Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, October 24, 2016 at 6:09 AM
NFL WEEK 7 WRAPS UP WITH TEXANS AT BRONCOS PLUS WE DISSECT SUNDAY’S WILD/WACKY ACTION INCLUDING 6-6 DRAW BETWEEN ‘HAWKS & CARDS …
COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEKEND NOTES: BUCKEYES SHOCKED AT HAPPY VALLEY …
AND OUR 2016 WORLD SERIES PREVIEW: WHO SNAPS THEIR CHAMPIONSHIP DROUGHT, CUBS OR INDIANS?
Fit to be tied!
Whoa, what in blazes was going on Sunday night in that kooky Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals game?
Not only did both ace kickers miss chip-shot field goals that would have won the game in overtime but truth is neither team deserved to win in that 6-6 draw:
The Seahawks generated next-to-no offense as QB Russell Wilson proved his season-long ankle woes have made him a one-dimensional player – see one rush for minus two yards for the one-time Super Bowl champ – while the Cardinals were willing to mix it up on offense (132 yards rushing and 342 passing yards for QB Carson Palmer) but couldn’t crack the end zone all damn night long.
The irony is the tie might indeed hurt Arizona (3-3-1) when it comes to deciding the NFC West this year but it also could damage Seattle (4-1-1) should Pete Carroll’s club have designs on a first-weekend playoff bye … can you imagine if, let’s say, both Minnesota and Dallas edge out the ‘Hawks by a half-game for the conference’s #1 and #2 seeds? Could happen.
Meanwhile, the “water-cooler” topics from NFL Week 7 that are probably making their way ‘round your office includes whether or not the Los Angeles Rams need to bench QB Case Keenum (see four INTs in London in a 17-10 loss to the New York Giants) – they won’t, at least not yet! – and whether or not Atlanta Falcons’ head coach Dan Quinn “blew it” by going for it on a fourth-and-short play on his side of the field in OT. Of course, it didn’t work and the visiting/spunky San Diego Chargers soon thereafter capitalized and kicked the game-winning field goal in a highly-entertaining 33-30 comeback win.
Folks, if you’ve been reading our Jim Sez columns for the past 20-plus years than you know how general feeling about NFL head coaches … they lose more games than they win, if you know what we mean!
Quinn’s brain cramp – which he continued to defend after the game (he’s officially no Albert Einstein, okay?) – led to Atlanta’s third loss of the year but it’s by no means the only game that NFL head coaches have cost their side this season.
Let’s just say if you have an “over” play on wins this year for the Falcons (which we don’t) than Quinn is feeling your wrath right about now and, on a Sunday where NFL Betting Favorites were a dismal 4-8-1 ATS (against the spread) to go to 44-52-5 with 5 Pick ‘Em games, chalk sides Atlanta, Buffalo and San Francisco really “got your goat” as all blew very winnable games.
Folks, we’ll dig into more NFL goodies in a moment while getting you the MNF preview/forecast of tonight’s prime-time game between the Houston Texans at the Denver Broncos but first this key reminder …
Jim Hurley is hot, hot, hot these days in the Football World and he comes off a big Sunday with nifty winners on Oakland (+ 1.5) over Jacksonville 33-16 and Indianapolis (+ 4) over Tennessee 34-26. Now, Jim and his famed Handicappers/Bloggers are ready to rock the books again this evening with Side/Totals action, so don’t miss out!
In fact, get all of this week’s College Football and NFL action – plus the World Series too -- when you check with us here at Jim Hurley’s Network at the toll-free # of 1-800-323-4453 or right here at www.vegassportsmasters.com.
The Fall Classic begins Tuesday night in Cleveland and then it’s a boat-load of great games ahead with Thursday’s card featuring a College Football TV bash between Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh and the first NFL Week 8 game: That’s Jacksonville at Tennessee and remember we’ll have lots of previews straight ahead this week right here at Jim Sez.
Go ahead and bash the books all week long with America’s #1 Handicapper!
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL PREVIEW
HOUSTON (4-2) at DENVER (4-2) – 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Let’s face it:
This whole “return” of QB Brock Osweiler to Denver’s become rather insufferable … this is not Brett Favre coming back to Lambeau Field, you know, it’s a career backup returning to the Mile High City after he and the front-office folks (re: John Elway) couldn’t agree on a contract and thus Osweiler departed Denver for the great city of Houston.
