NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 14, 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 (Week 7, 2018): 7-7 (+$430)
NFL Picks (Week 8, 2018): 6-8 (+$510)
NFL Picks (Week 9, 2018): 5-8 (-$1,445)
NFL Picks (Week 10, 2018): 5-8-1 (-$735)
NFL Picks (Week 11, 2018): 5-5-3 (+$950)
NFL Picks (Week 12, 2018): 7-8 (+$215)
NFL Picks (Week 13, 2018): 7-9 (-$630)

NFL Picks (2018): 101-102-10 (-$340)
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 Dec. 9, 11:40 a.m. ET. Follow @walterfootball for updates.

Go to Week 14 NFL Picks – Late Games

Jacksonville Jaguars (4-8) at Tennessee Titans (6-6)
Line: Titans by 5.5. Total: 37.

Westgate Advance Point Spread: Titans -6.
Walt’s Calculated Line: Titans -9.
Thursday, Dec 6, 8:20 PM

The Game. Edge: Titans.

WEEK 13 RECAP: I had five picks of three-plus units. I won just two of them (Broncos -4, Seahawks -10). My three losses were Colts -4, Packers -14 and Browns +6. As a result, I was 7-9 (-$630) in Week 13.

The Colts were simply no-shows. I guess the Packers were, too, as they dropped countless passes and played like crap defensively on some drives. The Browns loss was mystifying though. I have no idea why a team that can’t block whatsoever like Houston keeps covering spreads as moderately sized favorites. I remember the good old days when you could fade a team with a bottom-five offensive line with great success, but teams that can’t block – Houston, Arizona, Jacksonville – buried me this past week.

My Week 14 NFL Picks will be posted all day Tuesday. Follow @walterfootball for updates.

JACKSONVILLE OFFENSE: I can’t believe the Jaguars beat the Colts last week. They were starting Cody Kessler and Carlos Hyde in the backfield behind an offensive line missing three starters. The Colts still took a defeat to this – with the help of some very shady officiating – though it’s not like Jacksonville’s scoring unit did anything, as the team posted just six points.

Leonard Fournette will return this week, but I don’t think it’ll matter in this matchup. The Titans are usually excellent against the run, and because Kessler can’t throw a pass longer than three yards, Tennessee will be able to stack the box with more defenders. It’ll be very difficult for Fournette to find any sort of running room.

With Fournette struggling to break free, it’ll be up to Kessler to move the chains. Kessler was very fortunate last week for a couple of reasons. He was never in a deficit, so he wasn’t forced to throw, and he also had an early pass that was nearly picked by three different defenders. Given the short week of preparation, it’s unlikely that things will bounce favorably for Kessler this time around.

TENNESSEE OFFENSE: Jacksonville’s defense carried the team to victory last week with a heroic performance. The Jaguars put some pressure on Andrew Luck, who hadn’t seen much of a pass rush behind his improved offensive line all year. Given that fact, the Titans could be in trouble.

Marcus Mariota has endured a couple of brutal games this season. He was sacked 11 times against the Ravens and went down nearly as many times against the Texans in a Monday night defeat. The interior of the offensive line stinks, while right tackle Jack Conklin has been very inconsistent. The Jaguars should be able to get some wins in the trenches to put heat on Mariota.

The Jaguars also cover extremely well, as evidenced last week, when Luck didn’t have open receivers to throw to. Covering the Titan wideouts will be an even easier challenge for the Jaguars, though Tennessee should have some success when Mariota connects with Dion Lewis and Jonnu Smith. The Jaguars struggle a bit against receiving backs and tight ends, so that could be a way for the Titans to have success on offense.

RECAP: Assuming there are no phantom holding penalties in this game like there were in the Colts-Jaguars contest last week, the Titans should cover. The Jaguars are starting one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL, which presents a great opportunity to fade them. You should always go against awful quarterbacks in today’s NFL. This strategy was 3-1 last week. The Colts didn’t get there, but the Broncos, Seahawks and Eagles covered.

I have some concern about Jacksonville’s defense stopping the Titans, but I’m not sure if the Jaguars will be able to match their intensity from this past Sunday. They treated that game like their Super Bowl for some reason – did you see how Tom Coughlin and his tech guy were celebrating? – and bouncing back after just three days of rest doesn’t seem feasible. Plus, the Titans have owned the Jaguars in recent years. Tennessee and Jacksonville are fairly identical teams, but the Titans have the better quarterback.

I’m going to list the Titans as a three-unit play. I have some concern with Mariota showing up on the injury report with a right hand injury, so we’ll see what develops from that.

THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Public money has bet this up to -5.5, while the sharps haven’t come in very hard on this game. I still like the Titans for three units. Tennessee’s defense isn’t good against the pass, but the Jaguars won’t be able to take advantage of that with their terrible quarterback, especially with so little time to prepare. I’m going to lock this in now at Bookmaker (-5.5 -105) because I don’t want to see this spread rise to -6.

FINAL THOUGHTS: This spread did, in fact, hit -6 in some books. Those that have -5.5 still listed are at -115 juice. The sharps haven’t gotten involved. I still like the Titans for three units, but -6 would lower the wager by a bit.

The Psychology. Edge: Titans.
The Jaguars are coming off a “Super Bowl” win against the Colts and could be flat in this game.

The Vegas. Edge: Jaguars.
A good lean on the Titans.
  • Percentage of money on Tennessee: 65% (13,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • History: Titans have won 5 of the past 6 meetings.
  • Opening Line: Titans -4.
  • Opening Total: 38.
  • Weather: .

    Week 14 NFL Pick: Titans 24, Jaguars 17
    Titans -5.5 -105 (3 Units) – Bookmaker — Correct; +$300
    Over 37 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Titans 30, Jaguars 9

    Baltimore Ravens (7-5) at Kansas City Chiefs (10-2)
    Line: Chiefs by 6.5. Total: 49.5.

    Westgate Advance Point Spread: Chiefs -9.5.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Chiefs -7.
    Sunday, Dec 9, 1:00 PM

    The Game. Edge: Chiefs.

    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!

    KANSAS CITY OFFENSE: If we were going to discover how the Chiefs would play without Kareem Hunt, we weren’t going to find out last week. Kansas City had an incredibly easy matchup against one of the worst defenses in the NFL. The Chiefs posted 40 points despite the fact that Tyreek Hill dropped multiple passes. Patrick Mahomes was also sloppy on some passes despite his great stat line.

    This will be a legitimate test, and I suspect that Hunt’s absence is going to hurt the Chiefs more than people realize. Spencer Ware is a fine substitute as a runner, but he won’t be able to do what Hunt was capable of in the passing attack. Hunt was a tremendous threat, and that missing element will make things easier for Baltimore’s elite defense.

    We just saw the Ravens limit the Falcons to fewer than 100 net yards through the first three quarters of last week’s game. The Falcons dropped some passes, but Baltimore legitimately smothered Julio Jones. If the Ravens were able to take away and frustrate Jones, they should be able to limit Tyreek Hill similarly. Mahomes, however, should have better luck throwing to Travis Kelce again. I nearly wrote “and Hunt as well,” but that’s obviously not the case.

    BALTIMORE OFFENSE: The Ravens have been a different offense since Lamar Jackson took over three weeks ago. They’ve attempted to control the clock with Jackson and Gus Edwards on the ground, and they’ve been successful in doing so. Jackson hasn’t thrown the ball well, but he hasn’t needed to, as the Ravens have been winning most of the time.

