Tuesday’s 6-pack, Quote, Quiz of the Day

Baseball stuff is posted on baseball page.

Tuesday’s 6-pack
Current Super Bowl odds:
+$240— New England
+$550— New Orleans
+$900— Green Bay
+$950— San Francisco
+1000— Kansas City
+$1600—Baltimore/Dallas


Quote of the Day
“It was fourth-and-short and I believe in our offensive line. I believe in myself and my team. Coach believed in us, obviously, because we went for it. The defense overflowed to the outside, the offensive line did a great job giving me a hole. And I just hit it.”
Lamar Jackson, talking about his TD run in Seattle Sunday

Tuesday’s quiz
Where did Lamar Jackson play his college football? 

Monday’s quiz
There are no left-handed quarterbacks in the NFL right now. 

Sunday’s quiz
There are seven NHL franchises located in Canada.

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

Hey, I’m going in the shop Tuesday for my 60,000-mile checkup; be back as soon as I can. 

13) When he was 16 years old, Jose Altuve went to an Astros’ tryout camp in Venezuela, but was cut because the Astros considered him to be too short. 

Altuve went back the next day, where he earned his way into a deal with Houston and a signing bonus of $15,000, a small bonus. 

Starting next year, Altuve will be making $29M a year; good thing he went back to that tryout. 

12) From the 2017 NFL Draft:
#2— Mitchell Trubisky, Bears
#10— Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs
#12— Deshaun Watson, Texans

If I owned the Bears, I might be asking my GM some questions……..

11) So far this season, NFL road underdogs are 45-23-2 ATS. 

10) CG Technology in Las Vegas took two money-line bets on the Chicago Bears Sunday, totaling $540,000, so when the Saints beat Chicago, CG Technology was 🙂

9) Troy Aikman is an assistant coach at Episcopal School of Dallas, where his stepson plays WR; Aikman does NFL games on Thursday/Sunday, but is on the Episcopal sideline Friday nites. 

8) Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa has a high ankle sprain, is expected to miss a game or two.

 In 2022, Alabama is playing Austin Peay in football; why????

Play them in basketball, when they would actually have a chance;  it is a ripoff to fans for a dominant program like Alabama to play a I-AA team. Play a Sun Belt team, a MAC team, play Rutgers or UMass. Or, have some onions and play UAB, an in-state team.

7) Jets’ G Kelechi Osemele told reporters that he played in pain for the first three games, took painkillers (Toradal) prescribed by the Jets and needs surgery to repair a torn labrum; the Jets think Osemele had a pre-existing condition and can play; he was cleared to play by team doctors and an independent doctor.

Osemele is making $10.2M this season, and his $9.3M base salary is guaranteed because he’s a vested veteran. Oy. 

6) Was watching an old movie (1987) Sunday night, Less Than Zero, with Andrew McCarthy and Robert Downey Jr; the female lead in the movie is Jami Gertz, who is married to the owner of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, Tony Ressler. 

Ms Gertz has represented the Hawks at the NBA Draft Lottery a couple of times; ironically, the Hawks’ chances of winning an NBA title are less than zero. 

5) Of the 27 guys in last year’s NBA All-Star Game, only two of them (Bradley Beal, Kemba Walker) played in all 82 regular season games. 

4) New Orleans Pelicans’ rookie Zion Williamson had his knee scoped, is out 6-8 weeks. 

3) Washington Redskins (+9.5) covered at home Sunday, losing 9-0 to the 49ers; they’re only second team in last 25 years to cover while being shut out. In 2007, the Dolphins (+16) lost 3-0 to the Steelers.  

2) If you bet on every NFL road team this season, you would’ve shown a profit every week- road teams are 62-38-2 ATS in the NFL this year.  

1) RIP to major league umpire Eric Cooper, 52, who passed away over the weekend; Cooper is one of only two umpires ever who worked the plate for two no-hitters by the same pitcher (Mark Buehrle). Cooper worked the New York-Minnesota playoff series couple weeks ago.

The other umpire is Ed Vargo, who worked two of Sandy Koufax’s no-hitters. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

13)  Texas 50, Kansas 48— Les Miles is going to build a winner in Lawrence; this was the first game as offensive coordinator for Brent Dearmon, who was a head coach at the NAIA level LY.

