cnotes Posts:32193 Followers:37
09/20/2011 07:39 PM

Arkansas Razorbacks At Alabama In SEC Showdown

Alabama is just 27-46 ATS vs. SEC opponents since 1992.
There were more than 101,000 fans at Bryant-Denny Stadium this past week to watch the Alabama Crimson Tide take on North Texas. A few in attendance showed up to watch Cody Mandell, Alabama's sophomore punter.

His lone boot traveled 35 yards before skipping out of bounds at the Mean Green 4-yard line.

A larger crowd is expected this Saturday afternoon in Tuscaloosa where red, or a slight variation of it, will be a very popular color when the Razorbacks from Arkansas come a callin' on 'Bama. Most will be rooting for Mandell to again only be called on once.

Alabama opened as a two touchdown favorite to beat the Hogs. That's just a little higher than the 9.4 gap between the Crimson Tide and Razorbacks in the Don Best Linemakers Poll. 'Bama has been No. 1 for three weeks running while Arkansas is 12th according to Kenny White.

Coincidentally – or perhaps not – the college football spread was quickly bet down to 11½ and even an 11 here and there. Saturday's total is up a point from opening to 50½.

It's the first of two very big road dates for Arkansas. The next is the day after Thanksgiving in Baton Rouge. It's a bit of a shame the Razorbacks have both of those contests on the road; having just one of them at home could really throw a wrinkle into the Southeastern Conference, and thus, the BCS.

The Hogs know they will have to beat either the Tide or the Tigers on the road to have even a small chance of playing in the SEC Championship.

Arkansas (3-0 straight up, 2-1 against the spread) started just outside the top 10 in most polls simply because the Razorbacks do have the Crimson Tide and Tigers on the road in SEC play. Bobby Petrino's team could easily wind up being third-best in the SEC West Division and yet a top-10 finalist in the nation.

Petrino's lads strolled to wins over Missouri State and New Mexico to begin the season, then were possibly caught looking ahead to this game in last week's 38-28 triumph over Troy. Arkansas shot to a 24-0 lead before getting a little sloppy and letting the Trojans make the score closer than it should've been.

Arkansas failed to cover the 23-point line, but Troy's 21-point second half did delight those who bet 'over' 62.

Petrino was particularly peeved with his quarterback, junior Tyler Wilson. If Wilson isn't spot on this week, Petrino won't hesitate to send in soph Brandon Mitchell. Whoever is under center, they could be without the services of wideout Jarius Wright who is questionable with a knee injury. Wright leads the team with three touchdown receptions.

Whoever is at QB will also have to deal with an incredibly tough Alabama defense. The Crimson Tide (3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS) have surrendered just 170 yards per game, third fewest in the nation, and just 18 points over the first three contests. The unit pitched a shutout last week against North Texas, and shined in the Tide's 27-11 triumph on the road at Penn State two weeks ago.

A strong running game to date – 242 YPG, 14th in the country – has relieved some of the pressure on sophomore QB AJ McCarron. He's been efficient, though unspectacular, the past two games after having a few hiccups in the season opener. Head coach Nick Saban is no doubt cool with the efficient/unspectacular showing for McCarron, and Alabama should give the Hogs a steady dose of Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy on the ground.

Alabama rallied for a 24-20 road win last season, the fourth-straight victory in this series for the Tide who were favored by seven. Arkansas' last win here in Tuscaloosa was a 34-31, double-overtime thriller in 2003.

CBS will broadcast this one starting at 3:30 p.m. (ET). The Razorbacks will head to Cowboys Stadium next week for a date with Texas A&M; 'Bama will be in Gainesville to meet the Florida Gators

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:32193 Followers:37
09/21/2011 12:55 AM

NFL Spread Sheet: Sportsbooks battle over trend

One week could be a fluke. Does two constitute a trend?

Either way, a 74 percent run sends a message, and oddsmakers heard it loud and clear.

They’re adjusting in a big way after over bettors went 11-5 in Week 2 on the heels of going 12-3-1 in Week 1.

NFL teams are averaging 493 net passing yards per game, which would shatter last year’s record of 443 net passing yards per game.

“It’s like it’s turned into nothing but a passing league,” MGM Mirage sportsbook manager Jeff Stoneback told “Some of the rule changes, where you can hardly touch the receivers, have added to it. We thought with the new kickoff rule it would keep scoring down a bit, but obviously we were wrong there, at least after two weeks.”

