NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 14, 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 (Week 8, 2014): 4-11 (+$320)
NFL Picks (Week 9, 2014): 9-4 (+$760)
NFL Picks (Week 10, 2014): 9-4 (-$90)
NFL Picks (Week 11, 2014): 8-6 (+$90)
NFL Picks (Week 12, 2014): 7-8 (+$100)
NFL Picks (Week 13, 2014): 5-11 (-$1,390)

NFL Picks (2014): 101-101-6 (-$1,145)
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 Dec. 8, 4:30 p.m. ET. Follow @walterfootball for updates.


Go to Week 14 NFL Picks – Late Games





Dallas Cowboys (8-4) at Chicago Bears (5-7)
Line: Cowboys by 4.5. Total: 51.

Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Cowboys -3.
Walt’s Calculated Line: Pick.
Thursday, Dec. 4, 8:25 ET
Comment on this game

The Game. Edge: Cowboys.

WEEK 13 RECAP: Ugh. I don’t want to talk about it. Losing my Pick of the Month ruined my week, as I would’ve been in the black otherwise. I don’t think I made a poor selection, as there was sharp action on the Chiefs, but after thinking about it, I believe that I spent way too many units on Kansas City. It should’ve been a two-unit selection at the very most. I’ll explain why I came to that conclusion in my betting trends.

DALLAS OFFENSE: Uh oh… it’s December, and the Cowboys are stuck on eight wins. Tony Romo struggled last week, as his heralded offensive line couldn’t block, all while Dez Bryant barked at him, the coaches, and several teammates on the sideline amid a blowout loss to the Eagles. Is Dallas set for yet another epic, late-season collapse?

I’d say the Bears are what the doctor ordered, but I’m not sure that’s the case. Sure, Kyle Fuller is banged up and won’t be able to cover Dez Bryant, while the inept back seven will have issues with everyone else. However, Chicago’s front line hasn’t been that bad; the team is getting decent pressure, which could give Romo trouble again.

Meanwhile, the Bears have been pretty decent against the run despite their recent futility; they currently rank 12th overall in that department, and they’ve limited their previous four opponents to just 3.81 YPC. It’ll be difficult to contain DeMarco Murray, of course, but it’s not like the league’s leading rusher will completely trample them.

CHICAGO OFFENSE: Any Bears’ fan had to be incredibly frustrated watching this scoring attack on Thanksgiving. With three elite weapons at his disposal, Jay Cutler dinked and dunked the entire afternoon, and as a consequence, any sort of penalty or negative play resulted in an automatic punt.

How could Cutler be so conservative with all of those weapons? Well, it was because the personnel Detroit had on its offensive line completely overwhelmed what the Bears possessed up front. That’s not the case in this matchup, however, as Dallas has struggled mightily to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks; only four teams have fewer sacks. With a clean pocket, Cutler should be able to dissect the Cowboys’ pedestrian secondary.

The Bears will also be able to run on the Cowboys, who are just 30th against opposing ground attacks. But will they even try to establish the rush? Despite owning a 14-3 lead on Thanksgiving, Marc Trestman inexplicably failed to call running plays for Matt Forte. Perhaps that’ll change in this matchup, but I wouldn’t count on it.

RECAP: I don’t have much interest in betting this game, though I’m willing to take the Bears for a small wager because this spread is off. I don’t see why the Cowboys getting the hook, let alone being favored. My calculated number is pick ’em. Dallas has not played quality football recently, losing to Washington, barely squeaking by the awful Giants and then getting blown out versus Philadelphia. Aside from a victory over the hapless Jaguars, Dallas hasn’t covered since Week 7.

The Bears, on the other hand, triumphed in their previous two home games. It’s also worth noting that Cutler has owned Romo in their meetings. I’m taking Chicago for a unit, as Vegas has inflated this line just a bit because they know that the public will still support the Cowboys.

I’ll be posting NFL Picks all day Wednesday, and I’ll do so earlier than usual for those who have to submit their picks early because of the holiday. Follow me at @walterfootball for updates.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I just took two units off the Ravens, so I might as well add one to the Bears. I like them a lot more at +4.5, which is what the spread is at Bovada. Regardless, it seems like Chicago is the right side, as this spread is inflated, and too high as a consequence.


The Psychology. Edge: Bears.
This game is sandwiched between the two Philadelphia battles. The Bears will be more focused.


The Vegas. Edge: Bears.
No surprise that the public is taking the Cowboys.
  • Percentage of money on Dallas: 67% (55,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Bears.
  • Cowboys are 14-8 ATS after playing the Eagles since 2000.
  • Tony Romo is 9-23 ATS as a starter after Nov. 30 (2-8 ATS as an underdog).
  • Jason Garrett is 3-6 ATS off a loss as a favorite.
  • Jay Cutler is 35-64 ATS if you exclude Monday Night Football.
  • Opening Line: Cowboys -3.5.
  • Opening Total: 50.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 14 NFL Pick: Cowboys 31, Bears 30
    Bears +4.5 (2 Units) — Incorrect; -$220
    Over 51.5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Cowboys 41, Bears 28






    Baltimore Ravens (7-5) at Miami Dolphins (7-5)
    Line: Dolphins by 3. Total: 45.

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

    The Game. Edge: Ravens.

    WEEK 14 BETTING TRENDS: I’ve identified poisonous teams that I would never bet on to save me from some bad picks. Here’s the list:

    Poisonous Teams:
    Raiders
    Jaguars
    Titans
    Giants

    I’ve removed the Buccaneers, who have been playing well of late, and I’ve added the Giants, who continuously find ways to lose. They’re the epitome of poisonous.

    I have discussed point value in terms of the Las Vegas Hilton advance spread. That dynamic was 24-15 against the spread since Week 2 entering last weekend. Here’s how it fared in Week 13:

    Before Week 12 After Week 12 ATS Result
    Falcons PK Falcons +2.5 Cover
    Chargers +3.5 Chargers +5.5 Cover

    Boom, 2-0. In my infinite wisdom, I lost 1.2 units going against this dynamic, which is now 26-15 ATS this season. Derp dee derp.

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

    Before Week 13 After Week 13
    Panthers +6.5 Panthers +10
    Redskins PK Redskins +2.5
    Cardinals -3 Cardinals -1
    Jaguars +3.5 Jaguars +5.5

    Four games apply, and all of them are pretty obvious. The Saints are back (apparently), and the Panthers were blown out, so that line jumped up three points. The Redskins are now almost at +3 because of the Rams’ 52-0 win over the Raiders. Meanwhile, the Cardinals have dropped two in a row, so they’re no longer laying a field goal against the Chiefs. As for the Texans, they looked great in a blowout victory over Tennessee.

