New York Giants (1-5) at Philadelphia Eagles (1-4-1) Line: Eagles by 4.5. Total: 44.5. Thursday, Oct. 22, 8:20 PM
The Matchup. Edge: None.
WEEK 6 RECAP: What a disaster. Week 6 was horrific. We went 5-9 (-$2,365) in what was our worst week of the season by far.
There was some bad luck involved, as we easily could've covered the Ravens and Redskins games. However, what was troubling to me was that I missed several things:
1. The 49ers getting Emmanuel Moseley back from injury to fix their secondary.
2. Baker Mayfield being very banged up (the full-participant tag on Friday threw me off.)
3. The Patriots missing three starting offensive linemen (Denver should have been a big play.)
Missing this sort of stuff is inexcusable. I was exhausted Friday when looking at the injury report, so I've decided to get one more hour of sleep each night so this doesn't happen again.
My Week 7 NFL Picks will be posted all day Tuesday. Follow @walterfootball for updates.
By the way, if you want to support this site, check out my new book!
In this book, I talk about the top NFL Draft busts, and what would've happened had each team gone a different route. Also, I discuss why Roger Goodell has banned us from the NFL Combine.
PHILADELPHIA OFFENSE: This spread opened in the -6 range, but has since dropped to -3.5 or -4 because of two key injuries the Eagles have. Both Miles Sanders and Zach Ertz got hurt against the Ravens, and neither will play in this game. Amazingly, the Eagles continue to be more short-handed each week.
The Eagles, however, will have one reinforcement back, and that would be DeSean Jackson. The anti-Semitic receiver got off to a slow start this season, but his presence will at least threaten the Giants. He'll also occupy James Bradberry, in all likelihood, which will open things up for Travis Fulgham, who has been a revelation the past few weeks.
Carson Wentz will need time in the pocket to find Fulgham, which has been an issue this season. The Eagles are down four offensive linemen, but the Giants don't have much of a pass rush, so Wentz might actually have a clean pocket for a change.
NEW YORK OFFENSE: `The Giants also have offensive line woes. They have one of the worst fronts in the NFL, and opposing teams have been able to take advantage of this liability. This is one of the primary reasons they're 1-5.
Philadelphia has some major defensive problems, but the front line is not one of them. The Eagles should be able to generate pressure on Daniel Jones, which will rattle the second-year signal-caller. Jones has failed to develop thus far, and he's a major turnover machine. Philadelphia should feast on his mistakes like the other teams the Giants have battled.
Making matters worse for Jones, he could have a diminished supporting cast. Darius Slayton, despite scoring a touchdown last week, was laboring through an ankle injury. It might be difficult for him to play on a short week. Even if he does, he may not be 100 percent.
RECAP: The Eagles have severe offensive issues, so it would normally be difficult for them to cover a spread of more than a field goal. Also, NFC East battles usually go to the underdog because the teams know each other so well, and one squad usually isn't much better than the other.
Having said that, I'm going with the Eagles. My rule for Thursday games is to pick the better team. Despite all of the injuries the Eagles have suffered, they're clearly superior compared to the Saquon Barkley-less Giants. I'm not sure I'll be betting this game unless we get a -3, but Philadelphia seems like the correct side.
Our Week 7 NFL Picks will be posted all day Tuesday. Follow @walterfootball for updates.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: This spread dropped from the -6.5 advance spread because of the Miles Sanders and Zach Ertz injuries, but the Eagles will be getting Lane Johnson, DeSean Jackson, Avonte Maddox and Duke Riley back from their absences. The two-point drop, especially through a six-point line, is not warranted. I'm going to bet one unit on the Eagles.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Lane Johnson and DeSean Jackson are officially active, which is good news for the Eagles. With both on the field, the Eagles are the better team, which favors Philadelphia on a short week. I still hate that the Eagles have so many injuries, but I don't think the Giants will be able to take advantage. I'm going with one unit on the Eagles, and the best line is -5 -106 at Bookmaker.
Cleveland Browns (4-2) at Cincinnati Bengals (1-4-1) Line: Browns by 3. Total: 51. Sunday, Oct. 25, 1:00 PM
The Matchup. Edge: Browns.
