SUNDAY PREMUUM SERVICE PLAYS
Re: SUNDAY PREMUUM SERVICE PLAYS
EAST COAST SPORTS CONSULTANTS
Blue Chip ATLANTA/CAROLINA OVER
Inside Info MINNESOTA
Primetime Shocker CHICAGO
Bookie Total Nightmare Play Tampa Bay / Green Bay Over
Sunday Night Bookie Massacre Play Chicago
Platinum GREEN BAY/TAMPA BAY OVER
Re: SUNDAY PREMUUM SERVICE PLAYS
I had the Chargers in their Monday night victory over the Jets and I'll have to admit that their aerial attack has looked pretty impressive. Everyone else has seen the same thing though and that has helped to cause this afternoon's total to be generously high. Keep in mind that just because a team is involved in a high-scoring Monday night game, doesn't mean that it will play in another shootout the following Sunday. In fact, the opposite is often true. Just look at last week. The Cowboys and Eagles combined for a whopping 88 points on Monday night. Last week, due in part to the Monday night results, both those teams saw extremely high over/under lines. The Eagles had an over/under line of 45 vs. the Steelers while the Cowboys and Packers line was all the way in the 50's. What happened? Both games fell comfortably below the total. The Cowboys and Packers combined for 43 points while the Eagles and Steelers managed a mere 21. Looking back at recent meetings between the Chargers and Raiders and we find that none of the four games from the past two seasons had an over/under line which was greater than 44. Note that three of those four games finished below the total and none finished with more than 47 points. Looking back further and we find that seven of the last eight series meetings have fallen below the total. The fact that Oakland was involved in a high-scoring game at Buffalo last week has also helped to keep this o/u line above the key number of 44. A closer look at the game shows that it was actually low-scoring until the fourth quarter as the teams had only 23 points through the first three quarters with the Raiders having allowed only seven. I'm not sold on the Raiders' offense. Through three games, JaMarcus Russell has completed only 51.6% of his passes for 391 yards. They scored 23 points last week but a closer look shows that they only had 10 first downs and that they were 2-of-12 on third-down conversions. Additionally, four of their five scoring drives were for fewer than 27 yards, showing that they were rather fortunate to manage as many points as they did. They've scored 17 or less in nine straight games against the Chargers. I do like the Raider defense though. They've got a talented secondary and they've improved their ability to stop the run. That being said, I still expect the Chargers to feature a heavier dose of the run then they've shown through the first three weeks. Not only is Tomlinson slowly getting healthier but they know that's where they've been successful here in the past. Looking at their last two games here at Oakland and we find that the Chargers ran the ball a combined 81 times! As for Oakland, they have run the ball an average of 36 times per game through the first three weeks, which is the third most rushing attempts in the entire league. As you know, frequent running plays typically help to slow the clock down. Look for that to be the case today and for the final score to stay below the generous number. *AFC West TOY
Give the Bills credit. They're off to a great (3-0) start. However, I still don't believe that they're ready to be laying more than a touchdown on the road. Last week, the Bills were at home and they barely beat Oakland, winning by one point. The previous week, in their lone road game, they won by four points. Dating back to last season and we find that the Bills are only 4-5 SU in their nine road games. A closer look shows that none of those four victories came by more than 10 points and that only one came by more four points. Note that the Bills don't typically lay this many points on the road but that they're just 1-3 ATS since 1992 when listed as road favorites in the -7.5 to -10 range. It's true that the Rams have looked pretty bad through their first three games. Ok, really bad. However, I really don't think that they've given up on the season yet. It should also be noted that the Rams have played a very tough schedule. Two of their games were on the road (at Philly and at Seattle) and their lone home game came against the defending Super Bowl champions. While the playoffs are now certainly a very big longshot, the Rams do know that anything is possible in the NFC West, where every team has at least one loss already. If the Rams want some inspiration, they can look at their opponent. Last season, the Bills got off to an 0-3 start. Entering Week 4, everyone was really down on the team and they had been outscored by a combined margin of 64-10 (26-3 and 38-7) in the previous two games. However, the Bills came home for Week 4 and managed a hard fought win. That turned their season around and by a Week 13 they were all the way up to 7-6. This week's matchup has some similarities to another Week 4 matchup from last season, Houston at Atlanta. The Texans came in riding high and with a winning record. The Falcons came in with an 0-3 record and having been outscored by a 64-30 record. The betting public favored the Texans but I took the points with the Falcons. Atlanta won outright by double-digits. The point that I'm trying to make is that Week 4 is a really important time for winless teams. At 0-3, the playoffs are a huge longshot. However, at 0-4, there's no more pretending - it becomes virtually impossible to battle back and make the playoffs. Teams know that and they often respond with a really big effort, for the sake of pride, if nothing else. No team wants to write off the season before September is even finished. I believe that will be true of the Rams and that they will fight extremely hard this afternoon. I like the move to insert Trent Green in as the starting QB and feel that the veteran has something to prove and will play with a chip on his shoulder. Look for Green to provide a spark and for the Rams to play their best game of the season, giving their guests all they can handle and earning at least the cover. *Non-Conf. GOW
