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NFL Weekly Predictions
Week 3, 2007



Note: Had my first losing week of the year (7-8-1), which includes the preseason. On the bright side, I hit two of three 5-Unit selections, which would explain why I made money in Week 2 (see my records at the bottom of the page.) I really have to apologize for some of my 1-Unit picks; I didn't think Vegas would lay the hammer down on the public this early in the season. The saying is you learn something every day. That's what I picked up on Sunday. If you don't quite understand the line, total or anything else, go to my Sports Betting FAQ.



Arizona Cardinals (1-1) at Baltimore Ravens (1-1)
Line: Ravens by 7.5. Total: 35.5.

Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 2): Ravens -10.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 2): Ravens - 7.5
Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets

The Game. Edge: Cardinals.
Injuries: CARDINALS: OUT: OT Oliver Ross. RAVENS: OUT: OT Jonathan Ogden, DE/OLB Trevor Pryce, LB Dan Cody.

I have to say that I'm thrilled that Brian Billick has blown the whistle on Eric Mangini. In case you missed it, Billick, while gazing into his magic mirror and asking it if he's the fairest one of them all, complained that the Jets illegally simulated the snap count in Baltimore's 20-13 victory on Sunday. Iím probably the only person in the world who thought Mangini should have been fined and docked a draft pick for snitching on a colleague in the Overblown Videotaping-Gate. I hate snitches, but there's nothing wrong with someone who snitches on a snitch.

Were Mangini's unlawful tactics the reason the Ravens only put 20 up on the board? Doubtful. Kyle Boller sucks, Mark Clayton is nowhere to be found and the running game isn't working (Willis McGahee is averaging 3.9 yards per carry.) I don't think McGahee will have much luck against the Cardinals, who yield only 3.5 yards per carry. Arizona completely shut down Frank Gore in Week 1, and they should be able to do the same to McGahee on Sunday. Steve McNair - or Boller if the veteran signal caller isn't available - will be forced to convert unfavorable down-and-distance situations. Baltimore's offense just isn't built for that; it's too stale and turnover-prone.

The Ravens baptized a young quarterback on Sunday. Actually, I have to rephrase that. The Ravens were baptizing a young quarterback on Sunday until their defense mysteriously let up and allowed him to come within a dropped pass of tying the game. If the green Kellen Clemens, Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery were nearly able to pull the upset, can't Matt Leinart, Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald do the same thing? Baltimore won't be able to completely focus on Arizona's aerial attack because Edgerrin James apparently has discovered the Fountain of Youth. Furthermore, Ray Lewis just doesn't seem right with his torn triceps, while Trevor Pryce could be out.

This is not a game I'm going to bet heavily on. On one hand, I can't trust the Ravens to cover nine because they might not even score double digits. On the other hand, I will never back a Pacific team playing a 1 p.m. contest on the Atlantic Coast.


The Psychology. Edge: Ravens.
The Cardinals are coming off an Emotional Win Alert, as they won on a game-winning field goal as an underdog as time expired. Baltimore has Cleveland next, so it'll be focused.


The Vegas. Edge: Ravens.
Even though the Ravens struggled against the Jets, I still expect the public to pound them.

  • Percentage of money on Arizona: 63% (40,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Early Game Alert: Pacific Teams playing on the Atlantic Coast at 1:00 PM are 17-25 ATS since 2003.
  • Ravens are 25-39 SU vs. teams with a non-losing record since 2000.
  • Matt Leinart is 8-2 ATS as a starter.
  • Matt Leinart is 3-1 ATS as a road dog.
  • Opening Line: Ravens -9.
  • Opening Total: 35.
  • Weather: Sunny, 83 degrees. Light wind.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: Anquan Boldin, Larry Fitzgerald, Todd Heap, Ravens Defense.
  • Sit Em: Edgerrin James, Willis McGahee.


    Prediction: Ravens 20, Cardinals 10
    Ravens -7.5 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Under 35.5 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Ravens 26, Falcons 23.



    Buffalo Bills (0-2) at New England Patriots (2-0)
    Line: Patriots by 16.5. Total: 42.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 2): Patriots -10.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 2): Patriots -14.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Patriots.
    Injuries: BILLS: OUT: TE Kevin Everett, DE Anthony Hargrove, DE Ryan Denney, LB Keith Ellison, CB Jason Webster. PATRIOTS: OUT: WR Troy Brown, DE Richard Seymour, S Rodney Harrison.

    After obliterating the Chargers, 38-14, Tedy Bruschi said, "This was one of the most satisfying wins in my career." That's saying a lot. Here are three things I took from the Overblown Videotaping-Gate: 1. Bill Belichick, though arrogant, really cares about winning and paying attention to detail. 2. Belichick isn't the only one who steals signals, according to Mike Holmgren and Sean Payton, so he was docked a No. 1 pick for simply recording the Jets, as opposed to using binoculars, a pencil and a piece of paper. 3. Roger Goodell is a poopy head. (Note: Rog, I wasn't aware of a league rule that said I couldn't write that. I interpreted the bylaws differently. I swear. Please donít suspend me for four games.)

    I never thought we'd see a favorite as large as 17 ever again, barring an expansion team being an underdog by that much. This line is just absurd. And warranted. New England has so many weapons on offense, I don't see anyone slowing them down. The Steelers and Broncos moved the chains willingly against the Bills, though the latter was hindered by blown opportunities and missed field goals. If Pittsburgh and Denver could score voluntarily, how will Buffalo's banged-up defense stop New England? Who's going to cover Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Donte' Stallworth and Ben Watson? How will the Bills, ranked 31st against the run, contain Laurence Maroney and Sammy Morris? And how many yards will Tom Brady put up, given that he should have all day to throw (Buffalo has two sacks in 2007?) This could be a long afternoon for the Bills' defense.

    Unfortunately for Ralph Wilson and all of his employees, my questions don't stop there. Can Marshawn Lynch gain any sort of yardage against the top-ranked ground defense in the NFL? How will J.P. Losman, who has been sacked six times this season, fare on obvious passing downs? How will anyone in Buffalo's receiving corps, besides Lee Evans, get open? This could be a single-digit effort for the offense.

    I hate the idea of laying 17. I know the Bills habitually play New England close in the first meeting every year. And I'm aware this could be a Sandwich Game for the Patriots. That's why I feel like such a n00b backing the heavy favorite. Until I see some evidence that I'm wrong, I'm going to side with New England every week because I see the team as an unstoppable force. The Patriots completely obliterated the Jets and Chargers, two really solid squads with deep postseason aspirations. I just don't see how lowly Buffalo can compete.


    The Psychology. Edge: Bills.
    This is an obvious Sandwich Situation. The Patriots are coming off a huge victory against the Chargers and play the Bengals in Week 4. The Bills need to avoid 0-3.


    The Vegas. Edge: Bills.
    Now that everyone has realized they were wrong to believe the Patriots couldn't win without stealing signals, I expect everyone to bet on them, especially against the inept Bills.

  • Percentage of money on New England: 71% (34,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • History: Patriots have won 12 of the last 13 meetings.
  • Divisional Dog of Seven: Current coaches are 42-29 ATS as divisional dogs of 7+ since 2002.
  • High Spread: The largest favorite (10+) is 12-19 ATS since 2005 (Bill Belichick 0-2).
  • Two Roads (Loss): Current and '06 head coaches are 89-60 ATS on the road following a road loss (Dick Jauron 4-6.)
  • Bills are 9-4 ATS as a dog under Dick Jauron.
  • J.P. Losman is 7-4 ATS as a road dog.
  • Patriots are 21-9 ATS vs. AFC East opponents since 2001.
  • Patriots are 32-22 ATS at home under Bill Belichick.
  • Tom Brady is 83-25 as a starter (67-39 ATS).
  • Opening Line: Patriots -14.
  • Opening Total: 42.
  • Weather: Sunny, 73 degrees. Mild wind, 11 mph.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: Tom Brady, Laurence Maroney, Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Ben Watson, Patriots Defense.
  • Sit Em: Every Bills Player (Except Lee Evans).


