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COLLEGE KEY RELEASES
1--MICHIGAN STATE over Wisconsin 38-17
1--Oregon (+) over CALIFORNIA 33-30
2--OREGON STATE over Arizona State 44-17
3--TEXAS TECH (+) over Texas 47-45
3--Florida over Georgia 37-20
4--LOUISIANA TECH (+) over Fresno State 30-27
5--USC over Washington 60-6
5--STANFORD over Washington State 54-13
NFL KEY RELEASES
3--BUFFALO over ny jets 27-17
4--Tampa Bay over KANSAS CITY 23-10
4--MINNESOTA over Houston 34-24
5--NY GIANTS over Dallas 27-10
5--WASHINGTON over Pittsburgh 22-16
Re: Newsletters 10/28--11/3
4* West Va. 27-17
3* Texas A & M 34-20
3* Florida 41-27
2* N. Dame 31-17
2* Wisconsin 27-24
2* Nebraska + 31 (+) -45
Underdog Texas Tech +6 37-34 (Texas Tech Outright)
4* NYG 38-17
3* Bills 27-13
2* Oakland + 17-16
2* Minn 24-16
3* Rams over 46
3* Denver over 47
3* Eagles 0ver 43
2* Jax under 40
2* Ravens under 36
Re: Newsletters 10/28--11/3
CINCINNATI 26 - South Florida 23 - (7:45 - ESPN) -- Sporadically impressive
Bulls managed just 8 RYs at Louisville (5 sacks), & altho Grothe was 30-of-40,
note 2 picks, & he had 4 LY vs these 'Cats. A 6-0 TO deficit for Cincy in loss to
UConn, but still a solid run "D", while just 30 pts from a 27-3 ATS run. Host call.
BOWLING GREEN 31 - Kent State 30 - (2:00) -- Flashes in off snapping 0-12
ATS run, with 54-21 shocker at Miami. Checks 932 RYs for KSt last 4 games,
& +31 pts ATS last 4. All BG's MAC games have been decided within a TD, &
the visitor is 8-0 ATS in Falcon tilts TY, by 129½ pts. In off 233-76 RY deficit.
Central Michigan 34 - INDIANA 24 - (12:00) -- Nice one to avoid. Indy snapped
5-game slide LW, thanks mainly to 5 TOs by N'western. IU allowed 245 RYpg
previous 4 outings, & can't run. LeFevour back for Chips: 24-of-31 (2/0) LW,
but CM not at its best in this setup, with 44 ppg "D" in its 2 non-MAC roadsters.
Air Force 38 - ARMY 17 - (12:00 - ESPNC) -- Resurgent Cadets keep motoring
on: 280, 291, 341, 320, & 203 RYs last 5 games (Mooney: 645 yds last 4), &
covering all 5 by 89 pts. But Falcs held 420 RY edge LY (Wise Points), & are
at 974 RYs last 3 outings. Visitor is plus 105 pts ATS in Army's last 7 games.
Louisville 34 - SYRACUSE 10 - (7:00) -- Definite corner turning for Cards, who
allow just 75 RYpg, rank 17th in rushing "O", & in off holding SoFla to 8 RYs.
Rested 'Cuse managed no FDs & 9 yds in 2nd half of loss to SoFla. They were
decent in previous 14 quarters, but a 33-15 ppg deficit last 25 tilts. Revenger!
VIRGINIA 23 - Miami-Fla 20 - (12:00) -- Four straight wins & covers for Cavs,
who opened at 0-3, with a 128-20 pt deficit in first 3 lined tilts. Are 3-0 home of
late, & by 72½ pts ATS. Check QB Verica at 29-of-39 vs GaTech. 'Canes in
off outlasting Wake, but just 11 FDs & <300 yds. Can't run, but 19th best "D".
CONNECTICUT 20 - West Virginia 17 - (12:00) -- Finally! After failing to top 17
pts in previous 4 outings, Mounties turned 17-3 deficit, into 34-17 win vs Aub,
with 207 RYs from Devine (sweet 12.2 ypr). And WV has owned the Huskies
(Wise Points). But host is 12-2 ATS in UConn games, so worth a minor shot.
ILLINOIS 25 - Iowa 20 - (12:30) -- Let's see. The rested Hawkeyes covered their
last RG by 30 pts, while the Illini covered their last HG by 26 (both vs Indiana).
Illini came from 538 ypg in previous 3 outings, to just 309 at Wisconsin, while
Iowa RB Greene now at 1,154 yds (6.5 ypr - 217 last game). Near the spread.
MINNESOTA 27 - Northwestern 17 - (12:00) -- A 5-0 TO deficit for 'Cats in loss
to Indy, & now may have lost QB Bacher (leg). Have OhioSt up next, but run
into avenging Gophers (Wise Points), whose turnaround has been splendid:
from 1-11 LY, to 7-1 TY. Held all but Buckeyes under 139 RYs. Weber leads it.
WAKE FOREST 17 - Duke 10 - (3:30) -- It continues. Just 10 ppg for Wake in
last 5 tilts. Opened with 25 straight running plays in loss to Miami. One of the
worst HF plays, & Imps remember last 2 years. Duke still can't run (74 RYpg
last 5), despite win over Vandy, & averaging only 5 ppg away. But a puppy call.
OKLAHOMA STATE 55 - Iowa State 10 - (3:30) -- Quick bounceback shot for
'Boys, who nearly took Texas (217-112 RY edge), & who have TexTech up next.
Drained, while Cycs in off 34 FD, 574 yd effort (49-35 loss). IowaSt allowing 38
ppg last 5 games, & rank 99th in total "D". 'Pokes not about to let this get away.
Missouri 49 - BAYLOR 17 - (12:30) -- Loved it! Tigs came storming back with
58-0 shutout of Colorado, behind 5 more Daniel TDs (32-of-38). Now at 42
ppg last 22 outings. Bears still moving it behind Griffin, who checked in at 7.6
ypr in loss to Neb, but the fav is 6-0 ATS in Baylor hosters by 109 pts. Again!
Auburn 20 - MISSISSIPPI 19 - (12:30) -- Seven straight line losses for Tigs, who
were outgunned at WVa LW. Stagnant "O", but 13th best "D" resulting in very
tight games, with their SEC tilts decided by 1, 5, 2, 1, 3 pts SU. Won't run on
Rebs, who are in off 2 wrenchers. Dog is +58 pts ATS in last 5 OleMiss gms.
WYOMING 27 - San Diego State 24 - (2:00) -- Wise Points explains meaning of
this score. 'Pokes, unbelievably, haven't' come within single digits of the spread
all year. Are 0-15 ATS, with a 207-30 pt deficit last 5 tilts. Henderson breathed
life into SDSt LW (188 RYs), but Aztecs lost last 3 RGs by 48-9 ppg. Scary.
WESTERN MICHIGAN 37 - Eastern Michigan 24 - (2:00) -- Broncs rested off
having 6-game run snapped, despite a 471-PY effort from Hiller. Not much,
overland (<53 yds 3 of last 4), so EM, which is +27 pts ATS on the MAC road,
& which is in off an admirable 163 rushing "D" vs BallSt, may just hang around.
Tulsa 48 - ARKANSAS 31 - (2:00) -- Realize 'Canes are stepping up in class, &
that they lost their last RG by 18 pts ATS, but can see no reason not to light it
up vs Hogs' 106th ranked scoring "D". Arkies have allowed 36 ppg in their last
11 lined affairs, so despite running of Smith (487 yds last 3 wks), it's the 'Canes.
TEXAS A&M 27 - Colorado 26 - (2:00) -- Buffs in off first shutout loss in 242
games. Certainly a scoring midget, at 13 ppg last 6 games, & at 57 RYpg 3 of
last 4. Ags off much needed win over IowaSt, behind 4 Johnson TDs, but note
allowing 34 FDs & 583 yds to Cyclones' previously 93rd rated "O". Interested?
Pittsburgh 27 - NOTRE DAME 24 - (2:30 - NBC) -- Pitt allowed 6 TD tosses in
54-34 loss to Rutgers, despite 486-442 yd edge, thereby snapping 5-gm win
streak. McCoy last 4: 593 RYs. Irish QB Clausen at 1,206 PYs (9/3) last 4,
while "D" ceding 18 ppg last 8 tilts. But Pitt covered last 2 RGs by 18½ &18.
LOUISIANA TECH 30 - Fresno State 27 - (2:30) -- Talk about living on borrowed
time. FSt in off winning on 58-yd FG on final play, with 5 of last 6 decided by 3,
1, 5, 3, 2 pts SU. No rushing "D", & on 0-6 ATS slide, despite 5-2 SU log. The
host is 7-0 ATS in Tech games by 85½ pts, & LT can move it overland. Upset.
Hawaii 24 - UTAH STATE 21 - (3:00) -- Wrenching loss for Ags (Fresno), after
taking lead in final 0:38. Rank #100 on "O", but host is 5-0 ATS by 56 pts in Ag
tilts. A 308-452 RY deficit for 'Bows LW, & a 263-145 pt deficit last 8 lined tilts.
SOUTH CAROLINA 22 - Tennessee 19 - (7:00) -- 'Cocks rested off having 4-gm
run snapped. Own 6th best "D" in land, & well remember LY's heartbreak, but
can't run (64 ypg last 3), so not to be trusted. Ditto Vols, who are at 78 RYpg
last 6 outings, & at 11 ppg 5 of last 6, but have 11th best "D". Visiting series.
Florida 37 - Georgia 20 - (3:30 - CBS - @ Jacksonville) -- Had Gators on both
RedSheet & Phones, but not high enuff in 63-5 rout of KY. Have a 152-33 pt
edge since loss to OleMiss, & chalk now 10-2 ATS in Fla tilts. Moreno off 172,
163 RY gms for 'Dawgs, but note GA allowing 500 yds LW. Color it revenge!
SO CALIFORNIA 60 - Washington 6 - (3:30) -- Katie, bar the door! Catching the
Trojans off narrow escape not the healthiest of propositions for Huskies, who
have yet to win (0-7), & who allowed 252 RYs to NoDame's previously 109th
ranked run "O". SC has a 154-20 pt edge since loss to OregSt. Over already!
OKLAHOMA 61 - Nebraska 27 - (5:00) -- Sure, 'Huskers QB Ganz has thrown
for 1,013 yds last 3 wks, & stands at 26/6 for the season. And sure, Neb is
+35 pts ATS in its 2 RGs. Sure, sure, sure. But Okies in off setting school
record with 55 first-half pts, despite mere 13-of-32 for Bradford. A slaughter.
Oregon 33 - CALIFORNIA 30 - (3:30) -- Fifteen takeaways in Bears' 5 wins, with
another 4 LW, turning tight game vs Ucla, into 41-20 win. RB Best a keeper,
but QBing is a ? Ducks back on track, with 54-20 rout of ArizSt (537 yds), &
now at 44 ppg in 19 of last 21 tilts. Healthy at QB, & remember LY's tuff loss.
NAVY 30 - Temple 17 - (3:30 - CBSC) -- Not a single pass thrown in Navy's 417
RY edge vs SMU (15-pt cover). Thus, Owls, who've allowed 36, 91, 55, & 47
RYs last 4 games, have their work cut out. Just 143 yds for Temple last week.
KANSAS 41 - Kansas State 27 - (12:30) -- Consecutive setbacks for KU, while
allowing 108 pts, 65 FDs, & 1,230 yds. Reesing just 2/3 vs TexTech, a 42-pt
home loss, both SU & ATS. But 'Cats allowed similar 116 pts to those same 2
teams. In off 5 TO deficit, but visitor is 5-0 ATS in KSt games by 54 pts ATS.
TEXAS TECH 47 - Texas 45 - (8:00) -- Raiders entered LW's game with Kansas
at 418 PYpg. That's right, an exact 418 PYs for Harrell (5 TDs, & 26/5 for the
year) in that 63-21 annihilation. 'Horn QB McCoy at 21/4 & 82% for the year, &
how about astounding 87% last 2 wks. Revenge call in this ultimate shootout.
PURDUE 20 - Michigan 17 - (12:00) -- Don't get near this. Wolves in off 39-0 &
21-0 deficits to wind up last 2 games, rank 107th on "O", & 3 more INTs for QB
Threet LW. And how about a 118-55 pt deficit in last 3 RGs? Boilers may have
lost QB Painter (arm) in loss to Minny, so it just may be RB Sheets or nothing.
MICHIGAN STATE 38 - Wisconsin 17 - (12:00) -- Yes, we know full well, that the
Spartans dropped their last HG, 45-7, but 5 TO greased the skids. Back on
track now, with another 194 RYs for Ringer LW (1,157 last 7). Badgers have
been stung for 31, 38, 38, 34, 27, & 38 pts in their last 6 Big10 RGs. Romper
Clemson 22 - BOSTON COLLEGE 17 - (3:30) -- New coach for rested Tigers
(Swinney). Just 21 & 51 RYs last 2 outings, & no Spiller. But long memories
of 3 straight wrenching losses to BC. Eags saw 10-0 lead over UNC, turn into
45-17 deficit. Eleven TOs last 3, 61 RYpg last 2, & QB Crane a project. Tigs!
San Jose State 31 - IDAHO 17 - (5:00) -- Only TDs for Spartans vs Boise came
on INT return & 60-yd run. Decent "D", but 101st ranked "O". Signs of life in
Vandal camp: 215, 271 RYs 2 of last 3 (McCarty: 160 LW), thus hope survives.
Byu 30 - COLORADO STATE 20 - (6:00) -- Nearly 2 straight losses for Coogs,
off 16-gm run, with 4th Hall TD (in last 1:46) providing winning margin vs Unlv.
Minus 39 pts ATS last 2. Rams can't run, & can't stop the run (226 yds for
SDSt's 120th ranked rushing "O" LW), but they're +30 pts ATS in last 3 HGs.
STANFORD 54 - Washington State 13 - (5:00) -- Time for Cardinal to take full
advantage of the gift that is WashSt. Stanford: 229 RYpg last 5, with Gerhart
at 779. And check 13 TOs in Cards' 4 losses. Coogs rested off worst loss in
school history (69-0), & in possession of 54-9 ppg deficit in lined affairs this yr.
Boise State 38 - NEW MEXICO STATE 10 - (7:00) -- No question that Broncos
playing their best ball on the road TY. Have held 5 of 7 foes to 7 pts or less, &
in off 9 FD "D" showing at SanJoseSt (39:26-20:34 time edge). Ag QB Holbrook
LW: 79% (37-of-47), but just 14, 14 pts last 2 weeks. A home series no more.
MISSISSIPPI STATE 20 - Kentucky 16 - (2:30) -- Bulldogs have been outstatted
by all SEC foes except Vandy, & have yet to reach 170 RYs in a lined affair. But
UK is hurting at RB & DB, with resultant 66-5 loss to Florida a far cry from their
previously 4th rated scoring "D". Covered 1st 2 RGs by 40½ pts. Ends here.
GEORGIA TECH 24 - Florida State 23 - (3:30) -- Jackets let us down, big time,
in 24-17 loss to Virginia, but they still own a 1,465-639 RY edge in lined games.
'Noles KO'ed VaTech's first 2 QBs in LW's win. Check 6 sacks for nation's #3
"D" in that one. QB Ponder, RB Smith, along with that defense, takes it to wire.
LSU 34 - Tulane 10 - (8:00) -- Call this along lines of LY's Tiger win. Bayous ran
for 188 yds vs GA's #3 rush "D" (Scott: 144 yds), but were killed by 3 Lee INTs,
including 1 taken in for TD on game's 1st play. The Wave came from 318 RYs
to 34 in a week, thus the dog is now 6-1 ATS in Greenie games, by 104½ pts.
Tcu 38 - UNLV 10 - (8:00 - CBSC) -- Rebs on 4-game slide, blowing 4th quarter
leads in last 3 (final 1:46 LW, despite 321 PYs from Clayton). Move the ball,
but maybe not here, as Frogs rank #1 on "D", holding 7 foes to 7 pts or less. An
82-14 pt edge last 2 wks, but a 10-pt ATS loss in last RG. But can't buck 'em.
SO MISSISSIPPI 33 - Uab 27 - (8:00) -- Five straight losses for SoMiss, allowing
516 yds to a Memphis squad, which is down to its 3rd string QB. Balanced on
"O" (#17), but can't stop anyone. Blazers also own moldy "D" (31 ppg last 13),
& Webb has 5 INTs last 2 wks, but Uab normally close to the spot. Tite series.
Rice 48 - UTEP 45 - (9:00) -- Shootout alert! Owls' Clement has thrown for 15
TDs the past 4 games, while Rebs' Vittatoe checks in with 14 in his last 4 tilts.
Utep has a 36-35 ppg edge in its last 15 games, but saw a 28-21 lead turn into
a 77-35 loss in its last outing (Tulsa). Owls: 42 or more pts 5 times this year.
Utah 28 - NEW MEXICO 24 - (9:30) -- Rested Utes are cruising at 8-0 so far,
averaging 41 ppg in their last 7, behind QB Johnson's leadership. But may not
be all that easy here, as the Lobos are plus 77 pts ATS in their last 3 HGs, &
check 271 RYpg in their last 4 gms. Not involved, but give Lobos bit of a peek.
OREGON STATE 44 - Arizona State 17 - (10:15) -- Let's see. Five straight wins
& covers (by 91 pts ATS) for the Beavers, compared to five straight losses for
the Devils (-69 pts ATS). Only 64 RYpg in Suns' last 4 outings, & Carpenter
just 10/6 for the season. Rodgers duet aids in extending home trend of series.
East Carolina 27 - CENTRAL FLORIDA 26 - (8:00 - ESPN) -- Pirates had an
extra week to prepare for this, while the Knights are in off battling Tulsa. The dog
is 7-1 ATS in ECU games of late, with Pirates minus 42 pts ATS in their last 3
RGs. UCF down a huge notch this year, but has covered it 2 HGs. This to wire.
BUFFALO 24 - Miami-Ohio 23 - (7:30 - ESPN2) -- Bulls surely needed their bye
week, following a pair of OT contests. The dog is the way to go with both teams:
6-0 ATS in UB games, & 16-5 ATS in MU contests. Tight series, so we go along.
BALL STATE 27 - Northern Illinois 20 - (8:00 - ESPNU) -- Cards now 8-0 (best
start in more than 4 decades). Balanced behind QB Davis (15/5), but just +2
pts ATS at home. NIU's "D": only 3 offensive TDs allowed in last 25 quarters.
AKRON 34 - Toledo 28 - (8:00 - ESPN2) -- Not much breathing room in Zip tilts
(2, 3, 4, 7 pt SU margins last 4). Exploded for 339 RYs vs EM (Kennedy: 277).
Rockets stayed with Central, but lost their last RG by 22 pts ATS. Mild Zip call.
WESTERN KY 41 - North Texas 10
ALABAMA 39 - Arkansas State 10
Fla International 27 - LAFAYETTE 24
Troy 35 - LA-MONROE 21
Re: Newsletters 10/28--11/3
BUFFALO over New York Jets RATING: 3
TAMPA BAY over Kansas City RATING: 4
MINNESOTA over Houston RATING: 4
NEW YORK GIANTS over Dallas RATING: 5
WASHINGTON over Pittsburgh RATING: 5
MINNESOTA 34 - Houston 24 - (1:00) -- Vikes had LW off, while the Texans
were recording their franchise-record 3rd straight win, holding a combined FD
edge of 75-45 in those 3. Of course, it must be noted that their victims have a
cumulative record of 3-17. Schaub: 24-of-28 for 280 yds & 3 TDs vs Cincy.
Houston entered that one with a 31 ppg "D" in their previous 8 tilts, so expect
Minny, which piled up 439 yds in 48-41 loss to Chicago, to take advantage,
altho Frerotte can't throw another 4 INTs, as he did vs the Bears. Vikes 7-1
ATS off bye, vs foe off a win, while Texans just 17-26 ATS vs non-division foes.
Jacksonville 20 - CINCINNATI 16 - (1:00) -- As we keep writing, whenever the
Jags take the field, the dog is the only play. The pup is now on a 9-0 ATS run,
which includes 6 SU upsets in their 7 games to date. Can Cincy continue that
trend? Well, it may have a shot at the cover, but can't see any outright upset,
with Bengals' pitiful "O", which ranks 30th or worse in all categories. Try a
1,175-616 RY deficit so far. The Jags have a 49-34 FD edge the past 2 wks,
rushing for 391 yds in those 2. They are 7-1 ATS in this series of late, but note
their feeble 6-16 ATS log as RFs. We hold our noses, & pull lever for Bengals.
Tampa Bay 23 - KANSAS CITY 10 - (1:00) -- Quite a dilemma here, as the Bucs'
last 5 RGs have been decided by just 2, 4, 3, 3, & 4 pts SU. Thus an 8-pt spot
surely begs for a dog call. However, the Chiefs are hardly the opponent in
which to jump in with, as they've dropped 15 of their last 16 on the field, and
the SU winner in Tampa games has covered to the tune of 23-1-2 lately, with
the only miss by ½ pt, in last Sunday Night's win over Seattle. And the SU
winner is 15-1 ATS in the Chiefs' last 16 games vs the NFC South. KC lost its
last HG by 15 pts ATS, and owns the worst rushing "D" in the NFL. The Bucs.
CLEVELAND 19 - Baltimore 16 - (1:00) -- Brownies did it with smoke & mirrors
in upset of the Jags, despite 23-15 FD & 10-minute time deficits. But note that
it was just the latest in a continuous stream of impressive defensive showings
by Cleveland, which has held 9 of its last 11 foes below 20 pts. Thus, a 16-5
spread run by the Browns. Ravens again field a splendid "D", which has held
5 of its 7 foes to 10, 10, 13, 13, & 10 pts. And check a 332-118 RY edge in
Baltimore's last 2 games. Revenger for the Browns, who won 27-13 here LY,
& who are 22-8 ATS off scoring 23+ pts. Ravens just 4-9 ATS on division road.
BUFFALO 27 - New York Jets 17 - (1:00) -- Three more Brett INTs in the Jets'
narrow escape vs lowly KansasCity. He has now thrown 11 picks, which is
offset by his 15 TDs to date. NY is in off the triad of Cincy, Oakland, & KC
(combined record of 3-19), so definitely moving up in class, & this isn't the
place in which to get reacquainted with the NFL upper echelon. Favre played
here in '06, losing 24-10 win the Pack. Bills are on a 19-11 ATS run, with
Edwards a solid 25-of-30 in his last HG, a 23-14 win over the Chargers. And
note that Buffalo is a brilliant 17-2 ATS as a Nov host vs all foes off a SU win.
