NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 8, 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 (Week 7, 2014): 10-4-1 (+$330)

NFL Picks (2014): 59-57-6 (-$935)
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. 27, 5:30 p.m. ET. Follow @walterfootball for updates.


Go to Week 8 NFL Picks – Late Games





San Diego Chargers (5-2) at Denver Broncos (5-1)
Line: Broncos by 9. Total: 51.

Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Broncos -6.5.
Walt’s Calculated Line: Broncos -4.
Thursday, Oct. 23, 8:25 ET
Comment on this game

The Game. Edge: Broncos.

WEEK 7 RECAP: It was nice to rebound last week following “apocalyptic Sunday” in Week 6. The early games on Sunday were fantastic, as I swept the board. Unfortunately, I lost multi-unit selections with the Giants and 49ers later on, as both Mannings teamed up to screw me (more like Larry Donnell’s fumbles and the 49ers’ drops).

Hopefully this upcoming week will be a successful one that’ll allow me to further offset Week 6’s losses.

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

DENVER OFFENSE: I’ve written this countless times, but one of the most difficult thing coaches have to do is make in-game adjustments on the fly when key players go down. Mike McCoy was tasked with this when he lost Brandon Flowers to a concussion in the second quarter of last week’s loss. Flowers has been one of the NFL’s top cornerbacks this year, so not having him on the field was a huge blow, especially with fellow stud corner Jason Verrett also out.

It doesn’t appear as though Flowers will pass the concussion protocol on such a short work week, but Verrett at least practiced Tuesday. Having Verrett back would be huge, considering the opponent. Peyton Manning just torched the 49ers en route to setting the NFL passing touchdowns record, and he would love to beat down a secondary missing two talented corners.

The Chargers have always had Manning’s number, but they’ll need to put pressure on him to continue to do so. They only have a mediocre pass rush, unfortunately, as Dwight Freeney has slowed down following a hot start. Manning loses games in which the opposition gets to him without blitzing very much, but I’m not sure the Chargers can do that.

SAN DIEGO OFFENSE: It’s odd, but Denver’s defense has been better than its scoring attack. They are first against the run, second versus the pass, tied for third in terms of sacks and sixth in defensive efficiency. That’s pretty damn good, so Philip Rivers has his work cut out for him.

It would be foolish not to expect Rivers to have success, though. He’s one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL, and he’s playing at a very high level. We saw Colin Kaepernick move the chains on the Broncos on Sunday night, and the 49ers would’ve scored more had Vernon Davis, Michael Crabtree and company not dropped countless passes. The Chargers have been much cleaner, and they also have a pass-catching threat of the backfield in Branden Oliver, which is something San Francisco lacks.

The Chargers will need to protect Rivers to maintain plenty of consistent drives, but that could be a challenge. As mentioned, Denver gets to the quarterback well, while San Diego’s offensive line has been a disappointment this season.

RECAP: This is one of my top plays this week. I love the Chargers. Here are four reasons why; one for each unit.

1. This spread is way off. There isn’t much of a difference between the Chargers and Broncos. This line should be Denver -4; maybe -4.5 when taking the Flowers injury into account. We’re getting about four points of value – crossing over the key number of seven – which is huge.

2. The Broncos are coming off a Perfect Win, which I discussed in the next capsule. That means San Diego is the play.

3. This game means so much more to the Chargers. They didn’t focus very much on the Chiefs because they were preparing for this contest. Not only is this a big divisional affair for them, but it’s also playoff revenge. The Broncos, meanwhile, put too much stock into the Sunday’s night game because Manning was going for the record.

4. The public is pounding Denver. Every square thinks the Broncos are going to roll easily. Bill Simmons even told everyone to watch some reality show instead of this, for crying out loud. The sportsbooks will need the Chargers to cover, and I don’t mind being on the same side as the house. Again, Week 8 NFL Picks will be posted all day Wednesday. I’ll announce via Twitter @walterfootball when each selection is posted.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I liked the Chargers a lot at +8, so I’m definitely a fan at +9. There is a ton of spread value on San Diego now, as this line was +6.5 last week. That’s just too much of an adjustment, and it’s fueled by public overreaction because of just one week. Speaking of the public, they are pounding the Broncos, seemingly oblivious that A) Peyton Manning teams are 0-7 ATS hosting the Chargers in the previous seven meetings, B) the Broncos haven’t covered at home against San Diego since 2003, and C) Denver has New England next week. The Chargers +9 are the right side, and I’m still going strong with four units.


The Psychology. Edge: Chargers.
The Chargers prepared for this game. The Broncos put too much stock into last week’s game.


The Vegas. Edge: Chargers.
Slight lean on the Broncos.
  • Percentage of money on Denver: 65% (81,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • History: Broncos have won 5 of the last 6 meetings.
  • Mike McCoy is 16-8 ATS.
  • Peyton Manning is 8-2 ATS on Thursday.
  • Opening Line: Broncos -7.
  • Opening Total: 51.
  • Weather: .


    Week 8 NFL Pick: Broncos 30, Chargers 27
    Chargers +9 (4 Units) — Incorrect; -$440
    Over 51 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Broncos 35, Chargers 21






    Detroit Lions (5-2) at Atlanta Falcons (2-5)
    Line: Lions by 3.5. Total: 45.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Lions -3.5.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Lions -6.
    Sunday, Oct. 26, 9:30 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Lions.

    WEEK 8 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 Buccaneers being added, simply because I forgot to put them there last week because they were on a bye. I’ve removed the Rams, who may finally begin playing up to their potential.

    Poisonous Teams:
    Raiders
    Jaguars
    Titans
    Buccaneers

    Five weeks ago, I discussed point value in terms of the Las Vegas Hilton advance spread. That dynamic was 11-7 against the spread since Week 2 entering last weekend. How did it do in Week 6? Here are the results:

    Before Week 6 After Week 6 ATS Result
    Giants +3.5 Giants +6.5 Non-cover
    Falcons +5 Falcons +7 Non-cover
    Vikings +3.5 Vikings +5.5 Cover

    Unfortunately, this dynamic was just 1-2, bringing it to 12-9 ATS for the year. However, the professional bettors were on the Giants (as well as the Vikings), so the people who make six-plus figures wagering on sports most years thought they were the right sides. They must hate Larry Donnell as much as I do.

