SATURDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
SATURDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
BIG 12 GAME OF YEAR
6 Unit Play.Take Nebraska Cornhuskers over Baylor Bear
Huskers still do not have a defense to brag about they seem to be getting better each week. As for the offense, they are much improved over the Bill Callahan years with more balance. Nebraska will be able to move the ball through the air considering the Bears terrible passing defense. Every team this year has stung them good including Northwestern State and Washington State, two of the worst teams in football. The Huskers have come off of two road games and now return home since that crushing loss to Missouri, 52-17. Coach Pelini apologized to the state for that performance and that loss is still in the player’s minds and expect an all-out effort on Saturday. Nebraska has played a brutal schedule and that has prepared them well to pound Baylor, as NU comes to play. Nebraska 48, Baylor 14.
4 Unit Play.Take Pittsburgh Panthers over Rutgers Scarlet Knights
This is just a case of two teams going in opposite directions. True, the Knights beat Connecticut last week; however, when I looked over the stats, the offense was not that impressive. Now they face a Panther team that has the most talented since Coach Wannstedt took over. The were shocked in the opener by Bowling Green, but since then it has been a success and now return home after three road games. This is a game they must win since the schedule gets much tougher in November. The Knights have a three game winning streak over Pittsburgh, but that ends here, as Pittsburgh starts to play to their potential and have a season everyone expects them to have. Pitt rolls! Pittsburgh 27, Rutgers 14.
4 Unit Play.Take Oklahoma State Cowboys over Texas Longhorns
The Horns just keeping rolling along having beaten Oklahoma and Missouri by double-digits in consecutive weeks. Both of those wins needed high emotional efforts and I wonder if they can get up yet again. Now they face a Cowboys that is loose and high flying with an explosive offense and a much improved defense. Factor all that plus revenge after losing to Texas in Stillwater last year, 38-35. OK State also beat Missouri, but that came in Columbia. Both teams have yet to lose a game against the spread, so something has to give and this writer is going with the dog, call the upset here! OK State 38, Texas 35.
Re: SATURDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
Indiana / Northwestern Over 48
Let's get this one now. These teams do not put their focus on defense and their numbers prove that. That is especially true of the Hoosiers who have allowed 31 points per game and have a run D just as bad as it gets. The Wildcats come into Bloomington as beat up on D as they have been this year. They have serious problems filling the gaps Saturday and they will face a Hoosier team that have a very balanced attack of run/pass. Even if these things were not the case this Saturday consider this. The last 8 Contests between these two have produced 51 Points or more. Most MUCH MORE. Teams that cannot stop the run leave themselves open to downfield passing, as the Linebackers have to over-commit to the possibility of the running game being used. Both of the QB's in this contest have proven that they can spread the field and we should see that Saturday. We should see some easy scores Saturday because of that. I have checked the longterm weather and the Bloomington area is expected to get some rain Friday and Friday nite. There is only a small chance of that happening gameday. A wet or not so perfect field can only help our chances of this one going OVER the total. For those of you that are getting in late, this line has moved to 49.5 at most books and is still a play at that level.
Re: SATURDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
Lenny Del Genio
Oklahoma St. +13.5 vs Texas
Few would have thought coming into the season that this particular matchup would be of such importance to not only the Big 12 race, but the National Championship hunt as well. And while Oklahoma State is just 1-13 SU in Austin and 2-20 SU all-time vs. the Longhorns (1-11 in Big 12 play), it's not like the Cowboys haven't had their fair share of opportunities through the years, regardless if the game was in Austin or Stillwater! In 2004, they led Texas, at home, 35-7 before allowing the Longhorns to score the game's final 49 points. The following year in Austin, they led 28-9 before allowing UT to score the game's final 38 points. Last year, they led 35-14 and allowed them to score the games final 24 points. Hey, at least those numbers are coming down! Yes, Texas has looked incredibly impressive over the last two weeks in handling both preseason top 10's, Oklahoma and Missouri, but what that does is cause an overlay here. The Cowboys, not only covered, but won outright at Missouri with a similar number. Like Texas, they are unbeaten both SU and ATS. This very well could be Mack Brown's team's most difficult challenge of the year and it's the 3rd consecutive week they are being asked to play at peak performance. OSU showed us a lot in avoiding a letdown in a 34-6 thrashing of a talented Baylor team last week and Mike Gundy's team is playing with supreme confidence feeling they can win this game outright. For all of its silliness and "You Tube infamy," the Gundy rant from a year ago (you know the one) did wonders for the program as it ran off inconsistent QB Bobby Reid, opening the door for Zac Robinson, who set a school record for total offense last year and now leads a very balanced attack that can give the Texas D fits. The OSU defense is also much improved from a year ago as the average PPG allowed is down from 29.5 to 20.6. Much closer than the experts think. Oklahoma State is our Big 12 Game of the Year.
Wake Forest +3 vs Miami
Last week's results set us up beautifully here. Wake Forest is nowhere near as bad as their 26-0 loss to Maryland would seem to indicate. Miami is nowhere near as good as an 18-point road win (at lowly Duke) would seem to indicate. Now, we are getting the better team and more importantly the better coach at the underdog price. We mentioned this two weeks ago in our analysis of the Deacons game with Clemson, but they are a team that excels in the underdog role. Over the last three seasons, Wake has cashed 13 of 17 times when getting points. Sure enough, they are also 6-0 ATS coming off their last six SU losses. The Hurricanes were brought into the ACC to allegedly increase the conference's pedigree, but all they've done is go a mediocre 17-18 SU since joining, including 6-13 SU L19. Even more frightening for Randy Shannon is the fact that his Canes are 1-5 SU/0-6 ATS in Coral Gables vs. conference opponents during his tenure - and they were FAVORED in all of those games! That includes a 41-39 loss to Florida State three weeks ago that wasn't nearly that close. Miami actually trailed 31-10 in the 3rd Quarter in that game. Look for Wake to be eager to erase an ugly series history with the Hurricanes that has seen them lose four straight, including the last 2 in ACC play by a combined 99-24 margin (were outgained by 532 yds!). However, all that, like the glory days of the Miami program, is ancient history. Take Wake Forest.
