Football Friday 9/15/23

The calendar can identify for you certain events with accuracy and reliability:

  • You need to file your IRS Tax Return in mid-April.
  • The swallows return to Capistrano in mid-March (as The Ink Spots reminded us in song).
  • Thanksgiving in the US is the fourth Thursday in November.
  • Fridays become Football Fridays here in Curmudgeon Central.

And since today is Friday …

Let me review the “Betting Bundle” from last week:

  • College Picks:  2-0
  • NFL Picks:  3-2
  • Money Line Parlays: 1-1  Net Profit = $87


College Football Commentary:


The Linfield College Wildcats opened their season last week about 2500 miles from home in central Ohio against Denison University.  The Wildcats won the game 28-24 and this week they will be on the road again to Redlands, CA – – a mere journey of 1000 miles – – to take on the Redlands Bulldogs.   Redlands opened its season last week with a win over Pacific Lutheran by a score of 24-14.  Go Wildcats!

We had the hazing allegations and investigation at Northwestern that got coach Pat Fitzgerald fired.  Now comes news that half of the football team at the University of San Diego is facing disciplinary action because of hazing.  Since hazing is not positively regarded in society, my questions for today are:

  • Why does it continue to exist?
  • Why has it not been “selected against” as time goes on?

According to reports, football teams are not the only place hazing occurs.  Fraternities and sororities have engaged in hazing – – and gotten in trouble for it.  Some of the “secret societies” at prestigious universities such as Skull and Bones at Yale engage in hazing.  So, I have two competing answers for the questions above:

  1. Each new generation of “hazers” thinks they are immune to being caught – – AND/OR – –
  2. Hazing actually provides some benefit to the organization engaged in the hazing.

I have never understood the evolution of hazing and I guess I never will …

When Texas beat Alabama last week (see below), that broke a 43-game home winning streak against non-conference opponents going back more than 15 years.  I wonder if there are any sufficiently delusional Alabama fans who think Nick Saban should be fired for that.

I will be more specific when I get to reviewing last week’s games, but the SEC was hardly dominant in last week’s action.  In years past, the SEC had much greater depth in the conference than other conferences did; there were few if any walkovers for conference teams other than the cupcakes they scheduled for the purpose of pummeling someone. Last week brings that conference depth into question:

  • Arkansas only led Kent State (a bad team) by a score of 7-6 late in the second quarter.
  • Kentucky beat Eastern Kentucky but took its first lead late in the third quarter.
  • Middle Tennessee State had the ball and was driving on Missouri trailing by only 6 points with less than 4 minutes to play in the game.
  • Tennessee took its first lead in the game against Austin Peay in the final seconds of the first half.

All of this may be illusory and dependent on the fact that this was very early in the 2023 season.  But it is worth keeping an eye on.  And in addition, the SEC was only 3-10 against the spread last week while playing some middling opponents …

In the 10 seasons between 2011 and 2020, Arkansas State enjoyed 9 winning seasons and 9 bowl game invitations.  Butch Jones took over in 2021 and the Arkansas State record in his first two years there has been a miserable 5-19-0 – – with no bowl invitations obviously.  I did not have Coach Jones on my “hot seat list” before this season started because I was focusing on coaches at bigger programs this year.  Well, here is the composite score for the first two games involving Arkansas State this year:

  • Opponents  110
  • Arkansas State  3

Colorado 36  Nebraska 14:  I got to watch almost all of this game and have concluded that Colorado is good.  Their team speed is excellent; they won the stat battle 453 yards to 341 yards.  However, it was not that the Colorado defense held the line; the Nebraska offense looked like a Keystone Kops silent movie for parts of the game.  Both Colorado and Nebraska are programs that needed major rebuilding; Colorado is on its way to relevance; there is still some work to be done; QB Shedeur Sanders was sacked 7 times and the Buffaloes’ running game is anemic at best.  Nebraska still needs to learn to get out of its own way.

  • BTW, the Colorado fans stormed the field after this game.  This was a winless opponent who has not been a ranked program since Cheers was the best sitcom on TV – – and you storm the field?  Really?

