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 - Early Games







Atlanta Falcons (3-1) at Denver Broncos (4-0)
Line: Broncos by 6. Total: 45.

Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Broncos -6.5.
Walt's Calculated Line: Broncos -4.5.
Sunday, Oct 9, 4:05 PM
Comment on this game

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!

ATLANTA OFFENSE: The Falcons have an explosive offense, as we all learned when the Panthers surrendered more than 500 passing yards to Matt Ryan and an even 300 to Julio Jones. It seems like Atlanta can score at will against anyone. But how true is that? I suppose we'll find out this week for sure.

This is the toughest test for the Falcons' scoring attack thus far, and it isn't even close. They've battled soft defenses thus far - Buccaneers, Raiders, Saints in the first three weeks - and that includes the Panthers, who are far worse without Josh Norman. The Broncos, conversely, have one of the two best stop units in the NFL (Vikings). Their pass rush absolutely smothered Jameis Winston this past week, and while Atlanta's blockers should do a better job against Von Miller and Shane Ray, Ryan will still have to release the ball quicker than he'd like to. He won't be able to wait on downfield shots to Jones again, though I do believe that Denver's secondary could have issues with Jones because of his size. Kelvin Benjamin presented similar problems in the season opener.

One weak spot in Denver's stop unit is its run defense up the middle. Jared Crick and Sylvester Williams are big liabilities, so Devonta Freeman could enjoy another solid performance as both a runner and a receiver out of the backfield.

DENVER OFFENSE: Trevor Siemian was knocked out of the game last week, which was unfortunate for him because he saw Paxton Lynch deliver strong throws to his receivers. Siemian has played well thus far, but he knows that Lynch will take over as the starter eventually. That time won't be now, however, as it sounds like the Broncos plan on starting Siemian in this contest.

The Falcons, unlike the Buccaneers and Bengals, have a sound secondary that could help keep Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders in check. Desmond Trufant is a stud corner, while Robert Alford isn't so bad either. Rookie Keanu Neal has been a big boost since his return to the lineup. The problem, however, is that the Falcons don't place much pressure on the quartrback, so Siemian could have plenty of time in the pocket to dissect Atlanta's defense.

Atlanta isn't very good against the run either, as the team is extremely weak in the interior of its defensive line. This obviously means that C.J. Anderson will have a tremendous afternoon, making life even easier for Siemian.

RECAP: If you give me more than a field goal with one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL, and the matchup isn't completely lopsided, I'll take that almost every time. That includes this instance, where it seems like the Broncos are favored by a bit too much. Remember, the last time Denver was at home, it had just a three-point lead against the hapless Colts with four minutes remaining in regulation before an improbable front-door cover. The Falcons are better and should be able to stay within the number. Having access to the back door could help.

Something else to consider is that the Broncos have to play Thursday night. They also happen to be coming off back-to-back victories on the East Coast, so there could be a bit of a letdown. All the more reason to wager two units on the Falcons.

I'm actually going to lock in two units now. This spread is still +6 in some places - Bovada, BetUS - but it has fallen to +5.5 at some of the sharper books, including Pinnacle and 5Dimes.

THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Locking picks in has backfired in the past, but it worked this time, as this spread has dropped to +5.5 across the board (though still available at +6 -115 at Bovada). It's not a surprise that the sharps are betting the visitor.

SATURDAY NOTES: I'm glad I locked this pick in, as this spread is now +4 all across the board. The sharps have pounded the Falcons into oblivion, which isn't a surprise. I've heard the argument that the Falcons haven't played a defense like this year, but no one is saying that the Broncos haven't battled an offense like this yet. With Denver set to play in a few days, I don't expect the team to be completely focused.

FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps love the Falcons, as this number dropped all the way from +6 to +3.5. There was some take-back for Denver -3.5, but Atlanta is the professional side.


The Psychology. Edge: Falcons.
The Broncos are coming off two consecutive road wins and have to play on Thursday following this non-conference game.


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


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Opening Line: Broncos -6.
  • Opening Total: 47.
  • Weather: .


    Week 5 NFL Pick: Broncos 27, Falcons 24
    Falcons +6 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
    Over 45 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Falcons 23, Broncos 16




    Buffalo Bills (2-2) at Los Angeles Rams (3-1)
    Line: Bills by 2. Total: 41.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Rams -2.5.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Rams -2.5.
    Sunday, Oct 9, 4:25 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: None.

    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!

