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NFL Notes (Week 4)
by Larry Ness - 10/02/2010
Three weeks down and 14 to go in the NFL's 2010 regular season. Eight teams entered Week 2 at 2-0 and eight more at 0-2. Just three teams emerged still unscathed after Week's 3 play (two unbeatens were guaranteed to lose as the Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay and Green Bay at Chicago games featured a pair of unbeatens. Left standing at 3-0 after Week are Chicago, KC and Pittsburgh. All three are huge surprises, as the Bears were coming off an 0-4 preseason, the Chiefs opened 2010 off a 1-3 preseason as well as owning a 10-38 record the previous three years and the Steelers knew they would be without Big Ben for the first four weeks. Still winless after three games are Buffalo, Carolina, Cleveland, Detroit and San Francisco (the 2010 preseason's lone unbeaten team).
Home teams have opened 28-20 SU and 24-23-1 ATS. Home dogs are 11-9 SU but an impressive 13-7 ATS. Scoring has risen each week, with Week 1 games averaging 36.8 PPG (4-11-1 favoring the under), 41.4 PPG in Week 2 (9-7 in favor of the over) and then 43.4 PPG last week (again, 9-7 in favor of the over). Over/Under bettors are 22-25-1 after three weeks, a slight advantage to the under players. Week 4 is the first of the bye weeks, with the 2-1 Bucs, 3-0 Chiefs, 1-2 Cowboys and 1-2 Vikings "sitting this week out."
An age-old axiom says you need to run the ball to win in the NFL and for those who believe in that, the following numbers will support that belief. Teams with the most rushing yards in a game have opened 33-15 SU and an equally impressive 31-16 ATS. Teams who have run more times in a game own an even higher winning percentage, going 38-9 SU and 35-11-1 ATS (in one game, both teams had the same amount of rushing attempts). Teams with 100-yard rushers are 11-6 SU and ATS in those games while teams with 300-yard passers are 5-11 SU and ATS after going 1-6 SU and ATS in Week 3. I'll update these numbers weekly, throughout the remainder of the season.
As mentioned earlier, home dogs are 65 percent ATS (13-7) to open 2010 and Week 4 has its fair share of them. The Browns are getting three points at home vs the Bengals, the Rams are getting two points vs the Seahawks, the Bills 6 1/2 points vs the Jets, the Jags seven points vs the Colts, the Raiders three points vs the Texans and for MNF, the Pats are currently a one-point favorite over the Dolphins in Miami (all lines as of 3:00 ET on Saturday afternoon). Looking for an angle? Eight teams came into Week 2 at 2-0 and another eight at 0-2. If one would have bet "on" the 0-2 teams and against the 2-0 teams (remember two games involved a pair of unbeatens, meaning a "no play" in those games"), a bettor would have gone 8-4 ATS.
Isn't hindsight great? Should we do the same this weekend? That is, play "on" the five, 0-3 teams giving us plays on Buffalo, Carolina, Cleveland, Detroit and San Francisco. Should we also go against the two, 3-0 teams in action, Chicago and Pittsburgh, giving us plays on the Ravens and Giants? I'll answer those questions next week, in my NFL Notes for Week 5. The Rams ended their 10-game losing streak (dating back to last year's 17-10 win at Detroit on November 1) by beating the Redskins 30-16 at home in Week 3. The win also ended the NFL's longest active home losing streak at 13. Is it Detroit's turn to get off the schneid this week? The Lions have lost nine straight since winning 38-37 at Cleveland last year (Week 11) and will also take a horrific 22-game road losing streak into Green Bay this Sunday, where they are 14 1/2-point dogs.
My complimentary selection for NFL action this Sunday is on Green Bay minus the points over the Lions.
NFC Game of the Year goes Sunday, Oct. 3: Larry's NFL run since Aug 28 sits at a MONEYMAKING 20-10-1. This 27-year vet has opened the regular season with a 4-2 (67%) record with his 10* plays as well and his No. 1 side play of Week 4 is at http://www.bigal.com/picks right now. Larry's expert analysis details all the particulars, allowing you to play his 10* NFC Game of the Year with CONFIDENCE!