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NFL Betting News and Trends For Sunday 9/23/18

NFL Betting News and Trends For Sunday 9/23/18 3 weeks 6 days ago #490690

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Betting news, trends, odds and predictions from various handicappers and websites for Sunday 9/23/18
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NFL Betting News and Trends For Sunday 9/23/18 3 weeks 6 days ago #490691

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Colts (1-1) @ Eagles (1-1)— Philly gets Wentz back at QB here, for first time since game in LA last December- keep in mind he’s had zero game reps since then, so caution advised. Colts seem rejuvenated with Luck back at QB; they held Redskins without TD in 21-9 road win LW, have converted 20 of 33 third down plays. Since 2013, Indy is 14-12-1 as road underdogs- they’re 16-9 vs spread in last 25 games vs NFC squads. Under Pederson, Philly is 6-2-1 as home favorites, 6-2-1 vs spread vs the AFC. Iggles’ defense got lit up for 393 PY (11.2 yards/pass attempt) in Tampa LW, giving up two 75-yard TD passes. Eagles won last two series games, 26-24/30-27; Colts are 5-5 in visits to Philly. Colts’ coach Reich was Eagles’ OC the last two seasons.

Bengals (2-0) @ Panthers (1-1)— Cincy scored 30+ points in first two games for first time ever, winning both games 34-23; Bengals have five takeaways (+3) in two games, scored five TD’s and a FG on six red zone drives. Since 2011, Bengals are 21-12-4 as road underdogs, 16-9-3 vs NFC teams- they’re 9-4-2 vs spread in last 15 games on grass. Under Rivera, Carolina is 21-16-2 as home favorites, 15-11-2 vs AFC teams. Panthers gave up seven plays of 20+ yards in loss at Atlanta LW; over last 10 years, Carolina is 3-7 vs spread in game before their bye. Under is 10-7 in Panthers’ last 17 home games. Teams are 2-2-1 in this series; last meeting was 37-all tie in 2014. Bengals had three extra days to prep, having played last Thursday.

Titans (1-1) @ Jaguars (2-0)— Since 2014, Tennessee is 9-23-1 vs spread on road, 7-17 as road underdogs, 0-8 as an AFC South road dog. Titans won four of last five series games; they swept Jags 37-16/15-10 LY, despite Jax making run to AFC title game. Tennessee lost five of last seven visits here. Jaguars beat New England LW, avenging loss in AFC title game; do they let down here? Jags are 4-2 in last six games as home favorites; since ’09, Jaguars are 8-2 vs spread as a home favorite in divisional games- they lost LT Robinson (ACL) for the year. Titans beat Houston LW with backup QB (former Jaguar) Gabbert playing; they had 66-yard TD pass on a fake punt, 2nd week in row they scored on special teams.

Saints (1-1) @ Falcons (1-1)— New Orleans lost six of its last seven road openers; over is 7-3 in their last 10 road openers. Last four years, Saints are 12-7-1 vs spread as road underdogs; 6-2 in NFC South games. Falcons are 6-3 vs spread in last nine home games; they ran ball for 170 yards in win over Carolina LW. Over is 11-6 in Atlanta’s last 17 home games. So far this season, home favorites are 3-5 vs spread, in divisional games. Atlanta is 5-3 in last eight games in this rivalry; Saints lost 38-32/20-17 in last two visits here. Last three years, under is 12-10-1 in NO road games. Reality is this; had Cleveland chosen the right kicker in camp, Saints would be 0-2 right now.

Broncos (2-0) @ Ravens (1-1)— Denver won its first two games (both at home) by total of four points; they won their road opener four of last five years, but since 2012, they’re 4-11 vs spread as road underdogs. Broncos outrushed first two foes 314-156; they rallied back from down 19-9 in 3rd quarter to beat Oakland LW. Ravens had three days extra prep time since Cincinnati loss LW; they’ve scored nine TD’s on 26 drives this year, scoring 62 points on nine red zone drives. Baltimore is 8-6 vs spread in last 14 games as home favorites; Broncos lost five of last six visits here, with one win six years ago. NFL-wide, home favorites are 4-6-1 vs spread in non-divisional games.

Giants (0-2) @ Texans (0-2)— Under O’Brien, Houston is 14-7-1 as home favorites, but after an 0-2 start, Texan fans are calling for O’Brien’s head- big game here. Texans are just 7-22 on 3rd down thru two games- they gave up a 66-yard TD on a fake punt LW. Giants are 9-12-2 in last 23 games as road underdogs; Big Blue scored only two TD’s on 22 drives this year— they’ve been outsacked 8-1, averaging only 5.4/4.4 yards/pass attempt. Giants won last three series games, by 4-24-13 points; they split two visits here. Houston is 6-2 in its last eight home openers, 5-5 vs spread when favored in home openers- under is 9-4 in their last 13 HO’s. Under is 14-9 in Houston’s last 23 home games.

Raiders (0-2) @ Dolphins (2-0)— Oakland’s starters are oldest in NFL; they’ve been outscored 43-7 in second half of first two games, after leading both games at halftime. Raiders gave up 308 rushing yards in two games; since 2015, they’re 10-7-1 as road underdogs. Dolphins won their first two games, with three takeaways in each game (+2); over last decade, Miami is just 12-29-2 vs spread as home favorites. Over is 11-4 in Dolphins’ last 15 home games; under is 8-2 in Oakland’s last ten road tilts. Miami won 11 of last 14 series games, with last four wins all by 16+ points; Raiders won 27-24 here LY, just their 2nd win in last nine visits to South Beach.

