cnotes Posts:33125 Followers:38
11/02/2011 10:36 PM

Dolphins And Giants Among Top Week 9 NFL 'Dogs

We’re looking for some more “live” NFL underdogs this weekend, and there appear to be several worth considering for the November 6-7 slate.

Although dogs and favorites are level through the first eight weeks of the 2011 campaign, there are some recent developments worth noting. In particular, home underdogs are beginning to stir, experiencing their second solid performance on the trot last weekend. Over the past two weeks, home dogs are 7-3 against the number.

Let’s see if the trend continues this weekend.

Following is a quick breakdown of this weekend’s NFL card, as we look for a few tasty underdog possibilities, plus a possible underdog parlay.

Atlanta at INDIANAPOLIS +7: Some sharp money showed up on the Colts last week at Tennessee but proved ill-advised as Indy fell to 0-8 with a 27-10 loss. The storyline at Lucas Oil Stadium is gradually shifting to coach Jim Caldwell’s job status and if the Colts might indeed keep losing and line themselves up for a chance to perhaps take Stanford QB Andrew Luck with the top pick in next April’s NFL Draft (which team prexy Bill Polian has already hinted). In the meantime the Colts at least return home, where they had both the Steelers and Chiefs on the ropes in their most-recent Lucas Oil outings. As usual, everything works easier for the Falcons when they can establish RB Michael Turner’s presence on the ground, opening things up for Matt Ryan to effectively use play-action and give him an extra tick to find Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez downfield. At home, Indy might be discounted enough to be worth a look this week.

TAMPA BAY +8 at New Orleans: The Saints are demonstrating some odd bipolar tendencies this season, uncharacteristic of past Sean Payton-Drew Brees New Orleans entries. What the Saints are also doing is bouncing back with a vengeance after defeats, which the Bears and Colts found out, painfully so, earlier this season. Trendlines at the halfway point in 2011 also show the Saints making a real fortress out of the Mercedes-Benz Superdeome, winning and covering their first three at home while scoring a whopping 43 ppg. It’s also a revenge game for New Orleans against the Bucs after losing 26-20 at Raymond James Stadium on October 16. Tampa Bay’s previous road pointspread prowess has suffered in the past couple of outings away from home (losses to the 49ers and vs. the4 Bears in London), the RB situation is dangerously depleted with Earnest graham now out for the season and LeGarrette Blount’s status still questionable, and QB Josh Freeman (7 TDP and 10 picks) seems to be enduring something of a “junior” slump. We’d be careful before backing the Bucs in this one.

CLEVELAND +11 at Houston: The Browns are sure not scoring any style points with their limited offense, which makes it difficult for the Cleveland to thread the needle and stay competitive, especially if falling behind. The Brownies are scoring just 10.75 ppg in their last four outings, with injury problems now mounting in the backfield and making it harder for 2nd-year QB Colt McCoy to generate any consistency with the attack. A lot more options offensively for Houston, and Wade Phillips’ schemes are working for the Texans defense. Even at this inflated price, not sure we want to trust a Browns team that’s covered just two of its last 15 road games.

NY Jets at BUFFALO +1½: Last year these meetings were a mismatch, with the Jets scoring 38 points on each occasion and winning easily. It might not be as easy in 2011 with Chan Gailey’s improved Buffalo in the thick of the AFC East race along with the Jets and Patriots. The question in Orchard Park is if the defensive renaissance last week against the Skins, in which the Bills registered a whopping nine sacks in a 23-0 win, is a “buy” signal for a stop unit that had not impressed previously. Or was it more a function of Washington’s myriad issues at the moment? The Bills have been tough to beat at home this season, beating Oakland, New England and Philadelphia, so they’re capable of scoring the mild upset.

MIAMI +4 at Kansas City: On the surface this spread looks a bit light, considering the Chiefs' 4-game win and 5-game cover streaks, and the Dolphins' 0-7 straight-up mark. But psychology suggests Kansas City might have a challenge after that rousing Monday night overtime win over the Chargers, and the pattern this season in the NFL is for such pointspread streaks to end much sooner than KC’s current string. The Dolphins could have won either of their last two games and have historically offered much better value on the road than at home for coach Tony Sparano (Miami 19-8 vs. the spread its last 27 away). Reggie Bush also got going with 103 yards rushing last week against the Giants. And note that the Chiefs have three very narrow wins in their current four-game upswing. Miami could be a “live” dog this week.

San Francisco at WASHINGTON +3½: After watching the Rams rise from nowhere to beat the Saints last week, we don’t want to dismiss any underdog, no matter how bad it has looked in recent weeks. However, it’s hard to make a case for the Redskins, on a 3-game straight-up and spread losing streak, struggling with John Beck at QB, and depleted elsewhere offensively with RB Tim Hightower and WR Santana Moss both sidelined. Washington also did nothing offensively last week against the Bills in a 23-0 loss and watched Beck get sacked a hard-to-believe nine times. Meanwhile, San Francisco continues to cruise and has yet to post a pointspread loss in seven straight games this season. We don’t have the stomach to strongly recommend the troubled 'Skins.

SEATTLE +12 at Dallas: Maybe Dallas bounces back strongly this week after last week’s 34-7 thumping at Philadelphia. After all, the Cowboys did rout the Rams by the same 34-7 score in their last home game. They have, however, been rather unreliable as home chalk lately. Seattle admittedly isn’t much, and Pete Carroll looks as if he is going to sink with his gamble on Tarvaris Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst at QB. But the last time we dismissed the Seahawks on the road, they upset the Giants.

