NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 7, 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 (Week 3, 2014): 6-9-1 (+$130)
NFL Picks (Week 4, 2014): 6-7 (+$640)
NFL Picks (Week 5, 2014): 9-4-2 (+$255)
NFL Picks (Week 6, 2014): 5-9-1 (-$1,230)

NFL Picks (2014): 49-53-5 (-$1,265)
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 Oct. 20, 5:30 p.m. ET. Follow @walterfootball for updates.


Go to Week 7 NFL Picks – Late Games





New York Jets (1-5) at New England Patriots (4-2)
Line: Patriots by 10. Total: 44.

Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Patriots -9.5.
Walt’s Calculated Line: Patriots -10.
Thursday, Oct. 16, 8:25 ET
Comment on this game

The Game. Edge: Patriots.

WEEK 6 RECAP: My LVH Supercontest partner Matvei called Week 6 an “apocalyptic Sunday.” Not just for myself, as I dropped 12.3 units down the drain, but for Vegas and most sharp bettors. The sportsbooks lost millions throughout the afternoon – especially when Aqib Talib returned that pick-six – and professional bettors took a massive beating. Almost every single square pick hit, which made it a massive blood bath for Vegas.

Fortunately, it was only one week. It happened to be only my second losing week of the season – though both were brutal – so I’m confident I can bounce back.

I’ll be posting NFL Picks all day Wednesday. Follow me at @walterfootball for updates.

NEW ENGLAND OFFENSE: The Jets’ issues in their secondary have been well-documented, and they’ve gotten worse recently in the wake of Dee Milliner’s torn Achilles. Milliner had been a disappointment as the team’s first-round pick in 2013, but he had a decent outing against San Diego. Losing him is also a blow to the team’s depth.

Making matters worse for the Jets, they have to deal with Tom Brady, who has caught fire the past two weeks. Brady torched a Buffalo defense ranked fourth in efficiency entering Week 6, so even though New York is 12th in that regard, the team still has its work cut out for itself.

The one way the Jets can slow down Brady is by constantly harassing him. The Bills weren’t able to do so in the second half because Bill Belichick constantly rolled Brady out, but perhaps Rex Ryan will be prepared for that. If so, his defensive line will give Brady problems, and it’s not like Brady can turn to a decent running game any longer because Stevan Ridley is also finished for the season.

NEW YORK OFFENSE: Geno Smith wasn’t terrible last week. That’s actually fantastic news for the Jets, as Smith can be a complete abomination at times. He kept his team in the game until a late, Vegas-killing pick-six put the Broncos up two touchdowns. Smith had otherwise done a decent job of keeping some drives alive and helping his team get into the end zone twice.

Smith wasn’t battling a cupcake defense either, so the difference between his performance in the Denver and San Diego games was Eric Decker. The former Bronco has missed some time this year, and the disparity between Smith’s play with and without his top wideout has been staggering. Smith has simply been so much more competent when he’s actually had an NFL-caliber receiver to throw to.

Unfortunately for Smith, the problem is that Decker will have to go up against Darrelle Revis on Thursday. Thus, Smith won’t exactly have any NFL-caliber wideouts to target. He’ll need more from his running game, which should actually produce because while Denver is third versus the rush in terms of YPC (3.15), New England is only 19th (4.37).

RECAP: I’m not planning on betting this game, but I believe the Jets are the right side. They’re completely desperate for a win, and they’ve played well under Rex Ryan as large underdogs within the division. Meanwhile, the Patriots are not built to be big favorites; they’re just 10-22 against the spread since November 2007 when laying nine or more points. Again, Week 7 NFL Picks will be posted all day Wednesday. I’ll announce via Twitter @walterfootball when each selection is posted.

FINAL THOUGHTS: If you like the Patriots, you can get -9.5 everywhere. If you want to bet the Jets, hit up Bovada, where you can get them for +10 -105. I still like the Jets to cover. There’s been a stat going around that says Tom Brady is 6-0 on Thursday nights, but excluding season openers and Thanksgiving games, he’s just 0-1 ATS on Thursday night, so don’t be worried about that. The sharps, by the way, have not been involved in this game for the most part.


The Psychology. Edge: Jets.
With the Patriots well in control of their division, so this game means more to the Jets.


The Vegas. Edge: Jets.
I thought there’d be more money on the Patriots.
  • Percentage of money on New England: 66% (50,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Jets.
  • History: Patriots have won 18 of the last 23 meetings.
  • History: Home Team has won 8 of the last 11 meetings.
  • Rex Ryan is 4-2 ATS as a divisional underdog of 7+.
  • Patriots are 43-29 ATS vs. AFC East opponents since 2001.
  • Tom Brady is 164-56 as a starter (125-90 ATS).
  • Tom Brady is 20-29 ATS as a home favorite of -9 or more (10-22 ATS since November 2007).
  • Opening Line: Patriots -9.
  • Opening Total: 47.
  • Weather: .


    Week 7 NFL Pick: Patriots 23, Jets 17
    Jets +10 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Under 44 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Patriots 27, Jets 25






    Cincinnati Bengals (3-1-1) at Indianapolis Colts (4-2)
    Line: Colts by 3. Total: 51.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Colts -2.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Colts -6.5.
    Sunday, Oct. 19, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Colts.

    WEEK 7 BETTING TRENDS: I’ve identified poisonous teams that I would never bet on to save me from some bad picks. Here’s the list, with the Rams being added after blowing a big lead Monday night.

    Poisonous Teams:
    Raiders
    Jaguars
    Titans
    Rams

    Four weeks ago, I discussed point value in terms of the Las Vegas Hilton advance spread. That dynamic was 11-4 against the spread since Week 2 entering last weekend. How did it do in Week 6? Here are the results:

    Before Week 5 After Week 5 ATS Result
    Steelers -1.5 Steelers +2 Steelers lose
    Bills PK Bills +3 Bills lose
    Jets +6 Jets +9 Jets lose

    All losses, bringing the dynamic to 11-7 ATS. However, the Jets should have covered, while almost every professional bettor was on the Bills, so something weird happened there, especially when the incompetent refs continuously made bad calls against Buffalo (what were those offensive pass interferences all about?)