Packers (1-0-1) @ Redskins (1-1)— Green Bay tied Vikings last week, but scored only one offensive TD, tried six FG’s; thru two games, Pack has scored only 26 points on seven red zone drives. Washington didn’t score TD in 21-9 home loss to Colts LW; they kicked FG’s on both their red zone drives. Under Gruden, Redskins are 7-8 as home underdogs- under is 8-3 in their last 11 home games. Packers won six of last eight series games; average total in last three meetings was 59. Pack split their last four meetings here. Green Bay lost four of its last six road openers; over is 10-2 in their last dozen. Since 2014, Packers are 10-8 as road favorites; over is 13-3 in their last 16 road games.

Bills (0-2) @ Vikings (1-0-1)— Buffalo trailed first two games 26-0/28-6 at halftime; they’ve got rookie QB making his first road start here. Bills are 7-29 on third down- they’ve gone 3/out 15 times on 24 drives. Since 2014, Bills are 13-10 as road underdogs. Minnesota has new kicker (Bailey) after LW’s tie in Green Bay; under Zimmer, Vikings are 19-5 as home favorites, 2-0 when laying double digits. Buffalo won three of last four series games, with all three wins by 5 or fewer points, or in OT; they lost four of five visits here, with one win a 45-39 OT win in 2002. Last five years, Week 3 underdogs of 6+ points who lost their first two games are 7-6 vs spread, 2-2 if getting double digits.

49ers (1-1) @ Chiefs (2-0)— Mahomes has thrown 10 TD’s in first two games; this is his 4th NFL start, but his first home start. Chiefs have 10 TD’s, only one FGA in two games, averaging 9.1, 11.1 yards/pass attempt- four of their 10 TD’s came on plays of 25+ yards. KC is 2-9-1 vs spread in its last 12 home openers; under Reid, they’re 16-14 as home favorites. 49ers are 8-7 in last 15 games as road underdogs; they’re 8-24 on 3rd down so far this season. 49ers are 7-5 in series, with home side winning last nine series games; 49ers are 0-4 here, losing by 7-35-31-21 points. Under is 6-3 in 49ers’ last nine road games; last five years, under is 26-14 in Arrowhead games.

Chargers (1-1) @ Rams (2-0)— Over last decade, Chargers are 31-18-3 vs spread as underdogs on road; they scored seven TD’s on 20 drives in splitting first two games, but gave up three TD plays of 35+ yards in Week 1 loss to Chiefs. Rams allowed TD on Oakland’s first drive in Week 1; since then, they’ve allowed only two FGA’s on 18 drives. All six of Rams’ TD drives on offense have been less than 60 yards- they outscored first two opponents 38-0 in second half. These teams will be sharing a new domed stadium in two years; home side won last seven series games- three of last four meetings were decided by 4 or fewer points. Under McVay, Rams are 4-3 as home favorites; under is 24-17 in Chargers’ last 41 road games.

Bears (1-1) @ Cardinals (0-2)— Long travel, short week for Bear squad that outscored first two opponents 27-3 in first half; they beat Seattle at home Monday night, have 10 sacks in two games, scored defensive TD in both games, but young QB Trubisky scares the hell out of me- this is a huge trap game for Bears, since Arizona was so dismal in its 0-2 start. Cardinals were outscored 58-6 in their first two games, with nine 3/outs on 18 drives; if they keep starting Bradford, Arizona is unbettable, since Bradford looks scared of getting hit. Chicago won six of last nine series games; they won four of five visits to the desert. Bears are road favorite for only 2nd time in last five years; last time they were favored by this much on road was 2012.

Cowboys (1-1) @ Seahawks (0-2)— Seattle won its last nine home openers, and 14 of last 15; last two were 12-10/12-9. Under is 14-2-1 in their last 17 home openers. Short week for Seahawks after 24-17 loss in Chicago Monday; they’re 1-7 in last eight games as home favorites, 7-25 on 3rd down, have run for only 138 yards- their OL is awful. Dallas has only two plays of 20+ yards in its first two games; they’re 5-21 on 3rd down; Prescott misses departed playmakers, Witten, Bryant. Under Garrett, Cowboys are 22-14 as road underdogs. Home side lost last three series games, with Seattle winning last two, 13-12/21-12; Cowboys split eight visits here, with last one in ’14. Under is 17-7 in last 24 Dallas road games.

Patriots (1-1) @ Lions (0-2)— Matt Patricia was a Patriot assistant for 17 years; now he is 0-2 as Lions’ head coach, and faces his mentor here. Detroit allowed 78 points in losing its first two games, giving up seven TD’s, five FGA’s on 22 drives- they’re -4 in turnovers. Since 2011, Detroit is 3-11-1 as a home underdog. Over last decade, New England is 24-10 vs spread coming off a loss; they’re 11-5 in last 16 games as road favorites, 13-5 vs NFC teams. Will Josh Gordon play here? Patriots averaged only 6.5/5.9 yards/pass attempt in first two games- they’re 8-26 on third down- my guess is he plays. Last five years, Week 3 underdogs of 6+ points who lost their first two games are 7-6 vs spread.

