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SUNDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
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We haven’t seen the Giants installed as underdogs since their incredible playoff run last year, when they were undervalued by bettors in each one of their four postseason victories. Frankly, I don’t believe that New York is priced properly in this ballgame either. We’re talking about a team that is 12-1 SU in their last 13 games away from home. The G-men are 8-1 ATS in their last nine tries as underdogs, reeling off seven outright upset victories during that span. And the Giants are primed to bring their ‘A’ game this week after relatively lethargic showings in each of their last two ballgames.
Clearly, the Giants had more than their fair share of trouble getting motivated for their last few games, an awful showing on Monday Night Football at Cleveland and a lethargic showing last week at home against the 49ers. Head coach Tom Coughlin: “I think we’re capable of playing a whole lot better than we did (against San Fran), but as I told the players, the objective was to win.” And the Giants did just that, winning and covering despite suffering one of the worst pointspread plays in football, the dreaded ‘blocked field goal returned for a touchdown’, a ten point swing. Take that single play out of the mix and we’re looking at a 32-10 Giants victory, a result that probably would have caused this pointspread to be much closer to ‘pick ‘em than it is.
The Giants match up extremely well with Pittsburgh on both sides of the football. We’ve seen the Steelers offense struggle twice so far this year, despite the fact that they’ve yet to beat a single team with a winning record in ’08. When the Steelers banged up OL (still missing guard Kendall Simmons and tackle Marvel Smith) faced the pressure defenses of Philadelphia and Baltimore, they simply couldn’t handle it. Ben Roethlisberger was sacked a whopping nine times in the 15-6 loss at Philly, as the Steelers managed just 180 total yards of offense.
Against the Ravens, the Steelers escaped with a three point win, but the offense gained just 208 yards and produced only 13 points in regulation. With Willie Parker expected to miss the game again this week and Rashard Mendenhall languishing on injured reserve, expect the Steelers to find rushing yards much harder for Mewelde Moore to gain this week than they were last week against the Bengals porous defense. And don’t expect Roethlisberger to be able to handle the steady diet of blitzes that Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo is sure to call – the Giants defense resembles Philadelphia’s more than any other team in the NFL.
The Giants, on the other hand, have the #1 rushing offense in the NFL, gaining 170 yards per game on the ground, averaging 5.6 yards per carry, by far the best in the league. Brandon Jacobs has 516 rushing yards and six touchdowns despite averaging only 16 rushing attempts per game. Derrick Ward has averaged 7.2 yards per carry for his eight rushing attempts. And the G-men’s offensive line has protected Eli Manning extremely well, allowing only six sacks all year on a QB who averages 31 passing attempts per game. There’s no reason to think that the Steelers suspect offense will be able to trade points with the Giants elite level attack. Wrong team favored here. Big Ticket: 6* Take the Giants.
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Pittsburgh -3 (8-3 run)10 STAR Game of the Week
Eli Manning vs Ben Roethlisberger Pittsburgh, first in the league in total defense (228.3 yards per game) and pass defense (158.7), is coming off a 38-10 wen vs Cincinnati last week. The Steelers held an opponent to less than 100 yards rushing for the fifth time this season, surrendered a season-low 128 passing yards and forced a turnover for the fifth time in six games. Steelers' 89 points allowed is the second-lowest total in the NFL. Their offense also appears to be coming around with a second consecutive game of at least 375 yards.
They already played poorly vs a previous winless team, St. Louis, 2 weeks ago so they should be more focused here. After overcoming a bad first half to survive another close call last week, they'll try to return to form by taking advantage of another of the NFL's worst teams. Jason Campbell is yet to be picked off this season. Detroit is in total disarray. They are 2-11 ATS their last 13 games.
Cleveland needs this game. They are 13-0 ATS playing a nondivision game off a nondivision game. The Cleveland defense is underrated, they have held 4 of 6 opponents to 14 points or less. They are on a 13-4 ATS run.
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5* NCAAF Sunday Night GOTY (ESPN) on Tulsa -23
Tulsa had only 2 conference losses a season ago. One of those losses was at UTEP by one point. Tulsa has its revenge last week with a 77-35 win. The other loss was a blowout defeat at UCF and the Hurricane will avenge that loss Sunday night. UCF loss to the UTEP team that Tulsa crushed by a score of 13-58 earlier this season. Plays against road underdogs of 21.5 to 31 points (UCF) - with an opportunistic defense - forcing 2.5 or more turnovers/game, after a game with a turnover margin of +2 or better are 23-3 ATS since 1992. Plays on favorites of 21.5 to 31 points (TULSA) - in conference games, after scoring 35 points or more in a win over a conference rival are 23-4 ATS the last 5 seasons. Take Tulsa.
5* NFL Underdog of the Year on Giants +3
I think New York's ferocious pass rush will be the difference in this one, just as it was in the Super Bowl. Philly's heavy duty pass rush really took a toll on the Steelers in their only loss of the season. The Giants are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games as an underdog, 8-1 ATS in road games when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 3 seasons, and 9-1 ATS vs. good passing teams with a completion pct. of 61% or better. over the last 2 seasons. The Giants are also 10-2 ATS in road games over the last 2 seasons. Pittsburgh is 0-8 ATS after scoring 35 points or more last game over the last 3 seasons. Bet the Giants.
