NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 7, 2017



NFL Picks (Preseason 2017): 9-10-1 (-$110)
NFL Picks (Week 1, 2017): 8-6-1 (+$135)
NFL Picks (Week 2, 2017): 9-7 (+$45)
NFL Picks (Week 3, 2017): 5-11 (-$425)
NFL Picks (Week 4, 2017): 5-11 (+$90)
NFL Picks (Week 5, 2017): 8-6 (+$1,080)
NFL Picks (Week 6, 2017): 6-8 (-$640)

NFL Picks (2017): 50-59-2 (+$175)
NFL Picks (2016): 148-127-10 (+$1,055)
NFL Picks (2015): 133-138-10 (-$2,360)
NFL Picks (2014): 143-132-7 (-$1,115)
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. 23, 6:15 p.m. ET. Follow @walterfootball for updates.


Go to Week 7 NFL Picks - Early Games








Dallas Cowboys (2-3) at San Francisco 49ers (0-6)
Line: Cowboys by 6.5. Total: 48.5.

Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Cowboys -4.5.
Walt's Calculated Line: Cowboys -4.
Sunday, Oct 22, 4:05 PM
Comment on this game

The Game. Edge: Cowboys.

Make sure you get your pick in for the WalterFootball.com 2017 NFL Survivor Pool. Of the 1,630 we had to start the year, we're down to 91, thanks to all of the crazy upsets last week. Congrats if you're one of the final 91 to make it this far!

We also have our Weekly Fantasy Football Contest. You can enter for free and win cash prizes!

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

DALLAS OFFENSE: The Cowboys don't know Ezekiel Elliott's fate just yet. Elliott had a hearing about a temporary restraining order to postpone the six-game suspension. He could still play, or his suspension could be upheld. Whatever happens is anyone's guess, but if I had to make a prediction about it, I'd say that Elliott avoids being suspended once more through some sort of loophole or appeal.

Elliott has not looked like the 2016 version of himself this year, averaging just 3.7 yards per carry. I wouldn't blame Elliott for this; Ronald Leary's departure has created a huge hole at left guard. Meanwhile, Tyron Smith hasn't been himself either, as he's dealt with a back injury. However, Smith had the bye week to heal up, so he could be better this week versus a San Francisco defense that has struggled versus the run. The 49ers have allowed 97 rushing yards or more to four of their six opponents this year, and the two exceptions have been the Cardinals, who couldn't do anything on the ground with Chris Johnson, and the Redskins, who were missing Robert Kelley.

Elliott's improved running will help Dak Prescott, who doesn't need much assistance against San Francisco's defense. The 49ers have a horrible secondary, as their corners can't cover anyone. Making matters worse, Arik Armstead is out for several weeks, so the pass rush will be worse. Prescott won't have any problems slicing through San Francisco's defense.

SAN FRANCISCO OFFENSE: The 49ers will be going with C.J. Beathard this week. The rookie should be an improvement over the erratic Brian Hoyer, though it's too early to say for certain. What we can say for sure is that Beathard is going to be upset that Sean Lee is likely making his return to the lineup.

Lee's absence the past two games has been huge for Dallas' defense. The Cowboys couldn't stop the Rams or Packers as a result. Lee being on the field will improve the stop unit exponentially. The defense already received a big boost with David Irving returning from suspension for the Green Bay contest. Irving has a great matchup versus San Francisco's poor interior offensive line.

That said, the 49ers should have some success running the ball, as the Cowboys struggled to stop the rush even when Lee was on the field. Both Carlos Hyde and Matt Breida will be factors as receivers out of the backfield as well. They'll need to be, given that Beathard is making his first start.

RECAP: The narrative is that the 49ers have played nothing but close games this year, save for the opener. I think that's not completely correct. It happens to be the truth for some of their games - Seahawks, Cardinals - but in their other "close" losses, they had huge deficits, but were able to stage crazy comebacks. For instance, they were down 15 versus the Rams with six minutes left, but were able to trim the score to 41-39, thanks to a fumbled kickoff return. Two weeks later, the Colts were up 23-9 in the fourth quarter before Hoyer helped send the game to overtime. And this past Sunday, the 49ers were down 17-0 before the Redskins fell asleep, and a quarterback they never heard of was able to generate a comeback.

The 49ers are a bad team. They compete and never give up, but they're bad. If they cover this spread, it'll be because they were able to generate another comeback in garbage time, which could very well happen. That, or the Cowboys could be unfocused. Following this game, they have the rival Redskins, 5-1 Chiefs, Falcons and Eagles after this "easy" contest against the 49ers.

That said, the Cowboys are 2-3, so they know they need a win, and they entered their bye coming off a loss. They're getting Lee back from injury, and Tyron Smith should be healthier. I could see them thrashing the 49ers and actually maintaining the lead, unlike the Rams, Colts and Redskins. I'm going to pick San Francisco, but for not any sort of wager.

