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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 at 12:00 AM



Okay, so if you're a big believer in National Football League teams "taking advantage" of a weak schedule, then this year's Houston Texans will be the team to watch.

The Texans will play six of their 16 regular-season games against teams that won six-or-fewer games in 2017 and they'll be playing five games against teams that sport new head coaches ... no wonder there's lots of "worst-to-first" shirts/bumper stickers/etc. making the rounds in the great city of Houston.

But, get this ... The Texans will play a sked against teams that had a 2017 winning percentage of .453 and note another AFC South club - the Tennessee Titans - will play the next-easiest schedule with an opponents' winning percentage of .465.

Take note that the Green Bay Packers are slated to play the most difficult schedule with foes last year winning at a .539 percentage.

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers are winning big with Major League Baseball action every day. So, make sure you cash in big right here online or 1-800-323-4453. Pile up the profits as we head towards another great NCAA Football / NFL season straight ahead!

We continue our NFL team-by-team summer accounts right here - and every day at Jim Sez we'll be posting a batch of teams as we check out news/notes/reports. Plus, we get you some key pointspread info to boot and note a team's SU (straight-up) record is listed next to the team name. Here's the Los Angeles Chargers, Buffalo Bills, New Orleans Saints and Arizona Cardinals ...

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (9-7) - Last year the Chargers sported the best points differential among AFC West teams (+ 83) but three losses by three points or less in the first four weeks of the season doomed any/all playoff hopes. As any Chargers' fan knows, the kicking game was a major culprit with a slew of missed field goals (PK Younghoe Koo missed half of his six FG tries and really bombed before eventually getting cut) but right now LA says Caleb Sturgis is said to have the advantage over Nick Rose and former Tampa Bay flop Roberto Aguayo. You might remember Sturgis' torn flexor injury kayoed 'em from the active roster of the Philadelphia Eagles last year and then Jake Elliott stepped in and became a post-season hero with 7-of-7 field goal makes for the Super Bowl champs. 
Pointspread Notes - Believe it or not, last year's Chargers finished 4-3-1 ATS (against the spread) as both favorites and underdogs en route to an 8-6-2 overall spread mark. Note that the Bolts are a solid 9-5-1 vig-wise when playing divisional foes the past two-plus seasons.

BUFFALO (9-8) - No surprise here that as we draw towards July, these Bills are listing first-round draftee Josh Allen as No. 3 on the current depth chart behind AJ McCarron and Nathan Peterman but we remind you that McCarron has thrown only 133 passes (completing 86 balls) in his first four years in the NFL as a backup in Cincinnati and most of them happened way back in 2015 when Bengals' starter Andy Dalton missed a chunk of games due to injury (McCarron completed 79-of-119 passes with 6 TDs and 2 INTs in seven games that year). Right now, we give McCarron a 75 percent shot to start; Allen a 25 percent shot and Peterman a 0 percent chance to start 2018 as the Bills' lead signal-caller in Week 1.
Pointspread Notes - Want to know how the 2017 Bills got folks rich ... by playing 'em as home betting favorites where this AFC East crew banged out a 4-0-1 ATS mark with chalk covers versus the New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins (they pushed as 3-point home favs against Tampa Bay.

NEW ORLEANS (12-6) - Are this year's Saints gonna be defined by a five-game stretch between Sept. 23rd and Oct. 28th? New Orleans plays four of those five games on the road - at Atlanta in Week 3, at New York Giants in Week 4, home to Washington on a Monday Night Football game in Week 5, then a bye week followed by back-to-back road games in Baltimore and Minnesota. Consider that last year's AFC South champions split eight road games in regular-season play and gotta think Sean Payton's crew would sign for that same result in 2018 ... note the other four away games are at Cincinnati, at Dallas, at Tampa Bay and at Carolina.
Pointspread Notes - Last year's Saints finished with a dead-even but vig-losing 9-9 spread mark but note N'Orleans is a solid 28-21-1 ATS the past three years (that's a .571 winning rate). On the flip side, the Saints are an ugly 1-6-1 spreadwise in season-opening games dating back to 2010.

ARIZONA (8-8) - Count us among the folks not on board with Cardinals' do-everything RB David Johnson who is angling for a new contract ... after missing the final 15 games last year with a wrist injury suffered in the team's season-opening 35-23 loss at Detroit. Johnson wants a long-term extension to his contract even though his brief career totals say he's rushed for 1,843 yards (a 4.3 yards-per-carry average) with 122 career receptions. Sure, Johnson's been a "fantasy league" darling but don't you think you stay quiet when you come off a "lost year"?
Pointspread Notes - The '17 Cardinals staggered out of the starting gate with five consecutive spread setbacks en route to a 6-9-1 ATS mark; Arizona is now 12-22-1 ATS overall since late in the 2015 season.

Maybe the single-biggest story so far in this 2018 Major-League Baseball season has been the avalanche of guys striking out - the latest figures had Texas Rangers 1B/DH Joey Gallo with 113 strikeouts while the National League "leader" is Arizona 1B Paul Goldschmidt (93 Ks). No question we'll have a couple of players striking out 200-or-more times. Last year then-New York Yankees rookie Aaron Judge fanned 208 times in all and this season - through Wednesday's action - Yankees' DH/OF Giancarlo Stanton has struck out 106 times and Judge has been K'd 105 times.
Swing and a miss, indeed!

NOTE: Stay with Jim Sez for all the NFL and NCAA Football Previews all summer long!

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