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Vegas betting action updated Oct. 3, 6:15 p.m. ET. Follow @walterfootball
Go to Week 4 NFL Picks - Early Games
Denver Broncos (3-0) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-2)
Line: Broncos by 3.5. Total: 43.
Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread:
Walt's Calculated Line:
Sunday, Oct 2, 4:05 PM
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The Game. Edge: Broncos.
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
A week ago, I never imagined myself believing that there was a chance Trevor Siemian would be able to expose Tampa's horrible safeties, but here we are. I liked Siemian a bit, seeing him as a poor man's Alex Smith, but the deep connections he had to Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders against the Bengals was pretty eye-opening. Cincinnati doesn't have the greatest safety situation either, but the players they have at the position are Hall of Famers compared to what the Buccaneers have stationed in their defensive backfield.
Of course, it's difficult to trust Siemian completely at this moment. He was a seventh-round pick, after all, and the Bengals may not have been completely focused because they were coming off a tough battle against the Steelers and had another game in four days. The Buccaneers will at least be aware of Siemian's deep ball now. I don't know how much it'll help, but they'll be prepared nonetheless.
The Buccaneers will at least be able to focus on stopping the pass, as they've been terrific in terms of stopping the run through three weeks, limiting the opposition to 3.5 yards per carry. Gerald McCoy has been a monster this season, while the linebackers behind him have also been fantastic. C.J. Anderson may struggle again for the second week in a row as a result.
TAMPA BAY OFFENSE:
Everyone knows how great Denver's defense is, but if there's one thing the Broncos struggle with on this side of the ball, it's big receivers. Their cornerbacks are excellent, but don't match up very well against giant targets. Kelvin Benjamin was able to catch six balls for 91 yards and a touchdown in the opener because of this, and I envision Mike Evans having similar success.
The Broncos, of course, will attempt to hound Jameis Winston to keep this from being a consistent problem. However, DeMarcus Ware is out, while Von Miller will be going up against one of the better right tackles in this league in Demar Dotson. Miller is obviously a better player and will apply pressure on Winston, but Dotson should do enough to keep Miller from being an overly consistent threat.
Doug Martin will be out once again, but Charles Sims has filled in nicely. Sims could have some nice runs in this contest, as Denver's rush defense hasn't been very dominant. I wouldn't expect a huge game or anything, but I don't think Winston will constantly be stuck in third-and-long situations.
This spread was Broncos -1.5 prior to the Week 3 games, which I thought was appropriate. However, thanks to Siemian lighting up the Bengals, who may not have been focused, this line has shot up to -3.
I'm not crazy about betting the Buccaneers at home because they have traditionally struggled to cover as hosts, but they provide some nice value here. Tampa is underrated in general, as the team should be 2-1 right now after outplaying the Rams this past week. I don't want to go nuts with this, so two units seems about right.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: I'm not going to pull the trigger just yet, but I'm considering canceling this bet. I was thinking about it, and I think this spread might just be where it should be. If the Buccaneers had a homefield advantage, it wouldn't be, as Denver would be -9 at home versus Tampa. However, the Buccaneers are awful at home, and I think there might be more Bronco fans in the stands than Tampa supporters. We've seen what happens to teams when they have a homefield disadvantage, and that might be the case here. I'll decide Saturday.
SATURDAY NOTES: I said I was considering canceling this bet. I'm not going to, especially now that +3.5 is available at Bovada. I think people are getting carried away with the Broncos. They were only up three against the Colts with four minutes to go, and they were lucky that Siemian had some interceptions dropped against a Cincinnati team that wasn't very focused. There is slight sharp action on the Buccaneers, while the public is pounding Denver into oblivion.
This line is now +4 -115 at Bovada, which I will take (though I'll hold out hope for +4 -110). I've discussed why I like the Buccaneers. If they had a better homefield advantage, I'd feel much better about this.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: Buccaneers.
The public believes this is easy money.
Percentage of money on Denver: 76% (35,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Broncos.
Gary Kubiak is 10-3 ATS in his second consecutive road game.
Road Team is 66-41 ATS in Buccaneers games since 2009.
Buccaneers are 16-38 ATS at home in the previous 54 instances.
Buccaneers are 7-18 ATS as a home underdog since 2009.
Opening Line: Broncos -3.
Opening Total: 44.5.
Week 4 NFL Pick: Buccaneers 20, Broncos 19
Buccaneers +4 -115 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$230
Under 43 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
Broncos 27, Buccaneers 7
Dallas Cowboys (2-1) at San Francisco 49ers (1-2)
Line: Cowboys by 1.5. Total: 44.5.
Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Cowboys -3.
Walt's Calculated Line: Cowboys -3.5.
Sunday, Oct 2, 4:25 PM
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The Game. Edge: Cowboys.
If you're unaware of this, you can publish your own articles on this Web site and have them promoted via Twitter, Facebook and this page! Check out our Open Rant feature, where articles get promoted all the time. Some readers' articles have gotten more than 3,000 views, so if you want to get your opinion heard, here's a great way for you to do so!
Some recent Open Rant articles:
Week 4 Fantasy Football QB Rankings
Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Strategy
DFS Quarterback Value Picks: Week 3
If you want to create NFL Mock Drafts and NBA Mock Drafts, we have you covered as well. Check out the Mock Draft Builder. Some mocks on here have gotten more than 6,000 views!
