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10/11/2012 07:37 PM
NFL Week 6 Preview: Steelers at Titans

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (2-2)

at TENNESSEE TITANS (1-4)


Kickoff: Thursday, 8:25 p.m. EDT
Line: Pittsburgh -5½, Total: 42

After getting crushed on both ends of a two-game road trip, Tennessee returns to Nashville for a Thursday night date with a Pittsburgh team that has beaten the Titans in each of the past three seasons.

The Steelers are still dealing with injuries and haven’t looked sharp on the road this year. Pittsburgh has dropped each of its two away games, SU and ATS, at Denver and Oakland. S Troy Polamalu (calf) is out again and OLB LaMarr Woodley (hamstring) is questionable at best. Neither offense has been crisp this year, though the Steelers got a boost from the return of RB Rashard Mendenhall (14 carries, 81 yards, TD last week against Philly). The Titans have really struggled on offense, especially with back-up QB Matt Hasselbeck under center and RB Chris Johnson (2.9 yards per carry) the biggest cause of an anemic rushing attack.

Can the Titans halt their losing streak against the visiting Steelers? For the answer, connect to The Platinum Sheet for all the StatFox Experts picks for every NFL game throughout the 2012 season and playoffs.

Tennessee has lost all four of its games by at least three touchdowns, getting outscored 68-21 during its two-game road trip at Houston and Minnesota. The running game got back on track against the Texans with 158 rushing yards, but regressed against the Vikings with just 52 yards on 19 carries (2.7 YPC), marking the fourth game where the Titans rushed for fewer than 60 yards. Chris Johnson has faced the Steelers in each of the past four seasons with little success rushing for 52.8 yards per game on 3.5 YPC with 2 TD. The air attack hasn't been stellar either under Hasselbeck who has thrown for a mere 5.5 yards per attempt with 3 TD and 3 INT. He did play pretty well in last year's meeting at Pittsburgh though, completing 29-of-49 passes for 262 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. He should be getting a bit of a boost with WR Kenny Britt (ankle) likely to play all of the snaps. Britt hasn't been close to 100 percent in any game this season, and he creates matchup problems for a Steelers secondary missing star S Troy Polamalu.

The Steelers finally got their ground game cranking last week with the return of Mendenhall, attempting a season-high 31 carries for 136 yards (4.4 YPC). They figure to run even more on Thursday against Tennessee's 28th-ranked run-stop unit allowing 144 rushing YPG. However, the Titans pass defense is also terrible, giving up 280 passing YPG this year (25th in NFL). Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger had quite a day in last year's 38-17 romp over Tennessee, throwing five touchdown passes. He has completed 72% of his passes in four career meetings with the Titans, throwing for 1,138 yards (285 YPG), 10 TD and 5 INT. Roethlisberger has also been sharp in 2012 so far, throwing for 1,111 yards (278 YPG), 8 TD and just one interception.

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10/12/2012 11:16 PM
Rested Cowboys With Tough Test At Baltimore Ravens

The Dallas Cowboys have had almost two weeks to stew about their Monday night debacle versus Chicago. Things don’t get much easier on Sunday at a very tough Baltimore Ravens squad.

The Don Best Pro Odds have Dallas as 3½-point road underdogs with a total of 44½. This is one of the best interconference battles of the week and FOX will broadcast from M&T Bank Stadium at 1:00 p.m. (ET).

The Cowboys are exactly where they should be at 2-2 straight up. They are capable of beating very good teams on the road, witness the 24-17 final as 3½-point ‘dogs at the Giants in Week 1. They’re also capable of laying a giant egg at home with their Monday night loss (34-18 as 3-point favorites) to Chicago last game a prime example.

Dallas is now 0-3 ATS in its last three contests since the Giants opener.

Quarterback Tony Romo threw five picks (two returned for TDs) versus Chicago. They were not all his fault, but he continues to show poor judgment at critical times. Even owner Jerry Jones, normally the biggest defender of Romo outside of his mother, questioned his ability to take care of the ball.

Coach Jason Garrett’s offense is 30th in the league in scoring (16.3 PPG), which is the main reason the ‘under’ is 3-1. The total yardage numbers (364 YPG, ranked 16th) show there is talent on that side of the ball, but it’s hard to score with constant turnovers and receivers dropping the ball.

Romo should be able to make plays this week against Baltimore pass ‘D’ that ranks just tied-for-22nd (261 YPG). The Dallas running attack has really struggled the last three games with DeMarco Murray, so it will have to be a pass-first attack.

Note the ‘under’ is 2-0 in Dallas’ road games this year and 5-0 in the last five away.

Baltimore (4-1 SU, 2-3 ATS) has the second-best record in the AFC behind Houston and it’s not too early to start thinking about home field advantage throughout the playoffs. For the Ravens, that means winning games even when they’re not playing well.

