NFL ~ 10/27

Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings (+8, 47) 8:00PM EST NBC

The Minnesota Vikings hope their latest foray into the national spotlight is more successful than their previous one.

Christian Ponder takes the latest spin on the Vikings' quarterbacking merry-go-'round as Minnesota hosts Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night. Minnesota is coming off an ugly 23-7 loss to the previously winless New York Giants in the Monday nighter.

Here's the tale of the tape:

Offense

Led by the cannon arm of Rodgers, the Packers boast an impressive pass offense ranked fourth in the league in yards per game (300). Rodgers' 13 touchdown passes rank Green Bay in a tie for seventh-most in the NFL, and he has been intercepted just four times so far in 2013. The Packers' rush attack has been stout as well, averaging 134.7 yards per contest - sixth-most in the league.

The Minnesota QB carousel - featuring appearances by Ponder, Matt Cassel and Josh Freeman - has yielded predictably subpar results. The Vikings are averaging just 214 passing yards per game - tied with Seattle for 24th in the league - with five touchdowns and eight interceptions. The running game has been underwhelming, as well - despite boasting defending rushing champion Adrian Peterson, Minnesota ranks 19th in the NFL with 102 yards per game.

Edge: Green Bay

Defense

The Green Bay pass defense has struggled all season long. The Packers have yielded 267 yards through the air per game - tied for 23rd - with 12 touchdowns against and just three interceptions. The outlook has been much brighter when it comes to run defense, however. Green Bay has surrendered the fewest total rush yards (474), the third-lowest per-game average (79) and just three total touchdowns on the ground.

Minnesota's offensive struggles have been accentuated thanks to a pass defense that has also underperformed. The Vikings are getting torched for 289 passing yards per game - the fourth-highest mark in the league - while surrendering 14 touchdowns. Minnesota has been better in run defense, ranking 14th at 102.3 yards against per game while forcing five fumbles - tied for the fifth-most in the NFL.

Edge: Green Bay

Special Teams

There is no worse kick-return unit than Green Bay, which averages just 14.9 yards on 10 attempts. The Packers are more effective in the punt-return game, ranked 10th in the league at 9.7 yards per attempts. Green Bay is surrendering a league-high 29.5 yards per kickoff return but just 7.9 yards per punt return try. Packers kicker Mason Crosby has connected on 14 of 16 field-goal attempts, going 1-for-2 in last week's 31-13 triumph over the Cleveland Browns.

Minnesota is one of only two teams with a kickoff return touchdown this season, helping bolster its average return to 30.4 yards - good for second in the NFL. The Vikings also rank second in punt return average (15.9). Minnesota allows the second-highest kick return average (29.1) but ranks a respectable 11th in opposing punt return average (7.1). Minnesota kicker Blair Walsh is 9-for-11 on field goals, but is dealing with a hamstring injury.

Edge: Minnesota

Notable Quotable

"Eddie (Lacy) is running the ball well right now. I'm just trying to take some of the load off of Eddie and split up the remaining reps between Johnathan (Franklin) and James (Starks), because James and Johnathan still bring some unique abilities to the run game." - Packers running backs coach Alex Van Pelt on the team's versatile rushing game

"It's a phenomenal organization. I had to make my departure. There were some things said that, man, if I could say it over again I would re-word it so that it can be conveyed a little differently. But they were said, and I can't focus on that." - Vikings wide receiver Greg Jennings, referring to comments made when asked about his time with the Packers

This game could get ugly fast and allow folks to catch some Series action.

The play: Green Bay -8

Others:

San Francisco -14½
Miami/New England UNDER 46
Pittsburgh -2½
Cleveland/Kansas City UNDER 39½
Arizona -2½

NCAA ~ 10/12

Florida Gators at LSU Tigers (-7.5, 48)

Weather: Temperatures in the high 80s, partly cloudy skies, winds S 5 mph.

Gators been a completely different team since inserting Tyler Murphy in as their starting quarterback. He led them to a comeback win over Tennessee by a final of 31-17 after replacing Driskel on September 21. Since then, he led the Gators to a 24-7 victory at Kentucky as an 11-point favorite, and a 30-10 home victory over Arkansas as a 12.5-point favorite.

