Football Newsletters Sept 9/11 - 9/17
Re: Football Newsletters Sept 9/11 - 9/17
HQ Report Newsletter
5* CENTRAL MICHIGAN (-3) over OHIO U by 18
3* ARIZONA (-10) over NEW MEXICO by 20
3* IOWA STATE (+12) over IOWA
3* CLEMSON (-18) over NC STATE by 30
HQ REPORT UNDERDOG PLAY of the WEEK
*BAYLOR (+3) over WASHINGTON STATE
HQ REPORT TOTAL RECALL OVER/UNDER
*FLORIDA ATLANTIC vs MICHIGAN STATE PLAY OVER
A.T.S. (Angles, Trends & Systems)
*GEORGIA TECH (+7) over VIRGINIA TECH
Re: Football Newsletters Sept 9/11 - 9/17
RUTGERS 23 - North Carolina 20 - (7:45 - ESPN) -- Not too excited here, as the Knights obviously miss the talents of Rice, as they were outrushed by 100 yds in opening week upset vs Fresno. Now minus 85 pts ATS in 8 of their last 9 regular season games. The 'Heels return 19 starters, but were hardly impressive in their narrow escape vs McNeese, with a stat deficit. Dog is 12-4ATS in NC contests.
FRIDAY--SOUTH FLORIDA 27 - Kansas 24 - (ESPN2) -- Hard to get involved here, as the Jays (65-4 edge this year, allowing no "D" TDs) are on 16-3 ATS run, with their last 13 covers by 199 pts. Reesing: 33-of-39 for 412 yds & 3 TDs vs LaTech. But Bulls just 33 pts from 19-3 ATS log, & covered their last HG by 29½ pts. OT last week, despite 25-12 FD & 504-226 TY edge. Solid rush "D", Grothe, etc. War!
DUKE 45 - Navy 42 - (12:00) -- Wow! Check Imps nearly doubling possession time vs NW, with a 28-14 FD edge, & a 130-RY advantage. And don't forget Lewis blitzing the Mids for 428 yds LY. Navy has run for 904 yds so far (White: 476 yds), but is allowing 44.2 ppg in 11 of last 12 outings (Army). Barnburner.
VANDERBILT 41 - Rice 20 - (7:00) -- Amazing! Owls trailed Memphis 35-20 with just 6½ minutes left, but won 42-35, with the winner a 63-yd INT return in final 0:11. They sure can score, but ceding 42.5 ppg last 13 games. Vandy is +41 pts ATS in its 2 games so far, with solid "D", & Nickson the steadying hand.
Auburn 24 - MISSISSIPPI STATE 22 - (7:00) -- Let's see. The dog is 16-8 ATS in Tiger tilts, while the visitor is 16-5 ATS in Bulldog contests. Auburn's rush "D" is solid (84, 37 yds), & RB Tate is a force, but they did lose their last RG by 25 pts SU (Georgia). Bulldogs plagued by the TO (5) in loss to LaTech, & has held 5 of its last 7 foes below 15 pts. Tigs have revenge edge, but LSU up next.
Ball State 34 - AKRON 27 - (1:00) -- Similar dichotomy to above game, as guest is 14-7 ATS in BSt games, while the host is 17-11 in Zip affairs. Cards 2-0 for 1st time since '95, as QB Davis has tossed for 7 TDs this yr (42-of-52), while UA QB Jacquemain in off 3 TD passes. Difference may be weak Zip run "D".
Toledo 41 - EASTERN MICHIGAN 34 - (1:00) -- Just 12 FDs for the Rockets in opener, along with a 208 yd deficit. But missed the cover by just 2 pts, in final 3½ minutes. Toledo has now allowed at least 40 pts 8 times since LY. But EM has given up 52, 39, 45, & 42 pts in its last 4 lined games. Last team with ball?
MISSOURI 56 - Nevada 20 - (12:30) -- Mizzou picking up where it left off last year, with 52 & 52 pts, along with 549 & 592 yds. Check QB Daniel's 16-of-17 in LW's warmup. Tigers now at 41.5 ppg in last 17 contests. 'Pack has run for 650 yds in its 2 games, with nicely balanced attack staking them to a 28-20 FD edge vs explosive TexasTech. But allowing 38.5 ppg in last 9 lined tilts. Lay it!
TEXAS TECH 63 - Smu 24 - (7:00) -- Jones nailed his home opener with the Stangs, with Mitchell's 5 TD passes the 2nd most ever by an SMU outfit. But Ponies have allowed 46 ppg & 931 yds in their 2 games to date, & run smack into the awesome potential of Harrell & Co. Raiders covered last HG by 15 pts.
NEBRASKA 45 - New Mexico State 17 - (7:00) -- 'Huskers now 2-0, but down to earth a bit, with 99-RY effort vs SJSt, & it was just 14-12 in the 4th. First game for the Ags, whose opener was scuttled due to hurricane warning. NMSt allowed 40 ppg in their lined games LY, & are at minus 50 pts ATS in last 3 tilts.
BYU 34 - Ucla 17 - (3:30) -- Met twice LY, with Bruins completely smothering the Coog running game (Wise Points), but BYU has now run off 12 straight wins (blocked tying PAT vs Wash LW), & Hall has thrown for 824 yds thus far. The Bruins also seeking overland game, but Craft a nice 18-of-25 in 2nd half of win over Tennessee (Neuheisel's debut). The host is now 23-8 ATS in Uclan games.
Oregon 45 - PURDUE 24 - (3:30) -- Spectacular! Ducks in off school-record 688 yds in wipeout of UtahSt (1,184 yds in first 2 games), on heels of 19½ pt cover vs Washington. Try 43.4 ppg in 14 of their last 15 games (55 ppg TY). Boiler QB Painter only 15-of-28 in opener vs NoColo, & PU still no overland threat (ranked 86th LY). Boilers lost their last HG by 21 pts ATS. Again vs this train.
TEXAS 36 - Arkansas 20 - (3:30) -- Hogs have a pair of squeaking wins, while Steers are 2-0, both SU & ATS, but check just 112 RYs for 'Horns vs a Utep team which ceded 263 to Buffalo, altho 4 McCoy TDs cushioned the blow. UA allowing 37.5 ppg in its last 5 lined affairs. But Smith & Dick keep it under spot.
Georgia 27 - SOUTH CAROLINA 17 - (3:30) -- Loved our perfect score call on 'Dawgs LW. Nicely balanced attack with Moreno (6 TDs already) a sweet 8.7 ypr vs CMich, to complement QB Stafford. Smelley for Beecher cut Carolina's INTs from 4 to 2, but note just 92 RYs vs Vandy. 'Cocks are solid on "D", so the fact that GA has reached 40 pts 8 times since LY, should be put to the test hr.
Air Force 36 - HOUSTON 24 - (3:30) -- Falcons now on 8-1 spread run, with 694 RYs so far, allowing only 18 FDs on the season. Five takeaway vs Wyoming, along with a 14½ minute time edge. Coogs saw 16-7 lead over OkieSt turn into 42-16 deficit (allowed 699 yds). QB Keenum: 9 TD passes this yr. Not enuff.
OREGON STATE 38 - Hawaii 14 - (4:00) -- Beavers ranked #1 in rushing "D" a year ago, so check 210-86 & 239-92 RY deficits so far, with QB Moevao's 655 PYs to no avail. 'Bows got 1st win for McMackin vs Weber, behind Graunke's 3 TDs, but have a 97-20 pt deficit in their last 2 lined games. More of the same.
FRESNO STATE 34 - Wisconsin 20 - (10:30 - ABC) -- Nothing flukey about the current success of the Bulldogs, whose last 2 covers have come by 36 pts. Are nicely balanced, behind Matthews (163 RYs vs Rutgers) & Brandstater. The Badgers came from 404 RYs to just 158, in a week, with Hill going from 210 to 57 yds. And Wisky has allowed 31, 38, 38, & 34 pts in its last 4 RGs.
Penn State 44 - SYRACUSE 13 - (3:30) -- Finally some "O" from the 'Cuse, with insertion of Dantley at QB, along with rejuvenated RBs Brinkley & Carter. But no "D". Check a 676-316 pt deficit in their last 21 games, & a 269-101 pt deficit as HDs a year ago. Lions are methodical: 663 RYs & 475 PYs this year,behind RB Royster & QB Clark. And try a run "D" allowing only 72 ypg. Rout.
NOTRE DAME 20 - Michigan 19 - (3:30 - NBC) -- The former luster of this one has certainly dimmed. Despite comeback win over SanDiegoSt, the Irish still don't have it. Are on a 9-19 ATS run, with little or no running, & Clausen's 3 TDs barely topping his 2 INTs vs the Aztecs. Wolves <20 ppg so far, with 109 yd deficit hosting Utah & Miami-Ohio. But a solid run "D": 36 & 47 yds. Tight.
IOWA 24 - Iowa State 22 - (12:00) -- Check Hawkeye RB Greene's 10.0 ypr day in shutout of FlaInt. Impressively balanced, & remember LY's heartbreak. Cycs were mauled overland in 48-28 win over Kent (243-160 yd deficit), but are +79 pts ATS in 5 of their last 6 games (Kansas), & have 10 takeaways already.
VIRGINIA TECH 27 - Georgia Tech 20 - (3:30) -- Nice upset of BC by Jackets,thanks to 43-yd TD run, but note coming from 7.6 ypr in opener, to just 4.0 vs the Eagles. But Johnson's squad is getting it done. Hokies managed only 12 FDs & 104 RYs in loss to ECaro, & win over Furman hardly impressive. VaTech has covered its last 2 HGs by 12½ & 13½ pts, but dog is 12-2 ATS in GT tilts.
CLEMSON 45 - North Carolina State 10 - (12:00) -- Would you believe that the Tigers are 0-4 ATS lately, by 45 pts? Came from zero RYs in opener, to 252 vs powerful Citadel, with Davis, Spiller, & Harper leading the way. Clemson had a 400-yd edge over the 'Pack LY, & is a true streak team. NCSt (just 10 & 11 FDs this year) can't run, & has been outscored 109-18, in its last 3 lined tilts.
Western Michigan 38 - IDAHO 20 - (5:00) -- Vandals snapped their 11-game losing skein in win over IdahoSt, which featured a 77-yd TD pass on the first play of the game. However, euphoria short-lived, as we cannot erase memory of their 70-pt loss in opener. Western just 4 pts from 2-10 ATS, but not here.
Central Michigan 36 - OHIO U 24 - (2:00) -- Chips back in their element, after 39 pt loss at Georgia (243-yd deficit), despite LeFevour's 250 PYs. Topped 33 pts in all 7 MAC games LY, & are plus 114 pts ATS in last 11 league contests. OU in off playing OhioSt even-up, statwise, & are +32 pts ATS this year. Chips.
California 37 - MARYLAND 13 - (12:00) -- Wow! Hard to imagine that the Bears were minus 84 pts ATS in 9 games previous to LW's 66-3 drubbing of WashSt, on the road, no less. Check Best's 200 RYs on only 14 carries (14.3 ypr), as well as that run "D", which has allowed just 81 & 57 yds. Terps a major flop, with only TDs vs MidTenn came on 63 & 80 yd plays (39:49-20:11 time deficit).
BAYLOR 30 - Washington State 24 - (12:30) -- Bears are in off snapping 9-gm slide, with Griffin a nice 15-of-19 & 3 TDs in his first start. And a decent run "D". Coogs are horrible: just 23 FDs for the season, averaging only 176 yds. Incredible 110-13 pt deficit. Covered last 2 RGs by 12 & 13½ pts. Forget it.
TCU 44 - Stanford 14 - (7:00) -- No question, the Frogs are back. They've piled up a 49-19 FD advantage thus far, allowing a total of 59 RYs. Are plus 60 pts ATS in their last 6 lined games, with QB Dalton cooking, so check Wise Points to see how he did vs Card LY. Stanford has unveiled a decent rush "D" (87 & 127 yds for OregSt & ArizSt), but lost its last 3 RGs by combined 97-37 score.
BUFFALO 31 - Temple 21 - (12:00) -- Bulls ran all over the Owls LY, & are still improving. A 220 yd edge over Utep & just 4 less yds in LW's loss to Pitt. Willy has thrown for 5 TDs, & was 20-of-22 vs Owls LY. Temple is +83 pts ATS last 12 tilts, & held UConn without regulation time TD, but a 503-212 RY deficit TY.
