Bills. Buffalo has an awful track record in December under Gailey (see trends below), thanks to Fitzpatrick's late swoons. Also, the Jets absolutely dominate this rivalry. Ryan owns Fitzpatrick, so I love the idea of getting more than a field goal.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I'm dropping this to three units. The spread is down to +3 and Mark Sanchez is starting.


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


The Vegas. Edge: Bills.
People don't care how bad the Bills are; they just want to bet against the Jets.
  • Percentage of money on Buffalo: 68% (31,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Jets.
  • History: Jets have won 8 of the last 9 meetings.
  • Bills are 23-16 ATS against losing teams since 2006.
  • Bills are 5-25 ATS after playing the Miami Dolphins since 1998.
  • Bills are 4-10 ATS in December and January under Chan Gailey.
  • Opening Line: Bills -3.
  • Opening Total: 41.
  • Weather: .


    Week 17 NFL Pick: Jets 24, Bills 17
    Jets +3 (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
    Over 40.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Bills 28, Jets 9




    Baltimore Ravens (10-5) at Cincinnati Bengals (9-6)
    Line: Bengals by 3. Total: 42.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Bengals -3.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 16): Bengals -3 (BAL starters) or Bengals -10 (BAL bench).
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 16): Bengals -3.
    Sunday, Dec. 30, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 17 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Unknown.

    VEGAS RECAP: Merry Christmas! The sportsbooks used the winnings they earned four weeks in a row and gave back a ton of money to the public. Of the nine highly bet teams, seven covered: Falcons, Packers, Panthers, Colts, Redskins, Chargers and Bears. Only the Jaguars and Ravens won money for Vegas. I'll be updating the Vegas betting action all week, as usual. I'll notify you of any updates @walterfootball.

    RESTED STARTERS: I'm not going to delve deeply into games where teams will be resting their starters. Both the Ravens and Bengals might be doing that because there's a chance they'll have to play each other next weekend. That'll be the the case if the Ravens win and the Patriots lose to the Dolphins.

    RECAP: The Ravens played a similarly meaningless game at Cincinnati in Week 17 last year and won, 24-16. Logic would say to take Baltimore again, but check out this quote from Marvin Lewis, who discussed being bounced out of the playoffs instantly after resting his starters in the past:

    "How'd that turn out for us? I think it's important for our team to play well. We are going to play to win the football game."

    You heard the man! I'm picking the Bengals, but I will not be putting a single penny on them.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Nothing has changed, so nothing new from me.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    Neither team has anything to play for.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Baltimore: 52% (30,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Ravens.
  • History: Ravens have won the last 4 meetings.
  • Teams that beat the defending Super Bowl champs as an underdog are 8-15 ATS on the road since 2000.
  • Bengals are 5-14 ATS as a favorite of 3.5 or more since 2007.
  • Bengals are 11-27 ATS as a favorite since 2007.
  • Marvin Lewis is 4-8 ATS as a favorite coming off a SU win as an underdog.
  • Opening Line: Bengals -3.5.
  • Opening Total: 43.
  • Weather: .


    Week 17 NFL Pick: Bengals 24, Ravens 16
    Bengals -3 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Under 42.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Bengals 23, Ravens 17






    Cleveland Browns (5-10) at Pittsburgh Steelers (7-8)
    Line: Steelers by 9. Total: 36.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Steelers -7.
    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 16): Steelers -9.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 16): Steelers -7.
    Sunday, Dec. 30, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 17 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Steelers.

    HATE MAIL: Another week, another stack of hate mails. Here are some brief ones from my picks page comment board:

    I thought Walter mentioned this year that someone mailed him his stats on weeks 1, 16, and 17 and those were his worst overall weeks. I couldn't find it but checking his week 16s from 2008-2011 he lost money in every year. He also called Peter King a f**king idiot in week 2 for saying Greg McElroy would start multiple games. How is that turning out Walter? You make the call, but expect another losing week 16.

    I think I called him a troll, but when a troll calls someone else a troll, is the first troll really a troll? Think about that.

    great start to the weekend Walt. you complete jackass

    Perhaps I am now an incomplete jackass after bouncing back a bit.

    Dallas will not lose to the Saints and will cover....why do you do this Walt....go by each game and each year and each momentum boost...not statistics that tell u umm saint will win because they just lost....mark my words Dallas wins 31-27....Walt loses a 5 unit game AGAIN!!!!!

