NEWSLETTERS WEEK 9
NEWSLETTERS WEEK 9
CKO CONFIDENTIAL KICK-OFF
PRIORITY PICKS and PREFERENCES
CKO Vol. 47 Oct. 23 - 27, 2008 No. 9
CKO CHOICE IN CAPITALS
* - Denotes Home Team
RATINGS: 11 - Exceptional, 10 - Strong, 9 - Above Average
11 *FLORIDA over Kentucky
Late Score Forecast:
*FLORIDA 48 - Kentucky 14
Long-time SEC scouts report Florida’s clever o.c. Dan Mullen has added a few wrinkles during the bye week for
poised, speedy but strong frosh RBs Demps & Rainey, who combined for 195 YR (9.3 ypc!) in convincing 51-21
drubbing of LSU. And now that Heisman Trophy winner Tebow (leads SEC in pass efficiency; 10 TD, just 1 int.) is
performing more “instinctively,” according the coaches, that spells bad news for a highly-ranked Kentucky defense
that has yet to face an attack that has Gators blend of speed, balance and creativity. Plus, with gifted Southern Cal
transfer RB Moody expected back from an ankle injury, smallish Wildcat defense succumbs in “The Swamp,” where
Urban Meyer’s crew has covered 8 of last 10. Expect fast, sure-tackling UF defense (13 ppg, 3.2 ypc) to smother
a containable, starless UK attack (only 17 ppg vs. SEC foes) that was mostly flummoxed by green Arkansas defense
until unpolished QB Hartline hit a couple TD passes in final few minutes of near-miraculous 21-20 comeback win vs.
Hogs. Not here. Refreshed, poll-conscious UF captures 22nd straight in series in convincing fashion.
10 ILLINOIS over *Wisconsin
Late Score Forecast:
ILLINOIS 33 - *Wisconsin 20
Illinois has come together in Big Ten play, covering 3 of 4 games behind spectacular production of QB Juice Williams.
Williams has thrown for an average of 348 yds. in the last 3 games with 7 TD passes and has run for 192 yards and
3 more scores. He holds a major edge over any of Wisconsin’s choices at QB, who’ve combined to complete only
32 of 68 passes with 0 TDs and 5 ints. in last 2 games. Illinois physical WR Rejus Benn has 543 receiving yards in
the last 4 games. Badgers have dropped four straight, and HC Bielema likely to go to a more basic, smashmouth
attack this week. The problem with that is that the Illini have yielded just 2.9 ypc in their last 3 games, and that
Badgers top rusher P.J. Hill suffered an ankle injury in last week’s loss at Iowa and didn’t return to the game.
10 *LSU over Georgia
Late Score Forecast:
*LSU 27 - Georgia 14
Talented LSU bounced back from Florida setback with a good effort at South Carolina, but expect even more out of
Les Miles’ crew this week against Georgia. ‘Dawgs are 0-4 against the number in SEC play this season, and QB
Matthew Stafford has thrown just as many interceptions (5) as TD passes in Georgia’s last 3 games. Stafford has
been under more pressure than HC Mark Richt would like due to a young offensive line, and LSU has two of the top
three sack men in the SEC in DEs Tyson Jackson and Rahim Alem. Tiger RS frosh QB Jarrett Lee coming along well,
ranking 4th in the conference in pass efficiency, and he had his best SEC game so far in front of the friendly crowd
in Baton Rouge, where LSU has won 22 of its last 23 games.
10 VIRGINIA TECH over *Florida St.
Late Score Forecast:
VIRGINIA TECH 24 - *Florida St. 19
Although a narrow loser last week at BC, trip to Tallahassee won’t spook Virginia Tech bunch that has already won
at North Carolina and Nebraska and has long since established itself as a pointspread force on the road (17-4 vs. line
last 21 as visitor) and as a dog (10-3 last 13 in role). Fundamentals suggest matchup vs. FSU not too bad for Hokies,
especially since Bud Foster’s aggressive defense can effectively blitz and disguise coverages much as Wake
Forest did when frustrating the Noles and erratic QB Ponder last month. And with Ponder (only 53% completions)
still a work in progress, FSU unlikely to reverse its underachieving ways as Doak Campbell chalk (0-1 TY, now 5-14
last 19 in role). As long as soph QB Taylor doesn’t self-destruct, VT will be in position for “Beamer Ball” (“D” scored
2 TDs at BC) to once again make the difference.
10 N.Y. GIANTS over *Pittsburgh
Late Score Forecast:
N.Y. GIANTS 28 - *Pittsburgh 20
(Sunday, October 26)
Pittsburgh off to a fine 5-1 start, winning its last three games without Willie Parker. Making it four in a row vs. the
Giants—if Parker is either out or still not 100%—figures to be a much tougher task. The 2008 Steeler OL has had
more than its share of problems, losing stalwart G Alan Faneca to the Jets in the offseason and then starting G
Kendall Simmons to injury in the fourth game. Philly defensive coordinator Jim Johnson was able to dial up nine sacks
vs. Pittsburgh in the third week of the season, and Johnson was the mentor of N.Y. def. coord. Steve Spagnuolo
before the latter took over the Giants’ rushers on their way to a Super Bowl victory over Tom Brady & the Patriots
LY. With Ben Roethlisberger trying to overcome a sore shoulder, you know N.Y. will be bringing the heat. Giants
deeper at RB and 8-2 their last 10 as an underdog.
TOTALS: UNDER (45½) in the Atlanta-Philadelphia game—Falcs like to use RB Michael Turner (597 YR) to help keep opponents under control, keeping rookie QB Matt Ryan out of shootouts while he learns on the job...OVER (43½) in the Arizona-Carolina game—Cards’ turnovers, combined with their aerial game, have helped them go “over” 11 of last 15 on the road.
HONORABLE MENTION (Nine-Rated Games): NORTH CAROLINA STATE (+10½) at Maryland—Terrapins (3-12 last 15 when favored) can be caught when carrying the points; RS frosh QB Russell Wilson sparking the NCS offense while defense now healthier...ALABAMA (-7) at Tennessee—Crimson Tide way too sound overall, much more experienced at QB for struggling Vols to match on scoreboard...PENN STATE (-1½) at Ohio State—Nittany Lions (0-7 last seven trips to OSU) have been playing better than Buckeyes in the pits TY; sr. QB Daryll Clark gives PSU better balance, more experience on offense...NEVADA (-3½) at Hawaii—After years of being out-gunned by the Red Gun, Nevada’s Kaepernick is by far the best QB in this game, and bruising
5-10, 225 soph Vai Taua the best RB...BALTIMORE (-7) over Oakland—Mistake-prone Raiders making cross-country trip to face surprising Ravens, who feast on opponents’ blunders.
Re: NEWSLETTERS WEEK 9
*** FOOTBALL NEWSLETTER PLAYS AND RECORD TRACKING REPORT ***
(Top 2 Star Ratings Plays and Special Plays)
** NCAA NEWSLETTERS **
CONFIDENTIAL KICK OFF 11* (5-2-1)...FLORIDA
DAVE FOBARE (THE MAXX) (5-2)...ILLINOIS
ED CASH (SPORTS MEMO) (5-2)...VIRGINIA TECH
HQ REPORT 5* (5-2-1)...ARKANSAS
HQ REPORT ATS (6-2)...PENN ST
MARC LAWRENCE PLAYBOOK 4* (5-3)...FLORIDA
MARC LAWRENCE PLAYBOOK 5* (6-2)...BOSTON COLLEGE
THE RED SHEET 89* (10-5-1)...
WINNING POINTS BEST BET (11-5)...ALABAMA...WAKE FOREST
BRENT CROW (SPORTS MEMO) (2-4)...MISSOURI
DONNIE BLACK (SPORTS MEMO) (2-4)...ILLINOIS
HQ REPORT TOTAL RECALL (2-6)...NAVY/SMU OVER
LOGICAL APPROACH MONEYLINE (3-13)...ARIZONA ST...GEORGIA...HAWAII
MARC LAWRENCE PLAYBOOK UPSET (2-4)...
MARTY OTTO (SPORTS MEMO) (1-3)...NEVADA
NORTHCOAST POWER SWEEP 4* (1-7)...GEORGIA TECH
POINTWISE 2* (2-7)...TULSA
TEDDY COVERS (SPORTS MEMO) (1-3)...
CAJUN SPORTS GATOR REPORT 2* (1-2)...
CAJUN SPORTS GATOR REPORT 3* (0-1)...
CONFIDENTIAL KICK OFF 10* (14-10-1)...ILLINOIS...LSU...VIRGINIA TECH
ERIK SCHEPONIK (THE MAXX) (4-3)...HAWAII
ERIN RYNNING (SPORTS MEMO) (2-2)...TULANE
FAIRWAY JAY (SPORTS MEMO) (2-1)...BOSTON COLLEGE
HQ REPORT 4* (0-0)...
HQ REPORT UNDERDOG PLAY OF WEEK (4-4)...RUTGERS
JARED KLEIN (SPORTS MEMO) (3-2)...OHIO ST
KEVIN O'NEILL (THE MAXX) (10-9-1)...ARMY...CINCINNATI...DUKE
LOGICAL APPROACH FEATURED SEL (4-7)...MISSISSIPPI...MISSOURI...OHIO ST
LOGICAL APPROACH SEL OF WEEK (4-5)...ARIZONA ST
MATTY BAIUNGO (THE MAXX) (5-8)...MISSISSIPPI...MISSOURI
NELLY'S SPORTSLINE 4* (2-2)...BOSTON COLLEGE
NELLY'S SPORTSLINE 5* (2-1)...BALL ST
NELLY'S SPORTSLINE 6* (1-0)...
NORTHCOAST POWER PLAYS 4* (56-49-1)...MARYLAND...MIAMI FL...NORTHWESTERN...N CAROLINA...PITTSBURGH...FLORIDA...MISSISSIPPI...RI CE...FLORIDA ST...TEXAS TECH...HAWAII
NORTHCOAST POWER SWEEP DOG (3-3)...MICHIGAN
NORTHCOAST POWER SWEEP EARLY BIRD (3-2)...
POINTWISE 1* (8-8)...ALABAMA...GEORGIA TECH
ROB VENO (SPORTS MEMO) (2-3)...
