cnotes Posts:33196 Followers:38
09/08/2011 07:38 PM

Dallas Cowboys, NY Jets NFL Odds Preview

The Dallas Cowboys and New York Jets will close out the first Sunday of the 2011 NFL season at MetLife Stadium in front of a nationally-televised audience on NBC. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:20 p.m. (ET) and emotions will be running high with the contest falling on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks in the Big Apple.

New York is currently listed as a 4 ½-point home favorite on the NFL spread and the betting total stands at 40 ½.

One of the major story lines leading into this game is twin brothers, Rex and Rob Ryan, taking part in this matchup on opposite sidelines. It will be the ninth time it has occurred, with Rex coming in with a 5-3 series lead.

The tide could certainly turn in Rob’s favor in the Lone Star State, as the Cowboys hold a 7-2 overall advantage over the Jets. Dallas has won three of the last five meetings, including a 34-3 win at Cowboys Stadium as 14 ½-point favorites in the most recent matchup (2007).

Tony Romo will be back inside the Cowboys’ huddle after having his 2010 campaign cut short with a broken left clavicle. He will likely face heavy pressure Sunday night and will be relying on three new offensive linemen to protect him.

Bettors will find that the Cowboys are 7-10 against the spread in their last 17 road games, while the ‘under’ holds a slight 9-8 advantage in those contests.

New York returns 18 starters from last year’s team that made a second-consecutive AFC Championship game appearance. The Jets were knocked out of the 2010 playoffs with a 24-19 loss against the Pittsburgh Steelers as 4 ½-point road underdogs.

Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez will lead the team and his 23 wins in his first two seasons (including playoffs) are tied for the second most by an NFL signal caller in the last 40 years. It’s the type of numbers that caused Ryan to name the former USC Trojans star a team captain.

Many league insiders are still questioning if Sanchez has what it takes to get New York to the next level, as he’s thrown 29 touchdown passes and 33 interceptions in two regular seasons.

Sanchez will have a new target on the outside with wide receiver Plaxico Burress returning to the gridiron for the first time in 1,001 days. He showed early glimpses of brilliance during Week 2 of the preseason, catching three passes for 66 yards and a touchdown in his first taste of live action.

The Jets are certainly known for their defense under their fearless leader on the sidelines and finished the exhibition season with a +6 turnover ratio. New York strikes fear in opposing quarterbacks and tallied 40 sacks a year ago, eight less than the NFL-leading Pittsburgh Steelers.

Bettors will watch this line carefully all weekend due to the Jets being 1-5 ATS as home favorites of 3½-7 points.

Weather forecasts are calling for game-time temperatures in the mid-60s and a 30 percent chance of isolated thunderstorms in East Rutherford, NJ.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33196 Followers:38
09/08/2011 07:40 PM

Eagles Begin Season At St. Louis Rams

The NFL team with the most hype heading into the 2011 regular season faces the team with arguably the most promise as the Philadelphia Eagles visit the St. Louis Rams on Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome.

The Eagles made headlines in the offseason by signing a number of high-profile free agents who they hope will help them advance in the playoffs this year, while the Rams fell just short of the postseason in 2010 despite starting a rookie at quarterback.

Game time is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. (ET) with television coverage provided by FOX. Philadelphia is a 4 ½-point road favorite according to the Don Best odds screen with the total rising to 44 at some NFL betting outlets.

St. Louis is coming off a successful first season with Sam Bradford leading the offense at QB and hopes he will take the next step by helping the team win the NFC West this year. The Rams lost at Seattle 16-6 in the regular-season finale that decided the division title between two teams that finished 7-9, but Bradford earned valuable experience along the way and turned in one of the most prolific years ever for a rookie.

Bradford broke Peyton Manning’s NFL record for most completed passes and attempts by a first-year signal caller and also become just the third rookie to start all 16 games and throw for more than 3,000 yards. He was injury prone throughout his college career at Oklahoma, and his health remains a concern for a franchise trying to return to prominence.

The Eagles are in a similar position with their star QB Michael Vick, who was re-signed to a six-year, $100 million contract on August 29. Vick is coming off the best statistical year of his career after passing for 3,018 yards with 21 touchdowns through the air and nine more on the ground.

However, he has played 16 games only once in his entire eight-year career due to his reckless style of play that has led to injuries.

Philly went into last season believing Kevin Kolb was the heir apparent to former QB Donovan McNabb, but an early injury in the team’s season-opening 27-20 loss to Green Bay at home gave Vick an opportunity to play. The team dealt Kolb to Arizona in the offseason, one of many moves that was made following a loss to the Packers again at home in the divisional playoffs.

Among the players brought in to help the Eagles are cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who was acquired in the trade for Kolb along with a 2012 second-round draft pick. The defensive line also got deeper with the additions of defensive linemen Jason Babin and Cullen Jenkins.

The offensive line and linebacking corps are the weak spots on a team looking to defend its NFC East title and improve upon a 10-6 record.

Philadelphia and St. Louis both enjoyed a lot of success in the preseason, combining to go 7-1 straight-up and 6-2 against the spread. The Rams were a perfect 4-0 SU and went 10-6 ATS last season, including 5-2 in their last seven home games. The ‘under’ went 4-1 in their last five games and has also cashed in the past four meetings with the Eagles.

