NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 16, 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 (Week 5, 2015): 6-6-2 (+$55)
NFL Picks (Week 6, 2015): 5-8-1 (-$690)
NFL Picks (Week 7, 2015): 4-9-1 (-$860)
NFL Picks (Week 8, 2015): 5-8-1 (+$520)
NFL Picks (Week 9, 2015): 8-5 (+$280)
NFL Picks (Week 10, 2015): 6-8 (-$610)
NFL Picks (Week 11, 2015): 5-6-3 (-$2,010)
NFL Picks (Week 12, 2015): 6-10 (-$1,050)
NFL Picks (Week 13, 2015): 8-7-1 (+$195)
NFL Picks (Week 14, 2015): 11-5 (+$1,550)
NFL Picks (Week 15, 2015): 7-7-2 (+$110)

NFL Picks (2015): 110-119-9 (-$5,115)
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 Dec. 28, 4:45 p.m. ET. Follow @walterfootball for updates.


Go to Week 16 NFL Picks – Late Games







San Diego Chargers (4-10) at Oakland Raiders (6-8)
Line: Raiders by 5. Total: 47.

Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Raiders -6.
Walt’s Calculated Line: Raiders -3.
Thursday, Dec 24, 8:25 ET
Comment on this game

The Game. Edge: None.

WEEK 15 RECAP: What a roller coaster. I was so incredibly pissed off during the first three quarters of the Giants-Panthers game. I had the Giants as my Pick of the Month, and I watched in agony as they killed themselves with horrible mistakes. In case you missed it, I typed up an early rant on the NFL Game Recaps page:

“Odell Beckham Jr., arguably the best receiver in football, dropped multiple passes, including a long touchdown on the opening drive. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, a terrific corner, dropped a pick-six. Rashad Jennings, who had just TWO fumbles in his career entering this game, coughed up the ball at midfield, setting up the Panthers with a quick touchdown. How do you handicap something like this? It’s ridiculous. The Giants had a chance to take complete control of this matchup, but they killed themselves with horrific mistakes, costing me my Pick of the Month in the process. The amount of bad luck I’ve had with my selections this year has been utterly appalling, and I don’t know what to say anymore.”

I got very lucky when the Giants came back, but they should’ve never been down 35-7 in the first place.

The 1 p.m. games went well, save for the Ravens-Chiefs game where Baltimore basically gave the game away. I blew the Minnesota-Chicago pick, but that happens.

Later on, I thought I was going to have a huge game when the Broncos, Raiders and Browns were all in position to cover. Alas, it didn’t pan out. Denver surrendered a 27-10 lead when Brock Osweiler got hurt; Oakland gave up a 20-16 advantage that would’ve been greater had Derek Carr not effectively thrown two pick-sixes; and the Seahawks covered at the end with a late field goal.

In summary, I realize I was fortunate after being unfortunate in the Giants game, but I had so much terrible luck elsewhere. Still, I had a winning week (6-7-2, $110 heading into Monday night), so I guess I can’t complain too much.

OAKLAND OFFENSE: I feel like Raider fans will yell at me if I say the slightest bad thing about Derek Carr. If I noted that he had a pimple on his forehead, they’d send me dozens of hate mail. Fortunately, I love receiving hate mail, so I’ll say this: Carr has sucked in his past three games. He has thrown five interceptions, completed just 52.4 percent of his passes and maintained a YPA of 5.6. I thought he would be better with Rodney Hudson returning to the lineup, but he has somehow regressed. If only he had his offensive coordinator from a year ago to turn things around.

The Raiders do have another offensive line injury in Austin Howard, who was just put on injured reserve. The Chargers don’t have the greatest pass rush, so I don’t know if they’ll be able to take advantage of that, but what they’ve done well recently is limit opposing aerial attacks, thanks to Eric Weddle being completely healthy again. With Carr struggling, they shouldn’t have any issues limiting him.

Oakland will be able to move the ball on the ground for sure. Latavius Murray finally broke out of his slump, running well versus the Packers. The Chargers have one of the worst ground defenses in the NFL, so Murray will slice right through it.

SAN DIEGO OFFENSE: Philip Rivers has been much better on the road this year, as he’s had to utilize the silent count at home repeatedly, which had to be both surprising and utterly depressing. Rivers even threw for 500 yards at Lambeau, though that was when he had more of his weapons available.

Still, Rivers has enough around him to be effective here. The Raiders have been atrocious against tight ends all year, Rivers will be able to hook up with Antonio Gates quite often. Oakland has just one solid cornerback in David Amerson, meaning Rivers will be able to spread the ball around.

I think it really helps the Chargers that Melvin Gordon was knocked out for the season. Gordon’s productivity resembled Trent Richardson’s, and he just bogged down the offense. San Diego is so much better with Donald Brown and Danny Woodhead splitting touches. Oakland defends the run well, but getting Woodhead more receptions will definitely be beneficial.

RECAP: I don’t get why this spread is so high. Sure, there’s a disparity in the records, but consider how these teams have been playing lately. San Diego crushed the Dolphins; dropped a touchdown against the Chiefs to send that game into overtime; matched the Broncos in yards per play; and beat the Jaguars. The Raiders, meanwhile, have sported an anemic offense, with Carr playing his worst football of the year. Had the Broncos not dropped so many passes, they’d be staring at a three-game losing streak.

On top of all this, the Raiders don’t have a good homefield advantage – they’re 11-20 ATS as hosts the past four years – while San Diego plays better on the road. Oh, and the Chargers also have divisional revenge in their favor after getting thrashed at home by this Oakland squad back in Week 7.

Despite this, the Raiders are favored by five. It should be closer to a field goal, so I’ll take the value with a two-unit wager. My only concern with the Chargers will be their motivation after such an emotional final home game, but they should still be the right side.

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

WEDNESDAY NOTES: This spread has risen up to -6, indicating that there could be sharp action on the Raiders. We’ll know for sure tomorrow. I don’t get it, as Oakland lost Mario Edwards, and San Diego has revenge on its side.

FINAL THOUGHTS: There’s some major professional money coming in on the Chargers. It’s still +5 at Bovada, but it’s all the way down at +3.5 at Pinnacle, the sharpest book on the Web. This is not surprising to me, as this spread was just too high. The Raiders haven’t been playing well lately, and they’ve also won by more than eight points just once all year, so most of their games are close. Also, Oakland is abysmal in the role of a home favorite, owning a 5-20 ATS record in such situations since November 2005.

Some who like the Raiders are pointing to two things: Charles Woodson’s final home game and the last contest the Raiders could be hosting in Oakland. The Rams and Chargers prevailed in their “final” final home games as well this year, but those contests were different because their opponents, the Buccaneers and the Dolphins, respectively, weren’t playing hard. San Diego has motivation as well, given that Oakland embarrassed it back in Week 7. The Chargers, who play better on the road, will be out for divisional revenge. As for Woodson, Hall of Famers in their final home games generally don’t have a great track record.

In short, I’m sticking with San Diego for two units.


The Psychology. Edge: Chargers.
This is a revenge game for the Chargers, who were humiliated by the Raiders in a Week 7 matchup.


The Vegas. Edge: Chargers.
The public is betting heavily on the host.
  • Percentage of money on Oakland: 68% (68,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Chargers.
  • History: Chargers have won 6 of the last 8 meetings (Raiders 10-3 ATS last 13).
  • Philip Rivers is 32-22 ATS as a starter after Nov. 30 (14-9 ATS as an underdog).
  • Raiders are 6-20 ATS in their final home game since 1985.
  • Raiders are 9-30 ATS at home vs. teams with losing records.
  • Raiders are 8-23 ATS as a favorite since 2006.
  • Raiders are 5-20 ATS as home favorites since November 2005.
  • Opening Line: Raiders -5.5.
  • Opening Total: 47.
  • Weather: .


