Saturday’s Den: Happy New Year, everyone…….

13) Alabama 27, Cincinnati 6:
— Alabama had 8 of the top 38 picks in last year’s NFL Draft, but here they are again, playing for the national title. Nick Saban is the best college coach ever.
— Total yardage: Alabama 482, Cincinnati 218
— Yards rushing: 301-74. Not a fun game to watch. 

12) Georgia 34, Michigan 11:
— SEC started 0-5 in bowl games, but now it is Georgia-Alabama for the national title.
— Dawgs outgained Michigan, 521-328
— Georgia converted 10-16 third down plays. 

11) Wake Forest 38, Rutgers 10:
— Wake Forest is smallest school in country with a Power 5 football team.
— Last six years, Demon Deacons are 45-30 SU.
— How come no one talks about Dave Clawson for bigger $$$ jobs?

Whats the deal with starting bowl games at 11am? That means the pregame meals are at 7am, which isn’t normal. No game should start before noon, local time. 

10) Central Michigan 24, Washington State 21:
— Pac-12 teams are 0-4 in bowl games this season, 4-9 ATS in last 13 bowls.
— Good TV exposure on CBS for the MAC’s Chippewas.
— It rained at the Sun Bowl, which pretty much sums up the last two years. 

9) Purdue 48, Tennessee 45 OT:
— Fantastic game, probably best bowl this year, maybe best game all season.
— In a 3:23 span of 4th quarter, each team scored 14 points.
— Total yardage: Tennessee 666, Purdue 627
— Vols had 14 penalties for 128 yards. 

8) Purdue QB Aidan O’Connell turned down offers to play D-III college football and walked on at Purdue; in 2017, he was the 8th-string (out of nine) QB- he played WR on the scout team.

At the start of the 2019 season, he was still only the 4th-string QB, but he didn’t transfer, he hung in there, and this year he threw for 3,712 yards, 28 TD’s. Good for him.

Reading Twitter during the 4th quarter/OT of this game was fun; everyone was watching it. Troy Aikman even tweeted about it. Purdue won the game, but both teams won, in terms of exposure and how recruits view their program. 

7) Wisconsin 20, Arizona State 13:
— Badgers killed off last 9:57 of this game with a 19-play, 90-yard drive.
— Wisconsin threw only 15 passes, but averaged 9.1 yards/attempt.

6) South Carolina 38, North Carolina 21:
— Gamecocks had TD passes of 69-66 yards in first 7:15 of this game.
— Total yardage: 543-333, South Carolina.
— UNC began season as a top 10 team; they finish season 6-7. 

5) Am reading a book written by Chris Andrews, who runs the sportsbook at SouthPoint Casino in Las Vegas; two years ago, when 49ers-Chiefs played in Super Bowl, when SouthPoint posted the props for the game, not the spread but the props, they took $150,000 in action in the first 25 minutes after they were posted. People love prop bets. 

4) Was watching the East Tennessee-Chattanooga basketball game Thursday night; it was weird, the voice on the game was a split-second ahead of the picture. Announcer would say a shot was good, before it went thru the hoop on the screen. 

3) RIP Betty White, who passed away Friday at age 99, three weeks before her 100th birthday. 

Betty White had a great career; she danced on a TV show in Los Angeles in freakin’ 1939!!! In the 70’s, she was a co-star on the Mary Tyler Moore show. She was in a bunch of shows after that; she is the oldest person ever to host Saturday Night Live.

Betty White was funny as hell when women on TV weren’t expected to be funny; in real life, she was married to game show host Allen Ludden, who hosted Password. She was actually in the Odd Couple episode where Felix/Oscar are on Password; they lost to Betty and her partner.

RIP ma’am. 

2) Rams’ WR Cooper Kupp played I-AA football at Eastern Washington; he comes from a football background; his dad was a QB who was drafted by the Giants in the 5th round of the 1990 Draft- he got into one NFL game, going 3-7 for 23 yards for the Cardinals in a 1991 game. 

Kupp’s grandfather played 11 years as a lineman in the NFL, for the Saints/Cowboys.

1) I hope all of you have a Happy New Year; 2021 was better than 2020 (it didn’t take much); hopefully 2022 will be a lot better than both those years. Thanks for reading. 

Friday’s Den: Some suggestions to make the (sports) world better

It is easy to sit here and criticize everything, so before I sit here and criticize everything, here are some good ideas that have been put into play:

— NHL, NFL moving their drafts around the country— Anything that gets the fans closer to the league is a good thing. NHL started this; NFL kind of stumbled into it, but it helps them.

I’m guessing the NFL Draft in Las Vegas this spring should be fun.

— Hard Knocks in season— Brilliant idea they’re doing this year for the first time. The more people see behind the curtains, the better for the league’s business. Plus, the Colts are hot now, so it makes the show more interesting.

— Whoever put the TV camera in the end zone pylon deserves a raise; gives us an interesting view of the action.

— Baseball adding the Wild Card needed to happen, now they want to expand the playoffs further, maybe to 14 teams.

Why? To make more money from the networks (that’s the answer to every question)

Some suggestions to make the (sports) world a better place:
Non-sports stuff:
— More game shows, less of these BS talk shows where the hosts stage arguments so they can yell at each other. Game shows were excellent, made people at home think some.

— We need to respect each other more; just because we disagree about something doesn’t mean we have to hate each other. Agree to disagree, but maintain respect for each other. Debating stuff can be fun.