By the way, here's our Week 7 NFL Picks podcast video:

THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Sean Lee is practicing fully, so I'm not betting the 49ers at this number. The sharps aren't either. You'd think they'd like a large home underdog like this, but they haven't touched San Francisco. Perhaps that'll change if Reuben Foster is cleared to play, but it's unknown what's happening with him. Either way, I'm not betting this game.

SATURDAY NOTES: It looks like Reuben Foster is going to play, so both teams will have their star middle linebackers. However, the 49ers are missing some other key players like Arik Armstead and Aaron Lynch, so I could see Dallas blowing them out. It'll be up to C.J. Beathard to get another back-door cover, and I don't want to bank on that at less than a touchdown. The sharps apparently don't either, as they haven't touched this home dog.

SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: As I'm typing this, Michael Irvin is saying that the 49ers are the "greatest 0-6 team we've ever seen." All right, the 49ers, who trailed the Colts by 14 in the fourth quarter, are awesome, apparently. Anyway, this is a tough game to handicap, as the Cowboys should control this game in the first three quarters. It's just a matter of whether the 49ers score enough in the final frame.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Nothing has changed for me in this game. I don't think either side is a good wager.


The Psychology. Edge: 49ers.
The Cowboys have the rival Redskins, 5-1 Chiefs, Falcons and rival Eagles after this "easy" game against the 49ers.


The Vegas. Edge: 49ers.
The public likes the Cowboys, which is not a surprise.
  • Percentage of money on Dallas: 65% (30,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: .
  • The underdog is 74-43 ATS in Cowboys games since 2010.
  • Opening Line: Cowboys -6.
  • Opening Total: 47.
  • Weather: .


    Week 7 NFL Pick: Cowboys 27, 49ers 23
    49ers +6.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Over 48.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Cowboys 40, 49ers 10






    Cincinnati Bengals (2-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2)
    Line: Steelers by 4. Total: 38.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Steelers -7.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Steelers -3.5.
    Sunday, Oct 22, 4:25 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Steelers.

    HATE MAIL: I will be posting lots of hate mail this season. Here's something from the comments section on this page:



    Not only am I a con-artist, apparently, I am a "horrible" con-artist. Like, I try to con a lot of people, but fail miserably at it, apparently.

    Oh, and in addition to being a con-artist, I am also a fraud:



    Seriously, thank you, thank you, thank you for following for years! It means so much to me!

    Here's another incoherently angry person:



    Here's the thing: If he knew I was wrong, he would just laugh it off and move on to something else. The fact that he spent so much time writing that rant, he knows I'm right, deep down inside.

    And here's someone who's wrong about everything:



    What does "big guys on ESPN" mean? Seriously, I have no idea. Does he mean the famous guys at ESPN, or the guys who are actually fat who work for ESPN?

    PITTSBURGH OFFENSE: The Steelers may have won in Kansas City, but it was far from an impressive offensive performance. The team scored 19 points against the Chiefs, which may not sound too bad until you realize that this was the fewest amount of points the Chiefs allowed all year, save for their Week 3 victory over the Chargers. Oh, and seven of those 19 points came on a fluky deep shot to Antonio Brown that had a high chance of being intercepted!

    Ben Roethlisberger wasn't right going into the Kansas City game, and he's still not right. He missed numerous throws he would've made in his sleep in prior years, and he's very lucky he didn't lose on that throw to Brown because it easily could've been picked off. Making matters worse for Roethlisberger is that he has to battle a Cincinnati defensive that has a ferocious pass rush. The Steelers tend to block extremely well when everyone is healthy, but that's not the case now. Left guard Ramon Foster is banged up, so he won't be able to handle All-Pro Geno Atkins. Meanwhile, Marcus Gilbert was knocked out of the Kansas City game with a hamstring. Gilbert may not be healthy for this contest, even if he plays. Carlos Dunlap figures to have a big performance as a result.

    The Steelers will need Le'Veon Bell to dominate again if they're to eke out another victory. The problem is that Vontaze Burfict is around to prevent that from happening. With Burfict back on the field, Cincinnati's defense looked dominant versus Buffalo. LeSean McCoy was restricted to just 63 yards on 19 carries, and Bell figures to have trouble finding running lanes as well.

    CINCINNATI OFFENSE: The Bengals have glaring issues up front, much like the Chiefs did last weekend. Stephon Tuitt and Cameron Hayward were able to take advantage of this in Kansas City, as the Chiefs had an injury at guard. Cincinnati at least has a solid left guard in Clint Boling to keep Hayward from killing Andy Dalton. Blocking Tuitt, however, will be a problem, and the same could be said of T.J. Watt on the outside.

    As with the Steelers, the Bengals' offense will be limited. Cornerback Artie Burns is playing well for Pittsburgh, and while stopping A.J. Green will be impossible, he should at least be able to slow him down a bit. That said, I'm sure Green will be itching to dominate, as he was responsible for two interceptions against Buffalo prior to the bye. Meanwhile, it'll hurt the Bengals that Tyler Eifert won't be available. Tyler Kroft has been OK as a replacement, but the Steelers have yet to allow a tight end to have a strong performance this year. They even limited Travis Kelce to just four catches for 37 yards last week!

