Free NFL Picks Against the Spread
Week 1, 2008

Weekly write-ups and thoughts to be posted here. If you don’t quite understand the line, total or anything else, go to my Sports Betting FAQ.

Vegas betting action updated Sept. 8, 3:35 p.m. ET.
Printable version of Free NFL Picks: Week 1 (MS Word)

Washington Redskins (0-0) at New York Giants (0-0)
Line: Giants by 4.5. Total: 41.

Walt’s Projected Line (As of April 16): Giants -8.
Walt’s Projected Line (After Preseason): Giants -7.5.
Thursday, 7:00 ET –

The Game. Edge: Giants.
Injuries: Redskins: OUT: DE Phillip Daniels (IR), DE Alex Buzbee (IR). QUESTIONABLE: DE Jason Taylor. Giants: OUT: QB Anthony Wright (IR), WR David Tyree, DE Osi Umenyiora (IR), ILB Jonathan Goff (IR), S Craig Dahl (IR), K Lawrence Tynes.

I love the NFL, but I won’t be watching any of that NFL Kickoff crap they give to us before the first game every year. And I’m not just saying that because EA Sports sponsors it and they don’t advertise on this site. If they did advertise, I’d rethink my stance. Wink, wink.

I looked up to see which musicians would be performing. I did this out of curiosity; I pretty much suck when it comes to pop culture. Up until a few months ago, I thought Hannah Montana was a porn star. You know, Debbie does Dallas, Hannah does Montana… The sad thing is, I’m not trying to be funny here.

At any rate, the list includes Usher (heard of him), Keith Urban (no clue) and Natasha Bedingfield (also no idea). Now, if we could get Urban and Bedingfield into a special kind of movie, maybe I’d be more familiar with them, if you know what I’m saying.

But let’s move on to what really matters, and that would be the Giants-Redskins game. Or Giants-Redskins beatdown, as I see it.

WASHINGTON OFFENSE: We all know how the Giants won the Super Bowl. They pressured the hell out of Tom Brady with Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck, taking advantage of New England’s hobbled offensive line. Strahan is gone and Umenyiora is out for the year, but I’m confident in Steve Spagnuolo’s ability to have his front generate a pass rush. Tuck is still a beast; Mathias Kiwanuka is talented; and Jerome McDougle was a nice addition to the squad after National Cut Day.

I’m not sold on the Redskins being able to keep the Giants out of the backfield. Stephon Heyer, replacing Jon Jansen, isn’t the greatest right tackle in the world, while Chris Samuels even allowed a sack against the Panthers two weeks ago. Couple this with Jason Campbell’s inevitable struggles with learning a new system under a new coach, and New York’s second-ranked run defense putting the clamps on Clinton Portis, and the Redskins figure to have problems moving the chains.

NY GIANTS OFFENSE: Meanwhile, Eli Manning continues to be underrated. No one is giving him credit for winning the Super Bowl, yet he put together one of the greatest postseason runs in NFL history. I liked what I saw out of Eli this preseason, and that was without Plaxico Burress at his disposal. With Jason Taylor questionable and unlikely to be 100 percent even if he plays, Eli will get all the time in the world to locate his myriad of weapons downfield (look for Steve Smith to step up this year).

Stopping the run could be an issue as well for the Redskins. First, they were 16th against it last year and didn’t really make any upgrades to improve themselves in that department. Second, they’ll be worried about sending blitzers and pressuring Eli that containing Brandon Jacobs will turn into a secondary concern for them. I could see Jacobs having a solid day.

RECAP: The Giants should be able to win by at least two touchdowns. The only thing that concerns me is how low this point spread is. Seriously, 3.5? I would have made this line about seven, which probably would have drawn equal action from bettors. Yet, with this shady 3.5-point number, about 80 percent of the money is on the host (as of Tuesday morning).

In all honesty, I’d have more units on the Giants if they were -6 or -7. I wouldn’t go crazy betting this game because it’s going to garner a lot of action, and it looks like Vegas could be up to something. Still, I can’t back the Redskins with a new coach and new offensive system on an emotional night for the Giants. Note that ever since the opening game was awarded to the Super Bowl champion (2004), the visitor has NEVER covered.

The Psychology. Edge: Giants.
Defending Super Bowl champions have done fairly well in their first game of the following season. Without any worthy opponents on the horizon, the Giants will be completely pumped up and motivated.

The Vegas. Edge: Redskins.
A very low spread has forced the public to pound the Giants. The line has inched from -3.5 to -4.5 in most places.
  • Percentage of money on NY Giants: 76% (144,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Giants.
  • History: Giants have won 3 of the last 4 meetings.
  • Opening Line: Giants -3.5.
  • Opening Total: 40.
  • Weather: Clear, 80 degrees. Light wind.

    Prediction: Giants 31, Redskins 17
    Giants -4.5 (3 Units) — Correct; +$300
    Over 41 (1 Unit) — Incorrect; -$110
    Giants 16, Redskins 7

    Houston Texans (0-0) at Pittsburgh Steelers (0-0)
    Line: Steelers by 6.5. Total: 43.

    Walt’s Projected Line (As of April 16): Steelers -9.5.
    Walt’s Projected Line (After Preseason): Steelers -9.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET – Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Steelers.
    Injuries: Texans: OUT: RB Chris Brown (IR), G Fred Weary (IR), C Scott Jackson (IR), CB Dunta Robinson, CB Jimmy Williams (IR), CB Roc Alexander (IR). Steelers: OUT: QB Charlie Batch, P Daniel Sepulveda (IR).

    Regardless of what I think about that NFL Kickoff concert, I’m excited the NFL is back. I can stop doing smack and cutting my wrists in anticipation of the 2008 NFL season.

    I’ve watched tons of football the past few weeks. Excluding Week 4 of the preseason, I’ve watched every preseason contest from start to finish for the 2008 Fantasy Football: Preseason Stock page. But despite the countless hours I put into doing that, I can’t wait for the real games to begin. Nothing beats the NFL.

    Despite what the line is telling us and what the people think – 86 percent of the action is on the Steelers as of Tuesday afternoon – this should be a pretty good game.

    PITTSBURGH OFFENSE: The Steelers couldn’t really do anything in their third preseason contest against the Vikings because they had major problems keeping Minnesota’s defensive front out of the backfield. Ben Roethlisberger took all of the blame for this, and while he was definitely responsible for some errant throws, he often wasn’t given any time in the pocket.

    Now, I’m aware that Houston’s defensive line isn’t anywhere near close to as talented as Minnesota’s, but the Texans have Mario Williams, one of the premier defensive ends in the NFL. Pittsburgh’s line, which had major issues trying to block late last season, could once again struggle against a dynamic pass rusher. The Steelers will have to double team Williams on every play, which is a shame for Houston because management neglected to find someone who can play across from Williams on passing downs. Rosevelt Colvin was a bust signing.

    The Steelers’ ground attack should be somewhat effective. The Texans weren’t terrible against the run last year, but they were beaten up by some of the top rushing teams in the league, particularly Tennessee, Cleveland and Jacksonville. The two-headed monster of Willie Parker and Rashard Mendenhall will be tough to stop without worrying about a pedestrian secondary being unable to cover Santonio Holmes, Hines Ward and Heath Miller.

    HOUSTON OFFENSE: This may surprise you, but the Steelers generated only 36 sacks last season. You would expect that number to be much higher, maybe around the mid-40s. I think it will increase in 2008, but will it be enough to get by Houston’s improved line? Despite what others may have thought about the pick, I liked the addition of Duane Brown, who has looked very solid this preseason. The loss of right guard Fred Weary could hurt, however.

    The Texans, who were actually 12th in scoring last season, should be able to maintain a top 10 offense once again, as long as Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson stay healthy. In the nine games Johnson played in 2007, Houston averaged 25.6 points per game. Johnson is a dominant force who will have to be double teamed. If Pittsburgh does that, Schaub should be able to utilize some of his other weapons, including an emerging Kevin Walter, Owen Daniels and exciting rookie Steve Slaton. As for Schaub, I believe he’s due for a really good year. Not only does he have a solid group of targets at his disposal, he also looked great this preseason, save for one quarter against the Cowboys.

    RECAP: Though I believe the Texans have what it takes to finish above .500 this year and make a run at a postseason berth, they’re still perceived to be one of the “lesser” teams in the league. With that in mind, I don’t think the Steelers will be focused for this contest. Look whom they play after this “easy victory:” Cleveland, Philadelphia, Arch rival Baltimore and Jacksonville. I have to believe Mike Tomlin and his coaching staff are preparing for those battles instead of putting 100 percent of their focus on this one.

    Another thing to consider is the action. With tons of money on the host, this line hasn’t moved off 6.5. With everything in mind, don’t be shocked if the visitor pulls the upset.

    The Psychology. Edge: Texans.
    This is an obvious Breather Alert for the Steelers, as they battle the Browns, Eagles, Ravens and Jaguars after the “lowly” Texans.

    The Vegas. Edge: Texans.
    Despite there being lots of action on the Steelers, the line has moved in Houston’s favor.
  • Percentage of money on Pittsburgh: 80% (171,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Steelers are 4-7 ATS in September home games since 2000.
  • Ben Roethlisberger is 44-17 as a starter (37-24 ATS).
  • Opening Line: Steelers -6.5.
  • Opening Total: 43.5.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 77 degrees.