Sports stuff
Baseball
— Universal DH is a must. Why?
a) Pitchers suck at hitting
b) Pitchers get hurt hitting/running bases
c) DH’s make more $$$ than relief pitchers; the players’ union likes the DH.
d) More offense equals a more interesting game.

— Banning shifts. Why?
a) Line drives in the gap are more fun to watch than having every guy swing for the fences.
b) More balls in play equals quicker games, more action.
c) Great fielding plays make for better highlights, which attract fans.

— Allow draft picks to be traded.
a) This will give smart teams (maybe with less $$$) to outwit rich, impatient teams.
b) Gives fans/media more stuff to talk about.
c) Anything that keeps baseball in the forefront of conversation is a good thing.

— Market the game better. How?
a) Create an NFL Films-type group that produces a Hard Knocks show where we can see some of the inner workings of baseball. It would be great.
b) Imagine last cuts in spring training? Would be good television.
c) Trade negotiations at the deadline? It would be like watching Moneyball all over again.
d) Show Winter League games from Central America.
e) Get rid of all TV blackouts; you WANT people to watch baseball.

— Geographic realignment. Why?
a) Create more local rivalries— Padres TV guys were complaining that every time they visit Dodger Stadium, they pass thru Anaheim, yet they rarely play the Angels. 

b) More rivalries mean bigger crowds, better TV ratings, more $$$
c) Reduce travel costs.
e) All five California teams in one division; those teams would play 119 of their 162 games in California.

— Market ALL the teams, not just New York, Boston and the Dodgers.
a) Every team has to appear on Sunday Night baseball every so often.
b) Mike Trout is really good; put the Angels on national TV more. 

c) Houston/San Diego are big cities; show the Astros/Padres more on national TV. 

— Make Wild Card playoffs best-of-3. One game just doesn’t cut it; you fight for six months to make the playoffs, then lose one game and you’re out. 2 out of 3 would be better, plus it gives the other playoff teams a few days to rest up for their playoffs.

— Showing games from Japan/Korea in the mornings wouldn’t be a bad idea, either.

Basketball
— Let kids go straight from high school to the NBA, the way it was when Lebron James was in high school. Kids going to college for one year is a farce.

— They’ve turned college basketball into a glorified version of AAU; players transfer at the drop of a hat. Kid at a mid-major makes two layups in a row, he wants to play in the ACC. Not too sure how to fix it, but having obvious pro prospects skip college altogether would help.

— Shorten NBA playoff series, make series best-of-5, increase the drama.  Upsets now and then are a good thing, like the NCAA tournament.

— I’m curious to see how this play-in tournament is going to work. It’ll shorten the regular season by four games

— Big East should host their conference tournament at Butler’s Hinkle Fieldhouse one year, the gym where they filmed the end of Hoosiers. You have Butler in your league, take advantage of it.

Football
— No more Thursday Night Football, except for Week 1 and Thanksgiving. Instead, they should have Monday night doubleheaders, 7:00/10:30 kickoffs. It would be popular. Football wasn’t meant to be played on three days’ rest.

— Add a second bye week for each NFL team, play a 19-week schedule with 17 games, and have the Super Bowl on Sunday of Presidents’ Day weekend, when everyone is off on Monday.

— Add the AAF’s onside kick rule, when instead of an onside kick, the kicking team gets the ball on their own 35-yard line, 4th-and-15. They get the first down the keep the ball; the onside kick rule they use now isn’t good. Too hard for a recovery by the kicking team.

— If a kickoff goes thru the goal posts, the kicking team gets one point.

— Higher seed in playoffs chooses their opponent in playoffs; they do this in the G-League and it is a good idea. Would make for a good TV show when they choose their opponents.

— College football needs to change their recruiting calendars, to end the insanity of the coaching carousel before bowl season. What happened this fall was embarrassing, schools throwing $$$ at coaches, just before the early recruiting period.

Too many bowl games with lame duck coaches and quarterbacks transferring as soon as they’re not the starter anymore. 

— College football playoffs should be 12 teams; cut out some of these low-level bowl games which mean nothing.

These are just suggestions, but they would improve things.
What do you think? Have any ideas? 

Sunday’s Den: Wrapping up a busy Christmas Day……..

13) Green Bay 24, Cleveland 22:
— Mayfield threw four INT’s on ten drives.
— Cleveland is 3-6 in games decided by six or fewer points.
— Last five Cleveland games stayed under the total.
— Since his debut in 2018, Mayfield has thrown 54 INTs, more than any QB during that time.

— Browns outgained Green Bay, 408-311.
— Packers were 3-10 on third down, Cleveland 7-12.
— Browns missed PAT after their first TD, 2-point play after 2nd TD.
— In their last five games, Packers scored 33.4 ppg

12) Indianapolis 22, Arizona 16:
— Colts ran ball for 126 yards, even with four starting OL guys out.
— Taylor carried ball for 108 yards; Colts averaged 7.3 yards/pass attempt.
— Last seven weeks, Indy led each game by 6+ points at halftime.
— Colts won six of their last seven games.

— Cardinals lost last three games, giving up 30-30-22 points.
— Arizona missed two FG’s and an extra point.
— Murray ran for 74 of Arizona’s 133 rushing yards.
— Cardinals are 3-5 ATS last eight games (6-1 ATS first seven).

11) Kurt Warner’s movie American Underdog opened in theaters Saturday; NFL Network helped promote it by showing a replay of Super Bowl XXXIV Friday night. Still get nervous watching replays of that game; its been 21 years, what a fun night that was. 