    I have no idea what this person is trying to say. "Statistics tell u umm saintwill win because they just lost?" Did he take English classes with Emmitt Smith?

    Whats all this read between the lines nonsense?? Walt put 4 units on the Lions. Why so cryptic if he meant his loyals to do otherwise? I say Walt is an idiot alcoholic or Vegas insider.

    Umm... why can't I be both?

    You are Terribbbbllleee!! No christmas presents being bought this year by any of your followers.

    I have faith that my followers will find some way to save Christmas for their families this year. For instance, they can rob a liquor store. That's what I'd recommend anyway.

    -400$ Walt, I know that's fake money because u ran out of dead presidents a long time ago~

    Umm... no. Liquor stores can replenish money. Duh.

    Here's an actual piece of hate mail I received from a "G Lanzalotto:"



    CLEVELAND OFFENSE: I was initially frustrated at the sportsbooks for not posting a spread on this game solely because of Brandon Weeden. It was ridiculous to think that Weeden is a significant upgrade over Colt McCoy, because he's not. They're essentially the same. However, I discovered Wednesday morning that McCoy is also injured. The most brittle quarterback in football somehow suffered a shoulder malady in relief of Weeden at Denver. Both missed Wednesday's practice, so it's entirely possible that someone named Thaddeus Lewis will start.

    Lewis, for those of you who don't know him, is out of a Duke. I don't know about you, but I can't think of too many NFL quarterbacks who have come out of Duke since Sonny Jurgensen. There was Dave Brown, who is regarded as one of the worst signal-callers in NFL history, and now there's Lewis, who at an even 6-0, wasn't drafted when he entered the league in 2010. He's been waived three times in his career, so he can't be all that good.

    This is not a good initial opponent for Lewis. First of all, Trent Richardson is questionable with an ankle, so not having him would be terrible. Second, while the Steelers don't force turnovers, they are No. 1 against the pass. Weeden and McCoy will obviously have more success against Pittsburgh than Lewis would, but I wouldn't count on them playing well either. McCoy has typically struggled against the hard-hitting Steelers, while Weeden went 17-of-26 for just 158 yards, one touchdown and an interception in his prior battle against Pittsburgh - and that was a matchup in which Troy Polamalu didn't play.

    PITTSBURGH OFFENSE: There are actually so many more injuries on this side of the ball. Heath Miller tore his ACL against the Bengals, while Mike Wallace is questionable with a hip injury. The Steelers may not want to push Wallace in a meaningless game, which means Ben Roethlisberger will have to target Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders and several unknowns almost exclusively.

    This would be a big problem for the Steelers - except that the Browns are dealing with even more injuries. Both of their stout safeties, T.J. Ward and Usama Young, are out. Cornerback Sheldon Brown could also miss this contest with a concussion. Joe Haden is still there, but he can't do everything by himself. Thus, Roethlisberger should still have success airing it out in this contest.

    Big Ben will also be able to depend on his running backs moving the chains for him. The Browns have surrendered an average of 131.7 rushing yards per game over the past three weeks. So, the only issue is whether Rashard Mendenhall, Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman will be able to hold on to the football. If you recall, the last time they battled the Browns, they combined for four fumbles in an eight-turnover affair.

    RECAP: There's no spread on this game, so check back later. Chances are that I'll be taking Pittsburgh for a couple of units.

    NO SPREAD YET: There's a chance Colt McCoy could play, so that's why there's no spread yet.

    LINE POSTED: Thaddeus Lewis is starting for the Browns. This spread should be -13 or so. I'm taking Pittsburgh for two units.


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


    The Vegas. Edge: Browns.
    Slight lean against Thaddeus Lewis.
  • Percentage of money on Pittsburgh: 64% (13,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Steelers.
  • History: Steelers have won 22 of the last 25 meetings.
  • Browns are 17-8 ATS after allowing 30 or more points since 2005.
  • Steelers are 26-12 ATS in December home games since 2000.
  • Ben Roethlisberger is 28-17 ATS vs. the AFC North.
  • Mike Tomlin is 18-13 ATS after a loss.
  • Dick LeBeau is 17-2 SU vs. rookie quarterbacks. ???
  • Opening Line: Steelers -9.
  • Opening Total: 36.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 17 NFL Pick: Steelers 23, Browns 6
    Steelers -9 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
    Under 36.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Steelers 24, Browns 10








    Houston Texans (12-3) at Indianapolis Colts (10-5)
    Line: Texans by 6. Total: 47.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Texans -4.
    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 16): Texans -3 (starters) or Colts -6 (bench).
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 16): Texans -3.5.
    Sunday, Dec. 30, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 17 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Texans.

