Philadelphia Eagles (2-3) at New York Giants (1-4) Line: Eagles by 1.5. Total: 44. Westgate Advance Point Spread: Eagles -3.
Walt's Calculated Line: Eagles -4.
Thursday, Oct 11, 8:20 PM
The Game. Edge: Eagles.
WEEK 5 RECAP: I was 10-4-1, +$1,415 in Week 5. It was a great week, though it still had one bad pick (Eagles -3 for five units) and one bad beat (Dolphins +6 for one unit.) The Philadelphia selection was dumb. I thought there was a chance they'd look ahead to the Giants after Minnesota looked so bad on national TV last week, and yet I still put five units on them. Meanwhile, the Dolphins were up 17-0 in the third quarter, yet somehow still didn't cover as six-point dogs. It was only a unit, but I'd love to have been 11-3-1, +$1,625!
Meanwhile, my overrated-underrated feature was posted in this spot the past couple of years. I thought it would be better if there was less clutter on this page, so I set up a new NFL Overrated and Underrated Teams page that will be updated every Monday. I have three overrated and underrated teams listed there, and some may shock you!
My Week 6 NFL Picks will be posted all day Tuesday. Follow @walterfootball for updates.
PHILADELPHIA OFFENSE: It was announced Monday that Jay Ajayi would be lost for the season, but the Eagles can overcome that if they stop committing horrible mistakes. They made so many careless blunders against the Vikings that someone could write about a book about it, describing each one in detail. From Carson Wentz's lost fumble in field goal range returned for a touchdown by a 350-pound lineman, to Ajayi's fumble at the 5-yard line, to Alshon Jeffery's drop to convert a third-and-20, the Eagles shot themselves in the foot on so many occasions.
There's no telling if the Eagles will continue to play terribly sloppily, but they have some nice matchups they can exploit in this game. Namely, Zach Ertz should have a huge performance. It's been years since the Giants have been able to cover tight ends because of shoddy linebacker play. Ertz is one of the top tight ends in the NFL, so Wentz should be able to hit him for considerable gains early and often.
It'll be important for Philadelphia's offensive line to protect Wentz, as Wentz won't be able to go to Jeffery because of Janoris Jenkins' excellent coverage. The front has some great players, but they haven't performed well this year. Lane Johnson, in particular, needs to be notified that the 2018 season has started because he hasn't shown up. Luckily for Johnson and the banged-up Jason Peters, the Giants have a lacking edge rush because Olivier Vernon hasn't played yet. Plus, Wentz will be able to utilize his pass-catching running backs versus the Giants' poor linebackers as well.
NEW YORK OFFENSE: Odell Beckham Jr. shouldn't have expressed his frustration to the media, but his rant was on point. The coaching staff is incompetent, Eli Manning sucks, and living in New York seems like it would be a horrible experience. Beckham looked like he wasn't going to back up his talk when he dropped a ball on fourth down this past week, but he made some terrific plays to give the Giants a chance to beat the Panthers.
Manning hasn't played well in years - remember when a coach was foolishly fired for benching him? - but he could have one of his final hurrahs here in this matchup. The Eagles' secondary is a mess. Their corners can't cover at all, so Beckham and Sterling Shepard could have big games. That is, of course, if Manning has enough time to locate them. The Eagles have a fierce pass rush, and New York can't pass protect.
Meanwhile, I don't see Saquon Barkley being as big of a factor as he's been in recent games. While Philadelphia's cornerbacks are struggling, its front seven is stout. The team should be able to shut down the run, and it'll also clamp down on Evan Engram if he's able to make his return from injury.
RECAP: If the Eagles don't make dumb mistakes, they'll win this game easily, covering in the process. They're the better team, and I like picking superior squads on Thursday Night Football because they're likely to perform on a high level with less time to prepare.
That said, it's difficult to trust the Eagles right now. They looked complacent in the preseason, and that has carried over into real action. In fact, the Eagles have brought their intensity in just one game this year, and that was the opener versus Atlanta because everyone was doubting them. I'd say people are doubting them now, but they're heavily bet three-point favorites in this contest.
Still, it seems as though the Eagles are the right side. Remember, they were three-point favorites on the road against the Titans, who are much better than the Giants. Philadelphia would've won that game had it not been for a blown 17-3 lead and numerous fourth-down conversions in overtime, so if the Eagles were capable of beating Tennessee, they should be able to handle New York.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: This spread has plummeted to Eagles -1 because Lane Johnson is out. Johnson has been poor this year, and now it's revealed that he has an ankle sprain. The Eagles historically have been far worse without Johnson, but the line movement reflects that, so my opinion on this game hasn't changed. I'm still zero on the Eagles.
FINAL THOUGHTS: So much for Lane Johnson being out. He's active for this game, but I don't know if that's necessarily a good game because he could continue to be very ineffective because of his injury. This spread is now -1.5 in most books. I'd still take the Eagles at that number, but this will be a tight game that could go either way, so I wouldn't bet on this. The sharps are on the Giants, while the public is on the Eagles.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: Giants.
People were betting the Eagles early, but the money has evened out.
Percentage of money on Philadelphia: 62% (73,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Eagles.
History: Road Team has won 14 of the last 22 meetings.
Arizona Cardinals (1-4) at Minnesota Vikings (2-2-1) Line: Vikings by 10. Total: 43.5. Westgate Advance Point Spread: Vikings -11.
Walt's Calculated Line: Vikings -9.5.
Sunday, Oct 14, 1:00 PM
The Game. Edge: Vikings.
My overrated-underrated feature was posted in this spot the past couple of years. I thought it would be better if there was less clutter on this page, so I set up a new NFL Overrated and Underrated Teams page that will be updated every Monday. I have three overrated and underrated teams listed there, and some may shock you!
MINNESOTA OFFENSE: If the Eagles were battling a mediocre passing attack this past Sunday, they may have been able to overcome all of their mistakes and beat the Vikings. However, that was not the case, as Kirk Cousins was absolutely brilliant. Philadelphia's inept cornerbacks had no answer for Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, both of whom had terrific performances.
The Cardinals have a great corner in Patrick Peterson, but the rest of their secondary is fairly pedestrian. I don't think they'll be able to defend Thielen in the slot, so Thielen should have his record-setting sixth-consecutive 100-yard performance to start the season. Of course, Cousins will need protection, and I'm not so sure his blockers can give him ample time, especially with Chandler Jones applying pressure on the blind side.
The Vikings couldn't run the ball at all last week, but that's because they had a backup runner going up against an excellent front seven. The Cardinals were surrendering big gains to Matt Breida before he got hurt, so Dalvin Cook should do well if he can return to action at close to 100-percent capacity.
ARIZONA OFFENSE: Josh Rosen won his first start at San Francisco this past Sunday. He opened the game with a long touchdown to Christian Kirk. He was hurt by some drops - three, by my count - but he was inaccurate on many more throws, sailing the ball over receivers' heads. That occurred in Santa Clara, which is a weak home-field advantage for the 49ers because their owner built his stadium two hours away from San Francisco. It's much more difficult to play in Minnesota.