4* Major AFC East Game of the Month on Bills -1
Miami is definitely improved, but it has lost two in a row and is only 2-4 on the season. Buffalo proved that it was for real once again last week with a 9-point win over San Diego, the third team its beaten that was in the postseason a year ago. The Bills are 7-1 SU & 8-0 ATS versus Miami the past 4 seasons. Buffalo is also on a run of 8-0 ATS in its L8 games against teams with a losing record. Miami has not been kind to backers at home. Miami has struggled to a 3-10-1 ATS mark in its L14 home games and is 11-29-1 ATS in its last 41 home games, not to mention 6-22-2 ATS in their last 30 vs. the AFC East. Take the Bills.
4* Major NFL Fade of the Week on Cardinals +4.5
Off a big blowout win over division rival New Orleans, I expect the Panthers to come out flat this week against a high-powered Arizona team. Arizona avoids any letdowns after a big win over Dallas because a bye week has allowed this team more time to get re-focused and prepared. Arizona is a strong 27-11 ATS vs. good teams - outscoring opponents by 6+ PPG on the season since 1992. Arizona is also 8-1 ATS vs. good passing teams averaging 7 or more passing yards/att. over the last 3 seasons. The Panthers are just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a SU win of more than 14 points. We'll fade the Panthers in this letdown spot.
3* SMASH on Ravens -6.5
After a thrilling OT win last week to snap a 3-game losing streak the Raiders will fall flat on their faces this week as they venture back out on the road. Oakland continued to struggle to score points and that does not bode well against a strong Ravens defense. The Ravens are a perfect 3-0 SU and ATS in their last 3 home games with Oakland. Plays against any team (OAKLAND) - average offensive team (4.9 to 5.4 YPP) against a team with a good defense (4.5 to 4.9 YPP), after allowing 375 or more total yards in 2 consecutive games are 25-5 ATS since 1983. Lay the points.
3* SMASH on Patriots -7
Monday night's big win over Denver did a ton for the confidence of QB Matt Cassel and also for the confidence that the Patriots have in him. I think that performance gains them more trust in Cassel and allows them to open up the offense a little more. The Rams are primed for a letdown this week coming off a big home win over Dallas. Against the AFC, St. Louis is 1-7 SU & 2-6 ATS in its last 8 games. The Patriots are 9-1 SU & 10-0 ATS vs. the NFC West under Bill Belichick. St.Louis is 6-16 ATS as a road underdog of 3.5 to 7 points since 1992 and 3-11 ATS in the first half of the season over the last 2 seasons while New England is 11-3 ATS in the first half of the season over the last 2 seasons and 11-1 ATS in October games over the last 3 seasons. Take the Pats.
5* AFC South GOTY on Colts +4
I like the Colts to spoil Tennessee brilliant start this week. Indy is coming off a terrible performance at Green Bay last week and it will be in full blown bounce back mode against its division rivals. Indy is 8-0 ATS when playing against a top-level team (Win Pct. > 75%) over the last 3 seasons, 6-0 ATS vs. very good defensive teams who give up 14 or less points/game over the last 3 seasons, and 6-0 ATS versus good rushing teams - averaging >=4.5 rushing yards/carry over the last 3 seasons. Plays on road teams (INDIANAPOLIS) off an upset loss by 14 points or more as a favorite, in weeks 5 through 9 are 26-6 ATS the last 5 seasons. Take the Colts.
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20 Unit NFL SUPER SMASH OF THE MONTH (63% NFL Season)
20 Units, Take San Francisco ATS, This pick falls into one of my top NFL systems and the 49ers are a lot better than their record might show because they have been very unlucky with turnovers. Seattle has struggled offensively on the road averaging just 205 ypg and 8.7 ppg. Seattle has also struggled over their last 3 games averaging just 183 ypg and Matt Hasselbeck is doubtful for this game which will not help matters. Seattle has struggled on the road defensively with opponents averaging 421 ypg against them and 32.7 ppg. Seattle is 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games after a ATS win and they are also just 1-5 ATS in their last 6 road games. Interim Coach Mike Singletary will have this 49ers team ready mentally and physically for this game after losing their head coach who was fired Tuesday. Take the 49ers as my NFL Super Smash of the Month and make sure you get on my NFL Total of the Month as my 63% NFL season continues.
