Atlanta Falcons (1-6) at Carolina Panthers (3-4) Line: Panthers by 2. Total: 51.5. Thursday, Oct. 29, 8:20 PM
The Matchup. Edge: None.
WEEK 7 RECAP: Despite losing our top two plays, we had a chance to finish in the green Monday night. Unfortunately, the Bears let us down. The end result was 6-7-1 (-$580).
It was unfortunate that we lost our top two plays, Patriots -2.5 and Broncos +7.5, despite there being tons of sharp action on both sides. The Denver defeat was bad luck because the Chiefs scored 14 points off defense and special teams, increasing their lead from 10-6 to 24-9. The Chiefs' offense struggled like I thought it would, but the Broncos just gave away that game.
On the other hand, the Patriots loss was sickening. Cam Newton looked like he was playing with one arm and one leg. He threw passes into the dirt and didn't run at all. He was clearly injured, yet wasn't on the injury report at all. This is absolute bulls**t, and I hope the Patriots are fined and get stripped of draft picks for not complying with the injury report.
My Week 8 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.
ATLANTA OFFENSE: These teams played three weeks ago. The Panthers won that game, 23-16, but it was a Pyrrhic victory that ended their season. That's because they lost Kawann Short for the season and Yetur Gross-Matos to a multi-week injury. With the front seven severely weakened, the Panthers haven't won a game since.
Matt Ryan struggled in the first matchup, going 21-of-37 for 226 yards and an interception. However, not only will he not have to battle against Short or Gross-Matos for the entire game; he'll also have Julio Jones at his disposal. Jones missed the first matchup, and Atlanta has been better ever since he has returned. The Panthers don't have the personnel in their secondary to cover both Jones and Calvin Ridley. Not that many teams do.
Short being out of the lineup will continue to make the Panthers worse against the run. Todd Gurley ran for 121 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries back in Week 5, so he could have a similar output in the rematch.
CAROLINA OFFENSE: `While the Panthers' defense has collapsed because of injuries lately, Teddy Bridgewater has carried the team and given it a chance to win on a weekly basis. The victories haven't come in, but Bridgewater got the Panthers close to defeating both the Bears and Saints.
Bridgewater was exceptional in the first matchup, going 27-of-37 for 313 yards and two touchdowns. The Falcons had no answers for Robby Anderson or D.J. Moore, and that hasn't changed in the past three weeks.
Something that will change soon is the return of Christian McCaffrey. He's due back any game now, but probably won't be able to play this week. His replacement, Mike Davis, did well against the Falcons last time - he caught nine passes for 80 receiving yards and also rushed for 89 yards - but he hasn't quite been himself lately because of a nagging ankle injury. It might be difficult for him to recover on a short week.
RECAP: The Falcons have revenge on their side after losing to the Panthers three weeks ago, and I think they'll get it. They suffered a touchdown defeat the last time they battled Carolina, but much has changed since. The Panthers lost some key personnel, while the Falcons have been better offensively with Jones back to catch passes from Ryan.
I'd say these teams are about even now, which means I can't use my Thursday rule, which is to bet the superior squad. With that in mind, I'm going to take the points with Ryan. The revenge angle is minimal, but what remains true is that these teams are not nearly the same as they were back in Week 5. Plus, the Panthers might be flat after such a tough loss in New Orleans in which they left everything on the field.
Our Week 8 NFL Picks will be posted all day Tuesday. Follow @walterfootball for updates.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Russell Okung is out for the Panthers, which will only be a big deal if another offensive lineman, John Miller, misses this game as well. Miller, however, was designated with a full practice Wednesday, so it sounds like he'll be returning from injury. Meanwhile, Julio Jones is good to go. I still like the Falcons for a couple of units, but there's a chance I could expand this play. Unfortunately, the sharps have taken this spread down to +2.
FINAL THOUGHTS: There continues to be some sharp money on the Falcons. This spread has fallen to +1.5, with the best line available being +1.5 -107 at Bookmaker. I still like the Falcons for a couple of units because this spread hasn't factored in that they're better with Julio Jones, while the Panthers are worse without some key injured players. This is also a revenge spot for the Falcons.
The Motivation. Edge: Falcons.
The Panthers left everything on the field in a tough game at New Orleans. The Falcons, meanwhile, will be eager for revenge.
Indianapolis Colts (4-2) at Detroit Lions (3-3) Line: Colts by 3. Total: 49. Sunday, Nov. 1, 1:00 PM
The Matchup. Edge: Colts.
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!
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DETROIT OFFENSE: We're waiting on major injury news in this game, and that would be to star linebacker Darius Leonard. The Colts haven't been the same in the two games he has missed. He's had the bye week to recover, however, so there's a good chance he'll suit up again.
