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Saquon Barkley will carry Giants past Colts and into the postseason – Boston Herald



<u>THE 10 BEST GAMES TO BET</u>

COLTS at GIANTS

1 p.m., Giants by 5 ½, 38 ½

HANK’S HONEYS: There’s no reason the Giants can’t cover the spread and clinch a playoff spot against a team that is playing out the string. They have been a tough-minded bunch under Brian Daboll and should put everything on the line here to achieve a preseason goal many thought unlikely. Jonathan Taylor’s injury has taken away Indy’s ability to get anything done on the ground while Nick Foles was awful in his first start last week, throwing for just 140 yards with three interceptions against the Chargers. With pass protection an issue, the Giants will be able to flaunt the best part of their defense. Meanwhile, Saquon Barkley should cruise against a defense that has allowed 27 rushing TDs. And did we mention the Colts are traveling on a short week while the Giants played last Saturday?

IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Giants and the under.

JETS at SEAHAWKS

4:05 p.m., Jets by 2 ½, 42 ½

HANK’S HONEYS: Mike White’s return should be enough to eke out a win against ex-Jet Geno Smith and his struggling Seahawks in what amounts to an elimination game. Smith may be out for a bit of revenge but he doesn’t play defense and everyone is moving the ball and scoring points against these guys. On the other hand, the Jets’ defense has been carrying the team all year and should easily control the line of scrimmage. The Seahawks are 0-3 as home dogs. So much for the home-field advantage.

IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Jets and the under.

PANTHERS at BUCS

1 p.m., Bucs by 3, 40 ½

HANK’S HONEYS: Unless you think that Tom Brady will turn on the switch to the time machine, this should be an easy win for the Panthers as they look to steal the NFC South. They have turned the season around since the firing of Matt Ruhle and in a rather mediocre league overall, have been playing almost as well as anyone. Sam Darnold’s steady hand at QB and a physical running game have provided a 5-1 ATS record since Week 10. Brady has managed to pull a couple of games out of the helmet but otherwise, the Bucs look flat with injuries along the O-line not helping. Their run defense, the key here, has also been suspect, particularly when stud DT Vita Vea is missing. He sat out last week’s game and has been limited in practice this week.

IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Panthers and the under.

BRONCOS at CHIEFS

1 p.m., Chiefs by 13 ½, 45

HANK’S HONEYS: Teams often respond well the week after the coach is fired. Not here. How do you come back after you’ve absolutely quit the week before? Even the Denver D, a strength early in the year, fell apart under the weight of the season and isn’t likely to put up much resistance against an explosive K.C. offense with the No. 1 seed and a first-round bye still on the line. Nor do we see Russell Wilson, a dead man walking, coming alive. The Chiefs were up by 27 points in Denver a few weeks ago and let the Broncos back into the game as Patrick Mahomes threw three INTs. That lesson will be learned as the Chiefs shut the back door in a blowout.

IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Chiefs and the under.

BROWNS at COMMANDERS

1 p.m., Commanders by 1 ½, 40 ½

HANK’S HONEYS: Even with two straight defeats, the Commanders can still make the playoffs if they close with two wins. We’re not liking the move back to Carson Wentz, who almost single-handedly cost the Colts a playoff spot down the stretch last year but for the most part, Ron Rivera is going to try to run the ball down the throat of a bad Cleveland defense that has nothing to play for. Deshaun Watson has done nothing since he returned from suspension and he’ll be up against a tough defense that will be motivated. Also looking to the under here with two underwhelming passing games.

IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Commanders and the under.

JAGUARS at TEXANS

1 p.m., Jaguars by 4 ½, 43 ½

HANK’S HONEYS: The Texans have been playing some decent football with three straight ATS wins and will be motivated to close out the season strong. They have nine straight SU wins over these divisional rivals since the start of the 2018 season, including a 13-6 verdict early this year. They could easily catch the young Jaguars looking past what turns out to be a meaningless game and ahead to next week’s winner-take-all showdown with the Titans. As good as Trevor Lawrence has been, the Jags could be feeling too good about themselves. It’s their fourth road game in five weeks, a tough scheduling spot, and they are winless ATS in their last six games as a favorite.

IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Texans and the over.

VIKINGS at PACKERS

4:25 p.m., Packers by 3, 48 ½

HANK’S HONEYS: It’s a bitter divisional rivalry that figures to be tight and the Vikings are 11-0 in one-score games but you have to wonder how long they can keep living on the edge. Aaron Rodgers is looking like Aaron Rodgers again as the games get more meaningful and he’s up against a defense that has been mediocre at best. The Vikings’ shot at a first-round bye will probably be gone after a 1 p.m. Eagles win so the Packers, playing at home for their playoff lives, will be the more motivated team.

IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Packers and the under.

STEELERS at RAVENS

8:20 p.m., Ravens by 3, 35

HANK’S HONEYS: The Steelers defense has been outstanding lately, having allowed 17 or fewer points over the last five weeks, including holding the Ravens to 16 three weeks ago. The Steelers didn’t have Kenny Pickett in that one when Mitch Trubisky threw three INTs but they will here, a week after the gutsy rookie engineered a game-winning TD drive against the Raiders. The Ravens have stayed afloat with Lamar Jackson out by relying on their stout running game. But stopping the run has always been a Steelers strength — and they are determined to improve over the first meeting. These bloodbaths are always tight. Take the points and the under.

IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Steelers and the under.

49ERS at RAIDERS

4:05 p.m., Niners by 10, 41 ½

HANK’S HONEYS: On paper, it’s no contest. Derek Carr has been benched and his career with the Raiders is likely over. With the locker room fracturing, Josh McDaniels will be asking former Patriot Jarrett Stidham (2 TDs, 4 INTs in 61 career attempts) to provide a spark against the No. 1 ranked defense in the NFL, one that holds opposing QBs to an 82.1 passer rating. Whatever success he might have, however, will come from Josh Jacobs keeping the Niners honest — and no one runs on the Niners. All that said, we can see Vegas getting inside the number. Stidham knows the offense while Brock Purdy will be making just his second road start. We can see the 49ers just getting in and out with a win.

IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Raiders and the over.

SAINTS at EAGLES

1 p.m., Eagles by 7, 44

HANK’S HONEYS: The Eagles didn’t lose last week because of Gardner Minshew. He may not be Jalen Hurts but he may be the most capable backup in the league. That was on the defense, which figures to have a strong bounce-back effort against a Saints team that has problems putting points on the board. The Eagles consistently score in the 30s no matter who is at QB and the Saints can’t possibly match that. They’ve reached that total only twice all year against the awful defenses of the Cardinals (back on Oct. 20) and Seahawks (Oct. 9) and have surpassed 20 points in only two of their last seven games. This is a get-right game for the Eagles (6-1 ATS at home) as they clinch a first-round bye.

IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Eagles and the over.

* * *

<u>LOOK BUT DON’T TOUCH</u>

BILLS at BENGALS

Monday, 8:30 p.m., Bills by 1 ½, 49 ½

HANK’S HONEYS: If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the last two seasons it’s not to bet against Joe Burrow in big games and his first matchup against Josh Allen qualifies. While everyone keeps touting the Bills as a Super Bowl favorite, the Bengals keep racking up the wins and covering spreads, 12-3 ATS overall and 5-1 at home. On the other hand, the Bills know how to win on the road and they’ll have a matchup to exploit with RT La’el Collins gone. It may come down to who has the football last. A true coin flip.

CAN’T HELP YOURSELF? Bengals and the over.

* * *

<u>BEST OF THE REST</u>

BEARS at LIONS

1 p.m., Lions by 5 ½, 52

IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Lions and the under.

DOLPHINS at PATRIOTS

1 p.m., Patriots by 2 ½, 41 ½

IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Patriots and the under.

RAMS at CHARGERS

4:25 p.m., Chargers by 6 ½, 41

IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Rams and the over.

CARDINALS at FALCONS

1 p.m., Falcons by 3 ½, 42

IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Falcons and the over.

* * *

WEEK’S BEST BET: Panthers. Playoff bound.

LAST WEEK: 5-11 ATS, 6-10 OVER/UNDER

OVERALL: 106-129-5 ATS, 123-115-2 OVER/UNDER

BEST BETS: 10-6

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