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GOOD BEATS: 15 money-line picks for the College Football, NFL weekend (Sept. 20-23)

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BATSBY Sports has the reader in mind when identifying 15 college and NFL games with flawed lines involving ATS or over/under tallies.

The NFL will apparently make betting-line history this week, when the undefeated Cowboys and perfect Patriots take on the hapless Dolphins and Jets, respectively.

What’s so extra-special about these one-sided outings (at least on paper)?

This Sunday marks the first time in the Super Bowl era that a pair of 20-plus-point spreads occur on the same NFL weekend.

In other words, if point spreads and fantasy football didn’t exist, the presumptive victories for Dallas and Miami would have likely been forgotten in no time.

BIGGEST NFL POINT SPREADS OF THE MODERN ERA
1976 — Buccaneers @ Steelers (27 points … covered)
2013 — Jaguars @ Broncos (26 points … didn’t cover)
1993 — Bengals @ 49ers (24 points … didn’t cover)
1987 — Falcons @ 49ers (23.5 points … covered)
1977 — Buccaneers @ Cowboys (23 points … didn’t cover)
2019 — Jets @ Patriots (22 points)
2007 — Dolphins @ Patriots (22 points … covered)
2019 — Dolphins @ Cowboys (21 points)
1976 — Patriots @ Buccaneers (21 points … didn’t cover)
2011 — Colts @ Patriots (20.5 points … didn’t cover)
2013 — Jaguars @ Seahawks (19.5 points … covered)

Instead, we’ll get to pair these matchups against other historically exorbitant spreads, including Bucs-Steelers from 1976 (Pittsburgh covered the 27-point spread with a 42-0 romp) and Jaguars-Broncos from 2013 (Denver couldn’t cover the 26-point gap, but still gutted out a victory over Jacksonville).

Which brings us to this: It’s a little surprising the Sam Darnold-less Jets are larger underdogs (22 points) than the Dolphins (21 1/2 points).

After all, New York once owned a 16-0 lead in Week 1 (before falling to Buffalo) and surrendered only 23 points to the playmaker-heavy Browns on Monday night.

The Dolphins, however, have brought new meaning to the word wretched, losing their opening two games (both at home) by a cumulative score of 102-10.

Within that scope, would anyone have objected if the Cowboys (averaging 33 points per game) were 27-point favorites for Sunday, in line with the 1976 Steelers and 2013 Broncos?

Regardless, it should be fun to observe how the Cowboys and Patriots players/coaches react to being such overwhelming favorites. Will they for go the Vegas-style jugular Sunday … or just hit the Cruise Control lever sometime after halftime?

As for the other games on the college football and NFL dockets … BATSBY Sports offers its 15 most appealing picks for the upcoming weekend.

For what it’s worth, BATSBY went 4-3 with last week’s college picks … and 5-3 with the NFL action (9-6 overall). Strong start.

NOTE: This week’s college football and NFL odds are courtesy of OddsShark.com.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

AGAINST THE SPREAD

(Home team in CAPS)

Michigan State (-9.5) over NORTHWESTERN
Southern Miss (+39) over ALABAMA
Central Connecticut State (+33) over EASTERN MICHIGAN
MISSISSIPPI STATE (-6) over Kentucky

OVER/UNDER

Louisiana State vs. VANDERBILT (62 total points) … UNDER
Western Michigan vs. SYRACUSE (65.5 total points) … OVER
BYU vs. Washington (50.5 total points) … OVER

NFL

AGAINST THE SPREAD

DALLAS (-21.5) over Miami
MINNESOTA (-8) over Oakland
SEATTLE (-4.5) over New Orleans
Chicago (-4.5) over WASHINGTON

OVER/UNDER

N.Y. Giants vs. TAMPA BAY (48 total points) … UNDER
N.Y. Jets vs. NEW ENGLAND (43.5 total points) … OVER
BUFFALO vs. Cincinnati (44 total points) … OVER
KANSAS CITY vs. Baltimore (54.5 total points) … UNDER

About The Managing Editor

Jay Clemons remains the only sports writer on the planet to capture Cynposis Media’s national award for Sports Blog Of The Year (beating out NBA.com, MLB.com, PGATour.com, The Players’ Tribune in 2015), along with the Fantasy Sports Writers Association’s pre-eminent award for Best Writer (2008). Through the years, Mr. Clemons has been a key figure with numerous blue-chip sports/media brands, namely the Detroit Lions, Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report and the NBC/Universal family. With Sports Illustrated (2006-11), Clemons served a triple role with SI.com‘s heralded football coverage—editing Peter King’s famed ‘Monday Morning Quarterback’ column, penning award-winning pieces for NFL and then writing/narrating scripted videos within the NFL and baseball realms. In 2013, Clemons’ first year with the company, FOX Sports South enjoyed a monumental increase of approximately 34 million Web hits in a 12-month cycle—merely posting 11 million hits the previous year. 

Then, over a two-month span in 2014, FOX Sports South amassed 19.5 million Web hits—a 60-day record for any FOX affiliate. And in 2015, Clemons claimed the aforementioned Cynopsis Media award on FOX Sports’ behalf, the company’s only national writing award during that period. Clemons, a graduate of Michigan State University  and Wayne State University, has been an on-camera Web-TV host for Sports Illustrated, Bleacher Report and FOX Sports. In 2015, he also became the first-ever sports journalism professor at Kennesaw State University in suburban Atlanta.

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