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NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 5, 2013



NFL Picks (Preseason 2013): 10-6 (+$720)
NFL Picks (Week 1, 2013): 4-11-1 (-$1,290)
NFL Picks (Week 2, 2013): 6-10 (+$130)
NFL Picks (Week 3, 2013): 9-6-1 (+$20)
NFL Picks (Week 4, 2013): 11-4 (+$870)

NFL Picks (2013): 40-37-1 (+$450)
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): 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 Oct. 7, 5:20 p.m. ET. Follow @walterfootball for updates.


Go to Week 5 NFL Picks - Late Games





Buffalo Bills (2-2) at Cleveland Browns (2-2)
Line: Browns by 3.5. Total: 41.

Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Browns -2.5.
Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 4): Browns -4.5.
Thursday, Oct. 3, 8:25 ET
Discuss Week 5 Games, Talk Trash

The Game. Edge: Browns.

WEEK 4 RECAP: Can't complain about a week in which I went 11-4 for +$870. It was nice to be on the lucky side of the covers this time (thanks, Patrick Peterson). The only multi-unit pick I lost was Bears +3 at Lions, thanks to some of the worst quarterbacking I've ever seen. I swear, Jay Cutler must show up to some games completely drunk out of his mind because he didn't seem to know which jersey color he was throwing to on Sunday. However, there was a report that Israel Idonije, who used to play for Chicago, may have told Detroit all of his former team's calls, which is how the Lions' defense was able to dominate. If you think this is poor coaching, the same thing happened to Bill Belichick when Lawyer Milloy signed with the Bills. Buffalo beat New England in the season opener of 2003, 31-0.

Anyway, since some people like to criticize me for assigning blame for some of my losses, I'd like to discuss a zero-unit game in which I seemingly picked correctly.

Redskins -3.5 at Raiders: I was set to take the Raiders until it was announced that Matt Flynn would start over the concussed Terrelle Pryor. I then switched my selection to Washington because Flynn blows. Come around 4:45, however, the Raiders were up 14-0, and it appeared as though I was wrong for changing.

Well, the Redskins ended up winning, 24-14. The records will show that I picked the game correctly, but did I? Oakland was up by two touchdowns when both Darren McFadden and Marcel Reece went down. All of a sudden, the team couldn't move the ball at all. One of the most difficult things that NFL coaches have to deal with is in-game injuries. It's just so hard to adjust. We saw it in the opener with the Ravens and Michael Oher. The Raiders were just so inept offensively without their lead back and top backfield pass-protector. I have to think they would've either won or lost by three had both players remained in the game.

I know injuries can happen to both teams, but my point is that sometimes the right side doesn't always win. I look at it this way: If two teams were battling each other 100 times in similar circumstances, who would cover the majority of those instances? I have to believe that would be the Raiders despite the fact that I selected Washington.

Meh. Rant over. The whole point of this was to be a lesson for the few people who post, "Hurrr durrr, you're just making excuses for your bad picks," but I doubt they're even reading this. I'll make excuses when they're legitimate. If I get a game wrong, I'll admit to it.

Week 5 NFL Picks will be posted all day Wednesday. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.

CLEVELAND OFFENSE: The Bills spent a first-round pick on their quarterback, but the Browns are the team with the edge at that position. At least that's the case right now. It's amazing how well Brian Hoyer has played in his two starts. He hasn't been super flashy, and he doesn't have a good arm, but his touch and accuracy have allowed the Browns to sustain drives consistently for a change.

Hoyer should not have any issues in this contest. The Bills have an extremely banged-up secondary. Cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore and Leodis McKelvin, as well as safety Jairus Byrd have all been sidelined. Now, Aaron Williams is also hurt. This means the anemic Justin Rogers will have to be on the field more often. An active Rogers will allow any Cleveland receiver he covers to get open almost instantly.

The Bills will need to counter by pressuring Hoyer as much as possible. They could be in luck here; they have a solid pass rush, and only two teams (Dolphins, Jaguars) have surrendered more sacks than the Browns.

BUFFALO OFFENSE: Injuries extend to the offensive side of the ball for the Bills. Both C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson got hurt last week. They've been practicing on a limited basis and could suit up, but they won't be 100 percent. If that's the case, the pedestrian Tashard Choice will receive a good chunk of the workload - which is something that'll obviously limit the offense.

Something else that will constrict the Bills is cornerback Joe Haden. Fresh off smothering A.J. Green, Haden will blanket either Stevie Johnson or Robert Woods. Conventional wisdom says he'll be matched up on the former, but Johnson is injured (another hobbled Bill), so he could switch to Woods at some point.

Like Buffalo, Cleveland will be able to pressure the hell out of the opposing quarterback; thanks to Barkevious Mingo and others, the Browns have the third-most sacks in the NFL, behind only Kansas City and Washington. Cleveland has an outstanding defense in general, ranked in the top five of most relevant categories.

RECAP: I never thought I'd be laying points with Brian Hoyer and the Cleveland Browns, but that's exactly what I'm doing here. The Bills are the inferior team and have to prepare and travel on a short work week. They're also coming off a very fortunate victory - they collected five turnovers and still barely won - so I can see them being a bit too happy that they're 2-2 right now.

I'm taking the Browns for a unit, and I'm also going with the under for another unit. Barring crazy special-teams and defensive touchdowns, this should be a low-scoring affair.

