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NFL Weekly Predictions
Week 4, 2007



Note: Push. Push. Push. I went 7-6-3 last week. Two of the three pushes were Double Money Picks (5- or 4-Unit plays). The Jets, up 31-13 in the fourth quarter, surrendered 15 points to win by three, matching Vegas' spread. The Bengals inexplicably went for two up four with two minutes remaining, allowing the Seahawks to win by a field goal. Meanwhile, the Cardinals, Texans, Browns all backdoored. Ugh. If you don't quite understand the line, total or anything else, go to my Sports Betting FAQ.



Baltimore Ravens (2-1) at Cleveland Browns (1-2)
Line: Ravens by 4. Total: 40.

Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 3): Ravens -4.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 3): Ravens -4.
Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets

The Game. Edge: Ravens.
Injuries: RAVENS: OUT: OT Jonathan Ogden, DE/OLB Trevor Pryce, LB Dan Cody. BROWNS: OUT: OT Ryan Tucker, C LeCharles Bentley, LB Willie McGinest.

The following is a conversation that is likely to happen on Sunday NFL Countdown, which is actually my favorite pre-game show:

Chris Berman: Now, we'll talk about the Browns, who are playing well since they traded away Charlie "French" Frye. Tom Jackson: Hahahahahaha! Emmitt Smith: I thinks the Browns is gonna be the first teams to goes 0-16! Berman: Well, I guess the win over the Bengals sort of doesn't count then. What do you think, coach? Mike Ditka: Viagra Cialis Chicago Bears Ricky Williams Da Bears Viagra Viagra Chicago Cialis Ricky Williams Viagra. Berman: Now, let's hear from our 10-year-old correspondent! Little Kid: Me went poopy in pants!

Speaking of "poopy in pants," how do you think Browns kicker Phil Dawson felt when his converted field goal was nullified by a Raiders time out? It's hard to imagine that Cleveland was a kick away from being 2-1. The team's doing much better than I expected; Derek Anderson, despite his horrendous completion percentage of 52, is managing games well; he has seven touchdowns to just four picks, and has only been sacked twice. Jamal Lewis is averaging 5.8 yards per carry. Kellen Winslow and Braylon Edwards continue to improve on a weekly basis. That said, I'm not sure if the Browns can score on Baltimore's defense. The Ravens are third against the run, so Lewis won't have nearly as much success on the ground as he did versus Cincinnati and Oakland. Anderson will be asked to beat Baltimore's secondary, which is a far cry from managing a game.

While Baltimore excels at stopping opposing ground attacks, Cleveland simply cannot contain them. The Browns are ranked 25th in that category. Look for a big day from Willis McGahee, who will eclipse the century mark for the first time in a purple-and-gold uniform (he had 97 and 98 yards against the Jets and Cardinals, respectively.) McGahee will set up play-action opportunities for the Steve McNair-Kyle Boller platoon. Either quarterback will have all day to throw; the Browns have managed a meager four sacks in three contests. And if Boller has to play the majority of this game, I wouldn't worry to much. Excluding the red-zone interception he had at Cincinnati, Boller has been efficient; he has a remarkable completion percentage (64.7), he's not throwing any picks (just that one) and he has only taken two sacks.

All signs point to Baltimore in the Game department. Two stars in this section doesn't meant all that much, however (check stats at the bottom of the page.) The matchups are built into the spread, so we have to look for an edge to determine the correct side. The public is pounding the Ravens, who are coming off an emotional, last-second victory. Add in the fact that the home team has dominated this series (Baltimore lost in Cleveland in 2005 and barely won, 15-14 in 2006), and the Browns are starting to look like a solid play. Maybe Matt Stover will have to kick a game-winning field goal twice - and actually convert the second time around.


The Psychology. Edge: Browns.
The Ravens are coming off a last-second field goal, so this could be an Emotional Alert for them. This contest obviously means more to the Browns, who would love to obliterate their most hated rival.


The Vegas. Edge: Browns.
About 90 percent of the public will be on Baltimore.
  • Percentage of money on Baltimore: 64% (90,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Browns.
  • History: Home Team has won 5 of the last 6 meetings.
  • ESPN Kiss of Death: Teams that receive eight of nine votes from the ESPN Experts were 22-42 ATS since 2006.
  • Ravens are 39-9 SU; 30-18 ATS vs. teams with a losing record since 2000 (26-39 SU vs. non-losing).
  • Opening Line: Ravens -4.
  • Opening Total: 38.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 75 degrees. Light wind.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: Willis McGahee, Todd Heap, Braylon Edwards, Kellen Winslow Jr.
  • Sit Em: Steve McNair, Derek Anderson.


    Prediction: Ravens 17, Browns 16
    Browns +4 (2 Units - Money Pick) -- Correct; +$200
    Under 40 (1 Unit) -- Push; -$10
    Browns 27, Ravens 13.



    Chicago Bears (1-2) at Detroit Lions (2-1)
    Line: Bears by 3. Total: 45.

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

    The Game. Edge: Bears.
    Injuries: BEARS: OUT: DT Tommie Harris, DT Dusy Dvoracek, S Mike Brown. LIONS: OUT: S Daniel Bullocks. DOUBTFUL: OT Jeff Backus.

    I don't think the Lions were blown out by the Eagles because they were inferior. I think they were simply confused. When Philadelphia showed up in its yellow and powder-blue uniforms, Jon Kitna and company thought they were playing some team from the XFL. That's why they took the Eagles lightly. Oh, and apparently, FOX's sideline reporter thought no one else was befuddled when she said, "You may have noticed that the Eagles' jerseys look a little bit different today." A little bit different? A little bit? Really?

    Confused or not, the Eagles sacked Jon Kitna into oblivion Sunday, as the Lions' signal caller went down eight times. This is exactly why I compared Detroit's offense to Texas Tech last week. They can put up major points against the Raiders and Vikings of the league, but when playing a superior squad like Philadelphia, Mike Martz's flawed pass-protection scheme breaks down, resulting in multiple Kitna sacks. The Bears are also a superior team - or at least a defense. I don't think Brian Urlacher, Tommie Harris, Mark Anderson, Lance Briggs and company are going to have problems with Detroit's one-dimensional attack. Kitna will be sacked at least six times and hurried on many more occasions, which could lead to a few turnovers.

    Donovan McNabb responded to criticism with a 381-yard, four-touchdown performance against the Lions. Joey Harrington, in danger of losing his job to a Fat Albert look-alike, registered more than 360 yards versus Carolina. Rex Grossman is currently suffering through similar scrutiny. In fact, Brian Griese may start this game. Does that mean Grossman will play exceptionally if he gets the nod? Probably not - but at least he'll have the support of his ground attack. The Lions are yielding five yards per carry, good for 29th in the NFL. Cedric Benson will rip through Detroit's anemic defensive front. If the Bears had a competent quarterback, this is the part where I would say the Lions' secondary would get exposed off play-action. I'm just not sure if I can trust Grossman - or Griese for that matter.