    Week 16 NFL Pick: Raiders 23, Chargers 20
    Chargers +5 (2 Units) — Correct; +$200
    Under 47 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Raiders 23, Chargers 20






    Washington Redskins (7-7) at Philadelphia Eagles (6-8)
    Line: Eagles by 3. Total: 47.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Eagles -4.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Eagles -3.
    Saturday, Dec 26, 8:25 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: None.

    WEEK 16 BETTING TRENDS – PANTHERS DYNAMICS: I want to delve into the Panthers, as their situation is pretty unique this week for a few reasons:

    1. They’re a 14-0 road favorite in a road divisional game.

    2. They’re battling an opponent they faced just two weeks ago.

    3. They led by 21 points heading into the fourth quarter and won by just three.

    I thought these were three interesting dynamics, and I was wondering how teams have fared in such situations before. Let’s break them down, one by one:

    1. They’re a 14-0 road favorite in a road divisional game.

    I bring this up because on Sunday, I posted a trend I found that said that teams that are 13-0 or better were 0-9 against the spread, all time, in non-divisional road games. They’re now 0-10 ATS in such spots.

    Unfortunately, we’re going to have an even smaller sample size when looking at 14-0 teams or better in road divisional games. How small of a sample size? Well, it’s never happened before. In fact, only one team, the 1991 Redskins, had 14-plus wins (14-1) in the regular season and happened to be a divisional road favorite. They lost straight up to the Eagles.

    If you want something of substance, teams with 11-plus victories as road favorites are 34-66 against the spread dating back to 1989. They’re slightly better in divisional games though (21-33 vs. 13-33).

    2. They’re battling an opponent they faced just two weeks ago.

    Believe it or not, this happens more than you’d think. It has transpired 54 times since 1989, most recently in Week 13 of last year when the Jaguars and Titans battled each other just 10 days after facing off the first time.

    Teams that won the first game are 24-28 ATS in the rematch. But is it different if they won in a blowout? Teams in such situations are 3-2 against the spread; 3-1 ATS if they happened to be playing on the road the second time. Though this is a very small sample size, it makes sense. If one squad is so much better than the other, how is the worse team supposed to make the appropriate adjustments in such a short period of time?

    The two non-covers, by the way, missed the spread by one and two points.

    3. They led by 21 points heading into the fourth quarter and won by just three.

    This may not amount to anything, but I thought it was worth looking into how teams fared when leading by a massive amount and then prevailing by a bit, hanging on for dear life.

    Believe it or not, there have been only three occasions prior to Sunday where a team held a lead of 21 or more into the fourth quarter and then won by three. Those squads were 2-1 ATS, with the 2007 Titans, led by Vince Young, being the most recent to do it.

    Would a blown margin of 17 or more provide a greater sample size? Absolutely, as the trend swells to 8-11 ATS. Unfortunately, that’s not much to go off of, but I thought it would be interesting to investigate.

    PHILADELPHIA OFFENSE: Despite the 40-17 blowout, I thought Sam Bradford played pretty well Sunday night. He made a number of impressive throws against a stellar secondary, and he was moving the chains pretty effectively for most of the evening. There was a pick-six at the end, but that was a miscommunication between him and his running back.

    With that in mind, that bodes well for Bradford in this matchup, given that he’ll be battling an inferior defense. Bashaud Breeland has been very good at corner, but what else do the Redskins have in their secondary? They were torched quite often by Sammy Watkins this past Sunday, but Tyrod Taylor couldn’t hit him for several long touchdowns. Bradford, who just completed 68.3 percent of his passes, is more precise, and he’ll be able to connect with his open targets.

    The Eagles will also be able to run effectively, no matter whom Chip Kelly decides to give the ball to. Only the Saints surrender more yards per carry than the Redskins.

    WASHINGTON OFFENSE: The Eagles have defensive issues of their own, as the nation saw Sunday night when Carson Palmer torched their overpriced and anemic secondary at will. Kirk Cousins is obviously not of the same caliber of Palmer, but he has been playing extremely well of late, so I like his chances of hitting DeSean Jackson deep a few times, as the leader of the Crips will be able to embarrass his former team.

    However, there are two things that will prevent Cousins from absolutely torching the Eagles. The first is that Philadelphia has covered tight ends very well this year. I still expect Jordan Reed to have a solid game, but he shouldn’t be completely dominant. The second is that the Eagles have a quality pass rush that could give Cousins trouble; Washington has surrendered eight sacks the past two weeks.

    Of course, the pass rush won’t be much of an issue if the Eagles can’t stop the run. They looked utterly helpless versus David Johnson on Sunday night, and I see no reason why either Alfred Morris or Matt Jones couldn’t go off.

    RECAP: Why would the Redskins even bother showing up? Everyone thinks they’re going to win this game. Even Cousin Sal said something like, “There’s no way Washington loses the NFC East, right?” Cousin Sal’s mentality matches the public’s, as about 80 percent of the money is coming in on the Redskins. There are three guarantees in life, apparently. Death, taxes, and Washington winning this game despite being three-point underdogs.

    This type of mentality is ridiculous. Talk about recency bias. Sure, the Redskins clobbered Buffalo, but the Bills didn’t appear to be trying very hard. The week before, the Redskins beat the pathetic Bears, but only because Robbie Gould whiffed on a field goal at the end. Chicago averaged 1.1 more yards per play in that contest! Oh, and before that, the Matt Cassel-led Cowboys upset the Redskins on a Monday night.

    On the other end of the spectrum, everyone saw that the Eagles lost the Cardinals by the score of 40-17 and assumed that they played horrifically, as the masses watched Steve Harvey screw up some stupid beauty pageant instead. What the people didn’t see was that Philadelphia battled Arizona tough, and if Kelly used DeMarco Murray on a fourth-and-1 at the end of the second quarter, it would’ve been a 17-17 game at halftime. Philadelphia ended up averaging just as many yards per play as Arizona.

    Unfortunately, this is such a sharp number. With all of the money coming in on the Redskins, and how down people are on the Eagles, you’d think the books would have made this Philly -1, and perhaps they would have in the past. Eagles -3 is tough, but I’m still going to take it for a couple of units.

    WEDNESDAY NOTES: If you like the Eagles, they can be had for -3 -105 on Bovada. There’s no indication yet whom the sharps like, but the public continues to pound the Redskins.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: There has been a ton of sharp money coming in on the Eagles, with Pinnacle, the sharpest book on the Web, moving their line up to -3.5. The public and national media expects Washington to win based on last week’s results, but this is a case of recency bias. Philadelphia played better than the final score indicates versus Arizona, while Washington is just a couple of weeks removed from losing at home to Matt Cassel. The juice is up to -115 (Bovada), but I still like the Eagles for two units.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Eagles.
    Tons of money coming in on the Redskins.
  • Percentage of money on Washington: 65% (76,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Redskins.
  • History: Eagles have won 6 of the last 10 meetings.
  • Eagles are 17-32 ATS at home since 2010.
  • Eagles are 1-9 ATS before playing the Giants since December 2010.
  • Opening Line: Eagles -4.
  • Opening Total: 48.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 16 NFL Pick: Eagles 26, Redskins 20
    Eagles -3 -115 (2 Units) — Incorrect; -$230
    Under 47.5 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Redskins 38, Eagles 24






    Chicago Bears (5-9) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-8)
    Line: Buccaneers by 3. Total: 44.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Buccaneers -3.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Buccaneers -3.
    Sunday, Dec 27, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Buccaneers.