Murphy is making plays and not turning the ball over like Driskel did. Murphy is completing 72.2 percent of his passes for 530 yards and five touchdowns against one interception, while also rushing for 135 yards and two scores. Matt Jones has recently returned at running back to give the offense a boost as well. He has rushed for 322 yards and two scores. Solomon Patton (19 receptions, 348 yards, 4 TD), Trey Burton (23, 282, 1 TD) and Quinton Dunbar (18, 274) are all solid targets outside for Murphy. Offensive line is finally healthy with depth...look for running game to key offense here.

LSU hasn't faced a defense near the caliber of the might Gators. UF is allowing just 12.2 points and 217.0 total yards per game to rank 2nd in the country in total defense. They outgain opponents by a whopping 176.4 total yards per game on the season. LSU has clearly taken a step back defensively this season, yielding 24.7 points and 367.0 total yards per game. It gave up 44 points in its only true test of the season in a loss to Georgia on September 28.

One reason I believe this line is inflated is due to LSU's 59-26 win over Mississippi State last week. That was a 31-26 game at the end of three quarters as the Bulldogs were right in it. However, LSU would score 28 points in the fourth quarter to make the final score look like a much bigger blowout than it really was. The Tigers allowed 468 total yards to a suspect Mississippi State offense. That was the third straight game in which they allowed 437 or more yards. They gave up 437 to Auburn and 494 to Georgia as well.

Plays on a road team (FLORIDA) after allowing 14 points or less in 2 straight games against opponent after playing a game where 80 total points or more were scored are 37-12 (75.5%) ATS since 1992.

LSU is 3-13 against the spread in its last 16 games off a two game road trip. Les Miles is 1-9 against the number as a home favorite of 7.5 points or less in all games he has coached. Florida held LSU to 200 total yards in last year's 14-6 home victory. Zach Mettenberger went 11 of 25 passing for 158 yards with an interception. The Gators are 6-1 against the spread in their last seven trips to LSU. Look for Mettenberger to struggle against the first legitimate defense he has faced all season. Bet Florida Saturday.

The 7.5 is a gift, money line play as well! $$$

The play: Gators +7.5 & ML +260

Others...
Colorado State -2.5
Missouri +7
Georgia OVER 64
Michigan -3.5

NFL ~ 10/6

Carolina Panthers @ Arizona Cardinals +1, 42

My first 4 Unit NFL play this season comes on the Carolina Panthers -1 as they are fresh off a bye week and heading to Arizona to take on the Cardinals. Carolina is just 1-2 on the season so far, but looking at their games they should still feel good about where they are at. In Week 1 they played maybe the best NFC team right now in the Seattle Seahawks and lost 12-7. They followed that up with a last second one-point loss in Buffalo against a pretty good Bills team, and then last week they thumped the New York Giants 38-0 at home. That game should have really built confidence in both the offense and defense. Take note that the Panthers defense is currently ranked 10th in the NFL giving up just 318 yapg, while they've held opponents to just 12 ppg (3rd). Offensively they rank 26th overall in yards gained, but they've managed 22.7 ppg (18th). Carolina ranks 3rd in the NFL in rushing, which will be important this week against a pretty good Cardinals secondary. The Cardinals are 2-2 on the year with losses @St Louis and @New Orleans and victories at home vs Detroit and @Tampa Bay last week. Offensively the Cardinals haven't been very good this year ranking 27th in ypg, and scoring just 17.2 ppg (25th). QB Carson Palmer has been one of the worst starting QBs in the league completing 57.2% of his passes for 1010 yards but with 4 TDs, 6 INTs and a low 69.8 QB Rating. Panther's QB Cam Newton has completed 59.1% of his passes for 577 yards (one less game played) but has a much better 6 TD and 2 INT ratio with a 91.9 QB Rating - and he's added 98 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Arizona's defense is how they will win games and they are ranking 19th right now in yapg and are giving up 22.2 papg (19th). Note that the Cardinals are just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win, 2-5 ATS in their last 7 home games, and 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games following a game where they allowed less than 15 points against. Carolina is 6-2 ATS in their last 8 road games, and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall. I've made some money betting on the Cardinals this year, but I think Carolina is a better team coming into this game off a bye week after a blowout win with lots of confidence. I'll take the Panthers -1 for 4 units, and I will also add 2 units on the UNDER as I don't see Arizona doing much offensively against a good Panthers defense.

