NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, September 22

NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, September 22

NFL Week 3

Chargers (1-1) @ Titans (1-1) —
Second straight trip east for Bolts, who split pair of 3-point decisions as underdogs in first two games, despite allowing 30+ points in both games- they’ve won nine in a row vs Tennessee, waxing Titans 38-10 in Week 2 LY at Qualcomm (TY 418-212). Chargers are 17-29 on 3rd down thru two games, with WR Royal scoring five TDs already. After facing prolific passers Schaub/Vick, Locker is going to be change of pace; in splitting pair of road games (lost in OT at Houston last week), Titans gained only 229-248 yards, but have seven sacks (+2 and four takeaways (+4), while running ball for 115.5 yards/game, with no giveaways. Tennessee is 4-5 as home favorite under Munchak, 3-5 as a favorite in home openers. Bolts are now 7-2 vs spread in last nine tries as a road dog. Home favorites in non-divisional games are 5-6-1 vs spread thru first two weeks of season.

Browns (0-2) @ Vikings (1-1) — Cleveland QB Weeden (thumb) likely out here; journeyman Campbell likely replacement- he’s at least as good as Weeden; in their first two games, Browns averaged less than five yards/pass attempt and ran ball for total of just 112 yards on 33 carries- they’re 2-5-1 in last eight games as road dog after shutting Ravens out in first half last week, but losing 14-6 (+6.5) in Maryland. Minnesota is 2-3 in last five home openers, 0-5 vs spread (0-4 as favorite); they scored TD on both defense/special teams last week, still lost 31-30 after kicking FG on all three trips to red zone. Vikes turned ball over seven times (-1) in two games, had 15-yard deficit in field position both games- they’re 3-5-1 as home favorites under Frazier, are 11-20-1 vs spread vs AFC teams the last eight years. Browns were outscored 31-3 in second half of their first two games.

Buccaneers (0-2) @ Patriots (2-0) — Curious to see Pats’ passing game 10 days after dismal showing vs Jets; their two wins are by total of five points, with NE averaging just 5.1/4.5 yards/pass attempt. Edelman caught 13 passes last week for 78 yards, not exactly Jerry Rice, but Brady was 6-21 targeting anyone else. Bucs’ two losses are by total of three points, both in last 0:10- they’ve had 23 penalties for 220 yards in two games and S Goldson is suspended for this game. Since ’09, Tampa is 18-11-1 as road dogs, 5-2 under Schiano. NE is 5-2 in this series, winning last two meetings 28-0/35-7; Bucs lost two of three visits here, but haven’t visited since ’05- they completed less than half their passes in both games so far this year, as rumors circulate that QB Freeman will walk after this year. These teams practiced against each other summer for few days before their (meaningless) exhibition game, so there is some familiarity.

Texans (2-0) @ Ravens (1-1) — Houston is first team since AFL merger in 1970 to win first two games, both on last play of game; they’ve outrushed first two opponents by 46 yards/game, even though they were outscored 31-14 in first halves. Texans crushed Baltimore 43-13 at home LY, ending six-game series skid vs Ravens; they’re 0-3 here, with last loss 20-13 in ’11 playoffs. Over last 10+ years, Ravens are 6-8 as home dogs, 2-3 under Harbaugh- they’re 20-15 under him in games where spread was 3 or less points. Since 2010, Texans are 8-5-1 as road favorites- they’re 8-0-1 vs spread in last nine games where spread was 3 or less. Star WR AJohnson (concussion) is doubtful here. Ravens averaged just 2.8 yards/rush in first two games; they won last week despite getting shut out in first half. Consistent Houston offense gained 449-452 yards in first two games, just wished they’d put pedal to metal in first half, too.

Rams (1-1) @ Cowboys (1-1) — Home team lost six of last nine series games, but Rams lost 35-7/34-7 in last two visits here; St Louis was awful in first half in Atlanta last week (trailed 24-3) then fought back and made game of it- they’re 7-2 as road dog under Fisher, 5-2 vs spread coming off a loss. Cowboys are 4-17 as home favorites under Garrett, 3-10 vs non-divisional foes, 10-13-1 coming off loss. First two Dallas games were decided by total of six points; Cowboys ran ball 39 times for only 124 yards (3.2/carry) in first two games despite OL coach Callahan calling plays. Improvement in Ram offense is obvious, with five TD drives of 80+ yards already, but none of less than 80, so defense/special teams have to step up and make life easier. This will be as close to a home game as Bradford gets in NFL; he averaged 7.9/6.4 per pass attempt in first two games, without getting sacked. From 1973-80, these teams met six times in eight years, just in playoff games.

Cardinals (1-1) @ Saints (2-0) —
New Orleans escaped by skin of teeth two weeks in row but was much better on offense in home opener, averaging 9.2 yards per pass attempt, compared to 5.9 in rain-delayed road opener last week. Payton covered last nine games as Superdome favorite (they were 3-3 LY, when Payton was suspended); since ’08, Saints are 16-5-1 vs spread as non-divisional home favorites. Arizona fought back from down 21-10 to win home opener last week, throwing for 261 yards, even with Fitzgerald hampered by leg injury; they’re 9-6-1 in last 16 games as road underdog, but over last 10+ years, Arizona is just 23-36-1 vs spread coming off a win. Teams haven’t met since 2010; Cardinals lost five of last six visits here, last of which was 45-14 loss in ’09 playoff game, Kurt Warner’s last NFL game, and Redbirds’ last playoff game. Cardinals’ last win on Bourbon Street was in 1996.

Lions (1-1) @ Redskins (0-2) —
Desperate times for Washington team that was outscored 50-7 in first half of first two games; they’ve already allowed nine offensive TDs, four on drives of less than 50 yards. Debate rages whether RGIII is hurt or if his knee brace is hindering him; they’ve outscored foes 40-21 in second half, but cow was out of barn in both games by then. Defense allowed 402 rushing yards in first two games; since ’06, Washington is 8-18-1 as a home favorite. Detroit is 5-10-1 in game following its last 16 losses, 10-13-2 as road dog under Schwartz, First outdoor game for Lion squad that blew 21-10 lead on road last week, wasting a defensive TD; Detroit has twice as many penalty yards (189-92) as its opponents; Home teams won 11 of last 13 series games; Lions lost their last 20 visits here; last time this franchise beat Redskins on road was in 1935, when Skins were based in Boston. Oy.

Packers (1-1) @ Bengals (1-1) — Short week for Cincy after beating rival Steelers Monday, just their second home win in last dozen tries vs Pitt; in comes Green Bay with much more potent offense than Steelers- Rodgers passed for 480 yards last week, had 322 at halftime- they averaged 8.3/9.6 yards/pass attempt in first two games. Bengals lead seldom-played series 6-5; Pack lost three of four visits here, with only win in 1998. Since ’10, Bengals are just 12-13 SU at home; they’re 15-8-1 in last 24 games where spread was 3 or less points, 13-6-2 vs NFC teams and 16-6 in game following their last 22 wins. Under McCarthy, Green Bay is 22-14-2 in games where spread was 3 or less, 17-7 in last 24 games vs AFC and 15-10 in game following their last 25 wins. This season, AFC teams are off to 5-1 start vs NFC. Packers ended 2.5-year streak last week of not having a 100-yard runner in any game when Starks broke century mark vs Redskins.

Giants (0-2) @ Panthers (0-2) — Two desperate teams battle for first win here. Giants allowed 77 points in first two games, turning ball over ten times (-8); its tough for an immobile QB when his OL isn’t very good, and injuries have damaged Giants’ OL. Big Blue has already allowed two defensive scores and a TD on a punt return. Since 2006, Giants are 14-7-1 vs spread as road underdog of 3 or less points. Panthers are 8-17 SU in last 25 home games, 4-4 as home favorite under Rivera; Carolina lost its first two games by total of six points, allowing Buffalo’s rookie QB to drive 80 yards in last minute last week to win game on final play. Teams split eight series games, with five of last six meetings decided by 13+ points with average total in last four, 51.0; Giants (+2.5) waxed Carolina here 36-7 in Week 3 LY, thanks to a +5 turnover margin. Thru two games this year, Giants have run ball only 33 times for 73 yards (2.2/carry) and dropped back to pass 95 times.

