Bears (9-3) at Steelers (7-5). Line: Steelers by 6. Over-Under: 30.
Sunday, 1:00 ET

Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 13 Games): Steelers by 3.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 13 Games): Steelers by 3.

The Game. Edge: None.
Injuries: Bears: OUT: RB Cedric Benson, WR Mark Bradley. QUESTIONABLE: QB Rex Grossman. Steelers: OUT: OT Marvel Smith. QUESTIONABLE: QB Charlie Batch.

Did anyone else find it foolish that Ben Roethlisberger disclosed his injury to a member of the media prior to last week's game against the Steelers? Roethlisberger told ESPN that his thumb hurt and that may not play. That's a move a Little League Baseball player might come up with. Pittsburgh lost, 38-31, marking the fourth time Roethlisberger choked in his young career.

There's no question that Roethlisberger is a talented, young quarterback, but he has developed a tendency of choking in big games; he threw three picks against Cincinnati. This matchup with the Bears is also an important contest. Chicago will shut down Jerome Bettis, Duce Staley and Willie Parker, forcing Roethlisberger to beat them. Pittsburgh's signal caller just isn't healthy enough to lead his team to victory. I expect Roethlisberger to throw a few interceptions to Mike Brown, Charles Tillman and Nathan Vasher. The latter is tied for third in the NFL in picks.

Chicago has scored more than 19 points just three times this year, so it's obvious that this will not be a blowout. The Bears have proven they can run the ball against anyone, but it will be tough against Casey Hampton and the rest of Pittsburgh's third-ranked stop unit against opposing ground attacks. Kyle Orton will be forced to move the chains on his own, and I'm not sure he can do that, despite playing one of the worst secondaries in the NFL. Most of Chicago's offensive output will be off turnovers.

The Bears will neither blow anyone out nor get trampled themselves. If Chicago loses, it won't be by more than four points. Makes you wonder why the spread has gone from four to 5.

Wednesday Update: The spread is now six points. I'm making this a Money Pick.


The Trends. Edge: Steelers.
  • Double Home Alert: Coaches are 49-36 ATS at home following a home loss since 2001.
  • Steelers are 10-3 ATS in December home games since 2000.
  • Line Movement: Steelers -4 (open) to Steelers -4 to Steelers -5 to Steelers -5 to Steelers -6 to Steelers -6.
  • Total Movement: 31 (open) to 30.
  • Weather: Snow, 38 degrees. Mild wind, 13 mph.

Fantasy Spin
  • Start Em: Hines Ward, Heath Miller, Both Defenses.
  • Sit Em: Bears Offense, Steelers Running Backs.

Prediction: Bears by 3. (Steelers +6). Money Pick. Under.




Browns (4-8) at Bengals (9-3). Line: Bengals by 12. Over-Under: 43.
Sunday, 1:00 ET

Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 13 Games): Bengals by 10.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 13 Games): Bengals by 11.

The Game. Edge: Bengals.
Injuries: Browns: OUT: WR Braylon Edwards, TE Kellen Winslow Jr., CB Gary Baxter. QUESTIONABLE: QB Trent Dilfer*, G Joe Andruzzi, CB Brodney Pool. Bengals: OUT: C Larry Moore, S Madieu Williams, S Kim Herring. QUESTIONABLE: DE Duane Clemons, DT Bryan Robinson.

Whether you love or hate Chad Johnson, you have to admire his confidence. Johnson predicted that the Bengals will beat the Colts in the AFC Championship. I'm not as confident as he is.

Why don't I think Cincinnati will make it to the Super Bowl? The team does not stop the run well enough to advance that far in the postseason. The Bengals are ranked 27th against opposing ground attacks. Reuben Droughns, who is the first Browns running back to reach 1,000 yards since 1985, gained more than six yards per carry when the two teams clashed on Sept. 11. Droughns should have a similar performance, which will set up play-action for either Trent Dilfer or Charlie Frye.

In that same contest, Carson Palmer was 26-of-34 for 280 yards and two touchdowns. The Browns, who have had trouble stopping David Garrard and Brad Johnson in recent weeks, will not be able to stop Cincinnati's dynamic passing attack. While Chad Johnson performs an anticipated end-zone celebration, Rudi Johnson will easily trample Cleveland's 21st-seeded run defense. Only the weather will be able to contain the Bengals' offense.

Cincinnati is a much better team, but you have to wonder if the Bengals will be focused for this game because they are coming off their biggest victory of the season. If you want to bet this contest, you should probably look at taking Cleveland in the first half. Otherwise, I'd stay away. The spread is just too large.


The Trends. Edge: Browns.
  • History: Bengals have won the last 2 meetings.
  • Divisional Dog of Seven: Current NFL coaches are 49-27 ATS as divisional underdogs of seven or more since 2002.
  • Line Movement: .
  • Total Movement: 42 (open) to 42 to 43.
  • Weather: Rain/snow showers, 43 degrees. Mild wind, 13 mph.

Fantasy Spin
  • Start Em: Reuben Droughns, Carson Palmer, Rudi Johnson, Chad Johnson, T.J. Houshmandzadeh.
  • Sit Em: Browns Passing Attack and Defense.

Prediction: Bengals by 10. (Browns +12). Under.




Texans (1-11) at Titans (3-9). Line: Titans by 6. Over-Under: 44.
Sunday, 1:00 ET

Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 13 Games): Titans by 5.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 13 Games): Titans by 4.

The Game. Edge: Titans.
Injuries: Texans: OUT: OT Todd Wade, ILB Kailee Wong, CB Phillip Buchanon. Titans: OUT: WR Brandon Jones, S Vincent Fuller. QUESTIONABLE: DE Travis Laboy.

What is it with Vegas and making Houston an enormous underdog? Last week, Baltimore was ridiculously favored by 8 over the Texans. The latter nearly won.

