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Sunday Service Plays
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Miami Dolphins +7.0
The Miami Dolphins have had an extra week of rest since upsetting and pounding the New England Patriots 30-13 back on Sept 21. The Fins , well prepared and fresh, will now take on a San Diego team that exerted a great deal of energy in a come back victory against their long time rivals the Oakland Raiders last week.
I'm betting the Chargers after that above mentioned effort, and the difficulties associated with adjusting to a new time zone, will not be as lethal as usual, especially in the heat and humidity of south Florida.
Meanwhile, I expect the Dolphins behind a load of exotic offensive options with RB Ronnie Brown as the catalyst to give the Chargers inconsistent offense all they can handle in this spot on their way to what could easily be another upset win, against a franchise they have beaten 6 straight times .
Re: Sunday Service Plays
1 Unit on Chargers/Dolphins UNDER 45
The UNDER has been a reliable play between these teams, 7-0 in the L7 contests, and it looks like the books have set the bar too high again. Plays Under on Road teams against the total ( SAN DIEGO ) off a double digit road win against an opponent off a road win are 26-7 over the last 10 seasons. Miami is also 14-3 Under in home games off a road win against a division rival since 1992. We'll take the UNDER.
Re: Sunday Service Plays
Alex Smart Sports
San Diego Chargers vs. Miami Dolphins
Play: Miami +6.5
The Miami Dolphins have had an extra week of rest since upsetting and pounding the New England Patriots 30-13 back on Sept 21. The Fins , well prepared and fresh, will now take on a San Diego team that exerted a great deal of energy in a come back victory against their long time rivals the Oakland Raiders last week. I'm betting the Chargers after that above mentioned effort, and the difficulties associated with adjusting to a new time zone, will not be as lethal as usual, especially in the heat and humidity of south Florida. Meanwhile, I expect the Dolphins behind a load of exotic offensive options with RB Ronnie Brown as the catalyst to give the Chargers inconsistent offense all they can handle in this spot on their way to what could easily be another upset win, against a franchise they have beaten 6 straight times . Play on the Miami Dolphins to cover -Projected score: Miami 24 San Diego 21
Re: Sunday Service Plays
3* KC/Carolina Under 37
3* Bemgals/Boys Over 44
2*Pats/49's Under 42
2*Colts/Texans Over 46
4* Tennessee over BALTIMORE - TEN is 4-0 for the 1st time in franchise history after a 4H win as a Key Selection LW. BAL beat the Titans 27-26 in the last meeting in ‘06 but failed to cover as a 7 pt AF. This game pits the Titans #5 D (#1 sacks) vs the Ravens #1 D (#17 sacks). The Ravens are off LW’s MNF game vs PIT & teams are 6-20 ATS after dealing with the Steelers physical style of play. TEN is 11-4-1 ATS on the road. The Ravens have been able to insulate Flacco (129 ypg 58% 0-2 5.4 ypa) with a strong run game but that has been vs CIN #19 & CLE #10 D’s which is inflated. While Flacco has only been sacked once prior to MNF he’s only thrown 48 pass att’s which was tied for 31st prior to LW. Dating back to LY TEN is allowing only 79 rush ypg (3.9) on the road. While BAL is only allowing 70 ypg rushing (3.5) TY, CIN didn’t put much effort into WK 1 & CLE dumped the run game after Anderson’s 2 int put them in the hole. TEN QB Collins has fulfilled his role as a game manager admirably TY with 171 ypg (56%) with a 2-1 ratio in his 3 starts being sacked just once. TEN’s #8 pass D is only allowing 203 ypg (57%) with a solid 1-8 ratio with just a 5.7 ypa (52.5 QBR). While there is no line due to MNF TEN has the better QB, is healthier with a very impressive defense with more rest & we return to them as a Key Selection. FORECAST: Tennessee 23 BALTIMORE 10
3* ARIZONA over Buffalo - The Bills travel for the 2nd straight week but have a bye on deck. ARZ is finally home after 2 straight road games. ARZ is 10-3 as a non-div HF & 6-1 ATS vs the AFC. ARZ decided to stay out on the East Coast LW & they were unable to focus on the goal at hand with police escorts to practice & spending their free time seeing the sights. They were down 34-0 at the end of the 1H with 4 TO’s converted into 20 pts & outgained 203-92. The came out strong in the 2H as they outscored NYJ 35-22 & had 27-9 FD & 376-170 yd edges. ARZ is expected to be without WR Boldin after he took a vicious hit at the end of the game. BUF started slow vs STL LW being down 14-6 at the end of the 1H & was outgained 210-96. They then rallied & scored 25 unanswered points. BUF only had an 11 yd edge in the 2H but had 3 drives start on their 41 or better & 100 of STL yds came on their L2 drives. ARZ has the #5 & #9 units which is impressive considering 3 of their 1st 4 games have been on the road. BUF’s #17 ranking is skewed due to the success of their special teams & their #7 defensive ranking is vs a STL team in chaos, OAK with essentially rookie QB, a JAX team with no quality WR’s & a depleted OL & very beaten up SEA team. BUF will be hearing how good they are & front runners for the division but expect an embarrassed ARZ team to come ready to play. FORECAST: ARIZONA 31 Buffalo 20
CKO CONFIDENTIAL KICK-OFF PRIORITY PICKS
10* PHILADELPHIA over Washington
*PHILADELPHIA 27 - Washington 13
Respect progress made by Washington HC Jim Zorn in installing his offense and adapting QB Jason Campblell to
his system. However, in the yin and yang that is the NFL, prefer taking Philly coming off a disappointing loss in
Chicago over a Redskin bunch that might find it difficult to duplicate emotional peak it achieved in impressive win
in Dallas. The Eagles did a number on Pittsburgh at Lincoln Financial Field, and RB Brian Westbrook could be back
in action after sitting out the Bear game with an ankle injury. Philly QB McNabb hit nine different receivers in
Chicago, and the Washington defense ranks 22nd against the pass and has just 6 sacks this season.
TOTALS: OVER (43½) in the Seattle-N.Y. Giants game—New York has generated 67 points in last two games, and Seattle has gone “over” in all three of its games due to a leaky defense and a balanced attack...OVER (47) in the Minnesota-New Orleans game—Prolific N.O., which is scoring 28 ppg & yielding 5.2 ypc, is “over” 3-0-1 TY and 16-6-1 last 23 since late ’06. Minny “over” in both road games this year, and Adrian Peterson should have some fun.
New England 27 - SAN FRANCISCO 13 - Line opened at NewEngland minus 3½, and is now minus 3. As we wrote earlier, had these 2 met on opening week, the spread would have been at least 10 pts higher. The loss of Brady, of course, is monumental. However, the defense stepped up in the Pats' 2 openers, allowing 10 & 10 pts. But it all collapsed in 3813 shocking loss to Miami, at home. Thus, this contest is a classic "backs-to-the-wall" situation for the Patriots. No questioning the improvement of the Niners (33 & 31 pt efforts in 2 of their last 3 outings), thus there will be no sneaking up. Pats have to take it.RATING: NEW ENGLAND 88
NFL Key Selections.