These teams have faced each other five times this millennium. Four of the five games, including each of the last three, fell below the total. The last three meetings had scores of 19-16, 19-9 and 19-13. As you can see, there were a lot more field goals than touchdowns. I expect tonight's game to prove low-scoring once again. The Eagles have shown that they are capable of putting up a lot of points. The Monday night game at Dallas notwithstanding, they've also shown they have an en excellent defense. Last week, they limited Pittsburgh to a mere six points and in Week 1 they held the Rams to only three. That's two games out of three in which Philadelphia didn't allow a touchdown. Last week, the Eagles sacked Ben Roethlisberger eight times and forced him out of the game. They also sacked his backup, Byron Leftwich, a ninth time. Additionally, they forced three turnovers and produced a safety. The defense will need to be good again as Westbrook is questionable and McNabb isn't at 100%. As for the Bears, they've averaged a respectable 23 points per game. However, they still aren't exactly the type of team which keeps defensive coordinators up at night. As usual, Chicago likes to run the ball a lot. In fact, the Bears' 35 rushing attempts per game is the second most in the NFC. Only Atlanta, which enters Week 4 at 35.3, has more rushing attempts per game. As you know, frequent rushing plays typically help to keep the clock moving, leading to lower-scoring games. While the Bears like to run the ball, they'll be up against an Eagles' rushing defense which has allowed a mere 2.4 yards per rushing attempt and only 45.7 per game. Both those marks rank #1 in the league. Looking at some o/u stats and we find that the UNDER is 17-6-1 the last 24 times that the Eagles were listed as favorites, including a 3-1 mark when they've been listed as road favorites of three points or less. As for the Bears, they've seen the UNDER go a highly profitable 19-6 the last 25 times that they were listed as home underdogs of three points or less. Look for those numbers to get even better this evening. *Main Event
This line has fallen to the point where a victory should also ensure a cover and I believe that offers us excellent value with the Bucs. With identical 2-1 records, both teams have played well and both are relatively pleased with their starts. In my opinion, the situation strongly favors Tampa though. For starters, as you know, the Bucs are playing at home. Additionally, having played an early game last Sunday, they've had a full week's worth of rest. Conversely, the Packers are playing on a slightly shorter week as they are coming off a Sunday night game vs. the Cowboys. While the difference between playing during the day and at night isn't a huge deal, I personally believe that the Sunday night games are slightly tougher to recover from; if for no other reason than the players get extra excited for the nationally televised Sunday night affairs. That being said, the events which occurred during and at the end of those games are much more important to me than the time at which the game was played. After leaving everything on the field in an effort to get back in the game vs. the Cowboys, the Packers were visibly exhausted. If you look back at the game tapes, you'll notice numerous Green Bay players with hands on their hips. I had a real sense that all the emotion from the past couple of months of the "Favre saga" had finally caught up with them. If they won, they might have been able to continue to ride that "emotional high." I believe that losing that "big game" will be difficult to recover from though, particularly in the heat vs. a tough and still under-rated Tampa team. As for the Bucs, it's true that they also played a physically exhausting game. In fact, it went to overtime. However, I believe the fact that they won the game will help negate the fatigue factor and I also feel that Tampa will be able to build some positive momentum from the dramatic nature of the comeback victory. (The Bucs rallied from a 10 point 4th quarter deficit.) As QB Brian Griese had to say: "I think these types of wins can really propel your team I think the biggest thing that I'm going to take away, and hopefully every guy in this locker room will take away, is a belief that no matter where you are in the course of a game, you're going to get it done in the end. That's a powerful thing for a team, for everybody to believe in each other, offense, defense, special teams. That's a big piece of having a winning team." Note that Griese, who is in his second stint with the Bucs, threw for more than 400+ yards in the victory. Tampa is now 7-1 in his last eight starts. Griese will be facing a Green Bay secondary which will without cornerback Al Harris, who got hurt last week. Packers defensive coordinator Bob Sanders said was quoted as saying: "...certainly losing Al, a guy of that caliber, that hurts. Anytime you lose a guy like that, it's not good." Dating back to 1998, the Bucs are also 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS in six meetings against the Packers here in Florida. The five Tampa victories came by an average of nine points and all came by a minimum of two. Looking back to the start of last season and we find the Bucs at a healthy 7-3 SU/ATS their last 10 home games. Look for them to build on those stats with a win and cover here, improving to 3-1 and remaining tied with Carolina (or possibly Atlanta) on top of the NFC South. *NFL GOM
Re: SUNDAY PREMUUM SERVICE PLAYS
At 1 pm, on Sunday, our selection is on the Minnesota Vikings plus the points over the Tennessee Titans. Prior to the season, Minnesota was a sexy pick to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl after an offeseason in which it strengthened its defense. Unfortunately, it didn't strengthen itself at the quarterback position until last week, when it benched Tarvaris Jackson in favor of veteran Gus Frerotte. Frerotte righted the Vikings' sinking ship by completing 16 of 28 for 204 yards and a TD. That touchdown -- a 34-yard pass to Visanthe Shiancoe -- ended a seven-quarter TD drought for Minnesota. Both the Titans and Vikings feature strong defenses, and solid running games. Minnesota is led by perhaps the NFC's best RB in Adrian Peterson, while Tennessee has perhaps the #1 rookie RB in Chris Johnson, and a solid goal-line back in LenDale White. Though Tennessee is 3-0, it's been aided by a relatively weak schedule. The Titans' last two wins were against the winless Cincy Bengals and Houston Texans, while its first victory was against the solid, though 1-2 Jacksonville Jaguars. In contrast, Minnesota has faced three potential division winners in Indianapolis, Green Bay and Carolina. I look for even more improvement this week by the Vikings' offense under Frerotte, as Frerotte's ability to throw the deep ball will keep Tennessee's defense honest, and prevent the Titans from putting eight men in the box to stop Peterson and Chester Taylor. Finally, the Vikings fall into 10-0, 51-18, 39-11, 43-12 and 44-17 ATS systems of mine. Let's take a look at our 10-0 angle. What we want to do is play, in Week #4, on any 1-2 underdog of +1.5 (or more) points off a win, if it's matched up against a foe off back-to-back SU/ATS wins. Look for Minnesota to win its second straight this Sunday afternoon. Take the points. NFL Game of the Month on the Vikings.