    85-15 RULE: I mentioned that forum member Blazedestin ran betting-percentage numbers and posted them on his Web site. The breakdown turned out to be:

    Teams getting 80-84 percent of the action, past two seasons: 24-16-1* ATS.
    Teams getting 85-plus percent of the action, past two seasons: 10-23-1# ATS.

    *The Dolphins (84%) are pending tonight.

    #The Broncos are 3-1 ATS when getting 85 percent or more, so if you exclude them, this dynamic is 7-22-1 ATS in the past two seasons.

    Naturally, I only earned one unit out of this after posting on my site last week. Derp dee derp dee doo.

    SELF-EVALUATION: This week, I wanted to focus on evaluating my own selections. I’ve lost an unusual number of high-unit games this year; it was the complete opposite in 2013. I wanted to look at all of the picks I’ve made of three-plus units since Week 2 (since I treat the opening Sunday differently) to see if I can discover what I’m doing wrong:

    Week 2: Jaguars +5 at Redskins (4 units) – Loss
    Week 2: Packers -7.5 vs. Jets (3 units) – Loss
    Week 2: Colts -3 vs. Eagles (4 units) – Loss
    Week 3: Saints -10 vs. Vikings (3 units) – Win
    Week 3: Packers +2.5 at Lions (3 units) – Loss
    Week 3: Colts -7.5 vs. Jaguars (3 units) – Win
    Week 3: Chiefs +4 at Dolphins (3 units) – Win
    Week 4: Packers -1.5 at Bears (4 units) – Win
    Week 4: Panthers +3.5 at Ravens (4 units) – Loss
    Week 4: Vikings +3 vs. Falcons (7 units) – Win
    Week 5: Rams +7 at Eagles (3 units) – Win
    Week 5: Falcons +4.5 at Giants (3 units) – Win
    Week 5: Saints -10 vs. Buccaneers (4 units) – Loss
    Week 5: Broncos -7.5 vs. Cardinals (3 units) – Win
    Week 5: Patriots +3 at Bengals (5 units) – Win
    Week 6: Steelers +2 at Browns (3 units) – Loss
    Week 6: Bengals -7 vs. Panthers (3 units) – Loss
    Week 6: Bills +3 vs. Patriots (4 units) – Loss
    Week 6: Giants +3 at Eagles (3 units) – Loss
    Week 7: Colts -3 vs. Bengals (3 units) – Win
    Week 7: Vikings +6.5 at Bills (4 units) – Win
    Week 7: Giants +5 at Cowboys (4 units) – Loss
    Week 8: Chargers +9 at Broncos (4 units) – Loss
    Week 8: Cardinals -1 at Eagles (3 units) – Win
    Week 8: Saints -1 vs. Packers (7 units) – Win
    Week 9: Buccaneers +6.5 at Browns (3 units) – Win
    Week 9: Patriots +3 vs. Broncos (5 units) – Win
    Week 10: Dolphins +3 at Lions (4 units) – Loss
    Week 10: Saints -5 vs. 49ers (5 units) – Loss
    Week 10: Packers -8 vs. Bears (3 units) – Win
    Week 11: Chiefs PK vs. Seahawks (5 units) – Win
    Week 11: Saints -7 vs. Bengals (3 units) – Loss
    Week 11: Chargers -10 vs. Raiders (3 units) – Loss
    Week 11: Cardinals PK vs. Lions (5 units) – Win
    Week 11: Colts -3 vs. Patriots (3 units) – Loss
    Week 12: Colts -13.5 vs. Jaguars (3 units) – Win
    Week 12: Buccaneers +5 at Bears (4 units) – Loss
    Week 12: Dolphins +7 at Broncos (5 units) – Win
    Week 13: Lions -7 vs. Bears (4 units) – Win
    Week 13: Redskins +10 at Colts (3 units) – Loss
    Week 13: Patriots +3 at Packers (4 units) – Loss
    Week 13: Chiefs +1.5 vs. Broncos (7 units) – Loss

    Ugh. Just 21-21, which is a lot of juice to lose. The good news is that I’m 5-1 with five-unit selections (which are very close to being Picks of the Month) to go along with 2-1 for my actual Picks of the Month. The bad news is that I’m a hideous 2-10 ATS with my four-unit choices.

    I noticed a couple of other things. First, I’m 4-2 ATS taking home dogs. I love home underdogs, so it surprised me that I bet heavily on so few. Second, I don’t have a good track record when betting against elite quarterbacks if I don’t have an elite quarterback on my side. I’ve lost with the Bills +3 vs. Patriots in Week 6, Chargers +9 at Broncos in Week 8, and most recently, Chiefs +1.5 vs. Broncos on Sunday night, with Miami at Denver being the sole winner (thanks to a back-door cover negating a front-door cover). Taking away that 1-3 ATS record, I’d be 20-18 ATS, which is a bit better.

    Conversely, I’m 8-5 ATS when taking elite quarterbacks battling teams without elite signal-callers. Take away the Saints, and I’m 6-2 ATS.

    I’m going to keep digging through this to see if I can find anything. If you see anything, please e-mail me or comment below. In the meantime, I’m done fading elite quarterbacks unless I’m backing one of my own, and I’ll consider the opposite approach more often.

    BALTIMORE OFFENSE: The Ravens have been a defensive team for many years, but they’ve been better on this side of the ball this season. Joe Flacco is playing exceptional football, thanks to a stout offensive line that has yielded the second-fewest sacks in the NFL. His YPA of 7.4 and completion percentage of 63.1 are tied for his career best.

    Flacco, however, has a tough matchup this week versus the Dolphins, who have posted some pretty impressive defensive numbers. They’re at the very top of the charts in terms of pass defense (6.13 YPA), as they get immense pressure on the quarterback, all while Brent Grimes takes care of business on the back end. Grimes, like Brandon Flowers last week, will shut down Steve Smith, though Torrey Smith could go off again because Miami has some injury issues in its secondary.

    The Dolphins, however, have struggled lately in terms of stopping the run. C.J. Anderson ran all over them two weeks ago, while the Jets gashed them on the ground during the first half of the Monday night game before Miami began completely selling out versus the rush. The Dolphins won’t be able to completely do that in this contest, however, because unlike Geno Smith, Flacco is actually a competent quarterback.

    MIAMI OFFENSE: This is an interesting matchup. The Ravens’ sole defensive weakness is defending downfield throws because they are missing their top cornerback. The Dolphins, however, haven’t been able to connect on deep passes, as Ryan Tannehill was the fourth-least-accurate quarterback on attempts of 20-plus yards heading into the Monday night contest. Something has to give.