Steelers (0-1-1) @ Buccaneers (2-0)— Fitzpatrick is 48-61 for 819 yards, eight TD’s as Tampa Bay is 2-0 for first time since 2010. This is last game of Winston’s suspension; does Fitzpatrick do enough to keep starting job? Bucs scored 75 points in winning first two games, averaging 14.9/11.2 yards/pass attempt, outrageous numbers- five of their nine TD’s were on plays of 36+ yards. Steelers scored 58 points in first two games but are 0-1-1, allowing 42 second half points (42-30)- they may have internal issues, with Bell holding out and Brown missing Monday’s meetings. Since 2013, Pitt is 14-19 as road favorites. Pitt won eight of 10 series games, five of six played here; Bucs won last meeting 28-24 @ Heinz Field in ’14.
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NFL Betting News and Trends For Sunday 9/23/18 3 weeks 6 days ago #490696

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New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons Preview and Predictions 09-23-2018 in NFL
NFL Previews 20th September 2018 by Gracenote
Scheduled Mercedes-Benz Stadium Atlanta

In what figures to be a competitive NFC South race, division matchups are going to carry extra weight. Even though it's only Week 3, the stakes feel high as the Atlanta Falcons prepare to host the New Orleans Saints on Sunday with both teams off to 1-1 starts.

The rivalry has been a competitive and contentious one over the years, and the teams have combined to win six of the last nine NFC South titles, so their head-to-head meetings always loom large. The Falcons are aiming for a second consecutive division win after holding off Carolina 31-24 last week. "I think it's going to be one hell of a division, and the team that leaves with winning the division will have damn sure earned it because they would have to beat some excellent football teams to take that, but that's a long way away," Falcons coach Dan Quinn told reporters. "I just think right now these four teams in this division are really on their game, and I think it's going to be a hell of a battle." New Orleans is trying to avoid dropping to 0-2 against division rivals after losing a 48-40 shootout against undefeated Tampa Bay in Week 1, and it was fortunate to escape with a 21-18 win over Cleveland last week.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Falcons -3. O/U: 53.5

ABOUT THE SAINTS (1-1): New Orleans hasn't gotten its ground game going with Mark Ingram suspended to start the season, but the passing attack is clipping along as usual. Michael Thomas is off to a record-setting start with an NFL-record 28 receptions through two games, and he has hit double digits in receptions and topped 100 yards in each of his last two meetings with the Falcons. The secondary was much improved against the Browns after being lit up for 417 passing yards by the Buccaneers, but it will face another tough test in Atlanta.

ABOUT THE FALCONS (1-1): Despite Devonta Freeman being limited to six carries in the season opener and missing last week with a knee injury that is likely to keep him out again on Sunday, the Falcons have been able to establish the run as Tevin Coleman is averaging five yards per carry. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones have hooked up 15 times for 233 yards, although the star wide receiver has yet to find the end zone. The defense has been solid despite missing two stars in linebacker Deion Jones (foot) and safety Keanu Neal (knee), but the Saints' high-powered passing game will provide its toughest test to date.

EXTRA POINTS
1. New Orleans QB Drew Brees has topped 300 passing yards in six of his last eight games against Atlanta.

2. Ryan has averaged 333.5 passing yards with 10 touchdowns and four interceptions in his last four home meetings with the Saints.

3. Saints CB Marshon Lattimore has made an interception in each of his last two games versus the Falcons.

PREDICTION: Falcons 27, Saints 24
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NFL Betting News and Trends For Sunday 9/23/18 3 weeks 6 days ago #490697

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Buffalo Bills vs. Minnesota Vikings Preview and Predictions 09-23-2018 in NFL
NFL Previews 20th September 2018 by Gracenote
Scheduled U.S. Bank Stadium Minneapolis

The Minnesota Vikings claim they are taking the Buffalo Bills seriously as they prepare for Sunday's home contest against the beleaguered squad. Buffalo has been outscored 78-23 in its first two games and is throwing first-round pick Josh Allen into the fire.

The Vikings feel the Bills' defense is better than it has shown this season and is capable of causing problems. "I think they have a very good front," Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins told reporters. "I think they showed that last year, having been a playoff team, taking the (Jacksonville) Jaguars all the way to the final play in the (AFC wild-card game). We have great respect for them, and we know we're going to have to be at our absolute best to have a chance because it's a really good front, and they're a really aggressive and attacking defense." Allen made his first career start as Buffalo's quarterback in last Sunday's 31-20 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, completing 18-of-33 passes for 245 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. The status of running back LeSean McCoy (torn rib cartilage) likely won't be determined until Friday or Saturday.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Buffalo -16.5. O/U: 40.5

ABOUT THE BILLS (0-2): McCoy has gained just 61 yards on 16 carries over the first two games and said he will wear protective equipment over the ribs if he is cleared to play. "(I'll see) if I can actually go out there and run full tilt, full speed with no pain," McCoy told reporters. "But it might be some pain. I'll have to deal with it." The defensive issues led to coach Sean McDermott taking over the calls from defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier at halftime last week, and the two plan to share the responsibilities against the Vikings.

