NFL Picks (Preseason 2013):
NFL Picks (Week 1, 2013):
NFL Picks (2013):
4-11-1 (-$570) NFL Picks (2012):
130-145-8 (-$5,760) 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):
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Vegas betting action updated Sept. 16, 5:14 p.m. ET. Follow @walterfootball
Go to Week 2 NFL Picks - Early Games
New Orleans Saints (1-0) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1)
Line: Saints by 3. Total: 47.5.
Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread:
Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 1):
Sunday, Sept. 15, 4:25 ET
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The Game. Edge: Saints.
This summer, I ran a Mafia game on the Web site called Penn State Sex Scandal Mafia
. You can click the link to read the introduction and see the list of players. I'll add to this page throughout the season, listing roles and talking about funny things that happened during the game.
Why am I doing this? Well, I wanted to post this on the main section of this Web site so that the mainstream media people who have sand in their vages will pick up on this and complain that I'm being insensitive.
Oh, and by the way, we have other Mafia games going on right now in the Mafia Forum
. Mafia is a blast, so come and join the fun.
NEW ORLEANS OFFENSE:
The Saints posted just 23 points against the Falcons and their two rookie cornerbacks last week, which was disappointing. However, considering that they were down 10-0 after the first period, I don't think 23 points in three quarters is too bad. New Orleans was just a bit rusty; Sean Payton had been away from coaching for a year, after all.
Payton's offense typically lights up Tampa, but the Buccaneers made some key additions to their secondary this offseason. They traded for Darrelle Revis and signed Dashon Goldson, both of whom had solid debuts against the Jets. However, Drew Brees simply has too many weapons at his disposal to be slowed down by two defensive backs who weren't exactly tested against the Jets. I'm sure Tampa will put Revis on Marques Colston, but Brees can just fire passes to Jimmy Graham, Lance Moore and Kenny Stills or dump off balls to Darren Sproles.
Tampa's only hope of staying in this game is putting tons of pressure on Brees. Their top pass-rusher is stud defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, but the Saints' offensive line is strong in the interior. They're weak outside, so it'll be up to Adrian Clayborn and Daniel Te'o-Nesheim to disrupt New Orleans' aerial attack.
TAMPA BAY OFFENSE:
It was hardly a surprise that the Buccaneers sputtered offensively in the opener. Carl Nicks' absence ruined the ground attack, but Josh Freeman's inability to recognize blitzes is what hurt the most. Freeman has major issues right now, so it would be shocking to see him improve anytime soon.
Besides, it's not like the Saints are this push-over defense anymore. Rob Ryan's new unit surrendered just 17 points to the explosive Falcons. Sure, Roddy White was out, but New Orleans did a good job of pressuring the quarterback, thanks to Cameron Jordan, an absolute stud, as well as Junior Galette, who made just his fourth career pro start. Rookie nose tackle John Jenkins also played well; he took the field when Brodrick Bunkley was knocked out with a calf injury. Bunkley's absence seemed like a big deal at first, but Jenkins actually turned out to be an upgrade.
The Buccaneers' offensive line was a mess last week, but it sounds like Pro Bowl guard Carl Nicks could return to the lineup. Nicks' presence will be huge for Martin, who mustered only 65 yards on just 24 carries at New York. It goes without saying that establishing him and keeping the ball away from Brees will be key.
The Saints are one of my favorite plays this week. This line is way too low; it should be around -6. The Buccaneers are awful and won't win many games until Freeman is benched. I went with the Jets this past Sunday as a fade of Freeman, and it's why I'm betting three units on the road favorite this week.
If you're looking to bet this game, do it soon. I think we may see this spread rise come Sunday.
I still love the Saints. I think we'll look back on this game in two months and think, "How the hell wasn't New Orleans favored by seven or more?" The Saints are just so much better than the Buccaneers.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
The Vegas. Edge: Buccaneers.
Tons of money on the Saints.
Percentage of money on New Orleans: 84% (54,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Saints.
History: Saints have won the last 3 meetings.
Buccaneers are 8-21 ATS at home in the previous 29 instances.
Buccaneers are 3-10 ATS as a home underdog since 2009.