John Harbaugh’s guys are 0-3 ATS the last three despite winning them all.

One of those ATS failures was a 9-6 win at Kansas City last week as 6-point favorites. Quarterback Joe Flacco (13-of-27 for 187 yards) had his worst outing of the year, but got bailed out by the defense and another big game by Ray Rice (102 rushing yards).

Flacco has been much better in the three home games (106.5 rating) with the team scoring 32.7 PPG. However, it won’t be easy going against this Rob Ryan defense that is fourth in the league in total yards (277.5 YPG).

A look at the Don Best injury report shows that Dallas nose tackle Jay Ratliff (ankle) is probable to play for the first time this season. That should be a big boost to the run defense and outside linebacker Anthony Spencer (shoulder) could also return after missing last game.

These teams don’t meet very often with Baltimore 4-0 SU and ATS the last four dating back to 1994. The most recent one was in 2008 with the Ravens winning 33-24 as 5-point road ‘dogs. That was Flacco’s rookie year and he threw no interceptions while Romo had two.

Dallas fans hope that’s not a bad omen for Romo on Sunday.
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10/12/2012 11:18 PM
Struggling Packers On Road At Unbeaten Texans

The Green Bay Packers have been in Houston to face the Texans just once before, and that contest in 2004 also filled the Sunday night prime-time slot on the NFL betting schedule.

That may be the only similarity to the second meeting between the clubs at Reliant Stadium this Sunday when NBC's broadcast begins at 8:20 p.m. (ET). For starters, Houston has been the underdog in the only two previous matchups against the Packers, and the unbeaten Texans find themselves laying four this time to a Green Bay squad that is 2-3 and struggling a third of the way into the 2012 campaign.

Most sports books listed on the Don Best Pro Odds are currently showing 48 for the total after beginning at 47½.

This year's collision was seen as a potential Super Bowl preview before the NFL kicked things off six weeks ago. In fact, last week's Don Best Linemakers Poll still had Green Bay first and Houston very close behind in a dead heat for second with San Francisco. Updated Don Best ratings are due out soon, but so far, the Texans have lived up to the Super Bowl hype with a 5-0 mark (4-1 against the spread) while the Packers have not.

No doubt about the biggest injury news heading into Week 6, as Houston LB Brian Cushing is gone for the season after tearing the ACL in his left knee this past Monday at the Jets. The 4th-year star out of Southern Cal has been a leader statistically and emotionally for the Texans 'D' since his '09 rookie season.

Houston might also be without backup halfback Ben Tate once again. Tate missed the MNF victory in New York with a toe injury and is officially questionable this week.

Green Bay (1-4 ATS) is not without its own injuries where Aaron Rodgers' targets could be limited on Sunday. Wideout Greg Jennings (doubtful, toe) and TE Jermichael Finley (questionable, groin) have been targeted on more than 25 percent Rodgers' passes.

Cushing's absence could be felt if the Pack could somehow establish a running game vs. Houston, but Green Bay has so far been unable to do that against anyone. Rodgers led the Packers in rushing/scrambling last week in the loss at Indy, and now with Cedric Benson out for two months with a broken foot, it comes down to James Starks who has missed the first five games with his own toe injury.

We've known Green Bay wasn't going to win a game running the ball for a while now, but Rodgers & Co. will have to get things going through the air against a tough Houston defense. The Texans are third in fewest yards allowed (275 per game), fourth in scoring (14.6 ppg).

Green Bay has been a middling defense statistically and has to shut down both a running game led by Arian Foster and Matt Schaub's aerial show. This year's Houston offense is more than capable of making up for any defensive shortcomings. Schaub is directing the No. 3 scoring unit (29.8 ppg), more than a touchdown better than Rodgers and the Packers who are 18th (22.4 ppg).

Houston's stats are naturally better at 5-0 against a 2-3 team like the Packers, but the most telling of all might be turnover margin. The Texans are tied for the fewest (3) turnovers and sit +8 in the giveaway/takeaway column. Green Bay is -1 and has given it away six times.

That first meeting between the teams in 2004 found Houston putting up a fight before losing late to Brett Favre and the Packers, 16-13. The only other matchup came in 2008 at Lambeau Field. The Texans pulled off a 24-21 upset as 6½-point underdogs, winning on a 'walk-off' field goal by Kris Brown after Shaub outshined Rodgers with 414 yards passing.

Both of the previous meetings have gone 'under' the total.

It should be pretty typical weather for the Bayou City this time of year, if any weather in Houston is ever typical. Forecasts call for a cloudy day with hardly any chance of rain, and temps in the upper-70s, low-80s for kickoff. The Texans generally close the roof if the thermometer is reading above 80ºF, or in the obvious case of rain. My guess is they'll have it closed for this one should the current forecast hold.
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10/12/2012 11:21 PM
Lions Look For First Spread Win At Philadelphia Eagles

The Detroit Lions are the only NFL team without an against the spread win this season. They get another shot coming off a bye at the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

The Don Best Pro Odds screen has Detroit getting 4-points with a total of 47½. FOX will be on hand from Lincoln Financial Field at 1:00 p.m. (ET).