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Nick "BookieKiller" Parsons
PHI -9 vs ATL
Including the postseason, the Eagles have excelled under head coach Andy Reid when coming off of a bye week. Philadelphia is 9-3 against the spread when coming off of a bye week. Even though Atlanta is also coming off of a bye week, it?s the Eagles that have proven in the past how much this situation favors them. Reid simply does a great job with his team when he has extra time to prepare. In this case, the Eagles are also getting a boost with the return to health of some key players. Finally quarterback Donovan McNabb should have his full complement of receivers to work with! Also, running back Brian Westbrook is expected to get some carries now that his recovery process (broken ribs) is further along. Additionally, the back-up running back, Correll Buckhalter has now had extra time to prepare for his increased load in terms of carries and he is explosive and could prove to be a difficult match-up for the Falcons defense. He will keep the Atlanta defense from just keying in on the pass and with those Eagles receivers now healthy, as well as McNabb looking as strong as ever, the Philly offense is dangerous in this spot! Defensively, the Eagles have been strong this season against both the run and the pass and this will spell trouble for a Falcons unit that is much stronger on the ground than through the air. The Eagles run defense has improved greatly in recent seasons and they can afford to focus on stopping the Falcons ground attack and, in doing so, simply challenge young Falcons QB Matt Ryan to beat them through the air. We just don?t see this Falcons offense as being capable of doing that and that?s a big part of the reason the Eagles dominate this game. Even though Atlanta is 4-2 on the season they?ve received some favorable scheduling situations plus they?re off of a last second win against Chicago in their final game before the bye. The Falcons are now facing an Eagles team that has outgained opponents by about 100 yards per game in their home contests this season. The Eagles defense has played a key role as, overall, they rank #2 in the league in terms of number of sacks and plus they hold opponents to an average of 91 yards rushing per game. Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson is a master of blitz packages and that should wreak havoc with young Falcons QB Ryan. In front of a frenzied home crowd, this one will be all E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!
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Tampa Bay / Dallas
Play: 5* Dallas -1 1/2
Dallas is scoring 27 points per game overall this year and 32 points per game at home this season. Buccaneers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. Buccaneers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game. Buccaneers are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games in Week 8. Cowboys are 20-7 ATS in their last 27 games after allowing more than 30 points in their previous game. Cowboys are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games in Week 8. Home team is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings. We'll play Dallas for 5 units today!
St Louis / New England
Play: 3* New England -7 1/2
New England is 11-1 ATS last 3 years when playing in October. St Louis is scoring only 16 points per game overall this year and 11.7 points per game on the road this season. St Louis is allowing 29.7 points per game overall this year and 30.7 points per game on the road this season. Rams are 15-36-1 ATS in their last 52 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. Rams are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games in Week 8. Rams are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games overall. Rams are 2-10 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. Patriots are 21-6-1 ATS in their last 28 games after accumulating less than 150 yards passing in their previous game. Patriots are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games when playing on Sunday following a Monday night game. Patriots are 20-7 ATS in their last 27 games following a SU win of more than 14 points. Patriots are 22-8 ATS in their last 30 games after accumulating more than 150 yards rushing in their previous game. Patriots are 19-7-1 ATS in their last 27 games in October. Patriots are 47-22-2 ATS in their last 71 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game. Patriots are 36-17-1 ATS in their last 54 games after allowing less than 15 points in their previous game. We'll play New England for 3 units today!
#18 Kyle Busch vs #20 Tony Stewart
Play: 3* #20 Tony Stewart +140
Rounding out my Top 5 and sitting in the 5th position is Tony Stewart. Stewart has 2 wins, 8 Top 5 finishes and 12 Top 10 finishes in his 19 starts in Atlanta. Stewart has an average finish of 12.0 in Atlanta which is 3rd best overall. Past 2 years, Tony Stewart's average finish at track type - FAST SUPERSPEEDWAY is 15.3. In 13 races, he has 0 wins and 6 top 10 finishes. Tony Stewart's average finish over the past 3 races is 12.7. In 3 races, he has 1 win and 1 top 10 finish. Kyle hasn't had much success on this track with an average finish of 19.9. We'll play Tony Stewart to finish ahead of Kyle Busch for 3 units today!
#88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. vs #24 Jeff Gordon
Play: 3* #24 Jeff Gordon +115
Then, back in my 3rd spot as my 3rd favorite driver today, I have to go with Jeff Gordon. Gordon has 4 wins, 13 Top 5 finishes and 20 Top 10 finishes in his 32 starts in Atlanta. Gordon has an average finish of 12.8 here in Atlanta which is the 4th best among all active drivers. Past 2 years, Jeff Gordon's average finish at track type - FAST SUPERSPEEDWAY is 13.3. In 13 races, he has 1 win and 9 top 10 finishes. We'll play Jeff Gordon to finish ahead of Dale Earnhardt Jr. for 3 units today!
#20 Tony Stewart vs #11 Denny Hamlin
Play: 3* #20 Tony Stewart -125
Rounding out my Top 5 and sitting in the 5th position is Tony Stewart. Stewart has 2 wins, 8 Top 5 finishes and 12 Top 10 finishes in his 19 starts in Atlanta. Stewart has an average finish of 12.0 in Atlanta which is 3rd best overall. Past 2 years, Tony Stewart's average finish at track type - FAST SUPERSPEEDWAY is 15.3. In 13 races, he has 0 wins and 6 top 10 finishes. Tony Stewart's average finish over the past 3 races is 12.7. In 3 races, he has 1 win and 1 top 10 finish. Hamlin hasn't done very well at this track with an average finish of 16.6. We'll play Tony Stewart to finish ahead of Denny Hamlin for 3 units today!
