SUNDAY PREMUUM SERVICE PLAYS
SUNDAY PREMUUM SERVICE PLAYS
2 NFL Best Bets this week and one Strong Opinion.
Houston (+7 1/2) 2-Stars at +7 or more.
San Francisco (+5) 2-Stars at +4 or more.
Atlanta (+7) Strong Opinion at +7 or more.
2 Star Selection
** Houston 24 JACKSONVILLE (-7.5) 23
Houston has had to start the season with a 3rd consecutive road game due to the postponement of their week 2 home game. Playing a 3rd straight road game in the NFL is generally a bad thing (88-117-1 ATS), but teams that lost the first 2 of those 3 games both as underdogs are actually 27-13-1 ATS in that 3rd road game. Houston, meanwhile, is 23-8-1 ATS in their history as an underdog after consecutive losses, including 6-2 ATS under coach Kubiak, so don’t overreact to the Texans’ first two games. Houston has obviously not played up to expectations so far, but facing two of the best defensive teams in the league on the road ( Pittsburgh and Tennessee ) is bound to make a team look bad. Houston had a very good offense last season and quarterback Matt Schaub has still averaged 6.5 yards per pass play as the Texans’ quarterback (against teams that would allow 6.0 yppp to an average quarterback). Houston has also found a running back in rookie Steve Slaton, who has run for 151 yards at 5.1 ypr in 2 games, so the Texans are still a better than average offensive team that should be able to score on Jaguars’ defense that has given up an average of 5.8 yards per play to teams that would combine to average 5.5 yppl against an average team. The Jaguars have the reputation as being a good defensive team, but they were just average defensively last season (5.2 yppl allowed to teams that would combine to average 5.2 yppl against an average team) and have certainly not been good this year. Jacksonville ’s offense hasn’t been good either thanks to an offensive line missing 3 starters. The Jagars lost starting C Brad Meester for half the season in training camp and then lost both starting guards for the season in game 1. The result has been an inconsistent rushing attack that has averaged only 4.0 ypr (against teams that would allow 4.2 ypr) and a quarterback (David Garrard) that doesn’t have time to find open receivers down the field. Garrard has completed 66% of his passes, but he’s averaged just 9.8 yards per completion and a sorry 5.0 yards per pass play after the 9 sacks are taken into account. The line did play well last week against the Colts and the subs will certainly get better with more experience, so I do still rate the Jaguars’ offense as better than average even though they’ve averaged just 4.5 yppl in their first 3 games (against teams that would allow 5.1 yppl). Houston ’s defense was a bit below average last season and they have started this season about the same (5.4 yppl allowed to mediocre Tennessee and Pittsburgh offenses that would average 5.3 yppl at home against an average defensive team). I think there is a ton of potential for Houston to improve defensively this season with all the young stars in the defensive front 7, but I rate that unit a bit worse than average currently. Overall my ratings favor Jacksonville by just 5 ½ points and using this year’s games only would favor the Jaguars by just 4 ½ points. In addition to the line value favoring Houston , the Jaguars apply to a negative 20-55-1 ATS home favorite letdown situation. I’ll take Houston in a 2-Star Best Bet at +7 points or more.