ST LOUIS 30 - Arizona 27 - (1:00) -- Kurt Warner returns home. First loss for
Rams under Haslett, but a ½ pt cover vs the Pats (along with a 10-yd stat
edge), so that's a perfect 3-0 ATS of late. Note that StLouis' first 2 covers in
this mini-run came by 42 pts. The Cards welcomed WR Boldin back, & he
responded with 9 catches, & a couple of TDs, in tight loss to the Panthers.
Warner: 381 PYs LW, & now at 14/6 for the season. 'Zona is on a 20-10-1
ATS run, & is averaging 31 ppg in its last 15 games, thus the Rams, who've
allowed 32.3 ppg in their last 10 gms have their work cut out. Mildest of calls.
CHICAGO 33 - Detroit 16 - (1:00) -- Revenge affair for the Lions, who took it on
the chin, in first meeting, a 34-7 loss, with a 425-185 yd deficit, & that was in
Detroit. Lions on a 1-14 SU slide, have a 69-36 FD deficit in their last 3 games,
& are allowing 32.6 ppg in their last 13 tilts. Rank 32nd, 32nd, 31st, & 31st in
scoring, total, rushing, & passing defense, respectively. And with Orton, who
is in off QB ratings of 121.4 & 114.5 in his past 2 games, the Bears have the
weapon they needed. Dog is 7-2-1 ATS in Bear games, but Chicago is 7-2-1
ATS itself lately, & 15-7 ATS in division play. Spread is a bear, & so is Chicago.
TENNESSEE 27 - Green Bay 17 - (1:00) -- Obviously, we don't have the result
of the Titans' Monday Night battle with Indy, but as of this writing, Tennessee is
the only perfect team in the NFL. And it has been that defense, which ranks
#3, that has been the catalyst. No team has reached 18 pts in the Titans' last
10 games, & they've posted a 5-0-1 ATS log thus far, by 67½ pts. The Pack is
rested off 34-14 rout of the Colts, thanks to a 4-0 TO edge (302 yds apiece), &
Rodgers stands at 12/4 for the season. Tennessee is 12-4 ATS as a HF vs the
NFC, while GreenBay is 1-11 on Nov road off a DD win. Titans keep it going.
DENVER 33 - Miami 27 - (4:05) -- Broncos far from the most dependable team
around, with their only cover in their last 6 games coming by a single pt. It has
been that defense, which has been their bane, & that includes their Monday
Night debacle vs the Pats, in which they allowed 41 pts & over 400 yds. An
injured finger did Cutler in in that lambasting, but he is expected to be ready for
this one. The Dolphs have been super of late, & the dog has now covered their
last 5 games, by 80 pts! Chad: 104-of-139 (75%) in those 5, with Ginn off 175
receiving yds (25.0 ypc). But Shanahan: 12-1 ATS off bye vs non-division foe.
OAKLAND 19 - Atlanta 16 - (4:15) -- Admittedly, calling for an outright win for
these embattled Raiders is more than a bit risky. Afterall, they are in off a 10
FD, 192-47 RY deficit in their feeble effort at Baltimore (29-10 setback). Not
only that, but Oakland is averaging only 11.8 ppg in its last 4 outings (9.7 ppg
in its last 3). However, the Falcons have been consistent when taking to the
road, as they've allowed 24, 24, 24, & 27 pts as guests thus far, and they've
been held below 100 RYs in each of their last 2 games. And note that the
Raiders did win their last HG (OT vs the Jets). Can't step out, but Raider call.
NEW YORK GIANTS 27 - Dallas 10 - (4:15) -- More than a few snickers, when
we released the Cowboys as a 3* Phone Play LW, but they managed to come
squeaking in vs the Bucs. Johnson: from 0/3 to 1/0. But just 70 RYs for the
'Boys, who've impressed, overland, just 3 times all year. Playoff Revenge is
front-&-center, & catching the Giants off Steeler war is a plus, as is the fact that
NY has managed just 273 & 284 yds the past 2 wks. But that "D" should do a
job on Johnson & Co. Cowboys are 0-7 RDs off a SU/ATS win vs an opponent
also off a SU/ATS victory. Last week's Dallas success, is short-lived, indeed.
Philadelphia 23 - SEATTLE 10 - (4:15) -- Seahawks snapped their 3-game slide
with 34-13 rout of the Niners, but a closer look shows 21-14 FD, 124-39 RY, &
388-261 TY deficits. Sure, Wallace connected on 43-yd & 62-yd TD passes,
but he is no Hasselbeck. The Eagles came thru for us, in miraculous fashion,
with Westbrook taking it 39 yds to the bank in the final 1:51. Nice 167 RYs for
Brian (7.6 ypr) upon his return. Have to see that Philly "D" dominating the 27th
rated "O" of the 'Hawks. Eags 16-10 ATS as RFs vs NFC foes, while Seattle is
6-15 ATS off a SU division rd win. Philly just can't let games like this get away.
INDIANAPOLIS 24 - New England 13 - (8:15 - NBC) -- Pats settling into pattern
of covering every other week, but, altho they catch the Colts off their Monday
Nighter vs the Titans, that trend should end here. Sure looked super in their
destruction of Denver 2 Mondays ago, & on 2-game run. But needed a Cassel
TD in final 3:13 for home win over StLouis, and remember that they lost their
last RG by a 30-10 count: 15 pts ATS. In sharp contrast, the host has covered
the last 2 games involving the Colts, by 45 pts. We know Indy can't run it, but
didn't stop them from a 31-3 wipeout of highly respectable Ravens in last HG.
WASHINGTON 22 - Pittsburgh 16 - (8:35 - ESPN) -- Only 2 losses apiece for
these two '07 playoff squads, with 3 of those 4 setbacks, interestingly enough,
coming vs NFC East teams, including both Steeler misses (15-6 at the Eagles, &
21-14 vs the Giants). That's a mere 10 ppg for Pitt in those 2. Ben: 5 sacks & 4
INTs vs NY. The visitor is 5-0 ATS by 45 pts in 'Skin games of late, but note a
1,158-508 RY edge for Washington so far, with Portis at 944 yds, & QB Campbell
at 8/0. The Redskin "D" has held 17 foes to 20 pts or less since LY, so Pitt's 24th
rated "O" will be hard-pressed here. We'll lay the 2½ pt spot, & call Monday host.
Re: Newsletters 10/28--11/3
2-MINUTE HANDICAP - Week 10
Thursday, Oct. 30th
S Florida 4-0 aft Louisville… 1-5 as favs 5 < pts… 1-5 Game Nine… 1-4 as weekday favs… 2-6 con RF’s 17 < pts
CINCINNATI SERIES: 4-0 L4… 5-0 bef West Va… 5-0-1 as HD’s 7 < pts… 3-1 Game Eight… 7-3 dogs w/ conf rev… 1-4 as weekday dogs
Saturday, Nov. 1st
Northwestern SERIES: 4-1 L5 A… 5-2 as con RD’s 7 < pts… 8-3 bef Ohio St… 16-6 in 2nd of BB RG… 3-1 Game Nine… 2-5 aft Indiana
MINNESOTA SERIES: 1-4 L5H … 6-0-1 H w/ con rev… 5-1 as con favs 7 < pts… 7-3 aft Purdue… 0-3-1 in 1st of BB HG… 2-5 Game Nine
Iowa St SERIES: 3-1 L4… 4-1 aft Texas A&M… 3-1 Game Nine… 2-12 off 3+ ATS L… 3-14 as con RD’s 15 > pts… 2-6 bef Colorado
OKLAHOMA ST 11-1 bef Texas Tech… 4-1 aft Texas… 4-1 as HF’s bef BB RG… 5-2 L7 as DD favs… 1-6 Game Nine
Missouri SERIES: 5-0-1 L6… 6-1-1 aft Colorado… *4-1 A off 3+ ATS L… *7-2 as con RF’s 8 > pts… 1-4 Game Nine
BAYLOR 5-0 aft Nebraska… 0-4 off BB RG… *1-7 as DD HD’s… 2-10 Game Nine…2-8 bef Texas
Pittsburgh 4-0 vs non con in between con gms… 4-1 Game Eight… 6-2 as non con RF’s 7 < pts
NOTRE DAME SERIES: 4-1 L5…4-1 bef Bost Coll…1-4 H vs Big East…1-4 H bef BB A… 3-7 Game Eight
Florida 7-3 w/ con rev… 1-4-1 aft Kentucky… 1-4 off BBB SUATS W
Georgia SERIES: Dog 5-1… 5-1 bef Kentucky… 2-7 vs con rev… 2-7 aft LSU
Washington SERIES: 3-0 L3… 3-0 bef Ariz St… 6-1 as con dogs 17 > Pts… 5-2 A off BB HG… 1-5 Game Eight… 2-6 w/ con rev
USC SERIES: 3-1 L4 H… 6-1 Game Eight… 6-1 vs .100 < con opp… 7-3 favs 8 > on 1st of BB HG… 15-7 H vs con opp w/ rev… 1-4 as con favs 30 > pts
Nebraska 19-5 vs .850 > con opp… 5-2 bef Kansas… 0-6 aft Baylor… 1-4 Game Nine
OKLAHOMA SERIES: Fav 6-2… 6-1 H off BB DD SU W… 6-2 bef Texas A&M… 5-2 H Game Nine
Kansas St 11-1 off SU con L 21 > pts… 11-4 in 1st of BB RG… 5-2 Game Nine… 5-2 aft Oklahoma… 1-4 A w/ con rev
KANSAS SERIES: 3-1 L4… 3-0 Game Nine… 9-2 in 2nd of BB HG… 7-2 vs con opp w/ rev… 1-5 aft T Tech… 4-10 off SU con home L
Texas 0-5 aft HG vs Okla St… 1-6 vs .850 > con opp (Gm 6 >)… 2-9 as con RF’s < 10 pts… 1-3-1 A vs con opp w/ rev
TEXAS TECH SERIES: 3-1 L4… 5-0 off BB RG… 8-2 as con HD’s < 10 pts… 7-3 as HD’s w/ con rev… 0-3 vs undefeated opp (Gm 6 >)
Clemson 4-0 Game Eight… 6-1 off BBB SU L… 6-1 as dogs w/ con rev… 1-5 aft Ga Tech… 1-4 A w/ rest
BOSTON COLL SERIES: 5-0 L5… 9-3 H vs con opp w/ rev… 6-2 favs Game Eight… 7-3 in 1st of BB HG… 5-2 bef Notre Dame
Boise St 6-0 aft San Jose St… 10-2 off SUATS con road fav W… 6-2 in 2nd of BB RG… 5-2 Game Eight… 1-4 as RF’s 11 > pts
NEW MEX ST SERIES: Host 5-0… 4-1-1 as DD HD’s… 4-1 H Game Eight… 4-1 H w/ con rev… 1-3 aft Idaho
Florida St SERIES: 4-1 L5 A… 3-0 aft Va Tech… 5-1 L6 as con dogs… 11-2 vs opp off 5+ SU W… 0-5 off 4+ SU W… 1-3 Game Eight
GA TECH 4-0 aft Virginia… 7-3 H off BBB SU W vs con opp…. 1-4-1 in 2nd of BB HG… 4-10 Game Nine
Tulane SERIES: Visitor 7-3… 4-1 as DD dogs vs SEC opp… 1-7 aft Rice… 2-9 A Game Eight… 2-5 bef Houston
LSU 4-1 aft Georgia… 9-3 as non con favs 21 > pts… 5-2 in 2nd of 3 straight HG… 1-4 vs non con opp w/ rev… 2-5 H Game Nine
Tcu SERIES: 4-1 L5… 9-1 Game Ten… 0-4 aft Wyoming… 2-8 as DD RF’s… 2-8 A vs con opp w/ rev… 2-7 off BB HG
UNLV 5-1 in 1st of BB HG… 4-1 as HD’s 14 > Pts… 6-2 H w/ con rev… 0-4 aft BYU… 1-6 H Game Nine
Utah 7-0 w/ rest… 7-1 Game Nine… 8-2 vs con opp w/ rev… 6-2 as DD RF’s… 3-8 as RF’s off SU W 28 > pts
NEW MEXICO SERIES: 3-1 L4 H… 5-1 Game Ten… 10-2 vs opp off 5+ SU wins… 5-2 aft Air Force… 1-4 H w/ con rev
Arkansas St 4-1 as non con dogs 21 > pts… 1-7 Game Eight… 1-6 w/ rest… 1-5 aft La-Lafayette
ALABAMA 6-2-1 aft RG vs Tennessee… 0-4-1 H off 4+ SU wins… 1-5-1 H Game Nine
Re: Newsletters 10/28--11/3
2-Minute Handicap - Week 9
Houston 0-6 A w/rev off SU H win… 1-11 A off H game… 2-9 if favored LG vs non div opp (0-1 this year)… 1-8 off SU win vs non div opp off A game… 1-6 A off SU win & BB HG’s… 3-13 A off SU win… 0-3 UNDER Game Eight
MINNESOTA 7-1 w/rest vs opp off SU win… 0-9 favs bef Packers… CHILDRESS: 2-10 H off A game (0-2 this year)… 7-1 OVER Game Eight
Jacksonville 9-0 A off DD ATS loss vs opp w/rev… 0-7 favs 6 > pts vs opp off A game… 1-5 Game Eight
CINCINNATI SERIES: 1-7-2 L10 / 1-4 L5 H … 4-1 Game Nine… 0-12 dogs off DD SUATS loss & scored < 30 pts BB
Tampa Bay 0-8 RF’s vs opp off BB SU losses… 2-9 A vs AFC opp (1-0 this year)… 1-3 UNDER Game Nine
KANSAS CITY SERIES: 1-4 L5… 6-2 Game Eight… 0-5 < .500 H off 3 SU losses
Baltimore NOV: 7-1 vs opp off SU dog win… 18-3 vs opp who won 8 > games LY off DD SU dog win… 1-9 off 3 AFC games & SUATS win LG … NOV: 0-6 A off BB SUATS wins… 0-4 dogs 3 < pts off DD SU win vs opp w/rev… 1-4 Game Nine
CLEVELAND SERIES: 5-1 L6 (0-1 this year) / 4-0 L4 H… 13-0 off non div game vs opp off non div game (3-0 this year)… 3-0 Game Eight… 11-1 off SU win w/rev vs .500 > opp off HG… NOV: 8-1 favs… NOV: 7-1 vs .500 > opp… NOV: 1-6 H vs div opp
NY Jets 10-1 < .500 vs .500 > div opp off SUATS loss… 0-3 Game Eight… MANGINI: 5-1 RD’s vs div opp
BUFFALO SERIES: 7-2 L9 / 4-1 L5 H… NOV: 8-0 HF’s off SUATS loss… 4-0 Game Eight… NOV: 17-2 H vs opp off SU win
Arizona SERIES: 3-1 L4 A... 2-6 Game Eight
ST. LOUIS 2-15 < .500 div HD’s… 1-4 Game Eight
Detroit SERIES: 3-1 L4 (0-1 this year)… 2-5 UNDER Game Eight
CHICAGO 0-7 DD favs vs < .400 opp off BB SU losses… 0-6 .500 > vs opp off BB SU losses… 2-8 favs w/rest… 3-1 OVER Game Eight
Green Bay *8-0 dogs < 7 pts off SU non div dog win… *8-0 .500 > off SU win w/rev vs non div opp (1-0 this year)… 10-4 A w/rest (5-1 when .500 > )… 5-2 Game Eight… *NOV: 2-11 A off DD SU win… *2-10 .500 > A w/rev off AFC game… *NOV: 2-9 A off BB SU wins
TENNESSEE *7-1 off DD ATS loss vs opp off SU win 14> pts… *NOV: 6-1 off DD SU win vs non div opp… 0-5 favs vs opp off BB SU wins (last as dog)… *2-18 HF’s > 5 & < 10 pts vs opp off SU win… NOV: 1-9 HF’s vs opp off SUATS win… NOV: 1-9 .500 > vs opp off DD SU win… 4-1 O/U Game Eight
Miami SERIES: 5-0 L5… 9-0 dogs vs AFC West (1-0 this year)… 2-4 Game Eight
DENVER 11-2 H off DD ATS loss vs opp off DD SU win… 0-8 off BB non div games (0-1 this year)… SHANAHAN: 12-1 w/rest vs non div opp… 4-0 OVER Game Eight
Atlanta SERIES: 3-1 L4… 1-6 UNDER Game Eight
OAKLAND 0-9 Game Eight… 0-7 favs off SUATS loss vs non div opp
Dallas 4-1 Game Nine… 0-7 RD’s off SUATS win vs opp off SUATS win… NOV: 2-9 RD’s vs opp off SU win
NY GIANTS 8-0 HF’s 3 > pts off BB SU wins vs .625 > opp… 0-3 UNDER Game Eight
Philadelphia NOV: 10-2 A off BB SUATS wins… 18-4 2nd BB non div games off BB SUATS wins… 0-4 Game Eight
SEATTLE 4-1 Game Eight… 1-7 H off DD SU dog win… NOV: 1-7 off SU dog win
New England 4-0 RD’s off BB RG’s… 7-2 Game Eight… 2-10 off SU win & ATS loss vs < .500 opp
INDIANAPOLIS SERIES: 4-0 L4… 4-1 Game Eight… NOV: 0-6 HF’s off BB SU losses
Monday, Nov. 3rd
Pittsburgh 6-0 RD’s 7 < pts aft scoring 14 < pts… 3-1 Game Eight… NOV: 1-6 A non div game vs .500 > opp
WASHINGTON SERIES: 3-1 L4… 0-4 Game Nine… NOV: 1-13 off non div game vs opp off SUATS loss… NOV: 2-10 favs off SUATS win
Re: Newsletters 10/28--11/3
11* NOTRE DAME over Pittsburgh
*NOTRE DAME 35 - Pittsburgh 16
10* KANSAS STATE over *Kansas
KANSAS STATE 33 - *Kansas 34
10* LSU over Tulane
*LSU 45 - Tulane 10
10* EAST CAROLINA over *UCF
East Carolina 32 - *UCF 17
10* JACKSONVILLE over *Cincinnati
JACKSONVILLE 27 - *Cincinnati 10
Don’t look now, but HC Charlie Weis again has Notre Dame shaking down a little thunder. The Irish have won 5 straight at South Bend (covered 4), by a margin of 14 ppg. ND QB Jimmy Clausen is maturing rapidly, as he’s thrown for 302 ypg, with a 9-3 TD-to-int. mark in the last 4 games, and the Irish trio of RBs Allen, Hughes and Aldridge have produced a respectable 156 YR & 6 rush TDs over the same span. Frosh WR Michael Floyd is emerging as a major weapon, as he’s averaged 100 ypg receiving and scored 4 TDs in the last 5 games. Pittsburgh RB LeSean McCoy is very dangerous, but the Panthers haven’t taken care of the ball well enough this season (100th in TO margin). The Pitt defense, which ranks 94th in pass efficiency, was burned for 361 yards and 6 TD passes by Rutgers QB Mike Teel last week. Clausen should have similar success, as ND makes a bid to break back into the national rankings. With both teams having defensive problems, Big XII scouts recommend grabbing points with very offensively competent Kansas State in this classic handicapping spot (double-digit rivalry road dogs usually tend to hang close when the talent difference is not great). Both teams had an uncharacteristic five giveaways in blowout losses last week, But Kansas very much misses the power running they had LY with Brandon McAnderson. And KSU coach Ron Prince has spruced up the Wildcat WR corps for future NFL QB Josh Freeman (15 TDP vs. 5 ints; plus 13 TD runs TY). Now in the middle of his junior season, Freeman is experienced enough to keep his poise in raucous Lawrence.And Prince’s special teams have already generated five TDs TY. After plummeting to 15th in the AP poll and being essentially scratched from the SEC race, angry LSU can’t wait to vent vs. overmatched Tulane, which has dropped 3 straight winnable games in October following a promising September. Tigers growing but mistake-prone QB Lee (58%, 11 TDs, 9 ints., 4 returned for TDs) welcomes an undersized, depth-shy Green Wave defense (850 yds. last two weeks) after facing a 5-game stretch of physical,fast SEC stop units. Meanwhile, Tulane attack highly unsettled with premier RB Anderson (852 YR) sidelined with an injury, and HC Bob Toledo undecided about whether he stays with struggling 6-4 soph QB K. Moore or switches to RS frosh QB J. Kemp, who showed flashes vs. Rice but still hasn’t mastered the offense. With either guy, disheartened Toledo says, “My offense is beat up and incapable of making big plays right now.” That will certainly be the case vs. athletic but embarrassed LSU defense primed for a confidence-booster in preparation for upcoming Bama game. East Carolina insiders say highly-regarded HC Skip Holtz has the Pirates poised for strong stretch drive, getting his squad to re-focus on winning the C-USA title after three straight losses put the kibosh on some way-too-early BCS buzz. Meanwhile, season continues to turn pear-shaped on disappointing UCF, which has lost 5 of last 6 games. No big mystery as to Knights’ main malady—they rank dead last in the nation in total offense, mustering fewer than 250 ypg. Huge edge to potent ECU strike force, which will attack on multiple fronts with both savvy sr. QB Patrick Pinkney or rocket-armed jr. triggerman Rob Kass, who fired 2 TDP in rested Pirates’ home win over Memphis on Oct. 18. And don’t forget, even with slight regression to mean recently, Holtz still an immensely-profitable 29-15 vs. spread since taking over at Greenville.Cincy’s situation might be even more dire than the GOP’s Congressional prospects for next week’s election. There’s not much evidence winless Bengals can turn around a campaign that officially went into free-fall mode when Carson Palmer’s elbow began acting up, thus exposing a glaring roster shortcoming at QB that wasn’t properly addressed in offseason. With Palmer likely on shelf again and little used ex-Harvard man Ryan Fitzpatrick taking snaps, Cincy “O” has slowed to a crawl (just 10 ppg last 3) and has yet to cover any of Fitzpatrick’s 4 starts. Moreover, beleaguered HC Marvin Lewis’ status reportedly on a week-to-week basis. True, J’ville hasn’t been a trustworthy favorite TY (0-5), but Jags have weaponry to extend margin and get back into AFC wild card chase.
Re: Newsletters 10/28--11/3
RATINGS: 89 & ABOVE: SUPERIOR; 88 & BELOW: ABOVE AVERAGE
Florida 41 - Georgia 20 - (3:30 EDT - @ Jacksonville) -- Line opened at Florida minus 6, and is now minus
5½. The Gators sure have rebounded in style, since their embarrassing loss to OleMiss,
with a combined 152-33 pt edge since, covering those 3 by a cumulative 62 pts. Couldn't
have more of a steady hand at QB with Heisman winner Tebow again having a solid season
(4 TDs in rout of Kentucky), and that defense ranks 15th in the nation. The 'Dawgs again
among the elite, with Moreno in off back-to-back 172 & 163 RY efforts. But GA allowed 500
yds wk ago, so look for smoking & avenging Gators to take advantage.
