Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, August 19, 2015 at 11:14 AM
JIM SEZ: THE NFL PRESEASON ACTION ROLLS ON
HERE'S THE THURSDAY NITE MENU INCLUDING BILLS-BROWNS ON ESPN PLUS EARLY POINTSPREAD NEWS/NOTES
THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL UPDATE: DIGGING DEEPER INTO SOME OF THOSE SEASON-OPENING LAS VEGAS LINES
Okay, so in the interest of all you good folks who like to keep tabs on just how the NFL Preseason Betting Favorites fare, now hear this: Following the annual Hall of Fame Game and then a full week of preseason games, the NFL Betting Favorites so far this summer are a resounding 11-5 ATS (against the spread) with one pick 'em game tossed into the mix (see Washington 20, Cleveland 17) - not bad although we'll remind you that last year NFL Preseason Betting Favs were 9-6-1 ATS with one pick 'em game at this very stage and yet the chalk sides finished the Preseason at 27-32-4 with two pick 'ems for a wobbly .458 winning rate.
In terms of the early totals prices, note that "overs" own a slight 9-8 spread advantage against the "unders" thus far with Baltimore's 30-27 comeback win against New Orleans the highest-scoring game so far and Minnesota's 14-3 win against Pittsburgh in the aforementioned H.O.F. Game the lowest-scoring preseason game to date. Got it?
On Thursday, it's ...
DETROIT (1-0) at WASHINGTON (1-0) - 7:30 p.m. ET
The scoreboard last week said the Redskins won - it just didn't seem that way following last Thursday's 20-17 triumph at Cleveland as QB Robert Griffin III completed just 4-of-8 passes for 36 yards and WR Pierre Garcon dropped a would-be touchdown fling plus there was the gruesome season-ending ankle injury suffered by TE Niles Paul. One piece of good news from that 'Skins win: PK Kai Forbath nailed field goals of 52 and 33 yards. Meanwhile, Detroit rookie RB Ameer Abdullah cranked out 67 rushing yards in the 23-3 win/cover against the 4-point underdog New York Jets last Thursday night - Abdullah's shimmy-shake 45-yard run really turned heads in the first quarter and look for the Motowners to get him 8-to-10 carries here.
BUFFALO (0-1) at CLEVELAND (0-1) - 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Fun coaching matchup here as Buffalo's first-year boss Rex Ryan knocks heads with long-time defensive assistant Mike Pettine who last year coached up the Browns to a 7-9 SU (straight-up) and 9-7 ATS (against the spread) season. If Pettine wants to see anything constructive here, it's for his Browns to run the ball better after rushing for only 45 yards last week (QB Johnny Manziel was the team's top rusher with 14 yards on two carries). On the flip side, the Bills say one-time Baltimore Ravens' backup QB Tyrod Taylor will start this game - note that Taylor threw for 49 yards and rushed for another 47 yards in last week's 25-24 home loss to 2.5-point pup Carolina. Buffalo RB LeSean McCoy struggled to get in gear last week while rushing six times for just 16 yards and afterwards he talked about "knocking the rust" off his game. Meanwhile, Buffalo RB Bryce Brown was impressive last week with six carries for 52 yards and one score (a four-yard run).
Jim Hurley is really getting ready to flex his muscles - The 2015 NFL Preseason rock-n-rolls on this week with Week 2 action beginning on Thursday Night (see previews above) and then there's Two (2) games on the Friday Night card including Seattle at Kansas City plus the Eight (8) games on Saturday featuring New England at New Orleans and then there's Three (3) games on Sunday with St. Louis at Tennessee on Fox (8 p.m. ET) and then it all wraps up for the week on Monday Night as the Cincinnati Bengals are at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET.
The College Football campaign swings into high gear on Thursday, September 3rd with 41 games in all scheduled for that entire Labor Day weekend and it all begins with South Carolina versus North Carolina (from Charlotte) on ESPN at 6 p.m. ET on Sept. 3 plus the weekend card is terrific with such marquee matchups as Arizona State vs. Texas A&M, Texas at Notre Dame and Wisconsin vs. Alabama.
