NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, December 15

NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, December 15

NFL Week 15

Redskins (3-10) @ Falcons (3-10) —
How is Atlanta favored by six points over anyone? They’ve lost six of last seven games, haven’t won game by more than 8 points all year. Falcons are 2-4 at home, 2-2 vs spread when favored, but last time they were favored was Week 7. Atlanta’s last three games were all decided by 4 or less points; last week they became first team (1-3-1) to lose to Rodgers-less Packers. Assuming RGIII is playing until I hear otherwise; both teams here appear dead, with Redskins the more dead of the two, losing last five games while allowing average of 30.8 ppg. Skins allowed two special teams TDs in snow at home last week; they’ve scored 12.3 ppg in last four games, with five TDs on last 48 drives, with 20 3/outs- they allowed five TD drives of less than 50 yards in last three games. Washington is 0-2 on carpet this year, losing by 15-7 in domes at Dallas/Minnesota. Falcons won last three series games by 10-14-7 points; last time they lost to Redskins was 2003. NFC South non-divisional favorites are 9-6-1 vs spread, 8-2-1 at home. NFC East underdogs are 5-10, 4-7 on road. Three of last four Washington games stayed under the total.

49ers (9-4) @ Buccaneers (4-9) — Niners pulled out slugfest with Seattle last week, still lead race for second Wild Card spot; they’ve won last three games, giving up 12 ppg (3 TDs on 33 drives). 49ers were held to 9 or less points in three of four losses, with only exception 23-20 loss in Superdome. Bucs won four of last five games, covered five of last six; they won last three home games, after losing first four, two which were by 2-3 points. Tampa was even in turnovers in each of first six games; in seven games sice, they’re+13, with 19 takeaways in last six games- they won at Detroit, led 21-7 at half in Seattle, so they’ve improved, but last week was first time in last nine games they held team under 19 points. 49ers won field position in nine of 13 games and lost three of four teams they did not- they’ve won 16 of 21 series games, hammering Bucs 48-3 in last meeting two years ago; this is their first visit to Tampa since 2004. NFC West non-divisional favorites are 14-5-1 vs spread, 6-1 on road. NFC South underdogs are 9-8 vs spread, 2-3 at home. Last five 49er games, last three Tampa Bay games stayed under total.

Seahawks (11-2) @ Giants (5-8) — Super Bowl is in Swamp Stadium in seven weeks; Seahawks need to keep winning to wrap home field edge thru NFC playoffs so they can get back here then, and their home edge is significant. While Seahawks are 5-2 SU on road, their wins are by 5-3-12-5-23 points, with losses at Indy/SF- they’re 4-2 as road favorites, but just as easily could’ve lost to Texans/Rams/ Falcons on road, all non-playoff teams. Giants had won four in row after 0-6 start, but Week 12 loss to Dallas burst their bubble; in last two weeks, they fell behind Redskins 14-0 but rallied to beat dysfunctional Skins, then got blasted by Chargers last week, KO’ing them from contention. Giants are 2-4 vs spread as underdogs this year, 3-3 SU at home, with losses by 18-15-3 points- they’ve given up 283 rushing yards in last two games, bad news vs Lynch.. Seattle is 4-6 overall  vs Giants, winning 36-25 in last visit here in ’11; they’ve lost six of eight visits to play Big Blue in Swamp. NFC West non-divisional favorites are 14-5-1 vs spread, 6-1 on road; NFC East underdogs are 5-10 vs spread, 1-3 at home. Three of last four Seattle games stayed under the total.

Cardinals (8-5) @ Titans (5-8) — Two teams going in opposite directions: Arizona won five of last six games (4-1-1 vs spread) with last three wins all by 13+ points, Titans lost seven of last nine games after 3-1 start- they’ve lost last four home games, with last two (vs Jags/Colts) by combined margin of five points. Arizona is just 2-4 SU on road, winning by FG in Tampa, by 13 in Jax; since they close out with games vs Seattle/49ers, they’d best win here, to stay within game of 49ers so Week 17 showdown stays important. Titans lost last four home games, by 9-14-2-3 points, but three of four teams that beat them will make playoffs; they’re 1-4-1 vs spread in last six games as an underdog. Cardinals were underdogs in first seven games this year, are 4-0-1 vs spread when favored (1-0 as road fave). Titans were +8 in turnovers in first six games; they’re -8 in last seven. Tennessee won four of last six series games after losing first three; Cardinals lost 20-17 in ’09, their only visit to Music City. NFC West non-divisional favorites are 14-5-1 vs spread, 6-1 on road; AFC South underdogs are 8-14-1 vs spread, 2-7 at home. Over is 5-1-1 in last seven Tennessee games.

Saints (10-3) @ Rams (5-8) — New Orleans averaged 18.8 ppg in splitting first six road games, with wins by 2-8-4 points, and losses at Swamp/Foxboro/Seattle- they average 31.4 ppg at home. Lousy St Louis team ambushed Saints 31-21 here two years ago; while I doubt Saints will take Rams lightly, they’re in Carolina sandwich, having beat Panthers at home Sunday night, with potential division-clinching rematch in Charlotte next Sunday. Rams play hard on defense but are deficient on offense with Clemens at QB; they’ve scored five TDs on defense/special teams in last three wins, lost last five games when they didn’t score on defense/ST. St Louis scored 27+ points in all five of its wins; they’re 3-3 at home, with losses by 24-5-7 points. Rams are 4-7 vs spread as underdogs this year, 2-2 at home; they’re +14 in turnovers in five wins, -7 in eight losses. NFC West non-divisional underdogs are 7-6-1 vs spread, 2-1 at home. NFC South favorites are 9-6-1 vs spread, but 1-4 on foreign soil. Last four New Orleans games stayed under total; Rams are 5-4 SU this season when game goes over total, 0-4 when it stays under.

Bears (7-6) @ Browns (4-9) — Chicago travelling on short week after pummeling Dallas Monday night; Bears allowed 20+ points in every game this year- they’re 1-5 vs spread in game following a win, 2-4 SU on road, beating Steelers/Pack (night Rodgers got hurt). Chicago ran ball for 135-199 yards in last two games, but Browns’ run defense has been stout, allowing 112 or less yards on ground in last five games. Cleveland gagged in Foxboro last week, blowing 26-14 lead in last 2:00 of brutal 27-26 loss, their 4th loss in row while allowing 31.8 ppg; Browns are 2-4 at home, with only wins over divisional rivals Bengals/Ravens. Will Cleveland stick to run, taking advantage of Bear rush defense that allowed 204.1 ypg over their last seven games? Campbell had 398 yards, no picks in air last week; most yards they’ve run for this year is 126, vs Lions in Week 6. Home side won all three meetings since Browns were revived in ’99; Bears lost 20-10 in only visit here, in ’05. NFC North non-divisional underdogs are 4-8 vs spread, 3-7 on road; AFC North favorites are 8-9, 6-5 at home. Three of last four Chicago games, five of last six Cleveland games went over the total.

Texans (2-11) @ Colts (8-5) — Indy clinched division last week despite losing, now they’re playing for seeding; Colts are 4-2 SU at home, 1-3 as home favorites, winning by 4-6-5-8 points, with losses to Miami/Rams. Indy is 3-0-1 vs spread in game following a loss this year. Houston fired coach Kubiak after second loss to Jags in three weeks, so Wade Phillips is interim coach rest of way. Texans lost last 11 games, now their play caller is gone with a first-time QB, so that’s not good; they’re 1-5 SU on road despite being favored three times- they’re 1-1-1 as road dogs, losing away games by 21-31-1-3-7 points, with win at San Diego in opener. Colts trailed 21-3 at halftime at Reliant when Kubiak had stroke; Indy rallied to win 27-24, but are just 4-4 in last eight games after 4-1 start, getting outscored 114-24 in first half of last six games. Houston had 483 yards in first meeting, outrushing Colts 143-69. Texans have only one takeaway (-5) in their last four games. Home teams are 2-5-1 vs spread in AFC South divisional games, 1-3 if favored. Five of last six Houston games, six of last seven Colt games went over total.