    Unfortunately for Tannehill, he won’t have much help from his rushing attack and his offensive line. The former will be stymied by a forceful Baltimore ground defense that ranks third in the NFL in terms of YPC (3.53). The Ravens haven’t even allowed a single team to gain more than 70 yards on the ground since Week 6, so don’t expect the Tannehill read-option plays to work very well.

    As for the latter, the Dolphins are missing Branden Albert, and they could finally pay for it in this contest. The Ravens are tied for eighth in sacks (32), and only three teams (Bills, Eagles, Cardinals) have recorded more sacks in their previous four games than Baltimore has.

    RECAP: I absolutely love Baltimore for the following reasons:

    1. Once again, the Dolphins do not perform well when favored. The underdog is an amazing 56-28 against the spread in Miami’s previous 84 games.

    2. The Dolphins also lack a true homefield advantage, so this spread of -2.5/-3 doesn’t really indicate that these teams are even. My calculated line for this contest is Miami -1.

    3. Miami has an extremely difficult game coming up against the Patriots. I know the team has to win this game, but how can it not at least be slightly looking ahead to the daunting task of upsetting New England on the road?

    4. The Dolphins are in a bad spot as a home favorite following a close divisional win (1-3 points). Teams in that situation are just 24-46 against the spread in the previous dozen years.

    I was ready to go five units on the Ravens when the spread opened at +3, but this is more of a four-unit play at +2.5. I’m aware of the percentage of action on Baltimore, but it’s still early in the week, and this game has a pretty low volume of bets thus far compared to the other contests.

    UNIT CHANGE: I’m temporarily dropping this to two units in the wake of Haloti Ngata’s injury. Ngata is the best player on Baltimore’s defense, so his absence will be huge. I may bump this back up after reviewing this game, but I’m slicing my wager in half for now.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: After thinking about it a ton, I was set to completely dump this game. Haloti Ngata’s absence will be huge; he’s the best player on their team, and he’ll be missed. It’ll also be 80 and humid under the Miami sun. However, this spread went back to +3, which I like WAY better than +2.5, so I’ll keep this at two units.

    SUNDAY NOTES: I thought Chris Berman made a good point this morning when he picked the Ravens, saying that they tend to step up when all of the chips are down. Perhaps they’ll play above expectations without Haloti Ngata. I’m keeping this at two units.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Dolphins.
    Slight money on the Ravens.
  • Percentage of money on Baltimore: 63% (26,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Ravens.
  • Underdog is 56-28 ATS in the Dolphins’ last 84 games.
  • Opening Line: Dolphins -3.
  • Opening Total: 45.
  • Weather: .


    Week 14 NFL Pick: Ravens 20, Dolphins 16
    Ravens +3 (2 Units) — Correct; +$200
    Under 45 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Ravens 28, Dolphins 13






    Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5) at Cincinnati Bengals (8-3-1)
    Line: Bengals by 3. Total: 47.5.

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

    The Game. Edge: Steelers.

    VEGAS UPDATE: Vegas had its worst Sunday of the season in Week 10, so it had to win some of its money back. It has done so the past three weeks. It split its six heavily bet games evenly heading into Monday night, winning with the Jaguars, Buccaneers and Falcons, and losing with the Colts, Rams and Broncos (of course). However, they cashed in tremendously Monday, as the Dolphins failed to cover at the Jets. Of course, I was an idiot and picked Miami. Derp dee derp dee doo.

    Once again, follow @walterfootball for updates.

    CINCINNATI OFFENSE: Andy Dalton had a dreadful performance last week. He had the “flu,” as he was so sick that he apparently thought it was the playoffs already. He tried to give the game away, but Josh McCown, paired with Lovie Smith’s awful coaching, prevented that from happening.

    Dalton figures to rebound, assuming he’s over the flu. I thought Pittsburgh’s defense would perform much better last week with Troy Polamalu and some other players back from injury, but that apparently wasn’t the case, as Drew Brees torched the Steelers’ pathetic secondary. Dalton could have similar success, though it’s worth noting that Ike Taylor has inexplicably had A.J. Green’s number. Taylor can’t cover anyone, but for whatever reason, he has always done well against Green.

    Something else I need to mention is that Ryan Shazier is expected back for this contest. He’ll replace Sean Spence, who has been a liability in every facet. Shazier will improve a defense ranked 27th against the run (4.45 YPC), giving the Steelers some hope of stopping Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard, though I still expect Cincinnati to run well.

    PITTSBURGH OFFENSE: We’ll never know, but perhaps last week’s game would have been different if Ben Roethlisberger hadn’t banged his hand on the helmet of a Saints’ defender early on. Roethlisberger didn’t look right for most of the afternoon, as he even had to give the ball to Le’Veon Bell with his opposite hand. The Steelers, consequently, had no success moving the chains whatsoever.

    Roethlisberger, however, got into a groove late in the contest, so that could be a sign that he’ll be fine for this matchup. There’s no way of knowing that, unfortunately, and it’s a shame because he’d have a nice outlook in this contest, given that the Bengals have recorded the second-fewest sacks in the NFL (15), as they’re ahead of only the Raiders (13).

    Cincinnati has especially been very weak against the rush, surrendering 4.21 YPC to the opposition, ranking them 21st in the NFL. The Bengals have been better against the run lately, but they’ve taken on a few teams that don’t normally move the chains effectively on the ground, like the Buccaneers, Texans (without Arian Foster), Saints and Browns. It won’t be nearly as easy versus Bell, who is averaging close to five yards per carry this season.

    RECAP: I have no situational trends or psychological factors to back this pick, but I’m taking the Steelers, simply because I disagree with this spread. The Bengals being -3 means that these two teams are even, but I disagree with that. Pittsburgh is superior, and this spread should be Cincinnati -1. It’s only a two-point difference, but getting a field goal with the better squad is nice.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I considered bumping this up to a couple of units, but I’m worried about Ben Roethlisberger’s hand. There are some rumors circling that his wrist is broken, which he has denied.

    SUNDAY NOTES: Ben Roethlisberger reportedly looked great in practice this week, which is good news for those betting the Steelers. Unfortunately, Pittsburgh is still missing defenders, so this can’t be a high bet.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Bengals.
    Slight lean on the Steelers.
  • Percentage of money on Pittsburgh: 60% (28,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • History: Steelers have won 11 of the last 15 meetings.
  • Ben Roethlisberger is 37-19 ATS vs. the AFC North.
  • Bengals are 11-4 ATS at home since 2013.
  • Bengals are 20-36 ATS as a favorite since 2007.
  • Opening Line: Bengals -3.5.
  • Opening Total: 47.
  • Weather: .


