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NFL Weekly Predictions
Week 10, 2007



Well, I hit three out of my top four plays last week. Unfortunately, I was only 7-7 overall, as most of my smaller plays didn't come through. The tools I habitually use didn't work (take Panthers as a dog, fade Saints as a favorite, pick Tom Brady regardless). They will in future weeks. If you don't quite understand the line, total or anything else, go to my Sports Betting FAQ.



Atlanta Falcons (2-6) at Carolina Panthers (4-4)
Line: Panthers by 3.5. Total: 35.5.

Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 9): Panthers -6.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 9): Panthers -6.
Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets

The Game. Edge: Panthers.
Injuries: FALCONS: OUT: QB Michael Vick. PANTHERS: OUT: QB Jake Delhomme, QB David Carr, QB Vinny Testaverde.

Before we get into this thrilling game, let's look at how Vegas fared following a horrendous Week 8. The five most-gambled sides on Sunday were the Bengals, Chargers, Patriots, Redskins and Cowboys. Only Dallas covered. I'm pretty sure the books made out with the Over on "Pills found in Brittany Reid's Jail Cell" and "Cheesesteaks Devoured by Andy Reid During His Sons' Trial." The total on both was 20 and 54,204, respectively. Don't worry - lots more Reid jokes coming in my leads this week.

I've been waiting all year for this game. Seriously. David Carr and Joey Harrington on the same field? What's the Over for combined sacks and fumbles? That number has to be set at 15 or more. I don't think we've had a battle between two high-draft-pick busts in a very long time.

Actually, forget the fumbles; the figure I'll be watching all Sunday afternoon is the sack total. Harrington has been sacked 26 times this year, while Carr owns the NFL's single-season record (73). I guess Atlanta has a slight edge there, considering it has more sacks (11) than Carolina (7). But that's like saying Reid eats healthier than Kansas' Mark Mangino. The Panthers have to be completely disappointed in their inability to get consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks, and they should be almost as disgusted that they are only slightly superior against the run (20th) than their NFC South rival (23rd).

These teams are about even without Jake Delhomme in the lineup. The quarterbacks stink, the defenses are horrendous, the offensive lines can't block and the running attacks are mediocre, at best. The one difference is Steve Smith. DeAngelo Hall couldn't cover him when these two squads met earlier this year. Hall actually became so frustrated, he committed 67 penalty yards on one drive. Smith will get the better of Hall yet again.

I'll take the points. As I said earlier, excluding the Smith edge, Atlanta and Carolina are the same team without Delhomme at the helm for the latter. The Panthers have a terrible history as a home favorite (check the numbers below), so this could be a field-goal game.

Saturday Morning Update: I actually had a friend named Matt Moore in high school. I hope this isn't him. Seriously though, Moore is scheduled to start now that David Carr and Vinny Testaverde are out. I'm decreasing the units on this game to one. There's a chance Moore might be good. With Carr and Testaverde, we knew we were getting pure suckiness at quarterback. Moore might actually be semi-decent.


The Psychology. Edge: Panthers.
I guess you can say the Panthers need this game to keep up with the Buccaneers and Saints, but I'm not sure how much of a playoff contender this team is with David Carr at the helm.


The Vegas. Edge: None.
I don't see the public backing the Falcons at all, so I could see about 70 percent or so on the host.
  • Percentage of money on Atlanta: 54% (54,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Falcons.
  • History: Panthers have won 4 of the last 5 meetings.
  • Panthers are 10-19 ATS as a home favorite of 3.5 or more since 2001.
  • Panthers are 3-8 ATS as a favorite since 2006.
  • Opening Line: Panthers -4.5.
  • Opening Total: 36.5.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 62 degrees. Light wind.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: Roddy White, Steve Smith.
  • Sit Em: Everyone else involved in this game.


    Prediction: Panthers 23, Falcons 20
    Falcons +3.5 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Over 35.5 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Falcons 20, Panthers 13.



    Buffalo Bills (4-4) at Miami Dolphins (0-8)
    Line: Bills by 3. Total: 41.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 9): Bills -3.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 9): Bills -3.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Bills.
    Injuries: BILLS: OUT: WR Peerless Price, TE Kevin Everett, DE Ryan Denney, LB Paul Posluszny, CB Jason Webster. DOLPHINS: OUT: S Yeremiah Bell.

    I'm sure all of you were annoyed by NBC's Green Awareness, where they turned off the lights in their studios and changed the color of their logo to green to promote power conservation. Well, that actually motivated me. Upon seeing that, I decided to unplug my fridge. The next day, I ate spoiled food, and consequently had to get my stomach pumped at a hospital a few hours later. Not only was my life expectancy cut in half, my hospital bill will force me to take out a third mortgage on my house. But hey, at least I saved enough energy to power some house in Iowa!

    Let me state once again that I love what the Bills have done this year. They let their old and overpriced veterans go, prompting every talking head on television to anoint them as the worst team in football. Yet, after close calls against Denver and Dallas, Buffalo has assembled a three-game winning streak, evening its record at 4-4. Despite maintaining a young defense, an unproven rookie running back and a shaky quarterback situation, the Bills are in the playoff hunt.

    Now, with that said, I really hope they don't overlook the Dolphins. If Buffalo thinks that it is high and mighty, and impervious to being upset by a lesser opponent, it's completely wrong.

    The Dolphins aren't any good, but at least they play tough. They fought fiercely overseas against the Giants, coming within a field goal of a 6-2 squad. They've also had a couple of close calls go the wrong way themselves, losing by three or less at the Redskins, Texans and Jets. Not exactly the strongest opponents in the NFL, but a 3-5 record would look much better than 0-8.

    One of the only things Miami does well is run the football. I don't know how he's doing it, but Jesse Chatman is averaging 5.4 yards per carry. The Bills can be exposed that way, considering that they are 24th against opposing ground attacks. If Chatman eclipses the 100-yard barrier, Cleo Lemon should be able to capitalize on play-action. The problem is, the Dolphins don't have talented receivers who can beat Buffalo's ever-improving secondary.

    On the other side of the ball, I expect the Bills to keep going where they left off last week. The Dolphins have just 10 sacks this year, meaning J.P. Losman will have all the time in the word to locate Lee Evans downfield. Miami won't be able to drop extra men into coverage, given its deficiency against the run. Marshawn Lynch will have another big day.

    There's no doubt the Bills are the better team, but as I said earlier, they cannot afford to look past Miami simply because they have their rematch against New England next week. Given this possible Look-Ahead Alert, the public's reaction to this spread and the highly effective Zero Trend, I have to take the points with Miami, though I think Buffalo can still squeak out a slim victory.


    The Psychology. Edge: Dolphins.
    After three consecutive wins, the Bills have this "easy" game before playing the Patriots. The Dolphins, on the other hand, would like to avoid 0-9.