Texas kicked a 33-yard FG at the gun to win this game, but good things are ahead for Kansas. 

12) Oregon 35, Washington 31— Huskies led 28-14 with 9:00 left in third quarter, but Oregon rallied back for the win, scoring winning TD with 5:10 left. Fun game to watch.

11) Illinois 24, Wisconsin 23— Badgers hadn’t trailed in any game this season until kid from Illinois made a 39-yard FG at the gun. This is the biggest pointspread upset so far this year. 

10) Oklahoma 52, West Virginia 14— Austin Kendall is WVU’s quarterback:
— As a freshman in 2016, threw 16 passes as a backup QB for Oklahoma.
— Red-shirted the 2017 season.
— Last year, he threw four passes as a backup QB for the Sooners. 

Kendall graduated from Oklahoma in three years; he is working on two Masters’ degrees. When he decided to go to West Virginia, the Sooners tried to block the transfer, because WVU is a big X rival of the Sooners, but they eventually relented. 

9) Florida Atlantic coach Lane Kiffin posted a pic on Twitter showing three officials walking on the field, all using seeing eye dogs. Thats going to be an expensive tweet. 

8) Florida 38, South Carolina 27— Gators’ QB Trask, who didn’t start for his high school team, threw for 200 yards, four TD’s as Florida improves to 7-1 on a rainy day in Columbia. 

7) Upsets of the Week:
— Illinois (+30.5) 24, Wisconsin 23
— Vanderbilt (+21) 21, Missouri 14
— Georgia Tech (+18) 28, Miami 21 (OT)
— Oregon State (+10.5) 21, California 17
— Eastern Michigan (+10) 34, Western Michigan 27
— Baylor (+8) 45, Oklahoma State 27

6) Baylor 45, Oklahoma State 27— Matt Rhule went 28-23 coaching Temple (20-7 the last two years); he is 15-17 at Baylor, but 7-0 this year- the guy can coach. 

5) Georgia Tech 28, Miami 21 OT— Yellow Jackets scored a defensive TD, scored on a fake punt and blocked a 25-yard FG near the end of regulation. Hurricanes missed three FG’s in all, all of them 34 yards or shorter. 

Miami desperately needs to recruit a kicker, or find a soccer player on campus who can fill the void; they’ve missed six FG’s of 34 or less yards this season, plus two PAT’s. 

4) Ohio U 45, Kent State 38— Game was 24-all at half; Golden Flashes (20-1) cashed in at SouthPoint Casino in Las Vegas, scoring the first TD of the day. Yes, you can bet on that. 

Ohio U had a great onside kick in this game; their kicker just drilled the ball straight ahead, it hit the Kent State player 1o yards away in the helmet, popped in the air, and #81 on Ohio caught it. 

3) Virginia Tech 43, North Carolina 41 OT— Starting in the 5th overtime, teams alternate 2-point conversion tries to decide the winner; I think this was the first time it actually happened. 

2) Appalachian State 52, UL-Monroe 7— 6-0 Mountaineers are ranked #24 in country, with a win at North Carolina. Not often a Sun Belt team gets ranked nationally. 

1) Louisiana Tech 45, Southern Mississippi 30— Total on this game was 58.5; always helps the over when the opening kickoff gets run back for a TD. Tech is 5-1 vs I-A opponents, averaging 45 ppg. 

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

13) I’m wondering how many fantasy football leagues there are in this country, with one team in every league now scrambling for a new QB with Patrick Mahomes out for at least three weeks. 

Mahomes got relatively good news, with no ligament damage on top of his dislocated kneecap, but he’ll be wearing a brace when he returns to action. 

Matt Moore (15-15 as a starter in 11 seasons) is the Chiefs’ new #1 QB; they still have to sign a backup for him. 

12) 50 years ago this week, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar made his NBA debut with the Milwaukee Bucks, who had gone 27-55 the year before, their first season in the NBA. 

Milwaukee went 56-26 in Jabbar’s rookie year, losing the Eastern Conference final, then went 66-16 the next year and won their only NBA title. Bucks averaged 60.8 wins in Jabbar’s first five seasons; they traded him to the Lakers after a 38-44 season in 1974-75.  