FINAL THOUGHTS: This spread has dropped to -3.5. If you like the Browns, I'd bet that because I don't see the number dropping to -3. If you want to take the Bills, there are plenty of +4s available. I'm still on Cleveland for one unit, as well as the under for another unit.


The Psychology. Edge: None.
No edge found.


The Vegas. Edge: None.
Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Cleveland: 52% (60,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Bills.
  • Browns are 6-11 ATS as favorites since 2008.
  • Opening Line: Browns -3.
  • Opening Total: 40.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 5 NFL Pick: Browns 16, Bills 10
    Browns -3.5 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Under 41 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Browns 37, Bills 24






    Kansas City Chiefs (4-0) at Tennessee Titans (3-1)
    Line: Chiefs by 2.5. Total: 38.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Titans -1.
    Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 4): Chiefs -3.
    Sunday, Oct. 6, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 5 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Chiefs.

    VEGAS RECAP: The sportsbooks have been abusing average bettors as if the gambling were conducted in a seedy football locker room. No one's going to prison though, especially after last week. Vegas gave back some of its losses. Of the six highly bet teams, four covered (49ers, Seahawks, Broncos, Saints). The sportsbooks won with Buffalo and New England.

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

    TENNESSEE OFFENSE: Poor Titans. I really feel for them. Jake Locker has played so well in three of four games this year, and as a result, Tennessee is 3-1, and very easily could be 4-0. Locker is now out 4-6 weeks, meaning Ryan Fitzpatrick will make his first start with his new team. And it's not going to be pretty.

    Fitzpatrick is a decent game-manager, and he can play well versus pedestrian defenses, but the Chiefs have one of the elite stop units in the NFL. They're actually No. 1 versus aerial attacks (5.82 YPA), thanks to a pass rush that has the most sacks in the NFL (17). Everyone knows about Tamba Hali and Justin Houston - tackles Michael Roos and David Stewart will have their hands full with them; they're the best pass-rushers they'll have seen this year by far - but the big improvement is from Dontari Poe. The monstrous nose tackle has been unblockable this season, which doesn't bode well for Tennessee because center Rob Turner is the weak link up front.

    Fitzpatrick will see tons of pressure, so he'll have to settle for short throws. This will not help the Titans sustain many drives, especially given that the running game will not work so well. Chris Johnson, who lashed out at fantasy owners on Twitter - more on this later - is averaging just 3.3 yards per carry. The Chiefs have restricted all but one of their opponents to fewer than 87 rushing yards in 2013.

    KANSAS CITY OFFENSE: If the Titans want to secure their fourth victory of the season, they'll have to do it on the defensive side of the ball. A big part of the reason Tennessee is 3-1 has been the stop unit. Defensive tackle Jurrell Casey needs to be a Pro Bowler, helping the team tie for third in sacks (14). The secondary has also performed admirably, so Alex Smith will find it difficult to convert third downs for a change. He has done this well lately, but the Titans' defense is much better than Philadelphia or New York's. They tackle too well to allow third-and-long conversions on short passes to Donnie Avery.

    Having said that, the Chiefs won't be too limited offensively because of Jamaal Charles. Though Charles hasn't run the ball very well this season, he has been a tremendous, pass-catching weapon out of the backfield. I'm not sure why the Titans aren't utilizing Chris Johnson in a similar fashion, but Charles is on pace to catch 90-plus balls in 2013. Aside from the defense, he's the primary reason why the Chiefs are undefeated right now.

    RECAP: The public is pounding Kansas City like there's no tomorrow, but I don't know if I'm ready to lay points with the Chiefs on the road against a quality opponent. Locker's absence obviously weakens the Titans, but they still have a solid defense and quality offensive play-makers.

    I'm not betting either side, but if I had to, I suppose I'd fade Fitzpatrick. It wouldn't surprise me though if Tennessee rose up and played lights out with its quarterback sidelined.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I still slightly favor the Chiefs, but not enough to bet on them.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Titans.
    No one wants a piece of Ryan Fitzpatrick?
  • Percentage of money on Kansas City: 85% (53,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Chiefs.
  • Chiefs are 25-12 ATS in October since 2002.
  • Mike Munchak is 5-9 ATS playing a team with a winning record.
  • Opening Line: Chiefs -2.5.
  • Opening Total: 41.
  • Weather: .


    Week 5 NFL Pick: Chiefs 17, Titans 13
    Chiefs -2.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Under 38 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Chiefs 26, Titans 17








    Baltimore Ravens (2-2) at Miami Dolphins (3-1)
    Line: Dolphins by 3. Total: 43.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Dolphins -1.5.
    Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 4): Ravens -1.5.
    Sunday, Oct. 6, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 5 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Ravens.

    HATE MAIL: Another week, another stack of hate mails. These are from the comment boards:

    Goodell needs to ask himself this: Why is football popular? There are three reasons: Fantasy, betting and a short season that has its fans yearning for more. Excuse me walt ,but just WTF is all that about ? The NFL has endured for years due to much much more than those 3 flippant induced reasons.I follow your website because despite the tiresome comedic tirade and the shoulda woulda coulda won that bet but for the late field goal etc etc you do have an eye for the game but PLEASE just concentrate on what you're good at and cut the rubbish out .

