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Archive for the ‘ television ’ Category

Week 16 NFL Television Coverage – limited distribution for Patriots at Jets

Bad news for out of town Pats fans. The week 16 New England Patriots at New York Jets game will only be available on the eight CBS stations in New England that always show the Pats games, nine New York stations, and Miami. This matchup was considered to be a huge rivalry game of national interest just a couple years ago; the lack of distribution for this game speaks volumes of how the nation as a whole considers the Jets to be completely unwatchable at this juncture.

Most of the nation will get Kansas City at Pittsburgh early on CBS Sunday, and then the Colts at Dallas late. Fox has the single game this week; most of New England will receive the Giants at Rams late, as Fox stubbornly still believes that the region is full of New York fans leftover from before the AFL was formed in 1960.

This weekend marks the first time that the NFL can broadcast games on a Saturday, thanks to a clause in the Sports Broadcasting Act from back in 1961. Philadelphia is at Washington in a 4:30 pm ET on the NFL Network, followed by the Chargers at 49ers at 8:30 on CBS. Both of the Saturday games offer a marked improvement over the first game of week 16. On Thursday night the NFL Network will be broadcast a game between two teams with a combined 24 losses as the Jaguars host Tennessee. Will their fan bases be rooting for a victory, or for a loss to help secure the best possible draft pick?

Some game(s) will be moved in week 17 from an early kickoff to a late start, to gain a larger audience based on playoff implications. The most likely candidate is Detroit at Green Bay, which will air on FOX. Both networks have a doubleheader in the final week of the season. If Buffalo is still in contention then the Pats-Bills game is a possibility to be flexed as well, but that could be counterproductive. Should other teams win early then Buffalo could be eliminated before the game starts, making it a meaningless game. Cincinnati at Pittsburgh would be a better option since at least one, if not both of those teams would likely be in a win-you’re-in, lose-you’re-done situation.

Jon Gruden has signed a new contract that will keep him on ESPN through 2021. Perhaps the unfounded speculation that he will become this team or that team’s head coach will finally cease… The Walking Dead is cable television’s highest rated show – it has actually drawn more viewers than Sunday Night Football more often than not this year – but they know when to step back. The show’s producers and AMC decided that the best business decision was to avoid going head-to-head with the NFL playoffs, so they scheduled a ‘mid-season finale’ on November 30, and then will resume the series on February 8 – which just so happens to be a week after the Super Bowl… The writer all Pats fans love to hate, Jon Tomase, has been hired to write for WEEI…

 

Tennessee Titans (2-12) at Jacksonville Jaguars (2-12)
Thursday night game on NFLN
Announcing crew: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson
Jaguars favored by 5, with a point total of 40½

Philadelphia Eagles (9-5) at Washington Redskins (3-11) ★★★
Saturday at 4:30 pm ET on NFLN
Announcing crew: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon, Stacey Dales
Eagles favored by 7½, with a point total of 50½

San Diego Chargers (8-6) at San Francisco 49ers (7-7) ★★★
Saturday at 8:25 pm ET on CBS and NFLN
Announcing crew: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Jenny Dell
Niners favored by 2½, with a point total of 41½

Minnesota Vikings (6-8) at Miami Dolphins (7-7) ★★★
Early game on FOX
Announcing crew: Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa
Broadcast in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Miami and Buffalo
Dolphins favored by 6½, with a point total of 42½

Green Bay Packers (10-4) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-12) ★★
Early game on FOX
Announcing crew: Chris Myers, Ronde Barber, Jennifer Hale
Broadcast in Wisconsin, Iowa, central Florida and Washington
Packers favored by 10½, with a point total of 48½

Detroit Lions (10-4) at Chicago Bears (5-9) ★★
Early game on FOX
Announcing crew: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews
Broadcast in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois
Lions favored by 7, with a point total of 46

Atlanta Falcons (5-9) at New Orleans Saints (6-8) ★★★★
Early game on FOX
Announcing crew: Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch, Pam Oliver
Broadcast in North Carolina (except Charlotte), South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas
Saints favored by 6, with a point total of 56

New England Patriots (11-3) at New York Jets (3-11) ★★★★★
Early game on CBS
Announcing crew: Spero Dedes, Solomon Wilcots, Scott Kaplan
Broadcast in New England, New York state and Miami
Patriots favored by 10, with a point total of 47½

Kansas City Chiefs (8-6) at Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5) ★★★★
Early game on CBS
Announcing crew: Greg Gumbel, Trent Green, Evan Washburn
Broadcast throughout all of the US, with the exception of New England, New York, Maryland, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina, Knoxville, Chicago, Miami, Tampa, New Orleans, Arkansas and Texas
Steelers favored by 3, with a point total of 46½

Cleveland Browns (7-7) at Carolina Panthers (5-8-1) ★★★
Early game on CBS
Announcing crew: Tom McCarthy, Adam Archuleta
Broadcast in Ohio, North Carolina and South Carolina
Panthers favored by 4, with a point total of 49½

Baltimore Ravens at Houston Texans ★★★
Early game on CBS
Announcing crew: Andrew Catalon, Steve Beuerlein, Steve Tasker, Lewis Johnson
Broadcast in Maryland, DC, Knoxville, Arkansas and Texas
Ravens favored by 5½, with a point total of 41½

New York Giants at St. Louis Rams ★★
Late game on FOX
Announcing crew: Thom Brennaman, David Diehl, Laura Okmin
Broadcast in New England, Cleveland, Charlotte, Houston, Missouri and Arizona
Rams favored by 5, with a point total of 43½

Buffalo Bills (8-6) at Oakland Raiders (2-12) ★★★
Late game on CBS
Announcing crew: Brian Anderson, Chris Simms
Broadcast in New York and northern California
Bills favored by 6, with a point total of 39

Indianapolis Colts (10-4) at Dallas Cowboys (10-4) ★★★★★
Late game on CBS
Announcing crew: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson
Broadcast everywhere in the US except New York, northern California and St. Louis
Cowboys favored by 3, with a point total of 5½

Seattle Seahawks (10-4) at Arizona Cardinals (11-3) ★★★★
Sunday night game on NBC
Announcing crew: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya
Seahawks favored by 8, with a point total of 36½

Denver Broncos (11-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (9-4-1) ★★★★★
Monday night game on ESPN
Announcing crew: Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters
Broncos favored by 3½, with a point total of 47½

* Note: much of the distribution for FOX has yet to be determined – specifically for the western United States, Virginia, West Virginia, DC and Maryland. As is always the case, local affiliates may be granted a request to change the game they broadcast.

