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NFL Betting News and Notes Weeek 15

NFL Betting News and Notes Weeek 15

NFL Week 15 Opening Point Spreads and Early Line Moves
By: The Linemakers

Here’s your first look at the opening point spreads for Week 15 of the NFL season. Among the early action, the Falcons take money vs. the Giants, and bettors back the Broncos in their trip to Baltimore.


Bengals (-3) at Eagles

Cincinnati had its four-game win streak snapped with a home loss to Dallas. The Eagles upset the Bucs in Tampa, 23-21, for their second straight cover — but only their third of the season. Bettors laid the 3 with Cincy here, pushing the Bengals up to -3 (-120) for their trip to Philly next week.


Packers at Bears (no line)

Chicago continues to fade, losing and failing to cover for the fourth time in five games. In Week 2, the Bears lost in Green Bay, 23-10, as a 5-point dog.

Giants (-1) at Falcons

Bettors jumped on Atlanta as a home dog, pushing this line to a pick ‘em shortly after opening. The Giants rolled over the Saints, 52-27, on Sunday, while the Falcons were upset in Carolina, 30-20, for just their second loss of the season.

Bucs at Saints (-3/-120)

New Orleans’ playoff prospects are even dimmer now, after they were blown out in New York, and Tampa Bay couldn’t hold serve at home vs. the Eagles. This is the second meeting of these two NFC South foes, the Saints winning the first one, 35-28, as a 1-point favorite in Tampa.

Vikings at Rams (-3)

St. Louis got an ugly win in Buffalo, 15-12, while Minnesota beat Chicago, 21-14, as slight home dog. Both teams still have playoff aspirations.

Redskins at Browns (no line)

Both of these teams are hot. Cleveland has won three straight games and covered four straight. Washington got its fourth SU and ATS win in a row, at home vs. Baltimore. Robert Griffin III sprained his knee in that game, and this line won’t be posted until we know more about his status.

Jaguars at Dolphins (-7.5)

Miami failed to hold on for the cover as an 11-point dog in its 27-13 loss in San Francisco. Jacksonville lost at home to the Jets, 17-10. The Jags have been a great cover team on the road this season, compiling a 5-1 ATS record. The Dolphins are 0-3 ATS as a favorite. Jacksonville took some early money here, and the line was adjusted to Miami -7.

Broncos (-1) at Ravens

This line was bet up to -2.5 Sunday night, and it’s not hard to see why. Denver has won eight straight, and there are plenty of Ravens doubters out there, despite Baltimore's 9-4 record.

Colts at Texans (-8)

Indy pulled out a 27-23 win at home vs. Tennessee, pushing as a 4-point favorite. Houston has a big-time matchup in New England Monday night. The Colts and Texans will meet twice over the next three weeks.

Panthers at Chargers (-3)

These teams both pulled off upsets Sunday. Carolina money nudged this line to San Diego -3 (even) Sunday night.

Seahawks (-3) at Bills

It’s no secret that Seattle is better at home than on the road, but the Seahawks do have two wins – and have yet to be blown out – on the road (their biggest loss was by seven points in San Francisco). They’ll be laying points in Buffalo next week. Early action was on Seattle, and the line was moved to -3.5.

Lions (-5.5) at Cardinals

This line bounced back and forth between 5.5 and 6 Sunday night.

Steelers at Cowboys (pick ‘em)

Major playoff implications here. Dallas got an emotional win in Cincinnati but returns home, where it’s 0-6 ATS, to host Pittsburgh next week.

Chiefs at Raiders (-2.5)

Not exactly must-see TV, this matchup of AFC West dregs that have five combined wins between them.

49ers at Patriots (-3/-120)

Super Bowl preview? Perhaps. At the very least, a great test for both of these marquee teams.

Jets at Titans (-2.5)

There was some serious early movement on this less-than-enthralling Monday nighter. After opening -2.5, the Titans were bet up as high as -4, but bet against to as low as -1.5. The line settled on 2 later Sunday evening.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Weeek 15

NFL Week 15

Packers (9-4) @ Bears (8-5) —
Bears are 5-2 at home, and division lead is at stake here, but these are two teams going in opposite directions. Green Bay (-6) beat Bears 23-10 in Week 2 Thursday nighter, picking off four passes, holding Cutler to 11-27/74 passing; it was 7th win in last eight meetings in this ancient rivalry. Pack won three of last four visits here, winning 21-14/27-17 in last two. Pack won seven of last eight games, taking three of last four on road after losing first two away games- they’re 6-5 as favorites this year, 2-2 on road; since ’07, they’re 16-12 as road favorites, 9-4 in divisional games. GB ran ball for 152-140 yards last two weeks, converted 14-27 on 3rd down. Chicago is now 7-16 without Urlacher; they’ve lost four of last five games overall, allowing 176-171 rushing yards last two weeks. NFC North home favorites are 4-3 vs the spread. Last four Green Bay games stayed under the total.

Giants (8-5) @ Falcons (11-2) — Giants are 8-0 when they score 26+ points, 0-5 when they don’t; would expect strong effort for hosts after they got pasted at Carolina last week. Atlanta allowed 30+ points in both losses, but held six of last nine opponents to 20 or less points; they’re 6-0 at home, with five of six wins by 6 or less points. Falcons were held under 80 yards rushing in four of last five games; would expect them to try and run it here more (Giants allowed 207-142 rushing yards last two games). Giants are 3-3 on road, scoring 13-16 points in last two (two offensive TD’s on 20 drives)- they’re +5 in turnovers last three weeks, +16 for season. Big Blue whacked Atlanta 24-2 in LY’s playoffs, fourth straight series win (average score 29-14); Giants won last seven visits to Atlanta (last here in ’04), with last loss here at old Fulton County Stadium in ’78. Four of last five Giant games, three of last four Atlanta games stayed under the total. Underdogs are 13-4 vs spread in NFC East non-divisional road tilts. NFC South home teams are 6-11 against spread out of their division.

Buccaneers (6-7) @ Saints (5-8) — Both teams lost last three games, as playoff hopes slip away; Saints (-1.5) escaped Tampa with 35-28 back in Week 7, when Bucs’ tying TD on last play was waved off because WR stepped OB earlier on his route. Bucs outgained NO 513-458 that day; Freeman was 24-42/415 passing. This season series has split in each of last four years; Bucs are 3-2 in last five visits here. Tampa is 5-2 as underdogs this year, 3-0 on artificial turf; they’ve won three of last four road games SU. Saints allowed 35.3 ppg last three weeks; they’ve won three of last four home games, covered last four games as a favorite (4-3 for year). Brees threw nine picks in last three games, as -6 turnover ratio in those games doomed playoffs chances on Bourbon Street. NO had 30-yard disadvantage in field position last week, which doesn’t count KR they allowed for TD. NFC South home teams are 5-3 vs spread. Three of last four Tampa games stayed under total; four of Saints’ last five games went over.

Vikings (7-6) @ Rams (6-6-1) — St Louis is getting most out of team with limited offense, winning last three games despite scoring three offensive TDs (defense also scored three); Fisher’s spunky bunch is 6-1 vs spread this year in games with spread of 4 or less points. Rams are 4-2 at home, 0-1 as favorites; their home wins are by 3-6-14-3 points. Since 2004, Rams are just 8-18 vs spread as home favorites. Minnesota is 1-5 on road, 1-3 as road dogs; they didn’t scored offensive TD (had two return TD’s) in only road win, 20-13 at Detroit in Week 4. Since 2008, Vikings are 10-15-1 as road dogs. Vikes are 2-3 in five visits here, with coming in ’09; average total in last eight series games, 57.1. NFC West home favorites are 6-4 vs spread. NFC North road dogs are 1-5. Last three Minnesota games stayed under; five of last seven Ram games went over (last two stayed under). Rams are 4-2 SU (5-1 vs spread) when game stayed under, 2-4-1 SU (4-3 vs spread) when it goes over.

