NFL Week 6 Recaps and MNF Preview
Let's just say that sudden live moves in NFL Week 6 didn't exactly pan out for the teams that were takin' the cash and it all began last Thursday Night when the Philadelphia Eagles dropped from a solid 3-point road favorite at the New York Giants down to 1.5 or 2 points (depending on your locale) before the Birds absolutely smashed the Jints 34-13 ... then it's onto Sunday:
The Cleveland Browns were everyone's darlings - we watched a snippet of one pre-game show and all five panelists grabbed Cleveland at the Pick 'Em price against the Los Angeles Chargers and they all took a major bath in LAC's 38-14 never-in-doubt win;
The Chicago Bears, meanwhile, were bet up to a full touchdown favorite at Miami - no QB Ryan Tannehill for the Dolphins (shoulder injury) pushed the price tag from 3.5 points to minus 7 - and the Chitowners fell in overtime 31-28;
The Carolina Panthers went from a 1-point dog on Saturday to a 1.5-point favorite on game day and the 'Cats lost 23-17 at Washington;
And let's not forget the Sunday Night game where the host New England Patriots inched up from a 3- to 3.5-point betting fav against the Kansas City Chiefs and eventually NE was bet up to 4 points ... yes, the Patriots won but didn't cover in a wild 43-40 SU (straight-up) win. Okay, so we've often told one buddy of ours that these NFL game-day lines moves generally are a 50/50 proposition - sure, some of the "smart money" moves are right on but many are not and, in Sunday's case, bettors who went opposite the popular money moves cleaned up.
NFL WEEK 6 RE-CAPS
Geez, we know that all the TV talking heads and media reporters have fallen in love with second-year Kansas City QB Patrick Mahomes but even he wasn't perfect in New England's aforementioned 43-40 non-cover win on Sunday Night Football: True, Mahomes wound up with a fancy stat line of 352 yards passing with 4 TDs but he did throw a pair of first-half picks and too often didn't spot wide-open receivers. Hey, tough to criticize a dude who helps his club put up 40 points against the two-time defending AFC champions, we know, but the Chiefs had their opportunities to stay perfect (now 5-1 SU) and the bottom line is Mahomes may have to be perfect down the line considering this KC rush defense is downright rotten after allowing 173 ground yards to the Pats ...
The Pittsburgh Steelers are now 8-2-1 ATS (against the spread) in their last 11 showdowns with the rival Cincinnati Bengals - now that was a line move that turned out right as Cincy dropped from an opening line fav of - 2.5 points down to minus 1 for this AFC North clash - but someone's gonna be embarrassed in the film study room today because Steelers' WR Antonio Brown was wide-wide-wide open for his game-winning 31-yard catch-and-run play that won it 28-21 at "The Jungle". Brown was basically MIA for much of this affair but wound up with 5 catches for 105 yards with that one score (that's 16 fantasy points for you interested parties) but truth is he's playing second fiddle to WR Juju Smith-Schuster (see 10 targets, 7 receptions for 111 yards, 0 TDs) these days save for the momentary times QB Ben Rothlisberger looks Brown's way ...
Finally, there were a few NFL Week 6 games in which "winners" turned to "losers" - or vice versa - on Sunday and one of them was in Denver where the 7-point home dog Broncos rallied back for the cover in a 23-20 SU loss to the 6-and-oh Los Angeles Rams. The Broncos - who rank dead last in the league in terms of rush defense (161.3 yards per game) - somehow managed to cover in a game in which Rams' RB Todd Gurley shredded 'em for 208 yards and two TDs. Last week Denver yielded 323 ground yards in a lopsided loss at the New York Jets and, for all the great pass-rushing stars on this side beginning (of course) with one-time Super Bowl MVP Von Miller and now rookie Bradley Chubb, this defense can't stop a soul running with the football. Yikes!
Tonight, it's ...
SAN FRANCISCO (1-4) at GREEN BAY (2-2-1) - 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN
Okay, so we haven't heard GB Packers' megastar QB Aaron Rodgers utter the word "R-E-L-A-X" yet this season but he might be tempted to tell the cheese fans to cool it just 'cause the team is 1-2-1 SU since that opening night / miracle comeback win against Chicago.
If Green Bay - a hefty 9.5-point betting fav here - wishes to "normalize" things than Rodgers and Co. must take advantage of a very banged-up Niners team that actually could be without as many as eight offensive starters. Meanwhile, Rodgers - playing with a sore knee and all - already has been sacked 16 times this year and overall the Pack's scored more than 24 points just once (that infamous 29-all tie with Minnesota back in Week 2). Too many holding penalties and not enough red zone success has hampered Green Bay's start to the year ... is it what's gonna keep 'em from covering here?
Spread Stats - Green Bay is 29-19-2 versus the vig as betting favorites since the start of the 2014 season; San Francisco has failed to cover four of its first five outings this year and overall the 49ers are 6-17-1 ATS when playing non-divisional foes these past two-plus seasons.
THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL UPDATE
In case you were wondering, two weekends ago there were three teams residing in the top 10 that were beaten - see LSU, Oklahoma and Auburn - and now we come off a College Football wild weekend in which four more Top 10 teams bit the dust (that's #2 Georgia, #6 West Virginia, #7 Washington and #8 Penn State) ... could it happen that the "Final Four" will be the last four unbeaten teams out there in Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Notre Dame? Now that would be an ultra-juicy playoffs no matter how the semifinal matchups turn out!
All you need to know about this past weekend's Top 10 losers was that they all failed miserably at one point or the other:
Georgia QB Jake Fromm - who completed 16-of-34 passes with two INTs - never could figure out LSU's pre-snap moves on defense and he looked lost in space all day long for the 6.5-point road favored Dawgs in the 36-16 loss in the Bayou ...
West Virginia played what head coach Dana Holgorsen called the "worst offensive game of football I've seen in years" in a 30-14 loss at 4.5-point dog Iowa State. Holgorsen - who loves to pass the blame and never take any of it - watched his club total just 93 offensive yards (41 rushing / 52 passing) in the ugly Big 12 setback ...
Washington PK Peyton Henry missed a 37-yard field goal try on the final play of regulation in the Huskies' 30-27 OT loss at 3.5-point pup Oregon (a Jim Hurley Network winner!!!) ... And Penn State - not once, but twice - dropped potential game-sealing interceptions late in the shocking 21-17 loss to 13.5-point dog Michigan State.