NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 17, 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 (Week 9, 2016): 5-6-2 (-$1,170) full review
NFL Picks (Week 10, 2016): 9-4-1 (+$80) full review
NFL Picks (Week 11, 2016): 7-7 (+$225) full review
NFL Picks (Week 12, 2016): 5-10-1 (-$1,090) full review
NFL Picks (Week 13, 2016): 9-6 (-$205) full review
NFL Picks (Week 14, 2016): 7-8-1 (-$440) full review
NFL Picks (Week 15, 2016): 8-8 (+$55) full review
NFL Picks (Week 16, 2016): 4-12 (-$2,205)

NFL Picks (2016): 134-115-9 (+$785)
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 Jan. 1, 11:40 a.m. ET. Follow @walterfootball for updates.


Go to Week 17 NFL Picks – Early Games





New York Giants (10-5) at Washington Redskins (8-6-1)
Line: Redskins by 7. Total: 46.5.

Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Redskins -1.
Walt’s Calculated Line: Redskins -2.
Sunday, Jan 1, 4:25 PM
Comment on this game

The Game. Edge: .

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 YORK OFFENSE: Oh look, another team that may not be playing its starters! Eli Manning has a consecutive-starts streak going, so I’m pretty sure he’ll actually take the field, but he almost certainly won’t see much action. I can’t imagine Odell Beckham Jr. playing much, if at all.

For a second, I thought we were going to see plenty of Ryan Nassib in this game, but then I remembered that he’s out for the year. Nassib sucks anyway, and Manning’s current backup, Josh Johnson, is much better. Johnson is a smart quarterback who can use his legs to pick up first downs. He’s not very accurate, but he has enough positive traits to keep New York’s offense from being completely dysfunctional against a Redskin defense that isn’t very good.

WASHINGTON OFFENSE: It’s insane how erratic Kirk Cousins is. He struggled early in the year, and then caught fire. He then regressed versus the Panthers, and then followed that up by torching the Bears’ underrated defense. It’s impossible to tell which Cousins we’re going to get on a weekly basis.

We also don’t know who’s playing for the Giants on this side of the ball. It seems extremely unlikely that Janoris Jenkins would suit up, and some of New York’s other star defensive backs could be rested as well. The same goes for Olivier Vernon. I’d give the Giants a good chance to contain Cousins under normal circumstances, but this is Week 17.

RECAP: Yet another unbettable game. Don’t worry, I love one remaining contest, and I like a couple of others. This is not one of them.

I’m going to side with the Giants for office-pool purposes. I’d like to bet against the Redskins because of the Aurora Snowmo effect, and this spread is certainly inflated, but the Giants may not be competitive if a bunch of their starters don’t play.

THURSDAY THOUGHTS: This line moved down to +7 in the wake of the announcement that Eli Manning would play, but I think that’s just to keep his consecutive starts streak alive. I think Manning will play one or two drives, an then that’s it. I do like the Giants regardless, as this spread is way too high for a team that could choke.

SATURDAY NOTES: This game isn’t bettable, in my opinion. We just don’t know what the Giants are going to do with their starters. I’m on New York for no units, but that’s just a guess.

FINAL THOUGHTS: We still don’t know what the Giants are going to be doing, so I’d just stay away from this game.


The Psychology. Edge: Giants.
The Redskins have to win, so Aurora Snowmo is in effect.


The Vegas. Edge: Redskins.
Slight action on the Giants.
  • Percentage of money on Washington: 63% (20,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Giants.
  • History: Giants have won 15 of the last 21 meetings.
  • Giants are 45-31 ATS on the road since 2006 as long as they’re not favored by 3.5 or more.
  • Eli Manning is 38-29 ATS as an underdog since 2007. ???
  • Redskins are 11-27 ATS after a road win since 2000.
  • Opening Line: Redskins -5.
  • Opening Total: 44.
  • Weather: .


    Week 17 NFL Pick: Redskins 20, Giants 16
    Giants +7 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Under 46.5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Giants 19, Redskins 10






    New Orleans Saints (7-8) at Atlanta Falcons (10-5)
    Line: Saints by 7.5. Total: 58.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Falcons -6.5.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Falcons -3.5.
    Sunday, Jan 1, 4:25 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Falcons.

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    ATLANTA OFFENSE: Matt Ryan has been on fire, but it’s kind of hard for him not to be, based on the opponents he has played recently. He torched the Panthers on Christmas Eve, as Carolina showed absolutely no effort when it came to tackling. Before that, Ryan went up against a San Francisco squad with just one active inside linebacker for three-and-a-half quarters. And before that, Ryan battled the Rams, who quit once Jared Goff began turning the ball over.