You definitely want to be in the winner's circle for all the big opening-week College Football tilts and remember there's action for five days in a row beginning Sept. 3rd and taking you right through that Labor Day evening bash between defending national champion Ohio State at Virginia Tech.
Hey, take note that Jim Hurley -- America's #1 Handicapper -- continues to bang out lots of winners in Major-League Baseball these days and all you need to do for all the Football/Baseball winners is check in either right here online or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 any time after 1 p.m. Eastern time for the weeknight action, after 11 a.m. ET for weekday games and after 10 a.m. ET for Saturday/Sunday/Holiday Winners and get all the Football & Baseball winners ... can't beat that, right?
The NFL Preseason, the start of the College Football campaign and then exciting Baseball action too - it's always a major money-making time of the year for the Jim Hurley Network so why not get in on all the fun-and-profits right now!
THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL UPDATE
Have you taken a long, hard look at the College Football Las Vegas Betting Lines for the opening week of play? Here's some observations ...
Thursday, Sept. 3
MICHIGAN at UTAH - Note this line moved from the Utes favored by 4.5 points to 6 points even though it marks a "revenge game" for the Big 10 team.
Last year Utah topped 2.5-point home fav Michigan 26-10 and so now the Jim Harbaugh-coached Wolverines have an extra chip on their shoulder pads here in the debut of this former San Francisco 49ers/Stanford Cardinal boss. Last year Michigan split four road dog spread verdicts as the maize-and-blue slipped under the price tags at 3-point favorite Rutgers and three-TD fav Ohio State. P.S., the 2014 Michigan team did cover two-of-three games when in the revenge mode while Utah is just 9-12 vig-wise as chalk sides the past four seasons. Still, the 1.5-point shift towards Utah could show the public is "not sold" on the talent that's on hand for Mr. Harbaugh.
Friday, Sept. 4
WASHINGTON at BOISE STATE - One of the more interesting season-opening price tags as the host Broncos are currently favored by 10.5 points. Consider this is long-time former Boise State boss Chris Petersen bringing a power conference team (see Pac-12) onto the blue turf here ... but there's major quarterback issues for the Huskies (could true freshman Jake Browning get the nod or is he headed for a redshirt season?) and there's no question that Boise State is a top 20-type team that could use a win here to catapult its way to a FBS playoff berth if everything fell right. Still, it appears a bloated price here - our knee-jerk reaction was Boise State should be approximately a 6 or 6.5-point home fav - and so let's see which way the number moves (if at all) in the coming days. Right now the Las Vegas folks are "begging" you to bet on Washington plus the double-digit number.
Saturday, Sept. 5
STANFORD at NORTHWESTERN - The visiting Cardinal is currently listed as a 12.5-point betting favorite (up a mere half-point from the opening line, you'll note) but what strikes us here are two things:
First, this is a 12 noon ET start meaning Stanford's really playing this one with its "body clocks" at 9 a.m. while the flip side is you wonder how Northwestern's collective heads will be in this game after the recent failure to "unionize" - a big story on that campus for the past several months. Still, initial feeling is this is a lot of points to lay with a west coast team playing in the Midwest - a slow start could sink Stanford but is N'western good enough to hold off a physical Card club for a full 60 minutes?
Monday, Sept. 7
OHIO STATE at VIRGINIA TECH - We all saw the price tag drop here from Buckeyes favored by 14 points down to 11 points right after it was announced that one-time Ohio State QB Braxton Miller would play this year at wide receiver ... but, then again, didn't this Big 10 team win it all last year with Miller sidelined with an injury? Note that Ohio State was a dead-even but vig-losing 5-5 against the odds last year whenever placed in the role of double-digit betting favorite but one of those "L's" was the early-season 35-21 home loss to 11-point pup Virginia Tech - the only loss on OSU's sked a year ago en route to the national title. In case you were wondering, V-Tech was a twin-figure underdog in a season-opening game just two years ago when three-TD fav Alabama bested the Hokies 35-10 inside the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
NOTE: More NFL Preseason Week 2 Previews plus College Football goodies too in the next edition of Jim Sez as we start to get you all the FBS conference-by-conference quick-hitter previews.