Tuesday’s List of 13: Glad to be back……

13) Here is a pro tip if you’re having surgery; go to the right bleepin’ hospital. 

Thats right, I show up 20 minutes early for my operation last Tuesday, but turns out I’m at Albany Medical Center when I’m supposed to be at Albany Memorial Hospital, which according to Mapquest, is 2.6 miles away. Not good, but we got there and the staff at Memorial couldn’t have been nicer. 

12) Backtracking a little bit, couple of Saturdays ago I’m sitting in the sportsbook at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, watching college football and talking with a buddy, when the vision in my right eye became foggy. Had no idea what the problem was, but it didn’t get better, and after flying home that Tuesday, it got way worse. Turns out the retina in my right eye had detached. 

On October 22 (the 47th anniversary of the Oakland A’s first World Series title), I had my right eye operated on, and now I wait and hope it bounces back to where it was. In the meantime, I’d like to thank anyone who sent a text, e-mail or called to offer help/best wishes. Much appreciated. 

— Thanks to Dr Mallick, who was my eye surgeon; appreciate you answering all my questions, and obviously, thanks a lot for putting my eye back together. Thanks isn’t really enough to say, but I really appreciate your work.

11) Part of rehabbing your re-attached retina is having your head pointed down a lot, so I’m listening to TV more than watching it; two observations:

a) Joe Buck is very good at baseball play-by-play.
b) 86-year old Hubie Brown is still great fun to listen to on NBA games.

10) When Washington Nationals’ OF Juan Soto was 10 years old, he played on an all-star team in the Dominican Republic that was coached by Robinson Cano’s father.

9) Since the start of last season, 56.4% of NBA players have changed teams, an amazing stat. NBA is the only league where the preseason is more interesting than the regular season.

8) A friend of mine here in Albany is opening a bar/golf simulator soon in Guilderland, out on Route 20 by Western Turnpike golf course. It is going to be called The Bunker, and once I get out and about more, I’ll give you an in-person report, but it sounds like an excellent place to hang out and have fun with friends.

7) Major league managerial hirings:
— Cubs hired David Ross, who was an active player only three years ago.
— Phillies hired Joe Girardi, an excellent hire.
— Angels announced hiring of Joe Maddon; he worked for the Halos for 30 years before he became a big league skipper in Tampa Bay.
— Maddon hired former Mets’ skipper Mickey Callaway as his pitching coach.
— Padres hired 38-year old Jayce Tingler, who worked for years in the Texas Rangers’ system.

6) Last Wednesday, the first full night of NBA games, 22 Kentucky alums played and first thing Thursday morning, John Calipari posted all their stats on Twitter. Effective recruiting tool.

5) NFL knowledge:
— Denver QB Joe Flacco (neck) is out for this week’s game with Cleveland. Brandon Allen is the new starter; he has never taken an NFL snap. Allen started for 2.5 years at Arkansas, where the Hogs went 15-11 his junior/senior seasons. 
— Chargers fired OC Ken Whisenhunt Monday night.
— Texans’ star DE JJ Watt is done for the season (torn pectoral muscle). 

4) From ESPN stats: New Jersey Jets are first NFL team since the ’91 Colts who, through seven games, have fewer than 450 yards rushing, while giving up 200+ yards in sacks. 

3) Of the 64 teams who trailed a World Series 3-2, 20 of them came back to win the Series.

2) Good news/bad news after my eye surgery:
Bad news: Had to cancel my annual Christmas trip to Las Vegas; can’t fly for a couple months after the surgery. I’ll survive, but I’ve enjoyed spending my birthday/Christmas in the desert.

Good news: Looking like a March trip instead; second weekend of NCAA tournament, and first week of baseball season.

1) Steelers 27, Dolphins 14— Monday, a gambler at South Point Casino in Las Vegas risked $100,000 to win $11,764.70 on the Steelers’ money line. He had to sweat some in the first half, but he won his 11 grand.

Saturday, someone risked $5,040 to win $210 on Oklahoma’s money line to beat Kansas State; the Sooners lost, once again proving Oscar Madison’s old line from The Odd Couple:

“There’s no such thing as a sure thing; thats why they call it gambling.”

Monday’s Den: Wrapping up an NFL Sunday……

Lions 31, Giants 26:
— Giants scored only 13 points on three trips into the red zone.
— Big Blue scored with 1:19 left for the backdoor cover.
— Giants lost their last four games, allowing 30.3 ppg. 

— Detroit opened scoring with a defensive TD 7:12 into the game.
— Six of Lions’ seven games were decided by 5 or fewer points.
— Giants converted 7-12 third down plays;; Detroit 8-14.

Titans 27, Buccaneers 23
— Evans caught 11 balls for 198 yards and two TD’s.
— Bucs outgained Tennessee 389-246; their last five games went over total.
— Tampa Bay is 2-5 ATS in last seven post-bye tilts, 5-8-3 in last 16 games as road dog

— Titans drove 90 yards on 12 plays for winning TD with 6:55 left.
— Tennessee scored 23+ points in its four wins, 17 or less in their losses.
— Titans had two takeaways in first quarter; their first two TD drives were only 10-6 yards.

Chargers 17, Bears 16:
— Chargers’ first five drives: 16 plays, 34 yards, one first down.
— Chargers’ last five drives: 28 plays, 179 yards, 17 points.
— Under Lynn, Bolts are 7-2-1 ATS as road underdogs.

— Chicago missed a 41-yard FG on last play of the game.
— Bears scored only 16 points on five red zone drives.
— Chicago outgained LA 388-231, running 77 plays, to 42 for Chargers. 

Seahawks 27, Falcons 20:
— Seattle’s first five drives: 36 plays, 215 yards, 24 points.
— Seahawks were +3 (3-0) in turnovers, won field position by 13 yards.
—  Seattle scored 28.5 ppg in winning all four of its road games. 

— Atlanta lost its last six games, has bye now; will they fire Quinn?
— 38-year old Schaub threw for 460 yards; his last start was in 2015.
— Game was 24-nil at the half; Falcons kicked FG for backdoor cover with 1:17 left. 

Jaguars 29, Jets 15:
— Jets drove 93 yards on first drive; next four drives: 11 plays, minus-9 yards.
— Gang Green converted only 11 of last 70 (15.7%) third down plays.
— Jets’ last five losses were all by 14+ points- they’re 7-14-2 ATS in last 23 games as road underdogs.

— Jaguars converted 8-17 third down plays, Jets only 2-9.
— All four teams in AFC South are .500 or better.
— Jaguars are +8 in turnovers in their four wins, minus-7 in losses. 

Eagles 31, Bills 13:
— Eagles ran ball for 218 yards, outgained Buffalo 371-253.
— First two Philly drives of 3rd quarter: eight plays, 135 yards, two TD’s.
— Eagles were 8-15 on third down (7-21 in previous two games). 

— Allen completed only 16-34 passes, 4.1 yards/attempt.
— First five games. Bills allowed total of 70 points; last two games: 21-31 points. 
— Buffalo’s last six drives: 20 plays, 32 yards, two first downs. 

Rams 24, Bengals 10:
— Cincy got into LA territory on six of nine drives.
— Bengals were only 6-18 on 3rd down, but 4-6 on 4th down.
— Under is 4-1-1 in last six Cincy games. 

— Goff to Kupp: 7-10, 220 yards; Goff to everyone else: 10-21, 152 yards.
— LA is 6-1 ATS in last seven games as a double digit favorite.
— Rams’ first five drives: 40 plays, 363 yards, 24 points. 

Saints 31, Cardinals 9:
— Cardinals had only 40 rushing yards; Murray ran only twice (11 yards)
— Arizona’s last three losses were all by 17+ points.
— Cardinals lost last five visits to Bourbon Street- their last win here was in ’96.

