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  1. #1
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    Default The Bum's NFL Playoff Best Bets-Trends-Stats-News !

    Opening Line Report - WC
    January 2, 2017


    With the NFL playoffs upon us, here are the opening point spreads and totals for wild-card weekend, as well as insight from two prominent Las Vegas oddsmakers – John Avello at the Wynn and Chris Andrews at the South Point.

    Numbers listed are the Vegas consensus as of about 5:00 p.m. ET on Monday, with differences among books and early moves also noted.

    Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans (-3/-120, 36.5), Saturday, 4:35 p.m. ET

    Both teams are unsettled at quarterback five days before kickoff, and neither of their alternatives will make bettors comfortable. In Houston, Brock Osweiler is expected to start over the injured Tom Savage (concussion). Oakland’s preferred starter, Matt McGloin, injured his shoulder in Sunday’s loss at Denver, so the Raiders may be looking to rookie Connor Cook.

    Early money was on the Texans. The South Point opened Houston -2.5 and was bet up to -3.5 on Monday. Other shops went from -3 even to -3 (-120).

    The ‘under’ also drew early interest, bet from 37.5 to 36.5 at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.

    Andrews believes there is a significant difference between McGloin and Cook.

    “I’ve heard a lot of people say there isn’t, but I think there is (a difference). It would be Cook’s very first start. I know (Houston is) not the toughest playoff opponent, but still it’s an NFL team with NFL coaches, and they’re going to throw a lot of stuff at the kid who’s never been on the field before.”

    Detroit Lions at Seattle Seahawks (-7.5, 42.5), Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET


    Bettors laid Seattle -7 at the South Point, where the line was moved to -7.5 during Monday wagering. Some shops opened 7.5 and moved to 8, and the Wynn opened at the higher number.

    The total hovers between 42 and 43.

    After a run of eight wins in nine games, the Lions stepped up in class for their last three, and it didn’t go well. They lost and failed to cover at the Giants, at the Cowboys and home Sunday night vs. the Packers. Now, they travel to Seattle to face a Seahawks team that is loaded with playoff pedigree and rarely loses at home.

    “Detroit lost a game (Sunday) night that they were more prepared for than any game this year and it was at home and they didn’t get there,” Avello said. “Now they’ve gotta go on the road, and they haven’t won a playoff game in many years. Seattle has one loss at home this year, a handful of losses (there) over the last four or five years. It’s just a difficult spot for the Lions.”

    Andrew suspects the injury to Matt Stafford’s finger is worse than the Lions are letting on, but he’s concerned about Seattle’s current form and gives Detroit a chance Saturday night.

    “I don’t like the way Seattle is playing right now and they’re laying a big number,” Andrew said. “… I think (the Lions) can cover, and once you’re saying that, I think they have a decent shot at winning the game. As bad as Detroit’s been the last couple of weeks, they have a chance because Seattle’s not at their peak.”

    If you’re on board with Andrews’ thinking, you may want to wait to place your bet.

    “This number is going to go higher,” Avello said. “I think this number is going to go to 9 maybe. I don’t know who’s interested in the Lions right now.”

    Miami Dolphins at Pittsburgh Steelers (-10, 47), Sunday, 1:05 p.m. ET

    While multiple Vegas bet shops, including the South Point, opened Pittsburgh -9.5 and moved to -10, Andrews said it wasn’t big action that prompted him to change his number.

    Both Andrews and Avello are anticipating teaser action on the Steelers.

    “If they want to get down to the 3, I’m going to make them pay for it,” Andrews said.

    Added Avello, “There could be some straight-bet action on Miami, but the bulk of the action on all bets will be on the Steelers.”

    The Dolphins were seven-point underdogs at home against Pittsburgh back in Week 6, and they won straight-up, 30-15. Ryan Tannehill went 24-for-32 for 252 yards in that game but did not throw a touchdown pass. Jay Ajayi carried the load, rushing for 204 yards and two TDs.

    Matt Moore has been decent in relief of the injured Tannehill, with an 8 TD/3 INT ratio in his three recent starts.

    Besides the win over Pittsburgh, though, Avello isn’t impressed with the 10-6 Dolphins’ resume.

    “They didn’t beat one good team this year, except for Pittsburgh,” Avello said.

    New York Giants at Green Bay Packers (-4.5, 44.5), Sunday, 4:40 p.m. ET

    The spread on this game ranged from Green Bay -4 to -5 across Las Vegas on Monday, bet from 4.5 to 4 at the South Point.

    Green Bay was a seven-point favorite against the Giants when these teams met at Lambeau Field on a Sunday night in early October, the game ending in a push, 23-16.

    The Packers are rolling into the playoffs, closing the regular season with six straight wins, but the Giants are a formidable opponent.

    “Green Bay is confident right now, but with all that confidence, they’re going against a team that knows the playoffs, that has performed very well as of late defensively,” Avello said.

    The Eli Manning-led Giants have won two playoff games at Lambeau, in 2007 and 2011. They went on to win the Super Bowl both of those years.

    This time around, the Giants have a factor the Packers didn’t have to worry about then.

    “The Packers are going to have their hands full with Odell Beckham,” Avello said. “They weren’t able to cover the Lions receivers (Sunday), and they’re not going to cover Beckham. I think the Giants could have a big day...I think the game is close to the end, and maybe the last team with the ball wins the football game. “

    Andrews sees this game as “strength against strength: the Giants defense, which has really been playing well, against the Packers offense, which is always going to be dangerous with Rodgers.

    “I’m not sure who I like. I think 4 is probably a pretty decent number. I give the Packers a pretty good home-field advantage. But defense tends to travel better than offense, so I think they’re going to have their hands full...I think either team coming out of here is going to be pretty live the following week.”
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Handicapping the AFC
    January 2, 2017


    Who Will Come Out On Top In The AFC?

    Now that the entire NFL regular season has finally concluded, it's time for bettors to shift their attention to which teams they believe will make a deep playoff run and hopefully cash in on that success at the same time.

    The six-team field in the AFC is filled with QB question marks for multiple teams, meaning that the conference is rather top heavy (NE, KC, Pitt) and the class of the conference all season long – New England – enter the playoffs as the heavy favorites to make it to the Super Bowl.

    Will Tom Brady and Bill Belichick get to their 7th Super Bowl appearance together, or will somebody else go up to Foxborough and claim the AFC as their own?

    Sportsbook.ag AFC Champions Odds:

    New England (-200), Kansas City (+425), Pittsburgh (+425), Houston (+4000), Miami (+5000), Oakland (+6500)


    Oakland Raiders (+6500) fans have to be kicking themselves right now for what could have been this year had QB Derek Carr not gotten hurt in Week 16. The Raiders are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2002, but without Carr at the helm and likely down to 3rd string rookie QB Connor Cook for their Wildcard game, it's no surprise the Raiders are the biggest longshot to make it out of the AFC. The future is bright in Oakland though, and even if they are able to get out of their trip to Houston next week with a W, they don't have the experience or talent at QB anymore to make the run all the way through this gauntlet.

    Miami (+5000) is in a similar boat with backup QB Matt Moore at the controls, although there is a chance we see Ryan Tannehill try to give it a go again. But opening up their playoffs in Pittsburgh against a Steelers team that has top tier weapons at every skill position and a defense that is a throwback to prior Steelers championship teams this century is likely too much to overcome. Just looking at the opening point spread of Pittsburgh -10 for that Wildcard game tells you all you need to know about Miami's chances of going all the way, never mind the fact that they'll have to head up to New England to face a Patriots team they were 0-2 SU against should they even get by the Steelers.

    Houston (+4000)
    is the third team on this list with QB concerns, and while their defense is among the best in the league, even if they are able to take care of business at home vs the Raiders in the Wildcard round, putting up the points necessary to beat the top three seeds in this conference likely won't happen. History isn't on the Texans side either being the host city for Super Bowl 51. No team hosting the Super Bowl has ever made it to the big game, and while that streak will eventually be broken, it won't be the Texans this season.