    Prediction: Patriots 38, Bills 3
    Patriots -16.5 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Under 42 (.5 Units) -- Incorrect; -$55
    Patriots 38, Bills 7.



    Detroit Lions (2-0) at Philadelphia Eagles (0-2)
    Line: Eagles by 5.5. Total: 44.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 2): Eagles -7.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 2): Eagles -4.5.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Lions.
    Injuries: LIONS: OUT: S Daniel Bullocks. EAGLES: OUT: CB Lito Sheppard. QUESTIONABLE: RB Brian Westbrook, S Brian Dawkins.

    Does anyone else feel like the Detroit Lions are the Texas Tech Red Raiders of the NFL? Texas Tech perennially builds a pristine record by beating up on the Alaska States and the Mid-Southwestern Eastern North Dakota of Mississippi Techs of the college football world with their gimmicky offensive system. But when they battle Texas and Oklahoma, they stand no chance. The Lions look like they're utilizing the same strategy, slaying the Raiders and Vikings by passing the ball on almost every single down.

    Just look at the numbers: Mike Martz has called 107 pass plays, opposed to just 34 running plays. And of those 34, two were end-arounds! Yet, people refer to Martz as a genius. Why, because he puts up points despite forgetting half his playbook in his hotel room?

    If the Lions are Texas Tech, the Eagles are clearly the Michigan Wolverines. Fans of both teams want to jettison the head coach. Chad Henne and Donovan McNabb are both injured and underachieving. The young quarterbacks of each squad are poised to become the full-time starters any week now. And, only the running backs are providing any sort of spark on either offense.

    The Eagles look like they're playing dead. There's no emotion from McNabb or anyone else on the team. In fact, Suzy Kolber reported that Kevin Kolb was the only one showing any signs of life when the team was trailing by four at halftime on Monday night. McNabb, who obviously hasn't recovered from his knee injury, is overthrowing his receivers on nearly every down. When he's on target, he has to force throws into a group of wide outs who simply can't get open. Why is Kevin Curtis a No. 1? Where is Reggie Brown? Why is Jason Avant the most productive receiver on this team? What happened to Brent Celek, who looked like a great replacement for the unreliable L.J. Smith in the preseason? Brian Westbrook is the only playmaker on Philadelphia's offense.

    After his 20-12 loss to Washington, Andy Reid said that his team is just "a hair away." A hair away from what, getting blown out? The Redskins dropped several passes on Monday night. Jason Campbell missed a wide-open Santana Moss for an easy touchdown in the fourth quarter. And the Eagles happened to be recipients of a fumble that was unjustly overturned by an official early in the second half. Washington could have easily won by 20 or more. If Philadelphia had problems stopping the Redskins' mediocre offense, how in the world are they going to contain Jon Kitna and his calvalry of wide receivers? If the Eagles can't get any pressure on Kitna - they registered no sacks on Campbell - Roy Williams, Calvin Johnson, Mike Furrey and Shaun McDonald will all have a field day against a sub-par linebacking corps, and a secondary featuring a corner who can't cover anyone (William James-Peterson), an aging free safety who was hurt on Monday night (Brian Dawkins) and a lackluster strong safety (Sean Considine).

    I think the wrong team is favored. The Lions, who are playing with much more heart and passion than Philadelphia, are an upstart squad looking to make a statement against an opponent that was four points away from going to the NFC Championship last year. The Eagles, meanwhile, are regressing.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    I'd say the Eagles are desperate for a win, but they just look like a dead, disorganized team right now.


    The Vegas. Edge: Eagles.
    Though the line is high, I think bettors will lay the points with the Eagles in a must-win situation.

  • Percentage of money on Detroit: 67% (46,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Lions.
  • ESPN Kiss of Death: Teams that receive eight of nine votes from the ESPN Experts were 22-42 ATS since 2006.
  • Eagles are 41-25 ATS vs. NFC opponents since 2001.
  • Donovan McNabb is 14-9 ATS after a loss since 2001.
  • Opening Line: Eagles -7.
  • Opening Total: 44.5.
  • Weather: Sunny, 80 degrees. Light wind.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: Jon Kitna, Roy Williams, Calvin Johnson, Mike Furrey, Shaun McDonald, Brian Westbrook.
  • Sit Em: Eagles Receivers and Defense.


    Prediction: Lions 41, Eagles 15
    Lions +5.5 (2 Units - Money Pick) -- Incorrect; -$220
    Over 44 (.5 Units) -- Correct; +$50
    Eagles 56, Lions 21.



    Indianapolis Colts (2-0) at Houston Texans (2-0)
    Line: Colts by 6.5. Total: 46.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 2): Colts -9.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 2): Colts -7.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Colts.
    Injuries: TEXANS: OUT: FB Jameel Cook, OT Charles Spencer, S Jason Simmons, S Glenn Earl. DOUBTFUL: WR Andre Johnson*.

    The difference between two brothers: When Peyton Manning has a mediocre day, he still manages to beat a really good team on the road. When Eli Manning isn't 100 percent, Old Man River and the Packers demolish the Giants at home. Eli said something odd after the 35-13 loss: "I think we're getting close." Huh? Close to what, getting Tom Coughlin fired? Booking a hotel in Hawaii for January and being able to watch playoff games in your room? Certainly not closer to winning - how do you accomplish that by losing by 22 a week after suffering a slim 10-point defeat to arguably the top team in the NFC?

    Let me just say that I respect Houston's 2-0 record. I think they're legitimate and Matt Schaub is the real deal. However, I don't think they can hang with the Colts. No one in the secondary can defend Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark. The Texans are ranked 10th against the run, but they've stopped backs who don't exactly have the best aerial attack supporting them. With Manning in the backfield, and Harrison and Wayne flanked outside, the Texans won't be able to focus on the run. If they do, they'll continuously get burnt by the two Pro Bowl receivers.

    Can Houston score enough to cover? Probably not - and that's not even factoring in Andre Johnson's injury. Now, it's hard to trust any sources, especially some people on ESPN, who reported that both Eli Manning and Josh McCown would be out last week. However, the fact remains that Johnson is listed as doubtful. If he's out, the Texans have no chance of keeping up with Indianapolis, given that the Colts, ranked 12th against ground attacks, will force Schaub to beat them downfield. Houston has a prayer with Johnson in the lineup, but even that's a long shot.

    It's not often you can get value with the Colts, but that's exactly what's happening here. Two weeks ago, Indianapolis would have been favored by 10. But because the Texans are 2-0, the line is only 5.5. Houston beat up on the lowly Chiefs and the erratic Panthers. Meanwhile, the Colts won by only two over the Titans, who always keep things close with Vince Young. I hate playing a huge public favorite, but I have to take the value.


    The Psychology. Edge: Texans.
    This is Houston's Super Bowl. This is the team's opportunity to prove that it is a legitimate playoff contender. The Colts, meanwhile, may not take the Texans seriously despite their 2-0 record. Indianapolis has Denver next week.


    The Vegas. Edge: Texans.
    People will always bet the Colts as long as Peyton Manning's under center.