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    BUFFALO OFFENSE: It's weird that the Bills have begun winning without Sammy Watkins. Of course, Watkins wasn't quite himself because of a nagging injury, but he at least served as a decoy. The Bills currently have no downfield threats, as their No. 1 receiver is now the mediocre Robert Woods.

    The Rams won't be threatened by this at all. They have an excellent pair of safeties and a terrific cornerback in Trumaine Johnson, who did a great job against the Cardinals. Los Angeles contained Arizona's aerial attack, so why would the Bills suddenly have success throwing the ball? Their biggest passing threat is LeSean McCoy leaking out of the backfield as a receiver, but the Rams have the linebackers to contain him.

    I can't see McCoy running very well either, as the Rams possess a stalwart front that has done well versus rushing attacks following the Week 1 debacle. This will put more stress on Tyrod Taylor, who will have to deal with Los Angeles' ferocious pass rush. It helps that Cordy Glenn will have another weak to heal; the stellar left tackle wasn't quite himself in his return last week, but he'll be more effective as the season progresses.

    LOS ANGELES OFFENSE: It's almost hard to believe that the Bills recorded a shutout against the Patriots after witnessing how easily Ryan Fitzpatrick shredded them a couple of Thursday nights ago. They'll be even better going forward, as Pro Bowl defensive tackle Marcell Dareus will be returning from suspension this week.

    Dareus will make life very difficult for both Case Keenum and Todd Gurley. In terms of Keenum, I think the Rams might be overconfident with him after how well he handled the Buccaneers and Cardinals the past two weeks. With Dareus back on the field, the Bills will be able to apply heavy pressure on Keenum, so if the Rams get cute and try to be too aggressive, it could cost them.

    Meanwhile, Gurley hasn't been running well this year because of poor blocking, so Dareus' return is horrible timing, as Gurley had somewhat of a favorable matchup otherwise. The Bills actually weren't awful against a comparable running back, David Johnson, two weeks ago, limiting him to 83 yards on 17 carries. That's not great, but it's not horrible either, and this was done without Dareus being on the field.

    RECAP: I'm looking forward to watching this matchup, but this is the least-appealing game this week as far as betting goes. Both teams are coming off emotional victories and could be at a low this week. Both teams have an equal amount of matchup edges on defense. And the line is exactly where I think it should be.

    I've gone back and forth between these teams a few times, and I think I've ultimately settled on the Bills. My one thought is that the Rams could end up having an awful homefield advantage because most people in Los Angeles are aloof and don't care about professional sports, and I don't see why they'd buy into this boring, yet solid Rams squad. There could also be more Bills fans than Rams supporters in the stadium. But you're guess is as good as mine in terms of this spread winner.

    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.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: I'm making a pick change. I was very 50-50 on this game, but Kenny made a compelling case for the Rams (or rather, why we should fade the Bills) on the podcast. It's still going to be zero units.

    SATURDAY NOTES: I'm switching back to the Bills. But for good reason. It sounds like the Rams will be without Robert Quinn, Michael Brockers and William Hayes. The defensive line is the strength of their team, and they simply won't be the same without Quinn and Brockers. I'm still pretty much 50-50 on this, however, though the sharps have been betting Buffalo.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps continued to bet the Bills all the way up to -2.5 despite Marcell Dareus' absence. It seems like they recognize the players missing on the Rams are more important.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    Both teams could be on an emotional low following huge upsets.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Los Angeles: 54% (25,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Rams.
  • Bills are 16-10 ATS after playing the New England Patriots since 1999.
  • Bills are 7-17 ATS since November 2011 as a road underdog.
  • True home teams are 30-17 ATS in the last 47 Bills games.
  • Opening Line: Rams -2.5.
  • Opening Total: 40.
  • Weather: .


    Week 5 NFL Pick: Bills 13, Rams 9
    Bills -2 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Under 41 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Bills 30, Rams 19






    San Diego Chargers (1-3) at Oakland Raiders (3-1)
    Line: Raiders by 3.5. Total: 51.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Raiders -3.5.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Raiders -2.
    Sunday, Oct 9, 4:25 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: None.

    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.

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    SAN DIEGO OFFENSE: What's with the Chargers' inability to stay healthy? They lost Keenan Allen, Danny Woodhead and Antonio Gates in the first three weeks, and now they're down a couple of linemen, as tackles King Dunlap and Joe Barksdale appear to be questionable for this game. Guard Orlando Franklin, meanwhile, is playing but doesn't appear to be 100 percent.

