Newsletters 10/16 - 10/20
Re: Newsletters 10/16 - 10/20
WINNING POINTS - NFL
Indianapolis over *Green Bay by 17
Tthe Colts finally got their offense in gear putting up 31 points on a Baltimore squad that entered last week’s matchup ranking first in total defense, first in pass defense and No. 2 in rush defense. Green Bay’s decimated defense isn’t nearly as good as Baltimore’s.The Packers have cluster injury problems in their defensive line and secondary. Peyton Manning is back in sync with Marvin Harrison. That’s bad news for the rest of the teams. Manning also has a healthy Anthony Gonzalez and Dallas Clark to go with Harrison and Reggie Wayne.These are plenty of weapons in which to light up Green Bay’s secondary. It’s one thing for the Packers to look good against an overmatched Charlie Frye. But beating Peyton Manning is something entirely different.The Packers’ banged-up defense isn’t up to the challenge even on grass at home where they’ve won 10 of their last 13. Inexperienced backups are ripe for Manning to pick apart and their run defense has been greatly weakened with the loss of lineman Cullen Jenkins for the season.The Packers also were thin and extremely inexperienced in the defensive backfield going into the season and now they’re without cornerback Al Harris and maybe safety Atari Bigby (check status). Green Bay’s offensive line hasn’t been playing up to last year’s standard either. The Packers are giving up nearly 50 more yards per game than last season. Ryan Grant has yet to produce a 100-yard rushing game or score a touchdown. Aaron Rodgers has become almost the entire focal point of Green Bay’s offense and he’s playing with a damaged right shoulder.The Colts have the pass rushers to take advantage of Rodgers being less than 100 percent with Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. INDIANAPOLIS 33-16.
Tennessee over *Kansas City by 22
They are young, rebuilding and very bad. In fact, this could be the worst Chiefs’ team in franchise history. Carolina held them to 127 yards of offense in a 34-0 loss. It was the Chiefs’ lowest yardage total in 22 years.The scary thing was the Chiefs picked up 50 of those yards during a meaningless fourth quarter.When Larry Johnson is shut down, the Chiefs have no way of moving the ball.Tennessee is holding foes to an NFL-low 11.2 points per game.The Titans haven’t allowed more than 19 points to any team in regulation during their past 10 games, while averaging 23 points per game themselves. Brodie Croyle is expected to start at quarterback for Kansas City after being out with a shoulder injury. Croyle can’t make plays or throw downfield, which is what is needed to beat the Titans. The Chiefs’ offensive line, which may be without promising rookie Branden Albert, won’t be able to handle Albert Haynesworth,Kyle Vanden Bosch and Jevon Kearse.The Titans should be at full strength following a bye.The Chiefs also were idle last week, but with extra time to prepare the Titans rate a strong coaching edge with Jeff Fisher versus Herm Edwards.The Chiefs have been such a disappointment and the fans are justifiably so down on Edwards that Arrowhead Stadium doesn’t hold a strong home-field edge anymore for Kansas City. The Chiefs are 2-7-1 ATS during their past 10 home games. Tennessee is 13-5-1 ATS in its last 18 games. Titans quarterback Kerry Collins has been sacked just once despite not being mobile. He has been a steady force. He’s in line for a big game facing a Chiefs secondary that was torched by 35-year-old Muhsin Muhammad. Rookie running back Chris Johnson continues to impress for the Titans.TENNESSEE 29-7.
Dallas over *St. Louis by 21
Since playing so well on the road against Green Bay, Dallas hasn’t played up to par. The Cowboys are 0-3 ATS during this span, losing outright to Washington at home and last week to Arizona.What are the odds of Dallas being flat a fourth straight week? Don’t expect it to happen.The Cowboys own too much talent for St. Louis.The Rams are in a rare letdown spot after upsetting the Redskins as nearly a two-touchdown ‘dog last week. Now we’re going the other way and fading St. Louis. It’s going to be difficult for the Rams to duplicate their effort and emotion of last week. Marc Bulger and Torry Holt are aging warriors whose best football is behind them and Orlando Pace, their best offensive lineman, may not play because of a pulled quadriceps. Dallas can key on Steven Jackson leaving the Rams with little firepower. Jackson,by the way, has only rushed for more than 79 yards once this season and has just one touchdown. St. Louis has failed to score more than 14 points in six of their last nine games. Defensively the Rams lack the personnel to check Tony Romo,Terrell Owens, Marion Barber and Jason Witten. The Rams are 4-16-1 ATS in their last 21. They have been outscored by 102 points in five games. DALLAS 34-13.
New York Jets over *Oakland by 12
Distinctive and dysfunctional.That’s been the motto of the Oakland Raiders during the past six seasons.The Raiders have won just 23 percent (20-65) of their games since 2003.The undistinguished Tom Cable is Oakland’s fifth head coach during this span. Owner Al Davis has run his once proud franchise into the ground with his bizarre moves and press conferences.The Raiders primarily are a running team with Justin Fargas and Darren McFadden. The Jets, though, have a premier run-stuffer in tackle Kris Jenkins.Already the Raiders have an eye toward next year, which means on the job training for inexperienced second-year quarterback JaMarcus Russell. He has a lot to learn and not much receiving talent or offensive line protection to help him. The Jets have a ball-hawking secondary. They are well-coached defensively, strong at confusing young quarterbacks such as Russell. Russell could learn a lot from his counterpart, Brett Favre. Entering Week 6, Favre had the highest passer rating. He’s already thrown 13 touchdown passes. The Raiders are without defensive end Derrick Burgess, which kills their pass rush and greatly limits their athletic ability. Favre had the savvy and the weapons to take advantage. NY JETS 28-16.
*Buffalo over San Diego by 3
The Chargers possess more weapons than Buffalo, but they’ve been flat too many times to earn our trust against a rested and well-coached Bills squad off a bye.The Bills are hoping Trent Edwards (check status) is a go after suffering a concussion two weeks ago.Backup quarterback J.P. Losman throws a better long ball, but is erratic.The Chargers are traveling cross-country off a huge revenge Sunday night home game versus New England.This will be their first game on artificial turf.West Coast teams traveling to the Central or Eastern Time Zone are 1-8 ATS on early Sunday games. BUFFALO 23-20.
Pittsburgh over *Cincinnati by 7
Cincinnati’s defense has played better than its statistics indicate. However, the Bengals have no ground game and also lack a downfield passing attack, too, if Carson Palmer (check status) is out for a second straight week.The Steelers have yet to allow 300 yards of offense.They haven’t surrendered a 200-yard passing game either. Pittsburgh has won and covered seven of its past nine versus Cincinnati and was off last week.The Steelers limped into their bye extremely banged-up, but expect to get back defensive linemen Casey Hampton and Brett Keisel along with featured back Willie Parker and offensive lineman Marvel Smith. PITTSBURGH 24-17.
Baltimore over *Miami by 1
Until meeting up with the Colts last week, Baltimore had held its first four foes to under 240 yards.The Ravens haven’t allowed someone to rush for 100 yards against them in a league-high 24 straight games.That’s bad news or a Miami squad that relies on Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams to set up a weak passing attack. Baltimore isn’t going to lack for motivation either. Miami’s only win last year came against the Ravens.The problem with backing Baltimore, especially on the road, is suffering too much with rookie quarterback Joe Flacco, who has thrown one TD pass and been picked off seven times. BALTIMORE 13-12.
*Chicago over Minnesota by 7
Vikings fans were shouting “Fire Childress” last week when their team had to get a lucky pass interference call to defeat the Lions. Minnesota has failed to cover seven of its past nine. So far Adrian Peterson isn’t having the big year he had last season.That could change here, although the Vikings’ offensive line has been disappointing. Minnesota has to be careful with return star Devin Hester after allowing Reggie Bush to bring back two punts for touchdowns two weeks ago. Kyle Orton has thrown for 1,027 yards and eight touchdowns in his last four games.The Bears have won and covered six of their last seven home games against Minnesota. CHICAGO 23-16.
*Carolina over New Orleans by 6
Drew Brees makes New Orleans dangerous. He’s been the hottest passer in the NFL despite not having Marques Colston and Jeremy Shockey, both of whom could be back for this matchup. Still, our lean is toward the more fundamentally sound Panthers. Carolina has the better defense and rushing attack.The Panthers are 3-0 at home holding the Bears, Falcons and Chiefs to a combined 26 points.The Saints’ offense, of course, is much better than those teams. But New Orleans has been too mistake-prone to trust. The Saints also are on grass for the first time in four weeks after having been home for three consecutive weeks. CAROLINA 30-24.
*New York Giants over San Francisco by 13
The Giants entered Monday night with an average victory margin of 19.5 points. Not good news for a 49ers squad that has trouble covering in the secondary and protecting quarterback J.T. O’Sullivan.That can explain why O’Sullivan has been picked off seven times in the last three games. The Giants’ strong pass rush can take advantage, while their balanced offense should have no problem putting up points on a San Francisco defensive unit that has surrendered 30 or more points in three of its last four games.San Francisco is 2-11 SU in October under Mike Nolan. NY GIANTS 27-14.
*Houston over Detroit by 12
The Lions probably should have pulled the upset last week against Minnesota, but remain difficult to back on the road no matter how inflated the pointspread.The Lions have won the grand total of eight away contests since 2000.They are 1-12 SU and 3-10 ATS in their last 13, having last won a game in December.They’ve allowed at least 30 points in nine of these last 13 games. The Texans are pumped following a last-second victory versus the Dolphins, while the Lions are off consecutive division games against Chicago and Minnesota.Ahman Green is healthy again giving the Texans’ a one-two running punch with Steve Slaton. HOUSTON 35-23.
*Washington over Cleveland by 12
The Redskins are now 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games, but you have to wonder if this is a team that plays down to the level of their competition following a shocking upset loss at home to St. Louis this past Sunday. After knocking off Dallas and Philadelphia on the road, the Redskins are in the middle of the easy portion of their schedule, having just hosted St. Louis and with Detroit on deck.The Browns will be traveling on a short week. They went into their Monday game against the Giants averaging only 210 yards on offense, worst in the NFL, with a passing game that had yet to click.WASHINGTON 26-14.
*Tampa Bay over Seattle by 4
The Buccaneers doesn’t have the flashy skill position players so it’s tough to lay a mid-sized number with them.This is Seattle’s season being 1-4.The Seahawks, however, have been terrible on long trips, have been out-scored 78-16 in their last two road contests and are playing on grass for the first time this season.Worse, the Seahawks may be forced to go with third-string quarterback Charlie Frye again if starter Matt Hasselbeck (knee) and backup Seneca Wallace (calf) remain out.The Seahawks have been outscored by an average of 10 points per game.TAMPA BAY 21-17.
*New England over Denver by 3 (Monday)
For the first time since 2005, the Patriots are hosting a Monday night game. They are doing it without Tom Brady making them vulnerable to just about any team. Denver’s high-octane passing attack can hurt a New England defense that is less-than-dominating and no longer has a shutdown cornerback. The Patriots have become much more ground-oriented under backup quarterback Matt Cassel. That could work in their favor versus a smallish Denver defensive front seven that surrendered 198 rushing yards to Larry Johnson in their previous road game. Note to totals players, Denver is 20-7 ‘over’ in its last 27 games. NEW ENGLAND 26-23.
**OVER: Detroit at Houston – The Texans are averaging 27.6 points in their last three games, while Detroit’s wideouts can hurt Houston’s vulnerable secondary.
UNDER: Baltimore at Miami – The Ravens ranked No. 1 in total defense going into Week 6, while Miami’s defense has been respectable against the run.
OVER: New Orleans at Carolina – The Saints have multiple weapons,but are surrendering an average of 31.5 points on the road.
Re: Newsletters 10/16 - 10/20
WINNING POINTS - NCAA
OKLAHOMA* over KANSAS by 35
Many times when an elite team suffers their first loss they respond poorly the next
week – when championship hopes disappear, it is not easy to find a new focus. We
do not believe that will be the case with Bob Stoops and the Sooners at all. Instead
we see this as a chance to vent some major frustrations, and with Stoops 10-2 ATS
in his last dozen games when laying double figures at home, he has shown that he
is not one to hold back. What this does is give us a chance to exploit a Kansas team
that has made its way up the national ladder as much because of a weak schedule
the past two seasons than any major talent upgrades. Yes, they have improved. But
no, they are not in this class. They did not face either Texas or Oklahoma during
the regular-season last year, before being easily handled by Missouri in the Big 12
title game, and the non-conference sked was among the weakest in the nation.