    As of Tuesday morning, 77 percent of the action is on the visitor. Not a substantial figure this early in the week, so the Vegas isn't anything to worry about. This could be a case of overrated-underrated. I have the feeling the public still believes Detroit is capable of putting up 30 on any team. Other fans, meanwhile, see the Bears and Grossman as being unbettable. Chicago has won the last four meetings between these two squads, so I'll call this a Domination Small Line and pick the Bears.

    Tuesday Evening Note: Griese has been named the starter. I don't think he's any better than Grossman, but teams usually respond well when there's a coaching or quarterback change.


    The Psychology. Edge: Bears.
    The Bears were completely embarrassed on their home field on national TV. I have to believe that they're going to bounce back.


    The Vegas. Edge: Lions.
    Another road favorite the public will likely be on.
  • Percentage of money on Chicago: 66% (68,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Bears.
  • History: Home Team has won 7 of the last 10 meetings.
  • History: Bears have won the last 4 meetings.
  • History: Seven of the last nine meetings have been decided by 6 points or less.
  • Opening Line: Bears -3.
  • Opening Total: 44.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: Cedric Benson, Bernard Berrian, Desmond Clark, Bears Defense, Jon Kitna, Roy Williams, Calvin Johnson, Mike Furrey, Shaun McDonald.
  • Sit Em: Tatum Bell, Kevin Jones.


    Prediction: Bears 24, Lions 20
    Bears -3 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Under 45 (.5 Units) -- Incorrect; -$55
    Lions 37, Bears 27.



    Green Bay Packers (3-0) at Minnesota Vikings (1-2)
    Line: Packers by 1. Total: 38.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 3): Packers -3.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 3): Packers -4.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Packers.
    Injuries:

    I can't believe Bears fans were chanting "Griese! Griese!" toward the end of Chicago's 34-10 loss to Dallas. Translation: "We suck so much we're pulling for a horrible backup quarterback who has never had success anywhere! Congratulations, Packers fans, you're on top of the NFC North again!"

    On the opposite end of the spectrum, Brett Favre is having one of the best seasons of his career. He's fifth in the league in passing yards (861), and has six touchdowns to only a pair of interceptions. Most importantly, he's leading the youngest team in the NFL to victory. I can't imagine him not continuing his torrid pace against the Vikings, whose anemic secondary is currently yielding about 240 yards per contest. If Minnesota wants a shot at snapping its two-game losing streak, it needs to put immense pressure on Favre. The Vikings have the personnel to do so; E.J. Henderson, Kenechi Udeze, Ray Edwards, Spencer Johnson and Brian Robison all have two sacks this season. Green Bay, meanwhile, has allowed seven sacks themselves. Favre could be in trouble on long-yardage situations; Minnesota's top-ranked ground defense will put the clamps on Brandon Jackson and DeShawn Wynn.

    If only the Vikings had a spectacular offense to match their stout defense... Adrian Peterson seems like their only glimmer of hope. Peterson, who has 271 rushing yards despite playing only three career NFL games, could find some running room against the Packers' average run defense (14th in the league). However, Kelly Holcomb will have major problems locating open receivers, who will be blanketed by Green Bay's outstanding secondary. Aaron Kampman, Corey Williams and Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila will pin Holcomb to the ground on a few occasions.

    Every single Green Bay Packer was gushing after their upset victory over San Diego. Almost every member of that team, including Favre, couldn't believe the 3-0 start. I think that sets up a great play on the Vikings. Green Bay will be unfocused after a major victory. Plus, some of the players could have one eye on their Week 5 tilt against the Bears. Making matters worse for the Packers is the fact that more than 90 percent of the public is pounding them. I'll go the other way.


    The Psychology. Edge: Vikings.
    The definition of a Sandwich Game. The Packers just upset the Chargers and are all talking about how they never expected a 3-0 start. Meanwhile, they play Chicago in Week 5, in a contest that could determine the winner of the NFC North.


    The Vegas. Edge: Vikings.
    What is up with this line? Why aren't the Packers more of a favorite? Something's fishy here, and I have a feeling the public is going to fall for it.
  • Percentage of money on Green Bay: 86% (90,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • History: Packers have won the last 2 meetings.
  • Brett Favre is 14-30 ATS (19-25 straight up) in domes.
  • Opening Line: Packers -1.
  • Opening Total: 39.5.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: Brett Favre, Donald Driver, Adrian Peterson.
  • Sit Em: Brandon Jackson, DeShawn Wynn.


    Prediction: Vikings 16, Packers 13
    Vikings +1 (5 Units - Double Money Pick) -- Incorrect; -$550
    Under 38 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Packers 23, Vikings 16.



    Houston Texans (2-1) at Atlanta Falcons (0-3)
    Line: Texans by 3. Total: 39.5.

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

    The Game. Edge: Texans.
    Injuries: TEXANS: OUT: FB Jameel Cook, WR Andre Johnson*, WR Jacoby Jones*, OT Charles Spencer, S Jason Simmons, S Glenn Earl. FALCONS: OUT: QB Michael Vick. QUESTIONABLE: CB DeAngelo Hall.

    Despite being up 17-10, Falcons corner DeAngelo Hall was responsible for 67 penalty yards on a single drive. That's two-thirds of a football field! How's that even possible? I liken this meltdown to the tirade of Oklahoma State head football coach Mike Gundy. What a tool. I can see being angry about falsified facts, but having a nervous breakdown because a columnist "downgraded" Bobby Reid, the team's starting quarterback, is a disgrace. Reid's not a kid, as Gundy insinuated. Reid turns 22 in December. He's not a pimply faced high-schooler; he's old enough to drink, serve in the army and buy porn. He's a man on a full scholarship who's mature enough to be browbeaten by an average-sized newspaper. Gundy should be fired for acting like GARBAGE!

    How'd I go from a jerk corner to a tool-bag college football coach? Not sure - but I think Hall should be suspended for acting like GARBAGE! Regardless of whether or not Hall's suspended, I don't think the Falcons will have much luck contain the Texans. Ahman Green will have a big day; Atlanta, ranked 26th against the run, couldn't contain DeShaun Foster and DeAngelo Williams when the Panthers were running out the clock and making it obvious that they were going to pound the football every single play. Matt Schaub will capitalize off of Green's success, utilizing play-action fakes into the Falcons' secondary. At least Atlanta won't have to worry about Andre Johnson; the Pro Bowl receiver will be out for another four weeks.

