NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 3, 2014

NFL Picks (Preseason 2014): 8-7-1 (-$20)
NFL Picks (Week 1, 2014): 8-8 (+$110)
NFL Picks (Week 2, 2014): 7-9 (-$1,150)

NFL Picks (2014): 23-24-1 (-$1,060)
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. 22, 4:50 p.m. ET. Follow @walterfootball for updates.


Go to Week 3 NFL Picks – Late Games





Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-2) at Atlanta Falcons (1-1)
Line: Falcons by 6.5. Total: 47.

Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Falcons -5.5.
Walt’s Calculated Line: Falcons -6.5.
Thursday, Sept. 18, 8:25 ET
Comment on this game

The Game. Edge: Falcons.

WEEK 2 RECAP: I had an awful Sunday, and I’m really disappointed in myself for handicapping so poorly. There were a few positives – I’m glad I recognized that Arizona was the right side Sunday morning, and I’m pleased that I kept two units on the Rams and Patriots – but most of my other selections were awful.

The one multi-unit loss I’m not ashamed of was Green Bay. I feel as though the Packers would cover that spread more often than not in that situation. Unfortunately, they botched a snap to open the game and spotted the Jets an early lead. They ultimately missed the cover by just one point, which was pretty aggravating. Crap happens.

Conversely, I whiffed badly on the Falcons +5.5 and 49ers -7. I should have never bet San Francisco because I thought there was a chance the 49ers could overlook the Bears – thanks to their “big” win at Dallas and everything surrounding their new stadium – but I stupidly ignored it. As for the Falcons, I found something Sunday night that would have kept me completely off of that game. Fortunately, I tend to learn from my mistakes – or at least I think I do – so I’ll be using it going forward.

Jaguars +6. Wow. Can you say poisonous team? I don’t know if I could’ve seen it coming because of the impressive start Jacksonville got off to last week, but they did exactly what poisonous teams do – blow big leads and fail to cover spreads, thanks to mind-numbing mistakes. They weren’t even close to the spread in Washington, as the Redskins completely dominated them. I was duped into thinking the Jaguars would be decent because of their hot 2013 finish and impressive pass rush, but they are complete garbage, and Gus Bradley might just be one of the most incompetent head coaches in NFL history.

Monday night capped off a disastrous Week 2 in which I lost 11.5 units (7-9 overall). The Colts were the right side, but the officials screwed us over. They missed a blatant defensive hold, which would’ve given the Colts a first-and-10 at the 15-yard line. Indianapolis was unstoppable on that drive, so it’s likely Luck would’ve led the team in the end zone to put it up by 14. A field goal would’ve even iced a push at the very least. Instead, the refs botched that call as well as the ensuing phantom horse collar, and we lost as a result. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good, apparently.

Hopefully I’m lucky and good this week. I’ll be posting NFL Picks all day. Follow me at @walterfootball for updates.

ATLANTA OFFENSE: The Buccaneers made Austin Davis look like the second coming of Marc Bulger in last week’s game, so how can they possibly contain Matt Ryan? It would be nice if they had Gerald McCoy and Mason Foster back from injury, but the two defensive stars, who exited this past Sunday, are unlikely to play in this game.

McCoy’s absence will hurt the most. The Falcons have a poor offensive line that can be exposed, but the Buccaneers won’t have the personnel to take advantage of that liability. McCoy, Michael Johnson and Adrian Clayborn will all be missing from the defensive line, leaving no one else to rush the quarterback.

Unlike what happened in Cincinnati this past week, Ryan will have plenty of time in the pocket to find his receivers. Tampa Bay has struggled to cover thus far, ranking 19th in YPA (7.38) despite battling Davis and Derek Anderson in their two matchups.

TAMPA BAY OFFENSE: The silver lining in the Buccaneers’ loss last week was that they were able to move the chains effectively for most of the afternoon. They stalled in the red zone, but they otherwise had success advancing the ball on a very physical defense.

The Falcons won’t pose as much of a challenge. They haven’t even registered a sack yet this season, so Tampa Bay’s offensive line probably won’t be beaten mercilessly for a change. Tampa will also provide running lanes for Doug Martin, who practiced with the first-team offense Tuesday. The Bengals just ran all over Atlanta, so you have to like Martin and Bobby Rainey’s chances.

RECAP: The Falcons will almost certainly win this game, but their defense may keep the Buccaneers hanging around for a potential backdoor cover. If Tampa had McCoy and Johnson available, I might take them. I think there will be plenty of value with the Buccaneers later in the year, but as for this contest, I’ll side with Ryan, who is 4-0 against the spread on Thursday night. Ryan is also excellent off a loss, as you can see below.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I’m not betting this game. I’ve been so torn that I considering switching my selection to the Buccaneers. The sharps are on Tampa, and I like how the public has completely abandoned them after hyping them up in the preseason. However, Matt Ryan has been excellent on Thursday nights and off losses. I’m like 51-49 Falcons.


The Psychology. Edge: None.
Both teams seemed to be saving themselves for this game.


The Vegas. Edge: Buccaneers.
No surprise that the public is betting the Falcons.
  • Percentage of money on Atlanta: 74% (73,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Falcons.
  • History: Falcons have won 8 the last 11 meetings.
  • Lovie Smith is 6-1 ATS as a divisional underdog of 7+. ???
  • Matt Ryan is 29-18 ATS at home.
  • Falcons are 18-4 ATS following a loss of 6+ in the previous 22 instances.
  • Matt Ryan is 4-0 ATS on Thursday night.
  • Opening Line: Falcons -6.
  • Opening Total: 45.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 3 NFL Pick: Falcons 24, Buccaneers 16
    Falcons -6.5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Under 47 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Falcons 56, Buccaneers 14






    San Diego Chargers (1-1) at Buffalo Bills (2-0)
    Line: Bills by 2.5. Total: 45.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Chargers -2.5.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Chargers -1.
    Sunday, Sept. 21, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Chargers.

    WEEK 3 BETTING TRENDS: First of all, let’s get to a segment I used to run last year. I identified poisonous teams that I would never bet on to save me from some bad picks. I already found two, but now I’m adding Jacksonville to this list:

    Poisonous Teams:
    Raiders
    Giants
    Jaguars

    I didn’t think the Jaguars were that bad, but I feel like some of the players may have already quit on Gus Bradley because he has proven that he doesn’t give a damn about winning this year. If he did, he’d use Blake Bortles and give his team a shot to be competitive in the weak AFC South.

    Tampa Bay is another poisonous candidate, especially if Gerald McCoy is out for quite some time. We’ll see.

    At any rate, I’d like to look at line movements this week, particularly those from the preceding week. As you may have noticed, I post the advance point spreads that the Las Vegas Hilton lists prior to every Sunday. These are spreads for future games that can be found 10 days ahead of time. I think they’re important because they can identify value created by public perception.

    Take a look at these line movements for the Week 2 games before and after Week 1. All of them shifted at least two points without any injury implications:

    Before Week 1 After Week 1 ATS Result
    Patriots -6 Patriots -3 Patriots cover
    Rams +2.5 Rams +5 Rams cover
    Chargers +3.5 Chargers +5.5 Chargers cover
    Chiefs +10.5 Chiefs +12.5 Chiefs cover

    The four teams who had the spread move against them by two points or more all covered in Week 2. It’s easy to understand why. In the first game, everyone saw the Patriots lose and overreacted to Minnesota’s win over St. Louis. The Rams, meanwhile, got a lot of hate, with people saying ridiculous things like they were the worst team in the league. The Seahawks impressed everyone on national TV, while the Broncos-Chiefs spread rose because Kansas City lost to Tennessee.