3--New England over SAN FRANCISCO 24-13
4--DENVER over Tampa Bay 27-20
4--NY GIANTS over Seattle 33-16
5--HOUSTON(+) over Indianapolis 27-26
5--Minnesota (+) over NEW ORLEANS 23-20
5* BEST BET
New England over San Fran by 15 Roll the clock back to the first week of the season and our best guess is the line on this game would have seen the Patriots installed as doubledigit favorites. Today, with Tom Brady on the sidelines and the Niners a .500 squad, two touchdowns has become a fi eld goal and suddenly this game becomes attractive. With that we hurry off to our Bill Belichick databank and fi nd numbers that support our contention. For openers, Mr. Personality is 22-9 ATS in his NFL head coaching career on the road in games off a loss, including 9-0 SU and ATS the last nine and 7-0 ATS as a favorite of less than 7 points. To top it off he’s squared off against teams from the NFC West Division 13 times and – you guessed it – he’s 13-0 ATS in those games. Toss in Frisco’s 1-10 ATS mark as a dog off a non-division game when facing an AFC opponent and you can see why we’re taking a patriotic approach to this game.
4* BEST BET
Philadelphia over Washington by 16
Life has been pretty much black and white at home (2-0 SU and ATS) and on the road (0-2 SU and 1-1 ATS) for the Eagles in 2008. More important, from a handicapping perspective, the Green Birds have been perfect, 4-0, In The Stats this season. They will apply that notion against a fat-andhappy bunch of Hogs, fresh off last Sunday’s underdog win as doubledigit dogs at Dallas. That fi ts like a Michael Jackson glove given the fact the Skins are 0-5-1 ATS on the road off a Cowboy win while Philly is 10-3-1 ATS in division games off an ATS loss of 7 or more points behind Andy Reid. Andy is also dandy in games off a SU favorite loss, going 17-8 SU and ATS. Just like Los Lobos, he sees a red door and wants to paint it black
3* BEST BET
Detroit over Chicago by 7
It’s been said that the best sex a man can have is right after his favorite football team wins a game. If that’s the case then the Motor City’s been celibate this season. With Matt Millen no longer guarding the condoms this may actually be a breakout game for the Lions. It happens much more often than not to winless teams after a Bye Week. The fact of the matter is 0-3 or worse division dogs playing with an extra wink are 7-7 SU and 11-1-1 ATS. Additionally, the Lions are 7-5 SU and 12-0 ATS as division home dogs against an opponent that allowed 20 or more points in its last contest. With Lovie Smith 1-8-1 ATS in games off a win against a foe off back-to-back losses, it’s time to break out the Trojans. The Lions and the men from Motown are looking to make a score today!
THE GOLD SHEET - NFL
NEW ENGLAND by 14 over San Francisco
ARIZONA by 17 over Buffalo
OVER THE TOTAL in the Tampa Bay-Denver game
OVER THE TOTAL DENVER 34 - Tampa Bay 26—Denver’s Achilles’ Heel apparently the same as LY, as Larry Johnson (198 YR last week) the latest to puncture soft Broncos rush defense. Not sure T.B.’s chop-busting Earnest Graham can’t do similar damage. But Bucs living very dangerously these days,with Brian Griese (back at one of his old haunts) still prone to sloppy efforts (his 3 picks nearly undid T.B.’s dominance vs. banged-up Packers last week). Jay Cutler & Co. (34 ppg last 5 at home) tough to outscore at Invesco Field, and doubt Denver self-destructs with the TOs (4 of ‘em) that undermined attack at Arrowhead. “Totals” alert—Broncos “over” 13 of last 15 at home, and 20 of last 25 overall since late “06; T.B. “over” 8-2 last 10. (04-Denver -3 16-13...SR: Denver 4-2)
New England 27 - SAN FRANCISCO 13—Bill Belichick’s defense led the way in Super Bowl XXXVI at New Orleans as N.E. defeated Mike Martz’ Rams and their high-powered offense 20-17 on a last-second FG. Now,Belichick’s defenders are under the microscope after giving up TD drives of 74,79, 77, 79 and 62 yards vs. the Dolphins two weeks ago! Insiders report extra hard- hitting, back-to-basics defensive practices in Foxborough since then, while Tom Brady has reported early in the A.M. to help Matt Cassel with film study after coaches tailored play book more to his liking. Pats just 2-12 vs. the spread their last 14 overall, but J.T. O’Sullivan sacked six times in N.O. More of the same this week. (04-NEW ENGLAND -13' 21-7...SR: San Francisco 7-3)
ARIZONA 30 - Buffalo 13—After spending two the last two weeks on the east coast, yielding a total of 8 TOs and 8 TDP, Arizona gets to turn the tables on undefeated AFC East rep Buffalo. But even if hard-nosed WR Anquan Boldin sidelined (check status), will come back with Cardinals now on home turf for only the second time TY. Rookie power back Tim Hightower (via Richmond) helping Edgerrin James in backfield, and QB Kurt Warner’s arm is well-oiled, as evidenced by his 472 YP in six-giveaway performance by Arizona last week. (04-BUFFALO -3' 38-14...SR: Buffalo 5-3)
Power Plays 4*'s
4* Tampa Bucs
Vegas Experts The Edge Newsletter
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THE SPORTS MEMO
INDIANAPOLIS -3 AT HOUSTON O/U 47
I normally wouldn’t play an NFL total lined this high but some real fundamental and situational factors line up and make this one hard to pass up. For starters, the Houston defense just can’t keep opponents off the scoreboard. They’ve given up at least 30 points in all three of their games thus far, equally gashed on the ground and through the air even by modest offensive teams like Jacksonville and Tennessee. While I think the Colts’ offense is somewhat diminished from recent years due to poor health along the front line, they did have the luxury of working out the kinks during their bye last week. Going back to the second half of the Minnesota game we have seen Peyton Manning shake off some of the rust after missing camp with a knee injury and the running game finally make a contribution. When the game has been on the line Manning has led his team to easy points and I don’t see him having a problem picking apart Houston’s shady secondary. I don’t however think the Colts’ defense will be able to fix their problems in one week. They are undersized and inexperienced and the sudden emergence of Steve Slaton for Houston will add to the Colts’ misery in stopping the run. Six straight in this head-to-head have gone Over and this makes seven.