Now oddsmakers are responding. Six Week 3 spreads sit at 44.5 or higher, including eye-popping 53s on New England-Buffalo and Houston-New Orleans.

“The extreme overs in Weeks 1 and 2 had a little to do with the oddsmakers just not setting the lines high enough,” handicapper Steve Merril told “Average NFL scores have been around the 42-43 point range the past few years but it appears they might be a bit higher this season with the more prolific passing attacks.”

Week 1 scores got a huge boost from eight kick and punt return TDs. Week 2 produced lots of points with little special teams help.

Wynn Las Vegas sportsbook manager John Avello opened Pats-Bills at 52 -- at least three points higher than he would have opened it just a couple weeks ago.


The Patriots, Lions and Texans drew the most action from bettors last week, and all three favorites cashed.

New England handed the books their biggest loss.

And Detroit is a team that “gives us heartburn,” Avello said. “They’re a public team and have a pretty good following. People from the Detroit area have been sticking with this team for years, if they win one or two games. Now they have a team that could be a contender and others are jumping on that bandwagon too.

“Nobody is going to go against this team right now.”

Before the season, Avello said, he envisioned the Vikings being favored at home against Detroit. Now the Lions are laying 3.5.


Consider that Seattle (0-2 SU, ATS) has ventured inside its opponents’ 20 twice in two games. That’s it. The Seahawks never got past the Steelers’ 25 on Sunday and were shut out for the 11th time in franchise history.

What’s more alarming is this comment from coach Pete Carroll to the Seattle Times: “I thought we’d be able to move along faster. But we’ve done what we’ve had to do. We’ll continue to push it.”

I’d hate to see this offense when coaches are not “pushing it.”

Seattle, which just lost guard Robert Gallery for four to six weeks, is getting 3 at home against Arizona.


The NFL decreed this season that every scoring play will get a booth review. But are the guys upstairs napping?

New Orleans RB Darren Sproles clearly stepped out of bounds at the 1 but was awarded a TD against the Bears. Because of the new rule, Chicago coach Lovie Smith could not challenge.

The 12-yard TD catch midway through the fourth quarter sealed the Saints’ 30-13 win.


The Lions have covered 11 straight, including preseason, and gone 10-1 SU in that span.

The Chiefs have lost eight straight, including preseason, going 0-7-1 ATS.

The Patriots have posted a 12-1 O/U mark in their last 13 regular-season and playoff games.

The Seahawks have gone 0-5 SU and ATS in their last five road games.


Rams backers have to be sick after watching a supposedly up-and-coming team start 0-2 SU and ATS. But you could see this train wreck coming.
St. Louis botched its draft. Trying to please new offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, the Rams took pass catchers in Rounds 2-4: TE Lance Kendricks, WR Austin Pettis, WR Greg Salas.

Kendricks and Salas lead the team in drops, and none of the three has breakaway speed. Meanwhile, the Rams neglected to draft a competent backup to RB Steven Jackson.

So QB Sam Bradford figures to spend 2011 like he did 2010 -- throwing into tiny windows, begging for a running game and trudging off the field to watch the field-goal unit come on. In Monday’s 28-16 loss to the Giants, St. Louis marched inside New York’s 10 three times in the first half and came away with nine points.


Detroit, Buffalo and Washington last started a combined 6-0 in the strike year of 1982, notes columnist Tom Robinson of the Virginian-Pilot.

“Things really do cycle around the NFL,” he wrote, “even if they take nearly 30 years.”

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:32193 Followers:37
09/21/2011 06:28 PM

NFL Tech Trends - Week 3

September 21, 2011

Sunday, Sept. 25 (1:00 p.m. ET)

Matchup Skinny Tech Edge

If Cincy favored, note Marvin Lewis 2-12 vs. spread in role since 2009, 6-20 since 2007. Slight to 49ers, based on extended Cincy chalk numbers.

Belichick has owned Bills since losing 31-0 in 2003 opener, winning 15 in a row since (10-4-1 vs. line). Patriots have really dominated at Orchard Park since 2003, 6-0-1 vs. line in the seven games since. Belichick also "over" 18-3 last 21 since late 2009. Patriots and "over," based on series and Belichick "totals" trends.

Saints just 11-20-1 vs. line last 31 on board since mid 2009. NO 7-15-1 last 23 in reg. season against spread. Kubiak "over" 7-3 away since late '09. Texans and "over," based on team and "totals" trends.

