Philadelphia Eagles (1-2) at Green Bay Packers (3-0) Line: Packers by 4. Total: 46.5. Thursday, Sept. 26, 8:20 PM
The Matchup. Edge: None.
Week 3 Recap: Week 3 was a great one, as we went 10-6 (+$1,365). I just wish the Broncos would have covered. They lost two fumbles when the game was 10-10 and 17-10, and those give-aways turned into touchdowns. Had Denver covered, we would have won more than $2,000 for the week!
There were a bunch of bogus covers in Week 3 that fortunately did not affect our winnings. The Jets, Ravens and Bengals had ridiculous covers that never should've happened. It just goes to show high variance picking NFL games can be.
PHILADELPHIA OFFENSE: The Eagles have lost two consecutive games because their receivers have dropped passes in the final minutes. Nelson Agholor and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside have let the ball slip through their hands on potential touchdowns that may have given Philadelphia a pair of victories. Instead of 3-0, the Eagles are 1-2.
There's some hope that things can improve, as Alshon Jeffery is due back from injury. Jeffery's return will be huge, as the Packers won't be able to double team Zach Ertz as often as the Lions did. That said, Jeffery doesn't have the easiest matchup; Jaire Alexander is an excellent cornerback who just almost shut out Emmanuel Sanders. Carson Wentz's most favorable matchup might be in the slot, with Nelson Agholor going up against 36-year-old Tramon Williams.
Alexander is just one of many talented defenders the Packers now have on their roster. They added a bunch of front-seven players this offseason and are capable of putting great pressure on opposing passers. This will be the toughest offensive line the Packers will have battled this year, however, so the Eagles should be able to keep Wentz somewhat protected.
GREEN BAY OFFENSE: If the Packers were losing, we might hear more about how Aaron Rodgers and new head coach Matt LaFleur don't like each other. The two have been at odds with each other, if their in-game interactions are any indication.
Rodgers' stats have been disappointing this season, but there's a chance that could change in this game. Thus far, Green Bay has battled the Bears, Vikings and Broncos, three teams that have some major talent in their secondary. The Eagles do not, as they've been torched in all three contests this season. Rodgers should be able to connect repeatedly with Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling for considerable gains.
The Packers will need to be successful aerially, as they won't get much on the ground. Despite some injuries at defensive tackle, the Eagles just put the clamps on Kerryon Johnson, so they shouldn't have much of an issue against Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams, who are splitting the touches evenly for some strange reason.
RECAP: If Jeffery is ruled out again, I'll be on the Packers. However, it sounds as though Jeffery will be available. If that's the case, I believe the Eagles are the right side. The advance spread on this game was Green Bay -3, so we're getting some value in that regard. Philadelphia arguably has the best roster in the league when everyone is healthy, and Jeffery's return would certainly help in that regard.
My Week 4 NFL Picks will be posted all day Tuesday. Follow @walterfootball for updates.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Alshon Jeffery has been removed from the injury report, which squarely puts me on the Eagles. The sharps bet the underdog at +4.5. I'm thinking about wagering a unit on Philadelphia.
FINAL THOUGHTS: There's some serious sharp action on the Eagles, which would explain why this line has dropped to +3.5 at most books. Luckily, Bovada stll has +4 -110 available. I'm going to bet a unit on the Eagles. Ronald Darby is out, but I don't really care about that because he's been terrible this season.
Carolina Panthers (1-2) at Houston Texans (2-1) Line: Texans by 5. Total: 47.5. Sunday, Sept. 29, 1:00 PM
The Matchup. Edge: Texans.
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!
CAROLINA OFFENSE: There's suddenly lots of Kyle Allen hype after one game. Allen threw for four touchdowns against the Cardinals, as he provided the Panthers with stable and healthy quarterback play for the first time all year. Carolina reached its potential as a consequence.
While I liked Allen's outlook last week, I'm skeptical about his ability to repeat that in this contest. There's a huge difference between battling an Arizona defense missing its two starting cornerbacks and the Texans. I know Houston's secondary has struggled as well - rookie corner Lonnie Johnson has especially been dreadful - but the Texans have gone up against Drew Brees and Philip Rivers in two of their three games. In the other, they limited new media darling Gardner Minshew to just three points in three-and-a-half quarters of action. Romeo Crennel is a terrific coordinator, and he typically eats rookie quarterbacks for breakfast. Allen isn't technically a rookie, but this is just his third career start.
The Panthers have some favorable matchups, including Christian McCaffrey against the linebackers and whichever receiver goes up against Johnson, but I'm worried about Allen's ability to deliver the ball to them. Plus, Allen fumbled twice last week, so that's a problem that could surface against Whitney Mercilus and J.J. Watt.