 

 

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2014 NFL Calendar and Key Dates for the New England Patriots

2014 New England Patriots Transaction Tracker

 

 

Week 14 NFL Games – Previews and Predictions

FOX has the week 14 doubleheader, with most of the country getting Indianapolis at Cleveland early and then Seattle at Philadelphia late. The primary game on CBS is Pittsburgh at Cincinnati, those three games and ten others all serve as warm-ups to Sunday’s main event on NBC as the nine-win Patriots travel to San Diego to face the eight-win Chargers.

 

Remember when earlier this year NBA owner Mark Cuban predicted the imminent demise in popularity of the NFL?

Last week an average of 30,900,000 people watched the game between the Patriots and the Packers. It was the most-watched NFL regular season game since 2007, when the 8-0 Patriots played the 7-0 Colts. The game’s household rating (the percentage of households with televisions tuned to the program) of 19.2 and share (the percentage of homes with televisions on at the time) of 34 were also the highest for CBS in a regular season game since Tebowmania was in full force, and the 10-3 Patriots went to Denver to face a Broncos team that was riding a six-game winning streak; that December 28, 2011 event produced a 19.5 rating and a 36 share.

In the final half hour of the Pats-Packers game viewership peaked with 36,200,000 viewers, a 20.3 rating and a 34 share. To put how popular the game was in perspective, consider this: more Americans watched the New England-Green Bay regular season game than watched any non-NFL championship in any sport this year. All this comes just two weeks after the Patriots posted the second highest numbers in the history of Sunday Night Football in their game against the Colts. The highest rated SNF game ever you ask? That would be the last time the Patriots played the Packers, in 2010.

Now to be fair Cuban did say that the implosion of the NFL would happen in ten years, but right now his prognostication appears to be rather erroneous.

 

Baltimore Ravens (7-5) at Miami Dolphins (7-5) ★★★★
Early game on CBS
Announcing crew: Andrew Catalon, Steve Tasker, Steve Beuerlein

Ryan Tannehill is playing better, and the Baltimore secondary is vulnerable, allowing 7.8 yards per pass and a 67% completion rate.
Pick • Dolphins 31, Ravens 28
Ravens +3½
over 45½

 

Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5) at Cincinnati Bengals (8-3-1) ★★★★
Early game on CBS
Announcing crew: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Jenny Dell

Ben Roethlisberger has cooled off since throwing twelve touchdown passes in weeks 8 and 9. The Bengals just won three consecutive road games, something that virtually never happens in the NFL, allowing just 12 points per game in that span, and have quietly won five of their last six games.
Pick • Bengals 27, Steelers 24
Steelers +3½
over 47½

 

Indianapolis Colts (8-4) at Cleveland Browns (7-5) ★★★★
Early game on FOX (AFC game cross-flexed away from CBS)
Announcing crew: Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch, Pam Oliver

I’m curious to see how the Indy defense performs today; in their last two games against teams with winning records the Colts allowed 93 points. Cleveland may not be an NFL juggernaut, but Josh Gordon is very capable of having a big day if Brian Hoyer can return to the form he showed earlier in the season. The problem is the Browns are still at least a year away; Cleveland is simply not as talented as Indy.
Pick • Colts 34, Browns 24
Colts -3½
over 50

 

Houston Texans (6-6) at Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10) ★★
Early game on CBS
Announcing crew: Brian Anderson, Adam Archuleta

Even though Bill O’Brien was not in Houston in 2013, you can be sure that he has reminded the Texans that they lost to Jacksonville twice last year. Arian Foster returns for Houston this week, and the texans have been taking care of business against bad teams like Jacksonville all year.
Pick • Texans 24, Jaguars 13
Texans -5½
under 42½

 

New York Giants (3-9) at Tennessee Titans (2-10)
Early game on FOX
Announcing crew: Thom Brennaman, David Diehl, Laura Okmin

Tennessee has lost six in a row, but the Giants own an even worse record of ineptitude; they’ve lost seven straight since defeating the Falcons in week 5. Zach Mettenberger had to leave with an injury thanks to the woeful Tennessee offensive line; I’ll go with the G-Men over a less than 100% rookie or Jake locker.
Pick • Giants 31, Titans 20
Giants -1
over 45½

 

Carolina Panthers (3-8-1) at New Orleans Saints (5-7) ★★★
Early game on FOX
Announcing crew: Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa

Carolina is in a strange spot: with only three wins they are in a position to acquire a top draft pick, yet at the same time they are also in contention to win the division title and make the playoffs. The Saints should be able to to exploit a soft Carolina defense, but New Orleans has not played well enough – even at home – to warrant a double digit point spread.
Pick • Saints 28, Panthers 20
Panthers +10
under 49½

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-10) at Detroit Lions (8-4) ★★
Early game on FOX
Announcing crew: Dick Stockton, Brady Quinn, Kristina Pink

A mediocre Tampa Bay pass defense that is allowing a 31st-ranked 68% of the passes they face to be completed goes on the road against Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate. One sign of a bad team is inability to finish, and the Bucs have blown leads in four of their last five games – including double-digit leads in back-to-back games. The Bucs should find another creative way to lose Sunday.
Pick • Lions 24, Bucs 16
Bucs +10½
under 41½

 

St. Louis Rams (5-7) at Washington (3-9) ★★★
Early game on FOX
Announcing crew: Sam Rosen, Kirk Morrison, Peter Schrager

Washington has lost four straight, has a quarterback controversy, and faces a team that won by 52 points last week. The Rams’ pass rush covers up some deficiencies in their pass coverage, and Tre Mason should be able to run against the Skins.
Pick • Rams 24, Skins 17
Rams -3
under 44½