The Colts will need Leonard to help cover T.J. Hockenson and stop the run. Of course, when I refer to stopping the run, I only mean D'Andre Swift because he's an actual threat, unlike Adrian Peterson. In my NFL Power Rankings page, I pleaded for a Detroit fan to create a Get Swifty song to convince Matt Patricia not to waste downs with Peterson. It's aggravating to see this happen, and yet I have no stake in it. I can't even imagine how Lion fans feel right now!
At any rate, Matthew Stafford will be hoping for Leonard to be out again because he'll need to explore options other than Kenny Golladay, like Hockenson. This is because Xavier Rhodes is having a phenomenal year, and he should be able to limit Golladay.
INDIANAPOLIS OFFENSE: The Lions don't have a linebacker like Leonard to help save their run-stopping efforts. Detroit has been gashed on the ground this year, which doesn't bode well against the Colts, who pound the ball extremely well. I'm expecting a big game from Jonathan Taylor.
Philip Rivers should also play well. He'll beat the Detroit linebackers with his various tight ends, and he'll also get good pass protection. The Lions don't pressure quarterbacks very well, and Rivers is shielded by one of the top offensive fronts in the NFL.
The one question concerning the Colts' offense is if Rivers and T.Y. Hilton will finally get on the same page. The two have inexplicably failed to click, but perhaps the bye week has allowed them to gel, especially against a Detroit team with severe problems at cornerback. If so, the Colts can take the next step and become a top-tier team in the AFC playoff picture.
RECAP: I like Frank Reich quite a bit. I think he's an excellent coach. I'm a fan of betting good coaches with extra time to prepare. That said, Rivers has an atrocious track record coming off a bye, owning a 5-10 spread record in his career following an off week. I'm not sure there's a logical explanation for this, or if it's the byproduct of a fluky result on a small sample size, but it's not something to ignore either.
Here's something else I can't ignore: Following this non-conference foe, the Colts have to battle the Ravens, Titans, Packers and Titans again. There's a chance Indianapolis may overlook the seemingly pitiful Lions with such a tough gauntlet on the horizon.
I'm not sure I'm going to bet this game at the moment, but I'll reconsider if Leonard is sidelined again. The Lions would become a nice play in that circumstance.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Jacob convinced me to change my mind about this game during our YouTube show...
That said, I'm not going to be betting this game, barring some new info per the injury report.
SATURDAY NOTES: Darus Leonard will return, which is the most important thing from the injury report. After that, both teams could be missing key offensive linemen, as Ryan Kelly and Taylor Decker are both questionable after missing practice Friday. Both being out would hurt the Lions more because Indianapolis has a far better defensive line than Detroit does. I'm still zero on the Colts because there's a chance they overlook Detroit with Baltimore on deck. However, it must be noted that the last time the Lions played a good team, they got trashed at home by the Saints.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Both of the offensive linemen in question will play for their respective teams. The one injury of note is Desmond Trufant, who will once again be out for the Lions. With Michael Pittman returning for Indianapolis, the Colts could take advantage of this liability. I'd like the Colts quite a bit if I didn't think they could look ahead to their battle against the Ravens next week. There's a bit of sharp action on the Colts, but not enough to push the line to -3.5.
The Motivation. Edge: Lions.
The Colts could be looking ahead to a slew of tough games on the horizon. They play the Ravens, Titans, Packers and Titans again next.
Minnesota Vikings (1-5) at Green Bay Packers (5-1) Line: Packers by 6. Total: 48. Sunday, Nov. 1, 1:00 PM
The Matchup. Edge: Packers.
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 15-18 heading into Week 7.
Here are the teams getting the most bets last week:
The highest-bet teams went 1-2, so the books had another great weekend.
Here are the teams getting the most bets this week:
No one should be surprised that the Buccaners are getting more money than any other team. They're on fire, while the Giants have been pitiful, so how can they possibly not cover?
GREEN BAY OFFENSE: We got our first taste of a pissed-off Aaron Rodgers in the opening game of the season when he torched the Vikings mercilessly. Rodgers has continued his torrid pace all year, save for an odd blowout loss at Tampa in which he wasn't looking at the play clock and doing the Hunk-o-Matic dance after the lone offensive touchdown in the game. It's safe to say that Rodgers was motivated to bounce back from that ugly defeat last week when he obliterated the sorry Texans.
The Vikings still have the same issues in the secondary they maintained in the first matchup, though I wouldn't completely count out Mike Zimmer figuring out something with his young corners during the bye week. Still, there won't be any covering Davante Adams, who could have another big game. The Vikings will obviously need to disrupt this with pressure, which would ordinarily be a problem because they're without their top two edge rushers, Danielle Hunter (injured) and Yannick Ngakoue (traded). However, the Packers have some offensive line issues with David Bakhtiari and Lane Taylor currently injured. There's a chance Bakhtiari will return, but if he doesn't, Minnesota could rattle Rodgers a bit.
