NFL Picks (Week 1, 2008): 11-5 (+$1,470)
NFL Picks (Week 2, 2008): 7-7-1 (-$100)
NFL Picks (Week 3, 2008): 10-6 (+$860)
NFL Picks (Week 4, 2008): 6-7 (-$350)
NFL Picks (Week 5, 2008): 8-6 (+$230)
NFL Picks (Week 6, 2008): 9-5 (+$2,260)
NFL Picks (Week 7, 2008): 4-10 (-$770)
NFL Picks (Week 8, 2008): 9-4-1 (+$1,620)
NFL Picks (Week 9, 2008): 6-8 (-$980)
NFL Picks (Week 10, 2008): 4-10 (-$2,690)
NFL Picks (Reg Season 2008): 74-68-2 (+$1,550)
Vegas betting action updated Nov. 14, 3:55 p.m. ET.
Baltimore Ravens (6-3) at New York Giants (8-1)
Line: Giants by 7. Total: 40.5.
Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 10): Giants -7.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 10): Giants -7.
Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets
The Game. Edge: Giants.
Injuries: Ravens: OUT: QB Kyle Boller (IR), WR Demetrius Williams (IR), TE Quinn "Miracle Man" Sypniewski (IR), OT Marshal Yanda (IR), OT
Adam Terry, DT Kelly Gregg (IR), DT Dwan Edwards (IR), ILB Tavares Gooden (IR), ILB Prescott Burgess (IR), CB Chris McAlister (IR), S Dawan
Landry (IR). Giants: OUT: QB Anthony Wright (IR), WR David Tyree (IR), DE Osi Umenyiora (IR), ILB Jonathan Goff (IR), K Lawrence Tynes.
As mentioned above, Vegas took it up the rear end on Sunday. If you want a detailed breakdown of the losing weekend for the NFL
Sportsbooks, click the link. As for a brief summary, Vegas won only one lop-sided bet game on Sunday. So how many lop-sided contests did it
lose? Try seven! Even with getting 10-percent juice from bettors, going 1-7 (2-7 counting the Monday night game) means massive losses.
I can't remember where I wrote this, but I theorized that after four winning weeks and Black Friday coming up, Vegas would give some money
back to the public. If people don't have any money to gamble with, they won't be able to lose cash betting on football games! So, with tons of
shady spreads on the board, I suspected something foul was going on, but nothing like 2-7!
We'll have an idea of how Vegas may fare this week by what happens in this contest. This line is unusually low. The Giants, who have
dominated everyone since losing to Cleveland about a month ago, are favored by less than a touchdown over a rookie quarterback? This line is
begging for the public to back the defending Super Bowl champs.
BALTIMORE OFFENSE: Speaking of the rookie, I find it odd that everyone is paying attention to Matt Ryan, yet no one is talking about how great
Joe Flacco has been recently. Since getting debacled at Indianapolis in Week 6, Flacco has thrown six touchdowns, no picks, and has fumbled
only once. His completion percentage and YPA in his previous four contests are 61.6 and 8.1, respectively.
That said, his opponents also have to be taken into account. Flacco has torched four abysmal secondaries (Miami, Oakland, Cleveland and
Houston). While it should be noted that Flacco dispatched the Dolphins, Browns and Texans on the road, the Giants offer a much greater
Baltimore also won't be able to run the ball nearly as well as they have the past three weeks. While Cleveland, Oakland and Houston are 28th,
25th and 22nd against the rush, respectively, the Giants are eighth. Flacco consequently will be in more third-and-long situations than he's used
Whether or not Flacco converts his third-down situations depends entirely upon Baltimore's pass protection. The Ravens have done well with
shielding Flacco this season, but the Giants' pass rush is the NFL's best.
NEW YORK OFFENSE: Speaking of a pass rush, Baltimore must apply pressure on Eli Manning if it wants to win this game. That could be difficult,
however, as the Giants have one of the best offensive lines in the league. If Manning has enough time, he'll torch the Ravens' injury-ridden
The Ravens should be able to force Manning into long-yardage situations and eliminate his play-action by stopping the run. Containing Brandon
Jacobs, a 265-pound freight train with speed, is difficult for most teams, but Baltimore ranks first against the rush, giving up a mere 2.8 yards
RECAP: So, why is this line so low? If Vegas wanted equal action, it would have made the spread -8 or -8.5. Tons of square bettors are looking at
Giants -6.5 and saying, "The Giants are hot, they'll win by a touchdown for sure!"
Could it be that the books want to recoup some of the money they lost last week? Or maybe they know something we don't.
Perhaps they recognize that Baltimore is vastly underrated because of how well Flacco has played recently. Maybe it's the fact that the Giants,
who are coming off a pair of divisional victories, could be flat against a non-conference opponent in a game they really don't need to win. Or
perhaps it's because people are fading the Ravens because it's their third consecutive road tilt. As you can see below, that trend is vastly
The Psychology. Edge: Ravens.
What does this game mean to the Giants? They just beat two divisional rivals. They're in first place by a mile. This is a non-conference game for
them. Meanwhile, Baltimore is tied for first, so it needs this more.
The Vegas. Edge: Ravens.
A very low line has created a ton of betting action on the Giants. The spread has moved on to a key number.
Percentage of money on New York: 84% (40,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Ravens.
Third Road Alert: Teams in their third-consecutive road game are 12-14 ATS since 2000 (misleading).
Ravens are 20-12 ATS in November.
Ravens are 5-2 ATS as an underdog under John Harbaugh.
Ravens are 4-1 ATS on the road in 2008.
Giants are 11-16 ATS as favorites of 6.5 or more the previous 27 instances.
Opening Line: Giants -6.5.
Opening Total: 42.
Weather: Partly cloudy, 51 degrees. HEAVY WINDS, 20 mph.
Week 11 NFL Pick: Giants 14, Ravens 10
Ravens +7 (1 Unit)
Under 40.5 (2 Units)
Minnesota Vikings (5-4) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-3)
Line: Buccaneers by 4. Total: 38.5.
Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 10): Buccaneers -4.5.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 10): Buccaneers -4.
Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets
The Game. Edge: Buccaneers.
Injuries: Vikings: OUT: DE Kenechi Udeze (IR), DT Kendrick Allen (IR), ILB E.J. Henderson, CB Charles Gordon (IR), S Michael Boulware (IR).
QUESTIONABLE: DE Jared Allen. Buccaneers: OUT: FB Byron Storer (IR), CB Torrie Cox (IR), CB Sammy Davis (IR).
After two brutal weeks in a row, I was expecting a slew of hate mail from readers. I was pleased to see that no one sent me any hate mail. In
fact, I only received two e-mails regarding my horrific Week 9 and 10 selections. One guy said that with another poor week, he'd give up on me,
but stated that following my selections "has been fun." Another guy sent me a couple of links to help my handicapping efforts.
I really appreciate all the non-negative feedback. After all the B.S. I endured with last week's three five-unit selections - look at the Jets-Pats
lead for more - reading negative e-mails would have sucked. You guys are awesome.
I was actually thinking about posting some negative e-mails in my leads this week. Because I didn't receive any, I'll make one up:
YO WALT! You suck at picking games! You can't even pick your nose correctly! Ha! I lost so much money following your s***ty picks the past two
weeks! I bet my mortgage on the Browns. I bet my car on the Dolphins. I bet my kid's tuition on the Raiders. Now, I've lost everything! My wife is
leaving me, my kids have unfriended me on Facebook, and even my dog urinated on me! You've ruined my life, you POS! I'm never going to your
site ever again. Don't quit your day job, loser!
OK, now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's move on to this contest so I can lose yet another high-unit bet!
MINNESOTA OFFENSE: It's really a miracle the Vikings won last week. Gus Frerotte tried his hardest to give the game away. He tossed three
picks, one of which was returned for a touchdown. But thanks to the Packers' terrible rush defense, Adrian Peterson was able to will Minnesota
If Frerotte gives the ball away a few times, the Vikings won't have a chance to win this game. While the Packers are 27th against the run, Tampa
Bay is tied for 11th, allowing a whole yard per carry less to opposing backs.
Peterson still should be able to break a long gain or two, but he'll be bottled up for the most part, meaning Frerotte will have to beat a very
talented secondary to convert first downs. Tampa Bay's seventh-ranked pass defense will limit Minnesota's mediocre receiving corps.
TAMPA BAY OFFENSE: When it comes to run defense, Minnesota is king of the NFC, ranking first in the conference in that department. Earnest
Graham struggled against the Chiefs' last-ranked run defense, so I wasn't really expecting anything out of him anyway.
