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Cnotes NFL Week # 16 Best Bets + MNF GOY !

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On 12/20/2011 07:39 PM in NFL
Week 16 Preview: Dolphins at Patriots

MIAMI DOLPHINS (5-9)

at NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (11-3)


Kickoff: Saturday, 1:00 p.m. EDT
Line: New England -10.5, Total: 48.5

The Patriots look to continue their six-game win streak when they invite division foe Miami to town on Saturday. The Dolphins have won five of their past seven games.

Miami proved it can play in the cold by winning in snowy Buffalo last week, and the Dolphins visit Foxboro this week, where they’ve managed to cover in two of their past three December/January visits. The Miami offense has been much improved with QB Matt Moore under center, averaging 25.6 PPG over its past seven games, and the Dolphins should be able to move the ball on a weak Patriots defense. Stopping New England will be another story, as Miami doesn’t have the bodies in the secondary to match up. The Pats rolled up 622 yards of offense, and QB Tom Brady threw for 517 and 4 TD in their Week 1 matchup, a 38-24 Pats win. But Dallas is the only other team to throw for 250 yards against Miami all season, and the Dolphins are 7-1 ATS in their past eight games, holding opponents to just 71 rushing YPG on just 3.2 YPC. The play here is MIAMI to keep the final score within single digits.

This pair of FoxSheets trends also support the Dolphins:

Play On - Underdogs or pick (MIAMI) - in a game involving two average teams (+/- 0.4 YPP) after 8+ games, after allowing 400 or more total yards in their previous game. (95-56 since 1983.) (62.9%, +33.4 units. Rating = 2*).

Play Against - Any team (NEW ENGLAND) - after a win by 10 or more points against opponent after a playing a game where 50 total points or more were scored. (122-72 over the last 5 seasons.) (62.9%, +42.8 units. Rating = 2*).

The Patriots have played four straight games Over the total, and this rare five-star FoxSheets trend also expects the OVER to occur on Saturday:

Play Over - Any team against the total (NEW ENGLAND) - after covering the spread in 4 or 5 out of their last 6 games against opponent after covering the spread in 5 or 6 out of their last 7 games. (72-19 over the last 5 seasons.) (79.1%, +51.1 units. Rating = 5*).

New England is scoring 35.8 PPG during its six-game win streak, posting 31+ points in each game, which includes hanging 41 points in Denver on Sunday. Brady has been on fire, riding a current streak of nine straight games with multiple TD passes. And he has usually enjoyed facing Miami in his career, going 13-6 with 4,000 passing yards, 35 TD and 17 INT against the Dolphins. WR Wes Welker, who leads the NFL with 1,380 receiving yards, has been a big reason why Brady has been so successful against the Dolphins. In eight career meetings against his former team, Welker has 63 catches for 843 yards, which includes his 99-yard TD reception in Week 1. The Patriots have several injuries on both sides of the ball. On offense, WR Deion Branch (groin), RB Shane Vereen (hamstring), G Dan Connolly (groin) and OT Sebastian Vollmer (back) are all listed as questionable. On defense, DE Andre Carter, LB Brandon Spikes and S Patrick Chung are all questionable because of knee injuries.

Interim head coach Todd Bowles had to be pleased with his team’s effort in his first game since taking over for Tony Sparano. The Dolphins rushed for 254 yards and threw for 194 more despite going just 3-of-13 on third down conversions. Reggie Bush had a huge afternoon with 203 yards on 25 carries (8.1 YPC), including a 76-yard TD run to ice the game in the fourth quarter. Bush has strung together three straight 100-yard games, a huge improvement from his 38 yards on 11 carries against New England in Week 1. QB Matt Moore has also been playing great football lately, despite suffering a concussion two weeks ago. In the past five games, Moore has thrown for 8 TD and just 1 INT. And considering the Patriots allow the most passing yards in the NFL (297 YPG), it’s a good bet that Moore will be throwing all over Gillette Stadium on Christmas Eve.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
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12/20/2011 07:41 PM
Week 16 Preview: Giants at Jets

NEW YORK GIANTS (7-7)

at NEW YORK JETS (8-6)


Kickoff: Saturday, 1:00 p.m. EDT
Line: N.Y. Jets -3, Total: 46

The league’s only in-town rivals are both struggling heading into this matchup of Giants and Jets at MetLife Stadium on Christmas Eve.

