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Go to Week 12 NFL Picks - Early Games
Seattle Seahawks (6-4) at San Francisco 49ers (1-9)
Line: Seahawks by 6.5. Total: 45.
Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread:
Walt's Calculated Line:
Sunday, Nov 26, 4:05 PM
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The Game. Edge: Seahawks.
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Save for his two early turnovers and the final throws on the last drive of the night, Russell Wilson was exceptional against the Falcons. He torched a defense that has some solid play-makers. Obviously, the 49ers don't have nearly as much talent on this side of the ball, so they'll have even less success stopping Wilson.
The 49ers have been torched by most teams this year. Their secondary is a mess, as their cornerbacks are particularly atrocious. Doug Baldwin and company won't have any sort of issue getting open. The same goes for Jimmy Graham, who will be taking on a San Francisco stop unit that hasn't enjoyed much success against tight ends.
The one area in which the 49ers will thrive on this side of the ball is generating some pressure on Wilson. Duane Brown has helped Seattle's offensive line, but the two guard spots are now the biggest weaknesses. DeForest Buckner, who is having an All-Pro-caliber year, should be able to dominate Ethan Pocic. However, this just means that Wilson will once again scramble for first downs.
SAN FRANCISCO OFFENSE:
The Seahawks were woeful defensively Monday night, allowing the Falcons to complete nine of their initial 12 first-down tries. This, of course, wasn't much of a surprise, as two members of the Legion of Boom were down, as was Shaq Griffin, who was concussed on the opening drive. Matt Ryan consequently shredded Seattle's secondary with ease.
C.J. Beathard obviously won't fare nearly as well. Not only is he a much worse quarterback than Ryan, but he just doesn't have the supporting cast to be successful. Pierre Garcon is out, so his top downfield weapon is Marquise Goodwin. Even the Seattle backup corners can shut down Goodwin and Aldrick Robinson.
The 49ers need to run the ball to stay competitive, but they won't be able to do that versus Seattle. The Seahawks haven't surrendered 100 rushing yards to an opponent since Week 3, and they just clamped down on Tevin Coleman. Sheldon Richardson is a monster, and he should have his way with San Francisco's weak interior defensive front.
Based on what I wrote on the early-games page, I'm tempted to bet the Seahawks. Seattle's favored by a touchdown, which may seem like a high number at first glance, but is it really? The disparity between the two quarterbacks in this contest is staggering. Wilson is a top-five NFL signal-caller, while Beathard is one of the league's worst players at the position. And it's not like San Francisco is any better in other areas!
You know what? I'm going to do it. I'll wager two units on the Seahawks. The public money on this game isn't staggering thus far, as people might be hesitant to bet Seattle because of all of its injuries. However, I think the Seahawks will bounce back from Monday night's defeat, and it's not like they'll be playing in a hostile environment. In fact, there might be more Seahawk fans at this game than 49er supporters!
This spread has dropped to Seahawks -6.5. The sharps are betting on the 49ers, which is not surprising. But I think they're wrong in this instance. I'm going to move this to three units if -6 becomes available.
There's big injury news concerning this game. San Francisco's right tackle, Trent Brown, hurt his shoulder in practice and is questionable. Brown is a very good blocker, so his absence would be crushing against the Seahawks. I was already thinking about adding a third unit to this game, so I'll definitely do that if Brown is out.
SUNDAY MORNING NOTES:
The sharps bet the 49ers at +7, but not yet at +6.5. Perhaps they're waiting on Trent Brown's status; his absence would be huge. I really like the Seahawks regardless.
I still love the Seahawks, and Trent Brown is indeed out. I'm going to bump this up to four units. I can't imagine San Francisco having much offensive success with Brown out.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: 49ers.
Tons of money on the Seahawks.
Percentage of money on Seattle: 83% (19,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Seahawks.
History: Home Team has won 14 of the last 18 meetings (Seahawks won last 8).
Seahawks are 20-9 ATS in Week 11 or later since 2013.
Russell Wilson is 10-6 ATS after a loss as long as he's not favored by -10 or more.
Seahawks are 34-47 ATS on the road since 2006 if they're not coming off an away loss.
Opening Line: Seahawks -7.
Opening Total: 43.
Weather: Light rain, 61 degrees. No wind.
Week 12 NFL Pick: Seahawks 27, 49ers 10
Seahawks -6.5 (4 Units) -- Correct; +$400
Under 45 (0.5 Units) -- Correct; +$50
Seahawks 24, 49ers 13
New Orleans Saints (8-2) at Los Angeles Rams (7-3)
Line: Rams by 2.5. Total: 54.
Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Rams -2.
Walt's Calculated Line: Saints -1.
Sunday, Nov 26, 4:05 PM
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The Game. Edge: .
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LOS ANGELES OFFENSE: The Saints have played outstanding on this side of the ball this year. Well, at least they have prior to Week 11. I noted that their stop unit hadn't exactly been tested, and it certainly was against Kirk Cousins, who posted 31 points. The Redskins didn't do anything toward the end of the contest, thanks partly because of the injury to their best running back, Chris Thompson.