    Week 14 NFL Pick: Bengals 23, Steelers 22
    Steelers +3 (1 Unit) — Correct; +$100
    Under 47.5 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Steelers 42, Bengals 21






    Indianapolis Colts (8-4) at Cleveland Browns (7-5)
    Line: Colts by 3. Total: 50.

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

    The Game. Edge: Colts.

    HATE MAIL: Another week, another stack of hate mails. As you can imagine, I received a ton after last week’s debaclation. These are from the comment boards below:

    Virtually every pic you made was on the wrong side. You’re in bed directly w/ vegas. Ur either totally inept or a fraud. Social media campaign against Walt all in?!

    Either inept or a fraud? Parallelism aside, can I be both? It’s always been a dream of mine to be an inept fraud.

    F U Walter you absolute hack. Go sell mattresses. Your not good at your job. Funny sometimes; but a complete waste of time and a fraud. I’m going out of my way to let everyone in my circle know.

    OK great, could you let everyone in your circle know that I have an awesome mattress sale going on while you’re at it?

    Walt’s a PSU joke Stop being a little Bi*ch. If you didn’t suck at what you do so bad, you wouldn’t be having heart attacks and crying about it so much. Man up… Thanks, point proven again this week. Enjoy your cheese fries you dumb @#$@

    Cheese fries!? Where? There are cheese fries in my house!?

    /-15 units this week sir, may I suggest when you pick a play of the month (or did your son steal your password and post all those losers like Blue douche bag said happened to him?) That you avoid going against a top 3 qb/team who is playing for home field through out the playoffs??

    Hey, hey, hey, I’m only at -13 units this week, sir. And yes, my unborn son wrote all of my Week 13 NFL Picks, how did you know?

    You gotta love Walter football! He’s gonna drop another 12 units this week. Why do you morons listen to this guy he has lost money over the last three years! he’s not even good at this yet people listen to him like he is a good handicapper. He is absolutely the worst handicapper in the country. Just flip a coin you have better odds

    Because I’m so damn charming and funny, that’s why.

    His pick of the month will be no better than the rest of hi picks. what makes this guy a football guru? He has a web site?

    Uhh… yeah, the Web site is worth 5 units alone, derp. That, and the fact that this was the first pick of the month I lost in 2 years.

    Wonder if Walter has slit his wrist yet watching his 7 star game. Lol. Walter couldn’t pick a winner if he had a time machine.

    That’s stupid. If I had a time machine, why would I be wasting time posting picks?

    Hey have a day Walter!!! You should shut down your site for a week after the way you have pissed your pants today…lol. Alex Smith over Peyton Manning as your pick of the month a week after they lost to the absolute worst team in football? Solid.

    But where will you troll if I shut down my site? You’ll be like a lost soul, drifting from Web site to Web site, looking for a place to troll. I’m doing you a favor by keeping this open.

    walter can u give us 7 reasons why ur picks suck. ill give u a unit for each reason…dumbass

    Sure:

    1. I make half of them while dropping a deuce.

    2. Ferguson.

    3. My knees hurt.

    4. No cheese fries in my house (upon inspection).

    5. I love getting hate mail/comments.

    6. Too Many Cooks still in my head.

    7. I make the other half while downloading lesbian porn.

    CLEVELAND OFFENSE: I found it hilarious when the inept ESPN analysts said that Brian Hoyer should remain the starter. They incoherently argued that Hoyer got the Browns to this 7-5 record, when that hasn’t been the case at all. Cleveland’s running game was responsible for that, and it has eroded ever since Alex Mack was knocked out with a season-ending injury. Ever since Mack was lost, Hoyer has thrown just five touchdowns and committed a whopping 10 turnovers. He has completed less than 60 percent of his passes in four of the eight games after Mack got hurt. The Browns haven’t been winning because of Hoyer; they’ve been winning in spite of him.

    Mike Pettine, who should have benched Hoyer two weeks ago, told the media that he would look at the tape prior to making his decision. Well, he did, and he, in typical Browns fashion, made the wrong choice. The turnover-prone Hoyer will start yet again. I’d like to say that Hoyer will have success against the Colts’ struggling defense, but he did just throw three interceptions against the Falcons.

    The Browns need Johnny Manziel to start. Not only is he the superior talent, but his running ability will open things up for Isaiah Crowell. The Browns currently can’t run the ball at all because of Mack’s absence, but that would change with Manziel under center. Unfortunately for Cleveland fans, Pettine, like the clueless ESPN analysts, fails to realize that.

    INDIANAPOLIS OFFENSE: Andrew Luck, meanwhile, has feasted on poor and mediocre teams throughout his career. The Browns, despite their winning record, are most definitely mediocre.

    For instance, the Browns are in the bottom 10 in terms of sacks, as they’ve brought down opposing quarterbacks on just six occasions in the past four weeks. That obviously does not bode well for this matchup. Luck has had some turnover issues early in recent games, but that trend may not continue if Cleveland can’t put any pressure on him.

    The Browns are also poor in terms of stopping the run, ranking 22nd against it in terms of YPC (4.29). The Colts have been able to establish the ground game with Dan Herron taking over for an injured Ahmad Bradshaw. Trent Richardson still sucks – it’s unfortunate that he’s still getting a workload – but Herron should be able to help Luck move the chains in this contest.

    RECAP: I would’ve considered picking the Browns had Pettine made the right move and started Manziel, but Hoyer sucks. I’m not going against Luck versus a non-elite team with a terrible quarterback. I’m not planning on betting the Colts, however, because I hate the hook. The public action is on Indianapolis as well, though Blazedestin has told me that Luck is an OK 2-2 ATS when getting 85-plus percent of the money.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I have no interest in this game at -3 -120 or -3.5 +100. I’d consider betting the Colts at -3, as they typically squash bad and medicore teams, and Cleveland has been very mediocre without Alex Mack.

    SUNDAY NOTES: The sharps have taken this down to -3 (though if you like the Browns, they’re still +4 at Bovada). I considered the Colts at -3, but there’s just so much money on them.


    The Psychology. Edge: Browns.
    This game means more to the Browns, but it’s not like the Colts won’t try.


    The Vegas. Edge: Browns.
    Lots of action on the Colts, and a possible violation of the 85-15 Rule.
  • Percentage of money on Indianapolis: 82% (31,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Opening Line: Colts -3.5.
  • Opening Total: 49.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 14 NFL Pick: Colts 33, Browns 27
    Colts -3 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Over 50 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Colts 25, Browns 24




    Houston Texans (6-6) at Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10)
    Line: Texans by 6.5. Total: 42.

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

    The Game. Edge: Texans.