At 1 pm, our selection is on the Houston Texans plus the points over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jacksonville likes to run the ball, but its struggles this season can be directly traced to its offensive linemen's injuries. Vince Manuwai and Maurice Williams are out for the season, and Brad Meester may miss Sunday's game as well. Look for former #1 pick DE Mario Williams to exploit this Jacksonville weakness, and even line him up at LB to rush the middle to force Jags' QB David Garrard into errant throws or create sacks. Garrard has been sacked nine times already this season, so Houston will have success there. On offense, expect coach Kubiak to shorten the game by handing the ball off to rookie RB Steve Slaton, who rushed for 116 yards last week in his first career start. Finally, Jack Del Rio's Jaguars fall into a NEGATIVE situation that 0-15 ATS since 1982. What we want to do is play against any unrested home favorite in Game 4 if it won the previous week after starting the season with two straight losses. After getting a "must-win" in Game 3 to avoid an 0-3 start, these "pretenders" come right back down to Earth in Game 4, and can't cover the spread as a home favorite. AFC South Game of the Year on the Houston Texans.
At 1 pm, our selection is on the San Francisco 49ers plus the points over the New Orleans Saints Sean Payton's squad has suffered two huge injuries on the offensive side of the ball. In week 1, Marques Colston injured his thumb, and won't return until late October, at the earliest. And then, last week, TE Jeremy Shockey also sustained an injury. Not surprisingly, Drew Brees & Co. are 0-2 without their Pro Bowl wideout Colston on the field, and now will be even more hardpressed to stretch the defense with the likes of WRs Lance Moore, David Patten, Robert Meachem, Devery Henderson, and TE Billy Miller trying to catch balls, and take defense's attention away from Reggie Bush. Even worse for New Orleans is the fact that Patten might miss this game as well, as he wasn't healthy enough to participate in Thursday's practice. Finally, complicating all of this is that New Orelans' offensive line is in flux with left tackle Jammal Brown (groin) and left guard Jamar Nesbit (suspension) out for Sunday's game too. The Saints' run game has stalled, and shouldn't be any better as SF can lock in on Reggie Bush, without any serious threats from the Saints' receivers. The 49ers have a decent offense, ranked 11th in the league, and prefer to hand the ball off to Frank Gore, who is one of the five best RBs in football. New Orleans defensive line is relatively weak, and has allowed an average of 5.3 yards per carry, and 119 yards per game, to RBs this year. Under new offensive coordinator Mike Martz, SF journeyman QB J.T. O'Sullivan has actually been quite efficient, and there's no reason to think that won't continue on Sunday, as Martz can use the run (with Gore against a weak defensive front) to set up the pass. NFC Conference Game of the Month on San Francisco.
At 4:05pm our selection is on the San Francisco Giants over the Los Angeles Dodgers. This will be the last start of the season for the likely National League Cy Young Award Winner, 24-year-old Giants righthander Tim Lincecum. Lincecum has been brilliant, but has lost his last two outings, the first time this season that this has happened, and there is no doubt that neither he nor his team want him to go out with three straight losses, even though it would be hard to imagine anyone else taking home the Cy Young Trophy (though Johan Santana should be considered if the Mets make the Playoffs). A much bigger post-season award question is who will win the NL MVP, and there is quite a bit of sentiment out there for the Dodgers' newly-acquired outfielder Manny Ramirez. While it's hard to imagine the coveted MVP trophy going to a player who has spent less than half the season playing in the NL, it is certainly very difficult to argue the Dodgers would have clinched their NL West Division crown without Ramirez. Rarely has there been such a clear case of a single player acquired at the trade deadline having turned an entire season around for his new team. However, with the Dodgers having clinched already, you can expect to see a lot of reserve players out on the field this afternoon and don't be surprised if Manny only makes a brief appearance, if he makes one at all. With the best pitcher in the league getting his last start at home against what may be a bunch of Triple-A opponents, that makes this selection pretty simple. Take the Giants.