    Ryan has been great this year, don’t get me wrong, but he’s looked like an unstoppable force the past three weeks because of circumstance. That said, the Saints provide an easy matchup as well. They’re missing top cornerback Delvin Breaux, so I don’t see how they’re going to contain Julio Jones. Their linebackers also suck, so stopping the two Falcon running backs from getting big gains as receivers will be a problem.

    The Saints aren’t completely hopeless on this side of the ball, however. They’ve stopped the run better than most would expect, so the Falcons shouldn’t be able to get much on the ground. Still, that just means that the Saints will force only a couple of punts instead of none like the Panthers.

    NEW ORLEANS OFFENSE: The Saints will be charged to keep up with the Falcons on the scoreboard to have a chance, and I think they’ll be able to accomplish this. Drew Brees went into a funk for two games a few weeks ago, which coincided with losing stud center Max Unger to injury. Brees hates pressure up the middle more than anything, so it’s understandable that he would struggle without Unger.

    Brees is great now though, and he’ll be able to expose an Atlanta secondary that really hasn’t been challenged since losing top cornerback Desmond Trufant. The Falcons have battled the likes of Cam Newton (who’s had major accuracy issues), Colin Kaepernick, Jared Goff and Alex Smith over the past four weeks. I’d say Brees is a bit better than that quartet!

    I love all of the Saints’ receivers against the Atlanta corners. I also like Mark Ingram’s matchup versus a sketchy Falcon run defense. Atlanta is a finesse team that happens to be soft up the middle, so Ingram should be able to exploit that. I thought Jonathan Stewart would as well last week, but the Panthers were way behind early on, so Stewart didn’t get many carries.

    RECAP: So far, I’ve had just one pick of more than two units. You might be wondering where all of the big selections are. Well, this is one. In fact, it’s a pretty massive one. It’s my January NFL Pick of the Month.

    I didn’t want to wait until I perhaps, maybe liked something better in the playoffs. I love the Saints at anything more than +6, and there are +7 -120 figures available at Bovada and BetUS.

    This line is so incredibly off. The Falcons are a very good team, but they aren’t great – more on that in a bit – and the Saints, who have had some bad luck, aren’t too far behind them. Thus, I made my projected line -3.5. I even thought about -3. Not that these teams are equal – they’re close – but the Falcons don’t have a good home-field advantage. I discussed this before upon making the Chargers my October NFL Pick of the Month when they visited Atlanta. Here’s what I wrote:

    “Over the past three years, Atlanta is 11-14 straight up (and ATS) at home, winning by an average margin of 0.5 points and laying an average line of 1.6 points.”

    Since that writing, the Falcons lost to the Chargers, beat the Packers by one (failing to cover), crushed the Cardinals and 49ers, and lost to the Chiefs. As it stands now, they are 14-16 straight up, 13-17 against the spread as hosts. They clearly don’t deserve three points for being at home.

    The Saints, meanwhile, don’t play as well on the road – unless they’re in a dome. Brees has thrived at Atlanta over the years. He’s averaged 23.8 points per game in 10 trips to Atlanta. That may not seem like an overwhelming amount, until you look at Atlanta’s points-per-game average versus New Orleans in that span: 21.1.

    Yes, the Saints, with Brees, have outscored the Falcons by an average score of 23.8-21.1 in Atlanta. Even if you exclude the three years in which Ryan was a rookie or rostered at Boston College, New Orleans still holds the edge, 21.9-21.4.

    If you’re guessing that all of these games have been close, you’re right. Here are the margins of victory between the Saints and Falcons in Atlanta since 2009: Saints by 3, Saints by 3, Saints by 3, Falcons by 10 (Thursday night game), Saints by 4, Falcons by 3, Saints by 3. Save for that Thursday night affair, which benefited the Falcons because they were the better team that year, all of these games have been close.

    And there’s definitely not a wide disparity between these two squads. The Saints have been very unlucky. Remember, they would’ve beaten the Broncos had their game-winning extra point not been blocked. They had two touchdowns dropped at Tampa. They lost in the final seconds to the Raiders and Giants. They’re 7-8 right now, but they could easily be 9-6, or maybe even 10-5. Think about what this line would be if that were the case. The Falcons, meanwhile, have taken advantage of either horrible or lethargic competition lately. They’re overrated right now, and as a result, the spread is inflated in their favor.

    Two other things: First, there’s a lot of sharp money coming in on New Orleans, and understandably so. The pros have recognized that there’s not much of a difference between the two teams, and by the way, this could also be the Saints’ Super Bowl; knocking the hated Falcons out of the No. 2 seed could be a personal goal for them, especially after Atlanta beat them soundly on national TV back in Week 3.

    Second, I love getting Brees as an underdog of more than a field goal. Brees is 7-1 against the spread as an underdog of 6.5 or more with the Saints. I hate trends, but this doesn’t qualify as one; it’s more of a reflection that great signal-callers like Brees shouldn’t be underdogs of this many points.

