Posted on

Eliminator Contest Standings

Check out the current standings through six weeks for the 2019 Eliminator Contest!

Click Here for the Current Standings

Double Plays have gone 53-48 the past five weeks combined and we are down to 14 contestants after a tough week 6 that saw only three contestants go 2-0.

Don’t miss this week’s Eliminator Update on Thursday afternoon.

Posted on

Eliminator Contest Standings

Check out the current standings through three weeks for the 2019 Eliminator Contest!

Click Here for the Current Standings

Double Plays have gone 45-35 the past four weeks combined and we are down to 18 contestants.

Don’t miss this week’s Eliminator Update on Thursday afternoon.

Posted on

Green Sheet Season is Here

We’ve sent out Green Sheet Issue #5 with our first prediction of the season for Thursday’s Hall of Fame game.

Join for the entire season for $149 or get this week’s issue for $12. This week’s issue has several NFL Week 1 Pointspread Preview predictions plus historical coaching records in many situations in the preseason for all 32 head coaches.

The next issue should be out by August 2.

Posted on

MAC Championship Preview

MAC CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW

Championship weekend kicks off in Detroit with the MAC Championship Game Friday night in Detroit. Northern Illinois has now represented the West in seven of the last nine title games while this is just the second appearance for Buffalo. Here is a look at Friday’s closely-lined championship game in the MAC.

 

Match-up: Northern Illinois Huskies at Buffalo Bulls  

Venue: At Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan

Time/TV: Friday, November 30, 7:00 PM ET, ESPN2

Line: Buffalo -3, Over/Under 49

Last Meeting: 2017, at Northern Illinois (-8) 14, Buffalo 13

 

Buffalo has been the prominent MAC team all season since starting the year 4-0 with notable wins at Temple and at Rutgers. The Bulls started 6-0 in conference play to take a commanding lead in the East but slipped up at Ohio in mid-November before clinching the division title last weekend. At 10-2, it has been the best season record-wise in Buffalo history already and the Bulls will have two more opportunities to add to the win count.

 

This if the fourth season for Lance Leipold who won six Division III championships in eight years at Wisconsin-Whitewater and figures to be a candidate to be interviewed for major conference positions in the near future. Buffalo went 5-7 and 2-10 in his first two seasons before reaching 6-6 last year without getting a bowl invite.

 

Rod Carey took over Northern Illinois for the Orange Bowl at the end of the 2012 season after Dave Doeren was hired at NC State. In six-plus seasons he is 51-29 with the Huskies finishing in the top three in the West every season while this will be his fourth MAC title game, going 1-2 in three straight appearances from 2013 to 2015. A bowl win has eluded Carey, winless in five tries but the program has been a consistent force in the conference.  

 

The Dollar General Bowl in Mobile vs. a Sun Belt team has been the typical landing spot for the MAC Champion though there are not true ranked bowl tie-ins for the MAC. The Camellia, Famous Idaho Potato, Frisco, and Bahamas Bowls are also tied to the MAC with the conference featuring seven bowl-eligible teams including six that are at least 7-5 this year.

 [displayProduct type=”carousel” sort=”nameaz” productnamecolor=”#ffffff” pricecolor=”#ffffff” textcolor=”#ffffff” carousel=image,title,price,button,excerpt]

West champion Northern Illinois is just 7-5 but the Huskies lost non-conference games to Iowa, Utah, and Florida State, while beating BYU for one of the nation’s most difficult non-conference schedules. The Huskies held this spot despite losing its final two MAC games to slide to 6-2 in league play, falling in single-score games hosting Miami and at Western Michigan in the final two weeks.

 

Northern Illinois has the top scoring defense in the MAC, allowing just 19.8 points per game while Buffalo was one of the conference’s top offensive teams, posting 35.5 points per game in conference play. These teams didn’t play in the regular season this year but Buffalo did face Eastern Michigan and Toledo in the crossover games for a fairly difficult schedule. Northern Illinois drew Ohio and Miami as both teams faced the second and third place teams from the opposing divisions.

 

Experienced mobile quarterbacks are on both sides with sophomore Marcus Childers playing significantly last season as a freshman for Northern Illinois. He posted worse numbers across the board this season however despite a similar record for the Huskies. Junior Tyree Jackson threw nearly twice as many touchdown passes this season compared with last season for Buffalo but he also saw major declines in most of his passing numbers compared with last season. At 6’7” Jackson is a difficult matchup for any defense but the Huskies have had great defensive numbers this season.

 

Only Clemson is allowing fewer yards per carry than Northern Illinois at just 2.6 yards per rush attempt on the season. The Huskies were only out-gained on the ground three times this season and never in MAC play with only Iowa, Florida State, and BYU holding a ground edge in this matchup while in six of eight MAC games Northern Illinois had a rushing edge of at least 96 yards.

 

Dominating the ground game has been the key to beating Buffalo this season as in the team’s two losses they had a major rushing deficit. In September Army out-gained Buffalo by 178 rushing yards and won 42-13 in Buffalo while in mid-November Ohio out-rushed Buffalo by 280 yards in a 52-17 result that prevented the Bulls from clinching the division at the time.

 [displayProduct type=”carousel” sort=”newness” productnamecolor=”#ffffff” pricecolor=”#ffffff” textcolor=”#ffffff” carousel=image,title,price,button,excerpt]

Despite the 6-2 record Northern Illinois played almost exclusively close games in MAC play with seven of eight games decided by 10 or fewer points in either direction. The only lopsided result was a home win over 2017 MAC Champion Toledo but that game featured nearly identical production but a few big turnovers and special teams plays tilting the scales to the Huskies. Northern Illinois actually has a negative scoring differential on the season despite being 7-5, though they outscored MAC foes by an average of 5.3 points per game.

