jimmythegreek Posts:11421 Followers:383
On 11/20/2011 09:43 AM in NFL

NFL GREEK INSIDER WEEK 11

Green Bay -14 over Tampa Bay (bought half):
The last thing the offensively challenged Tampa Bay Buccaneers need to see is a Green Bay Packers defense that is coming off a much-needed dominating effort. Hoping for another shut-down performance, the Packers look to move to 10-0 and continue their best start since 1962 while trying to hand the reeling Buccaneers a fourth consecutive loss Sunday at Lambeau Field. While Green Bay's offense continues to play at an extremely high level behind Aaron Rodgers, the Packers finally put forth the stifling defensive game they had been looking for in Monday's 45-7 home rout of Minnesota.

The Packers (9-0) yielded at least 424 yards in each of their previous three games before keeping the lowly Vikings to 266. They held Adrian Peterson to 51 yards with a touchdown on 14 carries and sacked rookie Christian Ponder three times. Green Bay defenders have taken their generous play prior to Monday personally at times. That unit has felt it has not held up its end of the bargain while the Rodgers-led offense continues to roll over the competition, with the Packers averaging an NFL-high 35.6 points per game. Woodson and his defensive peers have a chance for another stingy showing against Tampa Bay (4-5), which has been outscored 88-43 during a three-game skid. The Buccaneers' 156 total points this season are 12 fewer than the Packers have scored in the first half alone in 2011.

Tampa Bay and Cleveland are the only teams in the league not to have scored an offensive touchdown in the first quarter all season. Trying to improve offensively is only half the battle for Tampa Bay. Stopping Rodgers is perhaps an even more daunting issue for a Buccaneers defense that allowed scoring plays of 80 and 78 yards in last Sunday's 37-9 home loss to Houston. Rodgers, meanwhile, was an efficient 23 of 30 for 250 yards Monday, throwing four touchdowns for the second straight game. The reigning Super Bowl MVP has completed an astonishing 72.9 percent of his passes in 2011 and has thrown 11 of his 28 TDs - and no interceptions - over the last three contests. His passer rating of 130.7 is on pace to easily break Peyton Manning's NFL record of 121.1 in 2004.

Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman was picked off three times against the Texans last weekend. Freeman, who has been bothered by a sprained thumb, has thrown nine touchdowns and 13 interceptions in nine games, compared to 25 TDs and just six picks in 2010. Trailing almost throughout their losing streak, the Buccaneers haven't run the ball much lately. They're averaging just 16.3 carries for 68.0 yards during their skid, with LeGarrette Blount totaling 106 yards on 23 carries in two games since returning from a knee injury.

The Bucs will experience a big-time temperature drop when they leave Tampa, where it was in the balmy 70s for their loss to the Texans last Sunday, and show up at Lambeau when it's expected to be in the high 30s. Green Bay's potent offense should continue to put up some big numbers as it goes against a Tampa Bay defense that is struggling in all areas. Look for Rodgers to attack the middle of the field and exploit Tampa's ineffective safeties. The Packers' inconsistent run game could get well facing the 29th-ranked run defense, which gave up 185 yards to the Texans. Freeman stands a good chance of getting a heavy diet of defenders flying at him in much the same manner Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers rattled Vikings rookie Christian Ponder with a liberal use of pressure packages Monday. Meet you at the window by the close of three quarters as this one gets ugly without wasting time.













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bobalou Posts:5147 Followers:147
11/20/2011 09:46 AM

I like GB Today JTG. Have them straight up and in a teaser or two.. Fabulous write-up as always. :)



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jimmythegreek Posts:11421 Followers:383
11/20/2011 09:50 AM

San Francisco -9.5 over Arizona (bought half):
Some outsiders may view the San Francisco 49ers' success as a fluke - which is just fine by them - though it's becoming tough to ignore they're among the NFL's top teams. Their stellar defense has been a main reason for that. San Francisco seeks an eighth straight victory Sunday when it hosts the Arizona Cardinals, who are coming off a surprising win of their own. The 49ers (8-1) are riding their longest winning streak and off to their best start since 1997 following a 27-20 victory over the New York Giants last Sunday. Rather than regularly being praised on a national level, San Francisco often is forced to listen to the doubters predicting its demise as the season progresses.

