Monday’s Den: Wrapping up an NFL Sunday…….and Happy New Year!!!

Saints 23, Buccaneers 13
Saints/Bucs are tied for first in NFC South, with 8-8 records.
New Orleans led 17-0 at halftime.
Saints were 8-18 on third down, Tampa Bay 2-8.
since 2018, New Orleans is 14-5 ATS as a road underdog.

Buccaneers in first half: 18 plays, 45 yards, no points.
Buccaneers in second half: 31 plays, 295 yards, 13 points.
Tampa Bay turned ball over four times on their 11 drives.
Bucs are 2-7 when they allow more than 18 points.

Cardinals 35, Eagles 31
Eagles’ loss clinches #1 seed in NFC for the 49ers.
Eagles took 14-3 lead on a 99-yard pick-6 by Brown.
Philadelphia led 21-6 at halftime.
Eagles are 1-4 SU/0-5 ATS in last five games.

Cardinals drove 70 yards, scored game-winning TD with 0:32 left.
Arizona ran ball for 221 yards, threw it for 228 yards.
Cardinals outgained Philadelphia, 449-275.
Arizona in sec0nd half: 4 drives, 34 plays, 270 yards, 29 points.

Rams 26, Giants 25
Rams are 6-1 SU/5-2 ATS last seven games, scoring 31.3 ppg in last six.
Williams ran ball for 87 yards and three TD’s.
Rams converted only 2-8 third down plays.
Rams are 8-3 when they run ball for 92+ yards, 1-4 when they don’t.

Giants had an 80-yard TD pass, 94-yard punt return for a TD.
Giants failed on 2-point play to take lead with 3:27 left.
Crosby missed 54-yard FG with 0:30 left.
Giants lost last three games, giving up 24-33-26 points.

Ravens 56, Dolphins 19
Ravens won five in row, nine of last ten games.
Baltimore scored 8 touchdowns on 11 drives.
Ravens ran 55 plays, only seven of them on third down.
Last nine games, Baltimore scored 32 TD’s on 92 drives.

Dolphins-Bills play next week for AFC East title.
Miami is 1-4 SU vs teams that have a winning record.
Baltimore averaged 14.4 yards/pass attempt.
Ravens scored a TD on five of first six drives. 

Bills 27, Patriots 21
Patriots ran opening kick back 98 yards for a TD.
In first half, Patriots turned ball over four times on six drives.
Five of NE’s last six losses were by six or fewer points.
New England is minus-10 in turnovers this year (+38 from 2019-22).

Bills took 20-7 lead on 40-yard pick-6 by Douglas.
Buffalo visits Miami next week, playing for AFC East crown.
Bills are 5-1 SU/4-2 ATS in last six games.
Buffalo scored 28.0 ppg in six games since firing their OC.

Bears 37, Falcons 17
Chicago won/covered five of last seven games.
Bears’ first four drives: 30 plays, 214 yards, 21 points.
Last two games, Bears ran ball for 250-192 yards.
Chicago outgained the Falcons, 432-307.

Falcons threw four INT’s, missed two field goals.
Atlanta is 7-15-2 ATS in last 24 games coming off a win.
Falcons are 3-10-1 ATS in last 14 games with spread of 3 or less points.
Atlanta completed only 13 of their 33 passes (4.9 yards/attempt).

Colts 23, Raiders 20
WR Adams caught 13 passes for 126 yards and two TD’s.
Adams went over 1,000 receiving yards for fourth year in a row.
Raiders are 5-2-1 ATS TY in games with spread of 3 or less.
With the loss, Las Vegas is eliminated from the playoff race.

Colts are 6-2 SU/5-3 ATS in last eight games.
Colts are 0-7 giving up 29+ points, 9-0 allowing 28 or fewer points.
Colts averaged 9.0 yards/pass attempt.
RB Taylor ran ball 21 times for 96 yards and a TD. 

49ers 27, Commanders 10
SF is 7-1 since its bye week (5-3 ATS), scoring 31.6 ppg.
With Eagles’ loss, 49ers clinched #1 seed in NFC.
49ers scored 27+ points in wins, 17-17-17-19 in losses.
SF is 6-2-1 ATS as a road favorite this season.

49ers outscored Washington 14-0 in second half.
Washington lost seven in row, 12 of last 14 games (3-7 ATS last ten)
Last eight games, Commanders are minus-9 in turnovers (5-14).
Washington is 11-17 ATS last 28 games coming off a loss.  

Jaguars 26, Panthers 0
Of 16 AFC QB’s who started in Week 1, only five of them started this week.
Jaguars are in a 3-way tie atop AFC South, with one week left.
Carolina’s loss clinches #1 pick in 2024 Draft for the Bears.
Carolina was 2-7 ATS as a road underdog this year.

On its first series, Carolina was stopped on downs at Jaguars’ 31.
Panthers went 3/out on their next six drives.
Jaguars kicked FGs on 3 of first 4 drives, led 9-0 at halftime.
Carolina was outgained 317-124; they were 1-13 on third down.

Texans 26, Titans 3
Two teams combined to convert only 4 of 23 third down plays.
Houston outgained the Titans, 312-187.
Titans lost seven of their last nine games. 
Tennessee is 1-10 this year when they score 17 or fewer points.

Texans took 17-0 lead on sack/fumble/TD in second quarter.
Last six games, Texans are +6 in turnovers (9-3).
Houston is 5-2 ATS this year in games coming off a loss.
Houston visits Indianapolis next week; they’re in 3-way tie atop AFC South. 

Steelers 30, Seahawks 24
Steelers ran ball for 202 yards, averaged 10.6 yards/pass attempt.
Last two weeks, with Rudolph at QB, Pittsburgh scored 34-30 points.
Steelers are 15-10 ATS in last 25 games as a road underdog
QB Rudolph is now 7-4-1 as an NFL starter.

Steelers were 6-13 on third down, Seattle 3-9.
Loss eliminates Seattle from the playoff race.
Seahawks are 6-0 if they run for 100+ yards, 2-8 if they don’t.
Seahawks are 5-10-1 ATS in its last 16 games as a home favorite.

Broncos 16, Chargers 9
Chargers lost seven of their last eight games.
Chargers were 2-11 on 3rd down, Denver 7-17
Bolts are 1-6 ATS in last seven games as an underdog.
Under is 10-3-1 in last fourteen Charger games. 

Denver swept the Chargers this year, 24-7/16-9.
Chargers are 0-4-1 ATS in last five visits to Denver.
Eight of last eleven Bronco games stayed under the total.
QB Stidham was 20-32/224 passing in his first Denver start.

Chiefs 25, Bengals 17
Chiefs outscored Cincinnati 12-0 in second half.
KC only scored one TD; Butker kicked six field goals.
Under is 8-3-1 in Kansas City’s last dozen games.
Chiefs held 11 of last 13 foes under 5.7 yards/pass attempt.

Bengals’ first three drives: 34 plays, 158 yards, 17 points.
Bengals rest of game: 38 plays, 124 yards, no points.
Cincinnati was 8-16 on third down, Chiefs 3-12.
Bengals are 6-1 giving up 20 or less points, 2-7 allowing more than 2o.

Packers 33, Vikings 10
Green Bay outgained the Vikings, 470-211.
Green Bay was 9-14 on third down, Minnesota 3-10
Last six games, Packers are +6 in turnovers (9-3)
Packers are 14-7 ATS last 21 games as a road underdog

Green Bay makes the playoffs if they beat Chicago next week.
Vikings lost five of their last six games (the win was 3-0).
Vikings are 4-8 ATS in last dozen NFC North home games. 
Minnesota lost seven of last ten games against the Packers. 

Sunday’s Den: Wrapping up the last Saturday of the year

Cowboys 20, Lions 19
Detroit scored TD with 0:23 left, went for two points but failed.
Lions in first half: 35 plays, 168 yards, 3 points.
Lions in second half: 34 plays, 232 yards, 16 points.
Under Campbell, Lions are 34-15-1 ATS overall.

Prescott threw a 92-yard TD pass on the Cowboys’ second series.
Dallas was 7-14 on third down, Detroit 4-13.
CeeDee Lamb caught 13 passes for 227 yards and a TD.
Cowboys only ran the ball 21 times for 60 yards.

— Cowboys inducted Jimmy Johnson into their Ring of Honor at halftime and ESPN showed the whole thing. Not really sure why, they never show other ceremonies.

— Ole Miss 38, Penn State 25
Ole Miss QB Dart threw for 379 yards, three TD’s.
Both teams had 500+ yards of total offense.
Rebels outscored Penn State 11-0 in third quarter.

— Maryland 31, Auburn 13
Terrapins led 21-0 after the first quarter.
Maryland’s first three drives: 19 plays, 226 yards, 21 points.
Maryland won its third straight bowl game.

— Wyoming 16, Toledo 15
Wyoming kicked a 24-yard FG at the gun for the win.
Toledo led 15-6 after the third quarter.
Last game for Cowboys’ coach Bohl, retiring after 42 years as a coach.
Wyoming has won four of its last five bowl games.

— Georgia 63, Florida State 3
College football has a problem; they need concrete rules for who makes the playoff.
At least 12 Florida State players opted out of this game; who would watch it? 

— Five of the ten college football leagues have finished their bowl games:
AAC- 3-3 SU, 3-3 ATS
ACC- 5-6 SU, 4-7 ATS
MAC- 2-4 SU, 4-2 ATS
Mountain West- 3-4 SU, 2-5 ATS
Sun Belt- 5-7 SU, 4-7-1 ATS

— Word of the Day: Reckless- without thinking or caring about the consequences of an action.

Going for a 2-point conversion from the 8-yard line when a kicked PAT would tie the game is an example of reckless coaching.

— Marquette 72, Creighton 67
Bluejays led by 11 early in game.
Marquette won despite going 9-31 on the arc.