  • Percentage of money on Indianapolis: 98% (84,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Colts.
  • History: Colts have won 9 of the 10 meetings.
  • Two Roads (Win): Current and '06 head coaches are 74-57 ATS on the road following a road win (Tony Dungy 5-1.)
  • Texans are 7-16 ATS after a win (1-0 in 2007).
  • Colts are 23-16 ATS on the road under Tony Dungy.
  • Peyton Manning is 17-12 ATS as a road favorite since 2001.
  • Opening Line: Colts -6.
  • Opening Total: 47.5.
  • Weather: Retractable roof.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne.
  • Sit Em: Ahman Green, Andre Johnson (doubtful).


    Prediction: Colts 30, Texans 20
    Colts -6.5 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Over 46.5 (.5 Units) -- Correct; +$50
    Colts 30, Texans 24.



    Miami Dolphins (0-2) at New York Jets (0-2)
    Line: Jets by 3. Total: 35.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 2): Jets -6.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 2): Jets -6.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Jets.
    Injuries: DOLPHINS: OUT: S Yeremiah Bell. JETS: QUESTIONABLE: QB Chad Pennington*.

    These next two leads will feature some of the most bizarre things CBS color commentator Randy Cross said during the Ravens-Jets game last weekend. The first: "The Jets just can't stop Kyle Boller right now." I nearly fell off my couch when I heard that. The sad part was the fact that it was true. Baltimore scored 20 points in the first half against New York with Boller under center. If I were an NFL player and I had trouble containing the lethal Kyle Boller, I'd either retire in the middle of the game, or commit myself to a mental institution in a futile attempt to prevent an inevitable nervous breakdown.

    The Jets have no sacks in two games. None. But I don't think that will be a factor this week. New York has played New England and Baltimore, two squads who advanced at least to the second round of the playoffs last year. The Dolphins are equipped with a horrific offensive line that can neither pass protect nor open running lanes; a broken-down, has-been quarterback who can't hit open targets; a back who can't gain more than three yards per carry; and a rookie receiver drafted ninth overall who has yet to register a reception. On the bright side, Miami has Chris Chambers (15 catches, 201 yards) and... umm... Chris Chambers.

    Miami's defense is a bit better, but as I've noted all offseason, the players on the stop unit are either too old or too unreliable. The Dolphins are 21st against the run. They only have three sacks. And the kicker is, half of those numbers were accumulated against a mundane Redskins offense. The Jets' don't exactly have the most lethal scoring attack in the league, but Jerricho Cotchery and Laveranues Coles could be too much for an abysmal Miami secondary that is missing one of its safeties. Thomas Jones will have much more running room to work with than he had against the Patriots and Ravens, setting up play-action opportunities for either Chad Pennington and Kellen Clemens. Clemens' fourth-quarter performance at Baltimore last week gives me confidence that the Jets can put up enough points, no matter who is under center.

    This line is a joke. The Dolphins are one of the worst teams in the league, while the Jets beat them twice every year (see stats below). I still don't think people realize how horrific Miami is. That's why the spread is only three; and not six or seven.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    Both teams need a win. It's that simple.


    The Vegas. Edge: Dolphins.
    There should be close to 50-50 action on this game. I don't think people realize how horrible the Dolphins are just yet.

  • Percentage of money on NY Jets: 82% (34,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Jets.
  • History: Jets have won 14 of the last 18 meetings.
  • Dolphins are 29-16 SU in September since 1994.
  • Chad Pennington is 15-6 ATS as a home favorite. ???
  • Jets are 5-1 ATS as a favorite under Eric Mangini.
  • Jets are 3-9 ATS in September home games since 2000.
  • Opening Line: Jets -3.
  • Opening Total: 35.5.
  • Weather: Sunny, 77 degrees. Light wind.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: Chris Chambers, Thomas Jones, Laveranues Coles, Jerricho Cotchery, Jets Defense.
  • Sit Em: Trent Green, Ronnie Brown, Dolphins Defense.


    Prediction: Jets 20, Dolphins 9
    Jets -3 (5 Units - Double Money Pick) -- Push; -$50
    Under 35.5 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Jets 31, Dolphins 28.



    Minnesota Vikings (1-1) at Kansas City Chiefs (0-2)
    Line: Chiefs by 3. Total: 33.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 2): Chiefs -4.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 2): Chiefs -4.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Chiefs.
    Injuries:

    As promised, here's another quote from the great Randy Cross, "You can probably move [Mike Nugent's] field-goal line back. You thought it should be around 51 or 52 yards, but he can hit from 37." Bah, Iím confused. If Nugent can hit from further than 52, why is Cross insinuating that he should be kicking 37-yard field goals? If youíre still in school, and Cross shows up as your substitute math teacher one day, you may want to invest in ear plugs, unless of course you want to live life being confused by addition and multiplication signs.

    If the Chiefs don't win here, Herm Edwards and general manager Carl Peterson might as well buy bus tickets and head out of town. Why do I get the feeling that Edwards is either going to run Larry Johnson as much as possible into the league's fourth-ranked ground defense, or call far too many pass plays. If Edwards is guilty of the former, Damon Huard is going to be placed into many unfavorable passing situations, allowing Minnesota's stop unit, which already has 10 sacks this season, to eat him alive. If Johnson doesn't carry the ball enough, the Vikings' opportunistic secondary will likely pick off a number of his passes.

    As anemic as I made Kansas City's offense sound, Minnesota's could be worse on Sunday. I said last week that I didn't trust Tarvaris Jackson on the road, and my concerns were warranted, as he threw four interceptions against Detroit's defense. Brooks Bollinger will start for the injured Jackson, but I trust him even less because he can't scramble. The Chiefs don't have the greatest stop unit in the world, but they're ranked 14th against the run and they get Jared Allen back from suspension. Allen and Tamba Hali will put enough pressure on Bollinger, to rattle him. Adrian Peterson, meanwhile, will move the chains on occasion, but not enough to put Minnesota into too many scoring opportunities.

    I like the Chiefs to win by a substantial margin. They need to avoid an 0-3 start. They're much better than they are on the road. I don't trust Jackson to go mistake-free. And, I think the Vikings are a mirage, given that their sole victory was against the Falcons.


    The Psychology. Edge: Chiefs.
    The Chiefs, coming off two road losses, need to win their first home game to avoid an 0-3 start.


    The Vegas. Edge: Vikings.
    The Chiefs still have Larry Johnson, so you may see more bettors on the home team. I don't expect anything one-sided, however.

  • Percentage of money on Kansas City: 65% (44,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Chiefs.
  • Two Roads (Loss): Current and '06 head coaches are 89-60 ATS on the road following a road loss (Brad Childress 1-0.)
  • Weak Arms: Brooks Bollinger is 1-4 ATS on the road.
  • Vikings are 13-22 ATS (7-28 SU) outdoors since 2001.
  • Chiefs are 19-5 ATS in home openers since 1971.
  • Opening Line: Chiefs -2.
  • Opening Total: 34.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 88 degrees. Light wind.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: Tony Gonzalez, Chiefs Defense.
  • Sit Em: Larry Johnson.


    Prediction: Chiefs 20, Vikings 10
    Chiefs -3 (3 Units - Money Pick) -- Push; -$30
    Under 33.5 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Chiefs 13, Vikings 10.



    San Diego Padres (1-1) at Green Bay Packers (2-0)
    Line: Chargers by 5.5. Total: 43.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 2): Chargers -3.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 2): Chargers -3.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Chargers.
    Injuries:

    This "Chargers suck" talk has to stop. Three panelists on Around the Horn were appalled that San Diego was blown out by New England. Someone else brought up the fact that Vince Young has more rushing yards than LaDainian Tomlinson. Mark Schlereth, whom I respect, said, "It's scary. Everyone's going to play eight, nine men in the box against Tomlinson..." Umm... didn't all of their opponents play that way against them last year? And didn't the Chargers just battle the Bears and Patriots, two of the teams from the championship games last year? And didn't San Diego beat Chicago? If I hear any more media overreaction, I'm seriously never going to turn on the TV ever again.

