Negatory Senior. You have Bears drafting Cradele Jones in the third round in 2016. And now you have them taking Watson in the first round??? Leonard Fournette is a better pick, with Forte likely to retire soon.
It's nice to have a draft order set and the Senior Bowl behind us (other all-star games, too, I suppose). The combine is the other big event of the offseason, so we really are halfway to the draft. Sort of.
Miami Dolphins (8-6) at Buffalo Bills (5-9) Line: Dolphins by 2.5. Total: 43. Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Dolphins -3.
Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 15): Bills -1.
Sunday, Dec. 22, 1:00 ET
Discuss Week 16 Games, Talk Trash
The Game. Edge: None.
WEEK 15 RECAP: I had a winning record (10-6 or 9-7, depending on what happens tonight), but I managed to lose -$190. There are a couple of things to blame for this:
1. Being stupid with late-week unit movements. I dropped a unit on the Dolphins and increased a unit on the Raiders. Had I done neither, I would've actually won money this week.
2. Picking a dogs*** team like the Giants to cover against the best team in the league coming off a loss. What a dumb thing to do. New York was in a great spot, and consequently played Seattle closely for a while, but the Seahawks were just too good, so they overwhelmed the Giants.
3. Ignoring my spreadsheet. All of my numbers told me to take the Vikings, but I was scared to bet on them because A) Adrian Peterson was out and B) the Eagles had burned me so many times this year.
I'll try to be smarter to close out the season.
I've vowed to avoid the following poisonous teams that were responsible for many of my two- and three-unit losses:
I constructed a new list of poisonous teams last week, yet they went just 3-3 against the spread last week. Of course, two of those (Washington, Buffalo) were playing other crappy teams, and I actually selected the latter for two units.
I want to split these poisonous teams into two groups. One will be complete garbage teams that can't do anything right. The second will be veteran-laden teams that will usually quit unless they get to a play a Super Bowl-type game (think Falcons against Saints):
Group 1 (poisonous garbage):
Jaguars (no more Cecil Shorts)
Group 2 (poisonous quitters):
I listed Tennessee in the second group because many of the veterans will be cut this offseason, and now that the Titans are eliminated from the playoffs, they may just mail it in.
SUPER SITUATIONS: My Las Vegas Hilton Supercontest partner Matvei and I also talked about some situations that almost always win:
Seahawks at home
Saints at home
Packers at home (needs Aaron Rodgers)
Jim Harbaugh anywhere (unless he's playing another top team, i.e. Colts or Seahawks)
Tom Brady off a loss as long as he's not favored by a lot
Those situations have gone 12-2 against the spread since Week 8, with the 49ers hitting on Sunday against the Buccaneers.
BERMUDA TRIANGLE: Matvei and I also discussed something called the Bermuda Triangle. This originated with the Cardinals, who inexplicably cover at home against all non-elite teams. Very weird things happen in these games that can't be explained. Thus, Bermuda Triangle. Here are Bermuda Triangle situations:
Bet the Cardinals at home as a dog or small favorite unless they're playing an elite team.
Fade the Ravens as a road favorite.
Fade the Steelers as a big home favorite or road favorite.
Fade the Cowboys as a very large home favorite.
Bet the Bills at home
These are 3-1 against the spread the past three weeks, thanks to the Cowboys choking away yet another December game against the Matt Flynn-led Packers.
DOUBLE-DIGIT UNDERDOGS: I've heard Chad Millman and Bob Scucci discuss how sharps love to take double-digit underdogs on principle. However, the belief that double-digit underdogs cover constantly is a fallacy.
Double-digit underdogs are 404-375 against the spread since 1989. That's pretty decent, but check out the home-road dichotomy in such lined games:
Double-Digit Home Dogs ATS
Double-Digit Road Dogs ATS
As you can see, blindly taking double-digit road underdogs gets you nowhere. Well, depending on how you do it. Let's break down certain situations for these double-digit road dogs:
So, taking the two best traits there, does selecting double-digit divisional underdogs coming off losses net the best result? Absolutely. These teams have been 112-94 against the spread since 1989, which is a solid 54.4 percent.
In case you're wondering how these situations apply to double-digit home underdogs:
It's pretty crazy that double-digit non-divisional underdogs are 47-28 against the spread over the past 14 years. That's a winning percentage of 62.7!
Week 16 NFL Picks will be posted all day Wednesday. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.
MIAMI OFFENSE: Everyone is singing the Dolphins' praises following their win over the Patriots, yet the team's flaws are being ignored. Miami's offensive line is still garbage. The unit surrendered four sacks in the victory over the Patriots and three sacks in the week prior at Pittsburgh. The thing is, Buffalo has the most sacks in the NFL (48), so if the Dolphins couldn't handle pass rushes from New England or Pittsburgh, how will it keep the Bills out of the backfield?
Thanks to their ability to get to the quarterback, the Bills have the No. 2 pass defense in the NFL over the past month in terms of YPA (5.66), trailing only Seattle's superb 5.06 mark. Ryan Tannehill threw all over the Patriots, but that's because he was battling the league's 23rd-ranked secondary over the same span.
Buffalo has one weakness on defense, which is its inability to stop the run. Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas have each had quality outings over the past couple of weeks, so the one who receives the greater workload should be able to gash the Bills, giving Tannehill plenty of short-yardage opportunities. As a result, Tannehill will have to deal with slightly less pressure, but it'll still be an issue.
BUFFALO OFFENSE: Another flaw the Dolphins have is their pedestrian rush defense. They rank 25th in that department in terms of YPC (4.30). As with the two Miami backs, both Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller have emerged lately after struggling for a bit. Both could have plenty of success against Miami.
