cnotes Posts:24352 Followers:32
08/17/2012 06:39 PM

Raiders Trek To Arizona To Meet Cardinals

We’re still not sure what we were watching last Monday night on ESPN. Pro football, or the English Premier League? Raiders vs. Cowboys? Or was that Everton vs. Stoke City instead?

Forgive us for wondering after watching that bore-fest between Oakland and Dallas, which if bottled might put Sominex out of business. But indeed, that 3-0 scoreline in favor of the Cowboys was the gridiron equivalent to the must mundane of nil-nil draws in the EPL.

Thus, it’s fair to ask what might be in store on Friday night in the desert, when the Silver & Black travel to the Valley of the Sun to do battle with the Arizona Cardinals at U of P Stadium.

The Don Best NFL odds screen notes that the host Cardinals are listed as 5-point favorites at the majority of Las Vegas wagering outlets, with a total hovering between 37 and 37½. Kickoff time in suburban Glendale will be 10:00 p.m. (ET).

For the Big Red to be favored over anyone at this stage of the preseason might be the biggest indictment of Oakland’s unsightly effort on Monday vs. the Cowboys. Arizona head coach Ken Whisenhunt has not hidden his displeasure at the sloppiness of his team’s first two preseason efforts, a pair of losses and non-covers which began at the Hall of Fame Game two weeks ago in Canton. That 17-10 loss to the Saints and subsequent 27-17 setback at Kansas City (when Arizona was down 17-0 before it knew what hit it) have put “Coach Wiz” on the warpath.

Whisenhunt has been particularly critical of his QB play, which has been shaky at best the first two weeks.

"We had some one-on-one matchups with receivers downfield tonight and didn’t get it to then," said an exasperated Coach Wiz to the Arizona Republic after the defeat vs. the Chiefs. "So those are things that are frustrating."

Kevin Kolb, whose hold on the starting QB job is tenuous at best, figures to get a longer look vs. the Raiders and play most of the first half after completing just 2-of-9 passes for 25 yards combined in losses vs. the Saints and Chiefs. Remember that Kolb, who was temporarily KO’d with chest and rib soreness after absorbing a big hit in the New Orleans, missed seven games due to injury last season.

John Skelton, who helped the Cards to win five of six down the stretch last season, has looked slightly better than Kolb at the QB spot in the early going, completing 7-of-13 passes and moving more comfortably within the pocket. He’ll get a look in at least the third quarter and maybe bits of the second as his candidacy to replace Kolb seems to be gaining momentum in the Valley.

One added note is that San Diego State rookie QB Ryan Lindley, who has flashed some upside in the first two games, will likely get a look in the second half as he hopes to cement his status as the third QB ahead of journeyman Richard Bartel. Lindley has moved the Cards on a few preseason drives and has looked far from helpless in his stints the past few weeks.

Whisenhunt is hopeful that RBs Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams will make their preseason debuts against the Raiders after being limited by knee issues earlier in the preseason.

Whisenhunt is also hoping that a return home will benefit the Cardinals, which was not only on the road for its first two games but spent the week prior to the Kansas City game practicing with the Chiefs in St. Joseph, Mo.

Meanwhile, head coach Dennis Allen’s Raiders debut on Monday is best forgotten by Oakland fans, but the Raiders’ inefficiency was cause for alarm against a Cowboys squad that was not expected to put forth a big effort on Monday night.

In truth, however, preseason always figured as a work in progress for Oakland, which is installing a new offense, complete with a zone-blocking scheme and plenty of rollouts and bootlegs by the QBs, for coordinator Greg Knapp. Carson Palmer hardly sounded the panic alarm after the Dallas opener, reiterating that summertime was an opportunity for the new “O” to work out its kinks in time for the regular-season opener September 10 vs. the Chargers.

But there are plenty of kinks, and neither Palmer nor slow-footed backup QB Matt Leinart appeared very comfy at the controls on Monday night. Expect more struggles before the “O” smooths out its rough spots, with the strike force also hoping that ex-Ohio State QB Terrelle Pryor builds upon a few encouraging moments in the opener vs. Dallas to perhaps make a bid for the backup spot behind the so-far unimpressive Leinart (who, it must be noted, could be very pumped-up for this game after being released by Whisenhunt and the Cardinals two summers ago).

Still, the Raider receiving corps appears shallow, and preseason will continue to be an audition for backup roles behind Denarius Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey. Jacoby Ford, in particular, needs to redeem himself after several drops and bad routes vs. the Cowboys, while the RB corps will be thinned this week after offseason addittion ex-Carolina RB Mike Goodson suffered a scary neck injury vs. Dallas. Fresno State rookie RB Lonyae Miller expects to get additional work on Friday night.

