OAKLAND OFFENSE: I'm a Penn State alumnus. I've watched Matt McGloin. I thought he'd get a chance to play this year because of Oakland's quarterbacking situation, but I never imagined he would look as good as he did last week. Throwing for 197 yards and three touchdowns, McGloin showed much better arm strength than expected. As my editor (also from Penn State) commented, "I have come to the conclusion that [offensive coordinator] Greg Olson should be declared a PED." There's no reason McGloin should've played as well as he did versus a decent Houston defense.
McGloin will face a slightly easier test this week, as Tennessee's defense doesn't have much outside of Jurrell Casey and the two cornerbacks. The safety play is bad, and the linebackers are atrocious. Unfortunately, McGloin could be without Denarius Moore, who didn't practice Wednesday after having an MRI on his shoulder Monday. Moore missing the game would only be a slight downgrade though, as McGloin looked more comfortable throwing to Rod Streater.
Besides, the Raiders will do most of their damage on the ground anyway. Rashad Jennings has looked good enough that the coaching staff said he'll be a big part of the offense even when Darren McFadden returns from injury. The Titans just surrendered 106 yards on the ground to the underwhelming duo of Donald Brown and Trent Richardson, so I'm sure Jennings will do fine.
TENNESSEE OFFENSE: I mentioned this in my NFL Power Rankings, but I thought it was kind of silly that Ryan Fitzpatrick told the NFL Network sideline reporters that he was excited about the Thursday night game because America hadn't seen him play before. Yeah, OK. Unfortunately, we're all too familiar with Fitzpatrick's noodle arm, though it should be noted that the Harvard man actually put forth a quality performance against Indianapolis. He didn't threaten the Colts downfield, naturally, but he was able to exploit their man defense with crossing patterns.
It helped Fitzpatrick that Chris Johnson ran extremely well for the second time in three weeks. The Colts have had issues against the run all year (18th in terms of YPC), but Oakland has been in the top 10 in that category. It's surprising, but the Raiders have permitted just one opponent to gain more than 100 yards on the ground (running backs only) since Week 4. Thus, Johnson shouldn't be expected to have much success rushing the ball.
This will obviously hurt Fitzpatrick, as he'll have to rely on long drives to score points. Teams like this have trouble winning because one penalty can derail an entire possession. The same goes for a sack, and the Raiders are pretty proficient in securing those, thanks to Lamarr Houston, who has rebounded with two strong outings following a dud performance against the Eagles.
RECAP: The Titans suffered an extremely draining defeat Thursday night. They put everything into the Indianapolis contest, but came up just a bit short. There's a good chance they'll be flat against a "lesser" opponent.
I'd take the Raiders under normal circumstances, but they're in a bad spot themselves. They have to travel to Dallas four days later to play on Thanksgiving. It's tough to imagine them being 100 percent.
So, do we pick the team looking behind or the one looking ahead? I honestly don't know. The Titans are slightly better overall, so I suppose I'll go with them.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I can't figure this game out. Pass.
SUNDAY MORNING: Chad Millman revealed that the sharps are all over the Titans. They've moved the spread from +1 to -1.5. I'm not a fan of picking Ryan Fitzpatrick to win straight up, but again, if you like following the sharps, Tennessee is the play.
The Psychology. Edge: Raiders.
The Titans just lost their Super Bowl. They put so much energy into the Indianapolis game, but came up short.
The Vegas. Edge: None.
Percentage of money on Tennessee: 52% (18,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Titans.
Raiders are 8-29 ATS at home vs. teams with losing records.
Indianapolis Colts (7-3) at Arizona Cardinals (6-4) Line: Cardinals by 2.5. Total: 45. Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Pick.
Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 11): Cardinals -4.5.
Sunday, Nov. 24, 4:05 ET
Discuss Week 12 Games, Talk Trash
The Game. Edge: Cardinals.
If you didn't catch it, Emmitt on the Brink is back! Season 6, Episode 11 has been posted - the NFL announces the relocation of the Jaguars.
INDIANAPOLIS OFFENSE: The Colts have now played three games without Reggie Wayne. They're 2-1 in those contests, but they've had offensive issues in each game. They were very limited offensively in the first halves of the Houston and Tennessee matchups, but Luck came through at the end. These victories sandwich an inexplicable 38-8 loss to St. Louis.