    The Bengals will attempt to establish Joe Mixon, as I'm sure they've been able to decide during the bye week that he needs to be the focal point of their rushing attack. The Steelers have surrendered two 200-yard rushing outputs this year, but those came on long, fluky runs in losses to Chicago and Jacksonville. The real Pittsburgh defense clamped down on the Chiefs, limiting them to 24 rushing yards, so I expect the team will have similar success against Mixon.

    RECAP: This game figures to be a low-scoring grinder. The Steelers have a regressing quarterback and injured offensive linemen, while the Bengals' blocking is pretty poor, so neither offense will have an opportunity to do much. That would automatically make me look at the underdog, but there are other reasons why I like Cincinnati this week.

    I think this line is a couple of points too high. I made the spread Pittsburgh -3.5, as I don't think there's much of a difference between these teams if Foster and Gilbert are out or hurt. The Steelers at -5.5 is all just price memory; people still see Roethlisberger, Bell and Brown and think they're going to be explosive offensively. Roethlisberger, perhaps because of his retirement consideration, just isn't the same quarterback anymore. Perhaps that'll change as the year progresses, but we haven't seen any evidence that'll happen.

    Also, the Steelers are in a bad spot. They had a big win over the Chiefs, and now they're sitting comfortably atop their division. The Bengals, meanwhile, have had two weeks to prepare for this game, and they usually keep the score close versus Pittsburgh. Four of the previous five matchups have been decided by eight points or fewer, and that was with Roethlisberger playing at a higher level.

    I was hoping to get +6, which would've made this one of my top picks this week. However, I still like the Bengals enough at +5.5 to bet three units on them.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Marcus Gilbert hasn't practiced yet, and neither has Stephon Tuitt, surprisingly. Tuitt has an apparent back issue, which is a huge deal because he's so important for the defense. We'll see if he plays or not. If both Gilbert and Tuitt are out, I may increase my wager on the Bengals.

    SATURDAY NOTES: A big injury in this game is Stephon Tuitt being out. Another is Marcus Gilbert being listed as doubtful. This is a huge edge for the Bengals, and I may move this up to four units as a result.

    SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: This is a big sharp play as well. The pros like the Bengals, as this line has dropped to +4 across the board. I still like Cincinnati for three units.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps took the Bengals above +4, but not at +4. This line has been stagnant for a while now, and understandably so. I still think the Bengals are the right side with all of the injuries Pittsburgh has.


    The Psychology. Edge: Bengals.
    The Steelers are coming off a big win in Kansas City and now comfortably lead their division, while the Bengals have had two weeks to prepare for this game.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    This is sharp action on the Bengals.
  • Percentage of money on Cincinnati: 56% (27,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • History: Steelers have won 16 of the last 21 meetings.
  • Bengals are 35-20 ATS as underdogs since 2009.
  • Ben Roethlisberger is 46-26 ATS vs. the AFC North.
  • Opening Line: Steelers -6.
  • Opening Total: 41.
  • Weather: .


    Week 7 NFL Pick: Steelers 20, Bengals 17
    Bengals +4 (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
    Under 38.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Steelers 29, Bengals 14






    Seattle Seahawks (3-2) at New York Giants (1-5)
    Line: Seahawks by 3.5. Total: 39.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Seahawks -7.5.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Seahawks -3.5.
    Sunday, Oct 22, 4:25 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Seahawks.

    Emmitt on the Brink is back for Season 10 (I can't believe this is the 10th year I've been doing this!) In Episode 6, Emmitt seeks out Eli Manning in Mistissippi. Meanwhile, the Bills are at odds with Tyrod Taylor again.

    NEW YORK OFFENSE: It's amazing that the Giants were able to pull off the victory in Denver, considering all of the injuries they had going into the contest. Battling the NFL's top run defense, Orleans Darkwa eclipsed the century mark, as New York found a blocking configuration that worked for the first time all year. It's unclear if that's what did the trick, or if it was Denver thinking that it could just earn an easy victory by just showing up to the stadium.

    The Seahawks are also stingy versus rushing attacks, as they limited the Rams to just 43 yards on the ground prior to the bye. There's a chance they will be worse in that regard, however, as it's been revealed that stud defensive lineman Michael Bennett is dealing with plantar fasciitis. He'll play through the injury, but he may not be quite himself. If so, perhaps that'll be the edge the Giants need to maintain another strong ground attack for another week.

    They better hope so, anyway. The pass protection will surely struggle, so Eli Manning will once again have to release the ball as quickly as possible. The Seahawks have struggled versus tight ends this year, so Evan Engram could have another nice performance, but Manning doesn't have anyone else to throw to.

    SEATTLE OFFENSE: The Bennett injury isn't the only one announced during the bye week. Guard Luke Joeckel will be out 4-5 weeks with knee injury. Anyone familiar with Joeckel knows that he sucks, but he's still better than the backups the Seahawks have on their roster. Yes, believe it or not, but Seattle's offensive line could be even worse this week than it has been all year.