The Oakland defense, however, could hardly be blamed for the result vs. Dallas, holding the Cowboys scoreless until the fourth quarter of the opener.

Spread-wise, note that home cooking has been a plus for the Big Red the past couple of preseasons, with Arizona 3-0-1 vs. the line at U of P Stadium its last four exhibition home games.

For the Raiders, the struggles vs. Dallas in Allen’s debut continued preseason woes that have stretched back to the Hue Jackson and Tom Cable regimes, as Oakland has now dropped seven straight spread decisions in exhibition play. The Raiders were also ‘over’ 10-4 in their last 14 preseason games before the ‘under’ vs. Dallas in the opener.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24352 Followers:32
08/17/2012 06:41 PM

Ravens And Lions Under Friday Night Lights

If we learned but one thing about the Detroit Lions and Baltimore Ravens from their preseason openers, it's that both appear to have capable backup quarterbacks. They'll each look to score with their first-team QBs in a battle that is part of a six-pack of NFL preseason games Friday night.

Baltimore opened as 3½-point chalk with that number bet down a point early Thursday morning. Conversely, the total has been pushed up from 37½ to 38½ or even 39 at some shops monitored by the Don Best Pro Odds.

Detroit's preseason debut resulted in a 19-17 loss at home to the Cleveland Browns. The Lions closed laying three at most shops after opening -4½. Cleveland's late field goal to win it hung up a lot of 36-point wagers Matt Stafford was ineffective in his three series while tossing an interception, but the Lions still managed to put a couple of TDs on the board under the guidance of Shaun Hill in relief.

Baltimore put a 31-17 whipping on the Falcons down in Atlanta to get its preseason rolling. The Ravens went from +2½ at opening to +1 at the closing bell, and they nearly matched the 35-point total on their own. The Falcons raced to a 14-zip lead early in the second quarter with Matt Ryan at the helm and finding Felix Jones downfield with relative ease, plus Michael Turner and Jacquizz Rodgers handling the Atlanta ground chores. The Ravens defense was shoddy early and managed to rally against Falcon backups thanks to Curtis Painter's three touchdown tosses in relief of Joe Flacco.

Painter got most of the accolades with the three scoring strikes, but the truth is that Flacco enjoyed a very nice evening from the outset against a porous Falcons secondary, and even former Va Tech star Tyrod Taylor flashed his dual-threat nature as the No. 3 arm in the rotation.

Stafford, on the other hand, might be feeling the need to dazzle a bit more in this game. Not that Shaun Hill is an immediate threat to Stafford's job, just an expectation that he will want to put some points on the board while he's on the clock. It could be an interesting game if a tight score comes down to the third-stringers under center, Taylor and Detroit rookie Kellen Moore who had a rough NFL debut (4-for-14, 1 INT).

One recent injury development for the Lions is defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch. The veteran out of Nebraska injured a knee in practice and was said to be "week-to-week" by head coach Jim Schwartz. Fellow DE Earl Avril is also not expected to play after arriving in camp late following a contract dispute, leaving the Lions light on stop unit ends for this game. Lawrence Jackson and Willie Young, along with free agent pickup Everett Brown from Carolina, should get the bulk of the reps.

Baltimore's thinnest spot is at tight end where neither Ed Dickson nor Dennis Pitta will play. The duo combined for 94 receptions a year ago and may not play this entire preseason while recouping from shoulder and hand injuries respectively.

Baltimore is projected in the 9½-10 win range at various outlets, Detroit down a notch to 9-flat. The Ravens can be fetched for anywhere from 12/1 to 18/1 on Super Bowl futures with the Lions in the 20/1 to 25/1 range.

Detroit and Baltimore are also meeting on the diamond Friday night when the Orioles and Tigers begin a weekend series at Comerica Park and previewed here at Don Best.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24352 Followers:32
08/17/2012 06:41 PM

Ravens And Lions Under Friday Night Lights

If we learned but one thing about the Detroit Lions and Baltimore Ravens from their preseason openers, it's that both appear to have capable backup quarterbacks. They'll each look to score with their first-team QBs in a battle that is part of a six-pack of NFL preseason games Friday night.

Baltimore opened as 3½-point chalk with that number bet down a point early Thursday morning. Conversely, the total has been pushed up from 37½ to 38½ or even 39 at some shops monitored by the Don Best Pro Odds.

Detroit's preseason debut resulted in a 19-17 loss at home to the Cleveland Browns. The Lions closed laying three at most shops after opening -4½. Cleveland's late field goal to win it hung up a lot of 36-point wagers Matt Stafford was ineffective in his three series while tossing an interception, but the Lions still managed to put a couple of TDs on the board under the guidance of Shaun Hill in relief.