Opening Line: Saints -3.
Opening Total: 47.
Week 2 NFL Pick: Saints 34, Buccaneers 17
Saints -3 (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
Over 47.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
Saints 16, Buccaneers 14
Detroit Lions (1-0) at Arizona Cardinals (0-1)
Line: Lions by 2. Total: 48.5.
Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Lions -3.
Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 1): Cardinals -2.5.
Sunday, Sept. 15, 4:25 ET
Discuss Week 2 Games, Talk Trash
The Game. Edge: Lions.
If you haven't made your Week 2 selection in the WalterFootball.com 2013 NFL Survivor Pool, make sure you do so. There are 2,233players still remaining. Those who took the Chiefs are in the lead because of margin of victory. The Buccaneers knocked the most people out.
To see a report of how many teams are being picked for survivor this week, click here.
DETROIT OFFENSE: The Lions were extremely explosive on offense in their season opener. With Minnesota worried so much about Calvin Johnson, things opened up for Reggie Bush, who accumulated 191 total yards of offense. It's almost unfair. What are teams to do? If they start concentrating on Bush, Megatron will torch them downfield.
No one is good enough to cover Johnson one-on-one, but if anyone is close, it's Patrick Peterson, one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL. Peterson erased Chris Givens from the stat sheet last week, so he'll likely try his luck with Megatron in this contest. I don't expect him to shut down the best receiver in all of football, but he could slow him down just a bit. If he can do that, it should help Arizona defend Bush.
The Cardinals must put tons of pressure on Matthew Stafford, which is something the Vikings failed to do in the wake of Kevin Williams' absence. Arizona didn't sack Sam Bradford a single time, though that may change if Calais Campbell is healthy. Campbell played last week, but hobbled through a quad injury. He'll have to step up, as will Darnell Dockett, who had an awful 2013 debut.
ARIZONA OFFENSE: The Cardinals, conversely, couldn't keep their opponent out of the backfield. The Rams tallied four sacks, thanks to Levi Brown's ineptitude. Robert Quinn is one of the better defensive ends in the NFL, but it's not like the Lions have a worse front four or anything. Detroit dominated Minnesota in the trenches, getting to Christian Ponder on three occasions.
Still though, despite the four sacks Carson Palmer took, the Cardinals were still able to move the chains effectively and score 17 offensive points on the road. Palmer had success because he has three excellent receivers at his disposal. He and Larry Fitzgerald already have strong chemistry, while Michael Floyd has shown tremendous improvement in his second year. Andre Roberts, meanwhile, is the unsung hero. He's instrumental in moving the chains on third down.
Don't expect anything out of Rashard Mendenhall, however. He's not playing many snaps because the coaching staff wants to keep him fresh. Besides, the Lions just limited Adrian Peterson to fewer than 100 rushing yards despite a 78-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Palmer will have to do this himself, which makes it extremely important for the offensive line to hold up.
RECAP: The Cardinals are one of my top plays of the week for three reasons:
1. They're a solid team that shouldn't be a home underdog to a Detroit squad that always finds a way to shoot itself in the foot.
2. The Cardinals play well at home; their spread record as hosts (available below) speaks for itself.
3. Bad things usually happen to Detroit when it travels to Arizona; the Cardinals have won the previous six meetings (both straight up and against the spread). It might be a seventh loss for the Lions because may not be fully focused for this contest; they have to deal with the Redskins, Bears and Packers the following three weeks.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I'm dropping this from four units all the way down to one. Larry Fitzgerald injured his hamstring in practice and could be a game-time decision. The Cardinals won't win this game without him. Even if he plays, he may not be 100 percent.
SUNDAY UPDATE: Fitzgerald will play, but again, there's no way of knowing if he'll be 100 percent.
The Psychology. Edge: Cardinals.
The Lions have the Redskins, Bears and Packers after this weird game in Arizona.
The Vegas. Edge: Cardinals.
Slight lean on the favorite.
Percentage of money on Detroit: 60% (30,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Cardinals.
Lions are 9-18 ATS against losing teams the previous 27 instances.
Cardinals are 18-8 ATS at home as underdogs or favorites of less than -3 since 2007.
