NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 5, 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 (Week 3, 2016): 7-7-2 (+$880)
NFL Picks (Week 4, 2016): 7-8 (-$70)

NFL Picks (2016): 48-32-3 (+$3,405)
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 Oct. 10, 6:20 p.m. ET. Follow @walterfootball for updates.


Go to Week 5 NFL Picks - Late Games







Arizona Cardinals (1-3) at San Francisco 49ers (1-3)
Line: Cardinals by 4. Total: 42.

Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Cardinals -6.
Walt's Calculated Line: Cardinals -6 (Palmer) or Cardinals -2.5 (Stanton).
Thursday, Oct 6, 8:25 PM
Comment on this game

The Game. Edge: Cardinals.

WEEK 4 RECAP: It wasn't a horrible week, but it was far from a good one. I finished 7-8, -$70 after a poor early afternoon.

If you're waiting for me to complain about the Browns loss, I won't disappoint you. It was horrible. Cleveland led 20-17 in the fourth quarter as eight-point underdogs and ended up with more yardage and a higher yards-per-play mark than the Redskins, but blew it because of "three" turnovers. I put that in quotes because the Duke Johnson fumble was recovered by Cleveland, yet was inexplicably was awarded to the Redskins:



I'm going to rant more about this in my NFL Power Rankings. However, I'd be foolish not to admit that I lucked out with my Saints selection. I'd rather have a correct five-unit selection than a four-unit one, but still, I'm not going to pretend that I didn't luck out.

What I do want to discuss is my horrible decision-making. I actually went 3-2 on my top plays (and thus, the Supercontest), but I lost money because I got all of my two-unit picks wrong. They were just awful picks I didn't feel too strongly about. I just got too cocky coming off my best start ever. The late selection of the Patriots was especially brutal. There's no excuse for that, but I will try to be smarter going forward.

ARIZONA OFFENSE: I was surprised the books posted such an early spread considering Carson Palmer's status. Palmer sustained a concussion against the Rams and looked like he was pretty out of it when talking to the trainers on the sideline. He was taken into the locker room, but Bruce Arians expressed optimism about Palmer's Week 5 status. Arizona's actions spoke otherwise, however, as the team added a quarterback off the practice squad.

It appears likely that Drew Stanton will start. He won't have the most difficult matchup, as his three dynamic receivers should be able to get open against some horrible 49er cornerbacks. It's way more of a question if Stanton will be able to get them the ball. Stanton was horrid in the preseason, and I thought the Cardinals should've rostered Matt Barkley instead, as Barkley was the far superior quarterback in the exhibition contests.

Fortunately for Stanton, he may not have to do much, as the 49ers' run defense is shot right now in the wake of NaVorro Bowman's Achilles tear. San Francisco held the lead against Dallas in the third quarter, but once Bowman was knocked out, the flood gates opened, and the 49ers couldn't stop Elliott whatsoever. David Johnson is another elite back who won't be contained.

SAN FRANCISCO OFFENSE: There are cries for Colin Kaepernick to start, but the malnourished backup is hardly a good option; in fact, around this time this year, Kaepernick opened with two pick-sixes against the Cardinals in a blowout loss. Kaepernick is 20 pounds underweight because of the same horrible diet that derailed Arian Foster's career, and he had been regressing prior to being benched in favor of Blaine Gabbert last year because he couldn't read defenses or refrained from studying film. I doubt anything has changed.

Gabbert, unfortunately, is the best option. He's the smarter quarterback, but he is also way more craven. Gabbert doesn't take shots downfield too often, and when he does, he heaves ugly wobblers that are intercepted, and then Chip Kelly says that was Gabbert's only poor throw, ignoring all of the short tosses that don't make it past the first-down marker on third down. Expect more of this, as Arizona's pass rush will make it so Gabbert has to hurry his passes even more.

The 49ers will have to do all of their damage on the ground, whether it's Gabbert scrambling a bit or Carlos Hyde pounding the rock. There's definitely some hope for Hyde, as LeSean McCoy tallied 110 yards on 17 carries versus Arizona in Week 3.

RECAP: This is going to be one ugly game. It'll be a defensive struggle, but only because both offenses are in horrible shape. I feel like the most likely result is Arizona winning by three points, so I could see this going either way (or no way at -3) in terms of the spread. Considering the ridiculous amount of action on the Cardinals, I'm inclined to take a shot with the 49ers, though the last thing I want is to bet this abomination of a football game.

I'll be posting NFL Picks all day Tuesday. Follow me at @walterfootball for updates.

THURSDAY THOUGHTS: I'll have final thoughts later tonight, but I have to mention that I have such disinterest in this game that I thought I was taking the Cardinals on the podcast. Yeah, that's bad. I actually considered a unit when this line was +4. The sharps bet it down to +3.5, but they haven't touched this game since.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I mentioned earlier that the sharps haven't been taking 49ers +3.5. With all of the public action coming in on the Cardinals, that line couldn't be sustained, so it's risen to either -4 or -3.5 -115. There's more value with the 49ers now, and I thought about biting for a unit - or even half of a unit - at +4, but then I realized that I was going to be betting on the worst team in football, and I almost threw up in my mouth. No thanks. I'll pass on this game.


The Psychology. Edge: None.
No edge found.


The Vegas. Edge: 49ers.
Many people are betting the Cardinals.
  • Percentage of money on Arizona: 65% (62,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • History: 49ers have won 12 of the last 18 meetings.
  • Bruce Arians is 32-22 ATS as head coach of the Cardinals.
  • Opening Line: Cardinals -3.
  • Opening Total: 42.
  • Weather: .


    Week 5 NFL Pick: Cardinals 13, 49ers 12
    49ers +4 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Under 42.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Cardinals 33, 49ers 21






    Houston Texans (3-1) at Minnesota Vikings (4-0)
    Line: Vikings by 6. Total: 38.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Vikings -4.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Vikings -7.
    Sunday, Oct 9, 1:00 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Vikings.

    OVERRATED-UNDERRATED: I posted betting trends and such in this spot over the past couple of years, but I won't be doing that as much because I'll be moving away from trends. Instead, I'll list some underrated observations that the media either isn't discussing or is misinforming the public about. I think I'll do this in conjunction with overrated and underrated teams, which I should definitely put more effort into...

