Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, December 7, 2018 at 12:00 AM
HERE'S THE SUNDAY SKED - IT'S NFL WEEK 14 AND IT'S ALL ABOUT THOSE "SECOND MEETINGS" ...
PLUS, AN ARMY-NAVY PREVIEW
Thursday night's easy-as-pie 30-9 win/cover by the 5.5-point favorite Tennessee Titans over the downtrodden Jacksonville Jaguars - yes, we see you waving the white flag guys! - provided a glimpse into a so-called "second meeting" of the year between divisional rivals. In this particular case, score two straight for the Titans who also copped a 9-6 win as 10-point road underdogs way back in Week 3 action.
Sometimes an NFL team gets revenge in these "second meeting" ... sometimes not so much!
So, let's check out the rest of this NFL Week 14 docket where you'll see there are six more divisional games and here's some of the pointspread lowdown as we head into these "second meetings" ...
New England (9-3) at Miami (6-6) - Folks are likely well aware that when these clubs clash in Foxboro, it's usually a one-way betting outcome with the Patriots having covered eight of the last 11 home games versus the Fish. However, when these teams battle it out in South Florida, it's a whole 'nother story with Miami having covered five of the last six showdowns including last year's stunning 27-20 win as 10-point home underdogs on Monday Night Football (and it was also a Week 14 game). P.S., Miami has revenge-plus-points here after the Pats (-6.5) drilled the Dolphins 38-7 back in Week 4.
New York Jets (3-9) at Buffalo (4-8) - Strange but true, the Bills handed the J-E-T-S their worst loss of this forgettable 2018 campaign with that 41-10 smash job back in Week 10 but the really interesting part of this rematch is Buffalo's the betting favorite ... and it marks the first time the Bills will be the chalk side all year long. FYI, Buffalo did go 5-1-1 ATS (against the spread) as favorites last year but, then again, that was a playoff team and note that the Bills are a composite 21-15-1 ATS as favs since the start of the 2012 season. Pretty solid stuff.
Indianapolis (6-6) at Houston (9-3) - It's the visiting Indy Colts seeking revenge (plus points) here after the Texans copped a wild 37-34 overtime win as 1-point road favorites way back in Week 4. Take a look at the recent past and you'll see the last time there was a season sweep spreadwise in this rivalry was in 2013 when Indianapolis covered both meetings. This week the Las Vegas line for this Colts-Texans bash has danced all over the board while bounding somewhere between 4.5 and 5.5 points. Just note that Indy has not been swept spreadwise in a season series against the Texans since - get this - the 2008 season.
Jim Hurley's Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will be pounding out lots more Football winners this weekend beginning with Saturday's Army-Navy bash from Philadelphia -- go ahead and get the Side & Totals of that college football showdown when you call us game-day morning at the toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 or get 'em online right here. Hey, there's loads of NFL Week 14 on tap come Sunday and then a big-time Monday Night Football game between the Minnesota Vikings at the Seattle Seahawks plus get all the College Basketball and NBA winners too!
New York Giants (4-8) at Washington (6-6) - Turn back the calendar to Oct.28th this year and you'll recall the 'Skins (-1) bested the Giants 20-13 as rookie RB Saquon Barkley was held to a season-low 38 yards rushing for New York's NFC squad. Okay, so Barkley's been on a rampage ever since that Week 8 affair at MetLife Stadium while Washington's been ravaged by all sorts of injuries ... thus, the Giants are the current 3.5-point betting favorite here.
Philadelphia (6-6) at Dallas (7-5) - It's the resurgent Cowboys that are looking for the season sweep here after nailing down a 27-20 win as TD road underdogs back in Week 10. However, it should be noted that it's been spread split city each of the last four years when it comes to Eagles-Cowboys and now here the defending Super Bowl champions are 3.5-point road pups. Believe it or not, Philly is 8-3 ATS when grabbing points while dating back to late 2016.
New Orleans (10-2) at Tampa Bay (5-7) - None of these N'Orleans Saints players/coaches need to be reminded of that first meeting back in Week 1 ... the Bucs (+ 10) won 48-40 despite the fact Saints slinger Drew Brees threw for 439 yards and three TDs. So, no surprise pro-Saints bettors are not exactly getting any break in the line here - note New Orleans has been a solid 8-point favorite all week long but it hopped up to 9.5 points this morning - as this is major revenge for Sean Payton's club that just so happens to be 9-3 overall against the Vegas prices this year.
THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL REPORT
There's one single game on this Saturday menu ... of course, it's Army-Navy:
ARMY (9-2) vs. NAVY (3-9) - 3 p.m. ET, CBS
There's been a real shift in the fates/fortunes of these two service academy football teams and these days the Army Cadets - headed to the Armed Forces Bowl game against Houston on Dec. 22nd - have the upper hand with back-to-back wins/covers these past two years. Now, the Black Knights on the Hudson are laying a full TD here while sporting the country's second-best ground game that stars the one-two punch of QB Kelvin Hopkins (783 yards rushing) and RB Darnell Woolfolk (823 yards rushing). Keep in mind Navy - not going to a bowl for the first time since 2011 - ranks third in the land in rushing but 90th nationally in stopping the run. Maybe some more snow here (see last year's 14-13 Army win)?
Spread Note - Army has covered seven of the last 10 matchups against its archrivals.