Minnesota +1 vs Purdue
It is sad to see Joe Tiller's 12-year tenure at Purdue come to such a sorry and pathetic end, but the reality is we can't stop going against the Boilermakers now. They were badly outclassed in our winning ticket on Northwestern last week and now they get a Minnesota team that will bring its 'A' game off a week of rest. The Gophers certainly have a lot of reason to come in fired up - they actually placed #24 in the initial BCS rankings! Also, they are just 1-8 vs. Tiller and have not won here in West Lafayette since 1990. And while Purdue has never scored less than 27 points vs. Minnesota under Tiller, they have certainly given up plenty of yards to the Gophers in some of those games, including 469 in LY's meeting (45-31 Purdue win). QB Adam Weber and WR Eric Decker (59 catches, 5 TD's) can have their way with a weak Purdue secondary. The job Tim Brewster is doing this year in Minnesota is pretty remarkable. Last year's team went 1-11 SU, losing its last 10 games overall including a winless Big Ten campaign, but they come into this year's game at 6-1 SU and have covered five straight. They even won at Illinois, who was in the Rose Bowl last year! One more win and they are bowl eligible. Taking Minnesota as a near pick at Purdue was an unthinkable thought even last year, but that is exactly what we are going to do here. Take Minnesota.
Ball St. -23.5 vs E. Michigan
In our most recent "School Is Back In Session" Article, we noted that DD favorites off a week of rest playing a team that is not off a week of rest are 10-2 ATS the last three Saturdays. That gives us a good starting point here. Some will be scared off by this large number, but we're braver than that. Quite literally, you can expect Ball State to run away with this one. Over the last two weeks, the Eastern Michigan rush defense has been abysmal in allowing 680 yards on the ground at 6.7 YPC. Here, they face a Cardinals team that is not only rested (while they are not), but is also rushing on average for 195 yards per game on the season. Three of Eastern Michigan's September opponents ran the ball for over five yards per pop. BSU is averaging right around that mark themselves for the year. Then we have the fact that this will be unbeaten BSU's first game in Muncie in almost a month and they return not only unbeaten SU, but ATS as well. Normally, we would go against a team that is unbeaten against the number at this point of the season, but as we proved in LW's 25* AFC Game of the Year WINNER on Tennessee, you have to wait for the right spot and team to do that. Eastern Michigan is not that team. Remember, in the BCS chase, style points do count for non-BCS conference schools as they must finish in the Top 12. Look for BSU to run up the score against an Eagles team they've already beaten by an average of 20 PPG the last two meetings. LY, EMU was outgained by a season worst 197 yards by Ball St. This year's Cardinals team is better. Take Ball State.
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Alabama -5 vs Tennessee
Alabama head coach Nick Saban will have his troops in top form on Saturday night, as they go into Neyland Stadium and face the Tennessee Volunteers.Tennessee has yet to show anything against an opponent that has outclassed them on the football field, as Florida absolutely demolished this team and Georgia failed to blow them out because of poor offensive execution. That will not be the case, as Saban wants the Tide to roll into Baton Rouge in two weeks with a perfect 9-0 record and a possible #1 label on its back. Full focus will be on getting a big win here, as they face an absolute cupcake next week for Homecoming.Tennessee's wins read like this: UAB, NIU and Mississippi State..Wow..That's a far cry for Alabama's big neutral site and road wins against Clemson (Before their meltdown) and Georgia. Alabama QB John Parker Wilson will have no trouble making plays against a Tennessee D that he completed 32 of 46 passes against for 363 yards and three touchdowns last year.Lay the number and don't fall into the SEC home underdog trap - Saban's not happy about his team's last two performances and they blow out Tennessee on Saturday
UCLA +17 vs California
There's nobody better in the country in picking UCLA CBB/CFB games and I fully anticipate a great performance by the Bruins this week.UCLA was up against it BIG TIME last week in pulling off a last minute drive against Stanford. The Cardinal wanted this game in a "major way" and head coach Jim Harbaugh was left stunned.California is emotionally shattered after blowing a double-digit lead in the desert and now walks into its WORST ATS SITUATION - a double-digit favorite from mid-October on.The Bears are 0-9 ATS in this situation the last three years and are also 0-8 ATS in their last eight games following a Pac-10 loss that saw them leading at halftime.It will be UGLY - but the Bruins stay under the number here.
Re: SATURDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
3 Star Selection
***UTAH ST. 30 Fresno St. (-16.5) 34
Fresno State was expected to be a good team and were anointed as a possible BCS buster by media "experts". A win over Rutgers to start the season, followed by a close home loss to a Wisconsin team rated in the top 10 added to the misconception that the Bulldogs were a good team. Turns out that Rutgers is a bad team and that Wisconsin is now 3-4 and falling fast. Fresno's other wins have been an overtime win against 2-5 Toledo, a 5 point win against a mediocre 3-4 UCLA team and a 46-32 win as a 34 point favorite against an Idaho team that may be the worst in Division 1A. Fresno State is 0-5 ATS since their season opening win over Rutgers and the Bulldogs' very good offense (6.6 yards per play against teams that would allow 5.6 yppl to an average team) is balanced out by a horrible defense that has allowed an average of 37 points and 6.3 yppl in 4 games since losing run-stuffing defensive lineman Jon Monga early in their week 4 game against Toledo – to 4 bad offensive teams that would combine to average just 4.8 yppl against an average defensive team. Fresno generally has good talent among their starters, but their lack of depth along the defensive line has hurt them for a second consecutive season (they went from decent to horrible defensively last season after losing some defensive line starters in week 5). Utah State is a bad offensive team, averaging just 4.7 yppl against teams that would allow 5.6 yppl against an average team, but they are considerably better than Fresno State's defense and Aggie's running quarterback Diondre Borel and backs Turbin and Marsh (444 combined yards at 4.7 ypr) should feast on a Fresno defensive front that can't stop the run – the Bulldogs have allowed 237 yards at 6.3 yards per rushing play since losing Monga despite facing teams that would combine to average just 4.4 yprp against an average team. Fresno will certainly score a good number of points too against a sub-par Utah State defense that rates at 0.5 yppl worse than average, but my math model favors Fresno by just 7 ½ points in this game and the Bulldogs are not to be trusted laying points when they are not playing well. The Bulldogs are just 11-25-2 ATS under Pat Hill as a favorite of 2 points or more following a point spread loss, including 0-4 ATS this season and 4-19-1 ATS since 2002. Fresno also applies to a negative 34-83-2 ATS big road favorite off a bye week angle that has won 9 consecutive times for the home dog. I'll take Utah State in a 3-Star Best Bet at +14 points or more and for 2-Stars from +13 ½ to +10 ½ points.