    The Vegas. Edge: Dolphins.
    I think the average bettor may back the Bills this week, especially against the Dolphins.
  • Percentage of money on Buffalo: 94% (99,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Dolphins.
  • History: Bills have won 5 of the last 6 meetings.
  • Zero Trend: 0-8 (or worse) teams are 8-1 ATS since 2000.
  • Zero Trend: 0-8 (or worse) teams are 4-0 ATS vs. non-losing teams since 2000.
  • Dolphins are 8-3 ATS as a home underdog after two straight losses the previous 11 instances.
  • Dolphins are 3-13 ATS after a bye the previous 16 years.
  • Opening Line: Bills -3.
  • Opening Total: 40.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 80 degrees. Mild wind, 11 mph.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: Marshawn Lynch, Lee Evans, Jesse Chatman.
  • Sit Em: Both Defenses.


    Prediction: Bills 24, Dolphins 23
    Dolphins +3 (2 Units - Money Pick) -- Push; -$20
    Over 40.5 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Bills 13, Dolphins 10.



    Cleveland Browns (5-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2)
    Line: Steelers by 10. Total: 47.

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

    The Game. Edge: Steelers.
    Injuries: BROWNS: OUT: OT Ryan Tucker, C LeCharles Bentley, LB Willie McGinest.

    It's time for more grammar lessons from Emmitt Smith! Try writing these in your next college term paper if you want an automatic F!

    1. "He turn around and go deep on Dre' Bly" (Commentary: Career touchdowns, 175. Career rushing yards, 18,355. Career verbs conjugated, 0.)
    2. "The way you perform make them feel about you different." (Commentary: I think Emmitt's brain gathers the words he wants to use and rearranges them randomly.)
    3. "Wes Worker is a possession receiver that make things happen." (Commentary: I don't care who "make" things happen, but who the heck is Wes Worker?)

    Is this Cleveland's biggest game since Kelly Holcomb threw for 429 yards in the playoffs against Pittsburgh in January 2003? Without a doubt. This is the team's chance to prove it is a legitimate contender in the AFC. It is also revenge, as the Steelers demolished the Browns in Week 1, 34-7.

    Things are obviously different now. Charlie Frye was shipped to Seattle, and Derek Anderson has taken over the signal-caller duties. All he's done is throw for more touchdown passes than Peyton Manning (17), commanding the league's fourth-most productive offense (28.4 points per game) with the help of Kellen Winslow Jr. and Braylon Edwards, who is probably the best receiver in the NFL right now not named Randy Moss. Jamal Lewis is somehow gaining 4.2 yards per carry. I don't think Lewis will have much success on Sunday, however, given that Pittsburgh is ranked fourth versus the run. Anderson will have to move the chains on his own. Steve McNair couldn't do that against a defense that has 25 sacks and is first in terms of passing yards allowed. But Anderson isn't McNair, who is, without a doubt, one of the five worst starting quarterbacks in the NFL. Anderson has been sacked only eight times this year, so I'm confident he'll have enough time in the pocket to locate his talented targets. He will not commit the same errors McNair was guilty of on Monday night.

    The reason the Browns won't go deep in the playoffs is their horrendous defense. Their stop unit is terrible in every area. They can't get sacks (7). They can't stop the run (23rd). They can't contain the pass (32nd). And they allow the third-most points in the NFL (29.1 per game). Willie Parker will gash Cleveland's front for more than five yards per carry, setting up easy play-action opportunities for Ben Roethlisberger.

    Honestly, I don't know where to go with this game. I'd like to say the Browns are underrated and no one's taking them seriously, given what the spread is and the public's reaction to it. Then again, I'm not sure if they're ready to hang with the top teams in the NFL. Their defense certainly isn't. The Steelers know how big this game is. If they come away with a victory, they'll all but secure first place in the AFC North. If they lose, they'll be tied for first with the upstart Browns. If Pittsburgh weren't such a veteran team, I'd take the points. But I trust Ben Roethlisberger and his defense.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    Another big game for the Browns, who are in a Revenge Situation after getting humiliated the first week of the season. Cleveland is coming off an Emotional-Win Alert, however. I'm not sure if the Steelers will take the Browns seriously, but the fact remains that this is a battle for first place.


    The Vegas. Edge: Browns.
    I think some bettors will give the hot Brownies a shot, especially considering how high this number is.
  • Percentage of money on Pittsburgh: 57% (99,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Steelers.
  • History: Steelers have won 14 of the last 15 meetings.
  • Divisional Dog of Seven: Current coaches are 44-34 ATS as divisional dogs of 7+ since 2002.
  • Monday Might: Teams coming off a 17+ win on Monday Night Football are 27-14 ATS since 1999.
  • Ben Roethlisberger is 40-13 as a starter (34-19 ATS).
  • Opening Line: Steelers -9.5.
  • Opening Total: 47.5.
  • Weather: Cloudy, 53 degrees. Light wind.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: Derek Anderson, Braylon Edwards, Kellen Winslow Jr., Ben Roethlisberger, Willie Parker, Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes, Heath Miller.
  • Sit Em: Jamal Lewis, Both Defenses.


    Prediction: Steelers 38, Browns 27
    Steelers -10 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Over 47.5 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Steelers 31, Browns 28.



    Jacksonville Jaguars (5-3) at Tennessee Titans (6-2)
    Line: Titans by 4.5. Total: 35.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 9): Titans -4.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 9): Titans -4.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Titans.
    Injuries: JAGUARS: OUT: DT Marcus Stroud, K Josh Scobee. QUESTIONABLE: QB David Garrard*. TITANS: OUT: WR David Givens, CB Pacman Jones.

    I'm not a big fan of SportsCenter, in case you couldn't tell (although I used to be when I was about 11-15). But I like the Field Pass segment where different analysts break down every perspective of each NFL game. The one gripe I have with it, however, is that Sean Salisbury gives his picks at the end of each clip. I know I'm coming off two mediocre weeks, but who is he to give out picks on the show? ESPN should get a qualified handicapper to go on the program. I'd volunteer myself, but one of two things would happen: I'd show up to Bristol and Emmitt Smith would either beat me up (in the wake of what I've been writing about him on this site) or befriend me. I think I can handle the former, but if I do start hanging out with him, I may begin talking and typing like him. Maybe I should starts typin and doin write-up like Emmitt different. That would probable takes me 15 minute longer than if I write this normal ironic.

    It pisses me off to no end that it's Wednesday afternoon and there's no line on this game. I know it's about 75-percent certain that David Garrard will play, but Vegas, just please post a spread!. For this write-up, I'm going to assume he's in.

    If Garrard starts, I like the Titans. Let's look at something that happened two weeks ago. Jacksonville played at Tampa Bay with Earl Gray Quinn starting the first game of his career. The Jaguars' defense knew it had to give 200 percent to come out on top. So, they did just that, forcing Jeff Garcia into his first turnovers of the season. Gray did just enough to spark Jacksonville to victory. The team brought the kitchen sink and stunned the nation. Last Sunday, the Jaguars had nothing left in the tank. Their defense exerted so much energy at Tampa Bay, it had nothing left for the Saints, which is why Drew Brees was able to score on almost every drive. With Garrard coming back, the rest of the team could be relieved to see their reliable quarterback under center again. Thus, they'll play more relaxed if Gray were starting again.