— Brees returned to action, was 34-43/373 passing, with three TD’s.
— New Orleans won/covered its last six games.
— Saints outgained Arizona 510-237; first downs were 28-10. 

Colts 15, Broncos 13:
— This was Denver’s third loss this season by two points.
— Broncos scored only three TD’s on their last 35 drives.
— Denver’s last six drives: 20 plays, 129 yards, five punts. 

— Vinatieri kicked a 51-yard FG with 0:22 left for the win.
— Colts won five of their last six games.
— Indy allowed 30-31 points in their two losses, 24 or less in their five wins.

Texans 27, Raiders 24:
— Oakland is 2-3 in its last five games, giving up 29.6 ppg.
— Raiders improve to 5-14-1 ATS in last 20 games as a road underdog.— Hunter Renfrow scored his first NFL TD on a 65-yard pass; there is also a Hunter Renfroe who plays outfield for the San Diego Padres. Go figure. 

— Houston drove 75 yards in nine plays for winning score with 6:26 left.
— Hopkins caught 11 balls for 109 yards
— Texans ran 74 plays, to only 53 for Oakland. 

49ers 51, Panthers 13:
— Despite the ugly loss, McCaffery still had 18 touches for 155 yards.
— NFC South teams are 9-14 ATS outside the division.
— At one point in this game a punt went out-of-bounds; a cheerleader caught the ball easily, while not dropping her pom-poms. Pretty impressive, actually. 

— Coleman touched ball 13 times, scored four TD’s.
— 49ers are 7-0 for first time since 1990.
— Niners won their last four games by combined score of 113-23.

Patriots 27, Browns 13:
— Cleveland turned ball over on three consecutive snaps in first half.
— Browns are 2-5 ATS in last seven post-bye games.
— Why only three games at 4:00? Need more viewing choices. 

— New England is 8-0, with one win by less than 14 points
— Patriots are 31-14-3 ATS in last 48 games as a home favorite, 3-1 TY.
— New England is 18-4 ATS in last 22 games as a double digit favorite.

Packers 31, Chiefs 24:
— Jones had 20 touches for 226 yards, including the GW 67-yard TD.
— Green Bay drives in 2nd half: FG-TD-TD-ran out clock.
— Packers are 12-9 ATS in last 21 games as a road favorite

— Moore did well in his first KC start, only his 6th start since 2011.
— Chiefs lost their 3rd straight home game; they host Minnesota next.
— Both teams converted over half their 3rd down plays; Pack 8-13, Chiefs 6-11

Monday’s Den: Wrapping up an NFL Sunday……

Colts 30, Texans 23:
— Texans started two drives in Indy territory, only kicked FG on both.
— On their last four drives, Watson threw two INT’s, Colts also got a safety.
— Average total in Texans’ last three games: 64.3. 

— Colts’ first two drives of 2nd half: 20 plays, 149 yards, two TD’s.
— Brissett threw for 326 yards; Indy converted 8-16 third down plays.
— Colts are 11-3-1 ATS in last 15 post-bye games. 

Bills 31 Dolphins 21:
— Miami led 14-9 at halftime; they’re more competitive with Fitzpatrick at QB.
— Fitzpatrick threw an INT in red zone on first drive of 3rd quarter; not good.
— Miami outgained Bills 381-305, converted 7-13 on 3rd down, was -2 in turnovers. 

— Buffalo’s first three drives: 26 plays, 148 yards, three FG’s.
— Bills in second half: 22 plays, 147 yards, two TD’s.
— Buffalo ran an onside kick back for the last TD of the game with 1:38 left. 

Packers 42, Raiders 24:
— Oakland was in red zone six times, came up empty on three of them.
— Carr averaged 10.6 yards/pass attempt, but lost a fumble near the goal line.
— Raiders are 4-14-1 ATS in last 19 games as a road underdog

— Rodgers was 25-31/429 passing, averaging 13.2 yards/attempt.
— Packers’ first six drives: 43 plays, 424 yards, five touchdowns.
— Packers are 13-9-1 ATS in last 23 games as a home favorite, 13-8-1 in last 22 games vs AFC teams.

Jaguars 27, Bengals 17:
— Jaguars won despite scoring one TD on six drives to the red zone.
— Jacksonville is +6 in turnovers in its three wins, -7 in its four losses.
— Minshew completed less than half his passes for 2nd week in row. 

— Bengals’ first five drives: 18 plays, 38 yards, five punts.
— Cincy is -8 in turnovers TY; they turned ball over four times, just in 2nd half.
— AFC North teams are 7-10 ATS outside the division, 0-8 at home.

Cardinals 27, Giants 21:
— Edmonds ran ball for 126 yards, had three TD runs of 20+ yards.
— Cardinals are 7-3-1 ATS in last 11 games as a road underdog, 3-0 TY.
— Arizona won its last three games, after an 0-3-1 start. 

— Big Blue is 1-4-1 ATS in last six games as a home favorite.
— Giants’ second TD scored on a blocked punt.
— Home side lost five of last six series games; Arizona won its last three visits here.

Vikings 42, Lions 30:
— Cook ran ball for 142 yards, two touchdowns.
— Minnesota gained 490-447-513 TY the last three games.
— Vikings won four of their last five trips to the Motor City. 

— Vikings’ first four drives: 32 plays, 255 yards, 21 points.
— Detroit has been outscored 93-59 in second half this season.
— Lions are 7-15-1 ATS in last 23 games as a home underdog.

Rams 37, Falcons 10:
— LA was 8-16 on 3rd down, after being 7-31 in previous three games.
— Rams had successful fake punt on drive where FG made score 13-3.
— NFC West teams are 10-1 ATS in non-divisional road games. 

— Ryan was sacked five times; Falcons have five sacks the whole season.
— Atlanta lost its last five games; have to think a coaching change is close.
— Ryan hurt his foot late in game; foot was in a boot after the game. 

49ers 9, Redskins 0:
— Game was played in a rainy quagmire, was scoreless at halftime.
— In their last three games, 49ers allowed one TD on 29 drives, with six takeaways.
— Kyle Shanahan gave his dad a game ball;; Redskins fired Mike Shanahan in 2013. 

— Game was scoreless until 5:38 mark of 3rd quarter; 49ers kicked three FG’s, all less than 30 yards.
— Washington ran 41 plays, 49ers 62; Keenum threw only 12 passes (9-12/77)
— In Callahan’s two games as HC, Redskins ran ball 59 times, threw it 37. 

Titans 23, Chargers 20:
— Chargers had ball on Titans’ one-yard line in last 0:30, couldn’t run ball in.
— All five of LA’s losses this season are by seven or fewer points.
— Chargers ran ball for only 51.6 yards/game the last five weeks. 

— Tennessee averaged 9.6 yards/pass attempt, their best mark of season.
— Tannehill is the Titans’ 13th starting QB since 2005.
— Both teams converted 6-11 third down plays in this game. 

Ravens 30, Seahawks 16:
— Ravens scored two defensive TD’s, ran ball for 199 yards. 

— Baltimore is running ball for 204+ yards/game this year.
— Jackson is now 11-3 SU as an NFL starter. 

— Seahawks are 4-11-1 ATS in last 16 games as a home favorite
— In their two losses, Seattle allowed three defensive TD’s and a punt return TD.
— Both QB’s completed less than half their passes.

Saints 36, Bears 25:
— In his career, Bridgewater is 16-2 ATS as an underdog.
— New Orleans won field position by 14 yards, outgained Bears, 424-252
— Saints are 17-8-1 ATS in last 26 games as a road dog, 3-1 TY.

— Bears threw 54 passes, ran ball seven times; no bueno.
— Chicago is 4-13-1 ATS in last 18 post-bye games, 0-6 in last six.
— Bears recovered consecutive onside kicks in 4th quarter; that doesn’t happen much. 