Part of the problem for the Saints happened to be the injuries they suffered. Shutdown cornerback Marshon Lattimore was on and off the field with a leg problem, while solid edge rusher Alex Okafor was knocked out for the year. Safety Kenny Vaccaro was also missing. It's unclear if Lattimore and Vaccaro will play in this game, but the Saints definitely need them against the Rams. Jared Goff and company were held to seven points last week, but they easily could've scored more. Cooper Kupp fumbled at the 1-yard line, then dropped a key third-down pass to move into Minnesota territory. The Rams were clearly affected by a ferocious defense, but they won't be as challenged if the Saints are missing key personnel.
The Rams won't have an important player of their own, as Robert Woods is out. However, Goff still has plenty of weapons at his disposal, and perhaps Sammy Watkins will actually do something if Lattimore is missing. Meanwhile, Todd Gurley figures to do well against a defense that just surrendered 136 rushing yards to the Redskins. The Saints also have weak linebackers, so Gurley could do some major damage as a receiver out of the backfield.
NEW ORLEANS OFFENSE: Drew Brees hasn't had to do much this year outside of handing the ball off to his two talented running backs, but that certainly wasn't the case in the final five minutes of regulation versus Washington. Brees led the Saints back from down 31-16 with five minutes remaining in regulation to win in overtime.
Brees was going up against a weak secondary, but he'll have similar success against the Rams if Kayvon Webster is out. Webster, the Rams' top cornerback, left the game last week because of a concussion. Case Keenum tore Los Angeles apart after that. The Rams' secondary wasn't the same without Webster, so it's imperative for him to suit up.
Meanwhile, Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara figure to pick up big chunks of yardage once again, as they'll be battling a Rams defense that just surrendered 151 rushing yards to the duo of Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon.
RECAP: This is one of the toughest games of the week to handicap because there are so many injury question marks.
When in doubt, take the underdog, so that's what I'll do here. I'll select the Saints. However, the Rams could definitely win if the Saints are missing Lattimore and Vaccaro. However, my pick could change based on what the injury reports reveal later in the week.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: I'm considering making a pick change here. It doesn't sound like Marshon Lattimore is going to play, while New Orleans is a big-time public underdog.
SATURDAY NOTES: I'm really considering a pick change now, with Marshon Lattimore officially out. Ken Crawley, the other starting corner, also won't be available! It's so tempting to pick the Rams, especially with the Saints being public dogs, but, ugh, I just can't do it. I don't want to go against Drew Brees right now, especially as an underdog. I also don't think the Rams are ready for prime time yet. They lost their two big games - Seahawks, Vikings - as they just seem too young to win these important contests just yet.
SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: There's a bit of sharp money coming in on the Saints, but it doesn't look like the books want to move this line to -3, as they seemingly anticipate lots of pro money on New Orleans +3. We'll see what happens, but I'm certain that I'm not going to bet this game.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Guessing line movement can sometimes be difficult, but not in this case. I imagine the sharps were waiting to pounce on the Saints +3, so the books never gave that to them. I'm still 50-50 on this game. Well, maybe 50.1-49.9 leaning Brees as an underdog.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: Rams.
The Saints are a public dog.
Percentage of money on New Orleans: 63% (27,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Saints.
Drew Brees is 50-31 ATS as an underdog.
Drew Brees is 43-28 ATS off back-to-back wins.
Opening Line: Rams -2.5.
Opening Total: 53.5.
Week 12 NFL Pick: Saints 30, Rams 27
Saints +2.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
Over 54 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
Rams 26, Saints 20
Jacksonville Jaguars (7-3) at Arizona Cardinals (4-6)
Line: Jaguars by 6. Total: 38.
Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Jaguars -3.5.
Walt's Calculated Line: Jaguars -4.
Sunday, Nov 26, 4:25 PM
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The Game. Edge: Jaguars.
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 11, Real Emmitt confronts Norv Turner's Turkey Neck, while Evil Emmitt goes after the second sage.
ARIZONA OFFENSE: Bill Simmons said eight years ago that this Web site would fail, but I still enjoy listening to his guess-the-lines podcast with Cousin Sal. He said something I completely agreed with in this week's episode, where he mentioned that he felt like the Jaguars had a better chance scoring on defense than offense. That will certainly be the case here, as Jacksonville will be battling Blaine Gabbert, who will be shielded by the second-worst offensive line in the NFL.
The Cardinals can't block at all right now because they lost their best lineman, left tackle D.J. Humphries, to a season-ending injury. Yannick Ngakoue, Calais Campbell, Malik Jackson and Abry Jones are all going to win their battles up front. They'll put heavy pressure on the Jaguars' former quarterback, and they'll do a good job of stuffing Adrian Peterson in the backfield.
Gabbert did well last week by connecting on some throws to Larry Fitzgerald and rookie tight end Ricky Seals-Jones. However, Jacksonville's defense is in much better shape than Houston's. The Jaguars have an elite cornerback to contain Fitzgerald, while the stellar linebackers will be aware of Seals-Jones, so they'll limit his production.
JACKSONVILLE OFFENSE: The Jaguars have a poor offensive line themselves. They have a couple of solid blockers in center Brandon Linder and right tackle Jermey Parnell, though the latter player's status is up in the air. Still, Jacksonville has a major liability on the blind side, with Cam Robinson going up against Chandler Jones. This is a major edge for Arizona. Meanwhile, Robert Nkemdiche, who is finally playing better, has a nice matchup against guard A.J. Cann.