    Here are this week’s value lines (movements of two or more without serious injuries):

    Before Week 6 After Week 6
    Giants +3.5 Giants +6.5
    Falcons +5 Falcons +7
    Vikings +3.5 Vikings +5.5

    There are only three games for now. All three are obvious overreactions. The public saw the Ravens beat down the hapless Buccaneers and witnessed the Falcons blow a game against the Bears at home. Meanwhile, every Cowboy homer is pumping his chest following the team’s win against a lethargic Seahawk squad. Illiterate analysts like Michael Irvin are shouting that Dallas is the best team in the NFL even though the Cowboys are tied for second-to-last in terms of defensive yards per play. This is setting up very nicely for a big play on the Giants.

    Moving on, I was very curious to see how teams have fared off ties. It’s sometimes easy to gauge if a team will be flat or not if they’re coming off an emotional victory or defeat, but how do they respond to ties?

    Since 1989, teams coming off ties are 5-9 against the spread; 3-5 ATS since divisional re-alignment in 2002.

    We might have something there, but not all teams that tie are created equal. Some might be happier about a tie – perhaps if they were underdogs, or if they trailed going into the fourth quarter. Let’s take a look at all possible dynamics for teams coming off ties:

    Dynamic off Tie ATS Record
    Home Team 1-6
    Road Team 4-3
    Favorite 1-6
    Underdog 4-3
    Leading after 3rd Quarter 1-5
    Losing after 3rd Quarter 4-2*
    With Road Game Coming Up 3-4
    With Home Game Coming Up 4-4

    * – Home teams trailing after the third are just 1-1 ATS.

    We’re obviously working with a small sample size here, but I think the results make sense. Teams that were favored respond poorly off ties because some of the players may start pointing fingers after such a neutral result. The Bengals seemed to be doing this when they blamed their kicker for missing the decisive field goal. Teams that blew a lead also fare poorly. The Panthers fit that category.

    CINCINNATI OFFENSE: The latest on A.J. Green is that he told an ESPN reporter that he doesn’t expect to play this week. With Marvin Jones out for the year, all Andy Dalton will have to work with is Mohamed Sanu and Giovani Bernard coming out of the backfield.

    Dalton was able to succeed with this supporting cast last week against the Panthers, so he’ll thrive again versus the Colts, right? I doubt it. There are two reasons why Dalton could regress this week. First, he’ll be playing on the road, where he’s been much worse in his career; his completion percentage and touchdown-to-interception ratio have both been much worse in visiting contests. Second, Indianapolis’ defense is much better than Carolina’s. This may sound surprising, but the Colts are a surprising ninth in defensive efficiency, thanks to improved play lately from Bjoern Werner, among others. The Panthers, meanwhile, are 28th in that regard.

    The Colts have been better against aerial attacks lately because of a bolstered pass rush, but they’re still weak against ground attacks, ranking 27th (4.61 YPC) in that department. Bernard is going to have to take advantage of this to make life easier for Dalton.

    INDIANAPOLIS OFFENSE: While the Colts have been surprisingly good on defense, the exact opposite can be said for the Bengals, who are a shocking 27th in defensive efficiency. The team has a meager pass rush (8 sacks) and struggles to defend the run, ranking 27th (4.61 YPC) in terms of stopping it.

    Why have the Bengals been so bad defensively? Blaming it on Mike Zimmer and Michael Johnson departing is obvious, but some of the players just aren’t playing up to their abilities. Geno Atkins has struggled immensely coming off an injury. Domata Peko and Carlos Dunlap have also been underachieving. With these linemen being unable to put heat on opposing passers, Andrew Luck figures to have a big outing. Cincinnati’s secondary has gotten worse without Zimmer, so T.Y. Hilton could be in for another huge outing.

    I also mentioned that Cincinnati is weak against the rush, so the Colts will get some yardage there. I wish Indianapolis would completely abandon Trent Richardson because he’s terrible and just stick with Ahmad Bradshaw, but both backs figure to have success.

    RECAP: I plan on betting against the public this week, thanks to all of the losses Vegas incurred, but this MIGHT be the only game in which I’m siding with the squares. This spread just isn’t high enough. The Colts are an elite team, while the Bengals have been underachieving, yet this line doesn’t take those factors into account. Also, the Colts have had extra day to prepare for this contest, and they’ll be fully focused because this is a revenge game after Cincinnati whooped them last year. The home-road dichotomy is prevalent here as well; the Colts are so much better as hosts, while the Bengals struggle in away games.

    I’m taking Indianapolis for three units. This wager would be greater if there wasn’t so much public money on the host.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I’m still upset about the amount of action on the Colts. It’s shady that there’s so much money on them, yet the spread hasn’t moved. As I said, this is the only square side I’m taking. The sharps are split.

    SUNDAY NOTES: Nothing has changed. I’m still pretty confident on the Colts.


    The Psychology. Edge: Colts.
    The Bengals smacked down the Colts last week. This is a revenge spot.


    The Vegas. Edge: Bengals.
    Early action is all over the Colts.
  • Percentage of money on Indianapolis: 75% (60,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Colts.
  • Bengals are 24-13 ATS as underdogs since 2009.
  • Andrew Luck is 15-5 ATS at home.
  • Opening Line: Colts -3.
  • Opening Total: 49.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 7 NFL Pick: Colts 27, Bengals 17
    Colts -3 (3 Units) — Correct; +$300
    Under 51 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Colts 27, Bengals 0






    Tennessee Titans (2-4) at Washington Redskins (1-5)
    Line: Redskins by 6. Total: 46.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : No Line (Locker).
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Redskins -3.
    Sunday, Oct. 19, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Redskins.

    VEGAS UPDATE: I already mentioned that Vegas got slaughtered. The only game they definitively won was Oakland. They lost massively with the Broncos, 49ers, Colts, Broncos and Ravens both covering. They also got hurt with a middle in the Packers-Dolphins game, raising the question: Why the hell did they drop the spread below +3?