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 overrated and underrated teams listed there, and some may shock you!
Contest Announcement time!
Our weekly fantasy football contest has returned. It's like DFS, but weekly and free, and there are cash prizes! There's no reason not to enter, and you can submit up to five lineups per week! Click the link here for our new Weekly Fantasy Football Contest!
Also, our Survivor Contest has returned as well. It's free to enter, and you can win $350!
CLEVELAND OFFENSE: Baker Mayfield told the media that he didn't blame his bruised ribs for his ugly performance against the Steelers. There clearly was something wrong with him, as he wasn't nearly himself and then was pulled prior to the fourth quarter. It reminded me of Jimmy Garoppolo's ugly showing against the Dolphins in which he was benched at halftime.
Garoppolo was able to bounce back the following week. Mayfield might be able to do the same thing, but it's best to do a wait-and-see approach. I'd say that looking at the injury report could unearth some clues, but the Browns blatantly lied about his status by giving him a full designation this past Friday. If Mayfield is limited at all, that might be a sign; Garoppolo, by contrast, was full all week leading up to the Rams game.
Regardless of how Mayfield is feeling, the Browns' primary method of moving the chains should be on the ground. They trampled over the Bengals in a Week 2 victory, as Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt both had big games. Chubb is out, but Hunt is talented enough to take advantage of the Bengals missing two of their top three defensive tackles. That said, Hunt won't have the great blocking he received in that Thursday night win if Wyatt Teller is sidelined again. Teller has been one of the better guards in the NFL, and he was missed against the Steelers. He's "week-to-week," so his status must be monitored.
CINCINNATI OFFENSE: Joe Burrow played well against the Browns in Week 2, engineering multiple touchdown drives in the fourth quarter to get the all-important cover. He couldn't quite do enough to win because his defense let him down.
Cleveland's defense is much better at this juncture, however. Burrow was playing against a stop unit missing Olivier Vernon, Mack Wilson and Kevin Johnson, three key players who have since improved the defense. Conversely, however, Burrow has more experience since that Week 2 battle, and he has learned to rely more on rookie receiver Tee Higgins, who has been a monster.
With the Bengals having enough talented receivers to threaten the Browns downfield, Joe Mixon should have better running opportunities this time. James Conner just trampled the Browns despite missing two starting offensive linemen, so Mixon could have the same level of success.
RECAP: I don't see how picking the Browns is an option at this moment. If, like Garoppolo, Mayfield is a full participant in practice every day this week, that will change, but I don't think Cleveland can beat a non-Jets, non-Giants, non-Redskins, non-Jaguars team with Mayfield banged up like he was versus Pittsburgh.
If we get any hint that Mayfield isn't 100 percent, I'm going to be betting the Bengals, especially at +3.5. That line would be too high, as my projected number for this game is Cleveland -1. The computer model calculated the same spread. Plus, this is a divisional revenge game for Cincinnati, which isn't a huge deal, but it's another thing to consider.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Baker Mayfield was limited in Wednesday's practice, which might be a sign that he's not healthy. If he has another limited designation on Thursday, I'm almost certainly going to be backing the Bengals.
SATURDAY NOTES: This is the best update I found on Mayfield, from beat writer Nate Ulrich: "Baker Mayfield is healthy, he's not 100 percent like a lot of guys, but he's had a great week and I'm confident he's ready to go." Mayfield practiced fully Thursday and Friday, which is good news. The Bengals, conversely, do not have good news. They're going to be down two of their top three cornerbacks against a healthier passing attack, and they're missing two of their top three defensive tackles versus Kareem Hunt. Joe Mixon is sidelined as well. I like the Browns' defensive line to dominate the trenches against the Bengals, so I'm going to put a two-unit selection on them. If I were more confident in Mayfield's health, this would be a four-unit play.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I didn't expect sharp action to come in heavily on the Browns, but that's what happened Sunday morning. This spread is up to -3.5 at almost every single sportsbook. DraftKings still has -3 -115 available somehow.
The Motivation. Edge: Bengals.