3 Star Selection
***GEORGIA TECH (-13.0) 33 Virginia 10
Virginia appears to be getting better and enters this game riding a 3 game win steak despite being an underdog in each game. I've been on the Cavaliers in recent weeks at home, but their recent improvement is most likely a function of playing 3 consecutive home game rather than Virginia being a good team. Virginia has always played better at home under Al Groh (32-15 ATS, 29-12 not favored by more than 23 points) than they've played on the road (14-27 ATS). The Cavaliers have also been better with revenge (22-6 ATS) under Groh than they have been when the other team has the revenge motive (16-25 ATS in those games). And, Groh's team has been much better after a loss (23-12 ATS) than they have after a good game (15-22 ATS after a win and spread win). History is certainly not on the side of Virginia today, as they are on the road after 3 consecutive win and covers against a superior team that they happened to have beaten last season. Virginia is just 6-20-1 ATS on the road against a team with revenge and a horrendous 1-18 ATS on the road after a game in which they won and covered the spread (1-16 ATS under Groh). Virginia's only two road games this season resulted in a blowout losses against mediocre teams Connecticut (10-45) and Duke (3-31) and Georgia Tech is much better than either of those teams. Virginia does look like an improved team since getting blown out by USC to start the season and they are certainly better offensively now that top back Cedric Peerman is healthy. Peerman has rushed for 327 yards the last 3 weeks and is averaging 6.0 ypr for the season, but I still rate Virginia's offense at 0.5 yards per play worse than average and the Cavaliers were 0.2 yppl worse than average offensively in their 3 game home winning streak. That attack doesn't figure to move the ball very well against a Georgia Tech defense that has allowed just 12.0 points per game and 4.1 yppl in 5 games against Division 1A teams that would combine to average 23 points and 5.1 yppl against an average team. Georgia Tech's triple option offense has also been very good, as the Yellow Jackets have averaged 6.1 yppl in 5 Division 1A games against teams that would allow 5.3 yppl to an average attack. Georgia Tech's offense may be underrated because they struggled to move the ball in a 10-7 win over Gardner-Webb a couple of weeks ago, but the Yellow Jackets' top 2 quarterbacks were held out of that game and the option attack was run by a traditional drop back passer with limited mobility and no experience running the option. Georgia Tech has also lost 8 fumbles in 5 1A games, which has kept them from scoring as much as they should be scoring given how well they move the ball (although they've still averaged 24.4 points in those games against teams that would allow just 19.7 points per game to an average team). Virginia Tech's defense was overwhelmed in their opener against USC and I decided to throw those stats out. Since that game the Cavaliers have been 0.6 yppl better than average defensively (4.8 yppl allowed to teams that would combine to average 5.4 yppl against an average team), but they have been just average defending the run (4.8 yprp allowed to teams that would average 4.8 yprp) and that is a problem in this game. Georgia Tech has faced just one 1A team that is not good defending the run and the Jackets ran for 439 yards at 8.3 yprp in that game against a Mississippi State defense that is actually slightly better defending the run than Virginia is. The line on this game should be much higher and my math model gives the Yellow Jackets a 59.6% chance of covering at -11 ½ points. That doesn't include how poorly Virginia plays on the road after a win and cover, which makes Georgia Tech an even higher percentage play. I'll take Georgia Tech in a 3-Star Best Bet at -14 points or less and 2-Stars from -14 ½ to -16 points.
3 Star Selection
***CALIFORNIA (-17.0) 38 UCLA 10
Cal struggled last week against a good Arizona squad in Tucson, but the Bears should bounce back from their one bad defensive game of the year by shutting down a sub-par UCLA offense today. Prior to last week, the Golden Bears' top-notch defensive unit had not allowed more than 5.1 yards per play to any team (they allowed 6.3 yppl to Arizona) and they have still yielded just 4.4 yppl for the season against a schedule of teams that would combine to average 5.4 yppl against an average defense. Cal has faced just 3 below average offensive teams in Washington State and Colorado State and the Bears gave up an average of just 5 points in those two games – so I don't expect a bad UCLA offense averaging just 4.6 yppl (against teams that would allow 5.5 yppl to an average team) to have much success today against a proud Bears' defense looking to atone for last week. Cal's offense has averaged 6.2 yppl this season against teams that would allow 5.5 yppl to an average team, but I rate the Bears' attack at +0.5 yppl for the season after adjusting for the fact that they have 3 runs for 80 yards or more. Cal is likely to have more breakout TD runs, but it's doubtful that they'll come from the 20 yard line or further (I adjust my stats for long plays, which tend to skew the data). Cal's offense is better with Nate Longshore starting at quarterback, as Longshore has averaged 6.6 yards per pass play against teams that would allow 5.5 yppp to an average quarterback, while Kevin Riley has been 0.2 yppp worse than average (5.9 yppp against teams that would allow 6.1 yppp). Longshore is going to throw more interceptions (3.6% lifetime percentage is a bit higher than the national average of 3.1%), but he is still a better overall quarterback than Riley has shown to be this year. Star RB Jahvid Best was taken out of last week's game after running for 107 yards on 16 carries, but Best should play this week after having another week to recover from his dislocated elbow, which kept him out of the ASU game a few weeks ago. Backup Shane Vereen has run for 395 ards at 6.0 ypr, so he's more than capable of playing well if Best is limited. Cal's outstanding offensive line has paved the way for 6.4 yards per rushing play and the Bears should be able to run the ball pretty easily against a soft UCLA defensive front that has given up an average of 274 rushing yards at 6.8 yprp to the 3 good rushing teams that they have faced (Fresno, Oregon, and Stanford). The Bruins' pass defense has been good (5.3 yppp allowed to quarterbacks that would combine to average 5.9 yppp against an average team), but Longshore is 1.1 yppp better than average so the Bears should be able to throw when they need to – although they may not need to given how well they should run the ball. The big advantage is Cal's defense, which is 1.9 yppl better than UCLA's offense. My math model favors California by 25 points and the Bears should be favored by more than 21 points in this game. In addition to the line value, the Bears apply to a very strong 77-17-1 ATS statistical match-up indicator. Cal is only 5-18 ATS in recent seasons as a favorite of 11 points or more, but they are 2-1 ATS in that role this season thanks to their stingy defense and won by 28 points as a 16 ½ point favorite the last time they applied to that 77-17-1 ATS indicator. I'll take California in a 3-Star Best Bet at -20 points or less and for 2-Stars at -20 ½ or -21 points.
