Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, December 13, 2019 at 12:00 PM
THE NFL WEEK 15 REPORT - RAVENS RIP JETS 42-21 BUT UNDERDOGS AND ROAD TEAMS STILL RULE IN THIS YEAR'S NFL PLUS, WE PEEK AHEAD AT A PAIR OF "EARLY" SUNDAY GAMES AS BEARS-PACKERS, TEXANS-TITANS BUCK HEADS IN KEY DIVISIONAL DUELS ...
IT'S ARMY VS. NAVY TO WRAP UP THE 2019 COLLEGE FOOTBALL REGULAR SEASON ... AND OUR FINAL JIM SEZ HEISMAN TROPHY WATCH LIST, AND GUESS WHO'S TAKING HOME THE HARDWARE IN NYC?
Don't ever let anyone tell you that "numbers lie"! In this year's National Football League, the Underdogs and the Road Teams have ruled the roost and we'll soon see if NFL Week 15 plays out any differently than the majority of this here-and-now season has ... so, we'll explain:
Following the Baltimore Ravens' 42-21 win /cover over the 17-point underdog New York Jets on Thursday Night Football, NFL Betting Favorites were 92-109-5 with 3 Pick 'Em games - a shabby .457 winning rate for chalk sides overall;
Meanwhile, NFL Home Teams are now 87-117-5 ATS (against the spread) this year for an even worse .426 winning percentage - and, yes, that's the worst late-in-the-year winning percentage we can ever remember involving NFL Home Teams;
Finally, NFL "Over" Totals players are now 101-107-1 against the odds this year (that's a .487 winning rate) and this is more representative of what we usually see this late in the year.
In Thursday Night Football, it was ...
BALTIMORE 42, NEW YORK JETS 21 -
Let's see: The Ravens' QB Lamar Jackson shattered the NFL's single-season rushing record for quarterbacks (he now has 1,108 yards rushing) and he threw five scoring strikes to five different receivers. And, oh yes, Baltimore snagged its second straight AFC North crown with little resistance from the J-E-T-S (although the Jets' post-game folks thought this game was closer than the final score ... not!) and so everyone's behind the 8-ball now when it comes to catching John Harbaugh's 12-and-2 team.
Jim Hurley's Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will be banging out lots of College Football Bowl Game winners straight ahead (note the 41 Bowl Games kick off next Friday, Dec. 20th) and NFL Week 15 is all revved up with 14 games this Sunday including the big battle in "Big D" between the Los Angeles Rams at the Dallas Cowboys. Go ahead and sign up now for our special Bowl Bonanza Package -- and get in on the special early-bird price, to boot! -- and get all the NFL, NBA and College Basketball winners too. Call us at 1-800-323-4453 or go online right here,
On Sunday, it's...
CHICAGO (7-6) at GREEN BAY (10-3) - 1 p.m. ET, Fox
The NFC North is still up for grabs - but it's the Minnesota Vikings (9-4) hot on the Packers' trail here and it's preseason fav Chicago that must win out to have any playoff shot. Could it be that born-again Bears' QB Mitchell Trubisky uses his legs to help pull off the upset at Lambeau Field here? Hmmm.
Spread Notes - Green Bay's a healthy / wealthy 15-7 ATS in head-to-head matchups against archrival Chicago while dating back to the start of the 2009 campaign and that, of course, includes the Packers' 21-14 win / cover as 3.5-point road favorites in the 2010 NFC Championship Game. The Bears - for your information - are an NFL-worst 4-9 ATS this year though Chicago's split four spread verdicts against divisional foes.
HOUSTON (8-5) at TENNESSEE (8-5) - 1 p.m. ET, CBS
Crazy scheduling as the Texans and Titans will play each other twice here in these final three weeks of regular-season play: Nobody's hotter than Tennessee which has scored 35, 42, 31 and 42 points in its last four games (all wins and covers, of course) while the visiting Texans have failed to cover five of their last seven games ... will Houston WR DeAndre Hopkins (1,023 yards receiving this year) take center stage or will sledgehammer-like Tennessee RB Derrick Henry (1,243 yards rushing and 13 TDs) be "the man"?
Spread Notes - Believe it or not, Houston has covered 14 of the last 20 showdowns played against rival Tennessee and take note that the Texans have covered four-of-five away games this year while the host Titans roll into this bash on a four-game ATS winning streak.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK
The 2019 College Football Season storms to the finish line on Saturday in Philadelphia where the xxx annual Army-Navy game will be played ... here's a quick-hitter preview:
ARMY (5-7) vs. NAVY (9-2) - 3 p.m. ET, CBS
Here's a reminder: "Go Army, Beat Navy" has been the winning phrase lately as the West Point gang's won three in a row in this rivalry but Army's bungled its way through this current campaign while Navy QB Malcolm Perry has accounted for 1,500 rushing yards and another 1,027 passing yards while accounting for 25 TDs. P.S., the Midshipmen are headed to the Liberty Bowl later this month and would love to lasso another "W" here and get some triple-revenge to boot. Navy's a two-point betting fav for that tilt against K-State but a whopping 11-point fav here.
Spread Notes - As you can see by our accompanying chart below, the underdog sides have covered five consecutive years in this epic rivalry game (and, actually, dogs have covered in seven of the last eight meetings between these service academies). Navy is 8-3 against the Las Vegas prices this year and the Middies are an electric 6-1 ATS as favorites in 2019; Army is just 5-7 versus the vig overall this year but the Black Knights are a collective 11-6 spreadwise in their last 17 away games.
In other College Football News & Notes ...
Okay, so we finally have arrived at this year's 85th annual Heisman Trophy presentation and - let's face it - LSU quarterback Joe Burrow made this a open-and-shut case a long time ago - heck, we've had Burrow atop our Jim Sez Heisman Trophy Watch List now for all eight weeks that we've been releasing our mid-week looks.
Here's how we see the final order ...
The Winner ... Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
The Top Runner-up ... Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
Third Place ... Chase Young, DE, Ohio State
Fourth Place ... Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma
NOTE: There's more NFL Week 15 quick-hitter previews in the next Jim Sez including the Sunday Night Football game between the Buffalo Bills at the Pittsburgh Steelers, so don't miss out!