Re: SUNDAY PREMUUM SERVICE PLAYS
Sixth Sense Sports
Denver –9.5 KANSAS CITY 47
Chiefs were beaten pretty badly last week, getting out gained 7.0yppl to 4.2yppl, including allowing Atlanta to average 5.2ypr and 10.7yps. Denver won their game against NO but was out gained as well, allowing 6.8yppl to 6.4yppl. KC will switch to Damon Huard this week, which should help their passing game. KC averages just 3.7yps against teams allowing 5.9yps and average 4.0yppl against 5.3yppl overall. The defense isn’t any better allowing 5.5ypr against 5.0ypr, 7.0yps against 5.9yps and 6.1yppl against 5.4yppl. Denver has been outstanding on offense, gaining 8.2yps against 6.3yps and 6.8yps against 5.7yps overall. But, on defense, they have been worse than KC, allowing 8.6yps against 8.0yps and 6.9yppl against 6.1yppl overall. I don’t have any situations on this game. Numbers favor Denver by 8.5 points and predict about 49 points. KC lost all but three of their home games last year by at least nine points last year. They did not fare any better in their lone home game this year against Oakland. Denver was horrible on the road last year but the one good game they did play was here in KC, which they won 27-11. They also looked very good in their lone road game this year at Oakland. I’m not in favor of laying a bunch of points on the road and will use the numbers to predict my final margin in this game. DENVER 29 KANSAS CITY 20
CINCINNATI –3.5 Cleveland 44.5
Cleveland lost badly at Baltimore last week, 10-28 but 21 of those 28 points were scored on short drives or interception returns for touchdowns. They were still dominated at the line of scrimmage, being out gained 4.3yppl to 3.0yppl, including out passed 6.1yps to 2.3yps. Cincinnati lost at the Giants in OT but were out gained 6.0yppl to 4.8yppl. The Bengal’s season numbers aren’t that bad, as they average 4.0yppl but against teams allowing 3.8yppl so they are above average on offense. They allow 5.1yppl against 5.3yppl. Cleveland is below average on both, offense and defense, averaging 3.7yppl against 4.1yppl and allowing 5.8yppl against 5.5yppl. Cincinnati qualifies in a negative early season situation, which is 118-61-10 and plays against them here. Cincinnati also qualifies in a negative fundamental rushing situation, which is 108-45-8 and also plays against them here. Numbers favor Cincinnati by five points before accounting for the situations and predict just 34 points scored in this game. Cincinnati appears to be the better team in this game from the line of scrimmage based on the first three weeks. And, they have value in their favor before accounting for the situations. Those situations are worth about 3.5 points, which would make this line at about 1.5 points, giving us some value on Cleveland. I’m not in love with this play because Cleveland hasn’t played well and Cincinnati has played better, although still not well, but the situations are too strong to completely ignore. CLEVELAND 21 CINCINNATI 13
JACKSONVILLE –7.5 Houston 42.5
Both teams cooperated for me last week as Jacksonville defeated Indianapolis and Houston lost at Tennessee. Jacksonville was out gained 6.6yppl to 5.8yppl but they out passed Indy 7.6yps to 7.0yps. They also rushed for 236 yards at 4.8yppl on 48 rushing attempts. Houston was out gained 5.5yppl to 4.7yppl, including allowing Tennessee to pass for 7.3yps and only 4.3yps for Houston. Houston averages 4.4yppl against 3.9yppl, including 4.6ypr against 3.3ypr and they allow 4.5ypr against 4.0ypr, 6.8yps against 5.8yps and 5.4yppl against 4.8yppl overall. Jacksonville averages 4.5yppl against 4.5yppl but is allowing 4.2ypr against 3.9ypr, 7.1yps against 6.4yps and 5.7yppl against 5.3yppl overall. Both teams are well below average on defense. I don’t have any situations on this game but numbers predict Jacksonville by four points and predict 57 points. Those numbers called for a lot of points last week as well and the game went over thanks to a late interception return for a touchdown by Tennessee. Houston has won three of the six games played here and lost another game by seven points so they have been competitive in Jacksonville. Average to slightly above average offenses, well below average defenses and a total less than the average points scored in an NFL game gives us a realistic shot at going over the total. I passed on that total last week because of a very tough Tennessee defense but that is not the case this week. JACKSONVILLE 30 HOUSTON 27
NY JETS –1.5 Arizona 44.5
