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Old 09-15-2017, 01:54 AM
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Buccaneers ready to start season
September 14, 2017

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Jameis Winston concedes it felt a little strange watching the rest of the NFL begin the season while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were scattered around the country for an unscheduled bye imposed by Hurricane Irma.

When the young quarterback finally takes the field Sunday in the team's delayed opener, Winston will not have taken a snap in a game in three weeks.

Other key players, including receivers DeSean Jackson and Mike Evans, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and linebacker Kwon Alexander, will line up against the Chicago Bears without having played since Aug. 17.

''I went through a tough time watching, but I really wasn't thinking about myself,'' Winston, who left town to wait out the storm with family in Alabama, said.

''I was thinking about what we were going through - what the people in Florida were going through, what the people in Houston went through because at the end of the day everything is bigger than football,'' the third-year pro added.

''Obviously I want to be out there on the field, and I definitely wanted to be playing, but sometimes you've got to take that back seat and let things happen.''

Well, it's time to play.

And rusty or not, the Bucs say they have no excuse to not play well against the Bears (0-1), who dropped their debut with Winston's former backup, Mike Glennon, at quarterback 23-17 to the defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons.

Tampa Bay's scheduled opener at Miami was moved to Nov. 19, meaning the Bucs will play 16 consecutive weeks to close the regular season.

''At the end of the day, nobody really cares about us playing 16 games or our starters not playing (preseason) games,'' Winston said. ''Our job is to come in here and play football, and that's all.''

Some things to know about the Bears and Buccaneers:

The Bucs haven't made the playoffs since 2007, but are coming off a 9-7 record in Winston's second season. The young quarterback has thrown for more than 4,000 yards each of the past two years and is the fifth player in NFL history to toss 50-plus touchdown passes through his two seasons.

WELCOME BACK: Glennon finally gets a chance to play again in Tampa Bay, something he rarely did behind Winston the past two years.

Glennon signed with the Bears after four years and 21 games with the Bucs, replacing Jay Cutler as the starting QB. He has another highly touted prospect behind him in No. 2 overall draft pick Mitchell Trubisky.

But for now, the starting job is his.

Glennon threw for 213 yards and a touchdown in a 23-17 loss to Atlanta last week. All but 50 of those yards came in the fourth quarter, however the Bears failed to score on four tries from the Falcons 5-yard line near the end of the game.

''I'm excited for him. I am happy that he gets to come to Tampa and play,'' Winston said. ''Hopefully he does well, but not well enough to beat us.''

CATCHING UP: Already thin at receiver, the Bears took another big hit with Kevin White going on injured reserve for the third time in as many seasons this week.

It's fair to wonder if White will ever develop into a productive player let alone a star after he broke his shoulder in the fourth quarter against Atlanta. The Bears were banking on big things when they drafted him seventh overall in 2015 and made him their first pick under general manager Ryan Pace.

But leg injuries limited him to four games through his first two seasons. Now, the shoulder is injured.

The Bears had already lost last season's leading receiver Cameron Meredith to a torn ACL in his left knee in the preseason. With White out, the Bears promoted Tanner Gentry from the practice squad.

Chicago is also down a key player on defense with linebacker Jerrell Freeman going on injured reserve this week. He suffered a torn pectoral muscle against Atlanta.

FILLING IN: With RB Doug Martin out until the fourth game while serving the remainder of a suspension for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs, Tampa Bay figures to spread carries among Jacquizz Rodgers, Charles Sims and Peyton Barber.

FOLLOWING UP: Chicago's Tarik Cohen figures he won't be catching the Bucs off guard. Not after last week.

Cohen made quite an impression in his debut, with 66 yards rushing and 47 receiving. He reversed field on a 46-yard run and had a 19-yard touchdown catch.

''I feel like I just proved that I'm a player, a football player, no matter my size, no matter where I've come from as far as my college and that I'm just a football player and I can make plays for this team,'' said Cohen, a fourth-round pick from North Carolina A&T.
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Old 09-17-2017, 12:22 AM
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Total Talk - Week 2
September 16, 2017

Total bettors leaning to the low side had a very profitable Week 1 as the ‘under’ posted a 10-5 (67%) mark and most of the results were never in doubt. To be truthful there was some ugly football being played and it’s fair to say that the defensive units looked a step ahead of the offense. From a statistical perspective, there were 119 scores in Week 1 and only 65 of them were touchdowns. As you all know, settling for field goals is never great for ‘over’ wagers and we had 54 last weekend. Notable teams to kick away FGs last week included the Cowboys, Saints and Raiders with four a piece while eight others chipped in with three field goals.

Line Moves

Listed below are the largest line moves as of Saturday morning based off the Week 2 openers posted last Sunday at Bookmaker.eu.

Tennessee at Jacksonville: 43 to 41
Cleveland at Baltimore: 41 to 38
New England at New Orleans: 54 to 56
San Francisco at Seattle: 43 to 42
Detroit at N.Y. Giants: 43 to 41

We asked Scott Cooley of Bookmaker.eu if bettors are reacting to more ‘under’ wagers after the inordinate amount of low-scoring games in Week 1.

He answered, “With the public, possibly, because the perception after one week is that the defenses are ahead of the offenses at this point. Sharps are usually leaning toward the under and that hasn’t changed.”

“Our biggest total liability right now is the Titans-Jaguars game. The wiseguys bet the under in both Jacksonville and Tennessee games Sunday, and they aren’t backing off in Week 2.”

The matchup between Patriots and Saints is one of the few totals that is rising and Cooley offered his thoughts on the inflated numbers on this game and the Packers-Falcons contest on Sunday night.

“We take into account the perceived “offensive” teams by the public when setting a total. And certainly with these two matchups, that was a big factor,” said Cooley.


There was only one non-conference game in Week 1 and it saw the highest scoring effort as the Rams blasted the Colts 46-9 at the Los Angeles Coliseum but that outcome was helped with 16 points from the L.A. defense.

Week 2 has five AFC-NFC matchups and here are some quick notes to keep an eye on.

Buffalo at Carolina: The Bills went 4-0 in their four games against the NFC last season and they racked up 408 yards last week but left points off the board with an interception and missed field goal. The Panthers defense looked dominating in Week 1’s 23-3 albeit against San Francisco.

New England at New Orleans: The Saints allowed 30.3 points per game vs. AFC opponents last season and made Minnesota look like a juggernaut last Monday. The Patriots defense was also humbled in Week 1 and that appears to be their weakness right night. Make a note that New England rebounded with 33 and 30 points following its only two losses last season.

Philadelphia at Kansas City: The Eagles defense allowed 27 and 32 points in two road games vs. the AFC last season compared to just a total of 13 in the two home tilts. The Chiefs defense (16 PPG) was great at home last season. Since head coach Andy Reid arrived in KC, the club has gone 5-2 SU at Arrowhead Stadium versus NFC foes and the ‘under’ is 6-1 in those games behind a great defensive effort (15.4 PPG). However, the loss of safety Eric Berry (Achilles) won’t be easy to overcome for the Chiefs.

Minnesota at Pittsburgh: The Steelers have had a knack of scoring at home in non-conference games lately, posting 30.8 PPG in their last five encounters from Heinz Field. Minnesota’s offense was sharp last Monday (470 yards, 29 points) and they dropped 25 points twice in two road games against AFC opponents last season.

Dallas at Denver:
Tough total to handicap here knowing Dallas posted 35 at the Steelers and Browns last season, yet the ‘under’ has gone 8-2 in their last 10 games against the AFC. Also, Denver is on an 8-1-1 run to the ‘under’ in its last 10 non-conference matchups.

Divisional Action

These matchups went 6-1 to the ‘under’ last week and the lone ‘over’ barely connected in the late-night tilt on Monday between the Chargers and Broncos.

Tennessee at Jacksonville: Even though the professional bettors are banging the ‘under’ on this game, we have seen the ‘over’ cash in the last three meetings between the pair as they combined for 55, 58 and 81 points during this run. However, we must also note that Jacksonville is only averaging 19.8 PPG after a win over the last three seasons and Tennessee hasn’t been able to muster up a lot off offense in divisional road games (16.6 PPG) the last two seasons.

Cleveland at Baltimore: As of Saturday morning, this is the lowest total (38 ) posted on the board for Week 2. The ‘over’ has gone 4-2 in this series the last three seasons and Baltimore has posted decent offensive numbers (26.5 PPG) against Cleveland. Defensively, the Browns looked good against the run last week but the offense wasn’t sharp and they were helped by the Steelers defense, who were tagged with 144 penalty yards. Tough spot for rookie QB DeShone Kizer on the road against a solid defense and the total dropping seems justified.

San Francisco at Seattle: The ‘over’ is on a 3-0 run but that streak was preceded by six straight ‘under’ tickets. Neither of the two clubs looked sharp offensively in Week 1 and I’d be surprised to see San Francisco having much luck at this venue. The number has dropped two points and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the number dip below 40 come Sunday.

Under the Lights

The highest-scoring game of Week 1 was also the first one as Kansas City and New England combined for 69 points last Thursday. Including that result, the ‘over’ went 3-1 in the primetime matchups and you can argue that the two outcomes on Monday were fortunate to go high. This past Thursday, the Texans and Bengals cashed an easy ‘under’ ticket and it’s hard to imagine that trend bucking for either club.

Green Bay at Atlanta: The last three meetings in this series have all gone ‘over’ the number as the pair have combined to score 80, 65 and 65 points. In last year’s NFC Championship, Atlanta blasted Green Bay 44-21 and the total in that game was 59 . This week’s number (55 ) is a tad lower and some skeptics are questioning Atlanta’s offense after its Week 1 effort (23-17) at Chicago. I do believe the Falcons defense is underrated and you can say the same thing about Green Bay’s unit. VI expert Micah Roberts points out the crazy ‘over’ runs for Atlanta at home in his preview, plus Green Bay’s run to the high side on the road last season was nuts too.

Detroit at N.Y. Giants: The number is coming down on this total and deservingly so. The Giants have been held under 20 points in seven straight games going back to last season and the ‘under’ is 13-4 in their last 17 regular season contests. Detroit struggled offensively on the road (19.6 PPG) last season and the Giants stifled the Lions 17-6 from Met-Life Stadium last December. New York WR Odell Beckham Jr. (ankle) has been practicing and has been upgraded to ‘probable’ for Monday.

Fearless Predictions

If it wasn't for Cincinnati posting a bagel in Week 1, we could've pulled off the sweep. That effort cost us the teaser but the other plays cashed and that has us ahead ($200) going into Week 2. As always, Press, Pass or Fade but in the end – Good Luck!

Best Over: Miami-L.A. Chargers 45
Best Under: Washington-L.A. Rams 45
Best Team Total: Over Oakland 29

Three-Team Total Teaser (8.5-Point, +100)
Over 36 Minnesota-Pittsburgh
Under 50 Dallas-Denver
Under 64 Green Bay-Atlanta
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Old 09-17-2017, 12:29 AM
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Pick Six - Week 2
September 15, 2017

Week 1 Record: 2-4 SU, 2-4 ATS

Overall Record: 2-4 SU, 2-4 ATS

Patriots (-6 , 55 ) at Saints – 1:00 PM EST

New England
Record: 0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS, 1-0 OVER
Super Bowl Odds: 9/2

The defending champion Patriots hung their Super Bowl banner last Thursday but were chased out of their home stadium by the upstart Chiefs. New England fell to Kansas City, 42-27 as eight-point favorites to suffer only their second opening week loss since 2004. The good news for the Patriots is they dominated as a road favorite last season by going 8-0 SU and 7-1 ATS, while not losing a game away from Foxboro in nine tries. Since 2013, the Pats have covered in six of eight opportunities against NFC opponents on the road, while visiting New Orleans for the first time since 2009, when New England was blasted, 38-17.

New Orleans
Record: 0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS, 1-0 OVER
Super Bowl Odds: 80/1

The Saints return home after dropping a 29-19 decision at Minnesota on Monday night. New Orleans has fared well as a home underdog the last two seasons by posting a 3-1 SU and 4-0 ATS record, including victories over Carolina and Seattle last season. This will be the only home contest for the Saints until Week 6 against Detroit as New Orleans heads to Carolina next week before facing the Dolphins in London. The Saints have lost their first two games in four of the last five seasons, while owning a 1-5 record in its past six games at the Superdome in interconference play.

Best Bet: Saints +6

Eagles at Chiefs (-5 , 47 ) – 1:00 PM EST

Record: 1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS, 1-0 UNDER
Super Bowl Odds: 33/1

In Carson Wentz’s rookie season, the Eagles won their road opener at Chicago, but failed to record a victory away from Lincoln Financial Field in their final seven attempts. Philadelphia hopes that trend doesn’t continue in 2017 as the Eagles knocked off the Redskins in D.C. in Week 1 by a 30-17 count as one-point favorites. Wentz threw for 307 yards and two touchdowns to avenge a pair of losses to Washington last season, while the Eagles’ defense limited the Redskins to 264 yards of offense. The Eagles dropped four road games in 2016 by five points or less, while making their first trip to Arrowhead Stadium since 2005 when Philadelphia outlasted Kansas City, 37-31.

Kansas City
Record: 1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS, 1-0 OVER
Super Bowl Odds: 16/1

The Chiefs pulled off the biggest stunner in Week 1 by upsetting the Patriots, 42-27. Alex Smith connected on a pair of 70+ yard touchdown passes, while Kansas City racked up 21 points in the final quarter to pick up their seventh consecutive road cover since last October. The Chiefs suffered a huge blow in the secondary as cornerback Eric Berry tore his Achilles tendon and is out for the season. Kansas City has not fared well for bettors as a home favorite the last two seasons by posting a 5-11 ATS mark, including three non-covers last season in wins of six points or fewer.