    Again, this is my January NFL Pick of the Month. If you’re with me, good luck! If not, make sure your hate comments below are creative!

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: This spread is rising; sharp money came in on the Saints earlier in the week, but now it has moved on the Falcons. This happened in my November NFL Pick of the Month (Saints-Lions), so I’m fine with it. Saints +7 +100 is available at CRIS, and it’s +7 -105 elsewhere. Perhaps it’ll hit +7.5.

    SATURDAY NOTES: I have no idea why this spread keeps moving up. There’s been sharp action on the Saints, and the public is split. I don’t know why this line has risen, but I’ll take it. I still love the Saints, and they’re available at +8 -105 at Bovada.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I finally have an answer as to why this line moved up. There has been a ton of public money coming in on the Falcons over the counter, but the sharps have been wagering on the Saints online. It’s weird, but that would explain the line movement. Regardless, I still love the Saints.


    The Psychology. Edge: Saints.
    This could be the Saints’ Super Bowl, especially after getting blown out by the Falcons earlier in the year.


    The Vegas. Edge: Falcons.
    Sharp money on the Saints. The public is betting Atlanta.
  • Percentage of money on New Orleans: 64% (8,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: .
  • History: Saints have won 13 of the last 19 meetings.
  • Drew Brees is 48-29 ATS as an underdog.
  • Drew Brees is 38-27 ATS off back-to-back wins.
  • Opening Line: Saints -6.5.
  • Opening Total: 56.
  • Weather: .


    Week 17 NFL Pick: Saints 27, Falcons 24
    Saints +7.5 (8 Units – January NFL Pick of the Month) — Correct; +$800
    Under 58 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Falcons 38, Saints 32






    Arizona Cardinals (6-8-1) at Los Angeles Rams (4-11)
    Line: Cardinals by 7. Total: 40.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Cardinals -3.5.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Cardinals -7.
    Sunday, Jan 1, 4:25 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Cardinals.

    This is 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 were down to 92 heading into Week 16, which was a blood bath. The Chargers killed 34 people. The Titans murdered 31. The Giants ended three. The Rams took out two. There are now 20 remaining, two of whom took the Jaguars and Browns. What guts!

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

    ARIZONA OFFENSE: Carson Palmer has been very erratic this season, playing extremely well at times, especially at home, and then looking like a 60-year-old man in other contests, particularly in early East Coast starts. This game will be on the road, but it’s a late start in a stadium that won’t have many fans, so Palmer should be fine.

    The primary issue with the Cardinals has been their offensive line. Injuries to Jared Veldheer and Evan Mathis has made the blocking quite poor. This was a problem in the first matchup against the Rams, which went in Los Angeles’ favor. However, Robert Quinn is out, which is a big deal, as Veldheer’s replacement won’t be such a liability. Blocking Aaron Donald will obviously still be a major problem, but the Rams have issues in their back seven, so I expect the Arizona wideouts to get open.

    David Johnson will also be a big-time producer. The Rams stop the run fairly well, but Johnson is so effective as a receiver out of the backfield, and I don’t trust Gregg Williams’ undisciplined scheme to keep Johnson from going off.

    LOS ANGELES OFFENSE: I moved the Rams to No. 32 in my NFL Power Rankings because their scoring unit has become broken under Jared Goof. The No. 1 pick has proven to be utterly incompetent, lacking accuracy and awareness. If he weren’t a first-round pick, I don’t think he would be on the roster right now.

    That said, it’s not all Goff’s fault. His blocking sucks. Greg Robinson shouldn’t be in the league at this point, and Chandler Jones is going to destroy him. Calais Campbell and Markus Golden are going to join Jones to put tons of heat on Goff, who will once again self-destruct. Todd Gurley won’t find any running room either.

    Goff’s receiving corps suck as well. Kenny Britt has been the top option, but he may not even play because of an injury. Even if he takes the field, Patrick Peterson will shut him down.

    RECAP: I’ve lost so much money on the Rams (and Browns) this year. It’s been ridiculous. Well, it’s time for some payback. Literal payback, because I’m betting against the Rams.

    I usually wager on underdogs because the books tend to inflate the spread toward the favorite, creating value with dogs, but that’s not the case here. The Cardinals should be favored by more than six. They’re much better, and they’re playing very well right now. Los Angeles, meanwhile, is an abomination. And besides, if I didn’t exit the 2016 season without betting against the Rams just once, I’d feel bad about myself the entire summer.

    I’m keeping this to two units because the Cardinals are coming off an emotional win over the Seahawks, but they shouldn’t have much trouble against the Rams.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Sharp money has actually moved this line to -6.5. Maybe the pros are just as tired as I am of losing money on the Rams.

    SATURDAY NOTES: As mentioned, the sharps moved this from -6 to -6.5, but they haven’t touched it since. I’m still going with two units on the Cardinals.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I didn’t think this line would reach another key number, but that just shows how much sharp money is coming in on the Cardinals. I’m still on them for two units.