    This is obviously bad news, as Snacks Harrison has a huge edge over Joeckel's backup. The Giants already had major advantages elsewhere, as Jason Pierre-Paul, who had a monstrous performance at Denver, was going to be too much for right tackle Germain Ifedi to handle. We'll see if Olivier Vernon can suit up, but if he does, he'll embarrass inept left tackle Rees Odhiambo. Vernon could have a career day against Odhiambo, who is probably the worst offensive lineman in the entire NFL.

    Meanwhile, the Giants will get Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie back to help defend Doug Baldwin. New York's excellent secondary matches up well versus the Seattle receivers, though Jimmy Graham figures to have a huge afternoon, given the Giants' inability to stop tight ends.

    RECAP: I liked the Giants more when they were +6. That's gone, as this spread has dropped to +5.5 in most books. This should be a tight, defensive battle, as neither Seattle nor New York blocks well. The Giants have at least figured out a new trick with their offensive line, and they're playing with enthusiasm and nothing to lose. That's always been when Eli Manning has been at his best.

    That said, this can only be a small wager. The Giants know they can't make the playoffs at 1-5, so after that huge upset victory over the Broncos, they could be lackadaisical at home. Their offense going up against Seattle's defense just seems like a huge mismatch, and Russell Wilson could use his magic to win by the score of 16-6, or something. However, Seattle still seems to be overvalued, as the public hasn't quite realized that the team is not the dominant force it was in the past.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: The sharps are betting the Giants. All the +6s are long gone, and the only +5 I see is at Bovada. I'm not really on board with this, as Olivier Vernon and Weston Richburg haven't practiced. With the good lines gone, I'm going to remove the one unit I have on the Giants.

    SATURDAY NOTES: The sharps continue to bet the Giants, who are now +4 in most books. Despite this, Olivier Vernon and Weston Richburg are both out. All the value we once had with the Giants is gone, unfortunately.

    SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: If the Packers aren't the top sharp bet of the week, it's the Giants, as this spread has fallen from +6 to +3.5. Unfortunately, there's no value remaining with New York.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: If you're starting Sterling Shepard in fantasy, don't. Ian Rapoport, who is wrong more often than right, it seems, said Shepard would play, but Shepard didn't even warm up. Either way, this is a non-wager for me.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Sharp money on the Giants.
  • Percentage of money on New York: 58% (19,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: .
  • Seahawks are 33-47 ATS on the road since 2006 if they're not coming off an away loss.
  • Eli Manning is 42-31 ATS as an underdog since 2007.
  • Opening Line: Seahawks -7.
  • Opening Total: 39.
  • Weather: .


    Week 7 NFL Pick: Seahawks 13, Giants 12
    Giants +3.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Under 39 (0.5 Units) -- Correct; +$50
    Seahawks 24, Giants 7




    Denver Broncos (3-2) at Los Angeles Chargers (2-4)
    Line: Broncos by 1.5. Total: 41.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Broncos -2.5.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Broncos -3.
    Sunday, Oct 22, 4:25 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Broncos.

    A reminder that Jerks of the Week for this week is up, so just click the link. This week's jerks entry is the Gym Cesspool.

    SAN DIEGO OFFENSE: The San Diego Chargers, still playing neutral-site games in Los Angeles, had to be looking at what the Giants did Sunday night and licking their chops. If Orleans Darkwing Darkwa can rush for more than 100 yards, what is Melvin Gordon going to be able to do?

    Well, if the Chargers believe that they'll be able to repeat the Giants' success, they're sorely mistaken. The Broncos didn't play hard last week, plain and simple. They believed that they could just show up to the stadium and beat an 0-5 team missing half its roster. They were thoroughly embarrassed, and now they'll be out for blood to prove that they're not as bad as they looked on national TV. They'll clamp down on Gordon, as they have mismatch advantages everywhere up front.

    This, by the way, includes Von Miller going up against inept right tackle Joseph Barksdale. That's just too unfair. Philip Rivers will once again be under heavy siege, which could lead to some turnovers. The only way San Diego will move the ball consistently is via Hunter Henry, as the Broncos struggle to stop tight ends.

    DENVER OFFENSE: The Chargers have a big mismatch themselves on the right side of the line of scrimmage, as Menelik Watson, a horrible tackle, will be tasked with blocking Melvin Ingram. That's going to be a major issue, but that's really the only edge the Chargers have in the trenches.

    The Broncos couldn't run the ball whatsoever against the Giants, but that will change this Sunday. San Diego has surrendered at least 119 rushing yards to all but one opponent this year. It even allowed 144 against the Giants, and a whopping 200 versus the Eagles three weeks ago! I expect C.J. Anderson and Jamaal Charles to rebound with a great effort in this contest.

    A more effective running game means Trevor Siemian won't have to do everything himself this week. This is good news, as Emmanuel Sanders is out. Demaryius Thomas is banged up as well, but he showed some grit at the end of last week's game. He was able to catch passes against Janoris Jenkins, so he won't fail in the matchup versus Casey Hayward.