Then again, the same concerns were raised about Josh Allen when he played in Minnesota back in Week 3. Allen ended up blowing out the Vikings, who were unprepared for that game. It remains to be seen if Minnesota will be more focused for this contest, given that they are coming off a revenge victory over the Eagles. If the Vikings play with low energy, they could surrender some intermediate gains, given that their linebackers can't cover in space. David Johnson and Ricky Seals-Jones figure to do well.
As with Cousins, Rosen has to be concerned about his pass protection. Aside from left tackle, his front hasn't help up well at all. It's nice for him that Everson Griffen is out, but Minnesota's stellar defensive tackles should cause havoc in the interior.
RECAP: If the Vikings show up to this game with 100-percent intensity, they'll have a decent chance to cover this large spread. Cousins has been terrific, while Rosen will have a very difficult time in such a difficult environment.
However, the Vikings have plenty of things that are wrong with them right now, particularly with their offensive line and back seven. Also, can they play up to their full potential after pulling an upset in Philadelphia in what happened to be a revenge rematch of the NFC Championship? We've seen them take one rookie quarterback lightly, and that could happen once again. It's highly doubtful that Minnesota will take the 1-4 Cardinals very seriously.
With that in mind, I'm going to pick the Cardinals to stay within single digits. I definitely do not like this game enough to bet it, but I am definitely questioning why a slightly above average team like the Vikings - who are 12th in my NFL Power Rankings - are double-digit favorites over a team with a competent quarterback. Given the Vikings' inability to cover, there's certainly back-door potential in this game.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: This is still a zero-unit game as well. The line is a bit high, but there's also a chance that some of the many passes Josh Rosen sailed over his receivers' heads in San Francisco get picked off in this game.
SATURDAY NOTES: Andrew Sendejo is out for Minnesota, which is a huge deal. The Vikings have plenty of weaknesses on defense, but one of their strengths was safety. That won't be the case here, but then again it may not matter if Josh Rosen overthrows his receivers again.
FINAL THOUGHTS: There was some sharp action on the Cardinals at +10.5, bringing this line back down to +10. Dalvin Cook is out, but I don't think that's a big deal because he wasn't 100 percent anyway.
The Psychology. Edge: Cardinals.
The Vikings may have another low-energy game against a rookie quarterback at home after avenging the NFC Championship.
The Vegas. Edge: Cardinals.
A decent-sized lean on the Vikings.
Percentage of money on Minnesota: 70% (11,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Vikings.
Mike Zimmer is 47-21 ATS as head coach of the Vikings.
Los Angeles Chargers (3-2) at Cleveland Browns (2-2-1) Line: Browns by 1. Total: 47. Westgate Advance Point Spread: Chargers -1.
Walt's Calculated Line: Browns -4.
Sunday, Oct 14, 1:00 PM
The Game. Edge: Browns.
VEGAS UPDATE: I'll be posting how the Vegas sportsbooks have done the previous week in this spot.
The highest-bet sides were 43-40-4 last season, a year that was pretty painful for the books. Perhaps the pendulum will swing the other way...
Here were the teams getting the most bets last week:
Wow, oh for six! It's almost like Vegas needed a make-up day after a rough Monday night because the Chiefs-Broncos game middled. The overall record of heavily bet teams is now 8-16-2. Here are the teams getting the most bets this week:
Nothing here surprises me, as the public will always bet road favorites and large home favorites with reckless abandon.
CLEVELAND OFFENSE: Baker Mayfield is way ahead of all of the first-round rookie quarterbacks, and I'm not surprised in the slightest about that. He has injected a great deal of energy into the Browns. He began last week's game a bit slowly, but beginning during the 2-minute drill right before halftime, he got into a rhythm and made enough plays to will his team to a victory over the Ravens, their first win over a divisional opponent in three years.
The thing is, Mayfield was battling one of the best defenses in the NFL. The Chargers will seem like a cake walk compared to the Ravens. San Angeles has a couple of good things going for it on this side of the ball, namely Melvin Ingram, Casey Hayward and Derwin James, but this unit is not the same stellar one we saw last year. Joey Bosa's absence is having a profound impact on the pass rush, while the linebackers and cornerbacks not named Hayward have been abysmal.
I don't see the Chargers covering the slot well, while their inability to defend tight ends or pass-catching running backs will continue to be a problem. Mayfield will be able to connect with Jarvis Landry and David Njoku early and often, while the linebackers will be too slow to defend his scrambling ability.
SAN ANGELES OFFENSE: The Chargers were able to post 26 points on the Raiders last week for a couple of reasons. First, a Martavis Bryant fumble gave them seven free points, which was huge. And second, Oakland possessed no pass rush, so Philip Rivers was able to do whatever he wanted on most occasions.
I can't guarantee that the Browns won't make mistakes, but I can say that Cleveland's defensive front is light years ahead of Oakland's. The Browns have a stellar front four, and they will dominate the trenches against the Chargers' pedestrian offensive line. Rivers will constantly be under pressure, and the Browns could force some turnovers as a result.
Making matters worse for Rivers, he won't be able to connect with Keenan Allen all that often because star rookie cornerback Denzel Ward will be covering him. That said, I expect Melvin Gordon to have a big game as a receiver out of the backfield, as the Browns have some issues at linebacker. That, however, does not apply to Joe Schobert, who has been performing on a Pro Bowl level this year.
RECAP: There are three spreads that are way off this week, and this is the first. I make my lines before looking at what Vegas has posted so I don't have any sort of bias, and for me, this one was Browns -4. I nearly fell out of my chair when I saw that the Chargers were favored. I then asked myself if this was some sort of trap, and then I saw that the public was betting the Chargers!
What the hell is going on here? Not only are the Browns at home, and not only are the Chargers playing an early 1 p.m. game on the East Coast, but the Browns are better than the Chargers!
I guess we're just way ahead of the curve regarding these two teams. The public still thinks the Chargers are a playoff-caliber team (they're not), and they must think that the Browns still suck (they don't.)
My only concern with the Browns is that they're coming off an emotional, overtime victory over a hated rival. However, they still seem like they're the right side, so let's capitalize on the public's ignorance with a decent-sized play on Cleveland.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: I still don't understand why the Browns aren't favored by at least three. They're the better team with the superior defense, and they're at home. I don't trust Hue Jackson, but Cleveland definitely seems like the right side.
SATURDAY NOTES/PICK LOCKED IN: The Chargers will likely be down two of their better coverage linebackers, as Kyzir White is out, while Jatavis Brown is questionable. This is a nice boost for the Browns, who should be favored by more than three. I'm going to increase this unit count to four, and with the sharps betting Cleveland, I'm going to lock in -1 -105, available at Bookmaker.
FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps bet the Browns up to -1. Yes, Cleveland is now favored, but not by nearly enough. The Chargers, down their top two coverage linebackers, are now public dogs, which is a great sign for the Browns.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: Browns.