ABOUT THE VIKINGS (1-0-1): Cousins passed for 425 yards and four touchdowns with one interception in last Sunday's 29-29 tie with Green Bay and has made six scoring passes through two games. Wide receivers Adam Thielen (12 receptions, 131 yards, one touchdown) and Stefon Diggs (nine, 128, two) combined for 21 catches for 259 yards and three touchdowns against the Packers. Safety Harrison Smith (one interception) leads the defense with 15 tackles while defensive end Danielle Hunter has recorded two sacks to raise his total to 27.5 in 48 career games.

EXTRA POINTS

1. The Vikings hold an 8-5 advantage in the all-time series, but the Bills have won three of the last four meetings.

2. Buffalo DE Shaq Lawson (hamstring) could miss his second straight game while CB Phillip Gaines (elbow) hopes to play despite being injured last Sunday.

3. Minnesota signed K Dan Bailey to replace rookie Daniel Carlson, who missed three field goals in the tie against Green Bay.

PREDICTION: Vikings 37, Bills 20
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NFL Betting News and Trends For Sunday 9/23/18 3 weeks 6 days ago #490698

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Green Bay Packers vs. Washington Redskins Preview and Predictions 09-23-2018 in NFL
NFL Previews 20th September 2018 by Gracenote
Scheduled FedEx Field Landover

The Green Bay Packers rely heavily on superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and his lingering knee issue is a point of concern for the team. The Packers hope to have Rodgers as close to full strength as possible when they visit the Washington Redskins in Week 3 on Sunday.


Rodgers suffered a left knee injury in a Week 1 win over the Chicago Bears and played throughout last week's 29-29 tie against the Minnesota Vikings with a brace, and he is still not a full participant in practice. "It just depends on how the week goes with the rehab and the recovery," Rodgers told reporters of his ability to play through the injury again on Sunday. "Obviously, I'd love to be better than I was last week as far as health-wise but there's some factors that are out of my control." The quarterback chosen ahead of Rodgers in the 2005 draft, Alex Smith, suffered his first loss with his new team in Washington's 21-9 setback at home against Indianapolis in Week 2. "I think any good team has got to be able to handle both (wins and losses) and all the stuff in between," Smith told reporters. "I think it's the tale of the season is how you handle all these situations, emotions, stress, all the stuff that comes with this game. You have to be able to handle all that stuff."

TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Packers -3. O/U: 45.5.

ABOUT THE PACKERS (1-0-1): Rodgers expressed concern that his knee injury could worsen with further play but still intends to tough it out if possible. "It's a combination of understanding your body really well and knowing your weaknesses based on whatever is ailing you," Rodgers told reporters. "For me, as a leader, I want to be out there with the guys. That's my motivation, is to lead and be on the field and contribute." Rodgers passed for 281 yards and a TD with the injury against Minnesota last week, but the defense was shredded for 425 yards and four scores by opposing quarterback Kirk Cousins.

ABOUT THE REDSKINS (1-1): Smith lost a weapon on offense when Washington placed running back Rob Kelley on injured reserve Tuesday with a toe injury, giving the team three running backs on IR. Instead of adding to the running game, the Redskins elected to beef up the passing attack by signing veteran receivers Michael Floyd and Breshad Perriman. "I think the fact that they're both veteran guys and have played helps with that," Smith told reporters of building a relationship with the two new receivers. "We'll see. We're not going to forecast anything for either of the guys. Get out on the practice field, put our work in and we'll see where it goes."

EXTRA POINTS

1. Redskins OT Trent Williams (knee) was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday and is questionable.

2. The Packers activated RB Aaron Jones (two-game suspension) and released CB Deante Burton.

3. Green Bay rookie LB Oren Burks (shoulder) could make his season debut on Sunday.

PREDICTION: Packers 31, Redskins 27
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NFL Betting News and Trends For Sunday 9/23/18 3 weeks 6 days ago #490699

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Denver Broncos vs. Baltimore Ravens Preview and Predictions 09-23-2018 in NFL
NFL Previews 20th September 2018 by Gracenote
Scheduled M&T Bank Stadium Baltimore

The Denver Broncos vie for third straight victory to start the season and fourth in a row in the all-time series against the host Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. Case Keenum has guided the Broncos to back-to-back comeback wins at home in his first year with the club, including last week's 20-19 triumph over Oakland.

Denver is hoping to continue its early success on the road, where it won just one of its eight contests last season. After trouncing Buffalo at home in its season opener, Baltimore came out on the wrong side of a 34-23 decision at Cincinnati last week. The Ravens' pass defense will need to tighten up as Andy Dalton threw four touchdown passes in the contest, including three to A.J. Green on consecutive possessions that gave the Bengals a 21-0 lead. Joe Flacco completed 32-of-55 passes for 376 yards and two touchdowns but committed three turnovers, throwing a pair of interceptions and losing a fumble.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Ravens -5.5. O/U: 44

ABOUT THE BRONCOS (2-0): Keenum was held out of Wednesday's practice due to a sore knee, but coach Vance Joseph told reporters his quarterback would be on the field Thursday. Tackle Jared Veldheer likely will not follow suit as he remains in concussion protocol and could miss the matchup versus Baltimore. Linebacker Von Miller leads the league with four sacks while wideout Emmanuel Sanders ranks third in the AFC with 231 receiving yards.