    That leaves us with the top three seeds in the conference who are all prohibitive favorites to represent the AFC. There isn't much else to be said about the Patriots who lead the pack in a big way at -200 odds, and there has already been plenty of support their way shown by bettors. New England has dominated basically every opponent they've faced from the AFC since Brady came back and with the path to Super Bowl 51 going through their stadium they deserve to be the heavy favorites.

    But at -200, there really is no value in backing New England with a wager here, especially when you can grab plus-money odds (+160) on them to win it all. Essentially that's taking the Pats here and to win one more game, so if New England is the team your research and handicapping methods has settled on, going about it that way is the better betting option. It also provides you with significant hedging opportunities for Super Bowl 51 should New England do as expected and get to the big game.

    In terms of combining value with probability, taking the Pittsburgh Steelers at +425 is the best betting option for an AFC winner. Yes, the Steelers don't have the advantage of getting a week off like the Chiefs do, but I've already touched on them being the heavy favorites vs. Miami in a revenge game for Pittsburgh. The Steelers are a much different team then the one that lost 30-15 in South Beach in mid-October this year and going into Kansas City a week later – who they beat 43-14 in primetime this year doesn't pose a significant threat.

    Also, the fact that while Pittsburgh's route to the Super Bowl will have to go through New England if the seedings hold, not having to deal with the Patriots until the AFC Championship is a distinct advantage it has over all the longshots. QB Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers offense can put up 25+ points on anyone in this league and when you can score like they can you'll always have a chance. They'll use that offensive talent to run away from Kansas City in the Divisional Round, and holding a ticket on Pittsburgh at +425 to go into New England and beat the Patriots in a Championship game isn't a bad place to be as a bettor.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    QB carousel keeps turning for Raiders, Texans
    January 3, 2017


    In a conference where only three of six quarterbacks in the postseason (Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger and Alex Smith) have started in a playoff game, many eyes will be on a game Saturday which has none: the Oakland Raiders visiting the Houston Texans.

    Texans head coach Bill O'Brien announced Tuesday that Brock Osweiler will return as the starter after Tom Savage sustained a concussion in Sunday's loss to Tennessee. It's possible Savage will be cleared in time to be active for the game, but O'Brien wasn't about to go through several days of practice without his starter.

    If Savage makes it through the concussion protocol, he will be Osweiler's backup against Oakland. If not, the No. 2 quarterback will be Brandon Weeden.

    O'Brien was pleased with how Osweiler played Sunday coming off the bench against the Titans after Savage was injured.

    "He played a good game. We just really watched that tape last night. You watch all the games when you're getting ready for a playoff opponent," O'Brien said. "But in that game, I thought Brock did a nice job of getting us into the right play. Got into a good rhythm. Guys ran good routes for him. He delivered the ball accurately. Threw it to the tight ends, the receivers, the backs. Everybody was involved in the passing game. Did a good job."

    Out west, Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio took his team away from their facility for a walkthrough where there was no access. While it is believed rookie Connor Cook will start in place of Matt McGloin, there has been no definitive word from Del Rio. McGloin sustained what has been said to be either a left shoulder or trapezius injury.

    With regular starter Derek Carr out with a broken leg, the Raiders signed Garrett Gilbert to the practice squad Tuesday. If McGloin is unable to be the backup Saturday, Gilbert would presumably be signed to the active roster and forced into that role. Gilbert was on the Raiders' practice squad during the 2015 season, but was waived last May and hasn't been with another team since then.

    Cook would become the first rookie quarterback to start a playoff game in the Super Bowl era.

    O'Brien said of Cook, who replaced McGloin in Oakland's loss to Denver Sunday, "Good player, tall, good arm strength, smart, won a lot of games in college, so he's a winner. Very bright kid, so obviously just from watching him the other day there, he can run a pro offense. I think he's very capable of doing that.

    "You don't have a lot of tape on him but the one thing you have to remember about the Raiders on offense is they have just an abundance of talent around him. It's going to be a big challenge for our defense."

    A NEW SNAPPER

    -- When Seattle hosts Detroit Saturday, the Seahawks will have a new long snapper after Nolan Frese sustained an ankle injury in Sunday's win over San Francisco and was placed on reserve/injured.

    Frese continued playing despite the injury, and had a snap go over the head of punter Jon Ryan for a safety. Head coach Pete Carroll said, "He couldn't run at all, so he was just clomping around on a totally casted foot to get through the game."

    The Seahawks signed Tyler Ott, who played three games earlier this season for the Bengals. Seattle kicker Steven Hauschka has actually had more missed extra points this season than field goals. He is 29-for-35 on point-after attempts and 33-for-37 on field goals.

    Meanwhile, the Lions made some changes on their offensive line Tuesday, signing tackle/guard Garrett Reynolds to the 53-man roster and tackle Jason Weaver to the practice squad. They also gave tryouts to tackles Bryce Harris and Jeff Linkenbach.

    Starting right tackle Riley Reiff was inactive for Sunday night's regular-season finale against Green Bay because of a hip injury. Then, replacement Corey Robinson injured his foot in the game and was placed on reserve/injured Tuesday. Cornelius Lucas replaced Robinson, and will likely start against Seattle if Reiff can't go.

    PARTY TIME IN MIAMI

    -- As the New York Giants reported back to work for Sunday's playoff game in Green Bay, the story making headlines was a trip to Miami several of the team's receivers made after Sunday's win over Washington.

    Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz, Sterling Sharpe and Roger Lewis were at a nightclub partying at a nightclub with Justin Bieber and photos of the shirtless group on a boat were on musician Trey Songz's Snapchat.

    Head coach Ben McAdoo was repeatedly asked about it in his Monday media conference and said very little while noting it was the players' day off.

    Quarterback Eli Manning made light of the story Tuesday when he said, "I think as a team we always pride ourselves on being well-prepared, so when I saw some of those pictures I was a little disappointed. Because obviously they didn't pack accordingly. They didn't have any shirts. All long pants. No shorts. No flip flops or anything. So I'm just disappointed in the packing and not being prepared for that situation.

    "Some guys want to get away for a day. I think they were a little low on the Vitamin D, so they were getting some sunshine, get the Vitamin D up and make sure you're staying healthy for the cold weather in Green Bay."

    Prepared for the questioning, Manning seriously said, "I think what guys do on their off day is not a big deal. I saw it. I just kind of laughed. I knew I'd have to answer questions about it. I knew it would be a story. That's all I thought about it."

    Running back Rashad Jennings said, "Look, it's the NFL. We're grown men out here. Relax. Everything's different if somebody doesn't show up for work. They were bright-eyed, ready to go (today), having fun. Perfect."
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    AFC Wild Card Notes
    January 3, 2017


    Saturday, January 7, 2017

    NFC – Oakland at Houston – 4:35 p.m. (ESPN)


    Opening Line (1/2/17): Houston -2, 37
    Current Line (1/3/17): Houston -3 ½, 36 ½

    Oakland Road Record: 6-2 SU, 6-2 ATS
    Houston Home Record: 7-2 SU, 4-3-1 ATS

    Head-to-Head: These teams met in Week 11 from Mexico City and the Raiders rallied for a 27-20 victory over the Texans as 6 ½-point favorites. Houston controlled the clock and outgained Oakland but the defense surrendered two big touchdowns (75, 35) in the fourth quarter. Including that result, the Raiders have won and covered three of the last five meetings while the ‘over’ has gone 4-1 during this span.

    Playoff Notes: Houston owns an all-time 2-3 record in the playoffs and the two wins came at home. Last season, the Texans were blanked 30-0 in the first round of the playoffs. Oakland hasn’t made a trip to the postseason since 2003 when they finished with a 48-21 loss to Tampa Bay in Super Bowl XXXVII. Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio owns a 1-2 career mark in the playoffs and his team (Jaguars) allowed 31, 29 and 28 points in those losses.