Philly is 7-1-1 ATS in the last nine games between the teams while St. Louis is 1-9-1 ATS in its past 11 season openers.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33196 Followers:38
09/08/2011 07:42 PM

Pittsburgh Steelers At Baltimore Ravens NFL Betting Preview

Right off the bat, two of the top contenders for the AFC Championship will meet in NFL betting action in Week 1 on Sunday, as the Pittsburgh Steelers pay a visit to their archrivals, the Baltimore Ravens.

M&T Bank Stadium will be the site of this crucial AFC North clash. Kickoff from Baltimore is slated for 1:00 p.m. (ET), and there will be regional television coverage on CBS.

The Steelers have had their ups and downs over the course of the past few seasons, going from Super Bowl champs in 2008 to out of the playoffs in 2009 and then back in the Super Bowl this past February. They feel like they have some unfinished business to tend to after dropping to the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV.

As always, when you talk about these two teams, you have to talk about fantastic defenses. The Pittsburgh defense ranked No. 1 in the league last year in scoring at 14.5 PPG and No. 2 in total defense at 276.8 YPG. It seems like this team almost always leads the NFL in rush defense, and last year was no exception at a svelte 62.8 YPG, almost 30 yards better than the nearest competitor.

Baltimore's defense wasn't exactly slouching either at 16.9 PPG and 318.9 YPG allowed. This might be one of the most unheralded secondaries in football this year. We know just how good Ed Reed is, but getting back Dominique Foxworth from last season's ACL injury and bringing in rookie Jimmy Smith will help out a ton.

Sergio Kindle, the linebacker from Texas, missed all of his rookie season as well, but he will be in the rotation in the front seven as well for Head Coach John Harbaugh.

Offensively, the Ravens have to feel that they are a better bunch this season. The team cut ties with Willis McGahee, Todd Heap and Derrick Mason, all at the ends of their careers, and added a slew of great pieces to the puzzle. Lee Evans was a preseason acquisition from the Buffalo Bills, and he has immediately built a rapport with Joe Flacco. Bryant McKinnie, a Pro-Bowl tackle joins the offensive line as well.

However, perhaps the biggest addition was that of Vonta Leach via free agency. Leach paved the way for Arian Foster to become the rushing leader in the league last season with the Houston Texans, and now, he expects to do the same for Ray Rice.

Rice only had 143 total yards as a receiver and a runner in three meetings against Pittsburgh last year though, a far cry from the average of 119.7 YPG he had last year against all other teams (including the postseason against the Kansas City Chiefs).

The Steelers return the core of the offense that took them to the Super Bowl last season. Mike Wallace continues to emerge as one of the top receivers in the game, but there are high hopes for Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown this year as well.

There's some concern about how Rashard Mendenhall is going to hold up after carrying the ball a whopping 385 times last year, including the postseason. He now has 627 carries in two seasons, something that head coach Mike Tomlin would love to decrease if he had a more solid stable in his backfield behind Mendenhall.

We hope you're ready for a close game. The last nine meetings of these teams have been decided by nine points or fewer, and the average margin of victory has been just 4.56 PPG. In the regular season last year, both road teams won, though Baltimore's win came with Ben Roethlisberger suspended in Week 4.

The underdog is 6-2-1 against the spread in the last nine meetings in this series, which is quite possibly why the Steelers have dropped from three-point underdogs down to just +1½. The total has been lined at 36.

After a week filled with rain, there is at least a chance for some dry weather on Sunday. Temperatures are only expected to be in the mid-70s with a 40 percent chance of storms.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33196 Followers:38
09/09/2011 07:05 PM

Cam Newton, Panthers Open At Arizona Cardinals

Carolina is 5-2 ATS in the last seveon meetings against the Cardinals.
Three years removed from making it to their first-ever Super Bowl, the Arizona Cardinals hope another bold move for a starting quarterback will eventually pay off as they open the 2011 regular season at home against the Carolina Panthers.

The Cardinals made a trade with Philadelphia for QB Kevin Kolb in the offseason while the Panthers will be starting a rookie at the same position in top overall draft pick Cam Newton.

Game time is scheduled for 4:15 p.m. (ET) with television coverage provided by FOX. Arizona is a solid 7-point home favorite according to the Don Best odds screen with the total at 37.

Kolb was supposed to be the signal caller of the future for the Eagles before he got hurt in last year’s season opener against Green Bay. He initially left that game with a jaw injury and later returned only to get knocked out again, giving way to Michael Vick, and the rest is history.

The Cardinals gave up starting cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round pick to land Kolb and then inked him to a new five-year, $63 million contract extension before re-signing All-Pro wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald to an eight-year deal that could be worth as much as $120 million.

Arizona’s brass invested in both players to show they are serious about winning the NFC West for the third time in four seasons after last year’s disappointing 5-11 campaign. The team had won back-to-back division titles and gone to the Super Bowl XLIV in 2008 behind QB Kurt Warner, who retired prior to last season.

Carolina had an even worse year than the Cardinals in 2010 at 2-14 and cleared house in the offseason, choosing not to extend head coach John Fox and hiring Ron Rivera to replace him. Rivera previously served as defensive coordinator in Chicago and San Diego but will face most of his challenges on the offensive side of the ball in his first year.