3 Star Selection
***Mississippi (-5.0) 37 ARKANSAS 23
Mississippi may be 3-4 straight up but the Rebels are a very good team that has out-gained their opponents 6.1 yards per play to 5.1 yppl and out-scored a schedule that is 4.7 points tougher than average by 3.3 points. Arkansas has played an even tougher schedule (7.0 points tougher than average), but the Razorbacks have been out-scored by an average margin of 14.4 points. Arkansas is actually a pretty decent team from the line of scrimmage, rating at 0.3 yppl better than average with Casey Dick at quarterback (5.5 yppl against teams that would allow 5.2 yppl to an average team) and average defensively (5.6 yppl allowed to teams that would average 5.6 yppl against an average team). Ole' Miss, meanwhile, is 1.0 yppl better than average offensively (6.1 yppl against teams that would allow 5.1 yppl) and the Rebels are 0.4 yppl better than average defensively (5.0 yppl allowed to teams that would combine to average 5.4 yppl against an average team) and potentially are going to be better with star DE Greg Hardy rounding into form (2.5 sacks in 3 games) after missing the first 4 games of the season (Hardy was 1st team All-SEC last season). Mississippi's losses this season have all been by 7 points or less to good teams Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt and the Rebels would have won at least a couple of those games if not for being a combined -9 in turnover margin in those 4 losses (and at least -1 in each game). Mississippi is good enough to beat Florida on the road when turnovers aren't hurting them and today they face an Arkansas team that is just as turnover prone, as the Razorbacks are -8 in turnover margin in 7 games while Ole Miss is -7 in TO margin in 7 games. My math model actually projects Arkansas with a 0.2 edge in turnovers, but Mississippi is significantly better from the line of scrimmage and in special teams and the Rebels should be favored by more than 7 points in this game. In addition to the line value, Ole Miss applies to a very strong 53-7-1 ATS statistical match-up indicator and there is a chance that Arkansas star RB Michael Smith may not play after suffering a concussion last week (although I expect him to play). I'll take Mississippi in a 3-Star Best Bet at -6 ½ points or less and for 2-Stars at -7 points.
2 Star Selection
**TENNESSEE 21 Alabama (-6.0) 20
Hidden by Tennessee's 3-4 record is the strength of their defense, which has given up just 4.2 yards per play this season to a schedule of teams that would combine to averaged 5.5 yppl against an average team. The Vols' defense ranks 6th best in the nation in my ratings, which places them ahead of Alabama's defense, which ranks 7th at 1.2 yppl better than average. Tennessee's stout defensive front, which has yielded just 3.4 yards per rushing play (to teams that would average 5.1 yprp against an average team), has an advantage over Alabama's great rushing attack (5.8 yprp against teams that would allow 4.5 yprp to an average team) and the Crimson Tide have been held in check by the 3 other good run defenses that they have faced. In fact, Alabama has averaged just 4.2 yprp against Clemson, Georgia, and Ole Miss (who would combine to allow 3.8 yprp to an average team) – so Alabama's rushing attack has been just 0.4 yprp better than average against good defensive teams. John Parker Wilson has been just mediocre throwing the ball, averaging 6.1 yards per pass play against teams that would allow 6.2 yppp to an average quarterback, but I decided to throw out his horrible game against Tulane, when the Tide were without All-American candidate left tackle Andre Smith (Wilson was sacked 4 times and pressured constantly in that game). In the 6 games when Smith was protecting his back Wilson averaged 7.0 yppp (against teams that would allow 6. 2yppp). Tennessee's pass defense is 0.8 yppp better than average, so Wilson's passing numbers will probably be worse than average since this game is on the road. Tennessee's offense was a major problem early in the season, but the insertion of Nick Stephens as the starting quarterback has helped the Vols' attack, as Stephens has been much better throwing the ball in his 3 starts (6.2 yppp against teams that would allow 5.8 yppp to an average QB) than former starter Jonathan Crompton was in the first 4 games of the season (5.0 yppp against teams that would allow 6.0 yppp). Tennessee is still only about average offensively (on a national scale) with Stephens at quarterback, but my math model projects 19 points for the Volunteers in this game, which should be enough to cover given how well their defense is playing and given the negative situation that unbeaten Alabama applies to. Alabama applies to a very negative 21-80-4 ATS situation as well as a negative 23-59-1 ATS situation that plays against unbeaten teams. Tennessee also is above average in special teams with punter Britton Colquitt back after serving a 6 game suspension. Tennessee's net punting was horrible (29.0 yds) without Colquitt, but he averaged 36.7 net yards per punt last year and field position will be important is a low scoring game between two good defensive teams. On the injury front, Alabama will be without run-stuffing star DT Terence Cody for a few weeks while Tennessee will miss star G Anthony Parker and WR and returnman Gerald Jones. Cody and Parker probably cancel each other out, but losing Jones will hurt the Vols' special teams a bit (although not as much as having Colquitt has helped their special teams rating). My math model favors Alabama by just 4 ½ points and the situation merits a play against the Tide in this game. I'll take Tennessee in a 2-Star Best Bet at +4 points or more.
Re: SATURDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
PITTSBURGH (-9.5) 31 Rutgers 16
Rutgers has covered the spread in 3 consecutive games after starting the season 0-3 ATS, but the Scarlet Knights aren't really playing much better than they were earlier in the year. Rutgers is 0.6 yards per play worse than average for the season with Mike Teel at quarterback, averaging 4.9 yppl against teams that would allow 5.5 yppl to an average team and they've been 0.8 yppl worse than average offensively during their 3 game spread covering streak (4.3 yppl against teams that would allow 5.1 yppl). Rutgers' defense has been 0.2 yppl worse than average for the season (5.7 yppl allowed to teams that would average 5.5 yppl against an average defense), but they've been 0.4 yppl worse than average in their last 3 games, allowing 5.7 yppl to teams that would combine to average 5.3 yppl against an average team (adjusting for the quarterbacks of the opposing teams that played in those games, which includes the backups of Cincinnati and Connecticut). Pittsburgh is improving offensively and the Panthers now rate at 0.2 yppl worse than average, which isn't bad considering that the Pitt defense is 0.6 yppl better than average (4.8 yppl allowed to teams that would combine to average 5.4 yppl against an average stop unit). Overall, the Pirates have a solid edge from the line of scrimmage while also having a significant advantage in projected turnovers and a small edge in special teams. My math model favors Pitt by 17 ½ points in this game and the Panthers apply to a decent 81-42-2 ATS momentum situation, but I respect Rutgers' 24-10-1 ATS record as an underdog since the 2003 season (3-0 ATS this season). That team trend will keep me from making Pitt a Best Bet, but I'll consider Pittsburgh a Strong Opinion at -10 points or less.
