NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 5, 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 (Week 4, 2015): 6-8-1 (-$360)

NFL Picks (2015): 39-40-2 (-$2,605)
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. 12, 5:35 p.m. ET. Follow @walterfootball for updates.


Go to Week 5 NFL Picks – Late Games







Indianapolis Colts (2-2) at Houston Texans (1-3)
Line: Texans by 5.5. Total: 41.

Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Colts -1.
Walt’s Calculated Line: Colts -3 (Luck) or Texans -3 (Hasselbeck).
Thursday, Oct 8, 8:25 ET
Comment on this game

The Game. Edge: None.

WEEK 4 RECAP: Good news, bad news from Week 4. The bad news is that I lost my top pick, a five-unit selection on the Chiefs. The good news is that I still have a chance at a winning week. I’m 6-7-1, +$80 heading into Monday night, and I have three units on Seattle. To quote Russell Wilson, “Go Hawks.”

The Kansas City loss was infuriating. The Chiefs moved the chains well and actually outgained the Bengals, but they just bogged down deep in Cincinnati territory, being forced to settle for seven field goals. This is the second time the Bengals were able to cost the sharps a ton of money, by the way. Professional bettors were all over Oakland in Week 1 and Kansas City on Sunday, yet Cincinnati covered on both occasions. Perhaps there’s something special with this team…

WEEK 5 BETTING TRENDS: I’ve been discussing overreaction spreads, line movements of two or more against the Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread that weren’t impacted by injuries. They were 4-3 ATS in Weeks 2-3 and 35-22 ATS in 2014. Here were the overreaction spreads from Week 4:

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

Blegh. This went 1-3 last week, so it’s now 5-6 on the year. I’m not sure why this has gotten off to a slow start, but perhaps it’ll improve as the season progresses.

Here are the Week 5 overreaction line movements:

Before Week 4 After Week 4
Seahawks -2.5 Seahawks +2.5
Chargers -6.5 Chargers -3.5
Chiefs -12 Chiefs -9.5

Note that I excluded Ravens-Browns (-8.5 to -6.5) because of Steve Smith’s injury. Baltimore would be a bigger favorite if its top wideout happened to be healthy.

At any rate, the Seahawks-Bengals movement may just be a natural adjustment because the books had a mysteriously low rating on Cincinnati. The two movements I find most opportunistic, however, are Chiefs-Bears and Chargers-Steelers. Kansas City lost and Chicago won, promoting a 2.5-point swing. Everyone’s down on the Chiefs, so there’s value with that line. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh moved three points because everyone thought QBDK played well, thanks in part to Phil Simms salivating over him. What I saw was a quarterback who took bad sacks and got away with numerous interceptions.

HANDLING SUCCESS: If I were to ask you, which teams do you think fared the best and worst against the spread following a win, what would you guess? It’s an interesting question because teams definitely have a huge variance in terms of how they deal with success. Some squads thrive, using a victory as a confidence-builder, while others fall completely flat on their faces.

Here’s a chart of how teams have done against the spread after a win since 2011. I chose that year because it was the first in this post-CBA era. This is ordered in terms of spread winning percentage, so see if you can notice a trend:

Team ATS After Win since 2011
Seahawks 31-15
Cardinals 22-13
Giants 20-13
Bengals 26-17
Packers 28-22
Panthers 19-15
Saints 21-17
49ers 25-21
Broncos 28-24
Chiefs 15-13
Patriots 29-27
Ravens 22-21
Buccaneers 8-8
Jets 13-13
Falcons 18-18
Colts 19-19
Dolphins 13-14
Texans 16-18
Steelers 17-20
Vikings 11-14
Chargers 14-18
Redskins 10-13
Rams 10-13
Eagles 13-17
Cowboys 16-23
Bears 11-17
Browns 8-13
Lions 10-21
Bills 8-19
Raiders 6-15
Titans 6-15
Jaguars 3-10

As you can see, some of the best teams in the league since 2011 are atop this chart, while the worst teams like the Jaguars, Titans, Raiders, Bills (before this year), Browns, Bears, etc. just don’t handle success well. They’re not using to winning, so they may lose focus following a victory.

So, how have the worst teams done this year after a win? Let’s take a look. I’d consider some of the worst squads in the NFL this season to be the Redskins, Bears, Buccaneers, Saints, Rams, 49ers, Browns, Jaguars, Titans, Texans and Raiders. Their ATS record following a victory in 2015?

1-9!

The one spread victory belongs to the Raiders, who were battling another bad team (Browns) coming off a win. They then promptly lost to Chicago on Sunday.

Several poor teams won in Week 4: Redskins, Bears, Saints and Rams. It’ll be interesting to see how they fare this upcoming weekend. Meanwhile, the Seahawks, who were atop the chart, play tonight. Can they maintain their momentum, as they usually have? I’ll have my final thoughts later tonight.

INDIANAPOLIS OFFENSE: The latest update on Andrew Luck is that he’s likely to play in this game. However, he’s not completely healthy, so it’s unknown how effective he’ll be. It would help him immensely if he had a quality offensive line to protect him, but that’s not the case, thanks to general manager Ryan Grigson’s ineptitude.

I’m concerned for Luck’s safety. Really. Houston’s defense was super porous against the Falcons, but the team still has J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney to place heavy pressure on the hobbled quarterback. The offensive line’s inability to block has been a major problem for this scoring unit, and now Luck isn’t 100 percent, so he can’t compensate for it.

The Texans didn’t have a chance this past Sunday because of Atlanta’s running game; Devonta Freeman had a huge performance, nullifying the pass rush. Can Frank Gore have a similar showing? It’s possible, but I don’t trust Indianapolis’ offensive line to open up consistent running lanes for the veteran back.

HOUSTON OFFENSE: Though Brian Hoyer was actually competent in relief of a benched Ryan Mallett last week, Bill O’Brien announced that Mallett will remain the starter. That means more of the same: horribly inaccurate passes and an offense that can’t take advantage of liabilities in the defense. Mallett has a great arm, but he’s a mentally restricted (to be nice), inaccurate signal-caller.

Having said that, Mallett could have some success against the Colts, who have some defensive liabilities. They own a banged-up secondary, including Vontae Davis who may not be able to play this game. If so, I don’t know how the Colts deal with DeAndre Hopkins. Indianapolis doesn’t have much of a pass rush, however, so Mallett could have time in the pocket.