 

Buffalo outscored foes by an average of 11.0 points per game overall this season and 10.9 points per game in MAC play. Buffalo scored at least 31 points in nine of ten wins this season while five of seven wins for Northern Illinois came with 26 or fewer points scored by the Huskies as these teams have generally been in contrasting types of contests and whoever dictates the pace could have the advantage.

 

2017 Meeting: In mid-October Northern Illinois visited Buffalo and took 14-3 lead with a pair of early second quarter touchdown drives led by Marcus Childers who ran for the first score and threw for the second. Buffalo would answer with 10 points before halftime including getting a field goal following a fumble for a one-point game at the break, 14-13. Northern Illinois had 1st-and-goal early in third quarter before a Childers fumble and on the next possession the Huskies missed on a 43-yard field goal. Buffalo got zero points after an 81-yard drive early in the fourth quarter with a missed field goal that could have taken the lead and a few minutes later an interception in Huskies territory also cost the Bulls a chance to get in front. Northern Illinois missed another field goal in the final minutes as the 14-13 edge held after a scoreless second half filled with missed opportunities.

 

Series History: Northern Illinois is 10-0 S/U in this series since Buffalo joined the FBS ranks with the Huskies 7-3 ATS. Northern Illinois has been favored by at least seven points in every previous meeting as this will be the first time Buffalo has been favored in this series and in eight of the previous 10 meetings Northern Illinois has been favored by 14 or more points.

 

MAC Championship History: The MAC Championship has been won by the West representative in eight of the last 12 seasons and Northern Illinois has been six of the previous eight MAC championships, winning the title in 2011, 2012, and 2014, with the last title under current head coach Rod Carey.  

[displayProduct type=”carousel” category=”nellys-football” productnamecolor=”#ffffff” pricecolor=”#ffffff” textcolor=”#ffffff” carousel=image,title,price,button,excerpt]

Posted on

4th Quarter Covers – NCAA Week 10

4th Quarter Covers – NCAA Week 10

11/04/2018

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 10th college football weekend to start November. 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.

Buffalo (-8) 51, Miami, OH 42: The home favorite spread grew from -6½ to -8 by kickoff and the result would come down to the wire in Tuesday’s high scoring MAC contest. Buffalo extended its lead to 35-21 early in the second half and maintained a 14-point edge late in the third quarter but Miami scored twice in the final three minutes of the quarter to tie the game, successfully recovering an on-side kick to set-up the second score. Buffalo answered with about nine minutes remaining in the game but the PAT was missed to leave the underdog Redhawks in position to cover. The Bulls stopped Miami on downs near midfield and then added a field goal to slip past the favorite spread with a nine-point edge. Down two scores Miami continued to move the ball effectively but a sack on the edge of the red zone led to the game’s only turnover. Buffalo wasn’t able to run out the clock as Miami would have another opportunity to spoil the favorite cover but needing to throw down the field, the Redhawks ended with four straight incomplete passes.

Kent State (-1½) 35, Bowling Green 28: The Flashes led by eight through three quarters closing as a slight favorite in this battle at the bottom of the MAC. Following a fumble Bowling Green made a late charge completing a 4th-and-7 and eventually scoring a touchdown to get within two with about five minutes remaining. The two-point conversion was successful to tie the game and both teams followed with 3-and-out possessions. Kent State got the ball back in good field position and broke a 34-yard run to sit in field goal range with fewer than two minutes remaining. The Flashes scored on the next play with an 18-yard rush for a seven-point edge. Bowling Green lost big yardage on a fumble on its final drive but retained possession facing 2nd-and-28 and then 3rd-and-12, with the Flashes sealing the game with an interception.

Toledo (-21) 45, Ball State 13: Toledo jumped out to a 21-0 lead in Wednesday’s MAC game with a defensive score on one of 10 turnovers these teams combined for in the game. Up 28-7 at halftime Toledo was even with the closing spread before adding a field goal in the final seconds to close the third quarter. Ball State scored a touchdown in the fourth but failed going for two, trailing by 18 on a spread that opened at -17 and closed at -21 for the Rockets. It wound up not mattering as Eli Peters threw two more touchdown passes in the fourth quarter as Toledo pulled away for a 32-point win despite only out-gaining Ball State by 94 yards.

Northern Illinois (-6½) 36, Akron 26: The Huskies managed 10 points in the final six minutes of the first half to lead by 14 at the break but Akron rallied in the third quarter, seemingly tying the game with a touchdown to trail 27-26. The PAT was blocked and returned the other way for two points as Northern Illinois took a three-point edge in the final quarter. Jalen McKie who had the PAT return score, would then intercept a pass for a touchdown in the fourth quarter as the Huskies added seven more points and wound up with the narrow favorite cover without scoring on offense in the final 26 minutes of the game.

[displayProduct type=”carousel” category=”nellys-football” productnamecolor=”#ffffff” pricecolor=”#ffffff” textcolor=”#ffffff” carousel=image,title,price,button,excerpt]

Central Florida (-10) 52, Temple 40: The Thursday night TV game in the American generated a lot of interest and the line wobbled all over the place, opening at -12 falling to -10½, climbing back to as high as -13 before crashing all the way back down to -10. Temple had its way offensively in this game and led 34-28 at the half with the ‘over’ cleared in just two quarters. Looking to keep the nation’s longest winning streak going UCF scored two touchdowns in the third quarter to lead by eight with Temple having an interception and a missed field goal. The Owls picked up an interception early in the fourth quarter and would add six points with about 10 minutes remaining in the game, trailing by two, with that margin holding after a failed two-point conversion bid. The Knights went 75 yards in six plays to go up by nine and Owls backers could feel the sting coming as Temple had to work to move down the field, reaching the UCF 20-yard-line on a 10-play drive but taking a sack and forced to go for it on 4th-and-20, coming up with an incomplete pass. With still five minutes to go the Knights couldn’t lay off the gas but UCF was stopped on 3rd-and-3 after Temple exhausted its timeouts just past the two-minute mark. UCF opted to kick the field goal from 32 yards, enough to earn the cover for many on the favorite with the middle possible as well.

