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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 9:19 AM



By Jim Hurley:

Too bad that Wall Street doesn't have all its money tied up in NFL Preseason Betting Favorites.

Okay, so the fact of the matter is Saturday's NFL Preseason card - that was Five (5) games in all - saw Underdogs actually win the night at 3-2 but the "head count" going into this evening's two league exhibition tilts reads like this:

NFL Betting Favorites 19, NFL Underdogs 10 - and that's a haughty .655 winning rate for the chalk sides thus far this summer but the odds are that won't exactly last at quite the winning rate but, than again, you never know!

Meanwhile, add the names of the Tennessee Titans, the Houston Texans and the Denver Broncos to the growing list of NFL teams that are a perfect 2-and-oh ATS (against the spread) so far this month - the other 2-0 ATS teams are New England, Washington, Detroit and Miami.

In last night's action, those aforementioned Broncos struck up a winning tune thanks to that 24-10 win/cover against 6 ½-point road dog Buffalo, there was Denver QB Kyle Orton cementing his spot as the team's numero uno signal-caller following a 10-of-13, 135-yard, 1-TD performance that included a 13-yard scoring flip to RB Willis McGahee.

Go ahead and let Brady Quinn and Tim Tebow now fight it out for second-string job (yes, Quinn's holding a tentative lead right now) but slam shut any talk that Orton wouldn't be Denver's top gunslinger and don't think for a single minute that new coach John Fox will give his blessing to trade 'em at this point either.

Now, let's get straight onto tonight's Two (2) NFL Preseason Game Previews from East Rutherford and Arlington:

Just for the record, the New York Jets don't enter the 2011 NFL season as the betting favorite to win the AFC East - yes, the New England Patriots are still around and they're still very, very good - but you might have thought otherwise considering all the chatter comin' out of Jets camp where boss-man Rex Ryan again has declared his club the favorite to win it all this year.

Now that gang green is back home in front of their oft-wacko fans you can expect Ryan to allow QB Mark Sanchez to play a half (or close it here) plus count on a WR Plaxico Burress sighting in this tilt at the soon-to-be-named Met Life Stadium in New Jersey. Burress has been troubled by a gimpy ankle ever since he signed on the dotted line for the Jets but the former jailbird claims he's full-speed ahead here and so odds are Sanchez will target him five-or-more times in this clash.

Looking for something positive with these Cincy Bengals who were 34-3 losers at Detroit in last weekend's Preseason opener?

Well, Marvin Lewis' squad liked how rookie QB Andy Dalton (TCU) allowed the game to "slow down" for him following a body slam administered by new league bad-boy Ndamukong Suh and it'll be a major test to see if Dalton can get some rhythm going here against a Jets defense that will offer up plenty of different looks - let's see if Bengals WR Jordan Shipley (four receptions worth 37 yards in a Friday team scrimmage) can help to move the chains here.

Spread Notes - The J-E-T-S were home betting favorites twice in last summer's Preseason and Rex Ryan's crew didn't cash either time: There was a 31-16 Preseason-opening loss to the 3-point road underdog New York Giants back on August 16th a year ago and later on in Preseason Week 3 play (on August 27th) the Jets were 16-11 outright losers as 5 ½-point favorites against the visiting Washington Redskins. Note that Cincinnati covered three-of-five Preseason tilts last year including the 16-7 setback against 3-point dog Dallas in the Hall of Fame Game ... remember when they used to play that one, folks?

Maybe "America's Team" had a feel-good moment last week when scoring on a fourth-down pass play and then converting the two-point conversion in a fun 24-23 non-cover win against 2 ½-point underdog Denver but there's nobody feeling good about the Cowboys' kicking situation right now: PK David Buehler (bruised hip) has missed practice time in the past couple of days and is not expected to partake in this prime-time tilt on the peacock network. Instead, look for rookie Dan Bailey to handle kickoffs, field goals and PATs.

One other note on the 'Boys here: Expect oft-injured RB Felix Jones to be fed the ball plenty this Preseason as Dallas (and we mean owner Jerry Jones) really wants to see if the former Arkansas star can handle a full work load.

Note that in last week's one-point win over the Broncos, Jones carried the ball three times for 23 yards (including a bang-'em-up rush for 18 yards) and he hauled down one pass reception worth 16 yards. No one is saying anything specific but you get the general feeling the Cowboys will be happy if Jones gets 100 total yards from scrimmage here ... so stay tuned.

Spread Notes - The Cowboys are a sizzling 8-1 against the odds in NFL Preseason Week 2 tilts the last nine years and that includes last summer's 16-14 triumph at 3-point favorite San Diego (note the line move back than when the Chargers went from - 1 ½ to a full FG fav at game time). On the flip side, San Diego's a sporty 5-2 spreadwise in its last seven Preseason Week 2 affairs though neither the 'Boys nor the Bolts covered the almighty Las Vegas pointspread in their 2011 Preseason opener.

Now hear this: Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers win with Sides & Totals all throughout the NFL Preseason - now America's #1 Handicapper will rock Las Vegas big-time all summer long! Plus, make sure to get all the Major-League Baseball Winners too each and every day -- just remember to call the toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 or go online right here and make sure you're all aboard for a summer filled with all our NFL Preseason and MLB winners! The calling/check-in times are after 10 a.m. ET on Saturdays and Sundays; anytime after 11 a.m. ET for the weekday Baseball action; and than anytime after 1 p.m. ET for all the weeknight action in both Football and Baseball. And don't forget that the 2011 NCAA Football Season swings into action on Thursday, September 1st with a batch of on-the-board games including TV tilts between UNLV at Wisconsin and Miss State at Memphis and so make sure you're all aboard for college gridiron winners!

P.S., there's a full slate on College Football Games set for Labor Day Weekend (that's September 2nd-through-September 5th) including key out-of-conference games between Boise State versus Georgia and Oregon-LSU.


No doubt you've been keeping track of such things but let's us remind everyone else: The Southeastern Conference has won each of the last five BCS National Championship Games including last year's 22-19 triumph by Auburn over Oregon and now the $64,000 question is will another SEC school capture the top prize in this upcoming 2011 season. Here's the up-to-date odds as we close in on the College Football Season that begins Thursday, September 1 and note we've listed only the schools that are 25-to-1 or less right here:

Alabama 4-1 at Florida (Oct. 1)
Oklahoma 5-1 at Florida State (Sept. 17)
Oregon 10-1 at Stanford (Nov. 12)
Boise State 12-1 vs. Georgia (Sept. 3 in Atlanta)
Florida 12-1 Alabama (Oct. 1)
Florida State 12-1 at Florida (Nov. 26)
LSU 15-1 at Alabama (Nov. 5)
Stanford 15-1 at USC (Oct. 29)
South Carolina 20-1 at Miss State (Oct. 15)
Notre Dame 20-1 at Stanford (Nov. 26)
Nebraska 22-1 at Penn State (Nov. 12)
Ohio State 25-1 at Nebraska (Oct. 8)
Arkansas 25-1 at Alabama (Sept. 24)
Texas 25-1 vs. Oklahoma (Oct. 8 in Dallas)
West Virginia 25-1 vs. LSU (Sept. 24)
Wisconsin 25-1 at Ohio State (Oct. 29)

NOTE: Catch our College Football Previews and Conference/Team Updates in the coming days right here at Jim Sez.

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