NFL mismatches: Where to find the edge in Sunday's games
The following is a selection of Sunday games where mismatches in key positions could have a major effect on the outcome.
Eagles running back Brian Westbrook vs. Dolphins’ rush defense
Brian Westbrook is one of the best running backs in the league. He has rushed for 701 yards and five TDs, and should add to those totals against the Dolphins – the third worst rush defense in the NFL.
Westbrook has produced some huge performances for the Eagles this year, but none more so than last week against the Redskins. He had 100 rushing yards, 83 receiving yards and three touchdowns, including a 57-yard score with three minutes left that sealed a 33-25 win for Philly.
The Dolphins’ defense is in no state to deal with a player of Westbrook’s versatility. It is relinquishing 149.7 yards per game on the ground, as well as a total of 28.6 points per contest.
Philadelphia is a 10-point home favorite with the total set at 40 ½.
Rams’ receiver Torry Holt vs. 49ers pass defense
Whatever way you spin it, this has been an awful season for the Rams (1-8). But there has been one positive for St. Louis, the impressive form of Torry Holt. He’s the league’s ninth-ranked receiver and could move up a few spots on that list when he faces a struggling 49ers’ defense.
Holt has 700 yards and four touchdowns, and was a key figure in the Rams’ first win of the season last week. He had 124 yards on eight catches and was probably the best player on the field against New Orleans, despite not scoring a touchdown.
Things went from bad to worse for the 49ers (2-7) on Monday night, when the Seahawks held them scoreless in a 24-0 loss. San Francisco’s pass defense allowed Seattle QB Matt Hasselbeck to throw for 278 yards and two touchdowns, with receiver D.J. Hackett picking up 101 yards and a TD.
Holt should be able to at least match Hackett’s numbers.
Seahawks’ forced turnovers vs. Bears’ turnovers lost
The Seahawks’ defense is one of the best around at forcing its opponents to turn over the ball. This week they face a Chicago offense that has made the football look more like a hot potato in most of its games this season.
Seattle has forced opponents to turn the ball over 19 times in nine games, mainly through its ability to get at quarterbacks. Of the 19 takeaways, nine have come from interceptions and 10 from recovered fumbles, with most of those fumbles coming from sacks.
That’s all very bad news for Brian Griese or Rex Grossman. Griese has thrown 10 interceptions in just six starts, and has been sacked five times in the last two games alone, while Grossman lost his starting job earlier this season because he couldn’t protect the ball.
Chicago ranks second from bottom for the league with 23 turnovers for the season – 16 interceptions and seven recovered fumbles.
Cardinals’ red zone offense vs. Bengals’ red zone defense
The Arizona Cardinals are the best team in the league at scoring touchdowns from inside the red zone. Cincinnati, meanwhile, has not defended well inside its own 20-yard line this season.
The Cards have scored a TD on 16 of the 22 occasions they have reached the red zone, a 72.7 average that leads the NFL. That success can be contributed to a combination of veteran quarterback Kurt Warner’s accuracy, and running back Edgerrin James’s power and pace.
Eight of Warner’s nine TD passes and three of Edgerrin’s five rushing scores have come from inside the red zone.
Based on what they have done in the first 10 games this season, the Bengals are not the team to stop the Card’s red zone charge. Cincinnati has allowed opponents inside its 20-yard line on 33 occasions, surrendering 16 touchdowns.
Patriots’ third down offense vs. Bills’ third down defense
With Tom Brady under center, the Patriots are one of the best teams in the league in almost every offensive situation. Converting third downs is yet another strong point for New England.
The Pats have converted exactly 50 percent of their third-down attempts, the third-best ranking in the league behind the Steelers and the Colts. In their 24-20 win over Indianapolis, the Patriots converted seven of 12 third-down attempts.
The Buffalo Bills are allowing opponents a new set of downs on over 46 percent of their third-down conversion efforts. Last week, they allowed the offensively challenged Miami Dolphins to convert nine of 19 attempts in a hard-fought 13-10 victory.
New England is a 15-point road favorite this week.
Packers DEs Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila and Aaron Kampman vs. Panthers QB Vinny Testaverde
With all the hype about Brett Favre and Green Bay’s powerful offense, it’s easy to forget the good work of its defense. The duo of Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila and Aaron Kampman, in particular, has ripped it up this season.
Gbaja-Biamila is fourth in the NFL in sacks with 8.5, while Aaron Kampman is fifth with eight. The pair has gotten to opposing quarterbacks eight times in the last three games. Overall, the Packers are second in the league behind Dallas with a combined 25 sacks in nine games this season.
That’s not good news for Carolina’s quarterback Vinny Testaverde. The veteran, who was brought in following injuries to Jake Delhomme and David Carr, has been sacked four times in two games. Combined, Carolina’s QBs have been sacked 21 times this season.
The Packers are listed as a 9½-point home favorite.
Re: Sunday Football
NFL game day buzz: Week 11 betting notes
Arizona at Cincinnati
Arizona has only won three of eight meetings with the Bengals (3-6) and has dropped all five games at Cincinnati.
Carolina at Green Bay
Brett Favre has thrown for 2,167 yards, 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions against Carolina in the teams' eight regular season meetings. Green Bay leads the series 5-3, but Carolina won the last matchup 32-29 on Oct. 3, 2005.
Cleveland at Baltimore
The Ravens are 3-1 at home while the Browns are 1-3 on the road, and Baltimore has won four straight at home in this series. Cleveland is 6-11 against the Ravens since the revival of its franchise in 1999.
Kansas City at Indianapolis
Peyton Manning had one of the biggest games of his career against the Chiefs in the teams' last regular season meeting. He threw for a career-high 472 yards with five touchdowns and an interception in a 45-35 defeat on Oct. 31, 2004. In four career regular season games against Kansas City, Manning has thrown for 1,236 yards, nine TDs and three interceptions.
Miami at Philadelphia
The Eagles are just 4-7 all-time against the Dolphins, but won the last meeting on Dec. 15, 2003. They have not hosted Miami (0-9) since Oct. 20, 1996 - a game Philadelphia won 35-28.
New Orleans at Houston
The Texans lost their only previous meeting with the Saints 31-10 in New Orleans on Sept. 14, 2003.
Oakland at Minnesota
Oakland has fared well against Minnesota, winning eight of 11 meetings and two straight in the series, although the teams haven't met since 2003. The Raiders won the last matchup at the Metrodome 22-17 on Sept. 19, 1999.
San Diego at Jacksonville
The Jaguars and Chargers have split their two previous meetings with the home team winning each game. They haven't faced each other since a 34-21 San Diego victory on Oct. 10, 2004.