It's actually necessary that Jackson and Spiller get going because the Dolphins have a ferocious pass rush of their own. They don't have as many sacks as the Bills, but that's because Cameron Wake missed several weeks of action early in the season. They've been rising up that chart ever since he returned to the lineup, which is bad news for Buffalo because it doesn't protect E.J. Manuel all that very well.
Manuel has played better at home in his rookie campaign - he has a 6-to-3 passing touchdown-to-interception ratio in Buffalo, compared to 5-of-6 elsewhere - but he could have issues moving the chains against one of the tougher pass defenses in the NFL.
RECAP: I like the Bills a good deal for the following reasons:
1. They're a solid home team. They nearly knocked off the Patriots, defeated both the Panthers and Ravens, almost upset the Bengals and Chiefs with backup quarterbacks and then destroyed the Jets. They own a 5-1 spread record in Buffalo.
2. The Dolphins are coming off an emotional win, so they'll be flat against a "lesser" opponent. The Patriots' victory was the biggest one in this new regime, so how can the team possibly focus for Buffalo?
3. Miami has been underrated for quite some time, but now the team is overrated. Every single talking head is slurping them. The sharps will jump off Miami as the public piles on.
4. Speaking of the public, it's pounding the road favorite. The sharps, meanwhile, are all over the Bills.
This is a three-unit selection, and I may make it four if I can get Bills +3.
Again, Week 16 NFL Picks will be posted all day. I'll announce via Twitter @walterfootball when each selection is posted.
UPDATE: I've been asked about Buffalo's quarterbacking situation. Thad Lewis will start over E.J. Manuel, yet I haven't addressed it. That's because it doesn't matter. Lewis is every bit as good as Manuel. The latter has more talent, but the former is more reliable and consistent. Vegas agrees with me, apparently, as the books barely moved the spread when it was announced Manuel would be out.
FINAL THOUGHTS: As I wrote on Friday, the Manuel-Lewis change doesn't affect my decision-making regarding this pick at all. The sharps agree, as they are all over the Bills. Meanwhile, one of the top handicappers in the bookie battle has listed Buffalo as his top selection this week.
SUNDAY NOTES: How much do the sharps love the Bills? They're now pick 'em in most books, and CRIS even lists Buffalo as a one-point favorite!
The Psychology. Edge: Bills.
The Dolphins just triumphed in the emotional win of emotional wins.
The Vegas. Edge: Bills.
Lots of money on the Dolphins.
Percentage of money on Miami: 78% (28,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Bills.
History: Dolphins have won 7 of the last 11 meetings.
Underdog is 49-22 ATS in the Dolphins' last 71 games.
Bills are 12-24 ATS in their last 36 home games vs. a team with a winning record.
New Orleans Saints (10-4) at Carolina Panthers (10-4) Line: Panthers by 3. Total: 45. Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Panthers -2.5.
Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 15): Panthers -1.
Sunday, Dec. 22, 1:00 ET
Discuss Week 16 Games, Talk Trash
The Game. Edge: Panthers.
VEGAS RECAP: There were three massively bet games last week (Vikings, 49ers, Chiefs). Vegas won just one of them (Minnesota), so this was a losing week for the books. It was strange - crooked official Clete Blakeman was the ref in the Kansas City-Oakland game, yet he didn't make sure the Raiders covered. As my LVH Supercontest partner Matvei joked via text, Blakeman is off our Christmas list for not calling shady holding penalties throughout the entire afternoon.
I'll be updating the Vegas betting action all week, as usual. I'll notify you of any updates @walterfootball.
NEW ORLEANS OFFENSE: I'm not revealing any breaking news by stating that Drew Brees plays much worse on the road than he does in the Superdome. Take a look at his home-away splits, as well as how much his numbers differ between dome and outdoor games:
Brees torched the Panthers a couple of Sunday nights ago, going 30-of-42 for 313 yards and four touchdowns. Jimmy Graham found the end zone twice, while Marques Colston had his best game of the year. However, the Panthers have one of the top defenses in the NFL, and they've had two weeks to make adjustments. The Saints definitely won't be lighting up the scoreboard like they did in New Orleans that night.
Brees struggled in St. Louis, as he had to deal with the Rams' monstrous pass rush all afternoon. The Panthers bring similar heat, but keep in mind that the Saints didn't do much (if any) game-planning against the Rams because they were preparing for this contest. As with 49ers-Colts or Colts-Rams, that result needs to be completely ignored.
CAROLINA OFFENSE: The Panthers were dominated on this side of the ball in the previous meeting. Cam Newton's final numbers didn't look too bad - 22-of-34, 160 yards and a touchdown - but consider that by the time the score was 31-6, he was just 15-of-24 for only 89 yards. Newton had no room to breathe. The Saints applied a ton of heat on him, registering five sacks, a number that would have been much greater if it weren't for Newton's mobility (six scrambles, 48 rushing yards).
However, that was in the Superdome, where Newton had trouble hearing anything because of the rabid fans. He'll be much more comfortable at home, especially considering that his team has had two weeks to make adjustments on offense as well. The protection schemes will be much better, and Carolina will find some way to get Steve Smith open; Smith was blanketed by Keenan Lewis in the first meeting.
The Panthers should have more success on the ground as well. They couldn't establish the run because they were behind early, but DeAngelo Williams will have plenty of space against a defense that couldn't contain Zac Stacy last week.
RECAP: The Saints can't win on the road. They just lost to the Rams, so how can they possibly win at Carolina? That's what all of the talking heads are wondering, so it's no wonder the public is pounding the Panthers. What a great time to bet New Orleans! Believe it or not, I like the visitor for three units. Here's why:
1. When everyone believes something will happen, the opposite usually occurs. That's how it works in the stock market and sports betting. Every single person on TV will be taking the Panthers to win this game, yet Carolina is only favored by three points. Why is that, exactly?
