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Sunday NFL Week 10

Check offers for a big NFL Sunday with Week 10 action. Bobby Dalton and Point Train are already 1-0 in Week 10 with Thursday night winners, while Nelly’s also hit an opinion play.

Nelly’s went 3-0 with three 2* picks on Saturday and we’ll try to do it again with today’s 2/3 guarantee!

Bobby Dalton had a big Saturday going 3-1 in college football and he was 4-1-1 last Sunday in NFL action! Dalton has profited in 8 of his past 10 football updates while on an 18-9 run in NFL sides and hitting 6 of his last 8 Trips-2-Win offers! Win with Dalton and a Sunday set!

Point Train is on a 17-8 run in NFL Picks and was 2-1 yesterday – get three picks for Sunday or join for a total top play!

Big E was a winner yesterday in his biggest pick of the season with his 25* College Game of the Year delivering an outright underdog win!

Maximum Sports has a FIVE-GAME package with a 60% guarantee on Sunday!

FREE PICK SUNDAY FROM THE GREEN SHEET: #251 Cincinnati Bengals +6.5 over Pittsburgh Steelers 3:25 PM CT

The Steelers have won 10 consecutive games vs. the Bengals and this was expected to be the second highest home favorite spread in this series since 2008. The Steelers had an incredible comeback to maintain its perfect start last week but that wasn’t the first time has struggled vs. a lesser squad this season. The Bengals were off last week and have scored 92 points the past three games all vs. winning AFC teams. Both teams have players on the Covid reserve list including Ben Roethlisberger for the Steelers as this line has come off the board at many outlets after opening as high as -10½. Joe Burrow continues to impress and only once this season have the Steelers won by more than 10 points as close games are the norm. Even if the key players are able to go for Pittsburgh, the disruption in the week’s schedule after a huge comeback win will be a challenge. For whatever reason NFL teams that start 8-0 have struggled getting to #9, going 4-11 ATS since 2005 with three of the past four 8-0 teams falling to 8-1. Both New England and San Francisco lost in Game #9 last season as well.

Big Ben and other key players for Pittsburgh look likely to play after being on the Covid list but lacking practice all week won’t be beneficial and while this would have been a rated pick north of +7 the Bengals are still appealing short of that key number with a competitive effort likely.

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Big Play Saturday

The Big E is 7-2 in 15* and higher selections this season and is on an 11-3 run in NCAA 25* picks since 2013. His 25* College Game of the Year is ahead for this Saturday – $49.94 pay after you win! Big E also has his next 20* Conference Game of the Year in the Sun Belt this week for $20.94 or get both of those picks plus Saturday & Sunday 10* Biggies and the Top 5 Ticket for $99.94!

Maximum Sports is 3-0 in 10* Picks this football season and is ready to deliver a Saturday 10* with his Revenge Game of the Year in college football – Just $25 pay after you win as Max looks to go to 4-0 on big plays this season!

Nelly’s has our weekly 2/3 offers lined up for Saturday & Sunday this week with six 2* picks as we go for a big weekend. We went 3-0 last Saturday and on the season have turned in a steady 36-27-1 record in our phone service releases.

The Big Dog Bobby Dalton was a winner in the NFL on Thursday night with the Colts and is coming off a 4-1-1 Sunday last week while netting a profit Thursday, Friday, and Saturday last week, gaining stars in five of his last six updates!

Point Train has picked up over 50 units since October 1 and started the week with a Thursday winner. Point Train is on a 13-5 NCAA run and a 17-8 NFL run while 4-1 in the past five NCAA 6-unit Top Plays!

Check Saturday morning for a Free NCAA Pick from the Green Sheet with the newsletter 11-3 this season in Rating 5 Keys and 14-7 in all Key Selections the past two weeks!

Free Pick from Green Sheet Issue #17: #225 Louisville +4 over Virginia 2:30 PM CT

Virginia won the ACC Coastal last season despite losing to Louisville in a game that wasn’t as close as the seven-point final. Both teams have struggled in 2020 with a decline though Louisville has shown some life with a win and two single-score losses in the past three games. Virginia was able to snap a four-game slide by upsetting North Carolina in its last game before these teams pushed this contest back a week. Louisville could be dealing with some roster challenges with 15 players reported as testing positive last week forcing the schedule change. Turnovers have been a big issue for Virginia from the quarterback position while the offensive statistics for Louisville suggest that of a better team. The Cardinals rush for 5.1 yards per carry and while Micale Cunningham has eight interceptions he has also thrown for 15 touchdowns while rushing for three more. Louisville has some potential in this contest even with a lower underdog spread than last season’s game at home.

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Thursday Football

A huge AFC game kicks off Week 10 Thursday night. Bobby Dalton has a side play and Point Train has a total play to build on great recent runs. Dalton had a 4-1 Sunday last week in the NFL while also winning Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in football picks. Point Train is on a 16-8 NFL run since Week 3.

Green Sheet Issue #17 was sent out on Wednesday, Key Selections are 14-7 the past two weeks and Rating 5 Keys are 11-3 on the season.

Big E is expecting his 25* NCAA Game of the Year this weekend – he started off the week 1-0 with a MAC winner last night.