Cowboys 37, Eagles 10:
— Eagles lost fumbles on first two drives; Dallas had TD drives of 45-14 yards.
— Only team Philly held under 24 points TY was Jets when they started #3 QB.
— Eagles allowed 20+ first half points in five of seven games.

— Dallas ran ball for 189 yards, converted 8-14 third down plays.
— Cowboys are 12-8-1 ATS in last 21 games as a home favorite.
— Maher is first kicker ever to make three FG’s of 60+ yards.

Wednesday’s List of 13: Mid-week musings……

13) Washington 7, St Louis 4— At one point in May, the Nationals were 19-31, 8.5 games out of first place, only 1.5 games ahead of the woeful Marlins. Manager Dave Martinez seemed certain to be fired, but now he is here, managing the first Wild Card team to make a World Series since Giants/Royals in 2014. 

12) Sitting on the airplane coming home last night, and find out the Rams cleaned house a little Tuesday; starting CB Aqib Talib was put on the IR, the other starting CB Marcus Peters got traded to the Ravens for a reserve LB. 

Later LA acquired a reserve lineman from the Browns, and they traded a couple of #1 picks to the Jaguars for disgruntled star CB Jalen Ramsey, who hopefully now will be gruntled. 

11) Rams took QB Jared Goff in the first round of the 2016 draft; here are their 1st round picks since then:

2017: Traded to Tennessee to help get the pick they used to take Goff.
2018: Traded to New England for WR Brandin Cooks.
2019: Traded to Atlanta for multiple lower picks.
2020-21: Traded to Jacksonville for Jalen Ramsey. 

10) Now that I’m back from my excellent vacation to Las Vegas, a story from my 2nd night there; I’m leaving the person’s name out, because it isn’t relevant or right, but this was kind of fun. 

I’m sitting at the Vdara hotel bar, shooting the breeze with some guy from Sacramento who owns a lot of buildings and is apparently wealthy; his very attractive wife is sitting next to him, laughing at his quips as he tells me in detail how he met her a few years ago, they fell in love, they both dumped their spouses, and finally got married a few months ago. Alrighty then. 

A couple of women sit at the bar near us, and Mr Sacramento starts bantering with them; the women are old high school friends from Florida who are having a reunion. Mr Sacramento asks them if they’re from Canada; I’m not sure why. 

At one point, one of the two women asks us, “Any of you baseball fans?” I say that I am, and she points to her friend— “This is Player X’s mom”. Player X is a major league player who happened to have been on my fantasy team the last couple years. 

I quickly impress Mrs X by blurting out some useless info about her son, then tell her I traded him in April, before his best hot streak of the season. She mocked me for trading her son, but we became buddies and talked baseball and other stuff for the next hour or so. 

Unfortunately for me she is married and a nice lady, so it ended there, but it made me laugh at myself. Also, the two guys I got for her son are both OK players, the pitcher I got is a good prospect. 

Originally called that a quick story, but had to delete the word quick. Moving right along……

9) Win for me; flew home during a Presidential debate, so I missed it. Also missed couple of playoff games, but followed along on Twitter on the airplane. Politicians? Not so much.

8) NFL underdogs are 55-35-1 ATS so far this season, 40-20-1 on the road.

7) From AdamJT: Dallas Cowboys are the only NFL team that hasn’t started a drive in its opponent’s territory so far this season. The other 31 teams have started an average of 5.9 drives in opponents’ territory, and four teams have started 10+.

6) Tennessee Titans will start Ryan Tannehill at QB Sunday against the struggling Chargers, benching Marcus Mariota; if my favorite NFL team had Tannehill/Mariota at QB, I wouldn’t be a happy human. 

Tannehill was a wide receiver until his junior year at Texas A&M; maybe he should play for the Bengals, since it was Mike Sherman who made Tannehill a QB, and Bengals’ coach Zac Taylor is Sherman’s son-in-law. 

5) First college basketball game on CBS College Sports November 5: Utah @ Nevada, which is a pretty good game for opening night, Steve Alford’s first game coaching the Wolf Pack.

4) Phil Mickelson is ranked #47 in the world this week; he hasn’t been ranked outside the top-50 in the World Golf Rankings since November 28, 1993.

3) Major League Baseball plans to open a 17,000-square-foot flagship retail store in Manhattan next summer, at 50th St and 6th Ave; what took them so long?

2) Cardinals’ manager Mike Shildt mentioned the other day how data exists showing that the average fly ball was traveling 4.5 fewer feet during the playoffs, as opposed to the regular season.  

1) Washington winning the NLCS leaves the Seattle Mariners as the only major league team that has never played in a World Series. 

Tuesday’s List of 13: Nobody asked me, but…….

13) Watching the Rams’ ugly performance in Sunday’s loss to San Francisco, it dawned on me that I should research how other teams have done the year after losing the Super Bowl. 

From 2001-08, only one of eight Super Bowl losers made the playoffs again the next year, but from 2009-18, nine of ten teams did make the playoffs, even going 6-3 SU in their first playoff game that second season. Only one of those teams (NE 2018) got back to the Super Bowl. 

We’ve talked a lot here about how competitive the NFL is, and lot of small things have to go in your favor for a team to have success; I’m guessing the schedule makers are also less forgiving to the conference champs. Success is fragile, that much we know. 

12) I’ll say this; enjoy success while you can. Detroit Lions won three NFL titles in the 50’s, but have never made it to a Super Bowl, and haven’t won a playoff game since 1991. 

11) If I was an NFL coach and my 3rd-string QB was making his first NFL start, I’d want my Hall of Fame QB (who is currently hurt) to go on that road trip, to help mentor the rookie QB. 

But Ben Roethlisberger didn’t go to LA this weekend; coach Tomlin simply said “Injured players don’t make road trips”

10) San Diego is the 8th-largest city in America; why did the Chargers leave there? It makes no sense to me; what happens if they don’t sell a decent amount of tickets in the new LA dome next year? Can they go back to San Diego? 

Can’t be much fun for the Charger players, when fans at their “home” games are mostly rooting for the other team.

9) Underdogs went 9-3 ATS Sunday; gambling is difficult.

8) Jay Gruden said over the weekend that coaches without final say over his team’s roster have to manage different staff and roster dynamics; “That’s the hardest part of coaching in the National Football League, in my opinion.” 

That from a guy who just got fired, so he would know. 

7) Back when I was in college 40 or so years ago, I got mononucleosis and was off the grid for 2-3 weeks; can’t remember how much weight I lost, but I do remember that I was 168 scrawny pounds when I went back to school, having probably lost around 20 pounds. Many moons ago, and if you know me, there was no problem regaining all that weight. 

Was surprised to read that Sam Darnold only lost three or four pounds during his bout with mono. Protein shakes must do the trick; he played really well against Dallas Sunday. 

6) One thing the NFL need to fix is how over-officiated their games are; former refs are TV stars now, pass interference instant replay is a joke (they almost never overturn a PI call/non-call), there is a flag thrown on most every kick return. Stop throwing so many flags!!!!

One thing bugs me a lot; stop calling taunting penalties!!! Or if you call them, just throw a flag, call it on both sides as a warning for guys to STFU, and move on. Coaches will tell guys to shut up and the game can go on. No one pays to watch the officials. 

When Carson Wentz blew his knee out two years ago, it happened on a drive that should’ve ended three plays earlier, but the ref called a taunting penalty on a DB after a failed third down play. Eagles would’ve kicked a FG had the taunting penalty not been called, and Wentz wouldn’t have gotten hurt. 

5) Quarterbacks and guys who run with/catch the ball get all the credit, but if your offensive line isn’t strong, your offense has no chance, especially if the QB isn’t mobile. When an OL struggles, people are quick to point fingers, but they’re reluctant to give credit in the good times. 

