NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 16, 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 (Week 8, 2013): 8-5 (+$760)
NFL Picks (Week 9, 2013): 5-8 (-$280)
NFL Picks (Week 10, 2013): 9-4-1 (-$110)
NFL Picks (Week 11, 2013): 5-7-3 (-$480)
NFL Picks (Week 12, 2013): 9-5 (+$1,660)
NFL Picks (Week 13, 2013): 10-6 (+$850)
NFL Picks (Week 14, 2013): 7-9 (+$430)
NFL Picks (Week 15, 2013): 10-6 (-$190)

NFL Picks (2013): 121-113-5 (+$3,000)
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 Dec. 23, 5:30 p.m. ET. Follow @walterfootball for updates.


Go to Week 16 NFL Picks - Early Games





Arizona Cardinals (9-5) at Seattle Seahawks (12-2)
Line: Seahawks by 10. Total: 43.

Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Seahawks -10.5.
Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 15): Seahawks -9.5.
Sunday, Dec. 22, 4:05 ET
Discuss Week 16 Games, Talk Trash

The Game. Edge: Seahawks.

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:



ARIZONA OFFENSE: The Cardinals dodged a huge bullet when it was announced that Larry Fitzgerald passed his baseline concussion tests on Monday. Fitzgerald will almost certainly suit up, which is a huge relief for Arizona, which couldn't possibly go into this contest with Michael Floyd as its only viable receiver against Seattle's dominant secondary.

Carson Palmer will need Fitzgerald as a downfield target considering the amount of pressure he'll face in this contest. Palmer took a ridiculous seven sacks from the Seahawks in the Thursday night meeting between these teams back in Week 7. However, in the past four weeks, there has only been one game in which Arizona surrendered more than two sacks. Bruce Arians has done a great job of improving his team's protection schemes, so Palmer definitely won't be harassed as much by Seattle's devastating pass rush.

One other thing that will be different in this rematch is Arizona's usage of Andre Ellington. The speedy rookie was barely a factor back in Week 7, as he was given just five touches. He's still underutilized - for the love of God, please stop giving Rashard Mendenhall carries, Bruce - but Ellington will be a much bigger part of the offense this time, which is obviously a good thing because he can go the distance on any play.

SEATTLE OFFENSE: One of my programmers lamented having Marshawn Lynch in his fantasy championship this week because of the matchup. I'd feel the same way if I were in his position. The Cardinals have the No. 2 ground defense in the NFL. They haven't allowed more than 83 yards on the ground to any opponent since Week 7, which, coincidentally, was against the Seahawks.

Does this mean Lynch will be in full Beast Mode again and exceed that 83-yard barrier? It's certainly possible. Lynch's 91-yard total from Week 7 was no fluke; he was pummeling defenders and brushing off tackles with ease. Lynch is matchup-proof because he's just so talented.

Of course, Russell Wilson plays a major factor in that. Wilson was 18-of-29 for 235 yards and three touchdowns in the previous victory over Arizona, and he didn't even have either of his tackles blocking for him. As a result, Wilson was constantly under siege by a ferocious Arizona pass rush. The Cardinals will still put a ton of heat on Wilson, but he will do what he does best - buy himself time in the pocket and make big plays.

RECAP: If this were a normal game in October, I'd take Seattle, no questions asked. The Seahawks are just so dominant at home. They're also the better team, so there'd be no reason for them not to cover the spread.

However, this game will be played under highly irregular circumstances. The Seahawks won't have any motivation; they've essentially locked everything up, so a victory over an opponent they;ve already demolished will mean nothing. The Cardinals, meanwhile, absolutely have to win this game to stay alive in the playoff hunt. This means everything to them.

For those who still have doubts, this contest reminds me of the Week 17 Seattle-St. Louis game last year. The Seahawks barely had anything to play for, yet they were favored at home by double digits over a divisional opponent. They won, but only by seven points. The Rams covered, and I believe the same fate is in store for Arizona.

FINAL THOUGHTS: There's a bit of sharp action on the Cardinals, but nothing substantial. I'm dropping them to one unit though. Facebook friend Chris W. brought up a good point: "Worth mentioning, Pete Carroll is an insufferable douche bag and may attempt to run up the score just to spite the Cardinals... then take week 17 off. Still like Arz's spot though, just not for $."

SUNDAY NOTES: This spread has dropped to +9, or even +8 at CRIS. The sharps like the Cardinals.


The Psychology. Edge: Cardinals.
The Seahawks essentially have everything locked up. Arizona needs to win this game.


The Vegas. Edge: None.
Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Seattle: 59% (21,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Seahawks.
  • History: Home Team has won 6 of the past 8 meetings.
  • Seahawks are 23-8 ATS as home favorites since 2007.
  • Opening Line: Seahawks -10.
  • Opening Total: 45.
  • Weather: Rain, 48 degrees. Light wind.


    Week 16 NFL Pick: Seahawks 27, Cardinals 24
    Cardinals +10 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Over 43 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Cardinals 17, Seahawks 10






    New York Giants (5-9) at Detroit Lions (7-7)
    Line: Lions by 8. Total: 49.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Lions -7.5.
    Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 15): Lions -9.
    Sunday, Dec. 22, 4:05 ET
    Discuss Week 16 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Lions.

