GIANTS WIN BIG ON MONDAY NIGHT
More Big Winners coming this week…..
Clemson & Maryland: Saturday’s Comeback Kids
MNF Bucs at Giants: Tampa Bay is one of the top teams in the NFC while the rebuilding Giants are going nowhere except high up in the draft again. The betting number reflects that as Tampa Bay is #14 in total yards on offense, eighth in passing, second in points (31.7 pg). It’s the defense that has been impressive, tops in the NFL in yards allowed, seventh in points (20.3 pg). QB Tom Brady (18 TDs, 4 INTs) has been outstanding, while the Giants have a kid learning the ropes in QB Dan Jones (5 TDs, 7 INTs). New York’s defense hasn’t been that bad, ranked #14 in scoring allowed (24.9 ppg). The Giants are 85-60 ATS against teams averaging 5.65 yards per play or more, while the Bucs are on a 16-5 run OVER the total, including 21-8 OVER on the road.
Eastern Michigan at Kent State: The mighty MAC opens its season Wednesday. Eastern Michigan QBs threw for 27 TDs, 12 picks last season, making a bowl after a 6-6 regular season. However, they had a 3-5 MAC record because of a bad defense. 30 of their last 50 games have been decided by seven points or less. Kent State comes off a 7-6 campaign and returns QB Dustin Crum, who had 20 TDs, 2 picks in 2019. This team plays a wide-open offensive style that is fun to watch, averaging 29.2 points and 186.7 yards rushing. These teams last met two years ago in a 28-20 Kent victory but it was late in the season in cold weather. They combined to go 7-for-32 on third down, which won’t be the case in this rematch. Kent has won the last two meetings, though Eastern Michigan is on a 25-13 ATS run on the road.
College Football Wrap-Up: Unbeatens No. 1 Clemson and Notre Dame highlight the upcoming weekend, but the 26-point favorite Tigers had to hang on for dear life to remain that way against Boston College. Down 28-13 at the half (at home!), Clemson found a new star in freshman backup QB D.J. Uigalelei. The kid with the unpronounceable name was outstanding with 342 yards despite getting banged up that limited him as a runner. No need for quick legs with that arm, kid. Lost in the shuffle was that Clemson was 3-for-3 on fourth down. Reminds me of another Clemson/Boston college thriller when a little know quarterback rallied the Eagles to a stunning 17-17 tie on the same Death Valley field against then-defending national champion Clemson. The kid’s name? Doug Flutie, back in 1982.
While B.C. didn’t pull the upset Saturday, Michigan State did, stunning rival Michigan as a +23 road dog, 27-24. That’s the second week in a row a Top 20 Big 10 team got upset after Indiana surprised Penn State. After Spartan QB Rocky Lombardi had two picks and a fumble in loss to Rutgers, he was dazzling against Michigan for 323 yards, 3 TDs, no picks. Coming into the game, Lombardi had more picks (7) than TDs (6) in his MSU career.
Last week I wrote that the last three meetings between Big 12 rivals Texas and Oklahoma State had been decided by 12 points. Add another thriller to that list as the teams went to overtime. Oklahoma State had a whopping edge in yards (527-287) but the second-most important number that mattered was turnovers, and Texas had that important edge 4-0. The most important number, of course, is the final score, with the underdog Longhorns winning , 41-34.
The betting numbers on smaller schools count cash the same as the big-name TV games. Coastal Carolina cracked the Top 20, then cracked Georgia State on the road, 51-0, as a small favorite. C.C. has outstanding balance on offense and ended up with 280 yards passing, 250 rushing, an offensive coach’s dream.
