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Thread: Cnotes 2018 nfl thread thru the superbowl- trends-news-picks+more !

  1. #151
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    Tech Trends - Week 4
    Bruce Marshall

    Thursday, Sept. 27

    MINNESOTA at L.A. RAMS (FOX/NFL, 8:30 p.m. ET)

    Zimmer 19-9 as dog since arriving at Vikes in 2014. Also 6-3 vs. spread last nine away.
    Tech Edge: Slight to Vikings, based on team trends.


    Sunday, Sep. 30

    MIAMI at NEW ENGLAND (CBS, 1:00 p.m. ET)

    Dolphins no covers last six at Foxborough, and no SU wins since the “Wildcat” game of 2008. Dolphins 3-7 vs. line away since LY (but 1-0 in 2018). Belichick 12-6 last 18 vs. points reg season at Gillette Stadium.
    Tech Edge: Patriots, based on series trends.

    HOUSTON at INDIANAPOLIS (CBS, 1:00 p.m. ET)
    Texans “under” 9-3 last 12 since late 2017. Colts “under” 11-2 last 13 since mid 2017.
    Tech Edge: “Under,” based on “totals” trends.

    CINCINNATI at ATLANTA (CBS, 1:00 p.m. ET)
    Marvin Lewis 8-4-1 last 12 as dog since late 2016. Falcons on 8-2 “under” run since late 2017.
    Tech Edge: Bengals and “under,” based on team and “totals” trends.

    BUFFALO at GREEN BAY (CBS, 1:00 p.m. ET)
    Bills back in win column after losses first two, and Pack also failed to cover first two as Lambeau chalk. GB on 6-game spread skid since late 2017. Pack “over” 20-5 last 25 since late 2016.
    Tech Edge: “Over,” based on “totals” trends.

    DETROIT at DALLAS (FOX, 1:00 p.m. ET)
    Dallas just 5-8 last 13 as Arlington chalk. Cowboys also “under” 11-1 last 12 since mid 2017.
    Tech Edge: Slight to “under,” based on “totals” trends.

    N.Y. JETS at JACKSONVILLE (FOX, 1:00 p.m. ET)
    Bowles 3-7-1 last 11 vs. line on road. Though Jets 8-4-2 as dog since late 2016. Jets also “under” 5-2 last 7 since late 2017.
    Tech Edge: Slight to Jags and “under,” based on team and “totals” trends.

    TAMPA BAY at CHICAGO (FOX, 1:00 p.m. ET)
    Bucs 12-4-1 his last 17 as an underdog. Bucs also “over” 8-2 last ten away. Bears 2-6 last 8 as home chalk (though 1-0 TY for Nagy).
    Tech Edge: Bucs and “over,” based on team and “totals” trends.

    PHILADELPHIA at TENNESSEE (FOX, 1:00 p.m. ET)
    Birds were 6-3 vs. line away from Linc LY. Also “over” 9-3 last 12 away. Titans on 10-1-2 spread run at home since mid 2016.
    Tech Edge: Slight to “Over” and Titans, based on “totals” and team trends.

    SEATTLE at ARIZONA (FOX, 4:05 p.m. ET)
    Last three meetings “under” in Glendale. Pete Carroll 4-0-1 vs. line last five at State Farm Stadium. Carroll, however, on 8-14-1 spread skid since late 2016. Cards “under” 6 of last 7 since late 2017.
    Tech Edge: "Under" and slight to Seahawks, based on “totals” and series trends.

    CLEVELAND at OAKLAND (FOX, 4:05 p.m. ET)
    Browns have covered last four since late 2017. Raiders “unders” 9-0-1 last 10 since late 2017.
    Tech Edge: “Under” and Browns, based on “totals” and team trends.

    SAN FRANCISCO at L.A. CHARGERS (CBS, 4:25 p.m. ET)
    Bolts 4-9-1 vs. line in first four games of season since 2015. Chargers “under” 10-4 last 14 since early 2017 (though “over” 3-0 TY). 49ers 7-3 vs. line last ten away.
    Tech Edge: Slight to "under” and 49ers, based on “totals” and team trends.

    NEW ORLEANS at NY GIANTS (CBS, 4:25 p.m. ET)
    G-Men 3-6 vs. line at home since LY. Also “under” 8-2 last 10 since mid 2017. Saints 4-1 last five as road chalk.
    Tech Edge: Saints and “under,” based on team and “totals” trends.

    BALTIMORE at PITTSBURGH (NBC, 8:30 p.m. ET)
    Ravens 6-2-1 vs. line last nine meetings. Harbaugh also 3-0-1 vs. spread last 4 at Heinz Field. Steel just 3-9 vs. spread last 12 as host, also “over” 8-3 last 11 at Heinz.
    Tech Edge: Ravens and “over,” based on series and “totals” trends.


    Monday, Oct. 1

    KANSAS CITY at DENVER (ESPN, 8:25 p.m. ET)

    Chiefs have won and covered last five meetings. “Overs” 5-0-1 last six in series. Broncos 5-2 as home dog since 2015.
    Tech Edge: “Over” and slight to Chiefs, based on “totals” and series trends.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Falcons place S Allen on season-ending IR
    September 25, 2018
    By The Associated Press


    FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) The Atlanta Falcons have placed free safety Ricardo Allen on season-ending injured reserve with a torn Achilles tendon.

    Allen was carted off the field in last Sunday's overtime loss to New Orleans, becoming the third defensive starter to go down for Atlanta. Strong safety Keanu Neal tore his ACL in the opener and is out for the year. Linebacker Deion Jones underwent foot surgery and is sidelined until at least Nov. 18.

    Damontae Kazee and Jordan Richards will start at the safety spots when the Falcons (1-2) host Cincinnati (2-1) on Sunday. Keith Tandy is the primary backup.

    Atlanta's defense is hurting on the line, too, with ends Takkarist McKinley and Derrick Shelby nursing groin injuries.

    To provide depth, the Falcons re-signed safety Sharrod Neasman, who played in 14 games during the last two seasons, and linebacker Bruce Carter, a backup the last four years with Dallas, Tampa Bay and the New York Jets.

    Atlanta added linebacker Richie Brown and cornerback Deante Burton to the practice squad and waived Christian Blake from the practice squad.

    *********************

    Rams CB Talib set for ankle surgery
    September 25, 2018
    By The Associated Press


    THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) Los Angeles Rams cornerback Aqib Talib will undergo surgery Thursday to repair an ankle injury.

    Rams coach Sean McVay said Tuesday that a timetable for Talib's return will not be known until after the procedure is completed and the full extent of the injury he sustained in the second half of the 35-23 win over the Chargers on Sunday is determined.

