NFL Weekend Previews

THE NFL WEEK 6 SUNDAY MATINEE MATCHUPS

CAN THOSE DREAMY DETROIT LIONS STAY PERFECT?

The Detroit Lions don't have to "live in the past" any longer: Whether folks were re-living the names Bobby Layne or Alex Karras or even more modern-time superstar Barry Sanders it always was talk in/around Motown of the "good old days" but the fact of the matter is the glory days are back for this once-proud crew.

Not only are the Lions sitting pretty at 5-0 SU (straight-up) and tied with the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers atop the NFC North but here in NFL Week 6 play it's Detroit that's the epicenter of the pro football universe - there's no better matchup on this Sunday card than one-loss San Francisco at unbeaten Detroit and who would have guessed that back in June, July or August?

Now, get a load of some of these Lions factoids: Jim Schwartz's team has beaten its first five foes this year by a collective 70 points - but the real key here is aside from that 48-3 win against Kansas City back in Week 2 the Lions have learned how to win the close games... check out our accompanying Jim Sez chart (home teams are in CAPS below):

Week #1 TAMPA BAY - 2.5Detroit Detroit 27-20
Week #2 DETROIT - 7.5 Kansas City DETROIT 48-3
Week #3 Detroit-3 MINNESOTA Detroit 26-23 (ot)
Week #4 DALLAS - 2Detroit Detroit 34-30
Week #5 DETROIT - 6.5Chicago DETROIT 24-13

Not only have the Lions won their first three games ON THE ROAD (hey, remember when the Lions lost an NFL-record 26 consecutive road games with that streak coming to an end late last season in Tampa Bay) but they've mastered winning the close game with triumphs so far by 7, 3, 4 and 11 points.

Folks, that's what NFL playoff teams do - and that's what NFL champions do (or didn't you notice that last year's Packers won eight games in all by single-digit margins?).

Hey, note that as we enter NFL Week 6 play Betting Favorites are a collective 34-39-3 spreadwise with one pick ‘em tossed into the mix (that's a .466 winning rate for the chalk sides so far).

Last week NFL Betting Favs registered an 8-5 spread mark and keep in mind NFL "Overs" are a resoundingly successful 47-28-2 ATS (against the spread) this year for a .627 winning rate... wow!

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will be winning big-time this weekend NFL Week 6 games along with any/all MLB Playoff action including tonight’s NLCS Game 6 tilt from Milwaukee – hey, it’s gonna be a slam-bang profitable month for America’s #1 Handicapper and a really great ride right through Super Bowl XLVI in early February. Just remember to call our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 or else go online right here at www.jimhurley.com for the NFL, NCAA Football and MLB winners! The calling/check-in times are after 10 a.m. ET on Saturdays & Sundays; Anytime after 11 a.m. ET for the weekday afternoon post-season action; And anytime after 1 p.m. ET for all the Monday-thru-Friday weeknight action.


Now, let's check out some NFL Week 6 Sunday afternoon showdowns...

SAN FRANCISCO (4-1) at DETROIT (5-0) - 1 p.m. ET, Fox
Here's something you might not yet know about the here-and-now Detroit Lions: They're one of only two NFL teams to be 4-and-0 in conference play this year (the other is the Green Bay Packers, of course) and the fact of the matter is the Lions have won their last seven consecutive games versus fellow NFC teams - we bring this up because this head-to-head showdown might have end-of-year tie-breaker stuff involved plus the Lions right now have the edge on just about everyone in terms of best conference record.

And here's another thing: Detroit is averaging a heady 31.8 points per game this season but here QB Matthew Stafford and mates are going up against SF 49ers team that is yielding a mere 15.6 points a game. If Stafford (1,436 yards passing with 13 TDs and 4 INTs) can hold still the Niners linebackers here with play-action than he might feast deep with WR Calvin Johnson who already has 9 TDs grabs although "Megatron" did have his streak of 2-TD games halted last Monday night in that 24-13 win/cover against 6 ½-point dog Chicago.

Memo to the Niners: You better make sure there are pass plays designed off rollouts ‘cause the motor on Detroit DT Ndamkong Suh never gets turned off!

