NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 3, 2016



NFL Picks (Preseason 2016): 12-7-1 (+$1,290)
NFL Picks (Week 1, 2016): 13-3 (+$1,735)
NFL Picks (Week 2, 2016): 9-7 (-$430)

NFL Picks (2016): 34-17-1 (+$2,595)
NFL Picks (2015): 133-138-10 (-$2,360)
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 Sept. 26, 6:15 p.m. ET. Follow @walterfootball for updates.


Go to Week 3 NFL Picks - Early Games







San Francisco 49ers (1-1) at Seattle Seahawks (1-1)
Line: Seahawks by 10. Total: 42.

Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: No Line (Wilson).
Walt's Calculated Line: Seahawks -8.
Sunday, Sept 25, 4:05 PM
Comment on this game

The Game. Edge: Seahawks.

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 recently 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 or tells a new story. Including this one...



Tom Brady was given a new mission from Donald Trump. He was told to visit the neighboring country and convince them to build a wall in case Trump loses to Hillary Clinton. Tom needs to do this to keep the Latin Kings out of the country. To see the story behind this one, check out the new Adventures of Tom Brady's Haircuts!

SEATTLE OFFENSE: I can't believe the amount of public money that's pouring in on the 49ers. Everyone saw the Seahawks lose to the Rams, realizing what I've been writing for months now - Seattle can't block! This has been a major issue the first two weeks, especially with Russell Wilson spraining his ankle. Wilson was not completely mobile against the Rams, looking slow on his few scrambles. Wilson is a very good passer, but his mobility is his best attribute. If he can't use his feet to move the chains, the Seahawks will struggle against legitimate competition.

The problem here is that the 49ers are not legitimate competition. They suck. They have absolutely no pass rush. Cam Newton had all day to do what he wanted last week, and I expect something similar to occur in this matchup. Plus, Wilson will be somewhat healthier. It's doubtful he'll be 100 percent, but Wilson should have more mobility than he possessed last week.

Wilson may not have to do all that much, anyway. Fozzy Whittaker rushed for 100 yards against this putrid 49er defense. Fozzy freaking Whittaker! Christine Michael has been very effective thus far, and I expect him to continue to play well.

SAN FRANCISCO OFFENSE: The 49ers posted 27 points against the Panthers, but that was fraudulent. Despite the Panthers making some early blunders, it was 31-10 before long, and three of San Francisco's 10 points came off a turnover. The 49ers are not equipped to move the chains versus a good defense, and the Seahawks happen to own one of the league's elite stop units.

Many expect the Seahawks' offensive line to block poorly in this game, but San Francisco's unit could have more issues. I like Joe Staley and Andrew Tiller, but the other three starting blockers aren't very good, so Blaine Gabbert will be pressured heavily if he decides to hold on to the ball too long. Gabbert, of course, will settle for short, ineffective checkdowns to terrible receivers, who won't be able to get open against the Legion of Boom.

Don't count on Carlos Hyde to do much either. The Panthers bottled him up, and the Seahawks will treat him similarly. Seattle just put the clamps on Todd Gurley, so it shouldn't have any sort of issue containing Hyde.

RECAP: The Seahawks have had trouble against the Dolphins and Rams, but those are two middling teams with outstanding defenses. The 49ers, on the other hand, are one of the league's worst teams, and they own a poor defense.

I'm picking the Seahawks. They're just a much better team, and I have no objections with fading the public. This won't be any sort of wager, unfortunately, since laying double digits with a struggling team isn't the greatest proposition. But Seattle seems like it's the right side in this instance.

THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Nothing new to really add here. The public continues to bet the 49ers, beleiving that San Francisco is as good as the Rams or Dolphins. They're not. This should be double-digt Seattle victory.

SATURDAY NOTES: The public continues to bet the 49ers, which is probably a mistake. The Seahawks seem like the right side, though their offense is too stagnant for me to wager on them.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Despite the public money on the 49ers, this line hasn't moved at all. I imagine the books don't want sharp action to pour in on Seahawks -9 or -9.5. I still like Seattle, but this line is too high for me to make a wager.


The Psychology. Edge: None.
No edge found.


The Vegas. Edge: Seahawks.
The 49ers are a public underdog. Wow.
  • Percentage of money on San Francisco: 64% (22,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Seahawks.
  • History: Home Team has won 12 of the last 15 meetings.
  • Seahawks are 23-5 ATS in September home games since 2000.
  • Seahawks are 36-17 ATS as home favorites since 2007.
  • Opening Line: Seahawks -10.
  • Opening Total: 42.
  • Weather: .


    Week 3 NFL Pick: Seahawks 17, 49ers 3
    Seahawks -10 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Under 42 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Seahawks 37, 49ers 18




    Los Angeles Rams (1-1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1)
    Line: Buccaneers by 3.5. Total: 40.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Buccaneers -3.5.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Buccaneers -4.
    Sunday, Sept 25, 4:05 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Buccaneers.