Bills (4-9) @ Jaguars (4-9) — Not sure why Buffalo is favored in this game, but they are. Jax won four of last five games, impressive spurt after 0-8 start; they’ve scored six TDs on 27 drives last two games, after scoring total of six TDs in previous seven games. Jags ended 0-5 schneid at home last week, beating Texans for second time in three weeks despite getting outgained 406-281- all nine of their losses this year are by 10+ points. After turning ball over 19 times in first ten games, Jags have only one giveaway (+5) in last three. Jax gave up 221 rushing yards in Week 8 loss, then had its bye; since then, they’ve allowed average of only 70.8 yards/game on ground. Buffalo lost five of last six games; they’re 1-5 on road, with losses by 7-13-18-13-21 points- only win was 23-21 at Miami in Week 7. Home team is just 5-7 in this series, with Bills 3-2 in five visits here; Jags lost 34-18 at Buffalo LY, but both sides had different coaches. AFC East non-divisional favorites are 6-4 vs spread, 1-1 on road; AFC South underdogs are 9-14-1, 2-7 at home. Six of last nine Buffalo games, five of last six Jaguar games went over total.

Patriots (10-3) @ Dolphins (7-6) — New England won last three weeks by total of seven points; they’re first team since ’00 Chiefs to win three consecutive games, when they trailed by 10+ points in all three. In last four games, Pats were outscored 57-10 in first half, then outscored foes 105-55 after halftime, but now Gronkowski is done for year; his presence revitalized their passing game. Pats trailed Texans/Browns by double digits last two weeks, two poor teams; Brady’s heroics are camouflaging a very ordinary supporting cast. Miami won three of last four games; they’re 3-3 at home this year, with all six games decided by 4 or less points. Fish are 6-3 vs spread as an underdog; they’re +5 in turnovers in last six games, and haven’t lost a fumble in last five (Miami/Jax only teams to do that). Dolphins won field position in last three games by 7-16-10 yards. Patriots won last seven series games, with five of seven wins by 10+ points; they’ve won last three visits to Miami by 27-14-7 points. Underdogs covered five of six AFC East divisional games, with home dogs 3-0. Six of last eight Patriot games went over total; under is 5-1-1 in last seven Miami games.

Eagles (8-5) @ Vikings (3-9-1) — Minnesota is still competing, losing bizarre 29-26 game in Baltimore last week (five TDs scored in last 2:05) after playing deep into OT previous two games; they’ve covered five of last six games, winning last two home games (scoring 34-23 points) after losing first three. Vikings are 6-4 as an underdog this year. Philly is hot, winning last five games (4-1 vs spread) while scoring 31.6 ppg; this is only their second game on carpet all season, having won 36-21 in Swamp back in Week 5. After plodding thru six inches of snow in win over Detroit last week, they should feel very fast in a dome. Eagles are 5-1 SU on road, with only loss at 11-2 Denver; they’ve run ball for 180.3 ypg in last four games. In their last four games, Vikings have only four TDs, seven FGs on 13 red zone drives, which cost them in these close games- they would’ve lost to Bears in OT had normally reliable Gould not missed 46-yard FG. NFC East non-divisional favorites are 9-10 vs spread, 3-3 on road; NFC North underdogs are 4-8, 1-1 at home. Five of last seven Philly games stayed under the total; 11 of 13 Minnesota games went over.

Jets (6-7) @ Panthers (9-4) — Carolina had 8-game win streak snapped last week; they’re in a Saint sandwich, facing Rob Ryan’s defense last week/next, Rex Ryan’s defense this week. Panthers won/covered last five home games, winning by 38-15-24-4-21 points; they didn’t have turnover last week, which is worrisome vs Jet team that is +1 in turnovers in its six wins, -19 in its seven losses. Carolina was even in turnovers in each of its last three games. Jets are 1-4 vs spread in games following a win, losing by 3-25-13-40-23 points; they’re 2-3 as road underdogs this year- this is only their second game on grass all year- they lost 38-13 (+3.5 at Tennessee in Week 4. Home teams won four of five series games, with four of five games decided by 11+ points. Jets lost two of three visits here, losing by 11-27. Six of nine Carolina wins are by 15+ points; they held last three opponents to 62.3 rushing yards/game, doubt Geno Smith is beating this defense with his arm. AFC East non-divisional underdogs are 11-13 vs spread, 3-10 on road. NFC South favorites are 10-6-1, 9-2-1 at home. Five of last seven Jet games went over the total; last five Carolina games stayed under.

Chiefs (10-3) @ Raiders (4-9) — KC righted ship with dominant special teams game in snow last week, scoring on both punt/kick return as McClusker looked like Gale Sayers in snow; Chiefs haven’t swept Raiders since ’06, as series was split four of last six years, but they’ve won eight of last ten visits here and spanked Oakland 24-7 (-9) at Arrowhead in Week 7, sacking Pryor ten times and scoring a defensive TD, while its two scoring drives were just 55/23 yards. Chiefs are 5-1 on road, 4-0 as road favorites, winning away games by 26-10-9-10-35 points; they’ve had TD on defense/special teams in all five of their road wins. Oakland lost three in row, five of last six games; ; they’re 3-3 at home, 2-3 as home dogs, losing in Coliseum by 10-29-4 points- they’ve given up special teams TD in three of last five games and allowed 144-143 rushing yards in last two games- their lack of depth due to salary cap hell has been exposed in recent weeks, as has their uncertainty at QB, where undrafted McGloin is playing over 1st-round pick Pryor. Favorites are 5-2 vs spread in AFC West divisional games this year. Last three Chief games went over total; over is 5-0-1 in last six Oakland games.

Packers (6-6-1) @ Cowboys (7-6) — Dallas is 5-1 SU at home this year, 3-2 as home favorites, winning by 5-24-15-4-7 points; Pokes are on short week after dismal 45-28 loss Monday night when Bears never punted, second time (out of 3 NFL-wide) that’s happened to Cowboys this year. Green Bay is now 1-4-1 without Rodgers after 22-21 win over 3-10 Falcons last week; they lost 27-13/40-10 in two road games he didn’t start, are 0-4 vs spread as underdogs this year. Dallas will move ball/score points; they converted 12-23 on 3rd down in last two games; not sure Packers have enough weapons to take advantage of Cowboys’ depleted defense that allowed 27 plays of 20+ yards in its last four games. In their last six red zone drives, Pack has two TDs, three FGs. Home teams won 13 of last 14 series games; Packers lost last nine visits here, with last win in ’89- teams haven’t played since ’10, Green Bay hasn’t been here since ‘07. NFC East non-divisional underdogs are 4-10 vs spread, 4-7 on road; NFC North favorites are 5-11-2 vs spread, 3-7-2 at home. Seven of last ten Packer games stayed under total; last six Dallas games went over.

Bengals (9-4) @ Steelers (5-8) — Bengals won last three games to hold its division lead, but they’re only 3-4 on road, with wins by 3-3-7 points- they’re 1-3 as road favorites, as home teams are 10-2-1 vs spread in their games this season. Pitt lost tough games by 2-4 points last two weeks to slide out of contention; they lost 20-10 (+7) at Cincy in Week 2, getting outrushed 127-44, turning ball over twice (-2). Steelers won three of last four home games, covered last three tries as an underdog; they’re +8 in turnovers in their five wins, -12 in losses, with red flag 1-2 record in games where turnovers were even. Bengals scored 40+ points in last three home games but have 20-17-17 in last three on foreign soil; Dalton hasn’t been sacked in his last three games (86 PA). Pitt allowed 181 rushing yards to Miami last week, are -15/-10 in field position last two weeks. Series was swept five of last six years; Bengals’ only sweep since ’98 was four years ago, but they did split last four visits here. Home teams are 7-2 vs spread in AFC North divisional games, 2-0 if home dogs. Last three Bengal road games stayed under total; three of last four Pittsburgh games went over.

Ravens (7-6) @ Lions (7-6) — Detroit continuously shoots itself in foot, turning ball over 20 times in last six games (-15); they’ve lost three of last four games, are big disappointment considering they’re only NFC North team whose QB stayed upright all year. Lions are 3-3 as home favorites, winning at home by 10-8-1-30 points, with big win vs Rodgers-less Packers. Ravens won last three games to stay in contention, surviving bizarre game last week where lead changed hands five times in last 2:05. Baltimore is 1-5 on road, with four of six games decided by exactly three points; they’re 3-2-1 as underdogs this year- this is only second time they’ve been a dog in their last seven games. Lions lost in blizzard last week despite having KR/PRs for TDs; they were outgained 478-228. Home side won all three Raven-Lion games, with Baltimore crushing Detroit 48-3 in last meeting four years ago. AFC North non-divisional underdogs are 8-5-2 vs spread, 5-3-2 on road; NFC North favorites are 5-11-2 vs spread, 3-7-2 at home. Six of last eight Detroit games, three of last four Raven games went over the total. Both teams will be glad for dome setting after playing in snow last week.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, December 15

NFL Football: Streaks, Tips, Notes
Sportspic.com

Kansas City at Oakland

Chiefs off a dominant performance in Washington spanking Redskins 45-10 won't miss a beat in Oakland against a squad that just got shredded for 37 points against to one of the leagues worst offense. Chiefs stifling Redskins 2nd ranked run game (65 RY) won't change the game plan against Oakland's one-dimensional offense that's only able to run the football. Lay the expected small number (-3.5 to -4.0) knowing Chiefs easily handling Raiders earlier this season (24-7) are 5-1 SU/ATS on the road this season, 4-0 ATS last four as a road favorite of 7 or less points. Other trends of note: Chiefs are 4-0 ATS on the road allowing =< 100 rushing yards, Raiders 0-6 ATS at home rushing =< 100 yds. Raiders have a 2-6 ATS home skid vs the division, 2-5 ATS home slump revenging a loss to an opponent.