All three of these teams have losing records, however, so this is really Indianapolis' first real test without Wayne. The Cardinals have a terrific defense that features Patrick Peterson, who is capable of taking away nearly any receiver. If Arizona matches up Peterson with T.Y. Hilton, Luck will suddenly lose his No. 2 receiver as well. Thus, he'll have to settle throwing to Coby Fleener and the drop-prone Darrius Heyward-Bey.
Luck also figures to be under siege early and often. He's been sacked 12 times in his previous four games, as his offensive line isn't very good. This doesn't bode well for the Colts because the Cardinals have averaged 3.5 sacks per game ever since Daryl Washington returned from suspension back in Week 5. Luck will be chased the entire afternoon; he'll constantly be in long-yardage situations because the running game won't work either. Indianapolis found something with Donald Brown this past Thursday, but Brown will be going up against the NFL's second-ranked ground defense in terms of YPC (3.28).
ARIZONA OFFENSE: Carson Palmer had committed multiple turnovers in seven of nine starts entering this past Sunday's game against the Jaguars. Not only was he clean at Jacksonville; he threw for 419 yards and two touchdowns in the process. Granted, he did this against the horrible Jaguars, but Indianapolis has endured issues stopping the pass this season, especially lately. Case Keenum, Kellen Clemens and Ryan Fitzpatrick all torched the Colts. Palmer isn't great, but he's better than all three of those signal-callers.
Indianapolis' secondary is a mess - its 9.49 YPA over the past four games is an NFL-worst by a long shot - but the lacking pass rush isn't helping. I mentioned that the Cardinals have averaged 3.5 sacks since Week 5. Well, the Colts' figure in that same span is just 1.8. This has to be music to Palmer's ears, as the Arizona offensive line has been known to have issues.
As for Andre Ellington, the Cardinals couldn't establish him this past Sunday. This seemed strange at first until I recalled that the Titans couldn't do anything with Chris Johnson either. Jacksonville has simply improved versus the rush somehow, but the same can't be said for the Colts, who have allowed an average of 115.7 rushing yards to their previous three opponents. CJ2K ran all over them last Thursday, so I expect Ellington to break some big gains in this contest.
RECAP: I hinted on Twitter - @walterfootball - that I found my November NFL Pick of the Month this week. Well, this is it. I love the Cardinals, and I have six reasons why:
1. Bruce Arians was the interim head coach of the Colts last year. He knows everything about this team. He'll devise a great game plan against Indianapolis. This actually reminds me of Andy Reid battling the Eagles earlier in the season. Reid knew how to befuddle his former quarterback, so Arians will have something in store for Luck.
2. The Cardinals aren't a sexy team to like, but they're very good. They're especially great at home. Excluding a loss to Seattle, which is understandable because the Seahawks are the top team in the NFL, Arizona is undefeated as a host this year, and all of its wins have been impressive:
25-21 vs. Lions: Detroit's a good team, yet the Cardinals beat them back in Week 2.
22-6 vs. Panthers: This didn't seem like a great victory at the time, but Carolina has yet to lose since.
27-13 vs. Falcons: It was actually 24-6 entering the fourth quarter. The Falcons stink, but the Cardinals did what they were supposed to and won in a blowout.
27-24 vs. Texans: Arizona once again dominated. It was 27-17, but the inept Rashard Mendenhall fumbled deep in his own territory, giving Houston a gift touchdown. The Cardinals outgained Houston by 100 yards.
Arizona has actually maintained a dominant homefield advantage over the past few seasons. As I've listed below, the Cardinals are 21-9 against the spread at home as underdogs or favorites of less than -3 since 2007.
3. While the Cardinals are underrated, the Colts are overrated right now. They've struggled ever since losing Reggie Wayne. They barely escaped the Texans and Titans, two teams quarterbacked by Keenum and Fitzpatrick, respectively, and they were destroyed by the Rams at home. Indianapolis was looking ahead to the Tennessee game, but the way St. Louis manhandled them was eye-opening.
