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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, January 2, 2020 at 12:00 AM








The National Football League takes center stage – again – this post-New Year’s weekend with Four (4) big Wild Card Games from Houston, Foxboro, New Orleans and Philadelphia and let’s set the stage with some key spread stats when it comes to those home teams … we’ll explain:


HOUSTON – The Texans help to kick off the playoffs with Saturday’s 4:35 p.m. ET tilt against Buffalo and take note that Houston’s 2-6 ATS (against the spread) as hosts this year and just 9-15-1 vig-wise at home the past three years.


NEW ENGLAND – The Patriots were humbled last week with that 27-24 loss to 17-point pup Miami but note overall New England’s 24-12-1 ATS as hosts since the start of the 2016 campaign (just 4-4 spreadwise at home this year).


NEW ORLEANS – Nothing special in 2019 when it came to the Saints playing at home (see 4-4 ATS) and go the extra yard and you’ll see that this NFC South squad is a rather less-than-ordinary 9-12 against the numbers as hosts since late 2017.


PHILADELPHIA – Hard to believe this Eagles club is just 5-10-1 against the odds in their own backyard the past two years and that includes the 17-9 home loss to 1.5-point fav Seattle way back in Week 12 play.


Jim Hurley’s Network of Handicappers and Bloggers have the College Football Thursday / Friday / Saturday bowl winners plus there’s NFL Wild Card Playoff action this Saturday/Sunday too – just call us on game days at the toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 or go online right here at and also cash in with NBA / NCAA hoops.




(thru Jan. 1, 2020)


CONF                              WON      LOSS       TIE           PCT

Mid-Eastern Athletic   1              0              0              1.000

Mid-American              3              1              1              .750

Mountain West            4              2              0              .667

Independents               2              1              0              .667

Pac-12                            4              3              0              .571

Big 10                             4              4              0              .500

SEC                                  4              4              0              .500

Conference USA           3              3              1              .500

ACC                                 4              5              0              .444

American Athletic        2              3              0              .400

Big 12                             2              4              0              .333

Sun Belt                         1              3              0              .250

SWAC                             0              1              0              .000



On Thursday, Jan. 2, it’s …


BIRMINGHAM BOWL – at Birmingham, AL

BOSTON COLLEGE (6-6) vs. CINCINNATI (10-3) – 3 p.m., ESPN

Last year the poor BC kids didn’t even get to play their First Responders Bowl game against Boise State (weather related) and now they’re going here without NFL-bound RB A.J. Dillon (1,685 yards rushing and 14 TDs). Let’s see if 7.5-point fav Cincinnati can get RB Michael Warren II rollin’ after his 1,160 yards rushing in ’19.

Spread Note – Cincinnati is a sharp 12-7-1 ATS (against the spread) in away games dating to late 2016.


GATOR BOWL – at Jacksonville, FL

TENNESSEE (7-5) vs. INDIANA (8-4) – 7 p.m. ET, ESPN

Maybe no major-college team in the land resuscitated its 2019 season quite like these Tennessee Volunteers as this SEC crew went from potentially firing head coach Jeremy Pruitt to practically making ‘em a Coach of the Year candidate. If Indiana is gonna pull the mild upset here then WR Whop Philyor (1,001 receiving yards) will have to shine.

Spread Note – Tenness rock-n-rolled to six pointspread wins in its final seven regular-season games.


On Friday, Jan. 3, it’s …

POTATO BOWL – at Boise, ID

OHIO (6-6) vs. NEVADA (7-5) – 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Here’s some matinee action for you folks that are extending the holiday week – and take note Nevada has a slew of defensive absences /question marks and that ain’t good while facing veteran QB Nathan Rourke who is 23-13 SU (straight-up) in his college career.

Spread Note – Get this: Ohio’s covered six of its last seven bowl games.



NOTE: NFL Wild Card Round Previews in the next couple of Jim Sez columns.




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