Jim Cashes in with Giants
on Monday Night
Top 10 Showdown in South Bend
+ Streaking Steelers
It’s nice to end the football weekend winning, as I did Monday night cashing with the underdog Giants, who nearly pulled the upset of Tampa Bay. It shows you how even the talent level in the pros is with the 2-TD underdog Giants hanging in there right until the final missed call — err , play.
Now we start a new week with a slew of college football showdowns and rivalries, along with one unbeaten NFL team left. But college football’s Top 4 will see some changes: Clemson, ‘Bama, Ohio State, and Notre Dame are 1-4…but two of them are playing each other.
Clemson at Notre Dame: So where were you on October 13, 2017? It was so long ago of course you don’t remember. But it was a Friday night and the last time the Clemson Tigers lost a regular-season game, 27-24 at Syracuse. They went 12-1 that regular season, along with back-to-back 13-0 marks the last two years. They had to scratch and claw like real Tigers last week to remain unbeaten, rallying from 28-13 down to nip Boston College. Now another tough test, heading out on the road to No. 4 Notre Dame…and without their starting quarterback. Trevor Lawrence is still out, so backup freshman D.J. Uigalelei is behind center after throwing for 342 yards against B.C. Lawrence (17 TDs, 2 INTs) has dropped from +150 to +300 to win the Heisman as he battles Covid-19.
Notre Dame will be rockin’ for this showdown. The Irish are 34-19 ATS against teams averaging 450+ yards. These teams met in the 2018 Cotton Bowl with Clemson rolling, 30-3, adding even more fuel to the anticipation. While Clemson has thumped then-No. 7 Miami, this will be Notre Dame’s first Top 25 battle. Speaking of unbeaten streaks, the Irish haven’t lost since Halloween 2019, a 45-14 thrashing at Michigan. Norte Dame will likely try to go to its ground game behind Kyren Williams and Chris Tyree (both averaging over 5.6 ypc) to control the ball and the clock. Will that mean a low scoring tilt? The Irish are fourth in the nation in points allowed (10.3 pg), while Clemson is #11 (15.6 ppg). And Notre Dame is 90-57 UNDER the total versus winning teams, including 52-22 UNDER against teams with a 75% winning percentage or better.
Michigan at Indiana: The Big 10 season is only one week old but we have a Top 25 showdown here. Must-win Michigan can’t wait to get back on the field after a stunning loss at home to rival Michigan State, 27-24. Ouch. Oddly, they beat No. 21 Minnesota in the opener, 49-24, then lost to an unranked team as 18-point chalk (double ouch). What went wrong? The secondary got shredded for 323 yards.
They will try to regroup against Indiana QB Mike Pennix, Jr., leading an offense that is averaging 36.5 points. The catch is, the Hoosiers aren’t averaging many yards, just 279 total yards per game with a paltry 75 yard rushing average. Two games are a small sample size, but in 2019 Indiana had a terrific attack putting up 432.8 yards and 31.8 points per contest. Something’s gotta give as both teams have plenty to prove. Michigan has won 10 straight against Indiana and the Hoosiers are 34-53 ATS as a home dog.
Georgia vs. Florida: Another outdoor cocktail party in Jacksonville. Florida’s defense was 10th in college football in yards allowed in 2019, but they’ve had quite a drop-off surrendering 433.3 yards and 29.3 points per game in 2020. They struggled badly in their only game against a Top 25 team, losing 41-38 to Texas A&M allowing over 200 yards rushing and passing. And A&M was a ridiculous 12-of-15 on third down.
Georgia also has only one loss, to Alabama, 41-24, along with a pair of wins over Top 20 teams Auburn (27-6) and Tennessee (44-21). The defense has been strong, #13 in yards allowed, #12 in points (16.2 pg). It’s the passing offense that’s a concern (#60 in the nation in yards), with a pair of QBs combining for 7 TDs, 6 picks. Georgia has won the last two years, 24-17 and 36-17. Another defensive duel? The UNDER is on a 6-2-1 run when these SEC rivals clash.
