NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, December 22

NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, December 22

NFL Week 16

Dolphins (8-6) @ Bills (5-9) --
Miami is 5-2 since the bullying fiasco, winning last three games by 20-6-4 points; they lost 23-21 (-7.5) at home to Buffalo in Week 7, turning ball over three times (-2), converting 3-13 on thirrd down (Bills were 9-19). Five of last seven series games were decided by 7 or less points; Fish won two of last three visits here, after losing previous seven. Buffalo lost five of its last seven games; they're 3-4 at home- Bills are +9 in their five wins, -8 in losses. You'd think Fish would be in trouble up north in December, but they've already won games in Swamp/Pittsburgh this month. Miami is 4-3 on road this season. Home teams are 5-2 vs spread in AFC East divisional games, 3-0 if underdogs. Under is 6-1-1 in last eight Miami games; three of last four Buffalo games went over the total.

Saints (10-4) @ Panthers (10-4) -- First place in NFC South on line here; Saints are averaging 14.5 ppg less on road than at home- they've lost four of last five games on road, outscored 51-10 in first half of last two. Saints lost to Jets/Rams on road, red flags. NO beat Carolina 31-13 (-3) two weeks ago, holding Newton to 2.8 ypa; it is only game Panthers didn't have at least one play of 20+ yards. Panthers won last six home games (5-0-1 vs spread) after losing home opener 12-7 to Seahawks; Carolina won nine of last ten games overall after 1-3 start. Saints are 0-2 as dogs this year. Home teams are 8-1 vs spread in NFC South divisional games, 6-0 if they are favored. Last five Saint games, five of last six Carolina games stayed under total. Carolina swept Saints LY, but lost last five games against Sean Payton.

Cowboys (7-7) @ Redskins (3-11) -- Hard to pick either side here; Dallas allowed 82 points in losing last two games, outscored 55-24 in second half- they blew 26-3 halftime lead to Pack's #4 QB last week. Cowboys are 7-3 in last ten series games, winning 31-16 (-6) in first meeting, in game where Skins outgained Dallas 433-213, but gave up PR for TD and TD drives of 15-3 yards. Washington lost last six in a row (1-5 vs spread); Cousins threw for 373 yards last week but they missed 2-pt play in last minute that would've won game. Cowboys are 3-2 in last five visits to DC; they're 1-3 on grass fields this season. Home teams are 4-6 vs spread in NFC East divisional games, 0-1 if home dogs. Last seven Cowboy games, six of last nine Washington games went over total.

Buccaneers (4-10) @ Rams (6-8) -- St Louis is favored for first time since beating Jaguars 34-20 (-11) in Week 5; they seem to play better vs better teams, with wins over three of eight division leaders. Rams are +17 in turnovers in six wins, -7 in the losses; they're 4-3 SU at home, 1-1 as home faves. Bucs won four of last six after an 0-8 start; they're 2-4 on road, 2-3 as road dogs, losing away games by 1-20-8-3-21 points, with only win 24-21 at Lions (they were +5 in turnovers). Tampa Bay is 4-6 as underdogs this year, 2-3 on road. NFC West non-divisional favorites are 19-5-1 vs spread, 10-4-1 at home; NFC South road dogs are 6-5. Three of last four Tampa Bay and last three Ram tilts stayed under the total. This is Bucs' first visit here since '04; they're 5-2 vs Rams since losing 11-6 in '00 NFC title game here.

Bears (8-6) @ Eagles (8-6) -- Philly won last two home games, 24-16/34-20 after breaking long losing skid at Linc; they're 5-3 in last eight games as favorite. Chicago scored 83 points in winning last two games; they've averaged 7.2+ ypa in last four games, as teams have trouble covering their big WRs. Chicago won four of last five series games (all decided by 6 or less points), in series where road teams won six of last eight meetings. Bears won last week despite allowing two defensive TDs; they won field position in 10 of 14 games this year. NFC East non-divisional favorites are 9-13 vs spread, 6-8 at home; NFC North road underdogs are 4-7. Four of last five Bear games went over total; five of last six Philly home games stayed under the total. Detroit's loss Monday night puts Chicago in control of own destiny to win the NFC North- they play Packers at home next week.

Browns (4-10) @ Jets (6-8) -- Cleveland scored two defensive TDs and still lost to Chicago last week, bad sign for team that lost last five games and eight of last nine. Browns are +3 in turnovers in last two games, -6 for year; Jets are -19 for season, -20 in losses, +1 in wins. Gang Green scored 37-20 points in last two games after not scoring TD in previous two games; they've lost field position by 10+ yards in each of last four losses. Jets are 5-2 at home, scoring 3-6 points in losses to Miami, Steelers; Browns are 1-5 on road, 3-3 as road dog; they had Patriots 26-14 at 2:00 warning of last road game, lost by point. AFC North non-divisional underdogs are 11-6-2 vs spread, 6-4-2 at home; AFC East favorites are 7-4, 5-3 at home. Six of last eight Jet games, six of last seven Cleveland games went over the total.

Colts (9-5) @ Chiefs (11-3) -- There's chance these teams could meet in first round of playoffs in two weeks; Indy is 11-2 in last 13 series games, 3-0 in playoff tilts. Colts won six of last seven visits here, winning 20-13 LY; Chiefs are 2-5 vs spread at home, losing 41-38/35-28 in last two, after winning first five-- they scored 101 points in winning last two games on road- they led 38-10/35-17 at half the last two weeks. Colts lost 40-11/42-28 in last two road games- they were outscored 79-12 in first half of last four away games. AFC West non-divisional favorites are 13-9 vs spread, 7-5 at home; AFC South underdogs are 8-16-1, 6-7-1 on road. Chiefs' last four games and six of last eight Indy games went over total. Chiefs have four TDs on defense/special teams in their last three games. This is bigger game for KC, who could get a first-round bye if they win AFC West.

Vikings (4-9-1) @ Bengals (9-5) -- Cincy won/covered all six home games, beating Pack/Pats/Colts at home; Bengals are 6-0-1 in second half of last seven games, with 116-59 scoring edge after halftime since Week 8. Minnesota is competing, covering six of last seven games, going 2-1-1 SU in last four; 41-20 loss at Seattle was only time in last seven games they lost by more than 7 points. Vikings are 5-3 as road dogs- they hung 48 on Philly last week with Peterson sitting out- they averaged 9.7 ypa with Cassel throwing for 370 yards, but this game is outdoors, and against a better defense. Bengals now have Ravens breathing down their neck, so this is big games for them. AFC North non-divisional home favorites are 6-5 vs spread this season; NFC North road underdogs are 4-7. 12 of 14 Viking games, six of last eight Cincinnati games went over total.

Broncos (11-3) @ Texans (2-12) -- Denver wins division/first round bye with two wins to close season; Houston lost its last 12 games, fired its coach, now goes back to original starting QB Schaub with backup Keenum hurt. Broncos are 3-3 as road favorites; they've got road wins by 18-3-8-7, with losses at Indy/Foxboro. Texans are 2-11-1 vs spread this year, 1-6 at home, 1-2 as home dogs, with losses at home by 3-25-3-5-7-3 points. Run defense has been problem for Houston- they've given up 146.4 rushing yards/game in last five games. AFC West non-divisional favorites are 13-8 vs spread, 6-4 on road; AFC South underdogs are 8-16-1, 2-9 at home. 11 of 14 Bronco tilts and five of last seven Houston games went over total. Broncos had ten days off since getting up 27-20 at home by Chargers in last game.

Titans (5-9) @ Jaguars (4-10) -- Jags' first win after 0-8 start was 29-27 (+11) back in Week 10 in Nashville; Titans lost three fumbles, were -2 in TOs, lost despite outgaining Jaguars 362-214. Titans converted 10-18 on 3rd down. Four of last five series games were decided by 6 or less points;Tennessee lost three of their last four visits here, losing by 20-2-5 points. Jags are 4-2 since starting 0-8, but three of four wins were on road- they're 1-6 SU/ATS at home, with five losses by 13+ points. Titans lost three in row, eight of last 11 games; they're 5-2 vs spread on road, 3-4 on road, winning by 7-7-4 points- this is their fourth road game in last five weeks. Home teams are 3-5-1 against spread in AFC South divisional games, 1-2-1 if home dogs. Over is 8-2-1 in Tennessee's last 11 games, 8-2 in Jaguars' last ten.