    The Psychology. Edge: Cardinals.
    The Rams have a lame-duck coach, but the Cardinals are coming off their “Super Bowl” win.


    The Vegas. Edge: Rams.
    Everyone’s betting on the Cardinals.
  • Percentage of money on Arizona: 77% (7,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Rams.
  • History: Cardinals have won 14 of the last 20 meetings (Rams 2 of last 3).
  • Bruce Arians is 36-29 ATS as head coach of the Cardinals.
  • Favorites after playing the Seahawks are 13-30 ATS.
  • Opening Line: Cardinals -7.5.
  • Opening Total: 41.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 17 NFL Pick: Cardinals 24, Rams 13
    Cardinals -7 (2 Units) — Correct; +$200
    Under 40 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Cardinals 44, Rams 6






    Kansas City Chiefs (11-4) at San Diego Chargers (5-10)
    Line: Chiefs by 5. Total: 44.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Chiefs -3.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Chiefs -5.5.
    Sunday, Jan 1, 4:25 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Chiefs.

    Emmitt on the Brink is back for Season 9! Season 8 saw Emmitt going to North Korea to stop Kim Jong-un from destroying the world. It featured a mind-blowing twist at the very end that you absolutely need to check out if you haven’t already.

    Season 9 will deal with election stuff, and it begins with something strange happening to Emmitt while he’s stuck in traffic at a protest rally. In the final chapter, Good Emmitt learns about the evil dimension and fights Evil Emmitt. Meanwhile, Matt Millen tries to Kielbasa Crush Emmitt’s friends.

    SAN DIEGO OFFENSE: The Chargers have to feel completely embarrassed that they lost to the Browns, so one would think that they’d bounce back with an inspired performance. However, I don’t know if they have the personnel to do so. They haven’t been the same since losing Melvin Gordon, and there haven’t been any indications that the star runner will be able to return to action. The offensive line, meanwhile, is a mess. It’s already been a liability, and now King Dunlap and Matt Slauson are considered questionable heading into this contest. Left tackle and center are the two most important positions up front, and Philip Rivers may not have either starter!

    This is especially troubling considering the matchup. Justin Houston and Tamba Hali are going to easily run through San Diego’s inept tackles, while the emerging Chris Jones will dominate the interior once again. If Gordon is out, the Chargers won’t have any threat of a rushing attack, which allow the Kansas City pass-rushers to tee off on Rivers.

    Rivers won’t have much success finding open downfield targets either. Terrance Mitchell has been a revelation across from Patrick Peterson ever since taking over for the injured Marcus Cooper. Assuming Mitchell doesn’t regress, the two Kansas City corners figure to lock down San Diego’s pedestrian wideouts. Antonio Gates should be able to catch some passes against the Derrick Johnson-less linebacking corps, but that’s about it.

    KANAS CITY OFFENSE: Unless Gordon and Slauson can return to action, the Chargers won’t score much, so it’ll be up to their defense to give them a chance.

    The Chargers do some stuff well on this side of the ball. They have two dynamic edge rushers in Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa, and the immense pressure they create only helps the extremely talented Casey Hayward blanket opposing No. 1 receivers. The Chiefs have weak tackles, so Alex Smith won’t be able to stand in the pocket very long and locate Jeremy Maclin downfield. But it’s not like Smith does that very much, anyway. Smith will dink and dunk, like he usually does, and he’ll be able to do so more effectively because San Diego is expected to be without Denzel Perryman.

    I wouldn’t expect the Chiefs to run nearly as well as they did at Denver, however. The Chargers have a much better rush defense, so they’ll at least be able to limit Spencer Ware on the ground.

    RECAP: This spread is exactly what I made it, as I favor the Chiefs by 5.5 in San Diego. Despite there being no value with the visitor, I’m still going to bet them for a unit. I think it’s possible that the injury-ravaged Chargers might be a no-show because Mike McCoy could be a lame-duck coach. I’m not really positive about that, as McCoy could retain his job, but I think it’s also very possible that he’s fired, especially after losing to the Browns. The Chargers typically don’t like to fire anyone, but the Cleveland loss could be, as Emmitt once said, the camel that broke the straw’s back. Poor straw.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: It sounds like Melvin Gordon might play, and if so, I’m going to take the unit off this game. I’ll still be on the Chiefs though.

    SATURDAY NOTES: The sharps have moved this spread down to Chiefs -4, and I’m not sure why. Melvin Gordon is out, and three offensive linemen could be out for San Diego as well. Justin Houston won’t play for the Chiefs, but Kansas City still has two potent edge rushers. I’m thinking about placing a second unit on the Chiefs. Perhaps I’ll do that Sunday morning.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I wrote that I was considering a second unit on the Chiefs. Well, people had the same idea, as this line was bet up to -5. I’ll keep this at one unit.


