NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 6, 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 (Week 5, 2016): 6-7-1 (+$115)

NFL Picks (2016): 54-39-4 (+$3,520)
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. 17, 5:25 p.m. ET. Follow @walterfootball for updates.


Go to Week 6 NFL Picks – Late Games







Denver Broncos (4-1) at San Diego Chargers (1-4)
Line: Broncos by 3. Total: 44.

Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Broncos -3.
Walt’s Calculated Line: Broncos -4.
Thursday, Oct 13, 8:25 PM
Comment on this game

The Game. Edge: Broncos.

WEEK 5 RECAP: Though I’m 5-7-1 (-$95) heading into Monday night, I consider Week 5 to be a successful handicapping effort. Three of the six high-unit picks I made lost, but it feels like I could’ve won all of them with better luck and fewer injuries.

The worst loss was Bears +4.5. They were winning with 3:30 remaining in reglation and were only down three when they lost a fumble in their own territory, which set up a front-door field goal for Indianapolis. For whatever reason, I keep getting screwed in Colts games. Indianapolis should’ve covered at Denver in Week 2, but didn’t. The Chargers should’ve covered at Indianapolis in Week 3, but failed to do so. And now, this. I don’t understand why this keeps happening.

The other two defeats involved injuries. The Jets led the Steelers right before haltime and were down only 17-13 entering the fourth quarter. However, they didn’t score any points following the middle of the second quarter because Nick Mangold got knocked out with a knee injury. Mangold is so important to the Jets’ offense – they began losing last year when he got hurt – which would explain why they sputtered after starting so hot at Pittsburgh. The Browns, meanwhile, had no chance to be competitive with Charlie Whitehurst. I don’t know if they would’ve covered with Cody Kessler, but they had no chance once Kessler got hurt at the end of the first quarter. I see it this way: Kessler scored seven points in one quarter. Whitehurst scored six in the other three.

Whatever. Bad beats happen, and the only thing anyone can do is move on. I know that, but I just wanted to point out that I don’t consider Week 5 to be a failure of any sort, even if the Panthers cover and I end up in the red.

DENVER OFFENSE: Think the Broncos will be thrilled to have Trevor Siemian back in the lineup? I think they took Siemian for granted a bit, as they, as well as everyone else, assumed that Paxton Lynch wouldn’t be any sort of downgrade. Lynch struggled in his debut, as his passes were hurled all over the place. A lack of pass protection didn’t help, as Vic Beasley racked up 3.5 sacks.

The main reason why Beasley was so successful was because he was able to abuse Ty Sambrailo, Denver’s backup right tackle. Sambrailo was playing hurt, as the Broncos didn’t have an alternative. That won’t be the case in this game, as starter Donald Stephenson has been a full participant in practice. He’s ready to go, so he won’t allow the Chargers to flood the backfield like the Falcons did, although San Diego will still be able to generate some pressure with Joey Bosa, who was phenomenal in his debut.

Ultimately, however, the Broncos will still be able to move the chains somewhat consistently, as the Chargers are too banged up in the secondary. They are missing two of their three main cornerbacks, while their safety play is pretty horrid.

SAN DIEGO OFFENSE: The Broncos proved to be impenetrable through the first four games, but the Falcons exposed their linebackers by using Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman as primary pass-catchers. Todd Davis looked especially slow, so this is something that future opponents will be able to expose. It’s difficult to imagine the Broncos covering Le’Veon Bell and Dion Lewis, for instance.

The Chargers, however, don’t have Danny Woodhead available, so that element of their offense no longer exists. They’ll have to rely on traditional aspects, which could be a problem considering the state of their offensive line. Joe Barksdale may miss another game, while Orlando Franklin is also banged up. Considering it’s a short work week, both blockers could sit out, and even if they play, they may not be nearly as effective. This wasn’t an issue against the Raiders, who struggle to muster a pass rush, but it surely will be a problem versus Denver’s ferocious front.

Philip Rivers won’t have much time to do anything, and even when he does, he won’t be able to find any open receivers, as Travis Benjamin and company will be smothered by Denver’s elite secondary. Melvin Gordon could find some running room, but San Diego’s offense will be pretty inconsistent.

RECAP: Under normal conditions, the correct side would be pretty clear. The Broncos should be the play. I have one rule for Thursday night, and it’s something I’ve foolishly ignored the past couple of weeks: Take the better team. There’s no doubt that Denver is superior. The Chargers have played well in the first 58 minutes of every game this year, but they haven’t battled a team in the top 10 of my NFL Power Rankings just yet. This is a big step up in class.

Unfortunately, this will be a non-bet for me. I was initially considering two or three units on the Broncos, but I can’t bet them because Gary Kubiak is in the hospital and obviously won’t be coaching this game. With just three days to prepare, an undermanned coaching staff could struggle to come up with a strong game plan. Still, I think Denver’s superior talent will dictate the winner of this contest, and it doesn’t help the Chargers that they have absolutely no homefield advantage. I anticipate more Denver fans in the stands than San Diego supporters.

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

THURSDAY THOUGHTS: I’ll have an update later this evening, but I’m sticking with the Broncos. I like how they want to win this one for Gary Kubiak, and I’m considering placing a unit on Denver.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I wrote that I was considering a unit on the Broncos, and I think I’m going to pull the trigger. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that Denver probably has put together a quality game plan, considering all the smart coaches they have on their staff. Plus, they want to win this one for Gary Kubiak, so it sounds like emotion will be on their side. The Broncos are also a much better team – there’s no doubt about that – which gives them a big edge here on a Thursday night, as the superior squad has the advantage on a short work week.

I know some contrarians are on the Chargers, but I disagree with their belief that they’re getting a value number at +3. The Chargers have no homefield advantage, so there might be more Denver fans in the stands than San Diego supporters. This has been incredibly damaging to the Chargers in the past, and I think this line should be +4 as a result. At any rate, I’m going with one unit on the Broncos. If you’re wondering, the sharps are not betting this. Oh, and if you’re thinking about taking the Chargers, you can get +3.5 at Bovada.


The Psychology. Edge: None.
It’s unknown what the ramifications will be in terms of Gary Kubiak being unable to coach on such a short week.


The Vegas. Edge: Chargers.
Tons of money on the Broncos.
  • Percentage of money on Denver: 72% (33,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Broncos.
  • History: Broncos have won 9 of the last 10 meetings.
  • Opening Line: Broncos -2.5.
  • Opening Total: 46.
  • Weather: .


    Week 6 NFL Pick: Broncos 23, Chargers 17
    Broncos -3 (1 Unit) — Incorrect; -$110
    Under 44 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Chargers 21, Broncos 13






    Cincinnati Bengals (2-3) at New England Patriots (4-1)
    Line: Patriots by 9. Total: 47.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Patriots -7.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Patriots -7.
    Sunday, Oct 16, 1:00 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Patriots.

    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:

  • Chicago Bears: Those who didn’t watch the Colts-Bears game will assume that Indianapolis was slightly better than Chicago. That was not the case, as the Bears were the better team; they outgained the Colts by about 120 yards and averaged 2.3 more yards per play, which is a huge disparity. Brian Hoyer has been better than Jay Cutler, and aside from the opening half against the Cowboys, who have turned out to be a very good team, the Bears have played well with Hoyer under center. Remember, they also beat the Lions, and that victory looks much better in the wake of Detroit’s win over Philadelphia.

  • Los Angeles Rams: Casual bettors miss injuries to significant role players. Part of the reason for that is ESPN focusing on stars and not spending enough time talking about actual substance. Thus, most people may have missed the fact that the Rams were without two of their defensive studs, Robert Quinn and Michael Brockers, against the Bills. Despite this, Los Angeles and Buffalo were tied at 16 late in the game when Case Keenum lofted a horrible pick-six. Keenum is obviously not any good, but the Rams weren’t themselves because they were missing half of their awesome defensive line.

  • Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals are definitely not as bad as their losing record indicates. That may sound odd to say in the wake of their blowout loss at Dallas, but I think there’s a chance they may have been looking ahead to their matchup against the Patriots. They may not have respected the Cowboys very much, which is understandable, considering that Dallas was going to be without Dez Bryant again. Thus far, the Bengals have lost to the Steelers (4-1), Broncos (4-1) and Cowboys (4-1) – three teams in the top 10 of these NFL power rankings. The first two contests were at least close, which is why I think the Bengals weren’t completely focused. Also, Tyler Eifert will be back soon, which will make the offense more consistent.

  • New York Jets*: I’m putting an asterisk on the underrated notation here, as it depends on whether or not Nick Mangold plays. New York was beating the Steelers late in the second quarter, 13-7, and trailing only 17-13 entering the fourth quarter, but it didn’t score a single point after Mangold left the game. Mangold is so important to this offense, so if he can play, this is an underrated squad. The Jets have fallen to 1-4, but 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. So, in summary, the Jets have lost to three of the better teams in the NFL and one solid squad, being close in all four contests. Their victory, meanwhile, came against the Bills, which is looking a lot better right now.

    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 win at Baltimore, but they were outgained by about 150 net yards and lost the yards-per-play battle, 5.2-4.8. The Ravens were a drop away from attempting a field goal to win the game. San Diego, meanwhile, would’ve tied the game had the holder not bobbled the ball. This is pretty telling, too: The Raiders have been outgained in terms of yards per play in EVERY SINGLE GAME THIS YEAR.

  • Green Bay Packers: The Packers don’t look right to me. They’ve had shaky victories over the Jaguars and Giants, two teams that obviously aren’t very good. The secondary has some issues, but Aaron Rodgers is not playing like the vintage version of himself. It’s telling that the Packers have averaged more than 5.3 yards per play in only one contest this year.

  • Buffalo Bills: The Bills have won three games in a row! They’re great again! That’s what the public is thinking, but it doesn’t seem like that is the case. Buffalo’s three victories aren’t overly convincing. The Arizona win was nice, but the Cardinals have since proven to be a middling team. Prevailing in Foxboro may look good on paper, but the Patriots’ quarterback in that game, Jacoby Brissett, was so banged up that he needed thumb surgery immediately afterward. The Bills just beat the Rams, but Los Angeles was missing some key defenders and was still tied at 16 before Case Keenum’s horrible pick-six.

  • Washington Redskins: The Redskins are not as good as their 3-2 record indicates. They easily could’ve been 0-4 heading into last weekend, 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. As for this past contest, the Ravens may have won if C.J. Mosley didn’t fumble a potential pick-six at the 1-yard line. Washington has some major injury issues on defense and some problems on the offensive line as well.

    NEW ENGLAND OFFENSE: So, Tom Brady looks like he’s going to maybe play well in the near future. Brady torched the Browns mercilessly, and he’ll look to do the same to another Ohio team. And I don’t see why he wouldn’t be able to pick up where he left off.

    The Bengals used to sport a terrific defense, but things have changed. They let Reggie Nelson go this offseason, a decision that most certainly has backfired, as Cincinnati’s safety play has been horrible. Pacman Jones declining hasn’t helped matters either. I’m sure Brady took notice of this when he was sunbathing in the nude on Italian beaches, so he’ll look to exploit those favorable matchups as often as possible.

    That said, I don’t think it’ll be complete smooth sailing for the Patriots’ scoring unit. Sure, the matchup looks great on paper, but the Bengals have two terrific pass-rushers in Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap. They couldn’t get to Dak Prescott consistently because the Cowboys boast one of the top offensive lines in the NFL. The Patriots obviously don’t; they’re very weak in the interior with all of their rookies, while right tackle Cameron Fleming will certainly be overwhelmed by Dunlap. The Browns can’t generate a decent pass rush, but the Bengals can, so they’ll disrupt some drives.

    CINCINNATI OFFENSE: Speaking of pass-protection issues, Andy Dalton was swarmed relentlessly at Dallas. I think part of this may have been a lack of preparation. The Bengals may have been looking ahead to the Patriots and simply didn’t recognize that Dallas would be able to generate heavy heat in the wake of DeMarcus Lawrence’s return from his suspension. I say this because I consider Cincinnati’s offensive line to be pretty solid, save for right tackle Cedric Ogbuehi.

    Regardless, the Patriots don’t have a consistent pass rush, so Dalton will certainly enjoy more time in the pocket than he did last week. If so, he’ll be able to locate A.J. Green on a regular basis, although Bill Belichick does have a knack for deleting one aspect of an opposing offense. I’m sure Belichick will focus on erasing Green. If so, Dalton will have to look elsewhere, and I’m sure he’s praying that Tyler Eifert will be able to suit up.

    The Bengals will utilize Giovani Bernard heavily this week, as Jeremy Hill is apparently dealing with some sort of injury. This should bode well, as the Patriots haven’t exactly dealt with pass-catching running backs very efficiently this season. The only two potent ones they’ve battled thus far have been David Johnson and LeSean McCoy, both of whom thrived as receivers out of the backfield, which makes it puzzling as to why the Browns didn’t feature Duke Johnson at all last week. Bernard figures to have a solid outing.

    RECAP: This is a crazy overreaction spread. It was -7 on the advance line, but thanks to last week’s results, the Patriots are up to -8.5 or -9 in most places. It’s even -9.5 at Bovada!

    This line is way too high. I know Brady looked great against the Browns, but Cleveland is not a good football team and consequently wasn’t able to take advantage of New England’s liabilities. The Bengals, conversely, are a good team. I don’t think their showing at Dallas is indicative of how well they’re capable of playing, and they should be able to keep this game close.

    I’m going to wager three units on Cincinnati. This spread is nearly a field goal too high, as Vegas had to inflate the spread with so much public money coming in on the Patriots. The Bengals are at their best when they have a chip on their shoulder, and no one is giving them a chance here. They’re fighting to stay alive, and they’ll be desperate to avoid a 2-4 start. They’ll have a chance with their pass rush going against New England’s questionable blocking. The Patriots, on the other hand, weren’t as potent in the second half against the Browns once momentum wore off. They’ve traditionally struggled as large favorites, so I see them winning but not covering.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: There’s no indication of where the sharps plan on betting just yet, but I have to imagine that it’s Bengals or nothing for them because this line is too high. The public is pounding the Patriots, so I’m hoping to get +10 at some point.

    SATURDAY NOTES: The sharps waited until they got +9, and they’ve moved this number down. That wasn’t too difficult to predict, as this line is too high; the Bengals are a good team and shouldn’t be underdogs of this much. I’m still holding out hope for +10 at Bovada, though their current number is +9.5 -120.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps have been betting the Bengals, perhaps because Jamie Collins is out. Cincinnati is still available at +9, so I’ll take that.

    Experts like SportsLine’s Larry Hartstein nailed the Bucs’ upset of the Panthers on Monday Night Football. Did you? Get all of Larry’s NFL picks here.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Bengals.
    The public is once again pounding the Patriots into oblivion. The sharps are going the other way.
  • Percentage of money on New England: 75% (46,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Bengals.
  • Bengals are 32-17 ATS as underdogs since 2009.
  • Marvin Lewis is 14-5 ATS off a loss as a favorite.
  • Tom Brady is 188-64 as a starter (142-105 ATS).
  • Tom Brady is 26-31 ATS as a home favorite of -9 or more (15-24 ATS since November 2007).
  • Opening Line: Patriots -8.
  • Opening Total: 47.
  • Weather: .


