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Go to Week 15 NFL Picks - Early Games
Los Angeles Rams (9-4) at Seattle Seahawks (8-5)
Line: Seahawks by 1. Total: 47.5.
Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread:
Walt's Calculated Line:
Seahawks -0 to -3 (Wagner, Wright).
Sunday, Dec 17, 4:05 PM
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The Game. Edge: TBA.
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LOS ANGELES OFFENSE:
There are four major injury question marks on this side of the ball that make this game very unpredictable right now. For the Seahawks, I've already mentioned in a different capsule that they lost their two star linebackers, Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright, during the Jacksonville game. The Seahawks, already without Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman, were totally lost without Wagner and Wright, especially when they couldn't stop Leonard Fournette on a third-and-11.
The Rams, meanwhile, lost both of their tackles against the Eagles. Andrew Whitworth and Rob Havenstein were both knocked out with various injuries, and the Rams struggled to move the ball after that. In fact, Jared Goff was strip-sacked at the very end because the Rams couldn't protect on the edges. Seattle's defense is down in the dumps, but the team can still generate pressure on opposing quarterbacks, and that'll happen quite often if Havenstein and especially Whitworth are out.
As you can tell, it's very difficult to determine what will happen here at the moment. If Goff is protected, and the Seattle linebackers are out, the Rams will score easily. Conversely, if Goff is missing his protection, and the Seahawks have Wagner and Wright on the field, the Rams will be very limited.
This side of the ball is way more defined and predictable. Russell Wilson will see tons of pressure because of his offensive line. Duane Brown will be able to keep Robert Quinn at bay, but Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers will create lots of havoc, forcing Wilson to run for his life.
Wilson, of course, will be able to move around the pocket like a magician, buying time for his receivers to get open. The Rams have some issues in their defensive backfield as well, with Kayvon Webster suffering an injury last week. Webster has been the Rams' best cornerback, so losing him to a torn Achilles was devastating for the Rams and their pursuit of the Super Bowl.
I like all of Wilson's receivers to take advantage of a suddenly shaky secondary. Jimmy Graham should also be able to bounce back. Graham did nothing last week, but the Jaguars excel against tight ends. We just saw Trey Burton go off against the Rams, so Graham should have some big plays.
I'm going to pencil in the Seahawks as my pick for now, but that may change based on who plays. All four injuries discussed earlier are crucial. This will currently be a zero-unit selection, but I may end up betting on it, so check back later or follow me @walterfootball
This line has been moving up, but the Seahawks have been missing so many players in practice, including Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright and Michael Bennett. Brutal. For the Rams, Andrew Whitworth has missed practice as well, but Rob Havenstein has been limited, while Robert Woods has practiced fully. I'm going to switch my pick to the Rams for now, but that could change based on Friday's injury report.
There's some great news for the Rams. Rob Havenstein practiced fully Friday. Robert Woods is no longer on the injury report. And Andrew Whitworth returned to a FULL practice Friday. Everyone is healthy. For the Seahawks, Michael Bennett practiced fully as well, but both Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright failed to practice at all this week. That does not bode well at all for Seattle, which would sport one of the worst defenses in the NFL without the two star linebackers. I'm going to put a unit on the Rams for now, but I'm going to increase the wager if Wagner is ruled out prior to kickoff.
SUNDAY MORNING NOTES:
It sounds like Bobby Wagner may play. If he's out, I'm going to increase my wager. Check back around 3:30 p.m. Eastern for my final thoughts on the late afternoon games.
I'm losing my mind here with all of these Brandon Coleman fumbles and Michael Thomas touchdowns overturned by replay review. More bad luck here, as Bobby Wagner is active. He may not be 100 percent, but it still ruins a potential great bet on the Rams. I'll keep this at one unit.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: None.
Percentage of money on Seattle: 55% (19,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Seahawks.
History: Rams have won 4 of the last 7 meetings (Seahawks won the last 2 meetings).
Seahawks are 22-10 ATS in Week 11 or later since 2013.
Seahawks are 42-24 ATS as home favorites since 2007.