Opening Line: Pick.
Opening Total: 46.
Week 2 NFL Pick: Cardinals 21, Lions 20
Cardinals +2 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
Under 48.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
Cardinals 25, Lions 21
Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1) at Oakland Raiders (0-1)
Line: Raiders by 5. Total: 40.5.
Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Raiders -3.
Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 1): Raiders -5.
Sunday, Sept. 15, 4:25 ET
Discuss Week 2 Games, Talk Trash
The Game. Edge: Raiders.
If you didn't catch it, Emmitt on the Brink is back! Season 6, Episode 1 has been posted - Another member of the Patriots is accused of murdering the family of Odin Lloyd. Also, why are there nine teams in the AFC West?
OAKLAND OFFENSE: I'd like to say I was completely wrong about Terrelle Pryor, but I can't. Not yet anyway. Pryor ran circles around his Week 1 foe, but the Colts were so poorly coached defensively. It's almost as if they had no idea Pryor could scramble. Setting the edge was a concept that seemed foreign to them. I couldn't believe what I was watching.
Unfortunately, we won't know anything more about Pryor after this contest either. The Jaguars will be better coached because of Gus Bradley, but they barely have any capable starters on their stop unit. What sort of team has Tyson Alualu and Jason Babin at defensive end and trots out Geno Hayes and Russell Allen at linebacker? Babin and Hayes were abandoned by their former teams, while Alualu and Allen are holdovers from the depressing Gene Smith era. The Jaguars won't be able to stop anyone; not even Pryor.
JACKSONVILLE OFFENSE: Even if Pryor does eventually get exposed for being a mentally limited quarterback, he's still the superior signal-caller in this matchup. Chad Henne is starting ahead of the injured Blaine Gabbert, but does it even matter? Henne is complete garbage. He had his moments last year, but was being aided by offensive mastermind Greg Olson, who is now coordinating in Oakland. Think Olson will use some of his knowledge to help his team's defense frustrate Henne? Not that it would take much knowledge to stop Henne, but still.
Despite this coaching edge, I expect Henne to play better than Gabbert did last week because he actually keeps his eyes open when he throws the football. Maurice Jones-Drew will also have a stronger outing, as Oakland's defensive front isn't anywhere close to as talented as Kansas City's. The Jaguars will sustain some drives, so perhaps this will help them stay within the number.
RECAP: I don't care how bad the Jaguars are; a terrible team like Oakland has no business being a six-point favorite. Does this mean that I'll be betting Jacksonville? Hell no. I've learned my lesson after last year's Pick of the Month debaclation. I have a new rule in place in my spreadsheet that tells me, in capital letters, "DO NOT BET ON THE TWO WORST TEAMS IN FOOTBALL, NO MATTER WHAT!" This should seem obvious, but I'm keeping track of so many things that I sometimes forget about no-brainer things like that.
FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps are on the Jaguars. Then again, they can't really be that "sharp" if they're betting on the worst team in football, am i rite? I have no interest in this disaster of a game.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
The Vegas. Edge: Jaguars.
All aboard the Terrelle Pryor bandwagon!
Percentage of money on Oakland: 70% (20,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Jaguars.
Jaguars are 16-34 ATS against non-divisional opponents since 2008.
Raiders are 6-27 ATS at home vs. teams with losing records.
Raiders are 5-18 ATS as a favorite since 2006.
Opening Line: Raiders -3.5.
Opening Total: 41.
Week 2 NFL Pick: Raiders 16, Jaguars 13
Jaguars +5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
Under 39.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
Raiders 19, Jaguars 9
Denver Broncos (1-0) at New York Giants (0-1)
Line: Broncos by 4. Total: 54.5.
Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Broncos -3.
Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 1): Broncos -3.
Sunday, Sept. 15, 4:25 ET
Discuss Week 2 Games, Talk Trash
The Game. Edge: .
A reminder that Jerks of the Week for Sept. 9, 2013 is up, so just click the link. This week's jerks are Best Buy and Windows 8.
