Articles

Big Al's Daily Angle: NFL and MLB Previews and Odds - 09/19/2022

by Big Al Staff

Monday, Sep 19, 2022

The Monday sports card features action in NFL and MLB.The second week in the National Football League concludes with two games. The Buffalo Bills host the Tennessee Titans on ESPN at 7:15 PM ET. The Bills come off a 31-10 victory in Los Angeles on the road against the Rams in the opening game of the regular season as a 1-point favorite on September 8th. The Titans got upset, 21-20, at home to Tennessee as a 5.5-point favorite last Sunday. This game is a rematch of Tennessee's 34-31 upset victory at home as a 6-point underdog last season on October 18th. Buffalo is a 10-point favorite, with the total set at 47.5 (all odds from DraftKings). The Philadelphia Phillies play at home against the Minnesota Vikings on ABC at 8:30 PM ET. The Eagles defeated the Lions in Detroit last week, 38-35, as a 6-point favorite. The Vikings beat Green Bay, 23-7, as a 2.5-point favorite last Sunday. Philadelphia is a 2.5-point favorite with an over/under of 50.Major League Baseball has nine games on its schedule. The Cleveland Guardians are at home against the Minnesota Twins at 1:10 PM ET. Cal Quantrill takes the ball for the Guardians to pitch against Sonny Gray for the Twins. Cleveland is a -115 money line favorite with a total of 7.5. The Seattle Mariners travel to Los Angeles to play the Angels at 4:07 PM ET. The Mariners turn to Logan Gilbert to pitch against the Angels’ Jose Suarez. Seattle is a -145 money line road favorite with an over/under of 7.5. Two more MLB games throw out the first pitch at 6:40 PM ET. Miami hosts Chicago with Edward Cabrera pitching for the Marlins against Wade Miley for the Cubs. The Marlins are a -135 money line favorite with a total of 7. Tampa Bay plays at home against Houston with the Rays tapping Drew Rasmussen against the Astros’ Luis Garcia. The Rays are a -120 money line favorite with an over/under of 7. The Baltimore Orioles are at home against the Detroit Tigers at 7:05 PM ET. Tyler Wells pitches for the Orioles against Tyler Alexander for the Tigers. Baltimore is a -190 money line favorite with a total of 8.The Atlanta Braves host the Washington Nationals at 7:20 PM ET. The Braves send Kyle Wright to the mound to pitch against the Nationals’ Cory Abbott. Atlanta is a -330 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The New York Mets travel to Milwaukee to play the Brewers at 7:40 PM ET. Max Scherzer takes the ball for the Mets to battle against Corbin Burnes for the Brewers. Both teams are priced at -110 with a total of 7. The Colorado Rockies play at home against the San Francisco Giants at 8:40 PM ET. The Rockies turn to Chad Kuhl to pitch against the Giants’ Jakob Junis. Colorado is a -120 money line road favorite with an over/under of 11.5. The Arizona Diamondbacks play in Los Angeles against the Dodgers at 8:40 PM ET. Neither team has named their starting pitcher.

Read more

Guess What Other Patriots' Quarterback Used to Struggle in Miami?

by Hollywood Sports

Sunday, Sep 18, 2022

The critics were quick to pounce on Bill Belichick after the Patriots lost their opening week game in Miami to the Dolphins, 20-7. The most creative observations came from those who admitted that it is foolhardy to make conclusions from one game, but “let’s do it anyways!” It takes a certain level of bravery to acknowledge that is it Overreaction Monday after the first Sunday of the regular season to only still march forward. The Prior Beliefs must always be validated.It was a disappointing effort — and the critics of Bill Belichick were quick to use this first game as evidence that he is past his prime. But it is not as if Belichick’s teams have not had a history of flat efforts this century despite having Tom Brady as his quarterback for most of those games. Brady, the G.O.A.T and much better than Mac Jones, lost ten of his eighteen starts on the road against the Dolphins when playing for the Patriots. In those ten losses, New England scored just 17.5 Points-Per-Game and averaged 293.5 total Yards-Per-Game. In Brady’s trip to Miami in 2006, the Dolphins shut him out while holding him to 189 total yards. For the record, the Patriots finished 12-4 that season before losing to Peyton Manning’s Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game. So, the G.O.A.T. was able to lead his team to rebound. Look, I’m not a fan of Matt Patricia — but his impact as the team’s offensive coordinator is overblown. Belichick started as a wide receiver’s coach in the 70s. Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris coached the offensive side of the ball when on the Atlanta Falcons’ staff during the Dan Quinn era. Coaches like Belichick simply think that “coaching is coaching” — and that a defensive coach moving to the other side of the ball is akin to a prosecutor moving into private practice as a defense attorney. This narrative is exposing some interesting assumptions about the role and responsibility of an offensive coordinator. Some idealize it at is a Platonic ideal of drawing up the perfect play in the sand. While Andy Reid, Mike Shanahan, and Sean McVay may draw up great plays, that is not the only job description. And, dare I say it, stealing great plays from other coaches is a perfectly acceptable tactic. That is something I suspect Patricia can be just fine at. Not every offensive coordinator has to reinvent the wheel to get “oohs” and “ahhs” on the Twitter validation machine. Preparing your offensive players to execute the game plan designed to expose flaws in your opponent’s defense seems closer to the mission statement of an offensive coordinator. It was simply too early to pass judgment on the Patriots after Week One — especially when Belichick has declared on many occasions that he does not finish the installation of the offense each season until the end of September. When in doubt, don’t overreact. If a McVay acolyte made the playoffs with a rookie quarterback last year, let’s just say they would be appreciated differently. And Jones got injured in that opening game in Miami. Matthew Stafford and Russell Wilson seem to get the benefit of the doubt if it is discovered later that they were injured during the game. Perhaps they earned that right to have that be baked in the rules. But it is interesting to observe that often the only consistency when applying these rules is Confirming the Priors. Anyways, we won our AFC Game of the Month on New England (although some may have pushed if they got the play in late at -3). On to Monday …Best of luck — Frank.

