Saturday’s Den: Story lines for the 2022 NFL season

— What a mess they have in Cleveland; they’ve made the playoffs once the last 19 years, they signed QB Deshaun Watson to a huge, guaranteed contract, but he’s suspended 11 games by the NFL for alleged sexual misconduct- he didn’t play last year either.

Jacoby Brissett is Cleveland’s QB to start; the Browns traded the previous starter Baker Mayfield to Carolina, their opponent in Week 1.

— Mike Zimmer went 74-59-1 as coach of the Vikings from 2014-21, but went 2-3 in playoff games, so he was shown the door and in comes Kevin O’Connell, who has an offense-based background, but he’s never been a head coach.

Will QB Kirk Cousins/WR Justin Jefferson benefit from the coaching change? Defense-minded coaches like Zimmer tend to run the ball more, to protect their defense from being on the field too much. Minnesota figures to be more wide open on offense now. 

— Trey Lance is the new QB in San Francisco; he’s started only three football games the last two years, going 1-1 with the 49ers LY, after North Dakota State played only one game in the short 2020 season.

17 starts at the I-AA level, two starts in the NFL, he takes over a team that lost the NFC title game 20-17 last year. 49ers are in win-now mode; is Lance good enough right now to lead them to a Super Bowl?

— Brian Daboll is the guy who developed Buffalo QB Josh Allen into a big star; Daboll is now the head coach of the Giants. Allen will have a new voice in his ear; new OC Ken Dorsey. Buffalo is favored to win the Super Bowl; can Allen maintain his high level of play, with a new OC calling his plays?

— if Daboll can turn Daniel Jones into a top-flight QB the way he did with Allen, then he’s going to be known as an elite QB whisperer; last five years, Giants are 22-59. This is a made-or-break year for Jones in New Jersey; the 2023 draft is expected to be QB-heavy.

— AFC West is loaded; Raiders are the longest shot to win the division, and they were 10-7 LY, a playoff team. Mahomes, Wilson, Herbert, Carr; lot of good QB’s.

— Chiefs have hosted the last four AFC title games, but won only one Super Bowl- they played the Buccaneers in Tampa in the Super Bowl they lost. Kansas City has won the AFC West six years in a row; can they make it seven this year?

— Raiders, by the way, haven’t won a playoff game since losing the Super Bowl 20 years ago.

— Matt Ryan will be the Colts’ 5th different starting QB the last five years; they were 9-6 at one point LY, but gagged at the end, losing last two games to Raiders/Jaguars, missing the playoffs, which prompted the Carson Wentz-to-Washington deal.

Ryan went 124-108 as QB of the Falcons; he led a Super Bowl 28-3, but things went downhill after Atlanta lost that game in overtime. Now, at age 37, he starts the final chapter in his NFL career.

— Some numbers to consider:
Tom Brady was 249-75 as QB of the Patriots, 30-11 in playoff games.
Bill Belichick is 321-156 as a head coach, 31-13 in playoff games.

Do the math, subtracting the Brady games, and Belichick is 72-81 as a head coach, 1-2 in playoff games. 

— Sean Payton was 161-97 coaching the Saints, 9-8 in playoff games; he won a Super Bowl, but he is working on TV for FOX this year. His presence will hover over the Dallas Cowboys this year; Dallas is 18-15 in two years under Mike McCarthy- they haven’t won a playoff game since 2018.

Dallas was 12-5 last year, but lost their first playoff game; they haven’t won a Super Bowl since 1995. Jerry Jones ain’t getting any younger; there is pressure on McCarthy to produce this year.

If he doesn’t, Payton could very well be the Dallas coach next season.

— During a preseason game last week, Arizona QB Kyler Murray was calling plays in the fourth quarter; would Kliff Kingsbury ever let Murray call his own plays while he was playing?

Back in the day, quarterbacks called their own plays, but this off-season, Arizona questioned Murray’s willingness to study/prepare like NFL QB’s are supposed to do. They’re also paying him $46M a year, so they obviously think he is capable.

— Doug Pederson is Jacksonville’s third head coach in three years; he was 46-39-1 coaching the Eagles, winning a Super Bowl. Trevor Lawrence enters his second year as the QB; he should do a lot better with Pederson mentoring him.

— It has been 18 years since a team won consecutive Super Bowls; can the Rams repeat this season? They lost some veteran players from LY; Whitworth. Woods. Von Miller. Weddle. Hekker. Corbett. 

They’re being dismissed in preseason predictions; they still have a great coach, a great QB and Aaron Donald, the best defensive player in the game. We’ll see what happens. 

Wednesday’s Den: Quick notes on Week 1 NFL games……

Bills @ Rams
— Last 19 years, the defending Super Bowl champ is 11-5-3 ATS in its first game the next year.
— Bills are 12-2-2 ATS last 16 games where spread was 3 or less. 

Saints @ Falcons
— Last four years, Saints are 10-2 ATS in NFC South road games.
— Last four years, NFL coaches in their first year with a new team are 0-10 ATS as Week 1 favorites.

Browns @ Panthers
— Carolina QB Baker Mayfield played for the Browns (2018-21; 30-31 W-L)
— Since 2005, Browns are 0-16-1 SU in Week 1.

49ers @ Bears
— Since 1994, 49ers are 2-8 ATS as a favorite in road opener.
— Chicago started out 0-1 seven of last eight years.