When they had to step up in class on the road at South Florida a month ago they
allowed 37 points and 458 yards, looking a step slow on defense all night, and that
is a bad problem to have against the precision of Sam Bradford and that no-huddle
Sooner attack. Meanwhile the Jayhawks also lack a ground game (only 124
yards per game vs. that weak slate), and that means no ability to keep the
Oklahoma pass rush honest, and off of Todd Reesing’s back. Jayhawks have not
faced much adversity at all of late, and that means a Dorothy-like expression of
“we’re not in Kansas anymore” may be heard. OKLAHOMA 45-10.
GEORGIA TECH over CLEMSON* by 18
We started this football season by calling for Alabama to beat Clemson outright,
stating that the Tigers were not supposed to be favored in that matchup. Now they
have already lost three times outright as favorites this season, but the very fact that
they were favored in each of those games shows that the oddsmakers are so far off
that they can not catch up any time soon to the true level of Tommy Bowden’s
team. And it will be a race to ever get even with that level, because things may go
from bad to worse. After that confidence-shattering loss to Wake Forest, which
basically eliminated them from the A.C.C. race already, these are difficult psychological
times, and Bowden’s switch from veteran QB Cullen Harper to the inexperienced
Willy Korn is not going to help matters. It is that weak OL that is the real
problem, not Harper, and without the threat of a passing game it becomes even
easier for opponents to stack the line of scrimmage and expose that blocking corps.
Now they run into a physical Georgia Tech team that absolutely buried them at the
line of scrimmage in last year’s 13-3 home win (rushing was 189-34), and now
under Paul Johnson the Yellow Jackets are even tougher in those areas. By facing
mobile QB’s in practice every day they are more than prepared to contain Korn,
which means little ball control for the Tigers, and with both Yellow Jacket QB’s
returning after sitting out last week (the Gardner-Webb result means little), they
take advantage of the field position given to them. GEORGIA TECH 31-13.
Northwestern* over Purdue by 14
Yes, the major dreams are gone for the Wildcats after their first loss last week, but
it is not as though that is what they were really expecting this season. Instead that
defeat helps us by getting this line down, especially since the 37-20 margin for
Michigan State did not show just how well Pat Fitzgerld’s team played in many
aspects of that game (3-0 in turnovers were too much to overcome). Now motivation
is not a problem at all, as they remember another one-sided turnover game,
the 4-0 disadvantage they had at West Lafayette last year, which eventually turned
a 17-14 lead into the fourth quarter into a misleading 35-17 final for Purdue. Now
it is time to bring the proper focus to make amends for that, while the
Boilermakers may be falling into an ugly level of complacency in Joe Tiller’s final
season. When your season is going nowhere, it is easy to slack off behind a coach
that is also not likely to be burning the midnight oil all that much anymore, a distinct
contrast to the young Wildcat staff. NORTHWESTERN 33-19.
Mississippi State over Tennessee* by 3
We were not able to cash a ticket with Georgia near the top of these pages last
week, and it could almost be classified as a crime – the Bulldogs bulldozed
Tennessee to the tune of 29-10 first downs and a stunning 148-1 in rushing yards,
but the scoreboard in the end told a fable. That works well in terms of setting up
value for this one, however, as there is not a realization at all of just how little the
Vols bring to the table, particularly in the skill positions on offense. They have
managed only 32 points in their first three S.E.C. games combined, and it is hard
to find any reasons for optimism. That is not the case with the Bulldogs, who
cashed nicely for us at the top of this page last week, holding Vanderbilt to just
seven first downs and 107 yards. Now the bruising Anthony Dixon is over his
groin injury, while Tyson Lee will only get better each week at QB (they did not
have a single turnover vs. L.S.U. or Vanderbilt with him at the helm), giving them
the tools needed to gut out a road win. MISSISSIPPI STATE 20-17.
Alabama* over Mississippi by 4
Alabama will likely take over the #1 spot in the polls this week, so in the ultra-competitive
world of the S.E.C. that makes this a natural. It forces the oddsmakers to
take the Crimson Tide to a higher level and the very same time that it is putting a
bull’s eye on their backs, letting a quality opponent know that they can really make
a name for themselves by pulling the upset. And the Rebels are such a quality
opponent. Not only have they already won outright at Florida, but note that only
a couple of difficult bounces kept them from beating Wake Forest and Vanderbilt
in games in which they were a combined -4 in turnovers. They bring the balance
and playmakers on offense to give this defense a serious challenge, plus the kind of
personnel that can run the plays in the nooks and crannies of Houston Nutt’s portfolio,
and now that their own DL is healthy again they also have the depth up front
to not get worn down over the course of the game. No surprise if this goes to the
final possession. ALABAMA 24-20.
Stanford over U.C.L.A.* by 9
We really like what Jim Harbaugh is doing on The Farm this fall; whereas so many
young coaches force their playbooks into action on players that have been recruited
to play another style, Harbaugh is instead tweaking his designs to get the most
out of what he has on hand. That means running the football with that one-two
punch of Toby Gerhart and Anthony Kimble, and that is actually not a bad way to
go at all in a Pac 10 that has some soft defensive fronts. And at 3-1 SU and ATS
in conference play the positive results lend reinforcements to the players that can
lead to even more success. What makes this fit is that there are some elements of
the Cardinal season that bring us extreme value, like the fact that they are 4-3 vs.
a tough schedule despite being -9 in turnovers. That is not an easy trick, and beating
Arizona outright despite a -3 differential is the sort of accomplishment that
flies under most radar screens. They continue their momentum against an undisciplined
Bruin squad that is still trying to find its direction. STANFORD 26-17.
Florida State over N. C. State* by 12 (Thursday)
The last time we saw the Seminoles on the field, they were showing a developing
ground game via the running ability of QB Christian Ponder. The Wolfpack have
allowed four straight opponents to reach 5.0 per rush. FLORIDA STATE 26-14.
T.C.U.* over Brigham Young by 2 (Thursday)
This call gets bigger if Andy Dalton is able to run the show at QB for the Horned
Frogs, but we believe the speed of their defense can cause some real problems for
Max Hall. T.C.U. 24-22.
Boise State* over Hawaii by 29 (Friday)
Having a shorter practice week than usual following a long trip does not help the
Warrior cause, nor does the mood of the favored Broncos, who will remember well
that 39-27 road loss last year, when they were beaten by 242 total yards. BOISE
Rutgers* over Connecticut by 1
The return of Kordell Young enables the Scarlet Knights to get some balance back
into an offense that badly needs it. But how do they fix a defense that does not
have a takeaway in five lined games? RUTGERS 24-23.
Wake Forest over Maryland* by 3
Four of five Maryland lined games have finished more than two full touchdowns
off of the pointspread, a pair in each direction. That lack of consistency was not
supposed to be a trait of a Ralph Friedgen team, and it keeps us from making
stronger speculations. WAKE FOREST 24-21.
East Carolina* over Memphis by 7
Who could have thought a month ago that a team that beat Virginia Tech and
West Virginia would already be fighting merely to get above .500? But two straight
Pirate opponents have both rushed and passed for over 200 yards, and the Tigers
bring weapons. EAST CAROLINA 34-27.
Miami F. over Duke* by 2
A bye week for a new coaching staff means a chance to add wrinkles now that they
know their players better, and David Cutcliffe and his staff are facing an opponent
that has some holes that they can exploit. MIAMI F. 24-22.
Virginia Tech over Boston College* by 1
We have not seen anything from either QB that would lead to any real sense of
trust against a class defense. Let’s give the Hokie special teams the call to make the
game-winning play. VIRGINIA TECH 20-19.
South Florida* over Syracuse by 30
Syracuse was able to look respectable against a flat West Virginia team playing
without Pat White, but these Bulls have been off for 16 days since a home loss, and
will be of a mind to vent some frustrations. SOUTH FLORIDA 44-14.
Iowa* over Wisconsin by 6
We thought that these Hawkeyes were an under-rated item via some tough
bounces when we put them at the top of these pages vs. Indiana last week. But that
blowout win means the value disappears before we can play again. IOWA 23-17.
Bowling Green* over Miami O. by 8
The RedHawks have not scored a touchdown with senior QB Daniel Radabaugh
behind center in October, so could this be the week that we see more of Clay
Belton? BOWLING GREEN 27-19.
Central Michigan* over Western Michigan by 7
The first reports were that the injury to Dan LaFevour that kept him out of most
of the Temple game was not major, so our call has him projected “in”. Broncos
showed a lot of late moxie at Buffalo, but does that leave them drained in their
eighth game without a bye? CENTRAL MICHIGAN 31-24.
Iowa State* over Nebraska by 1
Before thinking that hanging tough at Lubbock meant that the Nebraska defense
has turned the corner in any way, note that the Cornhuskers allowed 37 points and
421 yards despite the fact that they were only on the field for 48 snaps. IOWA
Re: Newsletters 10/16 - 10/20
Georgia* over Vanderbilt by 15
Commodores are 8-1 ATS as double-digit road underdogs, a tribute to how well
Bobby Johnson gets them prepared for these settings. But without any semblance
of a passing game, maintaining that run is going to be most difficult this season.
Akron over Eastern Michigan* by 4
Having lost their first two home M.A.C. games to Toledo and Northern Illinois by
a combined 61 points, and not getting much fan support, is there any advantage
for the Eagles to be coming out of their own locker room? AKRON 28-24.
Utah* over Colorado State by 21
The Rams have only left the state of Colorado once all season, for that dismal 42-
7 loss at California. Utes are off next week, and with subtle BCS hopes building
have no reason to let up. UTAH 34-13.
Texas Tech over Texas A&M* by 22
In their first look against the Mike Leach playbook we have to expect Mike
Sherman and his assistants to have some real headaches putting a game plan
together, especially with a slow defense that can not fit much of the puzzle. TEXAS
Rice* over Southern Miss by 3
Owls have only had one home game since August, that 77-point explosion vs.
North Texas (when they charitably did not score in the fourth quarter), and with
two weeks to prepare there is a rare sense of normalcy for this one. RICE 37-34.
Southern Cal over Washington State* by 46
With RB injuries now adding to their QB woes, it is awfully hard for the Cougars
to even bring much spirit to practice these days. SOUTHERN CAL 49-3.
Pittsburgh over Navy* by 1
It has been a long time since the Panthers last took the field, that upset at South
Florida, but while that can tactically help vs. the complex Navy option game, can
it also mean a problem for the defense in terms of getting their timing back?
Ohio State over Michigan State* by 7
Instead of getting better with Terrelle Pryor and Beanie Wells in the backfield
together, the Buckeye offense did not score a single TD vs. a soft Purdue defense
last week. OHIO STATE 24-17.
Texas* over Missouri by 1
It takes a lot of speed and the right tactics on defense to slow these Tigers down,
but that is exactly what Texas showed in the second half vs. Oklahoma. Of course,
maintaining that level of intensity becomes its own challenge for the Longhorns
this week, and Chase Daniel could be a “play-on” after throwing those three interceptions
on Saturday night. TEXAS 31-30.
North Carolina over Virginia* by 3
The recent improvements by the Cavaliers have coincided with the return to full
health of Cedric Peerman, which adds the kind of run balance that can take pressure
off of young QB Marc Verica. Tar Heels are winning without a lot of offense,
and you know what that means on the road. NORTH CAROLINA 23-20.
Northern Illinois* over Toledo by 11
Could we make a case that Toledo actually has a letdown in a conference game off
of a non-league win? If ever there was a fit for that notion this is it. And the
Huskies will be anything but flat, after they spend a week looking at films of last
year’s ugly 70-21 road drubbing, when their injury-riddled defense allowed 812
yards. NORTHERN ILLINOIS 35-24.
Nevada*over Utah State by 21
The Wolfpack defensive breakdowns have been almost entirely vs. the passing
game, an area of play that these Aggies can not exploit. NEVADA 41-20.