    The Psychology. Edge: Chiefs.
    The Chargers might have a lame-duck head coach.


    The Vegas. Edge: Chargers.
    The public is all over the Chiefs.
  • Percentage of money on Kansas City: 72% (17,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • History: Home Team has won 26 of the last 37 meetings (Chiefs have won last 5).
  • Andy Reid is 13-6 ATS on the West Coast.
  • Philip Rivers is 34-26 ATS as a starter after Nov. 30 (16-11 ATS as an underdog).
  • Opening Line: Chiefs -4.5.
  • Opening Total: 45.
  • Weather: .


    Week 17 NFL Pick: Chiefs 23, Chargers 13
    Chiefs -5 (1 Unit) — Correct; +$100
    Under 44.5 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Chiefs 37, Chargers 27






    Seattle Seahawks (9-5-1) at San Francisco 49ers (2-13)
    Line: Seahawks by 11. Total: 43.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Seahawks -12.5.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Seahawks -10.5.
    Sunday, Jan 1, 4:25 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Seahawks.

    A reminder that Jerks of the Week for this week is up, so just click the link. This week’s jerks entry is called Christmas Shopping 2016.

    SAN FRANCISCO OFFENSE: The Seahawks could be in trouble against great teams in the playoffs. Earl Thomas is obviously out, but Kam Chancellor is banged up as well now. This is a nightmare scenario for Seattle and its once-bright Super Bowl aspirations. The silver lining is that the 49ers won’t be able to exploit the reserve safeties this week.

    The easy answer as to why is because of Colin Kaepernick. The long answer is that Kaepernick is horrible, and the team around him sucks as well. His offensive line is a disaster area, especially if Joe Staley has to miss another game. Staley and Daniel Kilgore were the only two quality blockers up front, but the 49ers have missed them the past few weeks. Not being able to block Michael Bennett, Frank Clark and Cliff Avril seems pretty problematic.

    The 49ers won’t be able to run the ball effectively either. Carlos Hyde is out, so it’ll be up to Shaun Draughn to make stuff happen, and I don’t see the 49ers having any success in that regard.

    SEATTLE OFFENSE: The Seahawks obviously have offensive line concerns of their own, and this quite evident last week when the Cardinals dominated in the trenches prior to a furious, late rally by Russell Wilson.

    I don’t expect the 49ers to match what Arizona was able to accomplish. The Cardinals have a great pass rush, while San Francisco has a pretty abysmal one. DeForest Buckner has played well lately, but that’s about it.

    The Seahawks may not have to throw the ball very much anyway. The 49ers have been epically bad against the run, and there’s no reason to think that will change. It’s unclear if Thomas Rawls will be able to suit up or not, but Alex Collins has shown enough to make me feel confident that he’ll be able to rip through San Francisco’s horrific front seven.

    RECAP: This spread is actually a point short of what I made it, and it’s three points fewer than what the advance spread was. However, I don’t consider the Seahawks to be a great bet. They just aren’t playing very well right now, while Kaepernick has proven that he’s more than capable of throwing a back-door touchdown. Plus, in the unfortunate event that the Falcons could be up big against the Saints, Seattle may decide to pull its starters.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Again, the danger of this game is that the Seahawks could pull their starters if the Falcons are up big, so I wouldn’t bet Seattle. The 49ers aren’t appealing at all either.

    SATURDAY NOTES: I still don’t find this game appealing. Kenny on our podcast likes Seattle. I’m on them for no units because this line is so high that it’s begging for Colin Kaepernick to score a back-door touchdown.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Wow, look at all the public money on the Seahawks! I didn’t like Seattle at -9, so I certainly won’t be betting them at -11. I wouldn’t take the 49ers either.


    The Psychology. Edge: Seahawks.
    The 49ers may have a lame-duck coach.


    The Vegas. Edge: 49ers.
    Everyone’s betting the Seahawks.
  • Percentage of money on Seattle: 75% (11,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Seahawks.
  • History: Home Team has won 13 of the last 16 meetings.
  • Seahawks are 19-6 ATS in Week 11 or later since 2013.
  • Pete Carroll is 12-5 ATS after losing as a favorite.
  • Seahawks are 32-43 ATS on the road since 2006 if they’re not coming off an away loss.
  • Opening Line: Seahawks -9.
  • Opening Total: 44.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 17 NFL Pick: Seahawks 23, 49ers 10
    Seahawks -11 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Under 43.5 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Seahawks 25, 49ers 23






    Oakland Raiders (12-3) at Denver Broncos (8-7)
    Line: Broncos by 1. Total: 40.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Broncos -2.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Pick.
    Sunday, Jan 1, 4:25 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Raiders.

    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 post on the Giants’ page during their loss to the Eagles:



    I’m glad I was able to get at least one person to be angry about Mario thinking Tom Coughlin was the same coach.

