NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 7, 2018

NFL Picks (Preseason 2018): 11-10 (+$445)
NFL Picks (Week 1, 2018): 8-7-1 (+$150)
NFL Picks (Week 2, 2018): 8-7-1 (-$80)
NFL Picks (Week 3, 2018): 8-8 (-$730)
NFL Picks (Week 4, 2018): 8-6-1 (+$280)
NFL Picks (Week 5, 2018): 10-4-1 (+$1,415)
NFL Picks (Week 6, 2018): 6-7-2 (-$1,115)

NFL Picks (2018): 59-49-6 (+$365)
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 Oct. 21, 10:45 a.m. ET. Follow @walterfootball for updates.

Go to Week 7 NFL Picks - Late Games

Denver Broncos (2-4) at Arizona Cardinals (1-5)
Line: Pick. Total: 41.5.

Westgate Advance Point Spread: Broncos -2.5.
Walt's Calculated Line: Cardinals -1.
Thursday, Oct 18, 8:20 PM

The Game. Edge: None.

WEEK 6 RECAP: What a frustrating week! I finished 6-7-2, -$1,115 after C.J. Beathard's shocking display against the Packers. Elsewhere, I had the Browns for a four-unit play, but that ticket was flushed down the toilet early when Baker Mayfield ran out of bounds and tripped over the first-down marker. Mayfield hurt his ankle and limped around for the rest of the game, taking lots of sacks and never scrambling again. I had a five-unit play on the Patriots, and while that game ended up as a push, it was a loss in the Supercontest, and New England blew a lead of 24-9. The Patriots were still up seven toward the end of the game, but the Chiefs scored a touchdown on a blown coverage to make sure New England wouldn't cover.

My one legitimate loss Sunday was five units on Cincinnati -2. The Bengals played a very sloppy game with countless drops. I won't argue that I had the right side in that game, but I really can't remember the last time the Steelers covered with so much public money coming in on them. That just doesn't happen very often.

Meanwhile, my overrated-underrated feature was posted in this spot the past couple of years. I thought it would be better if there was less clutter on this page, so I set up a new NFL Overrated and Underrated Teams page that will be updated every Monday. I have three overrated and underrated teams listed there, and some may shock you!

My Week 7 NFL Picks will be posted all day Tuesday. Follow @walterfootball for updates.

ARIZONA OFFENSE: Josh Rosen had a nice debut in Week 4, but his previous two games have been mixed. He's made some nice deep passes against the Cardinals and Vikings, but he's also been guilty of some poor overthrows as well. The protection hasn't been there, as Rosen was hounded against the Vikings. I imagine the Broncos will put similar pressure on Rosen. Denver generated a great pass rush against the Rams last week, and Arizona's offensive line is worse than Los Angeles'.

However, the Broncos don't really do anything else well on this side of the ball. They've surrendered 500-plus rushing yards over the past two weeks, so David Johnson could finally have a great game. Johnson also figures to be a big weapon as a receiver coming out of the backfield, as the Denver linebackers struggle to cover. Ricky Seals-Jones will thrive for similar reasons.

Meanwhile, the Denver secondary has struggled as well, excluding Chris Harris. The dynamic corner will do a good job on the hobbled Larry Fitzgerald, but Christian Kirk figures to have a nice game. Rosen has looked more comfortable throwing to Kirk than anyone else anyway.

DENVER OFFENSE: The Bronco fans in the stands during last week's game didn't sound like they were pleased with Case Keenum. The new Denver signal-caller made some nice passes in that loss, but was very inconsistent. He struggled mightily in the opening half, and the fans cheered when backup quarterback Chad Kelly took a snap prior to halftime when Keenum was being checked for a concussion. It made sense for inept head coach Vance Joseph to make the switch to Kelly in a desperate attempt to save his job, but he stuck with Keenum, who was at least able to throw a back-door touchdown.

Keenum won't be able to target Demaryius Thomas very often because of Patrick Peterson's elite coverage. However, Emmanuel Sanders should have a good game, as Arizona can't cover slot receivers. I also expect Phillip Lindsay to be a big part of the offense in all facets, as the Cardinals just surrendered a huge performance to a Minnesota backup running back.

The problem, however, will be pass protection. The Broncos already had issues with struggling left tackle Garett Bolles being charged to block Chandler Jones. Now, they'll be without one of their top offensive lineman, guard Ronald Leary, who tore his Achilles against the Rams. Keenum will see more interior pressure than he's used to, and that could make him struggle more than usual.

RECAP: Vance Joseph may be having the time of his life, but he's not winning on the road. I've posted this twice in my NFL Power Rankings page, but I'll do it again now. Here's Joseph's track record on the road as coach of the Broncos:

1-8 straight up, 1-8 against the spread.

Denver's sole road victory under Joseph has been at Indianapolis in Week 15 last year when the Jacoby Brissett-led Colts were playing a Thursday game coming off a grueling overtime battle against Buffalo. Indianapolis was competitive early, but simply ran out of gas

The Broncos have been outscored by an average margin of 27.8-14.6 on the road. In fact, only one of their eight losses has been decided by single digits, which was a 21-14 defeat at Oakland last year.

And yet, despite this, the Broncos are favored on the road! Why!? And it's not like this is even a trap because the public is pounding Denver.

I don't get it. The Broncos stink, while the Cardinals have been feisty at home, nearly beating the Bears and Seahawks. Both teams are better than Denver when the Broncos don't have their fans and the altitude on their side, so this is a game Arizona can certainly win.

I wish we were getting the full +3, but I'm definitely up for betting a couple of units on the Cardinals at +2.5. Thursday games are weird, so I won't go too nuts in such a contest featuring two awful teams, but I'll be wagering on Arizona.

THURSDAY THOUGHTS/PICK LOCKED IN: I should've bet this earlier, as sharp money has come in on Arizona. The best spread is at BetUS at +1.5 -110. Meanwhile, Bovada has the moneyline at Arizona +100. So, what's better? I was wondering that myself. The marginal difference between +1.5 and PK is 1.78 percent (meaning you're more likely to win money betting +1.5 rather than PK), while the difference between -110 and +100 is 2.37 percent. That's obviously greater, so it means that you're 0.59 percent more likely to make money over the long term with PK at +100 instead of +1.5 at -110. A percentage of 0.59 may not seem like much, but in betting it is. Hitting 52.0 percent of your picks at -110 is a losing proposition, but being at 52.59 is a winning formula, long term.

FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharp money continues to come in on the Cardinals, as this line is now down to PK -110 in most books. BetUS still has +1 if you haven't gotten it in yet. The public, meanwhile, is on the Broncos, ignoring Denver's horrible road struggles under Vance Joseph. I like my Cardinals pick, but I didn't go huge on this because Thursday night games tend to be goofy.

The Psychology. Edge: Cardinals.
A big game for the Cardinals' new regime, while the Broncos are coming off a tough loss against the Rams.

The Vegas. Edge: Cardinals.
Tons of action on the Broncos.
  • Percentage of money on Denver: 68% (15,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Cardinals.
  • Cardinals are 33-16 ATS at home as underdogs or favorites of less than -3 since 2007.
  • Opening Line: Broncos -1.
  • Opening Total: 41.
  • Weather: Dome.