    Some of you might be leaving this site until September since the regular season will be over in a few days. If so, here's what you'll be missing over the next four months:

  • Constant 2013 NFL Mock Draft and 2014 NFL Mock Draft updates from Charlie and myself

  • Live 2013 NFL Draft Grades

  • 2013 NFL Free Agent Rankings and Offseason Needs (starting next week)

  • A new team-by-team NFL Draft Rumor Mill page

  • 2013 NFL Draft Prospect Rankings, Big Board and Scouting Report updates

  • Senior Bowl, East-West Shrine, NFL Draft Combine and Pro Day reports, stats, news updates and stock reports

  • 2013 Fantasy Football Rankings and Articles (they'll be up early this year)

  • NBA and college basketball picks

  • 2013 NCAA Tournament picks and coverage

  • 2013 and 2014 NBA Draft updates

  • Jerks of the Week

  • The Emmitt Smith, April Fools and Celebrity 2013 NFL Mock Drafts (i.e. jokes about fat coaches, drunk quarterbacks and clueless announcers - the usual)

    RESTED STARTERS: It's sounding like the Colts will be resting their starters. They're locked into the No. 5 seed, so there's no incentive for them to win this game - even with Chuck Pagano on the sidelines.

    There hasn't been official word from Bruce Arians yet, but there is something to indicate that Andrew Luck and company will be on the bench. Reggie Wayne told the media that he wants to play: "We're too young to rest. We probably need to put everybody out there and have them continue to play. I don't think we can afford (to rest. I can't speak for everybody, but I'm built to play."

    Wayne could be saying this because he might have been told that he'll be sitting for most or all of this contest. If he were told otherwise, why would he say this to the Indianapolis Star?

    The Texans, meanwhile, need to clinch the No. 1 seed. They ran all over the Indianapolis starters back in Week 15, so imagine what they'll do to the reserves.

    RECAP: I'm tentatively putting three units on the Texans because this game is meaningless to the Colts. Houston typically plays well under Gary Kubiak in Week 17, and I don't see why this would be an exception.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The Colts are talking about their starters, but I'm not completely buying it. Still, I'm concerned enough to drop this to two units.


    The Psychology. Edge: Texans.
    The Colts have nothing to play for.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Indianapolis: 57% (44,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • History: Colts have won 17 of the 21 meetings (7 of last 10 meetings decided by 10 points or fewer).
  • Opening Line: Texans -4.5.
  • Opening Total: 41.
  • Weather: .


    Week 17 NFL Pick: Texans 34, Colts 17
    Texans -6 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
    Over 47 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Colts 28, Texans 16






    Jacksonville Jaguars (2-13) at Tennessee Titans (5-10)
    Line: Titans by 5.5. Total: 42.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Titans -6.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 16): Titans -7.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 16): Titans -6.
    Sunday, Dec. 30, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 17 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: None.

    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 once again didn't update his Web site, https://sites.google.com/site/realjohnmossfootball/ this past week. He also hasn't sent me any messages.

    To tell you the truth, I'm starting to get concerned. Maybe he's been away for so long because he was prepping for the Mayan Apocalypse. Yeah, that's it. If that had occurred, here's what his girlfriend would have looked like in the final days:



    TENNESSEE OFFENSE: Both offenses are a mess, but the Titans' might be worse right now. Four of their five starting offensive linemen are out (as is their backup center), so the front line can neither pass protect or run block. The results are disastrous for both Jake Locker and Chris Johnson.

    Locker was awful at Green Bay. By the time the score was 41-0, Locker was a miserable 7-of-20 for 66 yards and two interceptions. He was sacked seven times overall. Fortunately for him, the Jaguars have the fewest sacks in the NFL, so he might actually have time to survey the field and hit his receivers for decent gains. Jacksonville's 20th-ranked aerial defense (7.4 YPA) is missing safety Dwight Lowery, so that'll make things even easier for Locker.