Some featured NFL Mock Drafts in the MDB:
Serghi's Mock Draft
KKunert's Mock Draft
Also, 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 1,404 entering Week 3. We're now down to 1,095, however, because of the Cardinals (92) and Buccaneers (71), primarily. You'd have to believe that the 733 individuals who took the Dolphins are thanking their lucky stars that the Browns missed three field goals!
Also, check out our Fantasy Football Who to Start Weekly Rankings for weekly fantasy start-sit advice.
DALLAS OFFENSE: Dak Prescott finally got on the board last week. He has just barely missed out on so many touchdowns, it's been ridiculous. Prescott was finally able to complete a pass in the end zone, however, as his touchdown to Dez Bryant was his first of many. There could actually be "many" this week against the 49ers.
The 49ers have absolutely no pass rush. They don't stand much of a chance against Dallas' talented offensive line, which will give Prescott all the time in the world he needs to locate Bryant and Cole Beasley. The 49ers are at their best in the secondary, but as we saw last week, as well as the game before at Carolina, no pressure from the front four makes it very difficult for the players in the defensive backfield, and that'll once again prove to be the case.
Prescott may not have to do all that much though if Elliott continues his excellent running. Elliott was unstoppable against the Bears, and he figures to repeat that performance against the 49ers, who have allowed consecutive 100-yard rushing performances to Christine Michael and Fozzy Whittaker.
SAN FRANCISCO OFFENSE: The 49ers don't stand much of a chance of stopping the Cowboys, so they'll have to score plenty of points to match their Week 4 opponent. Contrary to popular belief, they might actually be able to do that this week.
Dallas' defense is horrible. I said on the podcast that they have replacement-level players in their front seven for the most part, and I still stand by that. Brian Hoyer was too incompetent to have the Bears cover, but Blaine Gabbert is actually slightly better. He sucks at getting the ball downfield, but he does do a good job of releasing passes quickly, and his targets could turn those short throws into longer gains as a result of playing a poor-tackling defense. The Cowboys don't put any sort of pressure on the quarterback, so Gabbert could have a rare, decent performance.
Stopping Carlos Hyde will be Dallas' No. 1 priority on this side of the ball, and that figures to be a major issue. The Cowboys have defended the run poorly thus far, surrendering 4.8 yards per carry to the opposition. Making matters worse, Hyde is the best running back the Cowboys have seen thus far, as their three previous opponents started Rashad Jennings, Matt Jones and Jeremy Langford. Hyde could have a huge game, as the 49ers attempt to play keep-away from Dallas.
RECAP: The 49ers are one of the two worst teams in the NFL (along with the Bears), so I definitely wouldn't recommend betting them. However, I can't advocate for a wager on the Cowboys either. This line is pretty much where it's supposed to be.
Dallas is a bit overrated right now, with everyone focusing on the dynamic offense and forgetting that the Cowboys have one of the worst defenses in football. The 49ers will move the ball well and could pull the upset. However, Prescott should do just enough to lead his team to victory - probably by three points. Let's make it four to make it clear which side I'm taking for pick-pool purposes. However, if this line were to shoot up to -3.5, I'd seriously consider San Francisco.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Dez Bryant is likely out, prompting this spread to drop to -2. I still like the Cowboys without Bryant, and if this line keeps falling, I may consider a small wager on Dallas. The 49ers are trash.
SATURDAY NOTES: This line has dropped to Cowboys -1.5, but it's not sharp money. The books moved this spread because of the Bryant injury. The pros haven't touched this game at all.
FINAL THOUGHTS: There's some sharp action on the 49ers, but not a crazy amount. I don't really see any sort of value in this game.
The Psychology. Edge: Cowboys.
The 49ers play Thursday night, but the Cowboys should have their attention.
The Vegas. Edge: 49ers.
No surprise that the Cowboys are getting most of the action.
Percentage of money on Dallas: 67% (23,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: 49ers.
Cowboys are 7-20 ATS when favored after a win since 2010.
The underdog is 62-35 ATS in Cowboys games since 2010.
Opening Line: Cowboys -3.
Opening Total: 46.
Week 4 NFL Pick: Cowboys 23, 49ers 20
Cowboys -1 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
Under 44.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
Cowboys 24, 49ers 17
New Orleans Saints (0-3) at San Diego Chargers (1-2)
Line: Chargers by 4. Total: 54.
Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Chargers -3.
Walt's Calculated Line: Chargers -2.5.
Sunday, Oct 2, 4:25 PM
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The Game. Edge: Chargers.
Emmitt on the Brink is back for Season 9! Season 8 saw Emmitt going to North Korea to stop Kim Jong-un from destroying the world. It featured a mind-blowing twist at the very end that you absolutely need to check out if you haven't already.
Season 9 will deal with election stuff, and it begins with something strange happening to Emmitt while he's stuck in traffic at a protest rally. In the third chapter, Emmitt is in hot water following an interview with the media. He then receives a phone call from a very strange individual. Check out the Emmitt on the Brink page to read all about it!
NEW ORLEANS OFFENSE: The Saints were outclassed Monday night, but they were still able to move the ball well for the most part. Things fell apart when Drew Brees began pressing, but he was able to match the Falcons, score for score, in the early going. Brees should be able to once again perform well in this matchup.
First of all, being out of the dome won't be much of an issue, as Brees will be playing in perfect San Diego conditions. He once quarterbacked the Chargers, so he'll be very familiar with the environment. Second, San Diego doesn't have much of a pass rush, so the Saints' struggling offensive line won't be facing much of a challenge. Brees will still see some pressure, as Melvin Ingram will abuse the problematic left tackle spot, but Brees mostly worries about pressure coming up the middle, and the Chargers don't have the personnel to take advantage of that.