    Anyone surprised by how well Joey Harrington played last week? The beleaguered Harrington, one bad start away from losing his job to a Fat Albert look-alike, threw for 361 yards and two touchdowns. I predicted Atlanta would play hard for Harrington, and they did. Now in an 0-3 hole, the Falcons will have their eyes set on knocking off an upstart Texans squad. Too bad they'll have problems containing Amobi Okoye and Mario Williams; their offensive front has already surrendered 14 sacks this season. With that in mind, Atlanta will need to get Warrick Dunn and Jerious Norwood going on the ground. Unfortunately, Houston is remarkably ranked eighth against the run.

    The Texans definitely have the Game advantage, but that doesn't really matter. I think they're going to be flat after a 26-20 loss to the Colts, which was more lop-sided than the score indicates. Meanwhile, Atlanta, which has Vegas on its side, will be trying its hardest to avoid an 0-4 commencement to the 2007 campaign.


    The Psychology. Edge: Falcons.
    The Texans could be a bit flat after going down to the Colts. There will be tons of pressure on Atlanta not to lose to Matt Schaub.


    The Vegas. Edge: Falcons.
    The Texans could be turning into a somewhat public team. No one's going to wager cash on Joey Harrington.
  • Percentage of money on Houston: 84% (78,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Falcons.
  • Zero Trend: 0-3 teams are 11-8 ATS vs. non-losing teams since 2000.
  • Opening Line: Texans -3.
  • Opening Total: 39.5.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: Matt Schaub, Ahman Green, Owen Daniels, Joey Harrington, Roddy White, Alge Crumpler.
  • Sit Em: Warrick Dunn, Jerious Norwood.


    Prediction: Falcons 27, Texans 24
    Falcons +3 (4 Units - Double Money Pick) -- Correct; +$400
    Over 39.5 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Falcons 26, Texans 16.



    New York Jets (1-2) at Buffalo Bills (0-3)
    Line: Jets by 3.5. Total: 37.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 3): Jets -2.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 3): Jets -3.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Jets.
    Injuries: BILLS: OUT: QB J.P. Losman, TE Kevin Everett, DE Anthony Hargrove, DE Ryan Denney, LB Paul Posluszny, LB Keith Ellison, CB Jason Webster.

    Buffalo is coming off a 38-7 loss to the Patriots. But Bills fans shouldn't be discouraged. In fact, they should be proud of their team. New England has beaten everyone else this season (San Diego and New York) by the score of 38-14. That means Buffalo is only seven points worse than the Chargers and Jets! If that's not a reason to celebrate, I don't know what is.

    Considering Trent Edwards had his first taste of NFL action against the best team in the league, he can only get better, right? Edwards completed four of his first five passes for 55 yards. Unfortunately, he was only 6-of-15 for 42 yards and a pick the rest of the way, as Bill Belichick adjusted on the fly. I could see Edwards playing well in his first start; the Jets' pathetic secondary just surrendered 318 passing yards to 83-year-old quarterback Trent Green. Lee Evans will finally get going; he had 10 catches, 198 yards and a touchdown in two meetings versus New York last year. Once Edwards establishes that he's a legitimate threat - made possible by the Jets' non-existent pass rush that has only one sack this season - holes will open up for Marshawn Lynch. New York is 19th against the run, so I'm going to predict that Lynch will eclipse the 100-yard plateau for the first time in his career.

    Thanks to a massive injury list and a lack of defensive free-agent signings this offseason, Buffalo has one of the worst defenses in the NFL. The team ranks 31st against opposing ground attacks, allows 280 passing yards per contest and simply cannot get to the quarterback (3 sacks). Then again, the Bills just played Denver, Pittsburgh and New England - three playoff-bound squads - so those numbers might be a little inflated. Still, Chad Pennington is going to have a field day utilizing play-action off of Thomas Jones' massive gains. I don't see how Buffalo can restrict New York to less than 24 points.

    The Jets should be able to control this game, but I don't think they will. First of all, Buffalo historically has dominated New York at home. Secondly, the Bills, despite their horrendous 0-3 record, are a bit underrated because they've played three really tough opponents, and actually managed to hang with one. And finally, the public is pounding the Jets, who are favored by 3.5, the worst point spread in football. I'm going with the live dog.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    The Bills obviously want to win their first game, but the Jets can't afford to go to 1-3 either.


    The Vegas. Edge: Bills.
    Buffalo is considered one of the worst teams in the NFL. The average bettor doesn't wager on crappy teams.
  • Percentage of money on NY Jets: 74% (48,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Bills.
  • History: Home Team has won 7 of the last 9 meetings.
  • Road Losers: Teams with a losing record are 31-100 SU on the road after a victory since 2003.
  • Jets are 5-1 ATS as a favorite under Eric Mangini.
  • Bills are 11-1 ATS after playing the New England Patriots since 1999.
  • Bills are 9-4 ATS as a dog under Dick Jauron.
  • Opening Line: Jets -2.5.
  • Opening Total: 37.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 72 degrees. Mild wind, 11 mph.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: Chad Pennington, Thomas Jones, Laveranues Coles, Jerricho Cotchery, Marshawn Lynch, Lee Evans.
  • Sit Em: Both Defenses.


    Prediction: Bills 27, Jets 24
    Bills +3.5 (2 Units - Money Pick) -- Correct; +$200
    Over 37.5 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
    Bills 17, Jets 14.



    Oakland Raiders (1-2) at Miami Dolphins (0-3)
    Line: Dolphins by 4. Total: 41.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 3): Dolphins -4.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 3): Dolphins -4.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: None.
    Injuries: RAIDERS: OUT: RB Dominic Rhodes, RB Michael Bush. DOLPHINS: OUT: S Yeremiah Bell.

    Nothing lead-worthy to write about this game, so it's time for my Week 4 Look-Alike Photo, Featuring a Patriots player and a musician.

    I'm not going to dwell too long on this game because both teams obviously suck at life. Ronnie Brown, who sucked at life prior to Week 3, finally got going against the defensively challenged Jets, garnering 211 total yards and three touchdowns. The Raiders' defense, which has mysteriously declined this season, will have issues containing Brown, given that they're ranked 28th against the run. Furthermore, Oakland has only five sacks, which would explain why it's yielding 256 passing yards per contest. Trent Green, unhappy he had to miss Bingo Sunday at the old-age home, took it out on the Jets, throwing for more than 300 yards last week. He'll help Miami move the chains in an effort to avoid an 0-4 start.

    The Dolphins, like the Raiders, have also seen their stop unit regress, as Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas are clearly showing their age. Miami has only four sacks and ranks 21st versus opposing ground attacks. LaMont Jordan could have as many rushing yards as Brown, which will open up the play-action door for Daunte Culpepper or Josh McCown. Oakland has scored 22.3 points per game this year, and the Dolphins don't have the personnel to slow them down.

    I've been saying this so much, I sound like a broken record. The Dolphins are one of the most overrated teams in the NFL. Green sucks, Brown cannot handle the load on his own, Ginn's not doing anything and the defense blows. The Raiders aren't much better, but I certainly can't justify backing Miami as a 4-point favorite over anyone.

