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SATURDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
Re: SATURDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
Mississippi -6.5 vs Arkansas
Stan believes this is the one game Coach Nutt has been waiting for all year as it was Arkansas who let him go. Arkansas surprised their last 2 opponents with good games but those teams didn't take them seriously. You can bet Mississippi will and Coach Nutt knows the Arkansas players and will know how to exploit their weaknesses. TAKE MISSISSIPPI as STAN'S SEC BIG BET OF THE YEAR and make them a TRIPLE DIME PLAY.
Re: SATURDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
ACE ACE 1 (2000+ 1-0) (3-2) (20-11) 1000 GEORGIA, ALABAMA --- 500 penn state -- 300 pittsburgh -- 200 arkansas
ATS 3 (20* 2-0) (10-4) (23-22) 7 OHIO STATE, SO FLORIDA - 6 okla state, miss state - 5 lsu, purdue
BEN BURNS 1 (11-9) (17-16) BIG TEN MAIN EVENT OHIO STATE --- MOUNTAIN WEST GOY SAN DIEGO STATE --- RIVALRY GOY TENNESSEE -- PURDUE
BIG AL 1 (6-4) (3* 25-13) 3* MISSOURI, WAKE FOREST, BOWLING GREEN, TENNESSEE -arizona, georgia tech, louisville - 4* OHIO STATE - 1 byu
BANKER 2 (500* 2-2) (400* 8-6) (6-12) 500 WAKE FOREST
BILL BAILEY (100* 3-5) (6-11)
BLAZER (4* 4-4) (3* 11-12)
BOB BALFE 1 (29-19) kentucky, northwestern, purdue, ohio state, wisconsin over
BRANDON LANG 1 (30* 0-1) (20* 6-2) (19-15) 15 texas tech, alabama, illinois
CAJUN SPORTS (5* 3-3) (4* 9-6) (18-12)
CAPPERS ACCESS 1 (22-23) minnesota, kansas state, ohio state, washington
CASH (4-4) (8-12) (22-17)
CHARLIE SPORTS (500* 7-12) (21-14)
COACHES CORNER (2-1) (0-4) (18-16)
COWTOWN (2* 4-4) (15-15)
COMPUTER KIDS 1 (6-2) (19-14) northwestern over, virginia tech under
DAVE COKIN 1 (4-2) (26-28) (15-14) ACC GOY GEORGIA TECH
DAVE ******** 1 (6* 1-5) (5* 5-1) (25-18) 6 COLORADO STATE -- 5 UNLV, USC - 4 illinois, fresno, alabama, ohio state, wyoming under, louisville under, florida state under
DIAMOND STAR 2 (3* 2-2) (2* 17-17) 2 maryland
DIRECTOR 2 (1-0) (10-9) (16-18) boston college
DOC ENTERPRISES 1 (7* 0-1) (6* 2-0) (5* 4-5) (28-15) 6* BIG 12 GOY NEBRASKA -- 4* oklahoma state - pittsburgh - florida state -- 5 ILLINOIS
DOCTOR BOB 1 (4* 1-0) (3* 13-5) (2* 12-6) 3 UTAH STATE, CALIFORNIA, MISSISSIPPI, GEORGIA TECH - 2 tennessee
DOLPHIN 2 (3* 20-24) 3 texas tech
EXECUTIVE (600% 4-0) (400% 1-1) (16-13)
EXPERT 1 (0-1) (5-9) (4-5) MIAMI OHIO
FAB FOUR PICKS 1 (7-8) (5-7) HAWAII
FINAL SCORE 1 (0-1) (4-7) (10-7) MISSOURI
GAME DAY 2 (5* 1-0) (3-2) (20-17) 4 FLORIDA _ 2 cincinnati
GARDEN STATE SPORTS (5* 3-1) (16-7)
GOLD SHEET 1 (3-2) (4-4) (21-12) 1.5* FLORIDA
INSIDERS EDGE (40* 6-4) (15-11)
INSIDE STEAM (6-1) (10-18)
INSIDE INFO 2 (2* 3-6) (13-16) texas tech
JB SPORTS 1 (4-12) (13-13) virginia
JEFFERSON SPORTS (20-18)
JIM FEIST 1 (2-5) (29-22) (16-15) GAME OF MONTH TENNESSEE
KELSO STURGEON 1 (200* 1-0) (100* 2-0) (50* 5-0) (15* 4-2) 100* BLOWOUT GOY TCU --- 15* ALABAMA
LARRY NESS 1 (3-6) (11-15) BAILOUT OHIO STATE --- WIPEOUT WINNER MISSOURI --- LV INSIDER KANSAS -- LATE BREAKING ASU
LT PROFITS (3* 0-1) (2* 22-15)
LV INSIDERS (500* 3-5) (2-4) (14-10)
LV LOCKLINE 2 (50* 4-4) (13-17) 50 INDIANA
LV SPORTS 2 (19-19) uconn
LENNY STEVENS 1 (20* 3-3) (20* 1-0) (12-16) 20 GEORGIA, UCLA, TENNESSEE, ARIZONA STATE
MAXWELL 1 (0-1) (1-2) (22-17) PITTSBURGH UNDER
MIKE NERI (5* 1-0) (4* 11-4) (17-14)
MILLIONAIRES CLUB (5-1) (7-2)
