Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, September 26, 2016 at 11:56 AM
It’s Falcons-Saints on Monday Night Football Following a Wild Weekend Where the Eagles, Vikings & Cowboys Were Biggest Noise-Makers…
The College Football Report: What Life’s Gonna Be Like In The Post-Les Miles Era At LSU
Here’s a little memo to Mrs. Hillary Clinton and Mr. Donald Trump … now you’re treading on our turf (a/k/a, Monday Night Football). The two political heavyweights will square off at Hofstra University on Long Island this final Monday in September but don’t they realize there’s a big game to wrap up the NFL Week 3 menu?
Plenty to say about the Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints clash on the 10-year anniversary of the “Katrina Game” but let’s tip our caps first to three of Sunday’s biggest winners after this quickie reminder:
Jim Hurley’s Handicappers and Bloggers are ready to rock-n-roll with more gridiron winners this week beginning here with the Side & Totals winners on tonight’s Monday Night Football Game between the Atlanta Falcons at the New Orleans Saints and then we’ll march on later this week with Thursday/Friday Night Winners before we even get to a jam-packed weekend card.
Check with the Jim Hurley Network right here at www.VegasSportsMasters.com 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 and cash in big!
Plus get all the Major-League Baseball winners this final week of regular-season play and remember it’s the American League Wild Card Game on Tuesday, Oct. 4 and the National League Wild Card Game on Wednesday, Oct. 5 before we get full-blown into the Baseball Playoffs.
Folks, we’re finishing out September with a real bang and promise that October’s gonna rock with both Football and Baseball at the Jim Hurley Network – so don’t dare miss out on all the fun-and-profits!
NFL WEEK 3
DALLAS (2-1) – The Cowboys’ uber-dominant 31-17 win/cover versus 6½-point dud Chicago may not have had you glued to your flat screen TV last night but gotta say we agree with NBC game analyst Cris Collinsworth … that Dallas isn’t just a good team these days despite the absence of injured QB Tony Romo but the Cowboys are a very good young team. No need to bore you with stats or fantasy points, you saw QB Dak Prescott (248 yards passing) and RB Ezekiel Elliott (140 yards rushing and one big-league hurdle) grab this game by the throat and looking ahead should we at all be surprised if the ‘Boys are 5-and-1 while heading into Green Bay next month?
MINNESOTA (3-0) – No, we’re not sorry to keep repeating our pointspread mantra that goes like this: The Vikings are golden under third-year head coach Mike Zimmer (see 27-9 against the spread in two-plus years, a sizzling .750 winning rate). The latest Minny win/cover happened to be a rather stunning 22-10 triumph at 6-point favorite Carolina where the Vikes scored their third non-offensive TD of the year – speedy Marcus Sherels raced 54 yards to paydirt on a punt bring-back – and the hellacious defense sacked QB Cam Newton eight times and intercepted ‘em three times. P.S., the Vikings now are 16-5 ATS (against the spread) as underdogs in the Zimmer Era. Hotsy-totsy, eh?
PHILADELPHIA (3-0) – Fly, Eagles, Fly indeed! Go ahead and raise your hand if you thought Pennsylvania’s “best team” was gonna get beat by 31 points! True, the Pittsburgh Steelers walked into a real hornet’s nest in Philly on Sunday – the Las Vegas odds had the Steelers holding steady at 3½ points for almost the entire week but there was a little rush to the black-and-gold late to kick things up to a 4-point price and didn’t all those folks look silly after Philadelphia’s underrated defense held the high-octane Steelers without a touchdown? Note that Steelers’ WR Antonio Brown’s 12-catch, 140-yard game looked great on the stat sheet but meant zippo! If Philadelphia rookie QB Carson Wentz (two TD passes) isn’t careful, he’ll have himself a statue next to Rocky before too long!
Tonight, it’s …
ATLANTA (1-1) at NEW ORLEANS (0-2) – 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Everyone’s talking about the 10-year anniversary of that famed Saints’ 23-3 win against the Falcons back in 2006 when Steve Gleason’s early-game blocked punt for a TD nearly set new decibel levels inside the dome but consider that there are only three N’Orleans player remaining from that ’06 roster – one of ‘em being QB Drew Brees (of course) -- while there’s just one Falcons player remaining from that MNF game 10 years later, so let’s just get current:
The Saints last week rushed the ball only 13 times and Brees threw it 46 times in that error-filled 16-13 loss-but-cover at the 3½-point favored New York Giants and so New Orleans boss-man Sean Payton says expect more balance here – and note the Falcons rank tied for 25th in the league in rush defense.
Perhaps the script will be reversed and the ground game – and not Brees – will be the “central character” on offense here. Stay tuned.
Spread Notes – New Orleans covered five-of-six games played against fellow NFC South squads last year while Atlanta enters this prime-time affair having covered 11 of its last 17 games when installed as the underdog side.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL UPDATE
Let’s stay right here in the great state of Louisiana and talk fired LSU head coach Les Miles … okay, so maybe axing a coach four games into what appears to be a “lost season” (the Bayou Bengals are 2-2) seems premature but consider that Saturday’s 18-13 controversial loss at Auburn proved to be the latest clock management mess-up by a Miles-coached team and it’s no secret that the Cajuns that root for LSU also like to wager a bit and the Tigers are 0-4 versus the vig this year and just 64-69-8 ATS all-time under Miles.
Let’s just say that LSU still will make it into a decent bowl game this holiday season – we see ‘em going 7-5 and landing in the Liberty Bowl – but all the hoopla now is who will be the eventual replacement with Houston’s Tom Herman the odds-on favorite (although one-time LSU boss and current Alabama icon Nick Saban is getting some “love) but it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if LSU reached cross state and inked Louisiana Tech’s Skip Holtz right after the current campaign is done. Just sayin’.
Our final College Football note from the weekend past: The outright underdog winners were Eastern Michigan (+6) over Wyoming last Friday night; Virginia (+5½) over Central Michigan; Buffalo (+14) over Army in OT; Syracuse (+1½) over UConn; Wake Forest (+7) over Indiana – a Jim Hurley winner!; North Texas (+7) over Rice in 2OT; Duke (+21) over Notre Dame; Vanderbilt (+8½) over Western Kentucky in OT; Wisconsin (+3½) over Michigan State; Colorado (+13) over Oregon; Idaho (+14) over UNLV in OT; and Auburn (+3½) over aforementioned LSU …Â so Mr. Miles wasn’t the only chalk-eater to get beaten, you see!
NOTE: Catch our Jim Sez Mid-Week Update in the next column as we’ll get you the NFL Week 4 Thursday Night Preview of the Miami Dolphins at the Cincinnati Bengals.