    ''It depends on once you get in there. We'll find out once that surgery takes place,'' McVay said.

    Talib has six tackles, two passes defended and one forced fumble in three games this season, helping the Rams limit opponents to 199 yards passing per game and two touchdown passes. The Rams acquired the 2016 All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowl defensive back in a trade with Denver for a fifth-round pick in the offseason.

    Marcus Peters, the Rams' other starting cornerback, is day to day because of a calf injury and will likely be a game-day decision for their home game against Minnesota on Thursday night, McVay said.

    ''It's a great representation of his toughness to even still have it be a chance that he's going to play when you look at what occurred and you talk about what that position requires and entails in terms of the movements. He's taking steps in the right direction,'' McVay said.

    ''If we get him, we'll be extremely excited and that's a big boost to us. If not, we have a whole lot of confidence in Sam Shields and Troy Hill, and Nickell Robey is going to be a guy that we're going to continue to lean on as well.''
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Ugly Dogs - Week 4
    September 26, 2018
    By BetDSI


    By Tom Wilkinson

    NFL Week 4 Ugly Dogs


    Once again NFL Week 4 has plenty of offerings as far as totally unappealing bets that the general public will avoid at all costs. Which is the entire point of our weekly Ugly Dogs selections. If you want to win money betting on the NFL you must have the nerve to go where nobody else wants to travel. Time and again teams that the public avoids like the plague end up bringing home the bacon.

    If you don’t believe me just ask Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and the New England Patriots. Their loss at Detroit last Sunday night was a good Ugly Dog triumph and betting example. Let’s now take a look at the teams nobody wants for Week 4!

    Houston Texans +1.5 + at Indianapolis Colts

    The Texans certainly have zero appeal with a record of 0-3 both straight up and against the spread. Their defense has been thrashed consistently to rank 19th in the NFL for points allowed. Quarterback Deshaun Watson has struggled with a mediocre 89.8 quarterback rating and is ailing with bad ribs. And all off a sudden head coach Bill O’Brien has gone from hero to zero.

    Yet what is so great about Indianapolis? Their plodding offense ranks 28th overall and is not likely to be able to exploit the Texans. Colts quarterback Andrew Luck continues to struggle with a mediocre 84.8 rating. Houston can certainly come away with the cash in this one.

    Arizona Cardinals +3 vs. Seattle Seahawks

    Certainly, the winless Arizona Cardinals are one of the most totally unappealing teams on the NFL board. In fact, they are an absolute train wreck. The Cardinals offense is downright offensive with rankings of dead last for total yards, passing, rushing, and scoring. Defensively Arizona ranks 25th overall. But the Seattle Seahawks are one of the sloppiest and most undisciplined teams in the NFL. They have won and covered just one game so far and are also struggling with an offense that ranks 27th overall in the NFL.

    This game is a classic case of ignoring the metrics and simply opposing the public that is still enamored with Russell Wilson and Seattle’s name brand cache. The typical gambler will just not be able to bring himself to taking Arizona against Seattle. Thus, the Cardinal Call!

    New York Giants +3.5 vs. New Orleans Saints

    It is hard to imagine uglier dogs than the New York Giants. Not that this is anything new as Big Blue has been slumping for years. So far, the Giants are 1-2 both straight up and against the spread. The offense remains sluggish and far too dependent upon quarterback Eli Manning. As a result, New Orleans is the chalk despite the fact that they have allowed the most points in the NFL.

    The Saints are a virtual one-man team with quarterback Drew Brees which is which helps explain why they have covered just one game so far on the year. Laying points on the road with a defenseless team is always dangerous and the Giants rate the call.

    Buffalo Bills +10 at Green Bay Packers

    If ever there was a great example of an ugly dog coming through it was the Buffalo Bills last week. Buffalo went into Minnesota as a 16.5-point dog and yet came away with a 27-6 upset win and cover. So now they head off to the not yet frozen tundra of Lambeau Field to face a one-dimensional Packers team that is scuffling in their own right. Green Bay has just one win and cover so far on the season and is still struggling to field a reliable defense. The Packers have become near totally dependent upon quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Without a serious rushing element defenses have teed off on the Packers signal caller and have sacked him 10 times.

    Buffalo’s defense has been respectable and showed very well last week. Can lightning strike twice again? If nothing else the Bills are getting enough points to easily cover a loss. Buffalo is getting extra points due to the Green Bay mystique with the public. Nobody will want to take the Bills at Green Bay. Which is what makes them so valuable!
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Underdog Plays - Week 4
    September 26, 2018
    By Bookmaker


    By Kyle Markus

    Top NFL Underdog Plays - Week 4


    The underdogs have performed nicely throughout the first three weeks of the NFL’s regular season, as parity has been on full display. The top teams are beginning to separate themselves and the oddsmakers are now starting to get an understanding of the true favorites each week.

    With that being said, the NFL always has its fair share of underdogs covering as well as straight upsets because of the week-to-week nature of the league. Many favorites could have tougher times than believed once again in Week 4, but the trick is figuring out which underdogs will cover. Here is a look at some of the best options. If some are doing well at the half, feel free to double down in live betting.

    Odds Analysis

    The first underdog to back is playing in the first game of the week. The Minnesota Vikings will hit the road to face off against the Los Angeles Rams on “Thursday Night Football.” The Vikings laid an egg last time out against the Bills at home, getting blown out despite being a 17-point favorite. Minnesota will bounce back in this one as the 6.5-point underdog. The Rams are tough but they could be without the star cornerback tandem of Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters, which should allow the Vikings to score enough to keep up.

    The Houston Texans are 0-3 on the season but better than their record would suggest. The Texans are hitting the road in Week 4 to face the Colts and will be desperate. Look for the Houston defense to agitate Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck and force him into a pedestrian day. The Texans will win this game so go with them on the moneyline as they are +103 underdogs to win.

    The New York Jets are seven-point underdogs on the road against the Jaguars. New York quarterback Sam Darnold could be in for a long day, but the Jacksonville offense is so toothless that this seems like a high spread. The Jets don’t have much chance of winning this game but they should keep it under a touchdown and cover the spread.

    The Baltimore Ravens are a field goal underdog on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Generally this would be the type of game the Steelers win, but they are dealing with internal drama and some inconsistency. Meanwhile, Baltimore has looked impressive in its 2-1 start. As long as Joe Flacco doesn’t play poorly, the Ravens have what it takes to not only cover this spread but also pull the upset. Baltimore is the +151 underdog and is a great play on the moneyline.