    Prediction: Texans 27, Steelers 24
    Texans +6.5 (5 Units) — Incorrect; -$550
    Over 43 (2 Units) — Correct; +$200
    Steelers 38, Texans 17

    St. Louis Rams (0-0) at Philadelphia Eagles (0-0)
    Line: Eagles by 8.5. Total: 44.

    Walt’s Projected Line (As of April 16): Eagles -6.
    Walt’s Projected Line (After Preseason): Eagles -7.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET – Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Eagles.
    Injuries: Rams: OUT: OT Brandon Gorin (IR), Mark Setterstrom (IR), CB Justin King (IR). Eagles: OUT: CB Jack Ikegwuonu (IR).

    I’m pretty disappointed with how my picks fared this preseason. I’ve been hitting about 60 percent the past few preseasons. This year, I went 12-15-2, which is about 44 percent. I honestly don’t know what went wrong the second and third weeks of the exhibition campaign (I went 6-0 in Week 4). I’m hoping it doesn’t carry over into the regular season, though it’s not a really good sign that I like about 5,000 favorites this week.

    At any rate, for those of you who like to do your own handicapping, I’ve expanded my NFL Betting Trends section to include countless of new and useful trends. For example, did you know that Tony Romo is 1-8 ATS (against the spread) after Nov. 30? And did you know that Jake Delhomme 21-4 ATS in his career as an underdog. Yeah, I know… wow.

    One of the trends you’ll find in that section is the same one you’ll find below: The Rams have sucked on the road this decade. For whatever reason, they just can’t play outside of their dome. But it’s a new year and things change. Can St. Louis copy the Giants, become road warriors and inexplicably win the Super Bowl?

    ST. LOUIS OFFENSE: I’m going out on a limb and saying no. The Rams have way too many flaws to get a whiff of the playoffs this year. First of all, their offensive line is a mess. Orlando Pace is back, but he’s already banged up. Alex Barron is an abomination. Starting center Brett Romberg (no relation to Goldberg from the Mighty Ducks) is out. St. Louis has no chance of pass protecting against Philadelphia’s defensive line, which figures to accumulate tons of sacks this season.

    Steven Jackson won’t have much success either. The Eagles were top 10 against the run last year because their front seven is very solid. I also have to question what sort of condition Jackson is in following his extended holdout.

    The weak link of Philadelphia’s defense are the two safeties, so there’s a chance Torry Holt could get open downfield. That won’t mean anything, however, if Marc Bulger has defenders in his face on every single play.

    PHILADELPHIA OFFENSE: Sometimes statistics can be misleading. For example, says the Rams were 21st against the pass last year. However, if teams didn’t just trample them with their ground attacks, St. Louis could have been ranked much lower in this department.

    Any casual football fan can tell you St. Louis’ defense sucks. The stop unit can’t do anything right. Getting to the quarterback is a problem. Stopping the run? Yeah, OK. Defending the pass? Also impossible for them.

    Philadelphia offensive tackles William Tra Thomas and Jon Runyan are suspect being of their age, but the Rams don’t have the pass rushers to expose this weakness. Chris Long is going to be a solid player in this league, but not this year in the 4-3. Injuries to the secondary – Fakhir Brown hasn’t been practicing – are also an issue.

    RECAP: The Eagles should be able to name the score of this contest, as the Rams don’t have the horses to keep up. The perception that some Philadelphians have is that the Eagles have struggled on opening day recently. Well, they would have beaten the upstart Packers if they had a legitimate punt returner last year. They clobbered Houston, 24-10, in 2006 and the Giants, 31-17, in 2004. Losing 14-10 at Atlanta in 2005 wasn’t anyone’s fault, as Donovan McNabb suffered an injury in the middle of an emotional revenge game for the Falcons.

    Anyone looking to lay tons of cash on the Eagles has nothing to worry about. Even Vegas is on your side. With tons of action on the host, the books are desperately raising the spread to generate more of a cash flow on the visitor. In fact, I’m considering Philadelphia as my Survivor Pick.

    SURVIVOR PICK: I’m going with the Eagles. It was a toss-up between the Eagles and Colts. I’d rather save the Colts for when I know for sure that Peyton Manning is 100 percent. Indianapolis is definitely my No. 2 choice though.

    The Psychology. Edge: Rams.
    Like the Steelers, the Eagles have a couple of tough battles ahead, including Dallas and Pittsburgh. Breather Alert. That said, I don’t think the Rams are considered a walk-over like the Texans are, even though the latter is probably a better team than the former. Also keep in mind that unlike the Steelers who may look past the Texans, the Eagles are not coming off a playoff appearance, so they won’t be taking anything for granted.

    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Tons of money on the Eagles, but the line is matching the cash.
  • Percentage of money on Philadelphia: 85% (150,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Eagles.
  • Rams are 16-31 ATS in road games since 2001.
  • Rams are 9-21 ATS on grass since 2001.
  • Eagles are 46-30 ATS vs. NFC opponents since 2001.
  • Opening Line: Eagles -6.5.
  • Opening Total: 45.5.
  • Weather: Sunny, 85 degrees. Mild wind, 11 mph.

    Prediction: Eagles 34, Rams 7
    Eagles -8.5 (5 Units) — Correct; +$500
    Under 44 (.5 Units) — Correct; +$50
    Survivor Pick (0-0)
    Eagles 38, Rams 3

    Detroit Lions (0-0) at Atlanta Falcons (0-0)
    Line: Lions by 3. Total: 41.

    Walt’s Projected Line (As of April 16): Lions -1.5.
    Walt’s Projected Line (After Preseason): Lions -2.5.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET – Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Lions.
    Injuries: Lions: OUT: FB Jon Bradley (IR), WR Reggie Ball (IR), CB Von Hutchins (IR). Falcons: OUT: OT Pat McCoy (IR), DT Trey Lewis, CB Von Hutchins (IR).

    I didn’t agree with the Falcons taking Matt Ryan, but I can understand why they made the pick. They needed to get away from the Michael Vick era and eliminate all questions about him possibly coming back to the team. Plus, Arthur Blank probably would have had a nervous breakdown if Joey Harrington made him eat more of his own home-made caviar. That’s fine. But what hasn’t been discussed is why Ryan shouldn’t have gone to Atlanta. Here’s a quick list:

    1. Atlantans care more about college teams than pro teams. They are fans of the Georgia Bulldogs, a university that is about an hour and a half away from Atlanta. People in that city won’t even recognize Ryan, even if he wins a few Super Bowls. The only he’ll get some recognition is if he becomes an assitant coach for the Bulldogs. Then they’ll just rant about how he should be fired.

    2. Michael Vick. He’s getting out of jail some day. And when that day comes, Vick will attack Ryan with his rabie-laden dogs. You heard it here first. Run for your life, Matty Ice.

    3. Arthur Blank’s mustache. Seriously, this guy is trying too hard to look like Alex Trebek, and he’s not putting enough effort into running his team.

    ATLANTA OFFENSE: Unfortunately for Ryan, he’s stuck in Atlanta and there’s nothing he can do about it now. If I had to make the decision, I would actually start Chris Redman over Ryan. I just don’t think Ryan’s ready for the speed of the NFL just yet. Sure, his preseason numbers made him look promising, but most of his throws were short checkdowns. That’s not terrible or anything, but the Falcons are obviously going to need more because they burnt the No. 3 overall pick on him.

    I guess you could say one argument for Ryan starting is that Atlanta’s offensive line played particularly well this preseason, especially left tackle Sam Baker. I’m not saying the front five is great or anything, but they should be able to limit a Detroit pass rush that lost its best sack artist, Shaun Rogers, this offseason. Excluding Rogers, no one on the Lions had more than six sacks.

    Ryan should be able to look at least half-decent, thanks to his running game. The Lions surrendered 4.3 yards per carry and did nothing to improve that number. Thanks to Matt Millen ruining another offseason, Rogers is gone and Paris Lenon is still starting at middle linebacker. Michael Turner should be able to total at least 125 rushing yards.

    DETROIT OFFENSE: The Falcons’ cornerbacks played pretty well this preseason, especially Brent Grimes. Unfortunately, the fact remains that Atlanta’s secondary is thin and the Detorit receivers present a nightmare matchup for them. Roy Williams has already established himself as a threat, while Calvin Johnson has the talent to emerge into the Randy Moss-Marvin Harrison-Terrell Owens echelon this year. Jon Kitna is going to have a field day throwing to his superstar wideouts. Too bad Atlanta doesn’t have a solid pass rusher beyond John Abraham to rattle Kitna.

    Like the Lions, the Falcons struggled to stop the run in 2007. Drafting Glenn Dorsey or moving down for Sedrick Ellis would have been a good move. Instead, Kevin Smith and Rudi Johnson will be able to average about 4.5 yards per carry, opening up play-action for Kitna.

    RECAP: If the Falcons didn’t have a rookie quarterback and a new head coach, they would be worth a look. However, I just don’t trust Ryan yet in what could be a potential shootout.

    The Lions suck on the road, but they should be able to handle Atlanta. I know there’s tons of action on them, but Vegas has compensated by moving the line from -1 to -3.