The Cardinals will be able to generate some pressure on Blake Bortles, who will do one of two things. He'll either settle for ineffective checkdowns, or he'll force the issue and commit turnovers. It's just what he does because he sucks.
The Jaguars' ability to move the chains will depend on how effective Leonard Fournette happens to be. Save for last week's loss, the Cardinals have allowed just two teams to gain 100-plus rushing yards against them. I'm excluding last week because D'Onta Foreman had some long runs at the end of the game. Arizona bottled up Lamar Miller pretty well, and the team should be able to contain Fournette, who isn't 100 percent.
RECAP: I want to bet on Arizona. I really do. The Jaguars are overrated. They're a mediocre team because they can't block or pass effectively. They're also poorly coached. They've feasted on an extremely easy schedule and have gotten lucky in numerous games. They remind me of the 2016 Giants, so I fully expect them to be 3-7 or worse at this time next year.
But, ugh, I just can't do it. I can't wager money on Gabbert or Arizona's offensive line, which is somehow worse than Jacksonville's. Betting on Gabbert would go against everything I wrote in the first capsule of the early-games page. I know Bortles sucks as well, but remember that Bortles supplanted Gabbert as the starter for the Jaguars, so he's somehow better, maybe.
I don't know. I'm going to pick the Cardinals, but I won't be betting this game outside of the under.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: I'd love to bet against the Jaguars, but I just can't. They're starting one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL behind one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL. Then again, wagering on Blake Bortles as a favorite seems just as awful.
SATURDAY NOTES: Jalen Ramsey won't play for the Jaguars, but that doesn't matter against Blaine Gabbert. Arizona has all sorts of issues at quarterback and the offensive line that the team will have major trouble staying competitive if Blake Bortles is competent. That said, Bortles is going to be missing two offensive linemen (Patrick Omameh and Jermey Parnell). I think Arizona is the right side, but I don't want to bet on Blaine Gabbert.
SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: This spread is now +6 across the board, with +6 -105 being available at Bovada. Both the public and sharps are on the Jaguars, so the books will really need Arizona to cover.
FINAL THOUGHTS: The Cardinals are now +6 +100. That was tempting for a second until I remembered how abysmal Arizona's offense is.I'll pass.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: Cardinals.
All the action is on the Jaguars.
Percentage of money on Jacksonville: 75% (15,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Cardinals.
Jaguars are 11-30 ATS vs. NFC opponents since 2007.
Jaguars are 33-64 ATS against non-divisional opponents since 2008.
Cardinals are 29-14 ATS at home as underdogs or favorites of less than -3 since 2007.
Opening Line: Jaguars -5.
Opening Total: 38.
Week 12 NFL Pick: Jaguars 16, Cardinals 13
Cardinals +6 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
Under 38 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
Cardinals 27, Jaguars 24
Denver Broncos (3-7) at Oakland Raiders (4-6)
Line: Raiders by 5. Total: 41.5.
Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Raiders -6.5.
Walt's Calculated Line: Raiders -5.5.
Sunday, Nov 26, 4:25 PM
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The Game. Edge: Raiders.
A reminder that Jerks of the Week for this week is up, so just click the link. This week's jerks entry is More Jerks at the Card Show.
DENVER OFFENSE: The Broncos announced that Paxton Lynch will start this game. While this is probably the right move for the long term, allowing them to get a good look at the former first-round pick, it'll make Denver even worse right now. Though, I suppose that is a good thing as well because it'll allow the Broncos to have a better draft pick.
Lynch is not a good quarterback at all. He has great potential, but he reportedly hasn't been putting in the effort to become a good NFL quarterback. He looked lost when he played last year, and here's what I wrote about him following his one and only preseason start in August:
Lynch was given the chance to claim the starting job, as he was given the nod over Trevor Siemian in the second preseason game. Lynch failed with flying colors. Lynch completed 9-of-13 passes, but for only 39 yards. Yes, that's a YPA of 3.0, a number that even Brodie Croyle would scoff at. Sadly, Lynch's stat line could've been even worse because he nearly threw an interception on a pass way behind Virgil Green. Lynch also overshot Demaryius Thomas downfield. It wasn't all bad, as Lynch and Bennie Fowler drew a pass interference in the end zone, and Lynch was able to scramble effectively - 27 rushing yards on three runs - but he looked completely overwhelmed. Lynch has great talent, but doesn't appear to be ready to play yet.
Given that Lynch was injured for most of the season, I doubt he did anything to improve his game. I really think he's going to struggle, even against Oakland's poor defense. Part of the problem is Denver's pedestrian offensive line, which the Raiders should be able to abuse.
OAKLAND OFFENSE: Derek Carr was dreadful against the Patriots in Mexico. That may seem like that bodes well for the Broncos, but I'm not so sure. Denver still has a good defense, but defending deep passes has been a problem for them. Andy Dalton connected on some downfield throws last week, and Carr is better than Dalton. He also has superior protection.
The one issue with Oakland's offensive line is right tackle. This presents a problem versus Von Miller, but if that's the only thing the Raiders need to worry about, they'll be able to scheme around it. With Gabe Jackson playing better now, Derek Wolfe should be kept out of the backfield.
One thing the Raiders won't do is run the ball well. Denver's ground defense is still one of the NFL's best, so Marshawn Lynch will be held in check. Not that Lynch has been playing well anyway. The Raiders would probably be better served moving on from Lynch and going with the platoon of DeAndre Washingon and Jalen Richard.