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    TAMPA BAY OFFENSE: If you're searching for mismatches, you don't have to look too far. The Rams possess perhaps the best defensive line in the NFL, and they'll be going up against an offensive front that isn't all that great. The Buccaneers don't have a bad blocking unit, by any means, but left tackle Donovan Smith is a liability, so I don't see how he'll possibly contain Robert Quinn. And it's not like Tampa can double-team Quinn that frequently, given that they'll have to worry about Aaron Donald, Michael Brockers and William Hayes as well.

    Jameis Winston will see a lot of pressure in his face, but I don't think he'll have a bad game. Coming off a humiliating performance, I expect him to play much better, especially considering that the Rams have a couple of cornerbacks who have struggled thus far. Mike Evans won't be blanketed by anyone remotely as talented as Patrick Peterson, so that should open up the Buccaneer offense a bit.

    It remains to be seen if Doug Martin will play, but I don't think the "downgrade" to Charles Sims is all that substantial in this matchup. Neither would be able to run on the Rams anyway, and Sims is very effective on passing downs.

    LOS ANGELES OFFENSE: Todd Gurley hasn't been able to do much thus far, but that could change in this contest. The Buccaneers don't have a poor run defense, or anything, but they're not dominant like the Seahawks. There will be cracks for Gurley to pick up big chunks of yardage.

    Gurley will need to keep the Rams in manageable situations because, like the Rams' defensive front, the Buccaneer line should be able to apply heavy pressure on Case Keenum. Gerald McCoy is playing at the top of his game right now, and Rodger Saffold is the only Los Angeles offensive lineman playing well.

    The Buccaneers also have the edge in the passing game. They're very weak at safety, but the Rams, unlike the Cardinals, don't have the receiving talent to take advantage of this liability, especially if Keenum is seeing lots of pressure.

    RECAP: I'm not in love with the Buccaneers here as I've been the first two weeks. They don't have much of a homefield advantage, and the Rams could make it so this is a low-scoring game, meaning Tampa could prevail by just a field goal, or something.

    That said, I will be picking the Buccaneers. I think they'll have something to prove following last week's blowout defeat, while the Rams just won their "Super Bowl" over the Seahawks and could have a down week as a result. We've certainly seen that from them before.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: The sharps have been betting this up, but it seems like artificial movement to me. There's no difference between -4.5 and -5.5. I think the pros might be pushing this up so they can land Rams +6. I believe I would switch sides if this line became +6.

    SATURDAY NOTES: I'm still torn on this game. The Rams actually touched +6 briefly on Bovada, but the line has dropped despite tons of money on the Buccaneers. It doesn't seem like the Rams have the weapons capable of beating the Buccaneers' horrible safeties. It could still be a close game, though the Buccaneers are the better team.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Wow, sharp money dropped this spread to -3.5 +100. I'm glad I actually called them waiting on +6. Now, there's some value on the Buccaneers, but I'm not willing to make a wager on it.


    The Psychology. Edge: Buccaneers.
    The Buccaneers were just embarrassed, while the Rams practically won their Super Bowl over Seattle.


    The Vegas. Edge: Rams.
    The host is getting action, but it's not all from the public.
  • Percentage of money on Tampa Bay: 82% (12,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Rams.
  • Jeff Fisher is 52-36 ATS as an underdog since 2006.
  • Road Team is 64-41 ATS in Buccaneers games since 2009.
  • Buccaneers are 16-37 ATS at home in the previous 53 instances.
  • Opening Line: Buccaneers -3.5.
  • Opening Total: 42.
  • Weather: .


    Week 3 NFL Pick: Buccaneers 23, Rams 17
    Buccaneers -3.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Under 40.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Rams 37, Buccaneers 32






    Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0) at Philadelphia Eagles (2-0)
    Line: Steelers by 4. Total: 46.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Steelers -4.5.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Steelers -2.5.
    Sunday, Sept 25, 4:25 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: None.

    This is a reminder to make your pick for the WalterFootball.com 2016 NFL Survivor Pool if you're still alive! We had 2,430 entries to start, with 2,019 entering Week 2. We're now down to 1,404, however, because of the Lions (161), Raiders (57), Bears (37) and Seahawks (33) knocking people out. We would've lost 143 more had Josh McCown not gotten hurt!

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    PHILADELPHIA OFFENSE: People in this city are super excited about Carson Wentz, with one local talk-show host proclaiming that Wentz is a "perfect mix" between Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning. I wouldn't go that far, but Wentz has been spectacular. He sliced and diced Chicago's defense, though it should be noted that the Bears lost half of their defensive players to injury. Still, what Wentz was able to do at the line of scrimmage was impressive, and had his receivers caught on to his deep passes, he would've thrown for about 260 yards and two touchdowns.

    The Steelers will be thankful that they won't have to deal with Wentz twice per year - nice job, Browns - but they'll have to stop him in this contest. Putting pressure on him will be key, as Wentz hasn't faced a pass rush that has rattled him yet. I don't know if the Steelers will be able to do that, however. They have a middling pass rush with Bud Dupree out, and Wentz is protected very well at the moment. That'll change if/when Lane Johnson is suspended, but Wentz figures to be shielded well in this contest.

