Vegas Sports Masters Blog
Back to Blog Home…

Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, November 29, 2013 at 9:20 AM

NETWORK goes 3-1 to open Turkey Shoot Weekend! Raiders (+8½) get the cover against the Cowboys, 31-24 while going over the total of 47, and the Packers/Lions game goes over 48.5 as the Lions win, 40-10! If you missed these winners yesterday, it's not too late to take advantage of the rest of the Turkey Shoot Weekend!

 

OUR NFL WEEK 13 THANKSGIVING DAY WRAP-UP –

THE LIONS, ‘BOYS & RAVENS ALL SNAG TURKEY DAY WINS BUT ONLY ONE HOST TEAM GETS THE LOOT! … THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL HOLIDAY WEEKEND REPORT – WE PREVIEW THE MONSTROUS IRON BOWL MATCHUP BETWEEN #1 ALABAMA AT #4 AUBURN PLUS IT’S #21 TEXAS A&M AT #5 MIZZOU AND #24 DUKE AT NORTH CAROLINA... PLUS NFL DIVISIONAL PREVIEWS

By Jim Hurley

On Thanksgiving Day 2013 the three NFL home teams all won their games SU (straight-up) – but only one of ‘em (see the 6 ½-point favorite Detroit Lions 40, the Green Bay Packers 10) covered the almighty Las Vegas pointspread, and it’s not likely that bettors of the Dallas Cowboys and the Baltimore Ravens were exactly in a cheery mood on this “Black Friday” morning.

True, the ‘Boys charged all the way back from a 21-7 first-half deficit to snare a 31-24 non-cover win against 9-point underdog Oakland, but when the Raiders’ Sebastian Janikowski boomed a 45-yard field goal with :45 left, it’s possible the cranberry sauce you ate earlier didn’t go down just right.

At night time, there were the Ravens seemingly covering the 3-point price tag all game long till Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger coaxed the Steelers down the field on a 13-play, 79-yard touchdown drive that had more twists and turns inside the Baltimore two-yard line than you could ever had imagined. The fact that the two-point conversion pass thrown by Roethlisberger was dropped in the end zone by WR Emmanuel Sanders (an eminently catchable ball) really drove Baltimore bettors loony, but that’s how it goes sometimes.

What was wild about the Ravens’ 22-20 win was the fact neither team committed a turnover despite the hard-hitting nature of this AFC North contest – but note a handful of Steelers were injured all in the game’s final few plays – and the Ravens listened to QB Joe Flacco and didn’t run the “wildcat” offense and last year’s Super Bowl MVP rewarded ‘em by converting 10-of-17 third-down plays while throwing for 251 yards and one score.

Now it’s the Ravens (6-6) who’ve taken temporary hold of that sixth playoff spot in the AFC and it’s the Steelers (5-7) who likely are saying bye-bye to any/all post-season hopes … and next time get off the field on a “live play”, coach Mike Tomlin!

How the officials didn’t flag him for that maneuver that slowed down kick return specialist Jacoby Jones is beyond us!

Extra, extra …

My handicappers and bloggers are in the holiday spirit and so we’ll be winning the 29th Annual Jim Hurley Turkey Shoot all weekend long and so that means lots of winners in NCAA Football, NFL Week 13 action plus on the hardwood too with the NBA and NCAA Hoops.

Don’t get left out in the cold – win all week and cash in big with both Football and Basketball when you check with us here at Jim Hurley’s Network either here online at www.vegassportsmasters.com or at our toll-free telephone # of 1-888-777-4155.

Check with us Friday morning after 10 a.m. ET as there are a whopping 16 College Football games plus a ton of hoops action on this day-after-Thanksgiving menu and then be back with us after 10 a.m. ET on Saturday/Sunday for more Turkey Shoot Winners … okay?

Here’s what we’ll be watching on this Thanksgiving Day weekend.

On Friday, it's ...