Utah 20  Baylor 13:  The temperature on the field was more than 120 degrees; fortunately, no one died from heat exhaustion here.  Utah extended its record to 2-0 without starting QB, Cam Rising, for another week.  This game was won by the Utah defense which held Baylor to these results in the second half:

  • Field goal
  • INT – – led to a Utah field goal
  • Three plays and a Punt
  • Three plays and a Punt
  • INT – – led to a Utah TD
  • Run out the clock

Iowa 20  Iowa St. 13:  Iowa did not achieve its 25-points per game mark for the second week in a row.  Remember, that is the number the team must achieve to allow the offensive coordinator, Brian Ferentz to keep his job.

Ole Miss 37  Tulane 20:  Tulane was the pre-season favorite to be the Group of 5 conference champ to get a New Year’s Day bowl Game invitation.  This looks like a big loss, but the stats say the game was much closer:

  • Ole Miss total offense = 363 yards
  • Tulane total offense = 342 yards
  • Ole Miss had 18 first downs
  • Tulane had 19 first downs
  • Ole Miss was 1 for 13 on 3rd down conversions
  • Tulane was 9 for 22 on 3rd down conversions

Arkansas 28  Kent St. 6:  I think Kent St. is going to be bad this year.

Idaho 33  Nevada 6:  I think Nevada is going to be bad this  year.

Washington 43  Tulsa 10:  This is another good showing by the Washington defense.  The offense was supposed to be potent – – as it has been in the first two games – – but the question was the Husky defense…

Oregon 38  Texas Tech 30:  Tech led the game 27-18 at the start of the 4th quarter but Oregon rallied to win.  Here is the Texas Tech offensive production in the 4th quarter:

  • Turnover on Downs
  • Field goal
  • INT
  • INT

Notre Dame 45  NC St. 24:  The Irish are now 3-0 but this game is interesting because it was against an opponent that is normally comparable to Notre Dame, and it was a road win for the Irish; their first two wins were over Navy and Tennessee St and this week is against Central Michigan.  Notre Dame should be 4-0 leading up to a visit to South Bend by Ohio State on Sept 23rd.   That is where the tire rubs the road …

Rice 43  Houston 41 (2OT):  Rice led 28-7 at the start of the 4th quarter; Houston forced OT, but the Owls won the game in double OT.  JT Daniels threw for 401 yards and 3 TDs to lead Rice to this upset win.  Houston was a 7.5-point favorite in the game and the Money Line on Rice closed at +300.  By the way, two of Daniels’ TD asses went to Luke McCaffrey who is the “little brother” of Christian McCaffrey.

Texas 34  Alabama 24:  I said last week that Texas QB, Quinn Ewers was the better QB in this game.  He threw for 349 yards and 3 TDs in the game.  Alabama QB, Jalen Milroe, had a good day but his results were 255 yards with 2 TDs and 2 INTs.  Next up for Texas is a visit by Wyoming; that is a game to watch to see if there is a let-down for the Longhorns.

  • BTW, I was surprised that Alabama lost by double-digits last week, but this team does not look like Alabama teams from recent years.  I will not be shocked if they lose again this year.

Mississippi St.  31  Arizona 24:  Arizona outgained Mississippi St. in the game 431 yards to 307 yards.  Five turnovers by Arizona did the Wildcats in.  Once again, Mississippi St. showed a balanced offense gaining 145 yards rushing and 162 yards passing.

Northwestern 38  UTEP 7:  The game was 7-7 at the half and Northwestern only outgained UTEP by 72 yards in the game.  How did that happen?  Here is what happened to UTEP in the second half:

  • INT
  • Three plays and a Punt
  • Turnover on Downs
  • Turnover on Downs
  • INT

Miami 48  Texas A&M 33:  Miami QB, Tyler Van Dyke threw 5 TD passes in the game and Miami returned a kickoff for 98 yards and a TD.  The Hurricanes are 2-0 and this might be a signature win for the team.   This loss is worse than it looks. The Aggies’ first two touchdown “drives” were 15 and 9 yards in length. Miami dominated play scoring 27 points in the second half.