Detroit (1-3 straight up, 0-4 ATS) made the playoffs last year with 10 wins and were expected to contend again with an elite passing attack led by quarterback Matthew Stafford and receiver Calvin Johnson, plus some menacing defensive players like Ndamukong Suh.

That passing attack currently ranks third in the NFL (322 YPG), but that’s misleading with Stafford’s yards per attempt (6.83) and quarterback rating (81.6) both below average. The running game is again towards the league’s bottom. Mikel Leshoure (126 yards) has helped some after missing the first two games, but he’s averaging just 3.2 yards per carry.

Coach Jim Schwartz’ defense has also underachieved at 28.5 PPG allowed, ranked 26th. That’s despite not playing one elite offense with St. Louis, San Francisco, Tennessee and Minnesota the previous four opponents. The secondary is the big weakness with an opposing passer rating of 101.3 and the team doesn’t have an interception this year. Oakland is the only other squad that can say that.

The ‘D’ should get a big spark with the return of safety Louis Delmas (knee). He’s probable after missing the first four games. Defensive end Cliff Avril (knee) is questionable after getting hurt last game and the pass rusher is needed with only nine team sacks.

The Lions’ two road games were losses at San Francisco (27-19 as 7-point ‘dogs) and Tennessee (44-41 OT as 3½-point favorites). They’re 0-6-1 ATS in their last seven road games overall.

The Eagles (3-2 SU, 1-3-1 ATS) have played a lot of close games with their three wins by a total of four points and having a tough 16-14 loss at Pittsburgh last week (their first cover as 4-point ‘dogs).

Quarterback Michael Vick had two more fumbles to bring his yearly total to five. He also has six picks, which makes him a one-man turnover machine even if he doesn’t seem too concerned about it. Coach Andy Reid obviously doesn’t feel the same way no matter what he says to the media.

The Eagles are 31st in scoring (16 PPG) with turnovers a huge reason. The defense has kept them in games for the most part (19.8 PPG, ranked 10th) despite a pretty tough schedule.

LeSean McCoy is sixth in the NFL in rushing (87.4 YPG). He did get contained at Pittsburgh with 53 yards on 16 carries, but that happens to a lot of opposing backs there. Look for him to rush for at least 80 yards this week, but only around 20 carries as Reid will still put the ball in Vick’s hands despite his problems.

The Eagles are 0-1-1 ATS at home this year with close wins over Baltimore (24-23) and the New York Giants (19-17). Both games required scores with under two minutes remaining, with Vick showing a flair for the dramatic.

The Eagles have won the last five meetings between the teams dating back to 1996. They covered the first four before winning 35-32 as 6½-point road favorites in 2010.
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10/12/2012 11:23 PM
NY Giants And SF 49ers In NFC Title Rematch

The New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers have a rematch of last year’s NFC title game and could be hard pressed to equal the drama and excitement.

This 4:25 p.m. (ET) Sunday contest will be held at Candlestick Park, just like the last one. It’s a little surprising that it’s not a night game, but FOX was likely adamant in keeping the broadcast rights.

The Don Best Pro Odds screen has its own take with most outlets having San Francisco as solid 6½-point favorites with a total of 45½-46.

The Giants are the defending Super Bowl champs. They advanced to the Big Game with a dramatic 20-17 OT win in San Francisco last January. Two fumbled punts by Kyle Williams were the big difference.

Coach Tom Coughlin knows San Fran will have steam coming out of its ears and he’s looking for any psychological advantage. He was recently quoted as saying that "nobody gives us a chance to win" (referring to the NFC title this year) and he should feel a little disrespected with the Giants almost touchdown ‘dogs.

Remember these teams also met in the regular season last year with the 49ers winning 27-20 as 4-point home favorites. San Francisco is 10-1-1 ATS at home under coach Jim Harbaugh with the only loss in the conference title game.

The 49ers (4-1 straight up and against the spread) are deserving of all the hype so far. They embarrassed AFC East opponents the last two weeks at the Jets (34-0) and versus Buffalo (45-3). They racked up an average of 501 total yards and allowed just 174.5.

Quarterback Alex Smith has turned up his game with an NFL-best 108.7 rating. The team still doesn’t throw a lot (205 YPG, ranked 26th), but the 7.9 yards per attempt (ranked sixth) makes opposing defenses respect the passing game and not just focus on Frank Gore and the top-ranked rushing attack (196.2 YPG).