    RECAP: This is my top play of the week. In fact, I would've gone with the Broncos as my October NFL Pick of the Month if +3 were available.

    I still love Denver at +1.5. The Broncos are the better team, and they should be favored by at least three in this matchup. That's my line, and I was shocked to see that the Chargers were favored.

    Need I remind you that the Chargers are losers? Rivers' record in his past 38 games is 11-27. That's terrible! The Chargers will almost always find ways to lose. I know that hasn't been the case the past two weeks, but they needed the Giants to lose their top four receivers and the Raiders to play with a quarterback with a broken back. The Broncos, a much better team than New York and Oakland, are going to be pissed after suffering a humiliating loss on national TV. They'll be playing their best football in this game.

    Oh, and by the way, there are going to be more Denver fans in the stadium than Charger supporters. That's how it was when the Chiefs and Eagles played in Los Angeles, and Bronco fans don't have to take a long flight to watch their team this Sunday.

    I'm going with the Broncos for five units. Again, if I could get a field goal, this would be my October NFL Pick of the Month, and I even considered placing the full eight units on Denver +1.5, but I'll hold off for something even better.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: It looks like the public and sharps are betting the Broncos, which is hardly a surprise. Perhaps a reason why the sharps jumped on the Chargers is because Corey Liuget doesn't appear as though he's going to play. Liuget is one of the Chargers' best defensive players, and he'll sorely be missed if he doesn't suit up.

    SATURDAY NOTES: Keenan Allen got hurt late in the week, and he may not play in this game as a consequence. That'll make it even more difficult for the Chargers to move the ball in what effectively happens to be a home game for the Broncos.

    SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: This spread keeps moving in Denver's direction, and the Broncos are now favored. It's a bit scary how much action is on Denver, but the same thing happened when the Chiefs visited the Chargers.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Corey Liuget has been ruled out, which is a big deal. The best line for the Broncos is PK at 5Dimes.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Chargers.
    Sharp and public money is on the Broncos.
  • Percentage of money on Denver: 70% (22,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Broncos.
  • History: Broncos have won 11 of the last 13 meetings.
  • Opening Line: Broncos -1.
  • Opening Total: 43.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 7 NFL Pick: Broncos 24, Chargers 20
    Broncos -1.5 (5 Units) -- Incorrect; -$550
    Over 41 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Chargers 21, Broncos 0






    Atlanta Falcons (3-2) at New England Patriots (4-2)
    Line: Patriots by 3. Total: 56.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Patriots -4.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Patriots -3.
    Sunday, Oct 22, 8:30 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: .

    It's time for a Ross Avila update! Ross, some idiot kid on Facebook who challenged me to a picking contest this year, is now 10-19-1 with his selections. What's sad about this is that Ross copied my picks the past two weeks and then went against all of them. He's done this two weeks in a row, so he's not even trying anymore. It's not even a handicapping competition. He's literally just cheating.

    Despite his brutal record, Ross had the audacity call to me out:



    Bold words coming from someone who pretends to have an internship at Google in order to sound impressive. Ross wasn't done:



    Ross will be posting "his" picks late Saturday night once he sees what mine are.

    ATLANTA OFFENSE: We might as well start with New England's defense, the unit that's giving the Patriots so much grief this year. The Patriots have allowed 300-plus passing yards to every single quarterback they've played this year. Every single one. That includes Alex Smith, Deshaun Watson in his second career start, Jameis Winston, and even Josh McCown.

    The problem is two-fold. First of all, the Patriots have no pass rush. Opposing quarterbacks with bad offensive lines have been able to stand in the pocket for an eternity against New England. Second, the Patriots blow tons of coverages. The Jets had players wide open down the field on numerous occasions, especially on third down. If McCown had tons of success converting third downs, what's going to happen against Matt Ryan and his superior offensive line?

    The one thing New England's defense does well is stop the run, so I wouldn't expect much from Devonta Freeman or Tevin Coleman on the ground. However, both will be big factors as pass-catching running backs, as the Patriots' struggling linebacking corps have been woeful versus receivers coming out of the backfield.

    NEW ENGLAND OFFENSE: Tom Brady has to be the frontrunner for MVP right now because the Patriots might be 1-5 or even 0-6 if it weren't for him. He's single-handedly keeping New England afloat, and he'll once again have to be at his best to beat a tough foe.

    The Patriots aren't clicking exceptionally well on offense because of some issues with their offensive line. It's obvious that left tackle Nate Solder is playing hurt, while right tackle Marcus Cannon has been lackluster this year. The Falcons will put some heat on Brady, though they'll need Vic Beasley to play better than he did versus Miami because he struggled. It actually set back Atlanta's defense because Takk McKinley had been so much better in Beasley's absence.

    At any rate, the Patriots will be able to ease the pressure off Brady by establishing the run. Atlanta's ground defense sucked last week, as the Dolphins were able to get a great push in the trenches. I'm not sure what happened to Dontari Poe and Grady Jarrett, but perhaps they'll play better this week after overlooking the Dolphins.