    Week 7 NFL Pick: Cardinals 16, Broncos 13
    Cardinals PK +100 (2 Units) - Bovada -- Incorrect; -$200
    Under 41.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Broncos 45, Cardinals 10

    Tennessee Titans (3-3) vs. Los Angeles Chargers (4-2)
    Line: Chargers by 6.5. Total: 45.5.

    Westgate Advance Point Spread: Chargers -3.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Chargers -1.5.
    Sunday, Oct 21, 9:30 AM
    at London

    The Game. Edge: None.

    My overrated-underrated feature was posted in this spot the past couple of years. I thought it would be better if there was less clutter on this page, so I set up a new NFL Overrated and Underrated Teams page that will be updated every Monday. I have three overrated and underrated teams listed there, and some may shock you!

    TENNESSEE OFFENSE: Marcus Mariota took 11 sacks this past week. That's all anyone's going to talk about entering this game, aside from perhaps the fact that the Chargers have only lost to the Rams and Chiefs.

    The sacks were bad, but I expect the protection to be much better this week for a few reasons. First, Taylor Lewan will be healthier. Lewan was banged up and clearly not himself, but with another week to heal, he'll perform better. Second, with Joey Bosa out, the Chargers don't have any consistent pass rushers outside of Melvin Ingram, whom I think Lewan should be able to handle. And third, Tennessee may have been looking ahead to traveling to London, as it didn't seem like all the effort was there. I expect that after being embarrassed, the Titans' blocking group will play with way more pride this week.

    With that in mind, I like Marcus Mariota to bounce back. The Chargers have some problems at linebacker, so Mariota should be able to attack the middle of the field. We just saw Duke Johnson have a nice game, so Dion Lewis figures to have great success as a receiver out of the backfield.

    SAN ANGELES OFFENSE: The Chargers had a great showing on this side of the ball against the Browns. They mostly ran outside tosses to Melvin Gordon and end-arounds to Keenan Allen and some other receivers, and it kept working. The Chargers continued to go to the well, and it paid off, as inept Browns defensive coordinator Gregg Williams proved to be way too incompetent to make any adjustments.

    The Titans are coached much better under Mike Vrabel, and they have a tough defense. Even in their losses, their stop unit has played well. They're stout versus ground attacks, so Gordon won't be as dominant as he was this past week. Gordon could still have a decent game, but he won't be running for 10 yards per play like he was against Cleveland's poorly coached defense.

    The Titans also have more talented cornerbacks, so I would be surprised if Tyrell Williams catches a pair of deep bombs again. Even better, Tennessee will potentially be getting its best coverage linebacker, Wesley Woodyard, back from injury. He'll help defend Gordon and Austin Ekeler as receivers out of the backfield. With fewer options this week, I expect Philip Rivers to be under constant duress, as the Titans seem to have nice matchup edges in the trenches. I don't trust three blockers on the Chargers' offensive line - Russell Okung, Dan Feeney, Sam Tevi - and the Titans will be able to beat them with Brian Orakpo, Harold Landry and Jurrell Casey.

    RECAP: The Chargers are severely overrated. Yes, they "only" lost to the Chiefs and Rams, but both games were double-digit defeats. The Chargers have beaten no one aside from the Browns, and Cleveland saw its quarterback suffer an injury in the opening quarter during a promising drive. Baker Mayfield couldn't move at all after that, and the Browns really struggled to score as a result despite spending lots of time in Chargers territory in the first half of that game.

    This spread is a big overreaction to that Chargers misleading win as well as the thrashing Tennessee took at home last week. As mentioned, however, several things went wrong for the Titans in that game, and I expect Tennessee to be much better after being embarrassed like that in a home shutout loss. I'm not a big trend guy anymore, but I think it's worth noting that teams coming off home shutout defeats are 43-28 against the spread in their next game in the past 30 years.

    The advance spread on this game was San Angeles -3, which I thought was a bit too high at the time. Now, it's -6.5. That's a 3.5-point adjustment because of an injured quarterback and a poor game plan!

    There is no way the Chargers are 6.5 points better than the Titans on a neutral field. Hell, I don't think the Chargers are three points better than Tennessee on a neutral field. The public disagrees with me, and that's fine. I'll be on the Titans for a huge wager.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: This spread hasn't moved yet, and there is no sharp action coming in on either side yet at +6.5 (there was some on Tennessee at +7 briefly.) I still love the Titans with this inflated point spread.

    SATURDAY NOTES/PICK LOCKED IN: Still no sharp action, but it could be coming. Melvin Gordon has been downgraded to questionable with a balky hamstring. Even if he plays, he may not be 100 percent. I'd be a bit surprised if the pros didn't jump on the Titans, so I'll beat them to it. I'm locking in the Titans +6.5 -105 at BetUS.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I'm shocked that this line hasn't moved. If you haven't heard, Melvin Gordon is out. Apparently, Gordon is worth zero points because this spread is +6.5. The public is still pounding the Chargers, while the sharps haven't touched this at all. Perhaps the sharps are still asleep, as it's currently 6:24 a.m. in Vegas. Once again, it makes no sense to have a 9:30 a.m. Eastern game.

    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.

    The Vegas. Edge: Titans.
    All aboard the Chargers' bandwagon!
  • Percentage of money on San Angeles: 69% (17,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Opening Line: Chargers -6.5.
  • Opening Total: 45.5.
  • Weather: Sunny, 64 degrees. Light wind.

    Week 7 NFL Pick: Chargers 23, Titans 20
    Titans +6.5 -105 (5 Units) - BetUS -- Correct; +$500
    Under 45.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Chargers 20, Titans 19

    New England Patriots (4-2) at Chicago Bears (3-2)
    Line: Patriots by 2. Total: 49.5.

    Westgate Advance Point Spread: Patriots -3.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Bears -1.
    Sunday, Oct 21, 1:00 PM

    The Game. Edge: Patriots.

    VEGAS UPDATE: I'll be posting how the Vegas sportsbooks have done the previous week in this spot.

    The highest-bet sides were 43-40-4 last season, a year that was pretty painful for the books. Perhaps the pendulum will swing the other way...

    Here were the teams getting the most bets last week:

  • Bears -3
  • Falcons -3
  • Jaguars -3
  • Packers -9.5
  • Vikings -10

  • Surprise, surprise, another losing week. The highest-bet teams were 1-3-1 in Week 6, and the only win came via a Falcons front-door field goal with a minute remaining in regulation. I hate those front-door field goals.

    The overall record of heavily bet teams is now 9-19-3. Here are the teams getting the most bets this week:

  • Patriots -3.5
  • Chargers -6.5
  • Chiefs -5
  • Vikings -3
  • Falcons -6

  • Nothing here surprises me, as the public will always bet road favorites and large home favorites with reckless abandon.

    NEW ENGLAND OFFENSE: The Patriots were unstoppable offensively against the Chiefs in the opening half, but slowed down a bit following intermission. Part of the reason for the slight regression was the loss of right tackle Marcus Cannon, who left with a concussion. Cannon's replacement couldn't block nearly as well, and Tom Brady saw more pressure than he's used to. If Brady thought that was bad, he hasn't seen anything yet.