The Panthers chose reigning Heisman Trophy winner Newton with the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft after he led Auburn to the national championship last year in his only season as a starter. Questionable character issues were not enough to deter them from selecting him, as his athleticism has drawn comparisons to Vick.

Newton did not play well in the preseason, as the team lost its last three games both straight up and against the spread, but he still secured the starting spot under center over second-year player Jimmy Clausen. He will have a number of offensive weapons though to help him out, most notably veteran wide receiver Steve Smith and one of the league’s best running back tandems in DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart.

Carolina has won seven of the last eight meetings with Arizona, but fans and bettors alike still remember the one loss that took place during the 2009 playoffs. The Panthers were 10-point home favorites and were blown out 33-13 during Arizona’s drive to Super Bowl XLIII.

The Cardinals have split the last four meetings against the spread since the Panthers covered the previous three in the series.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33196 Followers:38
09/09/2011 07:07 PM

Manning Out As Colts Take On Houston Texans

Originally a pick ’em, the Texans are now 9-point home favorites against the Colts.
NFL betting fans very well could be seeing a change of the guard in the AFC South, perhaps once and for all on Sunday afternoon, as the Houston Texans play host to the Indianapolis Colts. Week 1's kickoff from Reliant Stadium is set for 1:00 p.m. (ET), and there will be regional TV coverage on CBS.

Hopes are high this year for the Texans, and many are getting on their bandwagon as the winners of the AFC South. Matt Schaub is still leading a potent offense that could border on picking up 6,500 yards this season, and he has his top target back, Andre Johnson, one of the best at his trade.

Running back Arian Foster was an unknown last year at this time, but it was in this game that he became a fantasy football legend and a new stalwart in the Houston offense. He rumbled for 231 yards on 33 carries and had three TDs in a Week 1 romp over the Colts en route to his league leading 1,616 rushing yards and 2,220 total yards from scrimmage in 2010.

Foster has been battling a hamstring injury, but at last report on Thursday night, Foster said that "all signs point towards playing" on Sunday.

The injury front isn't treating the Colts as nicely, for sure. By now you've surely heard that Peyton Manning, the face of this franchise, is going to miss this game with a neck injury that very well could keep him sidelined for a good portion of the season, if not the entire year. Top receivers Anthony Gonzalez and Austin Collie might not be available for Week 1 either.

That leaves Kerry Collins in charge of this suddenly makeshift offense. Collins had to think that his career was over when the Tennessee Titans let him go after last season, but Indy gave him the call a few weeks ago when Manning's injury status became in serious doubt.

The former Penn State Nittany Lion has split time with Vince Young in Tennessee the past three seasons. He does have over 40,000 passing yards and over 200 touchdown passes, something that not many can say, but he hasn't had a game with more than 300 passing yards since the end of the 2005 season.

Collins and his offense could have a tough time with a Houston defense that has a new look and a new attitude. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips brings the team a new 3-4 alignment, something that it hasn't played since head coach Dom Capers was fired and replaced by Gary Kubiak.

That means that Mario Williams will shift to outside linebacker, where he could have some problems adjusting to coverage schemes. Still, Williams is just one of the many former first or second round draft choices that this team has on the defensive side of the ball.

Brian Cushing and DeMeco Ryans only shared three games together last season, but they'll be the two inside linebackers in the 3-4, while rookie JJ Watt and second year man Connor Barwin both look to help out in the front seven as well against an Indianapolis offensive line with four new starters.

The Texans secondary will be helped with the additions of both Danieal Manning and Johnathan Joseph. Things can't be any worse than they were last year when this team ranked dead last in the league in pass defense.

NFL odds opened with this game a 'pick,' but the line has been rising ever since doubts about Manning's injury first started to crop up. Now, the Texans are laying nine points, among the biggest favorites on the Don Best odds screen for Week 1. The total has been set at 43 ½.

The Texans have only beaten the Colts twice in team history with both wins coming here at Reliant Stadium. However, they are 10-8 against the spread all-time games against their divisional foes.

'Over' bettors have been thrilled, going 10-2 in the last 12 games in this series, and the average total number of points in those games has been 55.3 PPG.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33196 Followers:38
09/09/2011 07:09 PM

San Diego Chargers Favored To Stop Vikings

The Vikings are 3-10 ATS the last 13 games they have been underdogs.
Two teams aiming to return to the NFL playoffs will open up the 2011 regular season against each other, as the Minnesota Vikings take on the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium.

The Vikings finished last year with a 6-10 record, while the Chargers ended things at 9-7.

Sunday’s kickoff is scheduled for 4:15 p.m. (ET) and will be televised on FOX. San Diego opened as 9 ½-point home favorites, but the spread has since been bet down a full-point while the total has remained steady at 41 ½.

Minnesota recorded a dominating 35-17 win as 7-point home underdogs in the last meeting between the two teams on Nov. 4, 2007, finishing the contest with a 528-229 total yardage advantage. It’s a game that Vikings fans will never forget, as star running back Adrian Peterson set a league record with 296 rushing yards on 30 carries, a big part of his 5,782-yard rushing total the last four seasons.

