NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 1, 2014

NFL Picks (Preseason 2014): 8-7-1 (-$20)
NFL Picks (Week 1, 2014): 0-0 ($0)

NFL Picks (2014): 8-7-1 (-$20)
NFL Picks (2013): 144-131-8 (+$5,580)
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 Sept. 8, 4:35 p.m. ET. Follow @walterfootball for updates.


Go to Week 1 NFL Picks – Late Games





Green Bay Packers (0-0) at Seattle Seahawks (0-0)
Line: Seahawks by 5. Total: 47.

Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Seahawks -5.
Walt’s Calculated Line: Seahawks -7.5.
Thursday, Sept. 4, 8:30 ET
Comment on this game

The Game. Edge: Seahawks.

I can’t believe the summer is over already. It seems like yesterday that the 2014 NFL Draft concluded, yet here we are, in September. It’s time to bid farewell to the vacations, long days and slutty girls wearing skimpy clothing. Instead, we get cold weather, sunsets at 5 p.m. and chicks who suddenly get uglier because they wear more clothing. I’m literally crying right now.

Thank God we have football. The autumn and beginning winter months would be miserable without it. What would we do if we couldn’t play fantasy football, watch games on Sundays while stuffing Cheetos into our face, and bet our life savings on stupid parlays and teasers? We would almost have to become financially responsible, and I don’t know about you, but I’d rather live in a third-world country with nothing to eat than lead a life like that.

This season will be awesome. I broke out of my slump last year thanks to a nifty spreadsheet I’ve been using. Week 1 was rough because I didn’t fully integrate it into my handicapping, but I further understood what to look for as the season went on. I’m still a bit hesitant to wager heavily out of the gate, given my shoddy Week 1 track record, but I’m confident I’ll snap out of that funk this year. Or at least I hope so, for the sake of my bank account.

I plan on wining this year, but if you happen to lose money because of me – whether it’s because of my crappy picks, or if you don’t follow my unit system and stupidly wager on my zero-unit selections – I apologize in advance. Feel free to write hate mail below, which I will either dismiss or make fun of.

The good news is that you’ll have a chance to win money back with our WalterFootball.com 2014 NFL Survivor Pool. It’s free entry, and the winner gets $350. There’s no reason not to enter. We’ll also have our Pick Em contest with monthly winners.

I’ll be posting these NFL Picks throughout the day. Follow me at @walterfootball for updates.

SEATTLE OFFENSE: Green Bay’s issues with dual-threat quarterbacks is well-documented. The Packers have had major problems against Colin Kaepernick, and they’ve been bounced from the playoffs the past two years because of him. They were so focused on trying to improve their defense that they focused in on trying to draft Ryan Shazier this past May. Unfortunately for them, the Steelers snatched the Ohio State product at No. 15 overall.

The Packers ended up with safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix at No. 21, but he’s not enough. I can’t imagine them improving much in this regard, meaning they’ll have immense problems with Russell Wilson. The Super Bowl champion quarterback has had lots to distract him this offseason, but none of that has apparently affected him. Wilson was unstoppable against first-string defenses in the preseason, and he figures to be more potent this year because he’ll have Percy Harvin at his disposal.

Green Bay will also have problems containing Marshawn Lynch. The team was just 29th versus the run in 2013 in terms of YPC, and it suffered a big blow this preseason when B.J. Raji went down. The Seahawks should be able to control the line of scrimmage and establish the rush.

GREEN BAY OFFENSE: Most quarterbacks are expected to struggle in Seattle, especially in night games. Aaron Rodgers, despite being one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL, is no exception. He went 26-of-39 for 223 yards (a Brady Quinn-like 5.7 YPA) in the infamous “Fail Mary” game two years ago, and that was before the Seahawks established themselves as a dominant defensive presence.

Rodgers will at least know what to expect in terms of the noise factor, but navigating through Seattle’s defense will be difficult. I still expect him to lead a fair amount of scoring drives though; Rodgers is too talented and has too much weaponry to be shut out.

One thing Rodgers has now that he didn’t possess in that ridiculous 2012 matchup is a lethal running attack. Eddie Lacy is infinitely better than the runner of two years ago, Cedric Benson. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Lacy led the NFL in rushing touchdowns this season. While Seattle locks every aerial attack down, it can be susceptible to the rush; it surrendered some big games to Zac Stacy and Mike James last year, and the team lost run-stuffer Red Bryant this offseason.

RECAP: I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I’m not going to recommend this season opener as any sort of wager. My calculated spread for this contest is Seahawks -7.5, so the math says to take the host, thanks to a dominant homefield advantage and a Circadian rhythms boost. However, I can’t stomach laying so many points against Rodgers. This game screams “back-door cover” to me. I feel like Seattle will be up 10 in the final minutes, and Rodgers will be driving to get a cheap touchdown…

Again, Week 1 NFL Picks will be posted all day. I’ll announce via Twitter @walterfootball when each selection is posted.

FINAL THOUGHTS: This spread is dropping, so there’s more value with Seattle. I still don’t like betting against Aaron Rodgers with the points, but the Seahawks are the right side, especially with Green Bay’s center being out. If you like the Packers, I’d take them in the first half because Circadian rhythms will take over and drain Green Bay throughout the second half.


The Psychology. Edge: None.
I’d say the Seahawks might be distracted, coming off a Super Bowl victory, but they looked focused during the preseason.


The Vegas. Edge: None.
Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Seattle: 51% (91,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Aaron Rodgers is 48-27 ATS since 2009 (8-4 ATS as a favorite of 12+).
  • Aaron Rodgers is 23-15 ATS on the road as long as he’s not favored by 6.5 or more points.
  • Aaron Rodgers is 10-7 ATS as an underdog.
  • Seahawks are 20-4 ATS in September home games since 2000.
  • Seahawks are 25-10 ATS as home favorites since 2007.
  • Opening Line: Seahawks -6.
  • Opening Total: 46.
  • Weather: .


    Week 1 NFL Pick: Seahawks 34, Packers 24
    Seahawks -5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Over 47 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Seahawks 36, Packers 16






    New Orleans Saints (0-0) at Atlanta Falcons (0-0)
    Line: Saints by 3. Total: 51.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Falcons -2.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Saints -3.5.
    Sunday, Sept. 7, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Saints.

    I’ll be posting betting trends and such here in this spot during the season. Here’s a quick preview:

    I wondered the following during the offseason: How do “lesser” playoff teams fare in Week 1 the following season? As you may know, half the playoff teams don’t make it back the next year, so wouldn’t it make sense for the weaker postseason clubs to struggle?

    The answer is yes. They do struggle – and at an alarming rate!

    Dating back to 1989, Week 1 road underdogs that made the playoffs the previous year are just 2-21-1 against the spread. They’ve lost by an average score of 27.8 to 17. Here were last year’s results:

    Bengals +3 at Bears: Push
    Packers +4.5 at 49ers: Loss ATS
    Vikings +4.5 at Lions: Loss ATS
    Falcons +3.5 at Saints: Loss ATS

    Week 1 road underdogs are identified as weaker postseason teams because they’d be favored otherwise. Note that the Saints are laying points here because they’re not a weak playoff team.

    There are two teams that fit this fade system:

    Bengals +1.5 at Ravens
    Colts +7.5 at Broncos

    I’ll get to those games in a bit.