Slight lean on the Chargers.
Percentage of money on San Angeles: 62% (23,000 bets)
Chicago Bears (3-1) at Miami Dolphins (3-2) Line: Bears by 4. Total: 40.5. Westgate Advance Point Spread: Pick.
Walt's Calculated Line: Bears -2.
Sunday, Oct 14, 1:00 PM
The Game. Edge: Bears.
HATE MAIL: I will be posting hate mail here. I didn't get any hate in the comments of the picks page. Fortunately, there's an NFL Power Rankings page full of angry morons:
That GreenCar person is the angriest person I've ever seen. I've never been so mad at something in my life, and yet this guy is furious about how I rank NFL teams. Amazing.
Also, thanks for the compliment, PurpleGoggles!
That's an honest question. What is he referring to? And why does it matter so much to this guy that I stop gambling and/or c**k sucking?
Here's the final batch:
I'd love to hire my wife. I'm pretty sure there are cool tax things I could benefit from. Thanks for the great idea!
MIAMI OFFENSE: It's amazing that the Dolphins were able to blow the cover as six-point dogs when they were up 17-0 in the third quarter. It was mostly Ryan Tannehill's fault, as Tannehill had two turnovers that were returned for touchdowns. Tannehill was awful late in the game, but he was also shaky in the early going. The highlights didn't show it, but Tannehill should've been intercepted twice in the opening half. He also missed an open Kenny Stills for a 90-yard touchdown at one point, overthrowing the fast receiver. Tannehill sucks, and he must be replaced this offseason.
Unfortunately for the Dolphins, they're stuck with Tannehill for now, and this is a nightmare matchup for him. While the Bengals dropped two picks, I can't imagine the opportunistic Bears not feasting on his mistakes. Tannehill will be forced into turnovers via Chicago's elite pass rush. Khalil Mack will have his way with right tackle Ja'Wuan James, who has been so bad this year that he's been benched at one point. Meanwhile, Miami's putrid interior blocking won't be able to handle Akiem Hicks.
I can't see the Dolphins moving the chains with much consistency in this contest. Running the ball won't be much of an option either, as the Bears are stout versus the rush, and their superior defensive linemen will win in the trenches.
CHICAGO OFFENSE: The Dolphins really struggled to cover receivers in the two games prior to their Week 5 battle against the Bengals. They were much better in that regard at Cincinnati because of safety Reshad Jones' return to action. Miami had so many blown coverages without Jones telling the other defensive backs what to do, so it was hardly a surprise that the team performed much better with Jones on the field.
That said, I don't see the Dolphins covering the Bears well in this matchup. I think they'll be able to handle the receivers, but Chicago does so much with its running backs and tight end Trey Burton, which does not bode well for Miami. The Dolphins' linebackers, save for Jerome Baker, really struggle to cover in space, and that seems very problematic while trying to defend the likes of Burton and Tarik Cohen.
With that in mind, it's up to Mitchell Trubisky to deliver. If he plays like he did against the Buccaneers, the Bears will win this game easily. Conversely, if he's responsible for sloppy turnovers, like he was at Arizona, Miami will be able to hang around and potentially pull the upset.
RECAP: It's going to be 85 degrees, sunny and humid in Miami this Sunday, which could be problematic for Chicago, especially in its dark jerseys. Also, the Bears players had two weeks to read the press clippings about how good they were against the Buccaneers. There's a decent chance they'll be complacent against the Dolphins.
With that in mind, this game is difficult to handicap. The Dolphins definitely have the intangibles in their favor, and this seems like a good spot for them. There's also great line value with the Dolphins, as the Westgate advance spread was pick 'em. However, the Bears are far superior, and they match up extremely well with Miami.
This is a toss-up for me, so I'm going to side with the Bears. Look, I didn't bet them at 12:1 to win the division and 100:1 to win the Super Bowl to back off of them against a crappy opponent. I'll pick them at -3, though I could change my mind if this spread rises to -3.5, which seems like it might happen because the juice on Chicago is anywhere between -115 and -125.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: A Facebook friend told me that the Bears plan on wearing orange jerseys in this game, which is huge! Maybe Matt Nagy reads this Web site. If so, hey, Matt! I'm still picking you guys to cover this spread even though the public has moved the line to -3.5. The sharps aren't going against you guys, so that's a good sign.
SATURDAY NOTES/PICK LOCKED IN: So, something interesting popped up on the injury report. Ryan Tannehill is questionable with a shoulder. Reading up on it, Tannehill apparently suffered the injury late in Week 3, and he's been playing with it ever since. Tannehill's two worst performances of the year have come after he hurt his shoulder. Now, it's apparently bad enough for him to be listed on the injury report. It sounds like he'll play, but he may not be 100 percent. I'm going to put two units on the Bears at -4. I'm locking it in now because of Tannehill is announced out, this spread will skyrocket.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Ryan Tannehill is officially out, so Brock Osweiler will start. I hope you got the Bears at -3/-3.5/-4 because this line is now -7. I'd actually still put two units on Chicago at -7, as Osweiler sucks. I've changed the final projected score of this game if that means anything to anyone.
The Psychology. Edge: Dolphins.
The Bears have been hearing about how great they've been the past two weeks, and they'll have to play in 85-degree heat and humidity in their dark jerseys.
The Vegas. Edge: Dolphins.
The public loves the Bears.
Percentage of money on Chicago: 65% (22,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Dolphins.
Dolphins are 17-5 ATS as a home underdog after two straight losses the previous 22 instances.
Underdog is 81-56 ATS in the Dolphins' last 137 games.
Carolina Panthers (3-1) at Washington Redskins (2-2) Line: Panthers by 1.5. Total: 44.5. Westgate Advance Point Spread: Redskins -1.5.
Walt's Calculated Line: Redskins -3.
Sunday, Oct 14, 1:00 PM
The Game. Edge: Redskins.
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WASHINGTON OFFENSE: The Redskins moved the chains well early Monday night, as Alex Smith had a couple of clutch third-and-long conversions. However, they settled for too many field goals and were eventually drowned out by the maelstrom created by Drew Brees and his record-setting night, as well as the insane crowd in the Superdome. It's fair to say that conditions will be far more favorable for the Redskins in this game.
Smith should have success against another poor secondary. The Panthers can't defend the pass at all, as evidenced by Eli Manning's 326-yard, two-touchdown performance last week. Manning also threw two interceptions, but I expect Smith to take care of the football. Smith doesn't have the elite play-makers like Manning possesses, but Jamison Crowder and Jordan Reed are effective players who should be able to produce in this contest.
One thing the Redskins won't do well is run the ball. This was a problem against the Saints, as Adrian Peterson was limited to just six yards on four carries, and that'll once again be the case against Carolina's stout front seven. That said, I expect the Redskin line to protect Smith better than it did Monday night, as the Panthers don't have elite edge rushers like Cameron Jordan and the emerging Marcus Davenport.
