Redskins (10-6) at Buccaneers (11-5). Line: Buccaneers by 2. Over-Under: 36.
Saturday, 4:30 ET

Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 17 Games): Buccaneers by 3.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 17 Games): Buccaneers by 3.

The Game. Edge: Buccaneers.
Injuries: Redskins: OUT: WR David Patten, DT Brandon Noble, CB Shawn Springs. QUESTIONABLE: CB Carlos Rogers, S Matt Bowen. Buccaneers: OUT: QB Brian Griese, WR Michael Clayton. QUESTIONABLE: S Jermaine Phillips.

You have to wonder how much gas Washington has left in the tank. It had to win its final five games -- including two high-charged, emotional affairs against Dallas and the Giants -- just to sneak into the playoffs as the No. 6 seed. A lack of energy resonated when the Redskins played the Eagles; Philadelphia nearly beat a team in dire desperation.

Everyone is going to look back at the 36-35 Buccaneers home victory over the Redskins on Nov. 13 as a guide on how to pick this game. However, the Buccaneers did not have a healthy Cadillac Williams in that matchup. Cadillac was just two weeks removed from coming back from his early-season injury. He gained just 20 yards on 10 carries, which would indicate that he was still hurt, given that Washington is ranked 21st against the run. Cadillac will register at least 100 yards, setting up play-action opportunities for Chris Simms, who had one of his best performances against Washington. Simms was 15-of-29 for 279 yards and three touchdowns when the two teams clashed.

Perhaps the polar opposite of Cadillac's futile feat was Clinton Portis' 144 rushing yards. Keep in mind that Tampa Bay has the top-rated ground defense in the NFL. The Buccaneers yielded just 59 yards on 14 rushes to Warrick Dunn two weeks ago. Seven days earlier, Corey Dillon managed just 48 yards on 19 carries. Tampa Bay will do a better job of putting the clamps on Portis, forcing Mark Brunell in unfavorable long-yardage situations. Brunell played well during the Nov. 13 meeting, completing 23-of-35 passes for 226 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. But, keep in mind that Brunell had an effective rushing attack to support him. I don't think he'll have that this time around.

The Redskins cannot possibly keep up their momentum. Even if they grab an early lead, they will wither away in the second half.


The Trends. Edge: Buccaneers.
  • Redskins are 1-9 ATS after a road win since 2000.
  • Line Movement: Buccaneers -2 (open) to Buccaneers -2.
  • Total Movement: 37 (open) to 36.
  • Weather: Sunny, 57 degrees. Mild wind, 11 mph.

Prediction: Buccaneers by 10. (Buccaneers -2). Money Pick. Over.




Jaguars (12-4) at Patriots (10-6). Line: Patriots by 7. Over-Under: 37.
Saturday, 8:00 ET

Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 17 Games): Patriots by 10.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 17 Games): Patriots by 9.

The Game. Edge: Patriots.
Injuries: Jaguars: OUT: C Brad Meester, S Donovin Darius. QUESTIONABLE: RB Greg Jones, G Chris Naeole, MLB Mike Peterson, CB Kenny Wright. EXPECTED TO START: QB Byron Leftwich*. Patriots: OUT: OT Matt Light, C Dan Koppen, CB Randall Gay, CB Tyrone Poole, S Rodney Harrison. QUESTIONABLE: RB Corey Dillon*, TE Daniel Graham, DE Jarvis Green, CB Asante Samuel, CB Artrell Hawkins, KR Bethel Johnson.

The Patriots had a chance to snag the third seed in the AFC. Instead, they benched Tom Brady and the rest of their starters to maintain a stranglehold on the fourth seed. Can you blame them? I'd rather play Jacksonville than Pittsburgh.

Bill Belichick must have joyfully done the Macarena when he found out that Byron Leftwich -- not David Garrard -- would be starting on Saturday night. Don't get me wrong -- Garrard is by no means better than Leftwich. However, Leftwich, who has not played since Nov. 27, will undoubtedly be rusty. This situation reminds me of the 2002 Eagles, a team that decided to go with Donovan McNabb in the playoffs after he sat out for nearly two months. McNabb struggled and Philadelphia consequently lost to Tampa Bay. Leftwich, who almost has no chance of playing well, will be lacking an effective ground attack; the Patriots front seven is healthy and will be among the elite teams against the run in the playoffs.