TENNESSEE 48 - Uab 13 - (12:30) -- Rested Vols have Florida up next, but have to see bounceback romp after OT loss at Ucla. They held the Bruins to just 0.9 ypr in that one, by the way. Blazers must be shellshocked off allowing 45 & 49 pts, as well as 601 & 554 yds to open the season. Have been stung for 42.1 ppg in their last 8 outings. Host is 10-3 ATS in Tennessee games. And again.
East Carolina 27 - TULANE 17 - (3:00) -- Three straight upsets over ranked teams for Pirates (Boise, VaTech, WVa), holding both the Hokies & Mounties to an unbelievable 12 FDs each. And how about QB Pinkney's 39-of-51 this yr? But check the Greenies' 318-172 yd edge over an Alabama team which held a 419-188 yd advantage just the week before. Is underdog shoe on other foot?
Memphis 34 - MARSHALL 31 - (7:00) -- The interception has been the Tigers' bane this season. Have gained 976 yds so far, but an 0-2 record ( lost in final 0:11 to Rice). No "D", allowing 33.9 ppg in last 24 games. But Herd has ceded >30 pts 10 times since LY. Can't run, but a decent rush "D". Should be wild.
CONNECTICUT 31 - Virginia 7 - (7:30) -- Huskies needed OT to take upticking Temple, but Donald Brown seems unstoppable, with 360 RYs & 5 TDs so date, & UConn has yet to allow a TD. And get this, the Huskies have held their last 8 guest opponents to a total of 88 pts. Cavs struggling, with only 2 offensive TDs for the year, a 2.1 ypr average, & were held under 300 yds by Richmond.
Oklahoma 41 - WASHINGTON 21 - (7:45 - ESPN) -- A ridiculous celebration penalty on an apparent tying TD by Husky QB Locker, in the final 0:02 resulted in blocked 32-yd PAT. Not the best of mindsets for this foe. Huskies have allowed >40 pts 6 times since LY, & the Sooners are looking super, with Bradford an efficient 29-of-38 for 395 yds & 5 TDs vs Cincy. But we just aren't involved.
USC 30 - Ohio State 20 - (8:00 - ABC) -- The mighty Trojans have had an extra week to prepare for this biggie, & if their 558-187 yd edge at Virginia is a proper indication, they didn't need it. They are now 54 pts ahead of the spread in their last 4 games. The Buckeyes had a mere 18-yd edge over OhioU, with no less than 5 takeaways preventing that disaster. Just can't buck Troy in this setup.
NEW MEXICO 27 - Arizona 24 - (8:00 - CBSC) -- Lobos still winless, but obvious improvement over opener: from 56 RYs to 216 (135 by Ferguson), with QB Porterie coming from 3-of-13 to 22-of-35. 'Zona got the cover vs Toledo on a Tuitama pass in the final 3:27, & check the 'Cats rush "D" at 64 & 74 yds. But Arizona has allowed 31.4 ppg in its last 5 RGs, so we'll call repeat of '07 upset.
BOISE STATE 42 - Bowling Green 17 - (8:00) -- Does that score ring a bell? Right, BG's losing count vs Minnesota LW. Falcons came from a 4-1 TO edge to a 5-0 deficit: pure poison. Fact of the matter is that we rarely stray from the Broncs (46 ppg in last 11 games) in their home park. Despite Oregon on deck.
Utah 52 - UTAH STATE 21 - (8:00) -- Aggies couldn't handle the meat grinder known as Oregon LW (66 pts, 34 FDs, 688 yds), & are now on a 2-18 SU run.Utes missed the cover vs Vegas by just ½ pt, but superb balance, led by QB Johnson, who has thrown for nearly 500 yds so far. Utes 4-0 ATS on series rd.
SAN JOSE STATE 31 - San Diego State 14 - (9:00) -- Still no running game for the Aztecs (98 yds in 2 games), but stayed with NoDame until final 10 minutes. Spartans are superb 10-1 ATS as HFs, & are +158 pts ATS as hosts since '06, & that includes a 23-pt cover vs SDSt. Solid run "D", & QB Reed is a comer.
ARIZONA STATE 45 - Unlv 10 - (10:00) -- Murderers' row on deck for Devils,with Georgia, Cal, USC, & Oregon up next. But they should put this one away fairly early, so as to rest the likes of Carpenter (49-of-64 for 733 yds for the yr). Lack of an overland game is cause for concern, but Rebs (1-9 SU lately), are one of the worst travellers in the nation (Wise Points), & non-competitive here.
LOUISVILLE 31 - Kansas State 30 - (8:00 - ESPN2) -- Don't like this one a bit. The rebuilding Cards are just 7 pts from a 4-18 spread slide, & allowed at least 38 pts 7 times LY. Have turned it over 7 times in 2 games, so Cantwell & Co must end that tendency. 'Cats have a 114-16 pt edge so far, with similar 471 & 481 yds, but they've allowed 47.5 ppg in their last 4 away games. Just too many negatives.
MICHIGAN ST 44 - Fla Atlantic 17 ALABAMA 38 - Western Ky 10
ARKANSAS ST 31 - So Mississippi 21 KENTUCKY 34 - Mid Tenn St 17
ILLINOIS 45 - La-Lafayette 10 LSU 55 - North Texas 7
Re: Football Newsletters Sept 9/11 - 9/17
JACKSONVILLE 30 - Buffalo 16 - (1:00) -- Division sandwich for the Jags, who can't afford any letdown, following LW's embarrassment at Tennessee, when they allowed 7 sacks, with Garrard throwing a pair of INTs, after just 3 picks all of LY. Throw in a 137-33 RY deficit (Taylor: 18 yds). A far cry from LY, when they wound up with a 29.6 ppg average in their final 12 games. Bills came in as our top NFL Red Sheet play, with 34-10 rout of the Seahawks, & are on a 16-8 spread run, but remember, they averaged just 9.5 ppg on the road LY. Jags are 15-7 ATS at home, 28-11 ATS vs non-division, & 9-2 ATS in ROs lately.
TAMPA BAY 26 - Atlanta 13 - (4:05) -- Improvement of the Falcons is apparent, with Ryan doing very nicely in his debut (9-of-13), including a 62-yd TD pass on his 3rd play. And check Turner with a team record 220 RYs, in romp of the Lions. Far cry from LY's team which allowed 33.1 ppg in its final 7 contests. The Bucs came up lacking on the scoreboard at NewOrleans, but did run for 146 yds, with Graham chugging for 91 yds on just 10 carries, & check Garcia with a decent 24-of-41. Bucs won 37-3 here LY, & are 9-2 ATS off a division
loss. Falcons 4-10 ATS off scoring 28+ pts, & 1-6 in Sept off a SU/ATS win.
SEATTLE 31 - San Francisco 13 - (4:05) -- Only one way to go when the 'Hawks take the field, & that's with the host squad, which has covered 29-12 of late. Just 85 RYs at Buffalo, with Hasselbeck a terrible 17-of-41. Not to say that 2 key TOs, & a punt return TD didn't help matters. The Niners just continue to flounder, averaging 11 ppg in 12 of their last 14 contests. Gore a decent 96 RYs vs the Cards (6.9 ypr), but just 13 FDs & a 5-0 TO deficit. Would you believe that both teams are 10-1 ATS in Sept off a DD SU loss? But Seattle is 12-2 ATS off a non-division loss, regardless the time or place. Bouncebacker.
ARIZONA 20- Miami 19 - (4:15) -- Have to love the way that Warner keeps on doing it. A solid 19-of-30, with a TD & no INTs in 'Zona's win over the Niners. Check a 37:05-22:55 time edge in that one, as well as 100 RYs for Edgerrin, & 5 takeaways. Cards now at 32.2 ppg in their last 9 games. Dolphins kicked it up a notch, behind Pennington's 26-of-43 showing (251 yds, 2 TDs), but it was just their latest loss (1-19 SU). 'Zona 17-8 ATS lately, but 4-12 ATS at home off a SU/ATS win, while Dolphs 15-3 as non-division RDs of 5+ pts. Miami call.
New England 23 - NEW YORK JETS 22 - (4:15) -- No love lost between these 2, as has been documented. The entire NFL dynamics have changed with the injury to Brady (knee), who appears lost for the season, altho Cassel was a successful 13-of-18 for 152 yds & 1 TD, & Belichick is still Belichick. Brett fit in nicely for the Jets, in their win over the Dolphins with an efficient 15-of-22 for a couple of TDs (no picks). But NY is on a 5-13 SU slide, & is 2-13 in home openers, & 1-7 ATS as a Sept host off a SU/ATS win. As we said, no love lost.
HOUSTON 24 - Baltimore 13 - (4:15) -- What were we thinking in backing the Texans at Pittsburgh? A 183-75 RY deficit, & trailing 35-3 after 3. Thus, the SU winner now stands at 18-1-1 SU in Houston games, & the Texans averaged 28.3 ppg at home in '07. The Ravens simply manhandled Cincy (a 21-8 FD edge, & a 358-154 TY advantage), with the only TD allowed on a fumble return. Thus Baltimore is now on a 2-9 SU run, & 4-13 ATS. Not only that, but the Ravens are on a 6-21 ATS road slide. Harbaugh's win streak stops at just one.
San Diego 27 - DENVER 17 - (4:15) -- A year ago, the Chargers travelled to Denver, & strolled away with a 41-3 win. As a matter of fact, SanDiego has scored 35, 48, 41, & 23 pts in its last 4 games with the Broncs: covers of 10½, 20½, 40, & 11 pts. Now that's impressive. And since Diego is in a bounceback setup, & on a 9-1 spread run, while catching Denver off its Monday Nighter vs the Raiders, this definitely looks like an extension of that domination. Denver is only 6-18 ATS of late, while SD is 12-3 off a SU loss. Remember, even in LW's loss, Rivers was 3/0, while Tomlinson ran for 97 yds, so still among the elites.
CLEVELAND 27 - Pittsburgh 24 - (8:15 - NBC) -- Well, this one will go a long way in proving (or disproving) that the Browns were a 1-year wonder, as they certainly appeared that way, in their embarrassment hosting the Cowboys. A 30-11 FD deficit, a 488-205 yd deficit, & a 14-minute time deficit. It was 28-7 in the 3rd. Pitt opened with a rout of Houston, with Ben a near perfect 13-of-14, & Parker motoring for 138 yds. LY, Pitt routed Cleveland here, 34-7, to open the season, so the Steelers are 8-1 ATS on the series road, as well as 19-7 ATS on the division road. But the Browns are 15-2 ATS off allowing 27+ pts.
DALLAS 23 - Philadelphia 20 - (8:35 - ESPN) -- What a match this shapes up to be. The Cowboys were methodical in their destruction of the hopeful Browns, with Romo's 24-of-32 for 320 yds the catalyst. A year ago, Dallas scored 45, 37, 34, & 35 pts in its 1st 4 games, so a possible repeat. But Philly's entourage finally includes a healthy McNabb, who opened with a 21-of-33 effort for 361 yds & 3 TDs (no INTs). Three Eagle receivers reached 100 yds in catches in that one for the first time since 1960. Philly 20-10 ATS on division road, & the visitor is on a 10-2 ATS run in Eagle games. This could go into OT, so we'll grab the TD spot.
Oakland 20 - KANSAS CITY 16 - (1:00) -- Huard for Croyle (went out with a shoulder injury), for the Chiefs who stayed with the hurting Pats, before mere 7-pt loss. Of course, no way is New England as formidable without Brady. Anyway, Croyle was a decent 8-of-12, & Johnson chipped in with 77 RYs. KC catches the Raiders off their Monday Nighter with the Broncos, but try 10 straight losses for the Chiefs, who are averaging just 12.4 ppg in their last 9 games. And one of those setbacks came here vs the Raiders (20-17). Visitor is 9-2 ATS in KC games, & the guest covered 8-of-9 to start Oakland's season in '07.