4. Given that the Colts were so focused on Tennessee, their 17-6 deficit in the first half was extremely disappointing. They did manage to come back from down 11, but this could hurt them as far as winning this game. This has a very small sample size because it just hasn't happened often, but road favorites who come back from a deficit of 10-plus to win are just 2-8 against the spread the following week if they're playing a non-conference opponent. Like I said, the sample size is small, but the logic is there: Indianapolis disappointed early, but exerted a lot of effort to win a game. The team, as a consequence, won't have the energy to battle the Cardinals, a team they're completely unfamiliar with.
5. That ties into my next point, which is that this game means very little to the Colts. They just pretty much claimed the AFC South by beating the Titans. Even in the race for the No. 2 seed, a victory here isn't all that significant because non-conference wins don't count in the tie-breaker. The Cardinals, meanwhile, have to keep pace to stay alive for a wild-card spot.
6. The sharps, if you're wondering, are all over the Cardinals. There's a good amount of action on the Colts, yet the line has risen from -1.5 to -2.5. The sharps have been all over Arizona this year, and they've also faded Indianapolis lately. The sharps pounded Houston, St. Louis and Tennessee over the past three weeks. They're just 1-1-1 in those contests, but they're going against the Colts yet again, and you usually want to be on the same side as the sharps.
So, those are my reasons. I'm 6-3 picking Arizona games this season, so I feel like I have a good beat on them. They're so dominant at home, and I don't see why that shouldn't continue against the Colts, who are in a terrible spot.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I still love the Cardinals. Bob Scucci told Chad Millman that the sharps have bet big money on Arizona. That's music to my ears.
SUNDAY MORNING: Two things. First, the spread has risen to -3. I still love Arizona at that number, as the difference between -2.5 and -3 is a win and a push - much better than a push and a loss. Second, three of the six ESPN analysts picked the Colts to win despite the Cardinals being favored by three. This is a great sign for Arizona. Again, the sharps love the host.
The Psychology. Edge: Cardinals.
This is a weird spot for the Colts, who have a non-conference tilt in between two divisional matchups. Indianapolis has its division locked up, so this means way more to Arizona.
The Vegas. Edge: Cardinals.
Lots of money on the Colts.
Percentage of money on Indianapolis: 63% (36,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Cardinals.
Cardinals are 21-9 ATS at home as underdogs or favorites of less than -3 since 2007.
Opening Line: Cardinals -1.5.
Opening Total: 43.5.
Week 12 NFL Pick: Cardinals 27, Colts 16 Cardinals -2.5 (7 Units - November NFL Pick of the Month) -- Correct; +$700 Under 45 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0 Cardinals 40, Colts 11
Dallas Cowboys (5-5) at New York Giants (4-6) Line: Giants by 2.5. Total: 44. Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Giants -1.5.
Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 11): Giants -2.
Sunday, Nov. 24, 4:25 ET
Discuss Week 12 Games, Talk Trash
The Game. Edge: Giants.
A reminder that Jerks of the Week for Nov. 18, 2013 is up, so just click the link. This week's jerks entry is the seven deadly jerks of Bravo!
NEW YORK OFFENSE: Remember when Eli Manning was on pace for the single-season interceptions record? He had thrown 15 picks in his first six contests (along with two lost fumbles). He was completely out of sorts, but he has improved recently. He's been guilty of just two interceptions during this four-game winning streak, though there should be an asterisk attached to it. Manning has battled the Vikings, Eagles, Raiders and Packers in his previous four outings, and those teams have something in common: They can't stop the pass. In terms of YPA, they rank 22nd, 17th, 23rd and 26th, respectively.
Having said that, the asterisk doesn't really matter this week because Dallas deserves to be in that pantheon. The Cowboys are 25th in YPA, giving away 400-yard passing games as if they're handing out fliers to strangers walking down the street. Manning actually had one of those performances - he went 27-of-42 for 450 yards, four touchdowns and three picks in the opener - and I don't see why anything would change. Dallas is coming off a bye and will have DeMarcus Ware much healthier, but Ware was on the field in the season opener when Manning amassed that insane total.