    It's fortunate for the Chargers that they're battling an Oakland squad that doesn't put much pressure on the quarterback. This was unexpected because of Khalil Mack, but the Raider edge rusher hasn't quite been himself this year, for whatever reason. He was a bit better last week against the Ravens, but compared to how he played in previous years, he was still pretty lackluster. That said, if there's a time Mack will come alive, it's this game against San Diego's banged-up line.

    That said, I still think the Chargers will move the ball effectively. Rivers is playing at the top of his game right now, and he still has some decent weapons, including rookie tight end Hunter Henry, who has looked like the real deal outside of his fumble at the end of the Indianapolis game. He should be able to carve up Oakland's pedestrian linebacking corps. Melvin Gordon, meanwhile, will run well against an Oakland front that struggled to contain Terrance West last week.

    OAKLAND OFFENSE: The Chargers have some issues on defense, but they possess a couple of talented cornerbacks in Jason Verrett and Casey Hayward. This is crucial, as the Raiders' scoring attack is predicated on Derek Carr's ability to connect with Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree on downfield throws. Carr torched the Ravens' poor corners and had success versus the Titans as well, but this matchup could go differently.

    That said, Carr will have some success because his offensive line should be able to shield him from San Diego's mediocre pass rush. Jeremiah Attaochu has been a disappointment this year, and I don't think he'll be able to take advantage of the injury situation the Raiders have at right tackle. Meanwhile, Melvin Ingram doesn't have an edge on blind-side protector Donald Penn.

    Carr will need to play well because the running game won't do much. The Chargers have improved against the rush this year, thanks to the Brandon Mebane signing, and Oakland's running backs haven't performed well. Latavius Murray's role seems to be decreasing each week, while DeAndre Washington hasn't quite lived up to the preseason hype.

    RECAP: This is my top play of the week. I love the Chargers and will be selecting them for five units.

    As I wrote in the Falcons-Broncos capsule, if you give me a great quarterback getting more than a field goal in a matchup that isn't lopsided, I'll take that almost every time. And this matchup certainly isn't lopsided. Despite the differing records, these teams are quite close. The only difference is how these teams have finished in the final two minutes. The Raiders have come up clutch against the Saints, Titans and Ravens, while the Chargers have fallen flat on their face with mistakes against the Chiefs, Colts and Saints. San Diego could be 3-1 or even 4-0 right now with better luck, while Oakland could be 2-2, 1-3 or even 0-4 with some misfortune. If the Chargers were 3-1 visiting 2-2 Oakland, what would this spread be? Probably less than a field goal!

    This line shouldn't be above -3. I don't even think it should be a field goal. Yes, these teams are close to even, but I'm unwilling to give the Raiders a full three for being at home. They just haven't performed well as hosts over the years, while San Diego seems to play better on the road. Also, consider that the Chargers are completely desperate. While Oakland is coming off an emotional, last-minute win across the country, San Diego is now 1-3, and another loss could make reaching the playoffs extremely difficult.

    The Chargers seem like a great pick. They getting more points than they should and definitely need this game more. They also possess a quarterback who is more than capable of opening the back door if needed.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: I'm thinking about dropping this to four units in the wake of Jason Verrett's ACL tear. I was hoping the line would move up at least half-a-point because of it, but sadly, that has not been the case. In fact, the Raiders are +3.5 everywhere, save for Bovada, where the line currently rests at +4 -115, which I would rather have than +3.5 -110.

    SATURDAY NOTES: I screwed up for not jumping on +4 -115, as the spread is now +3.5. I was hoping this line would go up with Verrett being out, but the opposite has occurred, as the sharps have pounded San Diego. I think I'll lock in +3.5 at four units. That line is available at Bovada, and it's +3 +105/+3.5 -120 everywhere else.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I locked in the wrong top pick. I wish I could have the Titans at +3.5. Alas, this spread has remained at +3.5 (-105 at Bovada!) Anticipating line moves is no exact science. San Diego, by the way, has gotten the sharp money.


    The Psychology. Edge: Chargers.
    At 1-3, the Chargers will be much more desperate than the Raiders, who are coming off another last-minute win.


