Interleague's Final Weekend - NFC South Pointspread Notes




By Jim Hurley:

No time to waste on this 4th of July holiday weekend and so let's get to a trio of Major-League Baseball Interleague Series and check out what to watch from sea to shining sea (note all series below run from Friday through Sunday):

NEW YORK YANKEES (48-31) at NEW YORK METS (41-40) - There's a real buzz in the air for this edition of the Subway Series and the ironic part of that is the Yanks are still without injured SS/Captain Derek Jeter (he'll be back Monday to resume the quest for 3,000 hits) and the Mets are still without injured 3B David Wright.

If the American League East-leading Yankees - who've won 15 of their last 19 games overall following the three-game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers - can keep 1B Mark Teixeira (25 HRs) swatting the long ball than there's a real shot the visiting Bombers could win this series even without LHP CC Sabathia (11 wins) who just beat Milwaukee 5-0 yesterday afternoon.

ST. LOUIS (44-38) at TAMPA BAY (45-36)
- Speaking of injured stars, the St. Loo Cardinals won't have the services of 1B Albert Pujols till after the All-Star Game but that hasn't deterred Tony LaRussa's team in recent days (see three-game sweep in Baltimore) and how about a round of applause for veteran 1B/OF Lance Berkman who bashed home runs #19 and #20 in yesterday's 9-6 win against the Orioles.

Berkman - who appeared to be absolutely finished as a big-leaguer following an awful half season with the Yankees last year - banged out dingers that covered 422 and 444 feet against the O's on Thursday and just check out his season-long stats while heading into Friday's action: 20 HRs, 58 RBIs and a .296 batting average.

SAN FRANCISCO (46-36) at DETROIT (44-38) - Here's a couple of first-place teams (for now) that are not exactly heading into this game with major momentum as the Tigers were battered 14-3 and 16-9 by the visiting Mets earlier this week before RHP Justin Verlander (11-3) set things straight with a dandy 5-2 win on Thursday afternoon while the defending World Series champion Giants followed up their Tuesday twin-bill sweep at Wrigley Field with back-to-back losses the past two days and San Fran continues to struggle for "points" with just three runs in the last two games (including that 5-2 loss in 13 innings on Thursday).

Still, it could be that "King Fu Panda" - a/k/a 3B Pablo Sandoval - just now is getting his act together after banging out his sixth home run of the year in yesterday's extra-inning setback.

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers release Major-League Baseball Winners each/every day and you can be part of all the action -- just remember to call the toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 or go online right here and make sure you're all aboard for a summer filled with all our MLB winners! The calling/check-in times are after 10 a.m. ET on Saturdays and Sundays; anytime after 11 a.m. ET for the weekday Baseball action; and than anytime after 1 p.m. ET for all the weeknight action. Now go ahead and pile up all your summertime Baseball winners! Editor's Note: Remember that Monday, July 4th, there are more than a handful of day games on the docket and so make sure you get all the matinee winners on Independence Day!


We fully trust that there will indeed by a 2011 NFL season and so let's get off the lockout talk and discuss recent Pointspread Trends. Now, let's get things rolling here with the NFC South:

ATLANTA - Hail the Falcons who last year cranked out a tidy 11-6 ATS (against the spread) season one year after banging out an 11-5 spread log and so note the Mike Smith Era (that began prior to the 2008 campaign) has now seen this Peach Tree State team go a collective 31-19 for a .620 winning rate but the only problem here is the Falcs are 0-2 spreadwise in playoff games under Smith (a 30-24 loss to Arizona as 1 ½-point road dogs in '08 and last year's ugly-as-sin 48-21 setback against 1-point road dog Green Bay). Note that Atlanta's covered 7 of its last 10 season-opening games and that happens to include last year's 15-9 overtime loss at 1-point fav Pittsburgh. Overall, the Falcons are a tasty 21-10 versus the vig in non-NFC South affairs the past three years.

CAROLINA - There wasn't much to write home about last year regarding these Panthers who wound up 4-12 against the Las Vegas price tags but how about the fact that Carolina suffered through a three-game and a four-game spread losing skein in 2010? Jeez! Note that the Panthers failed to cover 5-of-6 games within the otherwise ultra-competitive NFC South and that was a total reversal from 2009 when Carolina covered 5-of-6 tilts against Atlanta/New Orleans/Tampa Bay. Finally, the Panthers rolled up a 34-18-1 ATS log as underdog sides between 2004 through 2009 but than last year Carolina went 3-10 vig-wise as pups (a brutal .231 winning rate and the real question was how was this Carolina team favored in three other games?).

NEW ORLEANS - Leave it to the Saints to follow up their ultra-special Super Bowl season of two years ago with a shabby 6-10-1 ATS mark in 2010. New Orleans finished 3-6 spreadwise away last year and that included the now-infamous 41-36 loss at 10-point underdog Seattle - remember? The Saints had combined for a solid 16-9 spread log as betting favorites back in 2008-09 but last year's chalk roles didn't play out too well as N'Orleans registered a 5-9 ATS log and did you know it took the Saints till Week 6 - a 31-6 win at 5 ½-point dog Tampa Bay - to cover last year as a betting fav? Note that last year's Saints were a horrid 3-7 ATS when playing non-divisional foes and that's quite a contrast to the aforementioned '08-'09 teams that registered a combined spread mark of 16-6-1 when going outside the NFC South.
TAMPA BAY - Last year's Bucs cranked out a neat 9-5-2 ATS mark that included a nifty 7-3 ATS log when in the underdog role but how about the fact that T-Bay went a rousing 7-0-1 against the odds away? The Bucs covered outside their division at Cincinnati, Arizona, San Francisco, Baltimore and Washington and that was a neat turnaround considering that Tampa Bay was 20-28 ATS away from the start of 2004 through the end of 2009. Dig a little deeper with the Bucs and you'll also find out the following: Tampa Bay hasn't covered a Week One game since 2005 - yes, the Jon Gruden Era - as the Bucs have gone 0-4-1 ATS in season-opening tilts ever since; Plus, the Buccaneers were 1-2-2 ATS as betting favorites in 2010 and so that makes Tampa Bay 16-20-1 ATS as chalk sides since 2005 - not as bad as one might have thought but not great either; Finally, the Bucs are 3-7-1 ATS against AFC foes the past two-plus seasons and so don't tell us that you haven't been warned!

NOTE: Tomorrow it's the AFC South that gets center stage in our continuing look at the NFL Spread Reports ... so don't miss out!


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