Utah St. 78  Idaho St. 28:  The amazing thing in this game is that Utah St. scored 44 points in the second quarter.

Kansas 34  Illinois 23:  Kansas is 2-0 on the season …


Games of Interest This Week:


A general comment first … There are no games involving two ranked teams this week.  Get ready for some surprising results this week.

Florida State – 26.5 at BC (48):  BC had to struggle to beat Holy Cross by only 3 points at home last week.  Florida State is just a tad better than Holy Cross …

Penn State – 15 at Illinois (48.5):  Is Penn State really a Top Ten team?  A road trip to take on one of the weaker conference teams will not likely provide an answer to that question – – unless of course Penn State loses outright …

K-State – 4 at Missouri (47.5):  K-State has steamrollered two lesser opponents to start the season.  Now they go on the road to play a team that has shown good defense so far in 2023.  This one might be interesting to watch.

Alabama – 32.5 at USF (61):  Is this one of those games where “Bama does not take its foot off the gas to get the sour taste of last week’s loss out of their mouth?

  • BTW, the last time Alabama went on the road to play a team outside the Power 5 was in 1997 when they went off to New Orleans to play Tulane.

Washington – 16 at Michigan State (55.5):  Last year, Washington surprised the Spartans and just about everyone else by beating Michigan State.  So far this year, the Huskies have outscored their two opponents 99-29.

Tennessee – 6 at Florida (58):  The Vols have dominated two lesser opponents at home so far this year.  Florida is still struggling under coach Billy Napier having lost to Utah in their opener last week (see above).  This is the only college game I like this week for betting purposes; give me Tennessee on the road to win and cover; put that in the “Betting Bundle”.

LSU – 9.5 at Mississippi St. (54.5):  Note that this is the seventh game in a row on this list where the home team is the underdog.

Va Tech at Rutgers – 7 (36.5):  Rutgers is 2-0 with big wins over Northwestern and Temple.  Isn’t Va Tech a step up in class here …?

Northwestern at Duke – 18 (48):  Duke is in the Top 25 this week.  If they lose to Northwestern at home, they will be out of the Top 25 for the rest of the year.

Western Michigan at Iowa – 28 (42):  Iowa has not scored more than 24 points in a game so far this year – – and they are favored here by 28…  What does that say about Western Michigan?

South Carolina at Georgia – 27.5 (54):  Georgia has won 19 games in a row and the last time they lost at home was to South Carolina all the way back in 2020.  In the process of losing to UNC two weeks ago, the Gamecocks’ OL gave up 9 sacks.  I suspect the Georgia defenders have watched that film very closely.

Wyoming at Texas – 30 (49):  Beware the let-down game here …


NFL Commentary:


Let me focus this week on the play of young QBs in the NFL during Week 1.  Yes, that makes these observations necessarily based on a small sample size; I understand that.  Nevertheless, I have a few things to say on the matter:

  • Justin Fields did not impress me at all regarding his supposed improved accuracy and touch on his passes.  He is a hell of an athlete and an outstanding running QB, but he still is not a reliable passer no matter what you read or heard during the offseason.
  • Jalen Hurts did not look anything at all like the way Jalen Hurts looked last year.
  • Daniel Jones should sue his OL for non-support.  Even so, did that look like a QB worth $40M per year out there on Sunday night?
  • Mac Jones looked like a different player in the Pats’ new offensive system.  Bill O’Brien is a real offensive coordinator and that could make a big difference this season.
  • Trevor Lawrence was good enough when he needed to be in the second half against the Colts.  I like the Jags and took them in the “Betting Bundle” and as part of a Money Line Parlay last week and both choices were winners.  But the Jags were playing a bad team last week and they were trailing late in the third quarter.
  • Jordan Love In his first start as the Packers’ #1 guy at QB, he threw three TDs with no INTs; he outplayed Justin Fields by a lot in Chicago.
  • Kenny Pickett looked as if he were a rookie again – – but maybe it was the Niners’ defense that just dominated the game…?
  • Brock “Mr. Irrelevant” Purdy looked awfully good against a nominally strong Steelers’ defense leading the Niners in a 30-7 rout.
  • Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert put on a fireworks display with Tua winning the battle 36-34.

