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NFL 2019 NFC Perview

NFL 2019 NFC Perview 1 month 2 days ago #510502

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Betting news, trends, odds and predictions from various handicappers and websites for Monday 8/12/19
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NFL 2019 NFC Perview 1 month 2 days ago #510503

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NFC East Preview
By Marc Lawrence

2019 NFC EAST PREVIEW

Dallas – Cowboys will face zero opponents both with a bye and coming off a bye next this season ... had only one double-digit win last season ... +2 net turnovers in 2018 regular season.

New York – Giants will face 4 opponents in the 2nd+ away games this season ... played ‘under’ their regular season win total 7 of the last 8 years ... suffered 6 wire-to-wire losses last season ... +2 net turnovers in 2018 regular season.

Philadelphia – Eagles will face 3 opponents coming off a by this season... suffered 5 wire-to-wire losses last season ... -6 net turnovers in 2018 regular season.

Washington – Redskins will face 3 opponents in the 2nd + away games by this season ... had 6 wire-to-wire wins but suffered 5 wire-to-wire losses last season ... +7 net turnovers in 2018 regular season.

Dallas Cowboys

TEAM THEME: COWBOY UP

Westgate SuperBook Season Win Total: 9 (under -130)
Opponents’ Collective Season Win Total: 128.5

It’s been said that the NFL needs its mediocrity and that Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett is doing his best to fill the void. Garrett’s nice-guy persona and ultra-conservative approach to the game was never more on display than last year when his play-calling continued to deny his team chances to win games. So was it any surprise when they fell to the LA Rams in the Division round of the playoffs last season? Not really, not when you consider the last time the Cowboys won consecutive games in the postseason was 22 years ago in 1996 when they last captured a Super Bowl. That team featured grit and toughness under Barry Switzer and resilient WR Michael Irvin.

As Garrett enters the season on the final year of his contract, he faces a mandate to win in 2019 or else. QB Dak Prescott’s 24-3 SU mark in games in which he fails to turn the ball over is a start. Then again for the reigning division champs, maybe it’s time for this year’s edition to finally “Cowboy-up”. As our good friend and native Dallas legend Norm Hitzges said on an ESPN 30/30 documentary, “If you're gonna be a dirty program, you better be good at it. You better understand that the group handling the dirtiness has to be committed.” Are you listening, Jason?

STAT YOU WILL LIKE: The Cowboys are 2-22-1 ATS at home following a SU conference loss since 2009, including 1-18 ATS as a favorite.

PLAY ON: vs. LA Rams (12/15)

INSIDE THE STATS: The Cowboys are 37-10 SU and 31-15-1 ATS the L5Y in games where they won the stats.

New York Giants

TEAM THEME: MANNING THE FORT

Westgate SuperBook Season Win Total: 6 (under -120)
Opponents’ Collective Season Win Total: 125

Dave Gettleman is not a popular figure in the Big Apple these days. Not after the Giants GM dismantled the team and then made highly questionable moves in the NFL Draft. To paraphrase ESPN’s evaluation of the moves: The Giants traded away one of the game's great playmakers (Odell Beckham) and one of their better pass-rushers (Olivier Vernon). They used the first-round choice acquired for Beckham on a 350-pound nose tackle, seven months after trading away a 350-pound nose tackle (Damion Harrison). They acquired a 23-year-old safety drafted in the first round (Jabrill Peppers) to replace a 25-year-old safety drafted in the first round (Landon Collins).

Making matters worse, they over-reached for QB Daniel Jones with the 6th pick in the first round (he would have been available with their 17th pick later in the round). For some, it felt as if the Giants were like a basketball team sinking 2-point shots while its opponents were hitting 3s. Jones is the heir apparent to 38-year old veteran QB Eli Manning, who will likely assist in his development. The offseason additions of WR Golden Tate and OG Kevin Zeitler help, but they won’t fill the holes of the players that have departed. Meanwhile, Gettleman will be reminded on a daily basis that Kentucky LB Josh Allen at No. 6 would have been a smarter move than Jones.

STAT YOU WILL LIKE: The Giants will not play consecutive road games for the first time since 1992.

PLAY AGAINST: at Chicago (11/24)

INSIDE THE STATS: The Giants are just 23-43 ITS the last four seasons.