Marshall over U.A.B.* by 1
We rarely like the psyche of a bad team like these Blazers when they are coming off
of the kind of giveaway they had vs. Houston, but at least Joe Webb can make
some plays, while the Thundering Herd have only one touchdown in their last two
games. MARSHALL 27-26.
Penn State* over Michigan by 25
Nittany Lions have waited a long time to take out frustrations in this series, yet we
might actually see them backing off late, with a trip to Columbus next week that
now becomes a significant part of a BCS resume. PENN STATE 35-10.
New Mexico* over San Diego State by 15
Inept QB play is a prime feature of both of these squads right now, but at least the
Lobos have a ground game, and some depth on defense. NEW MEXICO 28-13.
Oregon State over Washington* by 15
The Huskies can use their bye week to tweak the offense more around the skills of
Ronnie Fouch at QB, which is a plus. But are there any adjustments that they can
make than can rehabilitate that awful defense? OREGON STATE 38-23.
Kentucky* over Arkansas by 5
We believe that the Razorbacks may be the better team, with Bobby Petrino finding
some designs for some good young skill players. But off of that Auburn upset,
which capped the toughest four-game schedule cycle any team has played in recent
years, is there anything left in the tank for this trip? KENTUCKY 28-23.
California over Arizona* by 2
Bears have opened by getting five touchdowns from the defense and the special
teams in their first five games, and the defense has 10 interceptions. The ability to
make plays keeps you in the hunt on the road. CALIFORNIA 30-28.
Louisiana Tech* over Idaho by 21
The first home game after long trips to Boise State and Hawaii can mean some
lethargic legs for the Bulldogs, especially since there will be nothing in the Idaho
films to excite them in any way. LOUISIANA TECH 38-17.
Colorado* over Kansas State by 8
Buffaloes get an edge in coaching and polish, but that depleted OL is making it
awfully difficult to get a running game going. But perhaps here, since the Wildcats
have been particularly weak up front themselves. COLORADO 31-23.
Oklahoma State* over Baylor by 16
It will not be easy for the Cowboys to duplicate the fire that they had at Missouri
on Saturday. And has anyone noticed that the Bears have yet to turn the ball over
since Robert Griffin became the starting QB? OKLAHOMA STATE 39-23.
Buffalo* over Army by 11
Having to deal with that methodical Army option attack is a difficult chore for a
team in the middle of conference play, particularly with the Bulls in a fragile emotional
state after a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter vs. Western Michigan turned
into a bitter overtime defeat. BUFFALO 28-17.
L.S.U. over South Carolina* by 6
Steve Spurrier may be back to the drawing board in terms of who his starting QB
is going to be, and a snarling L.S.U. defense looking for some redemption can
exacerbate the lack of Gamecock leadership at that position. L.S.U. 26-20.
Tulsa* over U.T.E.P. by 22
Golden Hurricanes have been just that at home this season, covering their two
lined games by 50 points, with offensive averages of 59.5 points and 591.5 yards.
Not sure that the Miner defense can do much about that. TULSA 49-27.
San Jose State over New Mexico State* by 4
Although the Spartan offense lacks explosiveness, note that Dick Tomey is 3-0 SU
and ATS vs. Hal Mumme, covering the spread by an average of 14 points per game.
SAN JOSE STATE 31-27.
Houston over S.M.U.* by 18
It is worth noting that Houston has already played once on this field already, that
loss to Air Force, and not only gets some extra prep time, but also does not play
again for an additional 10 days. HOUSTON 42-24.
Illinois* over Indiana by 13
Although many will back off of the Illini off of the scoreboard vs. Minnesota, now
that we are seeing Juice Williams develop a passing rhythm (772 yards the past two
weeks), Ron Zook can add some dimensions to the playbook. ILLINOIS 37-24.
Air Force over U.N.L.V.* by 4
The Rebels have been abysmal vs. the run in recent weeks, but getting a week off
brings fresher bodies on defense, and also a better chance to deal with the Falcon
schemes. But perhaps if you can not stop the run you simply can not stop the run.
AIR FORCE 28-24.
Florida Atlantic over Western Kentucky* by 1
Can not be confident at all of the Owl focus here, after those opening Sun Belt
encounters vs. Middle Tennessee and Troy ended in such disappointing fashion,
particularly their -5 in turnovers, which was unexpected with the veteran Rusty
Smith at QB. FLORIDA ATLANTIC 20-19.
Louisville* over Middle Tennessee by 12
Cardinals stole one at Memphis, with two special teams touchdowns and one more
from the defense, and may not bring their “A” game here with a major home Big
East showdown vs. South Florida immediately on deck. LOUISVILLE 31-19.
UL-Monroe* over North Texas by 25
Charlie Weatherbie now gets to “Step Right Up” and play “Name the Score”. ULMONROE
UL-Lafayette* over Arkansas State by 8
That relentless Cajun ground game is going to be a load for anyone to deal with
on this field this season, and having only played one home game so far, there could
be a special level of energy here. LOUISIANA 35-27.
Troy* over Florida International by 15
Now that the Panthers are showing real signs of life at 2-0 in Sun Belt play, it also
means that opponents will no longer take them lightly. The give-and-take of college
football. TROY 31-16.
Temple* over Ohio U. by 2 (Tuesday)
A rare chance for Al Golden and his Owls to appear in front of the national cameras,
and viewers are going to enjoy seeing a quick defense that plays with abandon.
But the offense is another matter entirely, unless Adam DiMichele can return
for this one. TEMPLE 19-17.
Re: Newsletters 10/16 - 10/20
THE GOLD SHEET EXTRA
TECHNICAL PLAYS OF THE WEEK
Series and team trends present a strong argument for Georgia
Tech when it travels to Death Valley for a Saturday battle vs. ACC
foe Clemson. Series-wise, it’s been almost all underdogs for more
than a decade, the “short” covering 12 of the last 13 meetings. And
the Yellow Jackets are buzzing for new HC Paul Johnson, covering
their first four on the board this season. That sort of pointspread
success is nothing new for Johnson, especially as a visiting
underdog, as his Navy & GT teams stand 14-3 vs. the line their last
17 in that role. Johnson’s presence also qualifies the Jackets as
featured plays in both the Coach & Pointspread and College
Coach as Underdog systems this week, and GT is also a
featured Power Underdog play. Note that the Tigers have
dropped their last 7 on the board since late '07.
One of the most enduring team trends in the nation has been
Virginia Tech’s recent success as a visitor, and the Hokies are
in their preferred role once more when traveling to Boston College
for a Saturday ACC battle. Note the Hokies’ stellar 17-3 spread
mark their last 20 as a visitor, not to mention covers in 11 of their
last 13 as an underdog. VPI also qualifies as a featured
recommendation with HC Frank Beamer in the Coach &
Pointspread and College Coach as Underdog systems, as
well as being a featured Power Underdog play this week.
After a week to stew about a bitter home loss vs. Pitt, expect
South Florida to rebound with a vengeance Saturday in Tampa
when hosting Syracuse. The Bulls have fared well after recent
defeats, covering 4 of their last 5 in that role, but the real reason
we like their chances this week is overwhelming recent
domination of the Orange, winning and covering the last 3
meetings, all by 17 points or more. And despite a mild recent
uptick, Syracuse (only 6-15 vs. the number its last 21 on the
board) remains nothing to fear.
Each season, a handful of “system plays” stick out despite
some evidence to the contrary. And that’s how we view
Arkansas when it travels to Kentucky for a Saturday SEC battle.
The Razorbacks’ enthralling win at Auburn last week qualifies
them as a Streakbuster-Win recommendation this week, and
the Hogs are always a play this season with HC Bobby Petrino in
the Coach & Pointspread system. Also note that the Wildcats
have failed to cover their last 4 when hosting SEC teams.
Some revealing technical numbers can often be found in the
“AFS” (“Away from Spread”) weekly calculations. And that 2-
week running average makes it very hard to overlook rampaging
Army when it travels to Buffalo this Saturday. Note how the
Black Knights have recorded an eye-opening +26.75 “AFS” their
last two games, and are now riding a 3-game cover streak overall.
FLORIDA STATE at NC STATE (Thursday, October 16)... Wolfpack
has covered last 3 and 6 of last 7 meetings. Noles 1-1 as chalk TY
but just 8-16 last 24 in role. O’Brien only 3-3 as home dog since arriving
at NCS but is 2-1 last 3 in role. Tech edge-NCS, based on series
and team trends.
BYU at TCU (Thursday, October 16)...Note that road team 2-1 SU,
3-0 vs. line last 3 in series. BYU, however, just 3-6 vs. line away from
Provo since LY. Frogs 14-4 vs. line at home since ‘05 (12-4 as home
chalk), if TCU a dog note Patterson’s 6-3-1 mark in role since ‘05. Tech
edge-TCU, based on team trends.
HAWAII at BOISE STATE (Friday, October 17)...Hawaii has covered
the last 3 meetings. But BSU 16-6 vs. line last 22 as host, and
36-14 as blue carpet chalk since ‘98! Leahey just 1-5 vs. line last 6
on mainland, and UH also just 8-14 last 22 as dog. Tech edge-slight
to Boise, based on team trends.
UCONN at RUTGERS...UConn has covered last 4 meetings and is
5-0-1 vs. line last 6 in series since ‘01. If Huskies a dog note 4-9 mark
in role on road since ‘05, however. Tech edge-slight to UConn,
based on series trends.
WAKE FOREST at MARYLAND...Wake has won and covered last
2 after UM had covered previous 7 meetings. If Deacs getting points
note 15-6 mark in role since ‘05. Wake also 14-7-1 vs. number last
22 away from home. Tech edge-Wake, based on team trends.
GEORGIA TECH at CLEMSON...Paul Johnson 4-0 vs. line TY, and
if getting points, note 2-0 as road dog. GT 5-1-1 as road dog since
‘06, and Johnson’s Navy & GT teams 14-3 vs. line their last 17 as
visiting dog. Dog team is 12-1 vs. line last 13 in series! Tommy B.
no covers last 7 on board since late ‘07! Tech edge-GT, especially
if dog, based on team and series trends.
MEMPHIS at EAST CAROLINA...ECU has cooled, no covers last
4 TY. Tommy West 6-3 vs. line last 9 as visitor (1-2 TY), and 9-5-1
as visiting dog since ‘05. Tech edge-slight to ECU, based on
MIAMI-FLORIDA at DUKE...Duke has covered the last 2 meetings.
Canes 3-9 vs. line as chalk for Shannon since LY (1-3 TY) and just
8-22 as chalk since ‘05. Canes also just 6-13 vs. line away from home
since ‘05 (3-4 under Shannon). Duke 3-0 vs. line as host for Cutcliffe.
Tech edge-Duke, based on team and series trends.
VIRGINIA TECH at BOSTON COLLEGE...If Beamer a dog note 11-
2 mark in role since ‘01, also 17-3 vs. number as true visitor since ‘04
(although one of those losses came by 22-3 score at BC in ‘06). Dog
team is 6-0 vs. number last 6 Hokie games since late LY. Tech edge-
VT, based on team trends.
SYRACUSE at SOUTH FLORIDA...USF has won and covered the
last 3 meetings by comfy margins (all by 17 or more). Bulls 4-1 vs.
line after last 5 SU losses. Cuse 6-15 vs. number last 21 on board.
Tech edge-USF, based on team and series trends.
WISCONSIN at IOWA...Iowa has covered 5 of last 6 in series.
Badgers just 1-7 vs. line away from Madison since LY, although
Hawkeyes just 5-10 vs. line as host since ‘06. Tech edge-Iowa,
based on series trends.
PURDUE at NORTHWESTERN...Purdue has won and covered the
last two years vs. NU and is 5-2-1 vs. line last 7 in series. Cats just
1-6 as Evanston chalk since ‘06. Tech edge-slight to Purdue,
based on team and series trends.
KANSAS at OKLAHOMA... Jayhawks 3-0 in rare dog role since LY
and 17-4 overall vs. number last 21 on board. But Stoops 11-3-1 vs.
number at Norman (10-3-1 laying DDs) since ‘06, also 6-2 vs. line after
last 8 SU losses. Tech edge-slight to OU, based on team
MIAMI-OHIO at BOWLING GREEN...Miami-O has won and covered
last 2 and 6 of last 7 in series, although that dates back to the Big Ben
days. Road team has covered in first 6 BGSU games TY (Falcons
0-2 vs. line at home), and Brandon just 2-8 as home chalk since ‘06.