    Expect vengeance this week. If a defensive back like Aqib Talib takes another costly pick-six back to the house, expect a sniper to take him out before he reaches the end zone.

    Once again, follow @walterfootball for updates.

    TENNESSEE OFFENSE: I’m shocked the sportsbooks posted a spread on this game so early considering Jake Locker’s unknown status. The latest we have is Ken Whisenhunt telling the media on Monday that he doesn’t know what Locker’s availability will be for this contest.

    Having Locker on the field obviously makes a difference, especially in a matchup like this where he’ll be able to take advantage of a weak secondary missing DeAngelo Hall that just allowed Larry Fitzgerald to put together his only positive performance of the season. Bashaud Breeland, who has been filling in for Hall, has been a disaster. Locker will be able to take advantage of that, and he’ll also be able to navigate the pocket to avoid Washington’s talented pass rushers. I don’t have faith that Charlie Whitehurst will be able to accomplish that.

    Locker’s availability is more prevalent considering how strong the Redskins are in run support. Bishop Sankey was predictably much better last week than Shonn Greene ever was, but he’ll have his work cut out for him against a Washington stop unit ranked sixth against the rush (3.45 YPC).

    WASHINGTON OFFENSE: A lot can happen in a short period of time. Four weeks ago, everyone was praising Kirk Cousins for how well he torched Jacksonville’s defense. Cousins also performed well against Philadelphia’s abomination of a secondary the following Sunday, and many wondered if he – not Robert Griffin – would be Washington’s franchise quarterback going forward. Now, just less than a month later, Washington supporters are calling for Colt McCoy to play following the Redskins’ latest loss. Colt freaking McCoy.

    Cousins could rebound against the Titans, who have one of the worst defenses in the NFL. They struggle at getting to the quarterback; prior to the Jacksonville game – everyone gets pressure on the Jaguar quarterbacks – they had just two sacks in their previous three contests. Excluding Derrick Morgan and Jurrell Casey, no one can consistently get after opposing signal-callers.

    The Titans aren’t good at stopping the run either. Just two weeks ago, the Browns bulldozed them even though they were playing from way behind. Alfred Morris figures to have a big game, which should set up Cousins with easy opportunities. Cousins has everything set up well for him; the only way he doesn’t rebound is if his confidence is completely shaken. Cousins seems weak-minded; when things are going bad for him, they quickly get worse, and he could be shaken by this outcry for McCoy to play.

    RECAP: What I do with this game depends on Locker’s availability. If Locker plays, this will probably be a two-unit pick for me. I know I listed the Titans as poisonous, but the Redskins suck too. Washington is especially bad as a home favorite – 6-19 ATS since 2000 laying four or more – and the Six and Six Rule applies, which basically states that any team that will finish with six or fewer wins needs to be faded when favored by six or more.

    If Whitehurst is named the starter, I’ll still pick Tennessee, but it’ll be a non-wager. Stay tuned, and follow @walterfootball for updates.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: It appears as though Whitehurst will start, which is bad news because he sucks. I would’ve taken Tennessee for two units had Locker gotten the nod, but I can’t bet on a terrible quarterback like Whitehurst.

    SUNDAY NOTES: There was some sharp money on the Titans early Sunday morning, but this spread has risen in the wake of the Charlie Whitehurst news. The public bet up Washington as a consequence.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Washington: 55% (20,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Redskins are 6-19 ATS as home favorites of more than 4 since 2000.
  • Opening Line: Redskins -4.
  • Opening Total: 46.
  • Weather: .


    Week 7 NFL Pick: Redskins 20, Titans 16
    Titans +6 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Under 46 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Redskins 19, Titans 17






    Miami Dolphins (2-3) at Chicago Bears (3-3)
    Line: Bears by 3. Total: 48.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Bears -3 -120.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Bears -2.
    Sunday, Oct. 19, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: None.

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

    Did your mother eat paint chips during pregnancy? And you have the nerve to insult anyone at all about football?

    My mom actually ate paint chips as a side to her cheesesteaks during my pregnancy. As a side effect, I’ve developed a nerve to insult anyone and everyone involving football.

    Hahaha lol what a douchebag, f*cking pyrrhic man

    And yet another person who doesn’t understand what the word “Pyrrhic” means. All you have to do is Google it. It’s not that difficult.

    For someone who criticizes people on here for using hype and ESPN blah blah blah…he sure does a hell of a lot of it himself. He seems to have no clue what he’s even talking about. He just makes @#$@ up that subconsciously got into his peanut brain while watching ESPN and NFL network.

    Subconsciously? No, I make @#$@ up very consciously.

    Read Walt’s Giants/Eagles writeup No seriously, go read it. Bahahahahaha Does this guy even watch football.

    I just read it! Bahahaha! Wait, you were making fun of me, weren’t you? Damn it.

    Well said boys, Walt’s a fkin joke, he is pushing -30 units or more in nfl and just as bad in cfb. Only bet his play of the month, for some strange reason they seem to s*** out at a pretty good clip, for as the rest of his pics, straight up doo doo!

    I appreciate you saying that I’m a joke, sine it’s my aim to make others laugh. However, I’m not anywhere near -30 units. Not yet, anyway.

    walt sucks. -18 units this week! Smh

    -12 units, you mean. If I were -18 units, I’d be in a cardboard box. Instead, I’m in a slightly larger cardboard box.

    WALT YOUR AN IDIOT AND YOUR PICKS SUCK!

    True. And good for you getting one of the “your” words grammatically correct. You’re batting .500, which is pretty sweet.

    Wow Walter is having one hell of a week picking these NFL games. What did he do, flip a damn coin?

    No, I blindfolded myself and threw darts at a board. Flipping a coin is too random for me.

    CHICAGO OFFENSE: Not enough attention was brought to this because the Bears won last week, but Jay Cutler struggled with pressure from the Falcons. Atlanta barely puts heat on quarterbacks, but it managed to disrupt some of the Bears’ drives by getting (or rather, nearly getting) to Cutler. They managed just one sack, but Cutler was under siege more than he should have been, considering his opponent.