Tampa Bay will be able to move the chains, however. Minnesota's secondary, already pretty pedestrian, won't have the services of nickel
Charles Gordon, who is out for the year with a fractured leg. I like the emerging Antonio Bryant, Ike Hilliard and Warrick Dunn versus the
Vikings, who are ranked in the bottom half of the league versus the pass.
Minnesota's pass rush should also be neutralized; Jared Allen and Kevin Williams have combined for 15 sacks on the season, but Tampa Bay's
offensive line has done a phenomenal job in terms of protection. The front has surrendered only 10 sacks on the year!
RECAP: I like the Buccaneers a lot in this spot for several reasons:
1. Frerotte sucks, and will be even worse against a dominant defense, but I've already gone over that.
2. The Vikings are terrible on the road. They had no shot at Chicago and Tennessee. They also lost at Green Bay, and needed a series of
miraculous events to win at New Orleans.
3. Tampa Bay is dominant at home. The Buccaneers are 4-0 as hosts this season, winning every contest by at least nine points. They beat the 7-
2 Panthers, 27-3, and 6-3 Falcons, 24-9.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
Big game for both teams.
The Vegas. Edge: Vikings.
After equal action early on, the public now likes Tampa Bay.
Percentage of money on Tampa Bay: 67% (28,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Buccaneers.
Vikings are 6-9 ATS in outdoor games under Brad Childress.
Buccaneers are 9-4 ATS at home sine 2007.
Opening Line: Buccaneers -4.
Opening Total: 39.5.
Weather: Sunny, 63 degrees. Mild wind, 14 mph.
Week 11 NFL Pick: Buccaneers 27, Vikings 17
Buccaneers -4 (4 Units)
Over 38.5 (.5 Units)
Oakland Raiders (2-7) at Miami Dolphins (5-4)
Line: Dolphins by 10.5. Total: 38.5.
Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 10): Dolphins -10.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 10): Dolphins -10.
Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets
The Game. Edge: Dolphins.
Injuries: Raiders: OUT: FB Justin Griffith (IR), WR Drew Carter (IR), G Paul McQuistan (IR), C Jake Grove, S Tyvon Branch (IR). Dolphins: OUT: G
Donald Thomas (IR), CB Michael Lehan (IR).
College football notes: So much for a Penn State law suit against the NCAA. How do you lose to Iowa, especially after a week off? Seriously. I
don't believe this loss was legitimate. I'm convinced someone read my Penn State lawsuit idea and paid off the crooked Big Ten officials. Who
could do such a thing? How about the ultra greedy Graham Cocker Spanier, perhaps the ugliest man in America?
Why would Penn State's president sabotage a perfect season? Other than the fact that he's a colossal jerk, Spanier has openly admitted (in
2005) that he would rather see Penn State play in a meaningless bowl game than contend for a national championship in a playoff situation.
Spanier is also trying his hardest to remove Joe Paterno from the program. Spanier is an ugly, evil man, and must be stopped.
I bring up the Penn State loss here because that was the only thing more frustrating for me than watching the Raiders lose their cover at the
last second. Ugh. I'm disgusted. Let's just move on to the matchups.
MIAMI OFFENSE: Oakland's run defense really sucks. Really really really really really really really really really sucks. Have I made it clear that the
rush defense really really really really really really really sucks?
Here's how much they really suck: The past four weeks, the Raiders have surrendered at least 160 rushing yards to each of their opponents. As
a comparison, Miami hasn't given up more than 140 rushing yards to anyone all year!
This can only end in ruins for Oakland. Miami will Wildcat the Raiders to death. Ronnie Brown could approach the 200-yard rushing barrier.
Ricky Williams will also get into the mix once again.
Chad Pennington should be able to capitalize off Brown and Williams. Jake Delhomme wasn't able to do so against Nnamdi Asomugha and
company, but there's less of a chance that Pennington, despite his unfortunate unforced pick-six last week, shows up and plays like he's drunk.
If Pennington can take care of the football, there's a good chance Miami puts up enough points to win.
OAKLAND OFFENSE: So... maybe Al Davis shouldn't have fired Lane Kiffin. Undead Al blamed Kiffin for an inefficient offense, yet the Raiders are
scoring much less under Tom Cable (7.0 points per game) than they were with Kiffin (19.5). Good thing JaMarcus Russell's such a great player
and people are getting over it!
Speaking of Russell, it appears as though he's going to play. This is great news because Andrew Walter sucks at life. Unfortunately, Russell won't
have much of a running game to work with. The Dolphins are 11th versus the rush, so Russell will be asked to move the chains on his own.
That's going to be a problem. Even though Miami has issues in its secondary, Russell doesn't have the receivers to consistently convert third
downs. Plus, Matt Roth and Joey Porter are going to make things really hectic for the "great quarterback," as Oakland's offensive line is an
RECAP: Miami is obviously the better team, but that's why they're favored by 10.5.
Though it wouldn't surprise me at all if the Dolphins won this game by the score of 34-3 or something, I can't endorse laying double digits in this
league right now, especially with the Dolphins, who have only one victory of more than nine points this season. Besides, Miami might not be
focused, as it has a battle with New England next week.
Also, it's worth noting that double-digit favorites are an abysmal 1-10 against the spread this year.
The Psychology. Edge: Raiders.
Sandwich Situation. The Dolphins have a meeting with the first-place Patriots next week. They have to be laughing at the Raiders, who look like
the worst team in NFL history right now. Oakland tried hard against Carolina.
The Vegas. Edge: None.
Percentage of money on Miami: 50% (22,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: None.
Early Game Alert: Pacific Teams playing on the Atlantic Coast at 1:00 PM are 25-44 ATS since 2002 (Tom Cable 0-1).
Parity Poison: Double-digit favorites are 1-10 ATS in 2008.
Chad Pennington is 15-9 ATS as a home favorite.
Opening Line: Dolphins -11.
Opening Total: 39.5.
Weather: Partly cloudy, 71 degrees. Mild wind, 16 mph.
Week 11 NFL Pick: Dolphins 26, Raiders 17
Raiders +10.5 (2 Units)
Over 38.5 (.5 Units)
New Orleans Saints (4-5) at Kansas City Chiefs (1-8)
Line: Saints by 5.5. Total: 50.5.
Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 10): Saints -7.5.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 10): Saints -3.
Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets
The Game. Edge: None.
Injuries: Saints: OUT: TE Jeremy Shockey, DE Charles Grant (IR), DT DeMario Pressley (IR), ILB Mark Simoneau (IR), CB Mike McKenzie (IR), CB
Tracy Porter (IR), K Martin Gramatica (IR). Chiefs: OUT: QB Brodie Croyle (IR), QB Damon Huard (IR), RB Kolby Smith (IR). DOUBTFUL: DE Tamba
Hali, DE Turk McBride, LB Derrick Johnson, CB Brandon Flowers, CB Patrick Surtain.
I made fun of FOX (Terry Bradshaw, of course) last week, so giving equal opportunity to both networks, let's talk about CBS. Prior to making
their weekly picks, CBS flashed the records of each analyst on the board. Everyone was well above .500, except for Shannon Sharpe, who had a
record 15-21. Wow! Remember, he's not picking against the spread. That's 15-21 straight up! How does that happen? Does he pick the Raiders,
Lions and Bengals every week?
At any rate, Matt McGuire let the forum know that Sharpe liked Tampa Bay against the Chiefs because "[Warrick] Dunn will be rollin!" The
problem? Dunn was inactive and didn't even make the trip to Kansas City. Good thing I don't go to Sharpe for my fantasy advice! Sharpe's
lacking knowledge wasn't as astonishing as Matt somehow understanding the former Pro Bowl tight end. To me, it would have sounded like,
"wewheoighi( g4 ghoergho rthoigr oi4pioirg43h $."
Sharpe luckily escaped with a win on that selection. Actually, every team the Chiefs have played the past three weeks have had to hold their
breath. That would include the 6-3 Jets, 6-3 Buccaneers and a desperate Chargers squad.
KANSAS CITY OFFENSE: Tyler Thigpen's transformation from scrub to savior has been remarkable. Earlier in the year, Thigpen was 14-of-36 for
128 yards, three picks and a fumble in a Week 3 performance. The past three games, Thigpen is 66-of-102, 710 yards, six touchdowns, no
interceptions and no fumbles.
I see no reason why he would slow down. First of all, New Orleans' secondary sucks. The Saints are 21st against the pass, a statistic that has
been dropping ever since sensational rookie corner Tracy Porter suffered a season-ending injury. Now, top corner Mike McKenzie is gone for
the year as well.