Veteran quarterback Donovan McNabb is now in Mineesota after leaving the nation’s capitol following a disappointing 2010 campaign, throwing for 14 scores and 15 interceptions. He will certainly benefit from having Peterson in the backfield, but many league insiders are wondering how much the 34-year-old has in the tank.

The Vikings have not fared well as underdogs, failing to cover 10 of their last 13 in the situation, while the ‘under’ is 7-6 in those contests.

San Diego has been victimized by slow starts over the years under head coach Norv Turner and failed to reach the postseason a year ago despite winning seven of its last nine games. It’s a problem that quarterback Philip Rivers hopes to solve in 2011.

The former NC State Wolfpack star set a career-high with 4,710 passing yards and threw 30 touchdowns last year, as the Chargers finished 2010 as the league’s top-ranked offensive unit.

Rivers still has plenty of weapons at his disposal, including tight end Antonio Gates and wide receiver Vincent Jackson. The duo creates mismatches against opposing defenses each and every week.

Despite its well-known problems of recent years, San Diego does own a 29-22 record when opening a season, including a 14-7 mark at home. The Chargers were handed a 21-14 defeat as 4-point road favorites in Week 1 of the 2010 season, only to bounce back with a resounding 38-13 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars at Qualcomm Stadium.

Bettors will find that the Bolts are 18-6 ATS as home favorites of 7½-10 points in their last 24 opportunities, while the 'under' has cashed in four of the last five games in that situation.

Weather forecasts suggest a beautiful day in the San Diego area for football fans, as game-time highs will be in the low-70s and sunny skies will persist throughout.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33196 Followers:38
09/09/2011 07:11 PM

Seahawks And 49ers Collide In San Francisco

The home team has won and covered the spread the last four time Seattle and San Fran played.
The defending NFC West Champion Seattle Seahawks head to San Francisco to take on the 49ers in a battle for early position atop the division.

San Francisco is a 5 ½-point home favorite on the Don Best odds screen. Sunday’s game kicks off at 4:15 p.m. (ET) and will be televised in some areas on FOX.

Most agree that the NFC West was the worst division in the NFL last season with all four teams finishing with losing records. San Francisco entered the 2010 season as the favorite, but Seattle took the division crown with a 7-9 record.

In a division where eight or nine wins is usually enough, these division rivalry games are huge.

Over the last five years, this game has been very evenly matched, with both teams going 5-5 both straight up and against the spread against one another. Last season the teams exchanged blowouts, with Seattle winning 31-6 at home in Week 1, and San Francisco winning at home 40-21 in Week 14.

San Francisco hired Jim Harbaugh as the new head coach this offseason after Harbaugh built the Stanford Cardinal up to a level of national respectability in his four years there. A former quarterback himself, Harbaugh is considered a great QB coach that could help Alex Smith bring his game to the next level.

With the addition of Braylon Edwards and the Frank Gore contract situation sorted out, the 49ers hope to improve on an offense that held them back in 2010, finishing 24th in the NFL in total offense and scoring offense.

Seattle has gone from division champion to division long shot this offseason as current future odds project the Seahawks to finish behind St. Louis, San Francisco and Arizona. The Seahawks actually added some great players on offense, bringing in reliable receiving options in Sidney Rice and Zach Miller, and steady offensive lineman Robert Gallary.

The issue for Seattle is the quarterback position. Matt Hasselbeck was not brought back, and Tarvaris Jackson was signed to be start in his place. He has shown some brief flashes of brilliance over his five years in the league, but he’s spent most of his career as a backup and is a big question mark.

His backup, Charlie Whitehurst, has all of 99 career passing attempts under his belt. If Jackson struggles, Seattle doesn’t have a legitimate Plan B in place.

There are issues surrounding both quarterbacks, but San Francisco is the favorite likely due to home-field advantage and a seemingly superior defense, even with the offseason loss of Takeo Spikes. The home team has won and covered the spread in each of the last four meetings between these two teams.

The total for Sunday’s game is currently set at 37½.

Weather reports indicate a cloudy day with a slight chance of thunderstorms

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33196 Followers:38
09/09/2011 07:17 PM

Coaching Changes

September 9, 2011

Every season, teams across the NFL make significant changes to their coaching staff. I spend a lot of time analyzing the coaches’ history in order to predict the net effect they will have on the organization. This year, I have re-doubled my efforts in this area as I believe any major coaching change will bring about some early season confusion. That is not to say that all of them will have problems early on, but rather that I believe the majority will face major challenges due to the shortened pre season schedule. I believe this to be especially true for teams that have made across the board changes, and where new defensive coordinators change the base defense (4-3 to 3-4 & vice versa.) Special consideration also has to be given to coaches that have little to no experience in the position they now hold as well as those coaches who have recently been coaching in other leagues (NCAA, UFL, etc)

If you read my article earlier this week then you know I am a firm believer in bundling similar plays in order to reduce the inherent risks associated with early season wagering. Betting against any one of these teams is certainly not a bad idea, but betting against a handful of them would increase your odds of coming out on top.

The three most important coaching positions are clearly the Head Coach, Offensive, and Defensive Coordinators. As such, I will breakdown a few key factors regarding these positions that you should consider when betting for or against these teams early on in the season.

