NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 4, 2015



NFL Picks (Preseason 2015): 7-10-1 (-$1,420)
NFL Picks (Week 1, 2015): 10-6 (+$940)
NFL Picks (Week 2, 2015): 9-7 (-$895)
NFL Picks (Week 3, 2015): 7-9 (-$870)

NFL Picks (2015): 33-32-1 (-$2,245)
NFL Picks (2014): 143-133-7 (-$1,885)
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. 5, 5:30 p.m. ET. Follow @walterfootball for updates.


Go to Week 4 NFL Picks - Late Games







Baltimore Ravens (0-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1)
Line: Ravens by 3. Total: 44.

Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Steelers -3.5 (Roethlisberger).
Walt's Calculated Line: Ravens -3.
Thursday, Oct 1, 8:25 ET
Comment on this game

The Game. Edge: Ravens.

WEEK 3 RECAP: Another losing week. I hit my top play with Buffalo, but lost all three of my four-unit selections (Rams, Redskins, Cowboys), as well as my three-unit play (Colts).

I was pretty pissed off Sunday. I get that I lost my Rams selection because of variance. It happens. The Steelers are typically dreadful as road favorites, especially following a victory, and they looked flat, but still managed to win. It's not like they have a zero-percent covering rate in those scenarios, so plays like that will lose sometimes. The same goes for the Redskins. NFC East divisional road dogs are great bets, but they don't always hit. Nothing is successful 100 percent of the time. Whatever.

The Dallas game was infuriating. I felt like I had it handicapped perfectly; the Cowboys were playing with so much more emotion than the Falcons in the first half, leading 28-14 at one point. And then the Falcons somehow summoned this insane energy following intermission and dominated the game, scoring 25 unanswered points. It was unreal. They didn't relinquish possession whatsoever, and Devonta Freeman suddenly looked like the second coming of Jamal Anderson for some reason. Publicly bet favorites like the Falcons are supposed to lose these games. They're not supposed to be able to play with such emotion. It was absurd, and I don't have any logical explanation for what happened. Like I said, I'm pissed off.

Throw in those three losses, as well as Tennessee's cover at the very end of the game, and I'm down a whopping 8.7 units on a 6-9 record heading into Monday night. I'd say I'd rebound in Week 4, but I can't control the level of bulls*** that keeps happening.

WEEK 4 BETTING TRENDS: Last week, I discussed overreaction spreads, line movements of two or more against the Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread that weren't impacted by injuries. They were 2-1 ATS in Week 2 and 35-22 ATS in 2014. Here were the overreaction spreads from Week 3:

Before Week 2 After Week 2
Eagles -3.5 Eagles +2.5
Rams -2.5 Rams +1
Texans -8.5 Texans -6.5
49ers +4.5 49ers +6.5

Just 2-2, so nothing to write home about. Let's hope Week 4 is better. Here are the Week 4 overreaction line movements:

Before Week 3 After Week 3
Dolphins -1 Dolphins +2.5
Texans +3.5 Texans +6.5
49ers +6.5 49ers +9.5
Rams +4 Rams +6.5

The Miami overreaction is the most interesting, especially because the Jets lost. The Dolphins just looked so dreadful that this spread moved 3.5 points. The Falcons, meanwhile, were so impressive against Brandon Weeden that they've risen from -3.5 to -6.5, though I'm wondering why they were just -3.5 against Ryan Mallett in the first place. The same goes with Rams at Cardinals. Arizona by just four over St. Louis? Why?

TRUE HOMEFIELD ADVANTAGE: The old adage in terms of creating a spread is to give three points to the home team. That, however, hasn't been accurate for a long time. It's very flawed logically, as it implies that all teams have an equal homefield advantage. Thus, teams deserve more or fewer than three points for hosting a game, depending how well they perform in their own city.

So, how do we figure out how many points are necessary? E-mailer Luke Morgan sent me over an Excel spreadsheet where he calculated how many points each homefield should be worth. Here's the list, sorted from the best homefield advantage to the worst:

Team Points for Homefield
Packers 6.61
Seahawks 6.52
Cardinals 5.22
Ravens 4.84
Colts 4.83
Patriots 4.82
Saints 4.53
Bengals 4.32
Vikings 4.28
Lions 3.94
Broncos 3.82
Bills 3.54
Panthers 3.06
Browns 2.87
Chargers 2.72
Steelers 2.64
Jets 2.42
Giants 2.29
Eagles 2.08
Falcons 2.00
Rams 2.00
Raiders 1.85
Bears 1.54
49ers 1.35
Texans 1.19
Jaguars 0.86
Redskins 0.72
Titans 0.62
Chiefs 0.50
Buccaneers 0.30
Cowboys 0.10
Dolphins -1.61

Some interesting stuff:

1. First of all, this is from data compiled over the past three years. It would be interesting to see how the numbers from five, eight or even 10 years would look.

2. The NFC East has horrible homefield advantages, though we already knew this. It's nice to see the numbers back this up though.

3. Miami gets minus-1.61 points for being at home. Hilarious. Of course, it's easy to see why when all the fans ran away when it started drizzling against the Bills. Why isn't this team playing 1 p.m. home games in September, again? I can ask the same question to the Buccaneers, who have the third-worst advantage. These teams refuse to capitalize on the hot Florida sun, and they've paid the price as a consequence.

4. It's shocking to see the Chiefs get just half-a-point. The same goes for the 49ers at 1.35, though I imagine their homefield advantage in night games is so much better.

5. Only 13 teams have a homefield worth more than three points. Teams play better on the road in this day and age, probably because of how easy it is to travel now.

6. I wonder when Vegas will begin using a model like this. They incorrectly give three points to most teams that just don't deserve it.

PITTSBURGH OFFENSE: The big news is obviously Ben Roethlisberger's knee injury. He'll be out 4-6 weeks, so the Steelers will have to roll with QBDK. While some in the media believe they'll be OK with this particular backup, those who have actually watched him play know otherwise.

QBDK was one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the NFL last year. In addition to his accuracy woes, QBDK was guilty of struggling to read blitzes - something that has plagued him throughout his career. He was able to compensate for that with his elite athleticism in the past, but he doesn't maintain that anymore. He'll run for a first down or two, but he's not as fast as he once was. Pittsburgh is going to have major issues winning with him. There's a reason he was sitting in free agency for months on end. He's a bad, turnover-prone player with no heart, and he barely does any work in the film room.