Both teams were embarrassed in Week 15, with the Jets blown out by 26 in Philadelphia, and the Giants losing to the Redskins for a second time, dropping a 23-10 defeat. The Giants typically struggle in their home stadium when their passing game goes awry in December, and QB Eli Manning had 3 INT and no touchdowns in last week’s loss, in large part due to horrible performances from his receiving corps. If the wind is whipping, the Jets are better equipped to move the ball because of their superior running game and better underneath receivers. The play here is the N.Y. JETS to win and cover.

This FoxSheets trend also backs the Jets:

Play Against - Road underdogs or pick (N.Y. GIANTS) - after going over the total by 21 or more points total in their last three games, with a winning percentage of between 45-55% on the season. (23-5 over the last 5 seasons.) (82.1%, +17.5 units. Rating = 2*).

These teams haven’t met since 2007, a 35-24 Giants win. This gives the G-Men four straight wins over the Jets, whose last win in this New York series came in 1993.

The Jets have played four straight games Over the total, and this three-star FoxSheets coaching trend also thinks the OVER will occur again on Saturday:

Rex Ryan is 17-4 OVER (81.0%, +12.6 Units) in games where the line is +3 to -3 as the coach of N.Y. JETS. The average score was N.Y. JETS 24.9, OPPONENT 21.2 - (Rating = 3*).

Neither quarterback has been reliable late in the season in their careers. Manning has a subpar 15-19 record with a poor 75.0 passer rating in December, while Jets QB Mark Sanchez is 5-5 with a horrendous 68.8 rating in the season’s final month. Although Manning (4,362 passing yards) is statistically superior this year, Sanchez (3,009 passing yards) has actually played better in his home stadium (88.0 rating; 15 TD, 7 INT) than Manning has (86.9 rating, 11 TD, 9 INT).

Neither team has run the football like they are capable of, but the Jets have rushed for 104 YPG, while the Giants sport the worst rushing offense in the league at 86 YPG. Both teams have had their share of injuries to running backs and offensive linemen, but both New York clubs are pretty healthy heading into this Week 16 matchup.

Both teams were done in by turnovers last week, which has been a common theme lately for the New Yorkers. Since the start of November, the Giants have 14 giveaways in seven games, and the Jets have turned the ball over 15 times in seven contests. However, the Jets have been better at forcing turnovers, racking up eight takeaways in the past three games, while the Giants have just four total takeaways in their past four contests.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
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12/20/2011 07:42 PM
Week 16 Preview: Chargers at Lions

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (7-7)

at DETROIT LIONS (9-5)


Kickoff: Saturday, 4:05 p.m. EDT
Line: Detroit -3, Total: 50

Two teams peaking at just the right time square off Saturday in Detroit when the Chargers visit the Lions.

San Diego is in the midst of its annual December surge, absolutely blowing away its past three opponents. The Chargers outscored the Jaguars, Bills and Ravens by a combined total of 109-38, and they’re now 12-2 SU and 8-5-1 ATS over the past three regular seasons in December/January. A big reason has been the improved play of the o-line, which added much-needed LT Jared Gaither after he was bafflingly cut by Kansas City. San Diego should be able to counter the strength of the Lions’ defense, the front four. The pick here is for underdog SAN DIEGO to pull out a fourth straight win.

This three-star FoxSheets trend also works against the Lions:

Play Against - Favorites (DETROIT) - after failing to cover the spread in 4 out of their last 5 games, good team, winning 60-75% or more of their games on the season. (35-10 over the last 10 seasons.) (77.8%, +24 units. Rating = 3*).

San Diego’s improved offensive line has also allowed QB Philip Rivers and RB Ryan Mathews to thrive. Rivers has thrown 8 TD and 0 INT in his past four games with the added time in the pocket, and Mathews has rushed for 453 yards (5.6 YPC) in this same four-game span with the big holes being created by his linemen. With the way the Detroit defense has been playing, both Rivers and Mathews should have little trouble gaining yards. In the past five games, the Lions have surrendered 29.6 PPG and 419 total YPG (281 passing, 138 rushing). And they don’t figure to be able to capitalize on San Diego mistakes since the Chargers have only one turnover in their past four contests.