    Free NFL ATS Picks

    While those are good underdog choices, the best pick of Week 4 in live betting is the final game. The Denver Broncos will host the Kansas City Chiefs in “Monday Night Football.” Patrick Mahomes has been a revelation for the Chiefs and has led the team to a 3-0 record. Kansas City boasts the most explosive offense, but the best way to combat that is by putting pressure on the quarterback. The Broncos have one of the best pass-rushers in the NFL in Von Miller and he will wreak havoc.

    Denver is a decent team playing at home, and a 5.5-point underdog spread is too high. The Chiefs are the pick to win but this is not going to be easy. The Broncos are the easy choice to cover. Kansas City is looking like one of the best teams in the NFL but even teams with unbelievable talent have tough games here or there.

    The Broncos are good enough to stay close and keep an eye on the spread numbers at the half because that is another way to increase the bankroll in live betting.

    NFL ATS Pick: Denver Broncos to cover the spread as the underdog against the Kansas City Chiefs
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Teams to Watch - Week 4
    September 26, 2018
    By YouWager.eu


    Futures Forecast Predictions, top picks, teams to avoid for Week 4


    As we look ahead to Week 4 of the 2018 NFL season, we are putting together our weekly set of teams to play and avoid. It has been a bit of a strange start to the season, with some of the teams we expected to be on top struggling in the early going. There are a couple of dark horse teams emerging, too, but with a large portion of the season still to be played, we are trying not to get too carried away with those guys.

    We will, as always, be taking a look at 4 teams this week, picking 2 to play and 2 to avoid, so let’s get right to the selections and their odds, props and futures provided by YouWager.eu.

    Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots
    I can’t remember the last time I looked at the standings and did not see the New England Patriots on top of the AFC East. They have started the season at 1-2 and do not look anything like the Patriots team that we have come to expect over the past decade or so, especially on the offensive side of the football. The Patriots will be hosting their division rivals, the Miami Dolphins, this week and will have their hands full with a team brimming with confidence after starting the season at 3-0. While the Patriots have dominated the Dolphins in recent years, I have my doubts about this weekend, particularly ATS, which is why I plan to avoid the New England Patriots.

    Minnesota Vikings at LA Rams
    There have been few teams that have lived up to the preseason hype through the opening 4 weeks, although the Rams are certainly not in that group. The Rams spent a small fortune in the offseason building a team designed to make a run at the Super Bowl. That big investment is paying off in spades, as they are one of only 3 unbeaten teams heading into Week 4. This will be a big test for the Rams, as they will be hosting a Minnesota Vikings team sure to be smarting after a loss to the Buffalo Bills last week. The Vikings are another big favorite this season, but they are off to a slow start, which is why I will be looking at the SU as I I play the LA Rams.

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    San Francisco 49ers at LA Chargers

    A season that started with so much hope and promise is quickly turning into a nightmare for the San Francisco 49ers. The believed that Jimmy Garoppolo was going to be the man to lead them back to elite status, but the QB tore his ACL last week and is now done for the year. Throw in an injury to Richard Sherman and you are looking that a team that has injuries starting to pile up. Things do not get any easier for the 49ers this weekend, as they will be on the road to face Phillip Rivers and the Chargers. Until I see how this tam reacts to the loss of their QB, I am going to avoid the San Francisco 49ers.

    Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos

    At the start of this piece, I spoke about the importance of not getting too carried away by a dark horse team, but it’s impossible not to be impressed by what the Kansas City Chiefs are doing right now. Specifically, the play of young QB Patrick Mahomes has been a joy to behold, as he seems to be doing nothing but throwing TD passes through the opening 3 weeks of the season. The Chiefs have a tough road trip on Monday night, as they head into Denver to face the Broncos. It’s never an easy place to go and get a win, but I am ready to play the Kansas City Chiefs
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Good week for football, bad week for Pro Picks
    September 26, 2018
    By The Associated Press


    In what was generally a good week of football, minus those weighty roughing-the-passer calls, it was a bad week for Pro Picks. The quality of play vastly improved compared to the opening two weeks of the schedule. The prognostications were awful.

    Time to rally, and a good option is presented on Thursday night with the best matchup of Week 4.

    The Rams have that look. They rank third in offense, sixth in defense. Their point differential of 102-36 is astounding. They can move the ball on the ground with Todd Gurley, or through the air with Jared Goff, Brandin Cooks and Gurley. Their defense is staunch, led by a powerhouse front.

    No weaknesses, right? Not exactly.

    Take a look at their cornerback situation, where both starters are hobbled and likely will be absent against the Vikings. Aqib Talib had surgery and Marcus Peters was helped off the field on Sunday. That means backups on the outside to cover the dangerous pair of Stefan Diggs and Adam Thielen.

    ''We can call the same calls with those guys. In fact, we did in the (last) ballgame,'' defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said. ''I feel confident in those guys.''

    We're not quite that confident, particularly with Minnesota getting such a nasty wakeup call from Buffalo last weekend.

    Minnesota, ranked eighth in the AP Pro32, is a 6+-point underdog at the No. 1 Rams. Give us the points.

    RAMS, 30-28

    KNOCKOUT POOL

    So the idea is to NOT get knocked out? Now we get it - after flopping with the VIKINGS last week, as did much of America. Let's go with the JAGUARS.

    No. 29 San Francisco (plus 10 1-2) at No. 20 Los Angeles Chargers


    Niners losing Jimmy G is as big a hit as any team has taken this season.

    BEST BET: CHARGERS, 33-10

    No. 12 Cincinnati (plus 5 1-2) at No. 18 Atlanta

    Bungles no more, Cincinnati is better than people think. Falcons are hurting.

    UPSET SPECIAL: BENGALS, 27-23

    No. 2 Kansas City (minus 5 1-2) at No. 19 Denver, Monday night

    Too many points to lay for such a rivalry game, and in the Mile High City.

    CHIEFS, 24-20

    No. 9 Baltimore (plus 3) at No. 14 Pittsburgh

    NFL could put this bitter matchup on every Sunday night and it would be entertaining.

    STEELERS, 30-24

    No. 6 Miami (plus 6 1-2) at No. 10 New England

    Lots of excitement in South Beach, dismay at North Station. Calm down.

    PATRIOTS, 20-19

    No. 23 Detroit (plus 3) at No. 24 Dallas

    Can Matt Patricia out-scheme dormant Cowboys as he did Patriots?

    COWBOYS, 17-16

    No. 3 Philadelphia (minus 3 1-2) at No. 15 Tennessee

    Two banged-up first-place teams. Carson Wentz makes the difference.

