New England Patriots (6-6) at Los Angeles Rams (8-4) Line: Rams by 5. Total: 43.5. Thursday, Dec. 10, 8:20 PM
The Matchup. Edge: Patriots.
WEEK 13 RECAP: If you couldn't tell, I wasn't a fan of the Week 13 slate. I had just two plays above three units (excluding the Tuesday game), and I split them, winning with the Patriots and losing with the Cardinals. Losses with teasers and moneyline plays ended up costing me the most besides the Arizona failure, as I went 5-9 (-$635), with the Baltimore-Dallas result pending.
I've said in the past that you can never have a bad week if you learn something valuable, and something hit me like a ton of bricks Sunday night. I think I have a better understanding of how to predict back-door covers, which have hurt us in recent weeks. I don't know if I'm right about it, but I'm curious to see if it pans out. I'll explain later if it does.
My Week 14 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.
LOS ANGELES OFFENSE: Here's something else I think I've figured out. I haven't been able to handicap the Rams to save my life this year. Every time I pick against them, Jared Goff plays terribly. Every time I go with them, Goff is awful. It's maddening, and I'm close to signing a petition to have Goff end his career early.
However, it dawned on me that I was ignoring the obvious piece of the puzzle, which is Goff's low football IQ. Goff needs to be coached up by Sean McVay because of his mental limitations, so it might explain why he tends to struggle against the better defensive coaches. Goff's worst performances this year have come against the Dolphins and 49ers. Brian Flores and Robert Saleh were able to confuse Goff into eight combined turnovers in three games.
With that in mind, how will Goff fare against Bill Belichick? Of course, we don't need to really wonder about that because Goff sucked so much against the Patriots in Super Bowl LIII that he forgot the snap count on one play. The Patriots' defense has improved exponentially with Stephon Gilmore healthy now, so the Rams could have major problems scoring in this contest.
NEW ENGLAND OFFENSE: The Patriots posted 45 points against the Chargers, but that's a misleading sum. They ran in two touchdowns on special teams alone, and another score was set up by a great return. New England's scoring unit wasn't inept, or anything, but 291 net yards on 4.4 yards per play doesn't exactly make the Patriots an offensive juggernaut.
Still, the Patriots have a strong rushing attack, thanks to Cam Newton's ability to move the chains on the ground. The Rams aren't as good versus the run compared to the pass, so New England's excellent offensive line could blast open some nice lanes for Newton and his backs, as long as it's not in Aaron Donald's direction.
That said, if the Patriots are forced into throwing because of an early deficit, they'll have issues scoring at all. Their receiving corps is abysmal, and the Rams' excellent cornerbacks will erase them easily.
RECAP: Let's see if I'm right! I don't see how Sean McVay can coach up his quarterback when battling a defensive-minded genius, especially when that man happens to be Belichick. With that in mind, this figures to be a defensive struggle, so taking the six points seems like the correct thing to do in this matchup.
Also, I think this spread is too high. My number is Los Angeles -2.5, while the computer model says -3 is correct, so we're getting nice value with the Patriots against a team that recently lost at home to the 49ers.
I don't want to bet this heavily because I've been burned by the Rams so much, so I'll make this a small wager.
Our Week 14 NFL Picks will be posted all day Tuesday. Follow @walterfootball for updates.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: In the comments below, I swore off betting on Rams games because I've handicapped that team poorly this year. A day later, I decided to bet two units against the Rams. Whoops! In my defense, my thesis on them has changed, so that would explain my broken promise. This spread has fallen off +6, which is a bummer, but the sharp action has caused this line move.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I still like the Patriots a bit. The sharps like the Patriots a lot. They've been betting them down all the way from from +6.5 to +4.5. The best line I see is +5 -110 at Bovada. I'm also planning to bet on the moneyline, with the best figure being at Bookmaker for +200.
