Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, July 30, 2012 at 11:59 AM
Let's just call it music to the ears:
Here we were just getting ready to jot down the Las Vegas pointspreads for Monday's Major-League Baseball games and there it was - the first real-feel NFL Hall of Fame Game line between the New Orleans Saints and the Arizona Cardinals (the prices said Saints minus 3 points and an over/under totals price of 35 ... hmm).
Yessiree, the NFL is back and ready to restore the roar with a fully stocked preseason (remember the league didn't play the Hall of Fame Game last year because of the lockout) and so it's time for the pigskin fun-n-games and remember we won't be having another Football-less weekend now till February!
We shall get to an early-week look at some Saints and Cardinals News & Notes in just a moment in today's edition of Jim Sez but first this ultra-important reminder:
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers are gearing up for a big-time NFL Preseason run all summer long and we'll get you started with the Side & Totals Winners of this Sunday's Hall of Fame Game in Canton between the Saints versus the Cardinals.
Folks, it promises to be a very lucrative summer time of pigskin fun for Jim and his clients and so don't miss out on all the profits beginning this weekend. Sign up today and get all the discount rates from America's #1 Handicapper!
Make sure to check in with us on game days either right here online at or else at our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 for all the NFL Preseason Winners plus get all the daily and nightly Major-League Baseball winners too, where after sweeping with Washington and Cincinnati.on Sunday, the HIT & RUN CLUB record stands at 21-7 for 75% winers as of late!
The check-in times are anytime after 11 a.m. ET for the weekday Baseball Winners and after 1 p.m. ET for weeknight NFL and MLB action. Plus, remember to check in after 11 a.m. ET on Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays for all the Football and Baseball.
Now, here's some Hall of Fame Game quick-hitter goodies ...
NEW ORLEANS vs. ARIZONA - Sunday, 8 p.m. ET (NFL Network)
Maybe you happened to see the story this past Friday about the New Orleans Saints unveiling that larger-than-life picture of suspended head coach Sean Payton with the words DO YOUR JOB at the bottom of the poster.
Hey, no doubt that's more than just a little bit eerie considering Payton won't be part of the Saints family this year after that much-ballyhooed "Bounty Gate"that dominated NFL headlines - both from a news and sports perspective - but keep in mind off-kilter Saints owner Tom Benson thought up the X-large photo at the team facility and he also has enacted other ways to get Saints players thinking about their old-and-future head coach.
As it is, Payton will be replaced this preseason by interim head coach Joe Vitt who has his own six-game suspension to serve right at the very start of the upcoming 2012 NFL regular season and so things are a bit messy in Metairie but maybe having thee extra preseason game this summer will actually turn into an advantage for the Saints who - you must recall - didn't have a draft pick until the third-round selection of DT Akiem Hicks (Regina) and have more than a little bit of fine-tuning to do with a porous defense that last year allowed a whopping 41 touchdowns (not to mention 36 points in that NFC Wild Card loss at San Francisco back on January 14th).
Note that in 2011 the Saints finished 14-4 SU (straight-up) overall including a playoff split against Detroit and San Fran while the Saints registered a hearty 13-5 ATS (against the spread) log.
Meanwhile, Arizona's numbers last year looked like this: The Redbirds finished 8-8 SU and 8-7-1 against the odds a year ago and keep in mind ‘Zona surrendered 30-or-more points in consecutive games beginning with a Week 4 loss to the New York Giants but than the Cards held seven of their last nine foes to below 20 points and so there were some key defensive upgrades along the way. Look for the Arizona defense to be a team strength this year and no doubt the Cardinals' stop unit looked very good in the annual Red and White scrimmage game this past Saturday.
Arizona brings back all but one starter from the defense that wrapped up the 2011 campaign and S Kerry Rhodes - never one to shy away from a microphone - told assembled media members that "it's just part of being an intimidating force". Steady, Kerry!
Note that first-round draftee WR Michael Floyd has been a huge hit so far in Cardinals camp and he's already reminding some folks of that "other"Arizona WR Larry Fitzgerald.
MORE BASEBALL PRE-TRADE DEADLINE CHIT-CHAT
The clock continues to tick, tick, tick down on this year's MLB Trade Deadline and there are a batch of "name"players who could be getting shipped off their current rosters in the next 24 hours.
More than a couple of teams have gone from buyers-to-sellers since the recent MLB All-Star Game and here's some key names that could be moved:
The Cleveland Indians just were outscored 28-to-6 while getting swept three games in a row this past weekend in Minnesota and so the Tribe can forget about going after that right bat and instead unload an arm or two in exchange for some young talent and don't be surprised if RHP Justin Masterson (7-9, 4.47 ERA) gets a one-way ticket out of town with both Texas and the now-surging Los Angeles Dodgers both said to be interested. Might Cleveland sweeten the deal by adding veteran RHP Derek Lowe (8-9, 5.09 ERA) who might be a better fit with high-scoring Rangers than the Dodgers whom he once-upon-a-time pitched for ...
And the awful Colorado Rockies (37-63 following that weekend sweep by Cincinnati at Coors Field) will also "move"with a batch of players and won't it be interesting to see if stat-sheet stuffing CF Carlos Gonzalez gets moved for the right price? The Rockies All-Star leads the club with 20 HR, 70 RBI and he sports a nifty .329 batting average and you might see Colorado press the "send button"with Gonzalez with potential suitors including the Atlanta Braves and the AL's Detroit Tigers.
NOTE: Lots more NFL and NCAA Football all summer long right here in Jim Sez plus remember we'll have loads of NFL Preseason News & Notes throughout the month of August!