Best Bet: Eagles +5

Vikings at Steelers (-5 , 45 ) – 1:00 PM EST

Record: 1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS, 1-0 OVER
Super Bowl Odds: 20/1

The Vikings won their season opener for the third time in Mike Zimmer’s four seasons as head coach by cruising past the Saints on Monday night, 29-19 as three-point favorites. Sam Bradford put together one of the finest games of his career by completing 27-of-32 passes for 346 yards and three touchdowns, while rookie Dalvin Cook rushed for 127 yards for the Vikings. Minnesota thrived as a road underdog in 2015 by cashing in all six tries, but reverted back to a 1-3 ATS mark in 2016, with the only victory coming in Week 3 at Carolina.

Record: 1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS, 1-0 UNDER
Super Bowl Odds: 10/1

The Steelers were one of two teams to pick up a victory and fail to cover as a favorite in Week 1 as Pittsburgh edged Cleveland, 21-18 as 10-point chalk. Although Le’Veon Bell was unimpressive in the opener by racking up only 32 yards on the ground, Antonio Brown lit up the Cleveland secondary for 182 yards on 11 receptions to help Pittsburgh beat Cleveland for the ninth time in the past 11 meetings. The Steelers have won nine of 10 home openers under Mike Tomlin, while going 6-3 in its past nine games against NFC opponents.

Best Bet: Steelers -5

Dolphins at Chargers (-4, 45) – 4:05 PM EST

Record: 0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS
Super Bowl Odds: 66/1

The Dolphins will finally hit the field after Hurricane Irma wiped out their season opener against the Buccaneers. Coming off a successful 10-6 campaign in Adam Gase’s first season as head coach, Miami will try to duplicate that feat and look for consecutive playoff appearances for the first time since 2000-01. Jay Cutler gets the start at quarterback following Ryan Tannehill’s ACL injury in training camp as the Dolphins covered all three games on the west coast last season, including as four-point underdogs in a 31-24 victory over the Chargers.

Los Angeles
Record: 0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS, 1-0 OVER
Super Bowl Odds: 80/1

The Chargers make their home debut in L.A. after dropping a three-point decision at Denver, 24-21 last Monday. New city, same old story for the Lightning Bolts, who suffered their eighth loss of seven points or less since the start of 2016, while falling to 1-12 in their past 13 divisional matchups. Luckily, the Chargers go outside the AFC West on Sunday, as they have won nine of their past 15 home games against non-divisional opponents since 2014. However, the Dolphins’ defense intercepted Chargers’ quarterback Philip Rivers four times in last November’s seven-point victory, capped off by Kiko Alonso’s pick-six in the final minute.

Best Bet: Dolphins +4

Cowboys (-2 , 42 ) at Broncos – 4:25 PM EST

Record: 1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS
Super Bowl Odds: 10/1

The Cowboys received great news that running back Ezekiel Elliott would play in Week 1 against the Giants. Elliott rushed for 104 yards in a 19-3 triumph as six-point favorites as Dallas avenged a pair of losses to New York from 2016. Dallas won its first six road contests last season before losing the final two to the Giants and Eagles, while scoring 35 points in each of its two road victories against AFC opponents. Dallas and Denver meet for the first time since an epic contest in 2013 as the Broncos outlasted the Cowboys, 51-48, but Dallas cashed as 7 -point home underdogs.

Record: 1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS
Super Bowl Odds: 25/1

The Broncos missed the playoffs last season following a Super Bowl victory in 2015. However, the Vance Joseph era is off to a good start after Denver squeezed past Los Angeles, 24-21 to win its sixth consecutive season opener. Denver hasn’t been listed as a home underdog many times over the years, but the Broncos have cashed tickets in four of their past five opportunities in this role, including a 21-20 win in last season’s opener over Carolina.

Best Bet: Cowboys -2

49ers at Seahawks (-14, 42 ) – 4:25 PM EST

San Francisco
Record: 0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS
Super Bowl Odds: 250/1

The 49ers are in complete rebuilding mode and it showed in a 23-3 home defeat to the Panthers in Week 1. San Francisco could only muster 217 yards of offense, while losing its 18th straight game to a team not named the Rams since 2015. The Niners have dropped seven consecutive meetings with the Seahawks since the 2013 NFC championship, while losing each of its five visits to Seattle by double-digits. San Francisco hasn’t been worth a look as a road underdog since Jim Harbaugh departed the 49ers after the 2014 season as the team owns a 4-10-1 ATS record in this role the last two seasons.

Record: 0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS
Super Bowl Odds: 10/1

The Seahawks’ offense was nowhere to be found at Lambeau Field in Week 1 as Seattle lost at Green Bay, 17-9. Seattle didn’t reach the end zone, while the Seahawks put up 225 yards to fall to 3-9 ATS in its past 12 road games since 2015. The Seahawks should get a boost returning home, where they have won 20 of their past 24 games at CenturyLink Field, while going 7-3 ATS in their last 10 opportunities as a double-digit home favorite. In the last five home victories over the 49ers, Seattle has topped the 29-point four times, including last season’s 37-18 blowout in Week 3.

Best Bet: Seattle -14
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Gridiron Angles - Week 2
September 16, 2017


-- The Jaguars are 10-0 ATS (5.7 ppg) since December 14, 2014 after the gained less than 300 total yards last game.


-- The Lions are 0-13-1 ATS (-6.3 ppg) since November 13, 2011 as a dog after scoring 21+ points last game.


-- The Chargers are 0-10-1 OU (-10.9 ppg) since December 16, 2012 coming off a road game where Philip Rivers threw at least three touchdowns.


-- The Raiders are 12-0-1 OU (11.5 ppg) since November 27, 2011 at home coming off a win where they covered.


-- The Ravens are 0-12 OU (-7.9 ppg) since November 13, 2011 coming off a game as a dog where they had at least 32 minutes time of possession.


-- The Rams are 11-0 ATS (+11.36 ppg) at home off a home win by more than four points.
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SuperContest Picks - Week 2
September 16, 2017

The Westgate Las Vegas SuperContest is the biggest, most prestigious, challenging pro football handicapping contest in the country. The fees are $1,500 per entry.

Contestants must pick 5 pro football games against the spread each week for the entire 17-week season. The individual that has the best record after the season will be deemed the winner.

The LVH Casino at Westgate Las Vegas Resort is a hotel, casino, and convention center, which is located in Las Vegas, Nevada. LVH SuperBook vice-president Jay Kornegay is in charge of the SuperContest.

This year's contest has 2,748, which is an all-time record.

Each week throughout the season, we'll post the Top 5 Consensus Picks in the SuperContest on Saturday afternoon and list all of the selections for each matchup.

Week 2

1) Tennessee -2.5 (704)

2) Pittsburgh -5.5 (662)

3) Green Bay +3 (630)

4) New England -6.5 (627)

5) Dallas -2.5 (605)


Away Team Selections Home Team Selections

Houston (+6.5) 128 Cincinnati (-6.5) 144

Tennessee (-2.5) 704 Jacksonville (+2.5) 548

Cleveland (+8) 420 Baltimore (-8) 340

Buffalo (+7) 325 Carolina (-7) 388

New England (-6.5) 627 New Orleans (+6.5) 384

Arizona (-7) 412 Indianapolis (+7) 293

Philadelphia (+5.5) 549 Kansas City (-5.5) 503

Minnesota (+5.5) 377 Pittsburgh (-5.5) 662

Chicago (+7) 435 Tampa Bay (-7) 346

Miami (+4) 480 L.A. Chargers (-4) 366

N.Y. Jets (+14) 174 Oakland (-14) 549

Washington (+2.5) 529 L.A. Rams (-2.5) 594

Dallas (-2.5) 605 Denver (+2.5) 535

San Francisco (+14) 150 Seattle (-14) 358

Green Bay (+3) 630 Atlanta (-3) 340

Detroit (+3.5) 539 N.Y. Giants (-3.5) 231


Week Consensus Record Overall Record Percentage

1 0-5 0-5 0%

2 - - -
3 - - -
4 - - -
5 - - -
6 - - -
- - - -
8 - - -
9 - - -
10 - - -
11 - - -
12 - - -
13 - - -
14 - - -
15 - - -
16 - - -
17 - - -
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Vikings QB Bradford questionable for Sunday
September 15, 2017

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford has an ailing left knee and is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Bradford reportedly experienced pain and swelling in the knee after Monday's victory over the New Orleans Saints. He underwent an MRI exam the following day.

The knee is the same one in which Bradford has undergone ACL surgery on two occasions -- in 2013 and 2014.

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer refused to discuss the situation on Friday.

"I'm not going to talk about who has had MRIs or who hasn't had MRIs," Zimmer told reporters. "Lots of guys have MRIs."

Bradford, who passed for 346 yards and three touchdowns in the opener, has been a limited practice participant in practice the past three days.

Bradford's backup is Case Keenum, who started nine games for the Los Angeles Rams last season.

Linebacker Anthony Barr (hamstring) and cornerback Xavier Rhodes (hip) also are listed as questionable for Minnesota.


Jets rule 6 players out for Raiders game
September 15, 2017

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) The New York Jets have ruled out six players for their game against the Oakland Raiders, including starting tight end Eric Tomlinson.

Tomlinson injured his left elbow while making the second of two catches in the Jets' season-opening loss at Buffalo last Sunday. Rookie Jordan Leggett (knee) is also out, leaving New York with only Will Tye and Neal Sterling as healthy tight ends on the roster.

Linebacker Bruce Carter (ankle), center Jonotthan Harrison (concussion), safety Rontez Miles (eye) and linebacker Edmond Robinson (groin) will also not play against the Raiders. Coach Todd Bowles said none of the injured players was making the trip to Oakland with the team.


Hightower, Amendola both out Sunday
September 15, 2017

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) The New England Patriots say four players have been ruled out for Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints, including starting linebacker Dont'a Hightower and receiver Danny Amendola.

The team said Friday that Hightower will be sidelined with a knee injury. Amendola is dealing with concussion and knee issues. Special teams captain Matt Slater (hamstring) and defensive tackle Vincent Valentine (knee) will also sit.

Valentine was the only one of the four players to participate in a practice this week, appearing in a limited basis on Thursday.

In addition, safety Devin McCourty (groin), tackle Marcus Cannon (ankle) and defensive back Nate Ebner (shoulder) are all listed as questionable.


Injuries force changes on Arizona o-line, John Brown out
September 15, 2017

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) Injuries have forced the Arizona Cardinals to have new starters John Wetzel and Alex Boone on the left side of the offensive line Sunday against the Colts in Indianapolis.

Left tackle D.J. Humphries is out an estimated one to two weeks with a sprained knee and coach Bruce Arians said Friday that starting left tackle Mike Iupati won't play because of a triceps injury. The team also will be without wide receiver John Brown due to a lingering quadriceps issue.

These injuries on top of the big one, a dislocated wrist that landed star running back David Johnson on injured reserve (although he may return sometime in the second half of the season).

Wetzel, who struggled in relief of Humphries last week in a loss at Detroit, will start at left tackle. Boone, signed last week after being released by Minnesota, will be the left guard.

''I don't feel great about it but those guys have played a lot of football,'' Arians said. ''I've seen Wetzel play better football than he played last week. So with a week's work, he should play better this week. And he's got a great challenge over there with Jabaal Sheard.''

The coach said Boone, a former teammate of Iupati in San Francisco, is ready despite being with the team such a short time.

''It's football for him,'' Arians said. ''(Center) A.Q. (Shipley is keeping him abreast. He knows football so it's just a matter of learning our calls. It hasn't changed much for him and he's a very bright guy.''

Wetzel, who had been the backup at both guard and tackle spots, agreed that it has helped to zero in on one position this week.

''It's good to be able to focus on one so you don't have to worry about anything else,'' he said, ''just focus on that, that footwork, what to do. It's a lot easier to do that now.''

Wetzel started eight games last season - five at left tackle, two at right guard and one at right tackle.

Brown, bothered by the quadriceps through most of training camp, played in last week's opener, with four catches for 32 yards, but didn't practice all week.

''He just can't stay healthy right now,'' Arians said. ''It's just a matter now of next man to step up and go because I don't know when he's going to be healthy.''

Arizona also might not have tight end Jermaine Gresham, who injured his ribs when he was body-slammed to the turf by the Lions' Jarrad Davis late in the opener. Davis was fined $9,115 by the NFL on Friday.

Gresham will be a game-time decision, Arians said. Tight end Troy Niklas was limited in practice with a hip injury Thursday and Friday but will play, the coach said.

To shore up that position, the Cardinals signed tight in Jim Dray. Dray has played seven seasons in the NFL, the first four in Arizona, including 2013, Arians' first season.

''My wife was extremely happy because this is home for us so she loves the hometown team,'' he said. ''I'm just happy that it worked out. This is kind of what we were hoping for at some point, at the end of the career, is come back home, play a couple of games. So we're just happy it worked out.''

Arians said the game will be a big opportunity for three young players - rookie wide receiver Chad Williams, running back Elijhaa Penny and tight end Ifeanyi Momah. All three will figure in the offense, the coach said.

The only injury on defense is to second-year defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche, limited all week with a sore ankle. But Arians said he expects Nkemdiche to fill his usual role.

