NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 8, 2013

NFL Picks (Preseason 2013): 10-6 (+$720)
NFL Picks (Week 1, 2013): 4-11-1 (-$1,290)
NFL Picks (Week 2, 2013): 6-10 (+$130)
NFL Picks (Week 3, 2013): 9-6-1 (+$20)
NFL Picks (Week 4, 2013): 11-4 (+$870)
NFL Picks (Week 5, 2013): 8-6 (+$1,060)
NFL Picks (Week 6, 2013): 4-11 (-$420)
NFL Picks (Week 7, 2013): 6-9 (-$730)

NFL Picks (2013): 58-63-1 (+$360)
NFL Picks (2012): 130-145-8 (-$5,760)
NFL Picks (2011): 137-133-12 (-$1,925)
NFL Picks (2010): 144-131-8 (+$6,080)
NFL Picks (2009): 151-124-9 (+$3,370)
NFL Picks (2008): 136-125-6 (+$4,330)
If you don’t quite understand the line, total or anything else, go to my Sports Betting FAQ.

Vegas betting action updated Oct. 28, 5:25 p.m. ET. Follow @walterfootball for updates.


Go to Week 8 NFL Picks – Late Games





Carolina Panthers (3-3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-6)
Line: Panthers by 6.5. Total: 40.5.

Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Panthers -4.5.
Walt’s Calculated Line (After Week 7): Panthers -2.5.
Thursday, Oct. 24, 8:25 ET
Discuss Week 8 Games, Talk Trash

The Game. Edge: Panthers.

WEEK 7 RECAP: Well, I hit my top pick last week (Jets +4), but other than that and Houston’s cover versus Kansas City, Week 7 was horrible. I was just 6-9 for -$730.

That’s pretty much what I wrote last week. I also said that When I s*** the bed, I like to review things to see if I’m doing stuff wrong, or if I just endured some terrible luck. I did notice the following below:

2013 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-0, 100% (+$1,100)
2013 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 7-2-1, 77.8% (+$2,020)
2013 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 13-23, 36.1% (-$3,280)

These selections of 2-3 units are absolutely killing me. What’s the common theme with them? Well, I like betting spots. I reserve my selections of four-plus units for good teams in great spots. For my picks of 2-3 units, however, I pick bad teams in those same great spots because I’m not confident to lay four or more units with them, and understandably so. There’s an adage that says “bad things happen when you pick bad teams.” Well, “bad things” in my case is losing more than three grand.

On a related note, I had a conversation with Matvei, my partner in the Las Vegas Hilton Supercontest this morning:

Matvei: I was watching the afternoon games, where I had plays on San Francisco and Green Bay. And I was wondering why the hell I didn’t just pick those teams on the card. How many times do I have to watch these games! Sixty percent of the time the 49ers cover under Jim Harbaugh (if not much better), and 60 percent of the time the Packers cover at home.

Me: 49ers are 25-12 ATS with Jim Harbaugh. Packers are 22-8 ATS at home since 2010.

Matvei: Yeah! Sheesh.

Me: That’s a damn good point.

Matvei: We’re overcomplicating the equation here. There are some spots that mostly come through. Seahawks at home, Saints at home, Packers at home, Harbaugh anywhere, fading the Steelers as a big favorite, Dallas as a dog, etc.

Me: Tom Brady as a dog/off a loss.

Matvei: Yeah. But I think the bigger thing is to not take garbage teams in the contest. No Rams, no Bucs, no Jags, ever.

Me: YEAH!

That’s it. I’m not taking horrible teams anymore for any sort of units. Here’s my list of poisonous teams I’ll avoid:

Rams
Buccaneers
Jaguars
Giants
Browns
Vikings
Eagles
Redskins (maybe)

I’m doing better this year than last season, but I need to be much smarter in terms of my picks. I think this is a good place to start.

Week 8 NFL Picks will be posted all day Wednesday. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.

CAROLINA OFFENSE: Cam Newton is one of the streakiest players in football. He’s in the same type of rhythm he enjoyed during last season’s late surge. He struggled a but earlier because of a new offensive coordinator, but he’s now moving the chains, scoring points and arrogantly showboating on the field, as he usually does when things are going well.

The Buccaneers have solid defensive personnel, but Newton shouldn’t feel much resistance. After all, Tampa Bay has no idea how to use its solid defensive personnel. Asking Darrelle Revis to play zone is moronic. A coaching staff with any sort of mental capabilities would have Revis shadow Steve Smith, Newton’s only viable downfield option, but that’s not going to happen. The only way the Buccaneers can make this worse is if they have one of their players insult Smith’s family just like Janoris Jenkins did last week. What an idiot. If I were going up against Smith, I’d be as nice as possible to him. I’d even ask for his autograph. Getting him ticked off is just asking for trouble. But I digress.