Fortunately for the Steelers, they have plenty of weapons around their reserve quarterback to give themselves a chance to weather the storm. Le'Veon Bell is back, and while he'll have issues finding room against Baltimore's stout run defense, he'll be a big part of the passing game. Antonio Brown obviously will as well, and he has a great matchup against a Raven secondary that hasn't been able to stop anyone, thanks in part to a lingering injury to Jimmy Smith.

BALTIMORE OFFENSE: Despite the losses, Joe Flacco has racked up impressive passing totals in the previous two games. He has generated 384 and 362 yards in the past couple of contests, and he could definitely break the 350-yard barrier once again. Pittsburgh's secondary is terrible, and Steve Smith figures to be a huge problem for them.

Now, whether or not Flacco's passing yardage comes in real action or garbage time depends on the blocking. His offensive line has been atrocious thus far, as James Hurst has been an abomination in relief of Eugene Monroe. It remains to be seen if Monroe will be available. It's a good sign that Monroe was back at practice this week, but clearing concussion protocol can be tricky. Monroe's return would be huge for Baltimore's offense.

Flacco will need Monroe's pass-blocking ability because Justin Forsett won't be able to run very much. The Steelers have an underrated ground defense, so Forsett will have to get his yardage in the passing game.

RECAP: You know that I love picking good teams playing with their backup quarterbacks for the first time, but not on this occasion. There are couple reasons why I'm going against that particular system.

First of all, the fundamental principle behind it is that the team with the backup will be giving 110 percent. That may be the case here, but the Ravens will be at 110 percent as well. This is an absolute must-win for them. They can't fall to 0-4. If they do, they'll be at least three behind both Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, and their 2015 season will be over.

Second, I think the Steelers might be buying into the media hype and could be thinking that they're OK. It seems like everyone is in agreement that Pittsburgh will be fine because it has a "reliable" veteran backup. QBDK is anything but reliable; as mentioned, he's a turnover machine, and there's no way in hell he'll prepare for anyone, especially on three days of rest.

I like Baltimore for three units. QBDK is 4-17 against the spread since 2012 (yeah, 4-17 ATS!) and it seems like Pinnacle is begging for Pittsburgh money, holding a +2.5 +113 spread for them even though it's +2.5 +105 almost everywhere else.

I'll be posting NFL Picks on Wednesday. Follow me at @walterfootball for updates.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I was hoping Eugene Monroe would play, but he's out. However, Ryan Shazier will be missing as well, so that sort of balances things out. With that in mind, I'm sticking with three units on the Ravens. I love hearing stuff like QBDK wanting his old shoes, and Deion Sanders saying, "I want to see that [QBDK] from Atlanta. He still have something special left." Something special is right - it takes truly a "special" player to go 4-17 ATS over 21 starts.


The Psychology. Edge: None.
It's hard to say how the Steelers will play. I'm a big proponent of good teams playing well without their starting quarterback right away, but the Steelers don't have much time to change their game plan for QBDK on this short week.


The Vegas. Edge: Steelers.
Slight action on the Ravens.
  • Percentage of money on Baltimore: 62% (66,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Ravens.
  • History: Home Team has won 20 of the last 28 meetings.
  • QBDK is 4-17 ATS since 2012.
  • Opening Line: Ravens -2.5.
  • Opening Total: 43.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 4 NFL Pick: Ravens 27, Steelers 19
    Ravens -3 (3 Units) -- Push; $0
    Over 43.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Ravens 23, Steelers 20






    New York Jets (2-1) vs. Miami Dolphins (1-2)
    Line: Jets by 2.5. Total: 42.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Dolphins -1.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Jets -1.5.
    Sunday, Oct 4, 9:30 a.m. ET
    At Wembley Stadium, London
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Jets.

    VEGAS UPDATE: The sportsbooks had the worst opening Sunday in 20 years. Thus, it's no surprise that they rebounded in Week 2. The games receiving the six highest bets were 4-8 against the spread after two weeks. Here were the six highest-bet games from Week 3, which I listed on Tuesday of last week:

  • Steelers -2 - Cover
  • Falcons -2 - Cover
  • Jets -2.5 - Loss
  • Cardinals -6.5 - Cover
  • Patriots -13.5 - Cover
  • Colts -3 - Loss

  • It was a rough week for the books and the sharps as well, but both will rebound. Here are the six top bets in Week 4, as of Wednesday afternoon (8-10 ATS this year):

  • Raiders -3
  • Cardinals -7
  • Panthers -3
  • Falcons -6.5
  • Eagles -3
  • Packers -8

  • Once again, follow @walterfootball for updates.

    MIAMI OFFENSE: As with the Ravens, the Dolphins have issues on this side of the ball because of their left tackle. Branden Albert has been missing with a hamstring injury. He was doubtful last week, so perhaps he'll be able to play in London. If so, he'll help kick start a scoring unit that hasn't done crap for the most part this season.

    It's difficult to imagine Ryan Tannehill having much success. Even if Albert returns, Tannehill will be going up against a secondary that has put the clamps on each quarterback it has faced this season, including Andrew Luck on a Monday night. Tannehill will hook up often with Jarvis Landry, as Darrelle Revis is unlikely to cover him in the slot, but Revis will be able to take away Tannehill's next-favorite option, Rishard Matthews.

    One area in which the Dolphins could thrive here is their running game. They haven't been able to get Lamar Miller going yet, but they've battled two tough run defenses thus far. Both Frank Gore and Ryan Mathews had great success moving the chains on the ground against the Jets.

    NEW YORK OFFENSE: The Dolphins have disappointed on this side of the ball as well for numerous reasons. Ndamukong Suh's weird play-calling has been well publicized, but Cameron Wake has been sluggish as well. Wake is dealing with an injury, which would explain why he's performing so poorly. It's obviously unclear when Wake will recover, but regardless, it'll be tough for Miami to get to Ryan Fitzpatrick, given how well the Jets' offensive line has blocked.

    The Jets struggled to move the ball last week. Brandon Marshall's antics were partly to blame, but Chris Ivory and Eric Decker being out of the lineup definitely hurt. Both are expected to return, with the latter being problematic for the Dolphins because they have only one good corner. They'll be able to contain whomever Brent Grimes defends, but the other wideout, likely Decker, could go off.

    Ivory, meanwhile, may have some issues moving the chains on the ground. The Dolphins haven't generated much of a pass rush, but their run defense hasn't been that bad. Besides, Ivory may not be 100 percent.

    RECAP: One year ago at this time, the Dolphins were coming off an embarrassing home loss to the Chiefs prior to flying to London. There was turmoil within the team, as reports indicated that Tannehill and Joe Philbin were at odds. Yet, Miami thrashed the Raiders.

