Monday Night Preview and NFL Recap
Okay, so let's play a little NFL version of the long-running TV show Jeopardy and give our answer in the form of a question:
The answer: Who are the Dallas Cowboys, the Carolina Panthers, the Philadelphia Eagles, the New York Jets, the Los Angeles Chargers, the Cleveland Browns and the New England Patriots?
The question: They are the seven NFL teams that lost the "whole game" as NFL Week 13 betting favorites this past Thanksgiving Day Weekend.
Hey, there's some marquee names on this here list but let's concentrate our focus for now on the last team mentioned as the six-time Super Bowl champion NE Patriots unsuccessfully played chase all game long in Sunday Night's 28-22 loss at the 3-point underdog Houston Texans (okay, so that final onside kick was a real doozy and had the Texans and their fans holding their collective breath).
Maybe in / around the New England region the initials "T.B." stand for quarterback Tom Brady but last night they stood for "too bad" as the Pats dropped to 10-2 SU (straight-up) and a notch below current #1 AFC playoff seed Baltimore who you might have recalled last week we termed a league "superpower". Brady (326 yards passing with 3 TDs and 1 INT) was miffed for much of the night 'cause his wide receivers - which, at times, included best buddy WR Julian Edelman (see six catches for 106 yards and one score) - had major issues getting open plus that reshuffled O-line was downright rotten until those late-game drives.
It's a funny thing about the defending champion Patriots: Only once have they managed to string together back-to-back Super Bowl wins (see 2003-04 seasons back when Brady was a kid) and right now they no way look like a true Super Bowl contender. In fact, the Patriots have failed to cover three of their last four games and they're only 7-5 ATS (against the spread) overall this year after compiling a haughty 38-17-2 ATS log the prior three years ... no wonder head coach Bill Belichick kept his post-game presser uber-short last night in Houston.
Tonight, it's ... MINNESOTA (8-3) at SEATTLE (9-2) - 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN
Here's the head-to-head lowdown on these NFC squads: The Seahawks actually have won the last five consecutive meetings between these teams (and covered four-of-five) as you have to go back to the 2009 season to find the last time the Vikings won /covered against Seattle.
In terms of the here-and-now, Seahawks QB Russell Wilson (24 TD passes / 3 INTs) ranks second in the NFL in passer rating and take note he's led this NFC West crew to seven wins in eight SU tries in one-score games while Vikings' slinger Kirk Cousins (21 TDs / 3 INTs) ranks numero uno in the league in passer rating and this NFC North team has scored 27+ points on seven different occasions.
Want an X-factor possibility here? Minnesota PK Dan Bailey has drilled 12-of-13 FGs since Week 5 but how will he handle possible rainy / windy conditions here?
Spread Stats - The Seahawks have covered just six of their first 11 games this year and note Seattle's just 1-4 versus the vig at home; the Vikings are also 6-5 against the odds this season but note Minnesota's 58-33-3 ATS overall under sixth-year boss-man Mike Zimmer.
In other NFL Week 13-related News & Notes ...
NFL Betting Favorites head into tonight's prime-time tilt at a wobbly 82-102-4 ATS with 3 Pick 'Em games tossed into the mix ... and that's a stunningly poor .446 winning rate for chalk sides. P.S., one betting favorite that failed to cover yesterday was the 5.5-point favorite Baltimore Ravens who squeezed past San Francisco 20-17 thanks to an uber-clutch 49-yard FG by kicker Justin Tucker. Hey, MVP frontrunner QB Lamar Jackson of the Ravens threw for 105 yards and rushed for 101 yards as Baltimore improved to 16-3 SU with Jackson as a starter ...
No doubt the Kansas City Chiefs - a runaway 40-9 home winner against 11-point underdog Oakland - was the far better squad yesterday at Arrowhead Stadium but doesn't it seem just a bit weird that the Raiders were penalized 12 times for 99 yards and not a single yellow flag was thrown on Andy Reid's crew?
Finally, while folks rightfully tout both Baltimore's Jackson and Seattle QB Wilson for MVP consideration, can you also give Tennessee RB Derrick Henry some "love"? Henry rushed for 149 yards and a touchdown in the 31-17 win /cover at 1-point home dog Indianapolis and now has rushed for TDs in four straight games while registering a run of 30+ yards in four of his last five outings.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL REPORT
Let the College Football Championship Week begin - there's 10 title tilts this weekend beginning with Friday's Pac-12 bash between Oregon vs. Utah and then there's Nine (9) conference championship games on Saturday featuring the SEC doozy between LSU vs. Georgia and the Big 12 game between Baylor vs. Oklahoma. We're gonna get y'all quick-hitter previews this week but let's take a few seconds to spell out some key spread stats:
PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIP - at Santa Clara, CA
Oregon vs. Utah ... The 6.5-point favorite Utah Utes ride an eight-game pointspread winning streak into this Friday night clash.
BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME - at Arlington, TX
Baylor vs. Oklahoma ... Did you know that the OU Sooners have won /covered the last two Big 12 title games against TCU (in 2017) and Texas (last year)?
SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME - at Atlanta, GA
LSU vs. Georgia ... Note that the Bayou Bengals are 9-4-1 against the odds dating back to late last year.
BIG 10 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME - at Indianapolis, IN
Ohio State vs. Wisconsin ... The Buckeyes have won / covered their last three title games (in 2014, '17 and '18) in Big 10 action.