The main issue with Tampa’s defense is the lacking pass rush. The team failed to sack Matt Ryan behind his patchwork offensive line last week. Stud defensive tackle Gerald McCoy was the only player providing any semblance of pressure, but one man is not enough. With a clean pocket all evening, Newton should have an easy time dissecting the Buccaneers’ stupid zone.

TAMPA BAY OFFENSE: It appears as though Doug Martin could be out for the year with a torn labrum. It’s at least a lock that he won’t play in this contest. Mike James will draw the start instead. James had some tough runs against the Falcons, but he just doesn’t have the same type of explosion as Martin.

As a result, the only dangerous play-maker remaining on Tampa’s offense is Vincent Jackson, who had a monstrous performance at Atlanta. Mike Glennon was able to lock onto him 22 times and find him deep downfield, but he won’t have as much luck in this matchup.

This is the first tough pass rush Glennon will be facing in his professional career. He has battled the Falcons, Eagles and Daryl Washington-less Cardinals thus far. None of those teams can really get to the quarterback all that well (Arizona can now with Washington). The Panthers, meanwhile, have seven sacks in the past two contests, thanks to a monstrous defensive line. Glennon, in turn, will resort to checking it down, which he is guilty of far too often. That means Jackson won’t be as big a part of the offense as he normally would be. So, as it turns out, the Buccaneers have the one shutdown corner in this matchup, but their own receiver will be the only wideout taken out of the game plan. How ironic.

RECAP: There is value betting on winless teams. After all, this spread makes no sense. Panthers -5.5 at Tampa would mean that they’d be 11.5-point favorites over the Buccaneers at home. The Falcons were -7, so is Carolina 4.5 points better than Atlanta? No way. They’re only five spots apart in my NFL Power Rankings, so this spread should be -2.5 or so.

Having said that, I’ve changed my ways. I won’t be betting on poisonous teams anymore. The Buccaneers lured me under their spell last week, but it’s not happening again. Carolina for zero units!

Again, Week 8 NFL Picks will be posted all day. I’ll announce via Twitter @walterfootball when each selection is posted.

FINAL THOUGHTS: This line has risen to -6.5 or -7 depending on where you look. It’s even -7 -120 on Bovada. This spread is out of control, but I can’t justify a bet on a team that may quit on its head coach. I’m sticking with zero units on Carolina.


The Psychology. Edge: Panthers.
The Panthers haven’t prepared for this game because they went all out against the Rams, but then again, how much preparation is needed for the Doug Martin-less Buccaneers?


The Vegas. Edge: Buccaneers.
A good chunk of money on the Panthers.
  • Percentage of money on Carolina: 76% (59,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Panthers.
  • History: Buccaneers have won 4 the last 6 meetings.
  • Buccaneers are 9-23 ATS at home in the previous 32 instances.
  • Buccaneers are 4-11 ATS as a home underdog since 2009.
  • Opening Line: Panthers -6.5.
  • Opening Total: 38.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 8 NFL Pick: Panthers 23, Buccaneers 13
    Panthers -6.5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Under 40.5 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Panthers 31, Buccaneers 13






    San Francisco 49ers (5-2) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-7)
    Line: 49ers by 15. Total: 40.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: 49ers -15.
    Walt’s Calculated Line (After Week 7): 49ers -18.
    Sunday, Oct. 27, 1:00 ET
    At Wembley Stadium, London
    Discuss Week 8 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: 49ers.

    VEGAS RECAP: The sportsbooks have now stolen money from the public in six of seven weekends. There have been several bloodbaths this year, but last week wasn’t as bad. There were eight highly bet games, and the public went 4-4 with them (Seahawks, Cowboys, 49ers, Giants covered; Jets, Texans, Steelers and Colts didn’t). That’s still a winning week for the house because of the vig and parlays/teasers. As I wrote last week, Vegas will have to give some cash back to the public quite soon, or there will be many disappointed kids come Christmas morning. That, or many degenerates will be robbing toy stores.

    I’ll be updating the Vegas betting action all week, as usual. I’ll notify you of any updates @walterfootball.