DENVER +8 at Oakland: The Broncos have lost and failed to cover four straight vs. Oakland and are 2-9 vs. the line in the last 11 meetings of this old AFC West rivalry. Moreover, the Broncos have been manhandled in the pits lately by the Raiders, who averaged 256 rushing yards the past three meetings. And Tim Tebow is hardly setting the NFL on fire with his work at QB. If there’s hope for Denver, it’s the Oakland offense will continue to struggle in Jason Campbell’s absence. Can Carson Palmer look as bad at QB in his second game wearing Silver and Black as he did in the first? Denver will also hope Darren McFadden’s foot injury keeps him out of the lineup this week. Tricky call on Denver here, although an anti-Raider vote until Palmer proves worthy isn’t too far-fetched.

CINCINNATI +3 at Tennessee: Underestimate the Bengals at your won risk, as with four wins and covers in progress, they rank as the surprise NFL team of the season. A rugged defense is helping to camouflage rookie QB Andy Dalton, who is improving by the week, and RB Cedric Benson is likely to return from suspension this week. As for the Titans, they’ve been erratic, although they did discover a bit of a ground game (finally) last week. Except it was Javon Ringer and not Chris Johnson doing damage vs. Indy. There’s a good case to be made for continuing to ride Cincy until further notice.

ST. LOUIS +3 at Arizona: Still some questions about QB Sam Bradford’s availability this week for the Rams, although they looked just fine with A.J. Feeley at the controls last week vs. the Saints. Steven Jackson also rumbled for his first 100+-yard rushing game (159 yards). Arizona, at 1-6, looks a very unreliable favorite, especially with QB Kevin Kolb still prone to mistakes, and the team perhaps in a collective funk after blowing a 21-point lead at Baltimore last week.

NY GIANTS +8½ at New England: Rematch of Super Bowl XLII, but not sure about the Patriots exacting revenge. Not with their ground game disappearing over the past two games (just 72 ypg rushing vs. the Cowboys and Steelers) and the defense still springing too many leaks, especially vs. the pass, where the Pats rank last in the league. The G-Men are 22-7 their last 29 as a dog for Tom Coughlin and can stay close as long as they continue their turnover-free ways of the past two weeks.

Green Bay at SAN DIEGO +5½: San Diego is hungry after back-to-back bitter losses at the Jets and Chiefs. But QB Philip Rivers (guilty of 11 picks and three lost fumbles thus far in 2011) needs to shape up quickly to give the Bolts a chance. Green Bay has given up plenty of yards in the air but Dom Capers’ defense has forced 16 turnovers to compensate. And Aaron Rodgers is on course to smash Dan Marino’s single-season pass yardage record. Still, the Chargers can hang around if they cut out the recent mistakes.

BALTIMORE +3 at Pittsburgh (Sunday Night): Worth noting that neither of these teams have swept the regular-season spread decisions in their AFC North rivalry since 2006, before either coach (Baltimore’s John Harbaugh or Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin) assumed their current positions. Now the Steelers are in revenge mode after that ugly 35-7 opening-week loss at M&T Bank Stadium. Ravens QB Joe Flacco has not inspired much confidence with his recent efforts, while Big Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers seem to have put their early-season issues behind them. Baltimore is tempting plus the points but we advise caution.

CHICAGO +8 at Philadelphia (Monday Night): All of the attention seems to be on the Birds after their last two wins and the renaissance of a defensive unit that was strafed in the first month of the season. But the Bears have been playing better lately, too, especially since Mike Martz’s offense began using shorter 3- and 5-step drops for QB Jay Cutler, and RB Matt Forte has been establishing a chop-busting infantry diversion. Chicago backers might like their chances getting over a full TD at the Linc.

Top dog recommendations: Miami, Cincinnati, NY Giants, Chicago.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33125 Followers:38
11/02/2011 10:39 PM

Atlanta Falcons Visit Winless Indianapolis Colts

The Atlanta Falcons will try to stay in the mix atop the NFC South with a win in Indianapolis over the Colts this Sunday.

Sunday’s game starts at 1:00 p.m. (ET) and will be televised nationally on FOX. The Falcons are currently a 7-point road favorite on the Don Best odds screen.

Atlanta is currently tied with Dallas in the No. 14 spot on the Don Best Linemakers Poll. Indianapolis ranks dead last at No. 32, right behind the winless Miami Dolphins and the 2-5 Seattle Seahawks.

Atlanta (4-3) got off to a rough start to kick off the season, losing three of its first five games outright (1-4 against the spread). But after stringing together two solid wins and covers over Carolina and Detroit, the Falcons went into their bye week with good momentum, and hope to keep it rolling this Sunday.

Michael Turner was the focal point in both wins, racking up 139 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries against Carolina and 122 yards on 27 carries against Detroit. Going up against the Indianapolis Colts’ 31st ranked rushing defense (giving up 144 rushing yards per game), he could have another big day this week.

Indianapolis (0-8) has lost four straight ATS and is just 2-6 ATS on the year, making the Colts a difficult 'dog to back. That said, they return home after three straight games on the road, and they have played a bit better in Indianapolis.

While the Colts are just 1-2 ATS at home, all three of their losses were within eight points, including a 3-point loss to Pittsburgh that they had chances to win late and a 4-point loss to Kansas City in a game they at one point led by 17.

Atlanta is 2-2 SU and just 1-3 ATS on the road, and both of the Faclons wins on the road came by six points or less, so home-field advantage could play a role here.