    Could history repeat itself? Well, the 2015 Jets aren't the 2014 Raiders, but I like Miami in the role of an underdog here, where it generally thrives (see the stats below). The Dolphins also have experience playing in London, which could help. Based on their talent level, I have a feeling they're going to bounce back off their recent humiliatiing loss. I don't think they tried very hard in that contest because they were looking forward to this one, so we have a bit of line value as a result.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I'm still on the Dolphins. It seems as though Pinnacle, the sharpest book on the Web, wants money on the Jets, since they have a -1.5 spread posted despite it being -2 elsewhere.

    SUNDAY NOTES: This number has risen to -2.5 because of public money. There's not enough pushback from the sharps, as they might be understandably worried about Joe Philbin. I still like Miami for two units.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Dolphins.
    Who wants to bet the Dolphins right now?
  • Percentage of money on New York: 70% (18,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Dolphins.
  • History: Road Team has won 12 of the last 15 meetings.
  • Underdog is 61-30 ATS in the Dolphins' last 91 games.
  • Joe Philbin is 1-6 ATS after losing as a favorite.
  • Opening Line: Jets -1.5.
  • Opening Total: 41.
  • Weather: .


    Week 4 NFL Pick: Dolphins 24, Jets 20
    Dolphins +2.5 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
    Over 42.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Jets 27, Dolphins 14






    Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2) at Indianapolis Colts (1-2)
    Line: Colts by 4. Total: 43.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Colts -7.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Colts -9.5.
    Sunday, Oct 4, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Colts.

    The most illiterate sports bettor in the world is a man named the Real John Moss. He loves to e-mail me and talk to me on G-chat. I've posted all of the messages he's sent me over the years, including those in 2012 and those in 2013.

    I didn't hear from the Real John Moss in 2014, so I just assumed that he was either dead, locked up, or passed out in a ditch somewhere. Fortunately, he contacted me over the summer!

    Here's a link to the latest Real John Moss conversation.

    INDIANAPOLIS OFFENSE: The issues the Colts have on this side of the ball are well documented. They can't pass protect whatsoever, thanks to general manager Ryan Grigson's ineptitude. Even the Titans put plenty of heat on Luck, forcing him into a couple of interceptions. Luck still had an impressive second-half charge to pull out the victory, but he made too many errors than he should have considering his level of talent and intelligence.

    I'd say the Colts' offensive line will have a reprieve, but that's not the case. The Jaguars can get a decent amount of pressure on the quarterback. They even sacked Tom Brady a couple of times last week. They'll be even better in the trenches if Sen'Derrick Marks returns, as planned. Don't underestimate how bad Indianapolis' blocking is; it won't be able to keep the Jaguars out of the backfield.

    Fortunately for Luck, the Jaguars' secondary has issues and won't be able to defend his receivers. Jacksonville also has major problems containing the run, as evidenced by Dion Lewis and LeGarrette Blount's great running this past Sunday. Frank Gore, who looked great at Tennessee, will continue to pick up big chunks of yardage on many of his carries.

    JACKSONVILLE OFFENSE: Blake Bortles can sympathize with Luck's problems right now. Bortles knows what horrible pass protection is all about. He's getting no help on his blind side; Luke Joeckel has been out, forcing the anemic Sam Young to start in his place. Not that Joeckel would shield Bortles very well, but Young is even worse.

    Bortles, like Luck, will be under heavy pressure in this game, and he may have difficulty targeting his top receiver, Allen Robinson, who will be seeing Vontae Davis in coverage. With that in mind, the Jaguars will have to try to establish T.J. Yeldon as much as possible. The problem there is two-fold. First, the Colts have shockingly been somewhat competent against the run; they limited LeSean McCoy and Chris Ivory in the first two weeks. Second, if Indianapolis establishes a big lead, much like the Patriots on Sunday, Jacksonville won't be able to feed Yeldon the ball.

    RECAP: The Colts aren't consistent enough on offense to cover this spread. They're also coming off an emotional victory on the road last week, and to top it off, they play Thursday night, so they'll be looking past the Jaguars.

    Four units on Jacksonville! No, I'm just kidding. If I trusted the Jaguars, I'd bet them highly this week, but they are an awful team that has burned me too many times.

    I think this game will be close for a while, but Jacksonville will somehow find a way to fall behind by double digits, whether it's a Bortles pick-six or a breakdown in coverage. Something bad will happen, as always. So, with that in mind, I'm picking the Colts for no units.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: This spread has been taken off the board because of Andrew Luck's status. I'll have an update Sunday morning.

    ANDREW LUCK OUT: Matt Hasselbeck will start this game, as the Colts have decided that a short work week was too much for Andrew Luck. It's the right decision. This new spread opened Colts -3.5, but has since risen to -4. I think I'll try the Colts for a unit, as they'll be trying extra hard with their backup quarterback. I wouldn't go too heavy though, since Indianapolis has a Thursday game looming.

    SUNDAY NOTES: Not much to say here, since I posted this pick around 10 a.m. Colts for a unit.


    The Psychology. Edge: Colts.
    The Colts are coming off an emotional win and play on Thursday night. However, Andrew Luck is out, so Indianapolis will be giving 110 percent.


    The Vegas. Edge: Jaguars.
    A decent amount of money on the Colts.
  • Percentage of money on Indianapolis: 66% (11,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • History: 17 of the last 26 meetings decided by 8 points or fewer (Colts 5-0 SU, ATS last 5).
  • Opening Line: Colts -9.
  • Opening Total: 47.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 4 NFL Pick: Colts 26, Jaguars 20
    Colts -4 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Over 43 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Colts 16, Jaguars 13






    Houston Texans (1-2) at Atlanta Falcons (3-0)
    Line: Falcons by 6. Total: 47.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Falcons -3.5.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Falcons -6.5.
    Sunday, Oct 4, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Falcons.

    HATE MAIL: Lots of hate mail this week, as expected. Here's the first batch:



    I think you have to be a pretty strange person to be a hate mailer. Two of these three bozos are obsessed with a**holes and stuff that comes out of it. Makes me wonder if they eat stuff that comes out of their own a**hole.

    More hate mail:



    Always glad to have DeSean Jackson, leader of the Crips, make an appearance. But yeah, eight units on $19.99 six-piece Chicken McNuggets wouldn't be the greatest bet.

    Here's some hate mail I didn't have to answer:



    And here's an actual e-mail I received from some loser who e-mails me frequently:



    I'm serious. The chimp is holding his feces, ready to fire at Ace Walters' house.

