cnotes Posts:24218 Followers:32
On 09/13/2011 07:02 PM in NFL

Cnotes NFL Week # 2 Best Bets

Detroit Lions Touchdown Favorites Over KC Chiefs

The Detroit Lions make their home debut on the 2011 NFL betting campaign in Week 2, as they take on the Kansas City Chiefs. Kickoff from Ford Field in the Motor City is slated for Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. (ET), and there will be regional television coverage on CBS.

There is every reason to smile right now if you're a Detroit fan. A 27-20 win at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 1 was the ideal start to the season, and now, four of the next five games are coming against teams that aren't likely to get into the playoffs.

Quarterback Matt Stafford is once again showing signs that he has all of the tools to make it as a great signal caller in this league if he can stay healthy, and he could have a field day against the Chiefs defense. The former Georgia Bulldog threw for 305 yards and three scores against the Bucs in Week 1, and he'll hope to show more flashes of brilliance this weekend.

Even though the majority of the first round talent that this team has stockpiled in the NFL Draft has come on the offensive side of the ball in recent years, it is the defense that really has to have head coach Jim Schwartz smiling.

This unit played well last week despite conceding 20 points. Tampa Bay only managed 56 yards on the ground, and only one play during the entire game went for more than 20 yards.

The key matchup in this one is going to see how that Detroit defensive line, which picked up a pair of sacks against the Bucs, matches up with a Kansas City offensive line, which nearly got Matt Cassel killed in the pocket last week against the Buffalo Bills.

As ecstatic as everyone in Detroit has to be with the way that this season is shaping up, fans in KC have to be just as disappointed, if not more.

The Chiefs were heavy favorites in Week 1 against the Buffalo Bills but suffered the worst loss of Sunday in a 41-7 disaster at Arrowhead Stadium.

As previously mentioned, Cassel was under the gun the whole game, and he only went 22-of-36 for 119 yards with a TD and a pick. Only one pass play went for more than 15 yards, and the offense turned it over three times. Without stretching the field more this week, the Detroit defensive line should be able to pin its ears back and go after Cassel in the pocket.

Immediately, one has to wonder how much of this offense's struggles have to do with the departure of former offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, who is now with the Florida Gators.

Head coach Todd Haley's defense didn't look all that swift either last week, something that has to be concerning going up against a significantly more potent Detroit offense. Fred Jackson rumbled for 112 yards, and Ryan Fitzpatrick threw four TD passes to lead Buffalo.

The loss of All-Pro safety Eric Berry played a big role in the Bills big passing day against the Chiefs. Berry will miss the rest of the season with an ACL injury.

If there's good news for Chiefs fans though, it is that their team has absolutely dominated this series since 1990. They are 4-1 SU and 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings against Detroit, though their last visit to the Motor City ended in a 25-20 win for the hosts in 2007.

The oddsmakers have installed the Lions as 7 ½-point favorites on the Don Best odds screen, while the total has been set at 44.

The last time the Lions were favored by more than 3 ½-points in a game was that 2007 duel against Kansas City at home, and the last time they were favored by more than a touchdown in a game was in December 2000. They lost that game 23-20. The last time Detroit covered a spread of more than a TD was in November 1997.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24218 Followers:32
09/13/2011 07:03 PM

New Orleans Saints Meet Chicago Bears

The New Orleans Saints will look to put their defensive woes behind them and bounce back from a season-opening loss to Green Bay when they host the Chicago Bears in their home opener on Sunday.

Game time is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. (ET) with television coverage from the Superdome provided by FOX. New Orleans (0-1) opened as a 6 ½-point favorite with a total of 47. The NFC North won all three head-to-head matchups with NFC South counterparts in Week 1.

The Saints surrendered more than 40 points for the second straight game in a 42-34 loss to the Packers last Thursday. They will face a Chicago team that looked like the defending NFC North champions in a 30-12 rout of Atlanta on Sunday.

Defense remains a major concern for the Saints after letting Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers shred their secondary for 312 yards and three touchdowns. They had seen former Seattle QB Matt Hasselbeck do the same thing back on January 8, when he threw for 272 yards and four touchdowns in a 41-36 playoff upset as a 9 ½-point home underdog.

New Orleans QB Drew Brees nearly rallied his team back against the Pack, but rookie RB Mark Ingram was stopped at the 1-yard line on the game’s final drive as time expired. Brees tossed three touchdowns and had 419 yards through the air, but his team fell short as 4 ½-point underdogs but helped cash the ‘over’ on the total of 47 ½ points.

He has not fared well against the Bears in the past, going 0-3 against them with five touchdowns, five interceptions and a passer rating of 66.4 in three career meetings. However, all of those games were played in Chicago.

The Bears (1-0) will be looking to expose the Saints defensively yet again behind QB Jay Cutler, who improved to 23-0 all-time when he has a passer rating over 100 after torching the Falcons with 312 yards and two touchdowns. They covered as 1-point home underdogs and saw the total go ‘over’ 40 ½ points.

Cutler successfully rebounded from his last appearance at Soldier Field on January 23, when he was forced to leave the team’s 21-14 NFC Championship game loss against the Packers with a knee injury. He showed no lingering effects of that injury and could be the difference on Sunday.

New Orleans will be without a couple key players, including starting defensive end Will Smith, who will miss his second straight game due to a two-game suspension as part of the StarCaps case. They did not get much pressure on Rodgers in the season opener, sacking him twice for 16 yards.

Cutler was sacked five times by Atlanta for 43 yards but still found ways to get the ball to his open receivers.

