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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, September 12, 2019 at 12:00 AM



You might have noticed: The NFL Week 2 menu is heavy on divisional games - there's seven of 'em in all including this here-and-now Thursday Night Football game between NFC South rivals Tampa Bay at Carolina - and if you hadn't noticed last week divisional dogs snagged four-of-five covers ... so there!

The one-and-only divisional home favorite that won /covered its Week 1 game was the Dallas Cowboys who blow-torched the 7-point underdog New York Giants 35-17; otherwise, Green Bay, Washington (a last-second backdoor job), Buffalo and Oakland all banged out divisional dog covers with the aforementioned Packers, Bills and Raiders all winning in outright upset fashion.
We'll see if divisional dogs strike again here in Week 2, but first here's a key reminder ...

Jim Hurley's Network of Handicappers and Bloggers get you all the NFL Week 2 Sides & Totals winners beginning with tonight's Bucs vs. Panthers clash (our game preview is below) and you can also cash in with College Football and Major-League Baseball winners too. Our toll-free telephone # is 1-800-323-4453 or get 'em right here online - just keep on cashin' all month long!

Tonight, it's ... TAMPA BAY (0-1) at CAROLINA (0-1) - 8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network

The fact is this NFL Week 2 menu starts off with a pair of 0-and-1 SU (straight-up) sides going up against one another - it'll wrap up that way too come Monday Night when the Cleveland Browns battle the New York Jets - but overall there's only four Week 2 games pitting winless crews against one another.

If the 6.5-point underdog Tampa Bay Bucs are gonna cash - or even win this one outright - then Rule #1 is QB Jameis Winston can't throw more "pick sixes" than touchdowns as was the case in Week 1's 31-17 loss versus San Francisco; if you're the host Panthers, you can't expect dual-threat RB Christian McCaffrey to get another 29 "touches" as was the case in last Sunday's 30-27 home loss against the 1.5-point fav Los Angeles Rams ... the dude's never gonna last the year with this sort of workload!

One X-factor at work here: Carolina QB Cam Newton will have to show he can chuck it deep a few times ... or else.

Spread Notes - Carolina's covered eight of the last 12 games played between these divisional rivals while Tampa Bay is a neat 6-3 ATS (against the spread) in its first road game of the year since 2010.

On Sunday in NFL Week 2 action, it's ...

DALLAS (1-0) at WASHINGTON (0-1) - 1 p.m. ET, Fox
How 'bout them Cowboys, for real! Jason Garrett's gang didn't need a whole lot from newly-minted RB Ezekiel Elliott (see 53 yards rushing and one score) in last Sunday's rollover 35-17 win against the NY Giants but something tells us "Zeke" is gonna get 22-to-25 carries here - yes, we know QB Dak Prescott threw TD strikes to four different receivers last Sunday but the 'Boys would love to wear down the 'Skins defense come the fourth quarter. Hey, any magic left in the right arm of 'Skins QB Case Keenum (380 yards passing with 3 TDs last weekend in the 32-27 loss-but-cover at Philadelphia)?
Spread Note - Dallas has covered 10 of its last 15 games played against fellow NFC East rivals.

KANSAS CITY (1-0) at OAKLAND (1-0) - 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS
Here's what is important to note here: The Chiefs will be without WR / KR /PR Tyreek Hill for six weeks or so and that means more attention will get paid to KayCee's running backs that now includes RB LeSean "Shady" McCoy (see 81 ground yards in 40-26 win/cover at Jacksonville last week) but the flip side here is the Raiders - believe it or not - could play keep-away from Chiefs' QB Patrick Mahomes with rookie RB Josh Jacobs who registered 113 scrimmage yards in Monday's impressive 24-16 win against Denver.
Spread Note - Kansas City is a healthy 12-5-1 versus the vig when playing AFC West foes the past three-plus seasons.



Let's do a little "house-cleaning" here and remind one-and-all that College Football Betting Favorites enter this new week at 46-40-5 ATS this 2019 season (that's a .535 winning percentage). Last week the college kids produced a 24-18-4 ATS record overall as double-digit betting favorites registered a sharp 14-9-3 spread log (that's a .609 winning rate).

If you're looking for some sort of spread "oddity" here on this weekend's menu, then consider this as we peek inside the Pac-12:
Stanford is a touchdown pup at American Athletic Conference champ UCF; and UCLA is a three touchdown plus home underdog in its game (granted, that's against Oklahoma).
Still, gotta do a little double-take there when you first glance at those pair of Las Vegas price tags, right?

Among the key college games on the Saturday card are ...
PITTSBURGH (1-1) at #13 PENN STATE - 12 p.m. ET, ABC
The Nittany Lions wrap up this season-starting three-game homestand here against 17-point in-state rival Pitt - and the $64,000 question is can QB Sean Clifford (559 yards passing with 6 TDs and 0 INTs) keep up the beat? The Trace McSorley Era was beloved in Happy Valley and so now Clifford and Co. are laying a major price against a Panthers' squad that so far ranks just 105th in the country in rushing.

#9 FLORIDA (2-0) at KENTUCKY (2-0) - 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
Let's just say the Florida Gators mean business here: Last year, Kentucky clipped the Gainesville gang for the first time in about a gazillion years (see Kentucky 27, Florida 16) and now the sack-happy Gators (15 in all through their first two games) set their sights on backup-turned-starting QB Sawyer Smith who is forced to step into the fray for an out-for-the-season Terry Wilson. Spread Stat ... Kentucky's covered both of its home games so far this year after compiling a shabby 3-9 ATS mark the past two seasons.

NOTE: College Football previews plus more in the next Jim Sez.

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