''We haven't had any injuries over there other than Robert so we should play better defensively for four quarters,'' Arians said. ''We played really good for three (in Detroit) and if we can just sustain that for four we'd have the defense I think we should have.''
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NFL Friday injury report for Sunday games
September 16, 2017



--Out: WR John Brown (quadricep), T D.J. Humphries (knee), G Mike Iupati (tricep)

--Doubtful: LB Deone Bucannon (ankle)

--Questionable: TE Jermaine Gresham (ribs), TE Troy Niklas (hip), DT Robert Nkemdiche (calf)


--Out: S Darius Butler (hamstring), CB Vontae Davis (groin), C Ryan Kelly (foot), QB Andrew Luck (right shoulder), LB Antonio Morrison (elbow), LB Anthony Walker (hamstring)

--Questionable: WR Chester Rogers (hamstring)



--Out: DT Jerel Worthy (concussion)

--Questionable: CB Leonard Johnson (quadricep)




--Doubtful: RB Benny Cunningham (ankle)

--Questionable: CB Prince Amukamara (ankle), WR Josh Bellamy (ankle), S Deon Bush (hamstring), LB Leonard Floyd (back), RB Jordan Howard (shoulder), LB Christian Jones (back), G Kyle Long (ankle), WR Markus Wheaton (finger)


--Out: LB Devante Bond (knee)

--Questionable: LB Kwon Alexander (illness), C Evan Smith (illness)



--Out: DE Myles Garrett (ankle), DT T.Y. McGill (back)


--Out: CB Jaylen Hill (thigh), CB Sheldon Price (concussion), LB Za'Darius Smith (knee, ankle)

--Questionable: WR Michael Campanaro (ankle), LB Tim Williams (illness)



--Out: LB Anthony Hitchens (knee), CB Orlando Scandrick (hand)

--Questionable: S Byron Jones (groin), WR Terrance Williams (ankle)


--Out: RB Devontae Booker (wrist), DE Jared Crick (back), CB Brendan Langley (knee), QB Paxton Lynch (right shoulder)

--Questionable: DE Zach Kerr (knee), G Ronald Leary (concussion), S Darian Stewart (groin)



--Out: LB Rey Maualuga (hamstring)

--Questionable: WR Jarvis Landry (knee)


--Out: S Rayshawn Jenkins (concussion), CB Jason Verrett (knee), WR Mike Williams (back)

--Questionable: DE Jeremiah Attaochu (hamstring), WR Dontrelle Inman (groin), TE Sean McGrath (knee)



--Questionable: LB Anthony Barr (hamstring), QB Sam Bradford (knee), CB Xavier Rhodes (hip)


--Out: T Jerald Hawkins (knee)

--Questionable: TE Vance McDonald (back), DE Stephon Tuitt (biceps), S J.J. Wilcox (concussion)



--Out: WR Danny Amendola (concussion, knee), LB Dont'a Hightower (knee), WR Matt Slater (hamstring), DT Vincent Valentine (knee)

--Questionable: T Marcus Cannon (ankle), S Nate Ebner (shoulder), S Devin McCourty (groin)


--Out: T Terron Armstead (shoulder), T Zach Strief (knee)

--Questionable: LB Stephone Anthony (ankle), DE Trey Hendrickson (illness), LB Nathan Stupar (hamstring)



--Out: LB Bruce Carter (ankle), C Jonotthan Harrison (concussion), TE Jordan Leggett (knee), S Rontez Miles (eye), LB Edmond Robinson (groin), TE Eric Tomlinson (elbow)


--Questionable: S Keith McGill (foot), RB Jamize Olawale (quadricep), CB Sean Smith (neck)



--Out: CB Ronald Darby (ankle), DT Destiny Vaeao (wrist)

--Questionable: S Corey Graham (hamstring)


--Doubtful: G Parker Ehinger (knee), LB Reggie Ragland (knee)

--Questionable: S Ron Parker (ankle), LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (illness)



--Out: LB Reuben Foster (ankle)

--Questionable: S Jimmie Ward (hamstring)


--Doubtful: LB Terence Garvin (shoulder)

--Questionable: CB Richard Sherman (hamstring)



--Out: S Johnathan Cyprien (hamstring), CB Tye Smith (hand)


--Out: S Calvin Pryor (ankle)

--Questionable: CB Jalen Ramsey (ankle)



--Questionable: WR Josh Doctson (hamstring)


--Questionable: CB Kayvon Webster (shoulder)



--Out: T Jason Spriggs (hamstring)

--Doubtful: LB Ahmad Brooks (concussion)

--Questionable: DT Montravius Adams (foot), T David Bakhtiari (hamstring), S Kentrell Brice (quadricep, knee), T Bryan Bulaga (ankle, illness), DT Mike Daniels (hip)


--Questionable: RB Brian Hill (ankle)



--Questionable: DE Ezekiel Ansah (ankle)


--Out: LB Keenan Robinson (concussion)

--Questionable: WR Odell Beckham Jr. (ankle), G D.J. Fluker (shin), LB B.J. Goodson (shin)
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Had Major Computer Problems Earlier.....This is my picks for the late games:



NYJ at OAK 04:05 PM

OAK -13.5

O 43.5

MIA at LAC 04:05 PM

LAC -3.5

U 46.0

SF at SEA 04:25 PM

SEA -13.5

O 41.5

WAS at LAR 04:25 PM

LAR -3.0

O 46.0

DAL at DEN 04:25 PM

DAL -2.5

U 44.0
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Old 09-17-2017, 07:30 PM
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Sunday Night Pick:


ATL -3.0

U 54.5
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NFL Today, Week 2
September 17, 2017


Monday, Sept. 18

Detroit at New York Giants,
8:30 p.m. EDT. Eli Manning and the Giants (0-1) will have to wait until pregame warmups to see if wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.'s sprained left ankle will keep him out for a second straight game. Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, the league's highest-paid player, was in midseason form in Detroit's 35-23 season-opening win over Arizona with 292 yards passing and four touchdowns while engineering his 27th fourth-quarter or overtime comeback since 2011.




- Tom Brady, Patriots, threw three touchdown passes in the first quarter for the first time in his career, eclipsed 300 yards passing in the first half for only the second time, and New England scored 30 first-half points en route to a 36-20 victory over the winless Saints. He finished 30 of 39 for 447 yards.

- Trevor Siemian, Broncos, tied a career high with four touchdown passes in Denver's 42-17 blowout of the Dallas Cowboys.

- Joe Flacco, Ravens, went 25 for 34 for 217 yards with a pair of touchdown passes and Baltimore breezed past Cleveland 24-10.

- Drew Brees, Saints, passed for 356 yards and two TDs in New Orleans' 36-20 loss to New England.

- Carson Wentz, Eagles, threw for 333 yards and two touchdowns, but his Hail Mary pass bounced off the hands of a couple defenders and fell incomplete as time expired in Philadelphia's 27-20 loss at Kansas City.

- Derek Carr, Raiders, had three touchdown passes to Michael Crabtree in Oakland's 45-20 rout of the New York Jets.

- Aaron Rodgers, Packers, passed for 343 yards and two TDs - reaching 400 for his career - in Green Bay's 34-23 loss at Atlanta.



- Carlos Hyde, 49ers, ran for 124 yards on 15 carries in San Francisco's 12-9 loss at Seattle.

- Jay Ajayi, Dolphins, had 122 yards rushing on 28 carries in Miami's 19-17 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers.

- Derrick Henry, Titans, finished with a career-high 92 yards rushing, including 87 in the final two quarters of Tennessee's 37-16 win at Jacksonville.

- C.J. Anderson, Broncos, rushed for 118 yards and a score and also caught a TD pass in Denver's 42-17 rout of Dallas.

- Devonta Freeman, Falcons, ran for two touchdowns and finished with 84 yards in Atlanta's 34-23 win over Green Bay.

- Le'Veon Bell, Steelers, had 87 yards rushing on 27 carries in Pittsburgh's 26-9 win over Minnesota, his second game since ending a summer-long sabbatical due to a contract dispute.

- Kareem Hunt, Chiefs, ran for 81 yards and two scores in Kansas City's 27-20 victory over Philadelphia.

- Chris Thompson, Redskins, had two touchdown runs and finished with 77 yards rushing on just three carries in Washington's 27-20 win at the Los Angeles Rams.



- Michael Crabtree, Raiders, caught three touchdown passes from Derek Carr to help lead Oakland to a 45-20 rout of the New York Jets.

- J.J. Nelson, Cardinals, had five receptions for 120 yards and a touchdown as Arizona edged Indianapolis 16-13.

- Travis Kelce, Chiefs, had eight catches for 103 yards and a somersaulting go-ahead touchdown grab with 6:25 left in the game to help lead Kansas City to a 27-20 win over Philadelphia.

- Rob Gronkowski, Patriots, had a 53-yard catch and run to highlight his six-catch, 116-yard performance in New England's 36-20 win at New Orleans, but left the game in the second half with a groin injury.

- Jarvis Landry, Dolphins, caught 13 passes for 78 yards in Miami's 19-17 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers.

- Jason Witten, Cowboys, had 10 catches for 97 yards and a TD in a losing cause as the Cowboys were routed by Denver 42-17.

- Keenan Allen, Chargers, caught nine passes for 100 yards in the Chargers' 19-17 loss to Miami.


Special Teams

- Chris Boswell, Steelers, kicked four field goals and made both of his extra-point tries in Pittsburgh's 26-9 win over Minnesota.

- Ryan Succop, Titans, made three field goals and four extra points to help Tennessee to a 37-16 victory at Jacksonville.

- Cody Parkey, Dolphins, hit his fourth field goal of the game from 54 yards with 1:05 to play to cap the Dolphins' fourth-quarter rally that spoiled the Los Angeles Chargers' home opener with a 19-17 victory.



- Chris Jones, Chiefs, had three sacks and an interception in Kansas City's 27-20 win over Philadelphia.

- Aqib Talib, Broncos, returned an interception 103 yards for a touchdown with 53 seconds left in Denver's 42-17 rout of Dallas.

- Tyrann Mathieu, Cardinals, intercepted Jacoby Brissett on the first play from scrimmage in the extra period, helping Arizona to a 16-13 overtime victory at Indianapolis.

- Robert McClain, Buccaneers, returned an interception 47 yards for a touchdown in Tampa Bay's 29-7 win over Chicago.

- Desmond Trufant, Falcons, recovered a fumble and returned it 15 yards for a score in Atlanta's 34-23 victory over Green Bay.

- Julius Peppers, Panthers, had two of Carolina's three sacks in a 9-3 win over Buffalo, his first home game since re-signing with the team that drafted him in 2002.

- Chandler Jones, Cardinals, had two sacks and forced a fumble in Arizona's 16-13 overtime win at Indianapolis.



New Orleans' 36-20 loss to New England on Sunday dropped the Saints to 1-11 in September since 2014, having begun 0-2 in four straight campaigns. The Saints have finished 7-9 the past three seasons. ...

Kansas City's Kareem Hunt has five TDs in his first two career games and is the first in NFL history with at least three rushing TDs and two TD catches in a player's first two games. ...

Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger has thrown a touchdown pass in each of his last 45 home games, the NFL's third-longest streak ever. Only Drew Brees (60 games) and Tom Brady (47) have longer streaks. ...

The Chargers' 19-17 loss to Miami marked the 11th time they've dropped games by eight points or fewer since the start of last season, three more than any other NFL team. ...

For the first time in franchise history, San Francisco has gone the first two weeks of the season without scoring a touchdown. In the two games, the 49ers have had one offensive drive inside the opponents' 10-yard line.



Tom Brady has 52 career games with three or more touchdown passes and no interceptions, passing Peyton Manning (51) for the most in NFL history. Brady also joined Warren Moon as the only quarterbacks 40 or older in NFL history to pass for at least 400 yards and three TDs in a game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. He was 30 of 39 for 447 yards and three TDs in New England's 36-20 win at New Orleans. ...

Adam Vinatieri's 29-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter of Indianapolis' 16-13 overtime loss to Arizona gave him 177 from 20 to 29 yards, one more than Morten Andersen. ...

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians tied the late Don Coryell for No. 2 on the franchise's career wins list with 42. ...

Cleveland left tackle Joe Thomas passed the 10,000-mark with his remarkable streak of consecutive snaps played. He hasn't missed a snap since breaking into the league in 2007. He reached 10,000 in a row on the first play of Cleveland's second series in a 24-10 loss at Baltimore. ...

Los Angeles Chargers tight end Antonio Gates had a touchdown catch in a 19-17 loss to Miami, giving him 112 for his career - passing Tony Gonzalez (111) for the most by a tight end in NFL history.

... Indianapolis' Frank Gore had his 75th career touchdown run in the Colts' 16-13 overtime loss to Arizona. Gore, who also has 16 career receiving touchdowns, is the sixth player in NFL history with at least 75 rushing TDs and 15 receiving scores, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Marcus Allen, Jim Brown, Marshall Faulk, Walter Payton and LaDainian Tomlinson.



The Denver Broncos held Ezekiel Elliott to the worst game of his career - 8 yards on nine carries - in a 42-17 blowout of the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday in a game that included an hour-long lightning delay. Elliott, who's playing while his appeal of a six-game suspension for domestic violence works its way through the courts, came into the game averaging 108 yards rushing per game and more than 5 yards a carry in his career, which is in its second season.



Phil Dawson made a 30-yard field goal in overtime to give Arizona a 16-13 victory over Indianapolis, a few minutes after pushing a 42-yard field goal wide right as time expired in regulation. ''The defense saved me,'' Dawson said. ''Missed one with the game on the line and the game could have turned out another way.''



Washington rushed 39 times for 229 yards in a 27-20 victory over the Los Angeles Rams. Chris Thompson finished with 77 yards - including TD runs of 71 and 7 yards - on three carries. Rob Kelley, who suffered a thigh injury midway through the second quarter, had 78 yards on 12 carries. Samaje Perine finished with 67 yards on 21 carries.



Minnesota played without quarterback Sam Bradford, who sat out the Vikings' 26-9 loss at Pittsburgh with an injured left knee. Case Keenum struggled to get anything going in Bradford's absence, throwing for just 167 yards on 20 of 35 passing. Vikings rookie Dalvin Cook ran for 64 yards, but Minnesota failed to generate any sustained momentum.



Seattle wide receiver Paul Richardson suffered a dislocated right ring finger in the first quarter that popped through the skin. The finger was put back in place and the skin stitched up so he could return and eventually made the winning catch - a 9-yard grab from Russell Wilson with 7:06 left that gave the Seahawks a 12-9 victory over San Francisco. ''That was the goal once I got it sewed up, still go win,'' Richardson said. ''I wasn't just trying to get out there, `Oh he's tough, he's finishing out the game.' I wanted to go make a difference.''