Divisional revenge for the Bengals.
Dallas Cowboys (2-4) at Washington Redskins (1-5) Line: Pick. Total: 44.5. Sunday, Oct. 25, 1:00 PM
The Matchup. Edge: Redskins.
VEGAS UPDATE: I'll be posting how the Vegas sportsbooks have done the previous week in this spot. The highest-bet sides were 44-40-2 last season and 14-16 heading into Week 6.
Here are the teams getting the most bets last week:
The highest-bet teams went 1-2, so the books had a great weekend.
Here are the teams getting the most bets this week:
It's interesting that we have two highly bet underdogs this week.
DALLAS OFFENSE: The Cowboys looked like trash against the Cardinals on Monday night. It didn't help that Ezekiel Elliott gift-wrapped a win for the Cardinals by fumbling twice in his own territory early in the game, but the offense was a mess as a whole. Andy Dalton threw two interceptions and nearly had an additional pick-six that was dropped. Elliott had no running room, and the receivers were wasted.
As much as the Cowboys miss Dak Prescott, their true struggles stem from the offensive line. Already down both tackles and center Joe Looney, Dallas also lost Zack Martin early in the Arizona game. As soon as this happened, I knew our two-unit wager on the Cowboys was a loser. Martin is one of the top guards in the NFL. Down four offensive linemen, including an All-Pro like Martin, the Cowboys had no chance of blocking the Cardinals.
The same will occur in this game if Martin and Looney are out again. Their statuses for this affair will be crucial, though it might be difficult for them to get ready on a shortened work week. If they're sidelined once more, the Redskins' talented defensive line will flood the backfield and force Dalton into more turnovers and Elliott into more minimal gains.
WASHINGTON OFFENSE: Speaking of turnovers, Kyle Allen also gift-wrapped a victory for the opposition. His interception and strip-six gave the Giants 14 of the 20 points they scored last week. It wasn't a good look for Allen, who is supposed to be a caretaker of the football, especially when getting good blocking from Brandon Scherff, who returned from injury last week.
Allen could have more give-aways if he's bothered by Dallas' pass rush. This is the only positive aspect of the Cowboys' stop unit, as DeMarcus Lawrence and Aldon Smith have done a good job of pressuring quarterbacks this season. This has saved the secondary from being completely embarrassed on a weekly basis, which has still happened often, but not all the time. The secondary, by the way, could receive a nice boost if top cornerback Chidobe Awuzie is taken off injured reserve.
That said, the Redskins should still have some success moving the chains. Even if Awuzie returns, the Cowboys don't have anyone to stick with Terry McLaurin. I also like the two Redskin backs, Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic, to emulate what Kenyan Drake did Monday night.
RECAP: I like betting against teams coming off Monday night blowout losses. If a team suffers a defeat in humiliating fashion like the Cowboys did, they need to make huge adjustments, and that is difficult to do on a shortened week. This would explain why teams that lose by 17-plus on Monday Night Football are 35-55 against the spread since 2002. Many of those 35 victories were by teams like the Ravens this year, who were crushed by the Chiefs, but didn't need to make adjustments because they were still a great team that just matched up poorly against the opponent. The Cowboys clearly need to make enormous adjustments, and something tells me Mike McCarthy won't get the job done.
I'm going to be betting the Redskins. The only question is: How many units? That answer will depend on the injury report, especially pertaining to Martin and Looney. If the Cowboys are down four starting offensive linemen again, Dalton won't stand a chance against Chase Young and the rest of the talented Redskin front.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: We'll see what happens with the injury report, but as of now, the sharps are betting heavily on the Redskins. I can't say I disagree with them.
SATURDAY NOTES: We were waiting on Zack Martin's status. He's out, which means the Cowboys are down four starting offensive linemen: Martin, La'el Collins, Tyron Smith and Joe Looney. They're also down a top backup lineman, Brandon Knight. How are the Cowboys going to block the Redskins' stellar front? Spoiler alert: They're not. The Cowboys will really struggle to score, while the Redskins should be able to do enough with Terry McLaurin and their two pass-catching backs to prevail. I'm going to be big on the Redskins once again.