    It's weird, but San Diego is actually underrated now. At the start of the season, the Chargers would have been favored by a touchdown at Lambeau. Now, the line is only 4.5 because they lost to the Patriots, while the Packers luckily beat the Eagles and destroyed a lethargic Giants squad. I love Green Bay's defense (for the most part - I'll get to that in a second) and I admire the way Brett Favre is playing, but I'm not buying into the Packers' 2-0 record. Excluding Donald Driver, Favre has nothing to work with. Sure, Bubba Franks and Donald Lee were able to get open against New York, but we're talking about a far superior stop unit here, featuring Shawne Merriman and Shaun Phillips, who will not give Favre as much time to throw as he did at the Meadowlands.

    Green Bay's defense has been spectacular thus far. The front seven is getting pressure on opposing signal callers - though the stats don't show it - and the secondary is locking down every receiver. However, the Packers are giving up 4.6 yards per carry, which ranks them 25th in the NFL. Derrick Ward gained 90 yards on only 15 carries last week. LaDainian Tomlinson will finally get out of his media-created slump, taking some of the pressure off Philip Rivers, who will finally have enough time to locate Antonio Gates and his other receivers downfield.

    I hate taking publicly backed favorites. The Chargers are getting hit at over 90 percent, which would bother me if we had a static spread. The thing is, we don't. San Diego opened at -3.5. As of Wednesday morning, the line is -4.5. I've seen one book list it at -5. This is means the books are scared of all the action on the Chargers and want more people to pound the Packers. I'm not going to fall into that trap.


    The Psychology. Edge: Chargers.
    New England completely embarrassed San Diego on national TV. The Chargers need to bounce back. As for the Packers, they need to realize that the two teams they beat don't even come close to San Diego.


    The Vegas. Edge: Packers.
    The Chargers are a public team. They'll see at least 80-percent action.

  • Percentage of money on San Diego: 81% (74,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Chargers.
  • Two Roads (Win): Current and '06 head coaches are 74-57 ATS on the road following a road win (Norv Turner 0-1.)
  • Philip Rivers is 15-4 as a starter (10-9 ATS).
  • Packers are 5-9 ATS in September home games since 2000.
  • Brett Favre is 3-6 ATS as a home underdog since 2001.
  • Opening Line: Chargers -3.5.
  • Opening Total: 45.
  • Weather: Sunny, 72 degrees. Light wind.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: LaDainian Tomlinson, Antonio Gates, Donald Driver.
  • Sit Em: Brandon Jackson, DeShawn Wynn.


    Prediction: Chargers 23, Packers 16
    Chargers -5.5 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Under 43 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Packers 31, Chargers 24.



    San Francisco 49ers (2-0) at Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0)
    Line: Steelers by 9.5. Total: 37.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 2): Steelers -7.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 2): Steelers -7.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Steelers.
    Injuries:

    In Week 1, I gave you Eric Mangini and Lynn McGill. In Week 2, I showed you Josh McCown and Ivan Drago. Now, I present my latest Look-Alike of the Week.

    If the 49ers weren't undefeated, I'd consider this a potential soft spot for the Steelers. But I think Pittsburgh will be completely focused, given that this is a matchup between two 2-0 squads. The reason San Francisco won last week was because Frank Gore pummeled St. Louis' front seven for 81 yards on 20 carries, including a 43-yard touchdown burst. This is a really obvious statement, but there is a huge difference between Pittsburgh's defense and whatever the Rams like to call the 11 guys who try to stop the other team. While St. Louis yields 4.6 yards per carry, the Steelers allow just 3.4. The latter also has 10 sacks this season. With Gore continuously stuffed in the backfield, I believe Pittsburgh will put immense pressure on Alex Smith, forcing him into a few errant throws.

    It's remarkable how much San Francisco's defense has improved this season. The front seven is sixth against the run, while the much-improved secondary, which features three potential Pro Bowlers (Nate Clements, Walt Harris, Michael Lewis), hasn't surrendered anything significant aerially. The stop unit also has seven sacks. However, it should be noted that the 49ers have beaten up on the hapless Cardinals and the Rams, who were missing Orlando Pace. The Steelers will do a much better job protecting their quarterback and running the ball. They won't score at will like they did against Buffalo and Cleveland, but I believe they'll put together enough methodical, clock-eating drives to win and cover.

    This offseason, I said the 49ers would make the playoffs if they could live up to expectations. They've done a great job thus far, but squeaking out victories against Arizona and St. Louis is much different than battling Pittsburgh, arguably the third-best team in the NFL. I don't think San Francisco is ready to beat a powerhouse Steelers squad on the road just yet.


    The Psychology. Edge: Steelers.
    Like the Packers, San Francisco simply cannot put too much stock in its victories. Pittsburgh is much better than Arizona and St. Louis. The 49ers can't get too confident. The Steelers, meanwhile, will be completely focused for San Francisco; they have Arizona in Week 4.


    The Vegas. Edge: 49ers.
    I'm sure there aren't too many people falling for the San Francisco semi-mirage. Pittsburgh will see tons of money flow its way.

  • Percentage of money on Pittsburgh: 81% (34,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Steelers.
  • Early Game Alert: Pacific Teams playing on the Atlantic Coast at 1:00 PM are 17-25 ATS since 2003 (Mike Nolan 1-2.)
  • Two Roads (Win): Current and '06 head coaches are 74-57 ATS on the road following a road win.
  • Ben Roethlisberger is 36-11 as a starter (30-17 ATS).
  • Steelers are 4-7 ATS in September home games since 2000.
  • Opening Line: Steelers -9.
  • Opening Total: 37.5.
  • Weather: Sunny, 76 degrees. Light wind.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes, Heath Miller, Steelers Defense.
  • Sit Em: 49ers Offense.


    Prediction: Steelers 23, 49ers 6
    Steelers -9.5 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Under 37.5 (.5 Units) -- Incorrect; -$55
    Survivor Pick (2-0)
    Steelers 37, 49ers 16.



    St. Louis Rams (0-2) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1)
    Line: Buccaneers by 3.5. Total: 38.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 2): Pick.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 2): Buccaneers -3.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Buccaneers.
    Injuries: RAMS: OUT: OT Orlando Pace, CB Tye Hill. BUCCANEERS: OUT: DE Patrick Chukwurah, CB Torrie Cox.

    I recently posted a poll on this site asking, "Which 0-2 team has the best chance of making the playoffs?" I thought the Saints and Jets would receive most of the votes. New Orleans won the poll, but I was shocked to discover that the Rams finished second. I don't think St. Louis has a shot at the postseason without Orlando Pace. That team needs to go into panic mode immediately, and start shredding documents and burning files. Scott Linehan needs to do everything in his power to save his job. With that in mind, I don't think any of us should hold it against Linehan if he decides to hire Bill Belichick as a secret agent.

    Marc Bulger still put up quality numbers last week - 368 yards and a touchdown on 24-of-41 passing - but he was sacked six times. Steven Jackson, meanwhile, failed to gain three yards per carry because there were no running lanes. The 49ers were in St. Louis' backfield on nearly every play. Pace, as I've said numerous times, is the most important entity on the Rams' offense. In his absence, the team has scored only 19 points in six quarters. The Buccaneers, who completely shut down New Orleans' dynamic offense, have to be licking their chops. Look for St. Louis to once again move the chains but stall in the red zone.