    Total Notes: Oakland watched the ‘under’ close the season on a 3-1 run after the ‘over’ started with an eye opening 10-2 mark. Surprisingly, the Raiders scoring defense has been better on the road (21.3 PPG) than at home (27.6 PPG) this season. Oakland has watched total produce a stalemate (4-4) outside of the Bay Area. The Texans closed the season with a 4-1-1 ‘under’ run and the lone ‘over’ came in Week 17 with a couple meaningless cores. Houston leaned to the ‘under’ (9-6-1) this season and that included a 6-2 mark at home, which was helped with a great scoring defense (16.6 PPG).

    Sunday, January 8, 2017

    NFC – Miami at Pittsburgh – 1:05 p.m. (CBS)


    Opening Line (1/2/17): Pittsburgh -9 ½, 47
    Current Line (1/3/17): Pittsburgh -10 (Even), 47

    Miami Road Record: 4-4 SU, 5-3 ATS
    Pittsburgh Home Record: 6-2 SU, 4-4 ATS

    Head-to-Head: Miami ran past a short-handed Pittsburgh squad 30-15 in wire-to-wire fashion in Week 6 as a 7 ½-point home favorite. Including that win, the Dolphins have won two straight against Pittsburgh and covered three in a row. Despite two straight losses to Miami, the Steelers have gone 4-2 against the Dolphins with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger under center.

    Playoff Notes: Miami hasn’t been to the playoffs since the 2008 season and they’re 1-4 in their last five postseason games, which includes a 0-2 mark on the road. The club was outscored 89- 7 in those games. Pittsburgh has gone 11-6 in the playoffs since Big Ben took over at QB but the team is just 2-3 in the Wild Card round. The Steelers haven’t won a home playoff game since 2011 and is just 1-4 SU and 0-3-2 ATS in their last five postseason matchups.

    Total Notes: Miami watched the 'over' go 12-4 this season and that includes a 5-3 mark on the road. The Dolphins finished the season with six straight 'over' tickets and the defense allowed 27.3 PPG. Pittsburgh was 10-6 to the 'under' but a better effort for the 'over' (4-4) took place at Heinz Field. The Steelers averaged 26.7 PPG in the second-half of the season and closed with a 3-1 record to the 'over.'
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    NFC Wild Card Notes
    January 3, 2017


    Saturday, January 7, 2017

    NFC – Detroit at Seattle – 8:15 p.m. (NBC)


    Opening Line (1/2/17): Seattle -7 (-120), 44
    Current Line (1/3/17): Seattle -8, 42 ½

    Detroit Road Record: 3-5 SU, 3-5 ATS
    Seattle Home Record: 7-1 SU, 4-3-1 ATS

    Head-to-Head: Seattle nipped Detroit 13-10 in 2015 and never came close to covering as a 9 ½-point home favorite. The Seahawks were fortunate to win as the Lions fumbled on the Seattle one-yard line with less than two minutes left in the game. The teams met in the 2012 season from Ford Field and Detroit rallied for a 28-24 victory at home as Matthew Stafford (352 yards, 3 TDs) outdueled Russell Wilson (236 yards, 2 TDs).

    Playoff Notes:
    Detroit hasn’t won a playoff game since 1992 and is 0-2 in two appearances with Stafford under center. Both of those setbacks came on the road despite the Lions scoring 20 and 28 points. The Seahawks are 7-3 in the playoffs under Wilson but only 4-5-1 versus the point-spread. The team has gone 4-0 with him at CenturyLink Field but only managed to cover one of those games. The ‘over’ has gone 6-4 during this span and the ‘Hawks have scored 23 or more points in their four home games.

    Total Notes: Detroit was 10-6 to the ‘under’ this season, 5-3 both at home and on the road. The Lions started the season with a 4-2 ‘over’ run before eight straight ‘under’ tickets. The defense was on fire during that span (16.5 PPG) but surrendered 42 and 31 the last two weeks and those efforts resulted in ‘over’ winners. Seattle’s defense was also suspect down the stretch, allowing 34 and 23 in Week 16 and 17 and that produced a pair of ‘over’ tickets as well. Seattle was 9-7 to the ‘over’ which includes a 5-3 mark at home. The Seahawks offense averaged nearly two touchdowns more at CenturyLink Field (28.4 PPG) than they did on the road (15.9 PPG) this season.

    Sunday, January 8, 2017

    NFC – N.Y. Giants at Green Bay - 4:40 p.m. (FOX)


    Opening Line (1/2/17): Green Bay -4 ½, 44
    Current Line (1/3/17): Green Bay -4 ½, 44

    New York Road Record: 4-4 SU, 3-3-2 ATS
    Green Bay Home Record: 6-2 SU, 5-2-1 ATS

    Head-to-Head: The Packers defeated the Giants 23-16 as seven-point home favorites against the Giants in Week 5 in a Sunday Night Football matchup. Prior to that setback, New York had won and covered the previous three meetings against Green Bay and it scored 27, 38 and 37 points in those games. The ‘under’ is 3-1 in the last four meetings between the pair.

    Playoff Notes: New York owns an all-time 8-3 playoff record with QB Eli Manning and seven of those victories have come on the road or neutral field and two of them were against the Packers (37-20, 23-20). The lone road loss during this span came by three points. Green Bay has gone 8-6 in the playoffs with QB Aaron Rodgers but it’s only 3-3 at Lambeau Field. The Packers have never been held under 20 points during this span.

    Total Notes: The Packers closed the season with four consecutive 'over' tickets and the 'over' went 6-2 at Lambeau Field this season. Meanwhile the Giants were the best 'under' bet in the NFL this season with a 12-4 mark. New York was 7-1 to the 'under' on the road.
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    Raiders expected to start QB Cook
    January 3, 2017


    Brock Osweiler will be the Houston Texans' starting quarterback for Saturday's AFC Wild Card Game matchup with the Oakland Raiders.

    Texans coach Bill O'Brien named Osweiler the starter over backup Tom Savage, who sustained a concussion in Sunday's loss to the Tennessee Titans. Savage has not yet cleared the NFL's concussion protocol.

    Osweiler completed 21 of 40 passes for 253 yards and a touchdown in the Texans' 24-17 loss to the Titans.

    On the opposite sideline, all eyes will be on Raiders rookie quarterback Connor Cook.

    The Raiders are "going forward with the expectation" that Cook will be the starter, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

    Backup Matt McGloin, who suffered a trapezius injury in last Sunday's regular season finale against the Denver Broncos, is "not believed to be ready" per Rapoport.

    Raiders starting quarterback Derek Carr broke his right leg during the Christmas Eve game against the Indianapolis Colts.

    Cook is slated to become the first rookie quarterback to start a playoff game in the Super Bowl era.

    The fourth-round pick (100th overall) in last year's draft out of Michigan State completed 14 of 21 passes for 150 yards, one touchdown and an interception in the 24-6 loss to the Broncos.
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    Seahawks to sign veteran Hester for playoffs
    January 3, 2017


    The Seattle Seahawks added kick return specialist Devin Hester for the playoffs.

    Hester confirmed in an Instagram post on Tuesday night that he signed with the Seahawks as they prepare for the postseason after losing returner Tyler Lockett to a broken leg.

    "I guess God has another chapter in my book of life," Hester said in the post, which included a picture of his new locker with the Seahawks.

    Safety Tyvis Powell, a rookie from Ohio State, was released to make room on the roster.

    Hester was released from the Baltimore Ravens in December. The 11-year veteran was slowed by injuries and averaged 7.2 yards on punt returns and 24.5 yards on kickoff returns.

    With Lockett sidelined last week after suffering the injury on Christmas Eve, J.D. McKissic and Paul Richardson temporarily took over on kickoff returns and Richard Sherman on punts.

    The 34-year-old Hester has an NFL-record 20 returns for touchdowns, including a record 14 on punts, five on kickoffs and one on a missed field goal attempt return.

    Hester's best years were his eight with the Chicago Bears. He was with the Atlanta Falcons for two seasons before going to the Ravens in 2016.

    Hester scored seven touchdowns on punt returns and four in kickoffs in his first two years with the Bears in 2006 and 2007.