    Underrated NFL Teams:

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers: I think I'm going to ignore the loss to Denver, as the Broncos have a way of making teams look a lot worse than they are. With that in mind, the Buccaneers previously lost to the Rams, but they were the better team. They outgained Los Angeles (who just won in Arizona) in total yards and yards per play. Had Roberto Aguayo not missed a chip-shot field goal in the second half, Tampa would've prevailed. The Buccaneers were also hurt by fluke turnovers and horrible clock management at the end. They also won in Atlanta, which looks a lot better now. They're definitely better than their 1-3 record indicates, and there will be plenty of great betting opportunities as a result going forward.

  • New York Jets: The Jets have fallen to 1-3, but let's delve into their defeats, shall we? They lost to the Bengals in Week 1, but were close and easily could've prevailed. Against the Chiefs, they committed eight turnovers, some of which came off fluke fumbles and weird bounces, and despite this, they were down just 17-3 with four minutes remaining in regulation. The Seattle game looks ugly on the surface, but the Jets were down by just a touchdown in the fourth quarter before Richard Sherman made a great play to intercept Ryan Fitzpatrick, allowing the Seahawks to seal the victory. Fitzpatrick wasn't horrible at all. So, in summary, the Jets have lost to two of the better teams in the NFL and one solid squad, being close in all three contests. Their victory, meanwhile, came against the Bills, which is looking a lot better right now.

  • Tennessee Titans: Did you know that the Titans haven't been outgained in terms of yards per play yet this year prior to Week 4? This includes their Week 1 battle against the undefeated Vikings! People may have forgotten this, but Tennessee had the lead in the third quarter versus Minnesota before two turnovers were taken back for touchdowns. The Titans also appeared to have the tie against the Raiders at the very end, but two penalties crushed them. As for the Houston game, it was a tie score in the second half until the Texans returned a punt for a touchdown, which decided the game. Marcus Mariota was awful, but despite this, the Titans hung around and nearly won.

    Overrated NFL Teams:

  • Oakland Raiders: The Raiders are basically the opposite of the Chargers. They've been close in every game, but they've just been great in the final two minutes. The question needs to be asked, though: Why are they having so much trouble putting away bad teams like the Saints and sub-par ones like the Titans? The Raiders did just beat the Ravens, but they were outgained by about 150 net yards and lost the yards-per-play battle, 5.2-4.8. Baltimore was a drop away from attempting a field goal to win the game.

  • Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys may have improved to 3-1, but did so unconvincingly. They were actually trailing the 49ers in the third quarter when NaVorro Bowman sustained an Achilles injury. With Bowman out, Dallas was able to run effectively with Ezekiel Elliott and establishing control of the game. If Bowman never left the contest, I'm not sure the Cowboys would've prevailed. Their defense had major problems against Blaine Gabbert, which is not a good sign. DeMarcus Lawrence's return will help, but the front seven still has tons of holes.

  • Washington Redskins: The Redskins have improved to 2-2, which might have people believing that they're an average team. They're not. They could easily be 0-4 right now, as they trailed against both the Giants and Browns in the fourth quarter until those teams began self-destructing and committing stupid turnovers. Both the Giants and Browns outgained the Redskins in terms of yards and yards per play. Washington has some major injury issues on defense and some problems on the offensive line as well.

    HOUSTON OFFENSE: I've had the Vikings in the underrated category up until this week. They can't be underrated anymore, only because the nation saw what their defense is capable of. They're now No. 1 in my NFL Power Rankings after being slotted No. 2 the previous week.

    The Vikings didn't sack Eli Manning at all Monday night, but only because Manning was more than willing to throw passes into the dirt - technically, the very definition of the literal term "intentional grounding" - and it'll be interesting to see if Brock Osweiler utilizes the same strategy. Osweiler's offensive line hasn't been much better than Manning's poor front, but only because stud left tackle Duane Brown has been out. There's a chance Brown will return for this contest, but he may not be 100 percent if he does.

    Osweiler certainly won't have much time in the pocket regardless, and that's one reason why he'll have trouble connecting with his stud receivers. The other is Minnesota's secondary, which features shutdown cornerback Xavier Rhodes, who put the clamps on Odell Beckham Jr. Rhodes will handle one of DeAndre Hopkins or Will Fuller. The Vikings have other tremendous defensive backs to deal with the other.

    I wouldn't expect much from Lamar Miller either. The Vikings aren't as great against the run as they'll be once Sharrif Floyd returns, but they're still very effective when it comes to containing it. Miller has been kind of a dud anyway this year, averaging only 3.8 yards per carry, though that can partly be attributed to the struggles of the offensive line.

    MINNESOTA OFFENSE: The Vikings haven't been extremely pretty on this side of the ball, and they don't post record-breaking numbers of any sort, but they happen to be extremely efficient, converting third downs at a high rate. Sam Bradford is responsible for this, as he has acclimated himself into the Vikings' offense much faster than anyone had anticipated.

    The Texans have some liabilities in their defense that can be exploited. Their secondary, however, is not one of them. Still, I like Stefon Diggs to get open and pick up some significant chunks of yardage, as he is blossoming into one of the league's better receivers, despite the horrible drop Monday night. Kyle Rudolph, conversely, won't do much, as the Texans have been excellent at defending tight ends this year.

    One thing Houston's defense is not very good at doing is stopping the run. J.J. Watt's previous struggles and current absence has everything to do with it. LeGarrette Blount trampled the Texans in Week 3, and DeMarco Murray treated them similarly this past Sunday. Jerick McKinnon is coming off a great Monday night performance, so he'll be able to pick up where he left off, as the Vikings' offensive line will push around Houston's front with ease.

    RECAP: This spread is definitely closer to where the Vikings should be, but they're still not favored by enough. They should be -7 against the Texans, who aren't very good. As mentioned in the overrated-underrated section, Houston's 3-1 record appears to be a farce; it has beaten three middling opponents (Bears, Chiefs, Titans) at home by a single score and didn't stand a chance versus legitimate competition (at New England).

    Unfortunately, there's less value on this game than there was Monday night. This spread is one point off, by my estimations, so it's not really worth betting. Besides, laying six opens the possibility of a back door, which Osweiler seems fully capable of, considering the talent he has at receiver.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: The Vikings are seeing a ton of public action, but the sharps haven't touched this game yet, as this spread has risen to -6.5 in some places. I still think the Vikings are the right side, but there's not enough value to warrant a bet. Kenny, by the way, likes Houston a lot. You can hear his argument on the podcast.

