NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 9, 2016



NFL Picks (Preseason 2016): 12-7-1 (+$1,290)
NFL Picks (Week 1, 2016): 13-3 (+$1,735) full review
NFL Picks (Week 2, 2016): 9-7 (-$430) full review
NFL Picks (Week 3, 2016): 7-7-2 (+$880) full review
NFL Picks (Week 4, 2016): 7-8 (-$70) full review
NFL Picks (Week 5, 2016): 6-7-1 (+$115) full review
NFL Picks (Week 6, 2016): 7-7-1 (+$515) full review
NFL Picks (Week 7, 2016): 11-4 (+$1,560) full review
NFL Picks (Week 8, 2016): 8-4-1 (-$60) full review

NFL Picks (2016): 80-54-6 (+$5,535)
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 Nov. 7, 6:35 p.m. ET. Follow @walterfootball for updates.


Go to Week 9 NFL Picks - Early Games







New Orleans Saints (3-4) at San Francisco 49ers (1-6)
Line: Saints by 4.5. Total: 52.5.

Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Saints -1.5.
Walt's Calculated Line: Saints -4.
Sunday, Nov 6, 4:05 PM
Comment on this game

The Game. Edge: Saints.

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!

NEW ORLEANS OFFENSE: Drew Brees didn't play his best game against the Falcons on a Monday night and then struggled a bit in a victory at San Diego, but has since performed on a very high level. Rookie Michael Thomas' emergence has been a big factor. No one is discussing Thomas as a Rookie of the Year candidate because there are so many other great options, but he's currently on pace for 1,143 yards despite having a relatively slow start.

Thomas, Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead all figure to post big numbers in this matchup. The 49ers don't have a horrible secondary, but they're lacking play-makers outside of Jimmie Ward. The bigger factor is the non-existent pass rush. Aaron Lynch has struggled this season, and San Francisco has not gotten to the quarterback as a result. Lynch may not even play in this contest. Meanwhile, Brees' pass protection has improved recently, thanks to Terron Armstead finally being healthy.

Brees may not even have to do all that much, as his running backs figure to gash San Francisco's league-worst rush defense. NaVorro Bowman's absence has rendered the Saints truly horrible in terms of stopping ground attacks, and Tim Hightower, taking over for the fumble-prone Mark Ingram, could eclipse the century mark.

SAN FRANCISCO OFFENSE: I mentioned that the 49ers have just one play-maker in their secondary. Well, they have only one play-maker on their entire offense, and Carlos Hyde may not play in this contest because of a shoulder injury.

The 49ers will need Hyde on the field to have a chance. The Saints aren't very good against the run either, but Hyde's backups won't be able to take advantage of this liability. San Francisco simply doesn't have the run blocking to have its reserve runners perform on a high level. Joe Staley and Daniel Kilgore are the only players up front who would start for more than a handful of teams.

Colin Kaepernick, of course, won't be able to take advantage of the Saints' secondary. He doesn't put enough effort into film study, so the mental part of his game is severely lacking. Plus, Delvin Breaux may return for New Orleans, which would be a huge boost.

RECAP: Contrarian shraps - not sharps - have been betting the 49ers all year, but to no avail. San Francisco hasn't covered a spread since Week 1, which is not surprising because they are the worst team in the NFL, and it really isn't even close.

One of my rules for betting the NFL is to never wager on the worst team in the league. As a result, it's the Saints or nothing. The problem is that we're not getting much value with New Orleans for the first time in quite a while, and I don't like them in the role of a road favorite. Plus, the amount of public action coming in on the Saints is overwhelming, so I'll stay away from this game.

THURSDAY THOUGHTS: There is very slight sharp action coming in on the 49ers, but not enough to push this spread in the other direction. I don't know why anyone would bet on San Francisco, as wagering on the worst team in the league doesn't seem like the brightest move.

SATURDAY NOTES: Forget what I said about the slight sharp action. It seems like that was just one big contrarian bet. All of the action is coming in on the Saints. There's no value with the 49ers +5. Please don't bet the worst team in football.

FINAL THOUGHTS: There was once again a bit bet made on the 49ers, but I don't think it's sharp action; otherwise, this line would've moved down further. It just seems like contrarians love San Francisco. I'd rather be betting with the public than pure contrarians.


The Psychology. Edge: 49ers.
The Saints are coming off a big win versus Seattle, and following this game, they have to battle the Broncos. The 49ers, meanwhile, have been hearing about how bad they are for two weeks.


The Vegas. Edge: 49ers.
No one is betting the 49ers.
  • Percentage of money on New Orleans: 79% (31,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: 49ers.
  • Favorites after playing the Seahawks are 10-27 ATS.
  • Opening Line: Saints -3.5.
  • Opening Total: 51.
  • Weather: .


