Volume 29, Issue 15 - Saturday, Dec. 14 thru Monday, Dec. 16
Say this for the Denver Broncos - they can look like world-beaters one week and less-than-ordinary dudes the next.
Hey, the Broncos never seemed to have the football in this Week 15 tilt - note that Denver’s time of possession was a mere 21 minutes-and-change - while the Chargers manned up and got physical with the running of RB Ryan Mathews and the two-TD, no-INT play of clutch QB Philip Rivers helping to steal the show. Could the Broncos have "peaked" too soon? We shall see, right?
Suffice to say, it’s gotten down to "crunch time" in the National Football League even if some "name teams" such as the New York Giants, the Washington Redskins, the Houston Texans and the Atlanta Falcons long ago waved the white flag! There’s mad scrambling for playoff seedings in both the NFC and AFC and that everyone-into-the-pool battle for the #6 seed in the AFC sure looks as if it’s gonna go right down to Week 17.
Get all of Jim Hurley’s NFL Week 15 winners when you check with him on game day Sunday after 11 a.m. ET and after 1 p.m. ET on Monday for the MNF game either online at www.JimHurley.com or at the exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453
New England’s gunning for the season sweep here - remember the Pats copped a 27-17 win against 6 ½-point dog Miami back in Week 8 play - while the born-again Fish (see four consecutive spread wins and 3-of-4 wins straight-up the past month) might want to incorporate WR Mike Wallace more into the attack here after he snagged just two catches for 19 yards in last Sunday’s snowy 34-28 win in Pittsburgh.
Hey, do you realize that Miami ranks a lowly 23rd league-wide in both rushing offense and rushing defense and still has a winning record? Hmmm.
Spread Note - New England is a horrid 1-5 ATS (against the spread) away this year and that includes divisional pointspread setbacks in both Buffalo and at the NY Jets.
NEW ORLEANS (10-3) at ST. LOUIS (5-8) - 4:25 p.m. ET, Fox
Spread Note - New Orleans is 23-11-1 versus the vig (that’s a .676 winning rate) as betting favorites while dating back to the start of the 2011 season and that includes the 31-21 loss at 13 ½-point dog St. Louis back in the ’11 campaign.
CHICAGO (7-6) at CLEVELAND (4-9) - 1 p.m. ET, Fox
Gordon’s become one of the NFL’s most dynamic playmakers - hey, some folks would label him the number one playmaker in the league right now - and so the Bears’ banged-up and slowish secondary figure to have their hands full here. Meanwhile, it appears McCown will again get the nod for the Bears under center here and his continued hook-ups with WR Alshon Jeffery makes this tandem extremely dangerous - now the question is does Cleveland CB Joe Haden guard Jeffery or WR Brandon Marshall or does he simply patrol one field of the field here? Stay tuned.
Spread Notes - Chicago is 3-8-2 ATS (against the spread) overall this year and the Bears head into this road tilt having failed to cover seven of their last 10 away games. Meanwhile, Cleveland is 6-7 ATS overall this year and note the Brownies are a dead-even and vig-losing 10-10-1 spreadwise in their last 21 home games.
GREEN BAY (6-6-1) at DALLAS (7-6) - 4:25 p.m. ET, Fox
Note that Dallas will look for a ball-control passing game to spark ’em here - there’s no way this broken-down and worn-out Cowboys’ defense can be asked to make big stands even if it’s Matt Flynn at quarterback for Green Bay here - and what would you say if we recommended Dallas QB Tony Romo sling more slant throws to get WR Dez Bryant more involved... sounds good, right?
One final Cowboys-related note here: Dallas has allowed 30-or-more points on six different occasions this season (now that’s 11 times that’s happened under second-year DC Monte Kiffin) and so you begin to wonder whether or not the NFC East crew needs some gimmicks to survive here such as a well-timed onside kick or maybe some key corner/safety blitzes on defense - all we know is Dallas’ non-competitive 45-28 loss last Monday Night in chilly Soldier Field was a major embarrassment to the organization that could be headed for a fourth consecutive non-winning and non-playoff season. Anything to say about that, Mr. Jones?
Spread Notes - Dallas is a solid 8-5 against the Las Vegas prices this year but the Cowboys are now 4-9 ATS in the last four games of regular-season play dating back to the 2010 season. Green Bay ’s 4-8-1 spreadwise this year and the Packers stagger into this tilt on a six-game spread losing skid and that’s the longest spread slide in the Mike McCarthy Era that began in 2006.
I’ve Won 3 Straight On Sunday Night!
On Sunday Night, it’s...
Now the talk’s heating up that Tomlin could exit stage left for a possible high-profile college job and that the Steelers may indeed entertain off-season trade talks involving QB Ben Roethlisberger - might we be getting to end-of-an-era type stuff for the Steel gang?
Conversely, the Cincy Bengals - even after losing back-to-back overtime games in Week 9 and 10 to Miami and Baltimore, respectively - have soared to atop the AFC North and last week’s 42-28 win/cover against 7-point dog Indianapolis was heady stuff as Marvin Lewis’ crew possessed the football for some 37:45 and didn’t commit a single turnover in chilly and at-times snowy weather even though QB Andy Dalton and Company cranked out 70 offensive plays from scrimmage (yes, 35 rushes for a 155 yards and 35 passes worth 275 yards).
If Dalton (24-of-35 for 275 yards and touchdown throws to WR Marvin Jones, TE Jermaine Gersham and wide-out A.J. Green) can spread the wealth here one week after five different pass-catchers nabbed 3-or-more receptions, than the Bengals should/could get a season sweep over the Steelers for the first time since 2009. And what can we expect here from rookie RB Gio Bernard (see 99 yards rushing and four catches for 49 yards receiving in last week’s blowout home win) who continues to be a valuable do-it-all piece for this Bengals’ offense that has scored 40-plus points in three of the team’s last six games?
Spread Notes - Cincinnati is a tidy 8-4-1 versus the vig overall this season and that includes the 20-10 win/cover against the 6 ½-point underdog Steelers back in Week 2 play. Pittsburgh is 6-7 ATS this season and did you know the Steelers are a tasty 6-3-1 ATS in AFC North games since the start of last year?
Monday Night Football Mismatch
Get all of the College Bowl Winners for starting Saturday, December 21 when you check in with Jim Hurley either online at www.JimHurley.com or at the exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 after 10am (ET) on game-day mornings and after 1pm. ET for the weeknight games.
Here’s a look at the first 8 bowl games from Saturday, Dec. 21st thru Thursday, Dec. 26th:
SATURDAY, DEC. 21
LAS VEGAS BOWL -at Las Vegas, NV
BASH THE BOWLS AND PLUNDER THE PLAYOFFS - IT’S LIKE FOUND MONEY!
FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL -at Boise, ID
NEW ORLEANS BOWL -at New Orleans, LA
MONDAY DEC. 23
TUESDAY, DEC. 24
HAWAII BOWL -at Honolulu, HI
Go ahead and wrap those last-second gifts and check out this neat Christmas Eve game from the 50th state where Oregon State looks to salvage a once very-promising season -remember the Beavers were 6-1 SU after beating California in mid-October -- while Boise State begins the post-Chris Petersen Era as he heads off to Washington. If Oregon State WR Brandin Cooks (120 catches for 1,670 yards with 15 TDs this season) explodes for a bevy of "chunk plays" here than the Pac-12 guys should get the loot.
THURSDAY, DEC. 26
LITTLE CAESAR’S PIZZA BOWL -at Detroit. MI
POINSETTIA BOWL -at San Diego, CA
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