Tennessee 20 - CINCINNATI 10 - (1:00) -- Titan "D" was spectacular in win over J'Ville, sacking Garrard 7 times, & picking him off twice. Young: just 12-of-22 for 110 yds & 2 picks. This one is a division sandwich for Tennessee, which is just 15 pts from a 2-13 spread slide, but simply cannot call Cincy's number, as the Bengals were mauled by the Ravens, with a RY deficit of 229-65, with QB Palmer a mere 10-of-25. The Titans are streaky, as indicated by their above ATS decline, but remember their 10-1 spread run in '06. The Bengals are not at their best as Sept hosts, accumulating a 15-32 ATS run in that capacity of late.
Indianapolis 27 - MINNESOTA 20 - (1:00) -- Not the normal getaway for the
Colts, who won & covered 7 of their last 9 openers. Manning was a very decent 30-of-49 for 257 yds & a TD, but that was about it, as Indy managed less than 300 yds vs the slipping Bears, & check a 183-53 RY deficit. That one dropped the Colts' ATS mark vs non-division foes to 13-6, so we give them a shot at quick redemption. Indy is 12-4 ATS as a Sept RF, & 15-6 ATS as a chalk vs the NFL, LW notwithstanding. Colts are also 9-1 ATS before taking on the Jags. Minny 21-10 as a HD, but Childress is just 2-8 ATS at home before a road gm.
New Orleans 24 - WASHINGTON 13 - (1:00) -- We believed that the addition of Brennan would prove a huge plus for the 'Skins, but he obviously isn't in their plans. From 30 pts vs the Colts in exhibition opener, to 17, 13, 3, 3, & 7 pts following that hopeful beginning, with their only pts vs the Giants LW coming in the final 0:13. Try an 11½ minute time deficit. The Saints, on the other hand, piled up 438 yds vs Tampa's "D", which ranked 2nd in the NFL LY. Brees: 343 PYs & 3 TDs. Visitor is 29-13 ATS in Saints' regular season, with New Orleans 8-2 ATS away vs a foe off a loss, & Wash is 1-9 ATS as Sept host off a loss.
Green Bay 27 - DETROIT 17 - (1:00) -- Obviously, we don't know the result of the Packers' meeting with the Vikings on the previous Monday, to get an indication of just how they will be expected to perform without Brett. That being said, the Lions certainly have their work cut out for them. Check those NFL stats. That's right, a 318-62 RY deficit vs the Falcons, who ranked 27th in rushing LY. The Lions have allowed 35.1 ppg in their last 7 contests, & stand at 31-82 since the start of '01. ATS wise, the Pack is 4-11 at Detroit, but McCarthy is 7-1 vs a foe off a SU non-division loss. Lions 7-0 home off non-division SU/ATS Sept loss.
CAROLINA 23 - Chicago 22 - (1:00) -- Delhomme worked his magic with a 14-yd TD pass vs the Chargers, as time expired. That one, by the way, represented the only offensive touchdown managed by Carolina, altho the Panthers did have a 388-316 yd edge over SanDiego. And that pushed the dog edge in Carolina games to 54-28 ATS. The Bears nailed their sweet revenge for their Super Bowl loss to the Colts, with a comfy 29-13 win, led by rookie RB Forte's 123 RYs. A 183-53 RY edge for the night. Chicago is 1-7 ATS off a SU/ATS Sept win vs a non-division foe, while Carolina is just 6-12 ATS as a non-division HF.
New York Giants 20 - ST LOUIS 16 - (1:00) -- As we figured, the Rams were no match for the Eagles, who not only won by 35, but held 28-8 FD, & 522-166 yd edges. So now StLouis is on a 3-13-1 ATS slide, with little light at the end of the tunnel. Giants opened defense of their crown in smothering fashion, holding the 'Skins without a pt until the final 0:13, while allowing only 11 FDs & 209 yds. Jacobs: 116 RYs; Burress: 133 receiving yds. Eleven straight road wins, with a 10-1 ATS record. But the Giants are just 9-18 ATS as RFs of >2½ pts,whilethe Rams are 6-1 ATS as Sept HDs. A mild call for the system on back.
Re: Football Newsletters Sept 9/11 - 9/17
BALTIMORE AT HOUSTON -4.5 O/U 37
This is the epitome of the betting marketplace overreacting to the events of Week 1. Yes, Baltimore beat Cincinnati at home, but there certainly isn’t much to be excited about for Ravens fans. Joe Flacco didn’t complete a pass longer than 15 yards in his NFL debut. No running back gained more than 12 yards on a single carry. An offense that lacked explosiveness last year is an offense that is going to lack explosiveness again this year. New head coach John Harbaugh is going to need to draw up a bunch of trick plays, like he utilized this past weekend, to get this offense into the end zone. And the Ravens’ offense is not poised to take advantage of the Texans’ biggest defensive weakness, their secondary. Houston was annihilated at Pittsburgh on Sunday thanks to an awful first half in which they were stuffed on fourth and short, then committed a pair of turnovers leading to Steelers touchdowns. This offense is primed for success against the Ravens defense,having faced an intense, blitz-happy defense last Sunday. The Texans are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 home games, and we’re getting them at a remarkably cheap price here, in a game that Houston should be favored by at least a touchdown.
TENNESSEE +1 AT CINCINNATI O/U 39
I’m backing the Titans this weekend whether or not Vince Young plays. We’ve seen Kerry Collins start for Tennessee on occasion and I think that they’re a more balanced team with him at the helm. I’m also willing to say that the Titans have the best defensive line in the NFL after seeing them sack David Garrard seven times last weekend. The Titans’ defense was downright dominant against Jacksonville, holding them to just 189 total yards. Running backs Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones Drew were non factors as Tennessee took them out of the game holding them to just 31 yards rushing. The Jaguars only offensive touchdown came off of a Vince Young interception that was returned to the Tennessee five yard line. If the Titans were able to do that to Jacksonville,they should be able to contain a Bengals’ offense that put up 154 total yards last week. What makes matters worse for Cincinnati is that they gave up 229 yards rushing in Week 1. Chris Johnson and LenDale White put up 137 yards rushing against a very tough Jacksonville defense and should roll over a terrible Bengals’ run defense. Titans go to Cincinnati and cover the number
NEW ORLEANS AT WASHINGTON -1 O/U 42.5
Jim Zorn and the Washington Redskins had quite an auspicious beginning to the season.Suspect play calling and a lack of crisp play had the Skins playing from behind all game long. Now after the showing against the New York Giants, the marketplace has over adjusted and discounted Washington too much. With the extra few days to prepare,Washington is more likely to show improvement and they will bounce back in this perfect situation against this perfect opponent. Their first opponent, the New York Giants, continued to get pressure from their defense despite the loss of Osi Umenyiora to injury and Michael Strahan to retirement. The pressure confused Jason Campbell and the Redskins did not seem to make the adjustments as the game progressed. This week against New Orleans they face a defense that is not so predicated on quarterback pressure. Last week the Saints got an impressive win against a divisional opponent and are now been inflated in the marketplace. However, last season New Orleans was 30 out of 32 NFL teams in passing defense and 26th in total defense with a turnover margin of -7. They are expected to be improved but they are not as good as they showed last week. We expect the ebb and flow of the NFL to be in full effect in this game.
ARIZONA -10 AT NEW MEXICO
Teams aren’t necessarily as good or as bad as they appear in any given week but two weeks into the 2008 campaign I think we can safely assess these two squads. The Lobos have shown absolutely no ability to move the football enough to hang within this number. The offensive line is a complete mess affording quarterback Donovan Porterie no time to find anything down field. The lone bright spot on this offense, running back Rodney Ferguson, is not an explosive back but more of a plodder. The defense was just picked apart by a backup quarterback on a Texas A&M squad with major offensive issues of their own. When you couple it together, this team simply cannot play catch-up effectively. And that is exactly what they will be forced to do in this game. Arizona is a very explosive team now fully in sync with this wide open system installed last year. Willie Tuitama has plenty of weapons to work with, most notably Mike Thomas, and they seem to have found a ground game which is particularly scary for the opposition. Rocky Long led his troops to an upset victory in Tucson last year but Arizona will hang half a hundred in this blowout.
WASHINGTON STATE AT BAYLOR +2.5
Even with their pair of opponents thus far having talent levels capable of propelling them to upper-tier bowl invitations, the numbers posted by Washington State at this point are beyond repulsive. The Cougars, in only the second week of September, already own the look of a squad whose mission is to be a national doormat. The newly implemented no-huddle spread offense has been a bust since the beginning of summer camp and the switch to a 4-3 defensive scheme hasn’t been much better. New HC Paul Wulff’s troops have run 124 plays for 363 yards (2.9 per play) this season while allowing 872 yards and 6.6 per snap. A non-conference travel spot for the Cougs on the heels of a demoralizing 66-3 conference loss last week figures to find them with their heads down. That’s good news for a Baylor squad that is chomping at the bit to get another home shot at a BCS team. Last week’s 51-3 win over I-AA Northwestern State has heightened morale and belief in new HC Art Briles’ systems. Expect the Bears to be as sky high emotionally as they were in week one but this time the opponent isn’t nearly as seasoned and talented as Wake Forest
NC STATE AT CLEMSON -18
Both of these teams bounced back from dismal opening games with wins over I-AA teams last week. Clemson took care of the Citadel, 45-17 while NC State beat William and Mary, 34-24. The Tigers piled up 525 yards of offense in their win, but did give up 427 yards to the Citadel -- half of that coming on five long pass plays. NC State was outrushed and out first-downed by Bill and Mary, but wound up with a slight 325-303 edge. This is a game in which Clemson should win easily. NC State was shutout by South Carolina in their opener and has already played three quarterbacks in just two games. The Tigers have received nothing but criticism since their opening loss to Alabama, but they were the preseason ACC pick for a reason. This team has tons of talent on offense and their speedy defense will not be run over by NC State, a team on the other end of the spectrum when compared to Alabama. Clemson piled up 608 yards in their 42-20 win over State last year and they should have a big edge again this year as they get back on track with an easy win.
MICHIGAN AT NOTRE DAME PK
Recommendation: Notre Dame
Rivals collide this weekend as the Wolverines invade South Bend. Of course, last year Michigan smashed Notre Dame 38-0 in Ann Arbor; however, the tales of both teams differ immensely in 2008. For Michigan, this season will be a pure rebuilding year for new head coach Rich Rodriguez. I’ve gone against Big Blue with two service play winners with spread covering wins from Utah and Miami (OH). Michigan was clearly outplayed by Utah, as the 25-23 loss could have been much worse and while Michigan flexed their muscle early against Miami, the RedHawks were arguably the better team for much of Michigan’s 16-6 win. UM is still very much a team with issues on both sides of the football, and especially in the offensive end. Meanwhile, Notre Dame is off its initial game of the season, which has to be considered a lackluster performance (21-13 win over San Diego State). We expect much better effort from an Irish team that returns 16 starters from an embarrassing 3-9 campaign. Look for the Irish to quickly surpass their 79-yard output from last year’s humbling episode against Michigan and pay back their rival.
PENN STATE AT SYRACUSE +27
Penn State has been impressive in two early season romps at home, whereas the linesmakers can’t fade Syracuse enough. Head coach Greg Robinson will be fired by season’s end as the faithful fans are furious and frustrated. Robinson hears the drumbeats of discontent as he’s now 7-30 at Syracuse. Bettors can’t wait to keep attacking when they see Orange and figure the Nittany Lions should eat their lunch. This is one of the biggest home underdog roles ever for Syracuse. Last season they started with similar blowout losses before beating Louisville outright as a 37-point ‘dog, and two seasons ago they beat No. 14 Iowa at home getting +20 points. No doubt Penn State has a dominant edge along the offensive line, but this is still quarterback Daryll Clark’s first-ever road start. Penn State’s thinning defensive line lost another player for the season last Saturday, and the Lions figure to have a little letdown following their easy opening victories and the off-field distractions. Syracuse was more competitive than the final scores indicated in its opening two losses and can get production
on the ground from Brinkley and Carter. We’ll take this very ugly home ‘dog.