— Michigan State 87, Indiana State 75- This is the first time these teams met since 1979, when Magic Johnson/Larry Bird shared the spotlight. Sycamores led this game by 5 with 10:38 left to play, but got outscored 26-11 over the final 10:00. 

— Oregon 64, UCLA 59
UCLA is 6-7; their 7-man rotation doesn’t have a senior in it.
Oregon is 10-3, 2-0 in Pac-12; they shot 10-25 on the arc.

— Cal-Northridge 84, Long Beach State 68
Matadors are 11-3, with this win and a win at UCLA.
Last winning season for Northridge was a 17-14 season in 2009.
Long Beach was minus-10 on boards; they shot 2-22 on the arc.

— South Alabama 61, Old Dominion 59
Old Dominion led 49-27 with 14:08 left in game.

— Florida Gulf Coast 72, Florida Atlantic 68
This loss won’t help FAU’s at-large chances in March.

— Pistons 129, Raptors 127
Pistons snap their 28-game losing streak.
Cade Cunningham scored 30 points, had 12 assists. 

— Thought of the Day: Just before midnight tonight, stand up and raise your left leg; that way, you’ll be sure to start off 2024 on the right foot.

Happy New Year, everyone. 

Saturday’s Den: Wrapping up a busy couple of days

Browns 37, Jets 20
Browns’ first two drives were both 7 plays, 75 yards and a TD.
Cleveland led 34-17 at halftime.
Flacco threw for 309 yards and three more TD’s.
Cleveland won/covered its last four games, winning by 4-3-14-17 points.

Browns averaged 10 yards per pass attempt.
Each team scored on a pick-6 in first half.
Under Saleh, Jets are 5-11 ATS in games coming off a win.
This season, Jets are 1-4 ATS as a road underdog.

— Cleveland’s win clinches that they’ll finish ahead of the Steelers this season, the first time they’ve done that since 1989. Browns also clinched a playoff spot Thursday, the third time they’ve made the playoffs since re-booting in 1999.

The fact that Cleveland’s season has been saved by QB Joe Flacco coming out of nowhere is one of the NFL’s best stories this season. Flacco has thrown for 1,616 yards and 13 TD’s and will lead the Browns into the playoffs. Pretty unlikely.

— When the Saints play at Tampa Bay Sunday, it’ll be their first game outdoors since Week 5 at New England. New Orleans is 2-1 outdoors this season.

— Texans rookie QB CJ Stroud is going to start Sunday against Tennessee; Stroud missed the last two games with concussion problems.

Vikings are switching QB’s again; rookie Jaren Hall will get his second start when Minnesota hosts Green Bay Sunday night. Hall started a game in Atlanta in Week 9, but got KO’d in the first quarter with a concussion.

Jaguars will start backup CJ Beathard at QB this week; Trevor Lawrence has several injuries, so Jacksonville is sitting him out. Beathard is 2-10 as an NFL starter; his last start was in 2020.

— ESPN’s play-by-play guy on the Pop Tarts Bowl Thursday admitted on air that he had never had a Pop Tart in his life, so he had his first one on camera- got to keep the sponsors happy.

I’m oblivious about certain things, having forgotten that Pop Tarts can be toasted; I’ve had more than my share of Pop Tarts, but never had one toasted. 

— OF Kevin Kiermaier re-upped with the Toronto Blue Jays, getting $10.5M for one year; he hit .265 last year, with a .741 OPS, his best OPS since 2017. His biggest strength is his defense.

— P Lucas Giolito signed on with the Red Sox, for two years, $38.5M; last year, he was 8-15, 4.88 in 33 starts for three different teams, but he was 2-9, 6.96 in 12 starts after the White Sox traded him.

In 2021-22, Giolito was 22-18, 4.18 in 62 starts for Chicago.

— Word of the Day: Analytics- Information resulting from the systematic analysis of data or statistics.

— Boston College 23, SMU 14
Hometown Eagles outscored SMU 13-0 in second half.
Boston College blocked a punt and a field goal.
Eagles ran the ball 41 times for 262 yards.

— Rutgers 31, Miami 24
Rutgers took lead for good with a blocked punt TD in 3rd quarter.
I’m sure the boosters at Miami will be thrilled with their 7-6 season.
Hurricanes have now lost five now games in a row.

— Kansas State 28, NC State 19
Freshman QB Johnson threw for 178 yards, two TD’s.
RB Giddens ran ball 28 times for 152 yards and a TD.
Favorites covered Pop Tarts Bowl seven of last eight years.

— Arizona 38, Oklahoma 24
Oklahoma turned ball over six times on 15 drives.
Arizona’s first four drives: 28 plays, 182 yards, 13 points.
Arizona’s freshman QB Fifita threw for 354 yards, two TD’s.

— Clemson 38, Kentucky 35
Clemson drove 63 yards, scored game-winning TD with 0:17 left.
Kentucky led 21-10 after the third quarter.
Clemson won its last five games, after a 4-4 start.

— Notre Dame 40, Oregon State 8
Neither starting QB played in this game.
Notre Dame outgained the Beavers, 476-197
Notre Dame was 9-14 on third down, Oregon State 1-9

— Memphis 36, Iowa State 26
Memphis had TD plays of 51-70-11 yards in first quarter, led 19-0.
Memphis QB Henigan threw for 364 yards, four TD’s.
Underdogs are 7-1 ATS in last eight Liberty Bowls.

— Missouri 14, Ohio State 3
Buckeyes led 3-0 at halftime.
Mizzou outgained the Buckeyes, 331-203.
Missouri’s two TD drives were 95, 91 yards.

— Celtics 128, Pistons 122, OT
Detroit led by 19 at the half; game was tied after three quarters.
Pistons have now lost 28 games in a row.
Detroit starters were a combined +9, their subs minus-39. 

Friday’s Den: Playoff trends for NFL teams……..

Playoff trends for NFL teams……..
Baltimore– won Super Bowl 11 years ago; since then, they’re 2-5 in playoff games, 0-2 at home.
Lamar Jackson is 1-3 in playoff games; Ravens scored 13 ppg in those games.

Buffalo– Buffalo lost four straight Super Bowls (1990-93)
from 1994-2019, Bills were 1-6 in playoff games.
Last three years, Bills are 4-3 in playoff games. 

Cleveland (the original Browns are the Ravens now)
Since their rebirth in 1999, Browns are 1-2 in playoff games.
Browns’ one playoff win: 48-37 at Pittsburgh, in 2020.
Last time there was a playoff game in Cleveland? 1989.

Dallas– 28 years ago, Cowboys won their 5th Super Bowl.
Since then, Dallas is 5-12 in playoff games (3-3 in last six at home).

Detroit– are in playoffs this year, for first time since 2016.
In entire Super Bowl era, Lions are 1-12 in playoff games (only win, 1991)
Haven’t played a home playoff game since 1993.

Green Bay– won their last Super Bowl in 2010.
Since then, Packers are 7-9 in playoff games, with two OT losses.

Houston– haven’t made playoff since 2019.
In their history, Texans are 4-2 in home playoff games, 0-4 on road.

Indianapolis– haven’t made playoffs since 2020.
Since Peyton Manning last played for Colts in 2010, there 4-5 in playoff games,

Jacksonville– have an 8-8 record in playoff games, 4-1 at home.
1-4 vs New England in playoff games, 7-4 vs everyone else.

Kansas City– from 2019-22, they’re 10-2 in playoff games, winning two Super Bowls.
From 1994-2018, were 2-11 in playoff games.

LA Rams– under Sean McVay, Rams are 7-3 in playoff games.
Before McVay came to LA in 2017, Rams’ last playoff game was in 2004.

Miami– Dolphins haven’t won a playoff game since 2000 (0-4).
From 1970-84, Miami was 13-8 in playoffs; since 1985, they’re 6-13.

Minnesota– from 1969-76, Vikings went 0-4 in Super Bowls.
Since 1989, Minnesota is 9-16 in the playoffs, 2-5 since 2012.

New Orleans– won their only Super Bowl 14 years ago, beating Colts 31-17.
Since then, Saints are 4-7 in playoff games, losing last three at home.
New Orleans hasn’t made the playoffs since 2020.

Philadelphia– since 2017, Eagles are 6-4 in playoff games.
Andy Reid was 10-9 in playoff games for Eagles, from 1999-2012.

Pittsburgh– haven’t won a playoff game since 2016.
Lost last four playoff games, giving up 36-45-48-42 points.

San Francisco– 49ers haven’t won a Super Bowl since 1994.
Since 2012, 49ers are 10-5 in playoff games, 0-2 in Super Bowls.

Seattle– won Super Bowl in 2014, lost it the next season.
Since then, Seahawks are 3-6 in playoff games.

Tampa Bay– won two Super Bowls, in 2002/2020.
Other than those two years, Buccaneers are 4-11 in playoff games.

Arizona- since 2010, they’re 1-3 in playoff games.
in last 50 years, they’re 4-0 in home playoff games.

Atlanta- haven’t made playoffs since 2017
since 1998, they made playoffs 9 times, went 6-3 in first playoff game that year

Carolina- haven’t made playoffs since 2017
Lost Super Bowl eight years ago; since then, they’re 0-1 in playoff games.

Chicago- since 2011, Bears are 0-2 in playoff games.
haven’t won a road playoff game since 1999
3-4 in last seven home playoff games.

Cincinnati- from 1991-2020, Bengals were 0-7 in playoff games
Last two years, Bengals were 5-2 in playoff games (both losses 23-20 on road).

Denver- won Super Bowl in 2015, haven’t made the playoffs since.
Haven’t played a road playoff game since 2011.
Since 1997, they’re 9-3 in home playoff games.

Las Vegas- 21 years ago, they lost Super Bowl 48-21 to Jon Gruden’s Buccaneers.
in 21 years since then, Raiders are 0-2 in playoff games.