    Not all of the spreads for Week 3 have been released yet, and there will be line movement throughout the week, but here are the largest disparities from the Week 3 advance lines to the actual numbers:

    Before Week 2 After Week 2
    Giants -3 +100 Giants +2.5
    Chargers -2.5 Chargers +1
    Raiders +12 Raiders +14.5
    Packers -1 Packers +1

    *Note that I didn’t include Dolphins-Chiefs (+6 to +4) because Jamaal Charles affected the spread. Also, the Buccaneers moved from +5.5 to +7, but that’s partly because of Gerald McCoy.

    Of the four movements here, three are impacted by public overreaction. The Giants disappointed everyone who bet against them with Drew Stanton starting, so the spread has moved an absurd 5.5 points (minus the juice). The Bills, meanwhile, dominated the Dolphins, so they went from 2.5-point dogs to 1-point favorites. The Raiders looked like garbage, while New England impressively beat Minnesota, so that would explain the 2.5-point shift.

    I don’t quite get the Packer movement. Are people upset Green Bay won by seven instead of eight? Did no one watch the Lions screw themselves over against the Panthers? If anything, I thought that would go from Packers -1 to Packers -3.

    In summary, we’re looking at the Giants, Chargers, Raiders and Packers as value plays. Unfortunately, two of those teams are poisonous.

    Again, Week 3 NFL Picks will be posted all day Wednesday. I’ll announce via Twitter @walterfootball when each selection is posted.

    BUFFALO OFFENSE: Fans of the Bengals, Panthers and Bills weren’t very pleased with my NFL Power Rankings this week. In fact, someone in the comment boards actually wished for me to get cancer and die. I responded, “What is dead may never die.” Unfortunately, that person is probably too stupid to watch (or understand) Game of Thrones. Meanwhile, one Buffalo fan asked me if I’d admit the Bills were a good team if they ended up winning the Super Bowl. I replied that they have a zero-percent chance as long as E.J. Manuel is the quarterback.

    Manuel is not good, and he’ll be the reason why the Bills ultimately disappoint their fans once again. If Manuel were even mediocre, he wouldn’t have needed C.J. Spiller’s kickoff return touchdown to put away the lethargic Dolphins last week. He missed several throws and screwed up big gains for others. I mentioned one instance in my recaps where he passed low to Sammy Watkins, who had to dive for the ball. An accurate heave would’ve allowed Watkins to keep running and pick up a first down.

    The Chargers have a very physical defense that hasn’t allowed more than 24 points to any team dating back to Nov. 24, 2013. They have an improved secondary – rookie Jason Verrett has been solid – and a decent pass rush, both of which will give Manuel problems. Meanwhile, San Diego’s rush defense has been pretty stout thus far, so I wouldn’t expect C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson to have much success either. Both were stymied in the ground game last week, save for one long gain by the former.

    SAN DIEGO OFFENSE: The Chargers put on quite the display last week. They managed to stay on the field for more than 42 minutes versus Seattle’s vaunted defense, all while Philip Rivers threw at Richard Sherman. The hot San Diego sun sucked the life out of the Seahawk players, who suffered cramps in the second half.

    Rivers and company won’t have the conditions favoring them in Buffalo, but they’ll be going up against a worse defense. The Bills were solid against the Dolphins, but it’s not like they had to worry about much when Knowshon Moreno exited the game in the first quarter with a dislocated elbow. Buffalo’s linebacking corps isn’t any good, and I have to believe Rivers will find a way to expose it by finding Antonio Gates repeatedly.

    The Chargers also lost a running back, as they watched the fragile Ryan Mathews suffer yet another injury last week. The Bills are just sub par in terms of stopping the run, ranking 19th against it (4.43 YPC), so Donald Brown might have some success in this contest.

    RECAP: I hate that the Chargers and Bills are playing each other this week because I wanted to fade them both. San Diego is in a rough spot because it put so much energy into beating the Seahawks and now has to start an early game on the East Coast. The Bills, meanwhile, have terrible line value because they were +2.5 in this contest prior to last week’s victory. I also like going against teams that are dreadful in the red zone. Buffalo kicked way too many field goals last week, and that should continue.

    I don’t have much of a read on this game, so I’m going to side with the sharps. The action is pouring in on San Diego, yet this spread has been bet up from pick to -2.5.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The Bills are in a terrific spot. I had a couple of e-mailers ask me why I’m going zero units on it, and I replied that there’s just no line value. The Chargers were favored before the Week 2 games, yet you have to lay points with Buffalo now. The sharps are on the Bills, but I’m staying away.

    SUNDAY NOTES: As discussed, the sharps are on the Chargers. This spread has risen to 2.5, but I’ll be surprised if it reaches three because there will be serious buyback on San Diego.


    The Psychology. Edge: Bills.
    Will the Chargers be flat after their big upset over Seattle? It’s definitely possble, but maybe Buffalo has their attention because they’ll be battling an undefeated foe.


    The Vegas. Edge: Bills.
    The public really likes the Chargers, which isn’t a surprise.
  • Percentage of money on San Diego: 64% (53,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Teams that just beat a Super Bowl winner as underdogs are 8-16 ATS on the road since 2000.
  • Bills are 6-27 ATS after playing the Miami Dolphins since 1998.
  • Opening Line: Pick.
  • Opening Total: 44.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 3 NFL Pick: Bills 22, Chargers 17
    Bills -2.5 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Under 45.5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Chargers 22, Bills 10






    Dallas Cowboys (1-1) at St. Louis Rams (1-1)
    Line: Cowboys by 2. Total: 44.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Cowboys -1.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Rams -3.
    Sunday, Sept. 21, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: None.

    VEGAS UPDATE: The Vegas sportsbooks had record winnings on the Sunday of Week 1. They continued to collect tons of money last week from poor degenerates. Of the seven highly bet teams, only one covered (Patriots). All the rest (Lions, Saints, Seahawks, packers, Broncos, 49ers) disappointed bettors.

    Vegas has to give money back at some point, right? If they don’t, there won’t be anyone left to gamble. The average degenerate will have to resort to turning a couple of tricks each week just so he can get his parlay ticket in.

    Once again, follow @walterfootball for updates.

    DALLAS OFFENSE: Everyone’s impressed by the Cowboys’ victory over the Titans, but there are a couple of misleading things. One is Tony Romo’s performance. Dallas’ scoring attack stayed on the field for a very long time and moved the chains with ease, but Romo wasn’t a big factor. In fact, the team did this in spite of Romo, who has attempted just five passes of more than 20 yards in his first two games. Romo, who made some terrible decisions in the opener, has transformed into a game-manager.

    The Cowboys were able to move the chains so effectively because of DeMarco Murray. The oft-injured running back has been excellent thus far, averaging 5.6 yards per carry. He has to be licking his chops in anticipation of this matchup after watching the Rams surrender 151 yards on the ground to Bobby Rainey and company this past Sunday.