Steelers @ Bengals
— Trubisky had a 29-21 W-L record in four years with Chicago.
— Last 19 years, team that lost Super Bowl is 4-15 ATS in Week 1 the next season.

Eagles @ Lions
— Since 2005, Philly is 4-8 ATS as a favorite in road openers.
— Detroit’s last eleven season openers went over the total.

Colts @ Texans
— Ryan is Colts’ 6th different starting QB the last six years.
— Since 2013, NFL coaches in their first year with a new team are 13-7-1 ATS as Week 1 underdogs.

Patriots @ Dolphins
— Patriots are 17-16 SU since Brady left; 4-5 ATS as a road underdog.
— New England is Week 1 underdog for 2nd time since 2003 (won 23-21 in ’16)

Ravens @ Jets
— Last six years, Baltimore is 5-1 ATS in Week 1 games.
— Flacco is 108-83 as an NFL starter; he won Super Bowl with the Ravens in 2012. Last three years, he is 2-11 as a starter.

Jaguars @ Commanders
— Last nine years, Jaguars are 6-31 ATS vs NFC teams.
— Since 2009, Commanders are 1-5 ATS as a favorite in home openers.

Chiefs @ Cardinals
— Kansas City started 1-0 the last seven years, scoring 35.1 ppg in Week 1.
— Average total in Cardinals’ last three Week 1 games: 49.7

Raiders @ Chargers
— Raiders are 7-1-1 ATS in last nine road openers.
— Last 8 years, Chargers are 16-29-1 ATS as home favorites (4-3 under Staley)

Packers @ Vikings
— Packers allowed 31+ points in four of last five road openers.
— Over last decade, Vikings are 17-6 ATS as a home underdog.

Giants @ Titans
— Last three years, Giants are 3-10 ATS vs AFC teams.
— Since 2013, Titans are 0-5-1 ATS as a favorite in home openers.

Buccaneers @ Cowboys
— Cowboys won their last five home openers (4-1 ATS)
— Last three years, Dallas is 6-10 ATS in games with spread of 3 or less.

Broncos @ Seahawks
— Russell Wilson (113-60-1) played the last 10 years at QB for Seattle.
— Last ten years, Denver is 24-15-2 ATS vs NFC teams.

Wednesday’s Den: My revised list of favorite movies, #’s 14-26

26) Bulworth— Warren Beatty plays a suicidal liberal politician who puts a contract out on himself and takes the opportunity to be bluntly honest with his voters. When he falls head over heels for a younger woman (Halle Berry), he tries to cancel the contract, but it turns out that the woman is the hit man. 

25) Molly’s Game— The true story of Molly Bloom, a young woman who ran the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game and later became an FBI target, when Russian mobsters joined the poker game. This movie is a continuation of a book she wrote about her experiences. 

24) Dave— Guy who runs an employment agency is recruited by the Secret Service to become a momentary stand-in for the President of the United States- he looks exactly like the President. But the President dies suddenly, and his henchmen keep the lookalike in charge, so they can run the country…….or so they think. 

23) The Verdict— Paul Newman plays an outcast, alcoholic Boston lawyer who sees the chance to salvage his career and self-respect by taking a medical malpractice case to trial rather than settling. Jack Warden is his friend/co-counsel; one of the great supporting actors of all-time.

22) Lost In Translation— A movie star on the down side of his career and a neglected young woman form an unlikely friendship after crossing paths in Tokyo. Bill Murray is great in this; Scarlett Johansson is the young woman. 

21) Good Will Hunting— Matt Damon plays a janitor at M.I.T. who has a gift for math, but needs help from a psychologist (Robin Williams) to find direction in his life. Robin Williams is great in this, and Ben Affleck is excellent as Damon’s best friend. 

20) The Hangover— Three friends wake up from a bachelor party in Las Vegas, with no memory of the previous night and the fourth friend (the bachelor) missing. They make their way around the city trying to find their friend so he can drive back to Los Angeles to get married.

This movie had two sequels; Hangover Part 2 is one of the worst movies ever, Hangover Part 3 is pretty good. 

19) Let It Ride— A cab driver gets a hot tip on a race horse and wins big, but he can’t seem to stop gambling. Hilarity ensues; Richard Dreyfuss is the gambler, Teri Garr is his frustrated wife, Robbie Coltrane adds a lot as the ticket seller at the racetrack. Jennifer Tilly is in this, before we knew she was hanging out with professional poker player Phil Laak. 

18) One on One— A small-town basketball star goes to a big-time college and tries to impress his tutor, teammates, and coach. He isn’t always successful. Robbie Benson was excellent as Henry Steele, the ballplayer. G.D. Spradlin was the coach; he also played Tom Landry in North Dallas Forty. Melanie Griffith has a cameo appearance as a hitchhiker early in the movie. 

17) Begin Again— A chance encounter between a down-and-out music executive and a young singer-songwriter, new to Manhattan, turns into a promising collaboration between the two talents. If you like music, you’ll enjoy this movie; Mark Ruffalo is the music executive, Keira  Knightley the singer. James Corden adds a lot as her friend from back home.

16) Any Given Sunday— Al Pacino plays an aging football coach with a struggling team that is owned by an impatient young lady (Cameron Diaz). Jim Brown is an assistant coach, Lawrence Taylor is a linebacker. Two of the team’s three QB’s are Dennis Quaid, Jamie Foxx.