    Another thing Garrard does is bring down the spread. If Gray were penciled in as the starter, the Titans could be favored by five or six. Instead, this line will probably be -3. That makes it much easier to pick Vince Young, who does nothing but win football games. If Gray starts instead of Garrard, I'll modify this selection.

    Saturday Night Note: David Garrard WILL NOT start. I'm going with the Jaguars.


    The Psychology. Edge: Titans.
    These teams hate each other, so expect both to bring it. The thing is, the Jaguars could be extremely worn down playing three taxing road games in a row.


    The Vegas. Edge: Jaguars.
    The Jaguars were just blown out, so I don't see too many people taking them.
  • Percentage of money on Tennessee: 69% (63,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Crappy Quarterback: Quinn Gray is 1-1 ATS on the road.
  • History: Titans have won 2 of the last 3 meetings.
  • Third Road Alert: Teams in their third-consecutive road game are 11-14 ATS since 2000.
  • Jaguars are 6-3 ATS as an underdog since 2006.
  • Vince Young is 13-6 as a starter (14-5 ATS).
  • Opening Line: Titans -4.5
  • Opening Total: 35.
  • Weather: Cloudy, 68 degrees. Mild wind, 11 mph.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: LenDale White.
  • Sit Em: Fred Taylor, Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars Defense.


    Prediction: Titans 13, Jaguars 10
    Jaguars +4.5 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Under 35 (.5 Units) -- Incorrect; -$55
    Jaguars 28, Titans 13.



    Denver Broncos (3-5) at Kansas City Chiefs (4-4)
    Line: Chiefs by 3. Total: 37.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 9): Chiefs -3 (Cutler).
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 9): Chiefs -3 (w/ Cutler) or Chiefs -6 (w/o Cutler).
    Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: None.
    Injuries: BRONCOS: OUT: WR Javon Walker, WR Rod Smith, C Tom Nalen. QUESTIONABLE: QB Jay Cutler*. CHIEFS: OUT: RB Larry Johnson*.

    I think I've bashed ESPN's new NFL Primetime every week this year, so I won't delve too much into it. Let me just say that I was extremely disappointed it failed to show highlights (or lowlights) of the 49ers-Falcons contest. I was also disgruntled that the Blitz didn't cover the Seahawks-Browns game. Ugh. Instead, we were subjected to Merril Hoge's rant about how Adrian Peterson is a factor back. You don't even have to watch the show. "He's a factor back! Rabble rabble rabbble! He's a factor back! Rabble rabble rabble!" That's really what he sounds like.

    I'm equally annoyed that this game, much like the Jacksonville-Tennessee tilt, doesn't have a line. Jay Cutler's questionable, so I can understand why Vegas is a bit scared. I hope Cutler plays for the same reason I'm fading the Jaguars now that David Garrard is presumably back at the helm. If Cutler starts, the Broncos won't play as hard and the line will be more favorable. The host has dominated this rivalry (see trends), so I'm taking the Chiefs if the spread is close to three. The only thing that would keep me from placing tons of units on this contest is Herm Edwards' ineptness.

    If Patrick Ramsey starts and the line is about six, I may have to play the Broncos because Edwards doesn't deserve to be a big favorite over anyone. Plus, we'll have that kitchen-sink mentality Denver will bring to the table.

    Cutler's availability will determine my pick. For now, I'll assume that he will start. If he's out, I may change this selection. Stay tuned.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    Big game in the AFC West. I don't see how either doesn't bring 100 percent.


    The Vegas. Edge: Broncos.
    Everyone just watched the Broncos get blown out by 37 points. No one in their right mind would wager on them right now.
  • Percentage of money on Kansas City: 66% (57,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Chiefs.
  • History: Home Team has won 11 of the last 12 meetings.
  • Two Homes (Loss): Herm Edwards is 4-0 ATS at home following a home loss.
  • Two Roads (Loss): Current and '06 head coaches are 92-66 ATS on the road following a road loss (Mike Shanahan 5-8).
  • Opening Line: Chiefs -4.
  • Opening Total: 37.5.
  • Weather: Showers, 68 degrees. Mild wind, 15 mph.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: Travis Henry, Brandon Marshall, Priest Holmes, Tony Gonzalez.
  • Sit Em: Jay Cutler, Larry Johnson.


    Prediction: Chiefs 24, Broncos 17
    Chiefs -3 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Over 37.5 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Broncos 27, Chiefs 11.



    Minnesota Vikings (3-5) at Green Bay Packers (7-1)
    Line: Packers by 6. Total: 40.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 9): Packers -10.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 9): Packers -9.5.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Packers.
    Injuries: PACKERS: OUT: RB DeShawn Wynn, S Nick Collins.

    Lots of Andy Reid leads this week in the wake of the 23-month sentencing of his sons and the loss to Dallas. Did anyone find the judge's comments hilarious? In case you missed it, it went something like this, "Mr. Reid, I'm sentencing both of your white-trash sons to 23 months of prison. Oh, and by the way, your house is a drug emporium and your family is in crisis! Have a nice day!" What you don't know is that after the judge said this, Reid, doing his best Adam Sandler impression, responded, "Something that could have been brought to my attention yesterday!"

    I think you almost have to throw out stats and figures when you're dealing with rivalry games. If these two teams didn't hate each other with a passion, I'd write that because the Vikings have a terrible quarterback and are coming off a huge upset victory over a superior opponent, the hot Packers are the right side. However, looking at the past 11 meetings between these two rivals, there has only been a winner of seven or more twice, one of which occurred earlier this year when Green Bay beat Minnesota, 23-16. Even last year, when Tarvaris Jackson was making his first starts, a torrid Packers squad barely survived the stumbling Vikings at home, 9-7.

    That said, I'm not really sure how Minnesota is going to score. The Packers are much more stout against the run (9th) than the Chargers are (30th), at least statistically. Green Bay will put eight men in the box to stop Adrian Peterson, forcing Jackson to beat them downfield. That's just not going to happen against Charles Woodson and Al Harris. In the aforementioned 23-16 victory, the Packers contained Peterson to only 112 rushing yards, although the league's new single-game record-holder had just 12 carries.

    The Packers, on the other hand, have no hope of generating any sort of rushing attack. DeShawn Wynn and Ryan Grant managed only 37 yards on the ground in the first meeting. The Vikings kept both guys bottled up with their top-ranked run defense. Green Bay was able to win aerially, however, because Minnesota cannot stop the pass (31st).

    But as I wrote in my second paragraph, throw all of the matchups out. Nearly every Vikings-Packers game goes down to the wire. I'm pretty confident this one will as well.


    The Psychology. Edge: Vikings.
    The Packers just won two tough road games, so I don't know how focused they'll be against an inferior opponent. The Vikings always play tough at Lambeau.


    The Vegas. Edge: Vikings.
    I can't believe how short this line is. Everyone's going to be laying the points.
  • Percentage of money on Green Bay: 60% (99,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Packers.
  • Crappy Quarterback: Tarvaris Jackson is 1-1 ATS on the road.
  • History: Packers have won the last 3 meetings.
  • Vikings are 14-22 ATS (8-29 SU) outdoors since 2001.
  • Opening Line: Packers -6.5.
  • Opening Total: 40.5.
  • Weather: Showers, 52 degrees. Light wind.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: Adrian Peterson, Brett Favre, Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, Donald Lee, Packers Defense.
  • Sit Em: Vikings Passing Attack, Ryan Grant.