Cardinals (9-5) @ Seahawks (12-2) -- Seattle clinches home field thru NFC playoffs with win here; they've won eight of last nine games, covering last five. Seattle won first meeting 34-22 (-5.5) at Seattle in Week 7, outrushing Redbirds 135-30, sacking Palmer seven times. Arizona lost last three visits here, losing 58-0 LY, but they've won six of last seven games overall (6-0-1 vs spread). Cardinals need win to stay in Wild Card chase; they converted 14-26 on 3rd down last two games, but Palmer is banged up and Fitzgerald got concussion on muffed onside kick last week (expected to play here). Seahawks won eight of last nine games, with last four wins by 21+ points. NFC West divisional home favorites are 4-1 against spread. Six of last nine Arizona games wne tover total; four of last five Seattle games stayed under.

Giants (5-9) @ Lions (7-7) -- Two most turnover-prone teams (39-31) meet in this one, after Detroit had costly Monday night loss where Ravens won despite their only scoring coming on six FGs, including GW 61-yarder. Detroit has horrendous -18 turnover ratio (5-23) in last seven games, going 3-4, with two of wins by 1-2 points. Giants were shut out in first half of last two games (37-0); they're 2-5 vs spread as underdogs this year, 2-3 on road, with road losses by 5-38-24-6-23- its only road wins were against divisional rivals. Big Blue is 15 of last 56 on 3rd down, as lack of playmakers/strong OL has hampered immobile Manning. NFC East non-divisional underdogs are 6-11 vs spread, 5-7 on road. Six of last nine Detroit games went over total. Lions can still win NFC North with two wins and a little help.

Raiders (4-10) @ Chargers (7-7) -- Oakland is 18-9 vs spread in last 27 games as a divisional underdog; they've won two of last three visits here, after losing previous seven. Oakland (+4.5) upset Chargers 27-17 at home in Week 5, outrushing Bolts 104-32 with +5 turnover ratio. San Diego had only two TDs in five trips into red zone. Raiders lost last four games, are 4-3 as road underdogs, losing away games by 4-16-17-4-7-10 points, with win at Houston. Bolts are 3-2 as favorites, 3-3 SU at home, wiith wins by 9-10-23 points- they've had ten days off since winning last Thursday in Denver. Only one of SD's last three series wins was by more than 8 points. AFC West divisional favories are 6-3 vs spread, 3-2 at home. Over is 6-0-1 in last seven Oakland games; six of last nine Charger games stayed under.

Steelers (6-8) @ Packers (7-6-1) -- Green Bay wins division if they win last couple games, but Rodgers is out for 7th straight game- Pack won last two games by point each, after going 0-4-1 in five before that, as 4th-stringer Flynn rallied GB back to win last week after being down 26-3 at half. Packers are 0-4 vs spread in last four home games, after winning/covering first three with Rodgers; they're 3-3 as home favorites, 0-3 without #12. Steelers beat rival Bengals last week, host Browns next week, figure to let down here since they're out of contention. Pitt covered last four games as an underdog AFC North non-divisional underdogs are 11-5-2 vs spread, 6-3-2 on road. NFC North favorites are 5-13-2, 3-8-2 at home. Four of Steelers' last five games, three of last four Green Bay games went over the total.

Patriots (10-4) @ Ravens (8-6) -- Pats won seven of ten series games, with two of three losses in playoffs; they've won two of last three visits here, losing 31-30 LY. NE is playing for first round bye, which is big; they're 3-0 vs spread this year in game following a loss, winning by 3-10-3 points. Ravens won last four games, last three by combined total of seven points- they're on short work week after winning at Detroit without scoring a TD. Pats lost four of last five road games, with win at Houston when they trailed 17-7 at half. Ravens are 6-1 at home, with only loss to Packers 19-17, with Rodgers. AFC East non-divisional underdogs are 11-13 vs spread, 3-10 on road; AFC North favorites are 8-9, 6-5 at home. Three of last four Patriot games went over; five of last seven Raven home games stayed under.

Falcons (4-10) @ 49ers (10-4) --
Niners are bully team; other than Seattle win, its last eight wins are all by 12+ points- they're 4-3 as home favorites. Atlanta has had awful year but they're still competing; their last four games (2-2) were decided by 4 or less points; they're +8 in turnovers last three weeks, after being + in turnovers in only one of first eleven games. SF hasn't been minus in turnovers since Week 3 loss to Indy. Falcons covered last three games as a dog, won four of five games vs SF since teams stopped being division rivals, but 49ers won 28-24 in Atlanta in LY's playoffs, which seems like long time ago for Falcon fans. NFC West favorites are 19-5-2 vs spread, 9-3-1 at home; NFC South underdogs are 8-9, 6-5 on road. five of 49ers' last six games stayed under total. This is last game in Candlestick Park.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, December 22

Sharp Moves - Week 16
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 16!

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

Buffalo +2.5 - This is definitely the sharpest play on the board this week. The Bills are playing at home in the cold weather against a Miami team which really needs this game to have a shot at getting into the playoffs. Meanwhile, the offensive line problems for Miami still haven't been fixed, and the pass rush for Buffalo is still the strength of its team. Truthfully, we believe that the Bills should be the favored side in this one, and the less than 30% of the public betting on this game believe the same as we do. There's a reason the oddsmakers aren't pushing this one to '3' even with all of the public action on the Fins.

Opening Line: Buffalo +2.5
Current Line: Buffalo +2.5
Public Betting Percentage: 71% on Miami

Washington +2.5 - Go ahead. Ask yourself the question. How in the heck is WASHINGTON sharp? The Redskins have been an abysmal wreck all season long, but they did show a pulse last week against the Falcons, coming from behind to hit the backdoor right at the end of the game. Could the same be said about this week? QB Kirk Cousins turns the ball over in the clutch less than QB Tony Romo (obviously!), and that might make all the difference in the world. Dallas has proven that it can collapse under any circumstance, and going on the road, even against a team which doesn't want to play anymore football this year, could be another one of these situations.

Opening Line: Washington +2.5
Current Line: Washington +2.5
Public Betting Percentage: 71% on Dallas

Tampa Bay +5.5 - It's funny how the public always react to what it sees most recently. Most recently, it saw the Bucs get killed by the 49ers in a game which, by the way, was actually a close game until the wheels sort of fell off there in the third quarter. And most recently, the Rams destroyed the Saints, who are still perceived to be one of the best teams in the NFL, though we aren't all that sure whether they are or they aren't at this point. It just created a goofy looking line in this game. The Rams don't necessarily have the best team on the field in this one, but the oddsmakers are insinuating they are going to win by a healthy margin. The dial has moved a tad in this one, but not enough to sway away the sharp bettors.

Opening Line: Tampa Bay +5
Current Line: Tampa Bay +5.5
Public Betting Percentage: 66% on St. Louis

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, December 22

NFL Football: Streaks, Tips, Notes
Sportspic.com

Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills December

The Miami win over New England has Dolphins' in a serious push at an AFC Wild Card spot. Win out against Bills, Jets two teams that are a combined six games under .500 Fins are in. The early line in this game has the Dolphins' as 2.5-point favorites a number worth laying as red-hot Dolphins are on a 5-0 ATS stretch, 6-3 ATS down the stretch vs a division opponent (L3 Wks), 9-3 ATS revenging an earlier loss. As for Buffalo, winning for just the second time in seven tries defeating Jaguars 27-20 they're in dangerous betting territory. Bills have a habit of dropping the loot following an ATS win (5-15-1) and hit the field 9-24-2 ATS on home field hosting a team with a winning road record.

New York Giants at Detroit Lions

Lions may be 'Kings of the Jungle' but in the NFL these big cats are just tooth-less beasts stumbling down the stretch having lost four of their last five games. An upcoming date at Ford Field against struggling New York Giants who have given up on the 2013 season these Lions despite recent woes probably have enough bite left in them to take down the visitors. However, covering the expected 9 to 10 point spot is a whole different ball game for this Jekyll-and-Hyde Detroit team. Lions' 1-5 ATS last six home games vs a team with a losing road record, 1-6 ATS last seven games in December and on a 2-7 ATS skid laying 7.5 to 10.5 points will find a way to beat themselves at the beating window facing a New York squad 6-0 ATS vs NFC North, 8-3-2 ATS last 13 following a double-digit home loss.

Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers

San Diego Chargers shocking Broncos' and their high-powered offense last week every reason to expect Bolts to manhandle Raiders shredded for 56 points in last weeks setback vs Chiefs. Chargers in desperate need of a home win in order to stay alive for an AFC wild card spot have been pegged 10 point favorites. Raiders playing out the string aren't about to upset Chargers but Silver-Black could be looking at a pay-day as they're 7-3 ATS following a double-digit loss at home, 5-2-1 ATS their last eight road games, 6-1-1 ATS last eight meetings in San Diego, 7-1 ATS last eight games following an ATS loss.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, December 22

Sunday's Top Action
By Sportsbook,ag

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (10-4) at CAROLINA PANTHERS (10-4)

Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: Carolina -3.5 & 47.5
Opening Line & Total: Panthers -3 & 46.5

NFC South co-leaders will play a huge game on Sunday when the Saints visit the Panthers.