2. This is a statement game for the Saints. They'll be hearing all week how they can't win outside of the Superdome, so they'll try to prove everyone wrong. They won in Chicago and would've defeated the Patriots in Foxboro had Tom Brady not thrown a last-second, game-winning touchdown, so where's this perception that the Saints suck outdoors coming from? Because they couldn't win in St. Louis? How many hours do you think Brees spent game-planning for the Rams with a big game against the Panthers coming up? Two? One?
3. Speaking of Brees, he's 26-14 against the spread after a loss with the Saints; 8-3 ATS as an underdog. The Saints as a whole are 11-5 ATS after losing as favorites.
I'm a fan of taking elite quarterbacks after they lose. Brees is being doubted, so he'll be in "F-U mode" in an attempt to prove everyone wrong.
4. I mentioned this already, but average bettors are wagering their second mortgages on Carolina. I'm not sure where the sharps are going with this yet, but I imagine they'll be all over the Saints.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Public bettors are taking the Panthers, while the sharps are pretty split. Here's something to consider though: Bill Simmons, who has one of the worst records in the Las Vegas Hilton Supercontest, has listed Carolina as one of his selections. I'm sticking with the Saints for three units.
SUNDAY NOTES: Chad Millman said Sunday morning that the sharps are on the Saints. That obviously makes me more confident in my three units.
The Psychology. Edge: Saints.
All anyone is saying is that the Saints can't win outdoors. Sounds like a statement game to me.
The Vegas. Edge: None.
Percentage of money on Carolina: 57% (33,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Saints.
History: Home team has won 3 of the last 4 meetings.
Drew Brees is 33-26 ATS as an underdog.
Drew Brees is 26-14 ATS after a loss with the Saints (8-3 ATS as an underdog).
Saints are 11-5 ATS after losing as favorites under Sean Payton.
Dallas Cowboys (7-7) at Washington Redskins (3-11) Line: Cowboys by 3. Total: 52.5. Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Cowboys -4.
Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 15): Redskins -2.
Sunday, Dec. 22, 1:00 ET
Discuss Week 16 Games, Talk Trash
The Game. Edge: None.
HATE MAIL: Another week, another stack of hate mails. These are from the comment boards:
So there's "no difference" between McCown and Cutler, yet your entire reasoning for putting 3 units on Cleveland is because they chose Cutler over McCown. Okay.
I had three reasons for picking the Browns, and I put two units on them. If you're going to insult me, at least pick out factually correct insults!
Seattle has everything to play for you moron. They could still drop as low as the #6 seed.
Just because there's a remote possibility of something happening, doesn't mean anyone with a functioning brain thinks it will happen. Like, I could suddenly grow three wheels and become a tricycle, but I know that won't happen. At least I hope not.
I haven't read Walts write-ups since week 2. I come on here and skip right to the comment section. I learned years ago that he's an ass.
Really? Because I just learned this a couple of months ago. You must be very perceptive!
Walt, what's with you and caring so much about a slight mispronunciation by Nessler such as "Rashard Johnson" instead of Rashad Johnson or "Koa Misa" instead of Koa Misi. Who f'ing cares? I mean first of all it's barely even noticeable. Nobody cares. Focus on your analysis on the games, not trying to be funny.
But I don't need to focus on trying to be funny because it comes so naturally!
STOP IT! STOP IT!! Walter Stop picking the Steelers to win!! You suck so bad that when you pick them they lose!! STOP IT!!!
Apparently, this is what my picking ineptitude has led to. As I've stated before, I'm willing to pick against any team as long as its owner either pays me or promotes my site on Twitter. I'm looking at you, Irsay.
Walt is even worse than the Lord of the Rings Trilogy at getting to the freaking point. "Oh, I'm Walt! I'm gonna waste half my picks column on making fun of sportscasters, internet trolls, and spam scammers!" Might as well change the name of the site to WalterRandomBulls***.com
I've actually thought of that, but that domain has already been taken.
DALLAS OFFENSE: It's December, so you know what that means. There's snow on the ground. Shoppers are killing each other so they can get 80 percent off at the mall. Santa is preparing his sleigh so he can deliver presents and then drink for 11 straight months. And Tony Romo is choking, of course. What a magical time!
Romo wasn't entirely to blame for last week's disastrous finish. The defense couldn't do anything to stop a Matt Flynn-led Packer offense, while Cole Beasley did stop on his route during one of the late interceptions. But Romo did check out of a running play, which was a huge mistake. Romo simply has inexplicable brain farts in these December games, whether it's screwing up a hold or checking out of a smart play or tossing a horrible pick; it's always something.
It could be pointed out that Romo has a great matchup this week against a dreadful Washington defense, but that happened to be the case this past Sunday when Dallas took on the Packers. Romo lit up the Green Bay secondary in between the 20s, as he will with the Redskins, but he sputtered in the red zone on too many occasions. However, Washington is better against the rush than the Packers are, so don't expect DeMarco Murray to go off again.
WASHINGTON OFFENSE: The Robert Griffin benching was genius. Not only does it preserve a hobbled Griffin in meaningless games; it allows the Redskins to showcase Kirk Cousins against three terrible defenses. Cousins absolutely lit up the Falcons and will do the same to the Giants next week. Dallas, meanwhile, is the worst stop unit of the bunch.
It's amazing how terrible the Cowboys are on this side of the ball. They're in the bottom five against both the run and the pass, and they've been worse in both aspects ever since losing Sean Lee, who will once again be out. Also, despite the presence of DeMarcus Ware, they can't put any pressure on the quarterback; they have just six sacks in their previous five games, which is a league-worst figure by far.
Like the Packers, Washington will have plenty of success moving the chains. Cousins will have another huge outing, while Alfred Morris will get huge chunks of yardage on the ground, duplicating what Eddie Lacy did to Dallas this past Sunday.