Spread Notes - Detroit is 4-0-1 ATS so far in this dreamy 2011 season and did you know the Lions are 9-0-1 ATS overall since late last season? The Motowners have covered 10 of their last 13 non-NFC North games the past year-and-change. On the flip side, San Francisco also is 4-0-1 versus the vig this 2011 season including outright upset wins against Cincinnati and Philadelphia. The 49ers are 2-1-2 spreadwise in their last five tilts with Detroit while dating back to the 2001 campaign.

NEW ORLEANS (4-1) at TAMPA BAY (3-2) - 4:15 p.m. ET, Fox
Is this gonna be one of those magical years for the N'Orleans Saints? Okay, so we're only five weeks through this 2011 NFL season but already Sean Payton's squad has won four in a row following that hard-to-take 42-34 season-opening loss in Green Bay with last week's last-minute comeback win in Carolina a great sign for the Saints. Quarterback Drew Brees now has registered a whopping 17 game-winning fourth-quarter TD drives in his pro career following last week's 30-27 non-cover win at Carolina and did you know that New Orleans had 75 offensive plays to the Panthers' 54 plays in that one?

Spread Notes - New Orleans has covered seven of its last 10 games at Tampa Bay but did you realize in this series that road teams are a collective 14-5 ATS dating back to the 2001 season? The T-Bay Bucs are a solid 8-4 versus the vig as underdog sides since the start of the 2010 campaign.

DALLAS (2-2) at NEW ENGLAND (4-1) - 4:15 p.m. ET, Fox
Maybe everyone out there in NFL-land is choosing to hail the born-again Lions but how about the fact the N'England Patriots are really just one bad defensive stand shy of a 5-and-oh SU (straight-up) start?

Bill Belichick's club has gotten more balance on offense the past two weeks in wins/covers at Oakland and against the rival New York Jets - the Pats have rushed for 335 yards in all the past two Sundays and that's the key here as QB Tom Brady (1,874 yards passing with 14 TDs and 6 INTs) may have all day to stand there behind the NFL's best offensive line but he needs RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis (fresh off a 136-yard, two TD game against the Jets) to slice-and-dice the interior of the Dallas defense here.
Question for the Cowboys: Do WRs Dez Bryant (bruised thigh) and/or Miles Austin (hamstring) factor in here following their recent injuries?

Spread Notes - New England's covered four of its first five out-of-the-gate games this year and the Patriots are a collective 13-8-1 vig-wise as betting favorites dating back to late in the 2009 season. Meanwhile, Dallas is 1-5-1 ATS overall in its last seven games dating back to late last season but the Cowboys are an electric 8-3 versus the vig as underdogs since the start of the 2009 season.

PHILADELPHIA (1-4) at WASHINGTON (3-1) - 1 p.m. ET, Fox
No doubt the current status of Philly head coach Andy Reid - will he or won't he get fired prior to next week's Eagles bye - is consuming the City of Brotherly Love. Hey, they don't have the Phillies to kick around anymore and so Reid has become the city's sports punching bag. Maybe some of Reid's play calls this year have been shaky - see that fourth-and-short run against the Giants a few weeks back that didn't work - and maybe his choice of Juan Castillo as the team's defensive coordinator has backfired but the reality is QB Michael Vick (8 TDs passing and 7 INTs) must steer clear of the overthrown ball here and he must make some plays with his legs - a Redskins key is making sure they're "plus" in the turnover margin as Philly's committed 15 turnovers this year or three more than any other NFL team. Yikes!

Spread Notes - Washington's covered three of its first four games this season and the Redskins are 6-2 vig-wise inside the NFC East since the start of last year. On the flip side, Philadelphia enters this divisional duel on a four-game spread losing streak and the Eagles have failed to cover eight of their last 13 away games.

SUNDAY NIGHT NFC NORTH PREVIEW
PLUS OUR UP-TO-DATE NFL 2011 POINTSPREAD CHART

Okay, so maybe all the pro football world’s attention is being paid to the other NFC North teams …

You know, the defending champion and 5-0 Green Bay Packers and those 5-0 Detroit Lions but there is a prime-time game on this NFL Week 6 docket that brings us two old foes and so in a throw-the-records-out-the-window type affair here we present to you the Minnesota Vikings at the Chicago Bears on NBC.

