Los Angeles Rams (11-3) at Arizona Cardinals (3-11) Line: Rams by 14. Total: 43.5. Westgate Advance Point Spread: Rams -11.5.
Walt's Calculated Line: Rams -14.5.
Sunday, Dec 23, 4:05 PM
The Game. Edge: Rams.
We began the year with 1,225 starting players in our Survivor Pool. Johnny Football won! Hopefully it's not the real Johnny Football because he'd just spend the winnings on stuff that'll get him into trouble. If it's not the real Johnny Football, congratulations! You outlasted the runner-up, Pawel Kot, who lost with the Steelers last week. Both of you will be contacted this Friday.
LOS ANGELES OFFENSE: Jared Goff has struggled recently, with some on TV even saying nonsense like, "Maybe Jeff Fisher knew what he was doing." See what I mean about fake football news? I'd say people on TV need to be replaced, but I enjoy laughing at garbage analysis like this.
I'm not a big fan of Goff, but he's not some horrible bust all of a sudden because he's had a few bad games. He'll rebound at some point, and perhaps that point will be this week. The Cardinals don't have much interest in tackling, so Goff will be able to hook up with his talented targets and watch them do all the work. If Arizona couldn't do anything to stop Matt Ryan, how will it contain Goff and company?
Todd Gurley will especially have a big performance, as the Cardinals are very weak against the run. The Cardinals just made Tevin Coleman look like a Pro Bowler, so Gurley could have a career day if he's healthy. Gurley hurt his knee in the third quarter of the Eagles loss, but it sounds like he'll be able to play in this game.
ARIZONA OFFENSE: To quote my friend and WF Podcast co-host Kenny Ortiz, the Cardinals have a DYSFUNCTIONAL offense. They suck in all regards. They can't throw. They can't run. They can't block.
More specifically, Josh Rosen sucks. His pocket presence is abysmal. It's clear that he's not getting good coaching in Arizona. That, or he just doesn't want to improve his game, which is a legitimate concern, given that he doesn't love football. Rosen appears to be getting worse each week, though he can't be deemed a bust yet because his offensive line isn't giving him any sort of chance. Arizona has the worst blocking in the NFL. I have no idea how the Cardinals are going to keep Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh out of the backfield.
The Rams have defensive issues, but they're not even worth talking about because the Cardinals won't be able to take advantage of them. Arizona scored just seven points against Atlanta's horrible defense prior to garbage time. That's how awful they are.
RECAP: Fourteen is a high number, but I still think the Rams are the right side. In fact, I'm going to bet them. The Cardinals are a dumpster fire, and I'll feel bad if I don't get in on the action against them.
Road favorites of 14 or more may seem like a bad proposition, and I'm sure misinformed people will say the sharps love taking double-digit home dogs like this, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Road favorites of 14 or more are 14-11 against the spread in the past 30 years, so this is not an unreasonable number. It's not ideal, but that's how truly awful the Cardinals are.
I'm going to mark this down for two units for now. There's some concern with Gurley's knee, but if it sounds like he's 100 percent, I may throw another unit on the Rams.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Sean McVay said the expectation with Todd Gurley is that he'll play Sunday and that Gurley has been feeling much better. This is obviously good news for the Rams' chances of covering.
SATURDAY NOTES: It looks like Todd Gurley is going to be a game-time decision, which definitely is not ideal, considering that the Rams are two-touchdown favorites. I'm going to move this to "1-2 units" because of Gurley's status.
SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: The Rams are optimistic Todd Gurley will play. Honestly though, it may not matter, as the Rams can cover without him. If Gurley's officially active, this spread may rise, so I'm going to lock this in for two units now.
FINAL THOUGHTS: It's been reported all day that Todd Gurley will play, but that turned out to be fake news. He'll sit out. Despite this, the line hasn't fallen at all. I don't regret locking this in for two units, as Gurley's absence shouldn't really hurt the Rams in this lopsided affair.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: None.
Percentage of money on Los Angeles: 57% (13,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Cardinals.
History: Rams have won 4 of the last 5 meetings.
Cardinals are 29-17 ATS in December home games since 2000.
Cardinals are 34-18 ATS at home as underdogs or favorites of less than -3 since 2007.
Chicago Bears (10-4) at San Francisco 49ers (4-10) Line: Bears by 4.5. Total: 44. Westgate Advance Point Spread: Bears -6.
Walt's Calculated Line: Bears -5.