Arian Foster, meanwhile, will be battling a defense that surrendered a triple-digit rushing total to T.J. Yeldon last week. Foster didn’t play very much, as planned, but he’ll see more snaps in his second game back. Hopefully a lineman of his doesn’t strip him again.

RECAP: I thought this spread would be Colts -3, which would’ve made my decision more difficult. At pick ’em, I’m going to take Indianapolis. I won’t bet this because it’s unclear what we’ll get out of Luck, but I have to believe that a hobbled Luck should be able to will his team to victory against a weak opponent he always beats.

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

ANDREW LUCK UPDATE: The Indianapolis Star was wrong, and Andrew Luck will be out. This spread should be Texans -3, since these teams are even if Luck is out, yet the line is +4.5 in most places, though only +4 at Pinnacle, which might be a hint that the Colts are the right side. I may put a unit on this game if the spread keeps rising, but I think I’ll need a +6 to be confident about it. I should note that +4.5 -105 is currently available at Bovada.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I considered taking the Colts (+5.5 at Bovada). This spread is way too high. The Texans shouldn’t be favored by this much against anyone not named the Jaguars or Buccaneers. It also appears as though Pinnacle believes this is the right side, listing -5 +100 when every other book is at -5 -110 or -5.5. Pinnacle, the sharpest book on the Web, wants Houston money. Think about that if you’re betting the Texans. Having said that, I can’t back the Colts, not knowing what Matt Hasselbeck’s status is. Hasselbeck was in the hospital Tuesday morning with the flu, so he might be even worse than usual. I wanted Colts +6 to place any sort of wager on the game – and even then, it would’ve been for just one unit – but I can’t do it at +5.5.


The Psychology. Edge: Texans.
The Colts won in overtime and have the Patriots next week, so maybe a bit of a look-ahead. But this is a divisional game, so I think they’ll be focused.


The Vegas. Edge: None.
Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Houston: 55% (61,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Colts.
  • History: Colts have won 22 of the 26 meetings.
  • Opening Line: Pick.
  • Opening Total: 45.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 5 NFL Pick: Colts 23, Texans 20
    Colts +5.5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Under 41 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Colts 27, Texans 20






    Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3)
    Line: Buccaneers by 2. Total: 42.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Buccaneers -4.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Buccaneers -1.
    Sunday, Oct 11, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Jaguars.

    VEGAS UPDATE: The six top-bet teams each week were 8-10 against the spread heading into Week 4. How’d they do? Take a look:

    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:

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

  • A 3-3 week isn’t bad for the books, since they get the juice and all. Also, Arizona losing straight up helped many teasers from coming through.

    Here are the six top bets in Week 5, as of Wednesday afternoon (11-13 ATS this year):

  • Patriots -8.5
  • Broncos -4.5
  • Giants -7
  • Falcons -7
  • Bills -2.5
  • Cardinals -2.5

  • It needs to be noted that nothing is even close to the Patriots. About 95 percent of the money is on New England as of this writing. Vegas will lose a ton of money on that game. Even if the Cowboys cover, lots of Patriots -2.5 teasers are bound to cash.

    Once again, follow @walterfootball for updates.

    TAMPA BAY OFFENSE: Jameis Winston was abysmal last week. He literally handed Carolina the victory, as the Panther offense didn’t really have to do anything. Of course, he was battling one of the tougher stop units in the NFL, so it’s at least understandable that a rookie signal-caller struggled in that situation. If Winston continues to perform poorly in this matchup, there’s a real problem.

    Jacksonville’s defense can get to the quarterback. The Buccaneers don’t protect well, so Winston will surely take some sacks. However, the Jaguar secondary can be beaten, and no one in the group matches up particularly well against Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans. The two giant receivers will need to play well to take advantage of this matchup because it’s the only strong else Tampa has on this side of the ball.

    Doug Martin could have trouble finding running room most of the time. The Jaguars have surprisingly surrendered more than 70 rushing yards to just one opponent this season, and that came against the Patriots, and in that matchup, they were so focused on containing New England’s passing offense that they didn’t focus on Dion Lewis or LeGarrette Blount.

    JACKSONVILLE OFFENSE: Like the Buccaneers, the Jaguars don’t protect well for their quarterback. Tampa doesn’t maintain a great pass rush, but it’s decent enough with Gerald McCoy and some supporting members to get by Jacksonville’s underwhelming blocking. The Jaguars, thanks to this liability, have trouble maintaining drives. Fortunately for them, they might be able to take advantage of Tampa’s weak spots.

    One such weakness is the secondary. The Buccaneers have struggling corners, and they could have issues against a pair of Jacksonville receivers who seem to be improving each week. Allen Robinson has begun to draw lots of attention from opposing defenses, while Allen Hurns has compiled 60 or more yards in every single game this year.

    Tampa Bay also happens to be weak in terms of stopping ground attacks as well. Prior to last week’s game, the team had surrendered triple-digit rushing totals to every single opponent. T.J. Yeldon, who eclipsed the century mark last week, albeit in overtime, figures to move the chains well to make life easier for Bortles.

    RECAP: Would you consider the Jagaurs and Buccaneers even, or perhaps very close to being equal? If so, this spread is incorrect. Giving three points to the home team seems logical, but Tampa has no homefield advantage, owning a laughable 13-34 ATS record at Raymond James Stadium in its previous 47 home contests. How awful is that? I’d give the Buccaneers a point, at most, so this number should be -1.

    Having said that, I’m not betting the Jaguars, though I am picking them. The problem is that A) they suck, and B) this is their third-consecutive road game, and teams playing their third straight on the road as underdogs have a severely poor track record.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: There’s money coming in on the Jaguars, but the spread (or at least, the juice) is moving accordingly. There’s nothing to see here.

    SUNDAY NOTES: This spread is dropping, which makes sense. The Jaguars seemed like the right side all along, but how can you bet on such a bad team without getting a ton of points?


