NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 2, 2018



NFL Picks (Preseason 2018): 11-10 (+$445)
NFL Picks (Week 1, 2018): 8-7-1 (+$150)

NFL Picks (2018): 19-17-1 (+$595)
NFL Picks (2017): 137-147-10 (-$3,790)
NFL Picks (2016): 148-127-10 (+$1,055)
NFL Picks (2015): 133-138-10 (-$2,360)
NFL Picks (2014): 143-133-7 (-$1,885)
NFL Picks (2013): 144-131-8 (+$5,580)
NFL Picks (2012): 130-145-8 (-$5,760)
NFL Picks (2011): 137-133-12 (-$1,925)
NFL Picks (2010): 144-131-8 (+$6,080)
NFL Picks (2009): 151-124-9 (+$3,370)
NFL Picks (2008): 136-125-6 (+$4,330)
If you don't quite understand the line, total or anything else, go to my Sports Betting FAQ.

Vegas betting action updated Sept. 16, 11:25 p.m. ET. Follow @walterfootball for updates.


Go to Week 2 NFL Picks - Early Games








Arizona Cardinals (0-1) at Los Angeles Rams (1-0)
Line: Rams by 11. Total: 44.

Westgate Advance Point Spread: Rams -8.5.
Walt's Calculated Line: Rams -9.5.
Sunday, Sept 16, 4:05 PM


The Game. Edge: Rams.

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LOS ANGELES OFFENSE: The Rams ripped right through the Raiders like Swiss cheese in the second half Monday night. Todd Gurley trampled the hapless Raiders, who had to sneak up to the box to stop Gurley, which allowed Jared Goff to burn Oakland's horrible secondary with play-action opportunities. Goff was nearly intercepted twice in the early going, but he buckled down and improved as the night progressed.

Gurley and Goff will face a tougher challenge in this game, but only by default. The Cardinals, unlike the Raiders, didn't trade their dynamic edge rusher in Chandler Jones. However, Jones has a tough matchup against Andrew Whitworth, who is still one of the top left tackles in the NFL despite nearing 40 years of age. The Cardinals don't really have anyone else who can apply consistent pressure on the quarterback.

Meanwhile, Gurley figures to run right through the Cardinals, just as Adrian Peterson did last week. With no Xavier Williams, Arizona quite simply cannot stop the run, so like the Raiders, the Cardinals will have to sneak extra players into the box, which will make life easier for Goff. Patrick Peterson will lock down one of his receivers, but Goff should be able to spread the wealth around elsewhere.

ARIZONA OFFENSE: The Cardinals were one of the major disappointments from Week 1, as they mustered just six points. Alex Smith kept the ball away from Sam Bradford, who was able to attempt just seven passes in the opening half. A frustrated Bradford had to force the issue following intermission, and he was inaccurate as a result.

I don't think Bradford has suddenly lost his precision overnight, so I believe he'll have a better performance in this game. I know, I know, he'll be battling a much more talented defense, but I think the Cardinals match up better with the Rams than the Redskins. Los Angeles has terrific talents on the defensive line and in the secondary, but its linebacking corps is a mess. The team couldn't stop Jared Cook in the opener, and Ricky Seals-Jones should be able to do a nice impression of him. However, David Johnson is the player the Rams need to worry about most. Johnson will be a big-time threat as a receiver out of the backfield, and I could see him dominating this game.

Elsewhere, Larry Fitzgerald will also produce. It doesn't matter who's covering him, or who his quarterback is, Fitzgerald always finds a way to positively contribute. Bradford will need to release the ball quickly to Fitzgerald, however, as his offensive line won't be able to hold up very well versus the Rams' prolific front.

RECAP: The Westgate advance spread on this game was Rams -8.5. Now, it's -12.5 because of one week of action. That's quite the jump. I've been tracking this for the past two years, and teams that have had the line move against them by two-plus points from the Westgate advance line are 36-25 against the spread (excluding injuries to quarterbacks.)

So, has anything happened in a week to warrant a movement of four points? I really don't think so. The Cardinals were pitiful versus the Redskins, but that was just one game. I don't think they're as bad as they looked. Bradford will be more accurate, and I like the matchups he has with Johnson and Seals-Jones versus the Rams' poor linebackers. Meanwhile, I expect the Rams to be sloppy; they're reading all the press clippings about how great they were on national TV, and they have to prepare for Arizona on a short week.

That said, this is only a one-unit play. I'll admit that there's a very real possibility that the Cardinals are hot garbage and should be faded most weeks, but I'm going to stick with my prior beliefs for now.

THURSDAY THOUGHTS: The Cardinals were atrocious in Week 1, while the Rams had a dominant second half. This could easily be a blowout, but as Kenny said on the podcast - see video of it below - you're never as bad as your worst day, and you're never as great as your best day. I don't think this line movement is justified.

SATURDAY NOTES: Nothing has changed for me, as I'm sticking with one unit on the Cardinals. It's worth noting that the Rams once again won't have Mark Barron, so they'll continue to struggle to defend tight ends and pass-catching running backs.

SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: I can't imagine going bigger than one unit on this game. The best number is actually Cardinals +11 +100 at Bookmaker, which is slightly better than +13 -110.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Late sharp action has come in on the Cardinals, dragging the line down to +11.5 or +12 in some books. I still like them for a unit, but nothing more.






The Psychology. Edge: Cardinals.
The Rams are coming off a short work week and will be reading their press clippings after a big win Monday night.


The Vegas. Edge: Cardinals.
Who do you think the public is betting on?
  • Percentage of money on Los Angeles: 65% (20,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • History: Rams have won 3 of the last 4 meetings.
  • Opening Line: Rams -13.
  • Opening Total: 46.5.
  • Weather: Sunny, 81 degrees. Light wind.


    Week 2 NFL Pick: Rams 24, Cardinals 17
    Cardinals +11 +100 (1 Unit) - Bookmaker -- Incorrect; -$100
    Under 44 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Rams 34, Cardinals 0




    Detroit Lions (0-1) at San Francisco 49ers (0-1)
    Line: 49ers by 6.5. Total: 46.5.

    Westgate Advance Point Spread: 49ers -3.5.
    Walt's Calculated Line: 49ers -7.
    Sunday, Sept 16, 4:05 PM


    The Game. Edge: 49ers.

    Make sure you get your pick in for the WalterFootball.com 2018 NFL Survivor Pool. You have until Sunday to register, so do it soon! Of the 1,225 starting players, we lost 723 because of the Saints and Lions. Unreal.

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

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

    DETROIT OFFENSE: Everyone expected the Lions' defense to suck this year, but what in the world happened to Matthew Stafford? He was atrocious in the season opener. Things were weird early when Theo Riddick was shouting at him, and then Stafford appeared as though he wasn't sure what schemes the Jets were running. It's like he showed up to the stadium without practicing at all in the summer. Dare I say that he looked like a quarterback he used to battle twice per year? His name was Jay Cutler.

    I'm not ready to say that Stafford has been fully infected with the Cutler "I don't care about anything" syndrome, but the blowout loss to the Jets was not a promising start. Fortunately for Stafford, he gets a much easier matchup against the 49ers, who have a reeling defense that had no prayer of containing Kirk Cousins and Dalvin Cook in the opener because of Reuben Foster's absence. Rookie linebacker Fred Warner had a great game, but he was the only effective linebacker on the team.

    Stafford has historically done well versus teams with poor linebackers, as he's been capable of abusing such defenses with his crossing routes. I suspect the 49ers will be tripped up by this if Stafford is fully invested in this game. Stafford will have to carry the offense, as DeForest Buckner and company should be able to win in the trenches and prevent Detroit's running game from getting on track.

    SAN FRANCISCO OFFENSE: Jimmy Garoppolo threw three interceptions in the season opener, though two really mattered, as the final one was a desperate heave late in the game. It looked like there was a mix-up with the receiver on the first pick, but the second one is something I want to focus on because it looked like Garoppolo panicked under pressure. His offensive line struggled to block the Vikings' defensive front all afternoon, thanks to multiple injuries at guard. It got so bad that rookie tackle Mike McGlinchey had to slide inside.

    Sadly for the 49ers, the offensive line woes will be a problem all year. Fortunately for Garoppolo, the Lions have just one dynamic pass-rusher, and that would be Ezekiel Ansah, who was banged up in the season opener. Even if Ansah plays, he'll have to go up against Joe Staley, a prolific left tackle. Staley should be able to keep Ansah out of the backfield, and Garoppolo will have a cleaner pocket this week. There will still be some pressure, but he'll definitely have more time.

    Garoppolo, as a result, should be able to dissect the Lions with ease. Detroit can't cover anyone because its linebacking corps is an abomination, while Darius Slay is the only viable cornerback it possesses. The Lions also struggle against the run, so the duo of Alfred Morris and Matt Breida will have more success this week.

    RECAP: This is another game where the spread and the advance line vary by a couple of points, as the Westgate had this pinned at -3.5 a week ago. Given how atrocious the Lions were Monday night, I'm shocked this spread didn't move by more than two points!

    This is a tough call. It's difficult for me to lay 5.5 points with the 49ers, considering how bad their blocking and defense are. I also hate giving up value, and that exists with Detroit. On the other hand, what if Stafford's 2018 debut was no fluke? What if he's really the new Cutler, and he just lost his passion for football? That's not someone I want to bet on.

    I'll give Stafford the benefit of the doubt for now, but I'm skeptical. If the Lions get blown out again, we'll have to come up with an amalgamation for Stafford and Cutler's names. I'm liking Mattay Stuffler.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: The Jets say that they knew Mattay Stuffler's hand signals Monday night, which could be a plausible explanation for why he was so bad. We'll see. I'm still on the Lions for no units at +6.

    SATURDAY NOTES: The 49ers continue to have injury issues on the offensive line, so their offense will continue to be inconsistent. Unless Matthew Stafford has copied Jay Cutler and stopped trying, he should be able to rebound and keep this game somewhat close, thanks to Reuben Foster's absence.

    SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: There's actually some sharp money coming in on the 49ers. The line has risen to -6.5. I'm not going to bet this game.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps can't seem to make up their mind, as there's been some professional action on the 49ers, and then other sharp money on the Lions. This is a tough game, as I want to see the Lions show some signs of life before I wager money on them. Ezekiel Ansah is out, by the way, which makes the Lions look even less appealing.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Lions.
    No one wants a part of Detroit after Monday night.
  • Percentage of money on San Francisco: 69% (17,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Lions are 18-6 ATS on the road after a home loss of 10+.
  • Jimmy Garoppolo is 7-1 SU, 6-2 ATS as a starter.
  • Opening Line: 49ers -5.5.
  • Opening Total: 47.
  • Weather: Sunny, 73 degrees. Light wind.


    Week 2 NFL Pick: 49ers 24, Lions 20
    Lions +6 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Under 46.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    49ers 30, Lions 27






    New England Patriots (1-0) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0)
    Line: Patriots by 1. Total: 44.

    Westgate Advance Point Spread: Pick.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Patriots -3.
    Sunday, Sept 16, 4:25 PM


    The Game. Edge: Patriots.

    Emmitt on the Brink Season 11 is underway! In Episode 1, Emmitt is the new owner of the New England Patriots, but he's already in hot water! Meanwhile, NFL TV ratings hit an all-time low.

    JACKSONVILLE OFFENSE: Bleak Bortles is one of the two worst starting quarterbacks in the NFL, as he is either tied or slightly ahead of Josh Allen. His offseason of partying proved to be detrimental once again, as he had several interceptions dropped in the opener. Bortles, however, was terrific in the AFC Championship against the Patriots until the very end when he began missing some throws; he went 23-of-36 for 293 yards and a touchdown.

    Bortles was able to play well because he had no pressure in his face. The Patriots had severe defensive line issues last offseason, so that's why they acquired the likes of Adrian Clayborn and Danny Shelton this offseason. They both played well in the opener, as did Trey Flowers, who was injured at the end of last year. Now that the Patriots have bolstered their front, they should be able to put some heat on Bortles, so that'll allow Bill Belichick to confuse the disappointing quarterback with his complex schemes. Belichick did a number on Deshaun Watson in the opener, and I have to imagine Bortles' life will be even more difficult than it was back in January.

    Meanwhile, the Patriots' revamped front should be able to put the clamps on Leonard Fournette - if he even plays. Fournette injured his hamstring at New York, so he's considered questionable for this game. Soft-tissue maladies tend to linger, so even if Fournette plays, there's a chance he could aggravate the injury.

    NEW ENGLAND OFFENSE: Despite how great the Jaguars' defense is, Tom Brady still had success against it in the AFC Championship, going 26-of-38 for 290 yards and two touchdowns. He got off to a slow start, perhaps because of his injured throwing hand, but he caught fire as the afternoon progressed. The Jaguars couldn't stop him toward the end.

    I expect this game to follow a similar formula, except for one big difference: The Jaguars no longer have Aaron Colvin. The talented slot corner is now in Houston, so the Jaguars have a hole in that area of the defense. If there are two men who know how to exploit a weakness, it's the duo of Brady and Belichick.

    If there's a way to slow down Brady, it's to pressure him without blitzing. The Jaguars can do that because of their terrific defensive line. However, Brady has shown that he can beat the Jaguars, and that was with Colvin on the roster. Things will be slightly more favorable to New England this time.

    RECAP: Brady wins games. That's just what he does. There's a reason why he's 11-3 against the spread when favored by fewer than three points, which happens to be the case here.

    The Patriots are the easy play, and I'm taking them for five units. This just seems way too easy for me. Brady is favored by just two against Bortles, so all that needs to happen is for Brady to win by more than two. It's that simple.

    Now, you could say that if you exclude the quarterbacks, the Jaguars have the better team, and I would agree. However, the disparity between Brady and Bortles at the most important position in sports is enormous. Also, Belichick over Doug Marrone is a mismatch, while New England's defense is better this year because the front has been bolstered.

    There's going to be some hype about the Jaguars asserting themselves as the top team in the AFC, and there will be lots of energy in Jacksonville's stadium. I could see the Jaguars jumping out to a lead, but Brady and the Patriots will ultimately prevail, just as they almost always do.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: This spread is down to pick 'em, so the Patriots just need to win to cover, which is great. The better number is -1 +100, available at Bookmaker, which I will lock in now.

    SATURDAY NOTES: Leonard Fournette didn't practice all week. He could play, but he may not be 100 percent, which is huge because he's the only play-maker on Jacksonville's offense. The Patriots should be able to win this game.

    SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: It sounds like Leonard Fournette will be out, and now news has broken that Calais Campbell could be out. I love the Patriots, and I'm glad I bet -1 +100 because this spread has risen to -2.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Leonard Fournette is inactive. Calais Campbell will play, but he may not be 100 percent. There's been no sharp action on Jacksonville, so I still love the Patriots.