    SAN FRANCISCO OFFENSE: Colin Kaepernick’s two-game funk that prompted several clueless ESPN and NFL Network analysts to question San Francisco’s decision to jettison Alex Smith seems like so long ago. During the past four weeks, Kaepernick has six touchdowns and only one interception. He has also maintained a solid 8.3 YPA in that span. The difference has been having a healthy Vernon Davis at his disposal. Davis was on fire two weeks ago, while Anquan Boldin made acrobatic catches to spark last week’s win.

    The Jaguars don’t have the personnel to cover either of these guys. There are so many holes in their back seven, including inept linebacker Geno Hayes, cornerback Alan Ball and both safeties, Josh Evans and Johnathan Cyprien. It’s still early, but Cyprien looks like a complete bust.

    Jacksonville won’t have any luck tackling Frank Gore either. Its defense ranks 31st versus the rush in terms of YPC. Ryan Mathews gained 100-plus yards on them on the ground, for crying out loud.

    JACKSONVILLE OFFENSE: The Jaguars have actually been better offensively ever since getting Justin Blackmon back from suspension. They scored 7.8 points per game without him, but that average is up to 15 with him. Almost double! Go Jags!

    Now, before the 10 Jaguar fans out there get too excited, it must be noted that their team has battled three cupcake defenses since Blackmon’s return. In terms of yards per play, their three opponents – Rams, Broncos, Chargers – are ranked 27th, 28th and 32nd, respectively. The 49ers are 10th. Ever since they’ve replaced Nnamdi Asomugha with Trumaine Brock, they’ve been pretty impenetrable. Their pass defense over the past three weeks is ranked second in terms of YPA (6.22).

    Long story short, don’t expect Jacksonville to move the chains like it’s been able to the past three weeks.

    RECAP: The two London teams that were favored by double digits have covered. Both were the Patriots (vs. Buccaneers, Rams). San Francisco should be the third. I don’t see how this isn’t a blowout. There is some back-door potential here because this is such a huge spread, but I think this is somewhat of a safe bet because the Jaguars just don’t have the personnel to match up with a superior team like the 49ers.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: This spread has dropped to -14.5. Does this mean there’s sharp money on the Jaguars? Well, according to one sportsbook director who frequently appears on an ESPN podcast, “There is no such thing as sharp money on the Jaguars.” I think I might go two units if this line drops to -14, so check back Sunday morning.

    SUNDAY MORNING: So much for this line dropping to -14. It’s -15 in most places and -16 at Bovada. I’m staying with one unit.


    The Psychology. Edge: 49ers.
    The Jaguars are like a lamb being led to slaughter.


    The Vegas. Edge: Jaguars.
    People don’t have any interest in the Jaguars, even with 16 points.
  • Percentage of money on San Francisco: 75% (38,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: 49ers.
  • Jaguars are 17-39 ATS against non-divisional opponents since 2008.
  • Jaguars are 9-17 ATS vs. NFC opponents since 2007.
  • Opening Line: 49ers -17.
  • Opening Total: 40.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 8 NFL Pick: 49ers 26, Jaguars 6
    49ers -14.5 (1 Unit) — Correct; +$100
    Under 41 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    49ers 42, Jaguars 10






    Dallas Cowboys (4-3) at Detroit Lions (4-3)
    Line: Lions by 3. Total: 51.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Lions -4.
    Walt’s Calculated Line (After Week 7): Lions -2.
    Sunday, Oct. 27, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 8 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: None.

    HATE MAIL: Another week, another stack of hate mails. These are from the comment boards:

    Walts a great Crapper, i mean capper

    I actually do pride myself on being a great crapper. I spend 45 minutes on the toilet every day.

    Why do people think Lennay Kekua jokes are still funny? I bet you still laugh at the number 69 too, right? You’re about as funny as cancer.

    Well, South Park recently made some jokes about a** cancer, so I’ll take that as a compliment.

    Another great week from Walt the handicrapper. What do you do, close your eyes when you make your picks? Actually, you probably would do better if you did do that.

    I actually look into the flames to determine which selections I’ll be using. The flames didn’t do so well this week or last week.

    walt took vegas edge on 12 teams this week… he’s so bad at this. And you can tell he spend majority of his life on this. So Walt you spend majority of your life at something your horrible at.. Your washed up and a very very sad individual.

    How can I be a sad individual when I spend the majority of my life watching and writing about football? I think that makes me a very very happy individual.

    ur pks suck

    So does your lethargy. You couldn’t just add those four extra letters? Are you that busy of an individual?

    the truth…..every time he loses….comes up with an excuse….how did that fumble happen….how did they get lucky with 5 picks…just accept it…you lost you dummy

    “How did they get lucky with 5 picks?” What the hell does that mean? I’ve always known that I’m a dummy, but perhaps this person is the real dummy.