But the Lions should also be able to move up and down the field, especially through the air. With a banged-up secondary, the Chargers could have trouble matching up with Detroit’s explosive passing game. QB Matthew Stafford is averaging 296 YPG with a 33/14 TD/INT ratio, and has thrown for 618 yards, 6 TD and 0 INT in his past two games. Detroit won both of these contests in dramatic fashion, edging the Vikings 34-28 and then completing a fourth-quarter comeback to overtake Oakland 28-27. The Lions have all but given up trying to run the football, gaining just 216 yards on 62 carries (3.5 YPC) over the past three weeks. San Diego’s run defense has been subpar though, allowing 126 rushing YPG this year (21st in NFL). The Chargers have given up just 185 rushing yards in the past two games, but opponents have gained 5.4 YPC in this span.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
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12/20/2011 07:44 PM
Week 16 Preview: Texans at Colts

HOUSTON TEXANS (10-4)

at INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (1-13)


Kickoff: Thursday, 8:20 p.m. EDT
Line: Houston -6, Total: 40.5

Houston seeks its first win ever in Indianapolis Thursday night when the AFC South foes square off at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The Texans have lost all nine trips to Indy by an average score of 33-17. The Colts finally got in the win column last week, but a second straight victory will be a tall order. Their nightmare season started with a 34-7 loss in Houston, which was playing without Arian Foster. The Texans have simply run it down Indy’s throats the past two years, averaging 173 rushing YPG and 5.3 YPC over three meetings. Considering the Colts’ inability to stop the run all season, Houston should have little trouble running it. And with the Texans staunch defense, Indianapolis will have major problems moving the football. The play here is HOUSTON to finally leave Indiana with a sizable victory.

The FoxSheets provide two more trends backing the Texans:

Play On - Road teams (HOUSTON) - a good offensive team (23-27 PPG) against a poor offensive team (14-18 PPG), after a loss by 10 or more points. (30-11 since 1983.) (73.2%, +17.9 units. Rating = 2*).

Play Against - Underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (INDIANAPOLIS) - revenging a loss against opponent, off an upset win by 14 points or more as an underdog. (42-17 since 1983.) (71.2%, +23.3 units. Rating = 2*).

The Texans have thrived away from home this year, going 5-2 (SU and ATS), and outscoring opponents by 8.3 PPG on the road. But three uncharacteristic turnovers cost them dearly in Sunday’s 28-13 home loss to the Panthers. Foster had one of those turnovers, fumbling on the opening drive of the game, which marked his third lost fumble in four weeks. But Foster also rushed for 109 yards on 6.8 YPC against Carolina, and added another 58 yards receiving. And he absolutely dominated the Colts in two meetings last year, rumbling for 333 yards (6.9 YPC) and four touchdowns in the two games versus Indy. He and Ben Tate (846 rush yds, 5.5 YPC) should be able to run all over a Colts run defense ranked 28th in the NFL (139 YPG). QB T.J. Yates had a poor performance against Carolina (19-for-30, 212 yds, 0 TD, 2 INT), but he could also find success against an Indy pass defense allowing 274 passing YPG in the past three contests. He will not have the services of his best wideout though, as Andre Johnson remains out with a hamstring injury.

The Colts offense has found a little more stability since QB Dan Orlovsky took over for Curtis Painter, leading his team to a 3-0 ATS mark in his three starts. However, the Colts were outgained by 101 yards in Sunday’s win (388 to 287), and 80 of those yards came on a late touchdown run by RB Donald Brown, who finished the day with 161 rushing yards. But Brown will be up against Houston’s fifth-ranked run defense (97 YPG), which had held 11 straight opponents under 120 rushing yards before Carolina rumbled for 166 against them last week. But the Texans are even stronger in defending the pass, ranking second in the NFL with 181 passing YPG allowed. Colts star WR Reggie Wayne should be Orlovsky’s top option in the passing game since he has dominated Houston in the past. In 19 career meetings, Wayne has 109 receptions for 1,417 yards and 11 TD.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
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12/20/2011 07:46 PM
Indianapolis Colts And Houston Texans Thursday Night

History will tell you that an AFC South clash between the Houston Texans and the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Field would lead to an easy victory for the hosts. The Texans will try to rewrite history Thursday night and pick up their very first victory in Indianapolis.

Kickoff is set for a little past 8:20 p.m. (ET) on the NFL Network. Early NFL odds maade the Colts 6½-point home underdogs with a 40½-point total.

The Texans (10-4 SU, 9-4-1 ATS) had a little dose of reality last week when they were beaten by the Carolina Panthers. The 28-13 defeat was the worst loss of the season and the first by a team that will certainly finish the year below .500.

