Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, September 13, 2018 at 12:00 AM
READY OR NOT, NFL WEEK 2 SWINGS INTO ACTION WITH A THURSDAY NIGHT SHOWDOWN THIS EVENING: IT'S RAVENS AT BENGALS IN AFC NORTH TOSS-UP BASH ... THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL UPDATE
Here's an NFL pointspread ditty that might have slipped through the cracks in Week One - and that's same divisional underdogs swept the board with a perfect 4-and-oh pointspread mark as Cleveland (+ 3.5) over Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay (+10) over New Orleans, Kansas City (+ 3.5) over the Los Angeles Chargers and Chicago (+ 7) over Green Bay all cashed with - of course - the Bucs and Chiefs winning easily in outright fashion.
Now, here we kick off NFL Week 2 with a same divisional matchup - the Baltimore Ravens at the Cincinnati Bengals - and the current odds have this game a dead Pick 'Em - so right now no divisional dog to grab here. Come Sunday, there's a slew of divisional duels on the docket including: Carolina at Atlanta, Minnesota at Green Bay, Houston at Tennessee, Miami at New York Jets, Arizona at Los Angeles Rams, Oakland at Denver and the New York Giants at Dallas. So, you have been forewarned!
After a great week one with college winners TCU, Duke, La-Monroe,Texas A&M, Stanford and Arizona State, and the Bengals, Dolphins and Buccaneers on Sunday, and Rams on Monday, check with us for more NFL Week 2 winners beginning with tonight's Ravens vs. Bengals clash (our game preview is below) and get all the College Football and Major-League Baseball winners too at the Jim Hurley Network: The toll-free telephone # is 1-800-323-4453 or get 'em right here online - just keep on cashin' all month long!
Tonight, it's ...
BALTIMORE (1-0) at CINCINNATI (1-0) - 8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network
You could say the Baltimore Ravens "owe" one to the Cincy Bengals: After all, it was last New Year's Eve when Bengals' slinger Andy Dalton aired a last-minute, fourth-down touchdown pass in Week 17 to KO the Ravens from the post-season and gotta believe John Harbaugh's crew has a long memory. Still, the facts are the Bengals roar into this prime-time bash with major momentum following last Sunday's come-from-behind 34-23 win at Indianapolis as the Dalton-to WR A.J. Green combo hooked up for six pass plays worth 92 yards while the Ravens are geeked following QB Joe Flacco's three scoring strikes in last Sunday's runaway 47-3 win against Buffalo. Take note that Cincinnati was blanked 20-0 at home in last year's season opener against Baltimore.
Spread Notes - Baltimore is a delicious 12-3 ATS (against the spread) in its last 15 divisional games dating back to late in the 2015 season; Cincinnati's 25-14-2 versus the vig overall at home since the start of the 2013 campaign.
In other NFL News & Notes ...
Right now, there's only one double-digit pointspread on this NFL Week 2 card - the LA Rams are currently a 12.5-point favorite against visiting Arizona - and no need to remind you that last week the one-and-only twin-figure favorite went up in smoke as the N'Orleans Saints lost 48-40 to 10-point pup Tampa Bay. It's possible that the Saints could be "bet up" to double-digit fav status again - right now they're laying 9 points against the visiting Cleveland Browns - but then again a whole bunch of folks had to crash-and-burn in their "survivor" pools in Week 1 with the Saints going down, the aforementioned Steelers playing to a draw and Detroit (as 7-point favorites on Monday Night Football) losing in lopsided fashion to the New York Jets ...
Hey, we know everyone weighed in on the heroes and zeros of NFL Week 1 but looking ahead to Sunday's showdowns you gotta say there's heat on New York Giants' QB Eli Manning (224 yards passing, one INT in last week's 20-15 loss to Jacksonville) and Arizona Cardinals RB David Johnson (only 37 yards rushing in that humbling 24-6 home loss against Washington). True, Johnson missed out on a bunch of touches once the 'Skins charged out to a 21-zip halftime lead but he's got a long way to go in getting back to snuff after missing almost all of last year with a knee injury while Manning - admittedly playing behind a wobbly O-line - was indecisive at times and really threw a terrible tipped ball that went for a game-sealing INT/TD against the Jaguars. If both of these "name players" can't turn the beat around - the Giants are in Dallas for the Sunday night affair; Johnson and Company are those heavy-duty dogs at the Rams - then it really could signal a long year for both franchises.
THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL UPDATE
Let's face it: At the start of this 2018 campaign, most "in-the-know" folks believed that there were truly three teams that would vie for this year's national championship and they were defending champ Alabama, last year's runner-up Georgia and 2016 national champ Clemson - but if there's anyone "back in the pack" that could be a live pick to win it all this year, then consider #15 TCU. The Horned Frogs get a shot to make a splash this Saturday night when they play near two-TD fav Ohio State in not-so-neutral Arlington - yes, a tall order but if Gary Patterson's squad can steal an outright upset here, it would surely put 'em in the top five and later the Frogs will get nine days to prep for mighty Oklahoma and then the next toughest game is at West Virginia on Nov. 10th. Don't sleep on TCU ...
Finally, we'll be keeping a close eye on a couple of new head coaches who really flopped last weekend: Florida's Dan Mullen has been getting verbally lambasted for his team's 27-16 loss to Kentucky (thus snapping a 31-game Gators winning streak in said SEC series) and his gang is a three-TD favorite against upset-minded Colorado State this Saturday in Gainesville. Meanwhile, Nebraska's prodigal son Scott Frost - fresh off a season-ending 33-28 loss to 3-point dog Colorado last weekend - is laying 11.5 points against Troy - interesting how this number took off as it opened at Big Red minus 7.5 points. Frost better start winning/covering (and not offering up lame post-game excuses) or else the Husker fans will get on his case.
NOTE: College Football previews plus more in the next Jim Sez.