Whatcha think? Okay, so the teams have combined to go 3-7 SU (straight-up) so far this 2011 season and so it’s surely starting to look as if this will be the first time since the 2007 campaign that either one or the other won’t make the playoffs but we’ll spell out the drama while you channel surf with Major-League Baseball’s Game 6 of the National League Championship Series between the St. Louis Cardinals (ahead three games-to-two) at the Milwaukee Brewers. It’s got a whole Midwestern feel to it on this mid-October Sunday evening, right?

MINNESOTA (1-4) at CHICAGO (2-3) – 8:25 p.m. ET, NBC
Okay, so it took till Week 5 for the Minny Vikings to nab their first win of the year as last Sunday’s 34-10 walk-in-the-park triumph over 3 ½-point underdog Arizona didn’t feature any blown second-half lead – but it did feature lots of RB Adrian Peterson who rushed for a season-best 122 yards with three TDs and that’s the sure-shot magic formula here – especially because Minnesota QB Donovan McNabb continues to throw some real worm-killer passes. McNabb was booed loudly last week inside the Metrodome en route to a 10-of-21 showing and did you realize he’s thrown only four TDs in all so far this 2011 season?

On the flip side, the theme remains the same for the Bears: All season long the O-line has been unable to adequately protect QB Jay Cutler (6 TDs and 4 INTs this season) and you saw him running for his life last Monday Night in that 24-13 loss in Detroit. Cutler showed a lot more moxie than NFL fans (and fellow players) ever give the guy credit but when does Cutler ever get to go “up top” and hit speedy WRs Devin Hester and/or Johnny Knox downfield?

Maybe never!

Spread Notes – Minnesota has failed to cover 10 of its last 15 head-to-head showdowns against archrivwho l Chicago and did you know the Vikings are just 1-5-1 ATS (against the spread) in NFC North games since the start of last season? Meanwhile, the Bears enter this clash on a four-game spread losing skid and the last time Chicago dropped so many consecutive games spreadwise was in 2009 when that team lost seven in a row to Mr. Vig.

NFL 2011 POINTSPREAD RECORDS TO DATE

Carolina 4-0-1
Detroit 4-0-1
San Francisco 4-0-1
Cincinnati 4-1
Green Bay 4-1
New England 4-1
Oakland 4-1
Baltimore 3-1
Washington 3-1
Buffalo 3-2
Houston 3-2
Kansas City 3-2
New Orleans 3-2
NY Giants 3-2
Seattle 3-2
Cleveland 2-2
Minnesota 2-2-1
Indianapolis 2-3
Pittsburgh 2-3
San Diego 2-3
Tampa Bay 2-3
Tennessee 2-3
Dallas 1-2-1
Arizona 1-3-1
Atlanta 1-4
Chicago 1-4
Denver 1-4
Jacksonville 1-4
NY Jets 1-4
Philadelphia 1-4
Miami 0-4
St. Louis 0-4

 

COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEKEND QUICK HITTERS

Here’s something to think about: In yesterday’s College Football action, the likes of #1 LSU, #2 Alabama, #4 Wisconsin, #5 Boise State, #6 Oklahoma State and #7 Stanford all won/covered their games against clearly inferior foes but did you know that this six-pack of teams is a composite 31-7 against the odds this year (a swinging .816 winning rate). So, for those folks who believe this elite group of teams is “overpriced”, you may wish to think again – right now it looks as if no matter how the Las Vegas pointspread it ain’t high enough! …

Finally in this Sunday edition of Jim Sez, how about a shout out to 6-and-oh Kansas State – there are 10 unbeaten teams in the land right now but who out there saw K-State as being without a loss while heading into its annual Sunflower State game this Saturday at Kansas. In last night’s 41-34 win at 3 ½-point fav Texas Tech, the KSU Wildcats scored 21 of the game’s 27 second-half points and maybe it’s about time QB Collin Klein (110 yards rushing and 146 yards passing) got some mention in terms of this year’s Heisman Trophy!

NOTE: Catch our Monday Night Football Preview – that the Miami Dolphins at the New York Jets – in the next edition of Jim Sez.

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