Look for more releases later today and Friday for a big mid-November weekend in pro and college football:

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NFL Close Calls Week 7

NFL Close Calls – Week 7

10/27/2020

Glancing at the scoreboard won’t tell you the whole story in most games. Here are some of the games that went down to the wire relative to the spread and total in the fourth quarter in Week 7 of the NFL regular season.

Philadelphia Eagles (-5) 22, New York Giants 21 (44½): The underdog and ‘under’ looked promising throughout the Thursday NFC East clash as New York led 14-10 through three quarters. An impressive 97-yard drive for New York seemed to seal those fates going up 21-10 with just six minutes remaining but anyone that took New York on the moneyline could sense what was coming. The Eagles needed only four plays to score, burning not even two minutes of clock and getting the two-point conversion to trail by five. The Giants punted just before the two-minute warning and tacked on 15 yards to the return with a penalty. Without seeing a 2nd down the Eagles were down to the New York 5-yard-line with just over a minute to go before the drive stalled. A defensive holding call converted a 3rd down and then with 40 seconds to go the Eagles took the lead. The total would come down to the two-point conversion with Jalen Hurts in the game and it was unsuccessful. Those on the Giants and ‘under’ felt relief until Daniel Jones was sacked on a final desperation drive, but the fumble was harmlessly recovered without a return.

Cleveland Browns (-4) 37, Cincinnati Bengals 34 (50): The Bengals didn’t trail until a back-and-forth 4th quarter as the Browns scored first in the final frame to take a 24-20 edge, just past the road favorite spread that was commonly at -3 or -3½ before closing at -4. Touchdowns were exchanged as the Browns still led by four inside of five minutes. Joe Burrow converted a big 3rd-and-11 and then with just over a minute to go on 4th-and-1, Burrow hit Giovani Bernard for the go-ahead score. Baker Mayfield and the Browns only needed a few plays to go 75 yards however, with a 24-yard connection just in bounds for the win with only 11 seconds left. Seemingly Browns backers had escaped but incredibly Cody Parkey missed the PAT and the final margin stayed at 3.

Detroit Lions (+1) 23, Atlanta Falcons 22 (55): The Falcons led by one through three quarters to match the closing spread though most likely had -1½ or -2 on Atlanta. The Falcons eschewed a short field goal that could have put them up by four early in the fourth quarter but they failed on 4th-and-5. The Lions would go 60 yards but Matt Prater would miss from 46 yards as Atlanta clung to a narrow lead. It didn’t last long as Matt Ryan fumbled on a sack with just over five minutes to go, putting the Lions immediately in field goal range. Detroit only gained a yard on that possession but Prater was good from 49 as Detroit went up by two. The Falcons were again in the red zone and Detroit had exhausted its timeouts with just over a minute remaining. Facing 3rd-and-1 Todd Gurley got the first down and survived a brief fumble. Atlanta could have run the clock down and kicked a game-winning field goal but instead Gurley broke through the line and in a late attempt to go down, the ball narrowly passed the goal line. That touchdown did give Atlanta the lead they needed but it left more than a minute on the clock and even with a successful two-point conversion the lead was only six. Matthew Stafford and the Lions didn’t face a 3rd down on a march to the Atlanta 11-yard-line where they clocked it. Eluding pressure Stafford hit T.J. Hockenson in the end zone to tie the game and Prater’s PAT was good for a narrow Detroit win.

New Orleans Saints (-7) 27, Carolina Panthers 24 (50): The Saints led 14-3 early but Carolina had back-to-back touchdowns from DJ Moore to briefly lead in the second quarter until Drew Brees engineered a touchdown drive just before halftime. Late in the third quarter the Saints pushed the margin to seven points on a spread that was -7½ much of the week before Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders were ruled out, sending the number down to -6½ and -7 by Sunday. The Panthers converted a pair of 3rd downs on an efficient drive to tie the game at the end of the third quarter. New Orleans would settle for the go-ahead field goal about halfway through the fourth quarter but the Panthers were not able to equal the score with a costly 3rd down sack just before the two-minute warning necessitating a 65-yard kick that fell short. The late Saints field goal pushed the scoring to 51, even with the opening number but most saw the total drop to 50 by game day.

Buffalo Bills (-9½) 18, New York Jets 10 (46½): The Jets jumped out to a 10-0 lead in this game but it became clear that might be all the points they would get as those on the ugly underdog hoped to hold on. Buffalo would wind up with a 422-190 edge in yardage and five second half drives for the Jets netted four yards. The Bills could not find the end zone however as Tyler Bass hit from 53, 48, 46, 37, and 29 before Buffalo had the ball back up five with about five minutes to go. The Bills were stopped on a Josh Allen rush on 3rd-and-2 that forced Bass back out for another field goal of 40 yards, putting the Bills up eight instead of 11. Sam Darnold was intercepted at the New York 15 on the final Jets play but New York was out of timeouts and the Bills were able to just take a knee deep in New York territory rather than kicking the seventh field goal that those on the favorite needed.