    Establishing Murray will obviously be key, as it’ll keep Romo out of long-yardage situations. The Rams have a tremendous pass rush, even without Chris Long, so even Dallas’ improved offensive front could have some issues blocking Robert Quinn and company.

    ST. LOUIS OFFENSE: Something else that was misleading about Dallas’ victory was the play of the defense. Every talking head on TV is saying stuff like, “The Cowboys’ defense isn’t as bad as we thought it was!” Yes, it is. It’s pretty bad. Rolando McClain hasn’t been as useless as anticipated, but the Cowboys are awful in terms of defending the run (5.17 YPC) and struggle with the pass. The reason they were so successful last week was because Jake Locker imploded.

    Austin Davis may implode as well. He’s only making his second start, so he’s an unknown. However, Davis did play very well in Tampa last week, so one would think that he would be better at home against a pedestrian defense. It’ll help Davis that he’ll have Stedman Bailey back from suspension, though the Cowboys will also welcome back a player of their own in Orlando Scandrick.

    I’d be surprised if the Rams didn’t move the chains effectively. As mentioned, the Cowboys surrender more than five yards per carry, so Zac Stacy figures to have a big outing, which will set up Davis with favorable passing situations.

    RECAP: I went with two units on St. Louis last week. It was one of the few correct wagers I made, so why not repeat it? I like the Rams because they’re underrated; I think they should be -3 in this contest instead of +1, thus giving us four points of spread value. We’re also fading the public and going against public overreaction, which is almost always a good thing.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: There’s an absurd amount of action on the Cowboys, so it’s either St. Louis or nothing. I still like the Rams for a couple of units, as they are the better team getting points at home. The sharps agree.

    SUNDAY NOTES: No idea what Chad Millman was saying during Colin Cowherd’s show because the sharps are all over the Rams. Dallas also violates Millman’s own 80-20 rule. As I said, it’s Rams or nothing.


    The Psychology. Edge: Rams.
    The Cowboys could be looking past the Rams. Following this “easy” game, they have the Saints, in-state rival Texans, Seahawks and then two NFC East games.


    The Vegas. Edge: Rams.
    The Cowboys are back because they beat the Titans!
  • Percentage of money on Dallas: 87% (42,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Cowboys are 21-11 ATS as an underdog since 2009. ???
  • The underdog is 45-18 ATS in Cowboys games since 2010.
  • Jeff Fisher is 41-27 ATS as an underdog since 2006.
  • Opening Line: Pick.
  • Opening Total: 45.5.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 3 NFL Pick: Rams 23, Cowboys 20
    Rams +2 (2 Units) — Incorrect; -$220
    Under 44 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Cowboys 34, Rams 31






    Washington Redskins (1-1) at Philadelphia Eagles (2-0)
    Line: Eagles by 6. Total: 51.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Eagles -7.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Eagles -5.
    Sunday, Sept. 21, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Eagles.

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

    This message is for Walterfootball. Your picks this week, so far, are brutal! (excluding Ind – Phi game). 10 wrong! My picks are better this week! And, I don’t claim to be an expert!? 8-7-0, so far. Next week I will post my picks for all games. Let`s see how an amateur does against a (so called) Pro.

    Where did I claim to be an expert or a pro? And how do I have 10 wrong? I’m 7-8 heading into Monday Night Football.

    And please Wally, don’t forget to mention that Jax was the right side were it not for that horrible rg3 guy throwing a big monkey (no pun intended) wrench into your plan by stubbing his lil tootsie! Tough luck buddy, that 4 unit play was sold otherwise. Lmao!!!!!!!!!

    Nah, it was the wrong side, Donald Sterling.

    Walt your an idiot

    I don’t possess an idiot.

    @walter loves to stroke himself while blabbering about Circadian rhythms, guessing da bears forgot they flew all that way during the 2nd half drubbing they dealt the home town heros. Keep stroking it Walt and burying the poor suckers who follow you, – 10 units sound about right?

    I do. Aside from lesbian porn, blabbering about Circadian rhythms is my No. 1 choice.

    PHILADELPHIA OFFENSE: As explosive as the Eagles were Monday night, they left so many points off the board. Nick Foles, as he did in the opener, missed several throws to open receivers. His supporting cast also dropped some passes, but Foles is the biggest problem right now. Unless he fixes his accuracy woes, his misfires will cost Philadelphia sooner or later.

    Fortunately for Foles, he’ll have the opportunity to turn things around, as he’ll have the luxury of battling another inept secondary. The Redskins are 26th against the pass in terms of YPA even though they’ve “battled” Ryan Fitzpatrick and Chad Henne thus far. As disappointing as Foles has been, he’s infinitely superior to those two scrubs. As long as his offensive line protects him from Washington’s front seven – Jason Hatcher has been terrific thus far – Foles will have every opportunity to pick Washington apart. Whether he actually does that or not is all on him.

    Foles, of course, will have the help of his two running backs, who slipped through countless tackles against the Colts. Washington’s stop unit is better overall than Indianapolis’, but there are still enough liabilities for LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles to be successful again.

    WASHINGTON OFFENSE: DeSean Jackson returns to Philadelphia. Jackson was banished this offseason for the issues he caused in the locker room, yet despite all of the hoopla, he hasn’t done much with the Redskins yet. He missed most of last week’s game, but that’s typical because he’s been so brittle over the years. You have to imagine that the Eagles’ defensive coaches will scheme against Jackson so that he doesn’t embarrass them.

    Kirk Cousins may have to look elsewhere. That wasn’t an issue last week when he was pretty much flawless against the Jaguars. However, Jacksonville is a truly putrid team that left all of Cousins’ receivers open. That won’t happen again. The Eagles’ secondary isn’t very good, but it’ll definitely be much tougher for Cousins to lead scoring drives in this contest.

    Running the ball definitely won’t be as easy either. The strength of Philadelphia’s defense is stopping the rush (seventh in YPC), so Alfred Morris and Roy Helu won’t look as dominant as they did last week when they trampled the hapless Jaguars.

    RECAP: What would this spread be if it weren’t for two plays? If Chad Henne hadn’t lost a fumble returned for a touchdown in the opener, the Eagles would’ve won by only 10 and failed to cover the number. If the officials hadn’t missed a blatantly obvious defensive hold on the Eagles on Monday night, the Colts would’ve gone up 10 or 14 points and almost certainly would’ve won the game. Two plays are the difference between thinking the Eagles are an undefeated, top-five team, and a 1-1 squad that barely beat one of the two worst teams in the NFL.

    I’m not going to bet it, but I’m siding with the Redskins. The public doesn’t agree, but the Eagles have been unimpressive in two games. Perhaps Foles will turn things around and change that, but I’ll be going against him more often than not until he does.

    FRIDAY UPDATE: This spread has dropped because the sharps have bet on Washington. If you like the Redskins, you can get them at +6.5 at Bovada.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps have sided with the Redskins. As discussed, the Eagles are two plays away from being thought of as a middling 1-1 squad. Washington appears to be the right side, but I’m not going to bet on them.

    SUNDAY NOTES: Wow. The sharps bet this all the way down to +3.5 or +4. Redskins +6 was still available at Bovada at 11 a.m., but it’s now +6 -125. I’d rather just take +4 if I were going to bet the game. However, there’s very little value with Washington now.