Smith has a couple of new weapons with Mario Manningham (126 yards) and Randy Moss (99 yards). Both have modest numbers, but could play a big factor on Sunday in addition to Michael Crabtree and tight end Vernon Davis. Manningham will be a little extra stoked having played for the G-Men last year.

The Giants (3-2 SU, 2-2-1 ATS) have had an up-and-down start with both losses coming within the NFC East to Dallas (24-17) and at Philly (19-17).

Last week’s game was a 41-27 win over Cleveland as 7½-point home favorites. That spread looks low in retrospect, but Cleveland actually led 17-7 before a 34-3 Giants run. Ahmad Bradshaw had 200 rushing yards on 30 attempts and he could have to carry the full load again with Andre Brown (concussion) questionable.

It’s going to be hard for New York to run no matter who carries the ball. San Fran is seventh in rushing defense (81.4 YPG), allowing just 3.5 per carry. That means the burden will likely fall to the passing attack.

Eli Manning is playing very confident and is second in the league in passing yards (316 YPG). That’s despite Hakeem Nicks missing the last three games with a knee injury (questionable this week). Manning will need to play great under a big pass rush and his five picks this year show he can be rushed into poor decisions.

The Giants have built their reputation as road warriors going back to last year’s playoffs. They’re 6-1 SU and 6-0-1 ATS in their last seven away (including the Super Bowl), ‘pushing’ that Philly defeat two weeks ago as 2-point ‘dogs.

The ‘under’ is 5-1 in New York’s last six away, the defense surrendering just 15.7 PPG.
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10/12/2012 11:27 PM
Tech Trends - Week 6

October 9, 2012

Sunday, Oct. 14 - All games to start at 1:00 p.m. ET
Matchup Skinny Tech Edge

"Overs" 4-1 last five meetings. Brownies only 3-11 vs. line last 14 as host. Bengals and "over," based on team and "totals" trends.

Ugh! Jets only 6 covers last 14 on board. Jets "over" 7-5 last 12 as host and "over" 30-14 since late 2009. "Over" and Colts, based on 'totals" and team trends.

Bucs no covers last 4 or 6 of last 7 as chalk. Chiefs 7-4 last 11 as road dog and "under" 5-2 last 7 away. Chiefs and "under," based on team and "totals" trends.

Raiders no covers first two on road TY, 1-4 vs. points last five away since late 2011, and 3-6 vs. spread last nine overall since late LY. Falcs 10-5-1 last 16 vs. number as host. Falcons, based on team trends.

Dallas 2-9 last 11 and 3-11 last 14 vs. number since mid 2011. Cowboys "under" 14-7 last 21 since late 2010. Though Ravens only 2-5-1 vs. line last 8 as host since mid 2011. Ravens and "under," based on Cowboy trends.

Birds 4-11 last 15 as chalk, but Lions 0-4 vs. line in 2012, 1-10 last 11, 3-13 last 16 on board. Lions "over" 25-13-2 last 40 since late 2009. "Over," based on Lions' extended "totals" trends.

Jeff Fisher now 4-1 vs. line for Rams. Dolphins 11-3-1 last 15 on board. Rams "under" 26-14 since late in 2009. "Under," based on Rams' extended "totals" trends.

Sunday, Oct. 14 - Games to start at 4:05 p.m. and 4:25 p.m. ET
Matchup Skinny Tech Edge

Pete Carroll "under" 5-0 TY but Belichick "over" 31-12 since late 2009. Seahawks have covered last five as host and 14-5 vs. spread at home since Carroll arrived in 2010. Carroll 14-6 last 20 on board. Belichick 3-0 vs. line on road TY. Seahawks, based on extended home marks.

Big Red 5-2 vs. line last 7 in Glendale. Bills 4-10 last 14 on board, and "over" 15-7 since late 2010. "Over" and Cardinals, based on "totals" and team trends.

Shan "over" 8-4 last 12 since late 2011. But also only 3-7 vs. spread since LY at FedEx Field. "Over" and Vikings, based on recent Skin trends.

Rematch of LY's NFC title game! Remember these teams split LY at Candlestick, and Harbaugh 10-1-1 vs. line at home since LY. G-men have covered last six as visitor. Coughlin "under" 9-3 last 11 since late LY. 49ers "under" 5-3-1 last 9 as host. "Under," based on 'totals" trends.

Sunday, Oct. 14 - NBC, 8:20 p.m. ET
Matchup Skinny Tech Edge

Texans 4-1 vs. line TY, now 18-6 last 24 on board since late 2010, 8-1 last 9 at home vs. line. Pack no covers last four on road. Texans, based on team trends.