ABOUT THE RAVENS (1-1): Alex Collins, who missed practice on Wednesday with an illness, leads the team in rushing despite gaining only 48 yards on 16 carries. Collins has been more productive coming out of the backfield, registering 61 yards on only four receptions. Javorius Allen has rushed for a touchdown in each of the first two games while John Brown has caught a scoring pass in both of the team's contests.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Broncos rookie RB Phillip Linsday recorded 111 yards from scrimmage last week to become the first undrafted player in NFL history to eclipse the century mark in each of his first two career games.

2. Baltimore K Justin Tucker has converted 22 consecutive field-goal attempts, the second-longest active streak in the league behind the 29 straight by San Francisco's Robbie Gould.

3. Denver rolled to a 34-17 victory in its last visit to Baltimore on Dec. 16, 2012.

PREDICTION: Ravens 27, Broncos 20
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NFL Betting News and Trends For Sunday 9/23/18 3 weeks 6 days ago #490700

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Cincinnati Bengals vs. Carolina Panthers Preview and Predictions 09-23-2018 in NFL
NFL Previews 20th September 2018 by Gracenote
Scheduled Bank of America Stadium Charlotte

The Cincinnati Bengals will try to weather a storm of injuries and remain among the ranks of the unbeaten when they visit the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. Consecutive 34-23 wins over Indianapolis and Baltimore have the Bengals on the verge of their third 3-0 start in the last five years, but health is becoming a concern.


Starting running back Joe Mixon is out up to four weeks following knee surgery, backup Giovani Bernard (knee) was limited in practice Wednesday and rookie center Billy Price is out at least two weeks due to a foot injury. "It's just the next-man-up rule," Bernard told reporters of the running back situation. "When one guy goes down, you just have to pick it up and get ready for it. ... It is what it is. When your opportunity comes up, just take advantage of it." The Panthers will be trying to bounce back from a 31-24 loss at Atlanta last week. They lead the NFL in yards per carry (5.4) and running back Christian McCaffrey is making a big contribution in the passing game with 20 receptions, second-most in the league entering Week 3.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Panthers -3. O/U: 44

ABOUT THE BENGALS (2-0): Andy Dalton threw for 265 yards and four touchdowns - three to A.J. Green - in the win over the Ravens in last week's Thursday night game, and he has confidence in Bernard's ability to help keep the machine working. "Gio is such a smart player," Dalton told reporters. "He understands every aspect of the position. He knows what we are doing in the run game, pass game, protections and all of it. I definitely have a comfort level with him back there." The Bengals signed former Seattle running back Thomas Rawls on Wednesday to back up Bernard.

ABOUT THE PANTHERS (1-1): Cam Newton was 32-of-45 for 335 yards and three TDs while contributing a team-high 42 rushing yards in last week's loss to the Falcons, and the former NFL MVP is completing 69 percent of his passes in new offensive coordinator Norv Turner's system. "He's made a lot of good decisions these first two games," coach Ron Rivera told reporters. "I'm real excited about the progress Cam has shown in terms of understanding and getting a feel for what coach Turner wants." McCaffrey matched the franchise record with 14 receptions against Atlanta and also tied for the most catches by a running back in a game since 1981.

EXTRA POINTS

1. The last meeting in 2014 resulted in a 37-37 tie.

2. Green needs two TD catches to tie Carl Pickens (63) for second on the franchise's all-time list. Chad Johnson tops the list with 66.

3. Panthers LB Luke Kuechly, a Cincinnati native, enters Week 3 ranked fourth in the NFL with 21 tackles, while Bengals LB Nick Vigil is tied for fifth with 20.

PREDICTION: Panthers 26, Bengals 21
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Tennessee Titans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Preview and Predictions 09-23-2018 in NFL
NFL Previews 20th September 2018 by Gracenote
Scheduled EverBank Field Jacksonville

The Jacksonville Jaguars made a statement last week with a dominant performance against the defending AFC champions and can improve to 3-0 for the first time since 2004 when they host the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. Blake Bortles outplayed Tom Brady with 376 passing yards and four touchdowns to lead the Jaguars to a 31-20 win over the New England Patriots in Week 2.


Jacksonville had a 480-302 advantage in total yards to avenge a loss to the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game in January, and it has payback on its mind this week as it prepares for the Titans, who won both meetings in 2017. "Losing to a team twice, at their house and here, that wasn't cool," linebacker Myles Jack told reporters. "We're not too happy about that. That's obviously being talked about this week. The New England game was one thing, but this is a team that literally beat us twice in one year. We've got to fix that." Tennessee bounced back from a season-opening loss at Miami to defeat Houston 20-17 in its home opener last Sunday. Quarterback Marcus Mariota continues to feel tingling in his fingers from an elbow injury suffered in Week 1 and his status remains uncertain.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Jaguars -6.5. O/U: 39.5

ABOUT THE TITANS (1-1): Mariota, who ran 16 times for 84 yards in the two wins over Jacksonville last year, was limited at practice Wednesday while throwing with a glove. "It's getting better, but it is frustrating," he told reporters. "It is hard because it's one of those things where you can't really do a whole lot. ... I think it's close but we are going to take it one day at a time." Blaine Gabbert threw for 117 yards in relief of Mariota at Miami and finished with the exact same total - as well as a TD pass - in a starting role against the Texans.