SPORTS INSIGHT MARKETWATCH (9-14-1)...OKLAHOMA ST...WAKE FOREST...RUTGERS
SPORTS REPORTER BEST BET (14-17-1)...TENNESSEE...GEORGIA TECH...LOUISIVILLE...VIRGINIA TECH
SPORTS REPORTER RECOMMENDED (12-9-1)...MISSOURI...CALIFORNIA...BYU
SPORTS REPORTER SUPER BEST BET (3-2)...
STATFOX PLATINUM SHEET (16-17-2)...BOISE ST...CINCINNATI...ALABAMA...GEORGIA...VIRGINIA TECH
THE GOLD SHEET (17-15)...MINNESOTA...VANDERBILT...GEORGIA TECH...TULSA
THE GOLD SHEET EXTRA (22-13)...NEW MEXICO...SAN JOSE ST...ARMY...UCLA...TCU
THE RED SHEET 90* (1-0)...
TIM TRUSHEL (SPORTS MEMO) (2-3)...DUKE
VEGAS EXPERTS THE EDGE 3* (4-5)...MICHIGAN ST...GEORGIA...PENN ST
WINNING POINTS PREFERRED (12-21-1)...MINNESOTA...BALL ST...BYU...OKLAHOMA ST
Re: NEWSLETTERS WEEK 9
KEVIN O’NEILL’S THE MAX
DAVE FOBARE (THE MAXX) (5-2)
ERIK SCHEPONIK (THE MAXX) (4-3)
KEVIN O'NEILL (THE MAXX) (10-9-1)
MATTY BAIUNGO (THE MAXX) (5-8)
Saturday, October 25th, 2008
Army (-1½) over Louisiana Tech
Selection and analysis by Kevin O’Neill
Having changed to a triple option offense in the offseason,
Army understandably struggled, losing their first four
games, but is now starting to get it. Against Temple, New
Hampshire, and Akron, Army averaged 179 yards rushing
on 3.3 yards per rush, but things really turned around in a
close loss to Texas A&M. The Cadets went for 280 yards
on the ground at 4.3 yards per carry in that one. And
since then, Army has cranked on the ground, averaging
317 yards on 6.0 yards per carry against Tulane, Eastern
Michigan, and Buffalo. They beat Tulane and Eastern
Michigan, and lost in OT Saturday to Buffalo. In that
Buffalo game, Army went for 320 yards on 54 carries, just
a shade under 6 yards per rush. And Buffalo’s head coach
was uniquely qualified to coach his team against the Army
offense, as Turner Gill was one of the premier triple-option
quarterbacks in the history of college football at Nebraska.
For Louisiana Tech, this is a “what are they doing here?”
kind of game. It’s one thing to be here in September, but
when you’ve already been to Honolulu and Boise so far this
season, how enthusiastic are you going to be on the bluff
overlooking the Hudson River in late October? In the midst
of your WAC schedule, do have the will do to what’s
necessary to win this game against such a unique offense?
The Bulldogs haven’t seen an option team this year, nor
did they see one last year. The triple option can be like
learning to play defense all over again, and how much
does Louisiana Tech really want to go to the wall to stop
it? How will Louisiana Tech’s defensive line feel late in the
game when fullback Colin Mooney at 5-10, 247 pounds,
plows into the line for the 50th time? He sets up RB
Wesley McMahand, who is only 5-6 but averages over 8
yards per carry. Louisiana Tech has decent run defense
stats, but the best running team they’ve played is Boise
(ranked 66th), everyone else they’ve played is ranked 85th
Without the speed and athleticism of many opponents,
Army’s physical, intense defense, gives maximum effort on
every play. Opponents have been quoted as saying that
their intensity has been tough to match. Ross Jenkins is
the new quarterback for Louisiana Tech, and his first start
was Saturday night in a blowout win over Idaho, the worst
team in 1-A football. This is his first road start, and Michie
Stadium can be an intimidating environment, with the
wind, the noise from the Cadets, and the intensity of the
Army’s off a disappointing defeat. They had a pretty good (for the
level) Buffalo team beat in the fourth quarter, but a key turnover
helped lead to a 14-point Buffalo comeback and the result was a
27-24 loss to the Bulls in overtime. It can be tough to play a team
off a close defeat, especially an overtime game they should have
won, but these service academy kids have a lot of resiliency, and
the Black Knights will bring their A-game each and every week.
Lousiana Tech is happy with their blowout WAC win, has a big WAC
home game against Fresno next Saturday, and will be asking
themselves “what are we doing here?” when they realize that Army
is the team that wants this game more. Army by 9.
Cincinnati (pk) over @Connecticut
Selection and analysis by Kevin O’Neill
Both of these teams most recently played Rutgers,
and played tight, low scoring games against the
Scarlet Knights. Before their bye week, Cincinnati
beat RU at home 13-10 without their top two QB’s.
Saturday, UConn went to Rutgers and lost 12-10
with one of their top quarterbacks, but they may not
have him Saturday. We’ll get to those details in a
bit. First let’s look at the nature of the Huskies. It
is always a little dangerous to go against
Connecticut, as the Huskies results on Saturday,
where they largely outplayed Rutgers but lost, are
the reverse of what is usually the case. In their last
15 games, Connecticut is 9-6, and in 5 of those 9
wins, they were outgained. They’re well coached,
opportunistic, and pretty good on special teams.
But some of those characteristics appear to be
disappearing. That’s what makes their loss to
Rutgers Saturday painful. Their special teams were
awful. They missed three FG’s, didn’t field a pair of
punts, and trying to turn a kickoff return into a big
play, got tackled on their own 1.
When they aren’t doing all the little things perfectly, they’re
really an average team. Kind of pedestrian on offense,
with a good running game but a very poor passing attack.
Starting QB Tyler Lorenzen is out with a broken foot. Zack
Frazer’s status is unclear after suffering a possible
concussion Saturday. The Huskies averaged 5.4 yards per
pass attempt heading into the Rutgers game, only 15
teams in all of Division 1-A were worse. But Frazer went
for 11.8 yards per attempt against that horrid Rutgers
secondary (allow over 9 yards per attempt on the season).
Much of the passing production came in the fourth quarter
while trailing. Frazer’s backup is a redshirt freshman.
Connecticut can run the ball fairly well, but they’ve scored
12 points or less against Temple, North Carolina, and now,
Rutgers. Against North Carolina and Rutgers the sloppy
Huskies combined for 17 penalties for 154 yards. That’s
not something that would have happened last year. Coach
Randy Edsall is taking some heat in Storrs for the penalties
and defending himself against unimaginative play calling.
Cincinnati’s quarterback position is the reverse of
Connecticut’s as it has been devastated by injuries but is
now getting healthier. Tony Pike will be back for this one.
Pike is completing over 8.3 yards per pass attempt with 6
TD’s and a single interception. Bearcats may have some
matchup advantages, as they beat UConn 27-3 last year on
yardage of 420-204. UConn has had a good defense in
recent years, but permit 5.5 yards per play against teams
that are less explosive than UC. Brian Kelly is an excellent
coach and he has an extra week to prepare his game plan
and look for weaknesses in his opponent. Bearcats are a
little bit of a stealth team. They were about to get some
national attention but then the QB’s got hurt and people
saw the ugly close loss against Rutgers and probably forgot
about them. Cincy is the better team and it shows here.
Cincinnati by 7.
Illinois (-1½) over @Wisconsin
Selection and Analysis by Dave Fobare
For now Bret Bielema's job is plenty safe.
Despite losing both straight up and to the
spread four straight Big 10 games including
last Saturday's 38-16 loss to Iowa, Bielema has
the approval of the only voice that really
matters: Barry Alvarez. After a 48-7 loss to
Penn State two weeks ago Alvarez made a very
public defense of his coach. An AD's legacy is
determined by the coaches he hires and
Alvarez is going to give his guy every
opportunity to turn this around. Things could
get dicey though, if the Badgers don't go
bowling. You need six wins to qualify.
Wisconsin has three so far with five games left
to play. The final game is a gimme against Cal-
Wisconsin's problems can be traced to their
problems in the running game. Long a team
that has relied on smash mouth football the
Badgers are having problems pushing
opponents around. After a sound spanking of
Akron to open the season, the Badgers have
outrushed their six opponents since by just 45
yards. Wisconsin needs to dominate on the
ground because QB Allen Evridge is completing
less than 54% of his passes. And that is where
the biggest edge for the visiting Illini is. Illinois
is averaging just over 10 yards per pass
attempt, and on just the air attack alone my
stat model has Illinois favored by 15 points. If
Wisconsin jumps out to the early lead Juice
Williams has enough talent to bring Illinois
back. But if Illinois races in front, it is most
unlikely that Evridge has the goods to mount a
Off their 55-13 win over Indiana I have a 291-
193 ATS momentum system on Illinois. Best
tech I have on this game is a negative 166-269
ATS system that plays against Wisky thanks to
their 0-4 mark inside the Big 10. This system is
8-16 ATS in 2008, including losers last
weekend on Colorado, Indiana, and the
A lot of handicappers thought Bielema's 12-1 record
in 2006 was a fraud. Maybe it was. Since then the
Badgers have had problems against their better
opponents. They have covered just four of their last
fourteen against opponents with a winning record
and the Illini are 4-3. Wisconsin's fade continues.
Illinois by 10.
Re: NEWSLETTERS WEEK 9
Mississippi (-4) over @Arkansas
Selection and Analysis by Matty Baiungo
This is a big game down in Fayetteville. The Hogs
can’t wait to payback Houston Nutt after leaving for
Mississippi. And this game has been dubbed the
“Nutt Bowl.” You’ll hear about it often this week
from the talking heads. But how much of that will
really have an effect on the outcome of this game?
And how much of it is really just hog wash by the
media looking at that angle to carry their stories all
week? Plenty. Because when you look at the
makeup of the current Arkansas team, you’ll see
that they are loaded with a ton of freshman. And
they never played for Nutt, so he’s had little (maybe
recruiting?) to zero affiliation with them. Most of
the talk isn’t coming from the players, but the
reporters. And after what happened last week at
Kentucky, the Arkansas players have a lot more to
worry about than Houston Nutt.
Arkansas blew a win at Kentucky. They held a 20-7
fourth quarter lead, but lost 21-20 after allowing a
touchdown pass with just over 2 minutes to go in
the game. And that loss will be extremely difficult
for them to get over. “This is probably the lowest of
the lows that we’ve experienced as a team this
year,” All-American center Jonathan Luigs said. “And
then to give it away like that is a tough one to
swallow. It’s probably going to test the character
and integrity of this team, how we’re going to
bounce back.” And they’ll have to bounce back
without their best offensive player who has carried
their production. Junior running back Michael Smith
left the Kentucky game with a concussion, and his
return here doesn’t look good according to head
coach Bobby Petrino: “It’s scary because we don’t
know how long he’ll be out with that. It’s a shame
because he was playing his heart out, doing a great
job running the ball, catching the ball.” In fact,
after Smith left the game, the Arkansas offense had
three drives that totaled 11 yards on 13 plays.