    Prediction: Packers 16, Vikings 13
    Vikings +6 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Under 40.5 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Packers 34, Vikings 0.



    St. Louis Rams (0-8) at New Orleans Saints (4-4)
    Line: Saints by 10.5. Total: 46.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 9): Saints -10.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 9): Saints -12.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Saints.
    Injuries: RAMS: OUT: OT Orlando Pace, DE Leonard Little, CB Tye Hill. SAINTS: OUT: RB Deuce McAllister.

    Last week, my college roommate Dennis brought up how stupid the new Miller Lite commercials are, and I exposed the "commish" as a fraud who secretly likes Michael Bolton. This week, Dennis suggested that Andy Reid should cut both white-trash sons. Look, the Eagles habitually release players over 30. Well, both of his sons are about 23. That means their potential has maximized. It's time to cut them and sign some orphan free agents. Hey, Big Red, I hear there's a 6-year-old Chinese genius available. Let's just hope he gets along with Donovan McNabb.

    I was talking to my neighbor after the Week 3 Saints-Titans game on Monday night. When he said New Orleans was done, I disagreed with him. Two weeks later, when the Saints lost to Carolina to drop to 0-4, he asked me if I wanted to retract my statement. Once again, I said that there was still hope. Well, New Orleans is 4-4 now, thanks to a very soft schedule, a horrendous NFC South, a great quarterback who is completely revitalized and an outstanding head coach who did all he could to get his team out of its slump. I picked the Saints to go to the Super Bowl prior to this season, and I'm here to tell you that my prediction is still a possibility.

    How are the Saints not going to put up 40 points in this contest, en route to their fifth victory of the year? The Rams, who are 19th against the run, will be missing their best pass rusher, Leonard Little. With Reggie Bush gaining about five yards per carry on every play, Drew Brees will play-action St. Louis' secondary to death. Brees will have all the time in the world to locate Marques Colston, David Patten and Lance Moore downfield.

    Can the Rams keep up with New Orleans? Probably not. Their offensive line is battered with major injuries and can't block anyone, while the Saints have registered 13 sacks during their four-game winning streak. Furthermore, this might be surprising to some people, but New Orleans is actually fifth against the run. The fragile Steven Jackson probably won't have much luck finding any lanes to burst through.

    Everything points to a blowout, but the matchups are why the Saints are favored by double digits. Here's a case for taking the points: The public is backing New Orleans; the Saints seldom cover as a home favorite (10-23 ATS since 2001); and picking 0-8 or worse teams has been very profitable in the past. I'm using the host as my Week 10 Survivor Pick, but I wouldn't really count on them covering.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    The Saints have won four in a row, but they battle Houston next week, so they should be focused for the Rams, who would like to get a victory of their own.


    The Vegas. Edge: Rams.
    All aboard the Saints bandwagon, where 99 percent of the bettors will be this week!
  • Percentage of money on New Orleans: 64% (90,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Rams.
  • Divisional Dog of Seven: Current coaches are 44-34 ATS as divisional dogs of 7+ since 2002 (Scott Linehan 0-1).
  • Zero Trend: 0-8 (or worse) teams are 8-1 ATS since 2000.
  • Zero Trend: 0-8 (or worse) teams are 4-0 ATS vs. non-losing teams since 2000.
  • Rams are 13-30 ATS in road games since 2001.
  • Saints are 17-33 ATS at home since 2001.
  • Saints are 10-23 ATS as a home favorite since 2001.
  • Drew Brees is 16-6 ATS off back-to-back wins.
  • Opening Line: Saints -13.
  • Opening Total: 44.5.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: Torry Holt, Drew Brees, Reggie Bush, Marques Colston, David Patten, Saints Defense.
  • Sit Em: Steven Jackson.


    Prediction: Saints 31, Rams 24
    Rams +10.5 (2 Units - Money Pick) -- Correct; +$200
    Over 46 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Survivor Pick (9-0)
    Rams 37, Saints 29.



    Philadelphia Eagles (3-5) at Washington Redskins (5-3)
    Line: Redskins by 2.5. Total: 37.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 9): Redskins -2.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 9): Redskins -6.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Redskins.
    Injuries: REDSKINS: OUT: OT Jon Jansen.

    I was disappointed when Sal Palantonio and Michael Smith said the sentencing of Reid's white-trash sons hasn't been a distraction for the Eagles. Yeah, that's why they're now 0-3 following an arrest or sentencing to one of these two upstanding young men. The Eagles had no gameplan for the Redskins, Bears or Cowboys. And on that note, let me get on my soapbox for a second. Garrett and Brittany Reid were both sentenced to 23 months in prison, but only five with good behavior. So, they've done all this, and they're basically getting just a slap on the wrist? Five months in jail is nothing. That's not an incentive for them to stop doing what they were doing. In fact, the five months actually boosts their reputation in the "hood," a.k.a. their white-collar suburban town, where they probably play a few rounds of golf or tennis in between selling drugs and pointing Super Soakers at old, defenseless women.

    Are the Eagles done? Their defense looked downright disgraceful against Dallas. Seriously, it was a must-win for Philadelphia, yet it couldn't keep Terrell Owens, a hated villain from catching 10 passes for 174 yards and a score? The Redskins don't exactly have the weaponry Dallas possesses, but they were able to pound Clinton Portis for more than four yards per carry in their Week 2 meeting at Philadelphia, giving Jason Campbell easy throws to Santana Moss, who had six receptions for 89 yards. Don't expect anything crazy from Washington - just enough economical drives leading to 20 or so points.

    Donovan McNabb, who is nothing more than a mediocre quarterback now that his mobility is gone, was largely ineffective in the Redskins' 20-12 victory. He barely completed 50 percent of his passes, and while he managed 240 yards, most of those came when the game was out of reach. Washington was able to keep Philadelphia out of the end zone by pressing its extremely small wide receivers, forcing McNabb to waltz around in the pocket and attempting to locate his wide outs who just couldn't get open. The Redskins will employ this tactic once again, and I don't see the Eagles adjusting, given how lost their head coach looks right now.

    I don't like the Redskins as a favorite. In that role, they're 1-3-1 against the spread this year. Their offense sucks, so they can't be trusted to cover anything more than three. That's what this line is, so maybe I'm worrying about nothing. Yet, my picking intuition says to take the Eagles. This line is off; following Philadelphia's disaster against Dallas, this line should have been at least five. With Washington only laying three, most bettors are pounding the host. Also, the potent StatFox Trend applies. That said, I just can't back Philadelphia right now, given the mental state of its head coach. Nothing would surprise me in this game, though I could definitely see a push happening.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    The Redskins are coming off an Emotional Victory, hitting a game-winning field goal in overtime. The Eagles, meanwhile, seem lost. Andy Reid is not preparing his team to play every Sunday.


