NFL Weekly Predictions
Colts (12-4) at Patriots (14-2). Line: Patriots by 3. Over-Under: 45.
Thursday, 9:00 ET
WALTER'S GAME OF THE WEEK.
Walt's Projected Line (As of 9/5): Patriots by 3½.
The Game. Edge: Patriots.
Injuries: COLTS: RB Dominic Rhodes QUESTIONABLE, RB James Mungro QUESTIONABLE, CB Joseph Jefferson OUT, CB Donald Strickland
QUESTIONABLE, CB Nick Harper QUESTIONABLE, S Bob Sanders QUESTIONABLE, S Mike Doss QUESTIONABLE. PATRIOTS: None.
Domination. Peyton Manning simply can not beat the combination of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. Belichick devises brilliant schemes which confuse the
CO-MVP of 2003. Before the two squads collided in the AFC Championship game, Manning threw eight touchdowns and zero interceptions in two playoff games
against the Broncos and
Chiefs. The Patriots coaxed him into throwing two picks in his first two drives. Manning finished the game with four interceptions. Despite the new
emphasis on illegal contact, it will be the same old story. As for Indy's running game, Edgerrin James is one of the league's best, but he must face a
defense which allowed only 3.6 yards per carry in 2003. Enormous run-stuffer Ted Washington is gone, but he has been replaced by Keith Traylor and
Vince Wilfork. It's safe to say that the Colts will have problems moving the chains against the best defense in the NFL.
We go from the best defense in professional football to the worst. Last season, Indianapolis allowed a whopping 4.6 yards per carry and quarterbacks
completed nearly 63% of their passes. It only gets worse because the Colts' best linebacker in 2003, Marcus Washington, as well as the top two corners
are all with different teams. It doesn't stop there. Joseph Jefferson was slated as a starting cornerback, but he is out for 4-6 weeks. Donald Strickland
is supposed to take his place, but he is questionable for Thursday's contest. In all likelihood, Tom Brady leads the Patriots to a quick start, and unlike
their two meetings last year, they are able to hold the lead, due to the acquisition of Corey Dillon.
The Trends. Edge: Patriots.
- Revenge Situation: Patriots have defeated the Colts five times in a row, including last year's AFC Championship game.
- Patriots are 17-5 against the Colts since 1992 (16-6 ATS).
- Patriots were 8-0 ATS at home in 2003.
- Patriots are 21-11 ATS at home since 2000.
- Line Movement: Patriots -3½ (open) to Patriots -3 to Patriots -3½ to Patriots -3.
- Total Movement: 42 (open) to 45½ to 45.
- Weather: Rain, 70 degrees.
- Start Em: Tom Brady, Corey Dillon, Deion Branch, David Givens.
- Sit Em: Peyton Manning, Edgerrin James.
Prediction: Patriots by 13 (Patriots -3). Money Pick. Under.
Titans (12-4) at Dolphins (10-6). Line: Titans by 3. Over-Under: 37.
Saturday, 1:00 ET ** Note time change
Walt's Projected Line (As of 9/5): Titans by 3.
The Game. Edge: Titans.
Injuries: TITANS: WR Tyrone Calico OUT, DE Carlos Hall QUESTIONABLE, DE Travis LaBoy OUT, LB Rocky Calmus QUESTIONABLE, LB Peter
Sirmon OUT, K Joe Nedney OUT. DOLPHINS: RB Ricky Williams OUT, FB Rob Konrad OUT, WR David Boston OUT, DT Tim Bowens OUT.
Like the St.Louis-Arizona game, this could be a trap game for the favored team. Without Ricky Williams, everyone in America is writing off the Miami
Dolphins. Naturally, the Tennessee Titans could be caught looking ahead to next week's matchup against the hated Indianapolis Colts, who swept the Titans
in 2003. A very similar situation occurred last season, when the Colts were looking ahead to the Titans, who swept them in 2002. Indy barely got past
woeful Cleveland, 9-6.
The Dolphins have one of the elite defenses in the NFL. They restricted opposing running backs to just 3.3 yards per carry last season. However, their
defense has one glaring weakness. They can not defend deep-passing offenses. In theory, Steve McNair will be able to connect on deep bombs to Derrick
Mason and Drew Bennett.
The loss of Ricky Williams hurts. Miami will be going with the tandem of Sammy Morris and Travis Minor all year. Not the most talented running back duo
in the league. Tennessee was second in run defense last year, allowing just 3.2 yards per rush. Robaire Smith has defected for Houston, but a plethora
of young defensive linemen will take his spot. Jay Fiedler is Miami's starting quarterback, which is yet another mistake made by Dave
Wannstedt. A.J. Feeley would have given Miami at least a shot at the playoffs; Fiedler is a proven loser. Nevertheless, he will connect
with Randy McMichael, Chris Chambers and Marty Booker, three talented receivers, and should keep this game close, as long as the Titans
Right now, I'm going with the Titans, but I expect this point spread to keep rising in Tennessee's favor. If it reaches four, I'll switch to the Dolphins'
The Trends. Edge: Dolphins.
- Look-Ahead Alert: Titans play rival Colts in week 2.
- Dolphins were 1-7 ATS at home in 2003.
- Dolphins are 26-8 in September since 1994.
- Dolphins are 7-1 ATS in September home games since 2000.
- Line Movement: Dolphins -3 (open) to Pick (Ricky Williams) to Titans -3.