ARKANSAS (3-8, 0-7 SEC) at #17 LSU (8-3, 4-3 SEC) - 2:30 p.m. ET, CBS
You saw that right - the LSU Tigers are a whopping 25-point betting favorite for this annual day-after-Thanksgiving tilt against archrival Arkansas which staggers into this one on an eight-game losing skid.

The storyline here for LSU is the Bengals are still in the hunt for a fourth consecutive double-digit win season and there are a slew of January 1st bowl games that would like 'em part of their game but will QB Zach Mettenberger (2,926 yards passing with 22 TDs and 7 INTs) and Company be mentally sharp after going full-tilt to beat Texas A&M last weekend?

Spread Note - Believe it or not, LSU is a wobbly 1-5 against the odds in its last seven hoedowns against the Hogs.


OREGON STATE (6-5, 4-4 Pac-12) at #13 OREGON (9-2, 6-2 Pac-12) - 7 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1

Let's just say the Oregon Ducks didn't endear themselves to a lot of folks in the college football world last week with those negative comments regarding the Rose Bowl followed by the ugly 42-16 loss at three-TD dog Arizona - but all rookie head coach Mark Helfrich's team can do now is right the ship and try to get QB Marcus Mariota straightened away as the one-time Heisman Trophy candidate has looked lost in recent losses to Stanford and 'Zona.

No Rose Bowl berth or any sort of national championship implications on the line here and who knew that Oregon State - losers of five in a row in this series - would be trying to salvage its season too after a heady 6-1 SU start? The stats these days for State QB Sean Mannion read 34 TDs and 13 INTs and he's thrown a slew of picks during his team's current four-game SU losing streak.

Spread Note - Since 2003, the Oregon Ducks are 7-3 ATS in their Civil War showdowns against Oregon State.

ARKANSAS (3-8, 0-7 SEC) at #17 LSU (8-3, 4-3 SEC) - 2:30 p.m. ET, CBS
You saw that right - the LSU Tigers are a whopping 25-point betting favorite for this annual day-after-Thanksgiving tilt against archrival Arkansas which staggers into this one on an eight-game losing skid.

The storyline here for LSU is the Bengals are still in the hunt for a fourth consecutive double-digit win season and there are a slew of January 1st bowl games that would like 'em part of their game but will QB Zach Mettenberger (2,926 yards passing with 22 TDs and 7 INTs) and Company be mentally sharp after going full-tilt to beat Texas A&M last weekend?

Spread Note - Believe it or not, LSU is a wobbly 1-5 against the odds in its last seven hoedowns against the Hogs.


OREGON STATE (6-5, 4-4 Pac-12) at #13 OREGON (9-2, 6-2 Pac-12) - 7 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1

Let's just say the Oregon Ducks didn't endear themselves to a lot of folks in the college football world last week with those negative comments regarding the Rose Bowl followed by the ugly 42-16 loss at three-TD dog Arizona - but all rookie head coach Mark Helfrich's team can do now is right the ship and try to get QB Marcus Mariota straightened away as the one-time Heisman Trophy candidate has looked lost in recent losses to Stanford and 'Zona.

No Rose Bowl berth or any sort of national championship implications on the line here and who knew that Oregon State - losers of five in a row in this series - would be trying to salvage its season too after a heady 6-1 SU start? The stats these days for State QB Sean Mannion read 34 TDs and 13 INTs and he's thrown a slew of picks during his team's current four-game SU losing streak.

Spread Note - Since 2003, the Oregon Ducks are 7-3 ATS in their Civil War showdowns against Oregon State.

On Saturday's, it's:

#1 ALABAMA (11-0, 7-0 SEC) at #4 AUBURN (10-1, 6-1 SEC) – 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS

Hey, nobody’s gonna put up an argument when it comes to the thought that this is the “biggest/best” Iron Bowl matchup of ‘em all as a third consecutive national title opportunity stands in Alabama’s way and – yes – there are plenty of folks that believe Auburn can hop-scotch either Florida State or Ohio State in the BCS Standings if War Eagle can win here (we don’t subscribe to that theory but if Auburn wins this game by 21 points or so we could change our tune!).

