Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, September 22, 2017 at 6:17 PM
IT'S A BLAST-OFF WEEKEND IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL AND NFL WEEK 3 -- WE HAVE GAME PREVIEWS AND MUCH MORE!
Don't let anyone tell you "there's nothing good on TV anymore" 'cause this weekend's College Football and NFL card are chock full o' good stuff on the tube. We'll get to a batch of game previews that hit the TV screens but first a couple of business items on the agenda:
The College kids are playing more and more conference games but there's still some rock-solid non-league games out there and whether it's Notre Dame at Michigan State or Syracuse at LSU or Cincinnati at Navy that tickles your proverbial fancy, the real good stuff comes down the pike in head-to-head league affairs and let's go on record to state there's some underrated match-ups on the docket -- we're thinking Florida at Kentucky (are the UK Wildcats finally ready to break into the upper crust of college football following last weekend's Jim Hurley Network winner against South Carolina?) and Arkansas versus Texas A&M in "Jerry's World (will the Hogs get revenge after getting battered 45-24 last year in Arlington?).
And now hear this ...
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers get you all of this weekend's winners when you check in game-day mornings either right here online or 1-800-323-4453. Make sure you're cashin' in all Football Season plus remember to get all the down-the-stretch Major-League Baseball games too. See 'ya in the winner's circle!
On Saturday, it's ...
#16 TCU (3-0) at #6 OKLAHOMA STATE (3-0) -- 3:30 P.M. ET, ESPN
Okay, so we'll find out soon enough whether one (or both) of these teams are national championship "imposters" but right now it's a major thumbs-up for both Big 12 teams as visiting TCU has played hellacious defense thus far while allowing a grand total of 43 points while Okie State is a true high-octane attack that's churned out 59, 44 and 59 points in season-starting wins/covers against Tulsa, South Alabama and Pittsburgh (and we had 'em in each game)... and if you haven't paid close attention than know State slinger Mason Rudolph (1,135 yards passing with 11 TDs) is right now atop little early-season Heisman Trophy rankings.
Spread Stat -- Oklahoma State is 10-5 ATS (against the spread) overall since the start of last season and that includes last year's 31-6 win at 6-point fav TCU.
WATCH & WIN SATURDAY WITH MY COLLEGE TV GAME OF THE WEEK
TCU at Oklahoma State (3:30 ET on ESPN)
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#17 MISSISSIPPI STATE (3-0) at #11 GEORGIA (3-0) -- 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
The Battle of the Bulldogs is more than just a cutesy look at two teams on the rise inside the always-mighty Southeastern Conference: Hey, the Georgia Dawgs really have not played in a "major" bowl in years while Miss State is the toast of the land following last weekend's heady 37-7 triumph against LSU-- now you know why you've been hearing MSU head coach Dan Mullen's name as the next coach here or the next coach there (in case you care, Mullen might be a perfect fit for LSU if the Ed Orgeron deal doesn't fly). Meanwhile, when it comes to this SEC affair between the hedges, the question is can Georgia's ground-and-pound offense starring RB Nick Chubb (fresh off a 131-yard rushing game against Samford last weekend) wear out a Miss State defense that has been stout so far while allowing only 28 points through its first three games. On the flip side, State QB Nick Fitzgerald rushed for two TDs and threw for two last week while besting the Baton Rougers and there's some thought he could be high on folks' Heisman lists with a big stat game here.
Spread Stat -- Georgia is a sub-par 9-10 versus the vig as betting favorites since early in the '15 season.
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Take advantage of my Top Three Underdog Plays on Saturday. These games are highly recommended by 3 of my hottest handicappers right now, and I wouldn't be surprised if any or all win outright just like last week when I covered 5 of my 6 underdog plays, and those 5 WON OUTRIGHT!
Memphis (+3) over UCLA WON 48-45
Mississippi State (+7.5) over LSU WON 37-7
Vanderbilt (+3.5) over Kansas State WON 14-7
Kentucky (+6.5) over South Carolina WON 23-13
Louisiana Tech (+7) over W. Kentucky WON 23-22
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College Key Note: Gonna be interesting to see what we get from Stanford this weekend -- the Cardinal has dropped back-to-back games against USC and San Diego State and there's some feeling in these parts that the program is indeed taking a step backwards. Now, Stanford is a 7-point betting favorite at home against QB Josh Rosen and UCLA. We went against UCLA last week, winning with Memphis, and the Uclans look tempting as a dog this week. A loss here by Stanford and the program's eight-year bowl run could be in some early jeopardy.
On Sunday in NFL Week 3 play, it's ...
ATLANTA (2-0) at DETROIT (2-0) -- 1 p.m. ET, Fox
Following last Sunday night's rollicking 34-23 win/cover by the Falcons over Green Bay, most of the in-the-know folks in NFL-land were busy declaring Atlanta has the "best team in the NFL" ... it could be true but fact is Dan Quinn's club is a mere FG road favorite here against the born-again Lions who are showing signs of a ground game to go along with moneybags QB Matthew Stafford who only had to throw for a buck-and-a-quarter (or so) in the MNF win against the New York Giants. Hey, the Lions have a legit star passed rusher in DE Ziggy Ansah (three sacks of Eli Manning last week) and if he can get to QB Matt Ryan (252 passing yards versus Green Bay last weekend) than that might back up the Falcons and give the Motowners better-than-you-think field position. Ask us and we see Lions PK Matt Prater as a real key -- he boomed a 58-yard FG in the Monday game and might be the deadliest long-range kicker in this league in years!
Spread Stat -- Atlanta has covered seven of its last 10 away games dating back to the start of last year.
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OAKLAND (2-0) at WASHINGTON (1-1) -- 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC
Time to put politics aside for the night outside the nation's capital, this bash between the Raiders and Redskins is a super-duper showdown but the storyline you thought might be obvious -- who wins the aerial game -- may have changed as last weekend the 'Skins pounded out 229 yards rushing in their thrilling 27-20 win against the host Los Angeles Rams. If Washington head coach Jay Gruden stays to a similar script here, than RBs Rob Kelly, Chris Thompson and Oklahoma rookie Samaje Perine will be getting lots of mention and note the Raiders were less than effective in handling the pedestrian ground game of the New York Jets in last week's rubout win against "gang green" in the Bay Area. If Raiders QB Derek Carr (492 yards passing with 5 TDs and 0 INTs) gets into a real rhythm here, than it might be another lights-out Oakland win -- WR Michel Crabtree's three TDs last week proved he's back among the league's elite pass-catchers and Carr is getting lots of help from dancin' RB Marshawn Lynch.
Spread Stat -- Oakland is an electric 14-5 against the odds away the past two-plus seasons.
NFL Week 3 Note: Keep an eye out on the red-hot Kansas City Chiefs. True, Andy Reid's club has beaten/covered New England and Philadelphia right out of the 2017 starting gate but now they're laying a FG at the winless (and desperate) Los Angeles Chargers. Are these Chiefs legit Super Bowl contenders this year ... or this this the week they get knocked down a peg or two? We shall see.
NOTE: Lots more NFL Week 3 coverage and college football recaps in the next edition of Jim Sez.