    Wednesday Morning Note: I'm changing this pick to the Dolphins. I hate going against the Pacific team trend, and I was just presented with a remarkable system favoring Miami (see below).


    The Psychology. Edge: Dolphins.
    Miami will be out to win its first game.


    The Vegas. Edge: Dolphins.
    I still think the public views Miami as a semi-decent team despite its record. No one likes the Raiders.
  • Percentage of money on Oakland: 64% (56,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Dolphins.
  • Winless Vs. Winner: Winless teams favored over an opponent coming off a win are 15-1 ATS since 1980.
  • Road Losers: Teams with a losing record are 31-100 SU on the road after a victory since 2003.
  • Early Game Alert: Pacific Teams playing on the Atlantic Coast at 1:00 PM are 18-26 ATS since 2002 (Raiders 0-5).
  • Raiders are 6-17 ATS vs. teams with losing records since 2001.
  • Raiders are 5-13 ATS in October since 2001.
  • Opening Line: Dolphins -5.
  • Opening Total: 40.
  • Weather: Possible thunderstorms, 86 degrees. Mild wind, 16 mph.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: LaMont Jordan, Ronald Curry, Trent Green, Ronnie Brown, Chris Chambers.
  • Sit Em: Both Defenses.


    Prediction: Dolphins 27, Raiders 21
    Dolphins -4 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Over 41 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
    Raiders 35, Dolphins 17.



    St. Louis Rams (0-3) at Dallas Cowboys (3-0)
    Line: Cowboys by 13. Total: 46.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 3): Cowboys -6.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 3): Cowboys -10.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Cowboys.
    Injuries: RAMS: OUT: RB Steven Jackson., OT Orlando Pace, CB Tye Hill. COWBOYS: OUT: WR Terry Glenn, NT Jason Ferguson, DT Tank Johnson.

    I just thought of something. You know that Lincoln commercial where Miami Heat guard Dwayne Wade helps a group of kids whose basketball rim is broken? I always took that ad for granted, until I realized something Sunday night... Isn't it convenient that Wade shows up the minute the kids see that their rim is split in half? It wasn't a week later; it wasn't a day later; it wasn't even an hour later. It was the exact moment. I think Wade either broke the rim himself, or hired someone to do it. This is clearly a conspiracy. Why aren't the feds on to him? Because he just happened to have a thousand basketballs in his truck? I'm watching you, Dwayne. (I swear I'm not on crack.)

    I am, however, on the verge of tears. I've profitted betting against the Rams the past two weeks. While everyone was asking, "Why are the Rams struggling?" I was writing, "The Rams have no shot at winning many games without Orlando Pace." Unfortunately, St. Louis isn't overrated anymore because the ineffective Steven Jackson is out. Jackson made a huge mistake not playing in any preseason games, and he's definitely paying the price right now. Brian Leonard, who's actually averaging more yards per carry (5.3) than Jackson (3.4) will get the start. It probably doesn't matter though; without Pace, Leonard won't find much running room against a front seven that put the clamps on Cedric Benson last week. Marc Bulger will once again receive little or no pass protection, forcing him into more errant throws. Bulger threw three picks last week, while the Cowboys intercepted three passes themselves. The symmetry seems too good to be true.

    Dallas' top-ranked offense (38.7 points per contest) versus the Rams' pathetic defense? Hmmm... Expect a heavy dosage of Marion Barber and Julius Jones, as St. Louis is 30th against the run. Tony Romo, capitalizing on play-action, will torch a Rams secondary that has yet to battle a prolific passing attack. Call me crazy, but Tony Romo, Terrell Owens and Jason Witten are much more potent than anything Tampa Bay, San Francisco or Carolina possess.

    Jackson's injury scares me a bit. Without him in the lineup, the Cowboys, off a big victory at Chicago, could be a bit unfocused. Bulger, Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce are good enough to backdoor this game. Still, I like Dallas as a Survivor Pick.


    The Psychology. Edge: Rams.
    The Cowboys are coming off a big win at Chicago, but they aren't exactly looking ahead to anything. St. Louis wants to win its first game at 0-3.


    The Vegas. Edge: Rams.
    The Cowboys are America's team. The public will always take them unless they're going against the Colts or Patriots.
  • Percentage of money on Dallas: 87% (94,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Two Roads (Loss): Current and '06 head coaches are 89-62 ATS on the road following a road loss.
  • Zero Trend: 0-3 teams are 11-8 ATS vs. non-losing teams since 2000.
  • Rams are 13-27 ATS in road games since 2001.
  • Tony Romo is 8-4 ATS as a starter.
  • Opening Line: Cowboys -11.
  • Opening Total: 45.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 91 degrees. Light wind.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: Torry Holt, Tony Romo, Marion Barber, Terrell Owens, Jason Witten.
  • Sit Em: Steven Jackson (out).


    Prediction: Cowboys 24, Rams 13
    Rams +13 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Under 46.5 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
    Survivor Pick (3-0)
    Cowboys 35, Rams 7.



    Seattle Seahawks (2-1) at San Francisco 49ers (2-1)
    Line: Seahawks by 2. Total: 40.5.

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

    The Game. Edge: None.
    Injuries: SEAHAWKS: OUT: DT Marcus Tubbs. 49ERS: OUT: DE/OLB Manny Lawson.

    More on this Dwayne Wade conspiracy. Lincoln runs another commercial where some businessman, who works out of his home, has a son he calls "Johnson." I'm sure you've all seen it. Anyway, Johnson bursts into this man's office and drools all over his desk, "Want a baguette?" The businessman smiles and replies, "I can take an early lunch." Now, I didn't know what a baguette was, so I had to Google it. Turns out it's French for "little stick." So, this guy, who's "hard at work" can take a break to have a little stick with Johnson? I'm cracking up just typing that. (I still swear I'm not on crack.)

    This is a huge game for the 49ers. This is their chance to finally take control of the NFC West. I'd ask if they can finally knock off the Seahawks, but the reality is that they actually swept Seattle last year. Frank Gore completely dominated the Seahawks, rushing for 356 yards in the two meetings. Alex Smith also took a huge step in Seattle, economically completing 14-of-25 passes for 162 yards and two touchdowns. Although the Seahawks added a few key parts to their defense this offseason, they still rank 20th against the run, despite completely shutting down Rudi Johnson last week. In Week 2, Edgerrin James easily trampled them, and I have a feeling Gore will do the same. Gore's ability to carry the ball successfully will determine the winner of this contest; if Alex Smith can utilize play-action, giving him enough time to look for Darrell Jackson and Vernon Davis downfield, he should be able to expose a secondary that is yielding 275 passing yards per contest.

