cnotes Posts:23633 Followers:32
01/08/2012 11:53 AM

Sunday’s betting tips: Broncos slumping, not scoring

Who's hot

NFL: The Steelers are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 January games and the under is 6-0 in their last six overall.

NFL: The Giants are 4-1 ATS in their last five overall and 5-1 ATS in their last six playoff games.

NCAAF: Arkansas State is 6-1 ATS in its last seven overall.

NHL: The Senators are 4-0 in their last four overall and 6-1 in their last seven home games.

NBA: The Cavs are 5-1 ATS in their last six overall and 6-1 ATS in their last seven road games.

NBA: The under is 7-0 in the Magic's last seven road games.

NCAAB: Indiana is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 overall.

NCAAB: Michigan is 14-2 ATS in its last 16 against the Big Ten.

Who’s not

NFL: The Broncos are 0-4 ATS in their last four overall.

NFL: The Falcons are 0-4 ATS in their last four against teams with winning records.

NCAAF: Northern Illinois is 1-8 ATS in its last nine neutral-site games.

NHL: The Ducks are 6-24 in their last 30 overall.

NBA: The Spurs are 0-7 ATS in their last seven road games.

NBA: The Grizzlies are 1-6 ATS in their last seven road games.

NCAAB: Southern California is 1-8 ATS in its last nine home games.

NCAAB: Villanova is 3-13 ATS in its last 16 home games.

Key stat

12 – Consecutive games in which the Denver Broncos have run for at least 120 yards. The Broncos, who finished first in the league in rushing offense, will likely have to continue the streak to have any chance against the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers. Something will have to give, though, because Pittsburgh is No. 1 in the NFL in total defense (271.8 yards per game). Denver, meanwhile, is the only one of the 12 playoff teams averaging fewer than 20 points per game.

Injuries that shouldn’t be overlooked

The Washington Wizards are still looking for their first win of the season heading into Sunday's home game against Minnesota. They may have a good chance of finally getting in the 'W' column, and not just because the Timberwolves are 2-5. The T-Wolves, already without Martell Webster and Brad Miller (out until mid-January), are even more banged up now. Jose Barea is questionable for Minnesota due to a hamstring injury. Michael Beasley, who is listed as doubtful for Sunday's contest, left Friday's game against Cleveland with a right ankle injury.

Biggest games on the slate

Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants (-3, 47.5)

Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos (9, 33.5)

Notable quotable

“I think one of the biggest things I’ve learned in my two appearances in the playoffs is to not let all the outside things that come along with it affect your preparation and affect your approach to playing on Sunday. I think I’m a lot better served. I’m a lot more mature than I was a couple years ago and even last year. I think that’s going to help out.” – Atlanta Falcons' quarterback Matt Ryan, somewhat responding to the controversy surrounding New York Giants' defensive end Justin Tuck's comments about Atlanta's offensive line playing like "dirtbags."

Tips and notes

The Sacramento Kings will be playing their second game under recently-promoted head coach Keith Smart when they host Orlando on Sunday. Paul Westphal was fired earlier this week after Sacramento started the season 2-5 and there was visible frustration with his offensive philosophy. Smart's debut as coach went incredibly well on Thursday, as the host Kings outscored Milwaukee 35-18 in the fourth quarter to storm back for a 103-100 victory. "Right now the team is dealing with an identity crisis," Smart cautioned. "Each guy is trying to push forward his identity. We've got to get each guy to understand, your identity will grow faster by trying to grow this team."

The Anaheim Ducks started the season 4-1, winning four in a row after losing their opener. Amazingly, they have not won back-to-back games since that initial four-game surge, a slump dating all the way back to October 17. Anaheim will be looking to put together a rare two-game streak on Sunday vs. Columbus, as the team is coming off a 4-2 home win over the Islanders on Friday. Something will have to give because the Ducks (28 points) and Blue Jackets (25 points) are by far the two worst teams in the NHL. As of Saturday evening, no other team has fewer than 34 points.

Arkansas State became the first team in the 11-year history of the Sun Belt Conference to win 10 regular-season games, and it heads into its first bowl game since 2005 on a nine-game winning streak. A word of caution, though, for the Red Wolves: they will be without head coach Hugh Freeze for the GoDaddy.com Bowl. He was hired on December 5 to become the new head coach at Ole Miss. Interim head coach David Gunn will lead Arkansas State on Sunday against Northern Illinois.