HOUSTON OFFENSE: Whatever was bothering Deshaun Watson in Week 2 wasn't present this past weekend. Watson really struggled against a Jacksonville defense that was missing three key starters, yet thrived in San Angeles. He still saw lots of pressure, but was somehow able to break out of that and hit his tight ends for several big plays.
Watson will continue to see lots of pressure, especially from a much-improved Carolina front that features Gerald McCoy and stellar rookie Brian Burns. Houston's blockers don't stand a chance against them, and Carolina is much better versus tight ends than the Chargers are, so don't expect big games from Jordan Akins and Darren Fells again.
That said, DeAndre Hopkins could go off. Casey Hayward, one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL, did a great job of limiting Hopkins this past week. Carolina's corners aren't bad, but it's still a plus matchup for an elite receiver like Hopkins.
RECAP: My calculated spread for this game is Houston -2.5, so based on that metric, we're getting lots of value with the underdog. Going through two key numbers (i.e. the most likely NFL margins) of three and four is crucial.
However, there are things going in Houston's favor as well. I already discussed the Allen-Crennel dynamic. Crennel has such a huge advantage over Allen that it can't be ignored. Furthermore, the computer model I use lists the correct spread as Houston -7.
I'm torn on this game, so I won't bet it. I'm leaning toward the Texans at the moment, but I may change my pick as I do more research for this matchup.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: I'm still on the Texans, but I haven't found a reason to bet them yet. It seems as though there was some professional money on Carolina at above +4.
SATURDAY NOTES: I wrote earlier that I couldn't find a reason to bet on the Texans. Re-checking the projected spreads, my calculated number is Houston -6, while the computer model thinks this line should be Houston -7. The Panthers have several key injuries (Kawann Short, Donte Jackson, Trai Turner), though none at one position. Also, I heard a great point made by another handicapper. The Kyle Allen performance from last week has tightened this line, as the public believes Allen is great because of what he did against one of the worst teams in football. If Cam Newton were healthy, this spread would be Houston -3, so is a 100-percent Newton worth just 1.5 points over Allen? I don't think so. I'm going to bet the Texans for a few units.
FINAL THOUGHTS: It's frustrating that we missed out on -4, but I still really like the Texans at anything under -6. The Panthers will be shorthanded, so Houston is worth a bet of about three units.
The Motivation. Edge: None.
No edge found.
The Spread. Edge: None.
WalterFootball.com Calculated Spread: Texans -6.
Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: No Line (Newton).
Computer Model: Texans -7.
DVOA Spread: Texans -4.5.
The Vegas. Edge: Panthers.
Slight lean on the host.
Cleveland Browns (1-2) at Baltimore Ravens (2-1) Line: Ravens by 7. Total: 46.5. Sunday, Sept. 29, 1:00 PM
The Matchup. Edge: TBA.
VEGAS UPDATE: I'll be posting how the Vegas sportsbooks have done the previous week in this spot. The highest-bet sides were 38-44-3 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 this week:
This was another 3-4 week for the books, as they got buried in some games. They were able to recoup their money with key victories when the Saints won outright and the Jets had a miracle cover. The house is now 8-10-1 on lopsided bets this year.
Here are the teams getting the most bets this week:
There are five lopsided-bet games this week, and two happen to be underdogs, which is unusual.
BALTIMORE OFFENSE: I didn't think Lamar Jackson would necessarily be exposed as a passer at Kansas City, given that the Chiefs' defense isn't very good. It was bound to happen at some point because Jackson's first two performances were clearly a mirage, based on extremely easy matchups, but I was disappointed with how he played in Kansas City - and yet I'm one of his greatest skeptics!
Jackson's play in Week 3 doesn't bode well for the future, but he might have another easy matchup in this contest, depending on injuries. The Browns were missing their entire secondary Sunday night, allowing Jared Goff to carve up their defensive backfield on throws to Cooper Kupp and Brandin Cooks. If at least three of the defensive backs are out again, Jackson shouldn't have much of a problem locating Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews for considerable gains.
Jackson, of course, will continue to rely on his legs. The Browns have decent linebacker play, so they can at least limit Jackson from going off as a scrambler, but I imagine that he'll be able to pick up some decent gains on the ground. Mark Ingram, conversely, may have trouble finding running lanes against the Browns' stellar defensive line.
CLEVELAND OFFENSE: When people were predicting the Browns to win the Super Bowl this summer, they forgot to factor in offensive line play. Cleveland was going into the season with a hole at guard in the wake of the Kevin Zeitler trade, and Greg Robinson as its blind-side blocker. Zeitler's replacement, Eric Kush, has predictably struggled, as has Robinson.