    RECAP: I like the Falcons quite a bit in this game, and it has very little to do with Super Bowl revenge. I just think they're the better team. The Patriots are playing poor football right now. They're 4-2, sure, but they needed a last-minute score to beat the Texans at home, some missed kicks to defeat the Buccaneers, and a strange call on an apparent Austin Seferian-Jenkins touchdown to avoid overtime against the Jets. They're some instances of bad variance away from being 2-4, or even 1-5.

    If the Patriots were 2-4, what would this line be? I have to believe they wouldn't even be -3. Thus, I believe we're getting good value with the Falcons. I know Atlanta just lost home games to Buffalo and Miami, but this is a perfect time to buy low on them. The Falcons lost Julio Jones versus the Bills, and they led the Dolphins 17-0 before falling asleep at the wheel in the second half. They were clearly looking ahead to this game, and they'll bring forth their best effort this week for sure.

    I like the Falcons for four units. Getting the hook with a very talented quarterback is nice, as Ryan will be alive for a back-door touchdown, if that's needed (Ryan, by the way, has covered seven of the past eight times he's been an underdog of more than three points). I don't think the back door will be needed, and it wouldn't surprise me at all if Atlanta pulled the outright upset. If the Jets and Buccaneers could nearly vanquish the Patriots, why can't the Falcons?

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Nothing has changed here, including the spread. I still like the Falcons a lot, especially with the hook.

    SATURDAY NOTES: The sharps have begun betting the Patriots, as the only +3.5 I still see is at Bovada. By the way, I haven't heard from Ross Avila yet, but because he has no honor, he's going to pick against my Supercontest picks. I assume he'll be on the Steelers, Vikings, Saints, Chargers and Patriots.

    SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: With all the +3.5s gone, I'm going to drop this to three units. Hopefully we see more +3.5s, but I don't think that's going to happen because the sharps bet Atlanta.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps have continued to bet the Falcons, even at +3. This line has moved to +2.5 in some books, but +3 is still available at BetUS (for -120) and Bovada (-110). Keep in mind, however, that the sharps have had an absolutely brutal day. I can't remember a day like this. Top sharp plays this week were the Bengals (loss), Packers (loss) and Giants (loss). Will they go 0-for-4? We'll see, but I'm going to keep four units on the Falcons and risk losing 20 units on the week. Maybe that's stupid, but handicapping the NFL seems stupid this week.


    The Psychology. Edge: Falcons.
    The Falcons have obvious revenge, but it's not like the Patriots are going to roll over.


    The Vegas. Edge: Patriots.
    Sharp money is on the Falcons.
  • Percentage of money on Atlanta: 63% (28,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Patriots.
  • Tom Brady is 211-67 as a starter (154-111 ATS).
  • Tom Brady is 10-3 ATS as a favorite of fewer than 3 points. ???
  • Tom Brady is 16-11 ATS on Sunday Night Football.
  • Opening Line: Patriots -4.5.
  • Opening Total: 53.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 7 NFL Pick: Falcons 31, Patriots 28
    Falcons +3 (4 Units) -- Incorrect; -$440
    Over 56.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Patriots 23, Falcons 7






    Washington Redskins (3-2) at Philadelphia Eagles (5-1)
    Line: Eagles by 5. Total: 49.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Eagles -6.5.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Eagles -6.
    Monday, Oct 23, 8:30 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Eagles.

    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 great city of Philadelphia, the most special place in the world! Tonight, the Redskins, who don't stand a chance, are taking on the Eagles, the greatest team in NFL history! Guys, we're back in my town, so I can show you around to all the cool places in the city. I can show you where I drop off mother to play Bingo every Tuesday night, and I can show you where I drop off mother to get her nails done every Wednesday afternoon, and I can show you mother's favorite cheesesteak place, where I always get a cheesesteak and a soda, but only a small one because mother says it'll get me too excited.

    Emmitt: Mother, this real patheticness. And when I say real patheticness, I mean real patheticness but not fake patheticness, which the opposite of real patheticness and the same exactly thing of fake patheticness.

    Reilly: Emmitt, did you call me "Mother" just now? I asked you this a couple of weeks ago when you called me "Cub," and now you're calling me "Mother." My name is Kevin. Kevin Reilly. Anyway, the producers are telling me that we have another guest this week. It's someone named Harvey Weinstein. Who are you, Harvey Weinstein? Never heard of you. Did you play for the Jaguars? Because I've never heard of anyone who has ever played for the Jaguars except Maurice Drew-Jones.

    Herm: IT'S MAURICE JONES-DREW! IT'S NOT MAURICE DREW-JONES! MAURICE JONES-DREW! NOT DREW-JONES! NAME'S JONES-DREW! NOT DREW-JONES! JONES-DREW! DREW-JONES IS WRONG! MAURICE-JONES IS WRONG! MAURICE-DREW IS WRONG! DREW-MAURICE IS RIGHT! I MEAN WRONG! IT'S NOT RIGHT! IT'S WRONG! LOTS OF THINGS WRONG! LOTS OF THINGS... I MEAN... uhh... umm...