Domanick Davis rushed for 155 yards on 29 carries against Baltimore on Sunday. That bodes well for Houston, because Davis gained 130 yards on just 19 carries against Tennessee when the two squads clashed on Oct. 9. The Titans won that game, 34-20, but the Texans were without Andre Johnson. There is no chance that Pac Man Jones covers Johnson one-on-one. Tennessee will have to take a man out of the box to keep Johnson from gobbling up Pac Man, which will further expose the Titans' 23rd-ranked run defense.

As bad as Tennessee is against opposing rushers, the Texans are ranked 30th in that department. However, Chris Brown has had trouble moving the chains for the Titans recently; the University of Colorado alumnus has not tallied more than 65 rushing yards since his team lost to Cleveland on Nov. 6. Brown even had problems against Houston when the two teams met two months ago. He surprisingly only had 78 yards on 22 carries. The Texans lost the game because they turned it over too many times and they couldn't stop Steve McNair, who threw for 220 yards and two scores. Expect Tennessee to score at least 30 points on Sunday.

The Titans will win this game, but the spread is way too large. Neither team is much better than the other.


The Trends. Edge: Texans.
  • History: Titans have won 5 of the last 7 meetings.
  • Double Road Alert: Dom Capers is 5-2 ATS on the road following a road loss.
  • Texans are 16-8 ATS after two or more consecutive losses.
  • Line Movement: .
  • Total Movement: 43 (open) to 44.
  • Weather: .

Fantasy Spin
  • Start Em: Domanick Davis, Andre Johnson, Steve McNair, Chris Brown.
  • Sit Em: Both Defenses.

Prediction: Titans by 4. (Texans +6). Over.




Colts (12-0) at Jaguars (9-3). Line: Colts by 8. Over-Under: 42.
Sunday, 1:00 ET
WALTER'S GAME OF THE WEEK.

Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 13 Games): Colts by 4.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 13 Games): Colts by 5.

The Game. Edge: Colts.
Injuries: Colts: OUT: CB Donald Strickland. QUESTIONABLE: CB Nick Harper, S Joseph Jefferson. Jaguars: OUT: QB Byron Leftwich, C Brad Meester, S Donovin Darius. QUESTIONABLE: RB Fred Taylor*.

Jack Del Rio earned my respect last week when his team won at frigid Cleveland in its third consecutive road game, with a backup quarterback and Indianapolis on the horizon.

That said, they will not be the team that knocks off Indianapolis. Jacksonville may have restricted the Colts to just 10 points when the two teams battled at the RCA Dome on Sept. 18, but Peyton Manning and company were struggling against everyone at the beginning of the season. Indianapolis followed up its 10-3 victory over Jacksonville with a 13-6 squeaker at home against Cleveland. Against the Jaguars, Manning was just 13-of-28 for 122 yards and an interception. That's not happening again. Manning is on fire, and there is no doubt that he will throw for more than 250 yards in this contest. Edgerrin James should also have a huge game; he had 128 yards on 27 carries in the first meeting. James will stampede through Jacksonville's front seven, setting up play-action opportunities for Manning and his unstoppable offense.

Now that we've established that the Colts will be able to tally much more than 10 points, the Jaguars will need to keep pace with their AFC South rivals. The problem is, Byron Leftwich is out and Fred Taylor is banged up. Even if Taylor manages to play and is close to 100 percent, the Colts have done a great job against the run recently; they limited Pittsburgh's trio of Willie Parker, Duce Staley and Jerome Bettis to 58 yards on 21 carries two weeks ago. Indianapolis will stack the line of scrimmage against Taylor, forcing David Garrard to beat them downfield. Garrard will occasionally scramble for first downs, but I don't see him lighting up Indianapolis' secondary.

The Colts and Jaguars always play close games, but with Leftwich out, that could change. I just don't trust Garrard against the best team in the NFL. Can you blame me?

Thursday Injury Update: Jacksonville suffered a huge loss this week, as center Brad Meester is out for the year. You know what happens when teams lose their center. Just ask the Vikings, Jets and Eagles.

Friday Update: I have made this game a Money Pick after thinking it over.


The Trends. Edge: Colts.
  • History: Six of the last seven meetings decided by 7 points or less.
  • Divisional Dog of Seven: Current NFL coaches are 49-27 ATS as divisional underdogs of seven or more since 2002.
  • Boomerang Game: Teams returning home from a three-game road trip are 4-13 ATS since 2000.
  • Line Movement: Colts -7 (open) to Colts -8.
  • Total Movement: .
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 66 degrees. Light wind, 7 mph.

Fantasy Spin
  • Start Em: Colts Offense and Defense.
  • Sit Em: Jaguars Offense and Defense.

Prediction: Colts by 20. (Colts -8). Money Pick. Over.




Patriots (7-5) at Bills (4-8). Line: Patriots by 4. Over-Under: 36.
Sunday, 1:00 ET

Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 13 Games): Patriots by 3.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 13 Games): Patriots by 3.

The Game. Edge: Bills.
Injuries: Patriots: OUT: C Dan Koppen, CB Randall Gay, S Rodney Harrison. QUESTIONABLE: RB Heath Evans, FB Patrick Pass, TE Daniel Graham, OT Matt Light. Bills: OUT: WR Eric Moulds, DT Ron Edwards, OLB Takeo Spikes. QUESTIONABLE: QB Kelly Holcomb, OT Mike Williams, G Chris Villarrial.

How did the Bills surrender a 21-point lead to Sage Rosenfels? I'm still trying to figure this out. Sage Rosenhaus? Buffalo can't possibly come back this, can they?

Au contraire. Remember the Texans. Houston let up a 21-point lead two weeks ago, and the team really played well as a huge underdog on Sunday. However, Buffalo will need to stop the run if it wants to claim its fifth victory of the season. The Bills, ranked 29th against it, should have some luck against a banged-up Corey Dillon, who is having trouble finding running lanes behind a battered offensive line. In fact, Dillon managed just four yards per carry when the two teams clashed on Oct. 30. Tom Brady will find himself in long-yardage situations, where he may throw some interceptions against Buffalo's pick-happy secondary.