Eagles have won and covered last six in series. G-Men 2-7 vs. line last 9 on board since late LY. Coughlin only 2-3 as road dog LY after solid 10-4 mark in role previous three years. Eagles, based on team trends.

Sparano 18-6 vs. line last 24 on road, also "under" 15-6 last 21 on road (opposite of home "over" trends). Browns 2-8 vs. line since mid 2010. Dolphins and "under," based on Sparano trends.

Broncos entered 2011 just 4-9 last 13 on board as visitor. Titans only 7-13 last 20 as chalk, however. Tenn. "over" 12-7-1 last 20 at LP Field, Broncos "over" 18-5 last 23 since late 2009. "Over" and Slight to Broncos, based on team and "totals" trends.

Counting preseason, Lions have won last 9 and covered last 10 games on board. Note that last six in this series "under" as well. Lions and "under," based team and "totals" trends.

The two '95 expansionists meet. Jags "over" 7-3 last 10 on road. Panthers only 5 covers last 18 on board, 3-6 vs. line at home since LY. Slight to Jags and "over," based on team and "totals" trends.

Sunday, Sept. 25 (4:05 p.m. ET)

Matchup Skinny Tech Edge

Norv just 4-9-1 vs. line in first three games of season since arriving at SD in 2007. Norv also "under" last 4 at home. Slight to Chiefs and "under," based on Norv trends.

Heidi Game revisited, 43 years later! Rex Ryan 13-4 vs. points last 17 on road. Rexy also "over" 16-6 last 21 since late '09. Raiders "over" 12-6 since LY. "Over" and Jets, based on "totals" and team trends.

Note Rams "under" 14-6 last 20 since late '09 for Spagnuolo. Rams 7-4 last 11 as dog as well. "Under," based on "totals" trends.

Sunday, Sept. 25 (4:15 p.m. ET)

Matchup Skinny Tech Edge

Road team has covered last five in series. Bucs 3-16-1 vs. line last 20 at Raymond James Stadium. Falcons lost at Chicago in opener but still 14-8 vs. line last 22 on road. Falcs also "over" 5-1 last 6 on road. Falcons and "over," based on team and "totals" trends.

Pete Carroll won and covered both vs. Whisenhunt LY after Cards had won and covered previous 4 in series. "Overs" 7-3 last 10 in series. Pete Carroll "over" 14-5-1 since arriving LY. "Over" and Seahawks, based on "totals" and team trends.

Pack had covered 4 straight vs. Bears prior to LY before 2-1 SU and 1-2 vs. line in 2010 vs. Chicago. Pack 12-5 vs. line last 17 on road. Last seven in series "under" as well. "Under," based on "totals" trends.

Sunday, Sept. 25 (8:20 p.m. ET)

Matchup Skinny Tech Edge

Tomlin only 8-14 as road chalk since taking over Steelers in '07. Slight to Colts, based on extended Tomlin road chalk marks.

Monday, Sept. 26 (8:30 p.m. ET)

Matchup Skinny Tech Edge

Skins covered both LY and last three in series. Shan 5-2 vs. line last 7 away in 2010. Jerry Jones just 1-5 as home chalk LY. Note Cowboys "over" 15-3 since 2010. Redskins, based on team trends. Slight to "over," based on team and "totals" trends.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:32193 Followers:37
09/21/2011 06:37 PM

Ravens In Bounce-Back Mode At St. Louis Rams

Sunday’s total in St. Louis for the Rams, Ravens clash is 41½ points.
Week 3 of the National Football League season kicks off this Sunday and on the late-game slate will be the St. Louis Rams (0-2) hosting the Baltimore Ravens (1-1) at the Edward Jones Dome. Game time is set for 4:05 p.m. (ET) with CBS carrying the coverage in some markets.

Baltimore opened as 3½-point road favorites on the Don Best odds screen and that number has moved up slightly to four. The total has been static at 41½.

What a disappointment last week was for the Ravens. After smashing the Steelers in Week 1, they followed up that performance by laying down against the Tennessee Titans, losing 26-13. The offensive line allowed quarterback Joe Flacco to get hit all day which led to some pedestrian numbers for the fourth-year pro.

This is a team, however, that did not have two losses in a row all last season. In fact, the Ravens lost in Week 2 on the road to Cincinnati in 2010 and rebounded in Week 3. Head coach Jim Harbaugh and company have not incurred consecutive losses since Oct. 2009.