New Orleans fell 27-16 in St. Louis last week, dropping the club to 0-5 ATS (1-4 SU) in its past five road games. Carolina took out the Jets 30-20 last week to mark its sixth straight home win (5-0-1 ATS). But when these clubs met two weeks ago at the Superdome, the Saints rolled to a 31-13 rout as QB Drew Brees threw 4 TD passes, improving his record in this series to 6-2 since 2009. But Panthers QB Cam Newton piled up 304 total yards and 2 TD in leading his team to a 35-27 victory in last year’s home meeting, making this series an even 9-9 (SU and ATS) all-time in Carolina.

Last week's humiliating loss is a good sign for New Orleans on Sunday, as the team is 16-4 ATS (80%) off a road defeat, and 23-13 ATS (64%) after an SU loss under Sean Payton. But the Panthers are a hard team to sweep, going 30-11 ATS (73%) in franchise history when revenging a loss where their opponent scored 28+ points. They are also 6-0 ATS at home versus poor rushing defenses (4.5+ YPC allowed) under Ron Rivera.

Both teams are relatively healthy, with the biggest injury questions being New Orleans S Roman Harper (hip) and Carolina LB Jordan Senn (hamstring).

New Orleans leads the NFL in yardage margin, outgaining opponents by 84 YPG. The offense has piled up 397 total YPG (5th in league) thank mostly to an air attack that gains 308 YPG (2nd in NFL). The team has also been able to sustain drives with an excellent third-down conversion rate of 45% (4th in league), but its mediocre red-zone efficiency (54% TD rate, 18th in NFL) has led to just 25.6 PPG (10th in league). QB Drew Brees (4,500 pass yards, 7.8 YPA, 34 TD, 10 INT) is having another huge season, but his road numbers have been pretty ordinary (63% completions, 6.9 YPA, 11 TD, 7 INT). However, Brees has thrown for more than 300 yards in five straight meetings with Carolina, totaling 1,782 passing yards (356 YPG), 8.3 YPA, 16 TD and just 5 INT.

Brees has always done a great job of spreading around his targets, and this year there are six Saints players with at least 44 targets. TE Jimmy Graham (1,071 rec. yards, 14 TD) and WR Marques Colston (813 rec. yards, 5 TD) are the two receivers whom Brees prefers most though, and each of them scored two touchdowns in the big win over the Panthers two weeks ago. Brees' passing exploits have helped mask a dismal New Orleans running game that has averaged only 89 YPG (26th in NFL) on 3.8 YPC (27th in league). In the past three weeks, the numbers have been even worse with 58 YPG on 3.2 YPC.

The Saints defense has improved leaps and bounds from last year when it allowed 28.4 PPG and 440 YPG, as those numbers have dipped to 19.3 PPG and 313 YPG this year, both of which rank fifth-best in the NFL. Having the third-lowest time of possession (27:52) has certainly helped, as has a solid 37% third-down conversion defense (12th in NFL). But one glaring weakness has been turnovers, with the Saints tallying just two takeaways over their past seven games combined.

Carolina's offense has not been a juggernaut by any stretch, ranking 25th in total yards (326 YPG) and 17th in scoring (23.4 PPG). However, the ability for its strong ground game (129 YPG, 8th in NFL) to pick up third downs consistently (46%, 3rd in league) has led to the team ranking second in the NFL in time of possession (33:06).

QB Cam Newton is having his best pro season in terms of passing, completing 62% of his throws for 3,049 yards (7.2 YPA), 21 TD and just 11 INT. He has also run for 507 yards and six touchdowns. In his five career games in this series, Newton has pedestrian passing numbers (58% completions, 7.3 YPA, 5 TD, 3 INT) but has run for 212 yards on 5.4 YPC with two touchdowns. Newton relies mostly on two players when he drops back to pass, TE Greg Olsen (739 rec. yards, 5 TD) and WR Steve Smith (701 rec. yards, 4 TD). Although the duo combined for 14 receptions in the loss to New Orleans, those catches resulted in just 89 yards (6.4 yards per catch) with Smith's touchdown coming late in the fourth quarter with his team trailing 31-6.

With RB Jonathan Stewart (3.8 YPC) out indefinitely with a knee injury, Newton and RBs DeAngelo Williams (743 rush yards, 4.2 YPC, 2 TD) and Mike Tolbert (331 rush yards, 3.6 YPC, 5 TD) will once again propel the ground game.

Carolina's defense has been consistently excellent all season, ranking second in the NFL in both scoring defense (14.9 PPG) and total defense (296 YPG). The unit has the lowest time of possession in the NFL thanks to a league-best 22% fourth-down conversion rate and a solid third-down defense (36%, 10th in NFL). The scoring has been kept to a minimum because of a stellar red-zone defense (42%, 3rd in league). Although Carolina has forced 12 turnovers in its past seven games, this series has not had a lot of miscues with the teams combining for just 10 turnovers in the past five matchups combined.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (10-4) at BALTIMORE RAVENS (8-6)

Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: Baltimore -2 & 45
Opening Line & Total: Ravens -2 & 45
 
The Patriots and Ravens meet Sunday for the seventh time in five years, once again with major playoff implications on the line.

New England was unable to wrap up the AFC East last week in its 24-20 loss in Miami, but Baltimore scored a huge win Monday in Detroit with Justin Tucker connecting on six field goals including a 61-yarder in the final minute of an 18-16 victory. These clubs have split the six meetings since 2009, but the Ravens won both games last year, 31-30 on a Tucker 27-yard FG as time expired, and a dominating 28-13 victory in the AFC Championship in New England when QB Joe Flacco threw for 240 yards and 3 TD.

The Patriots are just 1-6 ATS (3-4 SU) on the road this season, while the Ravens are 6-1 SU (4-2-1 ATS) at home. However, New England has thrived in the underdog role under Bill Belichick, going 41-21 ATS (66%), and is also 28-12 ATS (70%) in the final two weeks of the regular season since 1992. But Baltimore is a stellar 15-5 ATS (75%) versus winning teams since 2011, and 16-7 ATS (70%) as a home favorite of seven points or less under John Harbaugh.

Both teams have plenty of injury concerns in this game, including both Flacco (knee) and New England QB Tom Brady (shoulder), who will both start. In addition to a slew of probable players on both teams, both Patriots starting offensive tackles, Nate Solder (head) and Marcus Cannon (ankle) are listed as questionable for this game. The Ravens could be missing two defenders in LB Albert McClellan (neck) and S Brynden Trawick (ankle), who are both considered questionable for Sunday.

New England's offense has been inconsistent this season with four games of 20 points or less and six games of 30+ points. For the season, the team ranks sixth in the NFL in scoring (26.4 PPG) and eighth in total offense (391 total YPG). While the Patriots rank sixth in the league in passing (272 YPG), they are average in most other categories, such as rushing offense (4.2 YPC, 16th in NFL), red-zone efficiency (55% TD rate, 16th in league) and third-down conversions (39%, 15th in NFL).

QB Tom Brady (4,049 pass yards, 7.0 YPA, 23 TD, 10 INT) has played very well over the past six weeks with 2,225 pass yards (371 YPG), 8.2 YPA, 14 TD and 4 INT. However, he has played terribly in the past five meetings with the Ravens (four of which were at home), throwing for only 6.2 YPA, 5 TD and 9 INT. Although he will likely get WR Aaron Dobson (foot) back on the field this week, Brady will still be missing TE Rob Gronkowski (knee, IR), while WRs Kenbrell Thompkins (hip) and Josh Boyce (foot) are both questionable. Brady still has plenty of options to choose from though, including WRs Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola, who each eclipsed 130 receiving yards last week with double-digit catches.

The New England running game has featured nine different ball carriers this year, and currently ranks 12th in the NFL with 118.3 YPG. RB Stevan Ridley leads the way with 645 yards on 4.3 YPC and 7 TD, but he has been plagued by fumble problems all year, and also lost a fumble in the AFC Championship loss to the Ravens last year.

On defense, the Patriots have given up a ton of yardage (372.7 YPG, 24th in NFL), especially on the ground (132.5 rushing YPG, 2nd-worst in league). But although they are horrible on third downs (43%, 4th-worst in NFL) and subpar in the red zone (58%, 21st in league), the team has allowed just 22.2 PPG (T-10th in NFL). The defense needs to be more opportunistic though, having caused just two turnovers in three December games.