    ATLANTA OFFENSE: Matt Ryan to Julio Jones is a pretty good combination, huh? Jones has proven to be unstoppable this year, and he's on pace for ridiculous numbers: 181 catches, 2,347 yards and 21 touchdowns - the former two being NFL single-season records. It's extremely difficult to stop this. Jones is the best receiver in the league, while Ryan is in great command of this offense right now.

    One thing that could slow down the Falcons, however, is a strong pass rush. Atlanta's three opponents thus far - Eagles, Giants, Cowboys - all have weaker defenses (the latter is true because of numerous injuries), but Houston has the personnel to make life more difficult for Ryan. The team's pass rush, led by J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney, should be able to put pressure on Ryan, as the offensive line in front of him has some holes that haven't been exposed yet.

    The Falcons unexpectedly ran the ball extremely well last week, as Devonta Freeman inexplicably transformed from a pedestrian runner to a guy who looked like the second coming of Jamal Anderson. It might be more difficult for Freeman to find running room against Watt and Vince Wilfork, but if he pounds the ball with the same speed, power and vision that he displayed in Dallas, he might still put together a great performance.

    HOUSTON OFFENSE: Bill O'Brien told the media that he saw improvement from Ryan Mallett in last week's game. By "improvement," O'Brien apparently means that Mallett completed more than half of his passes and maintained a YPA greater than five. Then again, Mallett was battling the Buccaneers, who have one of the worst defenses in the NFL. It's hard to be overly optimistic about Mallett's progression going forward.

    Having said that, Mallett might enjoy another half-decent outing. The Falcons don't maintain the best pass rush, and they happen to have holes in their secondary. Brandon Weeden went 22-of-26 against them, so if he could put together a relatively strong performance, why can't Mallett, who has a better No. 1 target at his disposal in DeAndre Hopkins?

    Of course, Dallas moved the chains primarily on the ground, as Joseph Randle racked up 92 rushing yards and three touchdowns in just one half of action. Alfred Blue just rushed for 139 yards on 31 carries versus the Buccaneers, so he could post similar numbers in this matchup. Then again, Arian Foster will be even better if he's cleared to play. He's currently a game-time decision.

    RECAP: I don't like the Falcons in a role as a big favorite. Not right now, anyway. They've either been underdogs or very slight favorites thus far, so now that they're expected to not only win, but to prevail by a decent amount, they could have a big of a letdown, especially after showing an unnatural amount of energy in last week's game.

    Meanwhile, the Texans haven't lost by more than seven all year. I know they needed a near-comeback against the Chiefs to get within that margin, but they fell behind early because Brian Hoyer was doing stupid stuff. Their defense is good enough to keep them in most games, and I have to believe that they'll play Atlanta close.

    I'm taking the Texans for three units. I like that we're getting great line value with them, as this spread was Houston +3.5 a week ago.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: This spread is dropping because the sharps are pounding the Texans. It's down to -6 in most places, but Pinnacle has -5.5 listed, so they're begging for Atlanta money. I'm going to lock this in now.

    SUNDAY NOTES: I locked this in at +6 Saturday night. The spread is now down to five, as the sharps continue to pound Houston. It's -5 +100 at Pinnacle, so the smartest book on the Web is begging for Atlanta money.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Texans.
    What sane person would bet Houston in this matchup?
  • Percentage of money on Atlanta: 73% (30,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Falcons.
  • Matt Ryan is 31-22 ATS at home.
  • Opening Line: Falcons -6.
  • Opening Total: 46.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 4 NFL Pick: Falcons 17, Texans 16
    Texans +6 (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
    Under 47 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Falcons 48, Texans 21






    Carolina Panthers (3-0) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-2)
    Line: Panthers by 3. Total: 40.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Panthers -3.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Panthers -6.
    Sunday, Oct 4, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Panthers.

    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. There's no reason not to enter. Click the link to register!

    CAROLINA OFFENSE: Cam Newton may not have his best receiver, but he's starting to play very well right now. He went 20-of-31 for 315 yards and three touchdowns (two passing, one rushing) this past week. Granted, this was against the Saints, but it's not like this matchup is going to be any tougher. The Buccaneers surrendered four scores to Marcus Mariota three weeks ago, after all.

    Newton will connect early and often with Greg Olsen, and he'll scramble for first downs when he needs to. Of course, he may not have to do much. Jonathan Stewart could have his best performance of the season, as Alfred Blue just trampled this Tampa front. The Buccaneers simply have too many issues to contain an offense that features multiple competent players.

    TAMPA BAY OFFENSE: Jameis Winston catches a slight break here because he won't have to deal with Charles Johnson. Carolina's top pass-rusher, Johnson will be out for a while. He's dealing with a hamstring, so he won't be around to harass Newton. The Panthers, as a result, traded for Jared Allen to help with the depth up front. Still, the key word from the first sentence is slight. It's difficult to imagine Winston playing well against the Panthers.

    Here's the thing: Winston, despite his early-season struggles, hasn't battled a tough defense yet. The Titans and Saints shouldn't have provided much of a challenge in the first two weeks, and the Texans, while better than those two, don't have an elite stop unit. The Panthers do, especially if Luke Kuechly returns this week from his concussion. They have a habit of making opposing offenses look inept, and Winston is certainly capable of struggling mightily.

    Winston won't have much help in this contest, aside from Mike Evans. Vincent Jackson could be stymied by a tough secondary, while Austin Seferian-Jenkins is out. Doug Martin, meanwhile, won't find any running room against one of the NFL's elite ground defenses.

    RECAP: This spread is too low. I've been asked if it's a shady line, but I don't think so for two reasons: First, Carolina was just -3 at Jacksonville and -3 versus Houston. It doesn't seem like the sportsbooks are respecting the Panthers at all. And second, this will be one of the least-bet games of the week, so Vegas won't stand to lose much compared to the other contests.

    With that in mind, the Panthers are the play here for two units. The talent disparity between these teams is too great, and the Buccaneers have a woeful history at home, owning a dreadful 13-33 ATS record as hosts. Meanwhile, Carolina is the sort of flyswatter-type team that pummels lesser foes into the ground.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: From what it sounds like, the Buccaneers are viewing this as their Super Bowl. They're super motivated for this game. It may not matter, but the Panthers have so many injuries. There's also tons of action on Carolina, so I'm dropping my unit count to zero.