Pacino’s Miami Sharks play teams all coached by Hall of Famers: YA Tittle, Johnny Unitas, Bob St Clair, Warren Moon, Dick Butkus. 

15) Heaven Can Wait— An NFL quarterback, accidentally taken away from his body by an overanxious angel before he was meant to die, returns to life in the body of a recently murdered millionaire. I was 18 when this movie came out, at a time when the Rams made the playoffs every year but never won the Super Bowl. 

For the next 20 years, I was convinced that this movie was the only time I was ever going to see the Rams win the Super Bowl— I still have the actual movie poster from the theater.

Warren Beatty, Jack Warden, James Mason are in this: Beatty/Warden were both in Bulworth, Mason/Warden were both in The Verdict. 

14) Fast Break— Gabe Kaplan plays a New York City basketball enthusiast who works in a deli, but he really wants to coach ball. He is offered the coaching job at a small Nevada college; he recruits some players, who are a bit odd but good- one of his starters is a young lady.

Bernard King, Michael Warren played big-time basketball for real; they’re on his team, too. 

Friday’s Den: MAC football knowledge

Akron
— 8 starters back on offense, 8 on defense
— 96 starts back on offensive line; junior QB has 3 starts
— Last four years, they’re 7-35 SU
— Since 2019, they’re 5-21 ATS as an underdog.
— Last 10 years, they’re 3-9-1 ATS as a road favorite.
— 1-2 in bowls; lost last bowl 50-3, in 2017

Ball State
— 6 starters back on offense, 5 on defense
— 57 starts back on offensive line; junior QB has no starts, has thrown 34 passes
— Under coach Neu, Cardinals are 10-21 ATS at home.
— Since 2014, they’re 8-18 ATS as a home favorite.
— Last three years, they’re 18-15 SU, with +23 turnover ratio.
— 1-4 SU/ATS last five bowls, giving up 34 ppg.

Bowling Green
— 9 starters back on offense, 9 on defense
— 79 starts back on offensive line; senior QB has 17 starts
— have had six straight losing seasons (16-49 SU)
— since 2014, they’re 6-11 ATS as home favorites.
— since 2017, they’re 6-13 ATS as home underdogs.
— since 2016, they’re 17-28 ATS coming off a loss.
— lost four of last five bowls; their last bowl was in 2015. 

Buffalo
— 3 starters back on offense, 6 on defense
— 51 starts back on offensive line; soph QB had 6 starts at Rutgers
— 1-6-1 ATS in MAC LY (22-8-1 from 2017-20)
— Last three years, Buffalo is 0-5 ATS as a road underdog.
— favorites covered four of their last five bowls
— won last two bowls, 31-9/17-10

Central Michigan
— 7 starters back on offense, 4 on defense
— 69 starts back on offensive line; soph QB has 13 starts
— 20-13 SU last three years, after going 1-11 in ’18.
— McElwain is 35-19 ATS as a favorite
— Under McElwain, Chippewas are 10-3 ATS as an underdog.
— 1-4 SU/ATS in last five bowls (underdog in all five)

Eastern Michigan
— 8 starters back on offense, 6 on defense
— 123 starts back on offensive line.
— senior QB has 6 starts; one at Missouri, 5 at Troy
— last 10 years, EMU is 7-14 ATS as a home favorite.
— since 2016, they’re 20-5 ATS as a road underdog.
— lost last 4 bowls (3 of 4 by four or less points)
— EMU’s last bowl win: 1987.

Kent State
— 4 starters back on offense, 6 on defense
— 24 starts back on offensive line.
— junior QB has no starts; he threw 24 passes LY
— Last three years, they’re 17-14 SU; were 16-55 from ’13-‘18
— since 2012, they’re 9-2 ATS as a road favorite.
— last two years, they’re 0-6 ATS as a road underdog.
— lost three of last four bowls SU
— last two bowls: won 51-41, lost 52-38

Miami OH
— 9 starters back on offense, 5 on defense
— 72 starts back on offensive line; junior QB 25 starts
— under coach Martin, they’re 8-4-1 ATS as a home dog.
— Last five years, they’re 4-14 ATS in non-conference games
— once 2014, they’re 29-12-1 ATS coming off a loss
— split last four bowls SU, but covered all four ATS

Northern Illinois
— 9 starters back on offense, 9 on defense
— 90 starts back on offensive line
— senior QB has 22 starts, 13 of them at Michigan State
— 2-5 ATS last seven games as a home underdog.
— 9-4 ATS last 13 games as a road underdog.
— 10-6 ATS last 16 games coming off a loss.
— Lost last five bowls (1-4 ATS) giving up 45.4 ppg. 

Ohio U
— 5 starters back on offense, 9 on defense
— have 69 starts back on offensive line; soph QB has 11 starts.
— last three years, they’re 1-7 ATS as a home favorite.
— Since 2015, they’re 12-5 ATS as a road underdog.
— 5-10 ATS last 15 games coming off a loss.
— won last three bowls, by combined score of 98-27
— favorites covered their last four bowls.