    I still can't believe Jeff Garcia completed just 10 passes and still managed to throw for 243 yards. I know the Saints' secondary is completely horrific and prone to giving up huge plays, but it's not like the Rams are much better in department. The difference between the Saints and the Rams is that the latter cannot stop the run. Cadillac Williams will gain more than 61 rushing yards this time around, giving Garcia even more time in the pocket to locate Joey Galloway downfield for a big play. With the support of his ground attack, Garcia might even complete 15 passes Sunday afternoon. That's good for what, like 740 yards?

    St. Louis apparently hasn't adjusted to life without Pace, while Garcia seems to have assimilated himself into the Buccaneers' offense. It's scary how bad the Rams could be this year, given how atrocious they've been on the road this decade. If they can lose two games as a home favorite, they stand no chance as a road dog.


    The Psychology. Edge: Rams.
    The Rams cannot afford to fall 0-3 if they want to make the playoffs.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Joe Public loves to go with Marc Bulger, Steven Jackson and Torry Holt. The Rams could be a publicly backed dog.

  • Percentage of money on St. Louis: 51% (34,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Buccaneers.
  • Rams are 13-26 ATS in road games since 2001.
  • Rams are 7-19 ATS on grass since 2001.
  • Opening Line: Buccaneers -3.
  • Opening Total: 38.
  • Weather: Possible thunderstorms, 89 degrees. Light wind.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: Marc Bulger, Torry Holt, Cadillac Williams, Joey Galloway, Buccaneers Defense.
  • Sit Em: Steven Jackson.


    Prediction: Buccaneers 24, Rams 13
    Buccaneers -3.5 (3 Units - Money Pick) -- Correct; +$300
    Under 38.5 (.5 Units) -- Correct; +$50
    Buccaneers 24, Rams 3.



    Cincinnati Bengals (1-1) at Seattle Seahawks (1-1)
    Line: Seahawks by 3. Total: 49.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 2): Seahawks -3.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 2): Seahawks -3.
    Sunday, 4:05 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Bengals.
    Injuries: BENGALS: OUT: RB Chris Perry, WR Chris Henry, DE Frostee Rucker, LB Odell Thurman, LB David Pollack, LB Rashad Jeanty. SEAHAWKS: OUT: DT Marcus Tubbs.

    I know Chad Johnson was planning on leaping into the Dawg Pound last weekend, but I was secretly hoping that he would make light of the Bill Belichick Overblown Videotaping-Gate by scoring a touchdown, taking out a video camera and shoving it in Romeo Crennel's face. How funny would that have been? Chad, if you're reading this, you should hire me as your touchdown-celebration coordinator.

    It's a shame Johnson's performance against the Browns - 11 catches, 209 yards, two touchdowns - had to be overshadowed by a bizarre display by Derek Anderson and Jamal Lewis. Fifty-one points? Seriously... where did that come from? This may seem like it can only get worse for the Bengals, given that Matt Hasselbeck and Shaun Alexander are far superior to Anderson and Lewis. However, I believe Cleveland's 51-point fiesta was a product of Cincinnati not being focused. I wrote last week, "The Bengals, coming off a tough game against the Ravens, have Seattle and New England in Weeks 3 and 4. This could be a Sandwich Game." If only I had listen to myself and picked the Browns. I believe we'll see a much-improved Cincinnati defense Sunday afternoon. That said, I still think Seattle may score in the 20s, which is a number any Bengals fan would take that right about now.

    The one positive thing that came out of Cincinnati's 51-45 loss to Cleveland is that its offense finally clicked; Carson Palmer, Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh couldn't get things going against Baltimore. With the Seahawks unable to stop opposing ground attacks - they're ranked 27th in the NFL, surrendering 4.8 yards per carry - the Bengals will be able to establish Rudi Johnson, setting up play-action opportunities for Palmer. Seattle has given up an average of about 245 passing yards per contest, so I have no doubt that Chad Johnson will get into the end zone. I'll just have to think of a celebration dance for him in case he hires me.

    Losing to the Cardinals on a botched handoff is one thing. Getting embarrassed by a lackluster Browns offense is another. This is a big bounce-back game for the Bengals, as an AFC squad once again dominates NFC mediocrity.

    Friday Evening Update: The more I think about it, the more convinced I am that the Bengals are going to come out like gang busters after getting humiliated last week. I'm increasing this play to four units.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    I think the Seahawks looked past Arizona to this game. It's too bad for them that they're getting a focused Bengals squad that just surrendered 51 points to the pathetic Cleveland Browns.


    The Vegas. Edge: Seahawks.
    There should be equal action on both sides.

  • Percentage of money on Cincinnati: 79% (42,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Bengals.
  • Two Roads (Loss): Current and '06 head coaches are 89-60 ATS on the road following a road loss (Marvin Lewis 2-1.)
  • Seahawks are 11-2 ATS in September home games since 2000.
  • Opening Line: Seahawks -3.
  • Opening Total: 49.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 60 degrees. Light wind.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: Carson Palmer, Rudi Johnson, Chad Johnson, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Matt Hasselbeck, Shaun Alexander.
  • Sit Em: Both Defenses.


    Prediction: Bengals 24, Seahawks 23
    Bengals +3 (4 Units - Double Money Pick) -- Push; -$40
    Under 49.5 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Seahawks 24, Bengals 21.



    Cleveland Browns (1-1) at Oakland Raiders (0-2)
    Line: Raiders by 3. Total: 40.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 2): Raiders -4.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 2): Raiders -3.
    Sunday, 4:05 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Raiders.
    Injuries: BROWNS: OUT: OT Ryan Tucker, C LeCharles Bentley, LB Willie McGinest. RAIDERS: OUT: RB Dominic Rhodes, RB Michael Bush.

    Is there any doubt that Derek Anderson is the next John Elway? Seriously, Elway never played this well in Cleveland. Sure, there was this stupid thing called the "Drive," but no one cares about that. Football's all about throwing five touchdowns against horrible defenses that feature at least nine convicts and eight others on probation. Oh, you think Herm Edwards was right when he said, "You play to win the game?" Don't tell that to Derek Anderson.

    Despite the fact that the Browns got to celebrate an unpredictable 51-45 victory over the Bengals, this is the worst thing that could have happen to them. In the wake of Anderson's unbelievable performance - 20-of-33, 328 yards, five touchdowns - Brady Quinn's first start won't be much later than we anticipated. Of course, this won't matter if Anderson keeps putting up 51 points every week. I'm not going to root against him, but I highly doubt he'll ever play as well as he did against Cincinnati. Although the Raiders are winless, they still have a great defense that unfortunately has battled Detroit and Denver thus far. Cleveland's offense, despite last week's performance, isn't on the same level as those two opponents.

    The Raiders are averaging 20.5 points per game this season, doubling last year's abysmal mark of 10.5. The offensive line is blowing open huge holes for a suddenly healthy LaMont Jordan, who is averaging 5.7 yards per carry. Jordan could cross the 150 mark this week, as the Browns are 24th versus opposing ground attacks. That will once again set up play-action opportunities for Josh McCown, who played poorly against Denver, thanks to two injured fingers. McCown wasn't even supposed to be on the field, so a week of healing may be exactly what he needs.

    Cleveland's 51-point output was a mirage. Oakland's superior defense will put the clamps on Lewis and especially Anderson, whom I don't trust on the road in a semi-hostile environment.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No psychological edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Raiders.
    Blah. Is anyone actually going to bet this game?