2 Star Selection
** San Francisco 26 NEW ORLEANS (-5.0) 23
I really wanted to make the 49ers a Best Bet last week against Detroit (my ratings favor them by 13 points), but a negative 21-58-2 ATS situation that applied to the Niners caused me to downgrade San Francisco to a Strong Opinion. The oddsmakers and the public still aren’t giving enough credit to the 49ers for being a good team this season, as San Francisco has clearly been better than the Saints. The Niners won at Seattle two weeks ago with a 5.8 yards per play to 4.9 yppl advantage and they dominated Detroit 6.2 yppl to 4.4 yppl in a 31-13 home win last week. San Francisco’s only blemish was a fluke opening day loss to Arizona in which the Niners averaged 6.8 yppl while allowing the explosive Cardinals’ attack just 4.3 yppl. San Francisco was -5 in turnover margin against the Cardinals with 4 of those being lost fumbles, so that loss should be considered random bad luck and not a mark against the Niners (I actually consider that game a huge plus for them). San Francisco has out-gained their 3 opponents 6.2 yppl to 4.5 yppl as Mike Martz has turned the offense into a force while the defense has gone from decent to very good with added talent surrounding star LB Patrick Willis. New Orleans will be a good test for the defense, as the Saints have averaged 6.5 yppl against teams that would combine to allow just 5.2 yppl to an average team. New Orleans , while better than San Francisco offensively, is still having problems on defense, as evidenced by the 6.3 yppl that they’ve allowed (to teams that would combine to average 5.8 yppl). New Orleans is 1.3 yppl better than average offensively this season, but they are 0.5 yppl worse than average defensively. The Niners, meanwhile, have been 0.6 yppl better than average on offense and 0.8 yppl better than average defensively – for an overall edge of 0.6 yppl over the Saints (+1.4 yppl to +0.8 yppl). The 49ers also have better special teams and my ratings only favor the Saints by 1 ½ points in this game while using this year’s stats only would favor the 49ers by 2 points. The technical analysis is a bit confusing, as the Niners apply to a 3-20-4 ATS subset of a 27-72-1 ATS road letdown situation while New Orleans applies to a negative 20-55-1 ATS early season home favorite situation. San Francisco also applies to a very good 17-2-1 ATS early season indicator that plays on winning teams that were losing teams last year (that the public hasn’t figured out is good yet), and the Niners apply to a very strong 55-13-2 ATS statistical match-up indicator that is actually 1-0 ATS in the only game that intersected with that 3-20-4 ATS situation that SF applies to. Overall the technical analysis favors the Niners a bit and my ratings favor San Francisco to cover as well. I’ll take San Francisco in a 2-Star Best Bet at +4 or more.
Atlanta 19 CAROLINA (-7.0) 20
Atlanta has beaten up on two of the worst teams in the league, Detroit and Atlanta , but they lost 9-24 at Tampa Bay in their only road game of the year and my first thought was that something similar would happen here. However, the Falcons have been better than expected even after compensating for playing two of their games against the Lions and Chiefs. Rookie quarterback Matt Ryan has averaged 8.0 yards per pass attempt and 6.9 yards per pass play, but those numbers are skewed by a couple of long passes and he’s unlikely to continue to average 15 yards per completion. Ryan’s poor 53% completion rate is a better indicator of his future performance and I rate Ryan as 1.1 yards per pass play worse than average. Even with that being the case the Falcons still have a decent offense thanks to the running of Michael Turner and Jerious Norwood, who have combined for 552 rushing yards at 6.1 ypr. That average isn’t too much of a fluke given that Turner has averaged 5.7 ypr on his 287 career carries and Norwood has averaged 6.1 ypr on 233 career carries. Teams that can run that well are generally pretty good bets as underdogs even if their pass attack isn’t good and the Falcons apply to a very strong 55-13-2 ATS statistical match-up indicator that is 21-1 ATS more recently. Carolina is struggling offensively but solid on defense, as is usually the case, and my ratings favor the Panthers by 7 ½ points – so the line is pretty fair. Using this year’s games only would favor Carolina by just 4 points but I get 7 points if I adjust Ryan’s numbers to reflect a more reasonable yards per catch average (since a few long gains have skewed his average). Carolina is only 8-19-1 ATS as a favorite of 4 points or more under coach John Fox so the Panthers are not to be trusted laying big points. While I should be betting Atlanta based on that 55-13-2 ATS indicator and a fair line, I am having a tough time pulling the trigger since my first instinct was that they’d lose by about 10 points in this game. I’ll probably regret passing on the Falcons as a Best Bet, but I’ll consider Atlanta a Strong Opinion in this game at +7 or more.
