Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, December 19, 2015 at 12:06 PM
THE NFL WEEK 15 UPDATE:
WE CHECK OUT CHIEFS-RAVENS, BENGALS-49ERS AND CARDS-EAGLES
PLUS THERE'S MORE COLLEGE BOWL ACTION ON TAP TOO - IT'S MONDAY'S MIAMI BEACH BOWL
It's gettin' down to crunch time in the NFL - this weekend before Christmas we've already previewed two of the three teams battling for the AFC wild card berths (see Pittsburgh's matchup versus Denver; the New York Jets' game in Dallas on Saturday night) and so we'll check in on those Kansas City Chiefs in a moment plus the big Sunday Night Football game too but first this key reminder:
It's Bowl Season and my handicappers and bloggers have everything all mapped out and you can get the upcoming College Football Bowl Games beginning with Saturday's Five (5) games including BYU versus #22 Utah in the Las Vegas Bowl plus all the NFL Week 15 games too when you check with us here at 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. Hey, sign up right now and get the discounted price rate on the College Bowls and the NFL- do it today! Plus don't forget all the daily/nightly action on the hardwood as there's NBA and NCAA Hoops action all winter long right here with Jim Hurley
NFL WEEK 15 PREVIEWS
KANSAS CITY (8-5) at BALTIMORE (4-9) - 1 p.m. ET, CBS
Next! The Kansas City Chiefs roll into Sunday's tilt on a seven-game SU (straight-up) winning streak and you might wish to note that KC's won these games by a per-game average of 17.1 pgg.
Okay, so the defense has allowed more than 20 points just once during this streak and here the Ravens are digging deep into their quarterback depth chart - Jimmy Clausen or even newly-inked Ryan Mallett anyone? - and keep in mind Chiefs' QB Alex Smith has thrown just one INT in his last 10 games.
Spread Notes - Kansas City has covered six of its last seven games while heading into this road game and note the Chiefs are a cumulative 16-9 ATS (against the spread) on the road since the start of the 2013 season when head coach Andy Reid arrived on the job. Baltimore's an ugly 3-8-2 versus the vig this season and that includes a 2-6-1 spread log against non-AFC North teams.
CINCINNATI (10-3) at SAN FRANCISCO (4-9) - 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS
Right now the over/under price of 40.5 points in this by-the-bay tilt is the smallest totals number in Week 15 action - and why not?
The Bengals are operating with second-string quarterback AJ McCarron following last week's early-game broken thumb suffered by Andy Dalton (who was a top five MVP candidate at the time of the injury) and the former 'Bama slinger did complete 22-of-32 passes for 280 yards with two TDs and two INTs in relief in last week's home loss to Pittsburgh.
On the flip side, San Francisco comes in here ranked 29th in the league in passing (192.5 ypg) and just 20th in the NFL in rushing (96.9 ypg) and this Niners' attack has exceeded 20 points just once in their past seven games or so maybe a 17-10 type game will be on the horizon here. Stay tuned.
Spread Notes - Cincinnati is an electric 10-2-1 vig-wise this year and keep in mind the Bengals are 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 games against NFC competition. Meanwhile, San Francisco is 6-7 spreadwise this year but did you know that since the start of the 2011 season the Niners are a collective/decent 46-35-4 against the odds?
On Sunday Nite, it's …
ARIZONA (11-2) at PHILADELPHIA (6-7) - 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC
Here's another surging road team with, yes, a seven-game winning streak just like the above-mentioned KC Chiefs.
Hey, the 'Zona Cardinals have been forced to dodge a few bullets along the way during this win streak - see last week's 23-20 non-cover win against Minnesota and a 34-31 non-cover home triumph over Cincinnati - and those were prime-time TV games as is this one in Philly where the Eagles will know where they stand in the NFC East following early matinee games in D.C. and Jersey.
If Philly - a 3.5-point home underdog here - harbors hopes of swiping this one and thus preventing the Cards from locking up a first-round playoff bye in the NFC than it may behoove Chip Kelly's club to score a non-offensive TD or two - they know the script!
Watch for Arizona QB Carson Palmer (4,003 yards passing and 31 TD passes) to test out a patch-work secondary early/often here - and expect the Eagles to throw the kitchen sink at Palmer in the pocket with Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham leading a unit with 31 quarterback sacks this season.
Spread Notes - Arizona is 18-10-1 ATS in non-divisional games since the start of the Bruce Arians Era in 2013; Philadelphia enters this prime-timer having failed to cover six of its last seven head-to-head games with the Cardinals including that 32-25 loss in the NFC Championship Game in 2008.
COLLEGE BOWL UPDATE
Let's roll out another Bowl Preview in this weekend edition of Jim Sez - today we're focusing on Monday's action:
MONDAY, DECEMBER 21
MIAMI BEACH BOWL - at Miami, FL
WESTERN KENTUCKY (11-2) vs. USF (8-4) - 2:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Just call it the "Willie Taggert Bowl" as the current USF Bulls boss was in charge at Western Kentucky from 2010-12 and so that's a juicy storyline but even better is the matchup of WKU slinger Brandon Doughty (4,594 yards with 45 TDs and 7 INTs) against an athletic USF defense that has not allowed 30+ plus in a game since Sept. 19th (see Maryland 35, USF 17).
Note the Bulls do sport the country's 11th-best rushing attack (averaging 242.9 ypg) and keep a close eye on dual-threat QB Quinton Flowers (883 yards rushing with 10 ground scores plus those 21 passing TDs) and RB Marlon Mack (1,273 yards rushing) who is averaging a haughty 6.6 yards a scoot.
Could be a case of "last-team-with-the-ball-wins" as was the case in last year's Miami Beach Bowl when Memphis downed BYU 55-48 in double overtime. Just no game-ending brawls here, guys, all right?
Spread Notes - Western Kentucky is 6-4-2 against the odds this season but the Hilltoppers failed to cover their two most recent bowls: Last year's 49-48 non-cover win against 3.5-point pup Central Michigan and the 2012 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl when WKU lost 24-21 to 6-point dog Central Michigan. Meanwhile, USF is 9-2-1 spreadwise this season and overall the Bulls are a spiffy 11-5 ATS away the past three years.
NOTE: Get all our NFL Week 15 wrap-up info plus more College Bowl Previews - that's Tuesday night action in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl and the Boca Raton Bowl -- in the very next edition of Jim Sez.