Tech edge-slight to Miami-O, based on team trends.
WESTERN MICHIGAN at CENTRAL MICHIGAN...Broncos 4-1-1
vs. spread last 6 meetings, though Chips 11-3-2 vs. number at Kelly/
Shorts Stadium since ‘05. WMU 3-0-1 vs. line last 4 TY. Tech edgeslight
to WMU, based on recent trends.
NEBRASKA at IOWA STATE...Chizik 6-2 vs. line at Ames since
arriving LY, and Cyclones now 7-2 vs. spread last 9 as host. Tech
edge-slight to ISU, based on team trends.
MISSISSIPPI STATE at TENNESSEE...MSU 10-4-1 vs. line away
from home since ‘06. UT no covers last 2 at Knoxville after 6-1-1
spread mark previous 8 at Neyland Stadium. Tech edge-slight to
MSU, based on team trends.
OLE MISS at ALABAMA...Last 3 games each decided by 3 points,
all Rebel covers. Rebs have covered 4 of last 5 meetings at
Tuscaloosa. Rebs 2-0 as dog TY, 12-7 as dog since ‘06. Ole Miss
also 8-3 as DD dog since ‘06. Nick still only 1-2 as home chalk TY,
and Bama now 3-16 vs. spread laying points as host since ‘05. Tech
edge-Ole Miss, based on team trends.
VANDERBILT at GEORGIA...Dores have played Dawgs very tough
lately, winning at Athens in ‘06 and narrowly losing on last-second
FG at Nashville LY. Bobby Johnson 13-5 vs. line away since ‘05!
Vandy also 17-7 as visiting dog since ‘03. Tech edge-Vandy,
based on team and recent series trends.
AKRON at EASTERN MICHIGAN...Zips 1-1 as road chalk TY but
only 1-5 in role since ‘05. EMU only 1-5 vs. line TY and 5-13 last 18
on board, also just 3-7 last 10 as home dog. Tech edge-slight to
Akron, based on EMU negatives.
COLORADO STATE at UTAH...Utes 4-1 SU and 5-0 vs. line last 5
in series. CSU no covers its first 2 away from home TY. Whittingham
8-3 as DD chalk since ‘06 (2-2 TY). Tech edge-Utah, based on
series and team trends.
TEXAS TECH at TEXAS A&M..TT has dominated, winning and
covering last 3 and 6 of last 7 in series. Leach has turned things
around as visiting chalk lately, now 6-1 last 7 in role (2-0 TY). A&M
no covers last 4 or 5 of 6 TY. Tech edge-Texas Tech, based on
team and series trends.
SOUTHERN MISS at RICE...Golden Eagles now 8-2 vs. line last 10
away from Hattiesburg (2-0 TY). Rice, however, now 11-3 vs. line
last 14 as host, and if dog note 9-3 last 12 as home dog. Tech edge-
Rice, based on team trends.
SOUTHERN CAL at WASHINGTON STATE...Pete has won last 5
and covered last 4 vs. Wazzu. Pete only 1-4 last 5 laying 30 or more,
however, and just 4-9 last 13 as Pac-10 road chalk. Cougs 0-6 vs.
line for Paul Wulff TY. Tech edge-slight to SC, based on WSU
PITT at NAVY...’stache 8-4 vs. line as visitor since ‘06, but Navy
on 3-game cover streak TY and 43-25-1 last 69 on board. Tech
edge-slight to Navy, based on team trends.
OHIO STATE at MICHIGAN STATE...Buckeyes have won last 6 SU
and covered 4 of last 5 in series, although Spartans covered at
Columbus LY. Buckeyes 10-2 vs. line last 12 on Big Ten road.
Dantonio, however, 5-1-1 as dog since LY and now 18-9-1 vs.
number overall at Cincy & MSU since ‘06. Tech edge-slight to MSU,
based on team trends.
MISSOURI at TEXAS...Mizzou has covered its last 5 as visitor and
Pinkel now 15-5 vs. spread last 20 on board. Mack, however, is 6-
0 vs. line TY and 9-1 vs. spread last 10 on board. Tech edge-slight
to Mizzou, based on team trends.
NORTH CAROLINA at VIRGINIA...Cavs have held edge in last
decade, covering 9 of last 10 meetings, and they’ve covered last 8
vs. UNC at Charlottesville. Heels, however, have covered their first
2 on road TY and 3 straight as visitor since late LY. Groh is 8-4 vs.
line last 12 as host. Tech edge-slight to Virginia, based on
TOLEDO at NORTHERN ILLINOIS...Amstutz has covered last 2
and 8 of last 9 in series. Huskies 0-6 as Dekalb chalk since ‘06. Tech
edge-NIU, based on recent trends.
UTAH STATE at NEVADA...Home team has covered last 3 meetings.
Ault 13-3 as Mackay Stadium chalk since ‘04. Tech edge-
Nevada, based on team and series trends.
MARSHALL at UAB...If Herd road chalk, note Marshall 1-6 in role
since ‘03. Herd 5-20 vs. line last 25 away from home. Dog has
covered last 3 in series. Tech edge-slight to UAB, if dog, based
on team and series trends.
MICHIGAN at PENN STATE...Shades has lost 8 in a row SU vs.
Michigan, but Rodriguez only 1-5 vs. line TY, and Wolverines 1-3-1
vs. line as visitor since LY. Shades 14-6 last 20 laying DDs. Tech
edge-Shades, based on recent trends.
SAN DIEGO at NEW MEXICO...Lobos had covered 6 straight vs.
SDSU prior to LY. UNM has still won last 7 in series SU and covered
last 3 meetings at Albuquerque. Chuck Long now 5-9 vs. spread on
road since taking over SDSU in ‘05. Tech edge-UNM, based on
series and team trends.
OREGON STATE at WASHINGTON...Beavs dominating series,
winning and covering last 4 meetings. OSU 18-9 vs. line last 27 on
board, 11-5 last 16 as chalk since ‘06. Beavs 4-0 vs. line last 4 as
DD chalk. Tech edge-OSU, based on series trends.
ARKANSAS at KENTUCKY...UK no covers last 4 as SEC host.
Tech edge-Arkansas, based on team trends.
CALIFORNIA at ARIZONA...If Stoops a dog note 6-1-1 spread
mark in role at Tucson since ’05. Stoops 16-7-1 vs. line last 24 as dog.
Home team has covered last 3 in series, and Cats have covered their
last 5 at Tucson. Tedford just 2-8 vs. number last 10 as visitor. Tech
edge-UA, based on team trends.
IDAHO at LA TECH...Vandals 1-5 vs. line TY, no covers last 8 since
late ’07, 2-13 last 15 on board! Tech edge-La Tech, based on
KANSAS STATE at COLORADO...KSU has won last 2 and covered
last 3 in series. Cats also 3-0 vs. line as road dog since LY. Buffs,
however, 6-1 vs. line last 7 as chalk. Tech edge-slight to KSU,
based on series trends.
BAYLOR at OKLAHOMA STATE...Home team has covered 5 of
last 6 in series, but OSU has won and covered big the last 2 meetings.
Bears improved under Briles but no wins or covers last 4 trips to
Stillwater, not closer than 28 in any of those losses! Gundy has now
covered last 8 laying DDs! Tech edge-OSU, based on series and
ARMY at BUFFALO...Army on uptick, covers last 3. Tech edge-
Army, based on recent trends.
LSU at SOUTH CAROLINA...LSU only 3-10-2 vs. line last 15 on
board since early ’07, and 3-6-1 vs. spread as visitor since ’06.
Spurrier 6-2-1 vs. spread last 9 as dog. Tech edge-South
Carolina, based on team trends.
UTEP at TULSA...Tulsa 4-0 vs. line TY, now 5-0 last 5 on board
since late ’07, also 4-0 laying DDs TY after 0-5 mark in role LY. Price,
however, 9-3-1 vs. line last 13 as visiting dog. Tech edge-Tulsa,
based on recent trends.
SAN JOSE STATE at NEW MEXICO STATE...SJSU has won and
covered the last 3 vs. NMSU. Spartans 6-1 vs. line last 7 on board
since late LY, and 9-3 last 12 on board, and Dick Tomey 7-1 vs. line
last 8 as chalk. Tech edge-SJSU, based on team and series
HOUSTON at SMU...Road team has covered the last 3 meetings.
Tech edge-UH, based on series trends.
INDIANA at ILLINOIS...Hoosiers no covers first 5 on board TY,
now no covers last 6 since late LY. Hoosiers also no covers last 5
away from home since late LY. Tech edge- Illinois, based on
AIR FORCE at UNLV...Are Rebs in another meltdown? UNLV no
covers last 2 TY, but note Rebs are 9-4 as Sam Boyd dog since
Sanford arrived in ’05. Force, however, has won and covered 5 of
last 6 meetings. Tech edge-AFA, based on team trends.
STANFORD at UCLA...Tree has been blanked its last 2 visits to
Rose Bowl after 10-0-1 spread mark previous 11 as series visitor.
Bruins 3-1 vs. line at home TY and now 22-6 vs. spread last 28 at Rose
Bowl. Tech edge-slight to UCLA, based on team trends.
FLORIDA ATLANTIC at WESTERN KENTUCKY...Howard 6-2 as
chalk since LY (2-0 as road chalk). Tech edge-slight to FAU,
based on team trends.
MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE at LOUISVILLE...Blue Raiders have
covered the last 2 vs. UL. Cards 2-6 vs. line as host under Kragthorpe,
1-6 as home chalk. Tech edge-MTSU, based on series and team
NORTH TEXAS at UL-MONROE...Todd Dodge now 5-12 vs. line
with Mean Green, and UNT also only 5-12 vs. line away since ’06.
Tech edge-ULM, based on UNT negatives.
ARKANSAS STATE at UL-LAFAYETTE...If dog, note ASU 8-4 as
road short since ’06. But home side has won and covered handily
last 2 in series, and Ragin’ Cajuns have covered last 5 TY. Tech
edge-slight to ULL, based on recent series and team trends.
FLA INTERNATIONAL at TROY...Troy 14-4 vs. line last 18 on board,
and 7-2 last 9 as chalk. Tech edge-Troy, based on team trends.
COLLEGE SYSTEM PLAYS THIS WEEK
COACH & POINTSPREAD-ARKANSAS over Kentucky, EAST
CAROLINA over Memphis, GEORGIA TECH over Clemson, KANSAS
over Oklahoma, UL-MONROE over North Texas, MICHIGAN
over Penn State@, MISSOURI over Texas, SOUTH FLORIDA over
Syracuse, VIRGINIA TECH over Boston College.
COLLEGE COACH AS UNDERDOG-NC STATE over Florida
State (10/16), ARIZONA* over Cal, GEORGIA TECH over Clemson,
MICHIGAN STATE over Ohio State, UTEP over Tulsa, VIRGINIA
TECH over Boston College, WAKE FOREST* over Maryland.
RIVALRY DOGS-WESTERN MICHIGAN over Central Michigan.
POWER UNDERDOGS-Dog in BYU-TCU game (10/16), GEORGIA
TECH over Clemson, KANSAS over Oklahoma, MICHIGAN over
Penn State@, MICHIGAN STATE overe Ohio State, MISSOURI over
Texas, NAVY* over Pitt, PURDUE over Northwestern, SOUTH CAROLINA
over Lsu, SOUTHERN MISS* over Rice,VIRGINIA TECH over Boston
College, WAKE FOREST* over Maryland, and WISCONSIN voer Iowa.
PAINFUL MEMORY-No plays this week.
POWER REVENGE-PENN STATE over Michigan.
RESTED HOME WINNERS-CENTRAL MICHIGAN over Temple,
SAN JOSE STATE over Utah State.
IMPOTENT FAVORITES-MARSHALL* over Uab.