- Total Movement: 40½ (open) to 39 (Ricky Williams) to 38½ to 38 to 37.
- Weather: Chance of thunderstorms, 91 degrees.
- Start Em: Both Defenses.
- Sit Em: Steve McNair, Chris Brown, Derrick Mason, Drew Bennett, A.J. Feeley, Travis Minor, Sammy Morris.
Prediction: Titans by 4. (Titans -3) Under.
Seahawks (10-6) at Saints (8-8). Line: Seahawks by 2½. Over-Under: 45.
Sunday, 1:00 ET
Walt's Projected Line (As of 9/5): Seahawks by 1½.
The Game. Edge: Seahawks.
Injuries: SEAHAWKS: DT Cedric Woodard QUESTIONABLE, LB Chad Brown OUT, S Damien Robinson. SAINTS: DE Willie Whitehead OUT,
LB Sedrick Hodge OUT, CB Jason Craft QUESTIONABLE.
This is the second consecutive season that the Saints and Seahawks meet on opening day. Seattle defeated New Orleans 27-10 as three point favorites.
Of course, Seattle has one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL. They are led by Matt Hasselbeck, an emerging star at the quarterback position and
Shaun Alexander, one of the premier running backs in the NFL. How can the Saints stop this scoring unit? They allowed 4.7 yards per carry on the ground
in 2003, and haven't made any moves to ensure that they will be better against the run. In that season opener, Seattle rushed for 151 yards on
For the Saints to have any chance of winning this game, they must establish Deuce McAllister. The problem is, Seattle allowed just 3.8 yards per carry
last year and held New Orleans to 103 rushing yards in their previous meeting. The losses of Norman Hand to free agency and Chad Brown to injury will
make things a lot easier for McAllister. However, the Seahawks' secondary could be the best in the NFC. Aaron Brooks isn't the most reliable quarterback
on Earth, and against a defense like this, he could falter. Deuce McAllister will keep this game close, but Seattle should come out victorious.
The Trends. Edge: Seahawks.
- Saints are 12-20 ATS at home since 2000.
- Line Movement: Pick (Open) to Seahawks -2½.
- Total Movement: 45½ (Open) to 45.
- Weather: Dome.
- Start Em: Matt Hasselbeck, Shaun Alexander, Koren Robinson, Darrell Jackson, Deuce McAllister.
- Sit Em: Aaron Brooks, Joe Horn, Dante Stallworth.
Prediction: Seahawks by 10 (Seahawks -2½). Money Pick. Under.
Bengals (8-8) at Jets (6-10). Line: Jets by 5. Over-Under: 42.
Sunday, 1:00 ET
Walt's Projected Line (As of 9/5): Jets by 4.
The Game. Edge: Jets.
Injuries: BENGALS: RB Chris Perry QUESTIONABLE, WR Patrick Johnson OUT, TE Matt Schobel QUESTIONABLE,
C Rich Braham QUESTIONABLE, LB Brian Simmons QUESTIONABLE, CB Deltha O'Neal QUESTIONABLE, CB Dennis Weathersby OUT. JETS: DE Bryan Thomas
QUESTIONABLE, DT Josh Evans QUESTIONABLE, CB Ray Mickens OUT, CB Donnie Abraham QUESTIONABLE, S Jon McGraw DOUBTFUL.
Cincinnati fans will be shouting "Rudi! Rudi!" all afternoon, because the Jets can not defend the run. They allowed 143 rushing yards per game last year,
and they won't be better this upcoming season. During the pre-season, Edgerrin James, Tiki Barber and Ron Dayne all gained over five yards per carry.
Although New York allowed quarterbacks to complete 62% of their passes in 2003, they will be decent when it comes to defending aerial attacks this season.
The Jets added tons of speed to their defense, especially at the linebacker position. They'll be facing Carson Palmer, essentially a rookie who will be
prone to making mistakes during the early part of the season.
Historically, it usually takes Curtis Martin a few weeks to get rolling. That should change because the Bengals have one of the worst run defenses in the
NFL. In 2003, they surrendered 4.8 yards per carry and have not made any changes to improve that statistic. Being able to run the football should open
things up for Chad Pennington, as if he needs Martin to rip off five yards per rush. Pennington, one of the most accurate passers in professional
football, will be confronted by one of the leagues' worst secondaries. The Jets should be able to score at will against the Bengals.
The Trends. Edge: Bengals.
- Bengals are 2-6 ATS in September since 2001.
- Jets are 1-6 ATS in September since 2001.
- Jets are 1-6 ATS in September home games since 2000.
- Line Movement: Jets -4 (open) to Jets -4½ to Jets -5.
- Total Movement: 37½ (open) to 39 to 42.
- Weather: Showers, 73 degrees.
- Start Em: Rudi Johnson, Chad Johnson, Chad Pennington, Curtis Martin, Santana Moss.
- Sit Em: Carson Palmer, Peter Warrick.
Prediction: Jets by 10 (Jets -5). Over.
Cardinals (4-12) at Rams (12-4). Line: Rams by 10½. Over-Under: 45½.
Sunday, 1:00 ET
Walt's Projected Line (As of 9/5): Rams by 14.
The Game. Edge: Rams.