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The 49ers are still flying under the radar with a solid running game and improvements in the passing attack. New Orleans has injuy problems right now and their defence makes them quite vulnerable. Good SF pass defence numbers and poor Saints run & pass defence numbers adds to this play. The line move says it all. It opened at -6.5 and a solid majority of bets have come in on New Orleans. Line should move to -7 or more, right? Wrong. Big, sharp money has forced the books to go to -4. Public is going to be surprised here and New Orleans is in for a dog fight. Take San Francisco +4 for a 4* Regular Play.
Houston sits at 0-2 and a lack a focus hurt them last week vs Tennessee. They had numerous chances and didn't execute so the 31-12 score is deceiving. They've had 2 strong opponents and finally have a chance to mentally regroup after all happened recently. Their running game was quite encouraging last week vs Tennessee and they catch the Jags at a good time off a win vs Indy. Jaguar O-line injuries also help. Public money has poured in on Jacksonville but the line has held at -7. We've seen this movie before as smart money is holding the line. Take Houston for a 4* Regular Play. Close to making this a Top Play.
Good setup for an underdog cover. A big road favorite that has struggled defensively, an opponent they'll have a hard time getting up for, and no added urgency with a 3-0 record. KC will start Huard which will help and they have a chance to do well with the running game and mix in the pass. Home dogs in this role do extremely well vs the spread and this fits one of the strongest NFL systems I look for each week. These kinds of picks will never make you feel cozy but they are profitable in the long run. Take Kansas City +9.5 for a 3* Regular Play
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Cajun-Sports NFL Executive Report
Green Bay Packers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Prediction: 5* Tampa Bay Buccaneers -1
Cigar City will be the site of the Battle of the Bay’s as Green Bay heads south to face the hometown Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday afternoon at Raymond James Stadium.Aaron Rodgers and the Packers look to bounce back from their prime-time defeat Sunday when they visit Tampa Bay, which is coming off an overtime victory that featured 67 pass attempts by Brian Griese.Packers QB Aaron Rodgers was held without a touchdown pass in a 27-16 loss to unbeaten Dallas on Sunday night, Rodgers threw for 290 yards, ran for a score and remained without an interception this season. The latter could very well change against this aggressive Bucs defense on Sunday.
The Packer’s offense was held to three field goals of less than 40 yards, the Dallas defense was able to control the Rodgers led offense. Green Bay only rushed for 84 yards on 21 attempts and Rodgers was 22 of 39 for 250 yards in the loss. The Tampa defense will be looking to do the same here today and have the personnel to make it a long day for Aaron Rodgers and the Pack offense.
The Packers defense was torched by Dallas for 453 yards of offense, including 217 rushing yards. Tampa’s offensive unit is not as explosive as the Cowboys but they should be able to control the tempo of this contest and put enough points on the board to get the win and cover here.
We expect Tampa Coach Jon Gruden to utilize Earnest Graham and Warrick Dunn, who have combined for 357 yards at 5.7 yards per rush this season. The Packer’s defense has surrendered 5.8 yards per rush on the season and both Graham and Dunn should be able to exploit their weak run defense.
Buccaneers QB Brian Griese threw the ball for an unbelievable 67 times against the Chicago Bears last week in their OT win. Even against a solid Bears defense Griese was able to average 6.1 yards per pass play so we feel confident in knowing that Tampa can throw the ball if the need arises against this Green Bay defense.
Tampa has also been solid at home when favored by 3 or more points, posting a record of 24-6-1 ATS their last 31 in this role. That record has been accomplished no matter who was under center for the Buc’s.
Our data base research has uncovered several strong technical factors that indicate a strong play on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in today’s contest.
This week’s Technical Situational Report shows Green Bay to be in a negative situation that says to Play Against favorites or underdogs of 7 or less points between Week 4 and Week 15 of the regular season that have a higher Offensive Holding Penalty Against average (ohpa) than their opponent. This situations record is 85-191 ATS since 2001. Season to date numbers for the Packers have them with a horrible OHPA of 3.33 and Tampa has a decent average of 2.33.