Philadelphia Eagles

TEAM THEME: BIRDS OF PASSAGE

Westgate SuperBook Season Win Total: 9.5 (over -150)
Opponents’ Collective Season Win Total: 123.5

Talk about putting all your eggs into one basket: the Eagles appear to be doing just that with QB Carson Wentz this season. After letting Super Bowl MVP QB Nick Foles leave via free agency, Philadelphia will depend on Nate Sudfeld should the oft-injured Wentz go down once again this season. However, if Wentz regains his health, the offense could be lethal with speedy receiver Desean Jackson returning, plus RB Jordan Howard joining the backfield. The Eagles made the most of their five draft picks as well when they landed Washington State redwood Andre Dillard to better protect Wentz, while also adding RB Mike Sanders form Penn State and WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside from Stanford. And on a sidebar note: look for former four-year Northwestern starter Clayton Thorson to secure a spot on the Eagles roster, as QB guru coach Terry Shea insists his skills were the best of any quarterback in this year’s draft.

Philadelphia has three straight home games and three consecutive road games. Oddly, no other team plays three consecutive away games this season. And speaking of scheduling quirks, the Eagles will avoid playing on the road the entire month of November, with an open date wedged in between a three-game homestand. And the final four games in December come against division foes. If all falls into place, this team could be better than 2017’s Super Bowl edition.

STAT YOU WILL LIKE: It’s been 14 consecutive years since the reigning NFC East division champion (Dallas this season) has repeated.

PLAY ON: at Dallas (10/20)

INSIDE THE STATS: The Eagles are 8-2 SU and 7-3 ATS after zero turnovers under head coach Doug Pederson.

Washington Redskins

TEAM THEME: CUTTING A NEW SWATH

Westgate SuperBook Season Win Total: 6.5 (under -120)
Opponents’ Collective Season Win Total: 129

After a rash of injuries wrecked the Redskins’ season last year, they picked themselves back up off the mat and slayed the draft this year. It started when QB Dwayne Haskins (Ohio State) fell into their laps with the 15th pick in the first round and just got better thereafter. DE Montez Sweat (Mississippi State) was also a steal late in the first round before they added WR Terry McLaurin (Ohio State) and RB Bryce Love (Stanford). With QB Alex Smith out for the season with a gruesome leg injury (broken tibia and fibula), Haskins will likely follow the same path as Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield and ride the bench for a few games to learn the ropes behind Case Keenum until he’s ready.

With free-agent DBs Landon Collins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in the secondary, expect last year’s 28th ranked Opponent Completion Percentage (67.41) to make major strides in 2019. The loss of LB Reuben Foster to a knee injury in the OTA’s is a major burn, but the hope is former Steeler LB Jon Bostic can be the Neosporin needed to fill the hole left by the 25-year-old impact player. Through it all, with only one winning season under his belt, head coach Jay Gruden finds himself in the hot seat and will likely rely heavily on this year’s youth-infusion. Especially out of the gate when they take on three 2018-playoff clubs.

STAT YOU WILL LIKE: Washington is 9-0 ATS as a dog when coming off a SU favorite loss of 20 or fewer points under Gruden.

PLAY ON: vs. NY Giants (12/22)

INSIDE THE STATS: The Redskins are 4-32 SU and 5-31 ATS in games in which they are minus in TO’s.
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NFL 2019 NFC Perview 3 weeks 2 days ago #511081

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NFC North Preview
By Marc Lawrence

2019 NFC NORTH PREVIEW

Chicago – Bears had 8 wire-to-wire wins last year ... had played ‘under’ its regular-season win total 5 consecutive years until last season ... +12 net turnovers in 2018 regular season.

Detroit – Lions suffered 6 double-digit losses last year ... will face 4 opponents with a Thursday game on deck this season ... +5 net turnovers in 2018 regular season.

Green Bay – Packers will face zero opponents coming off a Monday night game this season ... 0 net turnovers in 2018 regular season.

Minnesota – Vikings had 5 wire-to-wire wins last season but suffered 6 wire-to-wire losses last year ... 0 net turnovers in 2018 regular season.