    Here’s a longer thread from the Cardinals page:



    I was really hoping to get into a longer argument with Alan Villegas, but unfortunately, he never responded.

    OAKLAND OFFENSE: Poor Raiders. They had a strong chance to make an appearance in the Super Bowl, but those aspirations are now gone in the wake of Derek Carr’s injury. They have to hope that they can get a first-round bye, play a weak team in the second round – perhaps if the Texans and Dolphins pull upsets – and then luck into a victory at New England, where Tom Brady would have to sustain an injury, or Bill Belichick would have to be abducted by aliens.

    Matt McGloin is not a very good backup. He completed just 55.9 percent of his passes as a starter in 2013. Granted, he was a mere rookie, so he may have improved, but he has a very limited skill set, so he can only do so much, even with two talented receivers at his disposal. It’ll be extra difficult in this contest because he has to battle Denver’s elite secondary.

    Despite McGloin’s poor matchup, I still expect the Raiders to have success moving the chains. The Broncos haven’t been able to stop the run at all this year, and Oakland’s offensive line is terrific at pushing around weaker opposition to create massive lanes for their three backs. They’ll be able to accomplish that in this matchup.

    DENVER OFFENSE: Carr isn’t the only starting quarterback who won’t be playing in this game. The same can be said of Trevor Siemian, as the Broncos have decided to use Week 17 as an opportunity to see what Paxton Lynch can do. Lynch has great potential, but he has struggled in two starts. In his previous appearance, he was just 12-of-24 for only 104 yards at Jacksonville. The Broncos were able to win in spite of Lynch, but that was against the Jaguars. Doing so versus Oakland is a different story.

    The Jaguars don’t have a quality pass rush, so they couldn’t expose the two Denver tackles. The Raiders certainly will with Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin. The Broncos have major problems blocking on the edge, and I have no idea how Donald Stephenson is going to deal with Khalil Mack. Stephenson, one of the worst tackles in the NFL, embarrassed himself on Christmas night at Kansas City. He’ll struggle again in this contest, making life very difficult for Lynch.

    The Raiders aren’t horrible versus the run, but they can be beaten on the ground. Some teams in the playoffs will be able to exploit this weakness, but the Broncos don’t have the horses to do so. Devontae Booker has proven to be a major downgrade at running back from C.J. Anderson, who was the heart and soul of this offense. The Broncos have missed him terribly.

    RECAP: Something I really like to do is bet on good teams missing their quarterback for the first game. This is because these good teams summon lots of energy for that particular contest in an attempt to prove that they can win without its star signal-caller.

    I believe the Raiders will be able to do this. Everyone is counting them out in the wake of Carr’s injury, so this is their chance to make a statement that they are still contenders with McGloin under center. They’re really not, but they’ll be out to prove it, and the organization as a whole does have confidence in McGloin. I expect that to show against the Broncos.

    Denver, meanwhile, is a mess. Lynch is starting again; the offensive line can’t block; and the defense is having major problems against the run. And yet, the Broncos are favored! Why!? I’m taking the Raiders for three units.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: The public continues to bet the Broncos for some reason. Denver just lost DeMarcus Ware, and the team will be rotating Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch, which sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.

    SATURDAY NOTES: There hasn’t been sharp money on this game quite yet, which is surprising. The Broncos are missing several defensive starters – Ware, Derek Wolfe, T.J. Ward – and the Raiders will be out to make a statement.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps have bet the Raiders down to +1. I still like them to win outright, and I’m very comfortable with this three-unit wager.


    The Psychology. Edge: Raiders.
    The Raiders might want to prove themselves, with everyone saying they’re done without Derek Carr.


    The Vegas. Edge: Raiders.
    A slight lean on the Broncos.
  • Percentage of money on Denver: 61% (14,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Broncos.
  • History: Road Team has won 12 of the last 17 meetings (Broncos 8 of last 10).
  • Raiders are 17-30 ATS after a win since 2009.
  • Raiders are 3-9 ATS in Week 17 since 2003.
  • Jack Del Rio is 2-7 ATS in Week 17 games.
  • Opening Line: Broncos -3.5.
  • Opening Total: 41.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 17 NFL Pick: Raiders 23, Broncos 17
    Raiders +1 (3 Units) — Incorrect; -$330
    Under 40 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Broncos 24, Raiders 6






    Green Bay Packers (9-6) at Detroit Lions (9-6)
    Line: Packers by 4. Total: 50.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Packers -1.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Packers -1.
    Sunday, Jan 1, 8:20 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Packers.

    This week on NBC, we’re going to have Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth 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 Green Bay, where two teams I don’t care about are playing for the AFC North championship. Guys, let’s talk about Christmas instead. I got the best Christmas present ever from mother. I bet it kicks the a** of every present you guys received.

