Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, July 27, 2012 at 9:33 AM
Now that the NFL Training Camps are in full-speed ahead mode most of the league's first-round draft picks are "in the fold" but as of early evening/last night No. 5 overall pick Jacksonville WR Justin Blackmon (Oklahoma State), No. 8 overall selection Miami QB Ryan Tannehill (Texas A&M) and No. 20 pick Tennessee WR Kendall Wright (Baylor) were the lone holdouts as we approached the final weekend in July.
No doubt that the biggest name that inked on Thursday was Minnesota Vikings OT Matt Kalil (USC) who was tabbed with the No. 4 overall selection (after the Vikes had traded down one spot with the Cleveland Browns, remember) who is expected to protect the "blind side" of QB Christian Ponder for the next 10-to-12 years or so.
Kalil is considered a cornerstone player for a club coming off a dismal 3-13 SU (straight-up) season and his immediate insertion into the team's starting lineup means former LT Charlie Johnson will be switched to left guard as the Vikes hope to cut down on the 50-sack total of a year ago.
If Kalil is gonna get "schooled" by anyone in the pros, than maybe it'll be in drills by teammate DE Jared Allen who last year registered an eye-popping 22 quarterback sacks but even if this NFC North club figures to sport a rock-solid O-tackle for the next decade along with the aforementioned highly energetic Allen on "D", the Vikings have so much more work ahead of 'em this summer and one order of business is shoring up a pass defense that last year allowed 4,019 yards (or more than 250 aerial yards per game) -- and how about the fact Minnesota lost the time of possession stat by nearly three full minutes a game despite sporting a ground game that averaged a whopping 5.2 yards a carry -- hey, something doesn't compute there!
Note that from a pointspread-related slant, the 2011 Vikings finished 6-9-1 against the odds and that included a shoddy 1-4 spread mark when in the favorite's role and take a quick gander at the team's 2012 sked and you'll see that Minnesota figures to be betting favs in three of its first five games including the season-opening tilt at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers are gearing up for a big-time NFL Preseason run and we'll get you started with the Side & Totals Winners of this year's Hall of Fame Game in Canton - again, that's the Saints vs. the Cardinals - on Sunday, August 5th. It promises to be a lucrative summer time of pigskin fun for Jim and his clients and so don't miss out on all the profits - we'll be rollin' in the green with NFL Preseason Winners in less than three weeks time! So be sure to check in with us either right here online or else at our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 for all the upcoming College & NFL Winners plus get all the daily and nightly MLB winners too.
HERE'S MORE KEY COLLEGE FOOTBALL POINTSPREAD STATS
Hope you have enjoyed our "early-bird" pointspread peeks at many of the opening-week/weekend games in College Football in our recent edition of Jim Sez and now we'll continue on the ATS (against the spread) theme with some individual team highlights/lowlights ... now we take you from N-thru-Z in the alphabet:
NEBRASKA -The Cornhuskers have really shined in their on-the-board openers the past 10 years with Big Red a nifty 7-2-1 versus the vig although we must point out last year Nebraska failed to cover a bloated 38 ½-point price tag in a 40-7 win against Chattanooga. Hey, did you realize the 'Huskers split their eight pointspred verdicts in Big 10 play last year and that included covers against Michigan State, Penn State and Iowa (all bowl teams a year ago)?
OKLAHOMA STATE -Go back to the start of the 2010 season and you'll see the Okie State Cowboys are a collective 19-7 spreadwise (a .731 winning rate) but one "down" note is the 'Boys have covered just once in their last seven head-to-head showdowns with archrival Oklahoma and that occurred last year: OSU (- 2 ½) beat Oklahoma 44-10 ... or had you forgotten. Sooners Nation?
PITTSBURGH -Count the Panthers among one of the nation's better road sides the past five seasons as this soon-to-be ex-Big East team is a solid 18-10-2 against the odds away since the start of the 2007 campaign and that includes a split in four post-season bowl games (covers against North Carolina and Kentucky in 2009 and 2010 bowl tilts). Note that Pittsburgh has notched head-to-head spread wins against Louisville in each of the past five years.
SAN DIEGO STATE -The Aztecs failed to cover all three of their non-conference road/neutral games last year as SDSU didn't cover the 8 ½-point price in a 23-20 win at Army, lost 28-7 at 10-point fav Michigan; and finished up the year losing in the New Orleans Bowl as 5 ½-point pup UL-Lafayette snagged a 32-30 upset win.
SOUTH CAROLINA -Gotta hand it to the Gamecocks who have been a solid spread investment in SEC play ever since head coach Steve Spurrier showed up prior to the 2005 campaign. In fact, South Carolina is a collective 31-21-1 vig-wise in conference play and that .596 winning rate ain't half bad considering the high quality of play here. The Gamecocks also own a five-game ATS winning streak against rival Georgia.
TCU -Since 2005, you can't go wrong backing the Horned Frogs when in the underdog role as TCU's a healthy/wealthy 9-3-1 against the odds as pups and note that includes last year's shocking 36-35 upset win against 15 ½-point fav Boise State.
USC -The team that many folks claim will be #1 at year's end sure cashed in plenty last year with that 8-3-1 ATS log that featured upset wins at 9 ½-point favorite Notre Dame and 15-point fav Oregon but did you know that the Trojans are just 7-11-1 spreadwise at home the past three years?
VANDERBILT -Here's a strange-but-true factoid regarding the Vandy Commodores: They banged out a 7-and-oh spread mark at home last year after going a combined 2-10 vig-wise in their own back yard the prior two seasons ... yes, go figure!
WASHINGTON -Since the middle of 2010, the UW Huskies are 12-6 ATS overall but take note the Dawgs have failed to cover seven of their last eight games against Stanford and they're also a dismal 1-7 ATS in their last eight head-to-head tilts against Oregon.
WESTERN KENTUCKY -Maybe nobody noticed on a national level but the WKU Hilltoppers banged out a 10-2 ATS log last year with covers against "name" opponents such as Kentucky and LSU but did you realize the 'Toppers are a cumulative 16-5 against the Las Vegas prices while dating back to early in the 2010 season? Hey, that's a snazzy .762 winning rate over a 21-game span and so can someone out there give this Sun Belt Conference club a standing ovation?
NOTE: There is a whole lot more NFL and NCAA Football chatter all this weekend here at Jim Sez, so don't miss out as we get closer to the 2012 seasons!