Secondly, Thigpen has two Pro Bowl-caliber talents at his disposal. Tony Gonzalez and Dwayne Bowe have to be thrilled that the Chiefs have a
competent quarterback for the first time since 2006. And now that Mark Bradley is emerging, Kansas City's offense has made the full transition
from lackluster to lethal.
Making matters worse for the Saints is that Larry Johnson will be in the lineup. Granted, Johnson is overworked and over the hill, but he's yet
another thing New Orleans will need to worry about.
NEW ORLEANS OFFENSE: This is pretty obvious. The Chiefs' defense has been horrendous this season. They're 29th against the pass and dead
last versus the run. They have just six sacks on the year.
If that's not bad enough, how about the fact that starters Tamba Hali, Turk McBride, Derrick Johnson and Brandon Flowers, and nickel Patrick
Surtain, are all doubtful for this contest?
That's definitely not good news for New Orleans' dynamic offense. It's conceivable that Drew Brees could score on every possession.
RECAP: This figures to be a high-flying shootout where the winner will be the last team to have the ball.
With that in mind, I like the Chiefs to cover. I see no reason why the struggling Saints deserve to be 5-point road favorites against a Kansas City
squad that has played almost as well as anyone the past few weeks. And it's not like this is a shady spread or anything; the public is all over the
The Psychology. Edge: Saints.
Ultimate must-win scenario for the Saints, though the Chiefs are playing really hard right now.
The Vegas. Edge: Chiefs.
I'm surprised more people aren't on the Chiefs. Guess the public hasn't caught on to Tyler Thigpen yet.
Percentage of money on New Orleans: 83% (23,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Saints.
Road Warrior: Coaches are 121-80 ATS on the road following a road loss since 1996 (Sean Payton 2-1).
Saints are 40-28 ATS on the road since 2000.
Drew Brees is 9-4 ATS as a road favorite.
Chiefs are 3-8 ATS at home since 2007.
Opening Line: Saints -4.5.
Opening Total: 47.5.
Weather: Sunny, 46 degrees. Mild wind, 14 mph.
Week 11 NFL Pick: Chiefs 38, Saints 34
Chiefs +5.5 (2 Units)
Over 50.5 (1 Unit)
Tennessee Titans (9-0) at Jacksonville Jaguars (4-5)
Line: Titans by 3. Total: 40.
Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 10): Titans -4.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 10): Titans -4.
Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets
The Game. Edge: Titans.
Injuries: Jaguars: OUT: WR Reggie Williams, G Vince Manuwai (IR), G Maurice Williams (IR), G Chris Naeole (IR).
While I didn't receive any hate mail in regard to my Week 10 NFL Picks, I did have a conversation with a strange person. On Thursday night, I
received a message from a man named Rameshesh on Gmail IM. The conversation was brief, but also very confusing. I thought I'd share it with
Rameshesh: Good evening.
Me: What's up?
Rameshesh: Dear I need some automatic articles url. U can help me.
Me: Uhh... I can? What's an automatic url?
Rameshesh: I mean articles url where approval has come.
Me: Come from whom? I'm not sure what you mean.
Rameshesh: Dear I need simply article URL where we have submit our articles.
Me: Stop calling me Dear! I'm not your Dear! I don't even know you, and I'm not ready for that sort of commitment yet.
Rameshesh: Yes-Yes. How many days are you working in this field?
Me: This is getting too weird for me, Emmitt Jr. I gotta go. Cya.
Yeah, I have no idea. What a weirdo. Let's just move on to this game.
TENNESSEE OFFENSE: Last week, the Bears were able to hold Chris Johnson and LenDale White to an amazing two feet per carry. Chicago
completely sold out against the run, giving Kerry Collins wide-open passing lanes. Collins thrived, finishing the game 30-of-41, 289 yards and
Can Jacksonville do the same thing? I don't think so. First of all, Chicago is ranked fifth versus the run. Without Marcus Stroud and with a
declining Mike Peterson, Jacksonville is 23rd in that department. Even if the Jaguars stuff the line of scrimmage with defenders, Johnson and
White will be able to churn out about three or four yards per carry.
With all the attention on the run, I don't see how Jacksonville can stop Collins. First of all, the Jaguars had just 11 sacks prior to last week's
blowout against the Lions, so I can't see them putting any pressure on Collins. Second, Jacksonville's secondary has struggled this year. Rashean
Mathis is still playing on a high level, but obvious bust acquisition Drayton Florence has been benched.
JACKSONVILLE OFFENSE: Something else Jacksonville has struggled to do this year is run the ball. Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor, who
were dominant last year, have combined for just 3.9 yards per carry, thanks to massive injuries on the front.
Jones-Drew and Taylor will continue to fail to find yardage. It's pretty tough to run on Albert Haynesworth and the Titans, who are ninth versus
Without a solid rushing attack, it'll once again be up to David Garrard. After getting debacled early in the year, Garrard has come on lately,
putting up at least 220 yards in five of the past six contests. However, looking closely, those five solid performances were against Houston (30th
versus the pass), Denver (28th), Cleveland (25th), Cincinnati (13th and falling without Keith Rivers) and Detroit (32nd). Tennessee is third in this
RECAP: On paper, Tennessee wins this game. Jacksonville has been overrated the entire year, and just doesn't match up against the only
undefeated team in the league. It's a shame no one wears a No. 100 jersey so they can put some tape in between the "10" and "0."
However, games aren't played on paper (hint, hint, NCAA). There are a number of factors present that lead to me to believe that Jacksonville
can pull the stunning upset. Let's go over them, shall we?
1. This line is way too shady. Titans by three? Are you kidding me? Any casual bettor has to be looking at this and saying, "Wow! Titans have to
win by just three!? That's easy!" Some 2.5 spreads are beginning to pop up as well.
2. This game means much more to Jacksonville for three reasons:
a. Jacksonville is in the hunt for a wildcard spot. They're two games out. Going 4-6 would finish them off. At 5-5, they'd have a solid shot at the
b. Tennessee is sitting comfortably in first place, three games ahead of everyone in the conference. Though they want to stay undefeated, that
can't be a huge concern of theirs; they saw what happened to the Patriots last year.
c. The Jaguars hate the Titans more than any other team in the league, save for Indianapolis. They have to be seething that Tennessee is 9-0.
This is Jacksonville's Super Bowl. Even if they don't qualify for the postseason, they can still take pleasure in being the team to knock off the last
undefeated squad in the league.
3. Are we sure the Titans are that great? Don't get me wrong; they're a good team. But 9-0 worthy? Rex Grossman was throwing passes like a
leering drunk last week, yet they managed to beat the Bears by only seven points. Two weeks ago, they nearly lost to Green Bay at home. Three
weeks ago, they struggled against the Colts before opening things up in the second half. Two games prior to that, they needed a miraculous
final drive and some help from the officials to knock off Baltimore.
I'm putting three units on the Jaguars, which means I'll probably be down 3.3 Units come Monday. I think this is a terrible spot for Tennessee.
The only reason I'm not making this an even larger play is because I'm not convinced overrated Jacksonville has the horses to keep up with the
The Psychology. Edge: Jaguars.
The Jaguars are fighting for their playoff lives right now. The Titans just won a big game in Chicago. Jacksonville hates Tennessee and would love
nothing more than to give its arch rival its first loss.
The Vegas. Edge: Jaguars.
What a shady line! Anyone looking at this is saying, "Wow! All the Titans need to do is win by a field goal!? That's easy!"
Percentage of money on Tennessee: 90% (37,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Jaguars.
History: Titans have won 3 of the last 4 meetings.
Road Bum: Jeff Fisher is 6-9 ATS on the road after a road win.
Jaguars are 12-3 ATS as an underdog since 2006.
Jaguars are 11-5 ATS in November home games since 2000.
Jaguars are 7-0 ATS coming off a 2-game road trip the previous 7 instances.
Opening Line: Titans -3.
Opening Total: 39.5.
Weather: Sunny, 56 degrees. Mild wind, 12 mph.
Week 11 NFL Pick: Titans 17, Jaguars 16
Jaguars +3 (3 Units)
Under 40 (.5 Units)
Houston Texans (3-6) at Indianapolis Colts (5-4)
Line: Colts by 8. Total: 50.5.
Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 10): Colts -9.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 10): Colts -10.
Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets
The Game. Edge: Colts.