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. If you want to get on board big winners for the entire week they’re available now on Jim Hurley’s Network online at VegasSportsMaster.pro, or one easy (and free) phone call to 1-800-323-4453. Now on to Sunday!
Packers at 49ers (Thursday): A short week and both teams are reeling from embarrassing Sunday performances. Which means someone is going to have a long week ahead riding a two-game skid. Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers (20 TDs, 2 INTs) is quietly having an MVP season leading an offense that is third in scoring (31.3 ppg). But they’ve dropped two of three after a 28-22 loss at home to Minnesota surrendering 173 yards rushing. The good news is they are still in first place.
That’s not the case for the last-place 49ers, off a 37-27 thumping at Seattle (down 30-7 in the fourth). And the news gets worse with QB Jimmy Garoppolo and star TE George Kittle out for a while. Last year, San Fran allowed 30+ points twice in 16 regular-season games. In 2020, twice in the last four games they’ve allowed 37 and 43 points. Many teams that lose the Super Bowl have everything go wrong the following season and you have to start wondering if there’s a rain cloud hovering over the 49ers.
Seahawks at Bills: East meets West…with West traveling East! It’s also a showdown between a pair of first-place teams. Seattle isn’t playing defense very well, dead last in total yards allowed (460.9 per game). But QB Russell Wilson (26 TDs, 6 INTs) is papering over that weak spot with a dazzling season leading an attack that is third in total yards and passing, No. 1 in points (34.3 pg). Those team stats are a recipe for high scoring games and they are 5-1-1 OVER the total. Two of their three road games have sailed OVER by 14 and 16 points, while the lone UNDER at Miami was by a point.
Buffalo is on a 5-2-1 run OVER behind young QB Josh Allen (16 TDs, 5 INTs), who has been very good leading an offense that is #13 in yards, #10 in passing. The Bills keep games close, with wins by 3, 10, 3, 7, 8, and 3 points. Oddly, the Bills are getting outscored on the season (-1) while Seattle is +41 in point differential. This is not a great situational spot for Seattle, off a big win at home over a division rival and now flying 2,500 miles. And the Seahawks are 17-33 ATS on the road off a home win by 10+ points.
Ravens at Colts: A potential AFC playoff preview between two 5-2 teams. You need to be well-coached to win on the road and Baltimore is, a perfect 3-0 away from home. You wonder if they will have a hangover, though, after losing a divisional showdown at home to rival Pittsburgh, 28-24, as a favorite. This defense is exceptional, Top 10 in yards allowed and against the pass, plus No. 2 in points surrendered (18.9 pg). They are 10-3 ATS versus the AFC, 33-16-6 ATS on the road against a team with a winning home record.
Indy has a perfect home mark (3-0) and has an impressive 19-11 win at Chicago under its belt. But the schedule hasn’t been difficult and their top two running backs are averaging 3.7 and 3.9 yards per carry. The offense is in the middle of the pack in yards, just #25 in rushing. Are Colts fans worried? A year ago they also started 5-2…and finished 7-9. Trend alert: When these teams clash the Ravens are 1-10 ATS and the UNDER is 11-1.
Saints at Bucs: A must-watch divisional showdown between eventual Hall of Fame QBs. New Orleans has won four straight by 6, 3, 3, and 3 points. The offense is one of the best in the league averaging 29.4 points and every game has gone OVER the total (7-0). Tampa Bay’s new QB Tom Brady (20 TDs, 4 INTs) has been the missing piece and they haven’t lost yet at home. The Saints are on a 28-10 ATS run on the road, 20-6 ATS as a dog. They beat the Bucs in the opener, 34-23, so this is a huge game for late-season tie-breakers. There wasn’t much offense in that first meeting as the Bucs had the edge just 310-271. And the UNDER is 9-3 when they clash on this field.