Jacksonville may have a superb front seven, but its secondary is not nearly as talented as the other players on the defense. David Carr even managed to throw for 295 yards and two scores against them on Christmas Eve. Brady, who is undefeated in the playoffs, will mercilessly shred the Jaguars secondary. Helping Brady's cause will be the injuries to Jacksonville defensive ends Reggie Hayward and Paul Spicer. If either is missing from the lineup, the Jaguars have no chance of winning this game. Not like they had a chance anyway.

The Jagaurs are in way over their head. They might be able to beat the Houstons and the Tennessees of the NFL, but traveling to frigid Foxboro and defeating the defending champs is way too much to ask.


The Trends. Edge: Patriots.
  • Double Home Alert: Coaches are 54-41 ATS at home following a home loss since 2001; Bill Belichick 3-1 ATS.
  • Patriots are 29-16 ATS at home under Bill Belichick.
  • Patriots are 12-3 ATS in December home games since 2000.
  • Tom Brady is 67-19 as a starter (55-30 ATS).
  • Tom Brady is 9-0 in the playoffs (5-4 ATS).
  • Line Movement: .
  • Total Movement: 38 (open) to 37.
  • Weather: Clear, 19 degrees. Light wind, 9 mph.

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




Panthers (11-5) at Giants (11-5). Line: Giants by 2. Over-Under: 43.
Sunday, 1:00 ET
WALTER'S GAME OF THE WEEK.

Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 17 Games): Giants by 4.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 17 Games): Giants by 3.

The Game. Edge: Panthers.
Injuries: Panthers: OUT: RB Stephen Davis, DT Kris Jenkins. QUESTIONABLE: RB DeShaun Foster*, MLB Dan Morgan. Giants: OUT: DT William Joseph, MLB Antonio Pierce, MLB Chase Blackburn, OLB Barrett Green, CB William Peterson. QUESTIONABLE: TE Jeremy Shockey*, OLB Reggie Torbor.

It should be interesting to see what the Panthers will be able to do in the playoffs. They were the closest team to knocking off the Patriots in the Super Bowl. After a one-year hiatus, Carolina is back in the postseason.

Unfortunately for the other teams in the NFC, the Panthers have discovered a rushing attack just in time for January. DeShaun Foster gained 165 yards on just 18 carries against the Falcons last week. Granted, the Giants have a superior ground defense than Atlanta does, but it's not much better, given all the injuries they have incurred. New York used to defend the run well, but that was prior to middle linebacker Antonio Pierce's injury. Ever since Pierce left the lineup, the Giants have allowed more than 100 rushing yards to Clinton Portis, Larry Johnson and even Ryan Moats. Pierce is listed as questionable, but even if he plays, he will not be 100 percent. Foster's effective running will set up play-action for Jake Delhomme, who should be able to locate Steve Smith all afternoon. No one in New York's beleaguered secondary will be able to cover the league's leading receiver.

Unlike the Giants, Carolina excels at stopping the run. In fact, the Panthers are ranked third and are fresh off limiting 25 yards on 13 carries to the duo of Warrick Dunn and T.J. Duckett. Tiki Barber, one of the elite running backs in the NFL, will still be able to break off some double-digit runs. However, Eli Manning will be asked to carry the Giants at least a little bit. That doesn't bode well for the home team because Manning has thrown more interceptions (12) than touchdowns (10) the previous eight weeks.

In his second year, Peyton Manning won his division but lost his first postseason game. Now, Eli Manning has won his division in his sophomore season. Will history repeat itself? Is Eli's fate sealed?


The Trends. Edge: Panthers.
  • Panthers are 18-9 ATS as an underdog the previous 27 instances.
  • John Fox is 4-0 ATS in the playoffs.
  • Giants are 7-2 ATS at home this year.
  • Line Movement: .
  • Total Movement: 43 (open) to 43.
  • Weather: Sunny, 43 degrees. Light wind, 8 mph.

Prediction: Panthers by 6. (Panthers +2). Over.




Steelers (11-5) at Bengals (12-4). Line: Steelers by 3. Over-Under: 44.
Sunday, 4:30 ET

Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 17 Games): Bengals by 3.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 17 Games): Bengals by 3.

The Game. Edge: Bengals.
Injuries: Bengals: OUT: C Larry Moore, S Madieu Williams, S Kim Herring. QUESTIONABLE: OT Levi Jones, CB Deltha O'Neal.

The Bengals were one-point favorites on Sunday night. By Monday morning, they were three-point underdogs. I don't need to tell you that teams that have a lot of points move in their direction often play poorly. Apparently, Vegas knows a lot more than everyone gives them credit for.