    EAGLES, 21-15

    No. 11 Tampa Bay (plus 3) at No. 16 Chicago

    Toughest game to figure on this week's schedule.

    BEARS, 24-23

    No. 28 Buffalo (plus 10) at No. 13 Green Bay

    Bills won't catch injury-ravaged Packers napping as they did Vikings.

    PACKERS, 27-20

    No. 27 New York Jets (plus 7) at No. 4 Jacksonville

    That loss in Cleveland could plague Jets for a while.

    JAGUARS, 24-16

    No. 21 Seattle (minus 3) at No. 32 Arizona

    Cardinals will win a game. Just not this week.

    SEAHAWKS, 20-13

    No. 30 Houston (plus 1 1-2) at No. 26 Indianapolis

    Texans will win a game. Just not this week.

    COLTS, 19-16

    No. 22 Cleveland (plus 2 1-2) at No. 31 Oakland

    Raiders will win a game. Yes, this week.

    RAIDERS, 22-20

    No. 5 New Orleans (minus 3) at No. 25 New York Giants

    Resilient Saints march through Meadowlands.

    SAINTS, 30-20

    ---

    2018 RECORD:

    Last Week: Against spread (6-9). Straight up (9-7)

    Season Totals: Against spread (23-22-1). Straight up: (27-19-2)

    Best Bet: 2-1 against spread, 3-0 straight up

    Upset special: 1-2 against spread, 0-2-1 straight up
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Pete Carroll continues to downplay Seahawks saga with Thomas
    September 26, 2018
    By The Associated Press


    RENTON, Wash. (AP) Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll attempted Wednesday to downplay safety Earl Thomas' lingering dissatisfaction, saying he believes the sides will be fine with a plan that includes Thomas not taking part in many practices.

    Thomas was again a nonparticipant in practice Wednesday as Seattle began preparations for Sunday's game against Arizona. After last week's victory over Dallas, Thomas said he had no intension of putting his future at risk by practicing unless the Seahawks provided him contract security beyond the 2018 season or granted his wish to be traded.

    ''We've done the whole conversation. We've been through it. We're very clear,'' Carroll said. ''I might have demonstrated to you that I was confident that we would be OK about working through this because I felt like we would be. I think we are and I'm really looking forward to another week of playing ball. Everything is taking place and we're not really sharing it with you but it's going on.''

    Thomas said after Seattle's 24-13 win Sunday that he didn't feel the need to practice because of the lack of a long-term commitment from the Seahawks. Thomas said he expected to be fined for his actions, and Carroll indicated there could be consequences.

    ''If they were invested in me, I'd be out there practicing, but if I feel like anything - I don't give a damn if it's small, I got a headache - I'm not practicing,'' Thomas said.

    Allowing Thomas to dictate the terms of his practice participation isn't entirely outside the norm, but does go against Carroll's convictions about the importance of practice and competition. Marshawn Lynch essentially had his own practice plan during his time in Seattle, and numerous veterans have been given days off in the past.

    Carroll said that Thomas would not practice Wednesday as, ''This is a day he always gets a break.''

    But that hasn't been Thomas' track record in the past. He was listed as a full participant in practice the Wednesday before the opener, which was the day he reported to the team after ending a holdout. The following week when Seattle had its first practice of the week on Thursday due to a Monday night game, Thomas did not take part and the trend has continued.

    Going back to last year, Thomas was listed as a full participant at every Wednesday practice the final six weeks of the season. He was a limited participant before Seattle faced Atlanta in Week 11 due to a hamstring injury.

    Linebacker Bobby Wagner said it doesn't matter if Thomas practices as long as he continues to play like he has through the first three weeks. Thomas is one of three players in the NFL with three interceptions already.

    ''He's a baller and that's what he does,'' Wagner said. ''At the end of the day it's going to be a bunch of stuff that happens during the week, and the great ones are able to put that aside and come out and play, and don't let whether it's being sick, whether it being issues, whether it's being whatever. When it comes time for the game they come and they play and that's what Earl does. That's what I expect from him.''

    Defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. echoed Wagner.

    ''Sure, everyone needs to practice. We understand practice is the fabric of what we do,'' Norton said. ''At the same time he's a veteran and you've got to protect your guys. I think we have a good plan for him right now.''

    NOTES: Carroll said he's received word that LB Mychal Kendricks will be able to play this week. Kendricks is awaiting possible discipline from the NFL after he pleaded guilty to insider trading charges earlier this month. ... WR Doug Baldwin practiced for the first time since spraining his knee in the opener against Denver. Baldwin was a limited participant, but Carroll said Baldwin hopes to play Sunday. ... C Justin Britt (shoulder) was a full participant after playing only a few snaps on special teams last week vs. Dallas.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Winston practices, Bucs still mum on starting quarterback
    September 26, 2018
    By The Associated Press


    TAMPA, Fla. (AP) The Tampa Bay Buccaneers insist they don't have a quarterback controversy.

    Jameis Winston practiced Wednesday for the first time since serving a three-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy, returning to a team that's ridden Ryan Fitzpatrick's arm to a surprising 2-1 start.

    ''I'm excited to be back,'' a beaming Winston said. ''I'm so happy we had some success. ... We've got to keep it up.''

    Fitzpatrick, a 35-year-old journeyman who's played for seven teams over 14 seasons, has thrown for 1,230 yards and 11 touchdowns while becoming the first player in league history to top 400 yards passing in three consecutive games.

    ''When a guy throws for 400 yards three games in a row, you gotta love that,'' Winston said, adding that he's happy for Fitzpatrick, as well as proud of the entire team for how it performed in his absence.

    ''Me being back, nothing's changing. I'm happy that when we have a win, I can dap guys up and celebrate with them,'' he added. ''That's the part you miss, that team bonding.''

    Winston was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 draft and started 45 of 48 games the past three seasons.

    Coach Dirk Koetter remained mum on who will start Sunday's game at Chicago.

    He has informed both Winston and Fitzpatrick, but has no intentions of letting the Bears know what's planned.

    Winston took a stab at diffusing the conversation before retreating.

    ''I'm here to assist the best way I possibly can,'' the fourth-year pro when asked what his reaction be to not being the starter against the Bears. ''My passion for this team, my love for this team goes beyond whether I'm out there throwing the football for this team or not.''

    Without hesitation, he quickly added: ''It's my first day back. Let me enjoy that before I (answer) any more questions about that.''

    Fitzpatrick is expected to meet with the media on Thursday.

    ''It's about the team's success. I'm not a selfish player, it's about our team,'' Winston said. ''We're out here doing big things, and we've got to continue doing that.''