    The Psychology. Edge: Unknown.
    There are DeSean Jackson implications, but I don’t know what those will be.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Washington: 52% (42,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • History: Eagles have won 5 of the last 7 meetings.
  • Eagles are 10-25 ATS at home since 2010.
  • Opening Line: Eagles -6.5.
  • Opening Total: 51.
  • Weather: .


    Week 3 NFL Pick: Eagles 31, Redskins 27
    Redskins +6 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Over 51 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Eagles 37, Redskins 34






    Houston Texans (2-0) at New York Giants (0-2)
    Line: Giants by 1.5. Total: 41.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Giants -3 +100.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Giants -1.5.
    Sunday, Sept. 21, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Texans.

    If you haven’t seen this yet, we have a new NFL Pick Em Contest on this Web site. It’s free entry, and there are monthly and seasonal prizes: $350 for the year, and $100 for each month. It’s not too late to enter, so sign up soon!

    NEW YORK OFFENSE: The good news for the Giants is that Eli Manning didn’t play like a rotting carcass for the first time this calendar year in last week’s loss to Arizona. The bad news is that everyone else sucked. The receivers dropped passes, the running backs fumbled, and the offensive line once again struggled to block.

    I don’t see the Giants’ front having much success against J.J. Watt and Houston’s line. In fact, I don’t see it thriving against any team it plays this season. The Texans figure to put pressure on Manning, who will once again be rushed into throws. The passes that actually connect will probably be dropped, thanks in part to the solid coverage that Houston’s secondary provides.

    I can’t imagine Rashad Jennings enjoying a positive outing either. Houston just limited Darren McFadden and the Raiders to just 43 rushing yards on 13 carries (excluding Derek Carr’s scrambles), so Jennings, who is averaging just 3.2 yards per attempt this season, will continue to struggle to find room.

    HOUSTON OFFENSE: Arian Foster, conversely, has been exceptional. Despite missing a big chunk of training camp with an injury, Foster has handled a heavy workload while gaining 4.4 yards on the ground. Arizona just gashed the Giants for 124 rushing yards, so Foster will just pick up where he left off at Oakland.

    Foster’s running ability will once again give Ryan Fitzpatrick plenty of short-yardage opportunities. Fitzpatrick has done nothing spectacular this season, but he’s been very economical, completing 68.3 percent of his passes and avoiding turnovers entirely. The Giants just saw Jon Beason and Walter Thurmond, two valuable pieces of their defense (especially the former), go down with injuries, so Fitzpatrick has another nice matchup.

    RECAP: The Giants are one of the teams I discussed earlier that is providing good line value. This spread was -3 (+100) prior to last week, and it’s +2 now. The public, naturally is pounding Houston.

    The problem here is that the Giants are poisonous. They probably are the right side, but as always, they’ll screw themselves over with dumb mistakes and fail to cover the spread. I’m going to pick Houston for that reason, but there’s no way in hell I’m betting on them.

    FRIDAY NOTE: The sharps are betting the Giants heavily. You can still get them for +1.5 at Bovada. If you like Houston, wait until Sunday morning.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps are continuing to pound the Giants. I don’t get how they can wager on such a poisonous team.

    SUNDAY NOTES: Not much has changed. The Giants are a poisonous sharp play.


    The Psychology. Edge: Giants.
    A 2-0 team battling an 0-2 squad in a non-conference game? The Giants will be much more focused.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Houston: 58% (46,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Giants.
  • Eli Manning is 30-19 ATS as an underdog since 2007.
  • Opening Line: Texans -2.5.
  • Opening Total: 42.
  • Weather: .


    Week 3 NFL Pick: Texans 20, Giants 16
    Texans +1.5 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Under 41.5 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Giants 30, Texans 17




    Minnesota Vikings (1-1) at New Orleans Saints (0-2)
    Line: Saints by 10. Total: 50.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Saints -8.5.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Saints -11.
    Sunday, Sept. 21, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Saints.

    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:

    I’ll be discussing Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice and Greg Hardy in this entry, thanks to what Adam Schefter called one of the “darkest weeks for the NFL.”

    Adrian Peterson: There’s no doubt that hitting a child is infinitely worse than what Ray Rice did. Both are bad, but a 4-year-old is completely defenseless. When this story first broke, the sangy-vagged mouth-breathers on Twitter made it seem like Peterson punched his son, or something of that nature. That would deserve a year-long ban at the very least, even for a first-time offender.

    However, Peterson’s lawyer told a different tale. He said that Peterson hit his son with a switch (later revealed as a tree branch) and that Peterson received the same punishment when he was a child. Of course, his lawyer could be fabricating the truth, so I didn’t think I could formulate an opinion on the Peterson situation until all of the facts were revealed. Other people didn’t share the same sentiment, however. There were varying opinions on Twitter. Check out these two tweets that were made in the same minute:



    However, CBS later released these pictures, showing the injuries that Peterson’s son incurred. The first picture is of his back; the second is of his leg:



    I’m all for disciplining children, even if it’s spanking them or something of that sort, and I hate idiots in the media and government who think they can tell parents how to raise their children. But this just seems like it went too far. Unless Peterson’s son hatched a legitimate plan to blow up a building, or something, I can’t imagine what he could have done to deserve that sort of beating. Children can be a**holes, sure, but you can’t give them lacerations like that. There’s a line between discipline and child abuse, and it appears as though Peterson has crossed it.

    With all of this in mind, I don’t even know what sort of punishment Peterson should receive. I wouldn’t give Peterson an indefinite suspension like Rice unjustly received – more on that later – but if the NFL wanted to suspend Peterson for the rest of the season, I could understand it. With all of the poor publicity the NFL has gotten recently, it should send a message that it won’t stand for its players acting like thugs and causing harm to anyone.

    Update: Peterson was reinstated to the team, but then suspended once more. Bringing him back in the first place was ridiculous, and it’s even more embarrassing for the team that they caved only because they were in danger of losing sponsors.

    More Ray Rice: I discussed Ray Rice below, but there’s something I don’t understand about the penalty that the former Raven running back received. Quite simply, I don’t get why Roger Goodell slapped Rice with an indefinite suspension. Yes, yes, the video was terrible, but the punishment went against the policies Goodell just implemented.

    Goodell initially suspended Rice for two games, which was absurd. The commissioner then admitted that he made a mistake and installed a new policy: Those found guilty of domestic abuse would be out for six games for the first offense and then exiled with a life-time ban for the second infraction. Pretty fair.

    So, with that in mind, why was Rice given an indefinite suspension? Goodell’s new policies called for a six-game suspension for first-time offenders. Rice was a first-time offender. By the NFL’s own rules, Rice should be out six games. It’s almost as if Goodell overreacted to his own incompetence while issuing this penalty.

    The kicker is that, according to reports, Rice actually told Goodell what happened back when this incident first occurred. Goodell apparently knew everything that happened this entire time, yet he still made numerous mistakes throughout this entire saga. He has to be completely embarrassed by all of this, and I could see him stepping down as a consequence. I don’t think he should’ve been fired for “covering” this thing up, and I’m not going to call for his job, but he just seems to be in way over his head. Goodell has done some great things like expanding the NFL Draft and making sure the Redskins keep their name – to the chagrin of those same sandy-vagged mouth-breathers on Twitter – but he just looks awful by epically bungling what has transpired recently.

