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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 9:19 AM




By Jim Hurley

As you may or may not be aware, this is the final weekend of “byes” in the National Football League for this 2013 season – Buffalo, Cincinnati, Philadelphia and Seattle will be idle this NFL Week 12 while both Dallas and St. Louis are comin’ off their bye weeks.

So, let’s do a little research here and see how NFL teams have fared ATS (against the spread) off their byes:

Guess your first reaction is that NFL teams more than likely have a pointspread advantage when coming off the bye what with the extra time to rest/rehab some aching bodies and the extra classroom/film study, too... but nooooo!

In fact, heading into this week’s play, NFL teams are a collective 11-15 ATS in their post-bye game this season – that’s a lowly .423 winning rate – and among the high-profile NFL teams that have not covered their post-bye games include Baltimore, Kansas City, New England, San Francisco and Washington.

Dig a little deeper and this is also what you discover when it comes to NFL teams in their post-bye games:

The post-bye teams that are at home are a composite 4-7 versus the vig while teams playing their post-bye game on the road are 7-8 spreadwise … hmm.

Finally, NFL post-bye teams that are in the betting favorite’s role are 7-8 against the odds, there’s been one pick ‘em game (see Detroit’s 21-19 hang-on-for-dear-life win at Chicago) and post-bye underdogs so far are a sickly 3-7 ATS … so much for thinking that grabbing points with a “rested team” is a good idea, right?

So, this week we have Dallas at the New York Giants in the Cowboys’ post-bye game (see our preview below) – they’re away and taking 2 ½ points at press time while St. Louis comes off its bye week with a home game against Chicago with the Rams a slight 1 ½-point fav at this very moment.

Now we’ll see if the ‘Boys and Rams can improve on this rather shoddy post-game spread marks – or will they be part of this 2013 post-bye losing trend.

Hey, it’s on to this week’s football action and so let’s get things kick-started in NFL Week 12 with tonight’s game from the Georgia Dome:

NEW ORLEANS (8-2) at ATLANTA (2-8) -- 8:25 p.m. ET, NFL Network

This 2013 NFL season sure swung in different directions for these NFC South clubs ever since the Saints pulled out that 23-17 triumph as 3 ½-point home favorites back in Week 1 play.

New Orleans’ goal-line stand in the waning seconds of that tilt – yes, we still believe Falcons RB Steven Jackson should have caught the QB Matt Ryan pass on that final ATL possession! – was the headline-maker in that one, and now we head into Week 12 with N’Orleans thinking about snagging the NFC’s No. 1 playoff seed while the Falcs might actually wind up with the numero uno pick in next spring’s NFL Draft.


In this prime-time bash, look for Saints QB Drew Brees – fresh off a 305-yard passing performance in a come-from-behind 23-20 win against 3-point pup San Francisco – to pick on this wobbly Falcons ‘ secondary right from the proverbial get-go …

Can you believe that last week Atlanta’s defense allowed Tampa Bay rookie QB Mike Glennon to complete 20-of-23 aerial attempts for 231 yards with two TDs and no INTs?

Heck, that turned out to be the second-most accurate passing game by any Tampa Bay slinger (see Vinny Testaverde’s 22-of-25 stat line against Green Bay back in Week 2 of the 1992 season).

If Atlanta has any hopes of an outright upset here, then the Falcons need a batch of sacks/hurries against Brees and so check out how DE Osi Umenyiora (team-leading 6 1/2 sacks) fares against a whole lot of double teams.

Spread Notes – New Orleans is a rock-solid 6-3-1 ATS so far this season and the Saints have covered five of their last six head-to-head showdown with the Falcons. Note that Atlanta’s 2-8 versus Mr. Vig this year and 3-7 ATS in its last 10 NFC South games.

Here’s the last handful of Saints vs. Falcons matchups while dating back to the start of the 2011 season (note all home teams are in CAPS below):

2013 NEW ORLEANS 3 ½ Atlanta NEW ORLEANS 23-17
2012 Atlanta - 1 ½ NEW ORLEANS NEW ORLEANS 31-27
2012 ATLANTA - 3 New Orleans ATLANTA 23-13
  ATLANTA - 1 New Orleans New Orleans 26-23
2011 NEW ORLEANS - 7 Atlanta NEW ORLEANS 45-16

On Sunday in NFL Week 12 divisional play, it’s …

SAN DIEGO (4-6) at KANSAS CITY (9-1) – 1 p.m. ET, CBS

The $64,000 question as it pertains to these KC Chiefs isn’t what did they “learn” from last Sunday night’s 27-17 loss at Denver – but rather will it have any immediate carryover effect here?

After all, the Chiefs have not come off a loss since last December and so this Andy Reid-led crew could be forgiven for feelin’ glum this past week.

One thing that KC should feel glum about is an offense that converted just 4-of-13 third-down plays last weekend (a major factor) and averaged only 4.4 yards per pass attempt as “game manager” QB Alex Smith completed fewer than half of his 45 passing tries.

Expect Smith to take a few more chances here against a San Diego pass defense that ranks a sickly 27th in the NFL in pass defense (allowing 275.5 ypg) and a top priority for the Chiefs should be getting the ball into the mitts of WR Dexter McCluster, who was generally a non-factor at Denver last week with five catches for only 53 yards.