Sunday, Dec 23, 4:05 PM
The Game. Edge: Bears.
Emmitt on the Brink Season 11 is underway! In Episode 15, Emmitt has a meeting of the minds, and they hatch a plan that involves battling the statues north of the wall.
SAN FRANCISCO OFFENSE: Nick Mullens had some ugly performances several weeks ago. He struggled to complete routine passes against Tampa's awful defense, for example. However, Mullens has improved recently, even going 20-of-29 for 275 yards and a touchdown against the Seahawks this past weekend. Unfortunately for Mullens, the difference between the Bears and Seahawks is quite substantial.
The Seahawks have the 19th DVOA defense, while Chicago is first. The Bears are atop the charts against both the run and the pass, and it's easy to see why. They have Pro Bowl personnel all over their stop unit. Their excellent pass rush will rattle Mullens, while their talented defensive backs will make sure the San Francisco receivers don't get very open. Their great run defense will put the clamps on Matt Breida.
If the Bears have a weakness, it's against tight ends. This isn't even that great of a liability. Tight ends simply are more productive against them than all of the other positions. This might bode well for Mullens, as he'll be able to connect with expected Pro Bowler George Kittle for some substantial gains, but I wouldn't expect Kittle to have a monster game, or anything.
CHICAGO OFFENSE: The 49ers have some issues defensively, particularly in their secondary. However, their defensive line is stout. They can stop the run pretty well and put some pressure on the quarterback. Thus, San Francisco doesn't match up poorly against the Bears because Mitchell Trubisky can't always take advantage of struggling defensive backfields.
Speaking of Trubisky, this seems like the sort of game where he senses a pass rush he's not fully expecting, given the poor record of the opponent, and throws bad passes off his back foot as a consequence. Trubisky can be very sloppy at times, especially as a favorite in these road games against mediocre or worse competition. The Bears won't be able to run the ball as well as they want to against San Francisco, so Trubisky could be forced into some turnovers.
That said, the Bears will still be able to move the ball. Trubisky will use his legs to pick up first downs, while Tarik Cohen should be able to run circles around a linebacking corps that could use Reuben Foster right about now.
RECAP: The Bears have had issues in these road-favorite spots all year. They almost lost at Arizona in Week 3. They suffered a defeat in Miami in Week 6. They lost at the Giants three weeks ago, albeit with Chase Daniel at quarterback. The Bears, who just clinched the division, could be a bit flat. The 49ers are hungry for wins and are playing better with Mullens, so I think they'll cover.
That said, I'm not crazy about this pick. Again, there's a huge difference between battling the Seahawks and Bears. Plus, we lost line value with the host. San Francisco was +6 on the advance line, but because of the win over Seattle, this spread is now down to +4.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: The more I think about it, the more I want to bet the 49ers. The Bears won't be focused, so the suddenly hot 49ers will play with more energy. Perhaps I'll pull the trigger by Saturday.
SATURDAY NOTES: The Bears, who figure to be flat in this game, will be without two starting defensive backs, as Eddie Jackson is doubtful and Bryce Callahan is out. The 49ers should have some success throwing on Chicago, so I'm going to put a couple of units on them. Hopefully we'll see a +6 by kickoff.
SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: There's sharp money finally coming in on the 49ers, so this spread could fall to +3.5. It's already that number at CRIS, a sharp book that sets the trend for the sportsbook market. Fortunately, a square book, TopBet, still has +4.5 available. I'll lock that in for two units.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Some sharp money brought the 49ers down to +4, but the spread hasn't moved since (although it's still +3.5 at CRIS.) I still like San Francisco for two units in this flat spot for Chicago, especially with Eddie Jackson out.
The Psychology. Edge: 49ers.
The Bears looked like they celebrated a little too hard following their divisional championship.
The Vegas. Edge: 49ers.
No surprise here.
Percentage of money on Chicago: 66% (19,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: 49ers.
Bears are 17-37 ATS in December road games the previous 54 instances.
Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5-1) at New Orleans Saints (12-2) Line: Saints by 5.5. Total: 53. Westgate Advance Point Spread: Saints -7.
Walt's Calculated Line: Saints -7.5.
Sunday, Dec 23, 4:25 PM
The Game. Edge: Saints.
A reminder that Jerks of the Week for this week is up, so just click the link. This week's jerks entry is Cat Lady, Thanksgiving Woman and the Shower Hags.