Baltimore put a 31-17 whipping on the Falcons down in Atlanta to get its preseason rolling. The Ravens went from +2½ at opening to +1 at the closing bell, and they nearly matched the 35-point total on their own. The Falcons raced to a 14-zip lead early in the second quarter with Matt Ryan at the helm and finding Felix Jones downfield with relative ease, plus Michael Turner and Jacquizz Rodgers handling the Atlanta ground chores. The Ravens defense was shoddy early and managed to rally against Falcon backups thanks to Curtis Painter's three touchdown tosses in relief of Joe Flacco.

Painter got most of the accolades with the three scoring strikes, but the truth is that Flacco enjoyed a very nice evening from the outset against a porous Falcons secondary, and even former Va Tech star Tyrod Taylor flashed his dual-threat nature as the No. 3 arm in the rotation.

Stafford, on the other hand, might be feeling the need to dazzle a bit more in this game. Not that Shaun Hill is an immediate threat to Stafford's job, just an expectation that he will want to put some points on the board while he's on the clock. It could be an interesting game if a tight score comes down to the third-stringers under center, Taylor and Detroit rookie Kellen Moore who had a rough NFL debut (4-for-14, 1 INT).

One recent injury development for the Lions is defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch. The veteran out of Nebraska injured a knee in practice and was said to be "week-to-week" by head coach Jim Schwartz. Fellow DE Earl Avril is also not expected to play after arriving in camp late following a contract dispute, leaving the Lions light on stop unit ends for this game. Lawrence Jackson and Willie Young, along with free agent pickup Everett Brown from Carolina, should get the bulk of the reps.

Baltimore's thinnest spot is at tight end where neither Ed Dickson nor Dennis Pitta will play. The duo combined for 94 receptions a year ago and may not play this entire preseason while recouping from shoulder and hand injuries respectively.

Baltimore is projected in the 9½-10 win range at various outlets, Detroit down a notch to 9-flat. The Ravens can be fetched for anywhere from 12/1 to 18/1 on Super Bowl futures with the Lions in the 20/1 to 25/1 range.

Detroit and Baltimore are also meeting on the diamond Friday night when the Orioles and Tigers begin a weekend series at Comerica Park and previewed here at Don Best.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24352 Followers:32
08/17/2012 06:43 PM

Jaguars In Big Easy To Tackle The Saints

We know it was only the preseason opener. But after enduring a lot of losing and extremely-tedious football the past few years, Jacksonville fans are downright giddy after their Jaguars staged a wild rally to overcome the defending Super Bowl champion Giants by a 32-31 count in their preseason opener last Saturday night at EverBank Field.

If nothing else, the Jags appear jazzed for preseason games under new head coach Mike Mularkey, who wants to instill the winning attitude and culture from the get-go in his new assignment.

But the test on Friday night will be a bit different, because Jacksonville has to take its act on the road for the first time this preseason. And host New Orleans, glad to finally play a game in the friendly Superdome after two weeks on the road, figures to offer a stiffer test for the upstart Jags than did the low-key Giants a week ago in their first home game since the suspension of head coach Sean Payton and the offseason “Bounty-Gate” scandal.

The Don Best Pro Odds screen notes that the Saints are listed as 6½-point favorites at almost every Las Vegas sports book, with the total at 39 or 39½, depending upon the outlet. Kickoff time for the Friday night clash in the Big Easy will be 8:00 p.m. (ET).

Although New Orleans has looked very ho-hum in splitting its first two games (but covering the number in each) vs. the Cardinals and Patriots, NFC South observers have taken note of how quickly the Saints seem to be absorbing new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s more-complicated schemes and the position adjustments he authorized in the offseason.

The new Spagnuolo “D” has allowed only one TD in each of the first two games (and the score by New England last Thursday came against third-stringers) as the platoon has applied constant pressure to opposing QBs. The “Spags” stop unit has already forced four turnovers (three picks and a fumble recovery), have tackled confidently and seem comfy in Spagnuolo’s varied zone looks.

All of this figures to cause potential problems for the Jacksonville offense, which has been thinned in summer by various injuries along the OL and will almost assuredly be minus starting LT Eugene Monroe on Friday night after he suffered a possible concussion in practice during the week.

New Orleans fans, however, are waiting to see a bit more from their own offense that has generated just 23 points in the first two preseason games. Drew Brees is on record that the Saints must begin to pick up the speed, and expect the ex-Purdue star to be at the controls for most of the first half on Friday night before giving the reins to backup Chase Daniel, who is being encouraged to run a bit more from the pocket when opportunities present themselves.

Look for Brees to begin fast-forwarding his preparation in the next two preseason games as he makes up for missing pre-camp OTAs while involved in a contract dispute.