    Week 9 NFL Pick: Saints 41, 49ers 31
    Saints -4.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Over 52.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Saints 41, 49ers 23






    Carolina Panthers (2-5) at Los Angeles Rams (3-4)
    Line: Panthers by 3. Total: 44.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Panthers -1.5.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Rams -1.
    Sunday, Nov 6, 4:05 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Rams.

    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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    Also, a reminder to make your pick for the WalterFootball.com 2016 NFL Survivor Pool if you're still alive! We had 2,430 entries to start, with 412 entering Week 7. We're now down to 181, thanks to the Vikings' epic stink bomb on Monday night.

    Also, check out our Fantasy Football Who to Start Weekly Rankings for weekly fantasy start-sit advice.

    CAROLINA OFFENSE: Everyone has been talking about the Panthers being back following their blowout victory over the Cardinals. Their front seven was fantastic, but I can't say that they were that impressive on the offensive side of the ball. Cam Newton ran more than he did prior to the bye, but he wasn't as effective as a passer. It didn't help him that Patrick Peterson shut down Kelvin Benjamin, but it's not like Benjamin will have an easier matchup in this contest.

    The Rams have been missing Trumaine Johnson since Week 5, and their defense has taken a step backward as a result. Reports indicate that Johnson could be back on the field this week, so that'll be a big boost for Los Angeles, as the Rams don't have anyone to match up with Kelvin Benjamin otherwise.

    Even if Benjamin doesn't make it back, Newton could struggle. One of the primary reasons I went against the Panthers in the Super Bowl was because the Broncos had the edge rushers to deal with Carolina's poor tackles. The Rams also have dynamic pass-rushers, as Robert Quinn and William Hayes will flood the backfield consistently. The Panthers won't be able to give their tackles much help because they'll have to worry about Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers, who also figures to return from injury.

    LOS ANGELES OFFENSE: I mentioned earlier that the Panthers' front seven was incredible against the Cardinals. The pass-rushers swarmed the backfield, and Carson Palmer didn't have much of a chance. I trust the Rams' interior protection more than Arizona's at the moment, but it's not substantially better. Where Los Angeles is weakest up front is at left tackle, as Greg Robinson has proven to be a colossal bust. He'll be lining up across from Kony Ealy, who has struggled this year. Ealy, however, will have a chance to rebound in such an easy matchup.

    Of course, Robinson has been a problem all year, and prior to the London game, Case Keenum had done a good job of avoiding opposing pass rushers from the blind side and connecting with Kenny Britt and his other receivers to move the chains somewhat effectively. Britt struggled against Janoris Jenkins prior to the bye, but he'll have a chance to rebound versus a Carolina secondary that hasn't been able to cover anyone.

    The Rams will naturally attempt to establish the run, but I don't think they'll have much success in doing so. While the Panthers have been especially brutal versus the pass this season, they've at least played the run extremely well. Still, Gurley's presence in the backfield will draw attention away from the Rams' no-name aerial attack.

    RECAP: This is one of my top picks of the week. I love the Rams, as my spread is four points off what this line really is. I have Los Angeles listed as a one-point favorite.

    The Panthers have been overvalued all year, and they covered just once prior to their bye as a result. They managed to beat Arizona soundly, but the Cardinals were coming off a grueling tie and had to travel across the country to play an early game. They were in a bad spot, and the Panthers took advantage of it. They deserve credit for the win, but not this much credit. Carolina -3 here would mean -9 at home versus the Rams (maybe more like -7.5), which is way too high.

    The public doesn't see it that way. They're betting heavily on the Panthers, and predictably so. They don't believe the Rams are a good team, but Los Angeles lost its previous two games in the final seconds despite outgaining both opponents in terms of yards per play, and they didn't have some of their star defenders either. It's safe to say that if two of Quinn, Brockers and Johnson were on the field, they would've prevailed in both contests. Thus, if the Rams were 5-2 right now instead of 3-4, what would this line be? They'd be favored, right? Maybe by a point?

    I'm betting the Rams for five units. This spread is four points off, and we're getting a key number (3). The Rams also happen to match up well with the Panthers, as they'll be able to expose Carolina's poor tackles.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: The sharps are betting the Rams, so I don't anticipate this line moving up. In fact, I'm going to lock in Rams +3 +100 at Bovada right now.

    SATURDAY NOTES: The Rams continue to be one of my top picks. They're getting their key defenders back, while the Panthers are now banged up. Shaq Thompson is out, while Luke Kuechly is not 100 percent. This spread is way off, as the Rams should be favored by a point.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The Rams can be had for +3 +105, but I don't regret locking this pick in. I'm shocked the sharps haven't touched Los Angeles. The public continues to pound Carolina.