RECAP: This spread is definitely an overreaction to what happened last week. The Raiders were -6.5 on the advance number, but have dropped to -5 because of the blowout loss to the Patriots. If you watched the game, you may have noticed how utterly unprepared Oakland was for it. Players were gasping for air and had to be taken off the field in the middle of the first quarter! It was utterly embarrassing, and it was a horrible coaching job by Jack Del Rio.
The Raiders will be much more comfortable in this game, as they'll be below sea level once again. They'll also be looking to redeem themselves from the blowout loss in this must-win game. The Broncos, meanwhile, seem like they're done. Losing to Cincinnati was a crushing blow, and I could see some of the veterans checking out in this game, especially since the team has turned to an unprepared rookie quarterback.
And speaking of that quarterback, the Lynch announcement plays a factor in this wager. Lynch is horrible, and he certainly belongs in that scrub-quarterback list I posted in the early-games page.
I'm betting four units on the Raiders. I like the spot they're in, and this spread of -5 is way off from what I have (Oakland -8). I'm actually going to lock this in now before the line rises. It's only been a couple of hours since the Lynch announcement was made, and I'm shocked that the spread hasn't moved up already.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: I was right to lock in the Lions at +3 -105. I was wrong to lock in the Raiders at -5. This spread is -4.5 in some books. That's probably not going to matter, but I'm just shocked that this line hasn't moved up because of the Paxton Lynch announcement. I guess people have forgotten how utterly awful Lynch was in his two starts last year and his preseason action in the summer.
SATURDAY NOTES: Again, I can't believe this spread hasn't moved up since the Paxton Lynch announcement. I feel like I'm going crazy here with no one remembering how horrible he was last season and also during the exhibition games in August.
SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: Ugh, wow. The Raiders are now -3.5. What a dumb decision to lock this in early. The sharps have pounded the Broncos, which, again, I don't understand because Paxton Lynch has been terrible whenever he's been on the field.
FINAL THOUGHTS: The line never reached +3, so I guess I'm not too pissed - not unless the Raiders win by only four! I'm still on Oakland for four units.
The Psychology. Edge: Raiders.
The Raiders will be looking to rebound from a blowout loss, while the Broncos could be checked out at 3-7.
The Vegas. Edge: Broncos.
Bets have piled on the Raiders following the Paxton Lynch announcement.
Percentage of money on Oakland: 68% (16,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Broncos.
History: Road Team has won 12 of the last 19 meetings (Broncos 10 of last 12).
Raiders are 10-35 ATS at home vs. teams with losing records.
Raiders are 9-27 ATS as home favorites since November 2005.
Opening Line: Raiders -5.
Opening Total: 44.
Weather: Light rain, 64 degrees. Mild wind, 12 mph.
Week 12 NFL Pick: Raiders 24, Broncos 9
Raiders -5 (4 Units) -- Correct; +$400
Under 41.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
Raiders 21, Broncos 14
Green Bay Packers (5-5) at Pittsburgh Steelers (8-2)
Line: Steelers by 15. Total: 43.5.
Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Steelers -12.5.
Walt's Calculated Line: Steelers -14.5.
Sunday, Nov 26, 8:30 PM
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The Game. Edge: Steelers.
It's time for a Ross Avila update! Ross, some idiot kid on Facebook who challenged me to a picking contest this year, has finally thrown in the towel. He stopped making his own picks after Week 3, and because I called him out on stealing other people's selections, he has apparently quit.
Ross said he would go away for good if I won, but he predictably hasn't kept his word. Instead, he had this to say about the Monday night defeat:
He typed in "scammer," but I assume he meant scanner because that makes more sense. I'm not sure why he thinks I'm a machine that scans things. I even asked him, but he didn't respond, probably because his mom made him clean his room.
PITTSBURGH OFFENSE: The Steelers won't have talented right tackle Marcus Gilbert for four games because of a PED suspension. Considering Pittsburgh's easy schedule, I don't think this suspension will mean very much. That includes this contest, as Clay Matthews suffered a groin injury last week. It's unclear if Matthews will play, but he may not be 100 percent.
Assuming Matthews isn't around to take advantage of Gilbert's backup, a suddenly lethal Ben Roethlisberger should have plenty of time in the pocket to torch Green Bay's anemic defense. There's a chance stud safety Morgan Burnett will return to action, but he can't make up for all of the incompetence at cornerback. The Packers just don't have the personnel to stay with Antonio Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Martavis Bryant.
The Packers are ordinarily good against the run, but that may change this week. Not only is the running back they're battling the elite Le'Veon Bell, but they'll be without nose tackle Kenny Clark. The second-year pro has been tremendous this year. He and the overly excited Mike Daniels have been a force versus the rush this year, so Clark's absence will hurt in that regard. Bell will also be a big-time factor as a receiver out of the backfield against the pedestrian Packer linebackers.
GREEN BAY OFFENSE: The disparity between the two quarterbacks in this game is staggering. While Roethlisberger appears to finally be hitting his stride, Brett Hundley can't stop committing turnovers. Hundley was atrocious against the Ravens, taking forever to make reads and making horrible decisions.
I don't see why things would suddenly improve for Hundley in this game. The Packers have some liabilities up front that the stellar Pittsburgh defensive line will be able to take advantage of. Hundley will frequently be under pressure, which will force more errant throws.