Falcons (1-1) @ Dolphins (2-0) — Miami starts season with pair of road wins; they didn’t have penalty in win at Indy last week. Fish outscored first two opponents 24-6 in second half after not leading either game at halftime. Dolphins are just 2-8 in last ten home openers, failing to cover last three tries as a favorite in HO’s. Under Smith, Falcons are 23-10-2 in games where spread was 3 or less points; Miami is 6-3 under Philbin in those type games. Atlanta dropped back to pass 86 times in first two games, with only 30 runs and now new RB Jackson is hurt already- they’ve won three of last four games with Miami, after losing six of first seven; they’re 2-5 in south Florida, with last visit in ’05. Average total in last three meetings was 29.3. Falcons are 21-11 vs spread in last 32 games on grass. Over is 8-3 in Miami’s last 11 home openers, with last four going over the total. Falcons are a better team than either club Miami beat so far, but enthusiasm is high for the Dolphins.

Colts (1-1) @ 49ers (1-1) — Coach Harbaugh faces team he once led to playoffs as its QB; 49ers got drilled 29-3 in Seattle last week- since ’09, Niners are 17-5-3 in game following a loss, 5-1-1 under Harbaugh. 23 penalties for 206 yards in two games is red flag for SF, Luck returns to Bay Area with Indy squad that lost last three road openers, by 10-27-20 points; Indy is 1-10-1 vs spread last 12 times they were a dog in a road opener. Colts are 13-25 on 3rd down in two games, with only six total penalties; they’ve won last two games in this seldom-played series that was divisional rivalry in late 60’s. Indy lost four of last five visits here, winning 28-3 in ’05. Indy is 16-11-1 vs spread in last 28 games on grass, 11-6 in last 17 games as non-divisional road dog, 4-2 in last six as double digit dog. 49ers played Pack/Seattle to open season, so this is actually step down in class for them; SF is 9-1 as non-divisional HF under Harbaugh, 4-3 as double digit favorite.

Jaguars (0-2) @ Seahawks (2-0) — Major letdown spot for 20-point home favorites, after blasting rival 49ers last week, and with road trip to Houston on tap; Jax head coach Bradley was Seattle’s DC last few years and being non-conference game, there would be no reason for Carroll to bury Jags late, if it comes to that. But Jax is off to awful start, scoring one TD on first 24 drives, with 14 3/outs, averaging 2.3/5.0 yards/pass attempt; they’ve been outrushed 341-105, outscored 31-5 in first half, outsacked 11-4. Seattle’s defense allowed one TD on first 18 drives, forcing six 3/outs; Seahawks are 8-3 as home favorites under Carroll; over last decade, they’re 7-3-1 as double digit favorites. Jaguars have been double digit dog in six of last 29 games, going 5-1 vs spread. Seattle won four of six games in this seldom-played series; Jags lost both visits here, 24-15/41-0. Seattle has seven takeaways in first two games (+5); their defense is very good. Still hard to lay 20 in an NFL game.

Bills (1-1) @ Jets (1-1) — Two rookie QBs in series where Ryan is 6-2 vs Buffalo, 5-12 vs rest of division; five of last six series games were decided by 16+ points; Bills lost last three visits here by 31-4-20 points, with average total in those games 57.7; this is first road start for Manuel, who led game-winning, 80-yard drive in last minute vs Carolina last week. Bills ran ball well in first two games, averaging 142.5 ypg; Jets held Bucs/Pats to average of 59.5 ypg, so good matchup there. Gang Green is 16-10 vs spread under Ryan in games with spread of 3 or less points but since ’06, they’re just 6-14-1 in divisional home games. Bills had 8 and 15-yard deficits in field position in first two games. Jets split pair of games decided by total of four points; Bills split their pair, with games decided by total of three points. Bills lost seven of last nine road openers SU, but covered seven of last eleven. Last two years, Buffalo was 4-9-1 as a road underdog.

Bears (2-0) @ Steelers (0-2) — Not sure what to make of Chicago after winning first two home games by total of four points; they won last week 31-30, despite giving up TDs on both offense/special teams. Since ’08, Bears are 9-4-1 as road favorites; they’re 6-4-3 vs AFC teams; 1-5-1 in last seven games where spread was three or less points. Short week for Pitt after Monday night loss in Cincy; in first two games they’ve run ball 31 times for only 76 yards, converted 7 of 25 on third down, been outsacked 7-1. Over last decade, Steelers are 5-0 vs spread as home dogs, covering one game as home dog in each of last three years, but this is also first Tomlin team to be two games under .500 at any point of season. Pitt won three of last four series meetings, with average total in last three, 30.0; Bears are 1-6-1 in last eight visits here, with only win in ’89. Chicago is 2-4 in last six road openers, with eight of their last nine AOs staying under the total.

Raiders (1-1) @ Broncos (2-0 )— Over last seven years, Oakland is amazing 18-3 vs spread as a divisional road underdog, but they’ve lost last three games vs Denver by 14-31-13 points. Broncos appear to be offensive juggernaut, scoring 90 points in first two games (11 TDs, two FGA on first 26 drives), with four drives of 40 or less yards plus a PR for TD. Raiders won four of last five visits here, with wins before Manning came to town (they lost 37-6 here LY). Raiders split pair of close games this year without getting a takeaway; they’ve run ball for 171-221 yards in first two games, with Pryor’s mobility a key factor. Bronco defense allowed only 58-23 rushing yards in first two games, and they’re still missing some key pieces- Denver is 3-1 as double digit favorite under Fox, after being 2-12-1 in that role in eight years before he became HC. From 2006-11, Broncos were 5-24-2 as Mile High favorites; they’re 7-1 in that role since #18 became their QB.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, September 22

Week 3 Sharp Moves
By Mike Rose

We're getting ready to head into another weekend of NFL betting action, and as always, there are a bunch of plays that are a lot sharper than others. Here’s a look at some of the sharpest positions available on the Week 3 board!

All public betting percentages courtesy of as of Friday morning, which can be found here.

Baltimore Ravens – The Texans have never won a game in Baltimore in their history, and there is no doubt that the boys from the Lone Star State have a lot of explaining to do after barely hanging on against the Chargers and Titans in the first two weeks of the season.

Opening Line: Baltimore +2.5
Current Line: Baltimore +2.5
Public Betting Percentage: 67% on Houston

Cincinnati Bengals – Basically the same game. The Bengals are at home against a team that is expected to win its division this year. Green Bay and Cincinnati are both better than Houston and Baltimore respectively, but the concept is exactly the same.

Opening Line: Cincinnati -1
Current Line: Cincinnati +2.5
Public Betting Percentage: 74% on Green Bay

Miami Dolphins – Miami was sharp as a tack last week, and it was able to go on the road and upset the Colts for the straight up win. Now in its home opener, it gets an Atlanta team that doesn't have its best running back, its best defensive linemen, one of its top corners, and its fullback.

Opening Line: Miami -1
Current Line: Miami -3
Public Betting Percentage: 68% on Atlanta

New York Jets – Again, basically the same game that we just spoke about. The Jets are laying just short of a field goal against a team that should at least be a little bit better than they are on paper. The difference is that we're talking about two teams that stand little to no chance of getting into the playoffs instead of two teams that are going to be fighting for bids to get into the second season.

Opening Line: New York -1
Current Line: New York -2.5
Public Betting Percentage: 64% on Buffalo

Pittsburgh Steelers – See: Baltimore and Cincinnati. Unless the entire AFC North really does just turn out to be wretched this year, all three of these teams are clearly fantastic bets in Week 3. Do you remember the last time that the Steelers were underdogs in a game at home with a healthy QB Ben Roethlisberger under center? Try going back to the 2008 playoffs. The last time it happened in the regular season was Big Ben's rookie year.

Opening Line: Pittsburgh +2
Current Line: Pittsburgh +2.5
Public Betting Percentages: 66% on Chicago

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, September 22

Week 3 Tip Sheet
By Kevin Rogers

Packers (-2½, 48½) at Bengals

Green Bay: 1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS
Cincinnati: 1-1 SU, 1-0-1 ATS

Last week's results: The Packers bounced back from an opening week loss at San Francisco by blowing out Washington, 38-20 as 7½-point home favorites. Green Bay jumped out to a 24-0 halftime lead and never looked back to win their ninth consecutive game at Lambeau Field. The Bengals took down division rival Pittsburgh on Monday night, 20-10 to cash as 6½-point home 'chalk,' while improving to 4-1 ATS in their last five games in the favorite role.