Middle Tennessee State (-13½) 29, Western Kentucky 10: The Hilltoppers hit a 46-yard pass play late in the third quarter to enter the final frame down 23-10. Western Kentucky held the Blue Raiders to a short field goal early in the fourth to remain within two scores but falling outside the underdog cover. With a chance to get back within the number the Hilltoppers had a field goal blocked and then later in the fourth was forced to go for it on 4th down in their own territory. Middle Tennessee State added another short field goal to lead by 19 and a last effort from Western Kentucky ended in an interception.

Arizona (-3) 42, Colorado 34: Arizona had a big yardage edge but it was a two-point game at half-time and the Wildcats led just 35-34 through three quarters Friday night. Early in the fourth Arizona hit a 57-yard pass for a touchdown to lead by eight and Colorado couldn’t answer, opting to go for it on 4th-and-9 rather than kick a field goal with 10 minutes remaining. The Buffaloes got another shot after an Arizona interception with Colorado reaching the 18-yard-line before also being intercepted near the goal line and Arizona was able to run out the remaining five minutes of game clock.

Purdue (-2) 38, Iowa 36: Purdue led by 12 entering the fourth quarter but Iowa scored two touchdowns in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter with an interception leading to the second score as suddenly the slight underdog Hawkeyes were in front by one. After trading punts Purdue got the ball back near midfield and managed to waste the rest of the clock and line up a 25-yard field goal for the win, though for most Iowa still had enough to cover priced at +2½ most of the week before bouncing in between +2 and +1½ in the hours before kickoff.

Georgia Tech (-4) 38, North Carolina 28: The Yellow Jackets allowed an early defensive score but rallied to lead 21-10 at the half and 28-20 through three quarters. Early in the fourth North Carolina found the end zone and went for two, successfully tying the game. Georgia Tech was in position to quickly answer but fumbled inside the 10-yard-line but North Carolina would return the favor with an interception. Georgia Tech converted a 4th down play and then added a touchdown with three minutes remaining and then after another Tar Heels interception sealed the game with a field goal.

 [displayProduct type=”carousel” sort=”nameaz” productnamecolor=”#ffffff” pricecolor=”#ffffff” textcolor=”#ffffff” carousel=image,title,price,button,excerpt]

Memphis (-11) 59, East Carolina 41: This game was tied halfway through the third quarter and Memphis led by just four well into the fourth quarter. The Tigers scored two touchdowns in the span of just over four minutes to pull ahead by 18 as a toxic against the spread season for a productive East Carolina team continued. The Pirates got back within 11 briefly but after a failed on-side kick East Carolina allowed an aggressive Memphis offense to get down the field. The Tigers opted to go for it on 4th-and-goal in a huge play for the spread outcome and succeeded to create the 18-point final margin. East Carolina had its own 4th down attempt in the final minute inside the 10-yard-line but the pass was broken up.

West Virginia (-1) 42, Texas 41: The Longhorns were a 3-point favorite early in the week before dipping to -2 or -1½ and in the hour before game time the number flipped as the Mountaineers closed as a slight favorite. Texas led by one at the half and by four through three quarters, adding a field goal to lead by seven in the fourth quarter. West Virginia completed an 11-play touchdown drive to tie the game with about six minutes remaining but Texas hit a 48-yard pass to lead by seven with just over two minutes to go. West Virginia didn’t face a 3rd down and connected for a 33-yard touchdown with just 16 seconds left on the clock to seemingly force overtime. The Mountaineers declined that opportunity and went for the win with Will Grier getting into the end zone for the one-point victory.

Army (-4½) 17, Air Force 14: Air Force had a few tough breaks in the first half to trail 14-0 but took advantage of a short field late in the third quarter to finally get on the board but the PAT failed, leaving the Falcons down eight with a spread that was +7 most of the week before sliding Friday night and Saturday morning. Army turned in a long drive and managed a field goal to lead by 11 but Air Force put together its best drive of the day to add a touchdown with about five minutes remaining. Down five the Falcons went for two and got it on a play that loomed large for the closing spread of 4½. Army had to punt as the Falcons were a threat to tie the game, eventually reaching the Army 38-yard-line before failing on 3rd and 4th down runs.

South Carolina (+2) 48, Mississippi 44: Ole Miss pulled ahead 44-34 in the first minute of the fourth quarter but South Carolina answered with a touchdown three minutes later to get back within three. The Gamecocks held the Rebels to back-to-back 3-and-outs and then broke a 69-yard run on 1st down, getting in the end zone a few plays later to take the lead. Ole Miss would reach midfield on a late possession but the Gamecocks held on.

 [displayProduct type=”carousel” sort=”newness” productnamecolor=”#ffffff” pricecolor=”#ffffff” textcolor=”#ffffff” carousel=image,title,price,button,excerpt]

Auburn (-3½) 28, Texas A&M 24: The Aggies dominated the box score in this SEC West battle and led 24-14 through three quarters on the road. Early in the fourth Texas A&M missed a short field goal and then later in the fourth the Aggies had an interception at the edge of field goal range to keep the margin at 10. Auburn got back in the game going 71 yards in only two minutes to climb within three with about five minutes remaining in the game. Texas A&M reached midfield but had to punt and a strong return set Auburn up near midfield for the two-minute-drill. It didn’t take long for the Tigers to deliver going 58 yards in two plays as Auburn suddenly was leading and in front of the closing spread. Three penalties thwarted the final drive for Texas A&M as Auburn escaped with a very fortunate result.

