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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, October 31, 2013 at 8:34 AM

THE WORLD SERIES FINAL REPORT – RED SOX ROUT CARDINALS 6-1 TO WRAP IT UP IN SIX BUT ST. LOO HAD ITS CHANCES, FOLKS … NFL WEEK 9 ACTION KICKS OFF THIS EVENING WITH THE 6-AND-2 BENGALS AT THE SKIDDING DOLPHINS

PLUS QUICKIE SNEAK PEEKS AT SUNDAY ACTION TOO … CHECK OUT OUR NCAA FOOTBALL PREVIEWS/FORECASTS FEATURING #7 MIAMI AT #3 FLORIDA STATE PLUS THE BATTLE OF MICHIGAN TOO!

By Jim Hurley

When they write the final words about the 2013 World Series we’re quite sure “Boston Strong” will find its way into the lead.

But maybe somebody ought to mention all the blown opportunities suffered by the St. Louis Cardinals. Egads!

The Red Sox’s six-game Series win was long on heroes from MVP David Ortiz (11-of-16 with two home runs, six RBI and eight walks including four of ‘em in last night’s 6-1 clinching win) to LHP Jon Lester’s two wins to that key and series turning point three-run dinger in Game 4 by LF Jonny Gomes, but be sure that one of the real reasons the Sox won the final three games in this Fall Classic was because the Cards left a proverbial small village of runners on base.

In Game 6 there were multiple opportunities for Mike Matheny’s club to bust out but instead the National League champions left nine runners aboard as the likes of 3B David Freese (3-of-19 and no RBI) came up small time after time. As we pointed out in our Game 6 preview in yesterday’s "Jim Sez", the Cardinals had to get some power and get their own three-run homers but instead St. Louis didn’t go yard at all at venerable Fenway Park and thus Matt Holliday’s two dingers were all they got from the power department this series … not nearly good enough.

So the 30-to-1 underdogs to win it all (yes, that was the spring training price tag for the Bosox) cashed in big-time and so it’s three crowns in 10 years – better than any other MLB franchise during this time span and so take that Yankees, Phillies, Dodgers and all you other big-money organizations.

Pass the chowder!

Hey, it’s on to this week’s football action and we get it kick-started with NFL Week 9 action. Tonight, it’s …

CINCINNATI (6-2) at MIAMI (3-4) – 8:25 p.m. ET, NFL Network

Was that the “real” Andy Dalton slinging five touchdown strikes last week in the 49-9 romp of the New York Jets – or should the Cincinnati Bengals believe Dalton will “come back to earth” here in this prime-time game?

No doubt Dalton was razor sharp in last week’s runaway win at home with four scoring strikes to WR Marvin Jones – don’t worry, fantasy league owners, A.J. Green remains Dalton’s top target – but a real key to this tilt in south Florida is whether the Bengals can get their ground game in gear as top rushers RBs Benjarvus Green-Ellis and rookie Gio Bernard each are averaging sub-4.0 yards per pop.

Spread Notes – Cincinnati is a rock-solid 5-2-1 ATS (against the spread) so far this year and the Bengals overall are 18-8-1 vig-wise in games against non-AFC North foes dating back to the start of the 2011 season. Meanwhile, Miami’s failed to cover its last four consecutive games after getting out of the chute 3-and-oh against the odds this year.

Network On a 7-2 NFL Thursday Run!
Won 6 of 7 including Panthers Last Week

 

9/5

Ravens (+7½) Broncos

Lost

27-49

 

Ravens/Broncos OVER 48.5

WON

27/49

9/12

Jets (+12) Patriots

WON

10-13

9/19

Chiefs (+3.5) Eagles

WON

26-16

9/26

49ers (-3) Rams

WON

35-11

10/3

Browns (-3.5) Bills

WON

37-24

10/10

Giants (+8) Bears

WON

21-27

10/17

Cardinals (+5.5) Seahawks

Lost

22-34

10/24

Panthers (-6.5) Buccaneers

WON

31-13

 Win Bengals-Dolphins + College TV Game of Week - $25... Click Here to Purchase

 

On Sunday in NFL Week 9 action, it’s …

KANSAS CITY (8-0) at BUFFALO (3-5) – 1 p.m. ET, CBS

The KayCee Chiefs already own road wins this year at Jacksonville, Philadelphia and Tennessee and Andy Reid’s club won those three away tilts by a per-game average margin of 15 ppg but for KC to keep up its winnin’ ways here then getting that sack-happy pass rush to track down whomever starts at quarterback for the Bills here is key:

Thad Lewis (sore ribs) is being called 50-50 here for Buffalo, and if he fails to play then Matt Flynn and/or Jeff Tuel will get the nod, but note the Bills have injuries all over on offense as RBs Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller are hurting and ditto for WR Stevie Johnson.

Look for the Chiefs – shooting to go 9-0 SU (straight-up) for the first time in 10 years – to feed do-it-all RB Jamaal Charles plenty here. Charles – who has rushed for 635 yards and 6 TDs – averages an NFL-best 127.3 yards from scrimmage this year and darn if we don’t see him making a big highlight reel play week-in and week-out.

Spread Notes – The KC Chiefs may be the league’s last unbeaten team but they’re just 5-3 against the Las Vegas numbers so far and overall this AFC West crew is 8-19-1 ATS as the chalk sides the past six-plus seasons.

PITTSBURGH (2-5) at NEW ENGLAND (6-2) – 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS

Does this truly represent the “last gasp” for the Pittsburgh Steelers?

It’s hard to believe but a loss here likely cements a second straight non-playoff year for Mike Tomlin’s crew and go ahead and choose what’s been this team’s biggest bugaboo:

A ground game that’s never gotten untracked and is ranked 30th in the league?