New England is better than Buffalo against the run, but it didn't really show when Willis McGahee trampled the Patriots' front seven at Gillette Stadium. McGahee garnered 136 yards on 31 carries that night, and he should be in for a similar performance on Sunday. McGahee's frequent bursts will open the play-action door for J.P. Losman, who plays well at home. New England's injury-plagued secondary yields 255 passing yards per contest, so Losman should have no problems leading the Bills down the field.

The Patriots have done the bare minimum to win this year. All they care about is winning their division. This is not an essential game because Miami has to win at San Diego later in the afternoon. That's not happening, and the players know it.

Thursday Update: Bills head coach Mike Mularkey foolishly suspended Eric Moulds for one game. It's now clear that Mularkey has no idea what he's doing. I may change this pick on Friday or Saturday.

Friday Update: With Moulds' suspension in mind, I have changed this pick to Patriots -4.


The Trends. Edge: Patriots.
  • History: Patriots have won 9 of the last 10 meetings.
  • Patriots are 15-5 ATS vs. AFC East opponents since 2001.
  • Tom Brady is 64-19 as a starter (52-30 ATS).
  • Bills are 12-4 ATS at home after Oct. 1 when favored by less than 6 points since 2002.
  • Bills are 4-1 ATS at home this year.
  • Bills are 2-14 ATS after playing the Miami Dolphins since 1998.
  • Line Movement: Patriots -3 (open) to Patriots -4.
  • Total Movement: 37 (open) to 37 to 36.
  • Weather: Snow, 35 degrees. Mild wind, 15 mph.

Fantasy Spin
  • Start Em: Tom Brady, Deion Branch, David Givens, Willis McGahee, Bills Defense.
  • Sit Em: Corey Dillon, Patriots Defense.

Prediction: Patriots by 9. (Patriots -4). Under.




Raiders (4-8) at Jets (2-10). Line: Raiders by 3. Over-Under: 37.
Sunday, 1:00 ET

Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 13 Games): Raiders by 3.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 13 Games): Raiders by 2.

The Game. Edge: Jets.
Injuries: Raiders: OUT: WR Ronald Curry, G Langston Walker, DT Warren Sapp, CB Charles Woodson, S Derrick Gibson, S Reggie Tongue. QUESTIONABLE: QB Kerry Collins*, DT Ed Jasper. EXPECTED TO START: QB Marques Tuiasosopo. Jets: OUT: QB Chad Pennington, QB Jay Fiedler, WR Wayne Chrebet, OT Jason Fabini, C Kevin Mawae, OLB Eric Barton. QUESTIONABLE: QB Vinny Testaverde, RB Derrick Blaylock, DT Sione Pouha.

Is it just me, or have the Raiders thrown in the towel? This team looks uninterested in playing out the season for its dead-beat head coach.

Meanwhile, the Jets are actually playing hard. They restricted the Patriots to less than four yards per carry on Sunday, in a contest that was only 6-3 at halftime. LaMont Jordan will find it hard to run against his former team, which is still hungry for wins. Kerry Collins, who may not even play, will be confronted with a plethora of obvious-passing situations. Ty Law and the Jets' secondary could bait the interception-prone signal caller into a few turnovers.

The Raiders have no heart. Teams with no heart cannot stop the run. No wonder Oakland surrendered 140 rushing yards to Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown two weeks ago. A determined Curtis Martin will eclipse the 100-yard plateau, setting up play-action opportunities for Brooks Bollinger, who will be throwing against a beleaguered Raiders secondary that is missing Charles Woodson. The Jets will engineer a few scoring drives in this contest.

It's going to be too cold and too early for the uninterested Raiders, who just want their season to end. I wouldn't be surprised if this is a blowout.

Thursday Injury Update: Marques Tuiasosopo will be starting for Kerry Collins. Two questions: Can we really trust Tuiasosopo on the road, and what happened to Andrew Walter?


The Trends. Edge: Jets.
  • Early Game Alert: Pacific Teams playing on the Atlantic Coast at 1:00 PM are 14-24 ATS since 2002.
  • Raiders are 5-13 ATS vs. teams with losing records since 2001.
  • Line Movement: .
  • Total Movement: 38 (open) to 37.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 40 degrees. Light wind, 9 mph.

Fantasy Spin
  • Start Em: Randy Moss, Jerry Porter, Curtis Martin.
  • Sit Em: Kerry Collins.

Prediction: Jets by 14. (Jets +3). Money Pick. Over.




Rams (5-7) at Vikings (7-5). Line: Vikings by 7. Over-Under: 45.
Sunday, 1:00 ET

Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 13 Games): Vikings by 6.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 13 Games): Vikings by 7.

The Game. Edge: Vikings.
Injuries: Rams: OUT: QB Marc Bulger, CB Jerametrius Butler. DOUBTFUL: QB Jamie Martin. QUESTIONABLE: OT Alex Barron, OT Blaine Saipaia, OLB Dexter Coakley, CB Travis Fisher, S Adam Archuleta. Vikings: OUT: QB Daunte Culpepper, RB Moe Williams, RB Onterrio Smith, C Matt Birk, DE Kenechi Udeze, CB Fred Smoot. QUESTIONABLE: WR Troy Williamson, DT Kevin Williams, P Chris Kluwe.

If anyone was unlucky enough to watch the Rams-Redskins game on Sunday, didn't the atmosphere in the Edward Jones Dome seem dead to you? I talked about the Raiders throwing in the towel. The Rams might have done so as well.