Perhaps the Browns can trade for Trent Williams. That would certainly help matters, although I'm not sure Williams would be needed for this matchup. Baltimore's pass rush is not what it once was, thanks to the departures of Terrell Suggs and Za'Darius Smith. The Ravens have some half-decent pass-rushers, but no one special. Thus, Baker Mayfield should have more time than usual in the pocket to deliver passes to Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, both of whom have very favorable matchups against an injury-ravaged Baltimore secondary.
While the Ravens aren't as good versus the pass anymore, they can at least still clamp down well on the run, so stopping Nick Chubb - especially on clever fourth-and-9 draws - shouldn't be much of a problem.
RECAP: The Westgate sportsbook posts advance spreads the week before for each game, and it made this line Baltimore -4 a week ago. Now, this line has skyrocketed to -7, based on one national TV loss by the Browns.
Call me crazy, but this is way too much of an overreaction. Unless there's a major injury, one game should not result in a three-point movement, no matter what happens. Thus, we're getting lots of value with the Browns. My calculated spread confirms that, as I made this line Cleveland +4.5.
I like the Browns at +7. How much I like them depends on who plays in their secondary. If several of their defensive backs return from injury, this will be a selection of three or more units, so check back or follow @walterfootball for updates.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: It sounds as though some of the Browns defensive backs will play. I want to make sure on the injury report, but I may end up betting on Cleveland.
SATURDAY NOTES: The Browns are getting Damarious Randall back, but their other three starting defensive backs are questionable after failing to practice all week. This is a rough situation for the Browns, making it impossible to bet on them.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Three Cleveland defensive backs are out. The Ravens are missing several players as well. This is not something I want to bet on, but I would take Cleveland if I had to (and I guess I do because this is my job.)
Washington Redskins (0-3) at New York Giants (1-2) Line: Giants by 3. Total: 48. Sunday, Sept. 29, 1:00 PM
The Matchup. Edge: None.
HATE MAIL: I will be posting hate mail here. Here's some hate mail from last week:
Approximately!? What is this approximately nonsense? Get your act together and give us the actual figure, you lazy bum!
Here's something sexy:
Was that a rhetorical question? It seems kind of easy to answer.
This is a congratulatory e-mail, of sorts:
This sucks. I was going to spend my preseason winnings on Christmas gifts, but now I can't do that! Ugh!
This one isn't technically hate toward my picks, but rather the site in general:
I apologize for the site being terrible for the past year-plus. We've made some changes that I hope will help. However, we have people to pay, so if revenue plummets as a result of this, we may have to go back. What would help offset this is promoting this site to all your friends and co-workers, as added traffic would offset any lost revenue per page.
NEW YORK OFFENSE: Daniel Jones was as good as advertised in his NFL debut. He made some mistakes, including losing two fumbles and nearly throwing an interception on a late throw over the middle of the field, but he was stellar at times, particularly in the clutch. It made me wonder where the Giants would be had they started Jones in the season opener. They still may have lost to Dallas, but perhaps they could have defeated the Bills. They could be 2-1 right now.
The matchup here gives the Giants a good chance of evening their record. Washington's secondary has been abysmal this season, as it even made Mitchell Trubisky look like a functional quarterback Monday night. Jones should be able to exploit the good matchups, particularly whichever receiver Josh Norman covers. Saying Norman is a shell of his former self is an understatement; Norman barely looks like an NFL-caliber player anymore.
The Giants would have a huge edge on this side of the ball if Saquon Barkley were still available. That, however, is not the case because of his high ankle sprain. With Wayne Gallman serving as a very pedestrian replacement, Jones will have to do more, including scramble for considerable gains again.
WASHINGTON OFFENSE: Perhaps the Redskins can learn from the Giants and start their rookie quarterback. That doesn't appear to be in the cards, however, as Dwayne Haskins didn't even see action in garbage time Monday night, which would have been a perfect opportunity for him to get his feet wet in the NFL.
Case Keenum will start once more, in all likelihood, but I actually expect him to perform well in this matchup. If you thought the Redskins' secondary was atrocious Monday night, you haven't seen anything yet! The Giants have the worst defensive backfield in the NFL, and that may actually include the Dolphins. Janoris Jenkins is even worse than Norman, while first-round rookie corner DeAndre Baker doesn't seem to know how to play football. This will benefit Terry McLaurin and Paul Richardson greatly. McLaurin has been fantastic as a rookie, and he could have his best game yet.
It's not just the secondary that is problematic for the Giants' defense. They can't rush the passer or stop the run. Thus, the Redskins figure to have plenty of success moving the chains however they please.
RECAP: I must say that I'm disappointed by this spread. If there was a three-point line shift in the Browns-Ravens game from the advance number, why couldn't the same thing have occurred here? The Giants won behind a brilliant Jones performance, while the Redskins humiliated themselves on national TV. This spread should have jumped from -3 to -6, or maybe at least -4.5!