Redskins (7-6) @ Browns (5-8) — Health of RGIII (knee) key issue here, since rookie Cousins gets first NFL start if Griffin can’t go. Washington won/covered last four games, beating three division rivals and regional rival Ravens, with Cousins leading tying drive in last minute last week. Skins are 3-3 on road, 4-1 as road underdogs, with five of six games going over total- their road losses are by 3-4-15 points. Redskins averaged 168.2 rushing ypg in last five games, but lot of that was RGIII’s mobility on read option plays- Cousins won’t be doing that. Browns gave up 80-yard run on first play last week but then blanked Chiefs rest of way- they’re 2-0 vs spread as favorites this year (last two games). Cleveland won/covered its last three games, allowing 12.7 ppg (4 TD’s on 36 drives); they won four of last five games, are 5-3 SU since 0-5 start. NFC East road underdogs are 8-3 vs spread. AFC North home favorites are 5-7. Under is 6-0-1 in Browns’ last seven games.

Jaguars (2-10) @ Dolphins (5-8) — Miami lost five of last six games after 4-3 start; only two of its five wins are by more than 4 points. Dolphins are 0-3 as favorites this year; since ’03, they’re 8-33 vs spread as a home favorite. Yes, 8-33. Jax is 5-1 vs spread on road, despite winning only one of six games; their road losses are by 3-3-9-6-16 points; only win was 22-17 at Indy, when they hit 80-yard TD pass in last 2:00. Only non-cover was 34-18 at Buffalo in last road game, two weeks ago. Jags are just 3-26 on 3rd down in last two years; they’ve been outsacked 14-2 last three games. Home team lost last three series games, with average total 30.7; Jaguars won 24-10 in only visit here, in 2006. Under is 6-2-1 in last nine Dolphin games, 1-3 in Jaguars’ last four road games. In fairness, Miami’s last three games were vs Seattle-49ers-Patriots, three playoff teams, but hard to endorse them laying seven points. AFC East favorites are 10-7 vs spread, 6-5 at home.AFC South underdogs are 11-12, 6-7 on the road.

Broncos (10-3) @ Ravens (9-4) — A winning team firing its OC on December 10, after game where Ravens scored 28 points, but defense gave up tying score in last minute? All is not well in Baltimore, where eight of 13 Raven games were decided by 3 or less points. New OC Caldwell (former Colt coach) has never called plays at this level, bad news vs Denver team that won its last eight games (6-2 vs spread) after 2-3 start vs brutal schedule. Broncos are 5-2 SU on road, 3-1 vs spread as road favorites. Ravens are 5-1 at home, losing only to rival Steelers; they’re 1-2 as underdogs this year. Since 2003, they’re 5-7 as home dogs, but this is first time since ’09 they’re in that role. Denver kept four of last five opponents under 75 rushing yards; curious to see how Ravens’ offense is different this week. Five of six Raven home games went over total, as did six of last nine Denver games. You knew Ravens had issues when they split pair of 3-point decisions with Big Ben-less Steelers.

Colts (9-4) @ Texans (11-2) — Storybook Colts won three in row, seven of last eight games; seven of their nine wins are by 4 or less points, or in OT. Three of their four losses are by 20+ points. Indy is just 2-3 as road underdogs this year; that includes wild 35-33 comeback win over Lions (two TDs in last 2:39) two weeks ago. Short week for hosts after Monday night debacle in Foxboro; they crushed the Ravens week after their first loss. Since ’09, Houston is 12-10-1 vs spread in game following a loss. Texans are 4-2 as home favorites, losing to Packers, winning at home by 20-24-30-12-6 points. Indy has three return TDs in last five games, but 18 of their last 21 offensive TDs came on drives of 74+ yards. Houston clinches division with win here, could blow #1 seed in AFC with loss; they’re 3-17 all-time vs Indy, but won last two meetings here, 34-24/34-7. AFC South home teams are 2-7 against spread, 1-4 when favored. Three of last four games for both sides went over the total.

Panthers (4-9) @ Chargers (5-8) — Carolina coach Rivera came to Panthers from San Diego; now both staffs are likely to be unemployed in three weeks. Panthers split last six games after 1-5 start; they won two of last three road games, covered four of last five- their road losses are by 6-2-1-6 points. As bad as they are, Carolina was favorite in three of first six road games- they’re 3-0 as road underdogs. San Diego had unlikely win at Pittsburgh last week; hard to tell how much of a carrot potential 8-8 finish is to players. Chargers lost four of last five home games, scoring one offensive TD on last 22 home drives- they’re 4-3 as favorites this year, 2-2 at home, Since 2010, Bolts are 10-8 as home favorites. Home side lost three of four in seldom-played series; Panthers won both visits here, 26-7/26-24. NFC South road underdogs are 9-3 vs spread. AFC West favorites are 6-5 against spread, 4-3 at home. 7 of last 10 San Diego games, four of last five Carolina games went over the total.

Seahawks (8-5) vs Bills (5-8) (Toronto) — Seattle heads to Canada winners in four of last five games, but they’re 2-5 on road, winning 16-12 (+3) at 4-9 Carolina in Week 5, 23-17 (OT, +3) at skidding Bears two weeks ago. All seven Seahawks road games were decided by 7 or less points. Marshawn Lynch will be fired up to run pigskin against his old team; Seattle ran ball for 176-284 yards last two weeks. Bills held last four opponents under 90 rushing yards- their goal here has to do same with Lynch and make rookie QB Wilson beat them passing, which he hasn’t been that good at on road, averaging 17 ppg on road (21-23 in last two away games). Buffalo lost five of last seven games after hopeful 3-3 start; they blanked Redskins in Toronto LY, snapping 3-game skid north of border. Bills are 2-5 vs spread as underdog this year; they’re 11-16-3 vs spread in last 30 games vs NFC teams. Five of last six Seattle games went over total; only one of Buffalo’s last four games did. Average total in last seven series games is 47.6. NFC West favorites are 8-6; AFC East underdogs are 8-8.

Lions (4-9) @ Cardinals (4-9) — Detroit tied NFL record last week by losing third game in row, when they led by 10+ points in all three games; good news is they led by 10+ points- if they get up 10 on Arizona, how can inept Redbirds come back? Cardinals do not have NFL-level QB on their roster; they were down 38-0 at half last week in Seattle, their ninth loss in row after 4-0 start. Arizona has five TDs on last 78 drives, while allowing five return TDs during same span- they’re 5-4 vs spread as a dog this year, and are 3-3 SU at home. Lions lost five games in row, allowing 32 ppg in last three- they’re 2-5 on road, winning by 3 at Philly, 17 at Jax’ville. Detroit is 2-5 as favorite this year; over last 11 years, they’re 2-6-2 vs spread when favored on foreign soil. Lions lost last five visits to desert; their only win here was in ’93. Seems like long time ago (Week 2) Arizona beat the Patriots in Foxboro. NFC North favorites are 10-13 vs spread, 4-3 on road. NFC West underdogs are 13-6 vs spread, 4-1 at home. If you wager on this game, report directly to your nearest GA meeting.