Both teams have plenty to play for with Indianapolis looking for its first win and Atlanta looking to keep pace in the NFC South. While look-ahead factors aren’t as prevalent coming off of a bye week, it is worth noting that the Falcons play the New Orleans Saints next week in a huge division rivalry game, and could have that on the back of their minds.

In totals betting this year, Atlanta has been fairly neutral with the ‘under’ having the slight edge at 4-3, while Indianapolis has trended ‘over’ at 6-2. The total has gone ‘over’ in six of Atlanta’s last nine road games and five of Indianapolis’s last seven home games. The total for Sunday’s game is currently set at 44 ½.

This is the first meeting between the clubs since 2007, and a lot has changed for both clubs since then, namely at quarterback where Peyton Manning remains out for the Colts and Matt Ryan was still directing the Boston College offense in '07. Indy has prevailed on the scoreboard the last three head-to-head contests with Atlanta, and the last four at the betting window.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33125 Followers:38
11/02/2011 10:40 PM

Green Bay Packers In San Diego For Week 9

Forty-one years after their first meeting, Green Bay (7-0 straight up, 5-2 against the spread) and San Diego (4-3 SU, 2-5 ATS) square off once again Sunday afternoon at Qualcomm Stadium.

The Pack is listed as a 5½-point favorite at most Las Vegas sports books, with the total a solid 51 at the majority of outlets. Kickoff time is 4:15 p.m. (Eastern) for the clash to be televised by CBS, with Marty Brennaman’s son Thom, along with Brian Billick and Laura Okmin, providing the commentary.

There was plenty of hoopla surrounding the first-ever meeting between Green Bay and the Chargers, as it came on October 12, 1970, during the first post-merger season of 1970. It was also a Monday Night game that year, and the first time an AFC team had hosted an NFC team on a Monday.

The Packers, still with the last vestiges of their Vince Lombardi championship teams on the roster, were in control most of that night, with QB Bart Starr on his way to completing 16-of-20 passes, patiently picking away at the San Diego defense. Green Bay broke a 6-6 halftime tie in the third quarter with a pair of short Starr TD passes to ex-Dolphin Jack Clancy and ex-Steeler John Hilton, but a missed Dale Livingston PAT kept the score at 19-6 entering the final stanza.

Which is when the Chargers finally awakened, springing TE Willie Frazier on an end-around for a 24-yard TD, followed by a short 1-yard TD plunge by RB Jeff Queen, to assume a 20-19 lead deep into the fourth quarter. Starr, however, led a patient drive downfield that resulted in Livingston redeeming his earlier PAT miss with a 14-yard field goal (remember, goal posts were still on the goal line in those days) and a 22-20 Green Bay win.

We mention Starr because there are some comparisons being made between the current Packers side and some of those in which Starr led during the glory days. Not necessarily the 1970 team, but rather some of Lombardi’s championship squads of the ‘60s. In particular, the title-winning 1962 side, which happens to be the last Green Bay team to begin a season at 7-0, the same mark as the 2011 Packers at this point of the campaign.

Excluding preseason games, the Pack enters Qualcomm having won 13 games in a row, covering the spread in 10 of those.

Green Bay is percolating offensively, having scored a whopping 33 ppg thus far in 2011 and on track to score 526 points for the season. Leading the assault on the record books is QB Aaron Rodgers, who on current pace is projected to pass for an astounding 5422 yards this campaign, which would far surpass Dan Marino’s single-season NFL pass yardage record of 5084 set in 1984. (Note that Saints QB Drew Brees is also currently on pace to exceed Marino’s single-season mark).

The Pack, however, has been a bit vulnerable defensively, especially vs. the pass, as teams have shredded the Green Bay secondary for nearly 290 yards per game through the air and almost 400 yards per game overall. The loss of Pro Bowl free safety Nick Collins in Week 2 has been difficult for Green Bay to overcome.

But Dom Capers’ defense has proven resourceful as needed, forcing 16 turnovers, including 13 interceptions, five by former Heisman-winning CB Charles Woodson who is showing no signs of slowing down at age 35.

We mention the turnover aspect because that’s been a very sore point thus far for the Chargers, and QB Philip Rivers in particular. The sloppiness continued last Monday in the Halloween fright night at Kansas City when Rivers tossed two more picks and was guilty of an egregious fumbled snap in the final minute when the Bolts were setting up for a game-winning field goal deep in Chiefs territory, a gaffe which eventually proved costly in Kansas City’s 23-20 overtime win.

Rivers has tossed 11 interceptions and lost three fumbles in 2011, and the mistakes have proven especially costly in the current two-game San Diego losing streak. Remember, the Chargers were shut out in the second half of the previous week’s 27-21 loss at the Jets, when another Rivers interception proved the turnaround play of the game in the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium.

Those defeats have tumbled San Diego into a first-place tie in the AFC West along with Oakland and Kansas City, all sitting at 4-3 as the calendar turns to November.

The Chargers enter this week’s contest vs. the Packers with some injury concerns as well, especially at running back where Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert might not make the post vs. Green Bay, forcing little-used Curtis Brinkley into a featured role.

Rivers has to shake out of his funk soon, however, or the Chargers risk missing the playoffs for a second straight year. Although Antonio Gates is looking more like his old self after an early-season foot injury, the depletion at running back and offensive line issues (especially the absence of heavy-duty G Kris Dielman, who has missed action due to a concussion), and lack of playmakers on defense has contributed to the San Diego slide.

The Chargers are also not displaying a consistent pass rush, which has exposed coverage deficiencies in the secondary. The slow development of CB Antoine Cason, who has been in and out of the starting lineup, and another injury to vet S Bob Sanders have hurt the stop unit.