    Greg Hardy: Oh, and why the hell is Greg Hardy allowed to play? Hardy also abused a woman, and unlike Rice, he’s actually been convicted! Yet, he’s not being suspended whatsoever? Huh?

    What needs to happen for Hardy to get banned for six games? Does TMZ need to make sure another video surfaces for there to be an uproar? Does he need to smoke weed like Josh Gordon? What is going on here? Again, Hardy has been convicted. C-O-N-V-I-C-T-E-D. Rice was not convicted. Ben Roethlisberger was never convicted. Hardy has been, yet nothing has happened. He has received zero discipline.

    Again, Goodell just appears to be asleep at the wheel. According to his past actions, Goodell will probably give Hardy a two-game ban or something. Because domestic abuse apparently doesn’t happen unless there’s a video involved – even if a judge says differently.

    Update: Hardy was inactive for Week 2. It’s embarrassing that the Panthers even let him play in Week 1, but at least they ultimately got it right.

    MINNESOTA OFFENSE: Peterson, as mentioned, is gone once again. The Vikings struggled to sustain any sort of offense last week after their opening touchdown drive. Bill Belichick was able to focus entirely on shutting down Matt Cassel without any sort of threat coming out of the backfield.

    The Saints will have that same sort of luxury, but they’ll have to overcome their own defensive incompetence. They’ve struggled to tackle and cover through two weeks. Surrendering tons of yardage to the Falcons on the road was understandable, but failing to get off the field against the Browns was alarming. Cleveland does possess a solid ground attack with Terrance West, however. The Vikings don’t have anything close to that with the plodding Matt Asiata getting all of the carries.

    Cassel will still have opportunities to attack a putrid New Orleans secondary, but doing so in the loud Superdome could be difficult for him. Opposing quarterbacks have tremendous problems there because they can’t audible or communicate with their teammates amid all of the noise. Cassel has one start in the Superdome, and he committed four turnovers (three picks, one lost fumble) back in 2012. His Chiefs won that game, but that was the Spygate year in which Sean Payton wasn’t around.

    NEW ORLEANS OFFENSE: It took the Saints a while to get going against the Browns, but they were pretty unstoppable in the second half once Drew Brees started focusing in on Jimmy Graham. The Brees-to-Graham combination is pretty unstoppable, and the Vikings, like most other teams, won’t be able to handle it.

    What Minnesota can do is repeat what the Browns were able to accomplish – which is to shut down the Saints’ deep aerial attack. Cleveland focused on blanking Marques Colston and Brandin Cooks, and the Vikings have the personnel to do that as well with their improved secondary. Having said that, Brees will still be able to engineer plenty of scoring drives, especially now that he’s home, where he’s way more comfortable.

    The Saints will be able to run the ball as well. Stevan Ridley just gashed the Patriots, so Khiry Robinson, starting for the injured Mark Ingram, should have similar success. Minnesota simply won’t be able to focus on Robinson coming out of the backfield when it has to deal with Brees and all of his dynamic weapons.

    RECAP: I like the Saints a good deal. I’m a fan of betting on elite quarterbacks off a loss, and Brees has a tremendous track record of covering home games. New Orleans is also in a must-win situation, and 0-2 playoff teams tend to cover the spread more often than not.

    This is also a play against the Vikings. Minnesota has to be in complete disarray with the Peterson situation. The team likely had its hopes up when Peterson was reinstated Monday, but they were crushed following the Wednesday morning news that Peterson would be banished until everything was straightened out.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: There’s a bit of sharp action on the Vikings, but not much. The professionals are just taking the Vikings on principle because they’re such a big dog. This feels like the Seattle-Minnesota game of last year though when the Seahawks demolished the Vikings. The Saints should win easily.

    SUNDAY NOTES: The Vikings are a sharp play, as mentioned. If you like the Vikings, they’re available at +11 on Bovada. The Saints, meanwhile, are -9.5 at BetUS.


    The Psychology. Edge: Saints.
    The Saints absolutely have to win, but the Vikings will want to redeem themselves off an ugly loss.


    The Vegas. Edge: Vikings.
    No surprise that the money is on the Saints.
  • Percentage of money on New Orleans: 84% (49,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Saints.
  • Saints are 33-13 ATS as a home favorite since 2007.
  • Saints are 7-11 ATS as double-digit favorites under Sean Payton.
  • Drew Brees is 27-16 ATS after a loss with the Saints.
  • Sean Payton is 7-4 ATS as a favorite after losing as a favorite.
  • Opening Line: Saints -9.5.
  • Opening Total: 51.
  • Weather: .


    Week 3 NFL Pick: Saints 34, Vikings 13
    Saints -10 (3 Units) — Correct; +$300
    Under 50 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Saints 20, Vikings 9




    Tennessee Titans (1-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (2-0)
    Line: Bengals by 7. Total: 43.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Bengals -6.5.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Bengals -7.
    Sunday, Sept. 21, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Bengals.

    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 need something explained to me: Why was College Gameday at North Dakota this past Saturday? I understand that North Dakota is a great 1-AA team, but it has no relevance to what people actually care about. If North Dakota wanted to actually challenge itself and join 1-A football, fine. College Gameday can visit Fargo all it wants. But why go there when North Dakota is battling some school named Incarnate Word? What the hell is Incarnate Word, anyway? Sounds as real as Eric Matthews’ Boris College.

    The worst part was when everyone picked the games and saved the North Dakota selection for last. It was revealed at the bottom of the screen that North Dakota was a 52.5-point favorite. Wow. If College Gameday is going to waste its time in Fargo, couldn’t it visit when the result might actually be in doubt?

    “I think they will roll them,” Desmond Howard boldly predicted to the delight of the crowd. Wow, way to go out on a limb, Desmond. For dramatic effect, the announcers should’ve had to pick that game against the spread. North Dakota did cover, by the way, winning 58-0. Next up: Boris College. North Dakota is laying 63.5.

    2. A couple of old play-by-play announcers had major issues this past Saturday. Mike Patrick, who was calling the Texas Tech-Arkansas game, referred to Arkansas as “Wisconsin” on numerous occasions. Patrick used to be a great broadcaster, but now that he’s in his 70s, he’s completely lost it. ESPN may have to demote him to ESPN43, where he can call next week’s North Dakota-Boris College tilt.

    Meanwhile, Tom Hammond mistook John Shoop for Brian VandGorder during the Notre Dame-Purdue blowout. It wasn’t as egregious as the Patrick errors, but it was still a reminder that Hammond spends much of his time cleaning houses and cooking dinners:



    3. Transitioning from play-by-play callers to sideline reporters, I was shocked to see Todd McShay reporting from the field during the Iowa-Iowa State game.

    This is a prime example of why ESPN is so stupid. McShay is supposed to be one of ESPN’s top two NFL Draft analysts, so why are they sticking him with sideline duty? Do they really need him to ask Iowa’s quarterback what his zodiac sign is? McShay should be locked inside a room and working on mock drafts. You know… doing what he’s most known for. ESPN can just hire some Barbie look-alike to ask Iowa State’s running back if he wears boxers or briefs.