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

    Before Week 7 After Week 7
    Bengals -3.5 Bengals +1
    Vikings PK Vikings +3
    Bills PK Bills +3
    Chargers +6.5 Chargers +9
    Steelers +1 Steelers +3

    There are four games that qualify, with most of them being completely different. Let’s break them down:

    Vikings +3: I don’t understand this line movement at all. The Vikings lost at Buffalo, but they covered the spread and were a fourth-and-20 play away from winning. Why would the spread climb three points in Tampa’s favor?

    Bills +3: This is because of the Percy Harvin trade. Though Vegas perceives Harvin as being worth half a point at the most, the public is overreacting to this trade, believing the Jets just greatly improved.

    Bengals -1: This is a natural overreaction after Baltimore’s big win and Cincinnati’s embarrassing blowout. This spread crossed over the key number of three, so that’s a huge deal.

    Steelers +3: The Colts just blasted the Bengals, so it’s only natural that this spread would rise.

    THE PERFECT WIN: I’m going to discuss a betting dynamic this week called the Perfect Win. This is a situation that has hit nearly 70 percent over the past decade with a large sample size.

    It basically says this: Teams coming off a perfect victory – blowouts in which they were heavily favored (-6.5 or higher), won the turnover margin and led after every quarter – seldom cover in their next contest. How bad is it? Excluding Week 17 (just because it’s weird), teams in this situation are just 29-69-1 against the spread in the past 10 years!

    I’m bringing this up now because it applies to two teams this week: Denver and Green Bay. This dynamic has actually arisen six times this year. Here are all of the results:

    Game ATS Result
    Week 2: Lions +2 at Panthers Loss
    Week 4: Colts -7 vs. Titans Win
    Week 4: Falcons -4 at Vikings Loss
    Week 5: Bengals -2.5 at Patriots Loss
    Week 6: Packers -3 at Dolphins Push
    Week 6: Chargers -7 at Raiders Loss

    So, the only non-covers this season came via Charlie Whitehurst and a last-second Aaron Rodgers touchdown (and some people had +3.5 on that).

    This system is even more effective in the first half of the season, as teams in this situation are just 6-47-1 ATS between Weeks 2 and 10.

    The logic behind this trend is obvious. Teams that enjoyed a “perfect win” will be A) hyped up by the public, and thus will have the pointed spread inflated in their favor, and B) overconfident after such an easy win. Thus, it’s no surprise that the public is pounding both Denver and Green Bay.

    ATLANTA OFFENSE: The Falcons just can’t catch a break. They’ve already been down a couple of offensive linemen, and things got worse last week when they lost backup center Peter Konz to an injury. Now, they’ll have to start someone named James Stone at center, and he did not perform well against the Ravens in Sunday’s loss.

    This wouldn’t be terrible news if the Falcons didn’t have to battle a strong defense. Unfortunately, they do, as the Lions are near the top of most categories on this side of the ball. They’re No. 1 in defensive efficiency, tied for No. 3 in sacks and No. 4 against the pass, thanks to cornerback Darius Slay’s drastic improvement. Their pass rush will put an incredible amount of heat on Matt Ryan, who won’t have many opportunities to scan the field and find his receivers for considerable gains.

    The Falcons won’t be running the ball much either. Detroit has limited its previous three opponents to 50.7 rushing yards per game, and it’s not like Atlanta has much of a ground attack anyway, as the coaching staff is wasting too many downs handing the ball off to the decrepit Steven Jackson.

    DETROIT OFFENSE: The Falcons aren’t much better on this side of the ball. While the Lions are tops in defensive efficiency, Atlanta is 27th. This stop unit struggles in every aspect.

    The Falcons don’t put any pressure on the quarterback. They have just eight sacks on the year, which has to be music to Matthew Stafford’s ears. The Lions have struggled to protect Stafford, but they shouldn’t have any sort of issues in this contest, as Atlanta just doesn’t have the personnel to get to the quarterback. Stafford, as a consequence, will have all morning to throw, and he’ll have success moving the chains, even without Calvin Johnson in the lineup.

    Detroit will run the ball effectively as well. Atlanta’s defense has surrendered about 140 rushing yards per game to its previous four opponents, which is just embarrassing. Reggie Bush is not 100 percent, but Joique Bell will be very effective as a ball-carrier.

    RECAP: I’ve gotten some questions about why this spread is so low. It’s not low based on last week’s line. The Ravens were -6.5 over the Falcons, so if we’re assuming that Baltimore and Detroit are equals, the Lions would be -6.5 over Atlanta at home as well, and -3.5 on a neutral field, as we see here.

    With that in mind, this spread is not appropriately valued. It hasn’t taken into account that the Falcons are atrocious. The public loves Ryan and Julio Jones, and expects them to rebound, not realizing that Ryan and Jones are basically the only things going for Atlanta. This Falcon team is awful, and this spread is off by at least three points.

    I like the Lions for a couple of units. It’s important to note that the superior team has covered in London. It makes sense because the inferior squad doesn’t have enough time amid traveling to make the appropriate adjustments. I can’t see the Falcons fixing their offensive line issues until after their bye.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Money has come in on the Lions, but I still like them. The favorites have triumphed in these London games, and I expect that to happen again. The sharps haven’t played this game for the most part.

    SUNDAY NOTES: With all of this late action on Detroit, the books will want the Falcons to cover. I don’t know if they’ll get their wish though. The Falcons are a miserable team with horrible offensive line play. I have no idea how Atlanta is going to block Detroit’s defensive front. The Lions won’t have Calvin Johnson or Reggie Bush, but they’re still much better.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Falcons.
    Equal action early, but the money has come in on the Lions.
  • Percentage of money on Detroit: 71% (40,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Falcons.
  • Lions are 12-24 ATS against losing teams the previous 36 instances.
  • Matthew Stafford is 2-6 ATS as a favorite following 2+ wins.
  • Falcons are 18-7 ATS following a loss of 6+ in the previous 23 instances.
  • Opening Line: Lions -3.5.
  • Opening Total: 47.
  • Weather: .


    Week 8 NFL Pick: Lions 31, Falcons 20
    Lions -3.5 (2 Units) — Incorrect; -$220
    Over 45.5 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Lions 22, Falcons 21






    Minnesota Vikings (2-5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-5)
    Line: Buccaneers by 2.5. Total: 43.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Pick.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Vikings -1.
    Sunday, Oct. 26, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Vikings.