I can't see the Packers running well, even if Ty Montgomery returns to action. They're so stellar versus the rush, as no team has even gained more than 63 yards on the ground against them since Week 5!
RECAP: As much as I'd love to bet against Hundley, this spread is too high. As discussed earlier, wagering on huge lines like this is usually a losing proposition because so many crazy things could happen. A fumble return for a touchdown, a punt return, a blocked kick, etc. could ruin the cover for Pittsburgh.
That said, if I had to choose a side, it would be the Steelers. They often show up flat against poor opponents like the Packers, but the fact that this contest is on national TV makes be believe that Pittsburgh will try hard. Plus, there's no way I want to be rooting for Hundley at the end of the day (or at any time).
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: This is the biggest sharp bet of the week. The pros are all over the Packers. It makes sense to me because the Steelers have been very lethargic in these spots over the years. But I just can't bring myself to pick Hundley. Plus, the Steelers have seemed more energized ever since JuJu Smith-Schuster has become a big part of the offense.
SATURDAY NOTES: So, I did a lot of research this Friday concerning how terrible quarterbacks have fared over the years. They have a very low covering rate - I'll share this with you next week - but the Steelers have seldom coveraged against them. For instance, one of Zach Mettenberger's two career covers came against Pittsburgh, and that came in prime time. I thought the Steelers would have more energy because of JuJu Smith-Schuster's energy and enthusiasm, but he's going to be out. So much for that! The Packers, meanwhile, will have Morgan Burnett back from injury. I'm going to switch my pick to Green Bay, but there's no way I'm betting on Brett Hundley.
SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: The sharps bet the Packers at +14. I imagine they expect the Steelers to be lethargic, as usual. I think it's very risky to bet on Brett Hundley, but I think the Packers are probably the right side.
FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps are on the Packers at +14, while the public is pounding the Steelers. Vegas took an absolute beating today, so because the Steelers are involved, we could see some shady things happen Sunday night. That said, I don't want to bet on Hundley. If you're brave enough to do so, Bovada has the best Green Bay line; it's +15 -105.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: Packers.
No one can be surprised by all of the public action on the Steelers.
Percentage of money on Pittsburgh: 72% (55,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Packers.
Mike Tomlin is 9-19 ATS as a favorite after a win of 14+ in the regular season unless a bye is coming up.
Opening Line: Steelers -13.5.
Opening Total: 41.5.
Week 12 NFL Pick: Steelers 27, Packers 16
Packers +15 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
Under 43.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
Steelers 31, Packers 28
Houston Texans (4-6) at Baltimore Ravens (5-5)
Line: Ravens by 7. Total: 38.
Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Ravens -7.5.
Walt's Calculated Line: Ravens -9.5.
Monday, Nov 27, 8:30 PM
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The Game. Edge: Ravens.
This week on ESPN, we're going to have some bald dude and Jon Gruden calling the shots instead the great preseason homers like Kevin Reilly, Ron Wolfley and Don Tollefson, inept ESPN guys Emmitt, Herman Edwards and Matt Millen, and aloof people like Dan Fouts. Here's what it would sound like if these seven dudes (and some special guests) were calling this game:
Reilly: Welcome to the city of Baltimore, where the Houston Oilers will play the Baltimore Colts. Guys, I heard mother's boyfriend Jay Cutler talk about Houston's quarterback, Deshaun Watkins, and that he might be really good. I took mother's credit card from her purse, so should I bet on the Oilers to win this game? What are your thoughts on this?
Emmitt: Watkins, I think you confusin' Deshaun Watkins with Deshaun Kizer Shoze-ey, the quarterback for the Brown. If there are a quarterback name Deshaun Watkins I never have hearded of himselves. Deshaun Kizer Shoze-ey remind me of the guy in that movie who name Kizer Shoze-ey and nobody ever realize who he is the whole movie, and I still wonderin' why they close the movie on a guy walking down the road.
Herm: THAT WAS HIM! THAT WAS KEYSER! THAT WAS KEYSER SOZE! THAT WAS SOZE! THAT WAS THE KEYSER! THAT WAS THE SOZE! THAT WAS HIM WALKING! BECAUSE NO ONE THOUGHT HE COULD WALK! BUT HE WALKED! HOW DID YOU MISS THE POINT!? HOW DID YOU NOT GET THE POINT!? WHY DIDN'T YOU GET THE POINT! HERM GOT THE POINT! HERM ALWAYS GETS THE POINT! HERM IS THE MASTER OF THE POINT! ONLY HERM KNOWS THE POINT! AND HERE'S THE POINT! WAIT, WHAT'S THE POINT!? GUESS HERM DOESN'T KNOW THE POINT! WHAT'S THE POINT!? WHY'S HERM STILL TALKING!? HERM HAS NO IDEA! HERM HAS NO... uhh... umm...
Reilly: The point is that you're an idiot! Please don't speak ever again. Guys, we're joined in the booth by Peyton Manning. Peyton, I understand that you're jealous of Tony Romo because he's such a great announcer like me, and you're jealous of Tom Brady because he's still playing like mother's boyfriend Jay Cutler, so you want to try your luck announcing games. Peyton, what do you think about this game? Should I bet on the Oilers? Quick, before mother realizes her credit card is gone!