    SUNDAY NOTES: Professional money is on the Buccaneers, so I'm happy that I dropped my units off this game.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Buccaneers.
    Everyone and their mother is betting the Panthers here.
  • Percentage of money on Carolina: 88% (25,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Panthers.
  • History: Panthers have won 6 the last 8 meetings.
  • Road Team is 58-34 ATS in Buccaneers games since 2009.
  • Buccaneers are 13-33 ATS at home in the previous 46 instances.
  • Opening Line: Panthers -3.
  • Opening Total: 39.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 4 NFL Pick: Panthers 20, Buccaneers 10
    Panthers -3 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Under 40 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Panthers 37, Buccaneers 23




    New York Giants (1-2) at Buffalo Bills (2-1)
    Line: Bills by 6.5. Total: 46.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Bills -5.5.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Bills -6.5.
    Sunday, Oct 4, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Bills.

    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. I wanted to mention this a couple of weeks ago, but it slipped my mind. I'm thrilled that ESPN moved its Sunday NFL Countdown - or, as Keyshawn Johnson once called it, NFL Sunday Countdown - back to 11 a.m. It was brutal at 10, since I had to wake up at 9:45 on a Sunday to make fun of former players. Getting up at 10:45 is so much better for a lazy, fat man like myself.

    The show seems to be better - for the most part. I like that they have a DFS segment, since that's what most viewers care about, and I think they should expand on that even more. The only thing I don't like about Sunday NFL Countdown is that they now featured renowned racist Stephen A. Smith, who has his own segment for some reason. Smith does his usual act - he yells incoherently at the camera and throws in some random, college-level words that are used incorrectly so he can sound smart. It's a joke that ESPN is keeping him around at such a high salary when it lost some of its more talented writers/radio personalities, like Bill Simmons and Colin Cowherd...

    2. ...And Pat Yasinskas, who was easily the top team reporter on ESPN's Web site. Pat now writes for us, and he's covering the NFC South like he used to for ESPN. Pat also has his own blog, where he'll be covering and opining about the hottest topics across the NFL. Check those links out.

    3. Going back to ESPN, it's no secret that the company is leaking oil. It's losing money, and it seems as though the guy running it now, John Skipper, is an egomaniacal douche who couldn't handle Simmons or Cowherd's personalities. Skipper likes to suspend people for no good reason and surround himself with a**holes, which is why he's happy to employ the incompetent Smith at such a high salary.

    The next guy Skipper might ax? How about Scott Van Pelt? I'm a fan of SVP; I agree with many of his views, and his nightly SportsCenter show is pretty damn good. However, Van Pelt said the following recently daily fantasy.

    So, Van Pelt criticized something Roger Goodell, Skipper's douchey best friend, said about Daily Fantasy? Ruh-roh. As with Simmons and Cowherd, Van Pelt might be asked to take a massive pay cut when his contract expires, and when he inevitably moves to another company, Skipper can compound his mistakes by putting Stephen A. Smith on this version of SportsCenter, which would then become the most unwatchable show of all time.

    BUFFALO OFFENSE: It's amazing how productive the Bills' scoring attack can be when they're not committing multiple penalties on every drive. Tyrod Taylor and company were extremely efficient at Miami, posting 41 points on what is considered to be a good defense. This happened despite LeSean McCoy and Sammy Watkins sustaining injuries.

    It doesn't sound as though either will suit up for this game, but that shouldn't be too much of a problem. Rookie Karlos Williams looked great in relief of McCoy, and he has a very favorable matchup against a New York ground defense that has shown a bit of weakness this year. The Giants put the clamps on the Washington backs Thursday night, but only after the Redskins lost their top run-blocker, Shawn Lauvao, early to an injury.

    Watkins won't be around to make the defense overly honest, but Taylor should still have success, especially when throwing to Charles Clay. The former Miami tight end put together a strong performance last week, and he could pick up where he left off versus a defense that hasn't been able to defend tight ends at all this year. Taylor, of course, will also be able to secure some first downs with his legs, although I don't think he'll need to run very much, given that the Giants' pass rush has accumulated just three sacks so far this year.

    NEW YORK OFFENSE: The Giants will have to score a decent amount of points to keep pace with the Bills, but that could be pretty difficult. The team has injury issues on the offensive line, which is not good news heading into a matchup against Buffalo's ferocious front. Manning will have to release the ball quickly, which could negate Odell Beckham Jr.'s play-making ability just a bit.

    Speaking of Beckham, he and the other New York receivers may have trouble generating yardage. The Bills looked weak against the Patriots in Week 2, but have otherwise stopped the pass pretty effectively. They made both Andrew Luck and Ryan Tannehill look awful, and Manning could be next on that list.

    The Giants won't be able to run the ball either. Of course, this would be a problem against any team, since neither Rashad Jennings nor Andre Williams is very threatening. However, moving the chains on the ground figures to be especially difficult in this contest, given the talent Buffalo possesses on the defensive line.

    RECAP: The Giants are one of my top plays of the week. Here are several reasons why:

    1. I don't think the Bills will be fully focused on this game. They're coming off a huge statement victory over the Dolphins, so why would they pay attention to some lowly 1-2 non-conference foe? Buffalo is 7-28 against the spread following a matchup against Miami. Battling the Dolphins is a big deal for the Bills, so I can't see them matching the same intensity they had last week.

    2. The Giants are at their best as a road underdog. They're 42-24 against the spread as visitors since 2006 unless they've been favored by 3.5 or more.

    3. How different would this spread be if the Giants were 3-0? I ask this because they could easily be 3-0 if they didn't screw up the end of the Dallas and Atlanta games. If New York happened to be 3-0, this line would be Bills -3, or something of that nature, so I think we're getting great line value.

    4. Here's a neat little trend if you're into that sort of thing: Teams that were 0-2 and achieved their first victory in Week 3 are 32-10 against the spread the following game, as long as they are underdogs. This dates all the way back to 1989, which is as far as my database goes.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The Giants are still a big play for me. Nothing has really changed, and the professional bettors haven't weighed in on this game yet.

    SUNDAY NOTES: This spread has actually risen to -6.5, with some sharp money coming in on Buffalo. There was some buyback at +6.5, however. I still like the Giants quite a bit.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on New York: 57% (32,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Giants.
  • Giants are 42-24 ATS on the road since 2006 as long as they're not favored by 3.5 or more.
  • Eli Manning is 34-24 ATS as an underdog since 2007.
  • Bills are 7-28 ATS after playing the Miami Dolphins since 1998.
  • True home teams are 21-13 ATS in the last 33 Bills games.
  • Opening Line: Bills -5.5.
  • Opening Total: 47.
  • Weather: .