    The NFL has been around for a very long time, but you do realize that ratings have skyrocketed ever since fantasy football and betting have become more prevalent, right? I mean, you can completely ignore logic and bash me for writing this, but that's your call.

    How many times do you hear this dude say, "The XXX were the right side, wrong result." (MANY times) How many times do you hear him say, "The XXX were the wrong side, right result." NEVER

    Umm... I actually wrote on that very page that I was lucky to win the Lions pick back in Week 3 because the Redskins were the right side. Derp dee derpety derp dee derp.

    Along with Spanish heritage month, the NFL acknowledges breast cancer awareness month. I personally do not have cancer, but I can respect what the NFL is trying to do. Spanish heritage might not personally effect you, but stating Spanish sounds like "tacos and burritos" to you is pretty offensive. Having a Hispanic friend doesn't absolve you from the fact that you're a

    I'm a what? Having a Hispanic friend absolves me from everything. And it's pretty offensive to me that you seem to believe that I think Spanish sounds like "tacos and burritos." You've obviously forgotten "nachos" and "osos." Seems to me that you're a little bit racist, bud.

    walt, you are kind of a piece of crap, you need to get over your hatred of michael vick and call a man by his name a person who cannot forgive is just as bad as the sinner he hates"

    By that way of thinking, wouldn't that require you to get over your hatred of me and stop sending me hate mail? I suppose that makes you kind of a piece of crap just like me. Thanks for joining the "kind of a piece of crap" club!

    This is why Walt sucks at betting too - all he does is make excuses and refuses to accept reality for what it is. This whole article is "well if this, this, this and this didn't happen I'd be right and would've won my bet." But every week something happens and makes Walt look like an idiot. Just accept it that you're not as good at this as you think you are.

    Hey, as a man who lives off making excuses, I can tell you that with 100-percent certainty, that I would be 83 percent against the spread if everything went my way and I didn't get screwed each week. That's the reality, and I'm accepting it for what it is!

    Chicago and Arizona picks thank a lot looking like loser pick for me and thanks a lot for Walter 4 units pick absolutely suck ball

    It's a good thing they "suck ball" and not "suck balls." If they sucked balls, I would've lost both picks.

    MIAMI OFFENSE: Ryan Tannehill has to be pretty jealous of Joe Flacco right now. Not only does Flacco have a shiny Super Bowl ring, but he also has a legitimate left tackle protecting his blind side.

    The problems Miami has up front were pretty prevalent in its loss to the Saints on Monday night. Once the Dolphins had to start throwing the ball to keep up with New Orleans in a potential shootout, Tannehill's blocking broke down, and the quarterback took four sacks. Tannehill has actually been sacked more times than any signal-caller this season. As a result, the Dolphins' coaching staff is going to implement shorter passing plays, which kind of nullifies Mike Wallace's effectiveness. They'll need these shorter plays installed right away because the Ravens have a quality pass rush, tied for seventh in the NFL.

    The Dolphins will need to keep Tannehill from taking sacks by running the football well again. The offensive line blasted open huge holes against New Orleans, but won't have similar success in this matchup. The Saints are 30th against the rush (4.81 YPC), while Baltimore is a much better 13th (3.79 YPC). Only one opponent has gained more than 94 rushing yards on the Ravens this season.

    BALTIMORE OFFENSE: As mentioned, Flacco has a new blind-side protector. Eugene Monroe is an upgrade over the out-of-shape Bryant McKinnie, and his presence will be felt immediately because the Dolphins have a strong pass rush when Cameron Wake is in the lineup. Monroe doesn't play on Wake's side, but it'll allow Baltimore to double team Wake, if needed. Flacco, as a result, will enjoy better protection, so he won't throw five interceptions again. Baltimore's offense won't explode or anything because of a limited receiving corps, but Flacco won't have to force anything because he'll be under duress less frequently.

    Something else that will help the Ravens is a healthier backfield. Ray Rice returned too soon from his hip injury and wasn't effective. Bernard Pierce, meanwhile, strained his calf last week, which would explain why he had just five carries. Pierce's injury isn't very serious, and Rice should be closer to 100 percent, so Baltimore will get much more production out of the backfield than it did last week. The Dolphins play well against the run, but Rice will be used as a pass-catching weapon again; he didn't log a single reception at Buffalo.

    RECAP: This is a poor spot for the Dolphins. They had their chance to prove themselves in the national spotlight last week, but came up short. Now favored, they'll be flat against an opponent they just saw lose to Buffalo. Also, the Dolphins are heading into their bye, which doesn't bode well for them because small home favorites in conference play have historically struggled against the spread in those situations.

    Meanwhile, I love Baltimore in a bounce-back situation. The Ravens were predictably flat last week, as they usually are against inferior competition on the road. But John Harbaugh bounces back from those defeats; he's 8-2 straight up after losing as a favorite. Plus, the Ravens are playing in their second-consecutive road game, which usually carries a high cover rate.

    Something else to keep in mind is that this figures to be a defensive battle. Taking the points in low-scoring affairs is usually the way to go.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: There are some +3s and +2.5s available. I think I'd take the Ravens for three units at +2.5 and four at +3. They're still my second-favorite side of the week.


    The Psychology. Edge: Ravens.
    The Dolphins got up for a statement game in New Orleans, but fell short. They'll have trouble mustering the same energy for Baltimore.