 

New York Jets(2-10) at Minnesota Vikings (5-7) ★★
Early game on CBS
Announcing crew: Spero Dedes, Solomon Wilcots, Chris Fischer

The dysfunctional Jets will once again keep the ball out of Geno Smith’s hands and pound the rock. Last week the Jets ran the ball 49 times while Geno threw only 13 passes, and there is no reason to expect anything different Sunday. The Vikings have allowed an average of 167 yards rushing in their last two games, and are giving up 4.4 yards per carry on the season. Minnesota benefited from two blocked punts for touchdowns last week; it may be a bit much to ask for that kind of assistance again. On the other hand, the Jets can usually be counted on to find a way to lose.
Pick • Vikings 17, Jets 13
Jets +6
under 40½

 

Buffalo Bills (7-5) at Denver Broncos (9-3) ★★★★
Late game on CBS
Announcing crew: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon, Scott Kaplan

John Fox has finally figured out that he needs a running game and not rely so heavily on 38-year old Peyton Manning, who has lost some velocity on his passes. Buffalo was just 1-for-5 in the red zone last week, and rank 30th in the NFL with touchdowns on just 40.9% of their red zone attempts this year. That type of inefficiency won’t result in a win against a potent offense on the road.
Pick • Broncos 27, Bills 19
Bills +10½
under 48½

 

Kansas City Chiefs (7-5) at Arizona Cardinals (9-3) ★★★★
Late game on CBS
Announcing crew: Greg Gumbel, Trent Green, Evan Washburn

While many in the media have jumped off the Arizona bandwagon after a couple of tough road losses, the Cardinals are still undefeated at home this year. Arizona has scored only 35 points in their last three games and will be without RB Andre Ellington due to a hip injury. Kansas City has lost two in a row as well – including a loss to the one-win Raiders – and have scored more than 24 points just once since defeating the Patriots early in the season.
Pick • Cardinals 17, Chiefs 13
Cardinals +1
under 40½

 

San Francisco 49ers (7-5) at Oakland Raiders (1-11) ★★
Late game on FOX
Announcing crew: Chris Myers, Ronde Barber, Jennifer Hale

Colin Kaepernick has struggled mightily due to some very questionable decisions on when and where to throw the ball. The perfect cure is a very short road trip against the NFL’s worst team: the Raiders are tied with the Jets for a league-low eight takeaways, and have the worst turnover differential at minus-18.
Pick • Niners 23, Raiders 10
Niners -9½
under 41½

 

Seattle Seahawks (8-4) at Philadelphia Eagles (9-3) ★★★★★
Late game on FOX
Announcing crew: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews

Seattle has shown that they can win on the road in recent years, and I have more faith in Russell Wilson than Mark Sanchez. After winning back-to-back 19-3 games against San Francisco and Arizona, the Seahawks are looking like the team that won it all last year.
Pick • Seahawks 24, Eagles 20
Seahawks +1½
under 48½

New England Patriots (9-3) at San Diego Chargers (8-4) ★★★★★
Sunday night game on NBC
Announcing crew: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michelle Tafoya

While this is not generating the hype that last week’s Pats-Packers game did, this is an excellent matchup between two very good teams. I would expect New England to focus on Philip Rivers’ four targets (Keenan Allen, Malcom Floyd, Eddie Royal and TE Antonio Gates), which could result in RB Ryan Mathews having a big game. The Patriots are in a more difficult spot than many Pats fans think, playing an 8-4 team on the back end of a long road trip. Even so, I think Bill Belichick will come up with a new wrinkle to eek out a close win.
Pick • Patriots 27, Chargers 24
Chargers +4
under 53½

Atlanta Falcons (5-7) at Green Bay Packers (9-3) ★★★
Monday night game on ESPN
Announcing crew: Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters

Even if Green Bay has a bit of a letdown after last week’s win against the Patriiots, they should still have no problem slicing through an Atlanta defense that is allowing 403 yards and 25 points per game.
Pick • Packers 35, Falcons 21
Falcons +13½
under 56½

 

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 12 NFL Games — Previews and Predictions

Week 12 features four great games between legitimate playoff contenders – though unlike last week, the Patriots will now be on the under-card rather than the main event. Things kick off with a pair of division leaders as the 7-3 Detroit Lions travel to Foxborough to take on the 8-2 New England Patriots in an early afternoon game on FOX. After that 9-1 Arizona goes to Seattle to play the Seahawks in a game that has huge ramifications for the defending champs as well as the entire NFC playoff race.

A few minutes later the 7-3 Broncos host the 6-4 Miami Dolphins in primary late game on CBS (who has the doubleheader this week) as Denver attempts to stop a two-game skid and maintain their slim one-game lead in the AFC West. The Sunday night there’s another good matchup on NBC as the Baltimore Ravens, who are a half game out of the lead in the AFC North, travel to the Big Easy to play the Saints. 4-6 New Orleans has lost two in a row and has not lived up to preseason expectations thus far, but a victory could put them in first place in what has been a down year for the NFC South.

 

On Monday morning as everybody at work talking about the Pats victory over the Colts? If so, that’s not surprising considering the ratings that game achieved. The 40.0 rating and 58 market share were the second-highest numbers ever for the Pats in the history of Sunday Night Football. So what game was the highest? A 42.6 rating in 2010 against the Green Bay Packers – the team the Patriots will play next week. Expect the Brady-Rodgers hype to rival a typical Brady-Manning week, and the ratings for that game to bring very large smiles to CBS advertising executives.

For a benchmark perspective, the Bills-Dolphins week eleven game received a 4.8 household share – in comparison to the Pats-Colts number of 58.

 

Detroit Lions (7-3) at New England Patriots (8-2) ★★★★★
Early game on FOX
Announcing crew: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews

Detroit owns the NFL’s best defense, ranked first both ‘officially’ (290.3 yards per game) and where it counts (15.6 points per game, which is two full points better tan number two Arizona). However, five of their seven wins came against teams with losing records, and one other victory was against Green Bay when the Packers were stumbling early in the season. The Lions were beaten soundly by the three-win Panthers, lost to Buffalo at home, and all of their last three wins – by a total of six points – could very easily have been losses.

