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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, August 15, 2018 at 12:00 PM

We hadn’t expected to come back to this topic so quickly here in JIM HURLEY’S HANDICAPPING NOTEBOOK. But, teams for new head coaches (that we introduced to you last week) mostly struggled very badly out of the gate. Smart bettors must monitor these situations very closely through the month.

We mentioned there were seven new faces in new places. Only Jon Gruden could be considered a “veteran re-tread” with significant head coaching experience. Gruden’s Raiders did get a win and a cover. For the rest…

 

Arizona Cardinals: Steve Wilks

Result: Win and Cover despite HORRIBLE stats

It’s a miracle that Arizona cashed tickets last week. The Cardinals needed a 4-1 turnover edge and a fumble return touchdown to win 24-17. Arizona was outgained 387-174, and lost yards-per-play 5.0 to 3.6. The offense could be in big trouble this season because Wilks is a defensive-minded coach. Don’t let that final score fool you. (Always read box scores!)

 

Chicago Bears: Matt Nagy

Result: Loss and Non-Cover

Nagy was supposed to make this offense hum like a machine. Instead, three more turnovers last week (seven for the preseason counting the Hall of Fame game). Chicago needed an interception return TD just to lose by three points in Cincinnati. Opposite of Arizona, this defense may be in big trouble because an offensive-minded coach is already seeing weakness. The Bears allowed 447 yards (303 through the air) despite having a one-week head start for preparation.

 

Detroit Lions: Matt Patricia

Result: Loss and Non-Cover

Ugly loss at Oakland, falling 16-10 while getting outgained 345-227 and losing yards-per-play 5.8 to 3.5. Plus, the Raiders had a big play called back by penalty. No offense at all for Patricia’s team. He was a controversial choice for head coach. This performance won’t instill much confidence in Lions’ fans.

 

Indianapolis Colts: Frank Reich

Result: Win and Cover

Good result, but not really an offensive showcase for the former quarterback in charge of guiding Andrew Luck’s return to football. Indianapolis won 19-17, yet gained only 265 yards on 4.1 yards-per-play. Not as lucky as Arizona’s win…because Indy’s defense did bring intensity. But, some cause for concern about overall team readiness.

 

New York Giants: Pat Shurmur

Result: Loss and Non-Cover

You may have watched this game live on the NFL Network. Cleveland beat the Giants 20-10, winning total yardage 372-310 and yards-per-play 5.9 to 4.4. Embarrassing result for the G-men on their home field. What if the Giants’ offense is so bad that Shurmur can’t fix it? Backup Davis Webb isn’t ready to take over for Eli Manning, that’s for sure.

 

Tennessee Titans: Mike Vrabel

Result: Loss and Non-Cover

Titans were getting a lot of market respect on the road at Green Bay. Though, some late steam did hit the Packers. The game opened near pick-em at Lambeau! Tennessee lost 31-17, getting outscored 24-7 in the second half. At least the starters were functional in a first half win (10-7 Titans at the break). Final game stats saw the Packers winning total yardage 445-302, passing for 356 yards.

That’s 2-4 straight up and ATS for the coaches not used to preparing entire teams for a preseason. None of the losses were unlucky. One of the wins was a miracle. More like 1-5 straight up and ATS in terms of overall performance. And, the cover saw shaky offense for the Colts.

Something to think about as you handicap this week’s games. And, REALLY something to think about for the dress rehearsals the following weekend. If these teams were so unprepared for their openers, they may have similar trouble when it’s starter-vs. starter at full speed in week three.

 

This week:

NY GIANTS at DETROIT (both new coaches, Friday)

ARIZONA at New Orleans (Friday)

Tampa Bay at TENNESSEE (Saturday)

CHICAGO at Denver (Saturday)

Baltimore at INDIANAPOLIS (Monday)

 

Dress rehearsals next week:

NY GIANTS vs. NY Jets at the Meadowlands

DETROIT at Tampa Bay

Kansas City at CHICAGO

TENNESSEE at Pittsburgh

San Francisco at INDIANAPOLIS

ARIZONA at Dallas

We won’t commit here as to whether or not JIM HURLEY will be picking against the new coaches in the immediate future. He’ll still be checking in with his full TEAM of experts across all disciplines. You can guess how the statheads are voting. But, our SCOUTS AND SOURCES will report from training camps…our COMPUTER PROGRAMMERS will run simulations based on late-breaking personnel rotation developments…and our WISE GUY CONNECTIONS will clue us into smart money moves.

It will all come together for BIG, JUICY WINNERS that YOU can take right to the bank!

You can purchase BEST BETS in both Preseason football and Major League Baseball from a legendary PROVEN WINNER right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about long term or combination packages, please call us in the office during normal business hours at 1-888-777-4155. The earlier you sign up, the sooner you can start pyramiding your profits through the season.

NFL action is already here, and college football is just around the corner. First kickoff is Saturday August 25! Whatever the sport, whatever the date on your calendar…make sure you get all the GET THE MONEY with JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK!

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