In good news for Chiefs’ fans, the team was able to reach an agreement with DT, Chris Jones on a contract for this season.  Now the question is very simple:

  • Is Chris Jones ready to play at his normal level or will he need several games to “get in football condition”?

The standings in the AFC are just a bit “topsy-turvy” after opening week.  I doubt that too many folks had the Bengals, Bills and Chiefs all losing on the same weekend.  I surely did not.  For the record, if you had taken the Browns, Jets and Lions in those three games as a Money Line Parlay, the payoff on a $100 wager would have been a total of $1134.

Commanders 20  Cards 16:  This was an ugly game for both teams.  The Commanders managed all of 248 yards on offense, turned the ball over 3 times and allowed 5 sacks – – and they won the game.  The Cards committed 6 penalties for 97 yards in the first half of this game.

Falcons 24  Panthers 10:  The game was tied at 10 apiece at the start of the 4th quarter but the Falcons pulled away in the 4th quarter to secure this one.  The Panthers won the stat battle 281 yards to 221 yards.  This was another ugly game. The Panthers turned the ball over 3 times in the game leading to 17 of the Falcons’ points for the day.

Browns 24  Bengals 3:  The Bengals’ total offense here was 142 yards; Joe Burrow’s stat line reads:

  • 14 of 31 for 82 yards with 0 TDs and 0 INTs.

Either his calf injury is more serious than has been alluded to and/or he really needed the practice time he did not get in training camp – – or perhaps both?  This victory belongs to the Browns’ defense; the Browns won handily here, and Deshaun Watson threw for a TD and ran for another in the game – – but Watson’s stat line was not impressive:

  • 16 of 29 for 154 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT

Ravens 25  Texans 9:  This outcome was never seriously in doubt; the Ravens’ defense confounded Texans’ rookie QB, CJ Stroud for the whole game and sacked him 5 times.  The biggest downer of the day here is that Ravens’ RB, JK Dobbins tore his Achilles tendon and is out for the season.

Jags 31  Colts 21:  The Colts led 21-17 at the start of the 4th quarter but gave the Jags 2 TDs in the 4th quarter while the Colts’ offense did this in the 4th quarter:

  • 3 plays and a punt
  • 2 plays and an INT
  • 17 plays and a Turnover on Downs

The Jags welcomed back Calvin Ridley to the NFL after a year’s suspension related to a gambling infraction; Ridley caught 8 passes for 101 yards and a TD.  The Colts went 1 for 5 on 4th down conversions in the game.

Niners 30  Steelers 7:  It wasn’t that close; the Niners outgained the Steelers by 152 yards on offense and held the ball for almost 37 and a half minutes in the game.  The Steelers only tried to run the ball 10 times in the game and gained only 41 yards on the ground.  Three turnovers by the Steelers did not help their cause at all.   Here is what you need to know about the Niners’ defense last week:

  • The Steelers went three-and-out on their first five possessions and their net offense was minus-9 yards.

Bucs 20  Vikes 17:  Baker Mayfield led the Bucs to a victory in his first start in Tampa.  He went 21 for 34 for 173 yards and 2 TDs.  That was just enough to win the game thanks to 3 turnovers and 6 penalties by the Vikes.

Saints 16  Titans 15:  The Titans committed 4 turnovers in the game – – 3 INTs by Ryan Tannehill – – and had to settle for 5 field goals in the game.  The fact that the Saints won by only a point here speaks to the anemic offense they showed for the day.  David Carr threw for the game’s only TD in the third quarter.  There can’t be a real QB controversy in Tennessee because the Titans don’t have one on their roster.

Packers 38  Bears 20:  Jordan Love threw for 3 TDs in this year’s opening game; it was the ninth straight win for the Packers over the Bears.  Justin Fields had a mediocre day putting up this stat line:

  • 24 of 37 for 216 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT.
  • He also ran for 59 yards.