Monday, Oct. 15 - ESPN, 8:30 p.m. ET
Matchup Skinny Tech Edge

Denver "over" 30-14 last 44 since late 2009. If favored, note Norv 3-6 last 9 as home chalk. "Over" and Broncos, based on "totals" and team trends.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
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10/12/2012 11:29 PM
Las Vegas Money Moves

October 12, 2012

When the 49ers opened as six-point favorites for their Week 6 home game against the Giants, Coast Resorts sports book director Bob Scucci wasn't surprised that the first few bets came on the Giants, but he was skeptical of a possible false move because of what he's seen over the first weeks of this season.
"I thought plus-6 was a lot of points, but it's the type of activity I'm seeing early from a few bettors that has me believing some might be attempting to drive the number down in order to bet the other side larger later in the week," said Scucci. "I saw the same type of pattern in last night's Steelers-Titans game and also last week between the Vikings and Titans."

The same thing also happened a few weeks ago when the Vikings beat the 49ers. The thought process for a sports book director is, 'why else would sharp money take the points early in the week when they know if they wait, the large conglomeration of public money accumulated might force the move to a better number.' The answer is simple, they want to lay the favorite later at many other betting outs for more money that follow moves from other books.

Scucci has no problem playing the cat and mouse game with the betting groups. He's been one of the best in the city at sniffing out schemes. From his early days running the Stardust to now, Scucci has seen just about every type of sharp money strategy and every few years, they seem to cycle back around.

"After we went to 5 ½ with the 49ers, we just continued to get 49ers action, pushing us to 6 and then to 6 ½ on Thursday," Scucci said. "But not much of it came from sharp money. It was all public money driving the number."

So if it was a scheme to influence the market, the sharps missed their opportunity which sets up for their zig-zag play. It's one of those things like a pitcher does in baseball where he sets up a hitter throughout a game with certain pitches, never showing him his ace pitch until maybe his second or third at-bat.

Sharps took +6 early knowing books would respect the move based on their movements in their first couple of at-bats. Now comes the curve ball where sharps wait for the best number on the Giants -- hopefully +7 -- and bet it again for larger money. It's just a theory, but one to watch that may play out over the weekend.

As a reference to show just how inflated Sunday's line already is, we can look back at last season's NFC Championship game in San Francisco where the 49ers were two-point favorites.

Cantor Gaming had the 49ers set at -3.5 in this game back in August, Now, we're looking at 6.5. Perhaps a little overreaction by the betting public?

"The public has seen the Giants appear to struggle a little while watching the 49ers not only win, but win big over the last two weeks, and easily covering the number," Scucci said.

Here's a look at how some of the other Week 6 games have moved during the week:

-- Bad weather is expected in Cleveland Sunday with a 60% chance of rain and some gusting winds that may make it difficult for the teams to score. The Browns have already been a great UNDER team at home, staying UNDER the number in their past seven home games. The total opened 44 ½ and has been bet down to 43 ½. The Bengals opened at -3 (EVEN) and have been bet against, down to 2 ½, just because of the key number and the underdog presenting great value this season.

-- The Buccaneers opened -3 ½ (EVEN) against the Chiefs and are now -4 ½ due to quarterback Matt Cassel (head) 'out' and Brady Quinn in for the Chiefs. Quinn has looked like a deer in headlights every chance he's got to play whether in preseason with Denver or his flop in Cleveland as starting QB, but there still isn't much of a fall-off from the two. The best thing Cassel has done all season is hand the ball off to Jamal Charles, which Quinn should be able to handle.

-- The Falcons opened as 8 ½-point home favorites against the Raiders and have been bet up to -9. This game has an eerily similar tone to it that the Panthers-Falcons game from Week 4 did. Bettors jumped all over the Falcons at home and it took a late snafu by Cam Newton for Atlanta to win, but the Panthers still got the money.

-- The Ravens opened as four-point home favorites, but Cowboys money has dropped the game to 3 ½. The Cowboys come off a bye with all kinds of offensive issues, but the Ravens hurry-up offense has been slowed somewhat over the past two weeks.

-- There is an on-going thought process by bettors in Las Vegas that this is the week the Lions finally show up with their 'A' game after a week off. The Eagles opened as five-point favorites and have been bet down to 3 ½. The Lions haven't covered a game all season and have been one of the bigger disappointments of 2012.

-- The Dolphins opened as five-point home favorites against the Rams, but bettors are buying into Jeff Fisher's Rams, who have covered four of their five games. The Rams offense is still a work in progress, but their defense has been very opportunistic with a strong pass rush.

-- The Patriots opened as five-point favorites at Seattle and Seahawks money has pushed the number down to 3 ½. Seattle has a huge home field advantage, but wow, the Pats have given Tom Brady two straight 200 yard rushing performances coming in.

-- The Texans opened as four-point favorites prior to their Monday night game against the Jets. After losing linebacker Brian Cushing, their defensive maestro, the line was adjusted to 3 ½, which may not be enough. Cushing is one of the more valuable defensive players in the league as far as ratings go. And for as sluggish as the Packers offense looks, they'd be 4-1 without two miracles going against them. Should be a great matchup under the lights on SNF!