Previous meeting result: Cincinnati upset Green Bay at Lambeau Field, 31-24 in Week 2 in 2009, cashing outright as nine-point underdogs. The only active skill position player for either squad that is still with their respective team is Aaron Rodgers, who threw for 261 yards and a touchdown in the loss.

Betting notes: The Packers have struggled on the road off a home victory since December 2011, going 2-5 SU/ATS, including defeats as a favorite at Seattle, Indianapolis, and Minnesota last season. The Bengals are riding a nice hot streak against the number, posting an 8-2-1 ATS record since last November, including a 4-1 ATS mark Paul Brown Stadium.

Buccaneers at Patriots (-7, 44)

Tampa Bay: 0-2 SU, 1-1 ATS
New England: 2-0 SU, 0-2 ATS

Last week's results: The Bucs blew an opportunity to win in the final minute for the second straight week in a 16-14 home defeat to the Saints. Tampa Bay covered as three-point underdogs, but the Bucs missed a late field goal to go up by four points, while allowing New Orleans to march down the field to set up the game-winning kick. New England stormed out to a 10-0 advantage over the rival Jets, but the Patriots would score only three points the rest of the way in a 13-10 win as 11-point home favorites.

Previous meeting result: The Pats routed the Bucs in London back in 2009 with a 35-7 drubbing as 15 ½-point favorites. New England is making its first-ever regular season visit to Raymond James Stadium as the Pats last played in Tampa back in 1997, a 27-7 defeat.

Betting notes: The Patriots are 5-1 ATS the last six opportunities when coming off back-to-back ATS losses, including two blowouts last season against the Dolphins and Rams in this situation. The Bucs are listed as a road 'dog for the first time this season, coming off a 5-2 ATS record in that role in 2012.

Browns at Vikings (-6½, 41½)

Cleveland: 0-2 SU, 0-2 ATS
Minnesota: 0-2 SU, 1-1 ATS

Last week's results: Cleveland's offense failed to reach the end zone in a 14-6 defeat at Baltimore, as the Browns will be without quarterback Brandon Weeden (thumb) and running back Trent Richardson (trade to Colts) on Sunday. The Vikings were able to cash as six-point road underdogs at Chicago, but Minnesota was on the wrong side of a 31-30 loss to lose their second straight road divisional matchup.

Previous meeting result: Minnesota took care of Cleveland in the 2009 season opener, 34-20 as four-point road 'chalk.' Adrian Peterson ran all over the Browns defense for 180 yards and three touchdowns, including a 64-yard touchdown score. The Browns make their visit to Minneapolis since 2005, when the Vikings picked up a 24-12 triumph.

Betting notes: The Browns have compiled a 2-5 ATS record on the road when coming off an away contest since 2010, while scoring 17 points or less six times. Under Leslie Frazier, the Vikings have struggled in the role of a home favorite, posting a 2-6-1 ATS record, but both covers came in victories over 23 or more points.

Falcons at Dolphins (-2½, 44½)

Atlanta: 1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS
Miami: 2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS

Last week's results: Atlanta took control from wire-to-wire in a 31-24 home victory over St. Louis as four-point favorites. The Falcons grabbed a 24-3 halftime lead and never looked back even though the Rams made the final score look closer than the game actually was. The Dolphins are off to their first 2-0 start since 2010 following road victories at Cleveland and Indianapolis, while holding off the Colts, 24-20 as short underdogs.

Previous meeting result: Miami visited the Georgia Dome to kick off the 2009 season, but left with a 19-7 loss, as the Dolphins turned the ball over four times. The Falcons won in their previous trip to South Florida, a 17-10 triumph in 2005 as two-point road favorites.

Betting notes: The Dolphins split four games as a home favorite last season, but Miami never laid points against any team that finished above .500. Since losing to the Steelers in the 2010 opener, the Falcons have won 10 of their past 11 contests against AFC opponents.

Colts at 49ers (-10, 46)

Indianapolis: 1-1 SU, 0-2 ATS
San Francisco: 1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS

Last week's results: The Colts lost for the first time in nine tries in a game decided by seven points or less in last Sunday's four-point home defeat to the Dolphins. The 49ers return home after getting slammed by the Seahawks, 29-3 as three-point road underdogs last Sunday night. The loss dropped San Francisco to 5-3 ATS in the role of an away 'dog under Jim Harbaugh.

Previous meeting result: When these teams hooked up in 2009, the 49ers cashed as 13-point road underdogs in a narrow 18-14 defeat to the mighty Colts. Indianapolis ripped apart San Francisco in its last visit to Candlestick Park in 2005, a 28-3 blowout as 16½-point favorites.

Betting notes: The Colts put together a putrid 2-5 ATS record last season as a road underdog, including blowout losses at New England, Chicago, and Baltimore. The Niners haven't lost consecutive games in Harbaugh's tenure, while going 6-2 ATS off a non-win (which includes the tie against the Rams last season).

Jaguars at Seahawks (-19, 41)

Jacksonville: 0-2 SU, 0-2 ATS
Seattle: 2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS

Last week's results: Jacksonville continues to look like the worst team in the league following a 19-9 loss at Oakland, pushing the Jags' season total of points to 11. On the flip side, Seattle opened things up after leading San Francisco, 5-0 at the half to outscore the 49ers, 24-3 in the second half of Sunday night's blowout of the Niners. The Seahawks improved to 8-1 ATS the last nine games dating back to last November.

Previous meeting result: The last time the Jaguars visited the Pacific Northwest, Seattle blanked Jacksonville, 41-0 as one-point favorites in 2009. This is only the third visit for Jacksonville to Seattle in franchise history, while losing four of six previous meetings overall.

Betting notes: The Seahawks have dominated at CenturyLink Field since 2011 by posting a 13-4 ATS record, while laying the most points since 2005, when Seattle destroyed San Francisco, 41-3 as 16-point 'chalk.' The Jags covered all three games last season when receiving at least 13 points, including single-digit defeats at Houston and Green Bay.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, September 22

NFL Streaks, Tips, Notes

Detroit at Washington

Detroit Lions coming off a 25-21 loss at Arizona hope to regroup when they travel to Washington. The Redskins 'D' torched a second straight week, Robert Griffin III not looking his best the Lions are a tempting proposition. Underdogs are 17-14-1 at the betting window this season. However, move at your own risk. Mike Shanahan's troops are on a smart 5-1 SU/ATS stretch following back-2-back losses and the Lions have a 2-11-1 ATS skid going last fourteen away from Mo-Town, 2-7-1 ATS it's last nine in September.

New York at Carolina

A pair of 0-2 squads with a double dose of panic and urgency hit the field at Bank of America Stadium when Panthers host Giants. The betting market noticing Eli's 7 picks and Giants lack of a running attack over the first two games isn't putting much faith in Big Blue opening the squad 1 point underdog. However, if there was ever a spot for Giants to snap the drought it's in Carolina. When these two collided last year Giants picked Newton off three times on their way to an easy 36-7 victory. In the realm of NFL betting, history suggests Giants are the play. Home favorites of 3.5 or less during the month of September are on a 13-24-3 ATS skid (since 2011). A final few betting nuggets favoring New York - G-Man are 5-2 ATS as Week-3 underdogs, Panthers are 1-3 ATS after an 0-2 start to the campaign.

Cleveland at Minnesota

Both Browns and Vikings will be gunning for their first win of the season when the two meet in Minnesota Sunday. The sportsbooks have the betting odds in this contest favoring Vikings by 6.5 points a number that could surely jump before kick-off. Browns are in a heap of trouble, QB Weeden is out and they're starting third-stringer Brian Hoyer (as if that makes much of a difference) and they sent their #3 overall draft pick from last year, RB Trent Richardson to the Colts on Wednesday. Little doubt the NFL has turned into a passing game. But, ignoring teams that can run the ball can lead to missed betting opportunities. Such an opportunity presents itself in Minnesota. Vikings are sure to win the ground game here behind Peterson. Home teams winning the rushing game by 50 or more yards are a solid 57-20-2 since the beginning of 2012. Look for Browns to fall to 4-19-1 ATS when out-rushed by 50 yds/game while Vikings move to 5-1 ATS at home off a 0-2 season start.