    The Psychology. Edge: Jaguars.
    The Jaguars will have lots of energy in a big home game.


    The Vegas. Edge: Jaguars.
    No surprise where the money is going.
  • Percentage of money on New England: 75% (31,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Patriots.
  • Tom Brady is 223-68 as a starter (165-113 ATS).
  • Tom Brady is 11-3 ATS as a favorite of fewer than 3 points.
  • Patriots are 12-15 ATS as road favorites since 2013.
  • Jaguars are 36-67 ATS against non-divisional opponents since 2008.
  • Opening Line: Patriots -2.5.
  • Opening Total: 45.
  • Weather: Possible rain, 88 degrees. Light wind.


    Week 2 NFL Pick: Patriots 23, Jaguars 17
    Patriots -1 +100 (5 Units) - Bookmaker -- Incorrect; -$500
    Under 44 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Jaguars 31, Patriots 20






    Oakland Raiders (0-1) at Denver Broncos (1-0)
    Line: Broncos by 6.5. Total: 45.

    Westgate Advance Point Spread: Broncos -3.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Broncos -6.5.
    Sunday, Sept 16, 4:25 PM


    The Game. Edge: Broncos.

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

    DENVER OFFENSE: Case Keenum looked good at times in the season opener, but he threw three poor interceptions as well. Those picks allowed the Seahawks to hang around, giving them the chance to steal a victory. The Broncos outgained the Seahawks by 164 net yards and averaged nearly one more yard per play. The game should've been a blowout, but Keenum's inconsistency made the margin three.

    The thing is, the Seahawks don't even have a good defense anymore, so there was no excuse for Keenum's mistakes. Keenum has another easy matchup against the Raiders and their pathetic defense, but I'm not very confident that Keenum can avoid careless errors. The Broncos' skill-position players have mismatch advantages all across the board, so that's not an issue. The concern is whether or not Keenum will be throwing passes to players wearing silver and black.

    Of course, the Broncos could always limit Keenum's attempts by establishing the run. It looks like they have a pair of talented young backs in Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay. The latter was especially dynamic in the opener. Lindsay was listed near the top of my Fantasy Football Sleepers list all summer, as he reminded me of Tarik Cohen. However, unlike the Bears last year, the Broncos are imaginative enough to get Lindsay involved heavily.

    OAKLAND OFFENSE: Derek Carr got off to a hot start versus the Rams' stalwart defense, taking advantage of some shoddy linebacker play by targeting Jared Cook. However, things changed once Carr underthrew Cook in the end zone for an interception. He became skittish after that, sensing phantom pressure and then launching two horrible picks. The Raiders, as a consequence, didn't score following intermission despite leading throughout the opening half.

    The Broncos don't have the ferocious defensive line that the Rams possess, but they still have Von Miller, Bradley Chubb and Derek Wolfe. Miller and Chubb both have terrific matchups. Miller will be matched up against right tackle Donald Penn, who does not look healthy, while Chubb should be able to take advantage of fellow rookie Kolton Miller. Carr once again will have trouble locating Amari Cooper, who will be battling another spectacular cornerback.

    I expect the Raiders to utilize the same formula from the Monday night game. Carr should be able to attack with Cook, as Denver's linebackers haven't been able to defend tight ends ever since losing Danny Trevathan a couple of offseasons ago. Stopping the run has also been an issue for them for the most part, so perhaps Marshawn Lynch will once again carry numerous defenders into the end zone.

    RECAP: The Westgate advance spread was -3, but because of what happened on Monday night, the line has shifted to -5.5. That's a big-time jump because of one horrible half!

    If you're thinking about placing a bet on the Raiders, please note that Carr has struggled mightily in Denver at every opportunity. In three career games in Mile High, Carr is a combined 40-of-83, 436 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. The touchdown-to-interception ratio looks fine, but focus on the completion percentage of 48.2 and the YPA of 5.25. Those are two horrid numbers. I don't know if it's the altitude or the Broncos' defense, but something gives him great troube whenever he plays in Denver.

    This is a close one, but I think I'm going to side with the Broncos. They're just the better team. It sucks we lost value with -3 being gone, but I think this is closer to what the real point spread should be, which is -6.5. That said, I can't bring myself to bet on Denver, as I'm scared that Keenum will keep Oakland in the game somehow.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: If I had more confidence in Keenum, the Broncos might warrant a small wager, but this will remain a zero-unit pick.

    SATURDAY NOTES: This line has risen to -6.5, as the sharps have hopped on the Broncos. I can't say this is any sort of surprise.

    SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: The sharps bet the Broncos earlier. It'll be interesting if they keep taking -6.5 and move this to -7.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: There's been some late, sharp money coming on the Raiders. I'm still zero units on the Broncos.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Raiders.
    Slight lean on the Broncos.
  • Percentage of money on Denver: 62% (14,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • History: Road Team has won 12 of the last 20 meetings (Broncos 10 of last 13).
  • Opening Line: Broncos -6.
  • Opening Total: 45.
  • Weather: Sunny, 88 degrees. Light wind.