  • Percentage of money on Cleveland: 67% (32,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Weak Arms: Derek Anderson is 1-1 ATS on the road
  • Raiders are 6-17 ATS at home the previous 23 instances.
  • Opening Line: Raiders -3.
  • Opening Total: 38.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 68 degrees. Mild wind, 13 mph.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: LaMont Jordan, Raiders Defense.
  • Sit Em: Derek Anderson, Josh McCown.


    Prediction: Raiders 13, Browns 3
    Raiders -3 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Under 40.5 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
    Raiders 26, Browns 24.



    Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1) at Denver Broncos (2-0)
    Line: Broncos by 3.5. Total: 36.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 2): Broncos -4.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 2): Broncos -6.
    Sunday, 4:05 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Broncos.
    Injuries: JAGUARS: OUT: K Josh Scobee. BRONCOS: OUT: WR Rod Smith, DE Kenny Peterson.

    Hey, Jaguars... Consider yourselves lucky. Roger Goodell was too busy this week worrying about some stupid YouTube videos Bill Belichick posted of himself to hear my new rule proposal: For any victory to count against Joey Harrington, said team must beat Harrington by 30 or more points, or keep him completely off the scoreboard. Count your lucky stars, Jacksonville. Count your lucky stars.

    On the surface, it may seem odd that the Jaguars haven't been able to score consistently. David Garrard is completing 62 percent of his passes and hasn't thrown a pick yet. Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew, meanwhile, offer a nice complementary ground attack. There's apparently no reason why Jacksonville can't score more than 20 per week. So, what's going wrong? Maybe it's the fact that Dennis Northcutt, who couldn't even get on the field in Cleveland last year, is the team's leading receiver. Or maybe the offensive line's inability to pass protect (seven sacks to a mobile quarterback) or open running lanes for Taylor and Jones-Drew (3.4 yards per carry) is to blame. Whatever is wrong has a chance to go right in Denver, given that the Broncos' vastly overrated defense can neither get to the quarterback nor contain opposing ground attacks. Denver's defensive line sucks, while its secondary, save for Champ Bailey, is largely porous. I think it's safe to say that Jacksonville will finally score more than two touchdowns.

    I expected Denver's defense to struggle. The ineffectiveness of the Jaguars' stop unit, on the other hand, is a complete shock to me. How are they ranked 30th against the run when they have two of the largest tackles in the NFL clogging the interior? The Broncos will zone block Jacksonville to death with Travis Henry, the league's leading rusher. Jay Cutler will once again capitalize on Henry's massive gains, locating Javon Walker and Brandon Marshall downfield. The Jaguars must contain the run if they want to win this game. If Cutler is forced to throw on obvious passing downs, Jacksonville's pass rush (nine sacks) will get to him.

    The Broncos suck as a favorite, while the Jaguars thrive as a dog (see stats below). Sounds like dumb reasoning for picking the visitor, but it's one of three edges Jacksonville has going into this battle. The others can be found in the pyschology and Vegas sections.


    The Psychology. Edge: Jaguars.
    Yet another Emotional Win Alert for the Broncos, who beat the Raiders on a Jason Elam field goal in overtime. The Jaguars are also coming off a victory, but I don't think Jack Del Rio's too happy with a slim 13-6 victory over Joey Harrington. Jacksonville could catch Denver off guard; the latter has Indianapolis next week.


    The Vegas. Edge: Jaguars.
    After watching the Jaguars struggle as huge favorites, no one is going to bet on them as an underdog.

  • Percentage of money on Denver: 86% (40,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Jaguars.
  • ESPN Kiss of Death: Teams that receive eight of nine votes from the ESPN Experts were 22-42 ATS since 2006.
  • Jaguars are 4-1 ATS as an underdog since 2006.
  • Broncos are 3-12 ATS as a favorite since 2006.
  • Opening Line: Broncos -3.
  • Opening Total: 35.5.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 74 degrees. Light wind.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: David Garrard, Jay Cutler, Travis Henry, Rod Smith, Brandon Marshall.
  • Sit Em: Both Defenses.


    Prediction: Broncos 24, Jaguars 23
    Jaguars +3.5 (4 Units - Double Money Pick) -- Correct; +$400
    Over 36 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Jaguars 23, Broncos 14.



    Carolina Panthers (1-1) at Atlanta Falcons (0-2)
    Line: Panthers by 4. Total: 37.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 2): Panthers -3.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 2): Panthers -3.
    Sunday, 4:15 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Panthers.
    Injuries: FALCONS: OUT: QB Michael Vick.

    I noticed a funny exchange between Ron Jaworski and Stuart Scott on the Sunday night SportsCenter following the Week 2 games. Scott asked Jaws, "Booya! Some of the surprise undefeated teams, which are as cool as the other side of the pillow right now, are the Lions, 49ers and Texans. Jaws, which team do you think is ready to represent, booya!?" OK, that minus the booyas. So, which team did Jaworski choice of the three? "I like the Packers!" Wait to follow directions, Jaws.

    It's a shame Michael Vick had to slaughter innocent dogs. Obviously, from the humanitarian standpoint, but also from a betting angle: I would have made Carolina my Pick of the Month if Vick were playing and the Falcons were favored. Instead, the Panthers are supposed to win easily. Where have we heard that before? Carolina really sucks as a favorite and I'm afraid we'll see that again Sunday afternoon. Atlanta signed Byron Leftwich this week, meaning Joey Harrington has one more chance to prove himself. His teammates will consequently play extra hard for him. The line, which has allowed 13 sacks this year, will block better against a Panthers front that has a grand total of one sack. If Harrington has extra time in the pocket, he'll have some success throwing into a Carolina secondary that was at the mercy of Matt Schaub on Sunday.

    After the Falcons let the Vikings run all over them in Week 1, they exponentially improved, and limited Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew to 3.2 yards per carry. That bodes well going into this contest because if Atlanta can put the clamps on DeShaun Foster and DeAngelo Williams, the erratic Jake Delhomme will be forced into long-yardage situations. That can either be feast or famine for the Falcons; Steve Smith will obviously get his two touchdowns, but Delhomme's effectiveness will determine whether or not the Panthers can put up enough points to cover the -3.5, the worst spread in football.

    Carolina seems like such an obvious play, doesn't it? Everyone and their ugly stepsister thrice removed is on the Panthers (see the Vegas). A few years ago, I would have blindly played the -3.5. Now, I know better. Even if this isn't a larcenous trap by the odds-makers, I have faith that Carolina will continue to struggle as a favorite. I'd make this a larger play, but I'd hang myself before I ever put a lot of cash on Joey Harrington.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    Atlanta needs a win, but Carolina's blowout loss to Houston will have them focused.


    The Vegas. Edge: Falcons.
    No one in their right mind is going to bet on Joey Harrington.

  • Percentage of money on Carolina: 93% (40,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Falcons.
  • History: Panthers have won 3 of the last 4 meetings.
  • Jake Delhomme is 24-12 ATS on the road (4-9 ATS as a road favorite; 20-3 ATS as a road dog).
  • Opening Line: Panthers -3.5.
  • Opening Total: 36.5.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: Steve Smith, Alge Crumpler.
  • Sit Em: Warrick Dunn, Jerious Norwood.


    Prediction: Falcons 14, Panthers 13
    Falcons +4 (3 Units - Money Pick) -- Incorrect; -$330
    Under 37.5 (.5 Units) -- Incorrect; -$55
    Panthers 27, Falcons 20.



    New York Giants (0-2) at Washington Redskins (2-0)
    Line: Redskins by 3.5. Total: 41.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 2): Redskins -3.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 2): Redskins -3.5.
    Sunday, 4:15 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Redskins.
    Injuries: GIANTS: OUT: RB Brandon Jacobs*. REDSKINS: OUT: OT Jon Jansen.