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Lenny Del Genio
CIN +10 vs HOU
Contrary to popular belief, there is value in playing on 0-7 NFL teams. While the prevailing thought is that these teams are tanking and done for the year, that is not neccessarily the case with winless teams. These teams will continue to play hard as they hope to avoid NFL history by going 0-16 SU. Backing up our point is the fact that NFL Underdogs off seven or more consecutive SU losses are 62-27 ATS (69.7%) since 1992. Put these dogs on the road and that percentage increases to 75.6% (34-11 ATS). The Houston Texans are the perfect opponent to go against here. They are just 1-5 ATS this season with pointspread losses to the likes of the Dolphins and the Lions. Covering spreads of this magnitude is something they are not accustomed to, which was apparent when they couldn't seal the deal against Detroit LW, as 9.5-point chalk, in a 28-21 win. The only other time Houston has been asked to lay this many points came in the final week of the 2004 regular season and they lost outright at home to Cleveland. Remember, if the line stays where it is, that DD favorites are just 2-10 ATS this season as detailed in our latest "School Is Back In Session" article. The Texans defense is allowing nearly 30 PPG on the year. There isn't much positive to say about the Bengals right now, but only one of their road losses this year came by more than nine points. They played well at both the Giants and Dallas and that is likely because there is less pressure on the road than at home, where they are getting jeered when they get a first down. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick actually looked more comfortable last week, which is encouraging. Texans are just 4-15 ATS off a home win during their existence. Cincinnati is our NFL Sunday SHOCKER of the Year.
BAL -7 vs OAK
By now, it's no secret that West Coast teams do not play well in the Eastern Time Zone in these early starts. They are now 1-8 ATS this season. Going back to 2002, they are 27-66 SU. Two weeks ago, Oakland had the benefit of coming off a bye week and still got smashed, 34-3, at New Orleans. Now, it's JaMarcus Russell and the rest of the pathetic Raiders offense against Ray Lewis and a Ravens defense that still ranks right at the top of the league. They entered Week 7 play ranked #1 in both total and rush defense. That means Russell is going to have to pass the ball, which he has yet to show the ability to do. The only team that beat up Baltimore this year was Indianapolis and that is because they have Peyton Manning. The other two Ravens losses both came by a field goal, to Pittsburgh and Tennessee no less, teams that have one loss between them. No one runs the ball well on Baltimore as they have not allowed a 100-yard rusher in 25 games, the longest such streak in the NFL. All the Raiders can do on offense is run. The Silver and Black average just 16 PPG this season while the Ravens are allowing 11 PPG in three home games. Take Baltimore.
NOS / SDC Over 44.5
Remember that this game is being played in London, for god-knows-what-reason. People will likely remember last year's 13-10 debacle, played between the Dolphins and the Giants, and are looking at this week's weather report. The oddsmakers certainly must be, as we can't understand why this posted total would be so low. This is a pair of teams that are all offense and no defense. Both teams started the season 3-0 Over, but have tailed off a bit. This matchup will rectify that. Sure, the Saints are without RB Reggie Bush, but they still have the league's #1 passing attack. That's worth noting because the Chargers defense is ranked 32nd (that's last!) in the league against the pass. New Orleans defense won't remind anyone of the 1985 Bears as they've allowed 30+ in three of their previous five games. They have allowed 31.5 PPG in their last four road games. Both teams are tops in their respective conference in yards per pass attempt (SD = 9.0, NO = 8.Cool. The defenses surrender 23 and 22 PPG. These are also two desperate teams in need of a win. Expect plenty of points in Jolly Old England. Over San Diego/New Orleans is our #1 NFL Total of the Week.
PHI -9 vs ATL
At first glance, this looked like a total overlay. Then, we remembered the Eagles are 9-0 SU and 7-2 ATS coming off a bye week during the tenure of HC Andy Reid, allowing an average of just 8.8 PPG. Secondly, we remembered that Atlanta was crushed by a combined 48-18 in the first two road games. Rookie Falcons QB Matt Ryan is improving, but that was a phony win over Chicago two weeks ago where they were outgained and outplayed. Atlanta's lone road win came against an injury-riddled Packers team. The bye week gave the Eagles a chance to get healthier, particularly at WR. It also gave DC Jim Johnson an extra week to come up with some complex schemes for a rookie QB. Philly is ranked #5 in total defense and faces a Falcons team that has won just two of its previous 13 road games. Atlanta is 0-4 ATS here in Philly, a streak that extends back to 1992. The Falcons can't match the Eagles offensive firepower. RB Michael Turner is inconsistent as he has failed to top 60 yards or score a touchdown in half of his games. Statement game for the Eagles. Take Philadelphia.
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Raiders/Ravens Under 35.5
The Raiders held a great QB in check last week and will look to build on that momentum against a rookie in Joe Flacco. Oakland will have a tough time scoring on a solid as usual Ravens Defense. Russell looked OK last week, but I do not see Oakland generating much offense. Take the Under.
Buffalo/Miami Under 42
Both teams are having solid seasons, but Buffalo has exceeded everyone's expectations. I still think the Bills are overrated and will be going up against an experienced Dolphins Defense. Miami will also be going up against a more experienced defense and neither team has the type of offense to blow you away. We could see wind gust of 40mph. That is tough on the kickers and the QB's. Take the Under.