    Week 4 NFL Pick: Bills 21, Giants 20
    Giants +6.5 (4 Units) -- Correct; +$400
    Under 46.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Giants 24, Bills 10




    Oakland Raiders (2-1) at Chicago Bears (0-3)
    Line: Raiders by 3.5. Total: 44.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : No Line (Cutler).
    Walt's Calculated Line: Raiders -2.5.
    Sunday, Oct 4, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Raiders.

    As with the random NFL notes, I'm going to have all of my Random College Football Notes on one page as well. Oh, and you can find my College Football Picks here.

    Random College Football Notes:

    1. I've had my share of bad beats over the years, so I'm happy that I didn't bet Fresno State a couple of weeks ago, or I'd contemplate jumping off a bridge right now. Fresno State was listed at +14.5. They were within the margin with 40 seconds remaining, and Utah had possession, so all the team had to do was take a knee. Instead, they ran a play-action pass and scored a touchdown to cover. That's right - it wasn't just a pass - they ran play-action, up multiple scores, with 40 seconds remaining!

    Kyle Whittingham, Utah's coach, is one of two things: an a**hole, or a corrupt person. It's probably the former, since shaving points is more likely than being asked to cover, but why would he do this? Did he think that running up the score against Fresno State would impress the voters? I don't get it.

    2. Here's another gambling horror story: Boston College played Howard a few weeks ago. Yeah, way to go, B.C. Good job scheduling a real tough opponent there. Anyway, those who bet on Boston College to cover - the team was up 62-0 at halftime - couldn't collect their money. Why? Because it was such a lopsided blowout, the two teams agreed to play two 10-minute quarters to conclude the contest, and because games need to go 55 minutes to be official in sportsbooks, it was ruled an incomplete game.

    How absurd is that? First of all, if the talent disparity was so great that the two teams couldn't play a full game, why schedule each other in the first place? I'm fine with Howard wanting to play a 1-A school, but what did Boston College get out of it? It's like an NFL team challenging the local high school squad to a game. Yeah, good job going up 62-0 at halftime there! And second, I don't understand why they couldn't play the full 60 minutes. So what if Howard was humiliated? It builds character. The people who made this decision are the same idiots who give out participation ribbons to every kid in youth sports. Participation ribbons are for losers, and anyone who keeps one needs to go jump off a bridge.

    3. On a brighter note, Charlie and I have posted our new NFL Draft podcast. We discuss the top quarterbacks in the draft, and Charlie reveals why he's lower on Jared Goff and Robert Nkemdiche than most people.

    CHICAGO OFFENSE: CHICAGO BEARS CLEARANCE SALE! ALL PLAYERS, 50-PERCENT OFF! BUY ONE, GET ONE FREE (of equal or lesser value)! SUPPLIES ARE LIMITED SO STOP BY BEFORE THE NFL TRADE DEADLINE!

    It's only been three weeks, but the Bears are throwing in the towel. They've already dealt Jared Allen and Jonathan Bostic, and there are rumors floating around that Matt Forte and Alshon Jeffery could be moved as well. It's hard to fault the Bears, as Jimmy Clausen will once again get the nod over the injured Jay Cutler, but with players wondering whether they'll have to move their families and such, it'll be difficult for some of them to be completely focused for the remaining 13 games.

    As with last week, Matt Forte might be Chicago's only productive offensive player. The Raiders haven't been very good against the run this year, so Forte could approach the century mark on the ground. Clausen, however, will not be able to capitalize, even with Jeffery returning to the field. He's just too limited, and his offensive line won't give him a chance against Khalil Mack and company.

    OAKLAND OFFENSE: For all their struggles this season, the Bears haven't been terrible against the run, but that's about to change. Allen hadn't gotten to the quarterback very much, but he was still pretty decent in rush support. With him gone, Chicago will worsen against opposing ground attacks, so Latavius Murray will be able to go off.

    Meanwhile, Derek Carr and Amari Cooper figure to torch Chicago's anemic secondary. We all know the issues the Bears have in their defensive backfield, and Cooper has proven to be unstoppable thus far. He has abused the Ravens and Browns, both of whom have much better defenses than the Bears do. Carr should have all day to find Cooper. He has taken just three sacks thus far in 2015, so I don't see Chicago's lackluster pass rush giving him any sort of trouble.

    RECAP: This is the spot of all spots for the Bears. The Raiders have the Broncos next week. This is also their second-consecutive trip out to either the Eastern or Central time zone to play an early game. The public is pounding Oakland, a team that keeps hearing about how great it is right now.

    And yet, I'm picking Oakland, too. This won't be for any units because the spot is so bad, but I think the Bears might mail in this game. As mentioned, the players could be wondering where they'll be playing/living the following week, so I don't see them being too focused.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: With Alshon Jeffery and Jermon Bushrod out, the Bears don't have much of a chance, so it's no surprise to see this spread moved off three. I still don't like either side.

    SUNDAY NOTES: Jay Cutler will start, meaning this is now Raiders or nothing. Cutler is a bum, as evidenced by his 36-67 ATS record. Don't bet on him.


    The Psychology. Edge: Bears.
    The Raiders, hearing about how great they are, could be looking past the Bears because they have the Broncos next week.


    The Vegas. Edge: Bears.
    Free money! All you have to do is bet against Chicago!
  • Percentage of money on Oakland: 71% (25,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Bears.
  • Raiders are 18-29 ATS in October since 2001.
  • Raiders are 7-20 ATS as a favorite since 2006.
  • Raiders are 9-23 ATS after a win since 2009.
  • Jay Cutler is 36-67 ATS if you exclude Monday Night Football.
  • Opening Line: Raiders -2.5.
  • Opening Total: 44.
  • Weather: Cloudy, 54 degrees. Mild wind, 14 mph.


    Week 4 NFL Pick: Raiders 27, Bears 20
    Raiders -3.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Over 44 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Bears 22, Raiders 20




    Philadelphia Eagles (1-2) at Washington Redskins (1-2)
    Line: Eagles by 3. Total: 46.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Eagles -2.5.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Eagles -4.
    Sunday, Oct 4, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Eagles.

    If you've followed this site for a while, you might remember that I like to respond to my spam mails. Five 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 the 2013 season, I pretended to be Riley Cooper and Aaron Hernandez in some responses. In 2014, Donald Sterling answered spammers.

    This week, I have a new Spam Mail in which some person told me he was robbed on vacations in Manila. How could I possibly help!? Check out the link.