    If the Falcons could get that much pressure on Cutler, imagine what the Dolphins will do. Miami has a tremendous pass rush that gave Aaron Rodgers problems last week. Fortunately for the Bears, they may have left tackle Jermon Bushrod back. He’ll be a big boost, as his replacement, Michael Ola, struggled immensely. Bushrod will help make sure there’s only one liability up front, which is at right tackle. That would be Jordan Mills’ spot, and Mills won’t have much of a chance against Cameron Wake in this matchup.

    With all that being said, I expect the Bears to put up a decent amount of points. While Miami’s secondary isn’t a big liability, it isn’t a strength either, so Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery should both be able to have big gains. Matt Forte, meanwhile, will have to do most of his damage as a receiver coming out of the backfield because the Dolphins are tough against the run.

    MIAMI OFFENSE: The Dolphins will also score a decent amount. Their offense has performed well since the strange Joe Philbin-Ryan Tannehill controversy, and they happen to have another promising matchup.

    The Bears’ defensive struggles have been a bit exaggerated, but they are real. The team hasn’t been nearly as bad against the run this year, ranking 17th against it (4.18 YPC). However, Lance Briggs could be out again with a rib injury. The Falcons didn’t have the personnel in their ground attack to exploit Briggs’ absence, but the Dolphins definitely do. Lamar Miller has gained 5.2 yards per carry this year, and the job is now all his in the wake of Knowshon Moreno’s season-ending ACL tear.

    Chicago is much worse against the pass than it is versus the run, as it’s just 26th in terms of stopping aerial attacks (7.86 YPA). The linebackers can’t cover, while the secondary, aside from Kyle Fuller, has been a huge disappointment. Tannehill is prone to a couple of mistakes per game, but he’s played well for the most part recently, so I like him in this matchup.

    RECAP: An amazing number that Matvei brought to my attention is that the Dolphins are 17-3 against the spread as road underdogs of fewer than five points since 2008. Underdogs have always been the play in Miami games (53-24 ATS last 77), but I didn’t expect that figure to be that incredible.

    I already liked the Dolphins prior to seeing that trend. The Bears are somewhat of an overrated team, while Miami fits the role of a road underdog following a close loss as a home underdog. Teams tend to perform well in that dynamic. Oh, and we’re also fading the public, which is a plus.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: It sucks this spread is so short, but I’m sticking with the Dolphins. The sharps are playing them as well.

    SUNDAY NOTES: There’s professional money on the Dolphins, while the public is pounding Chicago, surprised to see such a “small” line.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    The Bears have the Patriots next week, but the Dolphins are coming off an emotional defeat.


    The Vegas. Edge: Dolphins.
    The early money is on the Bears, and understandably so.
  • Percentage of money on Chicago: 65% (43,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Dolphins.
  • Underdog is 53-24 ATS in the Dolphins’ last 77 games.
  • Dolphins are 17-3 ATS as an underdog of less than 5 since 2008.
  • Dolphins are 9-15 ATS vs. NFC teams since 2008.
  • Jay Cutler is 33-60 ATS if you exclude Monday Night Football.
  • Opening Line: Bears -3.5.
  • Opening Total: 49.
  • Weather: .


    Week 7 NFL Pick: Dolphins 27, Bears 24
    Dolphins +3 (2 Units) — Correct; +$200
    Over 48 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Dolphins 27, Bears 14






    Cleveland Browns (3-2) at Jacksonville Jaguars (0-6)
    Line: Browns by 5. Total: 45.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Browns -4.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Browns -3.
    Sunday, Oct. 19, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Browns.

    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!

    CLEVELAND OFFENSE: The Browns are thought of as team that runs the ball well and plays great defense, but that’s not the entire truth. Cleveland actually has the No. 5 offense in the NFL in terms of yards per play. The ground attack is a big part of that, but Brian Hoyer has played lights-out football as well. His completion percentage hasn’t been great (60.7), but his YPA (8.2) and touchdown-to-interception ratio (7:1) have been amazing.

    Hoyer won’t receive much resistance from Jacksonville’s putrid back seven. The linebackers are bad, while the defensive backs are worse. The team is tied for last against the pass in terms of YPA (8.35) and has only gotten worse recently, showing an inability to stop Charlie Whitehurst. If Whitehurst could consistently move the chains on the Browns, Hoyer won’t have much of an issue.

    Running on the Jaguars, on the other hand, isn’t very easy. Jacksonville is 13th against the rush (4.02 YPC) thanks to a defensive line with some talent on it. If Hoyer were playing a team with a tough secondary, I’d be concerned about his ability to succeed without a strong ground attack supporting him, but he’ll have no difficulty dissecting such a sorry opponent.

    JACKSONVILLE OFFENSE: Blake Bortles has been a massive upgrade over Chad Henne, but he’s young, so he’s bound to make mistakes. Bortles has thrown seven interceptions in three-and-a-half games thus far. It hasn’t all been his fault, but some of the turnovers – including the pick-six against the Steelers – have been back-breakers.

    Meanwhile, Bortles’ supporting cast hasn’t been flawless either. Drops and fumbles have killed Jaguar drives, so even though the Browns aren’t very good on this side of the ball – just 23rd in defensive efficiency – Jacksonville can’t be trusted to convert on many of its possessions.

    It would help if the Jaguars had a reliable rushing attack, but they haven’t been able to establish one. They can’t block, and they don’t have any talented running backs who could take advantage of a quality offensive line anyway, so Jacksonville won’t do much on the ground despite battling a weak unit versus the rush (28th, 4.76).

    RECAP: All of the numbers and dynamics say that the Jaguars are the right play. This spread is too high … there’s too much public action on the Browns … teams that have lost five-plus games make for nice plays as underdogs coming off close losses … people forget that the Browns nearly lost to the Titans … Jacksonville has been competitive in every game with Bortles under center … I can go on and on.

    Unfortunately, the Jaguars are poisonous, and I don’t trust them enough with my money. I’m picking them here, but I’m sure as hell not betting on them.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: If you actually want to bet the Jaguars, you can get them at +6 -105 on Bovada. I can’t advise betting on them though. The sharps are, for what it’s worth.