LOUISVILLE 24 S. Florida (-4.0) 23
I haven't been that impressed with South Florida and the Bulls were clearly overrated earlier this season. USF played much better than anticipated last week against a bad Syracuse team and they find themselves in a negative situation today against a decent Louisville squad that is about average on both sides of the ball. USF has been only 0.4 yppl better than average offensively this season (5.8 yppl against teams that would allow 5.4 yppl to an average team) and just 0.3 yppl better than average on defense in the 5 Division 1A games in which star George Selvie has played (he missed the NC State game). Louisville is certainly capable of competing in this game and the Cardinals apply to a very strong 61-13-1 ATS home underdog momentum situation. My math model actually favors USF by only 4 points, so the line appears fair, but I'm a bit concerned about Louisville's offense going up against a better than average defense. Louisville has performed pretty well offensively in their last 5 games against bad defensive teams, but they gained only 205 yards at 2.9 yppl in week 1 against a good Kentucky defense. South Florida's defense isn't quite as good as Kentucky's stop unit, but Louisville's offense has not proven they can move the ball against a better than average defense yet. That Kentucky game is likely just statistical variance, as it is likely that Louisville will perform as my math model suggests they will (my model compensates for the strength of opposing defenses faced), but I'll resist making the Cardinals a Best Bet unless the line goes up a couple of points. I'll consider Louisville a Strong Opinion at +4 points or more based on the strong situation and I'd take Louisville in a 2-Star Best Bet at +7 points or more.
Wyoming 3 TCU (-31.0) 27
Wyoming is a horrible offensive team that has averaged just 4.0 yards per play, 3.9 turnovers, and 9.0 points per game and the Cowboys will be fortunate to score against a TCU defense that has allowed just 3.8 yppl and 10.9 points per game. However, Wyoming applies to a very strong 56-9-1 ATS situation that plays on bad teams as big dogs against good teams and the Cowboys have the defense to cover this huge line even if they don't score a point. Wyoming has allowed just 4.9 yppl this season to a schedule of teams that would average 5.3 yppl against an average stop unit and they're up against a sub-par TCU attack that has averaged a modest 5.2 yppl despite facing teams that would allow 5.8 yppl to an average team. Wyoming is a ridiculous -19 in turnover margin and I just don't see how they can continue that pace. I can certainly see the Cowboys' horrible set of quarterbacks continuing to throw 2 interceptions per game, but the -10 in fumbles margin in 7 games is almost completely random. TCU, meanwhile, has been +12 in turnover margin and, while they are likely to be positive in that category going forward, it is unlikely that they'll be 1.5 in turnover per game the rest of the season. My math model actually does predict the Horned Frogs to be +1.5 in turnover margin in this game, but that would be much better than normal for Wyoming and the math calls for a 31-0 final score. While the line is fair and the situation is very strong, I'm just having difficulty pulling the trigger on a Cowboys' squad that is 2-19-1 ATS in their last 22 lines games, including 0-14-1 ATS more recently. The line appears to have caught up to how bad Wyoming is and eventually they are going to stop turning the ball over 4 times per game, but I will resist playing on Wyoming as a Best Bet. I'll consider Wyoming a Strong Opinion at +28 points or more.
MISSOURI (-23.5) 43 Colorado 13
Missouri coach Gary Pinkel has always been a bully. Pinkel's teams at Toledo and Missouri have beaten up on bad teams while not playing as well, relatively, against better teams. The Tigers have lost consecutive games to unbeaten teams Oklahoma State and Texas and now they get to take out their frustrations on a bad Colorado team. Pinkel's teams are 18-3-1 ATS in his career as favorites from 14 ½ to 28 points and an incredible 15-1 ATS as a favorite of more than 4 points the week following a loss, including 10-0 ATS while at Missouri. This year's Tigers have beaten the crap out of every mediocre or bad team they've played, beating SE Missouri State, Nevada, Buffalo and Nebraska by an average score of 54-15. Missouri probably isn't going to score that many points against a decent Colorado defense (5.3 yards per play allowed to teams that would combine to average 5.5 yppl against an average team), but my math model projects 43 points for the Tigers in this game and the Missouri's better than average defense (5.5 yppl allowed to teams that would combine to average 5.8 yppl) will be looking to atone for last week's embarrassment (8.3 yppl and 56 points allowed to Texas). Colorado's offense is a horrible 1.0 yppl worse than average (4.5 yppl against teams that would combine to allow 5.5 yppl to an average team), but the Buffaloes are hoping that freshman Tyler Hanson can spark the attack with his running ability while sharing some time with starter Cody Hawkins. Hanson ran for 93 yards on 17 rushing plays last week in his first action of the season, but he managed just 64 yards on 16 pass plays against a sub-par Kansas State defense and the Buffaloes scored just 14 points for the 3rd consecutive game. My math model projects 13 points for the Buffaloes in this game. Missouri looks like a pretty good play given Pinkel's history of covering in this spread range and covering as a favorite of more than 4 points the week after a loss, and I'll consider Missouri a Strong Opinion at -24 or -23 ½ and I'd take Missouri in a 2-Star Best Bet at -23 or less.
OHIO ST. 24 Penn St. (-2.5) 21
Ohio State is in a very good situation as a quality home underdog against an unbeaten conference opponent, as the Buckeyes apply to an 85-33-2 ATS momentum situation while Penn State applies to a negative 15-58-1 ATS road favorite angle. The question is what the line on this game should be. I rate both defenses exactly the same on a compensated yards per play basis, but Penn State has had a much better offense so far this season. The Nittany Lions have averaged 6.8 yppl in 7 games against Division 1A opponents who would combine to allow 5.3 yppl to an average attack. Ohio State's offense has been 0.3 yppl worse than average for the season (5.2 yppl against teams that would allow 5.5 yppl), but the Buckeyes are a better offensive team with star RB Beanie Wells healthy (he missed a few games early in the season) and with Terrelle Pryor at quarterback. Pryor isn't a good passer yet (5.4 yards per pass play against teams that would allow 6.0 yppp to an average quarterback), but he's actually better in the passing department than former starter Todd Boeckman has been and Pryor is a great runner – accumulating 505 yards on 74 rushing plays (that's 6.8 yprp). The Buckeyes are 0.5 yppl better than average offensively with Wells and Pryor in the backfield. My math model projects Penn State with a 356 yards to 300 total yards advantage in this game, but Ohio State is projected with a 0.3 edge in turnovers and the Buckeyes are 0.9 points better in special teams and are at home. Overall, I was surprised to find that my math model favors Penn State by just 1 ½ points in this game. With a fair line and strong situations favor the Buckeyes I should be playing this game as a Best Bet, but I still question Ohio State's ability to play well against a good team. The Buckeyes have faced only 1 good defense this season and USC put the clamps on the Buckeyes attack in a 35-3 blowout. Wells didn't play in that game and Pryor split time with Boeckman, but I still have my concerns about Ohio State's offense. I'll consider Ohio State a Strong Opinion as an underdog in this game based on the strong technical analysis, but I'll resist making the Buckeyes a Best Bet
Re: SATURDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
3-Star Oklahoma (-18) over @ Kansas State
The Sooner offense has to be licking their chops when it comes to facing this porous KSU defense. The Cats stop unit has been terrible this year allowing nearly 200 YPG rushing and 240 yards passing. Those numbers rank them 106th in the nation in total defense and those were against mainly suspect offenses. KSU’s schedule has been very light with the exception of games @ Louisville and home vs. Texas Tech. Their 38-29 loss @ Louisville was dominated by the Cards outgaining the Wildcats by 234 yards. KSU’s home game vs. Texas Tech was a 58-28 loss and they allowed the Red Raiders 626 total yards! Other than that, the offenses they have faced have been average to below. Now they attempt to slow down an Oklahoma offense that averages nearly 50 PPG and ranks 4th nationally in yardage per game. Good luck with that. Last week the Sooners faced a pretty good Kansas defense and rolled up 674 yards. They were a bit flat coming off their showdown (and a loss) vs. Texas and still put up 45 points. Their defense was also flat and uncharacteristically allowed 35 points to a very good Kansas offense. That won’t happen this week vs. a KSU team that is one-dimensional on offense. The Cats can’t run the ball being out gained on the ground in 4 of their last 5 games. While KSU QB Josh Freeman is good, he won’t be able to do it all here vs. an angry OU defense that will want to make amends for last Saturday’s underachieving performance. The Sooners don’t mind the road at all where they are 23-6 SU their last 29. They are so good on offense and KSU is so bad on defense, we wouldn’t be surprised at all if OU doesn’t have to punt once in this game. The Sooners can score whatever they would like here and we look for them to get into the 50’s as they usually do. Kansas State won’t be able to keep up and Freeman will be forced into making tough throws to try and bring his team back resulting in turnovers. OU pulls away big time in the second half and wins easily getting the cover.