Steelers (7-6) @ Cowboys (7-6) — Dallas is 2-6 vs spread when favored this year, 0-5 at home; since start of 2010, they’re 3-16 vs spread as a home favorite, but they’ve won three of last four games overall, despite being outscored 71-23 in first half of those games. Dallas scored average of 23.4 ppg, just in second half of last five games. Free-falling Steelers (lost three of last four games) allowed Chargers to convert 12-22 on 3rd down last week in ugly 34-24 home loss (San Diego had converted 10 of previous 43 3rd downs coming in). Pittsburgh ran ball for 71.3 ypg last three weeks; even Big Ben’s return didn’t help. Underdogs covered last six Steeler games; Pitt is 3-4 SU on road, 2-1 as road dogs, losing away games by 12-3-3-6 points. Teams split 30 series games, but Steelers won last two 24-20/20-13, and won two of three Super Bowl meetings, but they’ve lost seven of last nine visits here. Four of last five Dallas home games went over the total. NFC East home favorites are 5-8 vs spread; AFC North underdogs are 6-8 against the spread, 3-6 on foreign soil.

Chiefs (2-11) @ Raiders (3-10) — Never thought I’d see day where these two teams are among NFL’s worst. Visitors won 10 of last 11 series games; Chiefs won eight of last nine visits here, but lost nine of last 10 games overall, losing last four away games by 28-18-3-23 points. KC is 2-4 as a road underdog this year, after being 21-14-1 from 2007-11. Oakland lost last six (0-6 vs spread) games, scoring 13.3 ppg in last three games; they’re 0-3 as favorites this year; since 2003, they’re 8-22 vs spread when favored at home. Raiders’ wins this year are by 3-10-3 points, so difficult to lay FG. Chiefs’ offense is horrific, scoring 13 or less points in five of last six games; they’ve scored six TDs on last 61 drives. Last three Oakland games, four of Chiefs’ last five games stayed under the total. Road teams covered six of nine AFC West divisional games; home favorites are 2-3. Much like the Detroit-Arizona game, not much to choose from here.

49ers (9-3-1) @ Patriots (10-3) — New England off impressive thrashing of Texans Monday night; they have to keep going, since Broncos are on their tail for #2 seed in AFC, which brings first-round bye in playoffs. Patriots won last seven games, covered three of last four; they’re 3-3 as home favorites, winning last five games in Foxboro by 10-3-6-35-28 points. Pats scored 11 TDs on last 21 drives at home, against teams with combined record of 20-6. 49ers are 4-2 on road, with both losses in domes (Vikings/Rams); they scored 13-3-13 points in three losses, 24 in their tie. Patriots held last three opponents under 20 points, but they’re hardly dominant defensive team, instead relying on takeaways (+24 turnover margin). 49ers are 4-1-1 vs spread last six times they were an underdog. Brady is from northern California, so this game figures to be special for him. 10 of last 11 Patriot games, four of last five Niner games went over the total. AFC East favorites are 10-7 vs spread, 6-5 at home. NFC West road dogs are 9-5.

Jets (6-7) @ Titans (5-8) — As bad as the Jets have been, as awful as their QB play has been, they close with Titans-Chargers-Bills; its not impossible they could still make playoffs. Go figure. Gang Green won three of last four games, allowing 13 or less points in all three wins; they’re 3-3 on road, losing at Pitt-Foxboro-Seattle. Tennessee lost four of last six games, as young QB Locker gets experience; he’s kind of a right-handed Tebow, athletic as hell, not an accurate passer. Titans are 2-4 at home, with both wins by a FG (Lions/Steelers). Jets ran ball for 177-166 yards last two games, as they try to take pressure off Sanchez, who has horrible set of WRs; expect more of same here. Jets won five of last six series games, winning three of four here, but last of those was in ’08. AFC East road underdogs are 5-7 vs spread; AFC South home favorites are 5-1. Did you know before the Jets were the Jets, they were the New York Titans?

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Weeek 15

NFL: Streaks, Trends, Notes

Seattle Seahawks vs Buffalo Bills

The Seattle Seahawks (8-5, 9-4 ATS) annihilated the Cardinals 58-0 this past Sunday. In week-six the Bills (5-8, 6-7 ATS) needed over time to beat Cardinals 19-16. Enough said, The offensively challenged Bills (22.2) facing the leagues second best scoring defense (15.5) sets up another shellacking for Seahawks at Bills once-a-year game north of the border at the Rogers Center in Toronto. Lay the small number (-5.5) knowing Bills are on a 2-12 ATS skid scoring 21 or less points and that Seahawks sport a smart 20-2-1 ATS streak allowing 21 or less points.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Dallas Cowboys

Pittsburgh (7-6, 5-7-1 ATS) crushed 34-24 by Chargers this past week leaving Steelers tied with the Bengals for the final AFC Wildcard spot makes this a "must win" situation. Steelers gave up 200 passing yards to the Chargers ending a seven-game streak holding offenses below 200 so expect the defensive minded Steelers allowing a league best 262.4 total yards split between 169.2 passing, 93.2 rushing yards/game to get back on track against the mistake-prone Romo and company. Look for Steelers to avoid elimination moving to 5-2 ATS after allowing 200 passing yards. 6-0 ATS off a home loss as a favorite.

San Francisco 49ers at New England Patriots

New England Patriots (10-3, 8-5 ATS) sent a very clear message on Monday night that they're the class of the NFL with a 42-14 thrashing of AFC-leading Houston Texans easily cashing as 5.5 point favorites. Next up, another classic matchup of Patriots' vaulted offense vs a top notch defense in the San Francisco 49ers' (9-3, 8-5 ATS) which allows a league second best 275.5 total yards, split between 184.7 passing, 90.8 rushing yards/game. Still, were recommending Patriots knowing the 'Brady Bunch' always play well down the stretch on it's own turf in Gillette Stadium. Patriots are on a 20-0 (12-8 AT) stretch in December home games including 6-0 ATS laying less than a touchdown. Patriots ridding the momentum of a 7-0 streak (5-2 ATS) move to 6-2 SU/ATS hosting an NFC West opponent while 49ers extend their drought vs New England to 0-4 SU/ATS and fall to 0-12 ATS on the road in the month of December.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Weeek 15

NFL Poolies Betting Cheat Sheet: Week 15

Check out our NFL poolies' cheat sheet for all your football wagering needs in condensed form. Quick-hitting betting notes on all of Week 15's action.

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears (3, 43)

The Packers can clinch their second consecutive NFC North title with a win over the Bears. Green Bay rallied from an early two-touchdown deficit to post a 27-20 triumph over Detroit last weekend and pick up its seventh win in its last eight games. Linebacker Clay Matthews (hamstring) is in line to return after a four-week absence, but veteran S Charles Woodson (broken collarbone) will spend another game on the sidelines. Chicago suffered its fourth loss in five games with a 21-14 setback to Minnesota last Sunday. Jay Cutler suffered a neck injury versus the Vikings, but is expected to play and attempt to end the Bears' five-game losing skid to the Packers. These teams have played under the total in nine of the last 10 meetings.