    The 2013 Heisman Trophy winner practiced with the Bucs for the first time since the preseason. He was forbidden to be at the team's training facility or have contact with coaches of teammates during the suspension.

    Tuesday was the first day Winston was allowed to get back to work. He arrived at the complex at about 5:30 a.m., even though it was an off day for teammates following Monday night's 30-27 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    Winston recruited a couple of coaches and more than 20 players, including former NFL receiver Louis Murphy, to join him for workouts designed to help the quarterback remain sharp and in condition during the layoff.

    ''I did my best impersonation of what it would be like being here,'' Winston said. ''I got guys from the Orlando area, Fort Lauderdale, Lakeland. ... We just went to work. I didn't want the guys in this building to be working hard and I wasn't out there doing my thing.''

    Teammates were excited to have Winston back in the locker room and on the practice field. They insist they won't take sides in the quarterback situation, stressing that they're confident they can with Winston or Fitzpatrick.

    ''Jameis handled it like a pro. What else would you expect?'' Koetter said.

    ''He came back prepared. That's no surprise,'' Koetter added. ''It was great to have him back. Jameis is a favorite of everyone around here, so great to have his energy back in the building, his smile back in the building. I know he's happy to be here. We're happy to have him.''
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    TNF - Vikings at Rams
    September 27, 2018
    By Tony Mejia


    Minnesota at L.A. Rams (-7, 49), 8:20 pm ET, FOX/NFLN

    If these teams meet for the NFC Championship in roughly four months, few will be surprised.

    The Vikings are hungry to get back to the point where last year’s dreams got snuffed out in Philadelphia. To get so close and no-show stays with you, especially when it costs you a trip to a Super Bowl set to be played in your own stadium. Minnesota lost to the Eagles despite being favored and marching right down the field to go up 7-0, surrendering the final 38 points.

    Ownership ponied up a fully guaranteed $84 million over three seasons for Kirk Cousins to come on board and replace Case Keenum, whose ill-timed pick-six opened the flood gates in Philly. A 22-point fourth quarter to overcome a double-digit deficit at Lambeau to rival Green Bay suggests that was a good idea, especially since Cousins made some incredible throws to push the game to OT and put his team in position to win twice only to be denied by a pair of misses from rookie kicker Daniel Carlson, who was subsequently released.

    A talented young kicker who Minnesota utilized a fifth-round pick on found no grace period. The Vikings don’t have the time for people to figure things out. They’ve got places to go and needed to get there yesterday. Head coach Mike Zimmer is all about winning, which is why he’s become the most reliable option to ride every postseason since he got a head gig. If there’s a score, Zimmer is trying to be on the right side of it.

    That’s what makes this past Sunday so puzzling. The Vikings are entering a key stretch where they’re visiting two of their top contenders for games they circled on the calendar, visiting each coast in back-to-back weeks. On Oct. 7, they return to the scene of the crime at the Linc, challenging an Eagles team that will be playing their third game with Carson Wentz. This week, they make their first trip to Los Angeles since 1992 to play their first Thursday game since beating Detroit last Thanksgiving. The Rams are unbeaten and have looked dominant.

    Is that what happened last week? Were the Vikes counting on a layup of a game before getting serious and buckling down? A 17-point favorite against a Bills team that had been outscored 78-23 by the Ravens and Chargers the first two weeks, you can imagine that human nature set in and minds started wandering, jumping ahead on the schedule. Even against the likes of Buffalo, complacency can kill in the NFL. It’s surprising that Zimmer was powerless to stop it, but once adversity hit, it turned into an avalanche. Buffalo become the largest underdog since 1992 to win a game outright. That's not the kind of history the Vikes are trying to make.

    Rookie Josh Allen started and played so well that he got others to follow his lead and buy in despite the absence of starting RB LeSean McCoy due to a rib injury. He jumped over Minnesota standout linebacker Anthony Barr to get a first down, playing with an infectious reckless abandon that overwhelmed a team that didn’t look like they wanted to be out there. Despite being as as a steak that spends only a handful of seconds on the grill, Allen leaned on his physical gifts, tremendous athleticism and a rocket arm, able to keep everything simple due to the 17-point first-quarter cushion that Minnesota’s no-show provided.

    Buffalo’s defense got after Cousins, who despite his 40 completions and 296 yards, produced only a single score with the game already decided. It took 13 plays to go 92 yards on a defense keeping everything in front of them to avoid being shut out. The Vikings have scored a grand total of 17 first-half points through three games, used turnovers to escape a dicey opener against the 49ers and needed that aforementioned 22-point fourth quarter, complete with two-point conversion, to avoid a loss in Green Bay.

    They’ve got tremendous personnel but haven’t put it together yet. The Buffalo game was an aberration, sure, but one thing that came through loud and clear is that they’re nowhere near where they need to be to get away with overlooking any opponent, even the league’s worst.

    The Rams have taken no prisoners. They spoiled Jon Gruden’s Oakland debut by scoring 23 unanswered second-half points, posted a 34-0 rout of overmatched Arizona and took the opening possession against the Chargers 80 yards to make it 64 straight points before Philip Rivers hit a big pass to Mike Williams, ending the run. Despite their dominance to date, Sean McVay's unbeaten team is vulnerable. As you’ll read below in the injury report, there are a number of reasons L.A. has to be extremely concerned as it faces its first opponent that made last year’s postseason.

    Getting the type of wakeup call the Bills game afforded on a short week makes for an interesting dynamic considering they’ll be visiting one of the two teams that has most effectively hit the round running. Although QB Patrick Mahomes’ emergence has become the talk of the NFL since he’s shiny, new and taking the Chiefs to another level, L.A.'s Jared Goff has picked up right where he left off after last year’s breakthrough and has helped L.A. build the league’s largest point differential by a long shot, currently 102-36 entering this Thursday nighter.

    Mahomes has thrown an NFL-record 13 touchdowns, which dwarfs Goff's six, but the Rams' former No. 1 overall pick has one in every game this season. Cousins has thrown seven. Both have been intercepted twice.

    On paper, this is one of the top matchups the schedule makers have bestowed upon us to date, right up there with the season-opening Atlanta-Philadelphia, the AFC Championship rematch between the Patriots and Jaguars, that Packers-Vikings Week 2 classic and last week’s Saints-Falcons shootout. Hopefully it lives up to billing. Weather won't be a deterrent since clear conditions and sublime temperatures in the 70s are expected throughout.