We also find the Packers in a negative situation that deals with Pass Defense Ratings matched up against their opponents Pass Offense Ratings. Green Bay’s Pass Defense Rating of +1.28 appears to match up well with Tampa’s Pass Offense Rating of -0.44 but when an advantage (Pass Offense) of at least +1 occurs as in this case this turns a possible positive situation into a huge negative for the Packers.
There are a few more parameters that must be met to make this situation solid, most importantly that the opponent of the team with the Pass Offense Advantage also has an above average Rush Offense Rating which the Bucs currently have a +1.11 in this contest. Add it all up and Green Bay falls into a negative situation that is 53-137-1 ATS since 1994 and 8-27-1 ATS the last two seasons.
One final situation looks at teams that are undervalued and have made huge improvements in their Rushing Offense from the previous season. As mentioned earlier Tampa’s Rush Offense Rating is currently +1.11 which is a vast improvement from last season’s rating of +0.24.
Green Bay’s Rush Offense Rating of only -0.13 also serves as a primary condition in this particular technical situation. This situation tells us to Play On Tampa Bay and the record for the situation is 135-52 ATS since 1994.
We have an NFL Power System that tells us In Game 4, play AGAINST a team (not a favorite of more than 11 points or underdog of more than 6 points) with a TOTAL over 41 points off a SU loss and allowing successively more points in each of its last 2 games. This System’s Play Against Team is the Green Bay Packers and the record for the system is 16-0 ATS since 1989 and averages covering the spread by 13.9 points per game.
The combination of Tampa’s home field advantage and the fact they have strong technical support makes them our 5* NFL Game of the Week selection for Week 4 of the NFL Season.
GRADED PREDICTION: 5* Tampa Bay Buccaneers -1
San Francisco 49ers vs. New Orleans Saints
Prediction: 4* San Francisco 49ers +5.5
The “Big Easy” will be the site for the clash between the hometown New Orleans Saints and the visiting San Francisco 49ers on Sunday afternoon in the Louisiana Superdome. The Saints have won all four matchups since moving to the NFC South Division including a 31 to 10 defeat last season.
The past four meetings have been controlled by the Saints offense that has averaged 32.5 points per game during that span. The difference in this contest is San Fran’s defense holds a huge advantage over the Saints. They are only allowing 4.6 yards per plays while the Saints are allowing 6.3 yards per play this season.
If we compare the 49ers offensive and defensive YPP to the Saints we really see a huge advantage for San Francisco. San Fran’s YPP numbers on offense are 6.5 and on the defensive side of the ball they are 4.6.
The 49ers are much improved and could actually be 3-0 both SU and ATS this season as they outgained the Cardinals in Week 1 of the season but a turnover margin of 5 to 0 lead to their demise.
The 49ers offense has begun to click under the direction of offensive coordinator Mike Martz. He has taken an inexperienced QB in JT O’Sullivan and turned their passing attack into a force averaging 8.6 yards per pass attempt this season.
This offensive prowess of the 49ers could be a huge problem for the Saints defensive unit as they are giving up over 27 points per game and nearly 400 yards per game of total offense. We believe a huge key for the 49ers will be time of possession as they are averaging 35 minutes per game using an elite RB in Frank Gore. The powerful Saints offense cannot score from the bench.
There are two technical angles that have importance in this contest the first is New Orleans is 29-52 ATS as home chalk and San Fran is 8-1 ATS with revenge against a team off two straight losses.
Our Technical Situational Report shows the 49ers in positive situations for today’s contest. First we Play On road teams with an average Field Goal Distance <31 on the year and an average starting field position not more than 5 yards higher than their opponents. The record for this situation is 66-16 ATS.
The second situation says to Play On teams with a POF Rating +1.5 or higher last season facing a team with a PWP <=.500 and the total for the game is at least 45. The record for this situation is 45-8 ATS since 1994.