Browns rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer, who left with a migraine headache in the second quarter of Cleveland's 24-10 loss at Baltimore after four ineffective series: a three-and-out, a lost fumble, an interception and a punt. The former Notre Dame starter was replaced by second-year pro Kevin Hogan, who would become the third quarterback in two games to be intercepted by the Baltimore defense. Kizer said the headaches are hereditary, and that he hasn't had one crop up in a game since high school. He received medication, underwent concussion protocol, and finally received clearance to return in the third quarter with Baltimore up 21-10.



The Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers began their games Sunday with tributes to those affected by Hurricane Irma. Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler Jr., who grew up in St. Petersburg and played at the University of Florida, carried the state flag onto field. The Jaguars and first responders held a giant American flag during the national anthem. Both teams and the Miami Dolphins, who play at the Los Angeles Chargers, wore ''ONE FLORIDA'' decals on their helmets.



Carolina tight end Greg Olsen broke his right foot in Carolina's 9-3 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday and is expected to miss significant playing time. Olsen has never missed a game because of injury during his previous 10 NFL seasons. ...

Baltimore guard Marshal Yanda is out for the season with a fracture in his ankle and rookie linebacker Bam Bradley tore his ACL and will miss the rest of the season. Defensive tackle Brandon Williams hurt his foot in the third quarter and did not return.

Cleveland wide receiver Corey Coleman hurt his hand on a fourth-quarter play. Linebacker Jamie Collins suffered a concussion. ...

Denver rookie left tackle Garett Bolles was carted off the field with a lower left leg injury in the third quarter against Dallas. The Cowboys lost two defensive backs in the first half: Chidobe Awuzie went out with a hamstring injury and Nolan Carroll was ruled out with a concussion. ...

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski had a groin injury in New England's 36-20 win. Running back Rex Burkhead had a rib injury in the second half. ...

Washington starting running back Rob Kelley suffered a rib injury midway through the second quarter and didn't return. Tight end Jordan Reed suffered a chest injury in the third quarter and safety Montae Nicholson hurt a shoulder in the fourth quarter.



''Being 0-1 with a 10-day break felt like a year.'' - New England's Tom Brady, alluding to a Thursday night loss to Kansas City in Week 1. The Patriots bounced back Sunday with a 36-20 win at New Orleans.


''That's Marshawn being Marshawn, playing for his hometown team. If you grow up as a kid and grow up rooting for a team and then you get to play for them, wouldn't that be a dream? I'm just happy for him. He's living a childhood dream.'' - Oakland left tackle Donald Penn on teammate Marshawn Lynch, who celebrated his first home game for his hometown team by running for a touchdown and delighting the fans with a lengthy sideline dance in the fourth quarter of the Raiders' 45-20 victory over the New York Jets.
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NFL notebook: Dolphins' Timmons not with team
September 17, 2017

Miami Dolphins linebacker Lawrence Timmons left the team on Sunday and missed the club's season-opening contest against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Timmons was reportedly angered by something on Saturday and left the team. The Dolphins located Timmons on Sunday but haven't disclosed what led to his actions.

The 31-year-old Timmons was one of the club's inactives Sunday to halt a streak of playing in 101 consecutive games. Undrafted rookie Chase Allen started in his place.

--Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen left Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills with a broken right foot.

Olsen, an 11th-year pro, went out in the second quarter, and spent the rest of the game on crutches. There is no timetable for his return to action.

Olsen made one catch for 10 yards in the first quarter Sunday. He had two receptions for 18 yards in the opener.

--The Denver Broncos lost rookie left tackle Garett Bolles to a lower left leg injury during the third quarter against the Dallas Cowboys.

Bolles, the 20th overall pick of the 2017 draft, had to be carted off the field after apparently having the leg rolled in traffic during a running play.

The Cowboys also were hit hard by injuries, particularly at the cornerback position.

First, rookie cornerback Chidobe Awuzie left in the first quarter because of a hamstring injury and did not return. During the second quarter, cornerback Nolan Carroll sustained a concussion and was ruled out for the remainder of the game.

Midway through the second quarter, Broncos wide receiver Bennie Fowler left the game after landing on his head while trying to make a diving catch near the goal line.

--Cleveland rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer was sidelined with a migraine midway through the second quarter. Kevin Hogan, a second-year player from Stanford, entered and orchestrated a scoring drive.

Kizer returned later in the game.

--Contract talks of a new five-year extension for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell reportedly are being slowed down by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

Jones has slowed down, if not impeded, negotiations aimed at an extension for Goodell, sources familiar with those talks told ESPN's Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen.

"If not for Jerry, this deal would be done," one person familiar with the contract negotiations told ESPN this weekend.

--Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford was inactive for Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers because of a knee injury.

Backup Case Keenum started for the Vikings and went 20 of 37 for 167 yards in a 26-9 loss to the Steelers.

--The Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jacksonville Jaguars wore a "One Florida" helmet decal on Sunday after Hurricane Irma heavily damaged the state last week.

The three Florida NFL teams wore the decal as a show of support and solidarity post-Irma, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

--The Los Angeles Rams were without starting cornerback Kayvon Webster against the Washington Redskins.

Webster suffered a shoulder injury during the Rams' win last week against Indianapolis. He did not practice during the week and was listed as questionable on the team's injury report.

--Three Chicago Bears players left the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers because of injuries and did not return.

Linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski left with a pectoral muscle injury, offensive tackle Tom Compton departed because of a hip injury and right guard Josh Sitton was forced out by a ribs injury.

--The Philadelphia Eagles' secondary suffered more setbacks as starting safety Rodney McLeod and backup safety Jaylen Watkins both left Sunday's game against the Kansas City because of hamstring injuries. Neither returned to the game.

--Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Kwon Alexander left the game against the Chicago Bears in the second quarter with a hamstring injury.

--Washington Redskins running back Rob Kelley exited the game against the Rams with a rib injury. Kelley initially was designated as questionable to return in the second quarter, but did not play in the remainder of the game.

He rushed 12 times for 78 yards.
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Old 09-18-2017, 12:06 AM
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NFL Capsules
September 17, 2017

ATLANTA (AP) Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons picked up where they left off against the Green Bay Packers, building a big halftime on the way to a dominating victory Sunday night.

The rematch of last season's NFC championship game was essentially a repeat: Ryan threw for 252 yards and a touchdown, Devonta Freeman had a couple of scoring runs, and Desmond Trufant raced to the end zone off an attempted pass by Aaron Rodgers that was ruled a fumble, leading the Falcons to a 34-23 victory over the Packers that wasn't really that close.

Last season, Atlanta earned a trip to the Super Bowl by racing to a 24-0 halftime lead and a 31-0 edge early in the third quarter on the way to a 44-31 blowout of the Packers.

In the first regular-season NFL game at $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and the first sporting event with in which the facility's camera lens-like roof was open, the Falcons put on a show to mark the occasion. They were ahead 24-7 at halftime and 31-7 less than a minute into the third period.

Unlike the Super Bowl, Atlanta (2-0) made sure this lead stood up.

After struggling a bit offensively in a season-opening victory at Chicago that was preserved with a goal-line stand in the closing season, the Falcons dominated right from the start in an early showdown for conference supremacy. The Packers (1-1) finally showed a bit of life with a couple of fourth-quarter touchdowns, including Rodgers' 300th scoring pass.


CARSON, Calif. (AP) - Cody Parkey hit his fourth field goal from 54 yards with 1:05 to play, and the Miami Dolphins rallied in the fourth quarter to spoil Los Angeles' home opener.

Younghoe Koo missed a 44-yard field goal attempt with 5 seconds left after Philip Rivers maneuvered the Chargers (0-2) into scoring range in the final minute before a crowd of 25,381 in their first home game since relocating to the Los Angeles area after 56 seasons in San Diego.

Jay Cutler passed for 230 yards and Jay Ajayi rushed for 122 in the delayed season opener for the Dolphins, who spent the past nine days in California after leaving South Florida early to avoid Hurricane Irma. Parkey did most of their scoring, connecting from 30, 28 and 35 yards before burying his longest kick in the waning moments.

Rivers passed for 331 yards, and Antonio Gates set an NFL record with his 112th touchdown reception as a tight end.


NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Bouncing back with a vengeance from a season-opening loss, Tom Brady threw three touchdown passes in the first quarter for the first time in his career and eclipsed 300 yards passing in the first half for only the second time.

Brady's maiden Super Bowl triumph in the Superdome back in February 2002 is bound to be one of his fondest memories. But the 18-year veteran looked like a superior QB in his latest visit. He finished 30 of 39 for 447 yards without an interception - at least not one that counted. Saints defenders caught Brady's passes twice, but both plays were wiped out by New Orleans penalties.

Brady joined Warren Moon as the only QBs age 40 or older to pass for at least 400 yards and three TDs in a game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Rob Gronkowski had a 53-yard catch and run to highlight his six-catch, 116-yard performance, but left the game in the second half with a groin injury.


DENVER (AP) - Trevor Siemian tied a career high with four touchdown passes and Denver held Ezekiel Elliott to the worst game of his career - 8 yards on nine carries - in a game that included an hour-long lightning delay.

Aqib Talib's 103-yard interception return for a touchdown with 53 seconds left was the final indignity for the Cowboys (1-1), who watched Von Miller end a career-long five-game sackless streak by dumping Dak Prescott twice.

Elliott, who's playing while his appeal of a six-game suspension for domestic violence works its way through the courts, came into the game averaging 108 yards rushing per game and more than 5 yards a carry in his career.

C.J. Anderson rushed for 118 yards and a score and also caught a TD pass for the Broncos, whose only big blemish in their fifth straight 2-0 start was the left leg injury to tackle Garett Bolles, their No. 1 draft pick who got hurt on the opening drive of the second half.


SEATTLE (AP) - Russell Wilson avoided two potential sacks and found Paul Richardson in the front corner of the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown with 7:06 left.

It was an offensive nightmare as both teams had combined for 14 total quarters without a touchdown this season before the Seahawks finally broke the seal on the goal line. Wilson avoided Arik Armstead in the pocket and got his pass away before DeForest Buckner could pull him down. Seattle (1-1) snapped a streak of more than 112 minutes without a touchdown, despite missing on opportunities twice inside the 49ers' 10-yard line earlier in the game.

Wilson was erratic at times and magical at the end. He was 23 of 39 passing for 198 yards. He rushed for another 34 yards, 27 coming on the decisive scoring drive. Wilson was 4 of 5 on the drive and aided by a 20-yard pass interference penalty against Dontae Johnson.

Blair Walsh added field goals of 25 and 27 yards, but missed the extra point after Richardson's TD that could have given the Seahawks a four-point lead. The 49ers (0-2) only needed a field goal to tie but never got into position to have an opportunity.

San Francisco went three-and-out after the touchdown, punted and never got the ball back. Rookie Chris Carson rushed for 93 yards, including 58 yards in the fourth quarter.


OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Marshawn Lynch ran for a touchdown in his first home game with Oakland and Derek Carr threw three TD passes to Michael Crabtree.

Cordarrelle Patterson and Jalen Richard added long touchdown runs to help put the game away and give the Raiders (2-0) wins in the opening two games of the season for the first time since their AFC championship season in 2002.

Josh McCown threw a pair of TD passes to Jermaine Kearse, but the Jets (0-2) proved to be no match for the more powerful and talented Raiders.

The Raiders' vaunted offensive line won the matchup against New York's front four , allowing no sacks and helping clear holes for a 180-yard rushing performance.

Oakland wore down the Jets and got a 43-yard touchdown run by Patterson late in the third quarter and a 52-yarder by Richard early in the fourth that made it 35-13.


LOS ANGELES (AP) - Kirk Cousins threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Grant with 1:49 to play to give the Redskins the victory against their former assistant coach, Rams and rookie head coach Sean McVay.

Cousins capped the winning 70-yard drive by finding Grant in the front left corner of the end zone.

The Rams (1-1) had tied the game at 20 on Greg Zuerlein's 40-yard field goal with 7:16 to play. It was set up on a trick play, when punter Johnny Hekker completed a 28-yard pass to Josh Reynolds to the Washington 17. But two penalties stalled the drive and the Rams had to settle for the field goal.

Chris Thompson scored on runs of 61 and 7 yards for the Redskins (1-1).

Mason Foster sealed it with 1:37 to go by intercepting Jared Goff.


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Chiefs rookie Kareem Hunt reached the end zone twice, Travis Kelce took a shovel pass 15 yards for the go-ahead touchdown and Kansas City held on.

Kelce's touchdown catch with 6:25 left and Hunt's second TD scamper appeared to have put the game away.

But Carson Wentz hit Nelson Agholor for an answering score with 14 seconds left, and Trey Burton jumped on the onside kick a few seconds later to give the Eagles one last throw to the end zone.

Wentz unloaded from just inside the 50-yard line, but his pass fell incomplete as time expired.

Kelce finished with 103 yards through the air, highlighted by his somersaulting score. Hunt had 81 yards on the ground, building on a record-setting debut in which he piled up 246 yards from scrimmage in a season-opening victory in New England .

Alex Smith had 251 yards passing for the Chiefs (2-0). Cairo Santos was 2 for 2 on field goals.

Wentz finished with 333 yards and two touchdowns passing, despite facing relentless pressure all afternoon. The spunky quarterback also led the Eagles (1-1) with 55 yards rushing.


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Carson Palmer's late rally got the Cardinals into overtime and Tyrann Mathieu's interception set up Phil Dawson for a 30-yard field goal to win it.

Dawson made the most of his second chance after pushing a 42-yarder wide right as regulation time expired.

Arizona (1-1) never led until the final play. It hasn't started 0-2 since 2005.

Coach Bruce Arians won his 42nd career game and tied Don Coryell for the second-most wins in Cardinals history on the same field he called home when he won his first NFL Coach of the Year award in 2012 as an interim for the ill Chuck Pagano.

Indy, 0-2 for the fourth consecutive year, thought it may have changed directions after switching quarterbacks. But newcomer Jacoby Brissett was picked off on the first offensive play of overtime.