Historical trends favor Atlanta in Sunday's playoff clash between the Falcons and Giants. The road team has won eight of the last nine meetings between the two teams and is 8-0 ATS in the last eight. Atlanta is 5-0 ATS in its last five road games against the Giants. Recent trends, however, are not so favorable for Atlanta. The team is 1-4 ATS in its last five playoff appearances and Ryan has never won a playoff game (0-2 lifetime). In his two postseason games Ryan is a combined 46 for 69 with 385 yards, three touchdowns, and four interceptions. If you have any feedback or suggestions for our Editorial Team, please contact us at Editorial

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:23633 Followers:32
01/08/2012 11:56 AM

Top 5 NFL Trends

PIT
DEN Under is 6-0 in PIT last 6 games overall.

PIT
DEN Under is 6-0 in PIT last 6 games on grass.

ATL
NYG ATL are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 meetings in New York.

PIT
DEN Under is 5-0 in PIT last 5 games following a S.U. win.

ATL
NYG NYG are 4-0 ATS vs. a team with a winning record

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:23633 Followers:32
01/08/2012 11:59 AM

New York Giants Host Atlanta Falcons NFL Playoffs

Two NFC teams that took very different paths to the playoffs will meet on Sunday when the New York Giants host the Atlanta Falcons in a Wild Card matchup.

The fourth-seeded Giants (9-7) needed to beat Dallas 31-14 on Sunday Night Football to win the NFC East, while the Falcons (10-6) avoided a third meeting with New Orleans by routing Tampa Bay 45-24 last week to claim the fifth seed after finishing second to the Saints in the NFC South.

Game time is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. (ET) with television coverage provided by FOX. New York opened as a 3-point favorite and has remained there with the total falling from 48½ to a low of 47.

Some of that early action on the total might have something to do with the weather forecast that calls for a high temperature of 43 and a 40 percent chance of showers in East Rutherford, New Jersey, the home of MetLife Stadium.

The Giants were one of the hardest teams to figure out during the regular season, winning six of their first eight games only to lose five of six before finishing up with consecutive victories. Led by quarterback Eli Manning, who threw for nearly 5,000 yards (4,933) and 29 touchdowns, New York seemed to be at its best offensively when running backs Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs were both healthy.

Wide receiver Victor Cruz also emerged this season in just his second year, setting a franchise record for receiving yards with 1,536 and scoring nine touchdowns.

Meanwhile, Atlanta was the top seed in the NFC a year ago but lost at home to Green Bay and hopes to atone for that disappointing ending this postseason. The Falcons rebounded from a 2-3 start in 2011 that saw them fail to cover the spread four times in five games, going 8-4 the rest of the way. Their 23-16 win at Detroit in Week 7 kept them from visiting New Orleans. The team had a balanced offense during the regular season behind QB Matt Ryan (4,177 passing yards and 29 touchdowns) and RB Michael Turner (1,340 rushing yards and 11 TDs) and owned the NFL’s sixth-ranked run defense, allowing 97 yards per game.

Atlanta has dropped the last three meetings with the Giants, the latest coming in a 34-31 overtime loss on the road back in 2009. New York won the previous two meetings away from home and covered the spread in both.

The Giants are 4-1 against the spread in their past five games overall with the total going ‘under’ in the last three, all between 45 and 48 points. The Falcons are 3-1 straight up and ATS in their past four overall with the ‘over’ cashing each time.

Atlanta could be without starting linebacker Stephen Nicholas who is listed as doubtful on the Don Best injury report due to a bum knee suffered in the Dec. 15 game against the Jaguars. New York's two biggest injury concerns, halfback Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) and defensive end Justin Tuck (shoulder) are both listed as probable.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:23633 Followers:32
01/08/2012 12:01 PM

Steelers Favored In Battle With Denver Broncos

Even the most diehard of Denver fans can be excused for wondering how their favorite team ever managed to qualify for the playoffs. But the Broncos are indeed into the postseason for the first time in six years as the AFC West champions, one of the most unlikely developments we can recall in recent pro football annals.

How long Denver lasts in the playoffs is another question. The fun might not last beyond Sunday, when the Broncos (8-8 straight up, 7-9 against the spread) host Pittsburgh (12-4 SU, 7-9 ATS) at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. A quick check of the Don Best odds screen notes that money at Las Vegas wagering outlets has generally been flowing in the Steelers’ direction since Sunday night, with Mike Tomlin’s team listed as an 8½-point favorite at most sports books at midweek. The total is mostly sitting at a rather-low 34 points.