Injuries: Texans: OUT: RB Chris Brown (IR), RB Chris Taylor (IR), G Fred Weary (IR), OLB Zach Diles (IR), CB Jimmy Williams (IR), S C.C. Brown, KR
Andre Davis. Colts: OUT: RB Mike Hart (IR), OT Tony Ugoh, G Ryan Lilja, DT Anthony McFarland (IR), OLB Tyjuan Hagler, CB Marlin Jackson (IR),
KR T.J. Rushing (IR).
In my previous write-up I showed you a conversation I had with some weirdo. Check out this odd e-mail I received the other day. I don't even
know where to begin with this, so I'll let you read it:
Hello.... there, I am from U.K my son iscoming for an holiday in your area, He's name is kelvin and he is 17 years old so i want him to be busy in
the time of the day. i have decided to let him attend your lesson , so he will be coming 2hours in a day. so i want you to calculate the cost of 2
hours per day for the whole 1 Month and send me the total cost , i will be paying you with cashier check ,so get back to me with your cost for the
December to febumary. Kindly get back to me with......
1.YOUR CHARGE FOR AN HOUR....
2.TOTAL CHARGES FOR 1 MONTH THAT HE WILL BE TAUGHT..
3.FULL NAME AND ADDRESS WITH ZIP CODE....
4.YOUR PHONE NUMBER...
Don't hesitate to e-mail with your total charges. With Best Regards,
So, some dude named Mr. Samod wants me to give some lesson to "an" 17-year-old from December to "Febumary," and all I have to do is
decide how much I want? I'm going to ask for eleventy billion dollars! Ha! I'm going to be rich!
While on the subject of being rich, that's what you could be if you've faded my Texans picks. Save for last week's dismal selection against the
Ravens, I feel as though I've read Houston pretty well this year. I know I'm 2-7 with Texans picks (see the chart at the bottom of the page for all
of my spread records), but you have to factor in that I suffered through two Sage Rosenchoker meltdowns and a miserable backdoor cover by
HOUSTON OFFENSE: Rosenchoker will once again start for the injured Matt Schaub (seriously, is Schaub ever going to be healthy for more than
three consecutive weeks?) so you know what that means... more untimely interceptions and fumbles! Hooray!
If you take away the final four minutes of the Colts game earlier in the year, Rosenchoker actually played pretty well. He was 21-of-33 for 246
yards, one touchdown and an interception, as no one in Indianapolis' secondary could cover Andre Johnson, who went off for nine catches, 131
yards and a score.
However, it was Houston's running game that propelled them to what should have been a huge victory. Steve Slaton gained 93 rushing yards
and two touchdowns on just 16 carries. Ahman Green, meanwhile, chipped in with 47 yards on 12 attempts. I know Slaton did nothing last
week, but Gary Kubiak stated that he purposely sat Slaton for most of the game to give him some rest. Slaton also had a long touchdown run
that was called back because of a penalty.
So, with that in mind, Slaton should be able to put together another solid performance. Even with Bob Sanders back, the Colts haven't been
able to stop the run. With Slaton gashing Indianapolis' ground defense, Rosenchoker should have tons of time to locate his receivers (or the
Colts defensive backs) downfield. Either or.
INDIANAPOLIS OFFENSE: The Colts haven't been able to run the ball well with Joseph Addai back in the lineup, which has to be pretty
disappointing for them. However, Addai had to go up against the Patriots and Steelers, two of the better rush defenses the league has to offer.
Houston, ranked 22nd against the run, won't be able to contain Addai. This, of course, will open the play-action door for Peyton Manning, who
continues to improve every week after offseason knee surgery.
That said, there is no way Manning is 100 percent yet. He's missing his receivers, especially Marvin Harrison, by a few inches a few times per
game. This never would have happened to the Manning of old. He'll have a good game against the lowly Texans, but don't expect a 400-yard
performance or anything.
RECAP: Odd that there are two AFC South matchups this week where the underdog will be playing its Super Bowl. Houston has no shot at the
postseason, but beating Indianapolis is always a huge goal for the franchise.
I don't think the Colts will be focused. They just won an extremely physical game at Pittsburgh, and they have San Diego next week. How can
they get up for lowly Houston?
I'm not sure if Indianapolis deserves to be favored by eight. They're just not that good this year. Of the team's five victories, only one is by more
than four points!
That said, I wouldn't recommend laying more than two units on Houston. I could definitely see Rosenchoker flinging a pick-six down by just
three points late in the fourth quarter. This guy is a menace.
The Psychology. Edge: Texans.
The Colts just had an emotionally draining victory at Pittsburgh. With a game at San Diego next week, I just don't know how they can get up for
the lowly Texans.
The Vegas. Edge: Texans.
Slight betting action toward Indianapolis. So why did the line drop from -9 to -8?
Percentage of money on Indianapolis: 73% (39,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Texans.
History: Colts have won 12 of the 13 meetings.
Divisional Dog of Seven: Gary Kubiak is 4-2 ATS as a division dog of 7+.
Failed Revenge: Gary Kubiak is 1-3 ATS in same-season revenge situations.
Texans are 25-12 ATS after two or more consecutive losses.
Opening Line: Colts -9.
Opening Total: 49.
Weather: Retractable Roof.
Week 11 NFL Pick: Colts 31, Texans 24
Texans +8 (2 Units)
Over 50.5 (1 Unit)
Survivor Pick (8-2)
Chicago Bears (5-4) at Green Bay Packers (4-5)
Line: Packers by 3.5. Total: 43.
Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 10): Packers -6 (Grossman) or Packers -3 (Orton).
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 10): Packers -6 (Grossman) or Packers -3 (Orton).
Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets
The Game. Edge: TBA.
Injuries: Bears: OUT: QB Kyle Orton, CB Zackary Bowman (IR), S Brandon McGowan (IR). Packers: OUT: DT Justin Harrell, ILB Nick Barnett (IR).
I'm not liking this 16-game thing. I liked it better when I had to write about just 14 games. I know it's only two more, but it's worn me out. I
guess I'm just not used to it. Luckily, I checked out the Joker Report and saw three pictures of super-hot women, which has given me extra
energy so I can do this pick. Screw Cialis!
Someone else who needs an extra boost is Kyle Orton, whom the Bears need to come back as quickly as possible. Rex Grossman was horrific
last week. He started the game well, but as soon as he threw his interception, he began flinging passes all over the field. It's a miracle he wasn't
picked off half a dozen times.
Orton was limited in practice on Wednesday and had a slight limp. John Clayton believes Orton will play, but we won't know for sure until
Sunday. Vegas may pull the same stunt as last week and hold off on posting a spread until Saturday afternoon.
CHICAGO OFFENSE, IF ORTON STARTS: Look for Matt Forte to be featured prominently. The Packers, already weak up the middle and
consequently ranked 27th against the run, just lost middle linebacker Nick Barnett for the year.
Forte will be able to open up some play-action opportunities for Orton. Green Bay has just 16 sacks on the year, and Aaron Kampman has half
of them. With barely any pressure in his face, Orton should be able to help his team move the chains.
CHICAGO OFFENSE, IF GROSSMAN STARTS: Green Bay won't respect the pass as much, so it'll load the line of scrimmage and focus on Forte. Rex
Grossman will have to beat a talented secondary ranked second versus the pass, and I really don't trust that to happen. Grossman is physically
gifted, but happens to be a major head case. If he makes one error, everything could snowball in on him.
GREEN BAY OFFENSE: It's really amazing that after a slow start, Ryan Grant was able to gain 86 rushing yards at Tennessee and 75 at Minnesota.
Those numbers won't knock anyone's socks off by themselves, but the Titans and Vikings happen to be elite versus the run.
Unfortunately for Grant, Chicago also has a top-10 ground defense. He'll still put up solid yardage, but it won't be enough to help Aaron
Rodgers out all that much.
Speaking of Rodgers, the first-year starter struggled at Minnesota, going 15-of-26 for 142 yards. He was also sacked four times and took two
Though Chicago is statistically better versus the pass than the Vikings are, I believe Rodgers will bounce back because the Bears can't pressure
the quarterback as well as Minnesota can.
RECAP: A very tough game to call. I'll tell you why I like each team and then you can decide:
CHICAGO: Lovie Smith happens to have Green Bay's number. Ever since arriving in Chicago, Smith told the organization that his goal was to beat
the Packers. He did that instantly, and has since taken six of eight meetings in this series.
GREEN BAY: I'm not taking the Bears if Grossman is starting. If Orton is under center, Chicago might naturally relax a bit more, knowing its
"savior" is back in the lineup.
Good thing I have time to think about where I'm going with this game. I'll post a pick once the spread is released.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
The Packers need a win more than the Bears do, but this is a tough divisional game that means a lot to both teams.
