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Wednesday's LIst of 13: Nobody asked me, but...........
13) Last time the Red Sox started a road trip 0-7 was back in 1960, when I was less than a year old, but had more hair than I do now.
12) One lucky soul put $3,000 on 36-point underdog Texas State to win SU at Houston last week; when the Bobcats pulled the monumental upset, the guy had himself a ticket worth $105,000. He didn’t even have to sweat much; State led 27-10 at the half.
11) What is Savannah State thinking about? Football team lost 84-0 at Oklahoma State last week (but cashed a check for $385,000); this week, its Florida State in Tallahassee, which could be a similar result, although the paycheck figures to be bigger, too.
10) Final attendance results for the Saratoga thoroughbred meet shows attendance up an average of 173 fans a day, with handle up 3.3%. One big factor in the track’s factor was the near-perfect weather this summer.
9) UCLA started five freshmen on offense at Rice last week; its usually a bad sign when you’re starting freshmen in bigtime college football, but the returning players haven’t done much in Westwood, so the young kids get a shot.
8) Speaking of UCLA, Bruin basketball fans are holding their breath the NCAA makes freshman hoop standouts Shabazz Muhammad and Kyle Anderson eligible; school doesn’t start at UCLA until September 27. Practice starts October 12.
7) Houston Astros are first team since 1916 to go 8-47 in any 55-game stretch of a season. They just don’t have many good players.
6) I usually like watching Pawn Stars on History Channel, but now they have Rick’s son Corey doing more on camera, and he’s not likeable. He comes off as a big, dumb guy with a wise mouth, so I’d rather not have him lecturing on the history of stuff that gets brought into the shop.
Case in point: on one episode, George Stephanopolous came into the shop; Corey and Chumlee had no idea, as in zero, who he is. Brilliant!!!!
5) Xavier booted their best returning basketball player out of school for an off-campus incident, even though the authorities never pressed charges; Dez Wells winds up at Maryland playing for Mark Turgeon. Hope he takes advantage of his second chance.
4) Quietly, the Royals are playing better, especially at home; they’ve won eight of Bruce Chen’s last nine home starts.
3) By all means, keep wheeling Raul Ibanez out there. Guy is 2 for his last 33, can't play the outfield worth a damn, while Ichiro Suzuki sits on the bench. Pretty lame lineup for a team with a $200M payroll.
2) Did you see the clip of the kid on Kent State running the wrong way with a muffed punt last week? If not, you have to go to Youtube and find it; he is sprinting down the sideline, towards the wrong goal line, and three guys on the other team are desperately chasing him, oblivious to fact that he’s running the wrong way. Total chaos when the play ends.
Towson State coaches are yelling at the kid who made the tackle, thinking it cost them two points, when in reality, its against the rules to advance a muffed punt, even if you’re advancing it the wrong way. Been a long time since that happened.
1) You think you had a bad weekend? Boxer Floyd Mayweather bet $3M on Michigan Saturday night. That’s million with an M. That’s also a very rough day. What an Idiot!
Cowboys @ Giants— Defending Super Bowl champs are 9-1-2 vs spread in their next season’s opener last 12 years (12-0 SU). Giants won last four home openers; since ’90, they’re 10-4 vs spread as favorite in home openers, but just 12-18-1 vs spread in last 31 games as a home favorite. Dallas owner Jones was mouthing off about “kicking the Giants’ ass; his Cowboys are 2-7 in last nine series games, losing 37-34/31-14 in LY’s meetings- they’ve lost three of last four visits here, losing by 21-7-17 points, but are 8-4 vs spread in last dozen games as road underdogs. Dallas is opening on road for fifth year in row. 14-8 vs spread in last 22 road openers, losing last two, by 6-3 points. 12 of their last 15 road openers went over total, as did four of Big Blue’s last five home openers. Average total in last six series games is 61.