    Jackson will obviously have to chuck the ball downfield if the Chiefs score frequently, but if the defense does a good job in limiting Mahomes and company, Baltimore will have tremendous success moving the chains. Thus far, the Ravens haven battled defenses ranked 28th, 30th and 31st in DVOA run defense. The Chiefs are 32nd! I imagine that number will improve when Eric Berry returns from injury, but there’s no telling when Berry will be 100 percent.

    The Chiefs are actually much better versus the pass, thanks to Kendall Fuller and their great pass rush. Chris Jones, in particular, has a great matchup up front. If the Chiefs jump out to an early lead, Jackson could be forced into several turnovers.

    RECAP: That’s a legitimate big “if,” however, as the Ravens’ defense will be up to the challenge. Mahomes and his play-makers have been great this season, but Hunt’s absence fundamentally changes how effective Kansas City’s offense can be. Also, there’s a good chance we won’t see the Chiefs’ “A” game. Thanks to the NFL’s brilliant scheduling model, they have to take on the Chargers in four days. How can they fully prepare for this game and that one at the same time?

    Meanwhile, we’re going to see a tremendous energy level from the Ravens. This game means much more to them, both in terms of making the playoffs and proving that they deserve to be mentioned with the top teams in the conference.

    The Ravens seem like the right side, and it appears as though the sharps agree. This spread opened +7.5, then quickly dropped to +7, then fell once again to +6.5. If this were a normal game for the Chiefs, I could see them covering, but having to play against the other contender in the division in just four days will serve as a distraction. Plus, I’m not sure if they’ve been appropriately downgraded for missing Hunt.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: The sharps bet on the Ravens at +7.5 and +7, but haven’t done so at +6.5. That could change though, and I’ll keep you posted. I’m still zero on the visitor.

    SATURDAY NOTES: There’s a chance Eric Berry could play in this game, though I’m willing to bet that the Chiefs will hold him out until Thursday. I still think the Ravens are the right side, but not worth betting. I wouldn’t want to wager money against Patrick Mahomes unless there was a great reason to do so.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps are on the Ravens, but as someone wise once said, “There’s nothing sharp about betting against the best quarterbacks in the NFL.” And thus, I’ll be staying away from a wager on the Ravens.

    The Psychology. Edge: Ravens.
    The Chiefs have to play the Chargers in just four days.

    The Vegas. Edge: Ravens.
    Action creeping in on the Chiefs.
  • Percentage of money on Kansas City: 66% (16,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Ravens.
  • John Harbaugh is 5-1 ATS as an underdog in his second straight road game.
  • Andy Reid is 5-12 ATS two weeks after the bye.
  • Opening Line: Chiefs -7.5.
  • Opening Total: 49.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 28 degrees. Light wind.

    Week 14 NFL Pick: Chiefs 27, Ravens 24
    Ravens +6.5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Under 51 (0 Units) — Push; $0
    Chiefs 27, Ravens 24

    Indianapolis Colts (6-6) at Houston Texans (9-3)
    Line: Texans by 4. Total: 48.5.

    Westgate Advance Point Spread: Texans -3 -120.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Texans -3.5.
    Sunday, Dec 9, 1:00 PM

    The Game. Edge: None.

    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:

  • Broncos -4
  • Rams -10
  • Saints -7
  • Colts -4
  • Chiefs -15
  • Panthers -3.5

  • Vegas got slaughtered in Weeks 8 and 9. They finally had their revenge, as only two of the six highly bet teams covered.

    The overall record of heavily bet teams is now 30-34-3. Here are the teams getting the most bets this week:

  • Giants -4
  • Saints -8
  • Broncos -5.5
  • Rams -3
  • Texans -5

  • HOUSTON OFFENSE: I don’t like ESPN’s Monday Night Football both, but I remember one of the broadcasters talking about how important it is for the Texans to establish Lamar Miller. Houston hasn’t run consistently well this season, but if Miller’s productive, the team is much better on this side of the ball. That was the case last week, as Miller trampled the Browns, who have one of the worst ground defenses in the NFL.

    I don’t think Miller will have nearly as much success this week. The Colts are far better versus the rush than Cleveland is. They’ll limit Miller and force Deshaun Watson into long-yardage situations. Watson will be able to move the chains occasionally against the Colts’ questionable secondary, as Indianapolis will once again have no answer for DeAndre Hopkins, who torched this very opponent back in Week 4. Hopkins caught 10 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown in that game!

    However, the Colts have an advantage up front. The Texans have one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL, as they protect Watson very poorly. Indianapolis should be able to put plenty of heat on Watson to disrupt some drives, especially if Watson is in more long-yardage situations as a result of Miller not being able to run as well as he did last week. Miller’s inability to run will also impact Houston’s ability to convert in the red zone, which was a big problem earlier in the year.

    INDIANAPOLIS OFFENSE: Andrew Luck didn’t score a single point last week, which was surprising. Luck saw more pressure than he’s used to, and when he had time to throw, he’d have difficult finding open players downfield. Jalen Ramsey did a number on T.Y. Hilton, so that limited Luck’s other options.

    The Texans have a great defense, but they don’t possess a shutdown No. 1 cornerback like Ramsey. This was apparent back in Week 4 when Hilton, like Hopkins, also had a huge game. Hilton caught four passes for 115 yards despite not playing the entire afternoon because of injury. I expect Hilton to have another big game, as Luck’s offensive line should do a good job of limiting Houston’s terrific defensive front better than most other teams do.

    The Colts won’t be able to run at all with Marlon Mack, but Luck will be able to use Nyheim Hines as a receiver out of the backfield effectively. Eric Ebron should have a good game as well, given Houston’s weakness against tight ends.

    RECAP: This spread seems a bit too high, as I made this line -3.5. Last week’s DVOA numbers say that Houston should be -3. This matches with the advance spread, which was Texans -3. Because of one week’s worth of results, Houston has jumped to -5, going through two key numbers.

    I like the line value we’re getting with the Colts. I also like the idea of fading a moderately sized favorite with a horrible offensive line. This hasn’t worked the past two weeks, but I stand by my belief that Houston is overrated because of its inability to block.

    The Colts are a big play for me. I was hoping to get better value after what happened last week – Indianapolis +6 would’ve been sweet – but +5 should still get there. In addition to the line value, we’re getting a great quarterback at more than a field goal. Luck is 13-7 against the spread as an underdog of 3.5 or more since his second season, which makes sense because he can get a back-door cover if needed.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: It looks like this number is being bet down. The Colts have some injury questions, but if all looks well, I’ll lock this in at some point on Friday.

    SATURDAY NOTES: T.Y. Hilton had just one limited practice all week, and Frank Reich refused to say that he would definitely play. He’s now a game-time decision. I don’t want any part of the Colts if Hilton is out. I’m moving this to “TBA Units,” so I’ll have an update Sunday morning.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: T.Y. Hilton is playing, but I’m not entirely convinced that he’s healthy. I originally had this as a four-unit pick, but I’m going to cut the wager in half because there’s a legitimate chance Hilton exits early, which would be a disaster for Indianapolis. The best number I see is +4 -105 at Bookmaker and Bovada.

    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.

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

    The Trends. Edge: Colts.
  • History: Colts have won 25 of the 33 meetings.
  • Andrew Luck is 22-9 ATS off a loss.
  • Andrew Luck is 17-9 ATS against divisional opponents.
  • Andrew Luck is 13-7 ATS as an underdog of 3.5 or more since 2013.
  • Opening Line: Texans -5.5.
  • Opening Total: 49.
  • Weather: Dome.