The Lions have struggled on offense, but much of that can be attributed to the installation of a new offense. A good comparison would be with the Arizona Cardinals in 2013; Carson Palmer looked lost early in that season, but was clicking on all cylinders down the stretch. Detroit now has a healthy Calvin Johnson, though Reggie Bush will likely miss this game. The Pats can’t solely focus on Megatron because Golden Tate (68 receptions for 950 yards) has performed very well in his absence. Last week TE Coby Fleener was the beneficiary of a Patriot defense designed to hold Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton in check. Detroit’s tight ends haven’t done much (Eric Ebron leads the TE corps with 24 catches for 125 yards), nor have the running backs (Detroit is last with 798 rushing yards and 30th with 3.2 yards per carry), so the Pats may dare Detroit to beat them with either of those two groups.

For more on this game, check out:
Patriots 4th and Two Podcast
Patriots-Lions, Who Has the Razor’s Edge? Key Matchups
Pregame Thoughts and Analysis: Patriots Host Lions Sunday
New England Patriots Gameplan: Week 12 vs. Detroit Lions
And a Detroit newspaper perspective, mlive.com

The Patriots have scored 37 or more points in all but one of their last six games. The Pats are coming off big wins against Denver and Indy, with Green Bay on tap next week. For any other team I would think this game would be ripe for a bit of a letdown, but I can’t envision that happening to this team.
Pick • Patriots 31, Lions 27
Lions +7
over 48½ (one unit)

Cleveland Browns (6-4) at Atlanta Falcons (4-6) ★★★
Early game on CBS
Announcing crew: Andrew Catalon, Steve Tasker, Steve Beuerlein

The Falcons will be looking for their first win in seven tries outside the NFC South. The return of WR Josh Gordon gives a boost to Cleveland’s offense as the Browns seek to reclaim first place in the AFC North. Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Roddy White typically light it up at home, this may turn out to be an entertaining, high scoring game.
Pick • Falcons 28, Browns 24
Falcons -3
over 47 (one unit)

Tennessee Titans (2-8) at Philadelphia Eagles (7-3)
Early game on CBS
Announcing crew: Greg Gumbel, Trent Green, Evan Washburn

After last week’s embarrassing 53-20 loss to Green Bay, Philly will be fired up to play much better this week. The Titans not only find themselves on the road against a superior team, but also in the wrong place at the wrong time. The Titans are 1-6 in games following a loss; on Monday morning that will be 1-7.
Pick • Eagles 35, Titans 17
Eagles -8½
over 48½

Green Bay Packers (7-3) at Minnesota Vikings (4-6) ★★★
Early game on FOX
Announcing crew: Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa

Last time these two teams met the Packers ran for 156 yards, 5.6 yards per carry and two touchdowns. If Minnesota becomes overly focused on stopping the Green Bay passing game then expect Eddie Lacy to have another big game. If not, then expect the Packers to have a game like they did the last two weeks – when they lit up Chicago for 55 points and Philly for 53.
Pick • Packers 31, Vikings 24
Vikings +9½
over 48½

Jacksonville Jaguars (1-9) at Indianapolis Colts (6-4)
Early game on CBS
Announcing crew: Tom McCarthy, Chris Simms

After a three-game stretch in which they averaged allowing only 13 points per game, the Jacksonville defense has regressed and given up 91 points in their three games since then. The Colts (3-0 within the division, 3-4 outside) continue to take advantage of the AFC South. The Jaguars are too banged up for me to take a very tempting point spread.
Pick • Colts 35, Jaguars 17
Colts -13½
over 50 (one unit)

Cincinnati Bengals (6-3-1) at Houston Texans (5-5) ★★★
Early game on CBS
Announcing crew: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Jenny Dell

The Bengals are an inconsistent team, and inconsistent teams don’t play well in consecutive games on the road. On the other hand it’s tough to fully back a quarterback making his second NFL start (Ryan Mallett) against a solid defense.
Pick • Texans 20, Bengals 17
Texans -1½
under 43½

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-8) at Chicago Bears (4-6) ★★
Early game on FOX
Announcing crew: Thom Brennaman, David Diehl, Laura Okmin

Lovie Smith and Josh McCown return to play their first game in Chicago. Supposedly they were going to get revenge when the Bucs played the Falcons for the second time, after losing at Atlanta by 42 points; that didn’t happen. I don’t see it happening on the road rather than at home this week either. Giving up a ton of points at New England or at Green Bay is not unusual for an NFL team; the Bears defense will more resemble the one that allowed only 13 points at home last week.
Pick • Bears 27, Bucs 17
Bears -5
under 46½

Arizona Cardinals (9-1) at Seattle Seahawks (6-4) ★★★★★
Late game on FOX
Announcing crew: Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch, Pam Oliver

A one-loss team with the NFL’s best record versus the defending champions makes for week twelve’s best game. Arizona is second in the league with a plus-20 turnover differential, which more than compensates for a defense that may at first glance (12th in yards, 20th in yards per play) appear to be overrated. Seattle desperately needs to win this game – not to win the division, but to keep a wild card spot within their sights. I can’t recall a 9-1 team ever being this much of an underdog to a team with three fewer wins; I’m sure Arizona will play the disrespect card in the locker room, even if there’s no need for any extra motivation.
Pick • Cardinals 20, Seahawks 17
Cardinals +7
under 42½

St. Louis Rams (4-6) at San Diego Chargers (6-4) ★★★★
Late game on FOX
Announcing crew: Chris Myers, Ronde Barber, Jennifer Hale

While the Rams deserve to be congratulated for knocking off Denver last week, consider this: the Broncos were playing their third straight road game, something that historically results in a poor performance quite often. Now St. Louis is on the road rather than at home, and San Diego – who is one game off the lead in the AFC West as well as one game out of a playoff spot – won’t be taking the Rams lightly. While the Chargers have lost three of their last four, two were against quality teams (Denver and Miami) on the road; they should get the win here.
Pick • Chargers 24, Rams 17
Chargers -5
under 43½