Colts @ Bears— Indy has new coach, new QB; they’re glorified expansion team, starting fresh, so they’re trends don’t mean as much, but they did cover four of five LY as double digit underdogs. Colts lost 34-24/34-7 in last two road openers, after having won nine of previous ten. Teams with rookie QBs figure to struggle on foreign soil early on. Chicago won 29-13 at Indy in last meeting in ’08, teams’ only meeting since Colts beat Bears in Super Bowl XLI. Since ’96, underdogs are 13-3 vs spread in Chicago’s home openers, with Bears just 2-8 vs spread as favorite; they’ve won six of last seven home openers, allowing 13.3 ppg last three years. Since 2007, Chicago is just 9-15-1 as home favorites, but they did cover last two tries when laying double digits. Five of Indy’s last seven road openers stayed under total.
Eagles @ Browns— Lot of commonality between coaching staffs; been rough summer off field for Coach Reid. Philly is just 4-6 as road favorite last two years, with six of 11 road wins by 7 or less points. Since being reborn in 1999, Browns are 1-12 in home openers, 1-11-1 vs spread; they were favored/even in five of the 12 losses- they’re 0-7 vs spread in last seven home openers, with under 8-4 in their last 12. 12 of those 13 home openers came in Week 1. Cleveland is 3-6 vs spread in last nine games as home underdog; they’re 3-7-2 vs spread v NFC teams last three years. Philly are 3-0 vs new Browns, scoring 35-34-30 points; they’ve won last three road openers, scoring 31+ points in last four. Since ’88, Philly is 14-8 vs spread in road openers; 6-4 as favorite, 8-4 as dog. Over is 3-0-1 in their last four road openers. Teams met in preseason two weeks ago, but Vick didn’t play.
Bills @ Jets— How will Gang Green utilize Tebow? How will Sanchez react if he struggles early and gets pulled? Fickle home folks could turn ugly if Jets stumble early vs Buffalo squad that lost last five games to Jets by average score of 30-14, losing last two visits here, 38-7/28-24. Bills are 7-3 in last ten tries as road dogs in road openers; since 2000, they’re 3-0 as Week 1 road dog. Buffalo is 12-6 as road underdogs in divisional games last six years. Six of their last eight road openers stayed under the total. Over last 20 years, Jets are 2-8 vs spread as favorite in home opener, losing 14 of 20 (2-1 last three years). Three of their last four home openers stayed under total. Jets covered five of last six season openers; since 2007, they’re 2-9-1 vs spread as a home favorite in divisional games. Bills trading for Tarvaris Jackson raised some eyebrows.
Redskins @ Saints— Lot of unusual variables here. How will Saints function without Payton/Vitt on sidelines? Who will make key 4th down calls? Redskins using rookie QB in hostile environment; tough way to start. Washington won its last six visits to New Orleans, with last visit in ’06. Road team won six of last seven series games. New Orleans won four in row and 11 of last 14 home openers, scoring 28.3 ppg in last four; they’re 6-2-1 vs spread in last nine as favorite in home openers, with 11 of last 15 staying under total. New Orleans won last five Sunday openers. Washington lost nine of last 12 road openers, losing last four, scoring 14 ppg. 1-5 vs spread in last six as underdog. Under is 8-3-1 in Washington’s last dozen road openers. Since ’07, Redskins are 18-12-3 as road underdogs. Since ’08, Saints are 19-9-1 as a home favorite.
Patriots @ Titans— Since 1998, Super Bowl losers are 0-13 vs spread (2-11 SU) in their next season’s opener. Teams’ first meeting since Patriots waxed Tennessee 59-0 on snowy October day in Foxboro three years ago, their fourth straight series win. Tennessee covered seven of last ten home openers, four of last five that were in Week 1; they’re 7-0 vs spread last seven times they were underdog in home opener, with last non-cover 34-17 (+5) vs Steelers in ’95. Patriots won last eight season openers (4-3-1 vs spread); they’re 6-6 in last dozen road openers, 1-2 in last three; since ’92, they’re 1-11 in road openers if they score 21 or less points, 7-1 if they score 23+. Four of their last six road openers went over total. Titans’ last three home openers went over total. Pats split two visits here, losing 24-7 in ’02, winning 40-23 in ’06.