    As a receiver, his best seasons were 51 catches for 665 yards and three touchdowns in 2008, 57 receptions for 757 yards and three touchdowns the following year and 40 catches for 475 yards and four touchdowns in 2010.

    In 2014 with the Falcons, Hester caught 38 passes for 504 yards (31.5-yard average) and two touchdowns. He also had his last punt return for a touchdown that year.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    NFL notebook: QB Osweiler to start in Texans' playoff game
    January 3, 2017


    Brock Osweiler will be the Houston Texans' starting quarterback for Saturday's AFC Wild Card Game matchup with the Oakland Raiders.

    Texans coach Bill O'Brien named Osweiler the starter over backup Tom Savage, who sustained a concussion in Sunday's loss to the Tennessee Titans. Savage has not yet cleared the NFL's concussion protocol.

    Osweiler completed 21 of 40 passes for 253 yards and a touchdown in the Texans' 24-17 loss to the Titans.

    On the opposite sideline, all eyes will be on Raiders rookie quarterback Connor Cook.

    The Raiders are "going forward with the expectation" that Cook will be the starter, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

    Backup Matt McGloin, who suffered a trapezius injury in last Sunday's regular season finale against the Denver Broncos, is "not believed to be ready" per Rapoport.

    --The New York Jets are making sweeping changes to their coaching staff.

    While head coach Todd Bowles remains in place, Jets offensive coordinator Chan Gailey is retiring and five assistants will not be returning.

    Bowles informed quarterbacks coach Kevin Patullo, running backs coach Marcel Shipp, defensive line coach Pepper Johnson, outside linebackers coach Mark Collins and defensive backs coach Joe Danna of their dismissals.

    --Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian will undergo surgery on his left shoulder later this week.

    The procedure on his non-throwing shoulder should have him healthy prior to offseason workouts commencing in April.

    --Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam Jones was arrested early Tuesday morning in Cincinnati after allegedly pushing and poking a man in the eye and failing to comply with law enforcement officials.

    Jones, 33, was booked at the Hamilton County Jail at 12:25 a.m. ET and charged with assault, disorderly conduct, obstructing official business and harassment with a bodily substance.

    --The Buffalo Bills are interested in discussing their vacant head-coaching position with Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich, multiple outlets reported.

    --The San Diego Chargers requested to interview Kansas City Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Taub for their head-coaching vacancy, NFL Network reports.

    Taub is also expected to be interviewed by the Denver Broncos, who are seeking a replacement for Gary Kubiak after his retirement.

    --The San Francisco 49ers plan to interview Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay next Monday for the team's head coaching vacancy, multiple media outlets reported Tuesday.

    McVay will not turn 31 until Jan. 24 and would be the youngest NFL head coach in the modern era if he is hired by the 49ers. He was 28 when he landed his current job.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Barista wins $900K in NFL contest
    January 3, 2017


    LAS VEGAS (AP) Damon Graham spent much of his Sunday at Starbucks working as he usually does, making lattes and double espressos for thirsty customers.

    Then he took a lunch break to find out he was nearly $1 million richer after winning the most prestigious football handicapping contest in this gambling city.

    ''I went to work to take my mind off of it,'' Graham told The Associated Press. ''I knew I was going to win something, but it was pretty amazing to find out I finished first.''

    The barista who dabbles in sports betting ran the table on the final day of the NFL season, winning all five of his games to beat out 1,853 entries in the Westgate Las Vegas SuperContest. First place paid $895,481, and Graham won some more money in a mini-contest to push his earnings over the $900,000 mark.

    Not bad for a 32-year-old who saved up $3,000 to put on two entries against some of the top sports bettors in the world.

    ''I did the best I could do and the games were going to go the way they were going to go,'' Graham said.

    The wise guy bettors might have cringed at the way Graham won, picking opposite sides on both of his cards in hopes one would finish high in the money. He had actually picked the teams he thought would win on the other card, only to go undefeated by picking against them on the card that won.

    ''He was just looking to land in the money and thought that was the best strategy,'' said Jay Kornegay, sports book director at the Westgate Las Vegas. ''I think he was almost in shock he won the whole thing.''

    Graham's 5-0 mark on the last Sunday of the regular season vaulted him into the top spot with an overall record of 54-28-3 picking five games a week against the point spread. He went 13-2 over the final three weeks of the season to beat out Mark Jorstad, a farmer from Morris, Illinois, who finished second. Jorstad, who raises corn and soybeans on a 3,000-acre farm, said he made many of his early picks after listening to sports radio while harvesting his crops.

    ''I will not be the guy who complains about winning second prize in this one,'' said Jorstad, who won $360,000. ''I didn't lose. The guy who won beat me.''

    The Westgate Las Vegas SuperContest began in the late 1980s as a way for the best professional bettors to compete against each other. It has evolved in recent years into a broader contest that attracts nonpros like Graham and Jorstad.

    ''I'm just a farmer, there's no professional in me,'' Jorstad said. ''This is like somebody walked across the street and got hit by lightning.''

    Graham was off Monday from his job at Starbucks, where his fellow workers were unaware of his win. He came to Las Vegas a decade ago to try playing poker professionally, only to find out there were too many sharks eager to take his money.

    So he tries his hand at sports betting, living frugally so he could put the maximum two entries into the contest. He said that won't change as he figures out what to do with his winnings.

    ''I try to keep it low key and be sensible about things,'' Graham said. ''I'll keep working and not do anything crazy.''
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Saturday’s List of 13: Random stuff with weekend here……..

    13) Apparently George Karl had some juicy stuff in his new book about his time with the Kings in Sacramento, but that part of the book had to be removed because his going-away gift from the Kings had a clause in it that didn’t allow him to tell any stories from his time in Sacramento.

    12) Clippers TV voice Ralph Lawler called DeMarcus Cousins “a coach-killer” on the air Friday nite, strong words. Cousins has played for six coaches in his seven years with the Kings, so hard to argue with Mr Lawler, but it sure as hell ain’t all Cousins’ fault.

    11) Consider that Sacramento drafted Jimmer Fredette, when Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard were still on the board— can’t blame that blunder on Cousins and there are numerous other drafting miscues that have set Sacramento’s franchise way behind in the west.

    10) Odd Stat of the Day: Notre Dame is shooting 84.4% on the foul line, best in country, but their opponents shoot 78.5% against them, best %age against any team in the country.

    9) Seattle Mariners made couple of trades Friday, trading Seth Smith/Nathan Karns to different teams; they get Jarrod Dyson/Yovani Gallardo back. Orioles saved $4M by dealing Gallardo. Seth Smith is going to love Camden Yards.

    8) Minnesota Gophers quickly signed up coach PJ Fleck from Western Michigan, making me think they used the players’ boycott from last month as an excuse to dump Tracy Claeys to add a coach they think is better. If thats true, karma is going to kick them in the butt.

    7) Indianapolis Colts are keeping Chuck Pagano as coach and also keeping their GM, in an odd bit of stability that wasn’t expected. Colts have been 11-5/11-5/11-5/8-8/8-8 in Pagano’s five years, but thats in a weak division when they have Andrew Luck at QB. We’ll see how this works out for them- they did have three rookie starters on the OL this year.

    6) Michigan State is playing Penn State today, but at the Palestra in Philly, not in Happy Valley, which is roughly 200 miles away. Giving away your home court edge isn’t a great idea.

    5) Miami Dolphins prepped for their playoff game with the Steelers Sunday by using footballs that were stored in a freezer. Matt Moore went to Oregon State, so he’s played in crummy weather before, not sure if he has ever played in frigid weather.

    4) Oakland Raiders are playing in the playoffs tomorrow for the first time since 2002; their last road playoff win was in 1980, when I was a junior in college and had a full head of hair.

    3) Seems unfair to me that the Eagles denied the Jets permission to interview their QB coach John DeFillippo to be the Jets’ new OC. If you’re moving up to be a coordinator or a head coach, you should be free to interview with whomever you like— I would understand denying a team if the coach is only making a lateral move.