Unless beleaguered coach Norv Turner finds an answer, and quickly, the Bolts’ decline could continue this weekend.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33125 Followers:38
11/02/2011 10:43 PM

Rested New York Jets visit Buffalo Bills

The New York Jets should be rested and ready when they visit the Buffalo Bills in an important AFC East clash on Sunday afternoon.

The Jets are 1 ½-point underdogs with an NFL betting total of 44 points. Kickoff from Ralph Wilson Stadium will be at 1:00 p.m. (ET).

The Jets (4-3 straight up, 3-4 against the spread) are coming off a bye week. That would have been scary news after watching squads go 3-9 SU and 4-7-1 ATS following byes the first two weeks. That trend was reversed last week at 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS, with only New England losing outright.

Coach Rex Ryan is hoping the extra time off will help solve the Jets road woes. They’re 0-3 SU and ATS, losing consecutively at Oakland (34-24), Baltimore (34-17) and New England (30-21) beginning Sept. 25. All three of those went ‘over’ the total with their once vaunted defense surrendering 32.7 PPG.

New York’s season has been saved with a 4-0 SU (3-1 ATS) record at home. The last two games before the bye were both there, wins and covers over Miami (24-6) and San Diego (27-21). The defense has allowed just 13.5 PPG at home, although suspect competition has been a contributing factor.

The Jets didn’t play great against Miami or San Diego and were fortunate to come back in the latter after trailing 21-10 at halftime. The Chargers did their part to give the game away with interceptions and a whopping 13 penalties, but Ryan’s bunch is resilient playing in front of the home fans.

Running back Shonn Greene had 112 yards last week on 20 carries, his best game of the year. He’ll need to keep that up against the Bills 20th-ranked run defense (120 YPG). New York really needs to win time of possession and keep the explosive Buffalo offense off the field.

Quarterback Mark Sanchez doesn’t appear he’ll ever live up to the local media’s ‘Sanchize’ label, but he can be effective as a game manager. He’s also dangerous in the red zone and has a new favorite target there in Plaxico Burress (three TDs last game).

The Bills (5-2 SU, 4-2-1 ATS) continue to be a great story and this is a huge early November game. A final playoff spot could ultimately come down to these teams, with a road game at MetLife Stadium still pending on November 27.

Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has been one of the big surprises and he didn’t rest on his laurels last week after signing a big contract extension. The 28-year-old ‘Harvard man’ was 21-of-27 for 262 yards in a 23-0 shutout over Washington as 4-point favorites.

That win was important at the Bills alternative ‘home’ of Toronto, their first in four tries there. It was also the defense’s first shutout since 2006, although playing a banged-up team with a struggling quarterback in John Beck certainly played a part.

The 23 combined points scored last week was Buffalo’s first ‘under’ of the season. Buffalo is scoring 30.1 PPG (ranked third) and allowing 21 PPG (ranked 12th).

Coach Chan Gailey’s Bills have had even more success playing real home games (3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS). The first two wins over Oakland (38-35) and New England (34-31) required huge comebacks, while they had to hold off Philly (31-24) in the other. A good start is needed here, especially against a Jets team that isn’t explosive offensively.

The ‘over’ is 3-0 at home for Buffalo, with the last two totals at least 52 ½-points.

Buffalo has the NFL’s fourth-leading rusher in Fred Jackson (721 yards). He should provide the needed balance for Fitzpatrick against a Jets run defense that has taken a big step back (126.9 YPG, ranked 25th).

The Jets are 3-0 SU and ATS in the last three meetings between the teams, including 38-7 and 38-14 beatings last year. Buffalo has scored just 12.5 PPG in the last four, but may have to double that to get a win here.

Buffalo linebacker Shawne Merriman (Achilles) is out for the year and d-tackle Kyle Williams (foot) at least this week. Only Williams is a big loss. Offensive tackle Demetrius Bell (shoulder) is doubtful and his backup Chris Hairston (ankle) questionable. Guard Andy Levitre could be forced to play left tackle again.

Buffalo weather can start getting very bad this year time of year, even with an early afternoon start. The current forecast is pretty good though, partly cloudy and reaching the 50s.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33125 Followers:38
11/02/2011 10:45 PM

New England Patriots Host New York Giants

Can it really be almost four years since Super Bowl XLII?

Yes, it is, and the New York Giants (5-2 straight up, 3-4 against the spread) and New England (5-2 straight up, 4-3 ATS) have not met in a meaningful game since.

Until Sunday, that is, when the northeast corridor pair renew their infrequent but spirited rivalry at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. The Don Best odds screen shows the Patriots listed as 8½-point favorites at the majority of Las Vegas wagering outlets, with the total teetering between 51½-52½, depending upon the betting shop. FOX will providenational TV coverage for the 4:15 p.m. (ER) kickoff, with Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and Pam Oliver on hand to describe the action.

Although Super Bowl XLII was played 45 months ago, a quick review of that memorable encounter is in order, especially since some key personnel remains on both sides, including coaches Bill Belichick and Tom Coughlin, both being branches of the Bill Parcells coaching tree.

Recall that New England was one win away from the first perfect season since the ‘72 Miami Dolphins, having swept through the 2007 regular season unscathed at 16-0 and winning two more AFC playoff games vs. the Jaguars and Chargers to reach the Super Bowl in Glendale, Arizona. The Giants took an entirely different path to the desert, qualifying for the postseason as an NFC wild card and then winning three straight on the road, all as an underdog (at Tampa Bay, Dallas, and Green Bay) to reach the finale.

