Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, October 28, 2016 at 10:34 AM
IT’S A BLOCKBUSTER FOOTBALL WEEKEND AHEAD – CATCH MORE COLLEGE & NFL WEEK 8 PREVIEWS
You want drama, you got it!
This weekend’s College Football menu has plenty of drama with a batch of Top 25 matchups – we’ll get to #7 Nebraska at #11 Wisconsin along with #4 Clemson at #12 Florida State shortly in our preview section of Jim Sez – plus the NFL Week 8 card is chock full o’ goodies including a rematch of last year’s NFC Championship Game and a uber-juicy tilt in the AFC East. Yes, we’ve put Tennessee’s 36-22 rub-out win against Jacksonville in the proverbial rear view mirror (thank goodness!) so let’s get to this weekend’s action:
But first this key reminder …
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers get you in the winner’s circle all weekend long and all you have to do is check with us here at the toll-free # of 1-800-323-4453 or right here online at www.jimhurley.com. Cash in big with a slew of football games and also remember to get the World Series game-by-game winners too – it’s Game 3 at Wrigley Field in Chicago tonight -- plus don’t forget there’s loads of nightly winners in the NBA too!
On Saturday, it’s …
#2 MICHIGAN (7-0, 4-0 Big 10) at MICHIGAN STATE (2-5, 0-4 Big 10) – 12 p.m. ET, ESPN
How the tide has turned here! No longer are the Michigan State Spartans the “best team nobody talks about” because Mark Dantonio’s club has toppled face-mask first into the toilet this year while Michigan has beaten 2016 foes by 60, 37, 39, 78 and 33 points amongst its seven victories. If Jim Harbaugh’s bawdy bunch wishes to cover the monstrous 24.5-point price tag here, than maybe it should stay away from punts – ooops, sorry for the low blow Wolverines!
Spread Note – Believe it or not, Michigan is 0-8-1 ATS (against the spread) in its head-to-head matchups versus Michigan State since 2007.
#7 NEBRASKA (7-0, 4-0 Big 10) at #11 WISCONSIN (5-2, 2-2 Big 10) – 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
The Las Vegas price tag keeps growing here with the lower-ranked Wisky Badgers taking the moolah (Wisconsin’s favored by a bloated 9 points at press time) but the visiting ‘Huskers could steal this Big 10 tilt providing rehabbed WR Jordan Westerkamp (missed last two games with a back injury) has a monster game against a Badgers’ defense that ranks ninth nationally in total “D”.
Spread Note – Nebraska has failed to cover four of its last five showdowns with Wisconsin since 2011.
#3 CLEMSON (7-0, 4-0 ACC) at #12 FLORIDA STATE (5-2, 2-2 ACC) – 8 p.m. ET, ABC
Maybe no major-college team out there needed a bye last week more than the Clemson Tigers: It gave RB Wayne Gallman (concussion) time to get right and it enabled Dabo Swinney’s club a mental break after that murderous 24-17 non-cover OT win against N.C. State. So, no surprise that Clemson’s a four-point road favorite here against a Florida State squad that’s allowed 34, 63, 35 and 37 points in four of its games this season. Clemson QB Deshaun Watson needs a “signature win” to rise in his own Heisman Trophy chase.
Spread Note – Clemson’s a nifty 7-3 spreadwise in its last 10 games against rival Florida State.
NFL WEEK 8 PREVIEWS
On Sunday, it’s …
ARIZONA (3-3-1) at CAROLINA (1-5) 1 p.m. ET, Fox
Hard to believe this was indeed the NFC Championship Game matchup last year – remember Panthers 49, Cardinals 15? – but here sits the ruins of a ’16 season for Ron Rivera’s crew that claims QB Cam Newton (recent concussion issues) is fine … now we’ll soon discover how’s the psyche of Arizona PK Chandler Catanzaro who missed OT chippie last week in that wacko 6-6 draw versus Seattle.
Spread Note – Arizona is 17-10-1 vig-wise away the past three-plus seasons.
NEW ENGLAND (6-1) at BUFFALO (4-3) – 1 p.m. ET, CBS
Let’s not make too much of this “sweep” business that Bills’ players are yakking about this week – that 16-0 triumph in Foxboro back in Week 4 wasn’t against QB Tom Brady as Buffalo head coach Rex Ryan kept saying in that post-game presser when claiming New England was “missing a player” – and now it appears RB LeSean “Shady” McCoy could be out and ditto for some key defensive players. If Mr. Brady – who’s guided the Pats to a 3-0 ATS mark since his return – wants to get TE Rob Gronkowski his franchise-record 69th touchdown catch here, then look for it to happen early.
Spread Note – New England has banged out covers in 6-of-7 games this far in 2016 but did you know the Patriots are a rotten 7-12-1 ATS in their last 20 divisional games?
GREEN BAY (4-2) at ATLANTA (4-3) – 4:25 p.m. ET, Fox
The Packers come off that “mini-bye” following a 26-10 win/cover against banged-up Chicago but what we really liked about that NFC North win was the fact WR Davante Adams (13 catches for 132 yards with two TDs) and WR Randall Cobb (11 receptions worth 95 yards and one score) came alive with QB Aaron Rodgers throwing it better than in previous weeks – do the Falcons have reason to fret a hangover after that tough OT home loss versus San Diego last Sunday?
Spread Note – Green Bay has not played a road game since Week 2 and note the Packers are 10-4 ATS away since late 2014.
NOTE: Catch tomorrow’s Jim Sez column as we bring you a couple of more NFL Week 8 Previews – that’s San Diego at Denver and the sizzling Sunday Night Football game between the Philadelphia Eagles at the Dallas Cowboys.