10) Rams led that Super Bowl 16-0 in third quarter, blew the lead, then won it 23-16 with a TD right after the 2:00 warning; years later, when the Falcons blew a 27-3 lead to New England in the Super Bowl, I remember sitting there, knowing what every Falcons’ fan had to be thinking. Had to be a horrible night for them.  

9) Baltimore Ravens are down to one healthy QB for their game with the Bengals; 35-year old Josh Johnson, who has a 1-7 record as an NFL starter, will get the nod. Tyler Huntley (COVID) and Lamar Jackson (ankle) are both apparently out this week.

Josh Johnson played college football at U of San Diego (not San Diego State), where his coach was Jim Harbaugh, John’s brother.

8) Saints signed veteran QB Blake Bortles as a backup for rookie Ian Book; Bortles has a 24-49 record as a starter, but he did lead Jacksonville to a playoff berth in 2017. Taysom Hill, Trevor Siemian are both out for Monday’s game. 

7) Miami Dolphins are the team that appears to have the most salary cap room heading into the next offseason. 

6) Final of the Diamond Head Classic in Hawai’i between Stanford-Vanderbilt was cancelled after Stanford’s program had COVID issues. 

5) New York Knicks haven’t won consecutive games since October 28-30; they’re 3-9 ATS this season in the game following a win. 

4) Houston Cougars lost two of their best basketball players this week; Marcus Sasser (toe) is out for the year, and Tramon Mark (shoulder) is out for the foreseeable future. Cougars were a top 10 team before those injuries; now? Not so much. 

3) Arkansas basketball coach Eric Musselman tore his rotator cuff; he may or may not have the surgery after the season, depending on how painful the next 7-10 days are. He injured his left shoulder when he jumped into a drill during practice and collided with a player. 

2) Penn State’s football team heads into its bowl game 7-5; they’re 0-4 in games decided by four or fewer points. 

1) The John Madden documentary was interesting Saturday; the Madden video game has posted over $7B in revenue over the years. Thats BILLION, with a B. People love their video games. 

Saturday’s Den: Merry Christmas- here are some NBA trends…….

Nothing says Merry Christmas like a set of NBA trends.

Thanks to everyone for reading this site; I appreciate it.

Hawks (15-16):
— 3-6 SU last nine games.
— won four of last six road games.
— 0-8-1 ATS last nine HF
— 3-6 ATS as a road underdog.

Celtics (16-16):
— lost last three home games.
— 4-1 ATS last five road games.
— 5-2 ATS as a road favorite.
— under 9-3-1 last 13 road games

Nets (21-9):
— 4-1 SU last five games.
— 1-5 ATS last six home favorite
— 8-6-1 ATS on the road.
— under 9-6 at home

Hornets (17-17):
— covered last eight home games.
— lost nine of last 13 games SU
— 8-10 ATS as a road underdog.
— over 7-3 last ten home games

Bulls (19-10):
— won six of last eight games.
— 9-5 ATS at home.
— 6-2 ATS as a road favorite.
— six of last nine games went over.

Cavaliers (19-13):
— covered 14 of their last 15 games.
— 10-3 SU last thirteen games
— 7-0 ATS as a home favorite
— under 5-0 last five games

Mavericks (15-16):
— Lost 12 of last 18 games SU.
— 4-6 ATS as home favorites
— 4-1 ATS as a road favorite.
— Under 9-2 last eleven games

Nuggets (15-16):
— Lost 12 of their last 18 games
— 5-9 ATS as a favorite
— over 15-3 last 18 games. 
— 1-4 ATS if they played night before.

Pistons (5-26):
— Lost 16 of last 17 games SU
— 3-2 ATS if they played night before
— over 6-2 last eight home games.
— over 7-3 last ten games.

Warriors (26-6):
— won seven of last nine games SU
— 14-3-1 ATS as home favorites.
— under 10-4-1 last 15 games overall
— under 5-2-1 last eight home games

Rockets (10-23):
— lost six of last seven games SU.
— covered six of last eight hone games.
— over five of last seven home games
— over 10 of last 13 games overall.  

Pacers (14-19):
— 6-2 ATS as a road underdog
— 8-5 ATS as a home favorite,
— 0-7 ATS as a road favorite
— under 10-2 last twelve road games

Clippers (17-15):
— lost three of last four games 
— under 7-2 last nine games.
— 7-11 ATS as a home favorite.
— 0-4 ATS if they played night before

Lakers (16-17):
— lost last four games SU
— 4-10 ATS as a home favorite.
— 1-5 ATS as a road favorite.
— under 5-1 last six road games

Grizzlies (19-14):
— lost last three games SU.
— won/covered six of last seven on road.
— 6-4 ATS as road underdogs.
— over 12-7 at home

Heat (20-13):
— won six of last eight games SU
— over 7-2-1 last ten home games.
— 4-0 ATS as home underdogs.
— 3-7 ATS as as road favorites

Bucks (21-13):
— won five of last nine games SU.
— 5-8 ATS as home favorites, 8-3 ATS as road favorites
— 2-7 ATS as underdogs.
— six of last seven games stayed under.