Here’s the thing; I think Kareem is the best basketball player ever, but because he played before ESPN existed and because he drifted out of the public eye after he retired, people forget just how dominant a player he was, in high school, college and the NBA. 

11) Braves’ star 1B Freddie Freeman had elbow surgery this week, with three fragments taken out of his sore arm, explaining why he struggled late in the season. 

10) New York 4, Houston 1— This was the first game in postseason history where both teams scored in the first inning but then didn’t score the rest of the game.

James Paxton allowed 31 first inning runs this year, the most in the majors. 

9) Sacramento Kings offered guard Buddy Hield $90M for four years, which he termed “an insult”; turns out he would be less insulted with a 4-year, $110M offer. 

The NBA is really profitable, so they won’t miss my $200, but I’m going to pass on the NBA package on DirecTV this season, for the first time in a long time. 

I mean, if Hield in indeed insulted by making $22.5M a year, so be it, but keep it to yourself; that kind of attitude, plus guys taking games off when they’re not hurt, turns my stomach. 

If that makes me the old man bitching at kids on his lawn, then thats fine, too. 

8) Over the last 20 years, former NFL running back Warrick Dunn has donated 173 homes nationwide, thanks to Warrick Dunn Charities as part of its “Home for the Holidays” initiative, which helps single-parent families achieve homeownership. Good for him. 

7) Marshall 36, Florida Atlantic 31— Thundering Herd scored TD with 0:36 left to win a wild game in Boca Raton; Knox had 22 carries for 190 yards, 2 TD’s for 4-3 Marshall. 

6) Not sure why FOX has John Smoltz as its #1 baseball analyst: he seems to like golf better than baseball. I have four guys here who would be a better choice than Smoltz:
— Ron Darling— Mets’ TV analyst has postseason TV experience.
— Mark Sweeney— Padres’ TV analyst. Younger guy, very smart.
— David Cone— Bronx TV analyst, is smart/funny and would be great on a national stage.
— Bob Brenly— I’m partial to former managers as TV analysts; Brenly is very good. 

5) Zion Williamson (knee) has a sore knee, is expected to miss the first few weeks of the NBA season, which has to scare the hell out of Pelicans’ coaches/fans. Williamson sat out a decent amount of Duke’s season LY, which is a bright red flag. 

4) Why do some college football teams put the players’ numbers on the side of their helmets? Looks dumb; much prefer having the team’s logo on both sides of the helmet, number on back. 

3) Turns out that CC Sabathia threw the last three pitches of his career with a partially separated left shoulder. 251 regular season wins, 10 in playoffs; Sabathia will be in Cooperstown someday. 

2) Luxor Casino in Las Vegas extended comedian Carrot Top’s contract for five years, good news for people who like to laugh while on vacation. Carrot Top’s dad worked for NASA, he was an actual rocket scientist. 

1) Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook came in the mail Friday, always a good day; this means that college basketball is right around the corner. 

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

13) Chiefs 30, Broncos 6:
— Costly win; star QB Mahomes left in 2nd quarter with an injured knee.
— Word is that Mahomes dislocated his knee; an MRI will show if there was any ligament damage.
— Chiefs broke game open with a defensive TD when they were leading 13-6. 

— Denver’s offense stunk; Troy Aikman seemed annoyed with Joe Flacco’s effort.
— Broncos missed an easy FG, failed on a fake punt; not their best night.
— Denver is 13-26 in its last 39 games. 

12) Houston 8, New York 3— Astros grab a 3-1 series lead, with Verlander/Cole in line to pitch the next two games. 

11) Chiefs’ backup QB is Matt Moore, who is 15-15 as an NFL starter in his 11 years in the NFL, mostly with the Dolphins. He’s started only five games since 2012. 

My lasting memory of Moore was on HBO’s Hard Knocks, when he was talking to then-rookie QB Ryan Tannehill, who said he didn’t know who the other three teams in the AFC East were. 

“How can you not know that?!?!” Moore was as incredulous as I was. 

10) How would you like to be Gerrit Cole’s agent? Cole hasn’t lost a game since May 22; Astros won his last 16 starts and after the World Series Cole will be a free agent. He earned $13.5M this year, figures to more than double that going forward. 3% (agents’ fee) of $27M is $810,000.

9) Next two years, by the way, Astros are on the hook with Zack Greinke at $35M a year, and Justin Verlander at $33M a year. 3% of $35M is $1.05M.