We have one final situation that says to Play On teams with a season Penalty Yardage For average at least 20 points higher than their Penalty Yardage Against average and their opponent has a below average Rush Offense Rating. The record for this situation is 85-15 ATS since 1994.
Data base research has uncovered on NFL Power System that says In Game 4, play AGAINST a team (not a favorite of more than 11 points or underdog of more than 6 points) with a TOTAL over 41 points off a SU loss and allowing successively more points in each of its last 2 games. This system is 16-0 ATS since 1989 and averages covering the spread by 13.9 points per game.
With San Francisco’s YPP numbers better on both sides of the ball and significant technical and situational support we will make the San Francisco 49ers a 4* NFL Selection for Sunday.
GRADED PREDICTION: 4* San Francisco 49ers +5.5
Minnesota Vikings vs. Tennessee Titans
Prediction: 4* Tennessee Titans -3
The Vikings head to Nashville to face the hometown Tennessee Titans on Sunday afternoon. The Titans are 3-0 on the young season while Minnesota is just 1-2.
Minnesota finally made the change at QB benching the unimpressive and certainly not an NFL caliber quarterback in Tarvaris Jackson and going with Gus Frerotte. Not a huge improvement but they didn’t have any where to go but up.
Tennessee was forced to make a change at QB with starter Vince Young’s knee problems and his mental instability so they go with veteran Kerry Collins.
Collins was able to rally the troops and pull off a comeback victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars and then lead the team to a 24 to 7 win over Cincinnati a week later.
Tennessee’s offensive success can be attributed in large part to one of the league’s best tandem backfields in LenDale White and rookie Chris Johnson. These two have helped the Titans outscore their opponents by 14.3 points per game this season.
The Titans are known for their solid play on defense and that is true once again this season as they are holding opponents to just 240.3 yards per game in total offense and only 4.2 yards per play. These are very solid numbers and as you know we look closely at teams YPP and that helps us determine which teams are playing better on both sides of the ball.
Minnesota’s QB Gus Frerotte and RB Adrian Peterson will have to earn every yard against a Titans’ defensive unit that picked off Houston’s Matt Schaub three times in last week’s 31-12 victory. Cortland Finnegan brought back his league-leading fourth interception 99 yards for a touchdown. The unit is still anchored by linebacker Keith Bulluck, who scored a touchdown off a blocked punt in the win over the Bengals.
Vikings RB Adrian Peterson may not be at full speed this week as he has been bothered with a hamstring problem and is still not 100%. That is not a good sign for this Minnesota offensive unit. Frerotte was 1-2 last season with the Rams, throwing six touchdowns and ten interceptions. He is 38-44-1 overall as an NFL starter, not good news when facing a stout Titans defense.
On the technical front we see that the Titans are 23-10-1 ATS versus the NFC. They are also 11-4 ATS as non-conference home chalk, 15-3 ATS as a home favorite of three points or less. The Titans are 7-0 ATS when they covered by 10+ points last week. The Vikings are 9-18-1 ATS as non-division road underdogs. The Vikings are 0-8 ATS on the road after a double digit win in which they did not score in the first quarter at home.
The League is 7-27-1 ATS as a road dog versus a non-divisional opponent before playing on the road. The League is 4-19-1 ATS as a road dog after playing at home in each of the previous two weeks.
The League is 43-17-3 ATS as a favorite versus a non-divisional opponent before playing on the road. The League is 22-5-2 ATS within 3 of pick when on a 3 game SU and ATS winning streak.
Our Technical Situational Report has uncovered a positive situation for the Titans. It says to Play On teams with a 2nd Down Pass Rating For >1.4 and an Interception % Against Advantage <0. The record for this situation is 72-17 ATS since 1994.
