Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, December 11, 2019 at 12:00 AM
IT’S NFL WEEK 15 AND WE
KICK THINGS OFF WITH A JETS-RAVENS
THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL PREVIEW
PLUS, A WHOLE LOT MORE! …
TIME TO HAND OUT OUR COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Go ahead and raise your hand if you thought at the very start of this 2019 NFL season the Baltimore Ravens were gonna be the #1 seed in the upcoming AFC Playoffs.
C’mon, nobody saw this 11-and-2 SU (straight-up) start coming and – get this – the AFC North-leading Ravens could wind up regular-season play riding a 12-game winning streak when you consider these final three weeks includes games against the woeful New York Jets, at the underachieving Cleveland Browns in Week 16 and then home in Week 17 against the always short-handed Pittsburgh Steelers.
We’ll get to the Jets vs. Ravens preview in a moment but now hear this …
Jim Hurley’s Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will be banging out lots of College Football Bowl Game winners straight ahead (the 41 Bowl Games kick off Friday, Dec. 20th) and NFL Week 15 gets all revved up beginning with this Thursday Night Football bash between the New York Jets at the Baltimore Ravens. Go ahead and sign up now for our special Bowl Bonanza Package -- and get in on the special early-bird price, to boot! -- and get all the NFL, NBA and College Basketball winners too. Call us at the toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 or go online right here at www.jimhurley.com.
On Thursday Night Football, it’s …
NEW YORK JETS (5-8) at BALTIMORE (11-2) – 8:20 p.m. ET, Fox and NFL Network
Here’s the basic facts, Jack:
The host Ravens – a 14.5-point betting favorite at this writing – have not lost a game since late September and zoom into this prime-time clash with the NFL’s numero uno ground game (200.9 yards per game) and the runaway choice for this year’s MVP as second-year megastar QB Lamar Jackson may be slowed a tad (see quad injury) but the $64,000 question is how’s this one ever gonna stay close?
The Jets say bowler, err, one-time Pro Bowl star RB Le’Veon Bell (a major bust in Year One of his $52.5 million contract) will be playing here after sitting out last Sunday’s one-point non-cover win against Miami with the flu but if NYJ’s gonna hang around at all here it’ll be because QB Sam Darnold and WR Robby Anderson (18 catches for 303 yards and 2 TDs in last three games) make some magic on deep pass plays here. Got it?
Spread Note – Baltimore is just 14-17-1 spreadwise at home since the start of the 2017 season but overall the Ravens are 13-7 ATS in their last 20 games against non-divisional foes.
TOP 5 NFL SPREAD SIDES
TEAM WON LOSS TIE PCT
LA Rams 9 4 0 .692
San Francisco 9 4 0 .692
Buffalo 8 4 1 .667
Pittsburgh 7 4 2 .636
(tie) Denver 8 5 0 .615
Green Bay 8 5 0 .615
Kansas City 8 5 0 .615
New Orleans 8 5 0 .615
BOTTOM 5 NFL SPREAD SIDES
TEAM WON LOSS TIE PCT
Chicago 4 9 0 .308
Philadelphia 4 9 0 .308
LA Chargers 4 8 1 .333
Tampa Bay 4 8 1 .333
NY Jets 5 8 0 .385
COLLEGE FOOTBALL YEAR-END AWARDS
Obviously, we’ll weigh in for a final time in the next Jim Sez column when it comes to this year’s Heisman Trophy – we think you know by now LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is a lead-pipe cinch and it should be a landslide vote – but let’s spend a few moments here on a batch of year-ending College Football Awards:
PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Joe Burrow, QB, LSU … The dude is as cool as ice and that win at Alabama last month was the singular most special “W” of the season. Burrow’s 4,715 yards passing with 48 TDs and just 6 INTs (along with a completion percentage of 78 percent) has him nailing down this award hands-down.
COACH OF THE YEAR – Ed Orgeron, LSU … Could give it to Baylor’s Matt Rhule or even Minnesota’s P.J. Fleck but the gravelly-voiced “Coach O” gets the nod and don’t overlook the fact that his Bayou Bengals wound up with an 8-4-1 ATS mark even though LSU was a double-digit betting favorite 10 times.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Chase Young, DE, Ohio State … The sackmaster general (see 16.5 quarterback sacks) will be part of the quartet of players in NYC for this weekend’s Heisman Trophy and probably will be the top pick in the next NFL Draft. Honorable mention goes to Cal LB Evan Weaver who led the country with 172 total tackles.
GAME OF THE YEAR – Yup, it was that above-mentioned LSU 46, Alabama 41 shootout back on Nov. 9th in Tuscaloosa but let’s give honorable mention to four-TD favorite Clemson 21, North Carolina 20 back on Sept.28th. Whatta doozy!
PLAY OF THE YEAR – Auburn LB Zakoby McClain returned an INT 100 yards when he basically snagged the ball off the back of unknowing Alabama RB Najee Harris in War Eagle’s wild 48-45 win against the two-loss Crimson Tide.
DISAPPOINTING TEAM OF THE YEAR – Nebraska. Hey, we thought the ‘Huskers would win double-digit games and play on New Year’s Day but alas another losing season under Scott Frost (to say nothing of a 3-9 spread season).
NOTE: Catch more NFL Week 15 game previews plus Army-Navy and the final Heisman Trophy Watch List in tomorrow’s edition of Jim Sez.