The Vegas. Edge: None.
Percentage of money on Green Bay: 51% (7,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Bears.
History: Bears have won 6 of the last 8 meetings.
Bears are 17-8 ATS in November since 2001.
Opening Line: Packers -4.
Opening Total: 44.
Weather: Cloudy, 31 degrees. Mild wind, 12 mph.
Week 11 NFL Pick: Bears 24, Packers 20
Bears +3.5 (1 Unit)
Over 43 (.5 Units)
Philadelphia Eagles (5-4) at Cincinnati Bengals (1-8)
Line: Eagles by 9. Total: 41.
Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 10): Eagles -9.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 10): Eagles -9.
Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets
The Game. Edge: Eagles.
Injuries: Eagles: OUT: G Shawn Andrews, CB Jack Ikegwuonu (IR). Bengals: OUT: RB Kenny Irons (IR), OLB Keith Rivers (IR), S Dexter Jackson (IR).
The YouTube Video of the Week: We all know that NFL players sleep with a lot of women as they travel around the country. After seeing this
video, I have to wonder if Emmitt ever traveled to South Carolina and fathered an illegitimate daughter (thank Wraith for this one).
Andy Reid didn't look as dumb as that woman on Sunday night, but it was close. I can't believe he challenged on back-to-back plays, especially
on one call that was extremely obvious. And what was the deal with running on third- and fourth-and-one on the final drive? The Eagles have
had problems converting short-yardage situations all year for many reasons (no power back, no full back, no Shawn Andrews) but the main
culprit is Reid, whose predictable play-calling (running right guard or right tackle) is completely disgusting.
PHILADELPHIA OFFENSE: I liked the Giants over the Eagles last week because Reid and Donovan McNabb choke in big games. Seriously, they're
1-7 since the 2006 playoffs in contests decided by four points or less. However, on the other side of the spectrum, Reid is king of debacling
terrible teams. You can see that in the trends below. Reid is 13-5 against the spread as a road favorite of 3.5 or more, and 24-15 against the
spread versus losing teams since 2001.
In case you've been busy watching reruns of Hole in the Wall the entire year, you know the Bengals suck. They're 17th against the run and 13th
versus the pass, and those rankings will continue to fall now that star rookie Keith Rivers is out for the year.
Worst of all, the Bengals have just nine sacks this season. Donovan McNabb will have all the time in the world to stare down Kevin Curtis,
DeSean Jackson and Reggie Brown, while Brian Westbrook will prove to be unstoppable yet again.
CINCINNATI OFFENSE: While the Bengals can't get to opposing quarterbacks, protecting their own is an even bigger problem. That's because
they've surrendered 30 sacks this year. That definitely doesn't bode well against Philadelphia's dynamic pass rush.
The Eagles have a very solid defense, but they can be beaten deep (their safeties aren't good) and in the trenches (they're small up the middle).
Unfortunately, Cincinnati's offense won't be able to expose either weakness. Ryan Fitzpatrick doesn't have a strong arm, while the Bengals' run
blocking is pretty lackluster. Cedric Benson, the team's supposed savior at running back, is averaging just 3.7 yards per carry.
RECAP: This is a high spread, but at least it's not a shady number like 4.5 or anything.
I like the Eagles a lot here. After a poor start, I feel as though I have a good read on them: Fade 'em in big games and play 'em versus crappy
teams. That formula has worked in every instance except against the Steelers.
Besides, it's not like Philadelphia can afford to lose this contest. If they fall to 5-5, they're done.
The Psychology. Edge: Eagles.
The Eagles are now tied for last place in the NFC East. They have to win, but may not take Cincinnati seriously.
The Vegas. Edge: Bengals.
People are pounding the Eagles, but at least Vegas didn't come out with a shady spread or anything.
Percentage of money on Philadelphia: 81% (32,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Eagles.
Bye Bye: Marvin Lewis is 1-4 ATS off a bye.
Winning Coach: Andy Reid is 11-7 ATS as a favorite after losing as a favorite.
Eagles are 24-15 ATS vs. teams with losing records since 2001.
Eagles are 10-15 ATS vs. AFC opponents since 2001.
Andy Reid is 13-5 ATS as a road favorite of 3.5 or more.
Donovan McNabb is 20-10 ATS after a loss since 2001.
Donovan McNabb is 32-17 ATS on the road since 2001.
Opening Line: Eagles -9.
Opening Total: 43.
Weather: Cloudy, 40 degrees. Mild wind, 14 mph.
Week 11 NFL Pick: Eagles 34, Bengals 17
Eagles -9 (5 Units)
Over 41 (.5 Units)
Detroit Lions (0-9) at Carolina Panthers (7-2)
Line: Panthers by 14. Total: 40.
Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 10): Panthers -15.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 10): Panthers -15.
Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets
The Game. Edge: Panthers.
Injuries: Lions: OUT: QB Jon Kitna (IR), CB Stanley Wilson (IR), S Gerald Alexander (IR). Panthers: OUT: LB Dan Connor (IR).
Bill Simmons inspired this feature. A few years ago, Simmons speculated on what Jim Haslett, a lame-duck coach with the Saints, could do to
get fired. Rod Marinelli seems to be in the same position. I'm convinced Marinelli could do whatever he wants and he still wouldn't get axed.
In fact, let's put it to the test. Here are some things Marinelli could do and the odds that he would keep his job.
99% Job Security - Give Lions owner William Clay Ford a wedgie during a meeting.
97% Job Security - Wear a t-shirt to a game that says "William Clay Ford sucks!"
95% Job Security - Slice off Calvin Johnson's hands with a machete.
92% Job Security - Call in a bomb threat to Ford Field and then admit to doing so.
91.9% Job Security - Call in a bomb threat to Ford Field, admit to doing so, and then actually nuke the stadium.
Speaking of Marinelli, make sure you check out my NFL Power Rankings for a concise message about why the Lions should be starting Drew
Stanton right now.
DETROIT OFFENSE: Despite the fact that Daunte Culpepper is washed up and Stanton actually has promise, the former will start yet again. Other
than the fact that the Lions are dumb, I have no explanation for this.
On the bright side, Culpepper will actually have time to practice with the team this time around, so maybe he'll just suck a little bit instead of
suck a lot.
No one in the NFL can cover Calvin Johnson, while Kevin Smith is emerging as a solid option, so there's a chance Detroit could score a bit on
Carolina's defense. The Panthers are just 21st against the run, allowing 4.3 yards per carry, so maybe the Lions can get something going with
However, those chances I'm talking about are pretty slim. Detroit's offensive line sucks (34 sacks allowed), meaning Julius Peppers and company
could make life extremely difficult for a fumble-prone Culpepper.
CAROLINA OFFENSE: I don't know what happened to Jake Delhomme last week - in my Power Rankings, I theorized that Al Davis turned into a
vampire back and sucked Delhomme's blood the night before the game - but the fact remains that he completed just seven passes to his
receivers and four other throws to Oakland defenders.
Playing Detroit could be just what the doctor ordered. Thanks to an abysmal secondary and a meager pass rush, the Lions are last versus the
Of course, Delhomme may not even have to air it out. Detroit is 29th versus the rush. DeAngelo Williams is poised for a huge afternoon.
RECAP: Detroit sucks. We all know that. But 14 points is a lot to lay in today's NFL. As I noted in my Dolphins-Raiders write-up, double-digit
favorites are a disgraceful 1-10 against the spread this year. Meanwhile, Rod Marinelli is 6-0 against the spread as a double-digit underdog as
coach of the Lions.
Furthermore, Carolina could be unfocused here. Coming back from a cross-country trip to Oakland, the Panthers have Atlanta, Green Bay and
Tampa Bay to prepare for after this "easy win."
The Lions, meanwhile, are dying for their first victory. Prior to getting debacled by the desperate Jaguars, they had covered three of four games,
losing those contests by an average of 5.3 points. And it's not like they played other cupcakes; they kept things close against 5-4 Chicago, 6-3
Washington, 3-6 Houston and 5-4 Minnesota.
The Psychology. Edge: Lions.
Breather Alert. This is Carolina's last game before a slew of tough battles. The next three weeks, they have Atlanta, Green Bay and Tampa Bay
on the slate. The Lions are dying to win their first game.
The Vegas. Edge: None.
Percentage of money on Carolina: 52% (17,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Lions.
Parity Poison: Double-digit favorites are 1-10 ATS in 2008.
Zero Heroes: Teams 0-9 or worse are 9-3 ATS since 2000 (5-2 ATS vs. winning teams).
