NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 15, 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 (Week 7, 2017): 3-10-2 (-$2,180)
NFL Picks (Week 8, 2017): 6-7 (-$1,795)
NFL Picks (Week 9, 2017): 7-5-1 (+$205)
NFL Picks (Week 10, 2017): 8-5-1 (+$290)
NFL Picks (Week 11, 2017): 3-10-1 (-$1,595)
NFL Picks (Week 12, 2017): 9-6-1 (+$420)
NFL Picks (Week 13, 2017): 6-10 (-$730)
NFL Picks (Week 14, 2017): 8-8 (+$350)

NFL Picks (2017): 100-120-8 (-$4,860)
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 Dec. 18, 6:50 p.m. ET. Follow @walterfootball for updates.


Go to Week 15 NFL Picks - Late Games








Denver Broncos (4-9) at Indianapolis Colts (3-10)
Line: Broncos by 3. Total: 40.5.

Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Colts -1.
Walt's Calculated Line: Colts -2.
Thursday, Dec 14, 8:25 PM
Comment on this game

The Game. Edge: Broncos.

WEEK 14 RECAP: Week 14 was a winner; I finished 8-8 (+$350) heading into Monday night. However, it was extremely frustrating. This weekend could've been so much more lucrative if I hadn't lost three units on the Colts +3.5, losing in overtime by six. So many things had to happen for that defeat to occur that way. Had that pick been correct, I'd be 9-6, +$1,090 right now (without betting the Monday night game, which I wouldn't have done in that situation to clinch a 10-plus unit week), which would look much better!

Speaking of overtime losses, I also dropped two units on Browns +3, also losing by six in overtime. I also lost four units last week because Buccaneers +3 was a six-point loser in overtime.

Seriously, how does someone lose NINE combined units (plus the juice) on underdogs of three or more in overtime in a span of two weeks? I wasn't joking when I've said my bad luck has been f***ing ridiculous this year. I'm not going to pretend like I've made some terrible picks, because I have, but this season could be a lot different if more than three or four close games went my way.

I'm getting married this summer, but I want to find some time to write a book or long column about just how horrible my wagering luck has been this season. It's truly been remarkable, and I want to put it all together into one piece of work/rant because it really might be historic.

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

WEEK 14 RECAP: Week 14 was a winner; I'm 8-7 (+$460) heading into Monday night. However, it was extremely frustrating. This weekend could've been so much more lucrative if I hadn't lost three units on the Colts +3.5, losing in overtime by six. So many things had to happen for that defeat to occur that way. Had that pick been correct, I'd be 9-6, +$1,090 right now, which would look much better!

Speaking of overtime losses, I also dropped two units on Browns +3, also losing by six in overtime. I also lost four units last week because Buccaneers +3 was a six-point loser in overtime.

Seriously, how does someone lose NINE combined units (plus the juice) on underdogs of three or more in overtime in a span of two weeks? I wasn't joking when I've said my bad luck has been f***ing ridiculous this year. I'm not going to pretend like I've made some terrible picks, because I have, but this season could be a lot different if more than three or four close games went my way.

I'm getting married this summer, but I want to find some time to write a book or long column about just how horrible my wagering luck has been this season. It's truly been remarkable, and I want to put it all together into one piece of work/rant because it really might be historic.

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

DENVER OFFENSE: The Bronco team that was blown out against the Dolphins two weeks ago wasn't the true version of this squad. They were missing several key players and the ones who played were stricken with the flu. So, it wasn't a surprise that they rebounded last week, especially considering that they were playing the Jets, who were due for a down performance after an emotional win versus Kansas City.

Trevor Siemian had a solid showing against a poor Jets pass defense, and Indianapolis' is even worse because the team is missing top cornerback Rashaan Melvin. Demaryius Thomas finally showed signs of life last week, and he should be able to parlay that strong performance into another one, taking advantage of the Colt defensive backs.

The one question is whether or not the Broncos will be able to give Siemian adequate enough pass protection. Their top offensive lineman, Ronald Leary, is out for the year. Indianapolis' interior defensive front is pretty stout and should win in the trenches, especially in the ground game. Meanwhile, the Colts' top pass-rusher, Jabaal Sheard, should be able to win most of his battles against Garett Bolles.

INDIANAPOLIS OFFENSE: The Colts didn't throw the ball in the first 24 minutes of last week's game because of crazy snow conditions. Well, unless Jim Irsay takes Cousin Sal's idea and dumps tons of snow into his dome, Jacoby Brissett won't have to worry about navigating through unfavorable weather.

What he will have to be concerned about, however, is Denver's defense. The Broncos are missing some key players, including Derek Wolfe, but they still have Ambassador Von Miller to take advantage of a huge liability at right tackle. Shelby Harris, who has been solid this year, should be able to create some havoc against a weak interior. This does not bode well for Jacoby Brissett, who has taken a ton of sacks this year. The Broncos can be beaten with deep passes, but it's a matter of whether Brissett will have enough time in the pocket to find T.Y. Hilton.

Meanwhile, I don't expect Frank Gore to do much. Gore exploded last week in the Buffalo Blizzard Bowl, but was battling a defense that has gotten much worse versus the rush since trading Marcell Dareus. The Broncos still excel at stopping the run.

RECAP: I don't really see a good betting opportunity here. On one hand, the advance spread on this game was Colts -1, so we're losing 3.5 points of value by taking the Broncos. On the other hand, the Colts just played an exhausting, overtime game and have to take on a physical team on just three days of rest. This just seems like a terrible spot for them.

I made this line Indianapolis -2, but because of the Colts' situation, I wouldn't want to select them unless +3 was available, and even then, I don't know if I'd bet them. I'm taking the Broncos for a non-wager.

I like the under more than anything, by the way. Neither team can block, and 40.5 seems like a few points too high.

FINAL THOUGHTS: This is a tough game to handicap. On one hand, this spread overreaction - it's now -3 +100 or -3 -105 - is insane. Moving the line four points based on what happened last week is ridiculous, and the Colts would normally provide great value at +3 -115. On the other hand, Thursday teams off overtime games are a horrifically bad 6-24 against the spread, and some of those wins came against other teams that just played in overtime! I hate trends, but this is just too significant and logical to ignore. I'm going to be on Denver, but for no units. I still like the under.





The Psychology. Edge: Broncos.
The Colts are playing on just three days of rest after a tiring overtime game in the snow.


The Vegas. Edge: None.
Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Denver: 55% (27,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Opening Line: Broncos -1.5.
  • Opening Total: 41.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 15 NFL Pick: Broncos 20, Colts 16
    Broncos -3 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Under 40.5 (0.5 Units) -- Correct; +$50
    Broncos 25, Colts 13






    Chicago Bears (4-9) at Detroit Lions (7-6)
    Line: Lions by 6. Total: 44.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: No Line (Stafford).
    Walt's Calculated Line: Lions -3.5.
    Saturday, Dec 16, 4:30 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: None.

    My overrated-underrated feature will continue in this spot, and I'm going to emphasize injuries (particularly those on the offensive line)...

    Underrated NFL Teams:

  • Chicago Bears: The Bears dropped four in a row prior to beating the Bengals, but they were without Danny Trevathan or top safety Adrian Amos for all four of contests. Trevathan is not only the heart and soul of Chicago's defense, but he also happens to be the brains of the operation. Amos, meanwhile, has been playing on a Pro Bowl level. The Bears frequently blow coverages with Trevathan being out of the lineup, so it's no surprise that their defense has been much better with him back on the field.

  • Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals are not a good team, by any means, but they weren't nearly as bad as they looked in a 33-7 blowout loss to the Bears. They were coming off their "Super Bowl" loss to the Steelers on short rest, and they were also missing Vontaze Burfict. We've seen enough proof now that the Bengals aren't nearly the same team without Burfict, so they'll improve markedly once he returns from his concussion.

  • San Francisco 49ers: It's amazing what a competent signal-caller can do. The 49ers have had bad (Brian Hoyer) and abysmal (C.J. Beathard) quarterbacking this year, but Jimmy Garoppolo was solid against the Bears and Texans. With Garoppolo, the 49ers are so much better than 3-10. They have a solid running back, two talented tackles, and several impressive play-makers in the front seven. They still have some glaring holes at receiver and in the secondary, but had Garoppolo started all year, I get the sense that the 49ers would be 7-6 or so right now.

    Overrated NFL Teams:

  • Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jaguars prevailed over the Seahawks because Seattle lost both of its star linebackers. They beat the Chargers because Los Angeles made so many mistakes. Jacksonville had just one legitimate scoring drive in that contest. The team also had a nice win over a lethargic Cincinnati team that couldn't pressure the quarterback or get off the field on third down. Plus, the result would've likely been 16-7 if it weren't for a punt return, which is obviously less impressive than 23-7. Beating the Colts wasn't impressive at all. Blake Bortles still sucks, his receivers are pedestrian (although I like Dede Westbrook), and his offensive line is not good. The Jaguars are just an average team, so it's no surprise they lost at Arizona. They remind me of the Giants from 2016. They're overachieving, and they're likely going to make the playoffs, but they'll lose in the postseason right away and will win just 3-4 games next year once things stop going their way.

  • Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers are definitely not the same without Ryan Shazier, as they couldn't stop Alex Collins runs and Joe Flacco passes without him. The freaking Ravens scored 38 points against them! The New England game could get extremely ugly, and I don't trust Pittsburgh to win many games in the playoffs without its star linebacker.

  • Tennessee Titans: The Titans have been so sluggish, even before the loss to Arizona. They were blown out against the Steelers, and they've also had trouble putting away the Texans, Bengals, Browns and Colts (twice). They allowed Tom Savage to have a career day, and if it wasn't for Derrick Henry, their spread record would be abysmal. That said, I feel like the Titans are better than they've looked, so I just think it's terrible coaching that has hurt them. Now, Marcus Mariots is banged up, and Taylor Lewan is dealing with back spasms.

    DETROIT OFFENSE: The primary reason why I went against the Lions last week was because I didn't think Matthew Stafford would be completely healthy as a result of a hand bruise, plus another injury that affected him the week before. Stafford turned out to be fine, shredding the Buccaneers with ease. He threw two interceptions, but one of those was a poor mental mistake.

    Stafford also had success against the Bears in Week 11, going 21-of-31 for 299 yards and two touchdowns on the road. However, Stafford could have a more difficult time in the rematch, as the Bears didn't have star linebacker Danny Trevathan on the field in the pre-Thanksgiving affair. Trevathan is Chicago's Sean Lee, Luke Kuechly or Ryan Shazier; he puts his teammates in the right spots, and without him, the team constantly blows assignments. The Bears are so much better with him on the field, and it wasn't a coincidence that they held the Bengals to only seven points.

    Given that the Lions have no running game, the Bears can focus on stopping Stafford, who once again may not have his right tackle, Ricky Wagner. Pernell McPhee being available to take advantage of that absence would be crucial. Center Travis Swanson is likely to be out as well.

    CHICAGO OFFENSE: Mitchell Trubisky is coming off the best game of his career, misfiring just seven times against the Bengals. He went 25-of-32 for 271 yards and a touchdown. Granted, the Bengals were missing several players in their back seven, including their own star linebacker, Vontaze Burfict, but it's not like the Lions have a dominant defense. In fact, Detroit has played as though it has been missing its own Pro Bowl linebacker all year, thanks to all of its blown assignments each week.

    Trubisky had a fairly decent game against the Lions the first time - 18-of-30, 179 yards, one touchdown, one lost fumble - and he should be better this time around, now that he has more confidence. He's also more comfortable with Dontrelle Inman and Adam Shaheen. Plus, center Cody Whitehair has been playing much better of late, so he should be able to help keep Trubisky clean. Not that the Lions have a devastating pass rush, or anything.

    The Bears should be able to run on the Lions because, well, they did it in Week 11. They gashed Detroit for 169 yards on the ground, being one of the five teams to eclipse the century rushing mark against the Lions in as many weeks.

    RECAP: I think this spread is several points too high, as I made it Detroit -3.5. The Bears are much better than their record indicates. They're just 4-9, but they suffered some losses without Trevathan, and they were in position to potentially beat the 49ers at home, which is more impressive than it sounds because Jimmy Garoppolo was quarterbacking San Francisco. The Bears have been competitive in most of their games with Trevathan.

    The Lions, meanwhile, tend to beat up on bad teams, but I don't think the Bears qualify as one. Detroit also can't run the ball, so preserving a lead is difficult, as we all learned in its close call against the Buccaneers.

    I like Chicago for two units, but want +6. Unfortunately, most of the +6s and +6.5s are gone because the sharps have been pounding the Bears. The lone +6 I see is +6 -115 at Bovada, which I'll lock in now for two units.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: The sharps have moved this spread down to +5. I would still take the Bears at that number, but I wouldn't be as happy about it. Note that the Lions are going to be missing center Travis Swanson against a stout defensive line.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: This spread has remained at +5, as the sharps haven't touched either side at this number after pounding Chicago at +6 and +6.5. I liked the Bears for two units at +6, but not so much at +5, where it's probably worth a unit at most. The Lions are missing both center Travis Swanson and right tackle Ricky Wagner, so that's a nice advantage for the Bears.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Detroit: 59% (51,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Bears.
  • History: Lions have won 8 of the last 9 meetings.
  • Bears are 17-34 ATS in December road games the previous 51 instances.
  • Lions are 25-35 ATS against losing teams the previous 60 instances.
  • Matthew Stafford is 10-23 ATS in December and January.
  • Opening Line: Lions -7.
  • Opening Total: 44.
  • Weather: .


    Week 15 NFL Pick: Lions 23, Bears 20
    Bears +6 -115 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$230
    Under 44 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Lions 20, Bears 10




    Los Angeles Chargers (7-6) at Kansas City Chiefs (7-6)
    Line: Chargers by 1. Total: 46.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: No Line (???).
    Walt's Calculated Line: Pick.
    Saturday, Dec 16, 8:25 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Chargers.

    VEGAS UPDATE: I'll be posting how the Vegas sportsbooks have done the previous week in this spot. Here were last week's most-bet sides:

  • Patriots -11
  • Seahawks +3
  • Eagles +2
  • Vikings -3
  • Packers -3


  • The highest-bet sides were 32-29-3 heading into Week 13. The public had a nice week until Monday night, when they were crushed with the Patriots losing outright. I wonder if Bill Belichick was told to allow that to happen in exchange for a fancy boat, or at least a pretty lawn ornament. The highest-bet sides are now 34-32-3.

    Here are the five highest-bet sides, as of Tuesday morning:

  • Falcons -6
  • Cowboys -3
  • Patriots -2.5
  • Vikings -10.5
  • Panthers -2.5


  • All five teams are favorites, with three of them being on the road. Not really a surprise there.