Baylor (+6½) 35, Oklahoma State 31: A blocked punt return put Baylor up at halftime but two touchdowns late in the third quarter put Oklahoma State in front by 10. Baylor had a 75-yard rush to answer to trail by three going into the fourth quarter. Justice Hill scored with nine minutes to go as Oklahoma State was back in front by 10 but the Bears would answer with an 86-yard touchdown drive with fewer than six minutes remaining. Up by three the Cowboys would face a decision just past the two-minute mark, facing 4th-and-2 from the Baylor 36-yard-line. Oklahoma State went for it and took a sack setting up the Bears with great field position. Baylor wasn’t content to play for the tie and wound up in the end zone for the upset with seven seconds to go.

Massachusetts (+2) 62, Liberty 59: UMass led by seven entering the fourth quarter but Liberty scored three touchdowns in the first four minutes of the final frame to suddenly lead by 14. Massachusetts would answer to get back within seven and then forced a punt. The Minutemen converted a 4th down to keep hopes alive and eventually ran into the end zone with 25 seconds remaining. Liberty had a shot late but threw an interception at the 5-yard-line as time expired. It took three overtimes but starting the third session Liberty converted a 4th-and-1 rather than kicking a field goal but then two plays later lost the ball with an interception. Massachusetts did enough to get the game-winning field goal for the narrow win and cover for most, though Massachusetts did open at -3.

Notre Dame (-9½) 31, Northwestern 21: Notre Dame posted nearly double the yardage against Northwestern but had trouble pulling away with a 7-7 halftime score. Notre Dame scored twice late in the third quarter and pushed the lead to 24-7 early in the fourth. Northwestern hit a few big plays to climb back within 10, with a spread that opened at just -7 but briefly went as high as -10½ before settling back below -10. A blocked punt handed Northwestern great field position and suddenly the Wildcats were back within three after getting in the end zone on a 4th down rush. Notre Dame went 89 yards for a touchdown with about three minutes remaining to put the margin back at 10 where the final ended.

[displayProduct type=”carousel” category=”bobby-dalton” productnamecolor=”#ffffff” pricecolor=”#ffffff” textcolor=”#ffffff” carousel=image,title,price,button,excerpt]

USC (-15½) 38, Oregon State 21: USC had a 21-0 edge halfway through the second quarter but Oregon State climbed back in the game with two touchdowns before halftime. The seven-point margin held into the fourth after an exchange of touchdowns in the third quarter but USC broke a 62-yard run in the fourth to go back up by 14 following Oregon State failing going for it on 4th down in USC territory. The Beavers would wind up punting on the next two possessions while USC added a field goal that was critical to the spread outcome.

Washington (-8½) 27, Stanford 23: The Huskies went up 21-0 early in the second quarter in this Pac-12 North clash and that score held at halftime. Stanford battled back in the second half and closed to within seven with a field goal early in the fourth quarter. Washington responded in kind to lead by 10 with five minutes remaining on a spread that was -10 much of the week but slipped to -8½ by kickoff Saturday night. Stanford hit a 33-yard touchdown pass with three minutes remaining but missed the PAT. Washington wasn’t able to add points to get back in front of the number, pinning Stanford at the 15-yard-line. The Cardinal made a late threat but wound up intercepted in the end zone in the final seconds but Stanford had done enough in the second half to cover.

 

Posted on

Eliminator Contest Update – Week 7

Big E took his first loss last week but he has just one point in the contest with a 10-1-1 record. Don’t miss his selections as well as all the Double Plays in this week’s contest picks – Week 7 – covering Oct. 27-29.

Six contestants are still right in the mix with five or fewer points through six weeks while 14 of 18 contestants are still alive. Double Play picks have combined to go 60-41-5 this season. Check out this week’s standings and single plays. Buy the Double Plays for only $9!

[displayProduct type=”list” category=”nellys-newsletter” list=image,title,price,button,excerpt]

Posted on

Eliminator Contest Standings

The Big E Sports Ticket had a close call last week but with a push he remains with ZERO points four weeks into the contest, leading the way at 7-0-1.

Don’t miss his next Eliminator Picks on Thursday afternoon or consider his service plays with his TOP 5 TICKET and his full weekend package released for an early start on this week’s action. Big E has won four consecutive 20* picks the past four Saturday and this week’s Conference Game of the Year will be in the MAC.

[displayProduct type=”carousel” category=”big-e-sports-football” productnamecolor=”#ffffff” pricecolor=”#ffffff” textcolor=”#ffffff” carousel=image,title,price,button,excerpt]

Close behind in the contest is long-time participant Billy Coleman at 7-1 with only two points, taking his first loss last week with a NFL total. Tied in second place is James Patrick Sports, the 2016 contest champion also with just two points. Eight contestants are still with four or fewer points and moving up to fourth place this week is BB Documented Plays, a new entrant this season that is making some noise with a 4-0 Double Play record.

The Week 5 Contest Picks will be posted Thursday afternoon – check here for the COMPLETE STANDINGS.

[displayProduct type=”carousel” category=”nellys-newsletter” productnamecolor=”#ffffff” pricecolor=”#ffffff” textcolor=”#ffffff” carousel=image,title,price,button,excerpt]

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on

NFL Close Calls Week 4

NFL Close Calls – Week 4

10/01/2018

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 Week 4 of the NFL regular season.

Los Angeles Rams (-7) 38, Minnesota Vikings 31 (49): The Thursday night NFC clash lived up to its billing with an exciting back-and-forth first half as both offenses had consistent success. The total was nearly reached by halftime as the Rams led 28-20 with big plays on both sides. Minnesota cut the margin to three points late in the third quarter but the Rams quickly answered to take a 10-point lead into the fourth quarter. The Rams melted over five minutes of clock but Sam Ficken missed a 28-yard field goal to keep the Vikings in range. Minnesota would reach the 14-yard-line with a touchdown being enough to earn the underdog cover but a sack on 3rd down forced Minnesota to take the field goal with just under four minutes remaining. The Vikings did get the ball back and approached midfield but another sack led to the game’s only turnover as the Rams held on to win by seven, with winners and losers on both sides depending on the timing, though a push was ultimately the common result.