The play: Panthers -1 4u (Play of the week!) and also taking UNDER 42 2u


Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers -7, 53'

Here we have Aaron Rodgers coming off a bye week vs a below average Lions defense that is giving up 25.2 papg. Rodgers is currently completing 66.4% of his passes for 1057 yards over three games with 8 TDs, 3 INTs and a 105.1 QB Rating. The Packers are scoring 32 ppg (2nd behind Denver) and averaging 454 yards per game (3rd). On the other side we have the Lions who have been close to as good offensively averaging 404 ypg (6th) and 30.5 ppg (4th). They will be going up against a Packers defense who has been poor to start the year ranking 28th giving up 404 yapg, and 29.3 papg (27th). Although we saw totals of 47 and 44 from these two teams last year, they did play to 86 points the year prior - and I think this time around we get something in between. Reggie Bush has really given this Lions team the ability to put up a lot of points every game he's healthy, and we know that Aaron Rodgers has the ability to put up a lot of scores (especially at home coming off a bye).

The play: Packers OVER 43' and Packers -7

Denver Broncos @ Dallas Cowboys +9, 56

I'm coming right back on a Bronco's OVER this week as last week the Broncos and Eagles soared OVER the total that closed at 57.5 with a Denver 52-20 victory. Right now Peyton Manning has the best targets he's ever had in his career, along with a solid running game - and it's showing. Through 4 games the Broncos are averaging 483 yards per game and 44.8 points per game (both 1st in the NFL). Their defense, on the other hand, hasn't been anything special giving up 20+ points in each of their games and ranking 24th in the NFL. The Cowboys are 19th in the NFL offensively in yards gained per game, but they've converted drives into points ranking 10th with 26 ppg. QB Tony Romo has been great this year with a 72.4% completion rate with 1017 yards, 8 TDs, just 1 INT, and a 105.1 QB Rating - and he has played his best football at home. In two home games the Cowboys have put up 36 and 31 points.

Last week, the Broncos were up against an Eagle team which is allowing 34.5 points and 447 yards per game, one which was looking to trade points with them.
I have a feeling that Monte Kiffin's defense will give them some trouble and that Manning will come back down to earth, if only a little. The Cowboys are allowing 19 points and 355 yards per game here. They allowed just seven points and 232 total yards their last game here, while running the ball 34 times.

Fox has noted that he'd like to see more from the running game and a better fourth quarter defense. While the Cowboys know they'll need to score some points to win this game, they also know that the best way to slow down Manning is to keep him on the sidelines. I expect them to emphasize establishing the ground game and then trying their best to stick with it. Ultimately, I expect that to help keep the final combined score beneath the big number, the UNDER moving to 10-4 the last few seasons, when the Cowboys were catching points.

The plays: Boys +9 & UNDER 56

Others:
Chiefs -2
Patriots -1
Raiders +4.5

ncaa ~ 9/28

LSU Tigers at Georgia Bulldogs (-3, 62)

The Tigers have outscored opponents 173-88 and have not trailed at any point, but they also haven't yet played in a hostile environment like they'll face between the hedges. LSU's offense has taken flight under new coordinator Cam Cameron, as the Tigers have topped 30 points in their first four games for only the third time in history - and the first since 1928. Mettenberger (1,026 passing yards, 10 TDs) has blossomed under Cameron's tutelage, but LSU still boasts a powerful ground game with Jeremy Hill (117 yards per game, six TDs) leading the charge. The defense is no longer the Tigers' clear-cut strength, but the unit has been tough against the pass and has forced six turnovers.

The Bulldogs put a 14-game home winning streak on the line and are after their second home win over a top-10 opponent after a 41-30 victory over South Carolina two weeks ago. Georgia's offense has been dynamic with quarterback Aaron Murray and running back Todd Gurley - the SEC's leading rusher at 125.7 yards per game. Murray faltered late in a season-opening loss at Clemson but rebounded with a stellar performance against South Carolina and passed for 408 yards and three touchdowns last week. The defense is still finding itself after losing two NFL first-round draft picks while featuring six new starters from a year ago.

LINE: Georgia opened -3 and moved to -3.5. Total steady at 61.5 / 62

WEATHER: Temperatures in mid 70s, clear skies, winds ENE 6 mph

TRENDS:
* Over is 5-1 in the last six meetings.
* Tigers are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 conference games.
* Bulldogs are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games overall.