The status of TE Jimmy Graham, who suffered a back injury (not deemed serious) prior to the New England game and missed the 7-6 loss to the Patriots, is doubtful and he will likely be held out as a precautionary measure on Friday night. Eleven-year vet TE Daniel Graham has just been signed to provide added depth at the position. Running back Darren Sproles, who suffered a minor knee injury vs. the Patriots, will also likely be held out vs. the Jags.

Jacksonville fans who were excited about the comeback win over the Giants, however, might be better advised to temper their enthusiasm. The late rally featured deep reserves and was orchestrated by 3rd-string QB Jordan Palmer (Carson’s younger brother and former UTEP star). Moreover, decorated RB Maurice Jones-Drew, the NFL’s leading rusher a year ago, remains out of camp due to contract squabbles.

Though Rashad Jennings and Keith Toston ran well in Jones-Drew’s absence in the preseason opener vs. the G-Men, the ongoing OL issues could undermine the infantry. Consider that those problems up front also contributed to six sacks of Jag QBs in the opener.

Mularkey is also going to want to give a longer look to top two QBs Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne on Friday, although neither was as impressive as Palmer was in deep relief last week. Gabbert did lead an early TD drive before looking shaky on the Jags’ second possession, however, and likely plays into the second quarter on Friday before Henne gets another look.

Friday might also mark the debut of J’ville’s first-round draft pick, WR Justin Blackmon, who finally signed his contract on August 6 and could see his first pro action vs. the Saints.

The Saints, who covered nine of their last 13 preseason games under Payton entering this season, are now 2-0 vs. the number in exhibitions for interim head coach Joe Vitt. The previous New Orleans ‘over’ preseason pattern, however, has yet to be on display this summer with a pair of clear ‘unders’ the first two games.

As for Jacksonville, the first game with Mularkey in charge continued the Jags’ recent ‘over’ preseason trend that extends back into the later days of the Jack Del Rio regime (Jags now ‘over’ 9-3 their last 12 in preseason).

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24352 Followers:32
08/17/2012 06:46 PM

Friday Preseason Tips

August 16, 2012

The Friday NFL card is loaded with six games, as teams are showcasing their starting units more this week than in their preseason openers. Only three of the 12 clubs have a win so far in the exhibition season (Buccaneers, Saints, and Ravens), while each game displays a total between 37 and 39. Heading into Friday's action, preseason favorites own a 7-11-1 ATS record, while the 'over' is profiting at 11-7-1 through 19 contests. We'll take a look at all six games, as things start off in Tampa Bay with the Bucs laying a handful of points.

Titans at Buccaneers (-2 ½, 37 ½) - 7:30 PM EST

Tampa Bay's passing game put together a meticulous effort in the first half of last Friday's 20-7 victory at Miami as three-point underdogs. Josh Freeman and Dan Orlovsky combined for just one incompletion in 13 attempts, while the Bucs cashed in on a pair of short rushing touchdowns. The Bucs head home to welcome in the Titans, who made the cross-country trek to Seattle last Saturday and left with a 27-17 defeat as three-point 'dogs.

The Titans and Seahawks game sailed 'over' the total of 36 thanks to a defensive and special teams score, while Chris Johnson rushed for just eight yards on five carries. Tampa Bay owns a 6-2 ATS mark in the preseason since 2010, including a 3-1 ATS record in the favorite role. There aren't many definitive preseason trends for the Titans under Mike Munchak, as Tennessee is 3-2 ATS and 3-2 to the 'under' in five career exhibition contests.

Dolphins at Panthers (-3, 37) - 8:00 PM EST

Both these clubs came off losses as home favorites last week, as Miami tries to figure out its murky quarterback situation. Following the news of David Garrard's knee surgery, the Dolphins turned to incumbent starter Matt Moore, who was unimpressive by throwing for 79 yards and an interception against Tampa Bay. Rookie Ryan Tannehill stole some of the headlines from that 13-point defeat by racking up 167 yards and a touchdown, as the former Texas A&M quarterback looks for more playing time on Friday.

The Panthers are set with their quarterback position as last season's top pick Cam Newton played sparingly in a 23-13 setback to the Texans. Carolina's lone touchdown came from backup running back Tauren Poole, while the Panthers held the ball for just 22 minutes. Ron Rivera's club is 1-4 SU/ATS in five preseason contests since last August, as the Panthers have scored 17 points or less four times. The Dolphins have cashed the 'under' in four consecutive preseason games, while none of the contests have eclipsed 30 total points.

Lions at Ravens (-2 ½, 39) - 8:00 PM EST

Baltimore continues to be the most dominating preseason team over the last three-plus seasons by winning 11 of its past 13 exhibition games. The Ravens rallied past the Falcons for a 31-17 triumph as one-point road underdogs, while scoring 24 unanswered points to close out the game. Baltimore quarterbacks tossed four touchdowns, including three by former Colt Curtis Painter in the second half.