    With that in mind, I like Wentz's chances of moving the chains consistently. His receivers potentially dropping passes could be an issue, but he'll be able to connect with his tight end, whether that's Zach Ertz or Trey Burton, as Pittsburgh's linebacking corps has seemed susceptible to that position thus far.

    PITTSBURGH OFFENSE: The Eagles have knocked two starting quarterbacks out of the game thus far. Will they make it three for three? I don't trust the Steelers' left tackle, while center Maurkice Pouncey hasn't gotten off to a good start, so there's definitely some potential for the Eagles to rattle Ben Roethlisberger.

    Philadelphia actually possesses an extremely talented front seven. This is DeAngelo Williams' final start, but I don't think he'll have much success against the Eagles, who barely allowed anything to Jeremy Langford.

    The problem on this side of the ball for the Eagles, however, is the secondary. The cornerback position is in shambles, as Philadelphia doesn't have anyone to stay with Antonio Brown, or Eli Rogers or Sammie Coates, for that matter. That's why it's extremely imperative that the Eagles pressure the hell out of Roethlisberger, which will disrupt some of Pittsburgh's drives.

    RECAP: Despite Wentz's Monday night performance, all of the action is on the Steelers. I've learned over the years that when Pittsburgh gets a big chunk of public action, you automatically should look the other way, given the owners' ties to sportsbooking decades ago when that was legal.

    I would've liked the Eagles in this matchup anyway. Actually, I'm betting four units on them. This line is just stupid. The Steelers are inflated as a road favorite because they're such a public team. This spread says Pittsburgh would be -9.5 at home versus Philadelphia, meaning the difference between these two teams would be identical to that of Seattle and San Francisco, which is a joke.

    The Eagles are a tough, defensive team that finally has stability at quarterback. They'll keep this game close, and I think they'll win outright.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: The Eagles remain one of my top picks. There hasn't been sharp movement on either side here, but as I said on the podcast, the pros might be holding out hope for Eagles +4. It could get there if the public continues to pound Pittsburgh.

    SATURDAY MORNING ALERT: I'm also locking this one in. The Eagles are down to either +3.5 -120 or +3 +105, depending on where you look. Bovada has a +4 -115 line, so even though that's extra juice, I'll buy it.

    SATURDAY NOTES: Argh. This was one locked-in pick I didn't get right. The Steelers went up to -4 for about six hours, but has since dropped down to -3.5. It turns out the sharps were waiting on +4 all week, and they were rewarded for their patience.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: This spread keeps bouncing back and forth between +3.5 and +4, as there's so much public money coming in on the Steelers that the sharp action can't keep the number down. I imagine more pros are going to wager on the Eagles prior to kickoff. By the way, if you were smart, unlike me, you can get Eagles +4.5 -115 at Bovada right now.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Eagles.
    The public is pounding the Steelers, as usual.
  • Percentage of money on Pittsburgh: 79% (35,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Eagles.
  • Steelers are 24-14 ATS on the road off a home division win the previous 38 instances.
  • Steelers are 18-28 ATS as road favorites since 2007.
  • Steelers are 8-21 ATS as road favorites coming off a win under Mike Tomlin.
  • Eagles are 18-33 ATS at home since 2010.
  • Opening Line: Steelers -4.
  • Opening Total: 46.
  • Weather: .


    Week 3 NFL Pick: Eagles 23, Steelers 20
    Eagles +4 -115 (4 Units) -- Correct; +$400
    Under 46 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Eagles 34, Steelers 3






    New York Jets (1-1) at Kansas City Chiefs (1-1)
    Line: Chiefs by 3. Total: 43.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Chiefs -4.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Chiefs -2.
    Sunday, Sept 25, 4:25 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Jets.

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    NEW YORK OFFENSE: Ryan Fitzpatrick looked like the second coming of Joe Montana on steroids last Thursday, as he torched Buffalo's secondary so effortlessly. Of course, the Bills have some major problems on defense. The Chiefs have some glaring issues as well though.

    If the Chiefs had their defense from last year, they'd be able to put the clamps on Fitzpatrick quite easily. That's not the case now. Justin Houston's absence means the pass rush isn't nearly as potent. Sean Smith's departure, meanwhile, means the secondary isn't nearly as oppressive, and Eric Berry doesn't appear to be quite himself lately. Fitzpatrick, who was barely touched Thursday night, should be able to advance the chains pretty well. I don't think he'll be as effective, but I like his chances of engineering some consistent drives, even if Brandon Marshall is out with a knee injury. Quincy Enunwa, a matchup nightmare, will serve as a strong secondary option.

    Something the Jets won't do as well in this contest as they did Thursday night is run the ball. Matt Forte has been on fire to open the year, but the Jets have been running him into the ground, so he'll lose his effectiveness quite soon. He was able to take advantage of the Bills' injury-ravaged front seven, but he won't be able to do the same to the Chiefs, who contain the rush well.

    KANSAS CITY OFFENSE: The big story here is that Jamaal Charles will be making his 2016 debut. I'm not sure how much of an impact that'll have, as Charles might not be 100 percent. Spencer Ware has been solid, aside from his fumble last week, so keeping the ball away from him would be a mistake.