    VEGAS UPDATE: The six top-bet teams each week were 41-41-2 against the spread heading into Week 15. How’d they do this past weekend? Take a look:

  • Packers -3 – Cover
  • Cardinals -3.5 – Cover
  • Patriots -14 – Cover
  • Chiefs -7.5 – Cover
  • Jets -3 – Push
  • Bengals -4 – Cover

  • What an absolute blood bath. The books got crushed, and I even heard some speculate that the car accident on the strip was orchestrated to keep upper management distracted.

    Expect tons of shady things this week, so tread carefully if you plan on betting on a highly backed team. Here are the six top bets in Week 16, as of Tuesday afternoon (46-41-3 ATS this year):

  • Patriots -3.5
  • Panthers -7
  • Redskins +3
  • Chiefs -12.5
  • Steelers -10.5
  • Texans -??

  • The Redskins and Chiefs stick out as non-elite teams getting a crazy amount of money. I’m also listing the Texans in anticipation that everyone will want to fade the Titans.

    Once again, follow @walterfootball for updates.

    CHICAGO OFFENSE: I want to begin with the Bears because it was so utterly blatant how little of a f*** Jay Cutler gave in last week’s game. It was vintage Cutler; he showed terrible body language throughout and even smoked some cigarettes on the sidelines. Cutler appeared to be a new man this season under Adam Gase’s tutelage, but that didn’t last very long.

    Cutler will have very little help in this contest. Alshon Jeffery is dealing with a hamstring issue, and is clearly not 100 percent as a consequence. There’s no guarantee that he’ll even play, and even if he does, he could just leave early again, as soft-tissue injuries tend to linger. Assuming Cutler has a hurt or absent Jeffery at receiver, his top non-running back options will be Zach Miller and Eddie Royal. Thus, Cutler will take more sacks against a decent Tampa pass rush.

    Matt Forte and Jeremy Langford will have to do a tremendous work as pass-catchers out of the backfield. Forte could have a big game in this regard, but don’t expect him to run well. The Buccaneers actually rank second in terms of stopping ground attacks.

    TAMPA BAY OFFENSE: Just 20 minutes before I began writing this, I saw a strange post from a Florida State homer in the forums. He bragged about how much better Winston has been than Marcus Mariota this year. It was odd timing, as Winston has struggled the past two weeks. Accuracy has been a glaring issue for him recently, and the 363 yards he posted against the Rams was a mirage, given that most of it came after St. Louis had established a 31-13 lead.

    There’s no excuse for Winston to play poorly again in this contest, especially with the extra time off. Winston won’t have Vincent Jackson at his disposal, but he’ll be able to hook up with Mike Evans and Austin Seferian-Jenkins, as I don’t trust Chicago’s secondary. Tracy Porter has played well for most of this year, but I never considered that sustainable. Thus, I wasn’t surprised when Stefon Diggs torched the Bears last week.

    Winston may not have to do all that much anyway. The Bears have surrendered an average of 111.6 rushing yards per game over the past five weeks, and Doug Martin is one of the hottest runners in the NFL.

    RECAP: This was one of the toughest games to handicap this week. The Buccaneers have not played well lately, and their homefield advantage is terrible, so asking them to cover three is a bit ridiculous. I would take the Bears, but Cutler apparently doesn’t give a damn anymore. As bad as Winston might be, Cutler could be far, far worse.

    This is a non-wager for me, but I think the strongest angle to bet/fade is the Cutler quit factor. He shut it down versus a divisional opponent, so why would he try hard against Tampa?

    WEDNESDAY NOTES: To bet the Buccaneers you need to spend -115 or -120 juice on them, depending where you’re looking. That, or lay 3.5. I’d almost always spend the extra five or 10 cents. Again, though, I don’t like either side.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Professional money has moved this up to -3.5. There’s a lot of it, too; otherwise the books wouldn’t have shifted off a key number. Alshon Jeffery is out for the Bears, so I’m wondering how a lethargic Jay Cutler will move the ball.

    SUNDAY NOTES: This number dropped down to -3, but with juice. While some pros bet the Buccaneers at -3, others took the Bears at +3.5.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    Neither team has anything to play for, but the Buccaneers could be looking ahead to the undefeated Panthers. On the other hand, Jay Cutler appears to have checked out.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Tampa Bay: 58% (12,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Road Team is 64-39 ATS in Buccaneers games since 2009.
  • Bears are 14-33 ATS in December road games the previous 47 instances.
  • Jay Cutler is 41-71 ATS if you exclude Monday Night Football.
  • Buccaneers are 16-36 ATS at home in the previous 52 instances.
  • Opening Line: Buccaneers -3.
  • Opening Total: 46.
  • Weather: .


    Week 16 NFL Pick: Buccaneers 23, Bears 17
    Buccaneers -3 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Under 44.5 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Bears 26, Buccaneers 21






    Carolina Panthers (14-0) at Atlanta Falcons (7-7)
    Line: Panthers by 7. Total: 47.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Panthers -6.5.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Panthers -9.
    Sunday, Dec 27, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Panthers.

    HATE MAIL: Lots of hate mail this week, as usual. Here’s a quick one from the comment boards, comprised of posts made during the Panthers’ big lead over the Giants:



    Instead of replying to these morons, I just had my developer ban the IPs of the bottom two posters. I’ve made the mistake of having the all-caps morons on the comment board for too long, and I don’t want to repeat the error I was guilty of on the forum.

    Here’s the genesis of it all (read bottom up):



    Best Capper Ever needs to go. We banned his original IP, which I considered releasing publicly, but he’s posting from a new one. Ironically, Best Capper Ever seldom makes a single selection until after kickoff. I wish I had access to his sportsbook!

    Anyway, I’ve realized that the best way of communicating with all-caps morons is to type in all caps yourself. Here I am implementing that strategy:



    Seriously, I would never beg someone to follow me. At that point, I was telling people to fade me.

    I never realized how fun this is. Let’s continue!



    You know, I finally understand why these morons post in all caps. I MAY JUST START DOING IT FROM NOW ON HURR DURR DERP.

    CAROLINA OFFENSE: Cam Newton went 15-of-21 for 265 yards and three touchdowns in the Week 14 meeting against the Falcons. He would’ve posted even greater numbers had he not been pulled in favor of Derek Anderson as the result of the game being out of hand.

    The Falcons had absolutely no answer for Newton, and they haven’t been given enough time to come up with any sort of solution. They just don’t have the personnel to handle him or his weapons. Ted Ginn torched the secondary for 120 yards and two touchdowns, and while I would’ve considered that to be fluky in the past, Ginn has become a new man in his return to Carolina.

    It remains to be seen if Jonathan Stewart will play. Stewart gained 75 yards and a touchdown on just 10 carries back in Week 14. If he can’t go, Cameron Artis-Payne could have some success, as the Falcons have surrendered an average of 128.3 rushing yards per game over the past month.

    ATLANTA OFFENSE: On the other side of the coin, Matt Ryan was dreadful in the first matchup against the Panthers. He went 22-of-34 for 224 yards, no touchdowns and an interception. Some of that even came in garbage time, though Ryan couldn’t manage to get the ball into the end zone.