    I'm really frustrated with injury reports. Multiple sources said that Josh McCown was out for 2-3 weeks, yet he started against the Broncos. Meanwhile, I'm pretty sure Chris Mortensen said there was no chance that Eli Manning would play because he was diagnosed with Mono, chicken pox and Ebola, yet he was under center against the Packers. I was looking forward to seeing Jared Lorenzen battle the Packers and eat Doritos on the sidelines. In honor of his brief appearance last week, here's the Jared Lorenzen Fact of the Week: When Jared Lorenzen fights crime and catches a bad guy, he always gives the bad guy a chance to cut a deal. He tells the criminal that if he makes him a delicious plate of Chicken Parmesan, he will let him go. Jared Lorenzen is only lying, though. He never lets the bad guys go. Jared Lorenzen just really loves Chicken Parmesan.

    But enough about Lorenzen. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention how impressed I was with Jason Campbell on Monday night. Campbell, just 16-of-29 for 209 yards, one touchdown and one pick, was victimized by tons of drops, but converted more than 50 percent of his third downs, most of which were long-yardage situations. You can blame Philadelphia's porous secondary all you want, but the Giants' defensive backfield is even worse. Santana Moss and Chris Cooley will be open all afternoon, as Campbell, who will have plenty of time in the pocket - New York has only two sacks this year - will locate them downfield. Washington will also be able to move the chains on the ground; Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts will trample a front seven ranked 16th versus opposing ground attacks.

    The Giants won't be kept out of the end zone like the Eagles were, given that they have more potent weapons at receiver and tight end. Eli Manning, as odd as this sounds, is playing at a much higher level right now than Donovan McNabb. Manning, who has five scores to just two picks, as well as a completion percentage of 63, will keep New York in the game for a while. The lack of support at running back will be the team's downfall, however.

    This is a tough spread. Washington is the better team, but I can't really see myself laying -3.5 with a somewhat stale offense, even if they are battling the lowly Giants' stop unit. Plus, we have no idea if New York has quit on Tom Coughlin, or if they're planning an all-out effort to avoid an 0-3 start. When I'm stumped, I turn to the Vegas. The average bettor loves the Redskins, so I'll go the other way.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    The Giants look completely defeated. It doesn't even look like they're trying.


    The Vegas. Edge: Giants.
    In a 2-0 vs. 0-2 matchup, the public will almost always back the former.

  • Percentage of money on Washington: 64% (38,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Giants.
  • History: Home Team has won 5 of the last 6 meetings.
  • Redskins are 2-8 ATS in September home games since 2001.
  • Redskins are 3-11 ATS after a road win since 2000.
  • Opening Line: Redskins -3.5.
  • Opening Total: 41.5.
  • Weather: Sunny, 70 degrees. Light wind.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: Plaxico Burress, Jeremy Shockey, Clinton Portis, Santana Moss, Chris Cooley.
  • Sit Em: Reuben Droughns.


    Prediction: Redskins 20, Giants 17
    Giants +3.5 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Under 41 (.5 Units) -- Push; -$5
    Giants 24, Redskins 17.



    Dallas Cowboys (2-0) at Chicago Bears (1-1)
    Line: Bears by 3. Total: 41.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 2): Bears -3.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 2): Bears -3.
    Sunday, 8:15 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Cowboys.
    Injuries: COWBOYS: OUT: WR Terry Glenn, NT Jason Ferguson, DT Tank Johnson. BEARS: OUT: DT Dusy Dvoracek, S Mike Brown.

    I'm an equal opportunity writer, so after making fun of Joe Theismann and Ron Jaworski in Week 1, it's time to mock NBC. I'm not touching Al Michaels and John Madden because they're the greatest, but the following is a conversation that is likely to happen in NBC's Sunday night pre-game show:

    Jerome Bettis: ... Cris Collinsworth: How could they hire Keith Olbermann and Jerome Bettis, I just don't understand. With me on the show, there's no need for anyone else, including Bob Costas, for I am the overlord of football knowledge! Tiki Barber: Gnomon luminosity interferometer recombination axiomatic agglutination avoirdupois... Olbermann: Let's look at the worst person in the NFL this week. I just hope no one calls me on my shiny red phone! Ho ho ho! Jerome Bettis: ... Collinsworth: Behold, audience, for you are about to experience my incredible football analysis! Barber: Ameliorate abrogate compendious dithyramb dyspeptic calumny... Exegesis encomium foppish!

    Speaking of Collinsworth, his other TV employer, HBO, interviewed Donovan McNabb on Real Sports . McNabb complained that black quarterbacks get more scrutinized than white quarterbacks, citing that Peyton Manning and Carson Palmer almost never get booed. Right, but what about Rex Grossman, Joey Harrington, Mark Brunell, David Carr, Brad Johnson and Jake Plummer? All of them get more criticized than McNabb, especially Grossman. In fact, I think Grossman is one bad start away from getting benched in favor of Brian Griese, who is even less talented, if that's even possible. Given that Grossman struggled against the Chiefs last week, there's no chance he'll be turnover-free Sunday night. Against the Chargers, Chicago's old offensive front had problems blocking Shawne Merriman and Shaun Phillips. I think it will once again succumb to the speed of the 3-4 rush linebackers; DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer will force Grossman into a few picks and fumbles.

    It's tough to get much against Chicago's defense, but if there's any team in the NFC that can score on them, it's the Cowboys. No one in the NFL can cover Terrell Owens without worrying about Jason Witten going across the middle. Tony Romo, the top quarterback in the conference right now, will be able to get them the ball. Dallas' offensive front, which has surrendered only two sacks in 2007, will give Romo enough time to put enough points on the board to win the game.

    I said this when the Cowboys were playing the Giants on Sunday Night Football in Week 1. I'm not one to side with a public team receiving the bulk of the money on a nationally televised contest. However, I simply believe Dallas is the right side and the better squad.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    An important game for both teams that could decide home field in the playoffs. Both will bring 100 percent.


    The Vegas. Edge: Bears.
    Dallas is America's team, and I don't think too many people like backing Rex Grossman. The Cowboys will be a trendy pick.

  • Percentage of money on Dallas: 63% (38,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Cowboys.
  • Two Roads (Win): Current and '06 head coaches are 74-57 ATS on the road following a road win.
  • Tony Romo is 7-4 ATS as a starter.
  • Tony Romo is 4-1 ATS on the road.
  • Opening Line: Cowboys -3.
  • Opening Total: 43.
  • Weather: Clear, 65 degrees. Light wind.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: Terrell Owens, Jason Witten, Cowboys Defense.
  • Sit Em: Marion Barber III, Julius Jones.


    Prediction: Cowboys 21, Bears 13
    Cowboys +3 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Under 41 (.5 Units) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Cowboys 34, Bears 10.



    Tennessee Titans (1-1) at New Orleans Saints (0-2)
    Line: Saints by 4.5. Total: 45.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 2): Saints -4.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 2): Saints -4.
    Monday, 8:30 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Titans.
    Injuries: TITANS: OUT: WR David Givens, CB Pacman Jones.

    Is it sad that my favorite Monday Night Football color commentator this year was a guest in the booth last week? Nothing against Ron Jaworski or Tony Kornheiser, who are both great, but no one can compare to Charles Barkley. When he talks, I latch on to every word that he says. Is he the most influential person on TV right now? Close. That title belongs to the guy on the UPS Whiteboard commercials. You know, he's tan and draws little pictures of how UPS delivers packages efficiently. If that guy told me to jump off a bridge, I would. Seriously.