RECAP: I've given you two multi-unit plays. This is a third. I like the Redskins. Here's why:
1. Why the hell are the Cowboys favored by three on the road? Are they that much better than Washington? If so, how? Both teams have awful defenses, but possess offenses that can move the chains very well. This seems to be an even matchup.
2. This is yet another public-sharps dynamic. Despite the recent loss, the public still believes in the Cowboys. The sharps, meanwhile, are all over Washington.
3. There's a strong trend that favors the Redskins, which says that underdogs that have lost five-plus games cover at a high rate coming off a loss of eight or fewer points. The logic behind this is that dreadful teams that suddenly have new life tend to cover the spread because they're undervalued.
4. Again, it's December. This means the Cowboys will find some way to screw up.
This is a two-unit wager for me. It'd be greater if I trusted the Redskins more, but they definitely seem like the right side.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Everything I already said about the Redskins still applies. The sharps like them, and I'm taking them for two units.
SUNDAY NOTES: Chad Millman told Colin Cowherd that the sharps are split. Some of the clueless NFL analysts are siding with Washington, which doesn't make me happy. I'm glad I didn't choose them in the Supercontest.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: Redskins.
Lots of action on the visitor.
Percentage of money on Dallas: 72% (40,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: None.
History: Road Team has covered 8 of the past 12 meetings.
Tony Romo is 10-1 ATS after the Cowboys have allowed 35+ points.
Tony Romo is 9-22 ATS as a starter after Nov. 30.
Opening Line: Cowboys -3.
Opening Total: 52.5.
Weather: Possible thunderstorms, 72 degrees. Mild wind, 18 mph.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-10) at St. Louis Rams (6-8) Line: Rams by 4. Total: 43. Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Rams -3.
Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 15): Rams -1.5.
Sunday, Dec. 22, 1:00 ET
Discuss Week 16 Games, Talk Trash
The Game. Edge: Rams.
As you may know, I like to post football-related pictures I find amusing, including Andy Reid memes. I've put all of the pictures I've posted on my NFL Power Rankings and picks pages together in one section.
ST. LOUIS OFFENSE: It's still hard to believe that the Rams led the Saints, 27-3, entering the fourth quarter. Kellen Clemens had perhaps the best game of his career. He let the ball hit the ground just six times, going 14-of-20 for 158 yards and two touchdowns. However, the primary catalyst on offense was Zac Stacy, who bulldozed a hapless New Orleans defense for 133 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries.
It seems like Stacy should have another good game against Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers aren't nearly as bad against the rush as the Saints - 19th in YPC compared to New Orleans' No. 27 ranking - but they did just allow the San Francisco backs to accumulate 148 yards on the ground this past Sunday. Stacy is pretty comparable to Gore, so I don't see why he couldn't duplicate his production.
Clemens, as a result, should have a decent outing. The Buccaneers don't put much pressure on the quarterback outside of Gerald McCoy's pass rushes, and while Darrelle Revis will be able to eliminate one receiver, it's not like Clemens locks on to one guy. There's Tavon Austin, of course, but Austin doesn't play that many snaps for Revis to dedicate himself to the speedy rookie.
TAMPA BAY OFFENSE: As with Clemens, Mike Glennon needs a strong ground attack to function properly. He didn't have one last week, as the 49ers, who are tied for sixth against the rush over the past month, limited the Buccaneers to just 39 yards on the ground. It doesn't get any easier against the Rams, who actually have the league's top run defense over the same span. The last time St. Louis permitted more 96 rushing yards was back in Week 9, and even the 96 number is an outlier because the Cardinals needed to run the ball 30 times to get there in Week 14.
Bobby Rainey won't get much on the ground again, which will force Glennon into more short-yardage situations. Glennon has to hate the sound of that, especially against the Rams' ferocious pass rush. Thanks to Robert Quinn and Chris Long, only five teams have more sacks than St. Louis. The Buccaneers just let the 49ers bring Glennon down four times behind the line of scrimmage, so this matchup does not bode well for them.
Tampa will score some points because I don't trust the St. Louis safeties to defend Vincent Jackson very well, but this offense will be pretty limited as a whole.
RECAP: The Rams have the matchup advantages, but they're still favored by too much in this spot considering that, well, they're the Rams. St. Louis happens to be in an awful situation spot, coming off a huge win over the Saints. The team put everything it had into that game, so it'll have trouble mustering the same amount of energy for the Buccaneers, who have only lost twice by more than three points since Halloween. Those two blowout defeats were to the 49ers and Panthers, and there's no way the Rams are nearly as good as those two playoff teams.
FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps are on the Buccaneers. There's a bit less value now that the line has dropped to +4, but there's really not much of a difference between +5.5 and +4. If you want to take Tampa, I'd just get on them right now just in case this spread falls to +3.5.
SUNDAY NOTES: As predicted, this spread dropped to -3 -120 or -3.5. Bovada still has +4, but at -115. If you're getting +3 or +3.5, this would be a one-unit play for me. At +4 and above, it's two units. Chad Millman, by the way, said the sharps are on the Buccaneers, which matches what I've been saying all week.
The Psychology. Edge: Buccaneers.
Check out the final five games of the Rams' season: 49ers (divisional opponent), Cardinals (divisional opponent), Saints (No. 2 seed), Buccaneers, Seahawks (divisional opponent). Which one doesn't belong? St. Louis could have a bit of a let-down, especially after a big win over New Orleans.
The Vegas. Edge: Buccaneers.
Casual bettors are taking the Rams.