    SportsLine's Micah Roberts is 22-6 in college football Over-Under picks this season (+1534 profit). He's also won his last 5 NFL Over-Under picks. You can get all of his plays by visiting SportsLine.com.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Rams.
    Everyone is back on the Panthers' bandwagon!
  • Percentage of money on Carolina: 76% (29,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Rams.
  • Jeff Fisher is 54-38 ATS as an underdog since 2006.
  • Jeff Fisher is 4-0 ATS off a bye with the Rams.
  • Opening Line: Panthers -3.
  • Opening Total: 46.
  • Weather: .


    Week 9 NFL Pick: Rams 17, Panthers 13
    Rams +3 +100 (5 Units) -- Push; $0
    Under 44.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Panthers 13, Rams 10






    Indianapolis Colts (3-5) at Green Bay Packers (4-3)
    Line: Packers by 7.5. Total: 53.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Packers -6.5.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Packers -7.
    Sunday, Nov 6, 4:25 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Packers.

    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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    INDIANAPOLIS OFFENSE: I lost two multi-unit picks last week. I feel as though I had the right side in the Denver-San Diego contest, but I was way off on Indianapolis-Kansas City. I was surprised that the Colts couldn't keep it close to get within back-door territory, especially after doing so at Denver earlier in the year. Upon further reflection, however, I realized that Indianapolis wasn't competitive because three of its better players got hurt. Two were knocked out completely, while one was banged up and not nearly the same upon his return to the field.

    The latter player is T.Y. Hilton, whose bum hamstring was the catalyst for him dropping numerous passes. He hauled in just one of his six targets. As a result of this, most of the Colts' drives sputtered, as Andrew Luck's sole dynamic weapon was Donte Moncrief. It's unclear if Hilton will be 100 percent in this contest, as soft-tissue injuries tend to linger. Even if he's not, however, Luck will have an easier matchup, so he'll be able to move the chains more consistently. Green Bay's secondary is awful, as it couldn't stop Mohamed Sanu or Taylor Gabriel in last week's loss to Atlanta.

    Luck will have success throwing to Jack Doyle as well, given that the Packers haven't been very good versus tight ends. They have defended the run well at least, so Frank Gore's yardage will once again have to come on receptions.

    GREEN BAY OFFENSE: The two Indianapolis players I referenced earlier who sustained game-ending injuries were Vontae Davis and Mike Adams. The latter suffered what is being called a "nasty groin problem" and could be out for a while. Davis, meanwhile, may not make it back from his concussion in time if Indianapolis adding a corner from the practice squad is any indication. Both players being out was absolutely huge against the Chiefs, as Nick Foles moved the chains effortlessly in the second half.

    If Foles were able to have success against the Colts' suddenly injury-ravaged defense, imagine what Aaron Rodgers will do. Rodgers struggled in the first half of the Chicago game last Thursday night, but has been hot the past six quarters despite playing with injured receivers and no running support. It's unclear if Randall Cobb and Ty Montgomery will be able to suit up, and it's also unknown how healthy Jordy Nelson will be, but I still have faith in Rodgers, as he has developed a great connection with Davante Adams.

    It'll help Rodgers' cause that he won't have to worry about any sort of pass rush. The Colts cannot get to the quarterback at all, and Rodgers is protected by an excellent offensive line. It'll be shocking if he doesn't torch Indianapolis relentlessly.

    RECAP: Laying lots of points with the Packers hasn't been a successful strategy this year, as Mike McCarthy has an uncanny ability to take his foot off the gas in the second half, allowing opposing quarterbacks to throw a back-door touchdowns. It happened versus the Lions and Giants, and it could certainly occur in this contest as well, as Luck seems like the type of quarterback who would thrive in such a situation in a favorable matchup.

    That fear would keep me off the Packers entirely, so it's definitely Colts or nothing for me. I'm leaning toward nothing, but I may change my mind if Davis and/or Adams is able to play. If they miss this game, however, I won't have much faith in the Colts covering.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: We're still waiting on injury information regarding prominent Colts players. Vontae Davis needs to clear concussion protocol and T.Y. Hilton must be 100 percent for me to bet the Colts. The sharps aren't waiting, however, as they've placed some heavy bets on Indianapolis.

    SATURDAY NOTES: There's some sharp action on the Colts, which I can understand because Vontae Davis has cleared concussion protocol and T.Y. Hilton has been practicing fully. I'm going to place one unit on Indianapolis.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Noting's changed since last night. This line is +7 in most places, but can be had for +7.5 -115 at Bovada, which I would prefer over +7. It seems like there's a very good chance this game could land on seven.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Colts.
    Why would anyone bet Indianapolis right now?
  • Percentage of money on Green Bay: 65% (24,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Andrew Luck is 18-5 ATS off a loss.
  • Packers are 30-19 ATS at home since 2010.
  • Aaron Rodgers is 72-44 ATS since 2009.
  • Opening Line: Packers -7.
  • Opening Total: 52.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 9 NFL Pick: Packers 34, Colts 28
    Colts +7.5 -115 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Over 53 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Colts 31, Packers 26






    Tennessee Titans (4-4) at San Diego Chargers (3-5)
    Line: Chargers by 4. Total: 47.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Chargers -5.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Chargers -3.
    Sunday, Nov 6, 4:25 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Chargers.