Pittsburgh Steelers (+1) 27, Tennessee Titans 24 (51): The Steelers seemed to have total control of this game up 24-7 at the half but they settled for a short field goal to lead by 20 early in the third quarter. The Titans answered with a 73-yard touchdown to get back in the game, and then added a field goal to trail by 10 after a Ben Roethlisberger interception. With about 10 minutes to go the Titans got another shot after an incomplete pass on 4th-and-goal was wiped out with defensive holding. Derrick Henry rushed in on the next play to put Tennessee down just three. The Steelers were in position to put the game away while sealing the ‘over’ as well reaching the Tennessee 9-yard-line but Roethlisberger wound up intercepted in the end zone. Tennessee converted a pair of third downs and reached the Pittsburgh 25 but Ryan Tannehill was called for intentional grounding. Tennessee only got seven of those yards back in the next two plays and Stephen Gostkowski narrowly missed from 45 yards trying to tie the game in the final seconds.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-4) 45, Las Vegas Raiders 20 (51½): Despite the lopsided final, this game featured a 24-20 edge for the Buccaneers into the fourth quarter. An 11-play touchdown drive with a couple of big 3rd down conversions led to the touchdown to put Tampa Bay up by 11 about halfway through the final frame. Derek Carr was intercepted on the next play and the Buccaneers eventually added two more short-field scores to pad the numbers to a misleading blowout final score.

Los Angeles Chargers (-8) 39, Jacksonville Jaguars 29 (48): As a substantial underdog Jacksonville led this game 29-22 late in the third quarter. Justin Herbert struck Jalen Guyton who ran for a 70-yard touchdown in the final two minutes of the quarter and then after the Jaguars fumbled on the subsequent kickoff return, Los Angeles added a 19-yard touchdown drive to suddenly lead by seven going into the fourth quarter. The Jaguars crossed midfield but Gardner Minshew took a sack to force a punt and the Chargers slipped past the spread with a field goal with about six minutes remaining. An eight-play final drive for the Jaguars didn’t threaten to get the underdog back within the spread as the Chargers held on with all 29 points for Jacksonville being scored in the middle quarters.

Arizona Cardinals (+3½) 37, Seattle Seahawks 34 (55): Seattle led 27-17 at halftime and 34-24 relatively late in the fourth quarter but the Cardinals wouldn’t go away. A 14-play touchdown drive put Arizona within three with 2:28 to go and Arizona’s defense only allowed one first down while using all three timeouts to preserve almost a minute on the clock, getting the ball back at the 20 after a touchback on the punt. Kyler Murray delivered an efficient drive to set up a 44-yard field goal to force overtime. Seattle went first in overtime and the Arizona defense held, forcing another Seahawks punt. Kliff Kingsbury’s game management fell off a cliff on Arizona’s next drive after a 32-yard gain put the Cardinals in range to win with a field goal. The Cardinals lost five yards trying to set up the kick on the preferred side then had to burn a timeout to avoid a delay of game call. Kingsbury effectively iced his own kicker as Zane Gonzalez missed from 41 yards kicking on 2nd down rather than Arizona trying to get a bit closer. It seemed like Seattle would again find a way to escape with a win crossing midfield as the overtime clock pushed towards a minute remaining. Russell Wilson hit D.K. Metcalf for a touchdown but it was nullified with an offensive holding call. On the next play Wilson suffered his third interception of the game, leaving Arizona near midfield. Murray was able to add 19 yards for the Cardinals and this time Gonzalez delivered the winning kick from 48 yards.

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4th Quarter Covers Oct. 23-24

Glancing at the scoreboard won’t tell you the whole story in most games. Here are some of the games that went down to the wire relative to the spread in the fourth quarter last week in the first full schedule weekend in college football. Each week there are several teams that cover despite not necessarily deserving it, as well as other teams that played much better than the final score shows.

Louisiana-Lafayette (-2) 24, UAB 20 (49½): Riding a long home winnings streak UAB led 20-10 late in the third quarter but the Ragin’ Cajuns scored with 20 seconds left in the third quarter to climb within three. UAB had to punt on its opening drive of the fourth quarter and Louisiana turned in an excellent 14-play drive to go 86 yards for the go-ahead touchdown. UAB appeared to be a threat to answer but Bryson Lucero was intercepted at the 18-yard-line and while the UAB defense held, Lucero would be intercepted again in the final opportunity for the Blazers.

Wisconsin (-19) 45, Illinois 7 (51): A sparkling starting debut for Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz had the Badgers up 28-7 at halftime with the only Illinois touchdown coming on a fumble return. Illinois would stay in the mix after a scoreless third quarter before Wisconsin added another touchdown to lead 35-7 in the final frame. Wisconsin melted another seven minutes of clock rushing the ball on its next possession to go up 42-7 while any hopes for the ‘over’ seemed to hinge on Illinois putting a final drive together. With four minutes remaining backup quarterback Isaiah Williams was intercepted and Wisconsin wasn’t quite able to drain the remaining clock, ultimately kicking a 19-yard field goal in the final minute to flip the total result for many.