    Brady better hope that Cannon will play because the player opposing the right tackle, Khalil Mack, figures to dominate regardless. I'm sure the Patriots will constantly double team Mack, but that'll just open up lots more opportunities for the other members of Chicago's outstanding defensive front. Brady will see tons of pressure, so he'll have to release the ball quickly. That usually isn't a problem, but most of the Bears' secondary is pretty stout. That wasn't the case at Miami, but the Bears were roasting in the 100-degree heat and humidity. They'll play in more favorable conditions in this game, and they should do much better, especially when considering that Rob Gronkowski definitely isn't 100 percent.

    Still, Brady will move the chains well at times because he's the GOAT. What I don't think will happen is Sony Michel eclipsing the century mark again. The Bears are strong in the defensive interior and should be able to win in the trenches.

    CHICAGO OFFENSE: Bill Belichick was able to trick Patrick Mahomes into a couple of early interceptions Sunday night. The Patriots led 24-9 as a result, but that advantage quickly disappeared in the second half when Patrick Mahomes went nuts.

    Call me crazy, but I don't think Mitchell Trubisky is going to have the same type of performance as Mahomes had in Foxboro. Just a gut feeling. However, Trubisky has shown that he can play well at times. He was stellar against the Buccaneers and had some great moments in Miami. Conversely, Trubisky has made some mistakes, including some in that Miami game. Trubisky was actually awful in the opening half outside of one pass to Taylor Gabriel. He really picked up his play in the second half, but still made some blunders. It's difficult to know which Trubisky will show up on any given Sunday, but given Belichick's penchant for befuddling young quarterbacks, it's more likely that Trubisky will struggle.

    That said, the Bears could hit some big gains with some of their explosive play-makers, particularly Tarik Cohen and Taylor Gabriel. We just saw Tyreek Hill and Kareem Hunt go nuts, and Gabriel and Cohen are the very poor-man's versions of those players.

    RECAP: I'm not going to bet this game. I don't want to wager against Brady in non-September contests, but New England's not an option either because of poor spread value. The advance line was New England -3, and now it's -3.5. That's just a movement of half a point, but it's an important half point because three is the most key of all key numbers.

    The Bears will play with more energy than the Patriots and could pull the upset. However, Brady could easily engineer a winning drive at the end if this game is close. The most likely result of this game, in my estimation, is New England winning by exactly three, so I'll take the hook in a non-wager.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Wow, there's a ton of sharp money coming in on the Bears. All of the +3.5s are gone, and the +3 -110s aren't even around anymore. I'll still be on Chicago for a non-wager, but perhaps the thing to remember is that it's never a "sharp" thing to bet against Tom Brady.

    SATURDAY NOTES: Rob Gronkowski didn't travel with the team, so that would explain the extreme line movement. The sharps love the Bears. I definitely do not with the +3s long gone.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Rob Gronkowski is indeed out, as is starting right tackle Marcus Cannon. Khalil Mack will play in a great matchup, but there's no guarantee that he'll be 100 percent. This is still a non-play on Chicago for me, despite sharp action on the Bears.

    The Psychology. Edge: Bears.
    This could be a low-energy game for the Patriots after the shootout with the Chiefs.

    The Vegas. Edge: Bears.
    This is a no-brainer for the public.
  • Percentage of money on New England: 75% (25,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Patriots.
  • Tom Brady is 226-70 as a starter (167-115 ATS).
  • Patriots are 23-11 ATS on the road vs. NFC opponents since 2001.
  • Patriots are 12-17 ATS as road favorites since 2013.
  • Opening Line: Patriots -2.5.
  • Opening Total: 50.
  • Weather: Sunny, 44 degrees. Light wind.

    Week 7 NFL Pick: Patriots 27, Bears 26
    Bears +2 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Over 49.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Patriots 38, Bears 31

    Cleveland Browns (2-3-1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3)
    Line: Buccaneers by 3.5. Total: 52.5.

    Westgate Advance Point Spread: Buccaneers -1.5.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Buccaneers -1.5.
    Sunday, Oct 21, 1:00 PM

    The Game. Edge: TBA.

    HATE MAIL: I will be posting hate mail here. I didn't get any hate in the comments of the picks page. Fortunately, there's an NFL Power Rankings page full of angry morons:

    What a weirdo. Seriously, what sort of sick psychopath dislikes cleavage? And what's wrong with being a degenerate gambler? This guy has the temperment of one of those smelly mob protesters who like to dehumanize people.

    Here's a shorter one:

    Seriously. To anyone acting like an a**hole in the comment section who thinks you can do better than me, feel free to e-mail me and ask for hosting details because Kenny's company is great. I'll be glad to help you out!

    Here's the final batch from the power ranking page:

    So much anger from pretend Rams fans - since we know true Rams fans don't really exist - and yet I think their team is great because I have them third in my power rankings. And nice call on the Pats-Chiefs game. What an epic loss!

    Here's a real e-mail I received:

    Seriously, this guy was beating off to me losing some picks, and he looked forward to e-mailing me more than anything. And yet, he f***ed up his logic. It's clear that this guy's life is a huge disappointment and failure, and I imagine that his rich parents are very ashamed of him.

    CLEVELAND OFFENSE: It will be difficult to wager on this game without checking in on Baker Mayfield's progress throughout the week. For those who didn't see it or read about it on this site a billion times in the past 48 hours, Mayfield suffered an injury in the opening quarter of the loss to the Chargers. He tripped over the first-down marker while scrambling out of bounds. He spent the rest of the afternoon limping around, taking sacks because of a lack of mobility and watchiing his receivers drop passes. He didn't scramble at all either, as he was clearly in pain.

    Mayfield would be able to throw all over Tampa's horrible secondary at 100-percent capacity, but it's not clear how healthy he'll be in this contest. He'd be able to escape from the Tampa rushers with his usual mobility, but if he can't evade defenders, he'll certainly be sacked often. Jason Pierre-Paul will likely dominate rookie left tackle Desmond Harrison, so Mayfield's ankle will need to heal in a hurry.

    The Browns won't be able to run the ball because Tampa's rush defense is pretty stout, so it'll be up to Mayfield and his underwhelming receiving corps to move the chains. I expect that Jarvis Landry and Antonio Callaway to get open quite easily versus the poor Buccaneer corners, but Mayfield's ability to locate them amid a heavy rush is the question.

    TAMPA BAY OFFENSE: The Browns have a big injury on this side of the ball as well. Their top linebacker, Joe Schobert, injured his hamstring in the Chargers loss, so he'll be missed. It's a huge blow for the Browns, who already lost Mychal Kendricks earlier in the year because of insider trading. Their linebacking corps will be in shambles, and Jameis Winston will be able to pick it apart with intermediate throws to his talented tight ends.

    As for Winston's downfield options, Mike Evans figures to be locked down by terrific rookie cornerback Denzel Ward. However, Cleveland's other cornerbacks don't match up well with Chris Godwin and DeSean Jackson. This is obviously good for Winston, who will be facing heavy heat on the blind side, as Myles Garrett will easily beat pedestrian left tackle Donovan Smith.