A defense that’s collected just 10 quarterback sacks this year (and note Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger’s already been sacked 26 times) and has forced a mere five turnovers including only one recovered fumble?

If the 6 ½-point road underdog Steelers wish to sport any shot of making the post-season, then they better protect Roethlisberger here and the veteran slinger must make some downfield “chunk play” passes to WRs Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders, who have combined for 15 pass plays of 20-or-more yards this year.

Yes, we’ll be keeping a close eye on that swollen right/throwing hand of Patriots QB Tom Brady, who these days operates only the NFL’s 23rd-best passing attack.

Spread Notes – New England is 4-3 spreadwise so far this 2013 season and the Patriots are a dead-even but vig-losing 21-21 ATS as favorites since the start of 2011. Note that Pittsburgh’s 2-5 ATS this year and a crummy 15-24-1 ATS overall the past two-plus seasons.

Note …

My handicappers and bloggers have everything all scoped out and you can get the NFL Week 9 Side & Totals winners beginning with tonight’s game between the Cincinnati Bengals at the Miami Dolphins when you check with us here at the blazing-hot Jim Hurley’s Network and then keep rollin’ in the green all week/weekend long with all the NCAA Football, the NFL and the NBA too!

There’s College Football this evening too with Four (4) games on the Thursday Night docket including

#25 Arizona State at Washington State (10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN) plus it’s South Florida at Houston, UL-Monroe at Troy and Rice at North Texas and there’s prime-time action on Friday too (see USC-Oregon State preview below).

Check with us on game days either here online or at 1-888-777-4155 – put a capper on this month of October and start November off with a bang!

NCAA FOOTBALL PREVIEWS/FORECASTS

Here’s some of what we’ll be tracking on Friday/Saturday with the college kids and note the rankings below refer to the current BCS Standings …

On Friday, it’s …

USC (5-3, 2-2 Pac-12) at OREGON STATE (6-2, 4-1 Pac-12) – 9 p.m. ET, espn2

We get it!

The Pac-12 game that everyone wants to see is next Thursday’s clash between Oregon at Stanford as that will be the king-of-the-hill battle in the conference’s top-heavy North Division but here’s a chance to check out an Oregon State squad that was a mere seven yards away (and a 2-point conversion too) from forcing OT against Stanford last Saturday night in Corvallis in what turned out to be a 20-12 loss.

Now, State QB Sean Mannion – sacked seven times in that clash – looks to get Oregon State back on the right track here against a banged-up and battered USC team … that’s one reason why this Las Vegas price tag rose from OSU minus a deuce to minus 5 points.

If USC’s defense – ranked 11th nationally – can get heat on Mannion (30 TDs, 3 INTs) then Southern Cal could put another feather in the coaching cap of interim boss Ed Orgeron who’s hoping those Boise State Chris Petersen-to-USC rumors ain’t entirely true.

Spread Notes – Oregon State is a break-even 4-4 versus the vig this season but did you know the Beavers have covered five of their last six head-to-head showdowns against USC dating back to 2004? The Men of Troy, meanwhile, are 3-5 against the odds this season and an ugly 6-15 ATS overall since the start of last season.

On Saturday, it’s …

#7 MIAMI (7-0, 3-0 ACC) at #3 FLORIDA STATE (7-0, 5-0 ACC) – 8 p.m. ET, ABC

The weekend’s biggest game also sports one of the weekend’s largest price tags – how ‘bout the fact that the mighty FSU Seminoles are a solid three-TD betting fav for this clash in Tallahassee?

Too tall of a number or might this Florida State team actually be the best club in the land?

If redshirt frosh QB Jameis Winston – who already has tossed 23 touchdowns – gets time to pick-and-choose his downfield receivers here then you could make a case for the ‘Noles scoring 40-plus points for an eighth consecutive time this season.

One X factor: Is Miami RB Duke Johnson at all “worn down” after last weekend’s 30-carry, 168-yard rushing performance in a 24-21 come-from-behind non-cover win against 26-point pup Wake Forest? Stay tuned.

Spread Notes – Florida State is a healthy 5-2 against the prices this season but the Sems are a not-so-sporty 16-23 ATS in ACC action since the start of 2009. Meanwhile, Miami is 4-3 ATS this year but coming off back-to-back spread setbacks versus North Carolina and Wake Forest and note the ‘Canes are 10-3 odds-wise as underdogs the past two-plus seasons.

#21 MICHIGAN (6-1, 2-1 Big 10) at #22 MICHIGAN STATE (7-1, 4-0 Big 10) – 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN

There’s a pair of question dogging the respective sides in this in-state battle at East Lansing:

Can Michigan finally figure out how to win a big road game in league play?

The maize-and-blue’s lost five times on the Big 10 road since head coach Brady Hoke took command back in 2011 (and that includes an ultra-painful 43-40 loss in four OTs at Penn State back on Oct. 12th)?

And can Michigan State’s top-ranked rush defense bottle up the likes of Michigan QB Devin Gardner and RB Fitz Toussaint here?

Note that Sparty has allowed a per-game rushing average of 55 yards and a per-pass passing yard average of only 160.6 ypg (third-best in the land) but truth is Mark Dantonio’s team has stacked up wins and some big-time defensive stats against some not-so-mighty-might teams this year.

Spread Notes – Michigan State is 4-3-1 ATS overall this season and note the Spartans have covered their last five consecutive head-to-head showdowns with archrival Michigan. Gotta toss in the fact that the Wolverines enter this tug-of-war at 4-3 ATS overall this season and 5-8-1 ATS away under third-year boss-man Hoke.

NOTE: There’s plenty more NCAA Football and NFL Week 9 Previews/Forecasts straight ahead in the next couple of editions of Jim Sez … so don’t dare miss out!

 

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