Rodgers was able to lean on the running game against the Texans despite the absence of Aaron Jones. This was not a surprise because of how poor the Texans happen to be versus the run. The Vikings are much better in that regard, so I wouldn't expect a huge performance from Jamaal Williams, or perhaps Jones if he returns from injury.
MINNESOTA OFFENSE: Things have changed for the Minnesota offense since the opener in which Kirk Cousins did absolutely nothing prior to garbage time. That would be the emergence of Justin Jefferson, the team's talented rookie receiver. For some reason, the Vikings decided that starting Olabisi Johnson over Jefferson was a good idea during the first two weeks of the season. The Vikings have been more potent offensively since, save for the ugly loss to Atlanta prior to the bye.
Jefferson being a major part of the offense is a huge boon for the Vikings in this matchup. That's because the Packers have a shutdown cornerback in Jaire Alexander, who has erased the likes of Calvin Ridley and Will Fuller in recent weeks. He also did a number on Adam Thielen in the opener, so with Stefon Diggs gone, Kirk Cousins had no one to throw to. Cousins will now be able to lean on Jefferson.
Meanwhile, Dalvin Cook will be back following his Week 6 absence. The Packers aren't great versus the run, so as long as the Vikings aren't getting blown out, Cook should be able to trample the Green Bay defense.
RECAP: I'm not sure people realize it because the last time they saw the Vikings, they were demolished in Atlanta, but Minnesota has been a different team since inserting Jefferson into the lineup. They nearly defeated the Titans and Seahawks, blowing out the Texans in between (Houston made the game close at the end via garbage time and a Harrison Smith ejection.) The blowout loss to the Falcons should have been predictable, given that the Vikings gave everything they had in the close loss at Seattle.
I consider the Seahawks and Packers to be on a similar level, so I think there's a decent chance the Vikings will be able to stay within striking revenge of the Packers, especially when factoring in that Green Bay will be looking ahead to its impending Thursday night battle against the 49ers. The Packers already beat the Vikings, so I'm not sure if full motivation will be present in this game. Conversely, Minnesota will be eager to avenge that hideous Week 1 blowout loss.
My unit count will hinge on the availability of Bakhtiari. If the Packers are down two offensive linemen, that'll give the Vikings an edge in the trenches that the Texans couldn't exploit.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Aaron Jones and Kevin King were the only Packers to miss practice Wednesday. It goes without saying that this is great news for Green Bay, based on how many players were out during last week's game at Houston. Still, I like the Vikings to cover.
SATURDAY NOTES: David Bakhtiari is the big question mark for the Packers with Aaron Jones and Kevin King declared out. Bakhtiari is questionable after practicing Thursday and Friday, so your guess is as good as mine. Still, it helps that the Vikings no longer have Yannick Ngakoue to pressure Aaron Rodgers, who may not have two starting offensive linemen. Speaking of the Vikings, they're going to be down multiple cornerbacks (Cameron Dantzler, Mike Hughes) in addition to two defensive ends, which is not good news versus Rodgers. If the Packers weren't in an obvious look-ahead spot, I'd bet heavily on them, provided Bakhtiari were to play. I thought about changing my pick, but the weather forecasts are calling for 27-mph winds, so I'm going to side with the team with the better running game.
FINAL THOUGHTS: David Bakhtiari is out! The sharps are very bearish on the Packers for this reason, as this spread has dropped to +5.5 in some sportsbooks. If you want to bet Minnesota like the smart money is, you can still get the Vikings at +6 -115 at Bovada. I'm going to put a unit on the Vikings.
The Motivation. Edge: Vikings.
The Packers play against the 49ers on Thursday. Meanwhile, the Vikings are out for revenge.
New England Patriots (2-4) at Buffalo Bills (5-2) Line: Bills by 4. Total: 41. Sunday, Nov. 1, 1:00 PM
The Matchup. Edge: None.
HATE MAIL: I will be posting hate mail here. We got a bit this week:
I apologized for the Patriots pick, but I really think the Patriots should be the ones saying sorry for lying on the injury report. With Cam Newton throwing passes into the ground and not scrambling, it was clear right away that we bet on a lemon.
Here we have an old hater returning for the first time this year:
I've noticed this sort of mentality with stock trading. When a stock is moving up, you don't hear anything from these scumbags, but the very second it drops two percent, these rats come out of their holes and go off on how bad the company is. I've found myself wondering what's wrong with them to have this sort of mentality. Was it bad parenting from their childhood, or do they have some undetected brain damage? Gators76, if you're reading this, please let me know if you had a bad childhood or brain damage.