New York at Carolina

Jets flashed some life for the first time in weeks racking up a season-high 37 points in a win over Raiders snapping a three game slide. Carolina showed little life in generating enough points to keep up with Drew Brees as Panthers saw it's eight game win streak come to a halt with a 31-13 thrashing in New Orleans. Panthers 4-1 ATS following a road game in which they scored 17 or less points, 5-0 ATS as home fave in December, 3-1 ATS as a home favorite vs non-conference foes look to have the betting trends in their favor. Doubt Jets can repeat the offensive performance vs Panthers' top rated scoring defense (14.5 PPG). However, be careful if you plan on laying the expected boat load of points (-11 to -12). Double digit home favorites haven't been the best bets this season (10-13-1 ATS) and our database tell us 'Fly Boys' are 5-1 ATS vs the NFC South, on a 5-0 ATS stretch taking 9.5 or more points, 9-3 ATS last twelve grabbing an extra 9.5 plus.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, December 15

Sharp Moves - Week 15
By Mike Rose
VegasInsider.com

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. Check out some of the best and brightest plays that are on the board in Week 14!

All public betting percentages courtesy of VegasInsider.com as of Thursday morning.

Tampa Bay +5 - Most don't realize that Tampa Bay has been one of the best teams in the league over the course of the last five weeks. The Buccaneers are eager to prove they can take on one of the best teams in the league in this stretch, and they have the Niners here for the taking. It's natural for San Fran to lay an egg after winning last week against the Seahawks. It's tough to come down off of that massive high, and the sharp bettors agree with that sentiment.

Opening Line: Tampa Bay +5.5
Current Line: Tampa Bay +5
Public Betting Percentage: 72% on San Francisco

Houston +5.5 - It's just a play that doesn't make any sense in the world. The oddsmakers don't hang numbers nearly as high on Houston as they would with some of the other bad teams in the league, so why? The Texans, for one, have lost seven consecutive games by seven points or fewer, so making them more than a touchdown underdog seems a bit crazy. Teams with interim coaches due to coaches being fired have covered five games in a row. Indy has little to play for after already clinching the AFC South, knowing that it really can't do better than the fourth seed in the conference at this point. It would be fitting if Houston ended its longest losing streak in franchise history against the Colts, a team which it has never beaten on the road.

Opening Line: Houston +6
Current Line: Houston +5.5
Public Betting Percentage: 75% on Indianapolis

Buffalo -2 - It's not often we talk about favorites here on the sharp plays, but the Bills are definitely sharp. Why? Because Jacksonville makes a bunch of sense… almost too much sense. The Bills are coming off of two straight losses where they have turned the ball over a ton, and they really look like they have packed it in for the season. Jacksonville is flying high, and it is coming off of a win that had to feel like the Super Bowl against Houston. On top of that, the Jags have won four out of five, have played solid ball every week since their bye, and seem to have their acts together, and they had a long week of preparation for this one. Still, someone sees something in the Bills, because this line flat out isn't moving, and it's on a number where Jacksonville should be seeing a lot of action.

Opening Line: Buffalo -2
Current Line: Buffalo -2
Public Betting Percentage: 66% on Jacksonville

Pittsburgh +2.5 - We hate this play because Pittsburgh is literally always a public play. But in this case, the case for the playoff-bound Bengals is stronger than the case for the general public play known as the Steelers. Most figure that Pittsburgh has given up on the season, and that very well could be the case. Last season though, the Bengals spoiled the Steelers' season on their home field. Sharps are thinking that it might be time to repay the favor.

Opening Line: Pittsburgh +3
Current Line: Pittsburgh +2.5
Public Betting Percentage: 68% on Cincinnati

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, December 15

Sunday's Top Action
By Sportsbook.ag

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (10-3) at MIAMI DOLPHINS (7-6)

Sportsbook.ag Kickoff: Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET
Line: New England -2, Total: 45.5

The Patriots have to deal with yet another key injury when they try to wrap up their 10th AFC East title in 11 years on Sunday visiting the Dolphins.

Last week, New England pulled off an incredible comeback with 13 points in the final 1:01 to defeat the Browns 27-26, but lost All-Pro TE Rob Gronkowski to a torn ACL. Miami also suffered a key loss last week with top RB Lamar Miller suffering a concussion, but he is expected to return for Sunday's game. If Miller cannot play, backup RB Daniel Thomas proved more than capable of handling the workload with 105 rushing yards in his team’s 34-28 win in the Pittsburgh snow. Despite gaining just 252 total yards in their last meeting, the Patriots were still able to beat the Dolphins for the seventh straight time with a 27-17 victory in Week 8, erasing a 17-3 halftime deficit. New England is 22-5 ATS (82%) versus teams with a win pct. of 51% to 60% in the second half of the season since 1992, but Miami falls into the category of underdogs (or pick) in a game involving two average teams (+/- 0.4 YPP) after 8+ games, after allowing 400+ total yards in their previous game, who are 110-66 ATS (63%) since 1983. In addition to losing Gronkowski, the Patriots have five other key players considered questionable for this game in CB Alfonzo Dennard (knee), OT Marcus Cannon (ankle), TE Michael Hoomanawanui (knee) and WRs Aaron Dobson (foot) and Kenbrell Thompkins (hip). Miami just placed CBs Dimitri Patterson (groin) and R.J. Stanford (leg) on injured reserve this week, and another cornerback, Jamar Taylor, is questionable with a hamstring injury.

The Patriots offense ranks fifth in the league in scoring (26.8 PPG) and eighth in total offense (386 YPG). However, starting with the win over Miami in Week 8, they are averaging 32.8 PPG on 438 total YPG in the past six games. QB Tom Brady has led this resurgence with 1,977 passing yards (330 YPG), 13 TD and 4 INT during this stretch. Brady has also had great success against the Dolphins in his Hall of Fame career, posting a 17-6 record with 4,942 passing yards (215 YPG), 40 TD and 19 INT in 23 starts versus his AFC East foe. When Brady was held to 116 passing yards in the win over Miami on Oct. 27, he did not have the services of RB Shane Vereen, who has become Brady's favorite target in the passing game. Vereen has 40 receptions for 373 yards in his five games this season, including a dozen catches for 153 yards in last week's win.

With TE Rob Gronkowski out and WRs Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins both questionable, Brady will lean more heavily on possession receivers Julian Edelman (775 rec. yards, 5 TD) and Danny Amendola (448 rec. yards, 2 TD). New England's rushing offense has been pretty average this year (4.2 YPC, 15th in NFL), but was able to grind up 152 yards on 4.1 YPC in the Week 8 win over Miami. RB Stevan Ridley (611 rush yards, 7 TD) led the way that day with 79 yards on 5.6 YPC and a touchdown, but his role has been reduced due to fumble problems, as he's now splitting carries with RB LeGarrette Blount (460 rush yards, 3 TD). Defensively, the rash of season-ending injuries the Patriots have suffered (LB Jerod Mayo and DTs Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly) are a big reason why the team ranks 24th in total defense (372 YPG) and 31st in rushing defense (136 YPG). They are also 31st in third-down defense (44%) and subpar in the red zone (58% touchdown rate, 20th in NFL). But New England has allowed only 22.1 PPG (10th in league), and a lot of that has to do with its 24 takeaways which rank second in the AFC.