Tennessee Titans (8-4) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-11) Line: Titans by 7.5. Total: 52.5. Sunday, Dec. 13, 1:00 PM
The Matchup. Edge: None.
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!
TENNESSEE OFFENSE: The Titans were blown out against the Browns, but they left lots of points on the field. From Derrick Henry being stuffed on fourth down, to A.J. Brown fumbling, Tennessee had opportunities to score and keep pace with the Browns, but just failed to do so.
There were be many more opportunities to score in this game, as the Jaguars are weak in every regard defensively. They struggle to stop the run, so Henry could have one of his classic December games. Henry wasn't at his best versus Jacksonville in the Week 2 matchup - 25 carries, 84 yards - but the Jaguars have seen some of their personnel go down with injuries.
Jacksonville is even weaker to the pass, thanks to numerous injuries in its secondary. The Jaguars have been without their top three cornerbacks the past two weeks. That could change with Sidney Jones bound to return soon, but Brown and Corey Davis shouldn't have any trouble getting open.
JACKSONVILLE OFFENSE: The Jaguars won't be able to stop the Titans' scoring unit, so they'll have to keep pace in a shootout with their rival if they want to win this game for some reason. "Luckily" for them, they'll have chances to do so.
The Titans also have major defensive woes, as they made Baker Mayfield look like the second coming of Dan Marino last week. They have injuries to their secondary and pass rush. They get absolutely no pressure on the quarterback, and they struggle to cover. Mike Glennon has done a better job than Jake Luton, so he should be able to connect with his talented receivers for big gains.
Tennessee isn't very good at stopping the run either. James Robinson has been terrific as an undrafted rookie, and he'll continue his special season as he eclipses 1,000 rushing yards for the year in this contest.
RECAP: The Titans are a flawed team in that they have multiple absences at cornerback and the pass rush, which makes it very difficult for them to stop the opposition. They've allowed an average of 31.3 points over the past four weeks, and none of the quarterbacks they've battled - Philip Rivers twice, Lamar Jackson, Mayfield - have been overly impressive this year otherwise.
This looks like a potential back-door cover to me. The Jaguars have seldom been blown out this season, losing by more than 10 points just once since Week 6, and that was against the Steelers with Luton starting. I just don't think the Titans are good enough to keep Jacksonville from keeping the game within some of the key numbers we're getting like seven, six, or even three. My personal spread is somewhere in the middle - Jacksonville +4.5 - so I'm fine with wagering a few units on the underdog.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Adoree Jackson was limited in Wednesday's practice, so that's great news for the Titans, who really need help for their woeful pass defense. They still have no pass rush, however, which will open the back door for Jacksonville. Sidney Jones was also limited, by the way.
SATURDAY NOTES: The Titans continue to have major injury woes. They're going to be down their top three cornerbacks, two best edge rushers and top linebacker. This is setting up for a great back-door opportunity for the Jaguars, who might be getting Sidney Jones back from injury. The Jaguars will be down two offensive linemen - Brandon Linder, Andrew Norwell - but Tennessee's poor defensive line won't be able to take advantage of that. Given that the Titans have won by more than seven just twice this year, Jacksonville seems like a great bet. I'm bumping this up to four units.
FINAL THOUGHTS: On top of the injuries I mentioned for the Titans in the Saturday notes, Kenny Vaccaro will also be sidelined. This really makes the possibility of a Jacksonville back-door cover very high. Sidney Jones is out for the Jaguars, unfortunately, but I still like the underdog here for a four-unit bet. The sharps were on the Jaguars earlier in the week, but not so much anymore. The best number is +7.5 -108 at Bookmaker.
Dallas Cowboys (4-8) at Cincinnati Bengals (2-9-1) Line: Cowboys by 3. Total: 44. Sunday, Dec. 13, 1:00 PM
The Matchup. Edge: None.
VEGAS UPDATE: I'll be posting how the Vegas sportsbooks have done the previous week in this spot. The highest-bet sides were 44-40-2 last season and 23-29 heading into Week 12.
