Gambling recap

Week 6 was sick: With the injury bug hitting the NFL again

J.J. Watt's injury was followed up by two of the league's other big stars: Odell Beckham, Jr. and Aaron Rodgers. Bob Levey/Getty Images

In under a span of two weeks, the NFL has lost three of its "STAR" players to season-ending injuries. The hometown Texans losing J.J. Watt to a tibial plateau fracture was absolutely heartbreaking for the things he does on and off the field.

Aaron Rodgers broken collarbone comes at the worse time for him and the Packer faithful, as they entered the weekend 4-1 with the division lead and looking like a team to fear once its squad regained full health. Odell Beckham Jr. fractured his ankle, and whether you like him or not, he is electrifying and an instant gamechanger.

These types of players are the face of the NFL and a huge reason why the league sits on its own stage, or does it?  There is some competition with the MLB playoffs and the NBA season tip-off tonight arriving at the perfect time when the buzz is at an all-time high with the era of "Super Teams" expanding. Yes, we have the Leveon Bell's and Zeke Elliot's of the world to keep us tuned in but can they be trusted to carry this league when they have their own off-field issues?

So when you think of the second tier of stars in the NFL that shoulder the brand, who do you really come up with? The veterans in Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Phillip Rivers, Matt Ryan or maybe you go with the quiet Julio Jones and the sometimes too outspoken Antonio Brown?

The NFL is in desperate need of players like Carson Wentz, Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, and Derek Carr to make the jump to stardom. Just take this for example,  the preseason release of schedules provided us the opportunity of the Thanksgiving special which is  Josh Norman vs Beckham, and was something to look forward to as the nightcap after stuffing your face with anything and everything you can put gravy on. Is it really something to look forward too now? How exciting was the Giants vs. Broncos game Sunday night? A few days after Thanksgiving, The Pittsburgh Steelers host The Green Bay Packers which at one point, was thought to have big playoff implications being that it was later in the season. With Rodgers out, does this still have the same buzz? Do you get the picture? Maybe, the new wave of rookies can continue making some noise and give us something to look forward to as Houston's newly found leader Deshaun Watson has been nothing short of spectacular. In the same division down in Jacksonville,  Leonard Fournette is making quite the impact of his own and is second in rush yards, trailing only the Chiefs breakout rookie, Kareem Hunt. With the spotlight seeming to be off the actual on-field product the league produces lately let's see who can step up and carry the coveted treasure that is the NFL.


Teams recieiving the most action Week 6:

Packers 85%

Broncos 84%

Texans 82%

Falcons 79%

Pats 78%

1 of the 5 covered. 3 losing outright as Favorites.

Week 6 dogs keep barking

In a trend that has been occurring all year long, the dogs dominated again. This week, the underdogs went 11-3 ATS, but even more impressive, nine of them won the game outright. Taking the points has been pivotal this season as underdogs are now 51-36-2 ATS. The astonishing number here is 38 out of the 51 underdogs have won the game straight up. So in other words, if you're feeling the underdog side is right, sprinkle a little on the money line as well.

The Dolphins and Giants were the most significant underdogs this week to win straight up.

Miami Pulled off an upset on the Road 20-17 as 13.5 point underdogs and cashing the money line at +700. Miami trailed in this game 17-0 and ran off 20 unanswered points capping off a spectacular second half in which the Falcons only had four offensive possessions. Maybe, the Falcons looked ahead prematurely to this weeks rematch of last years Superbowl with the Patriots. Whatever the case may be, blowing a 17 point lead at home to Jay Cutler is inexcusable.

In the Sunday night matchup, the hobbled Giants (+600) limped into Denver with a part-time receiving corp and stunned the Broncos. In a strength vs. weakness encounter, the Giants were able to run successfully on the leagues No. 1  rush defense. The unknown New York running back Orleans Darkwa tallied 117 yards on 21 carries, keeping the pressure off the passing game in which Eli Manning only had 19 attempts. Coming off a bye, with the extra time to prepare, vs. a team who had a meet and greet with its wide receivers prior to the kickoff, this loss has to sting for Denver. They will have a chance to bounce back this week vs. The Chargers, a team they have covered against 5 of the last 6 in the series and edged out 24-21 in week 1 and pushed as -3 point favorites.

Honorable mention- Bears (+5.5  ML +190) at Ravens, 27-24 OT

Totals

The Over/Under was 8-6 in Week 6.

The lowest total on the board was in the game we discussed earlier in the Giants vs. Broncos matchup with a total of 37.5. Much of this number was a direct result of the injuries to the Giants roster and the stout Denver defense. Things played the other way around, and the Giants scored 23 points and only allowed 10 on the road getting their first victory of the year.

The Highest Total was in the Saints vs. Lions game that sat at 50.5. New Orleans was able to surpass the point total on its own. In a game where the Saints scored 50-plus points, you would think Brees put up huge numbers. Brees was 21-of-31 for 186 yards with two touchdowns and two picks. With the team jumping out to such a big lead, the play calling slowed down for the Saints, capping the quarterback's big day: at halftime he was 21-of-31 for 186 yards and a TD. Instead, they leaned heavily on the ground game allowing Mark Ingram to breakout in his first game with Adrian Peterson out of his way. Ingram ran for 114 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries. The Saints defense also contributed their fair share to the total, scoring two defensive scores and creating five turnovers.

The over/under for 2017 now sits at 45-46-1.

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Houston now focused on postseason

Altuve and Correa homer, Astros drop final regular-season game

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

With no playoff impact at stake if the Astros won or lost the game, Houston took Sunday's final regular-season game as a chance to get their lineup a few more at-bats before shifting focus to Tuesday's first game of the post-season. Here is a quick recap of the game against the Rangers:

Final Score: Rangers 8, Astros 4.

Record: 29-31, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Wes Benjamin (2-1, 4.84 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Chase De Jong (0-1, 14.73 ERA).

Houston's main bats get a final tune-up

Knowing they'd only have a couple of at-bats to work with, some of Houston's big bats took advantage, starting with Jose Altuve. He crushed a pitch in the top of the first, a solo homer to put the Astros in front 1-0. After the Rangers tied the game 1-1 in the bottom of the second, Altuve started the third with a walk before moving to third base on a Michael Brantley single, which improved Brantley's season average to .300.

Aledmys Diaz would pick up the RBI on a groundout to score Altuve, putting Houston back in front 2-1. In Correa's last at-bat in the top of the fourth, he extended the lead to 3-1 with a solo home run of his own.

Rangers hand Astros a loss to end the regular season

After getting the early run against Chase De Jong, the Rangers would put together a big inning against him in the fourth. After two one-out singles, Rougned Odor would give Texas their first lead of the day on a three-run homer to make it 4-3.

De Jong would continue to struggle in the inning, getting just one more out while loading the bases, prompting a move to the bullpen to bring in Nivaldo Rodriguez to try and eat up more innings. The Rangers greeted him with a two-RBI single to extend their lead to 6-3 before ending the fourth. Odor would hit his second home run of the game in the bottom of the fifth, a solo shot to make it a four-run lead at 7-3.

Rodriguez allowed another run in the bottom of the seventh, making it 8-3. Diaz, who drove in a run earlier, would account for another RBI in the top of the eighth, getting Houston's third solo homer of the day. That would make it an 8-4 game, which would go final as the Rangers would win the regular season's last game.

Up Next: Houston's first game of the playoffs will be on Tuesday, with the start time and opponent TBD while the rest of today's games wrap up, and the schedule is announced. Regardless, the Astros are expected to begin that best-of-three series with Zack Greinke (3-3, 4.03 ERA).

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