Smith had 253 all-purpose yards by himself. If the
SEC’s leading rusher is out, Arkansas will have no
chance at matching points with Mississippi.
Ole Miss lost another close one last week at Alabama. The
24-20 loss looks good, but the Rebels trailed by 21 (24-3)
at the half. We won with them on the late phones, and we
got a fortunate and inspired second half performance. And
that’s what is so good about Houston Nutt. His kids don’t
quit on him, and he knows that. “Tell you what we do
have, we've got some fighters and some guys that are
really believing," Nutt said. "If they keep doing that, good
things are going to happen." The Rebels offense should be
able to score at will on the worst defense in the SEC.
Arkansas has allowed opposing teams to score on 18 of 22
possessions including 14 touchdowns inside the red zone.
And even though the Rebels defense has been equally
awful in that category, Arkansas may not get too many
chances if Smith doesn’t suit up. While Arkansas is on the
improve, they are just in a bad spot off the blown lead last
week and the potential of their best offensive player being
out. Mississippi by 10.
Duke (+9½) over @Vanderbilt
Selection and analysis by Kevin O’Neill
David Cutlcliffe rescue of the Duke football program
was big news a few weeks ago, but since then Duke
has lost badly to Georgia Tech and Miami and the
bloom is off the rose. But let’s take a look at both
their losses. Georgia Tech simply creamed the Blue
Devils, but when Paul Johnson’s option offense gets
rolling, that can happen some time. People realize
that, and that’s why there was significant support
for Duke in the betting markets last week. That
underdog money looked pretty good early in the
third quarter when Duke led Miami 24-10, but the
game got away from Duke in a barrage of dropped
passes, missed assignments, and other mistakes,
with Miami winning 49-31. Leading receiver Eron
Riley dropped four balls, to the great consternation
of David Cutcliffe. Coach Cutcliffe will have his
teams full attention this week, as he was very
displeased with the effort in the 4th quarter. “We
stopped playing in the 4th quarter,” said the coach.
But we’re willing to forgive the loss, and see it as
something to bounce back from. Miami is a team of
lighting-quick high school All Americans who also
scored a lot of points against Florida State. They’re
improving rapidly and Duke was competitive for
most of the game. Miami had non-dominant edges
in first downs (23-19) and total yards (420-331).
The Blue Devlis didn’t just get rolled. They were in
the game for a long time. Things are different at
Duke than they used to be.
Vandy is not a team that is poised to take advantage
of Duke’s thin defense. The Commodores have
done very little offensively since the first two weeks
of the season. Their 131 passing yards against
Georgia were only the second time all year that
Vandy has cracked 100 yards passing. They were
outgained for the fifth time in six games. In wins
they have been outgained by 100 yards against
South Carolina, by 63 against Rice, by 183 against
Ole’ Miss. Against punchless Mississipppi State they
were outgained 247-107. Though a win here gets
them bowl eligible, this is still a flat spot on the
schedule, the only game in a string of 8 that is
against a non-conference foe. They are far less
experienced than Duke, returning only 9 starters to
Remember that since Duke waxed Virginia 31-3
three weeks ago, UVA has won three games.
Duke’s defense has shown some vulnerability in the
past two games, but is Vandy the team to cash in on
it? This Vanderbilt team does not fit the profile of a
significant favorite, and Duke isn’t as bad as people
think. Look for the Blue Devlis to hang in there.
Vandy by only 3.
@Missouri (-21½) over Colorado
Selection and Analysis by Matty Baiungo
If Missouri is as good as we think they are, then this
is a good bounce back spot for them. The Tigers
enter off back-to-back losses against Oklahoma St
and Texas. Two weeks back, Mizzou was a 14½-
point home favorite over Okie St and lost straight-up
28-23. And last week they were just pounded from
the get-go at Texas and wound up losing 56-31.
But there should be no shame in losing either one of
those games. The Oklahoma St loss looks worse
because of the high spread, but that line was simply
out of whack. Many thought Missouri would give
Texas all they wanted last week as they were off
that home loss and were catching Texas off their big
Oklahoma win. And we saw a ton of support for
them as the line crashed from 7½ to 4 at kickoff.
Now how many bettors who backed Missouri last
week will be quick to unload on them again this
week? Not too many, especially with the Tigers
laying three touchdowns.
But we’ll certainly step in here. Missouri’s highoctane
offense has been stalled by much bigger and
faster defenses than what they’ll face with Colorado.
Missouri’s gimmicky offense is not as effective when
facing good defenses, but when it lines up against
weak ones, it explodes. Over their first five games,
Missouri scored at least 42 points in every game.
They had just 17 going into the 4th quarter last week
before they piled up the garbage points and yards
when the game was out of reach. Last year, Chase
Daniel led the Tigers to 55 points and 598 yards in
their 45-point win at Colorado. And a repeat of that
performance is certainly attainable again this year.
Missouri’s schedule is weak the rest of the way, and
big, lopsided wins should resume.
Colorado was supposed to be much improved this
year. It’s Dan Hawkins third year, and after going
from 2-10 in 2006 to 6-7 and a bowl game in 2007,
another positive step was expected. But that
certainly has not been the case. Colorado got out of
the gate fast opening the season at 3-0. But the
wheels have come off lately as the Buffaloes are just
1-3 over their last four games. The win came last
week over a bad Kansas St team, but Colorado
should be embarrassed by the 14-13 final. Kansas
St’s defense is horrible, but they held Colorado to
just 13 points on 353 yards. Over their previous
four games, K-St allowed at least 30 points and 509
yards to opposing offenses. Colorado has no chance
of trading points with Missouri here. Under Dan
Hawkins, Colorado is only 2-9-1 against the spread
as a road underdog. That, combined with the fact
that Missouri will be looking to atone for the last two
weeks, equals blowout. Missouri by 28.
@Hawaii (+3½) over Nevada
Selection and Analysis by Erik Scheponik
This was supposed to be a major rebuilding year in
Honululu under new HC Greg McMackin. The
Warriors returned only 8 starters from last year’s
Sugar Bowl squad. They have struggled at times,
but the drop off has not been quite as severe as
many of us expected. They played Florida very
tough for a quarter and a half in Gainesville before
understandably being blown out in the 2nd half.
Since then they have played pretty well, including
upsetting Fresno on the road as a 3 TD underdog,
beating Louisiana Tech by double digits at home,
and then losing but covering at Boise this past
Friday. They trailed the Broncos by only a field goal
at the half in a very physical game on the blue turf.
We all know what a tough place Boise can be to
play, and usually in this conference the top teams
really thrash teams in big home revenge games or
statement games. The Boise players commented all
week how they had waited all season for that game
(their only lost from last season), and although they
won by 20, it was not the cakewalk many of us
thought it would be.
Although they still run a version of the run-andshoot,
UH’s passing numbers are way down from
their teams of the past decade under June Jones.
However, their rushing offense has improved by
nearly 40 yards per game. The defense has
benefited from some extra time on the sidelines and
has played well against a good slate of opposing
offenses, allowing 5.3 yards per play and 370 yards
per game. One thing you will always get from
Hawaii is maximum effort, especially on this field
where they are 17-2 SU the last 19 games, and 49-
12 SU since 2001.
Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick is a future NFL QB and
gives the Wolf Pack a big edge at the position in this
matchup. However, the Wolf Pack defense, ranked
94th in the nation, leaves a lot to be desired and will
struggle with Hawaii’s run-and-shoot. They allow
8.3 yards per pass, and although that number has
been inflated by a schedule that includes Texas Tech
and Missouri, they have given up at least 225 yards
passing to every team on their schedule. This is
also a team that routinely struggles on the road
when they aren’t clearly the superior squad. Since
HC Chris Ault returned in 2004, they are only 7-16
ATS in away games when not favored by double
digits. As good is Kaepernick is, it must be noted
that Hawaii’s defense (led by now HC McMackin)
held him to his worst numbers ever last season as
he had only 23 yards rushing and 134 yards passing.
We’ll back the better defense and strong home field
in this one. Hawaii by 3
Re: NEWSLETTERS WEEK 9
POINTWISE 2* (2-7)
POINTWISE 1* (8-8)
ALABAMA over Tennessee RATING: 1
GEORGIA TECH over Virginia RATING: 1
TULSA over Central Florida RATING: 2
TCU over Wyoming RATING: 3
MISSOURI over Colorado RATING: 3
OREGON over Arizona State RATING: 4
NORTHWESTERN over Indiana RATING: 5
VANDERBILT over Duke RATING: 5
Alabama 34 - TENNESSEE 13 - (3:30) -- Tide now 7-0 (first time ever for Saban).
Nearly blew comfy lead vs OleMiss (just 107 RYs), but have played their best
away (3-0 ATS by 72½ pts). Vols in off 34-3 win, despite just 16 FDs & 275
yds (2 TDs on INT returns). Were at 11 ppg previous 4, & rank 104 in total "D
GEORGIA TECH 38 - Virginia 13 - (3:30) -- Overland exploits of Cavs ended at
2 (>100 yd deficit in LW's OT comeback win). So 3 straight wins, but all at
home. Now take to road, where they have a 76-13 pt deficit. Tech: 4 straight
wins, 5 straight covers, & a 1,309-513 RY edge in lined games. Home series.
TULSA 61 - Central Florida 20 - (8:00) -- Revenge! 'Canes something else. Try
791 yds in rout of Utep. Johnson (31/8): 434 yds & 5 TDs, & check 38.8 yds per
catch for Marion LW. Knights gained just 78 yds at Miami & 280 on SMU's "D".
TCU 58 - Wyoming 7 - (6:00) -- What a team? Frogs have a 73-14 pt edge at
home since loss to Oklahoma (+32½ ATS), with a 615 RY edge! Balanced &
well remember LY's heartbreaking loss to 'Boys. WY outscored 68-0 in its last
2 RGs, & is on an 0-14 spread slide. Try a 153-23 pt deficit in its last 4 games.
MISSOURI 57 - Colorado 20 - (6:30) -- Quite a comedown for Tigers, who have
tumbled from 3rd to 16th in the polls in just 2 wks. Unbelievable 390-94 RY
deficit in losses to OklaSt & Texas. But still at 41 ppg last 21, & destroyed the
Buffs LY (Wise Points). CU a mere 16 ppg in last 5 tilts. Lambs to slaughter.