    Johnson probably won't have as much success. He's battling a nagging ankle injury. Also, while Jaguars have given up at least 100 rushing yards to their previous four opponents, they were able to limit the Titans to 89 yards on the ground back in Week 12 - and this was when left guard Steve Hutchinson and right tackle David Stewart were healthy.

    JACKSONVILLE OFFENSE: The Jaguars have one major injury on offense. Well, two if Maurice Jones-Drew counts, but he's been out for two months. Top receiver Cecil Shorts, who drew great praise from Bill Belichick last week, suffered a concussion and is out for this game. He'll be missed; he caught four balls for 105 yards and a score versus Tennessee in the aforementioned Week 12 matchup.

    Chad Henne was on fire in that contest, going 17-of-26 for 261 yards, two touchdowns and an interception that really wasn't his fault because his pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage. Not having Shorts will hurt, but he still has the emerging Justin Blackmon at his disposal. Besides, it doesn't take much to beat the Titans, who have the league's 25th-ranked secondary (7.5 YPA).

    Tennessee happens to be a bit better versus the rush, but that's not really saying much. I mean, Ryan Grant, who wasn't even in the league a month ago, looked awesome against the Titans last week. You could argue that they were focusing entirely on Aaron Rodgers, but they still surrendered 100 yards on the ground to this Jacksonville squad back in Week 12.

    RECAP: I refuse to bet a team as a crappy as the Jaguars, but I think they're the right side because 1) Mike Munchak is awful as a favorite and 2) the underdog has covered three in a row in this rivalry. Make it four.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I have no feel for this game.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No psychological edge.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Slight lean on the host.
  • Percentage of money on Tennessee: 59% (28,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Jaguars.
  • History: Underdog has covered the last 3 meetings.
  • Titans are 5-0 ATS after losing by 30+ since 2006.
  • Mike Munchak is 3-7 ATS as a favorite.
  • Opening Line: Titans -5.5.
  • Opening Total: 42.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 17 NFL Pick: Titans 24, Jaguars 23
    Jaguars +5.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Over 42.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Titans 38, Jaguars 20






    Philadelphia Eagles (4-11) at New York Giants (8-7)
    Line: Giants by 7. Total: 44.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Giants -12.
    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 16): Giants -11.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 16): Giants -10.5.
    Sunday, Dec. 30, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 17 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Eagles.

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

    1. I received the following e-mail:

    As a gay Lions fan, I humbly ask you to stop associating Matt Millen and homosexuality. Whatever feelings you have toward gays, surely you have to agree that no minority group deserves to be associated with Matt Millen.

    This is true, but I only associate Millen with the heterosexually challenged because of how frequently he mentions kielbasas, young stallions and 100-percent USDA Men. There's definitely something to that - but not that there's anything wrong with that either.

    2. Speaking of inept NFL analysts, Ross H. posted the following on my Facebook wall:

    Today during the CBS halftime report, Shannon Sharpe called Lance Kendricks "Lamar;" Bill Cowher called Reshad Jones "Rashard," and Dan Marino was praising Tommy Kelly as a "good" player. Needless to say, Boomer Esiason kept his mouth shut because hes not a complete moron.

    Wow. I watched ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown, so I missed this. Perhaps I should tune into CBS more often. Ugh, how can anyone say that Kelly is a good player? He doesn't try unless he's trying to injure someone. Don't expect him to be ranked highly at all in my upcoming 2013 NFL Free Agent Rankings.

    3. It's not like ESPN is much better though. Cris Carter called Tim Tebow a "worse-effective quarterback." He then said someone was "lesser-effective."

    If ESPN insists on hiring illiterate analysts, why not just bring Emmitt Smith back? He was the greatest. It was such a joy to tune in just to capture some of his grammatically inept quotes. I'd like to publish another Emmitt Smith Quote Anthology. Please, ESPN, make it happen.

    PHILADELPHIA OFFENSE: Nick Foles was apparently playing with a broken hand in the second half of last week's game. He's out, so QB Dog Killer will make one final start for the Eagles. I'd consider this a plus for the Giants because the move would be a downgrade under normal circumstances. QBDK is a declining player who turns the ball over too much and can't read defenses. He's easily been the most overrated player in the NFL over the past dozen years. However, there are two things working in Philadelphia's favor here:

    First, QBDK is playing for a new contract. He's going to be released soon, so he's auditioning for a new team. If you recall, QBDK did a ton of scrambling prior to signing his fake $100 million deal (which, according to very reliable sources, featured a clause that negated $20 million as soon as he played eight games in a single season), but he stopped running as much once he received his guaranteed money. He grew cocky and comfortable upon signing his bogus contract, so he didn't feel as though he needed to do as much - which should be a huge red flag for any team that is thinking about signing him. However, since he's playing for a new deal, he'll do whatever it takes. He'll scramble a ton and makes sure he takes care of the football.