Peyton Manning: I-believe-Hou-ston-will-winnnnn. The-first-play-will-be-a-paaaassss.
Reilly: What? Why did you just sing that like some kind of wuss?
Tollefson: Kevin, have you not seen Peyton's insurance commercials? He sings during all of them. That might make him seem like a giant p***y, but it's actually genius. That way, he doesn't have to go to bars and clubs to kidnap women to cook and clean naked for him. All he has to do is sing, and they come to him! Lots of whores love Peyton Manning!
Millen: Tolly, this is very interesting. Do you think that if I sing, lots of 100-percent USDA Men will come to me so that I can ram some kielbasas up their backside?
Peyton Manning: All-of-you-are-so-stupiiiiid. The-third-play-will-be-a-throoooww.
Reilly: What happened to the second play? Too many syllables? That's it, Peyton, get the f*** out of this booth! You will never be as great of an announcer as me! No girls like guys who sing. How could anyone ever like you, Peyton? At least mother likes me! Do you even have a mother!?
Fouts: And here's what Watkins means by having a mother. When you're born, you're in a hospital, which is a place people go if they're sick, or if they're looking to have a steamy relationship with a doctor, like I have done five times. When you're in the hospital, and you're not born yet, sometimes, you're born. And when you're born, the woman's whose no-no special place you come from is usually your mother. That's what Watkins means by mother.
Wolfley: SPEAKING OF MOTHER, I'M PRETTY SURE PEYTON MANNING HAS A MOTHER. BECAUSE HE HAS A FATHER. AND HE'S A REAL A**HOLE. AN A**HOLE WITH LIPS. BUT I SUPPOSE ALL A**HOLES HAVE LIPS, AND THIS IS WHERE THE POOP COMES FROM.
Reilly: Are we really talking about poop on the telecast? I... wait, what's the Papa John's guy doing here? Did someone order a pizza?
Papa John: Guys, I have to tell you that our pizza sales have been down ever since Peyton Manning left this booth. Can you do something about that?
Reilly: Fine. I'll use mother's credit card to order a pizza. Make it pepperoni pizza, so Charles Davis can't say I guess pepperoni pizza when he asks me his questions.
Charles Davis: Kevin...
Reilly: NO, A**HOLE. YOU'RE NOT GETTING ME THIS WEEK. I HAVE A PEPPERONI PIZZA RIGHT HERE, SO BACK THE F*** OFF, MOTHERF***ER! We'll be back after this!
BALTIMORE OFFENSE: There's a major injury entering this game, and that would be Ronnie Stanley's concussion. Stanley didn't play last week, but he didn't really need to because Brett Hundley gave the Ravens a free victory. Stanley will absolutely be needed against the Texans. That's because Jadeveon Clowney is on the other side of the line of scrimmage.
The Ravens might as well put a turnstile on the field rather than backup left tackle James Hurst. Stanley will lose numerous battles against Clowney, who is having a terrific year, but he at least won't be completely dominated. The Ravens would be able to maintain some drives with Stanley protecting Joe Flacco's blind side.
Speaking of Flacco, he might have a nice game if Stanley is in the lineup. The Texans have some major flaws in their defense because of injuries and previous departures. They couldn't stop Blaine Gabbert a week ago, so Flacco, with all of his weapons on the field, could put together some scoring drives. That is, of course, if he needs to.
HOUSTON OFFENSE: Flacco may not have to do anything because it's possible for Baltimore's defense to dominate this contest like it did at Lambeau last week. I've talked about some teams having the worst offensive lines in the NFL. I've mentioned the Dolphins and Cardinals as having the third- and second-worst blocking units in the league. Well, Houston has the worst line, and it's not even close. Save for center Nick Martin, who is below average, everyone on Houston's front wouldn't even be rostered on most teams!
The Texans won't be able to protect against Terrell Suggs, Za'Darius Smith and Willie Henry. They'll put heavy pressure on Tom Savage, who will undoubtedly be forced into several turnovers. I saw someone on Twitter liken Savage to a water buffalo, and I think that's a very apt comparison.
Houston will move the chains on occasion on Savage throws to DeAndre Hopkins, though the opportunities will be limited because of Jimmy Smith's prolific coverage. The Texans also won't be able to run the ball effectively, as Baltimore's rush defense has gotten much better ever since Brandon Williams returned to the field.
RECAP: I'm picking the Ravens, and my unit amount depends on whether or not Stanley plays.
If Stanley plays, I'm going to take Baltimore for two units. The Ravens' defense versus Savage is just too much of a mismatch not to wager on. The spread I came up with is Baltimore -9.5, so I think -7 definitely provides some solid value. The Ravens sometimes are flat in games like this, but because this is on national TV, I don't expect that to be the case. Baltimore has covered as touchdown favorites or more in the national spotlight, owning an acceptable 3-3 ATS record in such games, most recently beating the Browns, 28-7, on a Thursday night.
If, however, Stanley sits out, I'll be on Baltimore for no units. Stanley is crucial to the game plan because he has to block Houston's best player, so I'll be waiting for his status on the injury report. Check back, or follow @walterfootball for updates.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Nothing has changed for me here. The Ravens have yet to practice, so there's no indication of Ronnie Stanley's status.
SATURDAY NOTES: Ronnie Stanley is going to play, which is great news for the Ravens. I like them a lot, and I'm actually going to bump up the unit count to three. I can't see Tom Savage doing anything against their defense.
SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: This spread has risen to -7.5 across the board, but is still available at -7 -115 at Bovada, which I think is worth locking in.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I locked this in at -7 -115 on Sunday morning, and unlike the Raiders-Broncos game, I did the right thing because this line is now either -7.5, -8 or -8.5, depending on where you look. At -7, I like the Ravens for three units, but it's two units at -7.5 or higher. Baltimore should be able to dominate Tom Savage. If, however, you like Houston, the best online spread I see for them is +8 at Bovada. If you're in Vegas, the Westgate has +8.5 listed. The sharps, meanwhile, haven't touched this game.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: Texans.
Slight lean on the Ravens.
Percentage of money on Baltimore: 63% (35,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Texans.
Ravens are 23-11 ATS in November home games since 2000.
Ravens are 6-13 ATS as favorites of 7.5 or more since 2010.
Opening Line: Ravens -7.
Opening Total: 38.
Week 12 NFL Pick: Ravens 19, Texans 6
Ravens -7 -115 (3 Units) -- Push; $0
Under 38 (0.5 Units) -- Incorrect; -$55
Ravens 23, Texans 16
Week 12 NFL Picks - Early Games
LA Chargers at Dallas,
NY Giants at Washington,
Minnesota at Detroit,
Carolina at NY Jets,
Cleveland at Cincinnati,
Buffalo at Kansas City,
Tennessee at Indianapolis,
Chicago at Philadelphia,
Tampa Bay at Atlanta,
Miami at New England
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: Seahawks -0.5, Saints +8.5 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Fantasy Football Rankings - June 15
2022 NFL Mock Draft - June 8
NFL Power Rankings - May 12
NFL Picks - Feb. 8
Note: For legality purposes, this Web site does not promote or advocate gambling. This is solely for entertainment purposes only.
Last Week's NFL Picks Against The Spread (Week 21, 2020): 1-0 (+$560)
Last Week's 2-3 Unit NFL Picks (Week 21, 2020): 0-0 ($0)
Last Week's 4-5 Unit NFL Picks (Week 21, 2020): 0-0 ($0)
Last Week Over-Under (Week 21, 2020): 1-0 ($0)
Last Week's Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks (Week 21, 2020 plus 2020 props): +$4,735
2020 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$665)
2020 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 138-124-7, 52.7% (+$9,350)
2020 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 47-43-3, 52.2% (-$1,965)
2020 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 37-22-1, 62.7% (+$5,515)
2020 Season Over-Under: 141-122-6, 53.6% ($0)
2020 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$4,975
1999 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 27-41-3 (39.7%)
2000 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 128-123-8 (51.0%)
2001 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 127-122-7 (51.0%)
2002 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 123-136-7 (47.5%)
2003 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 146-126-8 (53.7%)
2004 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 157-123-8 (56.1%)
2005 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 156-126-11 (55.3%)
2006 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 151-135-9 (52.8%)
2007 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 162-135-10, 54.5% (+$3,585)
2008 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 148-140-7, 51.4% (+$6,105)
2009 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 151-124-9, 54.9% (+$4,235)
2010 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 144-131-8, 52.4% (+$5,880)
2011 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 137-133-12, 50.7% (-$1,335)
2012 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 130-145-8, 47.3% (-$7,445)
2013 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 144-131-8, 52.4% (+$7,825)
2014 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 143-133-7, 51.8% (-$1,885)
2015 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 134-138-12, 49.3% (-$3,215)
2016 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 148-127-10, 53.8% (+$780)
2017 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 137-140-8, 49.5% (-$4,300)
2018 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 140-134-14, 51.3% (+$845)
2019 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 149-128-9, 53.6% (+$1,200)
2002 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 41-49-2 (45.6%)
2003 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 52-51-2 (50.5%)
2004 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 65-44-3 (59.6%)
2005 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 77-61-1 (55.8%)
2006 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 65-61-4 (51.6%)
2007 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 83-59-5, 58.5% (+$4,110)
2008 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 44-57-3, 43.6% (-$3,510)
2009 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 49-35-3, 58.3% (+$2,260)
2010 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 51-38-4, 57.3% (+$3,180)
2011 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 44-51-3, 46.3% (-$2,715)
2012 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 45-50-2, 47.4% (-$2,130)
2013 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 38-42, 47.5% (-$2,890)
2015 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 47-44-1, 51.6% (-$820)
2016 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 42-35-3, 54.5% (+$475)
2017 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 32-40-3, 43.8% (-$2,395)
2018 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 52-41-2, 55.9% (+$2,670)
2019 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 44-36-2, 55.0% (+$655)