So much for Ryan Fitzpatrick being the next Joe Montana, Dan Marino, John Elway and Tom Brady rolled into one. A week after Fitzpatrick threw for 310 yards and three touchdowns in his debut, he accumulated 163 yards, one interception and one fumble against Washington. If Joe Vitt and offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild attempt to reestablish the run -- they called just 12 rushing plays, compared to 36 pass plays -- they will be stymied by an improved Vikings defense that has not permitted a 100-yard rusher since Oct. 2. Steven Jackson will be stuffed in the backfield, forcing Fitzpatrick to throw on long-yardage situations. The Vikings' secondary has gotten better every week since the 38-13 debacle at Carolina. Minnesota will undoubtedly force some turnovers.

It's amazing what Brad Johnson has done for the Vikings. He's doing what Daunte Culpepper couldn't do -- avoid turnovers. Johnson is making all the safe, but smart throws. A running game has even emerged in Minnesota, something that did not exist at the beginning of the season. The Vikings will easily move the chains against the Rams, who have a banged-up secondary and the worst run defense in the NFL.

Who would have thought that the Vikings would have a chance to improve 8-5 after they started off 2-5? The winning streak will continue.


The Trends. Edge: Vikings.
  • Rams are 9-22 ATS in road games since 2001.
  • Rams are 2-4 ATS on the road this year.
  • Vikings are 4-1 ATS at home this year.
  • Vikings are 12-17 ATS vs. teams coming off a loss under Mike Tice.
  • Line Movement: .
  • Total Movement: .
  • Weather: Dome.

Fantasy Spin
  • Start Em: Brad Johnson, Vikings Defense.
  • Sit Em: Steven Jackson, Rams Defense.

Prediction: Vikings by 24. (Vikings -7). Money Pick. Under.




Buccaneers (8-4) at Panthers (9-3). Line: Panthers by 5. Over-Under: 36.
Sunday, 1:00 ET

Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 13 Games): Panthers by 7.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 13 Games): Panthers by 7.

The Game. Edge: Panthers.
Injuries: Buccaneers: OUT: QB Brian Griese. QUESTIONABLE: S Will Allen, K Matt Bryant. Panthers: OUT: DT Kris Jenkins. QUESTIONABLE: DE Idrees Bashir, MLB Dan Morgan.

I would have considered this to be my Game of the Week, but I think everyone knows what's going to happen. Carolina simply dominates Tampa Bay. The Panthers have beaten their NFC South rivals every time they have faced them since the Buccaneers won the Super Bowl. Why would things change now?

The one difference between this contest and the one in November when Carolina pummeled Tampa Bay, 34-14, is that the latter now has a healthy Cadillac Williams at its disposal. Cadillac makes a huge difference, but the Panthers have the second-best run defense in the NFL. Carolina will once again put Cadillac in the repair shop, as the rookie running back was limited to just 29 yards on 11 carries on Nov. 6. Chris Simms will be confronted with long-yardage situations, which will only result in turnovers; the University of Texas alumnus committed three when the Buccaneers hosted the Panthers. Julius Peppers and Mike Rucker, who combined for four sacks in that meeting, will be breathing down Simms' neck again.

While Carolina has the second-ranked run defense in the NFL, the top unit belongs to Tampa Bay. No wonder that Stephen Davis and DeShaun Foster were pinned to just 71 yards on 28 carries when the teams clashed. However, Jake Delhomme was able to torch the Buccaneers' secondary, as the veteran signal caller threw for 216 yards and a touchdown on just 11 completions. Steve Smith, who tallied 106 receiving yards, will have another outstanding performance. As long as Carolina collects a few Simms turnovers, it will be able to score at least 24 points.

If the line was three instead of 5, I would have made this a Double Money Pick. Carolina will definitely win the matchup, but it could always be close.


The Trends. Edge: Panthers.
  • History: Panthers have won the last 5 meetings.
  • Buccaneers are 4-13 ATS on the road after a win under Jon Gruden.
  • Panthers are 8-14 ATS as a home favorite of 3 or more since 2001.
  • Line Movement: Panthers -5 (open) to Panthers -5.
  • Total Movement: 38 (open) to 37 to 36 to 37 to 36.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 49 degrees. Light wind, 7 mph.

Fantasy Spin
  • Start Em: Joey Galloway, Steve Smith, Panthers Defense.
  • Sit Em: All Running Backs.

Prediction: Panthers by 7. (Panthers -5). Money Pick. Over.




Giants (8-4) at Eagles (5-7). Line: Giants by 9. Over-Under: 37.
Sunday, 4:05 ET

Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 13 Games): Giants by 2.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 13 Games): Giants by 7.

The Game. Edge: Giants.
Injuries: Giants: OUT: DT William Joseph, OLB Barrett Green, CB William Peterson. QUESTIONABLE: S Shaun Williams. Eagles: OUT: QB Donovan McNabb, RB Brian Westbrook*, RB Correll Buckhalter, WR Terrell Owens, WR Todd Pinkston, OT Tra Thomas, C Hank Fraley, DE Jerome McDougle, DT Paul Grasmanis, CB Lito Sheppard, P Dirk Johnson. QUESTIONABLE: QB Mike McMahon*, RB Lamar Gordon, G Artis Hicks.

I can't even describe how poor the Eagles' offense is. How does a scoring unit allow 28 points to any team? Has this ever happened before? The Seahawks could have just knelt down every play and still won.

Brian Westbrook is out and Mike McMahon is questionable, but does it even matter if they play? The Eagles simply do not have the receivers, running backs, offensive line or quarterbacks to be competitive. They cannot run the ball between the tackles, catch the ball, pass block, run block or throw accurately. Imagine what's going to happen when Philadelphia's banged-up offensive line attempts to block Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora, who have combined for 20 sacks this season. The Eagles may turn it over 5,761 times on Sunday.

Philadelphia always has trouble against Tiki Barber. When the Giants and Eagles clashed on Nov. 20, Barber tallied 112 yards on 21 carries. With an effective running game, Eli Manning will have play-action at his disposal. He will easily connect downfield with Plaxico Burress, Amani Toomer and Jeremy Shockey. No one in Philadelphia's porous secondary can cover any of those guys.