    That said, I don't see either running back running the ball very effectively in this contest. The Jets have a tremendous defensive line capable of putting the clamps on the rush. It'll be especially problematic if the Chiefs are missing both of their starting guards again.

    Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Parker Ehinger being absent would make pass protecting extremely difficult against the Jets' ferocious interior line. With shaky blocking and no rushing attack, Alex Smith will struggle to advance the chains, and I think his performance will mirror that of what we saw in Week 2 at Houston.

    RECAP: The Chiefs are probably slightly better when healthy, but that's not the case right now. The Jets appear to be in better shape, which makes me wonder why this line is +3. I don't think Kansas City deserves the full three at home.

    That said, I'm not crazy about this game. I could see the Chiefs, who would be 0-2 right now if it wasn't for Keenan Allen's injury, ultimately prevailing by a field goal, but I will be taking the Jets. And yes, this is the 10th-straight time I've gone against Kansas City, dating back to last year. I'm 6-3 ATS in the nine prior contests.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Brandon Marshall may sit this one out, but Ryan Fitzpatrick will still have two talented weapons to throw to. Even still, the Jets will be healthier than the Chiefs, who have too many injuries right now. The sharps are on New York.

    SATURDAY NOTES: I'm considering a unit wager on the Jets, but I'm hoping to get +3 -110. It's available at -120 now. Brandon Marshall is expected to play, and the Jets are the better team. The banged-up Chiefs are very lucky not to be 0-2 right now, and New York has had more time to prepare.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: True to my word, I'm going to bet the Jets. They're +3 +100 at many books right now (and +3 -105) in others, and I think they're worth a unit. The Jets are better and healthier, even if Brandon Marshall doesn't play much.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on New York: 56% (20,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Opening Line: Chiefs -3.5.
  • Opening Total: 44.
  • Weather: .


    Week 3 NFL Pick: Chiefs 24, Jets 23
    Jets +3 +100 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$100
    Over 43.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Chiefs 24, Jets 3






    San Diego Chargers (1-1) at Indianapolis Colts (0-2)
    Line: Colts by 2. Total: 51.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Colts -3.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Colts -2.
    Sunday, Sept 25, 4:25 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Chargers.

    A reminder that Jerks of the Week for this week is up, so just click the link. This week's jerks entry is about a dead man in my pool!

    INDIANAPOLIS OFFENSE: Andrew Luck could barely do anything against the Broncos, who smothered him with a ridiculous amount of pressure. Luck's offensive line is especially weak on the right side, but it was Von Miller's blind-side pressure that ended the game, ruining the cover and my winning week. The Chargers will put some heat on Luck, but not nearly as much as Denver applied. Luck, as a result, will have a chance to engineer consistent drives.

    The Chargers, however, own a trio of very potent cornerbacks. They put the clamps on Jacksonville's aerial attack last week, and they could hinder Luck's weapons. It sounds as though Luck may not have Donte Moncrief, who left last week's game with a shoulder injury. Phillip Dorsett will be utilized more, but I wouldn't expect crazy stats, or anything, considering the competition.

    The way to beat San Diego's defense is by pounding the rock and just getting the ball to the running back in general, just like the Chiefs did with Spencer Ware in Week 1. The problem for the Colts is that Frank Gore isn't nearly the same player as he once was. Gore scored a terrific touchdown last week in which he tip-toed the sidelines, but Indianapolis won't see very many plays like that from him anymore.

    SAN DIEGO OFFENSE: So much for Keenan Allen hindering the Chargers' scoring attack. Philip Rivers went off last week, torching the Jaguars mercilessly. Sure, he was battling a Jacksonville defense missing its top cornerback, Prince Amukamara, but the Colts' situation at the position is far worse.

    How much worse? Indianapolis was missing FIVE cornerbacks against the Broncos. The Colts can't cover at all, which does not bode well for their chances of slowing down Rivers, who established a great rapport with Travis Benjamin this past week. I also liked what I saw out of Tyrell Williams, whom San Diego has been high on.

    Danny Woodhead went down last week, but that wasn't as impactful as the Allen injury because it allowed Melvin Gordon to be on the field more. Gordon, who is healthy, unlike last year, has become a beast. He has emerged as one of the better young running backs in the NFL, and he figures to trample an Indianapolis front seven that features a banged-up front and an extremely slow linebacking corps. Gordon will be able to do plenty of damage as a receiver out of the backfield.

    RECAP: The Colts are a mess. They can't block, pressure the quarterback, stop the run or cover anyone. There's Andrew Luck and a couple of talented receivers, but that's about it. They're going to have trouble winning against solid teams. The Chargers qualify as such, given that they'd be 2-0 right now if they had time to make adjustments for Allen's injury in Week 1.

    Making matters worse for the Colts, they have to fly out to London after this game. As mentioned earlier, teams with an impending London contest are 6-18 against the spread. I've done away with most trends, but this one is more of a reflection on how unfocused teams are prior to traveling overseas.