    Notice how you will never see Walter write that he was on the wrong side but still won the bet?

    Someone please help this man get some reading comprehension lessons because I wrote this on the very same page: “Packers at Ravens +3: Wow, I was lucky to win this game.”

    walter loses both ends again….jezz you seriously must just flip a coin…just give up

    You’re contradicting yourself because if I flipped a coin, I wouldn’t lose “both ends” consistently. I’d usually get one right. Perhaps I should start doing that!

    DETROIT OFFENSE: Both the Lions’ scoring attack and Cowboys’ stop unit have improved recently. Detroit couldn’t score any points without Calvin Johnson, but his return, as well as the emergence of Joseph Fauria as a red-zone weapon, has prompted Matthew Stafford to be more efficient in enemy territory. The Cowboys, meanwhile, have shut down their previous two opponents. Even without DeMarcus Ware, they put tons of pressure on Nick Foles, as both Jason Hatcher and George Selvie dominated the line of scrimmage. Brandon Carr, meanwhile, continues to put the clamps on whomever he’s covering; he has surrendered a completion percentage of 33.3 the past couple of weeks.

    The Dallas pass rush will have to bring it once again because Matthew Stafford will actually be able to complete passes, unlike Nick Foles. There are some liabilities with the Detroit offensive line – I don’t trust the interior, while Riley Reiff hasn’t been playing very well lately – so Hatcher should be able to control the line of scrimmage again. Unfortunately for the Cowboys, it doesn’t look like they’ll have Ware back to take advantage of a potential mismatch with Reiff.

    The Lions should still be able to score a decent amount of points because of their pure talent. However, the question is whether they’ll be able to avoid mistakes and take advantage of their opportunities. Stafford overthrew a bunch of open receivers for potential touchdowns last week. It’s always something with the Lions, whether it’s a bad overthrow, or an untimely turnover or a crucial penalty. They can be one of the NFL’s best teams if they would just play up to their talent level.

    DALLAS OFFENSE: While the Cowboys’ defense has improved recently, the offense has struggled a bit. The main reason for this is DeMarco Murray’s injury. Murray isn’t the best runner in the world, but his pass-protection skills were a big boost for Tony Romo. Joseph Randle can’t pick up blitzes as well, so that’s a major reason why the offense has sputtered in the previous six quarters.

    Having said that, the Cowboys still have tons of talent, so they should be able to put up some points. Dez Bryant, of course, is one of the top receivers in the NFL, but Terrance Williams’ development has been important. Williams, a third-round rookie out of Baylor, has caught 19 passes for 320 yards and three touchdowns in the past four weeks. Dallas would be especially limited offensively if it weren’t for Williams because of Miles Austin-Jones’ lingering injury woes. Jason Witten running extra slowly doesn’t help matters either.

    I like the matchup that Bryant and Williams have against Detroit’s pedestrian cornerbacks. That’s about it though. I don’t think Dallas will be able to run on Detroit – whether Murray’s in the game or not – and the Lions should be able to put some pressure on Romo, though not as much as they would’ve been able to prior to the signing of Brian Waters, who has been a big upgrade at guard.

    RECAP: Quick, which team has the best spread record in the NFL? It’s the Cowboys, who are 6-1 versus the number. Of course, I’ve been picking against them like an idiot. Well, that’s going to change because I like them this week.

    The Lions are coming off a crushing, last-second loss and have a bye ahead of them next week, so I’m not entirely sure their focus will be here. Besides, they always tend to do stupid crap to screw themselves over. They got away with it in home victories against the Bears and Vikings, but those two teams aren’t any good. They’ve also beaten the Redskins and Browns, who also stink.

    This spread has moved to -3.5 in some places, so I like getting the hook in what figures to be a close game.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Cowboys +3.5 is no longer available, but that’s fine. I like the Cowboys for two units as long as the spread stays above +3.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Dallas: 57% (22,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Cowboys.
  • Cowboys are 13-8 ATS after playing the Eagles since 2000.
  • Opening Line: Lions -3.
  • Opening Total: 51.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 8 NFL Pick: Cowboys 24, Lions 23
    Cowboys +3.5 (2 Units) — Correct; +$200
    Under 51 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Lions 31, Cowboys 30






    New York Giants (1-6) at Philadelphia Eagles (3-4)
    Line: Eagles by 5.5. Total: 49.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Eagles -6.5.
    Walt’s Calculated Line (After Week 7): Eagles -1.5.
    Sunday, Oct. 27, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 8 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Eagles.