    While I predict that the 49ers will be a force on the ground, I can't say the same thing for Seattle. Shaun Alexander, who has a broken bone in his hand, takes his mediocre 4.2 yards-per-carry average into a front seven that shut down Steven Jackson two weeks ago. The 49ers lost Manny Lawson for the year, so their ability to contain the run could be hindered. That said, I don't have much faith in Alexander, who has been ineffective since breaking Priest Holmes' touchdown record in 2005. Matt Hasselbeck, meanwhile, looks as sharp as ever this year, maintaining a 65-percent completion rate and a 5-to-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio. However, San Francisco's vastly improved secondary, which has limited Anquan Boldin, Larry Fitzgerald, Torry Holt and Santonio Holmes this year, could give Deion Branch, Bobby Engram and Nate Burleson problems in terms of getting open.

    I love the 49ers in this spot. This is a much bigger game for them than it is for the Seahawks, who are coming off a huge victory against Cincinnati, and will be looking forward to avenging their Super Bowl loss to Pittsburgh in Week 5. The public is backing Seattle, a team that historically hasn't played well on the road.


    The Psychology. Edge: 49ers.
    This is an important statement game for the 49ers. Seattle, meanwhile, has bigger fish to fry next week against Pittsburgh.


    The Vegas. Edge: 49ers.
    Seattle is one of many short road favorites that will see tons of cash flows its way this week.
  • Percentage of money on Seattle: 66% (54,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: 49ers.
  • History: 49ers won the last 2 meetings.
  • Seahawks are 3-7 ATS on the road since 2006.
  • Matt Hasselbeck is 6-13 ATS as a road favorite.
  • Opening Line: Seahawks -1.
  • Opening Total: 41.5.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 67 degrees. Mild wind, 14 mph.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: Frank Gore, Vernon Davis.
  • Sit Em: Seahawks Defense.


    Prediction: 49ers 21, Seahawks 14
    49ers +2 (8 Units - September Pick of the Month) -- Incorrect; -$880
    Under 40.5 (.5 Units) -- Correct; +$50
    Seahawks 23, 49ers 3.



    Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1) at Carolina Panthers (2-1)
    Line: Panthers by 3. Total: 39.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 3): Panthers -4.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 3): Panthers -3.5.
    Sunday, 4:05 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Buccaneers.
    Injuries: BUCCANEERS: OUT: DE Patrick Chukwurah, CB Torrie Cox. PANTHERS: QUESTIONABLE: QB Jake Delhomme*.

    I hate it when Vegas refuses to put out a point spread until Wednesday or Thursday. It slows everything down for me. I'm doing this pick last instead of ninth, and for what? Jake Delhomme's injury? Who cares? Delhomme and Carr are probably the same, anyway. Delhomme can't speak English, while Carr can't move out of the road when a two-ton truck is about to run him over. That basically makes them blood brothers.

    Whoever starts for Carolina will likely struggle. I can't really spit any of Tampa Bay's impressive defensive statistics at you because there aren't any. The Buccaneers have only five sacks. They're ranked 17th against the run. They have just four picks. Yet, they surrender only 12.3 points per game. It's no secret that the Panthers don't have the most potent running backs in the league. Tampa Bay will hold them to less than four yards per carry, placing Delhomme or Carr in long-yardage situations. This is where a solid No. 2 option at receiver would be helpful. Steve Smith has 16 receptions, 281 yards and four touchdowns, yet Drew Carter and Keary Colbert each have only seven catches for 86 yards.

    If you were to tell me that a defensive front featuring Julius Peppers and Kris Jenkins would have only two sacks in the first three weeks of the season, I'd consider you a fool. Yet, Carolina's sole sacks have come from Jenkins and Kindal Moorehead. The team consequently is giving up 247 passing yards per contest and 22.3 points a game. Jeff Garcia isn't putting up the best numbers in the world, but he's simply doing what he does best: win football games without making mistakes. Through three contests, Garcia has two touchdowns, no picks and a 66.2 completion percentage. Without worrying about a Panthers pass rush, Garcia should be able to methodically dissect the Panthers' mediocre secondary.

    These teams are pretty evenly matched, as indicated by the spread. I'm going with the underdog; Garcia is the superior quarterback in this matchup, and Carolina always seems to lose games when favored.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    This is somehow the clash of the top two teams in the NFC South. Both squads will bring it.


    The Vegas. Edge: Panthers.
    There could be equal action here. I'm not really sure what the average bettor will do if Jake Delhomme can't play.
  • Percentage of money on Tampa Bay: 60% (34,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • History: Panthers have won 8 of the last 9 meetings.
  • Buccaneers are 5-16 ATS on the road after a win under Jon Gruden.
  • Panthers are 3-7 ATS as a favorite since 2007.
  • Opening Line: Panthers -2.5.
  • Opening Total: 39.5.
  • Weather: Sunny, 72 degrees. Light wind.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: Joey Galloway, Steve Smith.
  • Sit Em: Cadillac Williams, Panthers Defense.


    Prediction: Buccaneers 20, Panthers 17
    Buccaneers +3 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Under 39.5 (.5 Units) -- Correct; +$50
    Buccaneers 20, Panthers 7.



    Denver Broncos (2-1) at Indianapolis Colts (3-0)
    Line: Colts by 10. Total: 46.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 3): Colts -7.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 3): Colts -8.
    Sunday, 4:15 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Colts.
    Injuries: BRONCOS: OUT: WR Rod Smith, DE Kenny Peterson.

    Football is the greatest sport in the world, despite what soccer-crazed fans have to say. But it's a shame that the NFL has to be tainted by incompetent, clueless and corrupt officials. Most of you saw the miscall at the end of the first half on Sunday night when Rex Grossman was sacked in Chicago territory on fourth down. Dallas should have maintained possession with three seconds left. Instead, referee Ron Winter adamantly refused to stop the clock. In the Seattle-Cincinnati contest, Matt Hasselbeck clearly caught his own tipped pass and was sacked. Official Ed Hochuli ruled it incomplete. Marvin Lewis' attempt to challenge the call was thwarted because Hochuli gave him an ambiguous explanation. So frustrating.

    Why does it seem like we've been down this road before? Oh, maybe it's because the Colts always destroy the Broncos. No... that can't be it. Peyton Manning is 5-0 lifetime against Denver when he has played the entire game (the two occasions the Broncos have triumphed occurred at the end of the season when Jim Sorgi was under center.) Every single time Manning has triumphed over Denver at home has been a blowout; the slimmest of the three margins was 14. In fact, the Colts averaged 39.7 points in those contests. Given the weapons Manning has at his disposal, it's not hard to figure out the source of Indianapolis' production. Manning, Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark and Joseph Addai will once again be an unstoppable force; the Broncos are 24th against the run and have major issues getting to the quarterback when Elvis Dumervil is neutralized. The bottom line is Manning will have all day to throw to Wayne (Champ Bailey will cover Harrison the entire afternoon) and Addai will have wide-open running lanes to cruise through. The Colts may not punt twice in this game.

