Network Bulletin Volume 30 Issue 11
Volume 30, Issue 11 - Saturday, December 13 and Sunday, December 14
It's the final weekend of college football with Army-Navy, but there are plenty of bowls (39 this year, including the playoffs and championship game) just around the corner. We take a quick look at the early bowls and also tackle some NFL notes heading into week 15, and preview some of the top games.
Last week Jim won his college Championship Game of the Year as Ohio State demolished Wisconsin 59-0, then came back Sunday winning his NFL Mismatch of December as Seattle (+1) beat Philly 24-14, and the Top December Dog got the cover with Cleveland (+3.5) in their last-second loss to Indy 24-35.
This Saturday, College Hoops takes off with Jim's Saturday Triple Crown, and part of the 2-Sport Blitz with the Army-Navy winner. On Sunday look to cash the NFL Revenge Game of the Year, and another December Top Dog, and wind up with the Sunday Night winner between Dallas and Philly.
THE EARLY COLLEGE BOWLS
Here’s a look at those 10 bowl games from Saturday, Dec. 20th thru Wednesday, Dec. 24th. There’s a grand total of 38 college bowl games being played this holiday season.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 20
NEW ORLEANS BOWL
NEW MEXICO BOWL
LAS VEGAS BOWL
FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL
MONDAY, DECEMBER 22
MIAMI BEACH BOWL
SATURDAY ACTION ALERT! Football - Basketball 2-Sport Blitz
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23
BOCA RATON BOWL
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 24
NFL WEEK 15 KEY TOPICS
The mess in/around the Washington Redskins could wind up having a real domino effect come this off-season - consider that the ‘Skins likely will make every effort possible to deal off on-again/off-again starting QB Robert Griffin III (it’s possible they’ll find a match with the Buffalo Bills or Tennessee Titans) and we might even see another case next spring where Washington trades up - if it needs to - to the very top of the NFL Draft in order to land Oregon QB Marcus Mariota. Wonder what that’ll cost Washington in terms of future draft picks?
No doubt there’s turmoil around teams that are staggering to the finish line this year but no place is worse now than the San Francisco 49ers. Not only is soon-to-be-gone head coach Jim Harbaugh worn down - did you see his presser following last weekend’s 24-13 loss at 8.5-point dog Oakland? - but QB Colin Kaepernick isn’t exactly holding things together with a batch of screaming matches with friends/foes alike.
This appears to be a meltdown of epic proportions for the Niners and so all the more salutes to teams such as the New York Jets and Atlanta Falcons who never did “tune out” their respective head coaches.
What QB is most on the hot seat in these NFL Week 15 games? It’s not new Cleveland Browns starter Johnny Manziel but rather Philadelphia Eagles slinger Mark Sanchez who could get yanked in Sunday Night’s game against Dallas should he falter early on - the Nick Foles Era may be back providing that broken collarbone has healed.
Cash Another Top NFL December Dog! Won Last Week with Browns over Colts!
Let’s check out two key NFL Week 15 divisional games
MIAMI (7-6) at NEW ENGLAND (10-3) - 1 p.m. ET, CBS
A win here clinches New England’s 12th AFC East crown in the past 14 years and don’t be surprised if the Pats run the ball 40 times here as Miami’s defense has surrendered 661 rushing yards the past three weeks ... maybe this is a LeGarrette Blount Special (see 30+ carries, 150 yards or so) ... so stay tuned.
Spread Notes - New England is 7-2 ATS (against the spread) since that now-infamous MNF loss at Kansas City back on Sept. 29th. The Patriots are just 5-9 vig-wise against fellow AFC East teams since the start of the 2012 season. Miami, meanwhile, is a respectable 24-21 spreadwise under third-year head coach Joe Philbin and that includes a 15-11 ATS log as underdogs.
DENVER (10-3) at SAN DIEGO (8-5) - 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS
C.J. Anderson may not be the household name that is Manning but the former has rushed for 512 yards the past four games and last week’s three-TD showing proved that Denver can beat you via the ground route as well as the air waves ... so is this a pick-your-poison game then for the scuffling SD Chargers or can Mike McCoy’s club right the proverbial ship after scoring just one offensive TD in last week’s 23-14 prime-time loss to New England?
Keep an eye here on Chargers’ LB Manti Te’o who intercepted a late first-half red-zone throw by Brady and is finding himself “around the ball” more and more this season.
Spread Notes - Denver is 19-13 ATS away since the start of the 2011 season. San Diego’s failed to cover seven of its last eight games after starting off the year at 5-0 versus the vig.
NFL Revenge Game of the Year Wins Sunday! One game ends up in a shocking result!
SUNDAY NIGHT PREVIEW
DALLAS (9-4) at PHILADELPHIA (9-4) - 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC
No doubt there’s been plenty said about the fact the Philly defensive line “owned” the Cowboys’ much-hyped O-line in that tilt - hey, Dallas QB Tony Romo was sacked four times in that game and never did look comfortable in the pocket - and so all eyes will be on the Dallas blocking wall to see if they can keep Romo clean here.
Keep in mind this could be a tired Eagles defense - one that was kept on the field for nearly 42 minutes in last week’s 24-14 home loss versus Seattle and you keep hearing the buzz that second-year head coach Chip Kelly may indeed “go to the bullpen” for QB Nick Foles if current starter Mark Sanchez struggles out of the gate.
One X-factor to watch here: Dallas RB DeMarco Murray (NFL-best 1,606 yards rushing this season) may get the ball thrown his way lots here in an attempt to keep Philadelphia LB Connor Barwin from “spying” Romo and make ‘em cover Murray in one-on-one routes.
Spread Notes - Dallas is 9-4 versus the vig as underdog sides since the start of last year and that includes outright wins this season against 3-point fav Tennessee, 3-point favorite New Orleans and 10-point chalk guy Seattle. Meanwhile, Philadelphia is 5-2 against the odds at home this year and the Eagles own a dour 4-6 ATS mark in their last 10 regular-season home finales.
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