Submitted by Jim Hurley on Tuesday, August 6, 2019 at 12:00 AM
NFL PRESEASON WEEK 1 –
WHAT TEAMS / COACHES
ARE THINKING AS WE REV UP
THE PRESEASON …
COLLEGE FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK:
HERE’S THE EARLY-BIRD ODDS
TO WIN THIS YEAR’S HEISMAN TROPHY
It’s true …
Nobody hands out any awards or trophies to National Football League teams that sport perfect records in the Preseason. Note last summer the Baltimore Ravens went 5-and-oh SU (straight-up) in the summertime games and yet they were one-and-done in the playoffs.
On the flip side, there were two teams that didn’t win a single preseason game between ‘em and still made it to the post-season as the Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys each registered respective 0-4 SU marks in the exhibition schedule and yet got into the playoffs and played one another (see Cowboys 24, Seahawks 22).
So, while you can’t always take stock in what a team does in the preseason, you can get a feel as to whether or not winning in the summer is important to an organization by what you read, what you see in these days leading up to the first full week of Preseason that begins Thursday night with a juicy 11-game card – there’s two more games on Friday and three more on Saturday to complete the 16-game menu.
Let’s spend a few moments examining what NFL teams – we believe here at Jim Hurley’s Network -- will place an emphasis on winning in the Preseason. And note we’ll offer up a batch of NFL Preseason Week 1 game previews in the next edition of Jim Sez:
WASHINGTON – It’s Year 6 for head coach Jay Gruden and, in case you had be reminded, the ‘Skins have not won a single playoff game during his reign. Now, there’s a rookie quarterback who’s been ushered into the starting job (ready or not!) as Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins is supposed to play the savior. Still, there’s quality backups that’ll play plenty this preseason in Colt McCoy and Case Keenum and we fully expect Washington to want to post preseason “W’s” after losing three-of-four exhibition games last year. Note the turnaround in this NFL Preseason Week 1 game on Thursday as Washington opened as a 2.5-point underdog in Cleveland and now the ‘Skins are the 2-point favs.
HOUSTON – The Texans copped three-of-four wins in the preseason a year ago and sixth-year boss man Bill O’Brien will look to light a preseason fire under his squad after suffering that dismal 21-7 AFC Wild Card Playoff loss to Indianapolis back on January 5th. Sure, star QB Deshaun Watson won’t be exposed to that many hits this summer but the battle for starting / backup spots along the offensive line and in the secondary will spur on better play. Note the Texans are currently listed as a 2-point dog for their game on Thursday night in Green Bay.
SAN FRANCISCO – Last year the 49ers managed only 75 points (or 18.8 ppg) in their four preseason tilts that included just one win. Now, third-year coach Kyle Shanahan is feeling the need for more production starting here with Saturday’s home game against 4-point underdog Dallas. Remember that backup QBs Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard wound up throwing the ball more than 440 times while subbing for the oft-injured Jimmy Garoppolo last year in San Fran and both will have a better feel for this offense. Hey, the Niners keep asking their loyal fans for “patience” but maybe some summertime wins will help the cause for now.
Extra, extra …
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will be banging out loads of winners in this NFL preseason … it all started with last Thursday’s “under” winner in Denver’s 14-10 victory against Atlanta in the annual Hall of Fame Game in Canton. Jim’s clients cashed as the game easily went “under” the 35-point price tag and there’s lots more winners straight ahead. Plus, don’t forget that Jim Hurley keeps piling up the profits with Major-League Baseball too – get all the MLB winners this week at www.jimhurley.com or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK – THE HEISMAN ODDS
No doubt that the last two Heisman Trophy winners were true betting longshots as back-to-back Oklahoma quarterbacks Baker Mayfield (2017) and Kyler Murray (2018) wound up holding aloft the bronzed trophy even though Murray wasn’t originally listed among 23 players that were given a shot to win the award last year while Mayfield sported an opening price of + 550 in the summer of ‘17.
In fact, go back to 2016 when Louisville QB Lamar Jackson copped the Heisman Trophy and you’ll see that he wasn’t even listed on the Las Vegas big board at the start of that season … so go figure!
Now you know that someone “back in the pack” easily could snag this year’s sainted Heisman Trophy – you’ve been warned, right? – but let’s go by the current odds and see how this all stacks up:
PLAYER TEAM POS HEISMAN ODDS COMMENT
Trevor Lawrence Clemson QB + 230 Snazzy soph has been taking lots of loot lately and he’ll win if Tigers are perfect by the playoffs
Tua Tagovailoa Alabama QB + 250 Lefty must stay healthy and win a game or two in the 4th quarter
Jalen Hurts Oklahoma QB + 900 Former ‘Bama star must get “nominated” after last two Sooner QBs won it
Adrian Martinez Nebraska QB + 1100 Highly athletic signal-caller must be way more accurate if he has any shot at all
Justin Fields Ohio State QB + 1100 One-time Georgia Bulldog has all the tools and a pass-friendly offense to boot
Jonathan Taylor Wisconsin RB + 1400 Finally, a non-QB on the Heisman list and anything close to 2,000 yards and he’s NYC-bound
D’Andre Swift Georgia RB + 1400 Kid’s been coming on fast in the latest Heisman chatter and 186-yard game vs. Auburn was key
Jake Fromm Georgia QB + 1600 Gotta admit we thought this slinger would win at least one Heisman when he got to Athens
Justin Herbert Oregon QB + 1600 Will “West Coast bias” work against kid who could be number one draft pick next spring?
Travis Etienne Clemson RB + 1600 Fact that Tigers often share the work load at RB hurts his overall chances
Ian Book Notre Dame QB + 1600 If this senior star has Irish eyes smiling (say 5-1 heading into Michigan game), then he’s “live”
NOTE: Catch all our NFL Preseason News / Notes all summer long right here at Jim Sez.