Oregon 31 - ARIZONA STATE 17 - (10:00) -- Rested Ducks at 43 ppg 18 of last
20 outings. No Roper last game, & are minus 31½ pts ATS last 2 tilts. But own
Devils, overland (Wise Points), & are super off a bye. Four straight losses for
ASU, including 4, 71, & 75 RYs in last 3 efforts. Carpenter? Just 8/5 thus far
Northwestern 38 - INDIANA 14 - (12:00) -- Solid bounceback for 'Cats, off their
1st loss, with rout of Purdue (Bacher: 3 TDs). Have 14 takeaways in last 3
wins. Indy playing out the string. Five straight losses by an average score of
40-15, while allowing 224, 236, 227, & 292 in their last 4. Chalk series again.
VANDERBILT 27 - Duke 7 - (3:00) -- 'Dores now at +67½ pts ATS TY, holding 5
of last 7 foes below 18 pts. Stayed with MissSt & Ga in only losses, despite
397-159 RY deficit. Finally some rushing "O" for Imps, but still just 85 RYpg
last 4. Note 42-14 pt deficit to wind up vs Miami. Vandy becomes bowl eligible.
Re: NEWSLETTERS WEEK 9
THE GOLD SHEET (17-15)
MINNESOTA by 12 over Purdue
VANDERBILT by 20 over Duke
GEORGIA TECH by 28 over Virginia
TULSA by 32 over Ucf (Sunday, Oct. 26)
Minnesota 31 - PURDUE 19—Rested Minnesota has covered 5
straight and owns one of most improved defenses in the nation. Gopher d.c.
Ted Roof has a bend-but-don’t break unit that’s generating lots of turnovers
(Gophers rank 1st in TO margin; Purdue 101st). Not sure reeling Purdue
capable of moving ball consistently, considering Boiler QB Painter has been a
disappointment in ’08, with 9 ints. & just 4 TD passes in last 6 games, and has
apparently lost the confidence of HC Tiller. Minny’s Weber-to-Decker combo
too much Purdue 2ndary that bee hurt by lesser QBs.
(07-Purd. 45-MINN. 31...P.28-25 M.37/232 P.33/166 P.33/48/1/338 M.23/44/1/237 P.0 M.3)
(07-Purd. -14 45-31 06-PURD. +2' 27-21 05-MINN. -3' 42-35 (OT)...SR: Minnesota 31-30-3)
VANDERBILT 34 - Duke 14—Since Vandy might have big trouble
reaching that elusive 6th win with a brutal Nov. slate, now’s the time to endorse
hungry ‘Dores stepping waaayy down in class. Vandy’s mobile QB M. Adams
& RB Hawkins (399 YR, 4.2 ypc) burn a Duke defense feeling “bad vibes” after
allowing 35 2nd-H pts. in 49-31 loss vs. Miami. ‘Dores TO-creating stop unit (17
takeaways; 13 ints.!) helps set up favorable field position vs. Blue Devils, on
road for only 2nd time TY. (06-Vanderbilt -8 45-28...SR: Vanderbilt 7-3)
GEORGIA TECH 35 - Virginia 7—Three straight home wins have put
surprising Virginia & beleaguered HC Groh back in thick of ACC title chase. But
Cavs now hitting the road, where they’re just 9-25 vs. spread in last 34 as true
visitor. Facing Tech’s terrific DL a tough assignment for still-learning UVa soph
QB Verica, and no better bankroll buddy than new Jacket & former Navy mentor
Paul Johnson (5-0 against line TY). TV—ESPNU
(07-VA. 28-Ga. Tech 23...V.20-17 G.31/121 V.42/121 V.20/35/1/233 G.17/40/1/230 V.2 G.1)
(07-VA. +3' 28-23 06-TECH -17 24-7 05-VA. -3' 27-17...SR: Virginia 15-14-1)
*TULSA 56 - Ucf 24—While the old-school handicapper in us might tend
to favor defense over offense, the firepower edge enjoyed by Tulsa in this
matchup is so stark that we’re compelled to lay the lumber. How can sputtering
UCF (just 243 ypg—worst in country) possibly keep pace with juggernaut
Golden Hurricane side that peppers the scoreboard with a nation-leading 57
ppg? CABLE TV—ESPN
(07-UCF 44-Tulsa 23...T.25-24 U.48/229 T.25/59 T.35/61/4/320 U.21/29/0/224 U.1 T.0)
(07-UCF -3 44-23 05-Tulsa -2 44-27 at Orlando...SR: EVEN 1-1)
Re: NEWSLETTERS WEEK 9
STATFOX PLATINUM SHEET (16-17-2)
10/25/2008 (121) CINCINNATI at (122) CONNECTICUT
This Cincinnati-Connecticut game also
features one of the better home teams in
college football playing in a difficult spot.
This time around, the Huskies have some
matchup problems to deal with. Already
down to their second string QB, UConn
relies heavily on the run. Unfortunately for
them, one of HC Brian Kelly’s team’s best
strengths year-in and year-out is stopping
the run. This year they are allowing just 2.9
YPR, on par with their typical performance.
The Bearcats are quietly playing as well as
anyone in the Big East of late, and have
only a loss at Oklahoma to blemish their
record. They are playing particularly well defensively, and I’ll turn to the
StatFox Money Line FoxSheet for a real situational gem to convince
me of their worth this week: Play On - A road team vs. the money line
(CINCINNATI) - after allowing 17 points or less in 3 straight games
against opponent after a loss by 6 or less points. (25-3 over the last 10
seasons.) (89.3%, +26.8 units. Rating = 6*). With a pick em’ spread,
you need only to pick the winner, and a near 90% system helps me
Play: Cincinnati PK
10/25/2008 (145) ALABAMA at (146) TENNESSEE
Tennessee’s offense is in shambles, and their offensive Outplay
Factor Rating of -0.6 proves it. For a typically elite football program,
that type of production is awful. Unfortunately for the Volunteers, they
are about to face their best defensive opponent of the year, Alabama.
This trend illustrates how poorly HC Phil Fullmer’s team has historically
performed against dominant defensive teams: TENNESSEE is 2-14
ATS (-13.4 Units) in home games versus excellent defensive teams -
allowing <=285 yards/game since 1992. If that’s not enough to validate
backing one of the nation’s best teams as less than a TD favorite, the
StatFox Game Estimator on FoxSheets calls for a 32-14 ‘Bama win,
and the ROAD TEAM is 12-3 ATS in ALABAMA-TENNESSEE series
Play: Alabama -6
10/25/2008 (157) GEORGIA at (158) LSU
Sometimes in big games, it can be as simple as just taking the better
team in games with small pointspreads.
When the team you believe is the better
one is actually the underdog, that is simply
icing on the cake. I’ll say it as clearly as I
can. I believe Georgia is a better team
than LSU. The Bulldogs are arguably
better defensively (which the stats prove)
and have far more big play capability on
offense. In games that are supposed to be
physical, which this one should be, it is the
team that strikes more big plays on offense
that typically wins. Let’s compare some of
the head-to-head numbers of these teams:
Schedule strength thus far – Georgia 38.4,
LSU 33.3, Yards per play differential –
Georgia +2.0, LSU +1.1, StatFox Outplay
Factor Rating – Georgia +14.9, LSU +4.4,
Yards per pass attempt – Georgia 8.5, LSU
7.2. HC Mark Richt always has his team
ready on the road for big games: GEORGIA
is 6-1 against the money line (+8.1 Units) in
road games versus good defensive teams -
allowing <=310 YPG over the L3 seasons.
Why should this be any different?
Play: Georgia +3
10/25/2008 (163) VIRGINIA TECH at (164) FLORIDA ST
In watching Florida State struggle with NC State last Thursday night,
I am convinced that the Seminoles are not past their problems of
recent years. For some reason, this program just cannot get it going
consistently on offense. Their pass protection is horrible, and their
constant mistakes are a nightmare for those betting on them. Well,
don’t count me among that latter group this week against perennially
tough road pooch Va Tech (Beamer is 10-2 ATS (+7.8 Units) as a road
underdog of 3.5 to 7 points as the coach of VIRGINIA TECH). This is
another one of those games where I feel the underdog is the better
team, and I’ll call on the Outplay Factor Ratings to validate that point:
Hokies +8.2, FSU +1.1. HC Bobby Bowden’s hasn’t played a whole lot
of tough opponents, Tech has. That should be the difference here. Take
the free points but don’t forget about the chance for the outri
Play: Virginia Tech +4
Re: NEWSLETTERS WEEK 9
THE SPORTS MEMO
ED CASH (SPORTS MEMO) (5-2)
BRENT CROW (SPORTS MEMO) (2-4)
DONNIE BLACK (SPORTS MEMO) (2-4)
MARTY OTTO (SPORTS MEMO) (1-3)
ERIN RYNNING (SPORTS MEMO) (2-2)
FAIRWAY JAY (SPORTS MEMO) (2-1)
JARED KLEIN (SPORTS MEMO) (3-2)
TIM TRUSHEL (SPORTS MEMO) (2-3)
COLORADO AT MISSOURI -21
Will this Missouri team fall flat on its face after losing in back-to-back weeks? That is certainly a valid question, but I feel confident that Chase Daniel and the other seniors will prevent that from happening. One thing is certain, if they come to play in this contest, they will have an easy win over a pitiful Colorado team. The Buffaloes managed just 14 points for a third consecutive week against a terrible Kansas State defense. And somehow, they slipped away with a win despite only 106 passing yards. Colorado took the redshirt off of freshman quarterback Tyler Hanson, and he led them on their only two scoring drives, catching K-State by surprise. Colorado was shutout in the second half after that and now the youngster
makes his road debut behind an offensive line that is banged up, and missing
key players. Those who are participating are flat out not blocking very well and it has showed. Mizzou got blown out by Texas last week and the offense that was so brilliant in its first five games has struggled the past two. They should get back on track this week against a Colorado defense that allowed over 400 yards to Texas and Kansas. Missouri’s weapons will be too much for the Buffs this week.