Coastal Carolina (-1) 28, Georgia Southern 14 (49): Quarterback Grayson McCall was a Saturday morning scratch for undefeated and ranked Coastal Carolina and the line shot downward several points. Backup Fred Payton started much of last season and was productive though both teams had missed opportunities in the first half as Payton had two interceptions while Georgia Southern missed a field goal. A punt return touchdown helped Georgia Southern enter halftime tied 14-14. Both offenses sputtered in the second half with a scoreless third quarter before Coastal Carolina finally cashed in with a big pass play to lead 21-14 with about nine minutes remaining, past a favorite spread that reached -6 on Friday before spiraling downward. Later a 40-yard punt return sparked the Chanticleers for a short field score to go up by 14 before Georgia Southern would be stopped on downs near midfield. In its final opportunity Georgia Southern quarterback Shai Werts had his second interception of the game, matching his total from the previous two seasons combined.

Ohio State (-27½) 52, Nebraska 17 (70): A Nebraska touchdown two minutes into the game offered promise for the heavy underdog but a few minutes into the third quarter Ohio State had taken a 38-14 lead on a defensive score. Nebraska was still covering entering the fourth down by 21 but Ohio State would add another touchdown to lead by 28 and many on the ‘over’ got a late gift as the Buckeyes added a touchdown with 18 seconds left with reserves in the game rather than taking a knee. Ryan Day apologized to Nebraska after the game but the score pushed the scoring to 69, short of the closing number but a winner for plenty on the rise from an opener of 64½.

Auburn (-3½) 35, Mississippi 28 (73): This SEC West clash provided one of the better games of the weekend as these teams were knotted at 14-14 at halftime and 21-21 through three. Auburn struck first in the fourth and went for two, coming up short to lead 27-21. Mississippi answered with a long touchdown drive to take the lead with just over five minutes remaining. Both teams punted on their next possessions before the often-criticized Bo Nix got the ball back with fewer than three minutes remaining on the Auburn 20. He took a sack on first down but delivered a nice gain on the next play and a few plays later connected to Seth Williams for a 58-yard score. Auburn hit the conversion to Williams to lead by seven. Matt Corral and Mississippi had a decent late opportunity to answer eventually getting two plays from the Auburn 29 before a final toss to the end zone was intercepted.

Charlotte (-17) 38, UTEP 28 (49½): This game was tied 14-14 at halftime and Charlotte added a short field touchdown in the third to lead 21-14. The 49ers added a field goal early in the fourth to lead by 10 as the ‘under’ pace held before a flurry of scoring in the final five minutes. UTEP took a sack going for it on 4th down and Charlotte added a touchdown to seemingly put the game away leading by 17 but UTEP answered quickly to get back within 10. Charlotte needed only one play to score again after a failed onside kick and a penalty as the 49ers went back up by 17. UTEP would deliver for the underdog in the final minute hitting a touchdown on 3rd-and-long to keep the final margin to 10 points.

Indiana (+7) 36, Penn State 35 (61½): Indiana led much of this game, up 17-7 at halftime and 20-14 late in the fourth quarter despite Penn State ultimately posting a 488-211 edge in yardage. Down six Penn State had a punt and a failed fourth down on a pair of series before connecting for a 60-yard touchdown pass with 2:30 remaining, going up by one with the PAT. The Hoosiers had no choice but to go for it on 4th-and-21 after Michael Penix was sacked twice and Penn State seemingly had won the game with an incompletion. On first down Devyn Ford rushed into the end zone when taking a knee short of the end zone would have ended the game. Penn State opted to kick the PAT after the score, going up eight past the favorite spread but with the door open for Indiana to match it. The Hoosiers did just that going 75 yards in seven plays and then sneaking into the end zone for the two-point conversion to tie the game. The Hoosiers nearly gave the game away with a brutal kickoff that went only 14 yards and Penn State had a 57-yard field goal attempt miss narrowly at the end of regulation. Penn State delivered a touchdown on third down going first in overtime while Indiana did the same. The Hoosiers opted to for two and the result was Penix scrambling to the corner and diving with the ball stretched out to the pylon. The conversion was ruled successful on the field and while on replay the ball did hit down before connecting the pylon there was not enough room to say it didn’t certainly cross the plane and the Hoosiers kept the two points and the win. Those on the ‘over’ also lucked out with the late scoring and overtime result as the total points were at 34 in the final three minutes of the game and at 56 at the end of regulation.

Purdue (+3½) 24, Iowa 20 (52½): Jeff Brohm was unable to get Nick Saban’s magic elixir and did not coach this game but his team battled back from a 20-14 4th quarter deficit. A 13-play drive reached 4th-and-9 with about eight minutes remaining and Purdue opted to kick for three to half the deficit to just three points, which for the moment was fine for those on the Boilers +3½. Iowa picked up a pair of first down and seemed poised to drain further clock but a 13-yard-gain ended in a fumble in Purdue territory. The Boilermakers converted a pair of third downs along the way and then on 3rd-and-5 with just over two minutes remaining Aidan O’Connell found the end zone with an Iowa stop on the play likely meaning overtime with a field goal try. Iowa approached midfield with a nice first down gain but ended its possessions with four straight incomplete passes.

Oklahoma State (-3) 24, Iowa State 21 (53½): As expected Spencer Sanders returned for Oklahoma State and the Cowboys never trailed in this game for the Big XII lead. Iowa State answered each of the first two scores as the game was tied 14-14 in the third quarter but after a 66-yard Breece Hall run tied the game, Sanders delivered a score not even two minutes later. Oklahoma State added a field goal in the fourth quarter to lead by 10 and forced a pair of punts to effectively end the game. Iowa State would get the ball back with about three minutes to go and made the most of the opportunity eventually cashing in with a 20-yard touchdown pass in the final minute. The PAT made it a three-point final, meaning a push for many but a win for those Iowa State early in the week or a win for a few folks that caught -2½ on Oklahoma State during brief periods Friday night or Saturday morning.