    A reminder that Jerks of the Week for this week is up, so just click the link. This week's jerks entry is called Old Lady Love, Old Lady Hate.

    SAN DIEGO OFFENSE: I still can't figure out why the Chargers didn't run the ball at all near the goal line when Melvin Gordon had been so effective all afternoon. It really made no sense. The Broncos are worse against the run than the pass, and Gordon is one of the league leaders in rushing touchdowns. I don't get it. Ugh. I'm going to be having nightmares about that goal-line sequence for months.

    I won't blame the Chargers if they don't pound the rock in a similar circumstance in this contest, however. That's because the Titans are much better against the run than the pass. They've clamped down on most ground attacks they've battled this season, so it'll be up to Philip Rivers to move the chains consistently in this game.

    The bad news regarding that is that Tennessee pressures the quarterback very regularly. Brian Orakpo, Derrick Morgan and Jurrell Casey have all played extremely well this season, and they'll be battling an offensive line that couldn't protect Rivers last week. Morgan especially has a nice matchup against the struggling Joseph Barksdale. The good news, however, is that Tennessee's secondary and linebacking corps are weak. Rivers will definitely find open receivers consistently, and his dynamic tight ends will pick up chunks of yardage in the middle of the field.

    TENNESSEE OFFENSE: Speaking of teams were with pass rushes, the Chargers have been putting tons of heat on opposing passers ever since Joey Bosa entered the lineup. Bosa has been a monster, as he and Melvin Ingram have been relentless in terms of hounding opposing quarterbacks. However, the two will have their toughest matchup to date in this contest, as they'll be going up against two spectacular tackles in Taylor Lewan and Jack Conklin. The latter is just a rookie, but he has been fantastic.

    Keeping Marcus Mariota clean will be imperative, as he doesn't have the weapons to overcome a great pass rush. Delanie Walker is his best one, and while I think he'll have a good game, the same can't be said about his receivers, who will be going up against a group of talented cornerbacks, led by Casey Hayward and Brandon Flowers.

    Of course, the Titans will want to run the ball most of the time with DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry, who were unstoppable Thursday night. It'll be difficult for them to have anything close to the same sort of success in this contest, however, as the Chargers have stopped the run pretty well. Still, San Diego will also have to worry about Mariota taking off downfield, which could prove to be an issue because the Chargers haven't battled a mobile quarterback yet this year.

    RECAP: If the Chargers had a strong homefield advantage, I'd say that this line would be close to accurate. However, that's not the case, as San Diego deserves a point for being at home at the very most.

    With that in mind, I like Tennessee for a couple of units, as this spread is off by a bit. I have it as Chargers -3, though I could see the argument for -3.5. A spread of -5.5 is too much, however, and the Titans have been competitive in every single game this year. They gave the Vikings and Raiders everything they could handle, and I don't see why this contest would be any different, especially with the Chargers coming off such an emotional loss.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: This line keeps bouncing all over the place, but there's no indication of any sharp movement yet. I was hoping to get Titans +6, but that doesn't appear to be happening.

    SATURDAY NOTES: Both teams have injury issues. Hunter Henry is out and Travis Benjamin is hurt for the Chargers, while Delanie Walker may not play for Tennessee. The Titans are on the short end of the stick there, but I'm still willing to bet them for two units.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps have been pounding the Titans on Sunday morning. Most +4s are gone, but still available at Bovada and CRIS (the latter for -115).





    The Psychology. Edge: Titans.
    The Chargers suffered a huge emotional loss to the Broncos.


    The Vegas. Edge: Titans.
    A strong lean on the host.
  • Percentage of money on San Diego: 67% (25,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Opening Line: Chargers -4.5.
  • Opening Total: 48.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 9 NFL Pick: Chargers 23, Titans 20
    Titans +4 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
    Under 47 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Chargers 43, Titans 35






    Denver Broncos (6-2) at Oakland Raiders (6-2)
    Line: Raiders by 1. Total: 45.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Broncos -1.5.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Broncos -3.
    Sunday, Nov 6, 8:30 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Broncos.

    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:



    I guess Mario was just a little bit off on that Seattle-Arizona score. Oh, and look how much sand in the vag Jay del Rosario has. I feel like every single troll out there should privately message him and troll him to teach him a lesson.

    As for this week, I made sure to hit the Saints page:



    Hey, Michael Martin, let's simmer down. Why is Mario automatically an illegal? I know plenty of legal immigrants who are just as bad as English!

    OAKLAND OFFENSE: I called the Raiders overrated last week and made note of how much public action was coming in on them. However, I still picked them to beat the Buccaneers, primarily because I liked Derek Carr's matchup against the Tampa safeties. Carr managed to throw for a franchise-record 513 yards as a result.