Miami's offense has struggled for most of the season, ranking 24th in total offense (325 YPG) and 21st in scoring offense (22.0 PPG). Its red-zone efficiency (55% touchdown rate, 17th in league) and third-down offense (36%, 22nd in NFL) are both below average as well. QB Ryan Tannehill (3,315 pass yards, 6.8 YPA, 20 TD, 14 INT) threw a pair of touchdown passes within the first 20 minutes of the Week 8 matchup in Foxboro, but he was atrocious the rest of the way, finishing 22-of-42 (52%) for 192 yards (4.6 YPA) with two interceptions and six sacks taken. But he has been much better since that game, completing 67% of his passes for 258 YPG (6.9 YPA), 9 TD and 5 INT. He's done this by spreading the wealth mainly to WR Brian Hartline (team-best 67 catches and 855 yards), TE Charles Clay (team-high 6 TD) and WR Mike Wallace (762 rec. yards, 3 TD).

Miami's rushing offense has just 96 YPG this year (23rd in NFL), but is gaining a solid 4.3 yards per carry (14th in league) thanks in large part to Tannehill's 6.0 YPC average on his 37 rushing attempts. Defensively, this club allows only 21.2 PPG (9th in NFL) thanks to a strong red-zone defense (51% touchdown rate, 10th in league). The rushing defense has struggled with 119 YPG allowed (23rd in NFL), but the pass rush has been fierce all season with 40 sacks (5th in NFL). Miami has also been opportunistic with 22 takeaways, forcing at least one turnover in all 13 games.

NEW YORK JETS (6-7) at CAROLINA PANTHERS (9-4)

Sportsbook.ag Kickoff: Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET
Line: Carolina -11, Total: 40.5

After being beaten soundly last week, the Panthers look for a big bounce-back effort Sunday versus the Jets.

New York scored a season-high 37 points in a 10-point win versus Oakland last week, but is just 1-5 SU (2-4 ATS) on the road this year, where it has been outscored by an average of 31 to 13. Carolina fell 31-13 in New Orleans last Sunday night, but has destroyed its past five visitors by an average score of 31 to 10, outgaining them by 431 total yards with a +8 turnover margin. The Jets have the worst turnover margin in the NFL at minus-18 with rookie QB Geno Smith producing 24 miscues (20 INT, 4 FL). New York holds a 3-2 SU edge all-time in this series, but the Panthers are 3-0 ATS at home versus the Jets.

Most of the betting trends points towards Carolina, like its 9-1 ATS record (90%) in the past two seasons after allowing 99 or less rushing yards in two straight games, or its 55-22 ATS mark (71%) versus bad defenses (24+ PPG allowed) since 1992. But New York is 3-1 ATS (75%) as a road underdog of 7.5 to 14 points over the past three seasons, including 2-0 ATS this year. The Jets could be missing both top CB Antonio Cromartie (concussion, questionable) and WR Stephen Hill (knee, doubtful), while the Panthers will be missing RB Jonathan Stewart (knee).

The Jets' offense has been pretty miserable with the league's second-fewest points (17.4 PPG) and third-fewest yards (308 YPG). Their inefficiency in both the red zone (47% touchdown rate, 28th in NFL) and on third down (35%, 24th in league) has not helped the cause. QB Geno Smith has had a few strong games in his rookie year, but still has more than twice as many interceptions (20) as touchdowns (9), completing only 55% of his passes for 2,475 yards (7.0 YPA). He's also been sacked 39 times, but has been able to score four rushing touchdowns. In his six road games, Smith has thrown for only 1,091 yards (182 YPG, 6.7 YPA) with 4 TD and 12 INT, while taking 23 sacks. No New York receiver has scored more than three touchdowns through the air, and WR Jeremy Kerley's pedestrian numbers lead the team in both receptions (32) and receiving yards (388).

The Jets have stayed in the playoff hunt due to a quality ground game that ranks 11th in the league in rushing yards (126 YPG) and 13th in yards per carry (4.3 YPC). Smith ran for 50 of the team's 143 yards last week on just five carries, while bruising RB Chris Ivory picked up 76 yards on 18 attempts (4.2 YPC) with a touchdown. Ivory (639 rush yards, 4.4 YPC, 3 TD) has been more effective than speedier RB Bilal Powell (530 rush yards, 3.8 YPC, 1 TD) which is why he gets the bulk of the rushing workload. Although New York's defense is allowing 25.9 PPG (T-23rd in NFL), a lot of that is due to poor field position that the turnover-prone offense has put the unit in. The Jets rank 11th in the league in total defense (338 YPG) and 10th in yards per play (5.1), and have been nasty to opposing ball carriers with 83 rushing YPG allowed (2nd in league) on an NFL-best 3.1 YPC allowed. They have also gotten key stops in both the red zone (49% touchdown rate, T-5th in league) and on third down (35%, 8th in NFL). New York has done this despite forcing only 10 turnovers for the season (2nd-fewest in league).

Carolina has been excellent at home, going 5-1 (SU and ATS) and outscoring opponents by a hefty 16.2 PPG, with 26.7 PPG scored and just 10.5 PPG allowed. But overall, the offense hasn't been great, ranking 29th in passing offense (192 YPG), 27th in yards per play (5.0) and 26th in total offense (321 YPG). But the Panthers have been able to score a respectable 22.9 PPG (17th in NFL) because they rank fourth in the league in both red-zone efficiency (63% touchdown rate) and on third downs (46%). QB Cam Newton has posted average passing numbers (62% completions, 2,776 yards, 6.9 YPA, 20 TD, 11 INT), but has been able to make big plays with his legs all year, helping his team control the football for 33:06 (2nd in NFL). His 495 rushing yards (5.6 YPC) and six touchdowns have contributed greatly to his team's 129 rushing YPG (T-8th in league). With RB Jonathan Stewart (180 rush yards, 3.8 YPC) out, the bulk of the rushing workload will go to RB DeAngelo Williams (662 rush yards, 4.0 YPC, 2 TD) and bruising RB Mike Tolbert (313 rush yards, 3.9 YPC, 4 TD). This ground-heavy attack has kept turnovers to a minimum, as the team has committed only seven giveaways in its past nine games.

The Panthers defense didn't have many answers for Drew Brees and the Saints last week, but this unit is still among the best in the NFL, leading the league in scoring defense (14.5 PPG allowed), rushing defense (79 YPG) and first downs allowed (16.8 per game). It is also tied for first in red-zone defense (39% touchdown rate), second in total defense (296 YPG) and fifth in both third-down defense (34%) and passing defense (217 YPG). This unit has also been effective in taking the football away, forcing multiple turnovers in nine of 13 games this season.

GREEN BAY PACKERS (6-6-1) at DALLAS COWBOYS (7-6)

Sportsbook.ag Kickoff: Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET
Line: Dallas -7, Total: 49.5

Two teams trying to keep playoff hopes alive collide Sunday when the Cowboys host the Packers.

Green Bay is 0-6 ATS (1-4-1 SU) since QB Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone and will likely need QB Matt Flynn to start again, as Rodgers is doubtful to be cleared to play for this matchup. Dallas QB Tony Romo didn’t play well in Monday’s 45-28 loss in Chicago (11-for-20, 104 yards), but he still threw 3 TD passes and no picks, giving him 27 TD and just 7 INT this year. Romo has been especially good at home where he's thrown for 285 YPG, 14 TD and 4 INT and has led his team to a 5-1 SU record (4-2 ATS). The Packers have lost nine straight visits (1-8 ATS) to Dallas, but hasn’t played in Big D since 2007. When these teams last met in 2010, Green Bay won 45-7 behind 289 passing yards and 3 TD from Rodgers, while Romo was sidelined with an injury. Both teams have favorable betting trends for this matchup, as the Packers fall into the category of underdogs after allowing 17+ points in the first half of two straight games against an opponent after a double-digit loss, who are 57-27 ATS (68%) since 1983.

However, favorites like the Cowboys who are terrible on defense (370+ YPG allowed) facing a poor defense (335 to 370 YPG allowed) after 8+ games are 41-18 ATS (70%) in the past 10 seasons. In addition to Rodgers' injury, the Packers are still without top WR Randall Cobb (fibula) who was supposed to be back by this point, while both RB Eddie Lacy (ankle) and LB Brad Jones (leg) are questionable for this game. The Cowboys remain thin at linebacker with LB Bruce Carter (hamstring) doubtful and LB Justin Durant (hamstring) questionable, but LB Sean Lee (neck) is expected to play despite suffering what appeared to be a major injury last week. Starting CB Morris Claiborne (hamstring) is also questionable for Dallas.

With QB Aaron Rodgers unable to play, QB Matt Flynn expects to make his fourth straight start. After a miserable performance on Thanksgiving (10-for-20, 139 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT, 2 lost fumbles), Flynn played pretty well in last week's 22-21 win over the Falcons, completing 24-of-32 passes (75%) for 258 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. However, Flynn needs to get rid of the football quicker, as he has absorbed 12 sacks in these past two games. Flynn did a great job spreading the wealth in last week's win with seven different Packers getting multiple targets and only TE Andrew Quarless (seven targets) seeing more than five passes come his way.