Here are the teams getting the most bets last week:
The books took a loss with the Rams, but won big with the Chiefs and Seahawks failing to cover. A 1-2 week on the highest-bet games is a terrific outcome for the sportsbooks.
Here are the teams getting the most bets this week:
What a surprise that three road favorites are getting the most money!
CINCINNATI OFFENSE: Brandon Allen got hurt at the end of last week's loss to the Dolphins. It's unclear if he or Ryan Finley will get the start. With that in mind, what in the world are the sportsbooks doing posting a spread on this game!? Don't they know that there are major quarterbacking implications here!?
All kidding aside, the Bengals will have a chance for rare offensive success against the Cowboys, who can't cover at all. Tee Higgins might be out with an injury, but Cincinnati still has plenty of receiving talent. Whether or not Allen or Finley has the time to locate those wideouts is a different story, as the one thing Dallas does well defensively is get to the quarterback, and the Bengals don't have the best offensive line.
The Cowboys struggle versus the run, so the Bengals would have a nice advantage if Joe Mixon were healthy. That's not the case, so we'll continue to see more of the pedestrian Giovani Bernard, who won't be very effective.
DALLAS OFFENSE: The Cowboys haven't played their Tuesday game yet, as of this writing, but I imagine Andy Dalton is looking forward to this contest because this is his big revenge game. Dalton provided close to a decade of service to the Bengals, only to be thrown out like trash once something younger and better came along.
Dalton's big problem is pass protection, especially in the wake of Zack Martin going down with an injury. Luckily for his revenge aspirations, Dalton won't be going up against much of a pass rush. Carl Lawson is the only Bengal providing consistent pressure. This includes Geno Atkins, who is barely playing anymore. Dalton should have some time in the pocket to connect with his talented receivers.
The Bengals aren't very good at containing the rush either. We've seen Antonio Gibson, Wayne Gallman and Myles Gaskin run all over them the past three weeks. Ezekiel Elliott is more talented than any of them. Elliott is having a horrible season, but he could look like the great runner of old for just one game.
RECAP: The loser of this game is the true winner, as it'll have an inside track to draft Penei Sewell. Both teams would love to have the blue-chip Oregon tackle.
The Bengals could use Sewell more because the Cowboys can at least hope that Tyron Smith will remain healthy for once, though that is unlikely to happen. Also, Dalton will be out for revenge. So, if you're looking for some sort of a motivational angle in this game between two dreadful teams, I believe that is it. With nothing else to go on, I'm going to side with the Cowboys, but there's no way I'm betting this game.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: I was shocked by how well Dallas' offensive line played against the Ravens. I wouldn't count on this continuing in most matchups, but the Bengals can't apply pressure on the quarterback or stop the run, so Dallas' outlook in this game has gotten brighter. I'm no fan of laying the hook with a horrible team, however, so this will be a non-wager for me.
SATURDAY NOTES: I almost switched my pick to the Bengals. There's sharp money coming in on them, and the Cowboys have had less time to prepare. I still like Andy Dalton getting revenge against his former team, but I can't say I have any confidence in this selection.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I still have no desire to bet this game, though I'd continue to lean on the Cowboys because of the Dalton revenge factor. The sharps bet Cincinnati at +3.5, but did not do so at +3.
The Motivation. Edge: Cowboys.
Andy Dalton revenge!
Arizona Cardinals (6-6) at New York Giants (5-7) Line: Cardinals by 3. Total: 47. Sunday, Dec. 13, 1:00 PM
The Matchup. Edge: None.
HATE MAIL: I will be posting hate mail here. We got a bit this week:
I don't understand why you can't be friends with someone if you disagree with them about the state of the country. I'm friends with some people who have completely different views about the country than I do, but we still hang out, or at least we used to before the so-called pandemic. I still consider myself to be friends with them, although I don't find them to be the smartest individuals.