    NEW ORLEANS OFFENSE: Drew Brees made it known that he was frustrated this offseason when the front office let go of Darren Sproles. However, he has to be happy overall now. The team managed to extend Jimmy Graham and draft the speedy Brandin Cooks, who flashed when Luke McCown was on the field this preseason. Brees had to have been sporting a giant grin on his face while watching Cooks make some great plays.

    The Saints’ scoring attack will be extremely difficult to stop this season. Not only was Cooks added, but Marques Colston is finally healthy. Colston thrived down the stretch last year, so he should be able to pick up where he left off. The Falcons, who lost Sean Weatherspoon for the year, were ranked 32nd last year against the pass in terms of defensive YPA. In other words, good luck.

    New Orleans will be able to run the ball as well. Khiry Robinson, whom Bill Parcells compared to Curtis Martin late last season, established himself with a couple of impressive playoff performances. Mark Ingram, meanwhile, has been in tremendous shape, perhaps because he’s in his contract year. He and Robinson will have success versus a ground defense that was 31st last season in terms of YPC.

    ATLANTA OFFENSE: The Falcons have no chance of containing Brees, so they’ll have to keep pace with him on the scoreboard to have any sort of shot at winning this game. Atlanta’s offense was explosive this preseason, though Sam Baker did suffer a devastating injury. Jake Matthews figures to be an upgrade on the blind side, but this leaves the Falcons with a huge hole at right tackle, which Rex Rob Ryan will find a way to expose.

    Nevertheless, Atlanta will find a way to put some points on the board. Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Roddy White are just that good. It’ll be difficult though, considering how good New Orleans’ secondary is. The Saints were eighth versus the pass in 2013 (6.68 YPA), and they figure to be even better this year in the wake of the Jairus Byrd acquisition.

    The Saints were weaker against the rush last year, but that would require the Falcons having an effective Steven Jackson to capitalize on that slight liability. Jackson should be in position to score plenty of touchdowns this season, but he’s not nearly good enough to take over a game anymore.

    RECAP: This is another zero-unit selection. I actually have a feeling that the Saints will end up winning by exactly three points, so there’s no value either way. I do think there’s a better chance that New Orleans will cover rather than either win by 1-2 or lose, so I’d lay the three if I had to make a choice.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: There’s tons of public action on the Saints. The sharps have also gone with New Orleans. There is barely anyone wagering on the home underdog, though maybe some are waiting until Sunday morning. This is still a non-play for me.

    SUNDAY THOUGHTS: Not much has changed. There’s still tons of money coming in on New Orleans, both from the sharps and public.


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


    The Vegas. Edge: Falcons.
    Lots of money coming in on the Saints.
  • Percentage of money on New Orleans: 78% (67,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Falcons.
  • Matt Ryan is 28-18 ATS at home.
  • Opening Line: Falcons -1.5.
  • Opening Total: 51.5.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 1 NFL Pick: Saints 34, Falcons 30
    Saints -3 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Over 51 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Falcons 37, Saints 34






    Minnesota Vikings (0-0) at St. Louis Rams (0-0)
    Line: Rams by 3. Total: 43.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Rams -5.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Rams -5.5.
    Sunday, Sept. 7, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Rams.

    VEGAS UPDATE: I’ll be posting how the Vegas sportsbooks have done the previous week in this spot in coming weeks. As for this week, here are the six highest-bet sides, as of Tuesday morning:

  • Saints -3
  • Vikings +3.5
  • Bears -7
  • Broncos -7
  • Patriots -5
  • Steelers -6.5


  • Think there’s a decent chance they go 2-4 against the spread?

    ST. LOUIS OFFENSE: The sky is falling in St. Louis. Sam Bradford is out for the year, so the Rams’ hopes are completely dashed. Because Bradford is the best quarterback ever.

    I don’t understand this reaction. What are people talking about, and why do they think that trading for garbage like Mark Sanchez is the solution? I’d rather have Shaun Hill than Sanchez. Heck, I’d probably prefer Hill over Bradford. Hill did a good job with the Lions when Matthew Stafford was injured, and he’s much better than Kellen Clemens, who quarterbacked the Rams to some impressive victories last season, including blowouts over the Colts and Saints.

    The Rams will be able to control the line of scrimmage and establish Zac Stacy on the ground. The Vikings had a solid rush defense last season, but lost Kevin Williams to free agency. Linval Joseph, his replacement, barely played this preseason, so it remains to be seen how he’ll hold up. Stacy should be able to set up short-yardage opportunities for Hill, who will be able to convert with the help of Jared Cook, the revitalized Kenny Britt and the budding Brian Quick.

    MINNESOTA OFFENSE: Adrian Peterson is another Viking who didn’t play in the preseason, but he at least had a legitimate excuse. Minnesota was simply preserving Peterson, who will find it challenging to find holes against a St. Louis stop unit that was seventh against the rush last year in terms of YPC. Having said that, Peterson is just too good to be denied, and he’ll almost certainly eclipse the century mark.

    Establishing Peterson will be key for the Vikings; otherwise, Matt Cassel will be in plenty of trouble. The Rams might have the best pass rush in the entire league, so putting Cassel in long-yardage situations could be hazardous. Cassel has looked good this preseason, but it won’t matter if he’s being smashed into the ground on almost every play.

    On the other hand, Cassel will have success if he’s put into favorable spots. Cordarrelle Patterson and Kyle Rudolph are both set to emerge as stars under Norv Turner, and the Rams don’t exactly have the back-seven personnel to handle them.

    RECAP: I love taking advantage of “the sky is falling” opportunities like this one. Everyone is writing the Rams off because of Bradford’s injury, which as I discussed, is stupid. The Rams will be out to prove all of their detractors wrong. I’m a big fan of that, as well as the fact that the spread dropped 2.5 points after Bradford went down. I don’t think there’s any sort of difference between Bradford and Hill – maybe a half a point at the most? – so I’ll gladly take the value with a couple of units.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I’m sticking with two units on the Rams. There are lots of people taking the Vikings in the LVH Supercontest, which is good news if you’re betting on St. Louis (consensus selections often fail).

    SUNDAY THOUGHTS: This spread was at -3 in the morning and -2.5 now. The sharps are mixed on this game. I still like the Rams a good deal.


    The Psychology. Edge: Rams.
    Everyone has seemingly given up on St. Louis in the wake of the Sam Bradford injury. The Rams will be out to prove everyone wrong.


    The Vegas. Edge: Rams.
    Everyone is jumping off the Rams’ bandwagon because Sam Bradford is hurt.
  • Percentage of money on Minnesota: 69% (45,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Opening Line: Rams -6.
  • Opening Total: 44.5.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 1 NFL Pick: Rams 27, Vikings 20
    Rams -3 (2 Units) — Incorrect; -$220
    Over 43 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Vikings 34, Rams 6






    Cleveland Browns (0-0) at Pittsburgh Steelers (0-0)
    Line: Steelers by 7. Total: 42.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Steelers -5.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Steelers -3.5.
    Sunday, Sept. 7, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Steelers.

    HATE MAIL: I will be posting lots of hate mail this season. Stay tuned for that in coming weeks. In the meantime, here’s a compilation of hate mail I listed during the offseason. Enjoy reading all of the dumb comments.

    PITTSBURGH OFFENSE: Speaking of “the sky is falling” dynamics, everyone in the media is down on the Browns. Just listen to Michael Wilbon’s stance on Cleveland if you haven’t heard any of it. Everyone is bashing the Browns for how stupidly they handled the quarterbacking situation, yet they seem to ignore that the team has a solid defense that kept them in many games last year. Cleveland was 13th against the rush and third versus the pass in 2013, and it should be even better in both departments this season with the addition of Justin Gilbert, and the emergence of both Armonty Bryant and Barkevious Mingo in the front seven.