STREAKBUSTERS-off pointspread win-ARKANSAS over Kentucky,
ULM over North texas, MIAMI-OHIO over Bowling Green,
NEBRASKA over Iows State, PURDUE over Northwestern, TOLEDO
over Northern Illinois, IDAHO over La Tech; off pointspread loss-
CAL over Arizona, UTAH STATE over Nevada, VIRGINIA over North
Carolina, KANSAS over Oklahoma, GEORGIA over Vandy, OLE
MISS over Alabama, WAKE FOREST over Maryland, BOSTON
COLLEGE over Virginia Tech@.
"AFS" (Away from spread last two decisions): PLUS (+)...Virginia
+32.25, Army 26.75, GT 18.50, Penn St 17.75, Navy 17.25, Hou
17.00, Iowa 17.00, FIU 16.75, OreSt 15.75, Fla 14.50, Tex 14.25, Ball
12.25, Boise 12.00, Tem 11.25, Ok St 11.00, Rice 11.00, Minn 10.75,
EMU 10.25, UCLA 10.25, Miss St 10.00; MINUS (-)...Tulane -24.75,
ECU 24.25, Mich 23.25, Fresno 22.75, LSU 19.00, UNLV 18.25, Wis 18.00,
UNT 16.75, Ind 16.25, WSU 15.50, Marsh 14.25, Aub 12.50, SDSU 12.00,
Wyo 11.25, BGSU 10.25, NCS 10.25, Clem 10.00, Wash 10.00.
Re: Newsletters 10/16 - 10/20
THE GOLD SHEET EXTRA - NFL
TECHNICAL PLAY OF THE WEEK
Seattle has been quite a formful pointspread entity in recent
years, especially when the Seahawks have played on the road.
In a word, they've been awful as a visitor, dropping their first 2 vs,
the line on the road this season, five straight since late '07, and 8
of their last 11 away from home. That's bad news for HC Mike
Holmgren's bunch as it makes the long flight to Tampa Bay for a
Sunday date vs. the Bucs. Note that Tampa Bay has excelled
recently as home chalk, covering 7 of its last 9 chances
TENNESSEE at KANSAS CITY...Titans 5-0 vs. line TY. Titans also
“under” 6-2 last 8 on board since late LY. Herm 2-7-1 vs. spread as
host since ‘07. Tech edge-Titans and “under,” based on team and
SAN DIEGO at BUFFALO...If Bills getting points, note Jauron 7-3
as home dog since ‘06. Jauron also 12-6 vs. line at home since ‘06.
Bills also “over” last 6 at Orchard Park. Tech edge-“Over” and
Bills, based on “totals” and team trends.
PITTSBURGH at CINCINNATI...Steelers have won and covered
last 3 meetings, “under” in each of those. Marvin Lewis 0-2 vs. line
at home TY. Tech edge-slight to “under” and Steelers, based on
BALTIMORE at MIAMI...Miami “under” first 2 at home TY, Ravens
"under” 3-1-1 in early going for Harbaugh. Tech edge-“Under,”
based on recent “totals” trends.
DALLAS at ST. LOUIS...Rams now 6-15 vs. spread since ‘07.
Rams 2-8 vs. number at home since LY, 1-6 last 7 as home dog.
Rams also “over” 6 of last 8 dating to late ‘07. Tech edge-Cowboys
and slight to “over,” based on team and “totals” trends.
MINNESOTA at CHICAGO...Bears have won and covered 4 of last
5 as series host. Bears “over” 17-4 last 21 at Soldier Field. Vikes
"over” first 3 on road TY. Tech edge-“Over” and Bears, based on
“totals”and series trends.
NEW ORLEANS at CAROLINA...Saints have covered last 6 at
Charlotte! “Unders” 6-1 last 7 in series and Panthers “under” 8-2-1
last 11 as host, although Saints “over” their last 4 as visitor since late
LY. Tech edge-slight to Saints, based on series trends.
SAN FRANCISCO at NY GIANTS...Giants have covered last 4 in
series. 49ers only 3-7 vs. spread as visitor since LY. Giants “over”
8-3 as host since LY (2-1 TY). Giants also 9-1 vs. line last 10 on board
since late LY, 17-5 last 22 on board. Tech edge-Giants and slight
to “over,” based on team and “totals” trends.
DETROIT at HOUSTON...Lions now 2-11 vs. number last 13 on
board! Lions also “over” 8-4 last 11 as visitor. Texans “over” 5-0 TY,
7-0 last 7 since late ‘07, and “over” 9 0f last 10 as well. Texans also
“over” 18-7-1 last 26 on board. Houston 8-4 vs. line last 12 at Reliant
Stadium. Tech edge-Texans and “over,” based on team and
NY JETS at OAKLAND...Oakland 2-11 vs. number last 13 at home
(0-2 TY). Raiders also “over” 13-7-1 since LY. Tech edge-Jets and
“over,” based on team and “totals” trends.
CLEVELAND at WASHINGTON... Prior to last Monday vs. G-Men,
Browns “under” 0-3-1 TY, now “under” 9-0-1 last 10 since late ‘07.
Tech “Under,” based on “totals” trends.
INDIANAPOLIS at GREEN BAY...Pack “over” 13 of last 15 and 18
of 24 since ‘07. Colts 6-2 vs. line last 8 on road (2-0 TY). Tech edge-
“Over” and slight to Colts, based on “totals” and team trends.
SEATTLE at TAMPA BAY...Seattle 0-2 vs. line away TY, no covers
last 5 on road, and now 3-8 vs. number last 11 as visitor. Seattle also
"over” 6-2 last 8 away. Bucs, meanwhile, 7-2 last 9 as Raymond
James chalk (2-0 TY). Tech edge-Bucs and “over,” based on team
and “totals” trends.
DENVER at NEW ENGLAND (Monday, October 20)...Shan has
had Belichick’s number, 5-1 vs. line last 6 meetings vs. Patriots, and
Denver 10-3 vs. line last 13 in series. Broncos “over” 4-2 TY and
“over” 20-7 last 27 since late ‘06. Tech edge-Broncos and “over,”
based on series and “totals” trends.
NFL SYSTEM PLAYS THIS WEEK
NFL COACH AS UNDERDOG-BUFFALO over San Diego,GREEN
BAY over Indianapolis, NEW ORLEANS over Carolina, DENVER
over New England (10/20).
FAMILIARITY-CINCINNATI over Pittsburgh.
NFL BLOWOUT BOUNCEBACK-CAROLINA over New Orleans,
OAKLAND over NY Jets, NEW ENGLAND over Denver.
NFL BLOWOUT LETDOWN-CAROLINA over New Orleans.
*-If underdog. #-If dog, pick, or 1-point favorite. @-May conflict with
other tech system(s).
Re: Newsletters 10/16 - 10/20
COLLEGE SELECTION OF THE WEEK: BUFFALO - 10 over Army - Both teams are 2-4 with Buffalo's wins coming early in the season and Army's coming in their past two games. Buffalo was sloppy last week as they allowed Western Michigan to rally from 14 points down with 5 minutes remaining to force, and ultimately win in, OT. It was Buffalo's first home loss this season after a pair wins over UTEP and Temple, a Temple team that routed Army 35-7 when those teams met at Army to open the season. Army is the most one dimensional team in football, running the ball almost exclusively. In 6 games the Cadets have passed for a TOTAL of just 279 yards - including none in last week's win over Eastern Michigan. Buffalo coach Turner Gill has done a fine job in building up the Buffalo program and he will have his team ready to administer a beating on this foe as they seek to overcome last week's meltdown. Their defense has been solid against the run and they have a far more better balanced offense. Aside from their 44 points outburst against Tulane (in which they were outgained 486-334) Army has not scored more than 17 points in their other 5 games. Buffalo wins 35-14.
Other Featured College Selections
Wake Forest - 1 over MARYLAND - Both teams are 2-0 in ACC play and each have defeated Clemson in close games. Wake had the better stats in their win over the Tigers and has played the more demanding schedule. Maryland had a Bye last week but Wake's last game was on Thursday so Maryland's extra few days of prep time is not significant. After losing 7 straight to the Terps Wake has won the last two meetings. Wake continues to be a program on the rise after their second back to back winning seasons under coach Jim Grobe after having just 6 winning seasons in the 29 seasons before his arrival. Fundamentally Wake is the far better defensive team, allowing 120 yards and 6 points per game less than Maryland. And Wake leads the nation averaging 3.8 takeaways per game. The defensive edge is greatest in the passing game where Maryland has been vulnerable to the pass and Wake averages 245 passing ypg. Wake Forest wins 27-17.
TULSA - 17 ½ over Utep - Tulsa may have been suffering from overconfidence last week as they may have taken SMU lightly before rallying for a 37-31 road win to remain unbeaten. The offense totaled over 600 yards for the fourth time this season. Tulsa leads the nation averaging 597 ypg, more than 200 ypg greater than UTEP. Both teams allow nearly the identical yards on defense. Tulsa has been a bully at home, winning by 42, 28 and 35 points. UTEP has won 3 in a row to sit tied with Tulsa at 3-0 atop Conference USA's West Division. The teams have alternated wins the past 4 seasons with UTEP winning at home last season 48-47. Tulsa has been a program on the rise in recent seasons and seeks a fourth straight Bowl bid. Although both teams have defensive deficiencies, Tulsa has big edges in per play comparisons. Tulsa wins big, 51-24.
Air Force - 4 ½ over UNLV - Air Force's 4-2 start is signaling that last season's 9-4 campaign under then new coach Troy Calhoun was no fluke. The Force continues to rely on a dominant running game (292 ypg) and faces a very yielding UNLV rush defense (213 ypg, # 110). UNLV started the season 3-1 and showed signs of promise. But they've lost two in a row as their defense yielded 444 rushing yards to arch rival Nevada Reno (620 yards total) and 510 total yards to Colorado State (216 rushing). There is a lack of depth on the Rebels who should be a bit healthier after a Bye week. Air Force has rushed for over 225 yards in every game except against Utah and their relentless overland attack should wear down UNLV. Air Force has won 5 of 6 against UNLV and they bring a defense allowing just 288 ypg (139 less than UNLV). Air Force wins 37-24.
NFL SELECTION OF THE WEEK: CAROLINA - 3 over New Orleans - Carolina's ineptitude in Tampa last week was one of the more surprising performances of the young season. Prior to that game the Panthers had been playing some of the best football in the league in starting 4-1. New Orleans plays in London next week but is off of a dominating home win over Oakland. Their offense is explosive, relying mostly on the passing of QB Drew Brees. We can expect a much better all around effort from Carolina this week. The Saints' top ranked passing offense will be challenged by Carolina's # 2 ranked pass defense. The Panthers' stronger running game gives them a better balanced attack and their ability to defend the pass will force the Saints to run. Carolina is allowing 67 ypg less defensively (and nearly a full yard per play) than the Saints and that will be the difference. Defense stops offense, especially at home. Carolina wins 27-17.
Other Featured NFL Selections :
KANSAS CITY + 7 ½ over Tennessee - Both teams are off Byes. Tennessee is unbeaten at 5-0 but are off of their narrowest win of the season, a controversial 13-10 win at Baltimore. They've also feasted on a fairly weak schedule as their 5 victims are a combined 9-19. Their rushing yards have dropped in each of their past three games. This week's edition of musical chairs finds Brodie Croyle back behind center for the Chiefs whose lone win came at home over Denver and was in convincing fashion. The Chiefs have long been a solid play as home underdogs. And they've played a tougher schedule than have the Titans as the Chiefs' 5 foes are a collective 16-12. Both teams average 118 rushing ypg as KC RB Larry Johnson shows more signs of returning to form. Titans are ripe for the upset after the Bye stalls their momentum. Kansas City wins 20-16.
BUFFALO Pick 'em over San Diego - Buffalo had a Bye last week. QB Trent Edwards was injured a week earlier but is expected to return for this contest. The Chargers played their best all around game of the season Sunday night in manhandling New England although the running game remains below average. Both the Chargers and Bills are running for just 98 ypg. Buffalo has a huge edge defensively with the bulk of that edge in pass defense. Their excellent special teams make the Bills a very dangerous foe. Buffalo has played the weaker schedule but has had an extra week to stew over their first loss of the season, a 41-17 rout at Arizona. San Diego plays next week across the pond in London making this a poor scheduling spot. As was the case much of last season, the Chargers have been inconsistent from week to week and after their emotionally satisfying win over the Patriots, they could be in for a long afternoon here. Buffalo wins 26-20.
