Monday Night Football Preview
Until we meet again? Ahh, no doubt both the New England Patriots (8-1) and the victorious Baltimore Ravens (6-2) exited the field at M&T Bank Stadium late last night with that very thought ... we presume.
You might have heard Ravens' QB Lamar Jackson subtly mention that the teams could see each other again this year but what really was left unsaid following Baltimore's dominant 37-20 win against the 3-point favorite Pats is that "Round II" - a/k/a the AFC Championship - could be back in Baltimore when you consider the Ravens - of course - win any tie-breaker now for the home field with Bill Belichick's crew.
If you peruse the Ravens' schedule, we could very well see John Harbaugh's crew going 13-3 SU (straight-up) presuming this AFC North club plays its best ball while a quick scan of the Pats' 2019 sked shows 13-3 is quite likely there too. Hmmm.
In any event, the Ravens dashed out to a 17-0 first-quarter lead and then held off the inevitable Patriots' comeback to score the single-most important win for any team in the NFL this season - it also stopped dead in its tracks New England's four-game ATS (against the spread) winning streak and thus the Miami Dolphins - we kid you not - right now sport the longest ATS winning streak among AFC teams (four in a row!) while the off-the-bye-week New Orleans Saints still command the league's longest spread streak at six in a row. So there!
Tonight, it's ... DALLAS (4-3) at NEW YORK GIANTS (2-6) - 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN
The last time the Cowboys visited MetLife Stadium - see Oct. 13, 2019 - they were defeated 24-22 by a NY Jets team that sports just one win on the year. In other words, that Week 6 experience was a real disaster for Jason Garrett's gang that actually allowed a 90-plus yard touchdown strike against the sad-sack J-E-T-S and so the NFC East leaders don't want to go 0-and-2 at the Meadowlands for this calendar year.
If the 'Boys - a listed 6.5-point betting favorite at press time - wish to put the hammer down here then the obvious must happen ... RB Zeke Elliott gets 25+ touches, QB Dak Prescott hits TE Jason Witten with a handful of red-zone strikes and that pass rush makes Giants' rookie QB Daniel Jones melt. However, it's worth noting that Jones aired four scoring strikes in NYG's 31-26 loss-but-cover at Detroit last week and RB Saquon Barkley (ankle) is getting a bit healthier with each passing week. The Cowboys have won / covered the last five matchups in this rivalry ... do we hear six?
Spread Notes - The Cowboys are an electric 13-5 versus the vig when playing fellow NFC East rivals these past three years but note Dallas is just 4-7-1 spreadwise away since the start of last year; The NY Giants enter this prime-time basheroo at 2-9-1 ATS at home under second-year head coach Pat Shurmur.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL REPORT
The hype machine is in full gear ... and why not? The #1-ranked LSU Tigers (1,479 points in the latest Associated Press poll) have been installed as a 6.5-point underdog against #2-ranked Alabama (1,472 points in the aforementioned AP poll) and, yes, much of what you're hearing is true:
The loser of this game in Tuscaloosa still has a shot at making it into this year's College Football Playoffs but here is what you really need to know:
Let's say favored 'Bama wins this game on Saturday night, then loses in the SEC Championship Game to Georgia. For argument's sake, let's say Ohio State and Clemson finish the year unbeaten ... well, then, there's your "Final Four": It would be Georgia, Alabama, Ohio State and Clemson in no particular order. So, there is a real danger in losing this monster matchup this weekend. Got it?
We'll have lots to say all week long about LSU and Alabama but let's leave off things here with these pointspread notes:
LSU is 5-2-1 ATS so far in this here-and-now 2019 campaign and overall the Bayou boys have covered seven of their last eight games when in the dog role; Alabama, meanwhile, is a dead-even but vig-losing 4-4 against the odds so far this year and the Crimson Tide's failed to cover four of its last six SEC games.
One last College Football item: Last weekend College Football Betting Favorites registered a 26-19-1 ATS mark and so - for the year - Favs are now 258-228-14 with 2 Pick 'Em games ... a solid .531 winning rate for the chalk sides.