    Week 14 NFL Pick: Texans 24, Colts 23
    Colts +4 -105 (2 Units) – Bovada — Correct; +$200
    Under 48.5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Colts 24, Texans 21

    Carolina Panthers (6-6) at Cleveland Browns (4-7-1)
    Line: Browns by 1.5. Total: 47.5.

    Westgate Advance Point Spread: Browns -1.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Browns -1.5.
    Sunday, Dec 9, 1:00 PM

    The Game. Edge: Browns.

    HATE MAIL: I will be posting hate mail here. This is one of the dumbest posts I’ve ever seen:

    Did this mouth-breather really chide me for not constantly betting against a team that’s 7-5 against the spread this year? Holy s**t, I’ve seen some stupid posts in the comment board over the years, but this one might be the dumbest one yet.

    Here’s stuff from the NFL Power Rankings:

    It amazes me that people don’t understand what the word “overrated” means. An overrated team is a team everyone thinks is great but isn’t as great as people believe it to be. So, how can I remove a team from an overrated list after a win on national TV? That literally defies logic.

    Here are more from the power rankings:

    The answer is two. The Rams have covered twice since Week 3. Once again C.J. Beathard, and once against the Lions that featured a lucky front-door cover. Ah, yes, this Rams team is clearly not overrated!

    Here’s another horribly stupid post:

    I don’t understand this. The guy says I’m wrong, and yet I was right. It would be like me saying, “The sun rises in the East,” and then CyanAnchor commenting, “Walt’s and idiot he said sun rises in east lol.”

    CAROLINA OFFENSE: Cam Newton is injured. I watched the Panthers-Buccaneers game closely on Game Pass, and Newton scrambled at the 5:50 mark of the fourth quarter. He went down hard and then grabbed his shoulder/arm area in pain. Following this play, Newton threw his fourth interception, had another pick that was dropped, overshot an open receiver for a potential touchdown, dinked and dunked, failed to reach the end zone on his first Hail Mary try, then was taken out of the game in favor of Taylor Heinicke for the second Hail Mary attempt.

    Perhaps Newton will be healed up by this week, but he certainly did not look good at the end of the Tampa game. Of course, you could say he didn’t look good beforehand either because he had three earlier interceptions! The Panthers had severe problems pass protecting, as the left side of their offensive line is in shambles. If they couldn’t block the Buccaneers, how will they deal with Myles Garrett, who will be applying pressure from that very side? Newton is going to find it very difficult to throw into Cleveland’s terrific aerial defense, especially if he’s hurt.

    Luckily for the Panthers, they have one big advantage on this side of the ball, and that would be Christian McCaffrey. The dynamic back has a terrific matchup against the Browns’ rush defense, which is 25th in DVOA. As long as the Panthers aren’t getting blown out, McCaffrey will have a big impact on the ground.

    CLEVELAND OFFENSE: Baker Mayfield has been the best of all the rookie quarterbacks this season, though that’s not saying much. I don’t even know who would be the No. 2 player on that list. Josh Allen, maybe? I know Lamar Jackson is 3-0, but he doesn’t throw the ball. It’s pretty bleak, but these guys still have lots of room for growth.

    Mayfield, however, has been very good for the most part ever since recovering from the injury he suffered against the Chargers. He struggled at Houston, as Mayfield hurled three interceptions in a span of a few minutes, sabotaging Cleveland’s chances of pulling the upset. However, there’s a good chance Mayfield will be able to rebound. The Panthers have one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL. Their secondary is an abomination, both at cornerback and safety. They have some quality pass-rushers who can help mask this at times, but Mayfield is well protected. The rookie’s line should keep him mostly clean in this game.

    Mayfield’s recent pre-Houston surge has been aided by Nick Chubb’s running. Chubb has been stellar as an upgrade over the lethargic Carlos Hyde. However, Chubb could have difficulty finding running lanes in this game, as the Panthers have one of the top ground defenses in the NFL.

    RECAP: It’ll be interesting to see if Newton is limited at all in practice this week. He was legitimately injured at the end of the Tampa loss, and that could linger into this week. If so, the Panthers are in serious trouble against a great pass defense.

    With that in mind, I’m betting multiple units on the Browns. How many exactly depends on what I see from Newton during the week, but this could end up being as high as a five-unit pick. The Panthers can’t win on the road, yet they’re favored as visitors, which seems bizarre. The Browns should be the team laying points, and one computer model I’m subscribed to says that Cleveland should be -4 in this game.

    I’m going to list the Browns at 3-5 units, as they’re certainly the play here. The declining Panthers have shown no signs that they can snap out of a funk, losing to bad teams like the Lions and Buccaneers despite Newton being healthy for 114 of 120 minutes in those games. The Browns are better than both Detroit and Tampa Bay, and Newton probably won’t be 100 percent.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Cam Newton hasn’t thrown in practice this week. No one is talking about this injury, as Carolina is favored and getting public money without a second thought. This is looking like it’s going to be a five-unit pick. I’m holding out hope for +3, but I don’t think we’ll get it.

    SATURDAY NOTES: Cam Newton practiced fully Friday, but after seeing him struggle mightily at the end of last week’s game, I know he’s not 100 percent. It sucks that Denzel Ward is out, but I don’t think the Panthers can take advantage of that because of Newton’s injury. There’s a ton of sharp action coming in on the Browns. I’m putting four units on them. If Ward would be playing, it’d be five units.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps took the Browns down to pick ’em. I love Cleveland, though I wish Denzel Ward were playing. This is a four-unit wager, and the best thing you can do here is sell a point or two because no key numbers are involved. You can get -1.5 +105 at Bookmaker.

    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.

    The Vegas. Edge: Browns.
    The Panthers are still getting tons of action.
  • Percentage of money on Carolina: 67% (10,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Panthers.
  • Cam Newton is 24-18 ATS off a loss as long as he’s not favored by 7+.
  • Opening Line: Panthers -1.
  • Opening Total: 46.5.
  • Weather: Sunny, 31 degrees. Light wind.

    Week 14 NFL Pick: Browns 24, Panthers 20
    Browns -1.5 +105 (4 Units) – Bookmaker — Correct; +$420
    Under 47.5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Browns 26, Panthers 20

    Atlanta Falcons (4-8) at Green Bay Packers (4-7-1)
    Line: Packers by 6. Total: 50.5.

    Westgate Advance Point Spread: Packers -7.5.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Packers -3.
    Sunday, Dec 9, 1:00 PM

    The Game. Edge: Falcons.

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    GREEN BAY OFFENSE: Good riddance, Mike McCarthy. One of the most clueless head coaches we’ve seen in our lifetime has finally been fired. I’ve been asked whom the Packers could bring in to upgrade McCarthy, and the correct answer is anyone except for maybe Jeff Fisher. I actually believe that the Packers could put a scarecrow on the sideline, and the scarecrow would do a better job because it at least wouldn’t mismanage timeouts.

    The Packers were a big disappointment offensively last week. Aaron Rodgers, of course, isn’t 100 percent, and his receiving corps is lackluster, outside of Davante Adams. Both of his young wideouts – Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Equanimeous St. Brown – dropped passes in the opening quarter, while Randall Cobb continued to be inefficient. It’s sad that Jimmy Graham, with his broken thumb, is Rodgers’ No. 2 target. The offensive line, meanwhile, struggled to protect Rodgers because two blockers left the game with injuries. It was a total mess.

