Thursday, October 7, 2010

NFL Teams in the Quarter Pole

Chicago (3-1) and Green Bay (3-1) share a piece of the lead atop the NFC North division but anyone that watched the Bears give up nine QB sacks in the first-half alone vs. the Giants Sunday night is quick to dismiss any long-term success for Lovie Smith’s team.

The Packers on the other hand, who have averaged 9.5 straight-up wins per season over the past decade, seem like a legitimate shot to clear their 10 wins by Week 15. Green Bay finishes the season with back-to-back home games as well, and the current NFL odds on the Packers to win the division is -275.
The AFC picture gets a lot more clouded, where six teams have already won at least three games. Surprisingly, the team listed by oddsmakers as the favorite to win the Conference is not one of those six! Indianapolis (+350) is still being recognized as the top contender even though the Colts are 2-2 SU/ATS.

The highest payback for any of the three-win teams is Kansas City (+2000), who visit the Colts this weekend. Indianapolis is favored by bookmakers at -9 and is getting 66-percent public support through early betting.

Monday Night Football games have not disappointed this season and two stats to keep in mind when handicapping this week’s contest between the Vikings and Jets (-4) involve a pair of top offensive players that were starting to gain a reputation for their generosity. Until now, that is:

- Known for his 20 interceptions last season, through four games, Jets QB Mark Sanchez is 60-for-103 (58.3%), and averaging 169.3 yards per game with eight TDs and zero INTs.

- Speaking of turnover-free football, Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has had 83 touches in his first three games and has not fumbled once. This comes after two years where Peterson had 15 total fumbles (losing nine).

The San Francisco 49ers fell to 0-4 SU Sunday in Atlanta, despite earning an ATS cover for bettors. Following the Niners’ loss in Kansas City, HC Mike Singletary sent O-Co Jimmy Raye packing and with Mike Johnson calling the plays, well, let’s just say things didn’t get any worse.

WR Michael Crabtree’s value has risen for Fantasy owners, Crabtree making five receptions for 58 yards Sunday, and perhaps with another week and home field the 49ers will be able to come out on the right side of a close game for once. Or maybe not...

When a football team makes a drastic move such as firing a key member its coaching personnel this early in the season it’s meant to send a message out to the rest of the organization. But when Kansas City, Buffalo and Tampa Bay committed the act last year in late-August/early September it created a negative ripple effect lasting for months.

Five weeks into the 2009 season those three teams and a combined record of 1-14 SU, and some would argue that other than the Chiefs, they are still no better off today. The O-Co carousel was pegged as the biggest problem for QB Smith and until we see something positive out of this team, bettors may want to exercise caution.

The Niners (-3.5) are hosting the Philadelphia Eagles for Week 5 on Sunday Night Football.

Along with ‘first-half’ lines has always offered a great assortment of props for every game on the Sunday card.

New this season is ‘Possession Outcome Props’ where you can bet on what either team in a contest will do with the football on their first possession of the game. Touchdown, field goal or punt are offered at different rates based on team tendencies and it’s a great way to get ahead in the game early.

Betting Tip: In 19 games under previous offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye, the 49ers never scored a touchdown on their first possession. Mike Johnson did it on his first crack.

You can check all the NFL odds and prop betting options.

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