    The Vegas. Edge: Eagles.
    This seems like a short line, so I'm going to assume that the public will back Washington.
  • Percentage of money on Washington: 71% (76,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Eagles.
  • History: Eagles have won 8 of the last 10 meetings.
  • Statfox Trend: Redskins are a home favorite that is coming off a 1-3 point road win. (Teams 17-37 ATS in that situation since 2000).
  • Eagles are 43-28 ATS vs. NFC opponents since 2001.
  • Eagles are 19-12 ATS vs. NFC East opponents since 2001.
  • Donovan McNabb is 26-17 ATS on the road since 2001.
  • Redskins are 3-13 ATS after a road win since 2000.
  • Redskins are 1-3 ATS as a favorite in 2007.
  • Opening Line: Redskins -3.
  • Opening Total: 38.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 56 degrees. Light wind.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: Brian Westbrook, Clinton Portis, Santana Moss, Chris Cooley, Redskins Defense.
  • Sit Em: Donovan McNabb, Eagles Receivers and Defense.


    Prediction: Redskins 17, Eagles 13
    Redskins -2.5 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Under 37.5 (.5 Units) -- Incorrect; -$55
    Eagles 33, Redskins 25.






    Cincinnati Bengals (2-6) at Baltimore Ravens (4-4)
    Line: Ravens by 3.5. Total: 44.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 9): Ravens -3.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 9): Ravens -3.
    Sunday, 4:05 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Bengals.
    Injuries: BENGALS: OUT: RB Chris Perry, DE Frostee Rucker, LB Odell Thurman, LB David Pollack, LB Rashad Jeanty. QUESTIONABLE: WR Chad Johnson*. RAVENS: OUT: LB Dan Cody. QUESTIONABLE: TE Todd Heap*.

    At halftime of the Eagles-Cowboys blowout, Andrea Kramer asked Wade Phillips how he held Brian Westbrook to no receiving yards. I tuned out at that point, so let's imagine what Wade would have said, "Well, I've been able to limit Brian Westbrook to no receiving yards by tackling hard, offering Andy Reid cheesesteaks as a bribe and planting tons of pills in Brittany Reid's jail cell."

    I mentioned this in the Pittsburgh-Cleveland write-up. Is there any doubt that Steve McNair is one of the five worst starting quarterbacks in the NFL right now? The only signal-callers I wouldn't take over him are Tarvaris Jackson, David Carr, Alex Smith and Daunte Culpepper. Note that I didn't mention Joey Harrington, Brian Griese and Cleo Lemon. They're all better than McNair, who can do nothing now but throw short, 5-yard dump-off lobs to Willis McGahee, take sacks, and fumble the ball every single possession. As bad as Cincinnati's defense is, it can contain Baltimore's crappy offense. They did so the first week of the season, when they stacked the line of scrimmage and held McGahee to just 77 rushing yards. And that was with a healthy Todd Heap in the lineup. He's questionable yet again, but even if he plays, he may not be 100 percent. I don't see the Ravens scoring more than 17 points in this contest, unless their defense makes a big play.

    Speaking of Baltimore's "vaunted" defense, I wonder what it's going to take for Ray Lewis to realize his defense is extremely overrated. Sure, they contained Willie Parker and are ranked second versus the run. Good job. The problem is they can't stop the pass at all. Ben Roethlisberger threw the ball just 16 times and had 209 yards and five touchdowns. Trent Edwards moved the chains against them two weeks ago. Derek Anderson, Kurt Warner and Kellen Clemens have all torched them as well. Adalius Thomas is gone, the secondary is getting old and the front seven has only 18 sacks, which is an OK amount but low in terms of what the Ravens garner every year. Carson Palmer will be the next quarterback to expose Baltimore's old and overrated defense.

    Did you know the Ravens have only covered one game this year? They failed to beat the spread against the Bengals, Jets (at home vs. rookie quarterback), Cardinals (at home), 49ers and Bills. All of those teams are either .500 or worse. Who is Baltimore to be favored by 4.5? They're a joke.


    The Psychology. Edge: Ravens.
    Not much to say about the Bengals right now. I'd say they're done, but NFL teams usually don't quit. The Ravens will look to rebound following their blowout loss on Monday night.


    The Vegas. Edge: Ravens.
    Probably 50-50 action. Both of these teams are garbage.
  • Percentage of money on Cincinnati: 78% (48,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Bengals.
  • History: Bengals have won 4 of the last 5 meetings.
  • Monday Misery: Teams coming off a 17+ loss on Monday Night Football are 11-23 ATS since 1999 (Brian Billick 1-2 after any MNF loss).
  • Two Roads (Loss): Current and '06 head coaches are 92-66 ATS on the road following a road loss (Marvin Lewis 6-1 regardless of win/loss).
  • Strong Revenge: Brian Billick is 4-2 ATS in divisional revenge games since 2002.
  • Ravens are 19-9 ATS in November.
  • Ravens are 13-2 ATS in November home games since 2000.
  • Opening Line: Ravens -4.5.
  • Opening Total: 44.5.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 57 degrees. Light wind.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: Carson Palmer, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Chris Henry, Bengals Defense.
  • Sit Em: Steve McNair, Derrick Mason, Mark Clayton, Todd Heap.


    Prediction: Bengals 23, Ravens 17
    Bengals +3.5 (4 Units - Double Money Pick) -- Correct; +$400
    Under 44.5 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Bengals 21, Ravens 7.



    Chicago Bears (3-5) at Oakland Raiders (2-6)
    Line: Bears by 3.5. Total: 38.

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

    The Game. Edge: Bears.
    Injuries: RAIDERS: OUT: RB Michael Bush.

    I think we can all agree that sideline reporters are pretty much useless. It doesn't really matter what they say; what's important is how good-looking they are. No, I'm not superficial! But anyway, Bonnie Bernstein is my all-time favorite. I would have to say Andrea Kramer is an exception because she's an excellent journalist. But one of the networks - I think it's ESPN - employs some woman named Boris Burke. She looks as if Skeletor jumped out of animation, donned a blond wig and stole a microphone from someone.

    These next two games are going to delve into the public's short-term memory. The Bears are favored by 3.5 because they're the defending NFC champions and the Raiders just lost to Houston. Granted, Oakland had a poor performance last week, but no one seems to remember how the team fared beforehand. In Week 8, the Raiders covered at Tennessee. A Sunday earlier, they nearly knocked off the first-place Chiefs. A week before that, the Raiders were trailing 21-14 at San Diego before LaDainian Tomlinson scored a late touchdown. Prior to their bye, the Raiders clobbered the Dolphins, beat the 5-3 Browns and nearly knocked off Denver in overtime. They're not that bad; they just suck as a favorite. As an underdog, they are 3-1 on the number.

    The Bears, on the other hand, have no business being favored on the road, seeing as how they're as inconsistent as they come. While they managed victories at Philadelphia and Green Bay, they were swept by the Lions and lost to the Vikings at home. They're not to be trusted, especially when laying points. They're 0-5 in those situations.