PITTSBURGH (AP) - Ben Roethlisberger threw a pair of first-half touchdown passes, Le'Veon Bell ran for 87 yards and the Steelers kept Minnesota in check.

Roethlisberger hit Martavis Bryant for a 27-yard score in the first quarter and flipped a shovel pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster that the rookie turned into a 4-yard score. Roethlisberger finished 23 of 35 for 243 yards and the two scores as the Steelers (2-0) improved to 10-1 in home openers under Mike Tomlin.

Minnesota (1-1) played without quarterback Sam Bradford, who sat out with a left knee injury. Case Keenum struggled to get anything going in Bradford's absence, throwing for 167 yards on 20 of 35 passing.

Vikings rookie Dalvin Cook ran for 64 yards, but Minnesota failed to generate any real momentum against Pittsburgh's rejuvenated defense.


TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Jameis Winston threw for 204 yards and one touchdown, helping the Buccaneers return from an unscheduled bye week forced by Hurricane Irma.

The defense stymied former teammate Mike Glennon with four takeaways. Robert McClain returned one of the quarterback's two interceptions for a TD, and the Bucs didn't let the Bears into the end zone until Deonte Thompson scored on a 14-yard reception with 1:43 remaining.

The Bucs (1-0) dominated despite having a short week of practice following the massive storm that forced postponement of the team's scheduled season opener at Miami. Winston completed 18 of 30 passes without an interception. He threw a 13-yard TD pass to Mike Evans, who had seven catches for 93 yards.

Glennon, who signed with Chicago as a free agent last winter, was 31 of 45 for 301 yards and two interceptions in his return to Raymond James Stadium. The Bears (0-2) finished with 310 yards total offense, 1 yard less than a Bucs offense that hasn't had much work in the past month.


BALTIMORE (AP) - Baltimore relentlessly harassed two Cleveland quarterbacks, Joe Flacco ramped up his production with a pair of touchdown passes and the Ravens breezed.

Building on their season-opening shutout at Cincinnati, the Ravens picked off four passes and forced a fumble, giving them 10 takeaways in two games.

Most of the defense's damage came against Browns rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer, who left with a migraine headache in the second quarter after four ineffective series: a three-and-out, a lost fumble, an interception and a punt.

The former Notre Dame starter was replaced by second-year pro Kevin Hogan, but returned in the third quarter with Baltimore up 21-10. On his second series back, Kizer moved the Browns to the Baltimore 7 before being picked off in the end zone by Lardarius Webb.

Brandon Carr's interception with 6:09 remaining all but sealed the victory.


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Derrick Henry, Delanie Walker and Jalston Fowler each ran for touchdowns, and the Titans dominated the Jaguars.

The result was probably more indicative of what to expect from the AFC South rivals than what each showed in their season openers.

Henry finished with a career-high 92 yards on the ground for the Titans (1-1), including 87 in the final two quarters. Starting running back DeMarco Murray spent much of the second half standing on the sideline and wearing a baseball cap backward, seemingly uninjured. There was no need to risk him in this one, the third consecutive lopsided score in the series.

Marcus Mariota, returning to the place where he broke his right leg last December, completed 15 of 27 passes for 215 yards. He had a 32-yard touchdown pass to Jonnu Smith in the final quarter.

Jacksonville's home opener felt eerily similar to most of the team's performances the previous five years: Lackluster offense and mistakes all over the field for the Jaguars (1-1).


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Carolina's defense allowed only three points for the second straight week, and Graham Gano converted three field goals.

The Panthers (2-0) held Tyrod Taylor and LeSean McCoy in check all day, limiting the Bills (1-1) to 176 yards and 10 first downs. McCoy had 9 yards on 12 carries and Taylor had 125 yards passing. The Panthers had three sacks, two by Julius Peppers in his first home game since re-signing with them.

The Panthers needed a late stop to seal the win.

Buffalo rookie Zay Jones tried to make a diving catch on fourth-and-11, but couldn't haul in the pass at the Carolina 3 with 9 seconds remaining.

The Panthers have not allowed a touchdown in two games after beating San Francisco 23-3 in Week 1.

But they lost tight end Greg Olsen in the second quarter to a broken right foot. Olsen did not miss a game in his previous 10 pro seasons.
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MNF - Lions at Giants
September 17, 2017


The Lions (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) were sluggish in the season opener against the Cardinals as quarterback Matthew Stafford was intercepted and Arizona returned the pick for a touchdown early in the first quarter. Detroit erased a 17-9 third quarter deficit by scoring 26 unanswered points to pick up a 35-23 victory, while cashing as 2 -point home underdogs. Stafford bounced back from the early interception to throw four touchdown passes, including a pair of scoring strikes to rookie Kenny Golladay.

Detroit’s defense caused four Arizona turnovers, including three interceptions of Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer. The Lions limited the Cardinals to only 45 yards rushing, which was aided by Arizona running back David Johnson leaving with a wrist injury. Detroit improved to 6-1 the last seven season openers, as all seven games finished OVER the total.

The Giants (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) finished last season by scoring 19 points or fewer in each of their final six games, including in their Wild Card loss at Green Bay. New York’s offense didn’t produce much in its season opening 19-3 defeat at Dallas as the Giants posted 233 yards. The rushing attack was anything but by racking up 35 yards on 12 carries, as New York could be on its way to another poor season running the ball after ranking 29th in this category in 2016.

New York was without the services of Pro Bowl receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., who sat out due to an ankle injury suffered in the preseason. Eli Manning’s top target in Week 1 turned out to be running back Shane Vereen, who picked up nine receptions out of the backfield for 51 yards. Veteran Brandon Marshall didn’t make a dent in the Dallas defense as the wide receiver recorded only one catch, which came in the final minute of play.


The Lions covered already as a home underdog against the Cardinals, but Jim Caldwell’s team struggled when receiving points away from Ford Field last season. In eight opportunities as a road ‘dog in 2016, Detroit posted a 3-5 ATS record, while the UNDER cashed five times. The Lions closed last season with three consecutive losses as an away underdog, while scoring six points in two of those defeats. Dating back to 2013, the Lions have compiled an 8-13 ATS record in this situation, while going 13-21 ATS the last four seasons on the highway.


Ben McAdoo is entering his second season as the head coach of the Giants as he helped propel New York back to the postseason in 2016 at 10-6. Although the offense suffered late in the season, New York still managed a six-game winning streak halfway through 2016, while posting an impressive 7-1 record at Met Life Stadium. The Giants will be playing only one home contest through the first four weeks (at Philadelphia and Tampa Bay the next two games), but Big Blue has failed to cover its home opener in each of the past five seasons.


The Giants and Lions are hooking up for the third time in the past four seasons. New York has captured two of the past three meetings, including a 17-6 home triumph last December as four-point favorites. Manning threw for 202 yards, but also connected on touchdown passes to Beckham and Sterling Shepard, as the Giants posted 300 yards of offense. Stafford couldn’t produce a touchdown for Detroit, as he put up 273 yards through the air, while getting intercepted once. The last time the Giants and Lions met for a Monday night affair came in the 2014 opener at Ford Field as Detroit cruised to a 35-14 blowout as 6 -point favorites.


Stafford has struggled in the spotlight of primetime games in his career. Detroit owns a dreadful 3-10 record in games started by Stafford at night, including three straight losses to close out 2016. However, two of those victories came on the road, while the third win came at home against the Giants in Week 1 of the 2014 campaign. The Giants split a pair of games on Monday night last season, as the lone victory was a one-point decision against the Bengals at home.


VegasInsider.com handicapper Joe Nelson checks in with his thoughts on this NFC matchup, “Arizona handed Detroit four turnovers and as has been the case in most of the Jim Caldwell era, the Lions struggled to run the ball gaining just 3.0 yards per carry. The Lions were also caught committing 10 penalties for 100 yards as optimism gained from a minor upset in Week 1 should be grounded for the Lions, but Stafford has often proven the ability to overcome the team’s limitations in crunch time.”

Nelson doesn’t have much faith that both these squads to return to the playoffs, “Like Detroit, the Giants were also a NFC Wild Card last season, but there likely won’t be room for both of these teams in this year’s playoff field with neither being the favorite in their divisions. After falling to Dallas on Sunday night with only three points scored, this becomes a critical game for the Giants as they are heading back on the road the next two weeks to face quality NFC playoff contenders.”


Scott Cooley of Bookmaker.eu says things have stayed steady in this contest, “The line feels pretty tight, and the sharp action has been non-existent. As far as the public wagering, we are seeing around 65 percent of the tickets on Detroit and 55 percent of the money on that side as well.”
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Old 09-18-2017, 12:13 AM
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Lions (1-0) @ Giants (0-1)— How much of Giants’ anemic offense LW was Dallas’ defense; how much was absence of Beckham? Big Blue was 3-1-1 coming off a loss LY- they’re 12-10 in last 22 games as a home favorite. Giants are 2-9-1 vs spread the week after playing Dallas. Detroit is 7-11 as a road dog under Caldwell; 11-13-2, coming off a win. Giants won four of last five series games; Detroit lost its last two visits here, 28-20/17-6- their last series win here was in 2004. Detroit is 4-2 vs spread in last six Monday night games. Giants covered five of last six Monday nite home games. Detroit is 2-7 in last nine road openers; over is 8-3-1 in their last 12. Giants are 1-4 in last five home openers, scoring 18 pts/game (under 4-1). Giants didn’t force any 3/outs LW; they lost field position by 13 yards.
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Old 09-18-2017, 12:15 AM
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Monday, September 18, 2017
Time (ET) Away Home
8:30 PM Detroit Lions New York Giants


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Time (ET) Away Home
8:25 PM Los Angeles Rams San Francisco 49ers

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Time (ET) Away Home
9:30 AM Baltimore Ravens Jacksonville Jaguars
1:00 PM Denver Broncos Buffalo Bills
1:00 PM New Orleans Saints Carolina Panthers
1:00 PM Pittsburgh Steelers Chicago Bears
1:00 PM Atlanta Falcons Detroit Lions
1:00 PM Cleveland Browns Indianapolis Colts
1:00 PM Tampa Bay Buccaneers Minnesota Vikings
1:00 PM Houston Texans New England Patriots
1:00 PM Miami Dolphins New York Jets
1:00 PM New York Giants Philadelphia Eagles
4:05 PM Seattle Seahawks Tennessee Titans
4:25 PM Cincinnati Bengals Green Bay Packers
4:25 PM Kansas City Chiefs Los Angeles Chargers
8:30 PM Oakland Raiders Washington Redskins

Monday, September 25, 2017

Time (ET) Away Home
8:30 PM Dallas Cowboys Arizona Cardinals
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NFL Standings


Team Win Loss Ties Percent PF PA Home Away Division

Detroit Lions 1 0 0 1.000 35 23 1-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0

Minnesota Vikings 1 1 0 0.500 38 45 1-0-0 0-1-0 0-0-0

Green Bay Packers 1 1 0 0.500 40 43 1-0-0 0-1-0 0-0-0

Chicago Bears 0 2 0 0.000 24 52 0-1-0 0-1-0 0-0-0


Team Win Loss Ties Percent PF PA Home Away Division

Philadelphia Eagles 1 1 0 0.500 50 44 0-0-0 1-1-0 1-0-0

Dallas Cowboys 1 1 0 0.500 36 45 1-0-0 0-1-0 1-0-0

Washington Redskins 1 1 0 0.500 44 50 0-1-0 1-0-0 0-1-0

New York Giants 0 1 0 0.000 3 19 0-0-0 0-1-0 0-1-0


Team Win Loss Ties Percent PF PA Home Away Division

Carolina Panthers 2 0 0 1.000 32 6 1-0-0 1-0-0 0-0-0

Atlanta Falcons 2 0 0 1.000 57 40 1-0-0 1-0-0 0-0-0

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1 0 0 1.000 29 7 1-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0

New Orleans Saints 0 2 0 0.000 39 65 0-1-0 0-1-0 0-0-0


Team Win Loss Ties Percent PF PA Home Away Division

Seattle Seahawks 1 1 0 0.500 21 26 1-0-0 0-1-0 1-0-0

Arizona Cardinals 1 1 0 0.500 39 48 0-0-0 1-1-0 0-0-0

Los Angeles Rams 1 1 0 0.500 66 36 1-1-0 0-0-0 0-0-0

San Francisco 49ers 0 2 0 0.000 12 35 0-1-0 0-1-0 0-1-0


Team Win Loss Ties Percent PF PA Home Away Division

Baltimore Ravens 2 0 0 1.000 44 10 1-0-0 1-0-0 2-0-0

Pittsburgh Steelers 2 0 0 1.000 47 27 1-0-0 1-0-0 1-0-0

Cincinnati Bengals 0 2 0 0.000 9 33 0-2-0 0-0-0 0-1-0

Cleveland Browns 0 2 0 0.000 28 45 0-1-0 0-1-0 0-2-0


Team Win Loss Ties Percent PF PA Home Away Division

Miami Dolphins 1 0 0 1.000 19 17 0-0-0 1-0-0 0-0-0

Buffalo Bills 1 1 0 0.500 24 21 1-0-0 0-1-0 1-0-0

New England Patriots 1 1 0 0.500 63 62 0-1-0 1-0-0 0-0-0

New York Jets 0 2 0 0.000 32 66 0-0-0 0-2-0 0-1-0


Team Win Loss Ties Percent PF PA Home Away Division

Tennessee Titans 1 1 0 0.500 53 42 0-1-0 1-0-0 1-0-0

Jacksonville Jaguars 1 1 0 0.500 45 44 0-1-0 1-0-0 1-1-0

Houston Texans 1 1 0 0.500 20 38 0-1-0 1-0-0 0-1-0

Indianapolis Colts 0 2 0 0.000 22 62 0-1-0 0-1-0 0-0-0


Team Win Loss Ties Percent PF PA Home Away Division

Denver Broncos 2 0 0 1.000 66 38 2-0-0 0-0-0 1-0-0

Oakland Raiders 2 0 0 1.000 71 36 1-0-0 1-0-0 0-0-0

Kansas City Chiefs 2 0 0 1.000 69 47 1-0-0 1-0-0 0-0-0

Los Angeles Chargers 0 2 0 0.000 38 43 0-1-0 0-1-0 0-1-0

Updated Mon Sep 18 1:04 AM EDT

Last edited by CNOTES53; 09-18-2017 at 12:19 AM.
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NFL Record For Sept......Based on 5 units ( Best Bets and Opinons )






Totals...................23 - 20 - 1...........53.48%.........+5.00

Best Bets:

Date...........................ATS......TOTAL..... ..... ......O/U.......TOTAL..........TOTALS

09/17/2017.................1 - 2......-6.00..............3 - 3........-1.50...............- 7.50

09/14/2017.................0 - 1......-5.50..............0 - 1........-5.50..............- 11.00

Best Bets Total.............1 - 3......11.50..............3 - 4.......-7.00..............-18.50
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Old 09-19-2017, 01:49 AM
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Tuesday's Six-Pack

— Phillies 4, Dodgers 3— Aaron Altherr hit a grand slam, the first one Clayton Kershaw allowed in the big leagues.