CAROLINA OFFENSE: Conversely, I expect the Redskins to win in the trenches. The "Bama Boys" along with Matt Ioannidis have been tremendous this season, and they have a terrific matchup in this game. The struggles with Carolina's offensive line have been well publicized, and that will be apparent in this contest.
The Redskins should be able to control the line of scrimmage, putting pressure on Cam Newton and limiting Christian McCaffrey's runs. The Redskins also figure to handle McCaffrey as a receiver as well. They have a couple of talented linebackers in Zach Brown and Mason Foster who defend the middle of the field well. They handled Alvin Kamara on Monday night, so they figure to fare well against McCaffrey, and also Greg Olsen if he manages to return to the lineup.
If McCaffrey and Olsen are bottled up, it'll be difficult for the Panthers to move the chains consistently. Newton will put together some scoring drives with his legs, but because his lackluster receivers won't be able to expose the holes in Washington's secondary, I expect this to be a sluggish offensive day for the Panthers.
RECAP: I'm typing this around noon on Tuesday, and this spread was just posted two hours ago. We don't know which way the public will come in, but given that the line didn't move much from the Westgate advance spread, I imagine most bettors will bet on Carolina after what they saw from Washington on Monday night.
I would strongly disagree with this mindset. The Redskins didn't have much of a chance Monday night because of all the emotion wrapped up in Brees' attempt to set the all-time passing record. Plus, three careless mistakes on third down absolutely buried Washington when the game was close. I expect that the Redskins will be much more disciplined coming off a humbling loss.
I haven't had much time to think about this game as of this writing, but I'm confident in the Redskins. The question is the unit count, and I think I'm going to put two units on Washington for now. I could see myself going to three, or maybe even four by my Thursday Thoughts. The Redskins seem like they're going to be a public dog, which I think is a mistake. They and the Panthers are similar teams, so it could be argued that Washington deserves the full -3 for being at home. Plus, I expect the Redskins to be more focused; they were blown out on national TV, while the Panthers won on a last-second field goal amid controversy, so I'm not sure how focused they'll be.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: I've had a lot more time to think about this game, and I've realized that I love the Redskins. First of all, I don't understand why this line's not three. These teams are about even. Perhaps the Panthers are a tiny bit better, but they're only four spots apart in my NFL Power Rankings. Second, this seems like an overrated-underrated situation. Carolina's three victories this year have been against the Cowboys and Giants at home, as well as Cincinnati at home, in a game in which A.J. Green suffered an injury just after halftime. Conversely, the Redskins have demolished two opponents, one of whom was the Packers. They lost to the Colts in Week 2, but that was a low-energy game for them in which they were looking ahead to Green Bay after flying home from the West Coast (or Arizona, really.) As for this past Monday night, they were drowned in the emotion of the Drew Brees record. The Saints players treated that like their Super Bowl, as they didn't want to disappoint Brees. There was no way in hell they were losing that game. The Redskins also committed three penalties on as many separate third downs to keep drives alive for the Saints.
Third, this seems like a low-energy game for the Panthers, as they are coming off a last-second field goal and have to prepare to take on the defending Super Bowl champions next week. The Redskins, conversely, are coming off a humiliating loss on national TV, and I think they'll be more focused as they attempt to redeem themselves. And finally, the Panthers are a big-time public dog, which bodes well for Washington. I'm increasing the unit count on this game to four.
SATURDAY NOTES: I don't like that Jamison Crowder is out, but the Redskins still seem like a great side this week. This figures to be a higher-energy game for the Redskins, who will be looking to redeem themselves from the Monday night blowout.
FINAL THOUGHTS: It sucks that the Redskins are so banged up. Jamison Crowder and Chris Thompson being out really hurts, so I'm dropping this unit count to three. I still like Washington because of its defensive front and higher energy, but the offense won't be as good without Crowder and especially Thompson. The best number I see is actually the moneyline at +105 at Bookmaker.
The Psychology. Edge: Redskins.
The Redskins were blown out Monday night, while the Panthers just won on a last-second field goal.
The Vegas. Edge: Redskins.
The Panthers are a big-time public dog.
Percentage of money on Carolina: 65% (14,000 bets)
Indianapolis Colts (1-4) at New York Jets (2-3) Line: Jets by 2.5. Total: 48. Westgate Advance Point Spread: Jets -1.
Walt's Calculated Line: Jets -1.5.
Sunday, Oct 14, 1:00 PM
The Game. Edge: Jets.
I wouldn't say my weekly random NFL notes cluttered these picks pages, so I'll keep them here. What I'm also going to do is store all of them in a Random NFL Notes section so that you can go back and read previous entries in the future.
Some random NFL notes I can't put anywhere else:
1. I don't watch ESPN's pre-game show anymore. I haven't since Chris Berman retired. So, I did not see the Odell Beckham Jr. interview. However, the WF Podcast co-host Kenny Ortiz texted me Sunday morning, informing me about it. If you didn't see it either, Kenny's text said, "He doesn't want to play with Eli Manning, he hates the cold weather of NYC, and he doesn't respect the coaching staff."
Let's go through those in reverse order.
So, you're telling me that Beckham doesn't think Pat Shurmur is a good coach? No kidding! Shurmur failed in his previous coaching stint, so why the Giants thought things would be different is beyond me. While smart teams like the Bears hired young, innovative coaches, the Giants went with a retread. Nice job.
New York sucks. It really does. The cold weather is awful, but it's also the pollution, crime, bums, traffic, rats in buildings, douchey hipsters and a**holes with insufferable accents that make the city unbearable. I live in Philly, and we suck, too. However, the difference between Philadelphians and New Yorkers is that Philadelphians know our city sucks. Arrogant New Yorkers don't. Anyone who wants to live in New York has never lived in New York. The city sucks the life and soul out of anyone who lives there. It's horrible.
And yeah, Manning stinks. Remember that one time the Giants fired an NFL coach for benching Manning? I thought it was the absolutely correct move to make, yet everyone was so irate about it. I didn't get it. It could be argued that Manning is the most overrated player in NFL history. His defenses carried him to two Super Bowls, and his most iconic play was more about David Tyree making a great catch than Manning making a great throw.
2. Is anyone sick of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman already? I don't mind Aikman so much, but Buck is insufferable. It was enough that we had to listen to Buck once per week, but now he covers two games because of FOX's deal with the NFL to broadcast Thursday Night Football.
I posted a video a couple of weeks ago that highlighted all of Buck's monotone calls over the year, including one where all he said was "Mitchell ... Mitchell ... Mitchell ..." on a long, exciting kickoff return.
The worst part about Buck's broadcast is that he constantly mentions baseball. He'll say stuff like, "Can't wait for tomorrow's game when Angel Hernangomez takes the mound to slow down power hitter Dimingo Manuelgomez" or "The Yankees are playing well this year, let's see if they can keep it up in the pennant race."