Tampa Bay at Atlanta
Jeff Garcia has 1,846 yards passing, 10 touchdowns and three INTs in eight games against the Falcons, and has thrown for 958 yards, eight TDs and just one pick in three games at the Georgia Dome.
New York Giants at Detroit
The Lions have won the only two meetings between these teams since 2000, both at Giants Stadium. New York has won three straight in Detroit dating to 1988, but the Lions have excelled at Ford Field this year. The Giants and Lions would be the NFC's two wild-card teams if the season ended today, with both holding a one-game lead over Washington.
Pittsburgh at New York Jets
The Jets are 2-16 all-time against the Steelers, including a 20-17 playoff loss in 2005 in the most recent meeting.
Washington at Dallas
The Redskins have won three of the past four meetings with Dallas, although the Cowboys took 14 of 15 prior to that. Dallas leads the all-time series 55-37-2.
St. Louis at San Francisco
The 49ers have won four of five against the Rams, but all five of those games were decided by seven points or fewer.
Chicago at Seattle
Seattle has won 30 of 37 home games since 2003, and in the only meeting between these teams at Qwest Field on Oct. 19, 2003, the Seahawks won 24-17.
New England at Buffalo
In their last meeting, the Patriots outgained the Bills 485-193 - 100 yards more than the Bills have allowed in any game since. In their last six contests, the Buffalo defense has allowed an average of 14.5 points. This season, the Patriots are averaging 39.4 points.
Tennessee at Denver
The Broncos won 37-16 in Nashville on Christmas night in 2004 in the only game between these teams since the Titans franchise moved to Tennessee in 1997.
Re: Sunday Football
San Diego (5-4 SU and ATS) at Jacksonville (6-3, 5-4 ATS)
The Chargers make a cross-country trek to northern Florida hoping to get their sluggish offense back in gear against the Jaguars’ stingy defense at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium.
San Diego held off Indianapolis 23-21 as a 3½-point home underdog last week, but that was largely on the strength of two returns for TDs by Darren Sproles and six Peyton Manning interceptions. QB Philip Rivers and the rest of the offense, which has produced just 409 total yards the last two week, did little with those turnovers, and San Diego survived only when Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri missed a 29-yard field goal in the final minute.
Jacksonville capped a three-game road trip by stifling division rival Tennessee 28-13 as a 4½-point pup. QB Quinn Gray (101 yards passing, 1 TD) remained pedestrian, but RB Maurice Jones-Drew had 19 carries for 101 yards and a TD, and the Jaguars’ defense forced three turnovers and allowed just 62 rushing yards.
The straight-up winner is a stunning 24-1 ATS in the Jags’ last 25 games overall, including 8-1 this year. Also, the straight-up winner is 9-0 ATS in San Diego’s games this season.
The Chargers are 17-11 SU (17-9-2 ATS) in their last 28 road games, but going back to last season, they have failed to cover in six of its last seven as a visitor, going 1-3 SU and ATS on the highway this year. San Diego is 0-5 ATS in its last five non-divisional road games.
The Jaguars have won 14 of their last 20 home games, going just 10-8-2 ATS along the way. However, Jacksonville is 11-4 ATS hosting a non-division foe, and 7-2 ATS coming off a SU win.
ATS ADVANTAGE: JACKSONVILLE
Kansas City (4-5, 4-4-1 ATS) at Indianapolis (7-2, 6-3 ATS)
The Chiefs will have a change at starting quarterback when they travel to the RCA Dome to face the defending Super Bowl champion Colts, who are looking to halt a rare two-game losing skid..
Kansas City could not find the end zone in a 27-11 loss to Denver last week as a three-point home favorite. The Chiefs mustered just three field goals and a safety, QB Damon Huard had two INTs and a lost fumble, and Brodie Croyle relieved Huard and threw another INT. However, Croyle looked good enough for coach Herm Edwards to declare him the starter this week.
Indianapolis QB Peyton Manning threw six INTs against San Diego and still nearly rallied from a 23-0 deficit, falling 23-21 as a 3½-point road chalk. Adam Vinatieri’s faulty 29-yard field-goal attempt in the waning minutes sealed the Colts’ fate.
The Chiefs are 3-1 ATS on the highway this season, but just 2-5-1 ATS in their last eight as a non-division road ‘dog.
The straight-up winner is 21-4-1 ATS in Kansas City’s last 26 starts.
The Colts are 13-1 SU and 10-4 ATS in their last 14 at home, including 3-1 this year (4-0 ATS). Indy is also 5-1 ATS in its last six as a home favorite against non-divisional foes
ATS ADVANTAGE: INDIANAPOLIS
Oakland (3-6, 4-5 ATS) at Minnesota (3-6, 3-4-2 ATS)
A non-conference matchup between two struggling squads takes place at the Metrodome when the Raiders meet the Vikings.
Oakland’s offense continued its pedestrian ways in a 17-6 loss to Chicago as a 3½-point home pup. The Raiders mustered just 193 total yards, and QB Josh McCown had an INT and a lost fumble. McCown will give way to former Vikings QB Daunte Culpepper in this one, as rookie JaMarcus Russell, the No. 1 overall draft choice, remains on the bench in Oakland.
A week after a stunning 35-17 rout of the Chargers at home, Minnesota went on the road and took a beating at Green Bay, losing 34-0 as a 5½-point road ‘dog. The Vikings were more than doubled in time of possession, holding the ball for just 19 minutes, 40 seconds.
The Raiders are on positive ATS runs this year of 3-1 on the road mark and 4-1 as an underdog. On the downside, though, they’re still just 7-15 ATS in their last 22 on the highway and 1-5 ATS in their last six against the NFC.
The Vikings are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 as a home favorite and 7-3-1 ATS in their last 11 the week after playing at Lambeau Field.
The under is 12-3-2 in Oakland’s last 17 as a visitor and 4-0-1 in Oakland’s last five overall this season.
ATS ADVANTAGE: MINNESOTA and UNDER
Cleveland (5-4, 7-2 ATS) at Baltimore (4-5, 1-8 ATS)
Two AFC North hoping to shake off tough losses meet up at M&T Bank Stadium as the Ravens host the Browns.
Cleveland had the upper hand most of the game against Pittsburgh last week before losing 31-28 as a 10-point road ‘dog. QB Derek Anderson had three TD passes – raising his season TD-to-INT ratio to 20-9 – and Josh Cribbs had a 100-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter, but the Browns gave up two fourth-quarter TDs as their three-game winning streak went by the wayside.