— A’s 8, Tigers 3— Matt Olson homered for the 4th consecutive game; he has 14 HR’s in his last 20 games. Oakland is 9-3 in its last 12 games.

— Marlins 13, Mets 1— Giancarlo Stanton hit his 55th home run; he has 117 RBI, Marcell Ozuna has 113— will they both be Marlins next year?

— Chargers are sticking with kicker Younghoe Koo, who missed clutch FG’s at the end of the Bolts’ first two games the last two weeks.

— Red Sox 10, Orioles 8— Wild game at Camden Yards.

— If the baseball playoffs started today (they do not):

AL: Boston-Cleveland-Houston. Wild Cards: New York/Minnesota
NL: Washington-Chicago-Los Angeles. Wild Cards: Arizona/Colorado


Tuesday’s List of 13: Nobody asked me, but……..

13) Lions 24, Giants 10— Detroit broke game open with an 88-yard punt return for a TD; they’re 2-0 while Giants are 0-2, having scored only one TD on 18 drives so far this season.

One thing thats going to be an issue in Detroit, if they have a good season this year; Jim Caldwell doesn’t have a contract past this season. Think about Tampa Bay/Lovie Smith, when he got fired because Bucs’ brass liked the job OC Dirk Koetter was doing with franchise QB Jameis Winston- they didn’t want Koetter leaving, so they made him head coach.

Same thing could happen in Detroit if OC Jim Bob Cooter becomes a hot name on the coaching carousel; if the Lions want Cooter/Matthew Stafford to stay connected, they may have to make Cooter the head coach to keep him in the Motor City. Stay tuned.

12) Obscure Lions’ trivia: Cooter was Peyton Manning’s backup QB at Tennessee.

11) Matthew Stafford is now 53-58 as an NFL starting QB, plus 0-3 in playoff games. Detroit was 0-16 the year before they drafted him.

Jon Gruden called him “a great quarterback” last night. I’m not disputing that at all, just repeating his words. Stafford has attempted more passes per game than anyone in NFL history— I wouldn’t have guessed that.

10) Archie Manning (Peyton/Eli’s dad) was a great college football player at Ole Miss; he was just like Steve Young, except he threw righty instead of lefty. Otherwise, the same; great mobility, solid passer, but in the NFL, Archie Manning played 11 years for the then-putrid New Orleans Saints. No bueno.

There was was no free agency back then; Manning got pummeled playing on a horrible team; his record was 35-91-3 as a starter for New Orleans, which is probably why Archie orchestrated Eli’s trade from San Diego to the Giants after the 2003 draft.

9) My point is this: football is a TEAM game; no one player makes a team great. I’m reading lot of media nitwits who follow the “narrative flowchart”:

— Team A won: Team A’s quarterback is on the upswing.
— Team A lost: Team A’s quarterback was a lousy draft pick, or is over-the-hill.

It is just lazy commentary; developing players is a process, it takes years to become a great player. Matthew Stafford is under .500 in his career, but Jon Gruden says he is a great QB, and that’s good enough for me.

8) Arizona Wildcats have a 26-year old freshman QB named Donovan Tate who was drafted 22 spots above Mike Trout in the 2009 baseball draft- he was the third player taken.

San Diego Padres gave Tate a $5M+ signing bonus in ‘09, then watched his struggle with injuries and off-field problems ruin his baseball career. Now Tate is trying football and is a backup QB now— he is the son of former Georgia running back Lars Tate.

7) Atlanta Braves are moving their spring training HQ from Kisssimmee to Sarasota; they’re having groundbreaking on the new facility in October.

6) Everyone was a kid once: ESPN’s Jon Gruden hit a home run in Little League off of John Parry, the referee in the Lions-Giants game last night.

5) At one point in his career, Andy Reid was the offensive line coach at UTEP. He’s come a very long way since then. Offensive line coach at UTEP is not usually a stepping stone to the NFL.

4) Record for most total home runs in a season is 5,693, which figures to fall late this week.

3) Weird stat: the NFL quarterback with the most wins in FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, home of the Browns, is Ben Roethlisberger, with 11. He obviously plays for the Steelers, which is bad for the Browns.

2) No baseball team has ever made the playoffs after losing more than 97 games the previous season. Minnesota lost 103 games last season and right now, they hold one of the AL Wild Card spots, so they could make some history soon

1) Had a great weekend in Philadelphia the past few days; very underrated city. Saw the A’s play three games, had some cheesesteaks, visited with friends. Good stuff, very much appreciated.
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Betting Recap - Week 2
September 19, 2017

Overall Notes


Wager Favorites-Underdogs
Straight Up 11-5
Against the Spread 8-8

Wager Home-Away
Straight Up 9-7
Against the Spread 8-8

Wager Totals (O/U)
Over-Under 6-9-1

The largest underdogs to win straight up

Texans (+5.5, ML +190) at Bengals, 13-9
Dolphins (+3.5, ML +160) at Chargers, 19-17
Redskins (+3, ML +135) at Rams, 27-20

The largest favorite to cover

Raiders (-14) vs. Jets, 45-20
Steelers (-8.5) vs. Vikings, 26-9
Ravens (-7.5) vs. Browns, 24-10
Buccaneers (-7) vs. Bears, 29-7
Patriots (-6) at Saints, 36-20

Getting Defensive

-- The Carolina Panthers allowed just three points for the second consecutive week, and it's no surprise the 'under' has come in both times. The defense will eventually give up scores, but will the offense ever score? They have averaged just 16.0 PPG through the first two outings and now the team will have TE Greg Olsen on the sidelines for a substantial period due to a broken foot. The 'under' is now 5-0-1 over their past six games overall and 8-2-1 over their past 11 outings. They welcome the New Orleans Saints to Bank of America Stadium in Week 3. The 'under' cashed last season in their meeting in Charlotte, and the total has gone under in three of the past four meetings in Carolina. However, the 'over' is 4-1 in the past five meetings overall.

Charm City Covers

-- The Baltimore Ravens have opened the season 2-0 SU/ATS, winning by an average of 17.0 PPG against a pair of divisional opponents. The 'under' has also hit in each of their two outings, as the offense is giving up just 5.0 PPG while scoring 22.0 PPG. The Ravens will head overseas in Week 3 to face the Jacksonville Jaguars in London. The 'over' cashed in two of the three London games last season, and that was also the case in 2016. In fact, the 'over' has hit in nine of the past 12 NFL games played in the United Kingdom.

Total Recall

-- Sunday Night Football saw a high-scoring results, as Green Bay-Atlanta (55) went 'over' despite being tied for the highest total on the board. In fact, both the SNF game and New England-New Orleans (55) both ended up inching over the total

-- Two games -- Houston-Cincinnati (38.5) and Cleveland-Baltimore (39.5) were the lowest numbers on the board in Week 2, but the two games still ended up going well under the total. In fact, the Texans scored the only touchdown in a low-scoring TNF game, while the AFC North battle between the Browns and Ravens featured just three total TDs. Like Baltimore, the 'under' has cashed in each of Cleveland's two games to kick off 2017. In fact, all four AFC Central Division teams have had the 'under' go 2-0 through two outings.

-- The Houston Texans have also struggled on offense, averaging just 11.0 PPG through two games. The 'under' is a perfect 2-0 for Houston, too, although that will be put to the text next week when they travel to meet New England. The opening line for that game is 44, and was already bet down a half-point as of early Monday morning. These teams met last season in Foxboro, and it was the Patriots winning by a 27-0 score for the 'under', and the under has hit in each of the past two meetings across the past two seasons.

-- The 'over' is 4-3 through the first seven primetime games of the 2017 season, with the Monday night game still on deck. Officially, the 'over' finished 27-24 (52.9%) through 51 games under the lights in 2016. In 2015, the over finished 20-28-1 (41.7%) in 49 primetime games. In 2014, the over went 33-17 (66%) in primetime games, and the over was 28-22 (56%) in 2013.

Injury Report

-- Browns WR Corey Coleman (hand) might have suffered a broken bone in his hand in the Week 2 loss in Baltimore. He missed six weeks with a similar injury in 2016.

-- Packers WR Jordan Nelson (quadriceps) was forced out of the Sunday Night game in the first quarter at Atlanta due to a quadriceps injury and he was unable to return. WR Randall Cobb (shoulder) also left early.

-- Panthers TE Greg Olsen (foot) suffered a broken bone in his foot and he is expected to miss significant time.

-- Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (groin) left Sunday's game in New Orleans due to a groin injury and he was unable to return, while RB Rex Burkhead (ribs) also departed early, as did WR Phillip Dorsett (knee).

Looking Ahead

-- The Rams travel to meet the 49ers on Thursday night. San Francisco finished 2-14 SU/5-11 ATS last season, but they won and covered both meetings against the Rams. In fact, the 49ers blanked the Rams 28-0 in Week 1 to kick off their season, and they're 3-1 SU/ATS across the past four meetings in Santa Clara.

-- The Jets will host the Dolphins in Week 3, their first home game of the season. The Dolphins will be playing on the road for the second straight weekend, and they haven't been home yet after Hurricane Irma wiped out their opening game. New York is 5-2 ATS in the past seven meetings in this series, although Miami swept the season series (2-0 SU/ATS) in 2016. The Jets have dropped four of the past five meetings at home against the Fins.

-- The Eagles host the Giants, and Philly hopes to maintain its dominance against their NFC East rivals. The Eages are 5-1 SU/ATS over the past six meetings in this series, and Philadelphia is 4-1 SU/3-1-1ATS in the past five meetings at Lincoln Financial Field. Philly is also 14-4 SU and 13-4-1 ATS over the past 18 meetings overall between these two.

-- The Chargers host the Chiefs in their first divisional battle since moving to Los Angeles. Kansas City looks for their seventh straight victory in this series. Last season, K.C. swept the series with the 'over' cashing in both matchups. L.A. is 2-5 ATS over their past seven overall against Kansas City.
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Old 09-19-2017, 02:01 AM
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Buyer's Remorse - Week 2
September 18, 2017

What We Learned From Week 2

Truthfully, Week 2 is a hard sample size to take away a lot of meaningful analysis. A lot of teams either had cakewalk matchups, or were playing without real starters.

So let’s scrounge what we can and look back at the week that was as BetOnline.ag presents Buyer’s Remorse for Week 2.

Houston Texans +5.5 over Cincinnati Bengals

Here’s what I’ll say about Houston’s “savior” DeShaun Watson – he has zero arm strength. Star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins never caught a pass longer than 25 yards, and even that play was a catch-and-run.

The thing about Hopkins is that he’s an automatic double-coverage receiver, which you should know because he’s about to become the highest paid player at his position. Hopkins should’ve busted open in man-on-man multiple times, even against a premier corner like Pacman Jones. The reason he didn’t is because Watson can’t make the throws. Of Hopkins seven receptions, five were comeback routes.

What this takes away is Houston’s big play ability and that’s a huge minus for gamblers, especially given the fact that Houston’s defense doesn’t look like a world beater overall. Houston is going to be playing from behind more often than they’ll admit and this offence doesn’t look like it can fire up enough points to close gaps as an underdog. Stay weary.

The Thursday night stinker also proved that the Bengals are more dysfunctional than we could’ve imagined, but you probably already knew that.

Buffalo Bills +6.5 over Carolina Panthers

This game was not only catastrophically boring until the last few drives, it’s also really hard to draw meaningful conclusions from. The Bills now rank out as a top-5 defense, but have played two of the worst offensive units in the entire league over the first two weeks.

Meanwhile the Panthers look like a complete train wreck. Cam Newton is having trouble connecting, and the Christian McAffery project isn’t reaping massive gains. The Panthers technically have the top rated offense but have also played the Bills and the Niners so there’s nothing to suggest that any of their metrics are legitimate.

Both teams have essentially had it relatively easy for the first two weeks but now have awful matchups over the next two weeks. Buffalo gets a home game against Denver and then hits the road to play Atlanta, while Carolina hosts New Orleans and then goes to Foxboro to lineup against the Patriots. That means that both teams are complete bet-off prospects right now. There are just too many unknowns. I wish I could say more but there just isn’t anything positive to note.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers -7 over Chicago Bears

Here’s the main problem with that win: if any team knew Mike Glennon, it’s the team he practiced against for four years. I said that in the preview and it was shockingly obvious that the Bucs had Glennon figured out from the get-go.

What was surprising was just how dominant the Bucs looked against a defense that held the Falcons in check just a week before. Winston was cold, calculated and conservative which is a step up from the “win on every play” mentality he’s bombarded the league with for the last two years.

Tampa simply controlled the game in a way that makes them a more comfortable play at BetOnline.ag on a weekly basis. Every level of their defense has playmakers, and they have that big play ability with Evans that I mentioned was lacking in Houston. I love their next two games against Minnesota and the New York Giants as well.