NEW ORLEANS OFFENSE: The Saints struggled to score Monday night, posting just 12 points against a Carolina secondary that hasn't been able to stop anyone this year. New Orleans has also looked sluggish versus the Cowboys and Buccaneers in previous weeks.
Coincidentally, all of these games have been on the road. It's no secret that the Saints are far better in the Superdome. Thus, it's fair to expect them to be more successful offensively, especially considering the matchup. The Steelers have severe defensive issues, particularly in the secondary. Aside from Joe Haden, none of the cornerbacks can cover, so Drew Brees should be able to pick apart the Steelers even though Haden will smother Michael Thomas.
The Steelers can stop the run, but keeping pass-catching running backs under wraps is a challenge for them because of their liability at linebacker. This smells like trouble against the Saints for obvious reasons, as Alvin Kamara should have an explosive performance.
PITTSBURGH OFFENSE: The Saints just limited the Panthers to nine points Monday night - really seven, as there was a rare pick-two - and while a big part of that reason was the improved Saints' defense, it's also important to note that Cam Newton has a dead arm. Newton, as mentioned on multiple occasions, slammed his shoulder into the ground with 5:50 remaining in regulation at Tampa Bay, and he hasn't nearly been the same since. Newton struggled mightily to throw against the Saints.
Ben Roethlisberger won't have such issues. He didn't look like he was limited by his rib injury against the Patriots. The Saints have some liabilities in the secondary, particularly Eli Apple, who will be tasked to cover one of Antonio Brown or JuJu Smith-Schuster. Marshon Lattimore will be able to limit one of them, but the Steelers have a big edge on the other side with the other taking on Apple.
While the Saints were lucky to take on Newton in his injured condition, they're legitimately stout against the run. They were able to limit Christian McCaffrey to 53 yards on 15 carries, which wasn't a surprise because they're third in run defense DVOA. Thus, I wouldn't expect James Conner or Jaylen Samuels to have much success on the ground.
RECAP: I discussed stupid takes from people on TV on multiple occasions throughout these two pages. Another is that the Saints should be panicking because they can't score. "Drew Brees hasn't thrown more than one touchdown pass in four weeks!"
Brees has played on the road in the past three games. The last time he played a home game was Thanksgiving night, when he thrashed the Falcons. Brees, who is historically far better in the Superdome, will bounce back with a terrific performance against Pittsburgh's poor secondary. I have little doubt about that.
With that in mind, I love the Saints. Thanks to the Week 15 results, we're getting good line value with the host, as the advance spread was New Orleans -7. It's -5.5 now, so we're getting two second-tier key numbers. I personally made this spread -7.5, which is the same as the projected line from the DVOA numbers. The computer model has this at -8. Thanks to public and media overreaction, this spread has fallen, which is terrific news, as we don't often get the leading MVP candidate with excellent value.
I love the Saints here as they'll beat down an inferior Pittsburgh squad, clinching the No. 1 seed in the process. This is a four-unit wager with the potential to get to five later in the week.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: JuJu Smith-Schuster suffered an injury in Thursday's practice and wasn't able to finish. Smith-Schuster could still play, and the Steelers could cover without him, but his status could prompt the line to move up, so I'm going to lock this in now. It's still -5.5 at BetUS, so that's what I'll go with.
SATURDAY NOTES: JuJu Smith-Schuster didn't practice Friday and is listed as questionable. Conversely, the Saints will have their entire offensive line intact for the first time since the Cincinnati win in Week 10. That'll help them bounce back, and I'm glad I was able to lock this in at -5.5.
SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: I appreciate JuJu Smith-Schuster saying he'll play for the fantasy players, but what if he aggravates his injury and misses the real playoffs? I'm writing this because I'm going against him in my big-money league championship today. At any rate, I still love the Saints, but I locked this in several days ago.
FINAL THOUGHTS: JuJu Smith-Schuster is active, but he may not be 100 percent with his groin injury. I still love the Saints, although a bit less at -6.5 than -5.5. New Orleans at -6.5 is a 2-3 unit pick, while -5.5 would be four units.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: None.
Percentage of money on New Orleans: 51% (19,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Saints.
Ben Roethlisberger is 47-34 ATS in December and January.
Saints are 44-32 ATS as a home favorite since 2007.
Kansas City Chiefs (11-3) at Seattle Seahawks (8-6) Line: Chiefs by 2. Total: 55. Westgate Advance Point Spread: Seahawks -1.
Walt's Calculated Line: Chiefs -1.
Sunday, Dec 23, 8:20 PM
The Game. Edge: Chiefs.
I'm going to devote this section to Ross Avila. If this is your first time reading this, and you don't know who Ross is, he's a douche who harassed me on Facebook about my picks all last year. Here are some of the things he said:
He wrote this to me during the Patriots-Falcons Super Bowl, where he bragged about being right about Atlanta. Oops.
Ross constantly embarrassed himself throughout the year, including when he posted this, suggesting that he sold picks to people:
I eventually unfriended Ross. He started going after women on my Facebook page, including my then-fiancee. I warned him, and he didn't listen, so I unfriended him.
Because I was a big part of Ross' life, he sent me countless messages. I've shown you some already. Check this one out:
This is from two weeks ago. I wanted to show it to you again because there were two follow-ups:
That's from last week, and I expressed my dismay after Kristy said yes. Well, here's what happened:
KANSAS CITY OFFENSE: The Chiefs haven't quite looked the same since losing Kareem Hunt. They've scored 27 and 28 points in their previous two games, though we're used to seeing them get well into the 30s and 40s. They've also averaged just 5.5 yards per play in each contest. Hunt is a dynamic receiving threat, so it's no surprise that Kansas City has been less efficient without him.
That said, there's another factor, and that would be the level of competition. The Ravens and Chargers are fourth and ninth in defensive DVOA, respectively, so some regression was expected from the Chiefs. The Seahawks, conversely, don't have a bad defense, but they're below the middle of the pack, slotting in at No. 19. They have some weaknesses, particularly at cornerback. Tyreek Hill has been injured recently - yet another reason the Chiefs have regressed - but with extra time to recover, he should look healthier Sunday night, giving him a better chance to take advantage of this liability.
The Seahawks aren't very good against the run either, and this is an area where Hunt isn't missed so much. It's tough to replace what Hunt did as a receiver out of the backfield, but Spencer Ware and Damien Williams are solid runners who should be able to pick up enough yardage to give Patrick Mahomes manageable down-and-distance opportunities, negating the best aspect of the Seahawks' defense (excluding Bobby Wagner), which would be the pass rush.
SEATTLE OFFENSE: Things are looking way up for the Chiefs' defense. That may sound strange, but Eric Berry made his return from injury last week. One of the top safeties in the NFL when healthy, Berry wasn't quite himself - and understandably so - but he played well, which gave Kansas City some immense upside for its playoff run. The Chiefs' defense appeared to take a hit, as its top cornerback, Kendall Fuller, reportedly suffered a season-ending injury. That report turned out to be fake news, as there's a chance Fuller could suit up for this game!
This is obviously not good news for Russell Wilson, though if Fuller is out or limited, he, Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett all could have big performances. That'll depend on the Seahawks being able to protect Wilson, which might be problematic, given Kansas City's excellent pass rush. Justin Houston, Dee Ford and Chris Jones are all terrific players the Chiefs have in their front seven, and they've all done a great job of rushing the passer this year. That should continue in Seattle.
With that in mind, I imagine that the Seahawks will be able to establish the run to negate the Chiefs' pass rush. Chris Carson is coming off a great game in San Francisco, and he should be able to parlay that into success against a Kansas City defense that can't stop the rush at all.
RECAP: I'd say the most likely result of this game is Kansas City winning by three. Thus, I'm on the Chiefs for either a small bet or a non-wager at -2.5.
The Chiefs have stumbled a bit lately, but I think they'll rebound. They're the better team, and we recently saw a similar-caliber squad in the Chargers go to Seattle and dominate. It'll be tougher to win in a night game in Seattle, but I believe Mahomes will prevail, especially with Andy Reid having extra time to prepare.
Whether I bet this game or not depends on the injury report. I'm looking forward to seeing if Fuller can suit up or not, as it was initially expected that he'd be out for the rest of the season. Also, something to keep in mind is that the Chiefs might relax a bit if the Chargers lose to the Ravens, as they'll know that they only need to beat Oakland next week to clinch the No. 1 seed.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: As mentioned earlier, the result of this game might depend on what happens in the Chargers-Ravens game. I'm on the Chiefs for now, but we'll see.
SATURDAY NOTES: Seattle's secondary hasn't been that bad this year because of the high level of safety play. That could change Sunday night, as Bradley McDouglad is questionable after not practicing all week. The other starting safety, Tedric Thompson, is out. Yes, you read that correctly. The Seahawks may not have both starting safeties against Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill. I'm going to bet several units on the Chiefs if the Chargers win Saturday night.
SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: I've thought about it, and the Chargers' loss could actually energize the Chiefs. There's less pressure on them, so I think there's a better chance they'll cover now. I'll wait prior to kickoff to see if the Seahawks are missing both of their safeties, as expected.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I was hoping the Seahawks would be missing both of their safeties. Tedric Thompson is out, but Bradley McDougald will play. McDougald could be hindered by his knee, so the Chiefs still have a good advantage. This won't be a four-unit pick, but I still would take Kansas City for two. This spread is -1 or -1.5 in most places, but I think it's worth selling a point. You can get -2 +105 at 5Dimes.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
No edge found.
The Vegas. Edge: None.
Percentage of money on Kansas City: 59% (45,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Seahawks.
Seahawks are 26-12 ATS in Week 11 or later since 2013.
Seahawks are 14-5 ATS as home underdogs since 2009.
Russell Wilson is 15-8 ATS after a loss as long as he's not favored by -10 or more.
Russell Wilson is 18-7 ATS as an underdog.
Pete Carroll is 14-6 ATS after losing as a favorite.
Denver Broncos (6-8) at Oakland Raiders (3-11) Line: Broncos by 3. Total: 43.5. Westgate Advance Point Spread: Broncos -2.5.
Walt's Calculated Line: Broncos -3.
Monday, Dec 24, 8:15 PM
The Game. Edge: .
This week on ESPN, we're going to have two people I don't know calling the shots instead the great preseason homers like Kevin Reilly, Ron Wolfley and Don Tollefson, inept ESPN guys Emmitt, Herman Edwards, and aloof people like Dan Fouts and Jay Cutler. Here's what it would sound like if these seven dudes (and some special guests) were calling this game:
Reilly: Welcome to the city of Philadelphia, where we're broadcasting live from my house! This game has fallen on Christmas Eve, and mother told the producers that she couldn't stand to be away from her poopy-kins on this holiday, so the producers have allowed us to broadcast here instead of Oakland!
Mother: Poopy-kins, time to change the channel from football to The Price Is Right!
Reilly: But mooooommmm, we won't be able to broadcast the game if we're watching something else!
Mother: Stop crying, poopy-kins, or you won't get any macaroni and cheese for dinner tonight!
Reilly: OK, mooooommm...
Emmitt: Mooooommm, you real softness. First, we has to missed the football game in the state of Oakland because we have to open birthday present for Christmas at your house, and now we cannot even watch the game and instead gotta watch A Price Is Wrongness.
Reilly: I know, Emmitt, this sucks. New daddy, can you ask mother if it's OK to watch football? We have to broadcast it like usual!
Cutler: Broadcast football? Is that what we've been doing all year?
Reilly: New daddy, I wish you would care about me like Charles Davis has cared about me this year. Charles Davis even told Herm the wrong address so he wouldn't come here tonight.
Fouts: And here's what he means by wrong address. An address is a place where a residence or a business is located. If you have a right address, it's the correct place where this residence or business is located. But if you have the wrong address, it's the incorrect place where this residence or business is located. For example, if the correct address is 168 Pine Road, and you have 166 Pine Road, you have the wrong address. But, if you take out your calculator and type in 166 and then the plus sign, and then the number two, and then equals, you get 168 Pine Road, which is the correct address. So, if you ever find yourself having the wrong address, remember to have your trusty calculator handy so that you may calculate the right address if you have the wrong address.
Wolfley: DAN, THAT'S GOOD THINKING. I WAS USING THE GOOGLE MAPS APP ON MY PHONE UNTIL IT STARTED SAYING SATANIC PROPAGANDA TO ME. CALCULATORS WON'T DO THAT BECAUSE ALL OF THE CALCULATORS I AM FRIENDS WITH AND ALSO ENEMIES WITH DON'T HAVE RELIGIOUS BELIEFS.
Reilly: What are you idiots talking about? Let's go to the sidelines, a.k.a. my kitchen, to hear from Kareem Hunt. Kareem?
Kareem Hunt: Kevin, I'm standing here next to this bottle of Aunt Jemima syrup, and I cannot get it open for the waffles I just made for myself. This is making me so angry, argh! Hi-yah! Take that, Aunt Jemima! Kick, punch, kick, kick, punch!