    I wish we were getting better line value with the Chargers - they were a full +3 prior to Week 2 - but I still like them enough here to wager two units on them.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: It surprises me that the sharps are taking Indianapolis here. The Colts have tons of injuries and happen to be flying out to London after this. The Chargers probably won't have Antonio Gates, but with Gates getting phased out of the offense, I don't really see that as much of a factor.

    SATURDAY NOTES: So much for getting +3. The Chargers are anywhere from +2.5 (BetUS) to Pick +105 at 5Dimes. The sharps are all over this, and it makes sense. San Diego is the better team, while the Colts are distracted heading into London.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: This number is Chargers +2 across the board after some varying numbers last night. I see no reason to change this bet.


    The Psychology. Edge: Chargers.
    The Colts fly out to London after this game.


    The Vegas. Edge: Chargers.
    Some action on the Colts, most of which is from the professionals.
  • Percentage of money on Indianapolis: 62% (22,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Colts.
  • Andrew Luck is 15-5 ATS off a loss.
  • Andrew Luck is 21-9 ATS at home.
  • Opening Line: Colts -2.5.
  • Opening Total: 51.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 3 NFL Pick: Chargers 30, Colts 27
    Chargers +2 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
    Over 51 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Colts 26, Chargers 22






    Chicago Bears (0-2) at Dallas Cowboys (1-1)
    Line: Cowboys by 7. Total: 44.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Cowboys -3.5.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Cowboys -2.5 (Cutler) or Cowboys -5.5 (Hoyer).
    Sunday, Sept 25, 8:30 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: None.

    Trolling will be back this year. I managed to have success with that one troll entry I posted last week:



    Sticking with the plan of hitting up the Seahawks' Facebook page, I posted this:



    Despite seven likes, no reply!

    What if I tried the opposing team's Facebook page?



    This seems like it could work! Let's hope for some great results beyond that first reply.

    Update: I took my dog for a walk, and I came back to see this:



    I'm glad to know that trolling is alive and well!

    CHICAGO OFFENSE: It was reported early Tuesday that Jay Cutler would be out for a while. Now, the media is saying that Cutler has a sprained thumb and actually has a chance of playing this game. I imagine that Cutler will sit this contest out before returning for Week 4.

    Cutler was effective at times Monday night, but then he would ruin drives with horrific, soul-crushing mistakes. He turned the ball over twice past midfield, with the second give-away being the lost fumble that resulted in his injury. I imagine Brian Hoyer will be safer with the football. Though Hoyer does have a penchant for self-destructing when a big game is on the line, he likely won't feel any pressure in this game, both literally and figuratively. The Cowboys, in their current state, are incapable of putting any sort of heat on opposing passers, thanks to most of their front-seven players being suspended.

    The Bears will be able to move the chains via the ground attack. Jeremy Langford couldn't find any running room versus the Eagles, but Philadelphia's front seven is so much better than Dallas'. In fact, the only quality player on the field for the Cowboys right now in their front seven is Sean Lee. There's literally no one else who would start for more than half the teams in this league.

    DALLAS OFFENSE: The Bears have problems in their front seven as well. I actually considered Chicago to have a strong front seven entering this season, and I don't think I was wrong. The problem is that a handful of those players are out with injuries. Pernell McPhee, Eddie Goldman, Lamarr Houston and Danny Trevathan are all hurt, and that's just the defensive line and linebacking corps. The secondary has issues as well, with Kyle Fuller dealing with a knee injury and Adrian Amos trying to recover from a concussion.

    It's very ugly for the Bears, who won't be able to offer much resistance in their current form. They just had trouble dealing with one advanced rookie quarterback, and now they'll have to contain another. Dak Prescott, who won't see any pressure in his face, should be able to carve up Chicago's banged-up secondary.

    Meanwhile, Ezekiel Elliott could finally have the breakout performance his fantasy owners have been waiting for. Goldman's absence will be enormous. I still like some players in Chicago's front seven - Akiem Hicks, Jerrell Freeman - but they've become a skeleton crew, much like Dallas' unit.

    RECAP: Believe it or not, but I like the Bears to cover this spread. And I'm betting on them as well. Three units!

    Have I lost my mind? Perhaps, but that's not the reason. This line just seems too high, as the Cowboys' defense is horrific and is capable of keeping any team in the game. Sure, betting on Hoyer doesn't seem great, but Dallas is so inept on the defensive side of the ball that I feel as though Hoyer can have some success. I especially think the Bears will be able to establish Langford and keep the ball away enough from Prescott to stay close.

    By the way, I got this great text from Matvei last night: "Hold your nose, here's a list of the last 12 quarterbacks to be dogs of at least seven in Dallas: Cutler, Shaun Hill, Rex Grossman, A.J. Feeley, Tarvaris Jackson, Matt Moore, Josh Freeman, Brandon Weeden, Nick Foles, Christian Ponder, Matt McGloin and Colt McCoy. That murderer's row of codefendants at my bankruptcy hearing is 10-2 ATS in those 12 games."

    Amazing. How are those quarterbacks a collective 10-2 against the spread in the same situation? It's ridiculous, and Dallas' defense is certainly capable of making it 11-2 ATS. Still think I'm crazy?