This game has "blowout" written all over it. I'll be shocked if it's close.


The Trends. Edge: None.
  • History: Eagles have won 7 of the last 9 meetings.
  • Divisional Dog of Seven: Current NFL coaches are 49-27 ATS as divisional underdogs of seven or more since 2002.
  • Eagles are 31-17 ATS vs. NFC opponents since 2001.
  • Eagles are 13-8 ATS vs. NFC East opponents since 2001.
  • Eagles are 0-4 ATS vs. NFC East opponents this season.
  • Line Movement: Giants -7 (open) to Giants -7 to OFF (Westbrook). Giants -8 (re-open) to Giants -9.
  • Total Movement: 39 (open) to 37.
  • Weather: Sunny, 39 degrees. Light wind, 9 mph.

Fantasy Spin
  • Start Em: Giants Offense and Defense.
  • Sit Em: Eagles Offense.

Prediction: Giants by 21. (Giants -9). Under.




49ers (2-10) at Seahawks (10-2). Line: Seahawks by 16. Over-Under: 43.
Sunday, 4:05 ET

Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 13 Games): Seahawks by 16.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 13 Games): Seahawks by 16.

The Game. Edge: Seahawks.
Injuries: 49ers: OUT: TE Eric Johnson, C Jeremy Newberry, DT Bryant Young, CB Mike Rumph, S Tony Parrish. QUESTIONABLE: RB Kevan Barlow, FB Fred Beasley, ILB Jeff Ulbrich, CB Ahmed Plummer, K Joe Nedney. Seahawks: OUT: OLB Jamie Sharper, CB Kelly Herndon, S Ken Hamlin. QUESTIONABLE: WR Darrell Jackson*, OLB Jamie Sharper.

Does this game really need to be played out? Only bad things can possibly happen to the Seahawks, like a major injury or two.

Should I remind you of what happened the last time Alex Smith played on the road? He was just 8-of-16 for 92 yards, with one interception and three fumbles. The 49ers lost to the Redskins that day, 52-17. Could we be in for a similar performance from San Francisco? The 49ers cannot and will not be able to run the ball against the Seahawks, who are ranked seventh against opposing ground attacks. Smith will be placed in long-yardage situations, where a very opportunistic Seattle stop unit will make the rookie pay for forcing poor throws. If Smith commits less than three turnovers, something has gone wrong.

San Francisco can't seem to play defense on the road. Two weeks ago, the team yielded 343 passing yards to Steve McNair. A month ago, the 49ers allowed Bears running backs Adrian Peterson and Cedric Benson to accumulate 170 yards on 36 carries. In the aforementioned Redskins contest, Mark Brunell and Clinton Portis both had outstanding performances. The list goes on and on. I'll be disappointed if Matt Hasselbeck, Shaun Alexander and company don't lay 40 on the 49ers.

San Francisco is 1-4 against the spread on the road for a reason: They stink. This matchup will be a blowout by halftime. I know I'm going against my "Divisional Dog of Seven" rule, but I'm confident in Smith's futility on the road.


The Trends. Edge: Seahawks.
  • History: Seahawks have won the last 5 meetings.
  • Divisional Dog of Seven: Current NFL coaches are 49-27 ATS as divisional underdogs of seven or more since 2002.
  • Post Monday Night Syndrome: Teams coming off a Monday night victory are 18-22 ATS the following week since 2003.
  • Weak Arms: 49ers QBs are 1-4 ATS on the road this year.
  • Line Movement: 45 (open) to 44 to 43.
  • Total Movement: .
  • Weather: Sunny, 46 degrees. Light wind, 5 mph.

Fantasy Spin
  • Start Em: Brandon Lloyd, Matt Hasselbeck, Shaun Alexander, Bobby Engram, Seahawks Defense.
  • Sit Em: Alex Smith, Frank Gore, Kevan Barlow, 49ers Defense.

Prediction: Seahawks by 41. (Seahawks -16). Money Pick. Over.




Redskins (6-6) at Cardinals (4-8). Line: Redskins by 4. Over-Under: 40.
Sunday, 4:05 ET

Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 13 Games): Redskins by 3.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 13 Games): Redskins by 3.

The Game. Edge: Redskins.
Injuries: Redskins: OUT: WR David Patten, DT Brandon Noble. QUESTIONABLE: RB Ladell Betts, WR James Thrash, DT Joe Salave'a, OLB LaVar Arrington, S Omar Stoutmire. Cardinals: OUT: FB James Hodgins, G Reggie Wells, DE Bert Berry, DE Calvin Pace, CB Antrel Rolle. DOUBTFUL: K Neil Rackers. QUESTIONABLE: RB Marcel Shipp, G Elton Brown, C Alex Stepanovich.

Can you believe that these two teams used to be in the same division? Washington and Arizona couldn't be further apart. I'm glad to see the NFL fixed its geographical quandaries with its new alignment, although Indianapolis is in the AFC South and St. Louis is in the NFC West.

The Redskins still have a chance to qualify for the postseason, but they have to win every game to make it. Looking at the schedule, they play Arizona, Dallas, the Giants and Philadelphia. Considering the Cowboys are banged up, Washington certainly has a chance to run the table. Joe Gibbs will obviously attempt to establish the running game, but that might be hard, considering that Arizona has only surrendered one 100-yard rusher at home this season. Unless Clinton Portis can pull a Shaun Alexander and pummel a stop unit that mysteriously thrives in the desert sun, Mark Brunell will be confronted with a plethora of long-yardage situations. However, that might not be a problem because the Cardinals are terrible against the pass and struggle to get pressure on opposing signal callers.