    If you haven’t seen this yet, we have a new NFL Pick Em Contest on this Web site. It’s free entry, and there are monthly and seasonal prizes: $350 for the year, and $100 for each month. There’s no reason not to enter. Click the link to register!

    By the way, you can check out the Pick Em Leaderboard here.

    PHILADELPHIA OFFENSE: So much for that whole Nick Foles experiment. Foles was absolutely dreadful this past week, as he proved himself incapable of completing routine passes to open receivers. He eventually looked very hesitant to pull the trigger and ultimately left the game with a concussion. Matt Barkley is not an option, so the Eagles have to go back to QBDK before he’s completely healthy.

    QBDK has accuracy issues of his own, and he also struggles to read defenses. He makes up for that, however, with his rushing ability, which opens the door for LeSean McCoy, who averaged six yards per carry in the four full games with QBDK and only 3.4 without him. However, I don’t think McCoy will fully be able to revert back to his previous rushing numbers because QBDK will be limited on the ground. He definitely won’t run as much, so as soon as New York realizes that, it’ll be able to focus on shutting down McCoy, just as the team did with Adrian Peterson on Monday night.

    QBDK’s passing skills are obviously suspect, but he should have his way with a Giants’ back seven, whose struggles have been well-documented. New York has no pass rush, so QBDK will have all the time he needs to find DeSean Jackson, who won’t be covered by a poor secondary.

    NEW YORK OFFENSE: Speaking of struggling quarterbacks, Eli Manning leads the NFL in interceptions, but he didn’t add to his dubious total Monday night. I guess that’s the glass-half-full way of looking at it, as Manning had two dropped interceptions, including one easy pick-six. The Eagles intercepted Manning three times in their previous meeting, so there’s no reason to think they won’t be able to approach that total again.

    The Eagles actually played their first quality defensive game last week. A couple of things happened: First of all, Fletcher Cox dominated the line of scrimmage and put tons of heat on Tony Romo. That’s not good news for Manning, whose offensive line has been dreadful this year. Second, rookie safety Earl Wolff played well for the first time this year. Wolff isn’t very bright, but he has tons of talent. If he can repeat last week’s performance, that would be a huge boost for a beleaguered Philadelphia secondary.

    Something the Eagles won’t have to worry about is defending the run. They’ve limited each of their previous three opponents to fewer than 75 rushing yards, and the streak figures to continue. Tom Coughlin sounded pessimistic about Brandon Jacobs’ availability, which means Peyton Hillis and Michael Cox could split carries again.

    RECAP: I don’t understand why this spread is so high. These teams are about even – they’re two spots apart in my NFL Power Rankings – so, combine that with Philadelphia’s putrid homefield advantage, and my calculated line is -1.5. That’s four points off the actual spread!

    So, does this mean I’m taking the Giants? The old Walt would have. The new Walt is going to be smart with gambling by avoiding these poisonous teams. There’s no doubt New York is the right side, but the team could easily do stupid stuff and lose by seven points. Bad things happen when you pick bad teams, and New York is not to be trusted, even against another crap squad like Philadelphia.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The Giants are a slight public dog, but not by enough to warrant any consideration on the Eagles. There’s no right side in this game because both teams are terrible.

    SUNDAY MORNING: I’m not changing the side or unit total, but I’m switching to the Over.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Eagles.
    The Giants are a slight public dog.
  • Percentage of money on New York: 62% (25,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Giants.
  • History: Road Team has won 9 of the last 13 meetings.
  • History: Eagles have won 9 the last 11 meetings.
  • Giants are 36-17 ATS on the road since 2006 as long as they’re not favored by 3.5 or more.
  • Eli Manning is 27-16 ATS as an underdog since 2007.
  • Eagles are 6-22 ATS at home since 2010.
  • Opening Line: Eagles -6.5.
  • Opening Total: 54.
  • Weather: .


    Week 8 NFL Pick: Eagles 27, Giants 24
    Giants +5.5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Over 49.5 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Giants 15, Eagles 7






    Cleveland Browns (3-4) at Kansas City Chiefs (7-0)
    Line: Chiefs by 7. Total: 39.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Chiefs -8.
    Walt’s Calculated Line (After Week 7): Chiefs -9.
    Sunday, Oct. 27, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 8 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Chiefs.