    The Vegas. Edge: Dolphins.
    The Ravens are a public dog.
  • Percentage of money on Baltimore: 67% (29,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Ravens.
  • Underdog is 41-20 ATS in the Dolphins' last 61 games.
  • Opening Line: Dolphins -3.
  • Opening Total: 42.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 5 NFL Pick: Ravens 20, Dolphins 17
    Ravens +3 (4 Units) -- Correct; +$400
    Under 43 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Ravens 26, Dolphins 23






    Jacksonville Jaguars (0-4) at St. Louis Rams (1-3)
    Line: Rams by 11. Total: 41.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Rams -11.
    Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 4): Rams -7.
    Sunday, Oct. 6, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 5 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: None.

    I wouldn't say my weekly random NFL notes cluttered these picks pages, so I'll keep them here. What I'm also going to do is store all of them in a Random NFL Notes section so that you can go back and read previous entries in the future.

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

    1. Facebook friend Jay B. posted this on my wall:

    Good news Walter! As a diehard Ravens fan I got access to this exclusive exchange between Ozzie Newsome and David Caldwell! Here you go!

    Caldwell: Hey Ozzie, I'm really struggling to win games here, you got any tips on how to be a successful GM?

    Newsome: Well, that WalterFootball guy said on his Web site that teams that trade away their best players become invincible!

    Caldwell: Hmmm... Really? Sounds good to me, how should I start?

    Newsome: Oh I don't know... you can trade me Eugene Monroe, that will certainly mimic the current strategy in the NFL, then you can go win some games for sure.

    Caldwell: You'd do that for me? Wow thanks! You're a real friend!

    Newsome: Hehe... Don't mention it.

    It's amazing how inept these general managers are. On the bright side, this gave me a chance to make fun of the Jaguars again and also to post an awesome, Matt Millen-related grade for the trade. Check out the grades for the Ravens and Jaguars in the Eugene Monroe trade here.

    2. Some NFL players are smart. Many others, unfortunately, are pretty clueless. For instance, Chris Johnson offered up this gem on Twitter: "Public service announcement: I can care less about fantasy football. Key word fantasy. As long as we win I'm happy. I rush for 200 n lose y'all happy." He followed that up with: "U r the head coach n the owner of ur fantasy team so u should be mad at urself I didn't ask any of u to draft me so if I'm so sorry y start me."

    Considering that Johnson is getting paid so much money BECAUSE OF FANTASY FOOTBALL, he should at least care about it a little bit. If it weren't for fantasy football, TV ratings wouldn't be so huge. Football would still exist, but all of that TV money wouldn't be there. Without that TV money, all of the players wouldn't be paid as much. So, instead of getting $30 million guaranteed on a deal that he signed in 2011, perhaps Johnson would've obtained $10 million or so - if he happened to be lucky.

    Johnson should start caring about fantasy football. He should enter leagues and perhaps draft himself. Then, he'd understand why his owners are so mad.

    3. Baseball sucks. Why is the Raiders-Chargers game being moved to 11 p.m.? Baseball is boring and stupid, so maybe the Athletics should be playing at 11 p.m. Seriously, who the hell watches baseball?

    ST. LOUIS OFFENSE: I'm going to make this pick preview somewhat brief because these teams are complete garbage. Sam Bradford has turned into a check-down machine this season, perhaps because his offensive line has let him down. Jake Long has been a huge disappointment, but he hasn't been too bad compared to everyone else. The good news for Bradford is that he'll have more time in the pocket this week. The Jaguars don't get to the quarterback consistently, mustering only eight sacks through four games.

    Bradford will be able to torch Jacksonville's secondary as a result. The Jaguar safeties are absolutely atrocious. They've been burned every single week, and that will continue, even in St. Louis.

    JACKSONVILLE OFFENSE: The Jaguars get a boost on this side of the ball with Justin Blackmon coming back from his four-game suspension. With Blackmon and Cecil Shorts at his disposal, can the cowardly Blaine Gabbert finally improve and progress to becoming the quarterback Jacksonville thought he'd be when inept general manager Gene Smith traded up for him?

    No. Not at all. However, Gabbert can have some success in this contest because St. Louis' defense is an abomination. Chris Long, James Laurinaitis and Kendall Langford have all regressed. Michael Brockers hasn't emerged in his second year. Starting safety T.J. McDonald is out for two months. Meanwhile, Cortland Finnegan has been the worst starting cornerback in the league this season (does not include Buffalo's Justin Rogers). Gabbert has put together two half-decent games throughout his disappointing career, so perhaps this will be his third.

    Oh, and look for a rare, solid outing from Maurice Jones-Drew. The Rams have surrendered a combined 401 rushing yards in their previous two games. Pathetic.

    RECAP: This spread is ridiculous. The Jaguars are historically bad, but they shouldn't be more than seven-point underdogs against a Rams squad that is atrocious. With that in mind, I can't advocate any sort of bet on Jacksonville. I learned my lesson last year to refrain from betting on the worst team in football. This is a stay-away situation for me.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I'd like to talk to people who are betting on this game. I'd ask them a very complicated question: Why?


