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Power Sweep

4* Michigan 30-20
3* Florida St. 21-17
3*Tulane 38-10
2*Notre Dame 34-17
2*Duke + 20-24
2*Western Mich. 30-16
Underdog Toledo +7 34-31

4*Tenn. 23-10
3*Arizona 31-20
2*Miami + 17-20
2*NYG 30-10

3* KC/Carolina Under 37
3*Skins U38
3* Bemgals/Boys Over 44
2*Pats/49's Under 42
2*Colts/Texans Over 46


4* Tennessee over BALTIMORE - TEN is 4-0 for the 1st time in franchise history after a 4H win as a
Key Selection LW. BAL beat the Titans 27-26 in the last meeting in ‘06 but failed to cover as a 7 pt AF.
This game pits the Titans #5 D (#1 sacks) vs the Ravens #1 D (#17 sacks). The Ravens are off LW’s
MNF game vs PIT & teams are 6-20 ATS after dealing with the Steelers physical style of play. TEN is
11-4-1 ATS on the road. The Ravens have been able to insulate Flacco (129 ypg 58% 0-2 5.4 ypa) with
a strong run game but that has been vs CIN #19 & CLE #10 D’s which is inflated. While Flacco has
only been sacked once prior to MNF he’s only thrown 48 pass att’s which was tied for 31st prior to LW.
Dating back to LY TEN is allowing only 79 rush ypg (3.9) on the road. While BAL is only allowing 70 ypg
rushing (3.5) TY, CIN didn’t put much effort into WK 1 & CLE dumped the run game after Anderson’s
2 int put them in the hole. TEN QB Collins has fulfilled his role as a game manager admirably TY with
171 ypg (56%) with a 2-1 ratio in his 3 starts being sacked just once. TEN’s #8 pass D is only allowing
203 ypg (57%) with a solid 1-8 ratio with just a 5.7 ypa (52.5 QBR). While there is no line due to MNF
TEN has the better QB, is healthier with a very impressive defense with more rest & we return to them
as a Key Selection. FORECAST: Tennessee 23 BALTIMORE 10

3* ARIZONA over Buffalo - The Bills travel for the 2nd straight week but have a bye on deck. ARZ is
finally home after 2 straight road games. ARZ is 10-3 as a non-div HF & 6-1 ATS vs the AFC. ARZ decided
to stay out on the East Coast LW & they were unable to focus on the goal at hand with police escorts to
practice & spending their free time seeing the sights. They were down 34-0 at the end of the 1H with 4
TO’s converted into 20 pts & outgained 203-92. The came out strong in the 2H as they outscored NYJ
35-22 & had 27-9 FD & 376-170 yd edges. ARZ is expected to be without WR Boldin after he took a
vicious hit at the end of the game. BUF started slow vs STL LW being down 14-6 at the end of the 1H &
was outgained 210-96. They then rallied & scored 25 unanswered points. BUF only had an 11 yd edge
in the 2H but had 3 drives start on their 41 or better & 100 of STL yds came on their L2 drives. ARZ has
the #5 & #9 units which is impressive considering 3 of their 1st 4 games have been on the road. BUF’s
#17 ranking is skewed due to the success of their special teams & their #7 defensive ranking is vs a
STL team in chaos, OAK with essentially rookie QB, a JAX team with no quality WR’s & a depleted OL
& very beaten up SEA team. BUF will be hearing how good they are & front runners for the division but
expect an embarrassed ARZ team to come ready to play. FORECAST: ARIZONA 31 Buffalo 20

OTHER SELECTIONS

2* MIAMI (+) over San Diego - MIA is off a stunning upset win of NE before their bye & HD’s that
scored 24 or more before their bye are 13-5 ATS when they return. SD is in a tough spot here as they
are off a 1 pt loss to DEN, a MNF game, a road game vs OAK & have a SNF game vs NE on deck.
SD is 2-5 ATS in EST games. MIA is 1-5 ATS as a HD. SD gets a good matchup with Rivers who has
passed for 256 ypg (65%) with a 10-4 ratio taking on MIA’s #26 pass defense which is worse than the
ranking shows. They have allowed 242 ypg (69%) with a 6-1 ratio & 8.7 ypa (114.9 QBR). The Chargers
also have a huge special teams edge (#5 vs #32). Pennington has been very efficient with the ball (225
ypg 64% with a 2-1 ratio) but its the run game with Brown & Williams who have combined for 311 yds
(4.4) that makes the MIA offense go. SD was down 15-0 to OAK LW & was outgained 199-85 at the
half & a slow start on a long road trip would be tough to overcome. MIA’s Wildcat offense caught NE
completely off guard & Sparano will probably have more wrinkles for this game. We’ll side with MIA
here as an Ugly Dog which is now 19-9 (68%). FORECAST: MIAMI 17 (+) San Diego 20

2* NY GIANTS over Seattle - Both teams are off their bye weeks & SEA expects to get WR’s Engram,
Robinson & Branch back for this game. The Giants initially suspended WR Burress for this game after
he violated team rules but he is appearing. SEA is 1-8 ATS after a bye under Holmgren & 4-13 ATS in
EST games. The Giants are 5-13 ATS after a bye. This is the 3rd meeting in 4 years & SEA won the
last one 42-30 as a 3.5 pt HF. SEA was up 28-0 at the half & while the Giants had a 337-333 yd edge
198 yds came in the 4Q with the game out of reach. The Giants have won the yardage battle in all 3
games & have outgained foes 400-252 on the year earning 13 sacks. SEA has only outgained the hapless
Rams & were outgained by an avg 352-302 vs BUF & SF. Hasselbeck has struggled playing with
#6 & #7 WR’s starting with just 184 ypg passing (49%) with a 2-3 ratio & he faces the Giants #3 pass
defense. Manning has continued to be solid with 255 ypg passing (61%) with a 4-1 ratio & he gets to
take on SEA’s #25 pass defense. While SEA should be better with their WR’s returning the Giants are
at home, healthier & deeper at this point. FORECAST: NY GIANTS 30 Seattle 10

Indianapolis 31 HOUSTON 21 - The Texans finally get to play a HG but it’s vs a Colts team that was
stunned on a last second FG vs JAX. Dungy noted during the bye that Manning really needed the time
to heal his knee & improve his timing while the DL needed to assimilate their #3 & #4 DT’s which they
picked up off TC waivers. IND is 3-0 ATS after a bye but just 1-6 as a div AF. HOU is 9-4 ATS as a division
HD. The home team has covered 4 straight & the teams split LY’s series. IND beat HOU 30-24 but failed
to cover as a 6.5 pt AF as HOU opened the game with an 84 yd KR for a TD. IND had a 30-17 lead in
the 4Q but Schaub led HOU on a 75 yd 14 play drive to steal the cover. IND avg’d a 410-277 yd edge vs
HOU in both meetings LY. IND also expects C Saturday, LT Ugoh & TE Clark to return for this game but
SS Sanders is out for another month. Both teams are pretty even statistically (IND #19 & #23 vs HOU
#20 & #25) but HOU’s offense has been limited due to the lack of a true #1 RB even as Slaton only has
142 yds rushing (3.6) minus his 50 yd run vs TEN. Schaub had a good game LW with 307 yds passing
(73%) with a 3-0 ratio but JAX won the coin toss in OT & hit the game winning FG. Manning gets a good
matchup vs a HOU defense whose #9 pass defense ranking isn’t as good as it looks as they are allowing
160 ypg rushing (4.8). HOU does have a sizeable special teams edge but the Colts have put up 40, 36 &
29 pts after a bye the L3Y & the road team is the play in a higher scoring game.

CAROLINA 23 Kansas City 10 - This is only the 2nd time CAR has ever been a DD favorite & they are
4-1-1 ATS as a fav of 7 or more. KC goes from facing strong offensive team to a stout defensive team
& was a much needed bye on deck. CAR is in a flat spot here after facing 3 of the better defenses & a
beating a division rival as a 3H LPS at home. They now get one of the NFL bottom feeders & CAR has a
road game vs TB on deck. CAR’s win came at a heavy price as both OT’s Gross & Otah were KO’d of LW’s
game & their status is unknown. KC is 2-6-1 ATS on the road vs the NFC but CAR is 2-5-1 ATS at home
vs the AFC. KC snapped a 12 game losing streak but lost 1st RD DC LT Albert (knee). KC has only won
the yardage battle in 3 of their L13 games. The Chiefs were able to take advantage of DEN’s #30 defense
& RB Johnson rushed for 198 yds (7.1). Fielding a pair of rookie CB’s the Chiefs were able to hold a DEN
team that scored 41, 39 & 34 in their first 3 to just 19 pts. CAR outgained ATL 401-268 & forced them to
punt on their 1st 4 drives of the 2H and followed up with a pair of SOD. Delhomme had a standout day with
294 yds passing (69%) with a 2-0 ratio & 10.1 ypa. CAR is a poor HF but KC has struggled with power
rushing teams TY (OAK, ATL) & they are too young to take on a CAR team playing with confidence.

PHILADELPHIA 21 Washington 10 - The Eagles are off LW’s SNF game vs CHI & it’s not known if McNabb
played the entire game or if RB Westbrook & TE Smith played. The dog has covered 3 straight & PHI lost
to WAS 20-12 as a 6.5 pt HF LY on MNF. PHI is 2-5 ATS as a div HF. PHI has won the yardage battle in 5
of their L6 games thanks to a resurgent McNabb with a 377-264 yd edge going 5-1 SU & 6-0 ATS. While
McNabb has passed for 288 ypg (66%) with a 10-3 ratio the rush defense has been outstanding allowing
just 65 ypg (3.3). They have allowed 216 ypg passing (56%) with a 3-6 ratio & have earned 18 sacks.
WAS upset DAL LW with a good game by Portis (121 yds 5.8) & another efficient game by Campbell who
passed for 231 yds (65%) with a 2-0 ratio. WAS forced DAL to punt on 4 of their 1st 5 drives & held DAL
to 44 yds rushing (4.0). While there is no line due the SNF game, Westbrook should return here & we’ll
side with the home team.

Chicago 24 DETROIT 17 - DET did some housecleaning during the bye & the new front office immediately
turned the teams attention to CHI. QB Kitna sprained his knee late vs SF & while he should play he won’t
be 100%. DET has covered 3 straight & won both games SU LY. The dog is 12-4-1 ATS in the series & DET
is 4-0 ATS after a bye. CHI is 1-4 ATS as a div AF. DET with extra rest also catches CHI off a SNF game
vs PHI. For as much DET wants to be a rushing team they have been taken out of their element by being
outscored 21-0 in the 1Q vs ATL, 21-3 in the 1H vs GB & 21-3 in the 1H vs DET. The Lions have been
outgained in 6 straight games & the defense has given up 400 or more yards in 3 of their L9 games. So far
TY DET has been outgained 430-289 & while the defense has assumed most of the blame for TY’s failings
the offense has only converted 9 of 34 3rd Dns. DET has struggled on both sides of the ball in terms of pass
rush allowing 12 sacks (26th) while only earning 3 (29th). CHI has played 4 straight playoff level teams &
could have been 3-0 prior to PHI. While DET will put a good effort here they have been very inconsistent
stopping the run (#32, 5.6 ypc) & we’ll side with the road team here.

GREEN BAY 24 Atlanta 10 - GB beat ATL 33-25 as 9 pt AD in the last meeting back in 2005. GB is 7-2-1
ATS at home & 8-3-1 ATS vs a non-div foe. The Falcons shift from facing a power rushing offense with a
stout defense to a high powered passing offense that is vulnerable vs the run. It’s not unusual to see a young
team with a young QB do better at home than on the road as ATL has outgained foes 426-305 at home
but been outgained 356-251 on the road. ATL has only rushed for 112 ypg (4.4) on the road vs 252 (6.5)
at home & the Falcons haven’t scored an offensive TD in either road game. GB is off a painful loss to TB &
QB Rodgers possibly has a separated shoulder. He threw 3 int LW which were converted to 17 pts. GB was
blasted LW being outFD 20-8 & outgained 327-181 & were held to just 66 yds in the 2H. After allowing 217
yds (6.2) rushing to DAL, GB gave up 178 yds (4.3) rushing to TB as the talent on at DT is a weak link. GB
is a hostile environment to play & look for the Packers to bounce back off an embarrassing loss.

DENVER 24 Tampa Bay 23 - Just 2 weeks after facing CHI, Brian Griese faces another former team in DEN.
TB is 1-9 ATS away vs the AFC but DEN is 2-9 ATS hosting an NFC foe. DEN was lucky to be down just 13-6
LW at the half as the Chiefs LW had a pair of FG’s on their 1st 2 drives which went down to the DEN 5 & 3.
Cutler couldn’t get into a rhythm & KC outrushed DEN 108 (6.4) to 30 (3.0) in the 1H. While DEN has shown
that it has a formidable offense TY (#1) the defense (#30) is a major issue especially in the passing game. They
haven’t been able to generate much of a pass rush (6 sacks) & have allowed 285 ypg passing (73%) with a 7-1
ratio with an 8.4 ypa (111.9 QBR). TB beat GB LW as a 3.5H LPS LW on the back of a superb 2H in which they
had an 11-1 FD & 209-66 yd edge. TB converted 4 TO’s into 24 points & after rushing for 178 yds (4.3) they
get to take on a DEN team that allowed 213 yds (6.5) rushing LW. While this game has a sea level based team
travelling into the altitude the cold isn’t a factor & we’ll side with the better defense getting points here.

New England 23 SAN FRANCISCO 16 - The Patriots have had 2 weeks to stew over an embarrassing loss
that snapped a 21 game reg season win streak. NE is 14-3 ATS on the road off a SU loss & 8-3 ATS on the
road after a bye. SF is 4-1 ATS hosting an NFC team & 4-1 ATS hosting an East Coast team. The Patriots
are used to playing with a big lead & forcing teams to pass thus avoiding the wear & tear on an older back 7.
While Cassel got a lot of heat for his play vs MIA passing for 131 yds (61%) with a 1-1 ratio & 4.2 ypa, he’s
simply doing what the coaching staff asks of him. Belichick now has 4 complete games & extra time to work
with. The secondary is still adjusting to its offseason overhaul allowing 210 ypg (71%) with a 3-2 ratio & a
8.1 ypa. After a big win vs DET, SF was overwhelmed by NO being outgained 467-312 with 97 yds coming
late in the 4Q. O’Sullivan had a tough day & only hit 257 yds (50%) with 1-2 ratio. This is not the same NE
team that everyone is used to but the coaching edge is big enough to side with the road team here.

DALLAS 38 Cincinnati 17 - This is one of the biggest mismatches of the year with DAL’s #2 & #11 units vs
CIN #31 & #19 units. After being listed as probable the morning of LW’s game the Bengals benched QB Palmer
due to inflammation in his throwing elbow. CIN started former Ram Ryan Fitzpatrick who hit for 156 yds (60%)
with a 1-3 ratio & just a 5.8 ypa. After posting B2B seasons of 1000+ yds receiving each Houshmanzadeh &
Johnson have combined for 382 yds (10.9) in 2008. CIN has been outrushed 164 (4.3) to 82 (3.5) on the year
& Fitzpatrick led the team in rushing LW (41 yds 10.3) vs the #22 rush defense. CIN has been held to 215
total yards of offense or less in 3 of 4 games TY. DAL has earned 344 yds in each of their games TY & will
be keen to restart a run game that was outrushed 164 (4.8) to 44 (4.0) LW. They have converted a blistering
57% of 3rd Dns while allowing just 36% 3rd Dns. LW’s loss brings DAL back to earth a bit but they are still
the top team in our power ratings. CIN is 0-4 for the 1st time in HC Lewis career. While there is no line due to
Palmer we’ll side with the home team in a higher scoring game that could get ugly very fast.

Pittsburgh at JACKSONVILLE - The Steelers go from 1 physical game vs BAL to another vs the Jags
who beat them twice in PIT LY. JAX won the 1st meeting 29-22 as a 3.5 pt AD and then ended the Steelers
playoff hopes with a 31-29 win as a 2.5 pt AF. PIT simply couldn’t execute its offense without RB Parker
who missed LW’s game vs BAL. The key play of the game was when Garrard scrambled 32 yds for a 1st
Dn on 4th & 2 to setup the game winning FG with :40 left. The Jaguars are off B2B close wins beating IND
on the final play & winning a brawl vs HOU. PIT has a bye on deck but will they risk bringing Parker back
& just how much gas do the Jags have left? This is the Sunday Night Marquee PPH Play. The PPH has
the winner up at 11:00 am ET on Sunday morning! Call 1-900-438-9467 for just $15 or pay just $9
on your NC Debit Card. Sunday Night Plays over the last 11 years are 103-66-3 61%!

Minnesota at NEW ORLEANS - This game features a matchup of strength vs strength with NO’s #3
offense led by Drew Brees vs MIN’s #6 defense highlighted by the DL. The Saints have been nickel &
dimed by injuries so far TY but MIN is off a tough physical game vs TEN & has to travel for a 2nd straight
week. The Vikings lost QB Frerotte with an injury on his throwing hand LW & Jackson is expected to get
the start here. Both teams feature a pair of electric RB’s in Bush & Peterson but they impact the game
differently & this game will come down to which defense can execute the coaches schemes.


SYSTEM PLAY

There are 3 main methods of handicapping, Fundamental, Situation & Technical. Fundamental handicapping
or the analysis of personnel matchups & power ratings is our main method of handicapping. This accounts for
roughly 50% of how we view a game. Situation handicapping (analysis of letdown, look ahead, systems, etc...)
takes up approximately 25% of our handicapping. Technical handicapping (analysis of angles) takes up the
rest. You should never base your final selection on 1 factor. To be a complete handicapper you must look at all 3
methods. Each week in Power Sweep we provide a system to add to your handicapping arsenal. This is done at
the request of our subscribers who want handicapping tips & methods. Many times we will agree with the side
that the system chooses. Sometimes the Fundamental & Technical aspects of a game will outweigh the system
& we have the other side written up in Power Sweep. We want to make it clear that the side we write up in
Power Sweep is the side we are on. If that is ever the case during a week, keep the system for future use, but
be aware that the side we write-up in the Power Sweep Selections page is the side we are on.