Here's a guy who thinks I'm a smart racist:
My NFL opinion piece this week will delve into why people like Blobama are the true racists.
NEW ENGLAND OFFENSE: Dumb reporters have asked Bill Belichick if Cam Newton's recent struggles have been the byproduct of lingering effects from a minor illness he suffered recently. Idiot journalists would love this narrative, but if they were at least somewhat intelligent, they would know that there are no lingering effects of minor illnesses for healthy athletes, or any young person for that matter.
Newton is injured, however; that much is clear. He threw passes into the ground and neglected to scramble at all. It looked like he was playing on just one leg with a busted shoulder. It's way more likely that old injuries are affecting him, and if so, the Patriots don't have much of a chance in this game. Newton will be battling another secondary with talented cornerbacks who will completely erase his horrific receivers, so he'll once again have no one to throw to.
Of course, there's a chance Newton will be healthier in this contest, but he'll be battling a defense that just got back Matt Milano last week. Milano will be even better in his second game back, so he'll be able to help make sure Newton doesn't have a big game as a scrambler.
BUFFALO OFFENSE: Josh Allen has not played well either in recent weeks. He was on fire to begin the year, but he has regressed in the previous three games. Fortunately for him, this didn't matter last week against the pathetic Jets.
Allen will need to be better against the Patriots. New England still has a talented secondary, so Bill Belichick has the defensive players at his disposal to limit the Buffalo receiving corps, especially if John Brown is sidelined again. Stephon Gilmore will smother Stefon Diggs, so Allen will have to look elsewhere.
I believe Allen will have to put his legs to good use. Allen has been reluctant to run as much this year, and it's not like he needed to when he was torching teams in the first few weeks of the season. However, the Patriots demonstrated an inability to stop the rush last week when the 49ers trampled them, so a strong ground attack with Allen and Devin Singletary could be the recipe for the Bills to finally defeat their arch rival.
RECAP: I don't like how this spread has risen to -3.5. The advance line was -3, but because of reaction to the 49ers-Patriots game, the number is now -3.5. If you're not aware, -3.5 is the worst possible spread to bet in the NFL because it indicates that a game will be close, and most close affairs are decided by a field goal. Since 1989, -3.5 has hit just 47.6 percent of the time.
That said, I'm still picking the Bills because I'm not sure these teams are close. The Bills haven't played well in recent weeks because of injuries, but they're getting healthier, so I expect them to rebound. Meanwhile, Newton doesn't seem like he's completely healthy. If he's nursing a bum shoulder - and not the lingering effects of a minor illness - he won't stand much of a chance against Buffalo.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Check Jacob Camenker's Twitter feed to see why Cam Newton hasn't played well recently. Jacob posted a clip from another football analyst a couple of days ago, showing Newton injuring his hand when he banged it on a Bronco player's helmet. This would explain why Newton has been so terrible after starting the year so well. This could create value with the Patriots down the road when Newton recovers, but I can't trust him to play well in the meantime.
SATURDAY NOTES: The Bills are getting some nice boosts as far as returning players are concerned. John Brown and Jon Feliciano are no longer on the injury report, so they'll help the offense. Meanwhile, Matt Milano will be healthier this week after struggling this past Sunday. That said, the Bills will be down Micah Hyde, Josh Norman and Vernon Butler. The Bills can overcome those injuries, and it's not like the Patriots are in great shape, anyway. Cam Newton may still have an injured hand; Julian Edelman has been ruled out; and Stephon Gilmore could be sidelined. The other starting corner, J.C. Jackson, is questionable as well. It sucks not to know everything right now because the Patriots conceal information better than the Chinese government, but the Bills are looking like a potential multi-unit play.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Stephon Gilmore is out, though the opposite cornerback, J.C. Jackson, will play. I would've bet the Bills if Jackson were out, but the Patriots have a chance to keep this game close if Cam Newton is healthy. If Newton's hand continues to affect him, the Patriots will get blown out. There's no sharp activity on this game.
CINCINNATI OFFENSE: Joe Burrow has been amazing as a rookie. He struggled in only two games this year: his debut versus a stout Charger defense, and a blowout loss to the excellent Ravens. Burrow, otherwise, has thrown for 300-plus yards in every other game. It's truly been remarkable how well he has played, given the issues with the offensive line.
The offensive line, however, took two hits against the Browns. Left tackle Jonah Williams, who has been terrific in his "rookie" year, injured his neck against Cleveland. Center Trey Hopkins got concussed as well. If both are out, things will be problematic for Burrow, though not impossible. The Titans don't have much of a pass rush; outside of Jeffery Simmons, no one is really getting to the quarterback. This includes Jadeveon Clowney, who is not playing his best.