New England had also won an exciting 38-35 clash over the G-Men at the end of regular season at the old Meadowlands and was installed as a 12-point favorite in Glendale.

The Giants, however, had been on quite a late-season uptick themselves, and proved a good match for the Patriots, staying within striking distance in a taut defensive affair into the fourth quarter. New York then took the lead at 10-7 early in the final stanza on a 5-yard Eli Manning-to-David Tyree TD pass, but the Pats seemed to trump the Giants when Tom Brady and Randy Moss hooked up for a 6-yard TD with 2:42 to play and a 14-10 lead.

The G-Men, however, weren’t finished, and Manning engineered a last-minute, white-knuckle drive downfield, featuring a 4th-down conversion at their own 39-yard-line by RB Brandon Jacobs. On the subsequent third down, Manning escaped pressure and heaved a deep pass downfield to Tyree, who made a circus catch for a 32-yard gain to the Pats’ 24. After converting another third down on a pass to Steve Smith, Manning lofted a 13-yard TD to Plaxico Burress with 35 seconds to play for the deciding score in a 17-14 Giants upset.

The dynamics are a bit different this week in Foxborough. Though both are sitting in decent position at 5-2, each has some questions to be answered...especially on the New England side after a 25-17 loss at Pittsburgh last week.

Of major concerns to Belichick are ongoing shortcomings in his rebuilt back seven and the sudden disappearance of a ground game that has made the going more difficult for Brady and the offense in the past few weeks.

Defensively, the Patriots are extremely vulnerable when they have not been able to generate a pass rush. Although they did get to Steeler QB Ben Roethlisberger five times last week at Heinz Field, the sack patrol was not a consistent factor in the game; Big Ben passed for 365 yards. And with the bottom-ranked pass defense in the league, Belichick needs the pass rush to camouflage some of those deficiencies in the secondary.

Belichick is hoping that the return to health of MLB Jerod Mayo will at least give his stop unit a force to subdue the Giants’ ground assault and force the G-Men into the sorts of down-and-distance situations that have unnerved Manning at times this season.

Meanwhile, opposing defenses are beginning to get keen to the Patriot offense, which has bogged down running the football the past two games vs. Dallas and Pittsburgh, netting just 72 ypg. Without an infantry diversion, Brady’s passing game has suffered. After cracking the 30-point barrier in five straight games to open the season, the Pats haven’t exceeded 20 points in their last two.

The G-Men are not overwhelming anyone lately, either, although they have won two in a row since a numbing 36-25 home embarrassment vs. the Seahawks on October 9. Subsequent three-point wins over the Bills and Dolphins might not have been artistic successes, but at least the Eli-led offense has not been beating itself, with no turnovers in either of those games.

Coughlin, however, has some injury concerns this week, with top WR Hakeem Nicks questionable with a hamstring pull and RB Ahmad Bradshaw’s status also up in the air after a foot injury last week. The bruising Jacobs did return to the New York backfield last week vs. the Dolphins but was not terribly effective, gaining just ten yards on four carries.

Manning, however, continues to prove resourceful, having already led the G-Men to four comeback wins in the fourth quarter this season. If Manning gets proper protection and his receivers can spread out the struggling Patriot pass defense, the Giants should have a fighting chance this week. The men to watch could be slot receiving options Victor Cruz and Mario Manningham.

Coughlin also recalls how his defensive line has bothered Brady in the past, especially in Super Bowl XLII when sacking Brady five times. Also note that Coughlin’s Giants have covered 22 of their last 29 chances as an underdog.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33125 Followers:38
11/02/2011 10:46 PM

Revenge-Minded Saints Host Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The New Orleans Saints will have revenge on their mind when they play their NFC South rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the second time in three weeks on Sunday afternoon.

This pointspread is all over the board with the Saints anywhere from 8-9½ point favorites. The NFL betting total is 50-51 points.

FOX will have the broadcast from the newly named Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans at 1:00 p.m. (ET).

The Saints (5-3 straight up, 4-4 against the spread) went into Tampa Bay on October 16 and left with a 26-20 loss as 6-point favorites. It was a tough spot for the visitors on the tail end of a three-game road trip (winning the first two). The Bucs also had something to prove after getting embarrassed in San Fran (48-3) the week before.

Quarterback Drew Brees had three interceptions, including one in the Tampa end zone with just over three minutes left while driving for the go-ahead score. Josh Freeman threw for 303 yards on the day, 80 less than Brees, but was more efficient with two TDs and no picks.

Tampa has also won the last two in New Orleans as solid underdogs (23-13, 20-17 OT) and is 7-1 ATS in the last eight there. The ‘under’ is 6-0 in the last six meetings, going below the 49 ½-point total in October.

New Orleans has struggled away from home overall (2-3 SU, 1-4 ATS). That includes a humiliating 31-21 loss at St. Louis last week as 13 ½-point favorites. Injured quarterback Sam Bradford was replaced by A.J. Feeley, but the Rams won the rushing battle 183-56 thanks to Steven Jackson (159 yards).

Offensive tackle Zach Strief could return this week and replace Charles Brown. Both are questionable with knee injuries. The o-line really struggled last week with six sacks.

The other good news is the Saints return home where they’re 3-0 SU and ATS (scoring 44 PPG). Brees has a 124.4 quarterback rating there (two picks) compared to 88.4 away (eight picks). The last home game was an unrelenting 62-7 win over hapless Indy.