    The Psychology. Edge: Jaguars.
    The Rams brought their "A" game in a must-win versus the 49ers. They hung around for a while, but ultimately were blown out. They'll be flat as a big favorite.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Jacksonville: 52% (22,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Jaguars.
  • 0-4 teams are 17-9 ATS since 1989 vs. losing teams.
  • Jaguars are 9-16 ATS vs. NFC opponents since 2007.
  • Jaguars are 16-36 ATS against non-divisional opponents since 2008.
  • Opening Line: Rams -10.5.
  • Opening Total: 43.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 5 NFL Pick: Rams 27, Jaguars 20
    Jaguars +11 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Over 41 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Rams 34, Jaguars 20






    New England Patriots (4-0) at Cincinnati Bengals (2-2)
    Line: Pick. Total: 45.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Bengals -3.
    Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 4): Patriots -1.
    Sunday, Oct. 6, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 5 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Patriots.

    As with the random NFL notes, I'm going to have all of my Random College Football Notes on one page as well.

    Random College Football Notes:

    1. It's pretty well known that there are fixed games in college football each week. MAC contests are notoriously rigged. There were some shenanigans in the Pac-12 this past weekend. Take a look:



    CKane had this to say when this happened:

    To recap. Cal down 45 gets the backdoor TD, then shanks the XP and doesn't cover the 38.5.

    What the ****ing ****sucking ******** ****ing balls.

    Kickers and officials are the ones who rig games the most. They're paid the least - most college football players do indeed receive money - yet they have so much of an impact on the game. If some shady character comes up to them and offers them a cool five grand to whiff on an extra point or call a bulls*** hold, they're definitely going to take the money.

    2. Speaking of shady officiating and fixed games, e-mailer Kevin J. wrote this to me during the previous college basketball season:

    Iona vs. Manhattan. Iona is favored by 4. Iona is winning by 8 with a few seconds left. Manhattan heaves up a desperation 3. It goes in with .1 second left. The fans go nuts and get on the court. Ref calls a double technical on the crowd. Manhattan gets 2 free throws, both go in. Iona wins by 3.

    Wow. That makes Vincenzo D'Amato's whiffed kick seem completely legitimate by comparison.

    3. Staying in the Pac-12, I need to say something about Arizona State's "black-outs," where the Sun Devil fans go nuts by dressing in black. This is obviously copying some of the "white-outs" we've seen everywhere, but it doesn't work nearly as well. Most of the fans in the stands are white people, so the crowd doesn't look "blacked out" at all. Then again, hot chicks look great dressed in black, so perhaps this was the real agenda.

    NEW ENGLAND OFFENSE: Thanks to a banged-up secondary, the Bengals had problems defending a former Patriots' quarterback last week, as Brian Hoyer went 25-of-38 for 269 yards and two touchdowns against them. So, what's the current Patriots' quarterback going to do?

    Tom Brady is gaining a stronger rapport with his young receivers each week; this was evident in New England's victory at Atlanta. Furthermore, it seems as though there's a good chance Danny Amendola will be back from injury. Cincinnati's secondary could once again be missing multiple starters - Leon Hall, Reggie Nelson and Dre Kirkpatrick are all questionable - so there's no reason to think Brady couldn't continue to gain momentum with his inexperienced wideouts.

    The Bengals will at least be able to restrict the Patriots from running the ball well, as they're a solid 12th versus the rush (3.78 YPC). New England enjoyed a long run from LeGarrette Blount at Atlanta, but that's unlikely to happen this week.

    CINCINNATI OFFENSE: The Patriots have one big injury concern themselves on the defensive side of the ball. And I mean literally big. Vince Wilfork tore his Achilles on Sunday night, which is unfortunate because he has been a class act in addition to a Pro Bowl talent for many years. Wilfork's absence could open up some opportunities for Giovani Bernard, who has been receiving a larger workload each week. Atlanta couldn't take advantage of this without the services of Steven Jackson, but things will be different this week.

    One thing that won't change is that Aqib Talib will be asked to blanket the top receiver. Talib is having a great year, as he did a great job of erasing one side of the field Sunday night. A.J. Green was just limited by Joe Haden, so he'll receive similar treatment from Talib.

    If Green is covered up, Andy Dalton will struggle to consistently move the chains. He played poorly last week when Haden took Green away - he went 23-of-42 for only 206 yards, no touchdowns, an interception and a lost fumble - and had similar problems versus Pittsburgh a few Monday nights ago when Ike Taylor did a good job of covering the dynamic receiver. Dalton is pretty limited as a quarterback, so if he can't just lob it up to one of the NFL's best wideouts, he's going to look very mediocre.

    RECAP: I went with the Patriots as underdogs last week, and I'll do so again. I have no idea why the sharps think there's good value with the Bengals, but they similarly picked the Falcons. I'll take the points with Brady every single time.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Ugh. I HATE it when the favorite changes during the week. I still like the Patriots, but not for two units. I'll cut the play in half.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Bengals.
    The public is pounding the Patriots.
  • Percentage of money on New England: 72% (67,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Patriots.
  • Tom Brady is 151-49 as a starter (115-80 ATS).
  • Tom Brady is 7-1 ATS as a favorite of fewer than 3 points.
  • Tom Brady is 17-7 ATS as an underdog since 2003. ???
  • Bill Belichick is 14-4 ATS in his second consecutive road game.
  • Bengals are 21-13 ATS as underdogs since 2009.
  • Bengals are 13-28 ATS as a favorite since 2007. ???
  • Andy Dalton is 1-4 ATS as a favorite coming off a loss. ???
  • Andy Dalton is 4-7 ATS against winning teams.
  • Opening Line: Pick.
  • Opening Total: 44.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 5 NFL Pick: Patriots 23, Bengals 20
    Patriots PK (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Under 45 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Bengals 13, Patriots 6






    Seattle Seahawks (4-0) at Indianapolis Colts (3-1)
    Line: Seahawks by 3. Total: 43.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Seahawks -4.5.
    Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 4): Seahawks -4.5.
    Sunday, Oct. 6, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 5 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Seahawks.