    KANSAS CITY OFFENSE: The Chiefs struggled to score against the Giants and Bills following their bye, but they've finally gotten their act together. They lit up the scoreboard easily against the Jets and Raiders, and now they have some confidence heading into their battle against the Chargers.

    Unfortunately for the Chiefs, their offense could be limited once again. They sliced through the Jets and Raiders easily because both of those teams have terrible defenses. Trevor Siemian and Geno Smith had success against those stop units recently, for crying out loud. The Chargers, on the other hand, have an elite defense that hasn't surrendered more than 21 points since Week 5, with the exception of 24 allowed to the Bills, thanks to garbage time. The Chiefs are going to have a major blocking issues, as I don't think Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz will have much success against Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, respectively. I don't think Kansas City will be able to block Corey Liuget in the interior either.

    Alex Smith, constantly under duress, could be responsible for some turnovers, as he'll be throwing into a fierce secondary that should be able to erase Tyreek Hill and limit Travis Kelce. The Chargers have also been much better against the run lately, thanks to Denzel Perryman's return to the field, so I don't see Kareem Hunt matching the success he had last week.

    SAN ANGELES OFFENSE: The Chiefs' defense is back as well ... apparently. They kept the Raiders off the board completely until garbage time last week, so many are taking that as a sign that Kansas City is going to play at a high level on this side of the ball again.

    I wouldn't be too confident about that. After all, Josh McCown torched them two weeks ago. They had success against Derek Carr, who has struggled for most of the year. Philip Rivers, conversely, has been hot. He just dissected Washington's secondary, and he should thrive against Kansas City's atrocious defensive backfield.

    To prevent this from happening, the Chiefs will need to pressure Rivers as much as possible. The Chargers are weakest on the right side of the offensive line, which is where Justin Houston resides. Chris Jones will also cause some disruption in the interior, but the Chiefs don't have any other consistent pass-rushers.

    RECAP: According to a sportsbook director, the Chiefs would've been -6.5 over the Chargers about a month ago. Now, the Chargers happened to be favored! It's crazy how much can change in several weeks.

    It sucks we lost so much value on the Chargers. There's no value with them. There's definitely some value with the Chiefs, but San Angeles is the better team with the superior quarterback. Sure, the Chiefs are at home, but Kansas City, despite what the media says, is not a difficult place to play; the Chiefs don't have a much of a home-field advantage if you look at spread differentials and such.

    I'm actually torn on this game, which shouldn't be a surprise because I made this line pick 'em. Despite what I said about the Chargers being better, I'm actually going to take the Chiefs. They've dominated this rivalry over the years, and I find it odd that the Chargers are suddenly favored when they haven't beaten Kansas City since 2013. It's difficult to overcome something like that, especially when a team is expected to.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: I'm surprised there's not more money on the Chargers. I have mixed feelings on this game, so maybe I shouldn't be too surprised, but I figured everyone would be on the Chargers because of their great success recently.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: There was a tiny bit of sharp action on the Chargers earlier in the week, but nothing recent or substantial. I'm still leaning toward the Chiefs. There seems to be good line value with Kansas City based on what this spread would've been several weeks ago, and the Chiefs have owned the Chargers over the years. However, a strong case can be made for the Chargers as well, so this is not a confident selection.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Kansas City: 54% (45,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Chiefs.
  • History: Chiefs have won the last 7 meetings.
  • Opening Line: Chiefs -1.
  • Opening Total: 46.
  • Weather: .


    Week 15 NFL Pick: Chiefs 20, Chargers 17
    Chiefs +1 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Under 46 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Chiefs 30, Chargers 13






    Philadelphia Eagles (11-2) at New York Giants (2-11)
    Line: Eagles by 7.5. Total: 40.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Eagles -9.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Eagles -12 (Wentz) or Eagles -3 (Foles).
    Sunday, Dec 17, 1:00 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Eagles.

    HATE MAIL: Despite winning in Week 14, I still received lots of hate mail. Some came from Jaguar fans:



    And also...



    Sigh, another person confused with your/you're. I thought this was behind us!

    Two reasons I ask people defending the Jaguars which team they're a fan of: 1) I refuse to believe Jaguar fans exist. 2) If they really happen to be Jaguar fans, do you think that, I don't know, they could be a bit biased about their team?

    One more post about the Jaguars:



    I don't understand why these - what do you call people who pretend to be Jaguar fans...? People...? Nah... I don't know - seem to think that I have some sort of grand agenda against Jacksonville? I couldn't care less either way. I just call it as I see it, and the Jaguars, as I see it, are extremely overrated.

    Here's a complaint about my lacking analysis of the weather:



    Perhaps I should've analyzed the weather better, or at least use a better source because the thing I looked at said there was a chance of snow in Buffalo!

    Speaking of Buffalo, here's a complain about a former Bill:



    Wow, what's next? Are people going to say Vontaze Burfict isn't dirty? Because Kiko Alonso is right behind him and Ndamukong Suh.

    By the way, Cyan Chilli is the first cool handle I've seen on here. I think that would be an awesome band name!

    Last one:



    No words for this. None.

    PHILADELPHIA OFFENSE: So much for my 35:1 Eagles Super Bowl ticket. It was a great wager, given the incredible value, but I can practically light it on fire now in the wake of Carson Wentz's injury. The Eagles still have a solid team, but they're not a great squad any longer. No one should underestimate the difference between Wentz and Nick Foles, who is sub par at the very best.

    Foles' 27:2 touchdown-to-interception ratio from 2013 has been mentioned a lot, but that was extremely fluky. Since then, he has more turnovers than touchdowns, and his completion percentage has been worse than 60. He also doesn't scramble nearly as well as Wentz, which is a big deal because he'll get lots of pressure from the blind side, thanks to Jason Peters' absence. Wentz masked Peters' injury, but Foles won't be able to do that.

    That said, none of this may matter in this game. The Giants obviously have some internal issues, and there's a chance that their two best defensive players, nose tackle Snacks Harrison and safety Landon Collins, could be out of the lineup. They're considered questionable heading into the week, so the Giants missing their top run-stuffer and best play-maker would be a big deal, as the Eagles could just establish Jay Ajayi and the rest of their running backs quite easily.

    NEW YORK OFFENSE: It's great that Eli Manning was able to start last week, as the Giants got a great look at their young quarterbacks on the bench. It's amazing that they were able to learn so much with just four games remaining in the regular season. This knowledge will surely come in handy during the draft, as they'll know if they need to spend the No. 2 overall pick on a signal-caller.

    I'm not even sure why Manning wants to play for such a miserable team, anyway. His downfield weapons are pedestrian, while his offensive line can't pass protect or run block. This is going to be very problematic against the Eagles, who boast a tremendous defensive front. The Giants won't be able to block anyone, and it's so bad that I actually fear for Manning's safety in this game. Well, fear is a strong word, because I don't really care, but if I did, I would definitely be fearful.

    At any rate, the Giants shouldn't have much offensive success. Not being able to block is a problem. The Eagles are also good at stopping tight ends, so New York's best offensive weapon, Evan Engram, shouldn't have too much of an impact.

    RECAP: This spread is way too high. The advance line on this game was Eagles -9, and yet this opened -8 without Wentz. Huh? So, they're saying that there's just a one-point difference between Wentz and Foles? Get the f*** out of here.

