Submitted by Jim Hurley on Tuesday, December 10, 2019 at 12:00 AM
THE NFL REPORT –
A LOOK AHEAD AT THE FINAL THREE
WEEKS OF THE REGULAR SEASON …
COLLEGE FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK:
EARLY BOWL THOUGHTS / OBSERVATIONS
The clock is tickin’ down fast on this here-and-now NFL Regular Season and here’s a few things you might not have known:
The Philadelphia Eagles – 23-17 non-cover winners in overtime against the 9-point underdog New York Giants in this past Monday Night Football’s game – remain in the proverbial driver’s seat when it comes to winning the NFC East despite that shabby 6-7 SU (straight-up) mark … to say nothing about Philly’s shoddy 4-9 ATS (against the spread) record and the Birds have failed to cover the Las Vegas numbers in all three of their divisional games this year and there’s nothing but NFC East opponents on the docket straight ahead: At Washington, home to Dallas and at the NY Giants.
Meanwhile, the Baltimore Ravens are roaring-hot with a nine-game SU winning streak while heading into Week 15 play but don’t sleep on those other streaking sides: The Pittsburgh Steelers have won three in a row SU, ditto for the Kansas City Chiefs and the Chicago Bears and the Tampa Bay Bucs. Heck, the Tennessee Titans have won four in a SU and if you want to know who’s the streaking sides spreadwise then check out the above-mentioned Chiefs (three in a row), the San Francisco 49ers (four consecutive spread wins), those aforementioned Titans (four in a row) and – get this – the Washington Redskins who’ve covered their last three games.
And, finally, how about some of these late-season skeds?
The playoff-hopeful Bears (7-6) finish at Green Bay, home to Kansas City and at Minnesota – call it 1,000-to-1 odds that Chicago can sweep; while Seattle is at slumping Carolina, then home to Arizona and San Francisco. A 13-3 year for the Seahawks would get ‘em the NFC West crown and possible #1 seed but do keep in mind the ‘Hawks have covered just two-of-six home tilts so far.
Jim Hurley’s Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will be pounding out lots more Football winners this week beginning with Thursday Night’s NFL Week 15 clash between the New York Jets at the Baltimore Ravens – go ahead and get the Side & Totals of that game when you call us at the toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 or get ‘em online right here at www.jimhurley.com. Hey, there’s the Army-Navy game straight ahead this Saturday to wrap up the College Football regular season and then the aforementioned College Football Bowl Games will follow (beginning Friday, Dec. 20) plus there’s all of NFL Week 15 this Sunday/Monday and lots of College Basketball and NBA winners too, so make sure you’re all aboard for the winning selections from Jim Hurley and Company!
COLLEGE FOOTBALL BOWL REPORT
Don’t worry, we’ll have plenty to say about Saturday’s Army vs. Navy bash plus all the Heisman Trophy and year-ending awards the rest of this week here at Jim Sez but we wanted to spend a few moments revealing some “early” bowl thoughts (that’s the bowl games from Dec. 20th-thru-Dec. 27th) :
As per usual, there will be a bevy of teams playing at bowl time without their regular head coaches though not all the sideline updates are in yet but Appalachian State’s Eli Drinkwitz is bye-bye (one-and-done and off to Missouri) and ditto for Florida Atlantic’s Lane Kiffin (he’s headed to Ole Miss). And don’t forget that Washington’s Chris Petersen called it quits on Dec.2nd following a 31-13 win /cover against rival Washington State in the Apple Cup but Petersen is expected to coach here against his former Boise State squad in the Las Vegas Bowl (Dec.21st)
Appalachian State’s a bloated 17-point betting favorite against UAB in the New Orleans Bowl (Dec.21st) while Florida Atlantic is a current 3-point home underdog for its Boca Raton Bowl game against SMU.
And how about North Carolina’s venerable head coach Mack Brown making it back into the bowls in Year One of his Second Term at Chapel Hill?
Brown’s UNC Tar Heels are 5.5-point betting favs right now against Temple in the Military Bowl (Dec. 27) and note the last time Carolina won and covered in a bowl game was back in 2013 with a 39-17 triumph over Cincinnati in that year’s Belk Bowl. P.S., the Heels are making their first bowl appearance since 2016.
Finally, you might have noticed in these “early bowls” that there’s betting favorites with road or road-neutral teams:
BYU is a 2-point fav at Hawaii in the Christmas Eve version of the Hawaii Bowl against the host Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (who happen to be an ugly 9-20-1 ATS at home the past five years now) and there’s the Miami Hurricanes a TD favorite in the Dec. 26th Independence Bowl versus Louisiana Tech (from nearby Ruston). Note that Miami is 1-7 against the odds in bowl games the past decade while L-Tech is 17-8-1 ATS as dogs under Skip Holtz since 2014.
NOTE: There’s NFL Week 15 and Heisman Trophy talk in the next edition of Jim Sez, so don’t miss out and make sure you’re cashing in big with all the Football/Basketball this holiday season.