Alas, that is not the case. This spread has remained stagnant at -3, so I imagine there will be tons of public action on the Giants, as casuals will want to bet on the new and hottest thing. That is Jones, obviously, so there should have been an opportunity to obtain great value.
The fact that this spread hasn't moved is very telling. The sportsbooks are either taking a stand, or they know the sharps would pounce all over an inflated Redskins line. As mentioned earlier, this is not the one-sided matchup many expect it to be, given how horrible New York's defense is.
I like the Redskins, but I think I'd need +3.5 to bet them for a couple of units. Perhaps we'll get it with the expected influx of public money on New York.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Case Keenum missed practice Wednesday with some sort of foot injury, and he's in a walking boot. That makes me think I should switch my selection to the Giants. I'll have an update later in the week.
SATURDAY NOTES: The Redskins are a disaster. Case Keenum was in a walking boot as recent as Wednesday. It sounds like he'll play, but he probably won't be 100 percent. The same goes for Terry McLaurin. Meanwhile, the Redskins could be down two starting offensive linemen in addition to Trent Williams, with center Chase Roullier ruled out and Brandon Scherff questionable after failing to practice all week. I'm switching my pick to the Giants, and I'm even betting four units on them.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I'm getting this in 20-30 minutes earlier than usual, but I think I need to because Terry McLaurin and Brandon Scherff have been ruled out. This spread has risen to -3 -120 or -3 -125 in some books, but it's still -3 -115 at 5Dimes, so I want to lock that in there.
The Motivation. Edge: Redskins.
The Redskins will be looking to redeem themselves after being embarrassed on national TV.
Los Angeles Chargers (1-2) at Miami Dolphins (0-3) Line: Chargers by 15. Total: 43.5. Sunday, Sept. 29, 1:00 PM
The Matchup. Edge: Chargers.
Contest Announcement time!
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ONE-SIDED MATCHUP: As I've written before, I'm not providing analysis for the Dolphins. They're the worst team in NFL history, and they're not trying to win. There's no point in writing a breakdown for their games.
RECAP: This spread may seem high to some. I say it's not high enough. My calculated line is San Angeles -19. The computer model thinks this number should be -22!
I'm going to continue my two-unit fade of the Dolphins. They are historically abysmal, and I don't see how they can compete with the Chargers, who will be eager to avoid a 1-3 start.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: No update on the low-effort Dolphins or their opponent.
SATURDAY NOTES: The Chargers will be missing three receivers/tight ends (Mike Williams, Hunter Henry and Travis Benjamin). It's looking like cornerback Casey Hayward will be out as well. They're extremely banged up, so I no longer have the urge to bet multiple units on them. I'm going to cut the unit count in half.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Again, this game is very unappealing. I'm still going to wager one unit on the Chargers, but I wish Mike Williams were playing.
The Motivation. Edge: Chargers.
The Dolphins aren't trying to win.
Oakland Raiders (1-2) at Indianapolis Colts (2-1) Line: Colts by 6.5. Total: 46. Sunday, Sept. 29, 1:00 PM
The Matchup. Edge: TBA.
I wouldn't say my weekly random NFL notes cluttered these picks pages, so I'll keep them here. What I'm also going to do is store all of them in a Random NFL Notes section so that you can go back and read previous entries in the future.
Some random NFL notes I can't put anywhere else:
1. My dad cashed his first ever DraftKings lineup this past Thursday night during the Jaguars-Titans game. It was an entertaining series of events, so I'd like to share the story with you.
I watch Thursday Night Football with my dad, so I was at my parents' house. My dad had his laptop open and was selecting his DraftKings lineup. He was scrolling through names and asked me an odd question.
Dad: What do you think of this Hampshire guy?
Me: Who's Hampshire?
Dad: Hampshire! The guy playing tonight!
Me: Dad, I've watched every game twice and each preseason game, and I've never heard of a player named Hampshire.
Dad: It says it right here. Hampshire.
Me: Let me look.
I got up and hovered over my dad. I saw the name he was highlighting.
Me: That's Humphries.
Dad: That's what I said!
Me: You said Hampshire!
Dad: No, I said Humphries!
My dad put Adam Humphries into one of his lineups. He was following his standing the entire night. He needed to be in the top 1,300 to cash. He was hovering around 3,000 for most of the evening, but Leonard Fournette's long run and some Marcus Mariota throws put him at 1,500ish with two seconds remaining.
Dad: That's it, I lost!
Me: There are two seconds left.
Dad: That's not enough time!
On the final play of the game, Mariota connected on a 20-yard pass to Humphries. My dad's team shot up to 1,086th! All because of Hampshire, I mean Humphries.