[displayProduct type=”carousel” sort=”newness” productnamecolor=”#ffffff” pricecolor=”#ffffff” textcolor=”#ffffff” carousel=image,title,price,button,excerpt]

Houston Texans (-1) 37, Indianapolis Colts 34 (48½): The winless Texans took a 28-10 lead in the third quarter but the Colts would score the next two touchdowns to close to within five halfway through the fourth quarter. Houston appeared to lock up the win with a field goal with three minutes to go but with 45 seconds remaining Andrew Luck completed an 85-yard drive and got the two-point conversion. Deshaun Watson gave his team a shot with a 30-yard pass play in the final seconds but a 59-yard field goal was wide right. In overtime the Colts sustained a long drive but had to settle for a field goal. Houston reached the Indianapolis 11-yard line looking for the win but had to settle for the tying kick. With a late chance Indianapolis faced a 4th-and-4 at its own 43-yard-line with 24 seconds remaining and went for it, unable to get the completion. Houston didn’t need many yards for a reasonable field goal try and after a 24-yard gain Ka’imi Fairbairn hit from 37 yards to get the Texans in the win column in a division battle with a see-saw finish relative to the spread.

Cincinnati Bengals (+3) 37, Atlanta Falcons 36 (52): The ‘over’ wasn’t in question long with 52 points by halftime in a back-and-forth affair. The slight underdog Bengals led by one heading into he fourth quarter but Atlanta struck for another touchdown from Calvin Ridley to lead by five, failing going for two. Randy Bullock got the Bengals closer with a field goal with around eight minutes remaining but Atlanta answered in kind to lead by five with four minutes left on the clock. Andy Dalton turned in a 16-play drive with a pair of 4th down conversions, hitting A.J. Green for the go-ahead touchdown with just seven seconds on the clock to flip the S/U and ATS result.

Dallas Cowboys (-2½) 26, Detroit Lions 24 (44): Dallas led 20-10 through three quarters with the favorite and ‘under’ looking promising most of the way in this NFC battle of 2016 playoff teams. Dallas settled for a 22-yard field goal following a drive that ate nearly nine minutes of clock to answer an early fourth quarter touchdown for the Lions, as Dallas led by six with fewer than six minutes remaining. Detroit took advantage of the opportunity getting the go-ahead touchdown in just six plays but leaving more than two minutes on the clock. Dak Prescott had a fumble scare early on that late drive but eventually converted a big 3rd down and hit Ezekiel Elliott for a 34-yard gain into field goal range. Brett Maher was good from 38 yards as time expired to get the Cowboys to 2-2 though the two-point win was just short of the home favorite spread.

[displayProduct type=”carousel” sort=”nameaz” productnamecolor=”#ffffff” pricecolor=”#ffffff” textcolor=”#ffffff” carousel=image,title,price,button,excerpt]

Jacksonville Jaguars (-7) 31, New York Jets 12 (40½): The Jaguars led 25-3 through three quarters but the Jets made a late rally with nine points early in the fourth quarter to get within 13, sitting within a touchdown of covering. That scoring also put the ‘over’ back in play despite what was mostly a game of field goals. Jacksonville looked likely to add points reaching the New York 23-yard-line before fumbling for the third turnover of the game despite the healthy lead. The Jets had a quick 3-and-out and Jacksonville had the ball back with good field position. With the Jets out of timeouts the Jaguars couldn’t quite take a knee to run out the remaining clock and on 4th-and-goal T.J. Yeldon ran in for a late score with 25 seconds remaining to hit the ‘over’ with Doug Marrone actually unsuccessfully going for two after the score, citing the chart with a rare 19-point advantage.

Tennessee Titans (+3) 26, Philadelphia Eagles 23 (41): After a slow start the Eagles scored on both ends of halftime to take a 17-3 lead in Nashville. Tennessee fought back in the game and sat within four with nine minutes remaining after getting a field after a fumble recovery. The Titans then forced a 3-and-out on defense and then went 75 yards in just five plays to take a 20-17 lead with five minutes to go. Philadelphia again had to punt but the Eagles held on defense to get the ball back with nearly two minutes remaining and two timeouts and sitting in great field position with a big punt return. The Eagles only picked up 27 yards on that drive but managed to force overtime in the final seconds. Philadelphia went first in overtime and quickly went down the field before stalling near the 20-yard-line, ultimately kicking to lead by three, right on the closing spread though many on the Titans had opportunities to get +3½ or even +4 earlier in the week. It didn’t wind up mattering as Marcus Mariota led one of the drives of the season featuring three separate 4th down conversions en route to a 3rd down 10-yard touchdown pass on to Corey Davis with five seconds left. Presumably had that throw missed the Titans would have kicked a field goal for the tie on 4th-and-10 even though Mike Vrabel turned down a 50-yard kick to tie on 4th-and-2 earlier on that drive.

Seattle Seahawks (-3½) 20, Arizona Cardinals 17 (40): Seattle took a 17-10 lead through three quarters but Josh Rosen hit a big play in the fourth to tie the game in his first NFL start. The Arizona defense held to get the ball right back and Rosen got the team in position to for the go-ahead score but Phil Dawson missed right from 45 yards for the fourth missed field goal of this division battle. Russell Wilson didn’t have a timeout to work with but managed to go 31 yards in the remaining time and Sebastian Janikowksi hit from 52 for the win, though for most on Seattle the three-point win wasn’t quite enough to cover in Glendale. Those on the ‘under’ in the lowest total of the week also rejoiced avoiding what could have been a fourth overtime game Sunday.