Rookie running back Mark Ingram (heel) is questionable after missing last week, and the team needs to run the ball more with Pierre Thomas, Chris Ivory and Darren Sproles the other options. Tampa’s run defense is ranked just 23rd (123.4 YPG) even after allowing just 70 yards the first meeting.

The Saints are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 games following a SU loss.

The Buccaneers (4-3 SU, 3-4 ATS) are coming off a bye week, last facing Chicago in London and losing 24-18 as 1 ½-point ‘dogs. It was a bad break for them playing a ‘home’ game across the pond and now six of their final nine contests are away.

Tampa should catch a break this week with the return of running back LeGarrette Blount. He’s missed the last two games with a knee injury, but is probable. The second-year rusher has seen his yards per carry drop from 5.0 last year to 4.3 this year, but he is badly needed with backup Earnest Graham (Achilles) out for the year.

The rushing differential in the Chicago game was 177-30 with the immortal Kregg Lumpkin forced into duty after Graham got hurt. Freeman was forced to throw 51 passes and got picked off four times. He’s averaging 35.8 attempts in the four wins and 42.3 in the three losses.

This is only the second true road game for Tampa this year. In addition to the blowout by San Fran, they won at Minnesota 24-20 early in the season after trailing 17-0 at halftime. The Bucs can’t afford to fall behind double-digits in this one or it could get ugly fast. Their offense (18.7 PPG, ranked 24th) just isn’t built to comeback quickly.

Blount will need to get a lot of touches on Sunday, and try to burn clock by taking advantage of a New Orleans run defense that allows 124. 1 YPG (ranked 24th).

Tampa is 13-3 ATS in its last 16 games as a road underdog. The ‘under’ is 6-2 in its last eight as a 3 ½ to 10-point road ‘dog.

Besides the Blount injury, Tampa has several players listed as questionable, led by defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (ankle). However, McCoy is more likely to play than not and the same for center Jeff Faine (biceps) and rookie linebacker Mason Foster (ankle).

Weather will not be a factor playing in the dome.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33125 Followers:38
11/02/2011 10:48 PM

Oakland Raiders Host Rematch With Denver Broncos

Two months is a long time in the NFL, and we need look no further than Denver (2-5 straight up and against the spread) and Oakland (4-3 SU, 5-2 ATS) as confirmation.

When the Broncos and Raiders faced off in their Monday night opener in the Mile High City, the quarterback matchup featured Kyle Orton and Jason Campbell. Oakland was also to rely heavily upon its ground game featuring RB Darren McFadden. Tim Tebow was unlikely to see action for Denver.

Carson Palmer? He was semi-retired in Orange County, California after refusing to report to his employer, the Cincinnati Bengals, biding his time with his own workouts alongside one of his former wide receivers, T.J. Houshamndzadeh, most recently with Baltimore but looking for a new team.

Fast forward eight weeks, and many of the components have changed for this Sunday’s rematch at the Coliseum. The Don Best odds screen notes shows that the majority of Las Vegas betting outlets have the Raiders listed as 8-point favorites, with a total at 43, for the 4:05 p.m. (ET) kickoff. CBS will provide the TV coverage.

As for those changes from the first meeting? Neither Orton (benched) nor Campbell (broken collarbone) are in their respective lineups. McFadden’s status is questionable with a mid-foot sprain. And the quarterback matchup features none other than Tebow for Denver and...Carson Palmer for the Raiders.

Indeed, the Palmer storyline might actually eclipse the hullabaloo that has surrounded Tebow since he was named the Bronco starting QB by coach John Fox two weeks ago. More on the ex-Florida Heisman winner in a moment.

The developments in Oakland are a bit more intriguing because the Raiders, unlike Denver, have a playoff look about them. If, that is, Palmer can pick up the Raider offense better than he did in his debut game October 23 vs. the Chiefs, when he was mostly awful, completing 11-of-21 passes and one TD.

The problem was that only eight of his completions were to Oakland receivers; the other three were recorded by Kansas City defenders. And his lone TD pass was actually scored by Chiefs DB Brandon Flowers. Coupled with Kyle Boller’s three interceptions, it was a nightmare six-interception day sans Campbell for the Oakland offense, blanked 28-0 by the Chiefs.

The subsequent bye week might have benefited the Raiders, however, if Palmer was indeed able to get more comfy with coach Hue Jackson’s playbook. Reportedly, Palmer was working with only 15 plays for the game vs. Kansas City. As for old friend Houshmandzadeh, he was signed this week by Oakland, ostensibly to provide Palmer with a familiar target.

The only problem for the Raiders is that we’re not talking about 2005 in Cincinnati, when the Palmer-Houshmandzadeh combination was riding high. Palmer has endured significant punishment and injuries since and was hardly lighting the league afire in his most recent action with the Bengals last season, tossing 20 interceptions for a 4-12 team.

As for Houshmandzadeh, his star has faded from the Bengal days, too, to the point he was only marginally effective when last seen with the Ravens a year ago. His 30 catches with Baltimore in 2010 were his fewest since his rookie year in 2001 with Cincy, when he caught 21 passes.

Still, the Raiders can be encouraged by recent games against the Broncos, ones Oakland has mostly dominated. The Raiders have won and covered the last four meetings and are 9-2 vs. the number their last 11 vs. Denver.

Moreover, the Raiders have been manhandling the Broncos lately, especially a year ago when winning both meetings by a combined 98-37 scoreline. Over the last three clashes, including the 23-20 Monday night win during opening week, Oakland has averaged 256 yards on the ground vs. an overmatched Bronco defense. McFadden, in particular, has been dominant, rumbling for 150 yards in the September win, which is why his status is important for this week.