2. As for year-long fantasy, e-mailer Scott S. sent me a lineup belonging to someone in his fantasy league. Take a look:
To summarize, Gwen here decided that starting Mitchell Trubisky over Russell Wilson was the correct decision. She's carrying two defenses AND two kickers. She also owns Mike Davis and Anthony Miller. Unless this league awards points for owing mediocre Bears players, I can't say I agree with her strategy.
This is a poor fantasy player, and yet she's not nearly as horrible as Bo-Bo used to be. Bo-Bo was someone I used to make fun of a decade ago. He was the worst fantasy player in the history of humanity. In fact, he was so horrible that he was forced into retirement.
3. I've been clamoring for ESPN to bring back NFL Primetime since they canceled the show in 2006. Chris Berman and Tom Jackson were a terrific duo, giving us the best football highlight show on TV. The best part of it was the awesome music they played in the background while the highlights were on.
I was thrilled about the announced return of NFL Primetime until I learned this was on ESPN+. What the hell is ESPN+? I have ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN News. Where the hell is ESPN+ on my cable network? I called Comcast to complain, and they didn't seem to know what I was talking about. I told them that I needed to record NFL Primetime on ESPN+ on my VCR, so I could archive the tapes like I used to do, yet they didn't seem to know that ESPN+ was a channel. This was f***ing bulls**t!
I was going to lose my mind until I remembered something - YouTube is a thing! Perhaps someone uploaded this on YouTube, and that was, indeed, the case:
Granted, I can't record this on my VCR, but I can at least watch it! F**k you for not carrying ESPN+, Comcast!
OAKLAND OFFENSE: I loved the Colts heading into the season. They were my pick to win the Super Bowl before Andrew Luck abruptly retired. I love their roster, but things are beginning to unravel for them. For instance, Malik Hooker is set to miss several games. The Colts were torched in the divisional round of the playoffs by Patrick Mahomes because Hooker was out. Matt Ryan had a terrific performance this past week, and yet Hooker played most of the afternoon. This was because stud linebacker Darius Leonard was out as well. Leonard missed the game with a concussion, and it's unclear if he'll be able to return for Week 4.
Some may scoff and say that the Colts won't need Leonard or Hooker for this matchup, given how bad the Raiders are. However, Derek Carr has some nice weapons to work with. Darren Waller has been unbelievable this season, and he may have his easiest matchup yet. The Colts had no answer for Austin Hooper last week, especially with Leonard out, so I expect Waller to have a big game. Tyrell Williams, meanwhile, should be able to beat the Colts deep in the wake of Hooker's absence.
The one thing going for the Colts in this matchup, at least on this side of the ball, is that they can stop the run well. Jon Gruden will want to establish Josh Jacobs, who will be healthier than he was at Minnesota, but doing so versus the Colts will be very difficult.
INDIANAPOLIS OFFENSE: Hooker and Leonard aren't the only prominent Colts who are sidelined at the moment. T.Y. Hilton aggravated his quad injury versus Atlanta, so he may miss this game. That could be a huge blow for the Colts, as they lack talent at receiver otherwise. They dropped 19 passes in three games last year when Hilton was out, and things aren't much better this season with Devin Funchess sidelined as well.
Luckily for Jacoby Brissett, the Raiders have an abysmal secondary, so he should be able to move the chains aerially, even if Hilton is out. Brissett should have success targeting the tight ends, as the Raiders' linebackers can't defend that position.
However, like the Colts, the Raiders specialize in stopping the run. Dalvin Cook just had a terrific performance, but he's a special player. Marlon Mack, conversely, is not, and the Raiders will be able to focus on him if Hilton is sidelined.
RECAP: I'm definitely going to be on the Raiders this week. The Colts have won two games this year by margins of two and three. Can they cover a touchdown spread? Perhaps, if healthy, but that's not the case. We know Hooker is out, and Leonard and Hilton could be sidelined as well.
There are other things going the Raiders' way. The Colts may not be entirely focused for them, given that they have to battle the Chiefs next week. There is also tons of money coming in on Indianapolis even though the line jumped up a point from the Westgate advance spread. One point may not seem like much, but the difference between +6 and +7 is huge because both are key numbers.
I'm going to pencil in the Raiders as a two-unit wager at the moment, but I'm definitely going to increase this bet if Leonard and/or Hilton are ruled out.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: We're still waiting on injury updates on the key Indianapolis players. I may bet the Raiders, though I'm not crazy about the public action evening out.
SATURDAY NOTES: All three Indianapolis players I was tracking are likely out. Of course, we knew Malik Hooker would miss this game, but Darius Leonard is out, while T.Y. Hilton is doubtful. Given how undermanned they are, the Colts could struggle to cover this spread, especially with the Chiefs on the horizon next week. I think the Raiders are worth a two-unit wager at +7.
FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps have been betting on the Raiders, and some books now even have a +6 available. I can't even find a clean +6.5 anymore. The best +6.5 is at BetUS, but for -115. The Colts simply are not their true selves, given all of their injuries.
The Motivation. Edge: Raiders.
The Colts play the Chiefs next week, so they could be looking ahead.
1. When UCLA was down 30-something to Washington State late Saturday night, I had the urge to tweet, "There's something oddly satisfying about watching Chip Kelly get blown out."
Fortunately, I got distracted and didn't do that. It would have looked very foolish amid UCLA's unbelievable comeback that saw them prevail 67-63.
Well, there was something oddly nauseating about watching Kelly prevail in heroic fashion like that. Kelly tried his hardest to lose, going for it on fourth-and-5 when a field goal would have tied the game, and having his kick returners kneel down nonsensically, but UCLA somehow won. What a horrible night to have a Kelly comeback.
2. Still, I'm not going to complain. I didn't bet on Washington State, or anything; I just wanted to see Kelly lose. I'm not even sure why, but I just love seeing him lose.
Speaking of bets, if you haven't seen our College Football Picks, they are on fire this year! We're 15-5 thus far, thanks to the computer model I've been using for college football, the NFL and the NBA (as well as baseball, a bit.)
I'm not sure if this hot streak will continue, but I'm going to continue to keep trusting the computer, which was very profitable in the NBA regular season (not so much in the playoffs.)
3. One of my pick losses was in the Cal-Ole Miss game. If you didn't see what happened, the Rebels appeared to throw a tying touchdown at the end of regulation that would have sent the contest to overtime. Ole Miss was trailing by double digits throughout most of the second half, so I was thrilled about this.
Unfortunately, the official spotted the ball inches short of the goal line. The thing is, this official actually had his foot ON the goal line, so based on where he spotted it, Ole Miss should've been awarded a touchdown. Of course, there was no way of knowing if the Rebel player scored because it was so close.
With that in mind, I'd like to propose having chips in footballs from now on. That would prevent this spotting nonsense from happening, where old men with their declining eyesight decide games. I'm sure chips would be expensive, but the NCAA rakes in billions of dollars each year. I'm sure college presidents can live with six yachts instead of nine, so if they're willing to make that sacrifice, this can happen.
KANSAS CITY OFFENSE: If you're trying to figure out how the Lions will stop Patrick Mahomes, don't bother. Mahomes is the best quarterback in the NFL right now, and I don't think any team would be able to keep him from throwing for 300-plus yards.
The Lions especially might have difficulty doing so because Darius Slay could miss this game. Detroit has a strong secondary otherwise, but Slay is a special player who could eliminate one of Mahomes' weapons. His absence could make things especially problematic in this matchup, especially considering Detroit's difficulty against tight ends. The Lions had to double team Zach Ertz on nearly every play last week, and they were able to do so because of all the injuries to the Eagles' receiving corps. They won't have that luxury in this matchup.
The one way Detroit can at least force some punts from the Chiefs is by generating lots of pressure. Mahomes had a bit of difficulty early last week when he had some heat from the blind side. He eventually overcame this and torched the Ravens, however.
DETROIT OFFENSE: Beating the Chiefs requires outscoring them in a shootout, which the Lions are capable of doing. Matthew Stafford has enjoyed a strong start to his 2019 campaign. He's finally healthy and thriving in an offense that is taking more downfield shots.
This is the first time all year that the Chiefs will have to worry about downfield action from a proficient quarterback. They battled checkdown machine Gardner Minshew in the opener, then the equally conservative Derek Carr, then Lamar Jackson, who is a flawed passer at this stage of his career. Stafford is far better than those three signal-callers as a pure thrower, and he has the dynamic weapons in Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones and T.J. Hockenson to expose the flaws the Chiefs have defensively.
I also like Kerryon Johnson's chances of having a solid performance. Now receiving more touches in the wake of C.J. Anderson's departure, Johnson could pick up where Mark Ingram left off with his three touchdowns this past week.
RECAP: The Chiefs possess the best quarterback in the NFL, but they also have a horrible defense that just allowed the Ravens to put together a back-door cover. With that in mind, this spread is too high. The Westgate advance line was Kansas City -4.5, yet this number jumped up about two points, crossing the key number of six. Meanwhile, my calculated spread is only Kansas City -1. Perhaps that's low, but the Lions are a very good team that should not be getting this many points at home.
Furthermore, everyone and their evil stepsisters are betting the Chiefs. Currently, more than 80 percent of the action is on Kansas City, despite this spread being inflated.