[displayProduct type=”carousel” category=”nellys-newsletter” productnamecolor=”#ffffff” pricecolor=”#ffffff” textcolor=”#ffffff” carousel=image,title,price,button,excerpt]

Oakland Raiders (-2½) 45, Cleveland Browns 42 (44½): This AFC contest proved to be one of the most entertaining games of the season. Baker Mayfield’s first start featured an early pick-6 but the Browns battled back for a 17-14 edge at the half and appeared to pull away with a 28-14 edge halfway through the third quarter. Oakland would score the next 20 points following a pair of fumbles and several Cleveland punts, leading 34-28 as a small favorite with about 10 minutes remaining. Cleveland was ruled to have fumbled on its kickoff return but retained the ball on review and Mayfield later struck for a 59-yard gain to Antonio Callaway and Cleveland rushed in to go up by one. Oakland had to punt on its next possession and the Browns struck quickly with a three-play drive to lead 42-34 leaning on Nick Chubb and Carlos Hyde. The Raiders would drive down to the Cleveland 6-yard-line but eventually failed on 4th down just after the two-minute warning as consecutive wins for the Browns looked likely. Cleveland lost a big potential first down on replay review on its next possession and punted to back to near midfield. Derek Carr got the Raiders into the end zone with 30 seconds remaining and the two-point conversion was also good with a great contested catch from Jordy Nelson. Mayfield’s chance to be a hero ended with an interception but in overtime Oakland missed a 50-yard field goal going first. Mayfield had three straight incomplete passes despite great field position and the Browns opted to punt as a second Cleveland tie in four weeks looked very possible. The Raiders had a big 1st down taken away on replay review as well but converted on 3rd down and leaned on Marshawn Lynch to get into field goal range where Matt McCrane redeemed his earlier miss to give the Raiders the win and narrow cover for most.

New Orleans Saints (-3) 33, New York Giants (51½): New York’s defense held up in the red zone holding the Saints to four field goals to trail just 12-7 at halftime. The Saints extended the lead to 19-10 through three quarters and then sustained a 14-play drive to go up 26-10. The Giants showed late fight with a 75-yard touchdown drive and a successful two-point conversion to sit down eight and still within one score potentially. The Giants got the stop they needed on a 3rd-and-8 incomplete pass but a questionable pass interference call gave the Saints a new set of downs and Alvin Kamara eventually broke a 49-yard run vs. a tired defense. The scoring was at 51 as the Giants got the ball back as ‘over’ backers hoped for a miracle but after approaching midfield Eli Manning lost the ball on a sack as the Saints sealed the win to reach 3-1.

Posted on

4th Quarter Covers – Sep. 21-22

4th Quarter Covers – NCAA Week 4

09/23/2018

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 fourth big college football weekend. 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.

Penn State (-27) 63, Illinois 24: Illinois led 24-21 in the second half looking safe as a nearly four-touchdown home underdog Friday night. The Lions wound score 42 unanswered points including two touchdowns to earn the favorite cover in the final five minutes of the game for an improbable cover and another misleading final score in a Penn State game this season. Penn State has now scored 91 points after the start of the fourth quarter in four games this season.

Western Kentucky (+3) 28, Ball State 20: For a second straight season Ball State had a cruel finish in this matchup as they lost a lead in the final two minutes last season and led 20-14 with five minutes to go on Saturday. Western Kentucky put together two touchdown drives in-between a Cardinals punt to win by eight as a slight underdog on the road, led by Steven Duncan who replaced Davis Shanley at quarterback.

Syracuse (-30) 51, Connecticut 21: This spread opened at -27½ and climbed all the was to -31 before settling back at -30. The favorite cover didn’t look likely with a 31-14 halftime edge but Syracuse got a punt return touchdown in the third quarter and approached the spread with a 41-14 advantage through three quarters. Connecticut struck for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to close to within 20 but Syracuse answered quickly and then added a field goal following a fumble to lead by exactly 30. The Huskies looked like a great threat to get back within the number reaching the Syracuse 16-yard-line but an interception near the end zone ended a late threat and a push was the closing line result.

[displayProduct type=”carousel” category=”nellys-football” productnamecolor=”#ffffff” pricecolor=”#ffffff” textcolor=”#ffffff” carousel=image,title,price,button,excerpt]

Miami, FL (-25½) 31, Florida International 17: The Hurricanes dominated this game and led 24-0 at halftime with FIU held to only 25 yards. The Hurricanes got past the spread with a 31-0 lead in the third quarter but an interception from N’Kosi Perry halted the momentum, with Perry inserted into the game early relieving Malik Rosier. The Hurricanes got the ball back quickly and reached the red zone early in the fourth quarter but Perry took a sack with Miami going for it on 4th-and-goal. Perhaps offended by that decision the Panthers had a spark, going 85 yards for their first score of the game with a touchdown near the seven-minute mark that was enough to shift the spread result. FIU snagged a fumble a few plays later to add a field goal and then posted another touchdown after an on-side kick recovery for a very misleading 14-point final margin.

Florida State (-10) 37, Northern Illinois 19: The spread on this game jumped around significantly hitting -12 on Friday before dipping as low as -9½ briefly, settling at -10. That was the exact margin heading into the fourth quarter after Seminoles connected on a 78-yard pass play. The Huskies didn’t take long to answer however but for the second straight time failed on a two-point conversion, trailing by 11. Those that had the Huskies weren’t necessarily deserving of a win as NIU was +4 in turnovers and soundly out-gained but the Huskies took a late sack going for it on 4th-and-long from their own 35. With 12 seconds remaining Florida State rushed in for a touchdown to pad the final margin and make it a clear Seminoles win and cover.

Ohio State (-38) 49, Tulane 6: The Buckeyes led 42-6 at the half, well on their way but not quite past the massive home favorite spread in Urban Meyer’s return. A scoreless third quarter featured five consecutive punts before Ohio State failed going for it on a 4th-and-2 play but Tulane likewise failed going for it on its own 4th down in Ohio State territory a few minutes later. With just over a minute on the clock Ohio State broke the scoring drought with a favorite cover saving touchdown for a 43-point win.