FINAL THOUGHTS: The Redskins are down their left tackle, Geron Christian, but he was their weakest blocker anyway. I still like the Redskins a lot, and so did the sharps (albeit at +3 to +1). The pros have stopped betting the Redskins at PK, but I still think the home team wins outright.
Detroit Lions (2-3) at Atlanta Falcons (1-5) Line: Falcons by 1. Total: 55. Sunday, Oct. 25, 1:00 PM
The Matchup. Edge: Falcons.
HATE MAIL: I will be posting hate mail here. We got a bit this week:
This guy calls me a goofball, but can't even spell Myles Jack's name correctly, nor does he know the Jaguars were winning that game. Then again, I'd be a brainless drooler if I cheered for the Bengals all these years.
Here's a guy who gave me a compliment:
What a nice gentleman. He insulted me, but also gave me a compliment as he did so, citing how giant my brain is. Thanks!
Here's another message from the gentleman:
Ah, so here's why this guy thinks I'm a racist. The Washington Post - not a conservative publication, by any means - polled Native Americans, and 90 percent said they liked the name. Four Native American high schools in the United States have "Redskins" as their mascot. But yes, let's remove the name. I get the feeling that the people who removed the name actually hate Native Americans. Why else would they want to remove something Native Americans are proud of?
ATLANTA OFFENSE: The Falcons really missed Julio Jones. He was out or hobbled since the Dallas game, and the Falcons were woeful ever since. That all changed in Week 6 when Jones was healthy for the first time. He dominated the Minnesota secondary, as he, Matt Ryan and Calvin Ridley torched the Lions in a blowout victory.
The trio will have a chance for similar success in this contest. The Lions have a dreadful stop unit in all regards. This includes the aerial defense, which missed Desmond Trufant last week. The Lions were down two of their top three cornerbacks, so they should have been more vulnerable against the Jaguars. Jacksonville, however, couldn't block for Gardner Minshew, who had some meltdowns in the red zone. The Falcons won't have those.
The Lions are also terrible against the run. Todd Gurley isn't nearly the back he once was, but we've seen him take advantage of some poor ground defenses this year, thanks mostly to his excellent blocking.
DETROIT OFFENSE: That Detroit-Jacksonville game was so frustrating. The Jaguars lost guard A.J. Cann, which worsened their blocking, and they repeatedly missed opportunities in the red zone. Meanwhile, their defense couldn't do anything to stop Matthew Stafford or the running attack despite Myles Jack and C.J. Henderson returning from injury. The game quickly turned into a blood bath.
It was nice that the Lions finally remembered that they drafted D'Andre Swift. He had a great game versus Jacksonville, but may not be able to repeat that performance in this contest because the Falcons happen to be pretty decent against the run.
Conversely, the Falcons are terrible when it comes to defending the pass. They were able to luck out against the Vikings because Kirk Cousins is terrible. Stafford is a much better passer, especially when he has his entire receiving corps at his disposal. Like Ryan, Stafford was missing his top weapon, Kenny Golladay, for some time. The Lions are now 2-1 with Golladay on the field, with the sole loss coming to the Saints.
RECAP: The Falcons were favored by three to open, which was a jump from the -2 advance line. The spread moved up to a key number because of the victory over a gassed Minnesota team.
I thought this would be a nice opportunity to bet the Lions at a key number, but I didn't expect the spread to move this quickly! The sharps quickly bet Detroit, dropping the line down to +2.5.
It sucks we lost line value, but I still like the Lions as long as Trufant can play. The Falcons will be the unfocused team this time, given that they have to battle a divisional opponent in just four days.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: The sharps have been betting the Lions all week. Perhaps that has something to do with Julio Jones' hamstring. Jones missed Wednesday's practice, which is a slight cause for concern. There's a chance the Falcons could sit Jones with a Thursday game on the horizon.
SATURDAY NOTES: Nothing about this game is very appealing. I don't want to bet the Lions very much because their secondary is a mess with Desmond Trufant out once again. With Julio Jones back - he didn't have an injury designation at the end of the week - the Falcons should be able to throw all over Detroit. Meanwhile, the Falcons have a divisional matchup coming up on Thursday. They're also coming off their first victory, so there's a chance they may not be very focused. I'm going to stick with the Lions, but for no units.