NORM HITZGES (3* 2-0) (2* 18-17)
NORTHCOAST PHONES 3 (5* 2-1) (4* 5-1) (4* 13-4) (8-14) 4 SMU -- 4 michigan, tex tech - 3 lsu, nebraska
NORTHCOAST TOTALS 1 (4* 2-2) (14-9) 4.5 GOY BYU OVER
NORTHCOAST SMALL COLL (4* 2-2) (13-15)
NY SPORTS (10* 3-1) (9* 3-0) (18-13)
PHENOM 1 (22-9) lsu, virginia tech, georgia tech, mississippi
PLATINUM 1 (10* 8-3) (23-19) NEBRASKA, GEORGIA TECH
POINTWISE 2 (4* 7-7) (33-23) 4 BOS COLLEGE - 3 northwestern - 2 florida
POINTSPREAD MAVEN (20* 4-3) (16-16)
POWER PLAYS 1 (26-20) ALABAMA, TEXAS TECH, OKLA STATE
PREFERRED PICKS (5* 0-1) (4* 6-2) (8-10)
PRIMETIME (5-5) (4-9)
PRIVATE INVESTORS 1 (2-3) (22-22) NORTHWESTERN, mississippi, hawaii, minnesota, illinois, miami ohio
PRIVATE PLAYERS OF PITT 1 (5* 4-2) (4* 18-6) (3*14-25) 5 MISSISSIPPI - 4 georgia tech - 3 new mex state, toledo under, army, texas tech
PURE LOCK 1 (5* 5-3) TROY STATE
RAIDER 1 (19-16) kansas, missouri, oklahoma state, oregon
REED HARRIS (2-3) (23-23)
RIGHT ANGLE (2* 1-3) (8-7)
SEBASTIAN 1 (21-9) (100* 10-3) (10-26) 300 TCU, OKLA STATE -- 200 GEORGIA TECH, KANSAS -- INSIDE STEAM ARKANSAS --- 100 NCAROLINA, BALL STATE, MISS STATE -- lsu under, byu over, arizona
SCORE (500% 3-2) (400% 5-5) (12-11)
SCOTT SPREITZER 1 (6-6) (26-24) (8-9) GOY TULSA --- 25* WAKE FOREST --- BIG TEN MISMATCH GAME OF MONTH MICHIGAN STATE
SILVER STAR (10* 4-2) (9* 0-1) (10-16)
SLAM DUNK (0-1) (6-3) (9-9)
ED SLICK 2 (2* 3-2) (32-26) 2 UCONN - 1 florida, kent
SOLID GOLD PICK 2 (1-4) (19-6) iowa state, florida, san diego state
SPORTS ANALYST (2-0) (1-4) (9-13)
SPORTS AUTHORITY (4-4) (4-5) (5* 7-6)
SPORTS BANK (500* 5-1) (400* 3-2) (4-8)
SPORTS DOCTOR (100* 5-1) (4-1) (10-9)
SPORTS INVESTORS 2 (10* 4-4) (16-13) 10 CENTRAL MICHIGAN - 7 michigan - 6 duke
SPORTS NETWORK (1-2) (13-18) (40-25)
SPORT TRENDS (2-1) (2-1) (47-41)
SPORTS UNLIMITED (15* 1-0) (10* 0-3) (7* 3-1) (15-12)
STATISTICIAN (100* 1-2) (9-8) (2-1)
SUPER LOCK 1 (6-11) GEORGIA TECH
SUPER SYSTEMS 1 (8-9) (2-4) GOY SOUTH FLORIDA
SWAMI (1-1) (12-9)
TOUCHDOWN CLUB (10* 4-3) (9* 0-1) (18-12)
THE COACH (3* 2-4) (8-9) (3-10)
THE INSIDER (1-0) (6-7) (3-4)
THE SPORTS GURU (40* 2-6) (15-16)
TIPPS 1 (0-2) (4-5) (22-20) ALABAMA, OKLA STATE, ARIZONA, OHIO STATE, WYOMING
TOMMY THUNDER 2 (10* 4-2) (9* 0-2) (9-18) 10 SAN DIEGO STATE - 8 virg tech, cincinnati
TONY WRIGHT (10* 2-4) (10-8)
TOP DAWG 1 (34-16) oklahoma state, arizona, nc state, cincinnati, rice
TRU-LINE (0-1) (4-2) (10-7)
UNIVERSAL (1-3) (25-22)
USA SPORTS (7-3) (20-22)
VEGAS CONNECTION (3* 2-5) (2* 11-16) (1-3)
VEGAS PIPELINE (1-1) (12-13) (5-6)
WAYNE ROOT 1 (4-2) (13-14) (18-13) PERFECT PLAY ARIZONA --- NO LIMIT MICHIGAN --- INNER CIRCLE WASHINGTON --- BILLIONAIRE ARIZONA STATE --- MONEY MAKER WAKE FOREST --- MILLIONAIRE GOY Tennessee -- CHAIRMAN kansas
WILDCAT (7-1) (3-6) (4-4)
WINDY CITY (10* 2-5) (9* 1-1) (14-12)
WINNERS EDGE (4* 0-2) (3* 1-2) (9-10)
WINNERS PATH (5* 0-1) (2-1) (16-14)
WISE GUYS (3* 3-4) (12-18) (1-1)
WIZARD 1 (2-0) (6-8) (11-7) BALL STATE, UTAH STATE
GAME PLAN 1 ohio state
RON MEYER 1 BIG EAST GOY LOUISVILLE
B DONAHUE 1 SHOCKER OF MONTH DUKE
L DEL GENIO 1 BIG 12 GOY OKLAHOMA STATE
GLENN McGREW 1 SEC DOG GOY ARKANSAS ---- GAME OF YEAR GEORGIA TECH
NORTHCOAST - ADDS' 1 BIG DOGS smu, duke, unlv, utah state, kansas state --- BIG 10 northwestern --- BIG 12 missouri --- PAC 10 oregon --- BIG EAST south florida --- FULL SERVICE LINE PLAY OF WEEK purdue --- TV Miami Florida