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Buccaneers.
    The Jaguars are a public dog!
  • Percentage of money on Jacksonville: 67% (18,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Jaguars.
  • Road Team is 59-34 ATS in Buccaneers games since 2009.
  • Jaguars are 10-23 ATS vs. NFC opponents since 2007.
  • Jaguars are 23-50 ATS against non-divisional opponents since 2008.
  • Buccaneers are 13-34 ATS at home in the previous 47 instances.
  • Opening Line: Buccaneers -3.
  • Opening Total: 42.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 5 NFL Pick: Jaguars 16, Buccaneers 13
    Jaguars +2 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Under 42.5 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Buccaneers 38, Jaguars 31






    Buffalo Bills (2-2) at Tennessee Titans (1-2)
    Line: Bills by 1. Total: 43.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Bills -3.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Bills -1.
    Sunday, Oct 11, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Bills.

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



    I love it when people send me hate mail prematurely. It makes them look so stupid. The “Walt smh” guy is just a douche, though. Who makes fun of someone’s girlfriend? Definitely someone insecure about their own lack of success with women, that’s for sure.

    This one is just weird:



    OK? That’s cool, I guess. But hey, whatever floats your boat. Oh, and if your name is Walter as well, you can create a site named WalterSharts.com.

    Here’s someone else who e-mailed me prematurely:



    So much for sitting pretty. No surprise that I didn’t hear from that guy for several days. He finally e-mailed me on Monday, telling me that I was “lucky.”

    BUFFALO OFFENSE: The crowd booed Tyrod Taylor and the Bills’ scoring attack last week, but I don’t know what they expected, exactly. Taylor has been a career backup his entire time in the NFL, yet he’s now starting in his initial season. I like Taylor, but he’s essentially a rookie, and they tend to be inconsistent. Besides, Taylor was missing his No. 1 running back, LeSean McCoy, and his top receiver, Sammy Watkins. Throw in the fact that Buffalo was coming off an emotional victory, and no wonder he played poorly.

    Taylor figures to bounce back against a worse defense. The Titans are ranked in the bottom 10 against both the run and the pass. They can get to the quarterback on occasion, but there are lots of liabilities in the secondary that can be exploited. I imagine Taylor will do so, and it’ll help to have Watkins back. It’s unclear if he’ll return for this particular contest, but his injury is not considered a long-term concern.

    McCoy, however, will definitely miss this game, and it sounds like his replacement, Karlos Williams, may as well. Williams is in concussion protocol, so he may not get cleared before Sunday. If he’s out – and it’s not a good sign that the team signed Dan Herron – Anthony Dixon will get the majority of the workload, which is not good news for Buffalo.

    TENNESSEE OFFENSE: Like the Bills, the Titans have their own running back issues. Unfortunately for them, they don’t have anyone returning anytime soon. They’re stuck with the underwhelming duo of Bishop Sankey and Antonio Andrews, and it sounds like the latter will get more touches going forward. Not like it matters though.

    I don’t see Andrews running well at all against Buffalo’s stout front. Marcus Mariota will have to do all of the work himself, which will be problematic, considering that the Bills’ pass rush will hound him. Tennessee couldn’t even keep the Browns out of the backfield during its Week 2 loss, and Buffalo obviously poses a much greater challenge. Having said that, Mariota could have some success, given that the Bills are dealing with a couple of injuries in the secondary. They were already missing Aaron Williams, and now his backup, Bacarri Rambo, will also be out. Mariota has been much better than his counterpart, Jameis Winston, and I think he’ll be able to keep the chains moving on throws to his two dependable targets, Kendall Wright and Delanie Walker.

    RECAP: I don’t really have a good read on this game. I know Matvei likes the Bills, and I could see them covering, since Rex Ryan seems to be continuing his usual pattern of win-loss-win-loss. Also, if I liked the Titans, I wouldn’t be too happy about Ken Whisenhunt having a week to prepare, since he’s just 2-4 against the spread off a bye.

    Then again, there’s a strong case to be made for the Titans. First of all, there’s tons of action on the Bills, yet the spread moved off the key number of three, dropping to 2.5. Second, while Whisenhunt is a liability, Dick LeBeau is not. LeBeau is 20-2 against rookie quarterbacks. While Taylor isn’t literally a rookie, this is his first year playing in meaningful action, so LeBeau could give him problems. And third, Buffalo is very banged up right now, so this isn’t the same team we saw dominate the Colts back in Week 1.

    I think I’m going to side with the Titans, but I’ve been waffling on this pick. I won’t be betting it for sure.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Wow, the sharps pounded this down all the way from +3 to pick. I’m tempted to place a unit on the Titans, but I made a vow not to make too many unit changes with my picks at the end of the week. Doing this has burned me badly in the past.

    SUNDAY NOTES: The sharps continue to pound the Titans. The Bills are very banged up; if they were healthy, they might be the right side, but this is not the same team I liked in the preseason.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Titans.
    It’s a bit surprising that the public is still backing the Bills.
  • Percentage of money on Buffalo: 81% (32,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Titans.
  • True home teams are 21-13 ATS in the last 34 Bills games.
  • Rex Ryan is 5-9 ATS after losing as a favorite.
  • Dick LeBeau is 20-2 SU vs. rookie quarterbacks. ???
  • Opening Line: Bills -3.
  • Opening Total: 42.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 5 NFL Pick: Bills 17, Titans 16
    Titans +1 (0 Units) — Push; $0
    Under 43 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Bills 14, Titans 13






    Cleveland Browns (1-3) at Baltimore Ravens (1-3)
    Line: Ravens by 6.5. Total: 43.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Ravens -8.5.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Ravens -6.
    Sunday, Oct 11, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: None.

    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!

    BALTIMORE OFFENSE: The Ravens have some major issues on this side of the ball. Joe Flacco, who already barely had anyone to throw to, will now have to move the chains without Steve Smith, who has already been ruled out because of four microfractures in his back. Baltimore acquired Chris Givens for a conditional pick, and he might actually be Flacco’s best downfield target. Other than Givens, Kamar Aikens and Marlon Brown comprise the Ravens’ receiving corps. Not good.

    Cleveland’s secondary struggled at San Diego, but it was dealing with several injuries. Joe Haden was out of the lineup, while Tashaun Gipson was knocked out of the game with an injury. It sounds like they might both be back; Haden was probable for the Chargers contest, while Gipson was questionable to return when he left. If they both play, the Ravens will probably have issues moving the chains aerially, especially if Eugene Monroe is out again. On the other hand, having Monroe back on the field would be a tremendous boost; he would be a hugeupgrade over the anemic James Hurst. It just depends if he can clear concussion protocol, which is always a tricky thing.