I know it's terrifying to go against Mahomes because he can score 28 points in a single quarter, but I think the Lions can compete and keep this game close. I can't pass up on this great value all while fading tons of public money, so I'm going to put three units on the home dog.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: I still have three units on the Lions, but I'm holding out for a +7, which could entice me to increase my unit count.
SATURDAY NOTES: Ugh, I had a huge bet planned for the Lions, but that's off the table in the wake of Matthew Stafford's hip injury. Stafford will probably play, but there's no telling how hindered he'll be by his bum hip. I'm completely off Detroit.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Not only is Matthew Stafford injured, but Darius Slay is out as well. It sucks that we lost a great betting opportunity. It's possible that Detroit still covers, but the Chiefs seem like the right side, and it's very telling that the sharps aren't fading all this public money on Kansas City.
The Motivation. Edge: Lions.
The Chiefs just won a statement game against the Ravens. Will they be focused for an NFC opponent?
New England Patriots (3-0) at Buffalo Bills (3-0) Line: Patriots by 7. Total: 41.5. Sunday, Sept. 29, 1:00 PM
The Matchup. Edge: None.
If you've followed this site for a while, you might remember that I like to respond to my spam mails. It all started seven years ago, when a man named Jon Wire from the "United Bank of Africoan" promised me an ATM card of some sort, so I responded as a man named Mister Compassion Chuck Norris, who was raised by wolves. The following season, I received e-mails from Richard Held and Loon Bruce, who told me I won a Facebook Award, which comes with a "lump sum pay out of (750,000.00 GBP)." Pretending to be Matthew Millen Kim, I sent out my application and fake money.
I've been messing around with spammers ever since, pretending to be Harvey Weinstein, 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!
BUFFALO OFFENSE: It's truly remarkable that the Patriots haven't surrendered a touchdown in four games. The last player to find the end zone against them was Kansas City's Damien Williams in the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship. New England could become the first team in NFL history to prevent the opposition from scoring a touchdown in five consecutive contests.
It's fair to say that Josh Allen has quite the challenge ahead of him. Bill Belichick specializes in erasing one aspect of an opposing offense, and at first thought, that would be John Brown. However, Belichick possesses one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL, Stephon Gilmore, who can erase Brown all by himself. Thus, perhaps Belichick will focus on Allen's mobility. Preventing the talented scrambler from moving the chains on the ground would severely limit Buffalo's offense.
With that in mind, how are the Bills going to move the chains? Is Allen going to throw quality passes to Zay Jones and Isaiah McKenzie? Is 50-year-old Frank Gore going to break a long run? Unless Devin Singletary plays and shows out, I don't see how Buffalo will establish anything offensively.
NEW ENGLAND OFFENSE: The Bills will have to put together a terrific defensive performance to give themselves a chance. They possess a stellar stop unit, so they certainly have the talent to slow down Tom Brady a bit.
Brady is the greatest quarterback in NFL history, but even he has an occasional dud game if an opposing defense can put heavy pressure on him without blitzing. Buffalo's front is certainly capable of doing this, especially given the injuries the Patriots have on their offensive line.
Running the ball versus Buffalo's prolific front seven won't be much of an option, so Brady will have to release the ball quickly. The problem in that regard is two-fold. First, Julian Edelman may miss this game with a chest injury. Second, thanks to Tremaine Edmunds' improvement in his second season, the Bills have a talented linebacking corps that should be able to handle James White as a receiver out of the backfield. Meanwhile, Buffalo's talented cornerbacks will smother Josh Gordon and Phillip Dorsett.
RECAP: I personally think this spread is inflated, as my calculated line for this game is New England -3.5. However, I was a bit less optimistic about that projection once I saw that the computer model thinks this line should be -11. That's quite the difference!
I imagine the computer is looking at what Buffalo has done so far this year. The Bills would've lost to the Jets had either Sam Darnold or C.J. Mosley been healthy. They struggled to put away Eli Manning the following week. And this past Sunday, they nearly lost to the hapless Bengals at home. Perhaps they were looking ahead to this game, but still, it's worrying. Nothing they've done so far gives me confidence that they have a great chance of keeping this game to within a touchdown. They can certainly do it, but it's also very possible that Belichick's schemes confuse the hell out of Allen, forcing the second-year signal-caller into several turnovers.
I think I'm going to be on the Bills because of my calculated spread and all of the action coming in on the Patriots, but I don't see myself betting more than a unit on this contest.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Julian Edelman is practicing, so that makes betting Buffalo less appealing. I'm still on the Bills for zero units because this spread is too high.
SATURDAY NOTES: It feels like my unit count has changed for almost every pick thus far, but this one will remain the same. I don't have a strong opinion on this game.