The Titans aren't covering well either. Perhaps this is the week they'll get Adoree Jackson back from injury, but even if Jackson returns, he may not be 100 percent. Burrow has so many weapons at his disposal for the Titans to handle.
TENNESSEE OFFENSE: The Titans should also have success moving the chains. Unlike the Bengals, they'll do this primarily with Derrick Henry. The bulldozing running back could eclipse the 200-yard barrier once again, given the Bengals' issues in the front seven. Cincinnati is down two defensive tackles, which isn't making things any easier for a pedestrian linebacking corps.
Ryan Tannehill will capitalize off the run with some easy throwing opportunities. Things will be a breeze for Tannehill if Cincinnati is down two cornerbacks again. It remains to be seen if William Jackson will clear concussion protocol, but there's a decent chance he'll return.
The Bengals will desperately need Jackson because the Tennessee receiving corps has gotten much better with A.J. Brown on the field. Remember, Brown didn't play a full game until Week 5 when the Titans destroyed the Bills on a Tuesday night. With Brown on the field, the Titans have scored 42, 42 and 24 points, with the latter sum coming against the dominant Pittsburgh defense.
RECAP: This spread has risen via sharp money from -4 to -6. I imagine this is because the Bengals could be without two starting offensive linemen, two defensive tackles and two cornerbacks. The Titans, meanwhile, have been better with Brown, and there's a growing chance Adoree Jackson could be back.
I could see the argument for picking the Titans if everyone is missing for Cincinnati. On the other hand, the advance spread on this game was Tennessee -3.5, which is what my projected line for this game is. Now at +6, there's some value with the feisty Bengals. I have to believe there's a chance Burrow will keep this game close, perhaps via a back-door cover.
I'm going to side with Cincinnati at the moment, though things could change in the wake of injury updates.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: I really want either Jonah Williams or Trey Hopkins to play this weekend. Otherwise, the Bengals will be missing two offensive linemen against the Titans. I still think they could cover in that circumstance, but it'll be easier if four of five healthy offensive linemen play.
SATURDAY NOTES: Forget four of five healthy offensive linemen. The Bengals are down nearly their entire front! Left tackle Jonah Williams, right tackle Bobby Hart, center Trey Hopkins and guard Xavier Su'a-Filo will all be absent. I'd be very concerned for Joe Burrow's safety if the Titans had a good pass rush, but that's not the case. Still, the Bengals will have one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL this weekend, and Jeffery Simmons and Jadeveon Clowney should be able to win their matchups easily. This is a shame, as the offensive line woes have really ruined a great betting opportunity on Cincinnati. I'm still on the Bengals, but I won't be betting this game.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Wow. Every single Cincinnati offensive lineman is sidelined, as left guard Michael Jordan is out with an illness of sorts. I'd say I don't know how Joe Burrow will survive, but the Titans have a weak pass rush. I still like the Bengals, but I don't think we can bet them. It's worth noting that the sharps have bet the Titans up to -7, but haven't touched this line.
Las Vegas Raiders (3-3) at Cleveland Browns (5-2) Line: Browns by 1. Total: 47. Sunday, Nov. 1, 1:00 PM
The Matchup. Edge: Browns.
I was going to write a college football opinion piece this week about targeting ejections, but ran out of time due to preparing for my Week 7 NFL picks and various personal matters. Instead, I'll bring you this e-mail from an e-mailer named Matthew:
Matt Millen commentary for Michigan State vs. Rutgers: I think he's mentioned the term "cock nose" like 15 or 20 times, and it's only the 3rd quarter.
Ah, Matt Millen, how I've missed making fun of you! It's reassuring to know that Millen is still saying odd things that make it sound like he wants to ride young stallions all night long while puncturing their backsides with kielbasas. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
CLEVELAND OFFENSE: The big news regarding this game is Odell Beckham Jr.'s season-ending injury. Beckham dived after an intercepting player early in last week's game, but paid the price for this selfless action. The Browns will now have to move on without him.
I think Cleveland will be perfectly splendid without Beckham as long as Jarvis Landry can play. The Browns, after all, moved the ball effortlessly against the Bengals last week with Beckham missing all but one snap. Granted, the opponent was Cincinnati, but it's not like the Raiders have a good defense either. They have no pass rush, and their secondary is weak, so Baker Mayfield should continue to perform on a high level.
The Raiders are better against the run than the pass, so don't expect much from Kareem Hunt as a rusher this week. However, the Raider linebackers have been beaten by pass-catching backs, so it would be in the Browns' best interest to get Hunt in space - something they haven't really done since Nick Chubb got hurt.