4) Couple of quick NFL trends:
— Chiefs covered 11 of their last 13 AFC West road games.
— Last 12 times Tennessee failed to cover consecutive games, they went 11-1 ATS in the third game. 

3) NFL TV ratings are up 6% so far this season. 

2) Philip Rivers’ career record against the spread:
— As a favorite: 64-71-3
— As an underdog or pick ‘em: 41-31-3

1) Packers 23, Lions 22
— Detroit got inside Packers’ 10-yard line on first three drives, scored 13 points.
— Lions are 2-2-1 despite a +6 turnover ratio.
— Loss ends Detroit’s 4-game series win streak.

— Green Bay won despite a minus-3 turnover ratio (0-3).
— Packers outgained Detroit 447-229, but scored only 13 points on four red zone drives.
— Lions lost despite a 12-yard advantage in field position.

Monday’s Den: Wrapping up a sports Sunday……

Texans 31, Chiefs 24
— Texans covered six of last seven games when getting points on the road.
— Houston ran for 192 yards; they ran 83 plays, Chiefs 47.
— AFC South non-divisional road underdogs are 8-2 ATS

— Chiefs lost consecutive home games for first time since 2013.
— KC’s first three drives: 19 plays, 176 yards, 17 points.
— KC’s last six drives: 29 plays, 145 yards, 7 points. 

Jets 24, Cowboys 22
— Dallas lost its last three games after a 3-0 start.
— Cowboys scored 31+ points in their three wins, were held to 10-24-22 in losses.
— Dallas was 10-17 on third down, the Jets only 2-10. 

— Darnold proves that franchise QB’s are worth every penny.
— He threw for 338 yards, including a 92-yard TD to Anderson.
— Cowboys scored TD with 0:43 left but missed on tying 2-point play.

Ravens 23, Bengals 17
— Bengals ran opening kick back for TD; their next TD was with 1:28 left in game.
— Winless Cincy has four losses by six or fewer points.
— Bengals are 10-3 ATS in last 13 games as road underdogs.

— Jackson ran ball for 152 yards, 4th-most ever by a QB.
— First two Raven drives: 16 plays, 141 yards, 14 points.
— Last seven Raven drives: 38 plays, 325 yards, 9 points. 

Seahawks 32, Browns 28
— Seattle had four takeaways (+3), blocked a punt.
— Seahawks trailed 20-6 in 2nd quarter, cut it to 20-18 by the half.
— Seattle is 5-1 with four wins by four of fewer points. 

— Kitchens mismanaged his timeouts; needed one with 2:11 left for a challenge, but didn’t have it, and he might’ve won the challenge.
— Cleveland is 6-14 ATS in last 20 games as a favorite.
— Browns lost their first three home games; they play New England after their bye. 

Saints 13, Jaguars 6
— Saints are 5-1, with no wins by more than seven points.
— New Orleans is 19-8 ATS in their last 27 road games.
— Saints are 4-0 SU/ATS with Teddy Bridgewater under center. 

— Jaguars’ first four drives: 14 plays, 33 yards, four punts.
— New Orleans won field position in this game by 14 yards.
— Jaguars gained only 226 yards, converted 4-14 third down plays. 

Vikings 38, Eagles 20
— Eagles allowed Minnesota to gain 10.8 yards/pass attempt.
— Philly is 9-25 on 3rd down last two games (32-57 in first four games).
— This was first time this season Eagles were outscored in 2nd half (14-10). 

— Cousins was 22-29/333 passing with four TD’s.
— Diggs caught seven balls for 167 yards and four TD’s.
— Under Zimmer, Minnesota is 25-7-1 ATS as a home favorite

Panthers 37, Buccaneers 26:
— Carolina is now 4-0 with Allen at QB, scoring 31.3 ppg
— Panthers sacked Winston seven times.
— Carolina started 5 drives in TB territory, won field position by 14 yards. 

— Bucs turned ball over seven times on 75 plays.
— Winston in first QB since 1996 (Mark Brunell) with 400+ PY, 5+ INT’s in same game.
— Bucs allowed 31+ points in five of their six games. 

Redskins 17, Dolphins 16
— McLaurin scored both Redskin TD’s, catching passes of 33-25 yards.
— Washington ran ball 33 times, threw 25 passes in Callahan’s first game as HC.
— NFC East teams are 4-12 ATS outside their division. 

— Fitzpatrick came off bench, rallied Dolphins for two 4th quarter TD’s, their first 2nd half points this season.
— Miami scored with 0:06 left, went for 2 points and the win- they missed.
— Dolphins were outscored 149-36 in their first four home games.

49ers 20, Rams 7
— Under Shanahan, SF is 10-7 ATS as a road underdog. 3-0 this year.
— TE George Kittle had eight catches for 103 yards.
— This was first time since 2001 that these rivals met when both sides were over .500. 

— Rams lost their last three games, after a 3-0 start.
— Goff threw for 912 yards in previous two games, but had only 78 in this game.
— LA converted only seven of last 31 third down plays.

Cardinals 34, Falcons 33
— Atlanta rallied back from down 27-10, scored TD with 1:53 left, but missed PAT.
— Ryan was 30-36/356 passing, with four TD passes.
— Falcons are 4-16 ATS in their last 20 road games

— Arizona won its last two games by total of 4 points, after an 0-2-1 start.
— Cardinals’ first five drives: 46 plays, 357 yards, three TD’s, two FG’s.
— Arizona is 15-10-1 ATS in its last 26 games as a home underdog.

Broncos 16, Titans 0
— Tennessee lost 4 of last 5 games; they scored one TD on their last 25 drives.
— Titans scored 43-24 points in their wins, 17-7-7-0 in losses.
— Last four Tennessee games stayed under the total.

— Denver won its last two games after an 0-4 start.
— Broncos’ only TD here came on a 41-yard drive.
— Denver held the Titans to 39 yards on 21 rushing attempts. 

Steelers 24, Chargers 17
— Pittsburgh scored a defensive TD 4:09 into the game.
— Steelers led 24-0 after three quarters, get win in Devlin’s first NFL start.
— Pitt is 17-8-1 ATS in last 26 games as a road underdog

— San Diego is 8th-largest city in country; why did Chargers leave there?
— Sounded like crowd was at least 80% Steeler fans.
— Chargers are 2-9 ATS in last 11 games as a home favorite.

 

Sunday’s List of 13: Wrapping up a football Saturday…….

13) First of all, many thanks to Lamarr, Gregg, my friend Bobby and all the nice people at the MGM Grand sportsbook for an excellent day full of football and food. 

MGM Grand sportsbook is a good place; comfortable chairs, big screens, and lot of good food options very nearby (deli, pizza, plus very good hamburgers). 

12) South Carolina 20, Georgia 17 OT— This game scrambles the national title picture; Dawgs turned ball over four times (-4), missed a 42-yard FG on the last play of the game. 

The loss hurts Notre Dame as much as Georgia, seeing how the Fighting Irish lost in Athens. 

11) Oklahoma 34, Texas 27— Game was only 10-3 at halftime; Sooners outgained Texas 511-252, but they were -2 in turnovers. Hurts ran the ball (17 carries/131 yards) better than he threw it (16-28/235 yards), but he is now 32-2 as a college starter.

10) UNLV 34, Vanderbilt 10— Mountain West finishes with a 9-10 SU record against Power 5 conferences this year, despite being an underdog in 18 of the 19 games. 

9) Northern Illinois 39, Ohio U 36— Bobcats led 21-10 at halftime, but NIU kicked a 37-yard FG with 0:33 left to post the upset win. 

8) Louisville 62, Wake Forest 59— Demon Deacons scored 28 points in the 4th quarter, the most points an ACC team has ever scored in the 4th quarter of a loss. 