    Week 6 NFL Pick: Patriots 26, Bengals 20
    Bengals +9 (3 Units) — Incorrect; -$330
    Under 47.5 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Patriots 35, Bengals 17






    Baltimore Ravens (3-2) at New York Giants (2-3)
    Line: Giants by 3.5. Total: 44.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Giants -3.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Giants -1.
    Sunday, Oct 16, 1:00 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Ravens.

    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:

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


  • Those teams went 3-1 ATS, bringing the overall record this season to 8-14. Last week was a very rough one for the books, especially with the Patriots covering. There could be numerous dead bodies buried in the desert if this happens again this weekend, so let’s take a look at what should be avoided, if possible:

  • Patriots -9
  • Steelers -8
  • Eagles -2.5
  • Broncos -3


  • No surprise here, as three of these are extremely public teams. The fourth features a rookie quarterback everyone is excited to wager on. Don’t fall into that trap this week.

    BALTIMORE OFFENSE: The Ravens made news Monday morning when they fired Marc Trestman (click the link for the grade). This, by all accounts, was a terrific decision. Trestman was constantly out-coached and senselessly abandoned the run way too early. Terrance West was gashing the Redskins, for instance, yet Trestman repeatedly dialed up pass plays. It made absolutely no sense.

    I imagine the Ravens will look to establish the rush in this contest, a strategy that should pan out. I expect West to continue to run well against the Giants, who have been gashed against the run in recent weeks. They struggled to bring down Eddie Lacy on Sunday night, for instance. Johnathan Hankins is not living up to expectations, while the horrid linebacking corps isn’t helping matters.

    It’ll be a huge boost for Baltimore if it can have Steve Smith, as well as tackles Ronnie Stanley and Ricky Wagner available. All three weren’t on the field in the second half of the Ravens’ loss to the Redskins. Both tackles will have a better shot of playing this week, though Smith’s status is unknown at this stage. The Giants have a very injury-ravaged secondary that’s dying to be exposed, so I expect Flacco to rebound, especially if he has everyone available.

    NEW YORK OFFENSE: Flacco wasn’t at his best last Sunday, but he looked like Johnny Unitas compared to Eli Manning. The youngest Manning was a train wreck against the Packers, as so many of his passes were off the mark. I joked that Manning was either drunk or busy watching the presidential debate he was secretly streaming, but the fact of the matter is that Manning has been woeful since the second half of the Washington game. Granted, he had very little chance against the Vikings’ vicious defense, but the Packers had a banged-up secondary just dying to be exposed. Manning had numerous open receivers all evening, but couldn’t hit them.

    Part of the problem has been the Giants’ offensive line, which has struggled greatly to pass protect. The tackles have been a major issue, so I’m sure Terrell Suggs is eagerly anticipating this matchup. I’d say Elvis Dumervil would be too, but he’s been ineffective since his return to play. Perhaps this will be the week where he finally breaks out of his funk. It certainly seems like this is the matchup where it could happen.

    Manning will be forced to throw early and often, as the running game won’t be effective at all. The Ravens may not get any sort of pressure on the quarterback, but they’re still terrific at stopping the run, and it’s not like they’ll have to worry about any potent rushers in New York’s offense.

    RECAP: This spread seems incorrectly priced to me. Though you have to pay a bit of juice – -115 at Bovada, -120 at CRIS and BetUS – this line is an even three, which would indicate that the Giants are a bit better than the Ravens because they definitely don’t get three points for being at home. Not with their 7-11 straight-up record as hosts over the past couple of years.

    With that in mind, I love the value we’re getting with the Ravens, who tend to keep all of their games close. They’re the better team, so I’ll take the full field goal.

    Oh, and I almost forgot: There’s one other reason to believe Baltimore is the right side – the Giants are heading to London next week! Teams are 7-18-1 against the spread heading into London. The Colts beat the spread in Week 3 facing that exact situation, but that featured an absolute bulls*** cover against the Chargers. Hopefully the Giants won’t be as lucky because I’m wagering four units on Baltmore.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: A -3.5 has appeared at the Westgate, and with Pinnacle holding such a steep price at -3 (-123), I have to imagine that the rest of the books will be planning to move to -3.5 shortly. This is great news, as it gives us even more value with the Ravens. I’d definitely prefer +3.5 -110 over +3 +100.

    SATURDAY NOTES: The Ravens have a lot of missing players. Elvis Dumervil, Ronnie Stanley, Steve Smith and C.J. Mosley will all be out. That would explain why this spread has risen to +3.5. That said, I still love Baltimore. Despite all of the injured players, the Ravens and Giants are about the same. New York doesn’t deserve three points for being at home, and the team could be distracted with a trip to London ahead.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: This line has remained at +3.5. There’s been a bit of sharp action on the Giants, which I assume is because of Baltimore’s injuries. It’s not like the Giants are healthy either though.


    The Psychology. Edge: Ravens.
    The Giants play at London next week.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Baltimore: 55% (22,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Ravens.
  • John Harbaugh is 9-4 ATS following a loss of 10+.
  • Opening Line: Giants -3.
  • Opening Total: 44.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 6 NFL Pick: Ravens 23, Giants 20
    Ravens +3 (4 Units) — Incorrect; -$440
    Under 44 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Giants 27, Ravens 23






    Carolina Panthers (1-4) at New Orleans Saints (1-3)
    Line: Panthers by 3. Total: 53.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: No Line (Newton).
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Panthers -1 (Newton) or Saints -3 (Anderson).
    Sunday, Oct 16, 1:00 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: TBA.

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    CAROLINA OFFENSE: There’s no line on this game at the moment because of Cam Newton’s status. Newton missed Monday’s game because of a concussion, though he was spotted on a Segway in downtown Charlotte that afternoon. Perhaps that’s an indication that he’ll be ready for this contest, or perhaps that’s a sign that Newton isn’t the brightest cookie in the toolbox. Either way, clearing concussion protocol is no simple matter.

    Regardless of who the quarterback is, the Panthers will torch the hapless Saints, who can’t cover anyone. New Orleans has tried to make some adjustments and is now counting on the likes of B.W. Webb and rookie Vonn Bell to cover receivers and tight ends, and that could be an issue because Carolina has a couple of studs in Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen, who appeared to be unstoppable against the Buccaneers.

    It was also surprising to me how well the Panthers ran with Cameron Artis-Payne on Monday night. Artis-Payne, who sounds like he’s a struggling painter who spends all of his money on Starbucks coffee, could have a big game versus a struggling run defense. However, he could also take a back seat to Jonathan Stewart, who appears to be ready for action after missing several games.

    NEW ORLEANS OFFENSE: We know Drew Brees will suit up for this game, and he should have a terrific outing. It’s well-documented that the Panthers have trouble covering receivers in the wake of Josh Norman’s release, and nothing I saw Monday night makes me think that will change in this contest. Carolina tried new players in its secondary, but none were particularly effective.

    The big surprise, however, was the Panthers’ inability to stop Jacquizz Rodgers. The Buccaneers just rammed it down Carolina’s throat, as Star Lotulelei has just been dogging it. Perhaps the Saints took notice and will utilize the same strategy. Mark Ingram is obviously better than Rodgers, so he could have a solid performance.

    The primary weakness of the Saints’ scoring unit at the moment is the blocking. Terron Armstead has been banged up all year, and it’s not certain that he’ll even be able to take the field. However, the Panthers’ pass rush has been underwhelming in the early stages of the 2016 campaign. Charles Johnson has been great, but he’ll be going up against a solid right tackle in Zach Strief.

    RECAP: There’s no line on this game at the moment, so I can’t issue a concrete selection. However, I’m favoring the Saints, and depending on what the spread turns out to be, this has the potential to be a multi-unit selection. I’m 5-0 in Carolina games this year, and what I’ve done, save for Week 2 (vs. the abysmal 49ers), is bet against them because the books have been overvaluing them greatly. That could still be the case, but I guess we’ll see.