LA Chargers- haven’t played a home playoff game since 2009.
in Super Bowl era: 5-6 in home playoff games, 6-8 on road, 0-1 in Super Bowl

New England- Patriots went 30-11 in playoffs with Tom Brady at QB.
In nine years as a HC without Brady on his team, Bill Belichick is 1-2 in playoff games- the only win was against New England, when Belichick was coaching the Browns.

NJ Giants- won their 4th Super Bowl 12 years ago; since then, they’re 1-2 in playoff games.
Giants are 6-2 in their last eight road playoff games.

NJ Jets- haven’t been in the playoffs since 2010, longest current drought in NFL.
are 5-5 in road playoff games since their last home playoff game, in 2002. 

Tennessee- lost their last three home playoff games.
have played in four overtime playoff games, going 2-2.
Titans are 4-8 in playoffs since they lost Super Bowl XXXIV to the Rams. 

Washington- Commanders haven’t won a playoff game since 2005.
Washington won 3 Super Bowls with 3 different QB’s: Theismann, Williams, Rypien. 

Thursday’s Den: Football trends, and other stuff……..

— NFL divisional trends………
NFC East
Divisional home favorites 4-2 ATS
Non-divisional road underdogs 7-9 ATS
Non-divisional road favorites 5-4 ATS

NFC North
Divisional home teams 1-8 ATS (0-4 F, 1-3 U)
Non-divisional home favorites 7-4 ATS
Non-divisional home underdogs 5-2 ATS

NFC South
Underdogs 6-3 ATS in divisional games.
Non-divisional home favorites 3-6 ATS
Non-divisional home underdogs 3-6 ATS

NFC West
Divisional home underdogs 0-3-1 ATS
Non-divisional home underdogs 5-2 ATS
Non-divisional road teams 12-8-1 ATS

AFC East
Divisional favorites 7-2 ATS, 4-0 at home
Non-divisional home favorites 6-8 ATS
Non-divisional underdogs 7-13-1 ATS

AFC North
Divisional favorites 3-7 ATS, 1-4 on road
Non-divisional home favorites 13-6 ATS
Non-divisional road underdogs 5-3-1 ATS

AFC South
Divisional road teams 6-3 ATS
Non-divisional favorites 8-6 ATS
Non-divisional road underdogs 6-7 ATS

AFC West
Divisional home favorites 4-3 ATS
Non-divisional home favorites 6-8 ATS
Non-divisional road teams 8-12 ATS

— starting QB decisions for this week:
Washington will start Jacoby Brissett (18-30 as a starter) vs San Francisco

Giants will start Tyrod Taylor (27-28-1 as a starter) against the Rams

Broncos will start Jarrett Stidham (0-2 as a starter) against the Chargers.

— So Denver is benching Russell Wilson for the last two games; are they trying to get out of his contract?

Wilson is 35; he is currently signed through 2028, but he’s only guaranteed money through 2024. His entire 2025 salary ($37M) is guaranteed if he is still on the Broncos’ roster at the start of the next league year (March 17, 2024).

Put it this way; Denver’s options (trades) remain open, as long as Wilson stays healthy, which is probably why they’re sitting him out the last two games, since their playoff chances for this year are almost nil.

— Movie of the Day- One More Time (2015)- An aging New York City crooner plots his comeback. Christopher Walken plays the singer, Amber Heard is one of his daughters, Oliver Platt is his manager.

— current head coaches/managers who played in the big leagues:

19 of 30 major league managers played in the majors.
8 of 32 NFL head coaches played in the NFL
12 of 30 NBA head coaches played in the NBA.

— USC 42, Louisville 28
3rd-string QB Moss threw for 372 yards, 6 TD’s in his first college start.
First two drives, Trojans punted/missed FG.
On their next seven drives, they scored six touchdowns.
For the game, USC averaged 8.6 yards per play.

— Virginia Tech 41, Tulane 20
Hokies led 17-10 at halftime.
Tulane’s only first half touchdown was scored by their defense.
Tech was 7-14 on third down, Tulane 2-10 on a rainy day.
Hokies ran ball 50 times for 362 yards, 7.2 yards/carry.

— West Virginia 30, North Carolina 10
West Virginia threw a 75-yard TD pass on first play of the game.
West Virginia ran for 164 yards, were +2 in turnovers.
WVU outscored the Tar Heels 13-0 in second half.
Mountaineers won five of last six games, after a 4-3 start.

— Oklahoma State 31, Texas A&M 23
Cowboys led 24-6 at halftime, gaining 345 yards.
QB Bowman threw for 402 yards, two TD’s.
Oklahoma State was 5-2 ATS as an underdog this year.
Texas A&M finishes season 7-6.

— When Kansas beat UNLV 49-36 Tuesday night, they did something I’m not sure I’ve seen before; Jayhawks scored 49 points alright, averaging 16 yards/pass attempt, but they also had 18 penalties for 216 yards. 

216 penalty yards in one game; not sure I’ve seen that before.

— Tennessee QB Joe Milton isn’t playing in the Vols’ bowl game: freshman Nico Iamaleava will get his first college start, against the staunch Iowa defense.

— NBA’s Atlanta Hawks are 7-30 against the spread this year, the worst ATS start by any NBA team in the last thirty years. 

— Denver Nuggets F Aaron Gordon needed 21 stitches after his face and right (shooting) hand were cut while being bitten by a family dog on Christmas. Gordon is averaging 13.6 points and 6.9 rebounds this season.

— Hitting in the major leagues is harder than it used to be, in large part because hitters don’t see pitchers as many times as they used to. 

Victor Martinez played 16 years in the major leagues, hit .295 with an .815 OPS; the most times he faced one pitcher? He faced James Shields 62 times in his career. There are three pitchers that he faced 50+ times, not a lot.

Joe Torre played 18 years in the major leagues, hit .297 with an .817 OPS; he faced 15 different pitchers a minimum of 75 times each. You see the same pitcher over and over, hitting is easier.

— How college football conferences are doing in the bowls:
AAC- 2-2 in bowls; all four games were decided by 18+ points.
ACC- 3-3 SU in bowls; underdogs covered four of the six games.
Big 14- 2-0 SU/ATS in first two bowls, winning 14-7/30-24.
Big X- 4-1 SU/ATS in first five bowls, scoring 32.2 ppg.
C-USA- 2-1 SU/ATS in first three bowls, with both wins in OT.

MAC- 2-3 SU/3-2 ATS in first five bowls- they were underdog in all five.
Mountain West- 2-4 SU/ATS in first six bowls (over 4-2).
Pac-12- 2-2 SU/ATS in first four bowls (over 2-2).
SEC- Texas A&M’s 31-23 (-2.5) loss is only SEC bowl so far.

Sun Belt- They had 12 bowls, the most of any league:
Sun Belt teams went 1-7 SU/0-8 ATS in first eight bowls.
Sun Belt teams won/covered their last four bowls. 

Wednesday’s Den: Mid-week musings……..

— When the Raiders won in Kansas City Monday, they didn’t complete a pass after the first quarter, the first NFL team to do that since the 2000 Bengals, who beat Denver 31-21 that day, when Cincy QB’s Akili Smith and Scott Mitchell were a combined 2-14/34 passing. That day, RB Corey Dillon ran the ball for 278 yards.

Monday, the Raiders scored two defensive TD’s in a 0:07 span of the third quarter, and that was enough to win.

— Baltimore Ravens are 12-3 this season, with seven wins by 14+ points; all seven of those teams came against teams with winning records.

No team in NFL history has had more than five regular season wins by 14+ points against teams with winning records.

— Chicago Bears signed kicker Cairo Santos for four years, $16M, which is little unusual. Lot of teams don’t like to pay kickers, especially teams with salary cap issues.

— Miami Dolphins haven’t won a playoff game since 2000.

Detroit Lions haven’t won one since 1991. 

Since starting up again in 1999 after the original Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore and became the Ravens, Cleveland is 1-2 in playoff games, with the lone win in 2020.  

— Florida State QB Jordan Travis is hurt, won’t be playing in the Semnoles’ bowl game vs Georgia; backup QB Tate Rodemaker is now in the transfer portal, which leaves #3 QB Brock Glenn, a freshman who threw for 55 yards in the Seminoles’ 16-6 win over Louisville in the ACC Championship game.

Five other Seminoles have also hit the transfer portal, not counting Travis, who is also expected to skip town next spring.

— In the last eight Holiday Bowls, Pac-12 teams are 0-8 against the spread. 

— In the last six Pinstripe Bowls, Big 14 teams are 6-0 against ACC opponents.

— Arizona Wildcats have won six games in a row, they’re 9-3 and are favored over Oklahoma in their bowl game. Quite a turnaround led by coach Jedd Fisch; from 2018-22, the Wildcats were 14-38. 

— Word of the Day: Bibliophile- someone who loves reading books.

— I’m amused that if I leave my house without my phone, my car will tell me about a half-mile down the road, then I turn around and go get my phone.

It would be better if a message came up on my dashboard: “Hey stupid, you forgot your phone!!!”

— Seattle Mariners signed DH/C Mitch Garver for two years, $24M; Garver hit 19 homers and had an .870 OPS for Texas last year- he also won a World Series ring.

— Reliever Joe Kelly wore #17 for the Dodgers last year; his wife suggested that he offer #17 to free agent star Shohei Ohtani. After Ohtani signed with the Dodgers, a Porsche was delivered to the Kelly’s home, for Mrs Kelly, from Ohtani.

— Charlotte Hornets are the only NBA team that has never played on Christmas Day.

— Nets 118, Pistons 112
Detroit loses its 27th consecutive game.
Pistons starters were combined +34; subs were minus-64
Detroit coach Monty Williams makes $13.1M/year, 7th-most of any pro coach in country.

— Minnesota 30, Bowling Green 24
Gophers win their 7th straight bowl game.
Bowling Green led 10-9 at halftime.
RB Taylor ran ball 35 times for 209 yards and a TD.
Gophers ran for 255 yards, threw for only 26. 