7) Upsets of the Week:
— Bowling Green (+25) 20, Toledo 7
— South Carolina (+24) 20, Georgia 17 OT
— UNLV (+15) 34, Vanderbilt 10
— Northern Illinois (+7) 39, Ohio U 36
— Louisville (+6.5) 62, Wake Forest 59
— Tennessee (+6.5) 20, Mississippi State 10
— Georgia State (+6.5) 31, Coastal Carolina 21

6) Iowa State 38, West Virginia 14— Next time a big-$$ school hires a new coach (USC, UCLA?) they should hire Iowa State’s Matt Campbell; very good coach. 

5) Baylor 33, Texas Tech 30 OT— Bears are 6-0; they tied this game on the last play of regulation. Now the schedule gets a lot harder; they still have to play Oklahoma State, TCU, Oklahoma and Texas. They’re already eligible for a bowl game. 

4) Temple 30, Memphis 28— First loss for the 5-1 Tigers, who rallied back from down 23-7 to within 30-28 with 9:58, but that was as close as they got. Total yardage was 492-456 Memphis, but the Tigers turned the ball over four times (-2).  

3) Minnesota 34, Nebraska 7— Golden Gophers are 6-0 for the first time since 2003, figure to be ranked in the top 25 next week for the first time in five years; they ran the ball for 322 yards on a 37-degree day and converted 8-13 third down plays. 

2) Penn State 17, Iowa 12— Hawkeyes lost 10-3 at Michigan last week; they have serious issues on offense. PSU converted 10-19 on third down, QB Clifford ran ball 16 times for 52 yards, mostly on some of the important third down plays. 

6-0 Nittany Lions host Michigan and College GameDay next week. 

1) Wisconsin 38, Michigan State 7— If Notre Dame had Wisconsin’s resume, they’d be #1 in the country right now; Badgers have outscored opponents 255-29 with four shutouts, with decisive wins over Michigan and Michigan State- they visit Ohio State October 26. 

Saturday’s List of 13: Random stuff with the weekend here……..

13) Nationals 2, Cardinals 0— St Louis scored ten runs in the top of the first inning Wednesday, then they came home and got one hit here. 

Anibal Sanchez is the first pitcher EVER to throw 6+ innings and allow one or no hits in two playoff games. 

Mike Muchlinski was the home plate ump here; he umped Max Scherzer’s no-hitter in 2015 and also a 2013 game when Sanchez struck out 17 batters. 

12) Oregon 45, Colorado 3— Ducks allowed total of 22 points in winning their last four games against I-A opponents. Colorado went in the tank in the second half here.

11) In six games this season, New England opponents have only had four drives (out of 72) where they ran a play in the Patriots’ red zone. New England’s offense has 25 such drives. 

10) Steelers’ QB Mason Rudolph is officially out Sunday with a concussion, meaning Devlin Hodges will get his first NFL start; Paxton Lynch was promoted from the practice squad to be the backup QB. 

Rams’ CB Aqib Talib (ribs) is out Sunday; Todd Gurley (quad) is doubtful. 

Neither of the Cowboys’ starting OT’s practiced Friday. a red flag. 

9) Washington Redskins will start Case Keenum at QB Sunday in Miami, in Bill Callahan’s first game as the interim coach. Expect Keenum to hand off a lot. 

8) Living in Denver must be weird; at 2pm Wednesday, it was 79 degrees- at 2pm Thursday, it was 24 degrees, the 15th-largest temperature drop in Denver history. 

7) MLB sources say that a player who accepts a qualifying offer this winter will get a one-year, $17.8M contract next season, down from $17.9M this year. It’s the first time the value of the qualifying offer has ever dropped from one year to the next.

6) XFL players will earn an average of $55,000, when the new football league starts in February; by way of contrast, the minimum salary in the NFL is $495,000. 

5) From Ralph Michaels: Since 2015, home favorites in Game 1 of a baseball playoff series:
— If a favorite of -$135 or less: 3-7
— If a favorite of -$136 or more: 20-3

4) Heard this yesterday and while it isn’t new news, it does raise an eyebrow; UNLV’s basketball team hasn’t been in the NCAA’s since 2013. Long time. 30 years ago, UNLV basketball was like Gonzaga is now; a huge fish in a tiny pond (Big West Conference) that more than held its own nationally. Gonzaga is in the WCC, also a fairly small pond 

3) Red Sox led the major leagues this year, winning eight (out of 45) games where they trailed by 4+ runs at some point in the game. 

Minnesota was the only team that didn’t win a game (0-35) when they trailed by 4+ runs. 

2) NFL coaches are 1-21 on pass interference challenges; NFL appeased the Saints by putting in a rule they don’t seem to want to enforce. Go figure. 

1) RIP to the outstanding actor Robert Forster, 78, who passed away Friday; I remember him most from the terrific movie Jackie Brown, where he played a bail bondsman, and also from a 2-part episode of Magnum PI, where he played an old Army buddy of Magnum. RIP, sir. 

Friday’s List of 13: Clearing out a cluttered mind…….

13) Astros 6, Rays 1— Clock strikes midnight for the Cinderella Rays, who took Houston to the brink in this series, but Astros scored four runs in the first inning and that was that. ALCS will be New York-Houston, which should be very interesting. 

12) Astros’ ace Gerrit Cole had struck out at least one batter in 73 consecutive innings before he didn’t get a strikeout in the third inning last night; not only is that the longest such streak in the majors since 1961, the next highest streak was only 40 (Pedro Martinez, 1999).  

11) Patriots 35, Giants 14— New England scored TD’s on a blocked punt and a fumble return; Giants also scored a TD on a fumble return. Game was 21-14 with 9:00 to play.

Total yardage was 427-213 NE; Giants had 10 first downs, four turnovers (-2).

10) South Point Casino in Las Vegas has interesting prop bets; what college team scores the first TD of the day, and then which team scores the most points. 

Favorites for first TD:
7-1: Georgia, Oklahoma, Toledo
8-1: Indiana, Michigan

Favorite to score the most points Saturday: Louisiana Tech 8-1

9) Steph Curry scored 40 points in an exhibition game Thursday; Golden State has a much different roster as they open their new arena this fall- no Klay Thompson, Durant is gone, so there will be nights where Curry will have to go off for the Warriors to win. 

8) Villanova/Seton Hall are the favorites to win Big East basketball this winter. 

UCLA is picked to finish 8th in the Pac-12, which seems weird to type. 

7) Over last 12 years, unbeaten NFL teams who are an underdog from Week 6 on are 7-6 ATS. 49ers fit that bill Sunday. 

6) Pittsburgh Steelers apparently had a full-contract practice Wednesday, with the team 1-4 and sinking fast; that is unusual in the NFL. Looks like their #3 QB gets his first NFL start against the Chargers Sunday, in a game between two struggling franchises. 

5) Phillies fired manager Gabe Kapler after two mediocre seasons where his players went in the tank on him in September both years. Oddly, the Phillies fired both trainers and their pitching coach, but invited all the other coaches back for next season. 

If a new manager doesn’t get to pick his own coaches, that usually signals a bad job. 

4) No idea why, but the last three years, San Jose State’s leading scorer has transferred out of the program all three years, which is why the Spartans are 9-45 in Mountain West games during that time. 

Over the last 22 years, San Jose State has never won half its conference games, though they were 17-16 overall in 2010-11. Seems like a school in California should have at least some success. 

3) UL-Monroe 24, Texas State 14— 3-3 WarHawks clinched the win/covered the spread with a TD with 1:46 left; Texas State completed 20-39 passes, but for only 92 yards. 

2) 30 or so years ago, had some problems with my teeth and as a result I gave up Snickers bars, switching to the softer Three Musketeers candy bars. 

This week, I had my first Snickers bars since then; they still taste great!!! 