    CINCINNATI OFFENSE: A.J. Green, Marvin Jones, Tyler Eifert… apparently it doesn’t matter how many weapons Andy Dalton loses. Despite early red zone problems, the Bengals moved the chains with ease on the Falcons in an impressive blowout victory.

    The Bengals primarily did this with its two running backs. Giovani Bernard hasn’t been very effective as a runner this season, averaging 3.4 yards per carry, but he’s been sensational as a pass-catcher. He hauled in five balls for 79 receiving yards against the Falcons, who had no answer for him or Jeremy Hill (19 carries, 93 rush yards). Hill is the better pure runner, though both he and Bernard figure to have success against a Tennessee defense that looked helpless trying to tackle DeMarco Murray last week.

    Bernard and Hill accumulating tons of yardage will help Dalton get the ball to his decimated receiving corps. Dalton still has Mohamed Sanu, who reeled in a long reception last week. There’s no reason to think Sanu won’t have a repeat performance.

    TENNESSEE OFFENSE: I once referred to Joe Flacco as that woman in the one episode of Seinfeld who was either pretty or hideous depending on the lighting. I think Jake Locker fits that description much better. It’s remarkable how inconsistent he is. He was tremendous in the opener, but he was completely rattled while battling Dallas. His passes were all over the place, and he couldn’t handle the pass rush in the pocket, even though some of that was phantom pressure.

    It’s never certain which Locker we’re going to get, but chances are we’ll see the hideous one in this contest. That’s because Cincinnati’s defense is ridiculous. The Bengals have made Flacco and Matt Ryan look completely inept in consecutive weeks, and the latter is so much more talented than Locker. Ryan also has the superior supporting cast, yet he could never get into a rhythm.

    It doesn’t help Locker that he doesn’t have much of a ground attack supporting him. Shonn Greene is trash, and there’s no reason he should still be starting. I’d love to hear a legitimate reason why Bishop Sankey isn’t getting more of an opportunity when Sankey is the better runner and third-down back.

    RECAP: This is the shadiest point spread thus far. The Bengals have been awesome through two weeks, and they have a bye coming up (favorites in such spots tend to do well), yet they’re only favored by 6.5? Huh?

    The sharps are pounding the hell out of the Titans. Perhaps they’re aware of how overrated Cincinnati is. The Bengals have won twice impressively, sure, but both of their opponents were going into Thursday night affairs. Meanwhile, A.J. Green will probably be out. That’s big. “But the Bengals don’t need Green because they beat the Falcons without him!” is a public sentiment that’s circulating, and it’s one of many reasons the public is unloading on Cincinnati.

    I don’t like either side, really. I can see arguments for taking both. I’m staying away. Gun to my head: Fade the warped public perception and side with the sharps.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps are all over the Titans. I can make a strong argument for either side, so I’m staying away.

    SUNDAY NOTES: Nothing has changed. There’s professional money on Tennessee. I’m not betting this game.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    The Bengals will be focused heading into the bye. The Titans will want to rebound off an ugly loss.


    The Vegas. Edge: Titans.
    The money will be on the Bengals after last week’s results.
  • Percentage of money on Cincinnati: 78% (42,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Bengals.
  • Bengals are 9-1 ATS at home since 2013.
  • Bengals are 19-33 ATS as a favorite since 2007.
  • Bengals are 11-17 ATS as a favorite of 3.5 or more since 2007.
  • Opening Line: Bengals -7.
  • Opening Total: 43.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 3 NFL Pick: Bengals 19, Titans 16
    Titans +7 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Under 43.5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Bengals 33, Titans 7




    Baltimore Ravens (1-1) at Cleveland Browns (1-1)
    Line: Ravens by 2. Total: 42.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Pick.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Browns -3.
    Sunday, Sept. 21, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Browns.

    If you’ve 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.

    CLEVELAND OFFENSE: Brian Hoyer got the win last week, but he didn’t play very well overall, throwing for just 204 yards on 40 passes. However, he took care of the football and made the big passes when they mattered, which is more than I can say for several other starting quarterbacks in this league. Hoyer was battling the inept Saints’ defense, but he didn’t have much of a supporting cast either.

    Hoyer will likely get a boost in this contest with the return of Jordan Cameron, who was limited in Wednesday’s practice. It’s obvious that Cameron being back in the lineup will be huge, as he’s Cleveland’s best-available play-maker by a wide margin. I don’t trust the Baltimore linebackers in coverage – C.J. Mosley hasn’t been very impressive thus far – so Cameron could have a big game if he’s healthy.

    I also like Terrance West’s chances. The rookie running back has been impressive in relief of the injured Ben Tate thus far, and Baltimore is currently just 22nd versus the rush in terms of YPC (4.61). Le’Veon Bell was one of the only Steeler offensive players who performed well last week, so there’s no reason to think that West couldn’t pick up where he left off.

    BALTIMORE OFFENSE: The Browns put together a brilliant defensive game plan last week by erasing Drew Brees’ downfield targets. Ultimately though, the Brees-to-Jimmy Graham connection was too much for Cleveland to handle. Luckily for the Browns, Baltimore doesn’t have anything nearly as unstoppable.

    The Ravens were able to move the chains effectively against the Steelers, but they were battling a horrific unit that couldn’t put any sort of pressure on the quarterback. However, Cleveland’s pass rush isn’t that much better. The Browns dumped Ben Roethlisberger six times in the opener, but that was more of Pittsburgh’s offensive line being inept than anything else.

    Baltimore should be able to establish Bernard Pierce and Justin Forsett once again as well. The Browns’ greatest defensive liability thus far has been at stopping the run; they’ve surrendered an average of 130 rushing yards through two games, one of which they possessed the lead throughout.

    RECAP: I like the Browns. I’m not in love with this pick, but I think it’s worth a unit. There’s plenty of line value here, as my calculated spread is Cleveland -3. The Browns aren’t in a great spot after such an emotional win, but they’re in a better position than Baltimore. Road favorites coming off Thursday night blowout victories have struggled to cover over the years, and the Ravens are typically a poor performer when laying points on the road.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Here’s a sharp play I love. Pro money is all over the Browns, who definitely shouldn’t be a home dog. I may bump this up to two units Sunday morning if the line rises to +3.

    SUNDAY NOTES: The Browns are available at +2. The sharps are betting on them.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    The Browns are coming off an emotional win, but they’re up against hated Baltimore.


    The Vegas. Edge: Browns.
    No one trusts Cleveland yet.
  • Percentage of money on Baltimore: 69% (25,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Browns.
  • History: Ravens have won 11 of the last 12 meetings (Road Team has covered 7 of the last 9).
  • Ravens are 10-18 ATS as road favorites since 2005.
  • Opening Line: Pick.
  • Opening Total: 41.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 3 NFL Pick: Browns 20, Ravens 17
    Browns +2 (1 Unit) — Push; $0
    Under 42 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Ravens 23, Browns 21




    Green Bay Packers (1-1) at Detroit Lions (1-1)
    Line: Lions by 1.5. Total: 52.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Packers -1.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Packers -3.
    Sunday, Sept. 21, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Packers.

    Video of the Week: Ever wonder what Division III football is like? Here are some highlights, thanks to Blake A. Take a look at it Eeemmediately!