The strategy here is simple for a Crimson Tide team that’s allowed just 50 points to be scored on ‘em the past nine games (ever since that wild 49-42 non-win at Texas A&M back on Sept. 14th):

Keep everything that Auburn does on offense “in front of” the Alabama defense and see if the Tigers can rattle the country’s fourth-ranked rush defense (allowing 91.3 ypg) and so Auburn QB Nick Marshall remains the key, and expect ‘Bama to “spy” on him for much/all of this SEC affair. If Marshall (823 yards rushing and 9 ground scores this year) can average five yards a pop running it, then he might be able to sneak a couple of downfield chucks against a somewhat suspect Alabama secondary.

On the flip side, Alabama’s senior quarterback AJ McCarron – obviously no stranger to big-stage games – probably will take a few downfield chances here early in the game in an attempt to loosen up an Auburn defense that’s allowed 38, 41 and 35 points to be scored in other high-profile conference game matchups against Georgia, Texas A&M and LSU.

McCarron (2,399 yards passing with 23 TDs) figures to target WR Kevin Norwood (33 catches and 6 TDs) plenty here, but the power running game will be key:

If you’re searching for some important number, than look for Alabama to rush the ball 35-plus times – that’s about the per-game rushing attempts this 2013 Tide team sports and many of them will be simply to keep Auburn’s offense on the sidelines … yes, the time-of-possession state does matter here.

Finally, Alabama head coach Nick Saban thrives in these high-pressure games and just so you know, Saban’s Alabama teams have won at Texas A&M, at Missouri and at LSU in the past two years – this next-door-neighbor trip won’t scare ‘em but remember it’s Auburn playing with “house money” here.

Spread Notes – Alabama is a nifty 7-3 ATS (against the spread) this year and note the Crimson Tide’s 17-8 versus the vig in all SEC affairs since the start of the 2011 campaign. On the flip side, Auburn enters this Iron Bowl riding an eight-game spread winning streak and the Tigers are a solid 5-3 ATS against ‘Bama the past eight years.

On Saturday, it’s …

#3 OHIO STATE (11-0, 7-0 Big 10) at MICHIGAN (7-4, 3-4 Big 10) – 12 p.m. ET, ABC

The Ohio State Buckeyes have not given up the hope for playing for a BCS crown this year – yes, Urban Meyer’s crew (averaging 55.3 ppg in its last four outings) have become big Auburn Tigers fans this holiday weekend but first things first and that means dispatching erratic Michigan inside the famed “Big House” and for that Buckeyes’ RB Carlos Hyde must keep up the beat that’s seen him rush for 938 yards (or 8.1 ypc) and 14 TDs in his last six games.

Hey, Ohio State’s handed the Wolverines some major beatings in recent years – see 37-7 back in 2010 and 42-7 in the 2008 season – so this two-TD road favorite’s price may not be out of whack especially if the Michigan O-line can’t protect QB Devin Gardner, who has been sacked a gazillion times this year.

Can Gardner move-and-juke his way around this Buckeyes defense to make some big pass plays downfield and can a Michigan rushing attack that ranks 100th nationally (just 128.8 ypg this year) come alive … or this game headed for another Ohio State blowout as Meyer’s guys have won eight games by 18-or-more points.

Spread Notes – Ohio State has hardly been the money-maker you might think this year as the Buckeyes are a modest 6-5 ATS so far and they’re 13-10 spreadwise in the Meyer Era (not quite as good as you thought, right?). Note Ohio State’s 7-1-1 spreadwise in its last nine head-to-head showdowns against the maize-and-blue. Meanwhile, despite the angst of this current campaign the Michigan Wolverines still are 6-5 against the odds and that includes underdog covers the past two weeks at Northwestern and at Iowa.