    The Raiders are 31st against the run, but I don't think the Bears can expose that weakness, given that Cedric Benson is averaging just 3.1 yards per carry. That means Brian Griese will have to carry his team with an offensive front that has surrendered 21 sacks this season against an Oakland squad that is 11th versus the pass. Meanwhile, Chicago isn't much better at defending ground attacks (28th). LaMont Jordan will get going, opening up play-action opportunities for whomever is playing quarterback for the Raiders. Regardless of whether that's Daunte Culpepper or Josh McCown; either signal caller will be under immense pressure. Oakland's offensive front has yielded 23 sacks this year.

    The Raiders were in a poor spot last week. Now that they're an underdog, this is a great situation for them. The Bears, who suck as a favorite, are getting pounded by bettors who for some reason assume Chicago is much better than Oakland.


    The Psychology. Edge: Bears.
    A Must-Win Situation for the Bears, who basically need to run the table to get to the playoffs.


    The Vegas. Edge: Raiders.
    Should be a lot of money on the Bears. I can't see anyone backing Oakland.
  • Percentage of money on Chicago: 78% (81,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Raiders.
  • Bears are 15-5 ATS in November since 2001.
  • Bears are 0-5 ATS as a favorite in 2007.
  • Raiders are 3-1 ATS as an underdog in 2007.
  • Raiders are 7-18 ATS vs. teams with losing records since 2001.
  • Raiders are 6-19 ATS at home the previous 25 instances.
  • Opening Line: Bears -3.
  • Opening Total: 38.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 60 degrees. Light wind.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: Bernard Berrian, Greg Olsen, Bears Defense, LaMont Jordan.
  • Sit Em: Cedric Benson.


    Prediction: Bears 27, Raiders 26
    Raiders +3.5 (3 Units - Money Pick) -- Incorrect; -$330
    Over 38 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
    Bears 17, Raiders 6.



    Detroit Lions (6-2) at Arizona Cardinals (3-5)
    Line: Cardinals by 1. Total: 44.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 9): Lions -2.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 9): Lions -3.
    Sunday, 4:15 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: None.
    Injuries: LIONS: OUT: S Daniel Bullocks. CARDINALS: OUT: QB Matt Leinart, OT Oliver Ross.

    This is my November Pick of the Month, but before I get to my weekly dissertation, I want to mention that you can compete against me and others by picking football games at the Picking Forum. You'll be able to pick every game starting Wednesday afternoon, and you can post comments for each contest as well. No prizes, but you do get bragging rights.

    But yeah, you heard me right. This is my November Pick of the Month. The Lions and the Cardinals. I think I've lost my mind. Maybe I'll share a room with Scott Linehan at some mental institution, as we take turns sniffing glue and complaining about what could have been. Let's start at the thing that popped out at 97 percent of you...

    The Line: I was so shocked by the spread, I had to ask three other football bettors what they thought it was. One guy said Lions -3. Another replied -4.5. A friend of mine even predicted that Detroit would be favored by seven. When I told them Arizona was favored, they couldn't believe it. I was talking to all three online, but I'm pretty confident that they were reaching for their wallets and credit cards, ready to bet the farm on Detroit.

    This isn't an isolated incident. Browsing through some football forums on the net, I found one where someone posted the following: "Lions +1 @ Az, Free Money?? Lions (6-2) v. Cards (3-5) , just blew out the Broncos and have been looking good all season vs. an inept Kurt Warner - what am I missing? DET+1 FTW 2 zillion units." Nearly everyone in that thread agreed that taking Detroit was the lock of the century.

    Here's something interesting. The Lions actually opened up as 1-point favorites. Despite seeing bettors all over the nation dump tons of cash on the visitor, the oddsmaker actually moved the line to Cardinals -1. Can anyone give me an explanation for this, other than the fact that Vegas is baiting everyone into taking Detroit? Why is that? Is it larceny? Probably not. I'll explain...

    If the Lions beat the Bucs... And the Bucs beat the Cardinals... Sorry, but if A > B and B > C, so A > C doesn't work in the NFL. Detroit beat Tampa Bay in its cushy dome. Arizona, meanwhile, had to travel cross country to battle the Buccaneers. Completely different situation.

    Upon seeing the Cardinals struggle at Tampa last weekend, everyone assumes they stink. As it reads three paragraphs above, "inept Kurt Warner." Yet, prior to Sunday's 17-10 loss, Arizona had only one defeat of more than three points. That was against the Panthers in a contest where Warner got hurt and had to be replaced by Tim Rattay. The Cardinals have kept every game close this year, and even beat the Steelers. People forget that.

    On the other side of the spectrum, the Lions are the greatest team in the world in everyone's eyes. They smashed the Broncos and now sit at 6-2, as Jon Kitna is being glorified as a genius and perhaps the next Nostradamus. But let's be realistic here. Detroit was only up 6-0 when Jay Cutler suffered a game-ending injury. Patrick Ramsey, replacing Cutler, was guilty of a pick-six and a fumble returned for a touchdown. Denver seemed to give up after that. The defense, which was already terrible to begin with, simply didn't put much effort into tackling.

    People forget the Lions had two of the worst losses any team has suffered this year. They were demolished, 56-21 at Philadelphia and 34-3 at Washington. Not exactly the best squads in the NFL. It seems as though Detroit struggles on the road against stout stop units.

    The Cardinals actually have a better defense than the Broncos. They're seventh versus the pass, and they have 20 sacks on the season. What is the Lions' MO? Throwing the ball more than any other team in the league. Arizona should be able to get to Kitna and bait him into some poor misfires. Warner, meanwhile, will torch a secondary ranked 30th. Sure, he was horrendous at Tampa Bay, but you can't compare the Buccaneers' defense to Detroit's.

    Other Intangibles: I don't think the Lions can be trusted to win on the road just yet. They're 2-2 in a visiting role this year, but the two squads they've defeated are Oakland and Chicago. The Cardinals aren't incredible or anything, but they actually play well at home. Throw out the Carolina game where Warner got hurt, and Arizona is undefeated as a host, beating Seattle and Pittsburgh. As the contest against the Steelers proved, traveling to the West Coast can be treacherous for any team.

    One more tidbit. This contest reminds me of last week's San Diego-Minnesota tilt. I picked the Vikings because the Chargers had a string of tough games following the Minnesota contest, including Indianapolis, Jacksonville and Tennessee. The Lions, who have claimed three consecutive victories, battle the Giants and Packers after this "easy lock."

    The Game of the Month: If I haven't convinced you that the Cardinals are the right side by now, I never will. Selecting Arizona is everything I look for when trying to pick winners in football. I almost like them as much as I did the Bills over the Cowboys in October. This is my November Pick of the Month.


    The Psychology. Edge: Cardinals.
    The Lions have put a nice winning streak together. This could be similar to what San Diego experienced last week; after this "easy" game, Detroit has the Giants and Packers, making this a Breather Alert.


    The Vegas. Edge: Cardinals.
    Shouldn't the Lions be favored by a field goal or more? Why do the books want you to take them? Tons of action on hot Detroit.
  • Percentage of money on Detroit: 83% (105,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Opening Line: Lions -1.
  • Opening Total: 45.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: Jon Kitna, Roy Williams, Kurt Warner, Anquan Boldin, Larry Fitzgerald.
  • Sit Em: Kevin Jones.