    Fortunately for the Ravens, they’ll be able to move the ball effectively with Justin Forsett. Except for the Chargers, Cleveland has the worst run defense in the NFL in terms of YPC (5.0). He had a great showing versus a superior Pittsburgh ground defense, so I don’t see why he couldn’t have a repeat performance.

    CLEVELAND OFFENSE: Josh McCown played surprisingly well last week, and while a matchup against Baltimore’s defense would have been very daunting in the past, that’s no longer the case. The Ravens have a porous stop unit that has already surrendered two 350-yard passing outings, and that was to Derek Carr and Andy Dalton. The two exceptions were to a decrepit Peyton Manning and QBDK, who wasn’t asked to throw all that much.

    The Ravens obviously have some liabilities in their secondary, and their pass rush has been severely lacking ever since Terrell Suggs suffered a season-ending injury. McCown should have plenty of time to hook up with some of his improving weapons. Travis Benjamin, who was once just a situational deep threat, has evolved into a well-rounded receiver – something Cleveland didn’t have at the beginning of the year. Meanwhile, Duke Johnson has emerged as a pass-catching threat, becoming a huge part of the offense. I expect Cleveland to give him the ball more going forward.

    Speaking of Johnson, both he and Isaiah Crowell will have issues running the ball. The Ravens were third versus the rush heading into the Thursday night contest. Thanks to Le’Veon Bell, they are now 14th in terms of YPC, but defending Crowell and Johnson will be much easier than wrapping up Bell.

    RECAP: I had four units on the Browns last week, and I’m going to repeat that. I love Cleveland in this contest for the following reasons:

    1. This spread is way too high. The Ravens are severely offensively challenged right now with Steve Smith gone, so I don’t get how they can be laying nearly a touchdown against a team that has proven that it can score.

    2. Will Baltimore be completely focused? The team just celebrated an emotional, overtime victory over the hated Steelers, and it could have trouble getting up for Cleveland. The Browns, on the other hand, will love nothing more than to beat one of their biggest rivals.

    3. Even if the Ravens go up two touchdowns or so, the back door will be wide open for the Browns. They’ve shown an ability to move the chains in garbage time, while Baltimore’s defense isn’t good enough to completely put the clamps on the opposition.

    4. We’ll see if this holds up, but home favorites of exactly 6.5 have a dubious history against the spread (108-143 ATS since 1989). This is probably because the books want to bait the public into taking the home favorite to “just” win by a touchdown.

    UPDATE: Gong from the forums notified me of a story I hadn’t heard, which is that Mike Pettine has called out Joe Haden publicly for being a wuss. Apparently, Pettine may have lost the locker room. I want to look into this more, but if I don’t like what I see, I’ll drop the unit count on this game considerably.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I tried to read up on the Mike Pettine comments, but it’s difficult to tell what the team feel is right now. Everything public is positive – Pettine even apologized – but if he lost the locker room, would we know right now? I’m not sure. Though I’m trying to limit unit changes, I’m going to drop this for two units. If the Browns are focused, they’ll cover for sure. However, if they plan on quitting on Pettine, that’s definitely not good news.

    SUNDAY NOTES: The spread is dropping, with the sharps betting the Browns. They must not be concerned about Mike Pettine losing the locker room. I still am; otherwise, this would still be a four-unit pick.


    The Psychology. Edge: Browns.
    The Ravens are coming off an emotional, overtime win and could have trouble getting up for the Browns.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Baltimore: 55% (23,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Browns.
  • History: Ravens have won 13 of the last 14 meetings (Road Team has covered 8 of the last 10 non-pushes).
  • Ravens are 4-13 ATS as favorites of 7.5 or more since 2010. ???
  • Opening Line: Ravens -6.5.
  • Opening Total: 44.
  • Weather: .


    Week 5 NFL Pick: Ravens 19, Browns 17
    Browns +6.5 (2 Units) — Correct; +$200
    Under 43 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Browns 33, Ravens 30






    Washington Redskins (2-2) at Atlanta Falcons (4-0)
    Line: Falcons by 7. Total: 48.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Falcons -7.5.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Falcons -8.5.
    Sunday, Oct 11, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Falcons.

    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 completely forgot to discuss the whole Ed Hochuli scandal last week. I planned on writing about it, but it totally slipped my mind. So, it’s time to make amends.

    Charlie Campbell tweeted out that Hochuli should be fired if he gave veterans special preferences. I would definitely agree with that. However, there’s no way of knowing two things: 1) If Hochuli even actually said anything resembling that (it’s possible Cam Newton either misheard or happened to be lying.) 2) Hochuli was saying it in jest. If Hochuli happened to be joking, it’s whatever. It might have been a joke to perhaps avoid an argument he didn’t feel like having. If so, that’s fine. Nothing needs to be done.

    However, there’s a chance that Hochuli could have been serious. I think it’s something the NFL should perhaps monitor. I wouldn’t spend too many resources on it, but if preferential calls are blatantly obvious, the league should step in and at least suspend Hochuli. But as for right now, there’s really nothing the league can do, since it just doesn’t have nearly all of the information. Perhaps Roger Goodell will ask Ted Wells to create a sequel to his report about this.

    2. On a brighter note, I usually get hate mail mixed in with a couple of fan mails here and there. This particular e-mail was something I’d call awesome mail:



    Wow! That’s fantastic. I get more upset over losing my picks because readers might be losing money, but seeing something like this makes me feel great. I hope the picks turn around so you can all can profit off those in addition to the fantasy advice both Chet and I provide.

    Oh, and if you want to see Mike’s FanDuel lineup, here it is:



    I don’t know how Mike had the foresight to start LeGarrette Blount, who did nothing the week before, but that was a great call on his part. Way to go!

    I post my FanDuel Picks every Thursday morning. FanDuel is also a sponsor of the WalterFootball.com Podcast, so if you haven’t already, sign up with promo code WALTERFOOTBALL.

    3. Some of my favorite times of the year include Thanksgiving (for all of the great food), Memorial Day (the beginning of summer) and the start of football season. Oh, and the time of year when a kicker screws up his team’s chances, prompting many crazy fans to flood his Wikipedia page and alter it. Here’s what some rabid Steeler fans did to Scobee’s:











    Hey, hey, hey… Scobee might suck, but there is nothing wrong with shankopotomus losers. My girlfriend tells me she’s with me because I happen to be one!