The Jets were beaten pretty badly last week in SD, getting out gained 6.0yppl to 4.9yppl, including getting out gained in the passing game 10.0yps to 5.3yps. Arizona lost at Washington but out gained the Redskins 5.6yppl to 5.0yppl. Ten of the 24 points Arizona gave up came on drives of 15 yards or less. Arizona still can’t run the ball, gaining just 3.3ypr against 4.0ypr but they are averaging 7.8yps against 5.8yps for a total of 5.6yps against 5.0yps. They allow just 5.1yppl against 5.6yppl on defense, including just 5.9yps against 6.6yps. The Jets have been very good on defense, allowing just 4.9yppl against 5.6yppl, despite being beaten pretty badly on Monday night against San Diego. The Jets offense also hasn’t been too good, gaining just 5.1yppl against 5.7yppl and being well below average running and throwing the ball. The Jets qualify in a negative early season situation, which is 118-61-10 and plays against them here. The Jets do qualify in a fundamental rushing situation, which is 642-519-42 but they don’t qualify in the best part of that situation. Numbers favor Arizona by 6.5 points and predict about 39 points. I’ll lean with Arizona in this game. I believe Arizona stayed on the east coast this week to avoid the double travel and that should help them here. ARIZONA 20 NY JETS 17
NEW ORLEANS –5 San Francisco 48
The 49ers looked very good last week against a bad Lions team, out gaining the Lions 5.9yppl to 4.4yppl, including passing for 7.8yps and holding the Lions to just 3.5yps. The improved passing game is the big difference with the 49ers this year. They also are playing very solid defense. The Saints lost at Denver but out gained Denver 6.8yppl to 6.4yppl. They passed for 8.4yps but allowed Denver to throw for 7.8yps. SF averages 6.0yps against 5.8yps and allows just 4.4yppl against 5.1yppl, including just 4.6yps against 5.9yps. NO averages 6.3yppl against 5.8yppl, including 8.1yps against 7.0yps but they allow 5.3ypr against 4.8ypr, 6.7yps against 6.5yps and 6.2yppl against 5.8yppl overall. NO qualifies in a negative early season situation, which is 118-61-10 and plays against them here. New Orleans also qualifies in a negative fundamental rushing situation, which is 108-45-8 and also plays against them here. SF qualifies in a fundamental rushing situation, which is 642-519-42, including a subset, which is 515-394-30. Numbers also favor SF by 2.5 points and predict about 48 points in this game. SF hasn’t fared well here in the recent past but this is a completely different 49ers team this year and the Saints are banged up as well. Generous amount of points for a team that is better at the line of scrimmage. SAN FRANCISCO 27 NEW ORLEANS 20
CAROLINA –7 Atlanta 39.5
I thought Carolina would fare better last week at Minnesota. They did jump out to a 10-0 lead but were out gained 4.8yppl to 3.8yppl, including being out passed 6.0yps to 4.6yps and out rushed 3.7ypr to 2.4ypr. The rush defense was very good. Atlanta took apart a bad KC team, out gaining the Chiefs 7.0yppl to 4.2yppl, including out passing them 10.7yps to just 3.1yps for KC. Atlanta has been a surprise this year. They have played two of the worse teams in the league, which has helped them pad their stats. They average 5.7ypr against 5.1ypr and 6.2yppl against 6.1yppl overall, passing for just 6.9yps against 7.4yps. They allow 4.9yppl against 4.8yppl, which makes them just average despite playing two of the worse teams in the league. Carolina averages just 4.5yppl against 5.2yppl, including just 5.1yps against 5.8yps. They allow just 4.9yppl against 5.5yppl, including just 3.9ypr against 4.3ypr and 5.8yps against 6.7yps. I don’t have any situations on this game and numbers actually favor Atlanta by 4.5 points and predict about 35 points. Atlanta has only lost two of the past ten games here by more than seven points and those numbers include many straight up wins, including last season. Carolina is traditionally not a good favorite. I will lean with Atlanta here. CAROLINA 20 ATLANTA 16
TENNESSEE –3 Minnesota 36
Vikings played much better last week in desperation mode and with a new quarterback, Gus Frerotte. Frerotte played better than I thought he would, averaging 6.0yps and the team out gained Carolina 4.8yppl to 3.8yppl. Tennessee was in complete control against Houston, out gaining Houston 5.5yppl to 4.7yppl, including out passing them 7.3yps to 4.3yps. These teams are pretty even with average, at best, offenses and very physical defenses. Minnesota averages 4.9ypr but against teams allowing 4.8ypr, which makes their rushing game just slightly above average. They pass for 5.0yps against 5.7yps but those numbers should get better with Frerotte, although I have my doubts. The defense allows just 3.2ypr against 4.0ypr but 6.3yps against 6.1yps for a total of 5.1yppl against5.3yppl overall. Tennessee averages 5.2yppl against 5.4yppl, which makes them below average on offense although slightly better than Minnesota. They allow 3.9yppl against 4.3yppl, which makes them slightly better on defense than Minnesota. The Titans qualify in a home momentum situation, which is 79-34-6. Numbers favor Tennessee by 9.5 points and predict 30 points. The Vikings defense doesn’t play as well on the road and Tennessee’s defense can cause turnovers. If that happens Tennessee should be able to cover this spread. Value, strong situation and a solid defense laying a short number at home. TENNESSEE 21 MINNESOTA 10
TAMPA BAY –1 Green Bay 42.5