    Prediction: Cardinals 27, Lions 13
    Cardinals -1 (8 Units - November Pick of the Month) -- Correct; +$800
    Under 44.5 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
    Cardinals 31, Lions 21.



    Dallas Cowboys (7-1) at New York Giants (6-2)
    Line: Cowboys by 1.5. Total: 49.

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

    The Game. Edge: Cowboys.
    Injuries: COWBOYS: OUT: WR Terry Glenn, NT Jason Ferguson.

    In a week full of losers - Andy Reid and his sons, Chad Johnson, Jay Cutler and Larry Johnson (getting hurt) and myself for picking the Eagles over the Cowboys despite a week full of distractions for Big Red - it's good to know there were some winners. The first, courtesy of forum-poster JimmyP, is Titans running back LenDale White, who in the absence of suspended Chris Henry, was able to eat his teammate's food. Rumors are White is up to 805 pounds. Another winner is Shannon Sharpe, who ironically declared himself a genius when he was the only person on CBS' panel to pick the Colts over the Patriots. Upon selecting Indianapolis, Shannon said, "Well, I guess I'm the only smart one." Of course, I was lucky to have subtitles on at the moment because what he really said sounded like this, "FJOif sojeo fe ehf3 oewfho ewf3of fjefep."

    This is definitely the marquee matchup of this weekend, right? The Cowboys have dominated everyone they've played, including New York, and look to defend their first-place standing against a squad that has won six in a row. The Giants are hot, and the winning streak is impressive, so let's see whom they've beaten. OK... Dolphins, no good, but I'm sure their other five opponents were solid. Let's see... 49ers. They aren't very good. Hmmm... Falcons? Ugh. Jets? What is this clown schedule? Eagles? Get it away, get it away!

    I think you know where I'm going with this. The Giants have won their previous six contests because Eli Manning's been solid and the defense has been sacking the oblivion out of everyone. I don't think either facet will have much success against the Cowboys. Manning has always been a pretty good quarterback when he's had time to throw. When he gets knocked around, however, he spontaneously combusts and starts committing turnovers. The Cowboys have 21 sacks this year. DeMarcus Ware and Greg Ellis have combined for 13. I know Manning torched Dallas' secondary for 312 yards and four touchdowns in the Week 1 meeting, but the Cowboys didn't have Ellis or Terence Newman. Both will make a huge difference on Sunday afternoon.

    As for New York's four-defensive end formation, it can easily be countered with a power rushing attack. Look at everyone New York has defeated. None of those six teams, with the exception of the 49ers, have a runner who can push people around between the tackles. Frank Gore could have easily compiled 150 yards or more, but San Francisco's gameplan was one of the worst I had ever seen; Trent Dilfer was taking seven-step drops on every down. Dallas will run the football. Marion Barber and Julius Jones will eclipse that 150-yard mark. Tony Romo will capitalize on play-action. The Giants will not be able to stop the Cowboys.

    I know I'm going with the public here, but I really do believe the Cowboys are the right side. They're the better football team, and they will dispel the Giants, who have done nothing but beat inept teams. If New York wins, I'll accept them as one of the elite squads in the NFL. But for now, I have to side with the better quarterback and the superior defense.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    Tough game in the NFC East to determine who's in first and what's on second.


    The Vegas. Edge: Giants.
    The Giants should be favored. At Cowboys -1, more people might be inclined to take New York.
  • Percentage of money on Dallas: 86% (132,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Cowboys.
  • History: Cowboys have won the last 2 meetings.
  • Two Roads (Loss): Current and '06 head coaches are 92-66 ATS on the road following a road loss.
  • Cowboys are 11-2 ATS after playing the Eagles since 2000.
  • Tony Romo is 10-6 ATS as a starter.
  • Tony Romo is 5-2 ATS on the road.
  • Opening Line: Cowboys -1.
  • Opening Total: 49.5.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 51 degrees. Light wind.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: Tony Romo, Marion Barber, Terrell Owens, Jason Witten, Eli Manning, Plaxico Burress, Jeremy Shockey.
  • Sit Em: Brandon Jacobs, Giants Defense.


    Prediction: Cowboys 24, Giants 21
    Cowboys -1.5 (3 Units - Money Pick) -- Correct; +$300
    Under 49 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Cowboys 31, Giants 20.



    Indianapolis Colts (7-1) at San Diego Chargers (4-4)
    Line: Colts by 3.5. Total: 48.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 9): Colts -3.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 9): Colts -4.5.
    Sunday, 8:15 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Colts.
    Injuries: COLTS: OUT: WR Anthony Gonzalez, DT Booger McFarland, OLB Rob Morris. QUESTIONABLE: WR Marvin Harrison*, TE Dallas Clark, OT Tony Ugoh. CHARGERS: OUT: DE Luis Castillo, CB Quentin Jammer.

    What if Tom Brady and Peyton Manning went to a bar one night? And what if they brought along some of their quarterback friends? What would their conversation be like? Hmmm...

    Brady: Damn, that girl is hot, let me go impregnate her. Random Girl: Hey, Tom, I haven't seen you here in like 10 hours! Who's your friend? Manning: Hi, I'm Peyton Manning. Tired of watching blowouts every Sunday? You should get DirecTV so you can watch my brother play the Cowboys. Joe Namath: Yo, Peytons! Whys you talkings likes thatsssss? Takes my beerses. I hads 63 beerses alreadys. Hey hunnys, cans I kisses youses? Terry Bradshaw: Get away from me you dang nabit drunk! I got a joke for you! Knock knock, who dis? Apple? Apple what? Apple cider! Yeehaw, Terry made a funny! Dan Marino: I liked that joke. I liked Joe Namath's joke. I liked everyone's joke. That girl is good looking. You guys are good looking. Everyone is good looking. Ryan Leaf: Shut up, loser! Get an opinion! Stop talking to me! Brett Favre: That was a great win. I'm just trying to win football games right now. I hope I can win. Ron Jaworski: I just watched 40 hours of film on Brett Favre making that comment. Look at Brett Favre's OUTSTANDING delivery. Brett Favre is one of the best quarterbacks in the National Football League.

    I'm a bit torn on this game, as I can see it going either direction. At first, I was inclined to take the Chargers. I know they were blown out against the Vikings, but I was sort of expecting a loss last week because they were preparing for this game. In 2005, seven days prior to battling the Colts, the Chargers lost at home to the Dolphins as a 13-point favorite, 23-21. That's almost as bad as getting slaughtered on the road. San Diego went on to beat Indianapolis, 26-17, knocking the 13-0 Peyton Manning off of his unbeaten pedestal.

    Manning has always had problems against the 3-4. He simply gets confused, and can't read the blitz and coverage schemes. Think about it. The Chargers have his number. Dallas beat him last year. New England always gives him fits. Pittsburgh knocked him out of the playoffs two years ago. San Diego's stop unit, playing for pride after allowing Adrian Peterson to break Jamal Lewis' single-game rushing record, will keep the Colts to a managable scoring output.