Saints wide receiver Marques Colston will also miss the game due to a broken collarbone suffered against Green Bay. Colston made six catches for 81 yards against the Packers and is expected to miss the next month.

New Orleans center Olin Kreutz will be facing his former team for the first time after turning down an offer from Chicago in the preseason. Kreutz had spent all of his previous 13 seasons in the NFL with the Bears but reportedly did not feel their offer was good enough for him to re-sign with them.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24218 Followers:32
09/13/2011 07:03 PM

'Boys bail out Books

September 12, 2011

Every sports book in Las Vegas had an exciting, energetic atmosphere on Sunday that spread throughout the casino thanks to the NFL. There is nothing quite like a football Sunday in Las Vegas where just about everyone in the casino has some type of rooting interest and can’t help but get involved with the oohh’s and aahh’s of each play as eight games are on simultaneously.
You could argue that a lively full craps game generates some excitement, but only 30 to 50 people at the game. A major boxing match generates a lively audience at the property it’s at, but those types of events are so few and far in between that many of us have forgotten the vibe it gave us. NASCAR weekend and the NFR Rodeo also create a great festive atmosphere, but that’s only once a year.

No, the NFL is without a doubt the king of Las Vegas excitement. Nothing tops it and likely never will. Twice a week between the Sunday and Monday games, for 17 weeks and then the playoffs, the sports book becomes the top destination point of the casino. This past Sunday was an eye-opening reminder of just powerful the game is to Las Vegas as a whole.

The first weekend went well for the sports books thanks to the Dallas Cowboys covering in Sunday night’s game. The first wave of morning and afternoon games went the books way with the favorites only going 5-7, but the mounting parlay risk from all those games carried over into a powder keg of liability on the Jets that could have wiped away all the win from the day had New York won by seven points or more.

The Cowboys played very well for the majority of the game, but still found a way to lose 27-24. However, in Las Vegas spread terms, the Cowboys won.

The best games of the day for sports books, before the Dallas game, were played in the morning.

“The morning games were good for us with a great mix of favorites and underdogs winning,” said Coast Resorts race and sports director Bob Scucci. “Our best games of the day were the Steelers and Browns going down which beat all straight bets, parlays and teasers attached to them.”

As big as those games were for the sports books, one game surprisingly showed the most impact on the day as a loss.

“The game that really hurt us was Buffalo,” said Scucci. “We had equal action on parlays with the Chiefs, but the game had been steamed from plus-6 all the way to 3 ½ on straight bets. We also got beat with the Texans which everyone seemed to be on before and after the Manning news. We got beat the punch on the news for a couple pops on the Texans.”

The Bills defense thrashed one of the best running teams in football on their home field 41-7 while the Manning-less Colts looked like worst offensive team in football with only 236 total yards, the bulk of which came in the second half after being down 34-0. The Texans won 34-7 despite Arian Foster not playing.

Other games saw a mix of public and sharp money that balanced them out making it kind of a wash beginning with the dream team, the Philadelphia Eagles.

“We found some sharp play on the Rams, but almost everyone bet the Eagles in parlays, said Scucci. “On kind of the same note, we had sharp play on the Redskins, but everyone had the Giants on parlays.”

The Eagles were five-point favorites but dropped to 4 by kickoff, despite a 5-to-2 ratio favoring them in ticket counts. The Giants had been strong three-point favorites since April when the first line came out and slowly started to be bet against by the sharps over the weekend until finally closing at -1 ½.

The Cardinals were public favorites with everyone loving the relationship they saw in preseason between Kevin Kolb and Larry Fitzgerald. Choosing Arizona also became easier because of the perception that rookie quarterback Cam Newton might struggle in his first road game. No one could have predicted what last years Heisman trophy winner would end up doing. Newton set a rookie debut record by throwing for 422 yards and led his team to a near upset win.

The 28-21 Cardinals win landed right on the number, with some getting the Cardinals at -6 ½ in a short window of opportunity on Saturday. With the bulk of the sides being refunded because of the push, it kept a large quantity of parlays with both sides alive heading into the late game making the Jets game the most important of the day.

It was also interesting to see the Chargers falling out of favor with the public. They had been burned all last season by Norv Turner’s team as large favorites and had finally had enough. The Chargers usually have one of the largest ticket count disparities weekly, but this week the public was split and were taking the Vikings (+9) almost as often as the Chargers.

The Chargers once again looked like the troubled team from last season, and in some cases worse. They avoided the upset and won 24-17, but the Vikings got the money.

This weeks public games will be the Steelers (-13) over the Seahawks, Dallas (-3) at San Francisco, Baltimore (-5.5) at Tennessee and the Jets (-10) against the Jaguars.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24218 Followers:32
09/13/2011 07:04 PM

Bears show they've still got some bite

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - On a day where remembrance was first and foremost on the minds of virtually all Americans, the team just about everyone forgot heading into the 2011 NFL season was making more than a few prognosticators think again about their forecasts for the coming months.

The Chicago Bears generally haven't been part of the discussion when the topic of NFC contenders is broached, despite credentials that would suggest the 2010 conference runners-up undeniably deserve a mention alongside this year's presumed Fab Four of Green Bay, Philadelphia, Atlanta, New Orleans. The defending NFC North champions proved they too belong in the equation, however, by producing perhaps the most eyebrow-raising result of the Week 1 Sunday schedule, a 30-12 victory over the helium-heavy Falcons that was every bit as convincing as the final score indicated.