Anyway, this guy replied to me:
Way to talk in nothing but riddles, Vigo!
What's he talking about with my dad? The only thing I can think of is that my dad had an arm injury a few months ago. Is that my destiny? To suffer an arm injury like my dad did?
ARIZONA OFFENSE: The Rams had a great game plan against Kyler Murray. They overloaded the right side of his offensive line, knowing that he's most dangerous when scrambling that way. They forced him to go left, where he isn't nearly as effective. The result was a poor offensive performance from the Cardinals in which Murray was responsible for two turnovers that led to a pair of Los Angeles scores.
If the Giants were watching this unfold, they'll utilize the same strategy. They've gotten to the quarterback much better of late, with Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence having great seasons as interior rushers. They'll harass Murray, who could be forced into more mistakes if he's not allowed to scramble to the right.
The Giants don't quite have the elite cornerbacks the Rams possess, but they have some talented defensive backs like James Bradberry and Logan Ryan. There's no stopping DeAndre Hopkins, but Bradberry will at least be able to slow him down a little bit.
NEW YORK OFFENSE: There's no line on this game as of this writing because it's unclear if Daniel Jones will play. The suddenly bearded Colt McCoy did a good job versus Seattle, but the Giants obviously have a better chance of winning this game because Jones' ability to connect on downfield throws to his talented receivers will allow him to take advantage of Arizona's weak cornerbacks.
Jones is still turnover-prone, so pressuring him heavily will make sure he gives the ball away on occasion. The Cardinals, however, can't do that quite well because they sorely miss Chandler Jones. It's also worth noting that the Giants' offensive line has been more effective of late. Rookie Andrew Thomas was dreadful to start the year, but he has picked up his play of late.
The Cardinals are a bit better against the run than the pass, but they still allowed Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson to beat them last week. Wayne Gallman has done a solid job replacing Saquon Barkley, so he should have some success on the ground in this contest.
RECAP: There's no line posted as of this moment. I suspect the Cardinals will be a small favorite if Jones suits up, and they'll be close to -6 if McCoy gets the nod once again.
In either scenario, I like the Giants. They're undervalued, and they have the superior defense by far. Plus, I'm not convinced that Murray is 100 percent because of the shoulder injury he suffered against the Seahawks. I'll have a more concrete pick later in the week once there's a spread posted and we know who will quarterback the Giants. Check back later, or follow @walterfootball for updates.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Some injury news on the quarterbacks: For the Giants, Daniel Jones said he will play in this game, though it remains to be seen if he'll be 100 percent. It's encouraging that he looked like he had no limitations in Thursday's practice. For the Cardinals, Kyler Murray no longer appeared on the injury report, so perhaps his shoulder is finally back to full health.
SATURDAY NOTES: Daniel Jones will start, given that he practiced fully on Friday. However, the Giants could miss Blake Martinez and Darnay Holmes, which would be huge, especially if Martinez is sidelined. There's some news that Martinez has felt better on Saturday, so that could mean that he won't miss action. My pick will be determined by his status. If he's out, I'm switching to Arizona.
FINAL THOUGHTS: The Giants will have Blake Martinez available, which is huge. With that in mind, I'm going to stick with New York, though I could see the argument for betting the Cardinals with Kyler Murray no longer on the injury report. The sharps also bet the Cardinals up to -3, but they haven't bet them at that number.
Houston Texans (4-8) at Chicago Bears (5-7) Line: Pick. Total: 46. Sunday, Dec. 13, 1:00 PM
The Matchup. Edge: None.
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HOUSTON OFFENSE: This is a huge game for Deshaun Watson. The Texans were effectively eliminated from the playoffs in the wake of last week's loss to the Colts, so I'd normally be pessimistic about their ability to get up for this opponent. However, like Patrick Mahomes around this time last year, Watson will be highly motivated to slaughter the Bears.