MICHIGAN AT NOTRE DAME PK
I have been successful in going against the Wolverines in their first two games, winning with Utah and Miami-Ohio, but I will back them this week at Notre Dame. I am still not impressed at all with their offense, but the defense is improving and should have a big edge this week against the Irish offense. Notre Dame barely escaped with a 21-13 win over San Diego State at home last week, the same SDSU team that lost its home opener to I-AA Cal-Poly. San Diego State’s front seven, which was decimated by injuries and very undersized, dominated the Notre Dame offensive line. Quite simply, if the Irish cannot block the Aztecs, there is no way that they will be able to block Michigan. The Irish had just 105 yards on 34 rushing attempts last week and they appear to be just as poor offensively as they were in their three-win season a year ago. Michigan is very young on offense,but they should improve slowly under Rich Rodriguez and they won’t have to score many points to win this one. I’ll probably also take a look at the under in this game as Michigan gets its second straight win.
NAVY AT DUKE -2.5
Last week we wrote that in the Duke versus Northwestern game the wrong team was favored. While they lost 24-20 we got a pointspread winner as Duke +6 dominated the box score getting 28 first downs while gaining 472 yards. Overall, they had a 144-yard advantage in total offense and nearly doubled up the Wildcats in time of possession. On the last drive they had a chance at the outright win and a perfect 2-0 start. According to the AP report: Thaddeus Lewis scrambled around the pocket before finding Clifford Harris open for what appeared to be the winning touchdown. But tackle Cameron Goldberg was called for holding to bring it back. In other words Duke was right there for the win. We see no reason to get off the train now. This is a different team with a tremendous amount of enthusiasm as its new coach David Cutcliffe has raised expectations. Navy is projected as a rebuilding team. Last week at Ball State they were exposed by a good passing game. They allowed 328 yards on 21-of-28 passing. Similar results are likely this week. Just like last week’s game; talent, athleticism and speed should all be in favor of Duke. So with home field advantage, we see no reason why Duke can’t cover this small number.
Re: Football Newsletters Sept 9/11 - 9/17
BRENT CROW - EARLY LOOK AT COLLEGE FOOTS
The lines for week three have been out for a few hours now and as usual, several numbers have moved quite a bit. There were some surprising numbers, some of which are not the games that failed to move at all.My biggest interest this week is the East Carolina at Tulane line, as I have had the Pirates in both of its upset wins. I was hoping that they would still have a lot of value but that doesn’t appear to be the case with them being -13 at Tulane. It is a tough spot for both teams. Obviously, after beating two ranked teams and vaulting into the No. 14 spot in the AP Poll, this is a big letdown situation for East Carolina. However, Tulane battled Alabama very tough last week after they spent their entire week on the road in Birmingham while evacuating New Orleans because of Hurricane Gustav. Now it appears that another hurricane could be threatening the Gulf and New Orleans, so the Tulane players may be frazzled because of all of the events. One of the biggest early moves saw Notre Dame get all the money in its game against Michigan. After watching the Irish last week in their near loss to San Diego State, it is hard to fathom why anyone would want to bet on them this week. When you realize that Michigan opened as a four-point road favorite, you can at least make some sense in the early move. The Wolverines have shown some signs of improvement since their opening first half against Utah. Auburn was sloppy last week in its win over Southern Miss and now the Tigers are double-digit road chalk at Mississippi State, which beat SE Louisiana last week after losing at Louisiana Tech to open the season. This is a revenge game for the Tigers after losing at home to the Bulldogs last year, 19-14 as two-touchdown chalk. This could be a tough game for Auburn’s offense being on the road for the first time under new coordinator Tony Franklin.Arkansas has barely survived home games against Western Illinois and Louisiana-Monroe, needing a missed FG at the horn to notch a win last week. That was after they had rallied from a 24-6 deficit midway through the third quarter. I seriously doubt the Hogs will be able to rally this week at Texas, which opened as a 23-point favorite. The Longhorns have cruised to easy wins against Florida Atlantic and UTEP and I expect another easy win this week. Oregon has an interesting game at Purdue this week and comes in as a seven-point favorite. Oregon has been very impressive in its two wins over Utah State and Washington, displaying plenty of speed and a solid defensive front. Purdue opened their season with a win over Northern Colorado last week, but will face a much stiffer test this week. Oregon went to Michigan in week two last year and crushed the Wolverines, 39-7, so they should be very confident this week. The Ducks have been a quick starting team in recent years and the early money that bumped them up from the opener of -5 looks to be correct.Georgia travels to South Carolina to face old nemesis Steve Spurrier this week. The Bulldogs are 7.5-point favorites over what appears to be another SC team lacking a quality quarterback.Chris Smelley was no improvement last week in their loss at Vanderbilt after Tommy Beecher tossed four picks in the opening win against NC State. The good news for Gamecock fans is that they have a tremendous defense and if the offense doesn’t turn the ball over, they can beat anyone, including Georgia this week. The last five meetings between these teams have seen 38 points or less, including a 16-12 South Carolina win last year. Should be another low-scoring game this week.Ohio State heads to Los Angeles to face USC in the biggest game of the week. Ohio State was not impressive in a 26-14 win over Ohio last week and as a result the line this week shows USC at -10 and rising. USC was dominant in its week one win at Virginia, but something tells me that this will be a much closer game than people expect. The Buckeyes will have plenty of motivation this week in practice while USC likely won’t take them as seriously after the Ohio U performance.Washington gets no time to cry about its 28-27 loss to BYU last week. The Huskies have gotten a lot of sympathy after the ridiculous celebration penalty called on their game-tying touchdown. However, Oklahoma will not give them a break this week when the Sooners come to Husky Stadium as a 20-point favorite. Oklahoma has been terrific on offense in their first two home wins, but the road hasn’t been as kind to the Sooners of late. They have two wins by 20 or more in the past four years away from home -- Tulsa and Baylor. Oklahoma is just 7-5 SU on the road in the past three seasons and may find itself in a tough one this week against the pissed off Huskies. Worst defense in football? It has to be a C-USA team and I will nominate UAB, which has allowed 94 points and 1,155 yards in two games to Tulsa and Florida Atlantic. This week the Tennessee offense gets to pad its stats against the Blazers’ defense as a 30-point favorite. The Vols had last week off after losing at UCLA in week one and should be in a bad mood when UAB comes to town.Finally, the winner of this week’s Rice vs. Vandy game will move to 3-0. If it is Rice, it would be the first time since 1953 that the Owls have started 3-0. Their offense has been solid, while Vandy has relied on a solid defense and decent ground game in their two wins. Definitely a matchup of contrasting styles in this one with Rice currently getting seven from the host Commodores. Vandy’s offense should have success against
ERIN RYNNING - STOCK WATCH
Buy the Duke Blue Devils – If you’re a stickler for value, backing a program that has lost 25-straight conference games is a tough call. The Duke Blue Devils fit that profile as they start over once again with new head coach David Cutcliffe. Cutcliffe has found success before in somewhat of a similar situation, while taking the Ole Miss rebels to a 44-29 record during his tenure, which included five bowl games. Now it’s on to Duke as he tries to revamp a football culture that has been virtually non-existent. Cutcliffe was shocked with the shape of the Duke roster when he took over. He instituted an aggressive off-season program, which resulted in the roster losing an amazing 500 total pounds in the process of whipping them into shape. There’s some upside on this team including junior quarterback Thaddeus Lewis and wide receiver Eron Riley. Cutcliffe is known for his past work with the quarterback position. In fact, he spoke of a goal to score 30 points per game this season. In all they return about 17 starters from last year’s edition. There is some talent on the defensive side of the football with main cogs defensive tackle Vince Oghobaase and linebacker Mike Tauiliili back in the fold. We got a good sign of things to come potentially with the spread cover against a revenge-seeking Northwestern last week. The Blue Devils racked up 472 yards of offense and controlled the time of possession. They had the game-winning touchdown called back on a holding call. But from our perspective, it was simply another positive sign. With what looks to be a watered down ACC in 2008, look for the Blue Devils to surprise.Buy the San Francisco 49ers – One look at the scoreboard from last week and on the surface it seems nothing has changed with the 49ers when compared to the last few editions. They opened their 2008 season with a 23-13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, but it really wasn’t that bad. For the most part, the offense just killed themselves far too often with four fumbles. When they didn’t cough up the ball, running the football with Frank Gore was effective (6.9 ypc). They also did a great job at defending the run, holding Arizona to 2.8 ypc. The offense figures to be on a learning curve with new offensive coordinator Mike Martz and quarterback JT O’Sullivan. In my opinion, O’Sullivan just showed more moxie in one start than Alex Smith has in his entire career. The Niners figure to be able to run the football, while the timing in the passing game should come around in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, the defense has the look to be good. Their stop-unit is now being built around the second-year phenom, Patrick Willis. Last year the NFL came up with 174 tackles for Willis, which speaks volumes about his range and nose for the football. Willis can run a 4.4 40-yard dash, which is faster than many defensive backs. In addition, San Francisco brought in pass rushing specialist Justin Smith this year, while having Nate Clements in the secondary. Manny Lawson looks healthy this season and ready to contribute as well. In handicapping professional sports, it’s important to be able to forecast the future. Obviously, the Niners have little past success to draw from, but that is the exact ingredient for true value. We are already starting to see it with San Francisco getting a generous nine points against a depleted Seattle squad this weekend.Sell the New York Giants – Similar to the stock market,you must have the gut feeling of when to sell or buy. With that model, the timing seems right to take a stand against the Super Bowl champion Giants. Yes, I give the G-Men and head coach Tom Coughlin all the credit in the world for turning things around in 2007. The same can be said for their business-like approach in largely dominating the Washington Redskins in week one. The Giants were an extremely motivated football team heading into the season, feeling slighted with many forecasting better seasons from the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys. Part of the win was motivation but part can also be pointed to a Washington team in its first game with new head coach Jim Zorn. Now the task continues to get larger and pressure begins to build. Everything fell into place for the Giants’ remarkable run from last season but there have already been a couple bumps in the road. They need to figure out a way to produce without Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora. Without question, that tandem was key in wreaking havoc on opposing quarterbacks. In turn, the pressure created from their defensive line made their overall defense that much better, and most notably their secondary. The Redskins had no passing attack in week one and made it seem as if the defensive line losses for the Giants would have no long term effects. I completely disagree and see several strong passing units on New York’s schedule that have the capabilities to have big offensive outputs. Offensively the Giants were average for most of last season. Eli Manning is still prone to mistakes and despite a perfect first half against Washington, they quickly returned very vanilla after the break. In the land of the parity driven NFL, the Giants are simply a slightly above average team, but one that now has the stamp of being elite. In looking ahead, their value will probably grow with winnable games against St. Louis and Cincinnati, but after the bye week, things get considerably tougher with road contests at Cleveland, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. I wouldn’t be shocked to see them struggle some at St. Louis this weekend, laying a considerably high nine points.