Chicago's tried and true defense stopped an Atlanta attack that entered Soldier Field with a newfound big-play reputation dead in its tracks, unleashing a furiously persistent pass rush that sacked Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan five times and induced three turnovers, including a Ryan fumble that was returned for a third-quarter touchdown by veteran lynchpin Brian Urlacher that essentially sealed the win.


Jay Cutler threw for 312 yards and 2 TDs against the Falcons.
The unit kept the reigning NFC South title-holding Falcons out of the end zone the entire afternoon, with Atlanta's lone touchdown coming on an interception by defensive end Kroy Biermann with the game already out of reach.

"They are still carrying us, they're still doing some things out there that are unbelievable," Bears quarterback Jay Cutler said of his team's defense. "I mean, the pressure they give on the quarterback and the way they run to the ball, it's a tough defense to go against."

The Chicago offense certainly had its moments as well, with Cutler (22-of-32, 312 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT) by and large outperforming the more highly-regarded Ryan and running back Matt Forte offering another example of why he's one of the game's most overlooked impact players. The fourth-year talent racked up 158 yards from scrimmage in the win, 56 of which came on a nifty catch-and-run for a touchdown late in the first quarter that helped trigger the Bears' surge.

Now, champions are never crowned in a season's first week, and enough conspicuous chinks in the armor -- like a still-shaky offensive line that allowed Cutler to be sacked five times by the Falcons -- continue to be present for those who were skeptical of Chicago's 2010 success carrying over to this year (and guilty as charged here, by the way) to remain not entirely bullish on the Bears. However, Sunday's strong showing is clear proof this is a team that shouldn't be written off, either.

As for the Falcons, winners of a conference-best 13 games a year ago, the hangover from last January's 48-21 home loss to the Packers in the NFC Divisional Playoffs seems to have carried over into the new league year. A winless preseason was followed by Sunday's sloppy display in which Atlanta's obvious offensive mistakes were compounded by poor tackling and several blown assignments on the other side of the ball.

Head coach Mike Smith and his staff are going to need to come up with a remedy soon, especially with a motivated Michael Vick leading a high-powered Philadelphia team into the Georgia Dome this coming weekend.
SUNDAY AWARDS
In recognition of the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on The Pentagon and World Trade Center, this week's awards will have a theme intended to honor all the brave men and women who gave or risked their lives on that tragic and infamous day in American history.

The Never Say Die Award: New York Jets. It's entirely fitting that the team that was representing Manhattan soil in the NFL's 9/11 memorial came through with the gutsiest and ,most inspiring effort of the day. Thoroughly outplayed by the Dallas Cowboys over the first three quarters of Sunday's primetime headliner at the newly-named MetLife Stadium, Gang Green rallied for 17 unanswered points over the final 12 minutes to pull out an improbable 27-24 triumph. Nothing new for Rex Ryan's charges, however. The Jets won five times in either overtime or the final two minutes of regulation during last year's march to the AFC Championship Game.

Rescue Worker Award: Mike Scifres, Chargers. The San Diego punter was forced into an unfamiliar double duty when kicker Nate Kaeding injured his knee on the opening play of Sunday's game against Minnesota, but came through with flying colors. Scifres knocked through all three of his point-after attempts in the Bolts' 24-17 come-from-behind victory, and also drilled a game-tying 40-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.

Unsung Hero Award: Vonta Leach, Ravens. The All-Pro fullback and free-agent acquisition immediately earned his stripes with his new team, as Leach's devastating lead blocking helped spring Ray Rice and Ricky Williams loose for a combined 170 rushing yards in Baltimore's authoritative rout of AFC North rival Pittsburgh. The Ravens' ground total was nearly three times of what the Steelers' defense permitted on a per-game basis during last season's march to Super Bowl XLV.

A few other final observations from the first Sunday of the NFL's post-lockout phase:

Most impressive team: Baltimore. Boy, did the Ravens ever make a statement in their 35-7 manhandling of the defending AFC champion Steelers. An unbelievably sharp and focused Baltimore outfit pushed a disappointingly unprepared Pittsburgh team around in every facet imaginable, with quarterback Joe Flacco tossing three touchdown passes to complement the Ravens' punishing ground game and the defense forcing an astounding seven turnovers. Five of them (3 interceptions, 2 fumbles) were committed by Ben Roethlisberger, who entered the contest having beaten Baltimore in six consecutive starts under center.

Most surprising outcome: Buffalo's 41-7 victory at Kansas City. While no one should be shocked over the Chiefs' obvious regression compared to last year's unforeseen playoff run, losing by 34 points to a team coming off a four-win campaign at a home venue where the Chiefs dominated in 2010 was completely unexpected. A most encouraging beginning for the rebuilding Bills, who lost their first eight outings under Chan Gailey a season ago.

Cam Newton's not an icon just yet, but the electrifying rookie was surely entertaining during a record-setting pro debut. The 2011 No. 1 overall draft choice, thought to be behind in his development as a pure passer, turned every head in the building at Arizona's University of Phoenix Stadium by throwing for 422 yards and connecting with veteran wideout Steve Smith for two long touchdowns in his first regular-season game as the Carolina Panthers' field general. Newton's yardage total was the highest ever for a quarterback in his initial time out, and tied Detroit's Matt Stafford (2009) for the most by a rookie in league history, though it still wasn't enough to prevent the Panthers from sustaining a 28-21 loss to the Cardinals.