Seattle Seahawks

New Offensive Coordinator: Darrell Bevell (NFL EXP: 11 & Prior Job: Vikings OC 2006-2010)

Darrell Bevell is entering his first season as offensive coordinator for Seattle. There are a few positive things worth mentioning here as opposed to a lot of the other teams on this list. First of all, he is leaving the stacked NFC North to compete in the infamously poor NFC West. He is also joining the team that won the NFC West title as well as a playoff game against a heavily favored opponent (+10.) So, he is certainly not starting off in a hole. He has also been an offensive coordinator in the North for the past 5 years, and he had a winning record in all but his first and last season. He also took the NFC North crown for two consecutive years. Another uniquely positive aspect of this which should ease the transition is the fact that he brought along a QB and an elite receiver, both of which he has worked with since their rookie years.

NET EFFECT: Positive

St. Louis Rams

New Offensive Coordinator: Josh McDaniels (NFL EXP: 10 & Prior Job: Broncos HC 2009-2010 & Patriots OC 2006-2008)

Josh McDaniels has taken a step backward after losing his head coaching job in Denver, but this is the position that fits him best in my opinion. As a head coach, he faced challenges that he was unable to overcome. I believe that this will be a good move in the long run for him as well as the organization. Keep in mind that it was under his direction that the Patriots became the most prolific offense in NFL history. He was even able to make things work when Matt Cassell took over for an injured Brady in 2008. They did not make the postseason, but an 11-5 record will normally do the trick in the NFL. He has worked with an elite quarterback, and helped to develop Matt Cassel from the role of a backup to an eventual franchise quarterback in the league. Even Kyle Orton had his best seasons as a professional under his direction in Denver. I believe that he will have a positive impact on the organization as a whole and on Sam Bradford especially.

NET EFFECT: Positive

Arizona Cardinals

New Defensive Coordinator: Ray Horton (NFL EXP: 17 & Prior Job: Steelers Asst/Dbacks coach)

Keeping the 3-4

Let’s face it. When you rank 30th in points allowed per game and 29th in yards allowed per game there is basically nowhere else to go but up. Ray Horton has worked with what is arguably the greatest defensive minded organization in the history of this league. He has also worked closely with one of the all time great defensive coordinators in Dick LeBeau. Now, this is a big jump he is making from a DBacks coach to the defensive coordinator of a struggling defense. So I do not expect any miraculous turnaround from last season, but as I said in the beginning there is nowhere to go but up!

NET EFFECT: Positive

San Francisco 49ers

New Head Coach: Jim Harbaugh (NFL EXP: 2 & Prior Job: NCAA HC 2004-2010, San Diego ’04-’06 & Stanford ’07-’10)

New Offensive Coordinator: Greg Roman (NFL EXP: 13 & Prior Job: Stanford Assistant)

New Defensive Coordinator: Vince Fangio (NFL EXP: 14 & Prior Job: Stanford Defensive Coordinator)

NEW BASE DEFENSE: 3-4 in 2011 from a 4-3 in 2010

The 49ers have lacked success over the past few years, and the owners seem more than willing to blame coaches for their issues. I personally believe the players on the field have earned their 33-47 (41.25%) record over the past 5 seasons, but I do not own an NFL team. Anyway, they have decided to make a change at the top coaching spot, and along with it the entire coaching staff. Again! Alex Smith is used to this by now as this is his 7th different offensive coordinator in as many seasons. On the other side of the ball, the defense is in an even tougher spot as they are bringing on a new coordinator who is also changing the base defense. The only bright spot in this entire move is that they are still playing in the NFC West so just about anything can happen. However, I have a very hard time believing that anything good can come from all of this chaos (especially over the first few weeks.)

NET EFFECT: Negative

Carolina Panthers

New Head Coach: Ron Rivera (NFL EXP: 15 & Prior Job: Chargers DC 2008-2010)

New Offensive Coordinator: Bob Chudzinski (NFL EXP: 6 & Prior Job: Chargers TE Coach 2009-2010)

New Defensive Coordinator: Sean McDermott (NFL EXP: 12 & Prior Job: Eagles DC 2009-2010)

Keeping the 4-3

Ron Rivera had his best season as a DC in 2010 for the San Diego Chargers. They were a top 10 defense in several important categories, including the fewest total yards allowed in the league. However, what is more important than his success with a perennial Super Bowl favorite is that he will be taking on a much different role in Carolina as well as a vastly inferior team (2-14 in 2010.) His offensive coordinator assumed the same role for the Browns a few years ago, but his most recent coaching experience is as a tight end coach in San Diego. He has enough on his plate taking on the most important coaching position for the most ineffective offense from 2010. In addition to that, he is tasked with developing a rookie quarterback who will get the nod in week 1. On the other side, Sean McDermott is coming in after having proven himself incapable of filling the shoes of the legendary Jim Johnson. Last season, his defense allowed franchise high 31 touchdown passes while letting up at least 24 points in 11 of their 16 games. He is taking over last year’s 26th ranked scoring defense which will in all likelihood be on the field for a lot of time again this season.

My analysis of this coaching change is a little different than most because the Panthers were so atrocious last year. Despite the fact that all of these changes should cause some headaches for the Panthers this season, they will be hard pressed to underperform when compared to last season. This is clearly a rebuilding year for the Panthers, and for them a 3 win season is a step in the right direction. So, by default I have to say that all of these changes amount to a net positive.