Read more

Big Al's Daily Angle: MLB, NFL and EPL Previews and Odds - 09/18/2022

by Big Al Staff

Sunday, Sep 18, 2022

The Sunday sports card features action in NFL, MLB, and EPL.The second week in the National Football League continues with 13 games. Seven games kick off at 1 PM ET. The Baltimore Ravens host the Miami Dolphins as a 3.5-point favorite ,with the total set at 44.5 (all odds from DraftKings unless indicated otherwise). The Cleveland Browns play at home against the New York Jets as a 6.5-point favorite with an over/under of 39. The Detroit Lions are at home against the Washington Commanders as a 1-point favorite with a total of 48.5. The Indianapolis Colts visit Jacksonville to play the Jaguars as a 3-point road favorite with an over/under of 45. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are at New Orleans as a 2.5-point favorite with a total of 44. The New York Giants play at home against the Carolina Panthers as a 2-point favorite with an over/under of 43.5. The New England Patriots travel to Pittsburgh to play the Steelers as a 2.5-point road favorite with a total of 40. Two NFL games start at 4:05 PM ET. The Los Angeles Rams are at home against the Atlanta Falcons as a 10-point favorite with an over/under of 46.5. The San Francisco 49ers host the Seattle Seahawks as a 9-point favorite with a total of 40.5. Three more games in the NFL begin at 4:25 PM ET. The Cincinnati Bengals visit Dallas to play the Cowboys as a 7-point road favorite with an over/under of 42. The Denver Broncos are at home against the Houston Texans as a 10-point favorite with a total of 45. The Las Vegas Raiders play at home against the Cardinals as a 5-point favorite with an over/under of 51.5. The Green Bay Packers host the Chicago Bears on NBC and Peacock for Sunday Night Football at 8:20 PM ET. The Packers are a 10-point favorite with a total of 41.5. Major League Baseball has 15 games on its schedule. The Chicago White Sox travel to Detroit to play the Tigers at 12:10 PM ET as a -165 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8. The Tampa Bay Rays play at home against the Texas Rangers at 1:10 PM ET as a -200 money line favorite with a total of 7. Three more MLB games begin at 1:35 PM ET. The Atlanta Braves are at home against the Philadelphia Phillies as a -255 money line favorite with an over/under of 7.5. The Miami Marlins play at Washington against the Nationals as a -180 money line road favorite with a total of 7.5. The Boston Red Sox host the Kansas City Royals as a -195 money line favorite with an over/under of 10. The Toronto Blue Jays are at home against the Baltimore Orioles as a -200 money line favorite with a total of 8. Two MLB games start at 1:40 PM ET. The Minnesota Twins play at Cleveland against the Guardians with both teams priced at -110 with an over/under of 8. The New York Mets play at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates as a -450 money line favorite with a total of 6.5. Two more MLB games begin at 2:10 PM ET. The Houston Astros host the Oakland A’s as a -360 money line favorite with an over/under of 7.5. The New York Yankees visit Milwaukee to play the Brewers as a -175 money line road favorite with a total of 7.5. The St. Louis Cardinals are at home against the Cincinnati Reds at 2:15 PM ET as a -275 money line favorite with an over/under of 8. The Chicago Cubs play at home against the Colorado Rockies at 2:20 PM ET as a -130 money line favorite.The Seattle Mariners travel to Los Angeles to play the Angels at 4:07 PM ET as a -115 money line road favorite with a total of 8.5. The San Diego Padres are at Arizona to play the Cardinals at 4:10 PM ET as a -150 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The Los Angeles Dodgers play at San Francisco against the Giants on ESPN for Sunday Night Baseball at 7:08 PM ET. The Dodgers are a -170 money line road favorite with a total of 8. Matchweek 8 in the English Premier League concludes with two matches on the USA Network. Arsenal visits Brentford at 7 AM ET as a -0.5 goal line road favorite at BetMGM with an over/under of 3. West Ham United plays at Everton at 9:15 PM ET in a pick ‘em match with a total of 2.5. 

Read more

Big Al's Daily Angle: NCAAF, MLB, CFL and EPL Previews and Odds - 09/17/2022

by Big Al Staff

Saturday, Sep 17, 2022

The Saturday sports card features action in NCAAF, MLB, CFL, and EPL.The third week of the college football season continues with 48 games between FBS opponents. Six games on national television kicks off at Noon ET. Georgia visits South Carolina on ESPN as an 11-point road favorite with the total set at 65.5 (all odds from DraftKings unless indicated otherwise). Baylor hosts Texas State on FS1 as a 30-point favorite with an over/under of 53. Michigan plays at home against Connecticut on ABC as a 47.5-point favorite with a total of 58.5. Syracuse is at home against Purdue on ESPN2 as a 1.5-point favorite with an over/under of 60. Cincinnati plays at Miami (Ohio) on ESPNU as a 23-point road favorite with a total of 50.5. Oklahoma travels to Nebraska on Fox as an 11-point road favorite with an over/under of 65.5. Notre Dame hosts California on NBC and Peacock at 2:30 PM ET as a 12.5-point favorite with an over/under of 40.5. Five college football games on national television start at 3:30 PM ET. Penn State plays at Auburn on CBS as a 2.5-point road favorite with a total of 48. Mississippi visits Georgia Tech on ABC as a 17-point road favorite with an over/under of 63.5. Northern Illinois is at home against Vanderbilt on the CBS Sports Network as a 2.5-point favorite with a total of 59. Minnesota hosts Colorado on ESPN2 as a 28-point favorite with an over/under of 47. Oregon plays at home against BYU as a 3.5-point favorite with a total of 58. Houston is at home against Kansas on ESPNU at 4 PM ET as an 8-point favorite with an over/under of 58. Marshall plays at Bowling Green on the NFL Network at 5 PM ET as a 16.5-point road favorite with a total of 50.5. Mississippi State travels to LSU on ESPN at 6 PM ET as a 3-point road favorite with a total of 52.5. Two nationally-televised college football games begin at 7 PM ET. North Carolina State plays at home against Texas Tech on ESPN2 as a 10.5-point favorite with an over/under of 56. Ohio State hosts Toledo on Fox as a 31-point favorite with a total of 62.5. Four more NCAAF games start at 7:30 PM ET. Maryland is at home against SMU on FS1 as a 2.5-point favorite with an over/under of 72.5. Pittsburgh visits Western Michigan on ESPNU as a 10.5-point road favorite with a total of 48. Central Florida plays at Florida Atlantic on the CBS Sports Network as a 7.5-point road favorite with an over/under of 62. Washington is at home against Michigan State on ABC as a 3.5-point favorite with a total of 56.5. Texas A&M hosts Miami (Florida) on ESPN at 9 PM ET as a 6-point favorite with an over/under of 45. Utah plays at home against San Diego State on ESPN2 at 10 PM ET as a 21-point favorite with a total of 48.5. USC is at home against Fresno State on Fox as an 11-point favorite with an over/under of 72. Major League Baseball has 17 games on its schedule. The Minnesota Twins play at Cleveland against the Guardians at 1:10 PM ET in the opening game of their doubleheader. The Cincinnati Reds are in St. Louis to play the Cardinals at 1:15 PM ET in the opening game of their doubleheader. The Chicago Cubs host the Colorado Rockies at 2:20 PM ET as a -140 money line favorite. The Toronto Blue Jays play at home against the Baltimore Orioles at 3:07 PM ET as a -165 money line favorite with a total of 8.5. The Miami Marlins visit Washington to play the Nationals at 4:05 PM ET as a -125 money line road favorite with an over/under of 7.5. The Boston Red Sox host the Kansas City Royals at 4:10 PM ET as a -155 money line favorite with a total of 9. Two more MLB games throw out the first pitch at 6:10 PM ET. The Chicago White Sox play on the road in Detroit against the Tigers as a -155 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8. The Texas Rangers are at Tampa Bay against the Rays. Four MLB games start at 7:10 PM ET. The Houston Astros host the Oakland A’s as a -275 money line favorite with a total of 8. The Twins play on the road against the Guardians in the second game of their doubleheader. The New York Yankees play at Milwaukee against the Mariners with both teams priced at -110 with an over/under of 7.5. The New York Mets are at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates as a -305 money line favorite with a total of 8. The Reds are on the road against the Cardinals at 7:15 PM ET in the second game of their doubleheader. The Philadelphia Phillies play at Atlanta against the Braves at 7:20 PM ET with both teams priced at -110 with an over/under of 8. The San Diego Padres travel to Arizona to play the Diamondbacks at 8:10 PM ET, with both teams priced at -110 with a total of 7. The Los Angeles Dodgers play at San Francisco against the Giants at 9:05 PM ET. The Seattle Mariners are in Los Angeles to play the Angels at 9:07 PM ET, with both teams priced as a -110 money line favorite with an over/under of 7. Week 15 in the Canadian Football League concludes with two games. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers visit Hamilton to play the Tiger-Cats at 4 PM ET as a 7.5-point road favorite with a total of 46.5. The Calgary Stampeders play at home against the British Columbia Lions at 7 PM ET as a 6.5-point favorite with an over/under of 52.5. Matchweek 8 in the English Premier League continues with three matches. Manchester City travels to Wolverhampton on the USA Network at 7:30 AM ET as a -1.5 goal line road favorite with a total of 3. Newcastle United hosts Bournemouth on the USA Network at 10 AM ET as a -1 goal line favorite with a total of 2.5. Tottenham plays at home against Leicester City on NBC at 12:30 PM ET as a -1 goal line favorite with an over/under of 3.