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

    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Movement is matching the money; good news for Lions bettors.
  • Percentage of money on Detroit: 95% (135,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Falcons.
  • Lions are 4-10 ATS on the road since 2006.
  • Opening Line: Lions -1.
  • Opening Total: 43.
  • Weather: Dome.

    Prediction: Lions 34, Falcons 20
    Lions -3 (1 Unit) — Incorrect; -$110
    Over 40.5 (2 Units) — Correct; +$200
    Falcons 34, Lions 21

    Seattle Seahawks (0-0) at Buffalo Bills (0-0)
    Line: Bills by 1. Total: 38.

    Walt’s Projected Line (As of April 16): Seahawks -3.5.
    Walt’s Projected Line (After Preseason): Seahawks -3.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET – Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Bills.
    Injuries: Seahawks: OUT: WR Deion Branch, WR Bobby Engram, WR Ben Obomanu (IR), OLB Wesley Mallard (IR), LS Tyler Schmitt (IR). QUESTIONABLE: OT Sean Locklear. Bills: OUT: OLB Angelo Crowell (IR).

    Not only am I ignorant toward pop culture; I’m also pretty oblivious when it comes to politics, though I definitely lean toward a certain party. At any rate, I’ve always accidentally called John Edwards “Trent Edwards,” just because I was so used to writing “Trent Edwards” on this Web site. So, when a few people asked me if I heard that John Edwards was guilty of having an affair, I replied, “So what? He’s a football player. They do that all the time.” These people then shook their heads, told me to go back to sniffing glue and walked away.

    I was pretty upset to see the public pretty much split 50-50 on this game. When I saw the Bills being favored by a point, I assumed casual bettors would jump all over the Seahawks. I then would have made a huge play on the Buffalo. I’ll explain why, of course.

    SEATTLE OFFENSE: What Seattle offense? As far as I know, Charlie Frye is quarterbacking, and Nate Burleson and a bunch of no-name wideouts are receiving. That’s the offense the Seahawks featured throughout the entire preseason. Matt Hasselbeck had chronic back problems, while Deion Branch and Bobby Engram were also out. Ben Obomanu was lost for the year a week ago.

    Hasselbeck will play, but at what capacity? Even if he’s 100 percent, all the targets he had the last time he was under center are all gone, with the exception of Burleson. The backfield is a bit different, with the newly acquired Julius Jones sharing carries with incumbent Maurice Morris. Even the starting center and right tackle may not be available.

    With all of these changes on offense, and a rusty Hasselbeck’s unfamiliarity with all of them, the Seahawks will have problems moving the chains on a consistent basis, especially against one of the better defenses the league has to offer. Hasselbeck will have to do a lot of things on his own, as Buffalo’s monstrous Marcus Stroud will make it very difficult for Seattle to run inside.

    BUFFALO OFFENSE: The Seahawks have the man power to register 50 sacks this year. Their defensive linemen specialize in getting to the quarterback, their linebackers are all extremely fast, while their secondary is very opportunistic. With that in mind, how are the poor Bills, who are missing left tackle Jason Peters, supposed to score on offense?

    That’s easy – by running the football. Seattle didn’t exactly repair its biggest problem last year, which was stopping opposing ground attacks. Remember when Ryan Grant eclipsed the 200-yard barrier in the second round of the playoffs? Marshawn Lynch may not approach that total, but he’s definitely going over the century plateau, giving Edwards more manageable third-down situations to work with.

    RECAP: Other than Matt Hasselbeck missing lots of time and not knowing the receivers, the greatest edge the Bills have in this game is Seattle’s inability to win road games, particularly contests that begin at 1 p.m. Eastern on the Atlantic Coast. Just check out the trends below; they’re pretty unbelievable.

    The coup de grace would have been if the line moved from Bills PK to -1, and the public was on Seattle. If that were the case, this would have qualified as my September Pick of the Month.

    Oh well, can’t win ’em all.

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

    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Nothing here; just surprised that the public is betting Buffalo. Surprised and pretty heart broken.
  • Percentage of money on Buffalo: 69% (114,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Bills.
  • Early Game Alert: Pacific Teams playing on the Atlantic Coast at 1:00 PM are 23-36 ATS since 2002 (Mike Holmgren 2-10).
  • Seahawks are 6-12 ATS on the road since 2006.
  • Bills are 5-9 ATS in season openers the previous 13 years.
  • Opening Line: Pick.
  • Opening Total: 39.5.
  • Weather: Showers, 68 degrees. Light wind.

    Prediction: Bills 20, Seahawks 13
    Bills -1 (3 Units) — Correct; +$300
    Under 38 (1 Unit) — Incorrect; -$110
    Bills 34, Seahawks 10

    New York Jets (0-0) at Miami Dolphins (0-0)
    Line: Jets by 3. Total: 36.

    Walt’s Projected Line (As of April 16): Dolphins -2.
    Walt’s Projected Line (After Preseason): Jets -3.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET – Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Jets.
    Injuries: Jets: OUT: ILB Brad Kassell (IR).

    I swear, I’m going to write a creative lead without mentioning Brett Favre’s name. I want to avoid Brett Favre’s name at all costs because every fifth word coming out of everyone’s mouth during this broadcast will be “Brett Favre.” There will be: “Brett Favre just threw an amazing pass!” or “Brett Favre tossed an incompletion. Such a disappointment;” or “Brett Favre is so awesome, I want to have a sexy times with Brett Favre.” Thank God this game’s not on ESPN; otherwise they’d have a 2-hour montage dedicated to Brett Favre, followed by Emmitt commenting, “Brett Favre are a good quarterback.” So, as you can see, I’m desperately trying to avoid talking about Brett Favre in this lead. So… uhh… damn it!

    NY JETS OFFENSE: With that in mind, let’s get to Brett Favre. I can’t blame Jets fans for going crazy about No. 4’s presence in the Meadowlands. For the first time since a spry Vinny Testaverde in the late 90s, the Jets finally have a quarterback who can get the ball downfield 15 yards without throwing a pick. You may laugh because Favre has been known to toss an interception or two in his prime, but if you’re laughing, you’re not a New York fan. Don’t worry guys, Chad Pennington, who can’t throw an out to save his life, is finally gone.

    Besides, Favre’s picks came a few years ago when he had no talent around him in Green Bay. Jerricho Cotchery, Laveranues Coles and Dustin Keller, whom Favre loves, are talent enough. And they’re definitely more than Miami’s secondary can handle. The Dolphins don’t really have anyone back there worthy of mentioning. Even Jason Allen, a No. 1 selection two years ago, has been demoted to the bench. Seriously, Andre Goodman, Will Allen and Chris Crocker? These guys were rejects on other teams.

    The Dolphins actually ranked pretty well against the pass in 2007, but that’s because everyone ran all over them. In fact, opposing offenses averaged 4.5 yards per carry. That bodes well for Thomas Jones.

    MIAMI OFFENSE: New York’s defense isn’t much better than Miami’s, or at least it won’t be until Vernon Gholston finally steps up. But that’ll be OK here because the Dolphins don’t have the offensive firepower the Jets do. Chad Pennington and Ricky Williams will help Miami methodically move the chains down the field, though if they get into third-and-long, I don’t see them converting often.

    One edge the Jets may have here is the coaching staff’s familiarity with Pennington. They all know his strengths and weaknesses (of which there are many). Whether the Jets have the defensive personnel to do anything about is another story.

    RECAP: The Jets have the better team and they dominate this rivalry. As listed below, New York has won 16 of the past 20 meetings.

    The only thing that concerns me are the Vegas implications. With loads of action on the visitor, this line hasn’t moved off three. I wouldn’t bet this game heavily, unless you really like Miami. I could really see this game pushing.

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

    The Vegas. Edge: Dolphins.
    Tons of money on the Jets, yet the line hasn’t moved off -3.
  • Percentage of money on NY Jets: 88% (165,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Jets.
  • History: Jets have won 16 of the last 20 meetings.
  • Jets are 5-3 ATS as a favorite under Eric Mangini.
  • Dolphins are 9-6 ATS in September home games since 2000.
  • Dolphins are 29-17 SU in September since 1994.
  • Chad Pennington is 3-8 ATS as a home dog.
  • Opening Line: Jets -3.
  • Opening Total: 36.
  • Weather: Sunny, 90 degrees. Light wind.

    Prediction: Jets 27, Dolphins 17
    Jets -3 (1 Unit) — Correct; +$100
    Over 36 (.5 Units) — Incorrect; -$55
    Jets 20, Dolphins 14

    Kansas City Chiefs (0-0) at New England Patriots (0-0)
    Line: Patriots by 15.5. Total: 43.

    Walt’s Projected Line (As of April 16): Patriots -20.
    Walt’s Projected Line (After Preseason): Patriots -17.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET – Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Patriots.
    Injuries: Patriots: OUT: OT Ryan O’Callaghan (IR), OT Oliver Ross, OT Anthony Clement (IR), OT Barry Stokes (IR), G Stephen Neal, S Tank Williams (IR).