Atlanta at Miami

Kicking off the campaign with road wins at Cleveland and most recently Indianapolis the Miami Dolphins will be aiming for the first 3-0 start in a decade. Not that you don't have ample reason to back Miami playing a home opener against a banged-up Atlanta Falcon squad but they do have several trends working against recording the elusive goal. Prior to this surprising start, Miami unaccustomed to early-season success had a 4-12 (5-10-1 ATS) mark over the past five years in September including 1-4 (1-3-1 ATS) in week-three. Last time Dolphins' were in this same situation opening a campaign with back-2-back road victories (2010) they fell flat in the home opener losing by 10 to the Jets. A few additional betting nuggets for thought. Dolphins are on a 3-7 ATS skid off a road win as an underdog, 'Matty Ice', has thrived as an underdog of 3.5 or less since his arrival in the NFL posting a 9-4 ATS record and he's a smart 14-6 ATS vs Non-Conference opponents including 3-1 ATS as a road underdog. Finally, backing favorites of 3.5 or less during September has not been profitable. Dating back to 2011, league wide these faves are 25-45-5 ATS with a 13-25-3 ATS mark as home chalk.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, September 22

Sunday's NFL Week 3 Betting Cheat Sheet: Early Action

Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens (+1, 45)

Star receiver Andre Johnson suffered a concussion in the game against the Titans but is expected to be cleared to play. Johnson is tied for the NFL lead with 20 receptions and Houston appears to have found a sensational complement in first-round pick DeAndre Hopkins (12 receptions, 183 yards).

Baltimore has a key player ailing in running back Ray Rice, who injured his left hip flexor in the contest against Cleveland and hasn’t participated in practices. “He’s not going to need the practice to play in the game,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said.

LINE: Houston opened -2.5 and moved to -1.5. Total moved from 44.5 to 45.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Houston (-5.0) - Baltimore (-1.0) + home field (-3.0) = Ravens +1
WEATHER: Temperatures mid 70s, partly cloudy, winds NNW 11 mph.

* Road team is 5-2 ATS in their last seven meetings.Road team is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 meetings.
* Texans are 0-4 ATS in their last four road games.
* Ravens are 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall.

New York Giants at Carolina Panthers (+1, 46.5)

New York's 10 turnovers - seven of which have been Eli Manning interceptions - are a major cause for concern and have put the defense in a tough spot. The offense has been effective at moving the ball, mostly through the air, and ranks fifth in the league in total yards, but the ground game has to come along and the Giants need to hang onto the ball.

The Panthers find themselves in an 0-2 hole after losing their first two games by a combined six points, including a 24-23 defeat against Buffalo last week. The Panthers have been balanced on offense but they've been far from explosive, ranking 27th in the league with 280.5 total yards per game.

LINE: Carolina opened -1 and moved to +1. Total moved from 45.5 to 47.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: New York (-1.0) + Carolina (+3.0) + home field (-3.0) = Panthers +1
WEATHER: Temps mid 70s, 22 percent chance of early showers, winds 5 north 5 mph.

* Giants are 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings.
* Over is 4-1 in the last five meetings.
* Road team is 5-2 ATS in their last seven meetings.

Detroit Lions at Washington Redskins (Pick, 48.5)

Detroit is 2-0 against Washington under coach Jim Schwartz, with both victories coming at home. Calvin Johnson had 101 yards and three touchdowns in a 37-25 triumph over the Redskins in their last meeting on Oct. 31, 2010.

Facing a large deficit, the Redskins have been offensive juggernauts in the fourth quarter, outscoring Philadelphia and Green Bay by a combined 26-0 over the final 15 minutes.

LINE: Open pick bounced between -1 and +1. Total moved from 48 to 49.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Detroit (+1.0) - Washington (+2.5) + home field (-3.0) = Redskins -1.5
WEATHER: Temps mid 70s, partly cloudy skies, winds NNW 12 mph.

* Under is 6-1-2 in the last nine meetings.
* Home team is 8-2 ATS in their last 10 meetings.
* Lions are 0-4 ATS in their last four meetings in Washington.

San Diego Chargers at Tennessee Titans (-3, 43.5)

Philip Rivers leads a rejuvenated offense that is averaging more than 30 points per game. The only problem: San Diego has allowed as many points as it has scored, thanks to a defense that has surrendered the most passing yards in the league through two weeks.

The Tennessee Titans' defense has helped compensate for a sluggish offense through the first two games of the season. Titans RB Chris Johnson comes into the week ranked sixth in rushing yards (166) but second in attempts (50), averaging just 3.3 yards per carry.

LINE: Opened Tennessee -1 and moved to -3. Total steady at 43.5.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: San Diego (+2.0) - Tennessee (+3.0) + home field (-3.0) = Titans -2
WEATHER: Temps mid 70s, clear skies, winds NNE 7 mph.

* Chargers are 8-0 ATS in their last eight meetings.
* Over is 5-1-1 in the last seven meetings.
* Favorite is 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings.

Arizona Cardinals at New Orleans Saints (-9, 49)

Carson Palmer has injected some life into Arizona's passing game, but the ground game hasn't been as effective and running back Rashard Mendenhall (toe) is questionable. Palmer should have tight end Rob Housler back in the lineup after missing the first two games with a sore ankle, and the Cardinals have eased receiver Larry Fitzgerald along in practice in hopes he can play through a hamstring injury.

While the Saints' offense has struggled to find the end zone, coordinator Rob Ryan's revamped defense has limited its first two opponents to 320 yards and 15.5 points per game. The overhauled defense did a solid job against Atlanta in Week 1 but was dominant in a 16-14 win versus Tampa Bay, allowing 273 total yards - the Saints' lowest total since Week 15 of the 2011 season.

LINE: Arizona opened -9.5 and moved to -7. Total moved from 48.5 to 49.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Arizona (+3.5) + New Orleans (-3.0) + home field (-3.0) = Saints -9.5

* Over is 4-0 in the last four meetings.
* Home team is 4-0 ATS in their last four meetings.
* Cardinals are 2-5 ATS in their last four meetings.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New England Patriots (-8.5, 43.5)

Quarterback Josh Freeman is under siege after consecutive subpar outings - he was only 9-for-22 for 125 yards with one touchdown and one interception against the Saints - to spark speculation that he could lose his starting job to rookie Mike Glennon. The Buccaneers have dangerous weapons in second-year running back Doug Martin (209 yards rushing) and wideout Vincent Jackson (231 yards receiving), and the defense has been stout in allowing an average of 17 points.

With wideout Danny Amendola (groin) and running back Shane Vereen (wrist) set to miss a second straight game and tight end Rob Gronkowski still rehabbing from multiple offseason surgeries, Tom Brady has been forced to lean on Julian Edelman (20 receptions) and untested rookies in the receiving corps. Starting running back Steven Ridley has rushed for only 86 yards in two games while the defense has forced six turnovers to tie for second in the league.

LINE: Open New England -7 and moved to -8.5. Total moved from 45 to 43.5.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Tampa Bay (+4.0) + New England (-4.5) + home field (-3.0) = Patriots -11.5
WEATHER: Temps low 70s, 83 percent chance of rain, winds WSW 7 mph.

* Buccaneers are 7-2 ATS in their last nine road games.
* Patriots are 2-5 ATS in their last seven games overall.
* Over is 7-3 in Patriots' last 10 home games.

Green Bay Packers at Cincinnati Bengals (+2.5, 49)

While Aaron Rodgers' Week 2 performance was typical, the Packers got a surprising 132-yard effort on the ground from running back James Starks, who replaced Eddie Lacy after the rookie left the game with a concussion. The Packers were forced to juggle their secondary last week after three DBs suffered hamstring injuries. All are questionable for Sunday.

Cincinnati has won the past two meetings against Green Bay and sacked Rodgers six times in its most recent game (2009) but it will be without veteran defensive end Robert Geathers who joined three Bengal linebackers on injured reserve. While questions still abound on Andy Dalton's deep passing ability, he has thrown for 280 and 282 yards in his first two starts and unveiled a new weapon in athletic rookie tight end Tyler Eifert on Monday.

LINE: Cincinnati opened +1 and moved to +2.5. Total moved from 46.5 to 49.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Green Bay (-6.0) - Cincinnati (-1.5) + home field (-3.0) = Bengals +1.5
WEATHER: Temps high 60s, clear skies, winds NNE 6 mph.

* Packers are 1-4 ATS in their last five road games.
* Bengals are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games in Week 3.
* Over is 5-1 in Packers last six games overall.