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Huge Sports Weekend

A lot of action is ahead this weekend, starting Friday night with a pair of huge Game 5s, in the NBA Finals as well as the ALDS! Get selections from Nelly’s and Bobby Dalton tonight!

Dalton is perfect so far in the NBA Finals and is on a 69-41 run in MLB games involving the Yankees!

Nelly’s started the football week with a winner Thursday night and we are now 17-8-1 in football releases this season with great success in college and pro games. Our first NCAA 2/3 Guarantee is posted for Saturday and we have two NFL picks for Sunday:

Maximum Sports has released picks for Saturday and Sunday including a pick in this huge ACC clash between Miami and Clemson. Maximum is 7-2 in higher rated 5* NFL picks this season as well.

Point Train had a huge 6-1 week last week in football including a 3-0 sweep in college football Saturday. The first 6-unit play of the season is ahead for an EARLY GAME on Saturday – $29.97 pay after you win!

Big E has his next 20* Conference Game of the Year up for football this Saturday – with a NON-CONFERENCE 20*! The Top 5 Ticket is also off to a great start this season, 3-2 or better every single week!

Check back Saturday morning for a FREE PICK from Issue #12 of the Green Sheet!

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NFL Close Calls

NFL Close Calls – Week 4

10/06/2020

Glancing at the scoreboard won’t tell you the whole story in most games. Here are some of the games that went down to the wire relative to the spread and total in the fourth quarter in Week 4 of the NFL regular season.

Denver Broncos (+1) 37, New York Jets 28 (41½): While greatness was not on display, the 0-3 vs. 0-3 matchup Thursday night to start Week 4 proved to be quite an entertaining game. Denver led 27-16 early in the fourth quarter but the Jets would score 12 points over around six minutes of clock with a pair of field goals around a defensive touchdown, leading 28-27, having gone unsuccessfully for two on the touchdown when they were trailing by two. A facemask penalty took away a third down sack for the Jets and Denver eventually went back in front with a 53-yard field goal with just over three minutes remaining. New York was stopped on downs at midfield and Melvin Gordon put the game away for the Broncos rushing for 43 yards on first down.

Minnesota Vikings (+3½) 31, Houston Texans 23 (52½): Houston cut an early deficit to just 17-16 in the third quarter but the Vikings would score a pair of touchdowns to take a commanding 31-16 edge early in the fourth quarter. After a collapse in Week 3, Minnesota appeared in danger again as the Texans had cut the margin to eight points and forced a Vikings punt. Getting the ball back with still nearly three minutes to go Houston would reach 1st-and-goal at the 4-yard-line. The Vikings were able to hold, stuffing David Johnson twice, watching Deshaun Watson fumble to lose yardage, and then ending the threat with an incompletion that withstood review.

Seattle Seahawks (-4½) 31, Miami Dolphins 23 (55): Miami trailed by five heading into the third quarter and completed a 17-play drive with a short field goal to trail by only two. It took just a few minutes for the Seahawks to push past the spread however and after Seattle went up by nine before quickly intercepting Ryan Fitzpatrick and putting in another touchdown to lead by 16. Those on the ‘over’ suddenly had a chance after the very low scoring start as Miami was able to get a touchdown and a conversion to trail by only eight. The onside kick failed for the Dolphins however and the Seahawks were able to take a knee at midfield following narrowly reaching a first down that withstood review just after the two-minute warning.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-7½) 38, Los Angeles Chargers 31 (42½): The Chargers stormed out to a 24-7 lead including getting a long interception return touchdown and productive numbers from rookie Justin Herbert. A fumble just before halftime proved to be a critical swing as Tampa Bay was able to add a touchdown to trail by 10 before the break. Tampa Bay scored on its first drive of the second half to climb within three and added another quick touchdown to go in front after the Chargers missed a field goal. Los Angeles would go 75 yards in three plays to go back in front at the end of the third quarter but Tampa Bay didn’t endure a 3rd down on its next drive, taking a four-point lead. After a 3-and-out for the Chargers, Tampa Bay added a field goal to lead by seven and Herbert was intercepted in the last opportunity for the Chargers as the Buccaneers were winners but for most the hook was enough for the underdog.

Baltimore Ravens (-14) 31, Washington Football Team 17 (45): Washington trailed by 11 at the half with missed opportunities on both sides. The Ravens went past the heavy favorite spread on their opening drive of the second half before an exchange of punts. Starting at its own 10, Washington put together a lengthy 17-play drive but after taking an 18-yard sack from 1st-and-goal, Washington still opted to go for it on 4th down from 13 yards out. Dwayne Haskins inexplicably didn’t even throw close to the end zone and Baltimore would answer with a field goal to lead by 21. With Robert Griffin in the game for the Ravens, Washington got an interception and added a late touchdown ahead of the two-minute warning to push the total ‘over’ while earning a push or a win for those on the ugly underdog.