-- The Chargers opened as three-point home favorites over the Broncos before their Sunday night game at New Orleans. Nothing changed when the line was reposted Monday morning, but bettors quickly ran with the Broncos dropping the number to 1 ½.

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10/12/2012 11:32 PM
Week 6 Tips

October 11, 2012

The home underdogs dominated earlier this season against the spread, but an under-the-radar bet that has turned profit is to fade short home favorites. By going against home 'chalk' of four points or less, a record of 16-6 ATS was produced, as six teams are in this situation heading into Week 6. We'll highlight the five day contests, including three below .500 teams that can be dubbed as questionable favorites.

Colts at Jets (-3 ½, 43) - 1:00 PM EST

This isn't exactly Super Bowl III reincarnated, as New York closes out a three-game homestand looking for a victory. The Jets cashed as 10-point home underdogs in Monday's 23-17 loss to the unbeaten Texans, but New York is a beat-up football team with questions at quarterback. The Colts have no questions regarding their most important position, as top pick Andrew Luck helped spear-head a late rally to stun the Packers last Sunday, pushing Indianapolis to 2-2 SU/ATS.

Indianapolis hits the road for the first time since getting drubbed at Chicago in Week 1, as the Colts have covered each of their last two games in the underdog role against the Vikings and Packers. The Jets have thrived when laying points this season, cashing in divisional victories over the Bills and Dolphins, while Rex Ryan's team needs to grab this game before heading to New England next week. Mark Sanchez owns a 2-1 record in his career against the Colts, including the playoff victory at Lucas Oil Stadium in January 2011.

Chiefs at Buccaneers (-4, 40) - 1:00 PM EST

The Tampa/St. Petersburg market will be missing this blacked out game locally, which could be a good thing. Matt Cassel will not start at quarterback for Kansas City, as former Notre Dame standout Brady Quinn will make his first start since 2009 as a member of the Browns. The Bucs are fresh off the bye week, but Greg Schiano's club has dropped three straight games since beating the Panthers in the opening week of the season.

Since Jon Gruden's departure as head coach, Tampa Bay has put together a dreadful 6-17-1 ATS at Raymond James Stadium the last three-plus seasons. The latest loss came against the Redskins in Week 4 as Washington slipped past Tampa Bay, 24-22, as the Bucs failed to cover as 1 ½-point favorites. Kansas City owns a solid 7-3 ATS record away from Arrowhead Stadium since December 2010, including an outright victory at New Orleans in Week 3 as nine-point underdogs.

Cowboys at Ravens (-3 ½, 44) - 1:00 PM EST

Baltimore heads to Houston for a potential AFC Championship preview next week, but the Ravens need to take care of business against the rested Cowboys this Sunday. Dallas looks to bounce back after getting routed at home by Chicago in Week 4, while Tony Romo threw five interceptions in the loss as three-point favorites. However, the Cowboys' most impressive victory this season came as a road underdog in the opener over the Giants, 24-17.

The Cowboys have dominated following the bye week over the last seven seasons by compiling a 6-1 ATS mark, as the only loss came as seven-point 'chalk' against the Titans at home in 2010. Dallas is 4-0 ATS the previous four road contests against AFC opponents, including covers in close losses to the Jets and Patriots last season. Each of Baltimore's last three victories have come by seven points or less, while putting together two less than inspiring efforts in wins over the Browns and Chiefs, both non-covers. Since the team moved from Cleveland to Baltimore in 1996, the Ravens have won and cashed in all three meetings with the Cowboys.

Lions at Eagles (-4, 47 ½) - 1:00 PM EST

Detroit returns from the bye after two disappointing losses as a favorite to Tennessee and Minnesota, as the Lions allowed four special teams touchdowns in those defeats. Jim Schwartz's squad heads to Philadelphia this week to battle an Eagles' team that has been involved in four games decided by two points or less (3-1). The Eagles try to rebound after falling short in a 16-14 loss at Pittsburgh, but Philadelphia cashed for the second straight game following an 0-3 ATS start.

The Lions are receiving points for just the second time this season, as Detroit will attempt to improve on 3-8 ATS record away from Ford Field since the start of 2011. Each of the last two meetings between these teams has finished 'over' the total, including a 35-32 victory by the Eagles in Detroit two seasons ago as a 6 ½-point favorite. In Philadelphia's previous nine home games as a touchdown favorite or less, Andy Reid's club has cashed six times, including three of the last four since December 2010.

Rams at Dolphins (-3 ½, 37 ½) - 1:00 PM EST

After this game, either Miami will sit at .500 through six games or St. Louis will own a 4-2 record. Regardless, Jeff Fisher returns to the city in which he stiffed in order to take the Rams' head coaching job this past offseason. St. Louis is fresh off back-to-back home division wins over Seattle and Arizona, but the Rams will be without top receiver Danny Amendola, who broke his collarbone against the Cardinals.