    If you haven’t heard it yet, I’m going to be running a weekly feature on this site about a fictional look at the 2013 season. I’ll be following the 2013 New England Patriots from a newspaper reporter’s perspective. After the first week of the season, Bill Belichick gets into trouble for Spygate II. As punishment, Roger Goodell orders Bob Kraft to replace Belichick with Emmitt Smith for a whole year. I have a lot planned out for this, and I’m going to kick it off next week. For now, check out the Emmitt Smith Anthology for all of the hilarious Emmitt Smith quotes.

    This is the game no one wants any part of. Do you lay 17 points, or do you bet on a team that has Brodie Croyle under center? This is like asking someone whether they’d want to have sex with Rosie O’Donnell or Sally Struthers. It’s a lose-lose situation, and if one of them accidentally eats you alive during intercourse, you’re in worse trouble.

    KANSAS CITY OFFENSE: Speaking of being in trouble, you could say that about New England’s defense. How did this group get so bad? It started after Halloween last year, when they couldn’t get off the field against A.J. Feeley and Kyle Boller. They then allowed Eli Manning to set the record for converted third downs to open a Super Bowl. Now, without Asante Samuel and everyone else aging another year, they’re even worse. In case you haven’t been paying attention this preseason, the Patriots’ first-string stop unit couldn’t stop Boller, Brian Griese, Luke McCown and David Carr.

    Well, Brodie Croyle is in luck because he belongs in that pantheon. Though it may seem that the Chiefs have no chance of moving the chains, given that their offensive line sucks and Croyle plays like a heroin addict, I think the public will be shocked by how efficiently Kansas City’s offense will look on Sunday. You may even hear whispers that the Chiefs could be a surprise playoff team. If you find yourself thinking along the same wavelength, snap out of it and remember that New England’s defense, particularly the back eight, is one of the league’s worst.

    NEW ENGLAND OFFENSE: When I mention the possibility of the Patriots missing the playoffs, people always respond, “but their offense is too good!” True, but what about the 2002 St. Louis Rams? They had two-time MVP Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk, Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce and Orlando Pace.

    You could argue that Tom Brady, perhaps a top-five all-time NFL quarterback, is better than Warner was back then, and I couldn’t disagree, though many forget how great Warner was. But Brady hasn’t played at all this preseason. Will that affect him at all? How injured his he?

    Ultimately, I think Brady will be fine, though it may take him about a half to get things rolling, sort of like it did last year with Randy Moss. Kansas City’s pathetic defense won’t offer much resistance. With Jared Allen gone, the Chiefs have no prayer of pressuring Brady behind a hobbled offensive line. Brady will pick apart Kansas City’s young secondary.

    RECAP: I don’t think we’ll ever see the Patriots team that covered everything by 40 points early last season ever again. They’re just much too old on defense. If Boller, Feeley, Carr and Griese can move the chains on them, I believe Croyle can as well. With that in mind, look for a contest similar to the ones the Patriots had in the second half of 2007. As a reminder, New England has covered only once since Halloween 2007.

    Also keep in mind that Super Bowl losers have been horrendous against the spread in their first game the following year. You can see the hideous number for yourself below. There’s no way I’d recommend going against a great trend like that.

    The Psychology. Edge: Chiefs.
    Excuses… The Patriots probably believe they should have won the Super Bowl. I doubt they’ll be unfocused for the lowly Chiefs.

    The Vegas. Edge: Chiefs.
    The lowest-bet game of the week because no one wants to take the Chiefs or lay 17 points.
  • Percentage of money on New England: 77% (114,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Chiefs.
  • Super Bowl Loser Syndrome: Super Bowl losers are 3-11 ATS in their first game the following season.
  • Patriots are 38-27 ATS at home under Bill Belichick.
  • Tom Brady is 99-27 as a starter (76-48 ATS).
  • Opening Line: Patriots -15.5.
  • Opening Total: 48.
  • Weather: Rain, 73 degrees. Mild wind, 11 mph.

    Prediction: Patriots 24, Chiefs 14
    Chiefs +15.5 (3 Units) — Correct; +$300
    Under 43 (1 Unit) — Correct; +$100
    Patriots 17, Chiefs 10

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-0) at New Orleans Saints (0-0)
    Line: Saints by 3. Total: 42.5.

    Walt’s Projected Line (As of April 16): Saints -2.5.
    Walt’s Projected Line (After Preseason): Saints -4.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET – Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Saints.
    Injuries: Buccaneers: OUT: G Davin Joseph, CB Torrie Cox (IR), CB Sammy Davis (IR). Saints: OUT: WR Adrian Arrington (IR), DT Hollis Thomas, DT DeMario Pressley (IR), DT Lance Legree (IR), DT James Reed (IR), S Steve Gleason (IR).

    Making its triumphant return from last year is my weekly NFL Look-Alike thread. In that link are some of my favorites from last year. I’ll find some new ones soon.

    Of course I’m bringing this up here because Jon Gruden is known for looking like Chucky. Gruden did a great job transforming one of the league’s worst teams in 2006 to a playoff squad last season. You could argue that the addition of Jeff Garcia had something to do with it.

    TAMPA BAY OFFENSE: Speaking of Garcia, there’s obviously a few reasons why the Buccaneers were desperately trying to trade for Brett Favre this offseason. First, Favre is obviously the superior quarterback. Second, Garcia’s health status was an obvious concern for Gruden. Garcia was nursing a calf injury that just wouldn’t go away this training camp and preseason. And finally, it looks like Garcia’s arm is dead. Garcia, who turned 38 in February, was atrocious in a preseason matchup versus Jacksonville. He threw one of the worst interceptions I’ve ever seen to Reggie Nelson, as the pass displayed zero arm strength.

    To go along with Garcia’s declining skills, Joey Galloway, whose 37th birthday falls in November, hasn’t been playing this preseason either. So, what are the Buccaneers going to do here? Well, Galloway should be back, though he may not be 100 percent. Antonio Bryant looked decent against the Patriots. It’s his contract year, so he’ll play hard this season before reverting back to being a lazy bum in 2009. Plus, Earnest Graham, Michael Bennett and Warrick Dunn offer a ton of options out of the backfield.

    The Buccaneers, 18th in scoring last season, probably won’t match that ranking this year, but they should be fine against a defense that still counts on Jason David at cornerback. The Saints will be improved defensively, but they still don’t have the most dynamic pass rush in the world, which could struggle versus Tampa Bay’s solid offensive line. I could see the Buccaneers converting a lot of third-and-short situations.

    NEW ORLEANS OFFENSE: Drew Brees has looked great this preseason, so I doubt he gets off to a horrendous start like he did last year. But with that in mind, Tampa Bay’s defense just seems to have his number. I can’t really explain it; maybe it’s because they’re fast enough to contain the elusive Reggie Bush, limiting Brees’ options. But in two meetings last year, the Buccaneers won twice, including a 27-23 victory in New Orleans with Luke McCown at quarterback.

    With the Saints’ rushing attack doomed to be limited to three yards per carry (or less), Brees will either have to pass first or convert long-yardage downs, which is pretty tough against the Buccaneers’ ravenous defense. I’m not saying I expect Tampa Bay to completely shut out New Orleans, but I’ll be shocked if the Saints get into the upper 20s.

    RECAP: While the Buccaneers swept this series last year, the road team has dominated overall, winning eight of the previous 12 matchups. That’s not surprising, as the Saints seldom play well at home. With Hurricane Gustav implications looming in the background, it’s conceivable that Tampa Bay could sneak out a victory here, though I believe that they’re the inferior team.

    The Psychology. Edge: Buccaneers.
    What’s up with Hurricane Gustav? Are the Saints worrying about their home and family instead of this game? I don’t know, I’m asking you!

    The Vegas. Edge: Buccaneers.
    The public is beginning to favor the Saints, but the line hasn’t moved to reflect that.
  • Percentage of money on New Orleans: 86% (116,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Buccaneers.
  • History: Road Team has won 8 of the last 12 meetings.
  • Saints are 18-36 ATS at home since 2001.
  • Saints are 11-26 ATS as a home favorite since 2001.
  • Opening Line: Saints -3.
  • Opening Total: 42.5.
  • Weather: Dome.

    Prediction: Saints 24, Buccaneers 23
    Buccaneers +3 (2 Units) — Incorrect; -$220
    Over 42.5 (.5 Units) — Incorrect; -$55
    Saints 24, Buccaneers 20

    Jacksonville Jaguars (0-0) at Tennessee Titans (0-0)
    Line: Jaguars by 3. Total: 37.

    Walt’s Projected Line (As of April 16): Jaguars -2.
    Walt’s Projected Line (After Preseason): Jaguars -1.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET – Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Jaguars.
    Injuries: Jaguars: OUT: WR Reggie Williams, DE James Wyche (IR).

    Ah, the two NFL teams who seem to hate talented receivers. It’s actually pretty sad that both squads would improve if they hired Matt Millen. Unfortunately, the way William Clay Ford (a.k.a. Darth Sidious) operates, Millen won’t be fired until the year 2135, but even that’s a generous estimate.

    In the Chiefs-Patriots matchup, I mentioned that was the game the average bettor didn’t want to wager on. Well, this is the game I don’t want to pick. I really don’t like either side in this contest, and I could see the result falling on the number.

    TENNESSEE OFFENSE: Run, run, incomplete. Run, run, incomplete. Run, run, incomplete. Run, run, incomplete. Run, run, incomplete. Run, run, incomplete. Run, run, incomplete. Run, run, incomplete.