    2) You look at the start of conference play in college basketball and Indiana-San Diego State-Georgetown-Louisville, teams that are most always in the NCAAs, are a combined 0-9 already in conference games. Go figure.

    1— Lebron James says the Cavaliers still need a point guard, which tells me that pretty soon, Cleveland will be making a trade.

    For a point guard.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Wild Card round

    Raiders (12-4) @ Texans (9-7)—
    Two teams with QB issues; rookie 3rd-stringer Cook is making his first NFL start this week- he was 14-21/150 in relief in Denver LW, his NFL debut. Raiders won 8 of last 10 games but loss of QB Carr and loss to Broncos LW cost them first-round bye and any real chance of getting to Super Bowl. Oakland (-6.5) beat Houston 27-20 in a Monday night game in Mexico City Nov 21 (week after Raiders’ bye). Oakland is 6-2 on road, 3-2 as road underdog but that was with Carr playing. Osweiler starts at QB for Texans, after he was benched for #2 QB Savage, who then got a concussion. Houston won three of last four games, is 7-1 at home, 3-2-1 as home favorite. Oakland is in playoffs for first time since losing Super Bowl 14 years ago. Texans are in playoffs for 4th time in last six years. Home side won #4-5 seed AFC game four of last five years.

    Lions (9-7) @ Seahawks (10-5-1)— Detroit lost its last two games to miss out on winning NFC North for first time since 1993; they’ve won one playoff game since 1957, are in playoffs for 3rd time in last 17 years. Stafford has an injured finger on throwing hand; Detroit scored 17 pts/game in losing last three games, were -7 in turnovers in last four. Lions have trailed in 4th quarter in every game but one this season; they’re 3-5 on road, 3-4 as road dogs. Seahawks split last six games, are 4-3-1 as home favorites this year- they played only four playoff teams this year, going 3-1. Detroit lost weird 13-10 night game in Seattle LY, when Seahawks scored controversial late TD. Lions are 5-8 overall vs Seattle, 1-6 here, with only win back in 1999. Under is 8-2 in Detroit’s last ten games, 1-4 in Seattle’s last five. Road team is 4-4 in NFC #3-6 game last eight years; underdogs covered four of last six years.

    Dolphins (10-6) @ Steelers (11-5)— Dolphins were 1-4 when Steelers went to South Beach and lost 30-15; TY was 474-297, Pitt had only 15 first downs. Fish are 4-4 on road, 3-3 as road underdogs, but 4 of last 5 teams they visited either fired their coach or half their assistants. Miami is in playoffs for first time since ’08; their last playoff win was in 2000. Dolphins have rookie coach, backup QB starting; they’re 9-2 in last 11 games, losing mostly meaningless game to Patriots LW. Pittsburgh is in playoffs for 3rd year in row and 11th time in last 16 years; they won last seven games overall but covered only one of last five at home. Three of last four Steeler games went over total; last six Miami games (and 9 of last 10) went over. Miami is 2-1 all-time vs Steelers in playoff games, but last one of those was in ’84. Road team won AFC #3-6 game last three years and six of last eight; underdogs covered five of last seven.

    Giants (11-5) @ Packers (10-6)— Giants won playoff games in Lambeau in both 2007/2011, so have to be confident here. New Jersey (+7) lost 23-16 at Lambeau back in Week 4, running ball 15 times for 43 yards in game where Packers outgained them by 189 yards. Green Bay allowed 153 points in a 4-game midseason skid, then recovered, won its last six games; they’re 6-2 at home, 4-2-1 as home favorites. New Jersey went 9-2 after the Lambeau loss; they’re 4-4 on road, 1-3-1 as a road underdog, with only cover LW in meaningless win over Redskins. Giants held five of last seven opponents under 17 points; they’re 2-5 this season when allowing 23+ points, 9-0 when allowing less than 23. Last four Green Bay games went over total; under is 7-1 in Giants’ last eight games. Road team won NFC #4-5 seed game three of last four years, but favorites covered four of last five.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    WC - Raiders at Texans
    January 6, 2017

    Oakland at Houston (-3.5/36.5), 4:35 pm ET, ESPN


    The Raiders likely wouldn’t be playing in this game if Derek Carr hadn’t broken his fibula courtesy of a Trent Cole sack in a 33-25 win over the Colts just before Christmas. Backup Matt McGloin was ineffective and then injured in Sunday’s loss in Denver, banishing Oakland to the Wild Card round as Kansas City rose up to win the AFC West and the No. 2 seed, currently basking in the bye that goes with it.

    Instead of opening at home next week with Carr under center, the Raiders open their first playoff game since losing Super Bowl XXXVII in 2003 hoping to survive with rookie Connor Cook under center. The Michigan State product becomes the first quarterback ever to get his first career start in the postseason. It will be his first start since the College Football Playoff semifinals on Dec. 31, 2015, where his Spartans suffered a 38-0 loss to eventual champion Alabama.

    Cook will have a much better supporting cast around him than he had in college, but he’ll be right back up against an elite defense, one that has overcome the loss of J.J. Watt to rank first in fewest yards allowed (301.3), coming in second in passing yards allowed (201.6). The Texans have fared extremely well defensively to compensate for their own quarterback woes, so this will be a real challenge for Cook, especially with the intensity ratcheted up during the playoffs in a road environment.

    Cook threw his first touchdown pass on a 32-yard strike to Amari Cooper, but also suffered his first pro sack/fumble and threw his first interception. It was an eventful baptism by fire against the likes of Von Miller and Aqib Talib, the same ferocious unit that knocked out McGloin in the first half when Jared Crick roughed him, causing a left shoulder injury that should render him the backup here. If he’s unable to go, Garrett Gilbert would be activated from the practice squad.

    In an ironic twist, the Texans went from having one of the most unstable quarterback situations in the league to the most secure in their first playoff matchup due to Oakland’s plight. Tom Savage, who had supplanted Brock Osweiler after rallying Houston past Jacksonville on Dec. 18, suffered a concussion in the first half of last week’s meaningless loss at Tennessee. Although he was initially cleared to return, he ended up sitting out the second half and won’t be a part of Sunday’s actions. Brandon Weeden will back up Osweiler, who has started 14 games and thrown 15 touchdowns and 16 interceptions in an unsuccessful first season after signing a four-year, $72 million contract in March to come in and alleviate all concerns at the position.

    Remember, Houston was in this exact position at this time last year, coming off winning an ugly AFC South and hosting Kansas City to open Wild Card weekend. Brian Hoyer threw four interceptions and fumbled once. The Chiefs won 30-0.

    Osweiler was inked as the fix, but If he hears boos at NRG Stadium on Saturday afternoon, it won’t be the first time. As it turns out, Texans fans no longer love the investment. Still, Osweiler does have postseason experience and certainly knows the Raiders, having been in a division with them during his formative years in Denver and having just faced them on Nov. 21 in Week 11.

    Houston led the Raiders 20-13 in the fourth quarter of a Monday night game played at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, and Osweiler had his moments when he wasn’t having a laser pointer being shined in his eyes. He connected with DeAndre Hopkins for a 60-yard touchdown and completed 66.7 percent of his passes, his third-highest clip this season.

    Carr rescued the game with a pair of clutch touchdown passes and continued to carve out a niche as a guy who raised his level when it mattered most, but that x-factor is no longer in play. It’s imperative to Oakland’s chances that they don’t put Cook in a position where he has to go into rescue mode.

    With both quarterbacks facing defense featuring feared pass rushers and talented athletes in the secondary, the expectation is that the conservative approach will reign, leading prognosticators to place this total at a very low 36.5-37.

    LINE MOVEMENT

    This line opened with the Texans as 3-point favorites and set the total at 37.5. The number has since moved to the 36.5-37 with money coming in on the under and Houston at home. Oakland easily surpassed its season win total of 8.5 at the WestgateLV SuperBook, which also set it at 8.5 for the Texans. Houston paid off 10/11 odds at the start of the season to win the AFC South.

