NFL and College Weekend Preview

NETWORK GETS THE CASH IN FOOTBALL AND HOOPS WEDNESDAY  Central Michigan (+21) rallies to get the cover in a 44-24 loss to Ball St., sweeps the side and total in the Bulls/Pacers game as the Pacers (-3) stay undefeated with a 97-80 victory! 

READY OR NOT, THE NFL WEEK 10 ACTION KICKS OFF TONIGHT AS THE REDSKINS LOOK TO STRING TOGETHER BACK-TO-BACK WINS FOR FIRST TIME THIS YEAR WITH A PRIME-TIME TILT IN MINNY …

PLUS QUICKIE SNEAK PEEKS AT SOME SUNDAY ACTION TOO INCLUDING PANTHERS-NINERS AND SEAHAWKS-FALCONS … OUR NCAA FOOTBALL PREVIEWS/FORECASTS TAKES A LOOK AT A COUPLE OF “UNDER-THE-RADAR” SATURDAY SHOWDOWNS (THAT’S #16 FRESNO STATE AT WYOMING AND HOUSTON AT #21 UCF)

By Jim Hurley

So, here’s a question we wish to pose to the Washington Redskins (3-5) and a couple of other National Football League teams as we head into Week 10 play tonight:

Are you guys “in” or are you “out” when it comes to chasing down a post-season berth this season?

No doubt the ‘Skins have zero wiggle room these days when it comes to pursuing more wins – the schedule ahead isn’t overly kind with home games against San Francisco and Kansas City and road tilts versus Philadelphia and the New York Giants – and so count us among the folks that believe a loss this evening at Mall of America Field (a/k/a the Metrodome) against the 1-7 Minnesota Vikings just about puts the ka-boom to any/all Washington hopes of getting into the playoffs for a second straight season.

There’s a couple of other NFL teams that are in similar binds while heading into their Week 10 games:

The San Diego Chargers – who lost that wacky 30-24 overtime decision to the Redskins last Sunday afternoon in Landover – enter their Week 10 game against rival Denver with a 4-4 mark, but the Bolts also have a very treacherous schedule the rest of the way including a game in Denver come Week 15 plus the home-and-home set against unbeaten Kansas City (see Weeks 12 and 17), and let’s not forget that San Diego hosts Cincinnati on the first day in December.

In other words, lose here against the albeit TD-favored Broncos and the party may pretty much be over for rookie head coach Mike McCoy’s team … and to think three of the team’s four losses came by 3 points to Houston, 3 points at Tennessee and last week’s aforementioned OT tilt in D.C.

Last but not least here, let’s take a quickie look at the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens (3-5) who – as we’ve now all seen for ourselves – are far from the team that beat San Francisco last year for the Vince Lombardi Trophy, and now here’s John Harbaugh’s team at home against the Cincy Bengals (who they’ll meet again in Week 17) with no margin for error and with an offense that ranks a putrid 29th in the league in rushing.

Where have you gone, Ray Rice? And note the Baltimore defense has scored all of one defensive touchdown this whole year. Ugh!

So – one week after the likes of Houston, Pittsburgh and Atlanta pretty much buried themselves once and for all when it came to playoff aspirations this year – what’s it gonna be ‘Skins, Chargers and Ravens?

We’re waiting for your responses!

Hey, it’s on to this week’s football action and we get it kick-started with NFL Week 10 action.

Network On 80% NFL Thursday Run!
Won 8 of 9 including Dolphins Last Week
 

9/5

Ravens (+7½) Broncos

Lost

27-49

 

Ravens/Broncos OVER 48.5

WON

27/49

9/12

Jets (+12) Patriots

WON

10-13

9/19

Chiefs (+3.5) Eagles

WON

26-16

9/26

49ers (-3) Rams

WON

35-11

10/3

Browns (-3.5) Bills

WON

37-24

10/10

Giants (+8) Bears

WON

21-27

10/17

Cardinals (+5.5) Seahawks

Lost

22-34

10/24

Panthers (-6.5) Buccaneers

WON

31-13

10/31

Dolphins (+3) Bengals

WON

22-20

 Win tonight's Vikings-Redskins game for just $20...
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Tonight, it’s …

WASHINGTON (3-5) at MINNESOTA (1-7) – 8:25 p.m. ET, NFL Network

It’s safe to say the Washington Redskins haven’t exactly hit on all cylinders this year as the team’s 0-and-3 SU (straight-up) start put ‘em in the deep hole from the get-go and QB Robert Griffin III has been shaking off the rust for the better part of the season’s first half of play.