    Get the picture? The Titans’ offense has been abysmal this preseason, as Vince Young couldn’t even complete 50 percent of his passes against Green Bay’s second- and third-stringers. I’ve harped about his abomination of a receiving corps, and it’s really sad what Tennessee’s front office has given him to work with, but Young has also been incredibly off during the exhibition campaign.

    The only thing the Titans can do is run the football, whether that’s inside with LenDale White, outside with Chris Johnson or off passing formations with Young. That’ll definitely work here. The Jaguars, renowned in the past for being able to stop the run, surrendered 4.1 yards per carry to opponents last year. You can blame that on Marcus Stroud’s injury, but it doesn’t matter because Stroud is gone.

    Look for Tennessee to move the chains in between the 20s, but to stall in the red zone because of a lacking aerial threat. Rob Bironas may be forced to attempt 85 field goals in this game.

    JACKSONVILLE OFFENSE: I know the Jaguars had a dream season in 2007, and if it wasn’t for the Patriots, they may have been crowned Super Bowl champs. However, things haven’t looked too fruitful this preseason.

    Actually, forget fruitful. Whatever magic the Jaguars had last year seems to have vanished. David Garrard has looked very ordinary this summer; he’s 26-of-48 (54.2 percent), 283 yards (5.9 YPA), with three touchdowns and two interceptions. If that sounds mediocre, it is. Garrard’s numbers are good for a 75.3 quarterback rating.

    I’m not sure what happened, but I don’t feel comfortable laying points with Jacksonville on the road until everything gets straightened out. Of course the Jagaurs will rely on Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor as usual, but the Titans excel at stopping the run as long as Albert Haynesworth is in the lineup.

    RECAP: I wouldn’t recommend betting this game. On one hand, Young and his receiving corps look abysmal. On the other, Garrard seems nearly as pedestrian.

    In situations like this, I like to go with what Vegas is telling me to do. There’s tons of action on the Jaguars, yet the line hasn’t moved an inch. In a sense, the sportsbooks are saying, “OK dumb public. You take the Jags. We’ll take the Titans. We’ll see who wins.”

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

    The Vegas. Edge: Titans.
    Tons of money on the Jaguars, yet the spread hasn’t moved. Be careful if you’re betting Jacksonville.
  • Percentage of money on Jacksonville: 75% (123,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • History: Jaguars have won 4 of the last 6 meetings.
  • Vince Young is 17-11 as a starter (17-11 ATS).
  • Opening Line: Jaguars -3.
  • Opening Total: 37.
  • Weather: Possible thunderstorms, 83 degrees. Light wind.

    Prediction: Titans 15, Jaguars 12
    Titans +3 (1 Unit) — Correct; +$100
    Under 37 (3 Units) — Correct; +$300
    Titans 17, Jaguars 10

    Cincinnati Bengals (0-0) at Baltimore Ravens (0-0)
    Line: Bengals by 1.5. Total: 37.5.

    Walt’s Projected Line (As of April 16): Ravens -3.
    Walt’s Projected Line (After Preseason): Bengals -3.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET – Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Bengals.
    Injuries: Bengals: OUT: RB Kenny Irons (IR), WR Marcus Maxwell. Ravens: OUT: QB Kyle Boller (IR), RB P.J. Daniels (IR), TE Quinn “Miracle Man” Sypniewski (IR), DT Dwan Edwards (IR), ILB Prescott Burgess (IR), CB David Pittman (IR). QUESTIONABLE: RB Willis McGahee, DT Kelly Gregg, S Ed Reed.

    I’d like to recommend a sports book I’m reading right now. It’s called Andy Roddick Beat Me With a Frying Pan by Todd Gallagher. No, Gallagher isn’t bribing me with a case of beer or anything, though I wouldn’t mind the gesture. I actually genuinely find it really interesting. It’s all the sports “what-ifs” combined into one book. For example, one chapter answers the question: “Would a morbidly obese goalie shut out an NHL team?” Another answers: “Would a team of midgets be the greatest offensive baseball team of all time?” And then there’s the all-important: “How easy is it for an athlete to get laid? And how easy is it for a groupie to get laid with an athlete?” Gallagher actually did the research and conducted countless interviews to get his answers. For example, he actually stuck a college goalie in a fat suit in between the pipes. The results were really interesting. I’d definitely recommend the book.

    I have a question for Gallagher. How many crappy quarterbacks can a single franchise go through? This is getting ridiculous. From Jim Harbaugh to Eric Zeier to Tony Banks to Stoney Case to Trent Dilfer to Elvis Grbac to Randall Cunningham to Chris Redman to Jeff Blake to Kyle Boller to Anthony Wright to a fossilized Steve McNair to Troy Smith, how can a single franchise attract so many terrible signal callers? Well, I guess Bears fans are asking the same thing.

    BALTIMORE OFFENSE: With that in mind, Joe Flacco actually looks like a winner. He made some mistakes this preseason, as any normal rookie would, but he definitely has a gun for an arm. In one drive against St. Louis’ starters, Flacco assembled a very impressive scoring march, going to Derrick Mason multiple times. It looked like something clicked for him.

    Of course none of that matters for this game, as Flacco is bound to go through some growing pains. Starting against the Bengals may seem like a best-case scenario, but while Cincinnati loves to give up a ton of yardage, Marvin Lewis’ stop unit also has a habit of collecting lots of turnovers. That can’t be good for a rookie quarterback starting his first game for a new coach.

    The Bengals stink at stopping the run, so John Harbaugh will attempt to get Willis McGahee and Ray Rice established early and often. However, Cincinnati will have the luxury of stacking the line of scrimmage, forcing Flacco to beat them. I’m also not convinced that left tackle Jared Gaither is 100 percent.

    CINCINNATI OFFENSE: It’s tough to judge how the Bengals’ offense will look because T.J. Houshmandzadeh was MIA this preseason, while Chad Ocho Cinco’s shoulder injury forced him to miss most of the exhibition campaign. With no legitimate targets downfield, Cincinnati couldn’t run the ball or pass protect.

    While moving the chains via the ground game could be a problem versus the Ravens, who surrendered just 2.8 yards per carry in 2007, I’m confident the Bengals will be able to air it out successfully. It looks like Ed Reed won’t be playing; he told reporters he’s not going to risk it if he’s not 100 percent. Chris McAlister, who just returned to practice, isn’t 100 percent. Samari Rolle is done. That’s three-quarters of Baltimore’s secondary not playing at full capacity. Behind a solid offensive line, Palmer should be able to find Houshmandzadeh and Ocho Cinco all afternoon.

    RECAP: Like the Falcons, the Ravens are a home underdog starting a rookie quarterback under a new head coach. What are the odds? I wouldn’t advise betting on either squad.

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

    The Vegas. Edge: Ravens.
    No one is betting the Ravens. Vegas is matching the money. This could be -3 by kickoff.
  • Percentage of money on Cincinnati: 94% (136,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Bengals.
  • History: Bengals have won 6 of the last 7 meetings.
  • Carson Palmer is 7-4 ATS as a road favorite.
  • Opening Line: Pick.
  • Opening Total: 41.
  • Weather: Rain, HEAVY WINDS, 24 mph.

    Prediction: Bengals 17, Ravens 10
    Bengals -1.5 (1 Unit) — Incorrect; -$110
    Under 37.5 (3 Units) — Correct; +$300
    Ravens 17, Bengals 10

    Carolina Panthers (0-0) at San Diego Chargers (0-0)
    Line: Chargers by 9. Total: 41.5.

    Walt’s Projected Line (As of April 16): Chargers -13.
    Walt’s Projected Line (After Preseason): Chargers -9.
    Sunday, 4:15 ET – Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: None.
    Injuries: Panthers: OUT: WR Steve Smith (SUSP), WR Jason Carter (IR). Chargers: OUT: WR Eric Parker (IR).

    This is one of a few obvious choices for anyone in a survivor pool, so before I forget, make sure you enter the NFL Survivor Pool. It’s free to enter, and the winner will receive $350. All you need to do is register for the forum, read the rules and pick a winning team each week. If you have problems registering, please contact me via e-mail (bottom of the page). Also note that you need 10 posts to create a thread (we did this to keep spammers out), so you’ll need to post 10 times before being able to enter. Sorry, but the advertisers (the ones paying for this contest) aren’t too happy when they see porn threads.

    Despite my bringing up that lead, I wouldn’t advise taking the Chargers in your survivor pool. I have a number of concerns with them, so let’s discuss what those are.

    CAROLINA OFFENSE: The most obvious worry is Shawne Merriman’s injury. Without Merriman in the lineup, the Chargers had trouble containing a skeleton crew of a Seattle offense that was missing Matt Hasselbeck, Deion Branch, Bobby Engram, Sean Locklear and Chris Spencer this preseason. They had major problems tackling and getting to Charlie Frye.

    The Panthers upgraded their offensive line with Jeff Otah and rushing attack with Jonathan Stewart this offseason. The drafting of Stewart in turn made DeAngelo Williams a more motivated man, so it looks like Carolina’s two-headed ground attack could be a pretty lethal one. For a defense that couldn’t stop Julius Jones and Maurice Morris, that will be problematic.