    INJURY CONCERNS

    Beyond Carr and McGloin, the Raiders are also likely to be without safety Nate Allen due to a concussion. Left tackle Donald Penn, who has been among the best at his position this season, hasn't practiced and may be a game-time decision with a knee injury. Receivers Michael Crabtree (ankle), Cooper (shoulder) and Andre Holmes (shoulder) have all been limited but should play. The same applies to lineman Kelechi Osemele (ankle) and safety Karl Joseph (toe). Tackle Austin Howard (shoulder) will return after missing the Denver loss.

    The Texans were without DE Jadeveon Clowney, CB Johnathan Joseph and LB Brian Cushing against Tennesssee, but all are healthy and good to go after getting rest. Houston is as healthy as they've been all season, missing only Savage and potentially, LB John Simon (chest). Leading rusher Lamar Miller, who hasn't played since suffering an ankle injury on Dec. 18, will also return. He's rushed for a team-high 1,073 yards this season.

    GROUND GAME ASSESSMENT

    Since both teams will likely prefer to place the burden of the offense and their offensive lines and their running backs, it’s worth knowing who is most likely to be effective. The Texans will rely on Miller and also have Alfred Blue, who has started the last two games and was the lone offensive bright spot in last year’s 30-0 loss, rushing for 99 yards on 17 carries. Houston has averaged 4.1 yards per carry and rushed for 1,859 yards, the eighth-highest total in the NFL.

    Oakland has three capable backs in Latavius Murray and explosive rookies Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington. The Raiders ended up sixth with 1,922 and averaged 4.4 yards per carry, tied for 10th best. They ran for 17 touchdowns, tied for sixth-most in the league, while the Texans managed just eight, tied for 29th behind only the N.Y. Giants.

    Houston allowed 4.0 yards per carry while Oakland surrendered 4.5.

    RECENT MEETINGS (Oakland 3-2 SU, 3-2 ATS last five; OVER 4-1)

    11/21/16 Oakland 27-20 vs. Houston (OAK -6.5, 46.5)
    9/14/14 Houston 30-14 at Oakland (HOU -3, 40)
    11/17/13 Oakland 28-23 at Houston (HOU -10.5, 41)
    10/9/11 Oakland 25-20 at Houston (HOU -4.5, 48.5)
    10/3/10 Houston 31-24 at Oakland (HOU -3.5, 44)

    PROPS

    Of the props available below at the WestgateLV Superbook, I'd ride that combined sack prop going over and would take a shot at the first score being a field goal.

    Lamar Miller rushing yards 75.5: (-110 o/u)
    Raiders completions 18.5: (-110 o/u)
    Texans completions 20: (-110 o/u)
    Eli Manning passing yards 254.5: (-110 o/u)
    Michael Crabtree receiving yards 50.5: (-110 o/u)
    Texans TD passes/INT 2: (-120 over/ +100 under)
    Raiders TD Passes/INT 2: (-110 o/u)
    Total combined sacks 3.5: (+105 over, -125 under)
    First score of game will be: (-125 TD, +105 other)
    Total points: Texans 20, Raiders 16.5 (-110 o/u)

    RAIDERS AS A ROAD DOG

    Although Oakland looked pretty formidable from the onset in opening 4-1, it has been a road dog five times this season, including last week's 24-6 loss in Denver. The Raiders are 3-2 SU/ATS, losing their last two at the Chiefs and Broncos after winning outright as a short dog at New Orleans, Baltimore and Jacksonville. The Raiders were 3-2 straight up and 5-0 ATS as a road underdog last season.

    TEXANS AS A HOME FAVORITE

    Houston was favored six times at NRG Stadium and was only an underdog once, losing to San Diego on Nov. 27. Its Week 2 win over Kansas City was a pick'em and it went 6-0 straight up (3-2-2 ATS) when favored.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    WC - Lions at Seahawks
    January 5, 2017


    The first NFC Wild Card game takes place in Seattle on Saturday night between the Seahawks and Lions. Seattle is playing its first home playoff game since the 2014 NFC Championship in which the Seahawks rallied past the Packers in overtime. Detroit is back in the postseason for the first time since falling at Dallas in the Wild Card round of the 2014 campaign, while searching for its playoff win since 1991.

    HOW THEY GOT HERE

    Seattle (10-5-1 SU, 8-8 ATS) extended its playoff streak to five straight seasons after capturing its third NFC West title since 2013. Pete Carroll’s defense once again ranked in the top five of several categories including points per game (3rd at 18.3) and yardage allowed per game (5th at 318.7). Quarterback Russell Wilson threw for a career-best 4,219 yards, but was also intercepted a career-high 21 times, which included a five-interception game in a December loss at Green Bay.

    Wilson owns a terrific 7-3 record as a starter in the playoffs since 2012, including a perfect 4-0 mark at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks compiled a 7-1 SU and 5-3 ATS home ledger this season, while limiting five opponents to 18 points or less. Seattle went through an uneven finish to the season following an 8-2-1 start by finishing 3-3 in the final six contests. Four times in 2016 the Seahawks were held to 10 points or less, but all four of those performances came on the highway.

    Detroit (9-7 SU, 8-8 ATS) began the season at 1-3, which included a 17-14 loss at Chicago in Week 4 as three-point favorites. The Lions would turn things around from there by winning eight of the next nine games, including seven victories in which they trailed in the fourth quarter. Jim Caldwell’s squad stumbled to the finish with three straight losses to the Giants, Cowboys, and Packers, all playoff teams, while giving up 73 points in the last two defeats.

    Matthew Stafford put up similar numbers as last season, as the Lions’ quarterback posted 4,327 yards and threw a career-low 10 interceptions. However, Stafford’s numbers have gone down since dislocating the middle finger on his throwing hand in a comeback victory against Chicago in Week 14. In the last three losses, Stafford has compiled two touchdowns and three interceptions, while one of those touchdown passes came in the final minute of a 31-24 loss to the Packers last Sunday.

    TOTAL TALK


    The Lions finished UNDER the total in 10 of 16 games this season, including going 5-1 to the UNDER in the past six contests away from Ford Field. In spite of Seattle’s dominant defense, the Seahawks hit the OVER nine times in 2016, while going 4-1 to the OVER in the final five games.

    PLAYOFF HISTORY

    The Seahawks dodged a bullet in the Wild Card round last season against the Vikings on a last-second missed field goal in a 10-9 victory as four-point favorites. Seattle fell behind in the next round at Carolina, 31-0 after two quarters, but staged a furious comeback before losing, 31-24 to fall short of their third straight Super Bowl appearance. In the four home playoff wins with Wilson at quarterback, the Seahawks are 2-2 ATS, while the defense has limited the opposition to 22 points or less in each game.

    The Lions last won a playoff game in 1991 with Erik Kramer at quarterback against the Cowboys at the Silverdome, 38-6. Since that blowout, Detroit has dropped eight consecutive postseason contests, including each of the last seven on the highway. Detroit’s last playoff appearance was a narrow loss in the 2014 Wild Card round at Dallas, 24-20, but the Lions cashed as six-point underdogs. The Lions blew a 14-0 lead in the loss as Stafford has yet to win a playoff game in two tries.

    SERIES HISTORY


    These teams didn’t meet this season, as Detroit fell short in a 13-10 setback at Seattle in 2015. The Lions’ offense didn’t reach the end zone as the defense scored on a 27-yard fumble recovery in the fourth quarter for the only Detroit touchdown. Seattle failed to cover as 10-point home favorites, but safety Kam Chancellor saved the win for the Seahawks by knocking the ball out Calvin Johnson’s hands at the one-yard line. Linebacker K.J. Wright tapped the ball out of the end zone for a touchback and preserve a Seattle win and send Detroit to an 0-4 start.

    Stafford is 0-2 in his career at CenturyLink Field, but rallied Detroit to a 28-24 home triumph in 2014 over Seattle as 2 ½-point favorites. The Lions and Seahawks have never met in the postseason, while Detroit’s last win at Seattle came in 1999 at the old Kingdome as Charlie Batch started at quarterback in that season opener for the Lions.