4-Star Army (-2) over Louisiana Tech
Don’t look now but they always hard trying Cadets of Army are playing really solid football. After looking like a deer in headlights at the beginning of the season trying to run their new option offense, they now have it nearly perfected and it has showed on the field. It really started to click for this team during their trip to Texas A&M back on September 27th. They lost that game 21-17 but out gained the Aggies on their own turf racking up 280 yards rushing. Including that loss, Army is now 2-2 with their losses coming at A&M and at Buffalo in overtime. During that four game stretch where their option attack has really taken off, they rolled up 1,232 yards on 5.5 yards per carry. Army out rushed those four opponents by a combined 789 yards! This will be a tough trip for La. Tech. They are in the middle of their WAC schedule and getting up for a trip to play Army won’t be easy. Not only that, they are facing an offense that they NEVER see in the WAC. The high flying arial attacks in that conference are obviously nothing like the option attack they will face on Saturday. They have just one week to get ready for that offense which makes it tough, especially being a somewhat meaningless non-conference road game. The overall numbers say that Louisiana Tech has a solid run defense but we say otherwise. First of all, they haven’t played a really good running offense all season long. As we stated, the WAC is a pass happy league which often will make the defensive rush numbers look much better than they are. Army currently ranks 8th nationally in rushing at 253 YPG but as you saw earlier in our analysis, a majority of those numbers have come in the last four games so we actually have them higher than that right now. The best running offense that La. Tech has seen so far this year is Boise State and they average 142 YPG. The Bulldogs have thrown up a zippo on the road this year (0-3 SU, 0-3 ATS) getting beat by an average score of 30-6. They have Fresno State on deck which is a very important conference game. We simply don’t see them making this trip and being all that interested in this game. Army always gives 100% effort and they are playing much very well as of late. This all adds up to an Army win at home.
5-Star @Georgia Tech (-14) vs. Virginia
We were on Virginia as a big play at home last weekend, however we’re going to do a 180 and play against them on Saturday. The Cavs have been on a nice roll winning three straight games after a rough start, however all of those games have been in the friendly confines of their home stadium. Now they must venture out on the road for the first time since September 27th! Not only that, they are coming off an overtime win vs. big time rival North Carolina. This week will be tough for UVA. The Cavaliers two road games this year were both blowout losses. They were destroyed at UConn 45-10 and were whipped at down trodden Duke 31-3. Inexperienced starting QB Marc Verica will be making just the third road start of his career. He has thrown 5 interceptions in his first two starts away from home. While he has started to come around and play well at home, we expect a struggle on Saturday. The Cavs have been out gained in their two road games by 810 to 477 total yards. Last week in their win over UNC, the Virginia threw up a red flag so to speak for this week’s contest against the Yellow Jackets. That’s because the Heels, who have an average running game, exploited the UVA defense for 166 yards on the ground. They now allow nearly 150 YPG on the ground and 4 YPC. That’s NOT where you want to struggle on defense when playing Georgia Tech. The Jackets have the 9th best rushing attack in the nation rolling up 248 YPG on the ground. Not only that, they have one of the best defenses in the country allowing their opponents only 254 total yards per game (5th in the nation). Despite being 6-1 on the season, this Tech team is REALLY flying under the radar. Their only loss was @ Virginia Tech where they were tripped up 20-17. In that game, however, the Jackets actually dominated out gained the Hokies by 140 yards. They had 278 yards rushing in that game against one of the better stop units in the country. The bumble bees should have a field day against UVA this weekend. This ACC battle has definitely gone the way of the home team. The host has now covered 11 of the last 13 in this series. We really like the “play against” situation with Virginia especially vs. the under rated Georgia Tech team. Lay the points.
3-Star Mississippi (-6.5) @ Arkansas
The last few years, Ole Miss was an afterthought opponent for the top SEC talent; however, Houston Nutt has transformed the Rebels into a legitimate opponent to any SEC team, and is proving that they shouldn’t be overlooked. Earlier this season, Ole Miss marched into the unfriendly confines of Florida and beat the Gators 31-30. Since then, they have played two tough games against South Carolina and Alabama, and have come up short twice. I can’t overstate the fact that Nutt has his players motivated and playing hard every week, and this week will be more important than ever, as Nutt will be facing his former team and Alma-Mater, Arkansas. Expect Ole Miss to get the win on the road here against the Razorbacks. Arkansas is really hurting from the loss of last years playmakers on offense (McFadden, Jones, Monk), and while RB Michael Smith is having a solid season, there is little talent around him. The Razorbacks rank 100th in the NCAA in points scored this season, averaging just 19 points per game. Their defense has been just as bad, ranking 109th, giving up 33 points per game. The Rebels also have a big advantage at quarterback, where Jevan Snead is having a breakout year for Ole Miss, and Razorback QB Casey Dick continues to struggle. The Rebels are 0-4 ATS in the last 4 meetings vs. Arkansas; however, those 4 Razorback wins were under coach Houston Nutt. Now, it’s Ole Miss who has the upper-hand, they are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 road games, and 7-2 ATS in their last 9 overall; while Arkansas is headed the opposite direction, going just 2-5 ATS in their last 7. Arkansas will see how the Rebels players respond the Nutt’s coaching and wish they never would’ve let their old coach go. Go with the Rebels with the points.
