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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Sunday, August 26, 2012 at 10:03 AM

Okay, so we've got a pair of Sunday games to round out the NFL Preseason Week 3 action and we'll save one of 'em - that's the Sunday Night Game between the Carolina Panthers at the New York Jets on NBC - for tomorrow's Jim Sez column and we'll be happy to bring you the San Francisco 49ers at the Denver Broncos'

NFL Preseason Update:

Following the Friday night action that included San Diego's thrilling 12-10 win at 5-point favorite Minnesota and Seattle's 44-14 demolition of 3-point home underdog Kansas City, NFL Preseason Betting Favorites entered Saturday's action at 18-22-1 ATS (against the spread) with one pick 'em game while "totals" players are well aware now that the over sides are 22-19-1 vig-wise (that's a .536 winning rate). Note that the Miami Dolphins and the New England Patriots exited Friday's action with identical 0-and-3 spread mark so far this summer with the Fish averaging just 10 points a game in their three summertime outings while the Patriots have allowed 21 points per game en route to their 0-3 ATS log.


SAN FRANCISCO (1-1) at DENVER (1-1) - 4 p.m. ET, Fox
Hey, the 49ers and the Broncos will be two of the NFL's most scrutinized squads this 2012 campaign ...and for good reason:

The Niners need to show that they have "buffed up" their offensive attack that last ranked a lowly 29th in passing (just 183.5 yards per game) and so the logjam at the wide receiver spot takes center stage in this road game as the likes of first-round draftee A.J. Jenkins (Illinois), Mario Manningham, veteran Randy Moss, the erratic Michael Crabtree and the oft-enigmatic Ted Ginn, Jr. all have seen their names get tossed into the mix here and so let's see which San Fran pass-catcher can step out and really make a name for himself against this Denver defense - gut feeling is the highly-athletic Jenkins will land a starting job by month's end and expect QB Alex Smith to look in his general direction a few times in this clash.

On the flip side, the Broncos claim that QB Peyton Manning will play into the third quarter - don't be at all surprised if the former Indy Colts mega-star plays deep into that frame - and than word is former Chicago Bears slinger Caleb Hanie will serve as the second-stringer under center as it appears he has nosed out 6-foot-8 rookie Brock Osweiler (Arizona State) for the backup role. One thing to watch here for the AFC West Broncos is the interior of the defensive line and note DT Kevin Vickerson was cleared to play here after suffering concussion-like symptoms last week.

P.S., you may be interested to know that San Francisco is currently an 8-to-1 choice to win Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans this coming February while Denver right now is priced at 14-to-1 odds to cop the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Note that New England at 4.5-to-1 and Green Bay at 5-to-1 are the betting favorites to win it all.

Cleveland, Indianapolis, Jacksonville and Minnesota each are listed at 125-to-1 to win the Super Bowl - hey, that's like hitting the lottery if you go with one of these four teams and they win a title for you. Feelin' lucky?


Let's get up to snuff with some key gridiron news and notes on this final Sunday prior to Labor Day and it begins with the NFL Preseason Week 3 finale - a nationally televised Sunday Night tilt between the Carolina Panthers and the New York Jets:

CAROLINA (1-1) at NEW YOPK JETS (0-2) - 8 p.m. ET, NBC
The really big news coming into this prime-time bash is the ineffectiveness of the New York Jets offense thru the summer's first two exhibition games as Rex Ryan's team - yes, armed with a brand-new offensive coordinator this year in former Miami Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano - has scored zero touchdowns so far in back-to-back losses to Cincinnati and the New York Giants (just three field goals in all, that's it) and now the swirling winds of change has brought the J-E-T-S a new right tackle as Wayne Hunter has been benched and Austin Howard has been installed as the starter at RT ...good luck QBs Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow!

Meanwhile, the Panthers - who've split their first two preseason games with a home loss to Houston followed by last Friday's 23-17 hang-on-for-dear-life home win against Miami - claim that playing with passion and a purpose is key here: Remember how second-year QB Cam Netwon voiced his utter displeasure in the team's effort following in the wake of that preseason-opening 26-13 loss to the Texans back on August 11th. Newton (10-of-17 for 136 yards passing so far this summer) figures to play two-plus quarters here and watch him to spread the wealth as so far five Panthers have nabbed three-or-more receptions including WR Louis Murphy (four catches for 71 yards including a long of 22 yards).

The Panthers are listed as 45-to-1 to win it all this year while the Jets currently are priced at 22-to-1 to win Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans. Hmm, that's a long easy from the short odds the past couple of years after the Jets came off back-to-back AFC Championship Game appearances in both the 2009 and 2010 seasons.


Okay, so we're closing in on the start of the 2012 NCAA Football Season and so let's take a moment to look at the here-and-now odds to win this year's BCS National Championship (a figures below based on $100 per-play wagers):

Alabama + 400
Arkansas + 1750
Clemson + 3600
Florida + 300
Florida State + 700
Georgia + 1150
LSU + 300
Michigan + 3100
Nebraska + 3500
Notre Dame + 2500
Oklahoma + 650
Oregon + 600
Texas + 1500
USC + 200
West Virginia + 3500

NOTE: Catch all our season-opening NCAA Football Game Previews all next week right here at Jim Sez!

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