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Mike Handzelek's NFL Week 1 Analysis/Review/Notes

By: Point Shaver Handzelek
Date: Sep 12, 2019
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Sunday, September 08, 2019 Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets (NFL) - 1:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 3/-120 Buffalo Bills Rating: 9* Mike's NFL Earlybird Dependable (WIN) Sorry Jets' fans but opening week divisional dogs are GOLD! In fact, the last 21 games have resulted in the underdogs covering 81% of the time (17-4). Let's not over-react to New York's acquisition of RB Le'Veon Bell (didn't take 1 pre-season snap). Remember, HC Adam Gase had more than his share of troubles when playing Buffalo when he was skipper of Miami. His QB Sam Darnold remains as a work in progress turning in stats like 57% completions, a 17/15 TD/INT ratio & an interception rate of 3.6%. Without a proven offensive line (1st time playing together) & a natural edge rusher, expect the Bills' secondary to make plays (finished 1st in passing yards allowed last year @ 179.2) & for QB Josh Allen to flourish under the direction of OC Brian Daboll & QB Coach Ken Dorsey. In Allen's rookie season last year, Buffalo went to MetLife & pummeled New York to the tune of 41-10. Allen should be able to exploit NY's DB's who are battling injuries as well as inexperience. The Fly Boys were shredded last year for 6,086 total yards which fails in comparison to the Bills' "D" that gave up just 4,706. The Jets front office is also in flux with GM Mike Maccagnan getting his walking papers after the draft in favor of Joe Douglas (considered a better fit with Gase).When we crunch some numbers, Buffalo has come up BIG in season-opening revenge games where they've covered 9 of their last 11 in that role. digging in a little deeper, the Bills are also a very solid 18-7 ATS in their first 4 games of the season installed as an avenging road dog. Look for WR Zay Jones to be the X-Factor as we go to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford to play the BUFFALO BILLS (buying to a key (+ 4 1/2) as my 9* NFL Earlybird Dependable! Indianapolis Colts vs. Los Angeles Chargers (NFL) - 4:05 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 6.5/-105 Indianapolis Colts Rating: 8* Mike's NFL Under The Radar Later Games' Play (WIN) I'm not so sure that Indianapolis is in panic mode here! Yes, Jacoby Brissett has a 4-11 SU as a starter for Indianapolis in relief for an injured Andrew Luck. However, that was BEFORE he learned the Frank Reich system. And yes, this is the same Franck Reich that converted backup QB Nick Foles into a Super Bowl MVP with a win over New England. This is Brissett's 2nd year learning to process things the Reich way. That's a BIG difference from starting from scratch. Now let's examine how familiar the Colts will be with the Chargers. Do you remember who was Philip Rivers' (in his 16th season) quarterbacks coach in 2013 & his offensive coordinator in 14' & 15'? You guessed it, Frank Reich. Nick Sirianni is the Indianapolis OC. Sirianni ALSO spent 5 seasons @ then San Diego now L.A. (2 as QB's Coach under Reich). So expect that Colts' DC Matt Eberflus (in his 2nd season) knows the basic playbook that OC Ken Whisenhunt possesses minus some new wrinkles. Besides familiarity, Los Angeles has 3 key players out. LT Russell Okung, RB Melvin Gordon (a holdout) & Pro Bowl & first team All-Pro S Derwin James will all be watching from the sidelines. Getting back to Brissett, the Horseshoes just signed him to a $30M contract with $20M guaranteed. I don't think Indy makes that offer if Brissett hasn't grasped the Reich system. Let's crunch some numbers & talk venue. The Chargers' home venue, for now, is a 27,000-seat stadium that is a soccer field by design. With an O/U line of 43 or more, this same Bolts' squad have only gone a vanilla 5-5 SU & a continued over-valued 2-8 ATS. I feel that the line adjustment (3 to 3 1/2 points) since the announcement of the Andrew Luck retirement is NOT warranted. Remember, the Colts won 10 of their last 11 games before losing @ KC last season. With Eberflus employing his "Tampa 2" 4-3 defensive scheme that will key on L.A.'s trio of receivers (WR Keenan Allen, WR Mike Williams & TE Hunter Henry), I'm looking for him to successfully get in Rivers' head forcing him into errors. With the Chargers' depleted offensive line, I more than love our chances here! Let's go to Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, CA to play the INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (buying to a key (+ 7 1/2) as my NFL Under The Radar Later Games' Play! San Francisco 49ers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFL) - 1:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 1/-101 San Francisco 49ers Rating: 8* Mike's NFL Week 1 Rejuvenator (WIN) Who is rejuvenated? It's none other than QB Jimmy Garoppolo! Jimmy G takes his place behind center for the 1st time since tearing his ACL in Week 3 of the 2018 season. This time around Garoppolo (6-2 as a starting QB) has a more beefy offensive line to provide adequate protection to do his damage down the field. I'm not too concerned about the long haul & starting time (4:25 PM Eastern) for a team just starting the season. On the flip side of the coin is more question marks. HC Bruce Arians takes over a team for the first time since the Cardinals let him go. Will his system prove to be the perfect fit for QB Jameis Winston? In addition, will new DC Todd Bowles be able to effectively implement a 3-4 pressure "D" with the personnel he's given? That's going to take some time to work out all the kinks. Until that happens, the Buccaneers will take their lumps. I feel HC Kyle Shanahan has a HEALTHY team which kind of eluded him all of last season. My bottom line says Tampa bay has not built a winning tradition of late. They've gone 11 straight seasons without a playoff appearance & have finished @ the bottom of the NFC South 8 of the last 10 years. They'll now compete with a SF "D" who acquired MLB Kwon Alexander (who played with the Bucs recently), DE Nick Bosa (2nd pick of the draft), DE Dee Ford & CB Jason Verrett. Revenge will be on the 49ers side from a 27-9 thumping @ this venue last year. Expect much different results as we go to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa to play the SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS as my NFL Week 1 Rejuvenator! NOTES: It was a shame that we didn't win with ALL 3 dogs OUTRIGHT! The weather was peachy @ L.A. where 24-year vet & future HOF'er Adam Vinatieri managed to not only miss 2 FG's (one from 29 yards out) but also an extra point. The Colts only needed 1 of those 3 in regulation as they forced OT only to lose by 6 (30-24). Those misses washed out great efforts from QB Jacoby Brissett (21 for 27 & 2 TD's) & RB Marlon Mack (174 rushing yards). In the Buffalo game, I was shocked how badly QB Josh Allen performed in the 1st half (4 TO's?). However, the brilliant "D" kept the Bills in the game (relinquished just 8 points for the game) enough for Allen to make halftime adjustments & pull the game out in the 4th outright. Our 49ers play was more of a pick against Tampa Bay. Once again we saw QB Jameis Winston & the Buccaneers turn the ball over 4 times (including 2 pick-sixes) while we cashed as a one-point dog with the San Francisco 31-17 outright victory. HC Bruce Arians has quite the challenge on his hands in Florida. Be back for dynamite Week 2 as we look for back-back VegasTopDog titles for best NFL winning percentage. Mike Handzelek's 2019-20 NFL Week 1 & Overall Record: 3-0 for 100% Mike Handzelek's 2018-19 NFL Overall Record: 31-18 for 64% (VTD Top Percentage Champion) Overall Record All Sports (Last 16 Plays): 13-3 for a surreal 81%

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