Injuries: CARDINALS: RB Marcel Shipp OUT, WR Anquan Boldin OUT, OT L.J. Shelton QUESTIONABLE, DE Fred Wakefield OUT, DT Wendell Bryant
SUSPENDED, S Ifeanyi Ohalete QUESTIONABLE, S Dexter Jackson OUT. RAMS: OT Kyle Turley OUT, DT Jimmy Kennedy OUT, CB Travis Fisher OUT.
This could be the upset of the year. The Rams have one of the worst defenses in the NFL, meaning the Cardinals could keep up with them if this game
becomes a shoot-out. Few know about Josh McCown, but head coach Dennis Green believes that he can be a Pro Bowl quarterback. He will be missing Anquan
Boldin, but rookie Larry Fitzgerald will emerge as an instant star in this league. McCown and Fitzgerald should be able to connect on several passes against a very soft
Rams defense. Speaking of soft, St. Louis surrendered 4.8 yards per carry last year and lost a few players to free agency, including Grant Winstrom and
Arizona's defense allowed 35 points per game last year when playing on the road. They surrendered only 3.9 yards per carry, but it was their pass defense
that hurt them the most. They allowed an average of 249 yards through the air and opposing quarterbacks were able to complete nearly 66% of their passes
against them. The Cardinals added Bert Berry, Darnell Dockett and David Macklin to their roster, but they still lack a huge impact player
on their defense; something they haven't had since Aeneas Williams defected for St. Louis.
This contest figures to be a shoot-out and the Cardinals could shock the nation and steal a victory. For more information on how Arizona may win, click
The Trends. Edge: Cardinals.
- History: Rams have won the last 4 meetings.
- Look-Ahead Alert: Rams play the Falcons, Saints, 49ers and Seahawks after the Cardinals.
- Cardinals are 3-13 ATS on the road since 2001.
- Rams were 6-1 ATS at home in 2003.
- Line Movement: Rams -9 (open) to Rams -10 (Anquan Boldin) to Rams -11 to Rams -10½.
- Total Movement: 45 (open) to 44½ to 45 to 45½.
- Weather: Dome.
- Start Em: Both Offenses.
- Sit Em: Both Defenses.
Prediction: Cardinals by 3. (Cardinals +10½). UPSET OF THE MONTH. Over.
Raiders (4-12) at Steelers (6-10). Line: Steelers by 4. Over-Under: 41½.
Sunday, 1:00 ET
Walt's Projected Line (As of 9/5): Steelers by 4.
The Game. Edge: None.
Injuries: RAIDERS: G Mo COllins OUT, LB Naopleon Harris OUT. STEELERS: G Kendall Simmons OUT.
The Oakland Raiders have a lot to overcome, time-wise, as Pacific teams rarely fare well while playing on the Atlantic Coast at 1:00
Pittsburgh's superb run defense, which allowed just 3.9 yards per carry in 2003 (3.5 yards per carry at home), will ensure that Oakland's
scoring unit becomes one-dimensional. Rich Gannon will have
to rebound from a very poor 2003 campaign. The $64,000 question is "can he do it, or have his skills washed away in the sands of time?"
For the past eternity, the Steelers have had trouble defending the pass, and this year will be no exception. Following a very mediocre
pre-season, Gannon may not be able to take advantage of Pittsburgh's sluggish secondary.
Let's run the ball! Bill Cowher wants to abandon his flashy, pass-happy offense and pound the football with Duce Staley and Jerome
Bettis. A pretty good idea, because the Steelers don't have the best pass blocking offensive line in the world, especially since Kendall
Simmons is out for the year. The Raiders allowed a pitiful 4.6 yards per carry in 2003, but should be better this upcoming season,
due to the off-season acquisitions of Ted Washington and Warren Sapp. Tommy Maddox will have to air it out against a very capable
These teams are about even, but the West Coast-East Coast statistic is too glaring to overlook. If this contest took place at 4:15 or
8:30, it would be anyone's game.
The Trends. Edge: Steelers.
- Early Game Alert: Pacific Teams playing on the Atlantic Coast at 1:00 PM are 2-12 ATS since 2002.
- Raiders are 6-10 ATS on the road since 2001.
- Steelers are 6-10 ATS at home since 2001.
- Steelers are 2-4 ATS in September home games since 2000.
- Line Movement: Steelers -3½ (open) to Steelers -4.
- Total Movement: 38 (open) to 37½ to 41 to 41½.
- Weather: Partly Cloudy, 76 degrees.
- Start Em: Hines Ward, Both Defenses.
- Sit Em: Tyrone Wheatley, Jerome Bettis.
Prediction: Steelers by 7. (Steelers -4). Over.
Chargers (4-12) at Texans (5-11). Line: Texans by 4½. Over-Under: 44.
Sunday, 1:00 ET
Walt's Projected Line (As of 9/5): Texans by 4.
The Game. Edge: Texans.
Injuries: CHARGERS: WR Tim Dwight QUESTIONABLE.
Houston was 31st in defense last year. They added three significant players to their stop unit this summer: Robaire Smith, Jason Babin
and Duanta Robinson. The former two should shore up a run defense that allowed 4.4 yards per carry in 2003. However, there have not been
any indications that the Texans shored up anything, as Michael Pittman and Jerome Bettis both gained well over 4.5 yards per rush this
pre-season. Forget about the shore, Houston may as well be in Kansas. LaDainain Tomlinson, arguabley the best running back in the NFL,
could rush for over 200 yards in this contest. That should assist Drew Brees against a solid secondary, which unfortunately does not
receive any assistance from an defensive line that fails to apply a consistant pass rush.