    LINE MOVEMENT


    The Las Vegas Westgate Superbook opened the Seahawks as eight-point favorites, while the total came out at 42 ½. The side has stayed the same for most of the week, but the total has jumped to 43 and even 43 ½ at several books. Game time temperatures are expected to be in the high 30’s with a 30% of snowstorms.

    HANDICAPPER’S CORNER


    VegasInsider.com handicapper Joe Nelson looks at Detroit’s late-season meltdown and how that will affect the Lions, “Detroit struggled with turnovers in the final month (-7) with a hand injury to Stafford possibly having more of an impact than anyone with the team has admitted. Stafford had a fine season but struggled down the stretch though in fairness the three losses to close the season all came in fairly competitive efforts vs. three of the top teams in the NFC.”

    From a numbers standpoint, Nelson feels there are different ways to analyze it, “The statistics paint a big edge for Seattle, but while the Seahawks have been an inconsistent group with a few dominant wins skewing the numbers, Detroit has been consistently competitive. Five of seven losses for the Lions came by seven or fewer points while eight of nine wins came by seven or fewer points as Detroit was caught in close games almost every week.”

    PROPS – According to Las Vegas Westgate Superbook

    Detroit

    M. Stafford – Total Completions
    25 – OVER (-110)
    25 – UNDER (-110)

    M. Stafford – Total Touchdown Passes
    1 ½ - OVER (-110)
    1 ½ - UNDER (-110)

    G. Tate – Total Receiving Yards
    67 ½ - OVER (-110)
    67 ½ - UNDER (-110)

    Seattle


    R. Wilson – Total Gross Passing Yards
    264 ½ - OVER (-110)
    264 ½ - UNDER (-110)

    R. Wilson – Total Touchdown Passes
    1 ½ - OVER (-130)
    1 ½ - UNDER (+110)

    J. Graham – Total Receiving Yards
    55 ½ - OVER (-110)
    55 ½ - UNDER (-110)

    SUPER BOWL ODDS

    The Seahawks opened the season at 8/1 odds to win the Super Bowl along with the Patriots and Steelers at the Westgate Superbook. Seattle is currently tied for fourth with Atlanta at 12/1 odds capture Super Bowl LI, while at 5/1 odds to win the NFC championship. Detroit started 2016 at 40/1 odds to hoist the title in Houston, but those numbers have dropped to 100/1 with the Lions needing three road victories just to get to the Super Bowl.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Total Talk - WC Saturday
    January 6, 2017


    Total bettors saw the final week of the regular season end in a stalemate (8-8) and there were a couple decisions that came down to the final minutes, which included the finale on Sunday Night Football from Ford Field. The total closed at 50 ½, five points higher than the opener, and looked like an easy ‘under’ ticket after a scoreless first quarter. A solid second quarter (24 points) kept ‘over’ bettors in the mix but the game slowed down again in the third quarter. Green Bay led 31-17 late in the fourth quarter and gave the Lions prime field position with an awful punt. Sure enough, Detroit scored on the next play and the infamous Green Bay-Over ticket connected. Including that result, the ‘under’ went 27-24-1 in primetime games this season while the ‘over’ went 132-122-2 through 17 weeks of the regular season.

    Wild Card Trends


    Looking at the below results, you can see that the opening week of the playoffs has leaned to the low side. The ‘under’ has gone 12-3-1 (80%) in the Wild Card round the past four postseasons and going back to the 2004-05 playoffs, the ‘under’ is 30-17-1 (64%) overall.

    FIRST ROUND TOTAL HISTORY (2004-2015)

    2015 (Under 3-1) 2014 (Under 2-1-1)


    Kansas City 30 Houston 0 - UNDER 39.5 Carolina 27 Arizona 16 - OVER 38

    Pittsburgh 18 Cincinnati 16 - UNDER 46 Baltimore 30 Pittsburgh 17 - PUSH 47

    Seattle 10 Minnesota 9 - UNDER 40 Indianapolis 26 Cincinnati 10 - UNDER 47

    Green Bay 35 Washington 18 - OVER 48 Dallas 24 Detroit 20 - UNDER 48.5

    2013 (Under 3-1) 2012 (Under 4-0)


    Kansas City 44 Indianapolis 45 - OVER 48 Cincinnati 13 Houston 19 - UNDER 42.5

    New Orleans 26 Philadelphia 24 - UNDER 55.5 Minnesota 10 Green Bay 24 - UNDER 44

    San Diego 27 Cincinnati 10 - UNDER 47.5 Indianapolis 9 Baltimore 24 - UNDER 47.5

    San Francisco 23 Green Bay 20 - UNDER 46.5 Seattle 24 Washington 14 - UNDER 45

    2011 (Over 3-1) 2010 (Under 3-1)

    Cincinnati 10 Houston 31 - OVER 38 Seattle 41 New Orleans 36 - OVER 45.5

    Detroit 28 New Orleans 45 - OVER 59.5 N.Y. Jets 17 Indianapolis 16 - UNDER 44

    Atlanta 2 N.Y. Giants 24 - UNDER 47 Baltimore 30 Kansas City 7 - UNDER 41

    Pittsburgh 23 Denver 29 - OVER 34 Green Bay 21 Philadelphia 16 - UNDER 46.5

    2009 (Over 4-0) 2008 (Under 3-1)

    N.Y. Jets 24 Cincinnati 14 - OVER 34 Arizona 30 Atlanta 24 - OVER 51.5

    Dallas 34 Philadelphia 14 - OVER 45.5 San Diego 23 Indianapolis 17 - UNDER 49

    Baltimore 33 New England 14 - OVER 43.5 Baltimore 27 Miami 9 - UNDER 38

    Arizona 51 Green Bay 45 - OVER 48 Philadelphia 26 Minnesota 14 - UNDER 41

    2007 (Total 2-2) 2006 (Under 3-1)


    Seattle 35 Washington 14 - OVER 39 Indianapolis 23 Kansas City 8 - UNDER 50.5

    Jacksonville 31 Pittsburgh 29 - OVER 41 Seattle 21 Dallas 20 - UNDER 48

    N.Y. Giants 24 Tampa Bay 14 - UNDER 39.5 New England 37 N.Y. Jets 16 - OVER 38.5

    San Diego 17 Tennessee 6 - UNDER 39 Philadelphia 23 N.Y. Giants - UNDER 45.5

    2005 (Under 3-1) 2004 (Under 3-1)

    Washington 17 Tampa Bay 10 - UNDER 37 St. Louis 27 Seattle 20 - UNDER 50.5

    New England 28 Jacksonville - UNDER 37 N.Y. Jets 20 San Diego 17 - UNDER 43

    Carolina 23 N.Y. Giants 0 - UNDER 43.5 Indianapolis 49 Denver 24 - OVER 56

    Pittsburgh 31 Cincinnati 17 - OVER 46.5 Minnesota 31 Green Bay 17 - UNDER 49.5

    Saturday, Jan. 7

    For the playoffs, I’m going to break down evey game and offer up my quick handicap and prediction for all the matchups. As always, Press, Pass or Fade but in the end – Good Luck!

    Oakland at Houston (ESPN, 4:35 p.m. ET)

    Saturday’s opening playoff game between Houston and Oakland is the lowest total we’ve seen this entire season. An opener of 37 was sent out last Sunday and the most betting shops are booking 36 ½ as of Friday morning in what will likely be the only playoff game that won’t be affected by weather this weekend.

    It’s hard to make a case for the ‘over’ in this matchup, especially with the personnel at quarterbacks for both teams. Oakland’s Connor Cook will be the first quarterback in NFL history to make his first start in a playoff game. In last week’s loss at Denver, Cook entered late in the first quarter and finished 14-of-21 for 150 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Those numbers don’t look bad on paper and it was good to see him break in on the road but playing at Houston is a much stiffer test.

    The Texans are ranked first in the league in total defense (301.3 YPG) and the numbers are better at home (287 YPG). The club is allowing 20.5 points per game and again, the average is better (16.6 PPG) from NRG Stadium.