The Ravens' offense has been bad in all facets this year, ranking last in the NFL with 3.0 yards per carry and second-worst with 4.6 yards per play, leading to a mere 309.9 YPG (4th-worst in NFL). They are scoring only 21.1 PPG (25th in league) due largely to an anemic red-zone offense (49% TD rate, 4th-worst in NFL). QB Joe Flacco has a career-low passer rating of 76.5, completing only 58.9% of his passes for 6.6 YPA, 18 TD and 17 INT. He has been much more efficient at home though, completing 62% of his passes for 6.9 YPA, 10 TD and 6 INT. Flacco has also enjoyed plenty of success in six games against the Patriots in his career, throwing for 1,511 yards (252 YPG), 12 TD and 4 INT. In last year's two victories in this series, he threw for 622 yards (8.3 YPA), 6 TD and just one interception.

RB Ray Rice has also dominated the Patriots in his career with 735 total yards (122.5 YPG) and 4 TD in six meetings, but he is in the midst of his worst NFL season. Injuries are a big reason why Rice has a career-low 3.1 YPC and has topped 75 rushing yards just once all season.

Baltimore's defense has carried the team in 2013, ranking seventh in the league in points allowed (19.8 PPG) and ninth in total defense (334.0 YPG). This has occurred because of an excellent third-down defense (32%, 3rd in NFL) and red-zone efficiency (43% TD rate, 4th in league). The Ravens have really stuffed the run too, allowing a mere 102.4 YPG (7th in NFL) and 3.8 YPC (5th in league). They have also made some big plays, forcing three turnovers in three of the past six contests.


Check out more NFL Odds and Props at Sportsbook.ag

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, December 22

SNF - Bears at Eagles
By Sportsbook.ag

CHICAGO BEARS (8-6 SU, 4-8-2 ATS) at PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (8-6 SU, 7-7 ATS)

Sportsbook.ag Line, Total: Philadelphia -3 & 56.5
Opening Line & Total: Eagles -4 & 56

Both the Eagles and Bears will be playing for a much-needed victory when the two division leaders meet at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday night.

Chicago got starting QB Jay Cutler back last week and was able to defeat Cleveland 38-31 while covering as one-point underdogs. This keeps the club one-half game ahead of the 7-6-1 Packers.

Philadelphia, on the other hand, lost 48-30 in Minnesota, which put an end to its five-game winning streak, but still kept them one game ahead of the Cowboys who blew a 23-point halftime lead in a loss to Green Bay.

The last time these two teams met in 2011, the Bears defeated the Eagles 30-24 as 8-point underdogs in Philadelphia. This series has been close since 1992 with Philadelphia holding a 7-6 SU advantage, but Chicago holding the 8-5 ATS edge. This includes a 4-1 ATS mark (3-2 SU) on the road.

Both teams have a slew of negative betting trends for this matchup. While the Bears are 0-7 ATS off a non-conference game over the past two seasons, the Eagles are just 2-12 ATS at home during this same timeframe.

The two teams are relatively injury-free, with the biggest potential absences both being on defense with Chicago LB Lance Briggs (shoulder) and Philadelphia S Kurt Coleman (hamstring) both considered questionable for this game.

Chicago QB Jay Cutler was a little rusty in his return from an ankle injury on Sunday, but he got the job done in the fourth quarter to lead his team to a 38-31 victory. Cutler overcame two first-half interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) and finished 22-of-31 (71%) for 265 yards (8.6 YPA) and three touchdowns.

The Bears rank second in the NFL in scoring at 29.0 PPG and have averaged 275.8 YPG through the air (5th in NFL), but have struggled mightily on defense due to their inability to stop the run. They are allowing 152.4 YPG on the ground on 5.2 yards per carry, both which rank last in the league. Chicago must shore up some of these issues if it is going to be able to contain the Eagles excellent running game propelled by LeSean McCoy.

However, as long as the Bears' receivers are healthy, this offense will be tough to keep up with in terms of scoring points. Alshon Jeffery has 80 receptions for 1,265 yards and seven touchdowns this season, and across the field is Brandon Marshall who has 90 catches for 1,185 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Chicago also has a solid ground game with 117.6 rushing YPG (13th in NFL) on 4.6 YPC (8th in league) thanks in large part to RB Matt Forte (1,200 rush yards, 4.7 YPC, 9 total TD). He has 72% of his team's rushing attempts this season, averaging 18.4 carries per game.

Although the Eagles were blown out in Minnesota by 18 points, QB Nick Foles was very effective in the game, throwing for 428 yards, three touchdowns and just one interception, increasing his gaudy season numbers to 23 TD and just 2 INT.

The Philly defense just couldn’t get stops when it needed to, which is a common theme this season, especially through the air where the club allows 292 passing YPG (2nd-worst in NFL). The team allowed Vikings backup QB Matt Cassel to throw for 382 yards and two touchdowns in the game.

Although Eagles top WR DeSean Jackson had a great game with 10 catches for 195 yards and a touchdown, the Eagles were too quick to give up on their ground game that leads the NFL in both rushing yards (152.9 YPG) and yards per carry (5.0 YPC).

They’ll need to slow the game down and get RB LeSean McCoy (8 TD), who leads the NFL with 1,343 rushing yards, more involved against a Bears defense that can’t stop the run. McCoy rushed just eight times for 38 yards against the Vikings, but if the Eagles can figure out a way to get him 20 or more touches against Chicago, then they should be in very good shape.


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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, December 22

Sunday's NFL Week 16 Betting Cheat Sheet: Early Action
By Covers.com

Cleveland Browns at New York Jets (-2.5, 40.5)

In addition to another late collapse on the defensive side of the ball, the Browns also had two turnovers and nine penalties in a sluggish effort against Chicago that had quarterback Jason Campbell blaming, in part, the painful loss to the Patriots one week earlier. Campbell has averaged 332 yards and two touchdowns since returning from a concussion earlier this month. Josh Gordon leads the NFL with 122.3 receiving yards per game.

If New York needs a confidence boost as it heads into its home finale, it can look to its performance at MetLife Stadium this year, where head coach Rex Ryan's crew has gone 5-2. The Jets have scored at least 26 points in four of those five victories and produced a season-high 37 in their last home contest. New York averages 128.3 yards on the ground, third-best in the AFC.

LINE: New York opened at -1 but has been bet up to -2.5. The total is set at 40.5.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the lmid-60s with a 54 percent chance of rain and wind blowing out of the southwest at 11 mph.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Cleveland (+6.0) - New York (+4.8) + home field (-3.0) = Jets -4.2
TRENDS:

* Browns are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 road games vs. teams with losing home records.
* Jets are 1-4 ATS in their last five games vs. AFC foes.
* Over is 9-3 in New York's last 12 games.


Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs (-7, 45)

Indianapolis has been wildly inconsistent following its 4-1 start, alternating wins and losses in nine games since, and the Colts are coming off a strong performance in a 25-3 victory over Houston, so they might be due for another letdown. Second-year quarterback Andrew Luck (3,299 yards, 21 TDs, 9 INTs) has been solid, but the Colts haven't generated much on the ground since the trade for Trent Richardson.

The Chiefs allow an AFC-low 18.2 points per game and have the best turnover margin in the league at plus-21, but the offense has been impressive the past two weeks. The Chiefs have rolled up 101 points in consecutive wins at Washington and Oakland and they've topped 28 points in four straight games. Jamaal Charles leads the team in rushing yards (1,181), receptions (65), receiving yards (655) and scoring 18 touchdowns.

LINE: Kansas City has been bet up a half-point after opening at -6.5. The total has jumped 3.5 points to 45.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the mid-20s with wind blowing across the length of the field at 12 mph.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Indianapolis (-0.8) + Kansas City (-3.0) + home field (-3.0) = Chiefs -5.2
TRENDS:

* Colts are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 December games.
* Chiefs are 1-5 ATS in their last six games vs. teams with winning records.
* Indianapolis is 9-3 ATS in the last 12 meetings.


Minnesota Vikings at Cincinnati Bengals (-8.5, 47.5)

Matt Asiata didn't provide much yardage-wise while filling in for Adrian Peterson last week, but the third-stringer helped put up points. Asiata gained only 51 yards on 30 carries against Philadelphia but scored the first three touchdowns of his NFL career. Peterson (foot) and primary backup Toby Gerhart (hamstring) both are expected to be available Sunday.

Cincinnati is 6-0 at home, where it meets Baltimore for a potential showdown for the division title next week. The Bengals average 33.2 points in their own building and have scored more than 40 in each of their last three home contests. Andy Dalton has thrown 27 TD passes, matching his career high, and needs 351 yards to join Carson Palmer as the only quarterbacks in team history to reach the 4,000-yard plateau in a season.

LINE: Cincinnati opened at -7.5, but has been bet up to -8.5. The total dipped a half-point to 47.5.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the high-50s with a 54 percent chance of rain and wind blowing across the width of the field at 13 mph.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Minnesota (+4.3) + Cincinnati (-3.5) + home field (-3.0) = Bengals -10.8
TRENDS:

* Vikings are 7-0 ATS in their last seven December games.
* Bengals are 7-0 ATS in their last seven home games.
* Home team is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings.