Percentage of money on St. Louis: 67% (16,000 bets)
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, 2015): 1-0 (+$200)
Last Week's 2-3 Unit NFL Picks (Week 21, 2015): 1-0 (+$200)
Last Week's 4-5 Unit NFL Picks (Week 21, 2015): 0-0 ($0)
Last Week Over-Under (Week 21, 2015): 1-0 ($0)
Last Week's Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks (Week 21, 2015): -$580
2015 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3, 50.0% (-$100)
2015 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 134-138-12, 49.3% (-$2,360) 2015 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 47-44-1, 51.6% (-$820) 2015 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 17-16-2, 51.5% (-$1,120) 2015 Season Over-Under: 143-119-5, 54.6% ($0) 2015 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$855
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)
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)
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)
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)
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
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)
Career NFL Picks Against The Spread: 2,291-2,116-129, 52.0% (+$8,150) Career 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 741-668-34 (52.6%) Career 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 305-267-13 (53.3%) Career Over-Under: 1,823-1,765-51 (50.8%) Career Second-Half NFL Picks: 22-15-1 (61.1%) Career NFL Picks of the Month: 33-22 (60.0%)
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.
Indianapolis Colts (9-5) at Kansas City Chiefs (11-3) Line: Chiefs by 7. Total: 47. Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Chiefs -5.5.
Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 15): Chiefs -6.
Sunday, Dec. 22, 1:00 ET
Discuss Week 16 Games, Talk Trash
The Game. Edge: Chiefs.
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:
Michael Irvin went on a tirade about Mike Shanahan a week ago, saying that he mistreated Robert Griffin and unjustly benched him. Irvin also implied that there were some racial elements involved.
"Donovan said something like this was going to go down, so I'm not giving Mike Shanahan a pass when somebody predicted what's happening right now to this young man," Irvin said. "You are TEARING HIM DOWN. I doubt that any man can come back from this, walking around three weeks around these guys that you have to lead. And I don't want to hear about teammates either; we understand as teammates and players, quarterbacks DO get special treatment. You don't see people arguing when Peyton Manning or Tom Brady gets it; I don't want you arguing when this kid gets it. He's the quarterback, and the rest of us brothers have to understand that and treat him as such. I?ve got an issue with all of it. ... You think they could do this to Andrew Luck? Let me ask you that, you think they could do this to Luck?"
If Luck sucked and blamed his teammates for his struggles like Griffin has? Absolutely. But that's not the case. Luck has played well for the most part this season, and when he's struggled, he has shouldered most of the responsibility. Griffin hasn't, and that ties in with the problem. Daniel Snyder has babied him, so I think this benching is a good thing because it shows Griffin that he's not invincible. Perhaps it'll send a message that instead of shooting 5,000 commercials and trying to be a superstar, maybe he should study film and improve his game and leadership skills.
The racism aspect of this is so stupid, and anyone who thinks this has anything to do with race is a complete imbecile. Has a white coach never benched a white quarterback before? Why didn't Irvin complain when the Chargers and Texans jettisoned Ryan Leaf and David Carr, respectively? How about when the Browns sat Tim Couch, or the Bears tried someone other than Cade McNown? The fact that Irvin sees race in this means he, as well as anyone who agrees with him, is racist.
Oh, and this whole "Donovan McNabb predicted the future thing" is such crap. McNabb was just butt hurt because Shanahan discovered how worthless he was. The Eagles gladly shipped McNabb off to a divisional rival because they didn't deem him a threat. The Redskins were duped, so what was Shanahan supposed to do? Was he supposed to stick with McNabb, who was absolute crap? The same McNabb who was outplayed by Christian freaking Ponder the following year in Minnesota? Yes, Shanahan was really racist for not starting McNabb the entire year.
Irvin, who already was known for dishing out terrible analysis - he said Sunday morning that the "Dolphins are the favorites in the NFC" - proved himself to be a racist and an incompetent buffoon with these statements. I'd call for him to be removed immediately, but the NFL Network would just replace him with someone almost as illiterate and inept.
So, with that in mind, I'm thankful the dreadful Thursday night broadcasts are over. I will miss the hot chick singer's a**, but thanks to the magical powers of YouTube, I can stare at Priyanka Chopra's butt whenever I want to.
KANSAS CITY OFFENSE: There are overrated teams in the NFL, and there are also overrated facets of each team. For instance, the Chiefs' offense is extremely overrated right now. Thanks to Jamaal Charles' 51 fantasy points, every single ESPN analyst gushed about Kansas City's scoring attack, citing dumb facts like the Chiefs are No. 3 in offense right now. I don't know what ridiculous statistic made their offense third in anything, but whatever it is, it should be completely abolished.
The Chiefs have an average offense; they've simply benefited from playing four crappy defenses - Chargers, Broncos, Redskins, Raiders - the past month. The latter was especially brutal; all Alex Smith had to do was flip a simple screen to Jamaal Charles, and he would go the distance each time. Charles was awesome, and the blocking was too, but stating that the Chiefs have the No. 3 offense is just absurd.
Having said that, the Colts have a crappy defense as well. They're in the bottom 10 in rush defense (according to YPC), and they struggle to get to the quarterback. Robert Mathis just set the franchise record for sacks in a single season, but the team as a whole has just six sacks in the past four weeks. This has to be music to Smith's ears because his offensive line doesn't pass protect very well.
INDIANAPOLIS OFFENSE: While the Chiefs' offense is overrated, their defense is underrated right now. Opposing scoring attacks have looked good against them, but they still have a lot of talent, and they should be able to get their act together once the playoffs roll around. They'll be up against a quarterback who won't repeatedly toss dumb interceptions this week, but they should still do pretty well.
Andrew Luck is great, but there isn't much talent around him. His offensive line doesn't block very well, so he could be in trouble because the Chiefs are just two weeks removed from logging six sacks on the mobile Robert Griffin. Luck can also move around pretty well, so he'll squeeze out of trouble and either scamper downfield or buy time to find one of his wideouts, but that could be a problem if Da'Rick Rogers and others keep dropping passes.