    Second, the Giants are one of the few teams that struggle against QBDK. He torched New York, going 19-of-30 for 241 yards and a touchdown back in Week 4. The Giants are one of two teams (Falcons) that failed to generate a turnover against him in a full game this year. Their defense is a mess right now, as they looked pathetic trying to stop Joe Flacco. Meanwhile, their efforts against the run are even worse; both Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce eclipsed 100 rushing yards against them, so LeSean McCoy could have a great outing.

    NEW YORK OFFENSE: There's something terribly wrong with the Giants on this side of the ball as well. Perhaps it's injuries; Hakeem Nicks has been hobbled by his troublesome knee all year, while Victor Cruz is banged up. So, even though New York has an apparent mismatch against Philadelphia's pathetic secondary, the team just might not be healthy enough to take advantage of it.

    The Giants have even greater issues on the offensive line. Eli Manning had zero time in the pocket at Baltimore last week. He was constantly hit, hurried or sacked. The main culprit was right tackle David Diehl, who can't block anyone, but it was a group effort in futility. It's not a good time for New York to have blocking issues because Philadelphia's pass rush has improved immensely since the team scraped the wide-nine formation.

    Another New York player who is banged up is Ahmad Bradshaw. This doesn't appear to be a big issue on the surface because David Wilson is so explosive, but Bradshaw is so important for the Giants on third downs. The Eagles are a respectable 11th against the rush (4.1 YPC), so both Bradshaw and Wilson may have difficulty finding running lanes on a consistent basis.

    RECAP: The Giants absolutely have to win this game, which is why I think the Eagles are the right play. Teams that need victories just to get into the playoffs in Week 17 tend to disappoint. Last year, the Titans, Broncos and Raiders all had to win. None of them covered.

    That's one reason I like Philadelphia. Another is that the Eagles own this rivalry for some reason. They've taken eight of the previous nine, even winning when Vince Young started last year.

    Something else to consider is the fact that the Giants are struggling so much. They've played so poorly lately that they don't deserve to be touchdown favorites over any team not named the Chiefs right now. The Eagles, who almost beat the Redskins last week, will be playing their "Super Bowl." They'll want to send Reid off in style.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The Eagles are still a top play.


    The Psychology. Edge: Eagles.
    The Giants need to win, so there could be a choke factor.


    The Vegas. Edge: Eagles.
    Slight lean on the host.
  • Percentage of money on New York: 61% (43,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Eagles.
  • History: Road Team has won 8 of the last 11 meetings.
  • History: Eagles have won 8 the last 9 meetings.
  • Andy Reid is 11-3 ATS as an underdog of 6.5 or more since 2000.
  • Giants are 18-27 ATS as favorites of 6.5 or more the previous 45 instances.
  • Opening Line: Giants -9.5.
  • Opening Total: 47.
  • Weather: .


    Week 17 NFL Pick: Giants 20, Eagles 17
    Eagles +7 (4 Units) -- Incorrect; -$440
    Under 44.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Giants 42, Eagles 7




    Chicago Bears (9-6) at Detroit Lions (4-11)
    Line: Bears by 3. Total: 46.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Bears -2.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 16): Bears -1.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 16): Bears -3.
    Sunday, Dec. 30, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 17 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: None.

    Random College Football Notes:

    1. The big news in college football this week is that Heisman-winner Johnny Manziel was seen sitting in courtside seats at a recent Dallas-Miami NBA game. Of course, the controversy is that Johnny Football may have obtained those seats from someone else, which would be a major NCAA violation. Oh, the horror.

    Manziel smartly claimed that he bought them as a birthday present to himself. Right. And I'm about to buy a new yacht with the gold coins I pooped out of my a**hole five minutes ago.