    PHILADELPHIA OFFENSE: I live right outside of Philly, so I have a pretty good pulse on what the public perception is in regard to this team. Everyone was down on the Eagles following the Dallas loss, with one radio host even proclaiming that they'd go 0-16. Following the victory against the Jets, who were clearly unfocused because they had a trip to London coming up, callers were suddenly overly optimistic, with some even saying that 10-6, at the very least, is a lock.

    I don't understand where that's coming from. The Eagles still have fundamental flaws with their team. They can't block very well, and that doesn't bode well against Washington. The Redskins aren't good in the back end, especially with DeAngelo Hall injured, but they have a pretty strong defensive front. They haven't surrendered more than 84 rushing yards to any team thus far, and I don't expect that to change in this matchup, given Philadelphia's problems in terms of running the ball.

    The Eagles also struggle to pass protect, which would explain why Sam Bradford is so skittish in the pocket. Bradford will have to release the ball quickly once again; otherwise Washington's quality pass rush will bring him down. Look for more checkdowns from Bradford, who won't be able to fully take advantage of the liabilities in the Redskins' secondary.

    WASHINGTON OFFENSE: History is repeating itself for Kirk Cousins. He began the year well in 2014, but imploded with a mental breakdown against the Giants on a Thursday night. Cousins once again struggled versus New York last Thursday, as the loss was mostly on him. However, he finished the game somewhat well, so perhaps he'll be able to parlay that into a decent performance against the Eagles.

    Philadelphia's issues in the secondary are well documented. Byron Maxwell has been an overpriced bust so far. Eric Rowe caught a nifty interception last week, but can he continue to play well despite being a rookie? There's not much to like here, and even if Cousins doesn't want to go deep often, he can just target Jordan Reed frequently. The Eagles had issues dealing with the one talented tight end they've battled thus far (Jason Witten), so Reed could give them problems.

    Fortunately for the Eagles, the one thing they do well will be able to negate Washington's strength. The Redskins ran the ball well the first two weeks, but Philadelphia has one of the top ground defenses in the NFL. Also hurting Washington is Shawn Lauvao's absence. Lauvao, the team's top run-blocking lineman, left early against the Giants, and Matt Jones and Alfred Morris struggled to find running room as a consequence. It's sounding like Lauvao may not play, which is bad news for the Redskins.

    RECAP: Despite Lauvao's absence, I like the Redskins quite a bit here. I feel like the Eagles will be feeling too good about their first win, prompting them to ignore some of the major, glaring issues they still have. I don't think they'll take Washington seriously, and that could end up costing them; the Redskins upset this team in Washington last year, so history could very easily repeat itself.

    Oh, and remember that trend I showed you earlier about 0-2 teams securing their first win? It's great for underdogs, but not so much for favorites, who are 4-19 against the spread since 1989.

    This is a two-unit wager for me. I thought about going to three, and I just may do so later in the week. Check back or follow me @walterfootball for updates.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps like the Redskins. I still do - but only if the game is played on Sunday. If they move this contest to Monday, I'm going to drop this to zero units. I went into it more on the podcast, so check that out when you get the chance.

    SUNDAY NOTES: The weather apparently won't be so bad, so I like the Redskins for two units. Professional money on Washington.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Redskins.
    All the Eagles need to do is beat the Redskins by three? Easy!
  • Percentage of money on Philadelphia: 78% (25,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Eagles.
  • History: Eagles have won 6 of the last 9 meetings.
  • Opening Line: Eagles -3.
  • Opening Total: 47.5.
  • Weather: Rain, 63 degrees. Mild wind, 15 mph.


    Week 4 NFL Pick: Redskins 23, Eagles 20
    Redskins +3 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
    Under 46 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Redskins 23, Eagles 20




    Kansas City Chiefs (1-2) at Cincinnati Bengals (3-0)
    Line: Bengals by 4. Total: 45.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Bengals -3.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Bengals -6.
    Sunday, Oct 4, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Bengals.

    Video of the Week: If you haven't seen this yet, you need to check this out (thanks, David K):



    Some guys like 'em round, some guys like 'em thin... I'm going to have this stuck in my head for weeks.

    KANSAS CITY OFFENSE: Pay no attention to Alex Smith's final numbers from Monday night. By the time the score was 31-7, Smith was just 5-of-13 for 50 yards and an interception. He racked up tons of yardage and a score in garbage time when Green Bay was in a prevent defense. Smith could once again struggle to do anything; in fact, he could be worse because he'll be going up against a superior defense.

    The Bengals figure to dominate the line of scrimmage in this matchup. Geno Atkins, now 100 percent from an injury he sustained back in 2013, has been an animal this season. The Chiefs have shown an inability to block with their pedestrian offensive line, so Atkins and the other Cincinnati defensive linemen will make life extremely difficult for Smith.

    The one chance Kansas City has is to get Jamaal Charles going for some big gains. The Bengals are decent against the run, but Charles will still get his yardage because he's so talented. Charles didn't have many touches in relevant action on Monday night, as making sure his best players get their hands on the ball has been an issue for Andy Reid over the years. I'm sure Reid will attempt to make amends for this.

    CINCINNATI OFFENSE: The strength of the Chiefs' defense is their great pass rush, as Tamba Hali and Justin Houston apply great pressure on opposing quarterbacks. However, they could have a challenge in this matchup, given how well Andy Dalton is protected. Dalton has been sacked just twice through three games thus far, and while he might be brought down on one or two occasions in this contest, he should have time in the pocket on most of his snaps.

    The protection is a major reason why Dalton is playing well, for the most part, this year. The other is his improved supporting cast. Tyler Eifert, despite a dud performance on the stat sheet last week, has been excellent, while A.J. Green put together a monstrous performance at Baltimore. The Chiefs had issues in their secondary Monday night, but will be getting a boost with Sean Smith coming back to the lineup. Smith's absence has been huge the first three weeks, as he happens to be Kansas City's top corner. He won't shut down Green, or anything, but he might be able to slow him down just a bit.

    The Bengals, of course, will try to establish the run with Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard once again. The Chiefs did well on Eddie Lacy for the most part Monday night, so they should be able to handle the two Cincinnati runners.

    RECAP: I'm pretty upset about this spread. I was hoping that because of what happened Monday night, as well as the fact that the Bengals are 3-0, we'd see -6 or -6.5. Yet, Cincinnati is only -4? How does that make sense?