    Check back later or follow me @walterfootball for updates.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: This spread has ben posted, and it’s -3 across the board, though the juice is +102 at Pinnacle. I could see this spread dropping, as the public isn’t biting on Carolina just yet, and New Orleans seems like a side the sharps might be interested in. My calculated number is Panthers -1, so we’re getting two points of value through a key number, so I like the Saints here, as Carolina is not good enough to be laying three on the road in an environment in which they nearly lost last year despite being much better. I’m actually going to lock in Saints +3 at three units now.

    SATURDAY NOTES: Sharp money has moved this off +3 in most books, though the Saints can still be wagered at +3 -115 on Bovada. The Panthers shouldn’t be laying three on the road, as Carolina is still being valued close to how the team was last year. With Michael Oher and potentially Charles Johnson out, the Saints have a better chance of covering.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharp money came in on the Saints when this line was released, but it stopped for some reason. Still, I’m glad to have locked in New Orleans at +3. I made a horrible lock-in call in another game, so it’s nice that I got one right.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on New Orleans: 54% (18,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Saints.
  • History: Panthers have won 6 of the last 8 meetings.
  • Drew Brees is 43-28 ATS as an underdog.
  • Drew Brees is 7-1 ATS as a home underdog with the Saints.
  • Opening Line: Panthers -3.
  • Opening Total: 53.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 6 NFL Pick: Saints 26, Panthers 23
    Saints +3 (3 Units) — Correct; +$300
    Under 53.5 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Saints 41, Panthers 38






    Pittsburgh Steelers (4-1) at Miami Dolphins (1-4)
    Line: Steelers by 8. Total: 48.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Steelers -4.5.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Steelers -6.
    Sunday, Oct 16, 1:00 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Steelers.

    HATE MAIL: I didn’t have a great week, so I once again saw hate mail on the picks page. Here’s one:



    Is that mean? Perhaps. But when it comes to hate-mailers, I don’t care. They are douche bags and deserve to be treated harshly, even if it means telling them the truth.

    Here’s another hate-mailer who needs a reality check:



    So sad. If this loser were allowed to grab snatches, he would actually have a life and wouldn’t have to resort to posting hate on random comment boards on the Internet. Alas, he doesn’t have much else to do. Sucks to be that guy. Just saying.

    Some of the good commenters have been getting hate as well. Check these out, as well as my responses to them:





    That’s the key question. Why are these people such a**holes? Are their lives that miserable that they have to resort to being absolutely rotten to those they interact with online? I’ve never understood this concept.

    PITTSBURGH OFFENSE: It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the Steelers are going to score a ton of points in this game. Ben Roethlisberger is playing at the highest level possible right now, while barely anyone in the NFL can deal with Antonio Brown. Making matters worse for opposing defenses, Sammie Coates is finally living up to expectations. Coates was guilty of numerous drops last week, but still torched the Jets on countless occasions.

    I don’t see why things would be any different in this contest. The Dolphins have a miserable secondary, as everyone in their defensive backfield sucks, save for safety Reshad Jones. This includes Byron Maxwell, who took the field again last week after being benched for the Cincinnati game. Maxwell wasn’t torched for once, but only because he was taking on a Tennessee team devoid of talent at receiver. He won’t be as fortunate in this contest.

    Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned Le’Veon Bell yet. Bell has been terrific since his return to action, which is hardly a surprise. The Dolphins couldn’t contain DeMarco Murray this past Sunday, so how in the world will they deal with Bell?

    MIAMI OFFENSE: The Dolphins have some glaring offensive line issues. They just welcomed back Mike Pouncey, but they were without Laremy Tunsil and Branden Albert against the Titans. Albert’s absence wasn’t a surprise, but Tunsil sustained an injury just prior to the game. According to Adam Gase, Tunsil slipped in the shower. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been alive for 34 years, and I’ve never once slipped in the shower. How does this happen to any non-geriatric individual, especially a professional athlete? What was he doing, dragging a corpse into the bath tub in order to dispose of it in Jesse Pinkman-type fashion?

    It’s unclear if Albert and Tunsil will be able to suit up this week. If they do, the Dolphins should be able to move the chains pretty consistently. The Steelers have a poor secondary and slow linebackers, so they can be exposed by Miami’s dynamic receivers.

    On the other hand, if Albert and Tunsil have to miss another contest, that could spell trouble for Tannehill because it would mean Billy Turner would have to play again. Turner is one of the worst blockers I’ve ever seen; a 10-year-old gumshoe would be a better starter on Miami’s offensive line (most obscure reference ever, I know.) Tannehill won’t be protect as well and will struggle to pass, which will obviously be a problem because Pittsburgh defends the run well, so Arian Foster won’t be doing much as a rusher if he finally manages to return.

    RECAP: Despite the Dolphins’ struggles, this spread is way too high. The Steelers favored by eight on the road? Are you kidding me? The advanced line was -4.5 prior to Week 5, and now it’s -8!? Why? Because the Dolphins had a predictable letdown in a game that they couldn’t prepare for because of Hurricane Matthew?

    The Dolphins are the obvious right side from a value perspective. They should be able to hang the number, and I’ll be shocked if they don’t do so if one of Albert or Tunsil plays. If they’re both out, it’ll be a different story, but with one, Miami will have a good enough offense to stay within striking distance, and the back door will be available for Tannehill if he needs it.

    I’m going to mark this down for three units right now, but I’ll increase my wager depending on the statuses of Albert and Tunsil. But even if they don’t suit up, this will be two units on the Dolphins at the very least. The number is still way off, as it’s a major overreaction to what happened last week. Plus, Pittsburgh’s record as a large road favorite speaks for itself; the Steelers are 2-13 against the spread when laying eight or more on the road in the past 25 years. I hate trends now, but even that one is difficult to ignore.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: A reader posted an article in Open Rant, begging me not to bet the Dolphins. He made some great points, and I’m considering dropping my unit count on this game based on which players are out for the Dolphins. I still like Miami to cover though, as there’s an overreaction to last week’s game in which the Dolphins couldn’t prepare as a result of Hurricane Matthew.

    SATURDAY NOTES: I noted Thursday that a reader has been begging me to not bet the Dolphins for three units. I thought about it, but I’m going to stick with this wager. The primary reason for this is the health of Laremy Tunsil and Branden Albert. Both players, along with Mike Pouncey, will be available for Miami for the first time all year. This is huge, and the Steelers won’t have Cameron Heyward. The sharps have been betting the Dolphins, and I will, too.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Professional bettors have been pounding the Dolphins, and this line has reached +7 in some books. Luckily, +8 is still available at Bovada.


    The Psychology. Edge: Dolphins.
    The Steelers are coming off two blowout victories, and they have the Patriots coming up next week.


    The Vegas. Edge: Dolphins.
    Tons of action on the Steelers, as expected.
  • Percentage of money on Pittsburgh: 76% (35,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Dolphins.
  • Steelers are 8-22 ATS as road favorites coming off a win under Mike Tomlin.
  • Steelers are 2-13 ATS on the road as favorites of -8 or more since 1990.
  • Steelers are 18-29 ATS as road favorites since 2007.
  • Mike Tomlin is 7-17 ATS as a favorite after a win of 14+ in the regular season unless a bye is coming up.
  • Underdog is 69-39 ATS in the Dolphins’ last 108 games.
  • Dolphins are 15-4 ATS as a home underdog after two straight losses the previous 19 instances.
  • Opening Line: Steelers -7.5.
  • Opening Total: 47.
  • Weather: .


    Week 6 NFL Pick: Steelers 27, Dolphins 23
    Dolphins +8 (3 Units) — Correct; +$300
    Over 48.5 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Dolphins 30, Steelers 15






    Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3) at Chicago Bears (1-4)
    Line: Bears by 2.5. Total: 46.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Bears -2.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Bears -2.5.
    Sunday, Oct 16, 1:00 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Bears.