    This line is now +7.5 because of sharp action on the Giants. I'm leaning that direction as well, but I'm not as confident to bet this game. Believe me, I'd love to fade Foles, who is 4-8 against the spread as a starter since 2015, but this is not the time to do it. The Giants have been known to quit, so they could pack it in if they get down early. Plus, I expect an emotional outburst from the Eagles, looking to prove that they can still be legitimate contenders with Foles at quarterback.

    I'm going against the Eagles for the first time all year, but I may change my pick if Harrison and Collins are out.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: I actually selected the Eagles on the picks podcast after taking the Giants on Tuesday. I'm completely torn on this game as well. This line is too high, but the Eagles will be out to prove that they can still be an elite team without Carson Wentz.

    SATURDAY NOTES: It looks like the Giants will be missing Landon Collins, who is listed as doubtful. This was already a 50-50 game as it was, and Collins' absence makes a huge deal. I'm going to change my pick as a result, but I still have no interest in betting this game.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I have nothing new to add here, and the sharps haven't taken a side either. Again, I love the spot for the Eagles, but this spread is way off. Landon Collins is playing, by the way, but considering that he was doubtful heading into this game, he may get knocked out early.


    The Psychology. Edge: Eagles.
    This could be a statement game for the Eagles to prove that they shouldn't be written off without Carson Wentz.


    The Vegas. Edge: Giants.
    The public still believes in the Eagles.
  • Percentage of money on Philadelphia: 73% (16,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Eagles.
  • History: Road Team has won 13 of the last 21 meetings.
  • History: Eagles have won 15 the last 19 meetings.
  • Eli Manning is 43-36 ATS as an underdog since 2007.
  • Opening Line: Eagles -8.
  • Opening Total: 40.
  • Weather: .


    Week 15 NFL Pick: Eagles 19, Giants 10
    Eagles -7.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Under 40.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Eagles 34, Giants 29






    Green Bay Packers (7-6) at Carolina Panthers (9-4)
    Line: Panthers by 3. Total: 47.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: No Line (Rodgers).
    Walt's Calculated Line: Panthers -11 (Hundley) or Packers -1 (Rodgers).
    Sunday, Dec 17, 1:00 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Unknown.

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    GREEN BAY OFFENSE: Some of the sportsbooks that have posted a line for this game are taking a huge risk. Aaron Rodgers is expected to play, but there's a chance that he won't be able to. Mike McCarthy refused to tell the media if Rodgers would be ready to return from injury during Monday's press conference, though I suspect there was some deception involved to keep the Panthers on their toes.

    I'm going to assume that Rodgers will play. And even then, this matchup is difficult to analyze because it's unclear how healthy Rodgers will be. He'll also be out of rhythm with his receivers with such a long layoff. Still, the Panthers have some major problems in their secondary, so Davante Adams and Jordy Nelson should be able to get open, and Rodgers won't be inept, or anything. He'll get them the ball and move the chains, though I suspect that'll be somewhat inconsistent.

    While the Panthers can't cover receivers, they're stout against the run. Jamaal Williams has enjoyed some success lately, but has had the luxury of battling the Buccaneers and Browns. He'll take a step backward in this game, as I suspect the Panthers will win most of the battles in the trenches. Right tackle Bryan Bulaga is out, so Mario Addison will take advantage of this liability. Kawann Short will dominate as well.

    CAROLINA OFFENSE: There's been some controversy on my Facebook wall about my decision to slot Cam Newton third in the MVP race in my NFL Power Rankings, but he really has been a one-man show. His passing numbers don't look great, but outside of Devin Funchess, he's had no one to throw to since the Kelvin Benjamin trade. Greg Olsen's absence has hurt. Olsen was back last week, but didn't look like quite himself, as he was constantly limping on and off the field.

    Olsen should be better this week, and I think that he and Devin Funchess could be big factors in this game. Green Bay's secondary is an abomination. DeShone Kizer looked like a Pro Bowl quarterback - except for that one throw in overtime - so if one of the league's worst starting quarterbacks can thrive against the Packers, what's Newton going to do? The Packers will also obviously have to worry about Newton's rushing ability; his 62-yard scramble against the Vikings set up the decisive score.

    The Panthers could also do well on the ground with Jonathan Stewart and Christian McCaffrey. Stewart exploded last week against a stout Minnesota defense, and the Packers have been leaky against the run lately, surrendering a combined 272 rushing yards to the Buccaneers and Browns the past two weeks. Pro Bowl center Ryan Kalil returned last week, and he should improve with each passing week.

    RECAP: If I knew Rodgers would be 100 percent, I would be betting the Packers quite heavily here, as getting points with one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL is always a gift. Unfortunately, there's no way of knowing how healthy Rodgers will be - assuming he even plays!

    Still, it's hard for me not to take Rodgers, so I'm going to pick the Packers to cover and read up on reports on Rodgers throughout the week. I'll bet Green Bay if there are glowing reviews, but we'll see.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: The Packers should be favored over the Panthers, but I suppose we don't know how healthy Aaron Rodgers is just yet. That's going to keep me from betting the Packers heavily, but at +3, I will take them for at least a unit, maybe two. Hopefully we get some good info from practice reports.

    SATURDAY NOTES: Aaron Rodgers looked good in practice, according to Mike McCarthy. It's difficult to completely trust if Rodgers will be healthy or not, plus the Packers are coming off back-to-back overtime games. I'll limit this pick to a unit.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: There's no sharp money on this game, which is not a surprise because it's a tough one to call. If I knew Aaron Rodgers would be 100 percent, I'd be all over the Packers, but he could be rusty in his first game back. Unfortunately, we do not know this, and Green Bay could fall flat on its face if Rodgers is off the mark. I'm still going to take the Packers for a unit, but I won't go higher than that, especially with the line now being +3 -120.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Carolina: 57% (22,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Packers.
  • Aaron Rodgers is 82-51 ATS since 2009 (9-6 ATS as a favorite of 12+).
  • Aaron Rodgers is 35-27 ATS on the road as long as he's not favored by 6.5 or more points.
  • Aaron Rodgers is 18-13 ATS as an underdog.
  • Opening Line: Panthers -2.
  • Opening Total: 44.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 15 NFL Pick: Packers 26, Panthers 23
    Packers +3 -120 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$120
    Over 47 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Panthers 31, Packers 24




    Cincinnati Bengals (5-8) at Minnesota Vikings (11-2)
    Line: Vikings by 12.5. Total: 42.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Vikings -9.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Vikings -10.5.
    Sunday, Dec 17, 1:00 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: TBA.

    I wouldn't say my weekly random NFL notes cluttered these picks pages, so I'll keep them here. What I'm also going to do is store all of them in a Random NFL Notes section so that you can go back and read previous entries in the future.

    Some random NFL notes I can't put anywhere else:

    1. I was driving home from the mall Friday afternoon, and I was thinking about the demise of my fantasy football teams. I had Alvin Kamara on two of the five squads that made the playoffs, and I figured they'd both tank in Week 14 because Kamara suffered a concussion on the first drive of the Thursday night game.

    "F**k those Thursday games, everyone gets hurt," I said to myself. And at that very moment, a great idea popped into my head. NFL teams hate these Thursday night games, so I realized a way that they can end this nonsense entirely:

    Sit their starters.

    It's brilliant. If the teams sit their starters, NO ONE will watch, and if no one watches, advertising dollars will vanish, and thus the NFL will stop airing Thursday night games.