BOB AKMEN 1 OREGON - wake forest, ball state, ucla, virg tech, notre dame
ASA 1 5 GEORGIA TECH - 4 army - 3 mississippi, oklahoma
VEGAS RUNNER 1 3* BEST BET KENT STATE
FAIRWAY JAY 1 GOY NEVADA
RON RAYMOND 1 GOY VIRGINIA TECH
RJ BELL 1 UNDERDOG GOY OKLAHOMA STATE
SPYLOCK 1 northwestern, pitt, no illinois, penn state
MATT RIVERS 1 KANSAS
IRON HORSE 1 GOY PENN STATE
J BOYD 1 BIG 10 GOY MICHIGAN STATE -- VEGAS MISTAKE GOY OREGON
J GONZALEZ 1 BIG 12 GOY KANSAS --- WAC GOY NEVADA
ALEX SMART 1 4* OKLA STATE
MATT OSHEA 1 BIG EAST TOTAL GOY PITT UNDER
GUS MARONE 1 GOY WASHINGTON
TIM TRUSHEL 1 20* WAKE FOREST
VEGAS SPORTS 1 POWER PLAY PENN STATE
R VINCINTORE 1 MAC GOY BALL STATE
R ******** 1 GOY FLORIDA STATE--- TENNESSEE
EZ WINNERS 1 3 cincinnati, duke, oregon
SPECIAL K 1 NORTH CAROLINA
MATT ***** 1 PAC 10 GOY OREGON
SMART MONEY 1 TENNESSEE
CAROLINA 1 5* GEORGIA
NSA 1 20 USC - 10 north carolina, florida, uconn, navy, kansas
DONN WAGNER 3 ohio state and under, purdue under, san diego state under, michigan under
NICK BOGDANOVICH 3 PENN STATE - arkansas, washington
PHIL STEELE 3 texas, alabama, lsu, texas tech -- upset special purdue -- georgia tech, michigan
SAVANNAH 3 4 BOSTON COLLEGE _ 3 arkansas - 2 louisiana tech
TOM STRYKER 3 4* GEORGIA TECH
Re: SATURDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
Cajun-Sports CFB Executive
5 STAR SELECTION
Boston College +2½ over NORTH CARAOLINA
ACC foes will collide in Chapel Hill this weekend, as the Tar Heels host the 23rd-ranked Golden Eagles.
Boston College has quietly put together a nifty 5-1 record, with the lone loss coming by only three points to up-and-coming Georgia Tech in early September. Since then, the Eagles have rolled to four consecutive wins, including a 28-23 triumph over Virginia Tech in Chestnut Hill last week.
Notre Carolina is fresh off a heart-breaking loss to Virginia on the road by a 16-13 final in overtime. The Tar Heels yielded a late touchdown in regulation and another in the first overtime after playing stellar defense for most of the contest.
BC is averaging 30 ppg, but it’s their defense that is making most of the headlines, as they have been strong against the run and the pass.
While North Carolina finished with a decent total of 332 total yards against Virginia last weekend, the most important number of all is 13, which is the amount of points the team scored in the loss. The Tar Heels turned the ball over three times, a major factor in the setback. Two of the turnovers were Cam Sexton interceptions, and he finished 16-of-25 for 166 yards. Overall this season, North Carolina is averaging 29 ppg and 326 total ypg.
UNC’s defense is not nearly as strong as the Eagles, permitting 19 ppg and over 350 total ypg to opponents this season. Here, we can play ON a team with the superior defense, especially if a team’s defensive strength neutralizes the opponent’s offensive strength. The Tar Heels will actually have a hard time getting anything done on offense here against Boston College.
The comparison is striking, as the Eagles are nationally ranked #11 in scoring defense, #4 in total defense, #26 in rushing defense, and #5 in pass defense, while the ‘Heels are #34 in scoring defense, #59 in total defense, #47 in rushing defense, #84 in pass defense, #43 in scoring offense, #87 in total offense, #81 in rushing offense, and #78 in passing offense.