Re: Football Newsletters Sept 9/11 - 9/17
Power Sweep NFL
3* Very Good
4* CAROLINA over Chicago - This is the 1st meeting since the 2005 Div playoff game which CAR won 29-21 as a 3 pt AD. The Bears are off LW’s SNF game vs IND & its not known how Orton or the CHI defense fared. CAR is 6-12-1 as a non-div HF & 1-4 SU & 0-5 ATS in it’s 1st HG. The CAR defense looks to be in mid-season form as they held SD to 17 FD & 316 yds. The DL put above avg pressure on Rivers (did only get 1 sack) but look for a mismatch against the Bears aging OL. The Bears also lack speed at the wideouts, will have rookie Forte picking up blitzes & are still adjusting with Orton at the helm. The Panthers & QB Delhomme showed their character driving 68 yds for the GW TD after allowing two 4Q TD’s. The addition of RB Stewart (53, 5.3) gives them a pair of RB’s to keep opposing defenses guessing. CAR’s 388 yds shows the strides OC Davidson has made in his 2nd season even without WR Smith who will miss this one as well. CAR is still 9-20-1 ATS as a HF but teams that start with B2B road games against a team off a SU win are 4-9 ATS. We won a 4H Key Selection with CAR LW & they picked up a huge confidence building win vs an elite AFC team & we’ll side with them again. FORECAST: CAROLINA 31 Chicago 17
3* HOUSTON over Baltimore - This is the 3rd meeting & the visitor is 2-0 ATS in the series. This is the Ravens 1st dome game in 28 games & BAL is 1-6 ATS in its 1st road game. HOU is 8-1 ATS at home with a 26.7-18.5 avg margin. BAL started QB Flacco LW & he had a decent debut with 129 yds passing (52%) with a 38 yd TD run. The story of the game was how the BAL defense dominated the CIN OL. The Ravens had 21-8 FD & 358-154 yd edges as CIN simply couldn’t execute its offense. Flacco now makes his 1st road start in a dome vs a borderline playoff contender. HOU was thrashed by PIT LW & was down 35-3 with 2:10 left in the 3Q as PIT had a 303-79 yd edge. HOU racked up 14 pts, 14 FD’s & 155 yds in garbage time. Kubiak is 6-1-1 ATS at home vs a foe off a SU win & LW’s results give some line value here. The lack of a run game is a concern (75 yds, 3.8) but HOU is a healthier team with a better QB, #1 WR, with a formidable pass rush at home & are the play. FORECAST: HOUSTON 28 Baltimore 13
2* TAMPA BAY over Atlanta - TB dominated ATL LY sweeping the series by a combined 68-10 with an avg of 295-199 yd edge. TB is 10-4-1 ATS in the series. LW the Falcons stunned the Lions by going up 21-0 at the end of the 1Q with 9-3 FD & 216-64 yd edges. RB Turner gashed the Lions for 220 yds (10.0) rushing & takes on another small, speed oriented defense. ATL had 12 plays of 13 or more yds. They only allowed 1 sack & 2 QBH with a run game that took the pressure off Ryan who only had 13 pass att’s (161 yds, 69% 1-0). TB was in a tough spot LW vs a NO team motivated by Hurricane Gustav but was only outgained by 86 yds & was forced to settle for 2 FG’s on drives into the NO 19 & 15. TB went 5-2-1 ATS at home LY winning by an avg of 23-14. Ryan now has to play in his 1st road game vs a solid TB D in the heat & look for better red-zone performance out of the TB offense as LW’s results give some line value here. FORECAST: TAMPA BAY 27 Atlanta 6
2* New Orleans over WASHINGTON - WAS beat NO 16-10 as a 9.5 pt AD in the last meeting in 2006 with a Joe Gibbs-led team. WAS’s roster is loaded with a Gibbs built NFC East smashmouth offense that is trying to move to a NFC West finesse West Coast offense. QB Campbell looked lost in LW’s game & he was worse than his 133 yds passing (56%) 1-0 ratio shows. He only spread the ball to 5 receivers. TE Cooley, WAS best passing weapon, had 2 passes thrown to him & Campbell didn’t complete a pass until 1:19 was left in the 1H. WAS was outFD 14-4 & outgained 241-51 in the 1H. NO is confident in its power rushing/vertical offense with Brees who has passed for 295 ypg (69%) with a 30-10 ratio in his L13 games. NO’s defense tallied 2 sacks, 6 QBH & 2 tfl while holding TB to just 2 of 12 on 3rd Dns (17%) as the improved DL did its job. While the NO OL is a concern with the amount of pressure Brees was under vs TB they got a big confidence restoring win & look for WAS to struggle again with basic game management. FORECAST: New Orleans 24 WASHINGTON 17
KANSAS CITY 16 Oakland 10 - This is a much better situation than LW for KC as they go from facing one of the best teams & QB’s the NFL can offer to a very raw Russell travelling on a short week. OAK is 5-1 ATS away vs AFC West foes while KC went 0-3 SU & ATS at home vs the AFC West losing by a 24-13 avg score. 1st & 2nd year QB’s are 4-19 SU in their 1st game at Arrowhead. LY OAK beat KC 20-17 as a 4.5 pt AD as they snapped a 17 game losing streak vs AFC West foes, a 9 game SU losing streak (4-5 ATS) to KC & 6 straight losses in 2007. Croyle (145 yds 52% 0-1) was playing behind a depleted OL & was without RB Johnson. Croyle (0-7 SU & 3-4 ATS as a starter) was KO’d in LW’s game with a separated right shoulder & his status is unknown. KC was helped out immensely by KO Brady LW which put NE in a conservative mode & allowed the Chiefs to stay close with a surprisingly fast defense. KC outgained NE 158-116 in the 2H despite having just 3 healthy WR’s. Huard had the Chiefs 1st & goal at the NE 5 with :53 left but was SOD. Expect Huard to get the start here & we’ll side with the home team in a lower scoring game.
Tennessee 20 CINCINNATI 10 - The old AFC Central rivalry continues with the favorite winning SU & ATS in 3 out of the L4. LY CIN thumped TEN 35-6 as a 1.5 pt HD with a 426-305 yd edge. Palmer took advantage of a TEN team without DT Haynesworth & passed for 283 yds (84%) with a 3-1 ratio. TEN is 6-3-1 ATS away while CIN is 5-13-1 ATS. CIN was exposed LW by a beaten up BAL team with a rookie HC, QB & RB being outFD 21-8 & outgained 358-154. CIN’s OL struggled all day with a physical BAL defense & Palmer only had 99 yds passing (40%) with an 0-1 ratio. TEN outrushed JAX 137 (4.3) to 33 (1.9) & tallied 7 sacks & 8 tfl vs a beat up JAX OL. TEN QB Young left LW’s game with a knee injury. He is expected to miss this but QB Collins is more than capable here. The Titans live for physical football with a better OL & DL than the Ravens & are the play vs a CIN team that looked very soft LW.
Indianapolis at MINNESOTA - Both teams are off primetime games in Wk 1. MIN goes from facing a rather inexperienced QB to an elite QB. Wk 2 home teams off a MNF Div game are 3-7-1 ATS. MIN is 8-3 ATS hosting an AFC team. IND is 9-2 ATS away vs the NFC. While MIN has been outstanding vs the run the L2Y (68 ypg, 3.0) they have been prone to giving up big yards in the passing game (250 ypg L2Y w/ 22-16 ratio LY). Part of this has been the lack of a pass rush which is why DE Allen was brought in & part is that this version of the Cover-2 uses very big LB’s that are slower in coverage which leaves them vulnerable to an elite TE/WR hybrid like Clark. IND went 4-1 ATS LY with a depleted WR unit vs pass def ranked 20th or worse. MIN will focus on rushing the ball & keeping the game simple for QB Jackson. IND has a big HG vs JAX on deck & are a loaded veteran team whose defensive speed isn’t mitigated by this road game. Without seeing how the two teams played LW, if DE Freeney & SS Sanders are back to form, the importance of injuries & having no line this is a No Play for now.
DETROIT 20 Green Bay 17 - GB is off LW’s MNF game vs MIN & it’s unknown how they fared in Rodgers 1st career start. DET is 12-5 ATS at home vs GB. GB is 9-3 ATS on the road & goes from facing a big brute force DL to a smaller speed oriented DL. Marinelli is 0-4 SU & ATS vs the Packers being outgained 395-297 & outscored by a 29.8-18.0 margin. DET found itself down 21-0 at the end of the 1Q & allowed 474 yds to a Falcons team with a rookie HC, QB & LT. DET was outrushed 318 (7.6) to 62 (3.0) & home teams that allowed 200+ yds rushing in Wk 1 are 4-10-1 ATS. DET allowed 12 plays of 13 or more yards (323 yds) due to breakdowns & bad tackling. This will be a very tough week of practice for DET to fix its errors & look for them to rebound vs a GB team travelling on a short week off a big game.
NY Giants 31 ST LOUIS 20 - The Giants picked up right were they left off LW with a dominating win vs a WAS team that brought in an NFC West gameplan vs a bullying NFC East foe. The Rams are 8-16 SU & ATS at home & their 16 losses have been by an avg score of 30-21. Including the playoffs the Giants are 11-1 SU & 10-2 ATS on the road. STL was embarrassed LW as PHI shredded them with 28-8 FD 522-166 yd edges with 52 of STL’s yds coming on their final drive. As expected RB Jackson’s holdout cost the team as he only had 40 yds rushing (2.9) & STL only ran 41 offensive plays (65 avg). Bulger was held to 72 yds passing (40%) with a 4.8 ypa in the 1H. The Giants dominated WAS LW with a 354-209 yd edge & while they were only credited with 1 sack LW they had 5 hurries & countless hits. STL has struggled to fill its stands & it wouldn’t be a surprise to see quite a few empty seats here which helps the DL. While there is ZERO line value here, look for a Giants team with extra rest to make short work of a STL team still adjusting to a new scheme with a poor OL & out of football shape RB.
JACKSONVILLE 20 Buffalo 10 - The Jags beat BUF 36-14 as a 9 pt HF LY. JAX went up 29-14 in the 4Q when Garrard threw a 59 yd TD pass. BUF was SOD at their own 17 & the Jags added a 17 yd rushing TD with 1:48 left. JAX had a 416-297 yd edge as Garrard had a season high 296 yds (62%) with a 1-0 ratio in a game in which BUF QB Edwards didn’t play. JAX is 13-6 ATS as a non-div fav. BUF is 1-5 ATS as a non-div dog. The Bills go from a good situation to a bad one after dominating an injury depleted SEA team at home. BUF cruised to a 34-10 win as they scored 2 spec teams TD’s (PR/fake FG) & had a 338-252 yd edge. They now have to travel to a hot & humid site vs a JAX team off a bruising loss vs TEN. JAX was held to 189 total yds & a stunning 33 yds (1.7) vs TEN. LY after being held to 272 yds by TEN & 75 yds rushing (4.4) JAX dominated a hollow ATL team statistically (364-248) with 7 sacks but only won 13-7 as a 10 pt HF. The Jags have a big game with IND on deck & will approach this as a must win as they don’t want to be 2 games behind the Colts & look for them to grind out a home win vs a good BUF team.
SEATTLE 27 San Francisco 10 - After being swept in 2006 by the 49ers, Holmgren put the hammer down in 2007 beating them by a combined 47-3 LY. SEA is 7-2 ATS hosting a Div foe while SF is 6-1 ATS as a division AD. Inc playoffs, Holmgren is 5-6 SU & ATS vs a Martz led offense. SEA was in a horrible spot LW travelling cross country minus 5 starters & its nickel back LW. QB Hasselbeck’s back clearly wasn’t right after the long plane flight & he was on the sidelines in 65˚ weather in a winter coat. SEA punted on 9 of its 1st 11 drives & lost 2 more starters in WR Burleson & RB Morris while allowing 2 special teams TD’s. SF was solid in the 1H vs ARZ as they outgained ARZ 219-124 & O’Sullivan had 141 yds passing (71%) with 1 int. The 2H was a different story as bad special teams play (fumble on a pooch punt), O’Sullivan completed 4 pass att’s Gore being held to 16 yds, the secondary letting Boldin get 8 rec (10.3) & a total of 72 yds of offense in the 2H did them in. Look for SF to keep it close in the 1H but SEA is a different team at home & incl the WC game their 7 wins were by 17.3 ppg LY & we’ll side with them here.
ARIZONA 27 Miami 17 - Not only is this the home opener for ARZ (1-8 ATS) it is the only HG for the Cardinals in Sept. ARZ is 8-3 ATS as a non-div HF. This is the furthest west MIA has travelled in 37 games & they are 13-5-1 ATS as a non-div AD. MIA was in a good situation LW catching a QB with just a month’s experience in the system at home in 90˚+ heat with Pennington having intimate knowledge of the opposing defense. MIA had 27 new players with 11 rookies on its 53 man roster LW. While they seem to moving with a clear direction they now take on an ARZ defense that QB Hasselbeck noted was one of the toughest he’s had to prepare for in the NFL. ARZ held SF to just 72 yds in the 2H LW while holding them to just 3 drives (15 plays) in the 2H. While MIA was only outgained by 16 yds they were outrushed 112 (3.6) to 49 (2.9) which was supposed to be a team strength. Pennington did look comfortable in the Dolphins scheme LW (251 yds 60% 2-1 ratio) & had the team in position to win at the end. MIA is a better team that than many perceive but ARZ is catching a very young team on the road at the right time & the Cardinals are the play.