    Carr, however, won't be as successful this week. The Broncos are on the other end of the spectrum as far as talent in the secondary is concerned, and their pass rush is ridiculous, especially now that DeMarcus Ware is back. Oakland's offensive line is solid, but Von Miller should be able to have his way with middling right tackle Austin Howard. I also think Derek Wolfe will win his matchup. With a decent amount of pressure in his face for once, Carr could be off his game.

    You have to be balanced to knock off a team like Denver. The Raiders are anything but, as they don't run the ball well at all. Dominant defenses like the one the Broncos have eat one-dimensional offenses alive - especially those that constantly hurt themselves with senseless penalties!

    DENVER OFFENSE: The Raiders were atrocious against the pass in the early stages of the season. A few things changed, however. One was Karl Joseph's insertion into the lineup, as the rookie safety has been special. Two was Sean Smith's improvement following a slow start. Three was Khalil Mack rounding himself into shape. Mack didn't perform well in the first few games, but has been better lately.

    While Mack and Joseph will be ready to roll, Smith probably won't be. It doesn't sound like Smith will be able to suit up because of a shoulder injury, meaning the greatly inferior T.J. Carrie will start in his place. One of Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders will go off as a result, provided the Broncos can keep Trevor Siemian upright.

    The Raiders are much weaker versus the run. Denver won't have C.J. Anderson the rest of the year, but Devontae Booker has proven to be a solid replacement. Booker performed well in his first start last week, save for the fumble near the goal line. He should be able to pick up chunks of yardage versus Oakland's defense.

    RECAP: I've posted two five-unit selections thus far. How about a third? I'll be betting the Broncos heavily.

    This is another game where the spread isn't priced correctly. The Raiders have no homefield advantage, so this is saying that Denver and Oakland are equal, which is hardly the case. The Raiders have the dynamic passing weapons, but the Broncos are better in every other regard. And sure, the records are the same, but the Raiders are 0-2 versus opponents that currently have winning records, and they've been outgained in terms of yards per play in all but one game this year. The Broncos should be -3, as I think they're three points better than Oakland.

    Another factor is how disciplined the Raiders will be. They just set a league-record 23 penalties and won. I figure they'd be cleaner following a loss, but I think they'll make the same sort of mistakes in this game, especialy with expectations being so high. This is their chance to prove that they can be considered one of the top teams in the league, and I think they'll overcompensate as a result. They'll be reckless in terms of penalties, making this even easier for Denver. The Broncos, meanwhile, have been here before, and they're very familiar with how to win a big game.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Nothing has changed here quite yet. Matvei texted me and said that he strongly disagrees with this pick, so I'm going to ask him why he feels that way.

    SATURDAY NOTES: I promised you Matvei's text, and here it is:

    "Denver's strength of schedule this year is much weaker than it looked at first, they've played one winning team (ATL, who has a worse line than OAK) and comparable receivers and lost at home. Their only impressive win as at TB. They should've lost to Carolina, did lose at San Diego, and were even outplayed by the Texans at home in the first half. Going back to last year, their road performance looks good on paper, but the opponents are weak again, and of the wins were preposterous: @KC Week 2, and @OAK Week 5 were two of the more improbable wins of the year, and they struggled with pass-heavy offenses (lost to IND and PIT). Both Raider games last year were tight and decided by goofiness, not the sort of games I'd want to bet heavy money on. I can see going Under and I love a tease on either side, the game itself is a toss up IMO. The Raiders always get up for Denver, and beyond that, this is the biggest home game in Oakland in 15 years, the atmopshere will be like that midnight game vs. the Chargers but x10. Not sure how the Raiders will respond: they could self-destruct like KC did at home vs DEN last year or it could be a coming out party like SF @ SEA from Sept. 2013. Del Rio ran Denver's defense for a few years and knows what they want to do, while Wade Phillips is injured last weekend and can't be himself. Bottom line is that Denver's D is good enough to keep them in any game but most of their big wins last year came down to a lot more luck than anyone remembers. They split with everyone in the division (KC and OAK last year, SD this year), they have a road disadvantage because they lose their altitude effects,and as crazy as it sounds, the Raiders might be the best team they've played this year - certainly the one most likely to stymie their pass rush."