ABOUT THE JAGUARS (2-0): Bortles was 29-of-45 against the Patriots in perhaps his best overall performance as a pro and he continues to develop chemistry with second-year wideout Keelan Cole, who hauled in seven catches - one with one hand that the league is still buzzing about - for 116 yards and a TD. "He does stuff like that all the time in practice and kind of just showing off," Bortles told reporters of the circus catch. "He's got unbelievable abilities, so to watch him go out there, have fun and make plays like that is pretty special." The Jaguars hope to have another weapon on the field Sunday in the form of running back Leonard Fournette, who missed last week due to hamstring injury but has been practicing on a limited basis.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Jack has a team-high 18 tackles and the Jaguars' only interception.

2. Titans WR Corey Davis has been targeted 20 times, 11 more than any of his teammates.

3. Tennessee has won four of the last five meetings overall, including the 37-16 rout in Jacksonville last year.

PREDICTION: Jaguars 23, Titans 13
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Indianapolis Colts vs. Philadelphia Eagles Preview and Predictions 09-23-2018 in NFL
NFL Previews 20th September 2018 by Gracenote
Scheduled Lincoln Financial Field Philadelphia
The City of Brotherly Love is set to welcome back Carson Wentz with open arms as the franchise quarterback returns to lead the Philadelphia Eagles against Frank Reich and the visiting Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. Wentz watched as Nick Foles led the Eagles to the franchise's first Super Bowl title as well as a 1-1 mark this season while recovering from an ACL and LCL tear sustained in December.


"We expect to go out and start fast, play fast, be clicking, and so I truly believe that's a realistic expectation," said Wentz, who is setting the bar high after the team was limited to just 39 points in its first two games. While Wentz returns, the Eagles have several other question marks on offense with injuries to Jay Ajayi (back) and tackle Jason Peters (quad) as well as a banged-up wide receiver corps. While Philadelphia is coming off a 27-21 setback to Tampa Bay, Indianapolis presented new head coach -- and former Eagles offensive coordinator -- Reich with his first win following Sunday's 21-9 triumph over Washington. Andrew Luck tossed a pair of touchdown passes for the second straight game and aims to exploit the Eagles' 28th-ranked pass defense that was shredded by Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Eagles -6.5. O/U: 47.5

ABOUT THE COLTS (1-1): Four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver T.Y. Hilton recorded a touchdown pass in his first two games this season before providing even more good news to the fanbase on Thursday by downplaying the severity of a quad injury that has forced him to miss two days of practice: "I'm feeling good. I'm still getting there. I should be fine. Nothing to worry about," Hilton said on NFL Network. While Hilton hasn't missed a game since the 2014 season and believes he'll be set to suit up for Week 3, running back Marlon Mack may not be as fortunate as he nurses both a foot and hamstring injury. Jordan Wilkins had 61 yards rushing against the Redskins while fellow rookie Nyheim Hines celebrated his first career rushing touchdown, but the two will face the league's top-ranked rush defense (58.5 yards per game).

ABOUT THE EAGLES (1-1): Ajayi shares the NFL lead with three rushing touchdowns this season, although he was limited to just seven carries for 23 yards and a score against the Buccaneers on Sunday. With Ajayi and Darren Sproles (hamstring) nursing their respective injuries, Corey Clement could see an advanced workload out of the backfield against the Colts with Wendell Smallwood contributing as well. Nelson Agholor, who has reeled in eight receptions in both games this season, leads a depleted group of wide receivers that was bolstered by the return of Jordan Matthews this week. Matthews was summoned after Mike Wallace was placed on injured reserve for the Eagles, who anxiously are awaiting the return of Alshon Jeffery (shoulder).

EXTRA POINTS

1. Indianapolis rookie LB Darius Leonard earned AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors after collecting 18 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble on Sunday.

2. Philadelphia LB Jordan Hicks has a team-leading 16 tackles and 1.5 sacks this season.

3. Like Hilton, Colts TE Eric Ebron has a touchdown reception in both games of 2018.

PREDICTION: Eagles 21, Colts 17
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NFL Betting News and Trends For Sunday 9/23/18 3 weeks 6 days ago #490703

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Oakland Raiders vs. Miami Dolphins Preview and Predictions 09-23-2018 in NFL
NFL Previews 20th September 2018 by Gracenote
Scheduled Sun Life Stadium Miami Gardens

The Oakland Raiders seemingly have received nothing but doom and gloom to start the season in the new Jon Gruden Era while the Miami Dolphins conversely have enjoyed sunny skies to begin the 2018 campaign. The Raiders aim to change their outlook on Sunday when they visit Hard Rock Stadium to face the Dolphins, who are off to a 2-0 start for the first time since 2013.