Denver Broncos at Houston Texans (+10, 53)

Denver is the first team in NFL history to have four players score at least 10 touchdowns in a season and receiver Eric Decker (73 receptions for 1,130 yards) is two away from making it five. Wideout Demaryius Thomas (78 for 1,194) has also surpassed 1,000 yards and Manning is just 189 yards away from the first 5,000-yard campaign of his stellar career. Knowshon Moreno (939 yards) leads the Denver ground attack.

Quarterback Matt Schaub - he of the nine touchdown passes and 10 interceptions - will be under center Sunday in place of Case Keenum (thumb). Texans running back Ben Tate (771 rushing yards) was placed on injured reserve and rookie Dennis Johnson (154 yards) will start in his place. Defensive lineman J.J. Watt had 2.5 sacks last season when the Texans posted a 31-25 victory over Denver.

LINE: Denver has held steady as a 10-point fave, with the total rising from 51.5 to 53.
WEATHER: N/A
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Denver (-7.5) + Houston (+7.5) - home field (-3.0) = Broncos -12
TRENDS:

* Broncos are 7-2 ATS in their last nine games vs. teams with losing records.
* Texans are 3-12 ATS in their last 15 games.
* Over is 39-12-2 in Denver's last 53 games following a SU loss.


Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars (+5, 44)

Tennessee quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick passed for 402 yards and four touchdowns last week, but he threw two costly interceptions - one that was returned for a score and the other that set up the game-winning field goal. Running back Chris Johnson turned in another pedestrian effort with 40 yards on 13 carries, marking the seventh time the former 2,000-yard rusher has been limited to 46 yards or fewer.

Jacksonville Leading rusher Maurice Jones-Drew did not practice Wednesday and No. 1 receiver Cecil Shorts (groin) was placed on season-ending injured reserve Tuesday, leaving backup quarterback Chad Henne with a paucity of weapons. Jordan Todman made his first career start in place of Jones-Drew last week and rushed for 109 yards while catching four passes for 44 yards.

LINE: Tennessee has been bet down a half-point after opening -5.5. The total is holding at 44.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the high-70s with partly cloudy skies and wind blowing across the length of the field at 14 mph.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Tennessee (+3.0) - Jacksonville (+5.5) + home field (-3.0) = Jaguars -0.5
TRENDS:

* Titans are 3-12-1 ATS in their last 16 games vs. AFC South foes.
* Jaguars are 6-13 ATS in their last 19 games.
* Under is 5-1 in the last six meetings in Jacksonville.


Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills (+2.5, 42.5)

Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill is just 373 yards shy of becoming Miami's first quarterback to reach 4,000 yards in a season since Hall of Famer Dan Marino did so in 1994. Tannehill has been sacked an NFL-high 51 times and faces a Buffalo team that leads the league with 49 sacks. Safety Michael Thomas intercepted Tom Brady in the end zone with two seconds remaining to secure AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors.

While Miami is eyeing a potential postseason berth, Buffalo is vying to complete its first season sweep of its AFC East rival since 2007. Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller paid dividends for Buffalo's fourth-ranked rushing game by combining for 147 yards on 30 carries in last week's 27-20 victory over Jacksonville. A heavy workload for the pair could take the pressure off Lewis, who threw for 202 yards to defeat Miami.

LINE: The Bills are holding as 2.5-point dogs, with the total dropping a half-point to 42.5.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the low-50s with a 100 percent chance of rain and wind blowing across the width of the field at 12 mph.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Miami (-1.0) + Buffalo (+4.8) - home field (-3.0) = Dolphins -2.8
TRENDS:

* Dolphins are 5-0 ATS in their last five games.
* Bills are 6-2 ATS in their last eight home games.
* Favorite is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings.


New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers (-3, 46.5)

Drew Brees and New Orleans got the better of Carolina's stingy defense in the first meeting, in large part because they held on to the ball - eight of the Saints' 17 turnovers have come in their four losses. Brees (4,500 yards, 34 TDs, 10 INTs) is on pace for his third straight 5,000-yard season and put up 313 yards and four touchdowns against the Panthers two weeks ago.

The Saints are the only team to beat Carolina since Week 5, as the Panthers have won nine of 10 to move to the cusp of their first playoff berth since 2008. Coincidentally, New Orleans is also the only team all season that did not commit a turnover against the Panthers, whose dominant defense has racked up 27 takeaways. DeAngelo Williams and quarterback Cam Newton lead a powerful running game.

LINE: Carolina is installed as a 3-point fave, with the total up a half-point to 46.5.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the low-70s with an 81 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms and wind blowing out of the southwest at 13 mph.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: New Orleans (-4.0) + Carolina (-4.5) + home field (-3.0) = Panthers -3.5
TRENDS:

* Saints are 0-5 ATS in their last five road games.
* Panthers are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games vs. NFC foes.
* Under is 8-2 in the last 10 meetings in Carolina.


Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins (+3, 53.5)

Although many point the finger at a spotty defense, Tony Romo continues to be in the eye of the storm for Dallas' troubles. Romo threw for multiple touchdowns in five of his last seven contests but also tossed a pair of interceptions in the final three minutes last week to give his detractors additional ammunition about his level of play in December. Dez Bryant reeled in 11 catches for 153 yards versus the Packers.

Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins will face the 32nd-ranked Dallas pass defense on Sunday after carving up the Falcons by completing 29-of-45 passes for 381 yards with three touchdowns. After rushing for 57 yards in his previous two games combined, Redskins RB Alfred Morris busted out for 98 against Atlanta. The second-year back rushed for 81 yards and a score in the teams' previous meeting.

LINE: Dallas is set as a 3-point fave, while the total has risen two points from an opening of 51.5.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the low-70s with a 55 percent chance of showers and wind blowing across the width of the field at 13 mph.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Dallas (-0.3) + Washington (+7.0) - home field (-3.0) = Cowboys -4.3
TRENDS:

* Cowboys are 4-0 ATS in their last four games vs. divisional opponents.
* Redskins are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games vs. the NFC.
* Underdog is 23-8 ATS in the last 31 meetings.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers at St. Louis Rams (-4, 43)

Playing with quarterback Mike Glennon and third-string running back Bobby Rainey has taken a toll on Tampa Bay's offense, but one of the brightest developments has been the performance of tight end Tim Wright. An undrafted rookie out of Rutgers, Wright had seven receptions for 82 yards and a touchdown in last week's loss to San Francisco and has scored four times in his last eight games.

St. Louis lost Sam Bradford early in the season and has been going with journeyman Kellen Clemens, who completed a season-high 70 percent of his passes while tossing two TD passes last week. Clemens and the Rams have leaned heavily on unheralded rookie running back Zac Stacy, who is coming off his third 100-yard game and has rushed for six touchdowns in his past six games.

LINE: St. Louis has dropped from an opening line of -5.5 to -4. The total is up a half-point to 43.
WEATHER: N/A
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Tampa Bay (+4.0) - St. Louis (+2.0) + home field (-3.0) = Rams -5
TRENDS:

* Buccaneers are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games vs. teams with losing records.
* Rams are 4-1 ATS in their last five home games.
* Under is 5-1 in the last six meetings.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, December 22

Sunday's NFL Week 16 Betting Cheat Sheet: Late Action
By Covers.com

Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks (-10.5, 43)

Arizona’s defense ranks seventh in total defense (322.3) and eighth in scoring defense (20.8), and veteran linebacker John Abraham is having a standout campaign with 11.5 sacks and four forced fumbles. Veteran wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald is expected to play against the Seahawks despite suffering a concussion last week. Cardinals WR Michael Floyd’s last 24 receptions have all gone for first downs.

Marshawn Lynch is over 1,000 yards for the third straight season and fifth time in his career and rushed for a solid 91 yards in the first meeting with the Cardinals. Arizona leads the NFL in rushing defense (83.2) so yards could be tough to come by in the rematch with the Cardinals, who desperately need a victory. The Seahawks forced eight turnovers while trouncing the Cardinals 58-0 in last season’s meeting in Seattle.

LINE: Seattle opened at -10 but has been bet up a half-point, while the total has dropped two points to 43.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the high-40s with a 59 percent chance of rain and wind blowing across the length of the field at 9 mph.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Arizona (-3.0) + Seattle (-8.0) + home field (-3.0) = Seahawks -8
TRENDS:

* Cardinals are 4-0 ATS in their last four games following a SU win.
* Seahawks are 7-1 ATS in their last eight December games.
* Over is 13-6 in the last 19 meetings.