Toledo
— 7 starters back on offense, 8 on defense
— 79 starts back on offensive line; soph QB has 7 starts
— 12-6 ATS last 18 games as a road favorite.
— last three years, they’re 4-9 ATS as a home favorite.
— 4-9 ATS last 13 games as a road underdog.
— lost last four bowls SU (were favored in last three)
— gave up 32.8 ppg in those four bowl games.

Western Michigan
— 4 starters back on offense, 7 on defense
— 75 starts back on offensive line; new QB this year
— one of their QB’s was a walk-on at Alabama LY
— since 2017, they’re 4-9 ATS as an underdog.
— since 2017, they’re 4-8-2 ATS as a road favorite
— since 2018, they’re 8-16-1 ATS coming off a win
— 1-3 SU last four bowls (3-2 ATS last five)

Monday’s Den: Our first look at Week 1 of the NFL regular season……..

Thursday game
Bills @ Rams
— Last three years, Buffalo is 16-7-1 ATS on the road.
— Bills are 12-2-2 ATS last 16 games where spread was 3 or less. 
— Buffalo is 10-3 ATS in last 13 games vs NFC teams.
— Buffalo won last three road openers.
— Bills are 5-3 ATS in last eight road openers.
— Bills are 7-5 ATS last 12 games as an underdog in road openers.
— Last two years, over is 10-4-2 in Buffalo’s road games.
— First game for Dorsey as Buffalo’s new OC.

— Rams won/covered last seven home openers.
— Under McVay, Rams are 5-0 SU/ATS in Week 1.
— Last three years, LA is 14-10 ATS at home. 
— Last two years, Rams are 2-7-1 ATS vs AFC teams.
— Under is 4-2 in last six home openers.
— Last three years, under is 17-7 in their home games.

— Buffalo leads series, 8-5
— Bills won last meeting 35-32, two years ago.
— Bills lost two of three series games played in LA (2-0 in St Louis)
— Matthew Stafford’s brother-in-law is WR coach for Buffalo.

Sunday’s games
49ers @ Bears
— Last two years, San Francisco is 6-4 ATS as a road favorite.
— Last three years, 49ers are 16-9 ATS on the road.
— Won last three road openers, scoring 31-31-41 points.
— Since 1994, they’re 2-8 ATS as a favorite in road opener.
— Under is 7-5-1 in last 13 road openers.
— Shanahan is 14-7 ATS vs AFC teams.

— Last four years, Bears are 6-9 ATS as a home underdog.
— Chicago started out 0-1 seven of last eight years.
— Bears won three of last four home openers.
— Under is 5-0 in their last five home openers.
— Last two years, over is 10-7 in Chicago home games.
— Since 2013, NFL coaches in their first year with a new team are 13-7-1 ATS as Week 1 underdogs.

— Teams split last six meetings.
— 49ers won 33-22 here LY, throwing for 322 yards.
— 49ers won three of last four visits to Chicago.

Patriots @ Dolphins
— 17-16 SU since Brady left; 4-5 ATS as a road underdog.
— Won/covered five of last seven road openers.
— Since 1998, they’re 6-1 ATS as an underdog in road opener.
— 6-6 ATS in AFC East road games since Brady left.
— Last two years, they’re 5-7 ATS in games with spread of 3 or less.
— New England is Week 1 underdog for 2nd time since 2003 (won 23-21 in ’16)
— Last six years, under is 31-16-1 in their road games.
— Who is calling plays now, with McDaniels off to the Raiders?

— Last two years, Dolphins were 12-5 ATS at home.
— Last four years, Miami is 10-7 ATS in games where spread was 3 or less.
— Last four years, Miami is 7-4-1 ATS in AFC East home games.
— Over is 11-2 in Miami’s last 13 home openers.
— Dolphins are 6-4 ATS in last ten home openers.
— Since 2003, Miami is 2-5 ATS as a favorite in home opener.
— First game for the new coaching staff in Miami.

— Third straight year these teams are meeting in Week 1.
— Dolphins won three in row, six of last nine series games.
— Miami won last year’s meetings, 17-16/33-24.
— New England lost four of last five visits to Miami. 

Saints @ Falcons
— Last five years, New Orleans is 18-8 ATS as a road favorite.
— Last four years, Saints are 10-2 ATS in NFC South road games.
— Saints lost four of last five road openers.
— Since 2010, New Orleans is 2-10 ATS in road openers, 0-6 if favored.
— Under is 4-2 in their last six road openers.
— First game for new HC Allen; first game since 2012 without Sean Payton.
— Last four years, NFL coaches in their first year with a new team are 0-10 ATS as Week 1 favorites.

— Last two years, Atlanta is 3-12 ATS at home.
— Last three years, they’re 4-8 ATS as a home underdog.
— Falcons lost last two home openers, after a 14-2 SU/ATS run.
— Since 1999, Atlanta is 7-2 ATS as an underdog in home openers.
— Falcons started out 0-1 five of the last six seasons.
— Last three years, under is 15-9 in Atlanta home games.

— New Orleans won seven of last nine series games.
— Saints won their last four visits to Atlanta.
— Road team won five of last six series games.

Ravens @ Jets
— Last year, Baltimore was 0-5 ATS as a road favorite.
— Ravens are 9-5 ATS in last 14 road openers.
— Last six years, Baltimore is 5-1 ATS in Week 1 games.
— Last 15 years, over is 10-4-1 in their road openers.
— Under is 10-6 in their last 16 road games.