    ATLANTA OFFENSE: I’d like to know how Devonta Freeman has become a superstar running back after being a mediocre player for 18 games. Is it steroids? Viagra? Deflated footballs? Whatever he’s doing, he needs to keep it up, because he’s been unstoppable the past two weeks. He’ll also need more of it in this matchup, given the tough matchup against Washington’s stout run defense.

    No team has rushed for more than 84 yards on the Redskins this season, so something will have to give. The one thing going for Freeman in this particular matchup is that Washington could be very focused on Matt Ryan. The Redskins have gone up against Ryan Tannehill, Nick Foles, Eli Manning and Sam Bradford thus far, so this will be the best passing attack they’ll have battled thus far.

    The Redskins will need to compensate for the pass because of their putrid secondary. They’ve struggled ever since losing DeAngelo Hall, and again, they haven’t even been tested yet. If Riley Cooper and Miles Austin were able to torch them last week, what’s Julio Jones going to do?

    WASHINGTON OFFENSE: The Redskins put together a brilliant, 90-yard drive to beat the Eagles, but it came at a cost. Tight end Jordan Reed, who has been a steady intermediate target for Kirk Cousins, sustained a concussion and could be out for this game. Not having Reed will be huge for Kirk Cousins, who may have to compete in a shootout with Ryan. Without Reed at his disposal, Cousins will have to rely on guys like Jamison Crowder and Ryan Grant because Pierre Garcon will surely be taken away by solid corner Desmond Trufant.

    The Falcons are at their weakest when it comes to defending the run. That’s what Washington does best with Alfred Morris and Matt Jones. The former, looking very motivated to keep his job, pummeled the Eagles on the final drive. The Redskins will have to pound the rock early and often to control the clock. However, the issue is that they won’t be able to run the ball if they fall behind early. And that is likely to happen, with the defense sure to have issues against Ryan and Jones.

    RECAP: This looks like a bad spot for both teams. The Redskins just celebrated an emotional victory, and remember what I pointed about bad squads coming off wins. On the other hand, the Falcons play the Saints on Thursday night, so they could be focused on that game. Home favorites have a dubious history covering prior to playing on Thursday, so Atlanta could fall into this trap.

    This is a zero-unit selection for me, and I had trouble choosing which side to take. I ultimately decided to go with the Falcons because they’re the better team, so I trust them to perhaps be more focused in a game in which both teams could be slacking.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Sharp action is dragging the juice down, but it doesn’t seem as though the books want to drop this to +6.5. Like I said back on Wednesday, both teams will likely be flat, so I’m just going to take the superior squad.

    SUNDAY NOTES: The Julio Jones injury is only a slight concern. The greater worry is that Pinnacle is listing this at -7 +102. They’re the sharpest book on the Web, and they’re begging for Atlanta money.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    The Redskins just had an emotional victory, while the Falcons battle the Saints on Thursday. Both teams could be unfocused.


    The Vegas. Edge: Redskins.
    Who’s not betting on the Falcons?
  • Percentage of money on Atlanta: 80% (35,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Redskins.
  • Matt Ryan is 32-22 ATS at home.
  • Falcons are 5-18 ATS at home immediately following a home win the previous 23 instances.
  • Opening Line: Falcons -8.
  • Opening Total: 47.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 5 NFL Pick: Falcons 31, Redskins 20
    Falcons -7 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Over 48 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Falcons 25, Redskins 19




    Chicago Bears (1-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (1-3)
    Line: Chiefs by 9. Total: 45.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Chiefs -12.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Chiefs -9.
    Sunday, Oct 11, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Chiefs.

    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 written about this before, but I need to emphasize it again because it really pisses me off. It’s discouraging how much of a pansy sport football is becoming, thanks to all of these lawsuits and a**hole lawyers, who are the only ones profiting from this.

    At one point during the Iowa-Wisconsin game, the play-by-play guy, Steve Levy, shouted the following incoherently upon a big hit: “Are they gonna take a look at this!? Take a look at this!? They going to take a look at this!?”

    Is this what football has become? Announcers whining and wondering about whether a hit should be penalized because it was too vicious? Isn’t that what football was supposed to be in the first place?

    Of course, it didn’t help that the color analyst, Brock Huard, sounded like he was calling the Iowa Hawkeyes the “Iowa Hot Guys.” Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    2. I was just watching Pardon the Interruption Friday, just minding my own business, when Lindsay Czarniak flashed onto the screen, squawking with her shrill voice, “Breaking news on SportsCenter, Louisville is being charged with providing escorts to recruits.”

    I sat there, anticipating what was next. Were these escorts carrying STDs? Were they illegal (undocumented, sorry, Randy Marsh) immigrants? Were they really dudes (not that there’s anything wrong with that)? I kept waiting for the actual breaking news, but that was it. Just escorts. Plain old escorts.

    Am I the only one who was betrayed by Czarniak’s so-called “breaking news?” Seriously, thanks for wasting my time, Lindz.

    I know some people like to pretend that things aren’t like this, but people with power have been coaxing those they have interest in with hot women for centuries. When the freaking Roman Empire tried to form an alliance with another country, they provided hot chicks to the prince, or ambassador, or whatever. Some things never change, and every single school does this. Alabama, Auburn, Michigan, USC, Florida, Florida State, Texas. Even my alma mater, Penn State. All provide escorts to recruits.

    This is not breaking news. It’s only “breaking news” because Louisville was unfortunate enough to get caught. And no, there should be no punishment. Escorts are wonderful, and everyone should have them.

    3. I picked Notre Dame to cover against Clemson. I feel like I had the right side; the Irish outgained the Tigers by about 150 yards, but screwed up repeatedly to ruin their chances of covering (much like the Seahawks on Monday night). Brian Kelly’s inept math skills didn’t help, either. Kelly went for two when he shouldn’t have, and it backfired late when he was forced into trying a two-point conversion at the very end.

    I feel like Kelly should hire a 16-year-old who plays Madden to help him with his math. That’s not a joke, since it’s a logical move. This, on the other hand, actually was a joke, but a very bad one:



    @Max_503, you are a douche. I’m all for making fun of coaches and players, but talking about the parents of these coaches/players dying of kidney failure is just a dick move. Like, I could say that @Max_503’s mom had a brain aneurysm while giving birth, which would explain why @Max_503 doesn’t understand that he’s being an a**hole, but that would make me a dick as well.