    SATURDAY NOTES: This line has moved up to -7, as the sharps haven't shown any interest on the Texans. This is not a surprise, as the Vikings are vastly superior. Seven is where the spread should be though, so I won't be betting either side.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The Vikings have dropped to -6, presumably because of the Stefon Diggs news. That, or the sharps were waiting for this line to rise to +7 so that they could take the Texans. Regardless, I'm not betting this game.

    SportsLine.com expert Mike 'Top Dog' Tierney is 6-1 in his last 7 NFL Over-Under picks (+490). Get every single one of his picks by clicking here.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Texans.
    The Vikings are getting a ton of action.
  • Percentage of money on Minnesota: 65% (22,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Opening Line: Vikings -6.
  • Opening Total: 40.
  • Weather: .


    Week 5 NFL Pick: Vikings 23, Texans 13
    Vikings -6 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Under 38.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Survivor Pick (3-1)
    Vikings 31, Texans 13




    Tennessee Titans (1-3) at Miami Dolphins (1-3)
    Line: Dolphins by 3. Total: 44.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Dolphins -4.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Dolphins -2.
    Sunday, Oct 9, 1:00 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Dolphins.

    VEGAS UPDATE: I'll be posting how the Vegas sportsbooks have done the previous week in this spot in coming weeks. Here were the four highest-bet sides, as of Tuesday morning last week:

  • Broncos -3
  • Lions -2.5
  • Raiders +3.5
  • Colts -2.5


  • Those teams went 2-2 ATS, bringing the overall record this season to 5-13. Crazy, right? The books are having a huge year thus far, though they lost big time with the Broncos covering at Buccaneers.

    Here are the four highest-bet teams this week, as of Tuesday morning:

  • Patriots -11
  • Cardinals -3
  • Eagles -3
  • Steelers -7


  • New England is on track to be the highest-bet game of the year, and all of the action is pouring in on the Patriots. There might just be some bodies buried in the desert if the Patriots cover!

    MIAMI OFFENSE: The Dolphins are 1-3 right now, but they do get some good news, as it's possible that stud center Mike Pouncey could return this week. The offensive line has been a train wreck with Pouncey and Branden Albert out. There's no word on Albert's return, but having both blockers on the field again would allow the Dolphins to sit some of their struggling linemen, namely Billy Turner and Ja'Wuan James.

    Pouncey will obviously allow Ryan Tannehill to have more time in the pocket, which is needed against Tennessee's fierce pass rush. His presence will give the Dolphins a legitimate shot at blocking Jurrell Casey, though Albert will be needed to deal with Brian Orakpo. It's also possible that neither Pouncey nor Albert will be 100 percent if they suit up, so it's more likely than not that the Titans will win in the trenches and consequently pressure Tannehill and put the clamps on all of Miami's pedestrian running backs.

    The one advantage the Dolphins have on this side of the ball is in the passing game. Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker own a big edge over Tennessee's struggling secondary, which had major issues versus Houston's receivers last week. Brock Osweiler doesn't have the best blocking unit either, and while he wasn't consistent, he was able to connect with his wideouts on some big gains. Tannehill figures to have a similar output.

    TENNESSEE OFFENSE: The strength of Miami's defense seems to match up well with the focal point of the Titans' scoring attack. Tennessee has run the ball extremely well with DeMarco Murray, who has revived himself after being used incorrectly under Chip Kelly. The Dolphins have a monstrous defensive front, however, which figures to thwart Murray. They clamped down on Jeremy Hill last Thursday night, and while Murray is a much better player, they'll make it difficult for him to find much room.

    Marcus Mariota will have more pressure on his shoulders to move the chains in this contest. He was incapable of doing so at Houston, struggling with accuracy and mechanics. However, the Texans have a much better secondary than the Dolphins possess. Miami can't cover anyone, as evidenced Thursday night. Mariota has played well at times in the past - most recently, he went 25-of-33 for 238 yards, two touchdowns and an interception at Detroit - so I don't see why he couldn't repeat that sort of performance.

    The Dolphins stand no chance of covering Delanie Walker and Mariota's other weapons, so they'll need to apply heavy pressure on the second-year quarterback. Though Miami has a great pass rush, it figures to be somewhat stymied, as the Titans have a stalwart blocking unit that should keep Mariota clean for the most part.

    RECAP: I don't understand why the Dolphins are favored by more than a field goal, especially when it's clear that they have no homefield advantage. It's perhaps worth a point, maybe, so this is saying that Miami is 2.5 points better than Tennessee, which is hardly the case. In fact, I have the Titans as the better team in my NFL Power Rankings.

    I discussed the Titans being underrated above. They've been in every game thus far. They led the Vikings in the third quarter. They had a chance to tie the Raiders at the end. They were squared at 20 versus the Texans at the end of the third quarter before the punt return. Mariota has struggled, sure, but Tennessee's ability to win in the trenches gives them a shot to win most games, including this one. And considering the competition, I expect Mariota to be better in this contest. The Dolphins, meanwhile, have battled a tough slate, losing at Seattle, New England and Cincinnati, but two of those games were blowouts.

    The Dolphins have no business being favored by 3.5. I'm all over the Titans, and I'll be taking them for four units. If it's announced that Pouncey and Albert won't be able to make it back, I'll put a fifth unit on this game.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: I've heard some talk that this game might be moved to Tennessee because of Hurricane Matthew, but it looks like the weather will clear up by Sunday. Still, this has to bode well for the Titans, as the Dolphins have to be concerned about their homes and families during this storm, so I doubt they're focusing much on the Titans.

    SATURDAY NOTES: I should've locked this in. This spread is now +3 +105 at some books (CRIS) or +3 +100 (BetUS and 5Dimes). I'm going to hold out hope that I can get +3.5 -110 again, but it's not looking good because the sharps are all over the Titans, who should be able to win this one outright.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Wow. This line has plummeted through -3, as the books are not afraid of a middle at all. This is a great sign for the Titans. Unfortunately, I'm getting a horrible line of +3 -115 at Bovada. It's +2.5 elsewhere.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Dolphins.
    A slight lean on the underdog.
  • Percentage of money on Tennessee: 62% (15,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Titans.
  • Underdog is 68-39 ATS in the Dolphins' last 107 games.
  • Dolphins are 7-20 ATS as favorites of 3.5 or more since 2008.
  • Dolphins are 10-33 ATS at home against teams with losing records since 2003.
  • Opening Line: Dolphins -3.5.
  • Opening Total: 44.
  • Weather: .