FINAL THOUGHTS: There's been lots of late, sharp money coming in on the Lions despite Desmond Trufant being sidelined. I'm still picking Detroit for a non-wager. The best line is Detroit +1 across the board. I saw a +1.5 -115, but it's not worth paying five extra cents on the dollar to secure a win with +1. That said, makes sure you get the Lions +7.5 on the teaser that I posted below; not +7.
The Motivation. Edge: Lions.
The Falcons play a divisional game in four days.
NEW ORLEANS OFFENSE: Everyone seems to be writing off Drew Brees, but I think that's a bit premature. Let's at least see how he fares when Michael Thomas is on the field. Thomas has been sidelined since Week 2, but he'll be back this week. He was actually eligible to return in Week 5, but he punched a teammate in practice and was suspended for one game.
It doesn't take a football genius to figure out that the Saints' offense will be so much more explosive with Thomas on the field again. Thomas is a huge threat who will command plenty of attention. The Panthers don't have anyone to cover him, and to make matters worse, Thomas will free up Alvin Kamara and Emmanuel Sanders.
The Panthers will be hoping to put pressure on Brees, but that won't be possible. I wouldn't have said this two weeks ago, but Carolina's defense took a huge hit when Kawaan Short was lost for the year, while Yetur Gross-Matos was put on injured reserve. The Panthers couldn't even stop the Bears last week, so how will they handle the Saints?
CAROLINA OFFENSE: The Panthers will have to outscore the Saints because their defense won't have much of a chance. This will be possible if Christian McCaffrey can return from injury, which is a possibility. The Panthers need some fresh legs with Mike Davis slowing down with an ankle injury. He played through it last week and wasn't quite himself.
Even if McCaffrey returns, it'll be tough sledding against a New Orleans defense that happens to be solid against the run. The Saints' defensive line will also cause problems for Teddy Bridgewater, as Marcus Davenport will be back on the field to help rattle the journeyman quarterback. A safety valve like McCaffrey would help immensely!
The Saints could also have their top two cornerbacks on the field for the first time since Week 3. Marshon Lattimore and Janoris Jenkins have been out, though Lattimore returned for the Chargers game. Having Jenkins back as well would be huge against Carolina's talented receivers.
RECAP: I think this spread might be short of what it should be. The computer model believes this line should be New Orleans -10, and it's easy to see why. The Saints have been banged up for so long, but they're finally fully healthy. We all saw what Julio Jones did for the Falcons in his return last week, and Thomas will have the same impact.
Meanwhile, the Panthers are beginning to fall apart. They lost two key members of their front seven, while Davis is now hobbled. Unless McCaffrey can return, the Saints will be the play.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: This spread has been taken off the board in some sportsbooks, likely because of Christian McCaffrey's potential return. There's been a report that says McCaffrey won't play this week, but we'll see. Also, Michael Thomas tweaked his hamstring, so that's something else to monitor.
SATURDAY NOTES: I liked the Saints earlier in the week, but Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are both sidelined, as is starting guard Nick Easton. I don't know if they're going to have enough firepower to defeat the Panthers by more than a touchdown. I just wish Carolina still had Kawann Short and Yetur Gross-Matos. I'd bet them under those circumstances. Otherwise, I'll just pick them for no units.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Wow, there's been lots of sharp money coming in on the Panthers. They're likely fading the Saints because of the receiver issues, which is understandable. I just wish Carolina still had its talented front-seven players. This spread has fallen to +6.5 because of the sharp money, but you can still get +7 -125 at Bookmaker and BetUS. I would buy up to +7 because it's the second-most-prominent key number in the NFL.
Buffalo Bills (4-2) at New York Jets (0-5) Line: Bills by 10. Total: 46. Sunday, Oct. 25, 1:00 PM
The Matchup. Edge: TBA.
College Football Opinion Piece: Go here to read about why the world is coming to an end because Nick Saban Was Infected with Coronavirus. As a warning, this could be triggering to you if you have sand-in-the-vag syndrome (i.e. if you're a blue checkmark on Twitter.)