Chicago Bears

TEAM THEME: DOUBLE DOINK

Westgate SuperBook Season Win Total: 9 (over -120)
Opponents’ Collective Season Win Total: 134

As it should be, the NFL will open the regular season – the 100th in its history – on September 5 with the 199th meeting between the Packers and the Bears at Soldier Field. For loyal Chicago fans, the best news out of the NFL draft for the Bears is likely a player they never drafted but signed afterward. He’s Emmit Carpenter, said to be the greatest kicker in Minnesota Gophers school history. Hopefully, he can lay to rest the nightmares caused when PK Cody Parkey hit the goal post twice on the final play of the game in a cruel 16-15 playoff loss to Philadelphia. The one-and-done was especially difficult to swallow given the fact that it was the first time since 2011 that two teams (the Chargers the other) finished the regular season with 12 wins, yet had to play in a Wild Card game.

Still, behind a suffocating defense that forced 36 takeaways, rookie head coach Matt Nagy made a smashing debut as the Bears won the NFC North en route to a 12-win campaign, the most since 2006, which was also the last time Chicago repeated as NFC North champions. It will be imperative for the Bears to come out of their cave with fervor as four of their first five games are against teams that owned losing records last season. Facing three foes playing in the second of back-to-back away games should help as well.

STAT YOU WILL LIKE: Chicago is 17-6 ATS at home all-time versus AFC West opponents, including 17-3 ATS when not favored by more than 7 points.

PLAY ON: at Philadelphia (11/3)

INSIDE THE STATS: The Bears scored the 4th highest amount of points in 2018 in franchise history.

Detroit Lions

TEAM THEME: FAMILY REUNION

Westgate SuperBook Season Win Total: 6.5 (over -130)
Opponents’ Collective Season Win Total: 129.5

For a team that was outgained in 11 of its 16 games under rookie HC Matt Patricia, a 6-10 SU and 9-7 ATS record might be deemed as acceptable. The key number in those stats, though, is the fact four of the Lions’ five ITS wins came against opponents that all finished the season with losing records, going 23-40-1 combined on the year. What it tells us is Detroit needs to roll up its sleeves and go toe-to-toe against winning teams if it wishes to become a winning team itself. Understand the defense is not a concern as it actually improved both overall and scoring despite the fall from 9 wins to 6. It’s time for QB Matthew Stafford to step up and earn the megabucks contract that he inked two years ago.

The Lions will take on the cushiest non-division strength of schedule foes in 2019 (foes 73.5 projected wins), as well as tackling 4 foes with a Thursday game on tap – the most in the league. This offseason, the Lions already have added several players who played with or for Patricia in New England, including Trey Flowers, Danny Amendola, and Justin Coleman. Those players have an inherent knowledge of Patricia's expectations, making them natural fits in Detroit. Should TE T.J. Hockenson live up to his billing, Stafford just may stand and deliver – provided he can overcome a tough home slate that features four playoff teams, along with the Packers and Vikings.

STAT YOU WILL LIKE: Detroit has never won the NFC North division. Its last division crown – the NFC Central – was 26 years ago.

PLAY ON: as a dog vs. Minnesota (10/20)

INSIDE THE STATS: The Lions have held 72 of their last 91 opponents to under 400 yards of offense.

Green Bay Packers

TEAM THEME: DAIRYLAND EXPRESS

Westgate SuperBook Season Win Total: 9
Opponents’ Collective Season Win Total: 129

The egg on Aaron Rodgers’ face is not a good look. The elite signal-caller suffered only his second losing season last year (the other his first season as a starter in 2006). In addition, Green Bay endured its second losing year in a row for the first time since 1991 as Rogers played through a myriad of injuries for the second straight year. After signing a record-setting $134M contract extension in 2018, it’s a hard pill to swallow for the future Hall of Famer. The Packer brass hit free agency and the draft hard this offseason, shoring up the defense (the line in particular). The biggest change this season, though, will be on offense where new head coach Matt LaFleur brings an offensive mindset.

In contrast, the Chicago Bears turned themselves into standard bearers in the NFC North with a ferocious defense, and just enough offense, under rookie coach Matt Nagy last season. LaFleur’s first job as Packers coach will be to shift the balance of power three hours north. A former offensive coordinator with the Titans last year and the Rams in 2017, LaFleur will likely call the plays, duties Rodgers resisted turning over to former boss Mike McCarthy. In order for the egg to be eradicated, it will be critically important for the two of them to be on the same page. Because, after all, Brett Favre never missed the playoffs in three consecutive seasons.