Jaguars @ Vikings— New owner/coach/QB for Jaguars, who lost last four road openers (1-3 vs spread) by average score of 25-9, losing 38-13/32-3 in Week 2 road openers last two years. In their history, are solid 7-4 vs spread as underdog in road openers. Six of their last eight road openers stayed under total. First time in five years Vikings are opening season at home; Minnesota lost three of last four home openers, with all four decided by four or less points; since ’99, they’re 3-8 vs spread as favorite in home openers. You're reading armadillosports.com. Vikings won three of four series games, with none of four decided by less than 11 points. Only Jaguar win was 33-3 here in ’01. Since ’88, under is 16-7-1 in Metrodome home openers.
Dolphins @ Texans— High expectations in Houston after their first playoff appearance LY; they’re 6-0 vs Dolphins, with all three wins here by 3 or less points- only one of the six wins is by more than 7 points. Rookie QB gets the nod for Miami, which lost seven of last eight road openers (1-5-1 vs spread in last seven), with only win at Buffalo in ’10. Once-proud Fish are 0-4-1 vs spread in last five games as underdog in road opener. Texans won 34-24/34-7 in last two home openers, after losing six of first eight in franchise history; they’re 2-2 as Week 1 home favorite. Five of their last seven home openers stayed under total. Houston allowed 24+ points in seven of last nine home openers. Under is 13-5 in Miami’s last 18 road openers.
Rams @ Lions— Third offense in three years for young QB Bradford; main question is can rebuilt OL keep him on his feet? Rams are 15-65 last five years, worst 5-year stretch in NFL history; they hired former Titan HC Fisher to right ship. His DC in Tennessee was current Lion HC Schwartz, so team will play similar defenses. St Louis lost last ten road openers (1-9 vs spread) by average score of 26-12, with five of last six staying under total. Last time Rams won season opener was 18-10 home win (+3.5) over Denver in 2006. Detroit is 14-6-1 vs spread in last 21 home openers, but lost three of last four (32-35/48-3 L2 years). First time in six years they’re opening season at home. Three of last four home openers went over. Rams are 3-2 in last five series games; ’09 Rams’ only win came here, 17-10. ’10 Rams lost 44-10 here.
Falcons @ Chiefs— Home side won five of last six series games, all decided by 11+ points; Falcons have never won here, losing 38-10/14-3/56-10 (’04). Atlanta whupped KC 38-14 at home in last meeting (’08). Chiefs started 0-1 five of last six years. Chiefs are 4-8 in last dozen home openers, scoring 13 or less points in five of last six. KC is 2-6-1 vs spread last nine games where they were favored in a home opener. Atlanta lost last five road openers, scoring average of 8.6 ppg; they even lost at Pittsburgh one year when Big Ben was suspended. Since ’88, they’re 0-4 as favorite in road openers. You're reading armadillosports.com. Seven of last eight road openers stayed under total; under is 16-2-1 in Chiefs’ last 19 home openers.
49ers @ Packers—Green Bay won five in row, 13 of last 14 games vs 49ers, with only loss in ’98 playoff game; SF lost last eight visits here, with five of eight by 10+ points. Pack won/covered last five home openers, by average score of 27-18. This will be 13th time in 16 years they’re at home in Week 1.. Niners xxx four of last five road openers, covered six of last eight; they’re 7-1-1 vs spread in last nine tries as road dog in road opener. Since ’94, they’re 2-6 vs spread in Week 1 road games. Four of Pack’s last six home openers stayed under; under is 3-1-1 in 49ers’ last five road openers. Niners were +28 in turnovers in magical ’11 run; they made lot of own breaks, but you’re not +28 without few bounces going your way—will that continue?