St. Louis Rams at Dallas Cowboys (-3.5, 47)

St. Louis is attempting to start 2-1 for the first time since 2006. The Rams will look for more consistency out of high-priced free agent signing Jared Cook, who caught seven passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns in Week 1 but managed only one grab last weekend.

The last time the Cowboys faced the Rams, DeMarco Murray rushed for a franchise-record 253 yards on Oct. 23, 2011. However, Murray only managed 25 yards on 12 attempts in last week's loss to the Chiefs, a game in which Dallas was unable to force any turnovers after creating six miscues against the New York Giants in Week 1.

LINE: Dallas steady at -3.5. Total moved from 46.5 to 47.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: St. Louis (+2.5) + Dallas (-2.5) + home field (-3.0) = Cowboys -3

* Under is 4-1 in the last five meetings.
* Rams are 6-1 ATS in their last seven road games.
* Cowboys are 2-10 ATS in their last 12 home games.

Cleveland Browns at Minnesota Vikings (-6.5, 40.5)

Cleveland was already struggling to produce offense with just 16 points in two games and trading RB Trent Richardson, who recorded 950 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns as a rookie, gives an offense starting a third-string quarterback even fewer options. Brian Hoyer starts in place of Brandon Weeden, who injured his thumb in last week's loss to Baltimore.

Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder, who was 16-of-30 against Chicago, is reportedly on the hot seat and could lose snaps to backup Matt Cassel unless his play improves. Ponder is 88-for-127 passing with five touchdowns and two interceptions in his last four games against AFC opponents.

LINE: Minnesota opened -4 and moved to -6.5. Total moved from 41 to 40.5.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Cleveland (+5.0) - Minnesota (+2.5) + home field (-3.0) = Vikings -5.5

* Browns are 0-5 ATS in their last five games overall.
* Vikings are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven home games.
* Under is 5-1 in Browns last six road games.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, September 22

Sunday's NFL Week 3 Betting Cheat Sheet: Late Action

Atlanta Falcons at Miami Dolphins (-1, 44.5)

After being held to 17 points in the opener, Atlanta's offense rebounded against St. Louis but was still too one-dimensional. The Falcons had only 36 rushing yards and have to rely on backups Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling to improve upon that. The defense has given up big chunks of yards but has limited the damage on the scoreboard, although the rash of injuries on that side of the ball leave numerous questions going into Sunday.

Second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill appears to be maturing, as he recorded his second career 300-yard passing game in a 24-20 win against the Colts, leaning on receiver Mike Wallace (nine catches, 115 yards, TD) and tight end Charles Clay (five catches, 109 yards). The Dolphins still need more out of running backs Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas, neither of whom is averaging more than three yards per carry.

LINE: Miami opened -1, moved to -2.5 before settling back at -1. The total opened at 44 and moved to 44.5.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Falcons (-4.0) - Dolphins (-1.0) + home field (-3.0) = Pick
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the low-90s with a 20 percent chance of rain.

* The favorite is 3-0-1 ATS in their last four meetings.
* The Under is 5-1 in Dolphins last six home games.
* The Falcons are 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall.

Buffalo Bills at New York Jets (-1, 38.5)

EJ Manuel has completed 68.2 percent of his passes and thrown for 446 yards with three TDs and one interception in his first two games. Wide receiver Stevie Johnson, who caught the winning scoring pass last week, has been his favorite target with 11 catches for 150 yards and two touchdowns while the two-pronged running attack of C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson have combined to give Buffalo the league's fourth-best rushing attack at 142.5 yards per game.

Geno Smith guided New York to a last-second game-winning field goal in the season opener against Tampa Bay and had his team in position for a huge upset at New England before tossing three fourth-quarter interceptions. He is completing only 53.4 percent of his attempts and his 55.2 passer rating is next-to-last in the league. The tandem of Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell rushed for 100 yards versus the Patriots after combining for only 44 yards in the season opener, but the key to the game could hinge on New York's defense, which is tied for fourth in the league in allowing 59.5 yards on the ground.

LINE: The Jets opened as 1-point faves. The total opened at 39 and is now 38.5.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Bills (+5.0) - Jets (+5.0) + home field (-3.0) = Jets -3.0
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the high-60s with partly cloudy skies.

* The Over is 4-1 in the last five meetings in New York.
* Road team is 8-3 ATS in their last 11 meetings.
* Bills are 4-1 ATS in their last five vs. AFC East.

Indianapolis Colts at San Francisco 49ers (-10, 46.5)

The move to snag Trent Richardson solidifies Indianapolis' commitment to the power-run game - a tactic first broached when the Colts acquired Ahmad Bradshaw in the offseason. Now, with a player head coach Chuck Pagano describes as a "rolling ball of butcher knives," Indianapolis believes it is poised to make a run at the AFC championship - and Richardson is a believer. "Playing against these guys twice, just seeing how they are around each other when they're on the sideline, it's been a big change," Richardson told reporters. "They're happy to come to work, and they're ready to go."

Teams are daring 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to beat them through the air - and while that strategy backfired on Green Bay in Kaepernick's Week 1 explosion against the Green Bay Packers (412 passing yards, three TDs), the Seahawks proved to be far better at it. Running back Frank Gore has struggled the most, compiling just 60 yards on 30 carries against the Packers and Seahawks.

LINE: The 49ers opened as a 10-point fave. The total opened at 45.5 and has moved to 46.5.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Colts (+1.5) + 49ers (-7.5) + home field (-3.0) = 49ers -12.0
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the low-60s with wind blowing across the field at 9 mph.

* Road team is 4-0 ATS in their last four meetings.
* Over is 7-0 in 49ers last seven home games.
* The Colts are 8-1 ATS in their last nine games following a S.U. loss.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Seattle Seahawks (-19, 40.5)

Chad Henne will again start at quarterback and has yet to be intercepted while completing 63.6 percent of his passes. Running back Maurice Jones-Drew (72 yards, 2.9 average) injured his left foot in the loss to Oakland and is questionable, which means Jordan Todman (nine yards on six carries) is in line for more playing time. Middle linebacker Paul Posluszny has a team-high 19 tackles for a defense allowing 316 yards per game. However, the unit has forced only one turnover and recorded just four sacks.

Seattle has a league-best seven takeaways (four fumbles, three interceptions) and is allowing a league-low 113 passing yards per game. Sherman has seven interceptions in his last seven home games and the pass defense figures to get even better if starting cornerback Brandon Browner (hamstring) is available for the first time this season. Quarterback Russell Wilson (462 yards, two touchdowns) is off to a pedestrian start and running back Marshawn Lynch (141 rushing yards) is averaging just 3.1 yards per carry.

LINE: Seattle opened as a 20-point fave and is currently -19. The total opened at 41 and is 40.5.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Jaguars (+9.0) + Seahawks (-8.0) + home field (-3.0) = Seahawks -20
WEATHER: There is a 92 percent chance of rain. Wind will blow from the south at 14 mph toward the north end zone.

* Jaguars are 0-4 ATS in their last four road games.
* Seahawks are 20-6 ATS in their last 26 games on fieldturf.
* Under is 8-0 in Seahawks last eight games in September.

Chicago Bears at Pittsburgh Steelers (+1, 40.5)

Chicago is 20-7-1 in the all-time series, which includes a franchise-record 13-game winning streak from 1934-49. Devin Hester has shown no signs of slowing down, as he registered a team-record 249 yards on kick returns in Sunday's triumph over Minnesota. Running back Matt Forte is one of two players in the NFL with over 5,000 yards rushing and 2,000 receiving since joining the league in 2008.

Injuries have played a large role in Pittsburgh's struggles, with running back Le'Veon Bell (foot) and tight end Heath Miller (knee) missing each of the first two games and center Maurkice Pouncey (knee), running back LaRod Stephens-Howling (knee) and linebacker Larry Foote (bicep) suffering season-ending injuries in the opener. The Steelers have won five of their last six home meetings with the Bears dating back to 1967. Wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery is two receptions shy of 400 for his career.

LINE: The Steelers opened +1. The total opened at 39.5 and has moved up to 40.5.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Bears (-2.0) + Steelers (+2.5) + home field (-3.0) = Steelers +1.5
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the mid-50s with partly cloudy skies.