    Ryan has struggled all year, so this was hardly a surprise. Also, Josh Norman was there to blanket Julio Jones, meaning Ryan didn’t have anyone else to turn to. Who was he supposed to throw to? Jacob Tamme? Justin Hardy? A decrepit Roddy White? It’s amazing how little talent happens to be on this Atlanta roster. How did they start 5-0 again?

    The Falcons figure to struggle to run the ball as well again. Ranked ninth versus the rush, the Panthers restricted Devonta Freeman to 40 yards on 12 carries in Week 14.

    RECAP: I’m not sure what the wisdom is behind having teams play twice in a span of three weeks, but as I detailed earlier, it definitely does not help the Falcons, as they simply haven’t had enough time to make the proper adjustments. And they certainly need to make tons of those, given that Carolina wrecked Atlanta, 38-0.

    The question is: Will the Panthers have the motivation to demolish the Falcons again? I think so, for three reasons. First, Carolina absolutely hates Atlanta, and Norman will be looking forward to winning versus Jones again. Second, Newton loves playing in the Georgia Dome, as he grew up in Atlanta. And third, it sounded like the Panthers were disappointed in themselves for allowing the Giants to come back. I expect a better effort from them this week.

    I’m going to take the Panthers for a unit. I don’t want to back highly bet teams this week – as I said, shady stuff will go down – but all indications are that Carolina will win easily. Plus, I don’t want all of the research I did on the Panthers go to waste!

    WEDNESDAY NOTES: I was asked why this is a zero-unit selection despite my projected 31-0 score. I noted earlier that I think betting on highly wagered sides could be dangerous this week, given that the books were slaughtered in Week 15.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps like the Falcons, but they’ve been fading the Panthers all year. I don’t agree with this, especially in this contest. The Falcons haven’t had enough time to make adjustments, and Carolina will be motivated to squash a hated foe.

    SUNDAY NOTES: It seems like all of the touts – go here for the tout selections – are on the Falcons. It appeared as though the sharps were on the Falcons as well, but the number moved back up to -7 on Sunday morning, indicating that the pros aren’t as heavy on Atlanta.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    One school of thought say the Falcons will have more energy because they were blown out by Carolina two weeks ago. However, the Panthers hate Atlanta, so I don’t expect them to take this lightly.


    The Vegas. Edge: Falcons.
    Why would anyone bet Atlanta?
  • Percentage of money on Carolina: 83% (3,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • History: Panthers have won 5 of the last 6 meetings.
  • Matt Ryan is 32-26 ATS at home.
  • Falcons are 5-2 ATS as underdogs of 7.5+ since 2009. ???
  • Opening Line: Panthers -7.
  • Opening Total: 47.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 16 NFL Pick: Panthers 31, Falcons 0
    Panthers -7 (1 Unit) — Incorrect; -$110
    Under 47 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Falcons 20, Panthers 13






    Dallas Cowboys (4-10) at Buffalo Bills (6-8)
    Line: Bills by 6.5. Total: 42.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Bills -5.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Bills -4.5.
    Sunday, Dec 27, 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’m typing these random notes during halftime of the Cowboys-Jets game, and I have one question to ask Roger Goodell: Are you happy now that you’ve ruined some marriages?

    I hate these Saturday games, but I imagine that women despise them even more. In fact, here was an actual conversation I had with my girlfriend Saturday morning:

    Girlfriend: Did you want to go out to dinner tonight?

    Me: I do, but there’s a game on that I have to watch.

    Girlfriend: Excuse me!?

    Me: Yeah. It’s part of the NFL’s Divorce Package.

    Girlfriend: Ugh!!!

    I brought this up on the podcast, and Matvei noted that it’s Goodell’s wet dream that all men get divorced. Instead of spending money on women during the holidays, single dudes would buy NFL apparel and play more daily fantasy, which would lead to more viewership.

    With that in mind, I’m shocked that Goodell doesn’t put a game on TV every night. I could see him tapping his fingers together in his evil lair, hissing, “Ts-ts-ts-ts, soon all marriages will be ruined because of my grand-master plan, ts-ts-ts-ts!”

    2. Sticking with Goodell, I still find it appalling that he suspended Josh Gordon indefinitely, yet is allowing absolute scumbags like DE Woman Beater and QB Dog Killer to take the field. Gordon made honest mistakes, but doesn’t happen to be evil like DEWB and QBDK. I don’t know who Goodell thinks he is, but he needs to be told that this isn’t Saudi Arabia. People should be allowed to drink alcohol and play in the NFL.

    I’m bringing this up now in the wake of some news on Gordon that he has really turned his life around. Gordon has been working out constantly and has taken up art in his spare time. It seems like he’s a new man, unlike DEWB and QBDK. He should be playing right now, but Goodell is a soulless a**hole who styles himself as a current-day Joseph Stalin. As I’ve stated before, he’s exactly like Stalin, but instead of killing millions, he gets countless people fired.

    3. Speaking of douches, I didn’t post my opinion on LeSean McCoy’s revenge game against the Eagles. I thought McCoy’s attitude was terrible, and I completely agreed with Herm Edwards when the former coach went on a deranged rant where he nearly began foaming at the mouth. If you haven’t seen it, here it is:



    The whole handshake thing is stupid. I don’t get why Chip Kelly wanted to shake McCoy’s hand in the first place, and I think it’s dumb that McCoy angrily declined. However, when things spiraled out of control, I thought McCoy should have gone the other way with it. If I were him, I would’ve said this to the media:

    “I didn’t mean it as a sign of disrespect or anger that I didn’t want to shake Coach Kelly’s hand. I don’t want to shake his hand because I once caught him jerking off bestiality porn, and I have to tell you guys, I know where that hand his been, and I don’t want any part of it.”

    That would’ve ended the whole thing. McCoy would’ve saved face by bringing humor to the entire situation, and he would’ve made Kelly look bad in the process.

    The lesson, as always: Don’t take yourself too seriously and have a sense of humor so that you don’t look like a loser slamming your helmet after you fail to come through.

    DALLAS OFFENSE: It seems as though Jerry Jones has finally thrown in the towel. After months of glorifying crappy backup quarterbacks, only to trash them several weeks later, Jones has finally realized that he can’t make the playoffs. He put Tony Romo on injured reserve, mercifully ending his season. In the meantime, Jones proudly announced in the owner’s box prior to Saturday’s kickoff that Kellen Moore would supplant Matt Cassel. Sure enough, when Cassel faltered, Moore stepped in and was just as terrible.

    To be fair to Moore, he was battling a pretty tough defense. The Bills aren’t as strong. They have two stellar pass-rushers and one awesome corner, and that’s about it. The latter could be a problem here for Moore, however, as Dez Bryant isn’t at full strength, so dealing with Ronald Darby will be an issue. Moore won’t have many other exciting options, though Buffalo’s pass rush shouldn’t be much of a concern. The Bills have the third-fewest sacks in the NFL.

    Darren McFadden could have a big game, as the Bills happen to be pretty porous against the run, thanks to Kyle Williams’ absence and the pedestrian play of the linebackers. Thus, Moore may not have to do much.

    BUFFALO OFFENSE: The Cowboys have injury issues of their own on this side of the ball. Rolando McClain and Morris Claiborne are both considered questionable with various maladies. Claiborne isn’t a big deal, but McClain is a big loss if he can’t be cleared from his concussion again.

    Considering how porous Dallas’ secondary is, Tyrod Taylor has the potential for a big game. I say “potential” rather cautiously, as Taylor has struggled with his accuracy lately. It’s been more than a month since he completed more than 59 percent of his passes in any contest, and he was particularly bad last week when he missed an open Sammy Watkins on numerous occasions for deep touchdowns.