Joe, no one watching football gives a f**k about Angel Hernangomez or Dimingo Manuelgomez or the damn Yankees. Baseball sucks, and people watching football know that because us football fans actually appreciate a real sport; not a "game" where fat guys stand around in a field of grass and chew tobacco the whole time. That's something that 60-year-old fat dudes do after having some beers.
Oh, and let's not forget that Buck gave us fake gambling advice during the preseason, citing that the Browns had better odds to win the Super Bowl than the Falcons and Jaguars, which was factually untrue. Buck is an abomination of an announcer who needs to be removed from football broadcasts. Let him stick to baseball, which no one under 60 watches. Old men need his soft voice to fall asleep while "watching" baseball. That's unnecessary for football.
3. I need to vent about how bad NFL.com's new GameCenter is. It's horrible. GameCenter used to be great pre-2012 when they had their own comment section. They made it a bit worse after that, but it was still usable. Now, it's just trash. It's difficult to figure out what is happening at all times. CBS is so much better, it's not even close.
But don't take my word for it. Here's what my editor said when he expressed frustration about getting stats to me:
"I may have trouble getting sack numbers accurately because I will be reading player activity rather than just sacks allowed. There is an area for team stats that is obviously broken there, so who knows. It's just a poor layout. Having INT and fumbles as a separate thing is going to make it a real pain."
See, people always tell me that I should change the layout of my site, but updating the layout isn't always a good thing! I actually just want the old GameCenter comments back so I could make fun of Aaron3619 again...
Ah, good times.
NEW YORK OFFENSE: The Colts were a complete mess Thursday night. They lost by 14 points, and the margin would've been much wider had the Patriots not committed two sloppy turnovers to negate potential touchdowns. Indianapolis couldn't do anything to stop Tom Brady, given that it ran a skeleton crew defense on the field. The Colts were down several linebackers and three cornerbacks, and they also lost some other players throughout the course of the night. It was awful.
It's unclear what the injury report will look like as of this writing, but I can't imagine it being very pretty. Despite the extra time off, the Colts will have many players who will be considered questionable at best. Some may even suit up without being healthy, putting them at risk of aggravating their injuries.
Now, this may seem trivial, given that they won't have to defend Brady again. Going up against Sam Darnold will obviously be much easier, but Darnold is finally being more aggressive. He took several deep shots to his receivers this past Sunday, and he was successful on two bombs to Robby Anderson. Given the Colts' struggles at corner, Anderson could reel in a couple more deep shots. Meanwhile, the banged-up linebacking corps may have trouble covering Bilal Powell as a receiver coming out of the backfield. Isaiah Crowell, meanwhile, should once again have success on the ground.
INDIANAPOLIS OFFENSE: The Colts' injury woes last Thursday extended to their offense. T.Y. Hilton was out, forcing Andrew Luck to throw to bums like Chester Rogers and Zach Pascal. It certainly wasn't a C++ performance from Pascal, as he and the other Indianapolis wideouts were responsible for six drops. That's 12 drops in total the past two games. TWELVE drops!
Hilton's return to the lineup would help, but there's no guarantee he'll play. Even if he suits up, he could easily aggravate his hamstring, as soft-tissue injuries tend to linger. If Hilton is out or hampered by his hamstring, Luck will once again struggle to move the chains on some drives because his receivers will continue to drop passes. The challenge of going up against a talented secondary like New York's will also be a challenge.
It would be nice if the Colts had an effective ground attack or a quality offensive line to protect Luck, but they don't possess such things. Indianapolis hasn't been able to run the ball at all, while the offensive line just lost starting guard Matt Slauson to a surprise retirement. Left tackle Anthony Castonzo should be on the field for the first time all year, so that's a plus, but I worry about Indianapolis being able to protect against Leonard Williams in the interior.
RECAP: It seems as though people are surprised that the Jets are favored, given that there's a lot of public support for the Colts. I guess there just aren't enough believers in the Jets yet. I backed them for four units last week, and I'm going to bet them heavily again.
I talked about why the Jets struggled following Week 1 earlier. They were caught looking ahead to a Thursday night affair in a loss to Miami in Week 2. They were then victimized by Baker Mayfield's great comeback Thursday night, and there's no shame in losing at Cleveland anyway, given that the Browns are a decent team. Then, in Week 4, the Jets were toasted in 88-degree heat and humidity in Jacksonville. The Jets were primed to rebound, and that's exactly what they did last week, winning in a blowout against an unfocused Denver squad traveling far on a short work week.
This game will be closer because the Colts aren't in an unfavorable scheduling situation. However, the Colts have major injury woes that have hurt them the past two weeks. The slightly underrated Jets should be able to take advantage of this and win another game. I'm willing to bet three units on it happening.
PICK LOCKED IN: There are some weird things going on with this game. The juice on this has shot up to -120 at many sportsbooks, and even -122 at Bookmaker. CRIS has this listed at -3 -101. Bovada has taken this game off the board. I imagine it has something to do with the announcement that T.Y. Hilton would likely miss this game, but perhaps it's something else. Fortunately, BetUS still has -2.5 -115 available. I would lock this in before the line hits -3, as the sharps appear to be betting on the Jets.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: So much for the line moving up to -3. It's still -2.5 -115. We'll see how the injury report pans out, but with T.Y. Hilton due to miss this game, I'm confident in my Jets pick.
SATURDAY NOTES: Ugh. This line moved down to -1.5, which makes my decision to lock in -2.5 stupid, especially at -115 juice. However, the spread moved back up, so I don't feel as bad. I still like the Jets though, as the Colts are so beat up. As mentioned earlier, T.Y. Hilton will be out. The Colts will also be down a starting safety, a starting defensive lineman and their right tackle. Ryan Kelly and Margus Hunt are questionable, but barely practiced all week. Darius Leonard will return, but may not be 100 percent. Despite this, the public is betting the Colts for some reason.
FINAL THOUGHTS: This line moved down a bit, but then went back up, and it's now the Jets at -2.5 -110 or -115, so my earlier pick wasn't too terrible.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: Jets.
The Colts are a public dog.
Percentage of money on Indianapolis: 61% (19,000 bets)
1. I know ESPN has fallen on hard times, firing hundreds of employees almost every month, but they really need to find people who know what they're talking about regarding the NFL Draft to broadcast football games. This was apparent during the Alabama-Arkansas contest. The color analyst for that game was former Crimson Tide quarterback Greg McElroy, who was overly enthusiastic about one of the current Alabama quarterbacks. And not Tua Tagovailoa.
"Jalen Hurts has 29 starts. He doesn't need to prove anything else to NFL scouts."
NFL scouts!?!??! I got the impression that Hurts was auditioning for the CFL! Why in the world would Hurts ever even be considered for the NFL when he was a liability in college? I think he could be an OK backup in the CFL because of his mobility, but citing his prospects for the NFL was quite laughable.