DENVER OFFENSE: It's so weird going from a Terrelle Pryor-Chad Henne matchup to the Manning Bowl. It's amazing how much of a disparity there is at the quarterback position among certain teams in the NFL. Peyton Manning throws for seven touchdowns against the defending Super Bowl champions, while Henne backs up a guy who can't even complete a forward pass three days later. Crazy.
Speaking of Peyton's seven scores, his performance was breath-taking. It took him a while to get going, but that seemed like natural early-season rust. Peyton didn't seem to have complete zip on his passes, but he was more mentally in sync than ever, and he's playing with the best supporting cast he's ever been surrounded with. People even said that before Julius Thomas emerged as a potent intermediate threat.
I just don't know how the Giants are going to stop the Broncos. Their back seven is atrocious. They do have a quality pass rush, but Peyton releases the ball quicker than almost any quarterback in the NFL. It's very difficult to sack him, and he's protected pretty well despite his starting center being out.
NEW YORK OFFENSE: Don't blame Eli Manning for that opening-night loss. He threw for 450 yards and maintained the same exact completion percentage as his older brother. Two of his three interceptions were his fault, but the Giants were still in position to win despite three other turnovers, including one fumble returned for a touchdown. And then disaster struck when Da'Rel Scott tipped a pass right to the Cowboys for a pick-six.
It's unbelievable how sloppy the Giants were at Dallas. Taking on the role of the Cowboys, they repeatedly shot themselves in the foot and screwed themselves out of a victory. That absolutely cannot continue in this contest. They still had a shot to beat Dallas, but they won't be within striking distance of the Broncos. Every drive is precious when going up against Peyton because he's likely to score almost every time he has possession of the football.
If the Giants do remain clean, they'll have a legitimate chance. They have quality tackle play now that Justin Pugh has taken over for David Diehl. Eli has three solid receivers at his disposal, with Rueben Randle now on the field more often. Eli will also have David Wilson in the backfield. Wilson has been given a repreive by the coaching staff, thanks in part to there being no other viable options on the roster. Wilson is a game-breaker capable of going the distance every time he touches the football, but securing possession should be his primary focus this week.
RECAP: This is a pretty difficult game to handicap. If you were to tell me that the Giants wouldn't screw up at all - or maybe just one time at the most - I would take them; my projected spread is Denver -3, after all. However, I don't think the six-turnover performance is a fluke. There might be something legitimately wrong with this Giant team. That's why I'm going to pick the Broncos. They just seem like the right side to me.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Sharp action is on the Giants. I have a feeling New York may cover, but I just don't trust that team right now. I can't get over those six turnovers.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
The Vegas. Edge: None.
Percentage of money on Denver: 56% (11,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: None.
Peyton Manning is 35-22 ATS as a road favorite since 2001.
Eli Manning is 26-13 ATS as an underdog since 2007.
Opening Line: Broncos -6.
Opening Total: 52.5.
Week 2 NFL Pick: Broncos 34, Giants 27
Broncos -4 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
Over 54.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
Broncos 41, Giants 23
San Francisco 49ers (1-0) at Seattle Seahawks (1-0)
Line: Seahawks by 3. Total: 44.
Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Seahawks -3.
Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 1): Seahawks -4.
Sunday, Sept. 15, 8:30 ET
Discuss Week 2 Games, Talk Trash
The Game. Edge: None.
I used to love making fun of GameCenter comments. The people on there were such idiots. There were even perverts like Aaron3619, who always asked chicks for their pictures so that he could carry them around. I actually met my ex-girlfriend, Awesome Girl Who Loves Football, this way. We exchanged e-mails about Aaron3619 and then hit it off, ultimately meeting in July 2012.
I planned to mess with Aaron3619 as a fake user named TexasGirl1234, but NFL.com shut down its GameCenter and implemented Facebook comments instead. This enraged me, so get revenge, I made a fake Facebook account named Mario Migelini to troll people. Other readers followed suit and made fake accounts of their own.
I've added a second fake account this year - Vivian Williamson. This is based off of Miss Vivian, a security guard at the Philadelphia International Airport, whom I've written about in Jerks of the Week (click the link to read about her).
Go here to see all of the NFL.com Troll Posts from myself and other trollers.
