Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, November 12, 2018 at 12:00 AM
NFL WEEK 10 UPDATE: THE EAGLES LOSE (AGAIN!) AS NFC PLAYOFF PICTURE TAKES SHAPES WITHOUT 'EM ...
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL PREVIEW: WHO'S THE LESSER OF TWO EVILS IN GIANTS VS. 49ERS? ...
COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEKEND RECAP: IT'S CALLED THE STATUS QUO, FOLKS
Geez, that Super Bowl parade last February through the streets of Philadelphia is now an ancient memory, isn't it?
The here-and-now Eagles - just 4-5 SU (straight-up) and 3-6 ATS (against the spread) following last night's sorry 27-20 loss to the 7.5-point underdog Dallas Cowboys - would have eight NFC teams ahead of 'em in the playoff pecking order if this 2018 season were to end today. Yes, that includes a Cowboys team that - for now - owns the tie-breaker against Philly as they'll meet again come NFL Week 14.
The proverbial bottom line is the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles haven't strung together back-to-back SU or ATS wins all year long and even last week's bye wound up being of no benefit at all when you consider Philadelphia didn't score a first-half touchdown against the 'Boys and actually never had the lead on a night when Dallas did as it pleased when running ball - RB Ezekiel Elliott finished with 19 carries worth 151 yards and one touchdown rushing / one touchdown receiving - while the Eagles abandoned the run altogether with just 16 carries for 71 yards.
If you're looking to check off some other boxes, then note Philly head coach Doug Pederson blew it by calling those late first-half timeouts on defense - and then Dallas marched down the field with the extra available time to score a TD and grab a 13-3 halftime lead - and the Eagles' secondary left way too many open pass-catchers even if Cowboys' QB Dak Prescott (270 yards passing) wasn't always on target.
Okay, so the NFC playoff picture is shaping up with lots of chit-chat regarding who's gonna be the #1 seed - it sure seems as if it's gonna be either the Los Angeles Rams (9-1) or the New Orleans Saints (8-1), right? But right now, the Eagles are two full games back of NFC East-leading Washington (6-3) and, for what it's worth, Philly is gonna have to sweep the 'Skins (see Weeks 13 and 17) and probably not lose more than one more game the rest of the way to have any shot at getting back into the "tournament".
Break it down spreadwise and these Eagles are 1-3 ATS as hosts this year (after going 7-3 ATS at home a season ago) and Philadelphia's a rotten 2-6 vig-wise as betting favorites (the Birds covered 7-of-11 games as chalk-eaters last year).
Note that the numbers-crunchers claim that as this morning, the Eagles have a 20.7 percent chance to make this year's playoffs but leave it to us to throw some more cold water on their hopes ... next up is Sunday's road game at scathing-hot New Orleans, then there's back-to-back winnable home games against the New York Giants and aforementioned Washington, but then there's road tilts at Dallas and at the LA Rams before it's home to Houston and then at Washington. What's reality here? 8-and-8. Sounds about right ... and that'll mean we won't have a repeat Super Bowl winner for a 14th consecutive season.
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers have the winner of tonight's game between the New York Giants at the San Francisco 49ers as we put a ribbon on NFL Week 10 play: Just call us at our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 or else get the winners right here online and cash in all week long with College Football, NFL Week 11 action, the NBA and College Basketball too.
In other NFL Week 10 News / Notes ...
Speaking of those Saints and those Rams, it's funny that they keep going in opposite directions against the Las Vegas price tags:
New Orleans cashed a seventh consecutive game with Sunday's 51-14 triumph at 6-point pup Cincinnati as QB Drew Brees aired three more TDs while the Saints' defense picked off a pair of QB Andy Dalton aerials;
The Rams, meanwhile, are now 1-5-1 spreadwise in their last seven games following a nifty 3-and-oh spread start. In Sunday's 36-31 non-cover win against 9.5-point dog Seattle, the Fox announcers made a big deal over the fact the Rams have won all five of their "one-score" games this year (you know, games decided by 8 points or less). But what the TV talking heads failed to tell you is despite all the high-octane offense (eighth time this year Sean McVay's team scored 30+ points) the Rams are 0-4-1 ATS in these "one-score games" and we're starting to get the feeling that this defense is wearing down a bit even with the MVP-type play from D-lineman Aaron Donald. Just sayin'.
Tonight, it's ...NEW YORK GIANTS (1-7) at SAN FRANCISCO (2-7) - 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN
There's plenty of storylines in tonight's clash in Cali, but almost all of its is negative. So, let's keep this Jim Sez write-up short-and-sweet and remind you that the 49ers will be going with undrafted QB Nick Mullens here after he completed 16-of-22 passes for 262 yards and three TDs in last week's 34-3 win against the awful Oakland Raiders - you know, the team that's "battling" these Giants and 49ers for the top pick in next spring's NFL Draft. If Mullens is able to zing in some quick slants / crossing patterns here, then Pat Shurmer's NFC East cellar-dwellers will be heading back home with a sixth consecutive SU loss. P.S., we'll keep track of how many times Giants' QB Eli Manning gets hit (and how many times he goes down).
Spread Notes - San Francisco is 3-6 against the odds this year and that means the 49ers are a collective 29-42-2 ATS since the very start of the 2014 season (that's a .408 winning rate); on the flip side, the NY Giants are 3-5 ATS overall this horrid season but note the Jints have covered seven of their last 11 away games.
THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL REPORT
If you were looking to call it "Shakedown Saturday" or one of those other silly phrases, well, this past weekend didn't fit that bill:
In fact, all the "name" teams out there in the upper part of College Football Playoff rankings won - save for then-#11 Kentucky, then-#14 N.C. State, then-#16 Miss State, then-#17 Boston College and then-#18 Michigan State and none of these guys were gonna be in the "final four" at year's end anyway.
Nope, it was "Status Quo" Saturday with Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Michigan - the Nos. 1-thru-4 team announced last Tuesday night - going a combined 4-0 SU / 3-1 ATS (Michigan didn't cover the 37.5-point price at Rutgers) while #5 Georgia and #6 Oklahoma kept pace although we fully expect the Boomer Sooners to drop a line or two after barely holding off 21.5-point dog rival Oklahoma State in wild 48-47 final.
Truth is there barely appears to be any real challenges ahead this week for the nation's upper crust unless you're counting on #13 (and rising) Syracuse giving Notre Dame a game of it at Yankee Stadium. The ND Fighting Irish are 10-point favs, at last check.
NOTE: Lots more College Football goodies in the next Jim Sez.