Boston College certainly relishes the role of underdog, as they are a perfect 8-0 SU (+8.1 ppg) & 8-0 ATS (+15.6 ppg) as a road underdog with less than 11 days rest since the start of the 2003 season.
Meanwhile, we look to play AGAINST a team that opened as a favorite a half-point lower than a “key number”, such as a 2', or 6'-point favorite, especially the 2'. Three and seven are the top 2 key numbers in college football, meaning more games end with those 2 margins than any others. About 8% of all college football games end with a 3-point SU winner and slightly more than 6% end with a 7-point margin. Oddsmakers try to use numbers a half-point below the keys against the player, hoping the bettor will think "oh, the favorite 'only' has to win by a FG, TD, or double-digits (the key number in question) and still cover the spread." This can be a trap as the underdog will often cover easily and sometimes win outright. Here, North Carolina opened as a 2½-point favorite, which caught our eye immediately.
The Tar Heels are likely to have a very hard time getting off the mat after last week’s devastating defeat in OT. North Carolina is 0-2 ATS (-16.5 ppg) all-time as a favorite off an OT SU loss, while BC is 6-0 SU (+15.7 ppg) & 6-0 ATS (+14 ppg) when not favored by more than 13 points vs. opponents off an OT game since 2003.
We also have an NCAA Football POWER SYSTEM that demonstrates the difficulty facing UNC here. After dropping an OT game as a favorite, Saturday home favorites have continued to struggle against conference opponents. Specifically:
In Games 2-11, play AGAINST a Saturday conference home favorite off a favorite OT SU loss vs. an opponent not off a conference home SU win as a favorite of 8+ points.
Since 1998, these teams are 0-16 ATS, failing to cover the spread by nearly 16 ppg. The previous 2 qualifying teams this season (East Carolina vs. Houston, Fresno vs. Idaho) have failed to qualify by 27½ and 19½ points!
The Golden Eagles figure to be in control here and win this game by at least a TD against a flat Tar Heels team.
PROJECTED FINAL SCORE: BOSTON COLLEGE 24 NORTH CAROLINA 17
3 STAR SELECTION
BYU -23½ over UNLV
No longer owners of the nation's longest win streak, the Cougars try to start another streak this weekend when they host the Rebels.
Most thought BYU would be able to sail through the regular season unbeaten until crossing paths with Utah in the finale, but last Thursday the team was treated to a 32-7 defeat at the hands of the TCU Horned Frogs. The setback snapped a 16-game win streak for the Cougars.
As for the Rebels, the squad started off the season with three wins in four attempts, including back-to-back overtime triumphs versus then nationally-ranked Arizona State and Iowa State; however, the Rebels have lost three straight since, including a heartbreaking 29-28 final at home versus Air Force last Saturday night.
"This one is a really hard one to swallow," said UNLV head coach Mike Sanford after the game.
It is the defense that has given the Rebels the most trouble this season, currently ranked 114th in the nation in run defense with 232 ypg allowed. In terms of pass efficiency, UNLV ranks an awful 115th in the country. Those are frightening numbers going into an angry Cougars’ den
BYU QB Max Hall was rendered mortal by the TCU defense last week, throwing for only 274 yards and a pair of interceptions, but he is still one of the top quarterback in the nation with his 68% completions, 20 touchdowns, and only six interceptions. We expect him and the Cougars offense to bounce back here off such a poor showing against the Horned Frogs.
On defense, despite the showing at TCU, BYU has managed to limit opponents to just 13 ppg this season, good for 10th best in the country.
"I view it as a gift to have had that opportunity to be humbled," is the manner in which coach Mendenhall reflects upon the loss to TCU. "I am optimistic and excited about the future, anxious to be back home at LaVell Edwards Stadium against UNLV," which is another way for the coach to say that he's expecting the Cougars to bounce back in a big way in front of a favorable crowd this weekend.
It will help that the Cougars are catching the Rebels in a bad spot. UNLV dropped to 0-4 in games after bye weeks under Mike Sanford, and it hasn’t got any better in the game after that, as the Rebs are an awful 0-6 SU (-27.7 ppg) & 0-6 ATS (-13.1 ppg) as a road underdog off a game that followed a break of 8+ days.
Additionally, UNLV is:
0-11 SU (-27.4 ppg) & 0-11 ATS (-10.1 ppg) in conference road games and not coming off a home ATS loss as a favorite of more than 2 points;
0-6 (-16.7 ppg) SU & 0-6 (-14.7 ppg) ATS on the road vs. opponents off their first SU loss of the season;
0-3 ATS (-18.5 ppg) as an underdog of more than 11 points vs. BYU since 1999.
The Rebels also popped up on our database radar for an NCAA Football POWER SYSTEM that states:
Play AGAINST a Saturday road underdog of 15-26 points with less than 8 days rest off a SU loss of 1 point in its last game and a SU loss before that vs. an opponent not off a conference road favorite SU win & ATS win of more than 16 points.
Off such a heart-breaking loss, these teams are a horrid 0-19-3 ATS since at least 1980, failing to cover the spread by more than 10 points.
