NFL and College Football Update
We're not yet at the midway point of this 2019 season and supposed Super Bowl contenders the Los Angeles Chargers (they were 10-to-1 to win it all back in early September), Chicago (14-to-1) and Atlanta (20-to-1) all look like garbage.
Sorry to be so brutally blunt if you so happen to be holding a "laundry ticket" on the Chargers, Bears or Falcons when it comes to winning Super Bowl 54.
In NFL Week 7 action, all of the above were beaten - Chicago and Atlanta were truly taken to the proverbial woodshed in their respective losses to New Orleans and the Los Angeles Rams - while the bad-luck Bolts couldn't score from a yard out twice in the closing seconds of their just-had-to-see-it-to-believe-it 23-20 loss in Tennessee.
The bottom line is the Chargers / Bears / Falcons exited Week 7 play a collective 6-14 SU (straight-up) and 4-15-1 ATS (against the spread) - and we gotta admit it's probably gonna be a cold day in you-know-where before we think about backing any of 'em anytime soon.
The biggest disappointment of the three?
That's Da Bears - or maybe you wish to call 'em the modern-day "Bad Luck Bears" -- who were an uber-popular play to win it all this past summer. We've read the reports and talked to folks in Las Vegas who claimed the so-called Monsters of the Midway were bet big in the "futures" but this NFC North crew actually found itself trailing the Saints 36-10 with 4:33 left in their latest game before scoring a couple of cosmetic-only touchdowns. And that was a Saints team playing without QB Drew Brees and superstar RB Alvin Kamara. And don't get us started but it sure appears Chitown QB Mitchell Trubisky is a not-ready-for-prime-time player. So what that the Bears could have had either now-injured QB Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City) or Houston QB Deshaun Watson (Houston) ...
Speaking of prime-time, last night's easy-as-pie 37-10 win / cover by the 3-point home favorite Cowboys against rival Philadelphia did more than quiet the "Fire Jason Garrett" chatter that's been building in / around the great state of Texas lately. The Cowboys were geeked - they led 14-0 before you could say Roger Staubach - and the Dallas defense battered Philly QB Carson Wentz time after time. Maybe next time you keep your comments to yourself, Eagles coach Doug Pederson ...
Finally, more NFL injury news on the quarterback front as Atlanta's Matt Ryan was yanked early in the fourth quarter with an ankle and early word is he'll miss Sunday's home game against Seattle. In case you lost track, that would make it an even dozen teams that have changed QBs due to injury or ineffectiveness so far this season - and, again, we're not even at the halfway point of the season just yet.
Tonight, it's ...
NEW ENGLAND (6-0) at NEW YORK JETS (1-4) - 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN
Hope you made a mental note that the last time these clubs clashed - see a 30-14 non-cover win by three-TD fav N'England back in Week 3 play this year - the J-E-T-S only managed to cover thanks to a pair of fourth-quarter non-offensive touchdowns ... so there! Now, the Jets are looking to pull the surprise as 9.5-point favorites with QB Sam Darnold back in the saddle (he missed that above-mentioned game in Foxboro with mono) but he's facing a Pats' defense that's surrendered a grand total of 48 points so far. If the Jets can get WR Robbie Anderson (92-yard catch-and-run for a TD in the win against Dallas in Week 6) open on some long-distance throws, then this one could be tight but remember that Pats' QB Tom Brady is 28-6 SU lifetime against "gang green" and he's covered four of his last six tilts against NYJ.
Spread Notes - New England has covered four of its first six games this year and overall the Patriots are 8-2 vig-wise in their last 10 games; the NY Jets enter this divisional duel at 2-3 ATS this season and 3-8-1 spreadwise in AFC East games since early in the 2017 season.
THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL UPDATE
Okay, okay. So, the Wisconsin Badgers - who fell from #6 to #13 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll - suffered all the slings and arrows from the TV talking heads this past weekend following that 24-23 last-second loss at 30.5-point underdog Illinois. According to the talkies, the Badgers' stunning setback marked the second-biggest upset loss spreadwise in the Big 10 the last 40 years ... we'll trust 'em on that one!
In any event, it's not as if Wisconsin was the only double-digit favorite team out there in College Football-land to get whacked this past weekend:
- The Missouri Tigers were a firm 21-point road favorite at Vanderbilt and were promptly dunked 21-14;
- The Miami Hurricanes - an 18.5-point betting fav - lost 28-21 versus Georgia Tech in an overtime affair in the ACC;
- The Cal Golden Bears - a 10.5-point favorite versus Oregon State - were beaten 21-17;
- And, last but not least, 10-point road favorite Western Michigan lost at Eastern Michigan 34-27.
Among the early-in-the-week twin-digit betting favorites that may - or may not - have something to worry about includes 12.5-point favorite USC at Colorado on Friday night, 13.5-point chalk Oregon home to Washington State and - ironically enough - Ohio State versus 13-point dog Wisconsin.
Finally, we know the College Football Season basically just passed the halfway mark but let's have a little fun with some down-the-line Playoff / Bowl Projections: We take out the crystal ball and this is how we see things at this very moment ...
NEW YEAR'S DAY BOWLS -
Rose Bowl - Utah vs. Penn State
Cotton Bowl - Notre Dame vs. Texas
Orange Bowl - Oklahoma vs. Florida
Sugar Bowl - Georgia vs. SMU
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS - Dec. 28th
Peach Bowl - Alabama vs. LSU
Fiesta Bowl - Clemson vs. Ohio State
Some of the "more prominent" bowls ...
Holiday Bowl - Oregon vs. Wisconsin
Alamo Bowl - Baylor vs. Arizona State
Citrus Bowl - Minnesota vs. Auburn
Gator Bowl - Iowa vs. Texas A&M
Outback Bowl - Michigan vs. Missouri