The one thing the Giants will have in this contest that they lacked in the previous matchup is a strong rushing attack. David Wilson started in the opener, but if you recall, he was benched for fumbling. Andre Brown hasn't been spectacular, but he's been solid since his return. The Cowboys are actually worse against the run than they are versus the pass, ranking last when it comes to stopping opposing backs in terms of YPC (4.83).
DALLAS OFFENSE: Outside of the Bengals, Seahawks and Saints, guess which team has the best defensive YPA in the past four games. What? You think it's the Jaguars? Close, but no cigar. It's the Giants! Their 5.68 YPA in that span has helped them move all the way up to fifth in pass defense - and this after everyone said that they couldn't stop aerial attacks!
The Giants have improved defensively during their four-game winning streak, but again, an asterisk must be attached because the four quarterbacks they've battled have been Josh Freeman, Matt Barkley, Terrible Pryor and Scott Tolzien. Tony Romo is obviously on another level, and he'll have one of his weapons back, as Miles Austin-Jones will be making his return following an extended leave of absence. Austin-Jones may not be a huge part of the game plan, but Dez Bryant will be. The Cowboys reportedly have spent time during the bye trying to figure out ways to get Bryant the ball more often. I suppose the coaching staff reached a breaking point with Bryant's sideline antics.
Romo should have success throwing the ball, but unlike the Giants, Dallas won't have much luck in the running game. New York just limited Eddie Lacy and the Packers to just 36 rushing yards, which is an impressive feat. Believe it or not, the last time the Giants have allowed a team to gain 100-plus yards on the ground was Week 3.
RECAP: Dallas is usually the public team, but New York will be the public side this week. I actually like the Cowboys. They were absolutely humiliated by the Saints on national TV, and they've had two weeks to hear about how bad they are. Meanwhile, everyone is jumping on the Giants' bandwagon even though their four victories have come against pedestrian quarterbacks.
With that in mind, as well as Romo's excellent record as an underdog (see stats below), I'm taking Dallas for a couple of units.
FINAL THOUGHTS: This is a rare occasion in which the sharps like the Cowboys. They see the Giants' winning streak as a farce.
SUNDAY MORNING: It's going to be extremely windy, so I'm switching my total to the under. As for the side, I'm with the sharps in liking the Cowboys.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: None.
Percentage of money on Dallas: 52% (27,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Cowboys.
History: Giants have won 8 of the last 12 meetings.
Cowboys are 18-9 ATS as an underdog since 2009.
Tony Romo is 9-0 ATS after the Cowboys have allowed 35+ points.
Denver Broncos (9-1) at New England Patriots (7-3) Line: Broncos by 2.5. Total: 54.5. Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Broncos -3.
Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 11): Patriots -2.
Sunday, Nov. 24, 8:30 ET
Discuss Week 12 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 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.
DENVER OFFENSE: Many have pointed out that Peyton Manning's passes don't have the same zip that they used to. This observation would be correct, as Manning has to rely on nifty short passes as he exploits the greatest mismatch on defense. He does air it out occasionally, but what if I were to tell you that he wouldn't be able to do that in this matchup?
There's a nor'easter expected for Sunday evening in Foxboro. I just checked Weather.com, and they're expecting heavy wins in the 25-mph range. It's also going to be in the mid-20s at kickoff. Manning hates freezing, windy conditions, as we saw in his playoff loss to Baltimore, so he's not going to be too excited to battle Tom Brady for the 14th time in his career.
The Broncos will have to rely on their rushing attack to move the chains. Knowshon Moreno has improved greatly this season, but let's be real here - Denver is so effective running the ball because the opposition is terrified of Manning. The Patriots would be as well in normal conditions, but Manning won't be as much of a threat because of the weather. Thus, they'll be able to focus on limiting Moreno and Montee Ball.
Something else to keep in mind is that Manning could be missing both Wes Welker and Julius Thomas. They suffered a concussion and a knee strain, respectively, this past Sunday night, and they both missed practice Wednesday. Both could be game-time decisions, and if even one is out for this contest, that would limit Denver's scoring attack even more.