While some may think the Cougars will have a hard time getting up for this contest after having their long winning-streak snapped, numerous handicapping strategies tell a different story, as we look to:
 Play ON a team off a nationally televised blowout loss.
 Play ON a team with at least some pride off a horrible performance.
 Play ON a power team for several games after an embarrassing loss.
Database certainly research backs us up here, as BYU is 7-0 ATS at home or a neutral site off a SU loss and not an underdog of 26+ points since 2003, and they qualify for an NCAA Football POWER SYSTEM that states:
Play ON a favorite of 19+ points off a SU & ATS loss in its last game and 13 SU wins before that vs. an opponent not off 6 underdog SU losses.
These heavy favorites off a defeat that snapped a long winning streak are 10-0 SU & ATS over the past 20 seasons, pounding the spread by a dozen ppg on average.
Finally, after being embarrassed in a non-Saturday road game, home teams have been very determined to give a much better showing. This is documented by yet another POWER SYSTEM:
Play ON a Saturday home team (not an underdog of 26+ points) with 7+ days rest off a non-Saturday road SU loss of 25+ points.
Just since 2000, these teams have stormed their way to a 14-0 SU & ATS mark, blasting the spread by more than 16 ppg on average! BYU qualified as a PLAY ON team in 2002 and simply destroyed the spread by 22½ points as a small favorite. We look for the Cougars dine on the sacrificial Rebels being served here for a dominating SU & ATS victory.
PROJECTED FINAL SCORE: BYU 49 UNLV 10
Re: SATURDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
2 STAR SELECTION
TEXAS -11½ over Oklahoma State
The top-ranked Longhorns will continue to run the Big 12 gauntlet on Saturday, as they host the unbeaten Cowboys after beating Oklahoma and Missouri the last 2 weeks.
Mack Brown's team took over the top spot in the national polls with a thrilling 45-35 win over previously number-one ranked Oklahoma two weeks ago and followed that up with an impressive 56-31 thumping of Missouri last weekend.
Oklahoma State is also a perfect 7-0 on the season, thanks to last week's 34-6 win over Baylor, and comes to Austin with one of the nation's premier offenses, averaging a hefty 46 ppg.
With the type of offensive numbers that OSU has put up, the defense has not had to carry the team. That may change this week, as the Cowboys certainly face their toughest challenge to date. Oklahoma State is allowing 21 ppg this season, on 336 yards of total offense. Where the team has struggled a bit is in generating a pass rush, with only eight sacks in the first seven games, and that should spell T-R-O-U-B-L-E against Texas QB Colt McCoy.
The Longhorns 6-3 junior and current Heisman front-runner continues to excel in just about every facet of the game, including his decision-making. On the year, McCoy has completed an freakish 81% of his passes, for nearly 1,900 yards, with 19 TDs. He has also rushed for a team-high 371 yards and six more scores.
The Texas defense has played lights out as well, especially against the run this year. Opponents are netting a mere 48 yards per game on the ground, on just 1.9 yards per carry. The pass defense has been much more generous, but the Longhorns have faced two of the nation's top signal-callers the last two weeks and that has skewed the numbers a bit.
The Longhorns have playmakers throughout the defense which should make life difficult for the Cowboys, as good as their offense is. They played Texas tough last year, but we don’t expect the Longhorns to allow that to happen again. Oklahoma State is 0-11 SU (-21.9 ppg) & 0-10-1 ATS (-7.9 ppg) as an underdog of 7-26½ points seeking revenge for a SU loss of less than 7 points.
Instead of guessing when Texas might finally have a letdown, we’ll let our database research do the work and we find the Longhorns should still be peaking as they are 7-0 SU (+31.4 ppg) & 7-0 ATS (+13.6 ppg) as a home favorite off a SU win over Oklahoma in its last game or game before that since at least 1990, with all 7 qualifying games coming since 1990.
Additionally, the ‘Horns are 12-0 SU (+34.9 ppg) & 12-0 ATS (+15.6 ppg) at home/neutral site games when unbeaten vs. opponents not off a non-conference home SU win of 23+ points since 2004.
This will be only the 6th meeting this late in the season of an unbeaten double-digit home favorite vs. a .900%+ opponent since at least 1980. From Game 7 on, these hosts have gone 5-0 SU (+33.4 ppg) & 5-0 ATS (+12.6 ppg).
In the second half of the season, we also note that unbeaten road favorites have struggled against confident teams returning home off 2 road victories. Texas qualifies for an NCAA Football POWER SYSTEM that notes:
From Game 6 on, play ON an undefeated home favorite of 34 points or less, favored by more points than a home favorite SU & ATS win in its last game vs. an opponent not off a conference home SU loss of less than 8 points.
Since 1994, these teams are 15-0 ATS, destroying the spread by more than 18 ppg. Texas is obviously battle-tested, while this is unfamiliar territory for Oklahoma State and will likely be in over their heads, as the Longhorns continue their stampede.
PROJECTED FINAL SCORE: TEXAS 45 OKLAHOMA STATE 24
4 STAR SELECTION
Rutgers +10 over PITTSBURGH
Big East Conference foes collide in the Steel City on Saturday afternoon, as the Panthers host the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers is fresh off a hard-fought Homecoming victory over UConn by a 12-10 final, which was just their second win of the season.