The Saints also figure to be able to run the ball fairly well. The Chargers have surrendered 4.4 yards per carry to the opposition thus far, and Mark Ingram had a solid showing Monday night. This will put Brees in enough short-yardage situations to keep the chains moving at a regular pace.
SAN DIEGO OFFENSE: Things are slowly but surely beginning to unravel for the Chargers. They lost Keenan Allen in the opener, then saw Danny Woodhead tear his ACL. Left tackle King Dunlap was out last week, and his replacement was responsible for a strip-sack in the red zone that helped the Chargers lose to the Colts.
Fortunately for the Chargers, they'll be going up against a pathetic New Orleans defense that can't do anything right. The Saints can't rush the passer, so Dunlap missing action again won't matter very much. They can't cover anyone either, thanks to some absolutely dreadful play at cornerback. Sterling Moore and Ken Crawley stand no chance of covering Travis Benjamin or Tyrell Williams.
How about the Saints' run defense? There's no hope there either. Devonta Freeman dominated Monday Night Football, and Melvin Gordon could be in for a similar result.
RECAP: This line shot up 1.5 points off the advanced spread, going from -3 to -4.5, based on what happened Monday night. The sharps immediately bet it down to +3.5. This angered me, as I barely noticed what the opener was. Vegas set a poor spread, and we weren't able to take advantage of it, which sucks.
I still think Saints +3.5 offers good value, however. San Diego has absolutely no homefield advantage - I'd actually value it at zero points - and I don't think the Chargers are 3.5 points better than the Saints. New Orleans can still score very well, and giving a great quarterback like Brees more than a field goal versus a team that isn't very good seems like a gift.
I think I would've wagered four units on Saints +4.5, but I'm OK with three units in this situation.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: This line has been bumped up to -4, which is strange. I still like the Saints a good deal, but I'm not sure if I want to place a fourth unit on them just yet. It seems like a bit of sharp money was responsible for this spread movement.
SATURDAY NOTES: I'm locking in Saints +4. This spread has fallen to +3.5 everywhere, but is still available at +4 -110 at BetUS and +4 -115 at Bovada. I'm adding a fourth unit as well in the wake of all the injuries the Chargers have. They're missing two starters in the secondary and could be without three offensive linemen. The Saints, meanwhile, figure to have Willie Snead returning.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Locking in the Saints proved to be unnecessary, but it wasn't a bad move either because the line hasn't moved. There's some sharp money coming in on New Orleans, however.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: Saints.
The sharps bet down the Saints.
Percentage of money on New Orleans: 63% (14,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Saints.
Drew Brees is 42-28 ATS as an underdog.
Drew Brees is 35-24 ATS after a loss with the Saints (12-5 ATS as an underdog).
Sean Payton is 7-3 ATS as an underdog after losing as a favorite.
Sean Payton is 10-5 ATS after Monday Night Football.
Opening Line: Chargers -4.5.
Opening Total: 53.5.
Week 4 NFL Pick: Saints 26, Chargers 24
Saints +4 (4 Units) -- Correct; +$400
Under 54 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
Saints 35, Chargers 34
Los Angeles Rams (2-1) at Arizona Cardinals (1-2)
Line: Cardinals by 8. Total: 43.5.
Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Cardinals -10.5.
Walt's Calculated Line: Cardinals -6.5.
Sunday, Oct 2, 4:25 PM
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The Game. Edge: Cardinals.
A reminder that Jerks of the Week for this week is up, so just click the link. This week's jerks entry is called Twelve Girls, Five Boys, $55 Million, and the Future.
ARIZONA OFFENSE: Last week made me angry. Well, not too angry because the picks turned out fine, but the Cardinals-Bills result made me furious. I had been beating the drum about the Cardinals being overrated all summer, and I wagered against them heavily in Week 2 and was burned as a result. I thought I might have been wrong - until seeing the Bills clobber Arizona on Sunday.
I was not surprised in the slightest that Carson Palmer threw four interceptions against a defense that couldn't stop Ryan Fitzpatrick. Palmer looked done in preseason action, and he managed to have at least five passes that were dropped picks in the first two games. The Bills took advantage of this, and I imagine the Rams would do the same thing. Unlike the Buccaneers, they're getting good performances out of their safeties, while linebacker Alec Ogletree is playing out of his mind. Palmer figures to be under heavy pressure throughout the afternoon, and he may not have Michael Floyd at his disposal, as Floyd is in concussion protocol.
Arizona's best chances of moving the chains will be via David Johnson, but that may be problematic as well, given that the Rams have restricted the opposition to just 3.4 yards per carry thus far. Johnson might do some damage as a receiver out of the backfield, but the Cardinals figure to be inconsistent offensively.
LOS ANGELES OFFENSE: If the Rams had a scoring unit that could match the talent on their defense, they'd be one of the top teams in the NFL. Alas, Los Angeles only has one real threat on this side of the ball.
Todd Gurley had a huge performance the last time he visited Arizona. Can he repeat that? Perhaps, given that the Cardinals haven't played the run well this year. LeSean McCoy gashed them this past week, so Gurley could have similar success.