This is the 25th season of our System Section & it has been a consistent winner. Each week we
release a super system which pertains to that week's games. Here is an NFL Week 5 System:

Play on a road team that lost by 3 or less at home before its bye.
1993-2007: 17-4 81% THIS WEEK'S PLAY: INDIANAPOLIS

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Northcoast PowerSweep

UNDERDOG PLAY OF THE WEEK

TOLEDO (+7) over Ball St

Over the past 25 years this play has been a reader favorite hitting 180-124. Over the last 8 years the Underdog Play of the Week has recorded 28 OUTRIGHT UPSET WINNERS to the incredible record including last week with Michigan over Wisconsin! Here is this week's Underdog Play of the Week:BSU won at UT in ‘06 snapping a 5 game losing streak in the Glass Bowl. The HT is 11-3-1 SU winning the L/11 by 20 ppg. LY at Muncie, Toledo had a 313-206 yd edge at the half in a 20-20 gm but thanks in part to losing their QB to inj, did not score in the 2H and lost 41-20. BSU is 14-3 ATS on the road while UT is 41-8 SU at home but has suffered 2 straight losses for the first time S/’85. UT, after almost upsetting #25 Fresno St, was favored (-20) over FIU and led 13-0 but gave up 4 TO’s and despite 20-12 FD and 302-239 yd edges lost 35-16 as they all’d 4 TD drives that started in their own territory. UT played without leading rusher Collins (360, 8.2, CS). UT QB Opelt is avg 182 ypg (57%) with a 7-2 ratio. BSU QB Davis is avg 284 ypg (71%) with an 11-3 ratio. RB Lewis leads the tm with 645 yds (5.8). BSU is 5-0 SU and 3-1 ATS incl 2-0 SU in MAC play. The Cardinals had 26-18 FD and 423-353 yd edges winning 41-20 over Kent but failed to cover as a 22 pt HF. UT is 1-0 SU & ATS in MAC play so the winner here will have a step up in the MAC West race. BSU has the off (#28-57) and def (#83-94) edges but UT has played the much tougher schedule (#42-105). On Sept 20th, Toledo (+7) delivered an Underdog Play Winner and an almost outright upset of Fresno St (54-55) in this very spot. FORECAST: TOLEDO 34 Ball St 31

4* MICHIGAN over Illinois - LY with the game tied mid-4Q, IL fmbl’d a punt to set up a UM TD as they lost 27-17 (+1). UM is 39-4-2 SU vs IL. IL is 5-2 as an AD (1-1 TY) but on its 2nd straight road trip and this is Zook’s 1st trip to the Big House. Mich won as an Underdog POW on these pages and a 4H LPS in the biggest UM comeback in Michigan Stadium history as they trailed Wisky 19-0 at the half. Five UM 1H TO’s set up the Badgers but the Wolves, who had just 21 1H yds, exploded in the 2H for 247 yds & 27 pts (1 IR TD). Threet had a season high 58 yd run vs the Badgers but UM is #109 in the NCAA in pass eff & #110 in ttl off. Wolves D allows 89 rush ypg (2.3) with 14 sks. IL lost at PSU 38-24 as they went for it on 4th & 2 at their own 48 early 3Q but were SOD and all’d 94 yd KR TD. QB Williams avg 226 ypg (59%) with a 9-6 ratio and 283 rush yds. RB Dufrene (396, 6.7) suffered a shoulder inj LW (CS). Illini allow 183 rush ypg (4.8). Wolves shutdown Williams & Co and take adv of a porous Illini D.FORECAST: MICHIGAN 30 Illinois 20

3* Florida St over MIAMI, FL - This used to be one of the top rivalries but both have gone thru a downturn recently (LY was 1st meeting S/’77 that neither ranked). This game is always close with the L/7 decided by 4.4 ppg and none by more than 8. FSU was in control on LY’s game but let it slip away (see PH) as FSU led 29-24 & UM scored 2 TD’s in :11 w/1:05 left. Miami is 7-2 SU in the series. FSU won their last trip here in ‘06 13-10 (+3’) in a D struggle (176-134 yd edge, two tms 17 comb FD’s). Shannon is 0-5 ATS in ACC HG’s with 4 upset losses as they were upset LW 28-24 (-8) vs NC. QB Marve is avg 139 ypg (66%) with a 5-3 ratio. FSU is 5-9 as an AF. LW the Noles defeated Colorado 39-21 in Bowden’s 500th game as a HC giving us our Sept GOM 5H Winner. FSU has a solid off and ST’s edge (off #30-64, ST #37-73) but these 2 matchup pretty evenly on D (FSU #14-17). FSU QB Ponder is avg 137 ypg (51%) with a 6-4 ratio. RB Smith has rushed for 302 yds (5.7). FSU receives their final player back from susp and you saw what they could do with their full compliment of players. The speedy D will frustrate rFr QB Marve. FORECAST: Florida St 21 MIAMI, FL 17

3* TULANE over Army - This will be the first game at the outdoor Gormley Stadium S/‘04 and is HC.Tulane is 5-1-1 SU at home vs Army (avg score 30-16) and the last trip here we used a 3H LPS on Tulane (-5’) and they won easier than the 42-28 final with a 35-16 FD edge. LY was a tough loss for TU as they led by 10 w/2:00 left but Army tied it on a Hail Mary and won in OT. TU had a 401-240 yd edge and the departed RB Forte rushed for 202. That was Army’s last win as they have dropped 10 str. Army is off their best off perf of the yr as their new option off finally started clicking. QB Bowden, in his first start, led with 128 yds (3.8). They were only outgained 290-284 and had a 21-14 FD edge. The Knights had just 1 TO, but A&M returned that fmbl 58 yds for a TD and held on to win 21-17, but Army easily got their 1st cover of the yr (+28). Tulane does have 2 extra days to prep, which is always a plus, and is all’g just 69 ypg rush (2.8). They led SMU 31-7 at the half but had to hang on to win 34-27 as we won a Thur Night Marquee Play on SMU (+18). Tulane has played the tougher schedule (#59-111), has the better off (#90-120) and D (#52-102) and catches Army in 2nd of B2B AG’s in a situation where they had a disappointing finish in a competitive gm vs A&M. FORECAST: TULANE 38 Army 10

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CKO  CONFIDENTIAL KICK-OFF PRIORITY PICKS and PREFERENCES

CKO CHOICE IN CAPITALS
* - Denotes Home Team
RATINGS: 11 - Exceptional, 10 - Strong, 9 - Above Average

11* MINNESOTA over Indiana
Late Score Forecast:
*MINNESOTA 40 - Indiana 21

CKO scouts expect Minnesota HC Tim Brewster to rally his club off Ohio State loss for what is a crucial game in
Minny’s quest for bowl eligibility. Gophers have ample weapons to lay open a banged-up Indiana “D”, which has
suffered injuries to three 2ndary starters and its nickel back and has yielded 960 total yards & 84 pts. in last 2
games vs. Ball St. & Michigan State. Minny QB Adam Weber is 2nd in the Big Ten in passing and is more efficient
this season, with an 8-2 TD-int. ratio (was 24-19 LY). WR Eric Decker not only leads the Big Ten in receptions,
but o.c. Mike Dunbar is using him as a runner as well (8 carries, 77 YR last 4 games). Running game hasn’t fallen
off much after injury to Duane Bennett, as true frosh DeLeon Eskridge (90 ypg rushing & 5 TDs last 3 games).
Indiana QB Kellen Lewis, who was shaken up last week, has seen his passing production take a nosedive this
season from 234 ypg LY to 162 in ‘08. Obviously, he misses departed WRs James Hardy & James Bailey, while
new lead receiver Ray Fisher has just 4 catches this season.


10* KANSAS STATE over Texas Tech
Late Score Forecast:
*KANSAS STATE 34 - Texas Tech 31

Long-time Big XII scouts report oddsmakers paying a bit too much respect to offensively-flashy Texas Tech
(leads nation in passing), which has feasted on “cupcakes” and defensively-inept teams so far in ‘08. With
KSU’s demanding HC Prince reportedly spending extra time on tackling fundamentals and techniques after too
many misses the past two weeks, doubt Red Raider QB Harrell and mates maintain those eye-popping numbers
in hostile Manhattan. Meanwhile, Wildcats 6-6, 260 dual-threat QB Freeman (67%, 11 TDs, 2 ints., hasn’t been
sacked yet) should fully exploit a still-vulnerable TT defense that yielded 490 yds. vs. Nevada. With Wildcats
ground attack suddenly having much more pop with converted 6-3, 215 soph WR Lamark Brown rumbling for 137
yds. in his debut week ago, Prince’s rising squad capable of minor upset. Red Raiders a woeful 1-7 as 7-pt. or
fewer road favorite since ‘03.


10* STANFORD over *Notre Dame
Late Score Forecast:
STANFORD 23 - *Notre Dame 20

The pointspread is rising on this game after Notre Dame pulled away from inconsistent Purdue last week. But
Pac-10 scouts report things are finally starting to “slow down” for Stanford QB Tavita Pritchard, who rallied the
Cardinal in the second half two weeks ago for a 23-10 victory over stubborn San Jose and the threw three TD
passes in last week’s 35-28 road triumph at desperate Washington. Stanford power back Toby Gerhart (check
status) suffered a mild concussion in that game. But sr. Anthony Kimble is the former starter at the same spot!
And, with eight srs. on a defense that returned nearly intact from LY, you can be sure it won’t lose its poise at
South Bend. The Cardinal has already taken on Oregon State, Arizona State, and TCU—all likely 2008 bowl
teams. And you can be sure HC Jim Harbaugh (the former Michigan QB) will have the visitor properly motivated.


10* WISCONSIN over Ohio State
Late Score Forecast:
*WISCONSIN 27 - Ohio State 19

Wisconsin is coming off a distasteful loss at Michigan, in which the Badgers gave up an uncharacteristic four
turnovers and blew a 19-0 lead. Intense Wisconsin HC Bret Bielema will have his team ready to “man up” against
Ohio State this week, and he won’t let the Badgers forget that they led the Buckeyes 17-10 late in the third quarter before yielding four TDs in the last 18 minutes in ‘07. Wisconsin has been a powerful play in Madison, notching 27-1 SU & 17-9 spread marks the last 4+ seasons (and the Badgers are 6-2 vs. the number following their last 8 losses). Ohio State QB Pryor has added something to the Buckeye attack, but this is a hostile environment for a youngster. OSU defense not bringing the same type of pressure it has in past, and Buckeyes might look more like they did in trip to USC than they did in 1st 3 Qs vs. Minny.


10* PHILADELPHIA over Washington
Late Score Forecast:
*PHILADELPHIA 27 - Washington 13

Respect progress made by Washington HC Jim Zorn in installing his offense and adapting QB Jason Campblell to
his system. However, in the yin and yang that is the NFL, prefer taking Philly coming off a disappointing loss in
Chicago over a Redskin bunch that might find it difficult to duplicate emotional peak it achieved in impressive win
in Dallas. The Eagles did a number on Pittsburgh at Lincoln Financial Field, and RB Brian Westbrook could be back
in action after sitting out the Bear game with an ankle injury. Philly QB McNabb hit nine different receivers in
Chicago, and the Washington defense ranks 22nd against the pass and has just 6 sacks this season.


TOTALS: OVER (43½) in the Seattle-N.Y. Giants game—New York has generated 67 points in last two games, and Seattle has gone “over” in all three of its games due to a leaky defense and a balanced attack...OVER (47) in the Minnesota-New Orleans game—Prolific N.O., which is scoring 28 ppg & yielding 5.2 ypc, is “over” 3-0-1 TY and 16-6-1 last 23 since late ’06. Minny “over” in both road games this year, and Adrian Peterson should have some fun.

HONORABLE MENTION (Nine-Rated Games):

MARSHALL (+3½) vs. Cincinnati (Friday night)—Cincy QB injuries and what figures to be a wild home crowd
pulling for Thundering Herd in an ESPN extravaganza reasons enough to take a flyer with Marshall...

COLORADO STATE (-2) vs. Nevada-Las Vegas—The real UNLV defense showed up against Nevada and allowed 444 yards on the ground. CSU 5th-yr. sr. RB Gartrell Johnson is looking for a career high...

AKRON (-3½) at Kent State—Kent State is 0-11 in last 11 games on the line, and leading RB Eugene Jarvis has missed the last two games with an
ankle injury. Akron is 6-1-1 vs. the number last 8, and QB Jacquemain throws for 200 yds. or more every time out...

UTEP (+8) at Southern Miss—UTEP QBVittatoe looked sharp vs. Central Florida, and the aggressive Miner defense has made some big plays the last two games. USM defense yielding an uncharacteristically high 27 ppg and ranks 110th vs. the run...J

JACKSONVILLE (estimated line: -3) vs. Pittsburgh—Jaguars have had the Steelers number,
winning last four meetings, and Pittsburgh coming off important Monday night AFC North clash against Baltimore.

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Red Sheet

RATINGS:
89 & ABOVE: SUPERIOR PLAY
88 & BELOW: ABOVE AVERAGE PLAY


South Carolina 27 - MISSISSIPPI 20 - (2:00 EDT) --Line opened at Mississippi minus 3, and is now minus 2½. This contest sets up perfectly for the Gamecocks, not only catching the Rebs off their epic draining upset of Florida, but also on the heels of their previous grinder vs Vandy. SC has been somewhat of a disappointment so far, but took Georgia to the final gun, & is in off a couple of warmups, Wofford & UAB. The 'Cocks field the 9th best "D" in the nation, & top passing "D", which should put Reb QB Snead to the test. SEC has been dog heaven in this type of affair, & Spurrier has been a premier road pup play. And again.
RATING: SOUTH CAROLINA 89

OKLAHOMA STATE 55 - Texas A&M 20 - (7:00) --Line opened at OklahomaSt minus 23½, and is now minus 24½. The Cowboys have to be the number one "under the radar" team in the land, just now sneaking into the Top 25 (21st & 22nd in the polls). Their triumvirate of QB Robinson (5th ranked passer in the land), Hunter (#3 rusher), & Bryant (#5 receiver) lead the nation's 3rd rated scoring offense. Contrast that to the Aggies, who've rank 101st in total offense, are 103rd in rushing (133 RYs vs Army), & are hurting at QB. Toss in the fact that the 'Pokes have dropped 2 straight series heartbreakers. Revenge in true style.
RATING: OKLAHOMA STATE 89

MIAMI-OHIO 30 - Temple 10 - (3:30) --Line opened at Miami minus 8, and is now minus 7. A week ago, we went against these Owls, in their home match with WesternMichigan, figuring that their offensive production would take a nose-dive, with the loss of QB DeMichele, & it more than proved out, as Temple managed but a mere FG vs the Broncos. However, it ended in a push, as Western, despite a 252-60 PY edge, & an 18-10 FD advantage, was able to post just 7 pts itself. But the Owls must now travel to a Miami team,which has already faced a non-conference slate of Vandy, Michigan, & Cincinnati. Another revenger.
RATING: MIAMI-OHIO 88

BOWLING GREEN 48 - Eastern Michigan 10 - (4:00) --Line opened at BowlingGreen minus 20, and is now minus 21. The Falcons of BG are another rather unnoticed team, as their 2-2 log would indicate. However, those setbacks came vs the likes of Minnesota & Boise. So note that the Gophers have but a single loss, to OhioSt, while the Broncos are perfect, while holding down the 17th spot in the nation. Not only that, but the Falcs played Minny even-up, statwise, except for a 5-0 TO deficit. And their loss to Boise again was due to the OT (3), as BG had 22-16 FD edge. Eagles allowing 44 ppg in their last 7 lined games.
RATING: BOWLING GREEN 88

Akron 34 - KENT STATE 14 - (12:00) --Line opened at Akron minus 3½, and is still minus 3½. As long as the Flashes are on the board, there is only one way to go. That's right, an 0-11 spread run! And as we noted on Pointwise, earlier in the week, they are minus 146½ pts ATS in their last 6 games. They have actually been decent, overland, but their ace RB Jarvis is now hurting (ankle). Defensively, they can't stop much, ranking 105th overall, including 114th vs the run. The Zips' record is a bit deceiving, with 2 of their 3 losses coming vs Wisconsin (5½ pt cover), & Cincinnati (9-pt cover). Leadership of Jacquemain decides it.
RATING: AKRON 88

New England 27 - SAN FRANCISCO 13 - (4:15) --Line opened at NewEngland minus 3½, and is now minus 3. As we wrote earlier, had these 2 met on opening week, the spread would have been at least 10 pts higher. The loss of Brady, of course, is monumental. However, the defense stepped up in the Pats' 2 openers, allowing 10 & 10 pts. But it all collapsed in 3813 shocking loss to Miami, at home. Thus, this contest is a classic "backs-to-the-wall" situation for the Patriots. No questioning the improvement of the Niners (33 & 31 pt efforts in 2 of their last 3 outings), thus there will be no sneaking up. Pats have to take it.
RATING: NEW ENGLAND 88

NEAR CHOICES (Rated 87): TCU, Missouri, MichiganSt, UCLA -- NFL: Jacksonville, Giants, Minnesota

LINE MOVES (from largest to smallest moves): La-Lafayette (+3 to -2½); Utah (-8 to -12); FresnoSt (-20 to -22½); PennSt (-10½ to -12½); ColoradoSt (Pick to -2); Florida (-22 to -24); SanDiegoSt (26 to +24); BC
(-6½ to -8); WestVirginia (-13 to -14½); MichiganSt (-8 to -9½); Vanderbilt(+6 to +4½); BallSt (-5½ to -7); Missouri (-9 to -10½); Arizona (-18 to -19½) -NFL: Seattle (+9 to +7); KansasCity (+10½ to +9½)
TIME CHANGES: Alabama/Kentucky: now 3:30

KEY INJURIES: Cal RB Best (elbow) out; Cincy QB Pike (arm) out; UConn QB Lorenzen (foot) out; EMich QB McMahon (shoulder) questionable; GaTech QB Nesbitt (hamstring) questionable; Iowa RB Greene (head) probable; Illinois RB Dufrene (shoulder) probable; Kent RB Jarvis (ankle) questionable; Navy QB Enhada (hamstring) questionable); NewMexico RB Ferguson (shoulder) probable; NoIllinois RB Brown (ankle) questionable; OregonSt WR Stroughter (hip) probable; OklaSt TE Pettigrew (ankle) questionable; Purdue RB Sheets (shoulder) questionable; Temple QB DiMichele (shoulder) out; WashSt QB Lopina (back) out; Washington QB Locker (thumb) out; WVa QB White (thumb) probable; NFL: Card WR Bolden (head) doubtful; Bengal QB Palmer (elbow) doubtful; Lion QB Kitna (knee) questionable; Packer QB Rodgers (shoulder) questionable; Vike QB Frerotte (hand) probable; Eagle RB Westbrook (ankle) questionable; Steeler RB Parker (knee) questionable.