1) One of the best parts of coming to Las Vegas is meeting new people/making new friends, from all over the country. Thursday was a good day/night for that, making new friends from Ohio, New Jersey, Georgia and a few who live here in the desert. Overall, an excellent day.  

Thursday’s List of 13: Doing some thinking out loud……

I had a good writeup all set for this spot today, then I watched the Dodgers’ game Wednesday night and had to start all over again…….

13) Nationals 7, Dodgers 3 (10)— Tough night for LA fans; Dodgers blew a 3-1 8th inning lead, giving up back/back home runs. Howie Kendrick hit a 10th inning grand slam for the win. 

Clayton Kershaw has never allowed home runs on consecutive pitches in the regular season; it has happened to him twice in playoff games.

12) There have been two extra inning grand slams in playoff history; Howie Kendrick last night and Nelson Cruz in Game 2 of the 2011 ALCS. 

Max Scherzer was at both games; he was the starter for the losing Tigers in that 2011 game. 

Twins exercised Cruz’ $12M team option for 2020; the way he hit this year, that is a bargain. 

11) Kendrick has played 14 years in the major league and has hit two grand slams, both of which came in extra innings. 

10) Road teams are now 4-9 all-time in winner-take-all games that went to extra innings, with three of the four wins coming in the last four years.

9) Cardinals 13, Braves 1— St Louis is fourth team ever to score 10+ runs in an inning in a playoff game:

1929— Philadelphia A’s Game 4 of WS vs Chicago (B7)
1968— Detroit Game 6 of WS vs St Louis (T3)
2002— LA Angels Game 5 of ALCS vs Milwaukee (B7)
2019— St Louis Game 5 of NLDS vs Atlanta (T1)

8) Atlanta Braves hold a dubious major league record; they’re the only team to be eliminated from the playoffs at home for five consecutive seasons (2000-04).

7) Home teams in winner-take-all playoff games:
MLB— 56-60 (48.3%)
NHL— 133-91 (59.4%)
NBA— 177-62 (74.1%)

6) San Antonio Spurs have gone over their season win total 11 of the last 14 years. 

5) Someone at the Westgate SuperBook wagered $5,000 at 8-1 odds this week that New England will finish the regular season 16-0. 

4) Since 2016, teams coming off a loss are 5-21-1 ATS when playing the Patriots. 

3) When Oregon trailed the Cal Bears 7-0 at halftime Saturday, it was the first scoreless 1st half for the Ducks since a 30-24 home loss to Indiana in 2004. 

2) Why did the Houston Rockets used to be the NBA franchise worth the most money? Because Yao Ming played for Houston, and the Rockets’ resulting lucrative connection to China was worth a boatload of cash. Notice I said “was”

One critical tweet from Rockets’ GM Daryl Morey has turned the Chinese government against the NBA and it is unclear whether the damage can be undone, which is going to cost everyone associated with the league a lot of money. A lot. Mucho dinero. 

1) There were reports Wednesday that NBA teams preparing for the 2020-21 season are thinking the salary cap could drop as much as 15% after this season, all because of one 6-word tweet. 

Wednesday’s Den: Notes on all the NFC teams…….

Arizona:
— Cardinals have only one takeaway in their last four games (-2 in TO’s for year).
— Arizona is 14-10-1 ATS in last 25 games as a home underdog.
— Road team covered their last four games. 

Atlanta:
— Falcons allowed 12 TD’s on their opponents’ last 25 drives.
— Atlanta averaged 8.1+ yards/pass attempt in four of their five games.
— Falcons covered only four of their last 19 road games.  

Carolina:
— Panthers are 3-0, scoring 32.7 ppg, with Kyle Allen at QB.
— Carolina has nine takeaways (+5) in its last three games.
— Panthers ran for only 39 yards in Week 2’s 20-14 home loss to Tampa Bay. 

Chicago:
— Bears allowed total of 45 points in Weeks 1-4, then gave up 24 points to Oakland Sunday.
— Chicago was 8-13 on 3rd down vs Washington; other four games? 15-53
— Bears are 0-5 SU/ATS in their last five post-bye games. 

Dallas:
— First three games: 18-31 on third down. Last two games: 6-19.
— Cowboys were outscored 26-3 in first half of their last two games.
— Dak Prescott: 35-18 as an NFL starter; 24-5 vs losing teams, 11-13 vs winning teams.

Detroit:
— All four Detroit games have been decided by 4 or fewer points.
— Lions have nine takeaways but also six giveaways in four games this year.
— Detroit won/covered six of its last seven post-bye games.

Green Bay:
— Packers are +7 in turnovers, won/covered four of first five games.
— Green Bay is 22-13-2 ATS in last 37 games as a home favorite.
— Packers scored 88 points in first half of games, 37 in second half. 

LA Rams:
— Rams scored 69 points in last two games, but lost both of them.
— Under McVay, LA is 13-7 ATS away from home.
— Average points scored in 2nd half of Ram games this year: 34.8

Minnesota:
— Vikings ran ball for 172+ yards in 4 of 5 games; Bears held them to 40.
— Under Zimmer, Minnesota is 24-7-1 ATS as a home favorite.
— Under is 4-1 in Viking games, only one of which was decided by less than 10 points.

NY Giants:
— Giants scored 32-24 points in their wins, 17 or less in their losses.
— Big Blue is 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games as a road underdog. 

— Giants covered 10 of their last 13 games on natural grass. 

New Orleans:
— Saints are 18-8 ATS in their last 26 road games.
— NO opponents converted only 17 of last 49 third down plays.
— Saints won all three of Bridgewater’s starts, scoring 33-12-31 points. 

Philadelphia:
— Eagles are 3-0 when they score 31+ points, 0-2 when they do not.
— Philly is 5-3 ATS in its last eight games as a road underdog.
— Eagles have converted 37-70 third down plays this year. 

San Francisco:
— SF ran ball for 702 yards in their last three games.
— 49ers have 11 takeaways in four games, but also eight turnovers.
— Last time SF was NFC’s last unbeaten team was 1984. 

Seattle:
— Seahawks scored 27+ points in each of their last four games.
— Seattle is just 21-59 on 3rd down, but scored 98 points on 16 red zone drives.
— Seahawks are 8-4-1 ATS in last 13 games as a road underdog. 

Tampa Bay:
— Buccaneers allowed 31+ points in four of their five games.
— Tampa Bay has eight takeaways (+6) in its last four games.
— Average total in Bucs’ last three games: 71.0. 

Washington:
— Redskins didn’t score in second half of their last two games.
— Washington is 0-5, with last four losses all by 10+ points.
— Would expect them to run ball with Callahan the new coach.

Tuesday’s List of 13: Nobody asked me, but……

13) 49ers 31, Browns 3— Monday at the Mirage Casino here in Las Vegas, someone wagered $120K to win $52K on the 49ers’ money line in this game. Good night for that guy. 

— Mayfield completed 8-22 passes for 100 yards; a WR did drop an easy TD that turned into an INT when game was 14-3, but still, he had a miserable night.
— Total yardage was 446-180; luckily for TV networks, only one more primetime game for the overrated Browns. 

12) Patrick Mahomes tweaked his ankle Sunday night when one of his own linemen stepped on the ankle while he was pass blocking. 

Colts’ defense blitzed on 41.9% of Kansas City’s dropbacks, and they were effective. 

11) Redskins fired coach Jay Gruden early Monday morning, which won’t help anything; he was 35-49-1 in Washington, with one playoff appearance. 

Washington’ problem is that their owner is horrendous and he meddles; here are the Redskins’ head coaches since Daniel Snyder bought the ball club in 1999:

1994-2000: Norv Turner 50-60-1
2001: Marty Schottenheimer 8-8
2002-03: Steve Spurrier 12-20
2004-07: Joe Gibbs 31-36
2008-09: Jm Zorn 12-20
2010-13: Mike Shanahan 24-41
2014-19: Jay Gruden 35-49-1

Bill Callahan is the Redskins’ interim coach; he also replaced Jon Gruden as the Raiders’ coach when Gruden jumped to the Buccaneers. 