No one has ever doubted his ability to run; the question for the Bears – – and their fans – – is whether Jusin Field will ever develop into a reliable NFL passing QB.  This game provided no answer(s) to that question.

Raiders 17  Broncos 16:  Sean Payton lost his inaugural game in Denver at home to a division rival.  I think the most important stat from the game is that the Denver defense never sacked Jimmy G in the game.  The Raiders’ OL was “problematic” coming into the season, but it did its job well in this game.  Jakobi Myers was Garoppolo’s favorite receiver in the game catching 9 passes (on only 10 targets) for 81 yards and 2 TDs.  A big difference in the game is that the Broncos missed an extra point and a field goal – – and only lost by 1 point.

Rams 30  Seahawks 13:  The Seahawks led 13-7 at the half and were shut out in the second half.  The stats for the game were even more lopsided than the score; the Rams outgained the Seahawks by 246 yards on offense.  Here are the Seahawks possessions in the second half:

  • 3 plays – – 5 yards – – PUNT
  • 4 plays – – 10 yards – – PUNT
  • 3 plays – – 2 yards – – PUNT
  • 3 plays – – minus-24 yards – – PUNT
  • 1 play – – 9 yards – – END OF GAME

Do the math; the Seahawks had a net of 2 yards on offense for the second half of this game.

Dolphins 36  Chargers 34:  It’s a small sample size, but it sure seems as if the Chargers in 2023 are just like the Chargers in 2022.  They can and will score points and they cannot prevent the other guys from also scoring points.  These teams combined to produce 969 yards of offense in the game.  The Total Line for this game was 50 points; the game was already OVER before the 4th quarter began.    Tua was the most impressive quarterback of the weekend, by a nautical mile. He went 28 for 45 for 466 yards.  His OL was very good to him; he was never sacked and was only hit twice in the game.

Eagles 25  Pats 20:  A win is a win, but the Eagles did not play well in this game.  After jumping out to a 16-0 lead in the first quarter, their offense went somnambulant.  Here are the Eagles’ possessions over the final 17 minutes of the first half:

  • 3 plays – – 2 yards – – PUNT
  • 3 plays – – 3 yards – – PUNT
  • 3 plays – – 3 yards – – PUNT
  • 3 plays – – minus-9 yards – – PUNT
  • 1 play – – 3 yards – – HALFTIME

Do the math again; the Eagles gained a net of 2 yards over a 17-minute period in the first half.  This win belongs to the Eagles’ defense who recorded a Pick-6 and generated two sacks in the 4th quarter to stall Patriot drives.  The defense also carried the day for the Pats as I think it will do for the rest of the season.

Cowboys 40  Giants 0:  There is no simpler way to say this except:

  • These teams did not belong on the same field last Sunday night!

In the first quarter, the Cowboys scored on a blocked field goal returned for a TD and a Pick-6.  The Cowboys cannot look this good every week and the Giants cannot look this bad again this year.  Right?

  • The Giants averaged just 2.6 yards per offensive play, made it to the red zone once in 12 possessions, and crossed midfield only twice — both times leading to missed field goals.
  • The Giants’ OL was AWOL for the game.  The Cowboys recorded 10 tackles for a loss, 7 sacks of Daniel Jones and 12 QB hits in the game.

Just for giggles, here are the Giant’s possessions for the game:

  • 11 plays – – 48 yards – – Blocked Field Goal returned for a TD
  • 3 plays – – minus-10 yards – – PUNT
  • 3 plays – – minus-9 yards – – INT
  • 3 plays – – 3 yards – – PUNT
  • 1 play – – 0 yards – – INT
  • 15 plays – – 57 yards – – Missed Field Goal
  • 2 plays – – minus-7 yards – – Halftime
  • 7 plays – – 7 yards – – PUNT
  • 9 plays – – 30 yards – – TURNOVER ON DOWNS
  • 1 play – – 24 yards – – FUMBLE
  • 10 plays – – 19 yards – – TURNOVER ON DOWNS
  • 2 plays – – minus-4 yards – – END OF GAME

Jets 22 Bills 16 (OT):  You had to see this one to believe it.  This game belongs to the Jets’ defense and then to the Jets’ special teams for the TD in OT to win the game.  Josh Allen gave the Jets 4 turnovers – – 3 INTs and a lost fumble – – in the game.  The overhang here is the season-ending injury to Aaron Rodgers and that injury leads me to present this to you.

