Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, September 25, 2015 at 11:50 AM
NFL WEEK 3 IS OFF AND WINGIN' AS GIANTS BOP THE 'SKINS 32-21 PLUS MORE NEWS/NOTES
COLLEGE FOOTBALL'S SATURDAY MENU: A LOOK AT THE 3-AND-OH SPREAD SIDES
By Jim Hurley:
Okay, so the New York (Football) Giants knew all about taking twin-digit leads into the fourth quarter early in this 2015 NFL season but last night they weren't gonna "get fooled again".
The Giants' 32-21 win/cover against the 3-point underdog Washington Redskins featured a third consecutive no-INT game for oft-scrutinized QB Eli Manning (see 23-of-32 for 279 yards with two TDs) but we hand out our plaudits to NFL Network studio analyst Steve Mariucci who nailed it on the head when -- moments after this NFC East game had been put to bed -- he claimed the Giants' rushing defense was the key.
Correct answer, "Mooch"!
The fact is the 'Skins entered this prime-time affair as the league's numero uno rushing attack but never did get jump-started as rookie sensation Matt Jones churned out just 39 rushing yards on 11 totes and fellow RB Alfred Morris kicked in just 19 yards rushing on six carries - okay, so one could make the case that Washington head coach Jay Gruden abandoned the ground game a tad early but the bottom line is the visitors didn't play with any real urgency until this game was out of reach.
Maybe some of the New York tabloids writers will be proven correct: Maybe Week 3 of this 2015 season will be much like the 2007 season when NYG was 0-2 out of the chute before besting the 'Skins and eventually going on to win the Super Bowl.
Maybe not. But at least the Jints won't be 0-6 to start the season as was the case two years ago. You can have your job for another week, Tom Coughlin!
Jim Hurley's Handicappers and Bloggers will continue to torch Las Vegas and the off-shore books with loads of NFL Week 3 and NCAA Football winners this weekend and that includes tonight's TV tilts featuring the college kids: It's Boise State at Virginia (8 p.m. ET on ESPN) and #21 Stanford at Oregon State (10 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1) before we ever get to Saturday's full slate of important games and then there's a meaty NFL Week card for Sunday including Cincinnati at Baltimore, Atlanta at Dallas and the Sunday Night showdown between Denver at Detroit and we'll wrap it up Monday Night with Kansas City at Green Bay. Check with the Jim Hurley Network right here online or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 after 1 p.m. ET on week days and any time after 10 a.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday. Plus get all our down-the-stretch Major-League Baseball winners too! The MLB Playoffs are just days two weeks away now with wild card games slated for Tuesday, Oct. 6 and Wednesday, Oct. 7.
Here's some more key NFL Week 3 News/Notes ...
Go ahead and raise your hand if you thought the NFL's top two rushers going into Week 3 play would be San Francisco's Carlos Hyde (211 yards) and Pittsburgh's fill-in starter DeAngelo Williams (204 yards rushing) - do you have 'em on your fantasy league teams? Didn't think so!
In any event, it's no secret that Williams - who's rushed the ball 41 times in the season-opening games against New England and San Francisco - is gonna have a whole lot of his carries decreased with the return of once-suspended RB Le'Veon Bell but the fact Williams ran for three scores in last week's 43-18 win against the 49ers means head coach Mike Tomlin still wants the veteran back to get some totes and we wouldn't be real surprised if Bell/Williams share the carries this Sunday in St. Louis ...
In case you hadn't noticed there were five NFL teams that opened up this here-and-now season with back-to-back home games and - interestingly enough - none of 'em were able to "hold serve" with a pair of SU (straight-up) wins:
Buffalo managed a split after getting beaten by New England last Sunday; Chicago lost both of its home games to start off this current campaign; Jacksonville rebounded from its Week One loss to Carolina to snag a Week 2 home triumph over Miami; Oakland also copped a Week 2 home win against Baltimore after losing the home opener to Cincinnati; and Washington also went that route with a Week 2 win against St. Louis following a Week One home loss to Miami.
Note that this quintet of teams that had back-to-back season-opening home games wound up going 4-6 ATS (against the spread) but did we tell you that all NFL home teams are now 19-13-1 vig-wise following last night's Giants' win/cover at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford.
THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL REPORT
Folks, there's an even dozen College Football teams with perfect 3-0 ATS marks so far this year that are in action this final Saturday in September. This is what many of them have straight ahead on tomorrow's busy card:
#22 BYU - Three cheers for Cougars bunch that's challenged the toughest sked in the land so far as Bronco Mendenhall's crew beat host Nebraska on a Hail Mary, topped small fav Boise State and easily slipped under the price tag in last week's tough-to-swallow 24-23 loss to 16.5-point fav UCLA ... and now here's a third road game in four weeks comin' up at "The Big House." The nationally-ranked Coogs continue to ride backup-turned-starting QB Tanner Mangum (see sizzling 136.0 QB Rating) but whether BYU covers here or not likely depends on Michigan QB Jake Rudoch who has already thrown five INTs this year.
N.C. STATE - Gee, two years ago Wolf Pack fans wanted to bounce head coach Dave Doeren ASAP but here he is leading a team to a 3-0 SU and 3-0 ATS start thanks in large part to a veteran/stingy defense that right now ranks 11th nationally in pass defense (207.3 ypg) and fifth nationally in rush defense (51 ypg). Toss into the fact the Pack's covered all three games so far as twin-figure favorites and now it's "business as usual" as State's a 17-point road fav at South Alabama.
#17 NORTHWESTERN - Forgive the fans at this Big 10 school for being so darn giddy this month. After all, the Wildcats - coming off back-to-back 5-7 SU seasons - are off to a grand 3-and-oh SU/ATS start and no doubt Pat Fitzgerald's club has won the round-robin bit with the other "smart schools" as N'western has beaten 10-point fav Stanford and 3.5-point favorite Duke and now we see how the Wildcats handle being a three-TD favorite against Ball State.
#3 OLE MISS - If you think the Rebels' sizzling 3-and-oh spread start this year is something to behold, what about last year? Hugh Freeze's crew - remember - covered its first seven consecutive games before losing out to LSU but now here's Ole Miss as a hefty 24.5-point betting favorite against Vanderbilt one week after stunning 7.5-point home fav Alabama and you might be inclined to say Whoa, Nellie in your best Keith Jackson voice. The Rebs scored 3 points in last year's Peach Bowl loss to TCU; they've scored 192 points in their first three games in 2015.
RICE - The Owls make their bones with the country's 11th-ranked ground game (273 ypg) but there's a major challenge this weekend as the "Krispies" are playing a third consecutive road game and this one's at 5-TD betting favorite Baylor. P.S., Rice has failed to cover its last three straight games against Baylor since 2007.
Note that Air Force (3-0 ATS) is idle this weekend and plays at service academy rival Navy next week.
Editor's Note: Lots of NFL Week 3 goodies/previews in tomorrow's edition of Jim Sez - we'll let you know what Jim Hurley's Network folks are seeing/hearing as we gear up for another big football weekend.