Gurley will need to thrive, given the ineptitude of the rest of the offense. The Rams' issues on this side of the ball are well-documented. Case Keenum isn't nearly as bad as he looked in the opener against the 49ers, but he's obviously not a very good quarterback either. The Cardinals have enough talent in the secondary to give him issues if he's in a position where he needs to throw often to his pedestrian receiving corps, but perhaps Gurley's terrific running will prevent that from happening.
RECAP: I've had one wager of five units thus far. This will be the second. I love the Rams.
This spread is way too high. It actually opened at +9.5, but was quickly bet down by the sharps. I actually think it'll drop even further, so I'll lock in my wager on the Rams right now.
It feels like everyone's perception is warped here. Most people remember Los Angeles losing to San Francisco, but as with the 49ers' victory over the Vikings in Week 1 of 2015, that proved to be a mirage. The Rams have been much better since, and they've played Arizona very tightly in recent meetings, even prevailing in the road meeting last year, 24-22. The Cardinals, meanwhile, are not as good as they were last year. Palmer isn't the same quarterback anymore, and he won't be able to take advantage of horrible safety play like he did in Week 2.
I don't think this spread should even be higher than a touchdown, so I love the value we're getting at +8. We're going through a key number of seven in a contest that figures to be a tight, defensive battle. Plus, the Cardinals play in four days, so they may not be completely focused for this matchup.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Pinnacle has listed the Cardinals at -7.5, which is good news for us Rams backers, since it means the sharpest book on the Web wants more action on Arizona.
SATURDAY NOTES: I'm a bit puzzled as to why this line hasn't moved, given that there is sharp money coming in on the Rams. They seem like the right side, as they've given the Cardinals problems recently. Palmer, as mentioned, doesn't look quite the same.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Argh, I f***ed this up badly. The Cardinals have risen to -10 for some reason. I'd love the Rams at +10, but I'm stuck with a bad +8 line. The sharps were on the Rams earlier in the week, but they may have set up a nice middle for themselves.
The Psychology. Edge: Rams.
The Cardinals play again in four days.
The Vegas. Edge: Cardinals.
Some sharp money on the visitor.
Percentage of money on Los Angeles: 61% (20,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Rams.
History: Cardinals have won 14 of the last 19 meetings.
Jeff Fisher is 53-36 ATS as an underdog since 2006.
Bruce Arians is 32-21 ATS as head coach of the Cardinals.
Cardinals are 3-12 ATS as favorites of 7.5 or more the previous 15 instances.
Opening Line: Cardinals -9.5.
Opening Total: 44.
Week 4 NFL Pick: Cardinals 16, Rams 15
Rams +8 (5 Units) -- Correct; +$500
Under 43.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
Rams 17, Cardinals 13
Kansas City Chiefs (2-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1)
Line: Steelers by 3.5. Total: 48.5.
Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Steelers -6.
Walt's Calculated Line: Steelers -6.5.
Sunday, Oct 2, 8:30 PM
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The Game. Edge: Steelers.
Trolling will continue. I can't attack the NFL.com or ESPN boards because the fascist scum working at Facebook prevented me from making posts that others besides my friends can see. They've also been penalizing the other trolls. However, I have been hitting up the team pages on Facebook. Here's a short one:
None of the posts I made on the Seahawks page went anywhere, perhaps because they're all used to me. So, why not bother some 49er fans?
A bit more effective, but I wanted something with numerous responses. That happened in my next post:
I love how these people act all high and mighty because they spell better than Mario, yet they're the ones unaware that they're being trolled. And yes, Jason Young, Mario thinks he's clever ... because Mario IS clever.
PITTSBURGH OFFENSE: I had the Steelers losing to the Eagles last week, but 34-3? I wouldn't have imagined that in a million years, but you know what? Teams have horrible games sometimes. Bad things happen, and then they snowball enough to where the end result looks horrendous. The Steelers dropped some passes, including a touchdown, and they had a blocked field goal. This was all early, so the game could've gone much differently.
I suspect Pittsburgh will bounce back in this contest. The team has way too much offensive talent not to. Perhaps that wouldn't be the case in a matchup last year, but Kansas City's defense is no longer the same. Justin Houston being out has been a crushing blow, while Sean Smith's absence has been huge. Sure, the Chiefs intercepted Ryan Fitzpatrick six times last week, but that's not going to happen against a pissed Roethlisberger.
Making matters worse for the Chiefs, they'll have to deal with Le'Veon Bell. The stud running back has returned from suspension, and he'll look to exploit a defense that has only been mediocre versus the rush this season.
KANSAS CITY OFFENSE: The Chiefs will have to engage in a shootout with the Steelers to have a chance of covering, let alone winning. They happen to own one terrific matchup on this side of the ball, which would be Travis Kelce against the Pittsburgh linebackers. Kelce is playing at the top of his game right now, while the Steeler linebackers have struggled to cover players at his position this season.
The Chiefs, of course, will look to establish the run, as they are wont to do. Their ability to do so depends on whether Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Parker Ehinger are back in the lineup. Both guards have been absent the past two weeks, but it sounds like the former is ready to return to action at least. This will help Spencer Ware find holes against a defense that was gashed by the Eagles. Jamaal Charles may also play, but I wouldn't count on him doing much.
Ultimately, however, I don't think Alex Smith has what it takes to battle an elite quarterback in a shootout. He's too limited physically, and aside from Kelce and Jeremy Maclin, his options are rather underwhelming.
RECAP: I like the Steelers to bounce back here, but I was hoping for more value. This spread did open -4.5, but the sharps moved this up to -6, then back down to -5.5.