Indianapolis - 1 over GREEN BAY - Their frantic final 5 minute rally to win at Houston two weeks ago may have signaled the immediate resurgence of the Colts as they made Baltimore's top ranked defense look woeful in last week's 31-3 rout of the Ravens. QB Peyton Manning and WR Marvin Harrison finally hooked up for a pair of touchdowns and the offense again appears healthy. Green Bay's defense is suspect but the Colts' stop troops are no bargain either as both have had trouble stopping the run. And as Packer QB Aaron Rodgers continues to get comfortable running the offense there will be more big plays in the offing for the Pack. With a Bye next week Green Bay should be well prepared for this game. But the Colts' experience, especially at QB, gives them a solid edge in late game situations. Indianapolis wins 31-24.
Best of the NFL Totals
Baltimore/Miami UNDER 36 ½
Minnesota/Chicago UNDER 38
Detroit/Houston OVER 48
N Y Jets/Oakland UNDER 42 ½
Cleveland/Washington UNDER 41 ½
Indianapolis/Green Bay OVER 47 ½
Money Line Recommendations
College: DUKE Wisconsin Purdue Arkansas State
Pro: KANSAS CITY Minnesota Detroit NEW ENGLAND
Mid Season College Football Report - Underachievers and Overachievers
It's hard to believe but we've already passed the halfway point of the 2008 college football season. 106 of the 120 Football Bowl Subdivision teams (BCS, formerly Division I-A) have played at least 6 games with 26 having played 7 games with no week off since opening the season. The other 14 teams will play their sixth game this week. As we do each year to mark the midpoint of the season we look at those teams that have shown the greatest progress from the start of the season and the teams that have shown the greatest decline. These assessments are not based on subjective analysis but rather on the change in a team's Raw Power Rating between the preseason and the conclusion of last week's play. Here's our list of such teams for 2008:
Teams Showing Greatest Improvement
1 - Baylor
2 - Fla International
3 - Penn State
4 - Alabama
5 - Iowa
6 - North Carolina
7 - Ball State
8 - Duke
9 - Northern Illinois
10 - Texas
11 - Oklahoma State
12 - UL Lafayette
13 - Minnesota
14 - Houston
15 - Arkansas State
16 - New Mexico St
17 - California
18 - Mississippi
19 - Temple
20 - Notre Dame
Teams Showing Greatest Decline
1 - Washington State
2 - Michigan
2 - Texas A&M
4 - West Virginia
5 - Central Florida
6 - Arkansas
7 - North Texas
8 - Washington
9 - Maryland
10 - Virginia Tech
11 - Hawaii
12 - UCLA
13 - Kansas
14 - Wyoming
15 - East. Michigan
16 - Florida Atlantic
17 - Indiana
18 - Virginia
19 - LSU
20 - Idaho
We think you'll find both lists pretty interesting with some surprising teams making each. Collectively the 20 teams showing the greatest improvement are 85-37 Straight Up (S/U), or 70%, and a solid 77-30-2 Against the Spread (ATS), or 72%. The top 5 teams in the group are 23-9 S/U (72%) and a strong 19-9-0 ATS (68%). Of the 20 only Arkansas State and Houston have losing pointspread records (each is 2-3) while New Mexico State is .500 ATS (2-2). The other 17 teams each have winning pointspread records including 3 perfect ATS teams (Ball State at 6-0, Texas at 6-0 and Oklahoma State at 5-0).
The 20 teams showing the greatest decline are a collective 48-74 S/U (39%) and 31-76-1 ATS (29%) while the top five in the group (those showing the greatest decline) are just 11-20 S/U (35%) and are just 5-22-1 ATS (19%). Of these 20 teams only 3 have winning ATS records (UCLA at 4-2, Kansas at 3-2 and Maryland at 3-2) and just 2 of the 20 are at .500 ATS (Florida Atlantic at 3-3 and Central Florida at 2-2-1). The other 15 teams are below the .500 mark ATS including 2 teams that have yet to cover a pointspread as both Washington State and Wyoming are 0-6 ATS.
Just one team with a losing straight up record appears in the Most Improved list (Temple at 2-5) while 6 teams are at .500. The other 13 teams all have winning records. 5 winning teams are in the Most Declined list (LSU at 4-1, Kansas at 5-1, Maryland at 4-2, Virginia Tech at 5-1 and West Virginia at 4-2).
The pointspread records of each group indicate whether the teams, as a group, have or have not played up to the level expected of them by the linesmaker. And that's really what concerns us as handicappers.
It will be interesting to follow the pointspread records of both groups over the balance of the season. As the linesmaker attempts to even things out it would not be surprising if the "Most Improved" group has an overall losing ATS record over the balance of the season while the "Most Declined" group shows a profit.
Re: Newsletters 10/16 - 10/20
Joe Gavazzi of Private Players of Pittsburgh
"The Green Gorilla Gazette"
Gorilla of the Week - *Georgia -15*
Steam Roller - *New Mexico -14*
Under Dog - *Mississippi + 13*
Big East GOW - *South Florida - 24*
Cat of the Week - *Northwestern -3 1/2*
I have never seen those before where are they from glc ?
Re: Newsletters 10/16 - 10/20
Joe Gavazzi of Private Players of Pittsburgh
"The Green Gorilla Gazette"
Gorilla of the Week - *Georgia -15*
Steam Roller - *New Mexico -14*
Under Dog - *Mississippi + 13*
Big East GOW - *South Florida - 24*
Cat of the Week - *Northwestern -3 1/2*
I have never seen those before where are they from glc ?
Joe Gavazzi (PPP) has a site at thegreengorilla.com , He used to post "His Mid-Week Money Maker" newsletter online only every Wednesday. Now he is working on a New site called "The Green Gorilla Gazette". There is a link on his original site to get there. He posts those five plays each week for free so I thought I would pass them on.
Re: Newsletters 10/16 - 10/20
Rocky's Winner Circle
Guaranteed Best Bet
Air Force -4 over UNLV (37-20)
10* Game Of The Week
Kansas +19.5 over Oklahoma (17-28)
Best Of The Rest
Mississippi +14 over Alabama
Virginia +5.5 over North Carolina
Kentucky -9 over Arkansas
NY Giants -10 over San Francisco
Tampa Bay -10 over Seattle
Missouri +6 over Texas
System Play Of The Week
Miami Florida -5 over Duke
Over-Under Plays Of The Week
Kansas City/Tennessee under 36
Baltimore/Cleveland under 37
Oakland/NY Jets under 43
Kansas State/Colorado over
Re: Newsletters 10/16 - 10/20
9 College Best Bets
Rotation #304 TCU (-2) 2-Stars at -2 1/2 or less.
Rotation #339 Akron (-3 1/2) 3-Stars at -6 or less, 2-Stars at -6 1/2 or -7, 4-Stars at -2 1/2 points.
Rotation #350 Navy (+3) 2-Stars at +3 (-115 odds or better) or more.
Rotation #353 Missouri (+5) 3-Stars at +3 1/2 or more, 4-Stars at +6 or more, 2-Stars at +3.
Rotation #358 Northern Illinois (-8 1/2) 3-Stars at -9 or less, 2-Stars at -9 1/2 or -10.
Rotation #360 Nevada (-21) 2-Stars at -23 or less.
Rotation #364 Penn State (-23 1/2) 3-Stars at -26 or less, 2-Stars at -26 1/2 or -27.
Rotation #367 Oregon State (-14) 3-Stars at -16 1/2 or less, 2-Stars at -17.
Rotation #393 Stanford (-1 1/2) 2-Stars at -3 or less, 3-Stars at -1 or better.
6 Strong Opinions
Rotation #301 Florida State (-11) Strong Opinion at -13 or less, 2-Star Best Bet at -10 or less.
Rotation #322 Iowa (-3 1/2) Strong Opinion at -5 or less, 2-Star Best Bet at -3 or less (-1.12 odds or better).
Rotation #334 Tennessee (-7 1/2) Strong Opinion at -9 or less, 2-Star Best Bet at -7 (-115 odds or less).
Rotation #345 Southern Miss (+2) Strong Opinion at +2 or more, 2-Star Best Bet at +3 or more (-115 odds or better).
Rotation #371-372 Cal at Arizona UNDER (54 1/2) Strong Opinion Under 54 or higher.
Rotation #378 Oklahoma State (-16 1/2) Strong Opinion at -17 or less.
Re: Newsletters 10/16 - 10/20
3 Star Selection
***Akron (-3.5) 35 EASTERN MICH 21
10:00 AM Pacific, 18-Oct-08
I don’t understand the line on this game. Akron is a pretty decent MAC team that has averaged 5.4 yards per play and allowed 5.7 yppl and been out-scored by an average of just 26.1 points to 27.3 points against a schedule of teams that is about 4 points worse than average. Eastern Michigan, meanwhile, has been out-gained 5.0 yppl to 6.5 yppl and out-scored 14.7 points to 34.8 points in 6 games against Division 1A teams that rate at 5 ½ points worse than average. The Eagles did manage a victory a couple of weeks ago against Bowling Green, but they then lost last week to a pathetic Army squad and lost by 24 points or more in their other 4 games against 1A opposition. The Eagles are also without their best quarterback, Kyle McMahon, who is out for the season after averaging 7.1 yards per pass play on 77 pass plays against teams that would allow 6.8 yppp to an average quarterback. Quarterback Andy Schmitt has averaged just 5.2 yppp this season against teams that would allow 6.7 yppp. Schmitt doesn’t throw many interceptions (just 14 career picks on 611 passes, 2.3%) and Akron quarterback Chris Jacquemain does tend to be more careless with the ball (20 interceptions on 519 pass attempts, 3.9%), but my math model gives Akron a 58% chance to cover at -3 1/2 points even with Eastern Michigan projected to have fewer turnovers. The Zips also apply to a 63-16-3 ATS statistical match-up indicator and I’ll take Akron in a 3-Star Best Bet at -6 points or less, for 4-Stars at -2 ½ or less, and for 2-Stars at -6 ½ or -7 points.
3 Star Selection
***NORTHERN ILL (-8.5) 31 Toledo 14
01:00 PM Pacific, 18-Oct-08
Toledo is coming off a huge upset win at Michigan, but it’s going to be tough for the Rockets to avoid a letdown this week. Toledo, in fact, applies to a very negative 18-66 ATS road letdown situation that is based on last week’s upset win and the Rockets are not generally a good road team (7-19-2 ATS). Toledo isn’t really a good, a the Rockets have been 0.6 yards per play worse than average offensively (5.1 yppl against teams that would allow 5.7 yppl to an average team) – although only 0.5 yppl worse than average with RB DaJuane Collins healthy – 0.1 yppl worse than average defensively and horrible on special teams. Toledo has been out-scored by an average of 8.2 points by teams that are 1.3 points worse than average. Northern Illinois, meanwhile, has out-scored their opponents (who are 12.8 points worse than average) by an average of 12.5 points (so they’ve been about average based on scoring) and the Huskies have been solid from the line of scrimmage – rating at 0.3 yppl worse than average offensively (5.7 yppl against teams that would allow 6.0 yppl) and 0.2 yppl better than average defensively, yielding just 4.6 yppl to teams that would average 4.8 yppl against an average team. The Huskies started off the season very strong offensively with freshman Chandler Harnish at quarterback (they averaged 6.6 yppl and scored 27 points against Minnesota), but Harnish was injured early in week 2 and just came back last week. Harnish’s stats (416 yards on 44 pass plays for 9.5 yppp) are misleading since he connected on a couple of big plays, including a 91 yard play, against Minnesota, but he should be better than backups Nicholson and Grady were (although the Huskies will miss Grady’s rushing skills). The Huskies surely remember last year’s game in which the Rockets ran up the score against NIU’s injury depleted defense in a 70-21 win. That defense is now very strong and will get some payback today. My math model favors Northern Illinois by 13 points and Toledo’s very negative situation makes NIU a good bet here. I’ll take Northern Illinois in a 3-Star Best Bet at -9 points or less and for 2-Stars at -9 ½ or -10 points.
