Patriots over a touchdown favorite at Denver for Sunday night matchup

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Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, on top of facing the best defense they have seen all season, also carry some inauspicious trends into Denver.

The Patriots are listed as 7.5-point road favorites against the Broncos with a 44-point total for the NFL Week 10 Sunday night matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

New England is on a four-game win streak, but the OddsShark NFL Database shows it is 9-1 straight-up and 4-6 against the spread in its last 10 road games as a favorite of 7.5 or more points. The Patriots are coming out of their bye week but are 2-4 ATS in their last six regular-season games after a bye. The Broncos are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games in November.

New England, which is 6-2 SU and 4-4 ATS this season, will not have some crucial members of Brady’s supporting cast alongside as it challenges the NFL’s No. 2-ranked defense. Wide receiver Chris Hogan (shoulder) is out and so is RT Marcus Cannon. That could affect whether the Patriots, who lost to the Carolina Panthers in their only other game against a top-10 defense, can burn CBs Chris Harris, Aqib Talib and Bradley Roby.

Brady will likely have to count on RB James White and WR Brandin Cooks as outside receiving threats, while TE Rob Gronkowski should be his usual lethal self over the middle.

The Patriots’ pass protection has improved from the start of the season, but it will have to contend with OLB Von Miller. The New England running game, with White and Dion Lewis, ranks in the bottom third of the league while Denver allows the second-fewest yards per rush attempt.

Denver, 3-5 SU and 2-5-1 ATS, is on a four-game losing skid, but the three most recent were away games; they are 11-3 SU in their last 14 home games after consecutive road games. An outright win probably seems like a tall task given the struggles of Denver’s offense, which has turned to QB Brock Osweiler

One reason to think the group’s output will improve – beyond the belief that it would be hard to get worse – is that WR Emmanuel Sanders is healthy and could exploit struggling Patriots CB Johnson Bademosi.

The Patriots linebacker corps, led by OLB Kyle Van Noy, have had issues containing the run and covering running backs in the passing phase. Denver appears to have its running back trio of C.J. Anderson, Devontae Booker and Jamaal Charles all healthy, and they could help with putting together long drives that keep Brady off the field and prevent the Patriots from engineering a blowout.

The total has gone under in eight of the Patriots’ last 10 road games when they were favored by at least 7.5 points. The total has gone under in five of the Patriots’ last six games on the road against teams with losing records. The total has gone under in nine of the Broncos’ last 12 games after a loss.

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

Why Bill Belichick isn’t retiring anytime soon

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Bill Belichick turned 67 the other day, which is about the time most normal human beings are seriously pondering retirement. There’s no indication Belichick is. With 56 more coaching victories (regular season and postseason), Belichick would become the NFL’s all-time winningest coach. Top three in wins now: Don Shula 347, George Halas 324, Belichick 292. Shula coached 33 seasons and Halas 40; Belichick has coached 24, and in fairness to the leaders, Shula coached half of his career in 14-game seasons, and the majority of Halas’ years were 12-game regular seasons.

What’s interesting to me is how few of the best coaches ever coached this late in their lives. In fact, 12 of the 15 winningest coaches have not coached, or did not coach, at age 67 or older. Belichick will make that 11 of 15 this fall.

Looking at the top 15, and how many seasons they coached after turning 67:

1. Don Shula: 0. Coached last game at 65.
2. George Halas: 6. Went 47-33-5 and won one NFL title after turning 67.
3. Belichick.
4. Tom Landry: 0. Coached last game at 64.
5. Curly Lambeau: 0. Coached last game at 55.
6. Chuck Noll: 0. Coached last game at 59.
7. Andy Reid: 0. He is 61.
8. Marty Schottenheimer: 0. Coached last game at 63.
9. Dan Reeves: 0. Coached last game at 59.
10. Chuck Knox: 0. Coached last game at 62.
11. Bill Parcells: 0. Coached last game at 65.
12. Tom Coughlin: 3. Went 19-29 after turning 67.
13. Mike Shanahan: 0. Coached last game at 61.
14. Jeff Fisher: 0. Coached last game at 58.
15. Paul Brown: 1. Went 11-4 after turning 67.

Belichick doesn’t talk about how long he’ll coach—surprise!—but those who know him say they think he’s not close to walking away from football. My take: Halas coached his last game at 72. I would not be shocked if Belichick matches that; nor would I be shocked if he coaches two or three more years and ends it. I never sensed the record mattered to him … but if it does, that means he’ll coach six more years. Seems like a stretch, but those who have been around him say he never shows the signs of stress even during big moments of big games that have made some great coaches walk away. Does he look or sound like a 67-year-old man? Not to me. 

Read more from Football Morning in America here

Why these NFL teams should take a chance on Josh Rosen

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So I believe the Cardinals, should they—as I suspect—choose Kyler Murray number one overall, will be inclined to make the best deal they can for the quarterback they picked last year 10th overall, Josh Rosen. It’s easy to say Rosen’s a big boy and he’s going to have to get over the biggest snub job in recent NFL history. But he heard Kliff Kingsbury take the job and say on several occasions, Josh is our quarterback, or words to that effect. Now you draft a guy number one overall and asked Rosen to be a good soldier and carry the clipboard and help Kyler Murray win games for the team that misled him about being the quarterback under the new coach? Awkward.

I don’t know how the draft is going to fall, but if Miami or Washington or the Giants do not draft a quarterback high in the draft, what seems fair to me is offering a third-rounder (78th overall by Miami, 95th overall by the Giants, 96th overall by Washington) to Arizona for Rosen. And Arizona, I’m assuming, would strongly consider doing the best deal it could at that point.

I’d be really interested if I were Miami. Imagine trading the 78th pick and having a year to see if Rosen has a chance to be the long-term guy. If the Dolphins are unconvinced at the end of 2019, they could use a first-round pick (plus other draft capital if need be) to draft the quarterback of the long-term future in a year when the quarterback crop is better than this year.

There’s also this matter: In the last four-and-a-half years, Rosen has been coached by six offensive architects. At UCLA beginning in the fall of 2015, Rosen had Noel Mazzone, Kennedy Polamalu and Jedd Fisch, followed in Arizona by Mike McCoy and Byron Leftwich last year and Kingsbury this year. Imagine Rosen having the same system and coach for two or three years in a row. It hasn’t happened to him since high school. Seems worth a shot to me.

This is going to be a very interesting week in the history of the Arizona Cardinals, but also in the personal history of Josh Rosen.

Read more from Football Morning in America here