Miami Dolphins (6-4) at Denver Broncos (7-3) ★★★★★
Late game on CBS
Announcing crew: im Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson

It looks like TE Julius Thomas will not play but WR Emmanuel Sanders will start for Denver. In their five games since losing to Green Bay by three, the Dolphins are allowing just 11.2 points per game. Ryan Tannehill is playing well (17 TD, 7 INT) this season and very well this month (6 TD, 1 INT, 73% complete) for Miami. If this game was in south Florida I would solidly back the Dolphins, but I’m reluctant to do so at Mile High; Manning and the Broncos rarely lose two in a row.
Pick • Broncos 27, Dolphins 20
Broncos -6½
under 48½

Washington (3-7) at San Francisco (6-4) ★★
Late game on FOX
Announcing crew: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon, Scott Kaplan

Washington has lost six of their last eight games, has covered the spread just once in their last seven games, owns the second worst record in the NFC, and now travels across three time zones to play a team fighting for a playoff spot. The Niners won two straight games on the road after being upset by St. Louis; they should have no trouble giving their home fans a victory here.
Pick • Niners 27, Skins 13
Niners -9
under 44½

Dallas Cowboys (7-3) at New York Giants (3-7) ★★★
Sunday night on NBC
Announcing crew: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michelle Tafoya

The Giants are allowing far too much pressure too often on passing plays, and the revamped Dallas defense should be able to take advantage of the weakness. The Cowboys are coming off a bye week, which means a well rested DeMarco Murray could be in for a big game. New York does not have a good football team, and the annual Dallas slide does not occur until we flip the calendar to december.
Pick • Cowboys 27, Giants 17
Cowboys -3½
under 48½

New York Jets (2-8) at Buffalo Bills (5-5)
Monday night on CBS
Announcing crew: Spero Dedes, Solomon Wilcots, Chris Fischer

Cool deal for this game: tickets are free and available to the general public. Good idea, because otherwise the attendance would rival that of a WNBA game. The Bills have lost two in a row and have had their normal week of preparation turned upside down by the snow at Orchard Park.
Pick • Jets 20, Bills 17
Jets +2½
under 41½

Baltimore Ravens (6-4) at New Orleans Saints (4-6) ★★★★
Monday night on ESPN
Announcing crew: Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters

After an unthinkable two straight home losses, the Saints host a Baltimore team that is coming off a bye. Both teams are currently on the bubble for a playoff spot, but this matchup doesn’t look good for the Ravens. Baltimore is still working with a makeshift secondary that Drew Brees should be able to take advantage of converted safety Anthony Levine and journeyman Danny Gorrer trying to cover the Saints receivers.
Pick • Saints 30, Ravens 21
Saints -3
over 50

Bye Week: Pittsburgh Steelers (7-4), Carolina Panthers (3-7-1)

Two-Way Parlays:
Eagles and Over
Colts and Over
Niners and Under

 

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.

 

 

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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

 

 

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

 

 

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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]

 

 

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Week 7 NFL Television Coverage and Odds

NFL week seven kicks off at 8:25 pm ET on Thursday night as the 4-2 New England Patriots have a short week to recover from season-ending injuries to two of their starters, and host their biggest rival, the 1-5 New York Jets. The game will be broadcast on both CBS and the NFL Network, with Jim Nantz handling the play-by-play calls. Phil Simms will serve as the color analyst and Tracy Wolfson will be the sideline reporter. The NFL Network will commence their pre-game show at 6:00 pm for those that just can’t get enough, waiting for the game to start; a better alternative in my opinion would be to shut the television off until kickoff and listen to Christopher Price and WEEI’s pre-game show.

The game will also be broadcast on the radio nationally via the Westwood One Sports affiliates, with Ian Eagle calling the plays, Boomer Esiason adding analysis and Laura Okmin as the sideline reporter. Locally the game will also air on 98.5 the Sports Hub and 40 other radio stations in the northeast; Bob Socci will call the play-by-play while Scott Zolak adds the color(ful) analysis, which may or may not include unicorns and ponies.

On a side night, Thursday’s game ‘Ty Law Night’ at Gillette Stadium. Law was voted in to the Patriots’ Hall of Fame earlier this year, and will be honored during halftime of Thursday’s game. Coincidence or not for the New York fans in the audience, Law spent two seasons with the Jets after leaving the Patriots – but after plating in twelve playoff games with the Pats, he never saw the post-season with the Jets.

Despite the injuries to Jerod Mayo, Stevan Ridley and Dan Connolly, as of Monday the Patriots are being listed as 9½ point favorites over the Jets, with an over/under of 46½. The money line is currently set at Jets +415 while the Patriots are -485.

 

In case you were wondering why Sunday’s game at Buffalo was broadcast on FOX rather than CBS even though it was between two AFC teams, here’s the deal. For several years now the NFL has had ‘flex’ scheduling late in the season, where games are moved in and out of the Sunday night slot based on what has occurred during the season, to place a more better and more competitive game on Sunday night – in order to capture a larger television audience.

Starting this season the NFL instituted ‘cross-flex’ scheduling, again in the attempt to gain a larger television audience for their broadcasting business partners. Four weeks in advance of each Sunday’s games, FOX and CBS make a preliminary report of what games will be broadcast in to each of their television markets. If a game is not scheduled to get much distribution, then the other network may opt to pick it up, to help fill their own schedule and distribution.

In this case the Pats-Bills were scheduled to only be broadcast in their own television markets (New England and western New York), just as has been the case for years in games between these two teams. At the time the network suits did not envision Buffalo being a quality team or this setting up to be a compelling game – which in their defense is understandable, given the history of the Bills this century. FOX on the other hand not only had the doubleheader (needing games to air in almost every market in both the early and late time slots), but they also had three late games. That left them a bit light on early games to choose from, so they added the Pats-Bills game as part of the cross-flex program. End result was that the game was broadcast in several western states in addition to being seen in New England and western New York.