Giants +3 over Steelers
The Giants are on a roll and are lucky they wont be getting Pittsburgh's best punch on offense with so many injuries. New York has a huge offensive line and big receivers which should give the Steelers a lot of trouble. The Giants are last years Champs and are playing like them. Take the Gmen.
Cincinnati/Houston Over 45
Ryan Fitzpatrick will be the man for the rest of the season under center for the Bengals. Fitzpatrick is a smart QB that should do alright against a suspect Texans Defense. Both teams have huge size mismatches of offense and should move the ball well today. The Bengals are a team that has nothing to lose and are very capable of winning this game. Look for the Bengals offense to find a spark and for Houston to take advantage of a bad Cincinnati defense. Take the Over.
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BALTIMORE –7 Oakland 36
Both teams come off wins but were out played at the line of scrimmage last week. Baltimore gained 5.9yppl to 6.2yppl for Miami. Oakland allowed the Jets 7.3ypr and were out gained 5.6yppl to 4.9yppl. The Raiders did hold the Jets to 4.3yps. Oakland averages just 5.4yps against 6.3yps and 4.9yppl against 5.5yppl overall. They have played pretty good defense in allowing just 5.5yppl against 5.6yppl but are allowing 4.6ypr against 4.1ypr. Baltimore averages just 4.5yppl against 4.9yppl on offense but is allowing just 2.9ypr against 3.8ypr and 4.4yppl against 4.9yppl overall. Numbers favor Baltimore by just five points and predict about 33 points. The Ravens do qualify in a fundamental rushing situation as long as they are favored by seven or less, which is 652-527-42, including a subset, which is 523-399-30. Oakland has been competitive in games against weak offenses and this is certainly one of them but the difference here is they are facing a very good and physical defense, which should be too much for Oakland. BALTIMORE 23 OAKLAND 10
San Diego –3 New Orleans 45 London
Chargers struggled at Buffalo last week allowing Buffalo to throw for 8.7yps and getting out gained 6.0yppl to 5.5yppl. They also lost the turnover battle 3-0. Even though they were out gained and lost the turnover battle pretty badly they still managed to keep the game close. New Orleans let me down in Carolina losing badly to Carolina 30-7 although they kept the game close at the line of scrimmage getting out gained just 5.6yppl to 5.5yppl. They did allow Carolina to throw for 8.4yps. The Chargers average just 3.8ypr against 4.2ypr but are throwing for 8.0yps against 6.3yps. They are allowing 5.4yppl against 5.4yppl on defense making them average. New Orleans averages just 3.6ypr against 4.1ypr but also throws the ball well at 8.1yps against 6.1yps for a total of 6.3yppl against 5.2yppl. They allow 5.3yppl against 5.4yppl making them average on defense as well. I don’t have any situations that apply to this game. Numbers favor SD by three points and predict about 57 points. SD has allowed an average of 26 points to the four teams they have played this year with above average passing offenses. NO has allowed an average of 32 points to the two teams they have played this year with above average offenses. Always a little risky taking the over in a game like this because you don’t know how tired the players are from all the travel but the number is reasonable and both teams throw the ball so well I expect there to be plenty of points. Certainly worth taking a shot. SAN DIEGO 30 NEW ORLEANS 27
NY JETS –13.5 Kansas City 39
KC was beaten badly last week on the scoreboard and at the line of scrimmage. They lost the game 34-10 and were out gained 7.8yppl to 4.8yppl. They allowed Tennessee to rush for 332 yards at 8.3ypr and to throw for 6.8yps. KC is now without both Brodie Croyle and Damon Huard for the season, which leaves them with Tyler Thigpen at quarterback. That is not a good option and probably means a lot of trouble for KC. The Jets lost in OT at Oakland last week but out gained the Raiders 5.6yppl to 4.9yppl. They rushed for 7.3ypr but threw for just 4.3yps. The Jets passing game has been well below average this year, which surprises me an awful lot. KC has been horrible this year and it won’t get any better. They average just 4.1yps against 6.0yps for a total of 4.2yppl against 5.3yppl. The defense has also been terrible, allowing 5.6ypr against 4.4ypr, 7.5yps against 6.3yps and 6.4yppl against 5.4yppl. The Jets average 4.5ypr against 4.2ypr but just 5.7yps against 6.5yps for a total of 5.2yppl against 5.5yppl. The defense has been good allowing just 3.1ypr against 3.9ypr and 4.8yppl against 5.1yppl overall. I don’t have any situations that apply to this game. Numbers favor the Jets by 14 and predict about 48 points. NY JETS 31 KANSAS CITY 17
Buffalo –1.5 MIAMI 42