Russell Wilson is 11-6 ATS after a loss as long as he's not favored by -10 or more.
Opening Line: Rams -1.5.
Opening Total: 48.
Weather: Light rain, 51 degrees. Mild wind, 13 mph.
Week 15 NFL Pick: Rams 26, Seahawks 20
Rams +1 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
Under 47.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
Rams 42, Seahawks 7
New England Patriots (10-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers (11-2)
Line: Patriots by 2.5. Total: 53.
Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Patriots -3.
Walt's Calculated Line: Patriots -3.5.
Sunday, Dec 17, 4:25 PM
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The Game. Edge: Patriots.
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 14, Emmitt has to deal with some unexpected drama and conflict before he can obtain the Sword of Legendary Sword..
NEW ENGLAND OFFENSE: What the hell happened to the Patriots on Monday night? They were favored by 10 points, yet had trouble scoring 10 themselves. They didn't convert a single first down. Tom Brady, who had the lowest-yardage total of his career in an opening quarter, lobbed up careless interceptions downfield. It's like he didn't even care if his team won or not.
What happened was that the Patriots threw that game away. They had just played the Dolphins two weeks before that contest, and dirty Miami players (Ndamukong Suh, Kiko Alonso) dived at Brady's knees in an attempt to injure him. With the Steelers on deck, and Rob Gronkowski unavailable, Bill Belichick went completely vanilla to show Pittsburgh absolutely nothing.
The Patriots will play much better in this game, and their domination of the Steelers will continue. Pittsburgh plays a ton of zone, which Brady routinely carves up. Making matters worse for the Steelers, Ryan Shazier is gone, and Pittsburgh's defense looked pathetic without him against Baltimore, surrendering 38 points to the fearsome backfield of Joe Flacco and Alex Collins. If the Steelers couldn't stop the Ravens, how in the world are they going to contain Brady, who has their number? More on that in a bit.
PITTSBURGH OFFENSE: Ben Roethlisberger torched the Ravens, throwing for more than 500 yards. No one on Baltimore's defense had an answer for Antonio Brown. The Steelers' offense looked unstoppable, so how in the world are the Patriots, who struggled against Jay Cutler, going to stop it?
Probably by not playing a vanilla defense. Besides, the Patriots, unlike the Ravens, have both of their starting cornerbacks available. Baltimore's defense has not been the same since Jimmy Smith got hurt, but the Patriots have Stephon Gilmore to slow down Brown a bit. There's no completely stopping Brown, obviously, but Gilmore should be able to limit him a bit.
If there's one area in which the Patriots could really struggle, it'll be trying to stop Le'Veon Bell. The talented runner has a terrific matchup, as the Patriots have surrendered triple-digit rushing yards in five of their previous six games, including 114 to the Dolphins and Kenyan Drake on Monday night.
RECAP: This is my December NFL Pick of the Month, but man I'm pissed that a great number on this game disappeared. New England opened -2, but was quickly bet up to -3 by the sharps. Still, I love the Patriots at -3.
The New England loss to the Dolphins on Monday night reminded me of the Kansas City blowout defeat in 2014. The Patriots lost 41-14, and that was when Belichick said, "We're on to Cincinnati." The Patriots clobbered the Bengals and went on to win the Super Bowl. Well, the Patriots are on to Pittsburgh to play a team missing its defensive quarterback in Shazier.
The Steelers are not going to be the same without Shazier going forward. It's why I moved them way down in my NFL Power Rankings, and it's why they surrendered 38 points to the Ravens on Monday night. Brady, as mentioned, has had his way with Pittsburgh's defense because of the scheme mismatch. Just look at the results. Brady is a near-perfect 8-1 against the Steelers in his previous nine games against them. The one loss was a sleepy effort off a bye.
I can't imagine the Patriots not being focused for the Steelers, especially coming off a loss. Their record following defeats is amazing. Brady is 37-16 against the spread off a loss, and that number improves to an amazing 32-6 if spreads of -7 or more are excluded.