Still, Houston knows it has the AFC South title under its belt, and the Texans are still in the running for a first-round bye in the playoffs. However, more slips like the one that the team took last week will end any of those hopes.

Arian Foster topped the 1,000-yard mark on the ground in the loss to Carolina with his sixth 100-yard effort of the season. Ben Tate needs 154 yards to reach the 1,000-yard barrier as well. These two backs make up the second ranked rush offense in the game at 151.8 YPG.

Week 15 was definitely one that was out of character for Houston, but one could argue that it was even more unusual for the Colts (1-13 SU, 5-9 ATS). They won their first game of the season by beating the fading Tennessee Titans 27-13.

It was really the third straight good game for Dan Orlovsky, who has led the Colts to three covers in a row after Indy was just 2-9 ATS in the first 11 games of the season under the direction of Kerry Collins and Curtis Painter.

Indianapolis is still only averaging 281.6 YPG this season, No. 31 in the league, but at least Orlovsky has given the team a bit of a boost. He has 693 passing yards and four scores against two INTs in his three starts, and has led the squad to 61 points in those contests. The Colts only scored 63 points from October 16 through November 27, a span of six games.

Even the ground game has picked up just a bit. Donald Brown rushed for 161 yards and a TD on 16 carries in last week's win against Tennessee.

Of course, the Titans have had a defense that has been wildly inconsistent this year, and that unit won't be on the field this week. Houston's defense may have had a bad game last week, but it is still only allowing 277.9 YPG and 16.9 PPG, making it one of the best units in the NFL this season.

The Texans might have that brutal 0-9 SU mark here in Indianapolis, but they are a relatively respectable 4-5 ATS in that stretch. They did win the first meeting of the year between these two teams by a 34-7 margin at Reliant Stadium.

Houston wraps up no worse than the third seed in the AFC playoffs with a victory. A win would also clinch the Texans' best season in division play, as they would move to 5-0 with a game against the Titans in Week 17.
Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
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12/20/2011 07:48 PM
Tennessee Titans Face Must-Win Versus Jaguars

The postseason hopes for the Tennessee Titans are on the line this week when they engage in an NFL betting battle against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

LP Field in Nashville will be the site of this Week 16 matchup, which kicks off at 1:00 p.m. (ET) on Christmas Eve. There will be live television coverage regionally on CBS.

The Titans (7-7 SU, 7-7 ATS) really took a crippling blow to their playoff chances last week when they were beaten by the previously winless Indianapolis Colts. It was a game that Tennessee absolutely should have won, as it was a 6½-point favorite in the tussle.

The end result now sees Tennessee a game outside of the playoff race alongside a herd of other teams with two games to play. The Titans obviously are going to need to win both this game and a Week 17 tussle with the Houston Texans just to think about competing for the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC.

It isn't often that a team has a quarterback controversy brewing in Week 16 of the season, but that's where the Titans are. Jake Locker has come in off of the bench to replace Matt Hasselbeck in each of the last two weeks. The rookie has played well, throwing for 390 yards and two TDs without getting picked off.

In total, Locker has completed 51.5 percent of his passes for 542 yards with four TDs, and he has rushed for 56 yards and a score.

Mel Tucker has had his work cut out for him taking over as the interim coach of a bad Jacksonville team. The Jaguars (4-10 SU, 5-8-1 ATS) did come up with a win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers two weeks ago, but aside from that, the other two games with Tucker in charge have been a bit of a disaster. The Jags were blasted by the San Diego Chargers 38-14 in Week 13 and are coming off a 41-14 embarrassment vs. the Atlanta Falcons this past Thursday.

To say that this offense has been anemic this year would be an understatement. The squad has only scored more than 20 points in a game once this season, and ranks dead last in the league at 256.3 YPG.

Blaine Gabbert needs 76 yards to reach the 2,000-yard mark in his first season. However, his passing game ranks last in football, and he doesn't have a receiver that has anywhere near 500 yards on the season.

In fact, the only player on this offense that has done anything notable all campaign is Maurice Jones-Drew. He already has 294 carries on the season, and is leading the league in rushing with 1,334 yards.

Week 1 saw Jacksonville knock off the Titans, 16-14. It was the second straight win both SU and ATS for the Jags. However, since 2001, Tennessee owns the 12-8 SU and ATS advantage over its divisional foe.

It won't quite be a white Christmas in the Volunteer State, though it could be if the thermometer dropped another 20 degrees this weekend. Expect some rain, as there are showers in the forecast, and temperatures are expected to top out in the low-50s.

