Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, August 11, 2016 at 11:40 AM
THE NFL PRESEASON WEEK 1 - HERE'S THE FRIDAY NITE MENU ... PLUS MORE COLLEGE GRIDIRON NEWS/NOTES
Let's continue our Jim Sez look at the NFL Preseason Week 1 card ... here's the Friday night sked:
MIAMI at NEW YORK GIANTS - 7 p.m. ET
There are two Preseason Week 1 games pitting rookie head coaches against one another ... and here's one of 'em as the Dolphins' Adam Gase and NYG's Ben McAdoo each get their first crack at a "W" as first-time sideline bosses but the really interesting on-the-field stuff revolves around how both offenses evolve. The Giants say backup QB Ryan Nassib will get lots of snaps here while the Fish need to address a ground game that averaged just 93.5 ypg last year (23rd in the NFL).
Current Line: Giants (- 3) and 36.5 points
DETROIT at PITTSBURGH - 7 p.m. ET, NFL Network
As happens in many early Preseason matchups, the Lions and Steelers have practiced against one another this week in Latrobe but when they kick it off for real here the main concern for the visitors will be a young O-line battling against a Pittsburgh defense that last year registered 48 sacks (third-best in the NFL). Remember that two of Detroit's top three draft picks this year were offensive lineman - first-round draftee T Taylor Decker (Ohio State) and third-rounder C Graham Glasgow (Michigan). Note the Steelers failed to cover 4-of-5 Preseason pointspread verdicts a year ago.
Current Line: Steelers (- 3.5) and 35.5 points
Folks, Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers want to welcome you to the start of the 2016 Football Season. It all begins with four weeks of money-making NFL Preseason Games that get revved up starting Thursday Night (six games on that evening's docket in all) plus the College Football campaign swings into high gear on Friday, August 28th when California battles Hawaii in Sydney, Australia and then on September 1st we begin a full weekend card that includes such games as South Carolina at Vanderbilt (Sept. 1), Kansas State at Stanford (Sept. 2nd), Clemson vs. Auburn, LSU vs. Wisconsin and USC-Alabama on Sept. 3rd plus it's Notre Dame at Texas (Sept. 4th) and finally it's Ole Miss vs. Florida State on Labor Day evening (Sept. 5th).
Also, take note that America's #1 Handicapper continues to bang out lots of winners in Major-League Baseball these days and all you need to do is check in either right here online or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 any time after 1 p.m. Eastern time for the weeknight action, after 11 a.m. ET for weekday games and after 10 a.m. ET for Saturday/Sunday/Holiday Winners and get all the Football & Baseball winners ... can't beat that, right?
MINNESOTA at CINCINNATI - 7:30 p.m. ET
It's old friends week in the Queen City where one-time Bengals defensive coordinator and now the third-year head coach of the Minnesota Vikings' Mike Zimmer brings his NFC North team into town - naturally, neither team will play its starters for very long but gotta believe Minny's top draft pick WR Laquon Treadwell (Ole Miss) would love to make a statement here and insiders claim the 23rd player taken in this past draft has been the hardest worker in Vikings' camp.
Current Line: Bengals (- 3) and 35 points
CLEVELAND at GREEN BAY - 8 p.m. ET
Okay, so the Packers' Hall of Fame Game last Sunday night in Canton was squashed by "poor field conditions" and so that means Mike McCarthy's crew finally opens up play here and right away the Green Bay defense will have to deal with a Browns' receiving corps with lots of new faces - plus Dom Capers' defense gets an up-close look at newly-named Browns' starting QB Robert Griffin III. No secret that Packers' veteran QB Aaron Rodgers hates these Preseason games - don't be shocked if he plays just four or five snaps here - while we remind you again WR Jordy Nelson will not play at all in these exhibition games after suffering a 2015-ending knee injury in Pittsburgh last summer.
Current Line: No line
OAKLAND at ARIZONA - 10 p.m. ET
Lots of new faces for the Raiders get their debut here with OLB Bruce Irvin and S Reggie Nelson looking to play a few snaps in an attempt to jump-start a "D" that last year finished 26th against the pass and 22nd in scoring defense (24.9 ppg). On the flip side, the Cardinals enter this tilt with one of the league's deepest wide receiver corps - last year nine different players had double-digit receptions - and it'll be interesting here to see how long third-string QB Matt Barkley plays here as Arizona gets to see if he's the eventual replacement for Carson Palmer.
Current Line: Cardinals (- 3) and 37.5 points
THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL REPORT
R.I.P. to ABC/ESPN broadcaster John Saunders who loved college football and was a staple handing out the Bowl Championship Series and then the College Football Playoff National Championship Trophy - more times than not to Alabama head coach Nick Saban - over the years. Saunders will be missed for his studio work too as college football fans have watched him for years handling highlights flawlessly ...
Meanwhile, if you're looking for a couple of college football coaches that are "under the gun" from the start this year than consider Texas Tech's Kliff Kingsbury and Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson.
Kingsbury's Red Raider team churned out a 7-6 SU (straight-up) record last year and that included a lopsided 56-27 loss to LSU in the Texas Bowl but overall the fourth-year coach enters 2016 at 19-19 SU and 18-18 ATS (against the spread) - gotta believe he's feeling the heat right now and Kingsbury likely needs a "signature win" or two this year just to survive.
Meanwhile, Johnson's coming off a wobbly 3-9 SU/ATS season in which Tech's bowl streak was snapped at 18 and there's mounting pressure for the Yellow Jackets to dump the flexbone spread option attack for more modern-looking offenses. If Johnson's team doesn't go bowling this year, a new head coach and new system will be right 'round the corner.