    Wow, there it is. A very convincing text, for sure. I disagree with two things. First, Denver's win at Cincinnati was an impressive win. And second, this being a big home game for the Raiders could really hurt them, as they're very undisciplined. However, Matvei makes some terrific points. I'm also concerned that Aqib Talib is out, so I'm going to drop this from five to three units.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Words can't describe how frustrated I am right now. Three of my top four picks all averaged at least more than a yard per play than their opponent, yet I went 0-1-2 in those games, as the Eagles lost and the Rams and Jets pushed. Ugh. Hopefully I'll have better luck in this game, as I'm sticking with the Broncos for three units. They're the better team, while the Raiders have no homefield advantage, so Denver should be favored. There are some sharp bets coming in on the Broncos, but not a lot. It's worth noting that the books got absolutely hammered today, but there's not enough money on the Broncos to warrant any sort of shady action.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Raiders.
    Slight lean on the Broncos.
  • Percentage of money on Denver: 62% (77,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Broncos.
  • History: Road Team has won 12 of the last 16 meetings (Broncos 8 of last 9).
  • Raiders are 14-28 ATS after a win since 2009.
  • Raiders are 5-24 ATS as home favorites since November 2005.
  • Opening Line: Pick.
  • Opening Total: 44.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 9 NFL Pick: Broncos 23, Raiders 17
    Broncos +1 (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
    Under 44.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Raiders 30, Broncos 20






    Buffalo Bills (4-4) at Seattle Seahawks (4-2-1)
    Line: Seahawks by 7. Total: 44.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Seahawks -7.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Seahawks -6 (no McCoy) or Seahawks -4.5 (McCoy).
    Monday, Nov 7, 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 Seattle, the Windy City, where tonight, the Seattle Seahawks battle the Buffalo Sabres. Guys, because no one really cares about this game, let's talk about the election, which is coming up tomorrow. Guys, I don't know who to vote for. I don't want to vote for Hillary because she's a woman and all women are icky except for Mother. On the other hand, I don't want to vote for Trump because he hurt my feelings by saying he wants to build a wall. I hate walls ever since the bullies in the schoolyard built a wall around me and I was stuck there for a week!

    Emmitt: Lawrence, sometime wall are good. Take the Grape Wall of China for instancement. The city of China think they need a wall to keep the Mexican out of his city, so he built a big, grape wall around the city, and now the Mexican do not come in and take his job anymore. Also, there is Wall Street. They build a wall in the street to keep the Mexican out, and this seem to work well as well, too, also.

    Herm: WALL STREET IS NOT A WALL! IT'S NOT A WALL! NOT A WALL! NOTHING LIKE A WALL! NOTHING COMPARABLE TO A WALL! NOTHING RESEMBLING A WALL! NOTHING LIKENED TO A WALL! THERE ARE NO WALLS! WELL, MAYBE SOME WALLS IN BUILDINGS! BUT NO WALL IN THE STREET! AIN'T NO WALL IN THE STREET, NOW! AIN'T NO WALL IN ANY STREET NOW! CAN'T FIND A WALL IN THE STREET! WHY WOULD THERE BE A WALL IN THE STREET!? WHO BUILT A WALL IN THE STREET!? WHY DID THEY BUILD A WALL IN THE STREET!? HOW HERM GOING TO DRIVE AROUND THE WALL IN THE STREET!? WHAT IF THIS WALL IS INVISIBLE!? WHAT IF THIS WALL IS A WALL OF OMENS!? CAN'T HAVE NO OMENS, NOW! CAN'T HAVE NO OMENS! WHY'S HERM TALKING ABOUT OMENS!? OMENS... uhh... umm...

    Reilly: Herm, you idiot, you're not answering my question. Who should I vote for!? Do I do as Mother says and vote for Trump?

    Tollefson: Kevin, this is an easy decision for me. I would vote for Hillary. This may surprise you because I think all women are stupid, and they are. But a woman's job is to cook and clean naked for her husband, and that's exactly what Hillary will do in the White House. Who better to cook and clean naked in the White House than someone who has already cooked and cleaned naked in the White House?

    Millen: Kevin, I have to disagree with my compatriot. I would vote for Donald Trump because he's a 500-percent USDA Man. He was actually the first 100-plus USDA Man I've ever encountered. I used to just stick kielbasas into the backsides of 100-percent USDA Men, and I had fun, but one day, the Donald invited me to one of his hotels, and I didn't know what to expect. And then, I saw it. He was 500-percent USDA Man, so I was able to stick five kielbasas up his backside.

    Wolfley: I ONCE STUCK SIX KIELBASAS UP DONALD TRUMP'S BACKSIDE, SO I THINK YOU'RE SLACKING OFF, MATT. AND I CAN PROVE IT. THE MOLE ON DONALD TRUMP'S BACKSIDE LOOKS LIKE AN ALLIGATOR CLOWN SMOKING A CIGARETTE ON A WEDNESDAY MORNING.

    Millen: He does have that mole, and I told him to get it checked out, but I don't believe you! No one is better at sticking kielbasas into backsides! No one! You're a dirty liar!

    Fouts: And here's what he means by dirty liar. To be dirty, you have to be not clean. If you're not clean, chances are you haven't showered in several days. It also means you weren't in the bath tub either. You can go into either one and be not dirty, but if you don't go into either one, you won't be clean. As for a liar, a liar is someone who doesn't tell the truth. If you tell the truth, you're not a liar unless you're only telling the truth in certain instances and then lying in others. But if you lie in others and tell the truth, it's the same as telling the truth in others and lying. It's the same thing, except I reversed the words, but the fact of the matter is, you're still a liar, even if you tell the truth sometimes. Oh, and I'm voting for Jim Stein because I like the color green.