STAT YOU WILL LIKE: QB Aaron Rodgers is 15-3 SUATS in division games when the Packers are coming off a SUATS loss.

PLAY ON: vs. Detroit (10/14) - *KEY

INSIDE THE STATS: The Packers are 10-26 ITS in their last 36 away games.

Minnesota Vikings

TEAM THEME: THE YIN AND YANG OF IT

Westgate SuperBook Season Win Total: 9 (under -120)
Opponents’ Collective Season Win Total: 130

As it turned out, Kirk Cousins was not the missing link to Minnesota’s mystery. Coming off an 8-7-1 effort last season, the Vikings have now missed the playoffs twice in the last three seasons, winning only eight games both years. With it, Minny’s stats were down across the board on both sides of the ball in scoring and total yards in 2018. It doesn’t figure to sit well with Mike Zimmer who, despite last year’s shortcomings, is still the best spread-beating coach in the loop. That’s confirmed by his sterling 52-28-3 ATS record overall, including 37-14-2 ATS in non-division battles. It towers over QB Kirk Cousins’ losing record as a starter (34-38-1 SU) in this league. And therein lies the rub.

Can Zimmer elevate Cousins, or will Cousins bring Coach Zim down to his level? What we do know is the Vikes will face a brutal stretch of away games the second half of the season, all against teams that made the playoffs in 2018. They will also need to handle their five prime-time games, which are like poison ivy to Cousins (5-13 in his career, including 0-7 on Monday night). Be sure to circle Thursday, October 24, when Cousins takes on his former team, Washington, who will likely be quarterbacked by a former Viking with a chip on his shoulder, Case Keenum. That will be must-watch TV.

STAT YOU WILL LIKE: The Vikings are 10-2 ATS as dogs of more than 3 points versus AFC West opponent, including 7-0 ATS the last seven.

PLAY ON: at Chicago (9/29)

INSIDE THE STATS: The Vikings have held 17 foes to season-low – or 2nd low – yards the L3Y.
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NFL 2019 NFC Perview 2 weeks 2 days ago #511478

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NFC South Preview
By Marc Lawrence

2019 NFC SOUTH PREVIEW

Atlanta – Falcons ... will face zero opponents in 2019 with a bye next, a Thursday game next, a Monday game next, and an opponent coming off a Monday night game this season ... +1 net turnover in 2018 regular season.

Carolina – Panthers will face 4 opponents in 2nd+ away games, and zero opponents coming off a bye this season ... +1 net turnover in 2018 regular season.

New Orleans – Saints had 8 double-digit regular-season wins last year ... will face 4 opponents in 2nd+ away games this season ... +8 net turnovers in 2018 regular season.

Tampa Bay – Buccaneers had only 1 double-digit win last year ... have played ’over’ regular-season win total in 1 of last 6 years ... -18 net turnovers in 2018 regular season.

Atlanta Falcons

TEAM THEME: IN THE REARVIEW MIRROR

Westgate SuperBook Season Win Total: 8.5
Opponents’ Collective Season Win Total: 134.5

Looking back, when Atlanta inked QB Matt Ryan to a league-record $150 million contract extension in the offseason last year, it mirrored the path Detroit followed the previous season when it signed QB Matthew Stafford to a $135 deal. Both teams missed the playoffs, with the Falcons snapping a two-year playoff skein (which reminds us to keep a pulse on Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks this season.) It’s no excuses this year for Atlanta this year, though, as Ryan finds himself surrounded by a strike-force that could well be the league’s most dynamic trio in wide receivers Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu, and Calvin Ridley, not to mention TE Austin Hooper, a Pro Bowler last season. Suddenly, protecting Ryan became priority-one for the Falcons when they proceeded to snap up two offensive linemen in the first round of this year’s draft.

The schedule is a bit of a paradox as Atlanta takes on 8 foes in its first nine games that were either winning teams or in the playoffs last season. With it, 6 of its last seven games to conclude the season will come against opponents that owned losing records in 2018. As a result, should they fly right throughout the first half of the campaign behind former OC Dirk Koetter, the Dirty Birds could be back in postseason play.

STAT YOU WILL LIKE: QB Matt Ryan is 10-1 SUATS in home openers with the Falcons.

PLAY ON: at New Orleans (11/10)

INSIDE THE STATS: The Falcons are 12-22 SU and 10-24 ATS the L5Y in games where they were outgained.