Timberwolves (15-17):
— won four of last six games SU
— 7-4 ATS last 11 home games
— 7-4 ATS last 11 road games
— over 10-3 last 13 games

Pelicans (12-21):
— won five of last six games SU
— 6-10 ATS as road underdogs
— 8-6 ATS at home
— under 11-7 on road

Knicks (14-18):
— lost nine of last 12 games SU.
— over 5-1 last six road games
— 5-11 ATS at home 
— 3-8 ATS as an underdog. 

Thunder (11-20):
— won three of last four games
— 5-0 ATS last five games overall.  
— 9-5 ATS as home underdog, 10-5 as road dog
— over 6-2 last eight road games

Magic (7-26):
— lost seven of last eight home games SU
— under 7-4 last 11 home games 
— 3-10 ATS as a home underdog
— 8-5 ATS last 13 road games. 

76ers (16-16):
— 2-7 ATS last nine games
— last five of last seven home games SU
— 4-10 ATS at home
— last five home games stayed under total.

Suns (26-5):
— won last five games SU
— 5-2 ATS last seven games
— 14-12 ATS as a favorite
— under 8-4 last 12 home games 

Trailblazers (13-19):
— lost 11 of last 14 games SU
— 3-11 ATS on the road
— 9-6 ATS as a home favorite/
— 2-8 ATS as an underdog.
— under 4-1 last five home games

Kings (13-20):
— lost six of last eight games SU
— 9-12 ATS at home
— over 5-2 last seven road games
— 2-4 ATS if they played night before.

Spurs (13-18):
— 10-4 ATS last fourteen games
— 9-4 ATS as road underdogs.
— covered six of last seven road games.
— over 12-2-1 at home

Raptors (14-15):
— 6-1 ATS last seven games
— 0-4 ATS as home underdogs, 7-5 as road dogs.
— over 4-1 last five games
— 4-1 ATS if they played night before

Jazz (22-9):
— won 10 of last 12 games SU
— over 8-3 last 11 games
— 8-5 ATS as road favorite
— under 8-4-1 on the road

Wizards (17-15):
— lost seven of last ten games 
— 4-1 ATS as home underdogs, 5-8 as road dogs.
— 1-6 ATS as road favorites
— over 9-3-1 last thirteen games. 

Monday’s Den: Wrapping up an NFL Sunday

Cleveland 24, Baltimore 22:
— Lamar Jackson hurt his ankle on first play of 2nd quarter, didn’t return.
— Down 24-6 at half, Ravens had ball at midfield at end, with chance to win.
— Ravens were 1-12 on third down, Cleveland 6-13.
— Last five weeks, Ravens have one first half touchdown.

— Cleveland’s first four drives: 28 plays, 210 yards, 12 first downs, 17 points.
— Browns ran fumble back for TD in last minute of first half.
— Almost an epic collapse by the Browns; they led 24-3 at one point.
— Just fifth win for Browns in last 27 games vs Baltimore.

Dallas 27, Washington 20:
— Cowboys led this game 24-0 at halftime.
— Dallas had one offensive TD, on a 41-yard drive.
— Cowboys had a defensive TD that made score 18-0.
— Last 10 years, Dallas is 17-11 ATS in NFC East road games.
— Cowboys covered five of last seven visits here.

— Heinicke hurt his knee in 4th quarter, Chad Allen was QB at end.
— Washington had 34 total yards, 4 first downs in first half.
— Washington had 4 turnovers, converted 3-14 on third down.
— Washington is 4-10 ATS in last 14 NFC East home tilts.

Kansas City 48, Las Vegas 9:
— Chiefs ran fumble in for a TD on first play of the game.
— Raiders’ first six drives: 4 first downs, 3 turnovers, no points.
— Raiders lost five of last six games, outscored 102-54 in second half.
— Raiders converted only 22 of last 80 third down plays.
— Las Vegas is 5-9 ATS last 14 games coming off a loss.  

— Chiefs won last five games, giving up 10.8 ppg.
— Chiefs outscored foes 91-16 in first half of those games.
— Kansas City is 7-0 if it allows 17 or less points, 2-4 if they allow more.
— Chiefs have 15 takeaways in last four games (+11)
— Kansas City won 15 of last 18 series games.

New Orleans 30, NJ Jets 9:
— Saints end their five-game losing skid.
— New Orleans ran ball for 203 yards
— Saints are 18-8 ATS last 26 games as road favorites.
— New Orleans is 7-4-1 ATS last 12 games vs AFC opponents.

— Jets lost five of their last six games.
— Jets gave up 34.4 ppg in their last eight games.
— Jets have been outscored 223-89 in first half this season.
— Jets are 15-26 ATS last 41 games coming off a loss.
— Last eight games, Jets are minus-11 in turnovers

Tennessee 20, Jacksonville 0:
— Jaguars lost five in row, 26 of their last 28 games.
— Jacksonville has eight losses by 10+ points.
— Jaguars have six TD’s on their last 67 drives.
— Jacksonville is minus-19 in turnovers (5-24)
— Jaguars are 8-17-1 ATS in last 25 games as road underdogs.
— Last five games, Jacksonville was outscored 103-28 in first half.
— 12 of their last 13 games stayed under the total.

— Tennessee had four INT’s, was +4 in turnovers.
— Jaguars ran ball eight times for 8 yards. For the whole game.
— Tennessee won 10 of last 11 series games.
— Jaguars are 1-6 ATS in last seven visits to Nashville.

Atlanta 29, Carolina 21:
— Atlanta took lead for good on a pick-6 in second quarter.
— Falcons had 10-yard edge in field position.
— Atlanta is 5-2 if it allows 25 or less points, 1-5 if it gives up 26+. 
— Falcons led eight of last 11 games at halftime.