    The Vegas. Edge: Raiders.
    This is mostly sharp money on the Chargers.
  • Percentage of money on San Diego: 63% (29,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Chargers.
  • History: Chargers have won 6 of the last 9 meetings (Raiders 10-4 ATS last 14).
  • Raiders are 9-32 ATS at home vs. teams with losing records.
  • Raiders are 13-26 ATS after a win since 2009.
  • Raiders are 5-22 ATS as home favorites since November 2005.
  • Opening Line: Raiders -4.
  • Opening Total: 52.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 5 NFL Pick: Chargers 24, Raiders 23
    Chargers +3.5 (4 Units) -- Correct; +$400
    Under 51 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Raiders 34, Chargers 31






    Cincinnati Bengals (2-2) at Dallas Cowboys (3-1)
    Line: Bengals by 2.5. Total: 46.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Cowboys -1.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Cowboys -1.
    Sunday, Oct 9, 4:25 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Bengals.

    A reminder that Jerks of the Week for this week is up, so just click the link. This week's jerks entry is called Tales of the Ailing Foot.

    DALLAS OFFENSE: Lost in the Cowboys' victory over the 49ers that allowed them to improve to 3-1 was that they were trailing San Francisco, the worst team in football, in the third quarter when NaVorro Bowman sustained an injury. Dallas' offense had only been average beforehand, but with Bowman out of the lineup, the Cowboys were able to pound Ezekiel Elliott into oblivion, and there was nothing the 49ers could do about it.

    The Bengals are not the 49ers, and their top linebacker is currently healthy. That would be Vontaze Burfict, whose presence was felt last Thursday night. Coming off his three-game suspension, Burfict Strangers was able to help stop Miami's rushing attack. Granted, the Dolphins have pedestrian running backs, but the Bengals figure to be one of the top run-stopping units in the NFL once again now that Burfict has returned.

    While running the ball may not be an option for the Cowboys, they should be able to pass effectively. Cincinnati is at its weakest in the secondary on this side of the ball. Ryan Tannehill only took advantage of this once on a deep connection to Kenny Stills. Even though Dak Prescott is a rookie, I trust him more than Ryan Tannehill, though I'm not sure if he'll be overly successful if Dez Bryant is out of the lineup again. Bryant's status is currently unknown.

    CINCINNATI OFFENSE: The Bengals moved the ball well in between the 20s once again last week, but their major issue has been scoring in the red zone. Tyler Eifert's return should help change that. The dynamic tight end missed the first four weeks of the season, but his presence on the field will provide a big boost. Andy Dalton loved throwing to him in the end zone last year, and I don't see why things would be any different in 2016.

    The Cowboys will be getting back a major player of theirs as well, as DeMarcus Lawrence will be able to return from suspension. Lawrence will bolster a pass rush that has been completely non-existent, but I'm not sure if it'll be enough against the Bengals, who have a mostly competent blocking unit. Right tackle Cedric Ogbuehi has struggled, but that's about it. Dalton should have enough time to connect with A.J. Green and Eifert, though Green will have a tough matchup against Morris Claiborne, who has been tremendous this year.

    I expect Cincinnati to move the chains effectively via the ground attack. Jeremy Hill was a non-factor versus the Dolphins' stalwart defensive front, but the Cowboys haven't been able to contain the run whatsoever. Hill will bounce back, though Giovani Bernard will also be mixed in, of course.

    RECAP: This is a difficult game to handicap, as it's unclear if Bryant will play and how effective Eifert will be. I also think the spread has been set perfectly. Whether the Cowboys or Bengals are favored by one, this is effectively a pick-em game in which both sides seem to have a 50-50 chance of prevailing. I'm going to side with the Bengals because I believe they're the better team, but a Dallas victory wouldn't surprise me in the slightest.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: I'm thinking about switching this pick to the Cowboys. Perhaps I'll do that Saturday. Tyler Eifert's injury is the primary reason for this, but I'm still 50-50 on this game.

    SATURDAY NOTES: The Bengals won't have Eifert, while Dallas will be missing Dez Bryant. The Cowboys will at least be getting back Tyron Smith, but it's unclear if he'll be 100 percent. The sharps have been betting Cincinnati all week, but the Cowboys will look pretty attractive at +3 if they ever get there.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: This game mirrors the Rams-Bills game, as the host opened as a favorite, but the pros bet the road team up to being -2.5. I wouldn't expect this to hit +3 -110 or -115, though -125 is available at Bovada.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Cowboys.
    The Bengals are getting tons of action.
  • Percentage of money on Cincinnati: 72% (36,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Bengals.
  • The underdog is 63-36 ATS in Cowboys games since 2010.
  • Bengals are 32-17 ATS as underdogs since 2009.
  • Cowboys are 13-24 ATS as home favorites in Cowboys Stadium (excluding Thanksgiving).
  • Cowboys are 7-20 ATS when favored after a win since 2010.
  • Opening Line: Cowboys -1.
  • Opening Total: 45.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 5 NFL Pick: Bengals 23, Cowboys 20
    Bengals -2.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Under 46 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Cowboys 28, Bengals 14






    New York Giants (2-2) at Green Bay Packers (2-1)
    Line: Packers by 7. Total: 50.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Packers -6.5.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Packers -6.
    Sunday, Oct 9, 8:30 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: None.

