Get the best handicapping articles and gambling advice throughout the football, basketball and baseball seasons from the world's top sports handicappers, as well as from Bovada (Bodog) Sportsbook and Casino.
Preseason Notes (Week 2 / Week 3
by Larry Ness - 08/24/2010
Home teams got crushed last Saturday, as visiting teams went 9-2 SU and ATS. The high scoring continued as well, with eight of 11 games going over the total. Home teams got a small measure of revenge (as did under bettors)with the 49ers beating the Vikings 15-10 in San Francisco on Sunday night and the Titans beating the Cardinals 24-10 in Tennessee on Monday night (both games stayed under). The week began with the Bills humbling the Colts 34-21 in Toronto (more than 14,000 shy of capacity) and the Pats easily taking care of the Falcons 28-10 in Atlanta on Thursday. The Friday night game saw the Bengals beat the Eagles 22-9 in Cincinnati on the strength of two, fourth-quarter TD runs.
When all the 'dust' had settled, home teams sit 16-15 SU (13-18 ATS) after two weeks (Colts/Bills game in Toronto is judged a neutral site game), with overs leading the way through the 33 games played so far (includes the Hall of Fame game) 20-12-1. The Bengals and Cowboys have played three games while all other teams have competed twice. The 49ers are the lone NFC team still undefeated while five AFC teams remain unbeaten (Baltimore, Miami, New England, Oakland and Pittsburgh). NFC teams Carolina and Chicago are both 0-2 while five AFC teams are still winless (Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville and Kansas City). Talk about haves and have-nots! The league's six unbeaten teams are a combined 11-1 ATS while the seven winless teams check in at 1-13 ATS. Pointspreads have not come into play very much this preseason.
Week 3 gets underway on Thursday with the Rams visiting the Patriots in New England plus ESPN (8:00 ET) televising the Colts and the Packers from legendary Lambeau Field, absent the frozen tundra this time of year. This year's overall No. 1 pick (Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford), is expected to get his first start for the Rams vs the Pats, as AJ Feeley is expected to sit with an injured thumb. Bradford is 12-of-27 (44.4%) for 81 yards (0 TDs or INTs) in the Rams' first two games. As of Tuesday afternoon, the Pats are favored by 7 1/2 points, the highest pointspread of the 2010 NFLX preseason to-date (Steelers closed as six points favorites at the Meadowlands last Saturday). The Colts will try to improve on the team's 4-20 SU (6-17-1 ATS) preseason mark since 2005 when they meet the Packers.
Friday's schedule features four games, including the Chargers at the Saints on CBS at 8:00 ET. Saturday is again the busiest day with nine games. Florida teams the Jags and Bucs meet in Tampa Bay, the Cowboys are in Houston to take on the Texans (CBS at 8:00 ET) and it's the week's lone 'battle of unbeatens' in the Bay Area, when the 2-0 49ers and 2-0 Raiders meet in Oakland. Many feel (including me) that the 49ers are the favorites in the NFC West this year and while expectations are not that high for Oakland, the fact that these two teams have both opened 2-0 this preseason has to give some sort of relief to Bay Area fans who have watched the both the 49ers and Raiders miss the postseason each of the last eight years.
Sunday Night Football on FOX (8:00 ET) features the 2-0 Steelers in Denver to take on the 0-2 Broncos. Setting a new precedent, all 16 games for Week 4 will be played on the following Thursday (September 2), giving the teams playing Saturday and Sunday this week very little 'recovery time' for their Week 4 contests (be careful). The good news is, all teams except the Vikings and Saints (who open the 2010 NFL regular season on Thursday, September 9), will get nine days off before their season openers (Sunday, September 12).
My 2010 Heisman preview is set for Friday.