DUKE +10 AT VANDERBILT
Vanderbilt has surprised. During the summer, in these same pages, we called for Vanderbilt to be one of the worst teams in the nation. Without question we were wrong but recently we have seen them falter against Mississippi State and Georgia. Still, they stand at 5-2 and need one win to earn Bowl eligibility. With conference games against Florida, Tennessee and Kentucky plus non-conference games against Duke and Wake Forest, there are several chances for the Commodores. All five of VU’s conference games have been decided by 10 points or less. With a similar caliber of opposition,
we should see several close games the remainder of the way. In six of Vandy’s seven games this season the underdog has covered. The lone exception was the Rice game, in which the Owls were facing a horrible situation with the aftermath of the events of Hurricane Ike. Still in rebuilding mode, the Blue Devils have held the lead or been within a field goal in the second half of all their losses, they just haven’t been able to close the deal. This week as they face an offense more their speed, we expect a full 60-minute effort. Duke is improved but the overall recent results have tempered the market’s enthusiasm for this squad. We’ll scoop in and grab the inflated number.
VIRGINIA TECH +4.5 AT FLORIDA STATE
Recommendation: Virginia Tech
Maybe that vaunted Florida State defense isn’t that good after all. It sure didn’t look like it against NC State last Thursday night as the Wolfpack gashed them on the ground and through the air, averaging over seven yards per play. The Seminoles got the win as their offense was able to keep the ball away from the Wolfpack by converting on third downs and running
80 plays to 47 for NC State. The fact is, the Seminoles have statistically prospered by playing a handful of weak offenses. They won’t face a great one this week either, as Virginia Tech’s one-dimensional offense limps into Tallahassee after losing to Boston College. But in this spot, it isn’t about Tech putting together 400 yards of offense and driving up and down the field. They simply need to do what they did last week: move the ball just enough to keep the FSU defense honest and wait patiently to take advantage
of any Seminole mistakes (14 turnovers in six games). Assuming the Hokies score a special teams or defensive touchdown or at worst benefit
from a short field, getting this amount of points is an excellent play
ILLINOIS -1 AT WISCONSIN
The Badgers once high expectations have come crashing down and the season looks to be in free fall. A once dominant home field advantage has seen two losses in the last month. Since an incredible second half collapse at Michigan, the Badgers having
dropped three straight conference games and sit at 3-4. The overall offense of this team is quite limited as they have failed to score more than 17 points in four of their last five games. Overall in Big Ten play they are averaging just 16 points per game. The quarterback play has been atrocious as the Badgers have completed
just 50% with eight interceptions and two touchdowns in Big Ten games. Additionally the once regarded rushing attack has also been pedestrian ranking
in the bottom half of the league in yards per rush. Defensively they rank dead last in stopping the run in the Big Ten. Illinois should have some success in moving
the football. While they have played some sloppy games, they have also delivered
a consistency with their offense. This week they catch a team that may be further hampered with the loss of their running back, PJ Hill. With uncertainty at quarterback and poor performances and efforts on defense, we’ll fade Wisconsin.
PENN STATE AT OHIO STATE +1.5
Recommendation: Ohio State
There is no question that Penn State has been impressive, but I believe this line is out of whack. Ohio State hasn’t been a home underdog since the 2004-2005 season when they were a four-point underdog against Michigan. The Buckeyes won that game outright 37-21 and I anticipate they’ll do the same in this contest. Ohio State’s SU record (I-AA teams not included) in the Horseshoe is 45-3, 94% since the 2002 campaign. The Buckeyes are also coming off of their most impressive win of the season, blowing out Michigan State, 45-7. “It’s either ours or Penn State’s world and we’ll find out next week,” Buckeyes guard Jim Cordle was quoted as saying. “We like our chances with the momentum we’ve got going into it.” With road games at Purdue, Syracuse and Wisconsin, who has been exposed after an 0-4 Big Ten start, this will be Penn State’s toughest test of the season and while they’ve been very good, they haven’t gone on the road into an environment like this. In my opinion, Ohio State is being discounted way too much and seeing them at home as an underdog is too tempting not take. Penn State’s perfect season ends Saturday
BOSTON COLLEGE +3 AT NORTH CAROLINA
Recommendation: Boston College
Confidence-building win for Boston College last week as they took down Virginia Tech, 28-23, despite five turnovers and two interception returns for touchdowns. Just the opposite for North Carolina, as the Tar Heels blew a late lead and then lost in overtime to Virginia, 16-13. That loss marked the third time in North Carolina’s last four contests that the game was decided in the closing minute. It was the second ACC defeat in which the Tar Heels blew a fourth quarter lead. North Carolina was also outgained in its three previous contests before holding the total yardage advantage over the weak Virginia offense. Now the Tar Heels will face the ACC’s No. 3-ranked offense and No. 2-ranked defense against the run. North Carolina’s offense, and specifically
the passing game, is significantly less efficient since quarterback TJ Yates went out with injury. And with top wide receiver and kick return specialist Brandon Tate out for the year, the offense struggled even more against a sub-par Virginia defense. Boston College is more confident, healthier
and the better team right now in an underdog role. Fly with the Eagles.
NEVADA -3 AT HAWAII
I took a shot last Friday with Boise State, laying 23.5, to cover against this same Hawaii team. Even though it lost, I’ll take my shot with Nevada in this situation. I just don’t buy into this Warriors team; they turn the ball over at an alarming rate, their QB is wildly inaccurate and their option-based, run-n-shoot offense is decidedly high school. While the Wolf Pack aren’t nearly as good defensively as Boise, I don’t think Hawaii has any shot of slowing down their offense. Nevada averages 520 ypg and 40 ppg and is one of the few offenses in the country that can boast over 200 yards rushing and passing per game. Quarterback Colin Kapernick has tallied over 1,900 total yards with a combined 21 TDs (rush/pass), RB Vai Taua has rushed for over 6.4 ypc and has added nine scores, while speedster Marko Mitchell has averaged nearly 19 yards per catch. When it comes right down to it, Hawaii will be forced to trade scores in this one and I don’t think they can keep up. The only team of comparable
talent to get the best of Nevada this year was New Mexico State. The Aggies are a very good passing team and the Warriors are not. Take Nevada.
RICE AT TULANE -2.5
An intriguing Conference-USA match-up this Saturday as the Owls make the trek to New Orleans to battle the Green Wave. No question the high-flying Owls with Chase Clement at quarterback can score points in bunches. However, their ability to run the football and play defense will be tested in this matchup. The Owls have proved winning on the road with little defense (480 ypg allowed) and a suspect running game can be a tough task (2-8 SU on the road the last two years). Meanwhile, the more physical Green Wave will enter this game refreshed off their bye week. They’ll have a great opportunity to win this game at the line of scrimmage as they’ve easily outgained four of their six opponents on the ground. They even held their own against the vaunted Alabama front five. The line of scrimmage discrepancy was on display in last year’s meeting when the Green Wave outgained Rice by 244 yards on the ground and won in Houston, 45-31, as a three-point underdog. Rested and ready, look for Tulane to take care of the Owls this weekend in the Superdome.
Re: NEWSLETTERS WEEK 9
LOGICAL APPROACH FEATURED SEL (4-7)
LOGICAL APPROACH SEL OF WEEK (4-5)
COLLEGE SELECTION OF THE WEEK: ARIZONA STATE + 4 over Oregon - Both teams are off of Byes. At 2-4 Arizona State has been disappointing thus far and are on a 4 game losing streak after starting 2-0. They've played the more demanding schedule than has Oregon as reflected in Oregon's opponents' combined 18-29 record while ASU's foes are a combined 28-13. Both teams have played - and lost - on the road to conference power USC. ASU actually compiled the better stats in their loss, being outgained by the Trojans 387-229 in their 28-0 loss while Oregon was outgained 598-239 in their 44-10 loss. State does get starting QB Carpenter back for this game. Coach Erickson's teams have always played exceptionally well at home where they are comfortable being aggressive and playing with swagger and attitude. Oregon's a solid program but the talent level on these teams is about even and does not justify ASU being a home underdog even though Oregon has won the last three meetings. Arizona State wins outright, 27-21.
Other Featured College Selections
Mississippi - 4 ½ over ARKANSAS - Former Arkansas coach Nutt has been looking forward to this game ever since his bitter dismissal as Head Hog last season despite years of success with the program. He's had a positive impact at Ole Miss in his first season as the Rebels have improved their level of play and pulled a stunning road upset of Florida. Though just 3-4, they've been competitive in all 4 losses with their largest margin of defeat just 7 points. Arkansas has played better of late for new coach Petrino after playing very poorly earlier. The offense has been inconsistent and the defense has been susceptible to the big play. The major edge for Ole Miss comes in Nutt's knowledge of the Arkansas players as he recruited most of them. Add in the emotion and this has the makings of a beatdown, especially since Arkansas with Nutt as coach has won 4 straight against Mississippi, including 44-8 and 38=3 the past two seasons. Mississippi wins 30-17.
MISSOURI - 21 ½ over Colorado - Mizzou's dreams of a National Title were dashed when they were upset at home two weeks ago by Oklahoma State. Any chances of a rebound went away when the Tigers were blown out at Texas last week 56-31. Now they return home and drop in class to face a Colorado team that has struggled on offense all season. The Buffaloes have been held to 14 points in 3 of their last 4 games and scored 21 points in a one sided loss to Florida State. Missouri has an outstanding offense behind QB Daniel that should flourish in this situation. Las season Missouri won 55-10 at Colorado as 3 point favorites. Mizzou can still win the Big 12 North and play for the conference title so the motivation to refocus is there. They have the balance to put up big numbers in this game (7.6 yards per play, # 2). Missouri wins big, 49-17.
OHIO STATE + 2 over Penn State - This game likely decides the Big 10 as both are unbeaten in league play with Penn State 8-0 overall and #3 in the BCS standings. After losing at USC, Ohio State's won 5 straight and is #9 in the BCS, a ranking that would improve with a win here. This game's winner will be favored to win their remaining games and with no Big 10 title game will be in excellent position for a spot in the BCS Title game as other contenders fall to one another. Penn State has not won at Ohio State since joining the Big 10, losing 7 straight by an average score of 28-8. They have yet to score more than 10 points at the Horseshoe. This may be JoePa's best team since joining the Big 10 in 1992 but they have benefitted from a relatively weak schedule. Yes, they did rout Oregon State at home but the overall record of their opponents is just 22-35 (OSU's foes are 20-16). Ohio State is a Home Dog for just the fifth time since 1993. They are 3-1 both SU and ATS. Saturday night under the lights will be Penn State's biggest challenge yet but the OSU defense and continued emergence of versatile QB Pryor will be too much to overcome. Ohio State wins 23-14.