    Week 5 NFL Pick: Titans 20, Dolphins 19
    Titans +3 -115 (4 Units) -- Correct; +$400
    Under 44 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Titans 30, Dolphins 17




    New England Patriots (3-1) at Cleveland Browns (0-4)
    Line: Patriots by 11.5. Total: 47.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Patriots -10.5.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Patriots -7.
    Sunday, Oct 9, 1:00 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Patriots.

    If you haven't seen this yet, we have a brand new weekly fantasy football contest. It's like DFS, but weekly and free, and there are cash prizes! There's no reason not to enter, and you can submit up to five lineups per week! Click the link here for our new Weekly Fantasy Football Contest - the Week 5 contest has already been posted, so good luck!

    HATE MAIL: I didn't have a great week, so I saw hate mail on my picks page for the first time in a while. Here are two examples:



    I don't understand the first one. Where did this guy get minus-15 units from? Hey, hate all you want, but don't make stuff up and look stupid in the process!

    As for the other one, I really don't get it. I thought Dane Cook was supposed to be some super-cool comedian? Here's a tip, FlaccoisElite, don't try to post hate mail while complimenting me. Derp!

    Here's another from FlaccoisElite:



    Damn racists.

    FlaccoisElite made a horrible pick, but he at least admitted he was wrong:



    For a hate mailer, he sure is nice to me!

    NEW ENGLAND OFFENSE: If the betting action on this game is any indication, everyone is excited about Tom Brady's return. America's favorite golden boy will take the field following his four-game hiatus, which finally puts an end to Deflategate.

    Everyone expects Brady to be extremely sharp, but I don't think it's a given. Brady is a 39-year-old who didn't look particularly great in the preseason, and he didn't get to practice with the team at all during his suspension. It's not out of the question that he could be rusty, though the matchup does make it easier. The Browns have solid cornerbacks, especially Joe Haden, who did a masterful job on DeSean Jackson last week, but their safety situation is horrendous. Brady will undoubtedly see these liabilities and expose them.

    If Brady isn't quite himself just yet, he'll just be able to hand the ball off to LeGarrette Blount and expect big results. The Browns were trampled by Matt Jones this past week, and they'll undoubtedly have similar issues against Blount, considering that they'll have to worry about Brady airing it out.

    CLEVELAND OFFENSE: Terrelle Pryor was great against the Dolphins two weeks ago, but he was restricted to just one reception after halftime against the Redskins, as Josh Norman dominated that matchup. The Patriots don't have a shutdown cornerback like Norman, but they do have Bill Belichick, who is the master of taking away one aspect of an opposing offense. I'm sure he'll focus on preventing Pryor from doing anything.

    If the Browns move the chains aerially, it'll obviously come on short passes, as Cody Kessler is limited physically. I expect Kessler to dump tons of passes off to Duke Johnson, so hopefully he isn't punished for a lost fumble after recovering the ball again. The Patriots struggled to cover LeSean McCoy out of the backfield last week, so they could have similar issues against the dynamic Johnson.

    Johnson figures to be the more effective running back, as New England has played decently versus the run this year. Isaiah Crowell may not get much of a chance to rush the ball anyway if this game gets out of hand early.

    RECAP: Everyone is betting this game like it's easy money, and I don't get it. This spread is way too high. No team in the NFL should be double-digit road favorites over anyone right now. This line of Patriots -11 means that New England would be -17 at home versus Cleveland. Seventeen!

    Perhaps Brady will be great. But even if he is, that doesn't mean the Patriots will cover. New England has won four road games by double digits in the past three years, and its margin of victory as away favorites in that span is just 2.4 points with an average line of 5.2. I'm not into trends anymore, but I find it interesting that the Patriots are 5-12 against the spread as road favorites in the past three seasons. That's an indication they've been overvalued.

    That's the case here. Besides, the Browns are 0-4, but they've been competitive the past three weeks. I think they'll be able to cover this absurd line. Besides, there's no guarantee Brady will be in "F-U Mode" as everyone thinks. He spent the past month sunbathing on nude beaches and throwing passes in the backyard to his wife. He's 39, and he's had no interaction with his teammates since August. And yet, he's supposed to just step in and throw all over the Browns? I mean, I guess it's possible, but I don't think that's what is going to happen.

    There's just way too much value with this spread to pass up a four-unit wager, and I haven't even factored in the absurd amount of action coming in on New England. There's no way Vegas loses this much money after last week's Denver-Tampa Bay debacle, right?

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: I still can't believe how high this spread is. Unfortunately, I'm going to drop a unit. I'm still pretty confident in the Browns, but it bothers me that their new center, Austin Reiter, is out. Center is one of the most important positions in football, and guard John Greco will have to play in that spot now. Greco is a solid guard, but he's never played center in the pros, so it's a concern.

    SATURDAY NOTES: I'm disappointed that this line hasn't gone down yet. I don't know why the sharps aren't betting the Browns, as they seem like such an obvious side at this inflated line. Then again, the pros aren't betting New England either.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: This spread has dropped to Browns +10, indicating a bit of sharp money on Cleveland. However, it's still +11.5 at Bovada if you're crazy enough to bet Cleveland like I am.


    The Psychology. Edge: Browns.
    Everyone thinks Tom Brady might be in "F-U mode," but against the Browns? That's hard to believe, especially with the Bengals and Steelers next on the slate.


    The Vegas. Edge: Browns.
    This might be the highest-bet game of the year.
  • Percentage of money on New England: 83% (36,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Browns.
  • Teams that are 0-4 are 50-37 ATS since 1989 (3-1 ATS as home underdogs of 10+).
  • Tom Brady is 187-64 as a starter (141-105 ATS).
  • Patriots are 5-12 ATS as road favorites since 2013.
  • Opening Line: Patriots -10.
  • Opening Total: 47.
  • Weather: .


    Week 5 NFL Pick: Patriots 23, Browns 16
    Browns +11.5 (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
    Under 47.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Patriots 33, Browns 13






    New York Jets (1-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1)
    Line: Steelers by 9.5. Total: 50.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Steelers -7.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Steelers -6.
    Sunday, Oct 9, 1:00 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Steelers.

    I wouldn't say my weekly random NFL notes cluttered these picks pages, so I'll keep them here. What I'm also going to do is store all of them in a Random NFL Notes section so that you can go back and read previous entries in the future.

