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Submitted by Jim Hurley’s Network on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at 11:56 AM


Folks, the NFL may have even bigger problems than the whole national anthem taking-a-knee business ...really.

In Monday Night's 23-20 comeback non-cover win by the Pittsburgh Steelers over the 4.5-point home underdog Cincinnati Bengals, there were cheap shots galore, a slew of helmet-to-helmet hits and bodies were being carted off the field on stretchers/gurneys as if this were the days of the Roman Coliseum.

Maybe Steelers' WR Antonio Brown (8 catches for 101 yards and one touchdown) thought he was being cute after the game when he kept calling out "karma" for the injury that kayoed Cincinnati LB Vontaze Burfict - after all the Bengals' bad-boy 'backer has injured his fair share of Steelers (including Brown) in recent years but this prime-time AFC North game got ugly and stayed ugly and the league better get a grip on things fast or else they'll be losing key players on a weekly basis with mean hits/late hits etc.

The bottom line here is that Pittsburgh (10-2) made it six consecutive SU (straight-up) wins against the hated Bengals (5-7) and basically kayoed Cincy from this year's post-season chase - got us to thinking that it's probably about time that Cincinnati head coach Marvin Lewis was forced to walk the plank much like second-year New York Giants' head coach Ben McAdoo was forced to do earlier in the day on Monday.

As for the victorious Steelers, they lost LB Ryan Shazier (back) to a freakish injury and his backups were exposed here - if Shazier is out for that much-hyped game against New England in Week 15 than Mike Tomlin's defense is in deep trouble.

Jim Hurley's Network of Handicappers and Bloggers have plenty of NFL Week 14 Winners - that's both Sides & Totals - beginning Thursday night when the New Orleans Saints travel to play the Atlanta Falcons. And don't forget we've got the Army-Navy game on Saturday as we put a capper on the regular season for the College Kids. You can sign up for the College Football Bowl games - there's 41 of 'em in all including the National Championship Game on Jan. 8, 2018 -- so check with us here online or 1-800-323-4453. Plus, get all the daily/nightly NBA winners and College Basketball winners too!

Here's some NFL-related pointspread info as we head towards Week 14 play ...

NFL Betting Favorites in Week 13 registered a 7-9 ATS (against the spead) mark, thus the up-to-date figure on the 2017 season now has NFL Favorites at 97-87-7 with one Pick 'Em game and that's good for a .527 winning rate). Funny thing is if you've wagered $100 per play on all 184 Betting Favorites this year than you'd be up $130.

Meanwhile, NFL Week 13 "overs" went a dead-even but vig-losing 8-8 ATS and so that makes the season-long tally 96-95-1 ATS for "over" players. A $100 per play wager on all "overs" this year would have you down $850 as the vig chews you up!

Right now, the hottest NFL spread side is the Minnesota Vikings who've covered their last seven consecutive games with the New England Patriots getting "honorable mention" with six straight covers while the coldest team out there spreadwise is the Denver Broncos who have dropped eight consecutive pointspread bets. Ugh!

Believe it or not, the aforementioned Cincinnati Bengals now have covered their last four in a row and the nose-diving Kansas City Chiefs have dropped their last four consecutive spread verdicts.


In yesterday's edition of Jim Sez, we posted the whole College Football Bowl Schedule, so let's now take a few moments to pop in some quick-hitter comments on some of the Early Bowl Games ...

Oregon vs. Boise State - The first full bowl day features a half-dozen tilts but this is the best of the bunch and did you know that the Oregon Ducks are a crummy 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 away games overall?

Louisiana Tech vs. SMU
- Since 2014 (his second year on the job), L-Tech's Skip Holtz's club has produced a heady 11-5 ATS mark whenever placed in the underdog role. The Techsters are currently a 5.5-point underdog for this game while the Ponies stagger into this bowl bash having failed to cover six of their last seven games. Just sayin'!

Texas Tech vs. USF
- Once upon a time, the T-Tech Red Raiders were 5-an-oh against the odds this season but the Big 12 team heads into this pre-Christmas tilt at just 7-5 ATS on the year. On the flip side, the USF Bulls - a 2-point favorite at press time - are just 4-6 against the odds as chalk after having compiled an 11-5 spread log as favorites the past three years combined.

Houston at Fresno State
- The Fresno State Bulldogs return to the bowl wars after a two-year hiatus but get this: Fresno State's failed to cover its last six consecutive bowl games with the last bowl cover for these Dawgs happening way back in the 2007 campaign with a 40-28 win against 6-point fav Georgia Tech in the Humanitarian Bowl ... hey, we had that winner!

NOTE: Lots on the Jim Sez plate all week long including our final Heisman Trophy Watch List, an Army-Navy game preview plus all the NFL Week 14 goodies too. And remember we'll have the College Bowl games previewed with game-day winners all holiday season long!