Again, I wish we could've gotten -2, but -3 feels like a push at the very worst. The Patriots have beaten the Steelers by 19, 11, 7, 24, 13, 21, 3 and 14 in the eight aforementioned victories, while Pittsburgh has been barely beating the dregs of the NFL. Seriously, the Steelers nearly lost three consecutive games against the Brett Hundley-led Packers, Bengals and Ravens. The last time they played well, they beat up on the Titans, who also suck. And before that, the Steelers almost lost to the Colts!
This is eight units on the Patriots. I'm going to hold out for -2.5 again, but I fear as though that's gone for good.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Nothing is going to take me off the Patriots, barring a major injury in practice. I'm considering locking this in at -3 -105 at BetUS.
SATURDAY NOTES: Alan Branch is out for the Patriots, which is far from ideal, but that's nothing compared to the Steelers being without Ryan Shazier. A -2.5 -115 has appeared at 5Dimes.
SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: Sharp money has taken the Steelers down to +2.5. That's not good, but I definitely appreciate the -2.5 line rather than -3.
FINAL THOUGHTS: The Patriots are -2 at the Westgate if you're in Vegas. The line is -2.5 in most other places, as the sharps bet Pittsburgh at +3. The Greek sportsbook actually reported that they need the Patriots to cover, so that's a good sign for the Pick of the Month. Another good sign is that the Steelers will be missing Joe Haden, even though Ian Rapoport reported that he would play.
The Psychology. Edge: Patriots.
Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are coming off a loss.
The Vegas. Edge: Steelers.
There's sharp money on the Patriots.
Percentage of money on New England: 59% (36,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Patriots.
Patriots are 11-15 ATS as road favorites since 2013.
Tom Brady is 217-68 as a starter (160-112 ATS).
Tom Brady is 10-3 ATS as a favorite of fewer than 3 points.
Tom Brady is 37-16 ATS off a loss (5-10 ATS as -7 or more).
Tom Brady is 29-12 ATS off a loss since 2003 (5-9 ATS as -7 or more).
Tom Brady is 6-2 ATS after losing to the Dolphins.
Bill Belichick is 26-10 ATS after losing as a favorite.
Steelers are 34-15 ATS in December home games since 2000.
Ben Roethlisberger is 45-30 ATS in December and January.
Ben Roethlisberger is 6-1 ATS as a home underdog.
Opening Line: Patriots -2.
Opening Total: 53.
Week 15 NFL Pick: Patriots 41, Steelers 31
Patriots -2.5 (8 Units - December NFL Pick of the Month) -- Correct; +$800
Over 53 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
Patriots 27, Steelers 24
Tennessee Titans (8-5) at San Francisco 49ers (3-10)
Line: 49ers by 2.5. Total: 44.5.
Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Titans -4.
Walt's Calculated Line: 49ers -4.5.
Sunday, Dec 17, 4:25 PM
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The Game. Edge: 49ers.
A reminder that Jerks of the Week for this week is up, so just click the link. This week's jerks entry is Verizon Guy.
TENNESSEE OFFENSE: If you're wondering why the Titans scored only seven points against the Cardinals, it's because ESPN and the rest of the media did a poor job of telling you what transpired in that game. Early on, Marcus Mariota took a big shot to his knee. He wasn't the same after that, moving around awkwardly and failing to scramble. He had just two rushes, so it was clear that he was uncomfortable. Making matters worse, his Pro Bowl left tackle, Taylor Lewan had to leave the game in the second quarter because of back spasms. The Titans couldn't block Chandler Jones as a result, and that was that.
Lewan will probably play in this game, but he may not be 100 percent. The same goes for Mariota. Given all of that, it's hard to imagine Tennessee being very productive on this side of the ball. Blocking DeForest Buckner will be very difficult, and Mariota's mobility is his best asset, so not being able to utilize that will hurt Tennessee.
The Titans will also struggle to run the ball. They waste downs by giving the ball to DeMarco Murray, and Mike Mularkey is too incompetent to realize the error of his ways. The 49ers have stopped the run better recently, as Reuben Foster's return to the field has been highly impactful.
