NFL Thursday News and Notes
NFL Thursday News and Notes
By Josh Jacobs
Before this weekend’s onslaught of Week 3 preseason football commences a Thursday evening conflict between San Francisco and Chicago will bait our wallets for some early wagering.
Just to put a wicked betting trend into perspective, Week 2 witnessed the underdog registering a bank breaking 10-5 straight up and 12-3 ATS record. Minus the Giants-Browns contest, which most books labeled a pick 'em on the boards, bettors looking for the dogs to come home were certainly pleased with the outcome.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the betting public is indicating a major lean on backing the three-point home favored, Bears. Most financial reports have tallied that 58-percent of gamblers walking to the window are placing their dollars on Chicago.
For one, Bears coach Lovie Smith has announced that quarterback Kyle Orton will enter Game 1 of the regular season as the team’s starter under center. It’s been a long, four-month QB battle in the Windy City but Orton appears to be the No. 1 guy.
If we look back at last season, Orton closed out the season (starting in Week 15, 16 and 17) with 475 passing yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. The team went 2-1 SU and 3-0 ATS in those final three games, while the ‘over’ cashed with a 2-1 record.
The issue to take up at the water cooler is Orton’s one-year hiatus from the NFL (2007) after being demoted to the No. 3 spot as a result of the Bears signing slinger, Brian Griese.
Moving away from the QB controversy and into some betting related numbers reveals Chicago’s tendency to become a money pit when favored in the preseason. Since 1990, the Bears have wilted with a 13-20-2 ATS performance when favored in “practice” games.
Some more numbers which could make you cringe as a Chicago backer include the team’s 1-5 ATS record as a home favorite in the last six games, and an 0-5 ATS slide in coach Smith’s last five games versus an NFC opponent. In Game 3’s since 1980, the Bears have slumped over the betting steering wheel with a 9-16 ATS record and a 1-5 ATS crash in the last six Game 3’s hasn't faired much better.
Roster wise, keep your eyes on Chicago defensive end Israel Idonije. The fifth-year NFL pro out of the University of Manitoba raised eyebrows by logging in two tackles, one sack, two QB hurries and one deflected pass in limited play.
Expect tight end Desmond Clark (right knee) and line backer Nick Roach (concussion) to be sidelined on the Bears’ bench.
Shifting sides over to San Francisco’s core of players reveals grave uncertainties.
Signal caller Alex Smith has seen a total of 32 games of action in his short three-year stint in the league and things haven’t been peachy during that time frame. Smith has notched a 63.5 QB rating, with 4,679 passing yards and 19 TDs in his career, but 31 interceptions (10.3 picks per year) speaks volumes.
And now that backup slinger J.T. O’Sullivan has broken the mold of a disappointing training camp for the rest of the QB core, there’s a good chance that the six-year vet will be taking snaps under center come Week 1 of the regular season.
In a 34-6 win over Green Bay last week, the Niners’ Sullivan may have made coach Mike Nolan’s decision making process of selecting a starting QB that much easier. Sullivan was far from perfect but going 8-for-17 with 154 passing yards and finding the end zone once with a pick to boot trumped the rest of the arms.
On a betting perceptive, San Francisco is 1-6 ATS on the road versus a team coming of back-to-back SU losses (which applies to Chicago’s 0-2 SU record during the preseason). The 49ers are an above average 14-11 ATS in their last 25 preseason Game 3’s but a recent 2-1 ATS run just isn’t enough indication of a direct trend taking place.
San Francisco has been bitten by the injury bug again, this time with a player who’s not a stranger to sitting on the sidelines. Offensive lineman Jonas Jennings, who’s missed 32 games in three seasons due to wrist, ankle and shoulder injury, suffered a broken hand in last week’s preseason contest. However, latest reports have indicated that Jennings should be ready for the regular season.
If there’s an angle to take in this contest, look at the total of 37 points installed by Bodog.com. In the last 33 preseason games that have seen a 37-point total, home favorites have notched an impressive 22-11 record on the ‘under’, while an overall 26-12 record on the ‘under’ in the last 38 games (same 37-point total) has graced the banks of bettors. The last 16 games between any two teams with a point total of 37 have gone 12-4 on the ‘under’.
Bottom line, this writer like an ‘under’ to cash in this contest based on the aforementioned trends pointing in that direction.
Re: NFL Thursday News and Notes
SAN FRANCISCO (1 - 1) at CHICAGO (0 - 2)
There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.
Head-to-Head Series History
SAN FRANCISCO is 2-0 against the spread versus CHICAGO over the last 3 seasons
CHICAGO is 1-1 straight up against SAN FRANCISCO over the last 3 seasons
2 of 2 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons
San Francisco at Chicago
San Francisco: 7-1 Under as a road underdog of 3 points or less
Chicago: 8-20 ATS last two weeks of preseason
Re: NFL Thursday News and Notes
Thursday's NFL Research
San Francisco vs. Chicago
Keep in mind the original line in this game opened up at -4.5 and has gone down to -3 in most books, still roughly 58%+ are riding the Bears this game, J.T. O'Sullivan was half-decent in his start for the Niners and Smith looked half-decent as well, but no San Fran quarterback did better than a 65 Quarterback rating, but this team to their credit did bounce-back after a 6 point performance in Oakland and score 34 points at home against Green Bay, Caleb Hanie performed well in his last start as he had a rating of over of over 80, and if anything I think this is a game that San Fran can win outright, but, Chicago did lose in overtime in the last game to Seattle and lost the first game to the Chiefs at home, both those games went over 35 and 34 as over 44 and 53 points were scored, if anything I don't think the Bears defense is as good as folks say, in fact, I think they are quite overrated and have been since the 2nd half of last season, a lean on the over here as I think San Fran and the Bears will get its fair share of points given that they haven't won a game in the preseason either. They are at home after all.