Thursday & Friday Football Previews
Let's kick off NFL Week 6 with a blast-from-the-past game:
Sure, we're not gonna step out on a proverbial limb and declare this New York Giants at New England Patriots tussle to be a "possible Super Bowl preview" even though these clubs have famously played one another in a pair of past Super Bowl games ... both famously won by the NY Giants.
However, there is history on the line, if you will, as the Pats are just one of two undefeated teams in the league where they play for pay - see 4-0 San Francisco 49ers as that other unbeaten - and here we'll just see whether or not the G-men can slip under the bloated 17-point price tag.
NEW YORK GIANTS (2-3) at NEW ENGLAND (5-0) - 8:20 p.m. ET, Fox
We'll keep this under-the-lights affair in Foxboro on the short-and-sweet side, if you don't mind: The Pats just keep on humming along these days with QB Tom Brady fresh off a 348-yard, 3-TD showing in last week's 33-7 win / cover at wobbly Washington and now the six-time Super Bowl champ goes up against a Giants' secondary that has major issues both covering and tackling ... not good.
Meanwhile, don't look for any RB Saquon Barkley (ankle) sightings here as any early-week cause for hope went by the board when the medical team kayoed the second-year star from this game.
How do the Giants keep it close? Make sure kid QB Daniel Jones is kept in the upright position (the Pats have a gazillion sacks already this year) and put some heat on Brady ... you do remember that's how they beat 'em back in Super Bowl 41, right?
Spread Notes - New England is 41-19-2 ATS (against the spread) overall since the start of the 2016 season (that's a flaming-hot .683 winning rate) and that includes a fancy 12-4 spread mark against NFC teams since early '16. On the flip side, the New York Giants have covered their last three games as double-digit dogs the past two-plus seasons.
Here's the NFL Thursday Night Football games played so far here in 2019 (note that home teams are in CAPS below) ...
|Week 1||CHICAGO||- 3||Green Bay||Green Bay 10-3|
|Week 2||CAROLINA||- 6.5||Tampa Bay||Tampa Bay 20-14|
|Week 3||Tennessee||- 1.5||JACKSONVILLE||JACKSONVILLE 20-7|
|Week 4||GREEN BAY||- 3.5||Philadelphia||Philadelphia 34-27|
|Week 5||SEATTLE||- 1.5||La Rams||SEATTLE 30-29|
Okay, so through the first five NFL Thursday Night Football games this season the underdog sides have covered all five games while home betting favorites are a rotten 0-4 ATS ... are you worried about the Patriots covering this hefty price tag now?
COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEWS & NOTES
On Thursday Night, it's ...
SYRACUSE (3-2) at N.C. STATE (3-2) - 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Slowly but surely, the money's being bet on N.C. State for this prime-time ACC clash in Raleigh: Note the Wolfpack opened as 3-point betting favorites and it's since climbed to minus 4.5 points - one reason is because 'Cuse QB Tommy DeVito suffered an "upper body injury" in the 41-3 win against Holy Cross two weeks ago (the Orange had a bye last week) though he's been cleared to play here. Host N.C. State is counted on a big showing from redshirt soph QB Bailey Hockman whose relief appearances recently earned him a start here.
Spread Note - Since the start of 2017, the 'Cuse is an electric 10-4 ATS away and that includes the 33-25 loss-but-cover at two-TD favorite N.C. State just two years ago.
On Friday night, it's ...
#20 VIRGINIA (4-1) at MIAMI (2-3) - 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
The Miami Hurricanes are in the midst of a five-game homestand - but "The U" didn't exactly show its best side in that 42-35 home loss against two-TD pup Virginia Tech last weekend and so expect an ornery bunch here at Hard Rock Stadium.
True, Miami's still on the young side but first-year boss Manny Diaz apparently has lost patience with QB Jerren Williams so look for lots of N'Kosi Perry here. On the flip side, the Cavs enter this ACC clash with the nation's 10th-best defense but slippery QB Bryce Perkins (six INTs already) must avoid the red-zone disasters.
Spread Note - Get this: The Virginia Wahoos are a rock-solid 15-9-1 vig-wise away since the start of 2015 plus they've notched pointspread wins in seven of their last nine games against Miami.
COLORADO (3-2) at #13 OREGON (4-1) - 10 p.m. ET, FS1
Speaking of defense - say what! - this here-and-now Oregon stop unit ranks 7th in the country in total defense / 9th in the land in passing defense though we'll throw some shade on those numbers considering the Ducks have played against Stanford (with QB K.J. Costello suffering from a bad thumb) and Cal (playing with a backup quarterback in last week's 17-7 non-cover win by Oregon).
Spread Note - Oregon's a rotten 11-18 against the odds when playing fellow Pac-12 teams the past three-plus seasons but must note the Ducks have covered five of their last six head-to-head showdowns versus Colorado since 2011.