#2 FLORIDA STATE (11-0, 8-0 ACC) at FLORIDA (4-7, 3-5 SEC) – 12 p.m. ET, CBS

Let’s say things are playing out like a three-part theatre act in/around Tallahassee these days:

There’s the pursuit of the first national championship since 1999 for these here-and-now Florida State Seminoles;

There’s the quest to win this year’s Heisman Trophy for now-runaway leader QB Jameis Winston;

And then there’s the legal issues involving Winston that may or may not kayo him for whatever bowl game the ‘Noles play in this year... to say nothing of his pending status as a free man.

Now, let’s throw another log on the fire and bring up the fact that underachieving – but still arch-rival – Florida serves here as a four-TD home underdog, and Florida State could be in for a tougher fit than imagined with under-siege Gators head coach Will Muschamp likely leaving no stone unturned here.

If Winston and mates can gallop out to their usual quicksilver start, then the not-so-mighty Gators will be left in the dust and keep in mind that FSU has scored 607 points this year and has exceeded the 40-point mark in 11 consecutive games. Not only has Winston thrown for 3,163 yards with 32 TDs and 7 INTs, but this State defense leads the country with 23 interceptions.

Spread Notes – Florida State is an electric 9-2 versus the vig this season and the Seminoles have covered three-of-four road games after going a dismal 1-6 ATS away in 2012. Note that Florida is an ugly 4-7 against the Las Vegas price tags this season and that makes the Gators 16-19 ATS in the Muschamp Era. P.S., the betting favorite has covered seven of the last 10 games in this Sunshine State series.

#21 TEXAS A&M (8-3, 4-3 SEC) at #5 MISSOURI (10-1, 6-1 SEC) – 7:45 p.m. ET, ESPN

Hey, Mizzou … win and you’re in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta next week.

Now who thought anyone would be saying that come Thanksgiving weekend after the Tigers slumbered through a 5-7 SU, and then again who ever thought that Texas A&M would be the “other team” here?

Now that QB Johnny Manziel’s repeat shot at the Heisman Trophy pretty much has been blown to pieces after his shaky showing at LSU last week, you do have to wonder if the Aggies can play the spoiler role here against a Missouri team that ranks 17th nationally in total offense and 13th nationally in rush defense – if the Tigers’ defense steps up to the plate here, then Manziel’s in a world of trouble as the Tigers’ stop unit leads the SEC with 35 sacks and 18 INTs plus return-to-healthy QB James Franklin sure made all the right decisions in last weekend’s 24-10 triumph at 2 ½-point pup Ole Miss.

Spread Note – Missouri is an electric 9-2 vig-wise this year (and that includes three separate three-game ATS winning streaks) but the Tigers have failed to cover five of their last six regular-season finales. Texas A&M – coming off back-to-back pointspread losses against Miss State and LSU – are 5-6 odds-wise this season and that includes a shabby 0-3 ATS road mark. Ouch!

#24 DUKE (9-2, 5-2 ACC) at NORTH CAROLINA (6-5, 4-3 ACC) – 12 p.m. ET, espn2

Now wouldn’t it be something if the Duke Blue Devils were the team that was the “fly in the ointment” when it came to this year’s BCS Championship battle?

After all, a Duke win here and David Cutcliffe’s club will be heading straight to next weekend’s ACC Championship Game in Charlotte against second-ranked Florida State but first things first here and so let’s see if the Devils can neatly utilize their two-QB system starring Anthony Boone (1,421 yards passing and 8 TDs) and Brandon Connette (1,210 yards and 13 TDs) that’s been so prolific for the better part of this seven-game winning streak.

Hey, North Carolina comes into this Tobacco Road clash having won its last five in a row and QB Marquise Williams – who threw five TDs in last week’s 80-20 win against Old Dominion – has become the gem of the season for a Tar Heels bunch left for dead weeks ago.