    SUNDAY NOTES: All of the +6 spreads are long gone. If you waited and like the Jaguars, you can get +5 on Bovada. It’s +4 everywhere else.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Jaguars.
    The public is pounding the Browns.
  • Percentage of money on Cleveland: 68% (42,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Browns.
  • Browns are 7-1 ATS as road favorites.
  • Browns are 19-12 ATS after allowing 30 or more points since 2005.
  • Browns are 8-13 ATS as favorites since 2008.
  • Jaguars are 18-46 ATS against non-divisional opponents since 2008.
  • Opening Line: Browns -4.
  • Opening Total: 45.
  • Weather: .


    Week 7 NFL Pick: Browns 26, Jaguars 23
    Jaguars +5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Over 45 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Jaguars 24, Browns 6




    Seattle Seahawks (3-2) at St. Louis Rams (1-4)
    Line: Seahawks by 6. Total: 44.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Seahawks -7.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Seahawks -7.5.
    Sunday, Oct. 19, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Seahawks.

    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. With Jameis Winston being in the news, I figured I should mention how amusing it was that Johnny Manziel – or as e-mailer Jim V. called him, “Johnny Douchebag” – offered to mentor the current Florida State quarterback.

    Oh, how great! I’m sure Winston can learn a lot from Manziel. This includes:

    – How to look cool while rolling $20 bills in the bathroom.

    – How to be completely unprepared in a preseason game.

    – How to berate reporters asking you if you’re taking your career seriously, with responses like, “I’m just a 21-year-old kid, living the life.”

    – How to help Emmitt Smith save the world from zombies.

    – And of course, how to actually get away with stuff in college instead of being caught for signing autographs and stealing crab legs.

    2. Speaking of Winston, one ESPN “personality” believes the Redskins will draft him. Jason Whitlock said this one day when he was ruining an episode of PTI. It sounded something like this, “NOM NOM NOM NOM REDSKINS WILL DRAFT JAMEIS WINSTON NOM NOM NOM NOM.”

    Right. So, after all the Redskins surrendered for Robert Griffin, they’re just going to give up on him after two bad years? How does that make any sense? Maybe the Redskins will look into Christian Hackenberg in the 2016 NFL Draft if Griffin sucks/is injured next year as well, but 2015 is too soon.

    I don’t get why Whitlock is the go-to replacement for Michael Wilbon on the show, anyway. Is it because he’s another large, bald black man? Listening to him is painful, and I groan every time he pops up on the TV during the introductions.

    3. I need to discuss some idiots in fantasy football. I mentioned a few weeks ago how my friend Body Burner and I, who share a team in an auction keeper league, get offered the worst trades possible. Here’s the latest one:

    We trade Calvin Johnson to Team Denver (creative name) for Roddy White and Donald Brown.

    Oh, how intriguing. So, to downgrade from Megatron to White, we get an injured, crappy running back!

    We rejected the offer and immediately heard back from the guy: “If you’re not going to accept this even trade, I can’t make a deal with you!!!!!”

    Wow, less logical than Whitlock. And probably fatter too.

    SEATTLE OFFENSE: The game plan Pete Carroll and his coaching staff came up with against the Cowboys was even dumber than that trade offer. What the hell were the Seahawks thinking? Why did they run the ball only twice with Marshawn Lynch in the first half against Dallas’ awful ground defense? It made absolutely no sense; it’s almost as if Seattle went out of its way to lose.

    I don’t expect the Seahawks to make the same mistake twice. They’ll attempt to establish Lynch early and often. They won’t have as much success against the Rams as they would’ve had versus Dallas – St. Louis is 11th against the run (3.9 YPC) – but Lynch has gotten tough yards against strong ground defenses before, and he’ll have a chance to do so again this Sunday.

    Russell Wilson will also rebound. The Rams have just one sack on the year because of Gregg Williams’ idiotic blitzing schemes, so he’ll have plenty of time to find Percy Harvin and the rest of his targets. Even if St. Louis gets some pressure on Wilson, he’ll be able to elude the opposing pass-rushers, as he usually does.

    ST. LOUIS OFFENSE: Austin Davis did what he often does on Monday night. He played well for a half and self-destructed in the other. It helped him that the 49ers goofed off prior to intermission, committing stupid penalties. The Seahawks, of course, have done plenty of that this year, but perhaps they’ll get their act together coming off such an embarrassing loss.

    A focused Seattle team should be able to handle the Rams’ scoring attack. The team still has a top-five ground defense to contain all of St. Louis’ mediocre runners, though Tre Mason did look good in his few briefs carries Monday night. The Seahawks hadn’t surrendered more than 84 rushing yards to any opponent prior to the Dallas game, and they’ll probably revert to that level of play in this contest.

    Meanwhile, Davis will have issues against the Legion of Boom. Starting cornerback Byron Maxwell is expected to miss this game, and his absence did hurt last week, but the Seahawks will make the appropriate adjustments. It’s often difficult to make in-game changes to compensate for key injured players on the fly, but Seattle will come up with something to help thwart the Rams.

    RECAP: It goes without saying that the Seahawks are the much better team, but then again, that’s why they’re massive road favorites. I still like them though, as they’ll be focused coming off a loss. Wilson is 6-1 against the spread following a defeat unless he’s favored by double digits. However, given the flood of public money on the Seahawks, I refuse to make any sort of wager. The sportsbooks will need the Rams to cash, so there might be shady officiating.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: This spread dropped half a point in the wake of the Percy Harvin trade. Harvin is worth about half a point, so that makes sense. I have to wonder how the team will react to Harvin being gone. Marshawn Lynch apparently didn’t want to get on the team bus. It seems like when everyone’s writing about a team in turmoil, that team tends to rebound with a big win. That’s not enough for me to bet on Seatte, as the action in this game is extremely lopsided.

    SUNDAY NOTES: The sharp money continues to pour in on the Rams. I have no feel for this game, as Seattle’s reaction to the Harvin trade could go either way.