    This summer, I ran a Mafia game on the Web site called Penn State Sex Scandal Mafia. You can click the link to read the introduction and see the list of players. I'll add to this page throughout the season, listing roles and talking about funny things that happened during the game.

    Why am I doing this? Well, I wanted to post this on the main section of this Web site so that the mainstream media people who have sand in their vages will pick up on this and complain that I'm being insensitive.

    Oh, and by the way, we have other Mafia games going on right now in the Mafia Forum. Mafia is a blast, so come and join the fun.

    DETROIT OFFENSE: The Lions really bungled things on Monday night. They had control of their own destiny in the NFC North, but Calvin Johnson drops and Matthew Stafford side-arm interceptions ruined that. Detroit has often been guilty of shooting itself in the foot, but it's never been this bad. I suppose its blunders were only magnified because this was such a big game.

    If that's the case, perhaps the Lions will perform better now that expectations are low again. They certainly have a much easier matchup, though the Giants have played better lately because of a revitalized pass rush. They've logged 15 sacks in their previous four games, which is the highest total in the NFL over that span, save for Buffalo's 16. They managed to bring down Russell Wilson four times, which was impressive considering that Wilson used his mobility to squirt out of several other potential sacks. Having said that, the Lions protect their quarterback extremely well, so Stafford should be able to pick apart New York's secondary on most occasions.

    The Giants have also been solid against ground attacks lately, ranking fifth in terms of YPC (3.80) over the past month. This may allow them to bring down Reggie Bush when he runs in between the tackles, but I'm sure Bush will have some big gains as a receiver coming out of the backfield.

    NEW YORK OFFENSE: Stafford's picks Monday night were bad, but those were nothing compared to what Eli Manning has done this season. Manning currently has a league-high 25 interceptions, trailing Vinny Testaverde's all-time NFL record by just 10. He probably won't pass Testaverde, but he'll certainly add several to his total in this contest.

    Part of Manning's problem this year has been his dreadful, banged-up offensive line. He's had no protection, so he's had to force many throws, especially when behind. The Lions have a forceful defensive front that will undoubtedly put tons of pressure on him, which will lead to more errant passes. It's only goiing to get worse for Manning, as he probably won't have top receiver Victor Cruz, who could be out with a concussion and a knee sprain.

    RECAP: I picked the Giants last week, knowing they'd bring tons of energy to battle the Seahawks. They did just that, and yet they were still shut out. They won't be able to put forth 100 percent in this game as a consequence, especially after watching the Lions lose Monday night. Thus, I'm expecting a blowout.

    The Lions are the right side, but I don't really have the urge to bet them because of how unreliable they are.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I don't have a strong lean on this game. The sharps don't either. Pass.

    SUNDAY NOTES: Calvin Johnson will be a game-time decision. When the announcement was made, the spread dropped to -7.5, but it bumped back up to -8. Perhaps that means Megatron will suit up.


    The Psychology. Edge: Lions.
    The Giants put forth maximum effort against the Seahawks (despite what the score may say). They'll likely be flat against the Lions, who need to win this game.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Detroit: 59% (17,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Giants.
  • Giants are 38-18 ATS on the road since 2006 as long as they're not favored by 3.5 or more.
  • Eli Manning is 29-18 ATS as an underdog since 2007.
  • Lions are 10-22 ATS against losing teams the previous 32 instances.
  • Opening Line: Lions -9.
  • Opening Total: 49.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 16 NFL Pick: Lions 27, Giants 13
    Lions -8 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Under 49 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Giants 23, Lions 20






    Oakland Raiders (4-10) at San Diego Chargers (7-7)
    Line: Chargers by 9.5. Total: 51.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Chargers -7.5.
    Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 15): Chargers -10.
    Sunday, Dec. 22, 4:25 ET
    Discuss Week 16 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Chargers.

    As I mentioned earlier, my programmers are currently working on an NFL Mock Draft Builder, so we will be having our NFL Mock Draft contest on this Web site for the first time. Look for the NFL Mock Draft Builder right after Christmas. I don't have any screenshots for you right now, but I think I'll have them available very soon. Stay tuned. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.

    SAN DIEGO OFFENSE: It's amazing how inept Oakland's defense was last week. If Al Davis were still alive, he would have undoubtedly summoned his zombies, gargoyles and demons to dispose of defensive coordinator Jason Tarver by halftime against the Chiefs. It's a freaking screen pass, Tarver. What do you think the Chiefs are going to run on a third-and-19? Ugh.

    Perhaps if Tarver looks up "screen pass" on Wikipedia this week, he'll be more prepared for Philip Rivers dumping off short throws to Danny Woodhead. However, even if that's the case, his secondary probably won't be able to do much about this strong Rivers-to-Keenan Allen connection that has emerged. Rivers has been playing much better since left tackle King Dunlap returned to the lineup. The Raiders haven't gotten much pressure on the quarterback lately, so I don't expect that to suddenly change.

    One thing Oakland does well on this side of the ball is stop the run, so at least it'll be able to bottle up a hot Ryan Mathews. However, the team did this to Jamaal Charles (on the ground), the Jets' running backs and DeMarco Murray, yet the opposing quarterbacks had so much success because of the Raiders' awful secondary play.