    Minnesota Vikings
    Season win total: 10 (Over -130, Under +110)
    Odds to win NFC North: 10/11 to 4/5
    Odds to win NFC: 9/2 to 8/1
    Odds to win Super Bowl: 9/1 to 16/1

    Los Angeles Rams
    Season win total: 10 (Over -140, Under +120)
    Odds to win NFC West: 1/2 to 4/5
    Odds to win NFC: 13/5 to 3/2
    Odds to win Super Bowl: 5/1 to 3/1

    LINE MOVEMENT

    These teams entered the season as the NFC co-favorites (5/1) according to Westgate's SuperBookUSA but a clear pecking order is now in place, opening with the Rams and featuring the Eagles, Saints, Packers and Vikes, in that order. Losing to the Bills has its consequences, but if you believe the Vikings are going to right the ship and upset the Rams tonight, there may not be better odds available on the Vikings than those out there prior to kickoff if an upset does come to fruition.

    In this Week 4 opener, the Rams were favored by 6.5 points at most shops, but bettors jumped on the Vikes and the line that is most widely available is Rams -7. A number of offshore books have the Vikings +7.5

    The Rams are convincing favorite of -330/-350 on the money line. If you're of the belief that Minnesota is going to follow up one of the worst games of the Zimmer era with one of the best, you can get on the Vikes at +260/+280. This is the most points the Vikings have gotten since last season's Week 2, when they fell at Pittsburgh 26-9 as 8.5-point dogs after the spread skyrocketed when news came down that Sam Bradford was injured and Keenum was forced to take over on an hour's notice. Before that, you have to go back to Dec. 2015 and a visit to Arizona for a spread where Minny was getting a touchdown or more. The Cards won 23-20 but the Vikes covered a 10-spot. The team totals here have the Rams at 28 and Minnesota at 21.

    INJURY CONCERNS


    After missing last week's game, Dalvin Cook will return to try and revive a running game that couldn't get much going with backups Latavius Murray and rookie Mike Boone running behind an offensive line that got dominated. Cook is more of a threat receiving the ball out of the backfield, so Cook's return from a hamstring injury should make the attack more dynamic if he's close to 100 percent. Linemen Riley Reiff and Pat Elflein should play, which also certainly helps since Rashod Hill and Brian O'Neill are better suited for backup roles.

    Corner Marcus Sherels (ribs) has been ruled out, but with Mackensie Alexander back and rookie Mike Hughes stepping up alongside holdovers Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes, there is enough talent to deal with the Rams skill players. DE Everson Griffen (mental health) remains away from the team.

    L.A. has placed Aqib Talib on IR due to an ankle injury and are hoping he'll return to aid a playoff push. The calf injury suffered by fellow standout corner Marcus Peters isn't as severe but ended up being more than just a scare. He's unlikely to see action til mid-October at the earliest, which means the Rams secondary could be extremely vulnerable. Linebacker Mark Barron (ankle) is listed as doubtful, while pass rusher Dominique Easley will be a game-time decision. Defensive depth was certainly a major strength early on that L.A. no longer gets to enjoy the next few weeks. Veteran coordinator Wade Phillips will have to get creative and can probably use McVay calling a few more runs for Todd Gurley to chew up clock in order to keep defenders fresher.

    Kicker Greg Zuerlein (groin) also remains sidelined, so we'll see how backup Sam Ficken fares if he's called upon to knock through a key field goal. Dan Bailey didn't get to kick in his Vikings debut since they went for two after their only touchdown.

    RECENT MEETINGS (Minnesota 6-2 SU, 6-2 ATS last eight; TOTAL 4-4)

    11/19/17 Minnesota 24-7 vs. L.A. Rams (MIN -1, 46)
    11/8/15 Minnesota 21-18 (OT) vs. St. Louis (MIN -1, 40)
    9/7/14 Minnesota 34-6 at St. Louis (MIN +3.5, 43.5)
    1216/12 Minnesota 36-22 at St. Louis (MIN +2.5, 39.5)
    10/11/09 Minnesota 38-10 at St. Louis (MIN -10.5, 41)
    12/31/06 St. Louis 41-21 at Minnesota (STL -2.5, 44)
    12/11/05 Minnesota 27-13 vs. St. Louis (MIN -7, 45.5)
    11/30/03 St. Louis 48-17 vs. Minnesota (STL -6/51)


    NEXT WEEK'S NUMBERS POSTED

    Westgate Vegas opens its advance lines for the following week on Tuesdays and Week 5 currently has the Rams as a 7-point road favorite in Seattle. The Vikings will be on the road in Philadelphia and have been made a 3-point underdog.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Thursday's Top Wager
    September 27, 2018
    By BetDSI


    By Tom Wilkinson

    NFL Preview – Minnesota Vikings vs. Los Angeles Rams


    With the arrival of quarterback Kirk Cousins to the Minnesota Vikings last winter many fans of the purple were already planning vacations and booking trips for the Super Bowl. Cousins was considered the final piece to the Super Bowl puzzle for a Minnesota team that made it all the way to the NFC championship game last year.

    And when the Vikings took the field last week as 16.5-point home chalks against the hapless Buffalo Bills victory was considered to be a foregone conclusion. Except it wasn’t. Buffalo stunned all with a stupefying 27-6 win. Now the Vikings have the unenviable assignment of a short work week that leads up to Thursday night’s game at the undefeated Los Angeles Rams.

    Date and Time: Thursday, September 27, 2018, 8:20 p.m. ET
    Location: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California
    NFL Odds at BetDSI: Rams -7, O/U 49.5
    Vikings vs. Rams TV Coverage: FOX and NFL Network


    The Vikings and their backers once again learned the Golden Rule of the NFL that goes back for decades. “On any given Sunday” has been something of a cliché but last Sunday it was proven to be truth. Indeed, any team can win or lose against any other team in the National Football League. How the Vikings respond to their shocking loss to Buffalo will go a long way towards proving their championship mettle. This Minnesota team that was supposed to coast to the NFC North Division title is now 1-1-1 straight up with just one payout in those three games. While Cousins is not to blame for the lethargic start a ground game that ranks 31st in the NFL has not helped the new signal caller.

    For the Los Angeles Rams, the 2018 season goes back to an old song from the 1970’s that went along the lines of “It never rains in Southern California.” Certainly not for the Rams who are 3-0 both straight up and against the spread. The Rams have stayed under the total in all three of their games so far this season.

    Older fans that remember the original Rams and the Fearsome Foursome defense are eating up this current Los Angeles team that ranks first in the NFL for fewest points allowed. Last week L.A. took apart the cross-town rival Chargers 35-23. Indeed, the Rams are proving that their playoff appearance from last year was no fluke. Consider their strong metrics of third in the NFL for total and scoring offense.