St. Louis has been affected by key injuries which have directly led to the Rams' winless start. Star running back Steven Jackson is still uncertain for this Sunday with a quad injury and QB Sam Bradford played Monday night against the Giants despite suffering from a hurt finger.

The Rams appear to be a team with a solid defense with their one major problem on the offensive side of the ball: Scoring touchdowns once they reach the red zone.

Once they get inside the 20, they cannot seem to finish the job. Settling for field goals instead of touchdowns was the difference in the Rams’ Week 2 loss.

St. Louis also has poor numbers in another critical facet of offense, third down. So far through two games they have converted just 7-of-29 third down tries.

While Sam Bradford could have a promising future, he has lost offensive weapons to injury left and right. One receiver did step up against New York and that was Denario Alexander who came up with some nice catches for big plays. Former Jaguar Mike Sims-Walker was also consistent that night grabbing six balls for 92 yards.

Baltimore’s ‘D’ will surely be a tough way for the Rams to get over their offense inefficiencies. Matt Hasselbeck tore up the Ravens’ through the air last week but again, Baltimore appears to be a team that bounces back well after losses.

In their last six games following a loss against the spread they are 5-1 ATS.

As for Flacco, he may be without his new toy, WR Lee Evans who is questionable nursing a nagging ankle injury.

The Rams have gone 1-4 ATS in their last five contests as an underdog. Totals going ‘over’ appear to be trending around the whole league and the ‘over’ is 4-0 in the Ravens last four games following a straight-up loss

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:32193 Followers:37
09/21/2011 06:38 PM

Broncos Face Familiar Spot At Tennessee Titans

The Broncos were 6½-point underdogs last year when they beat the Titans.
The last time Denver trekked to LP Field for a battle vs. Tennessee last October 3, the odds seemed stacked against the 6½-point underdog Broncos. Yet despite generating only 19 rush yards for the entire afternoon and trailing entering the fourth quarter, Denver summoned a late surge, scoring the last 10 points of the game for a surprising 26-20 win.

Almost one year later, the Broncos are tasked with a similar assignment in Nashville against the host Titans for a 1:00 p.m. (ET) kickoff on Sunday. And, like last October, Tennessee is again favored by 6 ½ to 7 points at the various Las Vegas sports books. The posted ‘total’ is a solid 42 around town.

Things are a bit different this year for both sides after each underwent coaching changes in the offseason. The adjustments have been more pronounced in Denver, where ex-Carolina coach John Fox was tasked with ridding the Broncos of the stench of the Josh McDaniels regime, which was aborted by owner Pat Bowlen even before last year was complete.

By comparison, the Titans have undergone a more-seamless transition to their new coach Mike Munchak, a longtime offensive line stalwart for the franchise from its Houston days and promoted from the staff of the deposed Jeff Fisher after 2010's dysfunctional 6-10 ride.

An interesting development in last year’s game was the surprising inability of Tennessee’s 2009 NFL leading rusher Chris Johnson to dominate action as expected, especially considering Denver’s well-publicized weakness vs. the run. Nonetheless, the Broncos corralled Johnson, allowing him only 53 yards on 19 carries en route to the mild upset.

Johnson’s presence again figures to play an important part in Sunday’s encounter, although it should be noted that he has appeared a bit rusty in the first two regular-season games vs. the Jags and Ravens, gaining only 77 yards (and a puny 2.3 ypc). Most AFC South insiders believe this is a result of his preseason holdout and late arrival the week before the Jacksonville opener.

Conventional wisdom suggests that Johnson will soon regain his 2009-2010 form; the Broncos can only hope it waits another week.

Not that Johnson has failed to impact proceedings in the early going, particularly last week vs. the Ravens. Although gaining only 53 yards on 24 carries, Johnson provided an effective diversion for new QB Matt Hasselbeck, who completed 30 of 42 throws for a whopping 358 yards vs. the miserly Baltimore defense.

Simply, the Ravens, and all Titan foes, still have to pay attention to Johnson who has amassed 3370 rush yards and scored 28 TDs the previous two seasons combined, and whose presence continues to preoccupy schemes of enemy stop units.

Shrewd AFC onlookers also consider the Titans a team to watch as long as Hasselbeck can stay in one piece. The former Packer and Seahawk, with Super Bowl experience from his Seattle days, appears a vast upgrade from the Kerry Collins-Vince Young Titan mess of the past two years that contributed to Fisher’s ouster. Hasselbeck has also not wasted any time getting familiar with wideouts Kenny Britt and Nate Washington, either, as that pair has combined for 27 catches in the first two weeks.