    VEGAS UPDATE: Vegas lost countless millions in Week 6, so things absolutely had to go their way last week. They made sure of it in the St. Louis-Seattle game, as someone undoubtedly called the replay center in New York and threatened their family if they challenged the fumble. The Rams would’ve covered anyway, but having Seattle lose straight up broke up lots of teasers.

    Vegas had a winning week, as four of the six highly bet teams failed to cover. The house won with the Dolphins, Jaguars, Rams and Steelers, but lost with the Colts and Cardinals.

    Once again, follow @walterfootball for updates.

    TAMPA BAY OFFENSE: Percy Harvin might not be the only premier receiver traded during the season. There are rumors swirling that Vincent Jackson could be dealt as well. Jackson is 31, and by the time the Buccaneers are ready to compete for the NFC South – they can start by moving up for Marcus Mariota, as I have it in my 2015 NFL Mock Draft – he could be too old, so it might be in their best interest to get something for him now.

    The Buccaneers are obviously not going anywhere with Mike Glennon. He had a couple of decent outings against awful defenses, but he looked completely inept against the Ravens prior to the bye. The Vikings obviously don’t have the same type of stop unit that Baltimore has – as evidenced when Kyle Orton converted that fourth-and-20 – but they’ve put a tremendous amount of pressure on the quarterback lately, registering 10 sacks in their previous two games. The Buccaneers don’t block particularly well, so Minnesota will once again rattle the opposing passer.

    Tampa won’t be able to establish much of a ground attack either. The Vikings’ defensive weakness is their inability to stop the run, ranking 27th against it in terms of YPC (4.72), but Doug Martin hasn’t been able to take advantage of positive matchups this year. For whatever reason, he’s not nearly the same player we saw in 2012.

    MINNESOTA OFFENSE: While the Vikings do a good job of putting pressure on the quarterback, the Buccaneers don’t do anything particularly well on the defensive side of the ball. They have Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David, but pretty much everyone else has struggled this year. Even Michael Johnson has been a disappointment.

    Johnson will have a chance to redeem himself in this contest though. That’s because he’ll be matched up against Matt Kalil, quite possibly the worst left tackle in the NFL. That may surprise you if you haven’t seen Kalil play at all this year, but believe me, he’s been an absolute train wreck. He just looks so fat and sluggish; it’s inexplicable because he was so good a couple of years ago. With Johnson handling Kalil, and McCoy undoubtedly causing havoc on the interior, the Buccaneers could actually generate a pass rush that will rattle Teddy Bridgewater.

    Of course, the Vikings could just establish Jerick McKinnon again. McKinnon has been running well, and he has an easy matchup against a defense that has surrendered 100-plus rushing yards in four of its six games this year.

    RECAP: I like Minnesota for a couple of units. The Buccaneers stink and should not be favored by three points over a (slightly) superior opponent. Sure, there’s homefield, but Tampa has been atrocious at home (11-29 ATS last 40). Also, the Vikings are playing in their second-consecutive road game as an underdog, which carries about a two-thirds covering clip.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I still like the Vikings for two units. There’s been a bit of sharp action on Minnesota.

    SUNDAY NOTES: Not much has changed. Barely anyone is betting this game. As I said, there’s a bit of sharp money on the Vikings and a slight public money on the Buccaneers, but it’s nothing substantial.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Tampa Bay: 54% (15,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Vikings.
  • Vikings are 12-24 ATS in outdoor road games since 2008.
  • Lovie Smith was 2-6 ATS off a bye with the Bears.
  • Buccaneers are 11-29 ATS at home in the previous 40 instances.
  • Opening Line: Buccaneers -3.
  • Opening Total: 42.
  • Weather: .


    Week 8 NFL Pick: Vikings 20, Buccaneers 16
    Vikings +2.5 (2 Units) — Correct; +$200
    Under 42.5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Vikings 19, Buccaneers 13






    Chicago Bears (3-4) at New England Patriots (5-2)
    Line: Patriots by 6. Total: 51.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Patriots -6.5.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Patriots -8.
    Sunday, Oct. 26, 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:

    @Walter, again congrats on finishing with a small 3.5 unit win in nfl, after losing every pick last week it was surely a breath of fresh air to the board, however, after doing some quick math I realized you would have to duplicate that success four weeks in a row just to break even for WEEK 6’s disaster. Let’s all save the atta boys for the day we get back in the black overall which im sure you realize will not be an easy task.

    Thanks for the congrats! You truly inspire me to be great!

    (Someone else had a better response: Where are you at moron -$12000. Why dont you go have your mom make you a peanutbutter and jelly sandwich and then go watch cartoons.)

    Hey Walt sorry your yards per play stat didn’t help the Giants cover 🙁 keep trying though eventually the Cowboys won’t cover a game and you can brag about how right you were

    Oh you better believe I’m going to brag. When the Cowboys don’t cover a game one of these weeks or months, I’m going to brag so much you’re going to cry. There will literally be tears streaming down your face, and I will be there to lick them off.

    Just think how much better your winning week could have been if you didn’t completely over value that one measley stat. If it hadn’t been that particular “one measly stat”, it would have been another…you know that.

    The Cowboys just aren’t that good. Did you know that they are just 30th in ham-and-cheese sandwiches eaten per player? Only the Buccaneers and Jaguars are worse in that department.

    For more hate mail, check out my NFL Power Rankings.

    CHICAGO OFFENSE: There is a lot happening on this side of the ball. First of all, there is apparently some dissension in the locker room, as Brandon Marshall pointed out during last week’s loss. He appeared to call out Jay Cutler for not trying very hard. Cutler has had way too many #yolo moments this year where he’s given away games by throwing up passes for grabs that have been intercepted. He’s wasting Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, and he won’t even have one of them at his disposal in this contest because Darrelle Revis will take one of them away.

    Meanwhile, the Patriots have suffered a barrage of injuries lately. Jerod Mayo going down was huge for the team’s ability to stop the run. Chris Ivory gashed New England last Thursday, prompting Bill Belichick to trade a late-round pick to Tennessee for Akeem Ayers, a linebacker who has barely played this year. Ayers, who did not fit Tennessee’s new defense, has previously been stout in run support. However, he’ll have to learn New England’s defense in very little time, and that could be difficult for him to do until the team’s Week 10 bye. Matt Forte, as a consequence, should have a big game.

    The Patriots also suffered another big loss when Chandler Jones went down with a hip injury that will keep him sidelined for a month. Jones has been New England’s best, and only consistent pass-rusher, so losing him will be a huge blow. With ample time in the pocket, Cutler will have an opportunity to rebound off last week’s ugly loss.