Incidentally, Newton's first career regular-season start produced nearly 400 passing yards more than Donovan McNabb totaled in his 156th. The declining veteran had a brutal introductory performance as a Minnesota Viking on Sunday, mustering an anemic 39 yards while completing just 7-of-15 attempts.

Sunday's other rookie signal-caller turned in a positive debut as well, with Cincinnati youngster Andy Dalton hitting on 10-of-15 throws for 81 yards and a touchdown to help the Bengals to a 27-17 road win at fellow AFC North member Cleveland. The effort was a little bittersweet for the 23-year-old, however, as Dalton did not play the entire second half after injuring his right wrist.

From the "Who needs ya" department: Five days after releasing regular quarterback David Garrard, the Jacksonville Jaguars came through with a 16-14 triumph over AFC South foe Tennessee behind an admirably sharp display from Luke McCown in the journeyman's first NFL start since 2007. The 30-year-old, who entered the game with a 1-6 career mark as a starter, threw for 175 yards on 17-of-24 passing and was not intercepted.

From the "We need ya" department: Indianapolis' first game without Peyton Manning at the controls of the offense since 1997 turned out to be predictably disastrous, with the Kerry Collins-led group mustering an un-Colts-like 236 total yards and a 1-for-9 success rate on third downs in the team's non- competitive 34-7 defeat at Houston.

Deja Vu: San Diego's 2010 season was sabotaged by ineptitude in the special- teams area, which prompted the team's luring of highly-credentialed coach Rich Bisaccia away from the Buccaneers over the winter. So naturally, the remodeled group gives up a 103-yard kickoff return touchdown to Minnesota's Percy Harvin in Sunday's decision over the Vikings.

Quote of the Week: While listening to Sirius NFL Radio's outstanding Tailgate Show while driving for my Sunday morning coffee, got a good chuckle after hearing host Adam Schein refer to the Seattle-San Francisco game as the Seahawks opening up the "Tarvaris Jackson Error" in reference to the maligned quarterback's first go-around with his new team. As it turned out, Jackson wasn't entirely bad in Seattle's 33-17 loss to the 49ers. The ex-Viking threw a pair of second-half touchdown passes to orchestrate a Seahawks' comeback attempt while playing behind perhaps the league's worst offensive line that surrendered five sacks on Sunday.

Tell Me Why: Pittsburgh didn't have a home game on Opening Weekend? While the NFL's league-wide pregame ceremony commemorating the September 11 attacks was both poignant and overall well crafted, not holding a game in the Steel City -- some 65 miles from the crash site of United Flight 93 on that fateful day -- was a huge oversight on the part of Commissioner Goodell and the home office.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24218 Followers:32
09/13/2011 07:04 PM

NFL odds: Week 2 opening line report

Week 2 is the most interesting week for oddsmaking and handicapping.

We’ve finally seen games that count, but they comprise such a small sample.

Are the Chiefs that bad? Are the Ravens that good?

Where was the Falcons’ explosiveness? Did Cam Newton prove something with 422 passing yards?

How bettors and oddsmakers answer dozens of questions posed by Week 1 will be critical in Week 2.

“Week 2 is often the best of the season for us, because we see such extreme shifts based on extreme performances,” Las Vegas handicapper Dave Malinksky told Covers.com. “And this season is no exception, with the oddsmakers having to alter their thinking on so many teams, trying to keep the public money balanced as folks look for those emerging “Play On” and “Play Against” teams.

“Remember that the rule of thumb for the betting public tends to be, ‘Accept Week 1 as gospel’ rather than aberrations.”

Malinsky believes oddsmakers downgraded Atlanta and Kansas City too much, noting the Chiefs did not go hard in the preseason and that may have played a role in Buffalo blowing them out. He thinks the Colts might not have been downgraded enough.

“Meanwhile, the Lions have quickly become darlings, which is pushing this week’s line too far,” Malinsky said, referring to Detroit laying a touchdown or more at home against K.C. “And [oddsmakers] will have to be careful about giving the Texans too much credit for KO’ing a Colts team that did not put up much of a fight.”

Pete Korner, founder of The Sports Club oddsmaking service, told Covers.com his team faced difficult decisions for Week 2 “because the performances in Week 1 didn’t match the quality of the teams…More data means you can tell whether one game was a fluke or the start of something.”

For example, Atlanta looked horrible in losing 30-12 at Chicago.

“We sent out Atlanta -1 [vs. Philly] and now it’s Philly favored from 1 to 2.5,” Korner said, acknowledging it was a bad line. “It’s a very tough game between two very good teams, but Atlanta showed so poorly. I think Atlanta comes through big time. I would not be surprised if it comes back to a pick ‘em.”

Cleveland-Indy was another hard line to set. The Sports Club suggested clients open it at Browns -2.

“It just looks fluky,” Korner said, noting each team’s pedigree and recent history. “But I said, ‘If I’m going to be wrong, I’m not going to be wrong on the Indy side, because they had an awful preseason, awful first game. I’ll take my chances if it gets bet over to Indy.”

Offshores agreed. They opened it at Cleveland -3, and it’s been bet down only to 2.5.

The Las Vegas Hilton SuperBook is a case study in Week 1’s impact, because the Hilton releases NFL lines a week ahead of time. Week 2 lines went up a week ago.

The Redskins were laying 2.5 against Arizona a week ago but now are laying 4.5. That’s a direct result of how they looked in their 28-14 handling of the Giants.

“Rex Grossman looked very comfortable, and they played with a lot of confidence, energy and enthusiasm,” SuperBook manager Jay Kornegay told Covers.com. “The key is how good Grossman looked. Of course, he can change colors at any times.”

