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Forgive us for sounding like the proverbial “broken record” but here we are entering Sunday’s NFL Week 7 action and league betting favorites sport a 45-44-2 ATS (against the spread) advantage with one pick ‘em tossed into the mix following Thursday’s non-cover 27-25 win by New England over the 9.5-point underdog New York Jets.
As you know, we’ve been telling you for years and years and years that over the span of several weeks - and an entire pro football season, for that matter - the Favorites vs. Underdogs record is always gonna be right around the .500 mark and so nobody’s ever gonna get rich simply playing all the chalk sides or all the pups.
But as we get ready to deliver a few NFL Week 7 Previews/Forecasts below in this edition of Jim Sez, we wanted to take a moment to point out the biggest category winners thus far ... so here goes:
The Baltimore Ravens are a perfect 4-0 ATS as betting favorites this year and now here they’re laying 6.5 or 7 points in this Week 7 home tilt against Atlanta;
The Dallas Cowboys have notched spread wins in three-of-four games when placed in the underdog role this year but it’s gonna be a long time before you see the ‘Boys grabbing points again this season (probably in Week 12 at the New York Giants or maybe even later in the sked);
The Green Bay Packers are a hearty 3-0-1 versus the vig as betting favs this season and now the NFC North crew is laying a full TD to Carolina on this third Sunday in October;
The Houston Texans are 3-and-oh spreadwise as chalk sides this year with covers against Washington, Oakland and Buffalo;
The Indianapolis Colts have covered four-of-five games when favored in 2014 and that includes a four-game ATS win streak with Cincinnati on deck here;
The Kansas City Chiefs are 3-0-1 ATS as underdogs this year and now KayCee gets another shot Sunday at 4-point fav San Diego;
And, speaking of the SD Chargers, they’re 3-0 ATS as underdog sides and you’ll see the Bolts as the point-grabbers in next Thursday’s game in Denver;
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On Sunday, it’s ...
CAROLINA (3-2-1) at GREEN BAY (4-2) - 1 p.m. ET, Fox
If you’re keeping track, the Green Bay Packers have won a pair of blowouts (versus NFC North rivals Chicago and Minnesota) and also snagged a pair of close calls (versus the AFC East’s New York Jets and Miami Dolphins) and now Pack head coach Mike McCarthy is hoping the momentum gained from last week’s thrilling 27-24 triumph at Miami will carry over here against a Carolina club that played 75 minutes of game clock football a week ago.
Okay, so while the Packers were roaring back in South Beach thanks to QB Aaron Rodgers and his 264 passing yards and 3 TDs, the Carolina Panthers were emptying the proverbial gas tank in a 37-all draw with host Cincinnati - so what can QB Cam Newton accomplish here at Lambeau Field where he’s never before set foot?
Newton threw for 432 yards with one score and three INTs in his only other showdown with the Packers (see Week 2 of the 2011 season) and it figures to be an air raid offense or bust here - note the Panthers rank a lowly 28th in the NFL in rushing offense (86.8 yards per game) and so expect more blitzing from OLB Clay Matthews and his GB friends here.
Spread Notes - Carolina’s covered four of its first six games this season and the Panthers are a solid 12-7 ATS as point-grabbers the past two-plus seasons. Green Bay is riding a three-game spread winning streak into this tilt and the Packers overall own a shoddy 9-14-1 ATS mark in non-divisional games the past two-plus years.
KANSAS CITY (2-3) at SAN DIEGO (5-1) - 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS
Here’s the facts: The SD Chargers have won their last four consecutive head-to-head showdowns against Kansas City and that includes a 41-38 triumph at the 3-point favored Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium and a 27-24 non-cover win as bloated 15.5-point favs in Week 17 play last year. No doubt the Chargers are continuing to ride the hot hand of veteran QB Philip Rivers who completed 11 of his final 14 passes a week ago in that 31-28 comeback non-cover win at 7.5-point dog Oakland.
If Rivers can get any sort of help from rookie RB Branden Oliver (see 215 rushing yards in his last two games) then the Bolts should snag s sixth consecutive SU (straight-up) win following on the heels of that Week 1 loss in Arizona.
The flip side is this: The Chiefs come off their bye week and have proven to be either feast-or-famine on offense through their first five games:
KC’s scored 34 and 41 points in wins against Miami and New England and registered just 10, 17 and 17 points in losses to Tennessee, Denver and San Francisco ... so what’s it gonna be here for QB Alex Smith who welcomes back a healthy RB Jamaal Charles (he needs 53 yards to pass the franchise’s all-time rush leader Priest Holmes with 6,070)?
Spread Notes - San Diego is 5-1 ATS to start off the current campaign but the Chargers have failed to cover seven of their last nine divisional home games. Kansas City is 3-1-1 spreadwise overall this season and did you realize the Chiefs are 9-2-1 ATS away in the Andy Reid Era?
SAN FRANCISCO (4-2) at DENVER (4-1) - 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC
The NFL schedule-maker isn’t exactly giving the San Fran 49ers a break here as Jim Harbaugh’s club has gone from the Monday Night 31-17 win in St. Louis to this Sunday Night tilt in the Mile High City ... maybe Harbaugh will use that as a rallying cry as if the rallying cry to prevent Denver QB Peyton Manning from getting an NFL-record 509 touchdown passes isn’t enough!
Manning needs two TD flings to tie Brett Favre and three to break the mark and note TE Julius Thomas already has nabbed nine Manning TD strikes this year as the Hall-of-Fame-to-be quarterback has thrown 15 scoring passes on the year.
One X-factor to watch in this interconference game is what happens with San Fran QB Colin Kaepernick in the pocket - note he was not sacked a single time in that 14-point win against the Rams and he spread the wealth while throwing for 343 yards.
Both WRs Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin are major keys against a Denver secondary that - dare we say - is a tad overrated these days.
Spread Notes - Denver is 13-8-1 against the odds at home since Manning came aboard to start the 2012 season while San Francisco enters this prime-time tilt at 3-2-1 ATS overall this year and with a 26-8-3 ATS mark in non-divisional games.
My handicappers and bloggers have everything all scoped out and you can get the NFL Week 7 Side & Totals winners when you check with us here at Jim Hurley’s Network and then keep rollin’ in the green all week/weekend long with all the NCAA Football, the NFL and the upcoming World Series which begins Tuesday night in Kansas City - and we’ll have a World Series preview between the San Francisco Giants at the KC Royals in next Monday’s Jim Sez! Check with us on game days either here online or at our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 - make this an October to remember.
NOTE: Catch our Monday Night Football preview - that’s the Houston Texans at the Pittsburgh Steelers - in the next issue of Jim Sez.
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