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: The Bears are currently +7 +100, which sounds nice, and I'm going to lock that in, as that may not last very long. The pros have been betting them heavily. From what I gather, they don't believe that Brian Hoyer will be much of a downgrade from Jay Cutler, and this line shouldn't have jumped like it has, creating tons of value on Chicago. I completely agree with that. Cutler is obviously the greater talent, but he has been toxic and turnover-prone. Hoyer won games in the regular season with Houston last year, so he should be able to keep this close.

    SATURDAY NOTES: Here's a locked-in game I was dead on about. The Bears are now +6.5, which says a lot because the line went through seven. The books clearly don't care about being middled, so Chicago seems like the right side. If you haven't bet the Bears yet, you can still get +7 -115 at Bovada.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: This line continues to fall, as it's +6 in most books. The public has pounded the Cowboys, so that should tell you how much sharp action is on the Bears. I still love Chicago in this spot. If you haven't bet them yet, +7 -110 is still available at Bovada.


    The Psychology. Edge: Bears.
    The Bears were embarrassed on Monday night, so they could be playing for pride.


    The Vegas. Edge: Bears.
    The public has pounded the Cowboys throughout Sunday evening.
  • Percentage of money on Dallas: 72% (81,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Bears.
  • John Fox is 7-3 ATS after Monday Night Football.
  • The underdog is 62-35 ATS in Cowboys games since 2010.
  • Cowboys are 12-24 ATS as home favorites in Cowboys Stadium (excluding Thanksgiving).
  • Cowboys are 6-20 ATS when favored after a win since 2010.
  • Opening Line: Cowboys -7.5.
  • Opening Total: 45.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 3 NFL Pick: Cowboys 24, Bears 20
    Bears +7 +100 (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$300
    Under 44.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Cowboys 31, Bears 17






    Atlanta Falcons (1-1) at New Orleans Saints (0-2)
    Line: Saints by 3. Total: 54.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Saints -4.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Saints -3.
    Monday, Sept 26, 8:30 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: None.

    This week on ESPN, we're going to have some bald dude and Jon Gruden calling the shots instead the great preseason homers like Kevin Reilly, Ron Wolfley and Don Tollefson, inept ESPN guys Emmitt, Herman Edwards and Matt Millen, and aloof people like Dan Fouts. Here's what it would sound like if these seven dudes (and some special guests) were calling this game:

    Reilly: Welcome to New Orleans, home of the New Orleans Saints, who will be taking on the Atlanta Braves tonight. Guys, I have an important announcement to make. It's that I won't be standing for the national anthem tonight. I won't be kneeling or sitting either. I'm going to fall on the floor and pretend that I'm dead for the national anthem. I'm doing this to raise awareness for my most recent difficult plight.

    Emmitt: Milo, I could not disagree with you more even if I want to. I do not think your plight very difficultness. We was on the same airplane plight coming into the state of New Orleans, and you slept like a baby holding a sausage during the entire plight except when the one guy in front of you fart.

    Millen: Hold on a second. Hold on just one second. Are you meaning to tell me that someone is giving babies kielbasas to insert into the backsides of grown men? If so, I'm appalled by this. Only 100-percent USDA Men can insert kielbasas into the backsides of other men. It is known.

    Reilly: What are you idiots talking about? I'm not talking about an airplane flight, Emmitt. I'm referring to my plight, my hardship.

    Emmitt: Magnus, I did not know you have a ship, let alone a hardship. Maybe we can go sailing across the world sometime like Emelia Earnhardt.

    Fouts: And here's what he means by ship. A ship is a vessel that can travel across the ocean. And here's what I mean by ocean. An ocean is a large body of water. I don't know why it's called body. There's no body. If there were a body, we would be seeing a heart, rib, eye, nail or ring. So, there's no body, unless someone buried the body. But who buried the body? There are people who specialize in burying things pertaining to the ocean, so I think we all know who did it. Pirates did it. And here's what I mean by pirates. Pirates are guys who wear eyepatches and parrots, and they sail around and steal from people. They sail on ships. And here's what I mean ship. A ship is a vessel that can travel across... wait, didn't I already explain this?

    Reilly: What ship!? I don't have a ship, you idiots! I was referring to my problems. My problem is that I stood outside of the Saints' locker room to get Drew Brees' autograph, and he totally stiffed me! What a jerk! How am I ever going to get his autograph now!?

    Tollefson: Kevin, I have to say that you sound pretty lame right now. No grown man should ever ask for another grown man's autograph. In fact, the only reason you should be waiting outside of a locker room is for the groupies to swing by. Once they do, you tell them to follow you so that you can take them to see the athlete, but when they're not looking, you knock them out with a baseball bat. Hours later, when they finally come to, they'll realize that they're forced to cook and clean naked for you or else they'll get hit with a bat again!