    I hate these college fan douches who think they can issue death threats or make disgusting jokes when their team loses. Calm the f*** down. It’s not the end of the world, and it ultimately doesn’t matter if your team wins or losses. A victory isn’t going to make your menial, terrible life any better. Yeah, Kelly screwed up. So what? It’s not like he intentionally sabotaged the team or anything. If he did that, fine, make jokes about his mom dying, but there’s no reason to act like a piece of s*** otherwise.

    KANSAS CITY OFFENSE: The Chiefs were blown out at Cincinnati, but would it be a surprise if I told you that they actually outgained the Bengals? I mean, outside of the fact that I mentioned it earlier, so pretend that you didn’t read it before. Aren’t you shocked?

    The Chiefs moved the chains very well in between the 20s, but just bogged down in the red zone against Cincinnati’s bend-but-don’t-break approach. They figure to have similar success in terms of the former location on the field, but I think they’ll have better luck capitalizing inside the red zone this time. After all, the Bears are most definitely not the Bengals. Chicago has major liabilities in its secondary that Jeremy Maclin will be able to exploit, and Alex Smith might – MIGHT – just throw the ball beyond the sticks on some third downs. Crazy, I know.

    The Bears aren’t just weak in the defensive backfield. They’ve also struggled to rush the passer (6 sacks) and stop the run; every team they’ve battled this year has accumulated at least 70 rushing yards against them, with the average being 104. Jamaal Charles has to be salivating at this matchup.

    CHICAGO OFFENSE: Jay Cutler is back, and that means one thing, and one thing only – turnovers from him mixed in with indifferent stares as he sits on the bench following those turnovers. It’s always great to have Cutler around. I hope he starts in the NFL forever.

    Cutler wasn’t bad last week, but was battling a tired Oakland team that may have been looking ahead to Denver. Besides, the Raiders have a poor defense for the most part. The Chiefs, on the other hand, can get to the quarterback effectively with Justin Houston and Tamba Hali; they’re tied for ninth in the NFL in sacks. Cutler is not protected well, so he’ll definitely hurry some #yolo throws into a secondary that should be better with Sean Smith back in the lineup.

    Having said that, the Chiefs aren’t particularly strong against the run; they’ve surrendered 90-plus yards on the ground to opposing backs in three of their four games this season. Matt Forte figures to have a big game, and he’ll be the catalyst for some scoring drives, but Cutler will ultimately cost the Bears with his careless play.

    RECAP: I like the Chiefs quite a bit here. They’re underrated to me. They are 1-3, but their three losses have come against the Broncos, Packers and Bengals, who have a combined 12-0 record. Their victory over the Texans, who are slightly better than the Bears, was a blowout.

    Kansas City will be desperate to avoid a 1-4 hole. I normally wouldn’t be crazy about backing them at such a high number, but the Bears are terrible. Cutler has an abysmal spread history, and once again, this is a horrible team coming off a win, which is a great fade situation.

    With the public backing the Bears, and the spread three points lower than it was last week, this is a three-unit play for me.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I still like the Chiefs a lot. Alshon Jeffery is out, so the Bears don’t have much firepower. This is such an easy game for them, compared to what they’ve dealt with the past three weeks. They’ll be desperate to rebound, while the Bears could be flat following their win.

    SUNDAY NOTES: This spread is creeping up, with some professional money coming in on Kansas City. It’s not a lot, but with the public having mixed feelings, it’s enough to move the line up.


    The Psychology. Edge: Chiefs.
    This is a must-win for the Chiefs, who have to avoid 1-4. The Bears, on the other hand, are coming off an emotional, last-second win.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    The Bears are being publicly backed. I feel like I’m in a different dimension.
  • Percentage of money on Chicago: 57% (28,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Chiefs.
  • Jay Cutler is 37-67 ATS if you exclude Monday Night Football.
  • Chiefs are 29-15 ATS in October since 2002.
  • Andy Reid is 15-19 ATS vs. non-conference opponents as a favorite since 2002.
  • Opening Line: Chiefs -10.
  • Opening Total: 45.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 5 NFL Pick: Chiefs 26, Bears 10
    Chiefs -9 (3 Units) — Incorrect; -$330
    Under 45 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Survivor Pick (2-2) – NFL Survivor Pick Advice — Noooo Jamaal Charles noooo
    Bears 18, Chiefs 17




    New Orleans Saints (1-3) at Philadelphia Eagles (1-3)
    Line: Eagles by 6.5. Total: 49.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : No Line (Brees).
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Eagles -3.
    Sunday, Oct 11, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: None.

    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: Sam Bradford has been very underwhelming this season, but there was a glimmer of hope in the third quarter last week; he torched the Redskins for some long bombs. It’s fair to be skeptical about this. Bradford, after all, still looks scared to throw because of his injury history and poor pass protection, and Washington’s awful secondary needs to be taken into account.

    Having said that, New Orleans’ defensive backfield has been even worse this year. The team actually ranks dead last in terms of YPA surrendered (9.77). The Saints did get some personnel back this past week, but they still struggled to prevent Brandon Weeden from moving the chains. I don’t think Weeden has been as bad as advertised, but still – Dallas was in position to win the game with its geriatric quarterback.

    The Saints don’t stop the run well either, so this might be a rare occasion in which DeMarco Murray actually averages more than six inches on most of his carries. I wouldn’t be too optimistic, as the Eagles block very poorly, but they’ll at least give Murray a chance to see some running lanes.

    NEW ORLEANS OFFENSE: The Eagles also have some problems on defense. They allowed the Redskins to control the ball for about 41 minutes last week, as they couldn’t get off the field. And this happened to be against Kirk Cousins, for crying out loud.

    Drew Brees, even at 70 percent or so, is better than Cousins. It’s clear that he isn’t completely healthy – NBC highlighted his shortened throwing motion – but he should be able to move the chains against a Philadelphia secondary that could be missing Byron Maxwell, who told the media that he can’t run right now. Maxwell has struggled this year, but having him on the field is preferable to a second-round rookie, and it also affects depth. I just don’t see how Philadelphia deals with Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead, all while worrying about Mark Ingram and C.J. Spiller leaking out of the backfield.

