NEWS
|
FORUM
|
SCHEDULE
|
VIDEOS
|
STATS DATABASE
|
PODCAST
|
SALARY CAP
LATEST PATRIOTS COVERAGE:
Get Social With PatsFans.com:

Thursday Night AFC East Football: Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins

Week Eleven kicks off Thursday night with a pair of AFC East rivals meeting in south Florida as the Bills play the Dolphins in a battle of 5-4 clubs. Both teams failed to take advantage of an opportunity to improve their playoff chances when they both lost last week, which sets this up as a crucial game for both clubs. With eleven teams in the AFC owning winning records, this becomes a virtual elimination game. Even though both teams are just a half game behind Cincinnati – who currently holds the sixth seed in the AFC playoff race – with so many teams with winning records, that becomes a huge obstacle for tonight’s loser. Whoever loses will find themselves in 11th or 12th place in the conference next Monday, and that’s just too many teams to realistically expect to be able to pass in the standings with just six more games left to play in the regular season – and both still having to play both Denver and New England during that final stretch.

Who: Buffalo Bills (5-4) at Miami Dolphins (5-4)
When: 8:25 pm ET, Thursday November 13
Where: Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens FL
Television: NFL Network
TelevisionAnnouncers: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson
Weather: Not a factor: 64° at kickoff with just a very slight wind (5 mph) and zero chance of precipitation. Humidity at 74%.

Points Scored: Bills 21.2 (23rd), Dolphins 25.2 (11th)
Yards per Game: Bills 331 (23rd), Dolphins 350 (14th)
Points Allowed: Bills 20.2 (7th), Dolphins 19.0 (5th)
Yards Allowed: Bills 321 (6th), Dolphins 310 (4th)
Turnover Differential: Both teams with a +5 (T-7th)
Takeaways: Both teams with 19 (Tied for 2nd)
Giveaways: Both teams with 14 (Tied for 13th)
One other statistic of note: the Bills rank dead last in the NFL in red zone touchdown scoring, at 41.2%. Last week against the Chiefs they were 0-4 in the red zone; considering Buffalo lost by only four points, that lack of production within the twenty was a killer.

 

Odds and Trends

The Bills are a meager 2-9 in their last eleven road games within the division. Since winning their first two games to spark talk about the playoffs, Buffalo has cooled off with only three victories since September 14. However, the Bills haven’t been all that bad when they travel this season. The Bills are 3-1 away from the Ralph; that’s the best road record in the AFC and tied with Arizona and Detroit for the second best road record in the NFL this year.

Miami had won three straight and four out of five before losing by four points at Detroit last week. They have however lost three in a row against Buffalo. In the last seven meetings the favorite has usually covered, going 6-1 against the spread. Overall Miami leads the all-time series over Buffalo with a 57-43-1 record against the Bills. The last time these two met was in week two when the Bills won at home 29-10 when EJ Manuel was still quarterback, going 16-26 while Miami turned the ball over twice. The Dolphins are 11-5 in their last 16 home games.

Miami -4½
Over/Under 41
Money Line: Buffalo +175, Miami -210

The line was up to as high as six points earlier this week, with a low of four. The fluctuation was stimulated primarily with talk and rumors about Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who got beat up a bit against the Lions and emerged with shoulder and ankle injuries. The Dolphins will also be without starting LT Branden Albert, who went on season-ending injured reserve earlier this week with a right knee injury – also suffered in the loss to Detroit. The point total has dropped from 42½ to 41 the last few days, presumably with the thought that those two injuries may stagnate Miami’s offense. Early on in the week the money came in very heavily on Miami’s side, but the late wagering has been more on Buffalo; as of Thursday the public was 55-45 on the side of the Dolphins. The money on the point total started heavily on the under, but as that number dropped the wagering ended up on the other side, finishing with 63% of the cash on the side of the over.

 

I think Buffalo will bounce back and grind out a win, running the ball 40+ times. Both teams have very good defenses, ranking near the top in the NFL in points allowed, yards allowed and yards per play. However, the Dolphins are more banged up. Besides the injuries to Albert and Tannehill, starting CB Cortland Finnegan (ankle) is not expected to play, and starting RB Lamar Miller is still less than 100% with a shoulder injury. With Albert gone for the season Ju’Wuan James moves from RT to LT, Dallas Thomas shifts from guard to RT, and Shelley Smith takes over at LG. Thomas was an issue for the offensive line at LG; he becomes even more of a liability playing tackle, especially against a good defense.

I jumped on the Bills at 5½ earlier in the week, but I would hesitate to open my wallet for them if you’re only getting four. Similarly I took under 42½ early, but the current 41 is just too low for my tastes.

Pick • Bills 22, Dolphins 19
Bills +5½ (two units)
under 42½ (two units)
Bills +175 (one unit)
Parlay: Bills +5½ and under 42½ (one unit)
Teaser: Bills +11½ and under 36½ (two units)

 

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the publisher of this website. Neither the author nor this website promote or advocate gambling. This is solely for entertainment purposes only. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, please call 1-888-ADMIT-IT.

 

Follow on Twitter @AllThingsPats

2014 NFL Calendar and Key Dates for the New England Patriots

2014 New England Patriots Transaction Tracker

 

 

Week 11 NFL and College Television Coverage and Odds

The Patriots come off their bye week with a big AFC game Sunday night at Indianapolis. Cincinnati at New Orleans is the best early game on CBS; their only late game is Oakland at San Diego. This week FOX has the doubleheader, with Seattle at Kansas City or the Niners at the Giants as their top early games. Philadelphia at Green Bay was originally scheduled to be an early game, but that has been pushed back to the late afternoon to become primary late game in front of an almost-national audience. While that move is not unexpected, it also unfortunately relegates another great matchup between teams with the two best records in the NFC – Detroit at Arizona – as a game that will be unavailable in most homes. With those two games on at the same time it may well be worth a trip to my local sports bar with the Sunday Ticket that has those games on side-by-side; that will make for a great warmup to the Pats-Colts game Sunday night on NBC.

Thursday night the Bills are at Miami on the NFL Network. Both teams lost Sunday, and both need a win to stay in serious contention for a wildcard playoff spot. The week wraps up Monday night with Pittsburgh at Tennessee. The Steelers have struggled against inferior opponents – they’ve lost to one-win Tampa Bay and the two-win Jets, and barely beat Jacksonville – and currently trail Cincinnati for the final playoff slot.

Here is a preliminary look at what games will be broadcast where. As always, keep in mind that this is based on decisions made at FOX and CBS national headquarters. Individual local television stations have the option of requesting a change in which game they broadcast, and those requests are rarely denied.

 

Buffalo Bills (5-4) at Miami Dolphins (5-4) ★★★
Thursday night game on NFLN
Announcing crew: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson
Dolphins favored by 5, with a point total of 42
The line was 4 on Sunday and went up to as high as 6 after Buffalo’s home loss; right now it ranges from 5 to 5½ depending on where you shop. The over/under was at 42½ and has dropped to 41½ at some venues.
As of Tuesday afternoon 75% of the money was on the Dolphins, with 59% on the over.
The money line is Buffalo +200 and Miami -240, with 78% of the early bets going with the Dolphins.
Broadcast in all US television markets

Houston Texans (4-5) at Cleveland Browns (6-3) ★★
Early game on CBS
Announcing crew: Andrew Catalon, Steve Beuerlein, Steve Tasker
Browns favored by 3, with a point total of 42½
The line has fluctuated between 3 and 3½ since Sunday, while the over under is as low as 41½ at some locations.
As of Tuesday afternoon 72% of the money was on the Browns, and 77% on the over.
The early money line is Houston +155 and Cleveland -175.
Broadcast in 24 markets, including most of Ohio, Arkansas and Texas.

Minnesota Vikings (4-5) at Chicago Bears (3-6) ★★★
Early game on CBS (yes, cross-flexed to CBS)
Announcing crew: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon, Stacey Dales
Bears favored by 3, with a point total of 47
Chicago was favored by 5 points before they were annihilated at Green Bay Sunday night, and the over/under ranges from 46 to 47½ at various locations.
Two thirds of the early money was placed on the Bears, with a whopping 92% on the under.
The early money line has Chicago -180 and Minnesota +160.
Broadcast in 38 markets, including Indiana (except Indianapolis), Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota

Seattle Seahawks (6-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (6-3) ★★★★
Early game on FOX
Announcing crew: Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa
Chiefs favored by 1½, with a point total of 43
In some venues Seattle was favored by as much as 2½ early in the week, but that has moved after early money went with the Chiefs after KC’s victory at Buffalo. The over/under has remained steady at 42½ or 43.
Most of the initial money went with Seattle, but by Tuesday afternoon it had evened out to a 58-42 split in favor of the Seahawks; the under held a slim 53-47% margin.
The money line is Seattle +100 and Kansas City -120.
Broadcast in 31 markets, including Missouri (except St. Louis), Tulsa, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

Atlanta Falcons (3-6) at Carolina Panthers (3-5-1) ★★
Early game on FOX
Announcing crew: Thom Brennaman, David Diehl, Laura Okmin
Panthers favored by 2½, with a point total of 47½
This game opened with Carolina as 2-point favorites, and it is now up to 3 in some locations.
Most of the early money came on Carolina’s side, but that has steadily dropped to a 50-50 split as of Tuesday afternoon.
The money line is at Atlanta +105 and Carolina -125.
Broadcast in 28 markets, including Bowling Green KY, eastern Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Alabama and northern Louisiana.

Cincinnati Bengals (5-3-1) at New Orleans Saints (4-5) ★★★★
Early game on CBS
Announcing crew: Greg Gumbel, Trent Green, Evan Washburn
Saints favored by 6½, with a point total of 50½
Early on the line was 5½, but the early money has been on New Orleans’ side, pushing that up a point. The over/under has moved up two points after opening at 48½ – perhaps due in part to the public no longer believing in the Bengals defense.
Over 70% of the early wagers have been in favor of the Saints, with virtually all of the point total money on the side of over.
The money line has Cincinnati at +235 and New Orleans -275.
Broadcast in 48 markets, including Pennsylvania (except Philadelphia), Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina (except Charlotte), South Carolina, Georgia, Panama City, Tallahassee, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.

Tampa Bay (1-8) at Washington (3-6)
Early game on FOX
Announcing crew: Dick Stockton, Kirk Morrison, Kristina Pink
Skins favored by 7, with a point total of 45
The line opened at 6½, but has edged up slightly after the Bucs lost at home to Atlanta. The over under has been steady at 45-45½.
There has been about a 50-50 split on the line thus far, but well over 90% of the early money has gone for the over.
The money line is Tampa Bay +245 and Washington -275.
Broadcast in 15 markets, including DC, Maryland, Virginia, central Florida, Eau Claire and LaCrosse.

Denver Broncos (7-2) at St. Louis Rams (3-6) ★★
Early game on CBS
Announcing crew: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Jenny Dell
Broncos favored by 9½, with a point total of 50½
One venue opened at 8 points, but right now it’s 9½ at most places, with a couple of venues at 10. The over/under is ranging from 50½ to 51½.
More than 80% are taking the Rams plus the points thus far, while two thirds are betting on the over.
The money line opened at Denver -470 and Rams +400, but Broncos money has moved that to Den -485 and StL +385.
Broadcast in most of the US, including New England, New York (except NYC), Philadelphia, Virginia, Tennessee, Indianapolis, Florida (except Tampa and the panhandle), Missouri (except Kansas), Dallas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Alaska and Hawaii.