SAN FRANCISCO OFFENSE: I wrote this earlier, but I have no idea how Anquan Boldin is improving as he grows older. Most receivers his age would be on their way out of the league by now. Boldin, instead, proved to be unstoppable against the Packers, snagging 13 receptions for 208 yards and a touchdown. Boldin may find things more difficult in Seattle, however. The Packers boasted a poor secondary missing top cornerback Casey Hayward. The Seahawks have an elite defensive backfield, featuring tall cornerbacks who match up well with the monstrous Boldin. Seattle should also be able to handle Vernon Davis, which will give Colin Kaepernick limited options.
Speaking of Kaepernick, I fully expect the Seahawks to be able to handle his read-option, should Jim Harbaugh choose to utilize this tactic. Seattle is very familiar with it, as the team has to handle Russell Wilson in practice every day. Kaepernick went 19-of-36 for 244 yards, one touchdown and an interception (with 31 rushing yards) at Seattle last year. Those are decent numbers, but they're not nearly as spectacular as those he compiled versus Green Bay (27-of-39, 412 yards, 3 TDs. 22 rushing yards).
If there's one chink in the Seattle armor, it's run defense. DeAngelo Williams rushed for 70 yards last week, which is comparable to any other running back gaining 130. Frank Gore could have a big day, provided the 49ers aren't trailing throughout.
SEATTLE OFFENSE: While Kaepernick struggled in the one matchup he had versus the Seahawks in 2012, Wilson thrived. Wilson misfired on only six passes against San Francisco, going 15-of-21 for 171 yards, four touchdowns and an interception on a fluky tipped screen attempt. Wilson also rushed for 29 yards on six scrambles. He converted 11-of-13 third downs, which was an amazing feat.
The important thing to note, however, is that Justin Smith was out of the lineup in the contest. Smith is one of the top 3-4 ends in football, so his presence up front will make all the difference in the world, especially when considering that the Seahawks have some problems on their offensive line. Right tackle and both guard positions are pretty iffy.
Smith's absence was most prominent in run defense; it exposed Aldon Smith in that dynamic. Marshawn Lynch, as a consequence, rushed for 111 yards in last year's Week 16 tilt. There's almost no way Lynch is going to eclipse the century plateau this time around. Wilson will have to do more himself, which isn't exactly a bad thing for Seattle. Wilson is one of the top, creative play-makers in the NFL, after all.
RECAP: This will be the only time all year we'll get the Seahawks as favorites of three points or fewer as hosts. Let's take advantage of it. Seattle has such a dominant homefield advantage, which will only be magnified by kickoff being in the evening. As noted below, Seahawk fans will be trying to break the crowd noise record at a professional sports game, and they just might be able to accomplish that. The 49ers won't know what hit them.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I'm kind of upset this line didn't drop to -2.5, but we're at least getting positive juice with -3.
The Psychology. Edge: Seahawks.
The Seahawk fans will be trying to set the all-time record for crowd noise at an NFL game. As Matvei said, "The Niners' offense is going to feel like they're playing underneath Niagara Falls."
The Vegas. Edge: Seahawks.
A good lean on the 49ers.
Percentage of money on San Francisco: 66% (35,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Seahawks.
History: Home Team has won 7 of the last 8 meetings.
Seahawks are 18-4 ATS in September home games since 2000.
Seahawks are 19-6 ATS as home favorites since 2007.
Opening Line: Seahawks -3.
Opening Total: 44.5.
Week 2 NFL Pick: Seahawks 31, 49ers 24
Seahawks -3 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Over 44 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
Seahawks 29, 49ers 3
Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (0-1)
Line: Bengals by 6.5. Total: 41.
Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Bengals -3.
Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 1): Bengals -5.5.
Monday, Sept. 16, 8:30 ET
Discuss Week 2 Games, Talk Trash
The Game. Edge: Bengals.
This week on ESPN, we're going to have Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden calling the shots instead of the great preseason homers like Kevin Reilly and Don Tollefson, inept ESPN guys Emmitt, Herman Edwards and Matt Millen, annoying guys like Charles Davis and senile guys like Bob Greise. Here's what it would sound like if those six clowns (and some special guests) were calling this game:
Reilly: Welcome to the city of Cincinnati, home of the Bengals. Tonight, the Bengals take on the Steelers. Guys, I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but I'm a huge Eagles' fan. I rarely have time to pay attention to other teams, but my cousin informed me a couple of days ago that Ben Roethlisberger raped women and animals in the past. Why is he still on the field? Why is he not in prison? I want justice!