    Week 2 NFL Pick: Broncos 20, Raiders 13
    Broncos -6.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Under 45 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Broncos 20, Raiders 19






    New York Giants (0-1) at Dallas Cowboys (0-1)
    Line: Cowboys by 3. Total: 42.

    Westgate Advance Point Spread: Cowboys -4.5.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Cowboys -4.5.
    Sunday, Sept 16, 8:20 PM


    The Game. Edge: Cowboys.

    I'm going to devote this section to Ross Avila. If this is your first time reading this, and you don't know who Ross is, he's a douche who harassed me on Facebook about my picks all last year. Here are some of the things he said:



    He wrote this to me during the Patriots-Falcons Super Bowl, where he bragged about being right about Atlanta. Oops.

    Ross constantly embarrassed himself throughout the year, including when he posted this, suggesting that he sold picks to people:



    I eventually unfriended Ross. He started going after women on my Facebook page, including my then-fiancee. I warned him, and he didn't listen, so I unfriended him.

    Because I was a big part of Ross' life, he sent me countless messages. I showed you one last week. Then, there was this beauty:



    Wow. Did Ross actually think I'd hire him? And what does "bet with the big boys" even mean? What a freaking weirdo!

    DALLAS OFFENSE: The Cowboys were able to reach the playoffs two years ago because of their prolific offensive line. They no longer have elite blocking, as center Travis Frederick is dealing with an unfortunate disease, while guard Ronald Leary and tackle Doug Free were never replaced properly. Second-round rookie Connor Williams predictably struggled in the opener, and that trend will likely continue all year, given that some teams had Williams pegged as a fifth-round prospect because of his lack of strength.

    That said, it must be mentioned that the Cowboys won't be battling such a strong front seven this week. They had to take on the Panthers in the opener, and Carolina has one of the elite fronts in the NFL. The Giants aren't pushovers there, but they are certainly weaker in their front seven, especially if Olivier Vernon doesn't play again. Vernon will test out his injury in practice, but he may not be 100 percent in a tough matchup against stud left tackle Tyron Smith. Meanwhile, the Giants' linebackers continue to struggle, so Ezekiel Elliott should be a threat as a receiver out of the backfield.

    The Cowboys should also be able to take advantage of Elliott's primary strength. He'll almost certainly be able to eclipse the century mark, as Leonard Fournette and T.Y. Yeldon combined for 92 rushing yards on 23 carries on Sunday. Fournette averaged 4.6 yards per carry prior to exiting the game with a bum hamstring, and Elliott should be able to replicate that figure. This will be a far cry from what we saw in Week 1, as Elliott understandably couldn't run very well versus the Panthers, so this will give Dak Prescott better opportunities to move the chains.

    NEW YORK OFFENSE: Anyone looking at the struggles of Prescott and determining that the Cowboys are one of the worst teams in the NFL are mistaken. That's far from the truth because Dallas has one of the better defenses in the NFL. The team just limited the Panthers to 16 points, which is no easy feat. Last year, Carolina scored fewer than 17 points just four times, and two sub-17 outputs occurred when Cam Newton was banged up.

    The Cowboys have a dominant defensive front, led by DeMarcus Lawrence. The Pro Bowl defensive end gets a dream matchup versus Ereck Flowers, who was responsible for multiple penalties and an interception last week. The Giants won't be able to give Flowers much extra help because the Cowboys have great players throughout their defensive line. They also have a great linebacking corps that should be able to limit Evan Engram and Saquon Barkley as a receiver.

    The Giants will hit some big plays when Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr. break free, but they'll be few and far between, just as they were in the opener. Eli Manning's inconsistency doesn't help. Manning missed Beckham for two potential touchdowns versus Jacksonville, and I don't think there's reason to believe that he'll suddenly improve.

    RECAP: It's great to go against the popular narrative. Everyone is down on the Cowboys because of their 16-8 loss against the Panthers. Their offense sucked versus Carolina, but it was a very difficult matchup. Dallas will have more success moving the chains versus the Giants. However, the most important thing that the media and casual bettors are missing is that Dallas is the superior team in this matchup because of its tremendous defense.

    I love the value we're getting with the Cowboys. Thanks to the Week 1 results, this line dropped from -4.5 (the Westgate advance spread) to -3. Now, with the public pounding the Giants, the line is -3 +100 in most places. It wouldn't shock me if it hit -2.5 eventually!

    This is going to be one of those games where the TV analysts ask, "Can the Cowboys possibly beat Odell Beckham and Saquon Barkley!?" and I'll be screaming at the TV, "The Cowboys are favored, you idiots!"

    Dallas is one of my top plays this week. I'm making this a four-unit wager, and I may increase it to five if -2.5 appears.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: I'm hoping this spread falls to -2.5. It hasn't moved off the -3 -105s and -3 +100s that have been available all week. Olivier Vernon still hasn't practiced, which is good news for us Dallas backers.

    PICK LOCKED IN: The sharps were apparently waiting for an ideal line like I was. This spread has jumped up to -3 -117 at CRIS and -3 -115 at several books. Fortunately, it's still -3 +100 at Bovada, which is worth locking in for four units.