    If you’ve followed this site for a while, you might remember that I like to respond to my spam mails. Three years ago, a man named Jon Wire from the “United Bank of Africoan” promised me an ATM card of some sort, so I responded as a man named Mister Compassion Chuck Norris, who was raised by wolves. The following season, I received e-mails from Richard Held and Loon Bruce, who told me I won a Facebook Award, which comes with a “lump sum pay out of (750,000.00 GBP).” Pretending to be Matthew Millen Kim, I sent out my application and fake money.

    As for 2012, I messed around with a spammer pretending to be a black woman named Mulyana. I assumed Steve Urkel’s identity and had many exchanges with Mulyana. Click the link to see all of that.

    A man named Mark Pepe e-mailed me. I wonder if he was touching his Pepe when sending me this message. Get it? Pepe. Never mind. I pretended to be Riley Cooper, and Mark Pepe actually replied back to me! Check out the Spam Mails page to see it. And by “it,” I don’t mean Mark’s Pepe.

    CLEVELAND OFFENSE: Brandon Weeden versus the No. 1 defense in the NFL. What could possibly happen? Weeden was doing stupid crap against the Packers, who have a decent stop unit, but not one that’s nearly as potent as Kansas City’s. I’m sure the coaching staff envisioned plenty of dumb backhanded, underhanded and hookshot tosses as well as uncatchable fades in the end zone, which is why they made the change to Jason Campbell.

    Campbell won’t be any better than Weeden. All he did last year and during this preseason was toss checkdowns. Campbell proved that he had no heart when he took a backup job behind Jay Cutler prior to the 2012 season. He did this so he could just cash paychecks as opposed to fight for a starting gig. Unfortunately for his financial standing, he keeps getting starts, which will only keep exposing his poor talent.

    The Browns have two dynamic play-makers in Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron, but Campbell will need time in the pocket to get the ball to them. He won’t have that sort of luxury. Thanks to Tamba Hali, Justin Houston and Donatari Poe, the Chiefs have 10 more sacks thanany other team in the NFL. Think about that for a second. And then think about what’s going to happen to Campbell, considering the Browns have allowed the third-most sacks in the league this year.

    KANSAS CITY OFFENSE: The Browns have a solid defense themselves, but I think the Chiefs’ offense matches up well against it. Cleveland’s strength on this side of the ball is its ability to lock down one receiver with Joe Haden, arguably the top cornerback in the league right now. But whom is Haden going to shadow? Dwayne Bowe? That will mean absolutely nothing because Alex Smith seldom looks in Bowe’s direction.

    Smith primarily throws short passes to Jamaal Charles, Donnie Avery, Dexter McCluster and Anthony Fasano, who move the chains for him. He also picks up yardage on the ground. A sure-tackling linebacking corps would excel at containing the Chiefs. However, Paul Kruger has the second-most missed tackles among 3-4 outside linebackers this year. Craig Robertson, meanwhile, is an abomination in coverage.

    What the Browns will be able to do well is get to Smith on occasion. They have a strong pass rush that has 20 sacks on the year (tied for 7th), while Kansas City’s offensive line has its liabilities, particularly rookie right tackle Eric Fisher, who wouldn’t be starting right now if he weren’t such a high draft pick. However, Smith releases the ball so quickly that this really won’t be much of a factor.

    RECAP: The old me would’ve picked the Browns for a couple of units in this contest because they’re in a great spot. Road underdogs in their second-consecutive away contest following a defeat have an amazingly high cover rate. But the new me can’t side with a poisonous team like Cleveland.

    Here’s what would happen if I wagered 2-3 units on the visitor: The Browns would play the Chiefs tough. Maybe they’d be down by three at halftime. Perhaps they’d trail by only five or six points in the fourth quarter with a few minutes left. But then, Campbell would lose an untimely fumble. The Chiefs would then kick a front-door field goal to go up nine, giving them the cover.

    Again, as the adage goes, “bad things happen when you pick bad teams.” I’m done with that.

    SURVIVOR PICK: Go here for my Survivor Pick Advice later tonight for some analysis.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: My stance on this game hasn’t changed.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Browns.
    The public is pounding this shady spread.
  • Percentage of money on Kansas City: 71% (35,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Chiefs.
  • Chiefs are 27-13 ATS in October since 2002.
  • Opening Line: Chiefs -7.
  • Opening Total: 39.
  • Weather: .