BUFFALO OFFENSE: This is a nice, get-right game for Josh Allen. The third-year quarterback has struggled the past two weeks, but did so against two teams with a combined record of 9-1. The Jets don't even have one win. They are miserable in every regard, including their attempts to stop the pass. Ryan Fitzpatrick whipped the ball up and down the field on them last week without much resistance. Allen should do the same, as the Jets' pitiful secondary won't be able to cover his weapons.
The Jets are better against the run than the pass, but they struggle with receiving backs, so Devin Singletary figures to have a strong game as well. I just don't see how the Jets will be able to do anything to stop Allen when they couldn't even contain Brett Rypien a few weeks ago.
NEW YORK OFFENSE: It's unclear if Sam Darnold will be out again, but does it even matter? The Jets have one threat on offense, and that would be Jamison Crowder. He'll make some nice catches, but that's about it. Buffalo's fierce defensive line will easily overwhelm the Jets' poor blocking, forcing either Darnold or Joe Flacco into more turnovers.
With Le'Veon Bell gone, the Jets have no threat in the backfield. Frank Gore is a nice story, but he can't do anything but flop forward for mere three-yard gains. That won't get the job done against the Bills, even if stud linebacker Matt Milano is out again.
RECAP: The sportsbooks have really pumped up this spread because they're tired of losing money on the Jets. Adam Gase is the gift that keeps on giving, after all, as he's 0-6 against the spread this year. All but one of the Jets' losses this year have been by double digits, and the lone exception was a nine-point home defeat to Rypien.
The Bills should be able to win this one easily. I'm hesitant to bet on such a high number, however, because something fluky like a return touchdown or a series of fumbles could ruin things. I'm willing to bet just one unit against the Jets.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Sam Darnold and Mekhi Becton were both limited Wednesday, so perhaps they'll return this week. That might give me some incentive to back off the one unit I have on the Bills. There's been a bit of sharp money on the Jets at +13.
SATURDAY NOTES: I'd normally be very concerned for the Bills. Matt Milano and Tre'Davious White could be sidelined once again. Josh Norman has been ruled out. On offense, the Bills will be down one offensive lineman, Cody Ford, and really two if you count Jon Feliciano. There's also a chance they could be looking ahead to the Patriots, though given that they're coming off two consecutive losses, that may not be the case. However, these aren't normal circumstances because the Bills will be battling the Jets, the worst team in the NFL by a wide margin. The Jets could be more competitive this week with Sam Darnold and Mekhi Becton back in the lineup, but solid guard Alex Lewis won't play, and there's a good chance George Fant could be sidelined as well. I'm still on the Bills, but I'm not going to bet this game.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Matt Milano and Tre'Davious White will play! This is big news for the Bills, though I wonder if they'll be healthy, especially the former. Meanwhile, the Jets will have almost all of their entire offensive line intact, though Jamison Crowder is a big absence. I'm not betting either side, though I'd still lean toward the Bills. The sharps, conversely, bet the Jets heavily down from +13 to +10 (though they're not betting New York at +10.)
Green Bay Packers (4-1) at Houston Texans (1-5) Line: Packers by 3. Total: 56. Sunday, Oct. 25, 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 had plenty of Spam Mails this year, so check them out if you want to see me screw with spammers. I'll have new ones every week this year!
GREEN BAY OFFENSE: I knew things would go awry for Aaron Rodgers last week when he did that weird Hunk-o-Matic dance in the end zone following his touchdown to go up 10-0. The Packers being outscored 38-0 the rest of the way was not a surprise, especially once David Bakhtiari went down with an injury. Tampa's defensive front overwhelmed the Bakhtiari-less Packer offensive line, making life extremely difficult for Rodgers.
It's unclear what will become of Bakhtiari, but Rodgers will need him against a Texan defense that still brings pressure with J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus. The Texans were able to strip-sack Ryan Tannehill once Taylor Lewan left the game to set up a score that nearly won the game, and they'll be itching to do the same to the Packers if Bakhtiari is missing.