Top RB Eddie Lacy (887 rush yards, 3.9 YPC, 7 TD) rolled his ankle in last week's win, but was able to return to the game and appears like he will be able to start on Sunday. If the rookie cannot go, backup RB James Starks (346 rush yards, 5.3 YPC, 3 TD) is certainly capable of carrying the workload. Defensively, the Packers have been below average, ranking 25th in the NFL in yards per play allowed (5.7) and rushing defense (123 YPG), while ranking 20th in scoring defense (25.1 PPG allowed) and 19th on third downs (39%). Its red-zone efficiency (55% touchdown rate, 15th in NFL) has been adequate, and after failing to force multiple turnovers in eight straight contests, this unit has generated six takeaways in the past two games.

Dallas averages just 328 total YPG (22nd in NFL) on offense, but has been able to post a hefty 27.5 PPG (T-3rd in league) because of an excellent red-zone efficiency of converting 71% of its trips into touchdowns (2nd in NFL). The team has been pass-heavy for most of the 2013 season with 235 passing YPG (15th in NFL) and just 94 rushing YPG (24th in league), but has made a concerted effort to pound the football over the past four weeks with 135 rushing YPG on a hefty 5.7 YPC. This includes 198 yards on 28 carries (7.1 YPC) in last week's loss in Chicago, when top RB DeMarco Murray (843 rush yards, 5.3 YPC, 7 TD) gained 146 yards on just 18 attempts (8.1 YPC). Murray has also been a valuable receiver out of the backfield with 41 catches, which ranks third on the team behind WR Dez Bryant (70 rec., 908 yards, 10 TD) and TE Jason Witten (55 rec., 632 yards, 7 TD).

This Cowboys defense continues to be gashed on a weekly basis though, ranking among the worst NFL defenses in several categories. They rank last in total defense (427 YPG allowed), last in passing defense (299 YPG), last in first downs allowed (24.9 per game) 28th in rushing defense (128 YPG), 28th on third downs (43%), 26th in red-zone defense (61% touchdown rate) and 26th in scoring defense (26.8 PPG). This unit has also not made enough big plays, with a mere four forced turnovers in the past four games combined.


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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, December 15

Sunday's NFL Week 15 Betting Cheat Sheet: Early Action
By Covers.com

Washington Redskins at Atlanta Falcons (-7, 49.5)

Robert Griffin III will be on the sidelines Sunday afternoon when the Redskins visit the Atlanta Falcons. The quarterback has been benched for poor play - and while much of the focus has been on Griffin's shortcomings in his sophomore season, and the 38 sacks the once-mobile quarterback has taken, the defense has been a much bigger problem. Washington is tied for 22nd in total defense and last in the league in scoring, allowing 31.3 points per game.

Atlanta's precipitous fall from NFC South champion to conference bottom-feeder can be blamed on its play in the trenches - the Falcons rank 30th in the league in rushing offense and rushing defense. They've topped 100 yards on the ground only three times while allowing triple digits in 10 straight games. Ryan (3,677 yards, 21 TDs) is in line for his third straight 4,000-yard season but also his lowest quarterback rating since 2009.

LINE: Atlanta opened as a 6-point fave, but has been bet up to -7. The total is down 1.5 points to 49.5.
WEATHER: N/A.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Washington (+7.5) - Atlanta (+5.5) + home field (-3.0) = Falcons -5
TRENDS:

* Redskins are 0-4 ATS in their last four road games.
* Falcons are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games on fieldturf.
* Over is 6-2 in Atlanta's last eight home games.


Chicago Bears at Cleveland Browns (EVEN, 43)

The Chicago Bears will have their starting quarterback in the lineup when they visit the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. Jay Cutler was cleared to practice at full speed on Wednesday and coach Marc Trestman on Thursday announced that he will start against Cleveland. He'll take over for Josh McCown, who threw for 348 yards Monday in a performance that earned him NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors.

Cleveland was on the verge of snapping its losing streak last Sunday before allowing two touchdowns in the final 61 seconds en route to a 27-26 loss at New England. The setback, their seventh in eight games, assured the Browns of their sixth consecutive losing season. Quarterback Brandon Weeden (concussion) practiced on Wednesday but remains questionable to serve as Jason Campbell's backup on Sunday.

LINE: The line has held steady at even-money, with the total down to 43 from the opening 45.5.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the mid-20s with a 45 percent chance of snow and wind blowing out of the west at 14 mph.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Chicago (-1.5) + Cleveland (+6.0) - home field (-3.0) = Bears -4.5
TRENDS:

* Bears are 0-7 ATS in their last seven games after allowing fewer than 150 passing yards in their previous game.
* Browns are 7-3-1 ATS in their last 11 home games vs. teams with winning road records.
* Over is 11-2 in Chicago's last 13 Sunday games following a Monday nighter.


Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts (-5, 45.5)

Houston quarterback Quarterback Case Keenum was one of those who appeared to be bothered by the pressure in a lackluster performance against the Jaguars that saw him benched in the third quarter, but the second-year pro was given the nod by interim head coach Wade Phillips to end the season under center. Keenum threw for a career-high 350 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions in the prior meeting.

The Colts gave up 155 rushing yards against the Bengals last week and rank 29th overall in run defense, a troubling scenario for a team that hopes to have success in the postseason. Coupled with an inability at times to get off the field on third down - opponents are successful 40.5 percent of the time - Indianapolis has struggled to control the clock, also ranking 29th in time of possession.

LINE: Indianapolis has dropped a point to -5, while the total is also down a half-point to 45.5.
WEATHER: N/A
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Houston (+6.5) + Indianapolis (-1.0) + home field (-3.0) = Colts -10.5
TRENDS:

* Texans are 3-11 ATS in their last 14 games.
* Colts are 12-1 ATS in their last 13 games following a SU loss.
* Under is 5-1 in the last six meetings.


New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins (+1, 45.5)

The New England Patriots will begin life without Rob Gronkowski for the second time this season as they attempt to clinch their fifth consecutive AFC East title and 10th in 11 years. New England's offense sputtered a bit as it adjusted to his initial absence, which lasted the first six weeks of the campaign following offseason surgeries on his forearm and back. Tom Brady will likely need to continue to lean on wideout Julian Edelman (team-leading 76 receptions).

Despite being sacked a league-high 47 times, Ryan Tannehill has steadily improved and matched a career best with three touchdown passes last week versus the Steelers. Versatile tight end Charles Clay reeled in two to extend his team lead to seven in that department and has seven catches in each of the last two contests. Clay has 678 yards receiving for the second-best total by a Miami tight end since Randy McMichael (791, 2004).

LINE: Miami is a 1-point dog after opening at +2.5. The total is set at 45.5.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the low-80s with cloudy skies and wind blowing across the width of the field at 6 mph.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: New England (-5.0) + Miami (+0.5) - home field (-3.0) = Patriots -2.5
TRENDS:

* Patriots are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games vs. AFC opponents.
* Dolphins are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 home games.
* Under is 7-1 in Miami's last eight games vs. AFC East foes.


Philadelphia Eagles at Minnesota Vikings (+5.5, 51)

The Eagles did not score a single point during the fourth quarter in any of the first four games of their five-game winning streak, but they erupted for 28 fourth-quarter points against the Lions last Sunday. Nick Foles (NFL-leading 120.0 quarterback rating) threw for a touchdown and rushed for another last week, but his near-record run ended at 19 touchdowns before throwing his first interception of the season.

Minnesota and Baltimore exchanged leads six times in the fourth quarter, including five lead changes in the final 2:05, before the Vikings fell on Joe Flacco's touchdown pass to Marlon Brown with four seconds left. Minnesota has allowed the third-most passing yards in the NFL, although defensive end Brian Robison has done a nice job pressuring the quarterback of late, recording six sacks in his last six games.

LINE: Minnesota has dropped to a 5.5-point dog after opening at +4. The total is down a half-point to 51.
WEATHER: N/A
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Philadelphia (-4.0) + Minnesota (+5.0) - home field (-3.0) = Eagles -6
TRENDS:

* Eagles are 7-1 ATS in their last eight Week 15 games.
* Vikings are 5-1 ATS in their last six games.
* Under is 4-1 in the last five meetings.