I'm willing to take Pittsburgh for a unit at -5.5. The Steelers were embarrassed last week and will be looking to take things out on the Chiefs, who should be 1-2 right now. Even last week's victory was nonsense, as the Jets were somehow still in the game with four minutes to go despite turning the ball over on almost every possession. This is not the same Kansas City squad that marched into the playoffs last year, so I don't expect it to cover this game.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: This line has dropped all the way back down to -4.5, meaning some sharps liked Pittsburgh at -4.5, while others wanted Kansas City at +6.
SATURDAY NOTES: I'm considering a unit change in this game, but I want to spend more time looking into it. I'll have an update later tonight. Update: This spread keeps dropping, so I'm going to hope for a -3 on Sunday night to perhaps increase my unit count.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I said that I'd consider increasing my wager on this game. I did consider it until I saw the betting action. I will never bet heavily on the Steelers when they're getting a large percentage of money. They seldom seem to cover those contests, perhaps because of ownership's previous (or maybe current) ties to sportsbooking. That said, I'm keeping my single unit on the Steelers, who should be favored by more. This spread may have dropped because of the Ryan Shazier news, but Shazier hasn't played very well this year, so I don't think that matters too much.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: Chiefs.
The public is pounding the Steelers.
Percentage of money on Pittsburgh: 78% (76,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: None.
Opening Line: Steelers -4.5.
Opening Total: 47.5.
Week 4 NFL Pick: Steelers 27, Chiefs 19
Steelers -3.5 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
Under 48.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
Steelers 43, Chiefs 14
New York Giants (2-1) at Minnesota Vikings (3-0)
Line: Vikings by 4. Total: 43.
Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Vikings -3.
Walt's Calculated Line: Vikings -7.
Monday, Oct 3, 8:30 PM
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The Game. Edge: Vikings.
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 Minnesota, home of the Twin Cities. Tonight, the Minnesota Twins will be playing the dreadful New York Giants. Guys, I don't know who to root against. The Giants are my sworn enemy because Philadelphia is better than New York, and the Vikings have Sam Bradford, who is a whiny baby who needs his pacifier. I hate Sam Bradford so much that I want to sneak into his house at night and slit his throat! E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!!!
Millen: Kevin, you and I have a lot in common. I, too, would like to sneak into Sam Bradford's house. Sam Bradford, by my estimations is a 71.6-percent USDA Man. If he didn't cry all the time, he'd be a 100-percent USDA Man. But he's close enough to intrigue me, so I planned to sneak into his house and ram a kielbasa up his backside. Gentlemen, I was willing to take the sacrifice and spend a night with a 71.6-percent USDA Man in an attempt to get him to that 100-percent threshold that would make him able to take numerous kielbasas up the backside each night.
Reilly: Shut up, weirdo. You won't get a chance to do this anyway because I tried to break into Sam's house last night, and he had an alarm and lots of animals to protect him. Two of them were black cats!
Emmitt: Minka, I do not understand why you so racism. Instead of call them black cat, they deserve to be call African American cat. Not being racism very importantness right now. With all the riot going on in Charlotte, Baltimore and Jupiter, the time is now to stop being racism and instead of the policeman shooting African American cat, he need to give the African American cat about $3.50.
Tollefson: Or, you can give me $350. Guys, if you all give me $350 right now, I will octuple your investment in 24 hours. And no, I won't use that money to buy various toxins to put on towels so I can suffocate women in order to bring them to my house and make them cook and clean naked for me. This is all legitimate. You can trust me!
Wolfley: OK I WILL GIVE YOU $350 AND ACTUALLY I'LL GIVE YOU ALL THE MONEY I HAVE IN MY BANK ACCOUNT BECAUSE OCTUPLE MONEY SOUNDS GOOD TO ME. SPEAKING OF OCTUPLE, SAM BRADFORD LOOKS LIKE AN OCTOPUS WEARING A PINK DRESS ON TUESDAY MORNING.
Herm: DON'T GIVE HIM YOUR MONEY! DON'T GIVE HIM YOUR CASH! DON'T GIVE HIM YOUR DOUGH! AND I DON'T MEAN DOUGH AS IN PIZZA DOUGH! DEFINITELY NOT! ABSOLUTELY NOT! CERTAINLY NOT! OF COURSE NOT! HERM DOESN'T MEAN THAT DOUGH! HERM DIDN'T IMPLY THAT DOUGH! HERM HOPES YOU DIDN'T INFER THAT HERM SAID DOUGH! BECAUSE HERM DIDN'T MEAN DOUGH! I MEAN, HERM MEANT DOUGH! BUT NOT THAT KIND OF DOUGH! THE KIND THAT'S ON THE PIZZA! NOT THAT DOUGH! THE OPPOSITE OF THAT! WELL, NOT THE OPPOSITE! HERM MAKE A MISTAKE! HERM MADE A BLUNDER! HERM MADE AN ERROR! DIDN'T MEAN TO SAY OPPOSITE! MEANT TO SAY HOMONYM! DOUGH THAT'S MONEY! THAT'S WHAT HERM MEANT! MONEY! NOT PIZZA! EVEN THOUGH YOU CAN BUY PIZZA WITH MONEY! BUT YOU CAN'T BUY MONEY WITH PIZZA! UNLESS YOU APPROACH A MAN WHO'S HUNGRY! A MAN WHO HASN'T EATEN IN A LONG TIME! BUT HERM DIGRESSES! DIGRESSES INTO WHAT!? HERM DOESN'T EVEN KNOW! HERM FORGOT WHAT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT! BECAUSE HERM'S HUNGRY FOR PIZZA! HERM'S GOING TO LEAVE TO GET A PIZZA! SEE YOU GUYS LATER!