Pittsburgh has put together five consecutive victories since losing the season opener to Bowling Green. The most recent triumph for the Panthers came last weekend by a 42-21 final at Navy.
Rutgers has had trouble generating offense this season, as the club is only averaging 17 ppg and 315 total ypg, but they have been very competitive. The defensive unit of Rutgers has kept the team close in most games, as opponents are averaging less than 20 ppg. Foes are gaining a modest 3.8 yards per rushing attempt, a credit to the run defense of the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers was outstanding defensively against UConn last weekend, limiting the Huskies to 10 points.
Pittsburgh is led by star tailback LeSean McCoy, but aren’t particularly strong at quarterback with Bill Stull who has thrown for 1,283 yards and four scores with five interceptions. Pittsburgh is yielding just over 21 points per game, so they won’t be fielding the top defense in this contest.
Our Power Ratings show that we are getting about a TD in line value here with Rutgers. We like to play on such squads if the team is not in a “let-down” situation and the favorite is not in a “get-up” situation. Here, we get the best of BOTH worlds, with Rutgers in a “get up” situation off a win and Pittsburgh in a “let down” spot off 2 big road wins, as will be demonstrated.
We also like to play ON a rebuilding team that started the season losing at least its first few games. Off to such a poor start, the team will be butt of jokes in all local sports media and nobody will want to bet on the sorry bunch; however, this will generate line value on the team as they will be very determined to win, while upcoming opponents may take them lightly.
Since losing to Navy earlier in the season, the Scarlet Knights have been much more competitive, covering the spread in road losses to West Virginia and Cincinnati, before returning home and handing the Huskies only their second loss of the season.
We look for Rutgers to carry over the momentum from finally getting over the hump, as they are 6-0 ATS (+12.7 ppg) off a SU win and not favored by 17+ points vs. an opponent off a SU & ATS win. They have played well at Pittsburgh, going 4-0 ATS (+14 ppg) as an underdog of 6+ points
Conference road teams have snuck up on home favorites after following 2 spread-covering losses with a home victory, just at the Knights have done. Specifically, from Game 5 on, conference road underdogs of 12 points or less off a home SU win in its last game and 2 SU losses & ATS wins before that are 9-0 ATS since 1990, covering the spread by more than 9 ppg on average.
Meanwhile, teams simply can’t play an A+ plus game every week, and even winning teams eventually have a letdown. The Panthers are primed for one here for numerous reasons. First, we look to play AGAINST a homecoming team that is either a large favorite or large underdog. Homecoming can mean a lot of distractions for players, and if they don't have a "big" game to concentrate on, they can easily lose focus. Teams that assume they are going to win or know they don't have a chance are most likely to be flat on gameday. As a double-digit favorite against a 2-win team, the Panthers will be hard-pressed to find the same amount of determination that had in recent outings.
Secondly, we like to play AGAINST a team in a relatively meaningless game before a big game next week. Many times coaches will start to work on the big game preparation more than a week in advance, taking some focus off the current foe. They may pull their top-line players with a second-half lead to avoid injury. They may also have a vanilla gameplan in order to not give anything away that they have planned for the anticipated, upcoming clash. Simply put, they will be saving their best for the better opponent. Pittsburgh plays a vanilla gameplan as it is, and with Notre Dame on deck, we don’t expect anything too fancy or surprising here from the Panthers.
Our database research confirms our assertions, as Pitt is 0-7 ATS (-14.6 ppg) as a home favorite of 1½-15½ points, 0-8 ATS (-11.8 ppg) in Saturday home games before playing Notre Dame, and 0-5 ATS (-14.4 ppg) off a SU win over Navy. It all adds up to a big “sandwich” situation for a team off some big wins, heavily favored in its current game against an under-valued opponent, and another “big” game coming up next on the schedule.
After gearing up to win 3 games on the road, favorites back at home have relaxed too much, as such teams are 0-8 ATS since 2001, failing to cover the spread by nearly 2 TDs on average.
Finally, we have a very strong NCAA Football POWER SYSTEM active here showing that after 2 road wins in which they destroyed the spread, home favorites at the price described have been flat. Specifically:
In Games 3-11, play AGAINST a home favorite of 4½-16 points off 2 road SU wins & ATS wins of 11+ points in each game.
Under these simple conditions, teams are a horrible 0-19 ATS since 1998, failing to cover the spread by nearly 10 ppg on average.
With what could very well be a sloppy field in poor weather conditions, Pittsburgh will likely allow Rutgers to hang around all afternoon, and it wouldn’t surprise us to see the Scarlet Knights surprise them with an outright victory, perhaps in OT.
PROJECTED FINAL SCORE: RUTGERS 27 PITTSBURGH 24 (OT)
5 STAR SELECTION
OHIO STATE +2½ over Penn State
The top two teams in the Big Ten will get together this weekend in Columbus in a top-10 showdown, as the Buckeyes play host to the Nittany Lions.