NEW ENGLAND OFFENSE: The Patriots are more built to play in this sort of weather. Even when Brady was struggling and missing most of his arsenal, New England still found a way to run the football very well with Stevan Ridley and LeGarrette Blount. The concern with Ridley are the fumbles, so we could see Blount have an expanded role again. The Broncos have been a bit shaky against the rush lately, allowing an average of 106 rushing yards to the opposition in their previous three games. They're having issues at linebacker, so New England should be able to exploit that.
Another player who will continue to see more looks is Shane Vereen. Taking the field for the first time since Week 1, Vereen was instrumental in New England's ability to outgain Carolina by 90 yards Monday night. Vereen was a great safety valve for Brady, especially on third downs; the elusive back ran only once, but he caught eight passes for 65 receiving yards.
Of course, the main player Denver has to worry about is Rob Gronkowski. Unless the Broncos hire Clete Blakeman to pick up flags thrown after their linebackers hug Gronkowski in the end zone, they won't have much success stopping the stud tight end. Brady also has all of his other weapons at his disposal, though pass protection has been an issue for him for most of this season; he has taken an average of 3.5 sacks per game dating back to Week 5. However, it's interior pressure that really bothers Brady, and most of Denver's heat comes from the outside with Von Miller and Shaun Phillips.
RECAP: I love betting on Brady in two situations: as an underdog and after a loss. Lo and behold, Brady is an underdog coming off a loss.
I love New England here. This spread makes very little sense to me. These teams are close to being even, especially considering the weather conditions, so I would've made the Patriots a two-point favorite. However, Vegas had to favor the Broncos by about a field goal because of public perception. Casual bettors have been enamored by Denver all season. Recall though that the Broncos lost in a tough environment against a top quarterback when they visited Indianapolis. Brady, pissed that he's being doubted, will be in complete F-U mode.
Having said all of that, I'm not willing to go above three units here because fading Manning on national TV is never a great idea. Still though, the Patriots are the right side.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I checked the weather, and nothing has changed. It's going to be freezing and windy, which benefits Tom Brady over Peyton Manning.
SUNDAY MORNING: If you're looking to bet the Patriots, wait to see if a +3 appears. The sharps are waiting for that number, and Chad Millman told Colin Cowherd that it'll appear.
The Psychology. Edge: Patriots.
The Patriots have to be pissed that they're home underdogs.
The Vegas. Edge: Patriots.
Lots of money on the Broncos.
Percentage of money on Denver: 65% (40,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Patriots.
Peyton Manning is 37-24 ATS as a road favorite since 2001.
Peyton Manning is 13-7 ATS on Sunday Night Football since 2004.
Tom Brady is 154-52 as a starter (118-83 ATS).
Tom Brady is 7-1 ATS as a home underdog.
Tom Brady is 28-14 ATS off a loss (4-8 ATS as -7 or more).
Tom Brady is 20-10 ATS off a loss since 2003 (4-7 ATS as -7 or more).
San Francisco 49ers (6-4) at Washington Redskins (3-7) Line: 49ers by 5. Total: 46. Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: 49ers -4.5.
Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 11): 49ers -7.
Monday, Nov. 25, 8:30 ET
Discuss Week 12 Games, Talk Trash
The Game. Edge: 49ers.
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 Washington, home of the hated Redskins, who really suck. Tonight I'm joined by the regulars, minus two, as Don Tollefson was too scared to show up because, in his words, the "flaming homosexuals are coming to town," and Charles Davis, because I hit him with a frying pan on the way to the stadium, so he's knocked out cold. Instead, we're joined by Joe Theismann and Steve Young, representing their former teams. Oh joy.
Emmitt: Rexwood, you soundin' very sarcastaball when you say that. Joe Thingsman and Steve Young two very great guy who throw the football a long times ago, and they deserve more honorable and respectfulness than you givin' themself.
Reilly: Fine, fine, fine. Welcome Joe and Steve! I'm soooo happy to be joined by you tonight.
Young: Glad to be here, Kevin. I'm feeling marticuloushious tonight. Marticuloushious.
Reilly: Yeah, whatever you said. No one cares. You got anything better, Joe?
Theismann: Thanks, Kevin. This is going to be an interesting matchup between the Washington Redskins and the San Francisco 49ers. I talked to Redskins' backup quarterback Kirk Cousins, and he believes this is going to be an interesting matchup.