Buffalo Bills (-3½) 30, Las Vegas Raiders 23 (52½): The Raiders had a strong opening drive in the second half and seemed poised to take the lead but the drive stalled in the red zone and the subsequent short field goal put the Raiders down just one. On the first play of the fourth quarter Buffalo rushed in for a touchdown to go in front by seven but that is where the margin stayed with a missed PAT. The Raiders fumbled on its next possession in Buffalo territory and the Bills took advantage to suddenly lead by 14. The Raiders were stopped on downs and then had a fumble over their next two possessions before eventually cashing in with a score inside of two minutes. That touchdown was just enough for many on the ‘over’ but not close enough for the underdog despite a clear production edge for the Raiders.

Kansas City Chiefs (-11) 26, New England Patriots 10 (48½): Those on the Patriots as a double-digit underdog would have gladly accepted a final Chiefs output of only 26 points prior to the game but turnovers burned New England in many ways Monday night. An egregious early whistle robbed the Patriots of a defensive touchdown in the first half and then with no timeouts Brian Hoyer took a sack before halftime that took points off the board for New England as well. Jarrett Stidham rallied the Patriots for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter as the hefty underdog trailed by only three points but on the next drive the Chiefs were handed back-to-back penalties for a total of 34 yards, including a 3rd-and-long conversion to set up a touchdown with nine minutes to go. The extra-point was missed however as New England sat down just nine. On first down of the next Patriots possession Stidham’s pass went off Julian Edelman’s hands and Tyrann Mathieu took it the other way for a defensive touchdown as suddenly Kansas City was ahead by 16. The Patriots were a threat to get back within the number on its next possession but Stidham was intercepted in the end zone and then a productive final drive in the final two minutes came up short on 4th down as well as Kansas City moved to 4-0. The Chiefs also earned a rare heavy favorite cover vs. Bill Belichick with a 4-1 turnover edge and a couple critical officiating decisions certainly changing the course of a game in which the Patriots were the more productive team.

Green Bay Packers (-5) 30, Atlanta Falcons 16 (56½): While the line on the popular Packers dropped throughout the day Monday Green Bay took a 20-3 edge at halftime. The Packers were stopped on downs early in the game to keep points off the board while those on the ‘under’ also had to be frustrated as a 20-play, 94-yard drive for Atlanta netted only three points. The Falcons got a stop and a touchdown to open the second half and while the Packers answered quickly, Atlanta did likewise to maintain an 11-point deficit early in the fourth quarter. Atlanta lost two players in its already short-handed secondary in the game but the Falcons defense held Green Bay to a field goal with about six minutes remaining to stay within two scores. A touchdown pass on 4th down was stripped out of Calvin Ridley’s hands to prevent the Falcons from getting within seven, on a spread that was +7 much of the week before falling all the way to +5 by kickoff. Atlanta would get another opportunity in the final minute reaching the edge of scoring range but couldn’t deliver on 4th down after taking a costly sack earlier in the series from the Green Bay 31 as the Packers delivered another win despite modest production while both Monday games played ‘under’.

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College Football Saturday

With the MLB & NBA Playoffs on pause today, college football sits in the spotlight! After few prominent head-to-head games between national powers in the first month, things escalate today with several big games in the SEC, Big XII, and ACC.

Check out guaranteed offers from Nelly’s and our featured handicappers for Saturday’s schedule:

The Green Sheet is 3-0 in Rating 5 Key Selections this season – get this week’s Keys and eight-pages of analysis and predictions in issue #11 for only $12 or $129 for the full season subscription.

Here is a FREE PICK from this week’s issue:

#107 South Carolina +17 over Florida 11:00 AM CT

Florida’s opening win was never really in doubt but allowing 613 yards is never a positive sign. Kyle Trask and the rushing attack for the Gators did its part but a Rebels squad in a transition season moved the ball with ease as well. South Carolina had the lead on Florida in the fourth quarter last season and posted a yardage edge and Will Muschamp has played his former team tough every season despite only one S/U win as every game has been decided by 13 or fewer points. Muschamp was criticized for kicking a field goal down seven with three minutes to go last week but ultimately the Gamecocks lost because of turnovers. Tennessee scored on an interception return to go in front in the second quarter and Muschamp’s plan to get the ball back at the end of the game worked; only his returner muffed the punt and the offense never got the chance vs. a tired Tennessee that Collin Hill threw very effectively against with 290 passing yards in his debut. Texas A&M and LSU lurk as the next two games for Dan Mullen and this will be the second largest SEC favorite spread he has faced at Florida, even with this line dropping significantly since opening as high as 19.5.

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Week 3 NFL Close Calls

NFL Close Calls – Week 3

09/29/2020

Glancing at the scoreboard won’t tell you the whole story in most games. Here are some of the games that went down to the wire relative to the spread and total in the fourth quarter in Week 3 of the NFL regular season.

