Steelers (13-5) at Broncos (14-3). Line: Broncos by 3. Over-Under: 41.
Sunday, 3:00 ET
WALTER'S GAME OF THE WEEK

Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 19 Games): Broncos by 4.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 19 Games): Broncos by 3.

The Game. Edge: Steelers.
Injuries: Steelers: OUT: KR Quincy Morgan. Broncos: OUT: OT Dwayne Carswell.

It might not be a coincidence that the Broncos and Steelers have reached the AFC Championship Game. Just look at all of the similarities: Both have an outstanding running game, a great defense that excels at stopping opposing rushers, secondaries that can be exploited if the front seven cannot place pressure on the quarterback, outstanding head coaches and clutch kickers that you can obviously trust more than Anti Vinatieri (Mike Vanderjagt).

However, there is one glaring difference between Pittsburgh and Denver -- Ben Roethlisberger is more talented and definitely more trust-worthy than Jake Plummer. The Steelers shocked the football world on Sunday afternoon when they came out firing the ball downfield. Roethlisberger didn't post gargantuan numbers -- he was 14-of-24 for 197 yards, two touchdowns and an interception -- but he exposed Indianapolis' defense as a fraud by consistently hooking up with Hines Ward, Heath Miller and Antwaan Randle El.

If you watched the Broncos-Patriots contest on Saturday night, you may have noticed that Denver has problems stopping the pass. This was not a fluke; the Broncos secondary surrendered nearly 230 passing yards per contest during the regular season. Denver just doesn't have the defensive backs to cover Ward, Miller and Randle El. And, it's not like Mike Shanahan can go into a dime package all afternoon; the Broncos will be forced to respect Jerome Bettis and Willie Parker.

While both squads run the ball extremely well, they are also both in the top five when it comes to containing opposing ground attacks. Pittsburgh can survive without running the ball well, which they displayed against the Colts. Denver cannot. Jake Plummer has proven in years past that he implodes if he doesn't have the support of a consistent rushing attack. Plummer only threw one pick against New England, but he failed to help his team move the chains on a consistent basis. Excluding Denver's final field goal of the contest, the team scored all of its points off turnovers.

This should be a tight, low-scoring game that could possibly go into overtime. That's where the attitudes of the two quarterbacks come into play. Roethlisberger thrives under pressure. Jake Plummer? Think about it this way: The Steelers are up by three with 1:38 remaining in regulation. The Broncos have the ball on their own 30-yard line with two timeouts remaining. Plummer drops back, avoids Joey Porter, throws a 20-yard pass to the middle of the field. Troy Polamalu is closing in and he has his eyes on the ball...

Steelers 20, Broncos 17.


The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Third Road Alert: Teams in their third consecutive road game are 8-14 ATS since 2000.
  • Ben Roethlisberger is 24-4 as a starter (19-9 ATS).
  • Ben Roethlisberger is 7-2 ATS as an underdog.
  • Broncos are 14-4 ATS at home when the line is -3 to +3 the previous 18 instances.
  • Broncos are 9-4 ATS in December home games since 2000.
  • Line Movement: Broncos -3 (open) to Broncos -3 to Broncos -3.
  • Total Movement: 43 (open) to 41.
  • Weather: Sunny, 42 degrees. Light wind, 7 mph.

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




Panthers (13-5) at Seahawks (14-3). Line: Seahawks by 4. Over-Under: 43.
Sunday, 6:30 ET

Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 19 Games): Seahawks by 3.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 19 Games): Seahawks by 2.

The Game. Edge: Panthers.
Injuries: Panthers: OUT: RB Stephen Davis, RB DeShaun Foster*, DT Kris Jenkins. QUESTIONABLE: FB Brad Hoover, C Jeff Mitchell*, DE Julius Peppers*. Seahawks: OUT: OLB Jamie Sharper, S Ken Hamlin. QUESTIONABLE: OT Wayne Hunter. EXPECTED TO PLAY: RB Shaun Alexander*, G Sean Locklear.

After watching Steve Smith rip through the NFL's supposed best defense last weekend, it's almost a crime that he did not receive a single MVP vote. But, I'm sure Smith would take a Lombardi Trophy over an MVP award.

It's clear that Seattle needs to contain Smith if it wants to advance to the Super Bowl. But how are the Seahawks supposed to do it? Chicago's stout defense surrendered 26 receptions to Smith in only two games. Seattle hasn't exactly excelled at containing dominant receivers during the regular season; in a contest against the Giants, Jeremy Shockey, Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer combined for 22 catches and 198 yards. Seattle struggled against squads with proficient aerial attacks. What the Seahawks must do is put immense pressure on Jake Delhomme, which will disrupt Carolina's offense. While Seattle accumulated 50 sacks this year, getting to Delhomme could be a challenge, given that Chicago's stop unit only sacked him just once.