    There is one major difference in this latest Colts-Broncos clash, and that happens to be Denver's upgrade at quarterback, from the turnover-prone Jake Plummer to the young gun-slinger Jay Cutler. Despite tossing more picks (4) than scores (3), Cutler has been exceptional this season, maintaining a 65.3 completion percentage and engineering two game-winning drives. He's been leaning on Javon Walker and Brandon Marshall; the latter has emerged as a top-notch wide out who has successfully taken Rod Smith's place. Travis Henry, meanwhile, is averaging five yards per carry out of the backfield. I guess this is the part where you expect me to say that Denver's improved offense will hang with the Colts. Well, I lied earlier. There is another major difference in this rivalry, which is obviously Indianapolis' vastly improved defense. The Colts are now ranked sixth against the run, meaning Denver won't have the luxury of having Henry pound the ball at a five-yards-per-carry clip for the first time this year. Cutler will need to keep up in a shootout with Manning, and I just don't see that happening. Not at this stage of his career, anyway.

    I think the Broncos are overrated. Sure, they're 2-1, but whom have they beaten? Buffalo by one? Oakland by three? Give me a break. I think Colts fans will enjoy watching their team's annual thrashing of Denver.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    A big rivalry between two teams that hate each other. No psychological edge here.


    The Vegas. Edge: Broncos.
    Colts, Patriots, Cowboys. Joe Public always wagers on these teams.
  • Percentage of money on Indianapolis: 82% (82,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Broncos.
  • ESPN Kiss of Death: Teams that receive eight of nine votes from the ESPN Experts were 22-42 ATS since 2006.
  • Opening Line: Colts -9.5.
  • Opening Total: 46.5.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: Javon Walker, Brandon Marshall, Peyton Manning, Joseph Addai, Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark.
  • Sit Em: Travis Henry, Marvin Harrison.


    Prediction: Colts 41, Broncos 24
    Colts -10 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Over 46.5 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Colts 38, Broncos 20.



    Kansas City Chiefs (1-2) at San Diego Chargers (1-2)
    Line: Chargers by 11.5. Total: 38.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 3): Chargers -9.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 3): Chargers -12.
    Sunday, 4:15 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Chargers.
    Injuries:

    Herm Edwards' conservative nature will be the death of me. If I have to watch him punt on another 4th-and-1 in opposing territory one more time, I'm going to hang myself. I wonder if Edwards is this conservative in other facets of his life. What if someone with inside information offers him six of the seven numbers in the lottery? "It's OK, it's OK, no, I could lose a dollar, it's OK, it's OK."

    This is the type of game where Edwards needs to be really aggressive. He must attack San Diego's secondary and inside linebackers, which are surrendering 250 passing yards per contest. Instead, I have the feeling Edwards is going to pound Larry Johnson 35 times for 55 yards straight into Jamal Williams, Igor Olshansky and Luis Castillo. But then again, I can't really blame him, given what he has to work with in terms of the passing game. I have no idea how Damon Huard hasn't gotten benched yet. Maybe it's because Edwards knows that with the exception of Tony Gonzalez, Huard has absolutely nothing to work with. That includes an offensive line that has seen two Hall-of-Famers retire in consecutive offseasons. Shawne Merriman and Shaun Phillips will be in Kansas City's backfield on nearly every snap.

    Like Larry Johnson, LaDainian Tomlinson has struggled the first three weeks of the season. The difference is while Johnson's out of shape, Tomlinson has played a trifecta of exceptional defenses (Chicago, New England and Green Bay). Call me crazy, but I'm not ready to rank Kansas City in that echelon. The Chiefs are 18th against the run, so I'm confident Tomlinson will snap out of his cold spell and rush for 150 yards. This will make it easier for everyone else on offense, including Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates. It's crucial that Norv Turner establishes Tomlinson early and often, however. The Chiefs have the ability to consistently get to the quarterback.

    This contest completely mirrors the Lions-Eagles matchup in Week 3. Every single member of the media was down on the star player (Donovan McNabb) and the head coach (Andy Reid). Everyone said Philadelphia was dead. The Eagles proved all the naysayers wrong by thrashing a mediocre squad. Sound familiar? The star is Tomlinson; the coach is Turner; while the sacrificial lamb is Kansas City. San Diego will lay the hammer down on the Chiefs.


    The Psychology. Edge: Chargers.
    Panic time in San Diego. The Chargers need to win. Now.


    The Vegas. Edge: Chiefs.
    This line is a bit high, and I think most people are a bit down on the Chargers.
  • Percentage of money on San Diego: 67% (70,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Chargers.
  • History: Home Team has won 15 of the last 18 meetings.
  • History: Eight of the last 11 meetings have been decided by 5 points or less.
  • Divisional Dog of Seven: Current coaches are 42-30 ATS as divisional dogs of 7+ since 2002 (Herm Edwards 2-2).
  • Crappy Quarterback: Damon Huard is 2-3 ATS on the road since 2003.
  • Road Losers: Teams with a losing record are 31-100 SU on the road after a victory since 2003.
  • Chiefs are 10-15 ATS on the road since 2004.
  • Philip Rivers is 15-5 as a starter (10-10 ATS).
  • Opening Line: Chargers -12.
  • Opening Total: 40.
  • Weather: Sunny, 77 degrees. Light wind.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: Tony Gonzalez, LaDainian Tomlinson, Antonio Gates, Chargers Defense.
  • Sit Em: Larry Johnson.


    Prediction: Chargers 27, Chiefs 6
    Chargers -11.5 (4 Units - Double Money Pick) -- Incorrect; -$440
    Under 38.5 (.5 Units) -- Incorrect; -$55
    Chiefs 30, Chargers 16.



    Pittsburgh Steelers (3-0) at Arizona Cardinals (1-2)
    Line: Steelers by 6. Total: 41.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 3): Steelers -6.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 3): Steelers -6.5.
    Sunday, 4:15 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Steelers.
    Injuries: STEELERS: QUESTIONABLE: WR Hines Ward*. CARDINALS: OUT: OT Oliver Ross.

    Anyone who has been reading these ridiculously long write-ups since Week 1 knows that I was absolutely thrilled when I saw the new Dennis Green-Coors Light commercial. It was a mock press conference that showed clips of Green's "They Are Who We Thought They Were!" tirade. It's not up on YouTube yet, so I went to CoorsLight.com to find it. The site immediately asked for my date of birth. How dumb is this? Does Coors assume that some pimply faced 13-year-old can't figure out that he should lie about his age to go on a beer site? And who wants to go on a beer site, anyway? (Well, except for me.)