Tollefson: That's very interesting, Kareem. I once kidnapped a woman who looked like Aunt Jemima and stashed her in a cellar. Except, this cellar was in my summer home, and so I forgot about her. When I returned, she had died, but then I got a witch doctor to revive her so that she could fulfill her destiny of cooking and cleaning naked for me.
Mother: Friends of Kevin, please, shush. The Price Is Right is about to start, and I need to concentrate.
Reilly: OK, guys, let's quiet down. And Charles Davis, thank you for not bringing Herm here, or he wouldn't let mother concentrate. We'll be back after this!
Charles Davis (inaudibly): Yes, Kevin, Herm is in an abandoned warehouse right now, Kevin, where he may die of frostbite, Kevin, and then the rats will eat him, Kevin, but don't you worry, Kevin, for your fate is far worse than that Kevin, muhahaha, Kevin.
Meanwhile, in an abandoned warehouse in North Philly...
Herm: THEY GAVE ME THE WRONG ADDRESS! THEY GAVE ME THE WRONG LOCATION! THEY GAVE ME THE WRONG VENUE! THIS PLACE IS COLD! THIS PLACE IS FRIGID! THIS PLACE HAS NO HEAT! BUT HERM'S GONNA WAIT! HERM'S GONNA SEE IF SOMEONE CALLS! HERM'S GONNA SEE IF SOMEONE TELLS HIM THE RIGHT ADDRESS! HERM'S GONNA- HERM- uhh... ummm...
DENVER OFFENSE: I'm still trying to figure out why Phillip Lindsay couldn't run the ball very well against the Browns. Cleveland came into Week 15 with one of the worst run defenses, yet absolutely put the clamps on Lindsay. I get that the Browns didn't respect Case Keenum and challenged him to beat them downfield, but other defenses have treated the Broncos similarly this season. It was bizarre to see Lindsay so limited.
I doubt that's going to happen again, especially against the Raiders. Oakland's defense is completely devoid of talent, so Lindsay should have a big night. Joe Mixon just eclipsed the century mark against them even though the Raiders were able to key in on him with Jeff Driskel stationed at quarterback.
The Raiders can't pressure the quarterback either, which will obviously help Keenum's cause. The one thing the Raiders do well is defend No. 1 receivers because of Gareon Conley, though there's a chance he may not be able to suit up because of a concussion. I actually don't think it'll matter all that much because Keenum is too inept to locate his top wideout all that often. Instead, he'll focus on connecting to slot receiver DaeSean Hamilton once again.
OAKLAND OFFENSE: While we're not sure if Conley will play, we're well aware that the Broncos' top cornerback, Chris Harris, will be out. Harris' absence has radically changed how Denver's defense can operate. Nick Mullens shredded the Broncos two weeks ago, while Baker Mayfield had success at Mile High last Saturday night, albeit with some mistakes.
Derek Carr will have a chance to match what Mullens and Mayfield have accomplished against the Broncos, but there's a major problem, which is the offensive line. Both starting guards were out versus Cincinnati, and Carr saw a ton of pressure as a result. Life is rough without three starting offensive linemen (right tackle as well) and no viable receivers to throw to, and that'll continue into this contest, as guard Gabe Jackson was placed on injured reserve.
There is good news for the Raiders though, as Carr will at least be able to abuse a Denver linebacking corps that can't stop tight ends at all. Generating consistent offense will be a problem, however, because of the offensive line.
RECAP: This spread appears short. I made this line Denver -3. The computer model says the spread should be -5. The DVOA numbers have this as Denver -7!
There's a ton of spread value with the Broncos, and they could blow out the Raiders and their injury-ravaged offensive line. However, I think the Raiders have a big-time emotional edge in this game. The Broncos were just eliminated from playoff contention, while the Raiders will be playing their final game in Oakland. I looked it up, and the Oilers (Houston), Rams (St. Louis), Browns (Cleveland in 1995) and Chargers (San Diego) were 3-1 against the spread in their final games prior to moving. I think there's something to this emotional send-off.
With that in mind, I'm going to pick the Raiders, but I'm finding it difficult to justify a bet on them, given how poor their offensive line is right now. I'd feel better if +3 were available. If we get a +3, I may end up betting Oakland for a unit or two.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Some +3s are now available. It's +3 -115 in most places, though it's +3 -110 at Bovada. If I were betting this game, I'd strongly think about locking in that number.
SATURDAY NOTES: This spread is now +3 -110 across the board. I still think this is an emotional win for the Raiders.
SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: I may bet the Raiders if we get +3.5, but it looks like the sharps are moving this toward +2.5 again.
MONDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Including the teaser win and Buccaneers moneyline loss, I'm down $55 on the week, thanks to ridiculously brutal beats in the Jets-Packers and Patriots-Bills games. I can get into the black if I win a unit on the Raiders, so I'll be betting that sum on Oakland tonight. The Raiders have the motivational edge, especially if the Broncos are no-shows after being eliminated from the playoffs. It looks like there's sharp money trickling in on the Raiders, so I fear the reasonable +3s may disappear soon. You can get +3 -115 at both BetUS and Bookmaker at the moment. I'm going to lock it in now. If the line goes to -3 -110, so bet it; I'd rather risk that than having the spread go to +2.5.
FINAL THOUGHTS: All of the Raiders who were questionable are out. When does that ever happen? The Raiders are missing two of their top defensive players (Gareon Conley, Maurice Hurst), which is a huge bummer. However, the sharps continue to bet the Raiders, as this spread is down to +2.5 in most books and +2 at CRIS. The motivational angle is key. Why would the Broncos get up for this game? They were eliminated last week, and they already beat Oakland. They could easily be a no-show. The Raiders, meanwhile, will want to win in their final game in Oakland. Still, this is just a one-unit pick in an attempt to get back to black on a week that whould've produced four-digit gains with better luck. Sigh.
The Psychology. Edge: Raiders.
This is the final game in Oakland, so there might be an emotional send-off.
The Vegas. Edge: None.
Percentage of money on Oakland: 58% (3,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Broncos.
History: Road Team has won 12 of the last 21 meetings (Broncos 11 of last 14).
Raiders are 7-21 ATS in their final home game since 1985.
Raiders are 11-37 ATS at home vs. teams with losing records.
Week 16 NFL Picks - Early Games
Cincinnati at Cleveland,
Tampa Bay at Dallas,
Minnesota at Detroit,
Washington at Tennessee,
NY Giants at Indianapolis,
Jacksonville at Miami,
Buffalo at New England,
Green Bay at NY Jets,
Houston at Philadelphia,
Atlanta at Carolina
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.
Note: For legality purposes, this Web site does not promote or advocate gambling. This is solely for entertainment purposes only.
Last Week's NFL Picks Against The Spread (Week 18, 2020): 1-5 (-$1,430)
Last Week's 2-3 Unit NFL Picks (Week 18, 2020): 0-2 (-$575)
Last Week's 4-5 Unit NFL Picks (Week 18, 2020): 0-2 (-$855)
Last Week Over-Under (Week 18, 2020): 2-3-1 ($0)
Last Week's Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks (Week 18, 2020): $0
2020 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-2, 50.0% (-$135)
2020 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 132-123-6, 52.6% (+$3,280) 2020 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 43-42-3, 50.6% (-$2,650) 2020 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 37-22-1, 62.7% (+$5,515) 2020 Season Over-Under: 137-119-6, 53.5% ($0) 2020 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$375
1999 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 27-41-3 (39.7%) 2000 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 128-123-8 (51.0%) 2001 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 127-122-7 (51.0%) 2002 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 123-136-7 (47.5%) 2003 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 146-126-8 (53.7%) 2004 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 157-123-8 (56.1%) 2005 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 156-126-11 (55.3%) 2006 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 151-135-9 (52.8%) 2007 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 162-135-10, 54.5% (+$3,585) 2008 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 148-140-7, 51.4% (+$6,105) 2009 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 151-124-9, 54.9% (+$4,235) 2010 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 144-131-8, 52.4% (+$5,880) 2011 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 137-133-12, 50.7% (-$1,335) 2012 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 130-145-8, 47.3% (-$7,445) 2013 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 144-131-8, 52.4% (+$7,825) 2014 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 143-133-7, 51.8% (-$1,885) 2015 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 134-138-12, 49.3% (-$3,215) 2016 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 148-127-10, 53.8% (+$780) 2017 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 137-140-8, 49.5% (-$4,300) 2018 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 140-134-14, 51.3% (+$845) 2019 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 149-128-9, 53.6% (+$1,200)