    Meanwhile, it'll be interesting to see if the Buccaneers picked up on what the Chargers were doing to the Browns. San Angeles ran to the outside on countless plays in that game. Melvin Gordon received tons of outside tosses, while Keenan Allen ran five end-arounds (one long gain was called back by penalty.) The Chargers knew the Browns couldn't defend the edge, as inept coordinator Gregg Williams couldn't make adjustments. I wonder if the Buccaneers will also utilize end-arounds and give Peyton Barber plenty of edge runs. Barber finally showed signs of life last week, so he should have a good game against Cleveland's decimated linebacking corps.

    RECAP: As mentioned earlier, it'll be tough to bet on this game without knowing Mayfield's condition. I'll be monitoring his progress throughout the week, but even then, we may not know exactly how healthy he is.

    If I knew Mayfield were 100 percent, I'd be on the Browns. I'd love Mayfield's matchup in this game, and the usually aloof Buccaneers tend to struggle as home favorites (12-18 ATS this decade.) However, Mayfield being at less than 100 percent will have me on the Buccaneers, whom I'm going to pick at the moment.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: There's been some sharp money pushing this up to -3.5. I wondering if professional bettors know something about Mayfield's ankle, which the public hasn't had access to. I can't find anything yet, but I'll keep digging.

    SATURDAY NOTES: The Browns just traded Carlos Hyde away, which should help their chances in this game. Nick Chubb is a better player, so Cleveland will be better offensively, especially with Gerald McCoy out for Tampa. Of course, the most important injury is to Baker Mayfield. I've tried to find anything on his ankle, but there have been no reports about it. Hue Jackson said Mayfield had a "good week of practice." I don't know if I want to bet the Browns with Mayfield potentially injured, but I was tempted to make a pick change. However, with Joe Schobert out, I'm going to stay on Tampa. Schobert is such an important and underrated player in Cleveland's defense that I don't want to go side with the Browns with him gone, even in the wake of this trade and McCoy being out.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I'm still zero on the Buccaneers. I'd really like the Browns if I knew Baker Mayfield were completely healthy and if Joe Schobert were playing, and I'd really like the Buccaneers if, well, I trusted them at all as a home favorite.

    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.

    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Tampa Bay: 57% (11,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Browns.
  • Road Team is 84-54 ATS in Buccaneers games since 2009.
  • Buccaneers are 22-47 ATS at home in the previous 69 instances.
  • Opening Line: Buccaneers -3.
  • Opening Total: 49.5.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 78 degrees. Mild wind, 12 mph.

    Week 7 NFL Pick: Buccaneers 26, Browns 20
    Buccaneers -3.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Under 52.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Buccaneers 26, Browns 23

    Detroit Lions (2-3) at Miami Dolphins (4-2)
    Line: Lions by 3. Total: 47.

    Westgate Advance Point Spread: Lions -2.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Lions -3.5.
    Sunday, Oct 21, 1:00 PM

    The Game. Edge: Lions.

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    MIAMI OFFENSE: There's no line posted on this game because it's unclear if Ryan Tannehill will be able to play. However, even if Tannehill is healthy enough to go, is it a certainty that Adam Gase will even start him? Gase was visibly frustrated with Tannehill during his post-game press conference, angrily saying, "I'm tired of answering questions about this guy." Brock Osweiler just beat a tough Chicago defense, so maybe he deserves another shot.

    That said, Osweiler was very lucky last week, and I'm not just talking about the long completion in overtime that bounced off the helmet of a Chicago defender. Most of Osweiler's yardage came via Albert Wilson catch-and-runs when the Bears were too gassed to tackle him. It was 100 degrees, sunny and humid in Miami, and the Chicago players were roasting on the field. The Bears did very well defensively early in the game, limiting the Dolphins to just seven points, thanks to a Leonard Floyd body-slam penalty, but they just wore down as the afternoon progressed.

    I'd say Osweiler will regress, but it'll once again be hot, as it's currently projected to be 86 and sunny in Miami in this contest. The Lions, wearing darker uniforms than the Dolphins, could similarly be gassed by the fourth quarter. They were already at a disadvantage, as their linebacking corps and secondary, aside from Darius Slay, struggle mightily to cover. Wilson and the other Miami receivers could have big games, though it's also possible that Osweiler will throw more passes off cornerbacks' helmets, which could be picked off this time.

    DETROIT OFFENSE: The Dolphins had defensive issues of their own this past week, as they struggled to cover Tarik Cohen and Taylor Gariel. That does not bode well for their chances against Kenny Golladay and Kerryon Johnson. Golladay has emerged as the Lions' No. 1 receiver this year, and with Xavien Howard likely to cover Marvin Jones, Golladay should have a huge game because the Dolphins don't have anyone else to cover him. Meanwhile, Johnson, as well as Golden Tate and Theo Riddick, figure to abuse the middle of the field, which the Dolphins have struggled to defend for quite some time.

    Speaking of Johnson, I really hope the Lions used their bye week to evaluate their running back rotation. Johnson and LeGarrette Blount have been splitting touches evenly, which is just asinine. Blount is a nice short-yardage hammer, but Johnson is way more talented. He needs to be getting three times as many touches as Blount. If Johnson and Blount share carries at an equal rate in this game, we'll know that Detroit wasted its entire bye week.

    At any rate, Matthew Stafford should have plenty of time to find all of his weapons. The Dolphins only apply pressure on the quarterback on the edge, as that's where Stafford is protected best. Things would obviously be different if Miami still had Ndamukong Suh, but he's not around any longer, and he hasn't been properly replaced yet.

    RECAP: I obviously can't issue a concrete pick just yet because there's no line, and we don't know which quarterback will start for the Dolphins. I'd like to say I'll be on the Lions as a fade of Osweiler or an injured Tannehill, but I'm not sure yet. It's worth noting that the weather will once again be a concern, as the opposition has really struggled in Miami in these 1 p.m. starts. That'll change in November onward, but it still figures to be sticky and hot in yet another Dolphins home game.

    At any rate, check back later or follow me @walterfootball for updates.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: A line has been posted. The Lions opened -2.5, and despite the public leaning toward Miami, this spread moved to -3. This is sharp action on Detroit, and I like the visitor as well. My one concern is the weather, but the Lions are much better than the Dolphins with Brock Osweiler under center. Osweiler was very fortunate not to have countless turnovers against a flat Chicago team. He'll almost certainly have several give-aways in this contest, and I don't think Matthew Stafford is going to make the same mistakes Mitchell Trubisky did. I'm going to pencil in the Lions for three units for now, but I may increase my wager after having some time to think about it.

    SATURDAY NOTES: I'm moving off this pick. After thinking about it, I've decided that the heat and humidity might be too much for another NFC North team, and we're not getting good line value with the Lions. I'll still pick Detroit, but for zero units.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: It's 88, sunny and humid in Miami. That's not a good spot for the Lions. Then again, the Dolphins are starting Brock Osweiler, so they're not in a good spot either. I'm not betting this game.

    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.

    The Vegas. Edge: Lions.
    The Dolphins are a public dog.
  • Percentage of money on Miami: 52% (9,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Lions are 9-18 ATS on the road vs. teams with winning records since 2011.
  • Underdog is 82-56 ATS in the Dolphins' last 138 games.
  • Dolphins are 13-36 ATS at home against teams with losing records since 2003.
  • Opening Line: Lions -2.5.
  • Opening Total: 47.
  • Weather: Sunny, 85 degrees. Mild wind, 11 mph.