Fouts: And here's what he means by getting pizza. He's going to find someone who sells pizza and give him the appropriate amount of money for that pizza. How does he know what the appropriate amount of money is? My best guess is that he does exactly that - guess. He can try to give them $50, which is double that of $25 and half of $100. If that's not enough, he can give them double, which is $100, and half of $200, and also a quarter of $400. If he doesn't guess the price of the pizza, he can also see a fortune teller beforehand. She'll tell him the price of the pizza, but it'll cost a fee. What's the fee? I don't know, but maybe he can guess what the fee is. Perhaps he can offer her $666, which is the sign of the devil, or in some cultures, it's the sign of the banana.
Reilly: Sign of the banana? What are you talking about? Can we go back to killing Sam Bradford, for the love of God!?
Charles Davis: Let's talk about more signs, Kevin. How about the red octagon on the street? That's a stop sign, Kevin. How about the sign in buildings with a four-letter word in red letters, Kevin? That's an exit sign, Kevin. What about the signs with a man and a woman near the restrooms, Kevin? Those are gender signs, Kevin. Let's go for a quiz, Kevin. You ready, Kevin? How about the sign with the cigarette and the red circle with a slash going through the cigarette, Kevin? I'm going to give you 716 guesses, Kevin. Ready for the first guess, Kevin? Oh, you think it's a handicapped sign, Kevin? That's not it, Kevin. Oh, you think it's a banana sign, Kevin? That's it, you're out of guesses, Kevin. It's a no smoking sign, Kevin!
Reilly: Shut up, Charles f***ing Davis, I know it's a f***ing no smoking sign, and what the f*** happened to my other 714 guesses!? I think I'll kill you in your sleep now instead of Sam Bradford! We'll be back after this!
NEW YORK OFFENSE: Minnesota's defense has a habit of making opposing offenses look terrible. Take a look at Cam Newton, as the reigning MVP was sacked eight times last week, turning the ball over multiple times and even taking a safety. The Vikings will put tons of pressure on most quarterbacks this year, and Eli Manning will be their next victim.
Manning isn't protected very well, and he has yet to play a defense with a ferocious pass rush. The Cowboys, Saints and Redskins are struggle to get to the quarterback. Manning will be under heavy siege throughout the evening, which will make it extremely difficult for him to get the ball to his talented receivers. On the rare occasions in which he actually has time, Minnesota's secondary will limit the gains or perhaps turn Manning over entirely.
The Giants don't have much of a running attack to lean on, and they wouldn't be able to pound the rock versus Minnesota anyway. Making matters worse, Shane Vereen is out of the lineup, so Manning won't have the excellent safety valve he's used to throwing to out of the backfield.
MINNESOTA OFFENSE: Like the Giants, the Vikings won't be able to run the ball effectively. Adrian Peterson is out of the lineup, and Minnesota's blocking unit hasn't been able to open any sort of significant lanes. Besides, New York has two mammoth defensive tackles in the interior who clog the trenches very well.
The Vikings will need to rely on Sam Bradford to move the ball again, but so far, so good. Bradford struggled in the opening half of last week's contest at Carolina, as the Panthers managed to put pressure on him, beating the Vikings' struggling offensive line. However, Minnesota made the proper adjustments at halftime and was able to finally move the chains consistently using a no-huddle attack, beating the Panthers with tempo.
Bradford should have similar success against the Giants, who gave up some big plays to the Redskins. The New York linebackers and safeties are pretty pedestrian, so Stefon Diggs and Kyle Rudolph figure to have solid performances.
RECAP: I pretty much gave this pick away on my NFL Power Rankings page, but I like Minnesota quite a bit in this game. This line is simply too low, as the Vikings, who get a full three for their homefield advantage, are only one point better than the Giants, according to this spread.
That is absurd. The Vikings, as far as I'm concerned, are the second-best team in the NFL. They possess the top defense in football, and they'll make Manning look as bad as Newton last week. Plus, there will be a tremendous amount of emotion in Minnesota, as this is the first Monday night home game for the Vikings in their new stadium.
This is going to be a three-unit pick for me. I thought about making it four, but I don't like betting favorites, as there's always the risk of a back-door score. Manning is certainly capable of putting one together with Odell Beckham Jr., but the Vikings should be able to win this game quite easily.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: The Vikings have moved to -5 (-5.5 at Bovada), but that doesn't change my unit count. Six would be where I'd consider dropping units.
SATURDAY NOTES: I'm going to lock in the Vikings at -4, which can be found at 5Dimes right now at -110 juice. I don't get this spread, as it says the Vikings are only one point better than the Giants, who have injury issues in their secondary. Minnesota is much better.
MONDAY MORNING: If you like the Vikings and haven't locked them in already, I'd do so now at -4, which is available at BetUS and 5Dimes. Both Pinnacle and CRIS just raised its juice on that line, which might indicate an upward movement in the near future.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I'm not upset that this line dropped -3.5. This just means I push on four instead of win. Some sharp money has brought this spread down, but it reminds me of last night's Steelers-Chiefs game. The sharps dropped the number to -3.5 even though it was evident that the host was much better than the visitor. That's the case here, as I can't see how the Giants' offensive line will deal with New York's defensive front. I also have to say that I loved the stat Steve Young just mentioned: The last six times Eli Manning has played a team that finished in the top five in defense, he's 0-6 with four touchdowns and 13 interceptions. There's no way the Vikings are only half-a-point better than the Giants, so I'm confident with these three units. If, however, you like the Giants, you can get them at +4.5 at Bovada.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: None.