    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:

    Last week, I posted some reasons why I believe NFL TV ratings are down this year. I had dinner with my fiancee’s dad Saturday night, and completely unprompted, he told me he’s boycotting the NFL. I asked why, and he noted the Colin Kaepernick-led protests, and he opined (correctly) that it’s “completely embarrassing to be an adult” in this day and age. Again, I’ve gotten lots of e-mails from people echoing the same sentiments. Roger Goodell and the 49ers organization did a horrible job not dealing with this before it manifested into something larger, driving lots of people away from watching football.

    I got some great comments on Facebook, where friends speculated on other reasons why ratings are in decline:

    Alex C: 1. Roger Goodell
    2. Roger Goodell
    3. Roger Goodell
    4. Roger Goodell
    5. Roger Goodell

    (I don’t think Alex C. is a fan of Goodell…)

    Andrew C: Honest question: Could RedZone be hurting the ratings of full game broadcasts? People who care more about fantasy football than a particular team are likely watching RedZone instead of a major network.

    (Perhaps, though fans will still rather watch their favorite team.)

    Jack R: Don’t forget about cord-cutters like me who stream games online.

    (Maybe we can get Eli Manning to stream other games instead of the presidential debate.)

    Tylor W: You kind of cover this, but the politicizing of ESPN and the NFL has turned off a few people I know.

    (So true, which is why I now call ESPN “MS-ESPN.”)

    Mark P: The product on the field is terrible. There are so many bad and mediocre teams and casual fans looking for good football are tuning in and tuning out. I can honestly say as a Browns fan if I didn’t bet or play fantasy I wouldn’t watch football at all. We are 1/4 through and only about 8 teams have a legit chance…. and not to mention domestic abuse and drugs and all that bulls***.

    (Definitely true, as this new stupid CBA is killing football. I can’t believe how lazy players are that they don’t want to practice much. I mean, come on, how are you supposed to improve?)

    Dave P: Spot on! I’ve kind of boycotted myself. For me, all those reasons you mentioned, plus the Dez Bryant catch overturn in the playoffs. The league lost me there, and has done nothing since to get me back. If a sports fanatic like me can boycott, anyone can.

    (They seriously need to figure out these catch rules. I don’t think anyone knows what a catch is, including the officials.)

    Selvan T: The Thursday night games have been absolute garbage and that’s no accident. Wednesdays are usually the most important practice days, for coaches drawing up and practicing gameplans, and now they only get one actual practice between Sunday and Thursday. The players also aren’t used to going from Sunday to Thursday games as well.

    (Yes! Please, for the love of God, stop it with these Thursday games!)

    Jay B: Something you didn’t mention but I think might be a valid point. As I’m sure you know, youth football is seeing a steady decline in participation, and many parents flat out will not let their kids play for obvious reasons. If kids grow up not playing the sport and even told they are not allowed to play, it seems logical that those same kids will enjoy watching other sports, such as the ones they play instead. You think this could also be a factor, or just something to think about in the future?

    (I think this is more of a factor down the road. People will still watch football even if they don’t play it for fantasy and betting purposes. But it’s definitely a concern, although I have faith in medical technology to figure something out.)

    All great reasons! The NFL isn’t in a position where it needs to panic just yet, but changes need to be made. I’d eliminate the Thursday games, deal with the kneeling controversy and issue a statement about it to get people like my fiancee’s dad to come back, clarify the rules, remove some of Roger Goodell’s power and fix the stupid CBA in terms of teams not being able to practice as much.

    CHICAGO OFFENSE: John Fox told the media that he currently doesn’t have a plan at quarterback, but I imagine that this was a lie in order to avoid stating the obvious: Brian Hoyer has performed better than Jay Cutler and will be the starter going forward.

    I never would’ve imagined it, but Hoyer has thrown for 300-plus yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in each of his three starts. Cutler has never done that in three consecutive games. The “no interceptions” is key, as Cutler always crushed his team with back-breaking turnovers as a result of his #yolo attitude. Hoyer actually cares, so given that he’s been productive – and not just in garbage time – there’s no reason to turn back to Cutler.

    Hoyer seems to have a nice matchup in this game. The Jaguars have Jalen Ramsey, who has been a stud thus far, but there are liabilities in the secondary that Cameron Meredith and Zach Miller can exploit. The Jaguars’ pass rush, meanwhile, is a pedestrian unit that may not be able to fully take advantage of Chicago’s blocking woes. And besides, Hoyer can just turn around and hand the ball off to Jordan Howard, who has been tremendous as a replacement for Jeremy Langford thus far. The Jaguars had issues with Frank Gore prior to the bye, and Howard is much more talented at this stage of their careers.

    JACKSONVILLE OFFENSE: Like Hoyer, Blake Bortles will have the opportunity to expose some liabilities in Chicago’s defense. The Bears have issues at outside cornerback, so I have no idea how they’re going to cover Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns. Chicago has one excellent corner in Bryce Callahan, but he plays the nickel.

    That said, I don’t know if Bortles will be able to take advantage of this situation. He keeps making mistakes each game, both in terms of accuracy and overall decisions. He just doesn’t seem to be progressing, and I don’t know if he has the mental capabilities to do so. It hurts him that his pass protection isn’t ideal, and it could be tough for him to stay upright in this contest, as Akiem Hicks has a tremendous matchup edge on Luke Joeckel’s replacement, who is somehow even worse.

    I don’t think running the ball will work very well either. Danny Trevathan is back for the Bears, and he and Jerrell Freeman, who is performing on a Pro Bowl level, will take care of anything that gets by Hicks and Will Sutton.

    RECAP: This game doesn’t appear to be particularly appealing. The Bears are the better team, but they have to play in four days against the Packers, and I don’t like them in the role of a home favorite anyway. Meanwhile, the prospect of selecting the Jaguars seems somehow worse. If I’m taking Jacksonville in any game, I think I’d need at least a field goal.

    This won’t be for any units, but I’m taking the superior squad. For pick-pool purposes, I’ll hope that the Bears don’t look ahead and instead focus on this contest because they’re 1-4 and coming off a loss.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: I still have no feel for this game. On the podcast, which will be posted Thursday evening, Kenny has a stronger opinion on this contest, and he likes the Jaguars.

    SATURDAY NOTES: I mentioned Thursday that the podcast would be posted. Unfortunately, we had an issue with the audio. It sounded like two robots were talking, and we couldn’t re-record because I had a wedding to go to this weekend. My apologies. At any rate, I still think the Bears are the right side, but I wouldn’t want to bet them because they play in four days and could be distracted. I need to go through a key number to wager on the Jaguars.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I still don’t have a strong take on this game, and the sharps haven’t touched it either.


    The Psychology. Edge: Jaguars.
    The Bears have the Packers and Vikings after this, with the Green Bay contest in four days. However, considering that they’re 1-4 and coming off a loss, they may not be looking ahead.


    The Vegas. Edge: Bears.
    A slight lean on the visitor.
  • Percentage of money on Jacksonville: 60% (18,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Jaguars are 26-57 ATS against non-divisional opponents since 2008.
  • Jaguars are 10-27 ATS vs. NFC opponents since 2007.
  • Bears are 6-17 ATS at home since 2013.
  • Opening Line: Bears -1.5.
  • Opening Total: 47.
  • Weather: .


    Week 6 NFL Pick: Bears 24, Jaguars 20
    Bears -2.5 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Under 46 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Jaguars 17, Bears 16




    San Francisco 49ers (1-4) at Buffalo Bills (3-2)
    Line: Bills by 7.5. Total: 44.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Bills -7.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Bills -7.
    Sunday, Oct 16, 1:00 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Bills.

    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. Brian Kelly needs to be fired immediately.