— Texas State 45, Rice 21
This was Texas State’s first-ever bowl game.
Bobcats outscored Rice 21-0 in second half.
Texas State outgained Rice, 300-197.
Bobcats had good balance; 148 rushing yards, 152 passing.

— Kansas 49, UNLV 36
Kansas in first half: 31 plays, 333 yards, 28 points.
Jayhawks averaged 15.4 yards/pass attempt.
Bean was 19-28/449 passing, with 6 TD’s, 3 INTs.
This was UNLV’s first bowl since 2013. 

Tuesday’s Den: Wrapping up Week 16 in the NFL

Ravens 33, 49ers 19
— 49ers got a safety on Ravens’ 2nd drive, took a 5-0 lead.
— Ravens’ next 7 drives after that: 49 plays, 322 yards, 33 points.
— Baltimore won nine of its last ten games (7-3 ATS).
— QB Jackson threw for 252 yards and two TD’s.

— Purdy threw 4 INT’s, three on 49ers’ first four drives.
— 49ers turned ball over five times, had 102 penalty yards.
— Ravens outscored San Francisco 17-0 in third quarter.
— 49ers scored 27+ points in their wins, 17-17-17-19 in losses.

Raiders 20, Chiefs 14
— Raiders scored two defensive TD’s 0:07 apart in second quarter.
— Not often an NFL team has 48 passing yards and wins, but the Raiders did.
— Last two games, Raiders have scored four defensive TD’s.
— Under is 11-4 in Raider games this season.

— Chiefs are 3-5 in their last eight games, after a 6-1 start.
— In those eight games, Chiefs are minus-9 in turnovers (5-14)
— Chiefs’ first three drives: 11 plays, minus-10 yards, three punts.
— Kansas City lost its last three home games SU.

Eagles 33, Giants 25
— Eagles led this game 20-3 at halftime.
— Giants scored defensive TD late in 3rd quarter to make score 20-18.
— Eagles’ last three drives: 24 plays, 172 yards, 13 points.
— Under Sirianni, Eagles are 5-8 ATS coming off a loss.

— Giants changed QB’s at half; Tyrod Taylor was 7-16/133 in 2nd half.
— Eagles outgained Big Blue, 465-292.
— Giants were held under 300 TY in seven of last eight games.  
— Giants are 13-5 ATS in their last 18 NFC East road games.

Lions 30, Vikings 24
— Lions clinch their first division title since 1993.
— Detroit led 17-14 at halftime.
— Lions’ first two drives of 2nd half: 27 plays, 163 yards, two TD’s.
— Detroit is 5-1 ATS as a road favorite this season.

— Vikings lost four of their last five games (the win was 3-0).
— Minnesota only ran the ball 11 times, for 17 yards.
— Mullens threw for 411 yards, but also threw four INT’s.
— Minnesota is 6-8 in one-score games this year (11-0 LY)

Seahawks 20, Titans 17
— Seattle drove 53 yards, scored game-winning TD with 0:57 left.
— Seattle in first half: 27 plays, 93 yards, 3 punts, 3 points.
— Seattle in second half: 34 plays, 180 yards, no punts, 17 points.
— Second week in row Seahawks scored game-winning TD in last 1:00.

— Titans lost six of their last eight games. 
— Tennessee averaged only 3.8 yards/pass attempt.
— Titans are 4-1 scoring 27+ points, 1-8 scoring 17 or less.
— Under is 9-4 in Tennessee’s last 13 games.

Packers 33, Panthers 30
— Packers drove 61 yards, kicked game-winning FG with 0:22 left.
— Packers first 4 drives: 32 plays, 243 yards, no punts, 23 points.
— Packers in second half: 27 plays, 126 yards, 3 punts, 10 points.
— Green Bay outscored last five foes 82-42 in first half.

— Green Bay led 30-16 with 8:00 left in game.
— Panthers had TD drives of 63-70 yards, tied game with 4:15 left.
— Rookie QB Young was 23-35/312 passing, with two TD’s.
— Carolina’s 8.1 yards/pass attempt was by far their best this season.

Jets 30, Commanders 28
— Zuerlein kicked 54-yard FG with 0:10 left for the win.
— Jets’ first three drives: 10 plays, 68 yards, 17 points.
— Jets’ first three drives all started in Washington territory.
— Jets are 3-9 ATS in last 12 games as a home favorite.

— Washington lost six in row, 11 of last 13 games (3-6 ATS last nine)
— QB Brissett was 10-13/100 passing off bench, with one TD pass.
— Washington is 3-1 giving up 17 or less points, 1-10 giving up more than 17. 
— Last five games, Commanders allowed 35.8 ppg.

Falcons 29, Colts 10
— Colts drove 62 yards for a touchdown on their first drive.
— Rest of game, Colts ran 55 plays, gained 201 yards, scored 3 points.
— Colts are 0-6 giving up 29+ points, 8-0 allowing 28 or fewer points.
— Favorite covered the Colts’ last eight games.

— Atlanta scored two TD’s, kicked five FG’s on its drives.
— Falcons ran for 177 yards, outgained Colts 406-262.
— Atlanta scored 28-23-29 points in Heinicke’s three starts.
— Under is 4-1 in last five Atlanta games.

Browns 36, Texans 22
— Flacco threw for 368 yards and three more TD’s.
— WR Cooper caught 11 passes for 265 yards and two TD’s.
— Cleveland won/covered six of last eight games.
— Browns are 6-0 giving up less than 24 points, 3-5 allowing 24+. 

— Houston’s first TD was a 98-yard kickoff return by Pierce.
— Texans in first half: 28 plays, 75 yards, 5 punts and an INT.
— Cleveland led the game 22-7 at halftime.
— Texans are 13-16-1 ATS in last 30 games as a home underdog.

Buccaneers 30, Jaguars 12
— Bucs’ first six drives: 56 plays, 289 yards, 30 points.
— Tampa was 10-19 on third down, Jaguars were 3-9.
— Bucs won their last four games, scoring 21-29-34-30 points.
— Tampa Bay covered seven of its last nine games.

— Jacksonville lost its last four games, giving up 34-31-23-30 points.
— Jaguars turned ball over four times, ran for only 37 yards.
— Last five weeks, Jaguars ran ball for only 64.4 yards/game.
— QB Lawrence was already banged up; he hurt his shoulder today.

Bears 27, Cardinals 16
— Bears’ first four drives: 29 plays, 236 yards, 21 points.
— Chicago won/covered four of last six games.
— QB Fields threw for 170 yards, ran for 97 more.
— Bears converted 8-15 third down plays.

— Arizona is 2-10 SU/4-8 ATS in its last dozen games
— Arizona’s first three drives: 15 plays, 36 yards, three punts.
— Last two games, Cardinals are 24-49 on third down.
— Cardinals are 0-10 SU when they score less than 25 points.

Dolphins 22, Cowboys 20
— Miami drove 64 yards, kicked 29-yard FG with 0:02 left.
— Miami scored only one TD; Sanders kicked five FGs, three of them 50+ yards.
— Dolphins won six of last eight games SU, clinched a playoff spot.
— Last five games, Miami converted 34-70 third down plays.

— On their first series, Dallas lost a fumble on the 1-yard line.
— Cowboys have scored 37.2 ppg in wins, 15.8 ppg in losses.
— Cowboys are 6-10 ATS last 16 games as a road dog (0-4 TY).
— Dallas lost five of its last seven road games SU.

Patriots 26, Broncos 23
— New England kicked a 56-yard FG with 0:02 left for the win.
— Patriots scored two TD’s in a 0:06 span of the third quarter.
— Teams combined to convert 7-26 third down plays.
— Zappe is now 4-2 as an NFL starting QB.

— Denver trailed 23-7 in 4th quarter, tied game on TD drives of 83-88 yards.
— Patriots won/covered four of last five visits to Denver.
— Broncos are 2-8-1 ATS last 11 games as a home favorite (1-5 TY).
— Last five weeks, Denver converted only 20-67 on third down.

Sunday’s college basketball:
Temple 55, Portland 54
Owls outscored Portland 15-6 over the final 6:31.
Temple was 10-18 on foul line, Pilots were 4-9.
Owls were +11 in turnovers (7-18)

UMass 87, Old Dominion 65
UMass shot 59.6% inside the arc.
Minutemen are grabbing 36.3% of their missed shots (#26)
Old Dominion lost five of its last six games.

TCU 65, Hawai’i 51
Rainbows shot 33.3% from floor, turned ball over 19 times.
TCU’s three subs all played 20+ minutes.
Horned Frogs improve their record to 10-2. 

Nevada 72, Georgia Tech 64
Wolf Pack shoots 61% inside arc, wins the Diamond Head Classic.
Nevada starts four seniors, Georgia Tech doesn’t start any.
Wolf Pack is 12-1; they’ve got the #35 eFG% defense in country. 

Monday’s Den: NBA trends…….

Nothing says Merry Christmas like a full helping of NBA trends…….
NBA trends
 (thru Sunday)
Hawks (12-17):
— gave up 122+ points in last five games (1-4 ATS).
— 0-9 ATS as a home favorite
— over 10-2 at home

Celtics (22-6):
— won nine of last 11 games SU (3-1 ATS last four)
— 8-5 ATS as a home favorite.
— over 8-2 last 10 games.

Nets (14-15):
— lost five of their last six games.
— 8-1 ATS as home favorite.
— under 5-2 last seven games.

Hornets (7-20):
— lost their last seven games SU.
— 1-7 ATS last eight games as road underdog.
— under 3-1 last four games.

Bulls (13-18)
— 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games.
— 4-6 ATS as a home favorite.
— over 4-1 last five games.

Cavaliers (17-13):
— 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games
— won/covered four of last five home games.
— over 5-0 last five home games.