Panthers @ Buccaneers— Curious to see how Newton does with full off-season program under his belt; teams didn’t have that last season, but he was still terrific as rookie, beating Bucs 38-19/48-16 in two meetings. Carolina lost last three road openers, allowing 28-31-28 points; they failed to cover last three as dog in road openers, after covering nine of first 10 (9-4 as dog overall in road openers). Tampa Bay lost five of last six season openers; since ’88, they’re 4-6 vs spread as dogs in home openers, 7-6-1 as favorite. Bucs are 4-6 in last ten home openers; over is 3-1-1 in last five, after 12 of previous 15 stayed under. Carolina’s last four road openers went over the total. Oddly, Carolina won seven of last nine visits here.
Seahawks @ Cardinals— Home side won four of last five series games; Seattle lost five of last six visits here, with losses by 6-3-13-11-3 points. Since ’00, Hawks are 4-8 in road openers, allowing 6-0-7-6 points in wins; they lost last five road openers (0-6 vs spread in last six) by average score of 29-14. Home team won their last five season openers. You're reading armadillosports.com, America's favorite website. Arizona has been better in home openers since they got the dome; winning five of last six home openers, but since ’88, are still just 3-10 vs spread as favorite in home openers, with five of last six going over total. Under is 19-5 in Arizona’s last 24 home openers, but 2-3 in last five.
Steelers @ Broncos— Denver KO’d Steelers from playoffs 29-23 with OT TD last January; now they’ve upgraded from Tebow to Manning at QB. Fox lost eight of his last nine home openers; before he got to Denver, Broncos had won 11 straight Mile High openers (8-3 vs spread). Manning won seven of last eight home openers, covering six of last 10 as favorite. Over is 3-1-1 in Denver’s last five home openers. Pittsburgh is just 4-8 in last 12 road openers, 4-3 in last seven, scoring average of just 10 ppg in last five, with four of those five staying under total- they scored 14 or less points in four of those five games. New OC Haley said to have installed more run-happy offense, which may explain why Big Ben didn’t get his shoulder fixed. Since ’88, they’re 4-5 in Week 1 openers on road. Steelers are 5-10-1 all-time in Denver, 3-4 vs Broncos in playoffs.
Bengals @ Ravens— Baltimore won last seven home openers (5-2 vs spread), with none of wins by less than seven points; since 1988, they’re 8-3 vs spread in Week 1 home games. Ravens covered four of last five home openers vs divisional opponent. Cincinnati is 4-3 in last seven road openers; they were dog in three of four wins, favored in two of three losses (underdogs covered five of their last six road openers). Since ’88, are 6-5 vs spread as Week 1 underdog. Four of Bengals’ last five road openers went over total; over is 5-1-1 in Ravens’ last seven home openers, but seven of last nine series games had totals of 37 or less. Ravens won both meetings LY, 31-24/24-16, but are still just 6-9 in last 15 series games, albeit 3-1 in last four played here.
Chargers @ Raiders—Allen is fourth head coach in five years for Oakland, but Palmer had full camp and should be better this year under center. Raiders won three of last four series games after losing 13 in row to Bolts before that. San Diego won seven of last eight visits here, with only loss 35-27 in ’10. Chargers lost four of last five road openers, allowing average of 30.6 ppg, giving up 35+ points in three of the four losses; they’re 4-9 vs spread last 13 times road opener was in Week 1. Over is 13-7-1 in San Diego’s last 21 road openers. Raiders lost last four times they opened season at home, with three losses by 15+ points- they’re 9-5 in last 14 home openers, winning last two after losing previous seven. Four of their last five home openers went over the total. Average total in last four series games is 52.
How are you Marc.
Its been a very long time!
hope all is well with you and yours...
and all the old freewinner guys and gals..
where is that TIMMYD?
hate seeing all that money on one side.
may go small on Dallas.