Spread Note – Duke has reeled off six consecutive pointspread “W’s” since mid-October and the Blue Devils are 9-2 ATS overall this year after going 0-5 ATS to finish off the 2012 season. Meanwhile, North Carolina’s been no spread slouch lately either as the Tar Heels are 6-0 vig-wise since the middle of last month and did you know UNC’s 9-3 ATS at home since the start of last season?

In Sunday NFL Divisional action, it's...

In NFL Week 13 divisional play, it’s …

DENVER (9-2) at KANSAS CITY (9-2) – 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS

For the very first time this year BOTH the Broncos and Chiefs are comin’ off a loss, but the $64,000 question is just how does Denver respond after blowing that 24-0 lead in a 34-31 OT loss at New England last Sunday night?

Maybe what’s most disturbing about that game for the Broncos is they rushed for a whopping 280 yards (or 5.8 ypg), lost, and may not have a healthy RB Knowshon Moreno after he ran for 224 yards against the Pats. Ugh!

No doubt the KayCee Chiefs had their own bit of soul-searching to do following last weekend’s bitter back-and-forth 41-38 home loss versus San Diego, but what gives here with a defense that didn’t force a single SD turnover, and now will be without pass-rushing LB Justin Houston (dislocated elbow) and could be without LB Tamba Hali (ankle sprain).

The Chiefs allowed 31 second-half points to the Chargers last week after both difference-makers were sidelined, and so forgive Denver QB Peyton Manning for salivating a bit here.

Two quickie notes on the Broncos:

*Their pass defense ranks a shoddy 29th in the league while yielding 283.2 ypg – Kansas City slinger Alex Smith should get to try out at least a half-dozen long flings to WRs Dwayne Bowe and friends here – and acting head coach Jack Del Rio is starting to feel the heat of stepping in for the sidelined John Fox.

Might Del Rio and Company (see offensive coordinator Adam Gase) get a bit “too conservative” here?

Spread Notes – Denver is 6-4 against the odds so far this season, and the Broncos have covered six-of-nine AFC West duels since the start of last year. On the flip side, Kansas City’s now dropped four of its last five spread verdicts after a tasty 5-1 ATS (against the spread) start. Note that the Chiefs are 6-11 spreadwise as underdogs since the start of 2012.

TAMPA BAY (3-8) at CAROLINA (8-3) – 1 p.m. ET, Fox

You have to go all the way back to October 6th to find the last time the Carolina Panthers tasted defeat – and if QB Cam Newton and mates are gonna tack on to this NFL-best seven-game SU (straight-up) winning streak, then getting major pressure on rookie QB Mike Glennon is key here.

Hey, the former N.C. State star threw for 247 yards and a pair of touchdown strikes to WR Tiquan Underwood in last Sunday’s 24-21 comeback win against 7-point fav Detroit, and it’s worth noting the Lions did sack Glennon four times – look for some off-the-corner blitzes of Glennon here and maybe a “pick six” or two for the home team.

The Panthers are allowing just 13.3 ppg during this aforementioned win streak, while Tampa Bay’s scored a grand total of 87 points during its current three-game win streak. Note that Carolina won the first meeting this year 31-13 as 7-point road favs back in Week 8 play.

Spread Notes – Carolina has notched spread wins in six of its seven SU (straight-up) wins since mid-October, and did you know the Panthers are 6-2 ATS in divisional games since the start of last year? Meanwhile, Tampa Bay rolls into this NFC South clash riding a four-game spread winning streak, and the Bucs are a collective 18-13 ATS in divisional road games the past 10-plus seasons.

NOTE: There’s NFL Week 13 Previews/Forecasts in tomorrow’s Jim Sez including Arizona at Philadelphia, Cincinnati at San Diego and more!

 

Join the discussion

Login

Forgot password

Register
Keep me logged in
Ok