Baltimore’s offense was awful again in last week’s 21-7 loss to the Bengals as a 3½-point home chalk. Although the Ravens’ defense held Cincinnati out of the end zone – all 21 points came on seven field goals – hapless QBs Steve McNair and Kyle Boller each threw an INT, and McNair also lost two fumbles. Baltimore, which has committed 10 turnovers in its last six games, trailed 21-0 until getting a meaningless 1-yard TD run from Willis McGahee with less than two minutes left.
The Browns are on ATS runs of 7-2 overall this year, 9-4-1 on the highway and 7-3 after playing the Steelers. That includes a 27-13 home win over the Ravens in Week 4 as a 3½-point pup. Cleveland has cashed in the last four meetings in this rivalry, and the straight-up winner is 8-2 ATS in the last 10 series clashes.
The straight-up winner is 13-3-1 ATS in the Browns’ last 17 starts.
The Ravens, who are tied with the 49ers for the worst pointspread record in the NFL this season, are 1-3 ATS at home.
ATS ADVANTAGE: CLEVELAND
Pittsburgh (7-2, 6-3 ATS) at N.Y. Jets (1-8, 2-6-1 ATS)
The Steelers step out of division play for a matchup against the low-flying Jets at the Meadowlands.
Pittsburgh trailed most of the way against Cleveland last week before pulling out a 31-28 victory, never threatening to cover as a 10-point home favorite. QB Ben Roethlisberger (23 of 34, 278 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT) had a 30-yard TD run and a 2-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter to rally the Steelers. Despite the struggle, Pittsburgh only allowed 163 total yards, and the Browns’ only second-half points came on a kickoff return.
New York, coming off a bye week, blew a 17-3 lead and lost to Washington 23-20 in overtime in Week 9, the team’s sixth straight loss. New starting QB Kellen Clemens led a 60-yard drive for a field goal to force overtime, but the Jets couldn’t convert after winning the coin toss, then lost on a Shane Suisham 46-yard field goal. On the bright side, they did barely cover as a 3½-point road underdog, halting an 0-5-1 ATS slide.
Despite the Jets’ SU and ATS woes this year, they are on a 6-1 ATS role when playing as an underdog following a bye week. However, they’re just 3-8 ATS in their last 11 against teams with a winning record.
Dating to the 2006 season opener, the straight-up winner is 22-3-1 ATS in New York’s last 26 games (6-2-1 this year).
The Steelers are 11-3 SU and 10-4 ATS dating to last season, with the straight-up winner covering the spread in 13 of those 14 contests, the lone exception coming last week against Cleveland. During this run, nine of Pittsburgh’s 11 wins have come by double digits.
The over is 13-6-1 ATS in Pittsburgh’s last 20 as a favorite and 12-5-1 in New York’s last 18 home games.
ATS ADVANTAGE: PITTSBURGH and OVER
Tampa Bay (5-4, 4-4-1 ATS) at Atlanta (3-6, 6-3 ATS)
The Buccaneers, coming off their bye week, travel to the Georgia Dome to meet the Falcons in an NFC South matchup.
Tampa Bay went into their off week following a 17-10 Week 9 win over Arizona as a 3½-point home chalk. QB Jeff Garcia threw for just 198 yards, but he had one TD toss, and RB Earnest Graham racked up 124 rushing yards on 34 carries, with one TD. The Buccaneers defense allowed just 195 yards.
Atlanta scored a 20-13 upset win over Carolina as a 3½-point road ‘dog last week. QB Joey Harrington continued to put up so-so numbers (19 of 26, 192 yards), but he hit Alge Crumpler on a 30-yard TD pass with 33 seconds left in the game to secure the victory.
The Falcons are on a 5-1 ATS tear. However, they’re just 2-10 ATS as a home underdog against NFC South rivals.
The Buccaneers are 1-7 ATS as favorites coming off a bye and 5-10 ATS as a road chalk against divisional foes. They’re also 1-3 ATS on the road this year.
The straight-up winner has cashed in all nine games for Tampa Bay this year and is 21-3-1 ATS since 2006.
The under is 18-6-1 for Atlanta dating to the 2006 season opener, including 7-2 overall this year and 3-1 on the road.
ATS ADVANTAGE: ATLANTA and UNDER
Arizona (4-5, 5-3-1 ATS) at Cincinnati (3-6, 4-5 ATS)
The Cardinals and Bengals will both be going for a rare two-game winning streak when they meet at Paul Brown Stadium.
Arizona slowed down Detroit last week 31-21, easily cashing as a 1½-point home favorite. QB Kurt Warner had a strong effort, completing 26 of 36 for 259 yards with three TDs, one INT and one lost fumble. Overall, the Cardinals committed four turnovers but forced the Lions into five.
Cincinnati rode the leg of Shayne Graham (seven field goals) in last Sunday’s 21-7 beating of Baltimore as a 3½-point road pup. The Bengals forced six turnovers and committed none, with QB Carson Palmer going 23 of 34 for 271 yards.
The Cardinals are on ATS runs of 12-4 overall, 7-1 as road underdogs and 5-2 against the AFC. When catching points in any venue, Arizona is on a 9-2-1 ATS run, including 4-1-1 this year.
The Bengals are 4-10 ATS at home after a straight-up win, and going back to 2005, Cincinnati is just 6-15-1 ATS in its last 22 as a host.
ATS ADVANTAGE: ARIZONA
Miami (0-9, 2-5-2 ATS) at Philadelphia (4-5 SU and ATS)
The Dolphins, the NFL’s lone remaining winless team, will try once again to put one in the win column when they travel to Lincoln Financial Field to face the Eagles.
Miami last week gave away its best shot at victory to date, blowing a 10-2 fourth-quarter lead and losing 13-10 to Buffalo as a three-point home pup. RB Jesse Chatman had 27 carries for 124 yards, and the Dolphins had no turnovers, but they lost on a Rian Lindell 34-yard field goal in the final minute. Coach Cam Cameron this week said he’s making another quarterback switch, benching ineffective Cleo Lemon in favor of rookie John Beck.
Philadelphia got back on the winning track with last week’s 33-25 road victory over Washington as a three-point underdog. QB Donovan McNabb, facing mounting pressure because of ineffective play, delivered by going 20 of 28 for 251 yards with four TDs, no INTs and one lost fumble. RB Brian Westbrook (1 rushing TD, 2 receiving TDs) had 20 carries for an even 100 yards and broke off a screen pass for a 57-yard go-ahead score late in the fourth quarter.
Despite the Dolphins’ struggles, they are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games as a non-division underdog of seven or more points.
The Eagles are mired in ATS slumps of 6-10 overall, 2-6 at home (1-3 this year), 3-10 against the AFC and 6-12 as a favorite of seven or more points in non-division games
ATS ADVANTAGE: MIAMI
Washington (5-4, 2-5-2 ATS) at Dallas (8-1, 7-2 ATS)
The Redskins and Cowboys resume their long-standing rivalry in an NFC East battle at Texas Stadium.
