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The 49ers are making players do ladder drills up an insane man-made hill

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Running sucks. Running hills suck more. But running ladder drills up a 35-foot man-made hill sounds like torture.

Correction: It is torture, the 49ers are making their players do it, and we can confirm:

“The Hill,” which is 60 feet long and has a 30-degree incline, was installed by strength and conditioning coach Ray Wright and looks every bit as painful as it sounds. Earlier this week, the 49ers made players who did not participate in team drills run the ladder on the ramp.

This hill is significantly larger than the hill that existed on the practice field in 2009 during Mike Singletary’s tenure as head coach, which looks like a small mound of grass compared to the Leaning Tower of Pisa on the right:

There’s no doubt the reviews for Shanahan Hill won’t be positive, but nevertheless, owner Jed York took a turn up the monster. And if the boss is doing it, you better not complain.

Chiefs, Mahomes face Bengals as betting favorites on Sunday Night Football

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While Patrick Mahomes is making his first NFL start after a loss, his Kansas City Chiefs have a proven track record as both a bounce-back team and a peak performer in prime-time.

The Chiefs, led by their first-year starter at quarterback, are 6-point favorites on the Sunday Night Football odds against the Cincinnati Bengals with a 58-point total at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Kansas City is coming off a 43-40 loss against the New England Patriots, but it is 10-4 straight-up in its last 14 games after a loss. The Chiefs are 9-3 SU and 10-2 against the spread in their last 12 games at night, whereas the Bengals are 2-8 SU in their last 10 prime-time games.

The Bengals, who are 4-2 SU and ATS this season, have a balanced offense centered around quarterback Andy Dalton that will be going up against a Chiefs defense that is dead last in total defense, allowing the most yards per game. With Kansas City linebacker Justin Houston (hamstring) and free safety Eric Berry (heel) both doubtful for this week, playmakers such as wide receiver A.J. Green and running back Joe Mixon should help Cincinnati, at minimum, do its part to help OVER bettors.

However, the Bengals defense is the fourth-most generous in the league and will need to try to take advantage of a rejigged Chiefs offensive line that has lost two key starters, center Mike Morse and guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif.

The Bengals won outright in their last road game during Week 4 and are 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 games on the road according to the OddsShark NFL Database after covering in their most recent road game. Since 2015, Cincinnati is also 1-6 SU and 4-3 ATS as a road underdog of 3.5 to 6.5 points.

The Chiefs, who are 5-1 SU and 6-0 ATS, have been a sight to behold offensively. Mahomes, arguably the league MVP over the first third of the regular season, commands an offense that is first in points scored, fifth in total yards and third in yards per pass. One key to the Chiefs being such a point machine is that they have rarely been stalled by interceptions and sacks, suffering only 10 through six games.

That’s hard to sustain, so bettors will have to decide whether the Chiefs are due for some lapses or whether the Bengals, who may not have outside linebacker Nick Vigil or strong safety Shawn Williams (concussion protocol), will be hard-pressed to force drive-killing mistakes.

Cincinnati is 24th in yards per rush allowed and 11th in yards per pass allowed, but it has had trouble covering outside receivers and running backs. That means there could be some long gains from the Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill and Kareem Hunt. The Chiefs are 8-2 SU and 6-4 ATS in their last 10 home games as a favorite of 3.5 to 6.5 points.

The total has gone OVER in five of the Bengals’ last seven games, with an average combined score of 55.71. The total has gone UNDER in six of the Chiefs’ last seven games at home, with an average combined score of 43.43.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Sunday Night Football odds have Texans as field-goal favorites vs. Cowboys

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The mark of a franchise quarterback is that he can do something about a team’s historically horrid betting trend.

The Houston Texans, led by quarterback Deshaun Watson, are 3-point betting favorites against the Dallas Cowboys with a 45.5-point total for their Sunday Night Football matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The contrast in the teams’ track records in prime time is stark: the Texans are 4-22-1 against the spread in their last 27 games at night, whereas the Cowboys are 7-1 straight-up in their last eight prime-time contests. The Cowboys are also 9-2 ATS in their last 11 road games in October, according to the OddsShark NFL Database.

Whether those trends hold up for another week or the law of averages rears up might come down to whether the Cowboys offense and quarterback Dak Prescott, ranked 27th in the NFL in yards-per-pass, can keep pace with the Texans, who are sixth but have struggled to protect Watson.

The Cowboys, who are 2-2 SU and 1-3 ATS, are facing perhaps the best offense they have seen yet this season, while also going up against a J.J. Watt-led defense that leads the NFL in quarterback hits.

Thanks in part to running back Ezekiel Elliott and an offensive line led by left tackle Tyron Smith, the Cowboys lead the NFL in yards per rush, so there is a strong possibility of putting together some long drives that keep the clock rolling and keep Watson and Co. on the sidelines. That might be a factor for totals bettors.

Whether Dallas can put up points on the road will come down to who breaks first in the passing phase. While the Cowboys are struggling to throw and lack an identifiable red-zone target for Prescott, the Texans are 25th in yards per pass allowed and have only one interception in four games.

For the Texans, who are 1-3 both SU and ATS, the big question is whether Watson will have time to cycle through his reads. The second-year passer has acquitted himself well in prime time, with a 5-to-0 touchdown/interception ratio in two starts where the Texans are 1-1 SU.

Watson has a scary wide-receiver combo of DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller facing a Cowboys secondary that has zero interceptions and is right at the median in yards per pass, at 17th in the NFL. However, it’s glaring that Houston has allowed 17 sacks, second-most in the league, especially when Dallas has a strong pass rush built around left end Demarcus Lawrence.

While interconference home games only come up twice per season, the Texans are 6-3 SU and ATS against NFC opponents under head coach Bill O’Brien.

The total has gone UNDER in the Cowboys’ last six road games, with an average combined score of 29.67. The total has also gone UNDER in the Cowboys’ last four games against the Texans, with an average combined score of 36.5. The total has gone UNDER in eight of the Texans’ last 10 home games as a favorite of 3.0 or fewer points.

However, the total has gone OVER in 10 of the Texans’ last 11 home games in October.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.