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Pointwise - NCAA

College Key Selections...
1--OKLAHOMA STATE over Texas A & M 54-20
1--TCU over San Diego State 54-10
2--Missouri over NEBRASKA 45-20
3--NEW MEXICO over Wyoming 38-7
4--ARIZONA over Washington 44-14
4--VANDERBILT (+) over Auburn 17-14
5--Texas over COLORADO 45-17
5--Nevada over IDAHO 52-17

OKLAHOMA STATE 54 - Texas A&M 20 - (7:00) -- Check it out. Cowboys piled
up 55 pts, 35 FDs, & 612 yds vs Troy's #12 "D", which held OhioSt to 309 yds.
Robinson, Hunter, Toston, & Co. A steamroller. Contrast that to Ags' #101 "O"
(14 FDs vs Army) & #103 run "O". 'Boys in consecutive series heartbreaks

TCU 54 - San Diego State 10 - (6:00) -- Frogs were overmatched at Okla, but
who isn't? Were +80½ pts ATS in previous 8 gms, & allow just 29 RYpg. The
Aztecs & QB Lindley (school-record 433 PYs) did their thing vs hapless Idaho,
but remember a 293-6 RY deficit in last RG (19-pt ATS loss). Romper Room!

Missouri 45 - NEBRASKA 20 - (9:00) -- Home series, & 'Huskers averaging 45
ppg in last 5 hosters. But also allowing 46 ppg in last 7 conference games, &
managed only 55 RYs in loss to VaTech. Rested Tigs at 42.4 ppg last 18 lined
gms, on 14-4 ATS run, with Daniel in off Big12 record 20 straight completions.

NEW MEXICO 38 - Wyoming 7 - (9:30) -- 'Boy woes continue. Eleven TOs last
2 wks, with 4 QBs tossing 4 INTs vs BG. Now at 10 INTs & just 6 TDs this yr.
Lobos sputtered LY, but check 297-48 RY edge vs NMexSt. WY 0-12-1 ATS!

ARIZONA 44 - Washington 14 - (7:30) -- What little hope Huskies had is now
gone with loss of Locker (thumb). No running, rank behind only SMU in "D"
column, & 0-4 start is Willingham's worst ever. Rested Wildcats have a 111-16
pt edge at home, & own nation's 6th ranked "D". Tuitama (10/2) leads this rout.

VANDERBILT 17 - Auburn 14 - (6:00) -- Tigers have had their way with 'Dores
(Wise Points), but enter off 3 wars (1-pt, 5-pt, 2-pt margins). Spectacular "D"
(9 FDs LW), but <100 RYs "O" last 2 wks. Vandy rested, & 4-0 for only 4th
time since WorldWarII. Solid overland game, & +62 pts ATS in the early going.

Texas 45 - COLORADO 17 - (7:00 - ABC) -- Steer QB McCoy 80-of-100 TY (17-
of-19 LW), with astounding 14/1. Balance, & a 28 RYpg "D" last 2 weeks. UT
has scored 59, 52, 52, 42, 52, & 52 pts in last 6 wins, & Buffs have allowed 30+
pts 7 times since LY. Buff QB Hawkins: just 47% LW, after entering at 70%.

Nevada 52 - IDAHO 17 - (5:00) -- Vandals the pits. Now -95½ pts ATS, allowing
43 ppg in last 20 outings. Made to order for 'Pack, which is in off 2nd 49-pt
effort of the year (444-54 RY edge), behind QB Kaepernick (5 TDs, 416 yds).

THURSDAY

SOUTH FLORIDA 33 - Pittsburgh 13 - (7:45 - ESPN) -- Grothe has Bulls in full
mode. Check 245 RYs, 275 PYs in rout of NCSt, allowing 6, 12, 9, 13 FDs in
4 of 5 games. At 41.2 ppg last 6 HGs. Pitt RB McCoy finally over 100 RYs
(149 LW), but ranked 84th on "O" previously. Dog now 18-3 ATS in Pitt games.

Memphis 27 - UAB 22 - (8:00 - CBSC) -- What has happened to that Tiger "D"?
Allowed 45 ppg in 4 outings prior to recent 17, 10, 17 showings. Have run for
276 & 243 yds past 2 weeks (Steele: 203 LW). Blazers similar: 41 ppg "D", in
9 games before allowing only 2 TDs at SoCaro. But are now on 1-10 SU slide.

UTAH 41 - Oregon State 14 - (9:00 - VER) -- Epic Beaver upset of USC no fluke
(34:50-25:10 time edge), behind Rodgers' 186 RYs, with QB Moevao a steady
influence. But lost last RG 45-14, & will be hard pressed to keep it going vs Ute
outfit, which is averaging 36 ppg 14 of last 16. Held last 2 foes to 42 & 56 RYs.

FRIDAY

Cincinnati 31 - MARSHALL 21 - (8:00 - ESPN) -- Pike for Grutza has been a joy
thus far (43-of-64 for 551 yds & 5 TDs) mainly to WR Gilyard. And a solid run
"D" for Cincy. But 'Cats needed 48-yd FG to get by Akron. On 19-7 ATS run,
& catch Herd off WVa buzzsaw, but MU allowing only 10 & 16 pts at home TY.

Byu 51 - UTAH STATE 10 - (8:00) -- Coogs a 103-0 pt edge last 2 outings, with
QB Hall now at 15/2 (10 TDs last 2). Won only other RG by just 28-27, & Ags
covered last HG by 20, in QB Borel's debut (97 RYs, 191 PYs). But not here.

SATURDAY

Boston College 31 - NORTH CAROLINA STATE 13 - (12:00) -- Yes, we know
the dog is 7-1-1 in Eagle ACC games, but BC allowing only 8.7 ppg in lined tilts.
'Pack "D": >23 pts each of last 8 games, & going it without QB Wilson.
Replacement Beck: 3 INTs in 41-10 loss to SoFla. And just 26 RYs (1.0 ypr).

WEST VIRGINIA 30 - Rutgers 14 - (12:00) -- Now they're cooking. Knights piled
up 93 RYs (2.4 ypr) vs powerful MorganSt. Pathetic. And RU ranks 107th in
run "D" in lined tilts. Eleven TOs so far. As figured, Mounties bounced back off
2 losses with rout of Marshall (Devine: 125 RYs). Despite White's sore thumb.

Penn State 41 - PURDUE 20 - (12:00) -- Put it this way: Purdue has no defense
(103rd in nation). Sure Painter can throw it (359 yds vs NoDame), & Sheets
can run it (358 yds last 3), but check Lions with 1,426 RYs & 1,243 PYs thus
far, along with 6th best "D". Royster (518 RYs), Clark (9/1), et al. It continues.

MICHIGAN STATE 34 - Iowa 22 - (12:00) -- Stellar Spartan RB Ringer now at
681 yds last 3 wks, with MSt averaging 34 ppg last 7 regular season affairs.
Hawks may have lost RB Greene (head), who averaged stellar 10.0, 6.0, 6.4, &
7.6 ypr last 4 gms. Five Iowa TOs in loss to N'Western. MSt steadier of the 2.

MINNESOTA 34 - Indiana 20 - (12:00) -- More running room for Gopher's Eskridge,
than he had vs OhioSt (279-81 RY deficit). Covered in final 1:13 at Columbus,
& now +76 pts ATS last 6 outings. Hoosier "D": 42, 42 last 2 wks, but moved
it well vs decent MichSt "D", behind Thigpen's 12.6 ypr. This is a home series.

Maryland 27 - VIRGINIA 10 - (7:00) -- Another host series, but how can anyone
back the Cavs, who've been outscored 128-20 in lined affairs, along with a RY
deficit of 684-163? Six TOs vs Duke (14 in '08). Terps in off overcoming 17-6
halftime deficit in upset of Clemson, despite 100-RY deficit &11 FDs. Payback.

NORTH CAROLINA 24 - Connecticut 13 - (7:00) -- No stopping Donald Brown,
who now has 906 RYs, but UConn lost QB Lorenzen (foot) in upset of L'Ville
(508-279 yd deficit). Huskies -51 pts ATS last 5 RGs. Sexton for Yates for
Tars: 2 TD passes in final 9 minutes at Miami. Running "O" cause for concern.

MISSISSIPPI 24 - South Carolina 20 - (2:00) -- Blocked PAT provided the edge
in Reb shocker vs Fla. Snead: 85-yd pass in final 5:26, after 4 INTs vs Vandy.
Just 2 TDs for 'Cocks vs UAB's 118th rated "D", & now Spurrier has a QB
dilemma (Garcia, Smelley, or Beecher?). And SC ranks 97th in rushing. Rebs.

KANSAS STATE 45 - Texas Tech 41 - (3:30) -- Wow! Rested Raiders ran for
179 yds vs UMass, but an anomaly, to be sure. Harrell: 12/3, with Crabtree at
114 receiving yds pg. However, KSt averaging 39.3 ppg in last 9 hosters, with
Freeman now schools all-time yardage leader (6,238). Defense take a holiday.

Kansas 43 - IOWA STATE 17 - (12:30) -- Can't buck Jays, who've covered 17-3
lately, with their last 14 covers by 200 pts (just 8 & 1 TY). Reesing: 11/2: 70%.
Last 2 Cyc games decided by 1 & 1 pt ATS, with QB Arnaud coming from 3
INTs vs Iowa, to 4 TDs (2 running) vs Unlv. We buck home series trend here.

GEORGIA TECH 38 - Duke 13 - (12:00) -- Rested Jackets had 438 RYs vs fine
MissSt "D" (24-pt cover), & have 11 TAs in their 3 wins. Imps in off snapping
25-game ACC slide, beating Va, 31-3, despite a 46-yd deficit. GT keeps it up.

COLORADO STATE 34 - Unlv 31 - (2:00) -- Back-to-back OT games proved too
much for Rebs, in 49-27 pasting by Nevada, with a 390 RY deficit, altho QB
Clayton a super 12/1. Rams actually outstatted Cal, but 3 INTs, & Bear TDs on
punt return & blocked punt decided it. Rams, despite their Cal/TCU sandwich.

WESTERN MICHIGAN 24 - Ohio U 23 - (2:00) -- Four straight wins for WM, but
managed just 36 RYs LW, altho Hiller is a superb 15/3 (TDs to INTs). OU did
its thing vs VMI, but check just 4 RYs week before vs N'Western. To the wire.

NOTRE DAME 35 - Stanford 24 - (2:30 - NBC) -- Call it somewhere near LW's
Irish win. Clausen was flawless vs Purdue (275 PYs, 3/0), with Allen staking
ND to 100-RY edge. Irish have covered last 2 HGs by 35½ pts. Card Kimble
for Gerhart (concussion) LW: 157 RYs; & Pritchard in off 222-yd, 3-TD effort.

TULANE 40 - Army 10 - (3:00) -- Greenies couldn't be trusted as huge chalks in
7-pt win over SMU, after leading 31-7 at the half. Anderson: 376 RYs last 2 ,
with 3 TDs for QB Moore LW. Ten straight losses for Cadets, but check 280-
133 RY edge over A&M (Bowden: 128 yds). However Wave run "D" just fine.

Temple 22 - MIAMI-OHIO 20 - (3:30) -- Owls in every game but 1 (PennSt), with
"D" stepping up after loss of QB DeMichele, holding 136-36 RY edge over
WM. 'Hawks can't run (69.6 ypr in lined contests), & can't stop the run either.

Illinois 31 - MICHIGAN 24 - (3:30 - ABC) -- Wolves in off their biggest comeback
win ever in the Big House (19-0 deficit), but the visitor is still a 27-17 ATS play
when UM takes the field. Illini have allowed 49, 52, & 38 pts in last 3 away tilts,
but check a 971-900 yd edge over Mizzou & PennSt. Stay clean & take this.

Florida State 22 - MIAMI-FLORIDA 20 - (3:30) -- 'Noles came from 102 RYs to
259, in rout of Colorado, with Smith motoring for 154 (3 TDs). QB Ponder still
a question, but not that run "D". Remember, 7 TOs in their only loss. 'Canes
have held all 4 foes <90 RYs, but minus 76½ pts ATS in last 4 hosters. Tight.

CALIFORNIA 31 - Arizona State 21 - (3:30) -- Don't like this one a bit. Rested
Suns can't run, ranking 108th (176-4 RY deficit vs Georgia), but Carpenter is
decent 7/2. Misleading Bear rout of ColoSt (3 TDs on special teams & INT), &
Cal may have lost RB Best (elbow). Chalk 19-9 ATS in ASU tilts, so mildest.

Florida 48 - ARKANSAS 13 - (12:30) -- Bounceback time for Gators, who had
allowed only 6 ppg TY, before 31-pt explosion by OleMiss. No INTs for Tebow
so far, & 319 PYs vs the Rebs, altho run "O" at 120 ypg. Hogs have no "D"
(39.4 ppg last 8 lined games), with only TD vs Texas on 80-yd fumble recovery.

ALABAMA 27 - Kentucky 17 - (2:30) -- Super 'Tide upset of Georgia moved dog
edge in 'Bama contests to 26-13 ATS. Just 3 punts vs 'Dawgs (led 31-0 at the
half), & check 8th best run "D". 'Cats 4-0, even without Woodson, with 5th
ranked run "D". Off 3 HGs but covered 1st RG by 28½. Bit of a Tide letdown?

CENTRAL FLORIDA 38 - Smu 24 - (3:30 - CBSC) -- Comedown for the Knights,
who averaged 41 ppg in 12 of 14 games LY, but just 15 ppg this yr (115th "O").
Seven TOs & a blocked punt in 58-13 loss to Utep. Ponies have worst run "O"
in nation, & can't stop anyone, but 3 Mitchell 2nd half TDs got the bacon LW.

BOWLING GREEN 45 - Eastern Michigan 10 - (4:00) -- Falcons latest team to
take advantage of Wyoming ineptness. Can't run (#96), but should repeat vs
Eastern, which has allowed 52, 39, 45, 42, 41, 51, & 37 pts in last 7 lined gms.

Navy 33 - AIR FORCE 30 - (4:00) -- Series dog rears its head again, as Mids in
off 1st win over a ranked team in 23 years! A 292-43 RY edge over Wake with
4 TAs. Falcs 10-1 ATS of late, & are 6-0 ATS at home by 54½ pts, but came
from 358 RYpg to 53, along with 9 FDs in luckout cover vs Utah. A Middie call.

UCLA 40 - Washington State 14 - (10:15) -- What a defense! Coogs now at a
213-47 pt deficit in lined games. Can't run, can't stop the run, & are minus 123
pts ATS in just 4 games. Astounding! Bruins finally got off schneid (90-10
deficit prior 2), coming from 51 RYpg to 234 vs Fresno. WSt doom continues.

TENNESSEE 34 - Northern Illinois 17 - (7:00) -- Huskies catch Vols off Florida
& Auburn, with Georgia up next. UT held Gators & Tigers to just 96 & 97 RYs,
but check QB Crompton at just 8-of-23 LW. So chance to explode, but NIU is
at 34.5 ppg, so may crack scoreboard. However, may have lost fine RB Brown.

Ball State 38 - TOLEDO 31 - (7:00) -- Cards at 5-0, despite losing WR Love.
Lewis: 4 straight 100 RY games & 10 TDs, with QB Davis at 11/3. Dedication.
Rocket effort vs Fresno took its toll in 38-pt ATS loss to FlaInt. May carry over.

Akron 33 - KENT STATE 14 - (12:00) -- Only way to go. Kent on 0-11 ATS run,
including minus 146½ pts ATS in last 6 games. Decent running, but no "D".
Zips in off playing solid Cincy even-up, holding 'Cats to 3.4 ypr. Lay the wood.

SO MISSISSIPPI 42 - Utep 24 - (7:00) -- How's that for snapping a 9-gm losing
streak? A 58-13 Miner rout, after entering at 39 ppg "D". And QB Vittatoe did
play (263 yds, 3 TDs). But jubilation short-lived, as rested Eagles regroup off
Marshall upset. Just 96 RYpg last 3 outings, but Fletcher & Co change all that.

Oklahoma 48 - BAYLOR 23 - (12:30) -- Sooners in TCU/Texas sandwich, & in off
just 25 RY effort. But not much overland production needed with QB Bradford
now at a brilliant 16/2 (408 PYs & 4 TDs vs Frogs). Rested Bears are vastly
improved behind QB Griffin's leadership. Check plus 37 pts ATS last 2 games.

WISCONSIN 26 - Ohio State 24 - (8:00 - ABC) -- Badgers in middle of Michigan,
OhioSt, PennSt stretch. Just 158, 154, & 158 RYs since opening at 404, & in
off blowing 19-pt lead. But have won last 5 HGs by combined 203-58 score.
Bucks have Wells back (106 RYs LW), & QB Pryor a true force. This is a war.

TULSA 68 - Rice 40 - (8:00 - CBSC) -- Katie, bar the door! 'Canes bring #1 "O"
(>600 ypg) into this one, with QB Johnson (19/4) tossing 12 TDs last 2 weeks
(52.3 ppg in lined games TY). But Owl QB Clement threw 5 TDs in 77-20 rout
of NTx, & has teamed with Dillard for NCAA-record 41 TDs. Scoring explosion!