Washington tossed away solid efforts from QB Jason Campbell and RB Clinton Portis in a 33-25 loss to Philadelphia as a three-point home favorite. Campbell went 23 of 34 for 215 yards with three TDs and no INTs, while Portis rumbled for 137 yards on 30 carries.
Dallas took charge in the division with a 31-20 rout of the New York Giants as a 1½-point road chalk. QB Tony Romo was an efficient 20-for-28 for 247 yards with four TDs and one INT, and WR Terrell Owens had six catches for 125 yards and two TDs.
The Redskins are on ATS slides of 3-7-2 overall, 2-7-2 as a road underdog and 4-9 as an underdog against divisional foes.
Washington and Dallas split their season series last year, with the home team holding serve in each game. The Redskins won 22-19 as a three-point favorite, while the Cowboys prevailed 27-10 as a seven-point chalk. Despite those results, the Redskins are just 4-14 ATS in their last 18 meetings with the Cowboys.
The Cowboys are 7-0 as a favorite this year (6-1 ATS).
The straight-up winner is 22-3-1 ATS in Dallas’ last 26 starts (playoffs included), including 8-1 this season. The Cowboys are 17-9 SU and 16-9-1 ATS in that span.
The over is 11-4 in Dallas’ last 15 games and 9-3-1 in the Cowboys’ last 13 as the favorite.
ATS ADVANTAGE: DALLAS and OVER
New Orleans (4-5, 3-6 ATS) at Houston (4-5 SU and ATS)
The Saints aim to keep pace in the mediocre NFC South, while the Texans try not to lose more ground in the strong AFC South in this non-conference matchup at Reliant Stadium.
New Orleans opened the season with a four-game losing streak but rebounded with four straight wins before getting bounced last week by previously winless St. Louis 37-29 as a 10½-point home favorite. The Saints got the opening TD, then gave up 34 straight points. QB Drew Brees, who had been nearly flawless in the four-game win streak, offset two TD passes with two INTs.
Houston, which had a bye last week, snapped a three-game SU slide with a 24-17 victory in Week 9 at Oakland as a three-point road pup. With that spread-cover, the Texans also halted a five-game ATS slump.
The Saints are 8-5 in their last 13 road games (9-4 ATS), including back-to-back wins in their last two on the highway. However, New Orleans is still mired in ATS slumps of 3-9 overall and 1-5 against AFC opponents (1-2 SU and ATS this year).
The Texans are 4-10 ATS in their last 14 against the NFC (1-1 SU and ATS this year).
The over is 8-3-1 in the Saints’ last 12 games and 9-4-1 in the Texans’ last 14 starts.
ATS ADVANTAGE: OVER
Carolina (4-5 SU and ATS) at Green Bay (8-1, 7-1-1 ATS)
The Panthers look to snap a three-game SU and ATS skid when they head to Lambeau Field to face the red-hot Packers.
Carolina suffered a 20-13 home loss to Atlanta last week as a 3½-point favorite. QB Vinny Testaverde, now 44 years old, looked every bit his age, going 13 of 28 for 153 yards and no TDs.
While the Panthers are heading south, Green Bay continues to soar, having won four in a row (3-0-1 ATS). Last week, the Packers piled on against the Vikings in a 34-0 home rout as a 5½-point favorite. QB Brett Favre aired it out 46 times, completing 33 for 351 yards with three TDs and no INTs, no sacks and no fumbles. RB Ryan Grant gave the Packers’ much-maligned running game a boost with 119 yards and a TD.
The Panthers have done all of their damage on the road this year, going 4-1 SU and ATS. John Fox’s squad is also 21-9-2 ATS in its last 32 as a non-division road ‘dog.
The Packers enter this game on a 12-1 run (10-2-1 ATS), including 6-1 at home (4-2-1 ATS). However, they’re just 5-11-1 ATS in their last 17 as a home favorite (1-1-1 ATS as a home chalk this year).
The straight-up winner is 20-0-1 ATS in Carolina’s last 21 contest, including 9-0 ATS this year.
The Panthers have stayed under the total in six straight games. The under is also 8-0 in their last eight November games and 3-1 in Green Bay’s last four (2-0 at home).
ATS ADVANTAGE: GREEN BAY and UNDER
N.Y. Giants (6-3, 5-4 ATS) at Detroit (6-3 SU and ATS)
Two teams that had lengthy winning streaks snapped last week look to get back on track as the Giants visit a Lions team that’s unbeaten at Ford Field this year.
New York saw its six-game winning streak come to an end in last week’s 31-20 loss to Dallas as a 1½-point home pup. The Giants got outscored 14-3 in the second half, and QB Eli Manning had one TD, but countered it with two INTs.
Detroit suffered a 31-21 mistake-filled loss at Arizona as a 1½-point road underdog, ending its three-game winning streak. QB Jon Kitna had two TD passes, but he also had four of the Lions’ five turnovers (two INTs and two fumbles)
The Giants are 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS in their last six as a visitor, and they are 4-1 ATS in their last five against the NFC. On the downside, they’re 2-6-1 ATS in their last nine against winning teams and 1-10 ATS in their last 11 contests in Week 11.
Detroit is 4-0 at home this year, including 3-0-1 ATS. Going back to last year, the Lions are 5-1 ATS as a non-division home chalk.
The straight-up winner has cashed in all nine of the Lions’ games this year.
ATS ADVANTAGE: DETROIT
St. Louis (1-8, 2-7 ATS) at San Francisco (2-7, 1-8 ATS)
After finally breaking into the win column, the Rams will try to make it two in a row when they travel to Monster Park to take on the NFC West rival 49ers, who have dropped seven in a row.
St. Louis went into the Superdome and halted New Orleans’ four-game win streak with a 37-29 victory as a 10½-point road ‘dog. After trailing 7-0, the Rams ripped off 34 unanswered points, and QB Marc Bulger had far-and-away his best game of the season, going 27-for-33 for 302 yards with two TDs and no turnovers.
San Francisco got punched out 24-0 at Seattle as a nine-point road pup on Monday night, falling to 1-6 ATS during its current losing skid. QB Alex Smith continued to be awful (12 of 28 passing, 114 yards, no TDs, 2 lost fumbles), and the 49ers, who have been outgained in every game this season, managed just 173 total yards while giving up 380-173. Journeyman QB Trent Dilfer will start in place of Smith this week.
San Francisco’s last win came in Week 2 at St. Louis, when it got outgained 392-186 yet still escaped with a 17-16 win as a three-point road underdog. The 49ers have cashed in each of the last six meetings, going 4-2 SU.