Buffalo defeated SD last week by nine and out gained the Chargers 6.0yppl to 5.5yppl and also won the turnover battle 3-0. The game was closer than the final score, especially considering that Buffalo won the turnover battle by such a large margin and won the battle at the line of scrimmage. Miami lost at home to Baltimore but out gained the Ravens 6.2yppl to 5.9yppl partly because they averaged 8.0yps and threw 13 more passes than Baltimore. Buffalo averages just 3.6ypr against 4.4ypr but are throwing for 7.0yps against 6.7yps so they have been decent throwing the ball. They average 5.5yppl against 5.7yppl overall. They allow 4.9yppl against 6.1yppl. Miami has been good on offense, rushing for 4.1ypr against 3.9ypr and throwing for 7.3yps against 6.4yps for a total of 5.8yppl against 5.3yppl. They allow 7.4yps against 6.4yps so they have been susceptible to the pass and allow 5.6yppl against 5.3yppl overall. Miami qualifies in a fundamental rushing situation, which is 123-61-5. They also qualify in another rushing situation, which is 280-192-20. Numbers favor Miami by 2.5 points and predict about 37 points. I’ll give Miami a chance here with value and solid fundamental situations favoring them. MIAMI 23 BUFFALO 14
DALLAS –2 Tampa Bay 42.5
TB went through the motions last week in their win over Seattle, winning the game by 10 points and out gained Seattle 5.4yppl to 4.5yppl. They threw for 8.2yps and allowed an anemic Seattle passing offense to average just 3.2yps. They were held to just 2.6ypr, which was surprising and allowed a decent Seattle rush offense to gain 6.4ypr. Dallas was out played by the Rams although they did win the yppl battle, averaging 5.8yppl to 5.5yppl for the Rams. One reason for that is Dallas threw the ball 13 more times and averaged 5.9yps to help skew the averages. Dallas also lost the turnover battle 4-0, which hurt them badly. TB averages 5.2yppl against 5.3yppl but allows just 3.7ypr against 4.1ypr, 5.9yps against 6.7yps and 5.0yppl against 5.5yppl. Dallas averages 4.9ypr against 4.4ypr and 7.6yps against 6.1yps for a total of 6.4yppl against 5.3yppl. But, those numbers are mostly with Tony Romo at quarterback and it will be Brad Johnson again this week so those numbers won’t be close to the numbers this week. Dallas is getting worse each week on defense and injuries and suspensions are playing a big part of that. They allow 4.0ypr against 3.8ypr, 5.9yps against 5.8yps and 5.1yppl against 5.0yppl. Dallas does qualify in my turnover table, which is 384-245-18. Numbers favor Dallas by 3.5 points but those numbers also have Romo factored in. They project about 43 points. The situation favors Dallas but it’s hard for me to take a team that isn’t as good on defense. It’s hard to tell what they will get on offense this week, especially against a good defense like TB. TB hasn’t lost a game by more than four points this year so they figure to be competitive in this game as well. TAMPA BAY 23 DALLAS 20
PHILADELPHIA –9.5 Atlanta 45
Both teams come in off their bye week. Atlanta was last seen kicking a game winning field goal to defeat the Bears. Philly defeated the 49ers the week before their bye. Atlanta averages 5.0ypr against 4.5ypr and 6.7yps against 6.1yps for a total of 5.8yppl against 5.4yppl. They allow 4.3ypr against 4.0ypr, 6.3yps against 5.9yps and 5.5yppl against 5.0yppl overall. Philly gets back Westbrook this week. They average 6.9yps against 5.8yps and a total of 5.7yppl against 5.0yppl. They allow just 3.5ypr against 4.3ypr, 5.6yps against 6.3yps and 4.7yppl against 5.4yppl overall. Atlanta has struggled on the road against good defenses losing by 15 points to both TB and Carolina. They won at GB but allowed the Packers 6.6yppl in that game. Meanwhile, Philly has won all of their games by at least nine points. Numbers favor Philly by 7.5 points and predict about 46 points. Tough call for me but I will lean slightly to Philly simply because Atlanta has struggled on the road against the better competition. PHILADELPHIA 27 ATLANTA 17
NEW ENGLAND –7.5 St. Louis 42.5
The Rams got up early on Dallas last week and came after Brad Johnson forcing the Cowboys into four turnovers. St. Louis was out gained in the game 5.8yppl to 5.5yppl but that was mostly because Dallas threw the ball 13 more times to skew the numbers a bit. NE rolled over the Broncos with ease, out rushing Denver 6.8ypr to 4.1ypr and out gained the Broncos 5.9yppl to 4.7yppl. The Rams average just 4.9yps against 5.9yps and 4.6yppl against 5.0yppl overall. They allow 5.0ypr against 4.6ypr, 7.4yps against 6.5yps and 6.2yppl against 5.7yppl. NE averages just 5.3yps against 6.6yps and 4.8yppl against 5.6yppl. They allow 6.8yps against 6.3yps and 5.7yppl against 5.5yppl. I don’t have any situations on this game. Numbers favor NE by 6.5 points and predict about 39 points. Not much of an opinion for me here. NEW ENGLAND 24 ST LOUIS 14
CAROLINA –4 Arizona 43
