13) Back in my college days (yes, I went to college, and even graduated), used to have a recurring argument with a friend of mine about handicapping and using trends in picking winners.
I was (am) a nerd, and believed strongly in trends; I still do, although not as blindly as I did back then- there are many things that go into trying to pick winners. He argued (very loudly at times) that I was an idiot and totally wrong.
With that in mind, here are a couple trends that involve early season NFL games……
12) Over last 20 years, Steelers have lost 11 games by 20+ points; they’re 10-1 vs spread the week after those games. 6-1 as a favorite, 4-0 as an underdog.
11) Over last five years (2014-18), Week 2 road teams who were also on the road in Week 1 have gone 2-16 against the spread; 1-7 when favored, 1-9 when getting points.
10) Jets’ QB has Sam Darnold has mononucleosis; he will miss Monday night’s game and maybe several more games. Trevor Siemian will start for the Jets Monday night against the Browns.
In Adam Gase’s first 51 games as an NFL head coach, he’s started six different QB’s.
Cleveland is now -6 or -6.5 Monday night, up from -2.5.
Darnold gets lot of credit from me just for playing last week; I had mono back when I was 20 years old (long, long time ago) and that is the worst I’ve ever felt, the a few days before a doctor told me I had mono. Darnold had to feel horrible, yet he played the whole game.
Back then, I was out of school for a month; now that was many moons ago, and Darnold has the best medical care for sure, but hard to believe he’ll be back before Week 8. Jets have their bye in Week 4, which helps a little.
9) If there is a 3-way tie for the two AL Wild Card spots:
A’s host Tampa Bay – winner is #1 Wild card
Loser hosts Indians for #2 Wild Card.
8) San Francisco 49ers won in Tampa Sunday but didn’t go home after; they’re practicing in Youngstown, OH this week, in advance of their game Sunday in Cincinnati.
7) NFL stuff:
— Buffalo LB Tyrel Dodson was suspended six games for violation of the league’s personal conduct policy.
— Jets’ QB Sam Darnold (mono) is out indefinitely.
6) Baseball stuff:
— New York DH Edwin Encarnacion left Wednesday’s game (oblique)
— Angels’ DH Shohei Ohtani (knee surgery) is out for the season.
5) Last week, Alabama had 13 DB’s, 10 linebackers, 6 defensive tackles and 6 running backs on NFL rosters, all the most of any college at that position.
4) Antonio Brown has settled on wearing #17 with New England; his dad Eddie Brown was a great player in the Arena League, scored nine TD’s in one game- he wore #17 for the Albany Firebirds, who won the Arena Bowl 20 years ago.
3) This from Chris Fallica: This weekend’s college football schedule is the first week without a matchup of ranked teams since Week 7 of 2017. That weekend, seven ranked teams got beat, three of them as favorites of 16+ points, so you never know.
2) Showtime has a weekly program during football season Inside the NFL, but I’m not a fan; way too much talking, not enough highlights or information. A gambling-related segment would be helpful; their guys pick games, but it just isn’t as good as it could/should be.
1) Tampa Bay 20, Carolina 14:
— Tampa won for just 2nd time in last seven visits to Charlotte.
— Bucs have now won four of last five road openers.
— WR Godwin caught eight balls for 121 yards; defenses focus on Mike Evans, and Godwin takes advantage of that.
— Cam Newton was 24-50 passing, ran twice for no yards.
— Teams combine to convert only 5-26 on third down.
— A gambler at PointsBet USA bet $100K on Carolina -7. Oy.