Percentage of money on Minnesota: 58% (89,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Giants.
Giants are 45-28 ATS on the road since 2006 as long as they're not favored by 3.5 or more.
Eli Manning is 37-27 ATS as an underdog since 2007.
Opening Line: Vikings -3.5.
Opening Total: 44.
Week 4 NFL Pick: Vikings 23, Giants 10
Vikings -4 (3 Units) -- Correct; +$300
Under 43 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
Vikings 24, Giants 10
Week 4 NFL Picks - Early Games
Miami at Cincinnati,
Indianapolis at Jacksonville,
Cleveland at Washington,
Carolina at Atlanta,
Buffalo at New England,
Oakland at Baltimore,
Seattle at NY Jets,
Tennessee at Houston,
Detroit at Chicago
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 Underdog: Browns +310 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$100
Moneyline Underdog: Jets +110 (0.5 Units) -- Incorrect; -$50
Moneyline Underdog: Falcons +140 (0.5 Units) -- Correct; +$70
Moneyline Underdog: Buccaneers +155 (0.5 Units) -- Incorrect; -$50
Moneyline Underdog: Saints +170 (0.5 Units) -- Correct; +$85
Moneyline Underdog: Rams +300 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$300
NFL Picks - Jan. 16
2021 NFL Mock Draft - Jan. 13
Fantasy Football Rankings - Jan. 11
2022 NFL Mock Draft - Nov. 15
NFL Power Rankings - Nov. 14
2020 College Football Recruiting Rankings - April 14
2020 NBA Mock Draft - Sept. 27
Note: For legality purposes, this Web site does not promote or advocate gambling. This is solely for entertainment purposes only.
Last Week's NFL Picks Against The Spread (Week 18, 2020): 1-5 (-$1,430)
Last Week's 2-3 Unit NFL Picks (Week 18, 2020): 0-2 (-$575)
Last Week's 4-5 Unit NFL Picks (Week 18, 2020): 0-2 (-$855)
Last Week Over-Under (Week 18, 2020): 2-3-1 ($0)
Last Week's Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks (Week 18, 2020): $0
2020 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-2, 50.0% (-$135)
2020 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 132-123-6, 52.6% (+$3,280)
2020 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 43-42-3, 50.6% (-$2,650)
2020 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 37-22-1, 62.7% (+$5,515)
2020 Season Over-Under: 137-119-6, 53.5% ($0)
2020 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$375
1999 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 27-41-3 (39.7%)
2000 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 128-123-8 (51.0%)
2001 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 127-122-7 (51.0%)
2002 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 123-136-7 (47.5%)
2003 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 146-126-8 (53.7%)
2004 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 157-123-8 (56.1%)
2005 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 156-126-11 (55.3%)
2006 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 151-135-9 (52.8%)
2007 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 162-135-10, 54.5% (+$3,585)
2008 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 148-140-7, 51.4% (+$6,105)
2009 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 151-124-9, 54.9% (+$4,235)
2010 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 144-131-8, 52.4% (+$5,880)
2011 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 137-133-12, 50.7% (-$1,335)
2012 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 130-145-8, 47.3% (-$7,445)
2013 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 144-131-8, 52.4% (+$7,825)
2014 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 143-133-7, 51.8% (-$1,885)
2015 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 134-138-12, 49.3% (-$3,215)
2016 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 148-127-10, 53.8% (+$780)
2017 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 137-140-8, 49.5% (-$4,300)
2018 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 140-134-14, 51.3% (+$845)
2019 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 149-128-9, 53.6% (+$1,200)
2002 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 41-49-2 (45.6%)
2003 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 52-51-2 (50.5%)
2004 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 65-44-3 (59.6%)
2005 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 77-61-1 (55.8%)
2006 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 65-61-4 (51.6%)
2007 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 83-59-5, 58.5% (+$4,110)
2008 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 44-57-3, 43.6% (-$3,510)
2009 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 49-35-3, 58.3% (+$2,260)
2010 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 51-38-4, 57.3% (+$3,180)
2011 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 44-51-3, 46.3% (-$2,715)
2012 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 45-50-2, 47.4% (-$2,130)
2013 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 38-42, 47.5% (-$2,890)
2015 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 47-44-1, 51.6% (-$820)
2016 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 42-35-3, 54.5% (+$475)
2017 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 32-40-3, 43.8% (-$2,395)
2018 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 52-41-2, 55.9% (+$2,670)
2019 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 44-36-2, 55.0% (+$655)
2002 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 11-12 (47.8%)
2003 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 16-13-1 (55.2%)
