Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, December 3, 2015 at 11:21 AM
THE NFL WEEK 13 REPORT: TONIGHT'S PACKERS-LIONS GAME PREVIEW AND MUCH MORE!
IT'S A MONSTER FOOTBALL WEEKEND ON TAP AS COLLEGE FOOTBALL'S CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES TAKE CENTER STAGE AND WE GET YOU THREE MORE KEY PREVIEWS
The NFL Week 13 card kicks off tonight and it's ...
GREEN BAY (7-4) at DETROIT (4-7) - 8:25 p.m. ET, NFL Network
Well, at least this game is "climate-controlled" and that's good news for the visiting GB Packers because they had major troubles hanging onto and protecting the football in last Thursday's rainy/windy 17-13 home loss to the 8-point underdog Chicago Bears. Toss into the mix the fact the Packers scored just 16 points in a Week 10 loss at home to this Detroit team and you get the feeling that the old wives tale that the Pack was a "cold-weather team" is indeed just a myth.
Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers (just 202 yards passing with one TD on Thanksgiving Night) lost feeling in a couple of fingers in that latest game after a jarring hit but he says all's okay now and so it's a matter of his pass-catchers snagging the tosses thrown 'em ... are you listening, WR Davante Adams? Let's see if Green Bay game plans double-team blocking on Lions DE Ezekiel Ansah who is coming off a career-best 3.5-sack showing.
On the flip side, Lions' slinger Matthew Stafford is fresh off a 5-TD performance in a Turkey Day 45-14 blowout win against Philadelphia - now WR Calvin Johnson (three scoring grabs in that game) is trying to overcome some ankle soreness and so don't be shocked if the Motowners look for more red-zone magic from slot WR Golden Tate and TE Eric Ebron.
The last time the Lions swept the Packers was ... 1991!
Spread Notes - Green Bay is just 6-5 versus the vig overall this year despite the 5-0 ATS (against the spread) start and note the Packers are a cumulative 20-9 against the prices when playing fellow NFC North teams since the start of the 2011 season. Meanwhile, Detroit's shooting for its fourth consecutive spread win here (that hasn't happened since 2012) but the Lions are just 7-13-1 ATS as underdogs since midway of the 2012 season.
In other NFL Week 13 News/Notes ...
Have you noticed that half of this week's NFL games have road teams as betting favorites? Hey, no surprise the likes of the undefeated Carolina Panthers are 7-point betting favs in New Orleans and that the Denver Broncos are 4-point favs in San Diego but take a closer look and you see the likes of the New York Jets are laying some points as well ...
Hey, we know it's just the start of the holiday season and all but gotta toss some coal in the stockings of a few NFL coaches who figure to be gonesville by year's end:
Cleveland - Mike Pettine won't survive past Year Two with this somewhat cursed Browns' franchise but, sorry to say, we never thought of the guy as head coaching material. Maybe they'll stop messing with the likes of Pettine, Rob Chudzinski, Pat Shurmur and Eric Mangini and get a "real" head coach (did someone say former Atlanta boss Mike Smith?).
Miami - Never thought interim boss Dan Campbell was gonna "stick" here but now you get the sense that sick-of-it-all management will make a big money move to a "name" guy and we're thinking current New Orleans Saints boss Sean Payton could be the apple of the Fish's eye.
New Orleans - Okay, so all reports say the above-mentioned Payton is out the door (and maybe even before this 2015 regular season is complete) and those rumors to Miami makes all the sense in the world. So, count us among the folks that believe the Saints will go in a defensive direction with Carolina defensive coordinator Sean McDermott a make-sense hire.
New York Giants - It's quite clear that if the Giants don't win the lowly NFC East then 12th-year head coach Tom Coughlin is history ... will they really hand over the reins to offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo? We wouldn't! A better hire would be Chicago Bears' offensive coordinator Adam Gase.
THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL REPORT
You could make the case that the "cream" has been rising to the top in recent weeks when it comes to the College Football world. In the past three weeks, College Betting Favorites have registered the following pointspread marks of 31-25-1, 32-25-1 and 38-23-1 for a composite three-week run of 101-73-3 ... now the $64,000 question is will the chalk sides have their way on Conference Championship Weekend?
Let's zoom through the teams that are the Betting Favs in these Eight (8) games and let you know how they've fared as Favorites this 2015 season:
On Friday, it's ...
- MID-AMERICAN Championship - Bowling Green (- 11.5) is expected to extinguish Northern Illinois and note the BG's are an electric 7-2 ATS as favorites this year.
On Saturday, it's ...
- CONFERENCE USA Championship - Western Kentucky (- 7) is 4-2-2 spreadwise as chalk-eaters this year and the Hilltoppers get overachieving Southern Miss in a WKU home game.
- AMERICAN ATHLETIC Championship - Houston (- 6) has split its 10 pointspread verdicts when placed in the favorite's role this year and now comes a crack at Temple in a Coogs' home game.
- PAC-12 Championship - Check out our full preview below in today's Jim Sez but remember that Stanford (- 4.5) is 7-4 vig-wise as favorites this year while heading into this head-to-head matchup against USC.
- SEC Championship - There's no bigger betting favorite on the conference championship board than 17.5-point fav Alabama against Florida but did you know the Crimson Tide has covered its last four games in a row as the chalk side while going 6-5 ATS as betting favs this season?