Florida State Seminoles at Boston College Eagles (+23.5)

Spurred by the country’s 19th-ranked running game, the Seminoles look to extend a seven-game win streak in ACC play. The Seminoles have been remarkably efficient on offense, averaging 8.8 yards per play - the third-best mark in the nation. However, the defense has created only four turnovers and allowed 43 more rushing yards per game than it did a season ago.

Boston College, which had the FBS' 10th-worst run defense in 2012, appeared to be making strides in that area until it surrendered 257 yards in a 35-7 loss at Southern California last Saturday. However, the Eagles’ best chance at winning this game may come behind running back Andre Williams, who leads the conference in rushing.

LINE: FSU opened -22.5 and moved to -23.5. Total moved 52 to 54.

WEATHER: Temperatures in low 60s, clear skies, winds east 6 mph

TRENDS:
* Underdog is 5-2 ATS in their last seven meetings.
* Road team is 6-2 ATS in their last eight meetings.
* Over is 6-2-1 in Seminoles last nine games overall.

The play: LSU +3.5

Tidbits:

- Florida State QB Jameis Winston leads the nation with a 78.1 completion percentage and is second with a 210.5 QB rating. Winston will look to build on those numbers in Boston as the Noles are 23-point road faves at Boston College.
- The Florida Gators are 6-0 ATS in their last six games versus the Kentucky Wildcats. The Gators are 12-point road faves Saturday.
- Texas A&M, a 14-point road fave at Arkansas Saturday, has scored 40 points in its first four games of the season for the first time in school history.
- USC and Arizona State square off in a Pac-12 battle Saturday Night at Sun Devil Stadium. The Trojans are 3.5-point road dogs and are 0-8 ATS in their last eight games overall.
- The total for the Cal versus Oregon game currently sits at 80. Since 1985, there have been 11 games with totals of at least 80 points. Six of them have gone under.

Others:
bama -14
Oregon/Cal over 80
FSU -23
Gators -12
USC -4
Kipin's job may be on the line

NFL ~ 9/22

San Diego Chargers at Tennessee Titans (-3, 43.5)

Philip Rivers leads a rejuvenated offense that is averaging more than 30 points per game. The only problem: San Diego has allowed as many points as it has scored, thanks to a defense that has surrendered the most passing yards in the league through two weeks.

The Tennessee Titans' defense has helped compensate for a sluggish offense through the first two games of the season. Titans RB Chris Johnson comes into the week ranked sixth in rushing yards (166) but second in attempts (50), averaging just 3.3 yards per carry.

LINE: Opened Tennessee -1 and moved to -3. Total steady at 43.5.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: San Diego (+2.0) - Tennessee (+3.0) + home field (-3.0) = Titans -2
WEATHER: Temps mid 70s, clear skies, winds NNE 7 mph.
TRENDS:

* Chargers are 8-0 ATS in their last eight meetings.
* Over is 5-1-1 in the last seven meetings.
* Favorite is 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings.

Chargers lack of defense and coaching catches up on the road.

The play: Titans -3

New York Giants at Carolina Panthers (+1, 46.5)

New York's 10 turnovers - seven of which have been Eli Manning interceptions - are a major cause for concern and have put the defense in a tough spot. The offense has been effective at moving the ball, mostly through the air, and ranks fifth in the league in total yards, but the ground game has to come along and the Giants need to hang onto the ball.

The Panthers find themselves in an 0-2 hole after losing their first two games by a combined six points, including a 24-23 defeat against Buffalo last week. The Panthers have been balanced on offense but they've been far from explosive, ranking 27th in the league with 280.5 total yards per game.

LINE: Carolina opened -1 and moved to +1. Total moved from 45.5 to 47.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: New York (-1.0) + Carolina (+3.0) + home field (-3.0) = Panthers +1
WEATHER: Temps mid 70s, 22 percent chance of early showers, winds 5 north 5 mph.
TRENDS:

* Giants are 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings.
* Over is 4-1 in the last five meetings.
* Road team is 5-2 ATS in their last seven meetings.

Terrible Panther defensive backs have added injury woes...Ely will exploit!!!

The play: Giants -1

Others:
Vikings -6'
Ravens +2
Lions/Skins over 48

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