10) Steelers kicked off to start overtime Sunday, which is very unusual, since a TD on the first possession ends the game. Ravens punted on their first drive, so it didn’t come into play, and Mike Tomlin was celebrating like they won the game when Baltimore punted, but Steelers fumbled and lost the game anyway.

Will be interesting to see how the Pittsburgh media deals with Tomlin if he has his first losing season as a head coach- they’re 1-4 right now, with the 3rd-string QB starting for a while.

9) Oregon State executed a drop kick/onside kick against UCLA Saturday; was pretty cool to see, and it worked like a charm. Beavers led 21-0 before first quarter was half over. 

8) With Devlin Hodges expected to start at QB for the Steelers in LA Sunday, Paxton Lynch, a former 1st round draft pick of the Broncos, is going to be Hodges’ backup.

7) Quote of the Day, part II:
“I (bleep)ing love this!!!!”
Younger guy sitting in front of me the other night in the Aria sportsbook; he was just sitting there taking in all the action, when a couple of his bets won, he started yelling. Good stuff. 

6) Blue Ribbon Basketball’s preseason top 6 teams:
Michigan State, Kentucky, Kansas, Duke, Florida, Louisville

5) Tampa Bay 10, Astros 3— Rays drew 32,251 for a 1:00 playoff game, and the TV guys were raving about what a great crowd it was. These teams play Game 4 at 4;30 tomorrow, will be interesting to see what they draw for that game. 

4) Cardinals 5, Braves 4 (10)— Molina tied game with an 8th inning single, then won it with a sac fly in the 10th. Decisive Game 5 is Wednesday in Atlanta.  

3) Tennessee Titans cut kicker Cairo Santos Monday, after he went 0-4 on field goals in their ugly 14-7 home loss to Buffalo Sunday; they’re expected to sign former Bears’ K Cody Parkey to replace Santos. 

2) Kansas Jayhawks fired their offensive coordinator Sunday after only six games; you wonder what thats all about. The new OC has a small-college background- the NAIA team he coached LY averaged 55 ppg and 540.3 yards/game. 

Jayhawks rank 101st nationally in scoring, 102nd in yards gained, 104th in passing and 116th in first downs per game. 

Remember that college assistant coaches are equal parts tacticians/recruiters; players win games, and Kansas is obviously behind its Big X opponents in talent level. 

1) Michael D. Smith posted this on Twitter Sunday:

2004 draft class ranked by career passing yards: 
56,545 Ben Roethlisberger 
56,537 Eli Manning
56,121 Philip Rivers
24,887 Matt Schaub
6,271 JP Losman
2,370 Luke McCown
929 Jim Sorgi
718 Craig Krenzel
342 John Navarre
195 Cody Pickett
136 Matt Mauck
53 Larry Fitzgerald

Monday’s Den: Wrapping up an NFL Sunday…….

Ravens 26, Steelers 23 OT:
— Ravens tied game on a FG with 0:10 left, won it on a FG in OT.
— Lamar Jackson’s passing numbers were ordinary, but he also ran for 70 yards.
— Ravens’ first 3 drives: 27 plays, 140 yards, 17 points.
Baltimore’s last 9 drives: 50 plays, 144 yards, 9 points. 

— Pitt QB Rudolph got knocked out; rookie Hodges was 7-9/68 in his NFL debut.
— Steelers started 3 drives in Raven territory: FG-FG-FG.
— Pitt still hasn’t run the ball for more than 81 yards in a game this year; they’ve converted only 15-53 third down plays. 

Raiders 24, Bears 21:
— Oakland led 17-0 at the half, needed a 97-yard TD drive to win, scoring GW TD with 1:57 left. 
— Total yardage was 398-236 Raiders; they lost a fumble on the Bears’ 1-yard line.
— Raiders are now 10-17-2 ATS in last 29 games as a underdog.

— Chicago’s 1st five drives: 19 plays, 29 yards, zero points.
— Chicago’s last five drives: 29 plays, 204 yards, 21 points.
— Bears flew to England Friday, Raiders on Sunday nite; did that matter? 

Cardinals 26, Bengals 23:
— Arizona gained 514 yards: 266 running, 248 throwing.
— Murray threw for 253 yards, ran for 93 more; he is this generation’s Michael Vick.
— Cardinals drove 62 yards in six plays, kicked GW 31-yard FG at the gun. 

— Bengals trailed 23-9 with 5:00 left, tied game with 2:00 left on a 42-yard pass.
— Last four games, Cincy has been outscored 61-19 in first half.
— Bengals are 4-9 ATS in last 13 games as a home favorite.

Panthers 34, Jaguars 27:
— Jaguars gained 507 yards but lost, losing three fumbles (-3 TO’s)
— Minshew threw for 374 yards, averaged 7.8 yards/pass attempt.
— Jaguars’ last five drives: 40 plays, 264 yards, but only 10 points. 

— McCaffrey had 25 touches for 237 yards, three TD’s.
— Carolina is 3-0 with Kyle Allen starting QB; what happens when Newton gets healthy?
— Panthers scored a defensive TD early in 2nd quarter to go ahead, 21-7. 

Vikings 28, Giants 10:
— Minnesota scored two TD’s, four FG’s; they punted once.
— Vikings ran ball for 211 yards, outgained Giants 490-211.
— Minnesota is 11-6 ATS in last 17 games as a road favorite.

— Giants covered once in their last eight games as a home underdog.
— Big Blue was 8-16 on 3rd down, are 22-42 in Jones’ three starts.
— Vikings had 12 penalties for 112 yards; Giants five for 45. 

Patriots 33, Redskins 7:
— New England has allowed two TD’s on 61 drives; four of their five wins are by 16+ points.
— Patriots held Washington to 75 passing yards.
— Over last 20 years. favorites are 6-2 ATS in Week 5 games if an unbeaten team plays a winless team.

— Redskins had a 65-yard TD run, gained 155 yards on their other 52 plays.
— Washington converted once on their 11 third down plays.
— Last three games, Redskins were outscored 57-13 in the first half. 

Eagles 31, Jets 6:
— Jets are 7-13-2 ATS in last 22 games as a road dog, 1-1 this year.
— When NYJ offense was on field, they were outscored 14-6 by Eagle defense.
— Jets lost nine of last 11 post-bye games (3-8 ATS).
— Jets are impossible to evaluate until Darnold gets healthy 

— Eagles had ten sacks, held Jets to 1.7 yards/pass attempt.
— This was only 3rd cover for Philly in last 11 games as a home favorite.
— Eagles are first team this year not to allow a play of 20+ yards in a game. 

Saints 31, Buccaneers 24:
— Bucs were held to 252 TY, after they gained 499-464 the last two games.
— Fourth time in five games Tampa Bay allowed 31+ points.
— Winston was sacked six times, averaged only 4.8 yards/pass attempt. 

— Saints outgained Bucs 457-252, averaged 9.6 yards/pass attempt.
— NO is 13-21-1 ATS in last 35 games as a home favorite.
— Saints are now 3-0 in Bridgewater’s starts. 

Texans 53, Falcons 32:
— Scores like this get coaches fired; Falcons are 8-13 SU in their last 21 games.
— Atlanta actually led this game 17-16 at halftime.
— Falcons are 1-9 ATS in last ten games as a road underdog, 0-13 ATS in last 13 games vs AFC opponents.

— Fuller caught 14 balls for 217 yards, three TD’s; he was started in only 11% of ESPN fantasy leagues this week.
— Watson threw for 426 yards, averaged 12.9 yards/pass attempt.
— Houston scored 37 2nd half points, converted 10-13 3rd down plays.