    SATURDAY NOTES: Wide receiver, tight end, No. 1 cornerback, safety. Outside of those four positions, are the Giants better than the Cowboys in any area with Olivier Vernon out of the lineup? I don't think so. The Cowboys are better, yet they're just -3 +100 with lots of public money coming in on the Giants.

    SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: Some sharp money has moved this line to -3 -110. The public is all over the Giants. I don't understand why, as Dallas is better.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I'm very disappointed in myself for the Patriots pick, which was just awful. I'm not going to make more mistakes like that going forward. I still really like the Cowboys, who got sharp money earlier in the week. The public is all over the Giants and expects New York to win outright. The Cowboys have the better team overall and should prevail.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Cowboys.
    The Giants are a major public underdog.
  • Percentage of money on New York: 72% (25,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Giants.
  • History: Cowboys have won 7 of the last 10 meetings.
  • The underdog is 76-52 ATS in Cowboys games since 2010.
  • Giants are 48-37 ATS on the road since 2006 as long as they're not favored by 3.5 or more.
  • Eli Manning is 44-37 ATS as an underdog since 2007.
  • Cowboys are 18-29 ATS as home favorites in Cowboys Stadium (excluding Thanksgiving).
  • Opening Line: Cowboys -3.5.
  • Opening Total: 44.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 2 NFL Pick: Cowboys 19, Giants 10
    Cowboys -3 +100 (4 Units) - Bovada -- Correct; +$400
    Under 42 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Cowboys 20, Giants 13






    Seattle Seahawks (0-1) at Chicago Bears (0-1)
    Line: Bears by 5.5. Total: 42.5.

    Westgate Advance Point Spread: Bears -3.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Bears -5.5.
    Monday, Sept 17, 8:15 PM


    The Game. Edge: Bears.

    This week on ESPN, we're going to have two people I don't know calling the shots instead the great preseason homers like Kevin Reilly, Ron Wolfley and Don Tollefson, inept ESPN guys Emmitt, Herman Edwards, and aloof people like Dan Fouts and Jay Cutler. 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 Chicago where the Chicago Cubs will take on the Seattle Superseahawks. Guys, no one cares about the Chicago Cubs since they won the World Series for the first time in 10 years, so let's get to the important topic on hand. The network is making me share the booth with another play-by-play guy this week because they said I was too grumpy last week. F***ing idiots! Who do they think they're disrespecting!? I'm Kevin Reilly, and I have lots of Nick Foles posters in my bedroom! In fact, I'm going to convince mother to let me move down into the basement!

    Emmitt: Basement, it really are sad that you live inside your mother stillness. Baby live inside mother for nine year before he escape the wound, and the doctor cut the cord like a lot of millenmammals doing now with not watching the TV. But you still living inside your mother and now you want to move inside her basement which sound real dirty.

    Reilly: Why is that dirty, Emmitt? I don't understand, but then again, mother says I'm too young for adult jokes even though I turned 67 this past spring.

    Tollefson: I'll help you out, Kevin. I heard this from a friend as we were moving some female corpses from my basement. What is the difference between your wife and your job? After five years, your job still sucks!

    Reilly: I don't get it. Why would a wife suck? Didn't you marry her because you like her? Your joke makes no sense, Tolly, but then again I'm not as cool as you because mother won't let me date girls yet. I guess though without further ado, here's our guest play-by-play guy, Joe Buck.

    Joe Buck: That was a disgusting joke by Don Tollefson. I am disgusted we had that on the air. Disgusted.

    Tollefson: Hey, what gives, Joe? I thought it was a great joke.

    Reilly: Can someone please explain to me why a wife would suck!?

    Herm: THIS JOKE'S EASY! THIS JOKE'S SIMPLE! THIS JOKE'S COMMON! THIS JOKE'S UNDERSTANDABLE! IT'S A PLAY ON WORDS, KEVIN! IT'S A PLAY ON WORDS! THE WORDS, YOU PLAY! A PLAY ON WORDS! YOU'RE PLAYING WITH WORDS! YOU'RE PLAYING! YOU'RE PLAYING WITH THE WORDS! THERE ARE WORDS AND YOU PLAY! WORDS WITH PLAY! I MEAN PLAY WITH WORDS! I MEAN PLAY ON WORDS! THAT'S THE RIGHT ONE! PLAY ON WORDS! NOT PLAY WITH WORDS! THOUGH YOU'RE REALLY PLAYING WITH THE WORDS! BUT IT'S PLAY ON WORDS FOR SOME REASON! THERE'S A REASON! NOT SURE WHY THERE'S A REASON! NOT SURE... NOT... UHH... umm...

    Wolfley: KEVIN, WHAT HERM IS TRYING TO SAY IS THAT YOUR WIFE IS LIKE A FIRE HYDRANT WITH LIPS. FIRE HYDRANTS WITH LIPS OFTEN SUCK. THAT'S WHY YOUR WIFE SUCKS.