2. Speaking of that Alabama game, it was yet another example of a back-door cover. Last week, the Tide were back doored via two, late opposing touchdowns, two missed field goals and a dropped touchdown of their own. This week, Alabama, favored by 35, was up by 41 with 13 seconds remaining when Arkansas scored a garbage touchdown, covering the spread.
Alabama lost the spread by one point. One single point. And this single point was significant because their kicker missed an extra point earlier in the game!
I don't know who this Alabama kicker is, but I wrote last week that he doesn't have his pubes yet. I was just speculating, but I think we can confirm it now. That, or he's legitimately betting against his own team. What a dick!
Nick Saban, by the way, has been steamed that his team isn't covering. He's looked miffed the past two weeks late in the fourth quarter. Saban seems to want to beat the number, so he really should consider playing Tagovailoa for the entire game.
3. Let's talk about a game I won. I had Florida State +14 over Miami. The Seminoles nearly won the game outright, but blew a 27-7 lead.
There were two significant things to come from this ACC battle. The first involved the sideline reporter:
What's that around her neck? Is... is that the Miami turnover chain!? Holy crap, Allison Williams stole the Miami turnover chain to add to her jewelry collection!
Meanwhile, color analyst Brock Huard gave us the usual cliches. He literally said this during the broadcast:
"Big players make big plays in big games."
Oh wow, I've never heard that before. When the game was over, Huard sounded like he was going to cry because he was able to watch a great game.
"Thank you, college football," he said. "Thank you so much, college football."
I cried nearly as much hours later when Virginia Tech blew a close game against Notre Dame because of some fumbles.
CINCINNATI OFFENSE: Pittsburgh's defensive problems have been fixed. Yep. Just like that. Oh, wait, sorry, I forgot I wasn't a talking drone on ESPN. That's what they were saying all throughout Monday, as I listened with my mouth agape.
While it's true that the Steelers have improved defensively with Joe Haden and Mike Hilton returning from injury, it's also still true that Pittsburgh can't defend the middle of the field whatsoever. That's been a huge problem for them ever since they lost Ryan Shazier. The Bengals should be able to attack the Steeler linebackers with Joe Mixon and their tight ends. They'd be in much better shape if Giovani Bernard and Tyler Eifert were available, but they'll still have plenty of success offensively utilizing this strategy. It's worth noting that Mixon wasn't completely 100 percent last week, given that he was coming off an injury, but he'll be better in this contest.
One aspect of Cincinnati's scoring attack that won't work as well as people might think is A.J. Green going up against Joe Haden. The elite Pittsburgh cornerback just shut down Julio Jones, and he could do the same thing to Green, given that he has a great history of defending Green well. Fortunately for the Bengals, a solid secondary option has emerged in Tyler Boyd, and I don't see the Steelers having much success defending him, given their depth issues at corner.
PITTSBURGH OFFENSE: Ben Roethlisberger and his weapons were nearly unstoppable last week, but they were playing at home. Roethlisberger has been far better as a host throughout his career. Plus, he was battling the Falcons, who likely have the worst defense in the NFL. Things will be much more difficult for Roethlisberger in Cincinnati.
The last time Roethlisberger completed better than 60 percent of his passes in Cincinnati was 2015, and I don't see that streak snapping in this game. The Bengals have a pair of tough cornerbacks who will defend Pittsburgh's dynamic receivers relatively well. Meanwhile, James Conner won't be nearly as effective as he was versus Atlanta. The Falcons are a mess defensively, thanks in part to Deion Jones missing. Conversely, the Bengals just got their stud linebacker, Vontaze Burfict, back from suspension. Burfict wasn't great in his 2018 debut, but he should be better in his second game, as he'll be in better playing shape.
Roethlisberger might have some issues in pass protection as well. Right tackle Marcus Gilbert missed the third week of the season and hasn't looked quite right. He'll have a tough matchup against Carlos Dunlap. Meanwhile, Geno Atkins will win in the interior versus the struggling Maurkice Pouncey.
RECAP: I mentioned that I nearly fell out of my chair when I saw the Chargers-Browns spread. Well, I made this Cincinnati -6.5, so both my chair and I nearly fell through my floor when I saw what this line was.
I can't believe the Bengals aren't favored by at least a field goal. It's mind-boggling to me. The Bengals are far superior to the Steelers because they can actually play defense. And no, national media members, Pittsburgh's defensive problems aren't fixed because of one game. How could you have forgotten that Joe Flacco went up and down the field on them the week before? Why do you have such short memories?
The marginal difference between -2.5 and -6.5 is 15.9 percent, which means we're going to win on the Bengals 65.9 percent of the time if we bet it, assuming my numbers are correct. And I don't see why they wouldn't be. The Steelers recently were blown out by the Ravens, and their only two road games thus far have been against the Browns, which should've been a loss, and the Buccaneers, a game that they nearly blew. The Steelers play so much worse on the road, and this will be their most difficult game by far as visitors.
Also, you know what's going to happen Sunday morning. All of the talking heads on TV will be picking the Steelers, based on what they saw from one game against a bad Atlanta squad. The pre-game show host will ask, "Is anyone picking the Bengals to upset the Steelers!?" and I'll shout, "The Bengals are favored, you idiots!"
This is, without a doubt, a five-unit wager. This spread is way off, and the overrated Steelers are a public dog. This has all the makings of the NFL TV analysts scratching their heads, asking, "What's wrong with the Steelers?" next Monday when they'd know if they would just pay attention and stop making dumb proclamations based on one game.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: The line of -2.5 was way too low for the Bengals, who are much better than the Steelers. Now, the spread has fallen to -2 because the public is pounding Pittsburgh. This is great news, so hopefully we can get a great number.
SATURDAY NOTES: I'm still confused by this spread. The Bengals are the superior team, and they also happen to be healthier, as Morgan Burnett will be out again. The public continues to pound Pittsburgh.
FINAL THOUGHTS: The public is pounding the Steelers, and this line is close to pick 'em. In fact, it's PK -117 at 5Dimes. I love the Bengals, and the best number I can find is actually Cincinnati -2 +100 at 5Dimes as one of their additional options.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: Bengals.
The Steelers are a big public dog.
Percentage of money on Pittsburgh: 70% (14,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: None.
History: Steelers have won 18 of the last 23 meetings.
Ben Roethlisberger is 47-30 ATS vs. the AFC North.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2) at Atlanta Falcons (1-4) Line: Falcons by 3. Total: 57. Westgate Advance Point Spread: Falcons -6.5.
Walt's Calculated Line: Falcons -4.
Sunday, Oct 14, 1:00 PM
The Game. Edge: Buccaneers.
If you've followed this site for a while, you might remember that I like to respond to my spam mails. It all started seven years ago, when 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.
I've been messing around with spammers ever since, pretending to be Aaron Hernandez, Tom Brady, Ramsay Bolton and Walter White. I have brand new Spam Mails this year, so check them out if you want to see me screw with spammers. I'll have new ones every week!