The Lions head to Baltimore after squandering a 14-3 lead in a 19-17 home loss to Cleveland, as the Browns cashed in the road 'dog role. Detroit fell to 10-3 SU and 9-4 ATS in preseason since the start of the 2009, including a 5-2 ATS mark when receiving points. The Ravens' starters are expected to play the entire first half, while the Lions look to avoid consecutive losses in the postseason since 2007.

Bills at Vikings (-2 ½, 37) - 8:00 PM EST

Minnesota heads back to Mall of America Field for its home opener as the Vikings go for their first preseason victory. Leslie Frazier's offense tallied just two field goals, while Minnesota and San Francisco combined for a scoreless second half in a 17-6 loss as three-point underdogs. The Vikings will be without star running back Adrian Peterson once again, as he continues to rehab from a torn ACL suffered last December. The Bills travel to Minneapolis off a thrilling 7-6 home loss to the Redskins, as Buffalo amassed only 219 yards of offense and a pair of field goals.

Buffalo managed a cover as three-point home underdogs, but Chan Gailey's club has lost five of their previous six preseason contests since 2010. The offense hasn't showed up for the Bills in the exhibition season, posting 10 points or less in four of the last five preseason games. Buffalo's starters are slated to take the field for 20 plays, as Ryan Fitzpatrick, Vince Young, and Tyler Thigpen will round out the quarterback rotation.

Jaguars at Saints (-6 ½, 39) - 8:00 PM EST

Jacksonville made a late rally as the Jags overcame a 24-7 deficit to stun the Giants, 32-31. The Jags failed to cover as 2 ½-point home favorites, the fifth straight ATS loss for Jacksonville in preseason action. The Saints return to the Superdome for their preseason home opener following a win over the Cardinals and a 7-6 defeat at New England. New Orleans is going through plenty of issues off the field with "Spygate," as the Saints have easily finished 'under' the total in each of the first two exhibition games.

The Saints are 2-0 ATS through two preseason contests, while covering seven of their past eight during the exhibition season. The offensive woes this preseason is uncharacteristic of New Orleans, who possessed a 9-2 stretch to the 'over' from 2009 through 2011 prior to the back-to-back 'unders' this month. The last time the Jaguars cashed tickets in the preseason came back in the final game of 2010, a 13-9 home victory over the Falcons.

Raiders at Cardinals (-5, 37 ½) - 10:00 PM EST

Arizona seeks its first preseason victory following losses to New Orleans and Kansas City, as the Cardinals play their first game at University of Phoenix Stadium. Ken Whisenhunt's squad was buried from the start against the Chiefs last week, falling behind 14-0 before dropping a 27-14 decision as two-point road 'dogs. The quarterback battle is heating up in Arizona between Kevin Kolb and John Skelton, as Kolb will get the start against Oakland in spite of completing one pass in five attempts last Friday.

The Raiders played by far the least entertaining game of the preseason in a 3-0 home loss to the Cowboys on Monday night. Oakland missed two field goals and committed two turnovers, but held Dallas to just 54 yards on the ground. The Silver and Black owns an 0-6-1 ATS record the last seven preseason contests, while failing to score a touchdown in three of the previous four exhibition games. Arizona has managed to win three of its last four home preseason games, as the Cardinals have covered three times.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24352 Followers:32
08/17/2012 06:48 PM

Best Bets - AFC West

August 17, 2012

No team in the AFC West finished better than 8-8 last season as all four teams went 3-3 within the division and it was very nearly a four-way tie as Kansas City was at 7-9 behind the other three teams at 8-8. This division looks fairly wide open this season as every team could make a case for the top spot and there are some big changes with two new head coaches and a lot of big name players on the rosters changing teams. Here are some predictions for the 2012 NFL season and who will be the best of the AFC West.

Best Team: San Diego Chargers

The Chargers were the only team in the division to have a positive point differential last season, actually being the second-highest scoring team in the AFC. It was not necessarily a popular decision, but the Chargers stuck with veteran coach Norv Turner and while there was some player turnover, the roster has decent talent. San Diego will benefit from a second-place schedule with the benefit of playing the Jets and Titans instead of the Texans and Patriots like the Broncos will which could be a substantial advantage. San Diego was 6-10 ATS last season and the Chargers are nearly synonymous with disappointment, but of this group San Diego appears to be in the best position to produce a winning record and getting to 9-7 might be all it takes to win what should again be a watered-down division.