SAN FRANCISCO OFFENSE: The 49ers played in lots of close games earlier in the year, but lost most of them because they had incompetent quarterbacks. Brian Hoyer was bad, while C.J. Beathard was much worse. Jimmy Garoppolo has been so much better, it's not even close. In two starts and one other drive with the 49ers, he has thrown for 645 yards, two touchdowns and two unlucky interceptions, completing 66.7 percent of his passes with a ridiculous 9.0 YPA. After years of searching, the 49ers have finally found their franchise quarterback.
What's even more amazing is that Garoppolo did this in two road games versus decent defenses (Chicago, Houston). Now, he finally gets to start his first home game as a Niner, and he won't be going up against a stout stop unit. The Titans have some nice defensive players, but they tend to struggle against the pass. Garoppolo should have a tremendous performance.
The 49ers won't run the ball very well, as Tennessee hasn't surrendered 100-plus yards on the ground since Week 4. However, if right tackle Trent Brown is back after a week off, the offensive line will at least be able to protect Garoppolo effectively.
RECAP: Oh man, I wish we could still get that advance line of +4. How ridiculous was that spread? Ah, if only I lived in Vegas instead of Feasterville, Pa., where there's six inches of snow on the ground. Ugh.
Anyway, I still love the 49ers at anything less than -3. Despite what the records say, they're the better team with Garoppolo. Had Garoppolo been starting for them all year, they'd be 7-6 or better right now in a much tougher division than Tennessee. Seriously, think about it that way: What would this spread be had the 49ers had Garoppolo and beaten the Cardinals (lost by 3 with Hoyer), Colts (lost by 3 with Hoyer), Redskins (lost by 2 with Beathard) and Cardinals (lost by 10 with Beathard)? Titans at the 7-6 49ers would have San Francisco favored by at least six, right? Maybe more, considering Tennessee's recent struggles?
And speaking of those, it's difficult to ignore Mariota's knee injury. Mariota is not 100 percent, and if he doesn't have his mobility, he's not nearly the same quarterback. With that in mind, I'm placing five units on San Francisco.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: This spread is now -1.5, which seems way short. The Titans, by the way, have covered only one of their past 10 games if the two Derrick Henry runs are excluded. The lone exception? A four-point win as 3.5-point favorites over the Colts, in a game in which they trailed 16-6 in the third quarter!
SATURDAY NOTES: Trent Brown is out, unfortunately, but this spread is still way too short. I'm still heavy on the 49ers.
SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: There's sharp action on the 49ers, as this spread has risen to -2.5. I'm actually going to lock this in now. Perhaps the number will drop, but there's obviously a huge difference between -2.5 and -3, than -2.5 and like -1.5, or something like that.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I locked this in at -2.5, but it didn't matter because the line didn't move at all. I still love San Francisco.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: None.
A slight amount of action on the 49ers; some of it is sharp.
Percentage of money on San Francisco: 58% (17,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: None.
Opening Line: 49ers -1.
Opening Total: 44.5.
Week 15 NFL Pick: 49ers 30, Titans 17
49ers -2.5 (5 Units) -- Incorrect; -$550
Over 44.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
49ers 25, Titans 23
Dallas Cowboys (7-6) at Oakland Raiders (6-7)
Line: Cowboys by 3. Total: 46.
Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Raiders -2.
Walt's Calculated Line: Cowboys -1.
Sunday, Dec 17, 8:30 PM
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The Game. Edge: Cowboys.
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 attacked random women who weren't around to defend themselves last week. Last week, Ross pretended that he's a Vegas tout of some sort:
Ross Avila unfriended me afterward. Yes, he's that much of a pu**y. Like some 12-year-old girl, he unfriended me, which I found hilarious. But not as hilarious as him having FIFTEEN clients.
Ross re-added me as a friend on Monday. He just lusts for me and can't stay away, apparently. Now, he's trying to make a bet with me, which is dumb because I know he doesn't have the money to pay:
I've bet with readers before, but Ross is some teenage loser who doesn't even have $20; let alone $100.