    Matchup to Watch

    The balance of the Rams is a key advantage against the Vikings and their inability to run the ball. This has put considerable pressure on Cousins to carry the team, which is not his strength. Cousins is a game manager that needs a good supporting cast to be effective. The Rams offense ranks fourth in the NFL for passing and sixth for rushing. This is where they hold the big advantage over the Vikings. L.A. quarterback Jared Goff has a stellar 110.0 quarterback rating.

    Key Stats

    Minnesota has been operating in the red as a road dog recently. In fact, the Vikings have covered just one of their last five against the spread as pups away from home. Additionally, seven of their last nine in that role have gone under the total.

    Counter to that is the strong betting value Los Angeles has shown as home chalks recently. Indeed, the Rams have paid in four of their last five laying points at Memorial Coliseum. Furthermore, L.A. has gone over the total in just one of their last seven games as a home chalk.

    In this head to head series the Vikings have had the advantage with five payouts in their last five meetings with the Rams. In their last three road games against the Rams, Minnesota has covered all three times. Seven of the last eight Viking trips to the Rams have gone over the total.

    Vikings vs. Rams Picks


    Despite their head to head marks against the Rams this L.A. team is far different from those of the past. In fact, Los Angeles has the look of a complete team that can go all the way.

    Vikings vs. Rams Pick: Los Angeles Rams -6.5 at BetDSI
    Vikings vs. Rams Score Prediction: Rams 27, Vikings 17
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    NFL RECORD FOR SEPT......

    DATE W-L-T % UNITS RECORD

    09/23/2018 13-11-0 54.17% +4.50
    09/20/2018 0-2-0 0.00% -11.00
    09/16/2018 17-8-0 68.00% +41.00
    09/13/2018 0-2-0 0.00% -11.00
    09/09/2018 15-10-1 60.00% +20.00
    09/06/2018 2-0-0 100.00% +10.00

    Totals...............47-33-1.....58.75%.....+53.50


    NFL BEST BETS:

    DATE........................ATS..................U NITS....................O/U................UNITS..............TOTAL

    09/23/2018.............6 - 4...................+8.00....................2 - 4...............-12.00..............-4.00
    09/20/2018.............0 - 1...................-5.50.....................0 - 1...............-5.50................-11.00
    09/16/2018.............5 - 2..................+14.00...................3 - 2...............+4.00..............+18.00
    09/13/2018.............0 - 1...................-5.50.....................0 - 1................-5.50...............-11.00
    09/09/2018.............4 - 4...................-2.00.....................8 - 3...............+23.50............+21.50
    09/06/2018.............1 - 0..................+5.00.....................1 - 0...............+5.00..............+10.00

    Totals....................16 - 12................+14.00..................14 - 11..............+9.50............+23.50
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 27
    GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS


    MIN at LAR 08:20 PM

    MIN +7.5

    O 48.5
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    Rams survive Vikes, Goff: 465 yds, 5 TDs
    September 27, 2018


    LOS ANGELES (AP) Jared Goff turned a phenomenal first half into the biggest game of his career, and it was still just barely enough to beat Kirk Cousins.

    Goff passed for career highs of 465 yards and five touchdowns, winning a scintillating duel with his Minnesota counterpart and leading the unbeaten Los Angeles Rams to a 38-31 victory over the Vikings on Thursday night.

    Goff hit Cooper Kupp with two of his four TD throws during a 251-yard first half in which the third-year quarterback flawlessly executed coach Sean McVay's offense.

    ''It was just great command by him,'' McVay said about Goff.

    Todd Gurley then finished with 83 yards rushing and 73 yards receiving while the Rams (4-0) held off the Vikings (1-2-1) and Cousins, who passed for 422 yards and three touchdowns.

    The Vikings got the ball back with 2:20 left, but Los Angeles rookie John Franklin-Myers stripped Cousins of the ball near midfield. The Rams recovered and ran out the clock on their first win in the franchise's last six meetings with Minnesota.

    McVay was Cousins' offensive coordinator in Washington before he became Goff's head coach on the West Coast last season. McVay's current and former prize pupils put on a show at the Coliseum, but Goff finished 26 of 33 with a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating.

    Goff picked apart the Vikings' secondary in the first half with one pinpoint throw after another. The former No. 1 pick has three consecutive 300-yard games during the Rams' perfect start.

    Gurley and Brandin Cooks had first-half TD catches.

    The Vikings trimmed LA's lead to 31-28 late in the third quarter with Adam Thielen's 45-yard TD catch and a 2-point conversion, but Goff promptly surpassed his previous career highs for yards passing during a swift drive ending in Robert Woods' 31-yard TD catch.

    Both offenses came out firing at the Coliseum in front of a lively Coliseum crowd that included a healthy throng of purple-clad fans enjoying the Vikings' first game in Los Angeles since 1993.

    One week after giving up 27 points in the first half and getting blown out as 16 1/2-point favorites in Buffalo, the Vikings gave up 28 before halftime against LA. They still hung in with one of the NFL's best offenses thanks to a dynamic game from Cousins, who hit Aldrick Robinson for two first-half scores.

    Goff found Kupp with two beautiful TD throws in the first half, the first hitting Kupp in stride on a 70-yard sprint , and the second eluding two Vikings and dropping into Kupp's hands deep in the end zone.

    ''Jared put it in about a 6-inch box that only he could fit it into,'' McVay said. ''He had great command and poise all night.''

    Less than 2 1/2 minutes later, Goff hit Cooks down the middle for a 47-yard score.

    Both of those throws beat Minnesota cornerback Trae Waynes, who missed the second half with a concussion.

    Goff's four TD passes were the most in a first half by a Rams quarterback since Kurt Warner did it in 1999.

    Sam Ficken, the replacement for injured Rams All-Pro kicker Greg Zuerlein, kept it close by missing a 28-yard field goal with 8:21 to play.

    Minnesota's Dan Bailey hit a 40-yard field goal with 3:46 left for the only points of the fourth quarter.

    GRIFFEN OUT

    Minnesota defensive end Everson Griffen posted a message on Instagram expressing his gratitude for support from his team and family. Griffen has been away from the Vikings while undergoing a mental health evaluation, and he didn't get to return to the Coliseum, where he starred for USC. Griffen said he doesn't know exactly when he'll be back in uniform, but he plans to ''return as a much-improved person and player.''

    INJURY REPORT

    Vikings: RB Dalvin Cook had 20 yards on 10 carries after missing last week's game with a hamstring injury. ... Thielen appeared to be angry when officials sent him off the field to be checked for a concussion early in the second half. He returned later in the third quarter.