This, of course, is because the Bears foolishly passed on Watson in favor of Mitchell Trubisky in the 2017 NFL Draft. In fact, reports indicate that the Bears didn't even reach out to Watson, which was a major slap in the face. If Watson carries around half the chip on his shoulder that Mahomes does, he'll want to crush the Bears in order to teach them a lesson. The problem, however, is that he won't have his top weapon, Will Fuller, who was suspended for PEDs.
Still, there are some liabilities for Watson to exploit. Chicago hasn't covered the slot well since losing Bryce Callahan a couple of offseasons ago, so Watson will be able to connect early and often to the emerging Keke Coutee. The Bears also don't defend tight ends very well, so I expect a big game from the athletic Jordan Akins.
CHICAGO OFFENSE: Unlike the Texans, the Bears still have an outside shot at the playoffs. They're 5-7, but if they run the table, they'll be 9-7, which should be good enough for one of the three wild-card spots in the conference. However, this will require beating the Packers in Week 17, which is unlikely to happen.
It'll also require Mitchell Trubisky not to crush his team with a crucial mistake. Trubisky played well overall against the Lions until that fateful moment where he lost a fumble to gift-wrap the game-winning touchdown for the Lions. Trubisky was solid before that, however, as he took advantage of an easy matchup. This is another one, as the Texans have an injury-ravaged secondary. Thanks to Bradley Roby's suspension and Gareon Conley's injury, their best cornerback is somehow the dreadful Vernon Hargreaves, which is just sad. Chicago's receivers won't have any sort of issue getting open.
The Texans' only chance of slowing down the Bears' offense is by getting pressure with J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus, which will be possible because the Bears are missing multiple offensive linemen. Then again, Chicago could just pound the rock with David Mongtomery, who will be battling a horrendous run defense.
RECAP: If Watson didn't have a motivational angle to succeed against this particular opponent, I would bet the Bears. The Texans have every reason to be flat, because at 4-8, their season is over. Watson's expression was enough for me to believe that to be true when he sullenly sat by himself on the bench following the botched snap at the goal line of last week's loss.
However, with Watson likely wanting to get revenge against the Bears, I'm inclined to pick the Texans. There's always a good chance that Trubisky will find some way to lose this game anyway.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: I still have no plans to bet this game, and I haven't seen anything on the injury report worth noting, save for Khalil Mack missing Wednesday's practice and one positive test from the Bears. It remains to be seen how infected Chicago's locker room is, which is why this spread is off the board in many sportsbooks.
SATURDAY NOTES: If it weren't for Deshaun Watson's revenge angle, I'd be on the Bears because Houston has nothing to play for, especially after that brutal loss to the Colts. However, if Watson remembers that the Bears passed on him in the 2017 NFL Draft without even meeting with him, he'll be looking to end their playoff hopes.
SATURDAY NOTES II: I'm adding Bears +8 as one leg of a teaser. Houston's defense is terrible, so if the Bears are trailing, they'll be able to get a back-door cover.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Brandin Cooks being out for the Texans may have convinced some sharp bettors to wager on the Bears. There hasn't been much money on Chicago, but the sharps are leaning in that direction. This spread is down to a pick 'em at Bookmaker if you still like the Texans. I'm still leaning that way, but I won't be betting this game.
The Motivation. Edge: None.
The Texans could be flat off their playoff-ending loss, but this is a revenge game for Deshaun Watson.
CAROLINA OFFENSE: There's no line on this game at the moment because there's a breakout of a minor illness in the Panthers' locker room, so it's unclear who will be able to play in this game. There was already a question with Teddy Bridgewater, who took a huge hit at the end of the Minnesota game. Bridgewater hobbled off the field, clutching his arm in pain. I haven't seen any reports on this, so perhaps it was something trivial like him banging his funny bone. We'll have to see what the injury report looks like.
We don't know about Bridgewater's status, and we're also in the dark about Christian McCaffrey's ability to play this game. The latest update we have is that the Panthers are "hopeful" that McCaffrey can play, which doesn't mean much. The Panthers tend to be strong against the run, but McCaffrey is great enough to beat any matchup, both as a runner and as a receiver out of the backfield.