San Francisco 49ers (5-4) at New York Giants (3-6) ★★★
Early game on FOX
Announcing crew: Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch, Pam Oliver
Niners favored by 4½, with a point total of 43½
Sunday afternoon San Fran was only a 2½ point favorite, but that has climbed up to 4½ after beating the Saints in New Orleans, while the Giants did not look good at Seattle. The over/under has dropped a point and a half after opening at 45.
More than 85% of the early money is in favor of the Giants plus the points, while 65% are taking the over.
The money line is San Francisco -200 and the Giants +178.
Broadcast in New England and most of rest of the country.

Oakland Raiders (0-9) at San Diego Chargers (5-4) ★★
Late game on CBS
Announcing crew: Spero Dedes, Solomon Wilcots, Scott Kaplan
Chargers favored by 10, with a point total of 44½
Even though San Diego has not won a game since October 12, the line has moved from 8 points to 10; that’s because the Raiders have now lost 15 games in a row. The over/under has been steady at 44½ or 45, depending on where you shop.
70% of the early money favors the Chargers to cover as well as under 44½.
The money line opened with San Diego -550 and Oakland +425.
Broadcast in 23 markets, including New York City, Washington DC, Charlotte, Tampa, Kansas City, Reno, California, Oregon and Washington.

Detroit Lions (7-2) at Arizona Cardinals (8-1) ★★★★
Late game on FOX
Announcing crew: Chris Myers, Ronde Barber, Jennifer Hale
Cardinals favored by 1½, with a point total of 41½
Arizona opened as 3 point favorites, but that has quickly dropped to as low as 1 point in some locations. The over/under has inched down as well, from 43 to as low as 41.
72% are taking the Lions and the points as of Tuesday afternoon, with 53% going with the under.
The money line has Arizona at -125 and Detroit +110.
Broadcast in 30 markets, including Michigan, Toledo, South Bend, Arizona, western Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and northern California.

Philadelphia Eagles (6-2) at Green Bay Packers (6-3) ★★★★
Late game on FOX
Announcing crew:
Packers favored by 6, with a point total of 54
This one has already bounced between 4½ and 7 points – and that’s before the Eagles-Panthers game on Monday night. The over/under dropped from 54 to 53, but has now moved back up to 54.
Two thirds of the money is falling on Green Bay’s side, with 75% on the over.
The money line has Green Bay -250 and Philly +210.
Broadcast everywhere except in those markets showing the Lions-Cardinals game.

New England Patriots (7-2) at Indianapolis Colts (6-3) ★★★★★
Sunday night game on NBC
Announcing crew: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya
Colts favored by 2½, with a point total of 57½
The line has remained steady thus far at 2½ points, while the over/under moved up from 55 to 58 points Monday.
63% of the early bettors are backing the Patriots, with 89% taking the over.
The money line is hovering around Indy -140 and New England +125.
Broadcast in all markets

Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4) at Tennessee Titans (2-7) ★★
Monday night game on ESPN
Announcing crew: Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters
Steelers favored by 5, with a point total of 47.
Despite Pittsburgh’s loss to the Jets, this line shot up from 3½ to 5½ points in many locations Monday; the over/under has fluctuated between 46 and 47½.
98% of the early money is on the side of Tennessee at home plus the points, with 94% taking the under.
The money line opened at Pittsburgh -230 and Tennessee +200; that too has shifted, to Steelers -245 and Titans +195.
Broadcast in all markets

Bye week: Dallas (7-3), Washington (3-6), NY Jets (2-8) and Jacksonville (1-9)

 

Here is a look at this week’s college football games; all times are eastern time zone:

Wed Nov 12
8:00 — Ball State at UMass
8:00 — Kent State at Bowling Green (ESPN2)

Thur Nov 13
7:00 — East Carolina at Cincinnati (ESPN2)
8:00 — Southern Miss at UTSA (CBS Sports Network)
9:00 — California at UCLA (ESPN)

Fri Nov 14
8:00 — Tulsa at Central Florida (ESPN2)

Sat Nov 15
Noon — #14 Ohio State at Minnesota (ABC)
Noon — #21 Clemson at #24 Georgia Tech (ESPN)
Noon — Virginia Tech at #22 Duke (espnU)
Noon — Temple at Penn State (ESPN2)
Noon — Army at Western Kentucky (CBS Sports Network)
Noon — Iowa at Illinois (Big 10 Network)
Noon — South Carolina at Florida (SEC Network)
12:30 – Pittsburgh at North Carolina (espn3)
1:00 — Miami (OH) at Central Michigan (espn3)
2:00 — Nevada at Air Force
2:00 — Eastern Michigan at Western Michigan (ESPN3)
2:30 — Rice at Marshall
3:00 — #6 Texas Christian at Kansas (Fox Sports 1)
3:00 — Wake Forest at North Carolina State (espn3)
3:00 — Appalachian State at Arkansas State (espn3)
3:30 — #1 Mississippi State at #5 Alabama (CBS)
3:30 — Northwestern at #10 Notre Dame (NBC)
3:30 — #13 Nebraska at #25 Wisconsin (ABC)
3:30 — #15 Oklahoma at Texas Tech (ESPN)
3:30 — Washington at #19 Arizona (FOX)
3:30 — Georgia Southern at Navy (CBS Sports Network)
3:30 — Memphis at Tulane (espnU)
3:30 — Indiana at Rutgers (Big 10 Network)
4:00 — New Mexico at Utah State
4:00 — Kentucky at Tennessee (SEC Network)
4:30 — Hawaii at San Jose State
5:00 — Troy at Idaho (espn3)
6:00 — #17 Utah at Stanford (Pac-12 Network)
7:00 — Louisiana-Lafayette at Louisiana-Monroe (espn3)
7:00 — UNLV at Brigham Young (espnU)
7:15 — #3 Auburn at #20 Georgia (ESPN)
7:30 — Missouri at Texas A&M (SEC Network)
7:30 — Texas at Oklahoma State (FOX)
8:00 — #2 Florida State at Miami (ABC)
8:00 — #8 Michigan State at Maryland (Big 10 Network)
8:00 — #16 Louisiana State at Arkansas (ESPN2)
8:00 — South Florida at Southern Methodist (CBS Sports Network)
10:00 – North Texas at Texas-El Paso (Fox Sports 1)
10:15 – San Diego State at Boise State (espnU)
10:45 – #9 Arizona State at Oregon State (ESPN)

 

 

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the publisher of this website. Neither the author nor this website promote or advocate gambling. This is solely for entertainment purposes only. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, please call 1-888-ADMIT-IT.

 

 

Follow on Twitter @AllThingsPats

2014 NFL Calendar and Key Dates for the New England Patriots

2014 New England Patriots Transaction Tracker

 

 

Week 10 NFL Games – Previews and Predictions

Even though the Patriots don’t play Sunday, there are several other NFL games worth checking out. Buffalo and Miami are both only one game behind New England in the loss column, and both will be playing early games Sunday against playoff contenders. Kansas City is 5-3 and just one game behind Denver in the AFC West; the Chiefs travel to Buffalo to face the 5-3 Bills. Miami is full of confidence after crushing San Diego 37-0 last week; the Dolphins, who are 3-1 on the road, go to Detroit to play the 6-2 Lions.

 

Dallas Cowboys (6-3) vs Jacksonville Jaguars (1-8) in London ★★
Early game on FOX
Announcing crew: Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa

Jacksonville has played much better on defense over their last five games, but Blake Bortles is still making far too many mistakes.
Pick • Cowboys 24, Jaguars 20
Jaguars +8½ (two units)
under 45½

Miami Dolphins (5-3) at Detroit Lions (6-2) ★★★★
Early game on CBS
Announcing crew: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Jenny Dell

While Detroit does lead the league in points allowed (15.8 ppg), their vaunted D hasn’t looked quite so good recently. The Lions gave up 47 first downs the last two weeks, and they don’t get consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Of their 23 sacks, 12 came in two games: four against Cam Newton when he was playing on a bad ankle, and eight against rookie Teddy Bridgewater. The third quarter will be critical. Detroit has held opponents to just 24 third quarter points, while Miami has outscored their opponents 94-38 in the third this season.
Pick • Dolphins 20, Lions 17
Dolphins +3
under 44

Kansas City Chiefs (5-3) at Buffalo Bills (5-3) ★★★★
Early game on CBS
Announcing crew: Spero Dedes, Solomon Wilcots, Chris Fischer

Kansas City has won five of their last six games, and the Chiefs are now just one game behind Denver in the AFC West. Buffalo is also 5-3, but has not played well at home. The Bills have lost two of their last three games at the Ralph, and that lone victory was a one-point win over lowly Minnesota as time expired. Alex Smith has yet to throw a touchdown pass to one of his wide receivers; that sets up an interesting battle between a strong buffalo run defense (92 yards per game, 3.6 yards per carry) versus a potent KC rushing offense (137 yards per game, 4.5 yards per carry) led by a now-healthy Jamaal Charles.
Pick • Chiefs 20, Bills 17
Chiefs -1
under 43 (two units)

San Francisco 49ers (4-4) at New Orleans Saints (4-4) ★★★★
Early game on FOX
Announcing crew: Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch, Pam Oliver
Saints favored by 4 (3½ to 4½), with a point total of 49 (48½ to 49½)
San Francisco +190 and New Orleans -220 is the average money line
Broadcast in most markets, excluding New York City, Buffalo, Detroit, DC, Virginia, Georgia, Florida (except Miami, West Palm and Fort Myers), Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico

The Saints have scored 72 points in their last two games, and although San Francisco’s defense officially ranks second in the NFL with 292 yards per game, they are a middle of the pack 15th in scoring (22.3 ppg). New Orleans has a very balanced offense – they’re averaging 4.8 yards per carry and 130 yards rushing per game – and have not lost at home since 2012.
Pick • Saints 24, Niners 20
Niners +6
under 49½

Tennessee Titans (2-6) at Baltimore Ravens (5-4) ★★
Early game on CBS
Announcing crew: Andrew Catalon, Steve Beuerlein, Steve Tasker

After Ben Roethlisberger burnt the Raven defense for six touchdown passes, Baltimore cut corners Dominique Franks and Chykie Brown. The Ravens have now given up a whopping 34 pass plays for twenty yards or more, but Tennessee is not the type of team that can take advantage of that situation. The Titans are in the wrong place at the wrong time, as Baltimore takes out some aggression after last week’s nationally televised embarrassment.
Pick • Ravens 31, Titans 20
Ravens -9½
over 43½

Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3) at New York Jets (1-8) ★★★
Early game on CBS
Announcing crew: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon, Otis Livingston

The beleaguered Jets secondary faces Ben Roethlisberger in the midst of a three game stretch where he has thrown for 1,127 yards and 14 touchdown passes. Pittsburgh has won three in row, scoring 124 points in those games. This matchup has blowout written all over it, though I wonder if the Steelers will look past a one-win team and have a bit of an emotional letdown after such a big win over their biggest rival last week.
Pick • Steelers 28, Jets 17
Steelers -4
under 47½
Pittsburgh -190

Atlanta Falcons (2-6) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-7)
Early game on FOX
Announcing crew: Thom Brennaman, David Diehl, Laura Okmin

Lovie Smith goes back to Josh McClown as his quarterback, based on the premise that he was the starter and is healthy now. Last time he played he was making horrible decisions, like throwing passes while he was on his butt – which not surprisingly, ended up being intercepted. Atlanta has lost seven straight road games and five in a row overall thanks to a bad (27.6 ppg) defense. The Falcons last win was when these two met in week three when they crushed Tampa Bay 56-14 in front of a national audience. Somebody has to win this game; I’ll go with the home team with revenge on their mind.
Pick • Bucs 27, Falcons 24
Bucs +3
over 45½