    Some random NFL notes I can't put anywhere else:

    I'm only going to have one note this week, but it's going to be a long one. I want to discuss a story that surfaced Thursday regarding NFL TV ratings. They are down, and the NFL is reportedly concerned about this. While some might be willing to blame the millenials, citing that they don't have the attention span to sit through a 3-hour game, I'm willing to guess it's much deeper than that. I've come up with five possible reasons for the decline in viewership, and I'll rate them from least-likely to most-likely:

    5. Fantasy Football: I've heard the argument that fewer people watch football now because the newest generation of fans has grown up in a fantasy football world where they just root for the players who can win them money or pride, and thus have no allegiance to a team. Thus, they can keep track of players on their phones or tablets without needing to watch actual games.

    I think there's some validity to this argument. I know plenty of people who are fantasy mavens and yet still cheer heavily for a team, but I've also talked to some who don't particularly root for a specific team either. I think this might be hurting viewership a little bit, but not as much as some think.

    4. Roger Goodell: People aren't going to stay away from football just because of the commissioner himself, but Roger Goodell's policies haven't helped matters. I've seen Patriot fans comment about how they've been boycotting the NFL during Tom Brady's suspension, but it goes beyond that. Goodell senselessly exiles players for simply smoking marijuana, as if anyone in the real world cares about that. Conversely, he has barely punished a quarterback who drowned dogs with his bare hands, a running back who treated his fiancee like Glass Joe, and a defensive end who was actually convicted of sexual assault.

    People are sick of Goodell, and they see him as a maniacal, money-grubbing tyrant who doesn't care about domestic violence at all. It doesn't help that reports came out revealing that the NFL donates only 3.5 percent of its profits from Breast Cancer Awareness Month to charity - the bare minimum to be tax-exempt.

    The NFL has an image problem, and Goodell is the face of that. Goodell has done some good things as commissioner, but owners may want to consider finding someone who isn't booed every time he makes a public appearance.

    3. Colin Kaepernick Demonstration: A couple of weeks ago, I published an e-mail from a loyal reader who said he's considering staying away from the NFL because of the disrespect the players are showing during the national anthem. Since then, I've received about a dozen or so other e-mails from people who have echoed that sentiment. If I'm getting a dozen e-mails about this, I can only imagine the sheer amount of people who are disgusted by this development and have refrained from watching football as a result.

    The league and the 49ers should have done something about this when it first started. Colin Kaepernick simply offended too many paying customers. Regardless of what message he was sending, it was bad for business, and the bottom line is all that matters for the NFL. And guess what? The owners aren't going to take a hit. If there's a reduction of income, the players (and/or fans) will be the ones who are hurt by it, so they seriously need to reconsider what they're doing. If they want to talk about starting discussions and whatnot, that's fine. But insulting those who have fought for this country, many of whom are fans, is a horrible way to go about doing it.

    2. Election: The Monday night battle between the Falcons and Saints was the least-watched game in Monday Night Football history, according to the Washington Post. Of course, the debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was actually going on at the time, so that's at least understandable.

    However, I think the election is still having a big impact on ratings of other games. I know from monitoring site traffic that when people are talking about non-football items on Twitter - whether it's the Olympics, a terrorist attack, etc. - I have fewer people visiting the site than normal. I have to figure it's the same thing for the NFL. I imagine people are still watching their favorite teams, but instead of tuning into other games, they could be flipping over to election coverage instead.

    And sure, we've obviously had many other elections during NFL seasons, but this is the craziest race I can ever remember. The utter contempt that both sides have for each other is nothing that I've ever seen before. I think NFL viewership will increase once the election is over, regardless of whether Giant Douche or Turd Sandwich is declared winner.

    1. Oversaturation: I wrote earlier that Goodell had done some nice things during his tenure. This includes adding a third day to the NFL Draft (I think a fourth day would be even better) and growing profits. Oversaturating the product is not one of them, however.

    When it started, I thought it was a horrible idea, and I still stand by it: Thursday night games are abysmal. I didn't mind them late in the year, but it's just too much. The games are low-quality, and they seem forced. Seriously, who outside of Cincinnati and Miami cared to watch that game on Thursday night? Did anyone, excluding degenerate gamblers and A.J. Green and Jarvis Landry fantasy owners even know it was on?

    People love football, and part of the reason why is because there are only 16 games. If football were like baseball, however, and there were 162 scheduled games that were on every day, TV viewership would plummet because fans would take it for granted. And that's exactly what is happening. Sundays are sacred. Monday night was for that one special game. But Thursday? Why did that become a thing?

    I also have a problem with the early London games. I don't mind having a couple of games overseas, but airing them at 9:30 a.m. Eastern - 6:30 a.m. Pacific!!! - is an abomination. Who, in their right mind, wants to wake up at 6 a.m. on the West Coast and watch a football game? And what about those on the West Coast who need to set their fantasy lineup because they have players with game-time decisions they need to either plug into or take out of their lineup? It's unreasonable to ask people to wake up that early on their final day off prior to a tough work week.

    I don't completely blame Goodell for attempting to branch out, but it has clearly backfired. He needs to reel it back in. Air games solely on Sundays and Mondays, save for the end of the year when college football winds down. Completely remove ridiculous 9:30 a.m. games. Quit talking about having an 18-game schedule because no one wants that. And for the love of God, please eliminate the fourth week of the preseason!

    NEW YORK OFFENSE: Everyone wants to bag on Ryan Fitzpatrick, but I don't think he was at fault for the loss to the Seahawks. He moved the chains well in the first half, but got unlucky with some of the interceptions following the break. Richard Sherman made a great play on the first pick, while the second was the result of a tipped pass. The third came in desperation time when Fitzpatrick had to force the issue.

    I expect Fitzpatrick to perform much better against the Steelers, who have issues in their secondary. Alex Smith couldn't expose those, but Fitzpatrick takes more shots downfield to his two talented receivers. Pittsburgh also doesn't have much of a pass rush, so Fitzpatrick figures to enjoy a clean pocket for most of the afternoon.

    The one thing the Steelers do very well on this side of the ball is clamp down on the run, so I would expect Matt Forte to struggle as a rusher again. Forte and Bilal Powell figure to do a fair amount of damage as receivers out of the backfield, however.

    PITTSBURGH OFFENSE: Ben Roethlisberger torched the poor Chiefs, who never had a chance. Based on how horribly the Jets' secondary performed against the Jets, it's possible that Roethlisberger could have an even better performance this week.