— Last two years, Jets are 11-20 ATS as an underdog.
— Last four years, Jets are 11-13-1 ATS as a home underdog.
— Jets lost last four home openers (0-4 ATS), scoring 11.8 ppg.
— Jets started out 0-1 five of last six seasons.
— Under is 4-1 in their last five home openers.

— Ravens won nine of last 11 series games.
— Baltimore won three of last four series games played here.

Steelers @ Bengals
— Since 2017, Steelers are 14-7 ATS as a road underdog.
— Pittsburgh is 9-2 ATS last 11 games as an AFC North underdog.
— Pittsburgh is 4-1-1 SU in last six road openers.
— This is 8th straight year Steelers are opening on road.
— Their last five road openers stayed under the total.
— Last eight years, under is 42-18-3 in Pittsburgh road games.

— Last 19 years, team that lost Super Bowl is 4-15 ATS in Week 1 the next season.
— Last five years, Bengals are 7-11 ATS as a home favorite.
— Last three years, Cincinnati is 6-3 ATS in AFC North home games.
— Bengals lost four of last six home openers.
— Cincinnati started out 1-0 five of last eight seasons.
— Over is 4-2 in their last six home openers.
— Last three years, over is 19-11-3 in Bengal home games.

— Bengals won last three series games, all by 10+ points.
— Last time Bengals won three straight series games; 1989-90.
— Steelers lost last two visits here, 27-17/41-10

Browns @ Panthers
— Last 10 years, Browns are 17-64 SU on road.
— Last four years, Browns are 11-6 ATS vs NFC teams.
— Last three years, Cleveland is 7-12-1 ATS in games where spread was 3 or less.
— Cleveland is 3-0 ATS as a favorite in road openers.
— Since 2005, Browns are 0-16-1 SU in Week 1
— Under is 5-1 in their last six road openers.

— Last three years, Carolina is 15-34 SU
— Last three years, Carolina is 6-17-1 ATS at home.
— Last seven years, Panthers are 17-12 ATS vs AFC teams.
— Since 2011, Panthers are 7-4 ATS in home openers.
— Last eight years, Carolina is 5-3 ATS in Week 1.
— Under is 6-3 in their last nine home openers.

— Obviously, Baker Mayfield played for the Browns (2018-21; 30-31 W-L)
— Does he have any special insight into their schemes?
— Panthers lead series, 4-2
— Browns lost both visits to Charlotte, 20-12/17-13

Eagles @ Lions
— Last year, Philly was 6-3 SU on road, 3-5 at home.
— Last two years, Eagles are 2-5 ATS as road favorites.
— Eagles lost three of their last four road openers.
— Since 2005, Philly is 4-8 ATS as a favorite in road openers.
— Eagles started out 1-0 in nine of last 11 seasons.

— Lions were underdog in every game LY (3-13-1 SU, 11-6 ATS)
— Lions were 6-2 ATS LY as a home dog; (10-21-1 from 2012-20)
— Detroit lost its last four Week 1 games (favored in 3 of 4)
— Detroit’s last eleven season openers went over the total.
— Since 1999, Lions are 7-4 ATS as an underdog in home openers.
— Over is 9-3 in their last dozen home openers.

— Eagles ran for 236 yards, hammered Detroit 44-6 here LY.
— Lions won three of last four series games.
— Teams split last four meetings in the Motor City.

Colts @ Texans
— Colts went 20-13 SU last two years, with +24 turnover margin.
— Under Reich, Indy is 7-4 ATS as a road favorite.
— Last four years, Colts are 7-5 ATS in AFC South road games.
— Colts lost 10 of their last 12 road openers.
— Indy started 0-1 seven of last eight years.
— Over is 5-1 in their last six Week 1 games.
— Ryan is Colts’ 6th different starting QB the last six years.

— Last 10 years, Texans are 11-16-1 ATS as a home underdog.
— Last two years, Houston is 4-2 ATS in AFC South home games.
— Texans are 8-4 in last dozen home openers.
— Houston covered its last three Week 1 games.
— Over is 3-1 in their last four Week 1 games.
— Since 2013, NFL coaches in their first year with a new team are 13-7-1 ATS as Week 1 underdogs.

— Colts won five in row, nine of last 11 series games.
— Colts won last year’s games, 31-3/31-0.
— Indy won won five of last six visits to Houston.

Jaguars @ Commanders
— Last four years, Jaguars are 9-17-2 ATS as a road underdog.
— While HC in Philly, Pederson was 9-13 ATS as a road underdog.
— Last nine years, Jaguars are 6-31 ATS vs NFC teams.
— Jaguars covered four of their last five road openers.
— Jacksonville is 10-8 ATS as an underdog on road openers.
— Their last three Week 1 games went over the total.
— Since 2013, NFL coaches in their first year with a new team are 13-7-1 ATS as Week 1 underdogs.

— Last four years, Washington is 3-7 ATS as a home favorite.
— Last three years, Washington is 4-9 ATS vs AFC teams.
— Washington lost eight of last ten home openers.
— Since 2009, Commanders are 1-5 ATS as a favorite in home openers.
— Over is 7-4 in their last eleven home openers.
— Last two years, under is 12-4 in Washington home games.

— Washington won last four meetings, two of them in OT.
— Jaguars lost all three visits here, by 12-6-31 points.
— Jacksonville’s only series win: 2002.