Meanwhile, Denver is feeling fortunate to escape its opening two-game homestand with a split against the Raiders and Bengals. Unfortunately for Fox, the same sort of injury bugaboo that haunted the Broncos in McDaniels’ final season seems to have returned, as the Denver casualty list is the most extensive in the league. It’s been key performers going down, too, including the core of the defense, with CB Champ Bailey, DE Elvis Dumervil, LB D.J. Williams and DT Ty Warren already missing action and questionable to return this week.

The Bronco offense has been missing some important pieces as well, with RB Knowshon Moreno and wideouts Brandon Lloyd and Eddie Royal among the infirmed. So thin has Fox become at the WR spot that he signed ex-Bengal Quan Cosby to bolster the ranks this week.

Still, Denver proved resourceful last week in the narrow win vs. Cincy and might have uncovered a new weapon in the process. That would be second-year Minnesota WR Eric Decker, who has quickly emerged as one of QB Kyle Orton’s favorite targets as well as a feared return threat. Decker’s eight catches lead all Bronco receivers, and his 90-yard score in the opener vs. Oakland was the Broncos’ first punt return TD since 2007.

Meanwhile, Moreno’s absence was somewhat mitigated last week by the effort of newly-acquired RB Willis McGahee, who adds a more-physical dimension to the Denver infantry and banged out a bruising 101 yards on the ground against the Bengals. That ground diversion will be important this week to keep the pressure off of the immobile Orton, who has already been sacked seven times in the first two weeks.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:32193 Followers:37
09/21/2011 06:40 PM

Detroit Lions Rare Favorites at Minnesota Vikings

The Lions are favored by 3½ points with Sunday’s total set at 45.
How long has it been since the Detroit Lions (2-0) were favored at Minnesota (0-2)? Well, Walter Cronkite was still hosting the CBS Evening News and Anwar Sadat was still President of Egypt...and the Vikings were still playing their home games at old Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington.

Not to mention still employing a straight-on kicker.

Yes, it’s been a long time since September 20, 1981, when the Lions were laying 3½ points on the road to the Vikes. Detroit, coached by Monte Clark and featuring RB Billy Sims, lost that one by a 26-24 count thanks to a late field goal by Minnesota’s Rick Danmeier, one of the last of the straight-away place kickers.

For the first time since, and the first time ever at the Metrodome (which opened in 1982), Detroit is laying points at Minnesota for Sunday’s kickoff at 1:00 p.m. (ET). Most Las Vegas betting shops have posted the Lions as 3½-point favorites...just as they were 30 years ago at the old Met. Totals on the game are at 45 at the majority of Las Vegas books.

Detroit, however, is feeling pretty good about itself these days and confident it will not meet the same fate as its predecessors in Honolulu Blue and Silver 30 years ago at Bloomington. Not only are the Lions at 2-0 for the first time since 2007, but they haven’t scored this many points (75) in their first two games since way back in 1970, when a Joe Schmidt-coached Detroit bunch put 78 points on the board in routs of the Packers and Bengals to open the first post-merger campaign.

Confident, indeed; counting the preseason, the Lions have now won their last 10 games dating to late in the 2010 campaign, as well as covering the spread 11 times in a row. Safe to say this bunch has gotten used to winning as it matures into a powerhouse for shrewd third-year coach Jim Schwartz.

Meanwhile, things are hardly as promising at the Metrodome where the Vikings continue to look like a team in transition. Though competitive in the first two games, Minnesota suffered late defeats on both occasions vs. the Chargers and Bucs. In neither occasion were the contributions of the wondrous Adrian Peterson (already at 213 rush yards) enough to stave off defeat.

Moreover, veteran QB Donovan McNabb continues to perform as if he’s well past his sell-by date. Unwilling, or unable, to look downfield, McNabb has almost solely resorted to dink passes, so uncomfortable is he with his wide receiver corps. Running back Percy Harvin has been McNabb’s favorite early target with nine catches, although those amounted to only 83 yards in the first two games.

The lone Minnesota wideout with more than one reception is Michael Jenkins with six, and those have been worth less than 10 yards per catch.