SO CALIFORNIA 41 - Oregon 24 - (8:00 - ABC) -- Regrouping time for Troy, off
shocker at OregSt (21-0 deficit, lost 27-21). A 30-yd deficit, after 626-yd edge
in first 2 outings. But Ducks shouldn't go down easily, as they're averaging 47
ppg TY, with 4th best overland game. Visiting series, with this one near spot.

FRESNO STATE 41 - Hawaii 14 - (10:00) -- Bulldogs in off 3 grinders, allowing
297 & 234 RYs last 2 wks. Balanced, behind Brandstater (8/2) & Matthews
(470 RYs). Spells trouble for 'Bows, who, amazingly, rank 102nd in scoring, &
in off losing on 47-yd FG. Hawaii has a 142-27 pt deficit in last 3 away games.

ADDED GAMES

VIRGINIA TECH 37 - Western Ky 6 La-Lafayette 31 - LA-MONROE 21
Fla International 28 - NO TEXAS 17 Troy 27 - FLA ATLANTIC 20

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POINTWISE NFL

NFL Key Selections....
3--New England over SAN FRANCISCO 24-13
4--DENVER over Tampa Bay 27-20
4--NY GIANTS over Seattle 33-16
5--HOUSTON(+) over Indianapolis 27-26
5--Minnesota (+) over NEW ORLEANS 23-20

New England 24 - SAN FRANCISCO 13 - (4:15) -- Had these 2 met on opening week, the spread would have been about 10 pts higher, but things have sure changed. Pats had their 21-game regular season streak snapped in that 37½ pt line loss in Miami. Amazing 461-216 yds deficit in that one. Cassel: an INT & a fumble. Now on a 1-8 ATS slide. Niners down to earth LW, with just 1 TD at NewOrleans, after 33 & 31 pt showings previous 2 wks. Gore: 212 RYs last 2 wks, & O'Sullivan a good one. But Belichick is 7-0 ATS away, off a DD SU & ATS loss, while the Pats are 10-0 ATS vs the NFC West, & 19-6 ATS off a loss

NEW YORK GIANTS 33 - Seattle 16 - (1:00) -- Defending champs had a bye LW, but note that they're off to their best start since 2000. Just 2 TDs in their OT win over Cincy, but Eli is cranking it up (46-of-72 last 2) while Jacobs & Ward are trucking it at 4.9 & 6.8 ypr. No Burress (insubordination), but should handle the 'Hawks, who've allowed 44, 42, & 34 pts in their last 3 RGs (lost 1st RG 34-10). The host is on a 30-13 ATS run in Seattle games, & 'Hawks are an anemic 4-13 ATS as non-division RDs, as well as 1-9 ATS vs an opponent off 3 straight wins. And the Giants are on an 8-1 spread run. NY is the play here.

DENVER 27 - Tampa Bay 20 - (4:05) -- Brian Griese returns to Denver. He has thrown no less than 97 passes the past 2 weeks (6 INTs), but the Bucs are on a 3-game run, turning a 21-20 deficit with 2:30 left, vs GreenBay, into a 30-20 win. So things are going nicely for Tampa, which held the Pack to 8 FDs, & check Graham with 334 yds thus far. The Broncos in search of a "D", allowing 29 ppg, & in off allowing 213 RYs at KC. The host is on a nice 9-2 ATS run in Denver games, while Tampa is 5-20 ATS on the non-division road, & 1-9 ATS

HOUSTON 27 - Indianapolis 26 - (1:00) -- Texans still winless, altho it took OT to dispose of them LW, as Schaub tossed a franchise-record 3 TD passes vs the Jags. Before that effort, he had 5 INTs & only 1 TD pass. And prior to that contest, Houston was on the wrong end of a 69-39 pt differential. A year ago, the Texans averaged 28.3 ppg at home, so they can move it. Colts have yet to run it: RY deficits of 183-53, 180-25, & 236-114 so far, with Peyton just 3/4.Indy is 2-8-1 ATS in division play of late, as well as 1-11 ATS as a division chalkoff a SU loss vs a losing foe. The Texans? A solid 10-5 ATS as division hosts.

MONDAY

Minnesota 23 - NEW ORLEANS 20 - (8:35 - ESPN) -- About time for the Vikes to right their listing ship. Four TOs in loss to Tennessee, 3 of which were turned into TDs. Still have the scintillating Peterson (420 RYs so far), along with one of the league's better "D"s (7th overall). The Saints have ridden the arm of Brees once more, as he is throwing for 336 ypg, with 8 TDs, altho he has been picked off 4 times. NewOrleans ranks 28th overland, so won't do much vs Vikes' 3rd best run "D". The Saints are 9-17 ATS home off a SU/ATS win, 1-11 ATS home vs an opponent off a RG, & 0-10 ATS as an Oct HF vs a foe off a SU/ATS loss.

BALTIMORE 17 - Tennessee 16 - (1:00) -- Quite a nice start for the Titans, who are off to their first-ever 4-0 start. Not only that, but check covering those 4 by 10, 18, 14½, & 10 pts. Not too bad, considering that they entered this season, just 15 pts from a 1-13 spread run. They have held their last 8 foes below 18 pts, & altho they were outstatted by the Vikes, 4 takeaways provided the edge. But the Ravens, who are in off their Monday Nighter with the Steelers, have allowed just 10 & 10 pts as hosts, & are 30-12 ATS as non-division hosts. Titans 3-12 ATS off scoring 28+ pts, & 0-9 ATS as RFs of <3½ pts off SU win.

San Diego 33 - MIAMI 20 - (1:00) -- Wow! Dolphins didn't fool around in the snapping of their 11-game road slide, with that 38-13 drubbing of the Patriots (461-216 yd edge: a 37½ pt cover). Check Brown with 4 TDs, 113 RYs (6.6 ypr), with Ricky at 98 RYs. Mixing the direct snap put the Pats in a quandary. And how about Chad with a 17-of-20 day? But still 2-20 SU, & continuing vs this Charger outfit may be asking a bit much. Could easily be 4-0, as they're averaging 34.5 ppg. Rivers: 10/4. SanDiego is 13-2 ATS of late, & 15-6 ATS off a DD division win. Miami is 5-23 ATS off a win of at least 20 pts. Chargers.

CAROLINA 34 - Kansas City 17 - (1:00) -- Finally! Chiefs snapped 12-gameslide, with 33-19 pasting of the previously perfect Broncos, with Huard a nice 21-of-28, & Johnson rolling for 198 RYs (7.8 ypr). But that Denver "D" hasbeen mauled all year, while the Panthers have allowed only 13 ppg as hosts sofar. And remember that KC dropped its last RG, 38-14. The return of Smithhas upped the potency of this Carolina squad by leaps. If they avoid penalties (22 last 2 games), Panthers should breeze here. They are on a 4-0-1 ATS home run, while the Chiefs are 5-15 ATS on the NFC road. New skein begins.

PHILADELPHIA 20 - Washington 10 - (1:00) -- The 'Skins sure showed their worth in upset of the Cowboys, with a 164-44 RY edge, along with a 36:27- 23:33 time advantage. And how about the maturation of Campbell, who is a brilliant 66-of-97 the past 3 weeks, with 6 TDs, & no INTs. Throw in Portis, who motored for 121 vs the Cowboys. Wash is now on a 7-2 ATS run, & has held 13 foes below 21 pts since LY. But the Eagles could easily be 4-0, with excruciating 4-pt losses at Dallas & Chicago. Have allowed only 6 ppg in their last 3 HGs. 'Skins are just 3-14 ATS off pulling an upset. Brutal war to Eagles.

DETROIT 24 - Chicago 23 - (1:00) -- Lions needed LW's bye in the worst way, as they've opened at 0-3, while allowing 37.7 ppg. As a matter of fact, they've been stung for 36.1 ppg in their last 9 contests, & are not only on a 1-10 SU run, but a 2-9 spread slide. Thus far, they've been outrushed, 623-227. That's right, nearly 400 yds. And now Kitna is hurting (knee), & Millen is gone. The Bears, on the other hand, are +75½ pts ATS in their last 7 contests. The fly in the ointment shows that the dog is on a 6-0-1 ATS run in Chicago games. The Lions are 32-17 ATS off a loss of 15+ pts. Hold our noses, & make a Lion call.

GREEN BAY 24 - Atlanta 9 - (1:00) -- No early line here, due to shoulder injury to Rodgers, but he should play. He threw 3 INTs LW, after 157 passes without a pick (3rd longest streak in franchise history). Just 8 FDs for the Pack in that loss to the Bucs, but still a 16-7 ATS play. The Falcons? Well, they've played 2 RGs to date, losing both by the exact same 24-9 score, so why not another? Ryan is just 34-of-72 away, & the Falcs have allowed 29 ppg in their last 11 outings. Atlanta is 16-4 ATS on the October road vs .500 or better foes, but McCarthy is 9-2 ATS off non-division game vs an opponent off a SU/ATS loss.

ARIZONA 24 - Buffalo 20 - (4:15) -- Injury to Card WR Boldin puts this one into proper perspective. Cards piled up 33 FDs in loss to the Jets, in which they allowed 6 Favre TD passes. Six TOs (5 by Warner) more than offset 472 PYs from Kurt. But Cards are at 31 ppg in their last 12 contests, so should be able to give the Bills all that they can handle. Buffalo is still perfect, despite just 14 FDs & a 100-yd deficit at StLouis (25-0 2nd half edge). The Bills are a more than profitable 18-9-1 ATS of late, but suddenly without the services of WR/KR Parrish, a true game breaker. And the chalk is 7-1 ATS in 'Zona games lately.

DALLAS 27 - Cincinnati 19 - (4:15) -- Well, the visitor has been perfect so far, in Cowboy games, covering all 4, by a combined 35 pts ATS. Not only that, but their last 4 HGs have been decided by 4, 4, 4, & 2 pts SU. Check the 'Boys' 164-44 RY deficit hosting the 'Skins. The Bengals are still winless (along with Houston, StLouis & Detroit), but in their last roadster, they covered by 10½, as they extended the Giants into OT. Sure, they can't run (657-324 yd deficit), & have been held below 20 pts in 7 of their last 9 games, but the dog is on a nice 11-2 ATS run in Cincy games (10 outright upsets). Very weak call for the pup.

JACKSONVILLE 23 - Pittsburgh 16 - (8:15 - NBC) -- Not much leeway in Jag contests, as their last 3 have been decided by just 4, 2, & 3 pts SU, with the last 2 featuring Scobee FGs for the wins. Garrard is getting better protection with just a single sack LW, & he has gone 39-of-54 the past couple of games.Catching the Steelers off their Monday Nighter with Baltimore is a plus, so note that the host is on a 14-5 ATS run in Pitt games. And note further that the Steelers are averaging only 8 ppg on the road in the early going. Jacksonville is 9-1 ATS as the series host, & is 28-12 ATS vs non-division opponents of late.

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Mark Lawrence

5* BEST BET

South Carolina over Old Miss by 13
What in the world can Houston Nutt do for an encore? After outplaying fearsome Florida in the Swamp and leaving Gainesville with a 31- 30 signature win (snapped a 9-game SEC losing streak), Nutt and his rejuvenated Rebels are suddenly a ‘playuh’ in the SEC. Bear in mind with a few lucky bounces against Wake Forest and Vanderbilt, Ole Miss could easily be 5-0 and wearing a national ranking in addition to the 2008 ‘glass slipper’. Still, we’re compelled to remind you that South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier owns a profi table 45-22-1 SU and 45-23 ATS record on the conference road in his college head-coaching career. The ol’ ball coach may not have cashed the ticket in last week’s win over UAB but he fi nally got to keep QB Stephen Garcia on the fi eld for an extended period of time and the redshirt freshman revived the moribund Gamecock offense (completed 13-of-20 passes for 131 yards and scrambled for 86 more). That’s good news for a team that lost SU at Columbia as 17-point favorites in their last meeting with the Rebels. Much like the Oregon State game on Thursday, Ole Miss falls into the ‘teams off a SU dog win of 20 or more points’ scenario, a feeble 8-16 ATS proposition when taking on a foe off back-to-back SU wins. Nutt appears to have his Ole Miss team on the fast track to success but following their huge win over the Gators, the Rebels’ feet don’t fi gure to hit the ground here until they go into the locker room at halftime. The clincher is Nutt’s poor 4-15 ATS record versus conference opponents off a SU win (0-6 if he’s off a SUATS win). Gamecocks are 5-0 ‘ITS’ this year and will show up HUNGRY


4* BEST BET

Alabama over Kentucky by 3
Folks in south Florida may still despise the ground he walks on but there’s no denying coach Nick Saban has damn near performed miracles with the Alabama program since he arrived at Tuscaloosa in 2007. Last week’s shocking domination of preseason No. 1 Georgia at Athens moved the Tide up to 4th spot in the Coaches Poll – and also drove the line up on this matchup by at least a fi eld goal. After such a monster effort, Saban will be hard-pressed to get his team up for a so-so Kentucky team. Bama’s poor ATS history in today’s role doesn’t help, either. Bear’s descendants are a woeful 0-4 ATS home off BB road games and just 3-12 ATS in Game Six (Saban is also only 6-12-1 ATS off a SU dog win). Kentucky coach Rich Brooks has led his Wildcats to an impressive 9-0 SU record in the fi rst fi ve games of the past two seasons. UK is also 5-1 ATS away off BB homers and 5-1 ATS off a DD non-SEC win. THIS JUST IN: Since 2005, 4-0 road dogs are 11-2 ATS in Game Five. Did we mention that Bama is also a SMART BOX


3*BEST BET

Georgia Tech over Duke by 24

Hell officially froze over last weekend in Durham, NC, when Duke absolutely bedeviled visiting Virginia in a merciless 31-3 beating. But even though the win elevated the Dukies’ 2008 record to a surprising 3-1, expect a rapid thaw to set in Saturday when the Blue Beelzebubs head down I-85 to Atlanta. If you’ve yet to climb aboard the Georgia Tech ATS train, don’t let it leave the station without you. We’ve been Paul Johnson fans from way back and his 2-1 ATS start this season has increased his pointspread prowess to 35-21-1 since the beginning of 2004. Even better, Johnson is 11-4 SUATS during the regular season when playing with rest, including 10-0 SU and 9-1 ATS as chalk of more than 3 points. Our powerful database backs that up with this beauty: Game Five teams playing their fi rst road game off a SUATS win are only 7-17 versus the number. Hey, Duke took this many points at home last year in a 41-24 loss and they were 25-point dogs here in a 28-point loss in 2006! Looks like David Cutcliffe’s Devils will start a new ACC losing skein here today as Tech males a wreck out of Duke.

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Mark Lawrence

5* BEST BET

New England over San Fran by 15 Roll the clock back to the first week of the season and our best guess is the line on this game would have seen the Patriots installed as doubledigit favorites. Today, with Tom Brady on the sidelines and the Niners a .500 squad, two touchdowns has become a fi eld goal and suddenly this game becomes attractive. With that we hurry off to our Bill Belichick databank and fi nd numbers that support our contention. For openers, Mr. Personality is 22-9 ATS in his NFL head coaching career on the road in games off a loss, including 9-0 SU and ATS the last nine and 7-0 ATS as a favorite of less than 7 points. To top it off he’s squared off against teams from the NFC West Division 13 times and – you guessed it – he’s 13-0 ATS in those games. Toss in Frisco’s 1-10 ATS mark as a dog off a non-division game when facing an AFC opponent and you can see why we’re taking a patriotic approach to this game.


4* BEST BET

Philadelphia over Washington by 16
Life has been pretty much black and white at home (2-0 SU and ATS) and on the road (0-2 SU and 1-1 ATS) for the Eagles in 2008. More important, from a handicapping perspective, the Green Birds have been perfect, 4-0, In The Stats this season. They will apply that notion against a fat-andhappy bunch of Hogs, fresh off last Sunday’s underdog win as doubledigit dogs at Dallas. That fi ts like a Michael Jackson glove given the fact the Skins are 0-5-1 ATS on the road off a Cowboy win while Philly is 10-3-1 ATS in division games off an ATS loss of 7 or more points behind Andy Reid. Andy is also dandy in games off a SU favorite loss, going 17-8 SU and ATS. Just like Los Lobos, he sees a red door and wants to paint it black


3* BEST BET

Detroit over Chicago by 7
It’s been said that the best sex a man can have is right after his favorite football team wins a game. If that’s the case then the Motor City’s been celibate this season. With Matt Millen no longer guarding the condoms this may actually be a breakout game for the Lions. It happens much more often than not to winless teams after a Bye Week. The fact of the matter is 0-3 or worse division dogs playing with an extra wink are 7-7 SU and 11-1-1 ATS. Additionally, the Lions are 7-5 SU and 12-0 ATS as division home dogs against an opponent that allowed 20 or more points in its last contest. With Lovie Smith 1-8-1 ATS in games off a win against a foe off back-to-back losses, it’s time to break out the Trojans. The Lions and the men from Motown are looking to make a score today!