As for the Broncos, the Tebow experiment continues. Results have been predictable the past two games since Tebow took over the controls from the ineffective Orton, as the ex-Gator has struggled. This was especially true last week vs. the Lions, when Tebow hit the deck more often than Floyd Patterson while suffering seven sacks. In the face of such pressure, Tebow completed only 18 of his 39 pass attempts, although he did escape from the pocket enough times to gain 63 yards on the ground.

Tebow is now 2-3 as a Broncos starter, and was able to rally the team from double-digit deficits in both of those wins (last December vs. Houston and October 23 at Miami). But his limitations have been exposed in a structured NFL offense, and he continues to have problems reading blitzes. Tebow is still at his best when able to improvise, as he was in the final few minutes of the Dolphins game two weeks ago.

Most sources believe Tebow probably has the month of November as an audition for Fox and team president John Elway, who inherited Tebow from the Josh McDaniels regime. Some insiders believe that if Tebow fails to progress in the next few weeks, Fox is likely to give Brady Quinn a look in December before the Broncos decide which direction they wish to take, which could also include one of what looks like a bountiful haul of QBs in the upcoming draft.

Denver has other problems, however, including the status of RB Willis McGahee, who missed the Detroit game with a hand injury. The Broncos rank 26th in total offense and 21st in total defense, as Fox attempts to rebuild a roster that was torn asunder by the McDaniels regime.

Of the 19 draft picks by young Josh in 2009 and 2010, only eight are currently on the Broncos active roster. And of McDaniels’ eight picks in the first two rounds those years, only three (Tebow, LG Zane Beadles and DE Robert Ayers) are in the current starting lineup.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33125 Followers:38
11/02/2011 10:51 PM

Baltimore Ravens Battle Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday Night

First place will be on the line in the AFC North on ESPN's Sunday Night Football when the Baltimore Ravens pay a visit to their hated rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Kickoff from Heinz Field is set for primetime in Week 9 at 8:20 (ET).

Though the Cincinnati Bengals are still right there with these teams at 5-2 through seven games, no one really believes that they are going to be able to survive the second half of the season when they have to take on both the Ravens and Steelers twice each.

It's no doubt a crucial match for both the Steelers and Ravens, but especially so for Pittsburgh (6-2 SU, 4-4 ATS). The Steelers might have the top record in the AFC right now at 6-2, but a loss in this one drops them to 0-2 in division with both losses coming against the Ravens (5-2 SU, 4-3 ATS).

Though Baltimore's lead would only be a half-game in the division, that half-game is in the loss column, plus the Steelers would have to overcome the tiebreaker to avoid having to go on the road in the playoffs, assuming that they get that far.

The key to this game is going to be the protection for Ben Roethlisberger. The first time these two squads met in Week 1, Big Ben was sacked four times and pressured countless other times. He was intercepted three times and lost two fumbles, accounting for five of Pittsburgh's seven turnovers in the brutal 35-7 defeat.

The Ravens have one of the top defenses in football, ranking No. 1 in the league at 263.3 YPG and No. 2 in scoring at 15.7 PPG. The defense has seven interceptions and 14 recovered fumbles, accounting for four touchdowns in the interim.

There are six players with at least a pair of sacks as well, led by Terrell Suggs, who has bagged six QBs in seven games.

Offensively, Anquan Boldin could be in for another big day. The former Florida State Seminole had seven catches last week for 145 yards in the comeback win over the Arizona Cardinals, giving him four games this year with at least 74 receiving yards. Boldin enters Sunday just 108 yards shy of the 9,000-yard plateau for his career.

But of course, Pittsburgh's front seven is going to have to be all over Ray Rice as well to have any degree of success. Rice had 149 total yards and two touchdowns the first time that these two teams met, and he is averaging 123 total yards and a trip to the end zone in every game that he plays.

The Steelers rank No. 2 in the league in total defense at 270.8 YPG and No. 3 in scoring at 17.4 PPG. The bad news for this unit though, is that it could be without Chris Hoke (neck) and James Farrior (calf), and it is doubtful that either LaMarr Woodley (hamstring) or James Harrison (eye) play.

Also on the injury report are Hines Ward and Emmanuel Sanders, two of the top four receivers that Roethlisberger has to work with.

Strangely enough with all of this defense that both sides have to work with, the series has been marked by high-scoring affairs. The 'over' is 6-1-1 in the last eight meetings between the rivals here in the Steel City, and 8-3-1 in the last 12 meetings overall.

Pittsburgh is 5-2-1 ATS and 5-3 SU over the course of the last eight meetings in this series, including taking two out of three last year.

Despite their injuries, the Steelers are getting the nod by three points by the oddsmakers. The total has dropped just a tad from 42½ at the start of the week to 41½ as of Wednesday afternoon.

It is going to be cold Sunday night in Pittsburgh with temperatures expected in the low-40s, but there is no chance for rain.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33125 Followers:38
11/02/2011 10:52 PM

Chicago Bears At Philadelphia Eagles Monday Night Football

The Philadelphia Eagles looked as good as they did in their season opener in their first game following their bye week last Sunday night. The problem is, the last time the Eagles won a game so convincingly, they went on to lose their next four games. Philadelphia (3-4) will host its second straight prime-time game when the Chicago Bears (4-3) visit Lincoln Financial Field on Monday Night Football.

The Eagles are coming off an impressive 34-7 rout of the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football, improving to 13-0 following a bye week under head coach Andy Reid. They moved up to No. 8 in the Don Best Linemakers Poll this week and will seek their third straight win overall against a Bears team that has won two in a row and is ranked No. 13.

