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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, September 10, 2015 at 9:04 AM


By Jim Hurley:

Contrary to what you might have thought, the New England Patriots were not the betting favorites to win it all last year - in fact, Seattle (+ 400) and Denver (+ 425) were the shortest-priced teams to "win it all" and if you cashed with the Pats at the +600 price (meaning you won $600 for every $100 wagered), then bully for you!

Now, we are mere hours and even minutes away from the start of this 2015 National Football League season and the good folks in Las Vegas have spoken: Right here/right now the Patriots are one of three teams listed at 15-to-2 (or, basically, + 750) to win Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara with the Green Bay Packers and the aforementioned Seahawks coming in with identical odds.

But, if you've been a regular reader of Jim Sez then you know we like to get some real "value" - whether it's on an individual football game or one of these so-called "future bets" -- and gotta wonder if there's really any "value" at all in grabbing the Patriots, Packers and/or Seahawks this time around.

If you haven't placed a "win it all" wager just yet, then consider three teams that we believe could be holding up the Vince Lombardi Trophy next February:

BALTIMORE (22-to-1) - Word to the wise here, don't ever "turn your back" on the Ravens when getting such a generous win it all price. The fact of the matter is eighth-year head coach John Harbaugh has won 82 regular-season games since arriving in crab-cake country back in 2008 and Baltimore's a heady 10-5 SU (straight-up) in post-season action - throw in the fact that QB Joe Flacco (3,986 yards passing with 27 TDs and 12 INTs last year) continues to be underappreciated by the media at large and there's always a shot the Ravens will be playing for all the marbles.

KANSAS CITY (40-to-1) - True, the Chiefs have not so much as won a playoff game since January 16, 1994 (see KC 28, Houston Oilers 20 in the short-lived Joe Montana Era) but third-year head coach Andy Reid and Company quietly have assembled a solid cast with a go-to star in RB Jamaal Charles (6,856 career rushing yards) and a defense that last year ranked second overall in scoring (17.6 ppg) in the whole league. Kansas City ends the year with three home games in its final four weeks of play and that always-rowdy Arrowhead Stadium crowd could be a real late-year boon.

NEW ORLEANS (45-to-1) - Last year you might recall the Saints were the late "hot side" to win it all as N'Orleans went from being 14-to-1 early on to just 6-to-1 (along with New England) right before they raised the curtain on the 2014 campaign. Obviously, we all know that didn't go so well for Sean Payton's squad that finished up 7-9 SU and lost four early-season games by three points or less. Now, the Saints - who had put up an "under construction" sign out front this off-season - zoom into this '15 season as a real under-the-radar club and laugh at us if you wish but we could see the "Who Dats" at 4-0 SU following the first month of play (at Arizona, home to Tampa Bay, at Carolina and home to Dallas).

Now, here's the entire list of NFL teams and their "odds to win it all":

Green Bay15-2
New England15-2
Indianapolis 9-1
Kansas City40-1
New Orleans45-1
San Diego50-1
NY Giants60-1
St. Louis70-1
San Francisco85-1
Tampa Bay100-1
NY Jets105-1

Jim Hurley is ready for a slam-bang football season! The NFL 2015 campaign finally swings into high gear tonight with the much-ballyhooed marquee matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers at the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and then it's a monstrous Week 1 card come Sunday/Monday - so make sure you're with Jim Hurley for all the NFL Week 1, NCAA Football and Major-League Baseball winners. Remember the NFL Week 1 afternoon card features Green Bay at Chicago, New Orleans at Arizona and Baltimore at Denver and the Sunday Night game is the New York Giants at the Dallas Cowboys plus there's the now-annual season-opening Week 1 Monday Night Football doubleheader too ... this week it's Philadelphia at Atlanta at 6:55 p.m. ET followed by Minnesota at San Francisco at 10:15 p.m. ET.