Re: NEWSLETTERS WEEK 9
THE RED SHEET 89* (10-5-1)
GEORGIA TECH 40 - Virginia 13 - (3:30 EDT) -- Line opened at GeorgiaTech minus 13, and is now minus
11½. Cavs have certainly turned things around over the past 3 wks, with combined 82-33 pt
edge, as well as plus 72½ pts ATS. But those were all played in Charlottesville. Now take
to the road, vs a Jacket team which has a phenomenal 1,309-513 RY edge in its lined
games, while covering 5-of-5. Not only that, but Virginia has a 76-13 pt deficit away from
home. So check Tech's 5th rated defense, to complement that overland game. The series
host is on a superb 9-1 ATS run, & the Jackets well remember LY's tough defeat.
RATING: GEORGIA TECH 89
Minnesota 30 - PURDUE 17 - (12:00) -- Line opened at Purdue minus 1, and is now pick-em. As we noted
on Pointwise, the Gopher turnaround has been incredible, as they stand at 6-1 so far, in
stark contrast to the 1-11 log that they posted a year ago. Are +97 pts ATS in their last 8
games, covering their last outing by 19 pts, as they held Illinois' then 19th-ranked rushing
offense to just 88 yds. Have had an extra week to prepare for this, & Boilers are slipping by
the week. On a 4-game slide, while averaging just 14 ppg. Purdue owns the 104th rated
running game, & QB Painter not to be trusted (3 INTs LW). "Mo" all Gophers.
RATING: MINNESOTA 89
Central Michigan 41 - TOLEDO 14 - (12:00) -- Line opened at CentralMichigan minus 3½, and is still minus
3½. This Chip squad has been magnificent over the past 2½ seasons, especially in MAC
play, where they are 123½ pts ahead of the spread in their last 15 conference games. A
week ago, they had to go it without do-everything QB LeFevour (ankle) but Brunner simply
stepped in and threw for 346 yds in Central's 38-28 upset of a Western Michigan squad
which had won 6 straight. The Rockets pulled that upset of Michigan, & took Fresno into
OT, but check a 69-7 pt deficit in their last 2 MAC games. Chips again.
RATING: CENTRAL MICHIGAN 88
FLORIDA 47 - Kentucky 13 - (12:30) -- Line opened at Florida minus 23, and is now minus 24. Dedicated
Gators took it on the chin in that embarrassing upset, hosting OleMiss, but have quickly
shown that they are far from down, having climbed to the #4 spot in the nation, with a
combined scoring edge of 89-28 in their 2 outings since. And that included their 51-21
home blasting of then 3rd-ranked LSU, in which they held a 265-80 RY edge. Full focus
here, as the 'Cats have surprised with their 5-2 start, while covering their first 2 RGs by 40½
pts. UK ranks only 96th, offensively, so no way to stay with this scoreboard lighter.
RATING: FLORIDA 88
Oklahoma 51 - KANSAS STATE 17 - (12:30) -- Line opened at Oklahoma minus 19, and is still minus 19.
Catching the awesome Sooners off their games with Texas & Kansas would seem a juicy
proposition for Wildcat backers, especially with such a high home dog spot. However, the
Sooners are at 47 ppg, & in off rolling up 674 yds & 45 pts vs Kansas, with Bradford
throwing for a school-record 468 yds. So hardly a letdown off OU's loss to top-ranked
Texas. The 'Cats are no pushover, averaging 38 ppg in their last 10 hosting roles, but their
Achilles heel is their 112th-ranked defense, and a bit down off LW's wrenching loss.
RATING: OKLAHOMA 88
NEAR CHOICES (Rated 87): Alabama, BYU, BallSt, UCLA, Tulsa -
Re: NEWSLETTERS WEEK 9
NORTH COAST Power Sweep
NORTHCOAST POWER SWEEP 4* (1-7)
NORTHCOAST POWER SWEEP DOG (3-3)
4* GEORGIA TECH over Virginia - The home tm is 12-1 SU (9-1 ATS) incl LY’s UVA 28-23 upset win. GT is 12-0 SU in HC games and in their 2 lined HG’s TY, GT has outscored their opp 65-7. Both tms have faced Duke as GT shutout the Blue Devils 27-0 while UVA lost 31-3. QB Nesbitt is avg 145 ttl ypg & has 7 TD (5 rush). RB Dwyer has 684 rush yds (6.3). Although GT runs the triple option, WR D Thomas has 22 rec (18.9). LW GT defeated CU 21-17 in an emotional gm for the Tigers just 5 days after HC Bowden stepped down & it gave the Yellow Jackets their 4th straight win. GT has solid edges on both sides of the ball (O #56-90, #23-52 D). LW UVA was held to just 3 pts for about 58 mins before getting a late TD to send the gm to OT, where they upset #18 NC 16-13. QB Verica is avg 169 ypg (65%) with a 3-7 ratio. RB Peerman has 423 rush yds (6.0) and WR Ogletree has 37 rec (12.3). Virginia deserves credit for 3 straight wins but now GT has definite advantages on both sides of the lines and we will grab the value playing against UVA with their recent success. FORECAST: GEORGIA TECH 28 Virginia 6
3* FLORIDA ST over Virginia Tech - Beamer is 1-7 SU vs Fla St and Bowden is 14-1 SU vs VT but the 1 for each was LY and they’ve combined for over 800 gms as HC. LY the Seminoles led 21-20 into the 4Q before getting outscored 20-0. Fla St lost QB Weatherford in the 2Q and backup QB Lee was susp so they had to go with rFr Ponder getting his first real action ever. Tech has won 7 of 8 league road games with the only loss LW vs BC (28-23) in a game BC held VT to just 240 ttl yds. QB Taylor has avg 172 ttl ypg in the 6 gms he’s played and RB Evans has 442 rush yds (3.8). FSU has a solid edge on both sides of the ball (off #28-72, def #19-35). QB Ponder who threw for 254 yds (66%) vs NCSt LW, is avg 209 ttl ypg. RB Smith has 483 rush yds (4.8, 10 TD). VT is struggling and now has to travel to Florida with the ACC’s #11 offense (285 ypg) and now faces the #1 D (248 all’d ypg). FSU also has the #1 offense (419 ypg) vs VT’s #6 D (312). The Florida St off and def are both showing improvement and it will be obvious here. FORECAST: FLORIDA ST 27 Virginia Tech 13
3* NEBRASKA over Baylor - NU is 6-0 in B12 play vs BU winning by a 48-12 avg and outgaining them by 349 ypg. NU is 12-4 ATS in HC gms and 8-4 ATS when hosting B12 South. Huskers snapped a 3 gm losing streak LW avoiding its 1st 0-3 conf start in 63 yrs taking care of ISU (21-0 HT lead with a 330 yd edge for the gm). Ganz is avg 281 ypg (70%) with a 12-6 ratio. BU is 5-13 ATS in B12 AG and has been outgained in their L/8 (0-8 SU & 1-7 ATS) by 217 ypg incl LW when OSU held them to 204 yds (QB Griffin 174 yds, 85% of offense). Griffin is avg 182 ypg (61%) with a 9-0 ratio & is 65% of the Bears off (1,704 ttl yds). For the 1st time this ssn BU is not catching an opp in a favorable situation & the last time NU faced a mobile QB they all’d VT’s Taylor to gain 258 ttl yds. This will be the Huskers only HG in a month and they have the off edge (#13-66) and have played the far tougher sked (#25-65). FORECAST: NEBRASKA 38 Baylor 17
2* WISCONSIN over Illinois - LY’s 31-26 win marked Illinois’ 1st win over a Top 5 team S/’89 even though the unranked Illini were actually favored (-2’) at home. UW has won their L4 HC by a 34-12 avg but in ‘06 in Madison, UW (-21’) trailed 21-3 & was fortunate to win 30-24. The Illini are off a 55-13 pounding of Indy (minus QB Lewis) in which they outgained the Hoosiers 563-313. QB WIlliams (278 ypg, 60%, 16-7 ratio, 599 rush yds) leads the B10 in passing, pass eff & ttl off. True frosh RB Ford (PS#32) got 172 yds in his 1st start vs the Hoosiers and at 6-0 220+ he fits the more physical Mendenhall mold. Illini allow 151 rush ypg (4.0). After being voted #2 in the B10’s media preseason poll, the Badgers are in the basement at 0-4 (1st time S/’96) after LW’s 38-16 loss at Iowa in which they trailed just 14-9 in the 3Q before the wheels fell off. QB Sherer got his 1st start but provided little spark hitting 17-34 for 161 with 2 int and Evridge DNP. OL Carimi and Urbik sat out due to inj. Badgers have allowed 179 rush ypg (5.0) in B10 play. The Badgers have the home, D (#40-55) & ST (#47-98) edges and are desperate to turn their season around. FORECAST: WISCONSIN 31 Illinois 24
2* Smu (+) over NAVY - SMU is 2-4 SU/ATS vs Navy S/‘93. Navy is 3-8 as a HF while SMU 6-3-1 as an AD. June Jones was 2-0 vs AF & Navy (two option service academies) at Hawaii beating AF 52-30 (-9’) in 2001. SMU is making a rare trip to the East coast but does have a bye on deck. SMU QB Mitchell is avg 285 ypg (60%) with a 21-18 ratio, but has improved avg 345 ypg (65%) with a 9-6 ratio the L/3. After losing 3 of their 1st 4 gms by 35 ppg, SMU had a big comeback vs Tulane (lost by 7), outgained UCF 376-280 (lost by 14), led undefeated Tulsa 31-24 in the 4Q (lost by 6) and led Houston 35-23 in the 4Q (lost by 6) showing the team’s improvement under Jones. SMU does lead the NCAA in off int (18), but Navy ranks #112 in our pass D rankings. SMU has already faced Rice (#24 NCAA total off), TT (2), Tulsa (1), and Houston (4) and their D is #117 as a result of such a tough slate of opposing offenses. SMU has allowed 215 rush ypg (5.2). Navy’s offense has been hampered with starting QB Kaheaku-Enhada missing a lot of PT TY with inj and backup Bryant is only avg 38 ypg pass with 392 rush (3.2). SMU is now grasping this new offense and they can exploit Navy’s pass D and an outright upset will not surprise. FORECAST: Smu 37 (+) NAVY 34
2* NORTH CAROLINA over Boston College - In their last meeting, NC upset #19 BC 16-14 as a 5 pt HD and it was our 2005 College GOY. NC never trailed but settled for 3 short FG’s and led 16-7 with the ball in BC territory with 2:25 left. BC got a garbage TD in the final seconds. LW NC held UVA to just 3 pts for 58 mins but all’d a late TD to send the gm into OT & lost 16-13 extending their losing streak at Scott Stadium to 14. NC was w/o WR Tate (torn ACL, out yr), who led ACC in all-purp yds. LB Carter did get his 4th blk’d kick of the ssn vs UVA. QB Sexton is avg 182 ypg (59%) with a 3-3 ratio. WR Nicks has 39 rec (16.5). Both teams matchup about even on off (NC#52-58), BC has a slight def edge (#28-39) but NC has a solid sp tms edge (#12-108). BC defeated #17 VT 28-23 thanks to their D (only allowed 240 ttl yds) as QB Crane had 4 TO’s (2 ret’d for TD). On the season, Crane is avg 185 ypg (56%) with a 5-9 ratio. True Fr RB Harris has 374 yds (6.4, PS#159). The Heels force alot of TO’s (18) which could spell trouble for Crane. FORECAST: NORTH CAROLINA 30 Boston College 20
UNDERDOG PLAY OF THE WEEK
Michigan +5 1/2 over Mich St
Mich has won the L/6 SU & L/8 at home. The team with more rush yards is 35-3 SU. Last time here UM led 24-0 & won by 18. LY the Spartans led 24-14 with 7:40 left but lost at home & RB Hart called the Spartans UM’s “little brother.” The Wolves have never been a HD to the Spartans & the only other time they were a dog came in ‘05 when we won with them as a 4H LPS. MSU is off their worst home loss S/’95, a 45-7 drubbing by OSU as we used the Bucks as our 5H Oct GOM. QB Hoyer (concussion & hand-CS) returned for just one 2H series vs OSU. RB Ringer (#2 NCAA 1179, 4.5) was a non-factor with ssn lows of 16-67 as OSU jumped out to a 21-0 1Q lead. MSU has allowed 183 rush ypg (4.8) in conf play. Mich has lost 3 straight in the same ssn for the 1st time S/’79 as after a fast start vs Penn St (scored on 1st 3 drives & led 17-7) they failed to score in the gm’s L/43:00. Threet QB’d the 1st 3 drives (9-13 for 84 yds & 50 rush yds) before re-inj his elbow and Sheridan struggled (3-9 for 5 yds). Wolves have been pounded for 193 rush ypg (4.5) in league play. At 2-5 Mich is desperate for a win and to prove that they’re still the big bro in the Great Lake state. FORECAST: MICHIGAN 23 Michigan St 20
Re: NEWSLETTERS WEEK 9
NORTHCOAST POWER PLAYS 4* (56-49-1)
4★ MARYLAND 31 NC STATE 16
MD is 6-2 SU, 5-3 ATS in this series, but the visitor is 6-1 ATS. NC St is on a 2-9 ATS run in ACC
AG’s. PP says MD will win by 15 (line 10’) and we agree.