In 2003, San Diego allowed over 27 points per game, most of which came through the air. The Chargers allowed 4.3 yards per carry last
season, which will improve if the pre-season is any indication. After all, they shut down both Shaun Alexander and Edgerrin James. If
Domanick Davis is held in check, the Bolts could pull out a victory. It depends on the performance of David Carr. There is no question
that one day, he will be among the best at his position in the NFL. We will find out if September 12th is the day he takes a monumental
step forward and leads his team to victory.
A small note: The line is five, but all of the Texans' victories in 2003 were by four or less.
The Trends. Edge: Texans.
- Chargers are 23-16 in September since 1994
- Chargers are 5-3 ATS in September since 2001.
- Texans are 2-0 SU and ATS on Opening Day.
- Texans are 9-7 ATS at home.
- Texans were 6-2 ATS at home in 2003.
- Line Movement: Texans -4 (open) to Texans -5 to Texans -4½.
- Total Movement: 43 (open) to 44.
- Weather: Retractable Roof.
- Start Em: LaDainian Tomlinson, Antonio Gates, David Carr, Andre Johnson.
- Sit Em: Both Defenses.
Prediction: Texans by 3. (Chargers +4½). Under.
Jaguars (5-11) at Bills (6-10). Line: Bills by 3. Over-Under: 35.
Sunday, 1:00 ET
Walt's Projected Line (As of 9/5): Bills by 4.
The Game. Edge: Jaguars.
Injuries: JAGUARS: TE Kyle Brady QUESTIONABLE.
Interested in watching a game where both teams have high powered offenses and lots of points will be scored? If so, don't watch this game. These
two teams are seemingly identical. Both love to run the football, both defend the run very well, both have inconsistent aerial attacks
and both have decent secondaries.
Fred Taylor must be established for the Jaguars to have any chance in this game. Buffalo gave up just 3.5 yards per carry last season,
which means the Jaguars must be patient and must not abandon the run. As stated, the Bills' secondary is solid, but Lawyer Milloy is out
and Troy Vincent is questionable. Byron Leftwich might be able to orchestrate a few play-action passes and go up top to Jimmy Smith or
Frequent readers of this website are aware that the Jaguars had the elite run defense in the NFL last year. They surrendered just 3.1
yards per carry, which is a phenomenal number. Historically, whenever Travis Henry is contained, Drew Bledsoe struggles mightily. In
third and long situations, the Jaguar defense will harass the statue-esque Bledsoe early and often. A talented secondary, comprised of
Rashean Mathis, Deon Grant and Donovan Darius should be able to put the clamps on Eric Moulds and the other Bills receivers.
The Trends. Edge: Jaguars.
- Jacksonville is 6-0 ATS in their last six season openers.
- Line Movement: .
- Total Movement: 36 (open) to 34½ to 35.
- Weather: Cloudy, 75 degrees.
- Start Em: Both Defenses.
- Sit Em: Both Offenses.
Prediction: Jaguars by 1. (Jaguars +3). Under.
Lions (5-11) at Bears (7-9). Line: Bears by 3. Over-Under: 39.
Sunday, 1:00 ET
Walt's Projected Line (As of 9/5): Bears by 2.
The Game. Edge: Lions.
Injuries: LIONS: LB Boss Bailey OUT, CB Fernando Bryant QUESTIONABLE, S Brian Walker OUT. BEARS:
OT Aaron Gibson QUESTIONABLE, G Rex Tucker OUT, LB Joe Odom QUESTIONABLE, LB Brian Urlacher PROBABLE, CB Jerry Azumah OUT, CB R.W. McQuarters DOUBTFUL.
Sure, Detroit hasn't won on the road since the days of Bobby Layne, but this game against Chicago is very winnable. If the Lions can venture
into Soilder Field and win, it should boost their morale and propel them to perhaps a ten win season. Out of all the off-season acquisitions the Lions
made, perhaps the most significant is running back Kevin Jones, the first premier running back in Detroit's possession since Barry Sanders. Chicago allowed
4.2 yards per carry in 2003, which means Jones may accumulate over 100 rushing yards. The ability to run the football will make life easier for Joey
Harrington, who should thrive against a suspect secondary that will be missing Jerry Azumah.
Chicago arguably has the worst offense in the league. Thomas Jones will struggle, because he is one of the weaker starting running backs in the NFL and
Detroit figures to boast a top ten run defense. They surrendered just 4.0 yards per rush in 2003 and have added a few players to their defense to make
sure that statistic is less than four. The Lions did have problems against aerial attacks, allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete 63.4% of their
passes. However, Andre Goodman and Chris Cash have returned from injury and Brock Marion was acquired via the free agent market. Rex Grossman isn't much
of a threat anyway. I'm not sure how the Bears will score more than ten points in this contest.
The Trends. Edge: Bears.
- Lions are 0-24 on the road during the past three years.
- Lions are 5-10 ATS on the road since 2001.
- Bears are 1-5 ATS in September home games since 2000.
- Bears were 6-2 ATS at home in 2003.
- Line Movement: Bears -3½ (open) to Bears -3.
- Total Movement: 38½ (open) to 39½ to 39.
- Weather: Partly Cloudy, 71 degrees.
- Start Em: Detroit Offense and Defense.
- Sit Em: Chicago Offense and Defense.