    OAKLAND OFFENSE: I listed the Chargers at No. 8 in my NFL Power Rankings this week because they've improved tremendously on defense. I don't know how it happened, but they've limited Peyton Manning and Andy Dalton in two of the previous three games, holding their offenses to a combined 37 points.

    If Manning couldn't do much against the Chargers prior to garbage time, what's going to happen when Matt McGloin takes the field? McGloin was disgustingly brutal last week, sabotaging his career with awful interception after awful interception. Offensive coordinator Greg Olson has done a great job of masking McGloin's deficiencies thus far, but he can only do so much with such an incompetent signal-caller.

    The Raiders were able to move the chains at times last week, thanks to some good Rashad Jennings runs. The Chargers have been porous against the rush for most of the season, but they just restricted Knowshon Moreno to an 8-19 line. I'm not sure where San Diego's defensive improvement came from, but it seems to be legitimate.

    RECAP: The Chargers have been playing so much better lately, yet the public hasn't quite caught on. Bill Simmons muttered, "That Chargers' D is awful" on his podcast with Cousin Sal. If Simmons had actually been paying attention to the NFL rather than making podcasts with Jalen Rose, he'd recognize that hasn't been the case for the past few weeks.

    Having said that, this number is a bit high for my liking. I think San Diego's the right side, but Oakland will play them tough, and McGloin has shown that he's more than capable of generating a backdoor score.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Here's another game in which the sharps don't really favor either side. The spread is right where it should be.

    SUNDAY NOTES: Chad Millman told Colin Cowherd that the sharps like the Raiders. The line movement would indicate that's the case, as the spread has dropped to +9 or +9.5. I still favor the Chargers, but if you're into following the sharps, you'll want to bet Oakland.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on San Diego: 59% (18,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Chargers.
  • History: Chargers have won 3 of the last 4 meetings (Raiders 7-2 ATS last 9).
  • Raiders are 13-6 ATS as double-digit underdogs since 2008.
  • Philip Rivers is 27-16 ATS as a starter after Nov. 30.
  • Opening Line: Chargers -10.
  • Opening Total: 49.5.
  • Weather: Sunny, 67 degrees. Light wind.


    Week 16 NFL Pick: Chargers 30, Raiders 17
    Chargers -9.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Under 51 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Chargers 26, Raiders 13






    Pittsburgh Steelers (6-8) at Green Bay Packers (7-6-1)
    Line: Packers by 1. Total: 44.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: No Line (Rodgers).
    Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 15): Pick.
    Sunday, Dec. 22, 4:25 ET
    Discuss Week 16 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Steelers.

    If you didn't catch it, Emmitt on the Brink is back! Season 6, Episode 15 has been posted - Emmitt makes a shocking discovery at Bill Belichick's house.

    GREEN BAY OFFENSE: There's no spread on this game because Aaron Rodgers' status is unknown as of this writing. I imagine that there won't be much revealed until Friday, if not later.

    If Matt Flynn is the quarterback, I wouldn't expect the Packers to generate much offense. Sure, Flynn led the team on an incredible, second-half comeback against the Cowboys, but Dallas has a crap defense that can't stop anyone. The Steelers, on the other hand, have ranked in the top eight against both the run and the pass over the past month. They just held Andy Dalton and A.J. Green in check, so they'll do a good job on Flynn and his receivers, though stopping Eddie Lacy could be problematic because he's a monster.

    However, if Rodgers gets clearance, Green Bay would have tons of success scoring against Pittsburgh. Rodgers, when healthy, is the best quarterback in the NFL, and he's matchup-proof against any defense. He's torched the 49ers and Ravens this year - both on the road - so I don't see why he'd have trouble handling the Steelers in Lambeau.

    PITTSBURGH OFFENSE: The Packers are obviously very fortunate that Tony Romo and the Cowboys went brain-dead in the final quarter of Sunday's game. DeMarco Murray was running all over Green Bay, so simply giving Murray more carries almost certainly would've ensured victory. Excluding the Bears, no team has been worse against the rush than the Packers over the past month, as they've surrendered a ridiculous 5.54 YPC to opposing backs.

    Unless Romo's spirit possesses Ben Roethlisberger and forces Big Ben to check out of promising runs, the Steelers will definitely have plenty of success pounding the ball with Le'Veon Bell, who was actually able to gain 73 yards on just 16 carries versus a very tough Baltimore stop unit a few weeks ago. Bell, who has registered 17 receptions the past three games, will also continue to be a big factor as a pass-catcher out of the backfield, helping Roethlisberger negate some of the pressure Clay Matthews and Nick Perry will bring.

    Roethlisberger also figures to have a big outing. The Packers' issues in the secondary have been well-documented. They blow coverages all the time and struggle to cover anyone decent.

    RECAP: I'm sticking with the Steelers, but for zero units. I actually have them in the SuperContest, but that's because they were listed at +7. That was too good to pass up. This spread, however, doesn't provide nearly as good value. I'm taking Pittsburgh because Matt Flynn sucks and the Packers are coming off a crazy comeback victory. A trend going against the Steelers - road teams coming off wins of 10-plus as home divisional underdogs are 17-43 against the spread since 1995 - will keep me from betting on them.