New York Giants at Detroit Lions (-10, 49)

Eli Manning's trainwreck of a season reached its nadir when he threw a career-high five interceptions against Seattle, boosting his total to a league-worst 25 and matching his career high from 2010. His passer rating of 69.7 is his lowest since his rookie campaign and doesn't figure to get any better with leading receiver Victor Cruz dealing with a concussion and a sprained knee that will cause him to miss Sunday's game.

Manning is not the only QB who has been a turnover machine - Detroit's Matt Stafford has picked been off 10 times and lost two fumbles in the past five games. Three more interceptions by Stafford in last week's 18-16 loss at Baltimore continued the Lions' inability to protect a fourth-quarter lead, which has occurred in each of their last four defeats. Wide receiver Calvin Johnson is second in the league with 1.449 yards.

LINE: The Lions opened at -10 while the total has held steady at 49.
WEATHER: N/A
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: New York (+4.5) + Detroit (-1.5) + home field (-3.0) = Lions -9
TRENDS:

* Giants are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 road games.
* Lions are 1-6 ATS in their last seven December games.
* Road team is 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings.


Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers (-10, 50.5)

Quarterback Matt McGloin had his worst performance since taking over the starting job, tossing four interceptions and losing a fumble in the debacle against the Chiefs. Oft-injured running back Darren McFadden returned to practice and could be back in the lineup, but Oakland has received solid production from backup Rashad Jennings, who rushed for 91 yards last week and recorded his second straight two-touchdown game.

Even though San Diego's postseason hopes appear remote, quarterback Philip Rivers guided the team to its biggest upset of the season by throwing a pair of touchdown passes in a 27-20 win at Denver last week. Running back Ryan Mathews has his own checkered injury history, but he tied his season high with 127 yards and went over 100 yards for the fifth time in the past nine games.

LINE: San Diego is steady as a 10-point fave, with the total up one point to 50.5.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the mid-60s with clear skies.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Oakland (+6.0) + San Diego (-1.3) + home field (-3.0) = Chargers -10.3
TRENDS:

* Raiders are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games following an ATS loss.
* Chargers are 2-8-1 ATS in their last 11 games following a SU win.
* Under is 6-1-1 in the last eight meetings in San Diego.


Pittsburgh Steelers at Green Bay Packers (-1.5, 45)

Pittsburgh has rallied in the second half of the season but can't help but kick itself for four losses by a touchdown or less, including a 34-28 setback against Miami two weeks ago that would have dramatically improved its playoff chances. Ben Roethlisberger will try to channel his performance from his only previous regular-season meeting with the Packers in which he threw for a career-best 503 yards and three TDs.

The Packers will be without starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who wasn't cleared this week despite returning to practice as he continues his recovery from a collarbone injury. Green Bay came back from a 26-3 halftime deficit to beat Dallas last week and revived its playoff hopes in the process. The Packers have won their final regular-season home game in eight straight seasons and 20 of the last 21.

LINE: The Packers opened -2.5 but are now -1.5. The total is set at 45.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the mid-20s with a 93 percent chance of snow and wind blowing across the length of the field at 15 mph.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Pittsburgh (0.0) + Green Bay (+4.0) - home field (-3.0) = Steelers -1
TRENDS:

* Steelers are 5-1 ATS in their last six games.
* Packers are 6-2 ATS in their last eight December games.
* Over is 4-1 in the last five meetings.


New England Patriots at Baltimore Ravens (-1.5, 45)

Tom Brady, whose completion percentage is his lowest since 2004, needs one win to match Dan Marino (147) for fourth place on the all-time list. The future Hall of Famer threw a late interception to seal last week's 24-20 loss to the Dolphins - the Patriots' first game since losing All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski to a season-ending knee injury two weeks ago.

Baltimore's four-game winning streak is tied for the NFL's longest with San Francisco - the team it beat to win last season's Super Bowl - and the Ravens' last two wins have come in dramatic fashion. Justin Tucker's 61-yard field goal in the final minute stunned Detroit on Monday night, one week after Joe Flacco capped a back-and-forth thriller against Minnesota with the game-winning touchdown pass with four seconds left.

LINE: Baltimore opened -2.5 and is now -1.5, with the total down a half-point to 45.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the high-60s with a 55 percent chance of thunderstorms and wind blowing across the width of the field at 12 mph.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: New England (-4.8) - Baltimore (-0.5) - home field (-3.0) = Patriots -1.3
TRENDS:

* Patriots are 5-0 ATS in their last five games after allowing more than 350 total yards in their previous outing.
* Ravens are 19-6-2 ATS in their last 27 games vs. teams with winning records.
* Road team is 4-0-1 ATS in their last five meetings.


Chicago Bears at Philadelphia Eagles (-3, 55.5)

Chicago would like to keep some distance between itself and the Packers, who visit the Bears in the regular-season finale. The offense is humming right along no matter who is under center but the defense is an issue, surrendering an average of 31 points over the last four games and ranking last in the NFL against the run. Chicago RB Matt Forte has gone over 100 yards rushing in three straight games.

Philadelphia will be scoreboard-watching early in the day, needing a loss by the Cowboys to make a win over the Bears a division-clincher. The Eagles will also be looking for more out of a pass defense that is ranked 31st in the league. Eagles QB Nick Foles passed for a career-high 428 yards last week but has thrown an interception in each of the last two games after going his first seven starts without a pick.

LINE: Philadelphia opened as a 3.5-point fave, but has been bet down to -3. The total is up one point to 55.5.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the low-60s with a 53 percent chance of showers and wind blowing across the width of the field at 8 mph.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Chicago (-2.0) + Philadelphia (-2.5) + home field (-3.0) = Eagles -3.5
TRENDS:

* Bears are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 December games.
* Eagles are 4-1 ATS in their last five games on grass.
* Over is 17-4 in Chicago's last 21 games following a SU win.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, December 22

Essential Betting Tidbits for Week 16 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.

- Cleveland WR Josh Gordon has 841 receiving yards and six touchdowns over his previous five games.

- Jets rookie QB Geno Smith has thrown at least one interception in 12 of 14 games this season, and has posted single digit QBR totals six times.

- Kansas City is the first team in league history to score multiple touchdowns via interception (five), kickoff return (two), punt return (two) and fumble return (two) in the same season.

- The Indianapolis Colts are surrendering the fifth-highest average rushing yardage per game (128.9). Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles averages 156.5 yards in two career games against the Colts.

- The Bengals, in the hunt for home-field advantage in the playoffs, are 6-0 in Cincinnati this season while outscoring opponents 199-103 in those games.

- Vikings RB Adrian Peterson, ranked second in the NFL with 1,221 rushing yards, is expected to play Sunday after missing last week's game with a foot injury.

- Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning gets a reprieve from the cold in Houston this week after playing his previous four games in chilly weather. Manning has thrown for 3,561 yards with 35 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 10 games where the temperature at kickoff was above 41 degrees Fahrenheit.

- The Broncos (-10) are the top Covers consensus ATS pick against Houston (78.5 percent).

- Playing for injured RB Maurice Jones-Drew last week, Jordan Todman rumbled for 109 yards and added four catches for 44 yards in a loss to Buffalo. Todman may start again this week with Jones-Drew questionable.

- Tennessee has lost all four of its divisional games so far in 2013, though none of the defeats came by more than eight points.

- Expect a low-scoring game in Buffalo, where the Bills host a Miami Dolphins squad that has played the "under" in eight of its last nine encounters with AFC East opponents.

- Buffalo comes into Sunday's game needing one sack to equal the unofficial franchise record of 50 set by the 1964 edition. It's a good bet to happen against a Dolphins team that has allowed the most sacks in the NFL (51).

- The Carolina Panthers had no answer for the New Orleans Saints in their last encounter, allowing quarterback Drew Brees to rack up 313 yards and four touchdowns in a 31-13 victory.

- The Panthers are tied for second in the NFC in turnover differential (plus-11), and are the only team in the NFL to rank in the top five in both passing yards allowed (211.4 per game) and rushing yards against (84.9).

- Washington QB Kirk Cousins makes his third career NFL start against a Cowboys secondary allowing the most passing yards in the league (4,163).

- Dallas has won all four of its divisional games, including a 31-16 home triumph over the Redskins in Week 6.

- The St. Louis Rams are the lone NFC West lightweight when it comes to ATS play, going 6-8 so far. The Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals are all 10-4 ATS through the first 14 weeks.

- The Tampa Bay defense has shown a proficiency when it comes to buckling down after a rough loss, with the "under" going 5-0 in the Buccaneers' last five games following a double-digit loss at home. Tampa Bay fell 33-14 to visiting San Francisco last week.

- The Seahawks have been nearly invincible at home this season, winning all six games by an average of 18.7 points. Their 14-game home winning streak is the longest in franchise history.