8) UCLA 34, Stanford 16— Cardinals fall to 3-4; they’re down to their #3 QB and are in danger of their first losing season since 2008. 

7) QB Brock Osweiler retired from the NFL this week, with a career record of 15-15 and career earnings of $41,396,679. Being a backup QB is profitable work. 

6) In September, state of Pennsylvania took in $194.5M in sports bets, wth $19.3M in revenue, with 81.2% of the bets via online/mobile wagers. 

5) Duke’s basketball team is allergic to true road games, but they seem to like Madison Square Garden in NYC:
Nov 5-6: Duke vs. Kansas…….Michigan State vs. Kentucky
Nov 21-22: Duke vs Cal……..Georgetown vs Texas

4) Mets told Brooklyn Cyclones’ manager Edgardo Alfonzo that his contract won’t be renewed, even though he won the New York-Penn League championship this season. Go figure. 

3) Atlantic 14, Mountain West will have a challenge series next (2020-21) basketball season, which should help their non-conference schedules; MW recently had the same thing with the MVC. Hopefully some of the games will find their way to TV (CBS College Sports?)

2) Sill trying to process that John Beilein is coaching the Cleveland Cavaliers; would love to know how guys like him, Billy Donovan, Brad Stevens compare coaching NBA with college ball. 

1) Personal update; my eye operation will be Wednesday, which means that this site will get its first extended downtime since 2001 for a week or so, starting next week. 

Thursday’s Den: Nobody asked me, but…….

13) First off today, a little news…….at some point soon, probably early next week but maybe as early as tomorrow, I‘m going to be going off the grid for a week or so. 

Turns out I have a detached retina in my right eye, and I’m going to have surgery to get it fixed. The doctor basically told me I have to lay on the couch and DO NOTHING for a week after the operation until the eye heals, so I’ll be on the shelf for a little while, but hopefully I’ll be back for the start of college basketball season. 

12) Wound up in four different doctors’ offices Wednesday; not good- the last one was a pre-exam for the operation where they give you an EKG and test your urine (for what, I have no idea, but mine passed)

Two thoughts here…….
— Peeing in a little plastic cup is an underrated skill (seriously, tough to do it well)
— My EKG, to quote the doctor, was “Perfect” so I have that going for me. 

11) NFL stuff:
— Michell Trubisky is expected to be back at QB for the Bears this week.
— Titans are starting Ryan Tannehill at QB this week against the Chargers.
— Steelers are going back to Mason Rudolph at QB for next week’s game; he cleared concussion protocol. 

10) Titans’ deposed starting QB Marcus Mariota is now 26-35-2 ATS as an NFL starter. 

9) Troy 37, South Alabama 13— These teams had to be happier than hell the baseball game got rained out in New York, giving them a little more national TV exposure. Kid on South Alabama dropped a wide open TD pass that hampered the Jaguars’ chances of winning or covering. 

8) 22-year NBA veteran Vince Carter holds the league record with 245 different teammates; four of his current Atlanta teammates weren’t even alive when Carter made his NBA debut in 1998.

7) In the second half of their last two games, Kansas City has run only 35 plays; their opponents have run 79 plays, and that is a problem. Chiefs will be missing five starters in Denver tonight. 

6) Was reading an article about a bookmaker who said the biggest thing most books need is volume, because no matter what, books generally pocket around $6 for every $100 wagered. 

5) St Louis Cardinals had a rough week in the NLCS, but their pitching coach Mike Maddox got two hole-in-ones in the same round last week in Washington. That doesn’t happen very much. 

4) Under Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys are 35-17-1 ATS in the 2nd half of games when the Cowboys are behind at the half. Pete Carroll, Bill O’Brien are #2, #3 on that list. 

3) Redskins’ QB Alex Smith broke his leg LY but still hopes to play in the NFL again; since he broke the leg, Smith has had 17 surgeries on it. Seventeen. 

2) FWIW, thru six weeks of play, Arizona Cardinals have allowed the most fantasy points to tight ends. Fantasy owners who have the Giants’ Evan Engram should enjoy that.

1) Angels signed Joe Maddon to a 3-year contract as manager; Maddon spent his first 31 years in pro baseball working in the Angels’ organization. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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