    SUNDAY NOTES: I'm rooting for the Steelers +7 along with about 450 other people. As for this actual pick, I'm making the change to Green Bay. Four of the five ESPN analysts chose Pittsburgh even though the Packers happen to be favored. With that in mind, as well as the trend I listed Saturday night, I want to switch sides.


    The Psychology. Edge: Steelers.
    The Packers are coming off an emotional win against the Cowboys, but they know they'll have to play hard without Aaron Rodgers.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Pittsburgh: 57% (8,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Packers.
  • Steelers are 23-12 ATS on the road off a home division win the previous 35 instances.
  • Packers are 22-12 ATS in December home games since 2000.
  • Packers are 22-10 ATS at home since 2010.
  • Opening Line: Steelers -2.5.
  • Opening Total: 45.
  • Weather: Snow, 23 degrees. Mild wind, 14 mph.


    Week 16 NFL Pick: Packers 27, Steelers 23
    Packers -1 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Over 44.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Steelers 38, Packers 31






    New England Patriots (10-4) at Baltimore Ravens (8-6)
    Line: Ravens by 2. Total: 45.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Pick.
    Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 15): Patriots -2.5.
    Sunday, Dec. 22, 4:25 ET
    Discuss Week 16 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Patriots.

    A reminder that Jerks of the Week for Dec. 16, 2013 is up, so just click the link. This week's jerks entry is My Elliptical: Struggles of a Fat Man.

    NEW ENGLAND OFFENSE: It's amazing how one play can change everyone's perception. If Danny Amendola holds on to the ball in the end zone, the Patriots beat the Dolphins, and suddenly they're not so bad off without Rob Gronkowski. Instead, Michael Thomas knocks the ball out and then intercepts Tom Brady to seal the victory for Miami. Now? The Patriots stink without Gronk, and they can't score at all!

    If you haven't noticed, NFL TV analysts tend to say stupid stuff because they overreact to everything. If they would've actually paid attention to the game and thought logically, they would've noticed that the Patriots generated 29 first downs and 453 yards of offense, all while converting 9-of-17 third downs. Their offense played very well; they managed just 20 points because it was a fast-paced game (if you recall, it was the first of the early Sunday games to hit halftime).

    New England moved the chains extremely well against a tough Miami defense, so I don't see why it wouldn't have success against the Ravens. Baltimore obviously has a strong stop unit as well, but it hasn't generated much pressure on the quarterback lately. The Ravens have just six sacks in their previous four games, which is good news for Brady because the Patriots have issues up front.

    BALTIMORE OFFENSE: Speaking of offensive line problems, Joe Flacco is all too familiar with those. His offensive line has been brutal all year, as just seven teams have allowed more sacks than the Ravens. The Patriots brought down Ryan Tannehill four times behind the line of scrimmage last week, so they could have similar pass-rushing success against Flacco.

    Speaking of Flacco, the reigning Super Bowl champion quarterback banged his knee at the end of the Detroit game. He remained on the field, but didn't make any great throws after that. He didn't really need to, but some of his passes were off. Flacco said he was going to take it a bit easy this week. He'll obviously suit up, but he may not be 100 percent, especially on short rest.

    Flacco's connection with Anquan Boldin is what allowed Baltimore to defeat New England in the AFC Championship back 11 months ago. Boldin's not on the roster anymore, and the Ravens may not have the luxury of seeing Aqib Talib leave the game early with an injury this time. Baltimore was also able to wear down the Patriots on the ground, as Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce combined for 100 rushing yards back in that January matchup. However, the Ravens' offensive line is much weaker now, so Rice and Pierce haven't been able to generate as much on the ground.

    RECAP: The Patriots are my December NFL Pick of the Month. I'm taking them for seven units, so I might as well give you seven reasons for doing so:

    1. I already referenced the first. Everyone on TV is opining the Patriots are done without Gronkowski because they can't score. The 29 first downs and 453 net yards say otherwise. As I said earlier in the Saints-Panthers capsule, in stock trading and sports betting, if everyone believes one thing to be true, the opposite usually occurs.

    2. Stemming from that, can you imagine how pissed Brady is now that everyone's counting him out? Brady, who uncharacteristically cursed at his post-game press conference on Sunday, will be in "F-U mode." The Patriots are 4-2 against the spread in projected "F-U mode" games this year, if that makes any sense.

    3. Brady may have lost in a potential "F-U mode" game last week, but he wasn't an underdog. OK, well, technically he was, but most people were picking New England to beat Miami. That's not the case this week, as the Ravens are a healthy and public favorite. This benefits the Patriots, as Brady is 18-9 against the spread as an underdog the past 10 years.

    4. There's another pro-Brady trend: Brady coming off a loss is almost automatic. He's 21-10 against the spread following a defeat since 2003, but those numbers get even better if you exclude games in which he's a favorite of a touchdown or more. As an underdog or short favorite after a loss in the past 10 years, Brady is a whopping 17-3 against the spread.

    5. I mentioned that Brady will be pissed. Bill Belichick will be as well, and not just because everyone is bashing this current team. Belichick performs extremely well in revenge games. He's 13-3 against the spread against teams after losing to them by 14-plus in the previous matchup.

    6. Teams playing in their second-consecutive road game, particularly after a defeat, tend to cover the spread at a two-thirds clip. Belichick has been especially effective in this dynamic; he's 14-5 against the spread in his second-straight away tilt.