San Francisco 49ers +13.5 over Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks officially look terrible. Their defense is great and all, but you still need to ramp up offensively if you’re going to do real damage. Russell Wilson has now thrown for 158 and 198 yards against Green Bay and San Francisco. That’s pretty bad. He doesn’t have a lot of help with his insane band of less-than-mediocre receivers (excluding Doug Baldwin) and his non-existent running game. Seahawks fans and backers are annoyingly defensive of this team, and the Seahawks are still a “public” team by most measurables but there is nothing trustworthy here. The core of betting on football is based around a team’s ability to score touchdowns, and the Seahawks don’t seem to have the pieces in place to do that.

Denver Broncos +2.5 over Dallas Cowboys

This has a lot less to do with Denver, a team we suspected might be a Super Bowl contender, than it does with Dallas. The Cowboys were embarrassed on Sunday afternoon with one of their worst performances in a long, long time. And the main culprit is unfortunately Dak Prescott, a man who has no excuses given how good the team around him is and how well he performed last season.

Prescott has now completed just 54-of-89 passes and thrown for 3 touchdowns leaning against 2 interceptions (he only threw four picks last year). There was concern that he may regress in his sophomore year and those issues came to light in Week 2.

Denver didn’t do anything miraculous to stuff Ezekiel Elliott. They just overwhelmed the box and relied on Von Miller to haunt him. What that should have done is freed up Prescott to rip open their (albeit) strong secondary as best as he could. Prescott is just having trouble making those throws, and that bottle of special sauce that he was able to bring in his rookie run seems to be empty. Teams have a full year of film on Prescott and Denver just put on a showcase of how to box his ears in. If Prescott can’t beat teams without Zeke running roughshod, this is going to be a painful year for America’s team.
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Books, Public draw in Week 2
September 18, 2017

There was a perfect storm brewing Sunday afternoon at Las Vegas sports books where popular Week 2 NFL favorites started out with a bang, which forced the books into a must-win situation with the final four afternoon games.

With their backs up against the wall, the books got exactly what they wished for and were bailed out from what initially looked to be a certain losing day.

"The way the morning was shaping up, we're fortunate to be where we're at," said MGM Resorts VP of race and sports Jay Rood said prior to Atlanta's 34-23 win at home ( -3) over Green Bay. "We're down a bit following the Broncos win, but if the Falcons cover we'll come out a slight winner on day."

He closed the total at 55 after being as high as 56 and lows as 53.5.

Over at Station Casinos hub office at Red Rock Station, director Jason McCormick was in a different situation where he needed "Packers or Under, but not both Falcons and Over" to hit, a scenario that has now happened the past past four times the two teams met. McCormick said they were sitting with a win of the day no matter what happened in the Sunday night game.

The two chain of books needed different outcomes to the game, but both got to that point in similar fashion with parlay risk being the cause for not having a big winning day.

"We had a lot of big money-line parlay risk on the Patriots (-270), Ravens (-360), Steelers (-400), Raiders (-1,100) and Seahawks (-1200) all payout together," Rood said. "And the regular (point spread) parlays also hit with Patriots, Steelers, Ravens and Raiders. Lots of people were betting on the Cowboys in the late game, so that was big for us, and so was Seattle not covering. If San Francisco could have won outright, we would have had a really good day."

Westgate SuperBook VP Jay Kornegay struggled with those same teams as well and his bet shop ended up a small loser on the day.

"We didn't get that big upset we needed with one of the favorites in the 5-to-9-point range, Kornegay said. "The Broncos winning outright as a small home 'dog isn't that big of a deal to the overall pitcture even though we did well to that game. This week was about the money-line parlays and teasers doing the damage. The Colts (+6.5), Bills (+6.5) or 49ers (+13.5) winning outright would have helped us out."

Kornegay also said he had a house player in town that did well Sunday which helped put the SuperBook in the red. Only three underdogs won outright on the day and the biggest spread was the Chargers -3.5 in their Los Angeles (Carson) opener, a 19-17 loss to the Dolphins where Jay Cutler looked sharp. It paid +170 on the money-line. The Redskins 27-20 win at L.A.'s other new team paid +145 and the Broncos 42-17 thrashing of Zeke Elliott (9 rushes, 8 yards) and the Cowboys win paid +135. It was easily Dak Prescott's largest loss.

The Broncos look very interesting right now at 2-0 and part of it is because of the outstanding quarterback play. Defense wins championships and Denver's D is in any conversation when discussing the NFL's best. They man-handled the NFL's top offensive-line on Sunday. Denver has eight of their next 14 games on the road, so we'll see how far this goes. The Trevor Siemian era began last season when he started 4-0, but Denver finished a ho-hum 9-7.

The Seahawks scored their first TD of the season in the fourth-quarter to win 12-9 after closing as 13.5-point home favorites. Sharp money took the 49ers at it highest (+14) earlier in the week, and proved to be much too high. Seattle ruined several large parlay payouts. The 49ers money-line would have paid out at +800. It was one four straight underdogs the sports books posted in the afternoon following the Raiders 45-20 win against the Jets. The days losses quickly shrunk as each one was posted.

The Raiders are already a favorite for bettors prior to their move to Las Vegas, and when they win and cover it hurts the books pretty good. William Hill's 108 sports book across the state reported 12 percent of their bets on the day were on the Jet-Raiders game and 91 percent of that cash was laying with Oakland. The next most wagered game was the Patriots at New Orleans (10%) and 85 percent of the tickets written is on the Patriots. That two-team parlay was cashed a lot on Sunday.

And how about the wrath of a scorned champion coming off a season-opening loss. The Patriots got embarrassed last week and the public knew to trust Tom Brady and Bill Belichick in the rebound situation and they were right in a 36-20 Pats win at New Orleans where the Saints immediately knew this was a focused Patriots squad. Brady, in his 18th year, just had the best 1st Quarter of his career with 3 TD's. The champs will be just fine, but Miami is in first-place in the AFC East at 1-0.

Overall, favorites went 8-6 ATS -- 6-2 ATS in the early games -- and the total went 7-7.

"We actually won more games than we lost," said Kornegay, "but the parlay payouts were more substantial on a few of the games."

Let's just call Sunday's NFL action a draw between the public and sports books keeping with the weekend theme.

The big Grennady Golovkin-Canelo Alvarez fight on Saturday night ended with a controversial Draw, which didn't work out so well for the house, but some in the public were absolutely loving it. "Just like most books around the city, I can't imagine the draw worked out well," said Rood. "We had it 30/1 and closed it at 15/1, and it always is a popular wager in the big bouts. We won on the rounds props, but the draw was no good."

Rood said Saturday's college football action turned out well for them with Mississippi State beating LSU being their biggest win. "We had lots of risk rolling into the LSU game," he said. MSU would win 37-7 as 8.5-point home underdogs. "It's hard to have a really big day in college football with so many games, things seem to even out more, but some of those late games really mushroom into huge risk."
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Opening Line Report - Week 3
September 18, 2017

There have been lots of low-scoring games through the first two weeks of the NFL season, resulting in a bankroll-building 18-12 record for ‘under’ tickets. Casual bettors, though, tend to play the ‘over’, so count sports books among those happy to see scores like 13-9, 9-6 and 12-9 on Sunday.

“We’d like to see more underdogs cover (favorites are 15-14-1 ATS through Sunday’s games), but the ‘unders’ definitely help us, no doubt about it,” said Ed Salmons, manager at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.

While it’s too early to call the low scores a trend rather than a blip, Salmons identified numerous factors to explain what we’ve seen early in this NFL season.

“This preseason, the main players for each team played the least they ever have played, but watching the games it feels like the defenses are so athletic now and they’re so fast and big that they’re just ahead of the offenses,” Salmon said.

“The defensive schemes have always gotten better throughout the years,” he added.

Salmons also believes there’s been an officiating bias against offenses, an interesting point since conventional wisdom holds that rules and the way the game is officiated are geared toward offenses.

“It seems like the referees are obsessed with finding penalties, especially on the offense,” Salmons said.

John Avello, sports book director at the Wynn, has a different take.

“It’s matchups,” Avello said as he scrolled through Sunday’s games. “Cleveland at the Ravens, of course that’s an ‘under’ game. Buffalo-Panthers, that looks like an ‘under’ game. Patriots-Saints, that looks like an ‘over’ game, gets there.

“It’s the matchups, that’s all it is. I don’t attribute it to anything else but that.”

Salmons, though, said the betting market has already started to adjust.

“Look at the total of this Packers-Falcons game (55),” he said during the first quarter of the Week 2 Sunday night game. “The total was 60 (when Green Bay and Atlanta played in last season’s NFC) championship game, and that was to get to the Super Bowl.”

Now, let’s look ahead to the early lines for Week 3:

Thursday, Sept. 21

L.A. Rams (-2.5, 40.5) at San Francisco

The line for the less-than-compelling Week 3 opener has bounced mostly between 2.5 and 3 during early wagering, but it did hit Rams -3.5 (even) at the Wynn on Sunday night.

Sunday, Sept. 24

Baltimore (-4, 40) vs. Jacksonville (London, 9:30 a.m. ET)

The Ravens opened -4.5 at the Westgate but for the low price of -3 at the Stratosphere. By Monday, the line was -4 on most Vegas boards and -3.5 on a few others.

While the Jags followed their opening-week win at Houston with a dud at home against Tennessee, the Ravens sliced through their second AFC North rival in a row.

Baltimore’s 2-0 start doesn’t surprise Salmons.

“I liked the Ravens coming into the year,” he said. “I would put John Harbaugh in my top five NFL coaches, maybe top three. And they have a really good defense now. They haven’t had this kind of defense since they won the (2013) Super Bowl. This defense is probably better than that defense. I’m definitely buying the Ravens. I like what I see with the Ravens.”

Cleveland (-1.5, 41) at Indianapolis

Being installed as an underdog at home against the Browns is a sign of complete lack of respect from the betting market, and the Westgate opened Cleveland -2.5 before adjusting downward to -1.5. There have been some pick 'em lines on this game as well.

Pittsburgh (-7.5, 46) at Chicago

The Steelers, who opened -7.5 at most shops but were adjusted from -8 to -7.5 in early wagering at Coasts Resorts, are 5-12 ATS under Mike Tomlin when laying a touchdown or more on the road.

Miami (-6, 41) at N.Y. Jets

The Dolphins opened -6.5 at multiple shops and as low as -4 at the Stratosphere, but on Monday, -6 was the unanimous line around Vegas.

Denver (-3 even, 40.5) at Bills

The opening line of Denver -1.5 looked cheap, and sure enough, it was bet up to -3 (even) at most Vegas books by Monday. Wiseguy action influenced the line upward, Jason Simbal, vice president of risk at CG Technology, said in a text message.

The Broncos, particularly after they rolled past the Cowboys 42-17 on Sunday, have caught Salmons’ eye early in the season.

“There was nothing I liked about Denver heading into this year, and after watching them for two games, especially (Sunday), you have to be impressed with what you see from that defense again. And (QB Trevor) Siemian looks like he’s a completely different player than last year,” Salmons said. “Last year, he looked like a rookie that had never played. He looks like he actually knows what he’s doing now. ...

“I wouldn’t have thought that after two weeks Denver would be 2-0, especially the way they beat Dallas,” he added.

Houston at New England (-13, 43.5)

The Pats were bet up from an opener of -12.5, and while it’s tough to call any double-digit favorite in the NFL “cheap,” New England covered the 16-point spread when it beat Houston 34-16 in last season’s playoffs.

New Orleans at Carolina (-6, 48)

Coasts Resorts on Sunday hung 6.5 on this NFC South showdown but joined the crowd at 6 on Monday. Early chalk leaners could find Panthers -5.5 at Treasure Island.

Tampa Bay at Minnesota (no line)

Bookmakers are waiting to hear more about Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford, who missed Sunday’s game at Pittsburgh with a mysterious knee injury, before hanging a number on this game. Avello estimates Minny to be a 1- to 2-point favorite if Bradford cannot go against the Bucs, and -4.5 or -5 with him if he’s healthy.

Atlanta (-3.5) at Detroit

The Westgate opened Atlanta -3 (-120) on Sunday night and reopened -3.5 on Monday, after the Falcons’ lit up the Packers 34-23 in primetime. No signs of a Super Bowl hangover so far.

“Atlanta is just really good offensively, and when you’re really good offensively in pro football, you’re really tough to stop,” Avello said. “In order to beat team like this, you’re going to have to score 35 points a game, it looks like”

N.Y. Giants at Philadelphia (-3.5, 43.5)

Philly has taken four of the last five meetings against the Giants, but we can see the hook coming off this line with a solid showing by New York on Monday night.

Seattle at Tennessee (-2.5, 43)

The Westgate moved from Titans -2 to -2.5 about 10 minutes after posting Week 3 numbers, as bettors may be fading the offensively-challenged Seahawks, who have just one touchdown in two games and struggled at home to beat the 49ers on Sunday.

After the Seahawks’ 17-9 loss at Green Bay in Week 1, Salmons said he wasn’t too concerned.

“I’m concerned now,” Salmons said this week. “It feels like that offensive line has been crap ever since they won the Super Bowl (in 2014). Seattle seems to start slow, for whatever reason ,every year. .... But watching them (Sunday) was shocking. I mean they needed to score in the fourth quarter to beat San Francisco at home.”

Kansas City (-3, 46) at L.A. Chargers

Early bettors laid K.C. -2.5 at the Westgate and William Hill, prompting adjustments at both shops to the key number ‘3’.

Cincinnati at Green Bay (-9.5, 45.5)

Treasure Island and the Stratosphere both opened this game at 7.5, and while the Bengals have been offensively inept so far (no touchdowns in two home games), this feels like a spot in which the 'dog can be dangerous. Cincy is 0-2, desperate, coming off a long rest and hoping to be revived by a new offensive coordinator.

“I can see Cincinnati competing in that game, getting all those points,” Salmons said. “Cincinnati’s got too much talent not to score points and their defense is decent. I think Cincinnati has a team that has value on them now.”