    As for the other star in Buffalo’s scoring unit, LeSean McCoy tore his MCL, so he won’t be able to suit up. That won’t have any impact on this game, however, as Karlos Williams has proven to be a capable replacement. Unfortunately for Williams, he’ll be battling a Dallas defense that has surrendered more than 85 rushing yards in just one contest since Week 9.

    RECAP: This is another difficult game to handicap, as getting a read on the motivation of these two teams is impossible. The Cowboy were finally eliminated from playoff contention, so will they stop playing hard for at least a week? It’s certainly possible. Meanwhile, the Bills didn’t give full effort in Washington, as they have a lame-duck general manager and (maybe) head coach. They’ve been bad lately, so they don’t deserve to be favored by six points.

    I’m going to pick the Cowboys because this spread is absurd, but I can’t bet on them because they could easily quit.

    WEDNESDAY NOTES: I’m considering a unit on the Cowboys. After thinking about it, I think there’s more of a chance that the Bills quit more than the Cowboys. We’ll see where the sharps go with this.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I was going to put a unit on the Cowboys until I saw that Dez Bryant was out. I’ll lay off them for now. No sharp indication yet.

    SUNDAY NOTES: No professional money movement here. I’m confused about this game as well. I wouldn’t touch it.


    The Psychology. Edge: Bills.
    Dallas’ motivation is in question now that they’re finally eliminated from the playoffs.


    The Vegas. Edge: Cowboys.
    Lots of action on the host.
  • Percentage of money on Buffalo: 69% (22,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Cowboys.
  • The underdog is 58-34 ATS in Cowboys games since 2010.
  • Cowboys are 27-19 ATS as an underdog since 2009.
  • True home teams are 26-15 ATS in the last 41 Bills games.
  • Bills are 11-3 ATS off consecutive losses in non-divisional road underdog games since 2002.
  • Rex Ryan is 5-9 ATS after losing as a favorite.
  • Opening Line: Bills -6.
  • Opening Total: 44.
  • Weather: .


    Week 16 NFL Pick: Bills 20, Cowboys 16
    Cowboys +6.5 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Under 42 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Bills 16, Cowboys 6




    San Francisco 49ers (4-10) at Detroit Lions (5-9)
    Line: Lions by 9. Total: 43.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Lions -6.5.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Lions -9.
    Sunday, Dec 27, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Lions.

    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!

    DETROIT OFFENSE: I was wondering if the Lions would take just one game off following the Green Bay Hail Mary loss, or if they would mail in the rest of the season after absolutely getting hosed by the officials. To their credit, they bounced back off their dud loss versus the Rams and performed admirably against the Saints in a Monday night affair.

    Matthew Stafford should have another great game. Box-score observers will say that the 49ers limited A.J. McCarron last week, but McCarron hit some downfield throws and didn’t bother trying to beat San Francisco in other instances, opting to check down instead. Stafford will obviously be more aggressive, and it’ll help if Calvin Johnson is healthier than he was Monday night. Megatron could barely move, yet Detroit still posted 35 on the scoreboard.

    The Lions also ran the ball well at New Orleans. Granted, this was against the league’s worst ground defense, but the 49ers are just two weeks removed from surrendering 200-plus rushing yards to the Browns of all teams.

    SAN FRANCISCO OFFENSE: It appears as though teams finally figured out Blaine Gabbert. The former Jaguar put together some solid performances, but he has wilted over the past couple of weeks. Still a craven, Gabbert is too scared to throw beyond the sticks on third down, as he doesn’t want to be intercepted. Per Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle, only eight of Gabbert’s 29 third-down completions have netted a first down. That’s absolutely unbelievable. He’s like Alex Smith on steroids, except that Gabbert is too scared to take steroids.

    Gabbert was shut out until late last week, and the same thing should happen here. Detroit’s defense has been much better since returning home from London. The pass rush is ferocious and will give Gabbert problems, as his offensive line is anemic. More checkdowns will follow as a result.

    The 49ers don’t have much of a running game to bail Gabbert out. Shaun Draughn may not even be available because of a knee injury. I don’t see Kendall Gaskins beating the Lions. Where is Jarryd Hayne, by the way? I know the 49ers screwed up by releasing him accidentally due to a fax machine error by Jed York, but it’s time to make amends for that.

    RECAP: This spread opened at -8 on Tuesday morning and immediately shot up to -9. That was definitely sharp movement. Though the pros have done a great job of masking their plays this year, I can’t imagine them backing this anemic San Francisco team. So, if you want to bet Detroit, I’d get this in as soon as possible.

    I wouldn’t go too crazy with this game though. The Lions have shown that they’re willing to play soft defense in the second half, so the back door in this game seems like it could be wide open. San Francisco nearly snuck through the back door last week, and that was a contest against a tougher Cincinnati squad with a smaller spread. I’m willing to wager a unit on the Lions, but that’s about it. Perhaps the first-half line is the way to go.

    WEDNESDAY NOTES: The sharps continue to pound the Lions. Like I said, get this in before it keeps going up.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I hope you got -9 or -9.5, as this is -10 now. The Lions are looking to finish strong so that it leads to a successful start in 2016. The 49ers seem dead; they were down 24-0 against A.J. McCarron last week. I could see a back-door cover happening, so that’s why I wouldn’t bet Detroit heavily.

    SUNDAY NOTES: Here’s one of two games where locking in my selection hurt me, which has been the case all year. The sharps pounded the 49ers this morning, so Lions -8.5 is available.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: 49ers.
    Slight lean on the host.
  • Percentage of money on Detroit: 63% (16,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: 49ers.
  • Lions are 17-32 ATS against losing teams the previous 49 instances.
  • Opening Line: Lions -7.5.
  • Opening Total: 43.
  • Weather: .


    Week 16 NFL Pick: Lions 31, 49ers 17
    Lions -9 (1 Unit) — Correct; +$100
    Over 43 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Survivor Pick (8-7) – NFL Survivor Pick Advice
    Lions 32, 49ers 17




    Cleveland Browns (3-11) at Kansas City Chiefs (9-5)
    Line: Chiefs by 11.5. Total: 42.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Chiefs -11.5.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Chiefs -9.5.
    Sunday, Dec 27, 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. Bowl season has started, and I’m so very excited. I’m like so excited that I peed my pants a little bit. I pooped my pants a little bit too. And I splooged my pants a little bit as well. That’s how so very excited I am because meaningless college football games are being played. So very excited.

    I don’t know if you could tell or not, but that was pure sarcasm. I hate these games, though not as much as before because there’s a playoff now. Still, I find these bowls useless and irrelevant, and I dont’ want to watch any of them.

    Want to know how much I despise the bowls? Three of my friends have sent me bowl pool invites, and I didn’t accept any of them. In fact, I didn’t respond to any of the e-mails. I could do research on the bowls and perhaps do well picking all of them, but I just don’t see the point. It’s like entering an NFL preseason pool. Those games are just as meaningless.

    2. More on bowls: It’s absolutely asinine that there are 40 of them now. FORTY! They accept 5-7 teams now, so it’s actually easier to qualify for the NIT in college basketball. Yet, more bowls keep getting added each year, and soon enough, 4-8 squads will be playing in them.

    In honor of this, let’s delve into some of the dumber bowl names:

    Quick Lane Bowl – This reminds me of the quick checkout lane at supermarkets. Should a bowl game really be called this?

    Famous Idaho Potato Bowl – Famous? Ha! Never heard of you.