    Some may expect things to improve this week because the Packers are playing against one of the worst defenses in the NFL. However, the Falcons will be better going forward with Deion Jones back on the field. Jones finally played last week and was excellent. Jones helped the Falcons limit the Ravens to less than five yards per play, marking the first time Atlanta accomplished such a feat since the season opener when Jones also played. Jones will help stuff Aaron Jones and also cover Graham over the middle of the field. The Falcons have other defensive issues, but Jones is a big-time problem-solver.

    ATLANTA OFFENSE: We’ve seen the Falcons really struggle to move the ball in some recent games. They were limited to 16 points and 5.2 yards per play at Cleveland in Week 10 and nine points and 2.9 yards per play in this past week’s loss versus Baltimore. In those two defeats, Matt Ryan generated YPAs of 6.3 and 5.0. He’s been above 7.5 in every other game this year, save for the season opener!

    So, what happened? The Browns and Ravens happened. They own two of the best pass defenses in the NFL, ranking fourth and fifth, respectively, in DVOA. The only thing the Falcons do well is throw the ball, so it’s no wonder that they lost those two games by a combined score of 54-32.

    With that in mind, things will be different in this contest. Ryan will be able to rebound because the Packers have a below-average pass defense that has gotten worse since the Ha Ha Clinton-Dix trade and the Mike Daniels injury. The Packers’ secondary has struggled outside of rookie cornerback Jaire Alexander. He’ll lock down whichever receiver he’s tasked with covering – presumably Julio Jones – but Ryan will be able to connect with Calvin Ridley and Mohamed Sanu pretty consistently.

    RECAP: I was eyeing this as a potential Pick of the Month since last week. I noted on the WF Podcast that the advance spread was Atlanta +7.5, which seemed absolutely absurd. I initially thought that if this line were still +7.5, it would be my December NFL Pick of the Month.

    Unfortunately, we lost line value because the Packers just had to go and ruin things by losing to the Cardinals. McCarthy was fired, and this spread fell to +6. Had the Packers beaten the Cardinals, this line would likely be +7 or +7.5, which is obviously way more appealing than +6. As a very high favorite, the Packers would likely look past the Falcons with a tough game against the Bears coming up.

    I don’t think the Packers will look past the Falcons, but they may not show up to this game either. A week ago, Rodgers talked about beating all five of the opponents down the stretch. That mission failed, and Green Bay has effectively been eliminated from the playoffs. The head coach was also fired. The Packers seem like they’re in completely disarray.

    The Falcons, meanwhile, will be able to pass successfully, unlike the Baltimore and Cleveland games. Deion Jones will help slow down the Packers’ offense. And who is Green Bay to be laying six points over a functional team anyway? Here are the Packers’ four wins this year:

    – Beat Bears via miracle comeback in the season opener by one point.

    – Clobbered the Josh Allen-led Bills at home.

    – Barely beat the C.J. Beathard-led 49ers by three.

    – Defeated the injury-ravaged Dolphins at home.

    That’s right – the Packers have just two wins this year by more than a field goal, and those victories were against Allen, making his second-career road start, and the utterly atrocious Osweiler.

    The Packers have been overrated ever since Rodgers suffered a knee injury. He’s not the same, and the rest of his team stinks. I have the Packers and Falcons right next to each other in my NFL Power Rankings, so I think this spread should be -3. Yet, this spread is +6, which is a high number for a talented quarterback like Ryan, who, again, will perform better against a worse pass defense.

    If you couldn’t tell, the Falcons are indeed my December NFL Pick of the Month. It looks like the sharps are betting Atlanta, too, as this line has fallen to +5.5 in some books. It’s still +6 at BetUS and 5Dimes, so I’m going to lock this in now, as I don’t think there are any major injuries worth waiting on outside of the two Packer linemen. I don’t want to lose out on +6 because that’s a second-tier key number.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: The sharps have been pounding the Falcons, dropping this line down to +5. I still love Atlanta at +5 (above +4 is fine.) However, if you can buy up to +6 at -125ish, I’d do it.

    SATURDAY NOTES: This spread keeps falling because of professional money on the Falcons. This line is now +4.5, and Pinnacle even has +4 posted. The Packers will likely be missing Bryan Bulaga, which is a pretty big deal.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps continue to pound the Falcons! This line is now down to +3.5. As I said before, I wouldn’t go eight units below +4 because you’re losing out on two key numbers (six and four.) However, I’d still like +3.5 for a big wager, as there’s a good chance the now-underrated Falcons (thanks to Deion Jones’ return) win this outright.

    The Psychology. Edge: Falcons.
    The Packers were just effectively eliminated from the playoffs and fired their head coach.

    The Vegas. Edge: Falcons.
    The public is coming in on the Packers, predictably.
  • Percentage of money on Green Bay: 68% (10,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Falcons are 25-14 ATS following a loss of 6+ in the previous 38 instances.
  • Matt Ryan is 11-6 ATS as an underdog of 6+ since his second season.
  • Packers are 31-17 ATS in December home games since 2000.
  • Packers are 39-27 ATS at home since 2010.
  • Aaron Rodgers is 85-59 ATS since 2009.
  • Aaron Rodgers is 25-15 ATS after a loss.
  • Opening Line: Packers -4.
  • Opening Total: 46.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 26 degrees. Mild wind, 12 mph.

    Week 14 NFL Pick: Packers 27, Falcons 26
    Falcons +6 (8 Units – December NFL Pick of the Month) – BetUS — Incorrect; -$880
    Over 50.5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Packers 34, Falcons 20

    New Orleans Saints (10-2) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-7)
    Line: Saints by 9.5. Total: 54.5.

    Westgate Advance Point Spread: Saints -10.5.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Saints -8.
    Sunday, Dec 9, 1:00 PM

    The Game. Edge: Saints.

    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:

    For my NFL notes this week, I thought I would fill out a Pro Bowl ballot and list my reasoning.

    Quarterbacks: Blake Bortles, Colt McCoy, Nathan J. Peterman, Derek Anderson, Blaine Gabbert, DeShone Kizer.

    Just kidding. As much as I’d like to troll the NFL, I’ll be serious here.

    Quarterbacks: Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Jared Goff, Patrick Mahomes, Philip Rivers, Russell Wilson.

    Four of my six choices were my votes last year, with Mahomes and Rivers being the exceptions. I think most of these are self-explanatory. Cam Newton would’ve been my seventh choice if I had to make one. It’s a close call between Newton and Brady, but I couldn’t leave Brady out.

    Running Backs: Saquon Barkley, Ezekiel Elliott, Melvin Gordon, Todd Gurley, Alvin Kamara, Christian McCaffrey.

    I almost clicked on Kareem Hunt’s name by accident. He would’ve made this list if it wasn’t for his troubles and release. Honestly, I don’t know whom I’d substitute him for. These top six running backs are all special.

    Wide Receivers: Odell Beckham Jr., Antonio Brown, Tyreek Hill, DeAndre Hopkins, Julio Jones, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Adam Thielen, Michael Thomas.

    You could make a case for one of the two healthy Rams receivers, Emmanuel Sanders or T.Y. Hilton, but these are the top eight productive receivers in the NFL right now.

    Fullbacks: Andy Janovich, Kyle Juszczyk.

    Andy Janovich has been a tremendous blocker for Phillip Lindsay. Kyle Juszczyk does everything for the 49ers.

    Tight Ends: Eric Ebron, Zach Ertz, Travis Kelce, George Kittle.