Lions are 6-0 ATS as a double-digit underdog under Rod Marinelli.
Lions are 7-12 ATS on the road since 2006.
Panthers are 12-20 ATS as a home favorite of 3.5 or more since 2001.
Panthers are 18-25 ATS at home since 2003.
Jake Delhomme is 12-18 ATS as a home favorite.
Opening Line: Panthers -14.
Opening Total: 39.
Weather: Sunny, 51 degrees. Mild wind, 14 mph.
Week 11 NFL Pick: Panthers 23, Lions 13
Lions +14 (4 Units)
Under 40 (.5 Units)
Denver Broncos (5-4) at Atlanta Falcons (6-3)
Line: Falcons by 6.5. Total: 50.5.
Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 10): Falcons -4.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 10): Falcons -4.
Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets
The Game. Edge: Falcons.
Injuries: Broncos: OUT: QB Patrick Ramsey (IR), RB Michael Pittman (IR), RB Ryan Torain (IR), RB Andre Hall (IR), OT Erik Pears, C Tom Nalen (IR),
OLB Boss Bailey (IR). QUESTIONABLE: CB Champ Bailey. Falcons: OUT: OT Sam Baker, CB Von Hutchins (IR).
It's time for the Bo-Bo Fantasy Update! If you don't know what this is, check out the Worst Fantasy Football Draft Ever.
Poor Bo-Bo. He just can't get a win. He starts Gus Frerotte (9 points), Derrick Ward (7), Tim Hightower (4), Marcedes Lewis (6), David Akers (7)
and even Terrell Owens (0 - bye). Bo-Bo consequently lost by 40 points, as his record worsened to 2-8. Bo-Bo was way too busy to take Owens
out of his lineup because he was having sex with 1.4 million girls at once and buying up property at the North Pole.
Bo-Bo doesn't have anyone on his team who will be playing in this game, so he likely won't be paying attention to this contest. However, this is
a huge matchup for both teams. If the Falcons win, they improve to 7-3 and keep at least a share of one of the wildcard slots in the NFC. If the
Broncos win, they don't have to worry about the Chargers tying them for the division lead.
ATLANTA OFFENSE: Matt Ryan's outstanding rookie season has been well-publicized, Michael Turner is third in the league, while Roddy White is
one of the league's most-dangerous receivers. What no one is talking about is the incredible play of Atlanta's offensive line. Despite missing left
tackle Sam Baker for a few games, the front has limited opposing defenses to 12 sacks, while allowing the running backs to gain 4.6 yards per
Both pass protection and run blocking won't be a problem this week. The Broncos are terrible on defense. They're ranked 31st against the run
and 28th versus aerial attacks, while their pass rush is really inconsistent.
Ryan, Turner and White are going to eat this defense alive. I can't see Denver containing Atlanta's dynamic offense.
DENVER OFFENSE: Denver's scoring attack is pretty spectacular itself, though the main difference between the Broncos and Falcons is the
former's lack of a rushing attack.
Denver simply doesn't have any healthy running backs right now. Selvin Young is the only guy to avoid the IR, but he's really banged-up. It
appears as though Peyton Hillis and Tatum Bell will split carries, which won't be too effective, even against Atlanta's 26th-ranked rush defense.
Jay Cutler will obviously be able to move the chains by hooking up with Brandon Marshall, Eddie Royal and Tony Scheffler, but without a
dependable ground attack, Denver's offense will be less consistent in moving the chains than Atlanta's will. Besides, the Falcons are 16th versus
the pass, and despite surrendering more than 400 passing yards to Drew Brees last week, they made life really difficult for the Pro Bowl signal
caller. Brees tossed three picks and was close to firing a few more.
RECAP: I'm riding the Falcons. They're on fire right now, especially at home, where they've trailed by a grand total of 11 seconds!
The Broncos are a flawed football team and will be exposed by a very solid team in the Georgia Dome.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
Pretty big game for both teams.
The Vegas. Edge: Broncos.
Action on the Falcons, but the line has moved up a lot to compensate.
Percentage of money on Atlanta: 63% (38,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: None.
Broncos are 5-13 ATS vs. the NFC since 2003.
Falcons are 2-16 ATS at home immediately following a home win the previous 18 instances.
Opening Line: Falcons -4.5.
Opening Total: 50.
Week 11 NFL Pick: Falcons 34, Broncos 24
Falcons -6.5 (2 Units)
Over 50.5 (.5 Units)
Arizona Cardinals (6-3) at Seattle Seahawks (2-7)
Line: Cardinals by 3. Total: 47.5.
Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 10): Cardinals -4.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 10): Cardinals -4.5.
Sunday, 4:05 ET - Buy Tickets
The Game. Edge: Cardinals.
Injuries: Cardinals: OUT: C Scott Peters (IR). Seahawks: OUT: WR Nate Burleson (IR), WR Ben Obomanu (IR), WR Logan Payne (IR), G Rob Sims
(IR). EXPECTED TO PLAY: QB Matt Hasselbeck, WR Deion Branch.
You know, I've spent a few weeks trying to figure out Mike Singletary's odd behavior after his team was debacled by the Seahawks.
Unfortunately, I didn't find out until Mike Ditka said it on Sunday NFL Countdown. After an excerpt of an interview Ditka conducted with
Singletary, Ditka, known for speaking quickly and consequently seldom finishing his sentences, said the following of Singletary's actions:
"You can't have regrets. You're a football."
Ah ha! The reason Singletary booted Vernon Davis off the field and mooned his team at halftime is because he's a football! It's all clear now!
The Seattle team that defeated the 49ers will have a different look on Sunday. I'm referring to the return of Matt Hasselbeck and Deion Branch.
SEATTLE OFFENSE: Unfortunately for the Seahawks, they're four out of the division lead, so they'll need to win all of their games just to have a
chance to qualify for the Doggone Playoff.
That's obviously a long shot; even winning this game seems difficult. Though Hasselbeck is infinitely more talented than Seneca "The Backdoor
Bandit" Wallace, he and his top receiver are coming back from a long layoff. I can't see the offense clicking right away, despite the fact that
Arizona is 22nd against the pass.
The one thing the Cardinals' defense is great at is shutting down the run. They're ranked sixth in that department. Take away a 20-yard carry on
Monday night, and they gave up less than four yards per carry to one of the NFL's best running backs.
With Julius Jones and Maurice Morris being non-factors in this offense, there will be more pressure on Hasselbeck to advance the chains. Again,
it's his first week back, so I can't see that happening.
ARIZONA OFFENSE: You can't fault Seattle's offense for struggling this year; the team's receiving corps has been ravaged with injuries, while
Hasslebeck also missed a significant amount of time. However, you can blame the Seahawks' defense for sucking, particularly against the pass.
Being soft in the secondary is never a good thing when you're playing the Cardinals. Kurt Warner is going to set the NFL's 26th-ranked
Meanwhile, Tim Hightower should be able to find some holes against a seven-man front. The Seahawks are 14th versus the rush.
RECAP: If the Backdoor Bandit were slated to start again, I might have sided with Seattle, getting more points against an unfocused Cardinals
squad. However, with Hasselbeck in the lineup, Arizona could be mentally prepared, knowing the Seahawks will offer more of a challenge.
This is a bigger game for the Cardinals than you may think. Sure, they could be looking ahead to playing the Giants next week, but after nearly
getting debacled by the lowly 49ers on Monday night, they could be playing for respect. They also need to prove that they can win on the road.
The Psychology. Edge: Seahawks.
With Matt Hasselbeck starting, Arizona might be focused. If not, this is a Look-Ahead Alert to the Giants game next week.
The Vegas. Edge: Seahawks.
Everyone is on Arizona. Why is the line only -3?
Percentage of money on Arizona: 89% (25,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Seahawks.
History: Home Team has won 8 of the last 9 meetings.
Opening Line: Cardinals -3.
Opening Total: 48.5.
Weather: Cloudy, 53 degrees. Light wind.
Week 11 NFL Pick: Cardinals 30, Seahawks 20
Cardinals -3 (1 Unit)
Over 47.5 (1 Unit)
St. Louis Rams (2-7) at San Francisco 49ers (2-7)
Line: 49ers by 6.5. Total: 43.5.
Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 10): 49ers -2.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 10): 49ers -7.
Sunday, 4:05 ET - Buy Tickets
The Game. Edge: 49ers.