LAS VEGAS OFFENSE: The Raiders might be fined or stripped of draft picks for violating minor illness protocols and having all of their offensive linemen suit up against the Buccaneers. There should be no penalty, of course, but Roger Goodell runs the NFL like a Middle Eastern dictator or a governor who sends sick people into nursing homes.
Only two starting Raider offensive linemen may miss this game: Richie Incognito, because of injury, and Trent Brown, because of the aforementioned minor illness. Not having Brown on the field will be painful for the Raiders, given the strength of the Cleveland defensive line. Myles Garrett and Olivier Vernon will dominate in the trenches if Brown is sidelined in addition to Incognito.
That said, the Raiders will still have some success moving the chains. This will come primarily via Darren Waller, who will abuse a Cleveland linebacking corps that hasn't done very well against tight ends this season.
RECAP: Cleveland will be a high-unit play for me if the Raiders are down two offensive linemen again. I simply don't think the offense will function all that well without two blockers versus the Browns' stout defensive front.
That said, even if Brown tests negatively for his minor illness, I'm still going to be on Cleveland. I like the value we're getting with the Browns, who were -3.5 on the advance spread. This line is now -2.5, moving us across the main key number of three. The computer model believes the correct spread is Cleveland -4, so that's another indicator that we're getting nice value with the host.
Furthermore, there's a ton of action on the Raiders. They're a public dog, and if you've been reading this Web site, you know what we do with public dogs. Fade, fade, fade!
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Like the Bengals, the other Ohio team has two offensive linemen with injury concerns: Wyatt Teller and J.C. Tretter. Neither practiced Wednesday. However, Chris Hubbard has done a solid job replacing Teller, so I'm not all that concerned.
SATURDAY NOTES: Both teams received great news regarding their offensive lines, as Trent Brown and J.C. Tretter will return for the Raiders and Browns, respectively. I was hoping one would be out, which would have given us an advantage. Instead, this seems like an even game. Public action on the Raiders has cooled off as well.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Trent Brown is inactive! That's huge. The Raiders missing two starters on the offensive line will hurt their chances against the Browns' talented defensive front. There will be heavy winds in this game, so Brown's absence to help the running game will be felt. I'm going to bet two units on the Browns. The best line is -1 -103 at Bookmaker.
New York Jets (0-7) at Kansas City Chiefs (6-1) Line: Chiefs by 20. Total: 49. Sunday, Nov. 1, 1:00 PM
The Matchup. Edge: Chiefs.
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!
KANSAS CITY OFFENSE: Patrick Mahomes is going to struggle in this game, mark my words. Struggle, that is, to throw for an obscene amount of yardage because he won't have to do anything in the second half as a result of this being a blowout. Sorry for the confusion.
In all seriousness, Mahomes won't face any resistance against a defense with no pass rush and a below-average secondary. Mahomes may be missing two blockers in front of him if Mitchell Schwartz is out once again, but it won't matter against the Jets.
Meanwhile, this could be a great revenge spot for Le'Veon Bell. Adam Gase didn't use Bell properly, so the former Jet is pissed. I could see Andy Reid giving Bell some opportunities to thrive.
NEW YORK OFFENSE: The Chiefs have an excellent offense, of course, but their defense is underrated. Chris Jones is one of the top defensive linemen in the NFL, and he'll create some major problems for Sam Darnold. The beleaguered young quarterback keeps getting worse, and he can be a turnover machine if things aren't going well. His offensive line not being able to block Jones qualifies.
The Chiefs will be able to get after Darnold aggressively because they won't have to worry about the run at all. Frank Gore falling down for 2- and 3-yard gains does not constitute a rushing attack, no matter what Gase may think.
The only hope the Jets have of making big plays is if Jamison Crowder catches some passes and breaks for large gains. This, of course, requires Crowder to play. He wasn't even on the field last week.
RECAP: This is the largest spread of the year at -19.5, but I'd argue that it's not big enough. The advance spread was Kansas City -21. The computer model, meanwhile, believes this line should be -23!
I'm going to bet a unit on the Chiefs. I wouldn't go nuts with this game because something weird could happen like a back-door cover, but a small bet is OK.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Patrick Mahomes was telling the media that he thought there was a chance the Jets would draft him, but the Jets ultimately decided that Christian Hackenberg was their quarterback of the future. Whoops! I think this is significant because Mahomes has taken this personally, so he'll be out for blood this Sunday.
