Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, November 8, 2014 at 12:01 PM
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT TEAMS IN THEIR POST-BYE GAMES
LET’S TALK ABOUT THE POTENTIAL STREAK-BUSTERS FOR NFL WEEK 10
THE NFL “FIRST-TIMERS”: THE BEARS, BRONCOS AND CHIEFS ALL MAKE THE LIST
It’s always fun - and a bit telling too - to discover what National Football League teams do in their first games back from their byes and so let’s share some of the Jim Sez know-how here:
So far in this here-and-now 2014 NFL season, teams are a rotten 5-9 ATS (against the spread) in their post-bye games for a shoddy .357 winning rate.
Wait a second ...Aren’t NFL teams supposed to benefit from the idle week, rest up and heal various bumps/bruises and even get a head-start on game-planning for its next opponent?
Sure, but the numbers - at least so far this year - don’t lie and they say that Arizona, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Miami, the New York Giants, Philadelphia, St. Louis, San Francisco and Tampa Bay all failed to cover the almighty Las Vegas pointspread in their respective post-bye games while Denver, Kansas City, New Orleans, Oakland and Seattle all cashed in their post-bye affairs.
Dig a little bit deeper and we’ll tell you the following:
NFL post-bye teams that are laying points this year are 2-5 versus the vig while teams grabbing points are a collective 3-4 against the odds ... so nobody’s a real bargain in post-bye action at this stage of the ’14 season.
Note that teams that have hosted their post-bye games are just 2-4 spreadwise while teams that travelled off the bye week are 3-5 odds-wise and so, again, all the key spread stat lines are showing it’s been better to go against post-bye teams than to go with ‘em - at least to this point in the season.
Naturally, we’ll be keeping close tabs on the six NFL teams that are playing in their post-bye games this Sunday - and that would be Atlanta, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay and Tennessee - and just for the heck of it we looked it up to see what this group did in post-bye games a year ago and wouldn’t you know it but these teams combined to go 5-1 ATS in post-bye games in 2013!
So stay tuned - and keep in mind that Chicago is at Green Bay come Sunday Night and so one bye team will cover while the other does not (save for a pointspread push, of course) while both Atlanta and Detroit are coming off their post-London then post-bye weeks here in games at Tampa Bay and home to Miami, respectively.
STREAK BUSTERS AHEAD?
Take a look at your NFL team-by-team/game-by-game logs and you’ll see there could be some streak-busting straight ahead ... here’s what we mean:
The Arizona Cardinals have covered four consecutive games but will the Redbirds be able to cover the 6.5 or 7-point home price against frisky St. Louis here in Week 10 action?
No doubt the Cardinals are hitting on all cylinders with QB Carson Palmer spreading the aerial wealth these days although it’s good to see veteran WR Larry Fitzgerald (35 receptions for 513 yards) having another Pro Bowl season - but will this red-hot ‘Zona team make it to a fifth consecutive spread cover - and that’s something this organization has not done since that dramatic Super Bowl run back in the 2008 season (the Cards covered their final five games that year including four consecutive post-season pointspread “W’s”).
Don’t look now but the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New Orleans Saints both enter their Week 10 tilts riding neat three-game ATS winning streaks:
The Steelers are a 4-point choice at MetLife Stadium against the 1-and-8 New York Jets but here comes a torrid QB Ben Roethlisberger who’s thrown 12 TD passes in the Steelers’ last two games and did you know that Pittsburgh WR Antonio Brown is just four yards short of a 1,000-yard receiving season already?
Let’s face it - he’s the best receiver in the NFL that gets next-to-n national publicity, right?
Just to clue you in: The Steelers have covered four in a row on three different occasions in the Mike Tomlin Era that began back in the 2007 season (they have never covered five in a row, however) but do the J-E-T-S have the spunk to stop this spread streak?
Hey, we don’t wish to be a wise guy here but one team blogger this week said the J-E-T-S stands for Just End The Season!
Meanwhile, the aforementioned Saints are up to a 5 ½- point (and climbing) home betting favorite for this Week 10 clash against stumbling San Francisco and if the Niners have true designs on stopping this Saints’ spread run then at least two things have to happen:
The San Fran offensive line must protect battered QB Colin Kaepernick (sacked eight times in last week’s controversial 13-10 home loss to St. Louis) and the special teams are gonna have to shine one week after Pro Bowl P Andy Lee terribly shanked a 29-yard punt that proved to be ultra-costly.
If San Fran can make Saints’ QB Drew Brees navigate 80-plus yard fields, then San Fran could be still standing at the finish line.
Hey, you do have to go back to 2011 to find the last time the Saints covered more than three consecutive games (see a whopping nine-game spread winning streak back then).
My handicappers and bloggers will have all the weekend winners and you can get NCAA Football, NFL Week 10 play and all the NBA/NCAA Basketball action when you check with us here at Jim Hurley’s Network at the toll-free # of 1-800-323-4453 or right here online. Hey, don’t forget there’s plenty of key College Football action on tap this weekend including Alabama at LSU, Baylor at Oklahoma, Ohio State at Michigan State and Notre Dame at Arizona State plus the NFL Week 10 marquee matchups feature San Francisco at New Orleans and the Sunday Nigheter between the Chicago Bears at the Green Bay Packers. Check in with us after 1 p.m. ET for weeknight action and after 10 a.m. ET for the Saturday/Sunday games.
THE NFL “FIRST-TIMERS”
Okay, so we touched on a couple of NCAA Football “first-timers” in our most recent Jim Sez column and now I’s the pros’ turn:
CHICAGO - Believe it or not, the Bears have not travelled to any of their fellow NFC North joints but this Sunday Night it’s a trip to iconic Lambeau Field and so we looked back and discovered the Bears actually have failed to cover the price tag the last five years when playing their first divisional road game of the year. Ugh!
DENVER - The Broncos are playing the third leg of a back-to-back-to-back road trip here and that’s not only the first time this has happened this season (of course) but Denver’s not had to play three straight road games since the 2010 season and back then the Broncos finalized the journey with a 39-28 loss at ... you got it - Oakland and that’s where Denver’s laying a rather hefty 10.5-point price come Sunday.
KANSAS CITY - Finally, the Chiefs are laying road points for the first time this year after going an electric 3-0-1 against the odds as road dogs the first nine weeks of play. Kansas City’s a modest 2-point choice at Buffalo and note the first time Andy Reid’s gang was laying road juice last year it wound up 28-2 winners at 3.5-point pup Jacksonville. In case you are wondering, the Bills have not been home dogs yet this year after going 5-1 ATS as home point-grabbers in 2013.
NOTE: Plenty of re-cap action from the weekend’s College Football and NFL Week 10 play plus a Monday Night Football previews as we check out the Carolina Panthers at the Philadelphia Eagles.