Chiefs @ Cardinals
— Last three years, Chiefs are 20-4 SU on the road.
— Chiefs are 17-6-1 ATS last 24 games with a spread of 3 or less.
— Last seven years, Kansas City is 13-16-1 ATS vs AFC teams.
— Last two years, Chiefs are 6-8-1 ATS as a road favorite.
— Kansas City started 1-0 the last seven years, scoring 35.1 ppg.
— Chiefs won five of last seven road openers.
— Over is 7-3 in their last ten road openers.
— Last five years, over is 25-15 in Kansas City road games.

— Since 2016, Cardinals are 14-22 ATS in games with spread of 3 or less.
— Last 10 years, Cardinals are 18-13-1 ATS as a home underdog.
— Last three years, Arizona is 8-5 ATS vs AFC teams.
— Arizona won its last two home openers, scoring 30-34 points.
— Average total in their last three Week 1 games: 49.7
— Under is 7-3 in their last ten home openers.
— Last three years, over is 14-10 in Cardinal home games.

— Chiefs lead series, 9-3-1
— Home side won six of last seven series games.
— Teams split four meetings in the desert.

Packers @ Vikings
— Last three years, Packers are 17-8 SU on road.
— Last six years, Green Bay is 10-13-1 ATS as a road favorite.
— Last six years, Packers are 8-10 ATS in NFC North road games.
— Packers are 10-6-2 ATS last 18 games with spread of 3 or less.
— Green Bay is 4-7 ATS in last eleven road openers.
— Packers allowed 31+ points in four of last five road openers.
— Over is 7-2 in their last nine road openers.

— Over last decade, Vikings are 17-6 ATS as a home underdog.
— Last seven years, Minnesota is 12-8-1 ATS in NFC North home games.
— Last two years, over is 11-5 in Minnesota home games.
— Vikings won/covered six of last seven home openers.
— Last eight years, Minnesota is 5-3 ATS in Week 1.
— Under is 7-1 in their last eight home openers.
— Since 2013, NFL coaches in their first year with a new team are 13-7-1 ATS as Week 1 underdogs.

— Green Bay won four of last six series games.
— Teams split last four meetings played here.
— Average total in last four series games: 59.8.

Raiders @ Chargers
— Last three years, Raiders are 11-6 ATS as a road underdog.
— Last six years, Raiders are 7-11 ATS in AFC West road tilts.
— Raiders are 7-1-1 ATS in last nine road openers.
— Las Vegas won its Week 1 games five of last six years.
— Last 23 years, over is 14-8-1 in Raiders’ road openers.
— Since 2013, NFL coaches in their first year with a new team are 13-7-1 ATS as Week 1 underdogs.
— Last two years, Raiders are 18-15 SU, despite a minus-20 turnover ratio.

— Last 8 years, Chargers are 16-29-1 ATS as home favorites (4-3 under Staley)
— Last ten years, Bolts are 9-20-1 ATS in AFC West home games.
— Over was 8-3 in their games LY when Chargers were favored.
— Chargers covered once in last five home openers.
— Bolts started out 1-0 the last three years, giving up 17.7 ppg.
— Over is 14-5 in their last nineteen home openers.

— Raiders won four of last six series games.
— Raiders beat Chargers in OT in Week 18 LY, knocking them out of playoffs.
— Raiders split last six road series games.

Giants @ Titans
— Last four years, Giants are 19-10 ATS as a road underdog.
— Last three years, Giants are 3-10 ATS vs AFC teams.
— Giants lost 10 of their last 12 road openers.
— Giants lost last five Week 1 games, scoring 12.4 ppg.
— Since 2004, Giants are 6-9 ATS as an underdog in road openers.
— Since 2013, NFL coaches in their first year with a new team are 13-7-1 ATS as Week 1 underdogs.

— Titans have had six winning seasons in a row.
— Last four years, they’re 10-11 ATS as a home favorite.
— Last seven years, Tennessee is 17-11-1 ATS vs NFC teams.
— Tennessee lost six of last eight home openers.
— Since 2013, Titans are 0-5-1 ATS as a favorite in home openers.
— Under is 7-3 in their last ten home openers.

— Titans won five of last six series games.
— Giants lost three of four visits to Tennessee.
— Daboll was OC in Buffalo LY; they lost 34-31 in OT here LY

Buccaneers @ Cowboys
— Last two years, Tampa Bay is 7-8 ATS as a road favorite.
— Last two years, Tampa Bay is 3-6 ATS on artificial turf.
— With Brady at QB, Bucs are 2-0 ATS in games with spread of 3 or less points.
— Bucs lost last two road openers, 34-23/34-24.
— Over is 10-4 in their last fourteen road openers.
— Since 2013, NFL coaches in their first year with a new team are 13-7-1 ATS as Week 1 underdogs.

— Last four years, Dallas is 6-0 ATS as a home underdog.
— Last three years, Dallas is 6-10 ATS in games with spread of 3 or less.
— Last three years, over is 16-8 in Cowboy home games.
— Dallas won its last five home openers (4-1 ATS)
— Last three years, Cowboys scored 35-40-41 points in home openers.
— Dallas lost five of its last eight Week 1 games.

