Thursday’s College & NFL Previews
OUR JIM SEZ MIDWEEK UPDATE GETS NFL WEEK 3 JUMP-STARTED WITH THURSDAY’S BUCS-FALCONS PREVIEW
PLUS IT’S A MONSTER WEEK FOR THE COLLEGE KIDS BEGINNING WITH THE SHOWDOWN BETWEEN #5 AUBURN AT #20 KANSAS STATE ON THURSDAY NITE
It’s become all the rage to point out the NFL’s “surprise” 2-and-oh teams featuring the Buffalo Bills and the Houston Texans – teams that finished last year with a combined 8-24 SU (straight-up) – but what about the teams that most figured would be 2-0 right now such as the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks, the San Francisco 49ers, the New Orleans Saints and the New England Patriots?
Save for the 0-2 Saints, these other three powerhouse squads are 1-1 and so no need to press any panic buttons but you could have gotten long odds in Las Vegas that the Bills and Texans were be a combined 4-0 SU out of the chute while the Seahawks/49ers/Saints/Patriots would be a collective 3-6!
And don’t you know that the sports talk radio telephone lines are burning up in Indianapolis this week after the now 0-and-2 Colts dropped a highly-controversial 30-27 decision to 3-point underdog Philadelphia this past Monday Night?
Heck, with the plethora of penalty flags thrown thus far – mostly those against NFL defensive backs for contact after five yards downfield – don’t you find it kind of funny that an obvious defensive foul wasn’t called late in that tilt when Colts wide-out T.Y. Hilton was yanked down illegally and thus it greatly aided/abetted the Eagles’ comeback from a double-digit deficit?
Safe to say that referee Terry McAuley and his crew won’t be “invited back” any time soon to officiate another Colts game, right?
Meanwhile, two weeks into the much-troubled NFL 2014 season – notice we’re trying our best not to mention the likes of Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, et al, these days – we will inform you that NFL Betting Favorites will enter Week 3 play at just 12-18-1 (with one pick ‘em game) against the odds for a .400 winning rate and let it be known that NFL “Over” players are just 14-18 versus the prices (a .438 winning rate) as the combination of higher totals prices and some pretty inept offenses have caused “under” players to sport the early-season advantage:
The likes of Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Jacksonville, Oakland, Kansas City, the New York Giants, Tampa Bay and St. Louis are all averaging below 20 points per game so far and that’s pretty weak stuff in the offensive-minded NFL.
Okay, so we’ll kick off NFL Week 3 in a moment here with a Jim Sez Game Preview but first this key reminder …
Jim Hurley and his veteran Handicappers and Bloggers are all revved up for a monster showing in this 2014 NFL season – so make sure you’re banging out lots of winners this week/weekend as we start off NFL Week 3 play with this NFC South showdown pitting the Tampa Bay Bucs at the Atlanta Falcons. Remember the NFL Week 3 menu has a slew of great Sunday games including San Diego at unbeaten Buffalo, 2-0 Houston at the New York Giants and the Sunday Night clash between the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Carolina Panthers.
The college kids are back on the gridiron come Thursday night too as #5 Auburn is at #20 Kansas State in a big-time Top 25 affair on ESPN. And note the Saturday card is full of big games including Florida at #1 Alabama, Clemson at #1 Florida State and #4 Oklahoma at West Virginia.
Plus there’s lots to cash in too with Major-League Baseball as it heads down the final week-plus of this 2014 MLB regular season.
Check with us right here online for all the winning selections, or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 any time after 1 p.m. Eastern time for weeknight action and after 10 a.m. ET for the Saturday and Sunday NFL. NCAA and MLB winners!
NFL WEEK 3
On Thursday Night, it’s TAMPA BAY (0-2) at ATLANTA (1-1) – 8:25 p.m. ET, CBS
Hey, maybe the road will treat the Tampa Bay Bucs better than they’re treated at home! Tampa Bay was the only NFL team to lose back-to-back at home right out of the chute and there’s major problems already with Lovie Smith’s squad from the 31 total points it has scored to the defensive injuries that kept
DT Gerald McCoy (broken left hand) and MLB Mason Foster (shoulder) off the field on St. Louis’ 12-play, 71-yard drive that won the Rams the game last Sunday at stormy Tampa Bay.
Now, the Bucs – a 6 ½-point dog in this clash at the Georgia Dome – must look for a more ball-control offense to ease the pain of those two lost defenders and so the $64,000 question here is can RB Bobby Rainey give ‘em another 144-yard type rushing game here (even though that wasn’t enough in the 19-17 loss to the Rams in Week 2)?
Meanwhile, Atlanta has its own concerns while heading into this prime-time bash as the Falcons followed up their wild 37-34 overtime win against New Orleans in Week One action with a flat 24-10 loss in Cincinnati last Sunday.
The Falcons surrendered 472 yards and a 6.8 yards-per-play average in last week’s loss and QB Matt Ryan – celebrated wildly for his 448-yard passing game against a woeful Saints defense – threw for just 231 yards and aired three INTs against a still-underrated Bengals defense.
Your move, Matty Ice!
Spread Notes – Atlanta is 30-20-2 ATS (against the spread) at home since the start of the Mike Smith Era back in 2008 but note the Falcons have covered just two of its six home tilts against Tampa Bay during this time frame. On the flip side, the Bucs have failed to cover their last five pointspread verdicts overall while dating back to last year. Tampa Bay is playing its 2014 road opener and note the Buccaneers have covered three of their last four road-opening games.
THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL REPORT
On Thursday Nite, it’s #5 AUBURN (2-0) at #20 KANSAS STATE (2-0) – 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Last week we witnessed tough road losses for Georgia and USC – a pair of top 10 teams … so do the fifth-ranked Auburn Tigers have real reason to fret here?
Well, the price tag’s gone up so far this week as Auburn opened this football-on-a-school-night bash as 7 ½-point betting favorites and it’s up to 9 points now and tough to knock anything about this SEC power that fell just moments short of winning last year’s national championship game against Florida State.
The ground game galloped free for 302 yards in a season-opening 45-21 win against Arkansas and then followed that up with a 358-yard rushing game in a 59-13 win against San Jose State and we must remind you that Kansas State allowed 28 consecutive points to be scored at one stage in a recent 32-28 non-cover win at 12-point dog Iowa State.
If K-State is gonna kayo yet another top 10 team here than QB Jake Waters must be a stat-sheet stuffer as was the case against Iowa State when he threw for 239 yards and rushed for 138 yards with two ground scores.
In case you were wondering, the last time Kansas State was a home underdog was just last year when 17-point fav Baylor won but didn’t cover en route to a 35-25 victory.
Spread Notes – Auburn’s covered both 17-point dog Arkansas and 34-point pup San Jose State so far this year and now the Tigers are 13-2 ATS in the albeit brief Gus Malzahn Era. Meanwhile, Kansas State is 0-2 versus the vig so far in 2014 but the Wildcats are 13-7 spreadwise at home dating back to the start of the 2011 campaign.
NOTE: Get more NCAA and NFL Week 3 previews all this week right here at Jim Sez.
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