Saints (11-6) at Bears (14-3). Line: Bears by 3. Over-Under: 43.
Sunday, 3:00 ET
FOX

Walt's Projected Line: Pick.

The Game. Edge: Saints.
Injuries: Saints: OUT: G Jermaine Mayberry (IR), LB Tommy Polley (IR), LB James Allen (IR), P Mitch Berger (IR). QUESTIONABLE: WR Joe Horn*, S Omar Stoutmire. Bears: OUT: DT Tommie Harris (IR), DT Dusty Dvoracek (IR), S Mike Brown (IR). QUESTIONABLE: WR Mark Bradley.

What do these teams have in common? Well, for starters, the Bears beat the Detroit Lions twice this year. The Saints didn’t play Detroit at all. Yeah, I don’t know… I had to transition into my 2006 Lions Scrapbook somehow. That’s right! As promised, I’ve created it. First of all, in case you missed it, here’s my 2006 Raiders Scrapbook. And now for the moment you three people have been waiting for, here’s my 2006 Lions Scrapbook. Note: If your browser shrinks the picture, just enlarge it by clicking the magnifying glass or whatever your browser provides to expand images.

Enough about crappy teams who have no hope of ever reaching the playoffs. I expect the Saints to score at will. This may surprise you, but the Bears are actually ranked 17th against the run. They were in the top 10 prior to Tommie Harris’ injury, but he’s long gone; we all witnessed a mediocre Shaun Alexander rumble for 108 yards and two touchdowns last week. Now, imagine what Deuce McAllister and Reggie Bush will be able to do behind a superior offensive front. Chicago obviously won’t be able to stack the line because of Joe Horn, Marques Colston, Devery Henderson and Drew Brees’ arm. The Bears will find out how much they really miss Mike Brown.

I’m watching the TV. I’m listening to the radio. I’m talking to my friends. Everyone is discussing how great Rex Grossman played against Seattle. Is everyone blind, or have I gone completely insane? Aside from two deep throws, Grossman was horrific, in my opinion. He couldn’t read any of the Seahawks’ blitzes, he was skittish in the pocket, and simply made too many poor decisions. Excluding Brian Westbrook’s long run in the third quarter, New Orleans did a solid job of defending Philadelphia’s ground attack last week. I expect the Saints to put the clamps on Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson, forcing Grossman to beat them. Grossman’s not beating anyone. The run is over.

There are only two potential problems with picking the Saints to win outright. The first will be the weather conditions. New Orleans actually plays better on the road – check the stats below – so that is nullified. The second is the fact that 67 percent of the betting public is on the visitor. That’s the only reason why this isn’t a Double Money Pick.


The Vegas. Edge: Bears.
This new section of my predictions will how each game is being bet. In some cases, I'll attempt to explain the public perception.

  • Percentage of money on New Orleans: 60% (About 127,000 online bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Saints.
    • Saints are 35-21 ATS on the road since 2000.
    • Saints are 23-14 ATS as a road underdog since 2000.
    • Opening Line: Bears -3.
    • Opening Total: 44.
    • Weather: Snow, 30 degrees. Mild wind, 11 mph.

    Prediction: Saints 24, Bears 13. (Saints +2½).
    Double Money Pick.
    Incorrect: Bears 39, Saints 14.




    Patriots (14-4) at Colts (14-4). Line: Colts by 3. Over-Under: 47½.
    Sunday, 6:30 ET
    CBS
    Walter's Game of the Week

    Walt's Projected Line: Colts -4.

    The Game. Edge: Patriots.
    Injuries: Patriots: OUT: LB Junior Seau (IR), S Eugene Wilson, S Mel Mitchell, P Ken Walter. DOUBTFUL: S Rodney Harrison. Colts: OUT: FB James Mungro (IR), WR Brandon Stokley (IR), DT Corey Simon (IR), DT Montae Reagor, S Mike Doss (IR).