Carolina blew out NO last week 30-7. They out gained NO 5.6yppl to 5.5yppl although NO threw the ball 17 more times to skew those numbers a bit. Carolina did average 8.4yps. Arizona was off with a bye week after defeating Dallas in OT the week prior to their bye. Arizona averages just 3.2ypr against 3.8ypr but is averaging 7.2yps against 6.0yps and 5.5yppl against 5.1yppl overall. They allow 5.6yppl against 5.6yppl to make them average on defense. Carolina averages just 3.7ypr against 4.2ypr but is averaging 6.9yps against 6.2yps and 5.3yppl against 5.3yppl overall. They have been very good on defense allowing just 5.2yps against 6.4yps and 4.6yppl against 5.4yppl overall. Carolina is 4-0 SU at home with every win by at least 15 points except their three point win over the Bears. Carolina qualifies in a fundamental rushing situation, which is 88-48-6. Numbers favor Carolina by four points and predict about 43 points. Carolina has played Arizona tough as of late, winning the last four meetings, including a 25-10 victory last year at Arizona. That game didn’t feature either teams starting qb’s. The situation favors Carolina and the value does as well once the situation is factored in. CAROLINA 24 ARIZONA 15
Washington –7.5 DETROIT 42
Washington dominated Cleveland last week and won the game but gave up a late td after holding Cleveland on fourth and goal. They quickly fumbled the ball to Cleveland right after that following a long run, which Cleveland then turned into the back door cover. Washington out gained Cleveland 5.9yppl to 3.6yppl, including rushing for 5.4ypr and holding Cleveland to just 3.5yps. Detroit fell way behind at Houston and then battled back for their own back door cover late in the game. They actually out gained Houston 7.1yps to 5.9yps, including throwing for 9.2yps. Those passing numbers were helped by a 96 yard touchdown pass or they would have been closer to about 5.9yps. Washington averages 4.7ypr against 4.2ypr and 5.5yppl against 5.4yppl overall. They allow just 5.4yps against 6.7yps and 4.8yppl against 5.6yppl. Detroit averages just 5.2yps against 6.2yps and 4.8yppl against 5.3yppl. They allow 4.8ypr against 4.2ypr, 8.2yps against 6.3yps and 6.4yppl against 5.4yppl. Detroit qualifies in a 78-32-6 situation that plays on winless teams. They also qualify in my turnover table, which is 384-245-18. Numbers favor Washington by nine points and predict about 34 points. Washington has yet to win a game by more than six points this year. Reluctantly I will lean towards Detroit because of the situations but it is a weak lean at best. WASHINGTON 21 DETROIT 14
JACKSONVILLE –7 Cleveland 42
Jacksonville comes in off their bye after having defeated Denver prior to the bye week. Cleveland lost but covered at Washington last week but were lucky to do so. They were dominated in the game, getting out gained 5.9yppl to 3.6yppl, including allowing the Redskins to rush for 5.4ypr and Cleveland only passed for 3.5yps. Cleveland has really struggled on offense this year, gaining just 4.8yps against 5.4yps and 4.4yppl against 4.7yppl overall. Their defense has been poor again, allowing 4.8ypr against 4.4ypr, 6.7yps against 6.0yps and 5.7yppl against 5.2yppl. Jacksonville has been average on offense gaining just 5.0yppl against 5.1yppl. They have played below average on defense allowing 4.5ypr against 4.1ypr, 6.8yps against 6.5yps and 5.8yppl against 5.5yppl. I don’t have any situations on this game. Numbers favor Jacksonville by just one point and predict just 32 points. Jacksonville has yet to win a game by more than seven points this year. I will lean with Cleveland who is getting points against a team who hasn’t proven they can win a game by a large margin and has a below average defense. JACKSONVILLE 17 CLEVELAND 14
PITTSBURGH –3 NY Giants 42.5
Pittsburgh dominated a bad Cincinnati team last week in their 38-10 win. They out gained Cincinnati 6.5yppl to 3.1yppl, including passing for 8.1yps to just 2.8yps for Cincinnati. The Giants defeated San Francisco by 12 points but were out gained pretty badly in that game, 5.1yppl to 4.3yppl, and won the turnover battle 3-0. They held the Giants to 3.5ypr and 5.2yps while throwing for 6.4yps themselves. The Giants average 5.6ypr against 4.3ypr and 6.8yps against 6.4yps for a total of 6.3yppl against 5.4yppl. They allow just 3.8ypr against 4.2ypr but are allowing 5.6yps against 5.1yps for a total of 4.9yppl against 4.7yppl. The Steelers have struggled on offense and will be without Santonio Holmes this week. They average 5.1yppl against 5.3yppl but their defense has been stellar. They are allowing just 2.9ypr against 3.8ypr, 4.1yps against 5.6yps and 3.7yppl against 4.8yppl. Pittsburgh qualifies in a home momentum situation, which is 79-34-6. They also qualify in a scheduling situation, which is 98-48-4. Numbers make this game a pick ‘em before accounting for the situations. With the situations I would make Pittsburgh a four point favorite. They predict about 43 points. This won’t be an easy game for Pittsburgh but their defense should be able to rattle Manning enough and the Giants defense is not playing as well as of late, which should give Pittsburgh some room to operate. Solid defensive team at home, with value and solid situations in their favor. PITTSBURGH 26 NY GIANTS 17
SAN FRANCISCO –5.5 Seattle 40.5