    The Steelers, as a consequence, will find it difficult to pass. Ben Roethlisberger still has the stellar Antonio Brown at his disposal, but lost Emmanuel Sanders this offseason. Roethlisberger told the media that he was high on replacement Markus Wheaton, but the second-year wideout was dreadful in preseason action. Speedy rookie Dri Archer will get some touches, but not much will happen downfield unless Brown is involved.

    Pittsburgh will try to establish Le’Veon Bell on the ground, but doing so will be difficult. Aside from the Browns having a solid ground defense, Bell quite simply hasn’t looked very effective in the preseason, averaging 3.3 yards per carry and failing to break a gain longer than nine yards. Keep in mind that some of this occurred against backup defenses. Bell apparently has taken one too many joyrides with LeGarrette Blount this offseason.

    CLEVELAND OFFENSE: As bad as the media has made out the Browns’ scoring attack to be, it’s not even all that putrid because the team can actually run the ball. Ben Tate is healthy (for now), and he was very effective during the preseason. The Steelers were just in the middle of the pack last year in terms of stopping the run, so Tate will have success in this contest.

    Having said that, it’ll be difficult for the Browns to maintain drives because of the lack of weapons that Brian Hoyer will have at his disposal. Outside of Jordan Cameron, he has absolutely nothing to work with. Cameron himself is overrated – he faded down the stretch in 2013 – and he has a tough matchup in this contest against an improved linebacking corps, led by Ryan Shazier, who had a stellar preseason.

    RECAP: This is one of my top plays of the week. I absolutely love the Browns in this spot because…

    1. I’m a big fan of fading the stupid, incompetent media. Any time all of the talking heads on TV believe one thing, go the other way. You’ll win way more often than you’ll lose. Oh, and as an added bonus, we’re also going against the public. Casual bettors are pounding Pittsburgh because of all the morons on TV.

    2. I don’t think the Steelers are that much better than the Browns. With everything factored in, my calculated spread is Steelers -3.5. We’re getting three points of value.

    3. The major factor for me is that the Steelers have to battle the Ravens in four days. Home favorites have a very dubious track record prior to playing on Thursday, and it’s not like Pittsburgh is going to completely focus on this trashed-on Cleveland squad.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The Browns remain one of my top selections, especially now that the spread has risen to +7. The Steelers are another team that is being widely picked in the Supercontest, so that’s an indication that Cleveland is the right side. I love that the clueless media has bashed the Browns, all while ignoring the fact that Pittsburgh won’t be fully focused on this contest.

    SUNDAY THOUGHTS: The Browns were +7 -115 on Bovada this morning when I tweeted out a link to the betting action (@walterfootball). The spread is now +5.5 (though +7 -120 on Bovada). The sharps are pounding the hell out of the Browns.


    The Psychology. Edge: Browns.
    The Steelers have the Ravens coming up in just four days.


    The Vegas. Edge: Browns.
    Most public bettors want nothing to do with the Browns.
  • Percentage of money on Pittsburgh: 75% (41,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Steelers.
  • Ben Roethlisberger is 35-18 ATS vs. the AFC North.
  • Opening Line: Steelers -5.
  • Opening Total: 40.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 1 NFL Pick: Steelers 17, Browns 16
    Browns +7 -115 (3 Units) — Correct; +$300
    Under 42 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Steelers 30, Browns 27






    Jacksonville Jaguars (0-0) at Philadelphia Eagles (0-0)
    Line: Eagles by 10. Total: 52.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Eagles -11.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Eagles -5.
    Sunday, Sept. 7, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Eagles.

    If you haven’t seen this yet, we have a new NFL Pick Em Contest on this Web site. It’ll be ready either tonight or tomorrow. 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!

    JACKSONVILLE OFFENSE: I still can’t believe the Jaguars are going to start Chad Henne over Blake Bortles. I’ve ranted about this enough in my preseason recaps. I pointed out that Gus Bradley was working under Pete Carroll when Seattle opted to go with a third-round rookie named Russell Wilson over Matt Flynn because the former was simply better during the preseason. That was the case with Bortles and Henne, yet Gus Bradley is being completely stupid with this decision. And it’s not like Bortles would have his hands full with Philadelphia; the Eagles don’t have a very good defense, so this would be the perfect opportunity to get Bortles’ feet wet.

    Henne will have some success against the Eagles, who maintain a poor secondary. Cecil Shorts is healthy now, and Marqise Lee looked very good in the preseason. Marcedes Lewis will also be able to get open against an overrated linebacking corps that struggled to cover in 2013.

    Philadelphia will have to counter this by putting pressure on Henne and shutting down the rush. The latter won’t be too difficult. Philadelphia’s No. 8-ranked ground defense of a year ago won’t have any issues stuffing plodder Toby Gerhart. Getting to Henne won’t be that problematic either. The Eagles maintained a mediocre pass rush in 2013, but Jacksonville’s offensive line is sketchy. There’s nothing at center, while former No. 2 overall pick Luke Joeckel struggled at times during the preseason.

    PHILADELPHIA OFFENSE: Speaking of shoddy line play, the Eagles had some trouble protecting Nick Foles during some moments throughout the exhibition campaign. The right side of the front is shaky. Lane Johnson is suspended, while Todd Herremans is pretty pedestrian. This could be problematic for Foles because the Jaguars have a ferocious pass rush. Sen’Derrick Marks was unstoppable during the preseason, while the newly acquired Chris Clemons provided quality support.

    Rattling Foles will help a young secondary that improved down the stretch last year. Players like Jonathan Cyprien struggled early on, but they thrived toward the end. As you may have heard, the Eagles lost DeSean Jackson, so Foles will have to count on Jeremy Maclin to be his No. 1 option. Jackson is perennially overrated, but the Jaguars will be relieved that they won’t have to worry about him making big plays downfield.

    Of course, the Eagles’ biggest threat remains in the backfield. Jacksonville wasn’t awful versus the run last year, but it wasn’t very good in that department either. The newly acquired Red Bryant will help, but LeSean McCoy still figures to have a big game, which will undoubtedly make life easier for Foles.

    RECAP: I like the Jaguars a bit here – enough to bet a couple of units on them. This spread is simply way too high. Jacksonville is not a pushover anymore; the team won four of five toward the end of last season, and the team improved its roster with quality additions like Bryant, Clemons and Lee. My number is Eagles -5, so we’re getting tons of value with Jacksonville.

    Here’s something else to consider: The Eagles have a slew of difficult games on the horizon, which includes next week’s Monday night tilt against the Colts. I don’t see them being very focused against the Jaguars, who might be able to sneak out a surprise victory if Philadelphia isn’t careful.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: This spread is too high, so it’s not a surprise that there’s some sharp action on Jacksonville. I still like the road dog for a couple of units.

    SUNDAY THOUGHTS: The sharps bet down this spread to +10. They like the Jaguars, as they’re aware that this spread is way too high.


    The Psychology. Edge: Jaguars.
    The Eagles have a number of tough games coming up after this one. Why would they take the Jaguars seriously?