Meanwhile, all you really need to know about this 2013 version of the SD Chargers is they sure find lots of ways not to win as rookie head coach Mike McCoy’s club now has lost games by 3, 3, 6, 8 and 4 points and it seems that the Bolts always find a way not to win late – last week’s chuck into the end zone by QB Philip Rivers-to-WR Vincent Brown was swatted aside on the game’s final play in the 20-16 loss at Miami.

P.S., this is San Diego’s sixth game in 12 weeks played outside the Western time zone. Ugh!

Spread Notes – Kansas City’s actually failed to cover three of its last four games after getting off to a rousing 5-1 ATS start this year while San Diego enters this divisional duel at 9-5-1 ATS overall as pups since late in the 2011 season.

DALLAS (5-5) at NEW YORK GIANTS (4-6) – 4:25 p.m. ET, Fox

Don’t pay any attention to that nonsense phrase by Giants DE Jason-Pierre Paul who earlier this week declared that “blood will be spilled” in this fierce NFC East rivalry game.

No doubt the comment has received plenty of play in the New York/New Jersey tabloids all week long, but if you really want to sift through the rhetoric and find a winner than try to figure out which Pierre-Paul will show up here.

The former Pro Bowler has not been a big factor for much of the time in 2013 – even with the Giants now the proud owners of a four-game SU (straight-up) winning streak – but if last week’s freaky pick six play in a 27-13 win against Green Bay signifies that Pierre-Paul and this Giants’ defensive line is “back” than Dallas QB Tony Romo has lots of reasons to fret.

The ‘Boys – who drew their bye last weekend – snagged a Week One win against NYG 36-31, thanks in large part to six Giants turnovers but note the Cowboys have scored 30-or-more points just once in their last four games (a 31-30 loss in Detroit last month) and this Dallas offense must shine here or else considering the physical state of this Cowboys defense.

One X-factor to watch for here:

The Giants’ three-headed wide receiving corps of Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle and Hakeem Nicks (a combined 15 catches for 197 yards against Green Bay last week) finally is getting into sync with QB Eli Manning, and so providing the Meadowlands wind doesn’t knock down too many aerials, this could be a stat-sheet stuffing affair for the Giants’ slinger who has suffered through his worst statistical year since his rookie season back in 2004.

Spread Notes – The NY Giants have notched four pointspread wins in their last five games after that rotten 0-5 ATS start but did you know the G-men are just 8-12-1 vig-wise in divisional games the past three-plus seasons? On the flip side, Dallas is 7-3 against the Las Vegas prices overall this year and the Cowboys are a robust 8-4 ATS as dogs since the start of the 2012 season.

Your attention, please …

My handicappers and bloggers have everything all scoped out and you can get the NFL Week 12 Side & Totals winners beginning with tonight’s game between the New Orleans Saints at the Atlanta Falcons when you check with us here at the red-hot Jim Hurley’s Network – make sure you’re all aboard for the week/weekend action including all the NCAA Football, the NFL Week 12 card, the NBA and NCAA Basketball too!

There’s College Football this evening too with a trio of TV games including Rutgers at #18 UCF (7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN), Rice at UAB at 7:30 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1 and UNLV at Air Force (9:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU) and remember there’s prime-time action on Friday night with Navy at San Jose State (9:30 p.m. ET kickoff on espn2) and that’s all before we even get to a jam-packed Saturday of great gridiron action!

Check with us on game days either here online or at our toll-free telephone # of 1-888-777-4155 – pile up the profits as we get set to close out the month of November!

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In NCAA Football action on Saturday, it’s …

#4 BAYLOR (9-0, 6-0 Big 12) at #10 OKLAHOMA STATE (9-1, 6-1 Big 12) – 8 p.m. ET, ABC

So what impresses you the most about the Baylor Bears?

Is it the team’s snazzy 13-game winning streak (and note they’ve cranked out a 12-1 spread mark during this time) … or is it the fact Baylor’s averaged a whopping 57.3 ppg during this winning streak, and that actually pales in comparison with the team’s 61.2 ppg average this year alone?

No doubt that Baylor’s depth has been a major strong point as last week’s 63-34 win/cover against 28-point pup Texas Tech was accomplished without two star running backs and the club’s best wide-out (that’s Tevin Reese), and yet still QB Bryce Petty had the Bears roar back from a 20-7 first-quarter deficit to rock-n-roll into the top spot in the current Big 12 standings.

Now, Petty and Company soar into Stillwater to play an Okie State team that’s really perked up following a somewhat uneven start to this season and Cowboys’ QB Clint Chelf – who rushed for two touchdowns and threw for two others in last week’s resounding 38-13 win at 3-point underdog Texas – must be able to move the chains with his legs again … or else!

Spread Notes – Baylor is 8-1 against the odds overall this year but trace back to the start of 2011 and you’ll see the Bears are a collective 25-8 ATS (and that’s a sizzling .758 winning rate). Meanwhile, Oklahoma State zips into this prime-time Big 12 affair riding a five-game spread winning streak and note the Cowboys are 23-10 ATS in league games (a snazzy .697 winning rate) since the start of the 2010 campaign.

NOTE: There’s plenty more NCAA Football and NFL Week 12 Previews/Forecasts straight ahead in the next couple of editions of Jim Sez … so don’t dare miss out as tomorrow we’ll check out the biggest/best College Football games on the Saturday docket including Texas A&M at LSU!


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