    Rams: TE Tyler Higbee injured his knee early on. He returned later in the first half. ... CB Marcus Peters played after injuring his calf last week.

    UP NEXT

    Vikings: At the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, Oct. 7.

    Rams: At the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, Oct. 7.
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    NFL RECORD FOR SEPT......

    DATE W-L-T % UNITS RECORD

    09/27/2018 2-0-0 100.00% +10.00
    09/23/2018 13-11-0 54.17% +4.50
    09/20/2018 0-2-0 0.00% -11.00
    09/16/2018 17-8-0 68.00% +41.00
    09/13/2018 0-2-0 0.00% -11.00
    09/09/2018 15-10-1 60.00% +20.00
    09/06/2018 2-0-0 100.00% +10.00

    Totals...............49-33-1.....59.75%.....+63.50


    NFL BEST BETS:

    DATE........................ATS..................U NITS....................O/U................UNITS..............TOTAL

    09/27/2018.............1 - 0...................+5.00....................1 - 0...............+5.00..............+10.00
    09/23/2018.............6 - 4...................+8.00....................2 - 4...............-12.00..............-4.00
    09/20/2018.............0 - 1...................-5.50.....................0 - 1...............-5.50................-11.00
    09/16/2018.............5 - 2..................+14.00...................3 - 2...............+4.00..............+18.00
    09/13/2018.............0 - 1...................-5.50.....................0 - 1................-5.50...............-11.00
    09/09/2018.............4 - 4...................-2.00.....................8 - 3...............+23.50............+21.50
    09/06/2018.............1 - 0..................+5.00.....................1 - 0...............+5.00..............+10.00

    Totals....................17 - 12................+19.00..................15 - 11..............+14.50............+33.50
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    NFL Underdogs: Week 4 pointspread picks and predictions
    Jason Logan

    Injuries are a tough thing to stir into the NFL pointspread pot. Most injuries – even when involving star players – have minimal impact on the odds, if any.

    Sure, when it’s a starting quarterback like Jimmy Garoppolo going down for the Niners, you see big adjustments: like San Francisco moving from a projected 4.5-point road underdog in L.A. facing the Chargers to as big as +10.5 with C.J. Beathard under center this Sunday. However, beyond QBs and a sparse handful of skill guys, most player injuries don’t make a blip on the betting radar.

    Now, cluster injuries – a rash of missing pieces at one position or specific unit - those are different beasts. When the Atlanta Falcons lost safety Keanu Neal to a knee injury and linebacker Deion Jones to a bum foot in Week 1, football fans in the know recognized that Atlanta was in trouble. Then, when the Falcons’ other starting safety Ricardo Allen suffered a torn Achilles last week, alarm bells started ringing.

    Atlanta is missing its top three non-cornerback coverage players: the type of players that are invaluable when it comes to nullifying an opponent’s mismatches, like pass-catching running backs and route-running tight ends. And it showed versus New Orleans in Week 3.

    The Saints scored 43 points (Atlanta scored 37 points at home and still didn’t win!), completed 39 of 49 passes to nine different players, converted seven of their 14 third-down snaps and went 1-for-1 on fourth down, en route to a 6-point overtime win as 1.5-point underdogs (opened +3). New Orleans’ running backs totaled 125 yards receiving while its tight ends posted a collective 88 yards. RING! RING!

    The Falcons face another formidable offense in the Cincinnati Bengals, giving 5.5 points to the visiting non-conference foe in Week 4. The Bengals will give Atlanta’s defense plenty of headaches in those “mismatch” spots, with versatile running back Giovani Bernard, tight end Tyler Eifert, and a dynamic duo of receivers in A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd.

    Much like last week, Atlanta will need a ton of points to keep pace in this game (a big reason why the total has ticked up from 48 to 52 points). The Bengals defense is much tougher than the high-level stats would indicate (playing two of first three on the road) and is focused on improving its dreadful third-down defense (opponents converting at 52%), something that has haunted this team the past two seasons.

    That said, Atlanta is sending foes to the sideline on third downs just 51 percent of the time – right behind Cincy at the bottom of the league. Those cluster injuries on defense are quickly going to turn into a cluster f--k for the Falcons.

    Pick: Cincinnati +5.5


    Buffalo Bills at Green Bay Packers (-10, 45)

    Two important happenings have occurred with the Bills since halftime of that loss to the L.A. Chargers in Week 2. You know, the game where veteran corner Vontae Davis up and retired with Buffalo down a 28-6 hole at the break.

    1. Head coach Sean McDermott took over defensive play calling from coordinator Leslie Frazier for the remainder of that game. And while he has since turned the keys back over to Frazier, the power move has sparked this unit and lit a fire under Frazier’s ass.

    2. Rookie Josh Allen replaced Nate Peterman as the Bills' starting quarterback. Not that tough to see the upgrade there…

    Since those moves, Buffalo has outscored opponents 41-9 over the past six quarters of football, including that crazy 27-6 win over the Minnesota Vikings as 16-point pups last Sunday. I don’t expect another stunner from the Bills in Lambeau in Week 4, but Buffalo isn’t as bad as this spread indicates. And the Packers are definitely not as good as this lofty pile of chalk would lead us to believe.

    By all accounts, Green Bay is a couple plays away from being 0-3 on the season. The Cheeseheads needed an Aaron Rodgers’ miracle to leave Chicago with a win in Week 1, were lucky to get a tie versus the Vikings in Week 2, and were exposed in a 31-17 loss to Washington last weekend.

    Circle the wagons and gimmie the points.

    Pick:
    Buffalo +10


    New Orleans Saints at New York Giants (+3.5, 50.5)

    Speaking of teams that should be 0-3, the Saints are getting more respect from bookies than they deserve heading to East Rutherford Sunday.

    New Orleans was trounced by Tampa Bay in Week 1, got let off the hook by poor kicking from Cleveland in Week 2, and then needed Drew Brees to do his best Cam Newton impersonation to steal an overtime victory at Atlanta last Sunday. The Saints are a mess defensively – ranked near the bottom in yards and points allowed – and match up with a dangerous Giants offense that’s finding its groove.

    And let’s not forget about the New York defense. The G-Men are allowing an average of just under 21 points per play, and gave up some garbage time tallies versus Houston last week, which skews those stats. Big Blue is doing a fine job on third down defense and holding their own inside the red zone.

    Considering the Saints’ last two outings have come down to the wire, I love the half-point hook on the home dog here with the Giants.

    Pick:
    N.Y. Giants +3.5

    Last week: 3-0 ATS
    Season: 7-2 ATS
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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