4★ MIAMI FL 25 WAKE FOREST 18
Miami has won 4 in a row SU in this series but WF is 9-4 ATS as an AD. PP says that UM will
win by 7 (line 2’) and neither can afford another ACC loss
4★ NORTHWESTERN 38 INDIANA 20
NW is 8-2 SU in this series but has only won by an avg of 31-27. PP calls for NW to win by 18
(line 9’) and the Cats will lock in a bowl bid with their 7th win.
4★ NORTH CAROLINA 26 BOSTON COLLEGE 19
In their last meeting NC upset #19 BC 16-14 as our ‘05 College GOY. PP calls for NC to win by
7 (line 3) and though the ydg forecast is close, NC has a large special teams edge.
4★ PITTSBURGH 24 RUTGERS 9
LW Pitt dominated Navy and won a 3★ LPS for us. PP predicts they will end their 3 gm losing
streak to Rutgers with a 15 pt win and a 389-213 yd edge and we agree.
4★ FLORIDA 36 KENTUCKY 8
UK gutted out a last second win over Ark LW, but they are in way over their heads in this one. PP
says the Gators will win by 28 (line 23) and though UK’s D is tough, UF has a huge speed edge.
4★ MISSISSIPPI 30 ARKANSAS 24
Houston Nutt was forced out at Ark LY and now returns to his home state to face his former team.
A lot of emotions on both sides, but you can bet this is one Nutt would love to win. PP says UM wins
by 6 (line 4), but we think it could be by a lot more
4★ RICE (+) 37 TULANE 32
The dog is 5-2 ATS in this series that has avg 71 ppg since Rice joined CUSA. PP says that Rice
will win by 5 and they are getting 2, and we agree.
4★ FLORIDA STATE 28 VIRGINIA TECH 19
It’s surprising to see a VT squad forecasted to get outgained 402-213. Remember FSU had numerous
susp to start the ssn and have yet to hit their stride. They’re only a 4’ pt fav and a Top Play here.
4★ TEXAS TECH 33 KANSAS 31
Kansas has not seen this TT off S/‘05 and TT is avg 46 ppg and gained 561 yds LW at A&M. They
are forecasted to have a slight 468-462 yd edge and win. TT is a dog so that makes this a 4★.
4★ HAWAII 33 NEVADA 31
A trip to the Islands is always diffi cult and Nev has lost all 4 (1-3 ATS) by 17 ppg. Now the Warriors
are forecasted to outgain the Wolf Pack 445-417 and they’re a HD. That makes this a Top Play
3★ NOTRE DAME 33 WASHINGTON 20
Washington’s numbers keep getting adjusted with the loss of QB Locker. They have gained yards
but have had trouble scoring, being held to 14 or less in 3 of 4. ND has now covered 3 straight
3★ BALL ST 40 EASTERN MICHIGAN 11
BSU is one of only 9 undefeated teams, off a bye and now faces one of the MAC’s weakest
squads. PP calls for a 29 pt win (line 23’) with a 479-306 yd edge.
3★ CENTRAL MICHIGAN 34 TOLEDO 28
All Toledo has done is lose to a pair of MAC tms by a combined 69-7 and sandwiched around an
upset win at Michigan. They’ve dropped all 3 SU at home TY and PP is calling for a 4th home loss.
3★ MISSOURI 38 COLORADO 15
Missouri can fall apart after B2B losses or do what we expect which is to fi nish the season with
a vengeance. PP is calling for a 482-288 yd edge and the Tigers get a big feel good win
Re: NEWSLETTERS WEEK 9
THE GOLDSHEET EXTRA
THE GOLD SHEET EXTRA (22-14)
It’s been a while since Army has caused much commotion on
the gridiron. But the Black Knights of the Hudson are making their
mark in recent weeks, covering four games in a row, and look to
make it five straight when playing host Saturday afternoon at
Michie Stadium vs. poor traveling Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs
are continuing their long-standing trend as one of the nation’s
worst road teams, dropping their first three vs. the number as a
visitor, lowering their road spread mark to a miserable 13-35-2
since early in the 2001 campaign.
Since football games and pointspread decisions are decided by
scoreboard points, not style points, UCLA looms as a worthy
recommendation this week as it travels to Berkeley to face “big
brother” Cal. The Bruins are now an eye-poppin’ 16-2 vs. the line
their last 18 as an underdog, as well as a stellar 37-18 vs. the
number their last 55 on board since early in the 2004 campaign.
They’ve also failed to lose a spread decision in their last five
meetings vs. the Bears. As for Cal, note its extended underachieving
ways as double-digit chalk (just 3-12 last 15 in role).
It’s hard not to notice how poor Wyoming has performed lately,
and there’s no reason to think things will improve much when the
woeful Cowboys travel to Fort Worth for a Saturday date vs. hot
TCU. Wyo’s pointspread drought extends more than 13 months,
as the Cowboys stand 0-14-1 vs. the number their last 15 on the
board. Meanwhile, the Frogs continue to provide great value at
Amon Carter Stadium, especially as double-digit chalk, covering 6
of their last 7. TCU is also a sparkling 15-4 vs. the line its last 19 at
Re: NEWSLETTERS WEEK 9
Mark Lawrence Playbook
MARC LAWRENCE PLAYBOOK 5* (6-2)
MARC LAWRENCE PLAYBOOK 4* (5-3)
MARC LAWRENCE PLAYBOOK UPSET (2-4).
5* BEST BET
Boston College over North Carolina by 7
The Tar Heels return to Chapel Hill off an immensely frustrating loss
to Virginia at Charlottesville. North Carolina controlled the game
defensively for 58 minutes but could not prevent Virginia from driving
82 yards for a tying touchdown in the fi nal two minutes of regulation.
Then, after regaining the lead with a fi eld goal in overtime, the Cavs
needed just four plays to punch in the game-winner, dropping UNC to
1-2 in the ACC race. Wait, it gets worse: Carolina is a woeful 1-9 ATS
as a single-digit conference home favorite and has covered just once
in fi ve tries as chalk in the fi rst of BB homers. Boston College makes
the trip south following an impressive win over Virginia Tech and the
Eagles bring along a bankroll-building 10-1 ATS mark as road dogs
of less than 10 points. BC is also just one of fi ve remaining teams to
own a perfect ‘In The Stats’ record this year – the mirror opposite of
UNC’s awful 1-5 ITS effort. The clincher is BC’s defense, allowing a mere
13 PPG this season. That ties nicely into Butch Davis’ dastardly 3-19
ATS mark as a college head coach in games when he is favored and
his team fails to score 30 points. As we’ve said before, home favorites
playing off an OT loss are not our cup of tea, so we’ll be fl ying with the
Eagles against the downtrodden Heels today
4* BEST BET
Florida over Kentucky by 10
With a week off to bask in the glow of their 51-21 dismemberment of
LSU, Urban Meyer and his Gators had to be disappointed to see their
one-loss team land at #10 in the season’s initial BCS rankings released
on Sunday. And as we all know, the only way for a squad to make
any headway in the polls these days is to run up the score whenever
possible while hoping the higher-ups somehow falter. If you think
this looks like a great opportunity for Florida to give the scoreboard
a workout, you’d better think again: Kentucky’s rugged defense has
yielded a season-high of just 24 points, less than the spread on this
matchup! Still buoyed by their stirring come-from-behind win over
Arkansas, the Wildcats own all the ATS edges here. Ready? UK has
consistently cashed in the series, going 5-1 ATS in the last six games
(3-0 ATS at The Swamp), they’re 6-2 ATS as SEC dogs of 14 > points and
head coach Rich Brooks stands 8-1 ATS as a double-digit dog when his
Cats are .500 or greater. Florida doesn’t scare anyone with its feeble
2-11 ATS record as conference favorites of 14 or more points and
our powerful database tells us that a team who beat the defending
National Champs are just 6-21 ATS when facing an opponent that won
7 or more games the previous season, including 3-18 since 1990! With
a monster revenger against Georgia waiting in the wings for UF, we’ll
gladly oblige and grab the hefty points.