True, Griffin III threw for 291 yards and the ‘Skins converted on 12-of-17 third-down plays in last week’s OT win against San Diego, but did you realize that Washington wide receivers have scored just 7 TDs this year? One major key here is to get WR Pierre Garcon (team-leading 54 receptions and 2 TDs) open for some “chunk plays” against a Vikings defense that ranks a dismal 29th in the league in pass defense.

Meanwhile, Minnesota has yet to win a game this season in the continental United States – the lone Vikes’ triumph occurred in London with a Week 4 victory against Pittsburgh – and so the home crowd here hasn’t witnessed a win since that special 37-34 triumph in Week 17 play last year when RB Adrian Peterson did everything but break Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing total. Peterson is fresh off last Sunday’s 25-carry, 140-yard rushing game in a rough 27-23 loss-but-cover in Dallas – if the Vikes get him 25-or-more totes here, the home fans may finally get to experience a win and thus sink the ‘Skins once and for all!

Spread Notes – Washington is 3-5 ATS (against the spread) so far in this rocky 2013 season but did you know the Redskins have failed to cover five of their last six head-to-head games against fellow NFC competition while dating back to late last year? On the flip side, Minnesota also enters this night-time bash at just 3-5 versus the vig but the Vikings are a respectable 16-10-1 against the odds as underdog sides since the start of 2011.

On Sunday in NFL Week 10 action, it’s …

CAROLINA (5-3) at SAN FRANCISCO (6-2) – 4:05 p.m. ET, Fox

Can you feel the heat generated by this matchup?

The host San Fran 49ers roll into this Week 10 affair on a five-game SU and ATS winning streak, and how about the fact Jim Harbaugh’s guys have outscored their last five foes by a per-game average margin of 35-to-12?

On the flip side, the Carolina Panthers have won/covered their last four in a row featuring road wins in Minnesota and Tampa Bay by a grand total of 43 points, but can QB Cam Newton keep the beat going here against the defending NFC champs?

Hey, Newton has registered seven TDs passing and three TDs rushing during this recent four-game winning streak (plus he’s thrown only two picks in these four games), but keep in mind the 49ers have had extra prep time here following a Week 9 bye. The Niners’ other factoid here is lots of their players have gotten healthier the past week-plus.

If San Francisco RB Frank Gore – who has rushed for 558 yards since a Week 3 loss to Indianapolis – can slice/dice a Carolina rush defense that ranks second-best in the league (allowing 79.1 ypg) then this could be another runaway win for Niners Nation.

Spread Notes – San Francisco storms into this Week 10 tilt riding a nifty five-game spread winning streak and keep in mind the 49ers are a collective 28-15-2 ATS under third-year boss-man Harbaugh (folks, that’s a .651 winning rate). Meanwhile, Carolina’s been no slouch either lately with the Panthers nailing down four consecutive pointspread “W’s” since mid-October and note this NFC South crew is 9-4 ATS overall as point-grabbers since the start of last season.

SEATTLE (8-1) at ATLANTA (2-6) – 1 p.m. ET, Fox

The team that the SF 49ers are chasing for top spot in the NFC West – these Seattle Seahawks – can’t afford too many more of these wire-job games against inferior competition, or else Pete Carroll’s club might be costing themselves home-field advantage right through the NFC Playoffs:

The last two weeks – a 14-9 win in St. Louis that went down to the final play and last Sunday’s 27-24 OT triumph over 16 ½-point pup Tampa Bay – showed that Seattle is far from a polished product no matter how many times they collectively puff out their chests, and so it’ll be interesting to see the focus Seattle has while coming back to the place where their 2012 season ended with a 30-28 NFC Divisional Playoff loss.

Look for Seattle QB Russell Wilson (15 TD passes and 6 INTs) to tuck it and run plenty here as he tries to expose a shaky Falcons’ linebacking corps, but this one might well come down to how the Seahawks’ secondary “sizes up” struggling Atlanta QB Matt Ryan, who has to be the NFL’s single-most disappointing player this year with 10 picks, plus Atlanta’s keeping fingers crossed that WR Roddy White will be green-lighted here following hamstring woes that have limited him to playing in just five games this year (and only 14 receptions).

Spread Notes – Seattle is just 5-4 against the Las Vegas price tags this year (after a 4-0 ATS start, mind you) and the Seahawks are a dead-even and vig-losing 5-5 spraedwise as road betting favorites since the start of last year. Note that Atlanta is a horrid 2-6 against the odds thus far in 2013 and still the Falcons are a solid 51-40-2 ATS overall in the Mike Smith Era.