    Week 7 NFL Pick: Lions 34, Dolphins 24
    Lions -3 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Over 47 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Lions 32, Dolphins 21

    Carolina Panthers (3-2) at Philadelphia Eagles (3-3)
    Line: Eagles by 4.5. Total: 45.5.

    Westgate Advance Point Spread: Eagles -3 -120.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Eagles -5.5.
    Sunday, Oct 21, 1:00 PM

    The Game. Edge: None.

    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. Football is amazing, but there are some things wrong with it. Kenny and I from the WF Podcast talked about our top five things that need to improve with the NFL during one of our summer episodes.

    One thing that we should've included was these damn 9:30 a.m. London games, which begin this week. I don't mind London games, but the ones that start at 9:30 a.m. are especially brutal. They're so early, and they can really screw up fantasy football, as people have to get up extra early to set their lineups. People on the West Coast have to submit their lineups by 6:30 in the morning if, for example, Leonard Fournette is a game-time decision next week!

    This Sunday, the Titans will take on... wait a second, the Chargers? The freaking Chargers have to play a 6:30 a.m. local time game? How is that fair at all? And not just for the players; the fans have to get up early to watch their team. How would you feel if you had to wake up at 6:30 a.m. to watch your favorite team? That seems horrible.

    Poor Charger fans. I feel sor... wait a second. Did I just say "Charger fans?" HAHAHAHA, whoops, I forgot those don't exist. Silly me!

    2. Another reason why I hate the London games is that I don't get to check out the pre-game shows. Not that they're any good, but they provide terrific writing fodder.

    I watch the NFL Network pre-game show because Rich Eisen is the best anchor, so I didn't get to check out the FOX pre-game show. A reader informed me that the four analysts on that show were asked to predict an upset selection for Week 5. Two of them picked the Packers over the Lions as an upset.

    Now, if that sounds strange to you, it is. That's because the Packers were favored by a point in that game. Yes, two NFL TV analysts picked a one-point favorite to pull an upset. Unreal.

    The e-mailer wasn't the only person to notice this. Check out what people wrote on Twitter:

    Would it kill any of the TV networks to finally put together a good pre-game show? Because sports wagering is legal now, it'd be great if FOX, CBS, ESPN and the NFL Network hired great handicappers who actually know which teams are underdogs. It'd be great if they brought in guys who could make great betting, fantasy and DFS recommendations. That would make these pre-game shows awesome. Instead, the networks continue to go with the same, old formula with former players being mostly clueless, and it sucks.

    3. Sticking with the theme of pre-game antics, some of you may have seen this:

    I think that's horrible, and the fact that the Bills didn't deactivate Kelvin Benjamin for the game just shows that they have poor leadership. Can you imagine if Tom Brady, Peyton Manning or Drew Brees asked one of their receivers to run routes, and that receiver said no? They'd be off the team immediately! You don't disrespect Brady, Manning or Brees like that. Allen obviously is not nearly of that caliber, but it just goes to show that Benjamin doesn't respect him at all.

    The Bills should do what the Eagles did with Terrell Owens 13 years ago and place him on a reserve list of sorts for actions detrimental to the team. Benjamin's just a bad guy to have in the locker room, and Buffalo would be better off without him. Besides, it's not like he's been productive. What, are the Bills going to miss it when he catches just two of his six targets during the next game?

    PHILADELPHIA OFFENSE: Carson Wentz has improved each game, and I have to imagine that the mini-bye week did wonders for him. It'll be interesting to see if the Eagles' offensive line will upgrade its play in the wake of the extra time off.

    Philadelphia's blocking hasn't been up to standard through six games this year. Right tackle Lane Johnson hasn't been healthy, while left tackle Jason Peters has struggled mightily. Peters will miss time because of a biceps tear he suffered on Thursday night. Halapoulivaati Vaitai is expected to fill in for Peters. While Vaitai is a passable blind-side protector, I'm wondering how long the Eagles will hold off on Jordan Mailata. The rookie was excellent in the preseason and will eventually be Philadelphia's starting left tackle, but how close is he to being so now? Vaitai and a hobbled Johnson will struggle to block the talented Carolina edge rushers, which will put Wentz is unfavorable down-and-distance situations once again.

    Fortunately for Wentz, he has a nice matchup against a Carolina secondary that he should be able to exploit. The Panthers have poor corners and even worse safeties, as Eric Reid has struggled since signing with the team. Wentz will be able to attack the Panthers via Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor, as well as Zach Ertz, who will beat the safeties. All three of these players will need to step up because the Panthers' vicious front seven won't allow the Eagles to run the ball at all.

    CAROLINA OFFENSE: Much like the Panthers, the Eagles have struggled mightily in the secondary. They've surrendered huge passing performances to almost everyone this year. Their cornerbacks have not played well, while safety Rodney McLeod is missed.

    Fortunately for the Eagles, they have a tremendous front seven that can generate lots of pressure on opposing quarterbacks and clamp down on the run. Two of Cam Newton's three primary weapons are Christian McCaffrey and Greg Olsen, and the Eagles have the personnel to handle both of them.

    What the Eagles won't be able to do is stop Carolina's receivers. Devin Funchess just had a strong performance against Washington, and he has an even easier matchup this week. Meanwhile, rookie D.J. Moore is coming along. Moore killed his team with two early turnovers last week, but made some nice plays in the second half. His emergence will help the Panthers as they progress toward the second half of the season.

    RECAP: The Eagles have been complacent in most of their games this year, and I wonder if that'll once again be the case this week. They're coming off a blowout win on national TV against a divisional rival, and they have to board a plane to London right after this matchup. Meanwhile, the Panthers are coming off a loss, perhaps because they were looking ahead to battling the defending Super Bowl champions on the road. Of these two teams, the Panthers are likely to have higher energy, which should allow them to keep this contest within striking distance.

    Both of these teams are very good and are slotted in the top eight of my NFL Power Rankings, so it'd be reasonable to expect a close affair even if the Eagles had lower projected energy. I like the Panthers to cover, but I don't think I'll be betting this game.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS/UNIT CHANGE: I've been thinking about this game a lot, and I've been warming up to betting the Panthers. I think the Eagles are being overvalued here, as a blowout win over the Giants shouldn't mean anything. In fact, it's a reason to fade Philadelphia at this inflated point spread. The line is now up to -5, yet the advance spread was -3 -120. A movement of two points is definitely not warranted, so I'll put two units on the underrated Panthers.

    SATURDAY NOTES: It's going to be very windy in Philadelphia on Sunday, which would make me look at the under. I also have to think this would benefit the Panthers, who will be able to move the chains on the ground better than Philadelphia will be able to. I'm hoping for Carolina +6 at a reasonable price (-115 or better.)

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I thought it was going to be very windy in Philadelphia, based on the weather reports, but I'm looking out the window and the leaves aren't moving very much. Nevertheless, my two-unit pick on the Panthers remains unchanged. I was hoping to get +6, but that never happened. So, I'm actually going to sell a half point to bring the juice down from -110 to -105 at Bookmaker.