— Carolina lost eight of last ten games after a 3-0 start.
— Carolina is 0-8 if it allows more than 14 points.
— Panthers are 7-13 ATS last 20 games as home favorites.
— Falcons are 5-1 ATS in last six visits to Charlotte.
— Last four Carolina games went over the total.

Seattle 33, Houston 13:
— Seahawks ran for 193 yards, threw for 260.
— Seahawks averaged 9.3 yards/pass attempt.
— Seattle was 7-13 on third down, Houston 3-13.
— Seattle is 5-1 if it scores 28+ points, 0-7 if it doesn’t.

— Texans lost ten of their last eleven games.
— Game was 16-13 at halftime; Houston was blanked in 2nd half.
— Fairbairn kicked a 61-yard FG.
— Texans are 6-11 ATS last 17 games as home underdogs.
— Houston is 5-15 ATS last 20 games coming off a loss.

San Francisco 26, Cincinnati 23 OT
— 49ers led 20-6 with 10:00 left in game.
— Kittle caught 13 passes for 151 yards and a TD.
— Last five games, 49ers outscored opponents 95-51 in first half. 
— 49ers won/covered four of their last five games.
— Last four games, 49ers are +7 in turnovers (11-4).

— Bengals had TD drives of 87-66 yards in 4th quarter, to force OT.
— Chase caught TD passes of 17-32 yards to end those drives.
— SF drove 75 yards in seven plays for TD after Cincy kicked FG in OT
— Bengals are 7-1 scoring 24+ points, 0-5 otherwise.
— Bengals lost four of last six games, after a 5-2 start.

Tampa Bay 33, Buffalo 27, OT
— Tampa Bay led 24-3 at halftime.
— Buffalo scored 17 points in last 9:07 to force OT.
— Perriman caught 58-yard TD pass from Brady to end game.
— Bills converted 2-13 on third down, Tampa Bay 8-16.
— Buccaneers are 8-3-1 as home favorites with Brady at QB.

— Bucs’ first five drives: 40 plays, 301 yards, 24 points.
— Bucs in rest of regulation: 31 plays, 121 yards, 3 points.
— Buffalo ran for 173 yards (9.1 yards/carry)
— Bills’ only 3/out the whole game was their one drive in OT.
— Buffalo QB Allen was wearing walking boot after game, will have MRI Monday. 

Denver 38, Detroit 10:
— Detroit had 7 practice squad guys active, due to COVID issues.
— Lions were minus-2 in turnovers, averaged 4.8 yards/pass attempt.
— Detroit scored TD, kicked FG on its first three drives.
— Lions’ last six drives: 42 plays, 181 yards, no points.

— Denver ran for 184 yards, converted 8-12 on third down.
— Broncos were perfect in red zone (35 points/five drives)
— Denver is 6-1 if it scores 23+ points, 1-5 if it doesn’t. 
— Denver gave up 16 or less points in its wins, 25.8 ppg in losses.

LA Chargers 37, NY Giants 21:
— Giants have been outscored 81-12 in last 2:00 of each half.
— Giants are 3-10 ATS in last 13 games vs AFC opponents.
— Last four games, Giants scored five TD’s on 42 drives.
— Giants trailed 37-7 with 5:00 left, scored two TD’s in garbage time.

— First nine drives, Chargers scored four TD’s, kicked three FG’s.
— LA outgained Giants 423-316, averaged 8.2 yards/pass attempt.
— Chargers converted 25 of last 52 third down plays.
— Over is 4-1 in Chargers’ last five home games.
— LA is 6-1 when it scores 27+ points, 2-4 when it does not.  

Green Bay 45, Chicago 30:
— Bears led this game 27-21 at halftime.
— Bears in 2nd half: 26 plays, 81 yards, 3 points.
— Chicago had TD plays of 46-54 yards, had 97-yard punt return for TD.
— Chicago lost seven of last eight games (1-7 ATS)
— Bears are 5-11 ATS in last sixteen road games.

— Packers’ last six drives: 39 plays, 295 yards, 31 points.
— Green Bay scored on pick-6 in 2nd quarter, to go up 14-10.
— Green Bay is 15-6 ATS last 21 games as a home favorite.
— Packers won/covered all six home games TY.
— Green Bay is 8-1-1 ATS this season, coming off a win.

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

Detroit 29, Minnesota 27:
— Vikings scored TD with 1:53 left to take 27-23 lead.
— Goff hit St Brown with 11-yard TD pass at 0:00 for the win.
— 11 of Vikings’ 12 games were decided by 8 or fewer points.
— Over is 6-1 in Vikings road games this year.
— Minnesota has been outscored 103-28 in last 2:00 of each half.

— Minnesota has led by 6+ points in every game this year.
— Detroit is 1-10-1, but is 8-4 ATS (5-1 last six).
— Detroit converted only 2-11 third down plays.
— Lions’ last four games were decided by total of seven points.
— Detroit won this game despite questionable game management strategy.

Arizona 33, Chicago 22:
— Cardinals had three TD drives shorter than 30 yards.
— Arizona was +4 in turnovers, had 23-yard edge in field position.
— Cardinals are 9-3 ATS this season, 7-0 on road.
— Cardinals are +15 in turnovers in wins, minus-3 in losses.
— Arizona has 51 plays of 20+ yards; their opponents have 29.

