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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, December 23, 2016 at 12:00 AM




Question: What’s better than a Football-filled holiday weekend?
Answer: Not a whole heckuva lot!

So, enjoy your pigskin and your family, friends and holiday gifts and remember the following…

My Handicappers and Bloggers have the Side & Totals winners of all the NFL Week 16 games featuring that monstrous card on Saturday, the two games on Sunday/Christmas Day (that’s Baltimore at Pittsburgh and Denver at Kansas City) and the Monday Nighter between the Detroit Lions at the Dallas Cowboys plus get all of this weekend’s College Bowl Games too when you check with us here at Jim Hurley’s Network – just make sure you’re all aboard at or at our toll-free telephone # of 1-888-777-4155. There are Bowl Games each/every day this week and you can sign up right now for our Bowl and NFL Playoff Package and you’ll be getting a major discounted price!

Plus don’t forget all the daily/nightly action on the hardwood too as there’s NBA and NCAA Hoops action all winter long right here with Jim Hurley’s Network with the NBA’s Christmas Day sked getting our Jim Sez attention in tomorrow’s column. Checck ’em out… Jim Hurley’s Network’s Cashline and Blue Ribbon Basketball Clubs for NBA and College Hoops Winners all season long!


The league’s penultimate week got jump-started Thursday night with Philadelphia’s 24-19 hang-on-for-dear-life win against the New York Giants – so postpone those “Big Blue” playoff parties for the time being and maybe pay extra attention to QB Eli Manning’s mind-set after that three-INT showing … ugh!

On Saturday, it’s…

INDIANAPOLIS (7-7) at OAKLAND (11-3) – 4:05pm ET, CBS

Now that the Oakland Raiders have bagged their first playoff berth in 14 years, the silver-and-black has bigger/better goals ahead such as snagging a first-round playoff bye next month – and shutting down Colts’ QB Andrew Luck is key but he’s been heating up lately with 41- and 34- point outputs in recent road wins at the New York Jets and last week at Minnesota. Is this an upset alert time? And how exactly is Raiders’ QB Derek Carr and that still-damaged pinky digit?

Spread Note – Oakland is a rotten 4-10 ATS (against the spread) at home dating back to the start of last season.

On Saturday night, it’s…

CINCINNATI (5-8-1) at HOUSTON (8-6) – 8:25pm ET, NFL Network

Not a creature was stirring, not even Texans’ QB Brock Osweiler – heck, this Christmas Eve finds the $72 million bust on the bench for this all-important prime-time game and the $64,000 question is can journeyman Tom Savage ravage a Bengals defense that never seems to be able to get a handle on their emotions … paging LB Vontaze Burfect! Cincinnati is the tiniest of underdogs here but cynics are asking if Cincy ever wins a prime-time game – and you know the answer.

Spread Note – Houston’s 7-13 versus the vig in non-divisional games the past two years.


On Monday, Dec. 26th, it’s…

Tropicana Field – St. Petersburg, FL

Welcome to real bowl madness where a sub-½00 Miss State team gets into a post-season game and wouldn’t you know the SEC Bulldogs are two-TD betting favorites here – it will be worth watching dual-threat QB Nick Fitzgerald (2,287 yards passing with 21 TDs and 1,243 yards rushing with 14 scores) do his thing in this tilt.

Meanwhile, here’s a Miami squad that started off the season at 0-and-6 SU (straight-up) and managed to win its final six regular-season games to break even and cash in on the bowl fun – now if the RedHawks have any real upset hopes than soph QB Dan Ragland (15 TDs and 0 INTs) must spread the aerial wealth against a Miss State team that ranked a rotten 120th nationally in passing defense this year.

Spread Notes – Mississippi State is a modestly successful 49-46 ATS under eighth-year head coach Dan Mullen and that includes a 5-7 spread mark this 2016 season. Meanwhile, Miami-Ohio is 16-11-1 ATS as underdogs the past three seasons.

Ford Field – Detroit, MI
MARYLAND (6-6) vs. BOSTON COLLEGE (6-6) – 2:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Gotta go back to 2010 to find the last time the Maryland Terrapins won a bowl game – remember the swan song win for Ralph Friedgen? – and so the College Park kids have a real craving for a win here but can the Big 10 boys keep oft-injured QB Perry Hills (10 TDs passing/4 TDs rushing) in the upright position?

On the flip side, Boston College hardly brings a blow torch to this day-after-Christmas matinee bash as the Eagles have scored 20 points or less on seven different occasions. Maybe BC’s best hope is for defensive star DE Harold Landry (15 sacks) to pile up enough big negative yardage plays and allow this feeble Boston College offense a slew of “short fields”.

Spread Notes – Boston College has failed to cover six of its last seven bowl appearances dating back the past 10 years; Maryland – a 2-point fav here – staggered after the first month of the season with the Terps going 2-6 odds-wise since Oct. 8th.

Independence Stadium – Shreveport, LA
N.C. STATE (6-6) vs. VANDERBILT (6-6) – 5pm ET, ESPN

We did a little research and we’re here to tell you that SEC teams went a glittery 9-2 against the spread last year in bowl games/playoffs and here the good folks in Las Vegas are even letting you gobble up a handful of points with Southeastern Conference member Vanderbilt … sound appealing? The Commodores – a 4½ or 5-point underdog at time of this writing – are back in the bowl picture following ugly 3-9/4-8 seasons the past two years and kid QB Kyle Shurmur (2,251 yards passing) and RB Ralph Webb (career school record 3,321 yards rushing) could make things real sticky for up-and-down N.C. State squad that did cap an otherwise so-so regular season with a big day-after-Thanksgiving win against rival North Carolina. Watch the Wolfpack’s RB Matthew Dayes (1,119 yards rushing with 10 TDs) who may get his hands on the ball 30-or-more times here.

Spread Notes – N.C. State is a rock-solid 8-4 against the odds this year while Vandy’s covered six-of-nine games this season when placed in the underdog role (including outright wins against Western Kentucky, Georgia, Ole Miss and Tennessee).

Note – We’ll get you Sunday’s Two (2) NFL Game Previews plus Tuesday’s Bowl Games in the next edition of Jim Sez.

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