While there are some unknowns, we are aware that D.J. Moore will likely miss this game with several ailments. It'll be up to Robby Anderson and Curtis Samuel to combat Denver's talented secondary. Bridgewater has been effective this year, but he may struggle with a diminished receiving corps, especially if he's hurt.
DENVER OFFENSE: Drew Lock has been horribly inconsistent this year. He's enjoyed some brilliant moments, like his comeback victory against the Chargers, but he's also been dreadful as well. His best performances have come when he's been able to lean on his running game to ease some of the burden off him.
The Panthers did a great job of stifling Dalvin Cook prior to the bye, so that gives me some hope that they'll be able to limit Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay. This is far from a guarantee, of course, as some players could be sidelined due to the cold strain, so we'll have to monitor the injury report.
Carolina is at its weakest defending the pass, so Jerry Jeudy and Tim Patrick will get open routinely. However, there's no guarantee that Lock will be able to take advantage of this.
RECAP: We have to wait on this line as well because we don't know who's playing, including Bridgewater and McCaffrey.
If Bridgewater isn't on the injury report, and he's not missing many teammates, I'll be on the Panthers. I think that the Broncos, like the Raiders before them, could be flat following their "Super Bowl" loss to the Chiefs. The Broncos put everything they had into that game, but came up short. I don't see why they'd have the motivation to win this game.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: We still don't know who will play for the Panthers, but we have some major news about the Broncos. Both of their top cornerbacks, A.J. Bouye and Bryce Callahan, will be sidelined for different reasons. This provides the Panthers with a huge mismatch edge, provided their receivers are available.
SATURDAY NOTES: The Panthers have been labeled as three-point favorites, and I like them at that number. The Broncos are coming off their "Super Bowl" loss, and they'll be missing their top two cornerbacks against Carolina's talented receivers. Carolina could be down two defensive tackles - Kawann Short, Zach Kerr - which is not ideal against Denver's rushing attack, but I still plan on siding with the Panthers. This is a two-unit pick that could increase if Kerr is active. I'm also going to lock this in now because it looks like sharp money will push this line up to -3.5. The best number is -3 -120 at FanDuel, then -3 -123 at Bookmaker, followed by -3 -125 at BetUS.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Here's a game where there's a ton of sharp action, and it's all on Carolina. This spread has ripped through one key number (-3) up to another one (-4). I imagine this is because Garett Bolles is a surprise inactive. The Broncos are down several offensive linemen, which is a huge problem for them. I'm going to put a third unit on the Panthers even though I have to get a worse number now.
The Motivation. Edge: Panthers.
The Broncos just lost their "Super Bowl."
TAMPA BAY OFFENSE: The Vikings were trailing for most of their victory over the Jaguars, but their defense was able to come up with several key plays to swing the game in their favor. They took advantage of Mike Glennon, creating some turnovers, including a crucial one in overtime to set up the victory.
Doing the same thing to Tom Brady will prove to be quite the challenge. The Buccaneers have so many talented weapons for the Vikings to stop, especially when considering all the injuries to their defense. Minnesota is missing multiple cornerbacks, its top edge rushers, and a key linebacker. Brady will have tons of time in the pocket to locate all of his threats, who won't have any issues getting open.
The Vikings have also struggled against the run, allowing some substantial gains to James Robinson and Mike Davis the previous two weeks. It's unclear if Ronald Jones or Leonard Fournette will get the majority of the workload, but Tampa's primary runner will be very successful.
MINNESOTA OFFENSE: The Vikings are obviously built on running the ball, and when they can't do so, they tend to struggle. We saw this versus the Panthers when they got into a huge hole and had to get Kirk Cousins' best performance possible to squeak out a victory against a 4-8 squad.