    Reilly: Harvey, welcome to the broadcast, and please ignore that bumbling idiot no one cares about or loves. Harvey, how did your experience with the Jacksonville Jaguars help you in your career?

    Harvey Weinstein: I did not play for the Jaguars, you idiot. I am a famous Hollywood movie producer, and all women love me. I heard you mention your mother, Kevin. Please tell her to come to my hotel room. I'll be in the shower, and she can watch.

    Tollefson: Harvey, I appreciate all your hard work in the field of torturing women, I shall have you know that you've been an inspiration to me and my ventures to have all women cook and clean naked for me. However, I assure you that you don't want to go in that direction. If you pursue Kevin's mom, you're going to have Kevin believing that you're his new dad, and you don't want that because he's the most pathetic person alive. He's still a virgin despite being in his mid-60s!

    Fouts: And here's what he means by mid-60s. Mid-60s means that there's a number in the 60s, but it's in the middle. I am assuming it's the middle because mid could be short for middle. Mid could also be short for midtown, Mid-Atlantic and Midas, as in King Midas, or Queen Midas. A number in the mid-60s could be 65. It's not 64, because 64 isn't the direct middle. It's not 66, because 66 isn't the direct middle. It's not 63, because 63 isn't the direct middle. It's not 67, because 67 isn't the direct middle. It's not 62, because 62 isn't the direct middle. It's not 68, because 68 isn't the direct middle. It's not 61, because 61 isn't the direct middle. It's not 69, because 69 isn't the direct middle. It's not 59, because 59 isn't the direct middle. It's not 70...

    Reilly: Guys, I think the Fouts robot is broken again. Anyway, Harvey, my mother might be off limits because she's dating Jay Cutler, who is my new daddy. But there's room for two daddies, so I will ask Jay Cutler if it's OK for you to court my mother.

    Harvey Weinstein: Kevin, tell your mother that I will make her a movie star if she agrees to watch me in the shower. That's all she needs to do. Also, if you have any other family members, please tell them to come watch me shower as well. For tomorrow's shower show, I will be shaving my armpits, and then I'll be playing with my rubber ducky, so it would greatly appreciated if they're there to watch me.

    Wolfley: I HAVE A RUBBER DUCKY AS WELL, BUT MINE HAS LIPS. I BOUGHT HIM FROM A FARMER FOR $350 AND HE HAS BEEN A GREAT PET FOR ME EVEN THOUGH ALL HE DOES HE SQUEAK WHEN I SQUEEZE HIM.

    Millen: Ron, be quiet, we have important business to discuss here. Hey Harvey, do you remember the lovely lady who showed up to your hotel room last night?

    Harvey Weinstein: Why, yes. I do. It was the best shower experience I've ever had in my life. I had such a great sensation that it felt like 20 women were watching me shower at once.

    Millen: I'm glad. That sensation you felt was me sneaking a kielbasa into your backside when you turned around to grab the shampoo. I dressed up like a woman, and you had no idea. You allowed me into your lair, and I hid a kielbasa in my backside, which I pulled out and then inserted into your backside. It was magical, was it not? Harvey, will you be my new 100-percent USDA Man kielbasa concubine?

    Reilly: No! He's my second father! He and Jay Cutler are my daddies!

    Charles Davis: Kevin, let's talk about members of the family, Kevin. You mentioned father, Kevin. That's a great place to start, Kevin! So proud of you, Kevin, for starting with father, Kevin! What a smart statement, Kevin. Let's discuss the wife of the father, Kevin. Know what that is, Kevin? That's right, Kevin. It's mother, Kevin. But what about brother, Kevin? Can't forget brother, Kevin. How about sister, Kevin? Looks like you almost forgot sister, Kevin. Let's not forget grandfather either, Kevin. That would be foolish to forget that one, Kevin. How about you name a family member, Kevin? But don't name pepperoni pizza again, Kevin. You got lucky last week, Kevin, but it won't happen again, Kevin.

    Reilly: Shut up, Charles Davis. I don't care. I just got a text from Jay Cutler. It says, "You want me to answer if it's OK that Harvey Weinstein dates your mom, too? I dunno, I don't care." Looks like you'll be my second daddy, Harvey!

    Harvey Weinstein: No, Kevin. What I felt last night is something I've never felt before. Matt Millen, I will be your kielbasa concubine. I want you to insert kielbasas into my backside every time I take a shower from now until my death!

    Reilly: NO, MILLEN, YOU A**HOLE, YOU RUINED EVERYTHING FOR ME! I WANTED TWO DADDIES TO TAKE ME TO THE BALL PARK AND TO TEACH ME HOW TO CATCH, AND NOW I WON'T HAVE THAT, YOU MOTHERF***ER! We'll be back after this!

    PHILADELPHIA OFFENSE: I thought the Eagles would have some issues with the Panthers because Lane Johnson happened to be out of the lineup with a concussion. The Eagles had trouble scoring in the early going, but were bailed out with some turnovers and Luke Kuechly's injury. Kuechly leaving the game changed everything, and Philadelphia was able to improve to 5-1 quite easily as a result.