* Over is 4-0 in Bears last four games overall.
* Steelers are 1-5 ATS in their last six games overall.
* Bears are 0-4 ATS in their last four games following a S.U. win.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, September 22

Packers at Bengals: What Bettors Need to Know

Green Bay Packers at Cincinnati Bengals (+2.5, 49.5)

The Cincinnati Bengals feel that Monday night's win over rival Pittsburgh signaled a changing of the guard in the AFC North. No longer the Steelers' patsies, Cincinnati now battles one of the NFC's powers when it hosts Green Bay on Sunday afternoon. The Bengals may still have concerns at quarterback but their backfield tandem of BenJarvus Green-Ellis and rookie Giovani Bernard certainly delivered on Monday.

It's no secret what Green Bay's top-ranked offense brings to battle. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers was masterful picking apart the Washington secondary a week ago. Rodgers, who has won eight of his past 10 starts against AFC teams, racked up a career-high 480 yards through the air despite hardly throwing a pass in the fourth quarter and he could find plenty of room against an injury-riddled Cincinnati defense.

LINE: The Bengals opened +1 and are currently +2.5. The total opened at 48 and is now 49.5.

WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the low-60s and wind will blow across the field at 6 mph.

ABOUT THE PACKERS (1-1): Green Bay raced out to a 31-0 lead and cruised to the lopsided win over Washington. While Rodgers' performance was typical, the Packers got a surprising 132-yard effort on the ground from running back James Starks, who replaced Eddie Lacy after the rookie left the game with a concussion. Starks became the first back in the past 45 Packer games to go over the century mark and he'll likely get the call again as second-round pick Lacy has yet to be medically cleared.

ABOUT THE BENGALS (1-1): Bernard looked explosive in catching one scoring pass and running for another TD in the Bengals' 20-10 win over the Steelers. Cincinnati has won the past two meetings against Green Bay and sacked Rodgers six times in its most recent game (2009) but it will be without veteran defensive end Robert Geathers who joined three Bengal linebackers on injured reserve. While questions still abound on Andy Dalton's deep passing ability, he has thrown for 280 and 282 yards in his first two starts and unveiled a new weapon in athletic rookie tight end Tyler Eifert on Monday.


* Packers are 1-4 ATS in their last five road games.
* Bengals are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games in Week 3.
* Over is 5-1 in Packers last six games overall.
* Under is 9-1 in Bengals last 10 games following a ATS win.


1. The Packers were forced to juggle their secondary last week after three DBs suffered hamstring injuries. All are questionable for Sunday.

2. Green Bay ranks 30th in passing defense, yielding an average of 359 yards.

3. The Bengals were just 4-4 at home last season.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, September 22

Essential Betting Tidbits for Week 3 of the NFL

We dug up these vital betting tidbits for some of Sunday's NFL action that will help you make the right call before kickoff.

- The road team is 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings between the Texans and Ravens. Texans are 1-point road faves.

- The Texans have started the season 0-2 ATS. The last time they started 0-2 ATS was the 2008 season. They covered in Week 3 and finished the season 8-8 SU and ATS.

- New York Giants QB Eli Manning leads the NFL with seven interceptions through his first two games; three more than next closest.

- Panthers QB Cam Newton has faced the Giants just once. His 40.6 QB rating is the lowest against any opponent he's faced. The Panthers are 1-point home dogs.

- The Washington Redskins defense is dead last in the NFL allowing 511.5 yards per game and third-last in the NFL allowing 71 points. Skins host the Lions with a total of 48.5.

- The Lions are 0-4 ATS in the previous four meetings in Washington. Matchup is currently listed as a pick.

- The San Diego Chargers have won nine-straight games SU against the Tennessee Titans are are 8-1 ATS in that stretch. Chargers are 2.5-point road dogs Sunday.

- The Titans own the league's least effective passing game. Tennessee is last in the NFL with just 246 passing yards.

- The home team is 4-0 ATS in the previous four meetings between the Arizona Cardinals and New Orleans Saints. The Saints are 9-point home faves.

- The Cardinals have lost eight straight road games overall and are 4-3-1 ATS over that stretch.

- Pats QB Tom Brady is 2-0 in his career versus Tampa Bay. Brady is 43-of-63 for 566 yards and has six TD passes and two INTs in those games. His 114.9 QB rating versus the Bucs is higher than any other opponent.

- Meanwhile, Bucs QB Josh Freeman's rating of 63.0 is fourth lowest in the league. Only Brandon Weeden (62.0), Geno Smith (55.2) and Blaine Gabbert (30.8) have worse ratings. The Bucs are 8.5-point road dogs Sunday.

- The Green Bay Packers secondary could be without CB Tramon Williams, S Morgan Burnett and CB Casey Hayward against Cincinnati. The Pack already own the league's third-worst passing defense yielding 359 yards per game.

- The Bengals are 0-5 O/U in their last five games at Paul Brown Stadium. The total for the matchup with Green Bay is currently 49.5.

- Not a marquee matchup of rushing offenses when the Cowboys host the Rams Sunday. St. Louis ranks 25th in the league, while Dallas ranks 26th.

- The Cowboys are 2-10 ATS in their last 12 home games but are 1-0 ATS at home so far in 2013. Dallas is a 3.5-point home fave with the Rams in town.

- Vikes QB Christian Ponder saves his best for AFC opposition. Ponder is 88-for-127 passing with five touchdowns and two interceptions in his last four games against the AFC. Vikes are 6.5-point faves as they host the Browns.

- Brian Hoyer will get the start for the Browns as Brandon Weeden nurses a thumb injury. Hoyer made two appearances last season with the Cardinals and both were losses.

- The Dolphins are 2-0 SU and have not been 3-0 since the 2002 season. Miami is a 1-point home against the visiting Atlanta Falcons.

- The Falcons will be without RB Steven Jackson who has a thigh injury. Duties will fall to Jacquizz Rodgers who has 17 yards on 11 carries (1.5 avg) and Jason Snelling who has 19 yards on two carries.

- The New York Jets are 14-2 O/U in their last 16 games in Week 3. Total with the Bills in town is currently 38.5.

- Bills QB EJ Manuel is the first rookie quarterback to post a passer rating of 89 or better in each of his first two NFL games.

- Despite just joining the team, the Colts say Trent Richardson will get plenty of carries against the 49ers. Indy is already fifth in the league averaging 5.0 yards per carry.

- The 49ers are 5-0 SU and ATS in their last five regular season matchups versus AFC opposition. Niners are 10-point home faves against the visiting Colts.

- The last time the Seattle Seahawks faced the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars (2009), Seattle was victorious 41-0. The Seahawks are 19-point home faves as they welcome the Jags to CenturyLink Field.

- Jacksonville has scored 11 points through its first two games. Seattle's top-ranked defense has allowed just 10.

- The Bears are 2-0 to start the campaign. The last time they began 3-0 (2010) they played in the NFC championship game.

- The Steelers are 0-4 O/U in their last four games and 3-14 O/U in their last 17 home games. Total is 40.5 as they face the visiting Bears.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, September 22

Total Talk - Week 3
By Chris David

Week 2 Recap

For the second consecutive week, total players saw another 8-8 weekend. Even though the betting results were the same, the patterns were a tad different. The ‘over’ went 7-2 in the early afternoon games last week, opposed to an 8-1 mark to the ‘under’ in Week 1.  Also, Week 2 saw the ‘under’ go 3-0 in all of the primetime matchups. In case you forget, Week 1 watched the ‘over’ go 4-0 in every game played under the lights. 

After two weeks, 10 teams have seen the ‘over’ go 2-0 and 10 have seen the ‘under’ go 2-0 while the remaining 12 teams own 1-1 total records. When you delve into these numbers further, it’s safe to say that Denver, Green Bay and Philadelphia will be ‘over’ looks all season based on their offensive abilities. When you look at half of the ‘under’ clubs, you can point to quarterback issues with the Browns, Jaguars, Jets, Raiders and Buccaneers.

Another pair of ‘under’ teams are New Orleans and New England, which is surprising when you look at their performances in recent seasons. The Saints (19.5) and Patriots (18) are both near the bottom of the league in points per game. Right now, offensive execution appears to be the major issue for both squads. The Saints (6) and Patriots (5) have kicked a combined 11 field goals through two games compared to just five touchdowns. To put things in perspective, Denver has 14 scores in two games and 12 of them were touchdowns.