    Wolfley: I GOT HIT WITH A BASEBALL BAT ONCE WHEN I WAS COOKING AND CLEANING NAKED. I DID NOT HAVE A FUN EXPERIENCE. BUT LET ME TELL YOU, KEVIN, I THINK YOU'RE LUCKY THAT DREW BREES DIDN'T GIVE YOU AN AUTOGRAPH BECAUSE, TO ME, HE LOOKS LIKE A BASEBALL BAT WITH EYEBALLS AND CHERRY LIPSTICK.

    Charles Davis: And cherry lipstick is just one of many fruit lipsticks, Kevin. Let's discuss some other fruit lipsticks, Kevin. There's kiwi lipstick, Kevin. How about strawberry lipstick, Kevin? How about mango passion lipstick, Kevin? Let's discuss orange grapefruit passion blast lipstick, Kevin. Why don't we talk about lemon-lime raspberry fun splash lipstick, Kevin? I'll give you a quiz, Kevin. Ready, Kevin? Try to name a fruit that's a lipstick, Kevin? Oh, you said caviar lipstick, Kevin? That would be incorrect, and you've forfeited your other 84 guesses, Kevin. The correct answer is bubble gum berry banana passion double bubble trouble islandwalk blast, Kevin.

    Reilly: I don't care about f***ing lipsticks, Charles Davis, motherf***er! Oh, what is it, Herm, you look like you want to say something.

    Herm: HERM WANTS TO SPEAK! HERM WANTS TO SAY SOMETHING! HERM HAS SOMETHING TO SAY! HERM HAS A TALE TO TELL! HERM WANTS TO OFFER HIS OPINION! HERM WANTS TO JOIN THE CONVERSATION! HERM DESIRES TO TALK! HERM HAS OPINIONS TO SHARE! HERM WANTS TO STATE SOMETHING! HERM WOULD LIKE TO INTERJECT! HERM WANTS TO MAKE A POINT! HERM HAS POINTS TO MAKE! HERM HAS TONS OF POINTS! HERM HAS TONS OF POINTS TO SHARE! HERM WANTS TO DELIVER THOSE POINTS! HERM WANTS TO DELIVER THOSE OPINIONS! HERM WANTS TO TALK ABOUT SOMETHING! HERM HASN'T SAID ANYTHING YET, SO HERM NEEDS TO START SAYING SOMETHING! HERM IS READY TO SAY SOMETHING! HERM IS PREPARED TO SAY SOMETHING! HERM IS GETTING READY TO SAY SOMETHING! HERM IS GEARING UP TO SAY SOMETHING! HERM IS PREPARING TO SAY SOMETHING! HERM IS BUILDING MOMENTUM TO SAY SOMETHING! HERM IS...

    Reilly: Won't you f***ing shut up already!? You're so f***ing annoying and useless, and I want to murder you in your sleep! We'll be back after this!

    NEW ORLEANS OFFENSE: Despite what one confused commenter might believe, the Saints struggled to move the chains last week against the Giants because they couldn't pass protect very well until the second half when New York's linemen were fatigued. The Saints' guards were especially brutal, while left tackle Terron Armstead isn't quite himself yet. Fortunately for the Saints, that won't be much of an issue in this contest.

    As you may know by now, the Falcons have one of the worst pass rushes in the NFL. They've needed Vic Beasley to take the next step, but that hasn't happened yet. Drew Brees, as a consequence, will have way more success in this game than he did last week, especially considering that the Falcons have issues elsewhere. Their cornerbacks haven't performed up to their ability this year, and it's hard to imagine them staying with Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead.

    Meanwhile, it seems as though Mark Ingram should be able to get on track. Ingram has barely done anything thus far, but the Falcons aren't very good against the rush. They're better in that regard than they are versus the pass, but Ingram will actually have running lanes this week, unlike his matchup against the Giants, where he had to run around two mammoth defensive tackles.

    ATLANTA OFFENSE: Matt Ryan has posted some brilliant stats thus far, though he's had the luxury of battling one horrific defense (Raiders) and another stop unit with poor safety play (Buccaneers). Things won't be any more difficult in this matchup.

    We all know the Saints' story by now. They can't play any defense. They have some solid players on the stop unit - mainly Cameron Jordan, Nick Fairley, Stephone Anthony and Kenny Vaccaro - but their pass rush is inconsistent, and their cornerback play is poor, thanks to some injuries. They also have one of the worst linebackers in the NFL in James Laurinaitis starting for them for some reason. I don't think Laurinaitis would even be on the active roster for some franchises.

    The Falcons will obviously move the ball effectively, but whatever happens in between the 20s is all trivial. What matters most is in the red zone, where the Falcons have struggled. Ryan threw a horrible interception toward Jacob Tamme in such a situation last week, but then he converted twice. He got lucky, however, as a pass of his was deflected and landed right in his receiver's arms. Perhaps his good fortune will continue, though I wouldn't really count on it, even against the Saints.

    RECAP: I went back and forth on this one, as this game is difficult to handicap because the game is priced perfectly at Saints -3. I've decided on New Orleans for two reasons, albeit for zero units:

    1. The Saints are desperate to avoid an 0-3 start, as it would mean their season is over. The Falcons, meanwhile, just had a big win on the West Coast and could be fatigued from flying around so much.

