NFL Preseason News and Notes

Funny how the "hands of fate" works sometimes:

Last year following a full week of National Football League Preseason action - plus the Hall of Fame Game (of course!) - NFL Betting Favorites shot out of the gate with a snazzy 11-5-0 ATS (against the spread) record along with one Pick 'Em game.

Now, fast forward to this here-and-now Summer of 2016 following an NFL Preseason Week 1 that's in the books and NFL Betting Favorites are 5-10-0 ATS with one Pick 'Em affair (and no Hall of Fame Game, of course!). Hmmm.

Hey, we've been telling you now for the past couple of decades here at the Jim Hurley Network that every single game must be handicapped on its own merits and so, for any "genius" out there expecting NFL Favorites to have simply rolled over Underdog sides in this year's Preseason Week 1 action just because it happened last year ... well, think again!

The oddity here is that after chalk sides covered four-of-six games played last Thursday, the favs proceeded to go 1-8 spreadwise (with the Pick 'Em) and that's kooky stuff especially when you consider the likes of Miami, Seattle and Indianapolis (all underdogs) all overcame either 9- or 10-point deficits to win.

Here's a complete NFL Preseason Week 1 rundown in schedule order (note all home teams are in CAPS below):

ATLANTA- 3Washington23-17
PHILADELPHIA- 3Tampa Bay17-9
NY JETS- 3.5Jacksonville17-13
BALTIMORE+ 1.5Carolina22-19
NEW ENGLAND- 4New Orleans34-22
Denver+ 1.5CHICAGO22-0
Miami+ 2NY GIANTS27-10
Detroit+ 3.5PITTSBURGH30-17
GREEN BAY+ 1.5Cleveland17-11
Oakland+ 3ARIZONA31-10
Seattle+ 3.5KANSAS CITY 17-16
Indianapolis+ 2.5BUFFALO19-18
Dallas+ 5.5LOS ANGELES 24-28
TENNESSEE- 3San Diego27-10
Houston+ 3SAN FRANCISCO24-13

If you wish - like us - to get a head start on handicapping the NFL Preseason card then check out a couple of games here:

On Thursday, it's ...

PHILADELPHIA (1-0) at PITTSBURGH (0-1) - No doubt there has been cold water poured on the Eagles' heads with the news that rookie QB Carson Wentz suffered a hairline fracture in his ribs in last week's 17-9 win/cover versus Tampa Bay and not likely we'll see 'em anytime soon. Now, does backup Chase Daniel have a better shot to beat out incumbent QB Sam Bradford?

MINNESOTA (1-0) at SEATTLE (1-0) - There's backup quarterback news comin' from the Seahawks where rookie Trevone Boykin (TCU) engineered a four-play, 88-yard touchdown drive plus the two-point conversion handoff to push Seattle past 3.5-point fav KC 17-16 last Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium. If Boykin (16-of-26 passing for 188 yards and 1 TD against the Chiefs) - who's competing with Jake Heaps for the second-string job behind Russell Wilson - stays on point here, then the gig is his!



The Houston Texans nabbed a 24-13 win at 3-point favorite San Francisco on Sunday night but the real news was starting QB Brock Osweiler who failed to lead the Texans to any points on three separate drives - his pedestrian stats included four completions in seven tries for 27 yards - but one player that earned praise was Houston's rookie WR Braxton Miller (Ohio State) who caught four passes including an acrobatic 24-yarder thrown by backup QB Tom Savage ...

Great fun that Buffalo Bills' head coach Rex Ryan was peeved that the Indianapolis Colts didn't play QB Andrew Luck - something about playing him for the first time at home this Saturday against Baltimore - as Indy folks thought Ryan might blitz Luck and perhaps injure the mega-star slinger. Ryan's war of words with Colts owner Jim Irsay is silly stuff but worth paying attention to was the fact rookie C Ryan Kelly (Alabama) really had some tough struggles against the Buffalo defense - so maybe Irsay was right! ...

Finally, the NFL's first game back in Los Angeles turned into a real doozy last Saturday night as the Rams - a 5.5-point betting fav - overcame a 24-7 halftime deficit to down Dallas 28-24 but $1 draft pick QB Jared Goff had a rocky debut while going 4-of-9 passing for 38 yards with one pick. Goff was betrayed in part by fellow rookie WR Pharoh Cooper (South Carolina) - his Hard Knocks buddy who dropped a pass in the end zone -- and then Goff was sacked one play later. Note the Cowboys didn't play veteran QB Tony Romo plus rookie RB Ezekiel Elliott (Ohio State) and TE Jason Witten also sat while Miss State rookie QB Dak Prescott was sensational with 10-of-12 completions for 139 yards and two TDs to help his case for being Romo's all-important backup this fall.