We have two NFL Power Systems that are active for today’s Minnesota / Tennessee match up. Play ON a non-Saturday home favorite of 2+ points with a TOTAL under 46 points off a home SU win outscoring its foe in each quarter in its last game
versus an opponent not off a Monday road underdog SU loss in its last game, 15-0 ATS. Play ON a non-division home favorite of 3 points or less with a TOTAL of 34-47 points off a SU & ATS win as a home favorite of more than 3 points last week, 16-0 ATS.
With strong fundamental and technical support for the host we will make the Tennessee Titans an NFL 4* Selection for Sunday.
GRADED PREDICTION: 4* Tennessee Titans -3
Buffalo Bills vs. St. Louis Rams
Prediction: 4* Buffalo / St. Louis Over 41.5
The St. Louis Rams will play host to the red-hot Buffalo Bills on Sunday afternoon in “The Gateway to the West”. Buffalo looks to improve to 4-0 for the first time since 1992 on Sunday and the Rams are hoping a quarterback change will reverse a dreadful first three weeks.The Bills win on Sunday against Oakland was not without a scare as they trailed for most of the first three quarters but mounted a furious rally with 17 points in the fourth, capped by Rian Lindell's 38-yard field goal as time expired to give them a 24-23 victory.
Bills QB Trent Edwards the second-year quarterback out of Stanford completed 24 of 39 passes for 279 yards, going 14-for-19 for 182 yards and a touchdown on the final three drives that produced Buffalo's 17 points in the fourth quarter of their win over the Raiders.Rams will make a QB change for Sunday’s game against the Bills as Trent Green gets the start. He was slated to be the starter for St. Louis in 1999, but suffered a season-ending knee injury in the final preseason game. Green returned to appear in eight games for a Rams team that went 10-6 in 2000, and is now back in St. Louis after six years in Kansas City and one in Miami.
With Mark Bulger under center, this year's Rams have scored only 29 points, making them the only NFC team with fewer than 50. On Tuesday, Coach Scott Linehan 11-24 in his third season with the Rams issued a terse, two-paragraph release announcing the quarterback change.Nothing has worked for the Rams in 2008 their defense has given up a league-high 116 points to complement their struggling offense. All three of their losses have been by 24 points or more, including last week's 37-13 defeat at previously winless Seattle.In this series it hasn’t mattered who got the start at QB or who was even playing for either team as the last 6 in this series have gone “Over” the posted total. The Bills are 7-0 Over when facing teams from the NFC West their last 7 and 12-3 Over their last 15 as non-division road favorites. The Rams are almost perfect against the AFC East posting a record of 7-1 Over their last 8. The Rams have their bye-week on deck and they have gone Over the posted total in their last 6 games before a bye.
St. Louis is 13-4 Over vs. excellent passing teams with a completion pct. of 64% or better since 1992. St. Louis is 22-9 Over vs. good passing teams averaging 7 or more passing yards per attempt since 1992. St. Louis is 35-18 Over in non-conference games since 1992. Buffalo is 35-20 Over after a win by 6 or less points since 1992.
The Bills are 11-1 Over as a 7+ favorite when their opponent is off two 7+ losses. The Bills are 10-1 Over on the road after a win in which they were losing at the end of the third quarter. The Bills are 7-0 Over as a 7+ favorite when their opponent is on a 3+ game losing streak. The Bills are 15-5 Over when facing a team that has averaged fewer than 275 yards offense per game season-to-date. The Bills are 9-1 Over as a 7+ favorite when their opponent is on a 2+ game losing streak. The League is 17-3 Over as a favorite when facing a team that has passed the ball on at least 60% of their offensive plays, season-to-date. The League is 24-6 Over when their opponent is on a 3+ game losing streak. The League is 10-1 Over as a favorite the week after a straight up win at home in which they attempted at least ten more passes than their season-to-date average.