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    Also, you can make your own NFL Power Rankings here.

    HOUSTON OFFENSE: Where did Ryan Fitzpatrick’s six touchdowns come from? No one saw that coming; not even Fitzpatrick’s own genius son. Having said that, if Fitzpatrick was going to have the game of his life, it was going to be against the Titans, who have the worst defense in the NFL.

    The Jaguars definitely do not have a quality stop unit, but they at least do a couple of things well. For instance, they put a good amount of pressure on the quarterback. It’s shocking, but only two teams (Bills, Eagles) have registered more sacks than Jacksonville (37). The Jaguars have generated nine sacks in their previous couple of games, and though Fitzpatrick is protected somewhat well, I don’t expect his front to hold off the ferocious Jacksonville defensive line.

    With that in mind, Fitzpatrick can just hand the ball off to Arian Foster and watch his All-Pro running back do all of the work. The Jaguars have permitted their previous four opponents to eclipse the century mark, so Foster should be able to do that with ease.

    JACKSONVILLE OFFENSE: J.J. Watt has devoured terrible quarterbacks this season, and this matchup shouldn’t be any different. Blake Bortles has talent, but he’s still very raw, and he’s been making too many mistakes behind his patchwork offensive line. Watt will dominate Jacksonville’s blockers quite easily, making life easier for a secondary that has struggled at times because of injuries.

    The one chance the Jaguars have of moving the ball is establishing Denard Robinson. The Texans are below average in terms of stopping ground attacks, limiting the opposition to 4.17 YPC, which places them 18th in the NFL in that department. Unfortunately for Jacksonville, Robinson hasn’t run that well since the bye, as opponents have begun paying more attention to him.

    RECAP: I’m not betting this game. The Texans could easily dominate – again, Watt versus a terrible quarterback has been money this year – but going against the 85-15 Rule is not something I want to be a part of, even though the public is a ridiculous 9-1 when fading the Jaguars at 75-plus percent. I also think this spread is pretty fairly priced, as I had it at Texans -5.

    Gun to my head, I’m still taking the Texans, but not with any sort of conviction.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: This is an 85-15 game. However, the Jaguars are the only team that seldom covers in this situation.

    SUNDAY NOTES: This is officially an 85-15 game, so the Texans would be an automatic fade if they were playing anyone but the Jaguars.


    The Psychology. Edge: Jaguars.
    A major Breather Alert for the Texans, who have the Colts and Ravens the next two weeks.


    The Vegas. Edge: Jaguars.
    This looks like it’ll be one of those 85-15 games.
  • Percentage of money on Houston: 87% (23,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • History: Texans have won 5 of the last 7 meetings (Jaguars won the last 2).
  • Opening Line: Texans -4.
  • Opening Total: 42.
  • Weather: .


    Week 14 NFL Pick: Texans 24, Jaguars 17
    Texans -6.5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Under 42 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Texans 27, Jaguars 13






    New York Giants (3-9) at Tennessee Titans (2-10)
    Line: Giants by 3. Total: 47.

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

    The Game. Edge: Titans.

    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. Congratulations to Ray Rice for winning the most pointless appeal of all time. Rice challenged his suspension, which should have never been more than six games in the first place, per Roger Goodell’s own ruling. Rice can now play, but who’s going to sign him? No one’s going to risk a PR fiasco by acquiring him. If he were a half-decent quarterback, someone would give him a shot, but why would anyone have interest in a decrepit running back?

    Rice may never play again, but he has a chance, at least. Here’s what he needs to do:

    1) Announce that he’s an alcoholic. Even if he’s not, he can blame the alcohol on the domestic abuse.

    2) Cry on camera and apologize to all women across the globe.

    3) Go to rehab (i.e. chill out by a pool at a fancy, alcohol-free resort).

    4) Leave rehab and apologize to all women once again.

    5) Sign with a team. Someone will do it because they’d look good giving him a “second chance.”

    6) Average 2.5 yards per carry and suck again.

    This is the only route that’ll work for Rice. He should totally hire me as his PR guy.

    2. As for the other troubled player, I think it’s complete bulls*** that Adrian Peterson is not getting time served for missing action this year. Again, Roger Goodell is idiotically going against his own idiotic rules. Peterson should be able to sue the hell out of the NFL and be able to play in Weeks 14-16. And I’m not just saying that because I have Peterson as a stash in most of my fantasy leagues.

    In all seriousness, Peterson has suffered enough. Goodell can pretend he has a good moral compass by trying to tell Peterson how to raise his children, but there’s no reason Peterson should have been banished from the NFL this long. I don’t care if he bashed his son with Excalibur; a rule is a rule, and Peterson has been gone for six games.

    3. On a lighter note, I need to post this e-mail from English Dave, who had the following complaint about the NFL’s most senile ref, Walt Coleman:

    Walt Coleman’s decision not to overturn Vincent Jackson’s fumble [against the Bears] has given me no other alternative but to write to him…

    Dear Mr Coleman, It’s English Dave here. You have made many horrifically bad calls in your career. However, yesterday you even managed to outdo your own epically low standards. You cost my beloved Buccaneers a certain touchdown in a game we may well have won. I just want you to know that I wish upon you a lifetime of pain and suffering. You are literally a disgrace to the human race. The mere fact that you are still alive, at the age of 136, is a complete and utter waste of oxygen. Your whole family are deeply ashamed that they have to share your name. If i was even remotely related to you, in any form at all, then I would be certainly giving a great deal of thought to ending my life, due to immense shame and embarrassment. Regards, English Dave.


    I completely approve of this e-mail, especially after Coleman officiated the Denver-Kansas City game. Not that Coleman made any bad calls – for once in his officiating career – but I just got a bad vibe as soon as I discovered that he was the ref for that contest.

    NEW YORK OFFENSE: The Titans have the worst defense in the NFL. They just surrendered six touchdown passes to Ryan Fitzpatrick. They can’t stop the pass, and they’re helpless versus the run. The one thing they do somewhat well is get after the quarterback, but they’ve recorded just two sacks in their past couple of games.

    Having said that, I don’t envision the Giants having much offensive success in this contest. Rashad Jennings is banged up, and it appears as though he won’t play again. Jennings missed practice Wednesday, and New York signed Chris Ogbonnaya, which is not a good sign. That means the plodding Andre Williams will carry the load. In other words, the Giants’ running game will feature a back getting the ball and falling down after two yards.

    Meanwhile, Eli Manning will obviously connect on some throws to Odell Beckham. He’ll also pass the ball to the other team. The Giants’ offensive line is in shambles right now, as Manning, who usually releases the ball quickly to avoid taking sacks, was brought down on four occasions last week.