    I can’t believe I voted Ebron in over Rob Gronkowski, but the former has a ridiculous 12 touchdowns as of this writing.

    Offensive Tackles: Terron Armstead, David Bakhtiari, Rob Havenstein, Ryan Ramczyk, Joe Staley, Andrew Whitworth.

    Armstead’s absence was felt in New Orleans’ defeat at Dallas. The same goes for Bakhtiari in the loss to Minnesota. Both Rams tackles have to be voted in, as does Ryan Raamczyk, who is the best right tackle in the NFL right now with Lane Johnson banged up. Staley was my sixth choice. He’s played very well this year, but the 49ers have been a train wreck.

    Guard: Zack Martin, Shaq Mason, Quenton Nelson, Joe Thuney, Marshal Yanda, Kevin Zeitler.

    Zack Martin and Marshal Yanda are the best guards in the NFL, so they’re no-brainers. Shaq Mason is having a terrific year, as is rookie Quenton Nelson. I’m not totally sold on Joe Thuney and Kevin Zeitler, but it’s a rough year for guards.

    Center: Rodney Hudson, Jason Kelce, Ryan Kelly, Alex Mack.

    Kelly and Mack were my top choices. With Travis Frederick dealing with an auto-immune disease, Mack is the best center in the NFL. Kelly’s been a terrific rookie. Kelce’s play has declined a bit recently because of injury, but he’s still one of the better centers in the NFL. The same goes for Hudson.

    Defensive End: Myles Garrett, Danielle Hunter, Chandler Jones, Cameron Jordan, DeMarcus Lawrence, J.J. Watt.

    Garrett has been tremendous in his second year and must get Pro Bowl consideration. Hunter has been awesome, even when Everson Griffen was out with his mental issues. Jones has double-digit sacks once again. Jordan has been a key piece of New Orleans’ improved defense, while Lawrence has arguably been the best player at his position in the 4-3. Watt has been incredible.

    Defensive Tackle: Geno Atkins, Kenny Clark, Fletcher Cox, Mike Daniels, Aaron Donald, Akiem Hicks.

    Two Packer defensive linemen should be in the Pro Bowl, as Clark and Daniels have been a great tandem this year. Atkins and Cox are mainstays, while Hicks has been enjoying his best year. Donald is arguably the best player in the NFL.

    Inside Linebacker: Luke Kuechly, Joe Schobert, Leighton Vander Esch, Bobby Wagner.

    Kuechly and Wagner continue to be the best inside linebackers in the NFL. Vander Esch is an obvious choice as well. Schobert, meanwhile, has been enjoying his best year yet. Cleveland’s defense was so much worse when he wasn’t on the field for a couple of games.

    Outside Linebacker: Jadeveon Clowney, Dee Ford, Darius Leonard, Khalil Mack, Von Miller, T.J. Watt.

    I don’t like how the NFL has combined the 4-3 outside linebackers and 3-4 edge rushers, making this decision-making difficult. Clowney, Mack, Miller and Watt are all obvious, talented edge rushers. Ford is a new-comer to this list, but he’s actually been better than Justin Houston this year. Leonard, meanwhile, has been spectacular as a rookie.

    Cornerback: Jaire Alexander, Prince Amukamara, Kyle Fuller, Stephon Gilmore, Chris Harris, Byron Jones, Patrick Peterson, Denzel Ward.

    I’m not sure where Kareem Jackson is on this list, but these are the top eight cornerbacks otherwise. Alexander and Ward have been great as rookies. Amukamara has finally remained healthy, and he’s been great as a result. He and Fuller have been a terrific tandem. Gilmore, Harris, Jones and Peterson are all having great seasons, as usual.

    Strong Safety: Jamal Adams, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

    Adams is enjoying a great second season. Meanwhile, it’s still astonishing that the Packers traded Clinton-Dix.

    Free Safety: Eddie Jackson, Derwin James.

    Jackson has been an absolute play-maker for the Bears’ great defense this year. James has a bright future in this league.

    Kicker: Harrison Butker, Justin Tucker.

    Tucker is the top kicker in football most years, but Butker has missed just once all season. These are the two kickers I voted in last year.

    Return Specialist: Desmond King, Andre Roberts.

    It’s only a matter of time before this position is scraped from the voting. Kick returning is dead.

    Punter: Michael Dickson, Brett Kern.

    Both are in the top four of net average and have done a good job of pinning opponents inside the 20.

    Special Teamer: Cory Littleton, Roosevelt Nix.

    Both of these guys are some of the better special-teamers in the NFL.

    NEW ORLEANS OFFENSE: It was odd to see the Saints score just 10 points in Dallas, but we didn’t exactly get their “A” effort. They were also playing against a talented defense that put lots of pressure on Drew Brees, who didn’t have his talented left tackle available. There’s a chance Terron Armstead will be able to suit up in this game, but I’m not sure it’ll even matter in this matchup.

    The Buccaneers’ secondary is a train wreck. The top four cornerbacks were out last week, yet Cam Newton and his lackluster receiving corps couldn’t take advantage of that liability. The Saints should be able to do that. We saw Drew Brees light up the Buccaneers in Week 1 when he was 37-of-45 for 439 yards and three touchdowns, and that was when Tampa’s secondary was healthy!

    With Brees torching the Buccaneer defensive backs mercilessly, Alvin Kamara will have some great opportunities to blow by an injury-ravaged linebacking corps. Lavonte David’s return last week was huge, but the Buccaneers are still really hurting at the position. Replacement-level players won’t be able to contain Kamara, who will pick up where Christian McCaffrey left off last week.

    TAMPA BAY OFFENSE: Ryan Fitzpatrick had the game of his life against the Saints in the season opener. Some aspects of New Orleans’ defense have improved since then, but the team still has a massive liability across from Marshon Lattimore. That would be Eli Apple, who is so anemic that even the pedestrian Dak Prescott had a great passing performance against the Saints.

    I imagine that Jameis Winston will be able to attack Apple with great success. Winston has been a turnover machine at times this year, but he’s improved lately. He hasn’t made any mistakes in the past two weeks, though that could just mean that he’s due for a multi-interception game.

    The Saints will be able to disrupt some elements of Tampa’s offense. They put pressure on opposing quarterbacks very effectively, which will be a big problem for the Buccaneers if right tackle Demar Dotson is out again. New Orleans also stops the run well and smothers tight ends. Thus, the Saints could slow down the Buccaneers enough even if they don’t get Winston to throw interceptions.

    RECAP: It’s rare that we get line value with the Saints. They were -10.5 on the advance spread, yet they’re now -8 because they lost to Dallas and the Buccaneers beat the Panthers.

    With that in mind, I’m going to be on the Saints, but this spread is basically inviting a back-door cover for the Buccaneers. They could easily get one, given how bad New Orleans’ secondary is.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Terron Armstead practiced on Wednesday, which is great news for the Saints. I like them to bounce back this week against the Buccaneers, who were missing several defensive backs in Wednesday’s practice.

    SATURDAY NOTES: The weather is worth monitoring, as it’s likely going to be rainy and somewhat windy in Tampa this Sunday. The Buccaneers will be missing top safety Justin Evans, which will hurt against Drew Brees – as long as Brees can throw well in the wet conditions, that is!

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I was concerned about the rain – I’m playing Drew Brees in several DK lineups – but the guy said the rain will subside by kickoff, so hopefully that’s the case. Either way, I’m not betting this game – and neither are the sharps.

    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.