RATING: FLORIDA 89
SOUTH CAROLINA 30 - Tennessee 13 - (7:00) -- Line opened at SouthCarolina minus 5, and is now minus
6. As we figured a week ago, this Vol edition just isn't up to usual Fullmer squads. Have
thus far lost to Florida, Auburn, Georgia, & Alabama, while averaging a meager 10 pts in the
process. The Gamecocks, similarly, have hardly lit it up so far, but certainly have their
bonafides (with the land's 3rd ranked "D"), have had an extra week to prepare, & have a
double-revenge setup as incentive. LY, a nearly 200-yd edge was offset by 4 TOs, so you
can be sure that Spurrier will drive that home. Better team, & better psyche.
RATING: SOUTH CAROLINA 89
Auburn 22 - MISSISSIPPI 19 - (12:30) -- Line opened at Mississippi minus 4, and is now minus 6. The SEC
rules this edition of the Red Sheet, but that's how it has played out. As noted on Pointwise,
the Tigers have dropped seven straight to the line, but have played all SEC opponents to
the wire, with final margins of 1, 5, 2, 1, & 3 pts (1-pt losses on their 2 league road games).
Couldn't stay with WVa's explosive outfit last week, but ranked #10 in the nation in scoring
defense, entering that contest. Rebs, in contrast, rank 62nd in scoring "D", & stand 2-3 in
the SEC, with their wins by 1 & 1 pt. We'll grab the 6 pts here.
RATING: AUBURN 88
TEXAS TECH 47 - Texas 44 - (8:00) -- Line opened at Texas minus 4, and is now minus 6. This contest has
all the makings of a true classic shootout. Both enter with perfect 8-0 records. The Steers
stand atop the weekly polls (unanimously in the AP), & deservedly so, with their combination
of firepower -- behind the brilliance of McCoy, who is now at 21/4 (TDs to INTs) & 82%
(87% past 2 wks vs 13-3 Missouri & OklaSt) -- & defense. However, ranking 2nd in rushing
"D" is hardly the formula for stopping Tech's Harrell (26/5), who threw for 418 yds in last
week's 63-21 rout of Kansas, in Lawrence (42-pt cover). Call the upset.
RATING: TEXAS TECH 88
Boise State 41 - NEW MEXICO STATE 10 - (7:00) -- Line opened at BoiseSt minus 20, and is still minus 20.
This spot came down to these Broncos, or the Missouri Tigers, both a pair of 20-pt road
chalks. The final determinant came down to the fact the 7-0 Broncos have played their best
ball in the role of visitor. And that includes last week's highly impressive rollover of one of
the best home plays in the nation, namely SanJoseSt, holding the Spartans to a mere 9
FDs, while enjoying a 20-minute time edge. Boise has held 5 opponents to 7 pts or less.
Ags, by comparison, rank 1057th in scoring "D", & lost by 58 in LY's match.
RATING: BOISE STATE 88
Tampa Bay 26 - KANSAS CITY 10 - (1:00) -- Line opened at TampaBay minus 8, and is still minus 8. The
Chiefs continue among the NFL dregs, with their current 1-15 straightup run, Can't stop the
run, ranking dead last that category, & offensively, are going it without their leading weapon,
with RB Johnson again facing suspension for his latest indiscretion. And, of course, their
quarterbacking situation has been a problem all year. Try a 96-34 pt deficit in their last 3
games. Enter the Bucs, with their 6th rated overland game, along with their always solid
"D", which held Dallas to 172 yds just last week. Chiefs' woes just continue.
RATING: TAMPA BAY 88
NEAR CHOICES (Rated 87): MichSt, Oregon, Missouri, Oklahoma - NFL: Buffalo, Giants, Washington
LINE MOVES (from largest to smallest moves): OregonSt (-9 to -13½); Stanford (-27 to -30); MissSt (Pick
to -3); Mississippi (-4 to -6); Texas (-4 to -6); BostonCollege (-3 to -5); KentSt (+9½ to +8); Miami-Fla (+1½ to
Pick); WestVa (-2½ to -4); Northwestern (+7 to +5½); SanDiegoSt (+4½ to +3); LSU (-24 to -25½) - NFL:
None - TIME CHANGES: Illinois/Iowa: now 3:30; Missouri/Baylor: now 3:00; USC/Washington: now 6:30;
Oklahoma/Nebraska: now 8:00 - KEY INJURIES: Baylor WR Wright (knee) ??; Cincinnati QB Pike (hand)
??; Clemson QB Harper (shoulder) probable; FloridaSt RB Smith (elbow) ??; Indiana QB Lewis (ankle)
probable; Michigan RB McGuffie (head) ??; Navy QB Enhada (hamstring) out; N'Western RB Sutton (wrist)
out; N'Western QB Bacher (hamstring) ??; Oklahoma WR Johnson (elbow) ??; Pitt QB Stull (concussion)
doubtful; Purdue QB Painter (shoulder) ??; TexasA&M RB Goodson (knee) ??; TexTech WR Crabtree (ankle)
probable; Troy QB Hampton (knee) out; Tulane RB Anderson (shoulder) out; VaTech QB Glennon (ankle)
??; VaTech QB Taylor (ankle) ??; Wyoming QB Sween (concussion) ?? - NFL: Denver QB Cutler (finger)
probable; KansasCity RB Johnson (suspension) doubtful; NewOrleans RB Bush (knee) out; Pittsburgh RB
Parker (knee) ??; Seattle QB Hasselbeck (back) doubtful; StLouis RB Jackson (thigh) probable; Wash'ton
QB Campbell (calf) probable; Wash'ton RB Portis (ankle) probable
Re: Newsletters 10/28--11/3
4* West Virginia over CONNECTICUT - LY it was contender vs pretender as both tms had just 1 BE loss and a UC win would have given them the conf title. WV rushed for 517 yds and led 66-14 mid-4Q. UC is 6-1 ATS as a HD but WV has covered both trips here winning by a 34-15 avg. Both teams are off big wins as WV defeated Aub 34-17 last Thurs. Pat White played his 1st full game in a month and RB Devine (PS#2) rushed for 207 yds (12.1) vs a stingy Aub D. They now face a Conn def all’g 79.8 rush ypg at home. Conn bounced back from 2 straight losses defeating Cin 40-16. Conn started its 3rd string QB and put the load on RB Brown who finished with 150 (5.2). He is avg 166 ypg (5.6) & 14 TD’s. WV has slight edges on off (#35-46) and def (#38-41) but a huge edge on ST’s (#19-111). Even with Conn on an 11-0 run at home, WV’s offense looks to be on track and they have won by an avg of 29 ppg the L/4 in this series. FORECAST: West Virginia 27 CONNECTICUT 17
3* TEXAS A&M over Colorado - The HT has won 3 str by an avg of 11 ppg. A&M is 10-3-2 ATS in Nov HG’s. The Aggies got a much needed victory LW in Ames but they still all’d 574 yds (gained 509). QB Johnson seems to be in complete control of the pro style offense avg 219 ypg (65%) with a 15-5 ratio (397 ttl yds LW). The Aggies have been outgained by 63 ypg but CU has been outgained by 157 ypg in B12 play. CU is in a downward spiral as LW they ran into a MO tm (outgained by 292 yds) off B2B losses and in desperate need of a win. The Buffs have now dropped 5 str ATS & were shutout for the 1st time S/’88. HC Hawkins isn’t a big fan of the 2-QB system but 2 wks ago pulled the RS off QB Hansen (259 ttl yds) as his son, Cody (142 ypg, 56%, 11-6 ratio) seems to have lost some confidence running the offense. CU is 3-9 as an AD, but A&M is just 1-4 SU & ATS at Kyle Field TY. Aggies come in with the better off (#45-100), but CU has the D edge (#55-101). With both tms playing a killer sked (CU#15, A&M#19) a win here could decide who goes bowling as CU is in the 2nd of a tough B2B road spot facing a tm that needs a solid win at home for the fans. FORECAST: TEXAS A&M 34 Colorado 20
3* Florida over Georgia - Jacksonville. UGA will now face the last 2 BCS Champs in B2B games after their huge win at LSU and this is the 3rd straight ranked tm that UGA has faced. LY UGA RB Moreno rushed for a career high 188 yds & 3 TD’s as the Bulldogs pounded the Gators 42-30 with UF QB Tebow at less than 100% (-15 rush) due to a shoulder injury. Georgia had the edge of a bye LY prior to UF, something that Florida had before most of their 15 series wins (15-3 SU, 11-6-1 ATS). Neither team is off a bye TY, but UF had a bye 2 wks ago and only faced a banged up KY tm LW which they demolished 63-5 to run their streak of reg ssn gms to a 9-1 ATS record and won as our Early Bird POW. UF is 8-1 SU but just 4-4-1 ATS vs the “Big 3” (Tenn, UGA, FSU) under Meyer. The top 2 QB’s in the SEC face off with Tebow avg 202 pass ypg (63%) with a 12-2 ratio and 227 rush (2.8) while Stafford is avg 243 ypg (62%) with a 12-5 ratio. UGA RB Moreno has 925 (6.2). UGA has suffered some major injs along both lines, but stood up well to LSU LW (though outgained 497-443) as they scored 14 pts off 2 IR TD’s. UF is certainly healthier at this point and after being less than 100% LY, Tebow will go full-bore in this one. This gm is a National Title elimination gm because the winner goes to the SEC Title gm with 1 loss and a shot at moving up in the polls while the loser finishes #2 in the East with no assurance of a BCS bid. FORECAST: Florida 41 Georgia 27
2*NOTRE DAME over Pittsburgh - The Irish outgained Pitt 502-323 & outFD’d them 33-20 in their last meeting (‘05) & are now 12-2 SU & 9-2 ATS in the series. Pitt is in a BE sandwich but did upset the Irish here in ‘04 and the visitor has 3 straight outright upsets. LW ND crushed Wash 33-7 outgaining the Huskies 459-124. QB Clausen is avg 261 ypg (61%) with a 15-9 ratio & WR Tate has 31 rec (18.2). ND now faces a disarrayed Pitt defense that all’d 6 TD’s & 371 pass yds to a struggling RU offense. Pitt was stunned at home LW losing 54-34 to the Knights & knocking them from national rankings. Pitt had not all’d that many pts since a 60-6 loss to ND in 1996. QB Stull was KO’d in the 3Q (CS). RB “Shady” McCoy has rushed over 140+ yds the L/4 gms. Pitt has a slight edge on off (#29-32) while ND has def (#25-39) and ST’s (#48-81) edges as well as huge HF advantage. ND does have Catholic rival BC on deck but will not look ahead here and keep in mind ND knocked Pitt out of the national spotlight in ‘03 & ‘05. The Irish are 18-7 at Notre Dame Stadium in Nov & hand Pitt their 2nd straight loss in convincing fashion. FORECAST: NOTRE DAME 31 Pittsburgh 17
2* Wisconsin over MICHIGAN ST - UW is 3-8 SU in Nov AG & LY MSU had a 564-461 yd edge on the road but was SOD with 1:00 left at the UW38 in a 37-34 loss (+7). Last time here (‘04), MSU (+8) rolled to a 49-14 win over the #5 ranked & undefeated Badgers. UW ended their 0-4 conf start with a 27-17 win over IL in which they outrushed the Illini 163-88. QB Sherer hit 12-22 for 174 yds vs the Illini & outdueled the B10’s ttl off leader Williams with a 40-4 yd rush edge, 3-2 TD edge and had 0 int’s to Juice’s 3. With RB Hill limited (leg), Clay (PS#3) ran for 88 yds. Badgers allow 161 rush ypg (4.6) in conf play all’g Greene 217 & Beanie Wells 168. Despite missing 3 FG’s, MSU won in Michigan Stadium for the 1st time S/’90 as they outgained the Wolves 473-252 & outFD’d them 22-13. Ringer (NCAA #2 1373, 4.6) ran for 194 yds and Hoyer had his best outing of the season (17-29 for 282 yds & 3 TD). MSU allows 163 rush ypg (4.5) in B10 play. Wisky may have turned their ssn around while MSU might still be celebrating their rivalry win over ‘big brother.’ FORECAST: Wisconsin 27 MICHIGAN ST 24
2* Nebraska (+) over OKLAHOMA - This used to be one of the top rivalries in the NCAA but they have only met 5 times in 10 yrs incl the B12 Title game in ‘06 (OU -3’, 21-7). HT is 4-1 SU & 3-1-1 ATS. Pelini was the co-DC & DB’s cch under Stoops at OU in ‘04. Sooners destroyed KSU LW on the scoreboard as TO’s helpded them put up 55 pts in the 1H (most in school history) as they were actually outgained (KSU 550 yds). QB Bradford who is #2 in the Heisman race is avg 347 ypg (68%) with a 29-5 ratio. OU has dropped at least 35 pts on every opp TY outgaining foes by 197 ypg. NU got one step closer to a bowl berth LW taking care of BU (147 yd edge). QB Ganz is avg 288 ypg (70%) with a 15-6 ratio. Both offenses (OU#1-14) are very potent, but OU has the def edge (#18-49). Huskers are ranked #39 in our pass eff def all’g 218 ypg (60%) with a 7-5 ratio while OU comes in at #9 (267 ypg, 55% 13-12 ratio). NU is 5-10 as an AD and OU has won 22 straight home gms (13-7-1 ATS) but is 1-4 as a B12 HF of 20+ and their D has allowed 37 ppg L/3. NU has opened up their offense the L/3 and will do enough to stay within the number. FORECAST: Nebraska 31 (+) OKLAHOMA 45
UNDERDOG PLAY OF THE WEEK
Over the past 25 years this play has been a reader favorite hitting 180-128. Over the last 8 years the Underdog Play of the Week has recorded 28 OUTRIGHT UPSET WINNERSto the incredible record! Here is this week's Underdog Play of the Week:
Texas Tech +6 over Texas
#1 Texas (8-0 SU & 7-1 ATS) is in the last leg of what Brown called “maybe the toughest 4 gm stretch in UT history.” Horns have won 5 in a row SU and in ‘06 here TT jumped out to a 24-7 lead but lost 35-31 (+10). LY UT won 59-43 (-6’) and Leach was furious with the officials after the gm. TT is 24-6 at home in Nov (7 straight wins). UT is 19-9-2 ATS in Nov. The HT is 7-3 ATS. UT looked its most vulnerable LW as they escaped OSU. Heisman frontrunner QB McCoy is avg 286 ypg (82%) with a 21-4 ratio (int & fmbl LW but set UT record w/18 straight comp). WR Shipley has 58 rec (12.7) & LW set a UT record w/15 rec (11.2). TT is 8-0 for the 1st time S/’76 after crushing KU LW (556-315 yd edge, 35+ pts in every gm TY). QB Harrell is avg 393 ypg (71%) with a 28-5 ratio and fellow Heisman hopeful WR Crabtree has 60 rec (13.2). TT is 13-6 ATS as a HD & is 4-4 under Leach with 3 outright upsets incl ‘02’s win over UT 42-38 (+6’). Both offenses are potent (TT#3-5), but UT has def (#6-23) & ST (#28-87) edges. Horns are ranked #21 in our pass eff def all’g 266 ypg (58%) with a 13-5 ratio & the Red Raiders come in at #40 (246 ypg, 63%, 10-14 ratio). Under Leach TT is 44-10 SU & 28-19 ATS in Lubbock as it’s always a tough place to play for opp’s. Keep in mind that UT has beaten 3 straight ranked foes, but at a neutral site (played in every yr) and 2 HG’s & the last time they played in a hostile B12 road environment they lost outright in College Station 38-30 (-7). FORECAST: TEXAS TECH 37 Texas 34
4* NY GIANTS over Dallas - The Giants are off a tough game vs PIT delivering as our 4H Oct NFL GOM & have a SNF game at PHI on deck. This is the 3rd road game in 4 weeks for DAL but they have covered 6 straight games before a bye. DAL won both reg season games SU & ATS LY falling to the Giants in the playoffs moving to 2-7 ATS in the series. LY in NY it was 17-17 at the half but DAL pulled ahead with 25 & 50 yd TD passes to Owens winning 31-20 as a 1.5 pt AF. The yardagewas basically even but the DAL pass attack tallied 247 yds (71%) with a 4-1 ratio. DAL barely squeaked out a win vs TB LW as they were held to just 172 yds of offense. The defense came up big holding TB to 49 yds (2.5) rushing which was 81 yds off their season avg. They also held TB to just 3 FG’s on 4 trips inside the DAL 20. Johnson was less than impressive with 122 yds (58%) with a 1-0 ratio & just a 3.7 ypa. DAL already thin secondary lost CB Henry (quad) LW & is doubtful. NYG are off a big win vs PIT as they rattled Roethlisberger with 5 sacks, 4 QBH & 4 int which set up 6 pts. The Giants had 6 drives inside the PIT 20 while PIT had just 6 plays in NYG territory in the 2H. The Cowboys’ celebration after the win vs TB shows that they realize they are a mediocre team without Romo & the Giants take a big step in locking down the division with a win here. FORECAST: NY GIANTS 38 Dallas 17
3* BUFFALO over NY Jets - The Jets were swept SU & ATS by BUF LY dropping to 2-7 ATS. Edwards made his 1st career start vs NYJ at home LY (17-14 win 3.5 pt HD) & had a strong game with 234 yds (58%) with a 1-1 ratio. Edwards was KO’d in the 3Q of the 2nd game with 130 yds (67%) with a 1-0 ratio. BUF is 7-2 ATS as a div HF. NYJ are 6-0 ATS as a div AD. BUF is 3-0 SU & 2-1 ATS at home TY with 20-14 FD & 362-254 yd edges. The Jets beat KC in spite of Favre who had 2 of his 3 int set up 14 pts as the defense gave up 280 yds to a 2nd year QB making his 2nd start. Favre hasn’t looked very comfortable the L3W with just 225 ypg (67%) with a 3-7 ratio & a poor 6.1 ypa. BUF was taken by surprise by an aggressive MIA defense which kept Edwards out of sync LW with 227 yds (60%) with an int & fmbl. BUF was without their best DL in DE Schobel for the 2nd week & while they didn’t have much of a pass rush (1 sack 2 QBH) they expect him back. We’ll continue to play against the Jets as their 3 wins were vs MIA in Wk 1 who was still trying to fit together, the hapless Bengals & an ARZ team whose 2 Wk East Coast trip left them out of sync. FORECAST: BUFFALO 27 NY Jets 13
2* OAKLAND (+) over Atlanta - This game pits LY’s top drafted QB in Russell vs TY’s top drafted QB in Ryan facing off. OAK is 0-5 SU & ATS vs the NFC. ATL is 6-1 ATS away vs AFC. The Falcons are determined to let Ryan develop at his own speed & have an edge with a healthy RB unit (#4 rushing) with a solid WR in White (43 rec 15.8) to throw to. OAK has been pressing Russell to develop faster with a beat up RB unit (McFadden out LW turf toe) & Walker (12 rec 13.5) is the only WR with more than 9 rec (TE Miller #1 20 rec 15.6). Like most young QB’s Russell is better at home (1-2 ATS TY) passing for 220 ypg (60%) with a 4-1 ratio than on the road. The Raiders did upset the last East Coast team with a more experienced QB just 2 weeks ago. ATL has been outgained in all 4 road games (1-3 ATS) by a 388-302 margin losing by an avg score of 25-15. Ryan is avg 197 ypg (51%) with a 4-5 ratio & 5.5 ypa on the road. LW’s results provide solid line value here with an overachieving dome team with a rookie QB making a long road trip & we’ll side with an embarrassed home team getting points as the Ugly Dog Play which is 23-9 (72%) with 6 straight wins. FORECAST: OAKLAND 17 Atlanta 16
2* MINNESOTA over Houston - The Vikings are 6-2 ATS when they return from their bye. This is HOU’s 1st road game since 9/28 & non-div road teams off 3 or more HG’s are 4-9 ATS S/’03. HOU is 3-8 ATS away vs the NFC. This has MIN #8 & #8 units (-4 TO’s) vs HOU’s #1 & #12 (-3 TO’s). Both of MIN’s starting DT’s could be susp for 4 games due to masking agents. While MIN is only 1-2 ATS at home TY they have pulled in a 332-246 yd edge & should have beaten IND. HOU has won 3 of their 4 straight HG’s & while they also should have beaten IND the fact is they have faced the 17th, 20th, 32nd & 22nd defenses & now have to face MIN’s #8 defense. While he hasn’t put up the mind boggling numbers of LY RB Peterson has four 100+ yd games TY & has avg’d 98 ypg (4.5) & now faces a HOU defense allowing 120 ypg (4.5). MIN’s #20 pass def ranking is misleading as teams avoid the run & while Schaub has been hot he now has to face the #12 pass rush in a notoriously loud venue & the home team is the play. FORECAST: MINNESOTA 24 Houston 16
3* Cardinals/Rams Over 46*
3* Dolphins/Broncos Over 47
3* Eagles/Seahawks Over 43'
2* Jaguars/Bengals Under 40'
2* Ravens/Browns Under 36
Re: Newsletters 10/28--11/3
Missouri 41 BAYLOR 20 - Mizzou is 6-0 SU & 5-0-1 ATS vs BU in B12 play (avg 40 ppg & 270 rush ypg, 5.2). The Tigers bounced back in a big way LW hammering CU 58-0 with a 491-199 yd edge (CU had 64 yds on last drive of gm). QB Daniel is avg 334 ypg (77%) with a 23-6 ratio. BU is 1-9 SU/ATS on HC and just 2-11 as a HD (2-8 in B12). The Bears are on a 2-16 SU & 4-14 ATS run in B12 play. LW NU took care of the Bears (outgained by 147 ypg). QB Griffin is avg 177 ypg (59%) with a 9-0 ratio to go along with 554 rush yds (4.9) accounting for 66% of the entire Bear offense. Mizzou has a large off edge (#6-59) and has played the tougher sked (#33-49). BU is ranked #90 in our pass eff def allowing 234 ypg (63%) with an 11-7 ratio. The Tigers have gone 6-0 SU & ATS as a favorite outside of Columbia with the avg cover by 14 ppg. With the Daniel Heisman talk taking a back seat and a National Title shot out of the picture, MO still controls its own destiny for the B12 North Title. MO now takes on a BU squad that will extend its bowl drought to 14 yrs. HC Briles is moving the Baylor program in the right direction but Missouri will be irked at being the Bears’ HC opponent.