Mavericks (17-12):
— lost four of their last six games.
— 6-1 ATS as road favorites.
— over 8-5 home games.

Nuggets (21-10):
— won 7 of last 8 games (6-2 ATS)
— 5-9 ATS as a road favorite  
— under 5-1 last six games.

Pistons (2-27):
— lost their last 26 games (7-19 ATS).
— 4-8 ATS as a home underdog, 6-9 as a road dog.
— over 6-2 last eight road games

Warriors (15-14):
— won last five games SU (3-2 ATS)
— 3-9 ATS as a home favorite
— 6-2 ATS as a road underdog.

Rockets (15-12):
— won seven of last nine games SU
— 18-5 ATS last 23 games overall.
— under 4-1 last five road games.

Pacers (14-14):
— 2-6 SU since the in-season tournament
— under 4-2 last six games
— 3-7 ATS as a road underdog.

Clippers (17-12):
— lost last two games, giving up 134-145 points. 
— 1-6 ATS as an underdog. 
— over 5-1 last six games.

Lakers (16-14):
— 2-5 SU since they won the in-season tournament.
— 7-13 ATS as a favorite.
— over 8-0 last eight road games.

Grizzlies (9-19):
— 3-0 SU/ATS since Ja Morant came back.
— 4-9 ATS at home.  
— under 4-1 last five games

Heat (17-12):
— won five of last seven games SU.
— 4-10 ATS at home.
— over 9-3 last twelve games.

Bucks (22-7):
— won their last nine games SU (6-3 ATS)
— 6-1 ATS last seven road games.
— over 9-2 last eleven games.

Timberwolves (22-6)
— won five of last six games SU (4-2 ATS)
— 9-4 ATS at home.
— over 5-2 last seven road games.

Pelicans (17-13):
— won six of last eight games (5-3 ATS)
— 10-4 ATS as an underdog.
— over 6-0 last six road games. 

Knicks (16-12):
— split their last ten games SU
— 9-4 ATS as a favorite, 7-7-1 as an underdog
— under 3-0 last three games

Thunder (18-9):
— 5-2 SU their last seven games.
— 11-5 ATS as a favorite, 8-3 as an underdog.
— over 6-1 last seven home games

Magic (17-11):
— lost four of last five games SU.
— 9-3 ATS at home.
— under 3-0 last three road games. 

76ers (20-8):
— 8-1 last nine games SU.  
— 17-5 ATS as a favorite, 3-3 as an underdog.
— over 5-1 last six road games.

Suns (14-14):
— 3-8 SU last eleven games (1-10 ATS)
— 6-14 ATS as a favorite.
— under 6-2 last eight games

Trailblazers (7-21):
— 1-9 SU in last ten games (4-6 ATS)
— 4-9 ATS at home
— under 3-1 last four games

Kings (17-11):
— 6-3 SU last nine games (1-3 ATS last four)
— 6-2 ATS as an underdog. 
— over 8-3 last eleven home games

Spurs (4-24):
— lost 22 of their last 23 games (1-3 ATS last four)
— 5-9 ATS as a home underdog, 5-9 as a road dog.
— over 5-1 last six games.

Raptors (11-18):
— lost 10 of last 13 games SU
— 7-10 ATS as an underdog.
— over 3-0 last three road games.

Jazz (12-18):
— won/covered five of last seven games. 
— 10-3 ATS at home
— 4-11 ATS as a road underdog.

Wizards (3-17):
— covered last five games (2-3 SU).
— 3-6 ATS as a home underdog.
— under 4-1 last five games.

Sunday’s Den: Wrapping up a sports Saturday……..

Steelers 34, Bengals 11
QB Rudolph threw an 86-yard TD pass on the Steelers’ 2nd play of game.
WR Pickens caught four passes for 195 yards, two TD’s.
Steelers in first half: 33 plays, 263 yards; they led 24-0 at the half.
since 2018, Steelers are 10-3-1 ATS as a home underdog.

Bengals are 0-5 SU vs AFC North rivals, 8-2 vs everyone else.
Cincinnati turned ball over twice on its first four drives.
Bengals’ only TD was 80-yard pass to Higgins on first play of third quarter.
Six of Bengals’ last seven games went over the total.

Bills 24, Chargers 22
Buffalo kicked a 29-yard FG with 0:28 left for the win.
Bills were 5-10 on third down, Chargers 4-14.
Buffalo scored 28.2 ppg in five games since firing their OC.
Buffalo won/covered four of those five games.  

Chargers lost despite being +3 in turnovers.
Bolts scored six times, but it was 5 field goals, only one TD.
Chargers have only six TD’s on their last 56 drives.
Chargers lost six of their last seven games.

— Florida Atlantic 96, Arizona 95 2OT
Arizona led 19-5 early on.
Owls shot 58.3% inside the arc.
FAU is 10-2 this season, vs schedule #28.
Arizona out-rebounded FAU, 52-39.

— Providence 75, Butler 65 OT
Friars led 15-0 out of the box, but……..
…….Friars forced OT on a 3-point shot with 0:02 left.
Seven players in this game played 39+ minutes.

— UConn 69, St John’s 65
Red Storm led 32-26 at halftime.
Teams combined to shoot 9-36 on the arc.
Newton scored 15 points, had 9 rebounds, 6 assists for UConn.

— Memphis 77, Vanderbilt 75
Vandy led by 8 points with 7:56 left in game.
Vandy’s team was 17-22 on the foul line.
Memphis star Jones was 12-18 on foul line, scored 28 points.
Vanderbilt is 1-8 vs teams ranked in top 200.

— Nets 126, Pistons 115
Detroit has lost 26 games in a row (7-19 ATS)
Pistons were +6 in the 35:00 with PG Ivey on the floor.

Word of the Day: Continuity- when something keep happening or existing, with no great changes or interruptions.

College basketball teams with better continuity have an advantage; they’re used to playing together.

— Duke 17, Troy 10
Duke has now won/covered its last five bowl games.
Blue Devils led this game 14-0 at halftime.
Troy ran ball 26 times for only 89 yards.
Both head coaches had already bolted to bigger $$$ jobs.

— Northern Illinois 21, Arkansas State 19
Ark State scored a TD with 1:14 left, but 2-point conversion failed.
NIU’s first four drives: 30 plays, 220 yards, 21 points.
NIU rest of game: 44 plays, 201 yards, no points.
Huskies snapped a 7-game losing streak in bowl games.

— Air Force 31, James Madison 21
Falcons ran ball 63 times for 351 yards.
Air Force led 21-7 at half; they threw 5 passes the whole game.
Eight of Air Force’s nine I-A wins were by 10+ points.
Falcons won their last five bowl games, scoring 33.6 ppg.

— Georgia State 45, Utah State 22
Georgia State in first half: 40 plays, 396 yards, 31 points.
QB Grainger was 19-22/257 passing, with three TD’s.
Panthers outgained Utah State, 643-347.
RB Brock carried ball 24 times for 276 yards and a TD.
— South Alabama 59, Eastern Michigan 10
Jaguars led 38-3 at halftime.
USA’s first six drives: 36 plays, 296 yards, 31 points.
Freshman QB Lopez threw for 192 yards, ran for 88 more.
This was South Alabama’s first win in four bowl games.

— Northwestern 14, Utah 7
Northwestern drove 53 yards, scored game-winning TD with 6:19 left.
Wildcats finish season on a 4-game winning streak.
Utah is 6-12-1 ATS in last 19 non-league games.
Utah lost its last five bowls, after Whittingham started out 11-1 in bowls.

Saturday’s Den: Wrapping up a busy Friday…….

— Chiefs’ QB Patrick Mahomes is a great player; with an 86-24 career record, 11-3 in playoff games, at age 28, he is on track to become one of the NFL’s best-ever quarterbacks. 

Flashback six years to the 2017 NFL Draft; Mahomes was the 10th player taken, the second QB drafted that year. 

Let’s take a look at the first 10 picks that year:
1) Browns- Myles Garrett, DE
2) Bears- Traded UP (they TRADED UP!!!) to take QB Mitchell Trubisky.
3) 49ers- Solomon Thomas, DE
4) Jaguars- Leonard Fournette, RB
5) Titans- Corey Davis, WR- Acquired this pick in a trade, when Rams traded up the year before to select Jared Goff.

6) Jets- Jamal Adams, S
7) Chargers- Mike Williams, WR
8) Panthers- Christian McCaffrey, RB- why did Carolina trade him????
9) Bengals- John Ross, WR- they made up for this by drafting Joe Burrow
10) Chiefs- Patrick Mahomes, QB

This is why the NFL Draft is so interesting to study; not everyone is going at it.

— Right now, the eight NFL teams leading their division have one thing in common; their starting quarterback has started all 14 games.

— Jets will start QB Trevor Siemian against Washington Sunday; he’ll be the 4th quarterback to start a game for the Jets this season.

Houston Texans will start QB Case Keenum again Sunday, with rookie CJ Stroud still in the concussion protocol.

QB Geno Smith is going to start for the Seahawks against Tennessee.

— Los Angeles Rams scored a TD on their first drive Thursday night; it was the 5th game in a row LA scored on their first drive of a game. For the season, Rams have scored five TD’s, kicked six field goals on their 15 game-opening drives.

— Georgia Tech 30, Central Florida 17
UCF led 14-0 after the first quarter.
UCF’s first two drives: 14 plays, 149 yards, 14 points.
UCF rest of the game: 55 plays, 260 yards, 3 points.
Tech outscored the Knights 13-0 in second half.

— There are 1,825 players in the college football transfer portal; college sports has become a whole different world.

QB Maalik Murphy transferred from Texas to Duke, which had its QB poached by Notre Dame. Murphy was the backup QB at Texas this year.

Word of the Day: Dox- search for and publish private or identifying information about a particular individual on the internet, typically with malicious intent.