The Jets were laying 8.5 against Jacksonville a week ago. Now they’re laying 10. And the Jets didn’t have an impressive debut.

“They were very fortunate” to beat the Cowboys,” Kornegay said. “It’s just that the popularity of the Jets is a little stronger than usual. And we don’t expect the Jets to look that bad again.”

In general, Kornegay said, he tries to make slight adjustments rather than knee-jerk reactions.

Biggest spreads of the week: Green Bay at Carolina (10.5, 46), Seattle at Pittsburgh (-13, 38.5)

Korner listed the Packers as 13-point favorites despite Newton’s heroics. Books opened lower, but Korner believes that will rise.

“Newton’s going to be facing a far different defense, and I don’t want to be stuck with the responsibility of giving out too short a number on Green Bay – they can score on anyone,” Korner said. “We’re telling [sportsbooks], even if we’re not right, stay higher. Make everyone bet Carolina. Because gameday it will all be on Green Bay.”

No one is selling the Steelers after one bad outing. All power rankings still have them near the top.

“We know Seattle is not going to be a force, and Pittsburgh is going to bounce back, but how much?” Korner said.

If that spread hits 14, however, underdog players will be tempted.

Smallest spread of the week: Dallas at San Francisco (3, 42)

This is one of a number of small spreads, including the Cleveland-Indy and Philly-Atlanta games discussed earlier.

Korner actually released Dallas-San Fran as a pick 'em.

"The Cowboys just blew Monday night's game and San Francisco looked very good, but we know there is a difference in talent and Dallas probably should be favored," Korner said. "But because of [Week 1] we shaded it down."

Still, most books opened the Niners as slight favorites.

Biggest total of the week: San Diego at New England (-7, 51)

There are no doubts about either offense, plus the Chargers just lost top defensive end Luis Castillo to a broken tibia.

Malinsky expects this total to rise. And he offered that opinion before New England ripped Miami for 500-plus passing yards in a 38-24 win.

“They have already been willing to go to 50 on the Philadelphia-Atlanta matchup,” he said. “That would tell us that a 52 might even be in play for this one.”

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24218 Followers:32
09/13/2011 07:05 PM

Teddy's tidbits: NFC Betting Notes

September 12, 2011 10:46PM


Welcome to Teddy’s unique look at the NFL. Teddy watches games all day on Sunday, typing furiously on his laptop while giving you the key info that the box scores and game recaps simply don’t have.

Chicago Bears:

This offense came out of the gate looking completely in sync, despite a myriad of issues on the offensive line. Rookie left tackle Gabe Carimi (first round out of Wisconsin) had some real growing pains. Right guard Lance Louis left with an ankle injury and didn’t return. Jay Cutler got sacked five times and threw a bad interception. Still, the offense was terrific.

Cutler is now fully versed in his second year running the Mike Martz offense. There's a level of confidence and continuity here that we haven't seen in Chicago in quite some time, and there were absolutely no repercussions from last year’s playoff debacle against Green Bay. Seven different receivers caught at least two passes and we saw a handful of impressive catch and run big plays.

There are continuing concerns in the red zone though, with only one touchdown in three opportunities. Red zone effectiveness was a consistent problem for this team last year and throughout the preseason, and it’s been a problem for Martz’s offenses everywhere he’s been since he left St Louis.

Philadelphia Eagles:

For all the big name free agents signed in the offseason, this linebacking corps is young, inexperienced and made a ton of mistakes. The offensive line couldn’t protect Michael Vick, beaten repeatedly by the St Louis pass rush. Rookie center Jason Kelce got eaten alive in his debut. Philly ran some wildcat with Ronnie Brown, and that got blown up too.

The Eagles didn’t even dress their top three draft choices, an indication that they probably did not draft well this year. None of those factors mattered one iota, because Philly has something that other teams covet – legitimate playmakers. Vick was insane Sunday, making plays that nobody else in the NFL can make. It's the same story with DeSean Jackson. LeSean McCoy was a beast. This is going to be a very difficult offense to shut down for four quarters.

Atlanta Falcons:

The box score is going to show that Atlanta had a pretty good game, but turnovers were the difference. That’s simply not the case – the Falcons looked downright lousy on both sides of the line of scrimmage. Their offensive line got blown up with two first time starters getting their first opportunity: Joe Hawley (a fourth rounder out of UNLV last year) at center, and Justin Blalock (career backup since 2007) at right guard.

We saw repeated breakdowns on defense – poor tackling, bad angles, cornerbacks and safeties blowing coverages. The defense might be a tad bit faster than last year, but it didn’t look any better than the stop unit that got absolutely torched in their last meaningful game -- the 48-21 home blowout playoff loss to Green Bay. Matt Ryan had only one pass attempt longer than 20 yards until they were down 30-6 -- so much for rookie Julio Jones stretching defenses in his first game. Mike Smith did not have his team ready, plain and simple, despite the relatively even stats.

Detroit Lions:

Detroit’s special teams haven't been good for the better part of the last decade. They weren't any better Sunday, giving up a 78-yard return on the first kickoff of the season. Matthew Stafford, for all the hype, is still very green as an NFL starting QB - this was only his 14th career start. Until Detroit gets an offensive line, there will be growing pains. It’s a good thing WR Calvin Johnson can make plays that virtually no other receiver in the NFL can.