Ladies and gents …
My handicappers and bloggers have everything all scoped out and you can get the NFL Week 10 Side & Totals winners beginning with tonight’s game between the Washington Redskins at the Minnesota Vikings when you check with us here at the red-hot Jim Hurley’s Network and then keep rollin’ in the green all week/weekend long with all the NCAA Football, the NFL, the NBA and NCAA Basketball too!

There’s College Football this evening too with Three (3) games on the Thursday Night docket including #10 Oklahoma at #5 Baylor (7:30 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1) plus it’s Troy at UL-Lafayette (7:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU) and – of course – the monster matchup out West between #3 Oregon at #6 Stamford (9 p.m. ET on ESPN) and remember there’s prime-time action on Friday too with #20 Louisville at Connecticut (8:30 p.m. ET on espn2) and Air Force at New Mexico (9 p.m. ET on ESPNU) before we even hit a jam-packed Saturday of great gridiron action!

Check with us on game days either here online or at 1-800-323-4453 – pile up the profits this November!

NCAA FOOTBALL PREVIEWS/FORECASTS

Here’s some of what we’ll be tracking Saturday with the college kids as today we’ll bring you a pair of “under-the-radar” previews, and check back with us tomorrow right here at "Jim Sez" ‘cause we’ll deliver a handful of the biggest Saturday matchups:

#16 FRESNO STATE (8-0, 5-0 MWC) at WYOMING (4-4, 2-2 MWC) – 10:15 p.m. ET, espn2

There’s a BCS buster in our midst as these Fresno State Bulldogs have serious designs on crashing the big bowl party, but first things first: Tim DeRuyter’s team must win in Laramie where it’s never easy (Fresno State’s 0-3 all-time in games at Wyoming) – if QB Derek Carr keeps up his torrid pace (see 28 TDs and 4 INTs this year), then the 9 ½-point home dog Cowboys probably don’t stand a chance but this game could get tricky for F-State if Cowboys’ soph RB Shaun Wick (234 yards rushing in recent 51-44 loss-but-cover against San Jose State) can shoot through some holes at the proverbial point of attack.

Note that Fresno State also ranks a dismal 105th nationally in pass defense – let’s say the Dawgs probably need to score 40-plus to land their 14th straight regular-season win.

Spread Notes – Fresno State may be perfect with an 8-0 SU (straight-up) mark so far, but the Bulldogs have been far from it versus the vig as these Dawgs are just 1-6-1 ATS. Note that Wyoming is 4-3-1 spreadwise overall this season and the Cowboys are 23-12-1 ATS as underdogs while dating back to the start of the 2009 season.

HOUSTON (7-1, 4-0 AAC) at #21 UCF (6-1, 3-0 AAC) – 7 p.m. ET, espn2

Note that there is not a conference championship game in the newly-formed American Athletic Conference and so – for all intents and purposes – the winner of this game has the inside track on landing a BCS berth at year’s end, and at the top of UCF’s priority list is to silence Houston freshman QB John O’Korn, who has thrown 22 TD passes with just 4 INTs for a Cougars team averaging a haughty 41.1 ppg.

O’Korn – who plays with an ice-water-in-the-veins attitude – figures to face heavy-duty pressure here from a UCF defense that has held four foes to 17 points or less this year, and don’t forget what George O’Leary’s team did against 14 ½-point fav Louisville a few weeks back in that 38-35 road win as ‘Ville slinger Teddy Bridgewater was kept quiet for much of that mid-October evening.

The Knights won’t have it easy either in dealing with a Houston defense that leads the country with 29 takeaways – if UCF quarterback Blake Bortles (15 TDs and 4 INTs) can steer the ball in the general direction of do-it-all RB Storm Johnson (592 yards rushing, 196 yards receiving and 12 total TDs), then double-digit fav UCF could cruise to the winner’s circle.

Spread Notes – Houston had its season-starting seven-game spread winning streak snapped with that recent 35-23 non-cover win against 19 ½-point pup South Florida but still the Coogs are a dandy 12-6 vig-wise away the past two-plus seasons. Note that the UCF Knights enter this tilt at 6-1 against the odds this season and so that makes ‘em 38-21 ATS overall since the start of the 2009 campaign (that’s a nifty .644 winning rate).

NOTE: There’s plenty more NCAA Football and NFL Week 10 Previews/Forecasts straight ahead in the next couple of editions of Jim Sez … so don’t dare miss out as tomorrow we’ll check out the biggest/best College Football games on the Saturday docket including LSU at Alabama!

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Nov

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