    Now, you might be asking, "If teams sit their starters, won't they just lose?" Well, yeah, but it works out in the long run. Think about it this way:

    The Seahawks should have sat their starters against the Cardinals. They won that game, but they saw Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor suffer season-ending injuries. Their Super Bowl aspirations were ruined as a result. But what if they sat everyone? They would've lost to Arizona, but everything would've been OK. Sherman and Chancellor would still be on the active roster. With Sherman and Chancellor, Seattle surely would've defeated the Falcons in their Monday night loss with the Legion of Boom intact. They'd have the same record, even with the loss to Arizona, and they'd be in much better shape to make a Super Bowl run. In fact, if Sherman and Chancellor were healthy, they might even be considered favorites in the NFC!

    I hope an NFL head coach takes my advice and sits his starters. Then, the trend will catch on, as teams will realize that doing so is better for the long term. It's the only way to end the abomination known as Thursday Night Football.

    2. The NFL will lose money if Thursday Night Football is eliminated, but there is an easy solution. In fact, Facebook friend Jody J. and I came up with it in a span of an hour:



    The issue isn't the games on Thursday, but rather players taking the field after just three days of rest. This can be eliminated if the Thursday games take place after bye weeks. The result would make Thursday games in Weeks 2 and 3 impossible - we're not getting bye weeks in Weeks 1 and 2 anytime soon - but I think that's fine. We don't need Thursday Night Football every single week, especially very early in the season.

    3. Saturday football isn't nearly as harmful to the players, and it should definitely replace Thursday Night Football late in the season. However, I fear as though it'll eventually lead to my divorce. I told my fiancee that there will be a pair of Saturday games the following two weeks, and she looked deflated.

    "I thought football was winding down!" she complained.

    I imagine most football wives/girlfriends/fiancees feel the same way. As I've written before, I believe Saturday games are a ruse by Roger Goodell to create more divorces. The more single men there are, the more people there are to watch football every day of the week!

    MINNESOTA OFFENSE: There are some major injury question marks heading into this game that make handicapping it extremely difficult, and they all happen to be on this side of the ball. For Minnesota, it's unknown if three of their offensive linemen will play.

    The Vikings' improved blocking this year has been the primary reason why they've been so much better than they were in 2016. However, that changed against the Panthers. Center Pat Elflein and right tackle Mike Remmers were already out, and the Vikings lost Riley Reiff, who was spotted in a walking boot after the game. I don't really care about Remmers, but Elflein and Reiff are two extremely important blockers, and Case Keenum took six sacks and saw lots more pressures with them out. If they're both missing again, the Bengals will be able to take advantage of this.

    Meanwhile, Cincinnati has lots of injury concerns in its back seven. Vontaze Burfict is the most significant of the players who could be missing. He's still in concussion protocol, and it'll be extremely important for him to suit up because the Bengals' defense isn't nearly the same without him.

    CINCINNATI OFFENSE: There's one injury problem on this side of the ball, and that would be Everson Griffen's foot. He's been playing through plantar fasciitis, but he's been active since Week 10 with it. He'll be ready to play this week along with the rest of Minnesota's superb defensive front, which should dominate this matchup.

    The Bengals' biggest issue this season has been their inability to block. They have one viable offensive lineman in guard Clint Boling. The Vikings should be able to take advantage of this by placing heavy heat on Andy Dalton. Griffen, Linval Joseph and Danielle Hunter all figure to win their matchups quite easily.

    The Vikings should be able to put the clamps on Cincinnati's skill-position players as well. Xavier Rhodes will be able to lock down A.J. Green, while Minnesota's excellent run defense will keep Giovani Bernard or Joe Mixon in check.

    RECAP: Again, it's very difficult to make a pick for this game right now because there are so many injury question marks. I suspect the Bengals will play with more effort than they did last week, but if the Vikings have their blockers available, and Burfict is out, this will be an easy blowout win for Minnesota. Conversely, if the Viking offensive line isn't intact, and Burfict is on the field, the Bengals will have a chance to pull the upset.

    This is going to be a zero-unit wager on the Bengals right now, but that could change later in the week. I could even bet this game, so check back later or follow me @walterfootball for updates.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: I'm switching my pick to the Vikings. Vontaze Burfict still isn't practicing, while the Vikings had Pat Elflein and Mike Remmers return to practice. Riley Reiff is still out, but a team can get away with one missing lineman.

    SATURDAY NOTES: Riley Reiff is listed as doubtful, but Minnesota will at least be suiting up its other four starting offensive linemen. Meanwhile, the Bengals won't have Vontaze Burfict, which is more important. I like my decision to move to Minnesota.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: There's some late, sharp money on the Vikings, perhaps because of Vontaze Burfict's inability to clear concussion protocol. As said above, Cincinnati isn't nearly the same team without Burfict. Unfortunately, the line is now -12.5, so whatever value we had on Minnesota is gone.


    The Psychology. Edge: Bengals.
    The Bengals were just embarrassed, so they'll be looking to bounce back. The Vikings, meanwhile, have to take on Aaron Rodgers next week.


    The Vegas. Edge: Bengals.
    Who's willing to bet the Bengals?
  • Percentage of money on Minnesota: 70% (11,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Vikings.
  • Bengals are 37-22 ATS as underdogs since 2009.
  • Mike Zimmer is 41-18 ATS as head coach of the Vikings.
  • Vikings are 23-8 ATS at home since 2014.
  • Mike Zimmer is 0-5 ATS after losing as a favorite.
  • Opening Line: Vikings -10.
  • Opening Total: 41.
  • Weather: .


    Week 15 NFL Pick: Vikings 26, Bengals 13
    Vikings -12.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Under 42.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Vikings 34, Bengals 7






    Miami Dolphins (6-7) at Buffalo Bills (7-6)
    Line: Bills by 3.5. Total: 40.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: No Line (Taylor).
    Walt's Calculated Line: Bills -6.5.
    Sunday, Dec 17, 1:00 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: None.

    As with the random NFL notes, I'm going to have all of my Random College Football Notes on one page as well. Oh, and you can find my College Football Picks here.

    Random College Football Notes:

    1. Thoughts on the Heisman:

    ...

    ...

    ...

    As you can see, I don't really care about the stupid Heisman. The award is irrelevant to me. Too many players have busted in the NFL after winning it. If they want to give the award to some guy who torched terrible Big XII defenses, that's fine with me.

    2. If you missed it, Charlie Campbell reported in the NFL Hot Press that Josh Rosen and Josh Allen were expected to enter the 2018 NFL Draft. Rosen didn't take too kindly to this, posting the following:



    Oh gosh, heaven forbid that he has to answer calls and texts! Rosen is declaring for the draft according to people close to him, but wanted to do it on his terms. That's why he's so salty about it. It would've been funny had Charlie challenged Rosen to return to school. I imagine that Rosen wouldn't have answered.

    This is not a good look for Rosen, as far as I'm concerned. We've heard some bad things about him, like his teammates hating him, and his high school coaches saying negative things about him. He needs to play it nicely with the media, or he's going to be out of the NFL just as quickly as Ryan Leaf if he struggles.

    3. A couple of weeks ago, I called Tennessee the "Browns of college football" because of how much they bungled their head-coaching search, and the fact that they caved to a horrible mob that spread fake news about Greg Schiano.

    Well, someone in Knoxville is reading this site because they made this lovely piece of art:



    Thanks for reading, guys, and sorry about how terrible your program has become.

    BUFFALO OFFENSE: There's no line on this game because Tyrod Taylor's status is unknown. Taylor has a knee issue, but seemed close to playing last week. Now that Nathan J. Peterman is in concussion protocol, the Bills could really focus on having Taylor available to avoid starting Joe Webb.