Despite last week’s upset at New Orleans, the Rams are still just 2-7 ATS in their last nine on the highway. They’re also only 1-3 ATS in their last four against division opponents.
The straight-up winner is 13-1 ATS in St. Louis’ last 14 games.
The under is 6-2 in the last eight series meetings, including 3-0 in the last three. The under is also 3-1 at home for the 49ers this year and 4-1 on the road for the Rams.
ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER
Re: Sunday Football
Chicago (4-5, 3-6 ATS) at Seattle (5-4, 4-5 ATS)
Fresh off a victory in Oakland, the Bears once again head west, this time to face the Seahawks in a rematch of last year’s exciting NFC Divisional playoff game in Chicago.
Chicago topped Oakland 17-6 last week as a 3½-point road chalk. QB Rex Grossman relieved Brian Griese late in the second quarter and went 7 of 14 for 142 yards, including a 59-yard game-winning TD toss to Bernard Berrian late in the fourth quarter. The Bears’ defense forced three turnovers and allowed just 193 total yards.
The Bears, who haven’t won two in a row all season, have alternated SU and ATS wins and losses in their last six contests.
Seattle steamrolled San Francisco 24-0 as a nine-point home favorite, more than doubling the 49ers in total offense (380-173) while holding a near 2-to-1 edge in time of possession. The Seahawks have alternated SU and ATS wins and losses in their last four outings and haven’t won two in a row since the end of September.
These teams met twice last year in Chicago, once in the regular season and once in the playoffs. The Bears cruised 37-6 as a 3½-point home favorite in the first contest, but needed overtime to prevail 27-24 in the playoffs, falling way short as a 9½-point home chalk.
The straight-up winner is 16-3 ATS in Chicago’s last 19 games (8-1 ATS this season), and 8-1 ATS in Seattle’s nine contests this year.
The Bears are on a 3-9 ATS slide. However, they have won and covered three straight road games and they’re 10-3 in their last 13 as a visitor (7-5-1 ATS). Chicago is also on a 6-2-1 ATS roll as an underdog in regular-season games (2-1 ATS as a pup this year).
The Seahawks are on a 5-2 ATS run against the NFC.
ATS ADVANTAGE: SEATTLE
New England (9-0, 8-1 ATS) at Buffalo (5-4, 7-2 ATS)
The juggernaut Patriots, fresh off a bye week, take on Buffalo in a nationally televised AFC East matchup at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
New England remained perfect by rallying to top previously unbeaten Indianapolis 24-20 in Week 9, failing to cover as a 5½-point road chalk. Tom Brady (2 INTs) looked much more mortal for three quarters, but he had two TD passes in the final 10 minutes to erase a 10-point deficit. Brady finished with three TD tosses, running his TD-to-INT ratio to an absurd 33-4.
Buffalo ran its winning streak to four in a row and got itself above .500 by rallying past the hapless Dolphins 13-10 last week, covering as a 2½-point road favorite. QB J.P. Losman was a pedestrian 12 of 23 for 157 yards with one INT, but RB Marshawn Lynch ran for a fourth-quarter TD and a two-point conversion, and Rian Lindell booted a game-winning 34-yard field goal in the final minute.
The straight-up winner is 25-3 ATS (playoffs included) in New England’s last 28 games, and the Patriots are 23-5 SU (20-8 ATS) in that span. Also, the straight-up winner is 20-5 ATS in Buffalo’s last 25 games.
Going back to last season (playoffs included), the Patriots have won 13 of their last 14 games (12-2 ATS). They’re also 13-2 SU and 12-3 ATS in their last 15 on the highway.
The Bills have been one of the best bets in the NFL the last two years, going 14-4 ATS since the middle of last season, including 6-0 ATS in their last six. Buffalo is also 5-0 ATS at home this year (all as an underdog) and 6-2 ATS in its last eight as an underdog.
New England owns an eight-game winning streak against Buffalo (6-2 ATS), including a 38-7 shellacking in Week 3 as a 16½-point home chalk. The favorite is 8-2 ATS in the last 10 meetings.
The under is 7-2 in the last nine series battles in Buffalo. The under is also 7-3 in Buffalo’s last 10 overall and 21-10 in its last 31 November contests. Conversely, the Patriots have topped the total in 12 of their last 15 games (7-2 “over” this year).
ATS ADVANTAGE: NEW ENGLAND
Re: Sunday Football
Today’s NFL Selection:
403 Chargers (San Diego) +125 3(-115) o40.5(-110)
408 Vikings (Minnesota) -220 -4.5(-110) u35.5(-110)
410 Ravens (Baltimore) +125 2.5(Even) u43.5(-110)
411 Steelers (Pittsburgh) -490 -9.5(-110) o40.5(-110)
422 Cowboys (Dallas) -600 -11(-110) u47(-110)
P.s. Good luck if you betting
Re: Sunday Football
Fox names Testaverde the starter
Carolina Panthers coach John Fox on Friday named Vinny Testaverde as his starting quarterback against Green Bay.
But it's possible Testaverde might not have Carolina's top receiver Sunday.
Steve Smith missed his third straight practice with a sore shin and is listed as questionable on the team's injury report.
"It'll be a game-time decision, day to day," coach John Fox said of Smith. "It's still sore."
Fox said Smith was injured Sunday against Atlanta.
"It was something that I'm not sure he understood how bad it felt until after the game," Fox said.
"It wasn't something where he had to leave the game. A lot of times you have adrenaline and those kinds of things don't hurt as bad until the next day."
Both Testaverde and quarterback David Carr have practiced fully this week, but after practice Fox said, "Our starter will be Vinny Testaverde."
Testaverde had been bothered by Achilles' tendinitis that caused him some pain against the Falcons, but said Thursday the injury is improving.
"He had a good week of practice; he was able to get through the week in practice," Fox said. "I think that's good for him, good for us. I couldn't say the same last week."
Asked if that meant Testaverde would start the rest of the season, Fox said, "Right now I'm not into naming guys for the season, because a lot can happen week to week. So I'll just say he's our starting quarterback Sunday."
• Defensive tackle Damione Lewis (shoulder strain) was listed as questionable, but Lewis practiced.
Listed as probable: running back DeShaun Foster (turf toe), safety Deke Cooper (shoulder) and cornerback Ken Lucas (hip pointer). All three practiced.
Re: Sunday Football
Titans DT Albert Haynesworth "figures to miss" his second straight game on Monday night, according to FOXSports.com's John Czarnecki.
Haynesworth couldn't practice this week due to a hamstring injury and is a game-time decision. The Czar expects Travis Henry (torn PCL) to try to play, and if Haynesworth is out, both Henry and Selvin Young could be more productive. We won't know for sure about Henry or Haynesworth's status until Monday evening.