A Samstin sighting. Its better than Bigfoot. All well my friend. Moved to Florida and out of the cold and high property taxes. You saw CoverIt is now here along with a lot of the other guys. Look forward to you stopping by more often.
Nice pick with Dallas.
TimmyD....The man, they myth, the legend. Well I touch base with him every year around March Madness. He seems to be doing well. Working, raising the family and staying out of trouble I think. He stops by occasionally.
How are you and the family doing my friend.
Thanks Sage. Here in Port Saint Lucie. Not hot at all. Love it. 90 degrees here is the same and better than 90 degrees anywhere else. Plus we get a nice breeze from the ocean most days.
Will have to catch up at some point, maybe go to Burns Steakhouse or something when the Lions come to Tampa. :0
Friday's Dirty Dozen: Things I'm looking for this weekend........
12) I'm hoping Brandon McCarthy is feeling better and goes home from the hospital; he was hit in the head by a line drive Wednesday and had to have surgery to deal with a brain hemorrhage. Maybe the A's can win the World Series for him.
11) Missouri/Texas A&M have first conference games as SEC members this week; Aggies host Florida, Mizzou hosts Georgia. Still strange seeing them listed as SEC schools.
10) How will the Saints do without Sean Payton? I’m more pessimistic than most; think its going to be a rough year for New Orleans. Drew Brees is, in effect, the player-coach, at least on game days.
9) How will the Broncos do with Peyton Manning? Sunday night’s game with the Steelers is going to get a lot of attention, but John Fox has lost eight of his last nine season openers.
8) Is the AL East going to be a 3-horse race to the finish? Hard to believe its turned out this way, and Boston isn’t one of the three teams.
7) Wisconsin killed Oregon State LY, but now the Badgers are visiting Corvallis where the Beavers are generally a more feared animal. Interested to watch Maryland transfer O’Brien in his first road start for the Badgers.
6) Are the Miami Dolphins as weak as they’ve appeared on HBO’s Hard Knocks? After Miami lost at Dallas last week to finish an 0-4 (who cares?) preseason, Coach Philbin never even said (at least not for the cameras) “OK, starting next week, everything counts. Lets put this behind us.” You’d think he’d try to build some positive thoughts by dismissing the preseason results as unimportant, even if they’re not totally meaningless.
5) Penn State lost at home last week to a good Ohio U team, after leading 14-3 at the half; their game at Virginia this week is big from a confidence standpoint, since rats will start jumping off the ship if they start 0-2. This is a bandwagon that could empty out very quickly, which is why a win at Virginia is important for Coach O’Brien.
4) 49ers were 13-3 LY with a +28 turnover ratio; not a lot of injuries and the ball always seemed to bounce their way. This season starts for them in the 4:00 game at Lambeau, the national doubleheader game. How will Alex Smith play after the team tried and failed to acquire Peyton Manning to take his place?
3) Nebraska visits UCLA and new coach Jim Mora Jr, who started five freshmen on offense last week at Rice. Nebraska ain’t Rice. Curious to see how Mora’s Bruins play in this spot.
2) Dodgers have made a lot of moves in the last move, but the one move they haven’t yet made is moving up in the standings. Will LA’s talented, expensive starting 9 propel the Dodgers higher in the playoff chase?
1) Of the 32 NFL teams this week, five are starting rookie QB’s, five more are starting second-year QB’s. This is a recent trend, very recent, impacting partly by the fact that college teams throw the ball more now.
Sunday's List of 13: Wrapping up a college football Saturday in case you dont want to look at the CFB thread.......
Coming off another winning Saturday, and will post some Sunday picks shortly
13) Every year I'm reminded how awesome football weekends are; Saturday was no exception. Louisiana-Monroe stunned Arkansas as a 30-point dog, winning 34-31 in OT after trailing 28-7 early in third quarter.
Cool sight after the game was a state trooper who "protects" Coach Todd Berry stopping the coach on the field and hugging him after ULM scored the winning TD. Pure joy, very fun to see.