Read more

NFL Game Two Hungry Underdog

by Tom Stryker

Friday, Sep 16, 2022

Getting out of the gate in the NFL can be tricky.  Free agency has changed the game and, at times, pro teams that were giant killers a year ago can take on a completely different DNA the next season. Thankfully, with the help of my pro football database, the same one that was featured in the December 13th, 2010, issue of the ESPN Insider magazine, I’ve been able to isolate and profit from a number of early season technical situations that have performed very well. This week’s NFL system focuses on teams coming off a straight up loss in game one.  When you only play a 17-game season, each week is important.  In my opinion, the season opener carries a little more weight.  A win can set the tone for the entire year and, unfortunately, a loss can do the same.  While banging away at my pro database and researching teams off losses in their first contest of the season, I stumbled across one profitable situation that really stood the test of time.  Take a look. Since 1980, PLAY ON any game two NFL road underdog priced competitively at +7 or less provided they enter off a straight up loss and their opponent is playing their second game of the season and off a straight up loss as well.  42-Year ATS Record = 50-28-2 ATS for 64.1 percent  This Week’s Play = ARIZONA The Cardinals make the trek to Sin City hungry off their embarrassing 44-21 home loss to the Chiefs and they’ll look to right the ship matched up against a Raiders group that returns home off a 24-19 road loss to the Chargers.  There is one tightener that can be added to this situation that really makes it pop.  If our “play on” side arrives off a blowout blemish of seven points or more, this system cruises to a money-making 33-15 ATS for 68.7 percent.  Arizona fell to Kansas City by 23 points and head coach Kliff Kingsbury and the boys fit this situation perfectly. The Redbirds will carry the freight as our NFL Game Two Hungry Underdog.  Good luck with Arizona.

Read more

Big Al's Daily Angle: NCAAF, MLB and CFL Previews and Odds - 09/16/2022

by Big Al Staff

Friday, Sep 16, 2022

The Friday sports card features action in the NCAAF, MLB, and CFL.The third week of the college football season kicks off with two games. The Florida State Seminoles travel to Louisville to play the Cardinals on ESPN at 7:30 PM ET. The Seminoles return to the field after their 24-23 upset victory against LSU as a 4-point underdog on September 4th. The Cardinals upset Central Florida on the road as a 5.5-point underdog on Friday. Florida State is a 2.5-point road favorite, with the total set at 57 (all odds from DraftKings unless indicated otherwise). Air Force plays at Wyoming on the CBS Sports Network at 8 PM ET. The Falcons beat Colorado, 41-10, as a 17-point favorite last Saturday. The Cowboys won for the second straight time with a 33-10 victory against Northern Colorado as a 23.5-point favorite last week. Air Force is a 16.5-point road favorite with an over/under of 47. Major League Baseball has 15 games on its schedule. The Chicago Cubs host the Colorado Rockies at 2:20 PM ET as a -140 money line favorite. The Miami Marlins play at Washington to play the Nationals at 7:05 PM ET. The Baltimore Orioles visit Toronto to play the Blue Jays on Apple TV+ at 7:07 PM ET. Five MLB games throw out the first pitch at 7:10 PM ET. The Minnesota Twins play at Cleveland against the Guardians. The Chicago White Sox are Detroit against the Tigers as a -150 money line road favorite with a total of 7.5. The Tampa Bay Rays play at home against the Texas Rangers as a -145 money line favorite with an over/under of 7. The New York Mets are at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates as a -255 money line favorite with a total of 8. The Boston Red Sox host the Kansas City Royals as a -205 money line favorite with an over/under of 9.5 The Atlanta Braves play at home against the Philadelphia Phillies at 7:20 PM ET as a -180 money line favorite with a total of 7.5. Two more MLB games start at 8:10 PM ET. The Houston Astros are at home against the Oakland A’s as a -390 money line favorite with an over/under of 7.5. The New York Yankees play at Milwaukee against the Brewers as a -130 money line road favorite with a total of 8. The St. Louis Cardinals are at home against the Cincinnati Reds at 8:15 PM ET as a -275 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The Seattle Mariners travel to Los Angeles to play the Angels at 9:38 PM ET as a -155 money line road favorite with a total of 8. The San Diego Padres play at Arizona to play the Diamondbacks at 9:40 PM ET as a -175 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The Los Angeles Dodgers are at San Francisco against the Giants on Apple TV+ at 10:15 PM ET as a -165 money line road favorite with a total of 7.5. Week 15 of the Canadian Football League begins with one game. The Saskatchewan Roughriders are at home against the Edmonton Eskimos at 9:30 PM ET as a 7-point favorite with an over/under of 50.