Seattle Seahawks at New York Giants (+7, 41.5)

Seattle was hoping receiver Percy Harvin (hip) might play for the second time this season but it is looking unlikely. “He just hasn’t quite gotten over the hump,” coach Pete Carroll said on Wednesday. Quarterback Russell Wilson (23 touchdowns, seven interceptions) is excelling and standout running back Marshawn Lynch ranks fifth in the NFL with 1,042 yards. Star cornerback Richard Sherman (four interceptions) hasn’t picked off a pass since Oct. 28.

Quarterback Eli Manning (3,254 yards, 16 touchdowns) shares the NFL interception lead of 20 with rookie Geno Smith of the Jets and has gone eight consecutive games without reaching 300 yards. He’s also painfully aware that his struggles are a big part of the reason why New York will miss out on the postseason for the second straight campaign.

LINE: The Giants are holding as a 7-point dog, with the total set at 41.5.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the mid-30s with partly cloudy skies and wind blowing across the width of the field at 14 mph.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Seattle (-8.0) + New York (+2.0) - home field (-3.0) = Seahawks -7
TRENDS:

* Seahawks are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 road games.
* Giants are 5-1 ATS in their last six games against the NFC.
* Over is 4-0 in the last four meetings.


San Francisco 49ers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+5, 41)

Defense has keyed the turnaround for San Francisco, which allowed an average of 28 points in its first three games but has yielded 13 per game while going 8-2 over its last 10. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick continues to put up modest numbers, but he has been picked off only once in his last three games and has his top wideout back in Michael Crabtree, who has six catches in his first two contests since returning from an Achilles injury.

Tampa Bay forced five turnovers against the Bills to overcome an ugly performance by rookie quarterback Mike Glennon, who threw for a season-low 90 yards and two interceptions. With their top two running backs out for the season, Bobby Rainey rushed for 127 yards and a touchdown last week - although most of it came on an 80-yard scoring run - and Vincent Jackson hauled in his sixth TD reception of the season.

LINE: Tampa Bay has remained a 5-point dog. The total is down a half-point to 41.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the mid-70s with a 45 percent chance of showers.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: San Francisco (-6.5) - Tampa Bay (+4.0) - home field (-3.0) = 49ers -7.5
TRENDS:

* 49ers are 4-0 ATS in their last four games vs. teams with losing records.
* Buccaneers are 13-28-1 ATS in their last 42 home games.
* The home team is 7-1 ATS in the last eight meetings.


Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville Jaguars (+2.5, 42.5)

Buffalo boasts one of the top rushing games in the league with Fred Jackson (645 yards, seven TDs) and C.J. Spiller (678 yards, two TDs) sharing the load. Quarterback play has been an issue thanks to injuries and the inconsistent performance of rookie EJ Manuel, who hit bottom with four interceptions last week. The defense has given up a lot of yardage, but the front four is strong and has led Buffalo to an NFL-best 44 sacks.

Jacksonville has outgained only one opponent all season and the offense ranks last in total yards and scoring, but a resurgent ground game has led an improved effort during the winning streak. That progress could be in jeopardy with star running back Maurice Jones-Drew (hamstring) looking like a game-time decision and unproven Jordan Todman in line to start in his place.

LINE: Jacksonville opened as a two-point dog and is now +2.5, with the total down from 43.5 to 42.5.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the mid-60s with a 69 percent chance of rain.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Buffalo (+5.0) - Jacksonville (+5.5) + home field (-3.0) = Jaguars -2.5
TRENDS:

* Bills are 5-15-1 ATS in their last 21 road games.
* Jaguars are 4-0 ATS in their last four games vs. the AFC.
* Underdog is 5-2 ATS in their last seven meetings.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, December 15

Sunday's NFL Week 15 Betting Cheat Sheet: Late Action
By Covers.com

Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders (+4.5, 41.5)

Kansas City has turned in four straight solid offensive performances, averaging 384.5 total yards over that span, but the banged-up defense struggled during the three-game skid. The defense returned to form with a dominant effort against Washington and could get linebacker Justin Houston (11 sacks) back from an elbow injury this week. Despite the three-game hiccup, the Chiefs allow an AFC-best 17.2 points per game.

Oakland is sticking with Matt McGloin at quarterback as the undrafted rookie has compiled a respectable 88.7 rating with 957 yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions in four games as the starter. The Raiders likely will mix in some plays for quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who adds another element to the AFC's best rushing attack at 134.4 yards per game.

ODDS: Oakland opened as a 3.5-point dog but has been bet down to +4.5. The total is up a half-point to 41.5.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the high-50s with sunny skies.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Kansas City (-2.5) + Oakland (+5.5) - home field (-3.0) = Raiders -5
TRENDS:

* Chiefs are 5-1 ATS in their last six road games.
* Raiders are 7-0 ATS in their last seven games following an ATS loss.
* Under is 8-1-1 in Oakland's last 10 home games.


New York Jets at Carolina Panthers (-10.5, 40.5)

Rookie quarterback Geno Smith appeared headed for a benching after a wretched three-game stretch in which he threw zero touchdowns and six interceptions, but he bounced back with a solid effort in the win against Oakland, posting his highest passer rating since Oct. 7. Running back Chris Ivory is averaging 81.8 yards and has rushed for three TDs in the past five games.

Although Panthers quarterback Cam Newton threw for only 160 yards last week - his lowest total since the season opener - he provides a dual threat with an average of 57.3 yards rushing in the past four. Greg Hardy leads a defense that is fourth in the league with 41 sacks. The Panthers can clinch a playoff berth with a win and losses by San Francisco, Arizona and Dallas.

ODDS: Carolina has held steady as an 11-point fave, with the over/under set at 40 1/2.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the high-40s with partly cloudy skies.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: New York (+4.5) + Carolina (-4.5) + home field (-3.0) = Panthers -12
TRENDS:

* Jets are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games on grass.
* Panthers are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 games vs. teams with losing records.
* Home team is 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings.


Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys (-6.5, 49)

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers' status is up in the air for this weekend's clash in Dallas, although Packers backup Matt Flynn could expect to have some success against the Cowboys, given how Dallas' defense has played of late. Green Bay could be in for a long day against Dallas running back DeMarco Murray, as the Packers rank 25th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed.

Tony Romo has thrown more touchdowns than interceptions in each of his last six games, racking up 12 scores and two picks during that stretch. Surprisingly, standout tight end Jason Witten only has 10 total receptions over the last four games and has surpassed 53 receiving yards just once in his last eight contests. The Cowboys are 1-2 against the NFC North this season.

ODDS: The Cowboys opened as 6.5-point faves. The total opened at 49.
WEATHER: N/A
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Green Bay (+5.3) + Dallas (-2.0) + home field (-3.0) = Cowboys -10.3
TRENDS:

* Packers are 13-5 ATS in their last 18 December games.
* Cowboys are 2-7 ATS in their last nine games vs. teams with losing records.
* Favorite is 8-2 ATS in the last 10 meetings.


New Orleans Saints at St. Louis Rams (+6.5, 47.5)

Saints quarterback Drew Brees (4,107 yards, 33 touchdowns) went over the 4,000-yard passing mark for the eighth consecutive season during a standout performance against the Panthers in which he passed for 313 yards and four touchdowns. What stood out more to Brees when he dissected his recent strong play with reporters this week is that he has thrown just one interception over the past five games.

St. Louis has scored just 23 points during a two-game losing streak after scoring 80 in two victories that preceded the setbacks. Running back Zac Stacy (721 yards) has exceeded expectations and needs a strong finish to join Eric Dickerson (1983) and Jerome Bettis (1993) as the only rookies in franchise history to record 1,000-yard seasons. Defensive end Robert Quinn ranks second in the NFL with 13 sacks.

ODDS: The Rams opened +5.5, but the line has been bet up a point to 6.5. The total is up 1-point to 47.5.
WEATHER: N/A
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: New Orleans (-6.0) + St. Louis (+3.5) - home field (-3.0) = Saints -6.5
TRENDS:

* Saints are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games on turf.
* Rams are 7-0-1 ATS in their last eight home games vs. teams with winning road records.
* Over is 8-1 in the last nine meetings in St. Louis.


Arizona Cardinals at Tennessee Titans (+2.5, 41.5)

Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer did not practice leading up to last week's game versus St. Louis, but he overcame an ailing elbow to throw for 269 yards and a TD in the 30-10 rout. Palmer has curbed his turnover-prone ways in the past four games, throwing for eight touchdowns against two interceptions despite a running game that ranks 26th at 90.2 yards per game.