    The Psychology. Edge: Panthers.
    Coming off a win against a divisional rival, the Eagles may look ahead to playing in London.

    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Carolina: 52% (12,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Cam Newton is 23-16 ATS off a loss as long as he's not favored by 7+.
  • Carson Wentz is 20-13 SU, 19-14 ATS as a starter.
  • Opening Line: Eagles -4.5.
  • Opening Total: 45.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 48 degrees. HEAVY WIND, 20 mph.

    Week 7 NFL Pick: Eagles 21, Panthers 20
    Panthers +4.5 -105 (2 Units) - Bookmaker -- Correct; +$200
    Under 45.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Panthers 21, Eagles 17

    Buffalo Bills (2-4) at Indianapolis Colts (1-5)
    Line: Colts by 7. Total: 43.5.

    Westgate Advance Point Spread: Colts -5.5.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Colts -5 (with Josh Allen).
    Sunday, Oct 21, 1:00 PM

    The Game. Edge: Colts.

    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. College football is fun and all, but it boggles my mind when people claim that it's better than the NFL. The environment is great, and the girls in the stands are super hot - more on that later - but the product itself isn't that good. The players are obviously worse than the pros, and there are just way too many crappy matchups each week. Like, one of Alabama's remaining games on the slate is against The Citadel. Why the f**k is Alabama allowed to play the Citadel? Imagine if the New England Patriots' schedule looked like this:

    at Dolphins
    vs. Colts
    vs. Chiefs
    vs. Calgary Stampeders
    at Bills

    How dumb is that? What's the point of the Patriots playing the Stampeders, and what's the point of Alabama playing The Citadel?

    Also, simple things in the NFL aren't so easy in college football. I was watching Florida-Vanderbilt, and the Commodores moved into field goal range. They were in the red zone when they stalled, and they had a 25-yard field goal lined up. The announcer ominously said, "Vandy's kicker has been struggling this year." Sure enough, the 25-yarder wasn't even close.

    Now, in full disclosure, I bet on Vanderbilt, but it was so frustrating to see this. When NFL kickers miss, they whiff from about 40, which isn't horrible if you compare it to someone missing from 25. That's just miserable, especially when it costs you money. I had Vanderbilt +7.5. Florida beat Vanderbilt by 10. Had the idiot kicker nailed a 25-yarder, the +7.5 would've covered.

    Again, we're relying on pubeless college kids to hit a 25-yard field goals, which is borderline impossible for some of them. That's definitely one of the reasons why college football isn't as good as the NFL.

    2. Speaking of Florida, take a look at this picture, and tell me what the first thing you notice is:

    Wait, what? The first thing you noticed were the brunette's boobs? How utterly sexist of you! Here are the other things you missed because of Chomp Girl's cleavage:

    1. Stan Lee whispering sweet nothings into her ear.

    2. The guy in front of Chomp Girl staring at her boobs (and not the game.)

    3. The girl behind Chomp Girl picking her nose (or snorting cocaine.)

    4. The girl to the right of Chomp Girl is asleep.

    5. The girl all the way on the red appears to be knitting a sweater.

    6. The old lady behind Stan Lee needs to learn which direction the football field is.

    7. Someone is wearing jorts behind nose-picker/cocaine-sniffer.

    There's so much action going on, and here you're staring at cleavage! Again, how sexist. OK, I'll admit that I am sexist. Because I was doing it, too.

    3. Rotoworld NFL Draft writer and friend Thor Nystrom is great at what he does, but there's one person who disagrees. That person posted this on Twitter in response to one of Thor's tweets this past week:

    If you?re going to write in the national media about a game/team please use the team?s proper name(s), App State or Appalachian State is appropriate not Appy. It is seen as disrespectful to that fan base.

    Uhh... OK? This person referred to himself as some sort of scout. If that's true, the NFL or college team that employs him should consider firing such an unhinged individual.

    This guy's post reminded me of what I used to hear during my days at Penn State. When I used to call a fraternity a "frat," the frat brothers used to get offended and say, "Don't call a fraternity a frat, bro. Do you call your country a c**t?"

    My reply used to leave them looking dumb:

    "No, but I call the United States of America the 'U.S.'"

    Morons. Just like this "Appy State" hater.

    BUFFALO OFFENSE: There wasn't a line posted on this game until Tuesday morning when Emmitt love interest Dianna Marie Russini reported that Josh Allen would not be starting this game. It's unknown if Buffalo's starter will be Nathan J. Peterman or Derek Anderson, but Russini said that head coach Sean McDermott would be in danger of losing the locker room if he went with Peterman again. Apparently, the Buffalo players want a washed-up veteran throwing the ball to them over Peterman - and they're not totally crazy for thinking that.

    Whether it's Peterman or Anderson, the Bills are obviously going to struggle to move the chains. Peterman is an abomination who might actually be color-blind, while Anderson, well, let's just say I've written about his magical flask quite a few times over the years. In his past three years, Anderson has thrown five interceptions compared to two touchdowns, and he was 2-of-8 last year. And that was with the Panthers, where he knew the offense! I know he's familiar with this coaching staff, but he's barely had any reps with the supporting cast. Plus, the offensive line sucks, and unlike Allen, Anderson can't scramble at all. He'll be sacked on countless occasions in this game.

    The Bills' only hope of getting first downs is via LeSean McCoy, who might have a good matchup. It depends on who's playing for the Colts. Denico Autry is a top run defender in Indianapolis, but he's missed the previous game-and-a-half because of a hamstring. The Colts couldn't stop the Jets' ground attack, but they'll have a better chance at doing so if Autry can return to action.

    INDIANAPOLIS OFFENSE: Speaking of injured Colts impacting this game, it'll be absolutely enormous if T.Y. Hilton can finally return to the field from his own balky hamstring. Indianapolis has dropped NINETEEN passes over the past three weeks without Hilton, and two of the drops last week resulted in interceptions, one of which was a pick-six. No one on the Colts besides Eric Ebron can catch, and that has absolutely killed Andrew Luck's chances of winning games.

    Fortunately for Luck, he had left tackle Anthony Castonzo back on the field this past Sunday for the first time all year. Castonzo was rusty in his return, but should be better in his second game. He'll help keep the Bills' strong defensive line at bay. It's good that he'll be on the field because Jerry Hughes is having a great season. Hughes just dominated the Texans, but Castonzo gives the Colts a fighting chance of keeping him out of he backfield.

    Speaking of the Bills' defensive front, the unit should be able to clamp down on a pedestrian Indianapolis ground attack, so Luck will need to put the team on his shoulders to keep his team's dwindling playoff chances alive. And yes, at 1-5, there's still some hope, only because no team in the AFC South has a winning record at the moment.

    RECAP: The Bills are not winning this game with Peterman or Anderson, and I'm not sure they'll even be remotely competitive. This spread may seem very high at -7.5, but the sportsbooks have designed this line so the public wouldn't pound Indianapolis. So far, so good.

