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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, December 19, 2019 at 12:00 AM












Okay, so in yesterday’s edition of Jim Sez we pointed out how NFL Betting Favorites actually have perked up a bit in recent weeks:

Chalk sides have strung together back-to-back plus-.500 records the past two weekends – the first time that’s happened all year long, folks – and overall NFL Betting Favorites have produced a grand total of four winning weeks including an 8-5-1 ATS (against the spread) log way back in Week 7 play and a season-best 10-4 ATS mark in Week 11.

In other words, NFL Betting Favs have struggled – they are 100-115-6 ATS overall with 3 Pick ‘Em games tossed into the mix.

Meanwhile, the three NFL Betting Favs on this tripleheader Saturday – that’s the Houston Texans, the New England Patriots and the San Francisco 49ers – are a composite 13-16 against the odds when laying points this season (that’s a .448 winning rate and that’s a touch shy of the league-wide .465 winning percentage that NFL Favs have rung up) … is this gonna be the day when the chalk gang rules the roost? Stay tuned, our game previews are straight ahead but first this key reminder …


Jim Hurley’s Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will be banging out lots of College Football Bowl Game winners straight ahead and NFL Week 16 gets all revved up with a trio of games on NFL Network this Saturday – that’s Houston at Tampa Bay at 1 p.m. ET, Buffalo at New England at 4:30 p.m. ET and the Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco at 8:15 p.m. ET – before a very busy Sunday slate. Go ahead and sign up now for our Special Bowl Package and get all the NFL Week 16, NBA and College Basketball winners too … just call us game days at the toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 or go online right here at



On Saturday, it’s …

HOUSTON (9-5) at TAMPA BAY (7-7) – 1 p.m. ET, NFL Network

A win here for the 3-point road favored Texans gets ‘em the AFC South crown but can Bill O’Brien’s crew be trusted in this role (see 1-5 spreadwise as chalk sides this year!) and will QB Deshaun Watson and Company take advantage of the inevitable QB Jameis Winston INTs (24 of ‘em this year)?

Hey, Winston became the first NFL passer ever to string together back-to-back 450-plus yard passing games these past two weeks, so the dude’s been killing it lately.

Spread Notes – Houston is 8-3-2 ATS (against the spread) away while dating back to early in the 2018 campaign; Tampa Bay’s followed an ugly 2-8 spread start this year with a recent 3-0-1 ATS run.


BUFFALO (10-4) at NEW ENGLAND (11-3) – 4:30 p.m. ET, NFL Network

Tell us if you’ve ever heard this one before: A Patriots’ win here gets ‘em the AFC East crown for the gazillionith year in a row but keep in mind this is a revenge-plus-points matter for a Bills’ bunch that sports one of the league’s top three defenses and one that swiped four INTs last Sunday Night in that 17-10 win in Pittsburgh.

If Buffalo QB Josh Allen (2,876 yards passing with 18 TDs this year) steers clear of all-world Pats’ CB Stephon Gilmore, then the 6.5-point pup Bills have more than a puncher’s chance here in Foxboro.

Spread Note – New England is just 3-6-1 vig-wise in its last 10 home games against Buffalo but the Patriots have covered 14 of their last 22 games played against fellow AFC East squads; folks, the Bills are 5-1-1 ATS as underdogs this year.


LOS ANGELES RAMS (8-6) at SAN FRANCISCO (11-3) – 8:15 p.m. ET, NFL Network

It’s a fact that the San Fran 49ers have grown by leaps-and-bounds the past two-plus seasons under head coach Kyle Shanahan but this is a true crossroads game:

The Niners gagged up last week’s 29-22 home loss against Atlanta and now we’ll see if there is a residual effect in this left coast rivalry game against the almost dead-and-buried Rams (LA must win out and have Minnesota lose its final two games to snag a wild card playoff berth).

One major key to watch here: Will the Rams rush defense rebound after allowing Dallas to rush for 263 yards?

Spread Note – San Francisco is a rock-solid 9-5 against the Las Vegas price tags this year but did you know the Niners have failed to cover seven of their last 10 divisional games?; The LA Rams enter this prime-time shindig with a better-than-you-think 9-5 ATS log and note the defending NFC champs have covered seven of their last 10 divisional duels. Hmmm!




On Saturday, it’s …

CAMELLIA BOWL – at Montgomery, AL

FIU (6-6) vs. ARKANSAS STATE (7-5) – 5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Here’s a couple of stats to chuck your way here: Florida International University – a/k/a FIU – is playing in its third straight bowl game and QB James Morgan (2,248 yards passing with 13 TDs / 3 INTs) is a true under-the-radar star; On the flip side, Arkansas State WR Omar Bayless (84 receptions, 1,473 yards receiving with 16 TDs) is by far the biggest game-breaker type in this bowl clash but his Red Wolves beat only one bowl team on their whole sked (see Georgia Southern).

Spread Notes – Arkansas State has failed to cover four-of-five games this year against fellow bowl-bound clubs; FIU is just 4-8 against the odds this year but the first two years of the Butch Davis Era produced a heady 15-8-1 spread log.


LAS VEGAS BOWL – at Las Vegas, NV

WASHINGTON (7-5) vs. # 19 BOISE STATE (12-1) – 7:30 p.m. ET, ABC

No doubt the coaching story here – retiring Washington boss Chris Petersen went 92-12 SU (straight-up) in his eight seasons at Boise State from 2006-2013 – steals the whole spotlight but consider this: The UW Huskies would love to send Petersen off a big-time winner (the Dawgs are favored by 3.5 points) but QB Jacob Eason (2,922 passing yards with 22 TDs and 8 INTs) has to be on target ‘cause he’s thrown in some real clunkers in 2019 while Boise State – which has held eight foes to 21 points or less – owns a top 20 rush defense and has to win the ground battle to pull the mild upset here.

Spread Notes – Nationally-ranked Boise State is 8-5 ATS overall this season and the Broncos are a composite 12-6-1 spreadwise away from that famed blue turf; Washington has failed to cover its last three consecutive bowl games (against mighty guys Alabama, Penn State and Ohio State) but overall this year’s Huskies are 7-3 vig-wise as betting favorites … and that’s not bad at all!


NEW ORLEANS BOWL – at New Orleans, LA

UAB (9-4) vs. # 20 APPALACHIAN STATE (12-1) – 9 p.m. ET, ESPN

Play it again, guys?

Appalachian State secured a 45-13 win / cover against Middle Tennessee State in last year’s New Orleans Bowl and now the Mountaineers are back to try and slam-dunk the 16.5-point underdog UAB Blazers – and, for a second straight year, App State’s trying to win with a new coach as Shawn Clark has replaced one-and-done / Missouri-bound Eliah Drinkwitz. Check out App State RB Darrynton Evans (the Sun Belt Conference’s Offensive Player of the Year) who’s rushed for 1,323 yards and 17 TDs. The ‘Neers have covered their last three consecutive bowl games.

Spread Notes – Appalachian State’s 9-4 against the odds overall this year and the Mountaineers are a collective 21-7-1 ATS since late in the 2017 season; on the flip side, UAB is 7-5-1 against the numbers this ’19 campaign but the Blazers are 0-3-1 ATS this year versus fellow bowl-bound squads.



NOTE: Catch our NFL Week 16 Sunday game previews in the next jam-packed edition of Jim Sez and remember to be cashin’ all holiday season long with Jim Hurley’s Network at 1-800-323-4453. There’s Football every day – save for Christmas Day -- from now through January 6th!


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