Sharps agree, as they took the points at GG Technology, according to Simbal.

Oakland (-3.5, 54) at Washington

While the line here has bounced between Oakland -3 and -3.5 in early wagering, Salmons remains skeptical on the Raiders, despite their 2-0 start.

“There’s nothing I’ve seen from the Raiders that changes my mind yet,” Salmons said. “Their defense will struggle against top offenses.”

Monday, Sept. 25

Dallas (-3, 47.5) at Arizona

Another game that has bounced between 3 and 3.5.

Avello isn’t worried about the Cowboys after their loss at Denver.

“It’s a throw-out game. Denver played really well .... and Dallas just had a bad game,” Avello said. “That’s all. That happens in the NFL. That’s why you can’t make too many adjustments on teams. Denver is a little better than I thought, but I’m not going to downgrade (Dallas) much because I think it was a tough spot for them.”
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Close Calls - Week 2
September 19, 2017

Glancing at the scoreboard won’t tell you the whole story in most games. Here are some of the games that went down to the wire relative to the spread in the fourth quarter last week in Week 2 of the NFL regular season.

Tennessee Titans (-1) 37, Jacksonville Jaguars 16 (41): Those on the ‘under’ had to feel good with a 6-3 score at halftime in this AFC South battle. Halfway through the third quarter it was only 9-3, but a big punt return sparked the Titans. On a short field, Tennessee scored seven with the first touchdown of the game and added another touchdown just a few minutes later again starting with great field position. The road favorite cover looked safe with a 23-3 edge entering the fourth quarter, but the total trajectory shifted dramatically with four straight touchdown drives exchanged between these teams, pushing the game ‘over’ rather easily with 27 fourth quarter points.

Carolina Panthers (-6) 9, Buffalo Bills 3 (43): The Bills managed to stay in this game with the defense getting big third down stops to force a pair of first half field goals from the Panthers. Coming out of halftime, the Bills gained 30 yards for by far their most productive drive to that point and opted to go for it on 4th-and-1 just past midfield. That failure helped confirm the clear ‘under’ pace and five more punts followed before Buffalo managed a field goal to climb within three. With a line that fell Sunday morning down to as low as +6, Buffalo backers had to sweat out the Panthers reaching 1st-and-goal from the Buffalo 1-yard-line with about four minutes remaining. The Bills held Carolina to another field goal to remain just within the common spread and actually had a good shot at the upset with a nearly completed pass just outside the end zone on fourth down in the final seconds.

New England Patriots (-6) 36, New Orleans Saints 20 (55): The Patriots scored 20 points in the first quarter and the road favorite cover was never seriously threatened in this game. The total result was mixed with a number that was as high as 57 most of the week before a late dive on Sunday morning to close at 55. With 43 points at halftime, it didn’t appear that the number would matter but only three points were scored in the third quarter and the Patriots settled for another very short field goal in the fourth quarter after an 80-yard drive. New Orleans converted a big fourth down play on their next possession and eventually found the end zone to put the total score at 56 with about five minutes remaining. With a failed onside kick, the Patriots started in great field position, but wound up going backwards with penalties and faced 4th-and-25 from the New Orleans 35-yard line after reaching the 18-yard-line at the two-minute-warning. New England punted and the Saints ran out of time despite gaining 61 yards on their final possession.

Kansas City Chiefs (-4) 27, Philadelphia Eagles 20 (46): After missing a field goal to tie the game at halftime, Philadelphia took the lead late in the third quarter with an 81-yard touchdown drive. Kansas City answered but early in the final frame, the Eagles hit a field goal for a 13-13 tie with an underdog spread that was as high as +6 for Philadelphia. After forcing a 3-and-out, the Eagles had the ball back but Carson Wentz threw a costly interception to hand the Chiefs a short field and five plays later Kansas City was up by seven. Philadelphia had to punt with about five minutes remaining in the game and a strong return put Kansas City near midfield and the Chiefs delivered another touchdown for a second straight big fourth quarter. The Eagles would wind up scoring a touchdown with eight seconds to go that shifted the total for result for some and actually retrieved the onside kick to have a final throw to the end zone that deflected out of bounds.

Miami Dolphins (+3) 19, Los Angeles Chargers 17 (46): The Chargers led 10-3 at the half and 17-10 late in the third quarter, while still sitting past the slight favorite spread entering the fourth quarter after a short Miami field goal. The kicking game would prove critical in the fourth quarter as Cody Parkey hit from 35 yards and then after the Dolphins took advantage of a lousy punt, he hit again from 54 yards to give Miami the lead with just over a minute remaining. The favorite cover needed a touchdown, but Philip Rivers guided the Chargers into field goal range. Unfortunately for the Chargers for the second straight week, kicker Younghoe Koo missed late as Miami escaped with the win.

Washington Redskins (+3) 27, Los Angeles Rams 20 (46): Washington led 20-10 at the half after a 61-yard Chris Thompson run, but the Rams struck for a 93-yard touchdown drive and then watched Washington miss a field goal to remain down by just three, with a touchdown capable of flipping the spread result. After trading punts, the Rams reached the Washington 5-yard line, but an offensive pass interference call wiped out the play and Los Angeles had to settle for a tying field goal. Those on a total that never quite reached 47 also watched with interest in the final minutes, but Washington only faced one third down on a 70-yard 10-play touchdown drive to take the lead shortly after the two-minute-warning. Jared Goff was intercepted on first down to quickly end any threat of overtime.

Atlanta Falcons (-3) 34, Green Bay Packers 23 (54): The Sunday night rematch of the NFC Championship proved similar to the game last January as the Falcons had complete control by halftime with a 24-7 lead. Early in the third quarter, a controversial horizontal pass fumble return touchdown for the Falcons withstood replay review to make the score 31-7. After an exchange of field goals, it was 34-10 through three quarters, with the home favorite cover all but locked up. One of the highest totals of the week still needed two touchdowns and Green Bay delivered in that regard with back-to-back strikes to push the game ‘over’ with fewer than six minutes remaining. The Packers got the ball back with no timeouts and just a minute remaining but anyone hoping for a miracle push with a touchdown and a two-point conversion left disappointed as the Packers didn’t even cross midfield.

Detroit Lions (+3) 24, New York Giants 10 (42): The Lions took control early and put the game away with a punt return touchdown early in the fourth quarter to lead by 14. The total was just eight points short with still 12 minutes remaining and those on the ‘under’ had to survive the Giants twice failing on fourth downs, once near midfield and the second time in field goal range with still more than four minutes remaining. Detroit also opted to go for it on fourth down in the final minute from the New York 24-yard line rather than adding points.
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NFL notebook: Dolphins suspend LB Timmons
September 19, 2017

The Miami Dolphins suspended starting linebacker Lawrence Timmons indefinitely on Tuesday, stemming from his mysterious weekend disappearance in Los Angeles.

The club also traded an undisclosed draft pick to the New Orleans Saints for linebacker Stephone Anthony, who was the Saints' first-round pick in 2015.

Timmons disappeared Saturday night without informing the team and didn't play in Sunday's season opener against the Los Angeles Chargers. The club reportedly filed a missing person's report with Los Angeles police, who found Timmons at Los Angeles International Airport early Sunday morning shortly before he was slated to board a flight to Pennsylvania to visit family.

The absence halted Timmons' streak of starting 101 consecutive games. It was to be his first game as a member of the Dolphins after spending his first 10 NFL seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Timmons' suspension can be for a maximum of four weeks under the collective bargaining agreement.

--The Carolina Panthers placed Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen on injured reserve.

Olsen sustained a broken foot during Sunday's 9-3 home-opening victory over the Buffalo Bills. The 32-year-old underwent surgery the following day and is eligible to return to the active roster after eight weeks, which would put him on schedule to play at the New York Jets on Nov. 26.

Rookie fullback Alex Armah was promoted to the active roster in replace of Olsen, who came out in the second half on crutches Sunday and was wearing a walking boot on the foot. Olsen made one catch for 10 yards in the first quarter.

--The Baltimore Ravens placed Pro Bowl guard Marshal Yanda on injured reserve, the team announced.

Yanda sustained a fractured ankle during Sunday's 24-10 win over the Cleveland Browns.

The 33-year-old Yanda missed parts of training camp as he recovered from offseason shoulder surgery. However, Yanda was dominant in both regular-season games and anchored an offensive line that had already suffered several key losses.

Baltimore signed guard/center Matt Skura to the active roster from the practice squad and also signed tackle Dieugot Joseph from Chicago's practice squad to the active roster.

--Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long will donate his first six game checks this season to fund two scholarships for students in his hometown of Charlottesville, Va., his foundation announced.

The scholarships will provide two students with a seven-year, all-expenses-paid school program, and are meant to "promote equality through education," per the Chris Long Foundation.

They will be administered by Long's alma mater, St. Anne's-Belfield School, which will collaborate with the Boys & Girls Club of Central Virginia to identify two sixth graders who will have their tuition covered through high school.

Long and his wife, Megan, are making this decision in light of a series of white supremacist rallies that led to violence in the streets last month.

--The NFL is investigating an accusation of domestic violence against Carl Johnson, a current line judge and the league's former vice president of officiating.

TMZ Sports reported that Johnson is under investigation in Louisiana. Johnson has denied the allegations by a 49-year-old woman who claims the two lived together in 2016 and had been violent with her in December.

Johnson, who left the league office to become the NFL's first full-time official in 2012, is subject to discipline under the personal conduct policy. A six-game suspension is the penalty for a first offense, although mitigating circumstances and increase or decrease that total.

--San Francisco 49ers strong safety Eric Reid has been ruled out of Thursday's game against the Los Angeles Rams, the team announced.

Reid sustained an injury to the posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during the second quarter of Sunday's 12-9 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. The 25-year-old returned for Seattle's first possession of the third quarter, but exited the contest for good shortly thereafter.

Reid recorded seven tackles versus the Seahawks and has 12 in two games this season. He has 264 tackles, eight interceptions and one sack in 59 career games since being selected 18th overall by San Francisco in the 2013 draft.

--Detroit Lions rookie linebacker Jarrad Davis was placed in the league's concussion protocol following the team's 24-10 victory over the New York Giants on Monday.

Selected with the 21st overall pick of the 2017 draft, Davis was injured while tackling Giants running back Paul Perkins in the fourth quarter.

Davis immediately put both hands on his helmet and remained on the ground for a minute or two before slowly walking off the field.

--Former NFL stars Ronde and Tiki Barber will find themselves on the same team as the twins provide commentary for FOX Sports during the Oct. 1 clash between their respective former clubs, the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The pairing of the two is believed to mark the first time in NFL history that twin brothers have called a league game for national broadcast television. The Barbers also played together collegiately at the University of Virginia.

Ronde played cornerback for the Buccaneers from 1997-2012, while Tiki was a Giants running back from 1997-2006.
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McVay faces short-week challenge for first time as head coach
September 19, 2017

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Even if the Los Angeles Rams wanted to dwell on the mostly self-inflicted loss they suffered Sunday against the Redskins, they simply have no time to do so.

Their once-a-season Thursday night game arrives early this season as the San Francisco 49ers beckon in Santa Clara.

That leaves them no time to reflect on what might have been and opportunity lost against the Redskins.

The Rams canceled practice on Monday and held a short workout Tuesday. Sans physical work, they focused instead on above-the-head in preparation for the 49ers. It's all part of first-year head coach Sean McVay's approach to his first short week as a head coach.

"It's a big challenge. Whether you're a head coach or any coach. Any time that you condense a week that you're normally accustomed to having a handful of days more and you get the same amount of work in, it definitely does pose some challenges," he said. "But, it's also important for us to be aware of that so that you don't put too much on your players - figure out what they're comfortable with. But also, what are some things that attack the offensive or defensive scheme and some of the things that we'll do special-teams wise. It's a balance that we have to do a good job of as coaches and try to help our players so that Thursday is as seamless as possible, on a short week, knowing all the factors that are involved."

Much of what the Rams will focus on defensively is tightening up a run defense that gave up more than 200 yards Sunday against Washington. Some of the credit for the success goes to the Redskins, but the Rams absolutely have to do better.

"I think really, credit to Washington. I think they did a nice job with some perimeter schemes, some gap and trap-type stuff," McVay said. "And I thought as the game settled down, the defense kind of settled into the game and did a much better job in the second half. There were a couple big plays in that first half and then obviously that 61-yard draw that they hit was a big play for them. But, as the game progressed, I thought the guys settled in. But again, credit to Washington, I thought they did a nice job with some of the things that they were running schematically and they made those plays."

Thursday offers a unique situation in that both the Rams and 49ers are led by first-year head coaches. And with only two games for both McVay and Kyle Shanahan's tenures, getting a read on either could be difficult.

"Yeah, I think it does. I think it does make it a little bit more difficult just because like you mentioned you don't have the amount information you're typically accustomed to when you get ready for a normal opponent," McVay said. "But, it was a very similar type of deal for getting ready for Washington defensively last week. Those are things that we have to be ready to adjust to. I think when you look at their offense we've got some people that are familiar with some of the things that Kyle (Shanahan) has had a lot of success with over the course of his career and then I think (49ers defensive coordinator) Robert Saleh has done an excellent job these first couple weeks of putting their defense in a lot of good situations."

--Defensive tackle Aaron Donald's world is moving pretty fast these days. After holding out all of training camp and preseason in a contract dispute, Donald returned ahead of the season opener - although he didn't play - and after finally suiting up against the Redskins on Sunday he faces a quick turnaround Thursday against the 49ers.

How he responds will be an interesting focus point. Rams head coach Sean McVay does not think his body recovering sufficiently will be an issue.

"I don't think so just because he came out of the game, he felt good today when he talked with (trainer) Reggie (Scott) and (strength and conditioning coach) Ted (Rath) everything came away good," McVay said. "So, I think you just want to be mindful of the short turnaround, especially with those guys that are hurting or might be kind of day-to-day right now. But with him feeling good, I think we're on good track for him to be ready to go on Thursday."
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