    While it's highly doubtful that Manziel obtained those tickets on his own, I don't really give a damn. I hope he did. The NCAA is greedy. Manziel made so much money for them this year that he deserves to be compensated. The NCAA, with its holier-than-thou attitude, doesn't allow this because it claims that reimbursing its players will give a big advantage to some schools, but that's just extremely hypocritical. Most schools don't have a chance anyway. There have been what, close to 10 teams that have gone undefeated this century but didn't get to play in the national championship? Is that not a disadvantage? Give me a break.

    The only reason the NCAA is against stuff like this is because the corrupt school presidents don't want to share the money they make from ticket sales, TV deals and other sources of income. That's just what it comes down to. Greed.

    So, unless you're an a**hole who supports the crooked NCAA, you're all for Manziel receiving basketball tickets improperly. Hell, I'm tempted to send him some more tickets myself.

    This actually gives me an idea - I want to convince someone very rich who hates the NCAA to buy tickets for every single starting college football player in a particular conference. What would happen then? Would the NCAA ban every single team from that conference from bowl games? If you're reading this and happen to be rolling in eight-plus figures, please do this!

    2. Speaking of college players earning money, if you haven't seen some of the excerpts from Maurice Clarett's book, you need to check them out. Pretty crazy stuff.

    3. Want more crazy Buckeye stuff? OK. Look at what happens when Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer argues with an official:



    That makes me miss Battlestar Galactica. Not that the Cylons shot lasers out of their eyes, but still. And why'd they have to cancel Caprica!? Why!?

    DETROIT OFFENSE: Calvin Johnson already broke Jerry Rice's single-season receiving yards record, but he's going for 2,000. He needs 108 yards to get there, but considering that he was limited to a season-low 34 yards at Chicago back in Week 7, his goal is in doubt. Then again, Matthew Stafford could keep forcing the ball to him in garbage time yet again, so it's certainly possible that he'll reach that milestone.

    Stafford will need garbage time to do this because he and his teammates will undoubtedly give the ball away to an opportunistic Chicago defense early on. The Lions turned the ball over three times in red zone of that aforementioned Monday night affair, but this is nothing out of the ordinary; they're tied for the seventh-most giveaways in the NFL. Chicago's defense has accumulated the most turnovers in the league this season, so this seems like a recipe for disaster.

    Having said that, the Lions should have more success moving the chains against the Bears when they're not being stupid. Safety Chris Conte is out, while Henry Melton, the team's top interior pass-rusher, could miss yet another game. Brian Urlacher might be back, but he may not be 100 percent. Still, having his veteran presence should help.

    CHICAGO OFFENSE: The Bears have injury issues on offense as well. Matt Forte injured his ankle last week. Jay Cutler said that he is "walking around OK," so there's a good chance Forte will play. He's unlikely to be 100 percent, however, but it's not like he has a choice; he can't sit out because this is a must-win and Michael Bush is on injured reserve.

    Forte won't have much success on the ground - in addition to being injured, he has to battle a Detroit front that has been stout against the rush recently (3.58 YPC last four games) - so it'll be up to Jay Cutler to move the chains on his own. This would have been an issue against the Lions several weeks ago, but a couple of things have changed:

    First, Alshon Jeffery is back in the lineup. He's very raw and prone to making mistakes - see the three offensive pass interferences he was guilty of against the Packers - but he's talented and at least gives Cutler someone to throw to besides Brandon Marshall. And second, Nick Fairley is out. Fairley has been the best player on Detroit's front this year - yes, even more impactful than Ndamukong Suh - so his absence will make things easier for Cutler behind his anemic offensive line. However, Cutler will still be sacked a handful of times. Even the Cardinals managed to sack him on four occasions last week.

    RECAP: As mentioned earlier, teams that absolutely have to win to get into the playoffs often choke in Week 17. So, am I betting the Lions again? Absolutely not. They're just too stupid of a team. They've outplayed so many of their opponents this year only to find a way to lose because they're poorly coached. I believe that'll happen again. They'll probably outgain the Bears, just as they did Atlanta, but they'll screw up somehow.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: No change. The Bears are in a poor spot, but the Lions will find a way to lose.


    The Psychology. Edge: Lions.
    The Bears need to win, so there will be a choke factor.