The Dolphins are favored for the first time this season, while seeking consecutive victories after a solid road triumph at Cincinnati last week. Following a 3-13 ATS run from 2008 through November 2011 as a home favorite, the Dolphins managed to cover four of their last five games at Sun Life Stadium in this role. Miami looks to improve on a 1-8 ATS record at home since 2007 against NFC opponents, with the lone victory coming over Washington last season.
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10/12/2012 11:32 PM
Week 6 Tips

October 11, 2012

The home underdogs dominated earlier this season against the spread, but an under-the-radar bet that has turned profit is to fade short home favorites. By going against home 'chalk' of four points or less, a record of 16-6 ATS was produced, as six teams are in this situation heading into Week 6. We'll highlight the five day contests, including three below .500 teams that can be dubbed as questionable favorites.

Colts at Jets (-3 ½, 43) - 1:00 PM EST

This isn't exactly Super Bowl III reincarnated, as New York closes out a three-game homestand looking for a victory. The Jets cashed as 10-point home underdogs in Monday's 23-17 loss to the unbeaten Texans, but New York is a beat-up football team with questions at quarterback. The Colts have no questions regarding their most important position, as top pick Andrew Luck helped spear-head a late rally to stun the Packers last Sunday, pushing Indianapolis to 2-2 SU/ATS.

Indianapolis hits the road for the first time since getting drubbed at Chicago in Week 1, as the Colts have covered each of their last two games in the underdog role against the Vikings and Packers. The Jets have thrived when laying points this season, cashing in divisional victories over the Bills and Dolphins, while Rex Ryan's team needs to grab this game before heading to New England next week. Mark Sanchez owns a 2-1 record in his career against the Colts, including the playoff victory at Lucas Oil Stadium in January 2011.

Chiefs at Buccaneers (-4, 40) - 1:00 PM EST

The Tampa/St. Petersburg market will be missing this blacked out game locally, which could be a good thing. Matt Cassel will not start at quarterback for Kansas City, as former Notre Dame standout Brady Quinn will make his first start since 2009 as a member of the Browns. The Bucs are fresh off the bye week, but Greg Schiano's club has dropped three straight games since beating the Panthers in the opening week of the season.

Since Jon Gruden's departure as head coach, Tampa Bay has put together a dreadful 6-17-1 ATS at Raymond James Stadium the last three-plus seasons. The latest loss came against the Redskins in Week 4 as Washington slipped past Tampa Bay, 24-22, as the Bucs failed to cover as 1 ½-point favorites. Kansas City owns a solid 7-3 ATS record away from Arrowhead Stadium since December 2010, including an outright victory at New Orleans in Week 3 as nine-point underdogs.

Cowboys at Ravens (-3 ½, 44) - 1:00 PM EST

Baltimore heads to Houston for a potential AFC Championship preview next week, but the Ravens need to take care of business against the rested Cowboys this Sunday. Dallas looks to bounce back after getting routed at home by Chicago in Week 4, while Tony Romo threw five interceptions in the loss as three-point favorites. However, the Cowboys' most impressive victory this season came as a road underdog in the opener over the Giants, 24-17.

The Cowboys have dominated following the bye week over the last seven seasons by compiling a 6-1 ATS mark, as the only loss came as seven-point 'chalk' against the Titans at home in 2010. Dallas is 4-0 ATS the previous four road contests against AFC opponents, including covers in close losses to the Jets and Patriots last season. Each of Baltimore's last three victories have come by seven points or less, while putting together two less than inspiring efforts in wins over the Browns and Chiefs, both non-covers. Since the team moved from Cleveland to Baltimore in 1996, the Ravens have won and cashed in all three meetings with the Cowboys.

Lions at Eagles (-4, 47 ½) - 1:00 PM EST

Detroit returns from the bye after two disappointing losses as a favorite to Tennessee and Minnesota, as the Lions allowed four special teams touchdowns in those defeats. Jim Schwartz's squad heads to Philadelphia this week to battle an Eagles' team that has been involved in four games decided by two points or less (3-1). The Eagles try to rebound after falling short in a 16-14 loss at Pittsburgh, but Philadelphia cashed for the second straight game following an 0-3 ATS start.

The Lions are receiving points for just the second time this season, as Detroit will attempt to improve on 3-8 ATS record away from Ford Field since the start of 2011. Each of the last two meetings between these teams has finished 'over' the total, including a 35-32 victory by the Eagles in Detroit two seasons ago as a 6 ½-point favorite. In Philadelphia's previous nine home games as a touchdown favorite or less, Andy Reid's club has cashed six times, including three of the last four since December 2010.