Packers were torn apart by the Cowboys last week, getting out gained 6.6yppl to 5.1yppl, allowing 217 yards rushing at 6.2ypr and 6.9yps. TB won at Chicago but were slightly out gained by the Bears 5.5yppl to 5.4yppl. TB was out gained in the rushing game 4.3ypr to 2.8ypr and in the passing game 6.7yps to 6.1yps. The overall numbers were closer because TB threw the ball 67 times to skew the overall numbers a bit. The Packers numbers are just above average, gaining 6.0yppl against 5.7yppl, including 7.2yps against 6.7yps. They allow 5.6yppl against 5.7yppl but are allowing 5.7ypr against 4.8ypr. They have faced two pretty good running teams in the Vikings (although Minnesota’s number calculate them to be just average) and the Cowboys. The pass defense allows just 5.6yps against 6.3yps but they lost Al Harris last week, probably for the season, and that will hurt. TB averages 5.5ypr against 4.7ypr and 5.4yppl against 5.2yppl overall. They allow just 5.4yppl against 5.8yppl. TB qualifies in a fundamental rushing situation, which is 87-47-6. They also qualify in another fundamental rushing situation, which is 642-519-42, including a subset, which is 515-394-30. Numbers favor GB by 1.5 points before accounting for the situations. They favor TB by about 2.5 points after the situation and predict about 44 points. Offenses for both of these teams are both pretty equal although getting it done in different ways and the Bucs defense is a little better than GB. Better defense, value and strong situations favor TB. TAMPA BAY 27 GREEN BAY 17
Buffalo –8 ST LOUIS 43
Buffalo struggled to defeat Oakland last week, out gaining them 5.3yppl to 4.9yppl. They also allowed an average Raider passing game to throw for 7.5yps. For Buffalo, 16 of the 23 points they allowed Oakland came on drives of 27 yards or less. The Rams were destroyed again last week at Seattle, getting out gained 6.1yppl to 4.3yppl. They will go to Trent Green at quarterback this week, which I doubt will help much. Buffalo averages 5.4yppl against 5.4yppl and allows 4.3yppl against 4.9yppl, including just 3.6ypr against 4.7ypr. The Rams average just 3.9yppl against 4.7yppl, including just 4.4yps against 5.6yps and allow 6.9yppl against 5.5yppl, including 9.0yps against 6.3yps. I don’t have any situations on this game and the numbers favor Buffalo by 16.5 points and predict about 44 points. I haven’t seen anything in the Rams that gives me any reason to lean their way. I’ll lean with the better team, which is Buffalo. BUFFALO 30 ST LOUIS 14
San Diego –7.5 OAKLAND 45
Oakland blew a nine point lead late at Buffalo last week and lost the game 24-23. For Oakland, 16 of their 23 points scored came on drives of 27 yards or less. They were out gained by Buffalo, 5.3yppl to 4.9yppl but did average 7.5yps. SD dominated the Jets in their 48-29 win, out gaining the Jets 6.0yppl to 4.9yppl, including throwing for 10.0yps. Oakland averages 5.1ypr against 4.6ypr but just 5.7yps against 6.9yps and 5.3yppl against 5.8yppl overall. They allow just 5.2yppl against 5.4yppl on defense. SD averages 9.6yps against 7.1yps and 6.8yppl against 5.6yppl overall. The defense has been below average, allowing 5.0ypr against 4.2ypr and 5.7yppl against 5.5yppl overall. Oakland qualifies in a fundamental rushing situation, which is 642-519-42, including a subset, which is 515-394-30. They also qualify in another very good rushing situation, which is 61-19-3. Numbers predict this game as a pick ‘em and suggest about 58 points. The Raiders have struggled here against SD over the years losing each of the last four years with only one of those losses closer than 13 points (six points). The situations are very strong and the numbers suggest a play on Oakland but I can’t pull the trigger on this game. I need to see more out of Oakland before I can trust them against a solid team like SD. Oakland was blown out here against the only other solid team they have faced this year when they lost week one against Denver, 14-41. SAN DIEGO 31 OAKLAND 25
DALLAS –11 Washington 46
Dallas looked very strong last week at GB, winning easily 27-16 and out gaining the Packers 6.6yppl to 5.1yppl, including rushing for 217 yards at 6.2ypr and throwing for 6.9yps. Washington defeated Arizona 24-17 but were out gained 5.6yppl to 5.0yppl. Dallas averages 5.0ypr against 4.2ypr, 9.0yps against 6.3yps and 7.1yppl against 5.4yppl overall. They allow just 5.1yppl against 5.2yppl. Washington averages 6.2yps against 5.7yps and 5.3yppl against 5.2yppl. They allow just 5.6yps against 7.5yps and 5.1yppl against 6.0yppl overall. I don’t have any situations on this game and numbers favor Dallas by 7.5 points and predict about 47 points. Washington has been competitive here over the years losing just one game over the last seven years by more than seven points. I will lean their way, getting a bunch of points with a pretty good defense. DALLAS 27 WASHINGTON 21
Philadelphia –3 CHICAGO 40