    The Vegas. Edge: Lions.
    Lots of action on the Bears.
  • Percentage of money on Chicago: 70% (52,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • History: Bears have won 13 of the last 16 meetings.
  • Bears are 11-29 ATS in December road games the previous 40 instances.
  • Opening Line: Bears -3.
  • Opening Total: 44.5.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 17 NFL Pick: Bears 27, Lions 23
    Bears -3 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Over 46 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Bears 26, Lions 24




    Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-9) at Atlanta Falcons (13-2)
    Line: Falcons by 3. Total: 46.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Falcons -3.
    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 16): Falcons -7.5 (starters) or Falcons -1 (bench).
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 16): Falcons -3.
    Sunday, Dec. 30, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 17 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Unknown.

    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.

    Unfortunately, I fear that my interaction with Mulyana has come to an end. I haven't heard from either her or her lawyer in two weeks. Perhaps they called the Winslow household in Chicago and discovered that they were being played by someone pretending to be Steve Urkel. Or maybe they were so angry about receiving Monopoly money in the mail that they quit their spamming schemes.

    Anyway, I received another spam e-mail recently:

    Hello. This is Yosep Hong, operating director at Association of School Teachers (AST) in South Korea.

    Currently, we are working hand in hand with several local Korean government agencies to recruit qualified teachers from the United States.

    Since 2007, AST as nonprofit organization has been focusing on cultivating global talent for education, and representing American teachers’ right in South Korea. As an effort from our office staffs, all 1200 schools which are involved in Gyeong-gi Do and other cities from elementary schools to high schools have hired over 600 English speaking teachers from the United States.

    From this fall semester 2012, over 200 teachers from the United States has been participated in our program in South Korea. You may contact our teachers through AST Facebook page.

    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/astkorea.org
    Website: http://www.astkorea.org

    Please apply our teaching program if you interested in.

    Sincerely,

    Yosep Hong

    Hmm... what personality should I assume this time? I know!



    This is almost going to be too easy...



    Foodball? What the hell is foodball? Actually, foodball sounds pretty awesome. Perhaps I should start a site called WalterFoodball.com. Maybe I'll get most of my foodball picks right.

    Oh, and "Then he.she may really interested of you suggestion?" This sounds like a legitimate job proposal.



    As I wrote last week, looks like I'll have to get a resume prepared.

    Well, the resume is done! Check it out:



    I think Mr. Jerry Sandusky is about to be hired by a Chinese school!

    RESTED STARTERS: The Falcons didn't need to win last week because they could have easily destroyed the Buccaneers, but they did and have wrapped up the dreaded No. 1 seed in the NFC. Thus, they will likely rest their starters for most or all of this game.

    The Buccaneers will play theirs, but that doesn't mean much. Josh Freeman has regressed terribly and is now playing some of the worst football of his career. He stinks, while Doug Martin appears to have hit the rookie wall. It's going to be difficult for the Buccaneers to score points Sunday, no matter who's playing for Atlanta.

    RECAP: Despite the fact that this game means nothing to the Falcons, I still like them, assuming the spread isn't much more than a field goal. They're undefeated in these irrelevant Week 17 contests under Mike Smith. They've even beaten their NFC South foes with Chris Redman a couple of times.

    I'll have a more definitive pick once a spread is posted, but I'll probably be taking Atlanta for several units.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The Falcons are three-point favorites, which I like. The starters won't play the whole game, but I don't care. The Buccaneers have quit. I'm all over Atlanta.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    The Falcons don't need to win, but the Buccaneers have checked out mentally.


    The Vegas. Edge: Buccaneers.
    A good lean on the host.
  • Percentage of money on Atlanta: 72% (28,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Falcons.
  • History: Falcons have won 7 the last 8 meetings.
  • Matt Ryan is 24-12 ATS at home.
  • Opening Line: Falcons -6.
  • Opening Total: 47.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 17 NFL Pick: Falcons 34, Buccaneers 17
    Falcons -3 (4 Units) -- Incorrect; -$440
    Over 46 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Buccaneers 22, Falcons 17




    Carolina Panthers (6-9) at New Orleans Saints (7-8)
    Line: Saints by 4. Total: 53.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Saints -4.
    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 16): Saints -3.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 16): Saints -4.
    Sunday, Dec. 30, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 17 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: None.

    Video of the Week: I posted this two weeks ago:

    Well, this isn't exactly a video, but it's the most completely useless Web site ever. It's called IsItChristmas.com. Check it out and you'll be amazed. I always look forward to Christmas, but this year is going to be extra special so I can see what this Web site looks like then.

