Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, December 22, 2017 at 12:43 PM
HERE'S WHAT IS ON OUR HOLIDAY HIT LIST
SATURDAY'S NFL WEEK 16 PAIR OF SHOWDOWNS, PLUS A TRIO OF SATURDAY BOWL GAMES TO BOOT
Who's counting down the shopping days? Not us!
The Jim Hurley Network is busy banging out Football and Basketball winners each and every day this holiday season and Saturday there's a slew of action on the gridiron and on the hardcourt.
In fact Jim Hurley's Network of Handicappers and Bloggers have plenty of NFL Week 16 Winners beginning with Saturday's twin-bill - that's Indianapolis at Baltimore (4:30 p.m. ET on NFL Network) and Minnesota at Green Bay (8:30 p.m. ET on NBC). And don't forget the slew of College Football Bowl games roll on with action every day/night this week -- so check with us here online or 1-800-323-4453 and there's still time to sign up for the Bowl Playoff / Package with Jim Hurley, and get the bowls, the NFL, and get all the daily/nightly College Basketball and NBA Winners too!
Now, here's the Saturday menu:
NFL WEEK 16
INDIANAPOLIS (3-11) at BALTIMORE (8-6) - 4:30 p.m. ET, NFL Network
Gotta go back to the final regular-season game in 2014 to find the last time the Baltimore Ravens were a double-digit betting favorite (a 20-10 non-cover win against 14-point underdog Cleveland) and so this is a little bit of foreign territory for John Harbaugh's crew that has the inside track at one of the AFC's wild card berths - will QB Joe Flacco (2,701 yards passing with 14 TDs / 12 INTs) and friends play a little tight here?
Spread Stats - Baltimore is an electric 5-1-1 ATS (against the spread) since Oct. 26 and note the Ravens are a composite 7-1 spreadwise this year when holding foes below 20 points; Indianapolis staggers into this tilt on a four-game spread losing skid and the Colts overall are 6-10 ATS in their last 16 games.
MINNESOTA (11-3) at GREEN BAY (7-7) - 8 p.m. ET, NBC
Yes, it is too bad that we're not gonna be treated to a showdown between this mighty Minnesota defense (held nine foes to 17 points or less this year) and Green Bay slinger Aaron Rodgers but the fact is the visiting Vikings have plenty to play for (a first-round playoff bye and maybe even home field throughout the upcoming NFC playoffs) and it is gonna be 1 degree outside, so that's always fun football to watch. Minnesota QB Case Keenum has completed 68 percent of its passes and may just be the single-biggest "feel-good" story in a year of bad stories in the NFL.
Spread Stats - Minnesota is a dreary 3-8 vig-wise at Lambeau Field the past 10 years (that includes the 24-10 NFC Wild Card Playoff loss as 10.5-point pups back in 2012) but overall the Vikings are 10-4 ATS this season; Green Bay's a dead-even but vig-losing 7-7 against the odds this year and note the Packers are 27-14 ATS versus divisional foes the past six-plus seasons.
SATURDAY'S COLLEGE BOWL BONANZA
BIRMINGHAM BOWL - at Birmingham, AL
TEXAS TECH (6-6) vs. USF (9-2) - 12 p.m. ET, ESPN
No doubt the USF Bulls - who started off this season at 7-and-0 SU (straight-up) - figured this was the year they would play in a January bowl game but losses to Houston and UCF downgraded the bowl dreams and so it's back to the Birmingham Bowl for a second straight season … remember they failed to cover 10-point pup South Carolina in last year's wild 46-39 win. Quarterback Quinton Flowers (2,600 yards passing and 972 yards rushing with a combined 31 TDs) is the most dynamic player on the Legion Field surface here but don't sleep on a Texas Tech team that stars QB Nic Shimonek who threw 30 TDs and can really get hot in a hurry. P.S., the TT Red Raiders have won only one bowl game in the Kliff Kingsbury Era (a 37-23 shocker win against 17-point fav Arizona State in the 2013 Holiday Bowl).
Spread Stats - Texas Tech is a decent 32-26 ATS under fifth-year boss Kingsbury; USF failed to cover four of its final five regular-season games with the lone late-year cover happening in a wild 49-42 loss at 10-point fav UCF … a Best Bet Jim Hurley winner, remember?
ARMED FORCES BOWL - at Fort Worth, TX
ARMY (9-3) vs. SAN DIEGO STATE (10-2) - 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
The Army Black Knights own the coveted Commander-in-Chief Trophy for the first time in 21 years … now the West Pointers look to bag a second straight bowl win after downing North Texas last winter in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. Note that Army - currently a 6-point underdog in this bowl bash - registered 45 TDs on the ground this year with QB Ahmad Bradshaw and RB Darnell Woolfolk scoring a dozen touchdowns apiece while on the other side there's San Diego State RB Rashaad Penny who leads the country with 2,027 yards rushing with 19 TDs. Penny appeared in our Jim Sez Heisman Trophy Watch List a couple of times this year and generally was ignored by the mass media - if Army ignores 'em here than the SDSU Aztecs will win easy!
Spread Stats - True, Army has beaten Navy in back-to-back years now but still the Black Knights are just 20-23 ATS under fourth-year head coach Jeff Monken; San Diego State's covered its last four consecutive games heading into this duel and overall the Aztecs are a sturdy 23-14-1 ATS the past three years (a .622 winning rate).
DOLLAR GENERAL BOWL - at Mobile, AL
APPALACHIAN STATE (8-4) vs. TOLEDO (11-2) - 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
It's Round II between these non-power conference clubs - remember they met in last year's Camellia Bowl when 1-point fav Appalachian State snared a 31-28 win. Now, Toledo hunkers down for revenge with QB Logan Woodside - the Mid-American Conference Offensive Player of the Year - looking to torch an Appalachian State defense that has allowed just 10 ppg in the team's last three games. Woodside's gonna be banking on big games from favorite target WR Diontae Johnson (1,257 yards receiving and 13 TDs) and stud RB Terry Swanson (1,319 rushing yards with 14 TDs) while the A-State Mountaineers are no slugs on offense with veteran QB Taylor Lamb (2,606 yards passing with 27 TDs and 6 INTs) a true model of consistency. Toledo is a full TD betting favorite here and note the Rockets have grabbed 10 double-digit victories on the year.
Spread Stats - Appalachian State comes into this bowl bash on a three-game pointspread winning streak and the Mountaineers are a collective 5-7 ATS as underdogs since getting on-the-board status back in 2014; Toledo is 7-4-1 ATS when playing non-Mid-American Conference teams the past three seasons.
NOTE: Our Jim Sez NFL Week 16 Sunday game previews come your way tomorrow!