    Emmitt: Kevin, I got the bestest present ever from my son, Emmitt Smith Jr. the III Sr. the IV Esquire. He gived me a picture of myselves and yourselves when we got our photograph taken on the Ferris Bueller wheel.

    Herm: HERM GOT A GIFT, TOO! HERM GOT A PRESENT, TOO! HERM GOT SOMETHING UNDER THE CHRISTMAS TREE! HERM OPENED IT! IT WAS A KNIFE! IT WAS A BLADE! IT WAS A DAGGER! AND THEN HERM GRABBED THE KNIFE! HE TOOK IT! HE PICKED IT UP! HE HELD IT! THEN HE STABBED HMSELF IN THE GUT! LIKE THIS! STAB STAB STAB! HERM’S BLEEDIN’ OUT NOW! HERM’S BLOOD GUSHIN’ ALL OVER THE PLACE, NOW! SOMEONE BETTER CALL 9-1-1, NOW! HERM’S DYING, NOW! THIS IS THE END FOR HERM, NOW! HERM… uhhh… Herm… uhhh…

    Reilly: Haha, Herm is dead! Ding dong the witch is dead! Who’s next? What did you get Tolly?

    Tollefson: Kevin, I was hoping someone would get me more Chloroform so I can kidnap more women in order to force them to cook and clean naked for me, but for Christmas, someone got me an Eagles jersey that’s about half as good as the ones you own, so that I can come over your house and cheer for the Eagles with you!

    Reilly: Yes! I finally have a friend!

    Millen: I’d like to join you gentlemen, but… what’s this!? A poisonous flying kielbasa is heading right toward my backside! I might enjoy this, but it’ll kill me in the process! Boink! Oh no, feels so good, but also feels so bad… uhh…

    Reilly: Another annoying person I hate is dead! Yes!

    Wolfley: I AM GOING TO COMMIT SUICIDE NOW FOR NO REASON. GOODBYE, CRUEL WORLD THAT SOMETIMES LOOKS LIKE A JELLYFISH SUCKING ON A LOLLIPOP.

    Fouts: And here’s why I’m going to kill myself as well. Kevin Reilly is the greatest human being in the world. And here’s what I mean by that. There are things called human beings. They are human, and they are also beings. And they exist in the world, which could be defined as Earth, or it could be defined as the Milky Way Galaxy, or it could be defined by the entire universe. It could also be defined as Nebulon IX, which is the planet where I’m from. Nebulon IX no longer exists because its star just went nova yesterday, so I’m going to kill myself because I’m sad, and also because Kevin Reilly is the greatest human being in the world.

    Reilly: Good riddance. What about you, Charles Davis?

    Charles Davis: Kevin, I’m going to pick a weapon to murder myself, Kevin. How about a revolver, Kevin? What about a knife, Kevin? Let’s discuss rope, Kevin. How about a candlestick, Kevin? Let’s not forget the wrench, Kevin. There’s one weapon that’s missing, Kevin. Can you guess what it is, Kevin? Because it’s likely the weapon I kill myself with, Kevin.

    Reilly: Don’t know, don’t care, goodbye.

    Charles Davis: Sorry, Kevin, the answer is not pepperoni pizza, Kevin. The answer is lead pipe, Kevin. Goodbye, Kevin. Doink!

    Reilly: HAHAHAHA YES! DEATH TO YOU ALL!!! We’ll be back aft…

    Mother’s Voice: Kevin. Kevin! Poo-pee! I think you’ve been using your Samsung virtual reality headset too long! If you don’t stop, the evil clowns will kidnap you!

    Reilly: But mother, I was having a great time watching people I hate kill themselves!

    Mother: That’s enough for today, poo-pee. Now, go wash the floor and vacuum the carpet, or no macaroni and cheese tonight.

    Reilly: Ugh, fine, mother! We’ll be back after this…

    GREEN BAY OFFENSE: It was quite apparent that the Lions desperately missed two players in their Monday night loss to the Cowboys. The first was cornerback Darius Slay, who would’ve done a much better job on Dez Bryant. Slay being on the field is going to be extremely critical for the Lions, as they’ll somehow have to deal with Jordy Nelson, who went off against the Vikings.

    Even if Slay plays, it’ll be difficult for the Lions to stop the Packers. Aaron Rodgers is now fully healthy, and he’s been on fire. He’s also very well protected, so I don’t think Ziggy Ansah and Kerry Hyder will be able to put much pressure on him. Still, on the rare occasions that they do, Rodgers is now nimble enough to escape pressure and move the chains via some scrambles.

    The one positive for the Lions on this side of the ball is that they should be able to contain the run. They’ve been mostly decent versus the rush this year, and even on Monday night, Ezekiel Elliott was held in check outside of one long touchdown burst. Tackling Ty Montgomery is obviously much easier than dealing with Elliott.