    NEW ENGLAND OFFENSE: The good news for the Patriots is that while they’re completely banged up on defense, they’re at least getting healthier on offense. Two of their injured linemen – Bryan Stork and Dan Connolly – have returned to practice and appear to be on track to play against Chicago. Having them on the field will be a huge boost.

    The Patriots appear to have an easy matchup regardless. Most of Chicago’s back seven can’t cover. The linebackers stink, while the secondary, outside of Kyle Fuller, has disappointed. Fuller has been great, but there’s a chance he may not play in this game because of hip and hand injuries. Even if he suits up, he probably won’t be 100 percent, so with improved protection, Tom Brady will have his way against the Bears’ awful pass defense.

    Chicago can at least stop the run. Despite missing Lance Briggs the past couple of weeks, the Bears have limited their previous four opponents to an average of 58.5 rushing yards per game. The Patriots, however, aren’t an effective running team anyway. Shane Vereen will be more of a factor as a pass-catcher leaking out of the backfield.

    RECAP: The sharps must love the Bears, as they’ve bet this spread down from +6.5 to +5.5. I don’t agree with them. I like that the Patriots have had an extra few days to prepare for this game; Bill Belichick is 6-1 against the spread following Thursday contests. That’s not a surprising stat, as a great coach like Belichick can do wonders with more time at his disposal. With that in mind, I don’t want to bet the Patriots because Chicago will be more desperate for a victory.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I don’t like to do this often, but I’m changing my pick. I’ve thought about it, and while I still like Bill Belichick with extra rest, perhaps he’s used that time to get ready for the Broncos, whom they take on in Week 9. This game means very little to the Patriots, who will be hurting without two of their key front-seven members.

    SUNDAY NOTES: The sharps have pounded the Bears on Sunday morning, bringing the spread down to +5.5 in most places.


    The Psychology. Edge: Bears.
    This is a bigger game for the Bears, who can’t afford another loss. The Patriots have the Broncos next week.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on New England: 55% (42,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Patriots.
  • Jay Cutler is 33-61 ATS if you exclude Monday Night Football.
  • Tom Brady is 165-56 as a starter (125-91 ATS).
  • Opening Line: Patriots -6.5.
  • Opening Total: 49.
  • Weather: .


    Week 8 NFL Pick: Patriots 34, Bears 30
    Bears +6 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Over 51.5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Patriots 51, Bears 23






    St. Louis Rams (2-4) at Kansas City Chiefs (3-3)
    Line: Chiefs by 7. Total: 44.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Chiefs -6.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Chiefs -7.5.
    Sunday, Oct. 26, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Chiefs.

    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!

    ST. LOUIS OFFENSE: Everyone is saying the Rams had such a garbage win against the Seahawks. While it’s true that they had three fantastic special-teams plays to help them achieve victory – not to mention, the shadiest officiating moment of the year, which coincidentally occurred in a game in which 85 percent of the action was on the loser – the fact remains that they moved the chains very effectively throughout the afternoon.

    Austin Davis did a good job of rebounding from a poor Monday night outing, but his supporting cast needs to be given even more credit. Tre Mason allows the Rams to have a legitimate threat out of the backfield, as he possesses the burst that Zac Stacy lacks. Mason ran all over the Seahawks, and he should have similar success against a Kansas City squad that is just 30th against the rush (5.14 YPC).

    Having Greg Robinson in the lineup has also helped Davis. The Rams have issues with their interior blocking, but Robinson has been a tremendous upgrade over Davin Joseph. Davis, as a consequence, was barely even touched against the Seahawks. This bodes well for Davis, although the Chiefs do have a better pass rush.

    KANSAS CITY OFFENSE: The Rams’ defense also looked better against the Seahawks. Though Russell Wilson generated a ton of yardage, St. Louis did a great job of pressuring him. The difference was first-rounder Aaron Donald, who had a monstrous performance. Donald barely played prior to the Monday night affair, for some strange reason, but Jeff Fisher is finally using his talented rookie, and it’s paying off.

    The Chiefs don’t have the best offensive line, so like Wilson, Alex Smith will constantly be running for his life. Smith will be able to convert first downs with his legs, as he usually does, and when he actually has time in the pocket, I like his chances to connect with his weapons against a back seven that still has major issues.

    Of course, Kansas City’s offense will operate through Jamaal Charles – assuming Andy Reid doesn’t forget about his talented runner again. Charles will find it difficult to pound the ball against the Rams, who are 10th against ground attacks (3.77 YPC), but as long as he gets catches of the backfield, he’ll do damage as a receiver.

    RECAP: I wanted to bet against both teams this week, as the Rams and Chiefs are in classic fade spots. Both are coming off very emotional victories. Teams that beat Super Bowl champions as underdogs have a poor track record of covering, but then again, so does Reid in the role of a large favorite (get it, large favorite?). Reid also stinks two weeks after his bye because he spends so much time preparing for that first game.

    I don’t have much of a feel for this contest, but with a gun to my head, I’ll fade the public and pick the Rams.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I considered switching this pick to the Chiefs. However, Andy Reid is usually very poor as a home favorite, while Jeff Fisher tends to do well as an underdog. The pros are not playing this game.

    SUNDAY NOTES: The public is betting up the Chiefs, but there hasn’t been professional support to keep this spread down. I have no feel for this game.


    The Psychology. Edge: Rams.
    The Chiefs are coming off a very emotional, last-second victory against the Chargers. However, the Rams just took down the Super Bowl champs.


    The Vegas. Edge: Rams.
    There’s money on the Chiefs.
  • Percentage of money on Kansas City: 67% (27,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Jeff Fisher is 44-29 ATS as an underdog since 2006.
  • Rams are 25-39 ATS on grass since 2001.
  • Underdogs that beat the defending Super Bowl champions as underdogs are 9-16 ATS since 2000.
  • Chiefs are 28-14 ATS in October since 2002.
  • Andy Reid is 13-19 ATS vs. non-conference opponents as a favorite since 2002.
  • Andy Reid is 3-10 ATS two weeks after the bye.
  • Opening Line: Chiefs -6.
  • Opening Total: 43.
  • Weather: .