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THE GOLD SHEET - NCAA

KEY RELEASES

MICHIGAN STATE by 19 over Iowa
CONNECTICUT by 3 over North Carolina
VANDERBILT by 5 over Auburn
ALABAMA by 28 over Kentucky

MICHIGAN STATE 36 - Iowa 17—MSU’s RB Ringer has 681 YR in his last 3 games and leads the nation in scoring. Meanwhile QB Brian Hoyer showed improved form at Indiana, throwing for 261 yds. & 2 TDs with no interceptions. Iowa’s 5-TO performance against Northwestern shows Hawkeye offense still has problems. QB Ricky Stanzi has 3 ints., just 1 TDP in last 54 passes, and a late-game head injury to star RB Greene clouds the offensive picture. Iowa on 9-19-1 spread run. TV-ESPN2 (07-IOWA 34-Mich. St. 27 (OT)...M.23-13 I.44/230 M.52/160 M.25/44/0/308 I.5/15/0/53 I.0 M.1) (07-IOWA +3 34-27 (OT)...SR: Iowa 20-17-2


*Connecticut 27 - NORTH CAROLINA 24—Both teams off uplifting come-from-behind road wins led by reserve QBs. UConn soph QB Frazer (Notre Dame transfer) has nation’s leading rusher in jr. Donald Brown (906 YR & 11 TDs), a physical OL featuring two 5th-yr. seniors and a more veteran defense that’s allowed just 14 ppg. Favor undefeated Huskies energized by confident HC Edsall. TV-ESPN2 (DNP...SR: N. Carolina 1-0)


*VANDERBILT 22 - Auburn 17—Since Auburn QB Todd (last in SEC in pass efficiency) struggling in new spread attack (Tigers last in 3rd-down conversions), willing to “take” with rested, confident Vandy, led by versatile QB Nickson, who is expected to welcome back previously-injured WR G. Smith (top returning pass catcher). Doubt Todd or backup Burns will suddenly shine vs.  aggressive, mistake-creating ‘Dore defense (11 sacks; 10 ints.), spearheaded by marvelous, 2-way performer D. J. Moore (37 YR vs. Rice). TV-ESPN (07-AUB. 35-Vandy 7...A.19-17 A.39/239 V.38/133 A.14/18/1/165 V.12/31/1/88 A.0 V.0) (07-AUBURN -7' 35-7...SR: Auburn 20-19-1)


ALABAMA 38 - Kentucky 10—Now that highly-ranked Bama is in the thick of national title hunt, believe mastermind Saban (unhappy with “lack of intensity” in 3rd Q vs. Georgia) can prevent major letdown with fast-starting Tide (outscoring foes 74-0 in 1st Q). Bama owns huge QB edge with polished J.P. Wilson (63%, 6 TDs, 1 int.), whose ground assault (215 ypg, 13 TDs) will wear down Kentucky defense. Tide’s stifling run defense has yielded only 1 rush TD in last 24 Qs! TV—CBS (DNP...SR: Alabama 33-2-1)

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THE GOLD SHEET - NFL

KEY RELEASES

NEW ENGLAND by 14 over San Francisco
ARIZONA by 17 over Buffalo
OVER THE TOTAL in the Tampa Bay-Denver game


OVER THE TOTAL DENVER 34 - Tampa Bay 26—Denver’s Achilles’ Heel apparently the same as LY, as Larry Johnson (198 YR last week) the latest to puncture soft Broncos rush defense. Not sure T.B.’s chop-busting Earnest Graham can’t do similar damage. But Bucs living very dangerously these days,with Brian Griese (back at one of his old haunts) still prone to sloppy efforts (his 3 picks nearly undid T.B.’s dominance vs. banged-up Packers last week). Jay Cutler & Co. (34 ppg last 5 at home) tough to outscore at Invesco Field, and doubt Denver self-destructs with the TOs (4 of ‘em) that undermined attack at Arrowhead. “Totals” alert—Broncos “over” 13 of last 15 at home, and 20 of last 25 overall since late “06; T.B. “over” 8-2 last 10. (04-Denver -3 16-13...SR: Denver 4-2)


New England 27 - SAN FRANCISCO 13—Bill Belichick’s defense led the way in Super Bowl XXXVI at New Orleans as N.E. defeated Mike Martz’ Rams and their high-powered offense 20-17 on a last-second FG. Now,Belichick’s defenders are under the microscope after giving up TD drives of 74,79, 77, 79 and 62 yards vs. the Dolphins two weeks ago! Insiders report extra hard- hitting, back-to-basics defensive practices in Foxborough since then, while Tom Brady has reported early in the A.M. to help Matt Cassel with film study after coaches tailored play book more to his liking. Pats just 2-12 vs. the spread their last 14 overall, but J.T. O’Sullivan sacked six times in N.O. More of the same this week. (04-NEW ENGLAND -13' 21-7...SR: San Francisco 7-3)


ARIZONA 30 - Buffalo 13—After spending two the last two weeks on the east coast, yielding a total of 8 TOs and 8 TDP, Arizona gets to turn the tables on undefeated AFC East rep Buffalo. But even if hard-nosed WR Anquan Boldin sidelined (check status), will come back with Cardinals now on home turf for only the second time TY. Rookie power back Tim Hightower (via Richmond) helping Edgerrin James in backfield, and QB Kurt Warner’s arm is well-oiled, as evidenced by his 472 YP in six-giveaway performance by Arizona last week. (04-BUFFALO -3' 38-14...SR: Buffalo 5-3)


Indianapolis 31 - HOUSTON 23—First home game for 0-3 Houston, thanks to Hurricane Ike, which not only damaged the roof of Reliant Stadium, but also the homes of several Texan players. Indy’s divisional home loss two weeks ago vs. Jacksonville makes us lean to Colts for the victory, even with Indy’s depleted defense (especially without SS Bob Sanders). Houston will be a hard-fighting, homesick host. But Texans finding ways to lose, and New Orleans—albeit in a more severe situation—never could shake the Katrina distractions in 2005. Houston 16-7-1 “over” last 24. (07-Indy 30-HOU. 24...I.18-16 I.29/92 H.17/40 I.20/29/0/270 H.27/33/2/214 I.0 H.0) (07-INDY 38-Hou. 15...I.33-18 I.31/120 H.19/66 I.31/40/0/338 H.22/36/3/233 I.1 H.0) (07-Indianapolis -6' 30-24, INDIANAPOLIS -7 38-15...SR: Indianapolis 11-1)


BALTIMORE 16 - Tennessee 15—Kerry Collins still has occasional nightmares about the Baltimore defense, which intercepted him four times when Collins was with the Giants for a 34-7 Raven victory in Super Bowl XXXV. Collins might have a touch of déjà vu, as Baltimore’s zone blitzers collected 7 sacks and 5 takeaways in allowing only 20 total points vs. Cincy & Cleveland in Ravens’ first two home games. With 4-0 Tennessee lacking premier WRs, Baltimore’s zone blitzers will be after Collins if they are able to keep RBs C. Johnson & L. White under control. Will Flacco remain unflappable vs. Titan defense (8 ints.)? Balt. FB Le’Ron McClain a revelation with 152 YR first two games. (06-Baltimore -7 27-26...SR: Baltimore 9-8)


San Diego 23 - MIAMI 20—You can be sure Miami will add a few wrinkles to its “Wildcat” formation after six plays at New England produced four TDs in the Dolphins’ 38-13 upset (Miami QB coach David Lee was o.c. LY at Arkansas). Fortunately for S.D., starting LB Stephen Cooper (Chargers’ top tackler LY) returns to action this week. However, QB Philip Rivers (sacked four times by Raiders last week) absorbing more punishment than LY. Chad Pennington (64%) a steadying influence on Dolphin offense. (05-Miami +13 23-21...SR: Miami 13-12)


CAROLINA 27 - Kansas City 10—Herm Edwards is still rather limited in his offensive options, as K.C.’s best alternative is to bang away with Larry Johnson and hope for error-free work from vet QB Damon Huard (which Huard provided vs. Denver...and which Tyler Thigpen could not). But doubt L.J. can puncture the stout Carolina defensive interior as he did the less-assertive Broncos with 198 YR. It’s looking like the 2003 Super Bowl year in Charlotte, with old WR buddies Muhsin Muhammad & Steve Smith reunited (14 combined recs., 2 TDs last week), providing familiar targets for re-energized Jake Delhomme. (04-Carolina +6' 28-17...SR: Kansas City 2-1)


PHILADELPHIA 23 - Washington 13—Jim Zorn having fine success tutoring potential-laden young QB Jason Campbell (66%, 6 TDs, 0 ints.) and inspiring hard-driving runs by Clinton Portis (369 YR). But coping with the Philly pass rush (17 sacks TY) can be tough (just ask Ben Roethliesberger). Status of Brian Westbrook (knee) unclear, but Correll Buckhalter a serviceable sub, and rookie WR DeSean Jackson has enlivened Eagle aerial game. (07-Was. 20-PHIL. 12...W.19-18 W.33/130 P.20/114 P.28/46/0/226 W.16/29/1/207 W.0 P.0) (07-Phil. 33-WAS. 25...W.25-22 W.36/158 P.28/139 P.20/28/0/240 W.23/34/0/203 P.2 W.2) (07-Washington +6' 20-12, Philadelphia +2' 33-25...SR: Washington 76-65-5)


DETROIT 23 - Chicago 20—Oh, Happy Day! That’s the tune Lions’ fans were singing last week when lucratively-paid GM Matt Millen was fired after Detroit was 31-84 during his tenure. The question is whether such a move will be a positive on the field for an 0-3 team that has been outgained by more than 100 yards in each game, out-rushed 623-227 overall, out-sacked 12-3, and outscored 63-20 in the first half. Lions could hardly be worse. However, this is the NFL, and let’s remember Detroit swept the Bears LY, has potent weapons at WR, and is virtually in a must-win situation to join the NFC North race. (07-DET. 37-Chi. 27...C.22-19 D.25/95 C.22/69 C.34/52/3/234 D.20/24/0/215 D.2 C.0) (07-Det. 16-CHI. 7...D.22-16 D.28/119 C.20/63 D.24/35/0/246 C.22/40/4/192 D.1 C.0) (07-DETROIT +2' 37-27, Detroit +5 16-7...SR: Chicago 87-64-5)


GREEN BAY 17 - Atlanta 16—Things keep repeating for Atlanta, which has beaten two troubled teams (Detroit & Kansas City) in similar fashion and lost by exact 24-9 scores at both Tampa Bay & Carolina. Catching angry Green Bay at Lambeau after The Pack dropped a pair would appear to put this contest more in the Bucs-Panthers category for Falcs. But not so fast, as G.B. might have to go with rookies Matt Flynn and/or Jeff Brohm at QB if Aaron Rodgers’ shoulder injury is serious. If that’s the case, Atlanta can hang around, especially with HC Mike Smith having rookie Matt Ryan throw mostly short and safe while Michael Turner (422 YR) keeps the clock and chains moving. (05-Green Bay +9 33-25...SR: Green Bay 13-11)


NY GIANTS 33 - Seattle 17—Bye week came at a nice time for Seattle, which is getting a bit healthier on offense and fortified depleted WR crew with recent additions of vets Keary Colbert & Koren Robinson. But Seahawks likely to catch a focused N.Y. team after uncharacteristic flat effort that nearly cost G-Men in last outing vs. Cincy, not to mention N.Y.’s chance to stay ahead of Dallas in ultra-tough NFC East. D.c. Steve Spagnuolo’s sack-happy Giant defense has a rather stationary target in Matt Hasselbeck. N.Y. has covered 10 of last 12 overall. Totals note—Both teams trending “over” lately (Giants “over” 7-3 at Meadowlands; Seattle “over” 20-7-1 last 28 as visitor). (06-SEATTLE -3' 42-30...SR: NY Giants 7-5)


DALLAS 30 - Cincinnati 13—Carson Palmer’s elbow expected to be okay.Even so, it’s hard to count on the poorly-balanced Cincy offense producing only 13 ppg vs. the improved Cowboy defense. Dallas underestimated Washington last week. But another T.O. tirade is indicative that a similar occurrence unlikely this week. Huge rush edge owned by RBs MB III and Felix Jones should make play-action easy for Tony Romo and get winless Bengals to playing from behind early. (04-CINCINNATI +1 26-3...SR: Dallas 5-4)


*JACKSONVILLE 23 - Pittsburgh 13—Jags have won last four meetings, including LY’s controversial playoff victory in Pittsburgh. And, while Jacksonville has plugged the early holes in its OL, the Jags now catch the Steelers with Ben Roethlisberger nursing a sore shoulder, RB Willie Parker on the shelf, and two starters out on Pittsburgh DL. Moreover, the Steeler OL was overwhelmed in its last road game, giving up nine sacks in a 15-6 loss at Philly. The healthier, more nimble David Garrard (7 for 41 rushing last week) could be the difference. TV—NBC (07-Jack. 29-PITT 22...J.25-13 J.42/225 P.17/111 J.17/33/1/197 P.16/33/0/106 J.0 P.0) (07-Jack. 31-PITT 29...P.24-14 J.29/135 P.26/43 P.29/42/3/297 J.9/21/2/104 J.0 P.1) (07-Jacksonville +3' 29-22, Jacksonville -2' 31-29 (Playoffs)...SR: Jacksonville 12-8)


MONDAY, OCTOBER 6

*Minnesota 27 - NEW ORLEANS 24—CB Mike McKenzie (int. last week; torn ACL late LY) now has two games under his belt to help the N.O. defense recover from its early-season injuries. And Saints rediscovered Deuce McAllister (73 YR last week) to take some pressure of Drew Brees (8 TDs, 4 ints.). However, with Gus Frerotte (15 completions to WRs last week; check his left hand injury) now balancing the Viking offense, will count on Adrian Peterson (420 YR) and Minny defense to give Vikes a chance for a Monday night surprise.Minny used to dome conditions. Saints “over” 17 of last 23. CABLE TV—ESPN (05-MINNESOTA -3' 33-16...SR: Minnesota 19-7)

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Power Plays 4*'s

CFB:
4* West Virginia
4* Penn State
4* Minnesota
4* Iowa State
4* Duke
4* UNLV
4* Western Michigan
4* FSU
4* California
4* Florida
4* SMU
4* Bowling Green
4* TCU
4* UTEP
4* Oklahoma State

NFL:
4* Carolina
4* Tampa Bucs

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SPORTS MEMO - NCAA

ROB VENO
RUTGERS AT WEST VIRGINIA -14
Recommendation: West Virginia

An unraveling Rutgers squad played poorly once again last weekend in their 38-0 victory against I-AA Morgan State. The final reads far more impressive than the actual content of the game as the Knights were able to stifle the Morgan State offense but still unable to move the ball with any authority. Sure Rutgers suspendedstar wide receiver Kenny Britt and starting left tackle Anthony Davis for the game but even with its remaining huge personnel advantages, Rutgers was only able to compile 297 total yards and they allowed fourquarterback sacks. There’s zero continuity with this offense right now and with West Virginia’s defensebeginning to make strides, expect this road test to prolong Rutgers’ sputtering ways. The Mountaineers offense has begun to click behind back-to-back 300+ rushing yard performances and they’re due for a scoreboard eruption. Fresno State and Navy each ran the ball successfully against the Knights and Pat White and Co. figure to do the same. Play action passing off the run should do damage to Rutgers as well. Expect West Virginia to consistently pressure mistake-prone QB Mike Teel to help produce points as they roll at home to an easy win.


ED CASH
DUKE +14 AT GEORGIA TECH
Recommendation: Duke

Last week, I had a winner here on Duke as a home dog against a woeful Virginia team as they cruised, 31-3. This week we take the much improved Blue Devils on the road as a two touchdown underdog to the Yellow Jackets. I am sold on David Cutcliffe as a coach, and he secretly has some talent to work with in Durham. They certainly are worthy of a look as a 14-point dog against anyone in the ACC given what we have witnessed thus far. Georgia Tech is also better than expected this year under new coach Paul Johnson. They have implemented his running offense very well, even with starting quarterback Josh Nesbitt on the shelf with an injury.They had over 450 yards on the ground two weeks ago against Mississippi State in a 38-7 win. Duke does have the advantage of playing this exact offense just two weeks ago in their win over Navy, so I expect them to be well prepared and not be caught off-guard. They gave up a couple of big plays but totally dominated the Midshipmen in the second half. Tech is obviously better than Navy, but not worthy of this high of a price.


TEDDY COVERS
TEXAS TECH -7 AT KANSAS STATE
Recommendation: Texas Tech

Kansas State is not a good defensive football team. The Wildcats closed out the 2007 campaign by allowing 198 points in their final four games, missing out on a bowl bid as a result. Two weeks ago, we saw a suspect Louisville offense rush for 303 yards against the Wildcats, while Louisville quarterback Hunter Cantwell picked apart the secondary. K-State couldn’t get to the quarterback with their blitzes; they got pushed around at the line of scrimmage against the run, and their back seven looked noticeably slow against a mediocre Big East opponent. Last week, it was a similar story, this time against a Sun Belt foe. Louisiana-Lafayette gained more than 500 yards against the Wildcats, hanging 37 points on this bottom-tier stop-unit. The last time that K-State faced the high-octane Texas Tech attack, the Red Raiders threw for a school record 669 yards in a 59-20 wipeout…and that was against a better defense than the one Ron Prince is working with this year. While Oklahoma, Missouri and Texas have been steadily moving up in the national polls thanks to some high profile victories, Mike Leach’s squad has stayed under the radar through the first month of the season, giving us a very reasonable pointspread to work with here.


JARED KLEIN
OHIO STATE AT WISCONSIN +3
Recommendation: Wisconsin

Since 2004 the Wisconsin Badgers have been a home underdog a total of twice and they are 2-0 SU and ATS in both those contests. Camp Randall is one of the ultimate home field advantages in all of college football with the Badgers sporting a 41-14 record since 2000. Wisconsin is coming off of a very disappointing loss to Michigan last weekend after blowing a 19-point lead despite forcing five turnovers. “It was embarrassing,” senior linebacker DeAndre Levy was quoted as saying. “I am more embarrassed than anything. I am baffled to what happened.” Maybe looking ahead to Ohio State, maybe not. Either way UW handed Michigan the game. Despite Ohio State’s 38-17 win last year, the Badgers are the only Big Ten team above .500 (3-2) against the Buckeyes during the Jim Tressel era. Everyone will be talking about freshman QB Terrelle Pryor’s solid game against Minnesota and how nothing seems to faze this kid, but this is his first true road start in one of the most hostile environments in the Big Ten. Wisconsin is still a good football team despite the loss and I expect them to rebound in a big way this weekend in Camp Randall.


TIM TRUSHEL
OKLAHOMA AT BAYLOR +27
Recommendation: Baylor

The Sooners are without question a very good football team. Quarterback Sam Bradford has led this team to a 4-0 mark while scoring an average of 50 ppg. Their margin of victory is an incredible 37 ppg. But would it surprise you to know that last year at this exact same point Oklahoma was 4-0 and had scored an average of 62 ppg with an average margin of victory of 50 ppg? Yet despite this early season non-conference success Oklahoma lost its next game to Colorado as a 23-point road favorite. In fact, during the Big XII regular season the Sooners were just 3-6 ATS with these inflated lines. We saw it numerous times last week with straight up losses by USC, Florida, Georgia, East Carolina, Clemson and Wake Forest. Throw in big favorite spread losses by Pittsburgh, LSU and Penn State and you clearly see that parity has hit college football hard. The statement “On any given Sunday…” now applies to Saturday as well. Baylor is an exciting young team with a huge playmaker at quarterback, Robert Griffin. New coach Art Briles has brought an explosive offensive scheme from Houston and the results have been solid. With an extra week to prepare the Bears will bring maximum effort. Oklahoma is 17-0 all-time versus Baylor and with games against Texas and Kansas on deck the Sooners may look past the Bears.