All of the analysts on ESPN note that Pittsburgh went back to the running game after it lost at home to Cincinnati on Dec. 4. Can you blame them for believe that theory? The Steelers ran the table, winning their final four contests of the season. However, Pittsburgh did in fact run the ball plenty of times against the Bengals. Willie Parker, Jerome Bettis and Duce Staley combined for 26 carries, gaining just 86 yards in the process. Furthermore, if you subtract a fluke 17-yard gain by Parker, the three managed only 69 yards on 25 rushes. The Bengals, who did not try in their season finale against Kansas City, are better against the run than most people will give them credit for. Prior to the Chiefs battle, Cincinnati had not surrendered more than 74 rushing yards to a single running back since Nov. 27. The Bengals' problem on defense is their non-existent pass rush. Ben Roethlisberger should be able to help his team move the chains, but he has proven that he cannot carry the Steelers on his back. Cincinnati's opportunistic secondary will pick him off a few times.

The Steelers permitted Kelly Holcomb to throw for 429 yards and three scores in the 2003 playoffs. Besides drafting Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh did not fix its secondary. The unit was exposed last week when Joey Harrington looked like a legitimate quarterback; it was exposed against Indianapolis and Cincinnati this season; and it was exposed when the Steelers lost to the Patriots in last year's AFC Championship. The combination of Carson Palmer to Chad Johnson, T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Chris Henry will not be stopped. Pittsburgh's focus on the passing attack will open up a few running lanes for Rudi Johnson; the Bengals running back gained 98 yards on 21 carries when the teams clashed on Dec. 4.

The wrong team is favored. Cincinnati gained confidence when it nearly beat Indianapolis and defeated Pittsburgh the following week. The Steelers are no longer the kings of the AFC North. The torch will be passed around 7:45 on Sunday evening.

Friday Morning Update: I have upgraded this to a Bonus Double Money Pick. I can't imagine Pittsburgh winning this game. Think about it this way: The Steelers are favored because they beat Cleveland, 41-0? Give me a break.


The Trends. Edge: Bengals.
  • History: Steelers have won 9 of the last 12 meetings.
  • Extreme Line Movement: Teams that have had the line change in their favor by three or more points are 2-8 ATS this year.
  • Line Movement: Bengals -1 (open) to Steelers -3.
  • Total Movement: 44 (open) to 44.
  • Weather: Cloudy, 42 degrees. Light wind, 10 mph.

Prediction: Bengals by 14. (Bengals +3). Bonus 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: 5-9
Eagles: 8-8
Giants: 9-6
Redskins: 8-7

Bears: 8-6
Lions: 10-5
Packers: 9-6
Vikings: 10-6

Buccaneers: 9-6
Falcons: 9-6
Panthers: 11-3
Saints: 9-6

49ers: 4-12
Cardinals: 6-9
Rams: 8-8
Seahawks: 10-6

Bills: 8-7
Dolphins: 5-11
Jets: 10-6
Patriots: 8-8

Bengals: 12-4
Browns: 10-6
Ravens: 8-8
Steelers: 8-8

Colts: 11-5
Jaguars: 5-11
Texans: 8-8
Titans: 10-6

Broncos: 6-9
Chargers: 8-7
Chiefs: 7-7
Raiders: 12-3

Divisional Games: 47-43
Trend Edge: 32-44
Game Edge: 39-34
Game & Trend Edge: 5-8


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Last Week's NFL Picks Against The Spread (Week 21, 2013): 1-0 (+$700)
Last Week's 2-3 Unit NFL Picks (Week 21, 2013): 0-0 ($0)
Last Week's 4-5 Unit NFL Picks (Week 21, 2013): 0-0 ($0)
Last Week Over-Under (Week 21, 2013): 0-1 ($0)
Last Week's Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks (Week 21, 2013): +$300

2013 NFL Picks of the Month: 6-0, 100% (+$3,900)

2013 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 144-131-8, 52.4% (+$5,580)
2013 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 38-42, 47.5% (-$2,890)
2013 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 17-9-3, 65.4% (+$2,970)
2013 Season Over-Under: 132-130-5, 50.4% (-$340)
2013 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$2,245

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)

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)

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)

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)

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

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)

Career NFL Picks Against The Spread: 2,022-1,851-112, 52.2% (+$12,405)
Career 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 649-587-31 (52.5%)
Career 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 270-234-10 (53.6%)
Career Over-Under: 1541-1537-46 (50.1%)
Career Second-Half NFL Picks: 22-14-1 (61.1%)
Career NFL Picks of the Month: 30-16 (65.2%)



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.

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)

2003 Preseason: 3 | 4 | 5
2003 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 20 | XXXVIII
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2010 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
2010 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLV |
2011 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
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