Making matters more ominous for the Purple Bunch is a robust Lions front seven led by Nebraska’s irrepressible second-year DT Ndamukong Suh. Don’t be fooled by the 151 rush yards generated against Detroit last week by the Chiefs, who picked up much of that total long after the game had been decided. A more accurate barometer of the Lions' defensive prowess came at Tampa Bay in Week 1, when the Bucs were held to just 56 yards on the ground and didn’t score an offensive touchdown until the final two minutes of the game...still the only TD allowed by Schwartz’s stop unit this season.

And given the new-found offensive prowess of the Lions, investors can rest a bit easier laying a few points with them, even on the road. Especially with QB Matthew Stafford on song and already having fired seven TDs in two weeks (a pace that would have him at 56 TD passes for the entire season).

Stafford now has another target to go along with established targets Nate Burleson and Calvin Johnson, as Boise State rookie Titus Young appears to be emerging as another long-ball threat, gaining almost 18 yards per catch in the first two weeks.

In danger of falling to 0-3 for the first time since Mike Tice’s regime in 2002, the Vikes are an early candidate to go into full rebuild mode by midseason if things don’t improve soon. Which means McNabb is on the clock and has only a limited amount of time to forge a turnaround.

If there is a good piece of news for Minnesota this week, however, it’s that stalwart DT Kevin Williams has had his suspension lifted and is expected to be available for duty on Sunday.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:32193 Followers:37
09/21/2011 06:41 PM

Pittsburgh Steelers Visit Winless Indianapolis Colts

The Indianapolis Colts are 1-6 ATS in their last seven home games.
The Sunday night primetime matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts is not exactly what NBC executives were expecting.

The Don Best odds screen has Pittsburgh as 10 ½-point road favorites at most shops, down slightly from the 11-point opening. The NFL betting total is 39½ points, currently the lowest on the board this week.

NBC will broadcast at 8:20 p.m. (ET) from Lucas Oil Stadium. The game was originally scheduled with a healthy Peyton Manning in mind, but his neck injury has dramatically changed the team’s fortunes.

The Colts (0-2 straight up, 0-2 against the spread) opened with a 34-7 blowout loss at Houston. The Texans were 1-7 SU in the previous eight matchups and were looking for revenge. Indy then suffered the indignity of being 1-point home ‘dogs to lowly Cleveland last week and still lost, 27-19.

The 46 combined points scored last week went ‘over’ the 39 ½-point total. Indianapolis scored a meaningless touchdown with 24 seconds left to provide the difference. A total of 17 points were scored in the final four minutes.

Team scoring (13 PPG) ranks just 29th, with the league average 23.5 PPG. The 1,502 total points scored in the first two weeks is an NFL record.

Quarterback Kerry Collins’ job seems to safe for now as coach Jim Caldwell said he didn’t even consider putting in backup Curtis Painter last week. Collins has a 71.4 quarterback rating (ranked 29th) and his only two TD drives have been in the fourth quarter with the game out of reach. He’s limited his interceptions with just one, but has had four fumbles.

Collins may deserve a bit of a break considering he only signed with the team in late August. The offensive line has also been an issue, allowing five sacks. Guard Ryan Diem (ankle) may be out this week and that could be dangerous against the blitzing Steelers defense.

Caldwell will ideally feature backs Joseph Addai and Delone Carter more and Pittsburgh’s 100.5 YPG allowed on the ground is much higher than last year’s top mark (62.8 YPG). However, Caldwell is prone to strange decisions and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Collins take multiple shots downfield.

The Colts are 1-6 ATS in their last seven home games, but all their trends need to be taken with a grain of salt with Manning out.

Pittsburgh (1-0 SU and ATS) has had two completely different results this season, a 35-7 road loss at AFC North rival Baltimore, followed by a 24-0 home win over Seattle.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had three interceptions against the Ravens and had a part in three fumbles. He rebounded nicely last week (22-of-30, 298 yards, no turnovers) and even played well after a knee injury scare in the second quarter.

Roethlisberger is not listed on the Don Best injury report. Guard Chris Kemoeatu (knee) is questionable and the offensive line does have to be wary in general of pass rushers Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. If Roethlisberger has time, he’ll easily be able to pick apart this secondary, with Mike Wallace (233 total yards) his favorite target.

The run game is only averaging 3.7 yards per carry (ranked 20th), but that area can also have success with Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman. Indianapolis has linebackers Gary Brackett and Ernie Sims questionable with a shoulder and knee injury respectively.

The Pittsburgh defense was insulted as ‘old’ and other things after the Ravens offense had 385 total yards (170 rushing). Seattle had just 164 total yards, but the Steelers failed to cause a turnover for the second week in a row, a bit concerning. Getting takeaways will be the key to ‘covering’ this large road spread.