    Regardless of who's under center, the Bills are going to have issues keeping the Dolphins out of their backfield. Buffalo has blocking problems, and both Ndamukong Suh and Cameron Wake have extremely favorable matchups in this contest. Kelvin Benjamin could also be out after aggravating his knee in the Buffalo Blizzard Bowl, which obviously makes matters much worse for Taylor.

    The Bills will have to funnel their offense through LeSean McCoy once again, which is just fine because the Dolphins have struggled to contain the run this year. Their linebackers are atrocious, so McCoy could have a big performance as a receiver out of the backfield as well.

    MIAMI OFFENSE: Jay Cutler had the game of his life Monday night. He looked like a different person, and if he had been able to play that well throughout his career, he'd be a future Hall of Famer. Unfortunately, Cutler has been incredibly inconsistent throughout the years, and there's no reason to believe that he'll be able to maintain his success going forward.

    Cutler was able to torch the Patriots because he had no pressure in his face. The Patriots have no pass rush, so even though the Dolphins have major problems on their offensive line, this wasn't too surprising. Things will be different in this game, however. Tackles Laremy Tunstil and Sam Young won't be able to block Jerry Hughes and Eddie Yarbrough, respectively. Kyle Williams will also dominate in interior. Cutler will be under duress, and he'll likely throw some interceptions into a talented secondary.

    Of course, Cutler won't make mistakes if the Dolphins don't have to throw at all. Perhaps that'll be the case in this game. The Bills have been terrible against the run since trading away Marcell Dareus, and Kenyan Drake looked great against the Patriots.

    RECAP: I can't give you a concrete pick here just yet because there's no spread posted. Hopefully we'll have a line prior to Saturday night this time.

    Assuming Taylor plays, I'm leaning toward the Bills. The Dolphins just played their "Super Bowl" Monday night, and they'll have less energy for this game. Low energy means Cutler interceptions, and we've seen Miami quit in several games this year.

    I may bet this game, so check back later or follow me @walterfootball for updates.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Tyrod Taylor is probably going to start, so I'm going to pick the Bills. I may put a unit or two on Buffalo based on the injury reports.

    SATURDAY NOTES: After thinking about it, this spread seems like it's way too low. The Dolphins have "impressive" wins in their previous two games, but the Patriots didn't show up, while the Broncos had the flu. Miami just won its "Super Bowl," and so I think it'll have a disappointing performance. Jay Cutler is always good for several turnovers, and remember, this is the same Dolphin team that was blown out against the Buccaneers a few weeks ago. I like the Bills and will be betting them for two units; three if the spread is -3 -115 or better.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Sharp money has taken the Bills up to -3.5, making this game less appealing now. I still like the Bills, however, as they're better than the Dolphins, who are due for a letdown following the Monday night win.


    The Psychology. Edge: Bills.
    The Dolphins are coming off their "Super Bowl" win against the Patriots.


    The Vegas. Edge: Dolphins.
    Some sharp money on the Bills.
  • Percentage of money on Buffalo: 65% (5,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • History: Dolphins have won the last 2 meetings.
  • Underdog is 80-50 ATS in the Dolphins' last 130 games.
  • Dolphins are 22-10 ATS as a road underdog of less than 5 since 2008.
  • Dolphins are 6-10 ATS as a favorite coming off a SU win as an underdog since 2007.
  • Jay Cutler is 47-76 ATS if you exclude Monday Night Football.
  • Opening Line: Bills -3.
  • Opening Total: 39.
  • Weather: .


    Week 15 NFL Pick: Bills 24, Dolphins 17
    Bills -3.5 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
    Under 40 (0 Units) -- Push; $0
    Bills 24, Dolphins 16






    Houston Texans (4-9) at Jacksonville Jaguars (9-4)
    Line: Jaguars by 10.5. Total: 39.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Jaguars -8.5.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Jaguars -6.5.
    Sunday, Dec 17, 1:00 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Jaguars.

    If you've followed this site for a while, you might remember that I like to respond to my spam mails. It all started six years ago, when a man named Jon Wire from the "United Bank of Africoan" promised me an ATM card of some sort, so I responded as a man named Mister Compassion Chuck Norris, who was raised by wolves. The following season, I received e-mails from Richard Held and Loon Bruce, who told me I won a Facebook Award, which comes with a "lump sum pay out of (750,000.00 GBP)." Pretending to be Matthew Millen Kim, I sent out my application and fake money.

    I've been messing around with spammers ever since, pretending to be Aaron Hernandez, Tom Brady and Walter White. I'll have new answers to Spam Mails here, so check them out if you want to see me screw with spammers!

    HOUSTON OFFENSE: There were two moments in the Houston-San Francisco game where I was legitimately horrified. The first was when Tom Savage was having a seizure on the football field. It was one of the most disturbing things I had ever seen while watching sports, right next to seeing Brodie Croyle attempt passes for the Chiefs several years ago. The second was T.J. Yates' quarterbacking ability. My biggest bet last week was on San Francisco +3, and I was scared I was going to lose the bet because Yates was so much better than Savage. As soon as Savage left the game, I knew I might be in trouble. Yates, after all, has won a playoff game, and believe it or not, he's 7-2 against the spread as a starter.

    Yates will have a tough time throwing the ball in this game, as Jacksonville has one of the top back sevens in football. That said, there's no one on this planet who can cover DeAndre Hopkins. Patrick Peterson tried, but failed. Jimmy Smith tried, but failed. I suspect that one of the Jaguar corners will have a similar lack of success. In fact, Hopkins drew numerous defensive holds against A.J. Bouye in the opening-week matchup this year.

    While Hopkins will thrive, it's highly questionable as to whether the Texans will be able to accomplish anything else offensively. They can't block whatsoever, so the Jaguars will dominate in the trenches. This will make running the ball impossible, so it'll be all on Yates.

    JACKSONVILLE OFFENSE: The Jaguars have exploded offensively in the past two weeks. Some of that is because of the emergence of Dede Westbrook. Since Allen Robinson's injury, Jacksonville has been searching for a viable, consistent receiver, and it may have found one in the talented rookie. However, a big part of the reason for Jacksonville's recent offensive success is that they've played two horrible defenses. Indianapolis' stop unit is atrocious, while Seattle lost its two star linebackers last week and thus couldn't contain Leonard Fournette in the second half, especially on a third-and-11 to get the ball back at the very end.

    The Texans have been missing key defensive players of their own for a while now, but they still sport a decent stop unit. They contain the run well, so they should be able to keep Fournette from going off like he did against the Seahawks.

    Meanwhile, the biggest mismatch in this game is Jadeveon Clowney going up against rookie left tackle Cam Robinson. This is Clowney's easiest matchup in a while; he has battled against Joe Staley and Taylor Lewan the past two weeks, but he'll abuse Robinson and put lots of pressure on Blake Bortles, who might make some mistakes this week.

    RECAP: We are getting tons of spread value with the Texans. Jacksonville was -8.5 on the advance line, and now the team is -11.5 because of the Seattle victory, which, as mentioned, featured two of Seattle's best linebackers getting knocked out with injuries.

    I even thought -8.5 was too high. I made this line -6.5. The Jaguars are an overrated team that has gotten very lucky this year. Everyone is talking about their previous two wins, but what about the two games before that? They lost to Blaine Gabbert, and the week prior, they held a mere 10-7 lead over the Browns in the fourth quarter.