MISSISSIPPI 24 Auburn 14 - Ole Miss has lost 7 in a row SU at home in this series and the visitor is 9-3 ATS. Tuberville is 7-2 SU & 5-4 ATS vs his old team. LY Auburn had a 420-193 yd edge but only led 10-3 in the 4Q when Ole Miss was int’d in the EZ (17-3, -18). In Oxford in ‘06, Auburn had a 428-258 yd edge but only won 23-27 (-18’). Since firing OC Franklin, QB Burns has started the L/2 gms (both losses) and has avg 115 ypg pass plus 60 ypg rush (2 rush TD). RB’s Tate (538, 4.3) and Lester (230, 3.8) have been banged up lately. The Rebels are off an emotional win at Ark, but now they return to a friendly crowd. QB Snead is avg 209 ypg (54%) with a 12-11 ratio. UM is avg 162 ypg rush (4.4) and Aub has all’d 230 ypg rush (5.8) in the L/2. Aub is 6-2 ATS as an AD but is now on an 0-7 ATS run overall and UM is 3-10 ATS as a HF. Ole Miss legitimately could be 6-1 or 7-0 but is 4-4 with an excellent shot at a bowl bid while Aub may have the same record as UM, but seems to be packing it in for year after a sad 2H vs WV in which the offense produced just 35 yds and 0 pts. We side with the Rebels who have momentum and a much stronger offense (#31-89).
WYOMING 27 San Diego St 20 - The HT has won 5 in a row SU (5-1-1 and 10-4-1 ATS) with 2 outright upsets & the SU winner is 18-1 ATS. LY WY was up 21-0 in the 2Q but SDSt scored w/1:06 left & got a 27-24 upset. WY moved to 0-7 ATS TY and was outgained 444-221 in their 54-7 loss to TCU. WY was down 31-7 when QB Sween took a cheap shot and is ? here (CS). The life went out of WY after he left as Crum fmbl’d on his 2nd series (only TO) and Stutzriem finished the gm. WY did finish with 113 yds rush (-36 yd in sk) vs a TCU tm that is ranked #1 in the NCAA in rush D. Moore led with 114 & is #2 in the MWC w/802 (5.1) incl 4 of the tm’s 5 rush TD. The QB carousel is last in the NCAA in pass eff avg 98 ypg (51%) with a 3-15 ratio. After being blown out the prev 3, SDSt went TD-for-TD vs Colo St LW before CSU went ahead w/:04 left in a 38-34 win. Lindley was back at 100% and, minus the SJSt gm (SDSt altered off), he avg 236 ypg (57%) with a 10-6 ratio. SDSt’s top rec (V. Brown) has almost 3x’s the rec’s of WY’s top rec on the yr! This is SDSt’s only gm on art turf, they’re traveling to the cold in a battle for the basement so look for WY to get its first ATS win of the yr.
W MICHIGAN 41 E Michigan 20 - LY EM held the Broncos to just 199 yds forcing 6 TO’s & the 2 pts were the fewest all’d to WM S/’30.These 2 are separated by 102 miles on I-94. WM is 13-3 SU vs EM but last time here trailed 15-3 in the 4Q and after EM’s QB was injured they rallied for an 18-15 win (-15’). The Broncos have the offensive (#42-94) and D edges (#74-110). While WM is still in the hunt for the MAC West Title, EM is 1 of just 2 MAC tms that are eliminated from their div race. While EM is guaranteed a losing season, they do still have a chance to repeat as the Mich MAC Champ (EM, CM & WM). EM is off a 38-16 loss to Ball St (+25) and while they were only outgained 408-376 much of that came in the 2H after they were down 24-0. The Broncos are off a bye after losing to rival C Mich 38-28 as a 1’ AF despite having a 28-22 FD edge and only being outgained 524-520. WM QB Hiller is avg 315 ypg (69%) with a 25-5 ratio. RB West leads with 686 (5.2) and should have a good day vs an EM D that is all’g 217 ypg and 5.6 ypc. E Mich has covered 9 str as a conf DD dog with 3 outright wins.
Tulsa 44 ARKANSAS 41 - Tulsa’s OC, Gus Malzahn, was the OC at Ark in 2006 and did not leave on good terms. Tulsa is playing on a short week (played UCF Sun night after press time) and is 0-12 SU and 3-9 ATS on the road vs BCS conf schools, but Ark is off 4 SEC games with another on deck. Tulsa needs a win over a BCS opp to earn some credibility after playing a very weak sked (#120) up to this point. Tulsa’s explosive off is avg 56.6 ppg, but they did struggle their last AG vs SMU and could have lost that game if not for a dropped TD by the Mustangs late 4Q. QB David Johnson is avg 342 ypg (69%) with a 31-8 ratio and leads the nation in pass eff. WR Marion has 28 rec (27.0). Tulsa also has the #7 rush attack in NCAA (267 ypg, 6.1) led by RB Adams with 633 yds (5.9). Ark is off a 23-21 home loss vs previous HC Nutt and Ole Miss in which they actually outgained the Rebels 386-369. QB Dick is avg 223 ypg (55%) with an 8-10 ratio. Leading rusher Smith played LW after suffering a concussion vs Aub and rushed for 129 yds (6.8) and now has 920 (5.6). Ark is 10-3 in HC gms, has beaten TU 16 straight (9-7 ATS) and needs a win to have any shot at a bowl, so expect the Hogs to keep it close and maybe even burst Tulsa’s BCS bubble.
Fresno St 27 LOUISIANA TECH 23 - Fresno leads the series 7-2 SU but is 2-5-1 ATS incl an 0-4 skid. FSU is in an 0-6 ATS slump, but its WAC hopes are still alive thanks to K Goessling’s school-record 58 yd FG as time expired to lift Fresno to a 30-28 comeback win over USU LW. LT is 2-1 SU/ATS vs Fresno in Ruston. Last time here (‘06), FSU (-12’) got a 33 yd TD run with :53 left to pull out a 34-27 win. Unlike the previous 3 gms where these two avg 59 ppg, LY was a def struggle. LT led 6-0 at HT but lost 17-6 (+12) as FSU pressured the QB all night long en route to 7 sks (6 in 2H). LT needed an off spark & the #1 QB job was turned over to Jenkins 2 wks ago after Bennett struggled to complete just 39% of his passes. While Jenkins’ comp % is better (49%), he’s avg just 58 ypg. LW, LT began 5 drives in Army territory but only scored twice & had just 9 FD’s & 152 yds for the gm in a 14-7 loss. FSU has nearly a 50-50 run/pass balance to its offense (216 ypg rush, 213 ypg pass) & has the edge here (#36-108). QB Brandstater is avg 213 ypg (63%) with an 11-5 ratio & FSU’s run game (#16 in the NCAA) is led by Mathews with 585 yds (5.6) & 6 TD’s.
Hawaii 27 UTAH ST 20 - UH is 3-0 SU & 2-1 ATS having outscored USU by 32 ppg. LY UH turned a close 17-13 game in the 2Q into a 52-37 win (-39’). The Aggies’ 37 pts were the most scored by USU on the road S/‘02. Last time here (‘06), UH rolled 63-10 (-20’) outgaining USU 572-362 in 40˚ temps. USU is coming off a heartbreaking loss to Fresno LW after the Aggies scored a TD with :38 left to go up 28-27, only to fall on a 58 yd FG as time expired. QB Borel is avg 141 ypg (54%) with a 9-6 ratio & also leads the team with 424 yds rushing, while WR Nelson has 28 rec (12.5). UH has the edge on off (#98-114) & def (#73-98). QB Funaki is avg 134 ypg (56%) with a 6-12 ratio but it was Alexander who came off the bench LW going 17-22 for 205 yds & connecting on a gm winning TD pass with :20 left to lead the Warriors over Nevada. Whoever lines up under center for the Warriors TW should be able to iron out some kinks going up against an Aggie D rated #106 in the NCAA allowing 439 ypg.
SOUTH CAROLINA 23 Tennessee 9 - LY SC got off to a slow start (down 21-0) but dominated the 2H. They blew numerous opp’s to win and despite a 501-317 yd edge, lost in OT on the road 27-24 (+3). LY SC WR McKinley had a career day vs Vols with 14 rec for 151 yds & 1 TD and he needs just 45 yds to become SC’s all-time rec leader. The visitor is 10-0-1 ATS in the series. Fulmer is 14-1 SU vs SCar and on a 4-3 SU run vs Spurrier (5-9 overall). UT’s running gm has been stuffed (avg only 78 ypg L6) which has put more pressure on new QB Stephens (136 ypg, but 0 TO’s in 5 sts). SC is fresh off a bye while UT is off another crushing defeat to rival Bama and Fulmer is once again on the hotseat with fans calling for his ousting. UT has covered twice as an AD but was lucky to cover vs UGA as they were outFD’d 29-10 and outgained 458-209. SC has a QB controversy with Smelley (182 ypg, 60%) and Garcia (129 ypg, 61%) and both could play. This is a battle of top 10 defenses and inconsistent offenses, but SC has the important home edge with 2 young QB’s battling to keep their teams’ post season hopes alive.
USC 48 Washington 6 - The Trojans enter this gm off a crucial P10 win vs AZ and another big game vs Cal on deck. While their off has avg 457 ypg in ‘08, the def has been the story as they have our #1 ranking allowing just 216 ypg TY (8.1 ppg) incl a 188 yd performance vs a highly-potent Wildcat squad (avg 412 ypg entering LW). USC has covered 3 of 4 at the Coliseum vs the Huskies by a 25 pt avg but did struggle in Seattle LY winning by 3 despite outgaining UW by a 460-190 clip. Not much has gone well for a young Husky squad as they remain 1 of 2 tms in IA that have yet to win a gm (N Texas) after LW’shm loss to ND where they did not cross midfield until 6:00 remained in the 4Q. UW HC Willingham has had mild success vs USC winning on 4 occasions during his coaching tenure (Stan & ND) but this will be a tall order especially with a def (#103) surrendering 480 ypg on the ssn. USC has won & covered their L/6 HC gms by a 29 ppg margin & while this gm looks to mirror the spread border of the USC/Stanford classic LY, it would be hard to believe that Carroll & Co would make the same mistake twice.
CALIFORNIA 33 Oregon 27 - A crucial gm for both tms as far as bowl implications are concerned in a series where 4 of 5 have been decided by a TD or less. After a solid win LW in the desert vs ASU the Ducks go on the road for the 2nd consec gm where they have now dropped 3 straight ATS in that situation incl a defeat at the hands of USC earlier TY. With injuries to the QB position, the run gm has kept the Ducks alive as they have rushed for 279 ypg. LY trailing by 7 with the ball at the Cal5, UO WR Colvin took a pass to the half yd line where he fumbled into the EZ for a TB allowing Cal to hold on for their 1st victory in Eugene S/‘87 with UO having FOUR 4Q TO’s. After a disappointing loss a few wks ago to AZ, the Bears rebounded nicely LW against the Bruins as they int’d UCLA QB Craft 4 times incl 2 ret’d for TD’s. Cal has dropped 7 of their L/12 gms as a P10 HF, but we do expect the Bears to pull off another one against the rival Ducks.
NAVY 27 Temple 17 - TU has all’d a combined 1,156 rush yds (6.6 ypc!) the L3Y vs Navy & the HT is 5-2 SU S/’91. Temple had a few extra days to prep for Navy’s triple option after playing Ohio on Tuesday, and has a bye next week. Despite no pass att’s Navy is off a blowout win over SMU that was led by 3rd string QB Dobbs who rushed for 224 yds & 4 TD’s in his first extensive action after 2nd string QB Bryant suffered a shoulder inj. Navy’s starting QB Kaheaku-Enhada has missed most of the season with a torn hamstring and will be ? for this one. TU QB DiMichele ret’d LW from inj showing some rust but led two 4Q drives to pull out a 14-10 win over Ohio. TU had only 46 yds after 3Q’s and finished with just 143 ttl yds. Navy has a large edge on off (#58-119) but TU has a large edge on D (#40-92) & ST’s (27-72). TU is all’g 142 rush ypg (3.5) and all’d 210 rush (3.6) to Army’s option in the opener TY. A Navy win clinches their 6th str bowl trip (school record).
Kansas St 33 KANSAS 30 - 106th edition of the “Sunflower Showdown” as these tms have played every yr S/1902 (w/exception of 1910). The last time KU won 3 straight in this series was from 1988-’90 and the Jayhawks are just 3-11 SU/ATS. LY KU (+3’) beat #24 KSU 30-24 (1st W vs ranked S/‘03) & became ranked (#20) for the 1st time S/’96. In ‘06 here 6 KSU TO’s led to 30 KU pts in a 39-20 win (-2’). Mangino’s 1st IA coaching assignment was at KSU from ‘91-‘98. TT lit up the KU secondary LW (418 yds, 79%, 6-0) as they waxed the Jayhawks (outgained by 241 yds). QB Reesing is avg 310 ypg (69%) with a 19-8 ratio (3 int LW all in 2H). KSU lost to OU LW and has all’d 39 ppg & 513 ypg in B12 play. QB Freeman is avg 278 ypg (61%) with a 15-5 ratio. KSU is ranked #77 in our pass eff def allowing 241 ypg (59%) with a horrible 17-4 ratio while KU comes in at #26 (271 ypg, 59%, 16-9). KU does have the def edge (#66-83), but KSU has a huge ST (#2-67) advantage. This is a must-win for both as KSU needs 2 wins for bowl elig and has MO on deck while KU has trips to Lincoln and Columbia sandwiched between a HG vs #1 Texas.
Michigan 23 PURDUE 20 - UM is 19-3 SU in the series & has held Purdue to 13 ppg. Mich has split their L/4 gms in W Lafayette with the losses by a combined 7 pts but has won 5 in a row SU in the series. LY Mich (only -5) dominated leading 48-7 before Purdue got 2 garbage TD’s. Both teams come in at 2-6 & must win out to go to bowling. UM is off their 1st home loss to their instate rival S/’90 as they were outFD’d 22-13 & outgained 473-252 and the Spartans missed 3 FG’s. UM’s struggling spread has more TO’s (24) than TD’s (17) TY. Wolves D has faltered all’g 37 ppg vs BCS conf foes & 460 ypg vs B10 teams TY. PU lost their 18th straight to a ranked tm, 17-6 to Minny as QB Painter (shoulder) was KO’d in the 2Q & the Boilers passed for a Tiller era low 109 yds. Tiller said he expects Painter to play TW & backup Siller (10-17 for 73 yds, 1 int, 4 sk vs Minny) was practicing at RB 2 weeks ago. Boilers have scored 3 off TD’s (all vs NW) in conf play TY. UM wins this postseason elimination game.
Clemson 24 BOSTON COLLEGE 23 - LY BC upset #15 Clemson 20-17 in Death Valley with a 43 yd TD pass w/1:43 left stealing the ACC Atl Div crown. BC is 3-0 SU/ATS in the series with 2 OT wins. CU is 7-4 ATS as an ACC AD. CU started the year ranked #9 with hopes of winning the ACC Title but now need to win 4 of 5 just to become bowl elig with an interim coach guiding the way. The running gm remains inconsistent as CU is avg just 92 rush ypg (3.5) vs IA teams. QB Harper’s (122 ypg, 61%) shldr surg was successful and he is expected to return here, but it is ? if he or QB Korn will start. LW #23 BC was upset 45-24 by NC making the Tar Heels bowl elig for the 1st time in 4 yrs. QB Crane is avg 187 ypg (58%) with a 7-12 ratio including 3 int LW (1 ret for TD, 2 directly resulted in TD’s). True Fr RB Harris (PS#159) has rushed for 398 yds (6.2). Clemson has a history of winning games they’re not suppose to especially when everyone has given up on them.
San Jose St 30 IDAHO 13 - SJSt is 3-0 SU & 2-0-1 ATS in WAC contests vs UI & these two have avg just 38 ppg in the series. UI is coming off a 20-14 home win over NMSt LW, prompting HC Akey to exclaim, “That’s about a 750,000-ton gorilla that just got ripped off our backs today.” UI K Amancio hit a pair of 50+ yd FG’s (52 & 51) to break a 14-14 tie, helping the Vandals end a 23 gm losing streak vs IA foes & stopped an 0-9 ATS drought at home. UI is still in the midst of a current 3-14 ATS slump. QB Enderle is avg 172 ypg (53%) with a 15-11 ratio & he looks often for HB Williams who has 49 rec (13.0). SJSt QB Reed is avg 159 ypg (68%) with a 7-6 ratio but his production has fallen off in recent wks. WR Richmond has 46 rec (9.6). SJSt has a large edge on D (#31-118) as UI is #117 in the NCAA in ttl D (487 ypg) & scoring D (43 ppg) while the Spartans (#16 D in NCAA) have 27 sks (#4 in the NCAA). The Ihenacho brothers have been superb as Carl has 7 sks & Duke has 5 int. SJSt is 10-1 SU & ATS as an AF S/’98 & is currently on an 8-2 ATS run.
Byu 41 COLORADO ST 20 - Last time here we used BYU as a 4H Newsletter & LPS and CSU has lost 7 of 10 SU vs the Cougs. The winner has won every gm by DD in MWC action (avg win by 22). BYU is 11-8 as a DD fav (1-3 TY) and is 11-2 SU in Ft Collins (avg win by 26). LY BYU led 35-9 when CSU got a 31 yd IR TD w/4:07 left for the backdoor (+21) and BYU ended the gm at the CSU17. BYU WR Collie tallied his 6th str 100 yd rec gm in what turned out to be a shootout vs UNLV. After BYU got a 6 yd TD pass with 1:46 left (2pt), LV’s Hail Mary was int’d in the EZ. Cougs were outFD’d 25-22 and outgained 463-454 but delivered an easy Winner on the Over as our Coll Ttls GOY, 42-35. QB Hall cont’s to pace the MWC avg 296 ypg (69%) with a 24-6 ratio. Collie leads the MWC with 60 rec (15.0), while TE Pitta has 50 (12.9). LW CSU QB Farris threw for a ssn best (vs IA) 296 yd (74%) with 3 TD incl the go-ahead 9 ydr w/:04 left. It was ruled inc but Fairchild chall and CSU left with a 38-34 road win (507-392 yd edge). Farris is avg 213 ypg (65%) with a 9-7 ratio. His top rec is Greer with 40 (17.9) and RB Johnson has 746 yds (4.6). CSU is 8-19 ATS in Nov/Dec gms & the Cougs are another week away from having their bubble burst, so look for them to get back to their blowout ways here.
STANFORD 41 Washington St 6 - Both teams return to action off their 1st bye wks of the ssn. Stanford is off a last second 1 pt loss to UCLA knowing that it may have cost them a shot at bowl eligibility (Oregon, USC & Cal on deck). They are on a 12-4 ATS run vs the Cougs but have not been a DD fav S/’04 (covered 5 straight in that role). WSU has been the biggest embarrassment in IA as they have allowed 63+ pts in 4 of 5 conf gms incl a 69-0 (1st time shutout in 280 gms) hm loss 2W ago to USC in the Palouse where they failed to get past their own 45 yd line. The Cougs have been outgained (490-200) & outscored (54-9) vs IA opp’s as inj & poor recruiting classes have caused this downward spiral. They have had some success the L2Y vs the Cardinal incl a 561 yd performance in Pullman LY (4H LPS Winner). The visitor is 6-2 ATS with 3 upsets. While the Cougs should keep the Cardinal under the 63 ppg plateau (SU has failed to score over 36 pts in 37 straight), Stanford is rolling up 192 ypg (5.0) on the ground causing a huge line of scrimmage mismatch against a Cougar rush D giving up 6.7 ypc on the ssn!!
Boise St 34 NEW MEXICO ST 31 - Boise’s BCS hopes are alive & well again TY. BSU leads this series 8-0 SU & 6-2 ATS winning by 24 ppg (47-23 avg) but its wins in the series have been by 42 ppg at home but only 5 ppg in Las Cruces. The HF difference in this series has aided the host to cover by 22 ppg going 3-0 ATS since these two became WAC foes in ‘05. NMSt QB Holbrook is avg 295 ypg (67%) with a 16-10 ratio & is #10 in the NCAA in passing ypg. He has a pair of WR’s with over 45 rec each with Williams hauling in 54 (14.1) while Harris has caught 46 (9.9). RB Colston has given the Aggies an option on the ground with 353 yds (4.8). BSU is 5-1-1 ATS in its 2nd consec AG & the Broncos have the edges on off (#37-68), def (#27-105) & ST (#25-90). QB Moore has been steady avg 262 ypg (71%) with a 15-4 ratio & while RB Johnson isn’t producing numbers on par to recent yrs, he still has 429 yds (4.6) and recorded his school-record 51st TD LW. BSU has the NCAA’s #4 scoring D at 11.3 ppg & has held 5 of its 7 opp TY to 7 pts or less! LW Boise’s D didn’t allow SJSt to record a FD until its last possession of the 1H
Re: Newsletters 10/28--11/3
MISSISSIPPI ST 17 Kentucky 13 - LY UK was without their top 2 RB’s, top WR, had 6 TO’s, was off 3 straight ranked teams and lost outright at home 31-14 (-14). Last time here they pulled out a 34-31 road win (-1). MSU is 4-1 ATS prior to a bye but 0-6 ATS as a HF. MSU QB Lee has started the L/4 (tm 2-2) and is avg 123 pass ypg (62%) with a 2-3 ratio. RB Dixon has 599 rush (4.3). UK is very banged up with 5 defensive starters missing most of the week prior to their blowout loss to Florida plus they lost top RB Locke prior to LW & top WR Lyons 2 wks ago. UK has allowed 202 rush ypg (4.6) vs SEC tms TY. UK QB Hartline is avg 162 ypg (54%) with an 8-7 ratio and split time with WR/QB Cobb LW (9 of 18 for 78 yds, 52 rush vs UF). UK has the edges on off (#84-103), def (#35-52) and ST’s (#24-88). UK needs 1 more win to be bowl elig and this might be their best chance left, but once again the Cats are forced to face MSU with an inj depleted team.
Florida St 21 GEORGIA TECH 17- Florida St has now won 12 in a row SU in the series but they have not met S/’03 (-23’ H, 14-13) and the last 5 have been decided by 6 ppg. LW FSU came back from a 1H deficit to defeat VT and claim a 1st-place tie with MD in the Atl Div and K Gano set a FSU record with his 13th consecutive FG. RB Smith, who was inj’d LW (elbow - CS), has 540 rush yds (5.0). QB Ponder is avg 200 ttl ypg. WR Easterling has 20 rec (11.6) and Carr has 19 (16.4!). FSU has the edge on both sides of the ball (off #30-60, D #13-36). QB Nesbitt is avg 140 ttl ypg. RB Dwyer (#1 ACC ttl rush yds) has 754 (5.4). While GT runs the triple option, WR Thomas has 27 rec (18.6!). GT ranks #117 in the NCAA with 14 fmbls. This should be a good defensive battle but GT now has to figure out how to bounce back from their upset loss (24-17 vs UVA) after their best start S/’90 while FSU is off to a 6-1 start.