    Week 8 NFL Pick: Chiefs 26, Rams 20
    Rams +7 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Over 44 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Chiefs 34, Rams 7






    Seattle Seahawks (3-3) at Carolina Panthers (3-3-1)
    Line: Seahawks by 5.5. Total: 45.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Seahawks -3.5.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Seahawks -1.5.
    Sunday, Oct. 26, 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. You have no idea how pissed I am that there’s a 9:30 a.m. game this Sunday – all so the NFL can test out how London contests fare in the afternoon. It’s ridiculous. I like the idea of having games overseas, but screwing with the schedule like this is so completely asinine.

    First of all, who’s going to be up to watch this game? Fans of the Falcons and Lions fans won’t be able to sleep in at all, so their entire Sunday is thrown off. More importantly, it’s going to mess up people in fantasy leagues. Some fantasy players are going to forget to set their lineup, and I imagine that at least a few people will be so frustrated by this that they won’t play fantasy next year, and thus won’t follow the league as closely.

    With that in mind, is anyone else surprised that Roger Goodell is once again hurting the NFL by doing something stupid? From screwing up the Ray Rice situation, to creating bad PR during the lockout, to filing a restraining order against New Jersey for sports betting, to moving the 2014 NFL Draft up two weeks, to setting this ridiculously early start time, Goodell has done nothing but undermine the NFL with his horrific decision-making. It’s amazing that the league continues to allow Goodell to do stupid things. I’m seriously worried that he’ll eventually do something that will really damage the league.

    2. I have no idea why I was watching SportsCenter this past week. That show used to be awesome, but now it’s segment after segment like “COLD HARD FACTS BROUGHT TO YOU BY COORS LIGHT – WHERE HERM EDWARDS WILL GIVE YOU THE COLD HARD FACTS!” So horrible. This is just an excuse to sell advertising space outside of commercials. These “cold hard facts” have nothing to do with sports; instead, Herm, or some former illiterate player, just rambles nonsensically for a couple of minutes, allowing ESPN to cash its check from Coors Light.

    In the particular segment that I watched, Lindsay Czarniak asked Herm if it was smart or not smart to reduce DeMarco Murray’s workload in order to save the running back for the playoffs. Herm responded like this:

    “IT’S NOT SMART! NOT SMART! NOT SMART AT ALL! NOT CLOSE TO BEING SMART! NOT EVEN CLOSE! I GAVE LARRY JOHNSON 416 CARRIES ONE YEAR! FOUR HUNDRED, SIXTEEN CARRIES IN ONE YEAR! AND HIS LEGS DIDN’T FALL OFF! HE RAN WELL! HE RAN WELL AFTER 416 CARRIES! DEMARCO CAN HAVE 416 CARRIES!”

    Johnson did have 416 carries in one year – and then he completely dropped off after that. Herm completely ruined Johnson’s career, so it’s only natural that ESPN would have him on TV to give advice to the Cowboys on how to manage their running back’s workload.

    3. Murray, of course, is a fantasy stud. A future fantasy stud is Davante Adams. Fantasy Pros asked me to come up with a bold prediction for the rest of the year in fantasy football, and here’s what I wrote:

    Davante Adams will be a top-20 fantasy receiver in the second half of the season.

    Adams is only Aaron Rodgers’ third receiver, but we’ve seen the Packers support three wideouts in the past when Jordy Nelson, James Jones and Randall Cobb were all big producers. Adams has seen his playing time and involvement in the offense increase over the previous three weeks. He caught two of his three targets in Week 4 against the Bears, but had a touchdown called back because of a penalty. He managed to find the end zone in his next contest, though he secured only one reception. However, he actually tied the Packers for the team lead with four targets, as Rodgers barely threw (17 attempts) against a hapless Minnesota team that wasn’t competitive.

    Adams enjoyed somewhat of a breakout performance last week, as he hauled in six passes for 77 yards. He saw more targets come his way (8) than Cobb did (7). Adams played a career-high 62 snaps after being on the field for 37 and 46 snaps in the previous two contests. The Fresno State product is clearly becoming a larger part of the offense each week, and there’s no reason to think the Packers will just stop utilizing him.

    Here’s the kicker: Adams could really take off if either Nelson or Cobb goes down. Cobb missed 10 games in 2013, while Nelson was out for four contests the season before that, so there is precedent for one of the top Packer wideouts getting hurt. If that happens, Adams could creep into the top 15 receivers to close out the year.

    SEATTLE OFFENSE: It has to be disheartening for Seahawk fans that Russell Wilson passed for 300 yards and rushed for an additional 100 yards, and yet their team still lost. Wilson was masterful, but had to deal with an insane amount of pressure, as the Rams swarmed him play after play. Fortunately for Wilson, he won’t have as much of an issue with that in this game.

    The Panthers have one of the worst defenses in the NFL, as they’ve completely fallen apart without Greg Hardy. They’re not completely inept in terms of putting pressure on the quarterback, but their eight sacks in the previous five games won’t scare anyone. Neither will the secondary; in the same span, Carolina has surrendered 9.1 yards per attempt, which is the NFL’s second-worst mark, behind only Atlanta.

    Carolina is at its worst when trying to stop the run. It’s actually dead last in terms of opposing YPC, surrendering gains at a 5.3 average clip. Over the past five weeks, the Panthers have allowed 142.6 rushing yards per game. That definitely does not bode well for this matchup, as Marshawn Lynch will look to get back on track.

    CAROLINA OFFENSE: The Seahawks have also had their defensive issues, thanks in part to a missing player. Byron Maxwell hasn’t played a full game since the Monday night affair at Washington, and while he’s not the most talented cornerback in the NFL, he’s much better than whatever else the Seahawks have at their position, save for Richard Sherman, of course. Having Maxwell back will be a big boost, especially against a team like Carolina with only one talented receiver. With Maxwell on the field, the Panthers can’t simply put him on the opposite side of Sherman and expect him to get open every time.

    Naturally, Cam Newton is the player the Seahawks have to be most concerned about. Newton has been running a lot more lately – 24 scrambles in the past two games after only 14 in the first four – but Seattle’s defense will definitely be prepared for that aspect of his game, given that it has to deal with Colin Kaepernick twice per year.

    The Seahawks will need to apply pressure on Newton, as they failed to put any heat on St. Louis. They’ll have more success in that regard; while the Rams have blocked well since inserting Greg Robinson into the lineup, the Panthers have not. Their already-pedestrian offensive line will be missing two starters.