The Raiders have been left reeling after trading away 2016 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack, with the team averaging an NFL 31st-ranked 154.0 rushing yards to opponents while recording just two sacks -- matching Mack's total with Chicago. "We have to do something. We got to make improvements there," Gruden said of his team's pass rush on the heels of a 20-19 loss to Denver on Sunday. "Across the board we got to make improvements. It was pretty obvious." What might not be as obvious is Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill is 9-1 in his last 10 starts -- a stretch that is sandwiched around a serious knee injury that sidelined him for the 2017 season. The 30-year-old Tannehill threw two touchdown passes for the second time in as many weeks in Sunday's 20-12 triumph over the New York Jets.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Dolphins -3. O/U: 44.5

ABOUT THE RAIDERS (0-2): Derek Carr completed 29 of 32 passes for 288 yards and a touchdown against the Broncos, with wide receiver Amari Cooper recording 10 receptions for 116 yards. Jared Cook, who leads all NFL tight ends with 229 yards receiving and is second with 13 catches, had eight receptions for 126 yards in a 27-24 win over Miami last season. While Cook has been fast out of the blocks, veteran wideout Jordy Nelson has been limited to just five grabs for 53 yards in two weeks. "We're using a lot of receivers. We expect to see more and more from Jordy as the weeks unfold," Gruden said. "Cooper had a big week last week, Cook had a big week in Week 1, hopefully Jordy has one this week."

ABOUT THE DOLPHINS (2-0): While Kenyan Drake leads the team in carries (25) and rushing yards (101) and has the team's lone rushing touchdown, the ageless Frank Gore is averaging a robust 4.8 yards per carry. Gore, who totaled 468 scrimmage yards in four career encounters with the Raiders, surpassed Hall of Famer Curtis Martin for fourth place on the NFL's all-time rushing list (14,112) last week. Miami's aerial attack features a number of receivers in play, with Danny Amendola leading the team with just eight catches while Kenny Stills has a club-best 123 yards receiving and two touchdowns. DeVante Parker has participated in practice this week, but the Palm Beach Post reported that coach Adam Gase has a murky outlook toward the wide receiver playing in Week 3.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Miami LB Kiko Alonso recorded two forced fumbles last week and had one in the last encounter with Oakland.

2. Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch returned from a one-game suspension to collect two touchdown runs against the Dolphins last season.

3. Miami S Reshad Jones (shoulder) participated in individual drills on Thursday to move a step closer toward playing against Oakland.

PREDICTION: Raiders 20, Dolphins 18
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NFL Betting News and Trends For Sunday 9/23/18 3 weeks 6 days ago #490704

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New York Giants vs. Houston Texans Preview and Predictions 09-23-2018 in NFL
NFL Previews 20th September 2018 by Gracenote
Scheduled NRG Stadium Houston

There are only seven 0-2 teams remaining in the NFL and two of them will square off Sunday afternoon when the New York Giants visit the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. It will mark the home opener for the Texans, who rank 26th in the league in scoring at 18.5 points while the Giants are tied for 29th with the Dallas Cowboys at 14 points per game.


The teams combined for only seven wins in 2017 but injuries were a huge factor -- New York lost its best offensive player in Odell Beckham Jr. while Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson suffered a torn ACL just before the midway point of the season. The Texans scored 162 points in their last four games with Watson under center a year ago but they have scored just 13 first-half points in the first two contests this season. "We can't compare ourselves to last year," said Watson, who finished 22 of 32 for 310 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in a 20-17 loss at Tennessee last week. "We're really close to being where we want to be offensively." The Giants may make a concerted effort to feed rookie running back Saquon Barkley, who was held in check on the ground in a 20-13 setback to the Dallas Cowboys.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Texans -6. O/U: 42

ABOUT THE GIANTS (0-2): Eli Manning has thrown for one touchdown and one interception over the first two games and couldn't get the passing game untracked against the Cowboys, with 14 of his 33 completions going to Barkley out of the backfield. The No. 2 overall pick this year, Barkley was held to 28 yards by Dallas after going for 106 yards and a score versus Jacksonville in the season opener. Beckham also had a strong opener with 11 receptions for 111 yards but he was bottled up by the Cowboys for much of the game and wound up with four catches for 51 yards. New York's defense is 29th in the NFL against the run (137.5 yards per game) as it prepares to face Houston's top-ranked rushing attack (157.5).

ABOUT THE TEXANS (0-2): DeAndre Hopkins carried the passing game last season with 94 catches and an NFL-leading 13 touchdowns and is off to another fast start with 14 receptions, but fellow wideout Will Fuller also went over 100 yards and had a touchdown catch last week. While Lamar Miller leads the team with 166 yards rushing, Watson has bolstered the ground game by chipping in with 84 yards. Houston has only three sacks and is focused on getting its past rush untracked, particularly after Manning was taken down six times by the Cowboys. Former No. 1 overall draft pick Jadeveon Clowney, who had 9.5 sacks in 2017, sat out last week's game but insisted he will be in the lineup against the Giants.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Beckham has 46 receptions for 620 yards and five touchdowns in six career road games versus the AFC.

2. Watson had 12 touchdown passes versus two interceptions in his last three home games.

3. New York has won the past three meetings against the Texans.

PREDICTION: Texans 23, Giants 20
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NFL Betting News and Trends For Sunday 9/23/18 3 weeks 6 days ago #490705

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Chicago Bears vs. Arizona Cardinals Preview and Predictions 09-23-2018 in NFL
NFL Previews 20th September 2018 by Gracenote
Scheduled University of Phoenix Stadium Glendale

The Arizona Cardinals struggled mightily on offense in their first two games of the season, and things don't figure to get much better when they host the Chicago Bears and their dynamic defense on Sunday. Arizona avoided being shut out by Washington in its opener by scoring a late touchdown but recorded 137 total yards while being blanked by the Los Angeles Rams last week.