Penn State has certainly looked strong thus far in 2008, winning all eight of their games in impressive fashion, including overcoming a sluggish start last weekend against Michigan, to eventually overwhelm the visiting Wolverines in Happy Valley, 46-17.
Ohio State has just one loss on their record, that coming on the road at USC in mid-September. Since then, Jim Tressel's squad has posted five straight wins, including its most impressive to date, a 45-7 whipping of a good Michigan State team on the road last weekend.
The Buckeyes have won each of the last two meetings with the Lions and all 7 conference games at home. Penn State hasn't won at Ohio State since 1978.
The Nittany Lions certainly have a bevy of talent on offense with All-American candidate RB Evan Royster and QB Daryll Clark, along with WRs Deon Butler, Jordan Norwood, and Derrick Williams. The Penn State defense has also proven to be productive, allowing a mere 12 ppg thus far, while showing the ability to stop the run and the pass.
The Ohio State offense will certainly have a challenge with one of the better defenses in the nation; however, with freshman sensation Terrelle Pryor under center now, the OSU offense has become much more explosive. Against Michigan State last week, Pryor threw for 116 yards and one TD, while rushing for 72 yards and another score. All-American tailback Chris "Beanie" Wells was instrumental in the big win as well, adding 140 yards rushing and one TD.
Pryor is a tremendous talent who has only scratched the surface of his potential, but has been already been successful both passing and rushing the ball this year. RB Wells missed some time with a foot injury, but has recovered to give the team a real workhorse in the backfield. He is averaging 123.8 yards per game on 6.1 yards per carry. With both players hitting their stride late in the season, the OSU offense is just now peaking, and last week’s show was just a sign of things to come.
Ohio State's defense is every bit as good as Penn State's, if not better. The Buckeyes have effectively shut down both the run and the pass this year (168.2 ypg), while recording 21 takeaways, including 12 INTs.
Penn State struggled a bit with Illinois' talented duel threat QB Juice Williams and will likely have a hard time keeping Pryor contained in this one. While the Nittany Lions have been tremendous, their perfect season ends here, as their weaknesses will be exposed.
The Lions are 0-3 ATS in their last 3 tries as a road favorite of less than 3 points, 0-5 ATS (-11.4 ppg) on the road off a home game and playing their 3rd road game in 4 weeks, while Ohio State is 4-0 ATS in the reverse role, and 0-7 SU (-20.9 ppg) & 0-7 ATS (-11.1 ppg) at Ohio State since at least 1980, with all games coming since 1993 and have scored 10 points only once, scoring less than 10 in the other six games
Most revealing at how Penn State has benefited from a schedule that rarely has them face a hot team, is that they are an ugly 0-7 ATS since 2005 vs. opponents with less than 34 days rest off a SU win. That bears repeating. The Nittany Lions have not covered the spread against a team coming off ONE win and less than 34 days rest going back to 2005. Now, they get to face a team off FIVE straight wins.
We also note that in the second half of the season, unbeaten teams have found road games to be treacherous against conference foes on a winning streak. Penn State is active for such an NCAA Football POWER SYSTEM that states:
In Games 6-11, play AGAINST an undefeated conference road team (not an underdog of 8+ points) off an ATS win vs. an opponent off a favorite SU win in its last game and a home favorite SU win before that.
Since 1984, these teams have gone 0-13 ATS, failing to cover the spread by nearly 2 TDs per game on average.
Meanwhile, Ohio State has all the motivation they need here to play their best game of the season. This is their homecoming game, which will only add some extra “juice”. We also like to play ON a power team in the unfamiliar role of underdog. Teams that aren’t used to being an underdog and rarely lose, will certainly be aware of the oddsmakers picking them to lose and use it as motivation. Expect this team’s best effort they are capable of. It certainly is rare that the Buckeyes are home dogs and they will be more than ready for that role, especially against a team they have completely dominated at home.
Ohio State is 9-0 SU (+15.6 ppg) & 9-0 ATS (+12.6 ppg) in all games since 2005 with a line between -6 & +4, and they qualify for an NCAA Football POWER SYSTEM involving late-season battles of teams off explosive offensive showings. It states:
From Game 9 on, play ON a home team with less than 13 days rest off a conference game scoring 43+ points vs. an opponent off a home game scoring 43+ points (not as a favorite of 40+ points).
Since 1994, these teams are 18-0 ATS, while blasting the spread by more than 15 ppg on average.
Another POWER SYSTEM shows that underdogs off a road win that ended an opponent’s winning streak have been quite prepared to end another. It advises:
Play ON an underdog off a road SU win against an opponent off 3 SU wins vs. an opponent off 6 SU wins and an ATS win in its last game.
Since 1990, these teams are 15-0 ATS, beating the spread by more than a dozen points a game on average.
Finally, we looked at how 1-loss home teams with a very tight line have done against unbeaten teams in recent seasons. The result was a POWER SYSTEM that instructs:
Play ON a conference home team (not a favorite of more than 2 points or underdog of 3+ points) with 1 season SU loss and off a SU win of 4+ points vs. an undefeated opponent.