Eagles dominated Pittsburgh last week, out gaining them 4.1yppl to 3.0yppl. They only averaged 2.8ypr but allowed Pittsburgh just 1.7ypr. They haven’t run the ball well this year but are defending the rush extremely well. Chicago lost in OT to TB and out gained the Bears 5.5yppl to 5.4yppl. They were actually better than that in some ways because TB threw the ball 67 times to average that 5.4yppl. Chicago out gained TB 4.3ypr to 2.8ypr and 6.7yps to 6.1yps. Philly averages just 3.2ypr against 4.2ypr but 7.2yps against 6.2yps for a total of 5.6yppl against 5.3yppl. They allow just 2.4ypr against 4.1ypr, 5.8yps against 6.2yps and 4.6yppl against 6.2yppl. Chicago averages just 5.6yps against 6.2yps and 4.9yppl against 5.2yppl. They have been very good on defense allowing just 3.4ypr against 4.3ypr, 5.3yps against 5.5yps and 4.7yppl against 5.1yppl overall. Brian Westbrook stands a good chance to miss this game. Donovan McNaab will probably start and should be fine although one hard hit could knock him out. Devin Hester, for the Bears, stands a good chance to miss this game as well. Chicago qualifies in a very strong fundamental rushing situation, which is 61-19-3. Numbers favor Philly by one point and predict about 49 points. I believe Philly is the better team but the Bears are playing good defense and rushing the ball pretty well this year although Philly is stopping teams from rushing the ball. Getting points at home with a strong defense, a strong situation and value in our favor is worth a shot with Chicago, especially when Westbrook isn’t playing. CHICAGO 27 PHILADELPHIA 21
PITTSBURGH –5.5 Baltimore 33.5
Baltimore dominated Cleveland last week in their 28-10 win, out gaining Cleveland 4.3yppl to 3.0yppl. They allowed Cleveland just 2.3yps, while throwing for 6.1yps themselves. Pittsburgh was beaten pretty badly at Philadelphia, getting out gained 4.1yppl to 3.0yppl. Neither team is doing much on offense this year and playing very strong defense. Baltimore averages just 5.1yps against 6.8yps and 4.5yppl against 5.4yppl overall. They allow just 2.7yps against 4.1yps and 3.0yppl against 3.9yppl. Pittsburgh averages just 5.2yps against 6.8yps and 4.5yppl against 5.3yppl but allows just 2.8ypr against 3.7ypr, 4.5yps against 5.2yps and 3.9yppl against 4.7yppl. Willie Parker will miss this game and Ben Roethlisberger should play but isn’t entirely healthy. In the Roethlisberger era, Pittsburgh is now 21-0 SU during the regular season when they are favored by five points or more at home. Eighteen of those twenty one games produced wins of nine points or more, with the exception of a one point win over Baltimore a few years ago, a three point win over Miami in the mud game last year and a three point win over Cleveland that they completely dominated but kick returns and an interception return kept Cleveland in the game. They are 16-4-1 ATS during that span. In other words, when they are supposed to win, they do so in convincing fashion. Baltimore qualifies in a 39-12-3 situation. Numbers favor Baltimore by 1.5 points and predict about 33 points. I would consider Baltimore but the team trend on Pittsburgh is worth noting and this will be the first road start for Flacco, the starting quarterback for Baltimore and I’m not sure what that will bring for the Ravens. PITTSBURGH 17 BALTIMORE 16
YTD 13-3 +29.10%
3% CLEVELAND +3.5
3% SAN FRANCISCO +5
3% TENNESSEE –3
3% TAMPA BAY –1
3% CHICAGO +3
3% HOUSTON/JACKSONVILLE OVER 42.5
Re: SUNDAY PREMUUM SERVICE PLAYS
80 DIME TENNESSEE (in the event this line goes to 3-1/2, be sure to buy the 1/2-point off this game and lay -3 points against Minnesota. Do not lay 3-1/2 points.) - The age-old cliche that defense wins certainly applies well to the Titans (3-0 SU and ATS), who know a thing a or two about clamping down on opponents. Take the first three games of this season, for example: Tennessee has yielded 10, seven and 12 points in those matchups -- for an average of under 10 ppg. Or even go back to last season, when the Titans held eight opponents to two TDs or less.
They've got the league's third-best "D" this season, allowing just 240 ypg. And they've got a Vikings team coming to town that will start a 37-year-old journeyman QB in Gus Frerotte. That will allow Tennessee to focus more on slowing RB Adrian Peterson. The betting numbers bear out a Titans play this week, as well, as they are on ATS runs of 7-0 in September, 4-1 against losing teams and 4-1 overall.
And when NFC teams come to Nashville, Tennessee knows how to get the job done, with a 12-4 ATS mark in its last 16 home non-conference clashes. On the flip side, you've got Minnesota (1-2 SU and ATS), which has a sound defense, but its middle-of-the-pack offense (17th in the league) will put too much pressure on its defense to bail the Vikes out against the Titans. The Vikings have cashed just once in their last six games, and they don't respond well to non-conference roadies, going 0-5-1 ATS the last six times in that situation. Take the Titans this week.