    These teams met in Week 11 from Mexico City and Oakland escaped with a 27-20 victory by outscoring Houston 14-0 in the final quarter on two big passing plays. Prior to those scores, Houston kept Derek Carr under control and the Raiders (30 rushing yards) couldn’t do anything on the ground. The final outcome saw the ‘over’ (46) connect but it was a fortunate win for bettors on the high side.

    With Carr, Oakland started the season with a 10-2 ‘over’ run but the team watched the ‘under’ cash in three of their last four games. The Raiders saw the ‘over/under’ go 4-4 on the road this season and their defense (21.3 PPG) was better away this season than at home (27.6 PPG).

    Since Bill O’Brien arrived in Houston, the club has seen the ‘under’ go 15-10 (67%) at NRG Stadium and that includes a 5-3 mark this season. O’Brien announced that Brock Osweiler will start for Houston this week and as much criticism as he deserves, the team is 6-1 at home with him as a starter despite only averaging 21.3 PPG. For what it’s worth, Osweiler has started twice against Oakland in his career and he’s looked confident in both outings (67%, 551 passing yards).

    There’s no relevant historical playoff data for Oakland since it hasn’t played in the postseason since the 2002 season but there is a decent sample size for Houston. The Texans have played in five games since 2012 and the ‘under’ has gone 3-2 in those matchups and that includes a 2-1 mark at home.

    Fearless Prediction: The ‘over’ has gone 3-1 in the last four games in the Wild Card round with totals closing in the thirties and the winning team has averaged 29.2 PPG in those games. I expect Houston to win on Saturday and avenge last year's humbling 30-0 playoff defeat at home to Kansas City. I'm not sure if the 'over' will get their but I’m leaning to Houston's Team Total ‘over’ (20) in this spot.

    Detroit at Seattle (NBC, 8:15 p.m. ET)

    This total opened 44 and dropped to 42 ½ earlier in the week but most books are offering 43 ½ as of Friday morning. Temperatures for this game is expected to be in the mid-thirties by kickoff with a chance of flurries as well but the wind doesn’t expect to play a factor.

    I mention the wind because neither Detroit (81.9 YPG) or Seattle (99.4 YPG) has been able to run the ball this season and both rely heavily on their passing games.

    The Seahawks defense has been very strong at home (17 PPG) this season but the loss of safety Earl Thomas in Week 13 has exposed the group in their last four games. The secondary hasn’t had an interception during this run and their opponent passer rating has jumped from 77.9 to 105 which is understandable against Aaron Rodgers and Carson Palmer but inexcusable versus the signal callers from the Rams and 49ers.

    Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford will be the opponent this week and he hasn’t looked good since injuring his finger. The Lions are 1-3 over this span and he’s tossed more interceptions (5) than touchdowns (3). Wearing a glove on the injured hand has seen his completion percentage drop from 66 to 63 percent and the Lions have only played one outside game in the second-half of the season, which resulted in a 17-6 road loss to the New York Giants.

    Similar to Stafford, the Lions defense has also struggled down the stretch by allowing a combined 73 points and 823yards the last two weeks. Both of those games went ‘over’ the number but the previous eight had gone ‘under’ for Detroit.

    Detroit has only been in two playoff games with Stafford and they lost both games on the road, at Dallas (24-20) in the 2014 postseason and at New Orleans (45-28) in the 2011. QB Russell Wilson has played in 10 playoff games with Seattle and he owns a 7-3 record which includes a 4-0 mark at CenturyLink Field. In those outcomes, the ‘over’ went 3-1 with the Seahawks averaging 26.5 PPG.

    Seattle watched the ‘over’ go 9-7 this season and it enters the playoff with a 4-1 run to the high side but it’s safe to say that the offense is struggling. As mentioned above, they can’t run the football and they’re averaging just 16 first downs per game in the last five weeks. In the seven games prior to the late season slump, they averaged 24 first downs per game.

    The Seahawks are familiar with playing under the lights, doing so five times this season. In those games, Seattle went 4-0-1 and outside of the 6-6 tie at Arizona, the club averaged 31.5 PPG. The ‘over’ was 3-2.

    Detroit has only played in two primetime games this seasons and coincidentally they were the last two games they played, which resulted in two ‘over’ winners and one was fortunate (see above).

    Fearless Prediction: As much as I’m aware of Seattle’s struggles offensively down the stretch, I believe it will be able to score on Detroit in this spot based on their tendencies at home and under the lights. I’m going to take Seattle Team Total ‘over’ (25 ½) and the game ‘over’ (43 ½) as well because I believe Detroit will get at least four scores.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Vegas Money Moves - WC
    January 6, 2017

    The general public has spoken this week at the Las Vegas betting windows and they've shown that they like Sunday's two Wild Card games much more than Saturday's. However, the wise guys could care less in their constant search for value and they jumped quickly on all the games.

    "The two Saturday games have minimal action, but the Sunday games are attracting lots of attention and it's two-way on both," said Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook VP Jay Kornegay. "Pittsburgh is getting a lot more parlay action, but the straight bets are all even."

    The Steelers have won seven straight heading into this game, but Miami has won nine of its past 11, a run that was started with a 30-15 home win over the Steelers in Week 6. The spread in that game was Pittsburgh -7.5 when Miami was 1-4 and Pittsburgh was 4-1 at the time.

    While Pittsburgh -10.5 might appear a little excessive, South Point sports book director Chris Andrews likes where he's at with it.

    "Some of sharper players I know, not guys in any (betting) groups, but just guys who I respect their opinions laid Steelers -10 and when we moved to -10.5 we got some wise-guy play taking Miami, but we're still at -10.5. I have a feeling this game may run higher," Andrews said.

    Weather should play a role at Heinz Field with a wind chill at zero degrees and winds up to 13 mph. The total is sitting steady at 46 across Las Vegas after opening 47. There's actually poor weather expected in all three outdoor stadiums.

    "We expected poor weather conditions in all three of the outdoor games and figured it into the opening number," said Kornegay.

    Lambeau Field will have a wind chill at -7 as the Packers welcome the Giants in a rematch from Week 5 when the Packers won 23-16, pushing on the number at -7. Green Bay comes in streaking with a six-game winning streak and bettors have driven the number up from the opener of -3.5.

    "I thought -4 was a good number," said Andrews, "but we've been bet up to -5. I really thought we'd get more Giants money than we have, but it's been two-way since being at -5."

    The last two times the New York Giants won the Super Bowl, they went through Lambeau Field each time in the playoffs. If thinking Super Bowl again, they're relatively low at 16/1 odds despite having to win four games on the road. In the Giants last two Super Bowl wins they started in the Wild Card round and were offered at 30-to-1 odds or higher. Part of the reason for decline in odds is because of piled up risk since odds were posted in February.

    "The only team we do poorly with in futures is the Giants," Andrews said.

    The other team that is risky all over town in Super Bowl futures is Oakland, but without quarterback Derek Carr, no book is really sweating. The Westgate is offering 100/1 odds to win it all which would start with winning behind third-string QB Coonor Cook at Houston on Saturday. Wise guys showed their hand immediately when numbers were first posted.

    "Sharps are on Houston," said Andrews. "They laid -2.5 and -3 and we've had good two-way at -3. The bulk of the straight bet action was laying -2.5. We've still got some decent public play on Oakland."

    The feeling from the sharps is that the largest disparity in point value from a starter to back-up in the NFL is Aaron Rodgers and then it's Carr. The decrease in the ratings wasn't as significant as it should have been in the eyes of wise guys.

    The other Saturday game could have freezing rain in Seattle with a 26 degree wind chill as Detroit visits riding a three-game losing streak.

    "We opened Seattle -7 and got wagers right away,' said Andrews. "We eventually went to -8.5 until getting some buy-back on Detroit. Seattle is the big teaser and large money-line parlay risk that extends into Sunday with the Steelers. A Lions outright win would be really good for us."

    The sports books ultimate wish list for wild card round this week is the Lions to win and covers from Miami, Oakland and Giants.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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