Line Moves

Last Saturday, we listed eight games that had moved off their opening numbers by at least 1½ points. If you followed the moves, you would’ve gone 6-2 (75%) in those games. This week, there are five moves and four of them are leaning to the ‘over.’

Tampa Bay at New England: Line opened 46½ and dropped to 43½
Green Bay at Cincinnati: Line opened 45½ and jumped to 49½
N.Y. Giants at Carolina: Line opened 45½ and jumped to 47½
Atlanta at Miami: Line opened 43 and jumped to 45
Chicago at Pittsburgh: Line opened 38½ and jumped to 40½

Divisional Matchups

The ‘under’ went 4-2 in divisional games last weekend, which was the complete opposite results of a 4-2 mark to the ‘over’ in the opening week. Week 3 only features two divisional matchups on tap.

Buffalo at N.Y. Jets

The Jets and Bills have seen the total split in their last four matchups but the two ‘over’ tickets came when New York was playing at home. In those games, the Jets scored 48 and 28 points. This game will feature two rookie quarterbacks in Geno Smith and EJ Manuel. Smith hasn’t been accurate (53.4%) for the Jets this season and he’s already been intercepted four times. On the other hand, Manuel has been on point (68.2%) but his yards per attempt isn’t impressive at all. New York has seen the ‘under’ go 2-0 season and Buffalo should be 2-0 to the ‘under’ as well if it wasn’t for a late touchdown last Sunday against Carolina. Last season, we had six games that had rookie quarterbacks squaring off against one another. In those matchups when first-year signal callers went head-to-head, the ‘under’ went 4-2.

Oakland at Denver (See Below)

Under the Lights

After watching the ‘over’ go 4-0 in the first four primetime games of the season, it’s been nothing but winning ‘under’ tickets at the betting counter. Including Thursday’s results between the Chiefs and Eagles, the ‘under’ has gone 4-0 in the last four night games and it’s fair to say that they were never in doubt. This weekend, something will have to give since both matchups feature one team that has seen the ‘over’ go 2-0 while the other has watched the ‘under’ produce a 2-0 mark.

Chicago at Pittsburgh: Oddsmakers made a mistake on this game, sending out a total of 38½ points, which was quickly pushed up two points. The Steelers offense hasn’t been sharp but it still has potential to move the football with Big Ben under center. Chicago has shown a nice balance offensively under new head coach Marc Trestman, averaging 27.5 PPG through two games. The Bears’ defense isn’t comparable to past seasons but still very opportunistic. Since this is a non-conference battles, bettors should be aware that Chicago is the only NFC team to beat an AFC team this season as it stopped Cincinnati 24-21 in Week 1. Last season, the Bears went 3-1 versus the AFC while averaging 34.8 PPG. Pittsburgh averaged 22.8 PPG against the NFC in 2012 en route to a 3-1 record.

Oakland at Denver: Last season, the Broncos beat the Raiders 37-6 at home and 26-13 on the road, both totals closed at 47. This week’s number is hovering around 49 points and based on the point-spread (Denver -15), oddsmakers are expecting a 32-17 win for Denver. It’s hard to see the Broncos putting up less than 32 based on this year’s offensive results (49, 41) and last year’s numbers. However, Oakland’s defense (15 PPG) has opened some eyes around the league but the competition (Colts, Jaguars) isn’t even close to the Broncos.

Fearless Predictions

One week in the books and we’re in the red for 20 cents after splitting our Best Bets and losing our Team Total wager. Fortunately, the Three-Team Teaser didn’t even need the points and easily cashed. As always, Press, Pass or Fade but in the end – Good Luck!

Best Over: Chicago-Pittsburgh 40½

Best Under: Indianapolis-San Francisco 46½

Best Team Total: Under Indianapolis 19

Three-Team Total Teaser:
Under 50 Cleveland-Minnesota
Under 55½ Indianapolis-San Francisco
Over 31½ Chicago-Pittsburgh

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, September 22

NFL Gambling Preview: Cleveland Browns at Minnesota Vikings
By Erin Rynning

Cleveland at Minnesota
Sunday, 10 am PT – CBS
CRIS Opener: Minnesota -3 O/U 41.5
CRIS Current: Minnesota -6.5 O/U 41
Rob Veno’s Power Rating: Minnesota -5
Erin Rynning’s Recommendation: Cleveland

The Vikings enter Sunday’s game against the Browns as a steep touchdown favorite.  They also enter with a 0-2 record and their two opponents were hardly world beaters in the Bears and Lions.  As expected, the Vikings quarterback play has been bad under the direction of Christian Ponder.  Ponder has turned the ball over frequently and he lacks the arm strength to exploit teams with the deep ball.  Teams have stacked the line of scrimmage in a big way, daring Ponder to beat them.  This hasn’t worked out well for Adrian Peterson and the run game as well.  After Peterson’s initial 78-yard run to open the season, he’s averaged 2.7 yards per carry on 43 attempts. 

Up and coming defensive coordinator Ray Horton has done a sound job in two games with the Browns stop unit.  This after fine work as DC of the Arizona Cardinals. They held the Dolphins and Ravens to 2 yards per carry while getting rookie playmaker Barkevious Mingo back in the fold last week.  Meanwhile, few teams made as much noise as the Browns this week centered on the trade of disgruntled running back Trent Richardson.  In addition, the Browns will start quarterback Brian Hoyer for the injured Brandon Weedon.  First, the running back position in the NFL is generally overrated as Richards hasn’t even made much of an impact with the Browns during his short career.  The loss of Richardson hurts a little, but not a lot.  It’s doubtful Hoyer will light up any scoreboards with a below average NFL arm, however the soon to be 30-year-old Weedon has at no time really performed as an above average NFL signal caller. It would actually be difficult for Hoyer to perform worse than Weedon.

Importantly, the Browns will get the services of difference making wide receiver Josh Gordon this week, who we actually view as much more valuable than Richardson.  Gordon led the Browns in receiving yards last year and he’ll open the field up for the rest of the offense.  The Viking defense has disappointed in the early going, while allowing a staggering 65 points the first two weeks.  This includes a meltdown in the closing minute against the Bears last week, which had the Vikings defensive players and coaches pointing fingers at one another.  We’ll take the generous points and the Browns.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, September 22

NFL Gambling Preview: Detroit Lions at Washington Redskins
By Ian Cameron

Detroit at Washington
Sunday, 10 am PT - FOX
CRIS Opener: Washington -2.5 O/U 48
CRIS Current: Washington -1.5 O/U 48.5
Rob Veno's Power Rating: Washington -4
Ian Cameron's Recommendation: Over

The Washington Redskins have not gone over the total in their first two games by accident. The defense has been the catalyst for it as the Redskins were a sieve against Philadelphia and Green Bay giving up a whopping 71 points and 1,023 total yards. Washington’s porous stop unit has been victimized both on the ground and in the passing game showing hardly any ability to contain either one. I’m not sure they can stop the bleeding here against a capable Detroit Lions offense which shot itself in the foot with turnovers and penalties last week but were able to move the football effectively against Arizona particularly though the air. That should prove to be problematic for a Redskins secondary that was absolutely picked apart by Aaron Rodgers to the tune of 441 passing yards allowed last week. That struggling secondary may be without safety Brandon Meriweather (questionable) after he left last week’s game against Green Bay with a concussion.

Washington’s offense has been a major disappointment after two games – outscored 50-7 in the first half of their first two games but I have a sense this could be the week we finally start to see the Redskins look a bit more offensive. There is no doubt RG III is not 100% healthy and he has struggled with limited mobility in the pocket but let’s keep in mind this is not a dominating Detroit Lions defense by any stretch. The Lions have given up a 339 yards per game average in their first two games which is only middle of the pack in the NFL and have allowed an average of 24.5 points per game which ranks 20th in the league. Detroit has seen Christian Ponder and Carson Palmer in the first two weeks and both of them were able to move the football with a fair degree of effectiveness. The Lions were unable to get a stop when they needed one last week allowing the Cardinals to put together a game winning TD drive to seal their 25-21 win. Griffin has had some problems with accuracy and certainly can’t run as well right now but he is still what I consider a step up in class for Lions defense.

Detroit’s defensive line gets plenty of praise but they are only middle of the pack in the NFL in terms of sacks after two games and they may be minus a very key cog defensively in DT Nick Fairley once again after he was inactive in Week 2 with a shoulder injury. There is also a growing concern for the Lions defense they may without arguably their best secondary player as safety Louis Delmas sat out yesterday’s practice. He continues to deal with and try to play through lingering knee issues that date back to last year.