New York Giants at Atlanta Falcons (-1, 51)

The Falcons’ running game is ranked 28th in the NFL, averaging 86.9 yards per game - 68.4 over the past five contests. Michael Turner and Jacquizz Rodgers combined for a season-low 35 yards on 11 attempts in last week's 30-20 loss at Carolina. The Giants boast a defense that is second in the league in forcing turnovers (34) and interceptions (20). New York steamrolled the Saints 52-27 last week and has won four straight over Atlanta. The Giants are the only NFC team Matt Ryan has yet to beat. The under is 4-0 in Atlanta's last four games.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints (-3.5, 53)

The Buccaneers will look to snap a three-game losing skid and keep their faint postseason aspirations alive when they visit the New Orleans Saints. Tampa Bay saw an 11-point fourth-quarter lead evaporate in short order before dropping a 23-21 decision to reeling Philadelphia last week. Tampa Bay also squandered a double-digit lead en route to dropping a 35-28 decision to New Orleans on Oct. 21. Drew Brees tossed four touchdowns in that contest, but has thrown seven interceptions over the last two games. New Orleans' defense is yielding a league-worst 436.9 yards per game - nearly 43 yards more than 31st-ranked Jacksonville. The Bucs are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven games overall and have played over the total in their last four road contests.

Minnesota Vikings at St. Louis Rams (-1, 39)

The Vikings ended a two-game skid and breathed life into their playoff hopes with a 21-14 home win over Chicago last Sunday.  Running back Adrian Peterson carried the ball a career-high 31 times for 154 yards in the win and is averaging more yards per rushing attempt (6.04) than QB Christian Ponder averages per pass attempt (5.99). The Rams have remained in playoff contention by winning three in a row.  St. Louis has not allowed an opposing running back to gain more than 65 yards in four straight games. They held Buffalo's sixth-ranked rushing attack to 61 yards - 80 below its season average - in a 15-12 road win last Sunday. The Rams are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games against opponents with winning records.

Washington Redskins at Cleveland Browns (1, 43.5)

Robert Griffin III and his sprained lateral collateral ligament are getting all of the attention this week. The rookie QB has practiced on a limited basis and will likely be a game-time decision. The Browns’ current three-game winning streak is their longest since 2009. Cleveland has held its last three opponents to an average of 12.7 points while forcing 11 turnovers. The Browns are 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Miami Dolphins (-7, 37.5)

The Jaguars try to avoid losing five in row on the road for the first time in nine seasons against a Dolphins team that's dropped five of six overall. Jacksonville RB Maurice Jones-Drew (foot) is likely to miss his eighth straight game, but WR Cecil Shorts (concussion) could return Sunday. Jacksonville ranks 31st in total offense and defense, averaging 282.9 yards per game and allowing 394.5. The Dolphins have played under the total in their last six games against AFC foes.

Denver Broncos at Baltimore Ravens (3, 48)

The Ravens have lost back-to-back games in the regular season for the first time since the 2009 season. They went 54 straight games without suffering a two-game losing streak and they could receive a huge boost at the linebacker position on Sunday. Terrell Suggs (bicep) may be back this week after sitting out against Washington and there's a chance Ray Lewis (triceps) could play for the first time since Week 6. Broncos QB Peyton Manning looks to help guide Denver to its ninth straight victory overall while winning his ninth consecutive start against the Ravens. The Broncos have dropped each of their last five trips to Baltimore, including the last two by a combined 37 points. Denver is 4-1 ATS in its last five road games.

Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans (-9.5, 48)

The Texans look to rebound from a blowout loss to the Patriots and prevent the surging Colts from securing a playoff berth as these teams meet in Houston for the first of two meetings over the final three weeks. The Texans offense has stumbled in the last two games, being held under 340 total yards in both while going 8 of 31 on third downs. Indianapolis has won three straight and seven of eight, moving into position to join the 2008 Miami Dolphins as the only teams to lose at least 14 games one season and qualify for the playoffs the following year. The Colts are 7-1 ATS in their last eight overall.

Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals (6, 43.5)

Arizona Cardinals quarterbacks have not thrown a touchdown pass in the last four games, but they have tossed three interceptions that have been returned for touchdowns in that span. Coach Ken Whisenhunt has named Ryan Lindley his starter this week after John Skelton failed to lead the offense to a single point in last week’s blowout loss to the Seahawks. Lions WR Calvin Johnson has 120 receptions for 2,106 yards in his last 16 games. The 2,106 receiving yards are the most over any 16-game stretch since 1960 and Johnson is currently 302 yards short of Jerry Rice's single-season record of 1,848 receiving yards set in 1995. The Cardinals are 0-4 ATS in their last four home games.

Carolina Panthers at San Diego Chargers (-3, 44.5)

The Chargers lost four straight before last Sunday's 34-24 victory in Pittsburgh, their first win against a team with a winning record. San Diego finally found a way to protect QB Philip Rivers, who was only sacked once in the victory and matched a season high with three TD passes. Rivers has been sacked 37 times this year – second most in the league. Carolina's 30-20 victory last week over Atlanta was by far the highlight of its season. The Panthers racked up a season-high 475 yards on the Falcons and have played over the total in their last five games.

Seattle Seahawks vs. Buffalo Bills (5.5, 43.5)

Seattle set a franchise record for points and matched its second-highest takeaway total with eight in its rout of Arizona last week. The Seahawks are one win away from clinching their first winning season since 2007 and will have CB Richard Sherman in the lineup for another week, after his appeal for his four-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs was delayed. The Bills appear destined to miss the playoffs for the 13th consecutive season after falling 15-12 to the Rams in Week 14. Buffalo doesn’t have a true home advantage in this one, as the game is being played at the domed Rogers Centre in Toronto. These teams have played over the total in their last seven meetings.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Dallas Cowboys (1, 44)

The Cowboys and Steelers will try to boost their postseason odds when they meet in Dallas. The Cowboys suffered a big blow when WR Dez Bryant fractured his left index finger in last week’s win over the Bengals. However, Bryant intends to delay surgery and suit up. Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger looked a little rusty in his return from injury last week, but it’s the depleted secondary that will concern coach Mike Tomlin this week. Ike Taylor will miss his second consecutive game due to a broken right ankle, while Keenan Lewis and Cortez Allen are questionable with hip flexor ailments. The Cowboys are 0-6 ATS at home this season.

Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders (-3, 44)

Kansas City looks for its ninth victory in its last 10 visits to Oakland without top receiver Dwayne Bowe (ribs) when these AFC West rivals meet. Oakland, which has lost six straight since beating the Chiefs on Oct. 28, hopes to have both RB Darren McFadden (ankle) and DE Richard Seymour (hamstring) back in the lineup. The Raiders are 0-6 ATS in their last six games overall.

San Francisco 49ers at New England Patriots (-5, 46)

The New England Patriots have scored more points in their last five games (210) than the Arizona Cardinals (186) and Kansas City Chiefs (195) have scored all season. Furthermore, The Patriots have put up 284 points in their last seven contests. That is more than 13 NFL teams have scored in the entire season.  Niners LB Aldon Smith has as many sacks in the last six games (14) as the Jacksonville Jaguars have all season. Smith, who has 19.5 sacks on the season, is three away from tying Michael Strahan's record mark of 22.5 set in 2001. San Francisco has played over the total in four of its last five games overall.

New York Jets at Tennessee Titans (-1, 41)

The Jets have posted ugly back-to-back wins, totaling 559 yards of offense over the last two games. Mark Sanchez continues to struggle, passing for just 208 yards with three interceptions during the win streak. The Titans, who have dropped three straight, were dealt a blow last Sunday when TE Jared Cook was lost for the year with a torn right rotator cuff. Cook is second on the team in receptions (44) and third in yards (523). The Jets are 6-0 ATS in their last six meetings.