    7. I don't agree with this spread. The Ravens have been home dogs against the Packers (with Aaron Rodgers) and Bengals this year, two teams that are comparable to New England. Also, this line was a pick prior to the Week 15 games. So, it just moved 2.5 points, why? Because Amendola dropped a touchdown? That's just stupid. My line is actually Patriots -2.5, so I believe I'm getting five points of value, which is a big deal.

    I've had some people suggest the Ravens might be the right side because they play so well at home. This is true, but as the Vikings proved in Week 14, Baltimore isn't invincible as a host. Besides, we've seen elite quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning win there. Brady is obviously in the same pantheon.

    Again, this is a seven-unit selection. I'd advise waiting to see if any +3s pop up before betting it, but I love New England regardless.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: So many positive things about the Patriots:

    1. Steven at FootballFanSpot.com, who has listed the Patriots as his Pick of the Week, posted this on my Facebook wall: "All of the ESPN "experts" online picked the Ravens this week, except for Tom Jackson who seems to have forgotten to turn in his picks. Excellent."

    That's obviously fantastic news. When all of the talking heads on ESPN are taking one side of a near-pick em game, you want to go with the other team.

    Adding on to that, every single analyst at ESPNBoston has selected Baltimore.

    2. I mentioned Bill Simmons' futility in the Supercontest. One of his four non-Steelers selections (half the contest took them at +7) happens to be the Ravens.

    3. One of the top handicappers in the bookie battle has listed New England as his top selection this week.

    SUNDAY NOTES: More good news for the Patriots. Chad Millman said the sharps love New England. Once again, the spread movement matches that, as this line is down to pick 'em. Four of the five ESPN analysts chose Baltimore, so that's a good sign that New England will win.


    The Psychology. Edge: Patriots.
    The Ravens won an emotional game on Monday night. Tom Brady, meanwhile, is extremely pissed.


    The Vegas. Edge: Ravens.
    Some money on the Patriots, but nothing substantial.
  • Percentage of money on New England: 62% (22,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Patriots.
  • Tom Brady is 157-53 as a starter (119-86 ATS).
  • Tom Brady is 29-14 ATS off a loss (4-8 ATS as -7 or more).
  • Tom Brady is 21-10 ATS off a loss since 2003 (4-7 ATS as -7 or more).
  • Tom Brady is 4-2 ATS after losing to the Dolphins.
  • Tom Brady is 18-9 ATS as an underdog since 2003.
  • Bill Belichick is 8-1 ATS as an underdog after losing as a favorite.
  • Bill Belichick is 13-3 ATS against a team after losing to them by 14+ in the previous matchup.
  • Bill Belichick is 14-5 ATS in his second-consecutive road game.
  • Ravens are 19-8 ATS at home as an underdog or favorite of 1-7 points with Joe Flacco.
  • Opening Line: Ravens -2.5.
  • Opening Total: 45.5.
  • Weather: Light rain, 67 degrees. Mild wind, 12 mph.


    Week 16 NFL Pick: Patriots 27, Ravens 23
    Patriots +2 (7 Units - December NFL Pick of the Month) -- Correct; +$700
    Over 45.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Patriots 41, Ravens 7




    Chicago Bears (8-6) at Philadelphia Eagles (8-6)
    Line: Eagles by 2.5. Total: 55.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Eagles -6.
    Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 15): Eagles -6.
    Sunday, Dec. 22, 8:30 ET
    Discuss Week 16 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: None.

    I used to love making fun of GameCenter comments. The people on there were such idiots. There were even perverts like Aaron3619, who always asked chicks for their pictures so that he could carry them around.

    I planned to mess with Aaron3619 as a fake user named TexasGirl1234, but NFL.com shut down its GameCenter and implemented Facebook comments instead. This enraged me, so get revenge, I made a fake Facebook account named Mario Migelini to troll people. Other readers followed suit and made fake accounts of their own.

    I added a second fake account this year - Vivian Williamson. This is based off of Miss Vivian, a security guard at the Philadelphia International Airport, whom I've written about in Jerks of the Week (click the link to read about her).

    Unfortunately, some a**holes with no sense of humor decided to flag Miss Vivian as a troller, so I had to make a new account. Kevin Reilly has been born!

    Go here to see all of the NFL.com Troll Posts from myself and other trollers.

    PHILADELPHIA OFFENSE: If you haven't heard, this game could be rendered meaningless for the Eagles if the Cowboys beat the Redskins. In that case, the NFC East will be decided in Week 17, no matter what. Chip Kelly announced Monday that he won't be resting his starters no matter what happens in the Dallas-Washington game. That doesn't mean that he won't remove some of them early, or anything. I can't imagine LeSean McCoy playing the full 60 minutes if this contest is irrelevant.

    It's a shame the Eagles won't be in full force because McCoy would be able to threaten the NFL single-game rushing record. I'm not sure why McCoy barely ran the ball at Minnesota, but he'll have plenty of success against Chicago if he's asked to handle a big workload. The Bears have the worst ground defense in the NFL, and it's not even close. In the past month, they've surrendered 6.41 yards per carry to the opposition. The next-worse team is Green Bay at 5.54. That's nearly a yard more than the 31st-ranked team!