Carolina Panthers

TEAM THEME: SUPERMAN ON THE LAM

Westgate SuperBook Season Win Total: 8 (under -120)
Opponents’ Collective Season Win Total: 132.5

Suddenly, Superman’s cape is wearing thin. Cam Newton insists recovery from off-season shoulder surgery has been “unbelievable.” He says that he has regained full strength in his arm. Newton’s statement came after months of speculation that his shoulder just wasn’t right, and many observers questioned whether his throwing shoulder, for which he had undergone surgery in 2017, would ever be the same. At the start of the 2018 season, Newton claimed he felt better than he had in years. He quickly guided his team to a 6-2 record. But the former Heisman Trophy winner and league MVP struggled in the second half of the season, often relying on backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke to throw Hail Mary passes, and critics once again asked if his shoulder was healthy. Newton later admitted he often struggled to throw the ball 30 yards down the field and the Panthers shut down their franchise quarterback for the last two games of the season. It’s what happens when you suddenly turn old.

Following a 7-9 campaign last year, Carolina looked to get younger this offseason. For openers, they turned to the AAF and signed six players. On the other side of the ball, first-year DC Eric Washington struggled as the defense declined 30 YPG. First-round pick Brian Burns is a stud and should help fill the gap at either DE or LB. And the addition of DT Gerald McCoy should help a deep and athletic defensive line. Finally, adding West Virginia QB Will Grier should provide adequate insurance should Newton wear down again at season’s end.

STAT YOU WILL LIKE: Carolina is 8-2 SU and 9-1 ATS as a dog against foes coming off a SU underdog win under head coach Ron Rivera.

PLAY ON: vs. Atlanta (11/17) - *KEY

INSIDE THE STATS: The Panthers are 24-10 ITS in their last 34 games outside the NFC South division.

New Orleans Saints

TEAM THEME: DAT’S WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT

Westgate SuperBook Season Win Total: 10.5
Opponents’ Collective Season Win Total: 130

The Saints made major strides in adding weapons for Drew Brees in what could be the final push to get him back to the Super Bowl for the first time in 10 years when they added TE Jared Cook. With WR Ted Ginn Jr. in a contract year, they will combine with WR Michael Thomas to provide an aerial assault as good as any in the league. Taylor comes off his finest season as a pro in 2018 with 125 catches for 1,045 yards and nine touchdowns.

In addition, star RB Alvin Kamara welcomes Latavius Murray in the backfield. With Pro Bowl C Max Unger now retired, the Saints selected Erik McCoy with their first pick in the draft. McCoy allowed just one sack in 39 starts at Texas A&M. The elephant in the room is how much longer the 40-year old Brees can continue to perform at his Hall of Fame level. The fact that he had a 74.4 completion percentage last season, breaking his own record, puts those thoughts immediately to rest. No one in the history of the NFL has come close to being that accurate. After being one play away from the Super Bowl each of the past two seasons, and playing with a chip on their shoulder that would rival Mount Kilimanjaro, the Saints appear ready to go mountain climbing in 2019.

STAT YOU WILL LIKE: The Saints are 33-13-1 ATS in games following consecutive SUATS wins under Sean Payton, including 23-4-1 ATS against winning foes.

PLAY ON: at LA Rams (9/15) - *KEY

INSIDE THE STATS: QB Drew Brees has thrown for 4,000 or more yards in each of the last 13 seasons.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

TEAM THEME: GETTING BACK ON TRACK

Westgate SuperBook Season Win Total: 6.5 (under -120)
Opponents’ Collective Season Win Total: 132.5

After the Bucs outyarded 10 of their 16 opponents last year – yet somehow finished with a 5-11 record – new head coach Bruce Arians brings a 49-30-1 SU all-time mark as an NFL head coach to Tampa Bay. Arians’ forte is developing quarterbacks, working his magic with Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck, and Carson Palmer. He was brought aboard with the hopes of resurrecting Jameis Winston’s career. The former Heisman Trophy winner is in the final year of his contract and needs to show vast improvement to maintain his starting status in this league.