NET EFFECT: Positive

Cincinnati Bengals

New Offensive Coordinator: Jay Gruden (NFL EXP: 7 & Prior Job: UFL HC)

Jay Gruden is coming into this role with an NFL resume that includes working for his brother as an offensive assistant for 7 years. Since then, he has been a head coach or offensive coordinator for such well known teams as the Orlando Predators and Florida Tuskers. Nonetheless, he has experience with designing & running an offense. Still, he is coming into a situation that is less than ideal. The most important player on their offense has been Carson Palmer who was forced into retirement this offseason. So, now he is also tasked with developing a rookie QB taking over an offense which ranked in the bottom 10 in total points (with a solid veteran QB presence.) What is even more troubling for him is that he is in the AFC North. It is difficult to see how he can forge a reputation in the NFL given this situation.

NET EFFECT: Negative

Cleveland Browns

New Head Coach & OC: Pat Shurmur (NFL EXP: 12 & Prior Job: Rams OC 2009-2010)

New Defensive Coordinator: Dick Jauron (NFL EXP: 26 & Prior Job: Eagles DBacks 2010 Bills Head Coach 2006-2009)

NEW BASE DEFENSE: 4-3 2011 from a 3-4 in 2010

Shurmur and Jauron are taking over a team which had shown signs of life last season. They have a quarterback who can lead the team and they both boast impressive resumes in the league. Shurmur has been coaching in the league since 1999, and his defensive colleague has been in the league since 1985. Experience on the coaching staff can only take you so far, and that is especially true in the AFC North where the top two teams are head and shoulders above the others. However, considering the fact that the Browns are a team trying to claw their way out of the bottom of the barrel I view this as a positive move for the organization. They will produce some unexpected wins this season, just like last year, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they made some progress toward that prized .500 season this year.

NET EFFECT: Positive

Dallas Cowboys

New Defensive Coordinator: Rob Ryan (NFL EXP: 13 & Prior Job: Browns DC 2009-2010)

Keeping the 3-4

After a tough start to his career, Rob Ryan has proven that he can take an average defensive unit and produce some solid results. Now, he has an opportunity to work with a quality roster. He isn’t changing the base defense, and he is going to find ways to use each player to their maximum potential. Just like his brother, he has a way of getting his players to exceed expectations, and I am very excited to see what he can do with a team that is notorious for coming up short.

NET EFFECT: Positive

Denver Broncos

New Head Coach: John Fox (NFL EXP: 22 & Prior Job: Panthers HC 2002-2010)

New Defensive Coordinator: Dennis Allen (NFL EXP: 9 & Prior Job: Saints D Line/DBacks)

NEW BASE DEFENSE: 4-3 in 2011 from a 3-4 in 2010

I was surprised by their midseason move with Josh McDaniels last year, but this is a results driven league so I understood it. In the long run, things have worked out even though I disagree with the path. John Fox is a top tier coach in this league with a great resume, and I am confident he will help the Broncos offense find more balance. This is clearly a positive move for the top spot. On defense, things are slightly more complicated but I also believe the changes amount to a net positive. He is changing the base defense, but this is also an entirely new defensive unit. There are 0 returning week 1 starters on the D-Line this year, and only 1 from the LB corp. Dumervil is also coming back, but he is switching to a down end spot (which should suit him well.) Between Fox and Allen I believe the defense as a whole will be far more aggressive than last season.

NET EFFECT: Positive

Houston Texans

New Defensive Coordinator: Wade Phillips (NFL EXP: 35 & Prior Job: Cowboys HC 2007 – 2010 & DC ’09-‘10)

NEW BASE DEFENSE: 3-4 in 2011 from a 4-3 in 2010

Say what you will about Wade Phillips’ in Dallas, but there is no way to discredit this man’s resume. He has been serving in various defensive and head coaching capacities since 1976, and for the 3 years prior to that he was in the same line of work at the college level. He is a defensive guru and he is taking over a team which is consistently in the bottom 5 of the league. Here are some 2010 rankings: Passing Yards Allowed (32nd) Total yards allowed (30th) Total points allowed (29th)

Clearly, there is literally nowhere to go but up in at least one defensive category. Even if they were an average team, I still believe that there would be a marked improvement in their production under Wade Phillips.

NET EFFECT: Positive

Miami Dolphins

New Offensive Coordinator: Brian Daboll (NFL EXP: 11 & Prior Job: Browns OC 2009-2010)

Daboll has worked in various NFL offensive positions since 2000, but his first shot as an OC was unproductive to say the least (the Browns were 10-22 over his time there.) One could argue that his production was a function of the assets he had to work with. I would agree, but also point out that he is joining the Dolphins. They have a solid offensive roster, but there is a glaring hole under center. It is so bad that fans were screaming for Kyle Orton at practice! Their offensive line will allow them to be a run first offense which suits Daboll & Sporano alike, but the only chance he has at true success lies with Chad Henne.