The Rams are 7-0 Over at home the week before their bye. The Rams are 18-5-2 Over at home after playing as a dog. The Rams are 16-4 Over when facing a team that has allowed an average of fewer than 275 yards of offense per game season-to-date. The Rams are 11-2 Over after playing the Seahawks. The League is 64-39-3 Over after playing as a dog. The League is 17-3-1 Over as a home dog when facing a team that has forced an average of at least six punts per game season-to-date. The League is 40-17 Over after a game in which they had fewer than 26 minutes of possession time. The League is 14-3 Over at home when they lost and failed to cover their last two games. The League is 10-1-1 Over as a dog when on a 3 game SU and ATS losing streak. The League is 7-0 Over at home when they lost and failed to cover their last three games. The League is 7-0 Over as a 7+ dog when they lost and failed to cover their last three games.
Our TPR (Team Performance Ratings Index) has both teams scoring over 22.5 points in this game. The TPR and our Math Model both indicate an “Over” play in this contest and the average score goes over the posted total by 6.5 points.
The combination of fundamental, technical and situational factors lead to an “Over” in this game today, this qualifies as our NFL 4* Total Game of the Week.
GRADED PREDICTION: 4* Buffalo / St. Louis Over 41.5
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Cajun-Sports NFL Executive Report
Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers
Prediction: 3* Atlanta / Carolina Under 40
Carolina will play host to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday afternoon. Both teams are 2-1 on the season and looking to gain on foothold in their divisions. Last week, the Carolina Panthers were hoping the long-awaited reunion of Jake Delhomme and Steve Smith would give their offense a boost. Instead, it never materialized and they suffered their first loss of the season.
After accumulating 604 yards in winning its first two games of the year, Carolina had just 204 in last Sunday's 20-10 loss to Minnesota. Although the Panthers played against a solid Vikings' defense at the hostile Metrodome, most expected better in the first game Delhomme and Smith played together in 364 days.
The duo connected on a 16-yard pass on Carolina's first play from scrimmage, but did little after that. Delhomme, who has just one touchdown on the season, finished 17-for-29 for 191 yards, while Smith had four receptions for 70 yards.
The running game also never got going against Minnesota. DeAngelo Williams had 10 carries for 27 yards after rushing for 117 on 29 attempts in his first two games, while Jonathan Stewart finished with 15 yards on seven carries after gaining 130 on 24 attempts in his first two.Penalties have also been a major area of concern for Fox, as Carolina committed 12 last Sunday. The Panthers' 28 penalties are tied for the league lead, and in the past two weeks they've been flagged for a false start 11 times."The false start penalties are bothersome. That's something that you should be able to fix," Delhomme said. "We had a ton here at home, which is very disappointing."Atlanta is halfway to its win total from a year ago, but both of those victories have come at home against the hapless Chiefs and Lions.After losing at Tampa Bay 24-9 on Sept. 14, the Falcons jumped out to a 24-0 second-quarter lead en route to a 38-14 victory over Kansas City last Sunday.Michael Turner rushed for 104 yards and had the first three-touchdown game of his career against the Chiefs. After spending four years in San Diego backing up LaDainian Tomlinson, Turner is thriving as a lead back. Most of Turner’s yards have come at home against the Chiefs and Lions. He will face a better overall defensive unit on Sunday in Carolina.After the Falcons established their running game against Kansas City, Ryan was able to get comfortable, and finished 12-for-18 for 192 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. When Turner was limited to 42 yards on 14 attempts against the Buccaneers, though, Ryan also struggled.Playing on the road may also hinder Ryan. He is 21-for-31 for 353 yards and two touchdowns in his two home wins, but was just 13-for-33 for 158 yards and two interceptions in the road loss.We expect the Carolina defense to give the rookie QB problems on Sunday. The Panthers are allowing 113 yards rushing per contest and they should be successful in keeping Turner in check.
Technical support for our selection on the “Under” in this contest comes from both teams. Atlanta is 7-2-2 Under their last 11 games following a SU win of more than 14 points. Atlanta is 26-9-2 Under their last 37 games after rushing for more than 150 yards in their last game, 32-12-1 Under their last 45 road games overall, 25-10-2 Under their last 37 following a SU win, 14-6-1 Under their last 21 after allowing 15 points or less in their previous game, 13-6-2 Under their last 21 after scoring more than 30 points in their previous game and 23-11-2 Under their last 36 games following an ATS win.