Denver Broncos (6-2) at Oakland Raiders (0-8) ★★★
Late game on CBS
Announcing crew: Greg Gumbel, Trent Green, Evan Washburn

While the Raiders may have picked up some ideas on how to play Denver from the Pats win last week, Manning and the Broncos rarely lose two in a row. Oakland has had some close games, but there is just too much of a talent differential for the Raiders to win this game.
Pick • Broncos 31, Raiders 14
Broncos -11
under 51

St. Louis Rams (3-5) at Arizona Cardinals (7-1) ★★★★
Late game on FOX
Announcing crew: Chris Myers, Ronde Barber, Jennifer Hale

You know you’re a longtime NFL fan when you see Rams-Cardinals and still think LA Rams versus St. Louis Cardinals. The Rams have already defeated Seattle and San Francisco, but they have been very inconsistent this year. Arizona won’t be caught looking past this game, and should be able to shut St. Louis down.
Pick • Cardinals 24, Rams 13
Cardinals -6½
under 44½ (two units)

New York Giants at Seattle Seahawks ★★★★
Late game on FOX
Announcing crew: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews

Remember when so many on the media were jumping on the Giants’ bandwagon after winning three in a row? That streak had more to do with the level of competition; those three clubs are a combined 9-17. Seattle should win easily, but I’m hesitant to fully back them to cover such a large spread.
Pick • Seahawks 27, Giants 13
Seahawks -9
under 45

Chicago Bears (3-5) at Green Bay Packers (5-3) ★★★★
Sunday night game on NBC
Announcing crew: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya

The Bears have lost four of their last five games, with the only victory against a bad Atlanta team. Meanwhile the Packers have been playing very well, winning four straight before last week’s loss at New Orleans. Aaron Rodgers is 8-2 in ten games against Chicago, while Jay Cutler is 1-9 in his career against Green Bay, with 19 interceptions. I just don’t see why any of those trends should end Sunday night at Lambeau.
Pick • Packers 31, Bears 21
Packers -7
under 54

Carolina Panthers (3-5-1) at Philadelphia Eagles (6-2) ★★★★
Monday night game on ESPN
Announcing crew: Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters

Even with Mark Sanchez, the Eagles are much better than Carolina. The Panther defense is nothing at all like they were last year, which is bad news considering Philly is averaging over 29 points per game. Sanchez actually looked pretty good last week; perhaps all he needed was to get away from Rex and the Jets.
Pick • Eagles 31, Panthers 20
Eagles -5½ (two units)
over 47½

Bye week: New England Patriots (7-2), Indianapolis Colts (6-3), San Diego Chargers (5-4), Houston Texans (4-5), Minnesota Vikings (4-5) and Washington Redskins (3-6)

 

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the publisher of this website. Neither the author nor this website promote or advocate gambling. This is solely for entertainment purposes only. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, please call 1-888-ADMIT-IT.

 

 

Follow on Twitter @AllThingsPats

2014 NFL Calendar and Key Dates for the New England Patriots

2014 New England Patriots Transaction Tracker

 

 

Week 10 NFL and College Television Coverage and Odds

Although the Patriots are on a bye, there are plenty of football games worth checking out this week. The 5-3 Browns take on 5-2-1 Cincinnati in an AFC North showdown and battle for bragging rights in Ohio to start things off Thursday night. Saturday afternoon it’s #13 Baylor at #18 Oklahoma early, followed by #10 Notre Dame at #14 Arizona State. Then Saturday evening BC hosts #25 Louisville while several other key college games kick off soon afterwards: #9 Kansas State at #7 TCU, #6 Alabama at #19 LSU and #16 Ohio State at #8 Michigan State. Then finally in the late night game #5 Oregon goes on the road to play #17 Utah.

On Sunday there are a pair of early games on CBS with implications to the Patriots and the AFC East. Currently the Bills and Dolphins are just one game behind New England in the loss column, and both have interesting matchups against playoff contenders with winning records. Miami is coming off an impressive 37-0 shutout over San Diego, and travels to Detroit to take on the 6-2 Lions and the NFL’s number one (15.8 ppg) defense. Buffalo, who has won three of their last four games, host Kansas City in a game between two 5-3 clubs. The best early game on FOX is between a pair of 4-4 teams that thus far have not lived up to preseason expectations, as San Francisco travels to New Orleans, where the Saints rarely lose.

In the late afternoon there’s a game that looked like a snoozer a few weeks ago, that now could be interesting. The Rams – a team I wrote off early in the season as one that might end up with the number one overall draft pick – have beaten both the Niners and Seahawks, and go for the division trifecta. St. Louis travels to Arizona to take on the Cardinals, who now own the NFL’s best record at 7-1. After that it’s another good game Sunday night with the Bears at Green Bay, and then Carolina and Philadelphia wrap week ten up on Monday night.

 

All the pre-game hype of Brady-Manning XVI paid off for CBS. The broadcast amassed an 18.6 average household rating nationally and a market share of 32. Those numbers represent the third highest rating by CBS since they took over AFC broadcast rights from NBC in 1998, and the game was the second-highest rated game of this season for any of the five networks. For perspective the Pats-Broncos week nine game had a higher television rating than last year’s college football championship game, or last week’s world series game seven. Since CBS began broadcasting AFC games sixteen years ago their three highest-rated NFL games have all involved the Pats: the 2007 game between undefeated Indy and undefeated New England, Sunday’s game, and the 2011 regular season game at Denver when the Broncos were riding a six-game winning streak with Tim Tebow at quarterback.

In other NFL broadcasting-related news, two week eleven games have flip-flopped time slots. The Eagles-Packers game has been moved back to a late afternoon start, while the Vikings-Bears game will kickoff early. Considering the records of those four teams, the switch makes perfect sense as it sets up what will probably be a game between a 6-3 team and a 7-2 club in front of an almost national television audience; it will be a much more watched broadcast than Minnesota-Chicago or Detroit-Arizona would have been.

 

Cleveland Browns (5-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (5-2-1) ★★★★
Thursday night game on NFLN
Announcing crew: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson
Bengals favored by 6 (5½ to 6½ depending where you shop), with a point total of 44½ (44-45 at various venues)
Browns +240 or Bengals -280 is the average money line
Broadcast in all US television markets

Dallas Cowboys (6-3) vs Jacksonville Jaguars (1-8) in London ★★
Early game on FOX
Announcing crew: Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa
Cowboys favored by 5 (4½ to 6½ depending where you shop), with an over/under of 44 (43½ to 46)
No money lines yet; outlets are waiting for the initial injury report on Tony Romo
Broadcast in 30 television markets, including Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Jacksonville, Ocala, Cincinnati, DC and Virginia

Miami Dolphins (5-3) at Detroit Lions (6-2) ★★★★
Early game on CBS
Announcing crew: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Jenny Dell
Lions favored by 3 (2½ to 3), with a point total of 43½ (43½ to 44)
Miami +135 and Detroit -155 is the early average money line
Broadcast in Florida (except Tampa and Jacksonville), Georgia (except Atlanta), Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana (except New Orleans), Texas (except Houston), Indiana (except Indianapolis), Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Arizona, Oregon (except Portland), Washington, Alaska and Hawaii

Kansas City Chiefs (5-3) at Buffalo Bills (5-3) ★★★★
Early game on CBS
Announcing crew: Spero Dedes, Solomon Wilcots, Chris Fischer
Chiefs favored by 1½ (1½ to 2½), with a point total of 42 (41½ to 43)
Kansas City -125 or Buffalo +105 is the money line
Broadcast in 31 television markets, including Providence, Boston, New Hampshire, Maine, New York (except NYC and Albany), Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma

San Francisco 49ers (4-4) at New Orleans Saints (4-4) ★★★★
Early game on FOX
Announcing crew: Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch, Pam Oliver
Saints favored by 4 (3½ to 4½), with a point total of 49 (48½ to 49½)
San Francisco +190 and New Orleans -220 is the average money line
Broadcast in most markets, excluding New York City, Buffalo, Detroit, DC, Virginia, Georgia, Florida (except Miami, West Palm and Fort Myers), Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico

Tennessee Titans (2-6) at Baltimore Ravens (5-4) ★★
Early game on CBS
Announcing crew: Andrew Catalon, Steve Beuerlein, Steve Tasker
Ravens favored by 9½ (9½ to 10), with a point total of 44
Tennessee +400 and Baltimore -500 is the typical money line
Broadcast in 13 markets, including DC, Maryland, Tennessee, Huntsville, Columbus MS and Houston

Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3) at New York Jets (1-8) ★★★
Early game on CBS
Announcing crew: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon, Otis Livingston
Steelers favored by 4 (3½ to 5½), with a point total of 45½ (45 to 46)
Pittsburgh -205 and New York +180 is the typical money line
Broadcast in 40 television markets, including Hartford, Springfield MA, Vermont, NYC, Albany, Pennsylvania, Ohio (except Toledo), West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Portland OR

Atlanta Falcons (2-6) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-7)
Early game on FOX
Announcing crew: Thom Brennaman, David Diehl, Laura Okmin
Pick’em (ranging from Falcons -1½ to Bucs -1), with a point total of 46 (45½ to 46½)
Typical money line is -110 for either team
Broadcast in eleven markets: all six in Georgia, plus five in Florida (Tampa, Orlando, Tallahassee, Panama City and West Palm Beach)

Denver Broncos (6-2) at Oakland Raiders (0-8) ★★★
Late game on CBS
Announcing crew: Greg Gumbel, Trent Green, Evan Washburn
Broncos favored by 11½ (11 to 12), with a point total of 49 (49 to 49½)
Denver -670 and Oakland +530 is the typical money line
The only late CBS game is scheduled to be broadcast in 59 markets, including Jacksonville, Tampa, Atlanta, New Orleans, Indianapolis, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, California and New Mexico

St. Louis Rams (3-5) at Arizona Cardinals (7-1) ★★★★
Late game on FOX
Announcing crew: Chris Myers, Ronde Barber, Jennifer Hale
Cardinals favored by 7 (7 to 7½), with a point total of 44 (43 to 43½)
St. Louis +290 and Arizona -330 is the typical money line
Broadcast in eleven television markets: all three in Arizona, southern Illinois, Topeka KS, Davenport IA, and most of Missouri

New York Giants at Seattle Seahawks ★★★★
Late game on FOX
Announcing crew: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews
Seahawks favored by 9 (8½ to 9), with a point total of 43½ (43 to 43½)
Money line opened up with the Giants +360 and Seattle -440
Broadcast most everywhere except San Francisco, Arizona, southern Illinois and Missouri

Chicago Bears (3-5) at Green Bay Packers (5-3) ★★★★
Sunday night game on NBC
Announcing crew: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya
Packers favored by 7 (7 to 7½), with a point total of 53 (53-53½)
Chicago +310 or Green Bay -350 is the early money line
Broadcast in all markets

Carolina Panthers (3-5-1) at Philadelphia Eagles (6-2) ★★★★
Monday night game on ESPN
Announcing crew: Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters
Eagles favored by 6 (5½ to 6 depending where you shop), with an over/under of 48 (47½-49)
Carolina +210 or Philadelphia -250 is the typical early money line
Broadcast in all markets

Bye week: New England Patriots (7-2), Indianapolis Colts (6-3), San Diego Chargers (5-4), Houston Texans (4-5), Minnesota Vikings (4-5) and Washington Redskins (3-6)

 

Here is a listing of some of the college football games being played on Saturday:

Noon — Penn State (-6½, two units) at Indiana (over 44)
Noon — #11 Georgia at Kentucky (+10½), on ESPN (under 58)
Noon — #13 Baylor (+5½, one unit) at #18 Oklahoma, on FS1 (over 73½)
3:30 — Texas A&M at #3 Auburn (-20½, one unit), on CBS (over 66)
3:30 — #10 Notre Dame at #14 Arizona St (-2½, one unit), on ABC (under 59½)
3:30 — #20 West Virginia at Texas (+4½), on FS1 (over 52)
3:30 — Michigan at Northwestern (+1½), on ESPN2 (over 41)
6:30 — Virginia at #2 Florida St (-18½, one unit), on ESPN (over 55½, one unit)
7:00 — #22 UCLA (-4½, one unit) at Washington, on FS1 (over 56, one unit)
7:15 — #25 Louisville (-2½, one unit) at Boston College, on ESPN2 (over 45½)
7:30 — #9 Kansas St (+6) at #7 Texas Christian, on FOX (over 59)
8:00 — #6 Alabama (-6, one unit) at #19 Louisiana St, on CBS (over 45½)
8:00 — #16 Ohio St at #8 Michigan St (-3, one unit), on ABC (under 63½, one unit)
10:00 — #5 Oregon at #17 Utah (+9½, one unit), on ESPN (under 62½)

 

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the publisher of this website. Neither the author nor this website promote or advocate gambling. This is solely for entertainment purposes only. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, please call 1-888-ADMIT-IT.