If the Seahawks decide to put in extra defensive backs, Carolina should be able to muster an effective rushing attack with Nick Goings, who rumbled for five 100-yard games in 2004. Just because DeShaun Foster broke his ankle doesn't mean that the Panthers are going to shy away from the run. Goings is an effective runner who proved last year that he can carry the load.

Speaking of effective runners, Shaun Alexander is expected to play for Seattle. This may seem like a positive for the Seahawks, but I'm not entirely sure. In his limited action against Washington, Alexander seemed tentative and unaware of where he wanted to run the football. He also fumbled deep in Redskins territory. Could Alexander be the running-back version of Peyton Manning? The citizens of Seattle better hope not.

Carolina is one of the elite teams when it comes to defending opposing ground games, so Matt Hasselbeck will be forced to throw the ball often. Hasselbeck has compiled more than 300 passing yards in two of his three playoff contests, so Seahawks fans should be able to trust him. However, can they trust the receivers? Darrell Jackson was spectacular against Washington, but Bobby Engram started dropping passes, which was reminiscent of last year's postseason contest against St. Louis.

If Alexander decides not to dance around in the backfield, these teams seem pretty even. I trust Delhomme and John Fox over Hasselbeck and Mike Holmgren, but that's nothing decisive. If there is one advantage that Carolina has, it's that Seahawks offensive lineman Sean Locklear was arrested on Monday. This may cause a distraction, which has historically been a negative for playoff squads. If Seattle loses, it can blame Locklear for getting into trouble.

Panthers 30, Seahawks 24.


The Trends. Edge: Panthers.
  • Panthers are 20-9 ATS as an underdog the previous 29 instances.
  • John Fox is 6-0 ATS in the playoffs.
  • Line Movement: Seahawks -5 (open) to Seahawks -4 to Seahawks -4.
  • Total Movement: 43 (open) to 43.
  • Weather: Cloudy, 48 degrees. Light wind, 5 mph.

Prediction: Panthers by 6. (Panthers +4). 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: 9-8

Bears: 9-7
Lions: 10-5
Packers: 9-6
Vikings: 10-6

Buccaneers: 9-7
Falcons: 9-6
Panthers: 12-4
Saints: 9-6

49ers: 4-12
Cardinals: 6-9
Rams: 8-8
Seahawks: 11-6

Bills: 8-7
Dolphins: 5-11
Jets: 10-6
Patriots: 9-9

Bengals: 12-5
Browns: 10-6
Ravens: 8-8
Steelers: 8-10

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

Broncos: 6-10
Chargers: 8-7
Chiefs: 7-7
Raiders: 12-3

Divisional Games: 47-44
Trend Edge: 34-44
Game Edge: 41-36
Game & Trend Edge: 7-8


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Last Week's NFL Picks Against The Spread (Week 8, 2014): 4-11 (+$320)
Last Week's 2-3 Unit NFL Picks (Week 8, 2014): 2-2 (+$80)
Last Week's 4-5 Unit NFL Picks (Week 8, 2014): 0-1 (-$440)
Last Week Over-Under (Week 8, 2014): 9-6 ($0)
Last Week's Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks (Week 8, 2014): $0

2014 NFL Picks of the Month: 1-1, 50.0% (+$370)

2014 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 63-68-6, 48.1% (-$615)
2014 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 25-20, 55.6% (+$850)
2014 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 3-7-1, 30.0% (-$1,770)
2014 Season Over-Under: 68-51-1, 57.1% ($0)
2014 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$690

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: 2,077-1,912-116, 52.1% (+$11,800)
Career 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 669-603-31 (52.6%)
Career 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 279-241-11 (53.7%)
Career Over-Under: 1,609-1,588-47 (50.3%)
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: 3-5
Bears: 3-5
Bucs: 5-2
49ers: 3-3
Eagles: 4-3
Lions: 2-5
Falcons: 3-5
Cardinals: 3-4
Giants: 2-5
Packers: 5-2
Panthers: 2-6
Rams: 3-4
Redskins: 5-3
Vikings: 6-2
Saints: 3-3
Seahawks: 3-4
Bills: 3-5
Bengals: 2-6
Colts: 4-4
Broncos: 4-3
Dolphins: 5-1
Browns: 3-2
Jaguars: 3-5
Chargers: 2-6
Jets: 4-4
Ravens: 2-5
Texans: 5-3
Chiefs: 4-2
Patriots: 4-4
Steelers: 3-5
Titans: 4-3
Raiders: 3-4
Divisional: 13-18 (2011-13: 141-137)
2x Game Edge: 7-9 (2011-13: 55-62)
2x Psych Edge: 7-12 (2011-13: 92-80)
2x Vegas Edge: 18-16 (2011-13: 129-142)
2x Trend Edge: 13-8 (2011-13: 72-78)
Double Edge: 4-5 (2011-13: 27-33)
Triple Edge: 0-0 (2011-13: 2-1)
Quad Edge: 0-0 (2011-13: 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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2006 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
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2008 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
2008 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLIII |
2009 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLIV |
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 |
2011 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLVI |
2012 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
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