Not much was expected of a team which hasn't been to the playoffs since 2002, and only three of its victories have come against teams with winning records. However, the 49ers believed in themselves long before the victory over the NFC East-leading Giants. San Francisco has the league's second-best record behind Green Bay and holds a five-game lead in the NFC West. Francois is part of a defense which has allowed the NFL's fewest points per game (15.3) and forced the most turnovers (21). Cornerback Carlos Rogers is tied for the league lead with five interceptions. The 49ers rank first against the run, giving up an average of 73.2 yards, and have not allowed a rushing touchdown in 10 straight games. Their 31-game stretch of not allowing a 100-yard rusher is the longest active streak in the NFL. That run may continue against an Arizona team which ranks 26th in rushing at 95.0 yards per game.

Beanie Wells has averaged 53.4 yards and scored twice in five games since a 138-yard, three-touchdown performance Oct. 2 against the Giants. He ran for 62 yards on 23 carries in Sunday's 21-17 win at Philadelphia, as quarterback John Skelton helped the Cardinals (3-6) to their second straight win without the injured Kevin Kolb. Skelton overcame two interceptions to throw for 315 yards and three touchdowns, with Larry Fitzgerald catching seven balls for 146 yards and two TDs. Kolb continues to recover from a foot injury and had lost six straight before getting hurt, but Skelton knows his time as the starter may be short-lived. Skelton started Arizona's last matchup with the 49ers but was pulled late in the third quarter, having gone 14 of 25 for 92 yards in a 38-7 loss Jan. 2.

No matter who is under center come Sunday, Arizona likely will have a tough time ending a four-game skid against San Francisco, which is getting solid play from often-criticized quarterback Alex Smith. The No. 1 overall pick from 2005 is having his best season, completing a career-best 64.0 percent of his throws with 11 touchdowns and three interceptions. His passer rating of 95.8 ranks seventh in the league. Running back Frank Gore, who suffered a right knee injury in the second quarter against the Giants, practiced Thursday and expects to face the Cardinals. Gore had his franchise-record streak of five straight games with 100 or more yards rushing end last week. He has 7,196 career rushing yards and needs 149 to pass late Hall of Famer Joe Perry (7,344) for the most in 49ers history. The 49ers would like to blow out the Cardinals early so they could rest players in the second half. To do it, they may revive their zone run game, because the Cardinals have had trouble with gap control on their defensive front. They are prone to over-running plays. Shouldn't be a problem today as the Niners roll to their 6th straight.



























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jimmythegreek Posts:11421 Followers:383
11/20/2011 09:57 AM

New England -14 over Kansas City (bought half. Monday):
Coming off a critical road victory that left them alone atop the AFC East, the Patriots return to Foxborough on Monday night to face a reeling Chiefs team that will have unproven Tyler Palko under center. To make matters worse, Cassel suffered what coach Todd Haley called a "significant" hand injury in last Sunday's 17-10 loss to the Broncos and could miss the remainder of the season after undergoing surgery Monday. Despite having been outscored 157-40 in their losses, the Chiefs (4-5) are still just a game out in the West.

The Patriots (6-3), meanwhile, have first place in the East all to themselves - a reality that was tough to imagine after back-to-back losses to Pittsburgh and the New York Giants left them tied with Buffalo and the New York Jets. Facing the possibility of the franchise's first three-game skid in a decade, New England responded last Sunday night as Brady threw for 329 yards and three touchdowns in a 37-16 victory over the Jets. This will be the first time Brady has faced the Chiefs since the 2008 opener, and only his second meeting against Crennel. Brady threw for 265 yards and three TDs in a 34-17 win over Cleveland in 2007, when Crennel was the Browns head coach. Hali has six of Kansas City's league-low nine sacks, but even if the Chiefs can get outside pressure, Brady should be able to find his tight ends. Rob Gronkowski has 16 catches for 214 yards and three TDs the past two weeks, while Aaron Hernandez remains another of Brady's favorite targets. While the ability of the Patriots' offense to score has rarely been in question, the NFL's lowest-ranked defense's chances of stopping anyone certainly were before facing the Jets.