Prediction: Lions by 17. (Lions +3). Under.
Ravens (10-6) at Browns (5-11). Line: Ravens by 3. Over-Under: 37.
Sunday, 1:00 ET
Walt's Projected Line (As of 9/5): Ravens by 3½.
The Game. Edge: Ravens.
Injuries: RAVENS: WR Travis Taylor QUESTIONABLE, TE Todd Heap QUESTIONABLE, OT Jonathan Ogden QUESTIONABLE, LB Peter Boulware OUT.
BROWNS: RB Lee Suggs DOUBTFUL*, LB Barry Gardner QUESTIONABLE, LB Brant Boyer OUT, CB Mike Lehan QUESTIONABLE, S Chris Crocker QUESTIONABLE.
This game is very simple, so I will keep it short. Cleveland can not stop the run. They surrendered 619 rushing yards to the Ravens in two games
last year. In fact, Jamal Lewis broke the single game rushing yardage record in the first contest. Frankly, no one should be surprised if he does it
again. Defensively, the Browns are pathetic.
The additions of Jeff Garcia and Kellen Winslow Jr. may improve Cleveland's chances of winning against other teams, but not against the Ravens. Baltimore
has the greatest defense in the NFL. They will eat the Browns for breakfast. Blow out.
The Trends. Edge: Ravens.
- History: Ravens have won the last 3 meetings.
- Ravens are 10-6 ATS on the road since 2001.
- Browns are 13-19 ATS at home since 2000.
- Browns were 2-6 ATS at home in 2003.
- Line Movement: Ravens -1½ (open) to Ravens -2½ to Ravens -3.
- Total Movement: 36½ (open) to 37.
- Weather: Chance of T-Storms, 72 degrees.
- Start Em: Jamal Lewis, Todd Heap, Baltimore Defense.
- Sit Em: Cleveland Offense and Defense.
Prediction: Ravens by 27. (Ravens -3). DOUBLE MONEY PICK. Under.
Buccaneers (7-9) at Redskins (5-11). Line: Redskins by 1½. Over-Under: 39.
Sunday, 1:00 ET
Walt's Projected Line (As of 9/5): Redskins by 3.
The Game. Edge: Buccaneers.
Injuries: BUCCANEERS: RB Michael Pittman SUSPENDED, WR Keenan McCardell DOUBTFUL, G Matt O'Dwyer OUT. REDSKINS: OT Jon Jansen
OUT, LB Mike Barrow QUESTIONABLE.
Throw all of Washington's 2003 statistics away. They are a brand new team, coached by someone who actually knows what he is doing. Joe Gibbs will return
the Redskins to the promised land, but not yet. Offensive line, defensive line and cornerback are all areas of concern.
Tampa Bay will have to move the chains via the ground game. They acquired Charlie Garner this off-season and still have Mike Alstott in the mix. The
Redskins are soft at defensive tackle, which means Brad Johnson will have plenty of play-action opportunities. I have little respect for Washington's
corners, but I have much less respect for Tampa's wide outs. The often-injured Joey Galloway starts on one side, while rookie Michael Clayton starts
on the other. Clayton figures to be a star in the NFL one day, but not any time soon. However, the fact that he cracked the lineup means that Jon Gruden
has respect for the LSU product.
Warren Sapp and John Lynch are gone, but the Buccaneers will still have a top ten NFL defense. Their weakness is against powerful runners who receive
blocking from mammoth offensive lines (i.e. Carolina's Stephen Davis and New Orleans' Deuce McAllister). Clinton Portis is not a power back, nor is
the Redskin offensive line talented, especially with Jon Jansen's season ending injury.
Many compare this years' Joe Gibbs to the Bill Parcells of 2003. Dallas lost their home opener to woeful Atlanta.
The Trends. Edge: Buccaneers.
- Jon Gruden is 4-1 in season openers.
- Buccaneers are 6-2 ATS as underdogs under Jon Gruden.
- Buccaneers are 5-2 ATS in September under Jon Gruden.
- Redskins are 1-5 ATS in September home games since 2000.
- Redskins are 11-19 ATS at home since 2000.
- Redskins were 1-5 ATS at home in 2003.
- Line Movement: Redskins -1½ (open) to Redskins -2 to Redskins -1½.
- Total Movement: 40 (open) to 39 to 38½ to 39.
- Weather: Partly Cloudy, 83 degrees.
- Start Em: Charlie Garner, Tampa Bay Defense.
- Sit Em: Washington Offense and Defense.
Prediction: Buccaneers by 11. (Buccaneers +1½). Under.
Falcons (5-11) at 49ers (7-9). Line: Falcons by 3½. Over-Under: 44.
Sunday, 4:15 ET
Walt's Projected Line (As of 9/5): Falcons by 4½.
The Game. Edge: None.
Injuries: FALCONS: LB Keith Brooking QUESTIONABLE, CB Jason Webster QUESTIONABLE, CB DeAngelo Hall OUT, Keion Carpenter OUT. 49ERS:
FB Fred Beasley QUESTIONABLE, S Tony Parrish QUESTIONABLE.
Defensively, the 49ers are Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. At home, they are the loveable scientist, allowing 13.2 points per game and a phenomenal 3.0
yards per carry in 2003. Away from the Bay Area, however, they surrendered a woeful 29 points per game and a whopping 5.0 yards per rush. This dichotomy
resulted in a 6-2 home record and a 1-7 road mark.