    The Bears are better at defending the pass, but only by default. Their meager pass rush, which has just nine sacks in the previous four games, won't put much pressure on Nick Foles, who will be able to torch a hobbled Chicago back seven that has allowed big games to many quarterbacks all season.

    CHICAGO OFFENSE: I expected more clueless TV analysts to praise Marc Trestman for getting it right between Jay Cutler and Josh McCown. Some had that opinion, of course, and it's a foolish one. Cutler had a brilliant fourth quarter at Cleveland, but was pretty pedestrian prior to Joe Haden leaving the field. And it's not like there's much to learn about a close victory against the Browns. Whether Trestman chose correctly or not hasn't been determined yet until one of two things occur: Cutler screws up and costs his team a win with a poor turnover, or Cutler thrives and leads his team to multiple playoff victories.

    The former probably won't happen in this contest because Philadelphia's joke of a secondary couldn't stop Matt Cassel, who didn't even have Adrian Peterson as a threat coming out of the backfield. If the Eagles couldn't stop Cassel and Jennings, what's going to happen when Cutler, Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Matt Forte come to town?

    Speaking of Forte, expect him to thrive only as a pass-catcher coming out of the backfield. He'll struggle to find running lanes, as Philadelphia is actually pretty stout against the rush. Over the past month, only two teams (Rams, Cardinals) have allowed a better YPC than the Eagles' 3.44.

    RECAP: It's Bears or nothing for me. If the Cowboys win, this game will mean nothing for Philadelphia. If the Cowboys lose, the Eagles will be able to clinch the NFC East with a victory. However, I think getting up for this game when they know it may mean nothing will be extremely difficult. After all, most people believe Dallas will beat Washington, so I doubt Philadelphia will be preparing much for this contest.

    Also, if you're a conspiracy theorist, consider this: NBC will want Eagles-Cowboys next week. The only way that'll be possible for sure is if the Eagles lose. Perhaps Roger Goodell can ask Clete Blakeman to make sure Philadelphia holds on some crucial plays.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: This game might mean nothing to either team. There's more of a chance the Bears will have to win, so they're the right side. Check back Sunday afternoon; I may place a couple of units on Chicago depending on what happens with the spread.

    SUNDAY NOTES: Chad Millman said the sharps were split on this game, and understandably so. Check back around 8 for some more thoughts on this game.

    SUNDAY NIGHT: The Packers lost, so the Bears can clinch the division with a win. They have to be the play, and I think I'm going to take them for a couple of units. I don't want to go nuts with this game because the Eagles may still show up, but Dallas' victory has rendered this game meaningless for them.

    This spread has dropped to +2.5, and I'm surprised it hasn't fallen even more.


    The Psychology. Edge: TBA.
    This game probably won't mean anything for the Eagles.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Chicago: 59% (29,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Eagles.
  • Bears are 13-31 ATS in December road games the previous 44 instances.
  • Bears are 5-19 ATS after scoring 25 points or more in 2 straight games.
  • Jay Cutler is 31-55 ATS if you exclude Monday Night Football.
  • Eagles are 8-24 ATS at home since 2010.
  • Opening Line: Eagles -3.
  • Opening Total: 56.
  • Weather: .


    Week 16 NFL Pick: Bears 34, Eagles 30
    Bears +2.5 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
    Over 55 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Eagles 54, Bears 11




    Atlanta Falcons (4-10) at San Francisco 49ers (10-4)
    Line: 49ers by 13.5. Total: 46.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: 49ers -11.
    Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 15): 49ers -16.5.
    Monday, Dec. 23, 8:30 ET
    Discuss Week 16 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: 49ers.

    This week on ESPN, we're going to have Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden calling the shots instead of the great preseason homers like Kevin Reilly and Don Tollefson, inept ESPN guys Emmitt, Herman Edwards and Matt Millen, annoying guys like Charles Davis and senile guys like Bob Greise. Here's what it would sound like if those six clowns (and some special guests) were calling this game:

    Reilly: Welcome to the city of San Francisco, the city of gays, where tonight, the 49ers take on the Atlanta Braves! Guys, we will be without Don Tollefson tonight, who left this letter on his nightstand: "To my fellow NFL analysts, I can't stay in San Francisco any longer; not with these homos running around. I'm going home to see if I can recruit any new women to cook and clean naked for me. I'll see you next week. Tolly."

    Davis: I wonder what he meant by "homos." There are so many possibilities here, Kevin. Let's go alphabetically, shall we Kevin? Let's start with homoalanine, which is an acid. Do you think he meant there are lots of homoalanines in San Francisco, Kevin? How about homoallele? That has to do with genetics, so certainly a possibility here, Kevin. Let's try homoallyl, homoanhydride or homoatomic, which are a chemistry terms. What about homobatrachotoxin? That's a poison, so that has to be considered, Kevin. How about homocapsaicin? That's an ingridient in chilli peppers, Kevin. Probably not the solution we're looking for, but we have to consider all possibilities, Kevin. What about homocellular? That has to do with cells, Kevin. How about homocentrism, Kevin?

    Reilly: It's homosexual, idiot! It's pretty obvious he meant homosexuals. How is that a difficult concept to comprehend!?