From what I have been reading the week eight October 26th game between Seattle and Carolina will be cross-flexed from FOX to CBS, with FOX getting the short end of the stick by receiving the Tennesse-Houston game as a trade-off. FOX had a season-high 19.2 rating for their late games Sunday, which was the highest for either network since 2011 and the highest for FOX since 1996. To put it in perspective, that 19.2 rating – based primarily on the Seahawks-Cowboys game – was nine percent better than what FOX had for the Pats-Saints game last year.

 

One other item of note: last week I raised an eyebrow when I saw that Mike Goldberg would be announcing the Detroit-Minnesota game. As expected his NFL broadcasting debut was apparently a bit uneven. That is not really newsworthy; however, his responses to criticism on social media may result in his career as an NFL play-by-play announcer being over soon after it began.

 

Here is a look at what is currently being scheduled to be broadcast for the rest of week seven. FOX has the double header again this week, and as they so often do, will showcase a pair of NFC Est teams. The Giants-Cowboys will be the primary late afternoon game, and then NBC broadcasts San Francisco at Denver on Sunday night.

I’m not thrilled with the same team playing consecutive games on Monday and Sunday nights (the Niners here; the Pats just did the same at KC and then versus Cincinnati. As an NFL fan I would rather see different teams, and from the team’s perspective that is most likely a bit tougher to prepare for.

Cincinnati Bengals (3-1-1) at Indianapolis Colts (4-2)
Early game on CBS
Colts favored by 3, with a point total of 49
Bengals +145, Colts -165
Broadcast in New York (except Buffalo), New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana (except New Orleans), Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Wyoming, Utah, Reno, San Francisco, Alaska and Hawaii

Tennessee Titans (2-4) at Washington (1-5)
Early game on CBS
Washington favored by 4½, with a point total of 46
Tennessee +190, Washington -220
Broadcast in Maryland, DC, Virginia, Tennessee and Tupelo

Miami Dolphins (2-3) at Chicago Bears (3-3)
Early game on CBS
Bears favored by 3½, with a point total of 49
Miami +160, Chicago -180
Broadcast in New England, Florida (except Jacksonville and Orlando), Michigan, Illinois, St. Louis, North Dakota, South Dakota and Arizona

Cleveland Browns (3-2) at Jacksonville Jaguars (0-6)
Early game on CBS
Browns favored by 4½, with a point total of 45
Browns -250, Jaguars +210
Broadcast in Jacksonville, Orlando, Savannah and Cleveland

Seattle Seahawks (3-2) at St. Louis Rams (1-4)
Early game on FOX
Seahawks favored by 6½, with a point total of 43
No money line yet, pending MNF result
Broadcast in southern Illinois, Missouri, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Reno, northern California, Utah, Arizona and Alaska

Carolina Panthers (3-2-1) at Green Bay Packers (4-2)
Early game on FOX
Packers favored by 7, with a point total of 49
Carolina +265, Green Bay -315
Broadcast in New England, eastern New York, New Jersey, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida (except Jacksonville and Tallahassee), Tennessee (except Memphis), Kentucky, Minnesota, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Las Vegas, southern California, Hawaii

Atlanta Falcons (2-4) at Baltimore Ravens (4-2)
Early game on FOX
Ravens favored by 7, with a point total of 49½
Atlanta +260, Baltimore -310
Broadcast in Maryland, DC, western Pennsylvania, Georgia and Alabama

Minnesota Vikings (2-4) at Buffalo Bills (3-3)
Early game on FOX
Bills favored by 4, with a point total of 43
Minnesota +170, Buffalo -195
Broadcast in western New York, Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota

New Orleans Saints (2-3) at Detroit Lions (4-2)
Early game on FOX
Lions favored by 3, with a point total of 50
New Orleans +130, Detroit -150
Broadcast in Michigan, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas

Kansas City Chiefs (2-3) at San Diego Chargers (5-1)
Late game on CBS
Chargers favored by 4, with a point total of 44½
Kansas City +170, San Diego -195
Broadcast in Buffalo, Charlotte, Atlanta, New Orleans, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, California (except SF), Oregon, Washington

New York Giants (3-3) at Dallas Cowboys (5-1)
Late game on FOX
Cowboys favored by 5½, with a point total of 48
New York +210, Dallas -250
Broadcast everywhere except Arizona, Reno, San Diego and northern California

Arizona Cardinals (4-1) at Oakland Raiders (0-5)
Late game on FOX
Cardinals favored by 3½, with a point total of 43½
Arizona -175, Oakland +155
Broadcast in Arizona, Reno and northern California

San Francisco 49ers (4-2) at Denver Broncos (4-1)
Sunday night game on NBC
Broncos favored by 6½, with a point total of 51½
No money line yet, pending MNF result

Houston Texans (3-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers (3-3)
Monday night game on ESPN
Steelers favored by 3½, with a point total of 44½
Houston +160, Pittsburgh -180

 

 

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NFL Week 6 Previews and Predictions, Straight Up and ATS

Some quick thoughts, insightful analysis and wild guesses for the NFL’s week six games after consulting the magic 8-ball on Friday night.