Tennessee opened up as a nine-point favorite, and it almost immediately moved up to -9½. The Week 16 odds in this one feature a 40½-point total for NFL bettors.
Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
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12/20/2011 07:50 PM
Bengals And Cardinals Battle In Cincinnati

The Cincinnati Bengals and Arizona Cardinals are both coming off wins on Sunday that kept them alive in their quest for the playoffs. However, only one of them can obviously keep that momentum going with a victory when the teams meet Saturday in Cincinnati in a key Week 16 matchup.

Game time is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. (ET) with television coverage provided by FOX. Cincinnati opened as a 5½-point home favorite according to the Don Best odds screen with the total at 40. Early action has come in on Arizona, pushing the line down to +4½.

The Bengals (8-6) had lost four of five games before beating the St. Louis Rams 20-13 while the Cardinals (7-7) have won four straight and six of seven following a six-game losing streak. Arizona needed overtime to top the Cleveland Browns 20-17 on Sunday, the team’s third game in the past seven that required an extra session to decide the outcome.

The Cardinals have rallied behind quarterback John Skelton, who is 4-1 as a starter while replacing the injured Kevin Kolb. Skelton has topped the 300-yard mark twice during that stretch, including a 313-yard performance against the Browns.

Kolb suffered a concussion very early on in a Week 11 win against the San Francisco 49ers and has been hampered by injuries throughout his first year with the team. Skelton filled in after Kolb left the game against the 49ers and led Arizona to a 21-19 victory.

The Cardinals are one of four teams at 7-7 and need to win out and have the Detroit Lions or Atlanta Falcons lose their last two games to stay in the hunt for a Wild Card playoff spot in the NFC.

Cincinnati gets to finish the regular season out with two home games and has a slightly better chance to qualify for a Wild Card berth in the AFC. The team is tied with the New York Jets for the final playoff spot in the conference but would currently lose the tiebreaker.

The Jets have an equally tough road with a home game against the New York Giants on Saturday followed by a visit to the Miami Dolphins in the regular-season finale.

The Bengals host the Baltimore Ravens in their season finale with the AFC North title possibly up for grabs. The Ravens are battling the Pittsburgh Steelers for the top spot while Cincinnati would love nothing more than to knock out a New York team that won a regular-season meeting in the finale two years ago and then beat the Bengals again in the playoffs a week later.

Cincinnati is hoping rookie wide receiver A.J. Green will be available against the Cardinals after he suffered a Grade 3 sprain of the right AC joint in his shoulder in the win over St. Louis. Green went over the 1,000-yard mark for the Bengals with 115 yards on six catches against the Rams and has vowed to play the last two games despite the injury.

The weather forecast for Saturday in Cincinnati calls for a high temperature in the low 40s with a 30 percent chance of occasional rain showers.
Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
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12/20/2011 07:51 PM
Playoff-Focused Patriots Host Miami Dolphins

The New England Patriots have already clinched the AFC East Division and are looking for a whole lot more when they host the Miami Dolphins on Saturday afternoon.

The spread for this Week 16 contest has just opened and New England is a 10½-point favorite with an NFL betting total of 48½-points.

CBS will have the broadcast at 1:00 p.m. (ET) from Gillette Stadium. There are 13 games on Saturday with Christmas falling on Sunday. The only game on Sunday will be Chicago at the formerly perfect Packers at night.

The Patriots (11-3 straight up, 8-6 against the spread) can get the AFC’s No. 2 seed and a bye by winning their last two games. Next week will be home to Buffalo as big ‘chalk’ again. They can get the top seed by winning out and one loss by Pittsburgh in its final three games, including tonight at San Fran as 3-point ‘dogs.

Coach Bill Belichick’s bunch has quietly won six games in a row, stopping Tim Tebow-mania for at least one week with a 41-23 win as 7-point favorites. Denver jumped out to a 16-7 lead, but had three costly fumbles in the second quarter and trailed 27-16 at halftime.

Tebow actually looked pretty good passing with 194 yards, rushing for 93 more. Tom Brady was his normal brilliant self with 320 passing yards, 129 of them to tight end Aaron Hernandez. The offense is scoring 35.8 PPG during the current winning streak (31.2 PPG for the season) and certainly can’t be afforded gift turnovers.

The 64 combined points scored last game went way ‘over’ the 47½-point total. The ‘over’ is 4-0 in the Patriots last four games, with the defense allowing 23.5 PPG.