3 Star Selection
***PENN ST. (-23.5) 41 Michigan 6
01:30 PM Pacific, 18-Oct-08
I doubt that Penn State will feel sorry for a Wolverines squad that has beaten them by a combined 14 points the last 3 seasons and the Nittany Lions will get their sweet revenge today against an impotent Wolverines squad that just lost at home to Toledo. Michigan is a pretty good defensive team, allowing 5.0 yards per play to teams that would combine to average 5.4 yppl against an average defensive team, but that unit is not any better than the average defensive rating of the 6 Division 1A teams that Penn State has averaged 42 points against. Penn State’s attack has averaged 6.9 yards per play with starting quarterback Daryll Clark behind center in those 6 games against 1A opposition, who would combine to allow 5.2 yppl to an average team and my math model projects 7.0 yppl and 41 points for the Nittany Lions in this game. Penn State combines their explosive offense with a devastatingly good defense that has yielded just 4.0 yppl in 6 Division 1A games to a schedule of teams that would average 5.6 yppl against an average defensive unit. Michigan is pathetic offensively, averaged just 4.6 yppl against teams that would allow 5.4 yppl to an average team and the Wolverines averaged a paltry 3.2 yppl at home against the only really good defensive team that they faced (Utah). Penn State can name the score in this game and my math model projects a 35 point win if the Nittany Lions play their starters the entire game. Penn State’s backups haven’t given up many points either this season and my math model gives the Nittany Lions a 61.8% chance of covering at -23 ½ points even without factoring in the 64-20 ATS home favorite momentum situation that applies to Penn State. I’ll take Penn State in a 3-Star Best Bet at -26 points or less and for 2-Stars from -26 ½ or -27 points.
3 Star Selection
***Oregon St. (-14.0) 45 WASHINGTON 17
04:00 PM Pacific, 18-Oct-08
Oregon State is not getting enough respect, which probably goes back to their opening game loss to Stanford and their 14-45 loss at Penn State in game 2. However, the Beavers are a very good team and their win over USC was no fluke. The loss to Stanford was a fluke, however, as Oregon State out-gained a better than average Cardinal team 6.0 yards per play to 4.9 yppl on the road. Losing big at Penn State is not such a negative now given how the Nittany Lions have been dominating everyone and the Beavers actually played better than average on both sides of the ball in that game after taking into account how good Penn State is. Oregon State’s other loss was by just 3 points on the road to a very good Utah team and the Beavers out played the Utes 6.3 yppl to 4.9 yppl in that game. Oregon State has played the 2nd toughest schedule in the nation and the Beavers have out-gained their opponents 5.9 yppl to 4.9 yppl, which is extremely impressive considering their opponents would combine to out-gain an average team 5.9 yppl to 4.8 yppl. Washington has played the toughest schedule in the nation, but the Huskies have been dominated to the tune of 4.5 yppl on offense while allowing 7.5 yppl and being out-scored by an average of 18.6 to 42.0. Washington is a couple of points better with sophomore quarterback Ronnie Fouch in place of injured starter Jake Locker, as Fouch is a better passer, but the Huskies rate at 0.1 yppl worse than average with Fouch at quarterback and Oregon State is 1.0 yppl better than average on defense. The Beavers have only allowed more than 4.9 yppl to Penn State and USC, two of the top 5 offensive units in the nation, and Washington has scored more than 14 points only against BYU and Stanford, who are both closer to mediocre defensively than good. Oregon State is actually the best defensive teams that Washington has faced this season so far and I just don’t see the Huskies getting more than 17 to 20 points in this game unless the Beavers are very negative in turnovers. Oregon State will probably only have to score 30 to 35 points to cover the spread in this game and the Huskies have allowed an average of 42 points to teams that are collectively 0.3 yppl worse offensively than Oregon State would be on the road against an average team. Oregon State, meanwhile, has faced only one worse than average defense and the Beavers scored 66 points in that game last week against Washington State despite turning the ball over 4 times. Oregon State has a history of beating up on mediocre and bad conference foes under coach Mike Riley, whose team is now 16-4 ATS in conference games against teams with a win percentage of .500 or lower (5-0 ATS since last season). The Huskies, meanwhile, are now just 6-17 ATS in Pac-10 games when not an underdog of at least 20 points under coach Willingham. Perhaps the line on this game is much lower than it should be because people remember Washington’s near upset of an overrated BYU team. However, Washington was out-gained 5.0 yppl to 7.4 yppl and it was a fluke that they were even close in that contest. I’ll take Oregon State in a 3-Star Best Bet at -16 ½ points or less and for 2-Stars at -17 points.
3 Star Selection
***Missouri 37 TEXAS (-5.0) 32
05:00 PM Pacific, 18-Oct-08
The line on this game is a bit off due to last week’s disparate results, with Texas upsetting Oklahoma and Missouri getting upset by Oklahoma State, and the Tigers apply to a great bounce-back situation this week to go along with the line value that last week provided. Missouri lost last week to a very good Oklahoma State team due to 3 rare interceptions by Chase Daniel, who had thrown just 1 in 5 previous games, but the Tigers out-gained the Cowboys 6.5 yards per play to 6.0 yppl – which is very good considering Oklahoma State would out-gain an average team 6.7 yppl to 5.1 yppl on the road. Texas, meanwhile, was out-gained by an average of 6.3 yppl to 6.7 yppl by Oklahoma but took advantage of a +2 in turnover margin to win that game. The Longhorns did actually perform very well, as Oklahoma would out-gain an average team 6.8 yppl to 4.5 yppl on a neutral field. So, Missouri was 2.1 yppl better than an average team in defeat last week while Texas was 1.9 yppl better than average in victory. The season numbers for these two teams also favor the Tigers, as Missouri has been an incredible 2.6 yppl better than average offensively with Chase Daniel in the game (8.0 yppl against teams that would allow 5.6 yppl to an average team) and 0.5 yppl better than average defensively. Texas has been 1.4 yppl better than average offensively with Colt McCoy under center, but I rate the Longhorns attack at +1.7 yppl with RB Chris Ogbonnaya as the main back the last two games (he’s averaging 7.1 ypr while the other two main backs have averaged just 3.7 ypr). The Longhorns’ defense has been just 0.4 yppl better than average this season (5.0 yppl allowed to teams that would combine to average 5.4 yppl against an average team) and they gave up 6.7 yppl and 8.7 yards per pass play to Oklahoma last week and Missouri’s offense is better than that of the Sooners. Missouri actually has a huge advantage from the line of scrimmage using all games played by both teams (Missouri is a total of +3.1 yppl and Texas is at +2.1 yppl), but the Tigers racked up some big numbers against bad teams and I decided to do a profile analysis to get a better idea of how good each team has fared against good competition. Missouri’s offense has faced two better than average defensive teams in Illinois and Oklahoma State and the Tigers are have been a less incredible 1.6 yppl better than average on offense in those 2 games (6.6 yppl against teams that would allow 5.0 yppl) while the Texas defense was just 0.1 yppl better than average in the only game they’ve played against a good offensive team (last week against Oklahoma). Texas has faced two better than average defensive teams (the last two week against Colorado and Oklahoma) and the Longhorns’ attack has been 1.4 yppl better than average in those games (6.1 yppl against teams that would allow 4.7 yppl). Missouri’s defense, meanwhile, has had to face 4 good offensive teams this season in Illinois, Nevada, Nebraska, and Oklahoma State and the Tigers have been 0.8 yppl better than average defensively in those games, allowing 5.6 yppl to teams that would average 6.4 yppl against an average team. The profile analysis reveals that Missouri has been 2.4 yppl better than average against good competition (+1.6 yppl on offense and +0.8 yppl on defense) while Texas has been +1.5 yppl better than average against better competition (+1.4 yppl on offense and +0.1 yppl on defense) – so Missouri still has a solid advantage. Neither quarterback makes a habit of throwing interceptions (I project Texas with a +0.3 turnover margin) and Missouri only has a slight edge in special teams and it is pretty clear to me that the Tigers are the better team getting nearly a touchdown. Missouri’s loss last week also sets them up in a very strong 25-1 ATS subset of a 65-12 ATS bounce-back situation that has been very good to me over the years (23-5 ATS since I discovered the situation). I’ll take Missouri in a 3-Star Best Bet at +3 ½ points or more, for 4-Stars at +6 or more and for 2-Stars at +3 points.
Re: Newsletters 10/16 - 10/20
2 Star Selection
**NAVY 30 Pittsburgh (-3.0) 26
12:30 PM Pacific, 18-Oct-08
Pittsburgh is an overrated team with a 1-4 spread mark that is suddenly ranked because they beat another overrated team in South Florida two weeks ago. The Panthers have out-gained an average schedule of opponents by only 5.1 yards per play to 4.8 yppl while rating at 0.5 yppl worse than average offensively and 0.7 yppl better than average defensively. The Pitt defense, while very good overall, isn’t good defending the run (5.0 yards per rushing play allowed to teams that would average 4.8 yprp against an average team), so the match-up against Navy’s option attack is a bad one for the Panthers – whose great pass defense is a non-factor in this game. Pittsburgh had a very good run defense last season and still couldn’t handle Navy’s option attack in a 45-48 loss in which the Midshipmen racked up 497 total yards at 5.9 yppl. Navy’s offense this season is as good as ever, as the Middies have averaged 5.7 yppl in 5 games against Division 1A opponents that would combine to allow 4.9 yppl to an average team. Navy isn’t as good with backup quarterback Jarod Bryant running the attack (just 0.4 yppl better than average), but starting quarterback Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada has practiced with the first team unit this week and looks like he may be ready to play on his strained hamstring. Navy is 1.1 yppl better than average with Kaheaku-Enhada at quarterback, but I’ll assume Bryant will play the entire game just to be conservative. Navy’s defense is still an issue, as they rate at 0.5 yppl worse than average, but Pittsburgh likes to run the ball and the Middies are good against the run (4.2 yprp allowed in 5 Division 1A games against teams that would average 4.6 yprp against an average defense). While Pittsburgh would rate a slight edge overall from the line of scrimmage, the match-up of Navy’s run-heavy attack makes a Pitt defense that is 0.7 yppl better than average less effective and my math model projects Navy to average 6.1 yppl with 344 rushing yards while Pitt manages just 5.4 yppl with their bad offense going up against Navy’s bad defense. Navy should be favored in this game even if I assume Kaheaku-Enhada will not play for the Midshipmen, which is probably not the case. I’ll take Navy in a 2-Star Best Bet at +3 points or more (-1.15 odds or better) and I’d consider Navy a Strong Opinion from +2 ½ to +1 point.
2 Star Selection
**NEVADA (-21.0) 46 Utah St. 16
01:00 PM Pacific, 18-Oct-08
Nevada did not match up well with New Mexico State last week, as the Aggies were able to exploit the week Wolf Pack secondary in a 48-45 upset win. Nevada is now 1.7 yards per pass play worse than average defensively (7.6 yppp allowed to teams that would average 5.9 yppp against an average team), but Utah State’s porous pass attack is not likely to exploit that weakness today and the Wolf Pack are among the best in the nation defending the run (3.5 yards per rushing play allowed to teams that would average 4.8 yprp). Utah State’s dual quarterbacks have averaged only 5.0 yppp (against teams that would allow 6.3 yppp to an average team) and the Aggies have managed just 4.7 yards per play overall this season (against teams that would allow 5.6 yppl to an average team). Nevada is 0.6 yppl worse than average overall defensively, but that number is skewed by the 10.0 yppl they gave up to Missouri and the Wolf Pack gave up a reasonable 4.2 yppl at Idaho, the only average or worse Division 1A offense that they’ve faced (Idaho would average 4.5 yppl at home against an average team), and they also allowed just 3.4 yppl to Grambling. Utah State may score around 20 points in this game, but Nevada has scored 45 points or more in all but the two games in which they faced good defensive teams in Texas Tech and Missouri. The Wolf Pack have averaged 7.0 yppl (against teams that would allow 5.7 yppl) with starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick on the field and Utah State, while not horrible defensively at 0.3 yppl worse than average, isn’t good enough to stop Nevada from scoring. Kaepernick is one of the best running quarterbacks in the nation (673 yards on 58 rushing plays) while also being a good passer (6.9 yppp against teams that would allow 6.3 yppp to an average quarterback) and Kaepernick has thrown just 6 interceptions in 395 career pass attempts. Nevada also has two running backs that have averaged over 6 yards per rush and they are tough to stop. Utah State has faced just one team with good running backs and a running quarterback and the Aggies allowed 425 rushing yards at 8.3 yprp and 66 points at Oregon, so they don’t figure to have much luck stopping Nevada today. My math model only favors Nevada by 22 points, but the Wolf Pack apply to a very strong 75-17 ATS statistical match-up indicator that is 10-2 ATS for me since I discovered it a few years ago. I’ll take Nevada in a 2-Star Best Bet at -23 points or less.