SATURDAY NOTES: The Jets are in rough shape. I know that goes without saying, but it's even worse than normal. They're going to be down their starting center and one of their safeties, as well as their top two receivers. Not having Jamison Crowder and Breshad Perriman - and not to mention, Le'Veon Bell - will make things extremely difficult for Sam Darnold. The Jets backup receivers stand no chance against the underrated Kansas City corners. It's not ideal that the Chiefs will be down two offensive linemen again - Mitchell Schwartz will be sidelined once more - but the Jets don't have the pass rushers to take advantage of that. Given the Jets' sudden greater troubles, I'm going to increase the unit count.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Jamison Crowder and Breshad Perriman will be out, as expected. Also, for what it's worth, the Jets will be down their kicker, which is important because their red-zone offense is so bad. The Chiefs should have this covered by halftime. This line has risen to -20, but that's not a big deal. The best 20 is at Bookmaker (+101).
Los Angeles Rams (5-2) at Miami Dolphins (3-3) Line: Rams by 3.5. Total: 46.5. Sunday, Nov. 1, 1:00 PM
The Matchup. Edge: Dolphins.
Video of the Week: With the election coming up on Tuesday, I'd be remiss if I didn't share the video of Joe Biden molesting little girls because so many people I've spoken to don't know about it (watch the entire video; not just the first segment):
I'd say I don't know how this hasn't made the rounds in the media yet, but our media is so corrupt that they'll never show this.
MIAMI OFFENSE: It was disappointing to see Ryan Fitzpatrick get benched during the bye week. He had played so well, getting the Dolphins back to .500 after a slow start. Besides, was it really the smartest move to have Tua Tagovailoa make his debut against Aaron Donald when he's not even a year removed from his devastating injury?
I think Brian Flores is an excellent coach, so I'm willing to trust him. Besides, having Tagovailoa's mobility may not be the worst thing against the Rams. We all saw what happened Monday night. Had Nick Foles been able to scramble out of pressure, it would have been a completely different game. That said, scrambling will be essential for Tagovailoa because of the pressure that Donald and Leonard Floyd are capable of generating. He'll need to buy himself some time to connect with his receivers, especially considering that his offensive line isn't very good.
There's some hope for the Dolphins, however. The Rams' linebackers are not very good, to put it nicely. Miami should be able to counter by abusing them with Mike Gesicki and Myles Gaskin as a receiver out of the backfield. The Bears didn't do this with their tight ends and David Montgomery, opting instead to do dumb stuff like run the ball with Cordarrelle Patterson. The Dolphins are much better coached, so they'll have a better game plan prepared.
LOS ANGELES OFFENSE: Jared Goff really struggles with pressure, which is why I thought the Bears would cover Monday night. Goff nearly committed two turnovers - a pick-six and a fumble in his own territory - but the interception was dropped, and a teammate of his pounced on the loose football. Goff was extremely fortunate not to sabotage the victory for his team, and I'm sure he'll be happy to know that the Dolphins don't bring much heat on opposing quarterbacks.
Miami, however, is capable of shutting down opposing receivers. The team has an excellent pair of cornerbacks, so Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods figure to be limited. Goff will be forced to look elsewhere, perhaps to his tight ends against the Dolphins' pedestrian linebacking corps.
Goff could also just hand the ball off to his running backs. The Dolphins aren't very good at stopping the run, so Sean McVay's back du jour figures to perform well.
RECAP: Of all the games this week, this is the matchup with the widest disparity between the actual spread and my calculated line. The Rams are favored by four, yet my calculated spread for this game is Miami -2.5!
This spread is way off because the Rams are overrated and the Dolphins are underrated. The Rams are 5-2 because they played four games against the pathetic NFC East, including two where they barely beat the sorry Cowboys and Giants. Their fifth win was Monday night versus the equally overrated Bears, who would've had a chance had they capitalized on Goff's near-turnovers. Conversely, the Dolphins' three losses have come against the Patriots (when Cam Newton was healthy), the Bills and the Seahawks. They demolished the 49ers, a team the Rams lost to.
This is a tough preparation circumstance for the Dolphins as well for two reasons. First, the Rams played Monday night and have to play an early game on the East Coast. McVay has done an excellent job in these early-start games, but coming off a Monday night affair is a different dynamic. Second, the Rams have zero film on Tagovailoa. They have to look at Alabama tape, which is not a good way to get ready for this opponent.
I love the Dolphins for these reasons, as well as the fact that they're coming off a bye, which is a big edge for a good coach like Flores. Miami is one of my top plays of the week.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Nothing has changed for me, as the Dolphins seem like a great play at five units. The DVOA numbers, by the way, suggest this spread should be Rams -2.5, which is good news.