2004 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 18-11 (62.1%)
2005 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 25-22-1 (53.2%)
2006 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 21-29-1 (42.0%)
2007 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 35-30-2, 53.8% (+$420)
2008 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 39-26-2, 60.0% (+$4,055)
2009 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 29-26, 52.7% (+$330)
2010 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 32-22, 59.3% (+$4,790)
2011 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 14-14, 50.0% (-$1,260)
2012 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 14-21, 40.0% (-$3,650)
2013 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 17-9-3, 65.4% (+$2,970)
2015 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 17-16-2, 51.5% (-$1,120)
2016 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 21-22-5, 48.8% (-$1,465)
2017 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 20-22-1, 47.6% (-$1,595)
2018 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 27-32-1, 45.8% (-$4,735)
2019 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 37-27-2, 57.8% (+$2,185)
2001 Season Over-Under: 3-2 (60.0%)
2002 Season Over-Under: 121-91-3 (57.1%)
2003 Season Over-Under: 126-132-2 (48.8%)
2004 Season Over-Under: 139-124-4 (52.9%)
2005 Season Over-Under: 117-145-4 (44.7%)
2006 Season Over-Under: 129-132-5 (49.4%)
2007 Season Over-Under: 136-145-3, 48.4% (-$1,900)
2008 Season Over-Under: 137-125-6, 52.3% (+$860)
2009 Season Over-Under: 128-135-4, 48.7% (-$3,195)
2010 Season Over-Under: 128-135-5, 48.7% (-$5)
2011 Season Over-Under: 131-131-5, 50.0% (+$135)
2012 Season Over-Under: 125-121-5, 50.8% (+$30)
2013 Season Over-Under: 132-130-5, 50.4% (-$340)
2015 Season Over-Under: 143-119-5, 54.6% ($0)
2016 Season Over-Under: 123-141-1, 46.6% (+$95)
2017 Season Over-Under: 136-139-2, 49.5% (+$640)
2018 Season Over-Under: 118-128-3, 48.0% (-$225)
2019 Season Over-Under: 126-133-4, 48.6% (-$50)
2007 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,035
2008 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,775
2009 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$865
2010 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$200
2011 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$590
2012 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$1,685
2013 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$2,245
2015 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$855
2016 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$275
2017 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$510
2018 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,495
2019 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$1,715
2006 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3 (50%)
2007 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3, 50.0% (-$400)
2008 NFL Picks of the Month: 6-1, 85.7% (+$3,720)
2009 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$640)
2010 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-4, 33.3% (-$1,810)
2011 NFL Picks of the Month: 5-2, 71.4% (+$1,870)
2012 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$560)
2013 NFL Picks of the Month: 6-0, 100% (+$3,900)
2014 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-4, 33.3% (-$1,350)
2015 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3, 50.0% (-$100)
2016 NFL Picks of the Month: 5-1, 83.3% (+$2,780)
2017 NFL Picks of the Month: 4-2, 66.7% (+$1,040)
2018 NFL Picks of the Month: 4-3, 57.1% (-$640)
2019 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3-1, 50.0% (-$625)
Career NFL Picks Against The Spread: 2,989-2,760-179, 52.0% (+$13,585)
Career 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 953-858-49 (52.6%)
Career 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 452-396-23 (53.3%)
Career Over-Under: 2,459-2,413-66 (50.5%)
Career Second-Half NFL Picks: 22-15-1 (61.1%)
Career NFL Picks of the Month: 44-29-1 (60.3%)
My Team-by-Team ATS Record
This section shows how well I do when picking each team this year. The purpose is to see how well I read each team. Pushes are not
displayed. Winning/losing streak in parentheses.
Cowboys: 11-5 (2014-19: 47-50)
Bears: 6-11 (2014-19: 45-48)
Bucs: 7-9 (2014-19: 44-45)
49ers: 8-8 (2014-19: 53-44)
Eagles: 8-8 (2014-19: 55-46)
Lions: 9-6 (2014-19: 53-42)
Falcons: 9-7 (2014-19: 55-45)
Cardinals: 10-6 (2014-19: 45-50)
Giants: 3-13 (2014-19: 52-41)
Packers: 12-4 (2014-19: 54-46)
Panthers: 13-3 (2014-19: 47-52)
Rams: 5-12 (2014-19: 53-41)
Redskins: 7-8 (2014-19: 47-48)
Vikings: 9-7 (2014-19: 51-45)
Saints: 7-10 (2014-19: 49-50)
Seahawks: 8-9 (2014-19: 43-56)
Bills: 10-7 (2014-19: 52-42)
Bengals: 9-5 (2014-19: 42-52)
Colts: 8-7 (2014-19: 50-45)
Broncos: 9-7 (2014-19: 45-48)
Dolphins: 12-4 (2014-19: 47-46)
Browns: 7-9 (2014-19: 46-44)
Jaguars: 4-11 (2014-19: 41-55)
Chargers: 8-6 (2014-19: 46-49)
Jets: 8-8 (2014-19: 50-40)
Ravens: 5-11 (2014-19: 48-47)
Texans: 10-5 (2014-19: 48-47)
Chiefs: 12-4 (2014-19: 56-50)
Patriots: 6-10 (2014-19: 55-53)
Steelers: 7-10 (2014-19: 56-43)
Titans: 10-7 (2014-19: 49-47)
Raiders: 7-9 (2014-19: 43-52)
Divisional: 43-47 (2011-19: 405-394)
2x Game Edge: 63-60 (2011-19: 213-210)
2x Motivation Edge: 45-30 (2011-19: 347-288)
2x Spread Edge: 42-33 (2011-19: 61-55)
2x Vegas Edge: 25-22 (2011-19: 320-335)
2x Trend Edge: 18-13 (2011-19: 250-228)
Double Edge: 27-21 (2011-19: 122-107)
Triple Edge: 5-4 (2011-19: 21-18)