    TENNESSEE OFFENSE: Speaking of pass rushes, the Giants won’t be getting to the quarterback very frequently to close out the year. They were already mediocre in that regard, tied for 18th in the NFL in sacks (26). However, they just lost both Robert Ayers and Mathias Kiwanuka to season-ending injuries. Kiwanuka provided nothing but depth, but Ayers going down is huge. Ayers was New York’s top pass-rusher, by far.

    Without Ayers hounding him, Zach Mettenberger should have a somewhat decent outing. Mettenberger suffered a shoulder injury last week, but he’s on track to start Sunday. He’ll be going against a New York secondary that is ranked 30th against the pass in terms of YPA (8.07). Blake Bortles didn’t turn the football over for the first time all season against the Giants, so you have to like Mettenberger’s chances.

    New York also stinks at stopping the run. The team is even worse in that department, ranking 31st (4.92 YPC), as only the Chiefs are inferior. However, I don’t have enough faith in Bishop Sankey to take advantage of this liability.

    RECAP: The Giants appear to have mailed it in, so I don’t see why they’d suddenly try hard in this non-conference game. I’m taking the Titans, but I can’t say I like the pick very much because they’ve cost me so much over the years. They are the epitome of poisonous, but perhaps playing another poisonous team will allow them to cover.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: This is close to an 85-15 game. It seems crazy to bet this game; on one hand, the Giants appear to have mailed it in, but on the other hand, the Titans are a flaming pile of garbage. With the betting action down to 82 percent, I’m going to drop the one unit I had on Tennessee.

    SUNDAY NOTES: This is officially an 85-15 game. With the Titans available at +3 on Bovada, I’m going to pick them for a unit.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Titans.
    This might be an 85-15 game.
  • Percentage of money on New York: 86% (7,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Giants.
  • Giants are 39-24 ATS on the road since 2006 as long as they’re not favored by 3.5 or more.
  • Eli Manning is 32-24 ATS as an underdog since 2007.
  • Titans are 21-11 ATS in non-conference home games.
  • Opening Line: Titans -1.
  • Opening Total: 45.
  • Weather: .


    Week 14 NFL Pick: Titans 27, Giants 23
    Titans +3 (1 Unit) — Incorrect; -$110
    Over 47 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Giants 36, Titans 7




    Carolina Panthers (3-8-1) at New Orleans Saints (5-7)
    Line: Saints by 8.5. Total: 50.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Saints -6.5.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Saints -9.
    Sunday, Dec. 7, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Saints.

    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. Michigan’s season is over, so we can say goodbye to Brady Hoke. Or is it Jeff Hoke? Or Jeff Garlin?



    I think Michigan is being stupid by letting Hoke go. Yeah, he sucked, but so did Rich Rodriguez, and look at what the “non-Michigan Man” is doing in Arizona. Colleges always seem to make the mistake of firing coaches too early, when they really should be giving them more of a chance.

    2. The Iron Bowl was interesting until the very end. Alabama eventually jumped out to a 19-point lead, with Auburn having possession with a minute left. I found it very odd that Jesse Palmer cried out, “TIMEOUT! TIMEOUT! THEY HAVE TO CALL A TIMEOUT! YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT COULD HAPPEN!”

    Uhh.. we know what’s going to happen. Alabama is going to win – because it was up 19 with a minute left. Auburn didn’t even have a legitimate chance of covering the 10-point spread, though maybe Palmer bought a couple of points and was praying for the Tigers to cover. And they won’t even let Kirk Herbstreit pick games straight up!

    3. I like what the college football playoff committee is doing. I have no issues with Florida State being dropped to No. 4. I wouldn’t kick the Seminoles out of the top four, even if Baylor wins this week by the score of 104-0, but I do think Florida State should be penalized for barely beating crap opponents like Florida, Miami and Boston College. Jameis Winston needs to pay the price for his point-shaving tactics.

    I’d make one little change though in my bracket:



    NEW ORLEANS OFFENSE: Was last week’s result real, or just a mirage? The Saints’ scoring attack inexplicably sputtered in three consecutive home games, and just when all hope was lost, Drew Brees and his weapons – save for Jimmy Graham, who wasn’t even targeted – went off for 35 points in Pittsburgh.

    The Steelers don’t have a very good defense that was still missing some personnel, so I’m leaning toward mirage. Then again, that might be irrelevant this week, given that the Panthers have major defensive struggles of their own. Brees torched the Panthers in Carolina back during Week 9, going 24-of-34 for 297 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in a Thursday night victory. Carolina is still inept when it comes to stopping aerial attacks, so Brees will likely go off again.

    The one area in which the Panthers have improved recently, however, is stopping the run. They’ve limited their previous four opponents to fewer than three yards per carry (2.98 YPC, to be precise). The Saints gashed them for 103 yards on the ground in that Week 9 victory, so Mark Ingram probably won’t have that same type of success this time.

    CAROLINA OFFENSE: The Panthers have been much worse on this side of the ball. They have the worst offensive line in football, so Cam Newton can’t really do much. The Saints don’t get after the quarterback very well – they’re bottom 10 in the NFL in terms of sacks – and yet they brought Newton down four times in that Thursday night affair. That’s the sort of ineptitude Newton is dealing with.

    Making matters worse for Newton, he has just one reliable receiver to throw to in Kelvin Benjamin, who will have to battle Keenan Lewis. That’s a difficult matchup for Benjamin, who will have issues getting open. Newton also has Greg Olsen at his disposal, but the Saints, believe it or not, have defended tight ends extremely well this year.

    If there was one positive sign to come out of last week’s loss at Minnesota, it was that Newton scrambled nine times. He didn’t look 100 percent, but it was clear that he was much healthier than he was prior to the bye. Perhaps Newton and Jonathan Stewart can form a potent, dual rushing attack to keep the Saints’ offense off the field. Then again, I could win the lottery.

    RECAP: Blegh. I obviously liked the Saints much more when they were -6.5 a week ago. I’m still taking them – more so as a fade of Carolina – but all line value has been lost. I have no faith in New Orleans until I see it string together consecutive strong performances.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The Saints have been awesome at home over the years, but the Panthers have actually covered three of the previous four in the Superdome. Jimmy Clausen even beat the spread there! It sucks that we lost all line value with New Orleans; they’d be worth a look at -6.5.