DALLAS OFFENSE: The Cowboys were in a horrible funk for a while, but they've snapped out of it the past two weeks because their offensive line has finally been intact. Dak Prescott torched the Giants, going 20-of-30 for 332 yards and three touchdowns. Sure, the Cowboys had just 10 points in the middle of the fourth quarter before going nuts at the end of the game, but that was because of a high number of drops.
The Cowboys shouldn't have any issues generating plenty of offense in this contest. The Raiders have a pathetic defense that hasn't been able to stop Alex Smith, Geno Smith, or anything quarterback not named Smith this year. Their secondary has major problems and won't be able to deal with Dez Bryant, Cole Beasley or Jason Witten. Meanwhile, Khalil Mack is the only Raider with a positive edge in the trenches. The rest of Dallas' line will be able to limit Oakland's pass rush.
Dallas' scoring unit will be even better next week when Ezekiel Elliott returns from his suspension. For now, Alfred Morris and Rod Smith should do just fine. Kareem Hunt was able to break out of his slump against the Raiders, so Morris and Smith will run well again.
OAKLAND OFFENSE: The Raiders had a grand total of zero points against a struggling Kansas City defense before the Chiefs stopped trying. That was a bad sign for this game, as the Cowboys, with Sean Lee back on the field, will be able to handle Oakland's offense quite easily.
Part of the reason for the Raiders' struggles is the right side of the offensive line. Tackle Marshall Newhouse sucks, while guard Gabe Jackson has been playing hurt this year. The right side of the line is exactly where DeMarcus Lawrence and David Irving reside. It's not yet clear if Irving will return after missing last week's game, but Lawrence will dominate his matchup, making life even more difficult for Derek Carr.
And speaking of Carr, he's the primary reason why the Raiders are struggling. He's not seeing the field clearly, and he refuses to throw the ball downfield. Part of that is Amari Cooper's struggles/injuries, but this is mostly on Carr. The lack of a consistent ground attack hurts, too, and Dallas is much better versus the run with Lee on the field.
RECAP: The Cowboys are clearly the better team here, and the public knows that. This is the most lopsided Sunday game this week.
I don't have a strong feeling about this contest, so I'm going to pick Oakland as a contrarian play. The Raiders looked so awful last week that they have to play better. Besides, the advance spread on this game was Oakland -2, so was the Kansas City loss enough to move this spread five points? Maybe, but I don't think so.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: This is still a 50-50 game for me. Nothing has changed. The public continues to pound Dallas.
SATURDAY NOTES: There's some alarming news for the Cowboys' playoff hopes, as Sean Lee is listed as questionable after missing Friday's practice with a back injury. I will be betting the Raiders if Lee is out. It looks like the sharps are already taking the Raiders at +3.
SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: I will be betting the Raiders if Sean Lee is out. Check back around 8 p.m. Eastern for my final thoughts on this game.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I'm regretting not making a bigger bet on the Rams. I was going to do so if Bobby Wagner was out. Wagner played, but clearly wasn't 100 percent. That's going to impact this pick. Sean Lee is active, but he has a back injury, and he may not be completely healthy. If not, the Raiders will win. However, there's a chance Lee could be just fine, and if he is, this game is a toss-up at three. I'm less confident in the Raiders than the Rams going in, but I'm still going to bet a unit on the Raiders in hopes that Lee will be limited with his troubled back. The sharps are also on the Raiders. The best Oakland line is +3 -105 at Bovada.
The Psychology. Edge: Raiders.
The Cowboys may not take the desperate Raiders seriously, especially with games against the Seahawks and Eagles on the horizon.
The Vegas. Edge: Raiders.
There's more money on the Cowboys than anything other team on Sunday.
Percentage of money on Dallas: 72% (58,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Raiders.
The underdog is 75-50 ATS in Cowboys games since 2010.
Cowboys are 15-25 ATS when favored after a win since 2010.
Raiders are 7-21 ATS in their final home game since 1985.
Opening Line: Pick.