SATURDAY NOTES: There's absolutely nothing new on the injury report to note, but the weather could be significant, as it'll be in the upper 80s in Miami, so the Rams could wear down in the second half in their dark uniforms. Also, the sharps bet the Dolphins heavily at +4, and it appears as though they're making a play on them at +3.5. With a potential move to +3, I'm going to lock this in at +3.5. Amazingly, I can find just one sportsbook that still has -110 juice at +3.5, which is Bovada.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I'm glad I locked in this pick on Saturday. There's been sharp money coming in on the Dolphins, which is why this line has dropped to +3 in several sportsbooks. If you haven't bet the Dolphins yet, you can get +3.5 -120 at BetUS and Bovada.
The Motivation. Edge: Dolphins.
The Rams are playing an early game on the East Coast after a Monday night game.
PITTSBURGH OFFENSE: The Ravens have an excellent team, but they were missing two key items: an elite edge rusher and a No. 2 receiver. Somehow, they filled both holes during the bye week. Their big move was acquiring Yannick Ngakoue from the Vikings for a mere third-round pick after Minnesota dealt a second-rounder for him in the summer. I don't know how the Ravens do it, but they always manage to pull off great deals like this.
Ngakoue will be enormous against the Steelers. Pittsburgh has an injured right tackle, so having Ngakoue and Matthew Judon rush Ben Roethlisberger could rattle the veteran quarterback, who seemed eager to give away last week's game with a couple of interceptions in the second half. Roethlisberger has a tremendous receiving corps at his disposal, but if Diontae Johnson is out - he got hurt at the end of the Tennessee contest - the Ravens will be able to limit the rest of Roethlisberger's receivers with their excellent defensive backs.
The Ravens will also do a good job of clamping down against the run. They have a strong rush defense, so I can't see James Conner replicating what he accomplished last week.
BALTIMORE OFFENSE: The Ravens acquired their No. 2 receiver, Dez Bryant, and have put him on the practice squad for now. It's unclear if he'll be able to play right away, but having him for the long term will be a boon for the team's chances in the playoffs. If Bryant is even 70 percent of his former self - he's still just 31 - the Ravens will be very difficult to stop.
Bryant or not, the Steelers will have severe issues preventing Jackson from running right through their defense. This wouldn't have been the case a few weeks ago, but the Steelers no longer have Devin Bush. The linebacker's injury was a monstrous hit to their otherwise prolific defense. Not having Bush on the field will make it more of a task to bring down Jackson when he decides to run.
Covering Mark Andrews will also be a big problem. The Steelers experienced an inability to defend the middle of the field when they lost Ryan Shazier to an injury three years ago, and they'll re-live those issues without Bush.
RECAP: I mentioned in the Rams-Dolphins write-up that I wanted to bet on Brian Flores because he's a very good coach coming off a bye. John Harbaugh is even better. It makes sense that Baltimore would be 9-4 against the spread off a bye with Harbaugh, as he puts the week off to very good use.
The public, however, doesn't recognize this. They see that the Steelers have the better record, resulting in some lopsided betting action on the underdog. You know what we do with public dogs, right? Fade, fade, fade!
The public's infatuation with the Steelers has created some nice line value with the Ravens, who should be -6 per the computer model. Thus, I'm not too afraid of betting the -3.5 because I don't think this game will necessarily be close. The improved Ravens are fresh off a bye, while the Steelers will continue to be worse defensively without their star linebacker.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: The Steelers had nine players who missed practice Wednesday due to injury. Given that the Ravens are coming off a bye, they'll have such a big advantage in terms of being fresh and healthy.
SATURDAY NOTES: Here's another game with no injury news. We still have a nice edge with the Ravens, given that John Harbaugh is coming off a bye. The sharps have been betting the Ravens heavily, taking this line to -4.5. I'm going to be patient and hope a good -4 appears. I'm going to bet the Ravens for three units at -4.5 or four units at -4.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I wrote Saturday that the sharps bet the Ravens up to -4.5. They did, but more professional money came in on the Steelers to drop this line to +3.5. With some bad weather in Baltimore, I'm not as bullish on the Ravens, but I still like them enough to make this a three-unit wager.
The Motivation. Edge: None.
No edge found.
The Spread. Edge: None.
WalterFootball.com Calculated Spread: Ravens -4.
Westgate Advance Point Spread: No Line.
Computer Model: Ravens -6.
DVOA Spread: Ravens -4.
The Vegas. Edge: Ravens.
Lots of early action on the Steelers, but it's evened out since.
Percentage of money on Pittsburgh: 62% (10,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Ravens.
History: Home Team has won 25 of the last 38 meetings.
Ben Roethlisberger is 51-31 ATS vs. the AFC North.
Week 8 NFL Picks - Late Games
Jaguars at Chargers, Saints at Bears, 49ers at Seahawks, Cowboys at Eagles, Buccaneers at Giants
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.