— Cowboys won seven of last nine series games.
— Tampa Bay (-9) beat Dallas 31-29 in LY’s season opener.
— Bucs lost last five visits here; their last win here was in 2001.

Broncos @ Seahawks
— Broncos started 1-0 in eight of last ten seasons.
— Last ten years, Denver is 24-15-2 ATS vs NFC teams.
— Last five years, Broncos are 5-6 ATS as a road favorite.
— Denver lost four of last five road openers.
— Under is 3-1 in their last four road openers.
— Last four years, NFL coaches in their first year with a new team are 0-10 ATS as Week 1 favorites.
— New coach, new QB, who is playing against his old team here. 

— Last ten years, Seahawks are 8-2 ATS as a home underdog.
— Last four years, Seattle is 11-5-1 ATS vs AFC teams.
— Since 2003, Seattle is 14-5 ATS in home openers.
— Under is 8-3 in their last eleven home openers.
— Seahawk trends reflect Russell Wilson at QB; he plays for Denver now.

— Russell Wilson (113-60-1) played the last 10 years for Seattle.
— Teams split last eight series games.
— Teams split last six meetings played here. 
— Teams were division rivals from 1978-2001

Friday’s Den: Big X football knowledge

Baylor
— 6 starters back on offense, 6 on defense
— 119 starts back on offensive line; soph QB has 2 starts
— Aranda is is 5-2 ATS as a home favorite, 1-3 as a road favorite.
— Since 2017, they’re 28-19 ATS in conference games.
— Last four years, they’re 21-9 ATS coming off a win
— 4-1 SU in last five bowls (underdog in all five games)

Iowa State
— 5 starters back on offense, 3 on defense
— 66 starts back on offensive line; will be QB (have no I-A experience at QB)
— Under Campbell, they’re 18-9-2 ATS as an underdog, 9-3-1 at home
— Since 2018, they’re 9-13 ATS as a home favorite.
— 20-8-1 ATS last 29 games coming off a loss.
— lost three of last four bowl games.

Kansas
— 9 starters back on offense, 8 on defense
— 89 starts back on offensive line; both returning QB’s have 9 starts
— last 10 years, Kansas is 18-99 SU
— last three years, they’re 0-4 ATS as a favorite.
— Leipold is 12-6 ATS as a home underdog, 8-14-1 as a road dog.
— won 4 of last 5 bowl games, but their last bowl was 2008. 

Kansas State
— 7 starters back on offense, 7 on defense
— 50 starts back on offensive line; senior QB had 38 starts at Nebraska
— Last three years, K-State is 23-13 ATS
— Last three years, they’re 6-2 ATS as a home underdog.
— 13-6 ATS in last 19 games coming off a loss.
— won three of last four bowls; favorites are 4-1 ATS in their last five bowls.

Oklahoma
— 5 starters back on offense, 5 on defense
— 125 starts back on offensive line; soph QB had 25 starts at UCF
— New coach was the DC at Clemson.
— Last 10 years, they’re 107-24 SU
— Since 2015, they’re 26-16 ATS as a home favorite.
— covered five of last seven games as an underdog.
— average total in their last five bowls; 85.2.

Oklahoma State
— 7 starters back on offense, 4 on defense
— 55 starts back on offensive line; junior QB has 32 starts
— since 2015, they’re 0-3 ATS as a road underdog.
— since 2016, they’re 14-5-1 ATS coming off a loss.
— Coach Gundy is 77-51-5 ATS as a favorite.
— 4-1 SU last five bowls (5-0 ATS), scoring 32.6 ppg.

Texas
— 7 starters back on offense, 7 on defense
— 72 starts back on offensive line; QB’s have very little experience
— went 32-18 SU with Herman as HC; went 5-7 with Sarkisian LY.
— since 2014, they’re 5-10 ATS as a road underdog.
— In his career, Sarkisian is 9-18 ATS as a road underdog
— won last four bowls, were underdog in three of them

TCU
— 10 starters back on offense, 8 on defense
— 113 starts back on offensive line; junior QB has 29 starts
— Dykes is 71-63 SU, coaching three different schools.
— Last four years, TCU is 15-21 SU in conference games.
— since 2016, they’re 6-20-2 ATS as a home favorite.
— 2-8 ATS last 10 games as a road underdog.
— won 3 of last 4 bowls SU

Texas Tech
— 6 starters back on offense, 6 on defense
— 124 starts back on offensive line; junior QB had 11 starts at Oregon
— Last year was their first winning season since 2015.
— Since 2015, they’re 13-7-1 ATS as a home favorite.
— Last three years, they’re 4-7 ATS as a road underdog.
— Last five years, Tech was 4-5 ATS in Big X games every year.
— Last year was their first bowl since 2017.

West Virginia
— 7 starters back on offense, 4 on defense
— have 107 starts back on offensive line; all five starters are back
— QB is JT Daniels, who previously played at USC/Georgia.
— Last three years, WVU is 17-18 SU.
— Last two years, they’re 6-2 ATS as a home favorite, 0-3 as road favorite.
— Last four seasons, they’re 5-10 ATS coming off a win.
— 1-4 SU/0-5 ATS in last five bowls.