What do Drew Brees and Ryan Fitzpatrick have in common? They both had the worst outings of their respective campaigns against Washington the previous two weeks. Brees was 22-of-44 for 215 yards and three interceptions, while Fitzpatrick compiled just 163 yards, committing two turnovers in the process. Washington will need to continue its excellent pass defense, because Arizona maintains one of the most lethal aerial attacks in the league -- Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald cannot be stopped by anyone, while Kurt Warner does an effective job of getting them the ball. However, Gregg Williams will be prepared for Arizona's one-dimensional attack. Unless the Cardinals somehow magically discover a running game that is currently non-existent, the Redskins should be able to put the clamps on the home team.

Even though Arizona is generally strong at home, the Redskins should be able to win this contest. After all, it's a must-win for them.


The Trends. Edge: Cardinals.
  • Redskins are 0-9 ATS after a road win since 2000.
  • Cardinals are 8-2 ATS in December home games since 2000.
  • Cardinals are 9-7 ATS as a home underdog since 2003.
  • Line Movement: Redskins -3 (open) to Redskins -3 to Redskins -4.
  • Total Movement: 41 (open) to 40.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 66 degrees. Light wind, 6 mph.

Fantasy Spin
  • Start Em: Mark Brunell, Santana Moss, Chris Cooley, Anquan Boldin, Larry Fitzgerald, Redskins Defense.
  • Sit Em: Cardinals Defense.

Prediction: Redskins by 7. (Redskins -4). Under.




Ravens (4-8) at Broncos (9-3). Line: Broncos by 14. Over-Under: 40.
Sunday, 4:15 ET

Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 13 Games): Broncos by 11.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 13 Games): Broncos by 10.

The Game. Edge: Broncos.
Injuries: Ravens: OUT: MLB Ray Lewis, S Will Demps. QUESTIONABLE: OT Orlando Brown, G Keydrick Vincent, CB Chris McAlister. Broncos: OUT: OT Dwayne Carswell.

If you're a Ravens fan, you have to hate Brian Billick. First, he releases the quarterback that took your team to the Super Bowl. Then, he selected Kyle Boller in the draft and stubbornly has stuck with him for far too long. Now, he's winning games at home, which is taking the Ravens out of the Matt Leinart lottery.

Billick also has foolishly refused to let Chester Taylor carry the load. He keeps giving carries to Jamal Lewis, a bum who is more concerned with his health and his contract rather than winning. Baltimore will not be able to run the ball against the Broncos, who are ranked fifth against it. Boller will be asked to win this game on his own, but he's just not capable of doing that, especially on the road. If you're the owner of the Broncos defense in fantasy football, you'll be very happy; Denver will pick Boller off a few times.

The Ravens, on the other hand, will not be able to stop the run. They surrendered 155 rushing yards to Domanick Davis last week. Mike Anderson, Ron Dayne and Tatum Bell will relentlessly pound Baltimore's defensive front, setting up play-action bootlegs for Jake Plummer. I'll be shocked if Denver punts more than twice.

Baltimore is 0-6 on the road, and the team has lost three of those contests by 15 points or more. Make that four.


The Trends. Edge: Broncos.
  • Emotional Win Alert: Teams are 42-71 ATS after an emotional win since 2001; RAVENS kicked a game-winning field goal with 6 seconds left.
  • Weak Arm: Kyle Boller is 0-2 ATS on the road this year.
  • Ravens are 4-13 ATS as an underdog the previous 17 instances.
  • Ravens are 1-5 ATS on the road this year.
  • Broncos are 7-3 ATS in December home games since 2000.
  • Broncos are 23-33 ATS vs. opponents coming off a loss under Mike Shanahan.
  • Line Movement: Broncos -14 (open) to Broncos -14.
  • Total Movement: 40 (open) to 40.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 48 degrees. Light wind, 10 mph.

Fantasy Spin
  • Start Em: Todd Heap, Jake Plummer, Mike Anderson, Rod Smith, Ashley Lelie, Broncos Defense.
  • Sit Em: Jamal Lewis, Chester Taylor, Ravens Defense.

Prediction: Broncos by 31. (Broncos -14). Money Pick. Under.




Chiefs (8-4) at Cowboys (7-5). Line: Cowboys by 3. Over-Under: 43.
Sunday, 4:15 ET

Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 13 Games): Cowboys by 3.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 13 Games): Cowboys by 3.

The Game. Edge: Chiefs.
Injuries: Chiefs: OUT: RB Priest Holmes. QUESTIONABLE: DE Carlos Hall, S Jerome Woods. Cowboys: OUT: OT Flozell Adams, ILB Dat Nguyen. QUESTIONABLE: CB Anthony Henry.

This was another candidate for Game of the Week. The Chiefs need a victory to keep pace with the Broncos, while the Cowboys need a win just to stay alive in the playoff hunt.

How powerful is Kansas City with Willie Roaf? The team is 5-1 when the monstrous left tackle has been in the lineup. Larry Johnson can run on any team as long as Roaf is in the lineup. He even pummeled the Broncos' fifth-ranked rush defense for 140 yards and two scores on Sunday. Dallas is seeded 25th in that department, and it will only get worse for the Cowboys because inside linebacker Dat Nguyen is out for the year. Nguyen was great at containing opposing rushers and he was Dallas' smartest defensive player. It's no wonder that Tiki Barber rushed for 115 yards last week. With Johnson ripping off huge chunks of yardage, Trent Green will be able to utilize play-action to Eddie Kennison and Tony Gonzalez. Green, who has struggled this season after suffering a foot injury in the preseason, has finally gotten back on track. He has thrown for 576 yards and 2 touchdowns the previous two games.

