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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 11:28 PM

When you have SIX different Vegas sports legends providing selections at a showcase website, you’re not always going to have complete agreement on games. Different perspectives. Different indicator keys. A former coach may not see a game the same way a man in the middle of the betting markets would. Stat edges don’t always line up with trend edges. Etc…

Sunday Night, the New York Jets weren’t quite a unanimous play, but they did cash easy tickets in a 27-7 win over the Cincinnati Bengals for Jim Hurley, Kelso Sturgeon, Coach Ron Meyer, and Nick Bogdanovich (providing exhibition football selections for clients before wrapping up his tenure with VSM at the end of baseball).

Kelso and Nick were also on the hard charging Milwaukee Brewers bandwagon Sunday. Wayne Root scored the biggest with the Brew Crew, with his second straight PINNACLE play on Milwaukee. Figures a native New Yorker (an S.O.B….son of a butcher in Mt. Vernon NY), would win a big baseball play in Flushing in the afternoon, then a football play at the Meadowlands under the lights.

We wish every release from every handicapper could win. Congrats to those of you who made money today with VSM packages.

Some numbers and notes from today’s games…



Total Yardage: Cincinnati 203, NY Jets 378

Yards-Per-Play: Cincinnati 3.7, NY Jets 5.7

Third Downs: Cincinnati 23%, NY Jets 29%

Turnovers: Cincinnati 3, NY Jets 0

The Bengals aren’t exactly inspiring confidence that they’ll be anything more than a doormat this year. Yes, it’s only Preseason. But, they’re down 61-10 on the scoreboard after two games. Andy Dalton is nowhere near ready to be an NFL quarterback. That should be clear now if it wasn’t after his final year at TCU. Tonight he was 8-19-2-86 for a passer rating of 16.4. Some of that is obviously attributable to the Jets defense. Everyone’s going to be coming after him if he does get the starting job. At this level, “everybody” is a lot bigger, stronger, and faster than Mountain West defenses. Dalton can ask Alex Smith about that! Good night for Mark Sanchez. He was 12-20-0-173 for a 121.5 passer rating. He threw two touchdown passes. Greg McElroy continues to impress with his leadership as a backup. The rookie from Alabama was 6-9-0-59 for a 122.0 passer rating. He would have led the Jets to a come-from-behind win last week in Houston if not for a dropped TD pass in the final moments. 



Total Yardage: San Diego 239, Dallas 313

Yards-Per-Play: San Diego 4.3, Dallas 4.8

Third Downs: San Diego 45%, Dallas 67%

Turnovers: San Diego 0, Dallas 3

You got the sense that San Diego was playing with a purpose tonight, at least when the first teamers were on the field. This wasn’t a big secret, and was the reason the Cowboys were just a one-point home favorite in a big TV game. The full game stats don’t paint that picture very well. But, when you look at the starting quarterbacks…Philip Rivers was 8-11-0-92 for a passer rating of 127.8, while Tony Romo was 8-12-1-58 for a passer rating of 70.8. Total yardage at the half was roughly 200-120 for the Chargers based on estimates from the Drive Charts. Dallas added 75 yards in the last couple of minutes against a prevent defense on a drive that ultimately ended on downs near the end zone.

Most VSM handicappers were focused on Jets/Bengals as a Vegas betting option. Wayne Root was on the Chargers here, and scored another double digit cover with an underdog (as he did when he faded these same Chargers with Seattle last week).

Speaking of Seattle…their boxscore didn't make the cut last night becuse the game finished after publication deadlines Saturday. Let’s run the numbers from Vikings/Seahawks…


MINNESOTA 20, SEATTLE 7 (late Saturday)

Total Yardage: Minnesota 322, Seattle 331

Yards-Per-Play: Minnesota 5.8, Seattle 4.1

Third Downs: Minnesota 42%, Seattle 42%

Turnovers: Minnesota 2, Seattle 1

Minnesota had a much better YPP number. Total yardage was even because Seattle ran 81 plays to just 56 for the Vikings. Seattle’s only turnover was a costly one…it was a pick six off the hands of Tavaris Jackson. Some thought Jackson might be inspired to beat his former team. He was a disappointing 11-21-1-75 on the night for a 40.8 passer rating, throwing a TD pass to the wrong team. We’re keeping an eye on Christian Ponder out of Florida State for the Vikings. He was 6-12-0-61 for a passer rating of 65.6 That’s in the standard range for rookies this summer.

Sunday in baseball’s pennant races…

*In the AL East…the NY Yankees and Boston Red Sox both won. They’ve matched each other day-by-day for awhile, leaving the Yanks a half game in front. Another good outingfor Ivan Nova, with seven scoreless innings.

*In the AL Central…Detroit finished off a sweep of the Cleveland Indians. The Tigers now lead the division by 4.5 games. Ubaldo Jiminez was rocked in his most important start for the Tribe this year. He allowed eight earned runs in just 3.1 innings. At one point Detroit led 7-0, but Rick Porcello was having his own struggles…and left with five earned runs allowed in 3.2 innings. Huge disappointment for Cleveland to see their hired assassin shoot himself in the foot.

*In the AL West…the LA Angels picked up a game on Texas. The Halos beat Baltimore 7-1, while Texas took the day off in a 10-0 loss in Chicago. Texas leads by four games heading into a marquee series against Boston that starts in Arlington Monday Night. Perhaps the Rangers were looking ahead to that series today.

*In the NL Central…both Milwaukee and St. Louis won. The Brewers are now 15-2 their last 17 games and 22-3 their last 25 games. Once again today they gave away an early lead, but then pounded the Mets bullpen to get the win. These potent bats never stop! Though, getting to face Jason Isringhausen two days in a row sure didn’t hurt.

*In the NL West…San Francisco picked up a game on Arizona. The Giants finally won in Houston, but had to go extra innings to do so. Arizona was shutout by Atlanta. The D-backs are now 1-5 on this critical Eastern swing, and are down on the scoreboard 28-9. They hope things will be easier in Washington the next three days. A win over the Phils today for Washington brought the Nats to 36-25 at home this year. Maybe it won’t be any easier!

Back with you in the VSM blog Monday morning for a look at the NFC North courtesy of the Network Notebook. Look for handicapper updates through the day, followed by a stat recap of the Chicago/NY Giants game on ESPN just before bedtime.

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