    The Vegas. Edge: Buccaneers.
    No one should be surprised by this.
  • Percentage of money on New Orleans: 75% (14,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Saints.
  • History: Saints have won 10 of the last 14 meetings.
  • Road Team is 87-57 ATS in Buccaneers games since 2009.
  • Drew Brees is 42-28 ATS after a loss with the Saints.
  • Sean Payton is 9-4 ATS in same-season revenge games.
  • Saints are 9-14 ATS as road favorites of 4 or more since 2010.
  • Buccaneers are 24-49 ATS at home in the previous 71 instances.
  • Buccaneers are 9-25 ATS as a home underdog since 2009.
  • Opening Line: Saints -8.
  • Opening Total: 57.5.
  • Weather: Rain, 75 degrees. Mild wind, 12 mph.

    Week 14 NFL Pick: Saints 31, Buccaneers 20
    Saints -9.5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Under 54.5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Saints 28, Buccaneers 14

    New York Jets (3-9) at Buffalo Bills (4-8)
    Line: Bills by 5. Total: 38.

    Westgate Advance Point Spread: Bills -3.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Bills -3.5.
    Sunday, Dec 9, 1:00 PM

    The Game. Edge: Bills.

    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. Let’s get to the important stuff first. This past weekend was the infamous Dr. Pepper Challenge, where two contestants throw footballs into giant, fake Dr. Pepper cans for the right to win $100,000 in tuition. The contestants in the early game were a cute girl who wanted to use the $100,000 to become a nurse practitioner. The short, chubby girl wanted to use the $100,000 to go to grad school so she could become… umm… a social… worker…?

    Yes. A social worker. I’m not making this up.

    There’s nothing wrong with social workers in general. But there’s something wrong with them if they think they have to go to f***ing grad school to become a social worker. Holy s**t, no wonder so many college graduates are in serious debt. College is mostly a waste to begin with, yet these idiots think that going to school for further eductation to become something other than a doctor or lawyer is necessary? Who conned these people into thinking that? I don’t even think you need a high school diploma to be a social worker!

    Anyway, the challenge began, and both girls began throwing the balls with chest passes, like old grandmas. The crowd instantly began booing, and rightfully so. These a**holes didn’t deserve the $100,000 for cheating the competition.

    The cute girl who wanted to be the nurse practitioner ended up winning. I was happy to see that because I want the short, chubby girl to be in debt for the rest of her life for making stupid choices.

    2. For my second point, let’s discuss… the second Dr. Pepper Challenge! This one occurred during halftime of the SEC Championship. I was looking forward to it because I figured that since the first Dr. Pepper Challenge was between two women, this would have two men battling each other. I wanted to see this because the men would throw normal passes, rather than grandma chest throws.

    Instead, we had two women again. Neither aspired to be a social worker, thank God, but they both used chest passes. As I was watching this, it made me realize something:

    The Dr. Pepper Challenge is biased against men.

    A real man wouldn’t be caught dead using grandma chest passes, yet it’s easier to fit the ball through the hole using that technique, which is why all four participants were women. Dr. Pepper needs to establish a men’s bracket and a women’s bracket to even the playing field. They then could have the women’s final in the first game and the men’s final in the second game. That would make it way more fair.

    As you can tell, I’ve put lots of thought into this. You might be asking yourself, “Walt, why do you care so much?” And to that, I say, I have no idea.

    3. I’ve saved the real college football talk for last. The four teams in the college football ended up being Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Oklahoma. I said last week that the Oklahoma-Ohio State spot would go to the team that was more impressive in their championship victory. Ohio State struggled to put Northwestern away, while Oklahoma beat the only team it lost to. This quartet is correct.

    However, this whole process is not. Ohio State deserves a chance. I’d love to see Georgia keep playing. Central Florida will once again be the co-national champions if they win in their bowl game.

    Again, here’s what an eight-team field would look like:

    1. Alabama
    8. Central Florida

    4. Oklahoma
    5. Ohio State

    3. Notre Dame
    6. Georgia

    2. Clemson
    7. Michigan

    I don’t know about you, but that would be absolutely amazing. Yet, it’s depressing. Because while it should happen, it won’t, all because the NCAA presidents are idiots who don’t understand how much money they could be making.

    If you’re an NCAA president reading this – a stretch, I know, since most of them probably don’t know how to use the Internet – install an eight-team playoff like this. For f***s sake, just do it. No one can stop you. It would make everyone happy, and you’ll be richer. Just do it. Please.

    NEW YORK OFFENSE: The Jets embarrassed themselves the last time they played the Bills. They lost, 41-10 at home, as they generated 199 net yards – and that was even enhanced by garbage time! Josh McCown looked like a decrepit 39-year-old in that game, as he could do nothing but check the ball down and heave helpless floaters downfield.

    McCown has since played better, but it sounds like Sam Darnold will start this game. Darnold obviously has a better arm than McCown, but I’m not sure it’ll matter. The Bills have one of the top pass defenses in the NFL, so it’ll be difficult for Darnold to get anything downfield with his pedestrian receiving corps. Meanwhile, he’ll be under siege quite a bit from Buffalo’s talented defensive line, so he’ll be forced into more checkdowns.

    It would help if one of those players he’ll check down to happened to be Bilal Powell. The Jets’ offense has taken a nose dive ever since Powell suffered a season-ending injury weeks ago. Powell was New York’s best running back, so his absence has made it difficult for the Jets to run consistently. The Bills don’t defend the rush very well, however, so there’s a chance Isaiah Crowell could pick up some yardage on the ground.

    BUFFALO OFFENSE: Like the Jets, Buffalo struggles to pass protect. The offensive line stinks, so Leonard Williams figures to dominate in the interior of the trenches. Thus, it’s a good thing that the Bills have Josh Allen back from injury.

    Allen is raw as a passer at the moment – a horrible receiving corps isn’t helping matters – but he’s using his mobility even more than Lamar Jackson. It’s incredible. Allen has rushed for a combined 234 yards in the past two games. The Jets just battled a mobile quarterback in Marcus Mariota, and they saw Mariota generate a great comeback after his team was down in an early hole because of three special-teams gaffes.

    The Jets aren’t very good against the run to begin with, so I imagine they’ll have some trouble containing Allen’s rushes. LeSean McCoy could have a nice game as well, as New York will be focused on stopping the rookie quarterback.

    RECAP: If this were a normal game, I’d pick the Bills. They’re the better team with Allen, while their pass defense is elite.

    However, football is all about emotion, and the Jets almost certainly will have that on their side in this game. The Bills embarrassed them, 41-10, in the previous meeting, so I could see them playing harder to avenge that ugly loss.

    That’s not enough for me to bet the Jets, but they are a zero-unit pick for me.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Sam Darnold is practicing fully, so he’ll finally start. That’s a slight upgrade for the Jets, which is nice. The sharps agree, as they bet on New York +3.5, perhaps anticipating the revenge I spoke about earlier. I’m considering adding a unit or two on this game.

    SATURDAY NOTES: I wrote that I was thinking about betting the Jets, but that’s not the case anymore with Darron Lee out. Lee was New York’s best linebacker, but he’s been suspended for four games because of PEDs. I imagine that’s why some sharp money has taken this line to -4.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Sharp and public money is on Buffalo! I imagine the pros are playing the Bills because of Darron Lee’s injury, which is understandable. I still think the Jets will be more motivated, but I don’t want to bet on New York with Lee out.

    The Psychology. Edge: Jets.
    Revenge for the 41-10 loss.