New England 14 NY JETS 13 - NE was expected to coast to an easy win vs KC LW but Tom Brady is expected to be lost for the year with a torn left ACL. QB Cassell was able to do enough as a game manager (152 yds 72% 1-0) to hold off KC who was in a position to send the game to OT at the end. Mangini is 2-2 ATS vs NE & both wins have been set up by ideal conditions for the Jets. In 2006, the Jets had an extra week to prep due to a bye & were helped out by a windy & rainy day on a horrible field which neutralized the NE passing game. The Jets pulled an upset 17-14 as a 10.5 pt AD with a solid gameplan. LY in the 2nd meeting the Jets got a very tired Patriots coming 3 primetime games in 4 weeks & a brutal slate of PHI, BAL & PIT. NE still beat the Jets 20-10 but failed to cover as a 21 pt HF in a game played in gusty winds, constant rain & cold. NE faced Favre late in 2006 & beat GB 35-0 as a 5.5 pt AF. NE KO’d Favre (elbow) after taking a 21-0 with under 2:00 left in the 1H & cruised to an easy win with 22-5 FD & 357-120 yd edges. Favre looked very comfortable LW vs MIA passing for 194 yds (68%) with a 2-0 ratio & the Jets had a 278-108 yd edge after 3Q. Brady’s loss is possibly the biggest injury in the L15Y & Mangini would love to pound NE while they are down & further solidify signing Favre but look for Belichick to perform a super coaching job of Cassell here & the team to rally around him for a close win.
San Diego 31 DENVER 21 - DEN comes in off a short week having played OAK on MNF. They now face a SD team that has swept & covered them the L2Y beating them by 8, 28, 38 & 20 pts. SD has avg’d a 395-294 yd edge with Tomlinson avg 96 ypg (4.3) in that span. We won a 4H Key Selection on these pages going against SD LW as they lost to CAR at home. Tomlinson was slow to get the rust off not playing in preseason (97 yds 4.6) & was a non-factor in the passing game (3 rec 5.0). SD is 12-3-2 ATS off a SU loss & 14-5-1 ATS as a div fav. This will be the 3rd time that Shanahan has been a Div HD (1-1 ATS) & 8th overall HD in his 14 years with DEN (5-1-1 ATS). DEN does get WR Marshall (102 rec 13.0 LY) back from suspension. While DEN has a good secondary the run defense & pass rush are a concern as they didn’t significantly upgrade either in the offseason. DEN allowed 143 ypg rushing (4.6) LY & only tallied 33 sacks LY with just 2 vs SD LY. Rivers has avg’d 240 ypg (70%) with a 7-2 ratio vs DEN & simply has too much talent on both sides of the ball & get a big division win here.
Pittsburgh at CLEVELAND - PIT simply owns this series on a 14-1 SU & 10-4-1 ATS run. The Steelers
are off a big home win LW vs HOU while CLE was clearly overmatched LW vs DAL. CLE knows it has to knock off PIT to have a hope of taking over the AFC North & redeeming itself in the national spotlight. With a win here PIT takes a big lead in keeping its division crown. Philadelphia at DALLAS - DAL rocked PHI 38-17 as a 3 pt AF on SNF LY. The Cowboys had a 35-10 lead with 4:34 left in the 3Q & relaxed in the 4Q. DAL finished with a 434-316 yd edge & converted 3 PHI TO’s into 14 pts. Both teams are off easy wins to open the season & the winner gets a huge amount of momentum here. TO gets another crack at his former team at home in primetime.
Re: Football Newsletters Sept 9/11 - 9/17
THE GOLD SHEET - NFL
KANSAS CITY by 14 over Oakland
TAMPA BAY by 20 over Atlanta
OVER THE TOTAL in the Chicago-Carolina game
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 14
KANSAS CITY 24 - Oakland 10—Third start overall and first on the road for JaMarcus Russell, who will experience the unique “pleasure” of trying to direct his team amid the cacophany of arguably the NFL’s noisiest stadium.Brodie Croyle (0-7 as a starter; check status) finally beginning to face opposing QBs with even less experience than his own. Raider RBs (Fargas, McFadden,Bush) imposing, but Oakland OL and WRs not. Will count on improving young Chiefs’ defense and K.C.’s crowd to fluster Russell into mistakes.
(07-K. City 12-OAK. 10...K.14-10 K.32/126 O.24/55 O.18/29/1/213 K.16/32/1/164 K.0 O.1)
(07-Oak. 20-K. CITY 17...O.19-18 K.37/164 O.29/153 O.15/22/0/159 K.12/23/1/128 O.1 K.0)
(07-Kansas City +2' 12-10, Oakland +4' 20-17...SR: Kansas City 52-44-2)
TAMPA BAY 26 - Atlanta 6—A rookie QB (Matt Ryan) on a rebuilding team (Atlanta) with a rookie head coach (Mike Smith) is NOT a good combination for facing the most-developed of the usually-confusing, two-deep, zone-blitz defenses now simply dubbed the “Tampa Two” scheme throughout football. Especially with that combination on the road, and especially when the Bucs dominated the Falcs LY (before Michael Turner, however), winning twice by a total score of 68-10! T.B. offense perfectly average (worse than average if Jeff Garcia & Joey Galloway not in tune), but stop unit expert at producing opponent mistakes.
(07-T. Bay 31-ATL. 7...15-15 T.31/149 A.19/49 A.31/48/2/226 T.11/21/0/156 T.2 A.2)
(07-T. BAY 37-Atl. 3...T.21-5 T.48/190 A.20/106 T.15/25/1/95 A.4/15/2/27 T.0 A.2)
(07-Tampa Bay -3 31-7, TAMPA BAY -12' 37-3...SR: Tampa Bay 17-12)
OVER THE TOTAL Chicago 27 - CAROLINA 26—Kudos to Steve Smith-less Carolina and to Jake Delhomme (and his surgeons) for their lastplay victory at San Diego. However, the running of rookie Matt Forté (123 yards) and the nearly-mistake-free play of Kyle Orton (13 of 21, no ints.) was a big boost not only to the Bear offense, but to the Chicago defense, which was both injured and overworked LY. Must be impressed with Lovie’s depth on the DL especially with DTs Harris and Dvoracek both healthy, plus impressive thirdround pick Marcus Harrison of Arkansas. With Jake back for Panthers,however, will look “over” again in Charlotte.
CINCINNATI 16 - Tennessee 13—Situation hardly comforting these days in Cincy, where problems are running a bit deeper than the NFL disallowing “Ocho Cinco” on jersey of the artist formerly known as Chad Johnson. Getting its ground game in gear (Chris Perry only a puny 2.1 ypc in first game as Rudi Johnson’s replacement) might be easier said than done vs. stout Tennessee run defense. But Titans not looking especially explosive themselves, with Vince Young (knee) and speedy rookie RB Chris Johnson both injured last week (check status). “Under” might be a better idea.
(07-CINCY 35-Ten. 6...C.30-10 C.36/148 T.18/61 C.32/38/1/278 T.19/31/1/244 C.0 T.1)
(07-CINCINNATI +1 35-6...SR: Tennessee 38-32-1)
Indianapolis 27 - MINNESOTA 16—Indy run defense will give up a bunch of yards to Adrian Peterson, but its pass rush and ball-hawking secondary should prove major problems for young Vike QB Tarvaris Jackson, especially with LT McKinnie serving second game of his suspension. Moreover, 32ndranked Minny pass defense must prove it can contain Peyton Manning, who should be less rusty and quicker on his feet after opening-game loss.Remember, however, that the rebuilt interior of the Colts’ OL must deal with the granite-like Williams-Williams DT duo of the Vikes. Minny only 2-5 last 7 as home dog.
(04-INDIANAPOLIS -7 31-28...SR: Indianapolis 14-7-1)
New Orleans 24 - WASHINGTON 17—When is Jason Campbell going to start resembling a real No. 1 QB in the NFL? The fact he’s absorbing his seventh offensive system in eight years (at Auburn, then Washington) has something to do with it. Campbell appears far from mastery of Jim Zorn’s version of the West Coast system, especially if Campbell’s stuttering opening performance vs. the Giants is any indication. Even with Deuce McAllister’s return to active duty on hold due to lingering knee issues, there’s a lot more offensive competence on New Orleans, especially with Drew Brees (343 YP & 3 TDP vs. Bucs) apparently in midseason form.
(06-Washington +9' 16-10...SR: Washington 14-7)
DETROIT 23 - Green Bay 16—First road start for Aaron Rodgers, with Packers only 5-5 SU their last 10 trips to the Motor City. Without Favre’s help with the offense, more is likely to be asked of the Packer defense TY, with CBs Al Harris and Charles Woodson facing younger and more-physical Detroit WRs Roy Smith and Calvin Johnson. Lions’ defense still has holes, as Falcons (474 total yards) exposed last week. But is Rodgers ready yet to exploit them? We’ll say no.
(07-G. Bay 37-DET. 26...25-25 D.30/134 G.17/100 G.31/41/0/381 D.19/40/1/197 G.1 D.0)
(07-G. BAY 34-Det. 13...G.19-16 G.38/217 D.17/47 D.22/48/2/246 G.16/26/0/177 G.1 D.0)
(07-Green Bay -3' 37-26, GREEN BAY -4' 34-13...SR: Green Bay 86-64-7
NY Giants 23 - ST. LOUIS 10—Maybe St. Louis isn’t as bad as it looked in its opener at Philly. Then again, maybe it is! After all, it was no secret Rams’ banged-up OL was a mess, and that Steven Jackson might be rusty after his holdout and hamstring woes kept him out of preseason. Without much pass rush to bother Eli Manning, it’s hard to see the overworked Ram defense compensating for any offensive shortcomings. Meanwhile, the re-tooled Giants’ stop unit looked just fine, with d.c. Steve Spagnuolo still having plenty quality athletes available. The G-men were supreme road warriors LY, winning their last 11 away from Meadowlands (10-1 vs. line!)!
(05-NY GIANTS -3 44-24...SR: St. Louis 26-13)
JACKSONVILLE 17 - Buffalo 16—Not sure we trust Jacksonville to recover from its ugly 17-10 opening loss at Tennessee, especially with OL injuries mounting alarmingly (three more hurt vs. Titans, not to mention top backup Richard Collier’s absence due to gunshot wounds) and protection breaking down for David Garrard, sacked 7 times in Nashville. New WRs Jerry Porter (hamstring) & Troy Williamson yet to provide the deep threat intended.Buffalo’s’ offense has more bite now that second-year QB Edwards reading defenses more quickly. Dynamic Bills’ ST helped scuttle Seattle in opener.
(07-JACK. 36-Buf. 14...J.21-20 J.26/124 B.24/94 J.23/37/0/292 B.27/40/2/203 J.1 B.1)
(07-JACKSONVILLE -8' 36-14...SR: EVEN 4-4)
SEATTLE 27 - San Francisco 13—Seattle’s WR situation getting desperate, especially after Nate Burleson (knee; check status) was shelved in the Buffalo game after Bobby Engram, Deion Branch, and Ben Obamanu were already out with injury. RB Maurice Morris (knee) also hurting. However,Seattle’s resiliency when returning home—where Seahawks are 19-8-1 vs. spread last 28 games—should not be underestimated. Nor should the QB edge and coaching edge owned by the host. Niners fall behind too early, too often to be trusted.
(07-Sea. 23-S. FRAN. 3...Se.17-9 Sf.19/109 Se.37/93 Se.23/32/1/278 Sf.12/34/2/75 Se.0 Sf.1)
(07-SEA. 24-S. Fran. 0...Se.27-6 Se.36/106 Sf.16/79 Se.27/40/1/274 Sf.12/28/0/94 Se.1 Sf.2)
(07-Seattle -2 23-3, SEATTLE -9' 24-0...SR: Seattle 10-8)
ARIZONA 20 - Miami 17—After six losses by a FG LY, Miami battled Brett Favre and the Jets on pretty even terms for much of last week’s opener,showing enough positives to make them worth a look. Rushing attack should improve as LT Jake Long develops and Ricky Williams & Ronnie Brown get back in the groove. Chad Pennington quickly gaining rapport with TEs Anthony Fasano & David Martin. Kurt Warner a savvy—but not mobile—field general.
(04-Arizona +3 24-23...SR: Miami 8-1)
NY JETS 23 - New England 13—It took less than one quarter for the Super Bowl runner-up jinx to click in, with Tom Brady felled by a major knee injury.Now, the question is whether the proud Patriots, suddenly finding themselves underdogs for the first time since the 2006 playoffs, will rise up behind Matt Cassel (13 of 18, 1 TD in opener; Chris Simms and others to get tryouts this week). However, the truth is N.E.’s OL, ground game, and—at times—the defense were beginning to disappoint. Mangini’s Jets have always played Belichick tough; Favre vs. Cassel might now be the difference.