Emmitt: Rick, Big Ben put on trial when he was convict of the crime, but the jersey say that he innocence. If you do not like the jersey system in America, then you gotta move to a different city!
Reilly: Ha! Just because a jury says he's innocent doesn't mean anything. Remember O.J. Simpson? He killed his wife and husband, and the jury said he was innocent as well!
Millen: Wait, you can have a wife and a husband? When did this law get put into place? Now I can have a wife for appearances and have a husband whom I can have plenty of crazy kielbasa nights with. Imagine, guys, spending time with your husband, by the fireplace, with different types of kielbasas resting on the bear-skin rug. Can you think of anything better?
Tollefson: I sure as hell can. I'm digging the fireplace and the bear-skin rug, but only as long as a naked woman stokes the fire while cooking dinner and baking dessert. Let's replace the husband with 100 naked women, and let's replace the kielbasas with even more women who cook and clean while walking around naked.
Millen: Naked women and no kielbasas!? Who would want that!?
Davis: Actually, Matthew, there are plenty of cultures who prefer this. There are also cultures who do strange things as we see it, but happens to be completely natural to them. For example, the Nepalese share each other's wives. Children start having sex at the age of 6 in the Trobrianders clan in Papua, New Guinea. The Marududjara practice intimate cutting rituals to achieve manhood. The Sambians drink semen. The...
Millen: Wait, what did you just say? The Sambians? Where can I find these people!?
Davis: They're also from Papua, New Guinea.
Millen: Guys, I think I found my new home! Well, just as long as there are kielbasas and 100-percent USDA Men over there.
Reilly: Yo a**hole, can you shut the f*** up about your 100-percent USDA Men and kielbasas? No one gives a damn, and it's making me want to vomit!
Millen: Well, excuse me, Mr. I Just Found Out Ben Roethlisberger Raped Women.
Edwards: Stop fighting! Stop brawling! Stop name-calling! Stop arguing! There's no need for fights! No need for brawls! No need for name-calls! No need for arguments! This is a football game! Let's watch football! Let's see the game! Let's see the players! Let's see the plays! Let's watch the brawls! I mean let's not watch the brawls! Not the time for brawls! Not the time for fights! Not the time for brawls! Oops, already said that! Said that once before! No need to say that again! No need to... uhh...
Reilly: Herm, I'm going to kidnap you at night and ship you off to Papua, New Guinea, where they'll force you to drink semen.
Griese: Did someone say sea men? Those are a handsome group of men.
Millen: Now that's more my style!
Reilly: Ugh, I can't believe I have to work another season with you idiots. We'll be back after a word from our local sponsors!
PITTSBURGH OFFENSE: Everyone wants to chide the Steelers' dreadful offense, and they have every right to do so. Pittsburgh was completely pathetic in its opening-day loss to the Titans. The team couldn't score a single offensive point until late in the fourth quarter. And it's not like the Steelers were battling the 49ers or Seahawks, or anything - though they did make the Titans' stop unit look like the 1985 Bears.
The big problem was blocking, or lack thereof. Maurkice Pouncey tore up his knee on the first drive of the game. The Steelers were moving the chains methodically on that possession, but simply couldn't do anything after Pouncey exited (two lost fumbles by Isaac Redman didn't help). As I've written, however, in-game injuries can be devastating because it's very difficult to game plan on the fly when losing key personnel. Pouncey's replacement, Kelvin Beachum, didn't stand a chance against Tennessee's strong interior. As a result, Pittsburgh was stuck at two points for most of the afternoon.
The Steelers have made adjustments. They signed Fernando Velasco, formerly of the Titans, who happens to be a quality center. He'll be a major upgrade over Beachum. Pittsburgh also brought back Jonathan Dwyer, so the pathetic Redman won't be able to cough up the ball at every opportunity. As a result of all of this, I think the Steelers will be able to move the chains enough to actually score some points this time. They have a tough matchup versus a strong Cincinnati front line, but Pittsburgh will get on the board.