Tennessee surrendered an NFL-worst 471 points last season and the defensive woes have resurfaced in the past month, with opponents averaging 33 points in the past four defeats. Backup Ryan Fitzpatrick threw five touchdowns passes and zero interceptions in his first three games since Locker went down, but has been picked off four times in the past two games.

ODDS: The Titans are 2.5-point dogs after opening at +3. The total is steady at 41.5.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the low-30s with partly cloudy skies.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Arizona (-3.0) + Tennessee (+3.0) - home field (-3.0) = Cardinals -3
TRENDS:

* Cardinals are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games vs. teams with losing records.
* Titans are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 December games.
* Over is 8-2 in Tennessee's last 10 games vs. teams with winning records.


Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers (+1.5, 41.5)

Bengals QB Andy Dalton is enjoying his best season and is coming off a three-touchdown, no-interception performance in last week’s 42-28 victory over the AFC South-leading Indianapolis Colts. Dalton is getting plenty of help from the two-headed running attack of BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Giovani Bernard, who combined for 147 yards on the ground last week while adding to the passing game as well.

Pittsburgh nearly pulled off a spectacular victory over the Miami Dolphins last week with a series of laterals on the final play that ended with Antonio Brown in the end zone. Replays revealed that Brown had nicked the sideline on his way to the goal line, leaving the Steelers with a 34-28 setback and a very hard road to the playoffs. Brown needs 10 catches to become the second receiver in Pittsburgh history to reach 100 in a season.

ODDS: The Steelers are installed as 1.5-point dogs, with the total up one point to 41.5.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the low-20s with mostly cloudy skies and wind blowing across the width of the field at 10 mph.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Cincinnati (-4.5) + Pittsburgh (+1.0) - home field (-3.0) = Bengals -2.5
TRENDS:

* Bengals are 15-6-1 ATS in their last 22 games.
* Steelers are 4-1 ATS in their last five games vs. NFC North foes.
* Under is 22-7 in Cincinnati's last 29 December games.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, December 15

Essential Betting Tidbits for Week 15 of NFL Football
By Covers.com

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

- Seattle's ballhawking defense will be licking its chops Sunday. The Seahawks are tied for second in the league with 28 takeaways, while their opponent - the New York Giants - lead the league with 34 turnovers.

- The Chicago Bears have troubles traveling to Cleveland. They've lost their last four visits at the Browns.

- In his last four games, Browns WR Josh Gordon has registered a mind-boggling 774 yards receiving.

- The Indianapolis Colts will look to keep the tradition of beating the Houston Texans at home. The Colts have are 11-0 all time against the Texans.

- Wade Phillips tipped Case Keenum to start versus Indy despite being pulled against the Jags. Keenum threw for a career-high 350 yards and three TDs versus the Colts in the previous meeting.

- The Jacksonville Jaguars have won three-straight games and have stopped turning the ball over. The Jags were minus-7 in the turnover department during their 0-8 start but are plus-five over the last five games.

- Courtesy of @ATSstats - When the Buffalo Bills played as a road fave in the month of December, they are 8-2 SU since 1996. Buffalo is -2.5 at Jacksonville Sunday.

- The Patriots have won seven straight against the Dolphins, but just seven of their last 13 meetings in South Beach under Belichick's watch.

- Dolphins RB Lamar Miller has struggled all season long, but had one of his best games in the first meeting with New England. jiller rushed for 89 yards on 18 carries in the 27-17 loss.

- Sunday's matchup between the Eagles and Vikings features two of the most talented backs in the NFL in Adrian Peterson and LeSean McCoy. Peterson (who is questionable) rushed for only 13 yards before exiting the game versus the Ravens last week, while McCoy rumbled in the snow for 217 in the 34-20 win over the Lions.

- Kirk Cousins will start at QB for the Redskins. The second-year pro is 12-of-25 for 107 yards and two picks in two appearances this season.

- Falcons QB Matt Ryan should look to TE Tony Gonzalez Sunday. Gonzalez had 13 catches for 123 yards and TD in last years meeting with the Redskins.

- The 49ers have cashed in for bettors while on the road this season. The Niners are 5-0 ATS in their last five road games (5-1 ATS on the road this season). San Fran is a 5-point road fave at Tampa Bay Sunday.

- Bucs linebacker Lavonte David is the only player in the league with at least 100 tackles, five interceptions and five sacks.

- The Oakland Raiders have the best rushing attack in the AFC with 134.4 yards per game.

- The Raiders host the Chiefs Sunday, where the Under is 7-1 in the last eight meetings. Sunday's total is currently 41.5.

- Carolina's defense is tough. But at home is on another level. The Panthers have allowed just five touchdowns in six home games this season.

- Such stats do not bode well for the poor New York Jets and QB Geno Smith. Smith has thrown for a combined 230 yards and five interceptions in his last two road games.

- Since Oct 1., Packers RB Eddie Lacy ranks third in the NFL with 836 rushing yards.

- The Cowboys are 11-4 in the last 15 matchups with the Green Bay Packers and are 6.5-point faves at home Sunday.

- New Orleans averages just 18.8 points on the road compared to 32.9 at home. Saints are 6.5-point faves at St. Louis Sunday.

- The Rams offense has been feeble of late, scoring just 23 points during a two-game losing skid.

- The Arizona Cardinals are tied for the best ATS record in the NFL at 9-4. They are tied with fellow NFC West teams Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers.

- The Titans are looking to avoid their first five-game home losing streak since 1996, when the franchise was still based in Houston.

- Bengals QB Andy Dalton has a QB rating of just 67.8 in five games versus the Steelers.

- The Steelers are 3-1 ATS against AFC North teams this season. They are 1.5-point home dogs against Cincy Sunday night.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, December 15

Week 15 NFL Tips
By Kevin Rogers
VegasInsider.com
    
49ers (-5, 41) at Buccaneers

San Francisco: 9-4 SU, 9-4 ATS
Tampa Bay: 4-9 SU, 6-7 ATS

Last week's results: The 49ers edged the Seahawks, 19-17 to win their third consecutive game and help themselves greatly in the NFC Wild Card race. The Buccaneers have rebounded since an 0-8 start by winning their fourth game in the last five tries as Tampa Bay blew out Buffalo, 27-6 as three-point favorites.

Previous meeting results: San Francisco makes its first trip to Tampa Bay since 2004, as the 49ers routed the Bucs, 48-3 at Candlestick Park in 2011 as 2 ½-point favorites. Frank Gore rushed for 125 yards and a touchdown in the win, while San Francisco racked up 418 yards of offense.

Betting notes: Tampa Bay owns a 5-1 ATS record the last six games, but the Bucs are just 2-2 ATS when receiving points at home. The Niners didn't take home the money in the victory over Seattle, as San Francisco fell to 8-2 ATS the past 10 contests. San Francisco's defense continues to step up, resulting in five consecutive 'unders.'

Seahawks (-7, 41½) at Giants

Seattle: 11-2 SU, 9-4 ATS
New York: 5-8 SU, 5-8 ATS

Last week's results: Seattle's seven-game winning streak came to an end against rival San Francisco, but the Seahawks cashed as 2 ½-point underdogs in a 19-17 setback. The Giants return home after getting blasted at San Diego, 37-14, pretty much ending any kind of remote hopes for a playoff berth.

Previous meeting results: The Seahawks upended the Giants as 10-point road underdogs in 2011 with a 36-25 victory. New York ended up winning the Super Bowl that season, but allowed 14 unanswered points in the final 2:30 minutes, including an interception return of an Eli Manning pass for a touchdown.

Betting notes: The Giants have won three of their last four games at home, while being listed as an underdog at Met Life Stadium for the third time this season (losing to the Eagles and Broncos). The Seahawks have cashed in four of the past six opportunities as a road favorite, while hitting the 'under' in each of the last three games away from CenturyLink Field.

Patriots (-1, 45½) at Dolphins

New England: 10-3 SU, 6-7 ATS
Miami: 7-6 SU, 8-5 ATS

Last week's results: The Patriots rallied from a 12-point deficit in the final two minutes of a 27-26 triumph over the Browns. New England failed to cash as 9 ½-point home favorites, as Tom Brady tossed a pair of touchdowns down the stretch to give the Patriots their 11th straight season of 10 or more wins. The Dolphins won consecutive road games for the second time this season after holding off the Steelers, 34-28 to cash outright as three-point 'dogs.

Previous meeting results: In Week 8, the Dolphins squandered 17-3 lead in a 27-17 defeat at Gillette Stadium as 6½-point underdogs. New England outscored Miami, 24-0 in the second half, in spite of Brady throwing for just 116 yards in the victory. The Patriots have won seven straight meetings with the Dolphins, as Miami's last victory in the series came in December 2009.