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Packers at Bears: What Bettors Need to Know

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears (1, 43)

The Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears are trending in opposite directions. Winners of seven of their last eight games, the Packers can clinch their second consecutive NFC North title at the expense of their longtime rival on Sunday. Green Bay continued its rapid ascent after rallying from an early two-touchdown deficit to post a 27-20 triumph over Detroit last weekend.

Chicago also faced off against a division foe last week but suffered its fourth loss in five games with a 21-14 setback to Minnesota. Jay Cutler suffered a neck injury versus the Vikings, but he is expected to play and attempt to end the Bears' five-game losing skid to the Packers. He'll need to do better than his four-interception performance in a 23-10 loss to Green Bay on Sept. 13.

LINE: Packers -1, O/U 43

WEATHER: Forecasts are calling for temperatures in the mid-40s with a 30 percent chance of rain. Winds will blow out of the SW at 13 mph.

ABOUT THE PACKERS (9-4): Beware of the vaunted Green Bay ... running game? The trio of Alex Green (career-high 69 yards), practice squad call-up DuJuan Harris (31 yards, touchdown) and veteran Ryan Grant made their presence felt last week. Aaron Rodgers also got in on the fun with a 27-yard touchdown run, but isn't too bad of a passer, either. In addition, Rodgers may see the return of wide receiver Jordy Nelson, who has been hobbled by a hamstring injury.

ABOUT THE BEARS (8-5): Cutler has connected with trusted target Brandon Marshall - who emphasized his dislike for the Bears on Wednesday - 101 times for 1,342 yards this season, but the pair only hooked up twice for 24 yards in the previous encounter versus the Packers. Getting Matt Forte untracked could go along way for both the running and passing games. Forte, who mustered just 31 yards vs. Green Bay in the previous encounter, hasn't scored a rushing TD since Nov. 4.


* Packers are 5-1 ATS in their last six vs. NFC opponents.
* Under is 4-0 in Packers’ last four games overall.
* Under is 5-0 in Bears’ last five vs. NFC North foes.
* Packers are 4-0 ATS in their last four meetings.


1. After recording 28 turnovers en route to posting a 7-1 mark, Chicago has forced just seven takeaways in its past five contests.

2. Green Bay OLB Clay Matthews (hamstring) is in line to return after a four-week absence, but veteran S Charles Woodson (broken collarbone) will spend another game on the sideline.

3. The Bears will turn to veteran K Olindo Mare after Robbie Gould suffered a season-ending calf injury prior to last week's game versus Minnesota.

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Steelers at Cowboys: What Bettors Need to Know

Pittsburgh Steelers at Dallas Cowboys (1, 44)

After a sluggish start, wide receiver Dez Bryant has made his presence felt as the Dallas Cowboys have risen in the standings. While dealing with a fractured left index finger, Bryant's presence itself is now in question heading into Sunday's game against the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers. Bryant, who has expressed his desire to play, suffered the injury as Dallas recorded its fourth win in five contests with a 20-19 triumph over Cincinnati last week.

Pittsburgh knows a thing or two about injuries, although it welcomed back Ben Roethlisberger (shoulder, rib) in last week's 34-24 home loss to San Diego. Roethlisberger struggled before throwing three touchdown passes - albeit with the game no longer in doubt and the Steelers skidding to their third loss in four contests. Pittsburgh is clinging to the final wild-card berth in the AFC, while Dallas sits one game behind NFC East-leading New York.

LINE: Steelers -1, O/U 44

ABOUT THE STEELERS (7-6): Although Pittsburgh hosts Cincinnati next week in a game with AFC North and wild card implications, the Steelers need to keep their focus on the task at hand. Mike Tomlin's rushing carousel has careened off its tracks as Jonathan Dwyer struggled to move the ball last week while Rashard Mendenhall's displeasure with his inactivity has reportedly led to a one-game suspension.

ABOUT THE COWBOYS (7-6): While Dallas has been faring well on the field, the team is still dealing with the death of practice squad linebacker Jerry Brown. Many of the Cowboys attended the memorial - including Josh Brent, who was released from jail on intoxication manslaughter charges stemming from the one-car accident that killed Brown. Back on the field, Tony Romo has thrown seven touchdowns in his last three games.


* Cowboys are 0-6 ATS at home this season.
* Steelers are 4-0 ATS in their last four games on field turf.
* Under is 6-1 in Steelers’ last seven games vs. a team with a winning record.
* Over is 4-1 in Cowboys’ last five home games.


1. Pittsburgh will feature its fifth different offensive line in as many games on Sunday. First-round pick G David DeCastro will make his first career start versus Dallas.

2. Bryant, who has seven touchdowns in his last five contests, has scored all nine of his TDs this season in the second half of games.

3. The Steelers have played in the new Cowboys Stadium - although Dallas was not their opponent. Pittsburgh lost to Green Bay in Super Bowl XV.

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Sunday Night Football: Niners at Patriots

San Francisco 49ers at New England Patriots (-4.5, 46)

The sizzling New England Patriots looks for their eighth straight win when they host NFC powerhouse San Francisco in a battle royale on Sunday night. The Patriots continue to knock off challengers with ease while steadily climbing the ladder in the AFC standings. Once 1-2 on the season, New England looks to gain the top seed in the AFC to earn home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. After embarrassing Houston on Monday night, it stamped itself as the best team in the conference.

The 49ers have been a bit inconsistent since inserting the speedy Colin Kaepernick under center. Kaepernick, who is 3-1 as a starter since replacing Alex Smith at quarterback, sealed last week's 27-13 win over Miami with a 50-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. RB Frank Gore, who went over the 1,000-yard mark in the game, continues to provide San Francisco with balance on offense but it’s clearly the Niners’ defense which makes them a Super Bowl threat. That unit ranks second in the NFL in total defense.

LINE: Patriots -4.5, O/U 46.5

WEATHER: Forecasts are calling for temperatures in the mid-30s with an 85 percent chance of rain. Winds will blow out of the east at 6 mph.

ABOUT THE 49ERS (9-3-1): Expect San Francisco to try to control the ball against the Patriots, who are the runaway leader in the NFL with 475 points scored. That could mean a big workload for Gore, who tied Roger Craig and Joe Perry for the franchise mark with his 50th career rushing touchdown last week. The 49ers rank second in the NFL in rushing, averaging over 160 yards a game on the ground, to take a lot of the pressure off the shoulders of Kaepernick. A week after Kaepernick struggled in a 16-13 overtime loss at St. Louis, the second-year pro went for 18-for-23 with a 100.2 passer rating. Aldon Smith continues to be a menace on defense and set the team mark with two more sacks against the Dolphins to give him 19.5 on the season.

ABOUT THE PATRIOTS (10-3): Tom Brady picked apart Houston last week, throwing four more touchdown passes, and stamped himself as the leader in the MVP race. Brady is tied for the NFL lead in passer rating and threw a pair of TD passes to tight end Aaron Hernandez, whose immense talent has allowed tight end Rob Gronkowski to recover from a broken forearm at his own pace. New England humiliated the Texans, who before the game labeled it as the biggest game in their franchise’s history. The Patriots, who are accustomed to playing big games, raced out to a 21-0 lead on the way to a 42-14 romp. New England continues to roll through the second half of recent seasons. The three-time Super Bowl champs have won 20 straight games at home in December.