    Speaking of Ingram, he enjoyed a solid outing against the Cowboys on Sunday night, but he could have trouble finding lanes in this contest. Despite the Eagles’ struggles in the secondary, they’ve been pretty stout against the run for the most part. They’re currently ranked third in terms of YPC surrendered to opposing backs (3.41), though they did surrender some tough runs to Alfred Morris late in the game last week.

    RECAP: My picks have sucked this year, but I’ve read the Eagles perfectly. I’m 4-0 against the spread in their games, and I’ve been pretty confident in each one. This contest, however, is much different.

    I don’t know what to make of this game. The Saints could be a bad team, making them an automatic fade coming off a win. They’re also a publicly backed dog. On the other hand, the Eagles have a horrific track record prior to matchups against the Giants (0-9 ATS!) They also have a horrific track record at home, so this spread is off. I could buy the Eagles being 1.5 points better than the Saints, but they definitely don’t deserve three points for being at home. It should be a point, at most.

    I’ve been going back and forth on this one, and I ultimately just chose to take the points and back the Saints.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: This spread has risen to -6 despite public action on the Saints, so that means some professional money is on the host. However, this spread now makes the Saints way more enticing; the Eagles should not be favored by this much. I may place a unit on New Orleans on Sunday morning. It’s more likely than not that I won’t, but I’ll sleep on it and see what happens to this spread Sunday morning.

    SUNDAY NOTES: This spread is -6.5 in most places, but only -6.5 -101 at Pinnacle, so that might be a sign that the Saints are the right side. This spread is too high, and I think New Orleans is worth a small wager as a result. I’m going to place half a unit on the visitor, just because of the line value.


    The Psychology. Edge: Eagles.
    The Saints just had an emotional, overtime victory, while the Eagles will be desperate to avoid a 1-4 hole. However, Philadelphia could be looking ahead to the Giants as well.


    The Vegas. Edge: Eagles.
    The Saints are a public dog.
  • Percentage of money on New Orleans: 64% (23,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Saints.
  • Drew Brees is 37-27 ATS as an underdog.
  • Eagles are 0-9 ATS before playing the Giants since December 2010.
  • Eagles are 14-29 ATS at home since 2010.
  • Opening Line: Eagles -4.
  • Opening Total: 48.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 5 NFL Pick: Eagles 27, Saints 24
    Saints +6.5 (0.5 Units) — Incorrect; -$55
    Over 49 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Eagles 39, Saints 17




    St. Louis Rams (2-2) at Green Bay Packers (4-0)
    Line: Packers by 9. Total: 46.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Packers -9.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Packers -13.
    Sunday, Oct 11, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Packers.

    Video of the Week: This is a short video, but I think it’s funny (thanks, Matt W):



    I laughed and literally said “oh my God” as it ended.

    GREEN BAY OFFENSE: If the Rams battled Aaron Rodgers at home, they might have a chance. Then again, they wouldn’t have any fans in the stands, so I’m not completely sure about that, but the fact remains that Rodgers doesn’t throw interceptions as a host. He has an amazing streak going that spans multiple seasons, and I don’t see why he would suddenly begin committing turnovers in this matchup when he already successfully navigated through Seattle’s defense in Week 2.

    The Packers showed some weakness in pass protection this past Sunday when Rodgers was brought down three times at San Francisco. That would normally spell trouble, as the Rams have one of the top pass rushes in the NFL, but Rodgers gets the ball out super quickly, and it’s not like St. Louis is going to force Rodgers into many mistakes like it did to Carson Palmer this past Sunday.

    Rodgers may not even have to do much. Despite owning a very talented defensive front, the Rams are surprisingly weak versus the rush. They’ve surrendered 90-plus yards on the ground in three of their four games, and they’re ranked 27th in terms of YPC. Eddie Lacy could rip through that defense, setting up quite a few short-yardage situations for Rodgers, which will reduce his chances of turning it over from minuscule to none.

    ST. LOUIS OFFENSE: In order to keep Rodgers from torching them, the Rams will need to establish the run and control the clock. Todd Gurley, called the “next Jim Brown” by one team we spoke to prior to the 2015 NFL Draft, had a fantastic debut as a starter, rushing for 146 yards on just 19 carries. Could Gurley have another terrific game? Maybe, but there are two things working against him.

    The first is that the Packers could obviously go up big, negating Gurley’s ability to run the ball. The second is more interesting, and it’s that if you exclude the season opener, Green Bay has limited opposing running backs to just 2.86 yards per carry. That’s a fantastic number, and it’s not like the Packers have gone up against cupcakes either. They’ve battled Marshawn Lynch, Jamaal Charles and Carlos Hyde in consecutive weeks, which has to be worrisome for the St. Louis coaching staff. If the Rams can’t run the ball, how will they maintain consistent drives with a mediocre Nick Foles throwing to pedestrian receivers?

    RECAP: This is my top play of the week. Here’s why I love the Packers:

    1. The Rams are a bad team. They were blown out at Washington, and they couldn’t even beat the Steelers at home with Ben Roethlisberger getting hurt in the third quarter. They’re coming off a win, and as I mentioned at the very top of this page, bad squads celebrating victories tend to struggle.

    2. You don’t bet against the Packers at home. They’re 27-14 against the spread as hosts since 2010. And what about versus non-divisional foes when favored by nine or more? They’re 8-3 ATS in those situations. Not too shabby.

    3. The Packers will be completely focused for this game. There’s no reason to look ahead, as they host non-conference foe San Diego next week. Thus, they can pay attention to the Rams, whom they just watched take down another undefeated squad.

    4. I don’t agree with this spread. The Packers deserve six points for being at home, so this says Green Bay is just three points better than St. Louis. No way. This number should be about -13.

    5. Green Bay has won by eight-plus points in every game this season. This is probably the best team in football right now, and they are clicking on all cylinders. Thus, the Packers are a great squad that is playing well and happens to be in a much better spot than their opponent. That sounds worthy of five units to me.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Bryan Bulaga will be back for the Packers this week, so if you’re concerned about Aaron Rodgers’ protection, based on what happened at San Francisco, don’t be. The Rams had a fluky win and are now overvalued by the public. This spread isn’t as large as it should be as a result, so let’s take advantage of that

    SUNDAY NOTES: Still love the Packers. It’s almost comical hearing the TV analysts talk about how the Rams are a good team. Why aren’t they aware that St. Louis had just 13 first downs compared to Arizona’s 26 last week? The Cardinals shot themselves in the foot with dumb mistakes. The Packers won’t do that.