Meanwhile, the Bucs concentrated on repairing a leaking defense that had taken a step backward each of the last three seasons when six of their eight draft picks were on the defensive side of the ball. New DC Todd Bowles comes over from the New York Jets where his body of work featured one of the best run defenses in the NFL, holding teams to just 4.0 yards per carry, the sixth-lowest figure in the NFL during that span. Bowles’ Jets defense also allowed opposing offenses to convert only 36.0 percent of third downs, the fourth-lowest mark in the league. Opposing passers also completed just 60.6 percent of their throws against the Jets under Bowles, the third-lowest mark in the NFL. If any team in this division should stumble, look for the ‘A’ train to put Winston and the defense back on the right track.

STAT YOU WILL LIKE: NFL away teams in the first Thursday night game of the season (the Bucs this year) are 1-15 SU and 2-10-4 ATS.

PLAY ON: vs. NY Giants (9/22)

INSIDE THE STATS: The Bucs have gone 6-18 ITS at home in division games the last 8 years.
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NFL 2019 NFC Perview 2 weeks 22 hours ago #511609

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NFC West Preview
By Marc Lawrence


2019 NFC WEST PREVIEW

Arizona – Cardinals suffered an NFC-high 9 double-digit losses and were one of only 2 NFL teams without a wire-to-wire win last year ... -12 net turnovers in 2018 regular season.

Los Angeles – Rams had 7 double-digit, and 6 wire-to-wire, regular-season wins last year ... will face 4 opponents coming off a Monday night game this season ... +11 net turnovers in 2018 regular season.

San Francisco – Forty Niners have gone ‘under’ their regular-season win total 4 of the last 5 years ... 25 net turnovers in 2018 regular season.

Seattle – Seahawks were one of only 3 NFL teams without a double-digit loss last year ... +15 net turnovers in 2018 regular season.

Arizona Cardinals

TEAM THEME: POCKET-SIZED PRESSURE

Westgate SuperBook Season Win Total: 5
Opponents’ Collective Season Win Total: 132.5

Like the NFL itself, the 2019 season will be the Cardinals’ 100th season in the National Football League and their 32nd in Arizona. It will also be their first under head coach Kliff Kingsbury and the first with celebrated QB Kyler Murray, the No. 1 selection in this year’s NFL draft. Much like Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson, the diminutive Murray has a lot to prove. “Wilson will be a solid backup quarterback,” most analysts said when he was drafted in 2012. “He will get lost in a league full of 6-5 prototypes,” said the naysayers. Didn’t happen.

Now it’s Murray’s turn to fill those shoes, only under much more scrutiny. Although the top overall pick and a Heisman Trophy winner, Murray lacks Wilson’s aptitude (Wilson went to Collegiate School, a private college preparatory school, from kindergarten through 12th grade. His late dad was a lawyer, his mom a legal nurse consultant). Murray’s skill level is off the charts, though, and with it hopes abound anew in Arizona these days. Kingsbury’s lure to the franchise was his capacity to maximize Patrick Mahomes’ ability when the pair existed together at Texas Tech. Hence, if it seems as though Murray is under a comparative microscope, it’s because he is. Meanwhile, the Redbirds will take on 3 foes that come off Monday night games this season. Every little bit helps. What doesn’t is the loss of Pro Bowl CB Patrick Peterson, suspended for the first six games.

STAT YOU WILL LIKE: The Cardinals are 11-1-1 ATS when coming off consecutive SUATS losses, including 10-0 ATS versus sub .700 foes.

PLAY ON: vs. Detroit (9/8)

INSIDE THE STATS: The Cards are 16-8 ITS at home in the regular season the L3Y

Los Angeles Rams

TEAM THEME: SUPER BOWL FOG

Westgate SuperBook Season Win Total: 10.5 (under -120)
Opponents’ Collective Season Win Total: 127

In what had to be the most boring Super Bowl game in history last season, the potent Los Angeles offense played like it was hypnotized when it fell to New England – despite holding the powerful Pats to 13 points. It’s what happens when you run 27 plays that gain zero or fewer yards, and fail to reach the red zone. The bottom line is that even with 15 wins last season, thanks to an 11-1 start, they become this year’s edition of the dreaded ‘Super Bowl loser’.

Betting on these teams the following season is akin to developing brain fog. After the midway point in the season, you need to step back and ask yourself what you were thinking. Even the Patriots, last year’s SB champion but also last season’s ‘Super Bowl loser’, failed to avoid the curse when they flopped in the worst of all roles for these teams, compiling a 1-4 SUATS mark as favorites in their non-division regular season forays. FYI: the last 11 Super Bowl losers have combined to go 16-24 the following season in games decided by 3 or fewer points.