BRENT CROW
TEXAS AT COLORADO +14
Recommendation: Colorado

The Buffaloes are getting no respect at all at home this week against Texas. The loss to Florida State has turned Colorado into a two-touchdown home underdog against an unbeaten conference rival. They will undoubtedly be ready to play this week against the Longhorns, who probably aren’t nearly as worried after watching the Buffaloes lose to Florida State. Texas also has a date with Oklahoma next week, so they could very easily be looking ahead to that game. Colorado is no slouch at home, beating West Virginia already this season and upsetting No. 3 ranked Oklahoma last year in Boulder as a 23.5-point underdog.Don’t pay much attention to the 39-22 loss to Florida State last week, it included a cross-country trip, was played in hot, humid conditions, and the Buffs may have partied a little too much after beating West Virginia the week prior. Late last year, Colorado was just +3.5 at home to 15th ranked Kansas and also +3.5 hosting 9th ranked Mizzou, so this line is clearly an overreaction to its loss to Florida State. Texas is unproven thus far after beating four bad teams and this will be their biggest test to date. Put the Horns on upset alert


ERIN RYNNING
ILLINOIS +2.5 AT MICHIGAN
Recommendation: Illinois

Illinois travels to Ann Arbor this Saturday where they’ll battle the Wolverines. I feel Michigan is still in a vulnerable state despite its upset win over Wisconsin last weekend. The offense is inept with little threat in the passing game shown by the 96 yards amassed against the Badgers. In fact, Michigan had just one first down in the first half and was outgained 220-21 yards, due in large part to five turnovers. Meanwhile, the Illini were caught in a tough Happy Valley environment last Saturday eventually losing by 14 points. The Illini have faced a couple of stellar offenses and we peg the defense to greatly improve its numbers starting this week against Michigan. Facing the Michigan spread offense will be nothing new after facing it in every game this season, and of course every day in practice. On the other side of the coin, Michigan spent much of the game trying to figure out Utah’s balanced attack and Illinois is as balanced as they come,  averaging more than 200 yards per game passing and rushing. Don’t get down on this Illini squad. They are without question the better of these two teams and have more than enough offense to win this game outright

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THE SPORTS MEMO - NFL

MARTY OTTO
INDIANAPOLIS -3 AT HOUSTON O/U 47
Recommendation: Over

I normally wouldn’t play an NFL total lined this high but some real fundamental and situational factors line up and make this one hard to pass up. For starters, the Houston defense just can’t keep opponents off the scoreboard. They’ve given up at least 30 points in all three of their games thus far, equally gashed on the ground and through the air even by modest offensive teams like Jacksonville and Tennessee. While I think the Colts’ offense is somewhat diminished from recent years due to poor health along the front line, they did have the luxury of working out the kinks during their bye last week. Going back to the second half of the Minnesota game we have seen Peyton Manning shake off some of the rust after missing camp with a knee injury and the running game finally make a contribution. When the game has been on the line Manning has led his team to easy points and I don’t see him having a problem picking apart Houston’s shady secondary. I don’t however think the Colts’ defense will be able to fix their problems in one week. They are undersized and inexperienced and the sudden emergence of Steve Slaton for Houston will add to the Colts’ misery in stopping the run. Six straight in this head-to-head have gone Over and this makes seven.


FAIRWAY JAY
SAN DIEGO AT MIAMI +7
Recommendation: Miami

Two weeks ago we cashed our easiest winner of the season when the Dolphins (+12.5) traveled to New England and crushed the AFC Champs 38-13. Now back in action and coming off a bye week, Miami is in a very strong situation as a big home underdog. Numerous strong situational systems support Miami this week, as the players and coaches have the extra week of preparation and planning while the public still approaches these fish as dead and unable to swim with the big fish. The Chargers were losing 15-0 at halftime last week and struggled mightily with the Raiders before scoring 25 points in the fourth quarter to get the 28-18 victory and a remarkable pointspread cover. Oakland had some injured offensive linemen and less than 100% running backs, but still managed to outgain San Diego despite Tomlinson’s big late touchdown run. This week it will be the Dolphins’ ground attack of Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams that can chew up yardage similar to how the Panthers and Broncos (140+ each rushing) did while beating San Diego in weeks 1 and 2. Add in some single wing sets, short Pennington passes and a stronger and improving Dolphins’ defense and this ‘Dog should be ready to bite again.


DONNIE BLACK
BUFFALO AT ARIZONA -1.5
Recommendation: Arizona

The Cardinals were 2-15 straight up in the Eastern Time Zone entering their game against the New York Jets. To spark some success the organization decided to stay on the East Coast for the entire week. Many players were not in favor of the plan. Kurt Warner was the most outspoken against it and perhaps the results were indicative of his displeasure. The game results were not good as the Cardinals lost 56-35 and Warner had three fumbles lost and three interceptions. The Cardinals showed some spark as the offense in the second half was tremendous. However, the defense could not slow down Brett Favre on his way to six touchdown passes. Off the big loss the Cardinals return home to face the perfect 4-0 Buffalo Bills who rallied in the second half to win and cover against the St. Louis Rams. Buffalo was outgained by more than 100 yards and was only 3-of-13 on third down yet was able to manage a 17-point win. For Buffalo, this will be the best team in the most favorable situation that they have faced this season. We expect Arizona to earn the win as we eagerly grab the small line in this matchup.


TEDDY COVERS NEWS AND NOTES

Bengals - Ryan Fitzpatrick is certainly no Carson Palmer; really struggling with the down field passing game. 57 yards and two interceptions in the first half doesn’t cut it, even for a backup. A big part of the problem is the offensive line. There’s no running game to support the quarterback here, and Fitzpatrick does not have time to find receivers down field. Chris Perry leads NFL running backs in fumbles through four games, another very bad sign. Even with multiple injuries in the secondary,Cinci did do a solid job of shutting down the Browns passing game, the lone bright spot for the afternoon. This team is playing passionless football, and that’s a very bad sign this early in the season.

Bills - This is a team to bet against in the first quarter/first half. The sluggish starts have been a consistent thing for Buffalo; three straight weeks in which they’ve looked half asleep early. This offensive line is not getting the job done here - Trent Edwards took way too many hits and Marshawn Lynch did not have room to run. We forget how young this team actually is - there are only six players on the roster on the wrong side of 30. Hence, the lapses in concentration and intensity are perfectly understandable. And with the game on the line in the fourth quarter, no team in the NFL has stepped up better than the Bills so far this young season, turning fourth quarter deficits into victories in each of their last three ball games.

Broncos - Brandon Marshall might be the single best receiver in the NFL right now. The guy has linebacker size, but the softest hands around and the ability to outleap defenders. His touchdown catch to give the Broncos the lead here was truly a thing of beauty. With Eddie Royal and Tony Scheffler, this passing game is borderline unstoppable, all with players that have three years of experience or less; an outstanding core group to build around. Too bad Jay Cutler had an awful afternoon, his first bad game of the season. This run defense is getting pushed around badly. The problems Denver has had with its front seven in recent years aren’t solved. Dre Bly is clearly the weak link in this secondary. This is not an upper echelon defense by any stretch of the imagination.

Chargers - LaDainian Tomlinson is a complete non-factor right now. It’s perfectly clear to anyone who is impartially watching that Darren Sproles is the more explosive running back. Every time Ted Cottrell calls a blitz, something good seems to happen. Every time the defense drops back into coverage, something bad seems to happen - the pass rush simply isn’t there without the blitz. I just can’t fathom why they aren’t blitzing on almost every play. Does anyone else think that Nate Kaeding is the spitting image of a young Bob Newhart, especially following
a missed field goal?

Chiefs - Herm Edwards refused to take a chance on fourth and short from inside the two yard line, settling for 23 and 21-yard field goals in the first quarter. It’s not rocket science to recognize that Edwards is too conservative, but this was downright ridiculous; a coach more interested in hanging around than in putting pressure on their opponent right from the get-go. These rookie cornerbacks are going to have their share of growing pains. Punter Dustin Colquitt really might be the most important pointspread player on this team, consistently pinning the Broncos deep in their own territory. With all the money and high draft choices they’ve spent on their defensive line over the past few seasons, I have only one question - where’s the pass rush! Key injury to first round draft choice, offensive lineman Brandon Albert, who was carted off the field. At least Larry Johnson showed up today, carrying the team on his back to earn their first win since last October despite the offensive line woes.

Jaguars - These safeties are really struggling in pass coverage - the secondary depth here is not very good. And the once vaunted run defense looked a bit suspect here - I’ve got serious questions about this defense. The Jags offense had the ball for 26 minutes in the second half against Indy last week, but that was only because the Colts were scoring so quickly. Here, the Texans were able to control the clock for a good portion of the game against Jacksonville. This coaching staff is making excellent adjustments at halftime. For the third week in a row, the Jags came out in the second half and marched down the field, taking control of a close game. David Garrard is really taking apart the Texans secondary with short, precise throws. Four drives in the second half and overtime; four scores.

Jets - Their uniforms are ugly enough to warrant some discussion here. Aren’t the Jets a green and white team, not a yellow-and-blue team? Quit messing me up! This was the second straight week that we’ve seen some ball-hawking potential out of this defense. On Monday Night, the Jets had a pick six, and they had another one here with Darrelle Revis. Shaun Ellis forced a Kurt Warner fumble for a loss of 23 yards, negating a red zone opportunity, then Dwight Lowery created a turnover two plays later with a devastating hit on Anquan Boldin, recovered by the newly signed Hank Poteat. This young secondary is making some plays! Forcing five first half turnovers goes a long way towards notching a victory in a must win game.

Raiders - The Raiders were able to run the football effectively, even when facing eight or nine men in the box. And with the opposing defense selling out to stop the run, for the second straight week we saw a big play catch and run touchdown throw from JaMarcus Russell. But the passing game couldn’t carry the offense after halftime - held to a single first down for the first 25 minutes of the second half. And once Russell was faced with some blitzes, the offensive production declined markedly.Texans - The whole offense is predicated on Matt Schaub’s ability to hit receivers in stride, and he’s just not doing that right now. Andre Johnson isn’t running crisp routes, and their shots down the field to Johnson aren’t connecting. Even the bread and butter of the offense, the underneath routes, are not connecting. One touchdown in six red zone possessions heading into this game, and it was a problem again here. Rookie running back Steve Slaton is very slippery, the perfect fit for this offense. But when the offense finally found some rhythm, the defense fell apart, allowing four scores on four drives after halftime. This secondary really is bottom tier - they need Dunta Robinson to get healthy ASAP.

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NFL 2-Minute Handicap - Week 5
Marc Lawrence

(All results are ATS and most recent, unless noted otherwise - * check earlier this season for similar result. Content contained in this report remains exclusive private property of PLAYBOOK™ and the PLAYBOOK™ Database and may not be re-used or disseminated in any form without express written consent of the publisher.)

Sunday, Oct. 5th

Indianapolis  4-1 Game Five…1-11 favs off SU loss vs <.500 div opp

HOUSTON  SERIES: 4-1 L5 H… 6-1 < .500 dogs vs dv opp off SUATS loss…*10-2 dogs off BB SU AFC losses…OCTOBER: SU loser 4-19 Texans’ games… KUBIAK: 0-7 off SU loss vs opp off SUATS loss…5-1 O/U Game Four

Tennessee SERIES: 3-0 L3… 3-1 Game Five… 0-5 .500 > off SU win w/rev vs non div opp

BALTIMORE OCT: 1-9 H off SU loss vs opp off SU win…1-4 Game Four

San Diego  7-0 off BB ATS wins… 1-15 .500 > favs off SUATS win vs AFC East opp…4-1 O/U Game Five

MIAMI  SERIES: 6-1 L7… 8-0 dogs vs AFC West opp… 7-0 off SU win vs opp off SU win & favored L3 games… 10-2 non div dogs 6 > pts (0-1 this year)…0-4 Game Four… OCT: 1-5 off DD SU win vs opp off DD SU win

Kansas City  0-4 A vs opp off SU win…1-4 Game Five

CAROLINA  5-0 off div vs < .500 opp…OCT: 9-2 vs < .500 opp w/rev…6-2 Game Five…*0-7 favs Games One-Six off DD SU win

Washington  0-7 dogs 9 < pts & O/U line 43 > pts… 2-8-1 A off Cowboy win… 1-4 Game Five

PHILADELPHIA  SERIES: 3-1 L4… 3-1 Game Five… 2-11 vs div opp off BB SU wins w/rev…OCT: 2-11 vs div opp w/rev… REID: 1-6 .500 > vs div opp off BB SU wins

Chicago  OCT: 8-0 A off non div vs div opp… 7-0 .500 > A vs div opp off DD SU loss… 3-0 Game Five… 0-6 .500 > vs opp off BB SU losses… SMITH: 1-8 off SU win vs opp off BB SU losses

DETROIT  SERIES: 3-0 L3… 12-0 div HD’s vs opp who allowed 20 > pts LG… 15-2 dogs 3 > pts off BB SU losses of 8 > pts (0-1 this year)…14-2 off DD SU & BB SUATS losses (0-1 this year)…7-1 Game Four… 0-8 dogs < 6 pts bef div RG…  MARINELLI: 1-6 off BB SU losses vs div opp

Atlanta  SERIES: 3-1 L4 / 6-1 L7 A… OCT: 16-4 A vs .500 > opp

GREEN BAY  OCT: 6-1 vs opp off DD SU loss w/rev… OCT: 1-7 H off non div opp vs .500 > opp… MCCARTHY: 9-2 off non div  vs opp off SUATS loss… 9-1 O/U Game Five

Seattle  SERIES: 4-1- 1 L6… 8-0 regular season dogs 7 > pts off SU win… 0-10 aft scoring 35 > pts vs opp off SU win… OCT: 0-7 off DD SU win vs opp off SU win… 0-5 dogs aft Bye Week…1 -9 vs opp off 3 SU wins…1-4 Game Four
   
NY GIANTS  4-0 Game Four… 0-8 HF’s off non div vs < .400 opp… 0-7 HF’s w/rev vs non div opp off fav role…2-6 w/rest vs < .500 opp

Tampa Bay 9-0 off SU win bef BB HG’s… 4-2 Game Five…0-13 bef div HG (0-1 this year)…0-6 RD’s > 3 pts vs AFC opp… 0-6 A off BB SU wins vs non div opp… 1-14 A off SU win vs non div opp (1-0 this year)… 2-9 off BB SU wins vs non div opp… 1-9 A vs AFC opp… OCT: 3-16 A off SU win

DENVER  OCT: 11-3 H vs opp off BB SU wins… 0-5 Game Five

New England  SERIES: 3-1 L4 / 0-3 L3 A…10-0 vs NFC West opp… 7-0 A off SU fav loss… 3-1 Game Four… 0-10 vs opp off non div game (0-1 this year)… BELICHICK: 7-0 A off DD SUATS loss

SAN FRANCISCO 6-2 Game Five… 1-10 dogs off non div game vs AFC opp… NOLAN: 5-1 off DD ATS loss vs opp off SUATS loss

Buffalo  SERIES: 4-0 L4… 3-1 Game Five…  2-9 .500 > vs non div opp (1-1 this year pending this week vs St. Louis)… 1-7 .500 > dogs (1-0 this year)… 1-7 RF’s vs opp w/rev… JAURON: 1-7 dog vs opp off DD SU loss w/rev

ARIZONA  11-0 HD’s < 4 pts off BB SU losses… 7-1 favs vs opp off 3 SU wins… 1-10 .500 > H off DD SU loss…  1-8 favs off SU fav loss… 5-21 off DD SU loss vs AFC opp…1-4 Game Five…WHISENHUNT: 5-0 H vs opp off non div game 

Cincinnati  SERIES: 3-1 L4… -10 < .500 RD’s off DD SU div loss vs opp w/rev… 0-3 Game Five… 2-17 < .500 RD’s aft scoring < 20 pts vs opp w/rev…3-18 A vs .700 > opp (1-0 this year)… 3-14 dogs off SU div loss vs opp off SU loss

DALLAS  11-1 favs w/rev vs non div opp… 0-9 favs 7 > pts off SU H fav loss… 4-2 O/U Game Five

Pittsburgh  OCT: 11-1 RD’s off div game… 12-3 Game Five… TOMLIN: 0-7 A off SU win (0-2 this year)

JACKSONVILLE  SERIES: 5-1 L6 / 9-1 L10 H… 5-0 O/U Game Five

Monday, Oct. 6th

Minnesota  SERIES: 3-1 L4… 5-1 Game Five… OCT: 0-7 < .500 dogs vs non div opp… OCT: 2-11 < .500 A…2-8 O/U Mondays (1-0 O/U this year)

NEW ORLEANS  OCT: 0-10 HF’S vs opp off SUATS loss… 1-15 aft scoring 28 > pts BB vs < .500 opp…1-11 H vs opp off A… OCT: 1-11 H  w/rev vs opp off SU loss…3-7 Game Five… PAYTON: 0-6 H off non div vs < .500 opp

Sunday, Oct. 5th

Indianapolis  4-1 Game Five…1-11 favs off SU loss vs <.500 div opp

HOUSTON  SERIES: 4-1 L5 H… 6-1 < .500 dogs vs dv opp off SUATS loss…*10-2 dogs off BB SU AFC losses…OCTOBER: SU loser 4-19 Texans’ games… KUBIAK: 0-7 off SU loss vs opp off SUATS loss…5-1 O/U Game Four

Tennessee SERIES: 3-0 L3… 3-1 Game Five… 0-5 .500 > off SU win w/rev vs non div opp