    Steve Smith’s absence is a major thorn in Carolina’s side, but Jake Delhomme has more options to throw to this year. Along with Williams and Stewart coming out of the backfield, Muhsin Muhammad, D.J. Hackett and an emerging Dwayne Jarrett are better than any secondary options Delhomme had to work with in the past. With a diminished San Diego pass rush, Delhomme should have more time to operate in the pocket.

    SAN DIEGO OFFENSE: Philip Rivers is coming off a torn ACL. He may have looked solid in the preseason, but so did Carson Palmer, Donovan McNabb and Daunte Culpepper off the same injury. All three of those quarterbacks struggled following knee surgery, and I have to believe Rivers will as well.

    Rivers was able to look solid against Dallas and Seattle because neither defense threw the kitchen sink at him, given that it was the preseason. Carolina will. Julius Peppers looked great this exhibition campaign. At right end, he has the potential to lead the league in sacks. In a matchup of Peppers versus Marcus McNeill, I’ll take Peppers.

    While Rivers is coming off ACL surgery, Antonio Gates saw no action this preseason because of his toe injury. Gates recently said his toe is still bothering him, which would be a major concern for me if I were thinking about betting San Diego. Furthermore, LaDainian Tomlinson, also coming off a knee injury, didn’t register a single carry this summer.

    RECAP: Even without Smith, the Panthers look like a great play. The Chargers are pretty shaky. Besides, the Panthers play better on the road. And to top it off, with the public betting the Chargers, this line has dropped from -10 to -9.

    The Psychology. Edge: Panthers.
    A Look-Ahead Alert for the Chargers, who play rival Denver next.

    The Vegas. Edge: Panthers.
    With nearly two-thirds of the betting public on San Diego, this line has dropped from -10 to -9. Why does Vegas want more money on the Chargers?
  • Percentage of money on San Diego: 62% (145,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Panthers.
  • Jake Delhomme is 25-12 ATS on the road.
  • Jake Delhomme is 21-4 ATS as an underdog.
  • Opening Line: Chargers -10.
  • Opening Total: 42.5.
  • Weather: Sunny, 83 degrees. Light wind.

    Prediction: Chargers 20, Panthers 17
    Panthers +9 (4 Units) — Correct; +$400
    Under 41.5 (2 Units) — Incorrect; -$220
    Panthers 26, Chargers 24

    Arizona Cardinals (0-0) at San Francisco 49ers (0-0)
    Line: Cardinals by 2.5. Total: 42.

    Walt’s Projected Line (As of April 16): Cardinals -1.5.
    Walt’s Projected Line (After Preseason): Cardinals -3.
    Sunday, 4:15 ET – Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Cardinals.
    Injuries: Cardinals: OUT: C Al Johnson (IR), C Scott Peters (IR). 49ers: OUT: G Damane Duckett (IR), OLB Jay Moore (IR).

    This year, I’m going to have a YouTube video of the week. This week, it’s the incredible Dennis Green Meltdown Techno Remix.

    Ah, if only Dennis Green were still coaching the Cardinals. I say this as a non-Cardinals fan. If I liked that team, I’d thank the heavens that the man who brought in Captain Beer Bong is off preparing to get hired by someone else and ruin their organization.

    ARIZONA OFFENSE: What a difference a quarterback makes. Matt Leinart has no arm strength and couldn’t pick up the offense. Kurt Warner, meanwhile, can actually get the ball to his talented wideouts.

    The asterisk on Warner is that he needs all the protection he can get. Surround him with a poor offensive line, and he’ll fumble 20 times per game. Luckily, Arizona has a solid front, which will look like a Pro Bowl group against the 49ers.

    I was pretty disappointed San Francisco didn’t find another pass rusher to play across from Manny Lawson. The 49ers’ inability to get to Warner – they had 31 sacks last year, six of which are gone (Bryant Young) – will make things difficult for their secondary.

    SAN FRANCISCO OFFENSE: Unlike San Francisco, the Cardinals actually upgraded their pass rush this offseason, acquiring Travis LaBoy via free agency. LaBoy has been impressive this preseason, and has jumped over Bert Berry on the depth chart as a starting rush linebacker.

    With Arizona slated to improve over its 36-sack 2007 campaign, J.T. O’Sullivan will be the one to suffer. Mike Martz’s flawed blocking scheme will have O’Sullivan sacked at least five times in this contest. He’ll also rush his throws into a very opportunistic secondary that will be welcoming Adrian Wilson back from injury.

    Of course Martz could force the Cardinals away from being blitz-happy on defense by pounding the ball with Frank Gore, but this is Martz we’re talking about here. There’s no way he’s going to run the football. If he refused to pound the rock with one of the best backs of all time (Marshall Faulk), who’s to say he’s going to give Gore ample carries?

    RECAP: With Warner starting, I feel this line is way too low. Everyone wants to be caught in the numbers O’Sullivan will produce under Martz. However, people forget that O’Sullivan really sucks and Martz is a complete moron. If the Cardinals had more success on the road in the recent past, this would be a larger play for me.

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

    The Vegas. Edge: 49ers.
    Looks like everyone’s on the Kurt Warner bandwagon. Everyone thinks the 49ers suck. Some -3 lines are starting to show up, but it’s remained at 2.5 in large part.
  • Percentage of money on Arizona: 72% (92,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: 49ers.
  • History: 49ers have won the last 2 meetings.
  • Opening Line: Cardinals -2.5.
  • Opening Total: 41.5.
  • Weather: Sunny, 85 degrees. Mild wind, 13 mph.

    Prediction: Cardinals 31, 49ers 17
    Cardinals -2.5 (1 Unit) — Correct; +$100
    Over 42 (2 Units) — Incorrect; -$220
    Cardinals 23, 49ers 13

    Dallas Cowboys (0-0) at Cleveland Browns (0-0)
    Line: Cowboys by 6. Total: 49.

    Walt’s Projected Line (As of April 16): Cowboys -2.5.
    Walt’s Projected Line (After Preseason): Cowboys -4.5.
    Sunday, 4:15 ET – Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Cowboys.
    Injuries: Browns: OUT: WR Joe Jurevicius, G Lennie Friedman, OLB Antwan Peek (IR).

    As promised in the recent update of my NFL Power Rankings, the reason why Tony Romo will succeed in the Doggone Playoff this year:

    It’s actually pretty simple. Romo is 1-8 ATS after Nov. 30 because he coincidentally met both of his busty blond girlfriends – Carrie Underwood and Jessica Simpson – around Thanksgiving. Naturally, all he did was have wild sex when he was with them, and think about the wild sex while he was preparing for his opponents. Well, Cowboys fans should be relieved because Romo has been with the latter girl for almost a year now.

    As every man knows, being with the same woman for a long time can be pretty taxing. The wild, sex-filled nights turn into reading, avoiding each other and going to sleep early. Though Jessica is really hot, I’m willing to bet this is happening with their relationship. C’mon, it’s not like Romo is some fat guy on a CBS sitcom who’s inexplicably married to a hot wife; he’s Tony freaking Romo! He can have any chick he wants. So, instead of nailing Jessica at least four times a day, I bet he’s itching to get out of the house, play football with his buddies and finally prove doubters wrong.

    DALLAS OFFENSE: Romo’s going to be big on Sunday. No, not that kind of big, sickos. Cleveland’s secondary is an abomination. They traded away Leigh Bodden, their top defensive back, so they have no one to match up with Terrell Owens, Jason Witten and Patrick Crayton. Everyone saw what Eli Manning was able to do with Domenik Hixon as his No. 1 receiver.

    Making things even easier for Romo, he’ll have all day to throw, as his excellent offensive line matches up really well with the Browns’ pass rushers. Other than Kamerion Wimbley, Cleveland doesn’t have anyone who can get to the quarterback. Is Willie McGinest still starting? I mean seriously, didn’t management realize that more sack artists were needed this offseason?

    With Shaun Rogers and Corey Williams eating people alive at the line of scrimmage, the Browns will be better against the run in 2008. However, given that they’ll have Dallas’ explosive offense to deal with, they’ll have to take players out of the box, freeing up some running lanes for Marion Barber.

    CLEVELAND OFFENSE: Derek Anderson is coming off a concussion, so who knows if he’s 100 percent? It’s not like Anderson was all that great before his concussion. Sure, he started great in 2007, but he faded down the stretch, tossing picks left and right, and failing to complete more than half his attempts on a number of occasions. Anderson was especially brutal in his preseason battle versus the Giants before getting hurt.

    Now, you may say the Giants’ defensive line gave him problems and made him look a lot worse than he really is. That’s true, but it’s not like Dallas’ front seven is chopped liver. The Cowboys have one of the premier pass rushes in the NFL, and consequently register a ton of interceptions. Remember, with Pacman Jones in the lineup, Roy Williams, a huge liability in coverage last season, won’t be in the lineup on passing downs.

    Unfortunately for the Browns, it gets worse because they won’t be able to establish Jamal Lewis. The Cowboys are pretty decent versus the run, so Anderson will be forced into a lot of long-yardage situations.

    RECAP: According to my NFL Power Rankings, the Cowboys are the second-best team in the league. They’ll show why they deserve that ranking in this contest.