Wednesday’s Den: notes on NFC teams

Arizona Cardinals
— Since 2015, they’re 11-24 ATS as a home favorite.
— Last three years, they’re 12-3-1 ATS as a road underdog.
— Since 2016, they’re 14-22 ATS in games with spread of 3 or less.
— started 7-0 last year; went 4-7 from that point on.
— played one playoff game the last six years (lost 34-11)

Atlanta Falcons
— last made the playoffs in 2017; 25-40 SU since then
— Last four years, they’re 6-13 ATS as a home favorite.
— Last two years, they’re 2-8 ATS coming off a win.
— Last two years, they’re 7-2 ATS vs AFC teams
— Last three years, under 15-8 in Falcon home games.

Carolina Panthers
— last made the playoffs in 2017; last playoff win was in 2015.
— 10-34 SU the last three years (minus-27 turnovers)
— Last three years, they’re 1-8 ATS in NFC South home games.
— Since 2012, they’re 8-18-1 ATS as a road favorite.
— Mayfield will be their 5th different starting QB the last five years. 

Chicago Bears
— Last 11 years, Chicago is 0-2 in playoff games.
— Have one winning season the last nine years.
— Last two years, Bears are 3-9 ATS vs NFC North rivals.
— Since 2018, Chicago is 13-8-1 ATS in games with spread of 3 or less.
— Last three years, they’re 9-15-1 ATS coming off a loss.

Dallas Cowboys
— Last time they made playoffs in consecutive years: 2006/2007.
— since 2010, they’re 2-4 in playoff games
— covered last six games as a home underdog.
— since 2014, they’re 24-11-1 ATS on natural grass.
— were +14 in turnovers LY (minus-5 previous three years)

Detroit Lions
— 2016-17, Lions went 9-7/9-7, fired the coach- they’re 17-46-2 since then
— 0-9 SU in last nine playoff games; last playoff win was in 1991.
— Over is 17-6-1 in their last 24 home games.
— Were underdog in all 17 games last year (11-6 ATS).
— Last three years, are 4-7-1 ATS in NFC North road games. 

Green Bay Packers
— Last three years, are 39-10 SU (+37 in turnovers), but 2-3 in playoffs
— since 2012, they’re 1-5 SU in second playoff game of a season
— Last three years, Packers are 16-7 ATS as a home favorite.
— Last three years, Packers are 8-2 ATS as a road underdog.
— 10-6-1 ATS last 17 games with spread of 3 or less. 

Los Angeles Rams
— 55-26 SU under McVay (no winning seasons in previous 13 years)
— 15-8-1 ATS in last 24 games coming off a loss.
— Rams are 7-3-1 ATS last 11 games as a road underdog.
— They’re 23-17-1 ATS in last 41 road games.
— Last three years, under is 16-7 in their home games. 

Minnesota Vikings:
— Last 17 years, Vikings are 3-6 in playoff games.
— Since 2012, Minnesota is 17-6 ATS as a home underdog.
— Since 2017, they’re 12-7 ATS as a road favorite.
— Last 10 years, Vikings are 18-11-1 in NFC North home games.
— Last 10 years, favorites are 19-11 ATS in their NFC North road tilts. 

New Orleans Saints
— 47-18 SU last four years, with +23 turnover ratio.
— 14-6-1 ATS in last 21 games with spread of 3 or less.
— Since 2014, they’re 20-29-1 ATS as a home favorite
— Last four years, they’re 10-2 ATS in AFC South road games
— Allen was 8-28 coaching the Raiders from 2012-14. 

New Jersey Giants
— Last 10 years, they’re 0-1 in playoff games.
— Last five years, Giants are 22-59 SU.
— Since 2017, they’re 23-13 ATS as a road underdog.
— Since 2013, they’re 15-26 ATS as a home underdog.
— Last two years, under is 13-2-1 in their home games. 

Philadelphia Eagles
— Last four years, Eagles are 1-3 in playoff games.
— they’re 13-20 ATS last 33 games as a road favorite
— since 2012, they’re 9-14 ATS as a home underdog.
— 8-13 ATS last 21 games with spread of 3 or less.
— Last six years, they’re 14-22 ATS in NFC East games. 

San Francisco 49ers
— 33-32 SU last four years, despite minus-36 turnover ratio.
— last five years, they’re 5-9-1 ATS in NFC West home games
— Last three years, they’re 11-4 ATS as an underdog.
— under Shanahan, they’re 8-16-1 ATS as a home favorite.
— under Shanahan, they’re 15-10-1 ATS as a road underdog. 

Seattle Seahawks
— 7-10 LY, after making playoffs eight of previous nine years.
— Seahawks are 8-2 ATS last ten games as a home underdog.
— 11-5-1 ATS last 17 games vs AFC teams.
— Since 2012, they’re 33-18-3 ATS coming off a loss.
— In the NFL, Pete Carroll is 39-24-6 ATS as an underdog. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
— 24-9 SU in regular season with Brady at QB (+18 in turnovers).
— previous three years, they were 17-31, with minus-31 turnover ratio
— 3-7 ATS in last ten games on artificial turf
— From 2003-19, they were 0-2 in playoff games; last two years, 5-1.
— 8-2 ATS last ten games coming off a loss. 

Washington Commanders
— last 16 years, they’re 0-3 in playoff games.
— Last five years, they’re 31-50 SU
— Last three years, Commanders are 8-15-1 ATS at home.
— 8-4-1 ATS last 13 games with spread of 3 or less.
— Wentz will be their 5th starting QB the last six years.