Game time is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. (ET) with television coverage provided by ESPN.

Philly opened as a 7-point favorite according to the Don Best odds screen and has been bet up as high as -9 at some sportsbooks. The total started at 47 and has risen as high as 48 following early betting action.

Chicago has won three of the last four meetings as underdogs against the Eagles, who were able to shut down Bears running back Matt Forte in the lone win during that stretch two years ago at Soldier Field. Forte rushed 14 times for just 34 yards in that game while Philadelphia quarterback Michael Vick was involved in just a few plays as the backup to former signal caller Donovan McNabb.

The underdog is 7-2 against the spread in the last nine meetings, and the Eagles are just 3-7 ATS in their past 10 games overall.

Forte remains disappointed with team management since he is still without a contract extension, and he rushed for 117 yards on 14 carries in last year’s 31-26 win over Philadelphia while QB Jay Cutler tied a career high with four touchdown passes.

Vick was the one held in check in last year’s meeting – for three quarters anyway. Chicago led 31-13 heading into the fourth quarter and sacked Vick four times, although he still finished with 333 yards passing as he tried to rally the Eagles back.

While Vick has been a dangerous weapon since he took over the starting job in Philly, he has not been nearly as effective. Last year, he threw his first interception of the game at Chicago in Week 12. Vick has already turned the ball over 11 times this season, including eight picks.

The Bears will need to contain Eagles RB LeSean McCoy, who rushed for a career-high 185 yards on 30 carries and scored two touchdowns against the Cowboys last week. Chicago is also breaking in a pair of young safeties after letting veteran Chris Harris go during the bye. Rookie free safety Chris Conte will make his third start of the season and has played well in his first two.

Another rookie who was expected to return for the Bears following their bye week may be available but will likely not start. Offensive tackle Gabe Carimi has been out since Week 2 due to a knee injury while wide receiver Earl Bennett (chest) will also be active for the first time since then. Bennett scored two touchdowns against the Eagles in last year’s win.

Chicago head coach Lovie Smith is 4-3 after bye weeks but 4-1 over the past five seasons.

The weather forecast for Philadelphia on Monday calls for a high temperature of 61 during the day, cooling down to 47 at night.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33125 Followers:38
11/02/2011 10:57 PM

Inside the Numbers - Week 9

November 2, 2011

Sunday, Nov. 6 (1:00 p.m. ET)
Matchup Inside the Numbers

ATL: 7-4 ATS L11 away favorite
ATL: 6-2 ATS L8 away vs AFC
IND: 4-1 'over' L5 home vs NFC
IND: 2-6 ATS L8 home

TAM: 8-1 ATS L9 away underdog
TAM: 6-1-1 ATS L8 off loss
NOR: 0-6 ATS L6 home vs division
NOR: 7-2 ATS L9 home off loss

CLE: 1-4 ATS L5 away
CLE: 1-7 ATS L8 underdog
HOU: 2-6 ATS L8 off home win
HOU: 1-6 ATS L7 home vs non-division

NYJ: 4-1 'under' L5 off bye
NYJ: 4-2 ATS L6 away vs division
BUF: 5-3 ATS L8 home
BUF: 9-5-1 ATS L15 overall

MIA: 16-7 ATS L23 away underdog
MIA: 1-6 ATS L7 vs non-division
KC: 3-6 ATS L9 home favorite
KC: 6-3 ATS L9 vs non-division

SFO: 3-5 ATS L8 away favorite
SFO: 8-4 'over' L12 overall
WSH: 11-3 'under' L14 overall
WSH: 6-2 ATS L8 off away loss

SEA: 1-12-1 ATS L14 away 'dog vs non-division
SEA: 3-5-1 ATS L9 off home loss
DAL: 0-4 ATS L4 off division loss
DAL: 1-6 ATS L7 home off loss

Sunday, Nov. 6 (4:05 p.m. ET)
Matchup Inside the Numbers

DEN: 2-9 ATS L11 vs division
DEN: 3-6 ATS L9 away underdog
OAK: 7-1 ATS L8 vs division
OAK: 0-5 ATS L5 off bye

CIN: 6-2 ATS L8 away
CIN: 7-1 ATS L8 vs AFC
TEN: 4-2 ATS L6 home
TEN: 1-7 ATS L8 off home win

Sunday, Nov. 6 (4:15 p.m. ET)
Matchup Inside the Numbers

STL: 4-2 ATS L6 vs division
STL: 0-5 ATS L5 away
ARZ: 2-8 ATS L10 vs division
ARZ: 1-6 ATS L7 off away loss

NYG: 1-5-1 ATS L7 vs AFC
NYG: 6-4 ATS L10 away
NEP: 14-4 'over' L18 overall
NEP: 2-4 ATS L6 off loss

GNB: 11-3 ATS L14 overall
GNB: 6-2 ATS L8 away
SDG: 6-3-1 ATS L10 vs NFC
SDG: 4-2 ATS L6 home off loss

Sunday, Nov. 6 (8:25 p.m. ET)
Matchup Inside the Numbers

BAL: 3-5 ATS L8 vs division
BAL: 8-3 ATS L11 off ATS loss
PIT: 6-2 ATS L8 vs division
PIT: 2-5-1 ATS L8 off home win

Monday, Nov. 7 (8:35 p.m. ET)
Matchup Inside the Numbers

CHI: 4-8 ATS L12 away underdog
CHI: 10-5 'over' L15 overall
PHI: 1-5 ATS L6 off home win
PHI: 2-6 ATS L8 home vs non-division

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