    The Vegas. Edge: Jets.
    Lots of action on the host.
  • Percentage of money on Buffalo: 69% (6,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Bills.
  • History: Bills have won 7 of the last 10 meetings (home team has won 9 of the last 13).
  • Todd Bowles is 2-5 ATS in same-season revenge games.
  • Todd Bowles is 0-6 ATS in his second straight road game.
  • Bills are 9-32 ATS after playing the Miami Dolphins since 1998.
  • Opening Line: Bills -3.5.
  • Opening Total: 38.5.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 33 degrees. Mild wind, 13 mph.

    Week 14 NFL Pick: Jets 23, Bills 21
    Jets +5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Over 38 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Jets 27, Bills 23

    New England Patriots (8-3) at Miami Dolphins (5-6)
    Line: Patriots by 9. Total: 49.5.

    Westgate Advance Point Spread: Patriots -10.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Patriots -6.
    Sunday, Dec 9, 1:00 PM

    The Game. Edge: Patriots.

    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 ENGLAND OFFENSE: The Patriots looked like they were doomed in a blowout loss to Tennessee, but they had major offensive line issues in that game, which the Titans were able to exploit masterfully. Things have since improved since the bye, as the Patriots are undefeated agains the spread since their week off. It’s no coincidence that their offensive line has been healthy since then.

    The Dolphins will need to get to Brady with a four-man rush to disrupt New England’s scoring attack. They have Cameron Wake and Robert Quinn to normally do this against most quarterbacks, but Brady is protected extremely well because all of his blockers are healthy. Thus, the Dolphins will have to blitz to get to Brady, which could spell trouble for them. They already have some liabilities in their stop unit, as their linebacking corps has just one talented player in Jerome Baker. I expect Brady to be able to attack the middle of the field by throwing to James White and Rob Gronkowski.

    Meanwhile, the Patriots should be able to establish the run rather well. The Dolphins have struggled mightily versus the rush this year, so Sony Michel figures to have a nice performance. Hopefully he doesn’t get touchdowns vultured this time!

    MIAMI OFFENSE: The Dolphins probably won’t have much success stopping the Patriots, so they’ll need to keep up with them on the scoreboard. That could be a major issue, however, given how the matchup looks to play out.

    The only thing the Dolphins aren’t terrible at this season is running the ball. Though Kenyan Drake needs more touches, Frank Gore has been a big surprise, as he’s averaged 4.4 yards per carry this season, which is remarkable, given that he’s 35 years old. Unfortunately for Gore, the Patriots have a top-10 run defense, so I don’t see him posting a nice stat line in this contest. Gore had a poor performance in the first meeting against New England, gaining only 41 yards on 11 attempts, so this could be more of the same.

    Ryan Tannehill will have to throw on the Patriots to move the chains, and that’ll be a problem because of his poor pass protection. The Dolphins struggle to block in the interior, and I imagine Bill Belichick will find a way to take advantage of that. Meanwhile, Tannehill’s receiving corps is banged up, so it’s not like Miami has any sort of obvious mismatches on downfield throws.

    RECAP: This seems like a horrible matchup for the Dolphins, as the Patriots are great against the only thing they do fairly well. However, I have to question how motivated New England will be. The Patriots already clobbered the Dolphins this year, so they may think they’ll have an easy victory this week. They may also be looking ahead to their next game, which is against the Steelers.

    I came close to picking Miami because of the possibility of the Patriots having a sleepy Sunday afternoon. However, they appear to be sharp right now, and there’s also some line value with them. The advance spread was -10, and yet the line is down to -8 -105. Getting a third-tier key number (10) is not insignificant.

    Still, I’m not going to bet the Patriots. This has “trap game” written all over it, especially given Brady’s dubious history in Miami.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Xavien Howard is out for this game, which bodes very poorly for the Dolphins. He’s their best cornerback, so they now won’t have anyone to cover Josh Gordon.

    SATURDAY NOTES: Nothing has changed since Thursday. There are no major injuries outside of Xavien Howard, whose absence will hurt. The Patriots are heating up, and I wouldn’t recommend betting against them, but this could be a look-ahead spot with the Steelers coming up.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: As quoted earlier, “there’s nothing sharp about betting against the best quarterbacks in the NFL.” Tom Brady doesn’t cover every game, but he does beat the spread about 60 percent of the time, so why bet on a 40-percent proposition. The sharps are not betting this game.

    The Psychology. Edge: Dolphins.
    The Patriots already beat the Dolphins. Now, they’re big road favorites prior to battling Pittsburgh.

    The Vegas. Edge: Dolphins.
    A decent lean on the Patriots.
  • Percentage of money on New England: 63% (14,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • History: Patriots have won 16 of the last 23 meetings (Home Team has won 12 of the last 14 meetings).
  • Tom Brady is 231-71 as a starter (172-116 ATS).
  • Patriots are 56-39 ATS vs. AFC East opponents since 2001.
  • Patriots are 15-18 ATS as road favorites since 2013.
  • Tom Brady is 6-8 ATS at Miami.
  • Underdog is 83-60 ATS in the Dolphins’ last 143 games.
  • Opening Line: Patriots -9.
  • Opening Total: 48.
  • Weather: Cloudy, 83 degrees. Mild wind, 15 mph.

    Week 14 NFL Pick: Patriots 30, Dolphins 20
    Patriots -9 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Over 49.5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Dolphins 34, Patriots 33

    New York Giants (3-8) at Washington Redskins (6-5)
    Line: Giants by 3. Total: 40.5.

    Westgate Advance Point Spread: Redskins -3.
    Walt’s Calculated Line: Giants -2.5.
    Sunday, Dec 9, 1:00 PM

    The Game. Edge: Giants.

    Video of the Week: I don’t have much time to play and learn new video games, but this makes me want to:

    Does anyone else think this is horrible? Seriously. I can’t believe it. Poor alligator. He had to eat that vile woman. She must not have tasted good.

    WASHINGTON OFFENSE: It’s amazing. Somehow, Mark Sanchez is still in the NFL, and somehow, we’re going to have a chance to bet against him over the next four weeks. The gambling gods have been very benevolent this December.

    I love betting against horrible quarterbacks, and Sanchez certainly qualifies. The Redskins accumulated just 36 net yards of offense in the second half of last week’s game. The thing is, they weren’t even playing a good defense, as the Eagles are in the bottom half of all defensive categories.

    Sanchez wasn’t the only entity responsible for this. The Redskins, already down both starting guards, lost both of their replacement guards to injury. They’ll now have two practice squad-caliber players blocking in the interior for a third-string, butt-fumbling quarterback. That sounds like a disaster to me.

    NEW YORK OFFENSE: The Giants have been much better since the bye. They’ve averaged 29.3 points through four games, which is far greater than their number prior to the week off, which was 18.8. The offensive line has been better, while Saquon Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr. continue to dominate despite poor quarterbacking. Granted, they haven’t exactly played great competition for the most part, but it’s not like the Redskins can qualify as such.

    The Redskins aren’t great against the run, as we saw Monday night when Josh Adams nearly hit the century mark, gaining 85 yards on 20 carries. We’ve also seen Ezekiel Elliott and Lamar Miller have success against them recently. They’ll have trouble against Saquon Barkley as a result.

    Washington’s pass defense is better, but the team won’t be able to contain Odell Beckham. The Redskins had issues attempting to do so in the first meeting between the two teams, as Beckham logged eight catches for 136 yards. That was his second-highest output of the season. Beckham was limited to 35 receiving yards this past week by Chicago’s stellar secondary, so he’ll be eager to rebound.