    This is not a reactionary pick. I hate siding with the public. This line jumped up from -3 to -5.5 the second everyone saw how terrible the Browns looked against the Giants. So, what I’m saying is, I’m not picking Dallas because of that performance. I was pretty down on Anderson beforehand, as he was responsible for losing to the Bengals in a must-win game late last season. Plus, you can’t argue with the Cowboys’ perennial early-season success.

    I know there’s tons of action on the Cowboys, but I love the fact that Vegas compensated for that and moved the spread up 2.5 points.

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

    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    People are loving the Cowboys, and it doesn’t look like the books can make this spread high enough. A 2.5-point swing is pretty significant in the NFL.
  • Percentage of money on Dallas: 84% (194,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Cowboys.
  • Tony Romo is 13-4 ATS as a starter before Dec. 1.
  • Tony Romo is 4-0 ATS as a starter in September.
  • Tony Romo is 7-3 ATS on the road.
  • Opening Line: Cowboys -3.
  • Opening Total: 48.5.
  • Weather: Possible thunderstorms, 72 degrees. Light wind.

    Prediction: Cowboys 38, Browns 10
    Cowboys -6 (4 Units) — Correct; +$400
    Under 49 (.5 Units) — Correct; +$50
    Cowboys 28, Browns 10

    Chicago Bears (0-0) at Indianapolis Colts (0-0)
    Line: Colts by 9.5. Total: 44.

    Walt’s Projected Line (As of April 16): Colts -14.
    Walt’s Projected Line (After Preseason): Colts -11.5.
    Sunday, 8:15 ET – Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Colts.
    Injuries: Bears: OUT: OT Chris Williams. Colts: OUT: TE Mike Seidman (IR), TE Zac Herold (IR), G Ryan Lilja, C Jeff Saturday, DT Anthony McFarland (IR), OLB Tyjuan Hagler, KR T.J. Rushing (IR).

    Well, by the time the Colts-Bears game comes on, I know what mental state I’ll be in. Of course, I’m referring to the lack of Emmitt Smith on Sundays. If you missed the news, Emmitt has been removed from Sunday NFL Countdown, and will instead focus on butchering the English language during his Monday Night Football analysis. So, I’m sad to say that the Emmitt Anthology Volume II could be a lot smaller than the original. Nevertheless, I’ve collected some new Emmitt-isms for this week:

    1. “Ben Roethlisbergers were gettin pressured!” (Commentary: This sentence would actually be grammatically correct if there were two or more Ben Roethlisbergers and they were both getting pressured at the same time. Sadly, I do not think this was the case.)

    2. “If you want to stay perfect, you cannot go undefeated with a blemish on your record.” (Commentary: Thank you, Captain Obvious!)

    For more Emmitt, check out Emmitt Smith’s 2008 NFL Mock Draft.

    INDIANAPOLIS OFFENSE: The reason I’m taking a ton of favorites this week is because some of these spreads are ridiculously small. For example, if you deduct three points from this line for homefield advantage, Vegas is saying that the Colts are 6.5 points better than the Bears. How absurd is that?

    Peyton Manning versus Kyle Orton? Hmm… Joseph Addai against an unknown Matt Forte? Interesting… Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison compared to Rashied Davis and Brandon Lloyd? Let me think about that for a second…

    Of course, the big concern here is that Manning may not be OK following minor knee surgery. Let me ask you something: If Manning wasn’t close to being 100 percent, do you think the Colts would have cut both Quinn Gray and Jared Lorenzen? Manning is one of the best quarterbacks of all time, and he has the NFL’s longest current consecutive starts streak after Brett Favre. There’s no way he’s going to miss this game and play at less than 95 percent. Like Tom Brady, it may take Manning about a half to get his bearings straight.

    Unfortunately for the Bears, they don’t have the defense to contain Manning and company for an entire game. In fact, their defense was horribly slow this preseason, as they had major problems containing the likes of Brodie Croyle, Charlie Frye, J.T. O’Sullivan and Brady Quinn. I don’t see how they can possibly match up with all of Indianapolis’ weapons.

    CHICAGO OFFENSE: Not only do the quarterback and the skill position players suck (Forte possibly excluded), the offensive line is horrible. The Bears arguably have the worst front five in the NFL, though Kansas City may have something to say about that. Left tackle Chris Williams is out, so Chicago has no hope of keeping Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis out of the backfield.

    Once Kyle Orton is forced to throw – and he will have to air it out because the Colts’ offense will click in the second half – he’ll start tossing picks to Indianapolis’ secondary. And it’s not like Orton will have the benefit of a solid running game; Forte won’t have any room to move versus a defense that stops the run efficiently as long as Bob Sanders is in the lineup.

    RECAP: I love the Colts, but why hasn’t the line risen with all the action on them? That’s my only concern here. But it’s Week 1, so maybe Vegas is waiting for casual bettors to increase their bankrolls before crushing them with trap games. Look for more of those in Week 2.

    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    The Colts have the Vikings next week, so they shouldn’t be looking ahead.

    The Vegas. Edge: Bears.
    The public will always back the Colts. The line hasn’t moved yet. Let’s see what happens.
  • Percentage of money on Indianapolis: 85% (136,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Colts.
  • Colts are 14-7 ATS vs. the NFC under Tony Dungy.
  • Opening Line: Colts -9.5.
  • Opening Total: 44.5.
  • Weather: Retractable Roof.

    Prediction: Colts 27, Bears 6
    Colts -9.5 (4 Units) — Incorrect; -$440
    Under 44 (1 Unit) — Correct; +$100
    Bears 29, Colts 13

    Minnesota Vikings (0-0) at Green Bay Packers (0-0)
    Line: Packers by 2. Total: 37.5.

    Walt’s Projected Line (As of April 16): Packers -3.
    Walt’s Projected Line (After Preseason): Packers -3.
    Monday, 7:00 ET – Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Packers.
    Injuries: Vikings: OUT: G Mike Jones (IR), DE Kenechi Udeze (IR), DE Jayme Mitchell (IR), DT Kendrick Allen (IR), OLB Heath Farwell (IR), S Madieu Williams, S Michael Boulware (IR). Packers: OUT: G Junius Coston (IR), DT Justin Harrell.

    If, for some reason, you’re going to miss this game, I’ll give you a preview of what Mike Tirico, Tony Kornheiser and Ron Jaworski will be talking about:


    Ron Jaworski: I’ve studied 80 hours of game film on Aaron Rodgers last night, and I believe Aaron Rodgers is an NFL-caliber quarterback.

    Mike Tirico: Second-and-eight at Minnesota’s 30-yard line.


    Mike Tirico: Nice run by Adrian Peterson. Vikings at midfield.

    Ron Jaworski: I’ve watched 150 hours of game film on Brett Favre during dinner, and I believe that Brett Favre is an NFL-caliber quarterback, but Aaron Rodgers doesn’t translate to someone of Brett Favre’s caliber.


    The sad thing is that I like Tony-K in the booth.

    GREEN BAY OFFENSE: As both Brian Griese and Jay Fiedler have found out, it’s tough to be the heir apparent to a legend because expectations are ridiculously high and you’re always being compared to him. But thus far in his brief stint as Green Bay’s starting quarterback, Aaron Rodgers has handled the challenge really well. He could have gone out and tossed some Matt Leinart-esque dump-off passes against the Bengals in the first preseason Monday night game, but he took some shots downfield and connected on almost all of them.

    That said, Rodgers has played the vanilla versions of Cincinnati, San Francisco and Denver’s defense this preseason. Even at full strength and concentration, none of those stop units compare to Minnesota’s.

    In the wake of Osi Umenyiora’s injury, the Vikings have the best defensive line in the NFL. Without the help of any sort of exotic blitzes, Jared Allen, Pat Williams, Kevin Williams and Ray Edwards made life really difficult for Ben Roethlisberger in the team’s third preseason contest. The Packers surrendered tons of sacks in August, which doesn’t bode well for Rodgers. I know that Brandon Jackson struggled to pick up the blitz and Ryan Grant’s presence will strengthen pass protection, but I’m not that confident that Green Bay can keep Minnesota out of the backfield as often as needed.

    Running the ball with Grant will also be a problem. It’s no accident the Vikings yielded just 3.1 yards per carry to opposing backs last year. The two Williams brothers (I know they’re not brothers, but Williams brothers sounds so much cooler than Williams friends or Williams acquaintances) do a great job clogging the line of scrimmage and closing any possible running lanes.

    MINNESOTA OFFENSE: While points will be hard to come by for the Packers, you could say the same thing about the Vikings. Everyone is talking about Minnesota’s defense, yet the same people forget how solid Green Bay’s stop unit was in 2007. The defense was top 10 against the run and limited opponents to about 18 points per game.

    That said, there are two other reasons the Vikings will struggle to score. First, Tarvaris Jackson sprained his MCL on a dumb scrambling play against the Ravens. He’ll play, but his mobility could be limited. If he’s relegated to being a pocket passer, Minnesota’s offense won’t be too effective.

    The more important factor is Bryant McKinnie’s suspension. McKinnie, one of the top left tackles in the NFL, won’t be there to protect Jackson’s blind side or to create huge holes for Adrian Peterson. Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila will easy blow by replacement Artis Hicks, so a semi-immobile Jackson will have to deal with him and Aaron Kampman coming strong from the other side.