Pittsburgh defensive end Brett Keisel and cornerback Bryant McFadden (hamstring) are both questionable.

Pittsburgh is 2-6 in its last eight games as a 9-point road favorite or more.

This is the first meeting between the teams since 2008, with the road team winning and ‘covering’ the last two.

Weather is expected to have scattered thunderstorms and drop into the 50s, so there’s a good chance Indy’s retractable roof will be closed for the second week in row.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:32193 Followers:37
09/21/2011 06:43 PM

Aaron Rodgers, Packers Battle Chicago Bears

The ’under’ is a perfect 7-0 in the most recent Bears, Packers matchups.
The last time the Chicago Bears hosted the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field, a trip to the Super Bowl was on the line. The stakes will be much smaller on Sunday when they meet again and renew the NFL’s oldest rivalry in a rematch of last year’s NFC Championship Game.

Game time is scheduled for 4:15 p.m. (ET) with television coverage provided by FOX. The defending Super Bowl champion Packers (2-0) are favored for the sixth straight time at -3 ½ with the total at 45 ½.

The Bears (1-1) lead the all-time series 92-84-6 and won the first meeting a year ago 20-17 in Week 3 as they improved to 3-0. However, they blew an opportunity to knock Green Bay out of the playoff picture in the regular-season finale in a 10-3 loss, and fell again to the Packers 21-14 on January 23.

That latest meeting held more weight than any other game between the teams since 1941 and was a memorable one to say the least. Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler was forced to leave in the third quarter with a sprained MCL in his knee that has haunted him ever since, as millions of fans and bettors questioned his toughness in the biggest game of his career.

Cutler has taken a physical beating already through two games this season after he was sacked a league-high 52 times a year ago. He has been sacked 11 times so far in 2011, including six by New Orleans in a 30-13 loss last Sunday.

The bad news for Cutler and the Bears has gotten even worse with first-round draft pick Gabe Carimi dislocating his right knee against the Saints. Carimi is their second offensive lineman to go down in as many weeks, joining Lance Louis who was inactive last week with an ankle injury.

Chicago looked nothing like the team that pounded Atlanta 30-12 at home in the season opener while Green Bay knows exactly what it’s like to play New Orleans. The Packers held off the Saints 42-34 in their season opener and needed to rally to beat Carolina 30-23 on the road last week.

Green Bay has relied on the arm of QB Aaron Rodgers, who has completed nearly 71 percent of his passes and thrown for over 300 yards in each of the first two games. Rodgers has tossed five touchdowns without an interception and hopes his defense can get off to a better start against the Bears.

The Packers lost Pro Bowl safety Nick Collins for the season after he suffered a neck injury in the fourth quarter against the Panthers. The loss of Collins hurts a secondary that has seen the opposing QB top the 400-yard mark in each of their two wins.

The Bears will try to take advantage of that defensive weakness and cover the spread for the third time in four meetings. The ‘under’ has cashed in the last seven meetings with Green Bay winning four of the past five.

The weather forecast for Sunday in Chicago calls for a 30 percent chance of showers with a high temperature of 62 degrees.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:32193 Followers:37
09/21/2011 07:08 PM

Week 3 Preview: Texans at Saints



Kickoff: Sunday, 1:00 p.m. EDT
Line: New Orleans -4, Total: 53

Houston’s rebuilt secondary gets its first major test when the Texans visit Drew Brees and the Saints on Sunday afternoon. The last time these teams squared off was 2007 when Houston won 23-10.

After having the worst pass defense in all of football a year ago, the Texans added CB Johnathan Joseph and FS Danieal Manning and switched to a 3-4 base alignment under new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. Houston currently leads the NFL in both total defense (271 YPG) and scoring defense (10.0 PPG), but it wasn’t really tested in matchups with two of the worst starting QBs in football -- Indianapolis’ Kerry Collins and Miami’s Chad Henne. Even with WR Marques Colston out and WR Lance Moore playing at less than full speed, Saints QB Drew Brees threw for 270 yards and 3 TD against a very good Chicago defense this past Sunday. Houston was 2-6 ATS as an underdog last year, and the Saints are 4-1 ATS in their past five home games. The pick here is NEW ORLEANS to win big.