    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:



    This was my final attempt to troll the 49ers prior to the Week 3 games. I was hoping for more success this week. I began on the Seattle page:



    Only one response to naming "Tarvis Jaskins" one of the best quarterbacks in Seattle history was disappointing.

    Fortunately, I had much more success on the Jets page:



    I like how they thought that "jet throwwwy guy" was a great nickname for Ryan Fitzpatrick. It definitely seems very appropriate!

    NEW YORK OFFENSE: I don't want to say that Eli Manning didn't try very hard against the Vikings, but he gave up on so many plays. He knew his offensive line couldn't block Minnesota's monstrous front, so he constantly threw the ball into the ground to avoid taking a hit. He wasn't sacked at all, but the stat box might as well have read that he took six or seven sacks for zero-yard losses.

    Manning won't quit on plays against the Packers, whose defense has been shredded by lesser quarterbacks this year. That includes Blake Bortles, who nearly upset Green Bay in Week 1. The Packers' problems are twofold. First of all, the pass rush is lacking because Clay Matthews is not completely healthy. Matthews is dealing with an ankle injury and is considered questionable for this game. Even if he plays, he may not be 100 percent. Second, the Packers are missing Sam Shields, their top cornerback. Damarious Randall has been exposed as a result.

    I expect Manning to rebound for these two reasons. Odell Beckham Jr. should have a strong bounce-back performance, as he won't have anyone of the caliber of Xavier Rhodes or Josh Norman covering him. The Giants won't be able to run effectively, but they'll still move the chains consistently, as they'll face much less resistance in this game.

    GREEN BAY OFFENSE: It's not a good week for the Giants to have a banged-up secondary. Sam Bradford didn't pose as the biggest threat to expose an injury-ravaged defensive backfield, but Aaron Rodgers figures to do so.

    At least, that's how it looks on paper. Rodgers hasn't quite been himself since the beginning of the 2015 campaign. I thought it had to do with an injury he sustained early last season, but his substandard play has continued into 2016. Granted, he's had some brilliant moments, particularly in the opening half against the Lions, but he's been inconsistent. I also wonder about his offensive line's ability to protect against the Giants' ferocious defensive front.

    I don't think Rodgers will be able to lean on Eddie Lacy to help him move the chains. It's extremely difficult to run on the Giants, thanks to their monstrous defensive tackles, and Lacy obviously isn't exactly the greatest running back, so I don't think he has the talent to overcome such a tough matchup.

    RECAP: I'm always a bit scared to bet against teams coming off byes because they may have made some great adjustments to play much better, but I think the Giants are the right side. And, I like them quite a bit.

    I don't get the thought process behind the public here. Why is everyone not betting the Giants if they were so willing to take them at +4 against the Vikings? Minnesota is better than Green Bay, and yet this line is 3.5 points higher. How does that make any sense?

    We're getting great value with the Giants, who figure to bounce back against an easier opponent. They'll actually be able to move the ball on the Packers, and I expect this to be a tight game. And even if the Packers jump out to a two- or three-score lead, they're more than willing to give up some back-door touchdowns, as we all saw in their matchup against the Lions.

    I considered four units here, but I'll stick to three because the Packers are coming off a bye. If this line continues to rise, however, I may have to reconsider.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: I still feel the same way about this game, though I'm encouraged that the sharps are betting the Giants. If the Packers weren't coming off a bye, this would be a huge play.

    SATURDAY NOTES: Giants +7.5 is long gone, and +7 -110 is only available at Bovada, so I'll lock it in. The spread is +7 -115 or -120 pretty much elsewhere, as the sharps have been betting heavily on New York.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: So pissed about that Bears game... Anyway, I'm kind of upset I locked in the Giants so early. Bovada is offering +7.5 -105, which I'd prefer over +7 -110. Still, I like where I am with this game in terms of wagering three units on the Giants. This spread is too high, and the sharps agree, though the books don't want to cross the key number of seven. Still, you have to lay -120 across the board if you want to bet the Giants at +7; the juice keeps rising on New York even though the Packers are getting late public action, which indicates that the Giants should be the right side.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Giants.
    Some late action coming in on the Packers.
  • Percentage of money on Green Bay: 62% (63,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Packers.
  • Giants are 45-29 ATS on the road since 2006 as long as they're not favored by 3.5 or more.
  • Eli Manning is 37-28 ATS as an underdog since 2007.
  • Packers are 29-18 ATS at home since 2010.
  • Aaron Rodgers is 70-43 ATS since 2009 (9-6 ATS as a favorite of 12+).
  • Mike McCarthey is 9-1 ATS off a bye.
  • Opening Line: Packers -7.
  • Opening Total: 48.
  • Weather: .