    RECAP: It seems like the casual bettors who are going with the Vikings have no idea what sort of impact McKinnie’s absence will have on this game. Heck, I bet most of them don’t even know who McKinnie is.

    I like the Packers in this spot, as they need to prove that they can win without Brett Favre.

    The Psychology. Edge: Packers.
    The Packers will try to prove that they can survive without Brett Favre.

    The Vegas. Edge: Packers.
    You can find Packers -2.5 in about half the books. The drop from -3 matches the action on Minnesota.
  • Percentage of money on Minnesota: 51% (226,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • History: Packers have won the last 4 meetings.
  • Packers are 6-9 ATS in September home games since 2000.
  • Opening Line: Packers -3.
  • Opening Total: 38.5.
  • Weather: Showers, 66 degrees. Light wind.

    Prediction: Packers 17, Vikings 13
    Packers -2 (3 Units) — Correct; +$300
    Under 37.5 (1 Unit) — Incorrect; -$110
    Packers 24, Vikings 19

    Denver Broncos (0-0) at Oakland Raiders (0-0)
    Line: Broncos by 3. Total: 41.

    Walt’s Projected Line (As of April 16): Broncos -3.
    Walt’s Projected Line (After Preseason): Broncos -2.5.
    Monday, 10:15 ET – Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Broncos.
    Injuries: Broncos: OUT: RB Ryan Torain, FB Cecil Sapp (IR), WR Brandon Marshall (SUSP), WR Edell Shepherd (IR), C Tom Nalen, DT Carlton Powell (IR). Raiders: OUT: FB Oren O’Neal (IR), WR Drew Carter (IR), OT Mark Wilson (IR), CB John Bowie (IR).

    One of the saddest days in NFL history was when Art Shell was fired after the first year of his miserable second stint in Oakland. I say it’s sad because Shell’s 2006 Raiders were the worst-coached team in NFL history. It’s actually amazing that they even managed a single victory. The best moment during Shell’s second tenure was the humiliating 27-0 Week 1 Monday night loss to the Chargers. During the entire game, Shell either had a blank stare on his face as if he were a zombie, or was writing something down on a piece of paper. I was seriously dying of laughter the entire time. I really wish I taped that game. When I asked a friend what he thought Shell was writing, my friend answered, “Oh, he’s just updating his resume.”

    Ah, the good old days. Unfortunately, despite Al Davis’ best efforts to sabotage his team, the Raiders actually look somewhat decent this season.

    OAKLAND OFFENSE: JaMarcus Russell could be the first solid quarterback the Raiders have had since Rich Gannon. Of course, we don’t know how good of a pro Russell will be just yet. Russell looked great a few weeks ago against the Titans, but followed that up with a pedestrian performance versus the Cardinals.

    Russell may find things difficult at times this year because his offensive line can’t pass protect. Good news for Russell though, as the Broncos don’t have anyone who can really get to the quarterback, save for Elvis Dumervil (unless Jarvis Moss improves).

    With Russell still learning the ropes, the Raiders will run the ball a ton. If you don’t believe me, just ask Lane Kiffin, who recently stated that he wants to give Darren McFadden, Justin Fargas and Michael Bush a combined 600 carries this season. A year ago, that would have been great news because the Broncos were 31st against opposing ground attacks. But with the additions of Dewayne Robertson and Boss Bailey (say what you want about him in coverage and his inability to stay healthy and motivated, but he helps against the run), Denver will be much tougher in this department.

    It’s tough to predict what Russell is going to do here. I don’t like Ronald Curry, Javon Walker and whomever else going up against Champ Bailey and Dre Bly. Bailey and Bly are a bit overrated, but shutting down Oakland’s mediocre wideouts should be a cakewalk for them.

    DENVER OFFENSE: If you couldn’t tell by my 2008 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings, I love Jay Cutler this year. I feel as though he has what it takes to emerge as one of the top second-tier quarterbacks in this league. Cutler played pretty well in 2007 despite losing 40 pounds during the course of the season, as he had Diabetes but wasn’t diagnosed with it.

    Cutler won’t have Brandon Marshall this week, which really hurts against a very solid Oakland secondary. However, I’m not convinced the Raiders did enough to vastly improve their league-worst run defense. Sure, they’ll be better against opposing ground attacks, but run-heavy teams like the Broncos should still be able to trample them. Selvin Young and Andre Hall will combine to average close to five yards per carry, opening up some play-action opportunities for Cutler.

    RECAP: One angle that seems to work in the NFL is going with a team without its best player for just the first game. Sounds crazy, but it works. Think back to last year when Quinn Gray and the Jaguars beat the Buccaneers, and Luke McCown and Tampa Bay knocked off the Saints on the road.

    Without Marshall, every single Bronco knows that they need to bring 110 percent. As if they needed more motivation after losing to the Raiders late last season…

    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    The Broncos play the Chargers next, so they may not take the Oakland ACLs too seriously. Of course, they don’t have Brandon Marshall, which means they know they need to bring their A-game to come out with a victory.

    The Vegas. Edge: Broncos.
    Interesting that there’s so much action, yet the line has risen from -1 to -3. Looks like the books want more money on Oakland.
  • Percentage of money on Denver: 58% (187,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • History: Broncos have won 16 of the last 21 meetings (Raiders 4-0 ATS since 2006).
  • Broncos are 5-16 ATS as a favorite since 2006.
  • Raiders are 8-22 ATS at home the previous 30 instances.
  • Opening Line: Broncos -1.
  • Opening Total: 41.5.
  • Weather: Clear, 62 degrees. Mild wind, 13 mph.

    Prediction: Broncos 20, Raiders 16
    Broncos -3 (1 Unit) — Correct; +$100
    Under 41 (.5 Units) — Incorrect; -$55
    Broncos 41, Raiders 14

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

  • Teaser: Eagles -1.5 and Cowboys +0.5 (4 Units) — Correct; +$400
  • Live Dog: Texans +220 (2 Units) — Incorrect; -$200
  • Live Dog: Titans +135 (2 Units) — Correct; +$270
  • Live Dog: Buccaneers +150 (2 Units) — Incorrect; -$200
  • Anti-Public Parlay: Dolphins +3, Chiefs +15.5, Texans +7 (-120), Titans +3, Buccaneers +3, Panthers +9 (.5 Units to win 23.5) — Incorrect; -$50
  • Odds to Win Super Bowl XLIII: Dallas +475 (1 Unit)
  • Odds to Win Super Bowl XLIII: Indianapolis +1050 (1 Unit)
  • NY Giants 9 Wins: Over +115 (3 Units)
  • Pittsburgh 9 Wins: Over +115 (3 Units)
  • Chicago 8 Wins: Under -170 (3 Units)
  • Kansas City 6 Wins: Under -110 (4 Units)
  • San Diego 10.5 Wins: Under +150 (3 Units)
  • San Francisco 6.5 Wins: Under -130 (3 Units)
  • St. Louis 6.5 Wins: Under -115 (3 Units)
  • Odds to win the 2008-2009 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award: DeSean Jackson 15/1 (1 Unit)
  • Defensive Rookie of the Year: Keith Rivers 8/1 (1 Unit)
  • Defensive Rookie of the Year: Curtis Lofton 14/1 (1 Unit)
  • How many Rushing Yards will Larry Johnson have in the 2008 Season? Under 1,275 -145 (3 Units)
  • How many Receiving Yards will Calvin Johnson have in the 2008 Season? Over 1,040 -105 (5 Units)
  • How many Receiving Touchdowns will Calvin Johnson have in the 2008 Season? Over 7 -115 (5 Units)

    2009 NFL Mock Draft

    2010 NFL Mock Draft

    2009 NFL Mock Draft Database

    Free College Football Picks

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    2001 Season Over-Under: 3-2 (60.0%)
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    2006 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3 (50%)
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    Career NFL Picks of the Month: 46-34-1 (57.5t%)

    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: 8-9
    Bears: 11-4
    Bucs: 6-11
    49ers: 10-7
    Eagles: 7-7
    Lions: 9-8
    Falcons: 8-9
    Cardinals: 8-9
    Giants: 7-9
    Packers: 5-12
    Panthers: 8-9
    Rams: 8-9
    Redskins: 14-3
    Vikings: 6-9
    Saints: 10-7
    Seahawks: 7-9
    Bills: 9-7
    Bengals: 12-5
    Colts: 7-10
    Broncos: 9-6
    Dolphins: 6-11
    Browns: 11-5
    Jaguars: 13-4
    Chargers: 8-9
    Jets: 8-9
    Ravens: 11-6
    Texans: 5-12
    Chiefs: 5-10
    Patriots: 7-9
    Steelers: 11-6
    Titans: 9-8
    Raiders: 6-9
    Divisional: 50-35 (2011-22: 558-526)
    2x Game Edge: 36-24 (2011-22: 363-361)
    2x Motivation Edge: 32-36 (2011-22: 478-405)
    2x Spread Edge: 41-40 (2011-22: 197-168)
    2x Vegas Edge: 41-38 (2011-22: 407-406)
    2x Trend Edge: 15-13 (2011-22: 306-279)
    Double Edge: 17-13 (2011-22: 190-172)
    Triple Edge: 1-1 (2011-22: 32-36)

    2003 Preseason: 3 | 4 | 5
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