Horrendous night for Arkansas, which lost star QB Tyler Wilson with a broken collarbone; Razorbacks play Alabama next week. Not good.
12) If you had $100 on UL-Monroe on the money line, that ticket is now worth a cool $5,750. Not a bad day's work.
11) Michigan 31, Air Force 25; total yards: 422-417, Michigan. Air Force didn't make any coaches/players available to the media after the game, thats how hard they took this loss. Denard Robinson enjoyed the AF defense a little more than he enjoyed playing against Alabama.
10) Clemson/Washington State both made 60+-yard FGs Saturday; Rice hit a 45-yarder at the gun to win at Kansas. Why doesn't every D-I team have a good kicker? Oregon State's kicker missed a 40-yarder, short/wide right. How is this possible? Short? Go recruit a freakin' kicker!!!
9) Penn State missed four FGs and had a PAT blocked in a brutal 17-16 loss at Virginia, but their kicker jumped ship and transferred to Texas when the NCAA sanctions came down, so can't blame the coaches there.
Cavaliers were -4 in turnovers, had 10 penalties for 70 yards (PSU had 24 yards on three penalties), were outrushed 121-32 and they still won. Odd.
8) Kansas State outgained Miami 498-262, completing nine of 11 passes for 210 yards in an easy 52-13 win. Tough times for the 'canes' defense.
7) Skip Holtz won another road game, this one in miraculous fashion, as South Florida hit on two TD passes of 50+ yards in last 3:00, rallying back from a 21-6 first quarter deficit to stun Nevada 32-31 in Reno. Not often a team wins a game on a 56-yard TD pass with 0:36 left, but USF did.
6) When Texas (-39) hammered New Mexico 45-0, it was first time in ten tries this season that a Mountain West road underdog failed to cover; thats right, MWC road dogs are 9-1 against the spread in non-league games.
If you care about such things, Pac-12 favorites are 3-10 against spread.
5) However, since '93, Big Dozen teams are now a ludicrous 5-28-1 SU in regular season games, when visiting a Pac-12 foe; Wisconsin, Nebraska and Illinois all had unproductive trips west this weekend. .
4) I don't think any I-A teams should play I-AA teams, and if God forbid they lose to one, it should count as minus-1 win towards their going to a bowl game. Colorado-Colorado St.-UNLV all had such disasters this week.
3) Houston's offensive coordinator quit (got fired) last week; it didn't help the Cougars, who lost 56-49 at home to Louisiana Tech. For record, Houston was 53-77 for 580 yards passing- they gained 693 yards, but also 15 penalties for 138 yards. Big East can't be happy with this.
2) SMU beat SFAustin 52-0, in one of weirdest boxscores I've ever seen; Mustangs ran a blocked FG back for a TD, and also had three defensive TDs, three of their 10 takeaways. I've never seen a team turn ball over 10 times in one game. Hard to evaluate SMU from this mismatch.
1) Mississippi State got a monkey off its back, outgaining Auburn 388-216 in a surprisingly easy 28-10 win. Auburn's only TD came on opening kick of the second half. Huge win for Dan Mullen's program.
1a) This week, home favorites were 10-15 vs spread in non-league games, home underdogs were 6-4-1. Home favorites were 4-2 in conference play. .
My money is on BTB this year. So he better make it count. Good luck Ryan.
Six most popular picks and six least popular picks in Hilton handicapping contest, which has 700+ contestants, all of whom who pick five NFL games a week against the spread. They put up $1,500 each, so these are serious handicappers........
6) Miami Dolphins, 93
5) Houston Texans, 96
4) Carolina Panthers, 126
3) Pittsburgh Steelers, 134
2) New Jersey Giants, 159
1) Kansas City Chiefs, 176
T27) Jacksonville Jaguars, 34
T27) Arizona Cardinals, 34
29) Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 28
30) Chicago Bears, 22
31) New Orleans Saints, 21
32) Cleveland Browns, 17