    Cure Bowl – Would’ve been better if this were the Curaga Bowl. Or better yet, Cure 3, am i rite?

    Belk Bowl – The Belk Bowl has been in existence for a while, yet I still don’t know what the hell a Belk is.

    Camellia Bowl – Karma karma karma karma, karma Camellia. You come and go, you come and go.

    3. Having said all of this, thanks to popular demand, I have College Football Bowl Picks listed via this link. I’m going to have five for each of the two bowl weeks. That’s 10 bowls, meaning I’m covering just 25 percent of them. And you know what? If there were just 10 bowls, I’d probably watch all of them!

    KANSAS CITY OFFENSE: I don’t want to hear anything about Alex Smith playing well because Andy Reid could’ve utilized the Bobby Boucher offense the past few weeks and had success with it. The Chiefs have battled three teams that either couldn’t score or gave the game away with turnovers in as many weeks. The Raiders were driving to go up nine or 13 before Derek Carr fired a barrage of pick-sixes; the Chargers posted just three points, though they dropped a ball that would’ve sent the game to overtime; and Baltimore handed Kansas City four gift touchdowns on penalties or turnovers.

    Smith dinked and dunked to his heart’s desire last week, coming away from the game with just one solid drive despite battling a horrible pass defense. The Browns aren’t any better in that regard, as Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett roasted them this past Sunday, but Smith won’t exactly attack Cleveland downfield like Russell Wilson did.

    The Browns don’t stop the run well either, however, so Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware figure to trample them, at least on paper. Ware is expected to return, so West’s poor fantasy owners will have to turn elsewhere. Regardless, the two should combine to post a massive yardage amount, but only if guard Jeff Allen suits up. Allen has been missing recently, and while many don’t know who he is, he’s been Kansas City’s top blocker. Also, Travis Kelce is considered questionable, so his absence would be huge.

    CLEVELAND OFFENSE: Johnny Manziel’s competence has been quite the surprise. Ever since returning to the field following his drunken escapades, Manziel has been very effective. He beat the 49ers, which wasn’t a huge deal, but he was able to keep his team around versus the Seahawks and their tough defense, which was impressive.

    If Manziel was able to perform well at Seattle, why can’t he do so at Kansas City? Justin Houston is still out, so the opportunity will be there for Manziel. He’ll hook up with Gary Barnidge quite often, as the blossoming tight end has proven to be unstoppable.

    Running the ball could be problematic, however. The last time the Chiefs surrendered 100-plus yards on the ground was back in Week 7, and the Browns don’t exactly have the talented backs to overcome this.

    RECAP: This spread is way too high. The Chiefs haven’t done crap in the past four weeks to warrant such a line. They defeated the Ravens by 20, but Baltimore handed them that game on a silver platter with a personal foul penalty, a Buck Allen strip-six, a fake punt from its own 17-yard line and a pick-six when the receiver fell down. The Chargers nearly sent their game to overtime. The Raiders self-destructed when it appeared as though they were going to take control of the contest. In fact, the last convincing victory Kansas City had was back in Week 12 when they beat the Bills, 30-22, but that’s looking less and less impressive, as Buffalo has suffered consecutive defeats to NFC East teams since.

    Moving forward, the Chiefs are expected to win against a team that has nothing to lose, so this has “choke job” written all over it. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Kansas City lost this one straight up. The Browns, who have been way more competitive lately, should at least cover against a team that is suddenly banged up.

    I’m listing this as a two-unit wager for now. I don’t want to go crazy with a 3-11 squad, but I’ll be pretty surprised if the Chiefs win in a blowout.

    WEDNESDAY NOTES: A commenter below pointed out that I’ve gotten a bunch of Kansas City picks wrong. I think I’ve been on the right side of the past three Chiefs selections, but bad luck allowed the other teams to cover. I’m pretty confident in this selection, and I was thinking about moving this up to three units.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I’m putting a third unit on the Browns, and I’m locking it in at +11 (Bovada). The sharps have pounded the Browns like crazy, which makes sense. The pros know that the Chiefs are a fraud, while Cleveland has been better of late; it should’ve covered versus the Seahawks last week, and Seattle is so much better than Kansas City.

    SUNDAY NOTES: And here’s game No. 2. Browns +12 are available at Bovada. The pros might still bet this down, as the public money is pushing this line up.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Browns.
    A ton of money on the host.
  • Percentage of money on Kansas City: 78% (16,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: .
  • Opening Line: Chiefs -13.
  • Opening Total: 44.
  • Weather: .


    Week 16 NFL Pick: Chiefs 19, Browns 13
    Browns +11 (3 Units) — Correct; +$300
    Under 42 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Chiefs 17, Browns 13




    Indianapolis Colts (6-8) at Miami Dolphins (5-9)
    Line: Dolphins by 2. Total: 43.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : No Line (Luck).
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Colts -1.
    Sunday, Dec 27, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Colts.

    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.

    INDIANAPOLIS OFFENSE: I’m not exactly sure why there’s no spread posted on this game. I guess it’s because of Matt Hasselbeck, right? Hasselbeck was a full participant during Tuesday’s walkthrough though, so I don’t see why he would suddenly be inactive. Then again, maybe he’ll either slip on some ice and fracture his hip or get lost on the way to the stadium. #OldPeopleJokes.

    The Colts have struggled to score recently, posting 36 combined points in their past three games. Things could be different here if Hasselbeck is able to somehow make it through all 60 minutes, however, as the Dolphins haven’t exactly put forth their best effort recently. They allowed San Diego’s receivers to run free all game Sunday in an appalling effort. Then again, is it really a surprise that Miami is playing this way after giving an overpriced bum $100 million? It was absolutely ridiculous that Ndamukong Suh was so gassed during the New York game that he had to waste a timeout on defense to catch his breath.

    At any rate, all of the Indianapolis skill players should have solid performances. The Dolphins don’t have anyone to cover T.Y. Hilton or Donte Moncrief, while Frank Gore, who also looks worn down, could have a rare strong performance versus a Dolphin squad that allowed Donald Brown to look like the second coming of LaDainian Tomlinson.

    MIAMI OFFENSE: The Dolphins didn’t try at all against the Chargers, but even if they did, they wouldn’t have had much success moving the chains because they lost their top two remaining blockers, Branden Albert and Mike Pouncey, to injuries during the contest. Both appear to be out for the year, which means that Ryan Tannehill will be missing his top three offensive linemen until Ja’Wuan James returns from injury.

    Given that, how can Tannehill possibly play well? The Colts don’t have a good pass rush, but they’ve notched six sacks in the past two games, so they’ll have success getting to Tannehill. Meanwhile, running the ball will also be a huge issue. Lamar Miller won’t have any holes to burst through, and he’s banged up anyway. Miller hurt his quad last week and was completely ineffective. It sounds like he’ll be able to suit up, which could actually hurt the Dolphins if he’s not 100 percent.

    RECAP: There’s no spread on this game, but I know I’ll be taking the Colts. It’ll probably be for a big play, too. Check back later or follow @walterfootball for updates.

    WEDNESDAY NOTES: A spread has just been posted. I’ll have a definitive selection tomorrow. I know I’m taking the Colts, but I don’t know for how many units yet.

    PICK POSTED: Contrary to popular belief, this game means very little to the Colts. If the Texans win just one game in the next two weeks, they will win the division, no matter what Indianapolis does. For the Colts to get in, they’ll need to win just one contest, and Houston will have to lose out. Given that Indianapolis has Tennessee at home next week, the Colts can afford to rest up and go hard for that game.