    Besides, the Colts may only need 14 points to cover this number. Buffalo's offense won't be able to do anything without Allen's mobility, while the Colts figure to be healthier this week. If they get Autry and/or Luck back, they'll have a very good chance to cover, and I'll be betting them for at least three units. I may move this to four units if a -7 becomes available.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Good news! T.Y. Hilton tested his hamstring Wednesday and said it felt good. He'll practice Thursday. The Colts have dropped an average of 6.3 passes per game over the past three weeks, but that number will certainly decrease with Hilton on the field. Meanwhile, it's been announced that Derek Anderson will start. Anderson has almost zero reps throwing to the Buffalo players, so how can the Bills possibly be competitive in this game?

    SATURDAY NOTES/LOCKED IN: T.Y. Hilton isn't listed on the injury report anymore, which is great news. The Colts won't be dropping at least six passes this week unless Hilton aggravates his injury. Let's hope that doesn't happen because I'm betting three units on Indianapolis. Meanwhile, it looks like the public is finally coming in on Indianapolis. It started when the books dropped this line to -7 for some reason. I'm fine with that. Most books have the Colts available at -7 -105, and I'll lock that in now.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: It's nice that the public action on the Colts has been reduced a bit. I still like them for three units.

    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.

    The Vegas. Edge: Bills.
    The public action was slow to come in on the Colts, but it did when the line fell to -7.
  • Percentage of money on Indianapolis: 66% (13,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Colts.
  • Bills are 16-23 ATS since November 2011 as a road underdog.
  • Andrew Luck is 21-9 ATS off a loss.
  • Andrew Luck is 24-14 ATS at home.
  • Opening Line: Colts -8.
  • Opening Total: 44.
  • Weather: Dome.

    Week 7 NFL Pick: Colts 20, Bills 6
    Colts -7 -105 (3 Units) - BetUS -- Correct; +$300
    Under 43.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Colts 37, Bills 5

    Minnesota Vikings (3-2-1) at New York Jets (3-3)
    Line: Vikings by 3.5. Total: 45.

    Westgate Advance Point Spread: Vikings -3.5.
    Walt's Calculated Line: Pick.
    Sunday, Oct 21, 1:00 PM

    The Game. Edge: None.

    If you've followed this site for a while, you might remember that I like to respond to my spam mails. It all started seven 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, Ramsay Bolton and Walter White. I have brand new Spam Mails this year, so check them out if you want to see me screw with spammers. I'll have new ones every week!

    NEW YORK OFFENSE: Sam Darnold had a two-game stretch where he struggled against some stellar pass defenses, but he has rebounded nicely at home. He's been more aggressive, and outside of one bad mistake last week where he panicked and launched a pick up for grabs, he had an excellent game.

    But what about this week's matchup? If you think the Vikings have a stellar pass defense, you haven't been paying close attention to them. They've always struggled to defend the middle of the field, but now they have injuries in their secondary. They lost promising rookie Mike Hughes, who was charged with playing the slot. His loss will be substantial in this matchup, as Darnold has favored throwing it to the slot receiver more than anyone else. That was Quincy Enunwa to begin the year, but Jermaine Kearse took over for an injured Enunwa this past week and arguably did a better job. Meanwhile, talented safety Andrew Sendejo could miss this game after not practicing at all last week. With Darnold being more aggressive, Sendejo's absence will be felt a bit, though George Iloka figures to be a decent replacement.

    Meanwhile, the Vikings also won't be without Everson Griffen. The talented edge rusher is dealing with mental issues, unfortunately. His replacement, Stephen Weatherly, had a strong performance against the Cardinals last week, but was battling one of the weakest right tackles in the NFL. The Jets have a superior blocking unit compared to Arizona's, so they'll actually give Darnold ample time in the pocket on most occasions.

    MINNESOTA OFFENSE: With the defense struggling, the Vikings will have to score plenty of points. They were able to post 27 on the scoreboard on Arizona last week, thanks to Latavius Murray's tough runs. Murray played well, but neither he nor Dalvin Cook will find much success on the ground versus the Jets, who are strong versus opposing ground attacks, thanks to Leonard Williams and the rest of the solid front.

    Speaking of Williams, he and Henry Anderson will cause some interior disruption, as Minnesota's offensive line isn't very good. The Jets will win in the trenches, even more so than Arizona did last week. The Cardinals hurried Kirk Cousins and batted six of his passes. Cousins also made some dire mistakes, which he could repeat in this contest if he's under constant duress.

    Of course, it goes without saying that Adam Thielen will have a huge game. The Jets don't defend slot receivers well, so Thielen will eat Buster Skrine for lunch. Thielen has a great chance to record his seventh-consecutive 100-yard performance to start the season, which would tie an NFL record. However, it doesn't seem as though Stefon Diggs will be as successful, as he'll have to go up against Morris Claiborne, who is having a good season.

    RECAP: I really like the Jets in this matchup. The Vikings aren't as good as people think they are. Their defense has numerous injuries and weaknesses, and Darnold should be able to take advantage of those. Meanwhile, their offensive line can't block, and the Jets will be able to win in the trenches on that side of the ball, which is definitely worth something.

    With that in mind, I made this spread pick 'em. Yet, the Vikings are favored by three, with high juice stapled onto that line. I love the line value we're getting with New York.

    Furthermore, the Vikings may not be focused. We've already seen them overlook one AFC East foe with a rookie quarterback, so it could happen again. The Vikings battle the Saints next week in a rematch of the epic divisional round playoff game, so I doubt they'll take the Jets very seriously, considering that they're expected to walk all over them, if this betting action in this game is any indication.

    I've bet the Jets the past two weeks and have been rewarded, and I think it'll be three-for-three on this impressive home stand. I'm putting four units on the Jets. I considered five units, and I may pull the trigger on it depending on what the injury report reveals.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Public money has moved the Vikings to -3.5. There hasn't been any sharp money on the Jets yet, so this is music to my ears. I'm close to locking this in, but I'm being greedy and hoping for a +3.5 -105 to pop up.

    SATURDAY NOTES/PICK LOCKED IN: It looks like it's going to be very windy in North Jersey come Sunday, which will obviously benefit the Jets. I'm still high on New York, and I'll lock it in at +3.5 -105 at Bovada.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I'm surprised the sharps haven't touched this game. The public is all over the Vikings, but I think the Jets are a great play at +3.5.

    The Psychology. Edge: Jets.
    The Vikings are a considerable favorite here, so they may overlook the Jets with a game against the Saints coming up.

    The Vegas. Edge: Jets.
    No surprise here.
  • Percentage of money on Minnesota: 70% (13,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Vikings.
  • Mike Zimmer is 47-22 ATS as head coach of the Vikings.
  • Opening Line: Vikings -3.
  • Opening Total: 47.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 48 degrees. Mild wind, 17 mph.

    Week 7 NFL Pick: Jets 23, Vikings 20
    Jets +3.5 -105 (4 Units) - Bovada -- Incorrect; -$420
    Under 45 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Vikings 37, Jets 17

    Houston Texans (3-3) at Jacksonville Jaguars (3-3)
    Line: Jaguars by 3.5. Total: 41.5.

    Westgate Advance Point Spread: No Line (Watson).
    Walt's Calculated Line: Jaguars -6.5.
    Sunday, Oct 21, 1:00 PM

    The Game. Edge: None.