    DETROIT OFFENSE: The other player the Lions missed against the Cowboys was center Travis Swanson. They had problems blocking the Cowboys’ defensive line in the second half, and backup center Graham Glasgow was to blame for several pressures. Swanson, a terrific blocker, wouldn’t have allowed most of those pass rushes.

    The Lions will need Swanson to deal with Mike Daniels, arguably Green Bay’s best defensive player. Taylor Decker should be able to handle the Packers’ blind-side pass rush, but Detroit will be in trouble if Swanson doesn’t return. Having Swanson in the middle of the offensive line will allow Matthew Stafford to have plenty of time to scan the field and beat Green Bay’s secondary. The Packers’ defensive backfield can certainly be abused, as the Sam Bradford-to-Adam Thielen connection was unstoppable for them last week.

    Stafford will play well if he has Swanson snapping the ball to him, so it’ll be up to Golden Tate, Marvin Jones and Eric Ebron to step up. Tate needs to stop drifting out of bounds; Jones has to be able to come up with catches for once; and Ebron must stop dropping passes and abuse the Packer linebackers, who have been weak to tight ends all year.

    RECAP: This pick will largely depend on whether Slay and Swanson suit up. If neither is able to, I’m probably going to take the Packers. If only one can, I think I’ll be on the Lions for no units. And if both are on the field, I may consider Detroit for two units or so.

    The Lions may not seem like a great play following the Monday night debaclation, but as long as Slay and Swanson are on the field, I think this is a bad line. The Packers were -1 on the advance spread, but the books have inflated this to -3 because of all the public action coming in on Green Bay. Thus, we’re getting good value with the Lions. Besides, think about it this way: This spread would be Packers -7.5 or so versus the Lions at Lambeau, which is higher than: A) What the Packers were favored by over the Vikings, and B) What the Cowboys were favored over by the Lions. Detroit is not worse than Minnesota, and Green Bay is not better than Dallas!

    I’ll keep you updated on where I’m going with this pick. Check back, or follow me @walterfootball for updates.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Bovada has moved this line to +3.5, which makes me like the Lions a bit more. There’s also news that Darius Slay has a decent chance of playing. I’m still waiting on Travis Swanson, but this is shaping up to be a wager of 2-3 units on Detroit.

    SATURDAY NOTES: We have our injury answers. Darius Slay is likely to play, but Travis Swanson is out. That’s absolutely huge, as the Lions won’t be able to block Mike Daniels. I still disagree with this spread, but I’m not betting the Lions without Slay. I’ll take them for no units.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Most books have this line listed as +3.5, but Bovada has +4 -105, which I think is worth a unit wager. Nothing more though, as the Travis Swanson injury bothers me. Darius Slay will play though, so I think the Lions should be able to stay within striking distance. If you have doubts, consider what the Packers have done in their previous four road games: won by just three at Chicago; beat a Philadelphia team that lost its top healthy lineman an hour prior to kickoff; got blown out at Washington; got blown out at Tennessee. The Packers have been playing better, but most of their wins have come at home. I don’t agree with this line, and it would be a much larger wager if Swanson were in the lineup.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Lions.
    Tons of action coming in on the Packers.
  • Percentage of money on Green Bay: 72% (90,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Packers.
  • History: Packers have won 18 of the last 22 meetings.
  • Packers are 42-21 ATS in divisional games since 2006.
  • Aaron Rodgers is 76-48 ATS since 2009.
  • Aaron Rodgers is 33-25 ATS on the road as long as he’s not favored by 6.5 or more points.
  • Aaron Rodgers is 16-12 ATS as an underdog.
  • Lions are 14-4 ATS after losing by 20+ points since 2007.
  • Opening Line: Packers -3.
  • Opening Total: 48.
  • Weather: .


    Week 17 NFL Pick: Packers 24, Lions 23
    Lions +4 -105 (1 Unit) — Incorrect; -$105
    Under 50.5 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Packers 31, Lions 24





    Week 17 NFL Picks – Early Games
    Green Bay at Detroit, Cleveland at Pittsburgh, Dallas at Philadelphia, Jacksonville at Indianapolis, Buffalo at NY Jets, Houston at Tennessee, Baltimore at Cincinnati, Carolina at Tampa Bay, New England at Miami, Chicago 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: Cardinals -0.5, Raiders +8 (2 Units) — Incorrect; -$220
  • Moneyline: Bears +230 (0.5 Units) — Incorrect; -$50
  • Moneyline: Panthers +170 (0.5 Units) — Incorrect; -$50
  • Moneyline: Saints +300 (1 Unit) — Incorrect; -$100





    NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22


    2024 NFL Mock Draft - Feb. 21


    Fantasy Football Rankings - Feb. 19


    NFL Picks - Feb. 12




    SUB MENU



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    2001 Season Over-Under: 3-2 (60.0%)
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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
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