BALTIMORE OCT: 1-9 H off SU loss vs opp off SU win…1-4 Game Four

San Diego  7-0 off BB ATS wins… 1-15 .500 > favs off SUATS win vs AFC East opp…4-1 O/U Game Five

MIAMI  SERIES: 6-1 L7… 8-0 dogs vs AFC West opp… 7-0 off SU win vs opp off SU win & favored L3 games… 10-2 non div dogs 6 > pts (0-1 this year)…0-4 Game Four… OCT: 1-5 off DD SU win vs opp off DD SU win

Kansas City 0-4 A vs opp off SU win…1-4 Game Five

CAROLINA  5-0 off div vs < .500 opp…OCT: 9-2 vs < .500 opp w/rev…6-2 Game Five…*0-7 favs Games One-Six off DD SU win

Washington  0-7 dogs 9 < pts & O/U line 43 > pts… 2-8-1 A off Cowboy win… 1-4 Game Five

PHILADELPHIA  SERIES: 3-1 L4… 3-1 Game Five… 2-11 vs div opp off BB SU wins w/rev…OCT: 2-11 vs div opp w/rev… REID: 1-6 .500 > vs div opp off BB SU wins

Chicago  OCT: 8-0 A off non div vs div opp… 7-0 .500 > A vs div opp off DD SU loss… 3-0 Game Five… 0-6 .500 > vs opp off BB SU losses… SMITH: 1-8 off SU win vs opp off BB SU losses

DETROIT  SERIES: 3-0 L3… 12-0 div HD’s vs opp who allowed 20 > pts LG… 15-2 dogs 3 > pts off BB SU losses of 8 > pts (0-1 this year)…14-2 off DD SU & BB SUATS losses (0-1 this year)…7-1 Game Four… 0-8 dogs < 6 pts bef div RG…  MARINELLI: 1-6 off BB SU losses vs div opp

Atlanta  SERIES: 3-1 L4 / 6-1 L7 A… OCT: 16-4 A vs .500 > opp

GREEN BAY  OCT: 6-1 vs opp off DD SU loss w/rev… OCT: 1-7 H off non div opp vs .500 > opp… MCCARTHY: 9-2 off non div  vs opp off SUATS loss… 9-1 O/U Game Five

Seattle  SERIES: 4-1- 1 L6… 8-0 regular season dogs 7 > pts off SU win… 0-10 aft scoring 35 > pts vs opp off SU win… OCT: 0-7 off DD SU win vs opp off SU win… 0-5 dogs aft Bye Week…1 -9 vs opp off 3 SU wins…1-4 Game Four
   
NY GIANTS  4-0 Game Four… 0-8 HF’s off non div vs < .400 opp… 0-7 HF’s w/rev vs non div opp off fav role…2-6 w/rest vs < .500 opp

Tampa Bay  9-0 off SU win bef BB HG’s… 4-2 Game Five…0-13 bef div HG (0-1 this year)…0-6 RD’s > 3 pts vs AFC opp… 0-6 A off BB SU wins vs non div opp… 1-14 A off SU win vs non div opp (1-0 this year)… 2-9 off BB SU wins vs non div opp… 1-9 A vs AFC opp… OCT: 3-16 A off SU win

DENVER  OCT: 11-3 H vs opp off BB SU wins… 0-5 Game Five

New England  SERIES: 3-1 L4 / 0-3 L3 A…10-0 vs NFC West opp… 7-0 A off SU fav loss… 3-1 Game Four… 0-10 vs opp off non div game (0-1 this year)… BELICHICK: 7-0 A off DD SUATS loss

SAN FRANCISCO  6-2 Game Five… 1-10 dogs off non div game vs AFC opp… NOLAN: 5-1 off DD ATS loss vs opp off SUATS loss

Buffalo  SERIES: 4-0 L4… 3-1 Game Five…  2-9 .500 > vs non div opp (1-1 this year pending this week vs St. Louis)… 1-7 .500 > dogs (1-0 this year)… 1-7 RF’s vs opp w/rev… JAURON: 1-7 dog vs opp off DD SU loss w/rev

ARIZONA 11-0 HD’s < 4 pts off BB SU losses… 7-1 favs vs opp off 3 SU wins… 1-10 .500 > H off DD SU loss…  1-8 favs off SU fav loss… 5-21 off DD SU loss vs AFC opp…1-4 Game Five…WHISENHUNT: 5-0 H vs opp off non div game 

Cincinnati  SERIES: 3-1 L4… -10 < .500 RD’s off DD SU div loss vs opp w/rev… 0-3 Game Five… 2-17 < .500 RD’s aft scoring < 20 pts vs opp w/rev…3-18 A vs .700 > opp (1-0 this year)… 3-14 dogs off SU div loss vs opp off SU loss

DALLAS  11-1 favs w/rev vs non div opp… 0-9 favs 7 > pts off SU H fav loss… 4-2 O/U Game Five

Pittsburgh  OCT: 11-1 RD’s off div game… 12-3 Game Five… TOMLIN: 0-7 A off SU win (0-2 this year)

JACKSONVILLE  SERIES: 5-1 L6 / 9-1 L10 H… 5-0 O/U Game Five


Monday, Oct. 6th

Minnesota  SERIES: 3-1 L4… 5-1 Game Five… OCT: 0-7 < .500 dogs vs non div opp… OCT: 2-11 < .500 A…2-8 O/U Mondays (1-0 O/U this year)

NEW ORLEANS OCT: 0-10 HF’S vs opp off SUATS loss… 1-15 aft scoring 28 > pts BB vs < .500 opp…1-11 H vs opp off A… OCT: 1-11 H  w/rev vs opp off SU loss…3-7 Game Five… PAYTON: 0-6 H off non div vs < .500 opp

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2-MINUTE HANDICAP Week 6
Marc Lawrence

Penn St SERIES: 7-2 L9… 6-0 aft Illinois… 6-1 Game Six…  4-1 as conf RF’s 8 > pts… 5-2 off BB HG… 1-7 vs con opp w/ rev           

PURDUE  5-2 in 1st con gm… 0-4 aft Notre Dame… 1-5 H bef BB RG… 1-3 Game Five…  3-7 as con HD’s > 6 pts
         
Texas Tech  SERIES: 4-0 L4… 6-1 bef Nebraska… 5-1 Game Five… 1-5 away w/ rest… 1-4 favs off unlined SU W 21 > pts… 2-5 as con RF’s 3 > pts

KANSAS ST  11-4 as conf HD’s 3 > pts… 0-5 bef Texas A&M… 1-6 Game Five

Kansas  SERIES: 4-1 L5… 5-0 vs rested opp… 7-1 w/ rest… 6-1 vs con opp w/ rev… 5-1 Game Five…  3-8 as con RF’s 6 > pts           

IOWA ST  SERIES: 5-1 L6 H… 12-3 as dogs 2 > pts w/ con rev… 1-5 w/ rest… 1-4 off BB RG…  3-10 as conf HD’s 6 > pts… 1-3 Game Five                       

Auburn  SERIES: 3-0 L3…  4-0 as con RF’s 7 < pts… 3-0 aft Tennessee… 4-1 Game Six… 7-3 away vs con opp w/ rev…  2-5 as favs off BB HG
                             
VANDERBILT SERIES: 3-1 L4 H… 8-0 aft Mississippi… 4-0 w/ rest… 4-1 bef Miss St…  1-4 as con HD’s < 7 pts… 2-8 Game Five… 2-6 home w/ con rev           

Illinois  5-0 aft Penn St… 3-0 in 2nd of BB RG… 5-1 w/ con rev…  2-10 as con RD’s 10 < pts… 1-4 bef Minnesota           

MICHIGAN  SERIES: 4-1 L5… 9-3 w/ con rev… 5-2 Game Five… 3-7 in 2nd of BB HG… 1-3 vs con bed non con HG                                   

Missouri  5-0 off 3+ HG… 4-0 vs con opp w/ rev… 8-2 Game Five… 1-4 away w/ rest…  1-4 as con RF/RD 4 < pts
                             
NEBRASKA  SERIES: Host 6-0…  6-0 in 4th straight HG… 5-2 bef Texas Tech… 1-4 home w/ con rev… 1-3 Game Five

Texas  SERIES: 5-1 L6 / 3-0 L3 A… 0-3 w/ rest vs con opp… 1-6 Game Five… 1-4 bef Oklahoma… 1-3 aft Rice

COLORADO  3-0 off BB dog W…  7-3 as con HD’s 5 > pts… 5-2 Game Five… 1-5 vs undefeated opp (Gm 5 >)           

Florida  SERIES: 6-0 L6… 1-8 Game Five…  1-7 as con RF’s 8 > pts… 1-4-1 bef LSU… 2-5 RF’s bef BB HG
                                 
ARKANSAS  6-1 as HD’s 8 > pts… 8-3 as dogs in 2nd of BB HG… 5-2 Game Five… 3-1 off SU home L 21 > pts… 4-12 w/ rest off SU L           

Kentucky  5-1 away off BB HG…  5-1 off DD non con W… 1-3 Game Five
                                   
ALABAMA  SERIES: 3-1 L4 H… 7-2 aft Georgia… 7-3 bef Mississippi… 0-4 home off BB RG… 3-12 Game Six           

San Diego St  8-3 away Game Five… 1-5 bef Air Force… 1-5 as conf dogs 14 > pts… 2-6 away w/ con rev
                                                                 
TCU  SERIES: Host 3-0… 4-1 as con favs 14 > pts… 5-2 home off BB RG… 7-2 vs con opp w/ rev… 3-1 Game Six…  1-4 off SU non con L           

Oklahoma  SERIES: 5-1 L6 A… 0-3 away Game Five… 0-3 aft TCU…  1-4 as con RF’s 15 > pts… 2-8 favs 8 >  pts bef Texas                       

BAYLOR  SERIES: 4-1 L5… 4-1 w/ rest… 3-1 Game Five… 1-5 in 1st of BB HG… 1-5 off non con SU L but ATS W…  1-4 as con HD’s 14 > pts
                                                       
Ohio State  5-1 bef Purdue… 7-2 away w/ con rev… 5-2 aft Minnesota… 5-2 away off BB HG… 2-6 Game Six

WISCONSIN  SERIES: 4-1 L5… 4-0 w/ con rev… 6-2 Game Five… 5-2 home off BB RG… 0-4 bef Penn St

Oregon  SERIES: 3-1 L4 A… 3-0 aft Wash St… 7-1 Game Six…  5-1 w/ con rev…  4-1 as con dogs 13 > pts… 5-2 bef UCLA…

USC  4-0 aft Oregon St… 0-5 home bef Ariz St… 0-4 home off SU road fav L… 1-4 Game Four… 1-3 home off weekday gm

Hawaii  SERIES: 3-1 L4 A… 6-1 vs opp off BB RG… 1-6 aft San Jose St… 3-11 as dogs w/ con rev… 1-5 Game Five

FRESNO ST SERIES: 3-1 L4… 3-0 aft UCLA… 1-5 Game Five… 1-4 home w/ con rev… 1-4-1 in 1st con gm… 3-0 as con favs 8 > pts

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Northcoast Power Plays

CFB
4* SMU
4* Penn State
4* Western Mich.
4* Iowa State
4* UNLV
4* Duke
4* Minnesota
4* FSU
4* California
4* TCU
4* West Virginia
4* Texas El Paso
4* Florida
4* Bowling Green
4* Oklahoma State

NFL
4* Carolina
4* Tampa Bay

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Vegas Experts The Edge Newsletter

3* Texas Tech
3* Arizona State
3* Toledo

3*Carolina
3*Arizona
3*Jacksonville

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Winning Points

****BEST BET
SOUTH CAROLINA over MISSISSIPPI* by 14
We could not have possibly asked more from Houston Nutt and Ole Miss than they gave us at the top of this page last week, beating Florida outright and not even needing the generous allowance that the oddsmakers gave. So why do we shift gears so quickly? Because the S.E.C. is good this year, very good. And as such there are laws of gravity in play. When we see a team perform at too high of a level in this league this autumn we will look for those pendulums to swing back the other way, and we may have the best example of the season here. Not only will the Rebels have an obvious focus issue off of that scintillating win in The Swamp, but there are major physical issues. Two weeks ago they came up a bounce short on this field vs.Vanderbilt in a game that went to the final possession, and then it was four more quarters of all-out intensity at Gainesville. To bring the necessary physical level to win here is asking too much off of those affairs, and they are in against the wrong team at the wrong time – while Ole Miss was involved in those gut-wrenchers, South Carolina has only had to tune up vs. the likes of Wofford and U.A.B. the past two weeks. Steve Spurrier is an outstanding 7-2-1 ATS as a road underdog since taking over the Gamecock program, and now we get him not only with the much fresher athletes, but also the superior defense. That defense matters against Jevan Snead, who has neither been mobile in the pocket, nor accurate downfield (only 46.7 percent completions), in conference play. SOUTH CAROLINA 31-17.

***BEST BET
MISSOURI over NEBRASKA* by 24
OK, so maybe the perfect result from a pure line standpoint would have been Nebraska beating Virginia Tech last week, which would have brought this one in a point or two lower. But we will settle for what happened in another way – instead of the Cornhuskers coming in unbeaten that loss begins to sew some seeds of doubt. And there should be plenty of that for a time that is only marginally improved under Bo Pelini, despite public perceptions of something greater. Now after opening vs. a soft schedule they are in against the real deal; a Missouri team that not only has two weeks to prepare for this one, which develops a special energy and intensity level, but that loss by USC also creates a different look to the Tiger season. Keep winning each week, and a chance at the national championship is absolutely within reach. The next step is an easy one, after rolling to a 41-6 in over Nebraska in Columbia last year, all of the key pieces are in place for more of the same. Note that there was nothing fluky about that score, with a commanding 606-297 edge in total offense, keyed by the usual precision from Chase Daniel, who was 33-47 for 401 yards without an interception. Now in addition to the balance of the WR/TE corps (four different Tigers have at least 16 catches already, and at least two TD receptions), there is the running compliment of Derrick Washington (361 yards at 6.8 per carry, with nine TD’s already), which makes it even more difficult for a defense still learning new schemes. MISSOURI 40-16.

**PREFERRED
Tulane* over Army by 28
Do not read all that much into Army’s solid showing vs. Texas A&M; the Black Knights are now 6-0 ATS as road underdogs in the state of the Texas the last six seasons, largely because they have so many players from that state (27 on the current roster, including five starters). Now it becomes letdown time off of that emotional affair, and they match up horribly here. An option offense that lacks playmakers is going nowhere against a quick Tulane defensive front that has only allowed 274 yards rushing all season, and with a couple of extra days to prepare the Green Wave will have the X’s in the right places. And there is no problem asking for the right focus to get a margin, after last year’s bitter 20-17 overtime defeat at West Point, a game in which they were by far the better team (total offense was 401-190), but saw an 18-7 lead in the 4th quarter eventually disappear on a 36- yard “Hail Mary” heave on the final snap of regulation. The lack of speed for the Black Knights gets exposed. TULANE 38-10.

Miami O.* over Temple by 18
Now that Temple if a full-fledged member of the M.A.C. it means that the Owls are not going to be taking lightly anymore, and this is not the time for Al Golden’s team to be welcomed by a fresh home side off of a bye that is desperate for a win. Injuries have taken such an early toll on his team that Golden even had to call off a day of practice last week, and nowhere are they in more dire straits than at QB, where the loss of Adam DiMichele has been felt to the tune of just six points in the  ast two games, when they could not reach 200 yards of total offense either time. There is not a ground game to fall back on, which far too much on the shoulders of Chester Stewart, who will be making his first road start. The RedHawks will not be hospitable hosts, which much of that bye week spent watching films of last year’s 24-17 road loss to the Owls, when a 22-11 domination in first downs could never get to the scoreboard. We rarely get to play on the concept of “revenge” against this class of program, so let’s enjoy it. MIAMI O. 30-12.

Alabama* over Kentucky by 6
In our BEST BET call to South Carolina at the top of this page we talk about the concept of “S.E.C. Gravity”, and here is another excellent situation to put it into play. Yes, the Crimson Tide were special last week, and no one enjoyed that rout of Georgia more than we did, since it was featured at the top of last week’s page. But all it does is to shift this line even higher, all the while Nick Saban will be looking to do little more than grind out a win and move on, with margins not a factor at all in this league. Now his Crimson Tide have to play their third straight conference game against an opponent that brings an entirely different level of freshness, with Kentucky off of a bye two weeks ago, and that non-taxing destruction of Western Kentucky on Saturday. It means not only a chance for the offense to develop some confidence, but also fresh bodies on defense, the heart of this year’s Wildcat squad. They have the tenacity to counter the Bama ground game in the trenches, and that keeps them in the hunt all the way here. ALABAMA 20-14.

Ohio State over Wisconsin* by 13
Last week we saw Tyrelle Pryor and Beanie Wells together in the Ohio State backfield for the first time, and it was indeed the start of a new era for the Buckeye offense – they picked up 7.5 yards per carry in rolling to a commanding 34-6 lead over Minnesota, before the Gophers got a pair of back-door touchdowns vs. the defensive reserves to alter the ATS outcome, and help to keep this line where we want it. And where we want it is in a range in which the outright win gets the money. The Badgers used five fist-half Michigan turnovers to build a 19-0 lead but when the Wolverines started to hang on to the ball that game turned around, and it showed some of the limitations of Bret Bielema’s squad. They were badly outplayed by the Buckeyes in the trenches in last year’s 38-17 loss at Columbus, when the rushing totals were a shocking 211-12, and since that is the best part of the Badger game, revenge notions go out the window. The superior talent in the skill positions, and overall speed, eventually rule this one. OHIO STATE 27-14.