    Week 5 NFL Pick: Packers 24, Giants 21
    Giants +7 (3 Units) -- Push; $0
    Under 50 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Packers 23, Giants 16






    Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3) at Carolina Panthers (1-3)
    Line: Panthers by 6. Total: 46.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Panthers -7.5.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Panthers -5.5 (Newton) or Panthers -1 (Anderson).
    Monday, Oct 10, 8:30 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: .

    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 the city of Carolina, home of the Carolina Jaguars! Tonight, the Carolina Jaguars will be playing the Tampa Bay Lightning. Guys, this is a stupid game no one cares about, so let's talk about something more important. Carson Wentz! Guys, Carson Wentz is the greatest human being ever to live. He's taking my Eagles to the Super Bowl! E-A-G-E-L-S EAGLES!!!

    Millen: Kevin, I agree with you. Carson Wentz might just be the great quarterback we've ever seen. This is because he has a tremendous backside. Look at his backside, guys. So round, so juicy. Guys, I snuck into his apartment last night and used my kielbasa sextant to measure what percentage USDA Man he is. Oh. My God. Guys, Carson Wentz is 7.16 million-percent USDA Man.

    Reilly: Who the hell cares? What matters is that I already have eight Carson Wentz posters in my room. I tried to get a ninth, but Mother wouldn't let me. What a whore!

    Millen: Kevin, I don't think you understand. Carson Wentz, here's a guy who has been measured as the greatest USDA Man of all time. This means we might be able to stuff 7.16 million kielbasas into his backside at the same time! Excuse me gentlemen, I'm going to go find 7.16 million kielbasas!

    Tollefson: Shut up, weirdo, Carson Wentz doesn't want your stupid kielbasas. He wants to go around cruising for women with me. I have a plan. I'm going to start printing t-shirts with Wentz catch-phrases. Like "Welcome to Wentzylvania," and "My favorite day is Wentzday," and "My favorite South Park character is Wentzdy Testaburger." I already purchased a plant in China that'll make these, and I'm going to have 5-year-old Chinese orphans making these t-shirts. I'll pay them three M&Ms per day! What a steal!

    Emmitt: Marcello, this not very nicely. The Japanese kid in the city of China deserve more than three M&M per day. M&M good candy but li-bit small, so he deserve a lot more M&M. Probably double, and double of three M&M equal 22 M&M.

    Fouts: And here's how you do that math. You take three, then you punch in the multiplication button on the calculator, then you press "2" and then you press the equal sign and you get "6." Then, you clear your calculator and type in "22," and that's how you get three doubled equals 22.

    Herm: THAT'S NOT RIGHT! THAT'S NOT GOOD! THAT'S INCORRECT! THAT'S NOT DOUBLE! THAT'S NOT EVEN TRIPLE! THAT'S NOT EVEN QUADRUPLE! THAT'S NOT EVEN QUINTUPLE! THAT'S NOT EVEN HERM DOESN'T KNOW THE WORD FOR SIX TIMES SOMETHING IS! WHAT IS THE WORD FOR SIX TIMES SOMETHING!? IS THERE A WORD FOR SIX TIMES SOMETHING!? HERM'S TRYING TO FIGURE OUT IF THERE'S A WORD FOR SIX TIMES SOMETHING! HERM HAS NO IDEA! HERM HAS NO CLUE! IS THREE TIMES SIX EQUAL 22!? NO! SO WHY DOES THIS MATTER!? WHY IS HERM ASKING!? WHAT IS HERM ASKING!? HERM ALREADY FORGOT WHAT HERM'S ASKING! WHAT WAS HERM ASKING!? WHAT DOES 22 HAVE TO DO WITH WENTZ!? WHAT DOES SEXTUPLE HAVE TO DO WITH WENTZ!? AND WHY DID HERM JUST SAY SEX!? IS HERM TRYING TO HAVE SEX!? WHO'S TRYING TO HAVE SEX WITH HERM!? CAN HERM HAVE SEX!? WHERE CAN HERM HAVE SEX!? IS SEX EVEN AN OPTION!? WHY IS HERM TALKING ABOUT SEX!? WHY!? Uhh... umm...