    Emmitt: Kobongo, homosexism is a concepts I do not comprehends. When you have a man and a woman, he gonna insert his sexual into her sexual, but a man do not have the same sexual a woman do, so where do the man sexual go if the homosexist tryin' to have sexism?

    Edwards: A MAN'S SEXUAL HAS TO GO IN THE HOLE! HAS TO GO INTO THE HOLE! MUST GO INTO THE HOLE! A WOMAN HAS MANY HOLES, BUT A MAN HAS ONE HOLE! SO IT WILL GO INTO THAT HOLE! AND I'M NOT TALKING ABOUT THE MOUTH! OH NO! NOT THE MOUTH! DEFINITELY NOT THE MOUTH! NOT DISCUSSING THE MOUTH! IT'S THE OTHER HOLE! THE HOLE WHERE THE SUN DON'T SHINE! THIS HOLE HAS MANY NAMES! ONE IS A DIRTY WORD WITH THREE LETTERS! ANOTHER IS A CLEAN WORD WITH FOUR LETTERS! IT BEGINS WITH A B! THEN A U! THEN A T! THEN ANOTHER T! THEN ANOTHER T! NO WAIT, HERM MADE A MISTAKE! HERM SAID TOO MANY LETTERS! LET'S REVIEW WHERE HERM WENT WRONG! THERE'S A B! GOT THAT RIGHT! THEN A U! CHECK! THEN ANOTHER U! GOT THAT ONE! THEN A T! YEP! THEN ANOTHER T! UH OH! HERM MADE ANOTHER BOO-BOO! THERE AREN'T FIVE LETTERS IN BUTT! GOTTA REVIEW WHERE HERM WENT WRONG! HAVE TO REVIEW IT! CAN'T NOT REVIEW IT! MUST REVIEW! GONNA START TO REVIEW! LET'S BEGIN TO REVIEW! HERE'S THE REVIEW! HERE'S... uhh... HERM FORGOT WHAT HE'S REVIEWING! Uhh... umm...

    Reilly: Shut up, Herm. Emmitt, have you not been paying attention to what Matt Millen has been saying over the past few years? Speaking of, why do you look so glum, Millen? I thought you'd be happy that we're in the city of the gays since you'd be able to ride your young stallions and USDA Men all week long.

    Millen: I've been shunned by the San Francisco kielbasa community!!! WAHHHH!!!

    Griese: I like kielbasas, so I might join this kielbasa community.

    Reilly: Wrong kielbsases, senile a**hole. Millen, what the hell are you talking about? Ah s***, why'd I ask that? I don't even care.

    Millen: The kielbasa community could sense that I had sex with a woman last week, so they kicked me out of their meetings! And by meetings, I meant gatherings where lots of 100-percent USDA Men insert kielbasas into each other's backsides. I told them I was raped by a blonde, but they still said it counts as having sex with a woman, so I have to wait a year to join in before my body is cleansed! WAHHH!!!

    Reilly: I wish I was raped by a blonde. The blonde being Nick Foles, that is. He is so dreamy. Herm, why are you jabbing me?

    Edwards: I GOT IT! HERM GOT THE SOLUTION! HERM FIGURED IT OUT! BUTT IS SPELLED B! THEN A U! THEN A T! THEN ANOTHER T! B-U-T-T, HERM SPELLED BUTT!

    Reilly: Herm, I'm going to suffocate you in your sleep one of these nights! We'll be back after a word from our local sponsors!

    SAN FRANCISCO OFFENSE: Colin Kaepernick has received a ton of flak this season because he has struggled for a healthy portion of it. While some of the criticism has been justified, it was strange that people ignored the fact that Kaepernick was missing both Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham for the first half of the year, and he also had to play a couple of games without his best weapon, Vernon Davis. Kaepernick's career stats are so much worse without Davis; the tight end's absence easily explains the home losses to Indianapolis and Carolina.

    Kaepernick has played well lately. Ever since getting everyone back, he has maintained a 9-to-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio in five games. His YPA has been seven or greater in three of those contests, and don't forget about the rushing yards. Kaepernick did this against some tough defenses like the Seahawks, Rams and Buccaneers.

    Atlanta obviously doesn't belong in that pantheon. The Falcons allowed a whopping 381 yards to Kirk Cousins last week, so Kaepernick has a much easier matchup Monday night. Atlanta also has one of the league's worst run defenses, so Frank Gore will bulldoze this stop unit, setting up easy down-and-distance opportunities for Kaepernick.

    ATLANTA OFFENSE: The Falcons have some big names on this side of the ball. Everyone knows who Matt Ryan, Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez and Steven Jackson are. And yet, despite battling a Washington defense ranked near the bottom of almost every category, Atlanta mustered just 243 net yards of offense in their matchup last week.

    The Redskins, who played hard for the first time in weeks, put lots of pressure on Ryan, who has a woeful, banged-up offensive line. If Washington was able to take advantage of this, San Francisco will as well. The difference, however, is that the 49ers have linebackers and defensive backs who can cover, so Ryan will have extreme difficulty moving the chains in this contest.

    The same can be said for Steven Jackson, who managed just 38 yards on 15 carries against the Redskins. San Francisco is even better versus the rush, so Jackson won't do very much once again.