ATLANTA OFFENSE: The Falcons didn't move the chains very well this past Sunday. They typically don't play nearly as well outdoors, and it didn't help that the Steelers were able to take Julio Jones away with Joe Haden's elite coverage. Thus, the score was 27-10 by the end of the third quaarter.
Atlanta won't have such issues in this contest. The Buccaneers' secondary is a mess. Prior to their bye, they allowed Mitchell Trubisky to enjoy the game of his life. Before that, Ben Roethlisberger was able to torch them after struggling at times against the Chiefs the week before. And before that, Nick Foles was able to move the chains consistently in Tampa. The Buccaneers have been atrocious against aerial attacks all year, and they should have immense issues covering all of Matt Ryan's weapons.
The one glimmer of hope that the Buccaneers have on this side of the ball is that they could win in the trenches. They're stout against the run, while Atlanta's offensive line hasn't been as good this year, thanks to an injury to their left guard. Aside from Alex Mack, the interior blocking has been poor, so Gerald McCoy figures to dominate. The Buccaneer edge rushers should have some success as well.
TAMPA BAY OFFENSE: While the Buccaneers have defensive woes, they pale in comparison to what the Falcons have going on with their stop unit. It all started when they lost All-Pro linebacker Deion Jones and Pro Bowl safety Keanu Neal in the season opener. Ever since, they've suffered injuries to Ricardo Allen and Grady Jarrett. There's a chance Jarrett will return to action in this game, but it was reported last week that he would miss "some time." Considering that he's been out just one week, I imagine that "some time" means this contest as well.
If that's the case, the Falcons will barely have any quality defenders on the field. Their linebackers are a train wreck, while their secondary, outside of Desmond Trufant, can't cover. This seems like a huge problem against all of Tampa's terrific weapons. Trufant should do a decent job on Mike Evans, but the Falcons will still have to worry about DeSean Jackson, Chris Godwin and Cameron Brate. Jameis Winston, starting his first game of the season, will pick up where Ryan Fitzpatrick left off prior to the ugly Bears game.
Jarrett's absence, meanwhile, would be huge. Without him, the Falcons won't be able to stop the run or pressure Winston very much. Atlanta still has Takk McKinley and Vic Beasley on the edge, but Beasley apparently hasn't been alerted that the 2018 season has begun because he's been awful.
RECAP: There appears to be a good deal of spread value with the Falcons. The Westgate advance line was Atlanta -6.5, and it's all the way down to -3.5 because of the loss to Pittsburgh. However, sometimes what happens is that the spread adjusts to what it should've been in the first place. When I looked at the advance lines last week and saw that the Buccaneers were +6.5, I was excited to bet them at that number. Alas, that spread has vanished.
It sucks we lost value on the Buccaneers, as that will prevent me from betting this game. I still think Tampa is the right side though. The Falcons are an abomination, as they have the worst defense in the NFL. And yet, the public is pounding them at what they perceive to be a short number.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: While the public is betting the Falcons, the sharps have been pounding the Buccaneers. This line has dropped to -3 +100. I still don't like either side very much.
SATURDAY NOTES: The poor Falcons will be missing Grady Jarrett and Devonta Freeman in addition to all of their other players. Unfortunately, we lost all line value we had with the Buccaneers a week ago. The sharps bet the Buccaneers at +3.5.
FINAL THOUGHTS: No changes here. The sharps are on the Buccaneers, but this line no longer has any value.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: Buccaneers.
The public still loves the Falcons.
Percentage of money on Atlanta: 73% (20,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Buccaneers.
History: Falcons have won the last 3 meetings.
Road Team is 84-53 ATS in Buccaneers games since 2009.
Seattle Seahawks (2-3) vs. Oakland Raiders (1-4) Line: Seahawks by 3. Total: 48. Westgate Advance Point Spread: Pick.
Walt's Calculated Line: Seahawks -1.
Sunday, Oct 14, 1:00 PM
The Game. Edge: None.
Video of the Week: I like to mess with scammer-spammers because they're a**holes, and if I keep them occupied, they won't have the time to mess with someone who is gullible. I'm glad to see other people do it, too, including this guy:
Wow, that's some service! There are a few people I truly hate on this planet, and you better believe that I'm going to look into sending them some animal poop!
SEATTLE OFFENSE: Russell Wilson might be very confused in this game. Not because Oakland's defense will throw complex schemes at him, or anything. Rather, Wilson will be befuddled by the amount of time he'll have in the pocket. Wilson is constantly under siege every week, but if there's one defensive front that can change that, it's Oakland's. Maurice Hurst and Arden Key have thrived as rookies, but the Raiders, as a whole, don't produce a consistent pass rush.
With the extra time in the pocket, Wilson should be able to connect with his receivers for big gains. Doug Baldwin isn't 100 percent, and Tyler Lockett is just some inconsistent deep threat, but Oakland's secondary sucks. The safeties are especially bad, so Wilson should be able to hit his targets with some long bombs.
If there's one thing the Raiders do well, it's stop the run. They actually just limited Melvin Gordon to just 58 yards on 19 carries. Where they happen to be weak versus running backs is defending them as receivers out of the backfield because their linebackers stink. Fortunately for them, the Seahawks don't really have a great pass-catching threat at the position. You could argue C.J. Prosise is one, but he's not even playing at the moment.
OAKLAND OFFENSE: The members of the Legion of Boom is scattered in the winds, which would explain why the Rams were able to score 33 points on the Seahawks this past Sunday despite their top two receivers getting concussed in the opening half. Seattle's defense is a shell of its former self, and Derek Carr should be able to take advantage of this positive matchup.
Carr has been mostly good this year. He's thrown too many interceptions, and I hate when he tosses helpless, low-percentage fade passes down the sideline, but when he's not doing those two things, he's moving the chains effectively. He'll do that in this game, as Amari Cooper will have a rebound performance in a better matchup. Carr won't deal with much pressure either, as Seattle's pass rush is also a lifeless husk of what it once was, thanks to some departures this past offseason.
Much like the Raiders, the one thing the Seahawks still do well is stop the run, thanks to Bobby Wagner. The long-time Seattle linebacker is the only elite player the Seahawks have remaining on their stop unit, so he'll make sure Marshawn Lynch doesn't get the revenge against his former team that he's seeking.
RECAP: I talked about spread value per the Westgate advance line in the previous pick, citing that the Falcons moving from -6.5 to -3.5 was appropriate. This line shift is not. The advance spread on this game was a pick 'em, yet now the Seahawks are favored by three because... umm... they almost beat a Ram team that lost its top two receivers in the second quarter to concussions? Because the Raiders lost 26-10 to the Chargers, thanks to two horrible turnovers widening the margin?
I don't get it. The Seahawks and Raiders both stink. They're nearly even. This spread should definitely be closer to pick 'em than Seattle -3. Thus, I like the Raiders.
Having said that, this is not going to be a big wager. I don't fully trust the Raiders, and these London games are often weird. I'm going to place a single unit on Oakland.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: I liked the Raiders at +3. Unfortunately, the sharps bet Oakland down to +2.5. I don't like the Raiders nearly as much at that new number, so I'm going to remove the one unit I had on them.