CINCINNATI OFFENSE: Lost in the Steeler bashing is that Pittsburgh still has a pretty solid defense. Troy Polamalu looks healthy - as witnessed on that crazy instant sack on Jake Locker - so that's a huge boost for this stop unit.
The Steelers limited the Titans to 2.95 yards per carry last week. That's no easy feat considering that Chris Johnson and the revamped Tennessee front are expected to produce big numbers this year. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who struggled to do anything last week, will once again collapse after getting a yard or two. I'd like to see the Bengals mix in Giovani Bernard more, but they seem stubborn in this regard.
Cincinnati is all about airing it out though, and Andy Dalton was awesome against the Bears, misfiring just seven times on 33 attempts. A.J. Green cannot be stopped; he abused Charles Tillman, one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL. He'll have his way with Pittsburgh's secondary, opening up opportunities for the two tight ends underneath.
RECAP: I don't think the Steelers are as bad as people make them out to be. The public has overreacted, and this spread is consequently a bit inflated (it was -3 -120 a week ago; I think it should be -5.5 or so). Add in Cincinnati's struggles on national TV, and I like the visitor for about a unit.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I still feel like this is an overreaction spread. The line launched from -3 -120 or -3.5 to -6.5 or -7 based on one week of results. I considered bumping this up to two units, but I wanted +7. I'll keep it at one unit for +6.5.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
The Vegas. Edge: Steelers.
Who the hell wants to bet on the Steelers?
Percentage of money on Cincinnati: 70% (59,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Steelers.
History: Steelers have won 10 of the last 13 meetings.
Ben Roethlisberger is 30-17 ATS vs. the AFC North.
Ben Roethlisberger is 17-11 ATS as an underdog.
Mike Tomlin is 19-13 ATS after a loss (4-1 ATS after being a favorite).
Bengals are 12-27 ATS as a favorite since 2007.
Andy Dalton is 0-4 ATS as a favorite coming off a loss.
Marvin Lewis is 4-9 ATS in nationally televised regular-season games.
Opening Line: Bengals -6.
Opening Total: 40.
Week 2 NFL Pick: Bengals 20, Steelers 16
Steelers +6.5 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
Under 41 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
Bengals 20, Steelers 10
Week 2 NFL Picks - Early Games
NY Jets?at?New England,
A list of some of my favorite team/player prop picks this week
(Offense & defensive ROY picks to be counted
whenver winners are announced.) Picks carried over on a week-to-week basis will be in black.
Teaser: Dolphins +8.5, Bills +9 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Fantasy Football Rankings - July 7
2016 NBA Mock Draft - June 29
2016 NFL Mock Draft - June 16
2016 NBA Mock Draft - May 7
2015 NFL Mock Draft - April 30
NFL Picks - Feb. 1
NFL Free Agents
Note: For legality purposes, this Web site does not promote or advocate gambling. This is solely for entertainment purposes only.