* 49ers are 4-1 ATS in their last five road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
* Over is 4-1 in 49ers’ last five games overall.
* Over is 4-0 in Patriots’ last four vs. a team with a winning record.
* Over is 5-1 in Patriots’ last six December games.


1. San Francisco is 4-2 on the road. New England is 5-1 at home.

2. Brady has 29 touchdowns and just four interceptions this season. He has thrown a TD pass in 45 straight games, the third-longest streak in history.

3. The 49ers suspended little-used RB Brandon Jacobs for the rest of the season.

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Capping Sunday's Must-Win NFL Games

It’s Week 15 and the playoff pressure is mounting for a handful of NFL teams. This week’s schedule features a pair of games that have both combatants fighting for their playoff lives.

Let’s break down a betting strategy for these key matchups that feature teams on the outside looking in with the help of the Covers Experts.

Minnesota Vikings at St. Louis Rams (-1, 39)

The Vikings proved they’ve still got some fight left in them after last week’s win over the Bears in Chicago. Minnesota shot out of the gates with a 5-1 SU record, but is just 3-5 since. The Rams are headed in the opposite direction. St. Louis is 3-0 SU and ATS over its last three overall, including a huge victory over the Niners in Week 13.

“I often feel that desperation is a factor oddsmakers have a hard time properly quantifying into a line," says Covers Expert David Chan. "Did that team start the year red-hot, only to stumble through the middle of the season and then find itself in a must-win game near the end of the year (Vikings)? Or did it start slowly, and then come on like gangbusters to end the season, needing one or two more wins to keep its playoff hopes alive (Rams)?”

Adrian Peterson has carried the Vikings all season long, but he faces a tough Rams run defense this week.

“While they likely won't be able to shut him down entirely, I do feel that the Rams will be more successful in slowing Peterson down than other teams have been lately,” says Covers Expert Ben Burns. “The Rams haven't allowed any running back to gain more than 65 yards against them in the last four games.”

Pittsburgh Steelers at Dallas Cowboys (+1, 44)

There’s no shortage of storylines coming into this game for the Cowboys. They’re still dealing with the death of Jerry Brown and now have concerns about the health of WR Dez Bryant.

“The biggest thing about this matchup is the emotional state of the Cowboys,” says Covers Expert Steve Merril. “We saw the Chiefs play well and then struggle the following week after their tragedy and you have to wonder if Dallas will have that problem this week.”

Bryant has vowed to play this week despite nursing a fractured left index finger. But can bettors expect the same offensive output from him this week?

“I feel the Bryant injury is a big deal," notes Covers Expert Bryan Power. “It severely limits what the Cowboys can do in the passing game, and keep in mind they’re facing the No. 1 pass defense in the league."

Another thing to keep in mind is how horrible Dallas is against the spread at home this season. They've failed to cover in all six games.

The Steelers hung on for dear life when Ben Roethlisberger fell to shoulder and rib injuries. Charlie Batch found some muster in his old legs to keep them in the playoff hunt, but Big Ben showed some rust in last week’s loss to the Chargers and put his team's back against the wall.

“Big Ben should bounce back this week as he is the ultimate competitor, although historically he's not as strong on the road with 38 career wins and a 90.1 QB rating, says Covers Expert Chris Elliott. "This game comes down to whoever runs the ball effectively. Expect a low- scoring game and a tight finish.”

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Week 15 Tips
By Kevin Rogers

The Week 15 NFL card is perhaps the most solid slate on a Sunday we have seen this season. Nine games involve playoff ramifications, including four which could affect seedings. Two take place in the AFC and a pair happens in the NFC, as the two oldest rivals in the league start the day in the Windy City.

Packers (-2½, 43½) at Bears

Green Bay dominated Chicago back in Week 2 at Lambeau Field, 23-10 to cash as five-point favorites. Matt Forte left that loss with a sprained ankle that kept the Pro Bowl running back out for only one game, while rushing for over 100 yards just twice this season. The Packers enter Sunday's action with a one game advantage over the Bears in the NFC North, as Green Bay goes for its fifth divisional win in five tries.

Chicago got tripped up at Minnesota last week, falling 21-14 as short 'chalk,' as the Vikings stayed alive in the NFC playoff race. Adrian Peterson rushed for two touchdowns as the Vikings led, 14-0 after the first quarter and cruised from there. The Bears have fallen off since a 7-1 start by losing four of their last five games, while failing to cover in six of their previous eight contests.

The Packers are on fire with seven victories in their last eight games, as Mike McCarthy's club is riding a four-game 'under' streak. Green Bay held off Detroit last Sunday night, 27-20, in spite of gaining just 288 yards of offense. Injuries are mounting up on each side as the Bears will be without kicker Robbie Gould (calf) and linebacker Brian Urlacher (hamstring), while wide receiver Jordy Nelson (hamstring) and cornerback Charles Woodson (collarbone) remain out for the Packers.

Giants at Falcons (-1½, 51)

Atlanta suffered its second loss of the season last Sunday at Carolina, a 30-20 setback as three-point favorites. The Falcons trailed, 23-0 at one point, as Mike Smith's squad is in a battle for home-field advantage in the NFC along with the 49ers and Packers. The Giants invade the Georgia Dome after dropping a season-high 52 points in last week's rout of the Saints, while hitting the 'over' for just the second time in the previous eight games.

New York is 3-3 SU and 2-4 ATS the last six games, as Tom Coughlin's team is playing as inconsistent as the record indicates. The Giants beat New Orleans by 25, routed Green Bay by 28, but scored 29 combined points in road losses to Washington and Cincinnati. This is just the fourth time all season the Giants are listed as an underdog, as New York won outright at Carolina (Week 3) and San Francisco (Week 6).

The Falcons remain unbeaten at the Georgia Dome by compiling a 6-0 record, but Atlanta has covered just three home games. Since scoring 27 against Denver in Week 2 and 30 against Carolina in Week 4, the Falcons have put up no more than 23 points in each of their last four home contests, while hitting the 'under' each time. Atlanta has lost each of the previous four meetings with New York, including a 24-2 blowout to the Giants in the Wild Card round of the playoffs last season.

Broncos (-3, 48) at Ravens

A pair of teams that will likely host a first-round playoff game hook up in Baltimore on Sunday. The Ravens try to snap a two-game skid after an overtime setback at Washington, the fourth contest decided by three points for Baltimore. The Broncos head east seeking their ninth consecutive victory, while looking to score at least 30 points for the eighth time in 11 tries.

Denver is coming off a few extra days of rest after beating Oakland last Thursday, 26-13 as 10-point favorites, snapping a three-game ATS skid. John Fox's club has won five straight road contests, while holding each of their last three opponents on the highway to 14 points or less. The home team has won each of the last six meetings, including four double-digit losses by the Broncos in Baltimore.

The Ravens have always been a dominating force at M&T Bank Stadium, going 5-1 SU, but covering just twice in six attempts. Baltimore has eclipsed the 'over' in five of six home games, while scoring at least 30 points four times. Under John Harbaugh, the Ravens own a 1-2 SU/ATS record as a home underdog, as the last time Baltimore received points at home, it lost to Peyton Manning and Indianapolis by two points in 2009.

Colts at Texans (-10, 47½)

Amazingly, Indianapolis and Houston haven't hooked up yet this season, but will play two important contests over the next three weeks. The Texans enter Sunday's action with a two-game lead over the Colts in the AFC South, as Houston tries to get on track after getting routed at New England last Monday.