Best ‘OVER’ Win Totals Bet: Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs could go a number of different directions, but the team played hard behind Romeo Crennel in the final three games last season and played excellent defense down the stretch. The offense suffered injuries to several key players last season and a little better health could make this a very competitive team. The fourth-place schedule doesn’t hurt and it is certainly an advantage despite only being a game out of first place last season. This team was fortunate to be 10-6 in 2010 and that would be a stretch this season, but in this wide-open division, getting to .500 seems reasonable for the Chiefs although the early season schedule is brutal. If the Chiefs stumble out of the gate, it could take another great late-season run to climb back in the picture, but the Chiefs have more upside than the rest of the division.

Best ‘UNDER’ Win Totals Bet: Denver Broncos

The Broncos are really rolling the dice with Peyton Manning and his health. The entire offense makes major changes this season and it could take some time for things to shape up. Denver won’t have the luxury of an easy start to the schedule with a gauntlet to open the year facing Pittsburgh, Atlanta, and Houston in the first three weeks and then also playing New England, San Diego, and New Orleans in the first half of the season. This is a team that will have a hard time producing a winning record in the first half of the season, which could raise questions and discontent. The defense got a lot of credit last season, but the Broncos allowed over 24 points per game including allowing 40 or more five times. Value is not on the ‘under’ anymore as this total has dropped significantly, but the Broncos still look like a team headed towards a disappointing season.

Best ATS Performer: Oakland Raiders

The expectations are low for Oakland, but this team was 7-4 at one point last season, looking like a lock for the division title. Oakland is 9-3 in division games the last two years and those are the games that should decide this title. Dennis Allen takes over as Oakland goes through another transition, but he inherits a good offensive line and a running game which should be two key factors that allow the Raiders to be competitive. Allen’s defensive focus should pay dividends in improving a run defense that had big problems at times last season and while the AFC West as a whole will face tough scheduling, the Raiders have a more favorable path in that draw, particularly early in the year. The Raiders are still the Raiders and this is not a reliable franchise, but this team was an underdog eleven times last season and has been .500 or better ATS each of the last three years, as there is often value on this team that few feel comfortable backing.

Best Team to Fade: San Diego Chargers

The Chargers should be the best team in this division, but a turnover prone QB along with a coach that makes many questionable decisions could again be a formula for poor spread results. San Diego was just 6-10 ATS last season and the Chargers were favored in all but five games last season. That could again be the case this year as San Diego should start off the season with a decent record and could be favored in every division game. This is a franchise that has been prone to long losing streaks and painful losses and there will be value going against the Chargers particularly within the division where they have gone just 6-6 the last two years. San Diego’s running game has question marks again this season and the Chargers may again be the one dimensional team that puts up great statistics but can’t win games.

Best ‘OVER’ team: Denver Broncos

The Broncos went on a great mid-season run in 2011 with Tim Tebow getting much of the credit. Those that didn’t want to credit Tebow gave credit to the defense, but in reality the Broncos were not a good defensive team last season. Only three teams in the AFC allowed more points than Denver and the Broncos allowed at least 100 rushing yards in eleven of the final twelve games of the season last year, including the playoffs. Denver had success running the ball last year, but this is likely to be much more of a passing-oriented team and could be a strong ‘over’ team that has to play from behind at times as the Colts occasionally did with Manning in the years the defense struggled. Jack Del Rio has been added to the coaching staff, but he and Fox may have a hard time leading with defense this season even though there are a few elite defensive players on the roster. Denver will be a hard team to get a handle on given the dramatic changes in the last two years and that could lead to some higher scoring games and some deflated totals.

Best ‘UNDER’ team: Kansas City Chiefs

The ‘under’ was 12-4 in Chiefs games last season, yet Kansas City does not have the reputation of having a great defensive team. The Chiefs allowed by far the fewest points in the division last season despite being in fourth place and in the three Crennel coached games Kansas City allowed just 33 total points. In the last 25 games that Crennel has been a head coach for, the ‘under’ is 18-6-1. Kansas City will score more than last season, averaging just over 13 points per game, but the focus will be on running the ball as the Chiefs have the most tenuous QB situation in the division. The tough early-season schedule could lead to some higher scoring games early in the year for Kansas City, but look for that to boost the totals on future Chiefs games and this team should emerge as a quality ‘under’ bet in the second half of the season as arguably four of the best five offensive opponents on the schedule will be in the first four weeks of the season.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24352 Followers:32
08/17/2012 06:51 PM

What bettors need to know: Friday's NFL preseason action

Tennessee Titans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3, 37.5)

The Titans are cranking up the intensity on defense, with defensive coordinator Jerry Gray calling for a more physical and explosive attack. Tennessee lost 27-17 to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 1 of the preseason, giving up 135 yards on the ground. Veteran Matt Hasselbeck, who started versus Seattle, will come off the bench in relief of Jake Locker.

