Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, December 23, 2019 at 12:00 AM
NFL WEEK 16 ROLLS ON
PACKERS AT VIKINGS CLASH TONIGHT
PLUS, KEY WEEKEND RE-CAPS …
COLLEGE BOWL BONANZA:
CHECKIN’ IN ON THE TUESDAY / THURSDAY GAMES
‘Tis the season to play naughty – and not nice – on the NFL playing fields:
Just look at NFL Week 16 where playoff-hopeful teams such as the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Tennessee Titans and the Dallas Cowboys – all of the above lost critical games on the Sunday sked – failed to being their respective “game faces” to the fields of play and so now all of ‘em face post-season extinction if things don’t go their way next up in Week 17.
Actually, what was nice this weekend-before-Christmas was the following …
The Kansas City Chiefs’ defense played another dazzling game in that 26-3 rollover win at the 7-point underdog Chicago Bears. Do the Chiefs now have one of the elite defenses in the land? We say they sure do!;
The Baltimore Ravens clinched the AFC’s numero uno playoff seed with a better-late-than-never 31-15 win /cover at the still-dysfunctional 10-point underdog Cleveland Browns. You can go ahead and hand Mr. Lamar Jackson the MVP award right now, if you will;
And the San Francisco 49ers – aided and abetted by not one, but two third-and-16 conversions on the final drive, thanks to QB Jimmy Garappolo – stayed in the hunt for a #1 playoff seed in the NFC with Saturday night’s thrilling 34-31 non-cover win against the TD-underdog Los Angeles Rams … yes, a Jim Hurley Network winner!
On Monday Night Football, it’s …
GREEN BAY (11-3) at MINNESOTA (10-4) – 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN
Get this: The only way the Minnesota Vikings capture the NFC North is to win their final two games (here and then home to Chicago on Sunday) and have Green Bay lose in Detroit in Week 17 action … but that doesn’t mean the Vikes will “mail this one in” because you never know! Sure, the Vikes – a hearty 5.5-point betting favorite for this prime-time clash – will be without RB Dalvin Cook (chest), so fully expect QB Kirk Cousins to play-fake less and throw some deep balls against a Green Bay defense that ranks 23rd in the league in pass defense and 22nd overall in total defense. Quick note on Packers’ QB Aaron Rodgers: He’s completed 300 passes for 3,463 yards and 24 TDs and has thrown just two picks. Not a typo!
Spread Notes – Minnesota has covered seven of the last 10 home games played against Green Bay and that includes last year’s 24-17 win /cover as 4-point betting favorites. The Packers – 9-5 ATS (against the spread) this season – are a collective 6-10 ATS against divisional foes the past two-plus seasons.
Now hear this …
Jim Hurley’s Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will be banging out lots of College Football Bowl Game winners all this week but first they’ll put the finishing touches on NFL Week 16 with the Side/Totals winners of this evening’s Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings bash – just call us at the toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 or else online right here at www.jimhurley.com to get this key showdown. Plus, cash in Wednesday with all the NBA games on Christmas Day!
COLLEGE BOWL BONANZA
On Tuesday, it’s …
HAWAII BOWL – at Honolulu, HI
BYU (7-5) at HAWAII (9-5) – 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Old acquaintances collide in the 50th state here on Christmas Eve – we trust you’ll be wrapping presents while checking out this clash – and the $64,000 question is will Hawaii’s veteran QB Cole McDonald (3,642 yards passing this year) steer clear of the costly INT? It has been a problem for the host team in 2019.
Spread Notes – BYU skids into this clash having gone just 2-7 ATS since Sept. 21st; Hawaii is a dead-even but vig-losing 7-7 spreadwise overall this year but did you know the Rainbow Warriors are just 7-17 against the odds when taking points these past three seasons?
On Thursday, it’s …
INDEPENDENCE BOWL – at Shreveport, LA
MIAMI (6-6) vs. LOUISIANA TECH (9-3) – 4 p.m. ET, ESPN
Gotta admit this is no way to go into a bowl game if you’re the here-and-now Miami Hurricanes – back-to-back bad losses to three-TD dog FIU and 8.5-point pup Duke -- and so first-year head coach Manny Diaz shouldn’t have to say too much to fire up the troops which won’t include DE Trevon Hill and LB Michael Pinckney who are skipping this one before diving into the NFL Draft. Keep an eye on Louisiana Tech QB J’mar Smith (2,814 yards passing with 17 TDs and 4 INTs) who served his late-year two-game suspension and is rarin’ to go here.
Spread Notes – Miami is a dreadful 1-7 versus the vig in all bowl games the past 10 years; Louisiana Tech’s 16-8-1 ATS as point-grabbers since 2014 and that includes an outright dog bowl win (see 51-10) back in 2017 against 4-point fav SMU.
QUICK LANE BOWL – at Detroit, MI
PITTSBURGH (7-5) vs. EASTERN MICHIGAN (6-6) – 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
True, the Pitt Panthers have failed to win any of their three bowl games under fifth-year head coach Pat Narduzzi, so the heat’s on here and that means the country’s 11th-ranked defense (allowing 302.5 yards per game) must do everything in its power to smother Eastern Michigan QB Mike Glass III (2,858 yards passing with 22 TDs this season). Footnote to this bash at Ford Field: Pittsburgh WRs Maurice Ffrench and Taysir Mack have teamed up for nearly 1,400 receiving yards in this ’19 campaign.
Spread Notes – Pittsburgh’s a solid 32-26-2 against the odds under the above-mentioned Narduzzi; Eastern Michigan is a terrific 21-8 ATS as underdog sides since the very start of the 2016 campaign.
NOTE: Be cashin’ all holiday season long with Jim Hurley’s Network at 1-800-323-4453.