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Kevin O'Neil's The Max

Selection and Analysis by Dave Fobare

Iowa (+9) over @Michigan State

The natives are getting restless in Iowa City and more than a few fans are calling for Kirk Ferentz' scalp. The Hawkeyes snatched another defeat from the jaws of victory, this time in their Big 10 opener against Northwestern. Up 17-3 late in the 2nd quarter Iowa managed to fumble their way to a come from ahead 22-17 homecoming loss. After ringing up 159 yards on 21 carries, Stud RB Shonn Greene sat out the final quarter thanks to a vicious hit. His presence might have provided the Hawkeyes the edge needed to hold off the Wildcats. As I write this Greene is expected to play on Saturday. One has wonder whether Greene or MSU's Javon Ringer is the fresher back. Greene has carried the ball 99 times so far while Ringer has averaged 42 carries over the past 3 games. Iowa's meltdowns have concealed superior stats. Against FBS opponents the Hawkeyes have a 4.9 to 2.9 yards per carry advantage, while MSU gains and gives up 4.3 yards per carry. Iowa has a small edge in the passing department, and the teams have faced the same level of opposition. My database pops a trio of bounceback systems on Iowa; the records are 44-12, 65- 34, and 127-71 ATS. The Hawkeyes are also favored by a 36-12 ATS system involving single-digit road dogs. Michigan State applies to a negative 113-196 ATS statistical matchup indicator that is 1-2 so far in 2008 including a winner against Ohio State last weekend. And the final technical nail in the Spartan coffin is a 13-35 ATS system that plays against favorites with a perfect mark inside their conference. Given the recent performances of these teams I would have expected a somewhat larger number. Based on each team's average lines this season a fair price would be somewhere from -9 to -10 on the home team, but it opened 8. Still the stats and the technical outlook strongly favor an Iowa team that needs this game more than Michigan State. Take the points. Michigan State by only 1


Selection and analysis by Matty Baiungo

South Carolina (+2½) over @Mississippi

Nice upset by Mississippi last week. They went into a very tough place to play, and stole a win from Florida. The result was not shocking at all as we called for Mississippi to hang tough in this space, although we didn’t call for the outright win. And according to the box score, Ole Miss didn’t beat Florida, but more like the Gators beat themselves, which falls directly on Urban Meyer. We pointed out Meyer’s historically bad preparation in that spot, and that’s exactly what cost Florida the game. On the field, Florida did have 14 more first downs (24-10), and 118 more yards (443-325). But Ole Miss won the turnover battle (3-1) and also made big plays throughout the game with the biggest being the blocked extra point, which gave the Rebels a 31-30 win. A win is a win, whether it is earned or not. But the magnitude of that win is so big that it is inevitable that the Rebels have to suffer a letdown this coming Saturday. While the Rebels were pulling off a shocker in Gainesville, South Carolina was playing in a non-eventful game with UAB. The Gamecocks “squeaked” by the Blazers 26-13 and I say that because Carolina was a 25½-point favorite. And to score just 26 points total is really not too impressive. But there are some things to like. Their defense was once again outstanding holding UAB to just 207 yards on 3.9 yards per play. UAB only had two drives all game that went longer than 22 yards, and in fact, Carolina held them to 8 drives of three and out. Steve Spurrier also made a much needed move at quarterback by playing heralded, but troubled, Stephen Garcia. The kid is highly thought of, but off the field incidents have prevented him from seeing much action. He played fantastic hitting 13 of 20 for 131 yards. But his biggest attribute comes with his legs where his mobility will definitely help South Carolina’s struggling offense. Garcia ran for 86 yards, and his presence will give Spurrier a mobile QB, something he hasn’t had since Syvelle Newton in 2005. With Newton, that team went 3-1 as a road underdog, which included two straight-up wins, one being at Arkansas when Houston Nutt was there. Garcia could be the spark that Carolina needs. The line on this game looks out of whack. In week two, South Carolina was a 9½-point road favorite at Vanderbilt. Two weeks back, Mississippi was a 7-point home favorite over the same Vanderbilt team. Now, we have Ole Miss laying almost a field goal to South Carolina. It just doesn’t make any sense because South Carolina was rated 2½ better than Vanderbilt than what Mississippi was. And Carolina would have been a much bigger favorite if the game was on their home field. So we can take points with the higher rated team because of last week’s results, and knowing that SEC road teams are 8-3 straight-up in conference play, we’ll play the underdog here. South Carolina by 4.



Selection and analysis by Kevin O’Neill

@Vanderbilt (+4½) over Auburn

Some teams don’t have much returning on the offensive line and it murders them (Clemson, South Carolina, Hello!!) Others don’t return much on the offensive line but surprise with the quality of their work and quietly do well. Such is the case of Vanderbilt. Behind a reconstituted offensive line, the Commodores are averaging 4.6 yards per rush attempt. It allows them to play ball control, use their terrific defense, and play conservatively until “winning time”. That careful approach should come in handy against an Auburn team that is suffering from some fumbles and turnovers as they implement their new offense. Vandy is 4-0 and that includes conference wins against South Carolina and Ole’ Miss. I’m convinced that Auburn made the right hire in Tony Franklin, but such a drastic change in offensive philosophy is bound to take a little time. And obviously Auburn’s offense has been an immense struggle thus far. 226 yards and 14 points Saturday at home against Tennessee, 21 points and 320 yards at home against LSU (one of the TD’s was by the defense), and the colossal 3 points and 315 yards in the Tigers’ 3-2 win at Mississippi State. And in the non-conference home games against Louisiana-Monroe and Southern Miss hardly exhibited a lot of fireworks. While Auburn has an excellent defense, they’re having real troubles creating any offense. This simply isn’t the profile of a team that is worthy of support laying points on the conference road. Vandy’s defense is more athletic than people realize, but they also have some vulnerabilities. But the struggles of the Auburn offense make that less important. Vandy has a nice schedule. They play four games, get a week off, play another four, get a week off, and then they play their final four games. This is a nice week-off with revenge scenario for a team that is playing with a lot of confidence. Though it’s early, the rest may come in handy. Auburn is playing their sixth straight game and the last three have gone down to the last play. Showing up here flat remembering a 35-7 win in Auburn last year wouldn’t be a surprise. Vandy is the least fierce venue on the SEC road but that’s changing some, as there is genuine excitement over this outfit in Nashville. Tommy Tuberville’s patience is being tested with the struggles of the new offense. He’s got offensive coordinator Franklin on a short leash, and that will likely be even more the case in this road game. This has all the makings of a field goal affair, and we’ll call for the outright upset. Vandy by 3.


Selection and analysis by Kevin O’Neil

Stanford (+7) @Notre Dame

lWe mentioned in a report to you last week that we would have liked to have bet against both Purdue and Notre Dame last Saturday, but unfortunately these two overrated teams were playing each other. It was a nice comeback win for the Irish, as they trailed early but came back to notch a 38-21 win. ND had some breaks (Purdue led 14-7 with the Irish’s only score at the time being a long INT return of the game’s lone turnover), but played their best game of the campaign. But you would hope so. A dull win over San Diego State is not exactly flattered by the Aztecs ineptitude against everyone else, 6 turnovers by Michigan fueled a win over the Wolverines (leading fumblers in the country) in a game that saw ND outgained by 128 yards. Then the Irish were held to 16 yards rushing in a 23-7 loss at East Lansing. In the win over Purdue. Notre Dame outgained their opponent for the first time this season. No real accomplishment, as Purdue, traveling for the first time this season, has yet to outgain a Division 1-A team this season, getting outyarded against both Oregon and Central Michigan by over 90 yards each. Though his achievements have been little noticed, Jim Harbaugh has done a terrific job resurrecting the Stanford program. After previous Buddy Teevens’ poor recruiting helped doom Walt Harris to a 1-11 record in 2006, with only one loss by less than 9 points, Jim Harbaugh replaced him before last season. A lot of folks were fading Washington due to an extreme revenge factor for the Huskies, and leading rusher Toby Gerhart went out with a mild concussion in the first quarter. But none of it bothered Stanford, as Anthony Kimble stepped up and ran for 168 yards in a 35-28 win Stanford win that was 35-21 before a late UW garbage time score. Tavita Pritchard is coming into his own, and he had 222 yards passing on only 24 attempts for three TD’s. The Cardinal did benefit from Jake Locher breaking his finger in the second quarter, but they were containing the Washington QB impressively at the time. Averaging 3.3 yards per rush, Notre Dame is once again one of the worst rushing teams in the country, so they’re opening things up. Stanford is prepared for some of Notre Dame’s new approaches. In Pac Ten play they regularly see the 4-wide and 5-wide formations the Irish used against Purdue. The Cardinal outgained the Irish in a 21-14 home loss last season, so they know there is no reason they can’t play with the Golden Domers. While Notre Dame has been hanging out at home, with only a single road game at Michigan State, this is already Stanford’s fourth road game, and they won’t be intimidated after already visiting Arizona State, TCU, and Washington. Look for underrated Stanford to be right in there in this one against overrated Notre Dame. Stanford by 1.

Selection and analysis by Matty Baiungo

@Nebraska (+11) over Missouri

Nebraska wanted to get back to Nebraska football with the hire of Bo Pelini. Bill Callahan and his west coast offense were not a big hit in Lincoln. And after last year’s 5-7 campaign, athletic director and former coach Tom Osborne fired Callahan and hired Pelini away from LSU. Offensively, the Huskers were fine last year (over 33 points per game), but it was their defense that was terrible (allowed 37 points per game). Knowing the defense needed fixing, Osborne got a defensive minded coach in Pelini. And until last week, Pelini’s team allowed 24 points or less in their first three games. Virginia Tech scored 35 points while handing Nebraska their first loss of the year. But the defense played a lot better than the 35 points allowed indicate. They only allowed two touchdowns that came on extended drives. The Blackshirts forced 4 field goals, and the other nine points came on a safety after a blocked punt and an 11-yard scoring drive after an interception. Now Virginia Tech’s offense isn’t all that good, and not even on the same planet as Missouri’s, but Nebraska’s defense has done a 180 from last year. The Huskers were forced to deal with the mobility of Tyrod Taylor and a power running game, but they face just the opposite here. Missouri is a passing juggernaut, and Pelini’s previous work as a defensive coordinator should come into play. He and his brother Carl (defensive coordinator) should be able to devise a solid defensive game plan in order to try and slowdown Missouri’s attack. That’s easier said than done, but the fact that Nebraska runs the ball more now than they did in the last four years under Callahan gives them a chance to stay in this game. Their best defense may be their offense, as they’ll try to shorten the game while running more. Missouri continues to roll. They’ve scored 42 points or more in every game so far this year, and every win has been by 10 points or more. They also enter this game off a bye, but not so sure that’s a good thing for them this early in the season. Missouri is an offensive machine that is built on timing between quarterback Chase Daniel and his receivers. So their timing may be off just enough to allow Nebraska to hang around early which would certainly give the Huskers added confidence. This is also their first true road game of the year. It’s not much of a factor because the Tigers have experience, but head coach Gary Pinkel has bad numbers as a road favorite. Last year, they covered all three times as a road favorite. But they were laying only 6, 3 ½, and 7 points. And over the 6 years before that, Pinkel was just 3-9-1 as a road favorite with Missouri. That history, along with this absurd double-digit line, makes the home dog very attractive here. Missouri by only 3.


Selection and Analysis by Erik Scheponik

@Miami-FL (-2.5) over Florida State

Both programs have made major overhauls to their respective coaching staffs over the last couple of seasons, and this game will be a good measuring stick to see which team is further along. If you read my FSU/Wake Forest writeup two weeks back, you know that I am a very critical of the culture and leadership at Florida St. right now with Jimbo Fisher waiting to replace Bobby Bowden. On the other hand, although a young Miami team led by a young staff is undergoing a bit of baptism under fire right now, I like the overall direction the Canes are headed under Randy Shannon. Shannon's players would run through fire for him, and he has experience as a coach and a player in this passionate rivalry. Last season, a very bad, very injury-riddled UM team lost 6 of its last 7 games, but the only win was as a 5-point underdog at Tallahassee. Also, in Shannon's 4 seasons as a player at UM, he never lost to some very good Seminole teams. In fact, over the past 25 years (which includes 1 bowl game), if you take out a 4-0 SU/ATS run by Florida St. from 1995 to 1998 when the 'Canes were buried under probation-induced scholarship limits, this has been UM's series as they have a 16-6 SU/ 14-7-1 ATS mark against FSU. FSU's offense in recent years has really struggled due to the lack of a running game as, despite some talented backs, they have only averaged over 3.7 yards per rush or more than 135 yards per game on the ground once (2004) in the last 5 seasons. Last week they busted out against Colorado with 250 yards on 5.7 ypr and they will need to duplicate that ground success to win games this year. However, I'm very skeptical they can do that against a Miami defense whose front 7, especially a very good set of LBs, is their strength. Miami's new defensive coordinator Bill Young coached some great run defenses at Kansas (no more than 109 ypg or 3.5 ypr in the last 3 seasons in a very good running conference), and the Canes are only allowing 2.1 ypr on the season defensively. Having seen FSU play a couple times, the 16-40, 4.2 yards per pass, 0/4 ratio posted by Sophomore QB Christian Ponder in 2 games against 1A opponents this season is every bit as bad as it looks. Ponder is not a very good QB right now. He will not be able to exploit UM's weakness, which is a 7.7 ypp secondary that cost them the game last week against North Carolina. Miami's corners are very mediocre, and there have been some blown coverages in Young's new aggressive scheme. However, Ponder is not the QB to take advantage of this. That's not to say that young Cane QBs, Robert Marve and Jacory Harris, will not struggle against FSU DC Mickey Andrews' pressure D. However, both of these two, especially Marve who plays most of the game, rate a huge edge over Ponder. Miami has greatly improved on offense since struggling early on against a tough Florida defense, and the matchups in this game favor them, as I don't believe FSU will be able to maintain the success it found on the ground vs. CU last week. Despite last week's results, I still believe UM is a little further along at this point. Those results give us value here, and home field and superior QB play will lead UM to a win which, at this price, should bring home the money as well. Miami by 7


Selection and analysis by Kevin O’Neill

@Wisconsin (+2½) over Ohio State

Absolutely dominating the proceedings in the first half, only to inexplicably let it slip away, Wisconsin’s loss to Michigan was simply one of those wacky things you have to just write off. It isn’t often that you blow a 19-0 halftime lead, and if Indiana or Northwestern or somebody like that was coming to town it’d be tough to get up for the game. But that’s not the case. You’re looking at the mighty Buckeyes rolling into Madison, and that will keep Wisconsin’s mind on business this week. 4-1 Ohio State continues to massively underperform to the pointspread, losing by a combined 52½ points in failing to cover all four lined games. And that’s been reflected in this line. Ohio State laying less than a TD definitely would have looked good in the summertime, with 17 starters returning to an Ohio State team that played for the national championship. But the Buckeyes are not developing. Are some of those returning starters more concerned with their potential draft status and other individual concerns? Could be. Beanie Wells will be the healthiest he’s been since his injury, and he went for 106 yards on only 14 carries (7.6 yards per attempt) in a win over the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Saturday. Obviously, his return makes things different, but Wisconsin’s D is tons better than Minnesota’s. Camp Randall Stadium is a terrific environment, and a legitimate home field edge will be in play. Obviously Terrell Pryor is a unique talent to have displaced the veteran Todd Boeckman. But this is his first road start in a wickedly intense environment. His center is also a true freshman, and won’t the line calls be difficult in this environment, particularly when dealing with an inexperienced classmate as your signal caller? Mental errors killed Wisconsin in Ann Arbor. The game would have gone to overtime if it weren’t for a penalty due to a mistake in offensive alignment on a successful two-point conversion. Michigan players knocked Wisconsin’s physical conditioning, saying that they were fresher late. That will add to the focus here, and the desire to prepare. This is the first visit to Wisconsin by Ohio State since 2003. A game that Wisconsin won outright at a (lookie here) 2½-point underdog. The Badgers have been home dogs six times since 2001. In each instance there was concern that their opponent was too athletic and would outclass them. Wisconsin covered all six times. We’ll look for the same here with a big, tough, physical team that will put everything they have into this one off of the Michigan loss.Wisconsin by 4.

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POWER INDEX

1. Florida -24½ over Arkansas*
We have enjoyed going against the Razorbacks for the last 2 weeks and hope to win again at their expense. The Hogs have played 4 awful games so far and look to be outclassed again. The spread has grown to 24½ but we just don't see how Arkansas can stay in this game for long with their pathetic offense and rollover defense. Tebow leads the charge to rebound from last week's devastating loss to Ole Miss.

2. Notre Dame* -6½ over Stanford
The rebuilding job continues at Notre Dame. QB Clausen is developing with each outing. The Irish have now won 3 straight at home and we expect another solid performance against a mediocre Pac-10 team. Clausen had a solid game last week against Purdue and should find the Cardinal pass defense as exploitable as they were last week against pass-happy Washington.

3. Texas Tech -7½ over Kansas State*
Texas Tech has been unstoppable facing weak competition. Kansas State has three wins, all against poor opponents. Our bet is on the Red Raiders here, as K-State was pushed to the limit last week by UL-Lafayette, who gashed the Wildcat defense for 335 rushing yards. There is no doubt that Tech QB Harrell will be able to move the team and score plenty of points. We have our doubts that Kansas State can stay close for 4 quarters.

4. Florida State/Miami FL* UNDER 42
Two tough defensive units should be able to shut down the opposing running games and neither team is particularly scary though the air.

5. Oregon +16½ over Southern Cal*
USC looks to rebound from last week's surprising loss to Oregon State on the road. The Trojans fell behind by 21 points and rallied to make a game of it late. The ability of the Beavers to run the ball on the Trojan defense was a surprise. Oregon features a very explosive offense and their ground game is as good as anyone's. We feel the Ducks can make a game of it and stay within 16½.

6. Ohio State -2 over Wisconsin*
Ohio State is on the comeback trail, following that awful loss earlier to USC. The Buckeye defense is solid and RB Wells is healthy again. QB Pryor is getting a little better each time out. We believe the edge here goes to the Buckeyes, as Wisconsin lost to Michigan last week in a 4 turnover debacle. The OSU defense should pressure Wisconsin into a few mistakes, too.

7. Missouri/Nebraska* UNDER 69
The number on this game is a remarkably high 69. While Missouri is very explosive, the Huskers are not. Nebraska will need to employ a little ball possession to stay in the game. Therefore, we are expecting a few long Husker drives to consume some clock and make 69 difficult to reach. Missouri is not stellar on defense, but Nebraska should score in long, slow drives.

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