The Bucs opened the preseason with a 20-7 win over the Miami Dolphins. Running backs Doug Martin and LeGarrette Blount each scored in that game and have a nice battle to be the featured back going. Tampa Bay will try to get free-agent addition WR Vincent Jackson some action Friday after he went without a catch in the win over the Dolphins.

Miami Dolphins at Carolina Panthers (-3.5, 37)

Ryan Tannehill and Matt Moore will duke it out at QB with veteran David Garrard on the shelf. Head coach Joe Philbin still hasn’t announced a starter as of Thursday afternoon. Tannehill picked apart the Bucs second and third stringers for 167 yards and one touchdown while Moore finished 7 for 12 for 79 yards and an interception.

Panthers head coach Ron Rivera plans to play his starters the entire first half Friday night, including quarterback Cam Newton. Newton wasn’t all that sharp in a Week 1 preseason loss to the Houston Texans, going 2 for 6 for 17 yards and adding 16 yards on the ground.

Detroit Lions at Baltimore Ravens (-3, 38)

Lions coach Jim Schwartz wasn’t pleased with his team’s effort in a 19-17 loss to the Cleveland Browns in the preseason opener. Fingers are pointing at the offense as well as the defense, more specifically the lack of depth at safety. Erik Coleman and John Wendling got the nod versus the Browns after Louis Delmas and Amari Spievey were ruled out with ailments. Detroit was torched for 309 passing yards from the Browns’ sub-par QBs.

John Harbaugh could play some of his starters the entire first half Friday, hoping to get a good look at his offensive line. Baltimore’s o-line was terrible in the early going of Thursday’s preseason win over the Atlanta Falcons, leaving QB Joe Flacco to take some licks.

Buffalo Bills at Minnesota Vikings (-2.5, 37)

The Bills will be doing some ground work in Week 2 of the preseason. Buffalo’s first-team offense exclusively passed the ball during their plays in last week’s 7-6 loss to the Washington Redskins. Chan Gailey says running backs Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller will get more touches, which could kept the clock running and the scoring low.

Head coach Leslie Frazier told the media his veterans will get plenty of action during Week 2 of the preseason. The Vikings are expected to play their starters into the second quarter Friday, with veterans DT Kevin Williams, CB Antoine Winfield and DE Jared Allen back on defense and WR Percy Harvin returning on offense after sitting in the preseason opener.

Jacksonville Jaguars at New Orleans Saints (-6.5, 39.5)

With this being the Saints' third game of the preseason, thanks to the Hall of Fame Game, oddsmakers have set a big spread for Friday’s exhibition. Drew Brees only threw four passes versus the Patriots in Week 1 but should get more reps Friday. Tight end Jimmy Graham returned to practice and is expected to play in Week 2.

While the Jaguars wait on one star to show up to camp, they’ll debut another against New Orleans Friday. First-round pick WR Justin Blackmon will play in his first game and is schedule to put in about a half of action before taking a seat. Jacksonville took a 32-31 win over the New York Giants in the preseason opener, with Blaine Gabbert throwing for 62 yards and a touchdown.

Oakland Raiders at Arizona Cardinals (-4.5, 37)

The Raiders were goose-egged in their preseason opener, losing 3-0 to the Dallas Cowboys Monday. Now, they have a short turnaround to fix whatever was broken on offense, namely a rushing attack that total just 89 yards and averaging just over three yards per carry.

The Cardinals are playing in their third preseason contests of the summer and will let the starters play extensive minutes, according to head coach Jim Whisenhunt. Arizona is still on the fence about who its starting QB will be in Week 1, so Kevin Kolb and John Skelton will get plenty of snaps Friday.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24352 Followers:32
08/17/2012 06:52 PM

NFLX
Dunkel

Week 2

Tennessee at Tampa Bay
The Titans look to bounce back from their 27-17 loss to Seattle in Week 1 as they travel to Tampa Bay tonight. Tennessee is the pick (+3) according to Dunkel, which has the Titans favored by 1. Dunkel Pick: Tennessee (+3). Here are all of this week's picks

FRIDAY, AUGUST 17

Game 405-406: Tennessee at Tampa Bay (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tennessee 125.191; Tampa Bay 124.123
Dunkel Line: Tennessee by 1; 34
Vegas Line: Tampa Bay by 3; 38
Dunkel Pick: Tennessee (+3); Under

Game 407-408: Miami at Carolina (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami 117.302; Carolina 121.755
Dunkel Line: Carolina by 4 1/2; 40
Vegas Line: Carolina by 4; 37
Dunkel Pick: Carolina (-4); Over