    The Psychology. Edge: Packers.
    The Rams might be celebrating too hard after beating Arizona.


    The Vegas. Edge: Rams.
    Money starting to creep in on the Packers.
  • Percentage of money on Green Bay: 67% (36,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Packers.
  • Jeff Fisher is 49-33 ATS as an underdog since 2006.
  • Rams are 28-42 ATS on grass since 2001.
  • Packers are 27-14 ATS at home since 2010.
  • Aaron Rodgers is 62-35 ATS since 2009 (9-5 ATS as a favorite of 12+).
  • Opening Line: Packers -9.5.
  • Opening Total: 46.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 5 NFL Pick: Packers 27, Rams 9
    Packers -9 (5 Units) — Correct; +$500
    Under 46 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Packers 24, Rams 10




    Seattle Seahawks (2-2) at Cincinnati Bengals (4-0)
    Line: Bengals by 3. Total: 44.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Seahawks -2.5.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Bengals -5.
    Sunday, Oct 11, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Bengals.

    THE ADVENTURES OF TOM BRADY’S HAIRCUTS

    I’ve been citing that Tom Brady has lost his “clutch” ability over the past few years, but I guess I can’t do that any longer because he just won his fourth Super Bowl. Or, can I…? Brady, after all, reached the “Big Game” with the help of his deflated footballs.

    Brady was stuck on three Super Bowls for a long time before he resorted to cheating. 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…



    To see the story behind this one, check out the new Adventures of Tom Brady’s Haircuts!

    SEATTLE OFFENSE: Besides the ineptitude of some kickers, the primary storyline this season is the “haves” and the “have nots” in the NFL in terms of which teams can block or not. Those that can’t are struggling to win games, and understandably so. The Seahawks, despite being in the Super Bowl back in February, are clearly one of the “have nots.” Their offensive line is atrocious, forcing Russell Wilson to do too much in terms of creating and keeping plays alive by dancing around in the pocket. Wilson is a master at this, but he’s now beginning to commit turnovers. He was responsible for two Monday night, and the second nearly cost his team the game.

    I have no idea how the Seahawks are going to deal with Geno Atkins and a Cincinnati pass rush that made life a living hell for Alex Smith this past Sunday. The Bengals are also strong on the back end, so Wilson may have issues finding open receivers downfield. It’d help if he had better chemistry with Jimmy Graham, but that’s not the case.

    The Seahawks may, at least, welcome back Marshawn Lynch, who will provide a big boost if he plays. The Bengals are just in the middle of the pack in terms of stopping the rush. Jamaal Charles would’ve enjoyed a better afternoon had the Chiefs not been behind the entire time.

    CINCINNATI OFFENSE: While the Seahawks are one of the “have nots,” the Bengals, most certainly, are one of the “haves.” Through four games, the Bengals have surrendered just two sacks. Andy Dalton wasn’t brought down a single occasion against the Chiefs, despite the fact that Justin Houston and Tamba Hali were on the other side of the ball. Thus, despite Seattle’s personnel, I expect Dalton to be well protected throughout the afternoon.

    With plenty of time to throw, Dalton figures to dissect Seattle’s pass defense. The Seahawks, for whatever reason, just aren’t the same on the back end this year. Richard Sherman is definitely not himself. Dalton has tons of weapons at his disposal, and I expect him to take full advantage of his elite protection.

    One area in which the Bengals may have trouble is the running game. Jeremy Hill scored thrice a week ago, but I don’t expect him to pull a Devonta Freeman and repeat that output. The Seahawks have a top-five ground defense in terms of YPC. However, Giovani Bernard could be a factor as a pass-catcher out of the backfield. The Seahawks haven’t been great at defending receiving backs this season.

    RECAP: I normally go against big line movements. This spread was Seahawks -2.5 a week ago, and now the Bengals are favored by a field goal. However, I think this is a natural shift. Seattle by 2.5 was just wrong. These teams are even, at the very least, and it could definitely be argued that Cincinnati is a point or two better. With a strong homefield advantage, this number should be no lower than three, and I even have it calculated at five.

    To me, the Bengals are the better team. They can actually block, while Seattle is coming off a short week and playing in a very early start on the East Coast. Cincinnati, meanwhile, will be up for this. It seems like a big statement game for them. The Bengals are a “yeah, but” team, in that everyone looks at their record and says, “Yeah, but they’ll just choke in the playoffs.” Defeating the Seahawks may silence those critics, and the Cincinnati players know that.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I thought about putting another unit on the Bengals, but the juice is now -120 in most places, so that’s not very good. There’s some sharp money on the host.

    SUNDAY NOTES: The books don’t want to move this off three. They might be afraid of tons of either sharp money on Seahawks +3.5, or perhaps the possibility of being middled. Either way, I still like Cincinnati.


    The Psychology. Edge: Bengals.
    This is a big statement game for the Bengals, who get to prove that they deserve to be mentioned among the league’s elite.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Cincinnati: 55% (28,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Bengals.
  • Seahawks are 25-36 ATS on the road since 2006 if they’re not coming off an away loss.
  • Seahawks are 5-12 ATS on the road vs. teams that average 24+ ppg since 2007.
  • Russell Wilson is 10-3 ATS as an underdog.
  • Bengals are 14-5 ATS at home since 2013.
  • Bengals are 23-38 ATS as a favorite since 2007.
  • Opening Line: Bengals -1.
  • Opening Total: 44.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 5 NFL Pick: Bengals 24, Seahawks 16
    Bengals -3 (2 Units) — Push; $0
    Under 44 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Bengals 27, Seahawks 24



    Week 5 NFL Picks – Late Games
    Arizona at Detroit, New England at Dallas, Denver at Oakland, San Francisco at New York Giants, Pittsburgh at San Diego




    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 5 NFL Picks – Late Games



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    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 |
    2012 Season:
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    2013 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
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    2014 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
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    2015 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
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    2016 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
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    2017 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
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    2018 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
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    2019 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
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    2020 Season:
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    Super Bowl LV Pick

    2021 Season:
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    2022 Season:
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    2023 Season:
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