13) Under Mike Zimmer, Minnesota Vikings are 3-15-1 ATS (1-17-1 SU) when playing outdoors against a team with a winning record.
— Last three years, Vikings are 20-9 ATS as a favorite; last two years, they’re 3-7 as an underdog.
— Last year, Minnesota was +11 in turnovers, +20 in sacks, but they lost four of six games decided by 8 or fewer points.
12) From 1973-77, St Louis Cardinals went 42-29-1 under Don Coryell, who was a great coach. Redbirds have had 12 coaches since then; only one who had a winning record was Bruce Arians, who went 50-32-1 in the desert from 2013-17.
11) Seattle Seahawks were 10-2 last year in games decided by 8r or fewer points; Russell Wilson is a great QB who masks a lot of their team’s deficiencies- they were 4-0 in games decided by 3 or fewer points.
— Seattle was +12 in turnovers last year; their defense had 32 takeaways.
10) Over last four years, Carolina Panthers are 9-16 ATS in divisional games.
— Panthers covered 11 of their last 16 home games.
— Carolina was #30 in NFL last year in $$$ spent on offensive line salaries.
— New QB this year, new coaches, who are also mostly new to the NFL. Could be a tough year for staffs like that.
— Trivia: Steve Beuerlein threw for 4,436 yards, 36 TD’s in 1999, both Carolina records.
9) Sean Payton has been head coach in New Orleans for 15 years; his DC Dennis Allen has been with the Saints six years, OC Pete Carmichael 12 years. Lot of continuity there.
— Last three years, Saints are 10-3 ATS as road favorites, 11-11 as home faves.
— Over is 13-3 in Saints’ last 16 road games.
— New Orleans was +15 in turnovers last year.
8) Baltimore Ravens were #1 last year in $$$ spent on defensive players, #30 on offensive players, which is influenced by their having a young QB. Lamar Jackson is going to break the bank pretty soon, which will help balance the scales somewhat.
7) Dallas Cowboys haven’t played in the NFC championship game since 1995; they’re 0-6 last six times they got to the divisional round of the playoffs.
— Dallas hired John Fassel as their new special teams coach, so that part of their team should improve this season.
— Cowboys spend the most $$$ in the NFL paying their offensive linemen.
— Last two years, Cowboys are 10-5 ATS at home.
— Only Cowboys coach ever with a losing record? Dave Campo went 15-33 from 2000-02.
6) Green Bay was +12 in turnovers LY; there were no return TD’s in their games LY, for or against them, which is unusual.
— Last Green Bay coach with a losing record? Lindy Infante went 24-40 from 1988-91.
— Packers went 6-0 in divisional games LY; they were 3-8-1 the previous two years.
5) Under Sean McVay, Rams are 35-17 the last three years.
— Rams are 21-14 ATS in last 35 games as a favorite.
— LA was +28 in sacks last year (50-22).
— This year, Rams have a new special teams coach, new defensive coordinator and a new QB coach (McVay is the real offensive coordinator)
4) Last four years, New Jersey Giants are 23-42; Joe Judge is their 4th head coach in six years.
— Giants are 1-10 ATS in last 11 games as a home underdog, 10-3 in last 13 as a road dog.
— Big Blue turned ball over 33 times LY, were -17 in turnovers. Jason Garrett’s job as HC is to turn Daniel Jones into an efficient NFL quarterback.
— Giants were 2-5 LY in games decided by 8 or fewer points.
3) Eagles covered 10 of their last 13 visits to play the Giants in New Jersey.
— Philly covered only one of its last six games with Dallas.
— Eagles covered five of their last six games with Washington.
— Last two years, Philly is 5-10 ATS at home.
2) Chicago Bears lost their last six season openers; last time they won an opener was 24-21 over the Bengals, in 2013.
— Bears were #31 in NFL last year, in $$$ spent on the offensive line.
— Chicago was #25 LY in $$ spent on offense, #4 on defense
— 11 of their games LY were decided by 8 or fewer points (6-5).
— In 1995, Erik Kramer threw for 3,838 yards, 29 TD’s, both single season franchise records.
1) Three years ago, Detroit fired coach Jim Caldwell, despite his 36-30 record; he was the first Lions’ HC with a winning record since Joe Schmidt (1967-72).
— In two years since firing Caldwell, Detroit is 9-22-1 under Matt Patricia.
— Lions were 3-8 LY in games decided by 8 or fewer points.
— Matthew Stafford has played 11 years in the NFL, is 0-3 in playoff games.