    Fouts: And here's what he means by wife. There's a woman. Except she's not your wife yet. You go up to this woman and say hi to her. Is she your wife yet? Not yet, let's not get too hasty. First, you need to ask her out on a date. So, you do that. Is she your wife yet? No, stop getting so trigger-happy. She needs to say yes, and then you go out on a date. Once you do that, you may think she's your wife, but once again, you're doing things wrong. You need to date her multiple times, but even then, she's not your wife. You need to-

    Tollefson: Fouts, you might be the dumbest person I've ever met. Why would you do these things with women? Just drug them and bring them back to your house, where they will be happy to cook and clean naked for you. Wife shmife.

    Joe Buck: That was a disgusting. I'm disgusted we had that on air. So, let's change the subject. Let's talk about the baseball game last night. Can anyone believe Manny Hermangomez hit that home run off Agua Beltran in the bottom of the ninth? Stay tuned for more baseball.

    Reilly: Baseball!? Who the f**k cares about baseball, idiot!?

    Joe Buck: Can't wait for the pitching matchup in the Reds-Marlins matchup between Leche Gomez and Fresa Mendez. I'm so excited for it, can't you hear it in my voice. I'm very excited. My producers told me to act more excited, so here am I being very excited.

    Cutler: Dude, I don't care about anything, and yet I think I'm actually more emotional than you.

    Joe Buck: Let's get to Joe Does Betting, a new segment I made up since I had so much success with it in the preseason. It looks like the Bears are 34-point favorites in this game, so I'd like to recommend the Seahawks as a five-star wager. Guys, did you know that the Bears are 34-point favorites in this game? They're also a bigger favorite to win the Super Bowl right now than the Patriots, who are 5,000:1. I'd like to recommend the Patriots 5,000:1 to win the Super Bowl as a five-star pick, and that's Joe Does Betting, brought to you by water. Water, so exciting, like me.

    Reilly: Oh man, if only mother let me bet, I'd bet on those for sure.

    Charles Davis: Kevin, I usually ask you questions, Kevin, but Joe Buck needs to be taught a lesson, Kevin, so Joe, let's talk about some types of bets, Joe. Joe, let's talk straight bets, Joe. This is when you place a bet on one side to cover the spread, Joe. Let's discuss totals, Joe. That's an over-under point total pick, Joe. Did you know that, Joe? Why not discuss parlays, Joe? How about if-bets, Joe? Why not chat about moneyline plays, Joe? What about futures, Joe? How about props, Joe? Can you name one more type of bet, Joe? It involves multiple teams and begins with the letter "T," Joe?

    Joe Buck: Oh boy, another Joe Does Betting segment, brought you by grass. Grass, so exciting, like me. The answer you're looking for is Tyrannosaurus Bet, Charles. That's when I go to a sportsbook and bet whatever I want, and they let me walk away with money, Charles. So exciting. This Joe Does Betting segment is brought to you by sidewalks. Sidewalks, so exciting, like me.

    Charles Davis: Tyrannosaurus bet is not a real type of wager, Joe. Looks like you're exposed as a fraud, Joe. Now, get the hell out of here and let Kevin broadcast on his own, Joe. Kevin might be a weirdo, but he's our weirdo, Joe, and he doesn't lie about gambling like you do, Joe.

    Reilly: Wow, you... you defended me, Charles. Maybe I'll stop plotting to kill you after all. We'll be back after this!

    SEATTLE OFFENSE: If things weren't difficult enough for Russell Wilson, he'll now have to play without Doug Baldwin for 2-3 weeks. Thus, his top receivers will be the decrepit Brandon Marshall and the inefficient Tyler Lockett until about October.

    Given the sudden issues at receiver, and the horrible state of the offensive line, the Seahawks are going to have difficulty moving the chains. Chicago has a ferocious front seven, led by Khalil Mack and Akiem Hicks, and they have very easy matchups versus Germain Ifedi and J.R. Sweezy, respectively. Wilson will still secure some first downs with his legs, but it'll be very difficult for him to consistently move the chains, which was the case in the opener, especially after Baldwin went down.

    The running game won't be a factor either. The Packers, who have a much better offensive line than the Seahawks do, struggled to open up holes for Jamaal Williams because of Hicks and monstrous nose tackle Eddie Goldman. Rashaad Penny and Chris Carson had no success against Denver, and the Bears figure to be even better versus the rush.

    CHICAGO OFFENSE: The Bears showed some creative formations in the early going against the Packers, establishing a double-digit lead even before Aaron Rodgers left the game. Chicago went into a shell for some reason, becoming ultra conservative, and that partly ended up costing the team the game.

    Matt Nagy will have an opportunity to have a hot early start like he did against the Packers. The Seahawks are depleted on the defensive line and in the secondary. Their pass rush is lacking, and the Bears own one of the better offensive lines in the NFL, so they should be able to give Mitchell Trubisky plenty of time to locate his targets downfield. Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel and Anthony Miller figure to have success getting open against a struggling group of cornerbacks. Earl Thomas will help, but he's just not enough.