    If you've followed this site for a while, you might remember that I like to respond to my spam mails. Three years ago, a man named Jon Wire from the "United Bank of Africoan" promised me an ATM card of some sort, so I responded as a man named Mister Compassion Chuck Norris, who was raised by wolves. The following season, I received e-mails from Richard Held and Loon Bruce, who told me I won a Facebook Award, which comes with a "lump sum pay out of (750,000.00 GBP)." Pretending to be Matthew Millen Kim, I sent out my application and fake money.

    As for 2012, I messed around with a spammer pretending to be a black woman named Mulyana. I assumed Steve Urkel's identity and had many exchanges with Mulyana. Click the link to see all of that.

    What's in store for this season? Well, I imagine Aaron Hernandez and Riley Cooper will be involved. I'm going to post new Spam Mails here with my responses to avoid clutter. My newest response has to do with a major douche named Niclas.

    SEATTLE OFFENSE: I'd say Indianapolis' defense has been one of the bigger surprises this season. The unit looked terrible against the Raiders and Dolphins, but has improved ever since inside linebackers Pat Angerer and Kavell Conner have come back healthy. Having a reliable safety like LaRon Landry in the secondary has also been a big boost; he, Robert Mathis and Vontae Davis are all performing well. Meanwhile, defensive end Cory Redding is playing out of his mind. He's a big reason the Colts are 10th versus the run (3.75 YPC).

    Redding and company should be able to overwhelm Seattle's offensive line. The Seahawks are missing both starters, which has forced backup guard Paul McQuistan to man the left tackle spot. The results have been disastrous, as Russell Wilson was frequently running for his life last week. Marshawn Lynch didn't have much success on the ground either. Outside of a 43-yard run in which he broke a billion tackles, Lynch averaged just 3.4 yards per attempt at Houston.

    Having said all of this, you know that the Seahawks will have success in the fourth quarter. The way Wilson navigates the pocket and makes decisions on the fly is just remarkable. He looks like a 10-year pro doing this; not a young signal-caller with just 22 starts under his belt. If Wilson could lead his team down the field in the fourth quarter and overtime against Houston's talented defense, I don't see why he can't accomplish the same thing against the Colts.

    INDIANAPOLIS OFFENSE: The Seahawks played the run well this past season until last week's close call at Houston. The Texans' front pushed them around, and this was even before Michael Bennett's terrible back injury. Bennett is out, so the other Seattle defenders will have to work harder to stop the run. The Colts actually can pound the ball now in the wake of the Trent Richardson trade. Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw combined to rush for 155 yards against a similarly talented San Francisco stop unit.

    Whether or not Seattle can stop the run will be huge in this contest because Andrew Luck will constantly be under siege in long-yardage situations. As if the Seahawks weren't potent enough defensively, they'll have Bruce Irvin back from suspension. Irvin can only play on third downs, but he's a dynamic pass-rusher. As you may recall, Jim Irsay tweeted a couple of weeks ago about having his team protect Luck better, so he could take to social media again after this contest.

    Some of Luck's sacks will be attributed to the coverage. Seattle's secondary is amazing, so Reggie Wayne and Darrius Heyward-Bey will struggle to separate from Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner.

    RECAP: The Seahawks are coming off an emotional victory and could be flat in an early start again, but even when factoring that in, I still have them as a 4.5-point favorite over Indianapolis. I'm sure the Colts will be fired up to beat another Super Bowl favorite. If so, they'll establish an early lead and appear as though they're the right side. But Wilson will come charging back again, and the Seahawks may win by 3-4 points.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The Seahawks will probably win this game by 1-6 points, so I don't like either side.


    The Psychology. Edge: Colts.
    The Seahawks just won an emotional game and don't really need this victory.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Indianapolis: 54% (30,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Colts.
  • Seahawks are 18-30 ATS on the road since 2006 if they're not coming off an away loss.
  • Andrew Luck is 7-3 ATS at home.
  • Opening Line: Seahawks -3.
  • Opening Total: 43.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 5 NFL Pick: Seahawks 27, Colts 23
    Seahawks -3 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Over 44 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Colts 34, Seahawks 28




    Detroit Lions (3-1) at Green Bay Packers (1-2)
    Line: Packers by 7. Total: 54.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Packers -7.
    Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 4): Packers -8.
    Sunday, Oct. 6, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 5 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Packers.

    Video of the Week: I asked my friends on Facebook to send me funny videos for the Video of the Week section. This one is from Aju M. It's something we all do when saving people's numbers into our phone, though I think Larry David exposed the idea first with "Wendy Wheelchair."

    If you have any other recommendations for Video of the Week, please let me know on Facebook or via e-mail.