San Francisco lost a number of players this off-season, but they will not be as bad as many expect them to be. They possess one of the premier running
backs in the NFL, Kevan Barlow. Tim Rattay is a very underrated quarterback who may have a breakout campaign. The argument has been made that Rattay does
not have a receiver to throw to, but that is a fallacy. Brandon Lloyd had a solid rookie campaign in 2003, and could become a 1,000 yard receiver by
season's end. Atlanta had one of the worst defenses in the NFL last year, but they should be improved now that they have switched to the more reliable
4-3 defense and key acquisitions have been made, such as Rod Coleman, Jason Webster and DeAngelo Hall. Unfortunately, the latter is out and Webster
Michael Vick is Atlanta's offense. If he struggles, the Falcons will not score any points. Jim Mora Jr. has installed the west coast offense, which
Vick is currently studying. Vick will not be prepared for the season opener because he simply has not received enough snaps this pre-season, which are
vital to any quarterback learning a brand new offense. Defensively, San Francisco is very capable at home and will shut down a confused and disgruntled
Vick. The Falcons will also have problems running the football because the underrated 49ers rush defense matches up well with Atlanta's sub par offensive
The Trends. Edge: None.
- Falcons are 11-7 ATS on the road since 2001.
- 49ers were 5-2 ATS at home in 2003.
- Line Movement: Falcons -3½ (open) to Falcons -4 to Falcons -3½.
- Total Movement: 44 (open) to 44½ to 44.
- Weather: Partly Cloudy, 64 degrees.
- Start Em: Tim Rattay, Kevan Barlow, Brandon Lloyd.
- Sit Em: T.J. Duckett, Warrick Dunn.
Prediction: 49ers by 3. (49ers +3½). Under.
Cowboys (10-6) at Vikings (9-7). Line: Vikings by 5. Over-Under: 44.
Sunday, 4:15 ET
Walt's Projected Line (As of 9/5): Vikings by 4.
The Game. Edge: None.
Injuries: COWBOYS: S Darren Woodson OUT. VIKINGS: RB Michael Bennett OUT, OT Bryant McKinnie QUESTIONABLE, Kenny Mixon
SUSPENDED, CB Brian Williams QUESTIONABLE, S Tyrone Carter OUT.
It should be evident that Bill Parcells will attempt to establish some sort of a running game against the Vikings, who allowed 4.9 yards per carry
in 2003. While Minnesota is very solid up the middle with defensive tackles Chris Hovan and Kevin Williams, their defensive ends lack the ability to
efficiently stop outside runners. Kenechi Udeze was drafted in the first round and will improve the ground defense, but Kenny Mixon is out, which means
Chuck Wiley will be starting at left end. Julius Jones should have a big game. In the pre-season, Vinny Testaverde played as if he was on the 1998
Jets again, and the Cowboys' offensive line looked like the group that blocked for Emmitt Smith and Troy Aikman. If Jones is able to run effectively,
Testaverde will not have any difficulty throwing the football against Minnesota's secondary, which will be missing Brian Williams. Williams had five
interceptions a season ago and will be replaced by Ken Irvin.
Without Michael Bennett and the fact that the Vikings have encountered a defense that surrendered only 3.5 yards per carry last season, Mike Tice will
focus on attacking Dallas' secondary. The Cowboys will be without Darren Woodson, one of their two elite safeties. Daunte Culpepper should be able to
connect on a few bombs to Randy Moss and Nate Burleson.
This contest will be close and could go either way.
The Trends. Edge: None.
- Vikings were 5-3 ATS at home in 2003.
- Line Movement: Vikings -3 (open) to Vikings -4 to Vikings -4½ to Vikings -5.
- Total Movement: 42 (open) to 44½ to 44.
- Weather: Dome.
- Start Em: Julius Jones, Keyshawn Johnson, Terry Glenn, Daunte Culpepper, Randy Moss, Nate Burleson.
- Sit Em: Both Defenses.
Prediction: Cowboys by 3. (Cowboys +5). Over.
Giants (4-12) at Eagles (12-4). Line: Eagles by 9. Over-Under: 42.
Sunday, 4:15 ET
Walt's Projected Line (As of 9/5): Eagles by 8½.
The Game. Edge: Eagles.
Injuries: GIANTS: G Rich Seubert OUT, G Barry Stokes OUT, CB Will Allen QUESTIONABLE. EAGLES: RB Correll Buckhalter OUT,
DE Ndukwe Kalu OUT, DT Paul Grasmanis DOUBTFUL, LB Dhani Jones QUESTIONABLE, LB Ike Reese QUESTIONABLE, LB Jeremiah Trotter QUESTIONABLE, LB Nate
There will be no excuses if Philadelphia allows more than 10 points to the New York Giants. None. Tom Coughlin has announced that Mr. Picks & Fumbles
will start instead of Eli Manning. Kurt Warner has not won a game since the 2001 NFC Championship. The Giants may be able to move the chains with Tiki
Barber, but like his starting quarterback, he fumbles far too often. If you are a Giants fan, expect a long season of zero offensive output.
Unlike their rivals, the Eagles will have no problems scoring points this season, especially against pathetic defenses like the Giants'. New York will
not be able to stop the run or the pass on a consistent basis in 2004, and playing teams that can rush and throw effectively like Philadelphia will
present many problems. This game should be a rout.