The Patriots are 5-1 SU and 3-3 ATS at home, only covering one of their last four. The last one at Gillette was on December 4, a 31-24 win over Indianapolis as whopping 20½-point favorites. The Colts outscored them 21-0 in the fourth quarter for the unlikely cover.

Miami (5-9 SU, 7-6-1 ATS) fired coach Tony Sparano last week and named Todd Bowles as interim coach. The 48-year-old Bowles may have little shot of getting the full time gig, but he still wants to impress owner Stephen Ross and did get a win (30-23) in his debut at Buffalo yesterday.

That game was not as close as the final score indicates, leading 30-13 with under three minutes remaining. Quarterback Matt Moore shook off a head/neck injury to throw for 217 yards, two TDs and no picks (122.3 rating). Reggie Bush ran for a career-high 203 yards and has now gone over the 100-yard mark the last three games.

Bowles will not have trouble getting his guys to play hard. After all, they didn’t quit after starting the season 0-7 SU (1-5-1 ATS). They’re 5-2 SU and 6-1 ATS in their last seven games. The only stinker was a 26-10 home loss against Philly two games ago, giving Ross the excuse he wanted to fire Sparano.

Bush is sure to get around 20 carries this week and his eyes are lighting up after New England ’s run defense got gashed (252 yards) by Denver. However, New England’s run ‘D’ isn’t bad overall (117.6 YPG, ranked 19th) and should play with a chip on its shoulder this week.

The better Miami matchup is Moore throwing against the league’s worst pass defense (297 YPG). Brandon Marshall (1,021 yards) will be a problem for whoever covers him. Tight end Anthony Fasano should find holes in the middle of the field, especially with safety Patrick Chung (foot) out since Nov. 6 and questionable again. Pass-rusher Andre Carter (10 sacks) was also lost for the year after getting injured last game.

Miami’s key injury has offensive tackle Jake Long (back) questionable after missing last game.

Getting the warm-weather Dolphins to come north to New England late in the year used to be an automatic win. However, Miami played very tough with below-freezing temperatures and snow flurries in Buffalo. Weather on Saturday should be in the 30s, but with no precipitation.

New England is 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS against Miami the last six meetings. Opening week in South Beach was a 38-24 Pats win as 7-point favorites. Chad Henne was Miami’s quarterback and had 416 passing yards, but Brady answered with a team-record 517.
Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
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12/20/2011 07:53 PM
KC Chiefs Out To Complete Sweep Of Oakland Raiders

Last season we saw the Seattle Seahawks win the NFC West with a 7-9 record and become the first team to make the playoffs with a sub-.500 mark. It was indeed a strange occurrence, made even stranger when Seattle hosted defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans in the first round of postseason action...and won.

If a 7-9 team making the playoffs and dethroning a Super Bowl champ seemed bizarre, then hold on to your hats because things could get even weirder this year, and once again it's the wild, wild west providing the story.

Try this on for size: All four teams in the AFC West could be on collision courses with 8-8 records. Indeed, the chips have to fall just right, but it's a very real possibility and might all hinge on the outcome of this Sunday's matchup in Kansas City between the Chiefs and Oakland Raiders.

The longtime rivals will kick things off at Arrowhead Stadium this Saturday a little past 1:00 p.m. (ET). Opening odds listed the Chiefs 1-point favorites with some shops making the game a pick 'em. The Don Best odds screen has the total in the 42-43 point span.

If you think the odds of four 8-8 teams in the same division seem very long, remember that entering play this past week, the notion seemed an impossibility. What made it appear out of the question was a 5-8 Kansas City squad taking on the 13-0 Green Bay Packers who were favored by 11½ vs. the Chiefs.

Kansas City's upset victory wasn't really as close as the 19-14 final score might suggest. The Chiefs dominated the clock, keeping Aaron Rodgers and the high-powered Packers offense off the field, and pressured Rodgers and that same offense all afternoon when they did have the ball.

Given how KC was playing entering the game, it's a wonder the Chiefs weren't even bigger underdogs. The Chiefs had dropped five of their previous six contests, resulting in the firing of head coach Todd Haley just six days before battling Green Bay, and the only win in that span was a 10-3 triumph over a Chicago Bears outfit that has really dirtied its collective knickers the last month.