    Kelly is a buffoon of a head coach who screws things up with his constant mismanagement. His decision to suddenly plug in his backup quarterback on the final offensive drive with five minutes to go in horrible conditions against N.C. State was beyond stupid. It’s one of many dumb things Kelly has done this year.

    However, the real reason Kelly has to be dismissed is because of what he said about his center following the botched snap that ended up costing Notre Dame the victory. Kelly yelled at the center for minutes on the sideline, and then he threw his player under the bus during the post-game press conference, calling his snapping “atrocious.”

    The center did screw up on the play, but everyone makes mistakes. It sucks that error ended up ruining the victory, but if Kelly were a real man, he would’ve taken responsibility for that rather than throwing all the blame on someone more than half his age. Hey, Brian, how about not using a shotgun formation in a torrential downpour?

    Real coaches shoulder the blame, and the players respect them for that. What Kelly did to his poor center will cause every player to lose whatever respect they had left for Kelly. He needs to be fired right away.

    If he’s not axed, here are three new scapegoats Kelly can blame for his next loss rather than admitting that he’s a piss-poor coach:

    1. Lily from those AT&T commercials.

    2. Police brutality.

    3. Hodor.

    Only Brian Kelly would be such a dick to blame Hodor for a loss, but I could see him doing it!

    2. Sticking with the Brian Kelly theme, is it just me, or does Kelly appear to be the most uncomfortable-looking head coach of all time? Every time the camera shows him on the sidelines, he has this half-horrified, half-disgusted expression on his face. If I didn’t know better, I’d believe Kelly were thinking, “Oh f***, I really need to take a s**t. Seriously, diarrhea is going to explode out of my a**hole if I don’t get to a bathroom pronto! How much time’s left in the half!? Five minutes!? OK, I can hold it… I can hold it…”

    Call me crazy, but this is not a good look for a head coach!

    3. More on the Notre Dame game! I can’t believe how atrocious the announcing was. I’m surprised Kelly didn’t blame the two announcers for the loss.

    At one point, when they were reviewing whether or not DeShone Kizer stepped out of bounds, both announcers exclaimed the following: “Look at the N.C. State players on the sideline! They know it’s out of bounds!”

    Right. As if players on the other team are going to be completely honest with the officials and clamor for Kizer staying on the field and diving for the first down.

    A bit earlier, the play-by-play guy got excited during a punt: “Great punt! It’s a net of 22 yards…” A net punt of 22 yards that lands into the end zone is a great punt? Lolwut?

    I also didn’t get why the ABC telecast kept showing the field goal line on Notre Dame’s final drive. The Irish were down seven points with a few minutes remaining, so why tell the audience where the kicker can normally drill a field goal in a freaking hurricane when he’s not even going to attempt the kick because of the score? Ugh!

    SAN FRANCISCO OFFENSE: The 49ers have finally done it. They’ve committed the deplorable act of naming Colin Kaepernick the starting quarterback. This move is not deplorable because Kaepernick started something that has driven thousands of fans away from the game (if the e-mails I’ve received and people I’ve spoken to are any indication). It’s deplorable because Kaepernick has been outplayed by both Blaine Gabbert and Christian Ponder in practice, and he, in no way, deserved to be declared the starter of an Arena League team; let alone an NFL franchise.

    Kaepernick is an abomination. He used to be great, but then he stopped studying film and opposing defenses figured him out. He regressed into a pick-six machine and was justly benched in favor of Gabbert last year. Kaepernick will once again commit countless turnovers, prompting SJW losers to cry themselves to sleep, but I’m not sure if it’ll happen in this game. Sure, the Bills just pick-sixed Case Keenum, but I think Kaepernick will be more careful in his first start. He’ll rely more on his legs, though I’m sure the Bills will be prepared for this, given that they see Tyrod Taylor in practice every day.

    The 49ers, of course, will attempt to establish the run with Carlos Hyde. Whether or not they have success in doing so depends on whether Marcell Dareus is ready to play. Dareus got out of rehab and was expected to take the field in Los Angeles, but sustained a hamstring injury in practice because he was out of shape. The Bills are currently unsure if Dareus will be able to suit up, which is obviously bad news for their prospects in terms of containing Hyde.

    BUFFALO OFFENSE: The 49ers won’t have any sort of luck in terms of containing Buffalo’s rushing attack either. The 49ers used to be somewhat OK against the run, but that changed when NaVorro Bowman was knocked out with a season-ending injury. Since then, they’ve been gashed by both Ezekiel Elliott and David Johnson. Granted, those are two stud backs, but LeSean McCoy is, too.

    Another problem the 49ers have is their pedestrian pass rush. They can’t put pressure on quarterbacks consistently, so Tyrod Taylor will have all afternoon to throw. It’s too bad he won’t have Sammy Watkins at his disposal, as Watkins would be able to take advantage of San Francisco’s sorry secondary, just as Larry Fitzgerald was able to do Thursday night despite the fact that he had Drew Stanton throwing the ball to him.

    Taylor will still move the chains, however. He should be able to connect with his middling receivers, and he’ll definitely scramble for some first downs, as San Francisco’s horrific linebackers won’t know how to defend him.

    RECAP: There’s no question that the Bills are the better team, but I don’t think they’re consistent enough offensively to warrant such a high spread. If I’m laying eight or more, I better be getting one of the league’s better teams against a horrible opponent. The 49ers are woeful, no doubt, but the Bills are just a middling squad that has caught fire because of unusual circumstances (Patriots using an injured Jacoby Brissett, Rams missing half of their defensive line.) I don’t think Buffalo is good enough to be favored by more than a touchdown against anyone.

    Also, it needs to be mentioned that the Bills won’t be fully focused for this game. They’re coming off two big victories, one of which occurred on the West Coast. Now, the have to play an early game prior to a pair of matchups against divisional opponents. This doesn’t seem to be the greatest spot for Buffalo.

    That said, I can’t bet the 49ers. I refuse to wager on the worst team in football, which happens to be starting a quarterback who has been even worse than Gabbert in practice.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: An hour prior to this writing, the Bills went from -7.5 to -9. This is not sharp money; the books made this adjustment because they were getting so much action on the Buffalo teaser. The sharps haven’t touched either side. By the way, Matvei texted me last night, telling me that following three-plus victories, Rex Ryan is 4-8 straight up at home, with six of the losses coming by double digits. Wow. It’s too bad Ryan is playing the worst team in the NFL; otherwise, this would be a big bet.

    SATURDAY NOTES: If I had any faith in the 49ers, this would be a fairly large pick on the underdog. The Bills are not good enough to be nine-point favorites over anyone, and I don’t trust Rex Ryan coming off so many big victories. However, San Francisco is the worst team in the league and doesn’t deserve anyone’s money. The 49ers could cover this, but they’re absolutely horrible and happen to be missing their best defensive player.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I was a bit surprised to see this line come off +9, meaning the books are allowing Buffalo teasers again. The sharps have bet the 49ers heavily. I’m not courageous enough to do that.


    The Psychology. Edge: 49ers.
    The Bills are coming off some big wins and have to play two divisional opponents after this. It’s difficult to imagine them being very focused for the 49ers.


    The Vegas. Edge: Bills.
    Slight lean on the road dog.
  • Percentage of money on San Francisco: 64% (24,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Bills.
  • True home teams are 30-18 ATS in the last 48 Bills games.
  • Opening Line: Bills -7.5.
  • Opening Total: 45.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 6 NFL Pick: Bills 27, 49ers 21
    49ers +7.5 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Over 44 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Survivor Pick (4-1)
    Bills 45, 49ers 16




    Los Angeles Rams (3-2) at Detroit Lions (2-3)
    Line: Lions by 2.5. Total: 44.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Lions -3.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Lions -2.
    Sunday, Oct 16, 1:00 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: TBA.

    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!