Read more

Big Al's Daily Angle: MLB and NFL Previews and Odds - 09/15/2022

by Big Al Staff

Thursday, Sep 15, 2022

The Thursday sports card features action in the NFL and MLB.The second week in the National Football League kicks off with one game for Thursday Night Football. The Kansas City Chiefs host the Los Angeles Chargers on Amazon Prime at 8:15 PM ET. The Chiefs come off a 44-21 victory at Arizona as a 6.5-point favorite on Sunday. The Chargers beat Las Vegas, 24-19, as a 4.5-point favorite on Sunday. Kansas City is a 4-point favorite, with the total set at 54 (all odds from DraftKings). Major League Baseball has eight games on its schedule. The Chicago White Sox visit Cleveland to play the Guardians at 1:10 PM ET. The White Sox lost for the fourth time in a row yesterday with their 3-0 loss at home to Colorado. The Guardians are on a six-game winning streak after their 5-3 victory against the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday. Lance Lynn gets the ball for Chicago to battle against Hunter Gaddis for the Guardians. The White Sox are a -150 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8. The Toronto Blue Jays play at home against the Tampa Bay Rays at 3:07 PM ET. The Blue Jays have won six of eight games after a 5-1 victory against the Rays yesterday. The Blue Jays lost for the fifth time in its last six games. Toronto turns to Kevin Gausman in their starting rotation to pitch against the Tampa Bay’s Shane McClanahan. The Blue Jays are a -140 money line favorite with a total of 7.5. The Philadelphia Phillies travel to Miami to play the Marlins at 6:40 PM ET. The Phillies won the for the fifth straight time with their 6-1 victory against the Marlins yesterday. Miami has lost five of their last six games. Noah Syndergaard gets the ball for Philadelphia to duel against Pablo Lopez for the Marlins. The Phillies are a -135 money line road favorite with an over/under of 7.5. Two MLB games throw out the first pitch at 7:20 PM ET. The Houston Astros host the Oakland A’s. The Astros are on a four-game winning streak after a 2-1 victory at Detroit on Wednesday. The A’s won for the second time in their last three games with an 8-7 win at Texas yesterday. Houston taps Lance McCullers, Jr. to pitch against Oakland’s James Kaprielian. The Astros are a -300 money line favorite with a total of 7.5. The New York Mets are at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Fox. The Mets are on a three-game losing streak after a 6-3 loss at home to the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday. The Pirates won for the fourth straight time yesterday with a 10-4 win against Cincinnati. Carlos Carrasco pitches for New York against J.T. Brubaker for Pittsburgh. The Mets are a -275 money line favorite with an over/under of 7.5. The Minnesota Twins play at home against the Kansas City Royals at 7:40 PM ET. The Twins won for the second-straight time with a 4-0 victory against the Royals on Wednesday. Minnesota turns to Dylan Bundy to pitch against Kansas City’s Daniel Lynch. The Twins are a -170 money line favorite with a total of 8.5. The St. Louis Cardinals host the Cincinnati Reds at 7:45 PM ET. The Cardinals won for the third time in their last four games with a 4-1 victory against Milwaukee on Wednesday. The Reds are on a six-game losing streak after its loss to the Pirates yesterday. Miles Mikolas takes the mound for St. Louis to pitch against Chase Anderson for the Reds. The Cardinals are a -265 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The San Diego Padres visit Arizona to play the Diamondbacks at 9:40 PM ET. The Padres lost for the third time in the last four games with a 6-1 loss at Seattle on Wednesday. The Diamondbacks ended a two-game losing streak with a 5-3 victory in ten innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers yesterday. The Padres send Sean Manaea to the hill to pitch against the Diamondbacks Drey Jameson.

Read more

Thursday Night Football Primer

by Vegas Writer

Wednesday, Sep 14, 2022

THE SKINNYEarly battle of AFC West powers, as the six-time defending division champion Kansas City Chiefs host the preseason favorites to dethrone them, the Los Angeles Chargers.It's a pivotal, early-season showdown that could matter down the road considering how tight the division is this season.Both teams are in after Week 1 victories, as the Chiefs went into Arizona to spank the Cardinals, 44-21, as Patrick Mahomes threw for 360 yards and five touchdowns for a 144.2 rating. It marked his sixth-career game with at least five touchdown passes. Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire hauled in a career-high two touchdown passes while rookie running back Isiah Pacheco ran for his first-career touchdown.On defense, tackle Chris Jones registered his 11th-career forced fumble, and make note, he's tallied four sacks in his past two Thursday games. Defensive end Carlos Dunlap had a sack in his Chiefs debut and boasts 5.5 sacks in six career games against the Chargers. Linebacker Nick Bolton picked up where he left off in 2021, when he led all rookies with 112 tackles, by recording a team-high 10 tackles.The Chargers knocked off division -rival Las Vegas, beating the Raiders in Inglewood last week, 24-19. Quarterback Justin Herbert threw for 297 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 129.4 rating. It was his ninth career game with at least three touchdown passes and no interceptions, tied with Mahomes for the most-ever by a player in his first three seasons. In four career games against Kansas City, Herbert has 13 touchdowns (10 passing, three rushing) and a 108.3 rating.On the other side of the ball, linebacker Khalil Mack led the Bolts with three sacks and had a forced fumble in his Chargers debut. Since entering the league in 2014, Mack ranks tied for second among all players with 24 forced fumbles. Linebacker Joey Bosa also registered a forced fumble against the Raiders and added 1.5 sacks. He posted a sack and forced a fumble in the Chargers' last meeting with Kansas City and aims for his fifth straight in primetime with a sack. Safety Derwin James tied for the team lead with six tackles last week, and also posted a sack. Cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. snagged his third-career interception. One of those three was in last year's Week 3 meeting in Kansas City.  The Chiefs are looking to begin 2-0 for the fifth time in the past six years, while the Chargers are aiming to win their first two games of a season for the first time since 2012.BETTING WISEChargers have failed to cover seven of their last 10 vs. AFC foes, and are mired in a 1-4 ATS skid against winning teams. That said, the road team has covered 17 of the last 22 meetings, and the Bolts have cashed seven of their last 10 against division foes.The Chargers have covered nine of their last 13 on Thursdays, and four of their last five on the road on TNF.The Bolts have covered four of their last six against AFC West foes on Thursday.Kansas City has covered six of its last seven at home, and 13 of its last 18 in the month of September. The Chiefs have shown a knack for falling flat after an offensive burst, as they're 5-12 ATS in their last 17 games after scoring more than 30 points in their last time out.The Chiefs have covered five of their last seven on Thursdays, but have split their last four at home on TNF.Kansas City has failed to cover five of their last eight against AFC West foes on Thursday.

Read more

Big Al's Daily Angle: MLB and UEFA Champions League Previews and Odds - 09/14/2022

by Big Al Staff

Wednesday, Sep 14, 2022

The Wednesday sports card features action in MLB and the UEFA Champions League.Major League Baseball has 15 games on its schedule. The Cincinnati Reds host the Pittsburgh Pirates at 12:35 PM ET as a -155 money line favorite with the total set at 8 (all odds from DraftKings unless indicated otherwise). Two more MLB games throw out the first pitch at 1:10 PM ET. The Los Angeles Angels travel to Cleveland to play the Guardians. The Houston Astros play at Detroit against the Tigers as a -260 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8. The Chicago White Sox host the Colorado Rockies at 2:10 PM ET as a -240 money line favorite with a total of 7.5. The Atlanta Braves play at San Francisco against the Giants at 3:45 PM ET as a -115 money line road favorite with an over/under of 7.5. The Seattle Mariners are at home against the San Diego Padres at 4:10 PM ET as a -155 money line favorite with a total of 7.5. The Philadelphia Phillies travel to Miami to play the Marlins at 6:40 PM ET as a -130 money line road favorite with an over/under of 7.5. The Baltimore Orioles play at Washington against the Nationals at 7:05 PM ET as a -140 money line road favorite with a total of 8.5. The Toronto Blue Jays are at home against the Tampa Bay Rays at 7:07 PM ET as a -120 money line favorite with an over/under of 7.5. Two more MLB games start at 7:10 PM ET. The New York Yankees visit Boston to play the Red Sox as a -130 money line road favorite with a total of 9. The Chicago Cubs play at New York against the Mets. The Minnesota Twins host the Kansas City Royals at 7:40 PM ET as a -200 money line favorite with an over/under of 7.5. The Milwaukee Brewers play at St. Louis against the Cardinals on FS1 as a -120 money line road favorite with a total of 7. The Texas Rangers are at home against the Oakland A’s at 8:05 PM ET as a -155 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The Los Angeles Dodgers are at Arizona to play the Diamondbacks at 9:40 PM ET. Matchday 2 in the UEFA Champions League concludes with nine group stage matches. Two matches start at 12:45 PM ET. AC Milan hosts Dinamo Zagreb as a -1.5 goal line favorite with a total of 3 (all soccer odds from BetMGM). Celtic visits Shakhtar Donetsk as a -0.5 goal line road favorite with an over/under of 2.5. Seven matches conclude the Champions League card at 3 PM ET. Chelsea plays at home against RB Salzburg as a -1.5 goal line favorite with a total of 3. Real Madrid is at home against RB Leipzig as a -1 goal line favorite with an over/under of 3. Manchester City hosts Borussia Dortmund as a -2 goal line favorite with a total of 3.5. Sevilla is at FC Copenhagen as a -0.5 goal line road favorite with an over/under of 2.5. Juventus plays at home against Benfica as a -0.5 goal line favorite with a total of 2.5. Paris Saint-Germain travels to Maccabi Haifa as a -2.5 goal line road favorite with an over/under of 3.5. Napoli plays on the road against the Rangers as a -0.5 goal line favorite with a total of 2.5.All nine Champions League matches are available on Paramount+. The CBS Sports Network’s “The Golazo Show” is an NFL Red Zone-inspired show that presents live updated highlights of all eight games. 