    Reilly: Jim Stein, hmm... Well, I don't know anything about him, and green is the color of my Philadelphia Eagles. Maybe I'll vote for him. I'm sure he doesn't want to build a wall like Trump, and I'm sure he doesn't have any rotten scandals going on like Hillary.

    Charles Davis: Let's talk about all of Hillary's scandals, shall we, Kevin? Let's start off with the e-mails, shall we, Kevin? How about stealing $190,000 in goods from the White House, Kevin? How about covering up Bill Clinton's alleged rapes, Kevin? What about taking $50 million in campaign contributions from countries that kill gays, Kevin? How about Vince Foster's death, Kevin? Let's discuss Whitewater, Kevin. How about all of the other deaths associated with her, Kevin? Let's touch on the Clinton Foundation, Kevin. How about we focus on Benghazi, Kevin? There are others I haven't discussed yet, Kevin. Let's see if you can name one, Kevin. I'll give you...

    Reilly: HAHAHAHA SOME GUYS IN SUITS JUST CAME IN AND TOOK CHARLES DAVIS AWAY AND HE'LL PROBABLY BE ADDED TO THE BODY COUNT! SAYONARA, SUCKER! GUESS I'LL BE VOTING FOR HILLARY BECAUSE SHE'S GOING TO MAKE CHARLES DAVIS DISAPPEAR! We'll be back after this!

    SEATTLE OFFENSE: The Seahawks have struggled to score and maintain consistent drives in general because of two primary reasons. The first is that Russell Wilson is not 100 percent. He's dealt with knee and pectoral injuries, which have limited his passing ability in some contests. More prominently, however, he's not moving around very much. His ability to scramble around the pocket and keep plays alive was his best attribute, and he can't do that right now.

    The second problem is the offensive line, which hasn't been able to block whatsoever. Save for center Justin Britt, every single starting lineman has been woeful. The Bills have a terrific pass rush, led by Lorenzo Alexander and Jerry Hughes, and they should be able to generate consistent pressure on Wilson, provided Alexander can play. Alexander is dealing with a hamstring injury, though he told the media that he thinks he can take the field Monday night. That doesn't mean much this early in the week, but even if he can't suit up, the Bills still figure to hound Wilson pretty consistently.

    The Seahawks used to be able to compensate for their poor offensive line with their rushing attack. However, with Wilson's injuries, as well as Marshawn Lynch (and Thomas Rawls) not being around, Seattle can't really run the ball effectively. Christine Michael has done an OK job, but he's no Rawls, and certainly no Lynch. The Bills should be able to handle Michael just fine.

    BUFFALO OFFENSE: The Bills, starved for offensive play-makers, signed Percy Harvin today. Harvin is unlikely to contribute very much even though he could be one of the better receivers on the roster by default. It's really a sad state of affairs for the Bills, who can't wait to get Sammy Watkins back from injury.

    Speaking of injured players, LeSean McCoy's return would be huge. Like Alexander, McCoy is dealing with a hamstring, and an extra day to rest could prove to be invaluable. McCoy told the media that he's hopeful he'll be able to suit up. Again, that doesn't mean much right now, but his presence would at least allow the Bills to have a chance of pulling the upset. Seattle's run defense took a hit with Michael Bennett being out of the lineup - Tim Hightower nearly reached 100 rushing yards last week - and McCoy will have a huge performance if he's available.

    Bennett's absence has made the pass rush worse, and that has made things even harder for a secondary that has been missing Kam Chancellor the past three weeks. It sounds like Chancellor could return, which would be a huge boost. However, I still think Tyrod Taylor will perform relatively well, as he won't see much of a pass rush. He'll be able to scramble to pick up some yardage, though Seattle's excellent linebackers figure to limit him in that regard.

    RECAP: In what universe do the Seahawks deserve to be touchdown favorites over the Bills? McCoy or not, Buffalo is a competitive team and shouldn't be getting so many points against a struggling opponent.

    The Seahawks definitely are struggling. Their offense is in a funk, and they'll be without one of their top defenders for a while. This game reminds me a lot of the Seahawks-Lions Monday night battle from a year ago. Seattle, also struggling at that point in time, was a huge favorite, yet barely scraped by with a victory against a team that was considered to be a lesser opponent.

    The Bills, who should be about +4.5 or so with McCoy, should be able to cover, and I like them to do so for three units.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: The sharps are betting the Bills, but the books don't want to move this off +7 just yet for some reason. I'm not rushing to bet +7 -120 without knowing McCoy's status.