The college kids have their own slew of really big games this weekend including #7 Oregon at #5 Michigan State, #19 Oklahoma at #23 Tennessee ... and much more!And this is all you have to do: Check in right here online or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 any time after 1 p.m. ET for the Network's Sizzling September only $199 or the Highly Rated Blue Ribbon Football Club just $349, after 11 a.m. ET for all the weekday games and after 10 a.m. ET for Saturday/Sunday Winners.


Much is being made of the fact that this week's Associated Press Top 25 features 10 teams from the mighty Southeastern Conference but may we remind y'all that these teams combined to go a modest 5-3 against the odds last weekend with a "no play" on that Georgia win against UL-Monroe and with LSU getting washed out in its game against McNeese State.

Let's swing through the SEC Top 25 teams for a moment and "drop some knowledge" your way as we look towards Saturday's games:

#2 Alabama (1-0) - The Tide's a 7-TD betting favorite against Middle Tennessee State and note 'Bama is a collective 15-9 versus the vig as 21-por-more point favorites since the start of the 2011 season.

#6 Auburn (1-0) - Most neighborhood "candy stores" are not likely to carry War Eagle's game against Jacksonville State but take note Gus Malzahn's crew is now just 8-9 spreadwise as chalk sides since he arrived back in 2013.

#10 Georgia (1-0) - The price tag's steadily been climbing as the Dawgs are now a 20.5-point favorite at Vanderbilt and history tells us that Georgia's actually lost six of its last nine spread verdicts against Vandy (and that includes the Commodores going 4-2 ATS in last six games against UGa when taking a double-digit price).

#14 LSU (0-0) - As we said, it was rainout theater last weekend in Baton Rouge and so the Bengals will open 2015 play with a conference game at 4.5-point dog Mississippi State and this will mark the first time since 2007 that LSU's opening with an SEC foe (see LSU 45, Miss State 0 in '07). Still, worth noting LSU is just 10-13-1 spreadwise in all league encounters since the start of the 2012 campaign.

#16 Texas A&M (1-0) - Last week's 38-17 win against Arizona State (a close game till things snowballed in the final quarter) elevated the Aggies into the Top 25 after being one of those "others receiving votes" teams and now Kevin Sumlin's crew is laying 30 points (and growing!) to Ball State. We'll let you know that Texas A&M is just 5-11 ATS as betting favorites the past two-plus seasons.

#17 Ole Miss (1-0) - How about laying 43 points in a football game and you still cover by 30 points! The Rebels ran roughshod over Tennessee-Martin 76-3 last weekend behind Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly's nephew Chad and now Hugh Freeze's club is listed as a 29-point choice against visiting Fresno State. Kelly threw for two TDs and rushed for another score last week and here we'll find out if he's ready to snag the starting spot unopposed.

#18 Arkansas (1-0) - Hmm, the Hogs didn't climb the poll at all following last weekend's 48-13 win/cover versus 31.5-point pup UTEP and now Mr. Linemaker is asking Arkansas to cover a three-TD price here against visiting Toledo ... hey, the Razorbacks have notched spread wins in 10 of their last 12 games since early 2014.

#21 Missouri (1-0) - Not often that a potent SEC teams travels to Arkansas State for a non-league affair but that's the case this Saturday night and note Mizzou went from a 13-point fav to just 10.5 points in the last 24 hours.

#23 Tennessee (1-0) - Next-best game after Oregon vs. Michigan State this weekend is this Vols' home bash against Oklahoma (the Sooners are now 1-point betting favorites) ... and better be sure Butch Jones' crew is hearing lots about how Sooners' head coach Bob Stoops feels the SEC is still overrated. Last week's rain-interrupted 59-30 win/cover against Bowling Green was great for the orange crushers but now Volunteers are without DT Danny O'Brien (suspended for a rules violation).

#25 Miss State (1-0) - These Dawgs didn't "cash" en route to 34-16 SU win against 21-point pup Southern Miss but maybe having that game under their belts will help against aforementioned LSU. We shall see!

Note: Catch up with more NCAA Football and NFL Week 1 News & Notes in the next edition of Jim Sez.

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