New England Patriots (-7) 36, Las Vegas Raiders 20 (47): After falling just short in Week 2, the Patriots were caught in a tight game in the first half leading by three after both teams put together touchdowns in the final minute of the 2nd quarter. While those points spoiled a spectacular ‘under’ pace, only 10 points were added in the third and the Raiders could only muster a field goal after a long drive into the fourth quarter putting the scoring at 36. New England would go 86 yards and burn more than six minutes before effectively clinching the win with a 29-13 advantage. A penalty on the kickoff return would pin the Raiders deep and they fumbled on first down, taken in for a Patriots touchdown to seal the ‘over’ as well. The Raiders would add a late touchdown as well for 56 points including 20 in the final 5:17 of game clock.

Buffalo Bills (-2) 35, Los Angeles Rams (46½): The ultimate ‘under’ team last season the Bills have changed course this season and scored three touchdowns in the first half for the early edge vs. the Rams. Buffalo scored first after the break as well to take a 28-3 edge, a now an infamous score in recent NFL history. The Rams would do their best impression of Buffalo’s AFC East rival putting four consecutive touchdowns together, the last of which came on a short field after an Aaron Donald sack and fumble recovery against Josh Allen. The following touchdown came with 4:30 to go putting the Rams ahead 35-32 with a remarkable comeback completed. Allen would convert a 3rd-and-22 and moved Buffalo into the red zone however. The rising MVP candidate would then take his second big penalty in the game with a face mask call pushing the Bills back to the 30-yard line and eventually facing 4th-and-8 with 25 seconds to go. Allen and the Bills were bailed out with a tough pass interference call on the Rams and Buffalo connected for the game-winning touchdown and spread covering extra-point with 15 seconds to go.

Pittsburgh Steelers (-3½) 28, Houston Texans 21 (46½): The Texans seemed to be in control of this game up 14-3 and the Steelers were facing 3rd-and-goal from the 10-yard-line after an intentional grounding call. Ben Roethlisberger would deliver the touchdown pass to get the Steelers back within four and both teams would add another touchdown before halftime for a surprisingly high scoring first half. Pittsburgh would climb within one with a field goal out of the break before four straight punts were exchanged without a single first down. Early in the fourth quarter still leading by one Houston was across midfield, but Deshaun Watson wound up intercepted at the 13-yard-line. Pittsburgh converted a pair of third downs and marched down the field for a seven-minute drive to take the lead. Up five Pittsburgh went for two and succeeded and Houston’s next possession featured a sack and a false start to leave 3rd-and-26. After picking up more than half that yardage Houston surprisingly punted, and never saw the ball again.

San Francisco (-3) 36, New York Giants 9 (43½): This game was closer than the final score and nearly 2-to-1 production edges indicate. It was 6-6 until 67 seconds to go before halftime as the 49ers would score 10 points before the break, making the most of an interception. The Giants scored out of the break to cut the score to 16-9 after a field goal on a lengthy drive and the ‘under’ pace seemed secure. San Francisco would score a pair of touchdowns over the next five minutes to seal the outcome leading 29-9 early in the fourth quarter. Nick Mullens and Jeff Wilson would star on a 92-yard touchdown drive culminating in a touchdown to push the total ‘over’ with just over three minutes to go.

Tennessee Titans (-2½) 31, Minnesota Vikings 30 (43½): While both teams moved the ball successfully the scoring was mostly limited to field goals early in this game with a 17-12 Vikings edge nearly midway through the third quarter. Minnesota appeared to break the game open with a 71-yard touchdown for rookie Justin Jefferson but the Titans would score a pair of touchdowns in the final four minutes of the third quarter to secure the ‘over’ and put Tennessee in front by one, missing on the two-point attempt. Minnesota would score early in the fourth to lead by five, also unable to get the conversion. The struggling Minnesota defense would hold on the next Titans drive, with Tennessee opting for and getting a 54-yard field goal to trail by two, keeping both spread outcomes in play for the final six minutes. Minnesota had two penalties and was unable to put the game away on its next possession and for the third straight week the Titans delivered a late kick to go in front as Stephen Gostkowski again hit from long range. While Minnesota remained in range to cover they seemed more of a threat to allow another score than to go back in front on a disastrous final drive that resulted in a Kirk Cousins interception on 4th-and-26 after he had earlier fumbled on the drive.

Cleveland Browns (-7) 34, Washington Football Team 20 (45): Cleveland led 17-7 at halftime but Washington would storm back in the third quarter with consecutive touchdown drives, taking a 20-17 lead into the fourth as a touchdown underdog. After two negative drives to start the second half the Browns converted a big 3rd-and-12 at the end of the third quarter and found the end zone with 11 minutes to go to lead by four. An interception followed as Cleveland put in another touchdown three plays later putting Cleveland up 11. Washington had its fifth turnover of the game on the next possession across midfield to spoil any chances of climbing back within the number and the Browns would add a field goal to complete a rare 2-1 start in Cleveland.

Cincinnati Bengals (+5½) 23, Philadelphia Eagles 23 (47): After a scoreless first quarter the Eagles completed a busy second quarter with a long pass for a touchdown with 16 seconds to go before halftime to lead 13-10. The Bengals would go in front 17-16 with a touchdown late in the third quarter as the total sat at 33. Cincinnati stalled on a pair of drives and settled for field goals to lead 23-16 but after some disastrous moments, Carson Wentz put together the tying drive in the final three minutes, scoring himself on a seven-yard scramble with 21 seconds to go. Those on the ‘under’ seemed doomed while underdog ticket holders sweated but neither offense generated a significant scoring threat over three possessions each in overtime. On its second overtime drive the Eagles did reach the Cincinnati 43-yard-line but then had penalties on two of the next three plays as for a pair of winless teams, a tie seemed to be a favorable result.