SATURDAY NOTES: The Raiders being down Kelechi Osemele hurts. They were so much worse offensively without him last week, and he'll be missed again. However, I think the Raiders are still the right side, and I'd bet them for a unit at +3 -110. Unfortunately, that line is no longer available.
FINAL THOUGHTS: This line has moved up to +3 again. The sharps have been split on this game, while the public is favoring Seattle a bit. As promised, because this line is +3, I'm going to put a unit on the Raiders. BetUS has Oakland available at +3 +100.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: Raiders.
Slight lean on the Seahawks.
Percentage of money on Seattle: 61% (16,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Seahawks.
Russell Wilson is 13-8 ATS after a loss as long as he's not favored by -10 or more.
Buffalo Bills (2-3) at Houston Texans (2-3) Line: Texans by 10. Total: 40. Westgate Advance Point Spread: Texans -8.5.
Walt's Calculated Line: Texans -7.
Sunday, Oct 14, 1:00 PM
The Game. Edge: Texans.
Two years ago, on the Adventures of Tom Brady's Haircuts, Tom Brady was elected as the President of the United States, as it was revealed that he was the only candidate running because both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were figments of his imagination. He followed that up by stopping Vladimir Putin from hacking the NFL. In doing so, however, Tom Brady was stuck in an evil dimension, and his evil counterpart has come into our world. No one is aware that Tom Brady is now Evil Tom Brady, which is great for Evil Tom Brady because he can begin devastating the world...
HOUSTON OFFENSE: There's no spread posted on this game because Deshaun Watson is "day to day" with a chest injury. Watson was able to close out the Sunday night game against the Cowboys, but was constantly grabbing his side and getting checked out by team doctors. There's a legitimate chance he won't play.
If Watson can't suit up, it'll be Brandon Weeden, which sounds like a disaster waiting to happen against Buffalo's defense. The Bills just smothered Marcus Mariota, so they'll have a field day with the incompetent Weeden if the old man is under center. Seriously, how is Weeden going to function behind Houston's abomination of an offensive line? Watson can at least scramble or move around in the pocket with his legs. Weeden won't be able to do that at all, meaning the Bills will come away with countless sacks and several turnovers.
Conversely, the Texans should be able to move the ball if Watson plays and isn't completely useless. The Bills have an excellent cornerback in Tre'Davious White, but they lack depth at the position, which seems like a major problem against a stacked Houston receiving corps. I wouldn't even expect White to cover DeAndre Hopkins well after seeing Hopkins beat the elite Byron Jones last Sunday night.
BUFFALO OFFENSE: As with the Texans, the Bills have offensive line woes of their own. It could be argued that they have the worst front in the NFL, which is going to be a huge issue against Houston's defensive line. Whitney Mercilus still isn't playing well, but J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney certainly are, and I can't see the Bills blocking either player effectively.
Houston's cornerbacks can be beaten easily, but not if the quarterback who's throwing at them doesn't have much time in the pocket. That'll be the dilemma for Josh Allen, who's had his ups and downs. The one glimmer of hope here is Allen's scrambling ability, so he'll at least move the chains that way on occasion.
Meanwhile, something the Bills need to do more is utilize LeSean McCoy as a receiver. It's embarrassing that McCoy has caught a total of five receptions the past two weeks. He's the team's best weapon, yet he's not getting the appropriate amount of touches. Ezekiel Elliott had seven receptions against Houston on Sunday night, seeing success that way because he couldn't run against the Texan front, so that's something the Bills must do with McCoy.
RECAP: I can't give you a concrete pick yet because there's no line posted. However, I imagine I'll be on the Bills because Watson either will be out or limited. It's more of a matter of how many units I'll have on Buffalo, so we'll see. Check back later or follow me @walterfootball for updates.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: The Texans opened -9.5 and were bet up to -10. This spread is too high. Deshaun Watson is probably not 100 percent, which is huge because Houston can't produce anything offensively without him, given the pedestrian running game and poor offensive line. The Bills should be able to dominate the trenches when Houston has the ball. The Texans, of course, will heavily pressure Josh Allen, which could force some turnovers, so this will be an ugly game.
The most likely outcome of this matchup is that the Texans will commit several mental blunders because they're so poorly coached, but yet they'll pull out this victory by one score because they're the better team. Because I removed a unit from Seattle-Oakland, I'm going to place it here on the Bills. I'm not crazy about this game, as Allen could self-destruct, but the Texans shouldn't be favored by double digits over any team not named the 49ers right now.
SATURDAY NOTES: Deshaun Watson is listed as questionable, which is kind of a joke because he's going to play. However, I don't think he's 100 percent, which should give the Bills the advantage, at least as far as the spread is concerned.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Deshaun Watson will play, as expected, but I don't think he's completely healthy. I'm surprised the sharps haven't pounced on the Bills. I'm actually going to put two units on Buffalo. The Texans don't deserve to be favored by double digits, especially with an injured quarterback. The best number is +10 +100 at 5Dimes.
The Psychology. Edge: Bills.
The Texans, as big favorites, may have low energy because they have to play the Jaguars next week.
The Vegas. Edge: Texans.
Slight action on the Bills.
Percentage of money on Buffalo: 60% (16,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Texans.
Bills are 15-23 ATS since November 2011 as a road underdog.
Prop/Teaser/Parlay Picks A list of some of my favorite team/player prop picks this week (Offense & defensive ROY picks to be counted
whenever 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 6, 2018): 6-7-2 (-$1,115)
Last Week's 2-3 Unit NFL Picks (Week 6, 2018): 3-2 (+$355)
Last Week's 4-5 Unit NFL Picks (Week 6, 2018): 0-3-1 (-$1,360)
Last Week Over-Under (Week 6, 2018): 5-10 ($0)
Last Week's Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks (Week 6, 2018): +$100
2018 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-1, 66.7% (+$320)
2018 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 59-49-6, 54.6% (+$365) 2018 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 25-18-2, 58.1% (+$1,825) 2018 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 8-11-1, 42.1% (-$3,465) 2018 Season Over-Under: 46-47, 49.5% (-$225) 2018 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$600
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) 2017 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 137-140-8, 49.5% (-$3,790)
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) 2017 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 32-40-3, 43.8% (-$2,395)
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) 2017 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 20-22-1, 47.6% (-$1,595)
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) 2017 Season Over-Under: 136-139-2, 49.5% (+$640)
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 2017 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$510
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) 2017 NFL Picks of the Month: 4-2, 66.7% (+$1,040)
Career NFL Picks Against The Spread: 2,633-2,432-157, 52.0% (+$5,500) Career 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 842-761-43 (52.5%) Career 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 359-325-20 (52.5%) Career Over-Under: 2,126-2,078-56 (50.6%) Career Second-Half NFL Picks: 22-15-1 (61.1%) Career NFL Picks of the Month: 41-25 (62.1%)
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.