[displayProduct type=”carousel” sort=”newness” productnamecolor=”#ffffff” pricecolor=”#ffffff” textcolor=”#ffffff” carousel=image,title,price,button,excerpt]

Toledo (-11½) 63, Nevada 44: Scoring on a blocked punt return and a kickoff return Toledo led most of the way but Nevada didn’t go away, cutting the margin to four points in the third quarter. Toledo scored late in the third to lead by 11 and then extended that lead to 56-38 early in the fourth. Nevada would answer but failed going for two to leave the margin at 12 for a big distinction but it didn’t matter as Mitchell Guadagni broke a 34-yard touchdown scamper a few plays later for a 19-point edge. Nevada was intercepted and then stopped on downs near midfield in two late possessions to fall short of the spread.

SMU (+6) 31, Navy 30: SMU led 23-14 early in the fourth quarter taking advantage of a short field after a fumble. The extra-point was blocked and was returned the other way however as Navy was back within seven. Navy tied the game with about six minutes remaining and overtime was needed. Navy went first and did what it needed to do over nine plays to get seven points, sitting past the road favorite spread momentarily. SMU took seven plays to answer including a 4th down conversion. Sonny Dykes rolled the dice and went for two and it worked for the upset, with those on the home underdog cheering the decision to avoid a second overtime session.

Georgia (-14) 43, Missouri 29: The Bulldogs scored on a fumble return and a blocked punt return in the first half and didn’t have an offensive touchdown until the third quarter, leading 27-7. Missouri was productive in this game and was within 11 by the start of the fourth quarter. Both teams scored touchdowns early in the fourth before Missouri missed a field goal. Missouri failed on downs in its own territory with about five minutes remaining and the next attempt for a field goal was good for Georgia for a 14-point final margin, even with the common spread though the highly ranked Bulldogs were priced at -14½ at times.

Stanford (-3½) 38, Oregon 31: Oregon was in complete control with a 24-7 halftime edge and briefly appeared to go up 30-7 late in the third quarter before a controversial replay overturn. Oregon still had 1st-and-goal at the 1 but fumbled and lost nine yards and two plays later a high snap was returned 80 yards for a Stanford touchdown. The Cardinal cut the margin to three just ahead of the end of the quarter and had the ball down to the Oregon 30-yard-line early in the fourth quarter, failing going for it on 4th-and-1. Oregon delivered on a 4th-and-1 of its own with about five minutes remaining and got a touchdown on the next play to lead by 10. Stanford answered with a three-play touchdown drive and Oregon looked capable of running out most of the clock with a new set of downs and 1:35 remaining with Stanford down to one timeout. Instead the Ducks fumbled reaching for a game-sealing 1st down on a 2nd down run in the final minute and Stanford managed to get a tying field goal as time expired. In overtime the Cardinal got a deflected pass touchdown while Oregon wound up intercepted on 4th-and-goal for a stunning turn of events with Stanford getting the road favorite cover despite not leading at any point in regulation.

Auburn (-29½) 34, Arkansas 3: This wasn’t quite the SEC blowout that the final score and narrow cover for Auburn might suggest as Auburn finished with just 225 total yards in the game but was consistently in great field position thanks to turnovers and special teams success. Auburn led by 24-3 heading into the fourth quarter despite only 161 yards of offense. The Tigers added 10 points in the final nine minutes of the game including a late field goal that narrowly earned the favorite cover.

Troy (-4) 35, UL-Monroe 27: The Trojans had a 35-7 halftime edge but things got tight late as the Warhawks scored two fourth quarter touchdowns to climb within eight. After punting on its first four second half possessions Troy managed to get in field goal range but missed as UL-Monroe had the ball back with just over two minutes remaining. The Warhawks reached the 11-yard line with a new set of downs and still nearly a minute remaining but an interception ended the comeback bid.

[displayProduct type=”carousel” sort=”nameaz” productnamecolor=”#ffffff” pricecolor=”#ffffff” textcolor=”#ffffff” carousel=image,title,price,button,excerpt]

North Texas (-11½) 47, Liberty 7: This game featured a rather misleading final score as Liberty had a new set of downs near midfield down 21-7 well into the third quarter before a lengthy lightning delay. It was a different game after the break as Liberty missed a field goal on that promising drive and then saw North Texas add four late touchdowns to win by 40 despite relatively close production numbers.

Alabama (-23½) 45, Texas A&M 23: Alabama was tested a bit in this game but still led by 29 heading into the fourth quarter. Halfway through the final frame the Aggies spoiled the favorite cover with an 88-yard touchdown drive that would conclude the scoring in the game.

Wisconsin (-3) 28, Iowa 17: Iowa had control of this game most of the way but caught a tough break with the foot of a blocking Iowa player contacting the ball on a punt leading to a short Wisconsin touchdown. The Hawkeyes answered to lead by three through a series of punts before Wisconsin completed an 88-yard drive to take the lead inside the final minute, slipping just past the spread 21-17. Iowa was intercepted on a deflected pass on its last effort and with 22 seconds remaining the Badgers broke a run for another score to make for a misleading final result, pushing the low total just ‘over’ in the process as well.

[displayProduct type=”carousel” sort=”random” productnamecolor=”#ffffff” pricecolor=”#ffffff” textcolor=”#ffffff” carousel=image,title,price,button,excerpt]

New Mexico State (-5½) 27, UTEP 20: The winless Aggies got two big breaks with a blocked punt return and a fumble return touchdown yet still led by just four late in the fourth quarter. With just over three minutes remaining a 22-yard field goal sealed the narrow road favorite cover in this ugly battle out west.

Utah State (-9½) 42, Air Force 32: The Aggies took control in the middle of this game with four consecutive touchdowns surrounding halftime, leading 35-14 before Air Force came up with a late third quarter field goal. The Falcons made it a game with a pair of touchdowns in 13 seconds of game clock, the second of which came on a fumble return. Up three Utah State got a late 70 yard run from Gerold Bright to put the margin at 10, right near the number which reached -11 but dropped in the hours before kickoff of this late night Mountain West game. The Falcons were in position to make the pricing a moot point reaching the Utah State 16-yard-line late in the game before failing on downs.