    The Jaguars are coming off a big statement win, and I think they'll be flat against a Houston team they crushed back in Week 1. This is going to be a low-effort game for Jacksonville, while the Texans will try hard and play better with an upgrade at quarterback. This is one of my top bets of the week, as I'm taking Houston for four units.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: DeAndre Hopkins missed practice Thursday. If he's out, I'm going to decrease my unit count substantially, as the Texans won't be nearly the same without Hopkins.

    SATURDAY NOTES: Neither DeAndre Hopkins nor Jadeveon Clowney practiced all week. They're both expected to play, but it's unclear if they'll be 100 percent. What if they have to leave the game early? They're the two most important players on the roster, so I'm inclined to decrease my wager to three units.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Both DeAndre Hopkins and Jadeveon Clowney are active, which is obviously great news. The Jaguars, meanwhile, won't have Leonard Fournette. I originally had four units on this, and I'm going to go back to that. This seems like a game in which the Jaguars are going to take a bit easy, as indicated by their willingness to rest Fournette.


    The Psychology. Edge: Texans.
    The Jaguars just had a big statement win over the Seahawks, and now they have to play a team they already blew out this year.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Houston: 57% (16,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Texans.
  • History: Texans have won 11 of the last 14 meetings.
  • Texans are 44-27 ATS after two or more consecutive losses.
  • Favorites after playing the Seahawks are 16-32 ATS.
  • Jaguars are 9-18 ATS as home favorites since 2008.
  • Jaguars are 7-14 ATS as favorites of 6.5 or more since 2003.
  • Opening Line: Jaguars -13.
  • Opening Total: 40.
  • Weather: .


    Week 15 NFL Pick: Jaguars 19, Texans 12
    Texans +10.5 (4 Units) -- Incorrect; -$440
    Under 39 (0.5 Units) -- Incorrect; -$55
    Jaguars 45, Texans 7




    New York Jets (5-8) at New Orleans Saints (9-4)
    Line: Saints by 16. Total: 47.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Saints -10.5.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Saints -17.
    Sunday, Dec 17, 1:00 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Saints.

    Video of the Week: I recently posted a video about a scammer being pranked. Here's a similar video that is equally hilarious:



    You'd think these scammers would be smarter than that. Why didn't the scammer just hang up the phone when the guy told him he broke into the house?

    NEW ORLEANS OFFENSE: The Saints have been dominant offensively since Week 3, but that changed last Thursday night when Alvin Kamara was knocked out with a concussion. They were limited to 17 points as a consequence - their lowest total of the entire season. That wasn't a big surprise, as Kamara happens to be a huge part of their offense.

    Kamara has enjoyed the luxury of having extra days to clear concussion protocol, and he told the media that he'll be available this Sunday. He should devastate the Jet linebackers, who have struggled all year. They won't be able to cover him at all, and he'll have another explosive performance as a result, cementing his Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.

    Meanwhile, the Jets have some poor cornerbacks, so they haven't been able to stop Trevor Siemian or Alex Smith the past two weeks. With that in mind, how in the world are they going to deal with Drew Brees and Michael Thomas?

    NEW YORK OFFENSE: Josh McCown is done, and so are the Jets' chances of winning another game this year. It's a shame, but McCown broke his hand and has been placed on injured reserve. He had been playing much better than anyone expected this year, and he and Robby Anderson are the primary reasons why New York has five wins instead of two or fewer.

    Bryce Petty is terrible. Perhaps he'd have a chance to score a few points against the New Orleans defenses of old, but this Saints squad can actually dominate on this side of the ball. Most of that is because of Marshon Lattimore, who will be able to erase Anderson. It wouldn't surprise me at all if the Jets are shut out.

    RECAP: This line may seem high, but I don't think it's high enough. I made this spread New Orleans -17, and I think I might even be short on this one after thinking about the Saints' previous results. They were up by 17 on the Panthers before a touchdown in garbage time. They beat the Bills by 37. They defeated the Buccaneers by 20. They were up against the Lions, 38-10, before some late scores.

    Save for the Buccaneers, all of those teams are MUCH better than the Petty-led Jets, who might be the worst team in the NFL. That's how bad Petty is. As I said earlier, a shutout wouldn't surprise me.

    When betting a huge favorite like this, you have to be getting an elite quarterback on a great team playing a horrific quarterback on an awful team, and the favorite must be motivated. That's what's happening here. Brees is elite, and the Saints are great. Petty is horrific, and the Jets, without McCown, are awful. Plus, the Saints are coming off a loss, so they'll be motivated to win.

    Oh, and if you still think -16 is too high, consider this: NFL favorites of exactly 16 are 14-4 against the spread in the past 30 years! That's not necessarily a sign of how this game will go, but it's an indication that there's no need to be afraid to lay such a high number.

    If you couldn't tell, I love the Saints. I think they win extremely easily. The only question is unit count, and after debatiing between three and five, I've split the difference and will be going with four.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: I still love the Saints, especially with Alvin Kamara practicing fully. There's been no sharp money on either side.

    SATURDAY NOTES: The Jets are going to be a complete no-show in this game. Muhammad Wilkerson has been suspended for missing meetings, while the offensive coordinator had admitted to quitting late last week to not get anyone injured. The Saints remain a top play.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I'm still confident in the Saints, though there's no sharp movement to report at all.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    The Saints have to play the Falcons again next week, but they're coming off a loss, so I don't think they'll look past the Jets, whose heart may not be in this game after losing Josh McCown.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on New York: 55% (16,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Saints.
  • Jets are 12-8 ATS as underdogs of 7+ since 2010.
  • Saints are 40-28 ATS as a home favorite since 2007.
  • Drew Brees is 42-26 ATS after a loss with the Saints.
  • Opening Line: Saints -15.
  • Opening Total: 47.
  • Weather: .


    Week 15 NFL Pick: Saints 38, Jets 0
    Saints -16 (4 Units) -- Incorrect; -$440
    Under 47 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Saints 31, Jets 19






    Arizona Cardinals (6-7) at Washington Redskins (5-8)
    Line: Redskins by 4. Total: 40.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Redskins -6.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Redskins -7.
    Sunday, Dec 17, 1:00 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Redskins.

    Last year, on the Adventures of Tom Brady's Haircuts, Tom Brady was elected as the President of the United States, as it was revealed that he was the only candidate running because both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were figments of his imagination. In doing so, Tom Brady saved his organization, the Two-Handed Gang, from the Latin Kings. Everything was going swimmingly for Brady while in the White House, until he received a telegram from Bill Belichick, requiring his presence in Foxboro...



    To see the story behind this one, check out the new Adventures of Tom Brady's Haircuts!

    WASHINGTON OFFENSE: Something I've written repeatedly is that one of the hardest things NFL coaches have to do is make in-game adjustments for key injured players. Jay Gruden's head had to be spinning last week when Trent Williams, Byron Marshall, Samaje Perine and Zach Brown were all knocked out. Making matters worse, Washington was playing one of the top defenses in the NFL. The Redskins were blown out as a consequence.

    The Redskins have to worry about one excellent edge rusher in this contest in Chandler Jones. Trent Williams will be able to handle Jones if he remains on the field, but whether he'll be able to or not remains to be seen. Nevertheless, Kirk Cousins will have more time in the pocket than he did last week, as Morgan Moses will be fine on the other side. Cousins will be throwing into a tough secondary, however, as both Josh Doctson and Jamison Crowder face tough matchups.

    Washington's scoring attack could use Chris Thompson. However, the Redskins have not been the same offensively since losing Thompson, as he was the one potent threat in the backfield. Instead, it's Perine and Marshall, and both are banged up.