    Reilly: Shut up, idiot. Tolly, I have some ideas for t-shirts. Tolly, how about "Kevin Reilly is the biggest Eagles fan in the wentzworld?" How about "Mother better let me have a ninth Wentz poster in my bedroom!?" What about "Herm is an idiot and deserves to die on Thursday the day before Wentzday?"

    Wolfley: THOSE ARE STUPID SUGGESTIONS, KEVIN. I LIKE CARSON WENTZ. WHEN I LOOK AT CARSON WENTZ, HE REMINDS ME OF A JACK-O'-LANTERN MISSING ITS FRONT TEETH EATING A PIECE OF MEAT WITH KETCHUP ON IT.

    Reilly: What is everyone talking about? I want my damn Wentz t-shirts, damn it!

    Charles Davis: Let's talk about more articles of clothing, Kevin. You can get Wentz hoodies, Kevin. How about Wentz sweatshirts, Kevin? What about Wentz jackets, Kevin? How about Wentz sweat pants, Kevin? What about Wentz scarves, Kevin? How about Wentz hats, Kevin? Let's discuss Wentz baseball caps, Kevin. Why not talk about Wentz bracelets, Kevin? Let's do a quiz, Kevin. Name me a Wentz article of clothing we haven't discussed yet, Kevin. You have three seconds to guess, Kevin. Three...

    Reilly: Carson Wentz underwe...

    Charles Davis: Three seconds are up, Kevin. The correct answer is Carson Wentz underwear, Kevin.

    Reilly: THAT'S WHAT I WAS ABOUT TO F***ING SAY YOU F***ING A**HOLE, I'LL KILL YOU IF I DON'T GET MY WENTZ T-SHIRTS AND UNDERWEAR, I SWEAR TO GOD!!! We'll be back after this!

    CAROLINA OFFENSE: There's no line on this game because of Cam Newton's health. Newton sustained a concussion when he inexplicably slowed down near the goal line. The latest update we have is that Ron Rivera said he had "no idea" what Newton's status would be for Week 5. Newton has an extra day to pass protocol, so unlike Carson Palmer, he has a legitimate chance of suiting up.

    Whether it's Newton or Derek Anderson at quarterback, they'll have an easier matchup than anticipated a couple of weeks ago because the Buccaneers are missing key personnel on the defensive line. Gerald McCoy and Noah Spence are expected to be out, while Robert Ayers' status is uncertain. The McCoy absence would be huge, as he's one of the top defensive tackles in the NFL.

    Without McCoy and the two pass-rushers, Newton or Anderson will have plenty of time in the pocket despite the status of the struggling offensive line. Tampa Bay's secondary has been an abomination this season thanks to some embarrassing safety play, so Kelvin Benjamin appears to have a great matchup. Ted Ginn also figures to burn the Buccaneers deep on several occasions. Meanwhile, the Panthers might actually get something out of their ground game for once, as McCoy's absence will certainly help in that department.

    TAMPA BAY OFFENSE: Because of the injuries and safety play, the Buccaneers will have to score plenty of points to keep up. And score plenty of points, they shall, as the Panthers have tons of issues on this side of the ball as well.

    The biggest problem for the Panthers is their secondary. Of course, this has been well-publicized in the wake of Julio Jones' 300-yard performance, but it was quite evident beforehand. Josh Norman's absence is a huge problem. Mike Evans isn't as great of a receiver as Jones, but he's still a dynamic play-maker, and Carolina no longer has anyone to deal with him. I expect Evans to go off, and Winston will have plenty of opportunities to connect with him. Winston was rocked by Denver's ferocious pass rush this past Sunday, but the Panthers can't get to the quarterback nearly as well.

    The one thing the Panthers still do well on this side of the ball is stop the run, so I don't see Charles Sims doing much on the ground. Sims, however, should still be a factor as a receiver out of the backfield.

    RECAP: I obviously can't issue a definitive pick yet because there's no line, but I'm almost certainly going to be on the Buccaneers for anywhere between two and five units, depending on what this spread is. I've made it a case to bet against the Panthers heavily this year because they were going to be overvalued, and I'll continue to do so until the sportsbooks adjust. Meanwhile, I think the Buccaneers are underrated, despite recent results. They had no chance against the elite Broncos, but they won in Atlanta and should've beaten the Rams, and I have to imagine this line would be much lower if Tampa Bay were 2-2.