Romeo Crennel got the ceremonial cooler dump in his first outing as KC's interim head coach, and Tamba Hali recorded three of the Chiefs' four sacks, more than double what the defense was averaging entering the game. A banged-up Packers offensive line contributed heavily to that statistic.

Almost lost in the news of the Packers' first loss was the fine play of Kansas City's Kyle Orton in his first start for the team since being picked up following his release from Denver. Orton was an efficient 23-for-31 through the air, falling just short of the 300-yard mark.

The irony of Orton's performance was it came the same day his replacement in Denver, Tim Tebow, finally ran out of magic. With a trip to Mile High City on deck after this game with Oakland, Orton's biggest challenge this week might be to not think too far ahead to possible revenge against his former employer.

Then again, the Raiders defense might not present much of a challenge at all. Oakland comes into the game in the throes of a 3-game losing streak and having allowed 36 points per game in that span. The latest setback was at home vs. the Detroit Lions who rallied from a 13-point hole in the final eight minutes for a 28-27 victory. Oakland had one last chance to win it in the end, but Lions DT Ndamukong Suh got just enough of his big paw on a long field goal attempt to deny Sebastian Janikowski from being the hero.

Shutting down Carson Palmer and the Raiders offense will now be the focus for Crennel and the Chiefs. That might not seem too difficult having just stifled the Packers, but Oakland's offense wasn't really the issue in the loss to Detroit. One key for Oakland will be getting Michael Bush and the running game going early. Bush ran for 99 yards on 17 carries when the two teams met in Week 7.

Crennel and the Kansas City defense certainly had the Raiders' number in that matchup, a 28-0 whitewashing by the Chiefs in Oakland. That was Palmer's first game with the Black and Silver, and he threw three interceptions in rusty relief of Kyle Boller who also tossed three picks. Each QB had one interception go the other way for KC touchdowns.

The Chiefs were 3½-point underdogs in October, with the win and cover leaving the teams 5-5 straight up and 5-5 against the spread in head-to-head battles dating to Dec. 2006. The only real trend in this series is the 'under' which has cashed eight of the 10 contests. If the current 42-43 point total holds, it will be higher than all but one of those tilts. The number closed at 41 earlier this campaign.

A 30 percent shot at snow is in the forecast for Friday afternoon and evening in the Paris of the Plains. Those chances drop on Saturday when temps aren't expected to climb much above freezing under partly cloudy skies.
Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
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12/20/2011 07:55 PM
Washington Redskins Make Ready For Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings and Washington Redskins may not have much to play for on Saturday, but bettors will find something appealing about one of these teams.

The Redskins (5-9) have stayed competitive recently despite losing three of their past five games, going 4-1 against the spread during that stretch. The same can’t be said for the Vikings (2-12), who have lost six straight and gone 1-4-1 ATS since their bye in Week 9.

Game time is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. (ET) with television coverage provided by FOX. Washington opened as a 5½-point home favorite according to the Don Best odds screen and has been bet up to -6½ at some sports books while the total is 44.

Washington is coming off an impressive 23-10 road victory against the New York Giants on Sunday, completing a series sweep that started with a 28-14 win in the season opener. The Redskins have had an up-and-down year with Rex Grossman as the starting quarterback, but he has somehow found a way to generate enough offense to keep them in games. They are averaging 23.2 points in their last five with Grossman throwing seven touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Minnesota has not been so lucky with rookie QB Christian Ponder under center. Ponder has led the Vikings to just one victory in eight starts since taking over for ineffective veteran Donovan McNabb, who was later put on waivers. He has thrown 13 touchdowns and 12 interceptions with half of the picks taking place in the past three games.

Ponder saw running back Adrian Peterson return to the Minnesota lineup on Sunday for the first time in a month against the New Orleans Saints, who scored four straight touchdowns to turn a one-point game in a 42-20 rout. Peterson carried the ball just 10 times for 60 yards, including a 39-yard scamper early in the second quarter when he had three straight touches for 48 of those yards.

The Vikings have seen the 'over' cash in seven of their last nine games, including three straight. The total has also gone 'over' in four of five for Washington after going 'under' in seven of eight with the Redskins going 2-6 ATS in those games. They are just 8-22-3 ATS in their past 33 games against teams with a losing record, and Minnesota has won four of the last six meetings straight-up after dropping the previous four in the series.

Cold and drizzly is the forecast for the nation's capital this Saturday. The weatherman is listing a 40 percent chance of showers in the area with the afternoon high just making it into the mid-to-upper 40s.
Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
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