    Week 8 NFL Pick: Chiefs 13, Browns 3
    Chiefs -7 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Under 39 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Survivor Pick (6-1)
    Chiefs 23, Browns 17




    Buffalo Bills (3-4) at New Orleans Saints (5-1)
    Line: Saints by 10.5. Total: 48.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Saints -13.5.
    Walt’s Calculated Line (After Week 7): Saints -13.
    Sunday, Oct. 27, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 8 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Saints.

    Video of the Week: I asked my friends on Facebook to send me funny videos for the Video of the Week section. This one is from Andrey R. It’s entitled Another Skateboard FAIL. If this sounds like it’s another one of those videos where a skateboarder falls and hurts himself, you’re right – but there’s a hilarious twist to it. There’s cursing in this, so make sure you have headphones on if you’re at work.

    NEW ORLEANS OFFENSE: Adam Schefter said that Jimmy Graham is “uncertain” to play in this game because of a foot injury that he sustained at New England. Perhaps that Patriots’ loss was a good thing for the Saints in that they focused on improving their offense without Graham during the bye week. Aqib Talib completely erased Graham from that game, and the Saints’ scoring attack sputtered as a result. You can bet that Drew Brees and Sean Payton spent their time off fixing things and figuring stuff out.

    Buffalo’s defense will offer a challenge though. The Bills can put a decent amount of pressure on the quarterback with Mario Williams, Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams. Jerry Hughes has come on strong lately as well, which is something Indianapolis fans don’t want to hear. Drew Brees can easily counter that with his quick release, but Buffalo’s defensive backfield is intact after enduring numerous injuries during the early stages of the season.

    One area where the Bills’ stop unit is still weak happens to be against the run, ranking 23rd in that department (4.1 YPC). Sean Payton has put more emphasis on establishing his ground attack, which is something he’s had success doing with Khiry Robinson and Pierre Thomas lately.

    BUFFALO OFFENSE: Thaddeus Lewis has played well in two starts against tough defenses thus far. Mixing in some read-option looks, Lewis has completed 62.5 percent of his passes. The YPA isn’t very good (6.5), but all in all, not bad for a quarterback who was on the practice squad a month ago.

    Lewis faces another tough test in this contest. Not only does he have to battle an improved New Orleans stop unit that is suddenly very proficient at getting to the quarterback – only six teams have more sacks than the Saints’ 20 – but he has to do this in the Superdome, where he won’t be able to hear anything. Lewis’ one road start has been in Miami, where the fans don’t really care. The lunatics in New Orleans will make it impossible for Lewis to hear anything. Lewis, much like Ryan Tannehill a few weeks ago, won’t know what hit him.

    The Bills will have to really lean on the running game to keep Lewis from committing turnovers. They’ll have success doing this; even though New Orleans is improved defensively, it still ranks dead last versus the rush. Look for Fred Jackson to have a big game.

    RECAP: I love the Saints in this spot, despite the high spread. I’m a big fan of betting on great teams coming off byes, as they usually use their week off to implement a great game plan for their next opponent. Also, New Orleans is almost always an automatic bet in the Superdome. Lewis hasn’t played in front of a crowd like this, so he’ll be shell shocked by this crazy environment.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The Saints remain one of my top plays. The only concern is the amount of action on them, but Vegas needs to give back some money to public bettors, who have been beaten down this year.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Bills.
    No surprise here.
  • Percentage of money on New Orleans: 80% (43,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Saints.
  • Bills are 6-25 ATS after playing the Miami Dolphins since 1998.
  • Saints are 29-13 ATS as a home favorite since 2007.
  • Drew Brees is 23-14 ATS after a loss with the Saints (8-3 ATS as an underdog).
  • Saints are 5-11 ATS as double-digit favorites under Sean Payton.
  • Opening Line: Saints -12.5.
  • Opening Total: 50.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 8 NFL Pick: Saints 34, Bills 17
    Saints -10.5 (3 Units) — Correct; +$300
    Over 48 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Saints 35, Bills 17




    Miami Dolphins (3-3) at New England Patriots (5-2)
    Line: Patriots by 6. Total: 45.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Patriots -6.
    Walt’s Calculated Line (After Week 7): Patriots -5.5.
    Sunday, Oct. 27, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 8 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Patriots.

    The Adventures of Tom Brady’s Haircuts is back for a second season! As with everything else though, I’m moving it to its own separate page. See what’s going on this week with this picture here:



    NEW ENGLAND OFFENSE: Everyone assumed that all would be well when Rob Gronkowski returned. The big tight end was finally back in the lineup last week, yet Tom Brady still struggled, failing to complete half of his passes while maintaining a YPA of 5.0. The loss also marked the second time in three games that Brady didn’t throw a touchdown. Brady’s accuracy is just off, though it’s not helping that he’s seeing way too much pressure in his face. He’s been sacked 13 times in the past three weeks.