    Video of the Week: Some people get angry at me when I say that certain teams will take some games lightly from time to time. "No, they give 100-percent effort!" I hear. Well, this video proves that athletes can be lazy:

    Why am I not surprised, in the slightest, that Jay Cutler was part of that montage?

    (Edit: the stupid NFL has blocked this from being embedded on this site, so click here for the video.)

    HOUSTON OFFENSE: Everyone seemed to love Deshaun Watson last week, both fantasy- and DFS-wise, but I was down on him after seeing him struggle through some brutal injuries in the Sunday night game against Dallas. Watson didn't miss any action, but was constantly getting checked out by team doctors. Watson, as a result, played poorly versus Buffalo. He threw a horrible interception and fumbled three times. He was sacked often because of his miserable offensive line, which didn't help.

    Watson's chances of bouncing back will depend on his health. It's impossible to tell what condition he'll be in come Sunday, but if he's not markedly better than he was in Buffalo, the Texans will be in deep trouble. The Jaguars have some stellar defensive players who will be angry about surrendering 40 points to a terrible offense. The front barely got to Dak Prescott, but that'll change in this contest. The Texans arguably have the worst offensive line in the NFL, as they don't have anyone who can block Yannick Ngakoue or Calais Campbell. It'll be tough times for Watson, who will have to throw early and often because of his team's lacking rushing attack.

    The Jaguars also have a stellar secondary. DeAndre Hopkins will get his, even against Jalen Ramsey, but A.J. Bouye should do a good job on Will Fuller. There will be one opportunity for the Texans here, as Keke Coutee could have a strong performance. The Jaguars added D.J. Hayden to replace the departed Aaron Colvin to play slot corner, but Hayden has been injured. His absence was felt against Dallas when Cole Beasley went off, and Coutee is a better athlete than Beasley.

    JACKSONVILLE OFFENSE: We all know that Blake Bortles stinks, but in his defense, his supporting cast isn't really doing much for him. Leonard Fournette's absence has been huge, and it's been magnified by Corey Grant's injury as well. The Jaguars have just one viable running back in T.J. Yeldon, as they had to waste some downs giving Jamaal Charles carries last week. Meanwhile, Jacksonville is also down to its third-string left tackle, which will be very problematic in a matchup against Jadeveon Clowney. Both Clowney and J.J. Watt will put heavy pressure on Bortles.

    It remains to be seen if Fournette will be available for this game, but a report by a publication called Florida Football Insiders said that Fournette could be held out until after the Week 9 bye. Fournette didn't even have a good matchup here, as the Texans stop the run well, so Jacksonville's ground attack will be even more lackluster than it normally would be.

    The good news for Bortles is that the Texans have some matchups to exploit. Houston's corners have struggled this season, so Jacksonville's quick receivers should be able to get open. Bortles will also scramble for some timely first downs to keep the chains moving.

    RECAP: The Jaguars had an appalling lack of effort in Dallas, resulting in a 40-7 defeat. Watching the entire game Monday night - Charlie Campbell covered it on Sunday - the lethargy was very apparent. Jacksonville's players were slow and sluggish, and the team clearly wasn't focused. On one instance, the Jaguars had 12 men on the field for a punt that gave Dallas a first down. The Cowboys ended up scoring a free touchdown as a result.

    The Jaguars will play with much greater effort in this contest, but the concerns they have offensively are real. Having a third-string left tackle going up against Clowney is a problem. Another issue is lacking any sort of threat in the backfield. Even Grant offered some dynamic ability, but he's not around any longer.

    If you were to tell me Watson would be 100 percent or very close to it for this game, I'd be on the Texans. However, Watson looked broken down this past week. If his health doesn't improve, it's going to be a long day for the Texans, who would've lost to the Bills at home had Buffalo not been guilty of two special-teams gaffes in the opening half. With that in mind, I'm going to pick the Jaguars, but not for any sort of wager.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Sharp money has pushed this line up to -5, and I believe they're on the right side. I may wager on the Jaguars if I read negative things about Deshaun Watson's condition. I believe Watson is injured, and I imagine the professional bettors do, too.

    SATURDAY NOTES: The Jaguars traded for Carlos Hyde, but that doesn't affect this pick for me. Hyde will improve the running game, but Houston had a great run defense anyway. What's most important is Deshaun Watson's health. Watson told John McClain of the Houston Chronicle that he feels much better this week, but there's no way of really knowing that until we see him play, given that players are usually optimistic about their injuries. I'm going to stay with zero units on Jacksonville, but if Watson is 100 percent or very close to it, the Texans will have a good chance to cover.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps have bet the Texans late in the week. This spread is down to +3.5 in most books, but 5Dimes still has +4 available if you like Houston as well. I think Jacksonville is the right side, but that is with the assumption that Deshaun Watson isn't 100 percent. If he is, the Texans can defintiely cover this spread.

    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.

    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Jacksonville: 57% (9,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Texans.
  • History: Texans have won 11 of the last 15 meetings.
  • Jaguars are 12-20 ATS as home favorites since 2008.
  • Opening Line: Jaguars -3.5.
  • Opening Total: 44.
  • Weather: Sunny, 68 degrees. Mild wind, 15 mph.

    Week 7 NFL Pick: Jaguars 19, Texans 13
    Jaguars -3.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Under 41.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Texans 20, Jaguars 7

    Week 7 NFL Picks - Late Games
    New Orleans at Baltimore, Dallas at Washington, LA Rams at San Francisco, Cincinnati at Kansas City, NY Giants at Atlanta


    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 7 NFL Picks - Late Games

    NFL Picks - Oct. 24

    2022 NFL Mock Draft - Oct. 20

    NFL Power Rankings - Oct. 19

    Fantasy Football Rankings - Sept. 8


    Note: For legality purposes, this Web site does not promote or advocate gambling. This is solely for entertainment purposes only.

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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: 2-4
    Bears: 6-0
    Bucs: 2-4
    49ers: 1-4
    Eagles: 3-3
    Lions: 3-3
    Falcons: 3-2
    Cardinals: 3-3
    Giants: 4-2
    Packers: 2-3
    Panthers: 2-4
    Rams: 4-2
    Redskins: 2-4
    Vikings: 2-4
    Saints: 3-2
    Seahawks: 4-2
    Bills: 2-4
    Bengals: 4-1
    Colts: 0-6
    Broncos: 3-3
    Dolphins: 2-4
    Browns: 4-2
    Jaguars: 3-3
    Chargers: 3-3
    Jets: 3-2
    Ravens: 3-3
    Texans: 2-4
    Chiefs: 2-4
    Patriots: 4-2
    Steelers: 2-4
    Titans: 5-1
    Raiders: 4-2
    Divisional: 15-9 (2011-20: 448-442)
    2x Game Edge: 21-18 (2011-20: 279-271)
    2x Motivation Edge: 15-15 (2011-20: 394-318)
    2x Spread Edge: 10-12 (2011-20: 105-89)
    2x Vegas Edge: 11-18 (2011-20: 346-357)
    2x Trend Edge: 5-7 (2011-20: 270-241)
    Double Edge: 7-11 (2011-20: 149-128)
    Triple Edge: 2-2 (2011-20: 27-22)

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