Re: SATURDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
BIG GAME ALERT
I'm taking the points with SAN DIEGO STATE. Not many bettors are willing to back a team that gave up 70 points in its last game. Therefore, very few are willing to touch the Aztecs here as they got crushed 70-7 by New Mexico last week. Granted, that was pretty brutal. However, that result works in ouu favor here. For starters, with nobody wanting to play on them, we're getting excellent line value on the Aztecs here. Additionally, the fact that they got embarrassed so badly last week should ensure that they play extra hard this week. Further motivation will be provided by the fact that this is arguably the best chance at earning a victory in conference play. That's because their next two games are on the road and then they face a very strong Utah team after that. That means that the Aztecs know if they don't win this week, that they'll likely be waiting until their season finale to get another shot at a victory. That game comes against UNLV and the Rebels can also be tough. Despite the fact that they got destroyed last week, the Aztecs should bring some confidence into this week's game. For starters, the Rams were also beaten badly (49-16) last week. More importantly, they know that they went into Fort Collins and defeated the Rams outright last season. In fact, despite being underdogs in each game, the Aztecs are 3-0 SU against the Rams the past three seasons, including a 17-6 victory the last time the teams met here at San Diego. Colorado State coach Steve Fairchild noted: "... It's traditionally been hard place for Colorado State to play. This is not going to be an easy game by any stretch of imagination..." Yes, the Aztecs have had trouble stopping the run. The Colorado State defense has also struggled though, giving up well over 500 yards last week. Aztecs QB Ryan Lindley has had a week to get healthier and he should enjoy success against a highly supsect Rams' secondary. After missing the Air Force game with a slight separation in his throwing shoulder, Lindley didn't get many reps before returning to action against the Lobos. The Rams, who are playing their second straight road game, have yet to win away from home this season. They're 5-15 their last 20 games on the road overall and four of those five games came by 12 points or less. Keep in mind that the Rams needed a late fumble recovery and a field goal at the buzzer to defeat 1-AA Sacramento State earlier this season. The point that I am trying to make is that the Rams are far from a dominant team and that I don't feel they deserve to be laying this many points on the road, even against struggling San Diego State. While the Rams are 1-7 ATS the last eight times that they played the second of back-to-back road games, the Aztecs are 6-1 ATS the last seven times that they played at home after playing on the road the previous week. Overall, the Aztecs are 11-6 ATS their last 17 home lined games. Fighting to save Chuck Long's job, look for them to bounce back with a huge effort, earning at least another cover. *MWC GOY
I'm taking the points with OHIO STATE. The Nittany Lions come in with the higher ranking and as the favored team. That's because the Buckeyes lost at USC though and the Nittany Lions haven't played at any venues that difficult. Additionally, the Buckeyes are a much improved team now from the one which was blown out in Southern California. Indeed, the combo of Terrelle Pryor and Beanie Wells has quickly emerged as one of the most dangerous duos in the country. Pryor, the most highly touted high school recruit in the country, is dangerous with both his legs and his arm. As receiver Brian Robiskie noted: "When Terrelle is clicking, he can do a little bit of everything. He's scary in the open field." Meanwhile, Wells has rushed for more than 500 yards in four games since coming back. This week, he'll be running against a Penn State defense which surrendered more than 200 yards on the ground to Michigan last week. The Nittany Lions are 0-7 here since joining the Big-10 and they haven't won at Ohio Stadium in 30 years. Penn State is also 0-10 on the road against AP Top 25 opponents over the past six years. While the Nittany Lions have struggled on the road against top tier opponents, the Buckeyes tend to elevate their game against other ranked programs. That's particularly the case when playing at home against fellow Big 10 foes. Indeed, the Buckeyes have won 12 of their last 13 conference home games against ranked opponents. While I expect the Buckeyes to win outright, it's worth noting that the line has climbed from it's opener, giving us some additional value. It's also worth mentioning that Penn State is 1 -5 ATS (2-4 SU) the last six times it played a game with a line ranging from -3 to +3. During the same span, Ohio State is 4-0 SU/ATS when playing a game with a line in that range. While the Nittany Lions are 6-13-1 ATS their last 20 conference games, the Buckeyes are 13-7 ATS, going 19-1 SU. Look for them to continue that dominance this evening. *Big 10 Main Event
I'm playing on PURDUE. The betting public is really down on the Boilermakers and view them as under-achievers. However, that's only somewhat accurate. A closer look shows that the Boilermakers have actually pretty much done as expected. They've won the games in which they were favored and they've lost the games in which they were underdogs. Their four home games have come against Northern Colorado, Central Michigan, Oregon and Penn State. They won the first two and were competitive in both the other two. While they've admittedly played pretty well this season, the Gophers still represent a significant step down in class from either Oregon or Penn State and I believe that they provide an excellent matchup for the Boilermakers. I believe emotion is an extremely important factor when handicapping college sports and I feel that the Boilermakers and particularly QB Painter will come in with something to prove this week. Painter got benched last week but had to come back in when his backup got hurt. Not only that but running back Kory Sheets has been openly critical of Painter. While Painter has struggled this season, he's still more than capable. Don't forget that he's second all-time in the conference with 919 completions. Perhaps more importantly, note that Painter was 33-for-48 for 338 yards with three touchdowns against Minnesota last season. This week, he'll face a Minnesota defense which allowed more than yards last time out. Recent events have provided Painter with plenty of motivation and last year's performance against the Gophers should give him the confidence to know that he can get it done again this afternoon. While the Boilermakers come in absolutely desperate for a victory, I feel the Gophers will be ripe for a letdown. That's because they've had two weeks to pat themselves on the back after their huge upset win at Illinois and they even earned a national ranking in the process. While certainly better than last year's 1-11 team, I'm not convinced that Minnesota is deserving of their top 25 ranking. The win at Illinois was their only really "impressive" victory and I've already noted that the Gophers gave up more than 500 yards in that game. A closer look shows that they were outgained by a whopping 550-312 count in that game. The only other Big 10 team that they beat this season was Indiana and the Hoosiers are 0-5 their last five games with their only two wins on the season coming vs. Western Kentucky and Murray State. Minnesota's other victories came against teams from the MAC, Sun Belt and Big Sky Conferences. Both the Gophers and Boilermakers lost by 13 vs. Ohio State. However, the Boilermakers have also taken on the likes of Penn State, Oregon and Notre Dame. The Boilermakers are a perfect 7-0 their last seven home games against the Gophers. Look for Painter to bounce back with a big effort and for them to keep that streak in tact for Tiller to retire with. *Annihilator
