Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, November 19, 2018 at 12:00 AM
THE NFL REPORT: CHIEFS-RAMS WRAP UP WILD WEEK 11 WITH SHOWDOWN IN HOLLYWOOD TONIGHT ...
WHAT'S STRAIGHT AHEAD ON THIS ULTRA-BUSY HOLIDAY WEEK/WEEKEND INCLUDING THE JIM HURLEY ANNUAL THANKSGIVING TURKEY SHOOT ...
COLLEGE FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: LAYING OUT THE FBS PLAYOFF REAL SCENARIOS
Let's call it the "NFL Game of the Year, Part II".
After all, back on Nov. 4th the National Football League trotted out the Los Angeles Rams at the New Orleans Saints - see Saints 45, Rams 35 in a real doozy - in what was then hailed as the "Game of the Year" but now with this prime-time tilt this evening there's all kinds of talk about Kansas City Chiefs versus LA Rams as a "possible Super Bowl preview" and all that fun stuff.
The proverbial bottom line is - and all hype aside - Chiefs-Rams should be a real wing-ding affair: We all know this totals price of 63.5 points is the largest in the league this 2018 season and both 9-and-1 teams have the coolest "under 30" gunslingers around as both KC's Patrick Mahomes and LA's Jared Goff are garnering all kinds of MVP talk. So, let's wrap up NFL Week 11 where NFL Betting Favorites thus far are a strange 3-6-3 ATS (against the spread) and see who wins this Game of the Year / Part II.
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will be banging out the Side & Totals winners of tonight's Chiefs-Rams game when call us at our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 or get the winners right here online today. Then go ahead and pile up the profits all week/weekend long with our Annual Jim Hurley Thanksgiving Turkey Shoot - that's five days of winning gridiron selections from Thanksgiving thru Monday Night - sign up today and really make your holiday a blast.
KANSAS CITY (9-1) at LOS ANGELES RAMS (9-1) - 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN
Goodbye, Mexico City. Hello, Hollywood. The rotten playing field at Estadio Azteca moved this from being a "home neutral" game for the Rams to strictly a home game where the host team will honor first responders from the on-going/recent fires in California. Put it this way, everyone in the crowd such get top-flight entertainment here although we won't be so quick to anoint this as a track-meet style game. Hey, the Chiefs may have the strong-armed and catchup-loving Mahomes on their side - see 3,150 yards passing with 31 TDs and 7 INTs - but head coach Andy Reid's game plan here should be a form of "keep-away", so we clearly expect RB Kareem Hunt to gobble up 20-to-25 carries here with inside traps and quick draws at the top of the KC game plan.
On the flip side, the Rams - who average 33.5 ppg to Kansas City's 35.3 ppg - need to "feed" RB Todd Gurley who is averaging an eye-popping 4.99 yards rushing per tote (he's at 988 yards heading into this MNF tilt) and so it won't be entirely a "bombs away" mentality for both offenses here.
If you're looking for an X-factor then check out special teams where the Rams are never shy about faking a punt - if Sean McVay's club can "flip the field" with a well-timed and well-executed fake punt by P Johnny Hekker here than that could be a momentum-switching play. If it doesn't work, Chiefs could steal an easy score.
Pointspread Notes - Let's see ... Kansas City is 8-2 ATS (against the spread) overall this year (thus matching New Orleans for the best spread mark in the league this season) and the Chiefs are a perfect 3-0 ATS as underdog sides in 2018 and a collective 8-2 versus the vig as points dating back to the start of the 2016 season; on the flip side, the LA Rams are just 4-5-1 against the odds this season and remember that they started out 3-0 spreadwise. Overall, the Rams are 6-12-2 ATS as hosts ever since landing back up in Los Angeles two years ago.
In other NFL News ...
The above-mentioned Jim Hurley Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Shoot gets revved up with Thursday's all-day-long action beginning with the NFL Week 12 action between the Chicago Bears at the Detroit Lions, followed by Washington at Dallas and the prime-timer on Thanksgiving Nite between NFC South rivals Atlanta at New Orleans. Just check with us Wednesday afternoon for all the Turkey Shoot winners plus there's College Football too with games every day/night this holiday weekend and featuring some real biggies from the college world including Oklahoma at West Virginia on Friday and Michigan at Ohio State, Notre Dame at USC and Auburn at Alabama on Saturday.
Hey, the interesting thing about the Thanksgiving Day games is the NFL would be quick to point out it doesn't give home teams any other advantages on that day but consider the Bears just played - and won - a Sunday Nighter with the 25-20 triumph over 2.5-point pup Minnesota and now must play the early game on Thursday while the Lions were home in Week 11 with that hang-on-for-dear-life 20-19 win against Carolina;
Then there's the Saints who were home on Sunday with that rollicking 48-7 win against 7-point dog Philadelphia and now N'Orleans is the home team for this game against the Falcons - there was a time the league swore it would not allow a Thanksgiving Day/Night home team to host the week before - so much for that "promise" ...
Finally, we're finishing up NFL Week 11 this evening but so far there's been only three favorites to cover the number here on this mid-to-late November card: New Orleans (- 7) over Philly, Indianapolis (- 1.5) over Tennessee and Chicago (- 2.5) over Minnesota while we've already has three Week 11 "pushes" with the New York Giants (- 3) topping Tampa Bay 38-35, Pittsburgh (- 4) besting Jacksonville 20-16 and last Thursday it was Seattle (- 3) downing Green Bay 27-24.
The official up-to-the-minute NFL Pointspread update for the '18 season: Betting Favorites are 69-82-6 against the odds with 3 Pick 'Em games tossed into the mix (that's a well-below-par .457 winning rate for the NFL chalk sides).
THE FBS PLAYOFF UPDATE
Folks, here's the facts when it comes to this year's playoffs - and some answers to what everyone's wondering about: If #1 Alabama beats Auburn in this weekend's Iron Bowl and loses to Georgia in the SEC Championship Game, better believe both 'Bama and Georgia will be heading towards the playoffs with one-loss Michigan the odd man out providing #2 Clemson and #3 Notre Dame keep on winning.
If you are looking for a real out-of-the-box event that won't include the above scenario, then if Clemson or Notre Dame loses a game by a "margin" score and if Washington State wins out (including the Pac-12 Championship Game) then you could get a foursome of Alabama, (let's say) Clemson, Michigan and Washington State.
The way we see it, the only way Oklahoma gets in is if it beats WVU on Friday, wins the Big 12 Championship Game the next week and has at least one of the above-named teams lose.
Ohio State? The Buckeyes need to beat Michigan, win the Big 10 Championship Game against Northwestern and then have either Clemson/Notre Dame/Washington State/Oklahoma lose to get into the mix. Got it?
NOTE: Catch our Thanksgiving Week previews all this week here at Jim Sez.