    DETROIT OFFENSE: The Lions just scored 40 points against the Bears. Those simply looking at the box score and Reggie Bush's highlight on SportsCenter will assume that Detroit's offense is simply unstoppable, but that's hardly the case. The Lions can score quite a bit, but I'm concerned about Matthew Stafford because he has shown poor mechanics thus far this season. He was pretty off against Chicago last week - most of his throws were late - but was bailed out because Jay Cutler was far worse.

    Ser Stafford won't have that luxury in this contest because he'll have to match Aaron Rodgers point for point. Fortunately for him, he'll be going up against a defense that's far worse than Chicago's. The Packers have some major issues at safety that can be exposed. It's a big reason why they're ranked 31st versus aerial attacks (9.04 YPA). Also, aside from Clay Matthews, no one has been able to get to the quarterback, as Datone Jones and Nick Perry have been huge disappointments. Stafford should have a clean pocket to throw from all afternoon.

    Bush also figures to have a big game. Green Bay is a bit better against the rush than the pass, but only by default; the team is 22nd versus ground attacks (4.22 YPC). Tackling is an issue for the Packers, so the elusive Bush will run circles around them.

    GREEN BAY OFFENSE: Of course, the Packers will also be able to score easily. The Lions have glaring issues at cornerback - both Darius Slay and Bullet Bill Bentley look like busts - which means the talented Green Bay wideouts will be able to get open quite effortlessly.

    Detroit's defense excels in the trenches, particularly in the interior with Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley. The former abused rookie Kyle Long last week, but will have a much tougher task versus Green Bay's interior. The Packers have some blocking concerns, but those are mostly with fourth-round rookie David Bakhtiari, who is stationed at left tackle. The guards and center are stout, so they'll have more success than Chicago did.

    Helping Rodgers will be the threat of the run. Eddie Lacy will be back from injury, so Detroit will have to worry about him charging out of the backfield. The Lions' overall ground defense has been pretty solid, but their opponents have been able to generate the occasional big gain.

    RECAP: I was really hoping the Packers would be available at -4 or -5 this week. I would've made them a four-unit pick if that were the case. They're in a must-win situation and are coming off a bye. Good teams with an extra week to prepare usually have great success in terms of covering the spread.

    Unfortunately, Vegas has accounted for this. Most of the value is gone, though I still think there's some left, as my calculated spread is -8. I'm taking the Packers for two units. This could easily be a blowout, though I'll admit that I'm slightly fearful of a potential Stafford backdoor cover.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Nothing has changed. I'm keeping this at two units for the Packers.


    The Psychology. Edge: Packers.
    This may not be a "must-win" for the Packers, but they'll treat it that way coming off a bye.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Green Bay: 52% (35,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Packers.
  • History: Packers have won 14 of the last 15 meetings.
  • Lions are 10-19 ATS against losing teams the previous 29 instances.
  • Jim Schwartz is 1-5 ATS as a divisional underdog of 7+. ???
  • Aaron Rodgers is 44-26 ATS since 2009.
  • Mike McCarthy is 7-0 ATS off a bye.
  • Opening Line: Packers -6.5.
  • Opening Total: 51.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 5 NFL Pick: Packers 38, Lions 27
    Packers -7 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
    Over 54 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Packers 22, Lions 9




    New Orleans Saints (4-0) at Chicago Bears (3-1)
    Line: Saints by 1. Total: 50.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Bears -3.
    Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 4): Saints -1.
    Sunday, Oct. 6, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 5 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Saints.

    The Adventures of Tom Brady's Haircuts is back for a second season! As with everything else though, I'm moving it to its own separate page. See what's going on this week with this picture here:



    CHICAGO OFFENSE: It's hard to even describe how awful Jay Cutler was last week. It's as if he were colorblind and didn't know which players on the field were on his team. It seemed to come out of nowhere, as he has played relatively well this season. He's had the occasional bone-headed play, but those have been limited. So, what happened?

    As it turns out, former Bears' defensive end Israel Idonije, who is now on the Lions, may have stolen Chicago's signals. That's what the Bears are claiming anyway. If that's true, perhaps Cutler will be able to rebound. He'll have to do so against an improved New Orleans pass defense ranked ninth in the NFL (6.65 YPA). Newly acquired Keenan Lewis hasn't been great, but he's solid, which is a huge upgrade over what the team had last year. However, the major catalyst for the team's improvement versus aerial attacks has been the pass rush. Cameron Jordan and Junior Galette have both put consistent pressure on opposing signal-callers. Jordan is playing like an All-Pro and should have his way with the interior of Chicago's front.

    The Saints still have a glaring defensive weakness, however. As we saw Monday night, they simply cannot stop the run, ranking 30th in that category (4.96 YPC). Matt Forte has been awesome this year in Marc Trestman's system, but he'll be especially potent in this matchup.

    NEW ORLEANS OFFENSE: The Bears surrendered 40 points last week. OK, that's misleading because the Lions scored a bunch off Cutler turnovers, but Chicago's defense missed a ridiculous number of tackles, particularly on Reggie Bush. Unfortunately for the Bears, they have to worry about a similar back in Darren Sproles.

    The thing is, Sproles isn't even one of their two main concerns. Those would be putting pressure on Drew Brees and containing Jimmy Graham. Considering the Bears barely got to Matthew Stafford, I'd say Brees should have a pretty clean pocket most of the afternoon. If so, he'll pick apart a struggling secondary featuring Charles Tillman and Major Wright, both of whom have been dreadful this year. I have no idea how the Chicago back seven is going to deal with Graham either.