 

Denver Broncos (3-1) at New York Jets (1-4)
Early game on CBS; Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts
Broadcast in New England (except Boston and Providence), New York (except Buffalo), New Jersey, West Palm, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Indiana, Illinois, and everywhere west of the Mississippi (except Minnesota, California and Reno)

Denver will be without RB Montee HBall and they’ve only covered once, but despite the long road trip it’s very difficult to find a reason to not go with the Broncos. Normally I would consider this to be a bounce-back game for the home team, but I can’t rationalize how that would be the case with this Jets team.
Pick • Broncos 34, Jets 13
Broncos -7½ (two units)
under 48½

 

Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2) at Cleveland Browns (2-2) ★★★
Early game on CBS; Greg Gumbel, Trent Green
Broadcast in Pennsylvania, Ohio (except Cincinnati), West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina (except Charlotte) and South Carolina

The Pittsburgh defense has started to show some positives, with the young blood making some productive strides. This is an early season rematch; the two teams met in week one when the Steelers jumped out to a huge lead early with Cleveland tying the game late before Pittsburgh won on a field goal as time expired. Pittsburgh should be able to do enough on the ground against a Cleveland defense that is allowing 5.1 yards per rush (30th in the NFL) and 153 yards per game (29th) to gain a road win here.
Pick • Steelers 24, Browns 23
Steelers +1½
under 47½

 

Jacksonville Jaguars (0-5) at Tennessee Titans (1-4)
Early game on CBS; Andrew Catalon, Steve Tasker
Broadcast in Tennessee, Tupelo, Savannah, Jacksonville and Orlando

Rookie quarterback Blake Bortles has just one touchdown pass and four interceptions in two starts, thanks to an empty cupboard to work with for the Jacksonville offense. The Jags are averaging only 272 yards per game (31st) and 13.4 points per game – which is how much seven other teams are averaging in a half. Tennessee isn’t much better with a 29th ranked 17.6 points per game. Maybe the two defenses can score a few times.
Pick • Titans 17, Jaguars 13
Jaguars +4½
under 43½ (one unit)

 

Green Bay Packers (3-2) at Miami Dolphins (2-2) ★★★★
Early game on FOX; Sam Rosen, John Lynch
Broadcast in Philadelphia, DC, eastern Virginia, Florida (except Tampa), Wisconsin, Illinois, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, eastern Missouri, Texas (except Houston), Oklahoma (except Tulsa), Utah, Montana, Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington, Anchorage

Since their week one victory over the Patriots the Dolphins have a pair of 19-point losses (at Buffalo and at home to Kansas City), plus a victory over one of the leagues’s worst teams (Oakland). The Packers meanwhile have recovered from two road losses to good defenses (Seattle and Detroit), hitting their stride with two division victories by a cumulative score of 80-27. Miami may have the worst home field advantage in the NFL; cheesehead transplants will be filling Sun Life Stadium to the point where there will be times that you forget who the home team is. Despite Green Bay’s woes stopping the run (4.6 yards per carry and a league-worst 163 yards rushing per game), Aaron Rodgers should be able to win the 15th of his last 16 October games.
Pick • Packers 28, Dolphins 24
Packers -3
over 48½

 

Detroit Lions (3-2) at Minnesota Vikings (2-3) ★★★
Early game on FOX; Mike Goldberg, Brendon Ayanbadejo (no, this is not a misprint)
Broadcast in Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Louisville and Tulsa

In two games Teddy Bridgewater has a 92.7 passer rating, completing 31 out of 50 passes for 467 yards. However, that was against New Orleans and Atlanta; now he and the Vikings face a Detroit defense that is allowing a league-low 282 yards per game, 15.8 points per game (2nd best in the NFL), 208 yards passing (6th) and has 12 sacks (7th). However, the Lions may be without WR Calvin Johnson, and last week were down to utilizing former Patriot training camp fodder George Winn at running back. Even with the injuries stalling Detroit’s offense, I think their defense will carry the club to victory in a gritty bounce-back game after their last second loss to Buffalo.
Pick • Lions 20, Vikings 17
Lions +2½
under 44 (one unit)

 

Carolina Panthers (3-2) at Cincinnati Bengals (3-1) ★★★★
Early game on FOX; Chris Myers, Ronde Barber
Broadcast in New Orleans, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Knoxville, Kentucky (except Louisville), Indiana, Ohio (except Toledo and Cleveland), Baltimore and western Pennsylvania

After being lit up in blowout losses to average offenses – Pittsburgh and Baltimore scored 75 points and totaled 908 yards – Carolina took a step forward by holding the Bears to 347 total yards while sacking Jay Cutler four times in last week’s victory over Chicago. The Panther offense was supposed to be focused on their running game, but injuries have depleted that unit and they are averaging a mere 3.1 yards per carry and 75 rushing yards per game. The Bengals have won 11 straight regular season home games going back to 2012; Gio Bernard and Jeremy Hill should have their way against a Carolina defense that is allowing an NFL-worst 5.4 yards per carry.
Pick • Bengals 24, Panthers 13
Bengals -6½
under 44 (one unit)

 

New England Patriots (3-2) at Buffalo Bills (3-2) ★★★★★
Early game on FOX; Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston
Broadcast in New England, New York (except NYC), Houston, western Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Idaho

The Bills are allowing 17.8 points per game, which is 4th best in the NFL. DT Marcell Dareus had three sacks and a forced fumble last week, which is bad news for an inconsistent New England offensive line that may be without center Bryan Stork. After carrying DC Jim Schwartz off the field last week at Detroit, I can’t help but wonder if Buffalo will have a bit of a letdown – something I can’t recall considering very often for a team facing the Patriots this century. I’m not sold on Kyle Orton yet, even though he is an improvement over EJ Manuel; a late turnover leads to yet another victory for the Patriots at Buffalo.
Pick • Patriots 20, Bills 17
Patriots -2
under 45½ (one unit)

 

Baltimore Ravens (3-2) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-4) ★★
Early game on CBS; Spero Dedes, Solomon Wilcots
Broadcast in Baltimore, Harrisburgh, DC, Tampa and Fort Myers

Tampa Bay is allowing 31.2 points per game (31st), 412 yards (30th), 8.0 yards per pass (29th) while scoring 20.6 points per game (25th). Baltimore is better in virtually every aspect of this game, and should get the victory; after seeing the Bucs defeat Pittsburgh, the Ravens have no reason to be looking past this game.
Pick • Ravens 24, Bucs 13
Ravens -3 (one unit)
under 44½ (one unit)

 

San Diego Chargers (4-1) at Oakland Raiders (0-4) ★★
Late game on CBS; Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon
Broadcast in Boston, Providence, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Buffalo, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, California and Reno