Reilly: An interview with Kirk Cousins? Great.
Young: The interview is zarbifluent, Kevin. Zarbifluent.
Reilly: Awesome, another made-up word that makes you sound smart.
Theismann: Thanks, Kevin. This game between the Washington Redskins and the San Francisco 49ers is going to be decided via the running game. I talked to backup running back Roy Helu, and he believes this game is going to be decided via the running game.
Millen: Joe, when exactly did this interview happen? Because I question whether you actually talked to Roy. I collected all of the backs who have stolen touchdowns from Alfred Morris over the past weeks, and we had a major kielbasa cramming session in my hotel room all week. And by cramming, I mean inserting kielbasas deep into each other's backsides.
Reilly: Ha! Looks like Theismann faked an interview! He's a cheater!
Griese: Cheating is bad. If you cheat, you're bad. So don't be bad and don't cheat because you'll be bad.
Reilly: Thanks for your input, Mr. Mackey. I still can't get over this! Theismann is a fraud!
Young: Looks like Joe xylaphonisized the interview. Xylaphonisized. That makes him orangutanbananafudgian. Orangutanbananafudigan.
Reilly: Damn it, why'd I have to put Charles Davis into a mini-coma? If he were here, he'd be able to prove that Steve Young is making up words.
Edwards: I CAN PROVE IT! I CAN PROVE YOUNG'S MAKING UP WORDS! I CAN SHOW YOU! I CAN SHOW THE WAY! I CAN SHOW YOU HOW. LET ME SHOW YOU! HERE'S HOW I'LL SHOW YOU! LET'S BREAK IT DOWN! FIRST PART OF THE WORD IS ORANGUTAN! THAT'S AN ANIMAL! LIKE A MONKEY BUT NOT QUITE! LIKE A GORILLA BUT NOT QUITE! LIKE A CHIMP BUT NOT QUITE! LIKE A BABOON BUT NOT QUITE! UNLESS HE MEANT ORANGE! THERE'S TWO ORANGES! ONE IS THE COLOR! THE OTHER IS THE FRUIT! BUT THE FRUIT CAN BE THE COLOR BECAUSE ORANGES ARE ORANGE! OR IS IT ORANGES ARE ORANGE! HERM GOT CONFUSED SO LET'S MOVE ON TO BANANA! THIS IS A FRUIT YOU PEEL! YOU PEEL IT AWAY! THEN YOU EAT WHAT'S INSIDE! YOU PEEL AN ORANGE TOO! ORANGUTANS EAT BANANAS! BUT ORANGUTANS MAY NOT EAT ORANGES! DO ORANGUTANS EAT ORANGES!? DOES ANYONE KNOW IF ORANGUTANS EAT ORANGES!? HERM DOESN'T KNOW SO LET'S MOVE ON TO... HERM FORGOT WHAT HE'S MOVING ON TO! WHERE IS HERM MOVING? WHERE IS HERM GOING? UHH... umm...
Reilly: What a fool I am. Next time, I'm putting Herm into a mini-coma! We'll be back after a word from our local sponsors!
WASHINGTON OFFENSE: Robert Griffin spent the entire early portion of the week complaining about his receivers struggling to get open against the Eagles. Philadelphia has a pretty pedestrian defense, so if Griffin was upset about Sunday's contest, imagine how he'll be feeling after dealing with San Francisco's No. 4 defense (in terms of YPA; 6.43).
Griffin really should've taken a lot of the blame for the loss. He was the one who threw that stupid interception on third-and-1 at the end of the game. He's the one who lost a fumble inside the Philadelphia 10-yard line in the first half. He was the one who felt ghost pressure at various points throughout the afternoon. The receivers didn't play well, but Griffin simply isn't accountable for his actions. There were earlier reports about Griffin not being a good leader, and I'm quickly beginning to believe them.
If Griffin had trouble dealing with Philadelphia's pass rush, what's going to happen in this game? The 49ers have Aldon Smith back, who will help rattle Griffin. Smith didn't start last week, but he was definitely a factor. He should see more playing time this week. Griffin, who will have to evade both Aldon, as well as Justin Smith, will have to do a lot of the work himself, as San Francisco is a decent 14th against rushing attacks in terms of YPC (3.97).