    The Psychology. Edge: Seahawks.
    The Seahawks will be looking to redeem themselves following a loss, while the Rams won’t have much time to prepare.


    The Vegas. Edge: Rams.
    Who in their right mind is going to bet on the Rams?
  • Percentage of money on Seattle: 86% (50,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Seahawks.
  • History: Seahawks have won 16 of the last 18 meetings.
  • Russell Wilson is 6-1 ATS after a loss as long as he’s not favored by -10 or more.
  • Pete Carroll is 6-1 ATS after losing as a favorite.
  • Seahawks are 22-33 ATS on the road since 2006 if they’re not coming off an away loss.
  • Jeff Fisher is 43-29 ATS as an underdog since 2006.
  • Opening Line: Seahawks -6.5.
  • Opening Total: 45.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 7 NFL Pick: Seahawks 23, Rams 13
    Seahawks -6.5 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Under 44 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Rams 28, Seahawks 26




    Carolina Panthers (3-2-1) at Green Bay Packers (4-2)
    Line: Packers by 6. Total: 49.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Packers -7.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Packers -7.5.
    Sunday, Oct. 19, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Packers.

    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. There were so many great college football games this weekend, so it’s a shame that all anyone talked about the entire week was that Todd Gurley would be suspended for receiving money for his own autographs. Money that he deserves.

    Anything I’d write about this has already been said. The NCAA is a corrupt organization that profits off these players, so the players should be able to earn money off their name. I really don’t see what the argument against this is. I get that directly paying the players can be a slippery slope because the richest schools would have such a huge advantage, but why can’t players like Gurley make money off autographs? It seems perfectly legitimate to collect some cash for some of his signatures. Who’s the NCAA to say that the players can’t profit off of this?

    Ultimately though, this might be the best thing to ever happen to Gurley. As Charlie Campbell reported last week, NFL sources told us that Gurley’s NFL Draft stock won’t be impacted. With that in mind, Gurley won’t be injured like Willis McGahee or Marcus Lattimore in any game, so there’s a good chance he’ll end up a top-15 pick, as seen in my 2015 NFL Mock Draft.

    Oh, and to top it off, Gurley made money off this deal. If I were him, I’d go nuts. Since he’s banned from games anyway, he should sign with as many companies as possible. He might as well begin shooting commercials for Subway, Gatorade, Pepsi, Viagra, or whomever.

    2. I think it can be cool when students storm the field. It’s great when a home underdog knocks off a top-10 team, much like Ole Miss did with Alabama a week ago. That deserved a field-storming. Conversely, I liked that Mississippi State didn’t do that after it beat Auburn. The Bulldogs were favored, so there was no need to do this.

    So, with that in mind, what the hell were the Baylor students doing after beating TCU? I understand that they pulled through in a thrilling comeback, but the Bears were nine-point favorites over TCU. T-C-freaking-U! And it’s not like Baylor hasn’t been good for a while. Anyone who ran onto the field after that victory should revoke their football fan license.

    3. The games this Saturday were great, but the best part of the day was when my girlfriend heard Matt Millen talking during one of the games. She immediately asked, “Wait, is that the guy who always talks about wanting to bang players all night long, or something?”

    I burst out laughing. It’s hilarious that my girlfriend, who barely knows anything about football, is aware of how much of a heterosexually challenged pervert Millen is (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

    CAROLINA OFFENSE: The Panthers’ season may have turned around last week. The team tied, so I’m not talking about the result. I’m more referring to what happened on the field concerning the team’s quarterback. For the first time all year, Cam Newton looked completely healthy.

    Newton had been running as much as possible. He had previously shied away from scrambling because he had been nursing numerous injuries, but he was confidently beating the Bengals with his legs. He made up for a ground attack that was severely lacking and will continue to struggle until DeAngelo Williams returns. Perhaps this means the Packers will be prepared for a scrambling Newton because the Bengals definitely weren’t.

    It’s hard to imagine Green Bay stopping anything Newton tries to do, given its defensive struggles. The Dolphins were very effective in terms of moving the chains this past weekend; Miami gained 6.4 yards per play, which is just an absurd figure. If Ryan Tannehill can have that much success, why can’t a healthy Newton?

    GREEN BAY OFFENSE: The Packers will also have an easy time putting up points on the scoreboard. Carolina’s defense is even worse than Green Bay’s, ranking well below the Packers in almost every category, including defensive efficiency and yards per play.

    The Panthers are at their worst when trying to stop the run. Only the Cowboys are worse in that regard. Eddie Lacy struggled to get anything going this past week, but that was predictable because the Dolphins are eighth against ground attacks. Carolina, on the other hand, surrenders nearly two yards per carry more than Miami does, which is just preposterous.

    With Lacy going, Aaron Rodgers will have an easy time dissecting Carolina’s secondary. The Panthers won’t be able to rattle Rodgers very much, as they’ve mustered just four sacks in the past three games. They haven’t adjusted for Greg Hardy being out, so Rodgers will definitely take advantage of the ample time he’ll have in the pocket.

    RECAP: I like the Packers a bit. They’re just so much better at home, and I think the Panthers are overrated because the public hasn’t caught on to how awful their defense is. I’d favor Green Bay more if it happened to lose last week’s game, but the team almost always takes care of business at Lambeau, and this is a rare occasion in which the public isn’t pounding the Packers.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I’m still confident in the Packers, who always play well at home. There is a bit of sharp action on the Panthers, but nothing substantial.

    SUNDAY NOTES: The sharps have taken this spread down a bit, but not much. I’m still staying on the Packers.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Green Bay: 52% (13,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Packers.
  • Packers are 22-12 ATS at home since 2010.
  • Aaron Rodgers is 51-30 ATS since 2009 (8-4 ATS as a favorite of 12+).
  • Opening Line: Packers -7.
  • Opening Total: 49.
  • Weather: .


    Week 7 NFL Pick: Packers 34, Panthers 24
    Packers -6 (2 Units) — Correct; +$200
    Over 49 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Packers 38, Panthers 17




    Atlanta Falcons (2-4) at Baltimore Ravens (4-2)
    Line: Ravens by 6. Total: 50.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Ravens -5.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Ravens -7.
    Sunday, Oct. 19, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Ravens.

