NFL Hall of Fame Game Preview
THE NFL HALL OF FAME GAME PREVIEW—
WE CHECK OUT GIANTS-BILLS IN THIS SUNDAY NIGHT BASH FROM CANTON…
MORE NFL NEWS & NOTES:
TODAY WE ZOOM IN ON THE BIGGEST MONEY- BURNING TEAMS THE PAST THREE YEARS…
THE BASEBALL REPORT: TRADE DEADLINE WINNERS/LOSERS
On Sunday, it’s…
NEW YORK GIANTS vs. BUFFALO— 8 p.m. ET, NBC
Want to know what’s really on the minds of the New York Giants and the Buffalo Bills as they get ready to square off this Sunday Night in the annual Hall of Fame Game?
Thanks goodness this isn’t the regular season!
After all, the Giants— who last year ranked a putrid 26th in total offense and didn’t make the playoffs for the fourth time in the past five seasons— have all sorts of injury woes already between first-round draftee WR Odell Beckham, Jr. saddled with a never-ending hamstring injury and now comes word that RB David Wilson is hurting with a neck “stinger” and already Big Blue thought coming in here that his career might be teetering on the brink.
And did we mention that WR Rueben Randle also has a hamstring injury that has kept him out of recent practices?
Throw into the mix the fact the Giants are getting used to a brand-new offensive coordinator— he’s Ben McAdoo, late of the Green Bay Packers— and QB Eli Manning is fresh off a career-worst 27-interception season and there’s lots of woes already for 11th-year Giants head coach Tom Coughlin.
On the flip side, the Bills— who haven’t been to a single playoff game in an NFL-worst 14 straight seasons— have their own problems as DT Marcell Dareus has been plagued by all sorts of personal/legal problems in recent months— remember he originally failed his camp-opening physical too— and then there’s the lesser-light storylines including DT Alan Branch failing his conditioning test, RB Fred Jackson suffering a lower leg injury in a practice last Friday and don’t forget TE Tony Moeaki’s hamstring injury and the never-ending rumors that running back C.J. Spilller might be traded at some point this month.
Lots happening on both fronts and so maybe it’ll be good just to get on the field for this H.O.F. Game and generate some positive news— don’t expect Manning to play more than a single series here while Bills’ slinger E.J. Manuel could play most of the first quarter as second-year offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett might wish to see some extended time between Manuel and new top target WR Sammie Watkins (Clemson).
Pointspread Notes— Last year’s Giants finished 7-9 ATS (against the spread) overall and note NYG’s a collective 39-43-2 versus the vig (a .476 winning rate) in its last five years. On the flip side, the Bills are coming off a dead-even but vig-losing 8-8 ATS season and date back the past five years and you’ll see that Buffalo is a cumulative 37-41-2 against the odds (that’s a .474 winning percentage or almost exactly what the Giants have done since the start of the 2009 campaign).
Folks, Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers want to welcome you to the start of the 2014 Football Season.
It all begins with Sunday’s annual Hall of Fame Game between the New York Giants versus the Buffalo Bills and there’s another four weeks of money-making NFL Preseason Games that follow while the College Football campaign swings into gear later in the month with a full weekend card scheduled for Thursday, August 28th through Monday, September 1st.
Also, take note that America’s #1 Handicapper continues to bang out lots of winners in Major-League Baseball these days and all you need to do is check in either right here online at www.jimhurley.com or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 any time after 1 p.m. Eastern time for the weeknight action, after 11 a.m. ET for weekday games and after 10 a.m. ET for Saturday/Sunday/Holiday Winners and get all the Football & Baseball winners … can’t beat that, right?
The NFL Preseason, the start of the College Football year and Baseball action too—always a major money-making time of the year for the Jim Hurley Network!
THE NFL SPREAD REPORT
In yesterday’s edition of Jim Sez, we brought you the NFL’s “best bet” teams the past three years as Seattle, San Francisco, New Orleans and Denver topped the cash-happy charts— now we flip the script and bring you the NFL’s “worst bets” — if you will— dating back to the start of the 2011 season.
CHICAGO (18-27-3)— Boo-hoo for the Bears who have won just 40 percent of their bets the past three years and the worst of it happened last season when head coach Marc Trestman’s first year on the job produced a shoddy 4-10-2 ATS mark… ugh!
Note that Chicago is a rotten 5-13-1 versus the vig as underdog sides the past three years and that includes 2013 season-ending losses/spread setbacks against 3-point favorites Philadelphia and Green Bay.
Want one more glaringly bad spread stat for “Da Bears”?
How about the fact Chicago’s 5-13 against the Las Vegas price tags when it comes to playing fellow NFC North squads!
DALLAS (20-27-1)— The Cowboys have managed to win just 42.5 percent of their bests the past three years but— gotta admit— we thought the figure would be even worse!