    The Vegas. Edge: Jaguars.
    Tons of money on the Eagles.
  • Percentage of money on Philadelphia: 75% (52,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Jaguars.
  • Jaguars are 9-19 ATS vs. NFC opponents since 2007.
  • Jaguars are 18-42 ATS against non-divisional opponents since 2008.
  • Eagles are 9-25 ATS at home since 2010.
  • Opening Line: Eagles -11.
  • Opening Total: 51.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 1 NFL Pick: Eagles 27, Jaguars 24
    Jaguars +10.5 (2 Units) — Incorrect; -$220
    Under 52 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Eagles 34, Jaguars 17




    Oakland Raiders (0-0) at New York Jets (0-0)
    Line: Jets by 6.5. Total: 41.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Jets -4.5.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Jets -3.
    Sunday, Sept. 7, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: None.

    I wouldn’t say my weekly random NFL notes cluttered these picks pages, so I’ll keep them here. What I’m also going to do is store all of them in a Random NFL Notes section so that you can go back and read previous entries in the future.

    Some random NFL notes I can’t put anywhere else:

    1. As noted in my NFL Power Rankings, I will say “Redskins” as much as possible because of how stupid Phil Simms, Tony Dungy, Bob Costas, etc. are being. The whole controversy is idiotic, and it sucks that the media is focusing on these dopes rather than a real man like Mike Ditka, who had this to say about the Redskins team name.

    Ditka is the man, unlike the soulless Phil Simms, hypocritical Tony Dungy (anti-Michael Sam, yet welcomes a deranged dog-killer?) and ultimate douche Bob Costas, and he’s totally right. PC idiots are the absolute worst, and they’re ruining this country. No sane person on this planet is offended by the Redskins team name. There are two Native American high schools that have “Redskins” as their nickname/mascot, but don’t tell this to the PC idiots, who will either ignore it or respond with some stupid cliche like, “You don’t want to be on the wrong side of history.” What history? There has never been a single person who used “Redskin” as a derogatory term for a Native American. It’s never occurred. Why? Because “Redskins” is not offensive. Otherwise, freaking Native American high schools wouldn’t use it as a nickname. Derp dee derp dee derp.

    Ugh. I’m so tired of these morons and this entire controversy. But I’m sticking with my Redskins plan, so Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins.

    I hope I made the great Mike Ditka proud.

    2. Have you ever wondered what an NFL mascot’s fantasy team looks like? I am friends with someone in the same league as Swoop, the Eagles’ mascot. I’m 100-percent serious. Here’s his fantasy roster (non-PPR):

    QB – Nick Foles
    RB – Reggie Bush
    WR – DeMarco Murray
    WR – DeSean Jacskon
    WR – Golden Tate
    TE – Zach Ertz
    Flex – Anquan Boldin
    Def – Panthers Defense
    K – Stephen Gostkowski

    BN – Cam Newton, QB
    BN – Steven Hauschka, K
    BN – Andre Williams, RB
    BN – Cardinals Defense
    BN – Knile Davis, RB
    BN – James Jones, WR
    BN – Robert Turbin, RB

    It’s quite apparent that Swoop doesn’t read this site; otherwise, he’d know that you should avoid DeMarco Murray, DeSean Jackson and Cam Newton for various reasons.

    Anyway, there are three things that stick out:

    1) What’s up with Murray, Jackson and Williams being on this team? Why would Swoop have players from NFC East rivals on his fantasy roster? Doesn’t this go against some sort of mascot edict?

    2) Two kickers and two defenses? WTF is that about? Why would anyone ever draft two kickers? Was Swoop that concerned Stephen Gostkowski was going to get hurt?

    3) Speaking of Gostkowski, Swoop picked him in the SEVENTH ROUND!!! He gives a whole new meaning to the term “bird brain.”

    3. I’m going to list the worst preseason announcers next week. This is an annual feature, but I thought I’d hold it off until Week 2 this year so it wouldn’t feel like I was just repeating content. Here’s a preview though – a necessary one, as you’ll see in the Chargers-Cardinals capsule:

    Ladies and gentlemen, I think I may have found the worst announcer in NFL history. His name Ron Zappolo, and he’s an old, mustachioed man who serves as the Broncos’ play-by-play guy. Zappolo seemed oblivious as to what was going on at times, saying things like, “There’s a timeout on the field; we’ll be back” when the first quarter concluded. And when John Lynch, the color analyst, called Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman “thunder and lightning,” Zappolo responded with something along the lines of, “Oh, that’s a neat nickname!”

    What made Zappolo really stand out was his pronunciation of Jadeveon Clowney. He called him “Jadaevius Clowney,” and he didn’t do it once. He said “Jadaevius Clowney” a whopping three times, even after Lynch said his name correctly, so it wasn’t even a slip of the tongue.

    Zappolo then provided this tidbit: “The Texans could have went with a quarterback with the first pick in the draft. But they went with Jadaevius Clowney, which turned out to be a great pick.”

    It turned out to be a great pick? How does he know what? “Jadaveius” Clowney hasn’t even played a regular-season game yet! My theory is that Zappolo is from the future. He’s seen Clowney dominate, and he also knows that Clowney will eventually change his first name to Jadaevius.

    OAKLAND OFFENSE: I’m glad that at least one team is making the correct decision regarding their rookie quarterback. Matt Schaub continued to look like a giant turd during the preseason, so the Raiders made the right choice when they opted to go with Derek Carr.

    Carr struggled mightily in his exhibition debut, but he got better as the preseason progressed. By Week 4, he lit up Seattle’s defense. He even went down the field on its first-string defense – including Richard Sherman – with relative ease. Carr won’t nearly have as much trouble against the Jets, who possess a putrid secondary incapable of covering anyone. I like Carr’s chances in this matchup.

    The Jets still maintain a dominant defensive front, so getting Carr into third-and-long situations will be crucial. The Raiders will attempt to run the ball with the revitalized Maurice Jones-Drew to make sure that doesn’t happen, but New York was second in terms of stopping the run in 2013 (3.27 YPC), so establishing the former Jaguar will be difficult.

    NEW YORK OFFENSE: The Jets will have trouble moving the chains themselves. Unlike the other team located in North Jersey, the Jets’ first-stringers scored some points this preseason. However, most of that came against backup units. When New York was battling a first-string defense itself, it couldn’t do anything. Chris Johnson was especially ineffective, and I have to believe that the hired guns Oakland brought in this offseason will help shut him down.

    The same can be said for Geno Smith. The second-year quarterback did some neat things in the preseason, but that occurred when he was playing reserves. It’s hard to imagine Smith succeeding with his horrific supporting cast. I’m not even sure the offensive line can hold up against Khalil Mack and an improved pass rush; Breno Giacomini is a downgrade at right tackle, while D’Brickashaw Ferguson saw his play regress last season.

    RECAP: This is another spread that doesn’t make much sense to me. I have the Raiders and Jets dead even, so why is New York at -5.5? It should be Jets -3. New York is overhyped and will be focused on future games. It has to battle the Packers, Bears, Lions, Chargers, Broncos, Patriots after this.

    I’m taking Oakland for a couple of units, and it would be more if the Raiders weren’t playing in such an early start. I’m not too concerned about that though, as Dennis Allen was 2-0 against the spread in such contests last year.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The Jets are another popular pick in the Supercontest, so that tells us that Oakland is probably the right side. This spread is way too high; the Jets are one of the worst teams in the NFL, and they don’t deserve to be favored by this much. I’d love to get +6. I may increase this by a unit if the spread rises.

    SUNDAY THOUGHTS: Late public money has moved the Jets up to -6.5. There’s great value with the Raiders now, so I’m increasing this to three units.