LSU 41 Tulane 13 - These schools are just 75 miles apart and LSU has won 16 in a row. LY LSU was favored by 41 at the Superdome but had a huge game against Florida on deck and only led 10-9 at HT with 127 yds before outscoring TU 24-0 in the 2H. TY LSU is in a similar situation with a Georgia/Alabama sandwich and is just 5-16 ATS in Nov HG’s. LSU is off a 52-38 loss to GA in which the rFr QB Lee threw 3 int (2 ret’d for TD’s). Tulane is off a 42-17 home loss to Rice in which nothing went right. RB Anderson only rushed for 12 yds on 4 carries and was inj in the 1Q and did not return (CS). Anderson is still #8 in NCAA avg 123 ypg (4.97). QB Moore has been dealing with a nagging thumb inj and was replaced by rFr Joe Kemp (PS#148) in the 2H. Moore is avg 211 ypg (59%) with a 7-8 ratio and will again be without his top deep threat Jeremy Williams (16.2, 5 TD), who remains out with a broken hand. LSU has large edges on off (#12-101), D (#28-82) and ST (#15-120) and has played the tougher sked (#31-90), but the Green Wave did cover on the road vs Bama (20-6, +30) earlier TY. LSU is 7-0 (5-1-1 ATS) off a SU loss under Miles and has not lost 2 in a row S/‘02. LSU knows this is a letdown gm but can’t avoid looking ahead to a must win gm vs Ala.
Tcu 24 UNLV 20 - TCU is 3-8-1 ATS in Nov AG’s and LV is 6-12 ATS in Nov HG’s. LV dropped its 3rd heartbreaker LW after their Hail Mary was int. They went TD for TD with BYU and actually finished with 25-22 FD and 463-454 yd edges delivering an easy win on the Over as our Coll Ttls GOY, 42-35. LV cont’d its RZ domination and is still the only tm that’s a perfect 100% I/20. QB Clayton (231 ypg, 60%, 17-3 ratio) had a better day than BYU’s Hall hitting 26-40 for 321 yd w/a 1-1 ratio. His top targets are Wolfe (59, 12.1, 4 TD), Flair (39, 11.8, 4) and true Fr Payne (27, 15.4, 7). TCU is off a dominating 54-7 win over WY, outgaining the Pokes 444-221. WR Young had a TCU rec’d (& MWC best TY) 226 rec yd with 3 TD. QB Dalton (174 ypg, 60%, 6-2 ratio) had a ssn high 334 yd (73%) with a 4-0 ratio. UNLV is now 5-0 vs winning & BCS teams and 0-3 vs non-BCS teams .500 & under. TCU has their HUGE gm vs Utah on deck, on a Thurs Nite - and the last time in that spot they barely got by Colo St. The last time LV took on a ranked foe that was looking ahead (Ariz St), they pulled the outright upset. TCU is 2-7-1 as a conf AF, LV is 9-2 as a conf HD and look for the Rebs to keep this closer than expected.
SOUTHERN MISS 31 Uab 28 - UAB is 0-8 SU (3-4-1 ATS) vs the Golden Eagles but 6 of the 8 have been decided by 7 or less (25-16 avg final). The visitor is 5-2-1 ATS. UAB was dominated at home LY, 37-7 (+10’), but did cover in their last trip here (lost 25-20, +14’). The Blazers are off a bye and have another on deck. QB Webb is a one man show, leading UAB in both passing and rushing, is avg 216 ypg (57%) with an 8-11 ratio and has 723 (5.3) rush yds with 7 TD’s. WR Forrest has 419 ttl yds (12.7). UAB is all’g 488 ypg and 36 ppg in conf play. SMiss is off a 36-30 loss to a Memphis team that was down to their 3rd & 4th string QB’s. RB Fletcher is #10 in NCAA avg 121 ypg. RFr QB Davis is avg 259 ypg (59%) with a 15-7 ratio (6-1 L/2 wks). True Fr WR Brown leads tm with 747 yds (16.2) and 9 TD’s and has caught all 6 of Davis’ TD passes the L/2W. The Eagles’ D is all’g 478 ypg and 38.8 ppg in conf and only has 7 sks in CUSA play (4 gms), plus struggled 2 wks ago vs an athletic QB (Rice’s Clement all’d 45 pts). SMiss is on an 0-5 SU/ATS run so look for a fresh, focused UAB squad to provide a tough HC challenge for the Golden Eagles.
UTEP 41 Rice 37 - LY UTEP blew a 20 pt, 4Q lead all’g four 4Q Owl TD’s in the 56-48 loss. Rice has won 5 straight ATS (avg cover almost 14 pts) vs the Miners and are 8-3 ATS on the CUSA road and pulled the outright upset here in ‘06 (+8’). Rice is off a 42-17 win at Tulane where they ran for a ssn high 230 yds. RB Ugokwe ran for 111 (6.2) and now has 400 yds (4.9). QB Clement is the leading rusher with 402 (4.1) and is avg 295 ypg (66%) through the air with a 24-6 ratio. WR Dillard has 856 yds (15.0) and 14 TD’s. UTEP all’d 791 yds and 77 pts to Tulsa in their last gm (another up tempo, spread offense) and is all’g 38 ppg and 474 ypg overall. QB Vittatoe is avg 233 ypg (57%) with a 16-4 ratio. UTEP is 3-4 and needs a win to have any shot at a bowl, with 3 of their L/4 away. Rice needs 1 win to be bowl eligible, which would only be their 3rd bowl S/’61. The Miners are rested and the 6th win for bowl eligibility is usually the hardest to come by, so we like UTEP’s chances at home in the Sun Bowl.
Utah 27 NEW MEXICO 13 - Last trip here Utah blew a 24-3 1H lead & NM scored the winning TD with 2:09 left. NM is 13-7 ATS in home finales but is playing for their 10th straight week while Utah is fresh off a bye (5-0 SU & ATS), but does have TCU in just 5 days. The favorite has gone 8-3 ATS & Utah is 25-7 SU in Nov (12-6 ATS Nov AG’s). NM has pulled 4 outright upsets in the L6Y & is 15-7-1 ATS in Nov. NM outgained AF LW (all’d just 228 yds) & somehow lost in a misleading final (4 TO’s, huge 14 swing - see pg 1). QB Gruner has struggled in the pass gm (avg 90 ypg, 52%, 3-5 ratio) but does have 225 yds rush (5.5). Long has also been inserting walk-on Smith (116 ttl yds) more the L2W. RB Ferguson has 865 yds (5.0), but if you take out NM’s 565 yd effort vs SDSt, they are avg just 277 ypg, but the defense has held 3 of 4 opp’s to 228 or less. 8-0 Utah is led by QB Johnson who is avg 203 ypg (66%) with a 13-7 ratio. The Utes are only allowing 264 ypg (+144) & have outscored MWC foes by 24 ppg. Both defenses (Utah #33 NM#43) are stout, but the Utes have the off edge (#25-92). Even with a huge Thur Night gm looming Utah needs to take care of things here if they want a shot at crashing the BCS party and NM is in danger of not being bowl eligible for the 1st time since 2000.
OREGON ST 33 Arizona St 16 - With climate & turf differences it’s no surprise that the HT is on an 18-2-1 ATS run in this series. Dennis Erickson was the HC at OSU from ‘99-’02 & now leads an ASU squad into Corvallis searching for their 1st victory S/wk 2 as the Sun Devils have now lost 5 straight (0-4-1 ATS) for the 1st time S/’01 after falling apart against the Ducks LW. Rallying back from an early 19 pt deficit LY, QB Carpenter threw for 361 yds & 4 TD’s as ASU covered (-11) at home 44-32. However, in 2006 OSU rolled to a 44-10 (-2) victory as Carpenter struggled hitting just 9 of 27 passes in Reser Stadium. The Beavers return from bye here where HC Riley is 11-2 SU with an extra wk of prep in his tenure at OSU. Led by outstanding true Fr RB Quizz Rodgers (812 rush yds leads P10), the Beavers have outgained their opponents at hm by a 459-219 margin. With ASU travelling for a 2nd consec gm (0-9-1 ATS) & a 4th RG in their L/5 contests, we expect the favorite to cover their 6th straight in the series.
WKU 41 North Texas 31 - Following the emotional NT 27-26 win LY at home, players from both tms met at midfield & a scuffle ensued. WKU did miss the game winning 38 yd FG w/1:00 left LY. WKU is off bye (11-4 SU) and in their last gm lost 24-20 to FAU while being outgained 399-317 and outFD’d 22-16. WKU is not only favored for the 1st time but is a DD favorite. WKU QB Wolke is avg 101 ypg (53%) with a 5-4 ratio. NT comes into this gm 0-8 (2-6 ATS) and is 1 of 2 tms still looking for their first win. They are off a 45-17 loss to Troy as they were outgained 547-338 and also had 4 turnovers. QB Vizza is avg 249 ypg (62%) with a 9-10 ratio. WR Fitzgerald became the all-time reception leader LW and has 74 rec (10.4). This gm matches up the NCAA’s 2 worst defenses but NT has played the tougher schedule (#36-107) and this could be their best shot at avoiding a winless ssn.
ALABAMA 34 Arkansas St 17 - The calendar now says Nov 1 and the teams on top of the BCS standings start to look at every scenario. This spells trouble for a Bama tm that has been outscored 67-29 in 2H in their L/4 gms and is 3-18 ATS as a HF incl 1-7 under Saban. While ASU is just 2-5 SU off a bye under Roberts, it is a good situation as they are fresh and the Tide is in a 4 game SEC sandwich incl Tenn LW and LSU on deck. Alabama did have a 409-282 yd edge vs ULM LY in this spot but was upset (-24’) so they will put some time into this. They come in 8-0 (5-3 ATS) and are off a 29-9 win over Tenn in which they outgained the Vols 366-173 (36 rush) and outFD’d them 23-10. QB Wilson is avg 158 ypg (62%) with an 8-3 ratio and RB Coffee has 838 yds (6.6). ASU is 3-0 ATS vs ranked teams and in their last gm lost their 1st SBC gm TY to ULL 28-23 when ULL scored with :42 left in gm. Three of their last 4 gms are on the road. ASU QB Leonard is avg 211 ypg (53%) with an 11-3 ratio and has already guided the RedWolves to a win at Texas A&M to start this year. If this gm is played on paper Bama obviously wins big, but schedule, situation and a pesky offense keeps ASU within the number.
LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE 23 Fiu 16 - Louisiana-Lft is 5-0 all-time vs FIU with an avg win of 17 ppg (4-0 ATS). Both tms are 6-1 ATS and off byes. ULL (3-0 SU/ATS vs SBC) scored 14 pts in the last 5:00 to beat ASU 28-23 getting their last TD with :42 left in gm. ULL comes into this gm ranked #1 in the nation avg 312 rush ypg but was held to 189 yds by ASU. ULL QB Brown, in his first start (Desormeaux inj’d) vs ASU, had 253 yds and was 18 of 28 with 2-0 ratio. RB Fenroy has 970 ttl yds (7.5) and had his 21st 100 yd gm vs ASU. FIU (3-0 ATS, 2-1 SU vs SBC) had a 3 gm SU win streak come to an end with a 33-23 loss to Troy in their last gm. FIU QB McCall is avg 142 ypg (52%) with an 8-7 ratio. WR Hilton has 17 rec (28.4). While ULL has a huge offensive edge (#26-116), FIU has the better defense (#72-113) and has played the tougher schedule (#70-96). FIU is also outscoring their SBC opponents on avg 32-21 TY.
ULM 24 Troy 23 - Troy is 7-2-1 vs ULM with the 2 losses & tie coming on the road. The HT has won 4 in a row SU (2-2 ATS) with the only recent game in Monroe being won by ULM 27-3 (+1’). ULM is off 29-28 loss to FAU on a TD w/:20 remaining. They were outgained 418-371 and were up 21-0 before TO’s let FAU back in the gm. ULM QB Lancaster is avg 191 ypg (60%) with a 12-3 ratio. They finish the ssn with a 3 gm road trip while Troy has 3 of their L/4 at home (makeup gm at LSU 11/15). SBC co-leader Troy is off a 44-17 win over NT outgaining them 547-338. QB Brown threw for school rec 40 comps and finished 40-50 for 391 yds and 2-0 ratio (35-42 for 334 yd in 1H). WR Jernigan has 48 rec (12.0) and left in 2Q vs NT with knee inj (CS). ULM Coach Weatherbie gets his team to peak late as they have gone 9-0 ATS the L/5 gms of the ssn the L2Y.
Sunday, November 2nd - East Carolina at UCF - LY EC trailed 28-17 at the half but scored 28 3Q pts (UCF 5 3Q TO’s) in their 52-38 (+3’) win. East Carolina is 6-1 all-time vs the Knights. EC is 9-4 ATS on the CUSA road but UCF is 8-2 SU and 5-2-1 ATS in Bright House Stadium. UCF has played in the CUSA Championship gm 2 of L/3 and needs a win to keep their conf title hopes alive. Can UCF get the job done at home, or does East Carolina establish themselves as the team to beat in CUSA East?
Tuesday, November 4th - Miami, Oh at BUFFALO - This game will be televised on ESPN2, marking the 1st ever National TV gm from UB Stadium. Miami is 10-0 vs Buffalo outscoring the Bulls on average 37-12. The last game here was strange as it was postponed due to a blizzard until Sunday and played in front of a handful of people and UB had a 278-260 yd edge (+7’) and got a 32 yd FG with 1:06 left for the backdoor cover (38-31). LY on the road UB got a TD with 2:54 left for the backdoor 31-28 (+6’). Both are still in the MAC East Title race.
Wednesday, November 5th - Northern Illinois at BALL ST - NIll is 7-2 SU vs Ball St and won here 40-28 in ‘06. LY Ball St was at full strength and bowl bound taking on an inj depleted NIll squad on the road (-8) but the Huskies got the backdoor cover with 1:31 left (27-21). TY both are in the MAC West Title hunt as Ball St is 4-0 in conf play while NI is 4-1 and both still have games vs MAC West leader C Mich.
Toledo at AKRON - Toledo is 8-1 SU in the series covering the last 6 but has not traveled here since 1998 and the Rockets are just 3-12 SU on the road. Akron is off a bye and owns the only MAC East SU
Re: Newsletters 10/28--11/3
Jacksonville 24 CINCINNATI 6 - The Jaguars have dominated this old AFC Central match up going 9-1 SU & 7-1-2 ATS. The Jags have the #12 & #25 units (+1 TO’s) over the L4W vs CIN’s #31 & #23 units (-2 TO’s) with the Jags having a top 5 spec teams vs CIN’s bottom 5 unit. CIN is 0-3 SU & ATS at home TY being outgained 310-213 and losing by a 27-10 margin. JAX is 2-1 SU & ATS on the road TY with the loss coming in Wk 1 vs TEN with an inj devastated OL. Against 2 teams with similarly weak defenses (IND & DEN) JAX posted a 410-324 yd edge with a 24-19 score. After passing for 182 ypg (66%) with a 1-4 ratio in the first 3 Wks, Garrard has improved to 249 ypg (65%) with a 5-0 ratio. Fitzpatrick has only hit for 157 ypg (61%) with a 1-2 ratio the L3W & his 4.71 ypa is 33rd out of 34 qualifying QB’s. After LW’s upset home loss the Jags are 3-4 & swimming amongst the masses for a Wild Card spot. HOU showed LW what can happen if you don’t look past CIN & we’ll side with an angry team to do the same here.
Tampa Bay 24 KANSAS CITY 10 - This will be the 1st time all season the Chiefs start the same QB 2 wks straight. Tyler Thigpen had a huge day LW vs the Jets with 280 yds passing (69%) with a 2-0 ratio. They were able to deliver our 6th straight Ugly Dog victory thanks to 3 Favre int which setup 14 pts for KC. KC may not get RB Johnson back here but outside of the DEN game he hasn’t been a factor TY (55 ypg 3.4). TB has the #17 & #2 units (+3 TO’s) vs KC’s #29 & #32 units (+5 TO’s) the L4W. TB has covered 6 straight before a bye. They take a huge step down here after facing a very desperate & talented veteran DAL team in front of a loud Texas Stadium crowd. TB had a 262-172 yd edge in the game but only scored 9 pts on 4 trips inside the DAL 25. TB has been criticized for only making 14 sacks TY but their 12 int ranks 2nd in the NFL. TB has an experienced QB in Garcia vs a KC defense with just 4 sacks (32nd) without the traditional Arrowhead home edge. We have played solid rushing teams against the Chiefs several times TY & TB has that component despite LW’s results.
CLEVELAND 17 Baltimore 10 - This is the 3rd road game in a 4 week span & also marks the start of a 3 game road stretch here. BAL easily handled CLE in the 1st meeting TY 28-10 as a 3 pt HF but is just 1-5 ATS in the series. BAL converted 2 int into 14 pts inside :50 during the 3Q to go up 25-10. BAL dominated the 2H with 10-2 FD & 104-6 yd edges. CLE is 10-3 ATS as a HF. BAL is 5-11 ATS away in div play. BAL dominated another inconsistent offense LW as they had a 19-0 1H lead & had an 11-2 FD & 221-35 yd edge at the end of the 1H. Playing with a lead, Flacco wasn’t asked to do too much & BAL had a 192 (4.2) to 47 (2.5) rushing edge with a 12:40 TOP. The MNF Browns showed up LW vs the Jags & LW’s off field issues focused the team more & they only had 1 penalty. Anderson was mediocre but RB Lewis had 81 yds (4.1) & NT Rogers dominated (9 tkls 1 sack) LW. CLE has the advantage of being the 1st team to face Flacco the 2nd time around & now get to make up for the 2nd loss at home in front of the Dawg Pound.
Arizona 37 ST LOUIS 28 - ARZ has won the L3 meetings SU & split LY ATS as ARZ moved to 6-3 ATS vs STL. LY ARZ beat STL 34-31 but failed to cover as a 3.5 pt AF. The yardage was essentially even but STL was the victim of some bad officiating which gave ARZ an extra play at the end of the 1H to score a go ahead TD. STL made a 2 pt conv at the end of the game to steal the backdoor cover. ARZ is 6-3-1ATS in div play. STL is 2-8 ATS hosting a div foe. STL hopes to get RB Jackson (quad inj) & NT Carriker back after missing LW. STL played well for the 3rd straight week under Haslett vs a quality foe & are +7 TO’s in that span. STL has been able to take advantage of a WAS team that looked past them, a reeling DAL team & a NE team on a short week with a beat up run game. They now face a fresh ARZ team that got back Boldin LW (9 rec 7.0) & after the RB’s were stumped for 20 yds (1.5) vs CAR they take on a STL defense allowing 152 ypg (4.8) rushing. ARZ’s D is very blitz heavy (19 sacks 6th) & now face a STL OL that has allowed 22 sacks (27th). While Haslett deserves to be applauded for the Rams turnaround they haven’t faced a team as explosive as the Cardinals & look for the road team to get the win in a higher scoring game.
CHICAGO 21 Detroit 17 - The Bears thumped the Lions 34-7 as a 3.5 pt AF in the 1st meeting as Orton had a career day vs the Lions now #31 pass defense with 334 yds (71%) with a 2-0 ratio. CHI had 21-12 FD, 425-185 yd and 16:30 TOP edges & got their 1st look at Orlovsky who had 97 yds (57%) with an 0-1 ratio. CHI is 7-3 ATS hosting a div foe. DET is 5-14-1 ATS in Div play. While the Bears profess to be a rushing team they really are passing oriented thanks to Orton who has 227 ypg (62%) with a 10-4 ratio TY. This keeps teams from stacking the box & Forte leads the team with 105 ypg (4.2) from scrimmage. DET’s defense is worse than its #32 ranking as they can’t stop the run (163 ypg 4.7) or the pass 272 ypg (70%) with a 12-1 ratio!! The Bears get the SU win but DET has been very scrappy looking for its 1st win & stay close with the generous points.
TENNESSEE 27 Green Bay 17 - TEN comes in off a huge MNF game vs IND & have B2B road games vs CHI & JAX on deck. If DE Vanden Bosch (groin) was deactivated LW they faced IND with just 2 DE’s. GB is 7-2 ATS as a dog after their bye & they have a road game vs MIN on deck. The bye was a boom to GB esp for QB Rodgers (shoulder), the DL which only had 2 healthy DT’s, WLB Hawk (groin) & they could get CB Harris (spleen) back here. TEN is 15-4 ATS hosting an NFC team but GB is 6-3 ATS vs the AFC. TEN is winning via old school smashmouth football & are 4-0 SU & ATS vs a non-div foe TY who aren’t used to how TEN plays. TEN has a 158 (4.6) to 81 (2.6) yd edge with 8 takeaways (+4 TO’s) & a 25-11 avg score. GB has only avg 88 ypg (3.0) on the road TY & has been outrushed 151 (4.8) to 89 (3.3) non-div foes (2-3 SU & ATS). TEN has been criticized for playing a soft schedule but GB is 0-3 SU & ATS TY vs a foe with a winning record. We’ll side with the more physical team playing old school football at home.
Miami 31 DENVER 30 - DEN has been a very good team after a bye (15-4 ATS) but this is a very tough matchup here. DEN lost their best defensive player in CB Champ Bailey (groin) as well as LB Bailey (knee) & #2 QB Ramsey (elbow) in the blowout loss to NE. Fav’s that lost by 17 or more before the bye are 9-23 ATS when they return since 1990. DEN is 2-12 ATS as a HF while MIA is 18-9-1 ATS as a non-div AD. While the “Wildcat” has been slowed with RB Brown (34 carries, 3.0 L3W) having teams focus on him it’s opened the passing lanes. Pennington (314 yds 67%, 1-0) rediscovered Ginn (7 rec 25.0) & had a 9.9 ypa LW vs BUF. MIA’s offense has now topped 358 yds the L5W. MIA has put up 28 & 38 pts in their L2 road games & expect the offense to continue that success matched against DEN’s #30 defense. DEN OL is #2 in sacks allowed & has kept Cutlers jersey clean until NE became the 1st with multiple sacks. MIA has been blitzing more & LB Porter has been the beneficiary as he has exploded for 10.5 sacks TY. DEN offense has now avg’d just 15 ppg the L4W & while the bye may help some deficiencies they also have a road game in CLE in 4 days.
