Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, October 3, 2015 at 2:23 PM
NFL WEEK 4 PREVIEWS INCLUDES PANTHERS-BUCS, RAMS-CARDINALS AND COWBOYS-SAINTS ...PLUS KEY POINTSPREAD GOODIES
Let's get busy as we look at Sunday's NFL 4 tilts ...
CAROLINA (3-0) at TAMPA BAY (1-2) - 1 p.m. ET, Fox
The good news is the Carolina Panthers are off to their best single-season start in 12 years - that was the 2003 season when this franchise made it to its one-and-only Super Bowl - but the bad news for head coach Ron Rivera's squad is that star LB (and tackling machine) Luke Kuechly remains a major question mark with concussion issues that seemingly have lasted longer than anyone originally thought. If the Panthers - who still sport the NFL's fourth-best rushing defense - catch any sort of break here while likely playing at least one more game without Kuechley it's that the host Bucs rank 29th in the league in scoring (16.3 points per game) and last week converted on just 1-of-12 first downs in that mistake-filled 19-9 loss in Houston.
The Jim Sez sources tracking this NFC South game claim Lovie Smith's Bucs plan on some no-huddle stuff here with rookie QB Jameis Winston eyeballing WRs Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson - maybe you fantasy owners want to "activate" those dudes as our sense is that Winston will chuck it close to 50 times in this divisional duel near the gulf.
Spread Notes - Carolina is a robust 12-7 ATS (against the spread) in all NFC South games since the start of the 2012 season while Tampa Bay's an ugly 14-33-1 spreadwise at home since the start of the 2009 season. Folks, if you've ponied up $100 plays on the Bucs at home the past six-plus seasons, you're down some $2,230 ... there goes the rent!
ST. LOUIS (1-2) at ARIZONA (3-0) - 4:25 p.m. ET, Fox
Guilty as charged! Okay, so we're three-plus weeks into this here-and-now NFL season and we here at the Jim Hurley Network have barely uttered a peep about these Arizona Cardinals - time to make amends for what could be the league's best top-to-bottom squad.
Consider while most of western civilization ranks the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots as the best team on earth here in 2015, it's the Redbirds who own the NFL's top points differential category as 'Zona is a plus 77 while the aforementioned Pats are a mere plus 49 points.
Everyone's seen the renaissance of Arizona WR Larry Fitzgerald who enters this Week 4 bash with 23 receptions good for 233 yards and 5 TDs and now the key question here is will Cards' QB Carson Palmer have enough time to set up and chuck it against this hard-charging Rams' defense that is in an ornery mood following back-to-back losses to weakling Washington and a wobbly Pittsburgh team?
Spread Notes - Arizona has stormed out of the starting gate at 3-0 ATS and did you happen to realize that third-year head coach Bruce Arians is a collective 24-11-1 spreadwise (that's a shiny .686 winning rate)? St. Louis has failed to cover nine of its last dozen games played within the NFC West and note the Rams have lost their last four consecutive spread verdicts against Arizona.
Jim Hurley's Handicappers and Bloggers will continue to torch Las Vegas and the off-shore books with loads of NFL Week 4 and NCAA Football winners this weekend and that includes such College Football goodies as Notre Dame at Clemson, Alabama at Georgia and West Virginia at Oklahoma. Plus get all the NFL Week 4 winners too including Houston at Atlanta, Green Bay at San Francisco and the Sunday Night bash (see preview below) between the Dallas Cowboys and uber-desperate 0-3 New Orleans Saints. 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 MLB Playoff Winners all month long with a reminder that there's lots of day-time action straight ahead this ncoming week.
On Sunday Night, it's ...
DALLAS (2-1) at NEW ORLEANS (0-3) - 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC
Gotta love it that legendary N'Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees declared "there's not anything that's going to keep me off the field this Sunday" on the Ellen show ... geez, Drew, you can't save that stuff for NFL Insiders!
Anyway, it's tough to get a real feel for what's gonna happen here come Sunday evening as one report says Brees is a "long shot" to play this prime-time game with his banged-up throwing shoulder but here's the player himself saying he's all in.
This is what we do know: The Saints - who opened up that Sean Payton-less 2012 season with four consecutive losses - are clearly up against the ropes here with or without Brees while the Cowboys enter this tilt with a winning record and you could say they're up against the ropes too.
Okay, so maybe too much is being made of the fact that backup-turned-starting QB Brandon Weeden is now 5-17 SU (straight-up) lifetime as an NFL starter and the 'Boys couldn't even win at home last week with Weeden completing 22-of-26 passes for 232 yards and just one interception.
If the Dallas O-line - the clear-cut best blocking unit in the league - can't dig out holes for RB Joseph Randle (see three rushing scores in last Sunday's 39-28 loss to Atlanta - than Jason Garrett's gang will be in mucho trouble here.
Find out what gives when you check with us for this prime-time winner plus all the other NFL games on a very busy Sunday ... remember it all gets jump-started with a 9:30 a.m. ET tilt from London as the New York Jets square off with the Miami Dolphins.
Spread Notes - Dallas has notched pointspread wins in nine of its last 10 away games while dating back to the start of last year and that includes the 20-10 outright win 7-point fav Philadelphia. On the flip side, New Orleans is 3-8 vig-wise overall since the middle of last year and the Saints are 2-7 ATS as hosts since the start of the 2014 campaign.
NFL POINTSPREAD GOODIES
Let's zip 'round the league and catch you up with some key pointspread goodies as we head towards the Week 4 games:
- Atlanta is shooting for its first four-game ATS winning streak since 2010
- Chicago is 7-18-1 spreadwise at home since the start of 2012
- Cleveland's covered seven of its last 10 games as underdogs
- Denver is 3-0 ATS out of the chute and the Broncos are a solid 17-11-1 ATS at home the past three-plus seasons
- Green Bay is 15-19-2 vig-wise in non-NFC North games since 2012
- Indianapolis is 6-0-1 vig-wise in its last seven tilts against Tennessee
- Jacksonville's failed to cover its last five in a row versus Indianapolis
- Minnesota is 23-13 ATS as dogs the past three-plus seasons
- New York Giants are just 7-12 ATS as dogs since the start of 2013
- Oakland is 6-17 ATS as betting favorites since the start of the 2006 season
- The road teams in Philadelphia vs. Washington are 13-7 spreadwise
NOTE: Catch our Monday Night Football Preview - that's Detroit at Seattle - plus lots more NFL Week 4 and NCAA Football re-caps in the next edition of Jim Sez. Plus, we'll check out the MLB Wild Card Games too!