(07-N. Eng. 38-JETS 14...Ne.28-17 Ne.37/134 Ny.19/60 Ne.22/28/0/297 Ny.21/31/0/167 Ne.0 Ny.0)
(07-N. ENG. 20-Jets 10...Ne.16-13 Ne.35/131 Ny.17/90 Ny.25/40/1/146 Ne.14/27/1/134 Ne.0 Ny.1)
(07-New England -6' 38-14, NEW ENGLAND -21 20-10...SR: EVEN 48-48-1)
HOUSTON 24 - Baltimore 13—Will side with the up and down nature of the NFL, as Houston is desperate to avoid an 0-2 start. Baltimore rookie QB Joe Flacco avoided major mistakes (no sacks, no ints.) in opener, plus running for a 38-yard TD! But Raven defense, which stuffed troubled Cincy (154 total yards), faces a tougher task vs. Houston, especially with Andre Johnson (10 recs. in opener) flashing his 2006 form. Baltimore 0-8 vs. spread on road LY (0-4 as dog). (05-BALTIMORE -8 16-15...SR: Baltimore 2-0)
San Diego 23 - DENVER 13—Are the Chargers still stunned after their lastplay loss on opening day? If nothing else, the setback to Carolina should remind them of their agonizing 1-3 start LY before they straightened things out.Feeling here is S.D. doesn’t want a repeat of that early-season frustration.Even with WR Brandon Marshall (102 recs. LY) back from suspension for Denver, and Charger LB Shawne Merriman limited, S.D. roster much deeper in impact players. Broncs totaled six points in two meetings LY.
(07-S. Diego 41-DEN. 3...S.20-17 S.37/214 D.20/72 S.13/18/0/270 D.23/36/1/224 S.0 D.2)
(07-S. DIEGO 23-Den. 3...S.18-12 S.38/147 D.19/92 S.18/28/0/187 D.14/32/2/133 S.1 D.1)
(07-San Diego +1 41-3, SAN DIEGO -9 23-3...SR: Denver 52-43-1)
*Pittsburgh 31 - CLEVELAND 20—Steelers have dominated the series in recent years, going 9-0 SU, 7-1-1 vs. the spread, and 4-0-1 vs. the number in Cleveland. The Browns’ only loss at home LY was vs. Pittsburgh (in the opener with Charlie Frye starting). Now, Cleveland’s defense in question after multipleGame One failures vs. Dallas. The Steelers’ superior running game and defense have allowed the Men of Steel to control this matchup. Trust Willie Parker and powerful rookie Rashard Mendenhall to help Pittsburgh maintain its overland edge. TV—NBC
(07-Pitt 34-CLE. 7...P.17-13 P.38/202 C.15/40 P.12/23/0/159 C.15/33/1/145 P.1 C.3)
(07-PITT 31-Cle. 28...P.22-13 P.35/159 C.18/40 P.23/35/1/242 C.16/35/0/123 P.0 C.1)
(07-Pittsburgh -4' 34-7, PITTSBURGH -10 31-28...SR: Pittsburgh 57-55)
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 15
*DALLAS 27 - Philadelphia 23—Both impressive in opener, but pointspread roomy enough to consider Philly, especially with McNabb & Westbrook healthy, the attack invigorated by WR DeSean Jackson (6 for 106 receiving in opener), and the defense reinforced by former N.E. CB Asante Samuel. Eagles play with confidence in Dallas, winning and covering 3 of last 4 meetings. Philly also has the pass rushers in quantity that Browns did not when Tony Romo had plenty of time to spot his targets last week.
(07-Dal. 38-PHIL. 17...D.24-21 D.32/110 P.19/66 D.20/25/1/324 P.27/46/2/250 D.0 P.1)
(07-Phil. 10-DAL. 6...P.20-11 P.27/134 D.15/53 D.13/36/3/187 P.23/41/0/181 P.1 D.0)
(07-Dallas -3 38-17, Philadelphia +10 10-6...SR: Dallas 54-43)
Re: Football Newsletters Sept 9/11 - 9/17
NEWS AND NOTES
The Temple/Conn game was played in heavy rain and UC missed 3 FG's during the game and also fumbled into the EZ for a TB and trailed 6-0 in the 2H. Conn rallied to force OT and won it there...
Virg Tech brought back their 2-QB system taking the RS off Tyrod Taylor but had just 151 yds offense in the 1H and a 3-0 lead. In the 2H they got TD "drives" of 31 and 9 yards after TO's and only beat Furman 24-7...
Iowa jumped out to a 35-0 lead at the half vs FIU with a 338-73 yd edge and won the 2H with their backups but only by a score of 7-0 in their 42-0 win...
Marshall dominated the 1Q vs Wisconsin leading 14-0 with a 131-25 yd edge with 13:34 left in the 2Q. The Badgers rallied for a 17-14 halftime lead then after a pair of TO's, got 22 & 26 yd drives for TD's to blow it open by scoring the game's final 51 points...
At the half Wyoming had a 123-95 yd edge vs Air Force including a missed 27 yd FG in a 3-3 game. It was 6-3 late 3Q when AF got a 74 yd run setting up a TD. After an int they added a 44 yd FG (9:47) then drove 56/12pl for a TD with 2:27 left providing some margin. AF only had 276 yds in their 23-3 win...
UGA only led C Mich 35-17 with 8:28 left 3Q but scored TD's on their next 3 poss to blow it open winning 56-17...
New Mexico lost its 11th straight game when their foe scored first as QB Porterie threw an int which was ret'd 48 yds for a TD and on their 2nd drive Porterie threw an int 11 yds to the 20 setting up a TD. The Aggies lost starting QB McGee to inj on the 1st series. Johnson QB'd the rest of the game. A&M led 28-10 with NM getting 68 and 92 yd drives on their final 2 poss for TD's which gave them a yardage edge for the game of 370-236...
Greg Robinson probably moved ahead of Ty Willingham in the battle for the first coach to be axed this year as Syracuse lost a winnable home game to Akron. They allowed the Zips to convert on 7 of 8 3rd downs in the 1H but rallied to tie 28-28 in the 4Q before losing by 14...
Florida Atlantic only led UAB 42-34 and UAB was threatening to tie but on 4th & 3 fired incomplete from the FA 27 with :56 left. Only needing to run off the final few seconds. FA RB Charles Pierre only needed to run into the line but ripped off a 72 yd TD run to put FA up 49-34. UAB got to the FA 5 yd line with :13 left but 3 passes were incomplete. FA led 21-3 early...
Nothing misleading about Cal's 66-3 win over Wash St. They scored on their first 3 poss piling up 171 yds and led 21-3 after 1Q. The Bears finished with 505 yards incl Jahvid Best's 200 yards rushing. WSU's only score was set up by a 68 yd KR and the Cougars had just 167 yds offense...
While East Carolina needed a blk'd punt for a TD to get past Virg Tech, they throttled West Virginia with a 386-251 yd edge and were in complete control from start to finish. It was EC's 3rd consecutive win over a ranked foe...
Paul Johnson became the first Georgia Tech coach to win his first ACC game. They got a 43 yd TD run by Dwyer with 8:26 left to take a 19-16 lead and BC was SOD at the GT 34...
Montana St allowed 69 points which ties for the most they've allowed since 1950. Kansas St had 2 blk'd PR for TD's but dominated with a 481-191 yd edge...
We are still wondering why Pitt was ranked at the start of the year and they had another tough outing vs a MAC school barely getting past Buffalo 27-16. Pitt only had a 352-348 yd edge and it was 17-16 after 3Q's...
Oklahoma St actually trailed Houston 16-14 at the half but had 2 amazing stats as Dez Bryant had 236 yards receiving and Kendall Hunter 210 yards rushing. OSU compiled its 2nd best total in school history with 699 yards. After a 71 yd PR put OK St comfortably ahead of the spread, UH drove 68/10pl for a TD which came on 4th & 10, 56-37 and the Cowboys drove 48 yds and ended the game taking a knee at the UH 2 yd line...
Maryland trailed Middle Tenn 24-14 and had 3 drives inside the 35 in the 4Q but did not score. They were SOD on the first, int'd at the 2 mid 4Q and int'd in the EZ with 2:18 left...
Arizona St had 3 long drives early vs Stanford but settled for a pair of FG's and turned it over and actually trailed 7-6. Just like last year, after a slow start they rebounded for an easy 41-17 win and finished with a 472-233 yd edge...
Missouri's 52-3 win over SE Missouri looks impressive but our computer actually projected them to win 65-0 so they actually underachieved vs the overmatched Bears...
Baylor QB Robert Griffin made his much anticipated debut in the opener coming off the bench but got the start last week vs Northwestern St. He led Baylor to scores on their first five poss and BU rolled up 537 yds offense. Our computer called for BU to have a 499-226 yd edge and they did slightly better...
Idaho ended an 11 game losing streak by connecting on a 77 yd TD pass on the first play of the game. They did lose RB Jackson to an injured back in the 2H but rolled to a 35-14 lead over Idaho St with the Bengals getting 2 TD's in the final 7:00...
Arkansas St's impressive start to the season got even stronger as they became the first major college team in 3 seasons to score 80 pts as they plastered Texas Southern. Our computer had called for them to have 599-61 yd edge and they led 52-3 at the half in the 83-10 win...
Memphis appeared to have the Rice game locked up with a 35-20 lead when Rice got a TD with 6:28 left. Rice got another TD with 1:15 left and the 2 pt conv to tie and then got a 69 yd IR for a TD with :11 left and MEM's big lead went up in smoke in a stunning loss...
SMU appeared on their way to a rout of Texas St leading 30-6 and led 47-29 but allowed a TD with 1:16 left which cut the lead to 11. SMU rec'd the onside kick and ran out the clock. SMU had 5 TD passes which came up 1 short of the school record.
GAMES UNDER THE BELT
Having a game under your belt in the first week of the season is a large advantage as teams make their biggest improvement from Wk 1 to Wk 2. Everyone talked about San Diego St's loss to a IAA foe but the team they lost to (Cal Poly) is one of the FCS's better teams and it wasn't much of an upset as our computer actually had the Aztecs only winning the game by 9 prior. The Irish missed a 47 yd FG, fmbl'd at the Aztec 3, had an int set up a short SDSt TD and fumbled a snap on a 27 yd FG in the 1H when it was tied at 7. The Aztecs had a 1st & goal at the ND 4 leading by 6 threatening to make it a 2 TD game when they fumbled into the EZ for a TB and the Irish went 80/6pl and 55/11pl for TD's ending the game at the SDSt 9 on their final 3 poss...
Most teams struggle when having a GUB deficit but Tulane outplayed an Alabama team that was very impressive the previous week vs Clemson. Even though it was TU's opener and they had practice disrupted by a hurricane. TU actually finished with 318-172 yd and 18-11 FD edges. If not for an 87 yd PR and 17 yd blk'd PR for TD's, the Tide may have lost...
Arizona had a game under their belt and rolled to 28-12 FD and 452-244 yd edges vs a rusty Toledo team. UT did not get a FD in the 1Q.
STRUGGLES VS FCS OPPONENTS
Last year Colorado played its first ever IAA opponent and lost SU. This year the game was tied at 24 and EW had the ball but CU got a 27 yd IR TD with 1:44 left and then EW got to the CU 30 but CU got an int at the goal line with :03 left to hold on for the win. EW led 21-7 at the half...
The Citadel had been shutout by Clemson two straight times but their 17 points were the most they have scored vs the Tigers since 1924 (22 games). They piled up 427 yds although 162 of them came on their final 3 drives after they trailed 35-7...
Colorado St trailed Sacramento St 20-17. They drove 61/16pl and nailed a 36 yd FG with 1:29 left to tie then rec'd a fumble and nailed a 20 yd FG on the game's final play to escape with the win...
Despite NC State being in a rebuilding mode this year, our computer still projected them to have a 43-22 win over William & Mary so the fact they only won 34-24 is a concern. They did lead the game 34-10 and W&M got TD's with 5:46 and :19 left in the game and that helped them to a 16-11 FD edge.