    DETROIT OFFENSE: I have to say that I’ve enjoyed making my picks on Tuesday again, rather than Wednesday, but the one downside is that it’s more difficult to project which injured players will be available in the initial write-ups. I bring this up now because there’s a slew of players who are considered questionable heading into this contest, a number of whom are important starters for both squads.

    Robert Quinn and Michael Brockers were both sidelined against the Bills, which was a huge deal because the Rams’ primary strength is their defensive line. The latest thing I’ve seen on them is that they are both “day to day,” which doesn’t really say much. It’s quite obvious that their absences will provide a huge boost for the Lions, as Detroit doesn’t block particularly well. Matthew Stafford will be able to torch a Los Angeles secondary that will definitely be missing Trumaine Johnson.

    Things change, however, if Quinn and Brockers are on the field, and both happen to be 100 percent. Quinn, more so, as Detroit has issues at offensive tackle. Stafford will still have a pretty favorable edge in terms of throwing against the Rams’ secondary, but he won’t have time to consistently find Marvin Jones for long gains.

    LOS ANGELES OFFENSE: As for the Lions, DeAndre Levy and Ziggy Ansah remain huge question marks. Both have been missing since the opening quarter of Week 2, and the Lions’ defense has been miserable ever since. No one on Detroit can place any sort of pressure on the quarterback, save for Kerry Hyder, while the linebacking corps has been in shambles. Ryan Mathews ran all over the Lions, as did Jordan Howard the week before, so Todd Gurley appears to have a very favorable matchup for once.

    Making matters worse for the Lions, their one strength, Darrius Slay, won’t be as much of a factor because the Rams don’t have a No. 1 receiver. Case Keenum has no choice but to spread the ball around, and I don’t see why that would change in this matchup.

    The one unknown is how much time Keenum will have in the pocket. If Ansah finally gets back on the field, he’ll have virtually none, as his abysmal left tackle, Greg Robinson, won’t have any sort of chance at blocking Ansah. If Ansah is out again, however, Keenum should be able to move the chains somewhat efficiently.

    RECAP: It’s difficult to make a definitive pick on this game at the moment because of all the injury question marks. That said, it sounds like the Rams’ defenders have a better chance of suiting up than Detroit’s studs.

    I’m taking the Rams for now, as I think this line isn’t priced correctly. It’s just a point off, but going from -2 to -3 is a big deal. The Rams are slightly better than the Lions, so I don’t think Detroit should be laying a full field goal.

    Unfortunately, there’s one glaring thing that’s keeping me from betting the Rams heavily – aside from the injuries – and that would be the fact that the Rams will be traveling to London right after this game. As mentioned earlier, teams heading into London have a horrible track record (7-18-1 against the spread), and it could be even worse than normal for the Rams, given that they’re situated on the West Coast, making the trip even more taxing.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: I’m considering a pick change. The Rams’ defensive linemen haven’t practiced yet, while Ziggy Ansah returned to practice for Detroit. Check back Saturday. I could be switching to Detroit then.

    SATURDAY NOTES: I am indeed changing this pick. Ziggy Ansah is probable, while the three Los Angeles defensive linemen are questionable. The sharps, by the way, haven’t touched this game. I don’t think it’s worth betting.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Robert Quinn is inactive. Ziggy Ansah is active. I feel good about this change, but not good enough to bet it. The sharps feel the same way, as they haven’t taken either side.


    The Psychology. Edge: Lions.
    The Rams pack their bags and head to London after this game.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Los Angeles: 53% (15,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Rams.
  • Jeff Fisher is 54-36 ATS as an underdog since 2006.
  • Rams are 10-5 ATS on the road after a home loss of 10+ excluding September games since 2005.
  • Opening Line: Lions -3.
  • Opening Total: 43.5.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 6 NFL Pick: Lions 26, Rams 22
    Lions -2.5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Over 44.5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Lions 31, Rams 28






    Cleveland Browns (0-5) at Tennessee Titans (2-3)
    Line: Titans by 7.5. Total: 44.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Titans -5.5.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Titans -3 (Kessler) or Titans -7.5 (Whitehurst).
    Sunday, Oct 16, 1:00 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Titans.

    Video of the Week: There are so many views for this video, but I just saw it for the first time, so some of you may not have caught it yet. It’s an experiment on how spiders acted when scientists fed them all sorts of drugs (thanks, Tyler W):



    I think it’s safe to say that I won’t be feeding any of the spiders in my house crack-cocaine anytime soon.

    CLEVELAND OFFENSE: The Browns had no chance when Cody Kessler was knocked out of the game last week. Not because Kessler is a great quarterback, or anything, but because Charlie Whitehurst was so brutal as a replacement. Clipboard Jesus was so bad that the Browns released him Tuesday, despite only being “hopeful” that Kessler will be able to start, according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.

    Kessler reportedly was in some pain Monday, but it sounds like he’ll suit up. The Browns could also have Josh McCown, who reportedly will attempt to practice this week. That’s obviously great news, as the only other alternative is Kevin Hogan, who has no business being in the NFL. Whether it’s Kessler or McCown, the Browns should be able to exploit all the holes in Tennessee’s secondary. There are a number of them, too, so I like Terrelle Pryor to bounce back from two uninspiring performances. It’ll help that the Browns’ decent offensive line will keep Tennessee from generating too much pressure.

    The Titans’ strength on defense is stopping the run. Isaiah Crowell pounded the rock very well earlier in the season, but was stymied against the Patriots. Part of that was Whitehurst’s fault, but I wouldn’t expect much from Crowell this time, considering the matchup.

    TENNESSEE OFFENSE: The Titans want to excel in the trenches, so it makes sense that they would be great at both running the ball and stopping the rush. Mike Mularkey is not a good coach, as he apparently thinks it’s still 1995, but Tennessee at least does some things very well, unlike other sub-.500 teams in this league.

    DeMarco Murray has been a monster this year, averaging five yards per carry. This is hardly a surprise, as Chip Kelly, another horrible coach, didn’t understand how to use Murray last year. Something will have to give here, as the Browns have done well limiting opposing running backs this season for the most part. The one except was Matt Jones in Week 4, so perhaps Murray will be able to replicate Jones’ 117-yard effort.

    Even if Murray thrives, the Titans won’t be able to score consistently. They don’t have a strong passing attack in the slightest. Delanie Walker figures to abuse the Browns, but Marcus Mariota doesn’t have any other reliable players to throw to. The Titans have been limited to 20 points or fewer in all but one contest this year, so the trend could definitely continue.

    RECAP: I’m going to be truthful here: I got a text Monday night saying that the Browns were 8.5-point underdogs at a major sportsbook. I immediately planed to make the Browns my October NFL Pick of the Month. I’m not joking. The value was too much to pass up, as it seemed like the worst line of the year to me.

    I awoke this morning to find that the Titans were favored by “only” seven points, so I was incredibly disappointed. Still, this is worth a five-unit selection.

    First of all, let’s dispel something. Some of you may be wondering how I can possibly wager five units on an 0-5 team. Well, 0-5 teams, since 1989, are 29-26 against the spread, losing by an averaging margin of 5.4 points. This is not why I’m betting on the Browns, but I’m stating this fact to show you that it’s not a crazy idea to wager on them. And yes, the Browns have been 0-5 twice before, and they’re 1-0-1 ATS in those situations. I’m actually shocked it’s only twice!

    This line is just way off. The Titans weren’t as bad as people thought they were last week when they were 3.5-point underdogs at Miami, but they’re not nearly good enough to be laying a touchdown at home against the Browns, who could seriously be 3-2 right now. Remember, Cleveland held a 20-2 lead versus Baltimore before McCown got hurt; it blew a victory at Miami because of three missed field goals; and one of the worst calls in NFL history allowed the Redskins to take over possession when the Browns were down four and were marching into Washington territory.