I’m not willing to trust Washington as a short favorite right now with a reeling defense nor do I trust Detroit to win on the road playing the second of back-to-back games on the highway against a desperate squad. However, I do think we will see both offenses make their share of plays against defenses that are not reliable enough right now to get key stops at critical times. The total is up there but playing it over the total is the best way to look here in this NFC matchup.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, September 22

Sunday's NFL Action

GREEN BAY PACKERS (1-1) at CINCINNATI BENGALS (1-1) Line: Green Bay -3 & 49
Opening Line & Total: Packers -1 & 48.5

Rodgers threw for a career high and team-record-tying 480 yards in a 38-20 blowout of the Redskins in Week 2. He threw two of his four TD passes to WR Jordy Nelson, while WR James Jones had 178 receiving yards and WR Randall Cobb finished with 128. Top RB Eddie Lacy suffered a concussion on his first carry of the game, but backup RB James Starks replaced him with 132 rushing yards, the team’s first 100-yard rusher in a span of 45 games. Cincinnati is 1-5 ATS in the past six meetings, but beat Green Bay 31-24 in 2009. The Bengals were able to defeat the Steelers 20-10 on Monday night thanks in large part to rookie RB Giovani Bernard's two touchdowns and a sustained ground game that helped Cincy keep the football for 35:34. The Packers are 10-2 ATS (83%) after allowing 6.5 or more yards per play in their previous game over the past three seasons, but are just 4-7 ATS (36%) in their past 11 road games. Cincinnati is a subpar 6-15 (29%) at home where the total is at least 45.5 under head coach Marvin Lewis, but is also 21-10 ATS (68%) coming off a double-digit win under Lewis.

The Packers are lighting up the scoreboard with 33.0 PPG, 483 total YPG and 382 passing YPG, numbers that rank first or second in the NFL. Aaron Rodgers has a 127.2 passer rating (2nd in NFL) by completing 70% of his passes for 813 yards (10.3 YPA), 7 TD and 1 INT. Four Packers receivers already have 10+ catches apiece, led by WR Randall Cobb's 16 grabs for 236 yards, 107 of which have come after the catch. WR Jordy Nelson is averaging 19.6 yard per catch on his 10 receptions, including four gains of 20+ yards and three touchdowns. WR James Jones and TE Jermichael Finley both have 11 catches, with Finley finding the end zone twice. With RB Eddie Lacy likely to miss a couple games with his concussion, RB James Starks is the only viable option to run the football for this team. Although he averaged 6.6 yards per carry last week, the Bengals are very tough to run on, allowing a mere 63 rushing YPG on 2.8 YPC this season. On the defensive side of the ball, Green Bay has been lit up for 718 passing yards (359 YPG), a number higher than it should be due to hamstring injuries to two starters in the secondary, FS Morgan Burnett and CB Casey Hayward. Neither player is expected back on the field this week. The Packers' run-stop unit has been serviceable though, allowing 99 rushing YPG on 3.9 yards per carry.

Bengals QB Andy Dalton has played well to start the season, completing 65% of his passes for 279 YPG (7.2 YPA), 3 TD and 2 INT. He's taken only one sack, which will be a key against Packers pass-rushing-monster LB Clay Matthews. Dalton has leaned heavily on top WR A.J. Green, targeting him on 35% of his dropbacks. Green has responded with 15 catches for 203 yards and two scores. WR Mohamed Sanu is the only other wideout with at least five catches, but has gained just 6.6 yards per reception on his nine grabs. Dalton has also relied on his talented tight-end duo of rookie Tyler Eifert and Jermaine Gresham, as the pair has combined for 19 catches and 214 yards this season. The Bengals have tried to pound the football with reliable RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis, giving him 36 carries, but Green-Ellis has just 2.8 YPC with that heavy workload. Shifty rookie RB Giovani Bernard has been much more productive with 60 yards on 12 carries (5.0 YPC) despite his longest gain being a mere eight yards. Although the Bengals' front seven hasn't given up a lot of yards, especially on the ground, the unit has produced just two sacks in two games. They are expecting to triple that number against a suspect Packers offensive line that has allowed 57 sacks in the past 18 contests (3.2 per game).

HOUSTON TEXANS (2-0) at BALTIMORE RAVENS (1-1) Line: Houston -2.5 & 44.5
Opening Line & Total: Texans -1 & 44.5

Houston was able to eke out a 30-24 overtime win versus the Titans in Week 2, and although star WR Andre Johnson took a shot to the head late in the game, he has passed all his concussion tests and appears to be on track to start on Sunday. The Ravens, who escaped with a 14-6 home win over Cleveland last Sunday, also have a key offensive player questionable with RB Ray Rice’s hip flexor strain. Baltimore won the first six meetings in this series (4-2 ATS), but Houston ended that skid last year with a 43-13 shellacking, outgaining the Ravens 420 to 176. The Texans have thrived in evenly-matched games, going 8-0 ATS when the line is +3 to -3 over the past three seasons, but Gary Kubiak is just 5-15 ATS (25%) in games played on turf as the Houston head coach. Baltimore is 26-12 ATS (68%) in home tilts after allowing 75 rushing yards or less in its previous game since 1992. However, home teams where the line is +3 to -3 after scoring 14 points or less in their previous game are just 37-71 ATS (34%) in the past five seasons.

The Texans have not been playing their best football, but QB Matt Schaub has had a strong start to the season, completing 65% of his passes for 644 yards (6.9 YPA), 6 TD and 3 INT. His two most-used receivers have been WRs Andre Johnson (NFL-high 29 targets) and rookie DeAndre Hopkins (19 targets), who have combined for 405 receiving yards in the two games. In last year's blowout of Baltimore, Schaub threw for 256 yards and two touchdowns with Johnson catching 9-of-10 targets for 86 yards. But Schaub has also leaned on his tight-end tandem of Owen Daniels and Garrett Graham for a combined 21 targets this year, leading to 14 receptions for 148 yards and five touchdowns. While the air attack is in good hands, there is a bit of a running back controversy in Houston with RB Ben Tate (8.2 YPC) greatly outperforming All-Pro RB Arian Foster (3.7 YPC), outgaining Foster but getting less than half (18) of the carries that Foster does (37). However, Foster was more efficient in last year's meeting with Baltimore, rumbling for 98 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries (5.2 YPC), while Tate gained 47 yards on 10 carries (4.7 YPC). The one negative for the offense on Sunday is that All-Pro LT Duane Brown is questionable with a turf toe injury. Although Houston has allowed 26.0 PPG so far, the defense hasn't played all that badly, allowing just 312 passing yards on 5.3 YPA and 199 rushing yards on 3.8 YPC. The defense is hoping former Ravens FS Ed Reed can make his debut with the team after missing the first two games with a hip injury.

Ravens QB Joe Flacco was downright horrible in last year's loss to the Texans, completing 21-of-43 passes for 147 yards (3.4 YPA), 1 TD and 2 INT. Flacco has had his moments so far this season, but his numbers aren't spectacular at 59% completions for 573 yards (6.0 YPA), 3 TD and 2 INT. He's done a nice job with ball distribution though, as five Ravens have already garnered a dozen targets. WR Torrey Smith has been his go-to receiver with 22 targets, resulting in 11 catches for 177 yards. With No. 2 WR Jacoby Jones out with a knee injury, WR Marlon Brown has filled in nicely with eight catches for 110 yards and two scores. Two veterans the team picked up during training camp, WR Brandon Stokley and TE Dallas Clark, have eight catches each. RB Ray Rice had a tough day against Houston's defense last year, totaling 54 yards on 14 touches. He actually had a much better yards-per-carry average (4.7) than yards per catch (2.4) in that loss. Rice hasn't done much this year either with 4.0 yards per catch and 2.9 yards per carry. If he is unable to go, RB Bernard Pierce will handle the rushing load. Pierce actually has three more carries than Rice this season, but has averaged a paltry 2.8 YPC. After being gashed for 510 yards and seven touchdowns by the Broncos in Week 1, Baltimore's defense was a lot more nasty against the Browns, holding them to 259 total yards and six points. However, three key defenders are all listed as questionable for this game due to injuries, DT Brandon Williams (toe), CB Jimmy Smith (concussion) and LB Arthur Brown (pectoral).

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