    What happened to the Saints' offense? They had the top scoring attack in the league last year, but are averaging only 12 points per game this season. Drew Brees has more picks (3) than touchdowns (1), while Reggie Bush is dancing too much and not hitting the hole hard enough. I'm also confused as to why Bush has more carries (22) than Deuce McAllister (20). As nearly every pundit and talking head on TV said this week, Sean Payton needs to give McAllister more opportunities to pound the ball. I guess this is bad timing because the Titans' vastly improved front seven is 13th in the league against the run. They're even ranked ahead of the Buccaneers, who limited McAllister and Bush to 76 yards on 20 carries.

    In addition to New Orleans' scoring woes, the team's defense has zero sacks. Zero! How is it possible not to register a single sack in the first two weeks of the season, when most offenses have yet to click? Unbelievable. Given the Saints' inability to get to the quarterback, I just don't see how they're going to stop Vince Young. He'll have the option of running all night. In addition to that, Tennessee's ground attack, which is extremely potent because the opposition has to worry about Young's scrambling ability as well, will trample New Orleans' pathetic front seven.

    New Orleans need to win. They cannot afford to start 0-3. Unfortunately for them, the Titans are coming off a loss and making their first appearance on Monday Night Football in the Vince Young era. If the Saints think Tennessee is simply going to gift wrap a victory for them just because they need one, they're in deep trouble.


    The Psychology. Edge: Saints.
    The Saints are desperate for a win, but I don't think Vince Young is going to disappoint on his first Monday night appearance.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Not really sure. Bettors could be frustrated with the Saints, yet I think most people realize that they need to win.

  • Percentage of money on New Orleans: 53% (135,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Titans.
  • MNF Home Advantage: Monday Night Football home teams are 12-7 ATS since 2006.
  • Vince Young is 9-6 as a starter (12-3 ATS).
  • Vince Young is 6-1 ATS as a road dog.
  • Saints are 16-30 ATS at home since 2001.
  • Saints are 9-20 ATS as a home favorite since 2001.
  • Drew Brees is 7-3 ATS off back-to-back losses.
  • Opening Line: Saints -5.
  • Opening Total: 45.5.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: Vince Young, Marques Colston.
  • Sit Em: LenWhale White, Chris Brown.


    Prediction: Titans 24, Saints 17
    Titans +4.5 (2 Units - Money Pick) -- Correct; +$200
    Under 45.5 (.5 Units) -- Correct; +$50
    Titans 31, Saints 14.


    Prop/Teaser/Parlay Picks
    A list of some of my favorite team/player prop picks this week
    (Offense & defensive ROY picks to be counted whenver winners are announced.) Picks carried over on a week-to-week basis will be in black.


  • Anti-Public Parlay: Texans +6.5, Packers +5.5, 49ers +10, Jaguars +4, Seahawks -3.5, Falcons -4. (.5 Units to win 19.7) -- Incorrect; -$50
  • Teaser: Colts +0.5 & Steelers -2 - Both teams should win. (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
  • Live Dog: - Lions +190 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$100
  • Live Dog: - Jaguars +165 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$165
  • Live Dog: - Bengals +160 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$100
  • Live Dog: - Falcons +175 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$100
  • Live Dog: - Cowboys +135 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$135
  • Offensive Rookie of the Year: Marshawn Lynch +500 - Lynch will be the opening-day starter for the Bills and will have the luxury of running behind a huge offensive line. Running backs make the quickest transition into the NFL, and Lynch is the only rookie who's guaranteed a starting gig. (1 Unit)
  • Offensive Rookie of the Year: Field +700 - James Jones? Jacoby Jones? Who knows, Marques Colston came out of nowhere last year. (1 Unit)
  • Defensive Rookie of the Year: Jamaal Anderson +1400 - Unlike Gaines Adams, Jamaal Anderson will be starting on Day 1. With teams concerned about John Abraham, Anderson seems like he could be poised for a double digit-sack campaign. (1 Unit)
  • Odds to Win Super Bowl: Patriots 5/2 - Not great odds, but they'll get the job done. (1 Unit)
  • Odds to Win Super Bowl: Steelers 22/1 - Getting a great deal here. (.5 Units)
  • Regular Season Wins: Chiefs Under 7.5 -155 - Larry Johnson will get hurt, the defense will suck and Herm Edwards will lose his mind. (1.5 Units)
  • Regular Season Wins: Dolphins Under 7 -125 - I've talked about the Dolphins plenty of times already. (1.5 Units)
  • Regular Season Wins: Steelers Over 9 -105 - The Steelers went 8-8 with a damaged Ben Roethlisberger. No way they win less than 10 this season. (1.5 Units)
  • Regular Season Wins: Giants Under 8 -165 - No way they get to 8-8 this year. (1.5 Units)
  • Player Prop: Larry Johnson Under 1,700 Total Rushing Yards - Since Eric Dickerson, no running back who has carried the ball 385 or more times has finished in the top 10 in rushing. Johnson had 416 carries, the most in the history of the NFL. (2 Units)
  • Player Prop: Wes Welker Over 675 Total Receiving Yards - Wes Welker has been Tom Brady's new go-to-guy in training camp and preseason. I'm expecting a big year from him. (2 Units)
  • More prop picks will be listed here.



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

  • Vikings +3 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
  • Jaguars +3.5 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
  • Titans +4 +100 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100



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    Last Week's NFL Picks Against The Spread (Week 7, 2014): 10-4-1 (+$330)
    Last Week's 2-3 Unit NFL Picks (Week 7, 2014): 3-0 (+$700)
    Last Week's 4-5 Unit NFL Picks (Week 7, 2014): 1-1 (-$40)
    Last Week Over-Under (Week 7, 2014): 9-6 ($0)
    Last Week's Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks (Week 7, 2014): -$220

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

    2014 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 59-57-6, 50.9% (-$935)
    2014 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 23-18, 56.1% (+$770)
    2014 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 3-6-1, 33.3% (-$1,330)
    2014 Season Over-Under: 59-45-1, 56.7% ($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: 2,073-1,901-116, 52.2% (+$11,480)
    Career 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 667-601-31 (52.6%)
    Career 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 279-240-11 (53.8%)
    Career Over-Under: 1,600-1,582-47 (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: 2-5
    Bears: 3-4
    Bucs: 4-2
    49ers: 3-3
    Eagles: 3-3
    Lions: 2-4
    Falcons: 3-4
    Cardinals: 2-4
    Giants: 2-5
    Packers: 4-2
    Panthers: 2-5
    Rams: 3-3
    Redskins: 4-3
    Vikings: 5-2
    Saints: 2-3
    Seahawks: 3-3
    Bills: 3-4
    Bengals: 2-4
    Colts: 4-3
    Broncos: 4-2
    Dolphins: 5-0
    Browns: 3-1
    Jaguars: 3-4
    Chargers: 2-5
    Jets: 4-3
    Ravens: 2-4
    Texans: 5-2
    Chiefs: 4-1
    Patriots: 4-3
    Steelers: 3-4
    Titans: 4-2
    Raiders: 3-3
    Divisional: 12-14 (2011-13: 141-137)
    2x Game Edge: 7-6 (2011-13: 55-62)
    2x Psych Edge: 6-12 (2011-13: 92-80)
    2x Vegas Edge: 14-14 (2011-13: 129-142)
    2x Trend Edge: 12-8 (2011-13: 72-78)
    Double Edge: 3-5 (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
    2004 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2004 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XXXIX
    2005 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2005 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XL
    2006 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2006 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLI
    2007 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2007 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLII |
    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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