— Bears lost six of their last seven games (1-6 ATS).
— Last six games, Chicago was outscored 92-39 in first half. 
— Last seven games, Bears are minus-11 in turnovers.
— Favorites won/covered all six Chicago home games TY.
— Bears are 5-9 ATS last 14 games as home underdogs.

Tampa Bay 30, Atlanta 17:
— Tampa Bay scared 30-38-30 points in winning last three games. 
— Bucs drove 75 yards for TD on three of first four drives.
— Bucs have 46 TD’s on 126 drives this season.
— Tampa Bay outscored last three opponents 47-7 in 2nd half.
— Bucs won last five series games, scoring 37.2 ppg.

— Atlanta is 0-5 SU at home this year, outscored 140-66.
— Falcons in second half: 34 plays, 159 yards, no points.
— Falcons’ second TD was scored by the defense.
— Atlanta has been outscored 186-89 in second half.
— Under is 4-1 in last five Atlanta games.

Indianapolis 31, Houston 0:
— Colts won/covered seven of last ten games, after 0-3 start.
— Colts outgained Houston 389-141.
— Last four weeks, Indy led by 18-11-17-10-14 points at halftime.
— Last ten weeks, Colts outscored opponents 167-75 in first half.
— Colts are 6-0 giving up 24 or fewer points, 1-6 if they allow 25+.

— Texans lost ten of their last eleven games.
— Houston averaged 1.8 yards/pass attempt, was 3-12 on third down.
— Colts outscored Texans 61-3 in two meetings this season.
— Last seven games, Houston was outscored 93-37 in 1st half.
— Under is 8-2 in Texans’ last ten games.

Philadelphia 33, NJ Jets 18:
— Eagles scored TD on first three drives, kicked FG’s on next four.
— Philly ran ball for 211.8 ypg last six games (98.6 ypg previous five games)
— Minshew averaged 8.6 yards/pass attempt.
— Philly converted 6-13 on 3rd down, Jets 3-9.
— Last five weeks, Eagles outscored opponents 98-45 in first half.  

— Jets’ first three drives: 25 plays, 164 yards, three TD’s
— Jets went 0-1 on PAT’s, 0-2 on 2-point conversions.
— Rest of game: 31 plays, 113 yards, no points.
— Jets lost four of their last five games. 
— Seven of last nine Jet games went over the total.  

LA Chargers 41, Cincinnati 22:
— Chargers’ first 3 drives: 18 plays, 132 yards, 17 points.
— Bolts led 24-0; Bengals cut lead to 24-22 early in 4th quarter.
— Campbell ran fumble back 61 yards for Charger TD with 13:43 left.
— Last five years, LA is 12-7-2 ATS as road underdogs.

— Burrow played lot of game with dislocated pinky on his right hand
— Cincy had only one TD drive longer than 32 yards.
— Four of last five Bengal games went over the total.
— Bengals are 7-1 scoring 24+ points, 0-4 otherwise.
— Cincy is 8-11-2 ATS last 21 games with spread of 3 or fewer points.
— Last three years, Cincinnati is 3-9 ATS coming off a win.
— Five of last six Bengal games went over the total.

Miami 20, NY Giants 9:
— Giants have one TD on 20 drives since they fired OC Garrett.
— Giants have been outscored 74-12 in last 2:00 of each half.
— Giants are 5-8-1 ATS last 14 games coming off a win.
— Last six Giant games stayed under the total.
— QB Glennon got concussion; newly acquired Fromm could play next week.

— Dolphins won/covered last five games, giving up 11.0 ppg.
— Dolphins allowed 17 or fewer points in all six of their wins. 
— Miami gave up four TDs on opponents’ last 58 drives.
— Miami is 23-12-3 ATS in last 37 home games. 
— Five of last six Dolphin games stayed under the total.

Washington 17, Las Vegas 15:
— Johnson kicked 48-yard FG with 0:37 left for the win.
— Washington won all four games since its bye.
— Washington converted 29 of last 58 third down plays.
— Washington is 9-4-1 ATS last 14 games with spread of 3 or less.
— Washington is 14-7 ATS last 21 games coming off a win.

— Las Vegas is 6-0 when it scores 26+ points, 0-6 when it does not.
— Washington was 7-13 on third down, Raiders 2-8
— Raiders converted only 18 of last 69 third down plays. 
— Las Vegas is 3-6 ATS last eight games as a home favorite.
— Raiders lost four of last five games, outscored 89-48 in second half.

LA Rams 37, Jacksonville 7:
— Jaguars lost four in row, 25 of their last 27 games.
— Jacksonville has seven losses by 10+ points.
— Jaguars have six TD’s on their last 48 drives.
— Jacksonville is minus-13 in turnovers (5-18)
— Jaguars are 8-16-1 ATS in last 25 games as road underdogs.

— Rams’ first two drives started at Jaguars’ 34/27-yard line.
— Rams’ first three drives in 2nd half: 24 plays, 202 yards, 21 points.
— LA outgained Jacksonville, 418-197
— Last eight games, LA converted only 33-95 on 3rd down
— Last two years, under is 10-4 in Rams’ home games.

Pittsburgh 20, Baltimore 19:
— Ravens scored TD with 0:12 left, went for 2 points but failed.
— Last four weeks, Baltimore scored 10-16-16-19 points.
— Five trips to red zone, Ravens scored only 19 points.
— Last four Baltimore games stayed under the total.
— Underdogs are 11-1-1 ATS in last 13 games vs Steelers.