Philadelphia 33 SEATTLE 16 - SEA beat PHI 28-24 as a 3 pt AD as PHI was without QB McNabb. PHI had a chance to win as Westbrook returned a punt 64 yds to put the ball on the SEA 14 with 2:00 left. SEA int’d #2 QB Feeley for the 4th time on 3rd Dn to end the threat. PHI is 7-3 ATS vs a non-div foe. SEA is 3-6 ATS as a non-div HD. PHI has a SNF HG vs NYG on deck while SEA has another long road game vs MIA up next & won’t have Hasselbeck. PHI has the #8 & #7 units vs SEA’s #31 & #27 units with a +11 TO edge to PHI here. SEA had a “get right” win vs SF LW but it was misleading as they faced a rookie interim HC in his 1st game. SEA was outFD’d 21-14 & outgained 388-261 on the day as SF held them to 39 yds rushing (1.4). SF blundered the game as they were inside the SEA 30 5 times but came away with 1 TD, 2 FG & 2 TO’s. SEA may have lost MLB Tatupu LW which is a huge blow in trying to contain Westbrook who had a career day with 167 yds rushing (7.6) vs the #23 rush def (SEA #22). While PHI does have to go cross country they are healthier & more talented. Look for McNabb to take advantage of a pass defense allowing 245 ypg passing (67%) with an 11-2 ratio & keep the momentum going.
New England at INDIANAPOLIS - IND is off LW’s MNF game vs TEN & if they lost they are fighting the Jags for one of the 2 Wild Card spots. NE is off a hard fought win vs an overachieving Rams team without RB Jackson. NE could be without NT Wilfork (susp) here due to a cheap shot vs QB Cutler. Including playoffs IND is 5-1 ATS vs NE but the Patriots rested RB Jordan LW to have him available here vs a Colts defense allowing 154 ypg (4.4). Injuries have caught up to both perennial playoff teams & instead of deciding home field advantage this game could decide who makes the postseason
Re: Newsletters 10/28--11/3
COLLEGE SELECTION OF THE WEEK: NEW MEXICO + 7 ½ over Utah - Utah is one of 4 unbeaten teams from non-NCS conferences. The Utes have been very consistent all season with an outstanding defense and underrated offense. New Mexico again started slowly but has always been a strong second half team under coach Rocky Long. Despite losing last week at Air Force, this season is following that pattern as the Lobos are much improved from their play in September. This is a tough spot for Utah as they host defensively stout TCU next Thursday in a game that may well decide the Mountain West title. New Mexico has beaten Utah 3 of the last 4 times they have played here, twice as underdogs. New Mexico has been to Bowls in 5 of the last 6 seasons and at 4-5 needs to win of 2 of their last 3 to become Bowl eligible. This is also New Mexico's final home game which should insure their top notch performance. Utah barely survives, winning 24-23.
Other Featured College Selections
NOTRE DAME - 5 ½ over Pittsburgh - Just when you thought Dave Wannstedt was finally getting his team to play to its potential Pittsburgh throws in a stinker as they did last week in their 54-34 home loss to previously punchless Rutgers. Meanwhile Notre Dame has put last season's 3-9 disaster behind them and show continued improvement each week. Both teams are 5-2 but the Irish have the greater momentum and have faced a far more challenging schedule. The teams are very close statistically although Notre Dame has been more effective at preventing scores. Pitt has a slight edge in the rushing game that is more than offset by Notre Dame's edge in the passing attack both on offense and defense. Pitt still has designs on winning the Big East with four games remaining while Notre Dame is looking to build up wins in their attempt to earn a BCS Bowl bid. Notre Dame's better QB play and momentum make this a solid play. Notre Dame wins 31-17.
TEXAS TECH + 6 over Texas - Much is on the line as 2 of 8 remaining unbeaten teams hook up in Lubbock. Both are 8-0 and the lead in Big 12 South is on the line. Texas has played the tougher and more demanding schedule, especially the past 3 weeks and one must wonder just how much the Longhorns have in the fuel tank despite the stakes. Tech has the nation's top passing attack, 418 ypg, 115 ypg per game more than Texas' # 11 passing game. The Tech defense is better than perceived and is allowing less yards per play than is Texas (but keep in mind the quality of foes). Texas has won 8 of the last 10 in the series but Tech has covered 3 of 5 at home. This is by far Tech's best team during this period and this is their best chance to defeat the Longhorns. The Red Raider defense is forcing 2.5 turnovers a game, an area in which the Texas defense is below average. The talent gap has narrowed between these programs and although Texas still has the better athletes, their recent stretch of games has taken a toll. Texas Tech wins 34-31.
LSU - 25 ½ over Tulane - After allowing 51 points to Florida and 52 to Georgia in losses surrounding a tough win at South Carolina, LSU gets a chance to take out mounting frustrations in a game they might normally care little about. Both Georgia and Florida are BCS Title contenders so the Tigers take a huge step down in class here. This game should be very similar to one last week in which Missouri blasted Colorado 58-0 after suffering losses to highly ranked Oklahoma State and Texas. The situation is very similar and LSU has the firepower on both sides of the ball to name the score. Tulane is simply outmanned and overmatched. They are 2-5 and have actually posted decent stats defensively but against far weaker foes than LSU has faced. LSU does host Alabama next week so this might normally be considered a look ahead spot for the Tigers but given those games against Florida and Georgia the defending BCS Champions will be fully focused against a foe they have defeated by a combined 131-33 in their only 3 meetings over the past decade. This one gets ugly early and often. LSU wins 55-10.
Money Line Recommendations
NFL SELECTION OF THE WEEK: MINNESOTA - 4 ½ over Houston -
Houston is off of their best game of the season -- by far -- on both sides of the football and are unlikely to play to a similar level this week. The Vikings are off of a Bye that followed a loss in Chicago and should have used the time to design an offense more suited to the talents of QB Gus Frerotte who replaced Tarvaris Jackson as the starter several weeks into the season. Minnesota's running game and significantly better overall defense also provide solid edges. The Vikes are allowing just 2.9 yards per rush and nearly a yard per play less than the Texans. This is Houston's first road game since the end of September after 4 straight at home and their modest 3 game winning streak has included wins over the league's two remaining winless teams, Cincinnati and Detroit and both came at home. Minnesota, primed for a big effort, wins easily, 27-13.
Other Featured NFL Selections :
Tampa Bay - 8 over KANSAS CITY - Tampa drops down in class this week after playing well defensively at Dallas in their 13-9 loss. The Chiefs hung tough at New York and nearly defeated the Jets. Though their long term record at home is lofty, the Chiefs have lost 2 of 3 at Arrowhead this season and have had trouble sustaining momentum against more talented teams. This is a young team in the process of rebuilding while Tampa is a Playoff contender. Against weaker teams the Buccs are content to just run the ball and play conservatively to protect leads. Kansas City is the worst in the league against the run, allowing 197 yards per game (5.6 per carry). Their own ground game is in disarray with the unsettled status of RB Larry Johnson and their offense is led by a third string QB, Tyler Thigpen. Off of a loss and headed into their Bye week, Tampa will be focused and well motivated for a big effort against a very compliant foe. Tampa bay win 23-10.
DENVER- 3 over Miami - Denver's off their Bye and eager to atone for their embarrassing performance at New England. Miami's already tripled their win total from last season and stand 3-4. Denver has major concerns with their defense that is allowing 396 ypg. Miami's offense is being well managed by QB Chad Pennington and rarely turns the ball over, averaging less than one giveaway per game. The Broncos have the NFL's #2 offense (382 ypg). With two road games on deck this becomes a key game for Denver. Their rushing offense has been well above average while their weak run defense faces a Dolphins ground game gaining below the league average. Miami has covered 5 straight against Denver which gives us value in this short line. It's hard to offer many negatives against improved Miami which is showing they were not nearly as bad last season as their 1-15 record. But it's a bad scheduling spot for Miami, off of two home games and with three more at home up next, making this their only road trip in a 6 game stretch. And they'll face a rested, angry and highly motivated foe. Denver's offensive balance proves decisive. Denver wins 26-17.
Dallas + 8 over N Y GIANTS - This long term rivalry takes on even more importance as the G-men threaten to make it a runaway in the NFC East while Dallas struggles behind backup QB Brad Johnson with Tony Romo still sidelined. This line is a 15 point turnaround from their last meeting when the Giants knocked the Cowboys out of the Playoffs last season in Dallas as a 7 point underdog. Overall both teams are above average both on offense and defense with not much separating the teams statistically. Aside from blowout wins over weaklings Seattle and St Louis, the Giants have not been as dominant as may be perceived. They struggled in wins over Cincinnati, San Francisco and Pittsburgh. Both teams have done well both running the ball and stopping the run. Most of their yards per play stats are extremely close. Dallas remains a team loaded with talent across the board, even considering their injury woes. Dallas will be motivated to avenge that Playoff loss. While they likely don't pull the upset, this game will be close. NY Giants win 23-20.
Best of the NFL Totals
Houston/Minnesota UNDER 47
Tampa Bay/Kansas City UNDER 37 ½
Arizona/St Louis OVER 49
Miami/Denver UNDER 49
Atlanta/Oakland UNDER 41
Pittsburgh/Washington UNDER 37
Money Line Recommendations
Re: Newsletters 10/28--11/3
THE SPORTS MEMO
COLORADO AT TEXAS A&M -2.5
Recommendation: Texas A&M
These two teams that are headed in opposite directions, especially on offense.The Buffaloes are playing two quarterbacks, neither of which have shown the ability to consistently move the ball. Colorado has scored 14 or less in its last four games, including a 58-0 shutout loss at Missouri last week. They average just 4.07 ypc and 4.27 yppp on the year as the banged up offensive line continues to struggle. The Buffs are now 0-3 on the road, and have been outscored 127-35. On the other hand, Texas A&M has fought through its injuries to become a fairly dynamic offense. They have scored 25 or more points in their last four games and have piled up some impressive yardage numbers as well. The Aggies have turned to Jerrod Johnson at quarterback and he has thrown for over 1,000 yards in his last three efforts. For the season, they run for 4.54 ypc and throw for 6.63 yppp. A&M snapped a three-game losing skid last week with its 49-35 win at Iowa State and they should get another win at home this week against the offensively challenged Buffaloes. Lay the small price with the Aggies.
BOISE STATE -20 AT NEW MEXICO STATE
Boise State is a much different team this season. Gone are the high flying offensive numbers as the defense is now the catalyst for success. On the season the Broncos have allowed opponents just 11.3 points per game. Oregon is the only opponent this season to score double digit offensive points against the Boise State defense. Five of Boise’s seven opponents have been held to seven or fewer points. They are a dominant defensive team in the WAC and again this week their opponent will have a difficult time scoring. New Mexico State is unable to run the ball and therefore must rely on an almost exclusive passing attack. This offense has plenty of highlights, but in the four years of this system under Head Coach Hal Mumme the Aggies have committed 121 turnovers. In 43 games they have averaged nearly three turnovers per game. There is no need to try and convince anyone that New Mexico State is a good football team. After all they just lost to an Idaho squad that against FBS teams was 0-7 while getting outscored 348-122 for an average loss of 32 points per game. New Mexico scored 14 points in a 20-14 loss. This week we expect to see those offensive struggles continue against the best defense in the WAC and we’ll call for another Boise State defensive show.
TEXAS AT TEXAS TECH +6
Recommendation: Texas Tech
I was very impressed with the Red Raiders last week on both sides of the ball in their 63-21 win over Kansas. Their defense is much, much better than they have been in years past, but they aren’t getting much respect in the line as this game shows. Texas Tech is certainly a legitimate top 10 team in my book, which makes them an automatic play getting nearly a touchdown at home. Yes, Texas is deservedly the top-ranked team in the nation. They have simply done more than any other team to this point. However, while beating Oklahoma, Missouri and Oklahoma State in consecutive weeks is easily the most impressive feat in college football this year and possibly in several years, it has also likely taken a toll on the Longhorns. They slipped a little last week against the Cowboys, as Oklahoma State actually had the opportunity to win in the fourth quarter with the ball down by four. This is a very heated rivalry, and quite possibly the biggest game ever played in Tech history. I expect the Raiders and their fans will be fired up and wont be shocked if Texas Tech wins this one outright. Getting nearly a touchdown should be a solid play.
NORTHWESTERN AT MINNESOTA -5.5
Minnesota is one of the hidden gems in the marketplace this season. They’ve gone 7-1 SU and 6-1 ATS and a lot of their success has come from defensive coordinator Ted Roof. After allowing 518 ypg on defense in 2007, Minnesota is allowing only 363 ypg and are No. 1 (+15) in the nation in turnover margin. Minnesota’s victory over Purdue was head coach Tim Brewster’s third straight Big Ten win by more than six points. With the way this team is playing, you can tell they are brimming with confidence as they head into this week’s homecoming showdown against Northwestern. Last season the Wildcats rallied from a 35-14 third quarter deficit to win 49-48 in double overtime and you can be sure that the Gophers will have revenge on their minds. The Wildcats will travel to Minnesota without the service of RB Tyrell Sutton, who is expected to undergo surgery on his wrist this week. Sutton leads the Wildcats with 776 yards rushing and is fourth on the team with 30 receptions for 276 yards. Without Sutton, it puts QB CJ Bacher in a position of having to make a lot of plays for the Wildcats to win. I anticipate that pressure leading to various mistakes. The Gophers nail the spread cover.
TENNESSEE AT SOUTH CAROLINA -6
Recommendation: South Carolina
One of the strong late season situations that produces profits with high percentage success is to play on a rested home team in conference play. When we combine that rested and ready team with motivating factors and being the better overall team, then we are presented an excellent chance to cash our ticket. This week, South Carolina fits our profile with precision. Turnovers have really hurt the Gamecocks this season, but they will face a Tennessee team that is wearing down and often outmatched. Statistically, South Carolina is the SEC’s top defense allowing just 256 ypg and 4.2 yards-per-play. Both teams struggle to run the football, but Tennessee’s line issues should allow USC to run early and often and relieve the pressure off freshman quarterback Stephen Garcia. Tennessee is averaging only 18 ppg and totaled just 173 yards in last week’s whipping by Alabama. The Vols will be without key defensive tackle Dan Williams following an injury last week and potentially top WR Gerald Jones. Additional punting and special team’s issues for UT add fuel to the fire in what should be an easy Gamecocks victory.
WEST VIRGINIA -3.5 AT UCONN
Recommendation: West Virginia
There’s no doubt the Huskies will want to atone for the absolute humiliation they endured at Morgantown last season. They entered that season finale 9-2 overall, No. 20 in the nation and with a shot to win the Big East conference title. They exited 66-21 losers and they were steamrolled for 517 yards on the ground. Redemption may not be as easy as just wanting it. WVA is now showing signs of regaining the dominant form expected of them since the start of this campaign. Last week versus a stout SEC defense, the Mountaineers shredded Auburn for 445 total yards on 7.9 per play as they scored 31 straight points in the 34-17 win. The defense showed up once again as they’ve now held their six FBS opponents to an average of 297.7 yards per game and 4.3 yards per play. The run defense has held opponents to 3.3 yards per carry and is now playing well without MLB Reed Williams.UConn got 40-16 payback versus Cincinnati last week but they won’t face a rusty QB off injury here. Huskies are still way too one dimensional offensively and West Virginia’s physical and lightning fast offense will punish them again. There’s not 42 points worth of difference between the 2007 meeting and now.
GEORGIA VS. FLORIDA -5.5
A couple of weeks ago when the Gators lost to Ole Miss, Tim Tebow apologized for the performance and said his team would be the hardest working in college football from there on out. Well, the Gators are three-for-three since the loss with blowout wins and spread covers over Arkansas, LSU and Kentucky. While it may not be a murderer’s row of opponents, you have to be impressed by this team. They are flying to the football defensively with a ton of team speed. Tebow’s passing is crisp and they have six different players with multiple touchdowns on the ground, led by the world class speed in Jeff Demps and Percy Harvin. Throw in what might be the absolute best special teams play in the country and Florida is playing like a team possessed. Although Georgia was picked No. 1 in preseason they haven’t looked like a top team in recent weeks. Yes, they are winning but I have seen them physically beat by South Carolina and Alabama. Matthew Stafford has been sloppy with the ball and the defense isn’t quite as strong as the numbers would indicate. This is a huge revenge game for Urban Meyer’s boys and I’ll back them to get it done.
NY JETS AT BUFFALO -5.5 O/U 42
Two rivals face-off early Sunday with division title ramifications on the line. No question, this Buffalo franchise has taken a major step forward this season,while sitting with a 5-2 record. This offense features many weapons at their disposal, but more importantly, they finally have an offensive line that won’t be overpowered at the line of scrimmage. In fact, they’re a unit that can overpower its opponents at the line of attack, featuring the largest line in the NFL. Of course, quarterback Trent Edwards has entered the equation and has really given the Bills the type of quality signal caller they’ve lacked in recent years. The bottom line is this team is borderline explosive as they enter this match-up. Meanwhile, the Jets and Brett Favre continue to be a work in progress after three interceptions last week against Kansas City. However, this offense will continue to make strides moving forward as its chemistry continues to strengthen. I currently rate both of these defensive units as below average in terms of overall ability. Points should be supplied by both quarterbacks as this one goes Over the total.
ATLANTA -3 AT OAKLAND O/U 41
This line surprised us as the Raiders have shown some improvement this season. Make no mistake they are still a bad football team but they have shown some areas of improvement and against the right opponent they are a live underdog. Still backing the Raiders in situations in which they have to win becomes difficult to do. Last week matched up against the Baltimore Ravens, the Raiders held the ball for less than 24 minutes and netted only 234 yards of total offense. Against top rush defenses the Raiders have little to no chance at moving the football. Defensively Atlanta ranks 25th in the league in yardage allowed while the Raiders rank 26th. Both units are well below average in stopping both the run and the pass. Meanwhile on the offensive side of the equation both teams run the ball quite effectively with Atlanta averaging 150.7 and Oakland 129.3 yards per game. Our projections call for a fast passed running game with a very quick clock. These two teams are much more likely to settle for field goals than punch it in for touchdowns as field goals account for about 35% of these two teams total scoring output. Two young quarterbacks, two conservative offensives, two strong kicking games and two strong rush units point to a low scoring game. Play it UndeR
JACKSONVILLE -7 AT CINCINNATI O/U 40.5
This situation couldn’t be better for the Jacksonville Jaguars. They are a very angry team and heading to face a hapless foe in Cincinnati. Let’s not forget that the Jags went 11-5 last year and won on the road in the playoffs at Pittsburgh. Let’s also not forget that the Jags won at Indy and at Denver in their last two road games after winning six road games a season ago. All told, it is exactly the type of track record we look for from our road favorites. This team expected to be in the hunt for the Super Bowl in 2008, but their 3-4 record through seven games has them tied for last place in one of the most competitive divisions in football. The Jags have absolutely no margin for error right now, and we can expect a dominant showing here. Defensive end Reggie Hayward, talking about the post-game tirade from head coach Jack Del Rio following their sluggish home loss to the Browns: “He said we’re a good team and we need to stop dillydallying and playing around and put these teams away. He wasn’t belligerent. He was upset we lost. Losing hurts and it sucks, and he just explained that in his message. He said what everyone was feeling.” Cincinnati has been blown out in all three previous home games, and QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is as weak as it gets for NFL starters. This is an easy team to fade in this price rang
Re: Newsletters 10/28--11/3
NORTHCOAST POWER PLAYS
The winner of this should get a trip to the SEC Champ game, while the loser will merely be #2
in the SEC East with little chance of a BCS bowl. PP calls for Florida to win by 15 (line 5’) but the
yardage forecast is close. UGA has played better than expected with major injuries on both lines
this year, but UF is the stronger and healthier team at this point. 4* FLORIDA 40 GEORGIA 25
Both tms need this win for a chance at a bowl. CU is off a blowout loss to Missouri while A&M is
off a much needed win vs ISU and seem to be on the upswing. PP calls for a 7 pt win by A&M (line
2’) and we agree. 4* TEXAS A&M 31 COLORADO 24
PP says the wrong team is favored in this one as it calls for CM to win by 5 (line IU -2’) and the
yards are almost even. Indiana is in a NW/Wisconsin sandwich. 4* C MICHIGAN (+) 32 INDIANA 27
Iowa has won the L/5 & has held IL to 7 or less in 3 meetings under Zook. Iowa is fresh off a bye
and IL is off a devastating loss to Wisky. PP says that Iowa will win by 2 (line IL -1’), and we agree. 4* IOWA (+) 25 ILLINOIS 23
OSU kept it tight vs #1 Texas LW, but still lost their fi rst gm of the yr. The Cowboys are 9-2-1 ATS
off a SU loss. PP says OSU will win by 39 (line 31) with a 562-283 yd edge and we agree. 4* OKLAHOMA ST 49 IOWA ST 10
Tuberville is 7-2 SU but just 5-4 ATS vs his former team but the visitor is 9-3 ATS in this series.
UM will be glad to be back in front of a friendly crowd after LW’s emotional gm at Ark. PP says UM
will win by 10 (line 5’) with a 404-256 yd edge and we agree. 4* MISSISSIPPI 25 AUBURN 15
It’s tough enough to play B2B games vs ranked opponents but how about 4 straight? Add in the
fact that PP is calling for the Red Raiders to fi nish with a substantial 505-390 edge and they’re a 6
pt home dog which makes this an easy Top Play Selection. The HT is 3-0 ATS covering by 11 ppg. 4* TEXAS TECH 36 TEXAS 34
This forecast even surprised me. PP is calling for Clemson to get the road win. They do have the
scheduling edge, are off a bye and were able to work in the interim HC’s new ideas. 4* CLEMSON 23 BOSTON COLLEGE 22
While both tms got crushed LW, KSt outgained OU 550-528 and Kansas was outgained by TT 556-315.
PP is calling for KSt to keep it within 4 pts and with the line over 10, the Wildcats are the play. 4* KANSAS STATE (+) 34 KANSAS 38
BYU will now refocus after their loss to TCU and near upset vs UNLV. They were half of our College
Totals GOY winner LW vs UNLV. They’re now in their preferred role as a conf AF (7-2 ATS). 4* BYU 37 COLORADO STATE 19
While it’s hard to imagine that Stanford won as a 41 pt dog LY vs USC, it’s almost as hard to play them
as a 30 pt fav. Nothing, however, is as hard to believe as this WSU squad is allowing 6.2 ypc rushing,
while allowing 4 of 5 P10 tms to top 63 pts. We’ll ride the WSU streak of 7 straight IA ATS losses. 4* STANFORD 45 WASHINGTON STATE 11
USC is off a crucial win over Arizona and has Cal on deck. Washington has lost 5 in a row ATS
and is one of only 2 teams in FBS without a win TY (NT is other). PP says USC will win by 48 (line
43) with a 580-120 yd edge. 3* USC 48 WASHINGTON 0
Idaho got a rare and emotional win LW but San Jose takes care of business here. The SJSt
defense holds the Vandals to 279 yds and takes out some frustrations off a HL to Boise. 3* SAN JOSE STATE 33 IDAHO 14
ASU’s downward spiral continues as they were outgained by over 200 yds at home LW. OSU has cover
5 staight while ASU has 1 cover this ssn. The Beavers fi nish with a dominating 432-240 yd edge. 3* OREGON STATE 33 ARIZONA STATE 16
While it would be easy for LSU to look past Tulane, it won’t happen here. They are forecasted to
dominate with a 515-250 edge and a monster ST edge. Take a hungry Tigers squad off an ugly HL. 3* LSU 45 TULANE 12
The Irish are 12-2 SU & 9-2 ATS in this series. Pitt was stunned at home LW vs Rutgers losing
54-34 which knocked them out of the rankings and hurt their chances in the BE race. PP calls for
ND to win by 7 (line 5’) and we think it could be by more than that. 2* NOTRE DAME 29 PITTSBURGH 22
The visitor is 3-0 SU & ATS winning by 19 ppg. PP call for BG to win by 6 (line 8) and shows Kent
St with a 240-151 yd rush edge. 2* KENT ST (+) 24 BOWLING GREEN 30
FSU has won all 4 (covered 3) since the suspensions ended. They travel to Atlanta and come away
with a close road win against a Yellow Jackets squad that was outgained 396-259 LW at home. 1* FLORIDA STATE 24 GEORGIA TECH 22
Re: Newsletters 10/28--11/3
NORTHCOAST POWER PLAYS - NFL
(TB #13 vs KC #31 KC #27 vs TB #5) This is the 1st time all year KC will have the same QB start 2 consec
weeks. Thigpen is coming off an impressive game vs NYJ where he hit 280 yds (69%) with a 2-0 ratio.