Last Week's NFL Picks Against The Spread (Week 21, 2014): 0-1 (-$770)
Last Week's 2-3 Unit NFL Picks (Week 21, 2014): 0-0 ($0)
Last Week's 4-5 Unit NFL Picks (Week 21, 2014): 0-0 ($0)
Last Week Over-Under (Week 21, 2014): 0-1 ($0)
Last Week's Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks (Week 21, 2014): -$65
2014 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-4, 33.3% (-$1,350)
2014 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 143-133-7, 51.8% (-$1,885)
2014 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 50-41, 55.0% (+$1,500)
2014 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 12-17-1, 41.4% (-$1,990)
2014 Season Over-Under: 144-119-2, 54.8% ($0)
2014 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$630
1999 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 27-41-3 (39.7%)
2000 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 128-123-8 (51.0%)
2001 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 127-122-7 (51.0%)
2002 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 123-136-7 (47.5%)
2003 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 146-126-8 (53.7%)
2004 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 157-123-8 (56.1%)
2005 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 156-126-11 (55.3%)
2006 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 151-135-9 (52.8%)
2007 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 162-135-10, 54.5% (+$2,550)
2008 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 148-140-7, 51.4% (+$2,620)
2009 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 151-124-9, 54.9% (+$3,370)
2010 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 144-131-8, 52.4% (+$6,080)
2011 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 137-133-12, 50.7% (-$1,925)
2012 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 130-145-8, 47.3% (-$5,760)
2013 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 144-131-8, 52.4% (+$5,580)
2002 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 41-49-2 (45.6%)
2003 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 52-51-2 (50.5%)
2004 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 65-44-3 (59.6%)
2005 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 77-61-1 (55.8%)
2006 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 65-61-4 (51.6%)
2007 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 83-59-5, 58.5% (+$4,110)
2008 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 44-57-3, 43.6% (-$3,510)
2009 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 49-35-3, 58.3% (+$2,260)
2010 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 51-38-4, 57.3% (+$3,180)
2011 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 44-51-3, 46.3% (-$2,715)
2012 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 45-50-2, 47.4% (-$2,130)
2013 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 38-42, 47.5% (-$2,890)
2002 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 11-12 (47.8%)
2003 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 16-13-1 (55.2%)
2004 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 18-11 (62.1%)
2005 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 25-22-1 (53.2%)
2006 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 21-29-1 (42.0%)
2007 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 35-30-2, 53.8% (+$420)
2008 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 39-26-2, 60.0% (+$4,055)
2009 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 29-26, 52.7% (+$330)
2010 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 32-22, 59.3% (+$4,790)
2011 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 14-14, 50.0% (-$1,260)
2012 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 14-21, 40.0% (-$3,650)
2013 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 17-9-3, 65.4% (+$2,970)
2001 Season Over-Under: 3-2 (60.0%)
2002 Season Over-Under: 121-91-3 (57.1%)
2003 Season Over-Under: 126-132-2 (48.8%)
2004 Season Over-Under: 139-124-4 (52.9%)
2005 Season Over-Under: 117-145-4 (44.7%)
2006 Season Over-Under: 129-132-5 (49.4%)
2007 Season Over-Under: 136-145-3, 48.4% (-$1,900)
2008 Season Over-Under: 137-125-6, 52.3% (+$860)
2009 Season Over-Under: 128-135-4, 48.7% (-$3,195)
2010 Season Over-Under: 128-135-5, 48.7% (-$5)
2011 Season Over-Under: 131-131-5, 50.0% (+$135)
2012 Season Over-Under: 125-121-5, 50.8% (+$30)
2013 Season Over-Under: 132-130-5, 50.4% (-$340)
2007 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,035
2008 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,775
2009 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$865
2010 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$200
2011 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$590
2012 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$1,685
2013 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$2,245
2006 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3 (50%)
2007 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3, 50.0% (-$400)
2008 NFL Picks of the Month: 6-1, 85.7% (+$3,720)
2009 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$640)
2010 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-4, 33.3% (-$1,810)
2011 NFL Picks of the Month: 5-2, 71.4% (+$1,870)
2012 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$560)
2013 NFL Picks of the Month: 6-0, 100% (+$3,900)
Career NFL Picks Against The Spread: 2,157-1,978-117, 52.2% (+$10,530)
Career 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 694-624-31 (52.7%)
Career 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 288-251-11 (53.4%)
Career Over-Under: 1,685-1,655-48 (50.5%)
Career Second-Half NFL Picks: 22-15-1 (61.1%)
Career NFL Picks of the Month: 30-19 (61.2%)
My Team-by-Team ATS Record
This section shows how well I do when picking each team this year. The purpose is to see how well I read each team. Pushes are not
displayed. Winning/losing streak in parentheses.
Divisional: 36-39 (2011-13: 141-137)
2x Game Edge: 14-19 (2011-13: 55-62)
2x Psych Edge: 29-25 (2011-13: 92-80)
2x Vegas Edge: 47-41 (2011-13: 129-142)
2x Trend Edge: 35-21 (2011-13: 72-78)
Double Edge: 16-13 (2011-13: 27-33)
Triple Edge: 0-0 (2011-13: 2-1)
Quad Edge: 0-0 (2011-13: 0-0)