Betting notes: Miami is rolling from an ATS standpoint, cashing four straight games, including three in a row as a home underdog. In spite of winning three of their past four contests, the Patriots are just 1-3 ATS in this span, while posting an 0-4 ATS mark in the last four games away from Gillette Stadium.

Cardinals (-2½, 42) at Titans

Arizona: 8-5 SU, 9-4 ATS
Tennessee: 5-8 SU, 6-6-1 ATS

Last week's results: Arizona stayed hot with its fourth win in five tries after blowing out St. Louis, 30-10 as 4 ½-point home favorites. The Cardinals have won four consecutive home contests, while scoring at least 27 points in five of the last six trips to the field. The Titans continued their late-season stumble after getting run out by the Broncos, 51-28. Tennessee actually led by 11 points in the second quarter, but was outscored, 41-7 the rest of the way as the Titans couldn't cover as 13-point underdogs.

Previous meeting results: In a rematch of the 2005 Rose Bowl, Vince Young rallied his team once again past Matt Leinart's in the final seconds as the Titans edged the Cardinals, 20-17 in November 2009. Arizona managed a cover as 3 ½-point road underdogs, while Chris Johnson ran all over the Cardinals' defense for 154 yards, including an 85-yard touchdown scamper.

Betting notes: The Cardinals are a perfect 3-0 against AFC South opponents this season, including routs of the Colts and Jaguars. Arizona has cashed road tickets in three of the last four opportunities, while owning a 4-1 ATS record in the favorite role. Tennessee has lost four of the last five games, as the Titans are seeking their first home victory since Week 4 against the Jets.

Packers at Cowboys (-6½, 49)

Green Bay: 6-6-1 SU, 5-8 ATS
Dallas: 7-6 SU, 8-5 ATS

Last week's results: The defense let Dallas down again in a 45-28 setback at Chicago on Monday night as short underdogs. The Cowboys allowed 490 yards of offense from the Bears, while getting outgained for the fifth time in the last six games. The Packers ended a five-game winless streak by rallying past the Falcons, 22-21. Green Bay failed to cover as 3½-point home favorites, while dropping to 0-6 ATS since Aaron Rodgers suffered a collarbone injury.

Previous meeting results: In Wade Phillips' final game as head coach of the Cowboys before getting fired, Green Bay whipped Dallas, 45-7 at Lambeau Field in 2009. The Packers scored 28 second quarter points to put the game out of reach, while putting up a pair of defensive touchdowns. Green Bay has won three of the past four home matchups with Dallas since 2004.

Betting notes: The Cowboys have finished 'over' the total in four straight games, while posting a dreadful 1-4 ATS record in the last five contests. Each of Green Bay's last two road games has been decided by double-digits with losses to the Lions and Giants. The Packers have drilled the 'under' in seven of the past 10 games, while scoring 22 points or less in five of the last six contests.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, December 15

Total Talk - Week 15
By Chris David
VegasInsider.com

Week 14 Recap

Last week’s NFL action had some of the wildest finishes I’ve ever seen and if you bet totals, you saw some really bad losses. Next week, VegasInsider.com will be publishing its annual “Bad Beat” piece and we’ll touch on a couple of these. Those of you who bet the ‘under’ in the Minnesota-Baltimore and New England-Cleveland matchups, we extend our apologies. To those of you who won, nice job!

Bettors saw 90 touchdowns scored on Sunday alone in Week 14, which helped the ‘over’ go 11-5. On the season, the ‘over’ holds a 111-93-2 edge.

Non-Conference Overs

After a 3-1 week, this trend is up to 45-14 (76%) on the season. We have four more matchups (AFC vs. NFC) on tap in Week 15, which includes the Monday battle.

Arizona at Tennessee
Chicago at Cleveland
New York Jets at Carolina
Baltimore at Detroit

Systems & Trends

We hope you all took advantage of the last week’s “Total System Play” on the Tennessee-Denver matchup. I’ll be sure to keep you informed if it presents itself in the playoffs. As I mentioned last week, I found this system in a message board and it’s been profitable. Another way I find out information is through emails from VegasInsider.com users. Last week, I received a great angle from a VI user who prefers the moniker Agent-86.

According to his analysis that I’ve verified, any team that has played at home on Thursday this season has watched the ‘over’ go 12-2-1 in their next game, regardless of the venue.

Let’s simplify this for you with last week's examples. On Thanksgiving, the Lions, Cowboys and Ravens all hosted games in Week 13 which means the above trend would call for ‘over’ plays in Week 14. Sure enough, Detroit, Dallas and Baltimore all saw their games go ‘over’ last weekend.

Check out our Thursday Night results page and you'll be able to see which teams played in the mid-week matchup this season.

For Week 15, you would look at the ‘over’ in the Jacksonville-Buffalo matchup since the Jaguars played at home on Thursday in Week 14.

Next week, the situation would call for an ‘over’ in the Denver-Houston game since the Broncos played at home this past Thursday.

As I’ve written before in my TT installments, I do believe all trends usually balance out and it should part of your handicapping not the "Be-all and End-all" of your selections. Even if the ‘under’ cashes the next two weeks, you’re still looking at a season total trend that has produced profits of 75 percent.

If anybody else has anything to share, shoot me an email.

Line Moves

The Line Moves went 4-2 last week, pushing the season numbers to 39-29-1 (67%). Listed below are this week’s matchups that have had a total move by 1 ½ points or more at CRIS’s opening lines, which were sent out Sunday evening.

Buffalo at Jacksonville: Line opened 44 and dropped to 42
Green Bay at Dallas: Line opened 47 and jumped to 49
Baltimore at Detroit: Line opened 46½ and jumped to 48

Divisional Angles

New England at Miami: The Patriots defeated the Dolphins 27-17 at home on Oct. 27. Including this results, the ‘under’ is on a 3-0 run in this series.

Houston at Indianapolis: The Colts earned a 27-24 road victory over the Texans on Nov. 1 and the combined 51 points jumped ‘over’ the closing number of 42. Prior to this game, the ‘under’ had cashed in the last five encounters between the pair.

Kansas City at Oakland: When these teams meet, low-scoring affairs usually occur. The ‘under’ is on an 8-1-1 run in the last 10 encounters, which includes the Chiefs 24-7 home win over the Raiders on Oct. 13.

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh: (See Below)

Under the Lights

Thursday’s primetime schedule concluded this past week as the Chargers defeated the Broncos 27-17. The ‘under’ hit (57) in this contest but the ‘over’ connected at a 67 percent (10-5) clip in the mid-week contest this season. On SNF, the ‘over’ owns an 8-6 mark but the ‘under’ is on a 3-1 run the last four weeks. MNF saw a high-scoring affair (45-28) last week between the Bears and Cowboys. Overall, the ‘over’ owns a 25-19 (57%) record in primetime games.

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh: The Bengals and Steelers have seen the ‘under’ cash in five straight and six of the last seven meetings. Cincinnati defeated Pittsburgh 20-10 at home in a MNF battle in Week 2 and the total closed at 40. For this week’s rematch, the number is hovering between 41 and 42 points. The Bengals have exploded for 83 points in their last two home games but just 34 in their previous two road contests. Pittsburgh has been involved in its fair share of shootouts lately, which has helped the ‘over’ go 3-1 in its last four.

Baltimore at Detroit: Detroit’s offense is averaging 31.7 PPG at Ford Field this season, which has helped ‘over’ go 5-1 and that record could easily be 6-0. Baltimore has been a clear-cut ‘under’ (5-2) at home but the ‘over’ is 3-2-1 on the road due to a defense that’s allowed 26.8 PPG in six games. The total has already been steamed from 46½ to 48 points and it will probably get higher by kickoff. If you’re looking for an ‘under’ angle in this spot, you might see some conservative play-calling since both teams need a win to help their playoff pushes. The ‘over’ has gone 4-1 in the last five meetings between this pair but they haven’t met since 2009.

Fearless Predictions

The bankroll is up to $260 after a 3-1 week, with the teaser failing to connect. Three weeks of regular season action left and looking to finish strong. As always, Press, Pass or Fade but in the end – Good Luck!

Best Over: New England-Miami 45
Best Under: Chicago-Cleveland 43
Best Team Total: Under Cincinnati 20½

Three-Team Total Teaser (9-Point, +100):
Over 36 New England-Miami
Over 38½ New Orleans-St. Louis
Under 50½ Cincinnati-Pittsburgh

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