Submitted by Jim Hurley on Tuesday, September 15, 2015 at 12:00 AM
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Okay, so what did we all learn from the NFL Week 1 card that “featured” nine home underdogs that went a collective 4-5 ATS (against the spread) with St. Louis, Buffalo, Atlanta and San Francisco all cranking out mild outright upset wins in their own backyards?
Well, one thing we learned is that despite all the offense that pervades the NFL these days – and all the penalties that seemingly aid/abet offenses (see more than a couple of phantom defensive pass interference penalties in Week 1 including that see-no-evil flag against the New York Giants’ CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie versus Dallas) -- the fact of the matter is some 14 teams in all scored 20 points or less in their season-opening games and, in case you were wondering, those 14 teams went a collective 4-10 against the Las Vegas price tags.
So, consider the 20-point mark something sacred for now – if your team doesn’t get there, you’re – still – probably not cover gonna the Las Vegas number.
Lots ahead on this NFL Week 2 menu and note – for now – there’s just one team (the St. Louis Rams) that’s a betting favorite off an aforementioned upset win and our motto for years here has been “be careful” when asking an NFL team to lay points off an outright upset win and we’ll have more to say about St. Louis (- 3.5) versus host Washington later in the week.
For now, let’s get right to the game that’s gonna kick off NFL Week 2 play …
On Thursday Nite, it’s …
DENVER (1-0) at KANSAS CITY (1-0) – 8:25 p.m. ET, CBS
Two major questions to ask here:
Numero uno, has Broncos’ QB Peyton Manning indeed “lost his fastball” after he threw for only 175 yards on 24-of-40 passing in last Sunday’s 19-13 home win/cover against Baltimore?
Manning had a sub-60 QB rating in that game (say what!) and our Jim Sez sources say he’s been throttled down a bit and it’s likely because he’s no longer effective on the deep throws – so watch here for the defensively-sound Chiefs to come up tighter to the line of scrimmage and make Manning earn his yards on those short-to-intermediate routes to his potential pass-catchers.
Secondly, do the Broncos here face tougher-than-you-think odds while playing this game on a “short week?
Okay, so we’ll try to answer that question by merely using recent stats as last season NFL Thursday Night road teams (including the three Thanksgiving Day/Night games) combined to go 9-8 against the spread and that does not include the 2014 NFL Kickoff Game between Green Bay at Seattle (a 36-16 win/cover by the 4.5-point favored Seahawks).
So, despite the hue-and-cry by national handicappers – and what do they know! – that road teams are at a distinct disadvantage on these so-called “short weeks” the numbers from a year ago simply don’t back that up as road sides actually covered 53 percent of the time.
The Chiefs’ QB Alex Smith (243 yards passing and three TDs in KC’s wire-to-wire 27-20 win at 1-point underdog Houston in Week 1) can count on a heavy-duty pass rush here after the Broncos registered just two sacks in last week’s win against the Ravens – so expect a heaping handful of screens/draws here with RB Jamaal Charles likely getting more than the 21 touches he had a week ago (16 rushes/5 receptions).
Spread Notes – Kansas City has failed to cover seven of its last 10 head-to-head showdowns against Denver while dating back to early in the 2010 campaign but overall the Chiefs are a tasty 14-8 ATS in their last 22 games. The Broncos, meanwhile, are 13-5-1 vig-wise in divisional games since the start of 2012 and note Denver’s a solid 20-14 spreadwise away the past four-plus seasons.
This just in …
Jim Hurley and his veteran Handicappers and Bloggers are all revved up for a monster showing in this 2015 NFL season – so make sure you’re banging out lots of winners this week/weekend by signing up for our Best Bets service just $199, (features and average of 2-3 games Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Thursday Night too.) as we start off NFL Week 2 play with this AFC West showdown pitting the Denver Broncos at the Kansas City Chiefs.
Remember the NFL Week 2 menu has a slew of great Sunday games including New England at Buffalo, San Diego at Cincinnati, Dallas at Philadelphia and the Sunday Night clash between the Seattle Seahawks at the Green Bay Packers.
The college kids are back on the gridiron come Thursday night too as #11 Clemson is at winless Louisville on ESPN. And note the Saturday card is full of big games listed below including a pair of double-ranked games from the still-mighty SEC.
Plus there’s lots to cash in too with Major-League Baseball as it heads down the final couple of weeks in this 2015 MLB Season with the AL Wild Card Game set for Tuesday, Oct. 6th and the NL Wild Card Game on tap for Wednesday, Oct. 7th.
Now, here’s what you gotta do:
Check with us right here online at www.jimhurley.com or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 any time after 1 p.m. Eastern time for weeknight action and after 10 a.m. ET for the Saturday and Sunday NFL. NCAA and MLB winners! You Can Get The Rest Of The Baseball Season Best Bets Plays Just $99, Including Post Season Too.
THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL REPORT
Okay, so it’s still a case of “cupcake city” for many FBS teams out there – this weekend’s card includes the likes of #1 Ohio State hosting Northern Illinois (+ 34.5), #3 TCU jostling with lowly SMU (+ 37) and #4 Michigan State facing off with Air Force (+ 26.5) and the gut feeling here is we’re probably not getting involved with any of those high-number shindigs.
Still, there’s plenty of show-me-the-money games on this mid-September docket and here’s a little sampling of what’s straight ahead:
On Thursday, it’s …
#11 CLEMSON (2-0) at LOUISVILLE (0-2) – 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
We saw one internet report that this game started off at pick ‘em but we never saw that price at all – we did see Clemson open as a 4.5-point road favorite here and it quickly (and we mean quickly) shot up to 6.5 points by Monday morning.
True, Clemson’s rolled over a couple of so-what teams in Wofford and Appalachian State by a combined score of 90-20 as QB Deshaun Watson threw for 248 yards and three TDs in last weekend’s 41-10 win/cover against 18.5-point pup App State but keep in mind the Tigers allowed 203 rushing yards in that tilt.
Louisville is expected to start soph QB Kyle Bolin and that means it would be three different starting quarterbacks in as many games to start the year … what exactly are you doing, Bobby Petrino?
On Friday, it’s …
#9 FLORIDA STATE (2-0) at BOSTON COLLEGE (2-0) – 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Hey BC, is playing Maine and Howard any way to prep for this ACC-opening tilt against mighty Florida State?
We say nay and now the host Eagles – an 8.5-point home dog at last glance – must corral hard-driving RB Dalvin Cook who bounded his way for 266 rushing yards with 3 TDs in last week’s 34-14 non-cover win against USF. Expect the eight-men-in-the-box look here but that could serve to unleash QB Everett Golson who’s already quietly thrown for 465 yards with 5 TDs and 0 INTs.
Note Florida State’s 2-10 versus the vig when laying a touchdown or more since late in the 2013 season.
On Saturday, it’s …
#18 AUBURN (2-0) at #13 LSU (1-0) – 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS
Note that the last time an Auburn team started a season at 0-3 ATS it was 2012 – and it also was then-head coach Gene Chizik’s final year with War Eagle.
Fast forward to this here-and-now 2015 campaign and Gus Malzahn’s crew has started off with back-to-back spread losses to Louisville and Jacksonville State and, by now, everyone knows about how Auburn needed OT to beat 41-point pup J-State … egads! At last look, LSU is a 7.5-point favorite for this SEC bash.
There’s major concern centering on Auburn QB Jeremy Johnson who’s already thrown 5 interceptions – will Malzahn bench ‘em here in Death Valley if he doesn’t get his act together? Hmmm.
Meanwhile, our Jim Sez insiders say LSU won’t veer off its game plan against Miss State (see LSU 21, MSU 19 last Saturday night) when star soph RB Leonard Fournette carried the ball 28 times for 159 yards with three TDs behind the rumbling blocks of star C Ethan Pocic who sported a career-high 16 “knockdown blocks”.
If the strategy includes Auburn jamming up the middle of the D-line, then downfield target WR Travin Dural (four catches against Miss State) could play a big play in this game.
Note that Auburn’s covered the last three consecutive head-to-head showdowns with archrival LSU.
#15 OLE MISS (2-0) at #2 ALABAMA (2-0) – 9:15 p.m. ET, ESPN
The number dropped immediately here with ‘Bama going from an 8-point choice down to 6 points and so maybe some folks are indeed “buying in” with Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly (557 yards passing with 6 TDs and 1 INT in lopsided wins/covers against Tennessee-Martin and Fresno State). The fact remains that the Rebels snapped a gazillion-year losing streak to Alabama with last year’s wild 23-17 win when Ole Miss overcame a 17-10 mid-fourth-quarter deficit.
No doubt ‘Bama RB Derrick Henry (243 yards rushing, a 7.8 ypc average and 6 TDs already) will be on everyone’s Heisman Trophy list this year but keep in mind in last year’s game against Ole Miss that Mr. Henry rushed the ball 17 times for only 37 yards.
Hey, let’s wrap things up today with a key spread fact: Ole Miss is a tasty 11-4 spreadwise as underdogs dating back to the start of the 2012 campaign.
NOTE: Get more NCAA and NFL Week 2 previews all this week right here at Jim Sez and Reminder there’s lots of Football Action and plenty of winners to wager on and we’ve got them. If you are a regular, you know you’ve been winning. If you haven’t as yet, gotten with us, sign up today for the Full College and NFL Season of Best Bets selections. Just $199.
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