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Friday, August 18

   by Larry Ness - 08/18/2006

The Chiefs used four QBs last night and they combined to complete 13 of 24 passes for a total of just 90 yards. Seven Chiefs carried the ball at least once, gaining 40 yards (17 attempts), as the team gained a pathetic 111 net yards (seven FDs) in their 17-0 loss to the Giants. In last night's other game, the Eagles jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter but never scored again, eventually losing to the Ravens, 20-10.

My free play for Friday is on the LA Angels over the Sea Mariners at 10:05 ET. Join me tonight for my lone 20* in Week 2 action of the NFLX and for another exclusive Las Vegas Insider in MLB (4-1 current run and 63% winners since May 1!).

With both home teams winning and covering last night, home teams are now off to a 13-5 SU start in the preseason, going 10-7-1 ATS. Both of Thursday's games went under the total, leaving under bettors winning at a 78.9 percent clip at 15-4! The Chiefs lost for the eighth consecutive preseason game both SU and ATS.

The Colts will have a chance to match that eight-game streak on Sunday night when they host the Seahawks (8:00 on NBC) but the Colts are 2-5 ATS during their seven-game slide (Indy is a three-point choice over Seattle with a total of 38 1/2). Nick Saban is just 1-5 as a head coach in the preseason with the Dolphins and has yet to cover, going 0-4-2 ATS. The Dolphins are in Tampa to play the Bucs Saturday night at 7:30 ET (TB is a 2 1/2-point choice / 34 1/2).

The Giants win and cover, gives them the longest active winning streak of any team in the preseason, as it was the team's fifth consecutive win (including the final three games of the 2005 preseason). The Giants have also covered in all five wins and their ATS winning streak is matched by only the SF 49ers, who went 4-0 ATS in 2005 (just 2-2 SU) and made it five straight covers with their 28-14 win over the Bears in Week 1.

The 49ers will try for their sixth straight ATS win Sunday night in Oakland at 8:00 ET (Raiders are favored by three points with a total of 36 1/2). The Cowboys beat the Seahawks last week 13-3, giving them a four-game ATS winning streak in the preseason and will play the Saints on Monday night (8:00 ET on ESPN) at Shreveport (Dallas is favored by three points with a total of 35 1/2).

There are three games tonight in the preseason. The Bengals at the Bills at 7:30 ET (Buffalo 3 1/2 and 34 1/2), the Lions at the Browns at 7:30 ET (Cleveland 2 1/2 and 34) and the Chargers at the Bears on CBS at 8:00 ET (Chicago is 3 1/2 and 34 1/2).

MLB notes

Friday's MLB schedule is one of the busiest of the season as 17 games are featured on the card, due to a pair of doubleheaders. The Yankees (70-48) and Red Sox (69-50) open a five-game series (Yanks lead the Red Sox by 1 1/2 games in the AL East) today with games at 1:05 ET (Wang vs Johnson) and then at 7:05 ET (Ponson vs Lester). The other doubleheader is the Oakland A's at the Kansas City Royals (5:10 ET and .8:10 ET).

The A's enter the weekend with MLB's longest active winning streak at six games and Oakland has opened August by going 12-2. While the Yankees/Red Sox series gets top-billing this weekend, the White Sox open a big three-game series tonight in Minnesota against the Twins (8:10 ET). The White Sox (72-48) trail the Tigers by 6 1/2 games in the AL Central but lead the wild card race by two games over the Twins (70-50) and 2 1/2 games over the Red Sox.

The Chicago White Sox need to avoid a repeat of their last series against the Minnesota Twins if they want the chance to defend their World Series championship. The white Sox look to avenge a sweep last month by the Twins in Chicago (July 24-26). Chicago begins play with a two-game lead in the wild card over Minnesota but the Twins, owners of the best home record in the majors at 42-19, could overtake Chicago with another sweep.

The Mariners are worth mentioning only because after last night's 5-2 loss in Anaheim to the Angels, they extended MLB's longest active losing streak to eight games. Pathetically, they've also has lost 17 straight games to AL West teams, matching the major league record for consecutive losses in a division. Detroit lost 17 straight from 1996-97.The Mariners' last victory within the division was a 6-2 win over Los Angeles on June 11 at Angel Stadium. Seattle is 10-29 against divisional foes. in 2006.

Tonight's game (10:05 ET) features one of last year's rookie pitching sensations, Felix Hernandez, vs one of this year's rookie pitching stars, Jered Weaver. Hernandez went just 4-4 last year but posted a 2.67 ERA while allowing just 61 hits over 84.1 innings of work. Year-two has not gone as well as he enters tonight's game 10-10 (4.50), having allowed 143 hits in 142 innings. As for Weaver, he's 8-0 in 11 starts with a 2.14 ERA in 2006, allowing just 50 hits in 71.1 innings.

A closing note points out that all teams, Seattle is the only team in the majors that has used only five starting pitchers this season (you can't make this stuff up!). However, that distinction will likely end Sunday when LHP Jake Woods is expected to make his first major league start. He'll replace Joel Pineiro, who has been demoted to the bullpen.

Don't forget my special edition of Ness Notes Saturday and Sunday when I'll examine some of CFB's most notable turnarounds (both good and bad) since 2000, as well as offer some thoughts on possible surprise teams and flops in 2006.

Ness Notes is available Monday through Friday at 1:00 ET.

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