Since 1997, these teams are perfect “10”, going 10-0 SU & ATS, covering the spread by more than 9 ppg on average. We look for the Buckeyes to extend that streak with a surprisingly easy SU & ATS victory over the Nittany Lions.
PROJECTED FINAL SCORE: OHIO STATE 31 PENN STATE 17
3 STAR SELECTION
ARIZONA +15½ over USC
Two of the top teams in the Pac-10 clash this weekend, as the Trojans are back on the road to tangle with the Wildcats.
USC enters the contest off a 69-0 road blanking of Washington State last weekend. It marked the program's largest shutout victory since posting an identical 69-0 win over Montana in 1931. The shutout was also the second in a row, a feat USC last accomplished in 1971.
Arizona upset then 25th-ranked California 42-27 last weekend; a nice rebound for the Wildcats, as they were handed their first league loss at Stanford 24-23 the prior weekend. At 5-2 overall, Arizona continues to fly under the radar, especially at home, where it has gone a unblemished 4-0 this season.
USC is of course loaded with talent on both sides of the ball. On offense, they are generating a healthy 41+ ppg behind 470+ total ypg, and have the ability to dominate on the ground or through the air. Much like the offense, USC's defense has been outstanding this season and is holding foes to a nation-low 7.8 ppg, thanks in large part to the recent shutouts.
The Wildcats certainly have the type of offense that can move the ball on just about anyone and for the year they are putting forth over 40 ppg behind 412 total ypg. Last weekend, Arizona rolled up 404 total yards, including 179 via the run, against a very solid Bears defense. Willie Tuitama is the talented WildCats quarterback enjoying a great campaign that has seen him complete 65% of his throws, with 15 touchdowns and only three interceptions.
Defensively, Arizona has fared well in holding its opponents to only 18 ppg and a mere 285 total ypg. The unit has been especially stingy against the pass, yielding only 152 ypg and six touchdowns through the air. The Wildcats have also picked off 10 passes.
Arizona should be able to give the Trojans fits, as USC has not been tested since their road loss at Oregon State early in the season. The Trojans have some chinks in their armor and is likely to be exploited here. USC is:
0-3 ATS since 2004 on the road off 3 ATS wins, while Arizona is 2-0 ATS in the reverse role;
0-3 ATS the last 2 seasons on the road off a SU win of more than 28 points, while Arizona is 3-0 ATS in the reverse role.
0-7 ATS (-11.4 ppg) on the road vs. opponents off scoring 25+ points since 2005
After 2 shutout victories with plenty of offense, road teams have been overvalued as favorites and small underdogs. Specifically, road teams from Game 5 on are 0-8 ATS (-13.4 ppg) when not getting more than 11 points off shutout SU wins and scoring a combined 78+ points in their last 2 games.
This will be Arizona’s biggest home game in some time, and it being a homecoming game will insure a huge, vocal crowd to root them on, and after last week’s win over Cal, their fourth victory in five games at home against a ranked opponent, the Wildcats think anything is possible.
Our database research agrees, as ‘Zona is an impressive 10-0 ATS (+16.9 ppg) as a home underdog of 7½-22 points vs. opponents off a Saturday SU win since 2003, 9-0 ATS (+22.1 ppg) as a conference underdog of more than 4 points and not off a home favorite SU loss, and 3-0 ATS vs. UCS the last 3 meetings.
The Wildcats should give the Trojans 60 tough minutes of football here, and while the visitors may escape with the outright win, the hosts should keep it close enough to cover the spread.
PROJECTED FINAL SCORE: USC 34 ARIZONA 27
Re: SATURDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
Northwestern -8 over Indiana
Indiana's season looked promising, but after a host of injuries and a big losing streak it looks as if they will come up empty handed yet again this season. Northwestern is playing great football on both sides of the ball. Take Northwestern.
Purdue +1 over Minnesota
Minnesota has a lot to look forward to with a new stadium opening and finally a bowl eligible season. Purdue has looked horrible in Joe Tillers last season, but they have one of the toughest schedules in the nation. Minnesota had a pretty soft schedule and you have to figure that today that senior QB Curtis Painter will bounce out of his slump and win on homecoming. Take Purdue.
Ohio State +2.5 over Penn State
OSU has struggled early this season with injuries, but this team showed a lot of character by bouncing back from them. Penn State really has yet to be tested this season which will make this a tough game if it is close. Penn State has lost their last ten road games against ranked teams and have covered every game this season. Look for Ohio State to get a much need home win to prove they are one of the best squads in the nation.
Wisconsin/Illinois Over 56
Illinois has a great offense, but cannot stop anybody on defense. This is a much needed win for the Badgers, but I don't think its possible unless the team starts to play better defense. Neither team will have an answer for each others offense. Look for a lot of fireworks in this game. Take the Over.
Kentucky +26 over Florida
Kentucky has not beaten Florida is many moons, but their defense has played strong this year and infact has not allowed another team to score over 24 pts on them in any given game this season. On offense I don't see Kentucky scoring much due to injuries, but again their defense should keep them in this game especially going against a Florida team that maybe looking ahead to Georgia next week. Take Kentucky.
Major League Baseball
Phillies -105 over Rays