This defensive line is going to save that suspect secondary. What a dominant showing, blowing up play after play at the line of scrimmage. Is Ndomukong Suh the best nose tackle in the NFL already, one game into his second season in the league? I'm impressed with offensive coordinator Scott Linehan's play calling; he really kept the Bucs defense off balance. Plus, the gutsy fourth down call in the first half was the huge momentum changer in this one. I respect coaches that take those kinds of risks in sensible situations.

St. Louis Rams:

Very disheartening performance from St Louis today. Their top three offensive weapons – QB Sam Bradford, RB Stephen Jackson and WR Danny Amendola – all left early with injuries. Steve Spagnuolo brought pressure all afternoon long, but the Rams cornerbacks got beaten downfield again and again.

Linebacker James Laurinaitis was all over the field, playing like a star, but his linebacking cohorts were not good. I was not impressed with this supposedly "improved" receiving corps. We saw dropped balls, mental errors (gotta get past the sticks on those third down throws), and an inability to get open. There was a noticeable class difference between St Louis and Philly in this one

Washington Redskins:

The Redskins came out taking shots down the field. Rex Grossman has a downfield arm, one of the myriad of reasons he won the starting job in training camp. But Grossman's accuracy has been a problem from Day 1 of his NFL career. For all the accolades he received today (9.0 yards per attempt), he missed several wide open receivers and was lucky to be going against a bottom tier defense because he threw a handful of balls that probably should have been intercepted.

Wide receiver Anthony Armstrong has great speed, but he’s got the hands of a defensive lineman. Washington’s offensive line got eaten up – no room to run for Tim Hightower, while Grossman had pressure in his face repeatedly. The Skins still have no kicker as Graham Gano couldn’t hit a 39-yarder, but there were certainly bright spots, particularly on the defensive side of the football.

Tackles Barry Cofield and Chris Neild blew up the line of scrimmage. Their last two No. 1 picks, Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan, both made huge plays – a blocked field goal and an interception returned for a touchdown. If nothing else, the losing culture and attitude in DC appear to be on the way out in the second year of the Mike Shanahan era.

Seattle Seahawks:

This offensive line got eaten up on nearly every passing play. The combined 27 career starts from this OL is the fewest in the NFL. Two rookies started on the right side today: guard John Moffitt and tackle James Carpenter. That OL career starts number will go up when one of their big free agent signings, guard Robert Gallery gets healthy, but who knows when that will be.

With this line, you can understand why Tavaris Jackson, not Charlie Whitehurst, won the starting QB job -- they need a QB with mobility. The Seahawks instructed Leon Washington to run all the kickoffs out of the end zone, desperate to find big plays from somewhere. Then they started the next two drives from their own 14 and own 16 before abandoning the strategy. That came two full quarters before their punt and kick return meltdown cost them any chance of winning, as well as their pointspread cover.

Minnesota Vikings:

The return game with Percy Harvin is still in play for the Vikes, even after the new kickoff rules and their defensive line played well, even with three new starters to go along with Jared Allen. Defensive end Brian Robison made some big plays, replacing the departed Ray Edwards. His hit on Philip Rivers caused a key interception just before halftime.

That said, the DL imploded during crunch time with penalties and fatigue issues. Donovan McNabb’s first pass as a Viking was a tipped pass interception setting up a TD the other way. He didn’t get any better as the game progressed. Minnesota netted just 28 total yards on their 17 pass plays, and gained a grand total of 21 yards for the entire second half. That are truly woeful offensive numbers and very bad news for a team trying to erase the memories of their 2010 last place finish.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24218 Followers:32
09/13/2011 07:05 PM

Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Week 2

Hoping to recapture some of the magic from two years ago when they acquired another veteran quarterback, the jury remains out on the Minnesota Vikings’ recent addition of Donovan McNabb, who struggled in his first regular-season start for the Vikes last Sunday at San Diego.

The next chance for comparisons to Brett Favre, circa 2009, comes Sunday when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers pay a 1:00 p.m. (ET) visit to the Metrodome in a battle of teams looking to avoid 0-2 breaks from the gate.

Even before McNabb was added in the summer, NFC North sources were wondering how new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave’s schemes would resonate; answers remain elusive after last week's performance.

Offensive line problems that surfaced in the summer when, among other things, grossly overweight LT Bryant McKinnie was released, did not abate in the Vikings opener. Moreover, insiders were voicing concerns throughout the preseason about McNabb’s rapport (or lack thereof) with a new-look receiving corps still dealing with the departure of Sidney Rice to the Seahawks.

Those articulating such fears now seem omniscient after the former Eagles and Redskins pilot completed only 7-of-15 passes for a measly 39 yards, rarely daring to throw downfield in the opener vs. the Chargers. Minnesota head coach Leslie Frazier stated the obvious after the game, noting the Vikes need to better balance their offense.

At the moment, it looks like RB Adrian Peterson and not much else in the Twin Cities, although the always-dangerous Percy Harvin did bring the opening kickoff back 103 yards for a touchdown at Qualcomm. Peterson rushed for 98 yards vs. the Chargers, well over half of Minnesota’s puny 187 yards worth of offense in the opener.

We suspect the Vikings could be a slow start away from embarking upon a full-scale rebuild mode featuring Florida State rookie QB Christian Ponder, so the clock is ticking on McNabb. In the meantime, it looks as if Minnesota will rely upon its defense, led by emerging LB Chad Greenway, to give it a chance most weeks. Star DT Kevin Williams will miss this encounter vs. the Bucs due to an ongoing suspension.

There’s some urgency attached to this matchup for the Bucs, too, although not quite as much as if NFC South rivals Atlanta and New Orleans won their openers. Instead, every team in the division (including Carolina) lost in Week 1.