SAN DIEGO AT MIAMI +7
Two weeks ago we cashed our easiest winner of the season when the Dolphins (+12.5) traveled to New England and crushed the AFC Champs 38-13. Now back in action and coming off a bye week, Miami is in a very strong situation as a big home underdog. Numerous strong situational systems support Miami this week, as the players and coaches have the extra week of preparation and planning while the public still approaches these fish as dead and unable to swim with the big fish. The Chargers were losing 15-0 at halftime last week and struggled mightily with the Raiders before scoring 25 points in the fourth quarter to get the 28-18 victory and a remarkable pointspread cover. Oakland had some injured offensive linemen and less than 100% running backs, but still managed to outgain San Diego despite Tomlinson’s big late touchdown run. This week it will be the Dolphins’ ground attack of Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams that can chew up yardage similar to how the Panthers and Broncos (140+ each rushing) did while beating San Diego in weeks 1 and 2. Add in some single wing sets, short Pennington passes and a stronger and improving Dolphins’ defense and this ‘Dog should be ready to bite again.
BUFFALO AT ARIZONA -1.5
The Cardinals were 2-15 straight up in the Eastern Time Zone entering their game against the New York Jets. To spark some success the organization decided to stay on the East Coast for the entire week. Many players were not in favor of the plan. Kurt Warner was the most outspoken against it and perhaps the results were indicative of his displeasure. The game results were not good as the Cardinals lost 56-35 and Warner had three fumbles lost and three interceptions. The Cardinals showed some spark as the offense in the second half was tremendous. However, the defense could not slow down Brett Favre on his way to six touchdown passes. Off the big loss the Cardinals return home to face the perfect 4-0 Buffalo Bills who rallied in the second half to win and cover against the St. Louis Rams. Buffalo was outgained by more than 100 yards and was only 3-of-13 on third down yet was able to manage a 17-point win. For Buffalo, this will be the best team in the most favorable situation that they have faced this season. We expect Arizona to earn the win as we eagerly grab the small line in this matchup.
Re: Sunday Service Plays
CHI Bears at DET Lions
Three straight games, three straight second half collapses by the Bears. Could it be? It sure looked that way late in the fourth quarter as the Bears led 24-20 with Philly was knocking on the door with first and goal at the five yard line. This time though, the Bears defense kept the Eagles out of the end zone to preserve the four point win. "For the defense to bail us out, it was great," Orton said. "We've got to find a way to play an entire game, but we sure are playing well for spurts." While Orton had a career high three touchdown passes, he also tossed three interceptions in the third quarter. But as he stated, the defense held the Eagles to just three total points on those turnovers. Still, the Bears offense bogged down again in the second half, managing just 60 yards after leading 21-14 at the intermission. The Bears (2-2 SU, 2-1-1 ATS, 2-1-1 O/U) are tied with Green Bay in the NFC North for first place!! Christmas has come early for Detroit Lions fans!! The Lions put their bye week to good use, finally firing team president Matt Millen and replacing him with Martin Mayhew who will now be responsible for personnel moves. HC Rod Marinelli is likely feeling the heat too seeing that Millen hired him. Marinelli is 10-25 as the head coach of Detroit. This was supposed to be the year that the Lions established a rushing game, but that hasn't materialized. Detroit ranks next to last (31st) in rushing yards (75 ypg) despite spending the entire offseason and preseason working on the ground game and drafting rookie Kevin Smith from Central Florida. Could QB Jon Kitna be the next causality? The passing attack that was so good in 2007 has dropped to a mediocre 16th (210 ypg). 2007 second round draft pick Drew Stanton is recovering from a sprained thumb, but could be ready to step in and take over the reigns at any time. None of this will help the dismal Detroit defense. The Lions are ranked dead last in points allowed (37.7 ppg) and last in total defense (430 ypg). Toss in the fact that Detroit is 31st in turnover ratio (-5) and it's easy to understand why Matt Millen is searching the classifieds today. The problem is that Millen's team is still in place for this season and there's still a long way to go. If there is any good news for Lions fans, it's in the knowledge that whoever takes over as president can't be any worse than Millen was. Don't expect the Lions to stop the Bear here and really the Bears defense isn't all it was either. Even with Rudi Johnson starting at running back for Detroit, they will be forced to pass a lot. Take the over and enjoy all the turnovers and points.
Re: Sunday Service Plays
Tampa Bay at Denver
Denver is 10-1-1 OVER off a straight up loss and they are 13-3-1 OVER their last 17 home games. The Broncos are 10-1-1 OVER after allowing over 350 yards in their last game and they are 20-7-1 OVER off an ATS loss. Tampa Bay is 6-0 OVER off a straight up win and they are 6-0 OVER their last 6 road games. The Buccaneers are 5-0 OVER after allowing less than 250 in their last game and they are 5-0 OVER after rushing for over 150 yards in their last game. 10* PLAY ON 'OVER'
Re: Sunday Service Plays
Jimmy The Moose
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Denver Broncos
Tampa is averaging 25.2 PPG while giving up 19.5 per contest. The Broncos are averaging 33.2 PPG while the D has been pretty bad giving up 29.2 PPG. The over is 3-1 this season for the Bucs and 4-0 for the Broncos. Tampa has played over the total in 8 of their last 10 games. The over is 6-0 in their last 6 road games. The over is 13-3-1 in Denver's last 17 home games. The over is a profitable 21-5-1 in the Broncos last 27 games overall. The over is 7-2-1 in their last 10 games vs. a team with a winning record. This will be a high-scoring games easily playing the over.
Re: Sunday Service Plays
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Denver Broncos
PICK: Over 46.5
Both the Bucs and Broncos enter this game 3-1. The Bucs lost their first game of '08 but have since won three in a row under the leadership of Brian Griese. The Broncos won their first three but then lost last week in KC, as the Chiefs ended their 12-game losing streak. Griese was steady in his first start of '08 against Atlanta but in each of the last two weeks, he's thrown three INTs in each game. He did throw for 407 yards (67 attempts!) at Chicago but last week vs Green Bay, he was just 15-of-30 for 149 yards. The Broncos have few problems scoring this year but the team's defense ranks 30th in YPG allowed (408.8) and 29th in PPG (29.3). The pass 'D' has been terrible (276 YPG allowed with seven TDs and only one INT) and hasn't been helped by a pass rush which has accounted for only six sacks. Griese beat the Bears at Chicago in Week 3 (played for the Bears in '06 and '07) and will have similar motivation here in Denver, having begun his career with the Broncos (from 1998 through 2002 while starting 51 games). Griese's been operating without Tampa's best WR in Galloway and he's been ruled out of this game as well (foot). Antonio Bryant and Ike Hilliard have filled in well but Galloway's a huge loss. The Broncos own the NFL's top offense (435.5 YPG) and rank second in scoring (33.3 PPG). QB Cutler is over his health concerns of last year for Denver and enters this game with a completion percentage of 65.9, while averaging 318.8 YPG with nine TDs and just two INTs (98.6 QB rating). WRs Marshall has 31 catches in just three games and rookie Eddie Royal has 27 catches after four games. Denver's running game is not as prolific as in years past (121.3 YPG ranks 14th) but before the team lost four turnovers last week at KC, the Broncos had scored 41, 39 and 34 points in their first three games. The Buccaneers defense has been known for its "cover-2" scheme and making big plays. That has been the case in the early going this year, as the Bucs have 11 sacks and have forced nine turnovers during their 3-1 start. However, I just love the way Cutler is playing. The Broncos have averaged 34.0 PPG over their last five home games but their defense has been highly questionable. Griese will want to perform well back in Denver and I expect him to force things. Against a struggling defense like Denver's, that means some big plays. However, I also expect Griese to continue to make mistakes, which could lead to some easy points for the Broncos. The Broncos have gone 'over' in 13 of their last 15 home games, as well as in 20 of their last 25 games, overall. Take the over.
Re: Sunday Service Plays
Buffalo Bills vs. Arizona Cardinals
Off the big loss with 7 turnovers last week the Cardinals return home to face the perfect 4-0 Buffalo Bills who rallied in the second half to win and cover against the St. Louis Rams. Buffalo is 4-0 but have beaten 2 terrible teams in STL and OAKLAND. Buffalo was outgained by more than 100 yards and was only 3-of-13 on third down yet was able to manage a 17-point win. For Buffalo, this will be the best team in the most favorable situation that they have faced this season. We expect Arizona to bounce back now that they are at home and to earn the win over the undefeated Bills.
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Tennessee at BALTIMORE +3
G-Man coming with an upset call today in the NFL.
Tennessee stands at 4-0 straight up, and against the spread, but they are on the road today against a very physical defense that will make life tough on Kerry Collins this afternoon.
Baltimore is 2-0 at home this season, and their defense has come up with 7 sacks, and 5 takeaways in those 2 games, while allowing just 20 points to score.
The Ravens defense will dictate play today, and Baltimore rookie Joe Flacco will come up with a few big plays that will lead to the mild upset in Baltimore today.
Tennessee comes into this game as one of the few remaining undefeated teams in the league, as as you all know, the longer a team stays unbeaten, the bigger the bullseye gets on their backs!
Ray Lewis and his mates should have no trouble getting plenty of heat on Kerry Collins this afternoon.
Take the points.
Re: Sunday Service Plays
Sports Gambling Hotline
Kansas City at CAROLINA -9½
Last week Kansas City stopped a 12 game losing streak with the home upset of the undefeated Broncos.
Hard to imagine KC making it 2 in a row today at Carolina. Heck, we find it hard to imagine the Chiefs hanging inside of this impost.
Carolina is 3-1 this year, and they have gone 4-1-1 against the spread their last 6 when laying 7-points or more.
KC meanwhile is just 5-8 against the spread their last 13 games, and we don't see them being able to duplicate the formula that led them to their win over Denver last week, as Carolina's defense is better suited towards stopping the Chiefs running game, and is likely to grab a pick or two off of QB Damon Huard.
Jake Delhomme was able to connect with Muhammad, and Smith a combined 14 times last Sunday, for 2 TD strikes. That trio is likely to do more damage today at home.
Play on Carolina!
Re: Sunday Service Plays
Indianapolis (1-2 SU and ATS) at Houston (0-3, 1-2 ATS)
The Colts, already three games behind in the win column in their division, travel to Reliant Stadium for an AFC South matchup against the Texans, who are finally playing their first home game following the destruction of Hurricane Ike.
Indianapolis, which had its bye last week, got beat by Jacksonville 23-21 Sept. 21 as a four-point home favorite, losing on Josh Scobee’s last-second, 51-yard field goal. QB Peyton Manning (15 of 29, 216 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT) had a very subpar day, with one of his picks going 61 yards the other way for a Jags TD. Indy also had a huge time-of-possession deficit (41:35-18:25) and gave up 236 rushing yards.
Houston took that same Jacksonville team to overtime last week before falling 30-27 as a 6½-point road underdog, the first time the Texans have cashed this year. QB Matt Schaub was solid, going 29 of 40 for 307 yards and three TDs, with no turnovers. In fact, the contest was extremely even, Houston outgaining Jacksonville 386-375 and neither team committing a turnover.
Indianapolis has gone 9-1 SU (5-5 ATS) in the last 10 in this rivalry (all as a favorite), including winning both games last year, though Houston got the cash at home in a 30-24 loss catching 6½ points. The home team is on a 4-0 ATS run, and the Texans are 4-1 ATS in the last five series clashes at Reliant.
The Colts are 5-2 ATS in their last seven roadies, but they are mired in pointspread slides of 1-4 overall, 2-9 in division play, 1-4 after a SU loss and 3-7 against losing teams. The Texans are on a 9-4 ATS run as a home ‘dog in division play, and they’ve cashed in four straight at home, but they are on ATS slides of 2-5 in division play and 4-9 against the AFC.
The last six meetings in this rivalry have gone over the total, and the over is on further runs of 5-0 for Houston overall,16-5 for Houston inside the division and 5-2 for Indy against AFC foes.
ATS ADVANTAGE: OVER
Tennessee (4-0 SU and ATS) at Baltimore (2-1, 3-0 ATS)
The Titans aim to stay among the slim ranks of the unbeaten when they travel to M&T Bank Stadium to take on the Ravens, with two of the league’s top defenses on display.
Tennessee topped Minnesota 30-17 as a three-point home chalk to remain perfect on the season both SU and ATS. It was the most points the Titans have allowed this season, but the defense more than made up for it by forcing four turnovers – three fumble recoveries and an INT – and recording four sacks. Meanwhile, QB Kerry Collins (18 of 35, 199 yards) had a turnover-free day.
Baltimore forced Pittsburgh to overtime before falling 23-20 Monday night, but covered as a six-point road pup. QB Joe Flacco (16 of 31, 192 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs) had a fairly clean game, but his lone mistake – a fumble – was returned for a TD that gave Pittsburgh the lead.
Tennessee has cashed in the last three meetings in this rivalry (2-1 SU), including a 27-26 home loss two years ago as a seven-point ‘dog. In fact, the underdog is on 13-3 ATS when these former division rivals square off.
The Titans are on a 4-8 ATS decline as a road chalk, but the pointspread trends turn positive from there, including 4-0 after a SU win, 4-1 against AFC foes and 12-5 on the highway. The Ravens have cashed in four of their last five at M&T, but they are riding a 3-10 ATS freefall coming off a SU loss, and they are 0-4 ATS in their last four Sunday games coming off a Monday night appearance.
The under for Tennessee is on streaks of 5-2 overall, 4-1 on the road and 5-1 against the AFC, and in this rivalry, the total has gone low in four of the last five meetings overall and five of the last seven in Baltimore. However, the Ravens are on “over” sprees of 8-2 overall and 5-1 at home.
ATS ADVANTAGE: TENNESSEE
San Diego (2-2 SU and ATS) at Miami (1-2 SU and ATS)
The Chargers, getting back on track after an 0-2 start, make the cross-country trek to South Beach to take on the Dolphins.
San Diego erased a 15-0 halftime deficit en route to a 28-18 victory over Oakland, winning and cashing as a nine-point favorite for the second straight week. QB Philip Rivers (14 of 25, 180 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs) was sacked four times, but he got it together in the second half, aided by RB LaDainian Tomlinson, who finished with 106 yards and two TDs, including a late 41-yard jaunt to secure the spread-cover.
Miami took last week off after its shocking 38-13 road rout of New England on Sept. 21 as a 12½-point road underdog. QB Chad Pennington was almost flawless in that victory, going 17 of 20 for 226 yards to lead an offense that had no turnovers against the defending AFC champs. However, RB Ronnie Brown (17 carries, 113 yards) stole the show, running for four TDs and passing for another as the Fish racked up an astounding 461-215 advantage in total yards.
Miami has won and cashed in the last four meetings against San Diego, but the two teams haven’t met since 2005, when the Dolphins scored a 23-21 road upset catching 12½ points. The road team is on a 5-1 ATS streak in this rivalry.
The Chargers are on an 0-4 ATS slide as a non-division road favorite, but otherwise they are on a bevy of positive pointspread streaks, including 6-0-1 on the road, 9-1 after a SU win, 9-1 after a spread-cover and 23-9-1 against losing teams. The Dolphins, meanwhile, are in a 2-9 ATS freefall at home and carry further negative ATS streaks of 7-21-1 after a spread-cover and 9-19 after a SU win.
The over for San Diego is on runs of 4-0 this season, 13-3-2 on the road and 4-1 against AFC foes, and the total has gone high in six of Miami’s last eight outings.
ATS ADVANTAGE: OVER
Kansas City (1-3, 2-2 ATS) at Carolina (3-1, 2-1-1 ATS)
The Chiefs, finally free of their 12-game losing skid that dated to last season, travel to Charlotte for a non-conference clash with the Panthers.
Kansas City rode RB Larry Johnson to a 33-19 upset of Denver as a heavy 9½-point home underdog for its first win since last October. Johnson rolled up 198 yards and two TDs on 28 carries, complementing a mistake-free game from QB Damon Huard (21 of 28, 160 yards, 1 TD), and the Chiefs defense forced four turnovers.
Carolina dumped Atlanta 24-9 as a seven-point home chalk last Sunday. The Panthers outgained the Falcons by a healthy 401-268 margin, paced by a solid effort from QB Jake Delhomme (20 of 29, 294 yards, 2 TDs) in a turnover-free game for both teams. WR Muhsin Muhammad had eight catches for 147 yards and a TD.
These teams have met just twice this decade, with Carolina going 2-0 ATS (1-1 SU), most recently winning 28-17 as a seven-point road ‘dog in 2004.
Despite the Chiefs’ breakthrough last week and a 7-2 ATS mark in their last nine roadies, they still carry negative ATS streaks of 6-10-1 against the NFC, 2-5 against winning teams and 2-5-1 after a spread-cover. The Panthers are on positive pointspread streaks of 4-0-1 at home and 5-1-1 overall.
The under is 9-4 in Kansas City’s last 13 road games, and for Carolina, the under is on stretches of 5-2 overall, 20-8-1 at home and 6-1 after a SU win.
ATS ADVANTAGE: CAROLINA and UNDER
Washington (3-1 SU and ATS) at Philadelphia (2-2, 3-1 ATS)
The surging Redskins head out on the road to face an NFC East rival for the second straight week, this time battling the Eagles, who are in need of a win to keep pace in the league’s strongest division.
Washington shocked Dallas 26-24 catching 10½ points on the road, winning and cashing for the third straight week after losing its season opener at the Giants. QB Jason Campbell (20 of 31, 231 yards, 2 TDs) still has not committed a turnover this season, and RB Clinton Portis (21 carries, 121 yards) helped the Redskins post a whopping 16-minute advantage in time of possession against the Cowboys.
Philadelphia struggled to put the ball in the end zone in a 24-20 loss at Chicago laying three points on Sunday night. QB Donovan McNabb (25 of 41, 262 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT) led just two field-goal drives in the second half, along with a late-fourth-quarter drive that was stuffed on three straight attempts from inside the Bears’ 2-yard line.
Washington is 4-2-1 ATS (3-4 SU) in the last six meetings in this rivalry, and the road team won and covered in both clashes last year.
The Redskins are on ATS runs of 7-2 overall and 4-1 inside the division, but they are 5-9-1 ATS in their last 15 road contests. The Eagles sport positive ATS streaks of 5-2 overall, 6-1 after a non-cover, 4-1 against the NFC, 7-2 after a SU loss and 10-4 against winning teams.
The under is 6-2-1 in the last nine clashes in this rivalry, and the under is also 9-4 in Washington’s last 13 games when coming off an ATS win and 4-0 in Philly’s last four at home.
ATS ADVANTAGE: PHILADELPHIA and UNDER
Chicago (2-2, 2-1-1 ATS) at Detroit (0-3 SU and ATS)
The Lions, who finally rid themselves of team president Matt Millen during their bye week, hopes the move inspires them to their first victory of 2008 when they host the rival Bears at Ford Field.
Detroit got drummed 31-13 by San Francisco two weeks ago as a five-point road pup and fired Millen shortly thereafter, having lost 10 of their last 11 games SU and ATS dating to midseason last year. QB Jon Kitna (15 of 30, 146 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT) had another subpar effort, and his TD-to-INT ratio is now 5-5. The Lions were outgained 370-240 in San Francisco and had nearly 12 minutes less in time of possession.
Chicago earned a 24-20 victory over Philadelphia as a three-point home ‘dog Sunday night. QB Kyle Orton (18 of 34, 199 yards) had three TD passes, but he also had all four of the Bears’ turnovers on two INTs and two lost fumbles. He was bailed out by a defense that allowed just two field goals in the second half and made a late goal-line stand to clinch the win, stopping the Eagles on three straight plays from inside the 2-yard line.
Detroit has cashed in three straight games in this series, sweeping last year’s season series before the Lions’ current slump began. The underdog is 7-1 ATS in the last eight head-to-head clashes.
The Lions are on a 4-0 ATS run coming off a bye week, but they are on pointspread skids of 6-12-1 overall, 4-10 getting points and 3-6-1 in home divisional games. The Bears, meanwhile, are on positive ATS streaks of 5-1-1 overall, 6-2 on the highway and 4-1-1 against the NFC.
The over for Chicago is on tears of 21-6-1 against NFC foes, 12-4 against losing teams and 7-3-1 inside the division, and for Detroit, the over is on runs of 8-1 overall, 4-0 in NFC North tilts and 4-0 at home. Finally, the total has gone high in four of the last six meetings between these rivals.
ATS ADVANTAGE: OVER
Atlanta (2-2 SU and ATS) at Green Bay (2-2 SU and ATS)
The Packers return home looking to halt a two-game skid when they face the Falcons at Lambeau Field.
Green Bay rallied to take a 21-20 fourth-quarter lead against Tampa Bay in Week 4, then gave up the last 10 points of the game in a 30-21 loss as a one-point road ‘dog. QB Aaron Rodgers (14 of 27, 165 yards) had a terrible day, offsetting two TD passes with his first three INTs of the year, and the Pack finished with a pathetic 181 total yards and a nearly 14-minute deficit in time of possession.
Atlanta lost to Carolina 24-9 getting seven points on the road and is now 2-0 SU and ATS at home this season but 0-2 SU and ATS on the road – and both road losses came by identical 24-9 final scores as a seven-point pup. Rookie QB Matt Ryan was unleashed a bit against the Panthers, throwing 41 passes, but he completed just 21 for 158 yards, with no TDs or INTs. The Falcons allowed 401 yards, while gaining just 268.
These two teams last met in the regular season in 2005, with Green Bay posting a 33-25 road win as a nine-point pup. The road team is on a 4-0 ATS run in this rivalry, all in the underdog role.
Despite back-to-back SU and ATS defeats, the Packers are still on a plethora of positive pointspread streaks, including 16-6-1 overall, 7-2-1 as a home chalk, 7-1-2 after a non-cover, 5-1-1 after a SU loss and 16-7-2 against the NFC. Meanwhile, the Falcons have failed to cover in four of their last five on the highway.
For Green Bay, the over is on runs of 20-8 overall, 6-1 at home and 14-3 in conference games, and the over for Atlanta is 9-2 in its last 11 overall and 7-2 in its last nine against NFC foes.
ATS ADVANTAGE: GREEN BAY and OVER
Seattle (1-2 SU and ATS) at N.Y. Giants (3-0, 2-1 ATS)
The defending Super Bowl champion Giants aim to remain unbeaten when they return from their bye to face the Seahawks in East Rutherford, N.J.
New York barely held off Cincinnati two weeks ago, winning 26-23 in overtime as an overwhelming 13-point home favorite. QB Eli Manning (26 of 43, 289 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs) was steady in a clean turnover-free game by both teams.
Seattle was also off last week after rolling over St. Louis 37-13 as a nine-point home chalk two Sundays ago. QB Matt Hasselbeck (12 of 20, 172 yards, 1 TD) let the running game carry him, as the Seahawks rushed for 245 yards, paced by Julius Jones’ 140 yards and a TD on 22 carries. Seattle posted a 407-240 total yardage edge and a 10-minute advantage in time of possession.
Seattle is 4-1-1 ATS in the last six meetings with New York, most recently earning a 42-30 home win giving 3½ points in 2006.
The Giants are just 1-5-1 ATS coming off the bye the past seven years, but they are on several positive ATS runs, including 16-5 overall, 5-0 against the NFC and 6-1 after a SU win. Meanwhile, the Seahawks have a definite aversion to cross-country trips, though, with a 4-13 ATS mark in their last 17 contests in the Eastern time zone, including a season-opening loss at Buffalo. They carry further ATS slides of 0-4 in roadies, 7-13 as a road pup, 2-6 on the road against winning teams and 2-8 coming off the bye.
The over for New York is 6-2 in its last eight home contests, but the under is on runs of 11-3 after a bye and 6-2 against the NFC. For Seattle, the over is on tears of 6-0 overall, 5-0 against NFC foes, 8-1 after the bye week and 4-1 on the road.
ATS ADVANTAGE: N.Y. GIANTS
Tampa Bay (3-1 SU and ATS) at Denver (3-1, 2-2 ATS)
The Buccaneers aim to run their winning streak to four when they travel to Invesco Field at Mile High for a non-conference clash with the Broncos.
Tampa Bay overcame three second-half INTs from QB Brian Griese – with the last returned for a TD – to beat Green Bay 30-21 as a one-point home chalk in Week 4. Griese’s miscues turned a 20-7 lead into a 21-20 deficit, but he led a field-goal drive to put the Bucs back up, and RB Earnest Graham (20 carries, 111 yards) made his last two carries count – a 47-yarder, followed by a 1-yarder for a TD. It ended up being a close game despite Tampa’s 327-181 yardage edge and a nearly 13-minute bulge in time of possession.
Denver was dealt its first loss in surprising fashion, falling 33-19 to Kansas City as a 9½-point road favorite as the Chiefs snapped a 12-game losing streak. QB Jay Cutler (29 of 49, 361 yards, 1 TD) had a monster game, but he was playing from behind most of the day and also had a lost fumble to go with two picks as the Broncos lost the turnover battle 4-1. The suspect Denver defense also let RB Larry Johnson rumble for 198 yards and two TDs on 28 carries.
These two teams haven’t met since 2004, when Denver earned a 16-13 road, pushing as a three-point favorite.
The Bucs have failed to cash in nine of their last 10 road games against the AFC. And the Broncos are on a bevy of ATS slides, including 7-20-1 overall, 4-11-1 at Mile High, 2-9 at home against the NFC and 2-8 as a non-division home favorite.
The over has cashed in Denver’s first four games this season and is on further streaks for the Broncos of 20-5 overall, 12-2 at home and 7-2-1 against winning teams. Likewise, the over for Tampa is on stretches of 8-2 overall and 7-3 in roadies – including the last six in a row.
ATS ADVANTAGE: OVER
New England (2-1, 1-2 ATS) at San Francisco (2-2 SU and ATS)
The Patriots, coming off one of their most stunning losses short of last season’s Super Bowl upset, look to right the ship when they return from their bye by making a West Coast trip to Monster Park to take on the 49ers.
New England got punched in the mouth by Miami two weeks ago in a 38-13 loss as a 12½-point home chalk. The Pats gained just 215 total yards – one yard less than the Dolphins had on the ground alone, as Miami finished with a whopping 461 total yards. New England also failed to force any turnovers, while committing two.
San Francisco had its two-game SU and ATS winning streak snapped in last week’s 31-17 loss at New Orleans as a four-point ‘dog. The Niners had a fair offensive day, with 312 total yards, but they got plowed over by the Saints’ high-octane offense, which finished with 467 yards, paced by QB Drew Brees’ 363 passing yards and three TDs.
New England and San Francisco have met just three times in the past 10 years, with the Pats going 3-0 SU and ATS. Most recently, New England earned a 21-7 home win in 2005 laying 13 points.
The Patriots have cashed just once in their last nine games, yet they still carry positive ATS trends into this game of 10-3-1 against the NFC, 8-3 coming off the bye, 14-4-1 after a SU loss and 14-5 on the highway. The 49ers are on a 4-1 ATS run hosting the AFC, but they are on ATS skids of 3-7 after a SU loss and 1-4 against winning teams.
The under is 4-1 in New England’s last five overall, 5-2-1 in San Francisco’s last eight overall and 5-1 in its last six at Monster Park.
ATS ADVANTAGE: NONE
Re: Sunday Service Plays
Pittsburgh (3-1, 2-2 ATS) at Jacksonville (2-2, 1-3 ATS)
The Steelers make their second straight prime-time appearance when they head south to nothern Florida to take on the Jaguars at Alltel Stadium in a rematch of last year’s exciting wild-card playoff battle.
Pittsburgh fended off Baltimore 23-20 in overtime, failing to cash as a six-point home chalk Monday night for its third consecutive non-cover. Neither offense was particularly proficient, with the Steelers getting slightly outgained 243-237 as Pittsburgh’s ailing backfield ran for just 69 yards. QB Ben Roethlisberger was a serviceable 14 of 24 for 191 yards with one TD and one INT.
Jacksonville also went to overtime last week, edging Houston 30-27 giving 6½ points at home. QB David Garrard was a typically efficient 23 of 32 for 236 yards and a TD in a very evenly played contest, as neither team committed a turnover and the Jags lost the total-yardage battle by a scant 11 yards, 386-375. For the second straight week, Josh Scobee kicked a game-winning field goal.
Jacksonville went to Pittsburgh last January and slugged out a 31-29 win as a 2½-point road favorite to knock the Steelers out of the playoffs. The Jaguars have won four straight against the Steelers and are on a 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. Finally, the home team is on a 15-5 ATS tear in this rivalry, but the underdog has gotten the money in the last six.
The Steelers are 5-12-1 ATS in their last 18 games on the highway (1-5 ATS) and are on further ATS slides of 4-9 overall, 1-4 after a SU win and 3-8 against the AFC. Meanwhile, the Jaguars have cashed just twice in their last seven outings, but they carry a 6-2 ATS mark in their last eight against winning teams.
The over for Pittsburgh is on stretches of 6-2 overall and 5-1 against the AFC, and for Jacksonville, the over is on streaks of 19-7-2 overall, 4-1-2 at home and 9-2-2 against the AFC. However, the under is 6-1 in the last seven Steelers-Jags clashes in Jacksonville.
ATS ADVANTAGE: JACKSONVILLE
N.L. DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS
Philadelphia (2-1) at Milwaukee (1-2)
Having staved off elimination with a Game 3 victory Saturday, the Brewers once again face a must-win situation this afternoon when they send veteran Jeff Suppan (10-10, 4.96 ERA) to the mound at Miller Park, while the Phillies counter with Joe Blanton (4-0, 4.20).
J.J. Hardy went 3-for-4 and was one of four Brewers to drive in runs, and five Brewers pitchers kept Philadelphia in check en route to Saturday’s 4-1 victory, Milwaukee’s first postseason win since 1982. The Brewers, who snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Phillies with last night’s victory, have now won seven of their last eight home games and they’re 50-32 at Miller Park this season. However, they’re still mired in slumps of 4-13 against winning teams and 1-9 against N.L. East foes.
The Phillies, who got swept in last year’s divisional round and are looking to advance to their first N.L. Championship Series since 1993, are still on runs of 15-4 overall, 5-2 on the road, 8-1 against the N.L. Central, 13-4 versus winning teams, 20-8 against right-handed starters and 55-27 on Sundays.
Despite struggling against the Phillies this year (2-7), the Brewers have won nine of the last 11 meetings in Milwaukee. Also, the home team is 8-1 in the nine battles in 2008.
Suppan gave up one run on five eight hits in five innings in his final regular-season start on Sept. 26, pitching the Brewers to a critical 5-1 home win over the Cubs. Despite that effort, Suppan struggled mightily in September, going 0-3 with an 8.44 ERA in five starts, four of which Milwaukee lost. The veteran went 3-3 with a 4.36 ERA in 13 home starts this year.
Suppan is just 3-6 with a beefy 6.13 ERA in 12 career starts against the Phillies, including 0-1 with a 5.91 ERA in two outings this year. In fact, going back to his days with the Cardinals, Philadelphia is on a 7-0 run in games started by Suppan. Also, he’s 3-3 with a 3.00 ERA in nine career playoff starts.
Blanton started the season in Oakland, where he went 5-12 with a 4.96 ERA in 20 starts before being traded to Philadelphia, where he was unbeaten in four decisions, including going 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in his final three regular-season outings. The Phillies went 9-4 in Blanton’s 13 starts, including 3-3 on the road, where the burly right-hander wsa 5-3 with a 5.37 ERA overall this year (2-0, 4.96 ERA with Philadelphia).
Blanton’s lone career start against the Brewers was on Sept. 14 in Philadelphia, and he allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits in seven innings, getting a no-decision in his team’s 7-3 victory. Finally, his postseason experience is limited to one relief appearance with the A’s in 2006, and he pitched two scoreless innings against the Tigers.
The under is 3-0 in the last four meetings between these teams (3-0 in this series) and is on further runs of 7-1 for the Brewers overall, 5-1 for the Brewers at home, 40-17-4 for the Brewers against the N.L. East, 8-3 for the Phillies overall, 5-1 for the Phillies on the road and 5-1 for the Phillies in the playoffs. Finally, the under is 7-0 in Suppan’s last seven starts against the N.L. East.
ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER
A.L. DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS
Tampa Bay (2-0) at Chicago White Sox (0-2)
The White Sox return to U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago looking to stave off elimination, and they’ll send southpaw John Danks (12-9, 3.32) to the hill against the Rays’ Matt Garza (11-9, 3.70) in Game 3 of this best-of-5 American League Divisional Series. It’s the first playoff start for both pitchers.
Tampa Bay took the first two games at home, winning 6-4 on Wednesday and 6-2 on Friday, when lefty Scott Kazmir got through a shaky first inning to get the win. The Rays have now won seven of the last eight matchups with the White Sox, including two of three in Chicago in late August. Tampa’s pitching has allowed just 13 runs in the last seven wins over the White Sox.
Tampa is 0-5 in Garza’s last five outings against A.L. Central squads, but they are on runs of 7-3 overall, 4-1 against teams with a winning record, 5-1 after a win and 9-3 following an off day. Meanwhile, Chicago is just 1-5 in Danks’ last six outings against the A.L. East and the White Sox are just 3-7 in their last 10 overall, but they are on positive runs of 42-18 at home, 8-2 in playoff games, 5-1 in home playoff contests and 39-14 at home against teams with a losing road record.
The Rays have struggled with Garza on the hill lately, losing five of his final seven regular-season starts, including a 4-3 road loss in Detroit eight days ago when he allowed three runs in five innings. Garza was 4-6 with a 4.53 ERA on the road, and the Rays won just five of his 15 starts on the highway. Finally, he is 1-1 with a 4.97 ERA in three career starts against Chicago in just 12 2/3 innings of work, but hasn’t faced them since he was in the Twins’ rotation last September.
Danks was magnificent for the White Sox in their one-game playoff to decide the A.L. Central champ on Tuesday, blanking the Twins on two hits for eight innings of the 1-0 victory. He’s shutout the opposition in three of his last four starts but those are the only three wins Chicago has in his last eight appearances.
Danks faced the Rays three times this season, dominating them twice in Tampa and allowing three runs in 6 1/3 innings of a 9-4 home loss in August. For his career, Danks is 3-1 with a 2.96 ERA in 24 1/3 innings against the Rays.
The under is 5-2 in Garza’s last seven roadies, but otherwise the Rays are on over runs of 5-1 on the road, 6-2 overall, 11-4 against A.L. Central squads and 7-2 on Sundays. The under is 7-3 in Danks’ last 10 home starts, 12-4 when he faces a team with a winning record and 22-8-2 in Chicago’s last 32 against the A.L. East, but the over is 6-2 in their last eight playoff games and 8-3 in their last 11 following an off day.
Finally, the under is 13-4 in the last 17 series meetings between these clubs, including Friday’s game that barely stayed under the 8½ total.
ATS ADVANTAGE: CHICAGO WHITE SOX
L.A. Angels (0-2) at Boston (2-0)
The Red Sox will try to make it 12 straight playoff wins over the Angels and finish a sweep of the team with the best record in baseball when they send Josh Beckett (12-10, 4.03) to the mound at Fenway Park opposite Los Angeles lefty Joe Saunders (17-7, 3.41).
Boston got a dramatic 7-5 win Friday in Anaheim when J.D. Drew drove a Frankie Rodriguez pitch into the seats in the ninth inning for a two-run homer after the Angels had tied the game in the bottom of the eighth. Los Angeles won eight of nine against Boston in the regular season, but the Red Sox continue to dominate the postseason, winning 11 straight against the Halos, including divisional sweeps in 2004 and 2007.
The Angels have won five straight at Fenway, including a three-game sweep there in late July.
Los Angeles is 37-15 in Saunders’ last 52 starts, 5-1 in his last six on the road and 5-0 when he’s faced teams from the A.L. East, and overall the Angels are on current streaks of 7-1 on the highway, 22-10 against the A.L. East and 4-0 on Sundays.
Boston has lost Beckett’s last five home starts, but overall Terry Francona’s team is 63-26 in its last 89 at Fenway, 21-6 in the playoffs and 7-1 in divisional playoff home games.
Saunders was a road warrior for Los Angeles, going 10-3 with a 2.55 ERA as the Angels won 11 of his 15 starts on the highway. He came on strong in September, going 3-0 with a 2.14 ERA in five starts (all Angels wins), holding the opposition scoreless in his last two outings. Saunders beat the Red Sox three times this season, including twice at Fenway, allowing five runs in 12 innings of work. For his career, Saunders is 4-0 against Boston with a 2.89 ERA in 37 1/3 innings.
Beckett struggled with injuries this season but had a 2.70 ERA in his final three regular-season starts. This guy was untouchable during Boston’s October run last season, going 4-0 with a 1.20 ERA in 30 innings of work. For his postseason career, Beckett is 6-2 with a 1.65 ERA and has tossed three complete games, including a four-hitter against the Angels in last season’s divisional round, lead the Red Sox to a 4-0 win.
In six career regular-season starts against Los Angeles, Beckett is 2-2 with a 3.99 ERA, but both losses came this year as he gave up 12 runs (11 earned) on 20 hits in 13 1/3 innings (7.43 ERA), including a 9-2 home loss back on July 30.
The under is on runs of 4-1 in Saunders’ last five on the hill, but as a team, the Angels are on over streaks of 6-2 overall, 7-3 following an off day and 4-1 against a right-handed starter. Meanwhile, Boston is riding a bunch of under streaks, including 4-1 at home, 6-0 on Sundays, 4-0 overall with Beckett on the mound and 4-1 when he faces teams from the A.L. West.
Finally, the over is 11-5-2 in the last 18 Angels-Red Sox battles in Boston, and the teams easily topped the total with Friday’s 12 runs.
ATS ADVANTAGE: BOSTON
Re: Sunday Service Plays
San Diego Chargers vs. Miami Dolphins
Play: San Diego Chargers -6.5
Chargers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games after allowing more than 250 yards passing in their previous game. Chargers are 6-0-1 ATS in their last 7 road games. Chargers are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games following a S.U. win. Chargers are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games following a ATS win. Chargers are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 road games vs. a team with a losing home record. Dolphins are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games on grass. Dolphins are 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 games after allowing less than 15 points in their previous game. Dolphins are 3-14 ATS in their last 17 games after allowing less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game. Dolphins are 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 games after allowing less than 150 yards passing in their previous game. Dolphins are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 games following a SU win of more than 14 points. Road team is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings.
Re: Sunday Service Plays
Big Al McMordie
Dolphins v Chargers
At 1 pm, our complimentary selection is on the Miami Dolphins plus the points over San Diego. Two weeks ago, the Dolphins went into Foxboro, and wasted the Patriots 38-13. Normally, I wouldn't take a team off a big upset win, but the Fish come into this game off their bye week, so they had an extra week to come down off of their high. Let's go with Miami plus the points, as the Chargers might be caught looking ahead to their date with New England in Southern California next week (SD has playoff revenge vs. New England). Also, Miami fits a 43-13 ATS early-season system of mine that plays on certain underdogs off a win.
Re: Sunday Service Plays
Tennessee vs. Baltimore
I was impressed on Monday Night by Flacco and because of that I am taking the Ravens today. The defenses here are basically a wash and I think that Baltimore wins on the field today because of playing at home and special teams. Look out for Figures to make a big play for the Ravens and Kerry Collins is facing a defense that he doesn't want to see. Kerry this isn't Houston or Cincinnati it's Lewis, Reed and Suggs and that means stupid decisions are about to be made and Baltimore will capitalize. Ravens win 23-13!
Re: Sunday Service Plays
Seattle vs. New York
The Seahawks will be a little bit better this week as both Engram and Brabch are expected back so the offense will be much improved. The Giants will be without Burress, but we still think they'll move the ball well as they utilize Steve Smith more. There will be alot of big plays in this game and it wouldn't surprise us if this total is in by the first drive of the 3rd quarter!!!
Re: Sunday Service Plays
Tampa Bay at DENVER -3½
The Bucs head to the Mile High City for this one and I don't think they're ready for this Denver offense that was clicking on all cylinders before a shocker last week in Kansas City. But a loss to the lowly Chiefs is exactly what the Broncos needed to wake up and get back to business and you'll see them come out today and march up and down the field.
Tampa's Brian Griese returns to Denver where he QB'd the Broncos for so long. He has been hot and cold with the Bucs, tossing three second-half INTs last week but they overcame it and rallied for a 30-21 win. Tampa Bay is just 1-9 ATS in road games against the AFC and today they are in one of the toughest places to get a win.
Denver fell 33-19 in Kansas City as a 9 1/2-point favorite. QB Jay Cutler has been solid all season and even had 361 yards passing against the Chiefs but threw two INTs. It was Denver's run defense that fell apart, allowing 198 yards to Larry Johnson. Tampa isn't going to have that kind of day running the ball and look for the Broncos to apply the heat to Griese.
All kinds of motivation for Denver in this one as they get their old QB and they have got to rebound from last week's embarrassment in Kansas City. Play the Broncos to get this one somewhere in the 28-14 range.
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