Minnesota Vikings

New Offensive Coordinator: Bill Musgrave (NFL EXP: 12 & Prior Job: Falcons Asst. Coach/QB Coach)

After losing Darrell Bevell to the Seahawks, the Vikings offense is in an unfamiliar spot. Their offense had been under his and Childress’ direction since 2006, but after an incredibly disappointing 2010 season it was time for a change. In addition to losing their OC, they also lost their QB & #1 receiver in Jackson and Rice. They may have very well upgraded at the QB position, but there is no way that they can make up for the loss of a playmaker like Rice. Bill Musgrave has his work cut out for him getting a brand new QB to gel with his receivers. Not to mention getting him familiar with a much different offense than he just learned in Washington. The only good thing for both Musgrave and Mcnabb is that they can rely on their workhorse (Peterson) to keep the offense moving in the right direction.

NET EFFECT: Negative

Oakland Raiders

New Head Coach: Hue Jackson (NFL EXP: 10 & Prior Job: Raiders OC)

New Offensive Coordinator: Al Saunders (NFL EXP: 28 & Prior Job: Ravens Offensive Consultant)

The only questions I would ask Hue Jackson is why he even brought Al Saunders onto the team. Don’t get me wrong, Saunders is a top tier OC in the league. That is a fact. However, the team showed a spark last season under his direction, and I would expect him to want to lead as much of the team as possible. They hit an 8-8 record, which is a pretty big deal in Oakland right now, and swept the perennial divisional champions for the first time in nearly a decade. Regardless, I believe it absolutely helps to have somebody with the experience and knowledge of Al Saunders on the staff. I was just surprised that he didn’t choose to fill both roles for the team this year.

NET EFFECT: Positive

Disclaimer: My assessment is that this is a net positive, but that in no way means that I think they are going to win more games this year. Don’t bet NFL futures!

San Diego Chargers

New Defensive Coordinator: Greg Manusky (NFL EXP: 10 & Prior Job: 49’ers DC 2007-2010)

Keeping the 3-4

The Chargers lost an asset when Rivera took the HC job in Carolina. However, they are returning every single starter on the D-line and defensive backfield. Their LB corp has undergone some changes, but they have upgraded overall. Remember, this is the same group that was ranked first in both total & passing yards allowed, and 4th in rush yards allowed. Unlike most of the teams I covered here I believe that the Chargers have nowhere to go but down when compared to that. Even though they are a truly skilled group, I believe that exchanging Rivera for Manusky is a losing proposition for the Chargers, and I have to rate it accordingly.

NET EFFECT: Negative

Tennessee Titans

New Head Coach & OC: Mike Munchak (NFL EXP: 17 Yrs & Titans O-Line)

New Defensive Coordinator: Jerry Gray (NFL EXP: 14 Yrs. & Prior Job: Seahawks D-Backs)

Keeping the 4-3

The Titans shopped in house to unseat the longest tenured coach in the NFL. Munchak was a great choice as he has been with the Titans since they were the Oilers in ’94. He has also been in the same position (O-Line Coach) since ’97. Regardless of how you try to ease this transition it is going to be a rocky road. At the very least they are returning all of their offensive line (which Munchak built.) They are missing a few of their skill players from last year, but the offense will continue to revolve around Chris Johnson just as Fischer had it. On the other side, Jerry Gray has a much harder job to do. They are returning just 5 of their 11 starters from week 1 last year, and 4 of those players are from the defensive backfield. He is keeping the same base defense, but I don’t foresee any positive gains for the Titans this season.

NET EFFECT: Negative

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33196 Followers:38
09/11/2011 09:33 AM


Week 1

NFL total bias: AFC South no longer an easy over bet

I’m always a little anxious before Week 1 of the NFL season.

It’s kind of like your first day of high school. You have your safe group of buddies that you’ve known for years and that home room teacher that your parents chummed around with, but outside of that it’s a brand new world.

For me, a lot of things actually seem similar to where we left off last year, which helps.

I still feel supreme performance anxiety about my fantasy keeper league. I still fear for Jay Cutler’s life on a weekly basis as he works behind a Chicago Bears line that was reworked again in the offseason. I’m still not sold on the Patriots’ defense and not sure it’s even going to matter with that offense.

I’m still pretty certain I’ll have at least a few 0-3 weeks with my picks in this space and fear for my – ahem – handicapping integrity as I scroll through your thoughtful, Shakespearian-esque comments.

But when it comes to picking totals, the AFC South’s chaos has stripped us of our comfort blanket.

When rumors of Peyton Manning’s neck injury surfaced a few weeks ago, you could feel that something wasn’t right. When Indianapolis signed Kerry-frickin’-Collins, Colts supporters started squirming in their armchairs.

If that weren’t enough to turn the division upside down, Jacksonville’s Jack Del Rio toppled the apple cart by flinging veteran quarterback David Garrard to the curb like a rotten Granny Smith in favor of Luke McCown, of all people.

What does that mean to you, the NFL total bettor? Last season the four AFC South teams combined to push the over to a 42-21-1 record – the most lopsided in the league. But now what? Can the Colts still put some points on the board without Peyton? Can Jacksonville manage any scores with McCown?

Ugh, so much for our sure-thing division. It might be a bumpy ride, but I’m happy to have you aboard.

Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars (-2, 39)

The most comical thing about Jacksonville cutting Garrard was Del Rio telling the media, stone-faced, that it wasn’t a “money decision”. The guy stares right out into a sea of reporters and tries to tell everybody the eight million clams Garrard was going to take home had nothing to do with the decision.

