Ness’s Notes (August 28)

It is often said that you only need to pick the SU winner in the NFL to also cash the ATS winner. I’m sure that’s been true this preseason. Last night, Sage Rosenfels led the Texans on an 11-play, 76-yard touchdown drive, scoring with 2:53 remaining. That score didn’t give the Texans the win (they lost 17-14) but it gave them the cover, as the Broncos had bet as much as a six-point pick.

My free play for Monday is with the Pit Pirates over the Chi Cubs at 7:05 ET. My 2-0 Sunday MLB sweep (LEGEND’s win over the White Sox makes LEGENDs 5-1 in MLB this season!) capped off a 9-2 week. I’m opening the week in MLB with just one play, another one of my exclusive Las Vegas Insiders, who have gone 8-1 (88.9% winners) since August 5!

However, that result has been the “exception to the rule” throughout this year’s preseason games. In fact, the Broncos were the only team to win but not cover in the 15 games played so far in Week 3 and Week 2 saw all 16 SU winners also win ATS. Going back to the 17 games played in Week 1 plus the HOF game, only the Rams (beat Colts 19-17 as five-point favorites), Panthers (beat Bills 14-13 as three-point favorites) and the Falcons (beat Patriots 26-23 as three-point favorites) won but couldn’t cover.

Doing the math, you’ll find that of SU’s 48 winners this preseason, 44 have also covered the point spread. There have been three ATS underdogs and that push. The Week 3 action concludes tonight with the Bengals hosting the Packers at 8:00 ET on ESPN. Carson Palmer will see his first action since his knee injury in last year’s playoff loss to the Steelers. The Bengals opened as 3 1/2-point favorites, but have been backed up to 5 1/2 plus the open total 37 and is around 41.

This year’s preseason games started with a clear lead under, as 15 of the first 19 games went under the posted total. It’s been a much more even split ever since, with 16 of the last 29 games gone by. This will likely be the highest preseason closing total to date, as the previous high was Saturday’s Colts/Saints game, which closed at 40 (Colts won 27-14).

Speaking of the Colts, their 27-14 win ended the team’s eight-game preseason losing streak, one that had gone 2-6 ATS. The Chiefs also entered last weekend riding an eight game losing streak (they were 0-8 ATS too!) and the Chiefs also won. Their 16-12 win over the Rams also snapped their ATS decline, as the Chiefs closed out as three-point favorites in the game. ATS’ winning margin came when the Rams’ backup kicker missed a PAT after a St Louis TD in the third quarter.

The NY Giants beat the Jets 13-7 on Friday night and the Cowboys won 17-7 on Saturday, beating the 49ers. Those two teams are now 3-0 SU and ATS this year, in addition to going back to last year, own SU and ATS winning streaks of six straight, the longest active streaks in the NFL. I’ll wrap up Week 3 in tomorrow’s notes, after I hear the results of tonight’s Packers/Bengals contest. Don’t forget, the CFB season starts on Thursday!

MLB ratings

The Mets entered the weekend with the longest active winning streak in MLB (seven in a row) and the Rockies with the longest active losing streak in the majors (six in a row). Both streaks ended Friday night, when the Mets lost at home to the Phillies (4-3) and the Rockies beat the Padres (13-5). The Marlins open the new week with the longest winning streak in MLB, having won seven straight games. On the other end of the spectrum, the D’Rays’ four-game losing streak is the longest active losing streak in MLB.

The Marlins host the Brewers tonight at 7:05 ET, as part of MLB’s eight-game light undercard. The D’Rays are off Monday and will try to snap their losing streak Tuesday night in Chicago against the White Sox. The Marlins have made a big turnaround this year, as they opened the season by losing 13 of their first 15 home games. However, the team has rebounded to go 32-17 at home since then and is just three games behind the Reds in the NL wild card race.

The only television game for Monday is the Red Sox vs. A’s at 10:05 ET on ESPN2. The Red Sox were swept in a five-game series at Fenway two weekends ago and last weekend, they were swept in a three-game series at Seattle. Since falling to 68-48 at the end of the game on Aug. 13, Boston has lost 11 of 14 and is now 6 1/2 games behind the Yankees in the AL East plus 5 1/2 games behind in the wild card race

The A’s are 18-6 in August and carry a six-game home winning streak into the contest. Boston rookie Jon Lester was expected to start, but he is being replaced by another rookie, Kason Gabbard. Lester hasn’t been pitching well, so the trade may not be too bad. However, Oakland starter Estaban Loaiza has caught fire. He is 3-0 in five August starts (team is 4-1) with a 1.77 ERA. In his last three starts, he allowed 12 hits and just two ERs in 29.2 innings, for a 0.61 ERA!

The Tigers still own the best record in MLB at 82-49, but they avoided a series sweep in Cleveland on Sunday (won 7-1) and snapped a four-game losing streak. By recording its 82nd win of the year, the team posted its first winning season since 1993. Only Milwaukee and Pittsburgh began 2006 with longer streaks of consecutive winless seasons than Detroit; the Brewers and Pirates last posted winning records in 1992.

Detroit’s streak of 12 consecutive seasons at or below .500 (1994-2005) was the longest in franchise history and the longest for any American League club since the Mariners had a streak of 14 years underwater beginning with its inaugural season (1977-1990).

Kenny Rogers has been HUGE for Detroit recently. He has started five of the Tigers’ last 25 games, posting a 3-1 record with a 1.64 ERA in that span (as of Aug. 2), while Detroit’s other starters have a combined 4 -11 with a 5.55 ERA.

Raise your hand if you saw it coming. The Giants’ 8-0 victory over the Reds capped a two-week stretch during which San Francisco posted the best record in the majors (11-3 since Aug. 14). The Giants were 3-15 in the previous three weeks (July 24-Aug. 13), the worst mark in the majors over that span.

Ness Notes is available Monday through Friday at 1:00 ET.

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