    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.

    Check out the new Spam Mails page here with my most recent responses.

    ATLANTA OFFENSE: I have no clue how the Falcons are going to block Baltimore’s front seven. The Ravens get a tremendous amount of pressure on the quarterback, thanks to Elvis Dumervil, Haloti Ngata and a host of others. Atlanta, meanwhile, can’t block anyone to save its life. It couldn’t even keep the Bears out of the backfield with its banged-up and underachieving front. If Chicago could limit the Falcons to 13 points, imagine what Baltimore’s superior defense will do.

    I would still expect the Falcons to move the chains, thanks to Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, but Atlanta has been having issues maintaining consistent drives because Ryan has been under siege so much. Jake Matthews has been a huge disappointment; Peter Konz is a sieve at center; while right tackle is a revolving turnstile. The guards are playing well, but that’s about it.

    It would behoove the Falcons to try to get Antone Smith into space more. Smith has proven to be quite the play-maker, as he’s used his speed to generate some long gains through six weeks. Unfortunately, Mike Smith and his coaching staff are wasting one too many downs trying to feed the ineffective Steven Jackson.

    BALTIMORE OFFENSE: The Ravens were unstoppable against the Buccaneers this past Sunday. Joe Flacco threw five touchdown passes, and he easily could’ve tossed 10 if he and the rest of his team didn’t take the foot off the pedal.

    I don’t see why Baltimore would slow down at all in this contest. The Falcons have the worst defense in the NFL in terms of yards per play (6.2). They’re also just 25th in defensive efficiency. They can’t rush the passer (7 sacks), stop the run (23rd; 4.49 YPC) or contain the pass (31st; 8.35 YPA). The entire stop unit is a train wreck.

    The Ravens should once again be able to do whatever they please, though at some point, some team will figure out how to take advantage of the fact that Baltimore doesn’t have Eugene Monroe and Kelechi Osemele in the lineup. Osemele could be back this week, but if not, the Ravens will have two reserve offensive linemen in the game. I’m not sure the Falcons can do anything about that though.

    RECAP: This is a tough one. The Ravens could be looking past the Falcons because they have to deal with divisional rivals Cincinnati and Pittsburgh after this contest. I like getting Matt Ryan following a victory, and we’re also getting plenty of line value, as this spread was Atlanta +5 prior to Week 6.

    On the other hand, the Ravens are a much better team, and I don’t think this spread is priced highly enough. Also consider that the Falcons could be looking ahead themselves, as they have to fly to London right after this contest. Teams prior to London games are just 4-10 against the spread.

    I’m going to end up laying points with the host, but I wish we were getting a more-appropriate number.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: There’s some sharp money on the Falcons, which I can’t understand. Atlanta has been terrible, as it can’t block, and it seems completely outmatched in this contest.

    SUNDAY NOTES: There are -6s and -6.5s out there. There has continued to be some professional money on the Falcons, but not very much.


    The Psychology. Edge: Falcons.
    A breather alert for the Ravens, who have the Bengals and Steelers after this. The Falcons, meanwhile, have to fly to London next.


    The Vegas. Edge: Falcons.
    A slight lean on the Ravens.
  • Percentage of money on Baltimore: 63% (40,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Falcons are 18-6 ATS following a loss of 6+ in the previous 24 instances.
  • Mike Smith is 7-3 ATS after losing as a favorite.
  • Ravens are 20-10 ATS at home as an underdog or favorite of 1-7 points with Joe Flacco.
  • Opening Line: Ravens -6.5.
  • Opening Total: 49.5.
  • Weather: HEAVY WINDS, 30 mph.


    Week 7 NFL Pick: Ravens 24, Falcons 13
    Ravens -6 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Under 50.5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Survivor Pick (4-2)
    Ravens 29, Falcons 7




    Minnesota Vikings (2-4) at Buffalo Bills (3-3)
    Line: Bills by 6.5. Total: 43.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Bills -3.5.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Bills -1.
    Sunday, Oct. 19, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Bills.

    Video of the Week: If you’re in a workplace or library, you might want to put headphones on and watch this. Here’s a video about the truth behind all used-car commercials (thanks, Steve V.):



    MINNESOTA OFFENSE: It goes without saying that the Vikings were a major disappointment last week – especially to the sharps and Vegas sportsbooks. With the public pounding the Lions, the pros backed Minnesota and lost money as a result. Teddy Bridgewater was horrible, going 23-of-37 for 188 yards and three interceptions. It was a far cry from how he performed against the Falcons in his pro debut.

    It wasn’t all on Bridgewater though. The offensive line was horrible, as Matt Kalil continued his putrid play. Kalil and guard Charlie Johnson were responsible for five of the eight sacks Bridgewater sustained. It won’t get any easier against the Bills, who have a tremendous pass rush. They’re tied for fifth in sacks, and I just don’t see how Minnesota’s offensive line is going to deal with Buffalo’s pass rush.

    The Vikings once again won’t establish much of a ground attack, as the Bills, much like the Lions, are in the top five in terms of run defense. Buffalo is even better, in fact, as it ranks at the top of the charts with an allowed YPC of 2.71. The next-closest team is Arizona at 3.11.

    BUFFALO OFFENSE: The Vikings have a pretty solid defense as well. They’re not as good as the Bills, but it’s not like they’ll have to defend Matthew Stafford again. Kyle Orton has been a considerable upgrade over E.J. Manuel, but he definitely has his limitations.

    Orton went 24-of-38 for 299 yards, two touchdowns and an interception against the Patriots. Those numbers are relatively terrific for Orton, especially considering that he couldn’t use his No. 1 option, as Sammy Watkins had to deal with Darrelle Revis. However, Orton committed two turnovers because he held on to the ball too long. The Vikings can get to the quarterback – they sacked Stafford four times last week – so perhaps they’ll put heat on Orton and force him into more errors.