Julius Jones and Marion Barber gained just 82 yards on 25 carries, as the Cowboys lost to the Giants on Sunday, 17-10. The Chiefs haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher since September, so don't expect either Dallas runner to do much on the ground. Instead, Drew Bledsoe will have to beat Kansas City's improved stop unit by himself. The Chiefs are weak against the pass -- they yield 242 aerial yards per contest -- but Bledsoe will have to fire the ball downfield with Jared Allen in his face. The Kansas City defensive end has accumulated eight sacks, and should be able to raise that total. Allen goes head-to-head with left tackle Torrin Tucker, who is a substitute for the injured Flozell Adams.

It took a while, but Bledsoe has finally self-destructed. He was 15-of-39 for 146 yards and two interceptions on Sunday. There's no way I'm going to rely on him to beat a great Kansas City squad.


The Trends. Edge: Cowboys.
  • Cowboys are 10-2 ATS after a loss as an underdog under Bill Parcells.
  • Cowboys are 13-7 ATS as a favorite under Bill Parcells.
  • Line Movement: .
  • Total Movement: .
  • Weather: Cloudy, 59 degrees. Mild wind, 15 mph.

Fantasy Spin
  • Start Em: Trent Green, Larry Johnson, Eddie Kennison.
  • Sit Em: Drew Bledsoe, Julius Jones, Marion Barber III, Cowboys Defense.

Prediction: Chiefs by 8. (Chiefs +3). Over.




Dolphins (5-7) at Chargers (8-4). Line: Chargers by 13. Over-Under: 45.
Sunday, 4:15 ET

Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 13 Games): Chargers by 10.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 13 Games): Chargers by 10.

The Game. Edge: Chargers.
Injuries: Dolphins: OUT: WR David Boston, OLB Junior Seau, MLB Zach Thomas, CB Will Poole, S Tebucky Jones. QUESTIONABLE: QB Gus Frerotte, WR Marty Booker, DE Jason Taylor, MLB Zach Thomas. Chargers: QUESTIONABLE: RB LaDainian Tomlinson*, OT Roman Oben, S Terrence Kiel.

I'll lose all respect for Nick Saban if he goes back to Gus Frerotte as his starting quarterback. Sage Rosenfels led a 21-point comeback last week, while Cleo Lemon looks like a promising, young signal caller. Frerotte is old, decrepit and only knows how to lose games.

That said, whoever the starting quarterback will be will have a tough time winning in San Diego. He will have to do it without a rushing attack; the Chargers are ranked sixth against the run, so Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown will frequently be stuffed in the backfield. The Chargers' weak spot on defense is their secondary, but is any Miami quarterback poised enough to attack it on the road, especially with Shawne Merriman threatening to destroy any Dolphins player he sees?

LaDainian Tomlinson's status will obviously have a huge impact on this contest. If he plays, his mere presence will help Drew Brees fire downfield to Antonio Gates, Keenan McCardell and Eric Parker. Just remember what J.P. Losman did to the Dolphins' beleaguered secondary in the first quarter of Sunday's contest. If Tomlinson is not available, the Dolphins will not have to worry about stopping the run. San Diego will still score enough points to win, but the team may not cover the enormous point spread.

If Tomlinson is ruled out, my pick may change. For now, I cannot take Frerotte, Rosenfels or Lemon on the road.


The Trends. Edge: Chargers.
  • Breather Alert: Following this "easy" game, the CHARGERS play Colts, Chiefs and Broncos.
  • Emotional Win Alert: Teams are 42-71 ATS after an emotional win since 2001; DOLPHINS scored a game-winning touchdown with 6 seconds left.
  • Weak Arm: Gus Frerotte is 2-3 ATS on the road this year. ???
  • Line Movement: .
  • Total Movement: 44 (open) to 45.
  • Weather: Sunny, 68 degrees. Light wind, 8 mph.

Fantasy Spin
  • Start Em: Chris Chambers, Drew Brees, Antonio Gates, Keenan McCardell, Chargers Defense.
  • Sit Em: Ronnie Brown, Ricky Williams, Dolphins Defense.

Prediction: Chargers by 21. (Chargers -13). Over.




Lions (4-8) at Packers (2-10). Line: Packers by 6. Over-Under: 35.
Sunday, 8:30 ET

Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 13 Games): Packers by 3.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 13 Games): Packers by 4.

The Game. Edge: Lions.
Injuries: Lions: OUT: CB Fernando Bryant. QUESTIONABLE: RB Kevin Jones*, OLB Boss Bailey, OLB Donte Curry, OLB Teddy Lehman, S Terrence Holt. Packers: OUT: RB Ahman Green, RB Najeh Davenport, WR Javon Walker, S Earl Little, KR Terrence Murphy. QUESTIONABLE: TE Bubba Franks*, OLB Na'il Diggs. PROBABLE: QB Brett Favre*.

If I were a Lions fan, I would gather up all my friends and sneak "Fire Matt Millen" signs into the next home game. What kind of injustice is it that fans can't hold up derogatory signs? Detroit's entire organization is corrupt. No wonder it hasn't won a playoff game in a thousand years.

The Packers are 13th against they run and they have absolutely no talent in their secondary. Look for Dick Jauron to establish the run with Kevin Jones or Artose Pinner -- the former is questionable -- which will set up play-action opportunities for either Jeff Garcia or Joey Harrington. No one on Green Bay will be able to cover Roy Williams. The Lions should be able to score between 17 and 21 points.

Here comes the Brett Favre interception express. It pains me to say this, but the Packers should sit Favre down in favor of Aaron Rodgers. It's not like Favre is keeping the games close for Green Bay. In fact, Favre has been responsible for the previous two losses, as he has thrown picks at opportune times. I know you can't put all the blame on the NFL's interception leader, but the Packers are just awful on offense. They have no offensive line, running game or weapons left at Favre's disposal, with the exception of Donald Driver.

How can anyone pick this game? Both teams are terrible, reeling and simply pathetic. The Packers will probably win, 19-17.