The Patriots dominated from start to finish, as New England crushed Houston, 42-14 to cash easily as six-point favorites. The Texans have lost just twice this season, but the defense has yielded 42 points in each defeat to Green Bay and New England. Houston is playing just its third home game since early November, while going for its fifth cover in seven tries at Reliant Stadium.

The Colts have lost just four games in Andrew Luck's rookie campaign, but three of those defeats came by 20 or more points on the road. Indianapolis has been involved in several high-scoring affairs the last few weeks, including a 27-23 triumph over Tennessee, hitting the 'over' for the third time in four games.

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Total Talk - Week 15
By Chris David

Week 14 Recap

The total numbers on the season have been pretty even and last week’s results were no different. The ‘over/under’ produced an even 8-8 mark but once again, a lot of total players were given early holiday gifts due to second-half fireworks – again! There were five games that saw 30 or more points scored in the final two quarters and two of those contests had 40-plus points posted. When the Jets and Browns put up 17 and 20 points respectively in a half, it should open up your eyes. If you bet the ‘over’ in the second-half blindly last week, you would’ve gone 11-5 (69%). Following this column all season, you shouldn’t be surprised since this has been a reoccurring theme. On the season, the ‘under’ stands at 105-103-1.

Line Moves

The smart money went 1-3 last week and easily could’ve been 3-1 or 2-2 if it wasn’t for some late explosions that we talked about above. Here are the line moves of 1 ½ points or more at CRIS as of Saturday evening.

N.Y. Giants at Atlanta: Line opened 52 and dropped to 50½
Indianapolis at Houston: Line opened 49 and dropped to 47½
Carolina at San Diego: Line opened 46 and dropped to 44½
Pittsburgh at Dallas: Line opened 44 and jumped to 45½
San Francisco at New England: Line opened 48 and dropped to 46½

International Notes

This week, the NFL International Series continues with Buffalo and Seattle going head-to-head at the Rogers Center from Toronto. I feel both the side in Seattle (-5.5) and the total (43.5) are inflated for this matchup. This is a must-win spot for the ‘Hawks and definitely a look-ahead with San Francisco on deck in Week 16, which could be for the division lead. Buffalo has played much better recently, especially on defense. The unit has given up 14, 20, 18 and 15, which helped the ‘under’ go 3-1 during this span. Seattle has watched the ‘over’ go 6-2 in its last eight battles after the first five games of the season went ‘under.’ I do believe quarterback Russell Wilson has improved as a rookie but the ‘Hawks haven’t seen a total this high since their Week 3 affair against Green Bay (45). The NFL has tried hard to push their product in Canada and unfortunately for the league, the games have been absolutely ugly. The sample size isn’t that large, but all four of the games played in Toronto have all gone ‘under’ the number.

2008: Miami 16 Buffalo 3 – Under 43
2009: N.Y. Jets 19 Buffalo 13 – Under 37
2010: Chicago 22 Buffalo 19 – Under 41½
2011: Washington 0 Buffalo 23 – Under 46½

Rematch Games

On the season, the ‘over’ stands at 15-9 (63%) in the second meeting between divisional teams. Total players are looking at three more this Sunday and one of them has the highest number on the board.

Green Bay at Chicago: The ‘under’ has been a solid investment when these teams clash and it hit in the first encounter when Green Bay defeated Chicago 23-10 at home on Sept. 13. Including that outcome, the ‘under’ has gone 9-1 in the last 10 meetings. Green Bay enters this game on a 4-0 roll to the ‘under’ and Chicago hasn’t seen a game eclipse this week’s number (43) in five consecutive weeks.

Tampa Bay at New Orleans: The Bucs watched the ‘over’ cash in seven straight games but the ‘under’ has prevailed in two of the last three because the offense (22 PPG) has struggled. Tampa Bay lost to New Orleans 35-28 in the first go ‘round at home on Nov. 21 and it left points off the board too. New Orleans’ defense can’t stop anybody and the offense does have the ability to score, which is why you’re looking at 54-point total. Even though the first meeting went ‘over’ the number (49), that result snapped an eight-game streak to the ‘under’ between these teams.

Kansas City at Oakland: The Raiders beat the Chiefs 26-16 on Oct. 26 and the combined 42 points just slipped ‘over’ the closing number of 41. Despite that result, this series has watched the ‘under’ cash in seven of the last 10 encounters. Oakland (4-0) and Kansas City (4-1) both enter this game with solid ‘under’ runs. This week’s number is hovering in the 44-point range.

Under the Lights

Even though the Bengals-Eagles matchup went ‘over’ this past Thursday, the ‘under’ has still connected at a 64% (28-16) clip this weekend.

San Francisco at New England: Will the 49ers defense be able to slow down the Patriots offense? Against comparable quarterbacks (Rodgers, Manning, Brees), San Francisco gave up 22, 26 and 21 points. Tom Brady and New England put up 42 against the Texans last Monday and that unit was supposed to be great too, right? The Patriots have seen the ‘over’ go 10-3 this season and a few of those tickets were lucky (last week in particular) but they’re still winners at the betting counter. Make a note that New England hasn’t seen a total (46.5) this low since it beat the Rams 45-7 (46) from London in Week 8.

N.Y. Jets at Tennessee: It’s hard to argue for the ‘over’ here just based on the Jets’ inconsistent offense, which has scored a combined 24 points the last two weeks. What’s even more embarrassing is that New York won those games because the defense only surrendered 16. The Titans have more firepower than the Jets and they also have more holes on defense, which sets up an ‘over’ look. If you believe Tennessee will win, then you should expect some points. In their four victories this season, the Titans have scored 44, 26, 35 and 37 points.

Fearless Predictions

Despite having a “Never in Doubt” loser on the ‘under’ in Seattle-Arizona, we still managed to break even by winning our Team Total and Teaser wagers. On the week we dropped a few cents (-$20) but we’re still ahead on the season at $840 based on one-unit plays. As always, Press, Pass or Fade but in the end - Good Luck!

Best Over: Pittsburgh-Dallas 44½

Best Under: Seattle-Buffalo 43½

Best Team Total: Under 23½ Seattle

Three-Team Total Teaser:
Over 35½ Pittsburgh-Dallas
Under 53 Kansas City-Oakland
Under 50½ N.Y. Jets-Tennessee

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Weeek 15

Vegas Money Moves - Week 15
By Micah Roberts

When Cantor Gaming opened their numbers for the first 16 weeks of the 2012 NFL season the Baltimore Ravens were 3½-point favorites over the Denver Broncos in their Week 15 game. That was in May. Now as we actually head into Week 15, the Broncos are now minus-3 (EVEN).

The massive change is in part to the Ravens losing two in a row, and in reality a situation where they could have easily lost four in a row. Think about it, the Ravens won by three points (13-10) against the Steelers without Big Ben four weeks ago and in the following week they needed a fourth-and-29 play to keep them alive at San Diego to win a 16-13 game.

In successive weeks following the narrow wins, they lost to the Steelers and Redskins, both by three points. Their rating has taken a serious dive because of that four game stretch.
Meanwhile, The Broncos are on an eight-game winning streak, but really, who have they beaten? After losing to the Patriots -- their last loss, the Broncos have beaten a lot of mediocre teams with bad records. In addition to losing to the Pats, they also lost to the Falcons and Texans. You could say that the Broncos and Peyton Manning have been piling up wins against bad teams. The Ravens will be their first quality team they've faced in two months.