    DETROIT OFFENSE: There’s the West Coast offense. There’s the spread offense. And then there’s the stupid offense. The Lions run the latter. The stupid offense is a scheme where players are made to look great on paper but then help the other team win by committing dumb errors. Detroit runs it to perfection. Each week, there are dropped touchdowns, untimely fumbles, poor throws and even missed field goals.

    In all seriousness, the Lions have an easy matchup in this game, but it’s hard to like their chances very much because you know they’re going to do something dumb. It’s usually something different, but they always manage to shoot themselves in the foot.

    The Packers couldn’t handle Geno Smith last week, so Matthew Stafford will definitely play like an All-Pro at times this afternoon. He’ll post pretty numbers and connect on some deep throws with Calvin Johnson. However, something terrible will happen, just like it always does.

    GREEN BAY OFFENSE: The Packers, of course, made horrible mistakes of their own last week. They fumbled the opening snap, which gave the Jets a touchdown lead. Aaron Rodgers then took a pair of sacks on the second drive. Rodgers got his act together for the most part after that, and I bet he’ll be happy that he won’t have to deal with the Jets’ ferocious front line again for another four years.

    The Lions have some big names on their defensive line, but most of them have underwhelmed thus far. Ndamukong Suh has played well, but everyone else has just been mediocre or worse. Despite battling two teams with anemic offensive fronts, they’ve struggled to get consistent pressure on the opposing quarterbacks, so Rodgers may actually have time in the pocket this week.

    Of course, the weak part of Detroit’s defense is the secondary. Starting corners Rashean Mathis and Darius Slay were both exposed this past Sunday, as Cam Newton threw all over them despite possessing a limited receiving corps. Imagine what Green Bay will do, especially now that tertiary receiver Davante Adams is emerging.

    RECAP: I like the Packers for three units. Here’s why:

    1. Aaron Rodgers has a terrific track record against his divisional opponents, particularly on the road. He’s 10-4 against the spread in away divisional contests.

    2. The Packers were blown out the last time they visited Detroit. Of course, that was on Thanksgiving in a game in which Matt Flynn started. I think this is a nice revenge spot for Green Bay.

    3. As discussed, there’s plenty of line value with the Packers, as some people seem to be down on them following a non-cover victory against the Jets. Just take a listen to what Bill Simmons said about them this week.

    4. The Lions, as usual, will find some creative way to lose.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps are taking the Lions, who will find some way to screw themselves out of a victory.

    SUNDAY NOTES: This is a classic situation in which most of the ESPN analysts picked the underdog to win. That should tell you the Lions are the right side. However, there’s sharp money on both sides – some support on Green Bay on Sunday morning – and remember that Vegas needs to give some money back to the public soon.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Lions.
    I don’t think the public understands why the Packers are underdogs.
  • Percentage of money on Green Bay: 67% (45,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Packers.
  • History: Packers have won 15 of the last 17 meetings.
  • Packers are 32-15 ATS in divisional games since 2006.
  • Aaron Rodgers is 48-29 ATS since 2009 (8-4 ATS as a favorite of 12+).
  • Aaron Rodgers is 23-16 ATS on the road as long as he’s not favored by 6.5 or more points.
  • Aaron Rodgers is 10-8 ATS as an underdog.
  • Opening Line: Lions -1.
  • Opening Total: 52.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 3 NFL Pick: Packers 30, Lions 27
    Packers +2.5 (3 Units) — Incorrect; -$330
    Over 52 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Lions 19, Packers 7




    Indianapolis Colts (0-2) at Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2)
    Line: Colts by 6.5. Total: 45.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Colts -6.5.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Colts -6.5.
    Sunday, Sept. 21, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Colts.

    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. Including these two…



    Check out the newest chapter of the Adventures of Tom Brady’s Haircuts.

    JACKSONVILLE OFFENSE: Gus Bradley is fine with sabotaging his 2014 season, apparently. With the Colts 0-2 and two impending games against the Texans coming up, Jacksonville had a very rare opportunity to be competitive for the divisional title this year. All Bradley had to do was start Blake Bortles, much like his former mentor, Pete Carroll, went with a rookie (Russell Wilson) over a crappy veteran (Matt Flynn) in Seattle. Bortles proved that he was ready after a brilliant preseason, but Bradley has foolishly and stubbornly stuck with Chad Henne, rendering his team irrelevant in 2014.

    You have to wonder if the Jaguar players are going to quit on Bradley (or if they already have). Bradley is essentially saying the Jaguars can’t compete now, so Bortles may as well sit. How do the other players feel about that? They’re being told they’re not good enough, which has to be depressing.

    Jacksonville is certainly not good enough with Henne. He is pure garbage. Blame the offensive line all you want – and it’s not very good – but some of those 10 sacks were Henne’s fault because he failed to recognize blitzes and held on to the ball too long. The Colts don’t have much of a pass rush, but even they’ll be able to put heat on Henne. And unlike Monday night, they won’t have a quick running back on the other side slipping through tackles. Toby Gerhart is slow and hobbled, so I wouldn’t expect him to generate much yardage.

    INDIANAPOLIS OFFENSE: The Jaguars do get a bit of good news this week in John Cyprien returning to the lineup. Cyprien is the best Jacksonville defensive back by a mile, and it was not a coincidence that the Eagles began scoring in the season opener once Cyprien left with a concussion. However, it’s difficult to imagine Cyrpien covering up all of Jacksonville’s coverage problems. There were Redskins open on every single play last week, so it wasn’t surprising that Kirk Cousins was so dominant.

    If Cousins was able to dissect the Jaguars, I don’t see why Luck couldn’t either. Jacksonville can try to rattle Luck by putting pressure on him, but the athletic quarterback will once again be able to use his legs to move the chains.

    The Colts should be able to run the ball as well – Jacksonville is 16th in YPC – but their fans will be hoping for Ahmad Bradshaw to handle the bulk of the workload. I have no clue what the hell Pep Hamilton was thinking by A) feeding Trent Richardson the ball on two of three plays during the final offensive drive and B) using Richardson over Ahmad Bradshaw when the latter is clearly better and more reliable. I’d say Monday night could serve as a signal to the Colts that they have to utilize Bradshaw more often, but I’m not sure Hamilton is smart enough to recognize that. Besides, there could be pressure from the inept general manager to use Richardson after he squandered a first-round pick on him exactly 364 days ago.

    RECAP: I LOVE the Jaguars this week! Just kidding. Jacksonville is poisonous, so I won’t be betting on them anytime soon. That could change if Bortles takes the field, but that would require Bradley not being completely inept.

    I’m going to take the Colts for a few units, actually. I still love Luck off a loss (we were robbed of four units by incompetent and/or crooked refs), and 0-2 playoff teams have a great track record of covering. It helps that teams that lost as home favorites by 1-3 points tend to rebound the following week as road favorites.

    This is also a fade of the Jaguars. As mentioned, it seems like the players have quit on Bradley. He’s essentially telling them that they’re not good enough to win now; they’re not worth risking a precious rookie quarterback prospect over. That has to be highly depressing. Nice job motivating your team, Gus.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Tons of money on the Colts. That’s not a surprise. The good news for Colt bettors is that the public has taken a beating recently, so the house needs to give back.