The FoxSheets provide a three-star trend favoring the Saints:

Play On - Home favorites (NEW ORLEANS) - good team from last season - outscored opponents by 4 or more points/game, after scoring 30 points or more last game. (35-9 since 1983.) (79.5%, +25.1 units. Rating = 3*).

Arian Foster, last year’s leading rusher in the NFL, had to take himself out of Sunday’s win over Miami because his hamstring was bothering him. Luckily for Foster and the Texans, the ground game hasn’t suffered, as Ben Tate has rushed for 219 of the team’s 305 yards this year. Tate is averaging 4.7 YPC during his back-to-back 100-yard efforts. With Foster still questionable to play and RB Derrick Ward likely out because of an ankle injury, Tate will continue to be a huge part of this offense. QB Matt Schaub hasn’t been flawless (3 TD, 2 INT), but he has completed 72% of his passes, including 14 completions and two scores to Andre Johnson. Other than Foster and Ward, the Texans are dealing with injuries to LB DeMeco Ryans (elbow), CB Johnathan Joseph (ankle) and WR Kevin Walter (collarbone), who are all questionable for Sunday’s game.

Brees has thrown for three scores in both of his games, racking up 689 passing yards. Most of this has been done without Colston, who is expected to miss a month with a broken collarbone. Lance Moore (groin) will likely suit up again Sunday, but he only had one catch for six yards in the win over Chicago. RB Darren Sproles leads the team in targets (19) and receptions (15), but WR Devery Henderson has been the best option downfield with 203 yards on nine catches (22.6 avg) and 2 TD. Rookie RB Mark Ingram has not been the consistent rusher the team had hoped he’d be, with just 91 yards on 27 carries (3.4 YPC), with his longest run being 12 yards. One key defensive player the Saints would love to get back is CB Tracy Porter, who did not play last week because of a calf injury.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:32193 Followers:37
09/21/2011 07:11 PM

Week 3 Preview: Giants at Eagles



Kickoff: Sunday, 1:00 p.m. EDT
Line: Philadelphia -7.5, Total: 49

Philadelphia looks for a seventh straight series win (SU and ATS) over rival New York when the divisional foes meet Sunday afternoon. The injury-depleted Giants could catch a break as Eagles star QB Michael Vick is questionable with a concussion.

Although Philly has won these six consecutive meetings by an average of 10.8 PPG, the Eagles needed a game-ending, punt-return TD from DeSean Jackson to complete an improbable comeback to beat the Giants last December. This offseason, Philadelphia has reloaded while New York is falling apart. Philly has the defensive backs to smother the Giants’ passing game, while New York’s injuries in the secondary (CBs Prince Amukamara and Terrell Thomas) will leave the G-Men susceptible to Philly’s big-play receivers. Even if Vick is not cleared to return, backup Mike Kafka (7-for-9, 72 yards) proved to be serviceable during fourth-quarter action in Atlanta. The pick here is PHILADELPHIA to win and cover.

The FoxSheets give another reason to play on the Eagles:

Andy Reid is 99-61 ATS (61.9%, +31.9 Units) against conference opponents as the coach of PHILADELPHIA. The average score was PHILADELPHIA 23.9, OPPONENT 18.1 - (Rating = 2*).

Eli Manning has been a mediocre quarterback versus the Eagles in his career, with a 6-8 record, 59% completion rate, 222 passing YPG, 22 TD and 16 INT. He’s not yet working with a healthy receiving unit though, as WR Mario Manningham is questionable with a concussion. Two other wide receivers that are also hurt, but will most likely play through knee injuries for a second straight week, are Domenik Hixon and Hakeem Nicks. The oft-injured RB duo of Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs are both healthy, but neither has been great this year, combining for 182 yards on 50 carries (3.6 YPC). On the defensive side of the ball, DE Justin Tuck was able to play in Monday night’s win over St. Louis (five tackles 1.5 sacks), but fellow DE Osi Umenyiora (knee) is not expected to play in Week 3.

Vick isn’t the only Eagles offensive star that was banged up in Sunday’s loss to Atlanta. RB LeSean McCoy suffered a hand injury, WR DeSean Jackson injured his wrist and TE Brent Celek strained his back. All three players are questionable, but McCoy will likely play on Sunday. Fortunately, Jeremy Maclin, whose health was a major concern in the preseason, has been injury-free, catching 14 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns in his first two games of 2011. Two defensive ends are also injured as Trent Cole strained a tendon in his hand against the Falcons and Juqua Parker has a high ankle sprain that will likely keep him sidelined for Sunday.

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