I've mentioned the ground attack because there's no better run defense in the NFL than the Buccaneers. They clamp down on all backs, even doing so versus Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara earlier in the year. Tampa will be able to control the line of scrimmage and restrict Dalvin Cook to minimal gains.
Cousins will have to beat the Buccaneers, which is feasible, given Tampa's issues in the secondary. However, Cousins could also have one of his bad games and commit several mistakes. There's also a chance that with the Buccaneers' offense at peak efficiency, Cousins will be too far behind to make this a competitive affair.
RECAP: I love betting elite quarterbacks off a loss. Tom Brady is 46-21 against the spread following a defeat, and if you exclude games in which he's favored by a touchdown or more, he's 38-10 against the spread after losing.
Brady has had two weeks to stew after suffering a defeat against the Chiefs. He'll be out for blood in this game, which happens to be a great matchup for him because of Minnesota's injury-ravaged defense.
I love the Buccaneers, and I'm considering them as my November NFL Pick of the Month, which I still have available.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Eric Kendricks missed Wednesday and Thursday's practice. If he ends up being sidelined, that would lock in this as the November NFL Pick of the Month.
SATURDAY NOTES: The Buccaneers are my November NFL Pick of the Month. I love that Tom Brady is coming off a loss, and that he's had two weeks to hear about how he's not good anymore. I also love all of Tampa's matchup edges. The Vikings are down their top two edge rushers, their best two linebackers and multiple cornerbacks. Eric Kendricks' absence seals the deal. This line should be -10 at least. The sharps have pushed this line up to -7, but you can still get -6 -114 at FanDuel and -6.5 -119 at Bookmaker.
FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps bet the Buccaneers heavily earlier in the week at -6 and -6.5. They haven't really touched them at -7, but I still love them at that number. Minnesota has a skeleton crew defense that won't be able to stop the Buccaneers at all. The best number I see is Tampa Bay -6.5 -111 at Bookmaker, with every other sportsbook listing -7.
The Motivation. Edge: Buccaneers.
Tom Brady has been thinking about his most-recent loss for two weeks.
The Vegas. Edge: Vikings.
Slight lean on the Buccaneers by the sharps.
Percentage of money on Tampa Bay: 59% (5,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Buccaneers.
Road Team is 104-64 ATS in Buccaneers games since 2009.
Mike Zimmer is 66-42 ATS as head coach of the Vikings.
Buccaneers are 27-57 ATS at home in the previous 84 instances.
Tom Brady is 254-82 as a starter (190-131 ATS).
Tom Brady is 175-117 against the spread since 2003.
Tom Brady is 120-75 ATS in non-divisional games.
Tom Brady is 46-21 ATS off a loss (8-11 ATS as -7 or more; 16-1 ATS as an underdog).
Opening Line: Buccaneers -6.
Opening Total: 51.5.
Weather: Cloudy, 78 degrees. Light wind.
Week 14 NFL Pick: Buccaneers 38, Vikings 24 Buccaneers -6.5 -114 (8 Units - November NFL Pick of the Month) -- Correct; +$800 Over 52 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0 Buccaneers 26, Vikings 14
Kansas City Chiefs (11-1) at Miami Dolphins (8-4) Line: Chiefs by 7. Total: 50.5. Sunday, Dec. 13, 1:00 PM
The Matchup. Edge: Dolphins.
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 has been his usual, amazing self, and along with Aaron Rodgers, he's one of the two MVP favorites. However, Kansas City's offense hasn't quite been as productive as possible in recent games, scoring "just" 27 and 22 points against the Buccaneers and Broncos, respectively.
Part of the problem has been pass protection, which isn't as good as it was earlier in the year because the Chiefs are missing two offensive linemen. Teams with talented pass rushes have been able to take advantage of this and limit the Chiefs to a lower output than usual. The Dolphins qualify as having a talented pass rush, so they should be able to get into Mahomes' face and force some errant throws. Miami has excellent cornerbacks to limit Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins, though stopping Travis Kelce will be a problem.