 

 

Follow on Twitter @AllThingsPats

2014 NFL Calendar and Key Dates for the New England Patriots

2014 New England Patriots Transaction Tracker

 

 

The New Orleans Saints travel to Charlotte to take on division rival Carolina Panthers in a game with first place in the NFC South on the line. The Saints are seeking to build off momentum from last week’s 44-23 beat down over Green Bay and win their first game of the season away from the Big Easy. Carolina began the season with a pair of victories but has won only once since; in spite of that the Panthers are still in first place in what is an off year for the NFC South.

Even with no rooting interest, this game is worth tuning into to check out a pair of very good rookie wide receivers: New Orleans’ Brandin Cooks (40 receptions on just 52 targets, 372 yards, 2 TD, 17 first downs) and Carolina’s Kelvin Benjamin (38 receptions for 571 yards, 5 TD and 26 first downs), whom New England fans should remember from his strong performance in the preseason against the Patriots.

Who: New Orleans Saints (3-4) at Carolina Panthers (3-4-1)

When: Thursday October 30 at 8:25 pm ET

Where: Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina

Television: NFL Network; announcers: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson

Weather: Not a factor: 62° at kickoff with virtually no wind (2 mph) and zero chance of precipitation

Odds: Saints have settled in as a three point road favorite, with an over/under of 49½. The money line is hovering at New Orleans -170 and Carolina +150.

 

The Saints looked very impressive last week in their three touchdown victory over the Packers last week, but overall they have been rather ordinary this season. New Orleans has yet to win either back-to-back games or a notch a single victory on the road. As a team that was picked by many to go deep into the playoffs, their performance thus far has been rather underwhelming. On the other hand three of those losses were by a total of six points, with two of the defeats coming on field goals on the final play of the game.

One thing that would be very beneficial for the Saints would be to get their running game in gear. With running backs Pierre Thomas and Khiry Robinson likely to sit a second straight game with injuries, Mark Ingram will be asked to shoulder the load. Last week Ingram had a career-high 172 yards rushing on 24 carries, and could build on that Thursday. This year’s version of the Carolina defense is not the same as it was the last couple of seasons, when they were one of the NFL’s best. Carolina is allowing 135 yards per game – only four teams are giving up more – and their 5.2 yards allowed per rushing attempt is by far the worst in the league. Once the running game starts ripping off large chunks of yards, Drew Brees’ play action passes will become lethal.

 

The Panthers played very well and nearly beat the defending super bowl champions last week, losing on a touchdown in the final minute. Normally that might lead to a bit of a letdown, but I wouldn’t expect that against a team’s major division rival. It was the best defensive performance of the season by Carolina (13 points and 310 yards allowed); overall the Panthers D ranks still 26th in scoring at 26.0 points per game and has surrendered at least 37 points four times this season. Carolina has failed to get consistent pressure from the edge – they sorely miss Greg Hardy – so they will need Star Lotulelei and KK Short to collapse the pocket and create havoc in the interior. Those two were able to do just that last week against Seattle, constantly forcing Russell Wilson into hurried throws. It is imperative for them to dirty up the pocket, cloud up the passing lanes, and at minimum force Brees into hurried throws – if not knock him down and create some knockdowns and perhaps a strip sack or deflected pass that results in an interception.

Carolina RB DeAngelo Williams will make his first appearance in four games since he injured an ankle. Williams rushed for 210 yards against New Orleans in 2012; his return means the Panthers can finally get back to their offensive backfield of Williams, RB Jonathan Stewart and QB Cam Newton. Their biggest problem has been in the red zone. The Panthers failed to score a touchdown in three red zone possessions last week, the primary reason for their loss. Carolina is now a woeful 28th in the red zone this year, scoring just 46.2% of the time. When they get near the end zone the Panthers seem to be just as likely to go the other way as to find pay dirt: they have a league-leading eleven plays for negative yards in the red zone. Carolina has been too tentative and predictable in the red zone. The Panthers have passed on only 41% of their snaps inside the twenty, despite rushing for a minuscule 1.2 yards per carry when they are within the red zone.

 

Offense
Scoring: Saints 28.4 (5th), Panthers 20.9 (24th)
Yardage: Saints 445 (2nd), Panthers 332 (24th)
Yards per Play: Saints 6.4 (1st), Panthers 5.2 (25th)
Passing Yards: Saints 312 (2nd), Panthers 240 (17th)
Yards per Pass: Saints 7.5 (13th), Panthers 7.3 (18th)
Rushing Yards: Saints 133 (7th), Panthers 93 (27th)
Yards per Rush: Saints 5.1 (2nd), Panthers 3.5 (29th)

Defense
Scoring: Panthers 26.0 (25th), Saints 26.9 (26th)
Yardage: Panthers 378 (21st), Saints 390 (28th)
Yards per Play: Panthers 6.0 (26th), Saints 6.2 (30th)
Passing Yards: Panthers 243 (18th), Saints 289 (31st)
Yards per Pass: Panthers 7.4 (17th), Saints 8.2 (29th)
Rushing Yards: Saints 101 (10th), Panthers 135 (28th)
Yards per Rush: Saints 4.0 (12th), Panthers 5.2 (32nd)

Turnovers
Takeaways: Panthers 14 (T-5th), Saints 7 (T-28th)
Giveaways: Panthers 9 (T-11th), Saints 12 (T-20th)
Differential: Panthers +5 (T-6th), Saints -5 (27th)

 

The Panthers opened as 2½ point favorites, but that quickly shifted to New Orleans being favored by 2½ based on the Saints’ three-touchdown victory over Green Bay, and Carolina losing at home. Even as the game approached kickoff the money continued to come in on the side of the Saints, with the line moving up to three in most venues and as high as 3½ in some on Thursday. Home teams are 6-2 on Thursday’s this season, the Saints are 3-9 against the spread in their last twelve road games, and Carolina is 9-3 ATS in their last twelve games (5-3 ATS this season). Jimmy Graham looked a whole lot better in his second game back from a shoulder injury, while Cam Newton has been unable to duplicate the production of his first three season. This looks like the right time for the Saints to get their first road win of the season

 

Pick • Saints 27, Panthers 20
Saints -3
under 49½

 

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the publisher of this website. Neither the author nor this website promote or advocate gambling. This is solely for entertainment purposes only. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, please call 1-888-ADMIT-IT.

 

Follow on Twitter @AllThingsPats

2014 NFL Calendar and Key Dates for the New England Patriots

2014 New England Patriots Transaction Tracker

 

 

Week 9 NFL and College Television Coverage and Odds

Lost in the hype of Manning-Brady XVI is that there will be a few other good NFL games this week. The Saints travel to Carolina in an important NFC South game on Thursday night. No more CBS for Thursday games – from here on it will be the same CBS broadcasting and production crew, but will televise strictly on the NFL Network – so some of you with low tier basic cable and no cable box may have to find another outlet to watch the game. The Pats-Broncos game gets near-national coverage in the late afternoon game; my condolences to those viewers in Arizona, northern California, Oregon and Washington for lack of easy access to this game. Sunday night it’s Baltimore at Pittsburgh, which is always a close game, and then it’s the Colts at the Giants on Monday night. There are also a few decent early afternoon games as a prelude to the Pats-Denver battle: San Diego at Miami, Philadelphia at Houston and Arizona at Dallas appear to be the best of the seven early games.

 

New Orleans Saints (3-4) at Carolina Panthers (3-4-1) ★★★
Thursday night game on NFLN
Announcing crew: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson
Saints favored by 2½ (1½ to 3 depending where you shop), with a point total of 48 (48-49)
Saints -140 and Carolina +120 is the average money line
Broadcast in all US television markets

San Diego Chargers (5-3) at Miami Dolphins (4-3) ★★★
Early game on CBS
Announcing crew: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Jenny Dell
Dolphins favored by 2 (1 to 2 depending where you shop), with a point total of 44 (43½-45)
San Diego +105 and Miami -125 is the average money line
Broadcast in most markets

Jacksonville Jaguars (1-7) at Cincinnati Bengals (4-2-1)
Early game on CBS
Announcing crew: Spero Dedes, Solomon Wilcots, Chris Fischer
Bengals favored by 11 (11 to 11½ depending where you shop), with a point total of 43½ (43-43½)
Jacksonville +475 and Cincinnati -650 is the typical money line
Broadcast in 28 markets, including Jacksonville, Gainesville, Tallahassee, Savannah, Maryland, western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio (except Cleveland), and Kentucky

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-6) at Cleveland Browns (4-3) ★★
Early game on FOX
Announcing crew: Thom Brennaman, David Diehl, Laura Okmin
Browns favored by 6½ (6 to 7 depending where you shop, but mostly 6½), with a point total of 43½ (43½-44)
Tampa Bay +240 and Cleveland -280 is the typical money line
Broadcast in 17 markets: Florida (except Miami, West Palm Beach and Jacksonville), Ohio, western Pennsylvania and West Virginia

Washington (3-5) at Minnesota Vikings (3-5) ★★
Early game on FOX
Announcing crew: Chris Myers, Ronde Barber, Jennifer Hale
Vikings favored by 2½ (2½ to 3 depending where you shop), with a point total of 44½
No money line yet due to Washington playing Monday night
Broadcast in 27 markets: DC, Maryland, Virginia, Raleigh, Greenville NC, Eau Claire WI, LaCrosse WI, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Billings MT and Fairbanks AK

Philadelphia Eagles (5-2) at Houston Texans (4-4) ★★★
Early game on FOX
Announcing crew: Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa
Eagles favored by 2 (2 to 2½ depending where you shop), with a point total of 48½ (48-48½)
Philadelphia -130 and Houston +110 is the typical money line
Broadcast in five markets: Houston, Philadelphia, Scranton, Harrisburg and Johnstown PA

New York Jets (1-7) at Kansas City Chiefs (4-3)
Early game on CBS
Announcing crew: Greg Gumbel, Trent Green, Evan Washburn
Chiefs favored by 9½ (9½ to 10 depending where you shop), with a point total of 41½ (41½-42)
Jets +400 and Kansas City -500 is the typical money line
Broadcast in 29 markets: Providence, Hartford, Vermont, New York (except Buffalo), Scranton, Nashville, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Utah