The NFC East team stumbled its way to 5-10-1 and 6-10 ATS seasons in 2011 and ’12, respectively, before last year’s “rebound season” of 9-7 against the odds but there are some really distressing signs here and one of ‘em is the ‘Boys are 8-16 odds-wise at home the past three seasons and that includes a 3-and-oh home spread mark last year against the NFC East after Dallas went a combined 0-6 ATS as hosts versus divisional foes the prior two seasons.
DETROIT (18-30-1)— Tough to believe a team with all this offensive talent could be among the dregs of the NFL spreadwise but here’s the cold, hard facts:
The Lions have played just .375 ball vig-wise since the start of the 2011 season and— believe it or not— the Motowners suffered through four separate four-game-or-worse spread losing streaks during this three-year time frame.
Overall, the Lions are an inept 12-20 against the odds whenever in the favorite’s role and last year this NFC North crew actually failed to cover seven of its last eight games when laying points. Unbelievable!
PHILADELPHIA (19-29-1)— Here’s another NFC team that’s double-digit games below the .500 mark spreadwise over a three-year span… now that’s really ugly stuff.
The Eagles actually sandwiched 8-8 and 8-9-1 ATS marks in 2011 and ’13 around that bombshell 3-12-1 spread campaign in 2012 and so maybe you can look at these Birds in a somewhat different light than the consistently bad Lions but the numbers, nevertheless, don’t lie.
How about the fact that Philly is 10-21 against the odds whenever playing outside the NFC East these past three seasons?
TENNESSEE (18-26-4)— Let’s not let the Titans “off the hook” here ‘cause this AFC South club has played a woeful .409 winning ball spreadwise since the start of the 2011 and thus this above-mentioned spread record that’s eight games below the .500 mark is the exact record head coach Mike Munchak put up in his three years on the job… no wonder the Titans said bye-bye to him back in early January!
Note that Tennessee is 6-12-1 spreadwise as betting favorites the past three years and that includes a 4-7-1 ATS mark as home betting favorites and a 2-5 ATS log as road betting favorites.
THE BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE—WHAT WE LIKED (AND DIDN’T LIKE)
Who said this was gonna be a “quiet” MLB Trade Deadline?
The Boston Red Sox traded away three arms— LHP Jon Lester, RHP John Lackey and lefty Andrew Miller (and four if you include RHP Jake Peavy last weekend!)— and greatly reshaped their everyday lineup with the additions of LF Yoenis Cespedes (Oakland), OF Allen Craig (St. Louis) and INF Kelly Johnson but the $64,000 question is did the defending World Series champions “hit a home run” with the bevy of moves or should GM Ben Cherington have acted in a different manner here?
We’ll say this… we admire Cherington’s overall hutzpah but can any Sawx fan have real faith now in a starting rotation that includes the likes of RHP Joe Kelly (St. Louis), RHP Clay Buchholz and youngins Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster?
Hey, unless the Red Sox are stocked with great Double-A or Triple-A starting pitching, then these moves to exile Lester, Lackey and even Miller will go down as a monumental mistake.
Meanwhile, consider us shocked that Oakland dealt away Cespedes who is only signed through the 2015 season— the A’s are really messing with team chemistry even though they’ve now acquired the likes of Lester, RHP Jeff Samardzija and RHP Jason Hammel in the past month-of-so— three quality starters but might this lineup suffer without the hard-hitting Cespedes smack in the middle of it?
Finally, kudos to the Detroit Tigers for swinging the three-team deal that landed ‘em lefty David Price— in case you’re keeping track of such things the Motowners now have the last three American League Cy Young winners on their side with RHP Justin Verlander (2011), RHP Max Scherzer (2013) and Price (2012).
It became obvious that even their recent hot streak was not gonna carry the Rays past the pile of teams ahead of ‘em in both the AL East and the wild card race and so Price became a casualty but not many folks thought he’d wind up in Detroit and so “thumbs up” for the Tigers who simply dealt away OF Austin Jackson (to Seattle) and LHP Drew Smyly (to Tampa Bay) in the swap.
Among the minor deals we liked…
The Washington Nationals and New York Yankees both picked up “professional” players in SS Asdrubal Cabrera (Cleveland) INF/OF Martin Prado (Arizona) as both could well be missing puzzle pieces for their new respective teams while we didn’t care for Houston dealing away RHP Jared Cosart to Miami in a six-player deal— the ‘Stros have some nice young pitching and would’ve liked to see ‘em keep this staff intact and make a post-season run in two years’ time with this fine everyday lineup.
The biggest losers on Trade Deadline Day?
The New York Mets should have pulled the trigger on that long-rumored deal for Colorado SS Troy Tulowitzki and OF Carlos Gonzalez and the Toronto Blue Jays should have reached out for another starting pitcher plus another bat in the lineup— why couldn’t they work something out and have acquired Philadelphia RHP A.J. Burnett and 1B Ryan Howard for a relatively cheap exchange rate? Hmmm.
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