Do you think the Broncos were gonna win last year’s Super Bowl with Osweiler at the helm?
We don’t and that, of course, is not to say that Peyton Manning was great after returning from injuries/ineffectiveness but Osweiler made it seem as if he had the divine right to lead the defense-first Broncos … and he didn’t.
Now, his Texans trek into Denver tonight and, apparently, the betting public is not impressed with this numero uno storyline ‘cause the Broncos opened as 6-point betting favs and they up to 8.5 points at last check. Osweiler, save for a spiffy final two-plus minutes (and OT) against Indianapolis last week, has been nothing special this year and odds are he’ll be sacked five-or-more times by OLB Von Miller and Company here.
One note of caution for the heavy home favorites: Better get your ground game in order as C.J. Anderson is averaging just 3.5 ypc with 330 rushing yards on 94 carries – not nearly good enough for a team that has its own QB issues (again).
Spread Notes – Denver is 6-2-1 overall versus the vig in its games while dating back to late last season while Houston’s a crummy 7-12-1 ATS as underdogs the past two-plus seasons.
THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK
Here’s our first thought when it comes to Ohio State’s shocking 24-21 loss at 17.5-point underdog Penn State:
The now sixth-ranked Buckeyes could get back into the mix for the College Football Playoffs … but probably won’t unless it beats both Michigan and the Big 10 West Division champ (probably Nebraska) and gets some outside help.
The way we see it, Alabama/Clemson/Washington have their fates in their own hands and we believe anyone unbeaten from a Power 5 league (we’re thinking #10 West Virginia) would get the final nod over a one-loss Ohio State squad.
Feel free to disagree but why shouldn’t this loss in Happy Valley hurt – we mean really hurt – the Buckeyes who should’ve slid further in the polls.
Hey, Ohio State wasn’t the only double-digit betting favorite to get beat outright last Saturday:
There was 17.5-point fav Army getting hammered by North Texas 35-18 (guess we shouldn’t have heaped all sorts of praise on the service academies in last week’s Jim Sez!);
And speaking of the academy kids, Hawaii topped 16.5-point favorite Air Force 34-27 in a twin-OT game – now that’s 20 more pushups as punishment, Fly Boys!;
And what about swooning Houston – a 23.5-point favorite that bit the dust in a no-show 38-16 loss at SMU. Still think Coogs head coach Tom Herman is the apple of everyone’s eye at LSU, Notre Dame and/or Texas?
WORLD SERIES PREVIEW
CHICAGO CUBS vs. CLEVELAND INDIANS – Gotta get a good chuckle out of the fact this 108-year “curse” on the Chicago Cubs franchise somehow doesn’t register with the oddsmakers as the Cubbies are priced at -220 for this World Series showdown against the Cleveland Indians?
Yes, back in March we predicted here the Cubs would get to the World Series – but we had ‘em losing to Tampa Bay and so that pick really went off the proverbial rails! – but against a Cleveland team that’s missing two key starting pitchers and relying way too much on star reliever LHP Andrew Miller, we ask if the real question for this Fall Classic is will we get a Game 7 or even a Game 6?
No need for us to rattle your brain with lots of stats – just realize that the Cubs have gotten their mojo back while outscoring the Los Angeles Dodgers 23-to-6 in the final three games of last week’s National League Championship Series and providing 1B Anthony Rizzo and 3B Kris Bryant can power up here while the defense/starting pitchers do their job, you wonder if Tribe boss Terry “Tito” Francona can pull any more rabbits out of his Chief Wahoo hat.
Prediction: The Indians need to win both games started by RHP Corey Kluber plus they need to win all the games they lead after six innings or “Cubs in 5” appears the logical play.
NOTE: Catch our Jim Sez Mid-Week Report in the next edition: We’ll have our latest Heisman Trophy Watch List, quickie previews of the top NCAA Football games this weekend and, of course, our NFL Week 8 Thursday Night Football Preview as the Jaguars and Titans battle it out in a key AFC South affair.