In addition to offensive line upgrades, the Colts need a better running back. Donald Brown is dealing with a stinger, so Trent Richardson could see the majority of the workload again. Richardson is garbage, so he almost certainly won't have much success against a defense that just permitted the Raiders to rush for 111 yards.
RECAP: I don't have much of an opinion on this game. The spread is right where it should be, while neither team is in any sort of favorable or negative spot. One caveat is that these teams will likely battle each other in Week 18, so neither coach will want to tip his hand.
With a gun to my head, I'd take the Colts, but only in an attempt to fade the public.
FINAL THOUGHTS: The public is pounding the Chiefs, though the sharps haven't come in on the Colts. Still though, the fact remains that the sportsbooks will need Indianapolis to cover,so some shady things could happen in this game.
SUNDAY NOTES: There's nothing new to add here, outside of noting that Justin Houston and Branden Albert are both out again. I have no feel for this game.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: Colts.
Everyone is on the Chiefs.
Percentage of money on Kansas City: 78% (32,000 bets)
1. I can't find who sent this to me, but I received the following message on Facebook or via G-chat:
I'm sure this will appear in your random college football notes at some point, but did you hear that Ohio's governor has boycotted the letter M this week? Reading the comments on ESPN, I found the best comeback off all time via some Ohio State fan. "Why not, The Wlverines have seemingly boycotted an "O" in many games this year. And for most of this millennium for that matter."
Seriously though, I've found that butt-hurt boycotts like this seldom work. Remember when our government wanted to rename French fries "Freedom fries" because they were pissed at the French for doing something stupid? Yeah, that went over really well. Was there a single French person who heard about this and said, "Sacre bleu, zee American no like French people anymore, so I must chop off my pee-pee, haw haw!?"
Of course not - just like no one in Michigan cared that Ohio people were no longer using the letter M.
It got me thinking though, what if an Ohio State fan was officiating a funeral that week, and the person who died was named Mario Migelini or something? Would he be that much of a dick and call him Ario Igelini?
2. As you may know, I am a degenerate gambler. I bet a couple of units on Florida International over Florida Atlantic a couple of weeks ago, as most degenerate gamblers would do. I found the game on one of the ESPN networks and decided to watch. I noticed that one player on Florida Atlantic embarrassed himself in coverage. I waited until he turned around so I could see what his name was. It was "Fau."
Fau? What kind of name is Fau? Well, a fairly common one in Florida Atlantic, apparently, because every single player had "Fau" on the back of his jersey.
It took me a minute to realize what was going on. "Ohhhh... FAU... as in Florida Atlantic University!" Derp!
This pissed me off a bit - and not just because this confused me. Something like this is very stupid. First of all, anyone scouting the game has to look at the roster to see what number everyone is, which is just cumbersome. Second, I think this is a communist move. Communists want everyone to be the same, so I'm sure Stalin and Lenin would've been pleased to see everyone have "FAU" printed on their jerseys. Perhaps Florida Atlantic University should change its name to Mother Russia University. Then, everyone can have MRU on the back of their jerseys.
3. While Mother Russia University thinks everyone should have the same name, the people at Illinois are very confused about race. Just check out this picture that Zachary M. sent over:
Forget race; what kind of name is V'Angelo? His parents should've just went with Fau.
MINNESOTA OFFENSE: No Adrian Peterson, no Toby Gerhart, no Kyle Rudolph, no John Carlson, and yet the Vikings put up 48 points on the Eagles. And they were 48 legitimate points. How did this happen? First of all, Matt Cassel was fantastic. He torched Philadelphia's secondary relentlessly. And second, the Eagles just have a crappy defense that can't cover anyone unless there's a foot of snow on the ground.
The Bengals obviously have a better stop unit than Philadelphia, but all of these injuries are piling up. Leon Hall, Geno Atkins and Terence Newman were already out; now, James Harrison and Dre Kirkpatrick are also hurt. Cincinnati's skeleton-crew defense struggled to stop the Steelers on Sunday night. They surrendered 105 rushing yards to Pittsburgh, so what's going to happen when they try to bring down Adrian Peterson, who's expected back this week?
Cassel, feeding off Peterson's runs instead of Matt Asiata's 2-yard flops, will be able to operate in short-yardage situations against a very banged-up secondary. I like his chances, especially with his strong connection with Greg Jennings.
CINCINNATI OFFENSE: As with Drew Brees and Geno Smith, Andy Dalton has a great home-road dichotomy. He's so much better in Cincinnati, which is not good news for the Vikings, who are even worse off in the secondary than the Bengals. Their top three corners could all be out, including rookie Xavier Rhodes, who has been solid this year. It makes you wonder how Minnesota can possibly try to cover A.J. Green.
The Vikings' rush defense is in better shape than the secondary, but only by default. Over the past month, they're 25th in terms of YPC, despite limiting the Eagles to 38 yards on the ground. BenJarvus Green-Ellis curiously saw no action last week, but he could be dusted off. If not, that's fine because it'll give Giovani Bernard more opportunities. Either back should have success against Minnesota, which will set up Dalton in favorable down-and-distance situations.
RECAP: The Vikings are seen as one of the worst teams in the NFL because of their 4-9-1 record, but that's definitely not in the case. In recent weeks, they've blown out the Eagles, nearly beat the Ravens on the road, upset the Bears and tied the Packers in Lambeau. They also slew the Redskins, so that's a hell of a five-game stretch.
Minnesota is incredibly underrated, so this spread is completely off. Given that, as well as the fact that A) the Bengals have this non-conference game sandwiched between Pittsburgh and Baltimore contests, and B) the sharps are all over the Vikings, the road favorite definitely seems like the right side. I'm a bit concerned about Cincinnati's great homefield advantage this season, so that'll limit this selection to two units.