SAN FRANCISCO OFFENSE: Colin Kaepernick's struggles have been well-documented. If you've watched ESPN for five seconds this week, you've heard someone talk about how poorly Kaepernick is playing. It's true that the second-year starter is having issues right now, but the matchup against the Redskins could be exactly what the doctor ordered.
Washington's defense is a disaster. The team can't cover anyone, ranking 31st in terms of YPA (8.51). Anquan Boldin and Mario Manningham will suddenly find it extremely easy to get open, while Vernon Davis will continue to be a big factor in the passing game. Oh, and if you're still skeptical that Kaepernick can have a nice outing, just remember what Christian Ponder did to this defense two weeks ago.
The Redskins are better against the run, but not by much. They're 22nd in that category, allowing 4.2 yards per carry to the opposition. So, while Kaepernick should enjoy a rare, strong performance, Frank Gore might just be able to do most of the work.
RECAP: If it weren't for all of the action on the 49ers, this would be my second-favorite play of the week. I'd have San Francisco for four units. Fresh off two losses, the 49ers are primed to rebound. This spread should be at least -7, so we're getting value with the road favorite because the public is down on them. San Francisco also has Circadian rhythms in its favor.
Unfortunately, I have to cut this bet in half because of the Clete Blakeman Rule. Everyone will be looking to chase their losses Monday night with the 49ers. This is going to be a huge liability for the sportsbooks, so someone may pay the officials to once again make sure the other side covers. I'm sure it won't be so obvious this time though.
FINAL THOUGHTS: My stance on this game hasn't changed. I like the 49ers a lot, but I'm scared there could be some shady officiating because there's so much money on the 49ers. I'm betting two units on San Francisco.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: Redskins.
Tons of money on the 49ers.
Percentage of money on San Francisco: 82% (73,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: 49ers.
49ers are 35-16 ATS as favorites in night games since 1989.
Week 12 NFL Picks - Early Games
New Orleans at Atlanta,
Pittsburgh at Cleveland,
Tampa Bay at Detroit,
Minnesota at Green Bay,
San Diego at Kansas City,
Chicago at St. Louis,
Carolina at Miami,
NY Jets at Baltimore,
Jacksonville at Houston
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.
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, 2017): 0-1 (-$330)
Last Week's 2-3 Unit NFL Picks (Week 21, 2017): 0-1 (-$330)
Last Week's 4-5 Unit NFL Picks (Week 21, 2017): 0-0 ($0)
Last Week Over-Under (Week 21, 2017): 1-0 ($0)
Last Week's Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks (Week 21 and seasonal, 2017): -$720
2017 NFL Picks of the Month: 4-2, 66.7% (+$1,040)
2017 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 137-140-8, 49.5% (-$3,790) 2017 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 32-40-3, 43.8% (-$2,395) 2017 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 20-22-1, 47.6% (-$1,595) 2017 Season Over-Under: 136-139-2, 49.5% (+$640) 2017 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$510
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) 2014 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 143-133-7, 51.8% (-$1,885) 2015 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 134-138-12, 49.3% (-$2,360) 2016 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 148-127-10, 53.8% (+$1,055)
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) 2015 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 47-44-1, 51.6% (-$820) 2016 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 42-35-3, 54.5% (+$475)
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) 2015 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 17-16-2, 51.5% (-$1,120) 2016 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 21-22-5, 48.8% (-$1,465)
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) 2015 Season Over-Under: 143-119-5, 54.6% ($0) 2016 Season Over-Under: 123-141-1, 46.6% (+$95)
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 2015 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$855 2016 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$275
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) 2014 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-4, 33.3% (-$1,350) 2015 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3, 50.0% (-$100) 2016 NFL Picks of the Month: 5-1, 83.3% (+$2,780)
Career NFL Picks Against The Spread: 2,574-2,383-151, 51.9% (+$5,125) Career 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 817-743-41 (52.3%) Career 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 349-314-19 (52.6%) Career Over-Under: 2,080-2,031-56 (50.5%) Career Second-Half NFL Picks: 22-15-1 (61.1%) Career NFL Picks of the Month: 39-24 (61.9%)
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.