    I say I'm upset because I love the Chiefs this week. In fact, they're my top play. Here's why:

    1. In terms of the spread, I think we're seeing such a low number because the books believe the sharps will jump all over Kansas City. Instead, this number is being kept down to prevent tons of professional money from flooding in - and it might anyway. The public is all over the Bengals, yet this number has barely moved (it was +4, went to +3.5, and then rose back to +4).

    2. Why would the Bengals try hard in this game? It really doesn't mean all that much to them, as they've effectively wrapped up the division. The Ravens and Browns are buried, while the Steelers won't have Ben Roethlisberger for 4-6 weeks. The team's AFC North crown is pretty secure.

    3. Even if Cincinnati wasn't in such a good position, this would be a very obvious sandwich game. The team is coming off an emotional, last-minute win on the road versus rival Baltimore, and following this contest, against a team that looked awful Monday night, the Bengals have to deal with the Super Bowl champion Seahawks. This is a very flat spot for the host. Is Kansas City even on its radar?

    4. The Chiefs, on the other hand, are coming off two consecutive losses, so they have to win to avoid a 1-3 hole. I liked that they showed resolve Monday night. They're willing to fight, and they're going to be desperate to avoid falling three games behind Denver.

    5. I'm not concerned at all in terms of this being Andy Reid's second-consecutive road games. In fact, he has thrived in back-to-back visits, racking up a 16-6 ATS record in such situations. Reid's team will play much better this Sunday. They won't be dealing with a pissed-off Aaron Rodgers, and they'll have their top cornerback on the field, which will provide a big boost.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: It appears as though the sharps were waiting for this spread to rise, but they gave up on that. They jumped on the Chiefs at +4, which is still available at Bovada. I'm going to lock that in right now, since I anticipate this being +3 by kickoff. You never know with line movements, but that's where this appears to be going. It's worth knowing that Pinnacle has the Bengals listed at -3.5 +102, so they're begging for money on the host.

    SUNDAY NOTES: I'm glad I locked this in at +4, since tons of sharp money has brought this down to +3, albeit at plus money. It's still +4 -115 at Bovada if you haven't bet the Chiefs yet.


    The Psychology. Edge: Chiefs.
    The Bengals might be looking ahead to the Seahawks, especially after an emotional victory at Baltimore.


    The Vegas. Edge: Chiefs.
    Slight lean on the host.
  • Percentage of money on Cincinnati: 65% (14,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Chiefs.
  • Chiefs are 29-14 ATS in October since 2002.
  • Bengals are 13-5 ATS at home since 2013.
  • Bengals are 22-38 ATS as a favorite since 2007.
  • Marvin Lewis is 6-10 ATS as a favorite coming off a SU win as an underdog.
  • Opening Line: Bengals -4.
  • Opening Total: 44.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 4 NFL Pick: Chiefs 20, Bengals 17
    Chiefs +4 (5 Units) -- Incorrect; -$550
    Under 45.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Bengals 36, Chiefs 21



    Week 4 NFL Picks - Late Games
    Cleveland at San Diego, Green Bay at San Francisco, St. Louis at Arizona, Minnesota at Denver, Dallas at New Orleans, Detroit at Seattle



    LOADING COMMENTS...

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


  • Prop/teaser/parlay picks posted in Week 4 NFL Picks - Late Games



    NFL Picks - Jan. 16


    2021 NFL Mock Draft - Jan. 13


    Fantasy Football Rankings - Jan. 11


    2022 NFL Mock Draft - Nov. 15


    NFL Power Rankings - Nov. 14


    2020 College Football Recruiting Rankings - April 14


    2020 NBA Mock Draft - Sept. 27




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    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)

    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)

    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

    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)

    Career NFL Picks Against The Spread: 2,989-2,760-179, 52.0% (+$13,585)
    Career 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 953-858-49 (52.6%)
    Career 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 452-396-23 (53.3%)
    Career Over-Under: 2,459-2,413-66 (50.5%)
    Career Second-Half NFL Picks: 22-15-1 (61.1%)
    Career NFL Picks of the Month: 44-29-1 (60.3%)



    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: 11-5 (2014-19: 47-50)
    Bears: 6-11 (2014-19: 45-48)
    Bucs: 7-9 (2014-19: 44-45)
    49ers: 8-8 (2014-19: 53-44)
    Eagles: 8-8 (2014-19: 55-46)
    Lions: 9-6 (2014-19: 53-42)
    Falcons: 9-7 (2014-19: 55-45)
    Cardinals: 10-6 (2014-19: 45-50)
    Giants: 3-13 (2014-19: 52-41)
    Packers: 12-4 (2014-19: 54-46)
    Panthers: 13-3 (2014-19: 47-52)
    Rams: 5-12 (2014-19: 53-41)
    Redskins: 7-8 (2014-19: 47-48)
    Vikings: 9-7 (2014-19: 51-45)
    Saints: 7-10 (2014-19: 49-50)
    Seahawks: 8-9 (2014-19: 43-56)
    Bills: 10-7 (2014-19: 52-42)
    Bengals: 9-5 (2014-19: 42-52)
    Colts: 8-7 (2014-19: 50-45)
    Broncos: 9-7 (2014-19: 45-48)
    Dolphins: 12-4 (2014-19: 47-46)
    Browns: 7-9 (2014-19: 46-44)
    Jaguars: 4-11 (2014-19: 41-55)
    Chargers: 8-6 (2014-19: 46-49)
    Jets: 8-8 (2014-19: 50-40)
    Ravens: 5-11 (2014-19: 48-47)
    Texans: 10-5 (2014-19: 48-47)
    Chiefs: 12-4 (2014-19: 56-50)
    Patriots: 6-10 (2014-19: 55-53)
    Steelers: 7-10 (2014-19: 56-43)
    Titans: 10-7 (2014-19: 49-47)
    Raiders: 7-9 (2014-19: 43-52)
    Divisional: 43-47 (2011-19: 405-394)
    2x Game Edge: 63-60 (2011-19: 213-210)
    2x Motivation Edge: 45-30 (2011-19: 347-288)
    2x Spread Edge: 42-33 (2011-19: 61-55)
    2x Vegas Edge: 25-22 (2011-19: 320-335)
    2x Trend Edge: 18-13 (2011-19: 250-228)
    Double Edge: 27-21 (2011-19: 122-107)
    Triple Edge: 5-4 (2011-19: 21-18)

    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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    Super Bowl XLIX Pick
    2015 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2015 Season:
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    Super Bowl 50 NFL Pick
    2016 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
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    2017 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
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    2018 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2018 Season:
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    2019 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2019 Season:
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    Super Bowl LIV NFL Pick

    2020 Season:
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