Despite this matchup edge, Mahomes will still engineer several scoring drives. I expect the Chiefs to score into the mid-20s, matching their average from the past two weeks.
MIAMI OFFENSE: If I'm right in expecting the Dolphins to restrict the Chiefs from lighting up the scoreboard, Miami's chances of pulling the upset will hinge on Tua Tagovailoa's ability to match Mahomes, point for point, against an inferior defense.
To do so, Tagovailoa must play like he did in the second half of the Miami game. The rookie got off to a sluggish start, but caught fire after intermission. He'll be able to exploit some matchup edges here, with DeVante Parker and Mike Gesicki being able to get open against the Chiefs' shoddy coverage unit.
Kansas City is even worse against the run, as we witnessed this past Sunday night when it struggled to tackle Melvin Gordon. The Dolphins have Myles Gaskin back from injury, so he could have a nice game as a rusher and a receiver out of the backfield.
RECAP: I've been backing the Dolphins ever since Week 5. They've been the NFL version of GameStop stock (go here for an update.) Many at the beginning of the year wrote them off as one of the worst teams in the league, but I thought they were very underrated. I suspected people would catch on, but this spread says otherwise.
I can't believe this line. Well, actually, I can because the Chiefs are involved, and the public doesn't really respect Miami, but I think this spread should be Kansas City -3. Again, the Chiefs aren't as good as everyone thinks they are because of their offensive line injuries. The Dolphins can exploit this liability.
Even if the Chiefs get out to a double-digit lead, I think there's a great chance for a back-door cover. Kansas City won't score as many points as it should because of the offensive line injuries, and the Dolphins are extremely well coached and have several dynamic offensive play-makers.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: I really like the Dolphins, but Mitchell Schwartz's return to the field would change that. Schwartz is available to be activated off injured reserve, but the Chiefs have said they won't rush him back, which is the smart way to approach it.
SATURDAY NOTES: This spread is down to +7, but I still love the Dolphins, as the line move is a byproduct of sharp action on the home dog. This spread is too high for a Kansas City team that hasn't blown out anyone recently. The Chiefs are missing two offensive linemen and will be battling a Miami team that can dominate in the trenches.
FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps bet the Dolphins at +7.5, but not +7, which makes sense. Unfortunately, we have some bad news for the Dolphins, as Kyle Van Noy and Elandon Roberts are both sidelined. This is a major bummer. I still like the Dolphins, but I'll be decreasing my unit count to three. The best line is +7.5 -114 at both Bookmaker and FanDuel. It's worth paying up to +7.5 for just -114 vig.
Week 14 NFL Picks - Late Games
Colts at Raiders, Jets at Seahawks, Packers at Lions, Saints at Eagles, Falcons at Chargers, Redskins at 49ers, Steelers at Bills, Ravens at Browns
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 21, 2020): 1-0 (+$560)
Last Week's 2-3 Unit NFL Picks (Week 21, 2020): 0-0 ($0)
Last Week's 4-5 Unit NFL Picks (Week 21, 2020): 0-0 ($0)
Last Week Over-Under (Week 21, 2020): 1-0 ($0)
Last Week's Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks (Week 21, 2020 plus 2020 props): +$4,735
2020 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$665)
2020 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 138-124-7, 52.7% (+$9,350) 2020 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 47-43-3, 52.2% (-$1,965) 2020 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 37-22-1, 62.7% (+$5,515) 2020 Season Over-Under: 141-122-6, 53.6% ($0) 2020 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$4,975
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: 2,995-2,761-179, 52.0% (+$19,655) Career 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 957-859-49 (52.7%) Career 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 452-396-23 (53.3%) Career Over-Under: 2,463-2,416-66 (50.5%) Career Second-Half NFL Picks: 22-15-1 (61.1%) Career NFL Picks of the Month: 45-29-1 (60.8%)
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.