Bills 14, Titans 7:
— Buffalo is 4-1, would be the #1 Wild Card if the playoffs started today (they don’t).
— Only second win for Bills in their last six visits to Nashville.
— Under McDermott, Buffalo is 9-6-1 ATS as a road underdog, 7-4-1 in games wth spread of 3 or fewer points.

— Tennessee was 0-4 on field goals, which was a problem.
— Mariota threw one TD pass that was called back; he ran over the line before he threw.
— Under Vrabel, Tennessee is 1-4 ATS as a home favorite.

Broncos 20, Chargers 13:
— Denver’s first two drives: 12 plays, 156 yards, 14 points.
— Denver’s last nine drives: 45 plays, 164 yards, six points.
— Broncos held Chargers to 35 yards on 16 running plays. 

— Chargers didn’t score an offensive TD; their only TD was a punt return.
— LA had ball in red zone four times, scored total of only three points.
— Chargers are 2-8 ATS in last ten games as a home favorite, 0-3 this year.

Packers 34, Cowboys 24:
— Green Bay led this game 31-3 in third quarter, then hung on for dear life.
— Packers won both their road games, quality wins at Chicago/Dallas.
— Green Bay won eight of last nine series games, winning last four visits here, scoring 34+ points in all four games.

— Dallas outgained Packers 563-335, but was -3 (0-3) in turnovers.
— Prescott threw for 463 yards; Cooper caught 11 balls for 226 yards.
— Dallas is still 5-3-1 ATS in its last nine games as a home favorite.

Colts 19, Chiefs 13
— Indy ran ball for 180 yards, ran 74 plays, to 57 for Chiefs.
— Colts covered six of last eight games as a road underdog.
— Colts have now won eight of last ten visits to Arrowhead.

— Chiefs ran the ball for only 36 yards on 14 carries.
— KC’s last seven drives: 35 plays, 150 yards, three points.
— Mahomes tweaked his ankle, was hobbling in the second half. 

 

Sunday’s List of 13: Wrapping up a college football Saturday…….

13) Virginia Tech 42, Miami 35— Hokies led 28-0 when Miami scored a 44-yard TD on the last play of the first half; Hurricanes tied game 35-all when they scored a TD with 3:16 left in the game, but missed the go-ahead PAT. 

Tech then drove 63 yards on five plays for a TD and their first ACC win in three tries. 

Miami is 1-3 vs I-A teams, with all four games decided by 7 or fewer points. 

12) Navy 34, Air Force 25— Trends are fun and all, but under is now 33-9-1 in the last 43 games between the service academies. This game went over by a decent amount. 

11) Speaking of the academies, Army (23-1) scored the first TD of the day, so if you bet them to score the day’s first TD, a prop bet at the SouthPoint, your day started out very well. 

10) Texas (-11) 42, West Virginia 31— Mountaineers scored with 0:48 left, pushing the spread; over last 11 years, Texas is now 0-10-1 ATS the week before playing Oklahoma. 

This game was closer than the score indicates; WVU outgained the Longhorns 463-407, but they were only 4-14 on 3rd down, Texas was 10-18— Mountaineers turned ball over four times (-3). 

9) Florida 24, Auburn 13— Rough day for Auburn’s freshman QB Nix, who was 11-27/145 passing with three INT’s. Florida kept the Tigers in the game by losing five fumbles (-2 in TO’s). Gators outgained Auburn 382-241, teams combined to convert only 6-29 on third down. 

8) Iowa State 49, TCU 24— Cyclones have covered their last eight October games. 

7) Upsets:
— Virginia Tech (+14) 42, Miami 35
— Stanford (+13) 23, Washington 13
— Texas Tech (+10) 45, Oklahoma State 35
— Georgia State (+7) 52, Arkansas State 38
— Central Michigan (+6) 42, Eastern Michigan 16
— Oregon State (+6) 48, UCLA 31
— Ball State (+5) 27, Northern Illinois 20

6) SMU 43, Tulsa 37 OT— Mustangs were down 30-9 after the 3rd quarter, but won in OT after tying the game with 1:02 left in regulation. Rough night for Tulsa’s kicker, who missed three FG’s and an extra point.  

5) Louisville 41, Boston College 39— Total yardage was 664-563, Louisville; they kicked a 41-yard FG with 1:13 left for the win. BC QB Grosel completed only 9-24 passes, but threw three TD’s. Eagles lost three of their last four games— they lost last two by total of five points. 

4) Arizona 35, Colorado 30— Total yardage was 496-487 Colorado, but they kicked three FG’s and scored three TD’s, while Arizona scored five TD’s. 

Not sure why Colorado fired Mike MacIntyre as coach LY, but they did; I’m thinking they made a mistake, but thats their business, not mine. 

3) Oregon State 48, UCLA 31— Beavers led this game 21-0 after 6:01 of play; UCLA is now 1-4, and they trailed 49-17 in the one game they won. 

2) Cincinnati 27, UCF 24— Knights turned ball over four times (-3); Gabriel was 25-46/297 passing but threw three INT’s- Davis caught 13 balls for 170 yards for UCF, in a losing cause. 

1) There are a few teams that are so terrible you should never even think about wagering on them; UMass, Rutgers, Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt, UNLV. 

Saturday’s List of 13: Random stuff with the weekend here…….

13) Greetings from Las Vegas, America’s favorite city; had a long flight in Friday, complete with 20+ fired-up college students sitting behind me, drinking their way across America. It was a very loud five hours. 

12) College football teams with best record vs spread:
5-0: UL-Lafayette, SMU, Auburn, Oklahoma State

11) College football teams with worst record vs spread:
0-5: Akron
0-4: FIU, Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech

10) Weird NFL schedule this Sunday; 10 games at 1PM ET, only two at 4:00 or 4:25, with Packers-Cowboys the feature game. 

There used to be a rule that the Jets/Giants couldn’t play at the same time unless they were playing each other, to maximize ratings in NY/NJ, but that has gone by the boards. 

9) Good program on HBO; 24/7: College Football, which features a different team each week, with Hard Knocks-type access to the head coach and players. 

This week’s show featured an hour on the Florida Gators; next three weeks are Penn State, Arizona State and then Washington State.

8) Speaking of Washington State, they found a scapegoat for consecutive losses when defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys “resigned” (got fired) Friday. 

Two weeks ago, Wazzu was unbeaten and Leach was playing up his quirky Pirate image with the media; then they blew a 49-17 lead at home to UCLA, got whacked at Utah LW and now fingers are being pointed. We live in a fickle society. 

7) Mets fired manager Mickey Callaway, who went 163-161 in his two years in Flushing. There are now seven managerial openings in the major leagues.

6) NFL stuff:
— Colt McCoy will start at QB for the Redskins Sunday.
— Saquon Barkley, Sam Darnold are both out this week.
— Rams’ LB Clay Matthews broke his jaw Thursday, is out for a month. 

5) Braves’ OF Ronald Acuna had 33 singles this year that went 300+ feet, a testament to both his power and his tendency not to hustle out of the batters’ box. 

4) Sports Illustrated laid off half of its writing staff this week; TheMaven, which is now running SI, is expected to hire contract workers to fill out the writing staff after the layoffs.

3) College football stuff:
— Oklahoma suspended K Calum Sutherland, after an alleged incident with his girlfriend.
— Tennessee will start true freshman QB Brian Maurer against Georgia today. 

2) Apparently when the Washington Redskins drafted QB Dwayne Haskins last April, coach Jay Gruden didn’t want the kid, which must make things awkward now, since by the time Haskins is deemed ready to start for Washington, Gruden is likely to have a different job. 

1) Golden State Warriors’ star Draymond Green made only 29% of his jump shots LY, the worst %age in the NBA.