Follow the money….and fast: Purdue went from a 4-point favorite to 10 by kickoff…and won 31-24 at Illinois. A 14-0 fourth quarter by the Illini brought the dreaded “backdoor cover” to the surface and wiped the smile off those late chalk eaters. And a tip of the cap to the Maryland Terrapins, an 18-point home dog that beat Minnesota in a wild one, 45-44, after trailing by 17 in the fourth quarter. The Maryland defense didn’t show up surrendering 262 yards rushing, but the Terrapin ground attack was even better with 281 yards rushing while averaging (are you sitting down?)…9.1 yards per carry! Combine that with their 394 yards passing and that’s 675 total yards. Think the Gopher defense will be having extra film study this week?
Speaking of following the $$$, my Saturday Grand Slam releases cashed big-time (75%) with Duke (53-19), Cincinnati (49-10), and Wake Forest (38-14). Throw in my Big 10 Upset of the Day winner (Northwestern) and customers are currently purchasing XXL-pants to hold the second wallet they’re also buying. If you want to join the fun (and the winning), get on board Jim Hurley’s Network online at VegasSportsMaster.pro, or a free phone call to 1-800-323-4453.
Now let’s move to the NFL, where I was unbeaten with totals (1-0-1), cashing with the Browns/Raiders under and a push with the Vikings/Packers…
Steeler-Mania: The Pittsburgh Steelers remain the NFL’s only unbeaten team after a 28-24 comeback at rival Baltimore. It was also the second straight week they were an underdog. With games against the Cowboys, Bengals, and Jaguars on deck they’ll probably be 9-0, so do we dare think about them running the rare 16-0 table? No. This team is very good everywhere, but they’ve won games by 5, 7, 3 and 4 points. Their biggest challenges will be the rematch with Baltimore, a home game versus the Colts, and a road trip to first-place Buffalo. And on Sunday, the Ravens ran for 265 yards (5.6 ypc) while outgaining the Steelers 457-221.
AND SPEAKING OF BIG LINES…
Buccaneers (12.5) @ Giants – 8:20 PM (ESPN)
Don’t Move On Bucs-Giants Without Hurley Lowdown – $10
IS TONIGHT’S BUCS-GIANTS THE MISMATCH
THE LINE SAYS IT IS OR DO GIANTS GO TO
FINAL WHISTLE AGAIN – HURLEY HAS THE ANSWER
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20-point NFL underdogs are a rarity and the huge dog has been historically outstanding against the spread. But not on Sunday as the +20 Jets lost at Kansas City, 35-9, though it was close ATS. While much of the talk the next month might be on the Steelers running the table, the punchless Jets can do the same thing…in the other direction. New York is winless and has scored more than 17 points once all year and has been held to 10 or less five times, on a 5-1 run UNDER the total. Is Broadway Joe available?
New AFC East Power? The Buffalo Bills had a Top 10 defense in 2019 that was expected to propel them to a strong 2020. They have been very good, in first place after defeating rival New England, 24-21. However, the defense hasn’t been carrying the team, in the middle of the pack in yards and points allowed. The offense has been the surprise, #13 in yards gained, Top 10 in passing behind young QB Josh Allen (16 TDs, 4 INTs). New WR Stefon Diggs has quietly been a terrific addition leading the team in yards and catches. Their next three games are all against the NFC West, the best division in football, so we’ll get a good look at whether the young Bills are contenders or pretenders.
Does the Super Bowl winner come out of that NFC West? Heading into Sunday’s games every NFC West team had a winning record, plus all four teams had more points scored than allowed, the only division that can say that. I had the Seahawks as a big Blue Ribbon winner as QB Russell Wilson (26 TDs, 6 picks) had 4 TDs, no interceptions, and WR D.J. Metcalf was a monster with 12 catches for 161 yards and 2 of those TDs. Russell turned 31 late last week, carved up his birthday cake, then carved up a 49ers’ defense that was fifth in yards and points allowed, third against the pass.
My Pro Stunner releases are 6-2 this season, cashing with the Broncos Sunday, losing with the Bills, winning with the Dolphins (24-0) and Panthers (27-24 as a +7 dog) the previous two weeks.