FOXSports.com's John Czarnecki writes that Deion Branch (questionable, foot) will play against the Bears on Sunday.
But Branch isn't guaranteed to see a full complement of snaps and this isn't a sure thing. The Seahawks play the Bears in a 4:15 ET game Sunday and we wouldn't wait for Branch in most leagues unless you have a similar option to him in the late games.
Maurice Morris is expected to start Sunday.
Shaun Alexander (knee, ankle, wrist) is listed as questionable, but it would be a shock if he's active. Morris got 28 carries in Week 10 against San Francisco and scored a touchdown. He's a solid flex play against Chicago.
Steve Smith has reportedly been experiencing blood clotting in his leg.
Smith is listed as questionable with a shin injury and will be a game-time decision against Green Bay. He was unable to practice at all during the week. Drew Carter will start if Smith can't.
Frank Gore-RB- 49ers
Frank Gore (ankle) reportedly looks as healthy as he's been in weeks.
Gore practiced without restrictions on Friday and was elevated to probable on the injury report. San Francisco faces the Rams, who are ranked 22nd in the league against the run. Gore should be in store for a big day.
Marvin Harrison-WR- Colts
ESPN's John Clayton says the "best guess" is that Marvin Harrison (knee) will be out until Week 13.
The Colts play the Chiefs this weekend, then the Falcons on Thanksgiving, but Harrison isn't expected to play in either game. Clayton does say that Marvin "is getting better," but he's not close to being ready to face contact.
LaMarr Woodley-LB- Steelers
LaMarr Woodley (hamstring) has been ruled out for this week.
Woodley, the Steelers' third outside linebacker, has been used primarily on passing downs this season. The rookie has 3 sacks through nine games.
Re: Sunday Football
Week 11 late injury report
ARIZONA CARDINALS at CINCINNATI BENGALS
Cardinals: QUESTIONABLE: S Aaron Francisco (knee), CB Eric Green (ankle), S Adrian Wilson (heel). PROBABLE: LB Gerald Hayes (illness), QB Kurt Warner (left elbow).
Bengals: OUT: T Willie Anderson (knee). PROBABLE: LB Rashad Jeanty (knee), WR Chad Johnson (illness), S Herana-Daze Jones (knee), CB Johnathan Joseph (ankle), TE Reggie Kelly (knee), CB Deltha O'Neal (back), LB Anthony Schlegel (back), DT John Thornton (neck), S Madieu Williams (foot).
CAROLINA PANTHERS at GREEN BAY PACKERS
Panthers: QUESTIONABLE: DT Damione Lewis (shoulder), WR Steve Smith (shin). PROBABLE: S Deke Cooper (shoulder), RB DeShaun Foster (toe), CB Ken Lucas (hip).
Packers: OUT: CB Will Blackmon (foot), S Nick Collins (knee), TE Bubba Franks (knee). DOUBTFUL: LB Tracy White (ankle). PROBABLE: T Chad Clifton (knee), G Daryn Colledge (back), DE Cullen Jenkins (knee), WR Koren Robinson (knee), T Mark Tauscher (ankle), CB Charles Woodson (hip).
CHICAGO BEARS at SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
Bears: QUESTIONABLEL DT Tommie Harris (knee), CB Nathan Vasher (groin). PROBABLE: QB Brian Griese (left shoulder), S Brandon McGowan (elbow).
Seahawks: OUT: LB Will Herring (hamstring), S C.J. Wallace (knee). QUESTIONABLE: RB Shaun Alexander (knee), DE Baraka Atkins (ankle), WR Deion Branch (foot), LB LeRoy Hill (hamstring), T Walter Jones (shoulder), DE Darryl Tapp (shoulder), T Ray Willis (knee). PROBABLE: DT Rocky Bernard (groin).
CLEVELAND BROWNS at BALTIMORE RAVENS
Browns: QUESTIONABLE: LB D’Qwell Jackson (ankle), DE Shaun Smith (knee). PROBABLE: CB Leigh Bodden (back), LB Willie McGinest (hamstring), LB Antwan Peek (knee), RB Lawrence Vickers (tooth).
Ravens: OUT: QB Steve McNair (left shoulder), CB Samari Rolle (illness), S Gerome Sapp (thigh), TE Daniel Wilcox (foot), WR Demetrius Williams (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: TE Todd Heap (thigh), CB Chris McAlister (knee). PROBABLE: WR Yamon Figurs (knee), RB Le'Ron McClain (shoulder), S Ed Reed (back), LB Gary Stills (knee).
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS at INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
Chiefs: OUT: RB Larry Johnson (foot), T Will Svitek (foot). PROBABLE: T Damion McIntosh (ankle).
Colts: QUESTIONABLE: T Ryan Diem (ankle), T Daniel Federkeil (concussion), TE Bryan Fletcher (calf), CB Matt Giordano (hamstring), WR Anthony Gonzalez (hand), LB Tyjuan Hagler (neck), WR Marvin Harrison (knee), CB Daymeion Hughes (shoulder), CB Tim Jennings (upper leg), T Charlie Johnson (ankle), S Bob Sanders (knee).
MIAMI DOLPHINS at PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
Dolphins: OUT: DE Matt Roth (groin), LB Zach Thomas (migraine). PROBABLE: DE Jason Taylor (ankle), DT Keith Traylor (ankle).
Eagles: QUESTIONABLE: RB Brian Westbrook (knee). PROBABLE: WR Jason Avant (groin), WR Kevin Curtis (thigh), C Jon Dorenbos (abdomen), CB William James (foot), DT Mike Patterson (ankle).
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS at HOUSTON TEXANS
Saints: OUT: DT Brian Young (knee). DOUBTFUL: T Jammal Brown (calf).
Texans: OUT: CB Jamar Fletcher (appendicitis), RB Ahman Green (knee). PROBABLE: S C.C. Brown (back), K Kris Brown (left foot), DT Amobi Okoye (neck).
NEW YORK GIANTS at DETROIT LIONS
Giants: OUT: WR Steve Smith (shoulder, hamstring), RB Derrick Ward (ankle, groin). QUESTIONABLE: WR Plaxico Burress (ankle), LB Antonio Pierce (concussion).
Lions: OUT: T Jonathan Scott (hand). DOUBTFUL: DE Dewayne White (elbow). QUESTIONABLE: DE Ikaika Alama-Francis (hamstring). PROBABLE: RB Jon Bradley (ankle), CB Fernando Bryant (foot), WR Calvin Johnson (back), QB Jon Kitna (back).