    The Psychology. Edge: Raiders.
    Look at the Jets’ schedule after this: Packers, Bears, Lions, Chargers, Broncos, Patriots. Why would they be completely focused against the lowly Raiders?


    The Vegas. Edge: Raiders.
    Lots of late money on the Jets.
  • Percentage of money on New York: 67% (44,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Jets are 9-12 ATS in September home games since 2000 (5-2 since in 2009).
  • Opening Line: Jets -4.5.
  • Opening Total: 39.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 1 NFL Pick: Jets 16, Raiders 13
    Raiders +6.5 (3 Units) — Correct; +$300
    Under 40.5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Jets 19, Raiders 14




    Cincinnati Bengals (0-0) at Baltimore Ravens (0-0)
    Line: Ravens by 1. Total: 42.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Ravens -2.5.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Ravens -2.5.
    Sunday, Sept. 7, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Ravens.

    As with the random NFL notes, I’m going to have all of my Random College Football Notes on one page as well.

    Random College Football Notes:

    1. I thought it was ridiculous that the Penn State-Central Florida game was scheduled for 8:30 a.m. East Coast time. Who the hell woke up for that? I’m a Penn State alumnus, and I didn’t catch the first three quarters of the game because it was too damn early. I know that this game took place in Ireland, but I feel like the Irish need to cater to us; not the other way around. Besides, it’s not like the people in Ireland have anything better to do. What do Irish people do when they’re not drinking, anyway? Go to dog shows? Water plants? I don’t even know. What I do know is that we, Americans, are more important than anyone else. The next Ireland game needs to begin at noon – because I’m an American, and I said so.

    2. I’m somewhat glad I missed three-quarters of the Penn State game because the color analyst Ed Cunningham was being extremely annoying. Every other sentence out of his mouth was “We need to review this play” or “We need to review that.” Ugh. I hate these automatic reviews. Giving each coach two challenges is the way to go. If a coach really wants a play looked at, have him throw the red flag. I know coaches hate having red flags because they don’t want to be exposed as incompetent buffoons, but challenging every single play – i.e. Cunningham’s wet dream – is horrible because it slows down the game so much.

    3. Matt Millen was the color analyst of the Virginia-UCLA game. If you were fortunate enough to either skip that game or have the TV on mute, Millen spent all three hours talking about Virginia defensive coordinator John Tenuta. Millen, of course, made gay references about him, saying that Tenuta was being “very aggressive” and that Tenuta “stiffened” when his defense made a big stop. I’m sure Millen “stiffened” when making sweet kilebasa love to Tenuta the night before in his seedy hotel room.

    BALTIMORE OFFENSE: Bill Simmons and Cousin Sal hyped up a couple of teams in their NFL futures podcast. One was the Bengals. They discussed how much better Cincinnati’s defense will be this year with Geno Atkins back in the lineup. Apparently, neither of them watched any of Cincinnati’s preseason games because Atkins looked extremely mediocre when he was on the field. He seemed to lack any sort of burst, which is not surprising considering that he’s not even a year removed from ACL surgery.

    With that in mind, I like Baltimore’s chances of moving the ball. Ray Rice is sidelined, but that doesn’t matter because Bernard Pierce is just as effective of a runner. Also, Baltimore upgraded its offensive line this past spring by obtaining Jeremy Zuttah. The former Buccaneer isn’t a Pro Bowler or anything, but he’s a billion times better than what the Ravens had at center last year. Pierce, who is also healthy, figures to have a decent outing versus a defense that was just above average against the rush down the stretch.

    Joe Flacco should also have some success. The Bengals lost some key personnel this offseason, including Michael Johnson on the defensive line and Mike Zimmer on the sidelines. Zimmer being gone is huge because he always got the most out of his mediocre defensive backs. As long as Flacco gets time in the pocket – which should happen, given that Atkins is not 100 percent and Johnson is gone – he should be able to beat Cincinnati downfield.

    CINCINNATI OFFENSE: The big news for the Bengals this offseason was Andy Dalton’s extension. The money first appeared to be too much for Dalton, but it was then revealed that it was a “pay as you go” contract. This was a great move for Cincinnati, as the team has been competitive with Dalton, but has yet to take the next step in the playoffs.

    Dalton could struggle against the Ravens. He did so last year. In two games against Baltimore, he completed just 51.7 percent of his passes, maintained a very mediocre YPA of 6.4 and possessed a 4-to-7 touchdown-to-interception ratio. The Ravens didn’t lose any key personnel on defense outside of Arthur Jones. However, they managed to acquire a new inside linebacker, C.J. Mosley, via the draft.

    Baltimore simply appears to have Dalton’s number, but perhaps an improved backfield will help. The pedestrian BenJarvus Green-Ellis is gone, so Giovani Bernard will get more touches. The Ravens were 11th against ground attacks in 2013, but losing Jones will hurt a bit.

    RECAP: I mentioned two dynamics earlier. The first was that favorites playing on Sunday struggle prior to Thursday. Teams in this situation have been 8-21-1 against the spread since this Thursday schedule was implemented. The second was that road playoff underdogs are a horrifying 2-21-1 against the spread in Week 1 the following season.

    So, do the two dynamics cancel out? I don’t think so. I don’t believe the first one applies. Sure, Baltimore is a favorite, but this game could ultimately decide the division. Whereas the Browns are insignificant specks to the Steelers, the Bengals will have the Ravens’ full attention.

    I like the Ravens here for a unit. This spread is off – it should be -3 – and Baltimore usually performs well at home as long as it’s not favored by too many points (as you can see in the trends below).

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps seem split on this. I’d like the Ravens a lot more if they weren’t playing on Thursday. Still just one unit for me.

    SUNDAY THOUGHTS: There’s still a split, so not much of a change here.


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


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Cincinnati: 50% (46,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Bengals are 23-13 ATS as underdogs since 2009.
  • Ravens are 19-9 ATS at home as an underdog or favorite of 1-7 points with Joe Flacco.
  • Opening Line: Ravens -2.5.
  • Opening Total: 43.
  • Weather: .


    Week 1 NFL Pick: Ravens 26, Bengals 20
    Ravens -1 (1 Unit) — Incorrect; -$110
    Over 42.5 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Bengals 23, Ravens 16




    Buffalo Bills (0-0) at Chicago Bears (0-0)
    Line: Bears by 6.5. Total: 47.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Bears -6.5.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Bears -7.5.
    Sunday, Sept. 7, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Bears.

    If you followed this site for a while, you might remember that I like to respond to my spam mails. Four 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.

    I messed around with a spammer pretending to be a black woman named Mulyana in 2012. I assumed Steve Urkel’s identity and had many exchanges with Mulyana. Click the link to see all of that. As for this past season, I pretended to be Riley Cooper and Aaron Hernandez in some responses.

    What’s in store for this season? Well, I imagine Josh Gordon will be involved. I’m going to post new Spam Mails here with my responses to avoid clutter. My first response has to do with a Game of Thrones character.

    BUFFALO OFFENSE: Only a genius front office spends two first-round picks on a wide receiver when the team has a horrible quarterback who plays in windy, cold conditions. Trading for Sammy Watkins made little sense to many, but moves like that are why the Bills have enjoyed so much success over the years.

    Whoops, I forgot we weren’t in an alternate universe where Buffalo didn’t completely suck. E.J. Manuel is trash, and it’s very telling that his teammates didn’t vote him as a captain. The fights the team had during training camp are indicative of the lack of leadership on the Bills. But why would players follow Manuel when he couldn’t even score any points against Detroit’s third-string defense in the preseason finale?

