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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, August 18, 2017 at 2:27 PM



Here's the straight facts, jack: There were six new hires to the NFL head coaching ranks prior to this 2017 season and those "newbies" banged out a 4-2 SU (straight-up) and 4-2 ATS (against the spread) in their first full week of Preseason games but then last night two new guys (Buffalo's Sean McDermott and Jacksonville's Doug Marrone) both suffered SU/ATS setbacks. So, things are dead-even spreadwise as we report to y'all today.

Obviously, everyone in the handicapping world would like to know how these six head coaches will fare spreadwise once we get to the regular season … right?
Well, that - of course -- remains to be seen but we wanted to rank the six new coaches in terms of what - we believe—they'll be worth to their respective squads:


Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco 49ers - Okay, so this former Atlanta Falcons' offensive coordinator took his post-Super Bowl lumps last winter but we like 'em as the best of the new half-dozen coaching hires. Got the coaching "genes" from his dad - a two-time Super Bowl-winning head coach with Denver back in 1997-98 - and should be a "plus" coach when it comes to the almighty pointspread this year.

Vance Joseph, Denver Broncos - The one-and-done defensive coordinator of the Miami Dolphins last season comes to the Mile High City with mucho respect and hearing a new "voice" should help this still-vaunted Denver "D". Again, a "plus" coach, i.e., we expect his AFC West club to finish above .500 vig-wise.

Anthony Lynn, Los Angeles Chargers - This 48-year-old has been an NFL assistant or interim head coach since 2000 and so he's cut his teeth in the business and should know his way around clock management, etc.

Sean McDermott, Buffalo Bills - No doubt he's the new sheriff in town (no new coach in recent years has this much say-so in personnel decisions) and sure his defense will be a step up from that Rex Ryan mess from a year ago but expect the Bills to bat .500 or so against the odds this year.

Sean McVey, Los Angeles Rams - Lots of folks heaping praise on this former Washington O-coordinator but don't count us among the media gang that "knows" he'll get the most out of QB Jared Goff. Could be a long/trying season in LA-LA land.

Doug Marrone, Jacksonville Jaguars - Simply put, not a big fan! The one-time Buffalo Bills head coach did notch a decent 17-15 ATS mark in his two seasons in western New York (see 2013-14) but no offensive imagination and not the right guy for this job with a young team. Did you see his backups fiddle around on those goal-to-go plays last night? Awful!

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers get you all the 2017 NFL Preseason winners when you check in here online and at our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453. There's NFL Preseason Week 2 games all weekend long and gear up with College Football beginning Saturday, Aug. 26th and cash in daily with our Major-League Baseball winners too.

Baltimore, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay (Network's Top Play)were SU/ATS winners last night to kick off the Preseason Week 2 proceedings and count us among the surprised folks to see Bucs' QB Jameis Winston play the entire first half (he completed 21-of-29 passes for 196 yards) in TB's hang-on-for-dear-life 12-8 win/cover at 2-point underdog Jacksonville. Good to see backup QB Ryan Fitzpatrick air a goal-line pick (a little sarcasm there, folks).

On Friday, it's …
MINNESOTA (1-0) at SEATTLE (1-0) - 10 p.m. ET, NFL Network
It's been an injury-riddled summer for Mike Zimmer's Minny Vikings - remember one-time starting QB Teddy Bridgewater is not gonna be back anytime soon - as QB Case Keenum (11-of-16 for 121 yards versus Buffalo last week) looks to secure the #2 spot behind Sam Bradford. The Seahawks say RB Thomas Rawls (ankle) won't suit up here, so that's more snaps for the parade of backs hoping to land a roster spot.
Current Line: Seahawks (- 3.5) and 40 points

On Saturday, it's …
INDIANAPOLIS (0-1) at DALLAS (1-1) - 7 p.m. ET, NFL Network
The Cowboys get to play a game and stop answering questions about suspended RB Ezekiel Elliott - that'll be nice, right? On the flip side, the Colts say WR Philip Dorsett (hamstring) should play as he tries to claim one of the wide-open pass-catching spots.
Current Line: Cowboys (- 5) and 39.5 points

DENVER (1-0) at SAN FRANCISCO (1-0) - 10 p.m. ET, NFL Network
Lots of fisticuffs this week when the Broncos and 49ers staged head-to-head practices - it seems San Fran WR Pierre Garcon and Denver CB Aqib Talib were the main combatants - and now let's see if it carries over to this tilt.
Current Line: 49ers (- 2.5) and 40 points



Okay, so the SEC has won only one national championship the past four seasons (see 2015 Alabama Crimson Tide) but the best football league in the land has nine national crowns since 2003 and - hear us loud and clear - there's as many as six SEC teams with legit shots to win it all.

BEST TEAM - Alabama
You can "book it" that 'Bama will be part of this year's College Football Playoffs unless there is a shocker loss prior to the Iron Bowl game at Auburn on Nov. 25th.

BEST PLAYER - Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
If this senior star can stay healthy, he'll be in the Heisman Trophy running all year long and should rush for a whole lot more than 1,130 yards (he averaged 5.0 ypc last year).

BEST GAME - Alabama at Auburn, Nov. 25
It's entirely possible that these teams will have only one or no losses between 'em when we get to this Thanksgiving Day weekend showdown.

HIDDEN STORY - The six teams that have a shot to win it all hailing from the SEC are Alabama, LSU, Florida, Georgia, Auburn and Tennessee but you might see a dark horse squad pop up as we're thinking South Carolina could be "live" providing QB Jake Bentley is a star.


NOTE: More NFL Preseason Week 2 News/Notes in tomorrow's Jim Sez!

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