Arizona Cardinals (6-1) at Dallas Cowboys (6-2) ★★★★
Early game on FOX
Announcing crew: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews
Cowboys favored by 4 (3½ to 4½ depending where you shop), with a point total of 48 (47½-48)
Arizona +150 and Dallas -175 is the typical money line
Broadcast in most markets, including all of New England

St. Louis Rams (2-5) at San Francisco 49ers (4-3) ★★
Late game on FOX
Announcing crew: Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch, Pam Oliver
Niners favored by 10 (9½ to 10 depending where you shop), with a point total of 44 (43½-44)
St. Louis +450 and San Francisco -600 is the typical money line
Broadcast in 21 markets, including Miami, Jacksonville, Cincinnati, southern Illinois, Missouri, Reno, San Diego and northern California

Denver Broncos (6-1) at New England Patriots (6-2) ★★★★★
Late game on CBS
Announcing crew: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson
Broncos favored by 3 (3 to 3½ depending where you shop), with a point total of 55 (54½-56)
Denver -165 and New England +145 is the typical money line
Broadcast in all markets except those showing the Oakland-Seattle game (below)

Oakland Raiders (0-7) at Seattle Seahawks (4-3)
Late game on CBS
Announcing crew: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon, Otis Livingston
Hawks favored by 15 (14½ to 16 depending where you shop), with a point total of 43 (42½-43½)
Oakland +1000 and Seattle -1550 is the typical money line
Broadcast in 20 markets in Arizona, northern California, Oregon and Washington

Baltimore Ravens (5-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3) ★★★★
Sunday night game on NBC
Announcing crew: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya
Pick’em game (either team favored by up to one depending where you shop), with a point total of 48 (47½-48½)
Baltimore -110 and Pittsburgh -110 is the typical money line
Broadcast in all markets

Indianapolis Colts (5-3) at New York Giants (3-4) ★★★
Monday night game on ESPN
Announcing crew: Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters
Colts favored by 3 (3 to 3½ depending where you shop), with a point total of 51 (50½-52)
Indianapolis -175 and New York +155 is the typical money line
Broadcast in all markets

 

Here is a listing of some of the college football games being played this week:

Thursday Oct 30
7:30 pm ET – #2 Florida State (-3½) at #25 Louisville (over/under 50½) — ESPN

Friday Oct 31
8:00 – Cincinnati (-4) at Tulane (56½) — ESPN2

Saturday Nov 1
12:00 – #18 Oklahoma (16½) at Iowa State (62½) — FS1
12:00 – #23 East Carolina (-7) at Temple (58)
12:00 – #24 Duke at Pittsburgh (-4), (51)
12:00 – Northwestern at Iowa (-4), (42) — BTN
12:00 – Maryland at Penn State (-3½), (48) — ESPN2
12:00 – Wisconsin (-11) at Rutgers — ESPN
12:00 – Central Florida (-11½) at UConn (38½) — CBSSN
12:30 – North Carolina at Miami (-17), (70)
12:30 – Boston College at Va Tech (-3), (42)
3:00 – North Carolina St at Syracuse (-3½), (51)
3:30 – #7 Texas Christian (-5½) at #20 West Virginia (72½) — ABC
3:30 – Virginia at Georgia Tech (-3½), (54½)
3:30 – Indiana at Michigan (-7), (53½)
4:00 – Kansas at #13 Baylor (-36), (61½) — FS1
4:00 – Kentucky at Missouri (-6½), (49½)
4:00 – Houston (-9½) at South Florida (44)
4:30 – Southern Cal (-7) at Washington St (63½)
7:00 – #3 Auburn at #4 Ole Miss (-2½), (51) — ESPN
7:15 – Arkansas at #1 Mississippi St (-10½), (64½) — ESPN2
7:30 – Stanford at #5 Oregon (-7½), (54½) — FOX
7:30 – Tennessee at South Carolina _7), (56½)
7:30 – Texas at Texas Tech (-24½) — FS1
8:00 – Oklahoma St at #9 Kansas St (-14½), (52) — ABC
8:00 – #10 Notre Dame (-14) at Navy (55½) — CBS
8:00 – Illinois at #16 Ohio State (-28½), (65)– ABC
10:30 – #12 Arizona at #22 UCLA (-6½), (70½) — ESPN
10:30 – Cal at Oregon State (-3), (67½)
11:00 – #17 Utah at #14 Arizona St (-5½), (56½) — FS1

 

 

Follow on Twitter @AllThingsPats

2014 NFL Calendar and Key Dates for the New England Patriots

2014 New England Patriots Transaction Tracker

 

 

Brady-Peyton XVI is of course the highlight of NFL Week 9, which you will be reminded of at least 100 times between now and Sunday unless you completely avoid the internet, television and radio this week. Here is a brief look at each of those games.

Sept 30, 2001 – Patriots 44, Colts 13
This was not only the first meeting between Manning and Brady, it was also Tom’s first NFL start. Brady was only 13/23 for 168 yards, but he didn’t turn the ball over. Manning threw three interceptions, including two that were returned for touchdowns. Otis Smith’s 78-yard return put the Pats up 17-0 late in the first half, and Ty Law’s 23-yard pick-six early in the 4th quarter gave New England a 37-7 lead. New England stunned the Colts, who were favored by 11½, to win their first game of what turned out to be a very magical and unforgettable season.

Oct 21, 2001 – Patriots 38, Colts 17
Three weeks later the Pats traveled to the RCA Dome and proved the first victory was no fluke. Manning threw for 335 yards and one touchdown but Brady was far more efficient, completing 80% of his passes and tossing three touchdown passes. David Patten had a career day as he was involved in four touchdowns: a 29-yard rush for the first score of the game, a 91-yard reception from Brady, a 60-yard TD pass to Troy Brown, and 6-yard catch for the final score.

Nov 30, 2003 – Patriots 38, Colts 34
After a one-year hiatus – 2002 was the only year since Brady became an NFL starter that the two did not meet, other than the two seasons each player missed due to injuries – the 9-2 Patriots traveled to Indianapolis to face the 9-2 Colts. This was really the first game in which the two clubs were the dominant forces in the AFC, and arguably the real start to the rivalry. The game lived up to the hype, with Mike Vrabel’s first quarter strip sack of Manning leading to the first of two touchdown runs by Mike Cloud. The Patriots took an early 17-0 lead on Brady’s 31-yard touchdown pass to Dedric Ward, but an 8-yard TD by Manning to Marcus Pollard cut the lead to seven with 19 seconds left in the half. Bethel Johnson then took the ensuing kickoff back 92 yards across the field on down the left side for a touchdown, and the Patriots held on for the win despite a late rally by Indy. The Colts were on the verge of scoring late in the game but Willie McGinest stopped Edgerrin James cold on an iconic play on 4th-and-one to preserve the victory.

Jan 18, 2004 – Patriots 24, Colts 14 (AFC Championship Game)
The Colts get an opportunity for revenge in the first-ever playoff game between Manning and Brady, but the outcome remains the same. Ty Law intercepts three Manning passes and Rodney Harrison picks off another on the first series, while Antowain Smith rushes for 100 yards and Adam Vinatieri boots five field goals. Two weeks later the Patriots overcome a decimated defensive secondary and defeat Carolina for their second Lombardi trophy.

Sept 9, 2004 – Patriots 27, Colts 24
The NFL uses the rivalry to kick off the 2004 season, and football fans are treated to another great game. The Colts were up by four at halftime, but it could have been more – and that cost them later. Tedy Bruschi intercepted Manning on the six-yard line on the first drive of the game, and after Manning hit Marvin Harrison for a 3-yard score with 45 seconds left in the half Indy was up by seven – but Brady quickly drove New England downfield to set up an Adam Vinatieri field goal to cut the deficit to four as time expired in the first half. The defense came up big again late in this game. First then-rookie Vince Wilfork recovered the ball in the end zone after Eugene Wilson knocked the ball out of Edgerrin James’ arms at the one-yard line with less than four minutes to play and the Pats up by three, and then after Indy gets the ball back they are driving into field goal position with time running out. Willie McGinest sacked Manning for a crucial 13-yard loss, and Mike Vanderjagt – who had not missed on any of his previous 42 field goal tries – shanked the 48-yard attempt badly, and the Patriots won. Brady threw for 335 yards and three touchdowns – to Deion Branch, David Patten and Daniel Graham – while Manning went for 256 yards and two TDs.

Jan 16, 2005 – Patriots 20, Colts 3 (AFC Division Game)
After Edgerrin James had shredded the Pats with 142 yards on the ground in the week one game, the New England defense clamped down and limited him to 39 yards rushing on 14 carries. Manning had set an NFL record with 49 touchdown passes during the season and the Colts were coming off a playoff victory over Denver in which they scored 49 points, but Manning (238 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT) was completely held in check in this game. Brady threw for only 144 yards but was quietly effective, completing 67% of his passes with one touchdown and no turnovers. The first scoring drive went 78 yards on 16 plays, and a 15-play third quarter drive ate up 8:16. After running the ball on 11 of 14 plays – Corey Dillon finished with 144 yards rushing – Brady hit David Givens for a touchdown to give the Patriots a ten point lead. In the fourth quarter the Patriots again kept the ball out of Manning’s hands, with a 14-play, 94-yard drive that culminated in a one-yard touchdown run by Brady.

Nov 7, 2005 – Colts 40, Patriots 21
The 8-0 Colts came into this game as three point favorites over the 4-3 Patriots even though the game was played in Foxboro – and even though Manning was at this point 0-7 against New England. Manning was 28 of 37 for 321 yards and three touchdowns as Indy scored on seven of their first eight possessions. Brady finished 22-of-33 for 265 yards, with three touchdowns: a 16-yard TD pass to Deion Branch, a 31-yarder to Daniel Graham and a 19-yard score to Troy Brown. The Colts went to 13-0 before taking their foot off the gas and finishing 14-2 this season, but lost in their first playoff game to eventual Super Bowl champions Pittsburgh; the Patriots went 10-6 and beat Jacksonville in the playoffs before losing to Denver.

Nov 5, 2006 – Colts 27, Patriots 20
In his first game against his former team, Adam Vinatieri kicked two field goals – but also missed on two other attempts. The schedule makers once again placed this game in the midst of network rating seeps, and the Colts once again entered the game undefeated at 8-0. The Patriots were 6-1 and coming off two road victories by a combined score of 59-13, but this time the strong defense and special teams was on the other team. The Patriots turned the ball over five times, missed a field goal, gave up a 70-yard kickoff return, and had multiple costly penalties. About the only positive was Troy Brown passing Stanley Morgan to become the Patriots all-time career leader in pass receptions.

Jan 21, 2007 – Colts 38, Patriots 34 (AFC Championship Game)
The Colts win their third straight against the Pats and Manning wins his first playoff game against New England. This is the game when Indy allegedly piped in artificial noise to make it more difficult for the Pats to hear play calls on offense, and also turned up the heat in the dome with the idea of dehydrating Patriot players who had the flu. That resulted in special teamer Eric Alexander having to play linebacker on the final drive, which hurt. You may also recall a phantom face-guarding penalty, Reche Caldwell waving his arms like a madman because he’s completely uncovered in a blown coverage – and then dropping the pass… and the Colts came back from a 21-3 halftime deficit to win in a game where three offensive linemen – Logan Mankins, Jeff Saturday and Dan Klecko – scored touchdowns. Manning passed for 349 yards and was pretty much unstoppable in the second half. At the two minute warning Reggie Wayne coughs up the ball after a pass reception, but it pops straight up in the air seemingly for eternity, and comes right back down in his arms. You had to sense it just wasn’t the Pats day right there.