  • #2 son has a friend from high school days that he has stayed in touch with.  They were together last Monday night to watch the Bills/Jets game.  After it was learned that Rodgers would not return to the game and that he was in a walking boot and the medical prognosis did not look good #2 son’s friend turned to him and said, “There are few teams that have embodied the works of Jean Paul Sartre quite like the New York football Jets.”

I thought you needed to read about that comment.

In last night’s game,

Eagles 34  Vikes 27: This was another ugly win for the Eagles, but they all count in the same column of “Ws”.  DeAndre Swift had his best night as a pro rushing for 175 yards and a TD on 28 carries.  I have seen both Eagles’ games this year; they need to play a lot better than they have shown so far if they hope to make it back to the Super Bowl; nonetheless, they are 2-0 and get 10 days to rest before taking on the Bucs in Week 3.  Meanwhile, the Vikes are 0-2 and the schedule is not very forgiving for the Vikes between now and the end of October:

  • Versus Chargers
  • At Panthers
  • Versus Chiefs
  • At Bears
  • Versus Niners
  • At Packers

The Vikes may be fortunate to enter the month of November at 3-5…


Games This Week:


There is only one game in college football that I like this week from a wagering perspective; so, I figured I would put together a “Betting Bundle” heavily angled to the pro games on Sunday/Monday.  Not so, this is just going to be a sparse week for items in the “Betting Bundle”.


Chargers – 3 at Titans (46):  The Titans could not score a TD last week; the Chargers’ defense was as solid as a screen door last week.  Something’s gotta give.  The Titans compounded their lack of offense last week by having a punt blocked and turning the ball over three other times.  I think the Chargers are the better team, but I have little faith in them to play to their potential especially on the road.

Packers at Falcons – 1.5 (40):  The Packers opened as a 1-point favorite this week and the line has flipped.  I have no reason to trust Desmond Ridder over Jordan Love or vice versa in this game.

Colts at Texans – 1 (39):  This is a battle of two rookie QBs taken in the first round of this year’s NFL Draft.  That is the only interesting aspect of the game; I gave the game serious consideration as the Dog-Breath Game of the Week.  Don’t bet this game; you cannot seriously have a strong opinion on this game unless you live in Indy or in Houston.

Seahawks at Lions – 5 (47):  This is my Game of the Week.  The Seahawks were trounced last week in a division game at home (see above).  The Lions surprised most folks by beating the Chiefs in the NFL opening game for 2023.  I like the game, but I do not like the lines posted by the oddsmakers – – so, I’ll pass.

Bears at Bucs – 2.5 (41):  Here is another game that received attention for the label, Dog-breath Game of the Week.  The line opened the week with the Bears as a 1-point favorite; it flipped quickly to this number and has basically stayed here all week.  The Bears’ defense did not show well against the Packers last week; if Jordan Love could exploit that defense, it is not a huge stretch of the imagination to see Baker Mayfield doing the same.  But would you trust Baker Mayfield to do that?

Raiders at Bills – 8 (47):  Josh Allen played badly against the Jets last week tossing 3 INTs.  If he does that again, the Raiders will win outright; if he reverts to the more typical Josh Allen here, the Bills should be just fine at home against a lesser defense.  I like the Bills in this spot to win and cover at home; put that in the “Betting Bundle”.

Chiefs – 3.5 at Jags (50):  This was almost my Game of the Week because the Chiefs need the game to avoid an 0-2 start and the Jags need the game to stay in control of their division.  And both teams are good teams.  The Chiefs will have Chris Jones on the field here; maybe Travis Kelce will be back (?) and Kedarius Toney cannot possibly play as badly as he did last week.  Having said all that, the Jags are a good team, and they should be able to score too.  I see a shoot-out, so I’ll take the game to go OVER; put that in the “Betting Bundle”.