    The Bills won’t have much success aerially, but they might be able to move the chains on the ground. The Vikings are 24th in terms of stopping the rush, surrendering 4.5 YPC. They’ve also had issues dealing with pass-catching running backs, as they gave up big yardage to Theo Riddick of all people last week. If the Buffalo coaches are smart – and that’s highly debatable – they’ll utilize Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller as receivers coming out of the backfield on a frequent basis.

    RECAP: I like the Vikings a lot. They’re one of my top picks this week. Here’s why:

    1. This spread is way too high. It’s a result of public overreaction for what everyone saw last week. The Vikings lost to a very good Detroit team; there’s no shame in that. The Bills should not be large favorites.

    2. Speaking of the line, this effectively violates the Six and Six Rule, which states that teams that finish the year 6-10 or worse struggle immensely when favored by six or more points. The spread is currently 5.5, which is close enough. It may rise to six because of…

    3. Public action. This is one of the biggest square plays of the week. Granted, the squares cashed in last weekend, but Vegas has to win its money back.

    4. I don’t think the Bills will be focused at all. They played their “Super Bowl” versus the Patriots last Sunday and lost. How are they going to get up for a desperate non-conference foe?

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps are taking the Vikings. I’m still pretty confident with them. Bovada is offering +6 -115 right now.

    SUNDAY NOTES: The public is pounding the Bills. There’s a bit of professional support on the Vikings, but not enough to offset the line movement.


    The Psychology. Edge: Vikings.
    The Bills are coming off an emotional loss to the Patriots. They could be flat.


    The Vegas. Edge: Vikings.
    Who wants to bet on the Vikings right now?
  • Percentage of money on Buffalo: 68% (29,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Bills.
  • Vikings are 11-24 ATS in outdoor road games since 2008.
  • Bills are 15-8 ATS after playing the New England Patriots since 1999.
  • True home teams are 17-6 ATS in the last 23 Bills games.
  • Opening Line: Bills -4.
  • Opening Total: 42.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 7 NFL Pick: Bills 17, Vikings 16
    Vikings +6.5 (4 Units) — Correct; +$400
    Under 43.5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Bills 17, Vikings 16




    New Orleans Saints (2-3) at Detroit Lions (4-2)
    Line: Lions by 1. Total: 46.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Lions -1.5.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Lions -3.
    Sunday, Oct. 19, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Lions.

    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 this one…



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

    NEW ORLEANS OFFENSE: Good news, bad news for the Saints on this side of the ball. The bad news is that Jimmy Graham will be out for a couple of weeks, which is a huge deal, as Drew Brees struggled to do anything against the Buccaneers once his talented, intermediate target was knocked out of the game. The good news is that Brees and Sean Payton have had two weeks to come up with a game plan that doesn’t feature Graham.

    Brees will undoubtedly utilize Brandin Cooks and Marques Colston much more often. The latter especially hasn’t been a big part of the offense, but that will almost certainly change. It’ll also be interesting to see how Cooks is used. Having said that, I’m not fully confident the Saints will get it together because Brees just hasn’t looked right this season. His arm strength seems sapped, as he’s thrown one too many noodle passes. Has he regressed already because of his age? It’s definitely possible.

    The Saints have at least been able to run the ball well amid Brees’ struggles, but that won’t continue in this contest. Detroit is fourth against the rush (3.25 YPC), so it’ll shut down Khiry Robinson and Mark Ingram, who is expected to be eased back. The Lions will also apply heavy heat on Brees with their pass rush; they lead the league with 20 sacks.

    DETROIT OFFENSE: Good news, bad news for the Saints on this side of the ball. The good news is that Calvin Johnson is likely out, as Jim Caldwell discussed holding out his star receiver until after the Week 9 bye. The bad news is that the Saints’ defense is still the Saints’ defense.

    Having said that, perhaps Rob Ryan figured some things out during the bye week. New Orleans’ stop unit, after all, was in the top 10 last year. The talent is there; the players, for whatever reason, haven’t been able to put it together. They can start here, as the Megatron-less Lions have issues pass protecting. The Vikings, who don’t have the greatest pass rush in the league, were able to swarm Matthew Stafford last weekend.

    While Johnson may not return to the lineup, it’s sounding like Reggie Bush will play. Bush will undoubtedly be motivated to stick it to his former team. He’ll definitely have a chance to do that, as the Saints are just 22nd against the run (4.42 YPC).

    RECAP: I liked the idea of getting points with Brees until my LVH Supercontest partner Matvei pointed out to me that Brees has not been good in such a role while playing on the road; he’s about 40 percent against the spread as a visiting underdog with the Saints, excluding his first year, and he’s just 2-14 straight up getting at least three points.

    Having said that, I still think the Saints are the right side. I like that we’re getting Payton off a bye; New Orleans has covered five straight following a week off, though four of those games were at home. It also must be noted that the Lions could be distracted, given that they have to fly to London right after this contest. Also, Stafford has struggled to maintain success, as he’s just 5-9 against the spread when favored after a win.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: There’s a decent amount of professional money on the Saints, which makes sense because Sean Payton is coming off a bye, and the Lions have to travel to London next week. However, it’s hard to have confidence with New Orleans on the road, even though it could very easily be 4-1 right now.

    SUNDAY NOTES: Jimmy Graham will play, and he’s worth 1-2 points. That, as well as sharp movement, would explain the line movement Sunday morning.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on New Orleans: 57% (18,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Saints.
  • Drew Brees is 36-26 ATS as an underdog.
  • Lions are 11-24 ATS against losing teams the previous 35 instances.
  • Matthew Stafford is 5-9 ATS when favored after a win.
  • Opening Line: Lions -2.5.
  • Opening Total: 51.5.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 7 NFL Pick: Lions 21, Saints 20
    Saints +1 (0 Units) — Push; $0
    Under 46.5 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Lions 24, Saints 23



    Week 7 NFL Picks – Late Games
    Kansas City�at�San Diego, NY Giants�at�Dallas, Arizona�at�Oakland, San Francisco�at�Denver, Houston�at�Pittsburgh




    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 7 NFL Picks – Late Games



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    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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    Super Bowl 50 NFL Pick
    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
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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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