    SATURDAY NOTES: It sounds like LeSean McCoy will play, so the Bills look very enticing. The sharps are all over them, and I'm considering locking in +7 -115 because this spread may move down to +6.5.

    MONDAY MORNING: This spread has dropped to +6.5 in most places, as sharps have begun pounding the Bills. Buffalo is still +7 -120 at Bovada, so I will lock that in for three units. I may add a fourth later tonight.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps, as mentioned bet the Bills at +7. They also took them at +6.5. They stopped at +6, but I still think Buffalo is worth a two-unit play at that number. I'm actually regretting not placing a fourth unit on the Bills, as this number is way too high. I know that Buffalo +7 can still be obtained at Bovada, but -130 juice is too rich for my blood. Hopefully we have better luck tonight than we did Sunday!


    The Psychology. Edge: Bills.
    The Seahawks have to battle the Patriots after this, so they could be looking past Buffalo.


    The Vegas. Edge: Bills.
    Sharp money coming in on Buffalo. Public on Seattle.
  • Percentage of money on Seattle: 62% (59,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Seahawks.
  • Bills are 17-10 ATS after playing the New England Patriots since 1999.
  • Bills are 8-17 ATS since November 2011 as a road underdog.
  • True home teams are 31-20 ATS in the last 51 Bills games.
  • Seahawks are 37-18 ATS as home favorites since 2007.
  • Russell Wilson is 9-5 ATS after a loss as long as he's not favored by -10 or more.
  • Opening Line: Seahawks -6.5.
  • Opening Total: 44.
  • Weather: .


    Week 9 NFL Pick: Seahawks 19, Bills 16
    Bills +7 -120 (3 Units) -- Correct; +$300
    Under 44 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Seahawks 31, Bills 25





    Week 9 NFL Picks - Early Games
    Atlanta at Tampa Bay, Jacksonville at Kansas City, Dallas at Cleveland, Pittsburgh at Baltimore, Philadelphia at NY Giants, NY Jets at Miami, Detroit 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: Packers -1, Broncos +7.5 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
  • Moneyline: Eagles +135 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$100
  • Moneyline: Browns +270 (0.5 Units) -- Incorrect; -$50
  • Moneyline: Jets +170 (0.5 Units) -- Incorrect; -$50
  • Moneyline: Rams +155 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$100
  • Moneyline: Titans +180 (0.5 Units) -- Incorrect; -$50
  • Moneyline: Bills +250 (0.5 Units) -- Incorrect; -$50


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    NFL Picks - Jan. 16


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    Fantasy Football Rankings - Jan. 11


    2022 NFL Mock Draft - Nov. 15


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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: 7-9 (2014-19: 44-45)
    49ers: 8-8 (2014-19: 53-44)
    Eagles: 8-8 (2014-19: 55-46)
    Lions: 9-6 (2014-19: 53-42)
    Falcons: 9-7 (2014-19: 55-45)
    Cardinals: 10-6 (2014-19: 45-50)
    Giants: 3-13 (2014-19: 52-41)
    Packers: 12-4 (2014-19: 54-46)
    Panthers: 13-3 (2014-19: 47-52)
    Rams: 5-12 (2014-19: 53-41)
    Redskins: 7-8 (2014-19: 47-48)
    Vikings: 9-7 (2014-19: 51-45)
    Saints: 7-10 (2014-19: 49-50)
    Seahawks: 8-9 (2014-19: 43-56)
    Bills: 10-7 (2014-19: 52-42)
    Bengals: 9-5 (2014-19: 42-52)
    Colts: 8-7 (2014-19: 50-45)
    Broncos: 9-7 (2014-19: 45-48)
    Dolphins: 12-4 (2014-19: 47-46)
    Browns: 7-9 (2014-19: 46-44)
    Jaguars: 4-11 (2014-19: 41-55)
    Chargers: 8-6 (2014-19: 46-49)
    Jets: 8-8 (2014-19: 50-40)
    Ravens: 5-11 (2014-19: 48-47)
    Texans: 10-5 (2014-19: 48-47)
    Chiefs: 12-4 (2014-19: 56-50)
    Patriots: 6-10 (2014-19: 55-53)
    Steelers: 7-10 (2014-19: 56-43)
    Titans: 10-7 (2014-19: 49-47)
    Raiders: 7-9 (2014-19: 43-52)
    Divisional: 43-47 (2011-19: 405-394)
    2x Game Edge: 63-60 (2011-19: 213-210)
    2x Motivation Edge: 45-30 (2011-19: 347-288)
    2x Spread Edge: 42-33 (2011-19: 61-55)
    2x Vegas Edge: 25-22 (2011-19: 320-335)
    2x Trend Edge: 18-13 (2011-19: 250-228)
    Double Edge: 27-21 (2011-19: 122-107)
    Triple Edge: 5-4 (2011-19: 21-18)

    2003 Preseason: 3 | 4 | 5
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