    On paper, it seems like the Steelers can show up drunk and still win this game by three touchdowns. Ben Roethlisberger, Willie Parker and the rest of the offense versus Arizona's pathetic defense? I mean, c'mon! Well, the Cardinals' stop unit has improved over last year's version. They're 15th against the run, managing to contain Frank Gore in Week 1, Shaun Alexander the following Sunday and Willis McGahee a few days ago. That's not a bad trio of backs. If Arizona can restrict Parker to less than four yards per carry, their pass rush, which features three players with a pair of sacks, may get to Roethlisberger and disrupt a few drives. I also wouldn't trivialize the fact that Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm are former Steelers coaches. If anyone knows the weaknesses of Roethlisberger, Parker and the offensive front, it's them.

    I'm not worried about the Cardinals' defense handling themselves, though I can't say the same thing for the offense. The revitalized Edgerrin James, who is averaging 4.6 yards per carry, will be neutralized by one of the elite front sevens in football, which happens to be ranked fourth against the run. That'll put pressure on the quarterback, a position that is in a state of flux for Arizona right now. I'm concerned about Matt Leinart's inaccuracy and Kurt Warner's immobility. Warner is probably the best option right now, though I may change my mind once Dick LeBeau's chaotic blitz schemes force Warner into five or six sacks. Then again, Leinart isn't exactly Vince Young either.

    The Steelers are clearly the better team, but that's factored into the 6-point spread. There are three reasons why I like Arizona to cover. The Cardinals will be playing extra hard for Whisenhunt and Grimm, who got passed over for Mike Tomlin in Pittsburgh. The Steelers, meanwhile, could be looking ahead to their Super Bowl rematch against Seattle next week. And finally, the betting public is pounding the Steelers. There's nothing going with a live home dog in the NFL.


    The Psychology. Edge: Cardinals.
    The Steelers could be looking ahead to their Super Bowl rematch against the Seahawks. Ken Whisenhunt, meanwhile, would love to beat the team that passed on him as a head coaching candidate.


    The Vegas. Edge: Cardinals.
    Steelers. Cardinals. Whom do you think 99 percent of the public will be gambling its hard-earned money on?
  • Percentage of money on Pittsburgh: 83% (94,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • ESPN Kiss of Death: Teams that receive eight of nine votes from the ESPN Experts were 22-42 ATS since 2006.
  • Steelers are 20-7 ATS in October since 2000.
  • Ben Roethlisberger is 37-11 as a starter (31-17 ATS).
  • Matt Leinart is 8-3 ATS as a starter. ???
  • Opening Line: Steelers -5.
  • Opening Total: 41.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: Santonio Holmes, Heath Miller.
  • Sit Em: Edgerrin James.


    Prediction: Steelers 20, Cardinals 16
    Cardinals +6 (5 Units - Double Money Pick) -- Correct; +$500
    Under 41.5 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Cardinals 21, Steelers 14.



    Philadelphia Eagles (1-2) at New York Giants (1-2)
    Line: Eagles by 3. Total: 47.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 3): Pick.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 3): Eagles -2.5.
    Sunday, 8:15 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: None.
    Injuries: EAGLES: OUT: CB Lito Sheppard. QUESTIONABLE: RB Brian Westbrook*, TE L.J. Smith, S Brian Dawkins. GIANTS: OUT: RB Brandon Jacobs*.

    I'm shocked the Eagles thrashed the Lions last week. Not because I thought Philadelphia was the inferior squad; I simply believed that Donovan McNabb was going to be unfocused because he spent his entire week campaigning about the lack of Antarctican quarterbacks in the NFL. I guess he does have a point. Did you know that there are only zero Antarctican signal callers in professional football? There are so few of them that they have to work 40,000 percent harder than the other players at their position. Something must be done about this.

    Can someone tell me why the Eagles are favored? Both squads looked dead going into Week 3, but responded with crucial victories. Philadelphia completely obliterated Colton Brennan and the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors - I mean, Jon Kitna and the Detroit Lions. What's the big deal? The Lions were a fraudulent 2-0 team that couldn't figure out how to cover Kevin Curtis, of all people. The Giants, meanwhile, were down on the road against an opponent that dominated the Eagles, and managed to come back, albeit with the help of inept Redskins offensive coordinator Al Saunders. New York's victory was much more impressive than Philadelphia's.

    That said, Donovan McNabb looked sharp for the first time since he suffered a season-ending knee injury in 2006. Granted, it was against the Lions, but New York's secondary isn't any better. The unit, currently allowing 267 passing yards per contest, is getting absolutely no help from a pass rush that has managed only four sacks. McNabb, Brian Westbrook and Curtis could all have another record-setting Sunday. The Giants' defensive strength is stopping opposing ground attacks, though that means nothing in this battle because Andy Reid adamantly refuses to run the ball.

    Prior to its 56-21 drilling of Detroit, Philadelphia's pass rush was pretty much non-existent. The Eagles garnered eight sacks against the Lions, though I attribute that more to Mike Martz's faulty pass-blocking schemes than anything else. New York's offensive line, which was questionable going into the 2007 campaign, has yielded only five sacks. NFL sack-leader Trent Cole won't have much luck getting to Eli Manning, allowing the youngest Manning sibling to shred Philadelphia's banged-up secondary. In three meetings against the Eagles last year, Manning was a combined 75-of-100, 814 yards, five touchdowns and and four picks - and that was with Lito Sheppard in the lineup.

    I think these teams are pretty evenly matched, so I'm going to continue my trend of taking home dogs. Also, I'd be remiss if I didn't note that Reid sucks going into his bye (see trend below.) Plus, I'm also a big fan of picking against whomever the public is taking.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    The winner in this heated rivalry improves to 2-2. The loser stands alone in the NFC East cellar. Very important game for both teams.


    The Vegas. Edge: Giants.
    There could be close to equal action in this contest.
  • Percentage of money on Philadelphia: 66% (58,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • History: Eagles have won 9 of the last 13 meetings.
  • Road Losers: Teams with a losing record are 31-100 SU on the road after a victory since 2003.
  • Eagles are 42-24 ATS vs. NFC opponents since 2001.
  • Eagles are 19-10 ATS vs. NFC East opponents since 2001.
  • Eagles are 20-12 ATS vs. teams with losing records since 2001.
  • Eagles are 2-6 ATS going into a bye under Andy Reid.
  • Donovan McNabb is 24-16 ATS on the road since 2001.
  • Opening Line: Eagles -3.
  • Opening Total: 48.
  • Weather: Clear, 60 degrees. Light wind.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: Donovan McNabb, Brian Westbrook, Kevin Curtis, Eli Manning, Plaxico Burress, Jeremy Shockey.
  • Sit Em: Derrick Ward, Both Defenses.


    Prediction: Giants 27, Eagles 24
    Giants +3 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Over 47.5 (.5 Units) -- Incorrect; -$55
    Giants 16, Eagles 3.