However, the Rams may have pulled off the steal of the draft when they secured Memphis RB Darrell Henderson with the 70th selection. Henderson led this draft class in nearly every category: touchdowns (22), yards (1,909), yards per carry (8.9), and yards per game (146.85). He personally had 19 scrimmage plays go for more than 30 yards, a higher total than even Saquon Barkley at Penn State. The bottom line is it will all likely come down to how they fare with four of their first five road contests coming in the Eastern Time zone.

STAT YOU WILL LIKE: The Rams will face 4 foes coming off a Monday night game this season – tops in the league.

PLAY AGAINST: as a favorite at Cleveland (9/22)

INSIDE THE STATS: After going 29-67 ITS the previous 7 years, the Rams are 21-14 ITS the L2Y.

San Francisco 49ers

TEAM THEME: TAKE TWO

Westgate SuperBook Season Win Total: 8 (over -120)
Opponents’ Collective Season Win Total: 129.5

As was the case last season, the Forty Niners in 2019 will go only as far as QB Jimmy Garoppolo carries them. After a promising debut in the final five games of the 2017 season, Jimmy GQ’s season ended in Week Three with a torn ACL. He’ll enter this year with a career passer rating of 97.3 in 26 career NFL games. Coming off a 2018 campaign in which the 49ers had the worst red-zone touchdown rate in the league, head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense figures to improve dramatically should Garopplo stay healthy.

Injuries also riddled the Niners’ secondary last season, resulting in only two interceptions – the fewest for a full season in NFL history. With it, Frisco managed just seven total takeaways for a whopping net -25 turnovers for the campaign. The presence of Nick Bosa, the No. 2 selection in this year’s NFL Draft, should help add pressure and create chaos. The other two plums in a stacked draft for San Francisco – the second in as many years – include WRs Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd, both major targets for Garoppolo. Hurd was both a RB at Tennessee and a WR at Baylor where he racked up 2,844 rushing yards and 23 TDs, along with 136 receptions for 1,438 yards and 10 TDs in the air. If all goes according to Hoyle, the Niners could be this year’s surprise team.

STAT YOU WILL LIKE: The Niners are 28-10 SU and 32-6 ATS on Monday nights when not coming off a spread win of more than 4 points.

PLAY ON: at Arizona (10/31)

INSIDE THE STATS: The 49ers are 4-26 SU and 9-20-1 ATS in their L30 games in which they’ve had 2 or more TOs.

Seattle Seahawks

TEAM THEME: SOMETIMES ALL YOU NEED IS A BILLION DOLLARS

Westgate SuperBook Season Win Total: 8.5 (over -120)
Opponents’ Collective Season Win Total: 131.5

For those of you not aware, Seattle has missed the playoffs just twice under head coach Pete Carroll. It’s what happens when your team owns a .620 win percentage under one’s watch. And it’s also a derivative of avoiding extended losing streaks as the Seahawks stand 12-2 SU and 11-2-1 ATS in games when coming off consecutive losses under Carroll (never three straight losses). But with all the success comes money management headaches, such as allocating a ton of cash to superstars and then having to fill holes around them due to cash-strapped salary caps. The Brinks truck pulled up in front of QB Russell Wilson’s house this offseason when he signed a new $140 million dollar four-year deal, including a $65 million signing bonus and $107 million in guaranteed money with a no-trade clause, making him the highest-paid player in the NFL.

As a result, the Seahawks were forced to trade DE Frank Clark before the draft to take some of his money off the books. They are hoping that DE L.J. Collier of TCU, their first-round pick this year, can fill the void. Meanwhile, Seattle picked up three wide receivers in the draft for the first time since 1981, including speedball DK Metcalf. Still, despite tackling four 1:00 PM ET kickoffs on the East Coast – plus a Sunday night game in Philadelphia - the bottom line is we expect to see the Seahawks playing in January once again this season.

STAT YOU WILL LIKE: The Seahawks have averaged 7.8 Penalties Per Game, the worst in the league the past three seasons.

PLAY ON: vs. LA Rams (10/3) - *KEY as a dog

INSIDE THE STATS: The Seahawks have gained 400 or more yards in only 39 of 159 games under Pete Carroll.
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