The Broncos opened as 1-point road favorites and the number has climbed steadily to -3 (EVEN).

The Ravens fired their offensive coordinator Cam Cameron after losing to the Redskins last week, showing that they have some major concerns about how their offense is operating. It may seem like a panic move by Ravens coach John Harbaugh, but in reality, it's a pretty good move. Why wait until the season is over. Make the move and get things straight while you have a chance to make a difference. That shakeup offensively should be enough to get the Ravens a win this week. Look for running back Ray Rice to get more touches this week and lead the way. For some reason the Ravens have tried to make things more difficult this season than they need to be. Give Rice the ball and get out of the way.

Here's a look at some of the other moves around town this week:

The Packers opened as 2½-point favorites at Chicago and have been bet up to -3 (EVEN). The Packers have covered their last two games and the Bears have gone 1-4 both straight up and against the spread in their last five.

The LVH opened the Giants as 1-point road favorites at Atlanta and bettors have pushed the Falcons to 1½-point favorites.

The Saints opened as 3-point favorites and have been bet up to-4 against the Bucs. Both teams are reeling, having lost three games in a row.

The Redskins game has been "Off the Board" just about everywhere in Las Vegas, except the Wynn who opened the Redskins as 1½-point road favorites at Cleveland. Quarterback Robert Griffin III is expected to play. The Redskins have won four in a row and the Browns have won three in a row. However, the Browns three wins have been a little less impressive. Beating the Steelers without Big Ben and the Chiefs and Raiders aren't exactly big wins. But for Cleveland, it's still pretty nice.

The Texans opened as 8-point favorites against the Colts and have been radically bet up to -10. The Texans come of an abusive loss at New England and the Colts just continue to find ways to win.

The Seahawks opened as 3-point favorites for their neutral site game at Toronto against the Bills and have been bet up to -5½. This is supposed to be a home game for the Bills, but the Toronto crowd has proved to be anything but a home field edge.

The poor Cardinals have lost nine games in a row after starting out 4-0. The Lions opened -5½ and have been bet up to -6½. There aren't a lot of reasons to feel the Cards will show up in this one.

The Cowboys opened pick 'em against the Steelers for their home game, but the Steelers have been bet up to -1½. Dallas has won four of their last five and the Steelers have lost three of their last four.

The Patriots opened up as three-point home favorites for their game against the 49ers and were bet up to -3½. That was Sunday night. After the Pats played their Monday night game they were opened up at -6. Quickly, 49ers money bet the game down to -4.5. The Patriots have won seven games in a row by an average score of 40-19. The big question -- that sharp money appears to have answered -- is whether or not the 49ers can stall the Pats offense in the Eastern Time Zone. Cantor Gaming made the Pats -6½ in May, a number we'll might likely see by kickoff.

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SNF - 49ers at Patriots
By Chris David

Sunday Night Football heads to Foxborough in Week 15 as New England (10-3 straight up, 8-5 against the spread) and San Francisco (9-3-1 SU, 8-5 ATS) square off in what some pundits are expecting to be an early preview of this year’s Super Bowl.

The Las Vegas Hotel & Casino (LVH) opened New England as a three-point favorite last Sunday and the number jumped to 3½ the next morning. Soon after the Patriots’ 42-14 blowout over the Texans last Monday, the line was pushed as high as six points. Most outfits are now holding steady at 4½ and a few have dropped to 4.

It’s well known that New England is one of the most bet teams in the league and when they win and cover, the sportsbooks lose big, especially if the game goes ‘over’ the number as well. That’s been the case this season and if you bet the Pats-Over parlay blindly each week, you would’ve cashed that combination seven times at 13/5 odds (Bet $100 to win $260). Doing the quick math based on one-unit parlays, you would be head to the tune of $1,220 ($1820 minus $600) through 13 games.

What’s been worse for the books is that the Patriots have been able to cash this combination three times in primetime games. Including last week’s effort against Houston, the Pats also bailed out bettors in Week 3 against Baltimore and who could forget the Thanksgiving Day massacre against the N.Y. Jets.

Will New England pull off the four-game sweep under the lights tonight?

After watching the Patriots dismantle the Texans last week, it’s hard to argue against them. It’s almost seems that you’re better off passing on this game all together rather than try to be cute and take San Francisco.

Seriously, how do you bet against a team that has three losses by a combined four points? Since the Patriots lost 24-23 Seattle on the road in Week 6, the club has won seven straight (4-3 ATS) and four of those wins have come by 28 points or more.

Maybe it’s me but Tom Brady has quietly taken a back seat this season to other quarterbacks in the media, whether it’s Peyton Manning and his remarkable comeback or the great play of the rookies. Despite not getting as much attention, Brady’s numbers are insane this season. He’s passed for 3,833 yards, 29 touchdowns and only four interceptions. What’s even more impressive is that his offense has been hobbled with key injuries all season.

What’s helped Brady this season has been a rushing game that’s averaging 139.9 yards per game, which is ranked seventh in the league. The offense has also scored a league-high 20 rushing touchdowns. Both those numbers will be tested this Sunday with the 49ers only allowing 90.8 YPG on the ground and just three touchdowns all season.

Even if San Francisco can contain Brady and the Patriots offense, you need the 49ers to produce some points, especially on the road. Since Colin Kaepernick took over as starting QB, the club has gone 3-1 and that includes last Sunday’s 27-13 win over Miami as an 11-point favorite. The second-year signal caller completed 18-of-23 passes for 185 yards and also added 53 yards on the ground. Kaepernick has wheels and he’s already posted 351 yards and five scores on the ground this season.

What worries you about the 49ers tonight is how they’ll play in a hostile environment. San Francisco has gone 4-2 on the road and that includes a 1-1 mark with Kaepernick. His numbers at home are far greater than on the road, especially his completion percentage.

Defensively, San Francisco is arguably the best in the league. The unit is giving up 14.2 PPG and 275 YPG, ranked first and second respectively. Defensive end Aldon Smith leads the league with 19½ sacks and the secondary has picked off 11 passes.

The 49ers haven’t been catching points since Week 1 when it faced Green Bay at Lambeau Field. San Francisco dominated that affair 30-22 and made a statement that last season wasn’t a fluke. The team has made only one other trip to the East Coast this season, which came in Week 4, and they blanked the Jets 34-0.

New England has won 13 straight games in December and 20 consecutive games at home in this month. The Patriots still have a shot at the top seed in the AFC but they need to win out and hope the Texans lose one of their final three games. San Francisco has an outside shot at the No. 1 seed in the NFC but it too needs to win out and get some help. If the 49ers lose today and Seattle wins, then next week’s game between the two divisional foes will be for the NFC West lead.

After this game, the Patriots will likely close the season as double-digit favorites at Jacksonville in Week 16 before welcoming Miami in Week 17. As mentioned above, San Francisco has a big game against Seattle next week, which will also be a SNF affair. After the ‘Hawks, the 49ers host the Cardinals in Week 17.

Similar to the side, the total also received some early moves. The number opened as high as 49 and has dipped as low as 46 at some outfits. Against comparable quarterbacks (Rodgers, Eli Manning, Brees), San Francisco gave up 22, 26 and 21 points. The games versus Green Bay and New Orleans were on the road. The Patriots have seen the ‘over’ go 10-3 this season and a few of those tickets were lucky (last week in particular) but they’re still winners at the betting counter. New England hasn’t seen a total this low since its beat the Rams 45-7 from London in Week 8. That number closed at 46½ points and barely got there.

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