Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, August 4, 2018 at 12:00 AM
THE NFL PRESEASON WEEK 1 REPORT - WE TAKE AN EARLY PEEK AT A BATCH OF GAMES ...
BASEBALL NEWS & NOTES: VERLANDER, PORCELLO KICK OFF SUMMER WEEKEND WITH MONSTER MOUND SHOWINGS
You got it ... the 2018 NFL Preseason is off-and-runnin' following the Baltimore Ravens' 17-16 non-cover win against the Chicago Bears the other night - we cashed here at the Jim Hurley Network with a solid play on "under" 35 points and that just meant we had to sweat out the Bears' two-point conversion attempt in the fourth quarter.
Well, there's lots more NFL Preseason winners straight ahead this summer and the Week 1 menu already has us geeked:
In case you don't have a handy-dandy schedule with you at the moment, then notice that there are a dozen exhibition games on the Thursday, August 9th card followed by two games each on Friday, August 10th and Saturday, August 11th and here's some of our early-bird thoughts on a batch of Thursday tilts:
THURSDAY, AUG. 9
CAROLINA at BUFFALO - The Bills opened as 1-point home betting favorites here but it shot up to minus 2.5 points in a heartbeat. Okay, so it's not likely that Panthers' QB Cam Newton plays at all here but the fact that there's some important positional battles along the Buffalo offensive line could give the AFC East crew a "competitive edge" for this clash.
CLEVELAND at NEW YORK GIANTS - The G-men opened as 3-point home betting favorites for this bash at the Meadowlands but the price tag quickly dropped to 2 points; the Browns are no doubt "stressing" the fact they want to win (yes, even in the preseason) after combining for only one SU (straight-up) victory the past two seasons plus could see Cleveland playing extra-hard for head coach Hue Jackson who has lost a brother and his mother within days of one another recently. Memo to all bettors: Giants' WR Odell Beckham, Jr. and his never-ending contract saga never seems to end but it's written in stone he's not gonna play a preseason snap no matter what!
PITTSBURGH at PHILADELPHIA - The defending Super Bowl champion Philly Eagles are slowly but surely getting injured QB Carson Wentz back into playing shape but he has been "scaled back" in recent drills and you won't be seeing Wentz play here; on the flip side; the Steelers likely won't play either #1 WR Antonio Brown nor #2 WR JuJu Smith-Schuster who suffered an "undisclosed" injury at last weekend's practice.
LOS ANGELES RAMS at BALTIMORE (1-0) - No surprise that the Ravens quickly "took some money" following the aforementioned Hall of Fame Game non-cover win against Chicago: After all, teams with a H.O.F. Game appearance normally are popular plays based on the "game under its belt" philosophy but what grades would you have given Baltimore QBs Robert Griffin III (7-of-11 passing for 58 yards with one TD and one INT against the Browns) and rookie Lamar Jackson (4-of-10 passing for 33 yards with one TD / one INT to go along with 8 rushes for 25 yards) ... maybe a C+?
DALLAS at SAN FRANCISCO - The oddsmakers know that this year's 49ers are a "hot commodity" with loads of folks (including NBC's Tony Dungy) calling for San Fran to have a big year and thus this NFC West crew opened as a significant 3.5-point betting favorite here. If you wish to keep tabs on some of the Niners' new personnel, then note CB Richard Sherman exited Friday's practice with hamstring tightness while OL Weston Richburg - the former New York Giants' G/C - started 50 of NYG's 51 games the past few seasons and SF is keeping fingers crossed his concussion issues are a thing of the past.
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers plan on a monster NFL preseason this month and it all started with last night's "under" winner in Baltimore's 17-16 non-cover win against Chicago in the annual Hall of Fame Game. Jim's clients cashed as the game went "under" 35 points and there's lots more winners straight ahead. Plus, don't forget that Jim Hurley keeps piling up the profits with Major-League Baseball - get all the MLB winners this weekend online or 1-800-323-4453. Note - There's a full slate of NFL Preseason Games on tap next week including Thursday, August 9th when the Pittsburgh Steelers play the cross-state rival Philly Eagles plus it's the Atlanta Falcons at the New York Jets on Friday, Aug. 10th and the Minnesota Vikings at the Denver Broncos on Saturday, Aug. 11th.
THE BASEBALL REPORT
Okay, so it's been a week for uber high-scoring games in baseball what with the Washington Nationals putting up 25 runs in an early-week win against the New York Mets and then this past Thursday night there were the Los Angeles tacking up 21 runs ... so that means we give an extra enthusiastic tip of the cap to a couple of veteran righthanded pitchers who turned the tables on the high-scoring offenses of the game with super-special showings:
The Jim Hurley Network cashed with the Houston Astros in Friday's 2-1 win at the aforementioned Dodgers as RHP Justin Verlander (11-6, 2.19 ERA) steered the defending champs to the victory thanks to 7.2 innings of one-run / 4-hit ball while he struck out 14 batters and walked just one.
Just hours before that west coast clash ended, there was Boston Red Sox RHP Rick Porcello (14-4, 3.84 ERA) retiring the last 21 consecutive New York Yankees en route to a 4-1 Bosox win at Fenway Park. Porcello - who surrendered a solo home run to 3B Miguel Andujar to lead off the top of the third inning - otherwise fanned nine batters and walked none in a game wrapped up in ... get this ... 2 hours and 15 minutes which is about half the time it takes to finish a "normal" Yanks-Red Sox encounter.
Verlander - the American League's 2011 Cy Young winner - and Porcello (the '16 AL Cy Young winner) were Friday's stop-the-offense star hurlers and might we be headed to a matchup of these studs in a Game 7 of the AL Championship Series come October. Delicious!
NOTE: Catch all the NCAA Football, NFL Preseason and Major-League Baseball goodies all month long right here in Jim Sez and keep cashin' in with all the action.