Maybe Garrard was struggling, but if he’s a $2 million-per year veteran quarterback, he’s still taking the snaps Sunday. Instead, former third-stringer Luke McCown comes in for his eighth NFL start.

Meanwhile, the Titans have a new quarterback (Matt Hasselbeck) and a new head coach (Mike Munchak), so you know it’ll take a while to work out the kinks. Plus, running back Chris Johnson is reportedly out of shape following his holdout and won’t have fullback Ahmad Hall (suspension) blocking for him.

Doesn’t exactly sound like a shootout, does it?

Pick: Under

Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (-1.5, 36)

No disrespect to these two defenses, but I’m all in on the over in this one.

While I don’t give much, if any, weight to preseason play, I love what the Baltimore offense has going on right now. Joe Flacco is a quarterback who’s ready to take the next step and the club’s front office gave him exactly what he needed in the offseason: A guy to stretch the field in Lee Evans. All of a sudden, Ray Rice and Anquan Boldin become that much more dangerous underneath.

Meanwhile, all Big Ben did was throw for 3,200 yards in 12 games for the Steelers following his suspension last season. Makes you wonder what he’ll be able to do with even more receiving options and a full slate of games.

Pick: Over

Detroit Lions at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1, 41)

The Detroit Lions’ hype machine is running on overdrive heading into Week 1 and it’s hard not to drool a bit over the team’s potential. But, for the love of Barry Sanders, let’s consider it as just that: Potential.

I like Matt Stafford, Calvin Johnson and a healthy Jahvid Best in the backfield as much as the next guy. The whole defensive line is insane. They finished last season by covering in nine straight games.

But I still don’t know about that secondary, which is where Josh Freeman could make the Lions pay on Sunday. For my money, Freeman’s one of the most underrated young quarterbacks in the league. The kid’s just a winner.

Pick: Over

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33196 Followers:38
09/11/2011 09:34 AM


Week 1

Sunday Night Football: Cowboys at Jets

Dallas Cowboys at New York Jets (-5.5, 6.5)

THE STORY: The Dallas Cowboys proudly wear the moniker of America’s Team, but that won’t impress Rex Ryan, who is convinced that his New York Jets are the NFL’s superior team. Ryan has guaranteed a Super Bowl championship this season and will get a stern test in the season opener from the high-powered Cowboys.

The game features subplots galore – a prime-time matchup between Ryan and his twin brother Rob (Dallas’ new defensive coordinator), the return of Plaxico Burress to the field after nearly two years in jail and, most notably, the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11. It should be an emotional cauldron, one reason why Rex Ryan said he’s never felt more pressure coaching a game.

TV: NBC, 8:20 p.m. ET

LINE MOVES: This spread originally opened at Jets -1.5 this summer. But with numerous injuries on both offense and defense to the Cowboys starters, football bettors have moved this spread all the way to -5.5 as of Saturday afternoon. The total opened at 41 points and has been bet down slightly to its current stand.

ABOUT THE JETS (2010: 11-5, 2nd AFC East): The Jets have gone to back-to-back AFC Championship games, and now Ryan believes they are ready to take the final step. Burress, who was released from prison in June and hasn’t played since November 2008 after accidentally shooting himself in the thigh, provides a big target for third-year QB Mark Sanchez.

Receiver Santonio Holmes will be available for a full season and veteran Derrick Mason joins an upgraded receiving corps. RB Shonn Greene needs to show he can carry the load, because the defense figures to be stellar again, particularly with bookend CBs Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie.

ABOUT THE COWBOYS (2010: 6-10, T-3rd NFC East): The Cowboys would like to purge last season from their memories. They started 1-7 and lost QB Tony Romo to a broken collarbone in the sixth game. Jason Garrett replaced a fired Wade Phillips and led the team to a 5-3 record.

Dallas has plenty of weapons on offense with WRs Miles Austin and Dez Bryant along with TE Jason Witten. RB Felix Jones has yet to live up to his enormous potential and could find tough sledding behind an overhauled offensive line. DeMarcus Ware led the NFL in sacks (15.5) last season and must be a presence due to a suspect secondary.

WEATHER: Thunderstorms are in the forecast for New Jersey, giving way to rain showers. There is a 36 percent chance of the wet stuff at MetLife Stadium with game-time temperatures in the high 60s. Winds will be blowing slightly, moving north (from endzone to endzone) at 4 mph.


1. The Cowboys have an NFL-best 34-16-1 record in season openers, and their 32-19 mark in road openers also ranks No. 1 in the NFL.

2. The Jets’ defense surrendered 291.5 yards per game last season, the third-lowest mark in the league.

3. Witten has had two straight 94-catch, 1,000-yard seasons. He is the second tight end in league history to record consecutive seasons with 90 receptions. In eight career games against Dallas, Burress has 35 receptions and six touchdowns, including a career-high three in September 2007.


- Cowboys are 5-0 ATS in their last five games as underdogs.
- Jets are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games as home favorites of 3.5-10.0.
- Over is 13-3 in Cowboys last 16 games overall.
- Over is 18-6 in Jets last 24 games overall.

PREDICTION: Jets 23, Cowboys 20. The Cowboys will be able to move the ball before bogging down in the red zone. The Jets ride the emotion of the home crowd to eke out a late victory.

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