Read more

NCAAF Inside the Boxscores Week 2 (Part 2)

by Matt Fargo

Tuesday, Sep 13, 2022

Inside the Boxscores is a weekly feature from Matt Fargo that has been widely recognized as one of the best summations in college football. He takes an in-depth look at each game and pulls out the most pertinent information that will help you handicap games in the future. College football is filled with quirky plays, misleading scores and surprise endings. Fargo takes you inside the action. Texas Tech 33, Houston 30Texas Tech dominated the first half with its defense as it took a 17-3 lead into halftime. The offense had three scoring drives of 65 or more yards but the other four first half possessions resulted in three punts that totaled 23 yards of offense and a missed field goal. Houston could get nothing going in the first half as it crossed midfield only three times and managed just one field goal. The Red Raiders were sloppy in the second half with three interceptions, one returned for a touchdown, and they needed a last second field goal to force overtime. Texas Tech outgained Houston 468-354 but it was deceiving as it ran 35 more plays which resulted in a 5.2 to 4.5 yards per play disadvantage. Middle Tennessee St. 34, Colorado St. 19Middle Tennessee St. bounced back with a big road win as it dominated from the start, jumping out to a 34-0 lead before Colorado St. made it look more respectable. The Blue Raiders returned an interception 32 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the game and the offense did its part after that, scoring on five of its first eight possessions with another 10 points coming off turnovers by the Rams. The defense was the real story as Middle Tennessee St. allowed 57 total yards in the first nine Colorado St. possessions, forcing three turnovers and six punts. The Blue Raiders outgained the Rams 380-246 including giving up -10 yards rushing 34 attempts (-0.3 ypc) in part due to having nine sacks for 70 yards. Illinois 24, Virginia 3It was not a good start for Illinois as it turned the ball over twice in its first six offensive plays but allowed just a field goal despite Virginia starting both drives in Illini territory. Illinois was then forced to punt in its next two possessions before the offense got on track, scoring touchdowns on its next two possessions on drives of 57 and 69 yards. The Illini had a chance to add more but fumbled at the goal line following a 96-yard drive and the offense stalled the rest of the way. The defense did the job going forward to make up for it and overall, the Illini outgained the Cavaliers 394-222 but was far from efficient with four turnovers and 10 penalties but did not allow a third down conversion (0-15). Incarnate Word 55, Nevada 41It was bound to catch up for Nevada as it won its first two games thanks to a +9 turnover margin but it was even in this game and got lit up by FCS Incarnate Word. It did start in their favor as the Wolf Pack recovered a fumble on the second play of the game which led to a field goal and then intercepted a pass on the next play which led to a touchdown for a 10-0 lead. Nevada eventually built a 17-3 lead but Incarnate Word scored 35 unanswered points on four touchdown drives of 75, 82 65 and 56 yards while returning a fumble 59 yards for the other score. The Cardinals outgained Nevada 616-478 despite running 24 fewer plays as they had a 8.9 to 5.1 yard per play advantage but committed 19 penalties for 145 yards. Holy Cross 37, Buffalo 31Buffalo jumped out to a 14-0 lead and eventually made it 21-7 before Holy Cross tied the game at 21 and then again at 28 before taking its first lead of the game 31-28 midway through the fourth quarter. Buffalo tied the game on a field goal with 31 seconds left but the Crusaders drove past midfield and won the game on a 46-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass as time expired. The offenses ruled the day as the first eight touchdown drives were all 62 yards or more and it was a clean game with no turnovers although Buffalo did commit 10 penalties for 91 yards. The stats were nearly identical as the Bulls outgained Holy Cross 464-457 on two fewer plays while having two more first downs. Liberty 21, UAB 14After forcing a three and out to open the game, UAB fumbled on its first offensive play but no damage was done. The Blazers punted on their next possession and fumbled again on the next drive but Liberty missed a field goal and UAB took advantage by going 80 yards in four plays to take a 7-0 lead. The Flames tied the game early in the second quarter which ended the scoring for both teams before the half. Liberty added a pair of touchdowns and was ready to put the game away but fumbled on its own 20-yard line and UAB punched it in but the Blazers never got the ball back as Liberty was able to run out the clock. The Flames outgained UAB 390-355 and benefitted from four fumbles. East Carolina 39, Old Dominion 21East Carolina went 70 yards on its opening possession but had to settle for a 22-yard field goal and after forcing a three and out, went 62 yards on the next possession to take a 9-0 lead. Old Dominion countered with a 75-yard touchdown drive and the Pirates were able to extend the lead to 16-7 at halftime thanks to a 13-play, 90-yard touchdown drive. The Monarchs got to within two points again after their first second half possession and then East Carolina took over with four scores on its next five possessions. The Pirates outgained Old Dominion 531-290, had a 30-12 first down edge and had the ball for nearly 22 more minutes. The Monarchs rushed for just 15 yards on 14 carries (1.1 ypc). Kansas 55, West Virginia 42The Mountaineers jumped ahead 14-0 and they scored a touchdown on their first four possessions to take another two-touchdown lead 28-14 before Kansas roared back. The Jayhawks scored a touchdown on three of their next four possessions to take a seven-point lead which eventually went to 11 points but West Virginia kicked a field goal and then tied the game with 35 seconds left to force overtime. Kansas scored on its overtime possession and then returned an interception 86 yards for the final margin. The Mountaineers outgained Kansas 511-419 but did run 12 more plays. The Jayhawks were efficient in the passing game and rushed for 200 yards on 36 carries (5.6 ypc) while going 11-15 on third down.Tulsa 38, Northern Illinois 35Tulsa took the opening kickoff and went 75-yards to take a 7-0 lead and eventually went ahead 17-0. Northern Illinois missed a field goal on its first possession and then after three straight punts, grabbed an interception which led to a touchdown but the Golden Hurricane went 69 yards in four plays to take a 24-7 lead into the break. The Huskies made the halftime adjustments and scored a touchdown on all three third quarter possessions and after trading touchdowns, Tulsa scored the game winner with 56 seconds left and intercepted a pass four plays later to seal the win. Tulsa outgained the Huskies 429-385 thanks to a potent passing attack that gained 322 yards on a 16.9 yards per completion average. Louisiana 49, Eastern Michigan 21The Eagles went 75 yards on their opening possession to grab a 7-0 lead and after punting on its next three possessions, they went 88 yards on 11 plays to take a 14-0 halftime lead. Louisiana had nothing going on offense, punting on its first four possessions and it had just 95 total yards when it began its second possession of the third quarter and then went off, scoring touchdowns on their next seven possessions. Eastern Michigan did have the lead 21-14 but 35 unanswered Cajuns points made it a runaway. The Eagles had five second half turnovers that led to 28 points and Louisiana outgained Eastern Michigan 459-361 as it held the Eagles to 41 yards rushing on 23 carries (1.8 ypc). Kentucky 26, Florida 16The Florida defense started strong as it forced Kentucky to punt on its first three possessions but the Gators only had a 3-0 lead before Kentucky finally scored by going 67 yards in two plays to take a 7-3 lead. Florida followed that up with another field goal then had an interception that led to a 34-yard touchdown drive and tacked on a safety to take a 16-13 lead at the half. The offense completely imploded in the second half as the Gators punted twice, threw an interception and turned it over on downs twice as they got outscored 13-0. Florida outgained Kentucky 279-272 yet managed only 12 first downs and allowed only 70 yards rushing on 38 carries (1.8 ypc) but gave up 15.5 yards per completion. Oklahoma 33, Kent St. 3Oklahoma did not dominate like it was expected to as it started the game with four straight punts and Kent St. was able to take a 3-0 lead early in the second quarter before the Sooners finally got the offense going with a 76-yard drive capped by a 36-yard touchdown pass with 18 seconds left in the first half. Oklahoma scored on its first four second half possessions to put the game away but they struggled again late with only 31 total yards in the fourth quarter on four possessions. The Sooners won the yardage battle 430-295 as the Golden Flashes did do a good job keeping the ball away from Oklahoma as they had the ball for over 12 more minutes while the Sooners were just 3-12 on third down. Texas St. 41, Florida International 12Texas St. opened the game with a punt in its first possession and then forced Florida International to punt in its first two possessions and the Bobcats turned those into points with a field goal and a two-play, 68-yard touchdown drive. The Panthers responded with a field goal and two possessions later, Texas St. added a touchdown on another two-play drive that went 53 yards. Florida International added another field goal before halftime