- MOUNTAIN WEST Championship - San Diego State (- 5) is the home team here against Air Force and how 'bout the fact the Aztecs are 4-2-1 ATS as favs and that includes a tidy 3-0-1 spread run in this role the past month?
- ACC Championship - Numero uno Clemson (- 5.5) faces red-hot North Carolina in Charlotte and Dabo Swinney's club has been the betting favorite in each/every one of its dozen games this year but note the orange-clad Tigers are just 5-7 against the odds overall this season.
- BIG 10 Championship - Michigan State's currently a 3.5-point betting favorite against unbeaten Iowa in this tilt in Indianapolis and note Sparty is an ugly 3-7 ATS as favorites this 2015 campaign.
My handicappers and bloggers have everything all scoped out and you can get the College Football Conference Championship Games plus other key regular-season tilts and also all the NFL Week 13 games too beginning with tonight's tilt between the Green Bay Packers at the Detroit Lions when you check with us here at the red-hot Jim Hurley's Network - make sure you're all aboard for the week/weekend action here online or at our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL'S CHAMPIONSHIP SATURDAY
Here's there more Conference Championship Game previews - we'll highlight the ACC and Big 10 title tilts in tomorrow's jam-packed edition of Jim Sez:
PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Levi's Stadium - Santa Clara, CA
#20 USC (8-4, 6-3) vs. #7 STANFORD (10-2, 8-1) - 7:45 p.m. ET, ESPN
It's a revenge-plus-points deal for the USC Trojans who were beaten 41-31 as 10-point home favorites way back on Sept. 19th at the LA Coliseum and now Stanford QB Kevin Hogan (34 wins and more than 9,000 yards passing in his at-times brilliant career) and mates look to make one final "statement" to the College Football Playoff committee folks. If RB Christian McCaffrey wants some more Heisman Trophy love here than he must shred a USC defense that ranks 30th nationally against the rush (and only 100th nationally versus the pass). Upset hopes will ride on the right arm of USC slinger Cody Kessler who has thrown 10 TDs and just 1 INT in his last six games. Kessler has guided the Trojans to six games of 38-or-more points this season.
Spread Notes - Stanford is 8-4 vig-wise overall this year and did you know the Cardinal is 47-26-1 ATS in league action since the start of the 2008 campaign? Meanwhile, USC is a dead-even but vig-losing 6-6 ATS this season and the Troy Boys are 8-18 spreadwise away the past four years.
Here's the four Pac-12 Championship Games (home teams in CAPS):
|2013||Stanford||+ 3||ARIZONA ST.||38-14|
(2014 game played at Levi's Stadium)
SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Georgia Dome - Atlanta, GA
#18 FLORIDA (10-2, 7-1) vs. #2 ALABAMA (11-1, 7-1) - 4:00 p.m. ET, CBS
It's the second straight year the 'Bama Crimson Tide has been a twin-digit betting favorite in this conference title tilt - but have the Las Vegas oddsmakers gone a tad too far while placing Nick Saban's team as a 17.5-point choice?
Wrecking ball RB Derrick Henry - our numero uno guy for the Heisman Trophy right at this very moment - may not have a breezy time of it against the nation's eighth-best rush defense (allowing 112 yards per game) and so a major key to covering (or not covering) here is Alabama QB Jake Coker who has never really been fully trusted in the Saban Era.
Hey, the Gators have totaled just 55 points in their past four games - including that 27-2 loss to 3-point fav Florida State last weekend in Gainesville - and RB Kelvin Taylor must be a 25-carry guy here against Alabama's top-ranked rush defense (yielding a mere 79 yards a game via the ground) and somebody's gotta make a couple of FGs too - the Florida kicking game has been a major mess all year long!
Spread Notes - Alabama is a collective 27-16 ATS when playing SEC teams since the start of the 2011 season and that includes last year's 42-21 triumph over 14-point underdog Florida. Note that the Gators enter this title tilt at 10-13 spreadwise whenever in the underdog role since 2010.
Here's the last five SEC Championship Games:
|2010||Auburn||- 4||So. Carolina||56-17|
MOUNTAIN WEST CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Qualcomm Stadium - San Diego, CA
AIR FORCE (8-4, 6-2) at SAN DIEGO STATE (9-3, 8-0) - 7:30 p.m. ET, espn2
Shhh, nobody tell anyone but the San Diego State Aztecs enter this prime-time affair on an eight-game SU (straight-up) winning streak and keep in mind SDSU has won all eight of the games by twin-figure margins ... so is this 5-point price tag "too short" here? Maybe not considering San Diego State will be without QB Maxwell Smith and DT Christian Chapman - while the Air Force Fly Boys' third-ranked rushing attack (323.5 ypg) needs a 150-yard type game from veteran RB Jacobi Owens (857 yards rushing and 6 TDs).
Spread Notes - San Diego State rocked its way to a 7-0-1 ATS mark after starting the season 0-and-4 versus the vig and note the Aztecs are 13-8-3 ATS as hosts since late in the 2011 season. On the flip side, Air Force registered an 8-4 ATS mark this year and that included outright dog wins against 2-point favorite Utah State and 10.5-point fav Boise State.
Here's the two Mountain West Conference Championship Games played so far (home teams in CAPS):
|2014||BOISE ST.||- 23||Fresno St.||28-14|
|2013||FRESNO ST.||- 2.5||Utah St.||24-17|
NOTE: More College Football Conference Championship Game Previews in the next Jim Sez.