Tampa Bay is going to need to display some improvement from a pass rush to avoid an 0-2 start. The unit ranked last in the NFC with 26 sacks in 2010 and didn’t get to Detroit QB Matthew Stafford once in last week’s 27-20 loss to the Lions. It's hoped upgrades to the pass rush will come from the two top draft choices, defensive ends Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers. Running into an offense as discombobulated as the current Viking attack could be a blessing.

Expect Tampa Bay to focus a bit more on establishing the run this week after almost eschewing the infantry completely in the opener, when QB Josh Freeman ended up leading all Buc rushers with only 26 yards. The menacing LeGarrette Blount, who figured to carry the workload in the backfield, has already expressed his displeasure at his mere five carries in the opener and the offensive imbalance. Coach Raheem Morris agrees.

“That’s not how we want to win games,” Morris told the Tampa Tribune. “We want to win with Blount bludgeoning you for 130 yards and being efficient (with Freeman).”

How well the Bucs balance things will likely determine if they return home at .500 or take an 0-2 mark into a crucial early-season division contest when they host Atlanta next week.

Early odds on the game have the Vikings 3-point favorites at home with 40½ for the scoreboard tally. It’s worth noting that Tampa Bay excelled on the road last season, covering seven of eight chances against the number, and stands 9-1 vs. the mark its last 10 away from home. Buccaneers backers might appreciate the slight bonus the oddsmakers are providing at the Metrodome.

Meanwhile, even after notching the narrow cover at San Diego, the Vikings are still just 6-10-1 vs. the spread since last season.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24218 Followers:32
09/13/2011 07:07 PM

Cleveland Browns At Colts NFL Betting Preview

Two teams trying to rebound from ugly Week 1 losses meet up in NFL betting action on Sunday, when the Indianapolis Colts play host to the Cleveland Browns. This 1:00 p.m. (ET) duel in Week 2 from Lucas Oil Field will be shown regionally on CBS.

Cleveland (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) was the subject of one of the more unexpected upsets in Week 1 after the Browns were knocked off by the Cincinnati Bengals, 27-17. Playing at home, the Browns were 6 ½-point favorites, and a popular pick that got people eliminated from their survivor pools.

If Cleveland is going to notch a road victory in Week 2, better play out of quarterback Colt McCoy will be needed. The former University of Texas standout only went 19-of-40 for 213 yards with two TDs and a pick against the Bengals.

In a West Coast offense, having a completion percentage of less than 50 percent is inexcusable, and this must improve if McCoy hopes to keep his job. However, he doesn't have a fantastic set of receivers, knowing that Mohamed Massaquoi is probably his only relatively consistent target.

As bad as Cleveland was in Week 1, there aren't many fan bases that are hitting the panic button more than in Indianapolis. The Colts (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) were handed one of their worst losses in team history when they were clocked 34-7 by the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium, and the handwriting is clearly on the wall that their reign in the AFC South is about to be over.

Indianapolis has dominated its division for the last decade, winning the AFC South title all but once in that stretch. However, without Peyton Manning calling the shots under center, this offense just looks incredibly mediocre, and the defense, which has never been all that special, could be exposed even more than it has in recent years.

The Colts fell behind the Texans 34-0 last week at halftime before finally scoring in the fourth quarter. Head coach Jim Caldwell has to wonder whether or not he should be using Kerry Collins as his quarterback.

Collins went 16-of-31 for 197 yards with a TD, but he was also consistently slow in the pocket to make reads, and the end result was three Texans sacks, two of which resulted in lost fumbles.

Should Collins struggle this week, don't be surprised if Caldwell turns to Curtis Painter to see what he can do against the Browns' defense.

These two teams have met five times since Cleveland got its NFL team back. The Colts are a perfect 5-0 SU, but are only 2-2-1 ATS.

The Colts are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games overall, and just 1-5 ATS in their last six games played here at Lucas Oil Field. They're 13-2-1 ATS in their last 16 as underdogs of less than a field goal, but Manning was at the helm for all 16 of those games.

Cleveland has gone just 1-6 ATS in its last seven September duels, and has failed to cover five straight games overall. However, the Browns are 5-1 ATS in their last six games as road favorites.

This week, the Browns are 1 ½-point choices by the oddsmakers, while the total has been set at 37.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24218 Followers:32
09/13/2011 07:09 PM

Oakland Raiders Underdogs At Buffalo Bills

The Oakland Raiders travel to Buffalo Sunday to take on the Bills as both teams attempt to improve to 2-0.

Opening kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m. (ET) at Ralph Wilson Stadium, and will be televised on CBS. The Bills opened as an early 4-point favorite over the Raiders.

Buffalo (1-0) turned a lot of heads last Sunday, going on the road to demolish the Kansas City Chiefs 41-7 as a 4-point underdog. The Bills had more points than any other NFL team in Week 1, and were tied with Baltimore and Houston for giving up the fewest.

The Bills offense was very efficient, manufacturing points on seven of 14 drives while dominating time of possession with over 37 minutes of ball control. But perhaps even more impressive was the defense, which gave up only 213 yards of total offense.

Last season, Buffalo’s run defense was the team's Achilles heel, far and away the worst in the league surrendering 169.6 yards per game on the ground. But against a Kansas City team that gashed the defense for 274 rushing yards in 2010, Buffalo held Kansas City to just 108 yards on the ground.