    New England Patriots (3-0) at Cincinnati Bengals (1-2)
    Line: Patriots by 7.5. Total: 54.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 3): Patriots -6.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 3): Patriots -7.
    Monday, 8:30 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Patriots.
    Injuries: PATRIOTS: OUT: WR Troy Brown, DE Richard Seymour, S Rodney Harrison. BENGALS: OUT: RB Chris Perry, WR Chris Henry, DE Frostee Rucker, LB Odell Thurman, LB David Pollack, LB Rashad Jeanty.

    Was anyone else perplexed when Marvin Lewis went for a 2-point conversion up four with a few minutes remaining in regulation? One of the oddest and senseless moves I've ever seen. Why did he go for two? I've come up with five possible reasons: 5. Odell Thurman threatened to drink eight bottles of vodka, 10 six-packs of Miller Lite, 16 shots of gin and an apple martini, and drive semi-drunk. 4. A.J. Nicholson said he would hit his wife with a nine iron. 3. Reggie McNeal promised to attack cops with Nicholson's nine iron. 2. Chris Henry vowed to sleep with five 2-year-olds and a 4-month-old. 1. Lance Briggs declared he would crash his convertible into Henry's favorite elementary school. (Yeah, I know Briggs isn't on the Bengals, but he might as well be.)

    And if only the Bengals had Briggs... How are they going to stop Tom Brady and Randy Moss? Why am I even typing a write-up for this game? The Patriots have scored 38 points in every single contest this year. I should just leave this section blank, except for a "38." But instead, I'll gush about Brady and Moss some more. Brady's completion percentage is 79.5. His passer rating is 141.8. He has 10 touchdowns to just one pick. Moss, meanwhile, is on pace for 2,149 yards and 26 touchdowns, which would shatter Jerry Rice's respective records of 1,848 and 22. The Bengals' defense has four sacks this season. They yield 258 passing yards per contest. Their run defense is dead last. How in the world are they going to contain Brady, Moss, Wes Welker, Ben Watson, Donte' Stallworth and Laurence Maroney?

    Cincinnati must turn this into a shootout. More specifically, Carson Palmer will need to throw for 450 yards and five touchdowns. Rudi Johnson, who's averaging just 3.1 yards per carry, will get nothing on the ground versus New England's stellar run defense. Palmer, faced with long-yardage situations, will be passing into a defense that has 10 sacks and restricts opposing aerial attacks to just 133 yards. Granted, the Patriots have yet to battle a pair of receivers like Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh, but I think they're up for the challenge.

    The Bengals are a massive home dog, but for good reason. Until proven otherwise, the Patriots are an unstoppable force, and I'm going to pick them every single week - even when they're favored by 21 next week over Cleveland.


    The Psychology. Edge: Bengals.
    The Bengals will be in trouble if they go to 1-3. The Patriots aren't looking ahead or behind, so they'll be focused.


    The Vegas. Edge: Bengals.
    Patriots by 7.5 on the road? Vegas is almost pleading people not to take the Patriots. We're going to see New England favored by 20 or more next week.
  • Percentage of money on New England: 93% (165,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Hello, Good Bye: Underdogs of 6.5 or more are 16-7 ATS a week before their bye since 2002.
  • MNF Home Advantage: Monday Night Football home teams are 12-8 ATS since 2006.
  • MNF Home Dogs: Monday Night Football home underdogs are 4-3 ATS since 2006.
  • Tom Brady is 85-25 as a starter (69-39 ATS).
  • Carson Palmer is 2-5 ATS as a home dog.
  • Opening Line: Patriots -6.
  • Opening Total: 52.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 61 degrees. Light wind.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: Patriots Offense, Chad Johnson, T.J. Houshmandzadeh.
  • Sit Em: Rudi Johnson, Bengals Defense.


    Prediction: Patriots 38, Bengals 21
    Patriots -7.5 (3 Units - Money Pick) -- Correct; +$300
    Over 54 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110



    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: Falcons +3, Vikings +3, Rams +14, Bills +4 (bought 0.5), Cardinals +7 (bought 0.5), Patriots -8 (.5 Units to win 17.1) -- Incorrect; -$50
  • Live Dog: - Bills +160 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$160
  • Live Dog: - Cardinals +230 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$230
  • 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.

  • Falcons +3 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
  • Buccaneers +3 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220



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    2006 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 65-61-4 (51.6%)
    2007 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 83-59-5, 58.5% (+$4,110)
    2008 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 44-57-3, 43.6% (-$3,510)
    2009 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 49-35-3, 58.3% (+$2,260)
    2010 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 51-38-4, 57.3% (+$3,180)
    2011 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 44-51-3, 46.3% (-$2,715)
    2012 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 45-50-2, 47.4% (-$2,130)

    2002 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 11-12 (47.8%)
    2003 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 16-13-1 (55.2%)
    2004 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 18-11 (62.1%)
    2005 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 25-22-1 (53.2%)
    2006 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 21-29-1 (42.0%)
    2007 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 35-30-2, 53.8% (+$420)
    2008 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 39-26-2, 60.0% (+$4,055)
    2009 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 29-26, 52.7% (+$330)
    2010 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 32-22, 59.3% (+$4,790)
    2011 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 14-14, 50.0% (-$1,260)
    2012 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 14-21, 40.0% (-$3,650)

    2001 Season Over-Under: 3-2 (60.0%)
    2002 Season Over-Under: 121-91-3 (57.1%)
    2003 Season Over-Under: 126-132-2 (48.8%)
    2004 Season Over-Under: 139-124-4 (52.9%)
    2005 Season Over-Under: 117-145-4 (44.7%)
    2006 Season Over-Under: 129-132-5 (49.4%)
    2007 Season Over-Under: 136-145-3, 48.4% (-$1,900)
    2008 Season Over-Under: 137-125-6, 52.3% (+$860)
    2009 Season Over-Under: 128-135-4, 48.7% (-$3,195)
    2010 Season Over-Under: 128-135-5, 48.7% (-$5)
    2011 Season Over-Under: 131-131-5, 50.0% (+$135)
    2012 Season Over-Under: 125-121-5, 50.8% (+$30)

    2007 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,035
    2008 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,775
    2009 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$865
    2010 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$200
    2011 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$590
    2012 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$1,685

    2006 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3 (50%)
    2007 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3, 50.0% (-$400)
    2008 NFL Picks of the Month: 6-1, 85.7% (+$3,720)
    2009 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$640)
    2010 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-4, 33.3% (-$1,810)
    2011 NFL Picks of the Month: 5-2, 71.4% (+$1,870)
    2012 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$560)

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



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

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

    2003 Preseason: 3 | 4 | 5
    2003 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 20 | XXXVIII
    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 |
    2012 Season:
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    Super Bowl XLVII NFL Pick
    2013 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2013 Season:
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    Super Bowl XLVIII NFL Pick
    2014 Season:
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