— Steelers drove 69 yards, took lead for good with 1:48 left.
— Pittsburgh held Ravens to 107 rushing yards.
— Last five games, Pittsburgh converted 33-69 on third down.
— Pittsburgh covered last six games as a home underdog.
— Steelers are 6-2 ATS in last eight AFC North home games.

Seattle 30, San Francisco 23:
— 49ers led 17-7 midway thru second quarter.
— 49ers in first half: 30 plays, 184 yards, 23 points.
— 49ers In second half: 26 plays, 137 yards, no points.
— San Francisco averaged 9.5 yards/pass attempt.
— 49ers are 1-5 SU when they score fewer than 30 points.

— Seattle tied game 23-23 with third quarter safety on a sack.
— Seahawks ran for 146 yards, threw for only 4.4 yards/attempt.
— Seattle won 15 of last 17 games against the 49ers.
— Seahawks had 12-yard edge in field position.
— Both teams turned ball over three times. 

Kansas City 22, Denver 9:
— Denver had 20-play, 88-yard drive but didn’t score on it.
— Broncos scored only nine points on three trips to red zone.
— Denver had 3 turnovers, converted 4-14 on third down.
— Denver has lost 11 in a row SU to Kansas City.
— Broncos are 4-11-1 ATS in last 16 AFC West road games.

— Chiefs won last five games, giving up 11.2 ppg.
— Kansas City is 6-0 if it allows 17 or less points, 2-4 if they allow more.
— Denver outgained the Chiefs, 404-267, ran 18 more plays than KC.
— Chiefs have ten takeaways in last four games (+6)
— Six of Chiefs’ last seven games stayed under the total.

Sunday’s college basketball highlights:
— Xavier 77, Oklahoma State 71
— Northwestern 67, Maryland 61
— Kansas State 65, Wichita State 59
— Minnesota 81, Mississippi State 76
— Siena 60, Saint Peter’s 58

Two Dens for Saturday: NHL trends and favorite quotes

NHL trends (thru Thursday)
Anaheim 13-8-3
— Won three of last four games.
— Ducks are 9-4-1 at home, 4-4-2 on road. 
— last three games went over.
— over 6-2 last eight on road.  

Arizona 5-16-2
— 4-3 last seven games, after an 1-15 start.
— 2-6-1 at home, 3-10-1 on road.
— under 9-1 last ten road games.
— over 4-1 last five games overall.

Boston 12-8
— 2-3 in last five games.
— 7-4 at home, 5-4 on road.
— under 4-1 last five games. 
— 1-0 in OT/shootouts

Buffalo 8-12-3
— Lost six of last seven games.
— 6-6-1 at home, 2-6-2 on road.
— over 5-2 last seven road games.
— 0-4 if they played the night before.

Calgary 14-4-5
— won six of their last seven games.
— Flames are 4-2-3 at home, 10-2-2 on road.
— Under 6-1 last seven home games
— Flames are 2-5 in OT/shootouts.

Carolina 15-6-1
— lost four of their last five games
— 6-3 at home, 9-3-1 on road.
— under 7-3-1 last 11 games
— 7-3 in one-goal games.

Chicago 8-12-2
— 7-3 in their last ten games. 
— 5-5-1 at home, 3-7-1 on road.
— under 5-0 last five home games
— Chicago is 1-12 if it allows 3+ goals.

Colorado 12-7-1
— Colorado won seven of last nine games
— 7-2-1 at home, 5-5 on road.
— won last four home games.
— over is 5-0 in their last five home games

Columbus 12-9
— lost last three games, outscored 15-5.
— 8-3 at home, 4-6 on road.
— over 11-2 last thirteen games
— 5-0 in OT/shootouts.

Dallas 12-7-2
— Dallas won last six games, allowing 8 goals.
— 8-2-1 at home, 4-5-1 on road.
— won their last seven home games
— last six games stayed under total.

Detroit 12-9-3
— Red Wings won their last three games, two in OT/SO
— 8-2 at home, 4-7-1 on road.
— Detroit lost seven of last nine road games.
— Under is 8-3 in their home games. 

Edmonton 16-5
— Oilers won four of last five games.
— Oilers are 9-1 at home, 7-4 on road.
— Over is 7-1 in last eight home games. 
— 3-0 in OT/shootouts. 

Florida 12-2-3
— Panthers won five of last seven games.
— 13-1 at home, 3-3-3 on road.
— Over is 9-4 in their home games,
— Under is 6-3 in their road games.

Los Angeles 9-9-4
— LA lost five of its last six games.
— Kings are at 6-6-2 home, 3-3-2 on road.
— Under is 5-2 in their road games.
— 3-4 in OT/shootouts.

Minnesota 16-6-1
— Wild won last four games, outscoring foes 21-7.
— 9-2 at home, 7-4-1 on road.
— over is 10-1 in their home games
— 5-1 in OT/SO

Montreal 6-17-2
— Montreal lost seven of last nine games
— Canadiens are 4-8-1 at home, 2-9-1 on road.
— Three of their last four games stayed under total.
— Montreal scored two or fewer goals in 19 of 25 games.

Nashville 12-10-1
— Predators won six of last ten games overall.
— Nashville is 7-5 at home, 5-5-1 on road.
— Under is 8-3 in their home games 
— Nashville is 3-1 in OT/shootouts

New Jersey 9-8-4
— Devils lost six of their last eight games.
— Devils are 6-4 at home, 3-4-2 on road.
— over is 7-1 in their last eight games.
— New Jersey is 3-4 in OT/shootouts.