    Although the Chargers failed to qualify for the playoffs two years ago, you can't compare that version to this season's. Philip Rivers is not Drew Brees. Norv Turner definitely isn't Marty Schottenheimer. And Wade Phillips is in Dallas. San Diego has the personnel to slay the Colts, but can they be coached up to do it? Can Rivers lead his squad to victory? Will LaDainian Tomlinson get the ball enough versus a stop unit that is still pretty mediocre against the run (15th)? I can't say I'm too confident.

    I'm going with San Diego. Aside from the public backing the visitor, this game simply means much more to the Chargers. This is their Super Bowl. And they need to prove that they're not as bad as Peterson made them look. If the Colts lose, so what? They're still penciled in as the No. 2 seed in the conference and the winner of the AFC South.


    The Psychology. Edge: Chargers.
    I'm not sure how focused the Colts will be in this game. Can you say Let-Down Alert? Meanwhile, I stated last week that the Chargers would be looking forward to this game. This means everything to them.


    The Vegas. Edge: Chargers.
    The Colts lost, but they didn't go down like San Diego did at Minnesota. About 99 percent of the money will be on the Colts.
  • Percentage of money on Indianapolis: 93% (136,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Colts.
  • Post-First Loss: Teams losing their first game after starting 5-0 or better are 7-4 ATS the following week (Tony Dungy 1-2).
  • Colts are 25-17 ATS on the road under Tony Dungy.
  • Peyton Manning is 19-13 ATS as a road favorite since 2001.
  • Chargers are 8-4 ATS in November home games since 2001.
  • Opening Line: Colts -3.
  • Opening Total: 49.5.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 64 degrees. Light wind.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: Peyton Manning, Joseph Addai, Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, LaDainian Tomlinson, Antonio Gates.
  • Sit Em: Colts Defense.


    Prediction: Chargers 26, Colts 17
    Chargers +3.5 (2 Units - Money Pick) -- Correct; +$200
    Under 48.5 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Chargers 23, Colts 21.



    San Francisco 49ers (2-6) at Seattle Seahawks (4-4)
    Line: Seahawks by 9.5. Total: 37.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 9): Seahawks -7.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 9): Seahawks -11.
    Monday, 8:30 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Seahawks.
    Injuries: 49ERS: OUT: DE/OLB Manny Lawson. SEAHAWKS: OUT: DT Marcus Tubbs.

    No Monday Night Dissertation. Check the Lions-Cardinals game for that. Instead, you can look at my Week 10 Look-Alike Pictures featuring Uncle Phil from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

    Why does ESPN keep getting screwed with these crappy contests? NBC gets San Diego-Indianapolis. ESPN gets another blowout. It's almost as if the league is still holding a grudge against them for making a soap opera-like show depicting its flaws. But I don't think ESPN would do that.

    Well, I guess this is good news for people who work on Tuesday. You'll be able to turn in by about 10 p.m. because that's when this game will be decided. The 49ers are garbage. Their two victories were a field-goal win at home against Arizona on Kickoff Weekend and a one-point decision at winless St. Louis the following Sunday. Whoop dee doo. Since then, San Francisco has lost four games by double digits. The two teams that couldn't eclipse the 10-point barrier were the Falcons (20-16) and offensively inept Ravens (9-7).

    Alex Smith is garbage. He has more picks (4) and fumbles (4) than touchdowns (2). His completion percentage is 49.7. His quarterback rating is 57.6. He's the worst, Jerry. The worst! His offensive line isn't doing him any favors either (28 sacks allowed). And Frank Gore has been in and out of the lineup. Seattle's 23-sack defense, ranked 13th versus the run, will put the clamps on either Gore or Michael Robinson, forcing Smith to make dangerous throws. This could be a disaster.

    Shaun Alexander actually sucks more than Smith. At this point, I think I'd cut him and take my chances with Maurice Morris. But I guess it doesn't even matter this week because Matt Hasselbeck is playing out of his mind. In fact, if the Seahawks were 6-2 instead of 4-4, I'd consider him for MVP. He single-handedly kept Seattle in the game against Cleveland last Sunday, going 30-of-47 for 318 yards and two touchdowns. San Francisco's $100 million secondary, a huge disappointment this year, will not be able to contain Seattle's aerial attack.

    Look, I can't really endorse taking double digits in a divisional matchup. I like taking the points in a rivalry. But the 49ers are so pathetic you almost have to lay the 10. Plus, it's not like there's a ridiculous amount of money on the host.

    Monday Morning Note: I liked the Seahawks a bit until it was announced that Mike Nolan's father passed away over the weekend. The 49ers may decide to play hard for their coach tonight, although that may not matter. Dropping this down to one unit.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    The 49ers are miserable. The Seahawks are coming off a loss, but there isn't anyone near them in the NFC West. This game doesn't really mean anything in the grand scheme of things.


    The Vegas. Edge: 49ers.
    No one's going to back the 49ers at this point.
  • Percentage of money on Seattle: 64% (150,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: 49ers.
  • History: Seahawks have won 7 of the last 9 meetings.
  • Divisional Dog of Seven: Current coaches are 44-34 ATS as divisional dogs of 7+ since 2002 (Mike Nolan 4-1).
  • Two Roads (Loss): Current and '06 head coaches are 92-66 ATS on the road following a road loss (Mike Nolan 1-1).
  • Weak Revenge: Alex Smith is 0-3 ATS in divisional revenge games since 2002.
  • Alex Smith is 3-0 ATS after back-to-back losses.
  • Opening Line: Seahawks -10.
  • Opening Total: 39.5.
  • Weather: Showers, 40 degrees. Light wind.


    Fantasy Spin.
  • Start Em: Matt Hasselbeck, Bobby Engram.
  • Sit Em: 49ers Offense and Defense.


    Prediction: Seahawks 27, 49ers 3
    Seahawks -9.5 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Under 37 (3 Units) -- Correct; +$300
    Seahawks 24, 49ers 0.


    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: Jaguars +5, Dolphins +3, Raiders +4, Cardinals -1, Chargers +4 (.5 Units to win 11) -- Incorrect; -$50
  • Live Dog: - Bengals +160 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$160
  • 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.

  • Second-half picks will be listed here.



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

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

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

    1999 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 27-41-3 (39.7%)
    2000 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 128-123-8 (51.0%)
    2001 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 127-122-7 (51.0%)
    2002 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 123-136-7 (47.5%)
    2003 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 146-126-8 (53.7%)
    2004 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 157-123-8 (56.1%)
    2005 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 156-126-11 (55.3%)
    2006 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 151-135-9 (52.8%)
    2007 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 162-135-10, 54.5% (+$2,550)
    2008 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 148-140-7, 51.4% (+$2,620)
    2009 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 151-124-9, 54.9% (+$3,370)
    2010 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 144-131-8, 52.4% (+$6,080)
    2011 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 137-133-12, 50.7% (-$1,925)
    2012 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 130-145-8, 47.3% (-$5,760)
    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)

    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 |
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