    With that in mind, I can’t bet the Colts. I can pick them for no units, however, as Miami still seems like a good fade. The Dolphins are missing their three good offensive linemen, and their homefield advantage means absolutely nothing. They didn’t try hard last week, and I can’t see someone as lethargic as Ndamukong Suh rallying the troops in a meaningless game.

    SUNDAY NOTES: I can’t help but shake my head every time I hear, “This is a big game for the Colts!” on ESPN. This game isn’t very important at all. The sharps don’t really care about this either because they haven’t really bet either side.


    The Psychology. Edge: Colts.
    The Dolphins appear to have mailed it in, and they have the Patriots next week anyway.


    The Vegas. Edge: Colts.
    Slight lean on the Dolphins.
  • Percentage of money on Miami: 64% (9,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Colts.
  • Underdog is 64-37 ATS in the Dolphins’ last 101 games.
  • Matt Hasselbeck is 13-7 ATS off back-to-back losses.
  • Dolphins are 10-31 ATS at home against teams with losing records since 2003.
  • Opening Line: Dolphins -1.5.
  • Opening Total: 44.
  • Weather: .


    Week 16 NFL Pick: Colts 23, Dolphins 10
    Colts +2 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Under 43.5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Colts 18, Dolphins 12




    New England Patriots (12-2) at New York Jets (9-5)
    Line: Patriots by 3. Total: 46.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : Patriots -3.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Patriots -1.
    Sunday, Dec 27, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Jets.

    Video of the Week: This one is short, but it’s well worth watching – it’s a video of a cute puppy saying an English word, though you may want to put on headphones if you’re at work (thanks, Kenan P):



    That might just be the best use of six seconds I’ve ever had in my life.

    NEW ENGLAND OFFENSE: I posted an appropriate picture of how Tom Brady must feel right now in my NFL Power Rankings. The Patriots continue to lose personnel, as Danny Amendola got knocked out last week. Now, all Brady has at his disposal, beyond Rob Gronkowski, is Brandon LaFell, Keshawn Martin and James White leaking out of the backfield. That’s not good.

    The Jets are stellar when it comes to defending tight ends – they did a decent job against Gronkowski in their Week 7 meeting – and Darrelle Revis will be able to handle LaFell. So, what’s Brady going to do besides check the ball down to White again? This worked against the hapless Titans, but New York will have more success against it.

    The Patriots signed Steven Jackson this week to perhaps aid their running attack, which was led by someone named Joey Iosefa last week. It’s as if the Patriots held tryouts before the game and some big, husky dude won the competition. Jackson might be better, but it’s unknown how much he’ll play this week.

    NEW YORK OFFENSE: The Patriots’ recent injuries weren’t just limited to offense; Dont’a Hightower was knocked out of last week’s game, and it sounds like he could be out until the playoffs. Hightower is crucial to New England’s ability to stop the run, so his absence obviously means great things for Chris Ivory.

    Ivory’s strong running will help Ryan Fitzpatrick, who was 22-of-39 for 295 yards and two touchdowns in the previous matchup versus the Patriots. I don’t see why Fitzpatrick wouldn’t play well again. I’ve said it multiple times this year, but New England hasn’t been tested all that much aerially, thanks to a soft schedule. Some of their corners are suspect, while Devin McCourty is considered questionable with an ankle.

    Bill Belichick is the master of eliminating one aspect of an opponent’s offensive game plan. That will prove to be difficult, however, given that the Jets have two stud receivers in Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. Both figure to have solid performances.

    RECAP: I have to wonder if the Patriots will be going all out to win this game. They’re sitting pretty at 12-2, almost guaranteed a first-round bye. Yet, they keep losing players every week. They’ll be battling a team that is desperate to win, while they’d be more than happy to escape this game without any further injuries.

    I love the Jets in this spot, especially with the hook, which is available at Bovada. A line like this means that the Patriots would be -9.5 at home, which is just absurd, given that New York almost won in New England the first time when the spread was -7.5. That was back when everyone was healthy for New England.

    With a depleted roster, where exactly are the Patriots better than the Jets, save for quarterback and tight end? New York holds the advantages elsewhere, especially in the trenches. The Patriots can’t block, so the Jets’ defensive line is going to have an easy time getting to Brady.

    On top of all of this, the public is pounding New England at a ridiculous rate, while New York has divisional revenge on its side. I’m taking the Jets for four units.

    WEDNESDAY NOTES: I still love the Jets. Nothing has changed, including the public action, which is absurdly high on the Patriots.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I still love the Jets. It’s available at +3.5 -120 on Bovada. The pros have been betting them pretty heavily as well. Pinnacle has listed New England at -3 +102, so they’re begging for Patriots money. This line is just out of whack, as the skeleton-crew Patriots don’t need this game at all.

    SUNDAY NOTES: Wow. So much professional money on the Jets. It’s still available at +3 on Bovada, but it’s down to +1.5 at Pinnacle and +1 at 5Dimes. That makes a lot of sense to me.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Jets.
    Everyone and their evil stepmother is betting the Patriots.
  • Percentage of money on New England: 75% (30,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Patriots.
  • History: Patriots have won 21 of the last 26 meetings.
  • History: Home Team has won 11 of the last 14 meetings.
  • Patriots are 46-33 ATS vs. AFC East opponents since 2001.
  • Tom Brady is 186-61 as a starter (140-102 ATS).
  • Tom Brady is 10-3 ATS as a favorite of fewer than 3 points. ???
  • Opening Line: Patriots -3.
  • Opening Total: 46.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 16 NFL Pick: Jets 23, Patriots 20
    Jets +3 (4 Units) — Correct; +$400
    Under 46.5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Jets 26, Patriots 20




    Houston Texans (7-7) at Tennessee Titans (3-11)
    Line: Texans by 4. Total: 39.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : No Line (Hoyer).
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Texans -4.
    Sunday, Dec 27, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: .

    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!

    HOUSTON OFFENSE: Here’s another game with no spread because of a quarterback injury. Brian Hoyer is still in concussion protocol, so his status is up in the air. If he can’t go, it’ll have to be Brandon Weeden, as T.J. Yates is out for the year.

    I’m not sure there’s much of a difference between Hoyer and the Weed Man, especially in this matchup. The Titans have a sloppy defense that has disintegrated recently. Their secondary sucks, and they won’t be able to cover DeAndre Hopkins as a consequence. Derrick Morgan being out has impacted their pass rush as well; they’ve accumulated just six sacks in their previous four games.

    The Titans’ best defensive attribute is shutting down the run, but they’re just average in that regard. They might be able to win here though, as Houston doesn’t exactly have the most talented stable of backs.

    TENNESSEE OFFENSE: While the Texans may not have their starting quarterback, we know that the Titans won’t be able to use theirs for sure, as Marcus Mariota has been shut down for the year.

    Zach Mettenberger will make his third start of the year. His second start also came against the Texans. He wasn’t terrible, but didn’t really do much to keep drives alive either. He went 22-of-31 for only 171 yards and an interception. He also lost a fumble. Houston’s defense isn’t as great with J.J. Watt dealing with a broken hand, but it’s still good enough to shut down Mettenberger and his underwhelming supporting cast. Delanie Walker is solid, while Dorial Green-Beckham has come on, but that’s about it.

    It would help if the Titans could lean on a ground attack, but that won’t be possible. Antonio Andrews is just a plodder with poor patience and vision, yet he’s their best option in the backfield. That’s going to change in my next 2016 NFL Mock Draft.