FINAL THOUGHTS: One of the top handicappers in the bookie battle has Cincinnati as his top choice. There's been sharp action on the Bengals as well, but as Chad Millman and Bob Scucci discussed on their podcast, the medium-sized sharp bets may have been a plan to make this line rise so that even higher wagers could be placed on the Vikings. If this line drops Sunday morning, you'll know why. I'm sticking with two units on the Vikings.
SUNDAY NOTES: What I speculated Saturday night actually happened. The sharps used medium-sized bets to bump up the Bengals to -8.5, but then they hit the Vikings hard Sunday morning to drop it back down to 7.5. I still like my two units on Minnesota.
The Psychology. Edge: Vikings.
The Bengals have this non-conference game sandwiched in between the Steelers and Ravens.
The Vegas. Edge: Vikings.
As you might expect, a good chunk of money on the Bengals.
Percentage of money on Cincinnati: 71% (23,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Vikings.
Vikings are 11-22 ATS outdoors since 2008.
Bengals are 17-32 ATS as a favorite since 2007.
Bengals are 9-16 ATS as a favorite of 3.5 or more since 2007.
Andy Dalton is 2-5 ATS as a favorite coming off a loss.
Marvin Lewis is 3-6 ATS as a favorite after losing as a favorite.
Opening Line: Bengals -7.
Opening Total: 47.
Weather: Partly cloudy, 58 degrees. Heavy wind, 22 mph.
Denver Broncos (11-3) at Houston Texans (2-12) Line: Broncos by 10. Total: 53. Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Broncos -10.5.
Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 15): Broncos -7.
Sunday, Dec. 22, 1:00 ET
Discuss Week 16 Games, Talk Trash
The Game. Edge: Broncos.
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.
I pretend to be Vladimir Putin in my most recent spam responses. Check out the Spam Mails page to see it.
DENVER OFFENSE: What happened to the Broncos last Thursday? Following a great opening touchdown drive against the Chargers, they could barely move the ball whatsoever until garbage time in the final quarter. Peyton Manning was just 11-of-19 for only 137 yards with a couple of minutes remaining in the third frame. Wes Welker was out, but Manning still had Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas, Eric Decker and Knowshon Moreno at his disposal. One player couldn't have made that much of a difference.
Welker is iffy to play in this contest. He didn't practice Wednesday, so it wouldn't be a surprise if he missed this game, considering that he's suffered multiple concussions in a 4-week span. In truth, the Broncos should probably hold him out until the playoffs, or another week at the very least. I know his fantasy owners don't want to hear that, but it's what's best for Welker long-term.
Besides, the Broncos are playing lowly Houston, and Manning won't have to worry about frigid conditions anymore. The Texans, reeling in the wake of Gary Kubiak's firing, are barely putting pressure on the quarterback and struggling to stop the run. Manning is set up for a nice, rebound performance, so if he struggles again, Denver fans should officially begin worrying.
HOUSTON OFFENSE: Well, Bronco supporters should already be considered because their defense has been awful the past few weeks. They've surrendered at least 92 rushing yards to each of their previous seven opponents, most recently giving up 168 yards on the ground to the Chargers. They also haven't generated much pressure on the quarterback.
Fortunately for Denver, Houston is anemic offensively right now. The Texans just battled the defensively inept Colts, yet they mustered just three points. Ben Tate aggravated his rib injury (surprise), while Case Keenum took many terrible sacks and continued to stare down his receivers like some drunk at a bar scoping out a hot chick. If the Texans couldn't score against the Colts, how will they put up any points on Denver?
RECAP: This is the best situational spot I've seen for any team all year. There are so many things going in Houston's favor. All of the scheduling dynamics, trends and psychological factors favor the Texans. The sharps are on them as well. And while I will pick them to cover, I can't stomach wagering a single cent on them. I could see Houston battling Denver tough as if this were its Super Bowl - the players will get up for this game like they were versus New England - but then somehow blowing it late.
FINAL THOUGHTS: This is Bill Simmons' third pick. He got excited on his podcast, exclaiming that the struggling Broncos would win by 60. This should tell you that the Texans are the right side, but betting on them is not something I really want to do because they could continue to mail it in. I suspect they'll be up for Denver though, just as they were versus New England.
SUNDAY NOTES: I'm going to stop being a wuss. Maybe this will make me an idiot, but all of my numbers say Houston will cover. This includes the double-digit home underdog trend I posted in the Bills-Dolphins capsule. Also, Chad Millman confirmed that the sharps love the Texans. I'm putting a unit on them.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: Texans.
Is anyone going to take Houston?
Percentage of money on Denver: 88% (30,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Texans.
Peyton Manning is 38-25 ATS as a road favorite since 2001.
Texans are 36-22 ATS after two or more consecutive losses.
Texans are 10-5 ATS as home underdogs since October 2006.
Tennessee Titans (5-9) at Jacksonville Jaguars (4-10) Line: Titans by 4. Total: 44. Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Titans -3.
Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 15): Titans -2.
Sunday, Dec. 22, 1:00 ET
Discuss Week 16 Games, Talk Trash
The Game. Edge: Titans.
Video of the Week: As you all know, I'm a huge Game of Thrones fan. I had Emmitt Smith write a review of Game of Thrones over the summer. Well, here's another parody - this one by Maroon 5
JACKSONVILLE OFFENSE: The Jaguars' offense took another hit Monday, when the team announced that Cecil Shorts would be placed on injured reserve. Chad Henne now has lost both of his starting wideouts, meaning Mike Brown and Ace Sanders will have to get open against Tennessee's tough cornerbacks. That's not going to happen.
Shorts is definitely gone, while Maurice Jones-Drew could miss this contest as well. Gus Bradley was noncommittal Monday when discussing Jones-Drew's status, saying things like "they'll see how he progresses." It's quite possible that Jones-Drew, who missed Wednesday's practice, will be sidelined again, which would force Jordan Todman into the lineup.