The rush defense won’t have to wait long for another chance to prove itself with the NFL’s current leading rusher coming to town.

Oakland (1-0) also won its first game as a road underdog, topping Denver 23-20 as a 3-point underdog Monday night. Darren McFadden carried the load on offense, rushing for a league-high 150 yards on 22 carries. It was the first time the Raiders have opened their season with a win since 2002.

The Raiders defense looked outstanding for most of the night, highlighted by allowing just 38 yards rushing and forcing three turnovers. The defensive line imposed its will with five sacks on the night.

The question is whether or not Oakland can cut back on unnecessary penalties. Oakland is consistently among the most penalized teams in all of football, and got off to a terrible start Monday with 15 penalties for 131 yards. Against Denver, they were able to overcome it; but spotting an opponent that kind of yardage will come back to haunt them as the season goes on.

Buffalo hasn’t had a winning season since 2004, and Oakland hasn’t since 2002. Getting off to a 2-0 start would be a big step in the right direction for either team.

Opening lines on the Don Best odds screen had the total for Sunday’s game set at 41 ½. Oakland 'pushed' its Week 1 total, while Buffalo went ‘over’ the 39½-point line by themselves in the game at Kansas City.

The Raiders and Bills have met four times since 2002, with Oakland holding the 3-1 edge both straight up and ATS. Their last meeting came in 2008, when Buffalo edged out Oakland 24-23 at home but failed to cover as a 10-point favorite.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24218 Followers:32
09/13/2011 07:10 PM

Baltimore Ravens Tackle Tennessee Titans

The Baltimore Ravens had an inspired win over their AFC North rival Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1. They look to avoid a letdown as a solid road favorite at the Tennessee Titans this Sunday.

Baltimore opened up as a 4-point favorite, but it’s up to six at the Don Best odds screen. The NFL betting total is 37 ½-points and CBS will have the 1:00 p.m. (ET) broadcast from LP Field in Nashville.

The Ravens dominated Pittsburgh 35-7 as 1-point home favorites. They intercepted Ben Roethlisberger three times and forced a team-record seven turnovers. That at least partially made up for last year’s playoff debacle when they blew a 21-7 halftime lead in the Steel City.

Coach John Harbaugh’s team is feeling good, but didn’t come out unscathed. Rookie Jimmy Smith (ankle) is expected to miss two weeks and Chris Carr (thigh) is questionable. Those are two key backup corners behind Lardarius Webb and Cary Williams. Domonique Foxworth is now the main depth.

Harbaugh know his Ravens can’t afford to be overconfident. They’re just 2-8 straight up and 1-7-2 against the spread in their last 10 games following a SU win of 14 points or more.

Quarterback Joe Flacco has the big arm that offensive coordinators love, but he’s had a penchant for making crucial errors, like in the playoff loss. The passing offense ranked 20th in the league last year (208 YPG) and had 215 last week with young tight ends Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta featured. Dickson adds a speed dimension over the departed Todd Heap.

The wide-out tandem of Anquan Boldin and Lee Evans are solid and the latter’s speed keeps defenses honest, even though he was held without a catch in his first game with the team. Tennessee’s secondary will have to ‘pick its poison’ on who to double team, with Flacco able to make the throws to all parts of the field.

The running game will also be a problem for the Titans. Ray Rice is one of the league’s best and had 107 yards last week. Ricky Williams (63 yards) has come over from Miami and looks like an upgrade on the former backup duo of Willis McGahee and Le’Ron McClain. Tennessee allowed 163 rushing yards at Jacksonville last week, 97 to Maurice Jones-Drew.

The Titans lost that Jacksonville opener 16-14, failing to take advantage of a team in turmoil after releasing quarterback David Garrard. They did make the final score respectable with a Matt Hasselbeck touchdown pass with 3:34 left, but still failed to ‘cover’ as one-point ‘dogs.

Mike Munchak had a rough debut replacing coach Jeff Fisher. The team finished last year in a freefall at just 1-8 SU and 3-6 ATS.

Munchak got a tough break with Chris Johnson holding out all preseason before signing a huge deal. He’s the main focus of the offense, averaging over 1,500 yards his first three seasons, but was rusty last week with just 24 yards on nine carries (2.7 yard average).

Johnson needs to have at least 20 carries and 100 yards this week to make this game close. Baltimore allowed just 93.9 YPG rushing last year (ranked fifth) and 66 last week to Pittsburgh.

Hasselbeck was a somewhat surprise signing after leading Seattle to the playoffs. The almost 36-year-old can still play, but he’s learning a new offense and the offensive line struggled last week. That doesn’t bode well against the aggressive Ravens defense (four sacks versus Pitt).

Hasselbeck does have a legitimate outside threat with Kenny Britt (136 yards last week, two TDs) and Nate Washington can be effective. However, the Ravens secondary can handle them even with their injuries.

Tennessee defensive ends Derrick Morgan (knee) and Jason Jones (knee) could both return, which should help, but backup running back Javon Ringer (hip/back) is questionable. That puts even more pressure on Johnson to perform.

The Ravens were 6-4 SU and 6-3-1 ATS on the road last year, including the playoffs. They’re 4-0 SU and ATS in their last four games as a road favorite. Tennessee was just 3-5 SU (4-4 ATS) at home last season.

This is the first meeting between the teams since the January 2009 playoffs. Baltimore won 13-10 as 3-point road ‘dogs, with Tennessee ‘covering’ the prior four meetings. The ‘under’ is 6-1 in the last seven meetings.

Weather should be partly cloudy and in the 70s.

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