KC was +3 TO’s thanks to Favre which kept them in the game. While TB held DAL to 172 yds LW their
struggles near the red-zone (3 FG’s on 4 trips to DAL 25) cost them. KC is 0-4 SU & ATS vs run oriented
teams (OAK, ATL, CAR, TEN) losing by an avg score of 32-8 & has the #9 rush offense. PP gives TB a
353-194 yd edge & a 2 TD margin & look for the Bucs to improve to 7-0 ATS before a bye. 4* BUCS 24 CHIEFS 10
(GB #16 vs TEN #3 TEN #22 vs GB #16) TEN is off a huge MNF game vs IND where they could take
a big step towards locking down the AFC South. TEN’s physical play TY has taken their non-div foes
by surprise with a 4-0 SU & ATS margin. GB is 7-2 ATS as a dog after a bye & desperately needed the
rest for QB Rodgers & most of the defense. While MNF isn’t factored in here, TEN has enough track
record TY to respect the 451-247 yd edge here. The Titans are the play vs a GB team that is 0-3 SU &
ATS vs a foe with a winning record TY. 4* TITANS 34 PACKERS 9
(ATL #10 vs OAK #26 OAK #25 vs ATL #25) LW’s results give great line value as the Raiders were
dismantled by an aggressive veteran defense on the road. We won a 3★ LPS winner going against
ATL on the road vs PHI LW. While they kept it close for the 1st 2.5Q they gave up 192 yds rushing (6.0)
which is OAK’s strength. They now have to travel for the 2nd straight week out to the West Coast as an
AF for the 1st time since the end of 2006. PP gives OAK a 393-323 yd edge & calls for them to stay
within the number & we agree. 3* RAIDERS (+) 19 FALCONS 20
(PHI #8 vs SEA #27 SEA #31 vs PHI #7) SEA is off a misleading win vs SF as they beat a rookie interim
HC & were outFD’d 21-14 & outgained 388-261. They lost MLB Tatupu & that could be a big problem vs
PHI who had a healthier Westbrook rush for a career high 167 yds (7.6) LW. McNabb is having a Pro
Bowl year (4th comp, 5th att’s, 5th yds 2nd int %) & gets a bad SEA secondary that is allowing an 11-2
ratio & 103.4 opp QBR. PP gives PHI a 380-245 yd edge & SEA is expected to go with QB Wallace for
the 3rd week. 3* EAGLES 26 SEAHAWKS 18
BAL #24 vs CLE #21 CLE #29 vs BAL #2) It’s tough to fi gure out which CLE team will show up week
to week as they upset the Jags on the road LW with a Pro Bowl caliber game from NT Rogers (9 tkls
1 sack 3 QBH & 1 tfl ). Anderson was OK with 246 yds passing (52%) with a 1-0 ratio. BAL thumped
OAK coming cross country & had an 11-2 FD & 221-35 yd edge at the end of the 1H with a 19 pt lead
taking the run game out of the game plan. PP gives CLE a small nod but the yardage is basically even
keeping the side from being a play but the Total is attractive.
NO PLAY: BROWNS 19 RAVENS 14 2* RAVENS/BROWNS: UNDER
(JAX #20 vs CIN #22 CIN #32 vs JAX #23) The Jags are off a surprise home loss to an inconsistent
CLE team & Del Rio was visibly livid in the after game press conference. CIN was taken out of the game
early LW & the team didn’t put forth much effort. They haven’t won the yardage battle in any game TY
& have been outgained by 109 ypg TY. CIN is 2-8 ATS at home before a bye & it’s diffi cult to say they’ll
put forth any effort here. JAX only has a 50 yd edge here as they have a quest secondary which will
keep this from being a stronger play. 2* JAGUARS 27 BENGALS 16
Re: Newsletters 10/28--11/3
MARC LAWRENCE PLAYBOOK
INCREDIBLE STAT OF THE WEEK
The Florida Gators are 16-2 SU and 16-1-1 ATS
in games off a SU and ATS win when playing with conference revenge.
5* BEST BET
Florida over Georgia by 17
This is the part where all you folks who watched Georgia annihilate
LSU last Saturday start shaking your heads and ask, “Are you really
gonna give those guys a touchdown?” You betcha… and here’s why.
The mighty Gators are 10-0 SU and ATS in this series when they enter
off consecutive wins and the Urban legend is 26-10 as a dog or favorite
of 7 or less points, including 13-2 when seeking revenge. Things look
a little more grim for the Dawgs. For starters, Georgia coach Mark
Richt is an unbelievable 0-18 ATS – the big zero – in games he loses SU
when not taking double digits. In keeping with the goose egg theme,
our powerful database tell us teams who beat defending National
Champions are 0-8 SU and ATS as a dog in their next game since 1990.
Oh, and let’s not forget that ‘entire-Georgia-team-rushes-the-fi eld’
touchdown celebration in last year’s 42-30 Bulldog win at The Cocktail
Party – you know Urban Meyer hasn’t. With Richt’s team a weak 2-7
ATS against an SEC revenger, we look for the Gators to put the chomp
on UGA, drag him under and execute the death roll… then win out en
route to the conference title game.
4* BEST BET
Wisconsin over MICHIGAN ST by 7
While the Spartans are still celebrating beating up on the neighborhood
bullies, Wisconsin is in desperation mode. The Badgers need two more
wins in their last four games to become bowl eligible, a surprising
scenario considering their high early-season ranking. Wisky does fall
into one of our favorite categories here: a long time series favorite
now taking points. The boys from Madison have come favored in 10
of the last 11 confrontations, including the last seven in a row and
actually own both the better offense and defense. The Spartans are
a feeble 1-7-1 ATS laying 24 or less points at home to a foe off a SU
win and just 1-5 ATS home after Michigan when tackling a foe off a
DD win. With Michigan State playing its 10th straight game without
the benefi t of a week of rest, we’ll have to side with the underdog
3* BEST BET
UCONN over West Virginia by 7
Connecticut played to its two biggest strengths, superstar RB Donald
Brown and a rock-ribbed defense, to engineer a 40-16 rout of
Cincinnati last week and climb back into the thick of the Big East race.
However, that win garnered far less attention than West Virginia’s
34-17 beatdown of SEC power Auburn, a scenario that makes us like
the Huskies even more in this matchup. The Mountaineers have been
camped at home for their last four games (all wins) but the fact is
fi rst-year coach Bill Stewart is still a maiden away from Morgantown,
losing SU as a road favorite against East Carolina and Colorado while
scoring just 17 total points. By comparison, UConn’s Randy Edsall is
a monster at home, going 12-3 ATS against conference opponents,
including 7-1 if his foe is off a SU win. We don’t want to be accused of
having a one-track mind but the previously mentioned ‘R’ word can’t
be overlooked here. Last year’s horrifying 66-21 loss to the Mounties
marked the most points allowed in Big East play under Edsall and you
know he’s aching to settle the score. The Huskies’ stout 10-1 SU home
record in November since 2002 tells us their pound of fl esh is about to
UPSET GAME OF THE WEEK UPSET
ARKANSAS over Tulsa by 3
Despite a near universal sentiment that he fails miserably as coach
at Arkansas, fi rst-hear Head Hog Bobby Petrino is starting to pull his
Razorbacks together into a scrappy, competitive bunch. Arky’s last three
games (1-2 SU) were decided by a total of just 6 points and Petrino
is 12-0 SU and 8-3 ATS at home in his career versus non-conference
opponents. Enter Tulsa: the immense pressure on the Golden Hurricane
to remain unbeaten is magnifi ed by their appearance as road chalk at
an SEC venue, especially when our powerful database informs us SEC
home teams are 57-12 SU against C-USA squads, including 9-2 versus
an undefeated foe. Tulsa got blown out here, 45-13, as 37-pt dogs in
its last visit in 2003 and with the Hogs rooting out a profi table 9-2 ATS
record at home off consecutive SU losses, we look for the Big Breeze to
lose considerable velocity against a rugged bunch of underhogs. Woo
Thursday, October 30th
CINCINNATI over S Florida by 1
These two teams were expected to contend for the Big East championship
but following last week’s depressing defeats, tonight’s game takes on an
air of desperation. USF fl opped as a road favorite at Louisville, done in by
109 yards worth of penalties and a record-low EIGHT yards rushing. Cincy
also took the bullet as road chalk at UConn, rushing for just 30 yards as the
Huskies broke open a close game with 20 points in the 4th quarter. The Bulls,
who were as high as No. 10 in the rankings, have now dropped two of their
past three games and would have been a SMART BOX ‘Play On’ here had
they showed up wearing the dog collar. They’ll arrive as favorites instead,
so we’ll gladly take the points with a Bearcats team that has covered four
straight in the series, winning SU as road dogs at Tampa last year. Check the
status of Cincinnati QB Tony Pike – he started against Connecticut for the
fi rst time since breaking his non-throwing arm back in September but did
not return after halftime.
Saturday, November 1st
BOWLING GREEN over Kent St by 6
We’ve seen some pretty bizarre stuff this season but last week’s road win by
Kent State ranks right up there at the top. The 1-6 Golden Flashes limped into
Yager Stadium, home of the defending MAC East champions, and dropped
a 54-point bomb on the bewildered RedHawks – the most points ever scored
against Miami Ohio on its home fi eld. Meanwhile, Bowling Green detonated
a stink bomb of its own against Northern Illinois in a 16-13 defeat, running
only 14 offensive plays in the second half (fi nished with 168 total yards on
43 plays). So, if you’ll pardon the cliché, we really do have two teams headed
in opposite directions here. KSU has won the stats in its last three games
while the Falcons have gone just 2-6 ‘In The Stats’ this year, allowing more
points and yards than they’ve tallied over the course of the season. With
the BeeGees taking an ATS dump at home in their last three clashes with
Kent State, we’ll take a hint from Lou Christie and look for lightning to be
INDIANA over C Michigan by 1
After getting smacked around for fi ve straight losses, the Hoosiers fi nally
hunkered down and played like last year’s 7-6 bowl team, forcing fi ve
turnovers to claim a 21-19 thriller over Northwestern (IU’s fi rst Big 10 win this
season). Central Michigan also survived a close call, squeezing past Toledo,
24-23, for the Chippewas’ fourth straight win. Now comes the problem. CMU
is a laid-out-on-the-slab 0-17 SU against the Big 10 since 1993 – but the Chips
did cover earlier this year versus Purdue. Indiana is a near fl awless 19-1 SU
when taking on MAC foes – but that lone loss came this year against Ball
State. Those are two big ‘buts’ so we’ll let you make the call here.
Air Force over ARMY by 6
This week’s ‘Perception versus Reality’ special. There’s no doubt that 2nd
year coach Stan Brock has the Cadets playing improved football this year.
After bottoming out in an embarrassing 22-3 setback to Akron, Army
regained its confi dence in a 4-point loss to Texas A&M and the Black
Knights have won three of their last four games since falling to the Aggies
(4-0 ATS and 3-1 ITS). Similarly, Air Force has made a fl ight correction after
losing at home to Navy, soaring to three consecutive wins. The question
is does Army’s recent spike of success help keep the line in order or was
it just a mirage against mediocre, at best, opposition? The bottom line is
double-digit home dogs with a better defense warrant a strong look – and
Louisville over SYRACUSE by 17
Revenge is a concept that’s frequently overused when handicapping football
games. However, in this case, we feel it’s certainly worth mentioning. In last
year’s Big East home opener for Louisville, new coach Steve Kragthorpe
suffered one of the most humiliating defeats in his entire career, a 38-35
crash-and-burn disaster against pathetic Syracuse – as 38-point chalk! Now
it’s payback time and believe it or not, there’s actually some value to the
Louisville side laying two TDs. Yes, we know double-digit road favorites
off a SU home dog win are an anemic 25-42-3 ATS overall but bring ‘em
in with a big revenge chip on their shoulders and they’ve posted a perfect
7-0 ATS mark. Hey, any time we can get the superior team laying 24 points
LESS than they did in last year’s meeting, it’s an offer we can’t refuse…
especially when we note that Syracuse is 0-6 ATS as a home dog off a
SUATS loss under Greg Robinson. One glimmer of hope for Orange fans:
the school has fi nally admitted to forming a ‘search committee’ in their
quest to locate Robinson’s replacement. For Syracuse diehards who have
suffered through an 8-34 SU nightmare under this charlatan, the end can’t
come soon enough.
Miami Fla over VIRGINIA by 1
Hey, if we convinced you that Louisville carries meaningful revenge into
its contest with Syracuse, then Miami Florida’s trip to Charlottesville has
to qualify as ‘The Mother Of All Revenge Games’. Remember last year?
In the Hurricanes’ fi nal home game ever at the fabled Orange Bowl,
they laid one of the biggest eggs in school history, losing 48-0 in front
of a crowd that included some of the program’s greatest players. Rest
assured, Canes’ coach Randy Shannon still wakes up in a cold sweat
over that debacle and even though he has his team playing inspired
football of late, getting even with the Cavs here may not be such an
easy task. Despite a terrible 1-3 start, Virginia has somehow rebounded
to win four consecutive games – including three over ACC foes – all
as an underdog! According to our database, the Wahoos are only the
FOURTH TEAM since 1980 to accomplish this feat and the other three
went 3-0 SU and 2-1 ATS in the next game (2-0 as pick or dog; 0-1 as
a favorite). With UVA’s Al Groh an outstanding 31-15-1 ATS at Scott
Stadium (8-2 ATS off a SU dog win), we’ll see where the line settles
before opening our wallet.
ILLINOIS over Iowa by 4
Neither of these teams is among the four Big 10 squads that own a winning
record in conference play but a victory here would go a long way towards
locking in a potential 2008 bowl berth. Confusing the issue is the fact that
Iowa laid 21 POINTS on this fi eld to the Illini in 2006. So has Ron Zook’s team
improved by 24 pts over the two years or has Iowa declined to that great a
degree? The history book offers little help: the Hawkeyes have failed to cash
in three straight trips to Champaign and they’ve covered just once in nine
tries when playing off back-to-back wins. Illinois is a disappointing 2-6 ATS
as chalk off a SU favorite loss so we’ll have to qualify our selection based on
Illlini QB Juice William’s superior play and an ugly 0-6 ATS string of failure for
the series visitor. Homeboys in a close one.
MINNESOTA over Northwestern by 3
We’re still shaking our heads in amazement over the incredible turnaround
engineered by 2nd year Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster. In less than one
season, the Gophers have gone from Foldin’ (1-11 SU in 2007) to Golden (7-1
SU and currently 4th in the Big 10) and we think Brewster deserves serious
consideration for national coach of the year. Minny has climbed to the #17
spot in this week’s BCS poll – behind only Penn State and Ohio State – but
after a pair of eye-opening road wins over Illlinois and Purdue, this looks to
be a classic fl at spot on the Gophers’ schedule. Northwestern has bagged the
cash in four of its last fi ve forays at the Metrodome and the Purple Cats are a
solid 16-6 ATS in the second of back-to-back roadies. Minnesota has failed to
cover in its last four tries when playing the fi rst of consecutive home affairs
(0-3-1 ATS) – and we never like laying points with an upset winner against
an upset loser. Since NU owns the better offense and the better defense, the
points are the play here. THIS JUST IN: Wildcat RB Tyrell Sutton is injured and
out for the season.
WAKE FOREST over Duke by 4
Take a gander at the current ACC standings and you’ll fi nd Duke nestled in
its customary spot in the Coastal Division cellar. But unlike years past, seven
games into the season the Blue Devils are proud owners of a 4-3 record
after marching into Nashville last Saturday and stuffi ng Vandy, 10-7. Wake
Forest also owns a 4-3 SU mark but it’s a huge step backwards for a program
that won 20 games the previous two seasons and represented the ACC in
the 2006 Orange Bowl. Yes, the wheels are indeed falling off for the Deacs:
they’ve lost three of their last four games SU, ATS and ITS – and coach Jim
Grobe has been wandering the sidelines wearing the same look of confusion
we saw on former president Ronald Reagan before we learned he was
suffering from Alzheimer’s. However, the ever-vigilant linemaker has done
his homework, pricing Wake as a mere TD favorite after the Deacs laid 7.5
points at Durham last year. New Duke coach Cutcliffe is 7-4 ATS off a SU dog
win (including 6-0 if off a win of 4 or less points) and with his squad covering
four of the last fi ve trips to Winston-Salem, we’re putting our dough on the
Blue Man Group.
OKLAHOMA ST over Iowa St by 27
After taking #1 Texas to the limit in a 28-24 loss last Saturday at Austin,
Oklahoma State QB Zac Robinson fl atly stated, “If Texas is No. 1, then
obviously we’re not very far behind.” Turns out the BCS boys are in
agreement – despite the loss, the Cowboys remained in the poll’s Top 10
this week at the #9 position. This week’s opponent, Iowa State, fi nally got
its offense untracked and put 35 on the board against Texas A&M. Only one
problem: the Cyclone ‘D’ got drilled for 49 points and ISU dropped to 2-6
SU on the season (now 5-15 under Gene Chizik). The ATS gods do not look
kindly on the road team in this matchup. Iowa state has sunk to 2-12 ATS off
three or more spread losses and the Clones are further shamed by a 3-14 ATS
failure as Big 12 road dogs of 15 or more points. In fact, there’s not a lot to
like about Iowa State other than Oklahoma State falling prey to the dreaded
BUBBLE BURST, a role that’s burned plenty of money. Think we’ll head to the
saloon and sit this one out, padnuh.
Missouri over BAYLOR by 17
Jeez, if you think the Incredible Hulk is a handful when he gets mad, you
should’ve seen Missouri last week. They carved up Colorado with all the
precision and glee of a serial killer, proving to all that reports of their death
were greatly exaggerated. Mizzou QB Chase Daniel tied his school record
with fi ve touchdown passes, leading scoring drives on 9 of 11 possessions
and the defense pitched its fi rst conference shutout since 1986. Few teams
could have bounced back so strongly from a fi rst-round TKO against Texas
and now the Tigers face the fi rst of four beatable teams to close out their
conference schedule. Should they go 4-0, they may get another crack at the
Longhorns. First they have to deal with Baylor and the ATS archives don’t
have much to say for BU. The Waco Bears are 1-7 ATS lately as double-digit
home dogs, 2-10 ATS in Game Nine and head coach Briles is just 1-7 ATS as a
home dog of more than 6 points. But Missouri’s no bargain, either, posting
a poor 1-3-1 ATS mark in its last fi ve tries as DD road chalk. The Bears are an
improved team this year and they’re also a DD Homecoming dog, so we say
take it or leave it.
OLE MISS over Auburn by 1
Talk about a ‘you couldn’t script this in Hollywood’ coaching matchup:
we have Tommy Tuberville heading south to play his former school while
new Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt just stuck it to his former employer the
previous week, beating Arkansas on the road, 23-21. We have a suspicion
Nutt burned a lot of electrolytes prepping for the Hogs and he may not be
able to take on Tubs with the same intensity. That scenario would agree
with the Rebs’ dismal 2-16-1 ATS log at home versus a foe off a double-digit
loss – and Auburn’s recent 5-1 ATS series domination at Oxford. Even better,
Aubbie has whipped Johnny Reb SU in 16 of the last 19 get-togethers and
the three times they were made the dog, Auburn won all three outright.
Hmmm… with Nutt off the one game he wanted the most and the Tigers
standing a perfect 5-0 as dogs versus an opponent off BB ATS wins, maybe
Tommy against his ole gang may be just what the Tigers need to snap a 7-
game ATS losing skid.
WYOMING over San Diego St by 1
Election time is at hand so we’d like to offer up our candidate for ‘Ugly
Game of the Year’, a pairing as potentially painful to watch as any of the
‘Saw’ movies. In one corner we have the 1-7 San Diego State Aztecs, boasting
the 105th ranked offense and 113th ranked defense in the nation, winners
of just TWO games SU in their last 17 road trips and – get this – they’re a
sea level team playing at a high altitude. And in the other corner we have
a SMART BOX ‘Play Against’ in the 2-6 Wyoming Cowboys, losers of fi ve
straight games where they were spanked by an average score of 41-6. Now
HERE’S a favorite you really want to take to the dance: Laramie’s fi nest are
a mind-boggling 3-23-1 ATS in their last 27 conference games, including 0-
14 when off a loss of 7 or more points! We know we promise you analysis
on every lined game but that doesn’t mean we have to pick a side. Hey,
somebody has to win, right?
Re: Newsletters 10/28--11/3
W MICHIGAN over E Michigan by 21
Damn… used to be there was just one ‘Michigan’; now there’s so many of
‘em we can’t keep ‘em straight. However, we do know that coach Bill Cubit
of a certain Western Michigan team would love to lay a brutal beatdown on
the Eagles from EMU this weekend. That’s because Eastern Michigan upset
the Broncos 19-2 as 5-point home dogs last year, a loss that cost Cubit his fi rst
losing season at WMU, and he’s ready to return the favor. We’d be looking to
snap the rubber band here if we didn’t know the Broncos were an abysmal
1-6-1 ATS in their last eight tries as home chalk. No thanks.