Having said that, this may not be a big drop-off; Todman rushed for 109 yards on 25 carries last week. Granted, he was playing the Bills, but it's not like the Titans are any good against the run. They're 23rd in YPC allowed over the past month (4.48), while Buffalo is 30th (5.19).
TENNESSEE OFFENSE: Ryan Fitzpatrick led a tremendous comeback against the Cardinals, down 17 with less than four minutes remaining. He bowed to his teammates after the game-tying touchdown, but the celebration was short-lived because of an interception in overtime. Still, what Fitzpatrick did was highly impressive considering the competition. The Cardinals have a fierce defense, while the Jaguars, well, have a unit that had issues with E.J. Manuel last week.
Jacksonville has made some improvements lately though, particularly up front. The team had accumulated just 12 sacks in its first nine games, but has tallied 15 in its previous five. Fitzpatrick was just brought down three times against the Cardinals, so the Jaguars might be able to pressure the Harvard man a bit.
Even with that in mind, however, the Jaguars will need to do a better job of stopping the run. The Bills just gashed them for 161 yards on 34 carries, so Chris Johnson might just have one final strong game for the Titans before he's released this offseason.
RECAP: I don't like siding with the public, but I think they have the right side this time. I don't get why this spread is so high, particularly after Tennessee suffered such an emotional, overtime loss. There's a chance the Titans could quit as well; Tennessee has been eliminated from the playoffs, and several of its players will be released this offseason. I have no desire to bet any money on the Jaguars, however.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Neither the sharps nor the public are touching this game. Check out the number of bets below. It's far less than every other contest. That's because these are two worthless teams that both may quit. There's probably a greater chance Jacksonville plays hard, but who knows?
SUNDAY NOTES: Chad Millman told Colin Cowherd that the sharps like the Jaguars, but there isn't much action on this game. I wouldn't read too much into it.
The Psychology. Edge: Jaguars.
The Titans, coming off several emotional losses, have been eliminated from the playoffs.
The Vegas. Edge: Titans.
The Jaguars are a public dog.
Percentage of money on Jacksonville: 75% (9,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: .
History: Underdog has covered 4 of the last 5 meetings.
Week 16 NFL Picks - Late Games
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.
Cleveland Browns (4-10) at New York Jets (6-8) Line: Jets by 1.5. Total: 42. Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Jets -3.
Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 15): Jets -1.5.
Sunday, Dec. 22, 1:00 ET
Discuss Week 16 Games, Talk Trash
The Game. Edge: None.
If you haven't seen this yet, we have a new NFL Pick Em Contest on this Web site. It's free entry, and there are monthly and seasonal prizes: $350 for the year, and $100 for each month. There's no reason not to enter. Click the link to register! (By the way, the link does not work at the moment, but it will sometime tonight).
NEW YORK OFFENSE: I already discussed Drew Brees' home-road dichotomy. Geno Smith has a major one too. Smith has been a functional quarterback most of the time as a host compared to a complete train wreck when playing outside of MetLife Stadium. Check out his splits:
The completion percentage is the same, but the YPA is down, the interceptions are up and the pass protection is much worse. Going up against a tough Cleveland defense would've been detrimental to Smith's home numbers about a month ago, but now it shouldn't be a problem. After all, the Browns will be missing two of their top defenders. Desmond Bryant has already been out, while Joe Haden, who suffered a hip injury last week, could miss this contest as well.
Haden's absence won't be that huge because Smith doesn't have a particular receiver he relies upon, but Bryant will be missed. Cleveland's rush defense has weakened without Bryant; Chicago compiling 171 rushing yards against them was no fluke. Chris Ivory should find decent running lanes to burst through.
CLEVELAND OFFENSE: When people think about the Jets, they have a great defensive team in mind. That isn't particularly accurate anymore. New York is stout versus the run and tends to clamp down in the red zone, but it has major problems covering capable receivers because of an anemic secondary. The cornerbacks stink, while the safeties are even worse. Ed Reed can barely move nowadays, so it's a bit embarrassing that he's playing most of the snaps every single week.
I'm pretty sure you know where I'm going with this. Josh Gordon, who came about 20 yards short last week of eclipsing Calvin Johnson's record for most receiving yardage over a five-game span, has been unstoppable in the second half of this season. Capable secondaries haven't been able to do anything against him, so the Jets don't stand a chance. It doesn't even matter who's been throwing him the ball; both the geriatric Brandon Weeden and the heartless Jason Campbell have both had a hand in this monumental streak.
Fortunately for the Jets, they don't have much else to defend. Jordan Cameron has inexplicably disappeared in recent weeks, while both Greg "Mr. Dependable" Little and Davone Bess drop passes like there's no tomorrow. The running game also stinks. Edwin Baker did show a bit of promise this past Sunday, but he was going up against the Bears, so who knows what he'll look like against a real NFL defense. New York is first in terms of YPC (3.15).
RECAP: I'm not going to bet this game, so this is my first zero-unit selection of the week. I'm leaning toward the Browns because the Jets are coming off a tough loss against a physical Carolina team, but I don't have much faith in this pick.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I still have no feel for this game. Bill Simmons does, however. He's taking the Jets in the Supercontest. Again, Simmons has been a great fade all year because he's concentrating too much on basketball, so perhaps this is an indication the Browns will cover.
SUNDAY NOTES: Aside from Titans-Jaguars, this is the least-bet game of the week. It's still worth mentioning though that Chad Millman told Colin Cowherd that the sharps are on the Browns.
The Psychology. Edge: Browns.
The Jets played the Panthers extremely tough, but came up short. They could be flat as a result.
The Vegas. Edge: None.
Percentage of money on New York: 51% (13,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Browns.
Browns are 18-11 ATS after allowing 30 or more points since 2005.