    2. I trust the Saints more in the red zone than the Falcons. New Orleans' sevens will help them cover against Atlanta's threes.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: The sharps are pounding the Saints right now, but the books aren't willing to move off -3. This reminds me of Eagles-Bears last week, with the pros wagering on Chicago and the line not moving at all.

    SATURDAY NOTES: The Saints won't have Terron Armstead in the lineup, which is a big loss even though he hasn't been playing up to his ability. Perhaps that's why this line has dropped to -3 +100 or -2.5 -120. I'm still picking New Orleans though, as this is an emotional game because of the 10-year anniversary of the Steve Gleason game. Plus, the Saints are desperate at 0-2. The Falcons, meanwhile, have to be fatigued coming off a win all the way out in Oakland.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I've been thinking about this game all day, and I can't find an edge. I think this spread is priced correctly at -3. Both of these teams are bad, but the Falcons are better off at the moment because New Orleans is dealing with so many injuries. It's ridiculous how many players the Saints are missing. On the other hand, this seems like another emotional home game for the Saints, who are celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the Superdome re-opening. I'll side with emotion over injuries, but if you think the Falcons are the right side, I certainly don't blame you. The sharps, by the way, are split, which I don't find surprising.


    The Psychology. Edge: Saints.
    The Saints will be more desperate for a win.


    The Vegas. Edge: Falcons.
    Strong edge here on the Saints.
  • Percentage of money on New Orleans: 66% (63,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Saints.
  • History: Saints have won 13 of the last 18 meetings (Home Team has won 6 of the last 9).
  • Saints are 36-23 ATS as a home favorite since 2007.
  • Saints are 15-5 ATS in night home games in the Drew Brees era.
  • Drew Brees is 35-23 ATS after a loss with the Saints.
  • Opening Line: Saints -3.
  • Opening Total: 52.5.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 3 NFL Pick: Saints 34, Falcons 27
    Saints -3 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Over 54 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Falcons 45, Saints 32



    Week 3 NFL Picks - Early Games
    Houston at New England, Minnesota at Carolina, Baltimore at Jacksonville, Detroit at Green Bay, Washington at NY Giants, Oakland at Tennessee, Denver at Cincinnati, Arizona at Buffalo, Cleveland at Miami


    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.


  • Moneyline: Lions +250 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$100
  • Moneyline: Vikings +250 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$250
  • Moneyline: Eagles +170 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$170


    LOADING COMMENTS...



    NFL Picks - Nov. 30


    2021 NFL Mock Draft - Nov. 25


    2022 NFL Mock Draft - Nov. 15


    NFL Power Rankings - Nov. 14


    Fantasy Football Rankings - Sept. 9


    2020 College Football Recruiting Rankings - April 14


    2020 NBA Mock Draft - Sept. 27




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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: 8-2 (2014-19: 47-50)
    Bears: 3-7 (2014-19: 45-48)
    Bucs: 4-6 (2014-19: 44-45)
    49ers: 5-5 (2014-19: 53-44)
    Eagles: 4-6 (2014-19: 55-46)
    Lions: 4-5 (2014-19: 53-42)
    Falcons: 7-3 (2014-19: 55-45)
    Cardinals: 6-4 (2014-19: 45-50)
    Giants: 2-8 (2014-19: 52-41)
    Packers: 6-4 (2014-19: 54-46)
    Panthers: 10-1 (2014-19: 47-52)
    Rams: 3-7 (2014-19: 53-41)
    Redskins: 4-4 (2014-19: 47-48)
    Vikings: 5-5 (2014-19: 51-45)
    Saints: 3-7 (2014-19: 49-50)
    Seahawks: 5-5 (2014-19: 43-56)
    Bills: 5-5 (2014-19: 52-42)
    Bengals: 5-3 (2014-19: 42-52)
    Colts: 5-5 (2014-19: 50-45)
    Broncos: 4-6 (2014-19: 45-48)
    Dolphins: 9-1 (2014-19: 47-46)
    Browns: 6-3 (2014-19: 46-44)
    Jaguars: 4-6 (2014-19: 41-55)
    Chargers: 3-5 (2014-19: 46-49)
    Jets: 6-4 (2014-19: 50-40)
    Ravens: 3-6 (2014-19: 48-47)
    Texans: 7-3 (2014-19: 48-47)
    Chiefs: 6-4 (2014-19: 56-50)
    Patriots: 3-7 (2014-19: 55-53)
    Steelers: 4-6 (2014-19: 56-43)
    Titans: 6-4 (2014-19: 49-47)
    Raiders: 5-5 (2014-19: 43-52)
    Divisional: 24-25 (2011-19: 405-394)
    2x Game Edge: 37-41 (2011-19: 213-210)
    2x Motivation Edge: 20-18 (2011-19: 347-288)
    2x Spread Edge: 30-20 (2011-19: 61-55)
    2x Vegas Edge: 16-14 (2011-19: 320-335)
    2x Trend Edge: 12-8 (2011-19: 250-228)
    Double Edge: 13-13 (2011-19: 122-107)
    Triple Edge: 4-3 (2011-19: 21-18)

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