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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

SIDE ORDER OF NUGGETS

By Marc Lawrence — ESPN reports that most of the time when the “What’s wrong with Matt Ryan” question is raised, the Falcons quarterback follows up with a strong outing. His passer ratings the past five games (two of which were wins) have been 112.1, 45.8, 75.3, 80.4 and 57.3. That’s all over the place. If Ryan wants to prove to Atlanta that he still has it and can be the guy next season, a strong rebound against Tampa Bay today is the place to start … Baltimore is 39-0 outright as a double-digit favorite in the regular season, the only team to never lose in that spot … Since the start of the 2018 season, Dallas is 4-0 ATS as a home underdog (1-0 ATS this season) … Kansas City has won five consecutive one-score games, though it has failed to cover in all five. It is the first team to win but not cover five straight since the 1986 Patriots … To read more betting nuggets on today’s NFL card click here.

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That’s the contention of Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher who insists his team belongs in the College Football Playoff. “Seven straight SEC wins,” Fisher said after the game. “Some schools ain’t even playing seven games. I don’t care what league you’re in. If you’re gonna pick the best four teams, we’re one of them. We do deserve to be in it.” Fisher concluded, “If we can’t play in this league and be in the playoff, something’s wrong.” For what it’s worth, in the history of the CFP, no one-loss SEC team has failed to make the playoff. The Aggies’ only loss was to No. 1 Alabama. To which I say… sorry Jimbo, but the committee wants Notre Dame in the College Football Playoff for an even bigger reason – money. This Irish are a prime-time draw, the Aggies are not.

Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte

From this week’s PLAYBOOK Football Newsletter: The curse of defending Super Bowl favorites will be on display today. That’s because they are: 35-55-5 ATS as non-division road favorites since 1980, including 13-33-2 ATS from Game Eight out. With Dallas back in play in the NFC East race, we’ll load up with the Red Rifle – aka Andy Dalton – and his 14-5 SU and 13-5-1 ATS career mark in games during December versus .500 or fewer foes. You know what to do.

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