 

 

 

Posted on

NFL Close Calls – Week 2

NFL Close Calls – Week 2

09/18/2018

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 Week 2 of the NFL regular season.

Atlanta Falcons (-5) 31, Carolina Panthers 24 (43½): The Panthers led 10-3 until the final five minutes of the first half as Atlanta scored two late touchdowns to lead by seven at the break, going 85 yards in 73 seconds for the second score. The second half started with a Matt Ryan interception but the Falcons went up by 14 on the next possession. Carolina trimmed the margin back to seven points early in the fourth quarter but Atlanta answered and got an interception in the red zone to maintain a 14-point edge. Carolina’s defense got a 3-and-out and down 14 Carolina went 96 yards in under two minutes to get back within seven. Atlanta again had to punt with only 32 seconds running off as the Panthers had enough time to work with for a chance to force overtime. The Panthers reached the Atlanta 26-yard-line with five seconds remaining but a final attempt fell incomplete.

Green Bay Packers (+1½) 29, Minnesota Vikings 29 (45): This game was off the board much of the week with the Packers initially offered as a slight favorite but Minnesota ultimately favored by as many as three points before closing at -1½. What price you had wound up mattering a great deal in the end despite Green Bay in control most of the game. The Packers led 20-7 through three quarters and still had a cushion with a 23-14 edge halfway through the fourth quarter after settling for a short field goal. A 75-yard pass to Stefon Diggs shifted the momentum as the Vikings were within two with still more than seven minutes remaining. Green Bay couldn’t put the game away and hit another Mason Crosby field goal just ahead of the two-minute-warning. Kirk Cousins threw an interception on the next Minnesota possession and the Packers added a fourth field goal in the game with 1:45 to go to lead by eight. Cousins appeared to be intercepted again on the very next throw but Clay Matthews was flagged for a controversial roughing the passer call. A few plays later Cousins hit Adam Thielen for a touchdown and the Vikings converted for two and the tie with 31 seconds remaining. Green Bay managed to go 41 yards in the remaining time but Crosby was iced and missed from 52 yards. In overtime the Vikings reached Green Bay territory quickly but had to try a 49-yard field goal with Daniel Carlson missing right. The Packers were close to field goal range reaching 2nd-and-1 at the Minnesota 37 but Aaron Rodgers fumbled while scrambling to lose yardage and then was sacked on the next play to force a punt. The Vikings again quickly moved into Green Bay territory and had a new set of downs at the 30 with more than a minute remaining but opted to settle for the kick even after gaining nine yards on a 1st down run. Carlson missed from 35 yards in his final attempt as a Viking to confirm the stalemate.

Los Angeles Chargers (-7) 31, Buffalo Bills 20 (42): The Chargers led 14-0 in the first quarter and never looked back. With 34 points at halftime the ‘over’ pace was clear on a total that opened as high as 44½ before dropping all week. Only the Bills scored in the third quarter to put the total scoring at 41. Halfway through the final frame the Chargers looked poised to add points reaching the Buffalo 33-yard-line but opted to punt. Pinned deep the Bills had a false start and then Josh Allen was intercepted. Getting the ball at the 16-yard-line the Chargers seemed certain to score and push the total ‘over’ but on 2nd-and-goal from the 1-yard-line there was a close call with a fumble that was recovered for a loss of five yards. The Chargers settled for a field goal to reach 44 points, enough for most on the ‘over’ but the Bills made sure the ‘over’ was confirmed with a touchdown in the final minute.

[displayProduct type=”carousel” sort=”newness” productnamecolor=”#ffffff” pricecolor=”#ffffff” textcolor=”#ffffff” carousel=image,title,price,button,excerpt]

Tennessee Titans (+3) 20, Houston Texans 17 (41): The Titans stormed out to a 14-0 lead but Houston was in front early in the fourth quarter after a 39-yard touchdown pass for a 17-14 advantage. Tennessee managed to tie the game with a 42-yard field goal just after the 10-minute mark and a promising Houston drive stalled just outside of field goal range. The Texans couldn’t down the punt successfully to pin Blaine Gabbert and the Titans deep and Tennessee managed to again climb into field goal range for the go-ahead kick. Houston still had a minute remaining on the clock though without any timeouts and the Texans hit one successful pass to reach midfield but ultimately ran out of time.

San Francisco 49ers (-6) 30, Detroit Lions 27 (49): The halftime margin matched the final margin but San Francisco pulled away thanks to a 66-yard Matt Breida run late in the third quarter. A field goal was added in the fourth as San Francisco led 30-13. As he has been known to do, Matthew Stafford delivered big numbers in the fourth quarter, delivering a pair of touchdown drives, sealing the ‘over’ and giving the Lions the cover with just over three minutes to go. Detroit did get the ball back with a shot to tie or win but the drive stalled before crossing midfield with an incomplete pass held up on review and the Lions failing to convert 3rd-and-2, and 4th-and-2 plays.

[displayProduct type=”carousel” category=”nellys-football” productnamecolor=”#ffffff” pricecolor=”#ffffff” textcolor=”#ffffff” carousel=image,title,price,button,excerpt]

Jacksonville Jaguars (+1½) 31, New England Patriots 20 (44½): The Jaguars led 24-3 late in the third quarter but after blowing a big late lead in the AFC Championship in this matchup last year there were some nerves on display as New England added 10 quick points. Jacksonville hit for a 61-yard touchdown pass to lead 31-13 halfway through the fourth quarter with the ‘under’ barely holding on. New England didn’t take long to push the game ‘over’ with a 75-yard scoring drive in about four minutes but the Jaguars ran out the clock from there for a big early win in the AFC picture.