Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, October 4, 2018 at 12:00 AM
LET’S GET NFL WEEK 5 KICKED OFF –
IT’S COLTS VS. PATS IN PRIME-TIMER …
COLLEGE FOOTBALL REPORT:
EXAMINING A HANDFUL OF FIRST-YEAR HEAD COACHES
(AND TELLING YOU WHAT’S GONE WRONG!) …
THE MLB DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF SERIES
Just think about it:
We are now one-quarter through this here-and-now 2018 NFL season and all the buzz surrounds the undefeated Los Angeles Rams (yes, now the favorites to win it all, according to the good people in Las Vegas), Kansas City QB Patrick Mahomes and the new/improved Chicago Bears’ defense that may well deserve a new “Monster of the Midway” type moniker.
The New England Patriots?
Hmm, they’ve pretty much been an afterthought in the world of pro football lately after making back-to-back Super Bowl appearances the past two seasons: In fact, the Pats are one of seven NFL teams with a break-even 2-2 SU (straight-up) record at the proverbial quarter pole and you could find just as many folks that believe Bill Belichick’s club will flounder about the rest of the way as you will individuals that believe N’England will find its way back to the SB.
All we know is that the Patriots are a meager + 11 in points differential so far while the AFC East squad has copped a pair of pointspread home wins (against Houston and Miami) while failing to cover their pair of road games (at Jacksonville and at Detroit).
Get the lights turned on bright – the Pats are the feature attraction on Thursday Night Football this evening:
INDIANAPOLIS (1-3) at NEW ENGLAND (2-2) – 8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network
First things first and that’s both of these teams are truly banged up – we know Colts WR T.Y. Hilton won’t play (chest injury) while there’s a pair of cornerbacks missing here also for Indianapolis; the flip side says the Patriots could be without TE Rob Gronkowski (ankle) and thus this “short week” won’t help the cause for these walking wounded players. Last week Indy QB Andrew Luck threw a franchise-high 62 passes – while cuttin’ it loose for 464 aerial yards – and he may have to throw early /often here as the Colts’ ground game has gone MIA. If New England slinger Tom Brady (918 yards passing with 9 TDs and 4 INTs this year) gets to stand and deliver here with RB Hames White (8 catches in last weekend’s 38-7 win/cover against Miami) as a major target, then the Colts could be playing catch-up all night long.
Spread Notes – New England is 33-14-3 ATS (against the spread) as hosts since the start of the 2013 season (that’s a .702 winning percentage); Indianapolis is 3-6 ATS in head-to-head games against the Patriots the past 10 years (including playoffs).
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers banged out plenty of winners in the NFL Week 4 card and we’re ready to roar in Week 5 beginning with tonight’s hoedown in Foxboro between the Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots. So, get the Side & Totals plays here and get all the College Football, NFL Week 5 and Major-League Baseball playoff winners all week and weekend long – it’s the National League Division Series beginning today/tonight in Milwaukee and in Los Angeles -- and the American League Divisional Playoffs that start up Friday afternoon. Just call us at our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 or get the winners right here online at www.jimhurley.com – go ahead and just keep piling up the profits on the gridiron and on the diamond!
COLLEGE FOOTBALL REPORT
In case you were wondering, there were 19 “first-year” head coaches in place at the start of this here-and-now College Football season. Below is our up-to-the-minute chart of their pointspread records … and then after you review that we’ll have something to say about a handful of ‘em who have been true money burners:
SCHOOL COACH ATS RECORD
Arizona St. Herm Edwards 4-1-0
Florida Dan Mullen 4-1-0
Texas A&M Jimbo Fisher 4-1-0
UCF Josh Heupel 3-1-0
Kent St. Sean Lewis 3-2-0
Miss State Joe Moorhead 3-2-0
South Alabama Steve Campbell 3-2-0
UL-Lafayette Billy Napier 2-2-0
Arizona Kevin Sumlin 2-3-0
Arkansas Chad Morris 2-3-0
Oregon St. Jonathan Smith 2-3-0
Rice Mike Bloomgren 2-3-0
SMU Sonny Dykes 2-3-0
Tennessee Jeremy Pruitt 2-3-0
UTEP Dana Dimel 2-3-0
Florida St. Willie Taggart 1-4-0
Oregon Mario Cristobal 1-4-0
UCLA Chip Kelly 1-3-0
Nebraska Scott Frost 0-4-0
Okay, so overall College Football’s first-year head coaches are just a handful of games below the .500 mark at 43-48 but check out the bottom four guys on this list and let’s toss the overrated Kevin Sumlin (Arizona) into the mix. Is it really possible that Nebraska’s Scott Frost, UCLA’s Chip Kelly, Oregon’s Mario Cristobal, Florida State’s Willie Taggart and the aforementioned Sumlin are a collective 5-18 against the odds this ’18 season? Yikes. No doubt that Frost and Kelly have been blindsided by lack of talent on board but both coaches have pulled bonehead moves (or their teams have) at various times this year while Oregon’s Cristobal may have suffered the most painful high-profile loss this year two weeks ago versus Stanford. Taggart? Heck, this dude’s lost in space as his team has been outplayed in all five games and the ‘Noles are writing “thank you’s” to Louisville for handing ‘em last week’s FSU non-cover win.
THE BASEBALL POST-SEASON REPORT
The final four in both the National and American Leagues are set … and Vegas says in the NL that the Los Angeles Dodgers are a better than two-to-one favorite in their best-of-five set against Atlanta (the Dodgers are – 225 / the Braves are +185) and keep in mind Dodgers’ ace LHP Clayton Kershaw won’t go till Game 2. The Milwaukee Brewers have the extra home game against the wild-card-winning Colorado Rockies and did you know Milwaukee sports MLB’s fifth-best ERA despite the lack of quality starting pitchers?
In the AL, the defending World Series champion Houston Astros are prohibitive betting favorites against the Cleveland Indians (the ‘Stros are – 162 / Indians + 142) while the New York Yankees roll into their best-of-five set against the Boston Red Sox with the rotation set with lefty J.A. Happ possibly getting two cracks at the Beantowners. Note that went 52-24 this year against all AL East foes.
The World Series Odds to win it all (based on $100 per play wagers) …
TEAM ODDS TO WIN WS
Boston + 300
Houston + 350
LA Dodgers + 450
Milwaukee + 700
Cleveland + 800
Colorado + 1000
NY Yankees + 1000
Atlanta + 1200
NOTE: Get our College Football weekend previews in the next Jim Sez.