Luckily for Rodgers, he won't completely be in a hole if Bakhtiari is sidelined. Rodgers couldn't lean on Aaron Jones last week because the Buccaneers have the top run defense in the NFL. The Texans, conversely, have one of the worst ground defenses in the league. Jones should have a very easy time, while the receivers will be able to get open versus a weak secondary.
HOUSTON OFFENSE: The Texans can't block either, but they're not waiting on anyone like Bakhtiari to return to the field. The Packers will be able to put heavy pressure on Deshaun Watson, which could lead to some turnovers.
Watson had lots of success airing out the ball against the Titans' struggling secondary last week. Green Bay's defensive backfield is in much better shape, as Jaire Alexander will be able to erase Will Fuller. This will mean that Watson will have to rely on inconsistent threats like Brandin Cooks and Randall Cobb.
The Packers are worse against the run than the pass, but this doesn't seem like a liability the Texans will be able to exploit. David Johnson has no explosion. He has done nothing this year, and I don't see why that would change in this matchup.
RECAP: I love betting on great quarterbacks coming off losses as long as they're not large favorites. Dating back to last year, the grouping of Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady is 8-3 against the spread after a defeat as long as they're not favored by more than a touchdown. Getting an elite quarterback when he's focused is a great opportunity to make money, and I have to believe Rodgers will be focused. There will be no Hunk-o-Matic dance this week.
That said, I'd like to know what Bakhtiari's status is before betting this game. The Packers will function much better with their All-Pro left tackle blocking for Rodgers. Bakhtiari's presence will determine whether this is a medium-sized bet or a large wager.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Neither the computer model nor DVOA are very bullish on the Packers; they have this line at Green Bay -1 and PK, respectively. With David Bakhtiari not practicing yet, perhaps they're on to something, though passing up on Aaron Rodgers off a loss doesn't seem appealing.
SATURDAY NOTES: If Aaron Rodgers weren't coming off a loss, I'd recommend the Texans as a bet. The Packers are down two talented offensive linemen, David Bakhtiari and Lane Taylor, and they also won't have their second-best offensive weapon, Aaron Jones. Defensively, the Packers will be missing some key contributors like Darnell Savage, Kevin King and Tyler Lancaster. The Texans, conversely, have just one injury of note (Benardrick McKinney.) This is a major bummer because I wanted to bet highly on Rodgers off a defeat. I'm still going to pick the Packers because I expect Rodgers to be pissed after being embarrassed on national TV, but I could see a close game decided by a field goal.
FINAL THOUGHTS: There's been so much pro money on the Texans that not only did this line drop to -3; it's -3 -105 in many sportsbooks! I don't blame the sharps at all for betting the Texans, given how many injuries the Packers have. However, I'm going to stick with the Packers because Aaron Rodgers has such a great track record off losses. The best number is -3 +100 at FanDuel. Bookmaker's -3 -104 is pretty good, too.
The Motivation. Edge: Packers.
Aaron Rodgers is coming off a blowout loss in which he was humiliated.
Pittsburgh Steelers (5-0) at Tennessee Titans (5-0) Line: Titans by 1.5. Total: 51. Sunday, Oct. 25, 1:00 PM
The Matchup. Edge: Titans.
Video of the Week: This video was not quite what I expected when the guy began talking at the beginning (thanks, Mark P.):
I figured the guy calling the little girl "baby" was going to poke fun of Joe Biden, but now I have that song stuck in my head!
TENNESSEE OFFENSE: I mentioned in the previous write-up that we don't know what David Bakhtiari's status is for the upcoming Packers-Texans game. We do, unfortunately, know what Taylor Lewan's status is for this contest. Lewan is out for the year, which is a huge blow for the Titans if they can't get first-round rookie Isaiah Wilson on track to play.
Lewan's replacement in the meantime is Ty Sambrailo, who surrendered a strip-sack when he entered the game last week. If he couldn't block the Houston pass rushers, how will he deal with Pittsburgh's dominant front? Ryan Tannehill will be under siege more than he's used to, and he won't be able to fully rely on Derrick Henry, who will be battling a much tougher run defense this week.