    This might be Manuel’s best matchup of the year because of how bad the Bears are defensively, but it doesn’t matter because Buffalo is broken right now.

    CHICAGO OFFENSE: Speaking of great matchups, it’s hard to imagine the Bears punting much in this contest. Buffalo’s first-string defense was lit up by Josh McCown and the Buccaneers during the preseason, so Jay Cutler and his awesome supporting cast won’t have much of a problem torching that unit either.

    The Bills are broken on this side of the ball as well. They brought in Jim Schwartz, who is installing a defense that doesn’t make much sense. Meanwhile, each level of the stop unit has experienced problems during the offseason. Marcell Dareus lost his mind; Kiko Alonso tore his ACL; and Jairus Byrd signed with the Saints. That’s a ton of personnel to lose in addition to the coaching switch.

    RECAP: The Bills are the worst team in the NFL, but the media is too busy splooging to Johnny Manziel and Michael Sam (not that there’s anything wrong with that) that it hasn’t caught on yet. I feel like this spread would be Bears -13 about a month from now, so feel free to take advantage of it – but not too much because there is a ton of public money already on Chicago. This pick almost seems too easy.

    SURVIVOR PICK: I’m taking the Bears. Here are my top five recommendations for survivor pools, as well as my trap game of the week.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I considered dropping this to zero units. There is way too much money coming in on Chicago. However, the Bills are in complete turmoil, and they are easily the worst team in the NFL. The only way they cover is if there’s some weird special-teams stuff.

    SUNDAY THOUGHTS: Chad Millman said that the sharps are on the Bills, but it’s impossible to talk to everyone because I know some sharp bettors are on the Bears. Nevertheless, there’s tons of money coming in on Chicago, so I’d recommend not wagering much.


    The Psychology. Edge: Bears.
    The Bills seem like they’re in turmoil.


    The Vegas. Edge: Bills.
    Who wants any part of Buffalo right now?
  • Percentage of money on Chicago: 84% (52,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Bears.
  • Bills are 4-15 ATS since November 2011 as a road underdog.
  • Opening Line: Bears -6.
  • Opening Total: 48.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 1 NFL Pick: Bears 30, Bills 16
    Bears -6.5 (1 Unit) — Incorrect; -$110
    Under 47 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Survivor Pick — Wow, Bears. Wow.
    Bills 23, Bears 20




    Washington Redskins (0-0) at Houston Texans (0-0)
    Line: Texans by 3. Total: 44.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Texans -2.5.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Texans -3.
    Sunday, Sept. 7, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Texans.

    Video of the Week: This has more than five million views, so there’s a good chance you may have seen it. If not, check out why there aren’t any British football announcers:



    WASHINGTON OFFENSE: A number of quarterbacks disappointed this preseason. Robert Griffin was one of the more prominent players to do so. He was just 5-of-8 for 20 yards and an interception in the dress rehearsal against the Ravens. He was also picked off a second time, but questionable pass interference negated that play. His mechanics have been a glaring issue, so unless he fixes those, he won’t have the rebound year that most are expecting out of him.

    This will be a tough test for Griffin. The Texans fell apart toward the end of last season, but they still have a quality defense, especially in the wake of the Jadeveon Clowney pick. Washington has a shoddy offensive line, so it’ll have trouble protecting Griffin against both Clowney and J.J. Watt. Griffin can of course take off and run, but that just means he’ll slide awkwardly and hurt himself again.

    Washington will at least have some success running the ball with Alfred Morris, who was impressive during the preseason. The Texans are weak at nose tackle, as Jerrell Powe is the team’s starter, and two of the linebackers in the lineup are the mediocre Brooks Reed and unknown Justin Tuggle, whoever that is.

    HOUSTON OFFENSE: I’m interested to see what Bill O’Brien does for the Texans’ offense. Ryan Fitzpatrick is the quarterback, which can’t have the fans excited. However, Fitzpatrick has never been coached up like he has with O’Brien, who somehow turned Matt McGloin into the second coming of Kerry Collins at Penn State.

    Fitzpatrick has a nice matchup in this contest to get things started. The Redskins’ secondary issues have been well documented; the safety situation is a disaster, while the cornerbacks beyond DeAngelo Hall are all awful. Avoiding Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan will be an issue, but I’m sure O’Brien will scheme to have Fitzpatrick release the ball quickly so that the two Washington pass-rushers aren’t big factors.

    It’ll help that the Texans should be able to run the ball effectively with Arian Foster. Though Foster is a huge injury risk, he’s fine for this contest, and he figures to have some success against a defense that was just average against the rush in 2013.

    RECAP: I don’t have a good read on this game. I feel like the spread is pretty appropriately priced. I’m going to take the Texans, just because of how awful Griffin was in the preseason, but I’m not doing so with any confidence.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps are on the Texans. They like Houston to show signs of its 2012 form, and they know that the Redskins are a joke.

    SUNDAY THOUGHTS: What I wrote Saturday night still applies. The sharps are on the Texans, though it doesn’t look like the books want to move this off -3.


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


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Washington: 51% (10,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Opening Line: Texans -2.5.
  • Opening Total: 46.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 1 NFL Pick: Texans 23, Redskins 17
    Texans -3 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Under 44.5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Texans 17, Redskins 6




    Tennessee Titans (0-0) at Kansas City Chiefs (0-0)
    Line: Chiefs by 3. Total: 44.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Chiefs -5.5.
    Walt’s Calculated Line:
    Sunday, Sept. 7, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Chiefs.

    THE ADVENTURES OF TOM BRADY’S HAIRCUTS

    Remember when Tom Brady used to be the most clutch quarterback in the NFL? He had that epic drive against the Rams in the Super Bowl. He then engineered numerous other fourth-quarter comebacks, including one to defeat the Panthers two years later to claim his second Lombardi trophy. After he earned his third, there was a wide-spread belief that he would pass both Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw and eventually earn five or more total rings.

    Well, Brady’s been stuck on three. He’s no longer clutch; in fact, he often melts down in the fourth quarters of big matchups. He seems to really care about some games – especially those involving Tim Tebow – but then he’s so lackadaisical in others.

    So, what happened? The obvious answer is his wife. But more specifically, it’s the haircuts that his wife forces him into getting. It’s unknown to the media, but Brady’s haircuts are much more than just silly fashion statements; each haircut gives Brady a new persona.

    I will have the first chapter of the Adventures of Tom Brady’s Haircuts next week once I get some stuff done on Photoshop. Here’s the first picture I’ll be featuring:



    In the meantime, check out the 2013 Adventures of Tom Brady’s Haircuts, where Brady tries his best to raise money for Aaron Hernandez.

    KANSAS CITY OFFENSE: Alex Smith is another mediocre quarterback who received a big contract this offseason. I wrote about this in my NFL Signings Grades page, and I did not give the Chiefs a good mark. Smith has taken advantage of a ridiculously easy schedule in his time with the Chiefs.

    That’ll continue – at least for one more week. The Titans’ starting defense surrendered opening-drive touchdowns in all three of their preseason games, and two of those contests were against Matt Flynn and Luke McCown. Tennessee is stupidly transitioning to a 3-4 scheme that makes no sense for its personnel. The defense will struggle as a consequence, even if it’s against Smith, who will have to rely on receivers like Frankie Hammond Jr. because Dwayne Bowe is serving his one-game suspension.