Injuries: Rams: OUT: FB Brian Leonard (IR), WR Drew Bennett (IR), TE Randy McMichael (IR), OT Brandon Gorin (IR), G Mark Setterstrom (IR), CB
Justin King (IR), CB Ricky Manning Jr., KR Dante Hall (IR). 49ers: OUT: QB Alex Smith (IR), FB Zak Keasey (IR), WR Josh Morgan*, WR Arnaz Battle,
OLB Jay Moore (IR), CB Shawntae Spencer (IR).
The 10th installment of the new Emmitt Smith feature will be up on FRIDAY! The year is 2013. Coming off a Week 1 victory, the Patriots get into
trouble for Sypgate II. Roger Goodell orders the team to replace Bill Belichick with Emmitt.
Week 2: Emmitt wins his first game against the Falcons, 11-4, despite major confusion and thanks in part to a Michael Vick arrest. Week 3:
Something interesting happens to the Bengals, Emmitt screws up again and a key Patriot is lost for the year. Week 4: The Lions-Patriots contest
gets moved to Detroit. Find out why, and discover who the new GM of the Lions is. Week 5: Herm Edwards screws up in the battle of the
unbeatens! Week 6: Dennis Green blows a record lead and has to be taken to the mental hospital! In Week 7, Al Davis finds proof that Emmitt
and Green conspired to lose on purpose. Week 8: Roger Goodell cancels all games for a mysterious reason. Week 9: A steroids scandal rocks
Now, in Week 10, both Emmitt and Anthony Morelli were very busy during an interesting bye week. Find out what happened on Friday! Each
week, I'll follow the 2013 Patriots from a newspaper reporter's perspective. Get ready for 2013: Emmitt on the Brink!
Is Steven Jackson an MVP candidate? Of course not, but based on the way the Rams have played without him the past two years, you'd think he
was. I just added the following trend below: The Rams are 2-6 against the spread the past season and a half when Jackson is either out or very
ST. LOUIS OFFENSE: Given that figure, it's clear just how important Jackson is to this offense. It's pretty sad, actually, that St. Louis can't do
anything without him.
Jackson is currently listed day-to-day, whatever that means. Jim Haslett declared that Jackson won't be able to play if he doesn't put a full day
of practice in, so we'll see what happens this week. But even if Jackson practices once or twice, there's no guarantee that he'll last the entire
If Jackson can't go, it'll be Antonio Pittman, Kenneth Darby, Samkon Gado, Robert Holcombe, Trung Canidate and whomever else the Rams
have in their backfield. And does it even matter? Unless Jackson is 80 percent or better, the Rams won't be able to run against the 49ers'
seventh-ranked rush defense.
Without the prospect of a running game, Marc Bulger will continue to struggle. San Francisco will easily beat St. Louis' pathetic offensive line,
forcing the suddenly horrendous Bulger into a multitude of turnovers.
SAN FRANCISCO OFFENSE: Though Shaun Hill made some errors at the end of the Arizona game, I still think he did a much better than J.T.
O'Sullivan. Hill actually got rid of the ball quickly and moved the chains on a consistent basis.
The 49ers shouldn't have a problem converting third downs against the Rams. St. Louis is 30th versus the rush, so look for Frank Gore to have a
big game. This will open the play-action door for Hill, who will easily torch one of the worst defensive backfields in the NFL.
RECAP: The Rams just can't match up with other teams if they don't have Jackson in the lineup. Based on early reports, it doesn't look like
Jackson will play much.
If things change, and Jackson has multiple full practices this week, I may reconsider this selection. For now, I'm siding with the host.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
A meaningless game in the grand scheme of things (except for the 2009 NFL Draft), but have the Rams quit on Jim Haslett? I don't think they
have, but that could be public perception.
The Vegas. Edge: Rams.
Action is on the 49ers, but the books have pushed this line up to -6.5 from -6.
Percentage of money on San Francisco: 74% (18,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: 49ers.
History: 49ers have won 4 of the last 6 meetings.
Road Warrior: Coaches are 121-80 ATS on the road following a road loss since 1996.
Rams are 18-33 ATS in road games since 2001.
Rams are 11-22 ATS on grass since 2001.
Rams are 2-6 ATS when Steven Jackson is out or limited since 2007.
Opening Line: 49ers -6.
Opening Total: 44.5.
Weather: Sunny, 70 degrees. Light wind.
Week 11 NFL Pick: 49ers 27, Rams 3
49ers -6.5 (1 Unit)
Under 43.5 (.5 Units)
San Diego Chargers (4-5) at Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3)
Line: Steelers by 5. Total: 42.
Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 10): Steelers -6.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 10): Steelers -6.
Sunday, 4:15 ET - Buy Tickets
The Game. Edge: Steelers.
Injuries: Chargers: OUT: WR Eric Parker (IR). Steelers: OUT: QB Charlie Batch, RB Rashard Mendenhall (IR), TE Heath Miller*, G Kendall Simmons
(IR), CB Bryant McFadden, CB Deshea Townsend, P Daniel Sepulveda (IR), LS Greg Warren (IR).
More quotes to be featured in the upcoming Emmitt Anthology: Volume 2. Here's a link to the original Emmitt Anthology.
1. "Keep your feet! If he do, it’s touchdown, baby!" (Commentary: Emmitt apparently loses all control of his grammar when he gets excited.
One can only imagine what happens when he "have a sexy time." "You gaved me the rice of passage, baby!")
2. "The big toe is such an important factor for runnin' back when you have to make cuts. So for L.T., that toe is bothering him so bad, that he
cannot make the cut he want to make." (Commentary: But apparently, being able to use verbs is not an important factor for TV analysts...)
3. "Well, obviously, LaDainian, his body is goin to go through significant changes and L.T. need to recognize that ... right around that middle
time frame is when your body go through something that as a young player, you're not accustom to." (Commentary: Oh, boy. When Emmitt's
son grows up, this is going to be an awkward and grammatically flawed conversation.)
SAN DIEGO OFFENSE: Thanks for bringing up Tomlinson, Emmitt. If you pick up the USA Today Sports Weekly and check out Page 11, you'll see
why I think Tomlinson should be benched this week in all non-PPR Fantasy Leagues. Thanks to a turf toe problem, Tomlinson just isn't getting
the job done; he has one touchdown since the Raiders game on Sept. 28, and he's averaging just 66.6 yards per game since Week 4.
Tomlinson won't get anything done against the Steelers' dominant run defense, ranked third in the NFL. That means Philip Rivers will have to do
things on his own, which is never good against Pittsburgh's hectic rush.
San Diego's line has protected Rivers well this year (12 sacks), but trying to block players in Dick LeBeau's zone-blitz scheme can be problematic
for the best offensive fronts in the business. There's a reason Pittsburgh is ranked first against the pass. It should be noted, however, that the
Steelers will be without corners Bryant McFadden and Deshea Townsend in this contest.
PITTSBURGH OFFENSE: Ben Roethlisberger is iffy again, but it appears as though he's going to play. Roethlisberger appeared to be fine last week
- that is, until he threw a pair of careless, unforced interceptions at the end of each half, pretty much ruining any chance Pittsburgh had of
winning that game.
Theoretically, Roethlisberger should be able to have a solid outing. Without Shawne Merriman, the Chargers can't get to the quarterback,
putting more pressure on their secondary. Roethlisberger should also get support from Mewelde Moore and/or Willie Parker versus San Diego's
20th-ranked rush defense.
However, there is no telling how Big Ben will perform. He's playing hurt right now behind one of the league's worst offensive lines. That's
undoubtedly why he's so apprehensive in the pocket.
RECAP: Toughest game to call this week. I wouldn't lay a penny on either side.
But because I have to choose, I'm siding with the Chargers. Roethlisberger's shoulder worries me, while the injuries Pittsburgh has in its
secondary could really cost them against a very talented receiving corps.
The Psychology. Edge: None.
Now that the Steelers no longer have a grip on the AFC North, this is a big game for both teams.
The Vegas. Edge: Chargers.
Lots of cash being thrown on the Steelers, which is understandable after San Diego's lackluster performance against the Chiefs. The good news
for Pittsburgh bettors is that this line has moved up a whole point, and 1.5 points in some places.
Percentage of money on Pittsburgh: 75% (38,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Steelers.
Winning Coach: Mike Tomlin is 4-1 ATS immediately after losing as a favorite.
Ben Roethlisberger is 50-20 as a starter (41-29 ATS).
Opening Line: Steelers -3.5.
Opening Total: 43.
Weather: Cloudy, 31 degrees. Mild wind, 16 mph.
Week 11 NFL Pick: Steelers 20, Chargers 17
Chargers +5 (1 Unit)
Under 42 (.5 Units)
Dallas Cowboys (5-4) at Washington Redskins (6-3)
Line: Cowboys by 1. Total: 43.
Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 10): Redskins -3.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 10): Redskins -3
Sunday, 8:15 ET - Buy Tickets
The Game. Edge: Cowboys.
Injuries: Cowboys: OUT: RB Felix Jones, WR Sam Hurd (IR), G Kyle Kosier, CB Pacman Jones (SUSP), S Roy Williams (IR), P Mat McBriar (IR).
Redskins: OUT: DE Jason Taylor, DE Phillip Daniels (IR), S Reed Doughty (IR).
No one lost for the second week in a row, so there are still only FOUR people remaining in the WalterFootball.com $350 Survivor Pool. I'll
continue to offer my advice for those who want it, and others who have entered in a new Survivor Contest.
If you need another excuse to hit up the forums, check out the Heroes Discussion Thread, which includes a picture of the four villains Hiro
needs to find, detailed discussion about Episode 7, Villains, and very hot pictures of Claire. I like! Do you like!?
I put this lead here because this is the matchup that ruined my Survivor entry. The stupid Cowboys couldn't even beat Washington straight up
as double-digit favorites. Whatever. I'll get to my survivor analysis after I make this pick.
DALLAS OFFENSE: Tony Romo is back! The Cowboys are saved!
If you read my Seattle-Arizona write-up, you may ask why Dallas' offense will improve right away. Won't Romo be rusty? He will, but it's not like
his main weapons have been out as well. It's the same offense; just a different quarterback. Seattle, meanwhile, will also be welcoming Deion
Romo also had the entire bye week to practice, so he'll be sharper than Hasselbeck. The Cowboys better hope so because Shawn Springs is
returning to the lineup. In the previous matchup between these two squads, Springs completely shut down Terrell Owens.
With that in mind, it's not like the Cowboys couldn't move the chains. They were just overconfident and didn't give Marion Barber enough
carries. Because this is Romo's first game back, you better believe that Barber will get tons of touches. Washington is a pedestrian 15th versus
WASHINGTON OFFENSE: After setting the league ablaze with four consecutive offensive outputs of 23 points or more from Week 2 to Week 5,
the Redskins have averaged just 15.5 points per contest since, scoring more than 17 only once (at Detroit).
As if their recent offensive struggles weren't enough, there's a good chance Clinton Portis will miss this game. Even if he heals up and plays, you
saw what happened with Steven Jackson a few weeks ago. The Rams though he was good to go, yet he had to leave the contest in the first
quarter, which completely destroyed their game plan.
If Portis is limited or out, I don't see how Washington will move the chains. The Cowboys won't respect the run and will focus on shutting down
the Redskins' aerial attack, which has been stagnant lately.
RECAP: The Cowboys need this game a lot more than Washington does. There's no doubt about that. Dallas won't be overconfident against the
suddenly offensively challenged Redskins this time around.
SURVIVOR ANALYSIS: I love Carolina against the Lions this week for obvious reasons. I also like the Eagles at Cincinnati, though I'm always
apprehensive about taking road teams.
Unfortunately, I've used both squads already. Instead, I'll go with the Colts over the Sage Rosenchoker-led Texans. I also looked at the 49ers as
a viable option.
The Psychology. Edge: Cowboys.
Dallas needs to win now. Washington hates Dallas and won't let them. Big game for both sides
The Vegas. Edge: Redskins.
The public went from liking Washington, to betting equally, to favoring Dallas. I don't know...
Percentage of money on Dallas: 68% (22,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Cowboys.
History: Redskins have won 5 of the last 7 meetings.
Tony Romo is 15-8 ATS as a starter before Dec. 1.
Tony Romo is 9-4 ATS on the road.
Opening Line: Cowboys -1.5.
Opening Total: 45.
Weather: Partly cloudy, 38 degrees. HEAVY WINDS, 21 mph.
Week 11 NFL Pick: Cowboys 17, Redskins 14
Cowboys -1 (1 Unit)
Under 43 (2 Units)
Cleveland Browns (3-6) at Buffalo Bills (5-4)
Line: Bills by 5. Total: 42.
Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 10): Bills -6.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 10): Bills -4.5.
Monday, 8:30 ET - Buy Tickets
The Game. Edge: Bills.
Injuries: Browns: OUT: WR Joe Jurevicius (IR), OT Ryan Tucker (IR), G Lennie Friedman, DE Robaire Smith (IR), OLB Antwan Peek (IR). Bills: OUT:
DE Aaron Schobel, OLB Angelo Crowell (IR), ILB John DiGiorgio (IR), CB Ashton Youboty (IR).
Before I get to the final game on the slate, here's the Week 11 NFL Look-Alike Thread, featuring Chef (South Park), Darth Sidious and Bat Boy.
I thought this matchup looked extremely attractive when the schedule came out. The Browns, coming off a 10-6 season, were expected to
improve and claim the AFC North. Meanwhile, I projected the Bills to finish 11-5 in my season previews. I looked at this contest as one that
could have possibly decided which team would get a bye in the postseason.
So much for that. The Browns imploded right away, while the Bills, after beginning the year 5-1, are leaking oil after losing three straight
BUFFALO OFFENSE: What happened to Trent Edwards? Three weeks ago, I called him an MVP candidate. Now, I'm not so sure he'll be able to
hold on to his job at this rate. Against the Dolphins, Jets and Patriots, Edwards tossed five interceptions to just two touchdowns. He also
fumbled thrice, maintained a pedestrian YPA of 5.2 at New England and averaged just 212 passing yards per contest.
Part of the problem has been pass protection. Buffalo surrendered nine sacks in the three divisional matchups. Edwards was sacked just twice
at New England, but was hurried on what seemed like almost every play, which led to his two picks.
Edwards also isn't getting any run support. The flu-stricken Marshawn Lynch averaged just 41 rushing yards in those three contests, gaining only
3.4 yards per carry. Because Buffalo played three teams that are very stout against the rush, Lynch was easily neutralized, allowing each stop
unit to focus on Edwards.
Fortunately for the Bills, the Browns aren't good against the run. In fact, they aren't good at anything in terms of defense. I don't think Lynch
will be dominant, but he'll at least come close to averaging four yards per carry, which will make things easier for Edwards amid a pass rush that
has only 14 sacks on the year. Edwards should be able to easily locate his receivers against a pitiful secondary that embarrassed itself on
CLEVELAND OFFENSE: Speaking of that Thursday night contest, Brady Quinn played well. The Browns didn't go down the field at all, but Quinn
was decisive and efficient, helping the Browns put up 30 points in his first start.
Quinn was able to stand in the pocket and scan the field because Denver's defense, quite frankly, is a joke. Buffalo's isn't. Thanks to Marcus
Stroud, the Bills are ranked 10th against the rush, so they'll easily take Jamal Lewis and Jerome Harrison out of Cleveland's game plan, forcing
Quinn into long-yardage situations.
Unfortunately, Buffalo's top pass rusher, Aaron Schobel, is out yet again, so Quinn should be able to convert a good amount of those third-and-
longs. It really helps that he has a pair of dynamic weapons to work with.
RECAP: I can't endorse laying five points with a struggling team. There's a lot of pressure on the Bills in this spot. They need to win this game,
but they're also expected to against the dysfunctional Browns.
While we're on that subject, I think this line has been inflated by a point or a point-and-a-half because of some comments that have come out
about the Browns quitting.
While the public may think Cleveland has quit, NFL players will never give up because they're always playing for a contract. Usually when a
team is accused of quitting, it bounces back with a tough effort. That doesn't always happen, but don't be surprised if that occurs on Monday
The Psychology. Edge: None.
Cleveland's season is over and everyone on the team hates each other. The Bills are leaking oil and probably don't believe in themselves
anymore. If we're talking about psychology, both teams need a therapist.
The Vegas. Edge: None.
Percentage of money on Buffalo: 52% (25,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Bills.
Losing Coach: Romeo Crennel is 0-3 ATS as an underdog after losing as a favorite.
Browns are 11-2 ATS after allowing 30 or more points under Romeo Crennel.
Bills are 12-2 ATS after playing the New England Patriots since 1999.
Bills are 16-8 ATS at home after Oct. 1 when favored by less than 6 points since 2002.
Bills are 22-9 ATS in November home games the previous 31 contests.
Bills are 12-2 ATS against losing teams since 2006.
Opening Line: Bills -4.5.
Opening Total: 42.5.
Weather: Snow, 30 degrees. Mild wind, 15 mph.
Week 11 NFL Pick: Bills 27, Browns 24
Browns +5 (1 Unit)
Over 42 (1 Unit)