to make it a 14-point game. Texas St. pulled away in the fourth quarter with an interception for a touchdown capping the scoring. The Bobcats outgained the Panthers 452-313 and held them to 62 yards rushing on 22 carries (2.8 ypc) and just three rushing first downs. Syracuse 48, Connecticut 14Syracuse took control early as it jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter and after allowing a touchdown, the Orange put up 10 more points to take a 27-7 lead to the half. Syracuse pulled away for good in the quarter as it completed a run of seven straight scoring drives to open the game that totaled 409 yards. The Huskies two scoring drives were 154 yards combined and their other nine possessions resulted in only 48 total yards that included six possessions that were three and outs. Syracuse outgained Connecticut 470-202 and ran 31 more plays while controlling the time of possession by almost 10 more minutes. The Orange rushing game was not good though with 156 yards on 51 carries (3.1 ypc). Toledo 55, Massachusetts 10The Rockets opened the game with touchdowns on their first four possessions, two coming on short fields after a punt and a turnover on downs and two longer scoring drives of 64 yards to account for the other two. Massachusetts was able to close the first half with a touchdown with seven seconds remaining to make it a 28-7 score but Toledo did not let up on offense as it scored in its first two possessions on 75 and 80-yard drives. The Minutemen added a meaningless 24-yard field goal with 23 seconds left. Toledo outgained Massachusetts 411-253, posting a 6.5 to 3.6 yard per play edge and the Minutemen were held to 48 yards passing on a mere 6.9 yards per completion. Weber St. 35, Utah St. 7The Utah St. offense started with a pair of punts and then after allowing a field goal after the second one, the Aggies returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown but little did it know, that would be it. After that, Utah St. had 12 possessions that resulted in four interceptions, five punts and three turnovers on downs with half of those drives producing single-digit yardage. Weber St. had no problem with its offense that worked the majority of the day on a short field and the Wildcats scored a 33-yard touchdown on one of those interceptions. Weber St. outgained the Aggies 401-283 and it nearly doubled Utah St. in completion average at 18.4 to 9.8 and held the ball for nearly 12 more minutes. Oklahoma St. 34, Arizona St. 17Arizona St. opened the game with the first score on a first quarter field goal and it took awhile for Oklahoma St. to get its offense going as in its first five possessions, it punted four times and threw an interception deep in Sun Devils territory. The Cowboys took the lead midway through the second quarter as they recovered a fumble and went 37 yards for a touchdown and they closed the first half with a pair of scores to take a 17-3 lead. Arizona St. did not go away as it cut the lead to three points before a pair of Cowboys touchdowns closed it. Oklahoma St. outgained Arizona St. 465-354 but it took 23 more plays and they were on the wrong end of the yard per play averages at 5.8 to 5.5Georgia Southern 45, Nebraska 42It was a fast paced game in the first half as Georgia Southern and Nebraska went back and forth and ended the first 30 minutes in a 28-28 tie while combining for 689 yards of total offense on 83 plays. The second half was also back and forth but not as explosive with just 31 total points as four of the five scoring drives were 75 or more yards. The Eagles regained the lead twice before Nebraska took a 42-38 lead with 3:05 remaining but Georgia Southern went 75 yards in 11 plays to take back the lead and Nebraska missed a game tying field goal as time expired. The Eagles outgained the Huskers 642-575 and while Nebraska won the turnover battle 2-0, it was hurt by 10 penalties that awarded the Eagles four first downs. USC 41, Stanford 28USC scored touchdowns on its first five possessions to take a 35-14 lead into halftime. The Trojans got a pair of third quarter field goals as the offense went basic vanilla with the game in hand and the Cardinal added two late garbage touchdowns to make it a more respectable final score. Four of those first five touchdown drives were 83, 93, 75 and 98 yards as USC racked up 505 yards of offense while Stanford had 441 yards but 145 of those were on those two late touchdown drives. Both teams completed 20 passes and it was the Trojans that were much more explosive as they averaged 17.1 yards per completion while the Cardinal had an average of 11.0. Stanford ran 17 more plays despite an even time of possession. Auburn 25, San Jose St. 16Auburn won an ugly game as it went into halftime trailing 10-7 and the Tigers opened the second half with a 69-yard touchdown drive to take the lead it would not give back. They scored on their first three possessions of the second half to build a double-digit lead and the Spartans would not go home quiet as they added a pair of field goals to make it a one possession game but failed on the onsides kick and Auburn was able to run out the final 2:11. The Tigers only outgained San Jose St. 378-329 but did run eight fewer plays and had a 6.2 to 4.8 yards per play edge. The passing defense gave up a lot of yards but did not break and the Tigers allowed only 54 yards rushing on 29 carries (1.9 ypc). Virginia Tech 27, Boston College 10After an interception on the Eagles second play from scrimmage, the Hokies scored a touchdown after a seven-play, 14-yard drive. Virginia Tech punted on its next possession and then scored on the next two drives to take a 17-0 lead. Boston College closed the first half with a field goal and opened the second half with a touchdown to cut the Hokies lead to seven points but the Virginia Tech defense stepped up by allowing 18 total yards over the final four Boston College possessions. The Hokies outgained the Eagles 284-155 and had the edge in yards per play at 4.1 to 2.6 so both offenses were not in synch. Virginia Tech held Boston College to four yards rushing on 26 carries (0.2 ypc) with five sacks helping that average. Michigan 56, Hawaii 10The Wolverines came out strong as expected as they scored touchdowns on six of eight first half possessions while forcing Hawaii to punt on all eight of its possessions in the first 30 minutes. Michigan led 42-0 at the break while outgaining the Warriors 410-51 and it let up the rest of the way with the game in hand. The Wolverines outgained Hawaii 588-253 and the Warriors yards were obviously skewed by going against the non-starters for most of the second half. Michigan faced only six third downs, converting two, and it averaged a whopping 10.7 yards per play by running only 55 plays while the defense allowed 7.0 fewer yards per play. There were only four penalties combined the entire game. UTEP 20, New Mexico St. 13UTEP took its opening possession 63 yards in 17 plays to set up a field goal and then each team drove deep into the opponents territory on their next possessions but turned it over, New Mexico St. with an interception and UTEP with a fumble. The Miners got back on the scoreboard in the second quarter with a pair of touchdowns just over a minute apart as they went 65 yards for a score and then recovered a fumble and scored again a play later to take a 17-0 lead into halftime. The Aggies cut the lead to 20-13 late in the fourth quarter and got the ball back but fumbled at the UTEP 14-yard line. The Aggies outgained UTEP 298-261 but all three turnovers proved costly. BYU 26, Baylor 20The Cougars jumped ahead early as it went 65 yards and had to settle for a 27-yard field goal. The defense did its job as it forced four punts on the first four Baylor possessions but its own offense mirrored that by punting on its next four possessions and the Bears scored the first touchdown late in the second quarter to take a 6-3 but the Cougars went 75 yard in eight plays to regain the lead. There were two more lead changes before the game was tied at 20 and BYU missed a field goal to win the game. The Cougars scored in the second overtime to win after a fourth down stop. BYU won the yardage battle 366-289 as penalties hurt both offenses, 14-117 for Baylor and 9-74 for BYU. Oregon St. 35, Fresno St. 32Oregon St. struck first on a 13-play, 47-yard drive to take a 7-0 lead and after Fresno St. tied the game on it next possession, the Beavers scored it second touchdown midway through the second quarter. The Bulldogs then scored on their next four possessions, two field goals to end the first half and 10 points to open the second half to take a nine-point lead and Oregon St. eventually retook the lead with 1:50 left in the game before the Bulldogs thought they won the game with a go ahead touchdown with 1:05 left but Oregon St. went 75 yards in five plays and scored the game winner as time ran out. Fresno St. won the yardage battle 492-397 but ran 11 more plays and had just a 0.4 yards per play edge. Mississippi St. 39, Arizona 17Arizona got on the scoreboard first as it went 75 yards in six plays to take a 7-0 lead but Mississippi St. scored 15 straight points and took an 18-10 lead into halftime. The Bulldogs opened the second half with a touchdown drive of 75 yards to go up by 15 points and then grabbed an interception but fumbled on their first play which led to a four-yard touchdown drive for Arizona. Mississippi put up the final two touchdowns to pull away. The Bulldogs outgained Arizona 426-316 and the run defense was stout as they allowed just 40 yards on 22 carries (1.8 ypc). Both teams committed three turnovers with Mississippi converting their into 14 points and Arizona converting theirs into 10 points. 