    RECAP: Both the public and sharps have been betting the Seahawks, so Vegas stands to lose a lot of money if Carolina doesn’t cover. I’ll actually be on the Seahawks as well, as I think the sportsbooks posted a bad spread, perhaps anticipating that the public would be too down on Seattle to bet on them. Unfortunately, there’s no line value on the visitor now that the line has risen so much.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Here’s something interesting: The Seahawks are still No. 2 in the Vegas power rankings. I’ve moved Seattle down in my own NFL Power Rankings. I need to see them play a clean game before I move them up. If the Seahawks are any good, they’ll blow out this crappy Carolina team. The pros have not gotten involved.

    SUNDAY NOTES: As with the Chiefs-Rams game, the public is hitting Seattle, while the sharps have not gotten involved for the most part. Perhaps they’ll take Carolina at +6, but the Seahawks are still viewed as the second-best team in the NFL.


    The Psychology. Edge: Unknown.
    Who the hell knows what condition the Seahawks are in?


    The Vegas. Edge: Panthers.
    Who’s going to bet on Carolina?
  • Percentage of money on Seattle: 77% (35,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Russell Wilson is 6-2 ATS after a loss as long as he’s not favored by -10 or more.
  • Cam Newton is 15-8 ATS off a loss as long as he’s not favored by 7+.
  • Opening Line: Seahawks -3.5.
  • Opening Total: 44.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 8 NFL Pick: Seahawks 27, Panthers 20
    Seahawks -5.5 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Over 45 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Seahawks 13, Panthers 9




    Buffalo Bills (4-3) at New York Jets (1-6)
    Line: Jets by 3. Total: 40.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Pick.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Jets -1.
    Sunday, Oct. 26, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Jets.

    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 suppose I have to mention the Florida State-Notre Dame game, right? It’s a shame that thriller was decided by a penalty, but it was the right call. The Irish player was open because of those illegal blocks. The refs got it right.

    Having said that, the rules aren’t right. I hated the fact that Notre Dame was penalized 15 yards for that foul. Why does it have to be 15 yards? Something like offensive pass interference should be 10 yards. Had it been 10 yards, the Irish would’ve had a chance. Instead, Notre Dame might as well have punted, even on fourth-and-goal, because they had no chance of converting that.

    2. I criticized the old farts at Florida State for suspending Jameis Winston after he shouted that stupid meme at the student union. Had the people running Florida State not been 5,000 years old, they would’ve understood what Winston was quoting, and what a meme is in the first place.

    Having said that, I think they did a good job by not suspending Winston for taking money for autographs. Though Jimbo Fisher would have an aneurysm if he read this, there is absolutely no doubt that Winston made money from those autographs. That’s because at least half – and I’d like to stress the “at least” – of the prominent players in college football history have done so. And there’s nothing wrong with that because these players are entitled to make money off their own name.

    While Georgia made a mistake by suspending Todd Gurley, Florida State is doing the right thing by allowing its superstar to play. Even if the NCAA obtains physical evidence that Winston collected money – it failed to do so when Johnny Manziel and Cam Newton did something similar – Florida State should just say “go f*** yourself” if the NCAA attempts to penalize it. These colleges are well aware that the NCAA is a dying entity with diminishing power, so a strong program like Florida State ignoring a potential sanction would definitely prompt other schools to follow.

    , 3. Winston shouldn’t get in trouble for the autographs, but here’s something that could put him in hot water. I found the following news clip on Twitter:



    Wow, what a dick. Stealing crab legs and assaulting a woman isn’t cool, but it’s nothing compared to assassinating a U.S. president. JFK had such a long life ahead of him, but Winston just had to end it. Douche.

    NEW YORK OFFENSE: I’m not sure if I agree with those who think Percy Harvin will vastly improve the Jets’ offense right away. Sure, his presence on the field will give opposing defensive coordinators something to worry about, so there’s no doubt that New York will at least be better on this side of the ball. However, Harvin wasn’t very productive in Seattle, and he’ll have to learn the offense, which will be difficult in the middle of the season under the new CBA rules.

    It’ll help Geno Smith that he’ll have a second professional receiver to throw to. Smith has been very inconsistent this year, but he’s actually been consistent in terms of his performance when Eric Decker’s been on and off the field, if that makes any sense. Smith hasn’t looked half-bad when Decker has played, but he’s been atrocious when his No. 1 wideout has been out of the lineup. Decker is healthy now, and with Harvin complementing him, there won’t be any excuses for Smith going forward. He’ll be battling a defense tied for first in sacks, but he should be able to escape pressure and pick up some first downs with his legs.

    Harvin should also help open opportunities for the Jets’ running backs. The opposition won’t be able to focus on Chris Ivory as much, so Ivory, who has averaging a surprising 4.9 yards per carry, should be able to improve upon that mark. The problem is that the Bills have the NFL’s third-ranked ground defense, limiting opposing backs to 3.2 YPC.

    BUFFALO OFFENSE: The Jets are also tough against the run, ranking seventh in that department (3.65 YPC). That’s not what the Bills want to hear, as they lost both C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson last week. They’ll have to utilize a platoon of Anthony Dixon and Bryce Brown, neither of whom is very good.

    It’s difficult to see the Bills establishing any sort of ground attack, so Kyle Orton will have to do a lot of the chain movement on his own. He was brilliant at the end of the Minnesota contest, converting a fourth-and-20 on an improbable game-winning drive. He had an easy matchup against the Vikings, and that will once again be the case versus the Jets, whose issues against the pass have been well-publicized. I don’t see how New York can possibly cover Sammy Watkins, who exploded last week after being silent in a matchup against Darrelle Revis the Sunday beforehand.

    Orton will need time in the pocket though, and that might be a luxury he won’t enjoy. The Jets are tied for sixth with 20 sacks, while the Bills do not protect well. Orton has been sacked 11 times in the previous two weeks, so Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson undoubtedly will cause problems for him.

    RECAP: The Bills are coming off an emotional, last-second victory, so I wanted to fade them this week, especially on the road, where they’re usually far worse. However, we’re getting no line value with the Jets, as this spread was pick ’em prior to Week 7. I have no idea what caused this line to rise three points, but it has destroyed all value. I’m picking New York, but I’m not happy about it.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: It’ll be a big suprise if Percy Harvin makes an offensive impact in this game, but there are two reasons why Harvin will help. First, he’ll be a boost in special teams, giving the Jets’ inconsistent offense better field position. Second, Harvin will provide a morale boost in the short term, as the move sent a message that the team isn’t willing to give up despite its 1-6 record.