    Unfortunately for the Redskins, Johnson has been cleared to play. Johnson's suspension last year was the primary reason why Washington swept the Eagles; Philadelphia simply couldn't pass protect, and Ryan Kerrigan went nuts against Johnson's backup in both games. Johnson will be on the field to block Kerrigan, and Carson Wentz will have a clean pocket. He'll take advantage of this by pushing the ball downfield against a Redskin secondary that likely won't have Josh Norman available. Norman was around to help put the clamps on Alshon Jeffery in Week 1, but Jeffery will now be able to take advantage of Norman's absence. Zach Ertz, meanwhile, should have another dominant showing against a defense that has trouble against tight ends.

    Johnson isn't the only Eagle set to return from injury, as Wendell Smallwood will be in the lineup again as well. The Redskins have been pretty solid against the run - they restricted the Eagles to 52 rushing yards in Week 1 - but they won't have talented rookie defensive lineman Jonathan Allen because of an injury.

    WASHINGTON OFFENSE: Like Wentz, Kirk Cousins is protected pretty well, but he won't be shielded against a poor San Francisco defense this week. The Eagles have perhaps the best defensive front in the NFL, as Cam Newton learned on Thursday night. The Redskins have some liabilities up front, namely at left guard and center, and the Eagles will be able to take advantage of this.

    Cousins will have to release the ball quickly, and this could be problematic considering the state of his downfield targets. Jordan Reed clearly isn't 100 percent, while Terrelle Pryor has failed to develop a rapport with his new quarterback. I'd suggest involving Jamison Crowder, but he hasn't done much this year. Besides, he'll be going up against Patrick Robinson, who is playing exceptional football right now.

    The Redskins will try to establish Chris Thompson as a receiving threat out of the backfield. This was a great plan in one of the Redskins' other night games, as Thompson ran circles around Oakland's pathetic linebackers. He won't have much success versus the Eagles; we all saw what Nigel Bradham did to Christian McCaffrey last Thursday.

    RECAP: It's odd that the look-ahead line for this game was Eagles -6.5, yet despite Philadelphia's win over Carolina on national TV, the spread has fallen two points. What's changed since then? It's not like injuries have played a factor. In fact, that has favored Philadelphia. Lane Johnson is set to return, while Jonathan Allen got hurt.

    The Eagles appear to be the right side to me. I made this spread -6, so we're not getting much value, though there is some. Still, the spot isn't the best one for the Eagles, as they've had extra time to hear about how great they are. The Redskins, meanwhile, will be seeking revenge for their Week 1 loss.

    Still, I'm taking Philadelphia, and I may put a unit or so on the team by Monday night. It'll depend on whether or not this line continues to fall.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Ronald Darby is practicing again. Getting him back would be huge, but I think it's more likely that he'll suit up next week. Still, I like the Eagles a bit, but not enough to bet on them.

    SATURDAY NOTES: Josh Norman is out, while Ronald Darby could play. I expect a close game, but that could mean the Eagles winning by seven, which is what I'm calling for. I'm not going to bet this contest in all likelihood.

    SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: Nothing has really changed in the past 12 hours, so check back Monday for my final thoughts, or follow me @walterfootball for updates.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Both the sharps and public appear to be split on this. The pros took the Redskins at +5.5 early in the week, but some others also bet them at -4.5. My spread for this game is Eagles -6, so -5 doesn't present a very good betting opportunity. I'd take Philadelphia for a unit at most, but I'd rather focus on Week 8, which seems like it has some appealing games.


    The Psychology. Edge: Redskins.
    No edge found outside of revenge for the Redskins.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Philadelphia: 56% (35,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Redskins.
  • History: Redskins have won 5 of the last 6 meetings.
  • Jay Gruden is 4-1 ATS in same-season revenge games.
  • Eagles are 24-36 ATS at home since 2010.
  • Opening Line: Eagles -5.
  • Opening Total: 48.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 7 NFL Pick: Eagles 31, Redskins 24
    Eagles -5.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Over 49 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Eagles 34, Redskins 24





    Week 7 NFL Picks - Early Games
    Kansas City at Oakland, Carolina at Chicago, Tampa Bay at Buffalo, Tennessee at Cleveland, Jacksonville at Indianapolis, NY Jets at Miami, New Orleans at Green Bay, Arizona at LA Rams, Baltimore 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: Ravens +11.5, Cowboys 0.5 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    I'm not crazy about this teaser, as I wanted the Broncos at +7.5. I waited too long for it, unfortunately.


    LOADING COMMENTS...



    NFL Picks - Jan. 17


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    Fantasy Football Rankings - Jan. 11


    2022 NFL Mock Draft - Nov. 15


    NFL Power Rankings - Nov. 14


    2020 College Football Recruiting Rankings - April 14


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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
    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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    2006 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
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    2010 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2010 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLV |
    2011 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2011 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLVI |
    2012 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
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