    ARIZONA OFFENSE: The Redskins have blocking concerns, but that's nothing compared to what the Cardinals are experiencing. Already without top tackle D.J. Humphries and talented guard Mike Iupati, the Cardinals lost their other tackle, Jared Veldheer. Arizona already had one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL, and now the unit will be downgraded even further!

    The Redskins won't be able to block against Matt Ioannidis, Preston Smith and especially Ryan Kerrigan. The latter will absolutely dominate this matchup, and a frazzled Blaine Gabbert could be responsible for numerous turnovers as a consequence.

    This poor blocking will also make things more difficult in the ground attack. The Redskins have surrendered 100-plus yards on the ground in five of their previous seven games, but the Cardinals can't run effectively.

    RECAP: Everyone has soured on the Redskins for their two recent losses. They were blown out against one of the top teams in the NFL after losing numerous key players, and they suffered a defeat against the Cowboys because they made so many mistakes (Crowder caused an interception, a punt return was fumbled, Cousins was strip-sacked, Dallas scored on a punt return). Washington outgained Dallas and averaged more yards per play.

    With that in mind, I like the Redskins this week. We're getting some line value here, as the advance spread was Washington -6, and I even thought that was too low because my personal line is -7. I have some concerns with Zach Brown missing this game, which is why I'm going to limit this wager to two units, but the Redskins are better than the Cardinals, who have a horrible history of these early 1 p.m. starts on the East Coast.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: I'm hoping for a -4 to appear. It was -4 at the Westgate for a few hours, but that's no longer the case. The sharps bet Arizona at +6, but haven't touched them at +4.5.

    SATURDAY NOTES: Trent Williams hasn't practiced all week, which is a terrible sign. Zach Brown, as mentioned, has also been ruled out. This looks grim for the Redskins until I remember that Blaine Gabbert is playing an early game on the East Coast without either of his two starting tackles. Plus, this line has dropped to -4, so I still like Washington.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: There was sharp money on the Cardinals earlier in the week, but professional action jumped on Washington on Sunday morning. This is surprising because Trent Williams has been ruled out. I suppose the silver lining is that Washington won't have to make any in-game adjustments if Williams gets hurt, and the Redskins have a solid backup tackle. I still like the Redskins a bit.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Arizona: 52% (13,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Cardinals.
  • Redskins are 8-23 ATS as home favorites of more than 4 since 2000.
  • Opening Line: Redskins -6.
  • Opening Total: 44.
  • Weather: .


    Week 15 NFL Pick: Redskins 17, Cardinals 9
    Redskins -4 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
    Under 40 (0.5 Units) -- Correct; +$50
    Redskins 20, Cardinals 15






    Baltimore Ravens (7-6) at Cleveland Browns (0-13)
    Line: Ravens by 7. Total: 42.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Ravens -6.5.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Ravens -7.
    Sunday, Dec 17, 1:00 PM
    Comment on this game

    The Game. Edge: Ravens.

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    CLEVELAND OFFENSE: The Browns had their first win of the year. They were up 21-7 in the fourth quarter, but surrendered a touchdown at the end of regulation because of a long punt return, and then another touchdown in overtime because DeShone Kizer made a horrific decision on an interception. And just like that, Cleveland's chances of winning a single game this year all but vanished.

    It's a shame Kizer ended his afternoon on a down note because he had played well for most of the game, save for an ugly pick right before halftime. Kizer was connecting with his receivers for big plays throughout the contest. It's no coincidence that Kizer has performed better with Josh Gordon and Corey Coleman on the field the past couple of weeks. And with Jimmy Smith out, the Ravens won't be able to cover both wideouts. Baltimore's secondary looked absolutely helpless as Ben Roethlisberger torched them for 500 yards on Sunday night.

    The difference here, aside from the obvious Roethlisberger-to-Kizer downgrade, is that Cleveland doesn't protect its quarterback very well. Joe Thomas' absence will hurt here, as Terrell Suggs has a very easy matchup against backup tackle Spencer Drango. Meanwhile, the running game won't work very well either; the Ravens have stopped ground attacks well since getting Brandon Williams back from injury.

    BALTIMORE OFFENSE: The Ravens bulldozed right through the Ryan Shazier-less Steelers on Sunday night, with Alex Collins having a dominant performance. Whether Collins repeats that or not depends on whether or not the Browns have Danny Shelton in the lineup. Shelton, a tremendous run defender, missed last week's contest, and he's considered questionable for this one.

    Being able to bottle Collins up will be a big deal, as the Browns can focus on defending the deep ball. Joe Flacco has been inconsistent this year, and he was lucky that the Steelers dropped three potential interceptions of his, but he's been playing better for the most part of late. He and Mike Wallace have connected often, and the Browns' safety issues will make sure that will continue. Jeremy Maclin, on the other hand, will continue to make mistakes.

    Cleveland will have to pressure Flacco to prevent Baltimore from having too much success. Myles Garrett has a tough matchup against left tackle Ronnie Stanley, but he should still be able to win on several snaps and pressure Flacco.

    RECAP: The Ravens just lost their "Super Bowl," and now they have to take on a team they already throttled this year. They're not going to be very energized for this game, so the Browns seem like the right side.

    However, I'm not getting fooled into betting Cleveland again. I know exactly what's going to happen. The Browns are going to have a lead at some point in the middle of the game, and then they're going to do something stupid, and Baltimore will not only win, but find a way to cover as well. What's throwing me through a loop is Cleveland's inexplicable cover against the Chargers. The Browns are undoubtedly better with Gordon on the field, and that's why I won't be blindly fading them.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: There's no way I can bet the Browns again, though it wouldn't shock me if they somehow pulled the upset.

    SATURDAY NOTES: The Browns could be without one of their top cornerbacks, Briean Boddy-Calhoun. That obviously makes them less appealing, but it's not like I'd want to bet them anyway.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Danny Shelton is back for the Browns, which is big news because Cleveland will have to stop Alex Collins to pull off the upset. I still would pick the Browns, but I can't bet on them anymore. The sharps haven't touched this game.


    The Psychology. Edge: Browns.
    The Ravens just suffered a tough loss to the Steelers, and I doubt they'll be up for a team they already demolished this year.


    The Vegas. Edge: Browns.
    Late money on the Ravens.
  • Percentage of money on Baltimore: 67% (19,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • History: Ravens have won 17 of the last 19 meetings (Road Team has covered 10 of the last 15 non-pushes).
  • Ravens are 13-22 ATS as road favorites since 2005.
  • Opening Line: Ravens -9.
  • Opening Total: 40.
  • Weather: .


    Week 15 NFL Pick: Ravens 26, Browns 20
    Browns +7 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Over 42 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Ravens 27, Browns 10






    Week 15 NFL Picks - Late Games
    LA Rams at Seattle, Tennessee at San Francisco, New England at Pittsburgh, Dallas at Oakland, Atlanta at Tampa Bay



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    Prop/Teaser/Parlay Picks
    A list of some of my favorite team/player prop picks this week
    (Offense & defensive ROY picks to be counted whenever winners are announced.) Picks carried over on a week-to-week basis will be in black.


  • Prop/teaser/parlay picks posted in Week 15 NFL Picks - Late Games



    NFL Picks - Jan. 16


    2021 NFL Mock Draft - Jan. 13


    Fantasy Football Rankings - Jan. 11


    2022 NFL Mock Draft - Nov. 15


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

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

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