    So, what did it look like on Christmas? I saved a screenshot!



    Not what I expected. I have no idea why there are random flags floating around the screen, but that's cool.

    Oh, and speaking of significant days in December, people seem to believe that the Mayans were wrong about Dec. 21 - even though the Mayans never predicted the end of the world in 2012 and instead projected some stuff to happen after the year 4000. But that didn't stop some people from going nuts. Someone posted a fake link to NASA confirming two asteroids colliding near Earth.

    I also loved this fake weather forecast I found on Facebook:



    NEW ORLEANS OFFENSE: I'm not sure what happened to Drew Brees in the three games at the beginning of the month in which he cost me nine units, but he's back to his old self. He completely humiliated the Cowboys last week, going 37-of-53 for 446 yards and three touchdowns - numbers that could have been even better if his targets hadn't dropped about half-a-dozen passes.

    Brees seemingly has an easy matchup in this contest until you notice that the Panthers have the No. 5 ranked pass defense this month (6.2 YPA). However, that number is a bit inflated because three of the quarterbacks Carolina has battled the past four weeks have been Matt Leinart, Brady Quinn and a struggling Philip Rivers. Matt Ryan was also involved, so I don't want to completely discredit the Panthers, but they have a much tougher test against Brees this upcoming Sunday.

    Of course, Carolina already handled Brees pretty well earlier in the year. Brees threw for 300-plus yards in a Week 2 loss, but he tossed two interceptions and maintained a pedestrian 6.6 YPA. The Panthers did a good job of pressuring Brees in that contest - something that they should be able to do once again this Sunday. Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy have both been very solid this season, playing a major factor into why Carolina is tied for 10th with 37 sacks.

    CAROLINA OFFENSE: The Saints are nowhere near 10th in any defensive category. They actually have the sixth-fewest sacks in the NFL (29). They're also 20th against the pass, but if you watched Dez Bryant score on a pair of 50-yard touchdowns in the New Orleans-Dallas game last week, you saw how poor they are in terms of covering and tackling.

    Cam Newton has been on fire since getting blown out by the Broncos. In the past six games, he's thrown 11 touchdowns and just one interception, and he's maintained a YPA of 7.0 or above in all but one contest. That exception was last week, but it seemed like he was flustered because Tommy Kelly and the Raiders were trying their hardest to injure him. Newton should be able to bounce back against the Saints, whom he torched back in Week 2 by going 14-of-20 for 253 yards and a touchdown.

    The worst aspect of New Orleans' defense is something that has actually improved recently. The team is 31st against the run, but it has limited its previous two opponents to a combined 99 rushing yards. Containing Doug Martin and DeMarco Murray to that low total is pretty admirable, so the Saints should have no issues with DeAngelo Williams and/or Jonathan Stewart.

    RECAP: This seems like a pretty evenly matched contest, so I'm taking the points. I don't have a good read on this game though, so I won't be betting on Carolina or anything.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: No change.


    The Psychology. Edge: Panthers.
    The Saints are coming off an emotional win against the Cowboys.


    The Vegas. Edge: Panthers.
    Tons of action on the Saints.
  • Percentage of money on New Orleans: 78% (45,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Saints.
  • History: Road team has won 11 of the last 18 meetings (Saints won 4 of the last 5 meetings).
  • Saints are 26-12 ATS as a home favorite since 2007.
  • Saints are 15-23 ATS in December home games since 2000.
  • Drew Brees is 33-20 ATS off back-to-back wins.
  • Opening Line: Saints -4.
  • Opening Total: 54.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 17 NFL Pick: Saints 31, Panthers 28
    Panthers +4 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Over 53.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Panthers 44, Saints 38




    Week 17 NFL Picks - Late Games
    Dolphins at Patriots, Packers at Vikings, Raiders at Chargers, Cardinals at 49ers, Chiefs at Broncos, Rams at Seahawks, Cowboys at Redskins



    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 17 NFL Picks - Late Games



    NFL Picks - Oct. 21


    2015 NFL Mock Draft - Oct. 15


    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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    2014 NFL Picks of the Month: 1-1, 50.0% (+$370)

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    1999 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 27-41-3 (39.7%)
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    Career NFL Picks Against The Spread: 2,073-1,901-116, 52.2% (+$11,480)
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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)

    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 |
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