    The Jets have some glaring issues in their secondary. Darrelle Revis has been one of the worst cornerbacks in the NFL this season, which is amazing to think about considering where he was two years ago. There have been reports that Revis hasn't been training as hard, so he basically just took the money to become fat and happy with the Jets, which is a shame. There's a chance Revis could miss this game, which could be a blessing in disguise because there isn't much of a chance that his replacement will be any worse than he has been. Meanwhile, safety Calvin Pryor has also been torched routinely. As you can see, Roethlisberger is almost certainly licking his chops.

    While Roethlisberger will have major success, I won't say the same for Le'Veon Bell - at least not as a runner. The Jets have a terrific line that clamps down on the run well. New York will also put some pressure on Roethlisberger, so I don't expect the Steelers to score on every drive, or anything.

    RECAP: I was burned on the Jets last week, but I guess I'm a glutton for punishment because I'll be on them again this Sunday for a pretty substantial wager.

    This line is too high, as far as I'm concerned. The Jets are a solid team that has endured some bad luck over the past couple of weeks. They'll be able to throw against the Steelers' struggling pass defense and keep this game close, and I think the back door will be open if they need it.

    This is also close to a must-win situation for New York, as a 1-4 start would be a crushing blow to its playoff aspirations. The Steelers, on the other hand, have to be feeling good about themselves following their blowout victory in "Redemption Sunday." I don't see them matching that same intensity in this contest.

    I'd like the Jets even more at +7.5, but the sharps have bet the spread down to +7. Still, this looks good enough for a three-unit wager.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: There is a ton of public money on the Steelers, which makes me more confident in the Jets. New York can be obtained at +7 -105 or even +7 +100 depending on where you look. This line might rise to -7.5 with the amount of action coming in on Pittsburgh.

    SATURDAY NOTES: The Jets are available at +9 right now. The sharps haven't touched either side, but that could change Sunday morning. They definitely won't be betting with the public, who are pounding Pittsburgh like crazy. Whenever there's so much money on the Steelers like this, it's best to go with the other team, based on ownership's previous dealings in sportsbooking (when it was legal).

    FINAL THOUGHTS: This line has moved up to +9.5 for whatever reason. I'm surprised and disappointed that the sharps haven't touched the Jets. I'll take the extra line value though.


    The Psychology. Edge: Jets.
    Trent Dilfer said that Week 1 was a must-win for the Jets. It wasn't. This is much closer to a must-win, as a 1-4 start would be disastrous for the Jets' playoff hopes.


    The Vegas. Edge: Jets.
    The public is predictably pounding the Steelers.
  • Percentage of money on Pittsburgh: 70% (31,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Jets.
  • Jets are 10-3 ATS as underdogs of 7+ since 2010.
  • Mike Tomlin is 6-17 ATS as a favorite after a win of 14+ in the regular season unless a bye is coming up.
  • Opening Line: Steelers -7.
  • Opening Total: 48.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 5 NFL Pick: Steelers 30, Jets 27
    Jets +9.5 (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
    Over 50 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Steelers 31, Jets 13






    Washington Redskins (2-2) at Baltimore Ravens (3-1)
    Line: Ravens by 4. Total: 44.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Ravens -4.5.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Ravens -5.
    Sunday, Oct 9, 1:00 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Ravens.

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

    Random College Football Notes:

    1. Something I forgot to mention from watching the Pittsburgh-Penn State game a couple of weeks ago was that there was an awkward commercial for Pittsburgh University. I don't think it was exactly this, but it was something like it:



    See, it's pretty evident that commercial is geared toward adults. No 17-year-old is going to watch that and immediately apply to Pitt. None. If this ad were geared toward 17-year-olds, it would go a bit like this:

    HEY KID, WANNA GET LAID!?!?? COME TO PITT AND YOU'LL GET LAID, DRINK BEER, PARTY ALL NIGHT LONG, EAT P***Y, SMOKE WEED, DRINK MORE BEER, GET LAID, CHILL WITH NEW BROS, PARTY ALL NIGHT LONG, EAT P***Y, SMOKE WEED, DREEK BRING, GET LAID!!!!!!!!!

    If Pitt aired that, they'd have a record number of applications, guaranteed.

    2. If you somehow missed it, some girl got hit in the head with a football while trying to catch it at the LSU-Auburn game:



    I swear, I could watch that five billion times and laugh on every occasion.

    OK, maybe that made me sound like a dick. I am a dick, but that's beside the point, so let me say something nice:

    Thankfully, no one was injured as a result of this event. The girl who got hit is kind of cute, and it would be a real travesty if her nose got f***ed up as a result. What... that wasn't nice?

    3. While on the subject of LSU, I need to discuss the Les Miles firing, which I discovered following last week's college football notes were published. Yes, I know it happened beforehand, but I somehow missed it. I found out on Thursday, and I still have no idea how I managed not to hear about it.

    People are making a big deal about it, one way or the other. I thought about it for a while, and I wanted to have a strong stance, but I just don't really care either way. On one hand, I don't think LSU can find a comparable coach for a while. Their best option seems to be Bobby Petrino, but that might be a lateral move. Petrino said that he's not leaving Louisville, which means he's already searching for property around the LSU campus. Seriously, that man cannot be trusted. He could tell me that the sun rises in the east, and I still wouldn't believe him.

    On the other hand, Miles was a disappointment, and his inability to develop a good offense had to be frustrating to the fan base. He seemed to secure some victories on guile alone, and he actually won a national championship, but the program seemed to grow stagnant, so I can understand why LSU would make this decision.

    BALTIMORE OFFENSE: The Ravens generated more than 400 net yards of offense last week against the Raiders. It can be pointed out that Oakland's defense isn't very good and had issues stopping Joe Flacco late in the game, but Washington's defense isn't much better. In fact, it might be worse.

    The Redskins have some glaring concerns on this side of the ball. The secondary has major issues outside of Josh Norman now that DeAngelo Hall is out of the lineup. Meanwhile, Ryan Kerrigan may not play because of an elbow injury. He's considered day to day, but the Redskins couldn't put any pressure on Cody Kessler without him last week. The Ravens should be able to block Washington well, especially considering that left tackle Ronnie Stanley is expected to return to the lineup.

    I haven't gotten to the Redskins' run defense yet, and it's a major problem. They surrendered big chunks to Isaiah Crowell last week, so Terrance West figures to find massive running lanes as well. West is coming off a strong outing versus the Raiders, so he'll be able to pick up where he left off.

    WASHINGTON OFFENSE: The Ravens struggled a bit defensively to begin the season, but they were better versus the Raiders, thanks to the return of Elvis Dumervil. The Redskins block very well on the edge, however, so Dumervil won't be as impactful this week.