Never heard of this word until five minutes before I typed this sentence; fans get mad about a loss, and they post stuff about players online. Not cool.

— In the NBA, Detroit Pistons have lost 25 games in a row; they’re 7-18 ATS in those games.

— December 9th, LA Lakers won the first-ever In-Season Tournament; since then, they’ve lost five of six games.

— Milwaukee Bucks are 8-1 this month, but they haven’t played a road game in December; they visit Madison Square Garden Saturday afternoon, it’ll be their first road game since an OT loss in Chicago November 30.

— Nevada 88, TCU 75- TCU coach Dixon got two technicals and was tossed in first half of this game; Horned Frogs won by 24 on Thursday, they’re in a holiday tournament in Hawaii, was just weird to see him get so heated so early in a game.

— UAB 79, Drake 78 OT- Good game between solid mid-major programs; we need more games like this in the pre-conference schedule.

— Brown 71, Siena 67- Siena led by 18 early in second half; they’re 2-10, having been ravaged by the transfer portal- their starting guards from last year are now playing at Oklahoma, George Mason.

— Milwaukee 85, Chattanooga 83 OT- Visiting Mocs were 10-13 on foul line; Milwaukee was 26-37. Both teams took 30+ 3-pointers. Playing on the road can be difficult.

— Maryland 69, UCLA 60— Bruins shot 1-14 on arc, were down 15 at the half- they’ve lost four in row, six of last seven D-I games.

— Miami OH 70, Vermont 69- Kid on Miami banked in a 3-pointer at the buzzer to win a game they trailed 63-54 with 3:31 left to play.

— Illinois 97, Missouri 73- Third straight loss for Mizzou, which gave up 87.7 points/game in the three losses.

— Colorado State 76, LMU 67- Rams are 11-1, they start four seniors, are shooting 61.6% inside the arc (#5). Colorado State already has five top 100 wins. 

Friday’s Den: Random stuff with the weekend here……..

Rams 30, Saints 22
Rams are 5-1 SU/ATS last six weeks, scoring 32.4 ppg in last five games.
Rams outgained New Orleans, 458-339
WR Demarcus Robinson has caught a TD pass in four consecutive games.
Rams are 7-3 when they run ball for 92+ yards, 1-4 when they don’t.
Rams have missed 11 field goals TY, the most of any team since 2015.

New Orleans didn’t give up a TD in its previous two games (Carolina/Giants).
Rams’ first drive: 14 plays, 95 yards, 7:56 and a TD.
Saints are 7-8, but have been favored in 12 of the 15 games.
New Orleans was 0-3 on 4th down conversions, all in LA territory.

South Florida 45, Syracuse 0
Bulls outgained Syracuse 407-159.
Orangemen were 1-16 on third down conversions.
Syracuse lost seven of its last nine games, after a 4-0 start.

— LA Dodgers signed Japanese pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto for $325M over 12 years; Dodger Dogs are going to be expensive next summer. Mets supposedly offered him the same amount of money, but Yamamoto opted to sign with the Dodgers.

Yamamoto is 25; he’s won the Japanese version of the Cy Young Award three times.

— Other baseball signings this week:
Detroit Tigers signed P Jack Flaherty for one year, $14M

Pittsburgh Pirates gave OF Andrew McCutchen a one year, $5M deal.

Mets acquired P Adrian Houser and OF Tyrone Taylor from Milwaukee for minor league outfielder Coleman Crow.

— They tweaked some baseball rules this week:
Teams will be allowed four mound visits per game, not five.

With a runner on base, the pitch clock will now be 0:18; it was 0:20 last year.

If a pitcher warms up before an inning, he has to face the first hitter.

— In case you were wondering, the only 0-0 tie in NFL history was back in 1943, a Giants-Lions game at Briggs Stadium in Detroit.

— Bills-Chargers game Saturday night is exclusively on Peacock; apparently the 4th quarter will be commercial-free, the first time that’s happened on an NFL telecast.

Word of the Day– Imbecile- a stupid person is one definition.

Another definition is someone who stays up until 2am watching the Portland-Hawaii basketball game, after watching the end of the South Dakota-San Diego game before that. Then that person will watch a movie after the Hawaii game, before they get to bed.

That person is me.

— Best wishes to Old Dominion basketball coach Jeff Jones, who had a heart attack Wednesday night; he is expected to make a full recovery. Old Dominion is playing in a holiday tournament in Hawai’i; they lost 111-87 to TCU Thursday.

63-year old Jones has led eight teams to the NCAA Tournament in his 31 years as a college coach; as a player, he was one of Ralph Sampson’s teammates at Virginia.

— Here is how stupid college sports have become:
49ers QB Brock Purdy is making $870,000 this year; he might be the NFL MVP, but he’s still on his rookie contract, and he was a 7th round draft pick.

Texas Longhorns backup QB Arch Manning, Peyton Manning’s nephew, made $2.8M on his NIL deal this season. He doesn’t even freakin’ play and he made $2.8M.

— There are three undefeated teams left in college basketball:
Houston, James Madison, Ole Miss.

— Jazz 119, Pistons 111- Detroit has now lost 25 games in a row; their last win was in October, but somehow they were a slight favorite in this game. Yikes.

Jazz sat out four players, which is why they were the underdog here, but Kelly Olynyk scored 27 points as Utah got a road win.

— Kentucky 95, Louisville 76- Wildcats made 12-25 on the arc. Louisville is 22-54 the last 2+ seasons; it is likely they’ll have a new coach next season.

— Georgia Tech 73, UMass 70- Tech outscored the Minutemen 18-6 over the last 5:03 of the game; they’re off to a 7-3 start.

— New Hampshire 81, Rhode Island 71- Oy. URI has lost five in row, seven of its last eight D-I games. Not good. Rams are shooting 59.6% on foul line (#358), turning ball over 20.2% of the time (#294).

— Happy 98th birthday to the great actor Dick Van Dyke; spent lot of my childhood watching re-runs of his TV show, with Mary Tyler Moore, Morey Amsterdam and Carl Reiner. 

Thursday’s Den: College basketball info……..

The way college basketball is now, with so many transfers happening, it is still kind of early, but here is some of what we’ve learned so far this season.

— Big X
6 of 14 teams are in Top 20
Houston/BYU, newcomers to the Big X, are highest-rated teams right now.
Houston has the best eFG% defense in the country.
Oklahoma State (6-5), West Virginia (4-6) have regressed.

5 of 14 teams are in the top 25.
Tennessee is 8-3, but they’ve played the #12 schedule, a tough schedule.
Ole Miss is 11-0, but they’ve played schedule #262.

Vanderbilt is 4-7; they’re 65-76 in 4+ years under Jerry Stackhouse, 24-46 in SEC games. Five years ago, Vandy was off to a 4-0 start under Bryce Drew, but their best player (Darius Garland) got hurt, missed the rest of the season, and the Commodores went in the ashcan, going 9-23- they fired Drew. 

Garland is now a productive player in the NBA, while Drew has moved on to Grand Canyon in the WAC, where he has a 73-28 record coaching the Antelopes. I’m thinking the administration at Vanderbilt screwed up- they should’ve kept Drew as coach.

— Big 14
Only have three teams rated in top 20.
Michigan State is struggling at 6-5.

Zach Edey must have a great NIL deal for him to return to Purdue this season. Boilers have five top 20 wins, but lost conference opener at Northwestern. Purdue is shooting 40.3% on the arc; what will they shoot in March, when the heat is on?

— Pac-12
In its last season, Pac-12 is 0-5 SU against the Mountain West; no bueno.
Arizona/Colorado are only Pac-12 teams rated in top 30.
UCLA is 5-5, losing five of last six D-I games; there are rumors about Mick Cronin’s interest in the Louisville job, when that opens up.

Arizona has eight foreign players on its roster, UCLA has seven.

Meanwhile, Oregon State/Washington State are joining the WCC in basketball for the next two seasons.

Duke, Clemson, North Carolina are only teams rated in top 25.
Duke had a quality neutral court win over Baylor Wednesday.
Syracuse is 8-3 with a 20-point win over Oregon, but all three Orange losses were by 17+ points; they’re forcing turnovers 21.7% of time, a marked improvement over recent years.

— Teams in country with best continuity:
Columbia- Ivy League
Drexel- CAA
Florida Atlantic- AAC
Marquette- Big East
Cal-Davis- Big West

— Teams in country with most experience:
St Bonaventure- A-15
Washington- Pac-12
TCU- Big X
North Carolina- ACC
St John’s- Big East

Morehead State is 8-4, the only OVC team in the top 200; Tuesday night at Indiana, they led the Hoosiers by 15 with 8:58 left, but lost 69-68. Morehead looks like one of those dangerous 14-seeds we’ll be talking about in March. 

— Word of the Day- Grinch- a person who is unfriendly, a killjoy.

— Big East
Seton Hall upset UConn Wednesday, Providence upset Marquette Tuesday.
Villanova just beat Creighton in overtime, another upset.
Rick Pitino is going to make waves with St John’s, just not sure it’ll be this year.

Jay Wright retired in the spring of 2022, after a 30-8 season. In his last nine years at Villanova, Wildcats went 265-53, 130-31 in Big East games.

Since Wright left, Villanova is 25-21, 11-10 in Big East games.

— Mountain West
Three best teams appear to be Colorado State, New Mexico, San Diego State.
Rams/Lobos both have one loss; both losses were against Saint Mary’s. 

Like we said before, Mountain West is 5-0 SU against the Pac-12 this season.

Right now, MW is ranked as the #7 league; this would be the third year in a row Mountain West is in the top 7- 2013 was the last time before that.

— Atlantic 15
9-2 Dayton is the only team rated in the top 70.
Duquesne is 9-2; their coach is Keith Dambrot, who was Lebron James’ high school coach.
St Joe’s is 9-2, but against schedule #325; they lost to Texas A&M-Commerce.