10 DIME ARIZONA - The Cardinals' best move for this game might prove to be the one they didn't make -- flying back to Arizona after last Sunday's loss at Washington. Instead, they smartly stayed on the East Coast, rather than criss-crossing the nation a couple of times leading up to this game. And it's an even smarter move in light of the Jets not only coming off a short week, but off a coast-to-coast road trip, as New York got pelted in San Diego 48-29 on Monday night.
The Redbirds (2-1 SU and ATS) won and cashed in their first two games, and they were certainly in it last week against the Redskins, losing 24-17 on a fourth-quarter TD as a three-point road pup. Plus, Arizona is a good bounce-back team to bet, with ATS runs of 10-3 after a SU loss and 8-3 after a pointspread setback, and they're on a 6-1 ATS run in September contests. The Jets, meanwhile, have cashed in just two of their last nine home games, and with QB Brett Favre nursing a gimpy ankle, the Arizona defense will look to take advantage of that. The Cards are the play in this one.
10 DIME PHILADELPHIA - I think most people would consider the Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger a solid NFL quarterback. He limits his mistakes, he gets his team to the playoffs, and he even got a Super Bowl ring in just his second season. So if Roethlisberger got his lunch eaten last week in a 15-6 loss at Philadelphia -- going 13 of 25 for a paltry 131 yards, with one INT, two lost fumbles and an eye-popping eight sacks -- how do you think Chicago QB Kyle Orton will fare against the Eagles defense this week? The guess here is, not too well.
The Eagles (2-1 SU, 3-0 ATS) are No. 1 in the league against the run, allowing a suffocating 45.7 ypg rushing. Should that trend continue this week, all the pressure falls on Orton and the passing game -- and Philly fields the league's fourth-best defense in total yards, at just 242 per game. Plus, Eagles QB Donovan McNabb (289.3 ypg passing) leads the NFL's sixth-best total offense (373 ypg). Add to that Philly's current 10-2 ATS tear on the highway, and the Bears' current 4-10 ATS freefall at home, and you've got to back the Eagles this week.
Re: SUNDAY PREMUUM SERVICE PLAYS
Chiefs/Broncos Over 47
The Broncos have proved they can score, but they cant stop teams either. Kansas City is in need of a matchup against a soft defense. Arrowhead is always a tough place to play, but these are not your same dangerous Chiefs so I don't think it will slow Denver down. Kansas City will be without cornerback Patrick Surtain and really look to have no answer for Denver. KC will be going with Huard at QB today and I think he will be able to spark this offense for the first time this year. Look for a lot of points. Take the Over.
Bengals -3.5 over Browns
Ohio Football doesn't have much to cheer for these days. The loser of this game will be end their playoff hopes today. I like what I saw out of the Bengals last week against the Giants. The defense stepped up and the offense ran the ball and controlled the clock well. The Browns are a mess. There will be a QB change today and Cleveland has a ton of injuries on both sides of the ball. Both starting WR's are hurt. Stallworth wont even play in the game and on the other side of the ball Shaun Rogers is banged up, both outside linebackers are hurt and they have a weak and very young secondary. The Bengals are at least healthier on offense and at home should get the victory.
49ers +4.5 over Saints
The Saints will be slowed down on offense with FB Karney and TE Shockey out of the lineup. This really will effect the short passing and running game. The Saints starting LG Nesbit is out on a drug suspension and the LT Brown is banged up. WR Patten is also hurt. San Francisco is healthy and Frank Gore should run all over this weak defense. J.T. O'Sullivan should also have a huge game. This San Francisco team is very underrated. Take the 49ers.
Panthers -7 over Falcons
Atlanta has impressed me this season, but Matt Ryan on the road will struggle against a tough Panthers team at home. 3 of the 4 defensive linemen for the Falcons are on the injury list. They all probably will play, but they will not be 100%. The Falcons offense is very young which will allow the Panthers defense to confuse them all day and force turnovers. Atlanta has two very young corners which wont be able to keep up with Steve Smith when he gets into the open field. Look for Carolina to dominate. Take the Panthers.
Cowboys -11 over Redskins
These two teams hate each other and I personally think this is the biggest rivalry in the NFC. Dallas is going to put up their points, there is no doubt about that. The question will be if the Redskins can match them. I just do not think Jason Campbell has the big play ability in his game yet. Washington will be without their defensive leader Jason Taylor today. The Dallas O-Line is so much bigger than the Redskins D-Line which will open up the running game. Dallas should have no trouble scoring and should run away with this game around halftime. Take the Cowboys.
Bears +3 over Eagles
The Eagles injuries on offense are as bad as it gets. McNabb will be returning to his home town, but will not have the offensive weapons at 100%. The entire Eagles backfield is banged up or not playing. The Eagles have key players hurt on the offensive line and receiver injuries. Last week the Bears blew the game against the bucs when they committed a personal foul in overtime. Instead of the Bears getting the ball back around midfield the Bucs continued their drive and won the game. This Bears team proved it could play of the big stage when they beat up Indy on the road this year. I do not see how the Eagles will be able to put up many points. The Bears have a lot more experience up front then the Eagles do on defense and should be able to be two dimensional in running and passing to win this game. Take Chicago.