    On the bright side, Kansas City will have Jamaal Charles in the lineup. Charles missed some preseason with a minor injury, but he’ll be available for this contest. The Titans were a decent 15th against ground attacks in 2013 (3.98 YPC), but stoppinig Charles is a completely different story. Charles, of course, will create big plays as both a runner and a pass-catcher, and I don’t think the Titans will be able to contain him.

    TENNESSEE OFFENSE: The Chiefs struggled down the stretch for a couple of reasons. One was a tougher schedule. Another was injuries to their pass-rushers. Both Tamba Hali and Justin Houston missed action, which would explain why Kansas City burned a first-round selection on Dee Ford. It’s doubtful that Ford will contribute much this year, but Hali and Houston being healthy renders that irrelevant for now. Left tackle Michael Roos should be able to handle one of the pass-rushers, but the other will have an easy time getting around the overpaid Michael Oher.

    With that in mind, Jake Locker may have some trouble maintaining drives. Having Justin Hunter as a viable option against a pedestrian secondary is a plus though, so the Titans will hit big plays on occasion.

    Unfortunately, the Titans don’t have much of a rushing attack for now. They’re still going with Shonn Greene, who will just fall forward for insignificant 2-yard gains. Bishop Sankey would be a much better option, but who knows when the coaching staff will give him the majority of the workload?

    RECAP: When this spread opened at +6 back in May, I was excited to wager on the Titans. Unfortunately, the sharps were as well because they bet down this spread to +3.5. It sucks we lost all value. I still like the Titans because I expect this to be a close game, but I’m not nearly as excited about +3.5. I’ll bump this up to one unit if I can get +4, but it’s a non-play for now.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps pounded this spread down all the way from +6 to +3. There is zero line value with the Titans at this point. I actually think Kansas City will win by a field goal, so I’m not going to have any money on the Titans.

    SUNDAY THOUGHTS: Almost all of the sharp bettors are on the Titans, but there are some who bought back at -3. Still, Tennessee seems like the right side.


    The Psychology. Edge: Titans.
    Will the Chiefs be focused on the Titans, or will they be paying more attention to next week’s matchup against the Broncos?


    The Vegas. Edge: Titans.
    I’m surprised more money isn’t coming in on the Chiefs with this low spread.
  • Percentage of money on Kansas City: 68% (37,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Chiefs.
  • Chiefs are 20-8 ATS in season openers at home since 1971.
  • Opening Line: Chiefs -6.
  • Opening Total: 43.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 1 NFL Pick: Chiefs 16, Titans 14
    Titans +3 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Under 44 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Titans 26, Chiefs 10




    New England Patriots (0-0) at Miami Dolphins (0-0)
    Line: Patriots by 5. Total: 46.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Patriots -3.5.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Patriots -1.
    Sunday, Sept. 7, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Patriots.

    As you may know, I like to post football-related pictures I find amusing, including Andy Reid memes. I’ve put all of the pictures I’ve posted on my NFL Power Rankings and picks pages together in one section.

    Click here to see the Fun NFL Pictures for 2013. This includes all of the Andy Reid memes.

    NEW ENGLAND OFFENSE: All anyone wants to talk about is Rob Gronkowski. Will he play? How much will he play? Even if Gronkowski suits up – Bill Belichick said Tuesday that the team hasn’t made a decision yet – it’s highly unlikely that the monstrous tight end will be on the field every snap. Gronkowski even said so himself. He’ll probably be on the field for some plays, particularly for those in the red zone.

    Fortunately for Brady, he has other weapons to work with. Shane Vereen, who had a big preseason, will be a major part of New England’s game plan each week. Julian Edelman will continue to be a PPR machine, while Aaron Dobson is expected to take a step forward. Brady and Dobson worked out extensively together this offseason, so the second-year wideout figures to take a big step forward.

    The Dolphins were tough to throw on last year, ranking 11th versus the pass. Brady knows this all too well, as he maintained YPAs of 5.3 and 6.6 in two matchups against Miami. Fortunately for him, the Dolphins lost some personnel this offseason. Cortland Finnegan is starting at cornerback, which is laughable, while the linebacking corps is still in shambles. Stevan Ridley should have some nice runs as a consequence – until he fumbles the ball and is exiled from the game, that is.

    MIAMI OFFENSE: While the Dolphins lost a corner, the Patriots picked up a very talented one in Darrelle Revis. Bill Belichick doesn’t seem like the type of person to ever get excited, so perhaps he was just a tad bit happy to obtain Revis this offseason. Belichick will be able to do some awesome things with Revis covering one half of the field.

    With that said, I expect the Dolphins to have some offensive success. I like Ryan Tannehill this year now that he’s no longer paired with the incompetent Mike Sherman. Tannehill is in a better system, and he had a positive preseason as a consequence. He and Mike Wallace even connected on some plays, which is something that didn’t occur very often in 2013.

    The Dolphins also got a boost when Knowshon Moreno returned to action in the dress rehearsal. Moreno, assumed to be damaged goods, ran extremely well. Having him around as a clutch pass protector will be key for Tannehill, who will need all the help he can get against Chandler Jones and Jamie Collins. Both will be better in 2014 with a year more under their belts.

    RECAP: Three reasons why I really like the Dolphins:

    1. This spread is way off. Patriots laying five points? Are you kidding me? So, if this game were in New England, the Pats would be -11? I don’t see how that makes any sense. The Dolphins are not a bad team, so they shouldn’t be big home dogs like this. My number is Patriots -1.

    2. The public is pounding New England. I’m always down for fading casual bettors and siding with the sharps.

    3. The heat. The Dolphins used to be unstoppable in September home games because of the scorching sun and humidity. For whatever reason, they started scheduling September home contests in the late afternoon. That, apparently, is going to change, if this game is any indication. The Patriots, who usually struggle in Miami, will find it very difficult to play in these conditions.

    FRIDAY UPDATE: This spread has dropped to +4 almost everywhere, but it’s still available at +5 on Bovada. If you like the Dolphins, take them at +5 while that’s still available.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The Dolphins are still +5 on Bovada. The sharps are pounding Miami like there’s no tomorrow, while the public is having one of its derp moments, once again laying too many points with a road favorite.

    SUNDAY THOUGHTS: You can still get +5 on Bovada. It’s +3.5 or +4 everywhere else. The sharps love the Dolphins, and according to the ESPN reporter, the humidity in Miami is ridiculous. I love hearing that, and it made me realize how much I miss betting the Dolphins in September 1 p.m. games.


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


    The Vegas. Edge: Dolphins.
    The public is pounding the Patriots.
  • Percentage of money on New England: 82% (51,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Patriots are 42-28 ATS vs. AFC East opponents since 2001.
  • Tom Brady is 160-54 as a starter (122-87 ATS).
  • Tom Brady is 5-6 ATS at Miami.
  • Underdog is 51-22 ATS in the Dolphins’ last 73 games.
  • Dolphins are 2-10 ATS in September home games since 2006.
  • Opening Line: Patriots -3.5.
  • Opening Total: 47.
  • Weather: .