Opening Total: 45.
Week 15 NFL Pick: Cowboys 28, Raiders 27
Raiders +3 -105 (1 Unit) -- Push; $0
Over 46 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
Atlanta Falcons (8-5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-9)
Line: Falcons by 7. Total: 49.5.
Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Falcons -3.5.
Walt's Calculated Line: Falcons -6.
Monday, Dec 18, 8:30 PM
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The Game. Edge: Falcons.
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 Atlanta where the Atlanta Braves take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, or as I like to call them, the Shmuckaneers. Guys, why are we even here when my Philadelphia Eagles are playing elsewhere?
Emmitt: Schmuckaneer, why you always talking about the Eagle? The Eagle just one of... uhh... how many team are on the National League of Footballs? Maybe like five, I do not knowed the answer to these question!
Reilly: Emmitt, no one knows how many teams there are in the NFL, but it's definitely more than five. And why did you just call me Schmuckaneer? That's my nickname for the Bucs, and you stole it from me, and plus I'm not a schmuck. Oh, if my new daddy Jay Cutler heard you, he would kick your butt!
Fouts: And here's what he means by butt. He-
Millen: I'll take it from here, Fouts. Another word for butt is backside, a glorious place where you can jam your kielbasas. I will mention that you must have consent from your 100-percent USDA Man partner before you do so, except for the best day of the year, which is Kielbasa Awareness Day, where you can sneak into 100-percent USDA Men's homes and ram kielbasas up their backsides without being accused of any sort of misconduct.
Reilly: You are one sick individual, Matt. Anyway, our guest this week is someone named Ray Anderson. Who the f*** are you, Ray Anderson? If you play for the horrible Cowboys, just get the f*** out of our booth!
Ray Anderson: Hi, Mr. Reilly, I'm Ray Anderson, the athletic director for Arizona State University. I'm doing a background check on Herm Edwards because we're considering hiring him as our head coach. That's why he's not here today. I asked him to stay home so I could get your honest opinions on Mr. Edwards.
Reilly: Buhahahahahahahahaha! Herm as a head coach! Buhahahahahahahahahahahaha!
Ray Anderson: What happens to be so funny, Mr. Reilly?
Millen: Ray, let me interject here for a second. Herm is about 16.7-percent USDA Man, according to my kielbasa sextant. Do you know how low of a percentage that is? My kielbasa would snap in half if I rammed it into his backside!
Tollefson: Ray, ignore my mustachioed friend here. He's a sick pervert. Hi, I'm Don Tollefson, and I'm the greatest man you'll ever meet. I wasn't paying attention earlier, I think I heard you were interested in Arizona State season tickets? I can sell them to you for, let's say, $500, and I'll even throw in one of the women I'm holding prisoner in my cellar.
Ray Anderson: Uhh... you're not authorized to sell Arizona State season tickets. I'm going to have to contact the pol...
Tollefson: Gotta go, see ya!
Ray Anderson: Anyway, anyone else have any opinions on Herman Edwards becoming our head coach?
Reilly: Buhahahahahahahahaha! Herm as a head coach! Buhahahahahahahahahahahaha!
Ray Anderson: I still don't understand what's so funny!?
Fouts: And here's what he means by funny. When something is funny, you laugh. And here's what I mean by laugh. It's a noise you make when you find something is funny. As you can see, laugh and funny are intertwined, which might be surprising to some of you.
Wolfley: IT SURPRISES ME, DAN. I LAUGH WHEN I FIND THINGS UNFUNNY, AND WHEN I SEE SOMETHING FUNNY, I DON'T LAUGH. SO, I DISAGREE WITH YOUR OPINIONS.
Ray Anderson: OK, I can see this is going nowhere, so I will be making Herman our next head coach.
Reilly: Buhahahahahha! Herm is the dumbest man in the world! All he does is yell incoherently, so how can he be a coach!? Buhahahahahhahaha!
Ray Anderson: Wow, OK. Guess I won't hire Herman Edwards after all. I suppose he'll be stuck here instead.