    SUNDAY NOTES: The sharps bet this down to +8.5. I still don’t like the Saints, as we’re still giving up lots of line value.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Panthers.
    No surprise that the public is back on the Saints.
  • Percentage of money on New Orleans: 73% (33,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Saints.
  • History: Home team has won 4 of the last 6 meetings.
  • Cam Newton is 16-12 ATS off a loss as long as he’s not favored by 7+.
  • Saints are 35-17 ATS as a home favorite since 2007.
  • Opening Line: Saints -9.5.
  • Opening Total: 48.5.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 14 NFL Pick: Saints 34, Panthers 23
    Saints -8 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Over 49.5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Panthers 41, Saints 10




    Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-10) at Detroit Lions (8-4)
    Line: Lions by 10.5. Total: 42.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Lions -9.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Lions -7.5.
    Sunday, Dec. 7, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Lions.

    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.

    DETROIT OFFENSE: The Lions seemingly had gone an eternity without scoring a touchdown, but they finally snapped out of their funk in the second quarter on Thanksgiving. Granted, they were battling the Bears, but it’s not like the Buccaneers are that much better on this side of the ball. Sure, they limited the Bengals to 14 points this past week, but the already-inept Andy Dalton was even worse in that contest because he was dealing with the flu.

    The Buccaneers have just a few quality players on their defense. Linebacker Danny Lansanah and cornerback Alterraun Verner have been playing well lately, Linebacker Lavonte David has been out, and his return would be huge. Meanwhile, Gerald McCoy has been one of the top defensive linemen in the NFL this season, and is fully capable of rattling Matthew Stafford behind a pedestrian offensive line. The Lions struggle to block, so the Buccaneers could constantly pressure him to have a chance.

    If Tampa can’t get to Stafford, well, there won’t be much hope because Calvin Johnson is fully healthy now. Verner is a decent corner, but I don’t see him slowing down Megatron. Meanwhile, there won’t be anyone on the other side to handle Golden Tate.

    TAMPA BAY OFFENSE: The Buccaneers have a stud receiver of their own in Mike Evans, who has enjoyed a very strong rookie campaign. The Lions have had some issues in their secondary recently, so I don’t see them being able to cover Evans all that well.

    The problem for Tampa, however, is that the offensive line will have immense issues holding up versus Detroit’s front. Led by Ndamukong Suh, the Lions’ defensive line will put heavy pressure on Josh McCown, who makes plenty of mistakes while under duress (and while not under duress, as well). McCown single-handedly cost the Buccaneers a victory at Chicago with some careless turnovers, and the Lions are capable of generating more of a pass rush than the Bears.

    The Buccaneers were able to keep the Bengals’ offense off the field last week with Doug Martin actually looking like a solid back for the first time all year. However, there’s a big difference between the Cincinnati and Detroit ground defenses. Whereas the Bengals are just 21st in terms of YPC, the Lions are at the very top of the list. That means McCown will have to make plays to move the chains, and if he continues to be sloppy, that could end in disaster.

    RECAP: When this spread initially came out, I loved the Buccaneers. They’ve kept most of their games close – only two losses by more than 11 – while the Lions typically don’t play well when favored by a high amount following a win. I then realized that Detroit had extra time to prepare. That’s usually something you don’t want to go against.

    But then I thought about it – the Lions are awful when it comes to handling success. They’ve had extra time to hear people tell them how great they are. That can’t possibly bode well for them.

    Oh, and check this out: Following a double-digit victory, the Lions are 1-11 against the spread since 2011. How is that even possible!?

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Did you know that the Buccaneers have outgained four of their previous five opponents. With the Lions always sluggish off wins, Tampa seems like a strong play.

    SUNDAY NOTES: There hasn’t been enough professional money on the Buccaneers to keep this spread from crossing -10. It’s now -10.5 in most places. I’m still sticking with four units, as a half a point won’t be enough for me to add a fifth unit.


    The Psychology. Edge: Buccaneers.
    The Lions have three divisional games to close out the season after this contest.


    The Vegas. Edge: Buccaneers.
    Early equal action, but the public has begun pounding the Lions.
  • Percentage of money on Detroit: 74% (26,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Buccaneers.
  • Road Team is 54-32 ATS in Buccaneers games since 2009.
  • Lions are 13-25 ATS against losing teams the previous 37 instances.
  • Opening Line: Lions -9.5.
  • Opening Total: 41.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 14 NFL Pick: Lions 23, Buccaneers 17
    Buccaneers +10.5 (4 Units) — Incorrect; -$440
    Under 42 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Lions 34, Buccaneers 17




    St. Louis Rams (5-7) at Washington Redskins (3-9)
    Line: Rams by 3. Total: 44.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Pick.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Pick.
    Sunday, Dec. 7, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Rams.

    Video of the Week: What was the drunkest you’ve ever been? It probably wasn’t nearly as bad as this guy, who struggled to make it up a hill (thanks, Keith M.):



    ST. LOUIS OFFENSE: I had three units on the Redskins, so you can imagine how agonizing it was to watch their secondary blow coverage after coverage during last week’s loss. It was amazing how many open Colts there were downfield. The loss could’ve even been uglier had Coby Fleener not dropped a potential 80-yard touchdown.

    Shaun Hill can’t take advantage of that though, right? I wouldn’t have thought so a few weeks ago, but Hill has performed well in the three games in which he’s taken over as the starter. He hasn’t been prolific, or anything, but he’s done a good job of moving the chains and limiting his turnovers, save for the final drive at San Diego. It’s helped him that Stedman Bailey has emerged as a reliable target. Bailey has 12 receptions for 189 yards and a touchdown in his previous two outings.

    With Hill and Bailey expected to connect repeatedly again, the Redskins will at least have to contain Tre Mason, who ran all over the Raiders last week. They might just be able to do that; save for one long Dan Herron run, they’ve done a good job of restricting opposing backs, limiting their previous four opponents to just 3.49 YPC.

    WASHINGTON OFFENSE: Colt McCoy was able to move the chains against the Colts effectively at times. His offense put up 27 points, so it’s not like he was completely overmatched. However, his offensive line was, as McCoy took a whopping six sacks, many of which completely ruined drives.

    This shouldn’t have been much of a surprise. Indianapolis doesn’t have the best pass rush in the NFL, but Washington’s offensive line is one of the league’s worst blocking units. Save for the Jaguars, no team has surrendered more sacks this year. That obviously doesn’t bode well in this matchup, as the Rams’ defensive line is dominant. They were putting heavy pressure on opposing quarterbacks even before Chris Long returned last week.

    McCoy will take plenty of sacks because he’ll be in many long-yardage situations. The Redskins won’t be able to run very effectively, as the Rams are ninth against the rush, limiting the opposition to 3.77 YPC.

    RECAP: I like the Redskins a lot more at +3, but they still seem like the right side at +2.5. We’re getting nearly a field goal of line value with them, as this spread was a pick ’em prior to this week. The oddsmakers had to inflate this spread based on St. Louis’ 52-0 victory over Oakland. That will stick in the public’s mind for a while, but I didn’t think that result was that impressive because the Raiders didn’t even try.