NY Islanders 5-10-3
— Islanders lost their last eight games. 
— Islanders are 0-4-1 at home, 5-6-2 on road.
— under is 6-2 in their last eight games.
— Islanders have been outscored 15-4 at home

NY Rangers 14-4-3
— Rangers won eight of last nine games.
— New York is 6-1-1 at home, 8-3-2 on road.
— under is 8-4-1 in their road games.
— Rangers are 2-3 in OT/shootouts.

Ottawa 5-15-1
— Senators lost 11 of last 13 games overall.
— Ottawa is 3-8 at home, 2-7-1 on road.
— over is 5-2 in their last seven home games.
— Ottawa is 2-3 if it played night before.

Philadelphia 8-9-4
— lost their last six games.
— Flyers are 4-4-2 at home, 4-5-2 on road.
— under is 7-2 in their last nine road games. 
— Philly is 1-4 in OT/shootouts..

Pittsburgh 10-8-5
— Pittsburgh lost last three games, outscored 13-6.
— Penguins are 5-5-2 at home, 5-3-3 on road.
— Under is 4-1 in last five Penguin road games.
— Pittsburgh is 2-5 in OT/shootouts.

St Louis 12-8-3
— Home side won last seven St Louis games.
— Blues are 7-3-1 at home, 5-5-2 on road.
— four of their last five games went over.
— St Louis is 2-3 in OT/shootouts.

San Jose 13-9-1
— Sharks won four of their last five games.
— Sharks are 5-4-1 at home, 8-5 on road.
— under is 7-1 in San Jose’s last eight games.
— under is 7-2 in their last nine road tilts.

Seattle 8-13-2
— Seattle is 3-2 in its last five games.
— Kraken are 5-6 at home, 3-7-2 on road. 
— Over is 11-2 in their last 13 games. 
— Over is 8-3-1 in their road games.

Tampa Bay 13-5-4
— Lightning won seven of last ten games.
— Lightning is 8-3-2 at home, 5-2-2 on road.
— under 6-2 last eight home games.
— Tampa Bay is 5-3 in OT/SO games.

Toronto 17-6-1
— Toronto won last five games, outscoring foes 26-7.
— Maple Leafs are 10-3-1 at home, 7-3 on road. 
— Under is 4-1 in their last five home games.
— Toronto is 3-1 in OT/shootouts.

Vancouver 8-14-2
— Vancouver is 3-8 in last 11 games, but won last two.
— Canucks are 3-6-1 at home, 5-8-1 on road.
— five of last seven road games went over
— Canucks are 2-2 in OT/shootouts

Vegas 12-10
— Knights lost three of their last four games.
— Knights are 7-5 at home, 5-5 on road.
— over 9-3-1 last 13 games overall.
— Vegas is 2-0 in OT/shootouts.

Washington 14-4-6
— Caps split their last six games.
— Washington is 7-1-4 at home, 7-3-2 on road..
— Washington is 0-6 in OT/shootouts.
— last six games went over the total.

Winnipeg 10-8-4
— Jets lost six of their last seven games.
— Jets are 7-3-1 at home, 3-5-3 on road.
— under is 9-3 in last 12 Winnipeg games.
— Jets are 2-4 in OT/shootouts.

Saturday’s Den: Some of my favorite TV/movie quotes

13) “There’s no such thing as a sure thing, thats why they call it gambling.”
Oscar Madison, The Odd Couple

12) “I’ve got a trig midterm tomorrow and I’m being chased by Guido, the killer pimp.”
Miles, Risky Business

11) “You’re a goddamn quarterback! You know what that means? It’s the top spot, kid. It’s the guy who takes the fall. It’s the guy everybody’s looking at first – the leader of a team – who will support you when they understand you. Who will break their ribs and their noses and their necks for you, because they believe. ‘Cause you make them believe. That’s a quarterback.”
Al Pacino, Any Given Sunday

10) “He’s a great player, but I don’t think we can get him in academically.”
Jerry Tarkanian, Blue Chips

9) “A little song, a little dance……a little seltzer down your pants”
Chuckles the Clown, from The Mary Tyler Moore Show

8) “I’ll get to the bottom of this……if I have to go all the way to the top.”
Colonel Flagg, M*A*S*H*

7) “Listen, Lupus, you didn’t come into this life just to sit around on a dugout bench, did ya? Now get your ass out there and do the best you can.”
Walter Matthau in The Bad News Bears

6) “God likes me!!! He really, really likes me!!! What a day!!! What a fabulous day!!!”
Richard Dreyfuss in Let It Ride

5) “Being perfect is not about that scoreboard out there. It’s not about winning. It’s about you and your relationship with yourself, your family and your friends. Being perfect is about being able to look your friends in the eye and know that you didn’t let them down because you told them the truth…….”
Billy Bob Thornton, Friday Night Lights

4) “……here’s the thing. If you can’t spot the sucker in your first half hour at the table, then you ARE the sucker.”
Mike McDermott, Rounders

3) “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard… is what makes it great.”
Tom Hanks in A League of Their Own

2) “Why would you want to dance with someone who doesn’t want to dance with you?”
Adam Sandler, The Wedding Singer

1) “Do whats in your heart, son. You’ll be fine.”
Robin Williams, from Good Will Hunting