- Arizona WR Larry Fitzgerald (concussion) is expected to play Sunday after practicing throughout the week. Fitzgerald was nullified in the last meeting between the teams, finishing with two catches for 17 yards in a 34-22 loss.

- Lions QB Matthew Stafford has struggled mightily over his last two games, throwing for just 386 combined yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. Stafford has never faced the Giants.

- New York is 5-9-0 ATS on the season, tied with Atlanta for the third-worst mark in the NFC. Only Washington (4-10-0) and Chicago (4-9-1) have been worse.

- Oakland's improving offense and deteriorating defense have made the "over" a strong play since the midway point of the season, going 6-0-1 in the Raiders' last seven games. The over/under for Sunday's game in San Diego is 50 1/2.

- Philip Rivers had his way with the Raiders' pass defence in their previous encounter - erupting for 411 yards and a pair of scores - but also had three interceptions in the 27-17 Oakland victory.

- The Steelers have been one of the hottest ATS plays since early-November, going 5-1-0 over that stretch. Pittsburgh is a 2 1/2-point underdog at Green Bay despite the Packers being without QB Aaron Rodgers (collarbone).

- Green Bay has struggled ATS, going 1-6-0 in its last seven contests. That includes an 0-4 stretch ATS in its previous four home games.

- Patriots QB Tom Brady has put a difficult start to the season behind him, averaging better than 370 passing yards with 14 touchdowns and four interceptions over his last six games.

- The Ravens are last in the NFL at just three yards per rush attempt and have scored only six touchdowns on the ground. The Patriots are surrendering 4.4 yards per carry, the eighth-highest mark in the league.

- The Philadelphia pass defense is 31st in yards allowed, while the Bears' Brandon Marshall and Alston Jeffery are the most prolific receiving duo in the league with a total of 2,450 yards.

- Eagles QB Nick Foles passed for a career-high 428 yards last week, and has 23 touchdown passes against just two interceptions.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, December 22

Week 16 NFL Tips
By Kevin Rogers
VegasInsider.com

Saints at Panthers (-3, 45)

New Orleans: 10-4 SU, 7-7 ATS
Carolina: 10-4 SU, 8-5-1 ATS

Last week's results: The Saints put together their second straight poor performance away from the Superdome, falling at St. Louis, 27-16. New Orleans failed to cash as 6 ½-point favorites for their fifth consecutive ATS loss on the road, while allowing at least 26 points for the fourth time in five away contests. The Panthers held off the Jets, 30-20, to pull into a first-place tie in the NFC South with the Saints. Since losing at Seattle in Week 1, Carolina has won six straight home contests, while going 5-0-1 ATS.

Previous meeting result: New Orleans crushed Carolina two weeks ago at the Superdome, 31-13 to easily cash as three-point favorites. Drew Brees shredded the Panthers' defense for four touchdown passes, the fourth home win in the last five matchups with Carolina.

Betting notes: The Saints have finished 'under' the total in five straight games, while scoring 17 points or less in three of their last four contests. Carolina's run of six consecutive 'unders' ended in Sunday's win over New York, as the Panthers' defense has limited all seven opponents at home to 20 points or less.

Colts at Chiefs (-6½, 46½)

Indianapolis: 9-5 SU, 8-6 ATS
Kansas City: 11-3 SU, 8-6 ATS

Last week's results: The Chiefs' offense blew up for the second straight week, dropping 56 points on the Raiders in a 25-point rout as 6 ½-point road favorites. Kansas City has now scored 101 points in the last two games, while putting up at least 28 points in four consecutive contests. The Colts continued their dominance of the weak AFC South with their fifth win in five tries after a 25-3 blowout of the struggling Texans. Indianapolis cashed as six-point favorites, but the Colts have alternated ATS wins and losses the last seven games.

Previous meeting result: Nearly a year to the day, the Colts went into Arrowhead Stadium and knocked off the Chiefs, 20-13 as 4½-point road 'chalk.' Jamaal Charles rushed all over the Indianapolis defense for 226 yards, including an 86-yard touchdown scamper, but that was the lone touchdown scored by Kansas City.

Betting notes: The Colts haven't won back-to-back games since early November, while posting a 1-3 SU/ATS road record against teams from outside the AFC South. The Chiefs have easily cashed the 'over' in the last four weeks with their scoring barrage, but Kansas City owns a 2-3 SU and 1-4 ATS record against clubs that are currently at .500 or better.

Cardinals at Seahawks (-10, 43)

Arizona: 9-5 SU, 10-4 ATS
Seattle: 12-2 SU, 10-4 ATS

Last week's results: The Seahawks bounced back from just their second loss of the season by shutting out the Giants, 23-0. Seattle likely played its final game away from CenturyLink Field until February, as the Seahawks completed a solid 6-2 SU/ATS record on the road. The Cardinals squandered a late 17-point lead at Tennessee last week, but Arizona recovered with a 37-34 victory in overtime. Arizona has won six of seven games, but is still on the outside of the NFC Wild Card race behind Carolina and San Francisco.

Previous meeting result: Prior to this hot stretch for the Cardinals, they were blown out at home by Arizona, 34-22 back in Week 7. The Seahawks cashed as 4½-point road favorites, as Russell Wilson tossed three touchdown passes in the victory. Seattle has won each of the last three home meetings with Arizona, while limiting the Cardinals to 20 combined points in those three wins.

Betting notes: Both these teams are putting long ATS winning streaks on the line, as the Seahawks and Cardinals have each cashed in five straight games. Arizona has lost four of five road contests to NFC opponents this season, while dropping five consecutive games to division opponents on the highway. Seattle is riding a 14-game winning streak at home, while covering 11 times in this stretch (three ATS losses as double-digit favorites).

Steelers at Packers (-1½, 44)

Pittsburgh: 6-8 SU, 7-7 ATS
Green Bay: 7-6-1 SU, 6-8 ATS

Last week's results: The Packers' season isn't done yet, as Green Bay overcame a 23-point halftime deficit at Dallas to stun the Cowboys, 37-36 as four-point road underdogs. Matt Flynn threw four touchdown passes in the second half, as the Packers scored their most points in a game since a Week 8 victory at Minnesota. The Steelers ended a two-game skid by jumping on the Bengals early in a 30-20 home division triumph last Sunday night. Pittsburgh grabbed a 21-0 lead after one quarter and never looked back as the Steelers have won four of their last five games at Heinz Field.

Previous meeting result: The Packers won Super Bowl XLV over the Steelers in February 2011 with a 31-25 victory as three-point favorites. Green Bay jumped out to a 21-3 lead early, but the Steelers cut the deficit to three points in the fourth quarter. A late Packers' field goal guaranteed a cover for Green Bay backers, capping off a Super Bowl title as a Wild Card team.

Betting notes: After starting the season failing to cover four of their first five games away from Heinz Field, the Steelers have cashed two straight road games at Cleveland and Baltimore as short 'dogs. The comeback by Green Bay last Sunday snapped a six-game ATS skid for the Packers, while the Packers have won and covered two of three contests this season against AFC North opponents.

Patriots at Ravens (-2, 45)

New England: 10-4 SU, 6-8 ATS
Baltimore: 8-6 SU, 7-7 ATS

Last week's results: The Patriots haven't quite yet clinched the AFC East title after New England fell at Miami, 24-20 to snap a three-game winning streak. New England hasn't covered a game in three tries, while dropping three of its past four away from Gillette Stadium. The Ravens didn't reach the end zone on Monday night, but six field goals from kicker Justin Tucker, including a 61-yarder in the final minute pushed Baltimore past Detroit, 18-16 as 4½-point road underdogs.

Previous meeting result: Baltimore's final hurdle to winning the AFC Championship last season came in Foxboro, as the Ravens dominated the Patriots, 28-13 as eight-point underdogs. Since 2009, these teams have split six meetings, including three matchups that were decided by three points or less.

Betting notes: The Ravens haven't lost a home game in two months, going 4-0 SU and 2-2 ATS in this span, while compiling a 5-2 mark to the 'under' at M&T Bank Stadium. The Patriots have been a fade machine on the highway, putting together a 1-6 ATS record on the road with the lone cover coming at Atlanta in Week 4. The flip-side is New England has won and covered all three games off a loss this season.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, December 22

Total Talk - Week 16
By Chris David
VegasInsider.com

Week 15 Recap

The ‘over’ went 10-6 last week and is now 22-11 (67%) the past two weekends. The all-time scoring records continue to be shattered and that trend might not slow down anytime soon.

Are the oddsmakers worried?

“We are adjusting each and every week. The sharps don’t hit the totals that often so there’s no urgency. Our adjustments have been one way and that is higher,” answered Jay Kornegay, Vice President of Race and Sports Operations at the LVH Super Book in Las Vegs. 