OAKLAND RAIDERS at MINNESOTA VIKINGS
Raiders: DOUBTFUL: C Jake Grove (knee), QB Josh McCown (quadricep). QUESTIONABLE: CB Nnamdi Asomugha (knee), LB Isaiah Ekejiuba (ankle), WR Jerry Porter (quadricep), CB Fabian Washington (calf), LB Sam Williams (shoulder). PROBABLE: S Hiram Eugene (calf).
Vikings: OUT: RB Adrian Peterson (knee). QUESTIONABLE: S Eric Frampton (groin), WR Sidney Rice (hamstring). PROBABLE: T Ryan Cook (shoulder), DE Brian Robison (elbow), CB Antoine Winfield (hamstring).
PITTSBURGH STEELERS at NEW YORK JETS
Steelers: OUT: LB LaMarr Woodley (hamstring). PROBABLE: LB Andre Frazier (groin), RB Dan Kreider (player decision), RB Willie Parker (hip).
Jets: OUT: RB Stacy Tutt (knee). QUESTIONABLE: WR Chris Davis (shoulder), DT Dewayne Robertson (knee). PROBABLE: TE Chris Baker (back), T Anthony Clement (knee), TE Joe Kowalewski (shoulder), DE C.J. Mosley (shoulder), QB Chad Pennington (ankle), WR Brad Smith (back).
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS at JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
Chargers: OUT: DE Luis Castillo (ankle), C Nick Hardwick (foot). QUESTIONABLE: DE Jacques Cesaire (toe), LB Marques Harris (toe), WR Vincent Jackson (abdomen). PROBABLE: TE Antonio Gates (team decision), LB Shawne Merriman (ankle), LB Shaun Phillips (groin), S Eric Weddle (knee).
Jaguars: DOUBTFUL: WR John Broussard (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: TE Greg Estandia (foot). PROBABLE: S Chad Nkang (thigh), WR Ernest Wilford (hip).
ST. LOUIS RAMS at SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
Rams: QUESTIONABLE: C Brett Romberg (ankle). PROBABLE: WR Isaac Bruce (hamstring), WR Dante Hall (ankle), DE James Hall (ankle).
49ers: OUT: DT Aubrayo Franklin (calf), WR Ashley Lelie (quadricep). QUESTIONABLE: QB Shaun Hill (finger). PROBABLE: RB Frank Gore (ankle), S Mark Roman (knee), QB Alex Smith (right forearm).
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS at ATLANTA FALCONS
Buccaneers: OUT: DE Greg Spires (calf). QUESTIONABLE: RB B.J. Askew (ankle), LB Quincy Black (hamstring), DE Patrick Chukwurah (shoulder), WR Michael Clayton (ankle), RB Earnest Graham (ankle), RB Michael Pittman (ankle), T Jeremy Trueblood (shoulder). PROBABLE: WR Ike Hilliard (calf), TE Alex Smith (ankle).
Falcons: DOUBTFUL: WR Joe Horn (hamstring). PROBABLE: QB Byron Leftwich (ankle), DT Trey Lewis (shoulder), RB Jerious Norwood (ankle), T Todd Weiner (knee).
WASHINGTON REDSKINS at DALLAS COWBOYS
Redskins: OUT: S Sean Taylor (knee), G Randy Thomas (triceps), WR James Thrash (ankle). PROBABLE: G Pete Kendall (ankle), WR Santana Moss (heel), CB Fred Smoot (hamstring), LB Marcus Washington (hamstring).
Cowboys: OUT: WR Terry Glenn (knee). QUESTIONABLE: G Leonard Davis (ankle). PROBABLE: CB Anthony Henry (ankle), WR Isaiah Stanback (shoulder).
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS at BUFFALO BILLS
Patriots: QUESTIONABLE: LB Eric Alexander (knee), CB Eddie Jackson (knee), G Steve Neal (shoulder), LB Mike Vrabel (team decision), WR Wes Welker (team decision), S Eugene Wilson (ankle). PROBABLE: QB Tom Brady (right shoulder).
Bills: OUT: TE Matt Murphy (calf), CB Kiwaukee Thomas (groin). DOUBTFUL: RB Marshawn Lynch (ankle). PROBABLE: TE Robert Royal (head), DE Aaron Schobel (illness).
Re: Sunday Football
Late-Games Tip Sheet
Sunday’s four late games offer a little bit of everything, with a couple of key divisional matchups mixed in. Dallas already has a stranglehold on the NFC East, and can further distance itself from the pack with its home date against rival Washington.
Pittsburgh also has a solid two-game lead in its division, but the Steelers step out of the AFC North to take on a struggling New York Jets squad that is coming off its bye week. Speaking of struggling, St. Louis travels to San Francisco in a battle for the NFC West basement.
Finally, there is an interesting matchup between the previous two NFC representatives in the Super Bowl. Chicago travels to Seattle with quarterback Rex Grossman getting the start, while Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander is ‘questionable’ due to a knee injury.
Helping out in the late-game Tip Sheet is VegasInsider.com handicapper Scott Pritchard who specializes in NFL totals. Now let’s take a closer look at Sunday’s late matchups.
**Steelers at Jets**
-Caesars Palace installed Pittsburgh as a 9 ½-point road ‘chalk’ over New York, with the total set at 40½. CBS Sports will provide coverage of this contest beginning at 4:05 p.m. ET.
“The only game that New York has won this year has been against Miami,” said Pritchard. “The Jets have only covered twice (versus Baltimore and Washington) this season, but they are coming off their bye week. This is a tough place to lay double digits on a road favorite.”
-Pittsburgh (7-2 straight up, 6-3 against the spread) is riding a three-game SU winning streak after rallying past Cleveland last weekend as a 10-point home favorite, 31-28. The combined 59 points toppled the 47-point closing total, helping the ‘over’ improve to 3-1 the past four games.
-Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was 23-of-34 passing for 278 yards with two touchdowns and one interception, while rushing five times for 49 yards and a score. Running back Willie Parker had 25 carries for 105 yards and a touchdown, while wideout Hines Ward caught seven passes for 80 yards and a score.
-New York (1-8 SU, 2-6 ATS) is coming off its bye week hoping to snap its current six-game SU losing skid. The Jets fell to Washington two weeks ago as a 3 ½-point home underdog, 23-20, while the combined 43 points went ‘over’ the 35 ½-point closing total.
-Signal caller Kellen Clemens completed 23-of-42 passes for 226 yards with a touchdown, while rushing seven times for 48 yards.
-The Steelers are 2-1 SU, but 1-2 ATS the previous three meetings with the Jets after beating them the last meeting in overtime back in 2005 as a 9 ½-point home ‘chalk,’ 20-17. The combined 37 points went ‘over’ the 35½-point closing total.
-Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (hip) and running back Willie Parker (knee) are ‘probable’ versus the Jets, while cornerback Bryant McFadden (ankle), cornerback Deshea Townsend (ankle) and linebacker LaMarr Woodley (hamstring) are ‘questionable.’
-New York wide receiver Laveranues Coles is ‘probable’ against the Steelers due to a concussion.
**Redskins at Cowboys**
-Caesars Palace opened Dallas as a 10½-point home favorite over Washington, with the total listed at 47. FOX Sports starts coverage of this NFC East matchup at 4:15 p.m. ET.
“I really like the total in this contest,” stated Pritchard. “I expect a knockout, drag out matchup between a pair of bitter divisional rivals with plenty on the line.”
-Washington (5-4 SU, 2-5 ATS) is searching for some consistency after alternating SU wins and losses its last eight games. That trend continued when the Redskins fell to Philadelphia last weekend as a three-point home ‘chalk,’ 33-25. That marked the fourth game in a row that Washington failed to cover. The combined 58 points eclipsed the 38-point closing total, helping the ‘over’ cash the fourth consecutive contest.
-Signal caller Jason Campbell was 23-of-34 passing for 215 yards with three touchdowns, while running back Clinton Portis had 30 carries for 137 yards in the setback. The Redskins appeared on their way to victory before yielding 20 points in the fourth quarter.
-Dallas (8-1 SU, 7-2 ATS) continued its winning ways by upending the New York Giants last weekend as a two-point road favorite, 31-20, while the combined 51 points toppled the 48 ½-point closing total. The Cowboys have seen the ‘over’ to 7-2.
-Quarterback Tony Romo completed 20-of-28 passes for 247 yards with four touchdowns and an interception. His favorite target was wideout Terrell Owens who caught six passes for 125 yards with two scores.
-The home team won and covered both games last year in the Dallas-Washington series, with both games landing directly on the closing total. The Redskins triumphed as a three-point home underdog, 22-19, while the Cowboys prevailed as a seven-point home ‘chalk,’ 27-10.
-Washington linebacker Marcus Washington (hamstring), center Mike Pucillo (back) and wide receiver Santana Moss (heel) are ‘questionable’ against the Cowboys, while wide receiver James Thrash (ankle) is ‘doubtful’ and free safety Sean Taylor (knee) is ‘out.’
-Dallas wide receiver Terry Glenn is ‘out’ indefinitely due to a knee injury.
**Rams at 49ers**
-Caesars Palace lists St. Louis as a 2½-point road ‘chalk’ over San Francisco, with the total set at 40½. FOX Sports will begin its coverage of this NFC West tilt at 4:15 p.m. ET.
“I also have a strong play on the total featuring this matchup,” said Pritchard. “San Francisco is worse than advertised and was just embarrassed on Monday Night Football. The Rams have a solid offense when not racked with injuries, but they do have to travel 2,500 miles for this contest.”
-St. Louis (1-8 SU, 2-7 ATS) is coming off its first victory of the season after upsetting New Orleans last weekend as a 10-point road underdog, 37-29. The combined 66 points soared past the 46 ½-point closing total, helping the ‘over’ cash the second game in a row.
-Quarterback Marc Bulger was 27-of-33 passing for 302 yards with two touchdowns, while running back Steven Jackson had 22 carries for 76 yards and a score. Wideout Torry Holt enjoyed a monster game with eight receptions for 124 yards.
-San Francisco (2-7 SU and ATS) dropped its seventh game in a row SU (fourth consecutive ATS) after getting blanked by Seattle on Monday Night Football as a 9 ½-point road underdog, 24-0. The 24 points went ‘under’ the 37-point closing total, helping the ‘under’ improve to 6-3.
-Quarterback Alex Smith was 12-of-28 passing for 114 yards, while running back Frank Gore had 13 carries for 72 yards. The 49ers managed only six first downs the entire game and 173 yards of total offense.
-The Rams and 49ers have split the last six games SU, while San Francisco has covered every time. The ‘under’ has also cashed the previous three encounters, including the September 16 matchup that the 49ers won as a three-point road underdog, 17-16. The combined 33 points went ‘under’ the 44 ½-point closing total.
-St. Louis wide receiver Dante Hall (ankle) is ‘probable’ versus the 49ers, while center Brett Romberg (ankle), strong safety Todd Johnson (concussion) and wide receiver Isaac Bruce (hamstring) are ‘questionable.’
-San Francisco strong safety Keith Lewis (hamstring) is ‘probable’ against the Rams, while defensive tackle Aubrayo Franklin (calf) is ‘questionable.’
**Bears at Seahawks**
-Caesars Palace lists Seattle as a 5½-point home favorite over Chicago, with the total set at 38. FOX Sports will start coverage of this contest at 4:15 p.m. ET.
“This is an interesting NFC matchup,” stated Pritchard. “The line has moved from 4 ½ to six in some places. People are discounting Chicago quarterback Rex Grossman, but he played in the Super Bowl just last year and has a chance to shine in this spot. Seattle’s home has been a giant killer, and the Seahawks looked solid against San Francisco despite missing some key players.”
-Chicago (4-5 SU, 3-6 ATS) has alternated SU and ATS wins and losses the past six games after knocking off Oakland last weekend as a 3 ½-point road ‘chalk,’ 17-6. The combined 23 points never seriously threatened the 38 ½-point closing total, enabling the ‘under’ to cash the previous three outings.
-Signal caller Rex Grossman relieved an injured Brian Griese to complete 7-of-14 passes for 142 yards with a touchdown. Cedric Benson paced the ground game with 29 carries for 76 yards and a score, while wideout Bernard Berrian stepped up with four receptions for 89 yards and a touchdown.
-Seattle (5-4 SU, 4-4 ATS) has alternated SU and ATS wins and losses its last four outings after dominating San Francisco on Monday night. The ‘under’ has gone 6-3 for the Seahawks.
-Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck completed 27-of-40 passes for 278 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Running back Maurice Morris had 28 carries for 87 yards, while D.J. Hackett contributed with eight receptions for 101 yards and a score.
-Chicago is 2-1 SU and ATS the previous three encounters with Seattle after prevailing in last year’s postseason as a nine-point home favorite in overtime, 27-24. The combined 51 points went ‘over’ the 37-point closing total.
-Chicago quarterback Brian Griese (shoulder) and strong safety Brandon McGowan (elbow) are ‘questionable’ against the Seahawks, while linebacker Rod Wilson (neck) is expected to miss this matchup.
-Seattle running back Shaun Alexander (knee), linebacker Leroy Hill (hamstring), defensive end Baraka Atkins (ankle), linebacker Niko Koutouvides (hamstring) and wide receiver Deion Branch (foot) are ‘questionable’ versus the Bears.