TV coverage will be provided by CBS, with the network’s top broadcast team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms on hand to describe the action.

Although Denver is in the postseason, we are hard-pressed to recall a postseason entrant looking any worse in recent memory. The Broncos absolutely backed into the playoffs on the heels of a season-ending 3-game losing streak, saved in the end by Oakland’s loss to San Diego on the final weekend which awarded the AFC West to Denver almost by default. Tiebreaking procedures (which had to progress to the "results in common games" stage) broke the 3-way deadlock between the Raiders, Chargers and Denver in the Broncos’ favor.

During their earlier and very improbable 6-game win streak that roughly coincided with Tim Tebow’s entrance into the lineup as the starting QB, the Broncos were able to parlay a low-risk offense and Tebow’s playmaking ability to pull out several unlikely wins in the late going. Tebow has three overtime wins to his credit, and head coach John Fox deserves loads of credit for changing the Bronco offensive formula to fit Tebow, introducing the read-option and a ground-based assault that caught several foes unsuspecting in the win streak.

Opposing stop units, however, seem to have caught on to the Denver recipe, and have been playing much better assignment defense in recent weeks. The read-option is not a major element of the Bronco offensive package these days that mostly relies upon between-the-tackles pounding by RB Willis McGahee instead.

The Broncos were also playing rather mistake-free football in their uptick, but that hasn’t been the case in the current three-game losing streak in which Denver has been guilty of nine giveaways. That’s hard enough for a team such as Green Bay or New Orleans to overcome; for the Broncos, it’s almost impossible.

Moreover, Denver was banged up down the stretch, especially in the secondary, where vet Brian Dawkins has been battling a pinched nerve in his neck in recent weeks, sometimes requiring Fox to start a pair of rookies (Rahim Moore and Quinton Carter) at the safety spots. Offensively, Fox has injury concerns, too, especially regarding FB Spencer Larsen and OG Chris Kuper, both hurt last week vs. the Chiefs. Their absence would not help the Broncos’ ground-based formula this week.

Assuming Denver is fortunate to be here, we must also wonder if Pittsburgh is in any condition to take advantage. The Steelers have been hurting in recent weeks, too, especially QB Ben Roethlisberger, alternately held out and severely limited in recent weeks after a left ankle sprain suffered vs. the Browns on December 8. Big Ben’s passing accuracy has left something to be desired in his compromised state.

Further, top RB Rashard Mendenhall went down with a season-ending knee injury last week at Cleveland, though Isaac Redman was serviceable in relief vs. the Browns when gaining 92 yards on the ground. The Steelers will also be without safety Ryan Clark, who will sit out this game due to past serious health complications resulting from games at the higher Denver altitude.

Still, it is tough to envision Tebow, who completed just six of his 22 passes last week vs. the Chiefs, burning Dick LeBeau’s zone-blitzing defense, which ranked tops in the NFL. Steelers OLBs James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley figure to keep tabs on Tebow and his improvising, while S Troy Polamalu could wreak havoc for Denver’s run-centric offense as he hangs around the line of scrimmage.

The keys to this battle are likely when Pittsburgh has the ball. Big Ben, who can at least avoid traffic when playing on two good wheels, can’t be expected to even do that much in his current condition, which could pose problems vs. an active Bronco pass rush that’s adept at collapsing the pocket from the edge with Elvis Dumervil and rookie LB sensation Von Miller, who have combined for 21 sacks.

Thus, don’t be surprised for the Steelers to spread the field and rely mostly on short, quick drops by Roethlisberger out of the shotgun to help avoid the Denver pass rush. Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians will want Roethlisberger to probe Denver’s nickel and dime backs as much as possible and not risk too much against veteran big-play corners Champ Bailey and Andre Goodman. The Broncos will like their chances if they can win the turnover battle, which was their m.o. through most of their six-game win streak.

Denver can be run against, too, but it remains to be seen how effective the Steelers can be without Mendenhall and counting upon the journeyman Redman instead.

Playoff experience would figure to be a plus for the Steelers and Roethlisberger, who has won nine postseason gams (inclduing two Super Bowls in his career). Tebow has experience on the big stage, too, but that was in college; he’s about to participate in his first pro playoff game on Sunday.

Before dismissing Denver, however, please note that the rare home underdogs in this playoff round have covered 12 of 16 opportunities since the extra wildcard round was introduced in 1978. Overall, underdogs are a 56 percent play in the wild-card round since 1978, and covered all four chances a year ago.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs: