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SUNDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
SUNDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
Lenny Del Genio
25* AFC Game of the Year
Play on Tennessee
Larger favorites have not been the way to go this year in the NFL, but considering the matchup, this number is very manageable. In fact, it's way low. Throw Kansas City's 33-19 win over Denver, three weeks ago, right out the window. They came right back the next week and were crushed 34-0 by Carolina, gaining only 127 yards of total offense in the process. Before the 4th quarter started (when the game was far out of reach), they only had 77 yards! Now, they are switching back to Brodie Croyle at QB, the team's FIFTH change under center already this season. Herm Edwards might say "You play to WIN the game," but his team must not be listening as they have lost 13 of 14 games going back to last season and are 2-7-1 ATS their last 10 home games. There goes the old homefield advantage that used to exist at Arrowhead. Meanwhile, the 2008 season couldn't be going any more differently for Tennessee. They are the only unbeaten team in the league (both SU and ATS) and while we would normally go against such a team, expecting a letdown, that's not the case with Jeff Fisher who is on a 13-3 ATS run away from home against teams with a win % of .250 or less. They are 13-5-1 ATS their last 19 games overall. The favorite has won and covered three straight in this H2H series. All of these streaks include a 26-17 Titans win here in KC last December. Over their last 10 games, the Titans have not allowed a single opponent to score more than 19 points. Over the same time, they are averaging 23 PPG on offense. They are #1 this year in the league in scoring defense, allowing an average of just 11.2 PPG. KC is also experiencing OL issues with promising rookie Branden Albert possibly out, meaning they have no chance against Albert Haynesworth and Kyle Vanden Bosch. As a team, they have no chance either. Tennessee is our 25* AFC Game of the Year!
Re: SUNDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
Solid matchup advantages and a good situation based on recent games. Both teams are 3-3 but Chicago has 3 close losses including a tough one last week on the road vs the Falcons. Minnesota squeeeked by the lowly Lions at home to climb back to .500. The Bears have been very solid vs the run, even better than the Vikings and what impresses me is Chicago's improvements in the passing game. Orton a top 10 fantasy QB? Strange but true and Hester is looking like a real WR. So running yards will have to be earned on both sides but Chicago has the tools to attack the below average Viking pass defence. Combined with a special teams edge, home field advantage, and last week's results I expect Chicago to be the better motivated team and earn a solid win and cover. Take Chicago -3 for a 4* Regular Play.
The Giants may have lost big last week but good teams don't bounce back as well as most people assume after their 1st loss. Double-digits vs a team that has things going for them on offence and defence? San Fran has played an unfortunate schedule losing to HIGHLY motivated teams recently to drop to 2-4. They had an excellent chance to take out the Eagles last week (leading) before turnovers killed them. At 2-4 and feeling they're better than their record shows they'll also have their fair share of motivation. Opposite line move in this one too as a bonus. Giants open at -12 and bets have poured in on them because "they'll be mad". However, the line is now at -10.5. Hmmm, I wonder why they're not -13 if so many love them? Like I've mentioned almost weekly, we've seen this movie before. Small, public (& typically losing) bets love the Giants but sharp money has created an opposite line-move. Take San Francisco +10.5 for a 4* Regular Play
Re: SUNDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
Tennessee (-8.0) 21 KANSAS CITY 15
Kansas City is among the bottom 3 teams in the NFL and unbeaten Tennessee is among the best teams, but the situation strongly favors the Chiefs coming out of their bye week. I mentioned last week in the Monday night analysis how bad teams tend to play very well after their bye week and St. Louis and Cleveland did just that. The Chiefs apply to a 25-3 ATS home underdog after a bye week angle that applies to the Browns in their Monday night blowout win over the Giants and KC also applies to a solid 85-40-3 ATS home underdog situation that is 11-2 ATS when the home teams is off a bye. My math model favors Tennessee by 11 ½ points with Chiefs’ quarterback Brodie Croyle back in the lineup (although he hasn’t proven to be any better than Damon Huard), but I’ll lean with Kansas City plus the points based on the strong situation.
CHICAGO (-3.5) 19 Minnesota 18
Minnesota is a better than average team from the line of scrimmage, but their special teams are the worst in the NFL and could cost them in this game against Devin Hester. The Vikings rate at just 0.1 yards per play worse than average offensively with Gus Frerotte at quarterback and they are 0.6 yppl better than average defensively (4.9 yppl allowed to teams that would combine to average 5.5 yppl against an average team. However, the Vikings have allowed a ridiculous 18 yards per punt return and 3 of those punts have been returned for touchdowns. That’s not a good omen going into a game kicking the ball to Devin Hester (if they choose to kick it to him). Chicago’s season numbers are nearly identical to those of Minnesota, as the Bears have been 0.2 yppl worse than average on offense and 0.6 yppl better than average defensively. However, the loss of starting CB Nathan Vasher a few weeks ago has hurt the secondary and the other starting CB Charles Tillman injured his shoulder in the second quarter of last week’s loss to Atlanta. Backup CB Trumaine McBride and safety Danieal Manning also were injured in that game and Matt Ryan average over 10 yards per pass play. Vasher and Tillman are both listed as questionable and the Bears would be worse than average against the pass without them (and about average if one of them played), so the Vikings would have a chance to move the ball through the air. My math model projects Minnesota with a 4.8 yppl to 4.6 yppl advantage in this game if Chicago has one of their two starting cornerbacks in the game and Minnesota should win if their special teams don’t hurt them. However, that is not likely and I’ll call for a narrow Bear’s victory and a Vikings’ spread win on the basis of a 227-112-9 ATS statistical indicator that applies to Minnesota. Unfortunately, that angle is just 11-11-2 ATS if the other team is a division rival with revenge, which is the case here. I’ll still lean with the Vikings and hope Hester doesn’t take back a kick for a touchdown.
Baltimore 19 MIAMI (-2.5) 17
Miami has emerged as a pretty good team with a good offense that has racked up an average of 408 yards at 6.9 yppl in their last 3 games while often employing a direct snap to running back Ronnie Brown. For the season Miami has been 0.4 yppl better than average while Baltimore’s defense has been 1.1 yppl better than average – allowing just 4.1 yppl to teams that would combine to average 5.2 yppl against an average team. However, the absence of CB Samari Rolle has affected the pass defense, as it always does. Baltimore was great in pass defense last season with both Rolle and Chris McAlister playing, but the Ravens have not been nearly as good defending the pass when either Rolle or McAlister is out, as their depth at cornerback is not good. Rolle has missed 3 games so far and SS Dawan Landry was also injured in week 3 and is out for the season. In 3 games without Rolle and Landy the Ravens have allowed 6.6 yards per pass play to teams that would combine to average 6.5 yppp against an average team, so the Ravens have gone from great (allowed just 2.8 yppp in their first two games) to average against the pass. Rolle’s backup Fabian Washington missed last week’s game and the Ravens were exploited for 8.6 yppp by Peyton Manning and Washington is questionable to play this week. Baltimore is still great against the run (2.9 ypr allowed), but Chad Pennington should have success through the air in this game after averaging 7.2 yppp in his first 5 games with the Dolphins (9.4 yppp the last 3 games). Baltimore’s offense has averaged just 4.4 yppl and has not played one game in which they’ve averaged 5.0 yppl or more, but scoring against a sub-par Miami stop unit (0.2 yppl worse than average) will be easier than scoring against their 5 previous opponents, who collectively are 0.4 yppl better than average defensively. Overall the Dolphins do have an advantage from the line of scrimmage in this game, but the Ravens have a significant advantage in special teams and my math model favors Miami by 3 points, but 3 ½ or 4 points would be a more appropriate number if Washington misses another game (he’s questionable as of Wednesday night). The reason for leaning with Baltimore in this game is a very good 95-35-1 ATS bounce-back situation that favors the Ravens and has a 57% chance of covering at a fair line. The fair line depends on if Washington is healthy enough to start at one corner in place of Rolle while Frank Walker returns to the nickel back spot that he is more suited for. I’d prefer not to guess on whether Washington will play, so I'll just lean with Baltimore in this game.
CAROLINA (-3.0) 26 New Orleans 21
Both of these teams are proving themselves to be very good and I don’t like the idea of bucking either squad. Drew Brees was nearly perfect last week against the Raiders and he’s averaged an incredible 8.6 yards per pass play this season while leading his offense to 6.5 yards per play (against teams that would allow 5.3 yppl to an average team). That offense is supported by an improved defense rates as average against both the run and the pass after being horrible last season. Carolina’s strength is on defense, as the Panthers have yielded just 4.6 yppl to a schedule of teams that would combine to average 5.4 yppl against an average stop unit, so they should at least slow Brees down a bit. Carolina’s offense struggled to score last week in a 3-27 loss at Tampa Bay, but the Panthers have been 0.1 yppl better than average offensively since star WR Steve Smith returned from suspension in week 3. My math model favors Carolina by just 2 ½ points if Reggie Bush is at 100% for this game, but Bush missed practice on Wednesday and is listed as questionable with a bad knee. Bush really makes no difference offensively, as he’s averaged just 3.1 ypr and a mediocre 6.3 yards per pass thrown to him, but Bush has averaged 26.9 yards on 10 punt returns while returning 3 of those for touchdowns and his special teams contributions are worth about 3 points per game. I’d favor Carolina by 5 ½ points if Bush is not the punt returner, which may be the case even if he does play. Carolina is likely to bounce back from their 3 point performance last week, as teams with winning records are 46-19-4 ATS as home favorites of 3 points or more after scoring less than 7 points in a loss the previous week. I’ll lean with Carolina regardless of whether Bush plays or not for the Saints.
San Diego 24 BUFFALO (-1.0) 23
San Diego has is a very good offensive team that has averaged 6.2 yards per play against a schedule of teams that would allow 5.4 yppl to an average team, but the Chargers are a bit below average defensively (5.4 yppl allowed to teams that would average 5.2 yppl against an average defense) and this game is a toss-up. The Bills are certainly not as good as their 4-1 record would suggest, as Buffalo rates at 0.2 yppl worse than average offensively (5.4 yppl against teams that would allow 5.6 yppl) and 0.2 yppl better than average defensively (4.8 yppl allowed to teams that would average only 5.0 yppl against an average team. The Bills’ excellent special teams does make them a better than average team, but my math model favors San Diego by a point in this game.
NY GIANTS (-10.5) 31 San Francisco 18
The Giants caught a Cleveland Browns team in a very good situation on Monday night and were blown out 14-35, but that one bad game does not change the fact the New York is a very good team. New York’s offense has become one of the top two or three units in the league, as the Giants have averaged an incredible 6.4 ypr while Eli Manning has averaged 7.2 yards per pass play while throwing just 4 interceptions in 5 games (3 last week). Overall the Giants have been 1.4 yppl better than average offensively (6.8 yppl against teams that would allow 5.4 yppl to an average team) and they even averaged 6.9 yppl in last week’s loss. New York’s defensive numbers are medicore (4.9 yppl allowed to teams that would average 4.9 yppl against an average defense), but they were 0.6 yppl better than average through their first 4 games (4.2 yppl allowed to teams that would average 4.8 yppl) before giving up 8.1 yppl to the Browns – so I still consider them a better than average defense. San Francisco has the potential to be a solid team, as the 49ers are pretty good moving the ball on offense (5.6 yppl against teams that would allow 5.6 yppl) and decent defensively (5.3 yppl allowed to teams that would average 5.3 yppl against an average team). However, quarterback T.J. O’Sullivan has to cut down on his interceptions (8 in 6 games) and the Niners need to be a bit luckier (they are -5 in fumbles lost margin). My math model favors New York by 12 ½ points in this game, so I’ll look for them to bounce-back with a solid win at home.
Dallas (-7.0) 0 ST. LOUIS 0
I'm waiting to see if Tony Romo is indeed going to play with his broken pinky finger, but I'll be leaning with Dallas regardless. Check back later for a full analysis once a starter at quarterback has been named for the Cowboys.
HOUSTON (-9.5) 28 Detroit 18
Detroit was in a very good situation last week and nearly upset the Vikings before falling 10-12 in the final minute. The Lions were still out-gained 4.2 yards per play to 5.7 yppl in that game and they look like the worst team in the league. Detroit’s defense has allowed 6.7 yppl (to teams that would average 5.3 yppl against an average team) and the Lions are still 0.8 yppl worse than average defensively if you take out their game 1 disaster against the Falcons (9.2 yppl allowed in that game). Houston’s offense is solidly better than average again this season, averaging 5.6 yppl against teams that would allow 5.1 yppl to an average attack, and the Texans should rack up the yardage in this game. Detroit’s offense gave up all hope of being decent when the put veteran quarterback Jon Kitna in the IR and traded WR Roy Williams to Dallas on Tuesday. Williams was not having a good season, but his 5.9 yards per pass thrown to him is much better than the two receivers that will try to take his place (McDonald and Furrey have totaled just 126 yards on 38 passes intended for them – for 3.3 ypa). New quarterback Dan Orlovsky has averaged just 3.7 yards per pass play (against teams that would allow 5.6 yppp to an average QB) since taking over for Kitna and his numbers are likely to get worse without Roy Williams. Houston is 0.6 yppl worse than average defensively, but I rate Detroit at 1.3 yppl worse than average with their current personnel. Detroit applies to the same 50-20-3 ATS situation that applies to them last week while Houston applies to a negative 39-94-1 ATS situation, but I don’t see Houston taking this game for granted given their 1-4 record and I’ll lean slightly with the Titans despite the situations favor the Lions.
OAKLAND 19 NY Jets (-3.0) 18
The Raiders were destroyed last week in New Orleans, but Oakland had been extremely competitive in the 3 games prior to that game – beating Kansas City, losing at Buffalo by just 1 point and leading San Diego 15-0 before giving up a score in the final minute to lose to the spread. Oakland is bad, but not horrible, on both sides of the ball and they are likely to be competitive in this game based on the technical analysis in their favor. The Raiders apply to a solid 85-40-3 ATS home underdog bounce-back situation and a 165-99-8 ATS statistical profile indicator. My math model favors the Jets by 3 ½ points, so the line is pretty fair, but I’ll pass on making Oakland a Best Bet in this game given their 11-29-2 ATS record at home since 2003.
TAMPA BAY (-10.5) 26 Seattle 12
Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden is just 13-30 ATS in his coaching career at Oakland and Tampa as a favorite of 3 points or more the week following a victory and Seattle applies to a very strong 227-112-9 ATS contrary indicator. You’d have to be very contrary to want to be on Seattle, as the Seahawks are much worse than most perceive them to be (perhaps because they’ve been a pretty good team for many years). Seattle’s offense has had major issues at the receiver position all year and now All-Pro quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is out for a second straight week. Charlie Frye was a horrible starting quarterback in Cleveland and that apparently has not changed given the 64 yards on 26 pass plays with 2 interceptions he registered last week against the Packers. Seattle’s offense was horrible with Hasselbeck (1.1 yards per play worse than average for the season) and I rate the Seahawks’ attack at a pathetic 1.6 yppl worse than average with Frye at quarterback. Tampa Bay has a good defense that has surrendered just 5.2 yppl to a schedule of mostly good offensively teams that would combine to average 5.7 yppl against an average team, so they aren’t likely to give up many yards to Frye and company today. Tampa Bay’s offense has been just average on the season, but they rate at 0.4 yppl better than average with Jeff Garcia back in place of mediocre backup Brian Griese. Tampa should move the bal pretty easily against a Seattle defense that has allowed 5.7 yppl to teams that would combine to average 5.3 yppl against an average team. In addition to the huge difference from the line of scrimmage, you have interception prone Charlie Frye with his 4.2% career interception rate going up against Jeff Garcia, who has a career interception rate of just 2.3%. My math model projects a +1.0 turnover margin for the Bucs, who are also a bit better in special teams. If Tampa Bay were completely focused on this game they would probably win by about 3 touchdowns, but Gruden’s teams tend to letdown as favorites after a win and Seattle applies to that very strong contrary indicator. The technical analysis is still not enough for me to lean with the Seahawks in this mismatch of talent.
NEW ENGLAND (-3.0) 27 Denver 24
New England was destroyed last Sunday night in San Diego, but the public is still unwilling to accept the fact that the Patriots are a below average team. New England have been out-gained 4.7 yards per play to 6.0 yppl by a below average schedule of teams with their offense rating at 0.8 yppl worse than average and their defense rating at 0.6 yppl worse than average. The Patriots have beaten two sub-par teams in Kansas City and San Francisco, and their win over a pretty good Jets team was a bit of a fluke considering the Pats were out-gained 4.4 yppl to 5.4 yppl in that game. Denver, and their explosive offense, presents a problem for a defense that allowed 8.1 yppl and 38 points to Miami and 7.4 yppl and 30 points to San Diego – the only two better than average offensive teams that they have faced. The Broncos are bad defensively (6.4 yppl allowed to teams that would combine to average 5.3 yppl against an average team), but Denver’s defense is only 0.3 yppl worse than the Patriots’ offense while the Broncos’ attack (0.9 yppl better than average) has a 1.5 yppl advantage over New England’s defense. The Pats are good in special teams, but my math model favors Denver by 2 ½ points in this game. I’d really like to play Denver in this game, but New England applies to a very strong 135-65-5 ATS contrary indicator and a 62-22-2 ATS Monday night home team situation. My math model has been 59% over the years when the math prediction is 5 points or more away from the point spread, but the technical analysis favoring New England also has a 59% chance of working. I’ll have to pass on this game.
Re: SUNDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
DAL -7 vs STL
The Washington Redskins were in the worst spot of all NFL teams last week and who did they play? You guessed it the St. Louis Rams. The Rams were outgained by nearly 200 yards, but due to the Redskins sloppy play throughout the game - St. Louis pulled off the victory.Now enter the Dallas Cowboys - a team that's an AMAZING 14-1 ATS in their last 15 games following a road loss. That's right and they played deplorable football against Arizona last week.I'm not about to back a faulty 1-4 team that benefited from playing off a bye week and catching a double-digit favorite team napping. Romo or not - America's team big on Sunday.