    RECAP: I'm pretty torn on this game. On one hand, the Saints have tons of momentum right now coming off a Monday night blowout. On the other hand, they're not that good outdoors. Plus, this spread a week ago was Chicago -3, yet it shifted down three points based on two games. I'd like New Orleans if the Bears were still laying three, but I feel like this line is right where it should be. I'll take the Saints as a lean, but I'll stay away in terms of betting.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Here's another game where the favorite changed. Luckily, I didn't have any action on either side. I thought about switching to the Bears, but I usually lose when I opt to go with a different side.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Bears.
    A big lean on the visitor.
  • Percentage of money on New Orleans: 75% (60,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: TBA.
  • Drew Brees is 33-24 ATS as an underdog. ???
  • Drew Brees is 34-21 ATS off back-to-back wins.
  • Sean Payton is 5-1 ATS off a MNF win of 17+.
  • Bears are 5-18 ATS after scoring 25 points or more in 2 straight games.
  • Jay Cutler is 30-52 ATS if you exclude Monday Night Football.
  • Opening Line: Pick.
  • Opening Total: 47.
  • Weather: .


    Week 5 NFL Pick: Saints 24, Bears 22
    Saints -1 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Under 50 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Saints 26, Bears 18




    Philadelphia Eagles (1-3) at New York Giants (0-4)
    Line: Giants by 1. Total: 53.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Giants -2.5.
    Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 4): Giants -3.
    Sunday, Oct. 6, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 5 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Giants.

    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.

    PHILADELPHIA OFFENSE: If you haven't heard, Giants' safety Antrel Rolle predicted that his team will finish with a 12-0 record to close out the season. To achieve its first victory, New York will have to pressure the opposing quarterback just as it did against Kansas City. The Giants sacked Alex Smith just one time, but they frequently harassed him in the pocket and were able to disrupt Kansas City drives as a consequence. Philadelphia's offensive line has struggled, so New York can certainly pressure the Eagles' signal-caller.

    The problem for the Giants' defense has been its back seven; mostly the linebacking corps. Brent Celek had a big drop in the red zone at Denver, but he can redeem himself by easily getting open. He'll need to because outside of DeSean Jackson, the Philadelphia wideouts can't get any sort of separation. This might change versus a weak New York secondary, but I wouldn't bet on it. Riley Cooper is garbage.

    The Eagles will definitely attempt to utilize LeSean McCoy early and often this week against a Giants' ground defense ranked 16th (3.99 YPC). McCoy didn't have his best game at Denver, claiming he couldn't breathe in the altitude. He'll be dominant once again now that he's back on the East Coast.

    NEW YORK OFFENSE: I mentioned that the Philadelphia offensive line has struggled. Well, the Eagles' blockers are like Pro Bowlers compared to what New York has going on. The Giants simply can't block for Eli Manning. They've surrendered the fifth-most sacks in the NFL - and they'd definitely be first in that category if Manning didn't release the ball so quickly.

    Manning has endured turnover issues, and it hasn't helped that his skill-position players have let him down. Hakeem Nicks dropped three passes last week, including two deep balls. David Wilson has barely done anything because Tom Coughlin doesn't trust him. I don't know what the hell happened to Brandon Myers after he and Manning had such great rapport in training camp. Victor Cruz is the only one holding up his end of the bargain.

    Perhaps things will turn around for the Giants, as Rolle prophesied. After all, they are battling the Eagles, who have one of the worst defenses in the NFL. The last time the Giants took on a soft stop unit this season was back in Week 1, and they scored 31 points despite six turnovers. Philadelphia has an atrocious secondary, as Nate Allen and Cary Williams both stink, while Patrick Chung is banged up once again. The linebacking corps is also brutal; Mychal Kendricks leads all NFL inside linebackers in missed tackles with eight. Playing these scrubs could be exactly what the doctor ordered for Manning.

    RECAP: Both of these teams are garbage, and I wouldn't wager a dime on either squad right now. With a gun to my head, I'd pick the Giants based on spread value (I think New York should be -3) and the coaching mismatch. I have more faith in Tom Coughlin than Chip "hurrr durrr, should I go for it or just give it to Peyton Manning, who will score easily, I dunno, so I'll let all the time tick off the play clock" Kelly. I'm telling you, Kelly will be the head coach of USC or Texas in 2015. He just doesn't look like he belongs in the NFL.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I have no read on this game. I'll pass.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    Both teams need to win.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Who wants to bet the Giants right now?
  • Percentage of money on Philadelphia: 58% (33,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Giants.
  • History: Road Team has won 8 of the last 12 meetings.
  • History: Eagles have won 8 the last 10 meetings.
  • 0-4 teams are 17-9 ATS since 1989 vs. losing teams.
  • Opening Line: Giants -1.
  • Opening Total: 55.
  • Weather: .


    Week 5 NFL Pick: Giants 30, Eagles 27
    Giants -1 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Over 53 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Eagles 36, Giants 21



    Week 5 NFL Picks - Late Games
    Carolina at Arizona, Denver at Dallas, San Diego at Oakland, Houston at San Francisco, NY Jets at Atlanta



    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 5 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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    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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