    Kirk Cousins should have ample time in the pocket, and he figures to have opportunities for success against a Baltimore secondary that has issues at cornerback. However, it's not exactly clear if Cousins will be able to take advantage of those liabilities, given how inconsistent he has been thus far.

    The Redskins were able to run the ball extremely effectively against the Browns last week, but don't expect that to be the case in Baltimore. The Ravens have a dominant ground defense that will swallow up Matt Jones, forcing Cousins to do more to move the chains. That's definitely not a good omen for the Redskins!

    RECAP: This spread is about 1.5 points off from where it should be, by my estimation. We're not going through any key numbers, unfortunately, so I'm not excited about making any sort of large wager on this contest.

    However, I think the Ravens are worth about a unit. They're the better team, as they're improved with Dumervil back on the field. The Redskins, meanwhile, could easily be 0-4 right now. I'm slightly concerned about the back door, but Baltimore seems like the right side.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Sharp money has caused this line to shift to -4. If you're betting the Ravens heavily and wanted to lock it in at -4, I wouldn't blame you, as this spread could rise even more. You can currently get -4 -105 at Bovada, which I'll look to do for my big, single unit.

    SATURDAY NOTES: Ronnie Stanley will be out for this game, but the Ravens still seem like the right side. Either way, I've locked in Baltimore for a unit. You can get -3.5 at BetUS right now. I don't anticipate this falling to -3, as the sharps have taken the Ravens a bit.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The line dropped to -3.5 in some places and then went back up to -4, as bettors can't make up their minds. The one development, however, is the weather. It's expected to be very windy, which means a possible under. I'll put a half unit on it.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Redskins.
    This is sharp action on the host.
  • Percentage of money on Baltimore: 68% (11,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Ravens.
  • Ravens are 22-15 ATS at home as an underdog or favorite of 1-7 points with Joe Flacco.
  • Opening Line: Ravens -3.5.
  • Opening Total: 47.
  • Weather: HEAVY WINDS, 25-35 mph.


    Week 5 NFL Pick: Ravens 23, Redskins 17
    Ravens -4 -105 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$105
    Under 44.5 (0.5 Units) -- Correct; +$50
    Redskins 16, Ravens 10






    Philadelphia Eagles (3-0) at Detroit Lions (1-3)
    Line: Eagles by 3.5. Total: 46.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Lions -1.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Eagles -1.
    Sunday, Oct 9, 1:00 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Eagles.

    If you've followed this site for a while, you might remember that I like to respond to my spam mails. Five years ago, a man named Jon Wire from the "United Bank of Africoan" promised me an ATM card of some sort, so I responded as a man named Mister Compassion Chuck Norris, who was raised by wolves. The following season, I received e-mails from Richard Held and Loon Bruce, who told me I won a Facebook Award, which comes with a "lump sum pay out of (750,000.00 GBP)." Pretending to be Matthew Millen Kim, I sent out my application and fake money.

    I messed around with a spammer pretending to be a black woman named Mulyana in 2012. I assumed Steve Urkel's identity and had many exchanges with Mulyana. Click the link to see all of that. As for the 2013 season, I pretended to be Riley Cooper and Aaron Hernandez in some responses. In 2014, Donald Sterling answered spammers.

    Last year, Tom Brady and his deflated footballs were involved. You can see those Spam Mails here with my responses to avoid clutter. I'll have brand new spam mail responses every week!

    PHILADELPHIA OFFENSE: The first thing I did when beginning to preview this game was search for updates regarding Ziggy Ansah and DeAndre Levy. Detroit's two best defensive players have been missing since Week 2, and the defense has fallen apart without them. Without Ansah, the Lions have no one to put consistent pressure on the quarterback outside of Kerry Hyder. Levy's absence, meanwhile, has transformed Detroit's linebackers into one of the league's worst units.

    If Ansah and Levy are missing, Carson Wentz will be able to pick the Lions apart. The Eagles have enjoyed extra time to prepare for Detroit, and Wentz is a film nut, so I'm sure he and his coaching staff have conjured up numerous ways to expose the Lions, who only have two viable players (Darius Slay, Glover Quin) in their back seven in the wake of Levy's absence.

    While Wentz will have plenty of time in the pocket if Ansah's out, regardless of Lane Johnson's status, Philadelphia's running backs will have plenty of room to burst through, just as rookie Jordan Howard discovered last week. The Eagles utilize an array of different backs, all of whom have been effective at times this season. That should continue against the banged-up Lions.

    DETROIT OFFENSE: The Lions' offense was limited to six points last week prior to a late punt return. That was an embarrassing effort, especially when considering that their opponent was Chicago's banged-up defense.

    Numerous players made mistakes. Golden Tate was benched for running a wrong route, resulting in a Matthew Stafford interception in the red zone. Eric Ebron dropped passes and missed blocks. Stafford wasn't himself either, as he struggled with accuracy. I expect Stafford to perform better, as Philadelphia's cornerbacks are the weak part of the defense. However, the question is whether Stafford will have time in the pocket. His offensive line has issues on the left side, where Connor Barwin will feast on struggling rookie tackle Taylor Decker.

    It hurts Stafford that he no longer has Ameer Abullah at his disposal. Abdullah was such a potent threat out of the backfield, but all the Lions have now at running back are the mediocre Theo Riddick and untrusted rookie Dwayne Washington. Neither will have much success running into Philadelphia's stalwart defensive front.

    RECAP: It's hard to believe, but the Eagles were one-point underdogs on the Westgate advanced line. That is no longer the case in the wake of Detroit's loss to Chicago. Philadelphia opened -2.5 and went to -3.

    I think this is a classic overreaction, and I have the urge to take the Lions based on principle. However, to do that, I need to know if Ansah and Levy are in the lineup. If they are, I'll actually consider a bet on Detroit. However, if they're not able to take the field - I'm going to assume they'll both be out for now - I'm going to pick the Eagles. There's no value with them - the spread is still too high - but they're coming off a bye and definitely remember the thrashing they took at Detroit last Thanksgiving.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: If you want to bet the Eagles, you're not alone. A ridiculous amount of action is on Philadelphia. The line isn't moving up, but the juice is. It's -115 in some places and even -125 at Bovada. I can't see the line gettng to -3.5, however, as the books will be at risk of getting middled. Personally, I'm still waiting on the statuses of Ziggy Ansah and DeAndre Levy.