SF lost at the Giants last week but played well. They out gained the Giants 5.1yppl to 4.3yppl but lost the turnover battle 3-0. For the Giants, 15 of their 29 points came on very short drives. Seattle was dominated at TB and lost the game by ten points with a late score. TB seemed to sleep walk through the game. Seattle was out gained 5.4yppl to 4.5yppl, including passing for just 3.2yps. SF out played and defeated Seattle in an earlier meeting this year in Seattle. Mike Singletary takes over for Mike Nolan. Seattle averages 4.9ypr against 4.3ypr, which is very good but they are averaging just 4.2yps against 6.0yps and Senaca Wallace gets the start at quarterback this week so those numbers don’t figure to improve much. Seattle is allowing 7.3yps against 6.2yps and 5.6yppl against 5.4yppl overall. SF averages 4.4ypr against 4.1ypr but just 6.1yps against 6.6yps for a total of 5.4yppl against 5.5yppl. They allow 5.1yppl against 5.5yppl. I don’t have any situations on this game. Seattle would qualify in a generic situation, which is 50-21-1 if they would become a dog of more than six points. Numbers favor SF by just two points and predict 48 points being scored. I would consider the over in this game but Seattle has really struggled since Hasslebeck went out and I can’t trust them enough to get their share of points. SAN FRANCISCO 27 SEATTLE 23
HOUSTON –9 Cincinnati 44.5
Cincinnati was beaten badly last week against a very physical Steelers team. They were out gained 6.5yppl to 3.1yppl, including throwing for just 2.8yps and allowing the Steelers to throw for 8.1yps. The Houston passing attack is much better than the Steelers passing attack. Houston defeated the Lions 28-21 as they let the Lions back into the game. They were out gained in the game 7.1yppl to 5.9yppl but a 96 yard touchdown pass by the Lions somewhat skewed those numbers. Without that pass, the yards per pass number went from 9.2yps to 5.9yps. Cincinnati qualifies in a winless situation, which is 78-32-6. Houston qualifies in a negative situation, which is 123-60-5. They don’t qualify in the best part of that situation. Cincinnati averages just 4.1yps against 5.5yps and 3.7yppl against 4.7yppl overall. They have played good defense this year allowing just 5.1yppl against 5.3yppl. Houston has been very good on offense, averaging 4.4ypr against 4.1ypr, 6.5yps against 6.1yps and 5.6yppl against 5.2yppl. The defense has been horrible allowing 4.4ypr against 4.0ypr, 7.7yps against 6.1yps and 6.1yppl against 5.2yppl. Not sure how much Cincinnati will be able to take advantage of the poor pass defense with Fitzgerald but they do have quality receivers to do the job. Numbers favor Houston by just eight points and predict about 55 points. Everyone of the Texans games have totaled at least 43 points this year and there is some value to the over but not sure what we will get out of Cincinnati in this game. Houston should get to 27 points, which would mean Cincinnati needs to get to 17 points or so. They have only done that in two of their games, which isn’t good enough for me to play the over. HOUSTON 28 CINCINNATI 24
TENNESSEE –4 Indianapolis 40.5
The Colts have been a very average team this year and it showed again last week in Green Bay against a Packers team that is better than average but not great. Indy was out gained just 4.8yppl to 4.6yppl but got a good portion of their yards in mop up duty. They also turned the ball over twice, with both interceptions returned for touchdowns. Tennessee destroyed a bad KC team, 34-10, out gaining the Chiefs 7.8yppl to 4.8yppl, including rushing for 8.3ypr. Indy averages just 3.3ypr against 3.9ypr and 5.2yppl against 5.2yppl. Their defense allows 4.4ypr against 4.0ypr and 5.1yppl against 5.1yppl. Tennessee hasn’t been great on offense, averaging 4.5ypr against 4.2ypr but just 6.1yps against 6.6yps for a total of 5.2yppl against 5.4yppl. The defense is allowing just 3.6ypr against 4.0ypr, 4.8yps against 5.2yps and 4.3yppl against 4.7yppl overall. Tennessee qualifies in a scheduling situation, which is 98-48-4 and a Monday night situation, which is 26-8-2. They also qualify in a fundamental rushing situation, which is 652-527-42, including a subset, which is 523-399-30. In addition, they qualify in another fundamental rushing situation, which is 280-192-20. Numbers favor Tennessee by 11 points and predict about 35 points. Indy has played three games on the road this year. They won at Minnesota 18-15 but were down in that game 15-0 because Minnesota couldn’t put the ball in the endzone. The Tennessee defense resembles Minnesota’s defense but is better. They were getting blown out at Houston before some lucky turnovers went their way to allow them back into the game. And, they were blown out at Green Bay. None of those teams are as good as Tennessee. The only way Tennessee doesn’t cover here is they either turn the ball over or can’t score touchdowns, which allows Indy to possibly stay in the game. Plenty of value, solid situations and a much better defense laying a short number at home. TENNESSEE 23 INDIANAPOLIS 13
YTD 25-11 +38.70%
3% BALTIMORE –7 or less
3% MIAMI +1.5
3% CAROLINA –4
3% PITTSBURGH –3
3% TENNESSEE -4
3% SAN DIEGO/NEW ORLEANS OVER 45