RIVALRY GAME OF YEAR
I'm taking the points with TENNESSEE. Don't be fooled by the Volunteers' record. This is still a talented team and this is still a very difficult place to play. The only opposing team to win here this season was Florida. Including last week's 34-3 destruction of Mississippi State, the Vols are now 10-1 their last 11 games here, dating back to the beginning of last season. As for Alabama, the Crimson Tide bring a perfect 7-0 record to the table to go along with an impressive national ranking. However, they've always had trouble here at Knoxville and their last two games (vs. Kentucky and Mississippi) were decided by just three and four points. QB John Parker Wilson had a big game last season and the Tide routed the Vols. That was at Alabama though and this is a much improved Tennessee defense from last year. Eric Berry recorded yet another interception last week, going 72 yards to the house. Berry is now the SEC's all-time leader in interception return yardage, breaking a record that stood for six decades. Coach Fulmer commented: "I don't know if I've ever seen anybody like Eric Berry. It's amazing what he does when he has a football in his hands and the spirit that he brings to the team." It should be noted that Berry, who possesses game-breaking speed, may also see some time on offense this week. Berry's interception last week was just one of two for the Vols and gives them a whopping 14 on the season. The Vols are allowing only 16 points per game and just 267 yards per game. In addition to all the interceptions created by the secondary, the run defense has also been outstanding. Opponents are averaging just 2.8 yards per carry. Like the Vols, the Crimson Tide have been excellent defensively. However, it should be noted that they'll be without 6-foot-5, 365-pound nose guard Terrance Cody. That injury won't get much coverage from the media but is extremely significant all the same. Cody is regularly able to occupy two and sometimes three blockers in the middle, which frees up the Alabama linebackers to attack and make plays. I expect the Crimson Tide defense, which doesn't have all that much depth, to definitely miss Cody. While Alabama obviously really wants to keep its perfect record in tact, the Vols also have plenty of motivation. For starters, this is a major rivalry and they hate the Crimson Tide. Clearly, they'd like nothing more than to be the team which spoils their dreams of a national title. Additionally, the Vols want to earn some payback from last season's embarrassing loss. Perhaps most importantly, the players know that a victory here would likely go a long way in saving Fulmer's job. Prior to last year's game, three straight meetings were decided by four points or less. Overall, the Vols are 10-3 SU the last 13 meetings, including 5-1 the last six here at Knoxville. Look for them to take this game down to the wire with an excellent shot at the upset. *Rivalry GOY
Re: SATURDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
3* BEST BET on: NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS
Looks like SU and ATS loss #6 in a row will be the outcome for the home Hoosiers after Saturday's game. Indiana comes in with a 0-5 SU and ATS record in their last 5 games. And their weakness (pass defense) plays right into the hands of Northwestern's strength (pass offense / 308 yards last week vs Purdue). Not only is Indiana losing a ton of games and allowing a lot of points, but their ATS margins are plain disgusting. Last two losses have been by ATS margins of -26 points and -30 points. Meanwhile, the Wildcats did a great job last week after they lost their first game of the year to Michigan State the week before. They rebounded off that tough loss with their best conference win of the year... beating Purdue by a score of 48-26 as favs of only -3.5 points.
Both teams qualify in fantastic Systems based on their last few games. For Northwestern it's a System which has gone an amazing 29-1 ATS.
During their current losing streak, the average score in Hoosier games is 40-15. No reason to think any different on Saturday at high noon. Particularly when we have such great ATS 'ammo' on our side.35-11 ATS in the last 5 years for ALL College Football road favorites of -12 < points when playing off a SU conference home favorite win of 21 or more points. These teams have gone 12-2 ATS in the last 12 months. And if these road favorites are playing "INTO" Revenge (like Northwestern is), the results are an amazing 29-1-1 ATS in that same 5-year time span.
You do NOT want to playing on conference teams that are struggling big time. We can go back to the start of this season, or we can go back 5 years. Either way, it's 'Play AGAINST' time.
1-7 ATS so far THIS season: ALL conference home dogs who are of 3 straight SU and ATS losses in a row (Play against INDIANA, WISCONSIN, SAN DIEGO STATE, and MICHIGAN).
11-22 ATS in the last 4 years: Conference home dogs of < 10 points off BBB SU and ATS losses. Bring in a pitiful team that's actually off 4 or more SU and ATS losses in a row (like the Hoosiers and the Badgers), and the results are a PERFECT 0-6 ATS in the last 5 years.
Re: SATURDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
Kent St. +5.5 vs Miami (Ohio)
Analysis: Kent State leads the MAC in rushing. The Golden Flashes are averaging 209 yards in their last three games - and that was without star running back Eugene Jarvis.Kent was idle last week. The extra time has allowed Jarvis to get fully healthy from an ankle injury. He rushed for 230 yards against Miami of Ohio last year. Coming into this season, he was the nation's leading returning rusher.The Bobcats have bee plagued by turnovers. They have committed the most turnovers in the MAC with 17. They also have failed to cover in their last five home contests and are 0-4 against the spread following a straight-up victory. Since 2006, Miami of Ohio is 0-8 in a favorite's role.The Bobcats' offense is nothing to write home about. Kent's defense can hand it, while Jarvis and the rushing attack puts the Flashes in great shape to pull the outright upset victory.
Mississippi -5 vs Arkansas
Analysis: Look for Mississippi to cover this number in the Houston Nutt Bowl. Nutt will have his Ole Miss team more than ready returning to Arkansas, the school that fired him last year after 10 seasons in Fayetteville.Nutt's Rebels are the more consistent and better team. They also have the better quarterback with Jevan Snead over Casey Dick.Arkansas has been outscored, 87-21, in its two SEC home games this season. Mississippi was impressive in road conference games versus Florida and Alabama.Arkansas has gotten better lately thanks to the running of Michael Smith. However, Smith suffered a concussion last week.If he plays, his workload is going to be cut back. Ole Miss has a strong run defense, yielding just 3.2 yards per rush.
Vanderbilt / Duke Over 40.5
Vanderbilt has gone against a number of tough defenses in the SEC, which has skewed its statistics. The Commodores are ground-oriented and Duke ranks 81st in run defense. I'm not impressed with the Blue Devils' defense. It's very suspect.Duke, though, should be loose for this non-conference matchup. The Blue Devils are 8-2 'over' in their last 10 non-league contests. Duke's first-year coach David Cutcliffe has a sharp offensive mind.