Game 409-410: Detroit at Baltimore (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit 122.432; Baltimore 126.337
Dunkel Line: Baltimore by 4; 41
Vegas Line: Baltimore by 3; 39
Dunkel Pick: Baltimore (-3); Over

Game 411-412: Buffalo at Minnesota (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Buffalo 120.303; Minnesota 120.412
Dunkel Line: Even; 35
Vegas Line: Minnesota by 2 1/2; 37
Dunkel Pick: Buffalo (+2 1/2); Under

Game 413-414: Jacksonville at New Orleans (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Jacksonville 122.409; New Orleans 132.877
Dunkel Line: New Orleans by 10 1/2; 35
Vegas Line: New Orleans by 6 1/2; 39
Dunkel Pick: New Orleans (-6 1/2); Under

Game 415-416: Oakland at Arizona (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oakland 120.749; Arizona 123.560
Dunkel Line: Arizona by 3; 38
Vegas Line: Arizona by 5; 36 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Oakland (+5); Over


Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24352 Followers:32
08/17/2012 06:52 PM

NFLX
Dunkel

Week 2

Tennessee at Tampa Bay
The Titans look to bounce back from their 27-17 loss to Seattle in Week 1 as they travel to Tampa Bay tonight. Tennessee is the pick (+3) according to Dunkel, which has the Titans favored by 1. Dunkel Pick: Tennessee (+3). Here are all of this week's picks

FRIDAY, AUGUST 17

Game 405-406: Tennessee at Tampa Bay (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tennessee 125.191; Tampa Bay 124.123
Dunkel Line: Tennessee by 1; 34
Vegas Line: Tampa Bay by 3; 38
Dunkel Pick: Tennessee (+3); Under

Game 407-408: Miami at Carolina (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami 117.302; Carolina 121.755
Dunkel Line: Carolina by 4 1/2; 40
Vegas Line: Carolina by 4; 37
Dunkel Pick: Carolina (-4); Over

Game 409-410: Detroit at Baltimore (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit 122.432; Baltimore 126.337
Dunkel Line: Baltimore by 4; 41
Vegas Line: Baltimore by 3; 39
Dunkel Pick: Baltimore (-3); Over

Game 411-412: Buffalo at Minnesota (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Buffalo 120.303; Minnesota 120.412
Dunkel Line: Even; 35
Vegas Line: Minnesota by 2 1/2; 37
Dunkel Pick: Buffalo (+2 1/2); Under

Game 413-414: Jacksonville at New Orleans (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Jacksonville 122.409; New Orleans 132.877
Dunkel Line: New Orleans by 10 1/2; 35
Vegas Line: New Orleans by 6 1/2; 39
Dunkel Pick: New Orleans (-6 1/2); Under

Game 415-416: Oakland at Arizona (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oakland 120.749; Arizona 123.560
Dunkel Line: Arizona by 3; 38
Vegas Line: Arizona by 5; 36 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Oakland (+5); Over


Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24352 Followers:32
08/17/2012 06:53 PM

NFLX
Long Sheet

Week 2

Friday, August 17

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TENNESSEE (0 - 1) at TAMPA BAY (1 - 0) - 8/17/2012, 7:30 PM
There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

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MIAMI (0 - 1) at CAROLINA (0 - 1) - 8/17/2012, 7:00 PM
Top Trends for this game.
MIAMI is 26-13 ATS (+11.7 Units) as an underdog since 1993.
CAROLINA is 14-32 ATS (-21.2 Units) in non-conference games since 1993.

Head-to-Head Series History
MIAMI is 1-0 against the spread versus CAROLINA over the last 3 seasons
MIAMI is 1-0 straight up against CAROLINA over the last 3 seasons
1 of 1 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

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DETROIT (0 - 1) at BALTIMORE (1 - 0) - 8/17/2012, 8:00 PM
There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

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BUFFALO (0 - 1) at MINNESOTA (0 - 1) - 8/17/2012, 8:00 PM
There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

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JACKSONVILLE (1 - 0) at NEW ORLEANS (1 - 1) - 8/17/2012, 8:00 PM
Top Trends for this game.
NEW ORLEANS is 2-10 ATS (-9.0 Units) as a home favorite of 3.5 to 7 points since 1993.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

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OAKLAND (0 - 1) at ARIZONA (0 - 2) - 8/17/2012, 9:00 PM
Top Trends for this game.
OAKLAND is 4-14 ATS (-11.4 Units) in road games when playing with 6 or less days rest since 1993.
OAKLAND is 8-21 ATS (-15.1 Units) against NFC West division opponents since 1993.

Head-to-Head Series History
ARIZONA is 1-0 against the spread versus OAKLAND over the last 3 seasons
ARIZONA is 1-0 straight up against OAKLAND over the last 3 seasons
1 of 1 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

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