However, New England's front constantly pressured Mark Sanchez - defensive end Andre Carter had four sacks - and helped take some of the heat off a makeshift secondary. The Patriots, who have won four straight against the Chiefs in Foxborough, are trying to avoid their first consecutive home losses with Brady under center since November 2006. The Patriots' pass rush was at its best last weekend against the Jets, led by Andre Carter's 4.5 sacks. The defense showed more aggressiveness than it had in recent weeks, which helped contain Sanchez. Expect to a similar approach this week. Even with a makeshift secondary, the Patriots can feel confident knowing if the pass rush does its job, it really won't matter who's in the defensive backfield Monday. It's unlikely Palko will tear apart New England's secondary, so perhaps they could get away with more mistakes due to aggressiveness than they would be able to if they were playing against a better, more experienced quarterback. While botrh teams still need this game to keep divisional and postseason hopes alive, the apples to oranges quarterback comparison will skin KC alive giving the Patsies a much needed cushion in the AFC East, while a Chiefs loss could put to rest postseason aspirations.




















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bobalou Posts:5147 Followers:147
11/20/2011 10:01 AM

OK I think you and I are linked today... or else these picks are too easy... I am with you on all of them.

GL TODAY JTG and as stated above.... GREAT WRITE-UPS AS ALWAYS :)



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jimmythegreek Posts:11421 Followers:383
11/20/2011 10:05 AM

Oakland/Minnesota over 45:
Oakland (5-4) may own the worst record of any of the league's division leaders, but just being in that position could be considered an accomplishment in itself. Quarterback Jason Campbell suffered a broken collarbone in Week 6, forcing the Raiders to trade for Cincinnati holdout Carson Palmer and teach him the offense quickly. Palmer is progressing gradually, while backup running back Michael Bush and rookie receiver Denarius Moore have stepped up their play. Last Thursday's 24-17 victory over San Diego helped put the Raiders in first place this late in the season for the first time since 2002, when they made the franchise's most recent playoff and Super Bowl appearance.

Palmer had his best performance in his three games with Oakland, going 14 of 20 for 299 yards and two touchdowns - both to Moore as part of his five-catch, 123-yard performance. Bush scored and rushed for a season-high 157 yards - his most since a career-high 177 on Dec. 28, 2008, versus Tampa Bay - and added three catches for 85 yards. His 242 yards from scrimmage were the most by a Raider since 1963. While Oakland seems to be overcoming its obstacles, Minnesota continues to fade. The Vikings (2-7) fell 45-7 to Green Bay on Monday, marking their worst loss since falling 41-0 to the New York Giants in the NFC championship game Jan. 14, 2001.

Adrian Peterson was held to 51 yards, and rookie quarterback Christian Ponder completed only 47.1 percent of his passes for 190 yards and an interception. Though Peterson was slowed in his last outing, the Raiders realize the importance of stopping the league's fifth-leading rusher. Minnesota's defense, meanwhile, is giving up 27.1 points per game - second-most in the NFL. One bright spot is the Vikings rank sixth in the league allowing 93.9 rushing yards per game as they'll look to slow the Raiders' running attack. However Oakland is fourth in the NFL averaging 156.2 yards, including a 145.5 average in the past two games without Darren McFadden who hopes to start this afternoon.

The Vikings' front four needs to get to Palmer before he gets to the Vikings' back seven, which includes a badly depleted secondary. Palmer averages 9.83 yards per pass attempt, while five of the team's top receiving targets average at least 15 yards per catch. That includes the top two receivers, Darrius Heyward-Bey (16.1) and Denarius Moore (17.2). If the Vikings can neutralize the damage to their secondary, they can control the game with Peterson, making things much easier on Ponder. I like the dome factor to help soar this total over with both teams taking to the air especially if thigns are close throughout.

Best of luck to all in week 11:

YTD: 20-20














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