The Trends. Edge: Packers.
  • History: Packers have won 8 of the last 10 meetings.
  • Packers are 8-4 ATS in December home games since 2000.
  • Line Movement: Packers -5 (open) to Packers -6.
  • Total Movement: 38 (open) to 37 to 36 to 36 to 35.
  • Weather: Snow, 25 degrees. Mild wind, 12 mph.

Fantasy Spin
  • Start Em: Roy Williams, Donald Driver.
  • Sit Em: Everyone Else.

Prediction: Packers by 2. (Lions +6). Under.




Saints (3-9) at Falcons (7-5). Line: Falcons by 10. Over-Under: 43.
Monday, 9:00 ET

Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 13 Games): Falcons by 10.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 13 Games): Falcons by 10.

The Game. Edge: None.
Injuries: Saints: OUT: RB Deuce McAllister, TE Ernie Conwell, OLB James Allen, S Jay Bellamy, KR Michael Lewis. QUESTIONABLE: DT Johnathan Sullivan, MLB Courtney Watson. Falcons: OUT: MLB Edgerton Hartwell, CB Chris Cash, CB Kevin Mathis. DOUBTFUL: KR/PR Allen Rossum. QUESTIONABLE: WR Dez White, DE Brady Smith.

What happened to Michael Vick? I thought he told the media that he was an accurate passer. Vick was just 17-of-35 for 171 yards and two interceptions at Carolina last week.

Frankly, I'm not surprised. The Falcons are one dimensional on offense because Vick has severe accuracy problems. But, he'll snap out of it against pathetic New Orleans, right? I doubt it. Vick was 11-of-23 for 112 yards when the two teams clashed on Oct. 16. Plus, the Saints did a phenomenal job defending Chris Simms last week, restricting the young signal caller to 12-of-21 passing for 123 yards. That said, Atlanta will still be able to move the chains because New Orleans is ranked 28th against the run. Warrick Dunn, T.J. Duckett and Vick will all gain massive chunks of yardage on the ground.

Atlanta is one-dimensional on defense as well. Its pass defense is mediocre, but the team simply cannot defend the run. In fact, the Falcons are 31st against it. Antowain Smith, who will receive the bulk of New Orleans' carries, should be able to eclipse the 100-yard rushing plateau, which will set up play-action opportunities for Aaron Brooks. The Falcons surrendered 259 passing yards and two scores to Brooks when the two teams clashed earlier this season. Aaron Stecker and Smith pounded Atlanta for 174 rushing yards on 28 carries.

Like the Saints-Buccaneers rivalry last week, the Saints-Falcons matchups usually go to the road team. I don't think New Orleans will win, but the team will definitely keep things interesting.


The Trends. Edge: Saints.
  • History: Falcons have won 15 of the last 21 meetings.
  • History in Atlanta: Saints are 3-1 ATS in the Georgia Dome since 2001.
  • Divisional Dog of Seven: Current NFL coaches are 49-27 ATS as divisional underdogs of seven or more since 2002.
  • Saints are 28-18 ATS on the road since 2000.
  • Saints are 18-11 ATS as a road underdog since 2000.
  • Line Movement: Falcons -10 (open) to Falcons -10.
  • Total Movement: 44 (open) to 45 to 43.
  • Weather: Dome.

Fantasy Spin
  • Start Em: Aaron Brooks, Antowain Smith, Joe Horn, Donte' Stallworth, Warrick Dunn, Alge Crumpler.
  • Sit Em: Michael Vick, Both Defenses.

Prediction: Falcons by 3. (Saints +10). Double Money Pick. Over.


My Team by Team ATS Record
This section shows how well I do when picking each team. The purpose is to see how well I read each team. Pushes are not displayed.


Cowboys: 3-8
Eagles: 6-6
Giants: 7-4
Redskins: 6-6

Bears: 7-4
Lions: 6-5
Packers: 6-6
Vikings: 7-5

Buccaneers: 8-4
Falcons: 7-5
Panthers: 8-2
Saints: 7-4

49ers: 3-9
Cardinals: 4-8
Rams: 5-7
Seahawks: 6-6

Bills: 5-6
Dolphins: 5-7
Jets: 7-5
Patriots: 5-7

Bengals: 8-4
Browns: 7-5
Ravens: 6-6
Steelers: 5-7

Colts: 8-4
Jaguars: 5-7
Texans: 6-6
Titans: 8-4

Broncos: 4-7
Chargers: 6-5
Chiefs: 6-5
Raiders: 9-2

Divisional Games: 34-28
Trend Edge: 26-35
Game Edge: 28-25
Game & Trend Edge: 4-5


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My Team-by-Team ATS Record
This section shows how well I do when picking each team this year. The purpose is to see how well I read each team. Pushes are not displayed. Winning/losing streak in parentheses.

Cowboys: 9-7
Bears: 7-7
Bucs: 8-8
49ers: 8-9
Eagles: 7-10
Lions: 11-5
Falcons: 5-10
Cardinals: 10-5
Giants: 7-9
Packers: 8-8
Panthers: 8-9
Rams: 7-9
Redskins: 9-7
Vikings: 7-9
Saints: 13-4
Seahawks: 9-10
Bills: 12-4
Bengals: 8-8
Colts: 11-6
Broncos: 8-11
Dolphins: 11-5
Browns: 3-13
Jaguars: 7-8
Chargers: 11-6
Jets: 8-8
Ravens: 9-6
Texans: 10-5
Chiefs: 6-11
Patriots: 10-8
Steelers: 6-10
Titans: 5-7
Raiders: 9-7
Divisional: 51-44 (2011-12: 90-93)
2x Game Edge: 14-22 (2011-12: 41-40)
2x Psych Edge: 35-26 (2011-12: 57-54)
2x Vegas Edge: 40-38 (2011-12: 89-104)
2x Trend Edge: 24-23 (2011-12: 48-55)
Double Edge: 9-10 (2011-12: 17-23)
Triple Edge: 1-0 (2011-12: 1-1)
Quad Edge: 0-0 (2011: 0-0)

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