LET THE KIDS PLAY
Washington suffered a tough loss to BYU. The two teams played even throughout and UW got an apparent game-tying TD with :02 left on a Jake Locker run. Locker jumped into the air with the ball going up and simply celebrated with his teammates but was called for unsportsmanlike conduct. That forced a 35 yd xp which was blk'd and #15 BYU escaped with the win. UW, despite their poor record in recent years, had a very enthusiastic home crowd. Locker clearly did not showboat on the penalty and the NCAA needs to ease its restrictions.
POINTSPREAD PLAYS OF THE GAME
For the newsletter, Florida was an easy winner as they opened up as a 21 point fav and climbed to 21' or 22 during the week and only on Saturday morning, after 11:00 am did they begin to move to 23 or even 23' in some spots. If you did play the game very late and were one of the unlucky only to get a bad late line of 23', one key play kept it from being a clear winner late. UF got a long TD pass in the 4Q and celebrated as they led 30-3 but it was called back for an illegal formation and they settled for a 29 yd FG winning 26-3. They did hold Miami to 140 yards offense.
POINTS LEFT OFF THE BOARD
The key to Ball St beating Navy and the game going Under the Total was Navy's ineffectiveness in the redzone. Navy went on 10pl, 11pl and 10pl drives in the 1H but settled for FG's each time. In the 2H Navy was SOD at the 3 and int'd at the 9 as they ended up losing by 12 in a game they could have led 38-20...
Ohio has been very impressive in their first two games nearly knocking off Wyoming on the road and last week actually led Ohio St 14-6 in the 3Q. Starting QB Theo Scott was inj'd in the 1Q and backup Boo Jackson QB'd most of the game hitting 9 of 25 for 86 yards and 3 int's but repeatedly scrambled out of jams (55 yds). The Buckeyes did rally for a 12 point win but were actually outgained at the half 127-117...
Miami (Oh) trailed Michigan 10-6 early 4Q and on 2nd & 10 the RedHawks had a wide open receiver but missed by inches or they would have actually led the game 13-10 as it would have been an easy TD. After they punted, UM drove 87/7pl for a TD to ice it and Miami was SOD on their final 2 poss.
With 7:53 to go in the 1H Ole Miss had a 199-71 yd edge and led Wake 14-7. Ole Miss opened the 3Q with consecutive int's and the teams traded leads. Ole Miss drove 80/15pl getting a 4th & 2 TD pass with 1:01 left for the apparent win, 28-27. WF drove 46/9pl and Swank nailed a 41 yd FG with :03 left as WF pulled out the win.
MISLEADING FINALS, FRONTDOOR AND BACKDOOR COVERS
Despite having the advantage of a game under their belt, Ariz only led Toledo 34-16 when they got a 12 yd TD pass with 3:27 to go to give them the frontdoor cover...
UTEP actually led Texas 6-0 in their much hyped home game vs the Horns which was played before a Sun Bowl record crowd of 53,415. It was just 28-13 into the 4Q but UT got 2 TD's and the cover on a 26 yd FR for a TD. UT only had a 26-23 FD edge and UTEP actually had a 412-404 yd edge...
San Jose St played much stronger than their 35-12 loss to Nebraska would indicate. SJSt outgained NU 353-315 but gave up a 49 yd IR TD and 84 yd KR TD. SJSt only trailed 14-12 and could have been leading but missed 41 and 32 yd FG's. The Huskers scored TD's on their final 3 poss and SJSt finished the game without their star QB Kyle Reed who was injured early 4Q. Myles Eden hit just 1 of 7 passes with 1 int in his place...
While technically not a backdoor cover as Southern Miss got under the spread with 11:48 left, Auburn did lead this one 24-0 and their first 2 drives of the game went 68/10p and 64/6pl ending on a fumble into the EZ for a TB and a fumble at the 15 or it could have been worse...
Utah and UNLV were tied at 14 at the half with LV having a 205-171 yd edge. In the 2H Utah had a 269-83 yd edge and rolled to a 42-21 win getting the frontdoor cover on a TD with 13:33 left. LV went 77/18pl converting on 4th & 5 and an int in the EZ was wiped out by a holding call and they got a TD on 3rd & 10 with 6:13 left. Utah got 4 FD's on their final drive but had a 35 yd run to the 8 wiped out by a hold and ran out the clock as they did not cover...
South Florida had a 504-226 yd edge. Under (the total) players got a rough loss as South Florida had the game locked up 24-10 with the total at 48'. Central got an int with 3:24 left and drove 38 yds for a TD with 2:46 left. A 34 yd PR set Central up for a 31 yd TD pass with 1:40 left to tie it. South Florida missed a 42 yd FG wide left at the end of regulation but won it in OT. SF had won the previous 3 meetings by a combined score of 119-43...
It looks like Minnesota waxed Bowling Green 42-17 and they did catch BG the week after the Falcons upset Pitt but the game was just 14-10 at the half before BG turned the ball over five times in the 2H. UM only had a 397-389 yd edge with the TO's being the key...
Duke lost to Northwestern 24-20 but had 472-328 yd & 28-14 FD edges. At the end of the game Duke got the apparent game winning TD but it was called back on a hold and their 4th down pass fell incomplete and NW escaped with a 4 point win...
Kent St had a 20-14 FD edge vs Iowa St and 410-374 yd edge but a blk'd punt and two fumbles set up Iowa St for 21 of their 48 points in a game that was closer than the final.
RECORD BREAKING NOTES
Illinois' Juice Williams broke his own school record rushing for 174 yards vs E Illinois (145 in '06). EI RB Travorus Bess rushed for 183 yards on 15 carries. The key play of the game happened when EI rec'd a fumbled punt at the IL 15 trailing 13-7. The were SOD on 4th & 1 at the 7 and the Illini scored TD's on their next 4 poss to blow it open...
Joe Tiller won his 84th game as Purdue's HC which ties Jack Mollenkopf for most wins in school history...
Kansas QB Todd Reesing threw for a career high 412 yds vs LA Tech. The Jayhawks gained 64 of their 126 yards rushing in the 4Q, mostly on their final 8:38 drive (14pl) which ran out the clock as they ended the game at the LT 22. KU's D has not allowed an offensive TD this year...
Mardy Gilyard got Cincinnati's first KR TD in 13 years and set a school record with 365 all-purp yards vs the Sooners. In the 1H he had 58 & 62 yd KR's keeping UC in the game. The Sooners jumped out to a 14-0 lead but did only have a 277-245 yd edge at the half. A key play came in the 3Q with the Sooners up 35-20. UC faked a punt from their own 23 but fired incomplete and the Sooners got a TD on the next play to open up a 42-20 lead. UC, trailing 52-20, did take over with 1:23 left and drove 41 yds for a garbage TD on the final play...
Oregon piled up a school record 688 yds vs Utah St as Justin Roper returned from injury.
INJURIES OF NOTE
South Carolina had a 133-50 yd edge vs Vandy in the 1H but a 41 yd IR set them up for a FG and they only trailed 10-3. A 3Q punt bounced off a SC blocker and VU rec'd and on the next play got a 31 yd TD pass to stunningly tie it. SC had a 42 yd FG blk'd and a 48 yd FG missed and ended up losing. They lost their top WR Kenny McKinley to injury in the 2Q but VU got their first upset of a ranked team at home since 1992...
Louisville whipped Tenn Tech as expected (51-10) in a game they led 57-3 but C Eric Wood and LT George Bussey both went down with minor inj's and DNP in the 2H. A lot of starters rested in the 2H so they will probably be listed as ? for this week...
NI QB Chandler Harnish, who threw for 326 yds vs Minnesota was inj'd after 2 series vs W Michigan but he was in a QB battle with last year's starter Dan Nicholson who came in and hit 16-29 for 239 yards...
Penn St was playing without two starting DL including 1st Tm B10 DE Maurice Evans but it did not matter. They dominated Oregon St leading 35-7 at the half with a 328-137 yd edge...
Oregon leading rusher Jeremiah Johnson rushed for 37 yards on his first carry vs Utah St but injured his shoulder and did not return...
Nev RB Luke Lippincott, the WAC's leading returning rusher, was lost for the year vs Texas Tech...
UC QB Grutza will miss at least 4 wks due to a leg inj suffered vs the Sooners.
Re: Football Newsletters Sept 9/11 - 9/17
Football Cheat Sheet
by: Marc Lawrence
The 2008 NFL season is officially underway while the College Football campaign makes its way in into Week Three of the season. With that, let’s take a look at some of the key games, stats and trends that you should be aware on tap this weekend.
Remember, Series History reflects results within the series. All results are ATS (Against The Spread) unless noted otherwise. Enjoy the games!
Georgia at South Carolina
Series History: Bulldogs are 4-0 when the Gamecocks oare off a loss
Georgia Key Stat: Bulldogs are 25-4 SU and 19-10 ATS as a visitor under head coach Mark Richt
South Carolina Key Stat: Gamecocks handed the Bulldogs their only home loss of the season last year
You Need To Know: This has been a brutally low scoring series with the last 10 meetings averaging a 17-11 final in favor of the Dawgs.
Michigan At Notre Dame
Series History: The Irish are 3-1 the last 4 as a host and play with revenge from a 38-0 loss last year at Michigan
Michigan Key Stat: Wolverines are 0-7 as favorites in non-conference games
Notre Dame Key Stat: Fighting Irish are 13-4-1 as home dogs when not playing off a loss
You Need To Know: Since 1980, favorite in Michigan’s 1st road game of the season is 2-25.
Ohio State at USC
Series History: Trojans are 5-0 SU last 5 games, including 3-0 SU here – outscoring the Buckeyes 91-6
Ohio State Key Stat: Jim Tressel is 14-4 SU against undefeated opponents with one loss by more than 7 points
USC Key Stat: Pete Carroll is 5-0 as a favorite against Big 10 opposition
You Need To Know: College Football teams that were favorites of 30 or more points in their previous game are 12-6 as double-digit dogs
NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
Tennessee at Cincinnati
Series History: Titans are 2-8 off a SU dog win. Bengals are 6-0 off a SU favorite loss.
Tennessee Key Stat: Titans are 5-0 as road dogs off a SU dog win
Cincinnati Key Stat: Marvin Lewis is 6-0 SU and 4-1-1 ATS at home in his NFL head coaching career in games off a SU favorite loss
You Need To Know: NFL Game Two teams off a SU favorite loss are 12-4 SU and ATS when facing a foe off a SU dog win in which they covered the spread by 9 or more points.
New England at New York Jets
Series History: Patriots are 9-0 last nine games here; visitor is 16-3
New England Key Stat: Bill Belichick is 41-57 SU as an NFL head coach without Tom Brady
New York Jets Key Stat: Jets are 0-6 SU and 1-5 ATS in games off a win with revenge under Eric Mangini
You Need To Know: Since 1980 NFL teams in their first road game of the season that won 16 or more the previous year are 4-20.
Pittsburgh at Cleveland
Series History: Steelers are 8-1 last 9 games, including 5-0 last 5 here
Pittsburgh Key Stat: Steelers have lost the money in 8 of their last 9 games against a division opponent off a DD loss
Cleveland Key Stat: Browns are 8-1 in Game Two of the season
You Need To Know: The Steelers are 0-5 on the road off a win under head coach Mike Tomlin.
Other Top Trends for this weekend: Stanford has been outgained in 12 of its 14 games under head coach Jim Harbaugh… Memphis is 0-2 SU and ATS but 2-0 ITS (In The Stats) this season… LSU head coach Les Miles is 16-3-1 ATS as a college head coach favorite in non-conference games… Kansas City Chiefs are 12-0-1 ATS in home opening games against division opponents… Carolina Panthers are 31-15-1 ATS as a dog under head coach John Fox but only 13-22-1 ATS as a favorite with Fox… St. Louis Rams are 0-12 SU and 2-10 ATS versus winning teams under head coach Scott Linehan
This Week’s Super System Says: PLAY AGAINST any college football team with a new coach in Game Three of the season if they are off a SU and ATS underdog win versus an opponent off a win of 7 or more points.
ATS W-L Record Since 1990: 11-1 (91%)
Play Against: Georgia Tech
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