The Chargers have struggled against the Raiders recently, losing 27-17 last year at Oakland and winning only four of the last eight games between these two teams. San Diego is allowing an NFL-best 12.6 points per game, while Oakland is scoring an NFL-worst 12.8 points per game. In the battle of two teams who once played in Los Angeles, does the loser or winner get to return to the City of Angels? Philip Rivers (12 TD, 2 INT, 70.3% completions, 116.3 passer rating) is having an MVP-worthy season, and should have no trouble guiding San Diego to their fifth victory of the year.
Pick • Chargers 31, Raiders 10
Chargers -6½ (one unit)
under 44½

 

Chicago Bears (2-3) at Atlanta Falcons (2-3) ★★★
Late game on FOX; Justin Kutcher, David Diehl (who?)
Broadcast in Georgia, Alabama, New Orleans, Knoxville, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa

Atlanta has scored 93 points in their two home games, and it’s tough to pick against them in a game where they face a Chicago defense that is allowing a 23rd-ranked 26.2 points per game. Wide receiver Brandon Marshall has cooled off since his three-touchdown performance against San Francisco. In the last three games he has just six receptions for 69 yards while dealing with a bum ankle. look for he and Jay Cutler (four picks in the last two games) to get back on track against a subpar Atlanta defense. The Falcons are allowing 28.6 points and 407 yards per game (both 29th) and 8.2 yards per pass attempt (31st). The moneyline is favorable enough that I’ll put one unit on the Bears there in what is essentially a tossup.
Pick • Falcons 35, Bears 34
Bears +3
over 54
Bears +160 (one unit)

 

Dallas Cowboys (4-1) at Seattle Seahawks (3-1) ★★★★★
Late game on FOX; Thom Brennaman, Troy Aikman
Broadcast everywhere except Baltimore, DC, Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, New orleans, Knoxville, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota and Arizona

Mano a mano. Seattle leads the NFL defensively, allowing a minuscule 2.6 yards per carry and 62 yards rushing per game. Dallas lead the NFL with 160 yards rushing per game, as DeMarco Murray (670 yards rushing, 5.2 yards per carry) has run for 157 more yards than any other player in the NFL. Former Bear Henry Melton has helped improve the Dallas defense, but Seattle is still the better team – especially at home.
Pick • Seahawks 27, Cowboys 17
Seahawks -8
under 47½

 

Washington (1-4) at Arizona Cardinals (3-1) ★★
Late game on FOX; Dick Stockton, Brady Quinn (I guess he really is retired now)
Broadcast in Baltimore, DC, Virginia and Arizona

Washington has now lost three in a row, while Arizona is coming off their first loss of the season at Denver. The Skins rely on Alfred Morris and the running game on offense, but the Cardinals run defense (3.0 yards per carry, 3rd; 77 yards per game, 4th) should be able to stop him, just like Seattle did last week.
Pick • Cardinals 27, Washington 13
Cardinals -3 (two units)
under 46½ (two units)

 

New York Giants (3-2) at Philadelphia Eagles (4-1) ★★★★
Sunday night game on NBC; Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth

I’ll let Jimmy Fallon preview this game:

 

Pick • Giants 31, Eagles 27
Giants +3½
over 50 (one unit)

 

San Francisco 49ers (3-2) at St. Louis Rams (1-3) ★★
Monday night game on ESPN; Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden

Two strong defenses face off Monday night: San Francisco is 2nd in yardage (283 per game) and tenth in points (21.2), while St. Louis leads the league in pass defense with 192 yards per game. Austin Davis has performed far better than I expected he would at quarterback for the Rams, but the Niner defense is a whole lot better than the Philadelphia, Dallas or Tampa Bay D.
Pick • Niners 20, Rams 17
Rams +3½
under 44½

 

Two-Game Teaser
Seahawks -2, Lions +8½

Two-Game Parlay
Cardinals -3, Ravens -3

Three-Game Teaser
Broncos +1½, Bears-Falcons over 45, Bengals-Panthers under 53

 

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2014 NFL Calendar and Key Dates for the New England Patriots

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Week 6 NFL Television Coverage

Over the last several seasons games between the Bills and Patriots have received virtually no distribution outside those two teams respective home markets of western New York and New England. There were some rumors that may end if both teams won last week – which they did – to set up a battle for first place in the AFC East between two clubs with winning records. However, that is not the case. The only other area that will be broadcasting the Pats-Bills game is Bronco country, in Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Idaho, Utah and Arizona.

This game will be shown on FOX even though it is between two AFC teams, as part of a new agreement to switch some games between CBS and FOX in order to bring potentially under-distributed games to wider audiences. Kenny Albert will call the play-by-play and Daryl Johnson will handle the analysis and commentary.

For the early game on CBS, most of the country will see what could be a laughable blowout of epic proportions: the Jets versus the Broncos. Pittsburgh at Cleveland will air in most of South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio (except Cincinnati), and western Pennsylvania. Two other early games will be broadcast strictly in each of the team’s home markets: Baltimore at Tampa Bay, and Jacksonville at Tennessee.

The late game on CBS is San Diego at Oakland, which will be broadcast from Boston and Providence. The reason these stations will show this game rather than the Broncos-Jets is because there is only one game on CBS this weekend, and they do not want to go head-to-head with the Pats game on FOX. The Chargers game will also air in Buffalo, Miami, Charlotte, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Reno and California.

FOX has the doubleheader this week, with four early games and three late games. Most of the country will get Green Bay at Miami early and Dallas at Seattle late. The two other early games on FOX are Detroit at Minnesota (which will be shown in Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota), and Carolina at Cincinnati (broadcast in western Pennsylvania, most of Ohio, Maryland, DC, West Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama.

Washington at Arizona is one of the three late games on FOX, and will be available only in Virginia, DC and Arizona. Chicago at Atlanta will air in Georgia, Alabama, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota; Dallas at Seattle will be shown everywhere else.

Thursday’s game on CBS and the NFL Network is an AFC South division game between Indianapolis and Houston. Sunday night it’s an NFC East game on NBC with the Giants at Philadelphia, and then Monday night it is the NFC West’s turn as San Francisco visits St. Louis.

 

 

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2014 NFL Calendar and Key Dates for the New England Patriots

2014 New England Patriots Transaction Tracker