    Brady will continue to have a swarmed pocket in this contest. The Dolphins are only tied for 21st in sacks, but that’s misleading because Cameron Wake missed some action. Miami had four sacks on the mobile Thaddeus Lewis last week, and Wade didn’t even play half the snaps. The Miami Herald reported that Wake is expected to play more snaps this Sunday, which can’t exactly make Brady too thrilled.

    The Dolphins are also stout against the run – they’re 12th in that department in terms of YPC – so Brady won’t be able to lean on Stevan Ridley all that much. He’ll have to move the chains on his own. Luckily for him, the Miami linebackers had issues covering last week (especially Koa Misi), so Gronkowski figures to have another big game.

    MIAMI OFFENSE: The Patriots have struggled to shield Brady, but that’s nothing compared to the struggles of the Dolphins’ offensive line. Miami has surrendered the third-most sacks in the NFL this season (26), thanks to the horrid play of the two tackles. The front office tried its best to remedy this, acquiring Bryant McKinnie from the Ravens for a conditional late-round draft pick. McKinnie won’t be much help, however, as he hasn’t been in good shape this year.

    New England has a decent pass rush that should be able to rattle Ryan Tannehill; the team sacked Geno Smith four times, and New York has a better offensive line than Miami does. Couple this with the return of Aqib Talib, who has been outstanding this year, and the Patriots figure to completely put the clamps on the Dolphins’ aerial attack. Talib missed Sunday’s game, but was practicing Wednesday, which is a good sign.

    Unfortunately for the Patriots, things aren’t all bright because they’ve struggled immensely versus the run ever since losing Vince Wilfork for the season. They’ve surrendered at least 120 rushing yards to each of their previous three opponents, so both Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas figure to find decently sized holes to run through.

    RECAP: Going against Brady coming off a loss doesn’t seem wise, but look below: Since 2003, he’s 19-10 against the spread following a defeat, but only 4-7 ATS if he’s favored by -7 or more. I feel like 6.5 is close enough – it’s actually -7 at Bovada right now – so using this dynamic to justify a bet on the Patriots isn’t very wise.

    I actually like the Dolphins a bit in this spot. They were clearly looking ahead to this contest during their poor performance against the Bills. New England, meanwhile, is coming off a brutal overtime loss and may not be 100-percent mentally prepared as a consequence. Besides, the Patriots are playing like crap, so who are they to be laying about a touchdown against a competent opponent?

    FINAL THOUGHTS: There’s tons of sharp money on the Dolphins. Everyone is betting New England, perhaps because average bettors saw Miami lose to Buffalo last week, yet the spread has dropped from +7 at the beginning of the week to +6 or +5.5 in some places. If you can still get +6, lock it in.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    Tom Brady’s going to be pissed following a loss, but the Dolphins need a win.


    The Vegas. Edge: Dolphins.
    A good lean on the Patriots.
  • Percentage of money on New England: 75% (32,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • History: Patriots have won 10 of the last 12 meetings.
  • Dolphins are 16-6 ATS on the road vs. teams with a winning record since 2007.
  • Underdog is 43-20 ATS in the Dolphins’ last 63 games.
  • Tom Brady is 152-51 as a starter (116-82 ATS).
  • Patriots are 40-27 ATS vs. AFC East opponents since 2001.
  • Tom Brady is 27-14 ATS off a loss (4-8 ATS as -7 or more).
  • Tom Brady is 19-10 ATS off a loss since 2003 (4-7 ATS as -7 or more).
  • Opening Line: Patriots -6.5.
  • Opening Total: 45.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 8 NFL Pick: Patriots 23, Dolphins 20
    Dolphins +6 (1 Unit) — Incorrect; -$110
    Under 45.5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Patriots 27, Dolphins 17



    Week 8 NFL Picks – Late Games
    Pittsburgh at Oakland, NY Jets at Cincinnati, Washington at Denver, Atlanta at Arizona, Green Bay at Minnesota, Seattle at St. Louis



    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.


  • Prop/teaser/parlay picks posted in Week 8 NFL Picks – Late Games



    NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22


    2024 NFL Mock Draft - Feb. 21


    Fantasy Football Rankings - Feb. 19


    NFL Picks - Feb. 12




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    Last Week's NFL Picks Against The Spread (Week 18, 2023): 10-6 (-$415)
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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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    2004 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
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