The Trends. Edge: Eagles.
- History: Eagles have won 7 of the last 8 meetings.
- Eagles are 10-6 ATS at home since 2002.
- Eagles are 9-3 ATS vs. NFC East opponents since 2001.
- Line Movement: Eagles -9 (open) to Eagles -9½ to Eagles -9.
- Total Movement: 40 (open) to 40½ to 42.
- Start Em: Philadelphia Offense and Defense.
- Sit Em: Giants Offense and Defense.
Prediction: Eagles by 28. (Eagles -9). Money Pick. Over.
Chiefs (13-3) at Broncos (10-6). Line: Broncos by 3. Over-Under: 47.
Sunday, 8:30 ET
Walt's Projected Line (As of 9/5): Broncos by 3.
The Game. Edge: Broncos.
Injuries: CHIEFS: WR Marc Boerigter OUT, WR Johnnie Morton QUESTIONABLE, OT John Welbourn QUESTIONABLE, LB Mike Maslowski OUT, LB
Kawika Mitchell DOUBTFUL, CB Dexter McCleon QUESTIONABLE, S Greg Wesley QUESTIONABLE. BRONCOS: RB Mike Anderson OUT, DT Luther Elliss
QUESTIONABLE, LB Terry Pierce QUESTIONABLE.
The last four times that these two teams have met, they have averaged over 61 total points per game. Sunday night's contest will not be any different.
offense is second to only Indianapolis'. Priest Holmes is a top three NFL running back. He should gain close to 150 rushing yards in this contest, which
will give Trent Green time to throw. The problem is, Denver acquired the top cornerback in the NFL, Champ Bailey, this off-season. Bailey will put
the clamps on one side of the field, allowing the Broncos to blitz more. Traditionally, the Chiefs have been able to score at will against Denver. They
will score a fair amount of points, but it will not be enough to win.
Run defense is mentioned often in my predictions. Kansas City's unit allowed 5.2 yards per carry in 2003, the worst mark in the NFL. Clinton Portis
obliterated the Chiefs during his tenure with the Broncos. Portis has defected for Washington, but the tandem of Quentin Griffin and Tatum Bell will
combine for over 200 rushing yards. Jake Plummer will have the opportunity to play-action bootleg and complete passes to open receivers Rod Smith,
Ashley Lelie, Byron Chamberlain and Darius Watts.
The Trends. Edge: Broncos.
- History: Broncos have won 3 of the last 4 meetings.
- Chiefs are 7-1 ATS in September since 2001.
- Chiefs are 7-3 ATS as underdogs since 2001.
- Broncos are 8-3 ATS vs. AFC West opponents since 2001.
- Broncos were 2-5 ATS at home in 2003.
- Line Movement: .
- Total Movement: 46 (open) to 45½ to 48½ to 48 to 47.
- Start Em: Both Offenses.
- Sit Em: Both Defenses.
Prediction: Broncos by 14. (Broncos -3). Money Pick. Over.
Packers (10-6) at Panthers (11-5). Line: Panthers by 3. Over-Under: 43½.
Monday, 9:00 ET
Walt's Projected Line (As of 9/5): Panthers by 4.
The Game. Edge: Packers.
Injuries: PACKERS: RB Tony Fisher QUESTIONABLE, WR Javon Walker QUESTIONABLE, WR Donald Driver QUESTIONABLE, DE Kenny Peterson
QUESTIONABLE, DT Grady Jackson QUESTIONABLE, CB Joey Thomas QUESTIONABLE. PANTHERS: G Tutan Reyes QUESTIONABLE, G Bruce Nelson OUT, DT Shane
Perhaps Carolina's greatest challenge this upcoming season will be avoiding the perennial downfall of Super Bowl losers. The Raiders, Rams and Giants
all failed to qualify for the playoffs following their losses in the Big Game. Two problems that may emerge deal with the secondary and offensive
line positions. Ricky Manning Jr. and Mike Minter are solid defensive backs, but Chris Gamble and Colin Branch will both be making their first
starts on Monday Night. Gamble is a raw, but talented rookie, while Branch is a fourth round pick of a year ago. Since the Panthers' defense will be
focusing on putting the clamps on Ahman Green, Brett Favre, who is normally majestic on Monday Night, should take advantage of the inexperience of Gamble
Only two starters have returned from Carolina's offensive line that helped them get to the Super Bowl. The Packers allowed 4.2 yards per carry in 2003
and Stephen Davis is an outstanding running back, but he may have problems running behind a group of inferior linemen. If Davis and backup DeShaun
Foster can not rush effectively, it will obviously affect Jake Delhomme.
It appears as though the Carolina Panthers may share some of the problems that Super Bowl losers of years past have experienced.
The Trends. Edge: Packers.
- Super Bowl Loser Syndrome: Super Bowl losers are 3-7 ATS in their first game the following season since 1994.
- Brett Favre is 15-9 on Monday Night.
- Brett Favre is 4-1 ATS on Monday Night since 2001.
- Packers are 6-2 ATS as underdogs since 2001.
- Panthers are 6-1 ATS in September since 2001.
- Line Movement: Panthers -2 (open) to Panthers -3.
- Total Movement: 42 (open) to 41½ to 43½.
- Weather: Cloudy, 70 degrees.
- Start Em: Brett Favre, Javon Walker, Donald Driver.
- Sit Em: None of note.
Prediction: Packers by 3. (Packers +3). Over.