3* BEST BET
Wake Forest over Miami Florida by 8
Deacons have not been living the Life of Riley since QB Skinner went
into the tank three weeks ago by throwing four interceptions and
losing a fumble in Wake’s surprising home loss to Navy. And even
though the Deacs rebounded to stop Clemson the following week,
Skinner stunk it up again (14-of-30 passing) in last Saturday’s puzzling
defeat at Maryland, Jim Grobe’s fi rst-ever shutout since he arrived in
Winston-Salem seven-plus seasons ago. Miami awoke from a fi rst half
slumber in Durham to outscore Duke 35-14 in the second stanza en
route to a convincing 49-31 that puts the Canes back in the thick of
the ACC race. But a full-fl edged QB controversy is brewing at Coral
Gables between mistake-prone starter Robert Marve and Jacory Harris,
not good news when we take a gander at the Hurricanes’ recent ATS
results. Miami is just 1-5 SU and 0-6 ATS as conference favorites under
Randy Shannon and has failed to cover a single game in eight straight
tries after winning and covering as road chalk. Wake’s pointspread
numbers inspire much more confi dence: the Deacs are 6-0 ATS in Game
Seven of the season and the aforementioned Grobe stands 9-2 SU and
10-0-1 ATS as a dog of 5 or less points with the Demons. Despite the
visitors gaining just 219 total yards last week versus the Terps, we’ll
ride the Wake Forest elevator ‘up’ this week as Skinner returns to form
by defl ating the Hurricanes.
UPSET GAME OF THE WEEK
MICHIGAN over Michigan St by 6
BOTH teams were rudely reminded last week that they’re no longer
part of the 2008 Big 10 elite. Michigan blew a 17-7 lead at Penn State
and got chased out of Beaver Stadium, 46-17, while their in-state rivals
were being beheaded by Ohio State, 45-7, before a horrifi ed home
crowd at East Lansing. A tough setback for Michigan State’s program
but NOTHING compared to the Season From Hell that has engulfed Ann
Arbor (yeah, Lloyd Carr couldn’t beat Ohio State but how does 9 wins
a year and a bowl game look NOW)? After allowing 37 unanswered
points in the 2nd half to Penn State last week, the Wolverines need to
bag a win here or their 33-year consecutive bowl record will be history
– a distressing scenario for those who shelled out the big bucks to nab
Rich Rod. Believe it or not, home dog Michigan has been favored in 32
of the 33 previous dukeouts with MSU and the only time the Wolves
were taking points, they won the whole game. Good for the Maizeand-
Blue, too, that Sparty is playing its 9th straight game with no rest
this year because the heat under Rodriguez is reaching blast furnace
proportions. Rich Rod needs this game like O.J. needed a new glove at
his last trial and as Tom Petty noted, “Baby, even the losers get lucky
sometimes”. Michigan fans enjoy a rare moment in the sun
Re: NEWSLETTERS WEEK 9
Vegas Experts The Edge Newsletter
Michigan St., Georgia, Penn st.
Overall = 9-14-1 = 39.1%
NCAA WEEK 9
No. 1 Texas continues their brutal schedule, as they face a third straight top-15 opponent with a fourth looming next week. The Longhorns host No. 6 Oklahoma State in Austin. Also in the Big 12, No. 8 Texas Tech gets a tough test in their warm up for next week's game against the Longhorns, as they travel to No. 23 Kansas. A second top-10 face-off occurs in the Big Ten, with No. 3 Penn State travelling to the Horseshoe to take on No. 9 Ohio State. The Nittany Lions will look to remain undefeated and in the National Championship picture, while the Buckeyes hope to jump back into the running. In the SEC, No. 7 Georgia takes the trip down to the bayou to face No. 13 LSU. Both teams are still in contention for the SEC Championship game.
Warning to all new readers of the NCAA Football Sports Marketwatch column: in order to follow our selections, you’ll need ice running through your veins. Be prepared to take up meditation or acupuncture to calm the nerves. The goal of this weekly column is to highlight games that offer true “line value.” Often, if a line looks too go to be true, there is a reason. The underlining theme every week is line value. You’ll consistently need the worst teams on the board to come through. We typically buy on bad news and sell on good.
We're expecting heavy action on the top-25 match ups. Other games that should draw lots of action include No. 2 Alabama versus Tennessee, No. 5 USC versus Arizona, and Michigan State versus Michigan. Visit SportsInsights.com to view wagering statistics on NCAA games from multiple online sportsbooks. Here is a trio of line value games we are keying on.
NCAA Sports MarketWatch Week 9 – Games to Watch
Oklahoma State vs Texas (10/25 3:30P)
Oklahoma State's best start since 1945 has moved the Cowboys up to No. 7 in the polls after starting the season unranked. They are the fourth-highest scoring team in the nation, averaging 46.4 points per game. Their rushing attack is gaining over 280 yards per game, but will have to face a Texas defense only allowing 48.1 rushing yards per contest. The team's top three rushers all average over 6 ypc, and starter Kendall Hunter needs only 45 yards to break the 1,000 mark for the season. Quarterback Zac Robinson has played well with 14 touchdowns to only 4 interceptions and completing 70% of his passes. The Cowboys have only played in one close game this season, and that was the 28-23 upset win over then-No. 3 Missouri.
Texas gets its third straight ranked Big 12 opponent after handling Oklahoma and Missouri. The Longhorns are led by Heisman candidate Colt McCoy, who leads the nation with an 81.2% completion percentage. McCoy has thrown for 1894 yards with 19 touchdowns and 3 picks, and he also has 371 yards (a team high) and 6 TD on the ground. Senior WR Jordan Shipley has been McCoy's favorite scoring target with 9 TD grabs. The Texas defense has been bend-but-don't-break when it comes to the passing game. They are giving up 275 yards per game through the air, which is ninth worst in the FBS.
Both teams come in undefeated, and both are also undefeated against the spread. One will fall this weekend, and the public is slightly favoring Texas in spread bets at 57%. Parlay bets are more strongly behind the Longhorns at 66%. At Pinnacle the line opened at Texas -12.5 and has fluctuated between -12 and -13. The movement triggered a Smart Money play on the Cowboys at Bodog, which has a 17-7 record for NCAA football. The stats are evenly matched between these teams, so we'll follow the Smart Money and take the Cowboys with the points.
Oklahoma State +12.5 (ThePig)
Wake Forest vs Miami (FL) (10/25 12P)
Wake Forest is coming of a disappointing 26-0 loss at Maryland that dropped them out of the top 25 rankings. Junior quarterback Riley Skinner has been slumping of late with only two touchdown passes and four interceptions in his last four games. He only completed 46.7% of his passes against Maryland. Part of the problem for the Demon Deacons is the lack of a consistent running game to take pressure off Skinner. Sophomore Josh Adams is the team's leading rusher and has only gained 246 yards while averaging 3.1 ypc. The Deac's defense, which starts eight seniors and three juniors, was allowing only 15 points per game until last week's debacle.
Miami put up 35 points in the second half to overcome a 10-point deficit in last week's win at Duke. The Hurricanes made a quarterback switch during the second quarter, and the move sparked the offense. Freshman Jacory Harris ended the game with five total touchdowns, with four coming through the air. Harris won't make the start this week, but he will see playing time. If starter Robert Marve struggles, watch for Harris to get the majority of the snaps. The win was Miami's first inside the competitive ACC this season, and gives them a glimmer of hope in the conference standings. The Canes defense doesn't give up a lot of yardage, only 287 yards per game, but they have a tendency to allow big plays.
Both teams struggle defensively in the red zone, with Miami ranking last in the ACC and Wake next-to-last. This game could come down to red zone opportunities and conversions. The Deacons actually average more yards per game on offense than the Canes, but Miami is putting up 32.6 points per game compared to 18.7 for Wake Forest. Miami opened as 2.5 point favorites at Pinnacle, and the line has returned there after moving to Miami -3 during the middle of the week. The Canes are receiving 63% of the public's spread and parlay bets. The return of the line to Miami -2.5 and the betting percentage is an indication of Smart Money. We're going to follow that and buy low and a good Wake Forest team.
Wake Forest +2.5
Rutgers vs Pittsburgh (10/25 3:30PM)
Rutgers has been one of the most disappointing teams in the nation this season, but they are coming off a big win over UConn. In that game the Scarlet Knight defense held FBS leading rusher Donald Brown to a season-low 107 yards. The Rutgers offense isn't a juggernaut, but they do put up a respectable 314.7 yards per game. Unfortunately they are only averaging 16.7 points per game, while the defense allows 19.7 points. Last week quarterback Mike Teel moved up to second on the school's all-time passing yards list. Junior WR Kenny Britt had nine catches and 107 receiving yards against UConn, which was his third 100-yard game this season.
Pittsburgh jumped up to a 17th ranking after their best offensive display in two years. The Panthers compiled 499 yards and 42 points last week against Navy. Pittsburgh features the Big East's second-leading rusher in LeSean McCoy, who has 689 yards and 10 touchdowns. Quarterback Bill Stull has been steady behind center, while completing 58.5% of his passes with four touchdowns and five interceptions. The Panthers defense has held opponents to 287 yards per game and only 156.5 yards through the air. Pittsburgh is looking for it's sixth straight win, which it hasn't done since 1983.
Pittsburgh opened as 10-point favorites at Pinnacle following last week's strong performance. The public is backing the Panthers with 67% of spread bets and a whopping 89% of parlay bets, but the line dropped as low as Pittsburgh -8 before climbing back to -10. This is an indication of some Smart Money behind the Scarlet Knights. The movement also triggered a Steam Move on Rutgers by Bet Jamaica (90-67.) Pittsburgh is also 0-3 at home against the spread this season. We'll follow that Steam and back Rutgers with the points.
So, here’s a wrap-up of SportsInsights.com analysis for this week’s Games to Watch for NCAA Football Week 9.
Games to Watch (9-14-1)
Oklahoma State +12.5 (ThePig)
Wake Forest +2.5