FINAL THOUGHTS: If you're betting the Bills, you may like that the Patriots will be missing Dont'a Hightower. This almost made me bet a unit on Buffalo, but the Patriots have other talented linebackers.
The Motivation. Edge: None.
This is an enormous game for the Bills, who will be playing with lots of passion in front of their home crowd. However, the Patriots will be focused for this 3-0 vs. 3-0 matchup.
Tennessee Titans (1-2) at Atlanta Falcons (1-2) Line: Falcons by 4. Total: 46.5. Sunday, Sept. 29, 1:00 PM
The Matchup. Edge: Titans.
Video of the Week: The election is coming up in slightly more than a year, which is a good time to remind people that these sorts of idiots decide elections:
If anyone wants to propose an IQ floor for voting, all they'd have to do is submit this video for evidence.
ATLANTA OFFENSE: The Falcons spent lots of energy this offseason upgrading their offensive line. Whatever they've done hasn't worked, however. It hasn't helped that first-round rookie guard Chris Lindstrom is injured, but the rest of the blockers are performing poorly. Both of the guards added in free agency suck; Alex Mack looks old; and Jake Matthews appears as though he has aged 30 years. Colts pass-rusher Kemoko Turay looked like the second coming of Reggie White against him last week.
The Titans have several players who can generate pressure on the quarterback, including Cameron Wake, Jurrell Casey and Harold Landry. They'll bully the Falcons in the trenches, which will allow them to clamp down on the run and pressure Matt Ryan consistently. Ryan has thrown an uncharacteristically high number of interceptions thus far in 2018, and that total could keep rising in this matchup.
If Ryan gets time on occasion, he should be able to connect with his talented receivers. One of Julio Jones or Calvin Ridley will be going up against the inept Malcolm Butler, so that's a terrific matchup Ryan could exploit unless he's taking countless sacks.
TENNESSEE OFFENSE: Lindstrom isn't the only prominent Falcon who is injured. Atlanta also lost talented safety Keanu Neal, whose absence will allow opposing teams to have even more success against a struggling secondary that couldn't contain Jacoby Brissett last week. I know Marcus Mariota struggled Thursday night, but he was battling an excellent Jacksonville defense. There's a huge difference between the stop units of the Jaguars and Falcons.
Mariota should have plenty of time in the pocket as well. He took a ridiculous nine sacks Thursday night, but outside of Grady Jarrett, the Falcons don't have anyone too menacing up front. With an improved pass protection, and an easy matchup versus the secondary, Mariota figures to have a nice bounce-back performance.
Meanwhile, Derrick Henry will be able to trample the Falcons. Atlanta's run defense has been horrible for years, and it just allowed Marlon Mack to have a strong performance. Henry is much more talented, so he's capable of posting the highest rushing total of the week.
RECAP: The Titans seem built to beat a soft, finesse team like the Falcons. They should be able to win the battle in the trenches on both sides of the ball and control time of possession. They have a great matchup edge versus Atlanta.
That's not the only reason I absolutely love the Titans this week. I believe they have the motivational edge as well. They were just humiliated on national TV, so they've had extra time to think about that loss. They'll want to play for pride and prove that they aren't as bad as they looked in their 20-7 loss to Jacksonville.
Furthermore, this spread is off. My calculated line is Atlanta -1. Instead, it's -4. That number indicates that the Falcons are one point better than the Titans, which is absolute nonsense. The Falcons are terrible. Think about it this way: Outside of quarterback and receiver, where is Atlanta better than Tennessee? You can't even say center anymore because Mack looks like he's 50 years old!
If all of that isn't enough, the sharps are all over the Titans. That's the least-important factor for me, but it's still nice to know.
This is my top play of the week. I'm on the Titans for five units, and I think they will win outright.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: I still love the Titans, and I'm going to lock this in now. If this goes up to +4.5, so be it, but I don't want to lose +4, especially considering that BetUS and Bookmaker have that number available at -105 juice.
SATURDAY NOTES: I'm glad we locked this one in on Thursday! This spread has dropped to +3.5, thanks to sharp action on Tennessee.
FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps have brought this spread all the way down to +3. It feels great to have +4 -105!
The Motivation. Edge: Titans.
The Titans were embarrassed on national TV.
The Spread. Edge: Titans.
WalterFootball.com Calculated Spread: Falcons -1.
Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Falcons -4.
Computer Model: Falcons -3.
DVOA Spread: Pick.
The Vegas. Edge: None.
Public on the Falcons, sharps on the Titans.
Week 4 NFL Picks - Late Games
Buccaneers at Rams, Seahawks at Cardinals, Vikings at Bears, Jaguars at Broncos, Cowboys at Saints, Bengals at Steelers
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.