    Besides, the Seahawks will have to exert plenty of energy worrying about the Chicago ground game. We just saw Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay combine for 142 rushing yards, and the Bears have even better run blocking.

    RECAP: I like the Bears to cover, as they're the vastly superior team and should be favored by way more than this. However, I always worry about fading Wilson when he's an underdog. Wilson has a knack for keeping games close because he's such a great quarterback. When I saw this game on the schedule going into the year, I was hoping that Vegas would make Seattle a three-point favorite. If that were the case, I'd have a big play on Chicago.

    Sadly, that's not the case. The Bears aren't even really -3 -110 anymore, which was the case on the Westgate advance spread. The line is either -3 -125 or -3.5 -105 wherever I look, and neither of those spreads is particularly enticing. I still like the Bears for about a unit, as I believe they're the vastly superior team, but like I said, I'd worry about a Wilson back-door touchdown.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: This line keeps creeping up toward -3.5, though you can still get -3 -125 at BetUS. If you're wondering what's better between -3 -125 and -3.5 -110 for the home team, here's the math: The marginal difference of such a line move is 4.1 percent, based on NFL scores from the past 15 years (i.e. you're 4.1 percent more likely to hit -3 than -3.5, which is a big deal because the difference between a winning percentage of 50 and 54.1 for the season is the difference between winning and losing lots of money.) The difference between -125 and -110 is 2.95 percent (calculate 125/225 and 110/210,) so it's more profitable, over the long term to wager -3 -125 than -3.5 -110. As for -3.5 +100, that's a different story. The difference between -125 and +100 is 5.56 percent, so it's actually better to wager -3.5 +110 than -3 -125. Any tout will tell you otherwise because they want to boast a better winning percentage, but we all know that profits are way more important.

    At any rate, if you don't care about the math, I'm holding out hope that this line drops to something more reasonable come Monday evening.

    SATURDAY NOTES: Bobby Wagner is out! Holy crap, that's horrible for the Seahawks. Wagner is one of the top linebackers in the NFL, and Seattle's defense isn't even close to as potent without him. I'm increasing my unit count to four units. I've been looking hard for something better than -3 -125. I think I'll pull the trigger at -3 -115, but -3 -125 is still good enough.

    SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: Argh, this line is now -3.5. There are some -3 -130s available, but that's about the same as -3.5 -110. I'll continue to be patient for the best number possible.

    MONDAY AFTERNOON NOTES: My patience paid off in the Jets-Dolphins game, but it backfired here. The sharps, recognizing that the Seahawks won't be the same without Bobby Wagner, have pounded the Bears up to -4.5. I've been looking around for the best number, and it's between -4 -115 at Bookmaker or -5.5 -102 at 5Dimes. There's no point in betting those now, so I'll decide what I'm going to do tonight. I will say that I will be dropping my unit count because this number has risen. It'll be three units max.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The damn sharps ruined a nice bet, as they were smart enough to realize that the Seahawks' defense will be a husk of its usual self with Bobby Wagner out. This spread is now -4.5 across the board. However, some books offer alternative spreads. 5Dimes does this, and they have -5.5 +100 available, which is much better than -4.5 -110. I'll be on that. I've been debating on how many units I'd take the Bears for, and I've ultimately settled on two. I'm scared to death of Russell Wilson back-dooring me because he's so great. I know I'm going to be terrified by the end of the game that I'll lose this wager because of Wilson, so I don't want to go above two units. I should note that had -3 -120 or better still been available, this would be a four-unit wager. Losing -3 is crushing, as it's such a key number.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action
  • Percentage of money on Seattle: 51% (62,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Seahawks.
  • Russell Wilson is 12-7 ATS after a loss as long as he's not favored by -10 or more.
  • Russell Wilson is 14-6 ATS as an underdog.
  • Russell Wilson is 16-5 ATS in night games.
  • Bears are 18-10 ATS after losing to the Packers since 1992.
  • Bears are 14-21 ATS at home since 2013.
  • Opening Line: Bears -3.
  • Opening Total: 43.5.
  • Weather: Clear, 76 degrees. Light wind.


    Week 2 NFL Pick: Bears 24, Seahawks 17
    Bears -5.5 +100 (2 Units) - 5Dimes -- Correct; +$200
    Under 42.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Bears 24, Seahawks 17



    Week 2 NFL Picks - Early Games
    Baltimore at Cincinnati, Carolina at Atlanta, LA Chargers at Buffalo, Minnesota at Green Bay, Houston at Tennessee, Cleveland at New Orleans, Miami at NY Jets, Kansas City at Pittsburgh, Philadelphia at Tampa Bay, Indianapolis at Washington


    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.





  • LOADING COMMENTS...



    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




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

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

    2003 Preseason: 3 | 4 | 5
    2003 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 20 | XXXVIII
    2004 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2004 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XXXIX
    2005 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2005 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XL
    2006 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2006 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLI
    2007 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2007 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLII |
    2008 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2008 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLIII |
    2009 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLIV |
    2010 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2010 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLV |
    2011 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2011 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLVI |
    2012 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2012 Season:
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