Nov 4, 2007 – Patriots 24, Colts 20
Both teams entered the game undefeated, and NFL fans were treated to great game. The Pats, who had been averaging 41 points per game, were losing 20-10 with less than ten minutes to go after Manning scored from one yard out. Bray then hit Randy Moss on a 55-yard pass play that set up a three-yard touchdown pass to Wes Welker, and on the next series Roosevelt Colvin sacked Manning to force a punt. Brady led the Pats to the go-ahead touchdown on the next drive, with a 35-yard pass to Donte’ Stallworth followed by a 13-yard pass to Kevin Faulk for the game winner with 3:21 to play. Colvin came up big again on the next drive as he recovered a Manning fumble to clinch the victory.

Nov 15, 2009 – Colts 35, Patriots 34
The Pats dominated early and were up 31-14 after Randy Moss caught his second touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter. Then Indy came roaring back, and just like the 2005 and 2006 games, were seemingly unstoppable. Perhaps recalling those games – and seeing what was happening on each of the late drives against a gassed defense – Bill Belichick goes for it on 4th and two, falling just short of the sticks on a pass to Kevin Faulk in which Indy may have been aided by a somewhat favorable spot. Brady throws for 375 yards and three touchdowns, but Manning’s one-yard TD pass to Reggie Wayne with 16 seconds remaining gives the Colts the victory as they improve to 9-0 while New England drops to 6-3.

Nov 21, 2010 – Patriots 31, Colts 28
Manning throws for 396 yards to Brady’s 186, but Tom completes all but six passes with no picks while Peyton throws 14 incomplete passes and three interceptions. Danny Woodhead scored on a beautiful 36-yard run late in the third quarter to give the Patriots a 14-point lead, but Manning came back with two touchdown passes to trivia answers Blair White (a guy who lasted all of two seasons in the NFL) and TE Gijon Robinson (31 career receptions). With 31 seconds to play Indy had driven to the New England six, but James Sanders picked Manning off on a pass that was not close to Pierre Garcon to seal the win.

Oct 7, 2012 – Patriots 31, Broncos 21
This was a rare early season meeting, with both teams at 2-2 in Manning’s first game as a Bronco against the Patriots. Brady improved his record to 9-4 versus Manning as he led the Patriots on four drives of 80 or more yards, completing 23 out of 31 passes for 223 yards, passing for one touchdown and scoring another on a one-yard run. The Pats totaled 89 plays and a club-record 35 first downs by running the up-tempo, no-huddle offense for much of the game. Stevan Ridley rushed for 151 yards and a touchdown, but his late fumble created concern. New England was up 31-7 late in the third quarter after a Manning (31/44, 345 yards, 3 touchdowns) fumble led to a Ridley touchdown run. Peyton then came back with two touchdown passes to cut the lead to ten, and had momentum when they recovered Ridley’s turnover. Denver once again drove deep into New England territory, but Jermaine Cunningham recovered Wiilis McGahee’s fumble on the 11 yard line with 3:42 left to play to seal the win.

Nov 24, 2013 – Patriots 34, Broncos 31 (OT)
Brady-Manning returned to its normal November ratings sweeps time frame, as the 7-3 Patriots were a rare home underdog against the 9-1 Broncos. Wes Welker’s first game as a Bronco versus the Pats was a tale of two halves. The Patriots fumbled the ball away three times in the first half and were down 24-0 at the break. Brady (34/50, 344 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT) then opened up the second half with three straight touchdown drives to cut the lead to three entering the fourth quarter. The Pats went up by seven on a Brady to Edelman touchdown and a Gostkowski field goal, but Manning 19/36, 150, 2 TD, 1 INT) hit Demaryius Thomas for the tying score on a drive aided by two critical penalties. Late in overtime Welker called for a fair catch, but the ball bounced and hit one-time Patriot Tony Carter. Nate Ebner recovered and Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 31-yard field goal with less than two minutes to play to win the game.

Jan 19, 2014 – Broncos 26, Patriots 16 (AFC Championship Game)
The Pats were decimated with injuries (Vince Wilfork, Jerod Mayo, Rob Gronkowski, and then Aqib Talib during the game), and simply no match for the Broncos. Denver controlled the ball for 35:44 and ran 71 plays to New England’s 56. The Broncos rolled up 507 yards of total offense as the defense could not get off the field, and Manning completed 32 of 43 passes for 400 yards with two touchdowns and no picks; Brady finished 24/38 for 277 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions, and also scored on a five-yard run. Despite the victory Manning is still only 5-10 against Brady and 6-11 versus Bill Belichick, but he is now 2-2 against Brady and Belichick in the playoffs – and 2-1 against B&B in conference championship games.

 

 

Follow on Twitter @AllThingsPats

2014 NFL Calendar and Key Dates for the New England Patriots

2014 New England Patriots Transaction Tracker

 

 

Week 8 NFL Game Previews and Predictions, Straight Up and ATS

Week 8 started off with Denver defeating San Diego 35-21, thanks in part to some very questionable officiating. Despite the public comments from Dean Blandino supporting the decisions by the refs, it has become very apparent that part of the job description of the NFL Vice President of Officiating is to creatively generate a justification for the league’s referees on an almost weekly basis, while ignoring the fact that the consumers of their product are watching the very same play in slow motion over and over on a large, high definition television set.

FOX has the single game this week, with the Bears-Pats game getting the most coverage early (in New England and most of the midwest), while the Eagles at Arizona will be broadcast late throughout much of the Atlantic coast as well as in most of the western United States.

With those two games being FOX’s primary games, Carolina at Seattle was cross-flexed to CBS and becomes their main early game; it will be shown almost everywhere other than in Florida and the northeast. Indy at Pittsburgh is the primary late game on CBS; it will be available everywhere except in Ohio, Arizona, and most of the pacific coast.

 

Detroit Lions (5-2) at Atlanta Falcons (2-5)
Very Early game on FOX
Announcing crew: Thom Brennaman, Troy Aikman, Charissa Thompson
Broadcast in all markets

Detroit has been inconsistent on offense this year, which is understandable considering the amount of time missed by Calvin Johnson, Reggie Bush and Joique Bell. Golden Tate has exceeded expectations – he ranks fourth in the NFL with 48 receptions, and sixth with 649 yards receiving – as the Lions have done just enough on offense to compliment a defense that is finally fulfilling the investment of many early draft picks. Atlanta has lost five offensive linemen to season-ending injuries, resulting in sacks, turnovers by Matt Ryan, and no running game. A bad OL versus this Detroit front seven is an obstacle too difficult to overcome.

Pick • Lions 27, Falcons 13
Lions -3 (two units)
under 47 (one unit)

 

Minnesota Vikings (2-5) at Tampa Bay Bucs (1-5)
Early game on FOX
Announcing crew: Justin Kutcher, David Diehl, Laura Okmin
Broadcast in central Florida, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota

As bad as Minnesota has been, they look better than the Bucs. The Vikings are 30th in points scored (17.1), but Tampa Bay is allowing a league-worst 34.0 points per game; the Vikes are relatively decent on defense (22.9 ppg, 14th) while Tampa has struggled to score (20.0 ppg, 25th) behind a sub-par offensive line. Minnesota may have issues with their own o-line as well, as C John Sullivan (concussion) and RG Vladimir Ducasse (knee) were both knocked out of last week’s game against Buffalo. Memo to Lovie Smith: the rest of the NFL figured out how to successfully attack the Tampa-2 defense several years ago.

Pick • Vikings 24, Bucs 20
Vikings +3
over 42

 

Chicago Bears (3-4) at New England Patriots (5-2)
Early game on FOX
Announcing crew: Sam Rosen, John Lynch, Pam Oliver
Broadcast in New England, Pittsburgh, Ohio (except Cincinnati), West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, Colorado, Wyoming, Las Vegas, southern California, San Francisco, Hawaii, West Palm Beach

After an uneven start to the season, the Patriots have won three straight. During that time Tom Brady has completed 70 of 109 passes for nine touchdowns with zero picks. Rob Gronkowski down the seam and Julian Edelman underneath have been his favored targets, as both create difficult mismatches for opposing defenses. Chicago’s D (24.4 ppg, 22nd) has struggled, despite (with the exception of Green Bay) playing middle-of-the-road to just plain bad offenses. On top of that the Bears will be without LB Lance Briggs, LB Jon Bostic and S Danny McCray. Miami TE Charles Clay had no trouble getting open last week against the Bears, picking up a season-high 58 yards and a touchdown; look for Gronk to have a big game Sunday.

Of course the Patriots have their own injuries and issues on defense as well. The Pats are allowing 126 yards rushing per game, and have alarmingly allowed 190 rushing yards in three games this season. Matt Forte is fifth in the NFL with 448 yards rushing and is third with 884 yards from scrimmage. It is not out of the realm of possibility for Chicago to shelve their passing game and keep the ball out of Brady’s hand by running the ball all day, while simultaneously wearing out the New England defense.
Pick • Patriots 31, Bears 27
Bears +6
over 50½ (two units)

 

St. Louis Rams (2-4) at Kansas City Chiefs (3-3)
Early game on FOX
Announcing crew: Dick Stockton, Donovan McNabb, Kristina Pink
Broadcast in Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska

KC has won three of the last four, including a 23-20 victory at San Diego where they limited Philip Rivers to his least productive game of the season. Running backs should do well in this game: Jamaal Charles should feast on a St. Louis defense that is allowing a 28th-ranked 4.8 yards per carry, while the Rams’ Tre Mason should also do well against a Kansas City defense that is giving up 4.7 yards per carry. St. Louis QB Austin Davis has cooled off the last two weeks, but I’m not sure how much of that is due to facing quality defenses and how much of that is from opponents now having a bit of game film on him to better prepare and know what to expect. While this is a lot of points for a road team to cover, the Rams have simply been too inconsistent to back here.

Pick • Chiefs 24, Rams 17
Chiefs -6½
under 44½ (one unit)

 

Seattle Seahawks (3-3) at Carolina Panthers (3-3-1)
Early game on CBS
Announcing crew: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Jenny Dell
Broadcast in Philadelphia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and everywhere west of the Mississippi River with the exception of Houston, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado and Wyoming

What a difference a year makes. These two teams have met in each of the last two seasons, and not once has either team managed to score 17 points (12-7, 16-12). The two clubs arguably fielded the two best defenses in the NFL in 2012 and 2013, but that hasn’t been the case this year. Carolina’s defense is 29th in points scored, 27th in yardage, 29th on third down, 27th in the red zone, and dead last in rushing with a whopping 5.3 yards per carry allowed; that’s not good news for a Seattle offense that revolves around Marshawn Lynch running the ball. Seattle’s D is not quite as bad, but they are no longer the league’s best. The Hawks rank 28th in red zone defense, 19th in scoring, 16th in passing yards, gave up 28 points to the Rams, and couldn’t get off the field at home against Dallas. While Carolina’s defense looks worse, most of their bad games were on the road – and I’m no fan of siding with a west coast team traveling across three time zones to play an early game.