A-15 got only one team in NCAA’s LY (VCU), could be headed that way again.

14 teams in this league now; they’ve reshuffled more than any league this year.
FAU is legit good; they were in Final Four last year, have whole team back, are 9-2 now.
Memphis is 9-2, with seven top 100 wins (schedule #10)

Other than FAU/Memphis, SMU, North Texas, Tulane appear to be AAC contenders.

— Missouri Valley
Indiana State/Drake are both 11-1, the Valley’s only top 100 teams.
Drake has played schedule #301, Indiana State #264. Sycamores are shooting 61.2% inside the arc, 41.4% on the arc- they have the best eFG% in the whole country.

Evansville is 10-2 against schedule #318; the last five years, Evanaville was 40-111, so a great rebuilding job being done by David Ragland. They did lose their only top 100 game by 41 at BYU, but 10-2 is 10-2.

Murray State is 3-8; they’ve had only one losing season since 1997.

Right now, WCC is 5-14 against the Mountain West
7-6 against the Pac-12
0-5 against the WAC
3-4 against the Big Sky,

In other words, the WCC is down; losing BYU hurt, especially this year, because BYU is really good. Saint Mary’s is a disappointing 7-5, but they’ve played better recently. Gonzaga is 8-3, 3-3 against top 100 teams.

It’ll be interesting next year, when Oregon State/Washington State join the WCC.

— Ivy League
Princeton is 10-1, with three top 100 wins; KenPom has them at #44.
Yale, Cornell appear to be the teams best poised to upset Princeton in the Ivy tournament.

— Conference USA
League looks like a 3-way battle between Liberty, Louisiana Tech, Western Kentucky.

This league has teams in Virginia, Florida, Louisiana, New Mexico; lot of travel.

— Other mid-majors we’ve got our eye on:
Grand Canyon, WAC- Antelopes are 9-1, with wins over San Diego State, Liberty

James Madison, Sun Belt- 11-0 Dukes opened season with OT wins at Michigan State/Kent State and they still haven’t lost. JMU has #27 eFG% in country; they’re forcing turnovers 21.8% of the time (#29).

Western Carolina, SoCon- Catamounts have Power 5 wins at Notre Dame, Vandy; WCU has been in the NCAA’s one time- they were a 16-seed in 1996, lost 73-71 to #1-seed Purdue.

Western Carolina also made the first 3-point shot in NCAA history, on November 29, 1980. Ronnie Carr made the shot.

Cal-Irvine, Big West- Anteaters haven’t been in NCAAs since 2019, when they upset Kansas State in a 4-13 game. Irvine always defends well; their subs are playing 8th most minutes in country, so they’ve got good depth.

Vermont, America East- Catamounts have been in four of last six NCAA Tournaments; they have wins over Charleston, Yale this season.

McNeese State, Southland- Will Wade has never had a losing season as a coach, whether at VCU, LSU or Chattanooga; his first team at McNeese is 10-2, shooting 41% on the arc, while playing a slow (#348) pace.

Joe Dumars’ alma mater hasn’t been to the NCAA’s since 2002; could this be their year? 

Wednesday’s Den: Mid-week musings………

— I’m watching HBO’s Hard Knocks tonight, and they show a 2nd grade teacher in Miami who teaches her students how to do Math by adding/subtracting using Tyreek Hill’s stats each week. She posts Hill’s stats on a white board, and are counting down to how many yards he needs for 2,000 receiving yards.

It was great; the kids are into it, both boys/girls, but it reminded me of something else, how when I was a kid, I’d the grab the newspaper as soon as I could and would study boxscores and stats- this was way before the Internet, information was a little limited.

But I got to the point where I could do Math in my head; if Reggie Jackson went 4-13 in a series, I knew he hit .308 for the weekend, or if Vida Blue gave up two runs in 6 IP, his ERA was 3.00. Not bad for a 10-year old.

— Fast forward 25 years, and I’m a Grade 6 working for New York State at a low-level job; I’m in a training session with a cross-section of employees, some of whom are big shots; the person leading the room gives out a word problem which requires calculations. 

There were eight people at a table; we worked as a group. A lady at my table was the Chief of Staff for a Deputy Commissioner, she started with her calculator to get the answer for the problem, but I just told her: “Marsha, its 27. The answer is 27” She kept working the calculator, then looked at me when she came up with 27. 

It happened couple of more times; this was a Friday afternoon. Three days later, on Monday, I got a call to schedule a job interview for a Grade 13, an Administrative Assistant job, a very big raise. I got the job, which is why my retirement now is a lot more comfortable than it would’ve been if I hadn’t been able to do Math in my head.

— I tell the story because this teacher in Miami is doing her students a huge favor, teaching them in a way that they’ll remember it. Hopefully they appreciate it, though Tyreek Hill didn’t play this past week, so she probably had to be inventive to get them to do some calculations.

— If you owned an NFL team worth $5B or so, the three most people in your organization would be, in no particular order:

Head Coach- Runs the team on the field.
Quarterback- This one is kind of obvious.
General Manager- Acquires the players, which in an injury-riddled sport, is really important. This time of year, teams with good depth are the ones that finish strong.

— Here are the four NFL teams with the most dead salary cap space this season. When a team is up against the cap, it takes a clever GM to find players who can still win games while they have less flexibility to spend $$$.

$78.6M- Rams
$67.3M- Buccaneers
$65.3M- Packers
$65.2M- Cardinals

— But today we’re looking at head coaches; how would you choose one?

In today’s NFL, 21 of the 32 head coaches who started this season are/were in their first NFL head coaching job. Only 3 of the 21 have won a Super Bowl.

3 of the 32 coaches won a Super Bowl in a previous head coaching job.
2 of the 32 coaches lost a Super Bowl in a previous head coaching job.
6 of the 32 coaches had a previous head coaching job, but didn’t make it to a Super Bowl.

Coaches don’t get recycled as much as they used to; Bill Belichick is one of the head coaches who didn’t make it to a Super Bowl in his first head coaching job- he’s pretty good. Josh McDaniels had two head coaching jobs and was pretty bad at both of them.

Giants’ coach Brian Daboll interviewed with five other teams before the Giants, who are damned lucky that no one else hired him- Daboll is a good coach.

Raiders have had 13 head coaches since 2003; the Steelers have had three since 1969.

It is what makes the NFL so interesting; the teams are worth a fortune, but some of the teams are run really well, some pretty poorly.

— Texas-San Antonio 35, Marshall 17
The two QB’s: Josh McCown’s son, and Chad Pennington’s son. Makes me feel old.
Marshall led 14-0 early in second quarter.
UTSA was 7-14 on third down, Marshall 5-18.

Second day in a row a backup QB wins a bowl game; gambling is difficult.

— QB Taulia Tagovailoa is skipping Maryland’s bowl game; I’m not going to rant about this again, at least not today, but Tagovailoa’s college career is over.

— Strange stats to read: USC’s defense is 110th in the country in yards allowed/play; they’re 123rd in scoring defense.

— Jacksonville Jaguars signed QB EJ Perry to their practice squad; Perry played his college ball at Brown, so he never opted out of a bowl.

— Underdogs won/covered the last seven Monday night NFL games.

— Cleveland Browns are first team in the last 70 years to have four different QB’s lead a game-winning drive in the same season.

— Atlanta Falcons are going back to Taylor Heinicke at QB this week, third time this year they have changed starting QB’s, which makes you wonder if Desmond Ridder is still their QB of the future.

Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo recently became the most accurate kicker in NFL history; he used to kick for the Chargers, but they cut him, even though he made his last six FG’s for them.

Since they cut Koo in 2017, Chargers have gone through 12 different kickers.

— As it turns out, Kansas City’s last four games are going to be against backup QB’s:
Week 15- beat New England (Zappe) 27-17.
Week 16- vs Las Vegas (O’Connell)
Week 17- vs Cincinnati (Browning)
Week 18- @ LA Chargers (Stick)

— AFC North teams are 26-12 SU in non-divisional games.

— In baseball, Pirates signed lefty starter Martin Perez for one year, $8M. He figures to be their #3 or #4 starter. 

Tuesday’s Den: Nobody asked me, but………

Seahawks 20, Eagles 17
— Eagles lost their last three games, after a 10-1 start.
— Eagles led at halftime, for first time since Week 7.
— Philly ran ball for 178 yards, converted 9-16 on third down.
— Last ten games, Philly is minus-10 in turnovers.

— Backup QB Lock threw 29-yard TD pass with 0:28 left for the win.
— Seahawks are 6-0 if they run for 100+ yards, 1-7 if they don’t.
— Seahawks are 7-1 scoring 20+ points, 0-6 scoring less than 20.
— Seattle is 18-13 ATS in last 31 games coming off a loss. 

In this game………
Seattle got ball down 4+ points with less than 2:00 to play.
They drove 90+ yards for the game-winning touchdown.
The winning touchdown play was longer than 25 yards.

Last NFL team to do that? Green Bay in September, 1992, when Brett Favre came off the bench to lead the comeback. It was the last time he came off the bench in an NFL game.

— Western Kentucky 38, Old Dominion 35, OT
Old Dominion led this game 28-0 with 13:38 left in 2nd quarter.
WKU’s #3 QB Veltkamp came off bench, was 40-52/383 passing, with 5 TD’s.
Old Dominion had a short field goal blocked in overtime. 

Veltkamp had entered the transfer portal earlier this year, when WKU coaches told him they were moving him to tight end next season. Now? Not so much……

— Betting on college bowl games has become a complete crapshoot; Old Dominion was favored by 4.5 points. WKU’s QB opted out of the game because he is selfish, the #2 QB gets benched when they fall behind early, and the #3 QB leads an improbable comeback win, from a 28-0 deficit. Go figure.

— Quarterback shenanigans:
Ohio State QB Kyle McCord has bolted to Syracuse, an odd move.