2002 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 41-49-2 (45.6%) 2003 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 52-51-2 (50.5%) 2004 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 65-44-3 (59.6%) 2005 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 77-61-1 (55.8%) 2006 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 65-61-4 (51.6%) 2007 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 83-59-5, 58.5% (+$4,110) 2008 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 44-57-3, 43.6% (-$3,510) 2009 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 49-35-3, 58.3% (+$2,260) 2010 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 51-38-4, 57.3% (+$3,180) 2011 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 44-51-3, 46.3% (-$2,715) 2012 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 45-50-2, 47.4% (-$2,130) 2013 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 38-42, 47.5% (-$2,890) 2015 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 47-44-1, 51.6% (-$820) 2016 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 42-35-3, 54.5% (+$475) 2017 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 32-40-3, 43.8% (-$2,395) 2018 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 52-41-2, 55.9% (+$2,670) 2019 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 44-36-2, 55.0% (+$655)
2002 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 11-12 (47.8%) 2003 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 16-13-1 (55.2%) 2004 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 18-11 (62.1%) 2005 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 25-22-1 (53.2%) 2006 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 21-29-1 (42.0%) 2007 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 35-30-2, 53.8% (+$420) 2008 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 39-26-2, 60.0% (+$4,055) 2009 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 29-26, 52.7% (+$330) 2010 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 32-22, 59.3% (+$4,790) 2011 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 14-14, 50.0% (-$1,260) 2012 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 14-21, 40.0% (-$3,650) 2013 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 17-9-3, 65.4% (+$2,970) 2015 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 17-16-2, 51.5% (-$1,120) 2016 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 21-22-5, 48.8% (-$1,465) 2017 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 20-22-1, 47.6% (-$1,595) 2018 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 27-32-1, 45.8% (-$4,735) 2019 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 37-27-2, 57.8% (+$2,185)
2001 Season Over-Under: 3-2 (60.0%) 2002 Season Over-Under: 121-91-3 (57.1%) 2003 Season Over-Under: 126-132-2 (48.8%) 2004 Season Over-Under: 139-124-4 (52.9%) 2005 Season Over-Under: 117-145-4 (44.7%) 2006 Season Over-Under: 129-132-5 (49.4%) 2007 Season Over-Under: 136-145-3, 48.4% (-$1,900) 2008 Season Over-Under: 137-125-6, 52.3% (+$860) 2009 Season Over-Under: 128-135-4, 48.7% (-$3,195) 2010 Season Over-Under: 128-135-5, 48.7% (-$5) 2011 Season Over-Under: 131-131-5, 50.0% (+$135) 2012 Season Over-Under: 125-121-5, 50.8% (+$30) 2013 Season Over-Under: 132-130-5, 50.4% (-$340) 2015 Season Over-Under: 143-119-5, 54.6% ($0) 2016 Season Over-Under: 123-141-1, 46.6% (+$95) 2017 Season Over-Under: 136-139-2, 49.5% (+$640) 2018 Season Over-Under: 118-128-3, 48.0% (-$225) 2019 Season Over-Under: 126-133-4, 48.6% (-$50)
2007 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,035 2008 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,775 2009 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$865 2010 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$200 2011 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$590 2012 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$1,685 2013 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$2,245 2015 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$855 2016 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$275 2017 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$510 2018 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,495 2019 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$1,715
2006 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3 (50%) 2007 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3, 50.0% (-$400) 2008 NFL Picks of the Month: 6-1, 85.7% (+$3,720) 2009 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$640) 2010 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-4, 33.3% (-$1,810) 2011 NFL Picks of the Month: 5-2, 71.4% (+$1,870) 2012 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$560) 2013 NFL Picks of the Month: 6-0, 100% (+$3,900) 2014 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-4, 33.3% (-$1,350) 2015 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3, 50.0% (-$100) 2016 NFL Picks of the Month: 5-1, 83.3% (+$2,780) 2017 NFL Picks of the Month: 4-2, 66.7% (+$1,040) 2018 NFL Picks of the Month: 4-3, 57.1% (-$640) 2019 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3-1, 50.0% (-$625)
Career NFL Picks Against The Spread: 2,989-2,760-179, 52.0% (+$13,585) Career 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 953-858-49 (52.6%) Career 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 452-396-23 (53.3%) Career Over-Under: 2,459-2,413-66 (50.5%) Career Second-Half NFL Picks: 22-15-1 (61.1%) Career NFL Picks of the Month: 44-29-1 (60.3%)
My Team-by-Team ATS Record This section shows how well I do when picking each team this year. The purpose is to see how well I read each team. Pushes are not
displayed. Winning/losing streak in parentheses.