Ravens at Bengals – 3 (46):  The four AFC North teams play one another this week.  Will the Bengals start the season at 0-2 as they did last year?  Unless the Bengals’ offense plays about five-times better than it did last week (see above), that could happen.  The Ravens will be without JK Dobbins, and two offensive linemen were hurt in last week’s game and neither practiced on Wednesday this week.  This will be a good game – – to watch.

Giants – 4 at Cards (40):  This is the Dog-Breath Game of the Week.  Obviously, 16 teams had to lose in Week 1 and both teams did just that.  Moreover, both teams looked bad in doing so.  Given the choice of watching tis game or diagramming all the sentences in the Declaration of Independence, I am not sure which option I would take.  Feh!

Niners – 7.5 at Rams (44.5):  This is a division game and both teams won last week impressively.  The Rams’ schedule in the near term is not an easy one so this game is significant to their playoff quest.  Here is the Rams’ schedule through the end of October:

  • Sept 25 – – At Bengals
  • Oct. 1 – – At Colts
  • Oct. 8 – – Vs. Eagles
  • Oct 15 – – Vs. Cards
  • Oct 22 – – Vs. Steelers
  • Oct 29 – – At Cowboys

The Niners have the better overall roster, but I do not like the hook on top of the full TD in the spread – – so I’ll just watch this game and munch on some snacks.

Jets at Cowboys – 9 (38):  The Total Line opened the week at 46.5 points; it dropped quickly to 41 points and then eroded to this level.  Both defenses dominated opponents last week.  The defense that plays better in this game will win this game.

Commanders at Broncos – 3.5 (39):  Points should be at a premium in this game; the Broncos struggled against the Raiders defense last week and the Commanders’ calling card is their defense.  Meanwhile, the Commanders’ offense only put up 20 points and allowed 5 sacks against the Cards.  This will be the late game on Sunday in my viewing area; I would prefer that not to be the case.

(Sun. Nite) Dolphins – 3 at Pats (46): The Dolphins’ defense was manhandled last week – – particularly in the running game.  The Pats can indeed run the football and if they do that, they can minimize the number of times their defense has to deal with Tyreek Hill on a go-route.  I will definitely be watching this game!

(Mon Nite early) Saints – 3 at Panthers (39.5):  The Total Line opened the week at 42.5 points and has been easing on down to this level as the week progressed.  Neither offense drew much attention to itself last week so this division battle should be decided by which defensive unit plays better.  I’m tempted to take the Panthers at home – – but not to the point that I cannot resist the temptation.

(Mon Nite later)  Browns – 2.5 at Steelers (38):  Here is “the other” AFC North division battle for the week.  The Browns were impressive at home last week, dominating the Bengals.  The Steelers were ground into mincemeat at home by the Niners last week.  This is the better of the two Monday night games; stay up to watch this one.

Before I review this week’s “Betting Bundle” and give you a Money Line Parlay, let me observe that this week is exactly why I abandoned the idea from the last couple of years of providing a “Six-Pack” of wagering suggestions.  There are not 6 games that I like as betting opportunities this week and I am glad I do not have to go back and pick three more games just to fill out a quota.

Here is this week’s “Betting Bundle”:

  • Tennessee – 6 over Florida
  • Bills – 8 over Raiders
  • Chiefs/Jags – – OVER 50

And for a Money Line Parlay:

  • Bills @ minus-360
  • Niners @ minus-330
  • Cowboys @ minus-400    $100 to win $108.

Finally, let me close this out with these words from legendary Notre Dame coach, Frank Leahy:

“A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



4 thoughts on “Football Friday 9/15/23”

  1. Look on the bright side: Seattle Seahawks committed no turnovers against the Los Angeles Rams in the second half of play. On the downside, Seattle’s defense committed a dozen cardinal sins during a bottom-feeder effort.

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