Tulane QB Michael Pratt won’t play in the Green Wave’s bowl game, but he isn’t transferring, he is turning pro.

USC backup QB Malachi Nelson is going into the transfer portal, which leaves the Trojans with one scholarship QB for their bowl game. Sophomore Miller Moss is expected to start for USC in their game against Louisville. Moss is 23-32/309 passing this year, with one TD pass.

Meanwhile, Kansas State QB Will Howard is bolting to USC for next season.

Mississippi State QB Will Rogers in bolting to Washington. 

UCLA freshman QB Dante Moore is bolting to Oregon; they already added QB Dillon Gabriel from Oklahoma.

Steelers are starting QB Mason Rudolph in this week’s game vs Cincinnati. Rudolph is 5-4-1 as an NFL starter, with most of those games happening in 2019.

Chargers added QB Will Grier off New England’s practice squad
Patriots added QB Nathan Rourke off Jacksonville’s practice squad.

56 quarterbacks have started an NFL game this season. Rudolph will be the 57th.

— Bengals’ QB Jake Browning is the first NFL QB ever who won two overtime games in his first four NFL starts.

— Raiders scored 63 points in their game last week; the last ten NFL teams to score 55+ points in a game went 1-9 ATS in their next game. Raiders play the Chiefs on Christmas.

— Lions’ TE Sam LaPorta is the first rookie tight end since John Mackey in 1963 with 700+ receiving yards, and 7+ touchdowns.

— In college football, the last 47 times a Big 14 team played a MAC team, the Big 14 team was favored in every game, and in 43 of the 47 games, the spread was double digits.

— Word of the Day: Parity- When several things are roughly of the same value.

NFL has a lot of parity right now, lot of teams are roughly the same, with very little difference between them.

— Get well soon to basketball icon Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who broke his hip last week when he slipped and fell at a concert. Kareem is 76 years old, we wish him well.

By the way, Michael Jordan/Lebron James have been great, great players, but Kareem is the best basketball player ever, of that I am not uncertain.

Put it this way; from 1967-76, dunking wasn’t legal in college basketball, that is how dominant a player Kareem was at UCLA. It is also why he developed his fantastic sky hook.

Yes, they made the dunk illegal because one player was completely dominant.

I could go on about this for a lot longer, but I’ve made my point.

— Speaking of UCLA, their basketball team this year has seven foreign players on its roster, with players from seven different countries.

— In baseball happenings:
Kansas City Royals have quietly added six players this month:
Royals signed starting P’s Seth Lugo, Michael Wacha
Royals signed relievers Will Smith, Will Stratton.
Royals added OF Hunter Renfroe, IF Garrett Hampson.

Arizona Diamondbacks kept OF Lourdes Gurriel; he got a 3-year, $42M deal.

Texas P Max Scherzer had a herniated disc in his back fixed, will miss the first half of next season.

— Charleston 84, Coastal Carolina 81- Freshman big man Scott scored 16 points in 19:00 off the bench, going 8-8 from the floor.

— Portland State 75, Fresno State 72 OT- Underdog Vikings led 41-28 at halftime, trailed by 7 in the overtime. Kid on Portland State ht a 3-pointer at the buzzer for the win.

— Duquesne 69, Bradley 67- Visiting Braves led by 10 early in second half, but they were minus-10 in turnovers (19-9). 

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

Panthers 9, Falcons 7
— Falcons lost five of their last seven games.
— Atlanta ran ball 31 times for only 52 yards.
— Underdogs covered nine of Atlanta’s last ten games.
— Falcons’ loss puts Tampa Bay atop NFC South.

— Carolina drove 85 yards, kicked game-winning field goal at the gun.
— Panthers allowed 13-7 points in their two wins.
— Carolina averaged 5.7 yards/pass attempt, their best since Week 5.
— Panthers’ team total: under 10-4

Browns 20, Bears 17
— Flacco threw for 374 yards, two TD’s.
— Bears haven’t led at halftime since Week 7 vs Las Vegas.
— Chicago did lead 17-7 after the third quarter.
— Cleveland is 7-3 SU in last ten games (5-2 ATS in last seven)

— Chicago’s only TD drive was two yards long, after an INT.
— Bears also scored a touchdown on a 45-yard pick-6.
— Chicago is 2-8 when it scores less than 28 points.
— Hail Mary on last play of game was dropped by WR Mooney.

Buccaneers 34, Packers 20
— Mayfield was 22-28/381 passing, with four TD’s.
— Tampa Bay led 13-10 at halftime.
— First 3 drives of second half, Bucs ran 23 plays for 216 yards, 3 TD’s.
— Bucs won/covered four of last six games (6-2 ATS last eight)

— Buccaneers averaged 10.7 yards/pass attempt.
— Packers ran ball 17 times for only 60 yards.
— QB Jordan Love is 6-9 as an NFL starter.
— Over is 5-1 in Green Bay’s last six games.

Texans 19, Titans 16 OT
— Fairbairn’s 4th FG, a 54-yarder, won game with 0:02 left in OT.
— Backup QB Keenum threw for 229 yards in his first start since 2021.
— Texans outgained Tennessee, 340-204.
— Underdogs covered 10 of their last 12 games.

— Titans led 13-0 after a 2nd quarter pick-6; they missed the PAT.
— Tennessee ran ball 30 times for only 66 yards.
— Tennessee is 0-5 ATS this season coming off a win.
— Titans are 4-1 scoring 27+ points, 1-8 scoring 17 or less. 

Saints 24, Giants 6
— Giants didn’t score a TD, were outgained 296-193.
— Big Blue averaged only 3.0 yards/pass attempt.
— Last three weeks, Giants are 9-39 on third down. 
— Since 2018, Big Blue is 11-21-1 ATS as a road underdog.

— Saints first three drives of 2nd half: 26 plays, 158 yards, 17 points.
— Last two games, Saints didn’t allow a TD on 21 drives.
— New Orleans outscored last three opponents 52-12 in second half.
— Under is 10-4 in Saints’ games this year, 5-2 at home.

Dolphins 30, Jets 0
— Dolphins outgained the Jets, 290-103.
— Under McDaniel, Miami is 9-4 ATS as a home favorite.
— Miami scored 30+ points in eight of 10 wins; 20-17-14-27 in losses.
— Favorites are 11-2 ATS in their last 13 games.

— In first half, Jets ran 27 plays for 4 yards. 27 plays, 4 yards.
— Jets lost six of last seven games, scoring 12.9 ppg.
— Jets are 2-10 ATS in last 12 AFC East road games.
— Under Saleh, Jets are 5-10 ATS coming off a win.

Chiefs 27, Patriots 17
— WR Rice caught nine passes for 91 yards and a TD.
— Chiefs are 6-2 ATS in last eight games coming off a loss.
— Chiefs held 10 of last 12 foes under 5.7 yards/pass attempt.
— Last seven games, KC is minus-7 in turnovers (5-12)

— Patriots lost six of seven, nine of last 11 games (2-9 ATS).
— New England converted only 2-12 third down plays.
— AFC East underdogs are 7-10 ATS outside the division.
— Since Brady left, NE is 28-36 SU in regular season, 0-1 in playoffs.

49ers 45, Cardinals 29
— SF won its last six games (4-2 ATS), scoring 36.2 ppg.
— Only 7 of the 49ers’ 54 plays came on third down.
— McCaffrey had 23 touches for 187 yards.
— SF is 10-4-1 ATS in last 15 NFC West road games.

— 49ers averaged 7.5 yards per play.
— Arizona is 3-11 ATS in last 14 NFC West home games.
— Over is 7-0 in Arizona’s home games this year.
— Arizona is 2-9 SU/4-7 ATS in its last eleven games.

Rams 28, Commanders 20
— First three series, Rams ran 33 plays for 208, scored only 10 points.
— Stafford threw 62-yard TD pass to Kupp on 3rd play of 3rd quarter.
— Last four weeks, Rams averaged 425.8 yards/game.
— Right now, Rams own #7-seed in NFC, the last playoff spot.

— Washington lost its last five games (2-6 ATS in last eight).
— Last four games, Commanders allowed 39.8 ppg.
— QB Brissett came off bench, was 8-10/124 passing, with 2 TD’s.
— Opponents’ team total: over 11-3

Bills 31, Cowboys 1o
— Bills ran ball for 266 yards, outgained Dallas 351-195.
— Bills’ first four drives: 37 plays, 244 yards, 21 points.
— Buffalo is 8-0 when it gives up 20 or less points
— Buffalo won/covered its last three games.  

— Favorites are 6-1 ATS in Dallas’ road games.
— Cowboys averaged only 2.9 yards/pass attempt.
— Dallas has scored 37.2 ppg in wins, 14.8 in losses.
— Cowboys are 6-9 ATS last 15 games as a road dog (0-3 TY).

Ravens 23, Jaguars 7
— Ravens won eight of last nine games (6-3 ATS).
— QB Jackson threw for 171 yards, ran for 97 more.
— Baltimore is 5-1 SU/4-2 ATS on road this year
— Opponents’ team total: under 9-4-1

— Jacksonville lost its last three games, giving up 29.3 ppg.
— Jaguars converted only 3-13 third down plays.
— Jaguars gained 179 yards in first half, but didn’t score.
— Jaguars are minus-7 in turnovers in their losses (+4 in wins).

— Syracuse 83, Oregon 63
Syracuse trailed 14-4 early; they shot 62.5% inside arc.
Orange is forcing turnovers 21.7% of time (#35)

— Washington 100, Seattle 99, 2OT
Huskies shot 57.1% inside arc.
Washington put six players in double figures.

— Seton Hall 93, Missouri 87
Seton Hall shot 70% inside the arc, scored 1.33 ppp.
Pirates led by 16 with 10:00 left, survived late run by Mizzou.

— Oregon State 66, Texas-San Antonio 65
Beavers are 7-3, with five wins by 3 or less points, or in OT.