2 Star Selection
**Stanford (-1.5) 29 UCLA 19
01:00 PM Pacific, 18-Oct-08
Stanford starting quarterback Tavita Pritchard was knocked out of last week’s game with a concussion and was playing very well at the time, but backup Alex Loukas led the game winning drive over Arizona running a spread option attack that surprised the Wildcats. Pritchard has been upgraded to probable and the Cardinal are a much better team than UCLA. Stanford’s offense has averaged 5.6 yppl when Pritchard has been in the game (against teams that would combine to allow just 5.0 yppl to an average team) and while Pritchard’s numbers are a bit below average, the Cardinal have two very good running backs in Toby Gerhart (641 yards at 5.8 ypr) and Anthony Kimble (419 yards at 6.3 ypr) and have averaged 5.7 yards per rushing play this season (against teams that would allow just 4.6 yprp to an average team). UCLA has given up 5.5 yprp this season (to teams that would average 5.0 yprp against an average defensive team) and they gave up 345 rushing yards at 8.6 yprp last week at Oregon and could stop Fresno State either (219 yards at 5.8 yprp) – so Stanford’s rushing attack should work well. Overall UCLA’s defense is just 0.2 yppl better than average, so the Cardinal have an advantage when they have the ball. Stanford also has an advantage when the Bruins have the ball. UCLA’s porous attack has averaged only 4.5 yards per play this season (against teams that would allow 5.3 yppl to an average team) while the Stanford defense is 0.1 yppl better than average. Stanford also has superior special teams in addition to being 1.4 yppl better than UCLA on offense and only 0.1 yppl worse than the Bruins on defense. In addition to the line value, the Cardinal apply to a very strong 71-19-1 ATS statistical match-up indicator and I’ll take Stanford in a 2-Star Best Bet at -3 or less and for 3-Stars at -1 or better.
Re: Newsletters 10/16 - 10/20
Florida International at Troy (-7) - 4:00pm Pacific - Game #403-404
Troy's only two losses this season have come on the road at Ohio State and at Oklahoma State, both who are currently ranked in the top 15. The Trojans have dominated the Sun Belt for the past two plus seasons posting a 14-2 record. This year has been no different as they have won two league games comfortably despite playing both on the road. The only negative on this team right now is that starting QB Hampton was lost for the season in last game vs FAU, but not much separated Hampton from his two backups in preseason competition. Having not played since last Tuesday, Troy has valuable extra time to groom a new starter. Athletic WR Jernigan is expected to take some snaps at QB as well to mix things up. Troy averages 180 rushing yards per game and ran for 299 yards on 7.7ypc at FIU last year so they likely will not have to put too much pressure on their quarterbacks. FIU has strung together three straight wins (four straight ATS) but have not been impressive either visually or statistically. They were +4 turnovers each at Toledo and at North Texas, winning both games despite finishing with less total yards. Last week FIU had two key interception returns totaling 98 yards lead to their first two touchdowns and MTSU shot themselves in the foot multiple times throughout the game. FIU currently ranks dead last in the country in total yards per game and is 116th of 119 in average yards per play. Even in their three games against non-BCS teams (Toledo, North Texas, MTSU) they have only averaged 307 yards which would rank them close to 100th. The Golden Panthers are improved but are still 4-26 in their last 30 games and are the youngest FBS football program in the country. Recent injuries to starters on both sides of the line and being outrushed 4.2ypc to 2.7ypc by MTSU (one of the worst rushing teams in the country) last week are cause for concern. Troy is an impressive 29-5 straight up at home under coach Blakeney. This will just be Troy's second home game of the season, their first in 35 days, first against a meaningful opponent, and it is homecoming week. With FIU tied for first in the Sun Belt standings, they are sure to get Troy's full attention which is not something they are used to given their short history of success. Give the points.
Play: #404 Troy -7 for 2 UNITS
Utah State at Nevada (-20) - 1:00pm Pacific - Game #359-360
Nevada had won two straight road games impressively before an improbable slip up vs New Mexico State last week. An 83 yard fumble return for a TD followed by a muffed punt on consecutive series in the 3rd quarter along with three fourth down conversions of 5, 7, and 20 yards allowed NMSU to escape with a narrow 3 point win. Nevada is 9-4 ATS since 2005 after a straight up loss and they figure to bounce back strong again here. Nevada's defense has been burnt through the air by some of the top passing teams in the country this year but get a much more favorable matchup this week. The Utah State offense is one of the worst in the country and last week did not have a single net passing yard in the entire first half vs San Jose State. Nevada only won by 3 last year at Utah State but held a dominating 472-212 total yard edge and were in a huge letdown spot on short rest having just lost at Boise St in 4OT the previous Sunday. Injuries and defections have plagued the Utah State roster since preseason camp and they are anything but a team who has the luxury of quality depth. One announcer called the defense a "mash unit" at the start of last week's game. The top two defensive players on the team, DE Calderwood (stomach) and LB Hutton (foot) are trying to play through health issues and are less than full strength. The Aggies are still playing two quarterbacks with neither being able to secure the position full time. Calls for head coach Brent Guy's job are growing louder by the day. Nevada is 13-4 ATS as a home favorite under Chris Ault. There will be homecoming and hall of fame ceremonies at the game. Expect the Wolfpack to roll here.
Play: #360 Nevada -20 for 1 UNIT
Re: Newsletters 10/16 - 10/20
College Best Bets 15-3 last 6 Weeks!!
5* BEST BET
The Longhorns’ scintillating win over No. 1 Oklahoma last Saturday was not only one of the most exciting college football games of the 2008 season, it also proved that a program devoid of highprofie superstars could play inspired TEAM football to topple an ‘unbeatable’ Sooners squad. And what reward does Bevo reap for accomplishing this stunning feat? A trio of gut-busting games against Missouri, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech! “It was one of the greatest football games I’ve ever seen,” said Texas coach Mack Brown after the heavyweight battle, a victory that could have historical signifi cance for the Longhorns. The last time Texas came out of theOU game undefeated (2005), it won the Rose Bowl and a National title. Well, don’t look for that to happen this year – not through the treacherous Big 12 – and don’t be shocked if Bevo takes a stun gun to the forehead right here. Our BRILLIANT DISGUISE article (page2) is at work in favor of Missouri, a team that sports a fl awless 8-0 ATS record on the road versus opponents off consecutive SUATS wins. Tiger coach Pinkel is also 6-1 ATS against foes off a SU dog win, including 5-1 SU and 6-0 ATS if the opponent has a winning record. We’re sure the more keen-eyed of you are already shouting, “Hey, wait! Missouri was unbeaten and got deep-sixed by Okie State. Shouldn’t they be a BUBBLE BURST fade?” No, because the scenario only works against FAVORED teams that were 5-0 or greater and tasted defeat for the fi rst time. Even though Texas has covered eight of the last nine games after Oklahoma, we think Chase Daniel and company can win this outright. The new No. 1 goes down
4* BEST BET
You know we’re big Steve Spurrier fans, especially in conference play.However, today is not the day to test the man’s demeanor. From a talent standpoint the cards in this game are stacked heavily in LSU’s favor, for sure. The defending National Champs have had blue chip recruiting classes throughout the decade while the Gamecocks do their best to just keep fellow Carolinians in Columbia. It’s been Spurrier’s coaching moxie that has kept this team above water. The task at hand today will be to suppress the wanton desires of a defending National Champion in a game off its fi rst loss of the season. Other teams have tried and according to our INCREDIBLE STAT on page 3, almost all have failed. To further add fuel to the fi re, LSU is 9-0 SU and 7-1-1 TS in games off a loss the last six years. Bengal boss Les Miles himself is 11-0 SU and 9-1-1 ATS when favored in games off a SU and ATS defeat. To add more kerosene to the fl ames, our powerful database tells us to: Play On any team in Game Six off its fi rst loss of the season if they are on the road versus a .500 or greater opponent that is off a win. That’s because teams in this role are 21-5 ATS since 1980. With Spurrier 1-7 SU and 2-6 ATS in his career as a home dog of 4 or fewer points, there will no SOS (Steven Orr Spurrier) signals being sent out of our office this week. LSU in a big bounce back.
3* BEST BET
Oklahoma’s upset loss to Texas last week not withstanding, football in the state of Oklahoma has been delightful this season. The three Football Bowl Subdivision (there’s that dang title, again) teams from Merle Haggard’s beloved state – OU, OSU and Tulsa – are 17-1 combined in 2008. The task at hand this week for Mike Gundy’s Cowboys will be to keep focused on the task at hand, namely the Baylor Bears, and not on a date with No. 1 ranked Texas next week. Good luck. For openers, Art Briles has done a splendid job in his fi rst year at the helm with the Bears as they have already won as many games as they did last season. It’s because his troops are +53 net YPG on the year, a dramatic improvement from last year’s -113 net YPG fi gure. Aside from the Longhorn look ahead,Gundy battles a huge letdown possibility given the fact he is 0-4 ATS in games off an underdog win and his team is 0-8-1 SU and 2-7 ATS games after meeting Missouri. It’s simply too much of a BRILLIANT DISGUISE for any team to overcome. Were going Bear hunting this week.
Re: Newsletters 10/16 - 10/20
5* Best Bet New England over Denver by 14
Don’t think for a moment that last Sunday night’s performance is indicative of the Patriots’ talents. There were in a buzz saw situation with the Chargers off an embarrassing loss and seeking playoff revenge. To further complicate matters they were landlocked on the West Coast for consecutive games. The shoe is on the other foot in this game – sort of. The Broncos take to the Monday night road off back-to-back home games knowing they are 3-14 ATS on Mondays against an opponent off a loss, including 0-5 when Denver is also off a loss. The kicker, though, are the numbers Bill Belichick brings to the table. For openers, he is 12-1-1 ATS in his head coaching career when playing with revenge against an opponent off a SU favorite loss,including 6-0 when his team is off a loss. In addition, the Pats are 19-6 ATS under Belichick when playing off one-loss exact, including 10-0 if they allowed more than 28 points in that loss. Now that just about sizes things up,wouldn't you say?
4* BEST BET Baltimore over Miami by 10
The Miami Wildcats, err Dolphins, return to South Beach off last week’s gut-wrenching loss at Houston, a game in which they allowed the Texans to march down the fi eld during the fi nal minute of play to turn a win into a crushing loss on Houston’s fi nal possession. When last we saw them at home they benefi ted from an aforementioned WAKE UP CALL in a 17-10 win over the Chargers. They’ll dress up today as favorites for the fi rst time in the Tony Sparano era, a role in which they’ve failed miserably the past two years (0-4 SU and ATS). It fi ts nicely into a scenario that fi nds home favorites just 1-9 ATS since 1990 who were road dogs in their previous game and SU home dog winners as +6 or more two games ago. Meanwhile, the Ravens bring their top-ranked defense into the fray off three straight losses knowing they are 13-4 ATS in games off 3 L’s and back-to-back spread losses, including 9-1 against a foe off a spread win. Welcome to the world of NFL chalk, Tony
3* BEST BET Detroit over Houston by 6
The Texans did everything they could to lose last week’s game but in the end they couldn’t. They dominated the Dolphins from start to fi nish yet continually kept the Fish in the game with turnovers and penalties… all signs of a team certainly struggling to gain an identity. On the other side of the fi eld the Lions put together their most complete effort of the season, albeit a 5th consecutive loss. The bottom line here is the Texans are off a one-point maiden victory and fi nd themselves laying more than a touchdown to a hungry Lion. Given Houston’s 4-9 ATS mark in its expansion career as a favorite of 2 or more points, and the fact that 1-4 teams off their fi rst win of the season are a wallet burning 0-7 ATS in Game Six against a foe off back-to-back losses, there is only one thing to do here… roar!
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