Note: For legality purposes, this Web site does not promote or advocate gambling. This is solely for entertainment purposes only.
Last Week's NFL Picks Against The Spread (Week 21, 2014): 0-1 (-$770)
Last Week's 2-3 Unit NFL Picks (Week 21, 2014): 0-0 ($0)
Last Week's 4-5 Unit NFL Picks (Week 21, 2014): 0-0 ($0)
Last Week Over-Under (Week 21, 2014): 0-1 ($0)
Last Week's Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks (Week 21, 2014): -$65
2014 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-4, 33.3% (-$1,350)
2014 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 143-133-7, 51.8% (-$1,885)
2014 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 50-41, 55.0% (+$1,500)
2014 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 12-17-1, 41.4% (-$1,990)
2014 Season Over-Under: 144-119-2, 54.8% ($0)
2014 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$630
1999 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 27-41-3 (39.7%)
2000 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 128-123-8 (51.0%)
2001 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 127-122-7 (51.0%)
2002 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 123-136-7 (47.5%)
2003 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 146-126-8 (53.7%)
2004 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 157-123-8 (56.1%)
2005 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 156-126-11 (55.3%)
2006 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 151-135-9 (52.8%)
2007 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 162-135-10, 54.5% (+$2,550)
2008 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 148-140-7, 51.4% (+$2,620)
2009 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 151-124-9, 54.9% (+$3,370)
2010 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 144-131-8, 52.4% (+$6,080)
2011 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 137-133-12, 50.7% (-$1,925)
2012 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 130-145-8, 47.3% (-$5,760)
2013 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 144-131-8, 52.4% (+$5,580)
2002 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 41-49-2 (45.6%)
2003 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 52-51-2 (50.5%)
2004 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 65-44-3 (59.6%)
2005 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 77-61-1 (55.8%)
2006 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 65-61-4 (51.6%)
2007 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 83-59-5, 58.5% (+$4,110)
2008 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 44-57-3, 43.6% (-$3,510)
2009 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 49-35-3, 58.3% (+$2,260)
2010 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 51-38-4, 57.3% (+$3,180)
2011 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 44-51-3, 46.3% (-$2,715)
2012 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 45-50-2, 47.4% (-$2,130)
2013 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 38-42, 47.5% (-$2,890)
2002 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 11-12 (47.8%)
2003 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 16-13-1 (55.2%)
2004 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 18-11 (62.1%)
2005 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 25-22-1 (53.2%)
2006 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 21-29-1 (42.0%)
2007 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 35-30-2, 53.8% (+$420)
2008 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 39-26-2, 60.0% (+$4,055)
2009 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 29-26, 52.7% (+$330)
2010 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 32-22, 59.3% (+$4,790)
2011 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 14-14, 50.0% (-$1,260)
2012 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 14-21, 40.0% (-$3,650)
2013 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 17-9-3, 65.4% (+$2,970)
2001 Season Over-Under: 3-2 (60.0%)
2002 Season Over-Under: 121-91-3 (57.1%)
2003 Season Over-Under: 126-132-2 (48.8%)
2004 Season Over-Under: 139-124-4 (52.9%)
2005 Season Over-Under: 117-145-4 (44.7%)
2006 Season Over-Under: 129-132-5 (49.4%)
2007 Season Over-Under: 136-145-3, 48.4% (-$1,900)
2008 Season Over-Under: 137-125-6, 52.3% (+$860)
2009 Season Over-Under: 128-135-4, 48.7% (-$3,195)
2010 Season Over-Under: 128-135-5, 48.7% (-$5)
2011 Season Over-Under: 131-131-5, 50.0% (+$135)
2012 Season Over-Under: 125-121-5, 50.8% (+$30)
2013 Season Over-Under: 132-130-5, 50.4% (-$340)
2007 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,035
2008 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,775
2009 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$865
2010 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$200
2011 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$590
2012 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$1,685
2013 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$2,245
2006 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3 (50%)
2007 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3, 50.0% (-$400)
2008 NFL Picks of the Month: 6-1, 85.7% (+$3,720)
2009 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$640)
2010 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-4, 33.3% (-$1,810)
2011 NFL Picks of the Month: 5-2, 71.4% (+$1,870)
2012 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$560)
2013 NFL Picks of the Month: 6-0, 100% (+$3,900)
Career NFL Picks Against The Spread: 2,157-1,978-117, 52.2% (+$10,530)
Career 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 694-624-31 (52.7%)
Career 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 288-251-11 (53.4%)
Career Over-Under: 1,685-1,655-48 (50.5%)
Career Second-Half NFL Picks: 22-15-1 (61.1%)
Career NFL Picks of the Month: 30-19 (61.2%)
My Team-by-Team ATS Record
This section shows how well I do when picking each team this year. The purpose is to see how well I read each team. Pushes are not
displayed. Winning/losing streak in parentheses.
Divisional: 36-39 (2011-13: 141-137)
2x Game Edge: 14-19 (2011-13: 55-62)
2x Psych Edge: 29-25 (2011-13: 92-80)
2x Vegas Edge: 47-41 (2011-13: 129-142)
2x Trend Edge: 35-21 (2011-13: 72-78)
Double Edge: 16-13 (2011-13: 27-33)
Triple Edge: 0-0 (2011-13: 2-1)
Quad Edge: 0-0 (2011-13: 0-0)
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