    SATURDAY NOTES: Wow, this spread has gone through three. The Eagles are now -3.5 (-4 -105 at Bovada), meaning the books aren't worried at all about a middle (this game landing on three would be a disaster for them). That's good news for any Philadelphia bettors, as the sharps haven't shown any interest in wagering on the Lions. That's not a surprise, given that Ansah and Levy are both out.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The Eagles dropped to -3 -120 a bit this morning, but has since risen to -3.5. Again, this is bad news for the Lions because the books don't care about the middle. If you like Detroit, however, +4 is available at Bovada.


    The Psychology. Edge: Eagles.
    The Lions humiliated the Eagles on national TV on Thanksgiving last year.


    The Vegas. Edge: Lions.
    Who in their right mind would bet on Detroit right now?
  • Percentage of money on Philadelphia: 71% (31,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Opening Line: Eagles -2.5.
  • Opening Total: 46.
  • Weather: .


    Week 5 NFL Pick: Eagles 24, Lions 20
    Eagles -3.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Under 46 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Lions 24, Eagles 23






    Chicago Bears (1-3) at Indianapolis Colts (1-3)
    Line: Colts by 4. Total: 47.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Colts -6.5.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Colts -3.
    Sunday, Oct 9, 1:00 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Bears.

    Video of the Week: Ryan S., a reader of the site, began a YouTube channel with lazy translations of foreign videos. I think it's pretty funny. Here's a translation for a cigarette ad:



    They're creating one for fantasy football, so I can't wait to see that!

    CHICAGO OFFENSE: I joked in my NFL Power Rankings that Jim Irsay should've hired shady European terrorists to kidnap both Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano so he could effectively "fire" them without having to pay them. It would've been a good plan, though it didn't happen. The Colts did make some moves, however, cutting both Antonio Cromartie and linebacker Sio Moore. Both players struggled immensely, but the same could be said about every member of Indianapolis' defense, save for safety Mike Adams. This includes Vontae Davis, who isn't anywhere close to 100 percent.

    The Bears figure to score quite easily against this abomination of a defense. They became who I thought they would be in their victory against the Lions. I expected them to be efficient on offense versus the Cowboys two weeks ago, much like the 49ers were this past Sunday, but that never happened for some reason. They were better against Detroit. Granted, the Lions have major defensive issues, but Indianapolis' are even worse.

    Rookie running back Jordan Howard impressed last week and figures to rip through the Colts, just as T.J. Yeldon did in London. This will set up easy throws for Brian Hoyer, who may not have Kevin White at his disposal. That may not matter, as Alshon Jeffery will have another week to heal and improve. Tight end Zach Miller, meanwhile, could abuse the Colts' sluggish linebackers.

    INDIANAPOLIS OFFENSE: The Colts' offensive output was embarrassing in London. Andrew Luck took six sacks against a defense that normally doesn't pressure the quarterback very well. The offensive line is mostly a disaster, and it's something the Bears should be able to exploit, despite their numerous injuries.

    The Bears were able to put heat on Matthew Stafford this past week, thanks to Akiem Hicks and Willie Young, and they figure to pressure Luck equally. Luck will still be able to hit some downfield shots, though T.Y. Hilton has a tough matchup this week. Bryce Callahan has been terrific as the Bears' slot cornerback, so he should be able to slow Hilton down just a bit.

    The Colts may have some luck running the ball, as the Bears are beat up on defense. However, the Colts' offensive line will have problems here as well, and as mentioned, Chicago still has some quality players remaining in the front seven. In addition to the two linemen, linebacker Jerrell Freeman is having a great season.

    RECAP: We lost some value here, as the advanced spread was Colts -6.5. However, I still think -5 (or -4.5) is still too high. These teams are about even, so the Colts should be favored by no more than three points. I don't know why they're still being overvalued; perhaps it has something to do with Luck. The public may still expect Indianapolis to score a ton because of him, but the offensive line is preventing that from happening.

    In addition to the value, something else to consider is that the Colts are the first team to play after a London game without having a week off. There's no current data to say how this will affect them, but it can't be good, right? I don't know why the NFL did this. Perhaps the schedule was otherwise impossible, or maybe this is an experiment so that Roger Goodell can justify placing a team across the pond in the future. Regardless, it's another reason to bet the Bears, who seem to be worth a three-unit wager in this spot.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: The sharps are driving this spread down, so I don't think you'll be able to get +5 (Bovada) very much longer. I'm thinking about locking in three units on +5, but that's not a key number so I think we can afford to wait and see if this hits +6, or something.

    SATURDAY NOTES: This spread has bounced back and forth between +4 and +5, which is all superficial line movement, given that there's no real difference between the two numbers. I still like the Bears a good deal.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Some late sharp money has come in on the Bears. This line is down to +4 in most places and +3.5 in a couple of books.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Colts.
    There's sharp action coming in on the Bears.
  • Percentage of money on Chicago: 63% (18,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Colts.
  • Andrew Luck is 16-5 ATS off a loss.
  • Andrew Luck is 22-9 ATS at home.
  • Opening Line: Colts -4.
  • Opening Total: 47.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 5 NFL Pick: Colts 23, Bears 22
    Bears +4 (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
    Under 47 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Colts 29, Bears 23





    Week 5 NFL Picks - Late Games
    Atlanta at Denver, Cincinnati at Dallas, Buffalo at Los Angeles, San Diego at Oakland, NY Giants at Green Bay, Tampa Bay at Carolina



    LOADING COMMENTS...

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


  • Prop/teaser/parlay picks posted in Week 5 NFL Picks - Late Games



    NFL Picks - Jan. 16


    2021 NFL Mock Draft - Jan. 13


    Fantasy Football Rankings - Jan. 11


    2022 NFL Mock Draft - Nov. 15


    NFL Power Rankings - Nov. 14


    2020 College Football Recruiting Rankings - April 14


    2020 NBA Mock Draft - Sept. 27




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    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)

    2003 Preseason: 3 | 4 | 5
    2003 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 20 | XXXVIII
    2004 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2004 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XXXIX
    2005 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2005 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XL
    2006 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2006 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLI
    2007 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2007 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLII |
    2008 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2008 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLIII |
    2009 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLIV |
    2010 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2010 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLV |
    2011 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2011 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLVI |
    2012 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2012 Season:
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    2013 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
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    2014 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
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    2015 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2015 Season:
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    2016 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
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    2017 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
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    2018 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2018 Season:
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    2019 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2019 Season:
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    2020 Season:
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