Pick • Seahawks 24, Panthers 20
Panthers +5½
under 45½

 

Buffalo Bills (4-3) at New York Jets (1-6)
Early game on CBS
Announcing crew: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon, Otis Livingston
Broadcast in Vermont, Springfield, Connecticut, New York and northern New Jersey

If you like defensive battles here you go; this game features two teams with good defenses (Buffalo is 7th in points, New York is 8th in yards) facing mediocre offenses (the Bills and Jets are two of five teams averaging fewer than twenty points per game). The Jets have lost six straight but played well enough on the road that they could’a, should’a beat the Patriots last week; meanwhile Buffalo struggled at home against the lowly Vikings, winning by just one point in what may have bet a letdown game after facing the Pats. The Bills will be without both Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller, so let’s see what Kyle Orton can do against a Jet defense that ranks 31st in opposing passer rating and has allowed 18 touchdowns, with only one interception.
Pick • Jets 19, Bills 17
Jets +3
under 41½ (one unit)

 

Miami Dolphins (3-3) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6)
Early game on CBS
Announcing crew: Andrew Catalon, Steve Beuerlein, Steve Tasker
Broadcast in Florida (except Tampa) and Savannah GA

Miami has scored 38, 24 and 27 points in their last three games. Jacksonville just got their semi-annual victory. This isn’t that much of a road game for the Fins in terms of either travel or fan support.
Pick • Dolphins 24, Jaguars 17
Dolphins -5½
under 42½

 

Houston Texans (3-4) at Tennessee Titans (2-5)
Early game on FOX
Announcing crew: Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa
Broadcast in Tennessee and southern and central Texas

Battle of old school versus new school for Houston fans. I’ll take Ryan Fitzpatrick over Jake Locker or Charlie Whitehurst.
Pick • Texans 20, Titans 17
Titans -2½
under 42½

 

Baltimore Ravens (5-2) at Cincinnati Bengals (3-2-1)
Early game on CBS
Announcing crew: Greg Gumbel, Trent Green, Evan Washburn
Broadcast in Maine, western Pennsylvania, Maryland, DC, northern Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee (except Nashville), Houston, Missouri (except Kansas City), Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado and Wyoming

Cincy was crowned the best team in the NFL after week three, but they haven’t won since. Baltimore has reloaded defensively, and lead the league with a defense that is allowing just 14.9 points per game – though that number is inflated with a rather weak schedule thus far.
Pick • Bengals 24, Ravens 23
Bengals +2½
over 45

 

Philadelphia Eagles (5-1) at Arizona Cardinals (5-1)
Late game on FOX
Announcing crew: Chris Myers, Ronde Barber, Jennifer Hale
Broadcast in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, DC, Virginia, North Carolina, Jacksonville, Miami, Cincinnati, Arkansas, Oklahoma, northern Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Montana, Idaho, Reno, northern California (except SF), Oregon, Washington, Alaska

Arizona has been hurt by injuries, and is fortunate to have the record they possess. Philly brings Arizona back to earth in what should be an excellent game well worth watching.
Pick • Eagles 27, Cardinals 24
Eagles +2
over 48

 

Indianapolis Colts (5-2) at Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3)
Late game on CBS
Announcing crew: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson
Broadcast everywhere except Ohio, Arizona, Reno, northern California and Oregon

The national late afternoon game should tell us a lot about both of these teams. Right now Indy looks better on both sides of the ball, but I’m hesitant to go all in on the Colts on the road against a good team.
Pick • Colts 27, Steelers 24
Steelers +4
over 47½

 

Oakland Raiders (0-6) at Cleveland Browns (3-3)
Late game on CBS
Announcing crew: Spero Dedes, Solomon Wilcots, Chris Fischer
Broadcast in Ohio, Reno, northern California and Oregon

The Raiders will win a couple of games this year, but not this week on a long road trip.
Pick • Browns 24, Raiders 17
Browns -6½
under 44½

 

Green Bay Packers (5-2) at New Orleans Saints (2-4)
Sunday night game on NBC
Announcing crew: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya
Broadcast in all markets

This should be an awesome game, regardless of the disparity in the two team’s records. Green Bay’s defense is not all that, and New Orleans is so much better at home than away that I have to go with the Saints. NO has only played two home games thus far, and they get back on track with a win here.
Pick • Saints 31, Packers 27
Saints -1½
over 54½

 

Washington at Dallas
Monday night game on ESPN
Announcing crew: Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters
Broadcast in all markets

Washington is down to their third quarterback. Dallas is playing very well on both sides of the ball, and will roll here against a division opponent that they will not overlook.
Pick • Dallas 34, Washington 13
Cowboys -8½
under 50½

 

 

Follow on Twitter @AllThingsPats

2014 NFL Calendar and Key Dates for the New England Patriots

2014 New England Patriots Transaction Tracker

 

 

This week NFL fans are treated to a great matchup as the 5-2 San Diego Chargers travel to Colorado to take on the 5-1 Denver Broncos in the 110th meeting of AFC East division rivals. Denver leads the series 59-49-1, and won two of the three meetings last year – including their first-ever post-season game, ending San Diego’s 2013 season with a 24-17 victory at Mile High – in games that were all decided by no more than eight points.

 

San Diego has burned through Ryan Mathews, Danny Woodhead and Donald Brown at running back already this year, but Brandon Oliver has given the Chargers a boost, averaging 4.7 yards per carry and 128 yards from scrimmage in the last three games as a starter. Philip Rivers has been absolutely on fire, completing 67.4% of his passes (5th best in the NFL) with 17 touchdowns and only three interceptions. Rivers ranks third in passing yards (1,961) and is third with a 113.0 passer rating.

As great as Rivers has been at quarterback this season, his counterpart for Denver has been just as good if not better. Peyton Manning has thrown 19 touchdowns to only three interceptions, leads the NFL with a 118.2 passer rating, and is second in the league with 8.52 yards per pass attempt – just a hair behind Rivers 8.53 ypa.

Injuries could have a profound effect in this game. San Diego’s top corner Brandon Flowers is not expected to play due to a concussion he suffered last week, and CB Jason Verrett may also miss the game with a shoulder injury.

 

Team Records: Broncos 5-1 (4-0 at home); Chargers 5-2 (2-1 away)

Last Year: Broncos 28-20 at San Diego (Nov 10); Chargers won 27-20 at Denver (Dec 12); Broncos won 24-17 (Jan 12)

Last Week: Broncos beat San Francisco at home 42-17; Chargers lost to Kansas City 23-20 at home

 

Turnovers – Per Game Averages and League Ranks
Giveaways: Chargers 0.4 (1st); Broncos 0.7 (T-3rd)
Takeaways: Chargers 1.3 (T-20th); Broncos 1.0 (T-25th)
Differential: Chargers +0.9 (4th); Broncos +0.3 (T-9th)

Penalties per Game: Chargers 5.9 (8th); Broncos 8.0 (26th)
Penalty Yards per Game: Chargers 55.1 (15th); Broncos 68.5 (26th)
Opponent Penalties: Chargers 8.1 (5th); Broncos 5.7 (T-27th)
Opponent Penalty Yards: Chargers 65.0 (10th); Broncos 37.8 (32nd)

 

Offense – Per Game Averages and League Ranks

Points: Chargers 26.3 (9th); Broncos 31.5 (1st)
Yards: Chargers 360 (11th); Broncos 394 (4th)
Plays: Chargers 64.0 (20th); Broncos 64.2 (18th)
Yards per Play: Chargers 5.6 (12th); Broncos 6.1 (3rd)
First Downs: Chargers 20.6 (16th); Broncos 21.8 (7th)
Third Down Conversions: Chargers 7.6 (2nd); Broncos 5.8 (10th)
Third Down Percentage: Chargers 51.5% (2nd); Broncos 44.3% (8th)
Time of Possession: Chargers 32:37 (5th); Broncos 30:07 (14th)

Passing Yards: Chargers 271 (6th); Broncos 299 (3rd)
Completion Percentage: Chargers 67.1% (5th); Broncos 68.3% (2nd)
Passer Rating: Chargers 112.5 (3rd); Broncos 117.7 (1st)
Gross Yards per Pass: Chargers 8.5 (1st); Broncos 8.5 (2nd)
Net Yards per Attempt: Chargers 8.2 (2nd); Broncos 8.2 (1st)
Touchdown Passes: Chargers 17 (4th); Broncos 19 (T-1st)
Interceptions: Chargers 3 (T-6th); Broncos 3 (T-6th)
TD-Interception Differential: Chargers +14 (3rd); Broncos +16 (2nd)
Completions: Chargers 22.1 (17th); Broncos 24.8 (5th)
Incompletions: Chargers 10.9 (5th); Broncos 11.5 (8th)
Sacks Allowed: Chargers 1.6 (T-8th); Broncos 1.3 (6th)
Sack Yardage Lost: Chargers 66 (10th); Broncos 55 (7th)

Rushing Yards: Chargers 89.3 (29th); Broncos 95.2 (25th)
Yards per Rush: Chargers 3.0 (32nd); Broncos 3.6 (28th)
Rushing First Downs: Chargers 5.1 (T-24th); Broncos 5.2 (23rd)

Yards per Point: Chargers 13.7 (7th); Broncos 12.5 (3rd)
Points per Play: Chargers .411 (7th); Broncos .491 (1st)
Red Zone Chances: Chargers 3.6 (T-9th); Broncos 3.2 (T-18th)
Red Zone Scores: Chargers 2.0 (T-13th); Broncos 2.5 (T-3rd)
Red Zone TD Percentage: Chargers 56.0% (17th); Broncos 78.9% (1st)

 

Special Teams

Field Goals Made: Chargers 2.0 (T-4th); Broncos 1.0 (T-27th)
Punting Gross Yards: Chargers 45.7 (15th); Broncos 45.8 (13th)
Punting Net Yards: Chargers 43.0 (8th); Broncos 43.0 (10th)
Opponents FG Made: Chargers 0.9 (T-1st); Broncos 1.3 (T-8th)
Opp Gross Punting: Chargers 48.9 (30th); Broncos 47.4 (27th)
Opp Net Punting: Chargers 45.1 (29th); Broncos 45.1 (30th)

 

Defense – Per Game Averages and League Ranks

Points: Chargers 16.3 (3rd); Broncos 20.2 (T-6th)
Yards: Chargers 316 (5th); Broncos 317 (6th)
Plays: Chargers 59.0 (4th); Broncos 68.0 (24th)
Yards per Play: Chargers 5.4 (12th); Broncos 4.7 (2nd)
First Downs: Chargers 17.9 (3rd); Broncos 20.7 (19th)
Third Down Conversions: Chargers 5.7 (T-19th); Broncos 5.5 (18th)
Third Down Percentage: Chargers 45.5% (21st); Broncos 37.1% (8th)
Time of Possession: Chargers 27:22 (5th); Broncos 29:53 (14th)

Passing Yards: Chargers 210 (3rd); Broncos 243 (18th)
Completion Percentage: Chargers 61.2% (12th); Broncos 58.5% (2nd)
Passer Rating: Chargers 90.0 (14th); Broncos 80.6 (5th)
Gross Yards per Pass: Chargers 6.8 (7th); Broncos 6.3 (2nd)
Net Yards per Attempt: Chargers 6.3 (7th); Broncos 5.8 (2nd)
Touchdown Passes: Chargers 11 (T-12th); Broncos 9 (T-6th)
Interceptions: Chargers 4 (T-18th); Broncos 5 (17th)
TD-Interception Differential: Chargers -7 (T-18th); Broncos -4 (T-8th)
Completions: Chargers 20.3 (6th); Broncos 24.7 (T-28th)
Incompletions: Chargers 12.9 (T-14th); Broncos 17.5 (2nd)
Sacks: Chargers 2.1 (T-16th); Broncos 3.5 (1st)
Sack Yardage: Chargers 108 (14th); Broncos 135 (2nd)

Rushing Yards: Chargers 107 (13th); Broncos 74 (3rd)
Yards per Rush: Chargers 4.5 (24th); Broncos 3.3 (5th)
Rushing First Downs: Chargers 5.4 (T-16th); Broncos 3.5 (1st)

Yards per Point: Chargers 19.4 (2nd); Broncos 15.7 (15th)
Points per Play: Chargers .276 (3rd); Broncos .297 (4th)
Red Zone Chances: Chargers 1.9 (1st); Broncos 3.3 (T-17th)
Red Zone Scores (TD): Chargers 1.4 (T-4th); Broncos 1.7 (T-8th)
Red Zone TD Percentage: Chargers 76.7% (32nd); Broncos 50.0% (T-6th)

 

Odds

As of Thursday morning:
Broncos -9
Over 52½
Denver -450
San Diego +350

Denver opened up as a 6½ point favorite, but that has zoomed up to nine points as nearly all the early money went with the Broncos. Similarly the majority of the early money went with the over, though the early delta was not as dramatic. As of Thursday morning a lot of late money sided with the Chargers, resulting in their being about a 60-40 split in favor Denver. Meanwhile more money came in on the over rather than that balancing out, with their being about 80% going with the over as of Thursday morning.