    SUNDAY NOTES: There’s been some sharp support on the Bills at +3. I don’t have much of a feel for this game.


    The Psychology. Edge: Jets.
    The Bills just prevailed in the final seconds.


    The Vegas. Edge: Bills.
    Slight lean on the Jets.
  • Percentage of money on New York: 63% (34,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Jets.
  • History: Jets have won 9 of the last 12 meetings (home team has won the last 5).
  • True home teams are 17-7 ATS in the last 24 Bills games.
  • Opening Line: Jets -3.
  • Opening Total: 41.
  • Weather: .


    Week 8 NFL Pick: Jets 19, Bills 13
    Jets -3 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Under 40 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Bills 43, Jets 23




    Miami Dolphins (3-3) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6)
    Line: Dolphins by 6.5. Total: 42.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Dolphins -4.5.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Dolphins -5.
    Sunday, Oct. 26, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Dolphins.

    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.

    JACKSONVILLE OFFENSE: The Jaguars won last week, but they didn’t do so in a pretty fashion. Blake Bortles threw three interceptions – among many other ugly passes – but because the other quarterback was far worse, Jacksonville was able to prevail.

    If Bortles couldn’t handle Cleveland’s pedestrian defense, how will he deal with the Dolphins? Miami has one of the top defenses in the NFL, ranking eighth in efficiency. It brings tons of pressure – 13 sacks in its previous four games – which does not bode well for Bortles behind his putrid offensive line. Meanwhile, the secondary is first against the pass in terms of YPA (6.02), so Bortles’ wideouts could have issues getting open.

    The Jaguars were able to move the chains last week via Denard Robinson runs. Robinson took advantage of the NFL’s 29th-ranked ground defense. He’ll have much more of a challenge in this contest, as the Dolphins are eighth in that department (3.71 YPC).

    MIAMI OFFENSE: The Jaguars can get to the quarterback as well. In fact, they’re better at it than the Dolphins are. Would you believe that they’re tied with the Bills for first in sacks (22)? It’s amazing they haven’t won more games considering the amount of pressure they can put on opposing passers.

    The primary reason the Jaguars are so futile is because of back-seven play. The linebacking corps stinks – and now won’t have Paul Posluszny – while the secondary has been even worse. Brian Hoyer failed to take advantage of this opportunity by missing many open receivers. Ryan Tannehill will have a better chance to hit them, but Tannehill can be pretty inconsistent. He’ll at least be able to pick up some first downs with his legs.

    The Dolphins, of course, will attempt to establish Lamar Miller to ease some of the pressure off Tannehill. That could be tough to do, given that the Jaguars are ninth against the rush (3.71 YPC). The Browns, who had previously gashed many opponents on the ground, couldn’t run at all on Jacksonville. Miami will have similar issues.

    RECAP: I’d like the Jaguars if they weren’t so poisonous. They’ve been competitive in every game Bortles has played, while the Dolphins always struggle when favored. They probably won’t be able to match the intensity from last week’s victory. It also hurts their cause that the public is pounding them like crazy. Jacksonville is the right side, but can you stomach betting them? I can’t.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Once again, I’d bet the Jaguars if I had any faith in them. I can’t bring myself to put a wager on them though.

    SUNDAY NOTES: The public has flooded the sportsbooks with bets on Miami. The sharps haven’t really gotten involved.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Jaguars.
    No surprise where the money is going.
  • Percentage of money on Miami: 80% (22,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Jaguars.
  • Dolphins are 3-14 ATS as favorites of 3.5 or more since 2008.
  • Dolphins are 2-10 ATS as a favorite coming off a SU win as an underdog since 2007.
  • Underdog is 54-24 ATS in the Dolphins’ last 78 games.
  • Jaguars are 19-46 ATS against non-divisional opponents since 2008.
  • Opening Line: Dolphins -5.
  • Opening Total: 43.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 8 NFL Pick: Dolphins 20, Jaguars 16
    Jaguars +6.5 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Under 42 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Dolphins 27, Jaguars 13




    Houston Texans (3-4) at Tennessee Titans (2-4)
    Line: Texans by 3.5. Total: 41.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Texans -1.5.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Pick.
    Sunday, Oct. 26, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: None.

    Video of the Week: Do you like memes? Of course you do. Everyone does. But there’s one kid in Russia who loves memes more than anyone else in the world (thanks, Matt R.):



    TENNESSEE OFFENSE: Ken Whisenhunt expects Jake Locker to return this week, but that’s far from a certainty. What is certain is that the Titans need Locker back to further ruin their draft positioning win football games. When we last saw Locker, he was establishing a massive lead on the Browns. He got hurt, gave way to Charlie Whitehurst, and then it all fell apart.

    I like Locker’s chances against the Texans, even if Jadeveon Clowney returns to the lineup. Both Houston safeties haven’t been able to cover, while cornerback Johnathan Joseph has been having a down year. Locker has some talented players at his disposal, including Kendall Wright, who has still been producing despite Whitehurst being at the helm.

    The Titans won’t have much success when running the ball, however. The Texans are 23rd versus the rush, but they’ve been playing well against it lately, limiting Le’Veon Bell and the Steelers to less than four yards per carry on Monday night.

    HOUSTON OFFENSE: The Texans’ scoring attack looks surprisingly good at times, considering who the quarterback is. And then everything goes to hell so suddenly. Houston has been shooting itself in the foot with horrific turnovers lately. Some even occur when the opposition isn’t even aware that it recovered a fumble. It’s not even on Ryan Fitzpatrick; he threw an interception Monday night, but Arian Foster, Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins have all lost fumbles in the past two weeks.

    Perhaps Houston will be able to right the ship against a poor defense. The Titans don’t do anything particularly well outside of generating pressure on the quarterback. They’ll be able to do that in this contest, given that Fitzpatrick’s blocking hasn’t been so great, but the secondary has been awful, particularly Blidi Wreh-Wilson and Michael Griffin. Johnson and Hopkins won’t have trouble getting open; they’ll just have to make sure to hold on to the ball.

    Foster, meanwhile, might appear to have a nice matchup, but the Titans have been shockingly stout against the run, ranking a respectable 12th against it (3.98 YPC). Tennessee’s previous four opponents have gained just 3.7 yards per carry.

    RECAP: I’m picking Tennessee as long as Locker is playing. If Locker’s in the lineup, there’s not much of a difference between these two teams, so I have no idea why the Texans are favored. We can also fade the public by playing the host.