“I think the rule changes, the way they (referees) call games, and the player safety rules all favor the offensive side of the ball. I think the totals in the 30’s will be a thing of the past. I don’t see how the defensives can keep up with the offenses.”

The lowest total on the board in Week 16 is 41, which is the number on the Browns-Jets matchup. That game opened 39 and apparently somebody is expecting points in New York this weekend.On the season, the ‘over’ holds a 121-99-2 (55%) edge.

Streaks to Watch

As we enter the end of the regular season, make a note of these teams and their respective total runs heading into Week 16.

Dallas – Over 5-0 the last five weeks
Kansas City – Over 4-0 after an 8-2 start to the Under
Jacksonville – Over 6-1 run, including 3-0 last three weeks
Seahawks and Rams – Under 3-0 last three weeks
Dolphins – Under on a 4-1 run
New Orleans – Best Under team (10-4) this season, which includes 5-0 run
Browns and Steelers – Over 3-0 last three weeks
San Francisco – 5-1 run to the Under, could easily be 6-0 last six

Systems & Trends

The non-conference ‘over’ trend improved to 48-15 (76%) last weekend with a 3-1 mark. We only have two AFC-NFC matchups on tap this Sunday and they are the last non-conference games of the season until the Super Bowl.

Minnesota at Cincinnati
Pittsburgh at Green Bay

Last week we pointed out a trend that a VegasInider.com user sent to us and it cashed as well with the Jaguars-Bills matchup going ‘over’ the number. It’s real simple and involves the home team that played in the Thursday game from the previous week. Regardless of the venue, the ‘over’ has gone 13-2-1 (87%) in the following game for that team. If you want to follow the angle again, it calls for the ‘over’ in the Denver-Houston matchup on Sunday since the Broncos hosted the Chargers on Thursday in Week 15.

Line Moves

The Line Moves went 1-2 last week, pushing the season numbers to 40-31-1. 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.

Dallas at Washington: Line opened 51 and jumped to 53
Denver at Houston: Line opened 51½ and jumped to 53
Indianapolis at Kansas City: Line opened 41½ and jumped to 46½
Arizona at Seattle: Line opened 45 and dropped to 43
Oakland at San Diego: Line opened 48 and jumped to 50½

Divisional Battles

Miami at Buffalo: The Bills defeated the Dolphins 23-21 on the road in Week 7 with QB Thaddeus Lewis under the center. Miami will be facing Lewis again on Sunday with starter E.J. Manuel (knee) ‘out’ with an injury. The first encounter wound up being a push (44) on the total and this week’s number (43) is a tad lower and weather could play a role.

New Orleans at Carolina: The Saints beat the Panthers 31-13 on Dec. 8 and the combined 44 points fell short of the closing total (47). Prior to this outcome, the ‘over’ was on a 4-0 run. In the last six encounters, New Orleans has averaged 34.2 PPG. The number

Dallas at Washington: This number has been bet up and it’s hard argue for an ‘under’ play when you look at the defensive units for both the Cowboys (25.3 PPG, 421 YPG) and the Redskins (30.2 PPG, 374 YPG). Despite the inept play on defense, the ‘under’ has gone 2-0 in the last two encounters between the pair.

Tennessee at Jacksonville: The ‘over’ is on a 3-1 run in this series, which includes the Jaguars’ 29-27 road win over the Titans on Nov. 10 this season. The total on that game was 42 and this week’s rematch has a number hovering around 44.

Arizona at Seattle: In Week 7, the Seahawks stopped the Cardinals 34-22 on the road in a Thursday night affair. Including that outcome, three of the last four meetings have gone ‘over.’ Seattle’s defense is getting stronger lately, allowing 26 combined points in their last three games.

Oakland at San Diego: The Chargers and Raiders have seen the ‘over/under’ go 1-1 during the regular season in each of the two previous years. I bring that to your attention because Oakland defeated San Diego 27-17 on Oct. 6 and the game went ‘under’ the closing number of 46. If you don’t recall, the first meeting started at 11:30 p.m. PT because the Oakland A’s had a home game on Saturday night that week and the field couldn’t be football-ready.  QB Philip Rivers didn’t play well (3 INTs) but he’s been spot on the last two weeks and the Raiders defense has been atrocious the last seven games (34.7 PPG), which has helped the ‘over’ go 6-0-1 in this span.

Under the Lights

The ‘under’ went 2-1 last week and the lone ‘over’ occurred on SNF in the Steelers-Bengals matchup, which was the lowest total of the three primetime games. After this week there will only be one more game played under the lights, which takes place on Sunday, Dec. 29. On the season, the ‘over’ has gone 26-21 (55%) in primetime games.

Chicago at Philadelphia: Even those teams aren’t in the same division, they have met five times in the last six seasons and the ‘over’ has gone 3-2 during this span. Chicago earned a 30-24 road victory in 2011 and a 31-26 home win in 2010. Those games had totals of ranging between 42 and 47 points. This week’s number opened at 54½ and has been bumped up to 55½. I mention the odds because Chicago hasn’t seen a total this high all season but it has had three numbers in the fifties. In those games, the ‘under’ cashed in all three. However, the defensive units on the field this week are much worse and points could be a plenty.

Atlanta at San Francisco: The closing of Candlestick Park should add some drama to this matchup, which is a rematch of last year’s NFC Championship. In case you forgot, the 49ers rallied past the Falcons 28-24 and the ‘over’ (47½) was on a good pace throughout. As mentioned above, San Francisco has been a great ‘under’ bet lately, even better at home (5-2) this season. Atlanta has been a tough team to gauge down the stretch but it has watched its total results alternate the past five weeks. If that trend stays true, then you’re looking at an ‘under’ on MNF.

Fearless Predictions

The VI bankroll dropped 20 cents last week and it probably should’ve dropped $430 but at the same time, we could’ve picked up $400. Still in the black for $240 heading into the last two weeks. As always, Press, Pass or Fade but in the end – Good Luck!

Best Over: Denver-Houston 53
Best Under: Tennessee-Jacksonville 44
Best Team Total: Over 29½ San Diego

Three-Team Total Teaser (9-Point, +100):
Over 44 Denver-Houston
Over 41½ Oakland-San Diego
Under 54 Atlanta-San Francisco

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, December 22

NFL Week 16 Preview
By Joe Gavazzi

Miami (-2.5) at Buffalo

Miami has overcome defensive injuries, along with those in their OL, to enter today’s game on a run of 3-0 SU, 5-0 ATS. Those wins have included outright upsets of the Jets, the Steelers, and the Patriots. They’ve also come while this Miami team was “hunting” a playoff spot. Now that that has become a potential reality, the psychology switches with playoff pressure becoming a meaningful factor. Last week, Miami, in a net 0 turnover game, got a 24-20 victory against New England, despite being outgained by 75 yards. The Bills went for 198 overland against the Jags in recording a rare win. That sets up a situation that gives pause to the strength of this selection. You see, the Bills are 0-8 ATS following their last 8 wins.

UNDERDOG GAME OF THE WEEK


Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs (-7)


All the squares will be flocking to Kansas City “need” this week against an Indianapolis team who has already clinched their division. In the entire history of the NFL, inflated lines like this have proven they are dangerous to your bankroll. The public is now enamored with a KC team that has scored 101 points the last two weeks. A closer inspection of last week’s 56-31 victory at Oakland shows that KC was outrushed 130-78, but took advantage of a +6 TO margin. The reality is that following their 9-0 SU start against sub .500 teams, the Chiefs went 0-3 SU ATS in losing to .500 or better teams Denver (twice) and San Diego. Far prefer a Colts team who will be playing loose following their clinching 25-3 home victory vs. Houston. Concerns are their lack of offensive efficiency without WR Wayne and the fact that the Colts have allowed an average of 33 PPG in their previous 4 road outings.

PERCEPTION/REALITY GAME OF THE WEEK


Denver (-10) at Houston


This will clearly be the public’s favorite game of the day. Everyone will expect QB Manning and the Broncos to bounce back now that divergent results of last week have left them tied with the Chiefs, and at risk of playoff positioning against New England. A closer look at the Denver log, however, shows us that fortunes have turned for the Broncos following their 10-0 SU, 7-3 ATS start. In fact, since that time, they have gone just 2-2 SU ATS. Only once since their bye week November 3rd have they won a game by more than 10 points. Furthermore, in 6 road starts only once have they won by more than 8 points. There is little doubt that Houston is the most disappointing team in the NFL this season. Expected to contend for the Super Bowl, they enter today on a 12 game losing streak and a 2-11 ATS record. That’s when it’s time for you and I, along with the Lone Ranger, to step in with the value on the contrary play of the week.

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