TEXAS A&M over Colorado by 1
Last week we told you the Colorado brain trust bestowed a contract
extension on struggling headman Dan Hawkins, presumably in the hopes
that it would inspire him and his team to achieve more positive results. Guess
what? It didn’t work. The Buffs got massacred at Missouri, 58-0, the fi rst time
in 243 games that Colorado failed to score. Lord knows CU coach Hawkins
needs another game away from Boulder before he has to justify his pay raise
in front of the home folks and he’ll at least have a shot at trading punches
with a disappointing A&M team (both squads 1-3 in the Big 12 TY). The ATS
archives lead us in the herd’s direction: Colorado has cashed four straight in
the series (3-0 ATS away) while the Aggies are an abominable 2-14 ATS as
single-digit conference home chalk and a miserable 3-8 ATS off a SU dog win
(0-4 if their foe is off a loss). But honestly, folks… do you really want to risk
your hard-earned money on a pair of teams that got ripped for a combined
93 points and 1065 yards last week? Didn’t think so.
Pittsburgh over NOTRE DAME by 3
We got an email from Pitt’s Dave Wannstedt asking us to please start bashing
him again. Why? Last week we got off his back for one issue and tried to
pay him a compliment – then his Panthers went out and got eviscerated by
mediocre Rutgers, 54-34 (Knights’ QB Mike Teel, who couldn’t throw a rock
in the ocean all season, connected on a school record SIX touchdown passes).
Meanwhile, Charlie Weis and rejuvenated Notre Dame were busy driving a
33-7 nail into former Irish leader Ty Willingham’s coaching coffi n at Seattle.
After those disparate results, it’s no surprise to see Weis and company laying 6
points at South Bend, right? Check out this info and your enthusiasm for the
favorite may dim somewhat: Notre Dame is 1-4 ATS at home versus the Big
East, 1-4 ATS home before back-to-back road games and the Weis-man is 3-9
ATS as home chalk off a win of 7 or more points. Whew! Pittsburgh is a ‘Play
On’ team in this week’s ‘Puttin On The Stats’ SMART BOX (page 3) and guess
who Wanny made his Steel City coaching debut against back in 2005? That’s
right, Notre Dame, who blasted the Panthers, 42-21, as 3-point road dogs. This
looks like a dead-even matchup to us so we’ll pocket the points and pray.
Fresno St over LOUISIANA TECH by 2
To say that Fresno State’s 5-2 record this season is misleading is an
understatement. Not only have the Bulldogs lost to a rebuilding Hawaii
team at home, they also allowed Idaho to score an unthinkable 32 points,
then had to stage an incredible rally against Utah State just to squeak by
with a 30-28 win as 15-point road chalk. FSU’s Pat Hill has posted an 18-14
SU record over the past two-plus seasons but he’s burned some major money
as road chalk, going 1-8 ATS. That’s a ride you don’t want to take, not when
Louisiana Tech is 3-0 as a home dog under 2nd year coach Derek Dooley.
Besides, we don’t usually back favorites on the highway that are hiding a
6-game ATS losing streak in the trunk. If you can’t drive your car to ‘El Paso’
and avoid this latest battle of the Bulldogs, we suggest an investment in the
Hawaii over UTAH ST by 10
If only they could all be this easy. Hawaii is not exactly the fi nely tuned
instrument it was under June Jones and at fi rst glance, the Warriors laying a
TD on the road looks to be a stretch. But when we stop and consider UH laid
40.5 points at home against the Aggies last year, well… the ‘7’ doesn’t look
so bad. Wait, it gets better: pathetic 1-7 Utah State has lost three straight
to the Warriors, allowing 50 or more points in every game, and they’re a
sad 0-12 SU and 3-8-1 ATS as home dogs of fewer than 25 points. You know
what to do.
S CAROLINA over Tennessee by 3
Only once in the last ten years has Phil Fulmer’s Volunteers stayed in Knoxville
for the holidays. That was back in 2005 and ol’ Phil could be looking at an
instant replay if UT doesn’t take down the Gamecocks today. Tennessee has
certainly had their way in the series lately, covering fi ve straight at Columbia
and the overall visitor is an equally impressive 10-0-1 ATS. The Vols are also
a 83-9 SU in November (35-4 SU away) and have cashed 10 of 12 tries after a
double-digit defeat. Spurrier’s team has won four of its last fi ve outings but
we’re not in any hurry to lay points in a series that’s seen the visiting team
dominate – especially with the Vols’ great November slate. South Carolina’s
0-7 ATS skein as a favorite playing with revenge seals the deal. Ride on,
USC over Washington by 45
What has happened to college football in the state of Washington? First,
the Trojans lay 42 points to the Cougars at Pullman and promptly empty
the stands with a 69-0 destruction that made those responsible for hiring
coach Paul Wulff run for cover. Now the Washington Huskies show up in LA
and the line opens at 43 points! That may not be enough to grab the cash,
either, since USC owns a loss and must run up the score whenever possible
to maintain its lofty BCS ranking. Not that we need further incentive but
the Huskies – the only team in the land to yet outgain an opponent – are a
‘Play Against’ from last week’s ‘Behind the 8-Ball’ SMART BOX. The Trojans’
6-1 ATS record against .100 or less PAC 10 opponents is the clincher. Better
call out the animal rights activists because we might see some roasted Husky
today. THIS JUST IN: Washington head coach Ty Willingham has offi cially
been give the boot.
OKLAHOMA over Nebraska by 24
Ah, the good old days. Most of you whippersnappers reading this don’t
remember that the annual Oklahoma-Nebraska matchup used to be one
of the most eagerly awaited games of every season. Since the fi rst meeting
between OU’s Barry Switzer and NU’s Tom Osborne back in 1973, these
storied programs slugged it out 26 consecutive times in regular season play
and fi nished in a 13-13 SU deadlock. Along the way, they combined for
TWO ‘Game of the Century’ showdowns (Nebraska won in 1971, 35-31 and
Oklahoma rebounded to win in 1987, 17-7) and stocked the NFL with some
of its most outstanding players. However, following the realignment of the
Big 12, this once-intense rivalry has lost a lot of luster. Since 2000, they’ve
met just four times during the regular season and Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops
has gone 3-1 SU and 2-2 ATS against the Cornhuskers. This year Stoops gets
his fi rst crack at new head Husker Bo Pelini and as the big number attests,
he’s a good bet to improve to 7-1 ATS at Norman off back-to-back DD SU
wins. Huskers are pointspread poison when they lose SU as a road dog off
a SU win, going 1-12-1 ATS, and can’t trade points with the more effi cient
Sooner offense. Lay it if you play it.
Oregon over CALIFORNIA by 6
Ducks will be in attack formation following last week’s 54-20 demolition of
Arizona State and own the fi repower to plow through the remainder of their
schedule. Mike Bellotti’s team has averaged an overpowering 30 PPG on the
road during his tenure with Oregon and they’ll be thinking of last season’s
fi rst loss, a 31-24 setback to the Bears as 7-point favorites at Eugene. The
feathered ones are also a SMART BOX ‘Play On’ team this week, a lean that
looks especially intelligent when we note California’s 3-9 SU and ATS mark as
conference chalk of 7 or less points against an avenging foe. Add a dreadful
4-18 ATS record for Cal from Game Six out in the regular season since 2005
and we’re feeling smarter by the minute. Bear… it’s what’s for dinner.
NAVY over Temple by 6
Both teams have gone 2-1 SU in their last three games and still have a
good shot at landing a bowl. The Owls have cashed in four of the past
fi ve meetings with the Middies and Temple will benefi t from the return of
starting QB Adam DiMichele (played in last week’s comeback win over Ohio
U). For a team that’s gone 8-23 SU under coach Al Golden, the linemaker
certainly thinks Temple has closed the gap between these two: Navy laid 21
points at Philly last year and 32 points here at Annapolis in 2006. But the
Midshipmen’s 0-3 SU and ATS mark as favorites in games before Notre Dame
versus a foe off a win keeps us at bay for now.
KANSAS over Kansas St by 14
Kansas is fi nding out the hard way that last year’s glass slipper came with an
expiration date. This time in 2007, the Jayhawks were a perfect 8-0 SU and
7-0 ATS; now they’re 5-3 SU and losers of two straight, the last a humiliating
home blowout to Texas Tech, 63-21. Both teams take the fi eld backed by
some excellent numbers. Kansas State has scratched out an 11-3 SU and ATS
series record and the Wildcats have cashed 11 of 12 games when playing
off a SU conference loss of 21 or more points. KU counters with a super
12-0 SU and 9-0 ATS log at home if .400 or greater taking on a .500 or less
opponent and they’re also 9-2 ATS playing the second of back-to-back home
games. With the spread currently at double digits, we’ll side with the crafty
Mangino as his team looks to make amends for last week’s rare home loss.
Texas over TEXAS TECH by 3
If Mack Brown’s Longhorns get through this year’s Big 12 gauntlet undefeated,
no one can question their appearance in the national championship game.
Saturday’s test at Lubbock will mark the fourth consecutive week the
Longhorns (8-0) will go up against one of the nation’s highest-ranked teams,
following contests against Oklahoma, Missouri and Oklahoma State. Texas
Tech is now #7 in the BCS rankings and head coach Mike Leach is 12-0 SU at
home when undefeated. The Red Raiders are also 8-2 ATS as single-digit Big
12 home dogs and 5-0 off consecutive road games. The Longhorns’ numbers
are not befi tting of their lofty ranking: 0-5 after a home game against
Oklahoma State, 1-5 ATS versus an .850 or greater conference opponent
(Game 6 or greater) and 2-9 as single-digit conference road chalk. Brown has
warned his No.1 ranked team about eating the ‘poison cheese’. Bottom line
is the bait has been set as these two teams are on a ‘Collision Course’ and, of
course, we’ll fade the favorite under all the pressure.
PURDUE over Michigan by 7
It’s fi tting that today’s game immediately follows Halloween because this
is a Michigan team masquerading in Wolverines’ uniforms. The Dazed-and-
Blue’s latest loss – 35-21 at home to Michigan State, Michigan’s fi rst loss to its
in-state rival since 2001 – came a day after new coach Rich Rodriguez fi nally
signed a contract that will pay him $2.5 million a year. The 2-6 Wolverines will
need to win out to become bowl eligible and extend their nation leading 33-
year bowl streak… but it’s not gonna happen. Meanwhile, the Boilermakers
have fallen short of adding to the legacy of outgoing head coach Joe Tiller,
derailing early en route to a 2-6 nightmare (“It wasn’t what I had in mind,”
deadpanned Tiller). As with most Big 10 series involving Michigan, the
Wolves have ruled of late, winning 19 of the last 22 SU. However, UM has not
cashed a ticket in fi ve tries at Evanston when Purdue owns a losing record
and the Michigan defense is ripe for dissection, having given up 42 PPG in
their last three conference games (all losses). And just when it looks like Joe
Tiller might be carried out of Ross-Ade Stadium in a casket, PLAYBOOK chips
in by making him the answer to this week’s TRIVIA TEASER on page 2. Time
for Purdue to take things back up to a boil.
BOSTON COLLEGE over Clemson by 4
Thanks to the events of recent weeks, this has become one tough game
to gauge. There’s turmoil aplenty at Clemson where interim coach Dabo
Swinney faces the near-impossible task of leading the Tigers to bowl
eligibility. Since two of Clemson’s wins came over 1-AA teams, The Citadel
and South Carolina State, the 3-4 Tigers must win ALL their fi nal fi ve games
to make it to the postseason. Good luck! Even with a stable coaching regime
in Tiger Town, BC has always given Clemmie fi ts, covering fi ve straight in
the series. The Eagles have also compiled a 9-3 ATS mark at Chestnut Hill
playing a conference opponent with revenge. Clemson does own a 6-1
ATS mark as a dog playing with ACC revenge and maybe with a timely bye
week, Swinney and company can cook up a few southern surprises for the
beantown Yankees. You make the call.
San Jose St over IDAHO by 17
Talk about spoiling the moment. Idaho’s players got so excited by their
7-0 lead over New Mexico State last week that they staged a team photo
beneath the scoreboard, an idea that looked to have merit when the Aggies
stormed back to take a 14-7 lead. But lo and behold, the Spud boys put
up 13 unanswered points to actually win the whole game, thus rendering
the earlier photo op meaningless. Now the Vandals look to win consecutive
games for the fi rst time since 2006 – but it ain’t gonna happen. Rarely do
teams off a SU double-digit home dog win perform at that same level the
following week and, like Michigan State, Idaho is playing its10th straight
game without the benefi t of a week of rest. The Spartans have won and
covered all three meetings since coach Dick Tomey landed in San Jose and
the visitors also bring along a dynamite 10-1 ATS record as road chalk. Just
follow the instructions on the fi reworks package: light fuse and get away.
Byu over COLORADO ST by 11
Now that BYU’s perfect season is down the drain, the Cougars might just go
through the motions until their season ender with Utah for the MWC cheese.
However, that may be enough to get the job done against a CSU defense
that gave up 392 yards to offensively-challenged San Diego State in a comefrom-
behind 38-34 win over the Aztecs. But let’s not be too hasty to bury the
Rams. Colorado State has been more than scrappy as a double-digit home
dog of late, getting the bone in 11 of 15 tries. And despite its powerhouse
persona, BYU owns a fl imsy 2-5 ATS record this season, including 0-3 as road
chalk. Currently 4-4 and desperate to become bowl eligible for 1st year head
coach Steve Fairchild, the Rams don’t have enough jam to pull the upset
here but they could pick the pockets of a disinterested Cougars team looking
towards late November.
STANFORD over Washington St by 28
Following a 10-3 debut in 2003, WSU coach Bill Doba sealed his fate by failing
to post a winning season in his next four years at the helm, going 20-26
SU. Folks, with the debacle currently underway in Pullman, those look like
championship numbers right now to beleaguered Cougar fans. For a true
indication of just how bad things are, let’s turn to the true measuring stick
for badness, Syracuse coach Greg Robinson. After G-Rob’s fi rst 8 games with
the Orange, he had engineered a 1-7 train wreck while being outscored by
14.1 PPG in the seven losses. Now get a load of this: Wazzu coach Paul Wulff
owns an identical 1-7 SU mark at this juncture of the season but his team has
been outscored by an average of 58-6 in fi ve PAC 10 games this year (allowed
63 or more points in 4 of 5 conference games)! Things are just as bad on the
other side of the ball: throw out the 48 points the Wulff pack scored in their
lone win over Portland State and WSU’s offense is grinding out an awful 9
PPG. Now that we’ve set you up for a play on Stanford, we must tell you that
the Cardinal is just 2-8 ATS as favorites with rest, 6-15 ATS as double-digit
chalk… you get the idea. The bottom line is we can’t lay lumber like this with
a mediocre team like Stanford, especially when Harbaugh’s boys have backto-
back revengers against Oregon and USC on the horizon. Pass.
Boise St over NEW MEXICO ST by 16
With the Broncos now up to No. 11 in the BCS polls and one of only eight
undefeated teams still standing, Boise State coach Chris Petersen will be
doing his Al Davis ‘just win, baby’ impression today, knowing that a blowout
of a scrub team like New Mexico State will do little to advance his squad in
the rankings. With the Aggies still coming to grips with last week’s shameful
loss to Idaho, most bettors will look at the 3-TD line and fi gure the Broncs
can reach that margin in the fi rst quarter. Better think again: New Mexico
State is a solid 4-1-1 ATS as a DD home dog of late, 4-1 ATS at home playing
with conference revenge and DDHD’s off a SU DD road favorite loss are 4-0
ATS versus a foe off back-to-back wins. Will Boise State continue to play their
game or will they play ‘not to lose’? The pressure mounts…
Kentucky over MISSISSIPPI ST by 3
The Bulldogs nabbed just their third win of the season last week against Middle
Tennessee State while Kentucky was putting on a ‘how NOT to play defense’
clinic is Saturday’s brutal 63-5 annihilation at The Swamp. Today’s matchup
pits two inept offenses (Kentucky gains just 300 YPG versus lined opposition
compared to MSU’s 279 YPG) against two decent defenses (Wildcats allowing
300 YPG against lined foes compared to 279 YPG for the Bulldogs). Thus, we
have all the makings of an SEC ‘Snoozer of the Week’ in Starkville. If forced
to choose, we’ll go with Kentucky: the bluegrass Cats were upset by MSU last
year in Lexington, falling 31-14 as 14-point chalk, and UK also owns a 4-1 ATS
series edge on this fi eld. Big Blue silences the cowbells today.
Re: Newsletters 10/28--11/3
Florida St over GA TECH by 1
Kudos to the linesmaker on putting up a ‘tough number’ on this key ACC
contest. At fi rst glance we were set to pounce on the Seminoles as a SMART
BOX dog, especially considering they were 24-point favorites the last time
these two teams got together. A lot has changed since then (2003) but the
one constant has been the winning records of both schools the past ten
seasons. The newest wrinkle has been the addition of head coach Paul
Johnson to the Yellow Jacket staff. Considering Johnson’s 22-10-2 ATS dog
log, it would be diffi cult dismissing the notion of taking any points being
offered up in this contest. His Georgia Tech squad has failed only one time
both SU and ATS this season, meaning the transition to his option offense
hasn’t missed a beat. Florida State’s improvement has come mainly on the
defensive side of the ball where its 247 DYPG is 115 yards better than last
year’s unit. With Penn State idle, Bobby Bowden can move one game closer
to Joe Pa’s career win mark (currently trails 381-379). It’s like we said, when
you can make cases for both teams and have a diffi cult time pulling the
trigger for either you have to give the linesmaker a pat on the back.
LSU over Tulane by 31
Think the loss of defensive coordinator Bo Pelini has had an impact on
this year’s Bengals? You’d better believe it. After winning a National
Championship with a nasty defense last season, LSU’s stop unit this season
– sans Pelini – is allowing 8 PPG and 38 DYPG more than it did in ’07. The
results speak for themselves as the Tigers are just a middle-rung SEC team
this year. We would normally look to fade the Bengals in the middle of a
conference sandwich but last week’s loss, and last week’s Smart Box, say
otherwise. Besides, defending National Champs off a SU and ATS loss are
31-16-1, including 19-5 if favored by 14 or more points. Despite the Green
Wave’s staunch stats and LSU’s declining numbers, we would only consider
backing the champs as they attempt to get back up off the mat for the
second time in three weeks here today.
Tcu over UNLV by 14
The Frogs leaped to the forefront with a convincing win over previously
unbeaten BYU two weeks ago, only to follow that effort up with a 44-point
whipping of Wyoming last week. As a result they are ranked No. 13 in the
current BCS poll and are anxious to move up with a win at Utah next week.
Therein lies the problem. Not only is TCU likely looking ahead to next week’s
battle for Mountain West Conference supremacy they will also be playing
their 10th straight game without rest this season. While we’d normally hop
all over their opponent in a situation like this, the fact of the matter is UNLV’s
defense (441 DYPG) is more than twice that of TCU’s (219 DYPG), making
this a tough pill to swallow. Sometimes medicine is the best preventative
to warding off an infection. That being said, we’ll pop a tablet and pass on
SOUTHERN MISS over Uab by 7
Two disappointing also-rans looking to turn their season around will go
head-to-head in Hattiesburg Saturday evening with the loser all but dead
in the water. When the Golden Eagles hired Larry Fedora to replace iconic
head coach Jeff Bower they envisioned a better turn of foot. Instead they’ve
developed a bad case of the gout, riding an 0-5 SU and ATS skid into this
contest. To make matters worse, they are now touchdown favorites in a
non-desirable homecoming role. We’d love nothing more than to bring
the visitor in with some sort of noteworthy credentials but we can’t. That’s
because the Blazers are 1-4 ATS the last fi ve tries in this series and 1-10 SU
and 2-9 ATS on the conference road against an opponent off a loss. With
bad numbers abounding for both teams, let’s make like the 2008 MLB season
and say we’re outta here.
UTEP over Rice by 3
After being torched for 77 points and 791 yards against Tulsa last outing, the
Miners needed a week of rest like a mattress needs a pillow. It was easily the
most points ever surrendered by a Mike Price team. Refreshed and anxious
to make amends, the Miners will take the fi eld with the comfort in knowing
Price is 12-6 ATS in his career as a home dog against an opponent off a win,
including 3-0 with UTEP. The other attraction in this game is the revenge
motive that comes about from El Paso’s 56-48 loss at Rice as an 8-point
favorite last season. It was part of a six-game season ending losing skid for
the Miners, a point of contention you can rest assured in knowing Price has
conveyed to this year’s troops. With the Owls still sleepy-with-victory from
last week’s 25-point upset revenge win at Tulane, look for the favorite in this
series to fall to 1-7 ATS in this Tempur-Pedic lie-down.
ALABAMA over Arkansas St by 17
In a world of sandwiches, this is a two-hander. And with it Crimson coach
Nick Saban will have his hands full trying to keep his team’s focus on the Red
Wolves and NOT the defending National Champion LSU Tigers due up next
week. After a string of fi ve straight SEC tilts, including a win at Tennessee
last Saturday, Alabama will need everything in its power to keep its center
of attention on this Homecoming affair. With four wins this season, up and
coming ASU needs two more to become bowl-eligible and will try hard to
impress bowl scouts here today. Given the Elephant’s 3-18 ATS mark in its last
twenty-one tries as home chalk, Arkansas State looks mighty meaty.
LA LAFAYETTE over Florida Int’l by 10
Thanks to the nation’s No. 1 ranked rushing offense (312 RYPG), the Ragin’
Cajuns are breathing down the necks of Troy for the top spot in the Sun
Belt Conference standings. La La’s net team stats, +58 YPG this season, are
dramatically better than FIU’s -109 YPG net team stats. By our calculations,
that amounts to 167 net YPG in favor of the host. No surprise to see the
Panthers drop to 0-5 SU and ATS in this series.
Troy over LA MONROE by 14
After losing offensive coordinator Tony Franklin to Auburn in the off-season,
the Trojans were expected to take a step back in 2008. That moonwalk never
happened as Troy is averaging the same 34 PPG this season as last and is 5-2
after seven games, identical to last year’s squad. This marks the road fi nale
for the Trojans who return home to close out the campaign with a seasonending
three game homestand. This also marks the LHG of the season
for Monroe who is 0-4 ATS in home fi nales when facing a .400 or greater
opponent. So the question begs: will Troy improve on its 8-0 SU and 7-1 ATS
mark as a road favorite here tonight? You betcha!
Sunday, November 2nd
C FLORIDA over E Carolina by 3
George O’Leary is making a living, albeit not a very good one, working on
Sundays these days. After last Sunday’s 2nd half collapse at Tulsa, his charges
return home to host East Carolina in another C-USA Sunday night spotlight
game. O’Leary has been at his best at home in conference games (28-15-3
ATS) in his career, especially when he’s not favored (10-3-1 ATS). He’s also
12-5 ATS as a conference home puppy with revenge (lost 52-38 as 3.5-point
road favs at ECU last year). With the Pirates virtually sword-less as road chalk,
1-3 SU and 0-4 ATS – including 0-3 this season – it looks like another ‘Sunday
Morning Coming Down’ for another Sunday traveler tonight.