San Diego (5-2 ATS, 3-4 over) has failed to cover the last two weeks after doing so in each of their first five games; they have going under and over in each of their seven games this season. The Chargers are 2-1 ATS on the road this year, covering at Arizona and Buffalo before failing to cover in a three-point victory at Oakland two weeks ago. San Diego has done well over recent years at Denver versus expectations: the Chargers are 7-0-4 against the spread in their last eleven games at Mile High.

Denver (3-3 ATS, 4-2 over) has covered in each of their last three games after not doing so in their first three games prior to their bye week. The Broncos also went over in each of those three covers – convincingly twice (in home games by 11 last week versus the Niners, and by 14 three weeks ago against Arizona), and just barely two weeks ago – by one point on a last-minute pick-six against the Jets.

 

Pick • Broncos 31, Chargers 24
San Diego +9
over 51

 

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the publisher of this website. Neither the author nor this website promote or advocate gambling. This is solely for entertainment purposes only. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, please call 1-888-ADMIT-IT.

 

Follow on Twitter @AllThingsPats

2014 NFL Calendar and Key Dates for the New England Patriots

2014 New England Patriots Transaction Tracker

 

 

Week 8 NFL and College Television Coverage and Odds

Any complaints about poor matchups being scheduled on Thursday night should be put to rest this week as the 5-2 San Diego Chargers travel to Colorado to take on the 5-1 Denver Broncos in a battle for supremacy in the AFC West. The game kicks off at 8:25 pm ET and will be broadcast on both CBS and the NFL Network. Jim Nantz will announce the game with Phil Simms as the analyst in the booth, and Tract Wolfson reporting from the sideline.

For those that can’t get in front of a television set, the game will also be broadcast on the radio nationally via the Westwood One Sports affiliates; Ian Eagle (play-by-play), Boomer Esiason (color analyst) and Laura Okmin (sideline reporter) will be the voices for terrestrial radio.

Denver opened as a 6½-point favorite, and that total has moved up to as high as eight points in some venues, with most currently at 7½. Denver’s offense is leading the league in points scored (32.5 points per game) and is fourth in yards (394 per game), and their defense isn’t far behind at 20.2 points per game (tied for sixth best with Kansas City. San Diego owns the the league’s third-best scoring defense (16.3 ppg) while allowing only 316 yards per game (5th). The Chargers have also done a very good job of protecting the ball (3 turnovers, 2nd fewest), which has led to an NFL 4th-best plus-6 turnover differential.

The over/under on this game ranges from 50½ to 52 depending on where you shop, and the money line ranges from +285 to +320 for San Diego, and -360 to -400 for Denver. More on this game later this week, which right now appears as if it should be a gem.

 

For those that have trouble getting up for work Monday morning following a Pats game on Sunday night, here’s some good news: neither the week nine game versus Denver nor the week 13 game at Green Bay will be flexed to Sunday night. CBS has opted to protect Miami at Denver week 12, New England at Green Bay week 13, Pittsburgh at Cincinnati week 14, Denver at San Diego week 15, Indianapolis at Dallas week 16, and leave all of their week 11 games unprotected. FOX protected Philadelphia at Green Bay week 11, New Orleans at Pittsburgh week 13, Seattle at Philadelphia week 14, San Francisco at Seattle week 15, Detroit at Chicago week 16, and left their week 12 games unprotected.

As mentioned previously, there is also some of the new ‘cross-flex’ scheduling in effect this week, as two NFC teams (Seattle and Carolina) will play a game that will be broadcast on CBS. We saw the reverse recently when the Patriots-Bills aired on FOX to help that network fill their inventory of games when they had a doubleheader, with three late games. CBS will be broadcasting the Seahawks-Panthers game over almost all of the US except in the northeast and Florida. In exchange FOX got the Texans-Titans game, which is certainly the short end of the stick in that trade.

 

Here is a look at the rest of the week eight games. It is a CBS double header on Sunday afternoon, with the final two night games featuring all NFC teams – and kicks off with a very early (9:30 am ET) game that is being played in the United Kingdom. Since the Lions-Falcons game will be available everywhere, fans are in essence getting a double header (two games) on both networks. As always, keep in mind that individual stations can and will request changes of specific games being broadcast, resulting in some changes by Sunday.

Detroit Lions (5-2) at Atlanta Falcons (2-5)
Very Early game on FOX
Announcing crew: Thom Brennaman, Troy Aikman, Charissa Thompson
Lions favored by 3½, with a point total of 47
Detroit -190, Atlanta +165
Broadcast in all markets

Minnesota Vikings (2-5) at Tampa Bay Bucs (1-5)
Early game on FOX
Announcing crew: Justin Kutcher, David Diehl, Laura Okmin
Bucs favored by 3, with a point total of 42
Minnesota +130, Tampa Bay -150
Broadcast in central Florida, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota

Chicago Bears (3-4) at New England Patriots (5-2)
Early game on FOX
Announcing crew: Sam Rosen, John Lynch, Pam Oliver
Patriots favored by 6, with a point total of 50
Chicago +230, New England -270
Broadcast in New England, Pittsburgh, Ohio (except Cincinnati), West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, Colorado, Wyoming, Las Vegas, southern California, San Francisco, Hawaii, West Palm Beach

St. Louis Rams (2-4) at Kansas City Chiefs (3-3)
Early game on FOX
Announcing crew: Dick Stockton, Donovan McNabb, Kristina Pink
Chiefs favored by 6½, with a point total of 43½
Kansas City +250, St. Louis -300
Broadcast in Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska

Seattle Seahawks (3-3) at Carolina Panthers (3-3-1)
Early game on CBS
Announcing crew: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Jenny Dell
Seahawks favored by 4½, with a point total of 44½
Seattle -240, Carolina +200
Broadcast in Philadelphia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and everywhere west of the Mississippi River with the exception of Houston, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado and Wyoming

Buffalo Bills (4-3) at New York Jets (1-6)
Early game on CBS
Announcing crew: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon, Otis Livingston
Jets favored by 3, with a point total of 41
Buffalo +135, NY Jets -155
Broadcast in Vermont, Springfield, Connecticut, New York and northern New Jersey

Miami Dolphins (3-3) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6)
Early game on CBS
Announcing crew: Andrew Catalon, Steve Beuerlein, Steve Tasker
Dolphins favored by 5½, with a point total of 43
Miami -255, Jacksonville +215
Broadcast in Florida (except Tampa) and Savannah GA

Houston Texans (3-4) at Tennessee Titans (2-5)
Early game on FOX
Announcing crew: Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa
Texans favored by 1, with a point total of 43½
Houston -120, Tennessee +100
Broadcast in Tennessee and southern and central Texas

Baltimore Ravens (5-2) at Cincinnati Bengals (3-2-1)
Early game on CBS
Announcing crew: Greg Gumbel, Trent Green, Evan Washburn
Bengals favored by 1, with a point total of 46
Baltimore +105, Cincinnati -125
Broadcast in Maine, western Pennsylvania, Maryland, DC, northern Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee (except Nashville), Houston, Missouri (except Kansas City), Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado and Wyoming

Philadelphia Eagles (5-1) at Arizona Cardinals (5-1)
Late game on FOX
Announcing crew: Chris Myers, Ronde Barber, Jennifer Hale
Cardinals favored by 2½, with a point total of 48
Philadelphia +130, Arizona -150
Broadcast in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, DC, Virginia, North Carolina, Jacksonville, Miami, Cincinnati, Arkansas, Oklahoma, northern Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Montana, Idaho, Reno, northern California (except SF), Oregon, Washington, Alaska

Indianapolis Colts (5-2) at Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3)
Late game on CBS
Announcing crew: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson
Colts favored by 3, with a point total of 49
Indy -150, Pittsburgh +130
Broadcast everywhere except Ohio, Arizona, Reno, northern California and Oregon

Oakland Raiders (0-6) at Cleveland Browns (3-3)
Late game on CBS
Announcing crew: Spero Dedes, Solomon Wilcots, Chris Fischer
Browns favored by 7, with a point total of 43½
Oakland +270, Cleveland -330
Broadcast in Ohio, Reno, northern California and Oregon

Green Bay Packers (5-2) at New Orleans Saints (2-4)
Sunday night game on NBC
Announcing crew: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya
Saints favored by 1½, with a point total of 55
Green Bay -105, New Orleans -115
Broadcast in all markets

Washington at Dallas
Monday night game on ESPN
Announcing crew: Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters
Cowboys favored by 9½, with a point total of 49½
Washington +445, Dallas -530
Broadcast in all markets

 

As far as college football games go, this week’s schedule does not look quite as good as the last two weeks, but there are still some interesting matchups. All times listed are for the eastern time zone.

Thursday Oct 23
7:00 – UConn at #18 East Carolina (-28, 54½)
8:00 – Miami (-2½, 49) at Virginia Tech [espn]

Friday Oct 24
7:00 – South Florida at Cincinnati (-10½, 60) [espn2]
9:00 – Brigham Young at Boise State (-7, 59) [espn]

Saturday Oct 25
12:00 – Texas at #11 Kansas State (-10, 49) [espn]
12:00 – Rutgers at #16 Nebraska (-17½, 58) [espn2]
12:00 – North Carolina at Virginia (-7, 65½)
12:00 – Minnesota (-6½, 55½) at Illinois
12:00 – Maryland at Wisconsin (-11, 56)
2:00 — #25 UCLA (-13½, 69) at Colorado
2:00 — UMass at Toledo (-16½, 70½)
3:30 — #1 Mississippi State (-13½, 59) at Kentucky [cbs]
3:30 — Michigan at #8 Michigan State (-17, 49½) [abc]
3:30 — Texas Tech at #10 Texas Christian (-23, 71½) [fox]
3:30 — #22 West Virginia at Oklahoma State (-1, 65) [espn]
3:30 — Boston College (-12½, 40) at Wake Forest
5:00 — #15 Arizona (-2½, 71½) at Washington State
7:00 — Syracuse at #21 Clemson (-14½, 47½)
7:15 — #3 Mississippi (-3½, 44½) at #24 Louisiana State [espn]
7:30 — #4 Alabama (-17, 46½) at Tennessee [espn2]
7:30 — South Carolina at #5 Auburn (-17½, 65)
8:00 — #13 Ohio State (-14, 51½) at Penn State [abc]
10:00 – #20 Southern Cal (-1, 56) at #19 Utah State [fs1]
10:45 – #14 Arizona State (-3½, 61½) at Washington [espn]

 

 

Follow on Twitter @AllThingsPats

2014 NFL Calendar and Key Dates for the New England Patriots

2014 New England Patriots Transaction Tracker