    RECAP: I didn’t get all excited about Sanchez starting to not bet heavily against him. I know that wagering heavily on the Giants at -3.5 on the road seems treacherous, but this spread makes it seem like the books don’t want people to wager on the Giants, and yet they’re doing it anyway.

    The Giants are the play for four units. Sanchez is horrible and will find a way to give the Giants points. His offensive line is in shambles, and the Redskins as a whole have to feel defeated, as their once-promising season effectively ended Monday night. The Giants, meanwhile, will be motivated to avenge their previous loss to the Redskins prior to the bye.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: The sharps have bet the Redskins down to +3.5. I don’t know why the sharps are angering the gambling gods by betting on Mark Sanchez. The gambling gods have given us this great gift, yet the sharps are spitting in their faces. I don’t like this strategy!

    SATURDAY NOTES: The big news is that Odell Beckham Jr. is out, but I still love the Giants, especially now that the spread has hit -3 and even gone below that in some books. I’m going to keep waiting for the line to fall. Remember, the Redskins’ top four guards and top two quarterbacks are all out. Mark Sanchez is not winning this game!

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Despite Odell Beckham Jr. being unavailable, I still love the Giants. Unfortunately, there are no -3 -110s available. You can get -3 -115 at Bookmaker or Top Bet.

    The Psychology. Edge: Giants.
    The Redskins’ season officially ended Monday night.

    The Vegas. Edge: Redskins.
    No one wants to bet the Sanchize?
  • Percentage of money on New York: 70% (10,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: TBA.
  • History: Giants have won 17 of the last 25 meetings.
  • Redskins are 11-30 ATS after a road win since 2000. ???
  • Redskins are 9-24 ATS as home favorites of more than 4 since 2000. ???
  • Opening Line: Giants -4.
  • Opening Total: 41.
  • Weather: Cloudy, 35 degrees. Light wind.

    Week 14 NFL Pick: Giants 23, Redskins 13
    Giants -3 -115 (4 Units) – Bookmaker — Correct; +$400
    Under 40.5 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Giants 40, Redskins 16

    Week 14 NFL Picks – Late Games
    Cincinnati at LA Chargers, Denver at San Francisco, Philadelphia at Dallas, Detroit at Arizona, Pittsburgh at Oakland, LA Rams at Chicago, Minnesota at Seattle

    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 14 NFL Picks – Late Games

    NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22

    2024 NFL Mock Draft - Feb. 21

    Fantasy Football Rankings - Feb. 19

    NFL Picks - Feb. 12


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

    Last Week's NFL Picks Against The Spread (Week 18, 2023): 10-6 (-$415)
    Last Week's 2-3 Unit NFL Picks (Week 18, 2023): 3-1 (+$460)
    Last Week's 4-5 Unit NFL Picks (Week 18, 2023): 1-1 (-$40)
    Last Week Over-Under (Week 18, 2023): 7-9 ($0)
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    2023 NFL Picks of the Month: 1-4, 20.0% (-$2,480)

    2023 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 137-135-7, 50.4% (-$7,735)
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    1999 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 27-41-3 (39.7%)
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    2021 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 153-141-2, 51.9% (+$210)
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    2002 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 41-49-2 (45.6%)
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    2004 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 65-44-3 (59.6%)
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    2007 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 83-59-5, 58.5% (+$4,110)
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    2009 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 49-35-3, 58.3% (+$2,260)
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    2012 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 45-50-2, 47.4% (-$2,130)
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    2015 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 47-44-1, 51.6% (-$820)
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    2018 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 52-41-2, 55.9% (+$2,670)
    2019 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 44-36-2, 55.0% (+$655)
    2020 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 47-43-3, 52.2% (-$1,965)
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    2002 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 11-12 (47.8%)
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    2007 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 35-30-2, 53.8% (+$420)
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    2011 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 14-14, 50.0% (-$1,260)
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    2001 Season Over-Under: 3-2 (60.0%)
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    2012 Season Over-Under: 125-121-5, 50.8% (+$30)
    2013 Season Over-Under: 132-130-5, 50.4% (-$340)
    2015 Season Over-Under: 143-119-5, 54.6% ($0)
    2016 Season Over-Under: 123-141-1, 46.6% (+$95)
    2017 Season Over-Under: 136-139-2, 49.5% (+$640)
    2018 Season Over-Under: 118-128-3, 48.0% (-$225)
    2019 Season Over-Under: 126-133-4, 48.6% (-$50)
    2020 Season Over-Under: 141-122-6, 53.6% ($0)
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    2022 Season Over-Under: 133-149-2, 47.2% (-$225)

    2007 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,035
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    2006 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3 (50%)
    2007 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3, 50.0% (-$400)
    2008 NFL Picks of the Month: 6-1, 85.7% (+$3,720)
    2009 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$640)
    2010 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-4, 33.3% (-$1,810)
    2011 NFL Picks of the Month: 5-2, 71.4% (+$1,870)
    2012 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$560)
    2013 NFL Picks of the Month: 6-0, 100% (+$3,900)
    2014 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-4, 33.3% (-$1,350)
    2015 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3, 50.0% (-$100)
    2016 NFL Picks of the Month: 5-1, 83.3% (+$2,780)
    2017 NFL Picks of the Month: 4-2, 66.7% (+$1,040)
    2018 NFL Picks of the Month: 4-3, 57.1% (-$640)
    2019 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3-1, 50.0% (-$625)
    2020 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$665)
    2021 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-3, 40.0% (-$920)
    2022 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-4, 42.9% (-$1,615)

    Career NFL Picks Against The Spread: 3,420-3,152-195, 52.1% (+$21,170)
    Career 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 1,106-983-56 (52.9%)
    Career 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 549-485-25 (53.1%)
    Career Over-Under: 2,853-2,829-74 (50.3%)
    Career Second-Half NFL Picks: 23-16-1 (59.0%)
    Career NFL Picks of the Month: 46-34-1 (57.5t%)

    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: 8-9
    Bears: 11-4
    Bucs: 6-11
    49ers: 10-7
    Eagles: 7-7
    Lions: 9-8
    Falcons: 8-9
    Cardinals: 8-9
    Giants: 7-9
    Packers: 5-12
    Panthers: 8-9
    Rams: 8-9
    Redskins: 14-3
    Vikings: 6-9
    Saints: 10-7
    Seahawks: 7-9
    Bills: 9-7
    Bengals: 12-5
    Colts: 7-10
    Broncos: 9-6
    Dolphins: 6-11
    Browns: 11-5
    Jaguars: 13-4
    Chargers: 8-9
    Jets: 8-9
    Ravens: 11-6
    Texans: 5-12
    Chiefs: 5-10
    Patriots: 7-9
    Steelers: 11-6
    Titans: 9-8
    Raiders: 6-9
    Divisional: 50-35 (2011-22: 558-526)
    2x Game Edge: 36-24 (2011-22: 363-361)
    2x Motivation Edge: 32-36 (2011-22: 478-405)
    2x Spread Edge: 41-40 (2011-22: 197-168)
    2x Vegas Edge: 41-38 (2011-22: 407-406)
    2x Trend Edge: 15-13 (2011-22: 306-279)
    Double Edge: 17-13 (2011-22: 190-172)
    Triple Edge: 1-1 (2011-22: 32-36)

    2003 Preseason: 3 | 4 | 5
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