2002 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 11-12 (47.8%)
2003 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 16-13-1 (55.2%)
2004 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 18-11 (62.1%)
2005 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 25-22-1 (53.2%)
2006 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 21-29-1 (42.0%)
2007 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 35-30-2, 53.8% (+$420)
2008 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 39-26-2, 60.0% (+$4,055)
2009 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 29-26, 52.7% (+$330)
2010 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 32-22, 59.3% (+$4,790)
2011 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 14-14, 50.0% (-$1,260)
2012 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 14-21, 40.0% (-$3,650)
2013 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 17-9-3, 65.4% (+$2,970)
2015 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 17-16-2, 51.5% (-$1,120)
2016 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 21-22-5, 48.8% (-$1,465)
2017 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 20-22-1, 47.6% (-$1,595)
2018 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 27-32-1, 45.8% (-$4,735)
2019 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 37-27-2, 57.8% (+$2,185)
2001 Season Over-Under: 3-2 (60.0%)
2002 Season Over-Under: 121-91-3 (57.1%)
2003 Season Over-Under: 126-132-2 (48.8%)
2004 Season Over-Under: 139-124-4 (52.9%)
2005 Season Over-Under: 117-145-4 (44.7%)
2006 Season Over-Under: 129-132-5 (49.4%)
2007 Season Over-Under: 136-145-3, 48.4% (-$1,900)
2008 Season Over-Under: 137-125-6, 52.3% (+$860)
2009 Season Over-Under: 128-135-4, 48.7% (-$3,195)
2010 Season Over-Under: 128-135-5, 48.7% (-$5)
2011 Season Over-Under: 131-131-5, 50.0% (+$135)
2012 Season Over-Under: 125-121-5, 50.8% (+$30)
2013 Season Over-Under: 132-130-5, 50.4% (-$340)
2015 Season Over-Under: 143-119-5, 54.6% ($0)
2016 Season Over-Under: 123-141-1, 46.6% (+$95)
2017 Season Over-Under: 136-139-2, 49.5% (+$640)
2018 Season Over-Under: 118-128-3, 48.0% (-$225)
2019 Season Over-Under: 126-133-4, 48.6% (-$50)
2007 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,035
2008 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,775
2009 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$865
2010 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$200
2011 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$590
2012 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$1,685
2013 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$2,245
2015 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$855
2016 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$275
2017 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$510
2018 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,495
2019 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$1,715
2006 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3 (50%)
2007 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3, 50.0% (-$400)
2008 NFL Picks of the Month: 6-1, 85.7% (+$3,720)
2009 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$640)
2010 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-4, 33.3% (-$1,810)
2011 NFL Picks of the Month: 5-2, 71.4% (+$1,870)
2012 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$560)
2013 NFL Picks of the Month: 6-0, 100% (+$3,900)
2014 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-4, 33.3% (-$1,350)
2015 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3, 50.0% (-$100)
2016 NFL Picks of the Month: 5-1, 83.3% (+$2,780)
2017 NFL Picks of the Month: 4-2, 66.7% (+$1,040)
2018 NFL Picks of the Month: 4-3, 57.1% (-$640)
2019 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3-1, 50.0% (-$625)
Career NFL Picks Against The Spread: 2,995-2,761-179, 52.0% (+$19,655)
Career 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 957-859-49 (52.7%)
Career 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 452-396-23 (53.3%)
Career Over-Under: 2,463-2,416-66 (50.5%)
Career Second-Half NFL Picks: 22-15-1 (61.1%)
Career NFL Picks of the Month: 45-29-1 (60.8%)
My Team-by-Team ATS Record
This section shows how well I do when picking each team this year. The purpose is to see how well I read each team. Pushes are not
displayed. Winning/losing streak in parentheses.
Cowboys: 11-5 (2014-19: 47-50)
Bears: 6-11 (2014-19: 45-48)
Bucs: 9-10 (2014-19: 44-45)
49ers: 8-8 (2014-19: 53-44)
Eagles: 8-8 (2014-19: 55-46)
Lions: 9-6 (2014-19: 53-42)
Falcons: 9-7 (2014-19: 55-45)
Cardinals: 10-6 (2014-19: 45-50)
Giants: 3-13 (2014-19: 52-41)
Packers: 14-4 (2014-19: 54-46)
Panthers: 13-3 (2014-19: 47-52)
Rams: 6-12 (2014-19: 53-41)
Redskins: 7-8 (2014-19: 47-48)
Vikings: 9-7 (2014-19: 51-45)
Saints: 7-11 (2014-19: 49-50)
Seahawks: 8-9 (2014-19: 43-56)
Bills: 12-7 (2014-19: 52-42)
Bengals: 9-5 (2014-19: 42-52)
Colts: 8-7 (2014-19: 50-45)
Broncos: 9-7 (2014-19: 45-48)
Dolphins: 12-4 (2014-19: 47-46)
Browns: 8-9 (2014-19: 46-44)
Jaguars: 4-11 (2014-19: 41-55)
Chargers: 8-6 (2014-19: 46-49)
Jets: 8-8 (2014-19: 50-40)
Ravens: 6-11 (2014-19: 48-47)
Texans: 10-5 (2014-19: 48-47)
Chiefs: 15-4 (2014-19: 56-50)
Patriots: 6-10 (2014-19: 55-53)
Steelers: 7-10 (2014-19: 56-43)
Titans: 10-7 (2014-19: 49-47)
Raiders: 7-9 (2014-19: 43-52)
Divisional: 43-48 (2011-19: 405-394)
2x Game Edge: 66-61 (2011-19: 213-210)
2x Motivation Edge: 47-30 (2011-19: 347-288)
2x Spread Edge: 44-34 (2011-19: 61-55)
2x Vegas Edge: 26-22 (2011-19: 320-335)
2x Trend Edge: 20-13 (2011-19: 250-228)
Double Edge: 27-21 (2011-19: 122-107)
Triple Edge: 6-4 (2011-19: 21-18)