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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at 1:56 AM

The biggest release of the night amongst VSM Nation was Kelso Sturgeon’s 50-Unit play on the New England Patriots (-7) over the Miami Dolphins 38-24. The Patriots ran up more than 600 yards in total offense and average more than nine yards per play in their dominating win. Great read for Kelso on a bounce back day in the NFL.

Note that Kelso also won his top baseball play Monday, with 25 units on Tampa Bay (-145) over Baltimore in an easy 5-2 victory.

Making news tonight at the website as well was oddsmaker Nick Bogdanovich. After sweeping the colleges Saturday with a 2-0-1 mark and two double digit covers…then coming back for a 2-0 Sunday with two more double digit covers…Nick made it a perfect football weekend with New England/Miami Over. Yup, another double digit cover!

Here were Nick’s FIVE football winners from Saturday-Monday (again, no college or pro losers!)

  • Central Florida (-7) over Boston College wins 30-3
  • TCU (+1) over Air Force wins 35-19
  • Buffalo Bills (+5.5) over Kansas City wins 41-7
  • Washington Redskins (+3) over the NY Giants wins 28-14
  • New England/Miami Over 46…wins 38-24 (62 total points)

It pays to have a friend behind the line! Nick will be staying with us through the end of baseball before devoting his full attention to his work as oddsmaker and sportsbook director at Cal-Neva. He’ll be providing football on game days as he finishes out his tenure at VSM.

Here are the numbers from tonight’s football…

NEW ENGLAND 38, MIAMI 24

  • Total Yardage: New England 622, Miami 488
  • Rushing Yardage: New England 106, Miami 98
  • Passing Stats: New England 32-48-1-516, Miami 30-49-1-390
  • Third Downs: New England 61%, Miami 14%
  • Turnovers: New England 1, Miami 1
  • Yards-Per-Play: New England 8.8, Miami 6.7
  • Las Vegas Line: New England by 7, total of 46

Typical New England game! The Patriots moved the ball at will all night long. Their defense did enough to get a few stops…and that’s all it takes to win when your offense is moving the ball at will! The most telling stats were third down conversions. The Patriots posted a stellar 61%. Miami was just 2 of 14, which means they picked up yardage in big chunks fairly often, but couldn’t sustain drives consistently. That’s all it takes for Tom Brady to pull away. New England gradually did just that as a 14-7 halftime lead turned into a 38-17 advantage before Miami scored to get back within two touchdowns.

Let’s take a quick look at the best third down performances around the league this week:

  • Green Bay 67%
  • Philadelphia 67%
  • New Orleans 64%
  • New England 61%

Nobody else was better than 50%. That’s the last two Super Bowl champions (Green Bay and New Orleans), and the two teams most favored by the markets to get there this year (Philadelphia and New England). This is why you should pay attention to this stat! The best teams move the chains.

Let’s look at the worst third down performances in Week One (pending Oakland/Denver):

  • San Francisco 8%
  • NY Giants 10%
  • Indianapolis 11%
  • Miami 14%
  • St. Louis 16%

Chad Henne may be gradually improving, but he has to move the chains against soft defenses! You see early signs of a potential collapse for the snakebit NY Giants. They completely lost their spirit in the second half against Washington Sunday. San Francisco beat Seattle because of turnovers and special teams points rather than offense. You know the Colts were a disaster. Sam Bradford of St. Louis is still early in his learning curve.

The current era in the NFL has a heavy emphasis on moving the chains because it’s hard for the quarterback to find time to throw consistently down the field. Be sure you’re watching this stat on a game-by-game basis for insight.

We stayed up late to get you the numbers from Oakland/Denver (and a zillion penalties made it even later!)…

OAKLAND 23, DENVER 20

  • Total Yardage: Oakland 289, Denver 310
  • Rushing Yardage: Oakland 190, Denver 38
  • Passing Stats: Oakland 13-22-0-99, Denver 24-46-1-272
  • Third Downs: Oakland 36%, Denver 46%
  • Turnovers: Oakland 1, Denver 3
  • Yards-Per-Play: Oakland 4.7, Denver 4.8
  • Las Vegas Line: Denver by 3, total of 43

Big night for Darren McFadden and the Raiders running game. The Raiders led most of the night. And, Denver was helped by a kickoff return TD. It was more like a 23-13 game…which is in line with the rushing dominance and turnover edge for Oakland. The Broncos picked up superfluous yards in the middle of the field while trying to play catch up. When a team wins rushing yardage 190-38, they’re imposing their physical will on the game. If Oakland didn't commit 15 accepted penalties for 131 yards, they would have won a bit more comfortably. If you missed the game, Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 63-yard field goal at the end of the first half to tie the all-time record for field goal distance.

That’s it for a very late Monday Night report. See you Tuesday with more news and notes here in the VSM blog!

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