    RECAP: This is my second-favorite pick of the week. The 49ers have a habit of demolishing bad teams. The Falcons can certainly be characterized as one. They barely beat the Redskins, after all, and they're just a few weeks removed from getting blown out at home by Seattle. San Francisco will treat them the same way, and it'll certainly have motivation to do so. In addition to this game being crucial to its playoff chances, this is the last game at Candlestick.

    The 49ers also have something stronger than motivation on their side. Circadian rhythms will play a big factor. East Coast teams playing night games on the West Coast are at a huge disadvantage because the human body tends to fall asleep around 8 or 9 p.m. San Francisco will grow stronger as this contest goes on and should be able to win by a wide margin as a result.

    SUNDAY NOTES: If you can still get -14 - it's still up on Bovada and some other books - make sure you grab it. I know the sharps love the 49ers, so this spread will just keep on rising.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Everything is pointing the 49ers' way. The sharps love them. Mike Iupati is back in the lineup. The Falcons will be missing Sean Weatherspoon. Plus, some of the celebrations could delay the game a bit, which will further enhance the Circadian rhythms that favor San Francisco. I'm still on the 49ers for four units.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Falcons.
    A decent lean on the 49ers.
  • Percentage of money on San Francisco: 65% (49,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: 49ers.
  • Mike Smith is 4-1 ATS on the West Coast.
  • 49ers are 13-6 ATS as a home favorite of 3.5+ under Jim Harbaugh.
  • 49ers are 36-16 ATS as favorites in night games since 1989.
  • Opening Line: Panthers -13.
  • Opening Total: 45.
  • Weather: .


    Week 16 NFL Pick: 49ers 30, Falcons 10
    49ers -13.5 (4 Units) -- Incorrect; -$440
    Under 45.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    49ers 34, Falcons 24



    Week 16 NFL Picks - Early Games
    Miami?at?Buffalo, Minnesota?at?Cincinnati, Indianapolis?at?Kansas City, Tampa Bay?at?St. Louis, Cleveland?at?NY Jets, Dallas?at?Washington, New Orleans?at?Carolina, Tennessee?at?Jacksonville, Denver?at?Houston


    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: Bills +8.5, Patriots +7.5 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200



    NFL Picks - Jan. 16


    2021 NFL Mock Draft - Jan. 13


    Fantasy Football Rankings - Jan. 11


    2022 NFL Mock Draft - Nov. 15


    NFL Power Rankings - Nov. 14


    2020 College Football Recruiting Rankings - April 14


    2020 NBA Mock Draft - Sept. 27




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    Last Week's NFL Picks Against The Spread (Week 18, 2020): 1-5 (-$1,430)
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    2002 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 41-49-2 (45.6%)
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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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    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: 11-5 (2014-19: 47-50)
    Bears: 6-11 (2014-19: 45-48)
    Bucs: 7-9 (2014-19: 44-45)
    49ers: 8-8 (2014-19: 53-44)
    Eagles: 8-8 (2014-19: 55-46)
    Lions: 9-6 (2014-19: 53-42)
    Falcons: 9-7 (2014-19: 55-45)
    Cardinals: 10-6 (2014-19: 45-50)
    Giants: 3-13 (2014-19: 52-41)
    Packers: 12-4 (2014-19: 54-46)
    Panthers: 13-3 (2014-19: 47-52)
    Rams: 5-12 (2014-19: 53-41)
    Redskins: 7-8 (2014-19: 47-48)
    Vikings: 9-7 (2014-19: 51-45)
    Saints: 7-10 (2014-19: 49-50)
    Seahawks: 8-9 (2014-19: 43-56)
    Bills: 10-7 (2014-19: 52-42)
    Bengals: 9-5 (2014-19: 42-52)
    Colts: 8-7 (2014-19: 50-45)
    Broncos: 9-7 (2014-19: 45-48)
    Dolphins: 12-4 (2014-19: 47-46)
    Browns: 7-9 (2014-19: 46-44)
    Jaguars: 4-11 (2014-19: 41-55)
    Chargers: 8-6 (2014-19: 46-49)
    Jets: 8-8 (2014-19: 50-40)
    Ravens: 5-11 (2014-19: 48-47)
    Texans: 10-5 (2014-19: 48-47)
    Chiefs: 12-4 (2014-19: 56-50)
    Patriots: 6-10 (2014-19: 55-53)
    Steelers: 7-10 (2014-19: 56-43)
    Titans: 10-7 (2014-19: 49-47)
    Raiders: 7-9 (2014-19: 43-52)
    Divisional: 43-47 (2011-19: 405-394)
    2x Game Edge: 63-60 (2011-19: 213-210)
    2x Motivation Edge: 45-30 (2011-19: 347-288)
    2x Spread Edge: 42-33 (2011-19: 61-55)
    2x Vegas Edge: 25-22 (2011-19: 320-335)
    2x Trend Edge: 18-13 (2011-19: 250-228)
    Double Edge: 27-21 (2011-19: 122-107)
    Triple Edge: 5-4 (2011-19: 21-18)

    2003 Preseason: 3 | 4 | 5
    2003 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 20 | XXXVIII
    2004 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2004 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XXXIX
    2005 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2005 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XL
    2006 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2006 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLI
    2007 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2007 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLII |
    2008 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2008 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLIII |
    2009 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLIV |
    2010 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2010 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLV |
    2011 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2011 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLVI |
    2012 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
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