    Don’t get me wrong; the Rams are the better team. However, they don’t deserve to be field-goal favorites on the road against a Washington squad that can still be competent. The Redskins won at Dallas, nearly prevailed on the road against the Vikings, who have been solid lately, and lost by only four at San Francisco. I’m not crazy about this pick, but I like Washington for a unit. Two, if we can get +3.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I’m adding a unit to the Redskins now that this spread is up to +3. The Rams could be looking up to their Thursday night game against the Cardinals.

    SUNDAY NOTES: The Redskins are now available at +3 +100 on Bovada. I like the field goal of value.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Redskins.
    Who wants to bet on the Redskins?
  • Percentage of money on St. Louis: 72% (25,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Redskins.
  • Rams are 27-41 ATS on grass since 2001.
  • Opening Line: Rams -2.
  • Opening Total: 44.
  • Weather: .


    Week 14 NFL Pick: Redskins 24, Rams 23
    Redskins +3 (2 Units) — Incorrect; -$220
    Over 44.5 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Rams 24, Redskins 0




    New York Jets (2-10) at Minnesota Vikings (5-7)
    Line: Vikings by 4. Total: 40.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Vikings -5.5.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Vikings -6.
    Sunday, Dec. 7, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Vikings.

    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 YORK OFFENSE: Let’s face it, the Dolphins weren’t trying very hard Monday night. They came in as huge favorites and underestimated a team that had just lost, 38-3. The Jets, consequently, caught them off guard and ran the ball down their throats. Chris Johnson looked like the 2009 version of himself, at least on one run. New York controlled the clock and went into intermission with a lead. And then reality set in. The Dolphins clamped down against the run, as they had no fear of Geno Smith throwing the ball.

    The Vikings should be able to play New York the same way. Johnson and Chris Ivory are not impressive runners, so I don’t think they’ll be able to expose Minnesota’s 28th-ranked ground defense very much, especially with the Vikings playing with an extra man in the box.

    If Geno Smith has to throw the ball, it’ll be a disaster once again. The Vikings have a tremendous pass rush, led by Everson Griffen, who has been on fire in recent weeks. Only three teams have more sacks than the Vikings, who have Xavier Rhodes on the back end to put the clamps on Eric Decker.

    MINNESOTA OFFENSE: The Jets’ defense actually held up pretty well despite Muhammad Wilkerson’s absence. Of course, some of that was because of poor play-calling and mediocre quarterbacking. It was puzzling as to why Lamar Miller had just one carry in the first half Monday night, but Miller ran well after intermission. Assuming the Vikings actually don’t forget about Jerick McKinnon, the quick runner should be able to have success against the Jets, provided Wilkerson is out again. Wilkerson has shed his walking boot, but his status for Week 14 is up in the air.

    Wilkerson potentially being out again will be huge for Teddy Bridgewater, who needs all the help he can get behind his atrocious offensive line. Matt Kalil is a walking turnstile, so the fewer talented pass-rushers on the field, the better.

    The Jets, of course, have an abysmal secondary, so Bridgewater should be able to take advantage of that if he has time in the pocket. Bridgewater has developed a nice rapport with Greg Jennings, while the super-athletic Charles Johnson has emerged as a quality No. 2 option recently instead of the disappointing Cordarrelle Patterson.

    RECAP: Minnesota is the pick for two units. I just don’t see the Jets showing up for this game. Rex Ryan and his players poured their heart and soul into the Monday night game at Miami, and they still couldn’t pull the upset. Ryan was practically in tears during the post-game press conference. Given that this is a non-divisional contest, and Ryan is a lame-duck coach, I don’t see why the Jets would try at all in this contest.

    The Vikings, on the other hand, have played good football lately. They’ve covered five of six, and two of their recent losses have been by a combined four points against the Bills and Packers. I am worried that they might have one eye on the Detroit game next week, but I doubt the Jets will have any eyes on this contest.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: This spread rose to -6, when the sharps saw enough value with the Jets to take them. They might have just been betting a number, as the Jets are a dead team that could easily mail this game in after losing their Super Bowl. The Vikings won’t have Jerick McKinnon, but they still seem like the right side.

    SUNDAY NOTES: The sharps bet the Jets down to +4 Sunday morning. Again, I don’t get it, but the sharps have lost so much money on the Jets this year.


    The Psychology. Edge: Vikings.
    Rex Ryan cried after losing to Miami. The Jets are going to be super flat after that spirited performance.


    The Vegas. Edge: Jets.
    Huge percentage of action on the Vikings, and understandably so.
  • Percentage of money on Minnesota: 70% (18,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Opening Line: Vikings -5.5.
  • Opening Total: 40.
  • Weather: .


    Week 14 NFL Pick: Vikings 27, Jets 16
    Vikings -3.5 (2 Units) — Correct; +$200
    Over 40 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Vikings 30, Jets 24



    Week 14 NFL Picks – Late Games
    Buffalo�at�Denver, Kansas City�at�Arizona, San Francisco�at�Oakland, Seattle�at�Philadelphia, New England�at�San Diego, Atlanta�at�Green Bay




    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 14 NFL Picks – Late Games



    2024 NFL Mock Draft - April 9


    NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22


    Fantasy Football Rankings - Feb. 19


    NFL Picks - Feb. 12




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    Last Week's NFL Picks Against The Spread (Week 18, 2023): 10-6 (-$415)
    Last Week's 2-3 Unit NFL Picks (Week 18, 2023): 3-1 (+$460)
    Last Week's 4-5 Unit NFL Picks (Week 18, 2023): 1-1 (-$40)
    Last Week Over-Under (Week 18, 2023): 7-9 ($0)
    Last Week's Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks (Week 18, 2023): -$15

    2023 NFL Picks of the Month: 1-4, 20.0% (-$2,480)

    2023 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 137-135-7, 50.4% (-$7,735)
    2023 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 43-38-3, 53.1% (+$520)
    2023 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 28-27-1, 50.9% (-$3,110)
    2023 Season Over-Under: 139-128-3, 52.1% (+$100)
    2023 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$1,630

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

    2003 Preseason: 3 | 4 | 5
    2003 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 20 | XXXVIII
    2004 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2004 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XXXIX
    2005 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2005 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XL
    2006 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2006 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLI
    2007 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2007 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLII |
    2008 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2008 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLIII |
    2009 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLIV |
    2010 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2010 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLV |
    2011 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2011 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLVI |
    2012 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
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    2020 Season:
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    2021 Season:
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    2022 Season:
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