Reilly: Wait, wait, wait! Herm will leave here if he takes the job!? I take back what I said! I take it all back! Herm is the best ever! I thought you were talking about... uhh... German Edwards. Not Herman Edwards!
Charles Davis: Kevin, you're clearly lying, Kevin. Let's talk about some of the other lies you've told, Kevin. You said you have 20 Carson Wentz bobble head dolls, Kevin, but I snuck into your room, Kevin, and I only found 13 Carson Wentz bobble head dolls, Kevin. Where are the other seven, Kevin? Kevin, you also said you never kissed a girl, Kevin. That's a lie, Kevin. I saw your mother kiss you after she tucked you in, Kevin. Clearly a lie, Kevin. Another lie, Kevin. You said you had pepperoni pizza at your birthday party, Kevin. You actually had no pizza, Kevin, because your mother yelled at you for not dusting the shelves, Kevin. Can you think of other lies you told, Kevin? How about it, Kevin? Can you name another lie, Kevin?
Reilly: CHARLES DAVIS, I F***ING SWEAR, IF YOU DON'T HELP ME GET RID OF HERM, I WILL TIE YOU TO A ROCK AND THROW YOU INTO THE RIVER AND THEN I'LL GET SHARKS AND DUMP THEM INTO THE RIVER SO THEY'LL EAT YOU, MOTHERF***ER! We'll be back after this!
ATLANTA OFFENSE: Matt Ryan has seemingly struggled with confidence this year, perhaps because of the new offensive coordinator. Well, a game against the Buccaneers is exactly what the doctor ordered. Ryan battled Tampa three weeks ago, and he misfired on just nine occasions, going 26-of-35 for 317 yards and a touchdown. He could've posted even better numbers if the Falcons weren't way ahead and took their foot off the gas.
Ryan could post even better stats this time. The Buccaneers, who already had several injuries on this side of the ball, will be without Gerald McCoy, their best defensive player. Without having to worry about McCoy creating havoc in the interior of the defense, Ryan will have plenty of time to find Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu downfield.
The Falcons will also be able to establish the run quite easily. Devonta Freeman has a great matchup, as the Buccaneers surrendered 132 rushing yards to Atlanta in Week 12, and that was with McCoy on the field!
TAMPA BAY OFFENSE: The Buccaneers didn't have Jameis Winston available when they battled the Falcons the first time, but I don't know if that'll mean much. Winston doesn't appear to be much better than Ryan Fitzpatrick right now. Winston is obviously more talented, but he's making way too many mistakes. He's been responsible for too many turnovers that have crushed the Buccaneers.
Winston isn't nearly the entire problem, however. Mike Evans looks like he has quit on his team, while the offensive line struggles to block as well. Tampa is missing its top two linemen, right tackle Demar Dotson and center Ali Marpet, so blocking the Falcons will be a major problem. Both Adrian Clayborn and Grady Jarrett have major edges in the trenches.
The one bright spot for the Buccaneers' offense has been Peyton Barber. He was solid in Doug Martin's absence earlier, and he replaced Martin as the primary back after Martin was finally benched. That said, Barber will have a tough time running on the Falcons, who just put the clamps on Mark Ingram. Atlanta has surrendered 100-plus rushing yards to only one opponent since Week 7.
RECAP: The advance spread on this game was Atlanta -3.5. We lost lots of line value, but I still believe the Falcons are the right side. The Buccaneers look like they don't practice, and they've been known to quit. If they're in a 10-0 hole right away, they could pack it in.
That said, I don't have interest in betting this game. The Falcons are in a rough spot; they're coming off an emotional victory against the Saints, and because of a scheduling mishap, they have to play New Orleans again next week! They could be looking ahead and lay an egg like the Patriots did this past Monday night.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: I thought about it, and I'm changing my pick. Two weeks ago, we saw the Bengals play their "Super Bowl" at home versus the divisional rival Steelers. Last week, the Dolphins played their "Super Bowl" at home versus the divisional rival Patriots. Is it Tampa's turn for its "Super Bowl" this week? Perhaps. The Falcons certainly will not be focused with New Orleans coming up.