    A few weeks ago, my friend Jason proposed that I make a section in my predictions dedicated to the officials calling the game. It was a good idea – I could predict how many penalties would be whistled based on the referees – but I didn’t know much about them, excluding the fact that Ed Hochuli can lift a two-ton truck and Sally Struthers with one hand, all while stopping Abu Fayed and his five suitcase nukes.

    However, that changed Saturday. While browsing through various message boards, one post caught my eye. The following user had this to say about the Ravens-Colts contest: “When I found out who was officiating the game today, I loaded up on Indy. [Bill] Leavy and his band of cheats will find a way to keep it close.” If you’ve forgotten, Leavy was the referee who completely botched last year’s Super Bowl. In honor of Leavy’s ineptness, I think we should give him a nickname. Here’s an idea: “King of the Phantom Holding Call.” Seriously, how many ridiculous holding penalties can you whistle in a single game? Is Leavy going for the Guinness world record? Does he mutter “holding on the offense” in his sleep? This man must be stopped.

    Unless Leavy’s calling this game, the Patriots should be able to score a decent amount of points. Don’t be fooled by Indianapolis’ recent defensive surge; the team shut down the Chiefs, who had one of the worst offensive game plans in league history, and the Ravens, who inexplicably copied Kansas City’s tactics of running right, running left and throwing short on third-and-long. Where’s the deep play-action? Tom Brady won’t hesitate to torch the Colts’ weak secondary. That will open up running lanes for Corey Dillon and Laurence Maroney.

    I know Peyton Manning scored at will against New England the last two times he played them, but that was in the regular season. This is the playoffs, where Manning currently has five interceptions and just one touchdown. The ineptitude of Herman Edwards and Brian Billick has saved him thus far, but throwing picks left and right just won’t fly against Bill Belichick. And don’t think for a second that Manning will have support from Joseph Addai and Dominic Rhodes; the Patriots excel at containing the run.

    Look below at the Vegas. Seventy percent of the betting public is on Indianapolis! When will these people learn? Don’t take Manning against a good coach-quarterback combo in the playoffs, and don’t bet against Brady as an underdog. The Patriots “shocked the world” by winning outright against San Diego, and they’ll do the same this week.


    The Vegas. Edge: Patriots.
  • Percentage of money on Indianapolis: 72% (125,000)

    The Trends. Edge: Patriots.
    • Patriots are 11-5 ATS as an underdog since 2003.
    • Tom Brady is 82-24 as a starter (66-38 ATS).
    • Tom Brady is 12-1 in the playoffs (8-5 ATS).
    • Tom Brady is 8-0 ATS in domes.
    • Peyton Manning is 1-6 ATS in the playoffs (excluding games against Jake Plummer, Trent Green).
    • Opening Line: Colts -3.
    • Opening Total: 48½.
    • Weather: Dome.

    Prediction: Patriots 19, Colts 16. (Patriots +3).
    Double Money Pick.
    Incorrect: Colts 38, Patriots 34.


    Second-Half Bets
    Check back at halftime to see if I have any plays posted.

  • Patriots +7 Incorrect

    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: 11-5
    Eagles: 8-10
    Giants: 10-6
    Redskins: 9-6

    Bears: 9-8
    Lions: 10-6
    Packers: 11-4
    Vikings: 6-10

    Buccaneers: 6-9
    Falcons: 7-9
    Panthers: 8-6
    Saints: 8-9

    49ers: 9-7
    Cardinals: 4-12
    Rams: 7-8
    Seahawks: 10-8

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

    Bengals: 7-8
    Browns: 8-6
    Ravens: 7-10
    Steelers: 8-8

    Colts: 8-9
    Jaguars: 9-6
    Texans: 12-4
    Titans: 9-6

    Broncos: 4-11
    Chargers: 10-7
    Chiefs: 6-11
    Raiders: 6-9

    Divisional Games: 52-45
    Game Edge: 37-54
    Psychological Edge: 25-22
    Vegas Edge: 20-12
    Trend Edge: 20-26
    Double Edge: 20-17
    Triple Edge: 0-2
    Quadruple Edge: 0-0


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    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 8, 2014): 4-11 (+$320)
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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: 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)

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