MIA / BAL Under 36.5
Running the ball and defense.....That's how the Baltimore Ravens are going to try to win their first road game in quite some time.Baltimore hasn't allowed a 100-yard rusher in nearly two years and that's the basis of how Miami has been scoring points - establishing the run game and then letting Chad Pennington pick his spots. Problem is - Pennington can't extend the defense of Baltimore with his arm strength.The UNDER is 6-1 in the Ravens last seven games in playing the second game of back-to-back road games. That certainly helps with the UNDER being 4-1 in the last five meetings between these two clubs.On Miami's defensive end - they will certainly sure things up against the pass versus the Ravens, as Flacco has yet to prove himself as a drop back passer in this league. The UNDER is 22-5 in the Dolphins last 27 games after allowing 250 or more passing yards.Baltimore has been flexing its defensive strength as a road underdog of this type for years - with the UNDER being 34-16 in their last 50 getting seven points or less.
Re: SUNDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
TEN -9 vs KAN
Kansas City is in bad shape. Larry Johnson is suspended, the Tony Gonzalez mess is all over the media, including his tirades over not being traded, defensive leader Donnie Edwards is still out, and Herm Edwards has been under fire all week. DISTRACTIONS AND DIS-ILLUSIONS. They are off a bye wee after getting waxed 34-0 by Carolina and all these distractions pale by comparison to the fact QB Brodie Croyle gets the start against a Tennessee team who is undefeated, with a awesome front four, one of the best teams in the AFC who unlike Denver, who came in here not ready to play and KC beat them. Jeff Fishers boys will show up with a baseball bat bat and beat them badly on the line of scrimmage and dominate. KC Averages 13 points a game and give up 26 ppg. Crazy things happen in the NFL every week and it is not a good idea many times to lay 9 on the road, but this is a BAD KC team against a great team who is always ready to play and win. Word is QB Vince Young will see time as a slot back and at WR, possibly some direct snap plays as well. Titans simply too much for KC, it could get ugly.Play 1.5 Units by Tennessee - Top Play
SDC +1 vs BUF
Tim to look at schedules. Buffalo off a beat down 41-17 at Arizona before the bye week, and that was really the only good team they have played bewside JAX. The Bills do play well at home, but the Chargers here in a pick em type game have the better better QB, better RB and better defense. Hard to go against that, even on the road and off a confidence building butt kicking of New England where they dominated that game in every respect last Sunday Night. Trent Edwards will start for the Bills, but look for the Chargers to win this by a TD or more. Buffalos run of 4-1 included wins over St. Louis, Oakland Seattle, all teams with big losing records and 1 win over JAX when they were struggling. That is one quality win. The chargers got ripped off in Denver or would be 4-2 and I see them gain momentum as the seasons builds. Look for Sproles to have a big day on special teams here too.Play 1 Unit on the Bolts
2-Team 6- Point Teaser
NY Giants -4.5 / Houston -2.5 Play 1 Unit
Chicago / Minnesota OVER 38
This game always plays over and with such hype around both defenses, the bottom line is that Minnesota has let people run an throw all over them all season. Atlanta moved the chains at will last week against Chicago. Peterson from Minny ran for over 350 yards on the Bears last year, and although it will be tough to match those numbers again, he will move the chains. Bears 17-4 ATS on the OVER the last 21 at home, and Minny has went over in every game they played on the road this year. Many see this as a smash mouth NFC battle, but I think both teams care capable of 20+ points or more each.Play 1 Unit on the Over
Re: SUNDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
GBP / IND Over 47
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers was finally throwing the ball in practice on Thursday for the first time in several weeks, a sure sign he is getting back to 100 percent healthy after dealing with a shoulder injury. That will only help him against a depleted Colts defense that is missing top CB Kelvin Hayden and 2007 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Bob Sanders, who both remain out with knee injuries. The Ravens weren't able to take advantage of Indy last week at home, but Green Bay should be ready to explode and score at least four touchdowns for the first time since a 48-25 win at Detroit back on September 14th. The Colts are also starting to hit their stride offensively, putting up 31 points in back-to-back-wins against the Texans and Ravens. With Indy RB Joseph Addai sidelined the next few weeks with a partially torn hamstring, I expect QB Peyton Manning to air it out against a Green Bay secondary that is still hurting without CB Al Harris and S Atari Bigby. The OVER is 10-1 in the last 11 games on grass for the Packers and 7-1 in their last eight home games, so bet the OVER to cash here as well as my Triple Dime NFL Total Play O' the Month