Chicago Bears (+2½) 30, Atlanta Falcons 26 (46): After an unfathomable collapse in Week 2 the Falcons didn’t come out flat, they quickly jumped out to a 16-3 lead though the Bears were able to score before halftime to stay in the game. Mitchell Trubisky threw an interception on Chicago’s first second half possession and was replaced by Nick Foles, who also ended his first drive with an interception, though he led the Bears into scoring range. Atlanta added 10 points in the third quarter and led 26-10, where the score remained after missing a field goal early in the fourth quarter. A Bears comeback didn’t seem possible after a 4th-and-goal touchdown was lost on replay review. Still up 16, Atlanta had a 3-and-out to give the Bears the ball back with nine minutes to go. Foles converted a 4th down in Chicago territory and the Bears would eventually find the end zone but remained down two scores with a failed conversion. The Falcons again punted after picking up only one yard and the Bears struck quickly with a 55-yard touchdown drive in just three plays, suddenly down only three. Atlanta went backwards and handed the Bears extra yardage with a penalty on the punt as the Bears needed only 44 yards to complete the comeback, with Foles hitting Anthony Miller just after the two-minute warning. Atlanta crossed midfield before Matt Ryan was intercepted as the Falcons managed to out-do themselves again with another 4th quarter meltdown.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-6) 28, Denver Broncos 10 (42½): The Buccaneers jumped in front early in Denver and with a 23-3 lead late in the second quarter the outcome seemed secure. The Broncos would score in the final seconds before halftime to make it a 33-point first half as the ‘over’ also seemed inevitable. The Buccaneers notched a safety early in the third quarter but had an illegal block on the return to give up the favorable field position. Denver would have the next scoring threat but threw an interception near midfield and the Buccaneers added three points at the end of the quarter to put the scoring at 38. Both teams punted on fourth quarter possessions, but Denver looked like they would help those on the ‘over’ with a drive to the Tampa Bay 16-yard-line. Eventually facing 4th-and-1 the Broncos were stuffed and Tampa Bay was able run out the remaining clock to keep the total ‘under’.

Seattle Seahawks (-5½) 38, Dallas Cowboys 31 (57½): The afternoon showcase between prominent NFC teams lived up to its billing as while Seattle seemed to have control with a 30-15 edge early in the third quarter following a Dallas fumble, the Cowboys would rally back. Dallas touchdown drives of 94 and 89 yards put the Cowboys within two early in the fourth quarter but they were not able to tie the game going for two with still more than 13 minutes remaining. The high total was already cleared when Dallas did take the lead on a 42-yard Greg Zuerlein field goal to close a 16-play drive with Zuerlein having missed two extra-points earlier in the game. Leading by one as a healthy underdog Dallas was in a favorable position, even after Seattle converted a 4th-and-3 just across midfield. Facing 3rd-and-3 in field goal range Dallas just needed one stop to seal the cover but Russell Wilson hit DK Metcalf for a 29-yard touchdown. To the horror of Dallas backers the Seahawks also connected on the two-point conversion to suddenly lead by seven. Dallas had moved the ball with ease the entire game and still had all three timeouts, but time was running short with the Cowboys reaching a 1st down at the Seattle 22-yard-line. Dak Prescott was sacked on 2nd down and Dallas used its final timeout with 16 seconds to go. Prescott would break free from pressure and heave to the end zone on a broken play on 3rd down, predictably ending with an interception as Seattle again escaped with a win.

Green Bay Packers (+3½) 37, New Orleans Saints 30 (51½): This was a back-and-forth game, but the critical sequence came early in the fourth quarter with a 27-27 tie. The Packers went for it on 4th-and-1 and initially were given a new set of downs, but a New Orleans challenge was successful. With the ball and some momentum after the stop the Saints would give it right back on 2nd-and-3 near field goal range with a Taysom Hill fumble. New Orleans held the Packers to a field goal as a touchdown would still get the job done for Saints backers down three, but New Orleans was forced to punt with under seven minutes remaining. Green Bay was in scoring range quickly but got a big 3rd down converted via penalty and eventually found the end zone at the two-minute warning to lead by 10. The Saints would add a field goal late, but Green Bay delivered Sunday night to stay on top of the NFC.

Kansas City Chiefs (+3½) 34, Baltimore Ravens 20 (55): The Chiefs took command quickly Monday night but a kickoff return touchdown kept Baltimore in the game, as did a missed field goal at halftime for the Chiefs for a 27-10 advantage. The ‘over’ pace was strong at that point, but the Ravens got stops in the third quarter and only three points were added. Early in the fourth Baltimore suddenly found itself within a score, taking advantage of a short field after the Chiefs failed on 4th-and-1. Hopes for a comeback faded quickly as the Chiefs faced only one third down on the way to another touchdown, going up by 14 and putting the scoring at 54 with still more than eight minutes remaining. The promising ‘over’ wound up not making it there however as field goals weren’t needed and both teams wound up missing on 4th down efforts in scoring range late in the game.

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