Read more

NFL Top 10 (Thru Week 1)

by Wayne Root

Tuesday, Sep 13, 2022

There really weren’t any surprises in the top two or the top six. This early in the season after one game, it just shows to expect the unexpected and that anything can happen on any given Sunday. Don’t worry if you don’t see your team as this Top 10 will play out with the real talent coming to the top in time for the playoffs. 1. BUFFALO BILLS After their showing against the Rams, there is no doubt they should be in this top spot. They sent a message to the rest of the league with that victory. Josh Allen played like an MVP favorite, and the Bills' front seven dominated the trenches, making life miserable for Matthew Stafford. On paper entering this season, it looked like Buffalo had the most complete team in football. One game in, the on-field product supports that notion 2. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS Who misses whom first? Will it be Patrick Mahomes missing Tyreek Hill first or Tyreek missing Patrick first?Mahomes showed against the Cardinals that he can still play at a high level without Tyreek Hill. That offense will be just fine. Mahomes completed passes to nine different receivers and threw five touchdown passes, connecting with four different targets for scores. The heart of the attack remained Travis Kelce (8/121/1 on nine targets), but an eye-opening 2022 debut from Clyde Edwards-Helaire makes you wonder if Andy Reid’s new-look attack will turn the running back into the impact chess piece. 3. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS The Chargers had to play one of the most hyped and widely bet games of the week. The Chargers received impact performances from a host of newcomers in a promising 24-19 win over the Raiders. It was OLB Khalil Mack that had three of L.A.'s six sacks of a rattled Derek Carr at SoFi Stadium and was instrumental in defeating his former team. Justin Herbert was predictably great, finding ways to move the offense even after Keenan Allen left the game. With that passer in Justin Herbert and those pass rushers in Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa, they have the two main things needed to win it all. Now they have a chance to show the Chiefs this week in a big early game. On their wish list for Thursday night vs Kansas City, will J.C. Jackson, the team's prized free-agent addition at cornerback, make his debut? The Bolts sure could use him with that Mahomes guy taking aim.  4. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS An elderly Tom Brady has to get recognized for going into Jerry’s Place and coming away with a win. Dallas injuries or not. The defense really impressed against the Cowboys. But the banged-up offense looked off at times. The offensive line has injuries, which isn't a good thing going to New Orleans. Todd Bowles built his reputation as a defensive wizard and a 19- 3 final should ring out to other teams that the defense is there to match their offense. Did you notice Julio Jones in his Bucs debut? They’re hoping for a sudden impact from him The Bucs did suffer two injuries.  5. MINNESOTA VIKINGS The Vikings got off to an impressive start in beating the Packers in dominant fashion. The defense really impressed and Justin Jefferson was unstoppable. Jefferson, the third-year superstar was untouchable on Sunday against the Packers, piling up nine catches for 184 yards and two touchdowns in a 23-7 win over the three-time defending division champs.Give some credit to new coach and play caller Kevin O'Connell, who moved Jefferson around the field and appears ready to use his top receiver in more imaginative ways than previously seen in Minnesota. Kirk Cousins cupboard is filled and he’s one game up on the three-time defending division champs.6. BALTIMORE RAVENSBaltimore's defense dominated, routinely collapsing the pocket on old friend Joe Flacco. When the Jets did move the ball, the Ravens bowed up near midfield and forced timely turnovers. It wasn't always pretty against the Jets, but Lamar Jackson got it going in the second half. It will get a lot tougher for this offense going forward. Jackson was on target as a passer, connecting on three scores -- two to Devin Duvernay, who delivered an intriguing performance for a team in need of playmakers. It remains to be seen if the bitter frustrations of 2021 are over. Let’s not get overly excited tho as they played the NY Jets.  7. PHILADELPHIA EAGLESNew No. 1 wide receiver A.J. Brown was an immediate-impact playmaker, piling up 10 catches for 155 yards on 13 targets. Meanwhile, the tandem of Jalen Hurts and Miles Sanders rushing behind a stout offensive line has the potential to turn Philly into a matchup nightmare for any opponent. If Jalen Hurts can play like he did against the Lions, this could be a deep playoff team. The defense was not good, though, which has to be a concern.This offense is going to be a problem for teams. The Eagles rolled up 455 yards on 10 possessions against the Lions in a 38-35 win. Hopefully their fourth quarter was an anomaly.  