Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, November 16, 2017 at 4:41 PM
NFL WEEK 11 – TITANS-STEELERS SQUARE OFF IN THURSDAY NIGHT SHOWDOWN PLUS, IT’S OUR JIM SEZ POINTSPREADDID-YOU-KNOW SEGMENT …
THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF RANKINGS (AND WHAT IT ALL MEANS)
Listen up …There’s 14 games on the NFL Week 11 menu and – believe it or not – 10 of these games “feature” one or both teams with losing records. Ugh!
Thankfully, the Thursday Night Football game here ain’t one of ‘em!
In fact, the Tennessee Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers have combined for 13 SU (straight-up) wins so far on the 2017 season and both are neatly positioning themselves for a post-season berth – providing they can keep their respective right foot on the gas pedal.
We’ll get to the TNF game preview in just a second, but first this key reminder…
Jim Hurley’s Network of Handicappers and Bloggers have Football Winners (both the Sides & Totals) all week long in an uber-busy week on the gridiron. The College kids have plenty of good stuff going on as there’s Two (2) games on this Thursday night and Two (2) more Friday even before we get to a super-sized Saturday menu and don’t forget that NFL Week 11 swings into action on Thursday with a key AFC clash between the Tennessee Titans at the Pittsburgh Steelers. And there’s lots of NBA and College Basketball winners too, so just check in with us here at online or 1-800-323-4453.
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Titans at Steelers (-7). Both teams coming off 4-0 streaks, lead their division & can beat you 50 ways. Titans' pass defense so good Big Ben may have to go to the hurry-up-no-huddle. No matter. We've got that covered, too, like our MNF Winner with the Dolphins/Panthers going over the total by 4 touchdowns! Plus I'll have Basketball, too, like Golden State at Celtics, college fhoops and more. Just $25
NFL WEEK 11: TENNESSEE (6-3) at PITTSBURGH (7-2) – 8:25 p.m. ET, NBC
Here’s a strange-but-true factoid:
The Tennessee Titans are three games over .500 and yet they’ve been outscored by eight points overall (205 points for/213 points against) … that’s an NFL oddity, to be sure. So is the fact that both the Titans and Steelers zoom into this affair on respective four-game SU winning streaks.
In this prime-time tilt at Heinz Field – where the Steelers have played just three games (wins/covers against Minnesota and Cincinnati and a 21-point loss in Week 5 versus Jacksonville) – the home team figures to bring the heat when possible against Titans’ QB Marcus Mariota and his creaky ankle/shoulder that have held ‘em back for much of this current campaign.
Mariota (7 TDs passing / 3 TDs rushing) needs to move the chains with his legs as well as his arm – if he can gain 40-plus ground yards than the visiting side could hang tough here.
On the flip side, Pittsburgh sports plenty of playmakers (plenty more than Tennessee does) and yet here’s the Steelers ranking only `87th in the league in scoring (just 20.8 ppg). Expect Steelers’ QB Ben Roethlisberger to chuck it around early following that sluggish start last weekend in Indianapolis. P.S., the Steelers have exceeded the 20-point mark just once in their past five games.
Spread Notes – Tennessee is 3-5-1 ATS (against the spread) overall this year and note the Titans are a collective 11-24-1 vig-wise as underdog sides since the start of the 2014 season. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh is 5-4 against the odds this year and the Steelers have failed to cover five of their last seven games against Tennessee.
NFL DID-YOU-KNOW SPREAD SEGMENT
Did You Know … The Baltimore Ravens are 0-7-1 ATS in their last eight games against NFC competition (at Green Bay)
Did You Know … The Cincinnati Bengals have failed to cover seven of their last 11 games when placed in the underdog role (at Denver)
Did You Know … The Los Angeles Rams have covered their last four consecutive games and they have not covered five straight in more than 10 years (at Minnesota)
Did You Know … The Miami Dolphins are a wacky 4-3-4 spreadwise in their last 11 home games (host Tampa Bay this Sunday)
And, finally, Did You Know … The Washington Redskins are 5-10 ATS overall since late last season and just 27-31 ATS under fourth-year head coach Jay Gruden (at New Orleans)
THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF RANKINGS
No need to get on any “soap box” here: The 13-person committee that runs the College Football Playoff rankings have made it abundantly clear that “strength of schedule” and “signature wins” trumps all but gotta say … Do these “in-the-know” folks really know what they are doing?
Consider the latest CFP rankings that were released on Tuesday night between that college hoop twin-bill in Chicago (and don’t you just love when ESPN allows basketball gurus Seth Greenberg and Jay Williams to weigh in on the football stuff, geez!)?
The committee folks rightfully have placed Alabama back in the #1 spot following losses by Georgia and Notre Dame but what the heck is Clemson doing there at #2? Folks, we’ve got nothing against the defending champions and we realize the 27-24 loss at 23.5-point home pup Syracuse occurred with Tigers’ star QB Kelly Bryant out for much of the game but why such a big reward for road wins against Louisville, Virginia Tech and N.C. State? We could make the case none of the above are legit 25 teams (note N.C. State is currently at #19 while the Cardinals and Hokies are unranked).
Then, while Miami deserved a major bump following on the heels of back-to-back home wins against Virginia Tech and Notre Dame, the #4 Oklahoma Sooners deserved better – remember Oklahoma won at Ohio State and just won/covered its last three in a row versus Texas Tech, Oklahoma State (in Stillwater) and TCU.
We say the current CFP rankings should have #1 Alabama followed by Miami, Oklahoma and then Wisconsin – with Clemson/Auburn/Georgia battling for the key #5 and #6 spots … okay?
What does it mean?
Well, the likely Clemson vs. Miami showdown in the ACC Championship Game is gonna kayo the loser but if Dabo Swinney’s squad loses that game by a point or two and still slips past a one-loss Oklahoma team (we’re assuming ‘Bama and Wisconsin nail down berths in the end) then there’s gonna be hell to pay.
NOTE: Lots of NFL Week 11 goodies in the next Jim Sez along with College Football previews.