Luckily for the Titans, there's a glimmer of hope, and that would be the new hole the Steelers have at linebacker. Devin Bush is out for the year with a torn ACL, so Tennessee should be able to attack the middle of the field and move the chains that way.
PITTSBURGH OFFENSE: The Steelers have an offensive line question mark as well. David DeCastro was sidelined last week, meaning the Steelers were down two offensive linemen against the Browns. This is why I bet against Pittsburgh last week, and I was at least right in the belief that the Steelers' offense would be limited. They generated just 277 net yards of offense, averaging only 4.5 yards per play. Unfortunately, Baker Mayfield's ribs didn't cooperate, leading to a $360 loss for yours truly.
It's unclear what DeCastro's status will be for this game. If he's out once again, that will be a huge blow for the Steelers against a talented Tennessee front that can put lots of pressure on opposing quarterbacks and stuff the run well. James Conner will have issues reaching the century plateau once again, especially if DeCastro is sidelined.
That said, the Steelers have an edge here on this side. Tennessee's secondary has struggled without Adoree Jackson. If Ben Roethlisberger has time to throw - which will be the case if DeCastro plays - he'll be able to light up the Titans with connections to JuJu Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson and the emerging Chase Claypool.
RECAP: I'll probably be betting the Titans if DeCastro is out. Tennessee would have too much of an advantage in the trenches if the Steelers are down two offensive linemen again. Again, the Browns were able to limit Pittsburgh's offense, but Mayfield's rib injury ruined everything.
Things will be trickier if DeCastro is active. This spread is priced accurately in that case, so I could see myself going with either side. I'd probably still stick with Tennessee because of the Bush injury, but I could see myself switching to Pittsburgh.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: There's been tons of sharp money coming in on the Titans, who are now favored. There could be an injury no one knows about yet.
SATURDAY NOTES: Outside of Lewan, the Titans are almost completely healthy after so many players missed games with a minor illness (we're still awaiting Adoree Jackson's status.) The Steelers are down Devin Bush and Mike Hilton. I like the Titans, but not very much.
FINAL THOUGHTS: There's been some sharp action on the Titans, but not a lot. I'm also leaning toward Tennessee, but not enough to bet them.
The Motivation. Edge: None.
No edge found.
The Spread. Edge: None.
WalterFootball.com Calculated Spread: Titans -1.
Westgate Advance Point Spread: No Line.
Computer Model: Steelers -1.
DVOA Spread: Steelers -1.
The Vegas. Edge: None.
Percentage of money on Pittsburgh: 57% (7,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: TBA.
Steelers are 27-15 ATS on the road off a home division win the previous 42 instances.
Steelers are 26-43 ATS as road favorites since 2007. ???
Steelers are 13-28 ATS as road favorites coming off a win under Mike Tomlin. ???
Week 7 NFL Picks - Late Games
Seahawks at Cardinals, Chiefs at Broncos, 49ers at Patriots, Jaguars at Chargers, Buccaneers at Raiders, Bears at Rams
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 11, 2020): 3-11 (-$1,935)
Last Week's 2-3 Unit NFL Picks (Week 11, 2020): 0-5 (-$1,575)
Last Week's 4-5 Unit NFL Picks (Week 11, 2020): 1-2 (-$690)
Last Week Over-Under (Week 11, 2020): 11-3 ($0)
Last Week's Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks (Week 11, 2020): +$230
2020 NFL Picks of the Month: 0-2, 0% (-$1,735)
2020 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 80-76-5, 51.3% (-$1,115) 2020 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 28-31-3, 47.5% (-$2,750) 2020 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 21-14, 60.0% (+$2,585) 2020 Season Over-Under: 83-74-4, 52.9% ($0) 2020 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$420
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: 2,937-2,713-177, 52.0% (+$9,190) Career 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 938-847-49 (52.6%) Career 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 436-388-22 (52.9%) Career Over-Under: 2,406-2,368-65 (50.4%) Career Second-Half NFL Picks: 22-15-1 (61.1%) Career NFL Picks of the Month: 43-29-1 (59.7%)
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.