Sam Bradford threw for 90 yards and the Cardinals mustered only 54 on the ground as they registered a mere five first downs and didn't get into Rams territory until the final minute in the 34-0 defeat. The club will be hard-pressed to improve those numbers against the Bears, who rank eighth in the NFL in total defense and lead the league with 10 sacks. Khalil Mack has lived up to the hype - and his $141 million new contract - in his first two games with Chicago, recording two sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception return for a touchdown. Danny Trevathan and Prince Amukamara were forces in Monday's 24-17 triumph over Seattle, with the former notching a pair of sacks and the latter returning an interception for a score.

TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Bears -5.5. O/U: 38

ABOUT THE BEARS (1-1): Trevathan was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week after recording the two sacks, eight tackles - six solo - and a forced fumble in the win over the Seahawks. He became the first Bears linebacker to receive the honor since Brian Urlacher in Week 9 of the 2012 season. Chicago hopes to get its ground game going this week as Jordan Howard gained just 35 yards on 14 carries against Seattle after recording 82 on 15 rushes in the season opener versus Green Bay.

ABOUT THE CARDINALS (0-2): Larry Fitzgerald suffered a hamstring injury in the fourth quarter last week after making three catches for 28 yards and did not practice on Wednesday but is expected to play against Chicago. The veteran receiver's next touchdown reception will tie him with Tony Gonzalez (111) for seventh place on the all-time list. Arizona received some solid performances on defense last week as cornerback Patrick Peterson recorded a career high-tying eight tackles and an interception while defensive end Benson Mayowa registered seven tackles and a pair of sacks.

EXTRA POINTS

1. The Cardinals, whose longest play last week was a 15-yard gain, are 0-2 for the first time since 2005.

2. Chicago QB Mitchell Trubisky, who has rushed 12 times for 56 yards in the first two games, threw two touchdown passes for the first time in his career last week.

3. Arizona released DT Garrison Smith, who recorded one tackle in two games, and signed LB Joe Walker from Philadelphia's practice squad.

PREDICTION: Bears 30, Cardinals 9
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NFL Betting News and Trends For Sunday 9/23/18 3 weeks 6 days ago #490706

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New England Patriots vs. Detroit Lions Preview and Predictions 09-23-2018 in NFL
NFL Previews 20th September 2018 by Gracenote
Scheduled Ford Field Detroit
487
New England Patriots

Matt Patricia had one of the best coaching gigs in the NFL, serving as defensive coordination under Bill Belichick on the staff of the New England Patriots. Patricia parlayed his success in that post into his first head coaching job with the Detroit Lions, but he will have to beat Belichick and the visiting Patriots on Sunday night to earn his first career victory.


Aside from matching wits with his mentor Belichick, Patricia must find a way to slow three-time NFL MVP Tom Brady, who is coming off a rare clunker in a 31-20 loss at Jacksonville. "Patriots are a great team, great ownership, great head coach, great players and we've got a huge challenge in front of us," said Patricia, who spent 14 seasons with New England, six as defensive coordinator. "You know, you just try to keep it to the game." Sunday's game could mark the Patriots debut of wide receiver Josh Gordon, who has been a limited participant in practice since he was acquired from the Cleveland Browns earlier this week. New England is 45-6 after a loss since the 2003 season, last dropping back-to-back regular-season games in 2015.

TV: 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC. LINE: Patriots -6.5. O/U: 53.5

ABOUT THE PATRIOTS (1-1): New England's defense looks like it could use Patricia back in his previous role after it allowed Jacksonville's Blake Bortles to throw for 376 yards and four touchdowns in last week's romp. Trey Flowers, the team's top defensive lineman, was knocked out of last week's game with a concussion and safety Patrick Chung also suffered a concussion -- both have yet to practice this week and their availability looks increasingly in question. Brady did connect with wideout Chris Hogan for a pair of scoring passes but James White was the leading receiver with seven catches for 73 yards. Rookie running back Sony Michel rushed for a team-high 34 yards on 10 carries in his NFL debut.

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ABOUT THE LIONS (0-2): Detroit was shredded by the New York Jets 48-17 in the season opener at home and fell behind by 17 points in the fourth quarter before Matthew Stafford threw a pair of touchdown passes in the three-point defeat. Stafford has attempted 99 passes as the revamped running game has sputtered, with rookie Kerryon Johnson managing a team-high 60 yards on 13 carries. While Golden Tate and running back Theo Riddick share the team lead with 14 catches, Kenny Golladay is emerging at a dangerous weapon for Stafford with 13 receptions for a club-high 203 yards and a score. The Lions could be without one of their top defenders with cornerback Darius Slay unable to practice this week due to a concussion.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski has 10 receptions for 143 in the last two matchups versus Detroit.

2. Stafford has thrown for 2,900 yards and 20 touchdowns in his last 10 home games.

3. New England is 52-13 against the NFC since realignment in 2002, the NFL's best inter-conference record in that span.

PREDICTION: Patriots 30, Lions 23
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