Carolina is 8-0 Under their last 8 home games versus a team with a winning road record, 7-1 Under their last 8 home games overall, 4-1 Under their last 5 versus the NFC South, 13-4 Under their last 17 games after totaling 250 or less yards in their previous game, 21-8-2 Under their last 31 games during the month of September, 11-5 Under their last 16 games overall.
Our research has uncovered several Power Angles for this contest. The Falcons are 0-13 Under on the road after playing as a favorite. The Falcons are 1-17 Under on the road the week after a game in which they had at least 150+ yards rushing. The Falcons are 0-11 Under on the road after playing at home as a favorite. The Falcons are 0-9 Under on the road when they covered by 10+ points last week against a non-divisional opponent. The Falcons are 0-9 Under on the road after a straight up win as a favorite.
The Panthers are 0-14 Under as a home favorite versus a divisional opponent. The Panthers are 0-12 Under at home versus a divisional opponent. The Panthers are 0-10 Under as a home favorite when facing a divisional opponent for the first time of the season. The Panthers are 0-6 Under at home when facing a divisional opponent with the same record as theirs.
We also have a few systems that are active for this game and the first tells us to “Play Under” on any NFL team (Atlanta) the week after a SU win at home in which their completion percentage was at least ten points higher than their season-to-date average, 2-12 Under. “Play Under” on any NFL team (Carolina) as a home favorite of 7 or more points versus a divisional opponent before playing at home against a non-divisional opponent, 6-18 Under.
GRADED PREDICTION: 3* Atlanta / Carolina Under 40
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CKO CONFIDENTIAL KICK-OFF
10* TAMPA BAY over Green Bay
Well, maybe replacing Brett Favre isn’t going to be as easy as it first seemed for Aaron Rodgers, who faced some real pressure for the first time as a starter last week against Dallas, and couldn’t do much damage until outcome was decided. It isn’t helping Rodgers that Green Bay infantry at less than 100% these days with Ryan Grant slightly compromised by a sore hamstring. Things won’t get any easier at loud and distracting Raymond James Stadium, where d.c. Monte Kiffin’s Tampa 2 schemes have frustrated many accomplished QBs (much less one making only 4th career start). Moreover, must note the leadership rejuvenated vet QB Brian Griese (67 pass attempts at Chicago!) now providing for Buc offense. Greater accumulation of edges rests with T.B., which usually takes care of business as home chalk (7-2 last 9 in role).Late Score Forecast: *TAMPA BAY 30 - Green Bay 17
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Houston / Jacksonville
Play: 3* Houston +7
Houston is 3-1 SU and ATS overall vs Jacksonville last 3 years. Jacksonville is only scoring 16.7 points per game overall this year. Texans are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games after scoring less than 15 points in their previous game. Texans are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games in Week 4. Jaguars are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games in September. Jaguars are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games in Week 4. Jaguars are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games on grass. Texans are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 meetings. Underdog is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 meetings. We'll play Houston for 3 units today!
Re: SUNDAY PREMUUM SERVICE PLAYS
6-Unit Game of the Month.
Take Arizona +1 over New York
After New York’s season opening win in Miami, they have taken several steps back, especially against the Chargers. Their offense looks very shaky, while the defense could be without 3-4 anchor in the middle Kris Jenkins. If that is the case, the Cardinals running game will be even more dominant. I look for Kurt Warner and his top wide outs Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin to continue to overpower opposing secondaries. They have really attacked smaller defensive backs and created mismatches in each of their first three games. Also, Arizona has chosen to stay on the east coast all week after their game at Washington, a move never done before. I really like this from them, showing the focus to stay on the road and take the necessary steps to prepare for another win. They earn that victory over the Jets in week four.
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