SATURDAY NOTES: Gerald McCoy and Vernon Hargreaves are out. This is bad news for Buccaneer backers, but the greatest factor might be Atlanta's lacking motivation.
SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: Atlanta is the highest-bet side of the week in a stand-alone game, so don't unload on them.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I wanted to get this up a bit earlier than usual because I'm changing my pick. I'm taking the Falcons, and the sharps are, too. With the Saturday games going on, I didn't get a good chance to check out this specific injury report, so I didn't see that Lavonte David was out as well. That's huge. Without David, the Buccaneers are going to have way more coverage issues than usual. Tampa is missing its two best defensive players, as well as a starting cornerback, so if the Falcons show up, they'll win easily. However, that's not a given, and it's why I won't be betting this game. The Falcons play the Saints in just six days, and they may just think they can show up and beat Tampa easily. Perhaps they can - I'm not sure how motivated the Buccaneers will be - but I don't think it's as easy as the public and sharps are making it out to be. The sportsbooks have a huge liability on the Buccaneers tonight after a losing Sunday, which is worth noting.
The Psychology. Edge: Buccaneers.
The Falcons just beat the Saints, and they have to take on New Orleans in six days. However, the Falcons could easily mail this game in, which they've done on numerous occasions this year.
The Vegas. Edge: Buccaneers.
Who the hell wants to bet on Tampa?
Percentage of money on Atlanta: 77% (49,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Falcons.
History: Buccaneers have won 3 of the last 5 meetings.
Road Team is 81-50 ATS in Buccaneers games since 2009.
Matt Ryan is 18-7 ATS in night games.
Buccaneers are 21-46 ATS at home in the previous 67 instances.
Buccaneers are 8-22 ATS as a home underdog since 2009.
Opening Line: Falcons -5.
Opening Total: 47.5.
Week 15 NFL Pick: Falcons 26, Buccaneers 16
Falcons -7 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
Under 49.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
Falcons 24, Buccaneers 21
Week 15 NFL Picks - Early Games
Denver at Indianapolis,
Chicago at Detroit,
LA Chargers at Kansas City,
Philadelphia at NY Giants,
Miami at Buffalo,
Baltimore at Cleveland,
Houston at Jacksonville,
Green Bay at Carolina,
Arizona at Washington,
NY Jets at New Orleans,
Cincinnati at Minnesota
A list of some of my favorite team/player prop picks this week
(Offense & defensive ROY picks to be counted
whenever winners are announced.) Picks carried over on a week-to-week basis will be in black.
Teaser: Packers +8.5, Rams +8.5 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
NFL Picks - Jan. 16
2021 NFL Mock Draft - Jan. 13
Fantasy Football Rankings - Jan. 11
2022 NFL Mock Draft - Nov. 15
NFL Power Rankings - Nov. 14
2020 College Football Recruiting Rankings - April 14
2020 NBA Mock Draft - Sept. 27
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 18, 2020): 1-5 (-$1,430)
Last Week's 2-3 Unit NFL Picks (Week 18, 2020): 0-2 (-$575)
Last Week's 4-5 Unit NFL Picks (Week 18, 2020): 0-2 (-$855)
Last Week Over-Under (Week 18, 2020): 2-3-1 ($0)
Last Week's Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks (Week 18, 2020): $0
2020 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-2, 50.0% (-$135)
2020 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 132-123-6, 52.6% (+$3,280)
2020 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 43-42-3, 50.6% (-$2,650)
2020 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 37-22-1, 62.7% (+$5,515)
2020 Season Over-Under: 137-119-6, 53.5% ($0)
2020 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$375
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: 2,989-2,760-179, 52.0% (+$13,585)
Career 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 953-858-49 (52.6%)
Career 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 452-396-23 (53.3%)
Career Over-Under: 2,459-2,413-66 (50.5%)
Career Second-Half NFL Picks: 22-15-1 (61.1%)
Career NFL Picks of the Month: 44-29-1 (60.3%)
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)