    Week 1 NFL Pick: Patriots 27, Dolphins 26
    Dolphins +5 (3 Units) — Correct; +$300
    Over 46.5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Dolphins 33, Patriots 20



    Week 1 NFL Picks – Late Games
    San Francisco�at�Dallas, Carolina�at�Tampa Bay, Indianapolis�at�Denver, NY Giants�at�Detroit, San Diego�at�Arizona




    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 1 NFL Picks – Late Games



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    2023 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$1,630

    1999 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 27-41-3 (39.7%)
    2000 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 128-123-8 (51.0%)
    2001 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 127-122-7 (51.0%)
    2002 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 123-136-7 (47.5%)
    2003 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 146-126-8 (53.7%)
    2004 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 157-123-8 (56.1%)
    2005 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 156-126-11 (55.3%)
    2006 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 151-135-9 (52.8%)
    2007 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 162-135-10, 54.5% (+$3,585)
    2008 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 148-140-7, 51.4% (+$6,105)
    2009 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 151-124-9, 54.9% (+$4,235)
    2010 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 144-131-8, 52.4% (+$5,880)
    2011 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 137-133-12, 50.7% (-$1,335)
    2012 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 130-145-8, 47.3% (-$7,445)
    2013 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 144-131-8, 52.4% (+$7,825)
    2014 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 143-133-7, 51.8% (-$1,885)
    2015 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 134-138-12, 49.3% (-$3,215)
    2016 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 148-127-10, 53.8% (+$780)
    2017 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 137-140-8, 49.5% (-$4,300)
    2018 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 140-134-14, 51.3% (+$845)
    2019 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 149-128-9, 53.6% (+$1,200)
    2020 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 138-124-7, 52.7% (+$9,350)
    2021 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 153-141-2, 51.9% (+$210)
    2022 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 154-134-8, 53.5% (+$9,860)

    2002 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 41-49-2 (45.6%)
    2003 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 52-51-2 (50.5%)
    2004 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 65-44-3 (59.6%)
    2005 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 77-61-1 (55.8%)
    2006 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 65-61-4 (51.6%)
    2007 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 83-59-5, 58.5% (+$4,110)
    2008 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 44-57-3, 43.6% (-$3,510)
    2009 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 49-35-3, 58.3% (+$2,260)
    2010 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 51-38-4, 57.3% (+$3,180)
    2011 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 44-51-3, 46.3% (-$2,715)
    2012 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 45-50-2, 47.4% (-$2,130)
    2013 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 38-42, 47.5% (-$2,890)
    2015 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 47-44-1, 51.6% (-$820)
    2016 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 42-35-3, 54.5% (+$475)
    2017 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 32-40-3, 43.8% (-$2,395)
    2018 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 52-41-2, 55.9% (+$2,670)
    2019 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 44-36-2, 55.0% (+$655)
    2020 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 47-43-3, 52.2% (-$1,965)
    2021 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 50-50, 50.0% (-$1,570)
    2022 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 56-44-2, 56.0% (+$1,860)

    2002 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 11-12 (47.8%)
    2003 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 16-13-1 (55.2%)
    2004 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 18-11 (62.1%)
    2005 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 25-22-1 (53.2%)
    2006 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 21-29-1 (42.0%)
    2007 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 35-30-2, 53.8% (+$420)
    2008 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 39-26-2, 60.0% (+$4,055)
    2009 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 29-26, 52.7% (+$330)
    2010 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 32-22, 59.3% (+$4,790)
    2011 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 14-14, 50.0% (-$1,260)
    2012 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 14-21, 40.0% (-$3,650)
    2013 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 17-9-3, 65.4% (+$2,970)
    2015 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 17-16-2, 51.5% (-$1,120)
    2016 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 21-22-5, 48.8% (-$1,465)
    2017 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 20-22-1, 47.6% (-$1,595)
    2018 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 27-32-1, 45.8% (-$4,735)
    2019 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 37-27-2, 57.8% (+$2,185)
    2020 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 37-22-1, 62.7% (+$5,515)
    2021 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 32-32-1, 50.0% (-$725)
    2022 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 41-30-1, 57.8% (+$3,725)

    2001 Season Over-Under: 3-2 (60.0%)
    2002 Season Over-Under: 121-91-3 (57.1%)
    2003 Season Over-Under: 126-132-2 (48.8%)
    2004 Season Over-Under: 139-124-4 (52.9%)
    2005 Season Over-Under: 117-145-4 (44.7%)
    2006 Season Over-Under: 129-132-5 (49.4%)
    2007 Season Over-Under: 136-145-3, 48.4% (-$1,900)
    2008 Season Over-Under: 137-125-6, 52.3% (+$860)
    2009 Season Over-Under: 128-135-4, 48.7% (-$3,195)
    2010 Season Over-Under: 128-135-5, 48.7% (-$5)
    2011 Season Over-Under: 131-131-5, 50.0% (+$135)
    2012 Season Over-Under: 125-121-5, 50.8% (+$30)
    2013 Season Over-Under: 132-130-5, 50.4% (-$340)
    2015 Season Over-Under: 143-119-5, 54.6% ($0)
    2016 Season Over-Under: 123-141-1, 46.6% (+$95)
    2017 Season Over-Under: 136-139-2, 49.5% (+$640)
    2018 Season Over-Under: 118-128-3, 48.0% (-$225)
    2019 Season Over-Under: 126-133-4, 48.6% (-$50)
    2020 Season Over-Under: 141-122-6, 53.6% ($0)
    2021 Season Over-Under: 132-151-3, 46.6% ($0)
    2022 Season Over-Under: 133-149-2, 47.2% (-$225)

    2007 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,035
    2008 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,775
    2009 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$865
    2010 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$200
    2011 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$590
    2012 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$1,685
    2013 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$2,245
    2015 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$855
    2016 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$275
    2017 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$510
    2018 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,495
    2019 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$1,715
    2020 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$4,975
    2021 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$3,455
    2022 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$5,720

    2006 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3 (50%)
    2007 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3, 50.0% (-$400)
    2008 NFL Picks of the Month: 6-1, 85.7% (+$3,720)
    2009 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$640)
    2010 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-4, 33.3% (-$1,810)
    2011 NFL Picks of the Month: 5-2, 71.4% (+$1,870)
    2012 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$560)
    2013 NFL Picks of the Month: 6-0, 100% (+$3,900)
    2014 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-4, 33.3% (-$1,350)
    2015 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3, 50.0% (-$100)
    2016 NFL Picks of the Month: 5-1, 83.3% (+$2,780)
    2017 NFL Picks of the Month: 4-2, 66.7% (+$1,040)
    2018 NFL Picks of the Month: 4-3, 57.1% (-$640)
    2019 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3-1, 50.0% (-$625)
    2020 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$665)
    2021 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-3, 40.0% (-$920)
    2022 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-4, 42.9% (-$1,615)

    Career NFL Picks Against The Spread: 3,420-3,152-195, 52.1% (+$21,170)
    Career 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 1,106-983-56 (52.9%)
    Career 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 549-485-25 (53.1%)
    Career Over-Under: 2,853-2,829-74 (50.3%)
    Career Second-Half NFL Picks: 23-16-1 (59.0%)
    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
    2003 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 20 | XXXVIII
    2004 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2004 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XXXIX
    2005 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2005 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XL
    2006 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2006 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLI
    2007 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2007 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLII |
    2008 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2008 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLIII |
    2009 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLIV |
    2010 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2010 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLV |
    2011 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2011 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLVI |
    2012 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2012 Season:
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    2013 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
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    2014 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
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    2015 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
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    2016 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
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    2017 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
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    2018 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2018 Season:
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    2019 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
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    2020 Season:
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    Super Bowl LV Pick

    2021 Season:
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    2022 Season:
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    2023 Season:
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