Rams at Dolphins (-3 ½, 37 ½) - 1:00 PM EST

After this game, either Miami will sit at .500 through six games or St. Louis will own a 4-2 record. Regardless, Jeff Fisher returns to the city in which he stiffed in order to take the Rams' head coaching job this past offseason. St. Louis is fresh off back-to-back home division wins over Seattle and Arizona, but the Rams will be without top receiver Danny Amendola, who broke his collarbone against the Cardinals.

The Dolphins are favored for the first time this season, while seeking consecutive victories after a solid road triumph at Cincinnati last week. Following a 3-13 ATS run from 2008 through November 2011 as a home favorite, the Dolphins managed to cover four of their last five games at Sun Life Stadium in this role. Miami looks to improve on a 1-8 ATS record at home since 2007 against NFC opponents, with the lone victory coming over Washington last season.
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10/12/2012 11:36 PM
NFL odds: Week 6 opening line report

Betting the Green Bay Packers as underdogs in recent seasons has been about as rare as Dracula’s steak. However, NFL bettors get that chance when the Packers limp into the Lone Star State to take on the Houston Texans in Week 6.

The early odds for Sunday night’s showdown have the Cheeseheads set as high as 5.5-point pups, facing a Texans team that is undefeated heading into Monday night’s matchup with the New York Jets.

Peter Korner, founder of the Nevada-based odds service The Sports Club, says depending on Houston’s performance at MetLife Stadium, this spread could go as high as -6 by Monday night.

“This was one of the toughest lines to make in a long time,” Korner, who sent out a suggested spread of Houston -4, told Covers. “Our guys had it as high as -7 and as low as -3.5. Houston has the short week and we’ll see what happens Monday. But this is a must-win for Green Bay.”

The Packers are reeling from a 30-27 upset loss to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 5, failing to cover as 6.5-point favorites and dropping to 2-3 SU and 1-4 ATS on the season.

Green Bay was an underdog only once last season, set at +6.5 versus the Detroit Lions in the final game of the season – a throw-away game for the Packers, who still won 45-41. During the 2010 regular season, Green Bay was a 14-point pup at New England with Aaron Rodgers sidelined in Week 15, a 2.5-point underdog at Atlanta in Week 12, and got 6.5 points from books visiting the Jets in Week 8.

The Packers were tagged as 1-point underdogs in their first two playoff games that year, winning and covering in both en route to a Super Bowl title. Green Bay is a profitable 5-1 ATS in its last six games as the betting underdog.

Here are the opening odds for some of the biggest games on the Week 6 schedule:

Oakland Raiders at Atlanta Falcons (-9.5, 48.5)

The undefeated Falcons opened as low as 8.5-point home favorites versus the rested Raiders and have since been bet up a point.

Korner was shocked to see so many online markets open the spread that low and suggests his clients keep this number as high as they can.

“I think that line is absurd,” says Korner, who sent out a suggested spread of Atlanta -10.5. “We set it high and will be unyielding in our advice to keep this spread high. We expect money on the favorite to be around 10-1 or 15-1.”

New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers (-6, 45.5)

These teams know each other well after two run-ins last season, including a thrilling 20-17 overtime victory for the Giants in the NFC Championship Game.

There is a measure of revenge involved, as far as 49ers backers are concerned, but oddsmakers put more weight into the teams’ current forms when making the odds. The Niners, coming off a dominant win against the Buffalo Bills, are 6-point home chalk in this heated rematch.

Korner says Nevada books will likely have this game a little higher, especially in the northern part of the state, thanks to the proximity of California and the Bay Area. The Sports Club sent out a suggested line of San Francisco -7 with the total posted two points higher at 47.

“We recommend our clients going a little higher with this spread,” says Korner. “They’re going to be blitzed by San Francisco money on the (parlay cards).”

The Niners won 27-20 as 4-point home favorites versus the Giants in Week 10 last season, then fell in overtime as 2-point home faves in the NFC Championship.

Dallas Cowboys at Baltimore Ravens (-3.5, 43.5)

The Ravens escaped Arrowhead Stadium with a weird 9-6 win over the Chiefs in Week 5, settling for three field goals from kicker Justin Tucker.

Baltimore’s new-look offense has been impressive up to that point and oddsmakers aren’t putting too much weight into the dud in Kansas City when setting the spread for Sunday’s home date versus Dallas.

“Sometimes you just need to throw away a game and forget about it, says Korner. “That’s what we’re doing with Baltimore here.”

The Cowboys had a bye week to wash away the stink of their Monday night mess against Chicago. Dallas’ offense has been terrible – ranked 30th in points (16.2 per game) – and has pushed the opening total down from 44 to 43.5. However, the Cowboys have shown a tendency to tighten the screws during the week off and boast an NFL-best 16-7 SU and ATS mark coming off the bye since 1990.

“We don’t use those past results,” Korner says of Dallas' record off the bye week. “We let the bettors look at that and bet them all they want.”
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