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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 9:04 AM

Okay, so neither Notre Dame nor Georgia were expected to cop this year’s BCS Championship Game – but they were the #16 and #19 teams in the land, respectively in this year’s opening Associated Press Top 25 poll.

But go ahead and raise your paw if you though the Fighting Irish and Dawgs were be a combined 0-and-4 SU (straight-up) just two weeks into this here-and-now College Football Season.

Maybe you might want to blame the respective defenses as Michigan’s exhausting/exhilarating 35-31 win against 3 ½-point road favorite Notre Dame last night featured a bevy of big-yardage plays but it was maize-and-blue QB Denard Robinson’s slick 16-yard corner-of-the-end zone scoring strike to WR Ray Roundtree with two seconds left that proved to be the backbreaker and so the Irish not only are 0-2 SU to start a season for the first time since 2007 (paging Charlie Weis!) but ND’s also 0-2 ATS (against the spread) also for the first time since ’07 when that Irish edition failed to cover season-opening tilts against Georgia Tech and Penn State.

Choke job?

Well, you might be prone to believe that except Notre Dame did take that late-game lead on a 29-yard TD strike by QB Tommy Rees as part of that pitch-and-catch bit where three touchdowns in all were scored in the game’s final 72 seconds. If Notre Dame wants to point at something other than its rickety defense for this loss, than pin it on the five turnovers that absolutely bit Brian Kelly’s club right in the butt-zinski.

As far as Georgia goes, the Dawgs were a 2 ½-point home pup for their SEC opener against South Carolina and a few defensive shortcomings here helped to sabotage Mark Richt’s club – hey, we don’t want to speculate about Richt’s future here as Year #11 ain’t off to a great start but let’s just say nobody in/around Athens exactly will be shocked when he starts putting his valuables in boxes any day now!

Georgia – a 45-32 loser to the USC Gamecocks on this second Saturday in September – found a way to lose a game in which stud QB Aaron Murray threw four touchdown passes as a fake punt that turned into a 68-yard touchdown play staggered the Bulldogs as did the rushing of soph RB Marcus Lattimore who cranked out 176 yards while getting the better of Georgia prep star RB Isaiah Crowell (see 118 yards rushing and some dazzling moves while averaging 7.4 yards a pop) and so here’s Georgia at 0-2 SU and 0-2 ATS and – in case you were wondering – the Dawgs have not started off a season with three consecutive spread losses since prior to Richt’s arrival way back in 2001.


Let’s get you some pertinent pointspread info as it relates to the NFL teams that have new head coaches on their sidelines on this first Sunday/Monday in the season:

CAROLINA – The Ron Rivera Era begins today with a road tilt in Arizona and take note that the Panthers went 2-6 ATS away last year while finishing a putrid 4-12 spreadwise overall. Note that Carolina was a 5-point-or-larger underdog on nine different occasions last year and registered a shabby 2-7 ATS mark in these days. Just sayin’!

CLEVELAND – First-time head coach Pat Shurmur has Browns fans in an optimistic state today as the AFC North crew kicks off the 2011 season against in-state rival Cincinnati but did you know that Cleveland is just 2-6 vig-wise as betting favorites the past three years (including an 0-2 ATS mark last season with spread losses as chalk guys versus Kansas City and aforementioned Carolina)?

DENVER – The new sheriff in town here is former Carolina head coach John Fox and maybe his first order of duty is improving the club’s spread stats: The Broncos – who host Oakland in the second leg of the Monday Night Football twin-bill -- are a collective 28-51-1 ATS since the start of the 2006 season and that includes a 12-27-1 ATS mark at home.

OAKLAND – Speaking of the Raiders, they’ve delivered a sparkling 10-2 spread log to their bettors in AFC West games the past two years and that includes a clean 6-and-oh sweep against divisional pals a year ago.

SAN FRANCISCO – The Jim Harbaugh Era comes with great expectations but did you know the 49ers are just 21-30-2 ATS as betting favorites the past nine years? Last year’s Niners scored a season-high 40 points in a win/cover against now-Week 1 foe Seattle.

TENNESSEE – Hard to believe that Jeff Fisher isn’t strolling the Titans sidelines anymore as one-time assistant Mike Munchak takes over the reigns and note this AFC South club has covered six of its last nine head-to-head showdowns against Week 1 foe Jacksonville.

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will win plenty this NFL and College Football season and so make sure you get it all jump-started with this week’s NFL action right through Monday Night’s twin-bill – that’s the New England Patriots at the Miami Dolphins and the Oakland Raiders at the Denver Broncos -- and then, of course, get all the Winning Selections right through the BCS National Championship Game in January and Super Bowl 46 in early February.

The NFL 2011 Regular Season has officially rolled into action with Green Bay’s win against New Orleans – now make sure you’re all aboard from start to finish! Plus get all the Major-League Baseball Winners too each and every day and this is all you have to do to get all the Winners: Just remember to call our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 or go online right here at for NCAA Football, the NFL and MLB winners!

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