    The Browns are a very competitive team, and they’ll be desperate to avoid 0-6. Hue Jackson will devise a great game plan, and he’ll coach circles around the inept Mularkey. And speaking of Mularkey, I highly doubt he’ll have his squad fully prepared to play; the Titans are coming off a blowout victory, and now have to get focused against a feisty 0-5 opponent before taking on the hated Colts next week.

    I have this line at -3; the Titans are only slightly better than the Browns, and they don’t deserve the full three for being at home; they’re an abysmal 5-21 as hosts in the past three years, losing by an average margin of 6.7 points despite the average line being 0.7. Since we’re getting four full points of value, this is an easy five-unit selection.

    I should note that I may still make this my October NFL Pick of the Month. If I can get +8, and if Kessler has positive reports in practice all week, I may tack on another three units.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: It sucks that Joel Bitonio is out for the Browns, so this definitely won’t be my October NFL Pick of the Month. However, this line is still way too high, and I love getting the Browns at +7. The sharps appear to be leaning that way, too.

    SATURDAY NOTES: Thanks for the extra half-point! I like how this line moved up to -7.5, and I assume it’s because the Browns will be missing stud guard Joel Bitonio. Cleveland has a solid backup, however, and will continue to be my top pick. This spread is just way too high, as the mediocre Titans don’t score enough. The Browns, meanwhile, could be 3-2 right now, so they seem like a great bet at +7.5.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I still love the Browns. I don’t see how anyone can justify laying 7.5 with a sub-par team like the Titans.


    The Psychology. Edge: Browns.
    Coming off a blowout victory, the Titans are now big favorites and have to take on the arch-rival Colts next week.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Cleveland: 54% (15,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Titans.
  • Dick LeBeau is 20-2 SU vs. rookie quarterbacks.
  • Opening Line: Titans -6.
  • Opening Total: 45.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 6 NFL Pick: Browns 20, Titans 17
    Browns +7.5 (5 Units) — Correct; +$500
    Under 45 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Titans 28, Browns 26




    Philadelphia Eagles (3-1) at Washington Redskins (3-2)
    Line: Eagles by 3. Total: 45.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Pick.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Eagles -2.
    Sunday, Oct 16, 1:00 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Eagles.

    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!

    PHILADELPHIA OFFENSE: The Eagles received some bad news Tuesday morning when it was finally announced that Lane Johnson would be suspended for 10 games (click the link for the disaster grade.) If you’re too lazy to click my spammy links, this is obviously a crushing blow for the Eagles. Part of the reason Carson Wentz has been so spectacular as a rookie is the incredible amount of protection he has gotten from his offensive line. Johnson’s absence will change that, as Philadelphia doesn’t have a viable replacement.

    Halapoulivaati Vaitai will take Johnson’s place, which is an issue because he’ll have to deal with Ryan Kerrigan. I don’t see Tobin blocking well, and making matters worse, Wentz will have to shy away from one side of the field because Josh Norman will blanket one of his primary receivers. Wentz will have to rely on dumping passes off to Darren Sproles and Ryan Mathews and hoping they can break loose for some long gains.

    I’ve made everything sound bleak for the Eagles thus far, but believe me, there definitely is hope for them. The Redskins are horrific when it comes to stopping the run – hello, Marc Trestman – so Philadelphia will be able to pound the ball extremely efficiently with Mathews or the other running backs. Of course, Eagle fans will be hoping that Mathews will actually hold on to the ball this time! Also, the rest of the Redskins’ secondary isn’t very good, so Wentz should have some open targets if he has time to find them.

    WASHINGTON OFFENSE: Let’s go back to the negatives for Philadelphia before focusing on more positives. Matthew Stafford was able to exploit some weaknesses in the Eagles’ defense. Primarily, Nolan Carroll and Mychal Kendricks were brutal. The Carroll situation is particularly worrisome because he’ll be lining up across from DeSean Jackson on many plays, and Jackson is just itching to torch his former team.

    The Eagles have some glaring deficiencies at cornerback and linebacker, but their pass rush is at least stout. The problem here is that the Redskins protect Kirk Cousins extremely well. It’s definitely possible that the Eagles, unlike last week, won’t put much pressure on the quarterback.

    So, where are the positives? Well, first of all, Philadelphia stops the run extremely well, so I wouldn’t expect much out of Matt Jones. Also, Cousins has been extremely inconsistent this season. Even with some glaring holes that can be abused, I’m not sure if Cousins will be able to take advantage of those opportunities.

    RECAP: The Redskins are not a good football team; if it weren’t for a punt return and C.J. Mosley’s fumble, they certainly would’ve lost to Baltimore. They also needed some help from an incompetent official to beat the Browns. They could easily be 1-4 or even 0-5 right now.

    That said, the Eagles don’t appear to be an appealing wager. I’m not crazy about laying nearly a field goal on the road with a young team missing its top offensive lineman, especially when considering how much money is coming in on them. I’m going to select Philadelphia for pick-pool purposes because Washington sucks, but I’m definitely not wagering on this game.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: It sounds like Jordan Reed could be out, which is a huge blow for the Redskins. Both the public and sharps are betting the Eagles. I am not, however, as we lost value with them.

    SATURDAY NOTES: The sharps haven’t touched this game, so public money has brought the line up to Eagles -3. In fact, I thought about changing this pick, especially after what I saw in terms of the Supercontest selections. Of the top four contestants in the Supercontest, three have picked the Redskins, and they aren’t even getting +3! I’m tied for 21st place heading into Week 6, so I’ll definitely be rooting for the Eagles.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: For the sake of my Supercontest entry, go Eagles. If you like the Redskins, you can get +3 -105 at Bovada.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Redskins.
    The Eagles are a highly bet public favorite.
  • Percentage of money on Philadelphia: 65% (28,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • History: Redskins have won the last 3 meetings.
  • Opening Line: Redskins -1.5.
  • Opening Total: 46.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 6 NFL Pick: Eagles 23, Redskins 19
    Eagles -3 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Under 45 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Redskins 27, Eagles 20



    Week 6 NFL Picks – Late Games
    Kansas City at Oakland, Atlanta at Seattle, Dallas at Green Bay, Indianapolis at Houston, NY Jets at Arizona




    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 6 NFL Picks – Late Games



    NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22


    2024 NFL Mock Draft - Feb. 21


    Fantasy Football Rankings - Feb. 19


    NFL Picks - Feb. 12




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

    Cowboys: 8-9
    Bears: 11-4
    Bucs: 6-11
    49ers: 10-7
    Eagles: 7-7
    Lions: 9-8
    Falcons: 8-9
    Cardinals: 8-9
    Giants: 7-9
    Packers: 5-12
    Panthers: 8-9
    Rams: 8-9
    Redskins: 14-3
    Vikings: 6-9
    Saints: 10-7
    Seahawks: 7-9
    Bills: 9-7
    Bengals: 12-5
    Colts: 7-10
    Broncos: 9-6
    Dolphins: 6-11
    Browns: 11-5
    Jaguars: 13-4
    Chargers: 8-9
    Jets: 8-9
    Ravens: 11-6
    Texans: 5-12
    Chiefs: 5-10
    Patriots: 7-9
    Steelers: 11-6
    Titans: 9-8
    Raiders: 6-9
    Divisional: 50-35 (2011-22: 558-526)
    2x Game Edge: 36-24 (2011-22: 363-361)
    2x Motivation Edge: 32-36 (2011-22: 478-405)
    2x Spread Edge: 41-40 (2011-22: 197-168)
    2x Vegas Edge: 41-38 (2011-22: 407-406)
    2x Trend Edge: 15-13 (2011-22: 306-279)
    Double Edge: 17-13 (2011-22: 190-172)
    Triple Edge: 1-1 (2011-22: 32-36)

    2003 Preseason: 3 | 4 | 5
    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
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    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 |
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