8. NEW ORLEANS SAINTSThe type of Jameis Winston performance against the Atlanta Falcons will make believers out of doubters. The polarizing quarterback was shut down along with the rest of the Saints’ offense for the better part of three quarters against the Falcons, but Winston went off on back-to-back drives that changed the game in the fourth quarter. Winston was 11 of 12 for 156 yards with two touchdown passes to Michael Thomas during that stretch, capping his day with a final march that set up Wil Lutz’s game-winning field goal. They fortunately found a way against the Falcons, but it wasn't pretty. What happened to a defense that was supposed to be so dominant? They better get it going against Tampa Bay. 9. MIAMI DOLPHINS Want a sign of the times in the shifting AFC East? Is this a meaningful stat? Tua Tagovailoa is now 4-0 in his career against Bill Belichick. Miami has surpassed New England -- Buffalo is the new target. The Dolphins beat the Patriots and never were really threatened, thanks to the defense. Tua Tagovailoa was good, but the offense still only scored one touchdown. Tyreek Hill and Tua Tagovailoa displayed the chemistry teased during the summer, connecting eight times for 94 yards on 12 targets which might not be enough moving forward. Melvin Ingram and Co. held New England’s undercooked attack to just 271 yards and a single scoring drive.  10. PITTSBURGH STEELERS Coach Mike Tomlin has to be in the lead for Coach of the Year after his offense and defense were tested on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Steelers forced Joe Burrow into five turnovers, the front seven piled up six sacks and Chris Boswell’s long field goal secured an overtime win over the defending AFC champion Bengals. The defense came up big in the overtime victory over the Bengals. The loss of T.J. Watt is a damning blow to the defense, which will put more pressure on the offense.The offense under Mitch Trubisky was pedestrian, Najee Harris exited the game with a foot injury but will return this week and reigning Defensive Player of the Year T.J. Watt appears likely to miss at least several weeks which would be a blow to any team. That only leaves coaching to give the game ball to for this win. __________________Other teams that won and if they win back to back would possibly move up.  In no particular order: A. Seattle B. Cleveland C. NY GiantsD. Chicago BearsE. Washington Commanders 

Read more

NFL Week 2 (The Best and Worst!)

by AAA Sports

Tuesday, Sep 13, 2022

BEST GAMELos Angeles Chargers at Kansas City (-3.5) (Thursday night)Los Angeles 1-0 SU, 1-0 ATSKansas City 1-0 SU, 1-0 ATSAnyone who thought that the Chiefs might be taking their foot off the accelerator pedal was dope-slapped last week when KC went into Arizona and took apart the Cardinals to the tune of 488 total yards --  and 37 points in the first three quarters. KC just looks ready to dominate, even in the tough-as-nails AFC West. The Chargers will probably have to find some kind of a running game (they had just 79 on the ground in their Week 1 win over Las Vegas) to keep this one close. The half-point is enticing, especially if history is any guide – KC started last season 2-7 ATS.WORST GAME New York Jets at Cleveland (-6.5)New York – 0-1 SU, 0-1 ATSCleveland – 1-0 SU, 1-0 ATSIf the Jets were a college team, they would be every team’s Homecoming Weekend opponent. They were out of it early in the opener against the Ravens, forcing Joe Flacco to throw 59 passes – and that’s never a good sign. If the Jets want to avert a journey on another Road to Nowhere, Cleveland would be a good place to start. The Browns are in Waiting for Watson mode, making do with Jacoby Brissette. It was enough against Carolina, but Cleveland will no doubt pound the ball on the ground for at least the first half of the season.LARGEST SPREAD Atlanta at Los Angeles Rams (-10.5)Atlanta – 0-1 SU, 1-0 ATSLos Angeles – 0-1 SU, 0-1 ATSThe Falcons proved to the world that they don’t need Matt Ryan to blow huge leads at home. A total of 416 yards of offense went dust in the wind when Atlanta blew a 16-point fourth-period lead vs. New Orleans and couldn’t get a potential game-winning field goal past the line of scrimmage. The reward for that mess is a visit to the West Coast, where the Rams – licking their own wounds after a humbling 21-point loss at home to the Bills – await. The defending champs will show no mercy if they get ahead. SMALLEST SPREAD Washington at Detroit (-1.5)Washington 1-0 SU, 1-0 ATSDetroit 0-1 SU, 1-0 ATSThe Lions got a back-door cover with 14 late unanswered points in Week 1 vs. the Eagles, and they do have a decent running game which should at least keep them competitive this season. Washington got a W against Jacksonville, but it wasn’t easy – and no one is expecting great things from Carson Wentz this season. The total – 49.5 – is a bit high for two teams that will be spending this week making defensive adjustments.LARGEST TOTAL Minnesota at Philadelphia (52.5)Minnesota 1-0 SU, 1-0 ATSPhiladelphia 1-0 SU 0-1 ATSChargers-Chiefs is actually 54.5, but that’s covered earlier, so we’ll look at this one. This total is directly linked to Philadelphia’s offense and defense. The Eagles actually showed impressive balance (216 yards rushing, 239 passing) in beating the Lions this past week, a win which no doubt has them thinking Why Not Us? in a wide-open NFC East? Jalen Hurts (18 for 32) reminded no one of Johnny Unitas, but a win is a win, and with a soft first-half schedule, beating Minnesota could enable Philly to float to the top of the division by Halloween.LOWEST TOTAL New England at Pittsburgh (40.5)New England 0-1 SU, 0-1 ATSPittsburgh 1-0 SU, 1-0 ATSThe Steelers are a slight underdog in this one, which is head-scratching considering they’re at home against a Patriots team that is walking in quicksand, has not yet shown any signs of life, and is led by a quarterback who might be nursing an injured back. Hard to figure out what the oddsmakers see here, other than the fact that New England always seems to play well in Pittsburgh. Don’t expect too many passes from Mac Jones as the Pats offense keeps trying to figure things out in the post-Cam Newton Era.

Read more

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

© 2022 Al McMordie's BigAl.com. All Rights Reserved.