    I'll post a pick once the spread is released. Check back or follow me @walterfootball for updates.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: There's still no line on this game. I imagine there won't be one until Saturday evening, barring some early Cam Newton news.

    PICK POSTED: Cam Newton has been ruled out, so this spread has finally been posted. It's 3-4 points higher than where I thought it would be; the Buccaneers and Panthers feel like the same to me with Newton out. I'd consider a larger bet - sharp action coming in on Tampa helps - but I don't like going against a good team with its backup quarterback playing its first game. Still, the Buccaneers are worth a two-unit selection. I might add a third unit on Monday, but I'll need to think about this more.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps and public are both mixed on this game; the pros bet the Panthers when they were -4, but others took Buccaneers +6. This line is now +5.5 now in most books, but is available at +6 -115 at CRIS and +6 -105 at Bovada. I'll take the Buccaneers at that latter number. I don't see why Derek Anderson is favored by six; that just seems crazy to me. I wish Gerald McCoy were playing; if he were on the field, this would be a huge play for me. Still, Tampa should be able to keep this game close, and the back door will be there for Jameis Winston if he needs it.


    The Psychology. Edge: TBA.



    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Carolina: 58% (51,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • History: Panthers have won 8 the last 10 meetings.
  • Road Team is 66-41 ATS in Buccaneers games since 2009.
  • Ron Rivera is 7-3 ATS after losing as a favorite.
  • Opening Line: .
  • Opening Total: .
  • Weather: .


    Week 5 NFL Pick: Panthers 27, Buccaneers 24
    Buccaneers +6 -105 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
    Over 46 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Buccaneers 17, Panthers 14





    Week 5 NFL Picks - Early Games
    Arizona at San Francisco, New England at Cleveland, Philadelphia at Detroit, NY Jets at Pittsburgh, Chicago at Indianapolis, Washington at Baltimore, Tennessee at Miami, Houston at Minnesota


    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.


  • Teaser: Vikings -1, Cowboys +8 (1 unit) -- Correct; +$100
  • Moneyline: Titans +160 (1 unit) -- Correct; +$160
  • Moneyline: Browns +400 (0.5 units) -- Incorrect; -$50
  • Moneyline: Jets +340 (0.5 units) -- Incorrect; -$50
  • Moneyline: Bears +190 (0.5 units) -- Incorrect; -$50
  • Moneyline: Falcons +170 (0.5 units) -- Correct; +$85
  • Moneyline: Chargers +160 (1 unit) -- Incorrect; -$100
  • Moneyline: Giants +260 (0.5 units) -- Incorrect; -$50
  • Moneyline: Buccaneers +170 (0.5 units) -- Correct; +$85


    LOADING COMMENTS...



    2021 NFL Mock Draft - March 2


    2022 NFL Mock Draft - Feb. 24


    NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 11


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    My Team-by-Team ATS Record
    This section shows how well I do when picking each team this year. The purpose is to see how well I read each team. Pushes are not displayed. Winning/losing streak in parentheses.

    Cowboys: 11-5 (2014-19: 47-50)
    Bears: 6-11 (2014-19: 45-48)
    Bucs: 9-10 (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: 14-4 (2014-19: 54-46)
    Panthers: 13-3 (2014-19: 47-52)
    Rams: 6-12 (2014-19: 53-41)
    Redskins: 7-8 (2014-19: 47-48)
    Vikings: 9-7 (2014-19: 51-45)
    Saints: 7-11 (2014-19: 49-50)
    Seahawks: 8-9 (2014-19: 43-56)
    Bills: 12-7 (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: 8-9 (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: 6-11 (2014-19: 48-47)
    Texans: 10-5 (2014-19: 48-47)
    Chiefs: 15-4 (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: 43-48 (2011-19: 405-394)
    2x Game Edge: 66-61 (2011-19: 213-210)
    2x Motivation Edge: 47-30 (2011-19: 347-288)
    2x Spread Edge: 44-34 (2011-19: 61-55)
    2x Vegas Edge: 26-22 (2011-19: 320-335)
    2x Trend Edge: 20-13 (2011-19: 250-228)
    Double Edge: 27-21 (2011-19: 122-107)
    Triple Edge: 6-4 (2011-19: 21-18)

    2003 Preseason: 3 | 4 | 5
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