    I’ll list the unit amount as TBA for now and update it once we get a read on Locker’s status. Stay tuned, or follow @walterfootball for updates.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: This spread is ridiculously high. A number of 3.5 may not seem too much, but consider that the Texans would be -9.5 if this game were in Houston. I understand that the Titans have a rookie starting this game, but Zach Mettenberger is an upgrade over Charlie Whitehurst, and he looked great in the preseason. I’m putting two units on Tennessee.

    SUNDAY NOTES: Again, this line is way too high. It violates the 80-20 rule, as there is more than 80-percent action on one side, indicating that the other team is the way to go.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Titans.
    Lots of money on the Texans.
  • Percentage of money on Houston: 84% (23,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Texans.
  • History: Texans have won 3 of the last 4 meetings.
  • Texans are 37-24 ATS after two or more consecutive losses (8-6 ATS as favorites).
  • Opening Line: Texans -1.
  • Opening Total: 43.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 8 NFL Pick: Titans 17, Texans 16
    Titans +3.5 (2 Units) — Incorrect; -$220
    Under 41.5 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Texans 30, Titans 16




    Baltimore Ravens (5-2) at Cincinnati Bengals (3-2-1)
    Line: Ravens by 2.5. Total: 44.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Bengals -3.5.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Pick.
    Sunday, Oct. 26, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Ravens.

    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.

    BALTIMORE OFFENSE: Remember when everyone thought the Bengals had this great defense that rivaled Seattle’s stop unit? Good times. Cincinnati has been atrocious on this side of the ball. It could not get off the field against the Colts, while the Panthers moved the chains with ease on them the week before. In fact, the last time the Bengals put together a quality defensive performance was against the sorry Titans in Week 3.

    What’s wrong with Cincinnati’s stop unit? Well, it has absolutely no pass rush, for one. Michael Johnson’s absence hurts; Geno Atkins does not look nearly the same coming off his knee injury; while Domata Peko is a waste of space. The Bengals may have gotten a chance to get to Joe Flacco last week, when the left side of his line was out, but it appears as though that at least one of Eugene Monroe or Kelechi Osemele will be back for this contest. That’s awful news for Cincinnati, as Flacco will get to torch a secondary that has surrendered 7.5 yards per attempt since its bye, which would rank 23rd if extrapolated over the entire season.

    The Bengals have been even worse versus the run. They’re 28th against it, surrendering 4.78 YPC. They’ve given up a total of 339 rushing yards the past two weeks, which is just embarrassing.

    CINCINNATI OFFENSE: The good news for the Bengals is that they may have A.J. Green back. Green told his teammates that he would play in this game, though he’s backed off a bit since saying that on Sunday. Still, there’s a good chance he’ll suit up, which will help Andy Dalton tremendously. Dalton moved the chains well against an atrocious Carolina defense, but had no chance to do so against the Colts last week.

    The secondary is the weakest part of the Ravens’ defense, though it did get a boost last week with the return of Will Hill. The talented, but troubled safety didn’t even play half the snaps, but he was effective when he was on the field. He won’t help slow down Green, but he’ll assist Baltimore’s other struggling defensive backs in terms of containing Dalton’s secondary and tertiary weapons.

    Having said that, it’ll be difficult for Cincinnati to move the chains consistently. Baltimore has a top-five defense that excels at generating pressure on opposing quarterbacks and stopping the rush. The Ravens will stuff Giovani Bernard when he runs, forcing Dalton into long-yardage situations, which he won’t be able to convert very often if Green isn’t playing near 100 percent. A healthy Green does change a lot though.

    RECAP: There are plenty of reasons to like the Bengals. They’re coming off an embarrassing loss and will want to rebound. They also play very well at home. However, the fact remains that the Ravens are the much better team, and they also have extra incentive to win this game, given that the Bengals beat them back in Week 1. I’m taking Baltimore, but I’m pretty torn on this game.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: How about this stat? The Bengals have been outgained by 380 net yards this season. Only the Raiders, Jaguars and Buccaneers have been worse. Both the public bettors and sharps are on the Ravens.

    SUNDAY NOTES: Once again, but the public and sharps have pounded the Ravens. It appears as though Vegas set a bad spread.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Bengals.
    The Ravens were a public dog until they became a favorite.
  • Percentage of money on Baltimore: 70% (38,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Bengals.
  • History: Home Team has won 7 of the last 10 meetings.
  • John Harbaugh is 0-5 ATS in same-season revenge games.
  • Ravens are 11-18 ATS as road favorites since 2005.
  • Bengals are 10-2 ATS at home since 2013.
  • Bengals are 24-14 ATS as underdogs since 2009.
  • Opening Line: Bengals -2.5.
  • Opening Total: 48.
  • Weather: .


    Week 8 NFL Pick: Ravens 23, Bengals 20
    Ravens -2.5 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Under 44.5 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Bengals 27, Ravens 24



    Week 8 NFL Picks – Late Games
    Philadelphia�at�Arizona, Oakland�at�Cleveland, Indianapolis�at�Pittsburgh, Green Bay�at�New Orleans, Washington�at�Dallas




    Prop/Teaser/Parlay Picks
    A list of some of my favorite team/player prop picks this week
    (Offense & defensive ROY picks to be counted whenver winners are announced.) Picks carried over on a week-to-week basis will be in black.


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



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

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

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

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

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

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

    Career NFL Picks Against The Spread: 3,420-3,152-195, 52.1% (+$21,170)
    Career 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 1,106-983-56 (52.9%)
    Career 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 549-485-25 (53.1%)
    Career Over-Under: 2,853-2,829-74 (50.3%)
    Career Second-Half NFL Picks: 23-16-1 (59.0%)
    Career NFL Picks of the Month: 46-34-1 (57.5t%)



    My Team-by-Team ATS Record
    This section shows how well I do when picking each team this year. The purpose is to see how well I read each team. Pushes are not displayed. Winning/losing streak in parentheses.

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

    2003 Preseason: 3 | 4 | 5
    2003 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 20 | XXXVIII
    2004 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2004 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XXXIX
    2005 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2005 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XL
    2006 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2006 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLI
    2007 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2007 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLII |
    2008 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2008 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLIII |
    2009 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLIV |
    2010 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2010 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLV |
    2011 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2011 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLVI |
    2012 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2012 Season:
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    2013 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
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    2014 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
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    2015 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
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    2016 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
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    2017 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
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    2018 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
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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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