    SUNDAY NOTES: Some professional money went on the Jaguars on Sunday morning. Another poisonous sharp play.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    Both teams are in a must-win situation. The Colts better hope the officials don’t fix the game again.


    The Vegas. Edge: Jaguars.
    No surprise where the public is going with this.
  • Percentage of money on Indianapolis: 85% (34,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Colts.
  • History: 17 of the last 24 meetings decided by 8 points or fewer (Colts 3-0 SU last 3).
  • Andrew Luck is 9-1 ATS off a loss.
  • Jaguars are 11-4 ATS coming off a 2-game road trip the previous 15 instances.
  • Opening Line: Colts -6.5.
  • Opening Total: 45.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 3 NFL Pick: Colts 27, Jaguars 13
    Colts -7 (3 Units) — Correct; +$300
    Under 45.5 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Colts 44, Jaguars 17




    Oakland Raiders (0-2) at New England Patriots (1-1)
    Line: Patriots by 14. Total: 45.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Patriots -12.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Patriots -13.
    Sunday, Sept. 21, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Patriots.

    Here are more Random NFL Notes:

    4. On a lighter note, I wanted to discuss how terrible my friend Body Burner’s one fantasy league is. I mentioned it during my Live Kickoff Blog. Here are some highlights:

    – Dez Bryant fell to him at 2.12. He also landed Robert Griffin in the 11th round, and yet his league members complimented someone who chose Johnny Manziel a couple of picks later.

    – Lamar Miller went in the third round. Body Burner chose Knowshon Moreno in the eighth, and he was criticized for it. Someone told him, “That pick was good for me.”

    – Someone chose Nick Foles with the final pick in the second round. BB asked, “Nick Foles?” The guy responded, “He’s my sixth-ranked quarterback.” Body Burner looked at the draft board and replied, “There were only three quarterbacks off the board…”

    – “One of the guys in the league was saying how we can start two tight ends. He said, ‘You can start Jeremy Graham or… what’s another good one… Jermichael Finley.'”

    Body Burner recently offered the following trade to a member in his league: Roddy White and Zac Stacy for Julio Jones. A fair swap. The member declined it and counter-offered: Julio Jones and Jeremy Hill for Roddy White and Zac Stacy. Basically, he made his deal worse.

    Body Burner texted me after the Bengals’ win: “I’d like to thank that guy for giving me Jeremy Hill and his 74 yards and touchdown for no reason.”

    5. Body Burner and I share a team in an auction-keeper league. We get offered the worst deals of all time. For instance, one guy offered us Shonn Greene, Andy Dalton, Eric Decker and Bishop Sankey (for $63!) for Calvin Johnson, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Kenny Britt. Basically, he wanted to unload three pieces of junk and an expensive rookie who’s not even playing for Calvin Johnson.

    We quickly declined, and he sent us an angry e-mail:

    Do you have any interest in trading Calvin??? If not say something in the comments so I don’t look like a jackass offering you trades! Don’t be fooled by 1 good game by Calvin. He’s not gonna win you games every week.

    So, because Megatron isn’t going to single-handedly win us games each week, we should deal him for garbage? This guy is such an idiot.

    6. I forgot to mention CBS’ TV stupidity in Week 1. There were a billion 1 p.m. games and only two that started at 4:25. CBS didn’t carry any during the latter time slot because of… tennis!

    Seriously, who cares about tennis? It’s a neat sport to play, but who the hell watches it? I can only think of three reasons why to tune into tennis over anything else:

    1. You lost your porn password, so you have to settle for watching chicks in skirts.

    2. You want to root against Serena Williams because she A) looks like a golem and B) the media vomits whenever she does anything.

    3. You have no friends and no life.

    The worst part is that Serena beat the hot chick who was playing. I cried a little bit inside once I heard the news. The hot chicks should always win.

    NEW ENGLAND OFFENSE: I had an argument with another football Web site owner this summer when I compiled my Most Overrated NFL Players list. Brady was on there because he was named the third-best player in the league by the NFL players a couple of months earlier, which was absurd. Well, through two games, Brady is just 3-of-20 when throwing passes traveling 15-plus yards. His supporting cast is a bit limited for sure, but Brady didn’t have talent around him prior to 2007 either. He just isn’t on an elite level anymore.

    Having said that, Oakland’s defense is such an abomination that it might just allow Brady to play at a 2007 level again. The Raiders are currently ranked 24th against the pass (in terms of YPA) despite battling Geno Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick through two weeks. How pathetic is that? The secondary is very mediocre, and there is absolutely no pass rush, which has to be music to Brady’s ears considering the state of his offensive line.

    Of course, Brady may not have to throw much for the second game in a row if his ground attack once again does all the dirty work. As bad as the Raiders are versus the pass, they’re even worse in run support. Thus, I’d expect another big performance from Stevan Ridley and/or Shane Vereen.

    OAKLAND OFFENSE: The Raiders haven’t been able to do anything offensively through two weeks. They’ve had garbage scores in both of their games, but that’s been about it.

    I don’t see why that would change in this contest. The Patriots were just able to clamp down on Matt Cassel, so why wouldn’t Bill Belichick have success against an extremely raw rookie? Derek Carr has mostly thrown checkdowns in his two starts – until the game has gotten out of hand, that is – and being so limited on offense is just playing into Belichick’s hands. He’ll use Darrelle Revis to take away one aspect of Oakland’s aerial “attack” and force Carr into more checkdowns and/or bad throws as a consequence.

    I wouldn’t expect anything out of Darren McFadden either. The Patriots have solid personnel to stop the run, and it’s not like McFadden has the appropriate blocking aiding him anyway.

    RECAP: This is too many points. However, the Raiders are an abomination, and they won’t even be fully focused because they have to travel to London next. Still though, it’s too many points, so even though I expect New England to cover, I wouldn’t bet on it. If you’re considering laying the two touchdowns, consider Brady’s record as a large favorite (posted below). It’s not pretty.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: No sharp money on either side. They usually take double-digit dogs on principle, but the Raiders are just atrocious.

    SUNDAY NOTES: The public is all over the Patriots. There’s some sharp support on the Raiders, but not a lot. They’re only taking Oakland out of principle. I wouldn’t touch this game.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Raiders.
    A decent lean on the Patriots.
  • Percentage of money on New England: 73% (42,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Raiders.
  • Raiders are 13-7 ATS as double-digit underdogs since 2008.
  • Tom Brady is 161-55 as a starter (123-88 ATS).
  • Tom Brady is 20-28 ATS as a home favorite of -9 or more (10-21 ATS since November 2007).
  • Opening Line: Patriots -13.
  • Opening Total: 47.
  • Weather: .


    Week 3 NFL Pick: Patriots 27, Raiders 10
    Patriots -14 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Under 45.5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Survivor Pick (1-1)
    Patriots 16, Raiders 9



    Week 3 NFL Picks – Late Games
    San Francisco�at�Arizona, Kansas City�at�Miami, Denver�at�Seattle, Pittsburgh�at�Carolina, Chicago�at�NY Jets




    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 3 NFL Picks – Late Games



    2024 NFL Mock Draft - April 9


    NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22


    Fantasy Football Rankings - Feb. 19


    NFL Picks - Feb. 12




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

    2003 Preseason: 3 | 4 | 5
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