    RECAP: There’s no line posted, so check back later or follow @walterfootball for updates. I’m almost certainly going to pick the Texans, but given that they’ll be a healthy road favorite, it probably won’t be for any units.

    WEDNESDAY NOTES: No line posted yet.

    PICK POSTED: As expected, there’s a ton of money coming in on the Texans. I’m going to have to fade the public on this one. Houston has been unimpressive ever since J.J. Watt broke his hand. The team may have lost to the Colts last week had Griff Whalen not lost a fumble at the very end, while the Patriots destroyed them the previous week. The Texans should not be laying more than a field goal on the road, even against the Titans, who stayed closer to New England than Houston did.

    The Titans are the pick for me here, but I’m not betting them, as they are horrible and could quit as a consequence. They did so versus the Jets two weeks ago. While I expect a better effort from them versus a divisional rival in a revenge spot, a no-show wouldn’t shock me either.

    SUNDAY NOTES: There’s some professional action on the Titans. Not an overwhelming amount though, as the line hasn’t touched +3. It’s still +4 at Bovada.


    The Psychology. Edge: Titans.
    The Texans had a big statement victory over the Colts. This is an obvious flat spot. I’m not sure how much energy Tennessee will have with Marcus Mariota out, however.


    The Vegas. Edge: Titans.
    Tons of action on te Texans.
  • Percentage of money on Houston: 75% (10,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Texans.
  • History: Texans have won 6 of the last 7 meetings.
  • Opening Line: Texans -5.
  • Opening Total: 42.
  • Weather: .


    Week 16 NFL Pick: Texans 17, Titans 15
    Titans +4 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Under 39 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Texans 34, Titans 6




    Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5) at Baltimore Ravens (4-10)
    Line: Steelers by 11.5. Total: 47.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread : No Line (Schaub).
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Steelers -7.5.
    Sunday, Dec 27, 1:00 ET
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Steelers.

    As you may have noticed, I’m posting these picks on Tuesday. My new schedule will be as follows:

    Tuesday Afternoon:
    NFL Picks
    Fantasy Football Weekly Rankings

    Tuesday Evening:
    Fantasy Football: Start Em, Sit Em

    Wednesday Afternoon:
    Live 2016 NFL Mock Draft

    Wednesday Evening:
    FanDuel Picks
    College Football Picks

    Everything else will remain the same. As always, check back during the week or follow me @walterfootball.

    PITTSBURGH OFFENSE: How are the Steelers not going to score a billion points in this game? The Ravens have an atrocious secondary that has been torched by almost everyone this year, save for a handful of quarterbacks like Alex Smith and Ryan Tannehill. Ben Roethlisberger is obviously much better than them, and he’s playing at the top of his game right now. Of course, it’s easy to be so successful when Antonio Brown is torching the top cornerbacks in the NFL.

    Can the Ravens slow down the Steelers at all? To do so, they’ll have to apply heavy pressure on Roethlisberger and shut down the run. Perhaps the former item is possible. Baltimore ranks in the middle of the pack in terms of their pass rush, but they managed to sack Alex Smith thrice in Week 14. Roethlisberger doesn’t have the best blocking in front of him, so getting to him remains a possibility.

    As for stopping the run, that is a bit questionable. The Ravens currently rank eighth versus the rush, which is respectable. However, they’ve given up 4.35 YPC to their previous three foes, which does not bode well for this contest. DeAngelo Williams is running extremely well, so the Ravens don’t seem like they’ll have much success against him.

    BALTIMORE OFFENSE: OK, so we’ve established that the Steelers will have plenty of scoring opportunities. The Ravens will have to keep up as a result. I actually think this is possible. Pittsburgh’s defense has been leaky of late. Brock Osweiler was torching them until he hurt his shoulder right before halftime. Before that, the Bengals, with A.J. McCarron, averaged 6.9 yards per play.

    The Ravens aren’t truly inept on this side of the ball. They were actually moving the chains well against a strong Kansas City defense last week, but just shot themselves in the foot too many times. Buck Allen’s strip-six was a killer, and then Jimmy Clausen hurled an interception returned for a touchdown when a receiver fell down. They averaged 5.5 yards per play on the afternoon, and even if you take away Clausen’s Hail Mary, the figure is 4.8, which isn’t horrible against an elite defense.

    The Steelers are 26th versus the pass in terms of YPA. Given that Clausen and Matt Schaub have both proven themselves capable of being competitive against stout stop units like Kansas City and Baltimore, the starter between those two should be able to put some quality drives together.

    RECAP: Everyone expects the Steelers to win in a blowout. More than 80 percent of the money is coming in on them. Based on ownership’s ties to sportsbooking, that only means one thing – go the other way.

    How can the Ravens possibly cover? Well, as mentioned, Pittsburgh has a defense that can be thrown on, so the back door should be wide open. Also, the Ravens aren’t as bad as this spread is making them out to be. Sure, they’ve lost their previous two games by a combined 51 points, but they were competitive in both contests. They just had some terrible luck that put those games out of reach.

    Something else that needs to be considered is that this is Baltimore’s Super Bowl. The Ravens have been out of the playoff picture for a while, but how much would they enjoy it if they got to end their arch rival’s season? They have nothing to lose, while all of the pressure will be on Pittsburgh.

    I’m betting two units on the Ravens. I don’t want to go higher because they could easily kill themselves with dumb mistakes again – bad teams tend to do this – but with all of the factors I’ve mentioned, Baltimore should have a chance to cover.

    WEDNESDAY NOTES: As with the Patriots, the Steelers are getting way too much money their way after a brutal week for Vegas. It’s Baltimore or nothing.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Here’s another game where the sharps have bet the home dog. The public hasn’t been paying attention to this, but the Ravens have been better than their results indicate, as they were competitive against both the Seahawks and Chiefs.

    SUNDAY NOTES: The sharps bet the Ravens earlier in the week. Not so much now. There’s a stream of public money pouring in on the Steelers, and there’s not enough pro money to offset that. Every casual bettor is pounding Pittsburgh, prompting this line to move up.


    The Psychology. Edge: Ravens.
    The Steelers just won a big game against the Broncos in a great comeback. The Ravens, meanwhile, would love nothing more to knock their arch rival out of playoff contention.


    The Vegas. Edge: Ravens.
    No one wants any Baltimore action.
  • Percentage of money on Pittsburgh: 88% (16,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Ravens.
  • History: Home Team has won 20 of the last 29 meetings (Flacco 5-8 vs. Roethlisberger).
  • Ben Roethlisberger is 41-21 ATS vs. the AFC North.
  • Mike Tomlin is 7-2 ATS in same-season revenge games.
  • Steelers are 1-8 ATS on the road as favorites of -9 or more since 2004.
  • Steelers are 16-26 ATS as road favorites since 2007.
  • Steelers are 8-19 ATS as road favorites coming off a win under Mike Tomlin.
  • Opening Line: Steelers -9.5.
  • Opening Total: 47.
  • Weather: .


    Week 16 NFL Pick: Steelers 34, Ravens 27
    Ravens +11.5 (2 Units) — Correct; +$200
    Over 47.5 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Ravens 20, Steelers 17



    Week 16 NFL Picks – Late Games
    Jacksonville at New Orleans, St. Louis at Seattle, Green Bay at Arizona, New York Giants at Minnesota, Cincinnati at Denver




    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 16 NFL Picks – Late Games



    NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22


    2024 NFL Mock Draft - Feb. 21


    Fantasy Football Rankings - Feb. 19


    NFL Picks - Feb. 12




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    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
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